2023 Winner Dr. Clara Walters
Dr. Clara Walters is a distinguished educator who is well known for transforming classrooms and schoolhouses into safe havens where children behave and learn and for trailblazing for women and African Americans in Orange County Public Schools secondary level. She began her career in 1966 as a teacher of English in Seminole County and transferred to Orange County Public Schools in August of 1967 where she was one of the two teachers to integrate the faculty of Oak Ridge High School. After completing seven years as a teacher of English there, Dr. Walters began her administrative career as an assistant principal serving three schools consecutively- Wymore Career Education Center, Oak Ridge High, and West Orange High over a period of five years. Noteworthy during that time was her appointment to the position of Assistant Principal for Instruction (API) which was a first for an African American in that position in an Orange County high school. In 1979, her appointment to principal of Carver Junior High School (1979-81) and subsequent appointment to Jones High (1981-90) made her the first African–American female principal of a secondary school in Orange County. She was the only OCPS female secondary school principal from 1979 to 1987. During her tenure as a principal, Dr. Walters received local, state, and national recognition as an outstanding school leader. The legacy was continued in 1990 when Dr. Walters was appointed a Senior Director of Secondary Education as one of the initial two females and the first African American to rise to that rank in the secondary education division of Orange County Public schools. As a result of her trailblazing, women principals in middle and high schools are commonplace today in the Orange County School District.
Since retiring in 2000, Dr. Walters has continued her work in education as founder and CEO of Educational & Leadership Training Incorporation specializing in leadership development for schools, youth organizations,, and parents. Many OCPS principals have benefitted from Dr. Walters’ training along with her coaching and mentoring to improve their school culture, climate, and school grade. In addition, she currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors for Hair in Motion of New York Beauty Academy, founding board member of Central Florida Leadership Academy, Member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, and chair of the organization’s annual Celebrating the Gift of Teaching Award’s Recognition of teachers for the past 17 years. She is a member of the Christian Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Walters’ background is rooted in her Christian belief that “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”. She has been blessed with a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in English, a master’s degree (M.Ed.) in Administration and Supervision, a doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership, and a servant’s heart. She utilizes all of her skills in kingdom building at Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando serving in the following capacities: Trustee Board, Board of Directors, Deaconess Board, Culinary Ministry Chair, Music and Women’s Ministries
Dr. Walters’s latest contribution is the publishing of a book entitled Leadership That Restores Hope in Schools in the African American Community. She has received many awards and accolades for outstanding leadership and service.
2022 Winner Reginald B. McGill
Reginald B. McGill serves as the City of Orlando’s Constituent Services Director, working in the Office of the Mayor. An alumnus of William R. Boone High School, he obtained his Associate of Arts degree from Valencia College and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. He has done additional studies in the M.S. program at Rollins College and the M.B.A. program at Nova Southern University.
Reggie, as family and friends call him, is an active member of many professional and civic organizations, including the board of directors of the American Cancer Society; Seniors First, Inc.; Aspire Health Partners, Inc.; NPHC of Metro Orlando, Inc.; Preserve the Eatonville (P.E.C.), Inc.; 100 Black Men of Greater Orlando, Inc.; Mayor’s Representative to Florida A & M University College of Law Board of Visitors; Bethune-Cookman University Board of Visitors; Life Member of the National Alumni Association of B-CU; Past Chairman of the Black Advisory Committee; Past President of the Alumni Association of Valencia College; Orange County Democratic Executive Committee. He is a graduate of Leadership Florida, Leadership Central Florida, Leadership Brevard, and Leadership Orlando.
Additionally, he has been Life Member #4636 of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for over 40 years, where he has served as Southern Regional Chairman of the Public Policy and Political Engagement Committees. He has served as staff or a delegate to the past seven Democratic National Conventions. Most importantly, he is very active at St. Mark A.M.E. Church in Orlando, where he is a Pastor’s Steward of the Board of Stewards; President of the Lay Organization, Past President of the Progressive Ushers; Marriage Couples Ministry and Strategic Planning Committee. Also, he serves on the Executive Committee, Vice Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Vice Chairman of the Lay Commission, Vice Chairman of the Social Action Commission, Statistics and Finance Commission of the General Board, and Chairman of the Connectional Lay Organization Social Action Committee, of the A.M.E. Church.
Over his 40 years of professional service, he has been afforded many occupational opportunities, mainly in the financial and governmental arenas. His resume includes Manager of the West Colonial Branch of First Federal of Orlando; Analyst for Barnett Bank of Central Florida; Financial Planner of MONY Companies; Special Assistant/Office Manager for the Office of Congressman Jim Bacchus; Central Florida Director for the Office of Congresswoman Corrine Brown; Director of Government and Community Affairs for Greenberg Trauig, P.A, and Human Relations Director for the City of Orlando.
He is the only son of the late Roseborough & Doris M. L. McGill and has been the husband for the past 38 years to Deborah L. M. McGill. They are the proud parents of one adult daughter, Danielle Lauren McGill. Reggie has been involved in service to his community for most of his life. Over the years, hundreds, if not thousands of people have benefited from his efforts. Of his many contributions, the most significant contribution to his community has been the opportunity to serve as an agent of change and provide opportunities for change that may not otherwise be provided. His motto is, “To receive a blessing, you must be a blessing to others!”
2021 Winner Dr. Olivia Allen Chaney
Dr. Olivia Allen Chaney has served the Central Florida community as a pediatrician for greater than four decades. A native Floridian, Dr. Chaney is the daughter of the late Samuel Allen and Susie Bruton Allen. She is a proud 1966 graduate of Jones High School of Orlando who went on to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating with honors in 1970. Dr. Chaney then attended Howard University College of Medicine where, after graduation, she completed a pediatric residency and became certified by The American Board of Pediatrics as well as a member of The American Academy of Pediatrics.
In 1978, Dr. Chaney returned to her hometown and became the first African American pediatrician to practice medicine in the Central Florida area. She passionately served the Orlando community with uncompromising competence and compassionate care for 28 years. Her practice can surely be described as personal and a labor of love. In 2006, Dr. Chaney joined The Community Health Centers of Florida in Apopka as a senior pediatrician and practiced there for 13 years until her retirement in 2019.
Dr. Chaney’s career spanned 41 years of unwavering commitment to improving the health outcomes of both the privileged and the underserved children and families of Central Florida. She has received many awards and acknowledgments throughout her years of service, most distinguished of which is the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Drum Major of Excellence Award in Medicine, the Florida Hospital Award for medical service to the Orlando community, and the African American Women’s History Month Award and recognition as a “Community Star” in medicine.
Dr. Chaney continues to be active in the Orlando community. She is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church, The Orlando Chapter of Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Howard University Medical Alumni Association, and the National Medical Association. She is also an alumni member of the Orlando Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Dr. Chaney has a daughter, Joi, who is a legal policy and political consultant in Washington, D.C., and a son, Wilbur, who is a Corporate Marketing Officer at The Wendy’s Company in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Chaney has one grandson, Wilbur Stratton Chaney, III, who resides with his parents in Ohio and to whom she now devotes her full attention and claims him as her #1 patient-in-love.
2020 Winner Kran Riley
Kran Riley is a dedicated family man and staple in Central Florida who has been advocating for human rights for over 55 years. Inspired by hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the lawn at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Kran has championed for our community’s most vulnerable citizens ever since. That same year, in 1963, he became a member of the NAACP and later served as the President of the Orange County branch from 2010–2016.
As Manager of Wayne Densch Charities, he has oversight in funding several non-profit groups in the Central Florida area who address community needs. Kran is a leader who believes in building bridges of unity and bringing people from all walks of life together for the common good. He has put this commitment into action by serving in leadership roles across numerous community boards that advocate on behalf of our community’s most vulnerable citizens, including:
- Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church
- 100 Black Men of Orlando
- The Citizen Commission for Children
- The Community Action Board
- The YMCA of Central Florida Metro Board Executive Committee
- Heart of Florida United Way
- Boy Scouts
- Darrell Armstrong Foundation
- The Epilepsy Association of Central Florida
- Vice President for the Florida State Conference of the NAACP.
2019 Winner Dr. Larry G. Mills
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Mills holds undergraduate degrees in Business Management and Religious Education, Master’s degrees in Organizational Management and Sacred Theology, and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
He has over 35 years of experience in ministry and has been the faithful pastor of the thriving Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida since 1988. Under his leadership, the church has seen tremendous growth, including the addition of a comprehensive development center and gymnasium, foreign and home outreach ministries and a school.
Dr. Mills is active in community affairs, with his latest board appointment being OUC Board of Commissioners. He has held numerous board leadership positions, including CEO of Mills Institute for Leadership and Learning. He served four years as President of the African American Council of Christian Clergy, Vice President of SCLC Greater Orlando Chapter and Chairman of the Private Industry Council Greater Orlando, among many others.
In addition to his ministry work, Dr. Mills experienced a rewarding 23-year career at Lockheed Martin Corporation as Corporate Vice President of Human Resources and Business Conduct for Corporate Operations before retiring in 2007. He is also the author of the book The Recovery of God’s Purpose For The 21st Century Church and is also a contributing writer in “Marriage Matters: It’s God’s Will” and two professional textbooks. He has also been listed in Who’s Who in Black America and the Manchester Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals.