booker t. washington portrait

Our Leadership and Board of Directors

Willie Taylor

John “Willie” Taylor, President

Evansville, Indiana

John 'Willie' Taylor, a retired sales manager in the field of industrial electronics, is a founding member of our Evansville affiliate, serving as President and Vice-President for several terms.

Willie has been a long-term member and leader of several community service organizations with extensive knowledge in constitutional and by-law issues.

Willie has been a long-term member, mentor, regional leader and organizer of several Toastmasters Clubs in Indiana and Kentucky. His expertise and guidance in developing the public speaking element of Booker T. Clubs has been invaluable.

His hobbies include playing piano, golf, repairing or designing electronic equipment, reading and study in many fields, including history, science, and political policy. He is also a local raconteur, who entertains with comedy, poetry, and by giving lectures on more serious topics.

Willie is keenly interested in expanding our educational program and enhancing our pedagogy to enhance our success in changing lives.

Fred Wall

Fred Wall, Vice-President

Essex, Vermont

Fred Wall was born in Shawville, Quebec, Canada. A product of Christian upbringing, he learned early on to see business as a means to support oneself while serving others. His interest in the printing arts led him to the Montreal Graphic Arts Trade School, while continuing to dedicate his free time to various church groups, service clubs and community organizations.

Fred left Canada in 1974 to pursue his printing career. While doing so, he joined a fraternal organization, rose through the ranks and eventually served on its Board of Governors for their Children's Hospital.

He founded Creative Labels of VT (CLOV) in 1983. Building it from scratch proved a real struggle. So much so, that six years later, Fred turned his company over to God, giving himself the title of '2nd CEO'. Creative Labels has operated successfully ever since.

With his company in God's hands (and in his son's, Dwane), Fred serves God wherever he sees a need. He served on the Board of a Burlington, Vermont homeless shelter, built houses in Mississippi (post-Katrina), journeyed to N. Africa, Sudan and the Solomon Islands on several mission trips, and with wife, Leslie, have spend several months each year volunteering with JAARS (NC), the technical side of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Robert DeShay

Robert DeShay, Secretary/Treasurer

Irving, Texas

Robert DeShay was born and grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and attended St. Pius X High School. Determined to get out of the segregated south, he entered Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, working nights and weekends to earn a degree in Economics in 1970.

Upon graduation, He served Worcester’s business community and its wayward youths by assisting small businesses and by supervising outreach services for Juvenile Court offenders. In 1979, he obtained an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Management and joined the Xerox Corporation, engaged in various marketing and sales management positions.

Robert then moved to Dallas to become joined Marketing Director for Newcrest Hotels, LLC., and involved in virtually all stages of real estate development in over fifty hotel development projects throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

He and his wife, Claudia, reside near Dallas, TX, where Mr. DeShay is once again assisting youthful offenders to get back on the right track.

ken blackwell

Ken Blackwell, Director

Cincinnati, Ohio—Mr. Blackwell’s full bio

J. Kenneth Blackwell serves on the boards of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, the Pastors Retreat Network, and is Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council.

A former Cincinnati Mayor, Ohio State Treasurer, Ohio Secretary of State, undersecretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and presently serves on the advisory board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Mr. Blackwell’s written commentaries have appeared in major newspapers across the country and is frequently heard or seen on radio, TV and the internet at townhall.com, Salem Radio, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and PBS.

He was a recipient of the National Leadership Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and is a life member of the NAACP.

He holds B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Xavier University (OH), and eight honorary doctorates from colleges and universities from Indiana to New Hampshire.

He and Rosa, his wife of 41 years, have been honored as one of the Nat'l. Council of Negro Women’s Families of the Year. The Blackwell’s are recipients of the Cincinnati Historical Society’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreamkeeper Award. They have three adult children.

Stephen Broden

Rev. Stephen Broden, Director

Dallas, Texas

Pastor Stephen Broden, businessman, political commentator, former professor, and an activist for pro-life causes, holds a B.A. & M.A. in Communications (U.of Michigan), and an M.A. in Bible Studies at the Dallas Theological Seminary.

He served as an Adjunct Professor at Dallas Baptist U. and spent 10 years at Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO). He has been a business owner of several self-serve facilities, and worked as a newscaster, disc jockey, and radio broadcaster.

He is a co-host on KSKY radio’s Life and Liberty and a commentator of One-Minute "Thoughts of the Day" on that station.

Broden founded and is Sr. Pastor of the Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church (Dallas), and Executive Director of the Fair Park Friendship Center, a non-profit that provides clothing and back-to-school assistance to area "inner-city" families, including and family counseling.

Broden is an advocate for economic opportunity, improved access to education, and against abortion. He is a founder of Ebony Berean, advocating for a return to proper Constitutional principles in government and the Judeo-Christian values that undergird the founding of the United States of America. He was awarded a “Champion Award” by the Texas NRCC Business Advisory Council and has received the Ronald Reagan Gold Medal Award.

Ronald Court

Ronald Court, Director

Essex, Vermont

In 2005, Ronald Court founded the Booker T. Washington Society to celebrate the great educator’s Sesquicentennial (150th) birthday on April 5, 2006. But the more he studied Booker T's. life and legacy, he saw that his common-sense philosophy, based on personal responsibility, a practical education, and learning to become economically independent, were —and remain—values for all positive role-models, especially young Americans.

After serving as an elected Trustee of the Village of Essex Junction, a Director of Vermonters for Educational Choice, of the Boys & Girls Club and Rotary Club of Burlington VT, Ron felt called that his "last act" would be to encourage and equip young Americans in their own communities to live, learn, and lead what he coined, “The Booker T. Way”. He has two sons and two grandsons.

Bill Federer

Bill Federer, Director

Fort Myers, Florida

William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America's noble heritage.

Bill's American Minute radio feature is broadcast daily across America and via the Internet.

He has written a dozen books, and his first, "America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations" sold over a half-million copies.

A former U.S. Congressional Candidate, Bill has appeared and/or been interviewed on countless TV programs and networks, thousands of radio programs, quoted and referenced in papers and magazines across the country, and spoken across America at events from Mount Rushmore to the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol.

Bill has an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from American Christian College, and has been honored by the Freedoms Foundation, Bott Radio Network, American Legion, and the Eagle Forum.

Bill was raised in south St. Louis, 5th of eleven children, and graduated from Saint Louis University in 1980. After college, Bill joined Federer Realty, founded in 1913 by his grandfather, William A. Federer. Along the way, Bill has worked in the oil and gas industries and has long been involved with community organizations, charity groups and churches—working with youth, families, elderly and minorities and also as a Scoutmaster, having been an Eagle Scout.

Bill and Susan, his high school sweetheart and wife of 35 years, have four grown children.

Sean M. Kuykendall

Sean Kuykendall, Director

Evansville, Indiana

As Executive Director, of the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana’s Community Outreach Branch, Sean has over 30 years' experience in youth development, including directing a partial hospitalization program for 13 years. He joined the YMCA’s executive team in 2011 after serving as a volunteer executive board member since 1995. Sean is committed to the mission of the YMCA and is passionate about ensuring that students are empowered to be active, productive citizens now and throughout their lifetime. He was among the first to see the potential for the Society’s Booker T. Club program as being one of the primary ways to achieve this, and was instrumental in helping to establish the nation’s first Booker T. Club.

He is a gruaduate of Ball State University and has attended the University of Iowa for graduate work. He is married to Jennifer Kuykendall and they have three children, Caleb, Benjamin, and Alexander, and reside in Newburgh, Indiana.

Thomas Lickona

Dr. Thomas Lickona, Director

Cortland, New York

Developmental psychologist and emeritus education professor at the State University of NY at Cortland, he directs the Center for the 4th & 5th R’s (Respect & Responsibility), and is a past president of the Assoc. for Moral Education and Board member of Character.org.

He speaks around the world to teachers, parents, religious educators, and other groups concerned about the character development of young people and writes a monthly blog for Psychology Today called "Raising Kind Kids."

He has written several books on character development, including:
"How to Raise Kind Kids And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain",
"Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues", "Character Development in Schools and Beyond" (with Kevin Ryan)
"Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility (recipient of the 1992 Christopher Award for “affirming the highest values of the human spirit"), and, "Raising Good Children."

Dr. Lickona has been a guest on numerous radio/TV talk shows, including "Larry King Live," "Good Morning America," and "Focus on the Family." His work “Teaching Johnny to be Good,” was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story. In 2001, the Character Education Partnership (now Character.org) presented him with the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Education. He and his wife have two sons and sixteen grandchildren.

Burgess Owens

Burgess Owens, Director

Draper, Utah

Burgess Owens, former All-Pro NFL Super Bowl Champion, is founder of Second Chance 4 Youth, a national mentoring program dedicated to helping at-risk and incarcerated youth experience the American Dream. It is grounded on four foundational tenets introduced to the early 1900 Black community by Booker T. Washington: Head (Education and Critical Thinking Skills), Heart (God, Service, Compassion & Empathy), Hand (Industry, Self-Reliance and Love of Work) and Home (Family).

By embracing these tenets during the 1940’s, 50’s and mid-60’s, Blacks as a community led our nation in the growth of its middle class, the commitment of men to marriage, the percentage of entrepreneurs and the percentage of men matriculating from college.

Mr. Owens attended the University of Miami on a football scholarship, earning a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry, while gaining national recognition as an All-American defensive back. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame of Outstanding College Athletes of America and also to the U. of Miami's Hall of Fame and Orange Bowl Ring of Honor.

He played ten seasons in the NFL for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. He was selected as the Jets’ Rookie of the Year and the NFL's All-Rookie team. For three of his seven years with the New York Jets, he was Defensive Team Captain before joining the Oakland Raiders and leading its defense in tackles during their 1980 Championship season and 1981 Super Bowl XV game. In 1982, he was selected to the NFL All Pro-Bowl.

Owens has written three books: “It's All About Team” (2012), examining how the black community has fared since the start of the twentieth century, “How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps” (2016), and in 2018, “Why I Stand” making the case for American Individualism, the crown jewel of a nation that, based on its Judeo-Christian values, has prioritized God, family, and freedom to out-dream its obstacles. Owens is married with six children.


Advisory Board

The Society acknowledges the following individuals who have kindly advised us along the the way.

Harry Alford

Mr. Harry Alford
President and CEO, The National Black Chamber of Commerce

La Shawn Barber

Ms. La Shawn Barber
Columnist and Author

Archie Carter

Archie Carter
Founded the country's 1st BTWS Chapter and former member of the Nat'l. Board.

Preston Dobbins

Preston Dobbins
Co-founder, Big Mouth Presentations, Phoenix, Arizona

Gloria Jackson

Gloria Jackson
Great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and co-author: “Timeless Treasures— Reflections of God’s Word in the Wisdom of Booker T. Washington”

Niger Innis

Mr. Niger Innis
National Spokesperson for CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality)

John Massey, Jr.

John Massey, Jr.
Founder: Redemption Christian Academies.

John McWhorter

Dr. John McWhorter
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Deroy Murdock

Mr. Deroy Murdock
Senior Fellow, Atlas Network-Economic Research Foundation

Star Parker

Ms. Star Parker
Author and President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

William Schambra

Dr. William Schambra
Senior Fellow, The Hudson Institute/Bradley Center