Choose2Live Board of Advisors

The esteemed members of the Choose2Live Board of Advisors represent a broad range of professional endeavors, yet share in their quest to provide vision and direction to Dedication to Community’s newest programmatic initiative—Choose2Live. Their support of the Choose2Live mission is evidenced by their demonstrated commitment to educate and motivate students, law enforcement and social change organizations about the value of developing supportive professional relationships, practical collaborative strategies, and shared achievable goals that build and strengthen communities.

Coming Soon

Chris Branner, MD, MPH

Specialty Medical Director, Urgent Care Services
Atrium Health

Dr. Branner began his medical career in Charlotte, North Carolina as a pediatric gastroenterologist, he made a career switch in 2012 into the exponentially expanding field of Urgent Care medicine. After working as a pediatric urgent care provider and becoming the Regional Medical Director for the Urgent Care Division at Carolinas HealthCare system, he moved forward becoming the…

Yolanda Brooks, Psy.D.

Yolanda Brooks, Psy.D.

Founder & Principal
Sports Life Transitions Programs

Dr. Yolanda Bruce Brooks is the founder and principal of  Sports Life Transitions Programs. Dr. Brooks is a clinically-trained entrepreneurial psychologist with National Health Service certification in psychology and a degree in occupational therapy with a specialty in neurological disorders. Dr. Brooks has extensive experience in designing and managing healthy lifestyle and transitioning programs…

Barbara Chen

Barbara Chen

Communications Consultant
& Author

Barbara Chen brings 16 years of communications experience to her practice, including significant roles as a network news assignment editor and producer at ABC News from 2001 to 2006 and media relations director for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from 2006 to 2014. In addition, she serves and advises nonprofit organizations through personal volunteering and pro bono public relations counsel…

 James Davidson

James Davidson

Commander (Retired),
Cleveland (OH) Police Department, Downtown District

James “Jim” Davidson is a principal with the Ohio-based firm of Aegis International—an investigative and security services company specializing in crisis management, executive and dignitary protection, global travel assessment, investigative services, and threat assessment. As a 30-year law enforcement veteran whose experience spans a significant…

Clarence Edwards Headshot

Clarence Edwards

Chief of Police (Retired),
Montgomery County (MD) Police Department

Clarence Edwards has more than 38 years of supervisory, management and CEO experience in law enforcement and security that includes six years of experience as a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service. As the commissioner in charge of the Federal Protective Service from 1997 to 2000, he was responsible for directing the General Services…

Wesley Funchess

Wesley Funchess

Physician Assistant,
Certified Carolinas Healthcare System

Wesley Funchess is a board-certified family medicine physician assistant with East Charlotte Family Physicians in Charlotte, North Carolina—an affiliate of the Carolinas Healthcare System. Dedicated to providing exceptional care at every opportunity, Funchess is committed to developing lifelong relationships with patients and transforming the delivery of healthcare…

Dr. Kareema Gray Headshot

Kareema J. Gray, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Johnson C. Smith University

Dr. Kareema J. Gray has been on the faculty of Winthrop University since 2009, teaching in both the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degree programs. Her practice experience includes providing services for adolescents dealing with behavior and substance abuse issues; in child welfare and foster care; in community mental health as a therapist working with…


Charles B. Hutchison, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Education
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Charles B. Hutchison is an associate professor of education at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. With postgraduate training in molecular genetics and theology, he is one of the seminal researchers in international K-12 cross-cultural education. Dr. Hutchison specializes in teaching courses on adolescent learners…

Chance W. Lewis

Chance W. Lewis, Ph.D.

Professor & Executive Director
Urban Education Collaborative
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dr. Chance W. Lewis is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education and executive director of the Urban Education Collaborative at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which is publishing a new generation of research on improving urban schools. With professional experiences in education…

Garry McFadden

Garry McFadden

Sheriff, Mecklenburg County, NC

A thirty-four year veteran of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (“CMPD”), Garry McFadden is one of the most decorated law enforcement officers in the history of CMPD. Mr. McFadden spent thirty years as a detective and twenty years in the homicide unit. After a stellar career, Garry retired on July 31, 2011 and was immediately re-hired by the City of Charlotte and assigned to work…

Shauna Smith

Shauna Smith

Educator, Community Advocate & Minister

Shauna Smith is an empowering educator, child development specialist, and advocate for families, with more than 20 years of experience leading and influencing communities across the country. She currently serves as director of Family Engagement and Case Management, with expertise in child development, for the Bethlehem Center Head Start Program in Charlotte, North Carolina…

W. Scott Steele

W. Scott Steele

Executive Director
Cherokee Gives Back Foundation

A true social entrepreneur, Scott Steele has been a global force for good for over 20 years – living and working outside the United States to develop opportunities for people in underdeveloped regions of the world. More specifically, he has extensive experience as an executive for nonprofit organizations. Scott is the executive director of Cherokee Gives Back Foundation in Raleigh, NC…

Dr. Patrick Thomas

Patrick Thomas, MD

Pediatric Surgeon in Fort Worth, Texas

Dr. Patrick Thomas is a pediatric surgeon in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in political science and with a minor in African American studies from Duke University, and in 1998, earned his medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina…