The Focus: HOPE team is made up of highly qualified, diverse professionals who are passionate about applying intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.
Chief Executive Officer
Portia Roberson joined the Focus: HOPE team as Chief Executive Officer in 2018, bringing strategic and inclusive leadership with a focus on moving the organization forward.
Prior to her work with Focus: HOPE, Portia acted as Group Executive of the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department, working to ensure that all major economic development projects adhered to hiring Detroit-headquartered or Detroit-based businesses, thus allowing Detroit workers opportunities for employment. During her tenure with the City of Detroit, Portia led the charge on how Michigan and Detroit-based businesses can work together to enhance local employment. Previously, she served as Corporation Counsel, Law Department at the White House Domestic Policy Council for Strong Cities, Strong Communities, as well as Director, Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison under Attorney General Eric Holder.
Portia is a graduate of Cass Technical High School. She majored in English at the University of Michigan, and holds a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School.
Portia is a well-known public speaker, serving as an on-camera analyst for WDIV’s Flashpoint and CourtTV. She has extensive volunteer experience throughout Metro Detroit, serving as a Board Member for Michigan Political History Society, Habitat for Humanity, ACLU, and Delta Manor. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Wolverine Bar Association.
Dir. of Workforce Development & Ed.
Jewel Chapman is the Director of Focus: HOPE’s Workforce Development and Education department. In this role, she serves as the administrative head leading the development and coordination of workforce development and education programming by providing general oversight to improve and maintain department effectiveness and alignment.
Jewel has been instrumental in the division’s achievements since taking on this role. She instills a sense of team and can often be heard discussing the key to the department’s success: “Our work is truly driven by the team WDE… and our One Focus: HOPE approach.”
Jewel holds an MA in Education from Central Michigan University and a BS in Business Administration from Wayne State University, and she is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator.
Jewel has been recognized for her leadership skills, project management abilities and volunteerism within the roles that she has occupied at Focus: HOPE over the last thirteen years. Additionally, she sits on the Board of Directors for EMIY, Inc.
Chief Development Officer
Keri Gaither is Focus: HOPE’s Chief Development Officer. Previously, Keri provided fund development services to numerous non-profits in southeast Michigan via her private consulting business. Additionally, she was instrumental in garnering financial resources for Duggan for Detroit, Mayor Duggan’s political candidate committee. Keri also provided fundraising services while serving as the Deputy Director for Turnaround Detroit, the political SuperPAC supporting Mike Duggan for Mayor.
During her tenure as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at UDM, Keri led multiple successful fundraising campaigns to fund capital improvements for new construction/renovations of athletic facilities. In 2009, Keri served as the Chair of the Detroit Local Organizing Committee for the highly successful NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four played at Ford Field, which brought positive global attention to Detroit and over $50M in economic impact to southeast Michigan.
Keri graduated from the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics. Crain’s Detroit Business named her to their Women to Watch list in 2008. She lives with her family in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan.
Dir. of Early Learning
Waymond Hayes is the Director of Early Learning and Youth Development at Focus: HOPE. He was one of the first students to attend a Head Start program on the southeast side of Detroit, as well as the first male center administrator to open a Head Start all-male leadership academy at the same agency and location. With over 22 years of experience in the field, Waymond credits deep family involvement in Early Childhood Education as his source of motivation.
Waymond earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Family Studies from Rochester College, and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Organization Leadership through Grand Canyon University.
Waymond is a frequent workshop presenter and speaker who brings complementary but distinctly different experiences to Child Development. He trains teachers and parents on many early childhood topics. Waymond integrates his work at Focus: HOPE with the work he does in the community as a Phi Beta Sigma brother. Through this integration, he has orchestrated comprehensive programs and supportive services for the community. He looks forward to continuing this work into the future, guided by Phi Beta Sigma’s motto, “Culture for service and service for humanity.”
Chief Financial Officer
Daryl Hurley, MBA, is Focus: HOPE’s Chief Financial Officer, working with the Board of Directors and executive leadership team to facilitate efficient financial operations.
Daryl has over 25 years of experience in accounting management, including specific expertise in management of finance operations. Before joining Focus: HOPE, he was Chief Financial Officer at Matrix Human Services. Additionally, Daryl has held positions at Jefferson Wells and Kmart Corporation.
Daryl completed his MBA in Management at Walsh College, and holds a BA in Accounting from Wittenberg University.
Dir. of Food Program
Frank Kubik is the Director of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) at Focus: HOPE and has served in that capacity since 2011. The Focus: HOPE CSFP issues food on a monthly basis to over 41,000 senior citizens in four counties. Under Frank’s direction, Focus: HOPE’s food centers have brought in additional services to the community including free income tax preparation, utility payment assistance, and free health screenings.
Frank has been with Focus: HOPE since 1981. He is the past four-time president of the National CSFP Association, and co-chairs the NCSFPA Education Committee. In 2007, he gave testimony on behalf of CSFP to the U. S. Senate Committee on Agriculture as well as in 2017 to the U. S. House of Representatives Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition. He was formerly chairperson and a charter member of the Detroit Meals on Wheels Board of Directors, and a member of the American Commodity Distribution Association TEFAP/CSFP Committee.
Frank studied accounting at Henry Ford Community College and Wayne State University. He successfully completed the SCR Leadership in Transition program at Ford Motor Company as well as the University of Michigan Business School’s Building the Leadership Engine: Transforming Human Service for the 21st Century program.
Frank has received many awards, including the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Keep the Dream Alive Award from the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Unsung Hero Award from the Detroit Community Health Connection, the first Leona Martens NCSFPA Champion Award by the National CSFP Association, and the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award from the Detroit Free Press and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition. He was spotlighted as an Unsung Hero in the April 2016 USDA Foods from Farm to Plate newsletter. Frank is a lifelong resident of Detroit and has been described as “all Detroit” by the New York Times.
Director of Advocacy, Equity & Community Empowerment
Jasahn Larsosa is an accomplished facilitator and community organizer, newspaper contributor, political consultant, BMe Vanguard Fellow, and Focus: HOPE’s first Director of Advocacy, Equity & Community Empowerment.
Jasahn was chief architect of the office of Advocacy, Equity & Community Empowerment, which oversees Focus: HOPE’s advocacy toward systems change and its internal integration of race equity into all activities. In his role, Jasahn supervises a range of operations and programs, including organizational assessments; staff trainings; government affairs; and economic empowerment, community empowerment and youth social justice programs like the Generation of Promise.
Jasahn was born in Detroit and educated in Detroit Public Schools. He completed his undergraduate degree in Communications and Counseling at Ball State University before cofounding and serving as Chief Organizer of This Hood of Ours, a former Michigan nonprofit devoted to building collective power and driving change in communities of color. Jasahn is also a former officer of the project management company, Larsosa Management Services, which provides a wide range of consulting to nonprofit, political, public and private agencies.
Jasahn serves on a number of committees and boards and consults the national group The Bail Project. As a passion and out of gratitude for having successfully overcome the challenges of his own youth, Jasahn mentors others to advance their careers and enrich their lives. He resides on the west side of Detroit with his wife; three creative, smart and beautiful daughters; and two puppies in a beautiful redbrick home where his family is highly active in the neighborhood and is a pillar in the community.
Chief Operating Officer
Tashawna Parker, Focus: HOPE’s Chief of Staff, serves as the operational leader of the organization, overseeing programming and supporting growth and stability.
Tashawna has also served the community through local civil service as Deputy Director and Compliance Manager for the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department. In this role, she helped ensure that Detroit residents would receive employment opportunities with local tax incentive-supported construction projects.
Tashawna received her Master of Science in Program and Project Management from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is also a proud Eagle, having received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from Eastern Michigan University. She is also Lean/Green Belt certified.
When Tashawna is not enjoying time with family and friends, she is traveling across the country or across the pond. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and is an active volunteer with many organizations, including Sister Friend, Optimist International, NAACP Detroit, inFORUM Michigan, National Black MBA Association, QUEENS, Skillsville Volunteer, and Forgotten Harvest.