Author: CDAC Staff               Published: 4/26/2021            CDAC

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Our story began ten years ago.

The HBCU Community Action Development Coalition (CDAC) was developed to help bring stakeholders together such as HBCU’s, MSI’s (minority-serving institutions), CDCs (Community Development Corporations), and the Community Economic Development Industry.  By connecting these organizations, HBCU CDAC helps build long-term economic opportunities for the HBCU/MSI students, small businesses near the campuses, and the broader surrounding community.

Our organization tackles programs like financial education, green energy, opportunity zone funding, and helping small businesses thrive in financially underdeveloped corridors around HBCUs and MSIs.  But we need the support of individuals, corporations, government agencies, and foundations to continue this vital work.


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Larry K. Salley

Larry Salley is a consultant and community economic development practitioner with over 30 years of experience developing and managing grant-funded community-based projects. Mr. Salley served as Executive Director of the Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation in Columbia, South Carolina, for 22 years.  During his tenure, he had responsibility for developing programs and managing grants in excess of $14 million. He has directed seven workforce development initiatives, four affordable housing programs, and three small business development projects.

Mr. Salley’s previous experience includes managing a micro-loan fund providing capital to small businesses in a seven-county service area.  He also directed Benedict College’s Business Development Center, managing programs and providing technical assistance to business owners while recruiting commercial enterprises to underserved communities.   In addition, Mr. Salley served as Executive Director of a statewide arts agency for four years and was responsible for managing a mini-grants program and has also served as an advisor and grant reviewer for several federal, state, and local agencies.  Mr. Salley holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, Public Administration, and Business Administration.

m: 803.600.3484 

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Cynthia Beaulieu
Vice Chair

Cynthia Beaulieu is the Director of the Small Business Development and Management Institute (SBDMI) at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). Through her office, Ms. Beaulieu is responsible for providing high-quality technical assistance to support small and emerging businesses in the greater New Orleans Community and the surrounding parishes.  She has served as Director of the Small Business Development and Management Institute for over eight years and has worked with small businesses in the community for the past 30 years.

Ms. Beaulieu also successfully managed non-profit organizations and served in management positions with several Fortune 500 companies.  Also, she hosted and produced a cable access television show that highlighted women business owners’ accomplishments in the community. She most recently was the host and producer of a local weekly radio show on WBOK, 1230 AM, “SUNO Small Business Incubator Network.” Ms. Beaulieu holds a B.S. Degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from Xavier University in New Orleans.

m: 504.914.7330 


Morris Autry

Morris Autry is the Director of the Community Development Program at Elizabeth City State University. He has more than 25 years’ experience directly managing housing and community development projects and providing technical assistance to communities across the state of North Carolina. In his current position, he oversees community projects involving housing rehabilitation, housing counseling, homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, financial literacy, neighborhood computer centers, and technical assistance to community-based organizations. While in this capacity, Mr. Autry has secured over $7 million in community development grants for the University to benefit northeastern N.C. residents.

Mr. Autry is a certified housing counselor and was responsible for guiding his organization through the HUD-approved housing counseling agency process. Morris is a graduate of an HBCU – North Carolina Central University – from which he holds a B.A. in Public Administration. Also, Mr. Autry holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Housing and Community Development from the University of Michigan.



Ilene Kennerly


Ilene Kennerly is the co-founder of Spiritlove Ministries International, LLC, a non-profit 501C3 whose mission is to provide programs and services to underserved communities in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Their focus is on community and economic development through community empowerment.

Previously, Ms. Kennerly was the Director of the Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning Center at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is now leveraging her higher education experience to address challenges that exist in inner-city and underserved Detroit communities.

Ms. Kennerly holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Farleigh-Dickinson University, an MS Degree from New York University, a Master Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, a Business Continuity certificate, and a certificate in Leadership from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Institute. Ms. Kennerly has also received numerous awards and honors, including being featured on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine.

m: 313 405 4465 


Darrin Dixon


Darrin Dixon is the Director for Small Business Development at Southern University at Shreveport.  In January 2004, he established the Small, Women, and Minority-Owned Business Incubator program. To date, the program services over 125 business interests per year. Additionally, he does grant writing at the university and has generated $1.5 million in grants for community development activities.

Currently, Mr. Dixon serves on the Board of Directors of the Shreveport Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce, the Strategic Action Council of Northwest Louisiana, Pathways in Education Charter School, CoHabitat Foundation, and is Co-chair of the Minority Supplier Institute.

Mr. Dixon holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

m: 318.422.6024 


Sharon Kent


Sharon Kent is the Senior Manager, Curriculum & Training of NeighborWorks America. Ms. Kent is responsible for the Community & Economic Development, Small Business Lending, Community & Neighborhood Revitalization, and Community Building & Engagement learning and development tracks taught nationally.  Before this position, Ms. Kent was the NeighborWorks America Southern Region Operations Manager.  She managed the operational and grants budgets for the Region, the technical assistance process from application to evaluation, and developed and implemented internal systems to increase efficiencies and effectiveness.

Ms. Kent began her career with NeighborWorks America in 2004 in its corporate office in Washington, DC, and has held various positions with increasing responsibility. Before NeighborWorks America, Ms. Kent spent 20+ years in technology sales with multiple government contractors, including General Dynamics, Federal Systems, Inc., and Digital Equipment Corporation.  Ms. Kent is based in Atlanta, GA.

p: 404.526.1276 

To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.

– Rosa Parks


Ron Butler


Ron Butler has served as the CEO of the HBCU CDAC since 2010.  As CEO, he is responsible for leading a coalition of HBCUs and MSIs working on community development programs around their campuses.  Mr. Butler’s work includes advocating for resources, including corporate sponsorships, developing and implementing program initiatives, and providing technical assistance and other support for redevelopment opportunities.

Mr. Butler has over 35 years of experience as a community economic development professional.  He was an executive director of the 79th Street Corridor Neighborhood Initiative in Miami, Florida, and an acting Principal at The NYMIA Group, which provides technical assistance and training to community initiatives in housing, community development, human services, economic and small business development. Mr. Butler has also worked as a consultant and subject matter expert and trainer with colleges and universities since 2002 and has worked on international community development projects since 1998.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Delaware, a Master in Public Policy and Administration from The University of Illinois, and numerous Training Certificates in Community Development.  Mr. Butler also serves on several private and public boards.

p: 305.322.7555
m: 917.972.5435  e: 


Henry Golatt

Chief of Strategy for the Clean Energy Initiative

In his current role with HBCU, Mr. Golatt helps executive leadership communicate and execute on the strategic vision sanctioned by the Board of Directors.  He also serves as a senior organizational representative and voice at national and regional conferences and assists in developing and drafting funding proposals to ensure organizational growth.  Mr. Golatt has also held many senior leadership positions in other organizations, including leading efforts within the Economic Development Division for the City of Columbus and acting as an executive director at the Economic Research and Development Center at the University of Arkansas.

Mr. Golatt has won numerous honors and awards, such as the Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellow, Booker T. Washington Economic Development Award from Tuskegee University Arkansas, District Director Partnership Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, among others.  He also sits on several boards and is an active member of numerous professional committees.  Mr. Golatt graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.S. in Accounting.

m: 870.556.0347  e: 

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Natasha Campbell, Esq.

Director of Clean Energy Programs, Policies, and Initiatives

Ms. Campbell brings a wealth of experience to her role at the HBCU Coalition.  Before this position, she served as a Presidential Appointee in the Obama Administration, where she acted as a senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.  Her role included labor and industrial relations for the 100,000 plus contractor workforce as well as economic and workforce development.  She co-led the Energy Jobs Strategy Council, an initiative integrating research, technical expertise, and financial resources to accelerate growth and access to jobs in all sectors of the U.S. energy economy.   In that capacity, she was also instrumental in establishing the DOE Baltimore Initiative.  The initiative was a collaborative effort, including the City of Baltimore, Morgan State University, the Maryland Clean Energy Center, and other community stakeholders to expand access to solar energy for low and moderate-income residents.

Ms. Campbell is also a seasoned attorney specializing in labor and employment law with a strong record of leading organizational change, negotiating and administering complex agreements, and implementing enterprise-wide employee engagement and workforce development strategies.  She was the past Director of the D.C. Government Department of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining, where she served as an appointee under two different Mayors.  Ms. Campbell is passionate about giving back to her community and is actively involved in women’s and girls’ mentoring programs.


m: (202) 445-5179

e: hbcucleanenergycoalition

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Tracy Stewart

HBCU Marketing and Events Manager

Ms. Stewart is the marketing and events manager at HBCU Coalition where she works cross-functionally with all team members.  Ms. Stewart has extensive marketing and event experience through owning and operating her own business, called Exceptional Events. The company provides consulting services, event planning, and on-site logistics management for conventions, meetings, tradeshow, and special events.  Some of her notable clients included the American Academy of Ophthalmology, McDonald’s, National Urban League, and Easter Seals of Louisiana.

Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Stewart worked at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for 18 years as an Event Manager where she planned and coordinated the logistics for a wide variety of local, national, and international meetings, events, and trade shows.  She also served as Regional Program Coordinator for Educational Supports Systems and Program Coordinator for Learning 4 today where she managed logistics and coordinated after school tutoring programs for at-risk students.   Ms. Stewart holds a B.S. degree in Marketing from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.   She is also an active volunteer and member in many professional organizations including Links, Inc, a premier international service organization comprised of over 12,000 distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their community and in the world.


m: 504-450-9599