Board of Directors

Below, you can get to know the Board of Directors of The KIS Foundation that are making a difference in the world of Sickle Cell Disease.

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KiKi Shepard

Founder, Board President &
Executive Director of THE KIS FOUNDATION

KiKi Shepard has worked with the National Association (SCDAA) as their Spokesperson for 10 years, carries Sickle Cell Trait, and uses her national celebrity to raise awareness. Ms. Shepard is an actress and is best known as the “Apollo Queen of Fashion”. For 15 years, she starred as the smashing Co-Host of NBC’s original “It’s Showtime at the Apollo”.

KiKi Shepard is a graduate of Howard University and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and has relationships with Herbalife, Xerox, California African America Museum, Verizon, Sickle Cell Foundation of Orange County, SCD Collaborative. In addition to associations with numerous high-level celebrities, and several top television shows. Ms. Shepard is the proud Guardian and Auntie/Mom to two teenage nieces.

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LaTonia Robinson

KISF Board Secretary, and THE KIS FOUNDATION Director of Operations

LaTonia Robinson was been major influencer in the creation of The KIS Foundation with over 15 years experience in the non-profit sector. She is a Founding Member of The KIS Foundation  and works diligently to pursue the foundation’s strategic vision through the development and implementation of advocacy campaigns, special events, marketing, and business operations to support organizational growth.  Ms. Robinson previously served as the Advocacy / Development Associate for St. Mary’s Foundation for Children (Bayside, NY) a sub-acute healthcare organization that specializes in children with special needs. 

Ms. Robinson is a graduate from the State University of New York at Farmingdale with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Technology, and her Masters in Operations Management from the University of Phoenix. LaTonia is also a Plus Model; Lifestyle Blogger; Freelance Writer; and Video Journalist.

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André Dawson

KISF Board Treasurer, Fleet Manager & Salesman for Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills

André Dawson is a Fleet Manager & Top Salesman at Mercedes-Benz Beverly Hills, California. He is also a Founding Member and major influence in the creation of The KIS Foundation. Mr. Dawson is the Father of one son with Sickle Cell Disease and a Dedicated Lifetime Advocate.

André also works with the Boys & Girls Club, Watts Willowbrook; Member of National Sales Network; Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Board Member, Project Angel Food.

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Lenny McNeill

Sr. Vice President Managing Director of National Strategic Markets for U.S. Bank

Lenny McNeill is an extremely accomplished businessman, and has made his mark on the banking industry for over 37 years. During that time, he has provided his skill and acumen to numerous banking institutions such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, WAMU, and U.S. Bank.

Mr. McNeill has served for 36 years in Consumer banking and 26 years in Home Mortgage banking, and is currently the Senior Vice President Managing Director of National Strategic Markets for U S Bank.

While Mr. McNeill has received numerous accolades for his historic work in the banking arena, he is very proud of his most recent honors as U S Bank Home Mortgage 2016 “Leader of the Year”, U S Bank 2015 & 2016 Presidents Club Recipient, and his beloved fraternity Omega Psi Phi’s Educational Foundation 2016 “Man of the Year” Award.

Mr. McNeill is also a member of some of the country’s most prestigious banking associations such as the NAHREP, NAREB, AREAA, LA NHS, and is a graduate of UC Riverside with a Bachelor’s degree in History.

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Arjay Smith


Arjay Smith has been a film and television actor for the last 24 years.  He can be seen on The Day After Tomorrow, and TV Series such as Sons of Anarchy, The Journey of Allen Strange, Perception, and The Guest Book. 

He is also the founder of a sonic and visual production company.  He has volunteered and participated in KISF events for the last 11 years.  He met his Wife, Brittany Scott Smith, at The KIS Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

Arjay has overseen production for a song by youth within the National Guard; Volunteered for the Braille Institute Olympics; Participated in the Revlon Run/Walk for 14 years; Served twice as Jr. Grand Marshal in the Winter Wonderland Parade; Made personal appearances, speaking with kids across the United States through the “Philips Let’s Connect” program; and has Hosted five annual Kids 4 Kids Toy Drives for neglected and abused children. /

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Brittany Scott Smith


Brittany Scott Smith is a graduate of Spelman College. She is known for her work on The Rundown with Robin Thede. She has worked for companies such as Broadway Federal Bank, Sony and CBS.  She most recently served as Supervising Producer on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.  She has volunteered for The KIS Foundation for many years and met her Husband, Arjay Smith, at The KIS Celebrity Bowling Tournament.

Brittany has worked on community outreach and financial literacy programs for Broadway Federal Bank; Volunteered for the Jackie Robinson Foundation; Participated in the Revlon Run/Walk; Volunteered for cancer awareness booths for the American Cancer Society in underserved areas of Los Angeles; and Volunteered at the LA Food Bank.


Byron Reed

Sr. Vice President & Head of Community Development CIT Bank

Byron Reed is the Senior Vice President and Head of Community Development at One West Bank a part of CIT Bank.  Byron oversees approximately 70 branches within the Southern California territory, which includes L.A. County, Riverside/San Bernardino, Ventura and San Diego Counties. 

Byron Reed is no newcomer to the African American Community or to the Greater Los Angeles Area.  Byron has been active in supporting a vast array of organizations and working in the community.  He previously worked at another financial institution as a Sr. VP of Community Affairs, where he was instrumental in bringing a diverse array of ideas and programs to our community all with the intent of making the community stronger.

Byron has a history of working and supporting local agencies and taking a very hands on approach to improving the community.  He has been active in supporting organizations like Brotherhood Crusade, Mothers In Action, United Negro College Fund, Challengers Boys and Girls Club, Forgiving for Living and a variety of other programs in the South Los Angeles Area.

Reed earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Public Administration and a minor in Business Finance from the University of Oklahoma. 


Cynthia Heard

Vice President, Business Development & Communications YWCA Greater Los Angeles

Over the past twenty four years, Cynthia Heard has been an intricate partner in the field of social services. As a strong Child Welfare supporter and executive leader, Cynthia worked hand in hand with Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect to create a nationally acclaimed community and educational “Models” that help create systemic change for at risk youth and families across the country. Most recently, Cynthia has help build and secure funding for collaborative child welfare initiatives, building private /public partnerships, educational partnerships and innovative continuums focusing on at risk and foster youth throughout Los Angeles, New York, Florida and in Washington DC. She has developed and structured national models that are replicable and now demonstrate success and innovation. 

Cynthia Heard helped pioneer many of the social service models as a leader of the Los Angeles County Family Preservation, Wrap Around, Family Support Programs Models through the Dept of Children and Family Services. She worked closely with state, federal and county entities to include HUD, HACLA, Dept of Corrections, Dept of Labor, Dept of Education, Dept of Health and Human Services, SAMSA, Veterans Administration, CDBG, Dept of Public Social Services and Dept of Mental Health to create change for foster, at risk youth and families. She has developed multiple state and federal program initiatives.

Cynthia received her Bachelor of Art in Psychology from the University of Southern California and went on to pursue her master’s degree from Howard University in Washington D.C. Since 1989, she has worked diligently to facilitate social changes within at risk communities throughout Los Angeles County and across America.

Jo-An Turman

Vice President of Entertainment Industry Partnerships
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Mrs. Turman brings a passionate enthusiasm for helping others to her role at Habitat for Humanity. She’s spent her entire career help others as Real Estate Broker she assisted first-time home buyers; as former Teacher she worked with at-risk youth, ultimately founding the non-profit children’s organization IX Winds Ranch Foundation’s “Camp Gid D Up” where she still serves as a Camp Director along with her Husband, actor Glynn Turman.

Turman has also served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the L.A. Neighborhood Housing Services. In her role at HFHGLA some of her responsibilities include outreach, education, volunteer and fundraising initiatives.