Eckerd Connects Adds 3 Members to Board of Directors


Jonathan Houghton

Amelia Wright Brewer, Oliver Bell, Holly Kortright bring
wide-ranging expertise and backgrounds to Board

CLEARWATER, Fla., March 29, 2021 – Clearwater-based nonprofit Eckerd Connects announced today that it has added three new members to its Board of Directors — Oliver J. Bell of Cleveland, Texas; Amelia Wright Brewer of New York and San Francisco; and Holly Kortright of Chantilly, Va. The three new Board members will bring wide-ranging professional experiences and backgrounds to the Board, which is expanding from 10 to 13 members.

“Following an extensive national search and selection process, we’re honored to have these three talented business leaders join Eckerd’s Board of Directors,” said David Dennis, CEO of Eckerd Connects. “As accomplished individuals who also possess a genuine passion for our mission and values, we know they’ll be exceptional additions.”

Eckerd Connects operates Job Corps, workforce development, child welfare, and juvenile justice services across 20 states and the District of Columbia. “Broadening our Board gives us the opportunity for better representation of the geographies, experiences and aspects of identity of our staff and the people we serve,” said Ray Ferrara, chairman of the Board. “As our organization continues to grow, we intend to continue expanding the perspectives represented on our Board to help guide the direction of Eckerd Connects into the future.”

Bell is founder and chief executive officer of Oliver Bell Inc., a boutique labor relations consulting firm that provides a variety of employee relations and organizational effectiveness services to publicly and privately held for-profit and nonprofit companies. He also currently serves as a commissioner on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and previously served as a member of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is airborne ranger qualified and has served as a troop commander in the U.S. Army. His public sector board service includes serving as chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, where he was responsible for the oversight of the $3.3 billion, 40,000-employee Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“The sooner you can intervene in the lives of young people, the more positive and lasting impact you can have. We have the opportunity to help youth in our service areas realize there are opportunities in front of them and we are here to help them take advantage of those whenever possible,” Bell said. “I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to continue this important work.”

Brewer is an executive director at JPMorgan Chase, where she leads the Field Strategy Performance Management team within the Wholesale Payments group. She has more than 20 years of experience as a management executive, previously holding leadership roles at American Express, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Texas Instruments. She is a graduate of Howard University and received her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

“I’m thrilled to join the Eckerd Connects Board of Directors. Eckerd is at the forefront of putting families and especially our children first, from its founding in 1968 to its current strategic mission of providing solutions that promote the well-being of families in need,” Brewer said. “The strong leadership inherent across Eckerd Connects, combined with their faith-based approach, is refreshing and such a great asset to the communities it services nationwide. I am honored to be a part of such an outstanding organization.”

Kortright is executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Navy Federal Credit Union and has more than 25 years of experience in consulting, financial services and technology. She earned her MBA in human resource management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and later received an executive coaching certificate from Georgetown University’s Professional Development Program. She has been named to several honorary lists, including the Trending 40 from The New Power Women of DC Tech in 2016.

“It is an honor to join the Board of Eckerd Connects and contribute to an incredible organization focused on supporting children and young adults and giving them every opportunity to flourish and succeed,” Kortright said. “I am excited to leverage my experience with workforce development for underprivileged youth and young adults in service of Eckerd Connects’ mission.”

The three new Board members will take part in their first Board meeting in June, and their initial terms will last for three years.

About Eckerd Connects

Eckerd Connects is one of the nation’s largest nonprofits providing workforce development, Job Corps, juvenile justice and child welfare services across the country. Founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd of the Eckerd drugstore chain, Eckerd Connects has grown to serve over 40,000 clients each year through more than 150 programs, with over 2,200 employees across 20 states and the District of Columbia.



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