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2018 Founders Day Breakfast


Angela T. Rye, ESQ.
Empowermenteur, Advocate, Political Strategist

Angela Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation's capital. She is a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst. She has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post, Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process. Rye is a prominent strategist who has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC and TV One. The depth of her dialogue ranges from political campaigns to more complex legislation and administration policies that have long-term implications nationally and internationally. She currently serves on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBCPAC), the Seattle University School of Law Alumni, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, Inclusv, and Wilberforce University. She is a member of The Links, Incorporated, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Washington Government Relations Group.

Rye served as the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress. In her role as Executive Director, Rye was tasked with developing the overall legislative and political strategy for the Caucus. Prior to working for the CBC, she served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson. Upon moving to the Nation’s Capital, Rye co-founded IMPACT, a nonprofit organization that seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement, and political involvement. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Rye learned the importance of advocacy through her family’s political and community activism. She is a proud graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law.

For more information about Ms. Rye, please visit Impact Strategies 

Founders day convocation


Dr. Melvin O. MarrinerDr. Melvin O. Marriner
Senior Pastor, Grove Church
Portsmouth, VA

With a true heart for God and God’s people, Dr. Melvin O. Marriner is one of today’s most provocative and transparent ministers. As the longest serving senior pastor of Grove Church, Dr. Marriner’s overarching mission for the Church and its members is to GLORIFY God, edify the people who are Christ-centered, and to evangelize the lost. Dr. Marriner believes that God is looking for individuals to have His Spirit, His motive, His intent, and His heart.

Dr. Marriner also believes that education unlocks the door to success, and he leads by example. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Norfolk State University, Dr. Marriner continued his education—earning a Master of Divinity degree from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.

In addition to serving as senior pastor of Grove Church, Dr. Marriner is dedicated to serving the community. He currently serves as president of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Steering Committee, and is a member of Portsmouth Notable, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Rotary International, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He serves on the boards of Portsmouth Partnership and Portsmouth Community Foundation and is chief executive officer of Visions of Truth Community Development Corporation. He is also the chaplain for the Portsmouth Fire Department.

Dr. Marriner previously served on the Sickle Cell Anemia Board, was a mentor with Chesapeake Public Schools, served as the first vice president of the Norfolk Union Association/Baptist General Convention and as a board member of the American Red Cross Association. He has lectured many times at Eastern Virginia Medical School on the importance of blending Theology and Science.

A native resident of Chesapeake, Virginia, Dr. Marriner is married to Captain Shelley Kay-Marriner, USN, and is the proud father of four sons – Courtland, Isaiah, Joshua, and Brandon.