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Board of Directors

Doug E. Fresh
Founding Artist and
Honorary Board Member

Dr. Olajide Williams
Founder and President

Lori Rose Benson

Dr. Gillian Barclay
Dr. Saju Joseph
Dr. James M. Noble
Dr. Olubenga Ogedegbe
Eric Pliner
Andrew Post
Tiberius Vadan
James R. Whitehead


Lori Rose Benson
CEO and Executive Director

Patrice Webb
Chief Strategic Communications and Engagement Officer

Lindsey Harr
Chief Program Operations Officer

Liliana Marques
Director of Development

Melinda Gould
Chief Growth Advisor

Cherie Greer Brown
Senior Growth Advisor

Sittra Omer
Director of Special Projects

Adam Schleichkorn
Director of Creative Development and Promotion

Mariam Bekele
Brand Marketing Consultant

Rachel Weisenthal

Abe Hirsch

Research & Development Team

EASY A.D. Harris
Artie Green
Dr. Ewelina Swierad
Janhavi Mallaiah
Madeline Hassankhani
Vanessa Sawyer
Sandra Minchala
Gabriela Drucker
Mark Williams
Kunsorya Chhea
Saju Joseph, MD, FACS

Professor & Vice-Chair of Surgery, Touro University, Nevada
Hip Hop Public Health Board Member

Dr. Joseph completed his medical school education at Tufts University School of Medicine. He then went on to pursue training in surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center under the leadership of Dr. Josef E. Fischer. During his training, Dr. Joseph won the prestigious Harvard Housestaff and Fellows Teaching Award. Through Dr. Fischer’s mentorship, Dr. Joseph had the unique experience of doing his fellowship in Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh under the tutelage of Professor O. James Garden.

Since completing his training, Dr. Joseph has worked in academic surgery for his entire career. He has had the opportunity to serve as a visiting professor for the Colombian Association of Surgery and as an advisor to Governor Abbott (Texas) regarding emergency and trauma services. He was also the Vice Chair of Surgery at Texas Tech, where he was instrumental in establishing the residency in the Permian Basin and an acclaimed rural surgery training program. Dr. Joseph serves on the editorial board of six journals and is a reviewer for numerous others. He was the editor for a recently published book on Point-of-Care-Ultrasound for First Responders. He established the ACGME accredited general surgery residency at Valley Health System in Las Vegas NV. He serves as a Professor and Vice Chair of Surgery for Touro University Nevada.

Dr. Joseph has worked with numerous healthcare businesses and private equity bankers, raised money for charitable organizations, and travelled to 3rd world countries to expand medical education and outreach. His goal is to use technology and innovation to enhance healthcare delivery, prevent illness, and save lives throughout the world.

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Hip Hop Pioneer, Rapper
Hip Hop Public Health Collaborating Artist

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is co-founder of the legendary group Run-DMC: selling over 40 million albums and changing music history. In 2014 he started his comic book company, Darryl Makes Comics; in 2016 released a top-selling autobiography “Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide” and put out a limited edition vinyl EP in advance of his upcoming solo album in 2017.

DMC is a member of the Hip Hop Public Health Advisory Board and also co-founded the Felix Organization – a nonprofit that works to enrich the lives of children in the foster care system. He’s a 2009 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a 2016 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and has received numerous awards for his philanthropic work.

Blurred Vision
Canja Audio
Zombie Studio
How much and what kind of sugar are you consuming today? Not sure? Well, there are 150 different names for sugar in 74% of packaged goods. So, how could any of us really know how much sugar we are consuming? “Lil Sugar” is a fictitious character who embodies all the types, teaches us the names, and shows us how to spot the various disguises of sugar in everyday foods and beverages. Why is being able to spot the various types of sugar matter? Because childhood obesity and diabetes are two major risk factors, along with heart disease, that threaten the health of all of us and disproportionately threaten Black and brown communities. Health disparity is a real problem and health literacy is solvable. The creation of “Lil Sugar”, the master of sugar’s many disguises, is our contribution to the efforts to close that gap by creating smart, educational, engaging, and memorable resources.
AREA 23, an IPG Health Network Company, has been consistently recognized with top advertising industry awards and honors. Our relentless passion for creating larger-than-life campaigns and stories is what makes us unique in being recognized outside of the healthcare space. To us, the ultimate measure of success is how much what we do actually transforms people’s lives for the better and how positive is the cultural impact our ideas have. To make that happen, we continuously hire the best professionals from all walks of life and industries; from technology to consumer advertising. And by tapping into these people’s passions, we can empower them to achieve the very best work, for them and for our clients and partners.
Bizsys is one of the main technology producers responsible for making the best advertising ideas possible, we operate in the world market, making the creations of big agencies for big brands a reality. We have a dedicated team that monitors all the activation processes carried out. The company’s know-how is anchored in technology and innovation, eg. websites, apps, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and others. We are able to bring the best solutions for big campaigns in digital, ooh and multiplatform. Our team is always ready to make ideas possible with a short delivery time and high quality projects. Innovation is present in the latest hardware and software technologies making them walk in perfect synchrony with great professionals in the area.
CANJA Audio Culture is a world-class audio company, passionate about making ground-breaking ideas and music come to life. Over the past four years, CANJA won 49 Cannes Lions – including Grand Prix for Audio & Radio, Titanium, Best Use of Music and Sound Design. In 2017, CANJA produced the 3rd most awarded campaign of the world: The Refugee Nation (Ogilvy NY), which also won The Best of Show on One Show. In 2019, CANJA was named “The Music & Sound Company of the Year” at the LIA (London International Awards). CANJA works with global agencies and clients such as GRAMMY’s Recording Academy, Nike, Burger King, Instagram, Facebook, Johnnie Walker, Adidas, Burger King, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Amnesty International and Gatorade.
Quennel Worthy is the CEO/Director of Blurred Vision Entertainment. Worthy is a music producer/songwriter with over 15 years of experience in the business. Worked with artist from all over the globe including U.S., Germany, Russia, Japan, Barbados, Australia. Recently produced/wrote two songs on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Songs for a Healthier America” album. Has produced for the likes of Jordin Sparks, Monifah, Doug E Fresh, Sister Sledge, and JYJ to name a few.
Zombie is a multi-awarded animation studio made up of passionate artists. We are continually valuing the most exceptional craft and storytelling. When these two elements are powerfully combined, the outcome is always mind-blowing work that touches people’s hearts and minds. To achieve this, we have a team of experts and work at every stage of the project: concept, screenplay, art direction, character design, animation, production, and film direction. We deliver integrated and complete projects, whether for advertising, branded content, or entertainment.