Our Board of Trustees consists of elected volunteers who jointly oversee all aspects of Abe Brown Ministries.
Broadly Diverse...United in Heart...Together on Purpose
Dexter L. Bryant, Sr.
Dexter L. Bryant Sr. became involved with Abe Brown Ministries (formerly Prison Crusade Ministries at that time) in 1983 having been released from incarceration and work release. Dexter began volunteering with Abe Brown as a Crusade Counselor and bus driver.
He is currently employed with Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School. Dexter founded Young Lions Youth Organization, Inc. in 1997. The organization was formed to help prevent juvenile delinquency with the inner city youth. Young Lions provides several different positive activities in which youth ages 5-18 can participate. The Young Lions Youth Organization's sole purpose is to be a help to disadvantaged youth in hopes of making a difference in their lives now and in the future.
In 2001, Dexter was voted volunteer of the year by the Police Athletic League for working with youth.
John Drinkard began his commercial real estate career in the late 1980s. He started as a Leasing Director for The Austin Group for 12 buildings totaling 910,000 square feet and was quickly promoted to Senior Leasing Agent.
In 1998, John founded Drinkard & Company, Inc., specializing in Tenant Representation, Investment Sales and Corporate Advisory Services. Over the years, John has executed leases and purchases for more than one million square feet. His track record includes negotiating purchases, build-to-suite transaction services, and financial and acquisition strategy analysis.
John is actively engaged in the community from coaching basketball for the past 10 years at the local Bob Sierra YMCA, to serving on the Membership Committee on the CEO Council of Tampa Bay.
He lives in the Tampa Bay Area with his wife, youngest daughter and two dogs.
Major Curtis N. Flowers, Retired
Major Curtis N. Flowers is the former Commander of Jail Division II, the Falkenburg Road Jail, in the Department of Detention Services for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Tampa. He retired from the Sheriff's Office after 29 years.
He has served long-time memberships in the American Correctional Association, American Jail Association and Florida Sheriffs Association. Major Flowers is recognized as one of the first Certified Jail Managers in Hillsborough County. Currently, he is a member of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners' Human Relations Board, past member of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Task Forces, Police Community Relations, and the Public Safety Coordinating Council Alternative to Incarceration Committee.
Major Flowers is a graduate of Kentucky State University (BS), University of South Florida (Master in Business Administration), and the 38th Session of the Police Executive Research Forum-Senior Management Institute for Police.
Major Kawanna Brown
Major Brown is currently the Jail Division II Commander for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Major Brown began a career in corrections with the Department of Juvenile Justice in 1998 and joined the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in 2002. Major Brown has held various assignments as a detention deputy as well as supervisory positions in releasing, confinement, the Field Training Officer (FTO) Program as a supervisor and FTO Coordinator. Prior to her role as the Deputy Division Commander of Jail Division I, Captain Brown was a lieutenant in the Court Operations Division.
Major Brown has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of South Florida. She is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s 85th Command Officers Development Course. Major Brown is a former board member of the Falkenburg Youth Academy’s Community Advisory Board.
Major Brown is a native of Florida and was born and raised in Clearwater. She is married and has one son and a step-daughter.
Dionne M. Jones, J.D., Ph.D., President
Dionne M. Jones, J.D., Ph.D., is a graduate of the University of Florida where she earned her B.A. and subsequently graduated from the University of Florida College of Law as a Council on Legal Education Opportunity Fellow. After law school, Dionne returned to Tampa and worked as a corporate attorney for several distinguished insurance companies.Dionne is also a certified civil circuit court mediator.
As native of Tampa, Dionne has taken an active role in the community having served as Co-Chair of Diversity and Community Action for the Hillsborough County Bar Association and Hillsborough Association of Women Lawyers, respectively. As a member of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, Dionne served as: General Counsel, Co-Chairman of the Community Action Committee, Chairman of the Scholarship Banquet Committee and earned the President’s Award for two consecutive years. Dionne currently volunteers with Bay Area Legal Services through the iLawyer program, Domestic Violence Assistant Project and Family Law Clinic.In 2016, Dionne was one of 6,000 selected for Harvard Business School’s Governance for Non-Profit Leaders Fellows program.She was recently presented with the Supreme Court of Florida Pro Bono Service award (2018).
Dionne also graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership (2013) and became an Assistant Professor with the Morsani College of Medicine. She was selected by the University of South Florida's Provost to be an integral part of the Diversity Task Force for the recruitment and retainment of faculty of color. Dionne currently works for the 13th Judicial Circuit, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida and was appointed to The Florida Bar’s Children’s Issues Committee.
Dionne is the Chair for the Vision 2020 Committee and has two children.
Jed Kirby, Vice President
Jed Kirby is a seasoned Real Estate Developer and Investor whose compassion and dedication have both earned him the reputation as a service-centered leader in his field. Over the span of two decades, he has garnered extensive real estate experience from a profit and non-profit view.
Currently, Jed serves as a Partner and Owner at Titlemark LLC. (www.titlemark.net), where he plays an integral role in business development and operations. He is also a Principal at KDS Interiors, Inc. (www.kdsinteriors.com), where he spearheads company operations. Furthermore, as the Managing Partner of Kirby Family Properties, he has successfully developed and renovated an array of residential, commercial, and office buildings across Florida.
A man of unwavering faith and justice, Jed’s lifelong vision is to give back to those who are the most vulnerable within the community through quality housing and a mission to build and restore diverse communities. This worldview is shared with his beloved wife, Katie, who also believes in this mission. Together, they are the proud parents of four beautiful children.
Jed Kirby is a Real Estate Professional who truly cares about the future of his community and taking care of people who are in need. This passion and devotion will surely last a lifetime.
At the age of 16, Talmedge Hayes was given multiple life sentences and spent 27 years in prison for his role in several robberies. The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) began representing Talmedge in 2010, after the United States Supreme Court recognized that children should not be sentenced like adults and declared life without parole in non-homicide cases like his to be unconstitutional. Upon his release on April 1, 2016, he enrolled into Abe Brown Ministries’ Ready4Work-Hillsborough program and is currently employed as a printer II for Palm Beach County.
Talmedge is eternally grateful for what Rev. Abe Brown sowed into him many years ago. When Rev. Brown told Talmedge, “Grow where you are planted,” he chose to respond positively to his situation and follow the Lord.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Dea Wilkins has provided extensive leadership to large companies at the executive level to improve corporate performance through technology.
Her prior experience includes two local CEO positions and two Fortune 500 CIO positions. She delivers technology solutions to local and global companies, has led product creation and product deployment for American products and global products, and she has directed international consulting engagements for large technology companies. Her specialties include systems design from mobile to mainframe and enterprise architectures.
Dea attended Georgia Institute of Technology, earning a BS in Computer Science. After working in Atlanta for a few years, she relocated to Durham, N.C. where she attended Duke University for her MBA in Finance.