Cassandra Williams, President
Cassandra Williams is owner of Love by the Slice, Baking and Catering company which was founded in 2001. Cassandra possesses 22 years of experience in Telecommunications, 20 years experience in Leadership, 8 years experience in Business Development, 9 years experience in accounting and bookkeeping. More importantly, she is known as an effective change agent who gets the job done.
Cassandra’s passion is helping to improve the quality of life for people within the community and after serving 22 years in the field of Telecommunications and 8 years in the Non-Profit sector, she is self-employed on a full-time basis. She is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University (Washington), where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
With COSIA, Cassandra hopes to inspire women who desire to become the best woman possible. She also hopes always to be in a position to provide financial support to COSIA. She is a firm believer in the strong networking opportunities and the charitable causes made accessible through the efforts of this organization.
Izetta V. Dillingham, Secretary/Executive Committee Member
Izetta Dillingham currently serves as the Secretary for COSIA Board of Directors. She first became introduced to COSIA as an attendee of one of the Annual Tea’s. She has served on the board since November 2013.
She currently works as a Probation Officer for the Department of Corrections for the last 13 years. She believes in serving her community in whatever capacity necessary to “reach the lost.” She serves as a Minister within her local church, she is involved in several outreach programs: Convoy of Hope, PB & J Feeding Ministry, and Summer Splash, just to name a few.
She graduated from The Evergreen State College – Tacoma with a B.A. in 2002 and also possesses a M.A. in Psychology from Brandman University. She is currently working on another Master’s in Business Administration through University of Phoenix to further her education.
Chair, Events & Special Activities
Avril Roberts, Co-Chair Fundraising & Outreach Committee
Avril Roberts is an attorney with over 15 years of experience in immigration law. She holds a JD with a Certificate in International Law from Pace University School of Law and a BA in History/English from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Avril began her career at a firm in White Plains, NY where she specialized in permanent resident applications for professionals in the biomedical field. Subsequently she was a solo practitioner where she continued her work in immigration law. Since 2010, Avril has served as of counsel to a law firm in Bronx, NY and works on a project basis for general practice litigation law firms throughout the NY metro area.
Throughout her career, Avril has been committed to pro bono work. For five years she volunteered at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY. At Grace Baptist Church, she provided free individual consultations for members of the congregation and conducted seminars to update the public on developments in immigration law as well as explain common misconceptions. Presently, Avril volunteers as a Pro Bono Attorney with the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program. The Access to Justice program provides limited scope representation to unrepresented litigants in NY and Kings county in the area of divorce, consumer debt, and housing.
Avril’s history of volunteerism is an excellent fit for COSIA specifically her role as the Chair of the Fundraising and International Outreach Committee which is tasked with serving as a liaison between COSIA and the charity beneficiary. Avril is a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls and is committed to growing COSIA during her tenure and in laying the foundation for the organization’s future.
Tanya Miller, Co-Chair Fundraising & Int'l Outreach Committee
Jennifer Hernandez, Membership & Diversity Committee, Chair
Jennifer Hernandez will graduate in 2014 with a B.A. in Human Services at the City University of New York, where she plans to pursue an advanced degree in Social Work.
In 2012, she became a member of Cultivating Our Sisterhood International Association, Int., as a participant in the COSIA - Love of the Slice Women’s Leadership.
She comes to the organization with eight years of work and volunteer experience in the non-profit sector, where she worked on various projects in the areas of development, staffing, logistics and grants processing.
Her non-profit experience includes volunteer service with various, local soup kitchens such as the Food Bank of NYC, the FEMA Emergency Response Team formed during Hurricane Katrina, mentoring at-risk youth with The Big Sisters of NYC Mentorship Program, and finally involvement with keeping neighborhoods safe by assisting with the facilitation of various drug prevention workshops through various sports organizations in the South Bronx.
She strongly believes in the mission of COSI, living a positive and productive life and is dedicated to the growth and expansion of the membership of the organization
Chair, Professional Development Committee
Sonia L. Russell, Publications Chair
Sonia LeRoia Russell is an author, poet, orator, publisher, and actress. With a passion for writing, Ms. Russell excels in many avenues for the written word, from news briefs to poetry. As an intern in 2007, she wrote news briefs for the radio station 1520 WTHE AM. She also wrote the short story “The Elements” and coauthored the play “My Father’s Angels.” She has portrayed Sojourner Truth, the evangelist, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist, in a piece she wrote herself, and she is mentored by vocal artist, film and theater actor, Sandra Reaves-Phillips.
SoniSpeaksVolumes Publishing, LLC, published her first novel, The Cost of Love, under the pseudonym “LeRoia.” Her poem “I Thought I Knew” appeared in The Other Side of Midnight, a compilation of poems published by the National Library of Poetry.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy honored Ms. Russell in the Congressional Record on April 30th, 2009, for her poem commemorating the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Ms. Russell is currently the minister of the Music and Fine Arts Ministry and Spoken Word, for the Living Water Church in the Bronx, New York.
Ms. Russell has a BA in English from the College of New Rochelle (New Rochelle, New York), and is currently pursuing a master of science degree in communication arts, also at the College of New Rochelle. She resides in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York.