With a Kennesaw State University public and social services degree fresh in hand, a very green John Helton began his career as a DFCS child protective services investigator, ultimately learning the ins and outs of human services by serving in progressive roles managing childcare, volunteer, and community development programs before being appointed deputy director of Cobb County Department of Family and Children Services. Discovering his passion for helping create opportunities for people, John then spent 19 years as the founding president and CEO of CobbWorks, Inc. and WorkSource Cobb, the local workforce development board, until assuming leadership of CareerRise, Inc. in June 2019. John has served on boards of numerous workforce development and civic organizations at the local, state, and national levels including president of the Southeastern Employment & Training Association (SETA). John currently serves as chair of the Metro Atlanta eXchange (MAX) for Workforce Solutions as well as president of his neighborhood association in the historic Summerhill neighborhood of Atlanta. John is an avid traveler, but when home, he enjoys cooking a good meal for family and friends and caretaking his often neurotic and frequently aggressive rescue poodle, Duncan.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a creative writer of anything other than policy memos.”
Keren Cadet started her educational track at the University of Florida in 2000 completing her undergraduate degree in Sociology. In 2005, Keren’s career in social service started as the Children’s Advocate for Partnership Against Domestic Violence and continued working with families as a constant community advocate. Prior to joining the CareerRise team, Keren worked with opportunity youth in Metro Atlanta but also supported adults with skill development through program development/implementation with a 2Gen perspective. Keren holds her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia and continues to develop her passion to advocate and empower the underrepresented community.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a famous artist like Basquiat, Van Ghoh, or even in words, like Maya Angelou.”
Allison serves as the Communications Manager at CareerRise. In this position, she oversees the organization’s internal and external communications as well as coordinates overall operations including providing support for meetings, events, programs, and staff to further the vision for workforce development. She brings a wealth of experience in program and event management, operations management, and administrative functions. Prior to joining CareerRise in December 2019, she worked in various operations positions at charter schools in New York and Georgia with a focus on providing quality education to all children. Allison holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Georgia State University.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was an R&B singer selling out arenas worldwide.”
Chanell Davis serves as a workforce development professional with over 15 years of human services and workforce development experience. Chanell has dedicated the last 6 years of her work to managing grant funded programs that served adults and youth with overcoming barriers to employment through training, up-skilling and professional development. Equipped with the ability to motivate and inspire, her primary focus is to continue to serve her community by ensuring they have access to the necessary resources to enhance their overall quality of life. As a natural born leader, one of her major accomplishments has been serving as one of the leads that designed and implemented a regional process that has aligned the intake process for residents to apply & enroll in WIOA services. Using the human-centered design approach, her goal in this role is to manage & recruit partner services that offer quality workforce solutions to the residents of Westside Atlanta. As a change agent, she is committed to building a culture where underserved communities have full access to services and resources that assist them with successfully re-entering the workforce. Her “staying power” and ability to connect has created an impressive imprint as a valuable contributor to improving the disparities in our community.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a Superwoman trying to save the world from itself!”
Nate Futrell graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor’s of Social Work and a concentration in public child welfare. While living in Cincinnati for 10 years, Nate’s professional experience included working with opportunity youth, promoting health education and access for senior citizens, and leading teams in healthcare workforce management. Nate served as the Workforce Initiatives Manager for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, leading initiatives to develop sector strategies and build synergistic relationships between the K-12 education system and the business community. As CareerRise’s Industry Partnerships Director, Nate oversees the Industry Partnerships team’s work in facilitating Metro Atlanta’s workforce ecosystem alignment, stakeholder engagement, and equitable access to high-quality jobs for the region’s residents.
“In another life, I was the owner, head chef, and mixologist of a really cool restaurant.”
Rom Ghannam Special Initiatives Manager, Westside Works
Guided by his lifelong motto of “paying-it forward”, Rom Ghannam is a proud Lebanese-American professional who fell in love with workforce related nonprofits with missions to help others be set up for economic prosperity. Being blessed of having many career mentors and coaches contribute to his diverse career success, Rom is passionate in investing in people’s development and personal growth. As the Special Initiatives Manager at Westside Works, Rom supports and maintains the development of community resources, job opportunity listings, partner engagement, volunteer management and event planning and operations.
With 25+ years of combined experience within corporate and nonprofit space and in senior-level cross-functional roles, Rom is a certified Telcom/Wireless Technology Educator, Solution Sales Instructor/Consultant, Project Manager and a Dale Carnegie Graduate and coach. Multi-level certifications were achieved while attending Sprint University of Excellence, AT&T University and at Western Connecticut State University. In 2020, Rom transitioned his career pathing from independent corporate consulting to supporting nonprofit organization CORA GA in offering urgent COVID relief services directly to vulnerable and marginalized communities across Georgia. A truly humbling and rewarding front-line work experience, Rom lead and managed CORE GA nonprofit COVID-19 mobile testing and vaccination deployment teams across many metro Atlanta sites. Vaccinating up to 6K people daily at MBS.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a professional Hip Hop dance choreographer and a professional belly dancer.”
Rochelle, serving as the Administrative Coordinator at CareerRise, is responsible for optimizing workflow and operational efficiency across departments, internal teams, and external stakeholders. Her expertise lies in providing comprehensive programmatic, administrative, and operational support for various initiatives, meetings and events. In previous roles, Rochelle contributed significantly to daily operations, oversaw the utilization of program funds, ensured adherence to contractual obligations, and implemented streamlined systems and processes to drive organizational efficiency.
Beyond her professional achievements, Rochelle has a strong commitment to fostering a culture of creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity. She has established connections with community leaders and partners to raise program awareness and secure essential support. Rochelle’s dedication extends beyond the workplace, as she actively engages in volunteerism and community involvement, exemplifying her passion for making a positive impact and meaningful change in her community.
In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a famous fashion designer and host of the world’s most magnificent fashion shows!
Brittany Jenkins-Morrow Industry Partnerships Manager
Brittany Jenkins-Morrow graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arizona. Brittany is originally from South Georgia and started her professional career in Southeast Georgia. She began in workforce development with WIOA at Worksource Coastal as a Career Development Specialist. She later went on to work at the State Office of Workforce Development. Currently at Atlanta CareerRise, she focuses on leveraging her experience in workforce development to engage the industry and workforce network with developmental sustainable regional workforce strategies.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was an actress. I think I do well with improvising and showing a range of emotions.”
Jacque Joyce earned a master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Kennesaw State University. Since 2014, she has worked in the workforce development sector as a Data Analyst, Program Manager and Director. Her work focuses on supporting regional workforce development strategies by cultivating relationships across sectors, building leadership skills, and creating innovative strategies to support the operations of the CareerRise team!
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a cookie taste tester.”
Daniel Kolawole Operations Manager, Westside Works
Daniel Kolawole is an experienced operations executive and technologist who has managed all aspects of strategizing, implementing systems, and project lifecycle. Daniel has spent the last 15+ years developing his servant leadership, project management, and cross-functioning lead. He is a lifelong learner and has a genuine interest in others. Outgoing and friendly, Daniel enjoys working with others and volunteering at local community events.
“In another life, I am pretty sure I was a drummer touring the world.”
Rudi Pangad, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, serves as the Director of Equity@Work. Rudi worked in education and youth development for ten years before transitioning to the nonprofit sector. His work as a community impact manager for a tech-based non-profit helped to secure digital equity for several underserved communities in the metro Atlanta area. This rewarding experience fuels his mission driven work as he strives to ensure equal opportunities for all.
Rudi is a proud HBCU graduate of South Carolina State University, and also received a masters from Southern New Hampshire University. He is a Fall 2014 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity incorporated, and remains active with Nu Mu Lambda (DeKalb Alphas). With roots in DeKalb County, he is passionate about the growth and sustainability for the community that poured into him growing up.
“In another life, I was a veterinarian. I love all animals. If I see a fur baby, I am going to spoil them like they are my child.”
Denise Rogers has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, development, fundraising, and community relations. She worked in sectors such as Affordable Housing, Community Based Healthcare, and Social Services in Georgia and Massachusetts. Denise has worked for and with notable nonprofits, including Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Whitefoord Community Program, Codman Square Health Center, and the New England Aquarium.
Before serving as CareerRise’s Director of Resource Development, Denise was a Nonprofit Solutions Consultant at Giveffect, where she helped nonprofit leaders take control of their technology to unify their organizations and raise more money. Denise studied communications at Northeastern University and holds a Master of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.
When Denise is not working or spending quality time with her husband and family, she dedicates herself to community service through volunteering. She is an active and engaged member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Top Ladies of Distinction.
Quasandria “Q” Turner is responsible for the management of operations at Westside Works; leading a network of partners committed to offering high-quality workforce, education, and employment services within Atlanta’s westside neighborhoods. She has extensive experience as a Workforce and Counseling professional supporting individuals with barriers to navigate community resources and training pathways to successful careers. Q acquired a master’s degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Albany State University. Q’s breadth of experience includes working with the following populations: alcohol and drugs, HIV/Aids, diversion programs, and youth in residential treatment.
Karlisha Vice serves as an Industry Partnerships Manager with a focus on regional collaboration. Karlisha has dedicated the last 5 years of her work to supporting communities of disadvantaged youth and adults with improving their economic opportunities through professional development training. She obtained a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and plans to combine her educational background with her workforce development expertise to impact change within the Metro Atlanta area.
“In another life, I’m pretty sure I was a Broadway star for the show Chicago!”
Sign up today for our newsletter and to learn how to partner with us.