Executive Board Members
Soror Shirley Dean-Johnson - Regional Director
Soror Shirley Dean-Johnson was born, raised and worked on a farm in Nashville, North Carolina and she moved to Baltimore, Maryland during her high school years. She has a B.S. degree from Morgan State University. She was employed for eight (8) years as a Claims Examiner with Aetna Insurance Company in Washington, D.C. and has been employed for over 25 years as a Case Manager with Baltimore City Department of Social Services, processing maltreatment referral s of abuse, neglect and mental injury on behalf of children and adult survivors, in addition to testifying in court.
Since being inducted into Kappa Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority in 1997, Soror Dean-Johnson has served on the local level as chapter President, 1st Vice President, Financial Secretary and Treasurer, served as Financial Secretary on the Eastern Regional level, and is currently the Assistant Eastern Regional Director. She has also chaired and worked on various committees on the National level.
Soror Dean-Johnson is married to Longworth Johnson and they have a son and daughter. Soror Dean-Johnson is a member of New Fellowship Christian Community Church, the co-caregiver for her mother, and she is a strong believer that there is ALWAYS room for improvement.
Elma V. Brathwaite-Curtis, MSW - Assistant Regional Director
SOROR ELMA V. BRATHWAITE-CURTIS became a member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. on April 1, 2001 when she was inducted into the Epsilon Zeta Chapter on St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands. She has always been community-minded and giving back was always a priority for her so it was very easy to determine that the Sorority’s and Elma’s personal principles were perfectly aligned. She immersed herself into Iota’s community awareness tasks, making immediate and significant contributions towards their accomplishments.
Soror Brathwaite-Curtis has served on all committees in the local chapter. She has had the opportunity to chair committees such as: Future Iota Leaders, Career Exploration and Tutorial, Toys U Can’t Return, Iota Mother Assistance Program, Soror of the Year/ Mahala S. Evans Award, Woman of the Year/ Lola M. Parker Award, Iota for Education Day, Newsletter, Website, Scrapbook, Civic, the Academic Cotillion, Spirit of Community Gala, Cocktails for Cancer, and 2015 National Convention.
Soror Brathwaite-Curtis is the current Assistant Eastern Regional Director, and the Immediate Past Eastern Regional Recording Secretary. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter.
Elma earned Masters and Bachelors Degrees from Norfolk State University and the University of the Virgin Islands respectively. She joined the Virgin Islands Department of Justice in the Family/Special Victims Unit as a Social Worker in 1998, and currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. Through her position at the Department of Justice, Elma serves on a number of Boards and Committees; to wit: Witness Protection Program, Criminal Victims Compensation Commission, Virgin Islands Counsel of the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, and the USVI Behavioral Health Planning Council. Elma has received numerous awards/recognitions for her work at the Department of Justice.
Soror Elma is extremely involved in the Virgin Islands community. She is always helping and being a resource is truly her passion. She often responds with or without prompting to outreach programs in the community. She is a long-standing and involved member of her Alumni, the Charlotte Amalie High School. She is currently the PTSA President at CAHS. She is also very active and leads activities for her alumni class, CAHS Class of 1989. Over the years, she has been called on to make several presentations about her profession and she volunteers periodically at several schools: a Pre-school, Headstart, Elementary and Junior High Schools in a variety of capacities. Her extensive volunteer work with a number of other community organizations is well documented within the community in which she resides, earning her a multitude of awards and commendations for her service to the place she calls home.
She has a passion for gardening, event planning, and arts and crafts, and enjoys watching televised sports, reading, and spending time with her family, when she is not engaged in some form of community work for Iota or the many community programs. Her inability to deny any request for help is thoroughly supported by her husband and Man of Iota, William Curtis, Jr., her awesome son, Eljhaie, and stepson, William III. Elma’s life is guided by the words of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” She continues to live by this belief, trusting in God, and hoping that she will be able to help those that she comes into contact with that needs her assistance.
This dedicated Mom, wife, career driven, community volunteer is a “Sorority Girl” through and through. Her career choice and sorority life have granted her the opportunity to do what she loves – serving the community and helping others.
Nicole Darden Ford - Eastern Region Treasurer
Nicole Darden Ford was born and raised in Northern California where both of her parents served in the U.S. Army. Nicole has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and a Master’s degree in the Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia. She is the Director of Information Security for Venable LLP, an AmLaw 100 law firm. Nicole served as the Senior Director of Privacy and Security for a healthcare analytics company called Inovalon. Previous to Inovalon she served as an IT Project Manager, Information Systems Security Project Manager and Compliance, Security, Monitoring and Reporting Lead for US Department of Agriculture. Nicole Gray is an IT Strategic leader with 20+ years of success spanning the Federal Government and Corporate Venues. She has extensive knowledge and application of Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics and Homeland Security practices within the Federal Government. Before working for USDA, she worked for the US Department of State as an Enterprise Architect. This was a very challenging position and exposed her to many of the issues we face as a nation. After high school, Nicole went into the military where she began my IT career working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff near Camp David in Maryland. She is also an adjunct professor at various colleges throughout Northern Virginia. Nicole is an up and coming speaker that has been asked to speak on IT-related topics like compliance, governance and information assurance, Cyber Forensic issues facing the Federal Government.
Since joining Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc., in November 2009, Soror Ford has held several positions including Chapter President, Second Vice President and Treasurer. She is currently the National HQ Committee Chair and has chaired the Eastern Region’s Technology Committee. In 2015, Soror Ford had the distinct honor of being named the Outstanding Chapter President for the Eastern Region.Nicole Ford is also part of Women In Security a special interested group for the Information Systems Security Association.
Nicole Darden Ford currently resides in Woodbridge, Virginia with her husband, Preston E. Ford Jr, and her kids Darren and Sydney Gray.
Soror KaShauna G. Spratley - Eastern Region Financial Secretary
Soror KaShauna G. Spratley was born in Hampton, Virginia, and raised in Newport News, Virginia, graduating from Newport News Public Schools. She attended Madam Daniels School of Beauty Culture the summer before her 11 th grade year, and became a licensed Nail Technician at age 16, and has been licensed for 21 years. She started her undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, the day after her high school graduation, and graduated in the class of 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Studies.
After college she moved to Sacramento, California for a new start, but life would bring her back to Virginia. After taking a semester worth of classes in the graduate program for Urban Revitalization at VCU, she realized the need for a career where she could give more of herself, and give back to the community; so she became a teacher. Soror KaShauna began her teaching career in 2004 with Hampton City Schools as a Special Education Teacher at Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia. She received her teacher certification from Shenandoah University in Specific Learning Disabilities. In December 2010, she completed the Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program with Averett University. Soror KaShauna has a professional teaching certificate in the areas of Specific Learning Disabilities (K-12) and Special Education General Curriculum (K-12). She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Instructional Design & Technology.
At Hampton High School (HHS), Soror KaShauna serves the students, teachers, and community of Hampton, Virginia in the role of Graduation/eLearning Facilitator in Hampton High School’s Alternative Education & On Time Graduation Program, assisting students with credit recovery and remediation needed to graduate from high school within four years. She also serves as the Case Manager for the Special Education Department ensuring compliance with federal mandates for students with disabilities, and serves as a mentor to novice teachers. Previously she has served as the 9 th and 11 th grade English lead teacher, yearbook teacher and advisor from 2006-2013, earning the 2 nd place award from the Virginia High School League for quality publication for the 2009 edition of Krabba, and the 3 rd place award for the 2010 edition of Krabba. She coached the award winning Debate Team from 2006-2009, assisted in starting the step team and volleyball team, and serves as the Positive Image Club of HHS Sponsor. In 2011, Soror KaShauna was honored with the distinguished title of “Teacher of the Year” for Hampton High School, the second Special Educator Teacher to be honored with the title in the school’s history.
Soror KaShauna was inducted into Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., on a snowy afternoon, Saturday, January 19, 2008. She is the Chapter President of the Gamma Zeta Chapter in Newport News, Virginia since 2014. During her administration, the chapter implemented the local Georgia R. Bingham IMAP Scholarship, Toys “U” Can’t Return Workshop, and Pelati Auxiliary. At the 78 th Eastern Regional Conference in Norfolk, Virginia, the chapter won the 3 rd Place Dr. Evelyn Sears Peevy Achievement Award, and 3 rd Place Florence Madison Hill Chapter Growth Award. Serving as Chapter President & Conference Committee Co-Chairperson, she and the Gamma Zeta Chapter co-hosted the 79 th Eastern Regional Conference, along with the Eastern Region Executive Committee, at the Crowne Plaza Marina Hotel in Hampton, Virginia from April 14-17, 2016 where the chapter won the 2 nd Place Dr. Evelyn Sears Peevy Achievement Award, and 2 nd Place Florence Madison Hill Chapter Growth Award, and 3 rd Place Dr. Ruth Swann Youth Award. She has also served as chapter 2 nd Vice President, Journalist, and Dean of Intake, and the region’s National Youth Essay Contest Representative.
Most importantly, Soror KaShauna is the proud mother of an amazing, intelligent, handsome, loving, and very active four-year old little boy, Josiah. Through her dedication to academics, KaShauna encourages and teaches her son and students daily the importance of striving for excellence in education and in life.
Soror Jennifer L. Porter - Eastern Region Recording Secretary
As the daughter of a women’s empowerment leader and community advocate, Corresponding Secretary Jennifer L. Porter, developed an early passion for supporting and advocating for girls and women. Jennifer holds a degree in Biology from Howard University; a Masters of Public Health from The George Washington University, School of Public Health Soror Porter combines her passion and talent today as a Government Affairs Specialist for the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Health System. In this role, Soror Porter advocates for legislation, health policy and community resources that improve the health and wellbeing of our youth. Mrs. Porter’s leadership and expertise has led her to serve as a consultant, speaker and educator on sexual health both locally and across the country.
Currently, Jennifer serves as the National Chairwoman of the Toy’s “U” Can’t Return Program Iota’s National teen pregnancy prevention program and the national chair for the Iota Mothers Assistance Program. She is honored to serve as the Eastern Region Recording Secretary after 4 years of regional leadership as the chairwoman of the Anna J. Steen Regional Scholarship Program. Jennifer is also excited to serve as the Corresponding Secretary for Gamma chapter this year.
Her passion lies in promoting healthy bodies, relationships and careers for young women through a spiritual
connection and self-esteem. Jennifer was a spring 2011 initiate of Gamma Chapter in Washington, DC where she
lives with her husband Andre. Soror Porter is honored to share the legacy of Iota Phi Lambda with her mother
Soror Angela and sister Soror Jessica.
Gail E. Davis - Eastern Region Journalist
Mrs. Gail E. Davis is a retired senior executive, engaged philanthropist and women’s rights advocate, who was recognized by President Barack Obama in January 2015 for her distinguished public service career lasting 43 years, three months and six days.
Mrs. Davis retired as a top-level government official specializing in technical services. Gail launched her career as a summer intern (GS-01) actively pursuing career opportunities with six federal agencies including: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, VA Medical Center, Social Security Administration, Defense Depot Richmond, Defense Supply Center Richmond and the Defense Logistics Agency. She credits her eventual promotion to the Deputy Director of Technical Foundation Services (GS-14) to diversifying her professional goals and actively cultivating mentors. This strategy successfully catapulted her into the exclusive group of African-American federal employees (10%) who hold senior level positions with the U.S. government.
An engaged citizen and champion for the Richmond, Virginia community, Mrs. Davis held offices with the Girls Club of Richmond, Incorporated in the 90’s serving over 100 girls annually for nearly a decade in the Highland Park area. Her experience with the Girls Club prepared her to serve several well-known entities to include but not limited to: The National Association of Realtors; Partners Financial Federal Credit Union, Loan Review Committee; and, Highland Park Community Development Corporation where she often held leadership positions.
Perhaps one of her most precious volunteer roles has been with Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. (Iota) which she joined March 2014. With Iota, Mrs. Davis was elected as Dean of Intake for Gamma Delta for three consecutive years. She also organized Business Month for three consecutive years as co-Chairwoman of the Organizing Committee; and, she advised the Audit Committee, the Budget Committee and worked with the First Timers at the 2017 Eastern Regional Conference.
Mrs. Davis is a proud graduate of Richmond Public Schools, a school system that laid the foundation for her eventual matriculation through George Washington University, Simmons Graduate School of Management, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College and the U. S. Army Management Logistics College where she earned Master’s Certificates and Associates Certificates in business and leadership. Gail E. Davis has earned a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees which lead to careers in Business Administration and Organizational Management and Leadership.
Finally, and most importantly, Mrs. Davis – humble wife, proud mother, favorite daughter, older sister of seven siblings, and Richmond native – spends her free time teaching young women to “never give up” by turning life’s obstacles into opportunities. She is also a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club and unapologetically rides ‘behind’ her husband on a Harley or Gold Wing even though she holds a license.