Ms. Wanda Best,
Board President & Executive Director of Upton Planning
Wanda Best is highly motivated, energetic professional with more than 30 years of experience working with clients across various disciplines as well as an in-depth understanding of Federal Grants and funding. She has the ability to recruit, motivate and build cohesive teams; source vendors, negotiate contracts and manage project budgets. Her skills include strong leadership, strategic planning, project management and team-building expertise. Educational background includes a Master of Arts in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree.
Ms. Florine A. McCready is a seasoned and systematic Manager with a MBA and Employee Relations Certificate who has over 30 years experience providing proactive strategic and tactical Human Resource leadership in consulting, advocacy and employee relations. In addition, Ms. McCredy has served on the Board for the Council on Career Development for Minorities in Dallas, TX where she served as Treasurer for three years. Ms. McCready currently serves as volunteer mediator to the EEOC, the MCHR and Baltimore County Community Mediation. Ms. McCready has a strong interest in youth and ensuring their preparation for the future.
Board Vice President
Brett E. McAlily, Board Treasurer & CEO / Founder B.E.M. Enterprises LLC
Brett McAlily was born in Baltimore Maryland in the year of 1964. Mr. McAlily is a product of The Baltimore City Public Schools System. Being educated in the Baltimore City Public School System, afforded him the opportunity to understand what it means “To do what he must do, in order for him to do what he wanted to do”. Throughout his professional career, he has held numerous positions in the Information Technology field. Upon graduation from college, he took the position of Director of Admissions at the Maryland Institute of Technology for two years. This opportunity of technology experience continued when he acquired a position in the Data Security Field with UPS. He held this position for approximately ten years prior to the conception of his first technology company. (Talrecom Technology) This company focused on networking and database management. He also concentrated on training, with regard to Microsoft Office Products. A host of ventures were encountered while pursuing his dream of owning and operating the largest Technology Company on the east coast. This dream became a reality when the idea of Devnix Data Management was introduced. With background including Data Base Management, Data Security, Program Encryption, and Network Security, he knew that this was the opportunity for him. He joined forces again with Alexis J. Coates and Jevon Spivey to form the company known as Devnix. As a business owner and partner of this organization his role was to review and write contracts. Mr. McAlily was also responsible for the day to day operations within the organization. This responsibility included assuring that the company and all of its employees were in compliance with regard to federal and state guidelines. This is not limited to but also included the Human Resource aspect of the business. These compliance and contract issues required attention to detail and professional advice. His current business venture is a conglomerate of the services that he has been providing to his customers over the past ten years. B.E.M. Enterprises LLC is a consulting and information assurance organization. This company was founded and based upon the needs of today’s technology groups with regard to data security and network infrastructure. Meeting today’s stringent needs for technology is what keeps him going. He can truly say that his previous work experience in Corporate America, has prepared him for many of life’s challenges.
Richard P. Barth is Dean, School of Social Work, at the University of Maryland. He has served as the Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998-2006). He was previously the Hutto Patterson Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley (1992-1998). His AB, MSW, and PHD are from Brown University and UC Berkeley, respectively. His 10 books (all co-authored except the first) include Social and Cognitive Treatment of Children and Adolescents (1986), Preventing Adolescent Abuse (1992), From Child Abuse to Permanency Planning: Pathways Through Child Welfare Services (1992), Families Living with Drugs and HIV (1993), The Tender Years: Toward Developmentally-Sensitive Child Welfare Services (1998), The Child Welfare Challenge (1992, 2000), and Beyond Common Sense: Child Welfare, Child-Well-Being, and the Evidence for Policy Reform (2006). He has also authored more than 170 book chapters and articles. His research articles have been cited more than 1000 times, among the highest citation rates in social work. He was the 1986 winner of the Frank Breul Prize for Excellence in Child Welfare Scholarship from the University of Chicago; a Fulbright Scholar in 1990 and 2006; the 1998 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research from the National Association of Social Workers; the 2005 winner of the Flynn Prize for Research; and the 2007 winner of the Peter Forsythe Award for Child Welfare Leadership from the American Public Human Services Association. He has directed more than 40 studies and, most recently, served as Co-Principal Investigator of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, the first national study of child welfare services in the US. He has served as a lecturer and consultant to the Swedish Board of Health and Social Services; the U.S. Children’s Bureau; the states of California, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Minnesota; and many universities. He has testified before Congressional and state government sub-committees. He has served on many editorial boards including Social Work, Research on Social Work Practice, Adoption Quarterly, Social Service Review, Social Work in Education, and the International Journal of Social Welfare. He served on the Board of the Society for Social Work Research from 2002-2006. He has also served on the boards of numerous child serving agencies, including the Whittaker School, Adopt a Special Kid, and San Francisco County’s Teenage Fatherhood Program. He has been a foster parent and is an adoptive parent. He remains an active researcher, currently involved with two federally funded projects--to create a standardized national format for adoption home studies, to maximize referrals of abused and neglected children to early intervention services.
Additional Board Members
Dr. Richard Barth,
Board Secretary & Dean of the School of Social Work for The University of Maryland
Patricia I. Jones,
Patricia I. Jones has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science, Coppin State College, MD, 1984. She has over 25 years of experience in the mental health and healthcare sector. Ms. Jones, a native of Baltimore, Maryland has been responsible for coordinating and monitoring contractual agreements within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Center for Maternal and Child Health. Ms. Jones is considered an expert in the field of health care management and training which includes behavioral health, special needs liaison, HIV/AIDS Administration programs and community outreach for public and private family health care centers. Throughout Ms. Jones’ career, she has always maintained, developed and strengthened working relationships with community based organizations, state, federal and private healthcare providers. Additionally, she has assisted in the drafting of State regulations and testimony that impact on the effective delivering of service and sound fiscal management resources. Ms. Jones had dedicated her life to helping the citizenry of the state. Her expertise in the areas of government and non-government health care systems, negotiating, troubleshooting and problem solving have lead to successful alliances in urban healthcare development. As a member of the Marble Hill Community Association, Ms. Jones is active with improving the neighborhood in which she lives. Her commitment to the community extends to advocating for quality education for “ALL” children. She strongly supports the premise that access to a quality education must not be based on demographics. “ALL” children should have equal access.