“Dreamers That Make Dreams Come True”

Two Theta Omicron Chapter
Brothers Honored as
“Dreamers That Make Dreams Come True”

Rochester, NY – On March 4, Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church proudly presented its 6th Annual Black Heritage Dinner. This year they honored two influential “Dreamers That Make Dreams Come True” by helping to unlock the potential in young people and enabling them to imagine their future, make plans and dream big.

The 2017 honorees are Bro. James H. Norman, President and CEO of Action for A Better Community, Inc., and Bro. Hezekiah Simmons, CFO & Vice President at Monroe Community College. Bro. Norman has been an Omega man for 31 years while Bro. Simmons has been a member for 54 years.

Bro. James Norman has been President and CEO of Action for a Better Community (ABC) since 1992. For the five years immediately preceding his relocation to Rochester, he served as the Michigan Department of Labor’s Deputy Director for Administration. Prior to that role, he directed the Labor Department’s Bureau of Community Services, which provided funding to, and oversight of Michigan’s statewide network of community action (i.e., anti-poverty) agencies. Under Bro. Norman’s leadership, ABC has expanded services and developed new initiatives to address the needs of low-income individuals and families in Monroe and Ontario Counties. Services include Head Start, outpatient substance counseling, AIDS/HIV outreach and education, workforce development, community development, youth violence prevention, youth and adult mentoring, and home weatherization. (ABC employs over 375 staff and has an annual budget of $25 million).

Over the years, Bro. Norman has been a consultant, speaker or workshop panelist at national and state conferences on topics such as Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA), advocacy, structural inequality, poverty trends, community action history, economic security, and not-for-profit governance. In 2013, he authored a chapter on “Structural Inequality “for the book, The State of Black Rochester 2013: Education + Equity = Employment, published by the Rochester Community Area Foundation.

Bro. Norman received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mercer University (Macon, Georgia.), and his Master’s in Social Work from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan), where he also completed extensive post-graduate coursework in Public Administration. In 2009, he earned a certificate in Leadership/Executive Coaching. He and Lois Williams-Norman have four adult sons.

Bro. Norman received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mercer University (Macon, Georgia.), and his Master’s in Social Work from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan), where he also completed extensive post-graduate coursework in Public Administration. In 2009, he earned a certificate in Leadership/Executive Coaching. He and Lois Williams-Norman have four adult sons.

Current affiliations include: ABC Foundation Board, Lifetime Health Care Companies Boards, Excellus BC/BS Regional Advisory Board, Lifetime Care Board, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency Board, Gateways Music Festival Board, Rochester-Monroe Workforce Development ?Board, Co-Chair, Facing Race, Embracing Equity Initiative, Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, Strong Museum (Honorary Trustee), Mercer University, College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board, Distinguished RIT Minett Professor Emeritus, MCC Adjunct Associate Professor, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Boule?).

 


 

Bro. Hezekiah ‘Heze’ Simmons is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice President Administrative Services at Monroe Community College. He has been employed at MCC for the past 14 years following his early retirement from Xerox where he served many years as VP of Finance and Administration. Joining MCC enabled Bro. Simmons to bring together his passion and avocation for education.

He has long been a supporter of education, serving 14 years on the Board of Directors of the Harley School, Rochester, and 12 years on the Board of Trustees of Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC, where he received his BS in Chemistry. He is also an MBA graduate from the Harvard Business School. Additionally, Bro. Simmons has served on the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Avenue Childhood Development Center since 1995 – an agency near and dear to his heart.

He currently is an active member of the local chapter of the Financial Executive International (FEI). This organization elected Heze as the 2011 Financial Executive of the Year for large organizations. Bro. Simmons serves on the Board of Directors for East House and the Advisory Board for Biodrill Technical Solutions, Rochester, NY.

On the State level, Bro. Simmons’ service to higher education was expanded as he led the NY Community Colleges Business Officers Association (CCBOA) and rose through the ranks from secretary to vice president to president within four (4) years. CCBOA includes member representatives from all 30 NY community colleges as well as representatives from the SUNY administration. Bro. Simmons and his wife, Ann Marie, have been married for 49 years and reside in Pittsford, NY. They are the proud parents of two children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Bro. Simmons is a member and former Clerk of Session for the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford and is the Moderator-Elect for the Genesee Valley Presbytery.