Jason Flowers is one of the leading experts on nonprofit development with over 18 years of experience at the healm of community-driven organizations. Today, he’s the executive director of Omicelo Cares, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that helps create economic change in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods through specialized real estate education and supportive business programs.
Jason brings incredible passion and a wealth of knowledge after serving in multiple executive roles along the east coast, including a 14 year career with the Boy Scouts of America. Jason personally recruited thousands of volunteers and directed and created more than 200 committees between New York, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. He later served as the East End Cooperative Ministry’s Director of Development and Public Relations. Due to his leadership and innovative fundraising ideas, the ministry’s annual campaign donations skyrocketed by 70-percent. Within the span of his career, Jason has managed to fundraise more than 20 million dollars.
As a speaker and change agent, Jason teaches the power of networking as well as the key factors to help persevere over challenging circumstances. Despite growing up in New York’s foster care system and experiencing homelessness as a teenager, Jason graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh college, majored in business administration and built an admirable career that focuses on helping young people and community members who may be facing similar obstacles.
Jason credits his success to a range of community programs that offered mentorship, skills and resources during his high school years.
In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his daughters Autumn and Leah.
Dr. Amber M. Epps has been teaching at the college level for over 19 years in both traditional classroom, hybrid, and online settings. Traditionally teaching a variety of information technology and communications courses, she has also taught other subjects including economics, business administration, and human resource management. For three years, Dr. Epps also served as Assistant Chair of the General Education Department at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She currently teaches as an adjunct at South University and American Public University.
Outside of academia, in 2014, Dr. Epps began working in community development, focusing on commercial district revitalization, workforce development, and youth education and employment. She spent several years with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, serving as the Garfield Night Market Manager, Commercial District Manager, as well as Chief Operations Officer, providing oversight for the organization’s programs, ensuring that initiatives were facilitated with a diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront.
Dr. Epps holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on Computer Information Systems from Kent State University, a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Management Information Systems from Point Park University, a Master of Science in Information Systems & Technology (Usability Studies) from South University, a Doctor of Science in Information Systems & Communications from Robert Morris University, and a Doctor of Education in Postsecondary and Higher Education from Argosy University.
When confronted with racism for the first time as a young girl, something changed in Shannon Parris. She became intimately aware of the fact that people were treated differently for no reason other than the color of their skin or their economic status. This realization would ultimately inspire her life’s work.
Fueled by the drive to help make the world a more just place, Shannon has had the opportunity to contribute her knowledge and passion to various organizations. Her extensive experience includes work with growth-stage and legacy nonprofit organizations. Additionally, as a believer in art being a great equalizer, she has enjoyed working with local artists and entrepreneurs, by assisting them in building capacity and generating revenue as a project-based consultant. Shannon has also created and managed volunteer programs for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and a non-profit animal welfare organization in Pittsburgh.
Excited by the opportunity to unite her fire and fervor for equity – in a direct and hands-on way – Shannon is proud to be a member of the Omicelo Cares team as the Program Manager, 7 Pillars. In this role, she enjoys participating in the growth and sustainability of the 7 Pillars of Sustainable Business™ accelerator as it relates to fundraising, participant recruitment, and discovering procurement opportunities for growth-stage businesses. By providing one-on-one support to the accelerator’s participants, Shannon guides them toward success by sharing resources and support and helping them develop a strategic plan, with the purpose of leveling the playing field.
As a new mother of twin girls, Shannon has become even more intentional about channeling her anger regarding unjust matters, to productive disruption. She works to create a better world for her girls and believes that if they observe the work that she does, they will know what kind of family they belong to and envision the kind of world they can create as well.