Pride Awards







Jason Terrell                         Mario Shaw

Jason Terrell and Mario Shaw are the co-founders of Profound Gentlemen, Inc. They met in 2012 through Teach for America in Charlotte. They both were keenly aware of the lack of black male teachers at Charlotte schools. In fact, they were the first black male teachers encountered by some students.  They saw the impact they had on young men of color because they reflected their background and could share their experiences as men of color. To address this void, they started an organization, Profound Gentlemen, to support and retain male teachers of color and also develop mentorship opportunities for male students of color. Profound Gentlemen offers support to black male educators through professional development and job placement.  Since 2014, the organization has grown exponentially. Using the latest technology – telecommunications and a mobile application- Profound Gentlemen supports a 200 member network of multicultural male educators. Earlier this year, Jason and Mario were featured in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for their work as social entrepreneurs. Jason holds a BA degree from Furman University and Mario has a BA from the University of Cincinnati.  Both have Master of Science in Educational Studies from John Hopkins University.


Vanessa Vaughn

Vanessa Vaughn is the founder and owner of ASFALIS Consulting, which is a boutique business continuity and crisis management firm that assists public and private companies to maintain their reputation, profitability and ability to operate in a crisis. She has worked with corporate brands such as Lowe’s Companies and Gulfstream Aerospace, and is experienced with Fortune 200 global businesses and governmental agencies. Vanessa has developed resilience programs impacting over 16 million customers and crisis management and business continuity implementations in London, Mexico, Brazil and 15 domestic locations. She is also an Instructor at Queens University of Charlotte McColl School of Business’ Executive Leadership Program. Vanessa is the first woman in the state of Georgia (Savannah State University) to earn a BA degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She also has an MBA from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.


David Spellmon

David Spellmon, Jr. is employed as a Behavior Modification Technician in the Department of Discipline and Behavior Support for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The mission of the department is to prepare students behaviorally for academic success. As such, Discipline and Behavior Support is responsible for working with CMS students who have specific needs that have not been met in a traditional educational setting. In his capacity as a Behavior Modification Technician, David is responsible for assisting in identifying problems and needs of students, developing strategies and plans for managing and modifying student behavior and implementing management programs that will enable students to acquire social and interpersonal skills and behaviors that will enhance their academic success. He also conducts district-wide Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) training and supervises the department’s community service program. David is a valued professional recognized by his peers, management and students for his resourcefulness, dependability and skills in managing difficult situations and resolving conflict. He holds a BA degree in Psychology from Virginia Union University.



Clinton Jamal Covington           Devin Martin

Clinton Jamal Covington and Devin Martin developed a mobile app, See My Voice, which empowers users (residents in a specific neighborhood) to report needed resources by snapping a picture on their phone. While the app is impressive, it is the creative way that they are addressing the social inequities many Charlotte neighborhoods face.  In developing the app, Clinton and Devin regularly visited Enderly Park in West Charlotte, interacting with the residents directly about their concerns, issues and fears.  It was this information that enabled them to begin addressing the problem of access and inequity. The app facilitates the collection of neighborhood level data by residents who have a better understanding of what data is most relevant from the perspective of the community. Clinton and Devin received the First Place Award for See My Voice from the 2016 Virtual Hackathon for Apps and Games for Social Good at the Summit for Social Good, Partnership for Social Good of Data Science Initiative, UNC-Charlotte. Both Clinton and Devin have undergraduate degrees in Geography from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.


Victoria Watlington

Passionate about giving back and community involvement, Victoria Watlington is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and has led programs to support African-American students enrolled in engineering programs at UNC-Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T University. She has also played an integral role in the growth and sustainability of the Westover Hills Neighborhood Association (WHNA), where she serves as the Westover Hills community liaison to the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition. She maintains the neighborhood’s communication channels and is credited with developing the administrative foundation for WHNA. In 2015, Victoria secured and implemented a grant in support of the neighborhood beautification and identification plan, which earned her the 2015 Charlotte Neighborhood Leadership and Exchange Award. She owns her own business – Rubies Rising, LLC -and has published two books.Victoria is a registered Professional Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional. She holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida and a MS in Engineering Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is an accomplished Senior Mechanical Project Engineer at Sealed Air Corporation.