President & Board Chair
Anika Smith, M.Ed
Vice President/Chief operating officer
A native Detroiter, Kelly Lane has a vision for the residents of the city to be empowered through educational and economic opportunities not readily being offered. As Co-founder of Heroes’ Alliance, she set about to create these opportunities through various platforms that engaged underrepresented populations of students and brought their attention to the forefront of the national agenda – STEM. Through her experiences as a mother of four, she became acutely aware of the challenges facing today’s parents and resolved to help parents become an educational advocate in their children’s lives.
Anika recognized early on that she had a passion to reach underprivileged youth. During her undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, Anika volunteered her time at youth homes and after-school programs to encourage and mentor inner city students. After graduation, she went on to receive her M.Ed in Education Leadership from Wayne State University. As a charter member of Heroes’ Alliance, and serving as the Chief Operating Officer since its inception in 2010, she is committed to creating opportunities that break down education barriers for underrepresented populations.
With over twenty years of experience as a CFO in the non-profit sector, Nathan is well adept at securing the financial stability of a growing organization. He has mastered the art of minimizing risk while ensuring that the vision of the organization continues to move forward. Areas of expertise include financial planning, record keeping, and data management.
Director Community engagement
Felicia has worked as executive assistant for Dunamis Outreach Ministries since 1999, providing administrative support and helping lead the charge toward the development of a community outreach platform to engage youth and parents. Her years of experience have honed her strong analytical skills, problem solving, and proficiency in staff and office management. Felicia holds a B.A. in psychology from Wayne State University.
Derek Brown MBA, CCIM is president and CEO of Quorum Commercial Detroit, LLC – a full service commercial real estate firm he founded in 1994. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Derek went on to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. With over forty years of experience in commercial real estate, Derek has served as past president of multiple non-profit Boards including The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross, lending his knowledge and skills as a seasoned businessman.
Linda brings to bear over thirty years of experience as an educator and counselor in the Detroit Public School System. She is well acquainted with the student demographic Heroes’ Alliance endeavors to reach and understands the unique challenges that often become barriers to access for these students. A three-time graduate of Wayne State University, Linda possesses a B.S. in Special Education, an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling, and a J.D. As a practicing lawyer, Linda’s legal expertise is an added benefit to the soundness of the organization.