Our Team - GirlTrek

Our Team

GirlTrek is structured to deliver social impact through service and volunteerism.

Deeply inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, our operational structure uses three key levers: a highly-trained and incredibly talented volunteer corps of local volunteers, a distinguished board of directors, and a small and smart central leadership team. Our national leadership team includes national staff and the board of directors.

Our Team

National Staff

T. Morgan Dixon

T. Morgan Dixon
Co-founder & CEO

T. Morgan Dixon is the co-founder and CEO of GirlTrek, the largest health movement for Black women in America.

Through national campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy, Morgan and cofounder Vanessa Garrison mobilize Black women to be changemakers in their lives and communities – simply by walking. GirlTrek aims to rally 1 million Black women to walk for better health by 2020. In doing so, they will reclaim the streets of 50 of the highest-need communities in America.

Prior to GirlTrek, Dixon was on the front lines of education reform. She served as Director of Leadership Development for one of the largest charter school networks in the country, Achievement First, and directed the start-up of six public schools in New York City for St. Hope and the Urban Assembly, two organizations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has served as a trustee for boards of The National Outdoor Leadership School, Teach for Haiti and The Underground Railroad Historic Byway, a $50 million tourism and preservation project in Maryland.

As the co-leader of GirlTrek, Dixon received fellowships from Teach for America (2012), Echoing Green (2013), Ashoka (2014), and The Aspen Institute (2015). She has been featured in the New York Times and CNN, was named a "health hero" by Essence Magazine and has appeared on the cover of Outside Magazine's recent "Icons" edition. She got a standing ovation during her TED Talk in 2017 with over 1 million views and earned The Audacious Prize, the newest iteration of the TED Prize, a selective cohort of global organizations to receive 8-figure investments. GirlTrek is currently the largest health movement for Black women in America.

Vanessa Garrison

Vanessa Garrison
Founder & COO

Vanessa Garrison is a passionate advocate of social justice issues and has focused her work on improving health outcomes and quality of life for Black women and girls.

Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, Vanessa worked as a Program Coordinator for Our Place DC, a nonprofit organization that provides services to currently and formerly incarcerated women. Vanessa began her career working in digital media with Turner Broadcasting System. Inc. in Atlanta, GA. where she managed digital media projects for some the world’s most recognizable news and entertainment brands, including, CNN, TNT and Sports Illustrated.

With GirlTrek, Vanessa has been a featured on CNN, in The Washington Post, The New York Times and named a "Health Hero" by Essence Magazine. Vanessa has received social innovations fellowships from Teach For America (2012), Echoing Green (2013), and the Aspen Institute (2015). Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Onika Jervis

Onika Jervis
National Field Director

Onika will focus on leveraging the support of our community partners along with the power of GirlTrek's nationally trained organizers to grow the movement to 1 million women by 2020. Onika comes to this role after serving a year in a volunteer capacity as GirlTrek’s City Captain for New Orleans where she successfully engaged city-leaders, provided targeted support to GirlTrek volunteers, organized the takeover of 8 local parks, and rallied a record number of women to join the movement.

Onika is the former Associate Director of the Graduate Center, and University Summer Programs at Xavier University and the former Executive Director of Youth Run NOLA. Onika is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and a two-time marathoner.

Jewel Bush

Jewel Bush
Chief of External Affairs

jewel bush is an award-winning journalist and communications strategist with 20 years of experience. She has a diverse background in organizing, advocacy and communications working for some of the nation’s top healthcare organizations (American Cancer Society), women’s rights organizations (Planned Parenthood), and labor unions (Service Employees International Union, SEIU). As the Chief of External Affairs, jewel manages GirlTrek’s national media presence, relationships with the press, and high-profile partners all while working to position GirlTrek as a thought leader in the field of Black women’s health and wellness.

Opa Johnson

Opa Johnson
Chief of Staff

Opa Owiye Johnson serves as Chief of Staff of GirlTrek. She joined GirlTrek in 2017 as the Director of Administration after serving as the Church Mobilization Coordinator for International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world.

Prior to that, Opa spent much of her career in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser working for organizations such as the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

Today, she is responsible for providing leadership and overall management direction for a wide range of organizational activities including, strategic planning and administrative, financial, and operational activities that support an effective, high-functioning national staff and board.

Opa is originally from Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She resides in the D.C. area with her husband, Timothy. She also serves as a volunteer leader with the Junior League of Northern Virginia and the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.

Chyna Johnson

Chyna Johnson
Director of Impact an Innovation

Chyna- Lloyd Nicole Johnson serves as Director of Data Management at GirlTrek. She joined GirlTrek in 2017 as the 2017 Summer Fellow while completing her graduate degree at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In her role as a summer fellow, Chyna worked on the planning and execution of GirlTrek’s annual national church walking challenge PrayerTrek.

Today, she is responsible for the overall management of GirlTrek internal systems, information management, and administrative program support that supports an effective and high-functioning national staff.

Chyna is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry and African & African American Studies from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky and earned her Master of Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She now resides in the Atlanta area.

Kee Mason

Kee Mason
National Field Director

Kee serves as a leader in community engagement with GirlTrek. Her role is to ensure that women who join the movement are the force behind GirlTrek’s growth and expansion in their communities. Kee has been with GirlTrek since it’s inception and after years of volunteering in several roles, she joined the National Staff in 2019.

Before joining GirlTrek, Kee worked as a Housing Specialist and Administrator with the local housing authority for 15 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Organizational Management. Kee is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

An Alabama native (RollTide), Kee now resides in Chattanooga, TN, and is recently widowed. She has four children (LaCondra, LaDarius, Shan, and TJ) and six grandchildren (Kamarii, Kylee, Noah, Kasydi, Karter, and Kahaani). Kee loves to travel, shop, dance, and especially all things friends and family!

Carla E. Harris

Carla E. Harris
Community Care Director

Before joining our team, Carla served in a volunteer role as City Captain in Atlanta where she inspired a state-wide take over and led the growth of the entire state of Georgia. She joined the GirlTrek national team in 2017 as National Director of Volunteer Support and now serves as the Community Care Manager where she is responsible for making sure we, as the most inspiring movement for Black women’s health, are providing world-class customer service and community care to our valued members, volunteers, community, allies, partners and friends.

Carla brings with her over 25 years of customer service experience. Her experience as Sony’s Customer Service Manager, serving on an elite leadership team managing, supporting, and providing elite customer care to Avon Products Global Million Dollar SalesForce, and being an entrepreneur, has equipped her with the highest level of customer excellence, care and customer service experience that is needed in this role to elevate our org-wide culture as a leader in community care and customer service.

Rashonda Ambrose

Rashonda Ambrose
Chief of Impact

Rashonda Ambrose joins the GirlTrek team as Chief of Impact. She brings more than 10 years of combined marketing, partnerships and program management experience. Her career includes serving as a brand manager for some of the country’s most well-known over-the-counter healthcare brands including Advil PM, Centrum multivitamins and Preparation H. During the last 5 years, Rashonda served as the Director of Marketing, Director of Partnerships and later Interim Vice President of the Parents Program at Understood.org. Rashonda is passionate about empowering girls and women and was one of the five founders of the Young Black Women’s Society, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on leadership development. She also served as the chair of her alma mater’s 2013 African American Alumnae/I Association Symposium.

Rashonda has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from Simmons University in Boston. She earned her MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Rashonda currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Amber Field, Ed.D.

Amber Field, Ed.D.
Director of Training

Dr. Amber Field leads our game-changing work of ensuring women build and use the tools they need to rally sister friends, family, and community members to carry on our mission. Furthermore, through GirlTrek U, she will ensure women continue to experience dynamic opportunities to become certified in a number of public health areas so they are equipped to lead efforts that will positively impact mental and physical health within their own communities.

Amber, a graduate of Duke University, has been in education for 20 years. In that time, she has served as a teacher, principal, and graduate-level professor in the NYC district and charter school system. As an educator, Amber believes that change comes from within, and a teacher’s role is to help illuminate the path ahead so students can move forward. She joins GirlTrek eager to combine her passion for teaching and learning with a desire to help women equip themselves with what they need to strengthen their communities from the inside out. Her daily prayer is that she would continue to grow to be the woman her young daughters will one day become.
Jaida Vaught

Jaida Vaught
Chief of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships

Jaida Vaught is a mission-focused marketer, dedicating her work towards elevating brands and social causes, while creating and curating meaningful content that ultimately inspires the hearts and minds of global audiences.

Jaida serves as the Chief of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships focused on innovating, defining, and driving GirlTrek’s brand, marketing strategy, and strategic partnerships.

Prior to GirlTrek, Jaida served as Direct Marketing Director at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she assembled a high performing team responsible for connecting prospective donors to the mission through compelling campaigns across television and digital channels. In addition, Jaida has global brand management and advertising agency experience. She received her Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago.

Jaida rarely goes anywhere without her running shoes and embodies health, wellness, and self-care. Having run two marathons and countless 10k races, Jaida believes the best way to see the world is to run it.

 

 

 

Board of Directors

Tulaine Montgomery

Tulaine Montgomery
Board Chair - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Tulaine Montgomery is an accomplished social entrepreneur, educator, community organizer and writer. She has played central leadership roles in the launch and expansion of several schools and non-profit organizations domestically and internationally. Tulaine is currently a Managing Partner at New Profit Inc. a national venture philanthropy fund that provides growth capital grants and strategic support to social entrepreneurs and their organizations.

US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin

US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Dr. Benjamin served as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. She is currently the Chair of Public Health Sciences at Xavier University. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, NAACP Image Award, Kellogg National Fellowship, Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, Rockefeller Next Generation Leader Award and has served on the boards of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Morehouse School.

Dr. Gary Bennett

Dr. Gary Bennett
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Dr. Bennett is a professor at Duke University and directs Duke's Global Digital Health Science Center and Obesity Prevention Program - where he designs, tests, and disseminates industry-leading obesity treatments for the primary care setting and digital health. He has authored more than 100 papers on the social determinants of obesity & the effectiveness of intervention strategies.

Chaula Gupta

Chaula Gupta
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Chaula is VP of Program Investments at The Chicago Public Education Fund. She was founding Managing Director of Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at Teach For America; launched a new Social Innovation Award for early-stage seed investments, created design-thinking trainings for educators, and coached alumni entrepreneurs to raise more than $10 million collectively to launch new social ventures.

Rita Johnson Greene

Rita Johnson Greene
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Rita Johnson-Greene leads the US Commercial Operations team at Spark Therapeutics. She is a successful business leader with 15 years of progressive finance, resource allocation, sales and strategic business planning experience with several world class organizations.

Rita began her career in strategic consulting within Accenture ‘s pharmaceutical practice and developed business cases and financial models for new business ventures. She went on to manage the finances of AstraZeneca’s six billion dollar Nexium brand and served as a member of the Commercial Operations Leadership team.

Rita earned her MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Rita acquired her undergraduate degree in Electrical Computer engineering from Drexel University, where she met her husband of 14 years. They live in Drexel Hill, PA with their two daughters, Leah and Maya..

 Qiana Conley

Qiana Conley
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Qiana began her career in music in 1999 at Epic Records in Promotions/A&R while contributing to album projects by Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and B2K. In 2011, Qiana founded Cue the Creatives where she began Music Supervising on projects such as Nickelodeon’s How To Rock, Lifetime’s holiday feature Seasons of Love starring Taraji P. Henson, Gladys Knight & Method Man. Currently, Qiana is producing/directing “The Untitled TLC Documentary,” which follows the journey back to the music for the iconic pop girl group, after a 20-year lapse, as they take on the challenges of making their final album.

Hinda Miller

Hinda Miller
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

>Hinda is a former Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate, representing the Chittenden senate district. Hinda is also known for her part in the invention of the sports bra. Hinda is owner and president of DeForest Concepts, a business consulting firm. She is also on the Board of Directors of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a for-profit coffee company.

Serita Cox

Serita Cox
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Serita is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of iFoster – where she brings her personal experience in foster care and her executive-level management experience leading and consulting both Silicon Valley Fortune 500 companies and organizations in the non-profit sector. Before launching iFoster, Serita provided strategic counsel to some of the largest philanthropic foundations and non-profit services for at-risk youth as a management consultant with the Bridgespan Group. Serita has been recognized as a White House Office of Social Innovation Citizen Innovator, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an American Leader of Change.