MEET THE ADVISORY BOARD

Charlene Free

Chair of the Board

Ms. Charlene Free holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from South Carolina State University. She is employed as a medical speech and language pathologist with 26 years of experience and 9 years of experience as a national continuing education Instructor in her field. Ms. Free is the Immediate Past President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®,
Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter and she received the 2 nd Place, distinguished award and recognition for being an Outstanding President of an extra large chapter in the Great Lakes Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, April 2021. She has served on the National Pan Hellenic Council of Presidents, the Achieving Standards of Excellence Foundation
Board and she currently serves on the advisory committee for 3 undergraduate chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, which Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter oversees. She is currently a member of the Council of Presidents for Alpha Sigma Omega Chapter. Additionally,
she serves as an advisor to the Alpha Sigma Omega Leaders In Training For Excellence Program, which she created in 2019, wrote a grant proposal and received funding for, as a part of Columbus’ first ever, Black Girls Commission, under the leadership of Councilmember Priscilla Tyson, Columbus City Council. This program provides leadership and mentoring for girls, grades 6-8. Ms. Free is also the creator of a literacy program for children grades 1-5, whose emphasis
is on creating a love for reading and developing reading comprehension skills. She obtained funding for this program from Trinity Health Systems. Ms. Free has a heart of servanthood and community service and she works to improve and to meet the needs of others, while training and providing empowerment in leadership. She is the Director of Women’s Ministries and a licensed minister at Gospel Lighthouse
Church, under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Fryar. She is also the mother of s. Charnelle Free and the mother in love of Mr. Nickolas Knight. She is the daughter of Mr. Jake Wright and the
Late Mrs. Gwandulyn Wright.

Board Member

Ezekiel Peebles

Ezekiel Peebles III is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor by the state of Ohio since
2011. Ezekiel is a National Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors. He is the
Founder & Clinical Director of Key Counseling & Consultation LLC, which is a private practice in Gahanna, Ohio. He specializes in psychotherapy that focuses on the wellness of the whole individual, not just sustaining mental/emotional health, but also managing their life and relationships. Additionally, he is a third-year doctoral student in the college of Education and Human Ecology, Counselor Education and Supervision program at The Ohio State University. His current research interests include, Black masculinity, Black mental health, counselor identity, cultural competence, and social justice.
Ezekiel has over 18 years of experience working in the mental health field assisting individuals, couples, families, and groups through counseling and various workshops. As a Counselor he provides clients with
the highest level of care, attention to detail and empathy that everyone deserves. As a Counselor Educator
he believes research is an important link to unlocking the knowledge and information necessary for the advancement of all people. He has been featured as a keynote speaker and/or panelist with The Ohio State
University, Denison University, Ohio University and the University of Dayton, Power 107.5 Columbus
radio and various community partners in the Central Ohio area.
Ezekiel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Clinical Counseling from the University of Dayton. He is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES),
Association for Multicultural Counseling Development (AMCD), Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ),
Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC), Ohio Counseling Association (OCA), Chi Sigma Iota, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and is a member of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church.
Ezekiel resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Kennetha and son Sean.

Chris Suel

Board Member

Felicia R. Ocdise

Board Member

Dr. Jelynn A. Martin

Board Member

Dr. Martin is the pastor of Mount Sinai United Holy Church in Akron, Ohio.  Within the United Holy Church of America, she serves in leadership at both the district and international levels of the organization as the Education Department President and Director of Planned Giving, respectively.

 

Within these roles, Dr. Martin serves to meet the educational needs of over 300 churches world-wide. She is a bi-vocational pastor who works as a Pharmacokinetic Research Scientist II for Charles River Laboratories. Prior to her role as a Research Scientist at Charles River Laboratories, she worked as their Manager of Clinical Pathology for 4 years. From Charles River Laboratories she received the Employee Recognition Award for her outstanding efforts towards improving company workflow and processes by the Employee Engagement Team.

 

Until June 2019, Dr. Martin was also a part-time Senior Lecturer in the Engineering and Science Technology Department at The University of Akron. She was noted for presenting scientific topics and materials in ways that were both challenging and engaging. She facilitated lectures that presented the most mundane topics in ways that were practical and sometimes unconventional.

 

Dr. Martin was awarded The Certificate of Excellence and recognized as the department’s Outstanding Faculty Member for 2016-2017.  Dr. Martin is a graduate of Wittenberg University with a Bachelor degree in Sociology with a Chemistry minor. Dr. Martin also completed post-baccalaureate studies at The Ohio State University. It was there she found her passion for research and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Chemistry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University.

 

Dr. Jelynn A. Martin's research has been published in several national scientific journals and books, and she is also a contributing author in the Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. 

Samuel “Chris” Suel currently serves as the Assistant Director of Community Affairs for Mayor Ginther, prior to this role Chris lead My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) as a Program Manager for the City of Columbus, Department of Neighborhoods. As the MBK Program Manager, Chris focused on addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential by targeting barriers to success at the individual, organizational and systematic levels. Chris utilizes his background in working with diverse communities throughout the City of Columbus to build collaboration amongst stakeholders to improve outcomes in the community.

 

Chris is interested in helping the African- American community through civic endeavors, education, resources and community empowerment. He was a past member of CULYP (Columbus Urban League Young Professionals) and he is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Alpha Rho Lambda Chapter. Chris serves on the Committee for Junior Esquires of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and a current board member for Starfish Alliance. Chris also serves as a SGT in the United States Army Reserves, he deployed to Iraq, Syria and Kuwait from 2018-2019 for 11 months. He attends Gospel Lighthouse Church and volunteers regularly at Windsor Academy Elementary and Linden McKinley STEM.

 

Before working for the City of Columbus, Chris was a Case Manager for Franklin County Children Services. He would later serve with the Community Outreach unit with Franklin County Job and Family Services. Chris is a graduate of Wright State University, from which he earned degrees in Sociology and Business Management. He is currently finishing his Masters in Public Administration at Franklin University.

Felicia R. Ocdise has a 20 year career within the financial sector. Currently, she is a Compliance Director at Community Choice Financial, Inc. where she specializes in financial governance. Her responsibilities include: risk assessment and management, analyzing and reporting compliance data to stakeholders and key individuals, facilitating company exams with federal and state regulators and third-party auditors, and compliance training and development. Felicia is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with focus in Business Administration. Felicia was a participant in the Harvard Business School Manage Mentor program, and was featured in the Who’s Who In Black Columbus publication. She is an active member of her sorority where she has served as the financial secretary, treasurer, and now serving on the finance committee. Felicia is a strong proponent of financial literacy and being “financially fit”. Outside of her professional career, Felicia is committed to educating individuals, specifically youth and young adults, with the knowledge base and skill sets to make sound financial decisions.

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