Foundation President – Walter Gulley, Jr.
Walter Gulley, Jr., was the Social Studies Department Chair at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida. An Educator of 33+ years, he was formally educated at Florida A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Studies. He furthered his studies attending Troy State University. Mr. Gulley serves as a mentor of young academic achievers having coached the Booker T. Washington Griots Brain Bowl Team for the past 18 years. To his credit, the team won 5 State Brain Bowl Championships, 3 of which were consecutive wins. Walter Gulley, Jr. is currently the Most Worshipful Grand Master (President) of the Prince Hall Masonic Grand Lodge of Florida. He is only the 18th Grand Master since the organization’s founding in 1870. Mr. Gulley is a hero because under his leadership, he has restored the basic foundation of what community service means to a community, a city, a state, and the nation. A product of great men gone before him, Gulley decided to give back to his community through services such as mentoring, scholarships, and education of minorities in the state Florida, The South, and the nation. Mr. Gulley, being a black male in Florida, understands what it means to have a role model, a point of reference, other than black on black crimes, violence, and ridicule by the media and the public at large. Having been a victim of being harassed just for being black, he set out to make a difference in the lives of those he touched. Taking his education, teaching expertise, and his knowledge of history, as leader of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida, he put his leadership skills into action. During his tenure, he has taken community service to the next level. He has restored the good name of all of the founding fathers before him. He developed a team to study the impact of Masonry on the plight of African Americans moving from slavery to free citizens, overcoming the “Jim Crow” period, the Civil Rights Movement, and now the right of every person to receive education, training, and become productive members of society.
Mr. Gulley is the leader of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge Foundation (MWUGLF) founded by the Past Grand Master Michael Moore and Melvin Wright. They founded the non-profit organization which is now headed by Walter Gulley, Jr. The mission of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge Foundation (MWUGLF) is to support the community at large by fostering partnerships with other community agencies to produce young men and women who are contributors to society rather than being victims of circumstances beyond their control. Gulley challenged his members throughout the jurisdiction of Florida to become mentors to children ages 5 to 17 and upon reaching their 18th birthday offering them scholarships to the colleges of their choice. Most Worshipful Grand Lodge offers this mentorship to girls and boys and do not discriminate, but, offer services to any family who wishes to have their children participate in the Starlights Youth Council (SYC) and the Knights of Pythagoras (KOP). $4,100 was awarded to the Knights of Pythagoras Youth Council for boys and Starlight Youth Council for girls. He has set a new long-term goal to increase that number to 50 students per academic year. Over 10 years, we have established over 30 Knights of Pythagoras Youth Council for boys throughout the State of Florida, which provide a comprehensive youth development environment that will enable our young men to develop and mature as citizens and tomorrow’s leaders. Additionally, under his leadership, we have established over 20 Starlight Youth Council for girls, which provide real-life skills training and experience through counseling with the emphasis on building healthy self-esteem along with various educational outreach programs. We would like to expand this effort to at least 100 Knights of Pythagoras Youth Councils for boys and Starlight Council for girls.
MWUGL awarded over $23,000 to various community charitable projects and activities. Our total charitable donations to date amount to over $112,000, including at least 10 students with a $1500 academic endowment and a $500 book stipend each school year. Additionally, we have made many charitable donations to several organizations. These donations include over $60,000 awarded in scholarships, education resources and to the United Negro College Fund. Over $29,000 awarded toward medical assistance, which includes a $10,000 award to the American Breast Cancer Society and a $10,000 award to the Sickle Cell Foundation. Our goal is to increase our community outreach to an additional $100,000. MWUGL provides financial assistance to those who are in need of making charitable donations to various community organizations.
Mr. Gulley seeks to expand our community outreach by increasing our charitable contributions toward the programmatic funding of our various community programs with an emphasis on Youth programs and activities.
Mr. Gulley founded the Walter Gulley University of Instruction offering leadership courses, historical perspectives with prominent African American Leaders who worked with whites to bring about the fair treatment of all people.
All contributions to the MWUGL Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 tax deductible organization, are fully deductible.
Chief Executive Officer – Gerald McKenzie
Gerald McKenzie is a trial lawyer and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1990. During his career, he has served on the Boards of various nonprofit organizations and Banks. Mr. McKenzie earned his BA Degree in Economics from Swarthmore College, his MBA Degree in Finance from The Wharton Graduate School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and his Juris Doctorate Degree from Widener University School of Law.
Gerald McKenzie, Attorney | 410 Broad Street | Jacksonville Florida, 32202
Foundation Vice President – Melvin F. Wright
Melvin F. Wright received his formal education from attending American Business College in Jacksonville, Florida from 1967 – 1969. He additionally attended Jones Business College while employed as a United States Postal Worker. Mr. Wright retired from the Postal Service in 2010 after 37 years of faithful service. He has a total of 41 years of service to our Federal Government including his honorable service of 4 years in the United States Marine Corp. Mr. Wright is an ordained Deacon and is certified by the National Baptist Publishing Board as a teacher in the District, State, and National Baptist Congress of Christian Education.
Foundation Secretary – Lillian L. Carter
Lilian Carter is a retired Miami-Dade County School Board educator, with 33 years of experience. She served 20 years as the Communications Department Chairperson at Miami Norland Senior High School and taught English for 10 years in the North Miami Beach Adult Education Program. Mrs. Carter received her former education at Florida A&M University receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English; furthering her educational resume by obtaining a Master of Science Degree in Information Science from Nova Southeastern University. She is Certified in Library Science receiving her certification from the University of Miami and has completed extended studies at Barry University, Florida International University, and Florida Memorial University.
Foundation Treasurer – John M. Grayson
John Grayson earned a degree in accounting from Bethune-Cookman University and an MBA from NOVA Southeastern University. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and owner of Grayson Accounting & Consulting, P.A. Mr. Grayson is the former Inspector General for both the Florida Public Service Commission and Florida Department of Education. In 2003, John transition to the full-time practice of public accounting and provides accounting and tax services to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Mr. Grayson has served on several nonprofit Boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors of First Commerce Credit Union and the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce.
John Grayson, CPA, MBA | Grayson Accounting & Consulting, P.A. | 118-B Salem Court | Tallahassee, FL 32301