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Meet Our Leadership Team

Associated Black Charities is able to fulfill its mission and continue its battle against the effects of structural racism because of our dedicated leadership team and inspiring staff members.

Chrissy M. Thornton is the President and CEO of Associated Black Charities. A native New Yorker, she is a high energy, creative, and outgoing executive with a professional attitude and diverse experience. Chrissy possesses an effective combination of technical, managerial, and communication abilities along with excellent organizational and team building skills. She's been recognized for developing professional staff training programs to revitalize departments and implementing organizational change efforts into growing businesses. 


Experienced in organizational diagnosis and the design and facilitation of large-scale events and staff development activities, Chrissy has a twenty-year background in successful fundraising, donor and corporate relations, digital engagement, grant writing, and the seamless execution of exceptional meetings, events, training seminars, team building sessions, education conferences, fundraisers, peer-to-peer activities, and more! Chrissy is the author of 6 works, most known for the publication, Stop Scrambling, Start Bringing Home The Bacon: A Guide To Establishing An Effective Fundraising Plan for Your Non-Profit Organization.


She is a former real estate investor and franchise owner who believes in the power of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic education and development. Having served as an independent consultant to non-profit organizations of all sizes across the country, Chrissy has successfully supported many with diagnosis and rebuilding, Board and committee onboarding and development, fundraising plan creation and execution, marketing and branding support, and the implementation of innovative fundraising and engagement activities.


Chrissy is passionate about community involvement and serves on a number Boards and Advisory Councils throughout Maryland. Chrissy has a Master’s degree in Business with a concentration in Organizational Management, and is a sought after public speaker (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Health Equity and Access, Entrepreneurship and Business, Energized Leadership, Wealth Building, Women's Empowerment, NonProfit Messaging (Stakeholder Engagement), and Motivation). 

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Chrissy M. Thornton

President and CEO

Board of Directors


Tawana Bhagwat

Chair, Board of Directors

Founder and CEO

Organization At Its Best

Laurie Benner

Associate VP of Housing & Community Development

NFHA (National Fair Housing Alliance)

Allyson Black

Chief of Staff

Baltimore Gas and Electric

Michelle M. Brown, MBA

VP, Sr. Treasury Management Sales Officer

Fulton Bank

Natasha M. Dartigue, Esq.

Public Defender

Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Byron T. Deese

Chair, Development Committee
Relationship Development Manager                                    Glass Jacobson Financial Group

Kenneth Grant

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Chair, Finance Committee
Retired Healthcare Executive

Jean-Claude Fresnel

Founder and CEO
Lenserf and Co.

Cheo Hurley

President and CEO
THG Companies LLC

Bianca Jackson, MBA

Creative Experience Officer
BrickRose Exchange

Brandon Lockett

CEO/Chief Solutions Architect
Neutron Engineering LLC

Cylia Lowe-Smith, Esq

Supervisory Senior Assistant Regional Counsel
Federal Government

Thibault Manekin


Seawall Development​

Kishka-Kamari F. McClain

Senior Counsel

MedStar Health, Inc.

Jason Murphy

Chief Executive Officer

Murphy Enterprise, LLC

Christopher “Chris” R. Rockey

Market Manager, Greater Maryland
Community Development Banking

PNC Bank

Taber J. Small

Vice President


Zed Smith

Secretary, Board of Directors

Chief Operating Officer
The Cordish Companies

Granville Templeton III, Esq

Founding Partner

Templeton Law

Tony Torain II, Esq.

1st Vice Chair, Board of Directors

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