Board of Directors

Lawrence C. Lee

Lawrence C. Lee

President and General Manager, The OBSERVER Media Group

With understanding of how to combine editorial excellence with new media style, Lawrence (Larry) C. Lee is leading The OBSERVER Media Group into the 21st century as a powerful multi-media voice for the ethnic consumer.

Lee — who has a lifelong career in ethnic media and marketing — inherited an admirable sense of quality, community, commendable work ethic, and dedication to excellence from his parents, Dr. William H. Lee and Kathryn C. Lee, the owners and publishers of the award-winning OBSERVER Newspapers. The OBSERVER will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. In his role as President and General Manager, Lee has taken that bold, creative legacy and applied it to a number of exciting products that influence, inform and impact the African American audience he serves.

In 2001, Lee and The OBSERVER Media Group launched, where visitors and advertisers are afforded a quality online experience. He has also led other OBSERVER products such as Mobile News 2 U, an innovative mobile news delivery service, allowing subscribers to receive relevant and timely news and information on their cell phones. The annual California Capital City BLACK EXPO also came under Lee’s leadership. The event is a three-day showcase featuring hundreds of exhibitors and attractions. Lee’s aggressive marketing and outreach efforts have helped turn the BLACK EXPO into one of the largest cultural venues in the state, drawing about 50,000 guests each year.

These exciting products are a reflection of Lee’s vision to build corporate relationships while presenting information services to underserved communities. In a short period of time, Lee has successfully enhanced corporate relationships with companies such as: AT&T, Wells Fargo, Intel, SMUD, McDonald’s, PG&E and many more — developing strong ties with such companies and the African American community.

Lee, 39, currently serves as board president of the Observer Media Institute, Inc. The non-profit 501c3 organization was established to prepare underserved community members to be journalists, media specialists and communication professionals in areas of community development and personal empowerment. He currently serves on the Sacramento Metro Chamber Board of Directors, The Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board and the CARES Strategic Initiative for HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention Steering Committee. In 2009, Lee served as a Gubernatorial appointee on the California Census Complete Count Committee. He is also a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter.

Lee has also served on many boards, including the following: Nehemiah Corporation of America (where he served as the board Chair), the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Sacramento, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the SMUD Community Outreach Committee and the Christian Brothers Alumni Association board.

A graduate of the San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Lee was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the San Jose State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2006. The American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the University of Missouri’s College of Journalism have also saluted Larry’s journalism achievements.

Larry is married and has two daughters.

Michael Poindexter

Michael Poindexter

Interim President , Sacramento City College

Michael serves as The Interim President at Sacramento City College.  With more than 22 years of administrative experience, Mr. Poindexter has led an exceptional career serving in both two-year and four year institutional environments.

Azizza Davis Goines

Azizza Davis Goines

President/CEO, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce

Azizza Davis Goines has over 30 years experience in Association Management.  Her experience includes expertise in fund development, program development, community relations, event planning, board development, public policy, strategic planning, collaboration building and strong facilitation skills.  She has headed nonprofit agencies in the capacities of Executive Director and President/CEO.   She is now President/CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce. The one thread woven throughout her experiences is her commitment to finding parity for all people through economic development, healthcare, education and social justice.

Rahim Reed

Rahim Reed

Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations, UC Davis

Rahim Reed assumed his responsibilities as the Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations (AEVC) at UC Davis on September 17, 2001. The AEVC serves as the primary advisor on matters of campus community relations to deans, vice chancellors, vice provosts and other senior campus administrators. The primary responsibility of OCCR is to help the University chart a course that will ensure attention to those components of campus' social environment that affect community, campus climate, diversity and inclusiveness.

Rahim Reed has more than 20 years of experience in administration, student affairs and affirmative action policy development at four major universities. From 1998 until September 2001, he served as the Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida. Rahim was one of the founding members of the Center, which is an interdisciplinary institution that promotes research and development of public policy in the areas of race relations, interracial dispute resolution, diversity education and training, racial equality and community relations. Prior to becoming director of the Center, Rahim served as the Assistant Dean for Student and Minority Affairs at the University of Florida College of Law from 1988 to 1998. During this period, he also chaired the University of Florida's Council on Affirmative Action from 1994 to 1996. Rahim served as Assistant Dean in the Office of African Affairs at the University of Virginia from 1986 to 1988 and has also taught and held positions as a Teacher/Counselor at the University of Pittsburgh and a Teaching Assistant at Rutgers University Law School.

Rahim received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Black Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his legal studies in 1986 and holds a Juris Doctorate Degree from Rutgers University School of Law. He is also an active member of several national organizations and has made many presentations to groups on topics of diversity education and building inclusive communities.

Lorrie Lowry

Lorrie Lowry

Project Manager, City of Sacramento Economic Development Department

Lorrie Lowry is a Project Manager for the City of Sacramento Economic Development Department, specializing in Entrepreneurship, Business Retention and Expansion and Small Business Development. She has been instrumental in planning and organizing business forums, seminars, business walks and training to assist businesses in understanding the city’s incentives, partnership programs, services and opportunities.

Prior to joining the City of Sacramento, Ms. Lowry owned and operated a Consulting Business in which she served as CEO, managing a team of consultants in the area of finance, project management, marketing and strategic planning.

Within the private sector, Ms. Lowry worked at Hewlett Packard as an Analyst, providing analytical support to the Global Sales and Service Group where she conducted financial and strategic analysis to identify and address risk and recommend opportunities for HP within the small business and community.

Ms. Lowry also has over 15 years of environmental experience in matters related to sustainability and environmental cleanup. Some signature projects would include; Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Greenwise Initiative, Clean Start Showcase, Sacramento Municipal Utility District Small Business Makeover, Greenwise Regional Action Plan and starting up an environmental office overseas to service a multimillion dollar project with Shell Oil Nigeria.

Ms. Lowry received her MBA, Magna cum laude, from Golden Gate University and a BA in Communication’s from San Francisco State University. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

Darrylyn Arokiasamy

Darrylyn Arokiasamy

IT Project Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric

Darrylynn (Dee) Arokiasamy is a wife, volunteer, entrepreneur and has been married for 12 years. She is the mother of 4 who is an inspirational speaker, motivator, and advocator for youth. Dee is a full time employee with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) as an IT Project Manager.      

Dee serves as a passionate volunteer for the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce where she assists as a co-volunteer for their Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) program. She’s proudly poured her passion into her community and its youth through the phenomenal works of the Chamber. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Volunteer of The Year Award from the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce.

Dee has owned many small businesses over the last fifteen years, two of which, her greatest pride, are still thriving. My Conference Essentials, LLC (MCE), an Event Technology Rental and eConcierge Company and Diggs Consultant Group (DCG) for New Business Development needs. Dee is currently coaching under one of the top Motivators of all time, Les Brown, she will surely have something to share us!

Lisa Strong-Dodson

Lisa Strong-Dodson

Director of Human Resources, Fortune School of Education

Lisa Strong-Dodson is currently the Director of Human Resources for Fortune School of Education, a Teacher Credentialing/Graduate Program and Charter School Management Organization operating throughout the state of California. Prior to joining Fortune School of Education, Mrs. Dodson served as the Director of Human Resources for St. HOPE Public Schools, a public charter school system, that focuses on providing a high-quality, college preparatory education for low-income and minority students.

 Prior to beginning her Human Resources career, Mrs. Dodson worked as a Credentials Analyst for National University. As the lead Credential Analyst, she was a key member of the WASC accreditation team, traveling to various National University campuses to ensure they were in compliance and prepared for WASC accreditation.

Since beginning her Human Resources career in 2001, Mrs. Dodson has successfully served as the Human Resources Administrator of 8 new charter schools in Northern and Southern California. These schools are committed to providing the highest standard of education, helping students develop to their fullest potential and graduate as high-achieving students prepared for college.

Mrs. Dodson brings a wealth of knowledge in Human Resources and Personnel matters and is often called upon by her colleagues for guidance and support when dealing with complex Human Resources matters. Throughout her experience, Lisa has learned that the best recipe for being an effective Human Resources Administrator is CARE and COMPLIANCE.  She has a heart for people and truly believes in serving others. While kindness has attributed to her success, compliance and reinforcing Human Resource laws is a major function of her job. 

 In addition, Mrs. Dodson is an entrepreneur. She’s the founder and owner of the Anderson Family Care Home. She’s also part owner of the Strong Family Care Home. Her passion for serving adults with disabilities has been a consistent part of her life. Since the age of 3, Lisa has been a part of her family’s business, which has continued to thrive for over four decades. This early introduction to serving those with special needs inspired Lisa to open her own Residential Care Facility, which she successfully operated for 10 years.

 Mrs. Dodson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. She’s currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and has completed the Association of California School Administrator’s Personnel Institute. As a lifelong learner, Lisa takes continuing education courses to improve her Human Resources practice. When she is not answering questions related to Human Resources or helping care for her residents, Lisa enjoys traveling, music, theatre spending time with her husband, family and puppy, and attracting passionate educators who are dedicated to serving students and empowering them to reach their fullest potential.


Nicole Howard

Nicole Howard

Chief Customer Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Nicole Howard was appointed Chief Customer Officer in February 2015. Reporting to the chief executive officer and general manager, Ms. Howard runs SMUD’s $1.5 billion retail electric business, including customer operations, services and programs such as energy efficiency and advanced energy solutions. Her role includes corporate strategy, brand, marketing, communications, and economic and community development.

Most recently, Ms. Howard served as SMUD’s Customer Services Director, overseeing all customer-related operations, programs and services, including the contact center, billing and credit, field services, and energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Before that, she served as manager of customer operations, where services include lobby processes, the contact center, billing and credit, field services (such as connects/disconnects), and revenue protection. She was also responsible for implementing operational changes brought about by SMUD's smart grid/smart meters initiative.

In her 12 years with SMUD, Howard has served as a supervisor in Supply Chain Services, as a cost-scheduling specialist and supplier diversity representative, and as a customer service representative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in public administration from CSU, Dominguez Hills. In addition, she is a graduating Fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and the Catalyst Leadership Program. She currently sits on the Board of the Cosumnes River College Foundation and represents SMUD on the Western Energy Institute Women in Energy Planning Committee

Marinda Johnson Gorman

Marinda Johnson Gorman

Producer, KVIE

Marinda Johnson Gorman began her media career in 2002 after only two years as an intern at a local talk radio station, Ms. Johnson was quickly promoted to the role of acting program director, while simultaneously producing two on-air programs and working as a news, weather, and traffic reporter and board op for Sacramento’s Westwood One/Metro Networks. In 2005 she made the move to television at KVIE where she started off as a Production Assistant/photo researcher and quickly advance to the role of Producer.

Ms. Johnson has continued to advance in her career working on numerous programs which include KVIE Arts Showcase, Studio Sacramento, Warriors with Wings WWII, African American's in California's Heartland: The Civil Rights Era, Seniors: Staying Sharp, Hidden History and many more. She has won numerous awards including 3 Regional Emmy Awards, and 10 Emmy nominations, 2010 Black Expo 30 under 30 Outstanding Young leaders Honoree, 2015 Alliance for Women in Media Examples of Excellence-Creative Talent.

Ms. Johnson takes the privilege of being able to create content that not only entertains but informs the public. She believes storytelling through public media is a vital resource in creating awareness and change, which can also give those that may not have a voice a platform to share their stories. Interacting with the public on a daily basis, Ms. Johnson is always in search of new opportunities to advance her skills and ability to reach more people, tell a better story, and take on a leadership role within her career for the future

Tim Spangler

Tim Spangler

Chief Counsel, Sacramento Regional Transit Authority

Tim Spangler was selected as Chief Counsel for the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) in July 2014. As Chief Counsel, Mr. Spangler advises the Board of Directors, District officers, and employees on a wide range of legal, business, and government affairs. The Chief Counsel also manages RT's legal department, which provides litigation and transactional law services, along with Labor Relations and Risk Management.

Mr. Spangler joined RT in 1998 and served as Chief Litigator for 16 years until his appointment as Chief Counsel. In 2016, he was elected to the Sacramento Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Prior to joining RT, Mr. Spangler was in private practice in San Jose representing public agencies and he then served as a Deputy City Attorney at the San Jose City Attorney's Office, representing the City in an array of litigated matters in state and federal court.

Tim received his undergraduate degree from University of California, Davis and his law degree from Golden Gate University.

Tim is a songwriter and guitarist in the local band "Spangler" that has been nominated for a Sacramento Area Music Award two years in a row.