Jolynn Johnson Smith (she/her) | Granddaughter of Dr. Johnson
Jolynn Johnson Smith grew up in Washington, DC, in a family of physicians, educators and competitive tennis players. Her first two years of college were spent in Nashville, TN, at Fisk University, where she was the only woman on the men’s tennis team. Jolynn graduated from Howard University with a masters degree in Mass Communication and a bachelor’s degree in Radio & Television. In her early career, Jolynn worked in the communications industry for National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Washington, DC, and radio stations in Los Angeles, CA. Other corporate roles included Philip Morris, USA and GE/Genworth Financial in Richmond, VA. Later Jolynn carved out a career in healthcare recruiting. A senior talent acquisition role with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, prepared her for her current position with Duke Health Care System as a talent acquisition consultant. Jolynn proudly oversees the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation, which her brother Lange started in 2015.
In addition to his work with the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation, Steve is a member of the board of PORCH Communities, a grassroots hunger relief nonprofit that fights hunger and food insecurity by mobilizing and engaging neighborhoods and communities on a consistent basis. Steve is also a pro bono advisor with Executive Service Corps of the Triangle, providing education, consulting and capacity building services to local nonprofits. Steve joined the ESC board in 2022. Prior to retiring, Steve served in a variety of marketing leadership positions with McKesson Corporation and Change Healthcare. Steve earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and an MBA in marketing from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Dylan K. Williams, is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Robert Walter “Whirlwind” Johnson. Dylan serves as a Board Secretary for the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation supporting its initiatives. In addition to her foundation participation, Dylan is an active alumna of Stone Ridge, Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, she is also a member of the Junior League, and has enjoyed volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of America and her local area food bank. Dylan has always had a passion for supporting underserved communities and she is proud to support the foundation alongside her family. Based in Washington, D.C., Dylan is a management consultant with Protiviti, a global consulting firm, where she specializes in helping clients solve complex compliance questions and mitigate risk. Dylan began her professional career as an analyst at Credit Suisse in Raleigh, NC. She earned a B.S. in Finance from Elon University.
Bobette Banks has been fortunate to spend her entire professional career in the communications field, working in television production, marketing and corporate communications, and most recently in communications consulting, providing strategic direction and communications support for government agencies, private industry, and nonprofits. Her career includes several years at Fannie Mae in various communication roles, and she formerly worked as the Director of Communications for the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors®. She was also the first on-air host of the Virginia Lottery’s nightly drawing show. Bobette received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and her M.A. in Public Communication from American University.
Rita G. Giles, is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia. Rita was educated in the Public Schools of Lynchburg, before attending the following colleges and universities of Virginia: Hampton (Institute) University, The College of William and Mary, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Rita has over 35 years’ experience as a public school educator, college instructor, counselor, and consultant. As an educator, she has worked with special needs and at-risk youth and providing academic instruction as an adjunct professor for numerous universities in the Washington Metropolitan area. In addition, Dr. Giles has served on numerous Boards and committees involving public and educational service; made a plethora of presentations at regional and national conferences, and is a recognized resource in the education field. Currently, she works as a consultant for a non-profit organization and teaches counseling and special needs classes on the graduate level. In her leisure, Dr. Giles is a passionate devoted tennis player where her skills are recognized as a nationally ranked senior women’s player.
Lange Johnson was the grandson of Dr. Robert Walter “Whirlwind” Johnson. A former nationally ranked junior tennis player, he played tennis professionally in 1983. Lange founded the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation in 2015 to recognize his grandfather’s contributions to integrating the sport of tennis. In recent years, Johnson was a VP Universal Music, VP Operations at Direct Holdings Global, parent company to Time Life and other organizations. Lange, unfortunately, passed away in March, 2022.
Ken had a rich history in business planning and financial activities. He began his career at Mitre and Time Life. In 2017, he started his own business, establishing Sage Business Group Limited (drawing on Parker’s middle name). His dedication to change made Ken a perfect fit as the first Treasurer of Board of Directors for the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation. Mr. Friedli passed away in June, 2022.