Preserve the Heritage...Embrace the Experience!
Preserve the Heritage...
Embrace the Experience!

About Us  /  Board Of Directors

Board of Directors (2020 – 2021)


Aidil Ortiz – Chair

Thomas DeFrantz – Vice Chair

Bill Erwin – Secretary

Cynthia Carter – Treasurer

Casimir Brown

Lauren Ettson

Joseph Churchwell

Allie Balling

2020 – 2021 Board Members

Allie Balling

Allie is President, Founder & Path Blazer of Allieway Marketing, Inc. with offices in Durham, NC and Buffalo, NY. She has over 30 years of experience in marketing, strategic planning and graphic design, with a special focus on proposals and branding. Her experience and knowledge have yielded an impressive portfolio of high quality work that has continued since moving to Durham three years ago.



Joseph Churchwell, III

Joseph “Church” Churchwell is a creative graphic designer and project manager with more than 10 years of experience in design, branding and marketing development. His company, JRC3, produces billboards, T-shirts, logos, flyers/posters, marketing and branding campaigns. Church is also a poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker and playwright.



Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas is an artist, educator and arts activist. He is a Duke University professor and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture and Technology. He is a published author and editor, and founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 300 researchers. He has created musical scores for the Dance Theatre of Harlem among his many outstanding achievements.



Lauren Ettson

Lauren serves as Business Development Specialist for the Research Triangle Park Credit Union in Morrisville, NC. Among other responsibilities, she works to identify business development and new member opportunities and otherwise contributes to the growth and maintenance of organization partnerships. Lauren has professional affiliations in the Triangle and in Orange and Durham Counties.

Bill Erwin

Bill is founder of Celebration Videos, a company in Durham committed to helping non-profit organizations attract donor support and to helping families save their stories for younger and future generations. He retired after a long career in health-related public relations at Duke Medical Center and for non-profits in Raleigh, Chicago and Washington, DC. A former reporter for the Durham Morning Herald, Bill covered events at Hayti dating back to the church in 1968.



Aidil Ortiz

Aidil has a wealth of professional experience. She has worked with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, co-founded the nationally recognized youth empowerment organization Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES!), was involved in the ACLU of North Carolina, and worked with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Office of Multicultural Affairs. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work with youth and in the community and is a passionate advocate and activist.

Not Pictured:  Casimir Brown; Cynthia Carter.


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