Meet Our Founder & Leadership
Dr. Michael V. Wilkins, Sr., Founder and CEO of SPAA
Dr. Wilkins has written more than 20 best-selling books including “No Secrets to Success,” “Mississippi Mindset”, “The American Mindset” and more. His topics range from personal relationships to professional and social responsibility and more.
SPAA has over 28 chapters around the United States and chapters in Africa, China and London.
He also founded SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center in Chicago, and The Spaa Mississippi Redemption Theatre (SMRT) in Mississippi.
Dr. Wilkins lives the life he speaks about and is committed to his motto "Those Who Say What Can't Be Done, Should Never Interrupt Those Who Are Doing It!"
Tammy Montgomey-Doz'ier, National Vice President
Tammy is all about motivating others and providing training that helps people thrive in their professional and personal lives. She holds a Competent Communicator designation with Toastmasters International and is a certified Master Writer, Master Speaker, Life Coach and Mental Health Fist Aid Responder. She has also won awards as an author, keynote speaker, director, singer, and actress. A former Rape Crisis Advocate for the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), she also holds a Master’s Degree in Health Administration.
Tammy currently owns Connected by Love Consulting, a company that provides resources to families of diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Through her company, she assists these families by helping them maintain their loved ones’ mental wellness.
The winner of a writing contest held in 2020, Tammy continues to write books that tackle real-life issues such as obesity, self-esteem and mental health. She also hosts a podcast, "What Happens in This House Stays in This House," which deals with everyday life and mental health issues.
She has authored several books such as: “Addicted to Pain” and “From F.A.D.S. (False Allegiance to Destructive Stuff) to Freedom.” She has also worked on SPAA collaboration books “The Power Within” and “The Seeds of Truth.”
Tammy has co-authored two of our sexual risk avoidance education (SRAE) programs: “Choices & Consequences” and “Connected by Love: Choices, Chances, and Changes.” Both are currently being used as material for Federal SRAE curricula.
Jay Collins, Spaa Theater Executive Director
Jay is an actor, singer, songwriter and arranger. He discovered his love for music and performing at an early age. Throughout grade school, he frequently won talent shows and was featured in school productions where he would act and sing. In high school, he joined the Soul Children of Chicago Gospel Choir for two years.
His professional acting career began with the stage production of “The Devil & The Choir” at the Arie Crown Theater in Fall 1995. He had also written two of the songs that were featured in this production. During the course of the career, he has taken numerous acting classes, workshops and seminars to perfect his vocal, piano and acting skills. Jay has performed in more than 20 different productions with SPAA out of Park Forest, Illinois. He is also part of the SPAA Actors’ Troupe leadership team.
He played several roles, including principal singer, in the hit stage play “Standing in the Shadows” where he worked with icons like Jennifer Holiday, Tommy Ford, Dave Hollister, Christopher Williams and director David Gray. Other productions he has worked on include “Ebony Scrooge” at the Harold Washington Theater, “Herod the Great” at Carver Military Academy, “Preaching & Creeping” at the DuSable Museum, and three separate featured appearances at the Chicago’s Black Ensemble Black Playwrights Initiative series.
In Spring 2014, Jay had the honor of working with playwright and producer Eugene Dillanado, for the hit stage play “Fuzzy-Wuzzy Man” presented at the Harold Washington Theater, and directed by Curtis Hugghis. In April 2019, he decided to enter the annual SPAA writing contest and submitted two chapters. His entries were chosen to be part of our collaboration book, “The Seeds of Truth.”
Our founder and CEO, Dr. Michael V. Wilkins, awarded Jay the SGM Hartman Wilkins Scholarship, which covered the cost of publishing and releasing his first book.
Brenda Tucker Jeffries, SPAA Leader
Brenda authored “Mother of the Bride Stuff Happens” and is a collaborating author of “The Power Within.” She is a wedding strategist, public coach, public speaker, entrepreneur and an over 50s model with the Polk Entertainment Enterprise Inc.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chicago State University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University. After more than 38 years of public service in the federal government, she retired from her Public Health Analyst post in 2010. She is currently the Vice President of the Chicago Midwest Chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG) and previously served as the Vice President of the Combined Chapter of the Speakers Publishers and Authors Association (SPAA). In 1986, she went on to become a real estate investor.
She received the Author of the Year Award and Speaker of the Year Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively from SPAA, the VIP Award from the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), currently known as the International Association of Women (IAW), in 2017 and the 2nd Place Nonfiction Book Award in 2018 from Authors Promoting Success (APS) International. In 2019, she published an article in Global Achievers Magazine titled “I Never Knew That 65 Could Feel So Good” and another one in 2021 in Women of Excellence Magazine titled “This Is It.”
Ron Essex, SPAA National Chapter Development
Ron is a proud graduate of DuSable High School in Chicago, with little more than 2 ½ years of college. He dedicated more than 15 years as an Assistant Head Deacon for his local church where he learned the importance of serving those who are less fortunate.
This passion ultimately led him to become the head of the Benevolence Committee at his church. It was there that he spent more than 3 years working first-hand with those who were met with life’s challenges such as unemployment, poor health, and homelessness. Through the help of God, he was able to deeply connect with people and gain their trust that he would do everything possible to help them. He organized fundraising efforts enough to keep the committee in a strong financial position to be able to serve and assist the community.
Aubrey "Coach V" Volious, National Chapter Development
Coach V is currently the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Governors State University and a Physical Education Teacher at Bennett Elementary for Chicago Public Schools. He has coached College Men’s Basketball at NCAA Division 1, NAIA Division 1 and 2, and College Division 1 and 2. He was a head coach for Malcolm X College from 1993 to 1997 and for the American Basketball Association Pro Team in 2013.
During his career, he has coached and recruited 5 National Players of the Year, 7 Conference Players of the Year, 31 All-Americans players with 94% having college degrees, 2 former players that went on to compete in the NBA, 3 former players that went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, and 32 former players that have joined various professional leagues around the world.
Coach V is a native of Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Jamestown Community College in 1978 with a Liberal Arts Degree and from Iowa State University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. He received his Master of Science in Physical Education from Chicago State University in 1990.
He has been inducted into the Chicago Public League’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Robert Morris University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Lucille Freeman, SPAA Leadership Team
Lucille is an entrepreneur, award-winning writer, author, certified coach and trainer. She taught writing in the Chicago Public Schools and at McCormick Place Corporate Offices in Chicago.
She has written for various magazines and newspapers including the Beverly Review, Southtown Economist, Chicago After Dark, Black Elegance, and the Chicago Defender. She authored “Today My Sister Is Getting Married”, “Silly Caterpillar,” “Hats,” and “Momma Raccoon”. She has also co-authored “Stretch Your Wings: Famous Black Quotations for Teens” and “Jobless: Loving What You Do.”
She has participated in writing conferences nationwide and is a professional member of SPAA and STAT (SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts). She has co-written several professionally produced plays: “The Sam Cooke Story: A Change Is Gonna Come,” “The Teddy Pendergrass Story: Life Is A Song Worth Singing,” and “The Jackie Wilson Story: Lonely Teardrops.”
Lucille contributed to SPAA’s collaboration projects: “The Seeds of Truth,” “Mashairi: No Matter Your Circumstances Today, Tomorrow Eagles Will Soar,” “The Power Within” and “Overcome.” She was also selected to attend Stanford University’s Professional Publishing Course and was chosen for residencies at Ragdale, an artists’ community in Lake Forest, Illinois, that was founded to nurture creative professionals.
Veronica Yancy, SPAA Leadership Team
Veronica is the author of “Menopause girl bye!” and has co-authored in four collaboration books. She is a professional member of SPAA and STAT and has performed in many productions at the SPAA Theater.
Veronica is our official photographer and the owner of Creative Creations by Veronicam an event planning company. She recently retired after more than 30 years of working with the federal prison halfway house. She believes that if your are going to enjoy your life to the fullest, you must first learn to become the confident individual that God made you to be.
Commernitta Bradby, Milwaukee Chapter President
Pastor Commernitta is the author of two books, “Raised By A Child” and “Meek Not Weak.” She has participated in three SPAA collaborations and won the Speaker of the Year award in 2020. She is married to Deacon Byron Bradby with five adult children and nine grandchildren.
She wears many hats besides being the pastor of Living Witness Church of Praise and the founder of the Nonprofit Living Witness B.U.S. Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The organization provides clothing and furniture to those in the local community. She also is the owner and real estate broker at First Success Realty LLC.
Commernitta is currently working on several projects, including a new book “Family,” which she plans on releasing in Summer 2021. She enjoys listening to music, spending time with family and friends, singing, writing poetry, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Woodrow Grover Jr., SPAA Theater Leadership
Woodrow was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He loves acting, and being a member of SPAA Theatre and Performing Arts Center under the tutelage of Dr. Mike, his brother, he has enhanced his acting, lighting, and sound engineering skills.