Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Board Chairman – Deborah Hammond-Watts, Ph.D.

Deborah Hammond-WattsDeborah is an educator who has served as an elementary school teacher, administrator and  principal. She has also served as Chairman of a not-for-profit organization on the southeast side of Chicago. Deborah has taught at the college level where she served as Internship Advisor, dissertation committee member and dissertation chair. She earned a B.S. and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an M.A. from Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois.


Loretta Abrams

Loretta Abrams HeadshotLoretta Abrams is a retired corporate banking executive who joined the REACH Ministries Board of Directors in January 2016.

In her prior role, Abrams was Senior Vice President of Corporate Sustainability in the United States for HSBC Bank USA, N.A. a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HBC), one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.

In her position, Abrams was responsible for US Corporate Sustainability activities which included supporting the development of commercially viable business opportunities which have a positive social and environmental impact and the company’s broad range of corporate giving, philanthropy, volunteering, financial education and community outreach programs. She monitored consumer protection issues and manageed relationships with national consumer advocacy groups.  Abrams was also responsible for the management of Community Reinvestment Act responsibilities, including community service and community development lending and investments for HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

Loretta has served on a number of boards, both nationally and locally.  Additionally, she has been a guest on local television and news programs where she is often asked to discuss issues related to consumer education, financial literacy and consumer economic opportunities.  She has been quoted in various national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times,  Essence Magazine, Heart and Soul Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, New York Daily News, Money® magazine and

Loleta Connor

Loleta ConnorLoleta, with over twenty years’ experience, is the Managing Real Estate Broker and Owner of 1 Stop 4 Homes, a Residential/Reo Real Estate Company. She is also the former President and one of the founders of Biostrand, Inc., a hair care manufacturing company. Lotela Connor has been an active Entrepreneur over 30 years.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Benedictine University in Social Work and Business and an Illinois Residential Real Estate Brokerage License. She has awards in the Multi-Million Dollar Club in residential sales and received the Chicago Female Manufacturer of the Year Award.

Her passion includes feeding others in need.  Each year she and her husband host a fundraiser at their home entitled “A Cookout for a Cause” where 100 percent of the funds raised are donated to local food pantries to help families during the holiday season. She is an active member of the Sarah Allen Missionary Society where she spends time reading to seniors in nursing homes and serving families during bereavement.

Linwood Johnson

Linwood D. Johnson HeadshotLinwood is an experienced Telecommunications and IT professional with extensive expertise in product development, product testing, service delivery, project coordination, project management, and technical support. Linwood is a hands-on, capable leader who excels in analyzing and resolving project/program challenges.  Linwood seeks every opportunity to help and to serve others.

Linwood holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Norfolk State University and is PMP trained.




Emeritus Members

Coleman Hughley

Coleman Hughley

Coleman is currently an entrepreneur and owner of CDENT, LLC, a dealer and operator of gasoline and convenience stores. Prior to this, his corporate professional experience included extensive domestic and international finance and planning responsibilities with Citigroup, Allied Signal, and PepsiCo. Coleman earned a B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He also sits on the Board of Washington and Jefferson College and is a former member of the Lupus Association of America (Illinois Chapter) and the Quad County Urban League.


David Ware

David is a retired executive from IBM. He is currently a business owner who also worked diligently to locate employment opportunities for those in need and expand community relations of the church beyond the building walls. David’s community service interests keep him very active as he serves on several Boards throughout DuPage County.

David holds degrees from Michigan State University.