FAMU NAA Honors 2021 Distinguished Alumni

November 23, 2021
Distinguished Alumni Awardees
FAMU NAA Honors 2021 Distinguished Alumni

From Left: FAMU Foundation Chair Jemal Gibson, BOT Chairman Kelvin Lawson, Doris Hicks, Sharonda Mills-Wolfe, David Jackson, Ph.D., Jacquelynne G. Maxey, Col. (ret) Charles A. Wynder Sr., and his son, Col. (ret) Christopher V. Wynde, Elaine Bryant, Ph.D., Cassandra Arnold, Timothy Howard, President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.,FAMU NAA President Gregory Clark.

The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA) honored nine 2021 Distinguished Alumni Friday for their contributions to law, education, business, government, community service and the military as part of festivities leading up to the Florida Classic in Orlando.

The 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awardees include Cassandra Arnold, Elaine Bryant, Ph.D., Timothy Howard, David Jackson, Ph.D., Jacquelynne G. Maxey, Sharonda Mills-Wolfe, David Scott, Col. (ret) Charles A. Wynder Sr., and his son, Col. (ret) Christopher V. Wynder.

The Awardees

Cassandra Arnold: Government

Cassandra Arnold is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and long-time resident of Miami. Knowing her calling to serve the least and underserved, at age 22, while working in corporate America, she founded a scholarship foundation and 501c3 non-profit to empower young adults with the leadership training and development skills to succeed. In addition, her foundation provides thousands of dollars in scholarships and mentoring hours to Haitian female students studying business and Black female students studying STEM at FAMU.

Her extensive career in corporate America includes stints with Caterpillar Inc. and as an international business developer overseeing, managing and traveling to more than 12 Caribbean countries for an education corporation. During recent election cycles, Arnold led outreach in the Haitian and Caribbean communities for both the Hillary Clinton presidential and Bill Nelson U.S. senatorial campaigns.

In 2018, Arnold was elected president of the Democratic Haitian American Caucus of Florida, where she is credited with transforming the caucus’ membership, political footprint, and digital presence.

Elaine W. Bryant, Ph.D.: Community Service

Elaine W. Bryant is a public servant, entrepreneur, leader, collaborator, and consensus builder. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from FAMU and has lived in Tallahassee for more than 40 years. A pioneer, Bryant is the first female to hold the position of director, Division of Staff Services for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 1988. She started E. W. Bryant & Associates in 2000. Bryant was selected to serve as a Tallahassee City commissioner in 2019.

Timothy Howard: Business

Timothy Howard founded Executive Protection Agencies, LLC (EPA Security) in 2001 with two security professionals and no clients. Atlanta-based EPA Security is one of only a few African American owned security companies. As chairman and CEO, Howard manages a staff of more than 100 security professionals and dozens of recurring and new clients. He is also chief financial officer of EPA’s sister company, On-Site Surveillance, which offers customers first-class surveillance products for their homes, businesses and construction sites.

EPA Security provides protection products and services for homes and businesses, special events, government agencies, families and individuals, corporate executives and many high profile entertainers and athletes.

In 2007, Howard added a security academy, the first of its kind in Georgia. He teamed up with the International Academy of Executive Protection Agents (IAEPA) and Law Enforcement & Security Specialist Private Training L.E.S.S., which provides education and training to aspiring security professionals.

In 2010, Howard established offices in Southern California and Miami. EPA Security’s first Miami project was providing security for various Superbowl XLIV events and celebrities.

David J. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D.: Education

David H. Jackson Jr., Ph.D., serves as the provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

The Atlanta native attended FAMU on a band scholarship and participated with the Marching “100” and symphonic bands. He graduated in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in history education and a master’s degree in Public Administration. Jackson earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Memphis and began his professorial career at FAMU in 1997.

He quickly became a full professor of History, served as chairman of the Department of History, Political Science, Geography, and African American Studies for 10 years, and then as associate provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research for six years. He is the author of six books and nearly 50 scholarly articles.

Jacquelynne Gail Maxey: Community Service

Jacquelynne Maxey’s 35 years of employment in the public sector included stints in the Florida Legislature, Governor’s Office, Board of Regents, Florida Department of Education, Florida A&M University, and Comptroller. In 2013, she relocated from Tallahassee to Lakeland to assist with opening Florida Polytechnic University. Maxey retired in September 2017.

Maxey believes in volunteering with local community organizations and is a life member of the FAMU National Alumni Association. She is also a member of the Polk County Alumni Chapter and of the Lakeland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

U.S. Representative David Scott: Government

Rep. David Scott is serving his 10th term representing Georgia’s 13th Congressional District, which includes six counties around metro Atlanta. He began his public service by being elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1974.

In Congress, Scott is a strong voice for farmers, jobs, health care, education,  veterans, children, and transportation. Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, he also serves on the Financial Services Committee and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Scott has authored legislation supporting scholarships for students attending 1890 Historically Black Land Grant institutions.

Sharonda Mills-Wolfe: Law

A Tallahassee native, Sharonda Mills-Wolfe graduated magna cum laude from FAMU’s School of Business and Industry with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000. She continued her studies at Florida State University and earned her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration degrees in 2003.

After passing the Florida Bar in 2003, Mills-Wolfe began working as an attorney in Tampa, Florida, where she practiced employment law at a private law firm representing local, regional and national companies. In 2009, she relocated to Orlando to work as in-house counsel for Travel + Leisure Co. (“T+L”). She is currently the group vice president of T+L’s Employment Law and Labor Relations Group, where she provides advice and training on employment related issues and oversees the Company’s employment litigation.

Col. (Ret.) Charles Wynder Sr.

Col. (Ret.) Charles “Chuck” Wynder Sr., is a Hampton, Virginia, native. After graduating from FAMU in 1964, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and served with distinction over 30 years on active and reserve duty. His family was recognized as the Army Training and Doctrine Command Family of the Year in 1982.

Upon retirement in 1995, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for Outstanding Achievement and Service. Wynder subsequently became a servant leader in his local community. He has been consistent in “giving most and serving best” as a lay reader and vestryman in his church, as a mentor to elementary and middle school students, Boy Scout Troop leader and Scout District Council chairman.

Wynder served on the Virginia Peninsula Habitat for Humanity and the Williamsburg/James City County Community Services Boards, Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor, a court appointed special advocate (CASA), for youth in the local Juvenile Domestic Relations Court, and a volunteer docent with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Wynder served as the Disabled American Veterans representative for 13 Tidewater Virginia Veteran chapters. He was awarded the National Veterans Golden Age Games’ George Gangi Inspired Award in recognition of his unique ability to inspire all in attendance through sportsmanship, determination, attitude, and support of fellow veterans. He was subsequently inducted into the National Veterans Golden Age Games Hall of Fame; to date he has won 32 gold Metals.

Col. (Ret.) Christopher Wynder, Community Service

Col. (ret.) Christopher Wynder is a Distinguished Military Graduate of FAMU where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1992. He holds a master’s degree from Troy University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Army War College Fellowship Program.

Wynder’s 27-year military police career was highlighted by numerous noteworthy assignments around the world to include deployments to Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan and a two-year battalion command in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He served as the director of Assignments and Professional Development for 2,000 active-duty Military Police Commissioned Officers and was the senior law enforcement adviser to the Commanding General, U.S. Forces Korea. His most cherished role in the military was serving as a leader and mentor to the soldiers in his command.