CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2023 AWARD RECIPIENTS
Lianis Santiago Mendez
GOOD NEWS! THE BERNIE SCHOLARSHIPS AND EUGENE FORD, SR., ENDOWMENT (BSEF) AT MONTGOMERY COLLEGE
Thanks to the efforts of a strong supporter of The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program (BSAP), Eugene Ford, Sr., who donated a large sum annually to BSAP and bequeathed $100,000 upon his death, BSAP will now use those funds and some existing fund balance (total $110,000) to create this endowment. We will grow BSEF to provide scholarships to help offset educational and training expenses for low- and moderate- income students who live in subsidized rental housing in Montgomery County, Maryland, in perpetuity, many given in Mr. Ford’s honor. Eugene Ford, Sr., with businesses Edgewood Management and Mid City Financial, was a major developer of housing for low- and moderate-income residents in the eastern region of the United States. He recognized the need to provide support services and educational opportunities to his tenants. His properties are a model for similar housing across the nation. Mr. Ford’s strong Catholic faith was a large part in his commitment to assist low-income households. He served on many affordable housing boards, including the National Housing Conference, Homes for America, and Victory Housing. Eugene was chosen as “Person of the Year” by the National Housing Conference.
THE BERNIE SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PROGRAM (BSAP) Bernard L. Tetreault served for 24 years (1971 to 1995) as Executive Director of the Housing Authority, which became the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, MD. During that time HOC evolved from a traditional housing authority into a nationally recognized provider of subsidized housing and housing finance for low- and moderate- income residents. Upon his retirement in 1995, The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program was established. The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program (BSAP) is continuing its 26 years of scholarship awards.
Board Members 2023
Beverly Coleman has served as the Director of Montgomery College TRIO Educational Opportunity since July 2014. Prior to coming to Montgomery College, she worked for the Community College of Baltimore County, Goucher College, and Penn State University. She has dedicated the last 25 years of her career to assisting low-income, first-generation (college), and underrepresented individuals in the pursuit of secondary education and post-secondary education and training opportunities. Beverly’s commitment to empowering others has resulted in the development of the Montgomery College Single Parent Conference, and work with the Baltimore County Black Teachers Alliance Pipeline to Prosperity. Beverly is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” award from The Fredrick Douglas Society of West Chester University. She is a graduate of West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master’s of Science in Administration.
Sandra Edmonds Crewe is dean and professor of Social Work at Howard University, Washington, DC. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Catholic University, Washington, DC. She also earned a PhD in social work from Howard University, Washington, DC. Dr. Crewe is a National Association of Social Workers Pioneer and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). Dr. Crewe specializes in ethnogerontology and caregiving across the life span. She also conducts training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention with a focus on African Americans. Dr. Crewe resides in Largo, Maryland with her husband Dwight. Dr. Crewe is a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Highland Park, Landover, Maryland. She is a native of Halifax County, Virginia.
Lynne Harris is an at-large member on the Montgomery County Board of Education. Her professional life has included careers in nursing, law, public health and teaching Medical Science at Thomas Edison HS of Technology. Lynne holds a Nursing degree from The University of Tulsa, a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lynne chairs the BOE’s Fiscal Management committee, represents the BOE on the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and formerly served on the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth. She chairs the Mentor Advisory Board of Communities United Against Hate/Youth Creating Change. Lynne also served 8 years on the Montgomery County Council of PTAs Board of Directors, including 3 years as Vice President for Advocacy, and 3 years as President.
Silvio Renzi is founder and CEO of Previse Solutions, a software company in Gaithersburg, Maryland . He has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur building and managing businesses. Silvio is dedicated to service, holds various positions within his community and volunteers for various charities including Bernie Scholarship Award and Ride Allegheny; an organization raising over $500k per year for Operation Second Chance. Silvio holds an MBA from Seton Hall University and a BSBA from Boston University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Nancy Scull, was Coordinator of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program at the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), Montgomery County’s public housing agency, for 22 years until 2015, when she retired. Nancy created a Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia FSS Coordinators’ Roundtable Group for information-sharing, client and program advocacy. Partnering with the annual Capitol Hill Legislative day of NAHRO (National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Organizations), Nancy lead up to 50 advocacy teams of FSS staff and FSS clients to tell their stories at annual meetings on Capitol Hill with Representatives’ and Senators’ low-income subsidized housing and welfare legislative staff from most states. In 2014 Nancy was awarded by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett the Roscoe Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award. She holds a B.A. in French and Secondary Education from American University, M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from University of Hawaii and a Master of Science in French and Linguistics from Georgetown University.
Sonya Hall Turner has over 25 years of contracting experience and has worked both for and with in-house corporations and at a law firm. She currently is the Vice President, Contracts with Turning Point Global Solutions, L.L.C. in Rockville, Maryland, where she manages inception to close-out of the company’s commercial, Federal and State government contracts, as well as reporting and pricing. Sonya holds a B.A. from UNC-Greensboro, a MBA and MS from UMD, Global Campus, as well as a Paralegal Certificate. She serves on the Board of Transformation Theatre, is a certified Interior Decorator, active at her church, Kingdom Fellowship AME, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, the Montgomery County Chapter of the NAACP and PVC-NCNW.
Whitney Williams is a first-generation student and two-time former recipient of the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program that supported her dreams of attending the Illustrious Morgan State University. Ms. Williams earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry. She is currently in the process of applying for her Masters in Physician Assistant studies. She serves as a junior youth mentor in her community where she is dedicated to inspire , uplift , and create community service activities with young men and women. Her goal in life is to become a Health Care Provider to limit the amount of health disparities in low -income communities and represent multi-racial demographics.
Greg Wims is a 5th generation resident of Montgomery County, Maryland. He has volunteered with many non-profits over the years and has over 48,000 volunteer hours. He is the founder for the Victims’ Rights Foundation. He is currently the Montgomery County, MD Director, Up-County Regional Services Center. He was the VP for Government Affairs at Bold Concepts, Inc. for 20 years. Greg is the Past President, State of Maryland NAACP and Past Governor, Rotary International, Central Maryland and Washington, DC. He has received over 100 awards including Leadership Montgomery’s Leader of the Year Award. He is most proud of receiving the “Key to the City” from the City of Gaithersburg where he was born and raised. Greg is married and has three children and two grandkids.
Bruce Adams is the Director of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s Office of Community Partnerships (OCP). He served as an elected Montgomery County Council member from 1986-94 and was Council President 1991-92. He served as Senior Fellow at The James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland (1995-97), Fellow of the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University (1979), Associate of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation (1982-1986), and National Research Director for Common Cause (1977-1982). Bruce was named 1998 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine and received the 1993 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award for enhancing intergovernmental cooperation in the Washington Metropolitan Region.
Catherine Leggett is Senior Vice President for Human Resources at ICMA-RC, a nonprofit independent financial services corporation providing retirement security for Public Sector services. Mrs. Leggett was named Democrat of the year in 2007. As Montgomery County’s First Lady, she is very active in the community as a lifetime board member of the Montgomery Hospice, Chair of Maryland State Commission for Public Art and a former member of the Boards of Young Audiences, Imagination Stage, Maryland State Arts Council and Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council. In 2016 she received The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program’s Community Service Award.
Susan Messitte is a Member of and past President of the Foundation Board of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is a community activist having served on several Boards including Judicial Nominating Committee and Juvenile Justice Committee for Montgomery County. She is the past President of Woman’s Democratic Club and is a retired consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil.
Bernie Tetreault for whom The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program was named, served as Executive Director of HOC for twenty-four years. During his tenure, the organization was transformed from a traditional Public Housing Authority to a multi-faceted housing agency, providing both single family and multifamily financing, developing both large and small housing developments, and providing housing management and resident services programs. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Housing Conference and was a founder and past president of the Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies. He is the founder and President of the Innovative Housing Institute and was real estate advisor to the DC Housing Authority helping them develop mixed income communities on revitalized public housing sites. Bernie is known and respected around the country as a progressive housing innovator for affordable housing.
Reverend Lon Dring