African-American Partnership Cabinet Member Spotlight:
Controller, Southern Education Foundation
AAP: Tell us about your role at Southern Education Foundation and how you impact the company’s strategic goals.
Angela: Our mission at the Southern Education Foundation is to advance creative solutions to ensure equity and excellence in education for students of color and low-income students in the South. As controller, I help to ensure that our organization remains fiscally responsible and maintains accurate financial data. As we apply for various grants, the data I help provide demonstrates that our organization has been a good steward of the funds we have been entrusted to handle.
AAP: What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in finance?
Angela: There are rewarding aspects of working in finance. Your role requires that you have an overview of everything going on within the organization. You must understand funding priorities and return on investments from two viewpoints: financial as well as how people are impacted. Though you are working with numbers, you have to remember just numbers alone won’t tell the full story.
AAP: How did you navigate a transition from the for profit to the nonprofit sector?
Angela: The for profit and nonprofit sectors are very similar. Numbers are numbers regardless of where you work. There are revenues and expenses. The major difference with the nonprofit sector is your work benefits stakeholders not stockholders. Stakeholders include individuals and organizations that support Southern Education Foundation as well as the individuals that are served by Southern Education Foundation.
AAP: What sparked your interest in philanthropy and why did you become an AAP Cabinet member?
Angela: I started volunteering for community organizations at the age of 18. After entering the workforce full time in my early 20’s, I saw contributing my time, my talent, and my tenth as a privilege. For the last 20 years, I’ve served organizations focusing on women and children and mental health. I became an AAP member while working for Genuine Parts Company in 2014. What I love about AAP is the ability to see exactly where your dollars go. You can also give your time and talent by volunteering directly with those you are supporting financially, which is very rewarding!
AAP: Who is your favorite American trailblazer that serves as a source of inspiration to you?
Angela: The first woman president and alumna of Johnson C. Smith University, Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy is my favorite American trailblazer and source of inspiration. I had the privilege of taking several of Yancy’s courses at Georgia Institute of Technology. She inspired me to do my best, be myself and show integrity regardless of what those around me say and do.