AHARI’s Executive Board
Jahi served in the army National Guards and holds Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Temple University and a certification in Computer Science from Bellevue University. Critical skill sets: Assessment, Listening, Leadership, Organizational, ,-level Operation Management, Business and Contract Negotiations, Quality Improvement, Communication, Community Outreach, Cost Reductions, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Relations, Departmental Operations Management, Distribution Management, Diverse Market Unification. Awards: Soldier of the Month, Soldier of the Year, Established Author and Publisher, Ornamental Aftermarket Wheel and Grill Designer, Certified Master Trainer, Established Inventor, Business and Credit Counselor.
Stephanie Booker - Founder
Stephanie holds a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University and a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership. As the Founding Member, she has 20 years of experience as a certified HUD Landlord, Rehabbed properties, owned several investment properties, and served as the general contractor on each project. Stephanie has experience with the Bureau of Zoning Board by working on numerous construction projects, has been granted variances in appeals, and pursued the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority for three years to obtain 1.3 acres of land in a gentrified area in Philadelphia. Stephanie is dedicated to the community she serves.
Pearl Karen Hall-Ragin
Pearl is an Author, Entrepreneur, Board Member, Evangelist, Entrepreneur and Veteran. She graduated from Edward Bok A.V.T. High School in 1980, joined the military in 1986, served in the Army as an Administrative Specialist, Personnel Administrative Specialist. USAR Unit Administrator, Family Support Liaison Chaplain Assistant and USAR Civilian Recruiter She has been awarded Army Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Rifleman-ship Badge, Physical Training Fitness Badge, Army Recruiting Badge. Pearl attended the University of Pa (Community Wharton Education Program) & Veterans Upward Bound), Delaware Community College and Community College of Philadelphia, Army Recruiting, Management Marketing, Administration, Training, Equal Opportunity, Family Deployment Liaison and Warrant Officers Schools. She is currently a continuing degree student at Dallas Baptist University. Her current employment at the Department of Homeland Security as a Mission Support Specialist she has also worked as a Customs Technician, Local Property Officer, Coordinator for the Combined Federal Campaign & Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Pearl is a member of Transforming Life Christian Center in Lansdowne PA and has several affiliations to include Women in Military Service and TSM. Pearl has also become an Author in 2020 with her upcoming book “I am your Strength”
Aronda is a Louisiana native; resided in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the past 20 years. She’s an executive coach, business owner, consultant, speaker and a veteran subject matter expert (SME). Her professional focus is in: leading from the center, program design and implementation, organizational innovation and personal effectiveness. She emphasizes “leading from the center” a rite of passage to becoming an authentic leader. She is known to equip leaders by introducing the practice of Appreciative Inquiry and System Thinking into their leadership philosophy.
Aronda Smith-Benson is an honorably discharged Army veteran; she deployed during Desert Shield-Storm as a medic with 3rd Armored Division 45th Support Battalion. Aronda’s Unit received the Valorous Unit Award. On April 14, 2021, Aronda launched Legacy Business Center in Southland Mall, Houma, Louisiana. Aronda is the first female and the youngest appointed (2013-2018) member of the City Council Veterans Advisory Commission of Philadelphia since its inception in 1957. She is a recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal – Veteran of Influence Award, Women Veteran Rock – Leaders and Legends Award, Point Breeze Association - Veteran Advocacy Award, Spectrum Health Services – Community Gem Award, and the Women Veterans Leadership Award. She has also had the distinguished honor to moderate a panel at the Women Veterans Employment Symposium in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Redbook Magazine and former First Lady Michelle Obama. She founded the non-profit Women Veteran Command Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Women Veterans Command Center provided strength-based initiatives to empower, educate, and enrich the lives of women veterans throughout their lifespan by utilizing the appreciative inquiry coaching model. In addition, Aronda has extensive experience working with ex-offenders. She worked at Liberty Management Services, a Community Corrections program as the Assistant Director of their 124-bed facility designated for parolees and pre-release. During her tenure, Mrs. Smith-Benson was promoted to Director of the Liberty Management Center, Women Work Release program contracted by the Philadelphia Prison System. Aronda earned a masters degree from the prestigious Ivy League, University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Dynamics.; receiving (3) masters certifications from UPenn in Organizational Coaching, Organizational Development and Change Studies and Organizational Leadership. Professional Certified Coach (PCC) - International Coaching Federation Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) - Veterans at Work Certificate
Licensed LIFO Practitioner
Member, Rotary Club
Dennis is an accomplished operating executive with a demonstrated ability to deliver mission-critical results. He has successfully managed operational support services and project activities in high-risk environments for the builders and operators of power, renewable energy, clean energy, communications, heavy civil, and oil & gas infrastructure projects. A Columbia University textbook: Operations Management by Professor Martin K. Starr profiled Mr. Garrett.
He has successfully managed more than 150 million dollars of energy infrastructure projects. The projects were for clients including ConEdison, The New York Power Authority, Delmarva Power, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Philadelphia Gas Works, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, EQT, Dresser-Rand Co-Generation, Eco-Battery, Gilston Electric, and NERemsco Transformers.
Mr. Garrett’s firms, have worked on numerous major infrastructure projects, including the reconstruction One World Trade Center and of the PATH Transit HUB at the Lower Manhattan site destroyed on 9/11. Additional significant projects including the 86th Street /2nd Ave Subway in New York, The New York Laguardia Airport New Terminal B construction, and the Blue Plains Water Project in Washington, DC.
In the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dennis served as a commissioned officer and platoon leader of a combat engineer company. Later, he held management positions in such companies as Computer Science Corporation, Amtrak, Cintas Corporation, and Federal Express.
He is currently a member of The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Board of Directors and the EMSDC Energy Industry Group, The Houston Minority Supplier Development Council MBEI Committee, The American Association of Blacks in Energy, Clean Energy for America, the Clean Energy Business Network, the International Solar Society, The Microgrid Group, and the Equity in a Clean Energy Economy Collaborative. Mr. Garrett is also a member of the inaugural class of the Exelon Foundation Program for Minority Entrepreneurs in the Clean Energy Industry.
Otis Nash – Advisor
Otis holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. His background is in independent program development for Juvenile Criminal Justice Rehabilitation, counseling for justice involved youth for juveniles that were incarcerated. Provided treatment – addressing psychosocial issues, that caused conflict/dysfunction in youth’s maturation. Otis worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs by addressing issues of Combat Veterans. In various areas such as PTSD, Family Counseling, D&A Counseling, Homelessness, Placement – Long Term Treatment for Chronic Illnesses, Placement in Veterans Healthcare (VA Hospitals) for Long Term Care of Seriously Mental Ill Veterans & Outreach to Incarcerated Veterans in State, Federal & County Jails/Prisons. Outreached PA Dept. of Corrections. He Initiated the first PTSD groups in 1982-89 due to class action suit addressing issues of PTSD the was facilitated by Richard “TuT” Carter. Readjustment Counseling Therapist-VISN 4 Healthcare for Reentry Veterans Coordinator created and implemented treatment for Veterans with PTSD, Chronic Homelessness, Chemically Dependent and Reentry for Incarcerated Veterans in County, State and Federal Prisons/Jails. He has a 30-year history of outreach/incarcerated Veterans in State Prisons and County Jails. We were able to establish a system to identify Veterans and establish eligibility for treatment in Department of Veterans Healthcare systems. Provided education to Federal/State Parole, PA Dept. of Corrections, DE Dept. of Corrections, WV Dept. of Corrections & NJ Dept. of Corrections Staff and Community Corrections Staff on annual basis. PA Supreme Court & the Dept. of Veterans Affairs & DE Supreme Court – instrumental in developing a protocol for Veterans Courts in collaboration with PA Supreme Court, assisted with creating the National Program for Healthcare for Reentry Veterans Program. The National Program has identified programs in Delaware & Pennsylvania as Best Practices for Reentry. Presented on a national level Best Practices for Reentry with National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Programs, and Readjustment Counseling Centers National Program & Behavior Health & Science National Program.
R. Yerodin Avent - Advisor
Yerodin holds a MS in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University DMD Honor Society, M.S. Urban Policy from New School for Social Research Woodrow Wilson Fellowship,
B.A. Liberal Arts from City University of New York City College, Fellowship. He is the owner of Dofat-Avent Group Consultants - Human Development & Nonprofit Management in Baltimore, MD. He served as Principal Administrator and founding partner in nonprofit and human development consultant group. Specializing in strategic planning, program development, leadership training and coaching. Current clients include nonprofit organizations, private and nonprofit community development corporations and individuals. Yerodin was Director of Operations and provided program maintenance and development through staff supervision, budget management, creating innovative program components and conducting bi-annual strategic plan. Also served as program director for Fathers Care, TAPP’s federally funded fatherhood initiative in South Bronx NY.