About

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How TDI Was Formed

In the fall of 1993, a group of over ten young men from Talladega, AL and Dallas, TX met as freshman on the campus of Alabama State University (ASU). They started what is now a perpetual friendship with a common ambition to be successful and a desire to use their knowledge, time and monetary gifts to give back through an organization they founded called TallaDallas; now operating as TDI.

Mission

TDI: Turning Dreams Into Realities is a unique and mission driven organization dedicated to assisting people turn their dreams into reality by providing scholarships, mentoring, and professional development. Through our story and brand, we will help by developing or enhancing leadership qualities, equipping people with tools for professional growth, or coaching habits for success.

Vision

Our vision is to advance human well-being by assisting in developing holistic, well rounded individuals who will become positive contributors to society and will in turn assist in reciprocating that effort for future generations of young men and women.

Core Values

Guiding the work of the divisions of TDI are its core values. These values include:

  • God 1st
  • Family 2nd
  • Integrity
  • Giving
  • Humility
  • Trust
  • Service

TDI Experience

Collectively, the members of TDI have over 100 years of experience in a variety of disciplines such as:

  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Administration
  • Sales
  • Criminal Justice
  • Educators
  • Public Relations
  • Musician
  • Human Resources
  • Advertising
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Writer

Goals

  • Payout a minimum of $25,000 in scholarships per year by 2020 to males attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities
  • Mentor at least 100 male college students by 2020
  • Create a resource network for college students
  • Increase retention and graduation rates of male scholars. 100% of our mentees will be retained and graduate from college.

Organization Initiatives

  • Scholarship Award Program
  • Mentorship Program
  • Professional Development
  • Public Seminars & Workshops
  • Internship Program
  • Community Service & Outreach Program
  • Business Development Program
  • Entrepreneurship Program
  • Career Camp

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(Picture of the TDI Mentors; 2016)

Leadership Team (click name to view bio)

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Jeremy L. Spratling
President

Jeremy L. Spratling was born and raised in Talladega, Alabama. He received a scholarship and attended Alabama State University before graduating from Auburn University at Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1996. Jeremy received his Graduate Degree in Banking from Louisiana State University in 2004. He has received several awards and certifications over the years. He worked in the banking field for 13 years in various Senior Management and Lending positions.

Currently, Jeremy is the Principal of Corporate Facilities Management, Inc. CFM is a facilities management company. CFM provides service management expertise to industrial, governmental and commercial entities. CFM’s main lines of business include, but are not limited to, commercial and industrial janitorial services, production and heavy equipment staffing, chemical supplies and distribution management. Jeremy started the company in Birmingham, Alabama and now covers Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and the Florida pan handle. CFM employs over 70 associates. Mr. Spratling handles the day to day operations and management the company.

He is married to Freddie and they have a daughter and a son. He enjoys fishing, reading, and physical activity.

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Marc P. Desgraves IV, CPA

Vice President

Marc is an accounting professional and Texas Certified Public Accountant in good standing with over fifteen years of experience including tax preparation, mergers & acquisitions, business formation consulting, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, risk assessment, forensic accounting, corporate accounting, internal audit, and big four external audit. Marc has a diversified background with accounting or audit experience in the following industries: Energy, Airline, Financial Services, Publishing, Software, Retail, and General Small Business. As an independent tax professional, he has performed tax preparation and start-up services for over ten years for a diversified group of individual and business clients who own such businesses as youth sports development, fitness clubs, salon services, marketing firms and software sales. Marc has also provided numerous tax services on a pro bono basis since starting his practice to help foster the growth of small businesses.

Marc volunteers his time or mentors youth through organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the National Association of Black Accountants, and serving on the Board of Directors for charter schools. In his personal time, Marc enjoys playing basketball, tackling home projects, and mentoring children while coaching youth sports.

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Terrance Turner, CPA

Treasurer

Terrance Turner is the Director of Finance for Emerson Climate Technologies – Retail Solutions. Emerson Climate Technologies–Retail Solutions is the leading provider of facility management systems and services for supermarket, convenience store, box retail, and restaurant operators. Retail Solutions provides energy controls, facility commissioning services, as well as engineering design services to retail customers around the world.

Terrance is from Talladega, AL. He attended Alabama State University from 1993 to 1997. While there, he was recognized with the highest grade point average as a freshman and sophomore with a 4.0 GPA. He also received the President’s Award for Academic Achievement, the Presidential Incentive Scholarship, and the Minority Business Council of Birmingham Scholarship. Terrance graduated from ASU in 1997 with a B.S. in Accounting. After which, Terrance attended the University of Arkansas where he received an Assistantship. He graduated in 1998 with a Masters in Business Administration.

He then accepted a position as an Auditor in Dallas, TX with Arthur Andersen, which was one of the largest accounting firms in the world at the time. Terrance excelled with Arthur Andersen as an Auditor where he worked in various industries such as Telecommunications, Real Estate and Manufacturing. He passed the Certified Public Accounting exam and became a CPA in 2001. He later accepted a position in Atlanta, GA in Arthur Andersen’s Merger and Acquisitions group.

After leaving Andersen, Terrance accepted a position as a Financial Controller with Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions in 2002. He was promoted to Director of Finance in 2005. In this role, he managed the Finance group for Retail Solutions and is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, asset management, control administration, financial reporting and various analytical reviews. In 2012, Terrance was promoted to Director of Operations for Retail Solutions. He is currently responsible for Production, Procurement, Customer Service and Facilities for the Atlanta Division. He is also responsible for several initiatives for Retail Solutions worldwide.

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Ramone Harper

Secretary

Ramone is the CEO of BNB Consulting and Associates, a management and consulting firm whose vision is to become the premiere Kingdom based enterprise that will assist leaders to identify, interpret, and strategically transform their visions into realities. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan but lived the majority of his teenage years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

He contracts with ministries, major corporations, not-for-profits, and start-ups in the areas of business organization and development, financial management, fundraising, project management, and systems development. Prior to launching his own business full time, Ramone was a Management and Program Analyst for the United States Environmental Protection Agency for 7 years and Chief Operating Officer for one of the nation’s fastest growing ministries.

Ramone has over fifteen years of strong community partnership building experience along with excellent leadership, organizational, strategic planning, communication, financial and project management skills. Ramone earned his BS in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration from Alabama State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1997. He is currently enrolled at Regents University working on his Masters of Divinity Degree.

His community service resume is extensive which began with his work in college in the Public Relations Council of Alabama where he served as President for two years. After graduating from college and beginning his career with the Federal Government, he was selected as the Community Relations Liaison for the Houston Area. His work involved coordinating all outreach activities at local schools and community fairs. He also served on the Houston Federal Executive Board where he served on the initial planning committee for the Government Procurement Connections, which is now held annually and aimed at helping small businesses learn how to do business which government entities. Most recently, he was awarded the Ebony Men of 2006 Award by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and included in the 2013 Houston’s Who’s Who in Black Houston publication as one of top entrepreneurs.

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Dr. Brencleveton Donta Truss

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Brencleveton “Donta” Truss was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but reared in Talladega, Alabama, the son of Clement and Brenda Truss. He received his formal education at Alabama State University where he received a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy and Law. He credits his alma mater, a Historically Black University, with helping him to find himself and for honing his many skill sets.

He has dedicated his career to helping young adults be the best that they can be and assisting colleges/universities go to the next level. Currently, he is the Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness/ Center for Retention Services at “The Fort Valley State University”. Prior to Ft Valley State University, Dr. Truss led the Admissions and Recruitment team at Alabama State University. Dr. Truss also served as the Director of Federal TRIO Programs, Academic Success and Retention at Andrew College, which consisted of managing programs to include Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Student Support Services, and the Educational Opportunity Center. These programs all focus on assisting prospective first generation college students with postsecondary entrance. As the Director, he managed a staff of approximately 20 employees and served over 2000 participants. Dr. Truss was in charge of grant writing where he has authored over 10 million in grants and all federal reports.

During his career, Dr. Truss has counseled and mentored young adults throughout Alabama and Georgia as a counselor, educational advisor, and as a Director. Donta is the current President of TDI, Inc. where he leads a great group of young, dynamic men as they pursue their philanthropic pursuits and give back to future and present college students. He is the former President of the Georgia Association of Special Programs Personnel, which is the advocating body for TRiO Programs in Georgia. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, Southeastern Association of Special Programs Personnel and the Council of Opportunity in Education. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Recently, Dr. Truss was selected and honored as one of the Best and the Brightest: Top Forty under Forty Persons in the state of Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine.

Dr. Truss is also an entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Resource One, LLC, which is a consulting firm that focuses on helping organizations grow and operate at its most optimal level. Dr. Truss has spoken to and consulted for many colleges in Alabama and Georgia. The consummate entrepreneur, Dr. Truss took a break from many community activities and started an Automobile Dealership in 2010, Truss Auto Group, LLC. The company has already started to impact the community by offering scholarships and by donating to a myriad of non-profit agencies. Dr. Truss believes that he will be able to impact many through this business and will be able to give his customers an affordable buying experience.

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Bryant Spencer

Board Member

Bryant Spencer is a Director of Store Brands for CVS Caremark. In this role Bryant has the full scope of responsibility for attaining budgeted Store Brand sales, penetration, gross margin, and building market share.

Bryant Spencer is from Carrollton, Alabama. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Alabama State University. His work experience began with Sears Holdings Corporation where he served at Sales Manager with responsibilities for managing a sales team with over 20 associates. He was soon promoted thru the ranks and served in various capacities such as Inventory Management, Marketing Advertising Production and Associate Buyer, where he was responsible for long-range planning and financial goals for multiple categories.

After completing a successful tenure at Sears, he moved to OfficeMax Inc. as a Buyer. Shortly after, he became a Senior Buyer where he was responsible for managing a buying group that is accountable for the buying and merchandising activities of multiple channels including retail, commercial, and e-commerce. Manage new product launches, supplier agreements and negotiations. Establish and maintain relationships with senior executives, both internal and external, to gain support to implement initiatives and exceed goals. Optimize products, suppliers, and inventory across these channels.

Bryant’s accomplishments include: Recipient of a number of professional awards. Completion of several business development courses from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and DePaul University. He is also an Alabama State University scholarship recipient and graduate.

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Tyrish Garrett

Board Member

Tyrish Garrett was born in Talladega, Alabama, the son of Brenda Garrett and Howard Leonard. He has one brother, Brian Garrett, who currently resides in Talladega, Alabama. He received his formal education at Alabama State University where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing. Tyrish, also received his M.B.A from Troy State University in Business Administration.

Tyrish has been employed by United Parcel Service for the last thirteen years. He has worked as the Sales/Marketing Supervisor for the last three years. Tyrish’s duties included implementation of sales strategies, evaluation of customer compliance and value, and provide cross-functional support for profitable sales growth. Tyrish’s was previously a Finance Supervisor. Tyrish’s duties have included district profitability analysis, customer profitability, and Auditor training. Tyrish has also worked as a volunteer for United Way. His United Way responsibilities included meeting with Company Coordinators to plan, organize and schedule employee meetings. Assist with developing campaign goals based on potential. Generate ideas; provide enthusiasm, and a new perspective. Educate and communicate the United Way story. Develop and deliver brief speaking presentations to employee groups. Assist coordinators with completing campaigns on time.

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Dr. Anthony Lewis

Board Member

Dr. Anthony Lewis is from Talladega, Alabama. He is married to Tiffany and they are the proud parents of six children: Jasmine, Akirah, Anthony II, Sierra, Kailey, and Braxton. Dr. Lewis graduated from Talladega High School (Talladega, Alabama). He received a B. S. and M.Ed. degree in Special Education and a degree in Educational Leadership from Alabama State University. He also was selected and completed the Instructional Leadership Academy with Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama). Dr. Lewis received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Dr. Lewis began his work career as a Special Education Teacher at Jefferson Davis High School (Montgomery, Alabama) where he taught for six years. While there, he was Advisor to the Junior Civitans International, winning them numerous awards and recognition. After which, he was appointed to Assistant Principal then Principal of E. D. Nixon Elementary School, a position he held for five years. While at E. D. Nixon the following were accomplished: the school’s first National Elementary School Honor Society chartered; TV’s were mounted in all classrooms; six 52’ flat-screens were placed throughout the school; all teachers received laptops and projectors; discipline decreased by more than 50%; daily student attendance increased; and most importantly the school became an Alabama Torchbearer School during the 2007-2008 school year – one of only nine in the state and again during the 2010-2011 school year – one of only eleven in the state. This is a prestigious award given by the State of Alabama recognizing high poverty schools (97% poverty rate at Nixon) where 90% or more of the students exceed national averages on Stanford Achievement Tests (SAT-10) and the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT). Because of this award and making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the school was awarded more than $75,000. The school was also ranked number 18 out of 706 schools in the state of Alabama.

In May 2011, Dr. Lewis was nominated to be the only principal in the State of Alabama published in the Inaugural Edition of Who’s Who in Black Alabama. Because of his successes in Alabama, he was recruited to work in the Kansas City, Missouri School District, one of the lowest performing districts in the nation. Currently, he is the Director of Elementary Education for Kansas City Public Schools.

Dr. Lewis is the Owner of SugaBear Entertainment (SBE) – DJ and Sound Services. SBE specializes in weddings, birthdays, reunions, proms, and PA systems. Most noted artists that SBE has provided sound for are: Lyfe Jennings, Carl Thomas, J. Holiday, Kelly Rowland, Chrisette Michelle, TreySongz, Tank, and Cupid.

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Demetrice Jones

Board Member

Demetrice A. Jones was born the younger of two siblings in Talladega, Alabama. He attended Alabama State University in 1993 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 2003 he enrolled into the ASU Graduate Program and received his Master of Science degree in General Counseling.

Demetrice is employed with Hancock Bank and currently serves on the management team. His responsibilities include the supervision of call center associates, coordinating statistical reports, as well as evaluating and counseling associates on performance issues. He was previously employed with BB&T, formerly Colonial Bank, from August 1999 through June 2010. From January 2008 through June 2012, Demetrice was employed with Youth Enhancement Family Service, Inc. There he served as a behavioral therapist for at-risk youths that encountered personal, family, and behavioral issues within their homes, communities, and schools. He has also written two relationship novels, When the Truth is Revealed 2008 and If He Won’t, I Will 2009. Demetrice is currently working on his third novel titled, Now that the Truth is Revealed.

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Herman Moncrief, CPA

Board Member

Herman Moncrief currently serves as the Vice President of Finance for HealthTech Holdings, Inc. Mr. Moncrief is responsible for all aspects of accounting and financial reporting, in addition to managing and directing the general accounting, billing, credit, collections and tax functions of the Company. Mr. Moncrief is originally from Prattville, AL and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Moncrief is married to April and is the proud parent of fraternal twins, Asia & Bryce.

Mr. Moncrief received a BS degree from Alabama State University, with a concentration in Accounting in 1997 and is a certified public accountant in Georgia. Shortly after graduation Mr. Moncrief relocated to Atlanta, GA and begun his professional career as a Staff Accountant for The Maxim Group. Mr. Moncrief subsequently served as Senior and Staff Auditor for Arthur Andersen, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia from December 1998 to June 2002. From June 2002 to November 2004, Mr. Moncrief served as Corporate Controller for InterCept, Inc., a Norcross, Georgia provider of information technology solutions for community-based financial institutions. Mr. Moncrief served as Audit Manager for KPMG LLP in Atlanta, Georgia from November 2004 to February 2006. From February 2006 to July 2013 Mr. Moncrief served as Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer of American Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSWA). American Software is a publicly traded software company operating primarily in the Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) and Supply Chain segments of the software industry Mr. Moncrief is currently a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church of Atlanta, GA and his hobbies include fishing, golf, and listening to various genres of music.

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Greg Hall

Board Member

Greg Hall was born in Anderson, IN. and moved to Talladega when he was 3 weeks old to be raised by his grandparents. He graduated from Talladega High School in 1992 and enrolled at Auburn University and majored in Electrical Engineering. After two years in school he withdrew and moved to Montgomery and enrolled in John Patterson State Technical College where he earned an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, thus reuniting him with his childhood friends at Alabama State.

He is now employed with AT&T as a Service Technician, where he has been for the last twelve years, holding various positions within the company in three different cities. He is married with four kids and currently living in Mobile, AL.

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Terrence Hall

Board Member

Terrence Hall is originally from Talladega, Al. He attended Alabama State University back in the fall of 1993 and majored in finance. After college, he worked as a loan processor for Northeastern Financial Services from 1997-2001. From there he started working for Regions Financial Corporation as head loan officer for hazard and flood loans for the Midwest Region from 2001-2005. Mr. Hall was then employed with Delta Airlines, the premier airline in the global airline industry, where he worked in Global Sales Support and Services. Afterwards he obtained the position of Learning Support Trainer. He has been awarded with the Certificate of Excellence for outstanding performance, is a three-time member of the renowned Pinnacle Club, and a nominee for the Chairman’s Club which is the highest award to an employee with Delta Airlines.

Upon his return home he became a finance manager for Truss Auto Group, LLC. He has now started his own tutorial service, F.I.N.A.O., Failure Is Not An Option, that mentors to youth of all ages to encourage the advocacy of good grades. In his spare time he enjoys reading, traveling the world, and watching and playing sports. He is also a youth basketball and Cal Ripken youth league baseball coach. Mr. Hall is currently single and has no children and is a renowned member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.