Our Team

Tajala "Taj" Lockhart

Founder/Executive Director

Mrs. Tajala “Taj” Lockhart is the Certified Hospitality Educator with a passion for training up our future youth and young adults and coaching adults through adversity by providing industry recognized certifications and trainings that provides them an opportunity to become successful independent citizens. Tajala is a newly elected Governing Board Member for Charles County Board of Education, CEO of TAJ Consulting & Events, Founder/Executive Director of Phenomenal Young Women, Inc a 501©3 Nonprofit, Best Selling Author and Associate Professor for the Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts Department at Prince George Community.

This year Tajala was awarded Entrepreneur & Women in Business, Nonprofit Star by National Nonprofit Minority Association, My Sister’s Keeper Award 2019 by The Sisterhood of Southern Maryland Organization, awarded ACHI Nonprofit Executive of the Year 2019, nominated for ACHI Women of Achievement 2019, recognized as one of 16 Faces of Influence 2019, two Executive Citation’s from Anne Arundel County Executive 2019 & 2020, awarded Entrepreneur of the Year Nonprofit 2019 and recently received 2020 Award of Excellence - Deborah C Bulgin Walking In Excellence.

Tajala is a native of North Carolina but currently resides in Maryland with her husband and daughter. She graduated from Wake Technical Community College in 1998 with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. In 2016, she obtained her Certified Hospitality Educator Certification recognized by the American Hotel & Lodging Association at Penn State University. She had a successful career in the Hospitality Industry for 26+ years, now owns TAJ Consulting & Events which focus on training and developing the workforce in the surrounding communities. She teaches other people how to achieve the same success through Personal Branding, Understanding Your Why, and building strong interviewing skills and resumes. TAJ Consulting & Events trains up our future, coach adults through adversity, and create memorable events for our clients.

Andrea Pope-Matheson

Chief Operating Officer - Leadership Team

Andrea Pope-Matheson, (born December 20, 1974, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.), Serves as a Supervisory Paralegal Specialist in the United States Federal Government, overseeing a unit of paralegals in the Office of Proceedings for the Surface Transportation Board. Providing leadership, subject-matter expertise, training, and coaching.

Andrea started her career working for District of Columbia Council for Council Member At-Large Harold Brazil. Then she accepted a position at the District of Columbia Public Service Commission. She attended Prince Georges Community College (PGCC) and obtained a Paralegal Certificate. As a result, the DCPSC created a paralegal position in the General Counsel office. Upon graduation from PGCC, she attended American University in hopes of receiving a bachelor’s in Justice. Subsequently, Andrea was promoted as a paralegal at the STB and rose to a management paralegal position.

In 2018, she ran a successful campaign as Committee Chair for Charles County School board member.

Currently, Andrea serves as Chief Operating Officer for Phenomenal Young Women, a non-profit organization, geared to assisting girls between the ages of 8 to 18 and inspiring them to be their best while learning the necessary skills to build a blueprint for success.

She is a lifelong learner and loves new experiences, traveling to various places, and helping people.

Andrea Pope-Matheson’s greatest accomplishment has been her family and three beautiful children and grandson. She has always been a passionate advocate for her children’s needs.

Diamond McBride

Director of Program Management - Leadership Team

Diamond McBride serves as the Director of Program Management for Phenomenal Young Women, Inc which in her role she provides strategic support in designing and executing programs and events that align with the organization’s mission. She provides hands-on teachings and engagement with the PYW girls in their monthly meetings to help foster a strong sisterhood bond amongst each other. She is President, CEO of D.McBride Office Solutions which specializes Office Administration through a virtual environment. She studies Human Resource Management and Project Management at University of Maryland University College and she has obtained two professional certificate degrees from University of West Florida in Management Development.

LaTasha Briscoe

Board of Directors

Strategy Consultant. Workshop Leader. Panelist. Author. Mentor

LaTasha is a Creative Entrepreneur with a background in Business Management, contracts and brand awareness. As the Owner and Creative Director of LB Innovations Events, she has over a decade of event planning and design experience. She is an award-winning Event Planner and Designer that shares her gifts and talent as a mentor with new and aspiring creatives ready to take a leap into the event industry. LaTasha is a published author, having contributed to collaborative book projects such as “Moments in Her Story”, “Black, Brilliant and Built for Success” and “ Behind the Scenes of a Phenomenal Woman” as well as original poetry.

LaTasha has been recognized for her community service through various organizations. LaTasha guides individuals through the process of birthing a vision and executing their purpose, without excuses. She is known as the Creative Strategist. Through her consultant work, she assists small businesses with developing the plan to increase brand awareness, helps entrepreneurs discover systems and processes they need to put in place to maximize man hours and uncovers the reality behind becoming a full-time entrepreneur. She has a heavy focus on the integration of your personal and professional life while aiming for success.

LaTasha is available to speak and facilitate for groups of youth, young adults, early career professionals, new and aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as social decision makers trying to effectively engage clients/community and promote change.

Annie Holmes

Board of Directors

Annie Holmes is the Chief Equity Officer at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) based in Washington, D.C. and has almost two decades of experience in equity across higher education, K-12 education, and community development financing. She has expertise in strategic planning and implementation, workplace climate assessment, bridging relationships, fundraising, and driving high impact goals.

Annie brings her experience as a trusted advisor to organizational executives and presidents on policy changes, internal and external communications, employee and student issues, corporate relations, and implementing best practices to enhance organizational culture and climate. At Penn State, she advised and consulted with campus chancellors, deans and other academic leaders across a decentralized matrixed institution toward engaging an inclusive workplace and learning environment. While at Cal Poly, Annie established the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion. She collaborated with other institutional leaders to change policies and procedures that enhanced the recruitment of underrepresented faculty and students. She also advised on responses to incidents of bias, managed a data-driven faculty/student mentoring research program, funded faculty and staff associations, and collaborated with campus leaders to enhance retention. Annie managed a campus climate survey and moved the campus toward implementing a strategic diversity framework to ensure campus-wide accountability. While at Opportunity Finance Network, Annie led a cross-functional team toward enhancing the organizational culture and supported three chief executive officers through crisis management, change management, and organizational growth. With oversight of human resources, Annie served as the benefits administrator and held fiduciary responsibility of the department.

Annie received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Temple University and two masters degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. She is currently completing her doctoral work in adult education and lifelong learning from The Pennsylvania State University. She is committed to spending quality time and creating memories with her husband, Clifton, Jr and their three sons, Clifton, III (Tre), Jayden and Lincoln.

Breanna Sherman

Board of Directors

Breanna Sherman(Bree) a recent college graduate has used her educational background combined with her love of athletics and passion to help generations to follow reach greater heights to become founder and CEO of Bree Strong: Sports Wellness & Lifestyle in 2018. She was able to take her creative passions and in 2019 founded Bree Shot Ya! where she provides creative marketing services to businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits across the country. When Bree is not busy working she enjoys playing soccer, online shopping and above all spending time with her younger sister and nephew. She is looking forward to serving as a member of the board for Phenomenal Young Women and is excited to not only see what the future holds for this amazing organization, but to contribute to its growth and development.

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