Executive Officers


 Board.PaxtonChairman of the Board | Paxton K. Baker, Washington Nationals

Paxton K. Baker is a minority owner of the Washington Nationals Baseball club and currently serves as chairman of the Washington Nationals Founding Partners Group. In 2015, Baker became a partner in the ownership group of the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis League. He is also a governing Board Member of the Global Sports Summit.

For 16 years, Mr. Baker served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of CENTRIC (formerly BETJ), BET’s complementary network targeting the African American and multicultural adult. Baker was also President of BET Event Productions, which produces music festivals, TV specials and concerts throughout the world. He has produced numerous television shows and home videos, and released over 40 DVD and CD titles.

In 2006 he was appointed Chairman of the Viacom Marketing Council, and for more than six years lead over 35 senior marketing and sales executives across all Viacom properties; focusing on training, best practices and strengthening brand partnerships. In 2008 he co-founded the Viacom Programming Council, comprised of senior programmers from MTV and BET Networks, as well as Paramount Pictures.

Prior to joining BET, Baker was President and Founder of PKB Arts & Entertainment, which was incorporated in 1988. Since 1989, Baker has produced and booked talent for the Aruba Jazz and Latin Music Festival; Amsterdam Drum Jazz Festival; Trinidad Pan Jazz Festival; as well as toured such acts as Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana and Wynton Marsalis throughout the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Europe. PKB Arts and Entertainment was purchased by BET in April 2000, retaining Baker as President of the newly formed company, BET Event Productions. The company’s client list of events includes J&R Music World (New York City), Anguilla, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Lucia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

As the General Manager of CENTRIC, Baker led programming initiatives that won numerous awards, including over 15 Telly Awards, a local Emmy Award, a NAMIC award for the show My Two Cents, and in 2008, a GLAAD special recognition award for “fair and inclusive” programming. Baker also served as the Executive Producer of the Soul Train Music Awards.

Affiliated with a number of professional, civic and cultural organizations, Mr. Baker is a member of the board of directors for the United States Senate Preservation Trust, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Washington Performing Arts, DC Public Education Fund and the Asia Jazz Festival Organization.

In 2006, Mr. Baker was appointed by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as a member of the Congressional Award Foundation National Board of Directors, the only official charity of the United States Congress. Shortly thereafter he was elected to serve as Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the Board in 2007.

Vice Chairs

Board.MitchellVice Chairwoman | Linda Mitchell, PhD, MSU Extension Service

Linda Mitchell, Ph.D. serves as Creative Programming and Technology Professor for Mississippi State University Extension Service and is a State Youth Development Specialist with Mississippi 4-H. She taught both elementary and high school classes in the Mississippi Public School system for 17 years. She also worked as Consumer Educator for Litton where she tested recipes and developed cookbooks. She is an author and writes a weekly column for several newspapers. She and her husband, Dean have two married sons and three amazing grandchildren.

Board.Slater1Vice Chairman | The Honorable Rodney E. Slater, Squire Patton Boggs, LLP

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater was appointed to the Congressional Award Foundation National Board by Senator Harry Reid in January 2009. Mr. Slater has a long history of public service, most notably as Secretary of Transportation under President Bill Clinton. Mr. Slater passed several historic legislative initiatives over his tenure, including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which guaranteed a record $200 billion in surface transportation investment though 2003, and the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which provides a record $46 billion to improve the safety and security of the nation’s aviation system. Under his leadership, the federal transportation budget doubled and in the department’s “best in government” strategic and performance plans, the scope and definition of transportation was expanded to include a focus on safety, mobility and access, economic development and trade, the environment and national security.

Previous to his tenure as transportation secretary, Mr. Slater served as director of the Federal Highway Administration, where—as the agency’s first African-American Administrator in its century-long history—he oversaw the development of an innovative financing program that resulted in hundreds of transportation projects being completed two to three years ahead of schedule with greater cost efficiencies. Over that time, the federal transportation budget increased an unprecedented 104 percent. Additionally, the department’s FY2001 budget of nearly $60 billion is the largest ever.

Mr. Slater is a Partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Washington, DC. Mr. Slater also serves on the the board of directors of Africare and The Dance Theater of Harlem and the United Way.


BOARD.leeKlumppTreasurer | Lee Klumpp, CPA, BDO USA

Lee recently completed a two-year fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Industry Fellowship Program where he acted as a project manager focusing on implementation and emerging practice issues in the nonprofit industry. His work included making recommendations to the FASB Board on technical issues and developed and drafting accounting standard updates, interpretations and Questions-and-Answer implementation guides. In addition, Lee researched accounting issues and analyzed comments from nonprofit organizations as well as academic and practicing members of the FASB constituency and leads board discussions on accounting issues affecting nonprofit organizations.
Prior to joining the FASB for his fellowship, Lee was one of BDO’s National Nonprofit & Education Industry Group Audit and Accounting Technical Leader. Lee has been with BDO for over nine years. Lee serves as a resource to BDO’s Institute for Nonprofit ExcellenceSM and provides the Institute with the current issues that the FASB is dealing with and timely updates on Accounting Standards Updates as they are released.

Prior to joining BDO, Lee worked in the audit practices of Ernst and Young, LLP and KPMG. His representative clients have included the State of Maryland, University of Maryland System, Howard University, Education Finance Council, the Government of the District of Columbia, INOVA Healthcare System, Children’s National Medical Center, American College of Cardiology, World Wildlife Fund, and United Way Worldwide.


BOARD.sherrymaddoxSecretary | Cheryl Maddox, Kentucky

Cheryl (Sherry) Maddox was appointed to the Congressional Award Foundation National Board by Senator Mitch McConnell in May 2012. Ms. Maddox is a Registered Nurse with a specialty in ER and trauma. Currently Ms. Maddox is employed by Humana Inc., where she has worked in various positions for over 35 years.

Ms. Maddox is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management. In addition to her professional career, she serves on the Board of Directors for Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry and the Kentuckiana Chapter SCI. Since 2012, she has served as a Vice President on the SCI Executive Committee. She has extensive experience in mentoring youth in the outdoors and participation in programs such as Archery in the Schools.

Born and raised in Louisville, KY Sherry grew up camping and spending weekends fishing and boating at KY lakes. Sherry is married, has one son and daughter-in-law and two beautiful grandsons.

Board Members

Cliff Akiyama | Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Simeon Banister | New York
Ed Blansitt, CPA | Office of the Inspector General, Montgomery County, MD
Romero Brown | Georgia
Anne Oswalt Bruce | Johnson & Johnson
Nick Cannon | California
Edward L. Cohen | Lerner Enterprises
Kathy Didawick | BlueCross BlueShield Association
The Honorable Debbie Dingell | U.S. Representative
Mitchell Draizin | Longview Capitol Advisors
MaryAnne Dunlap | Sanofi
David Falk | F.A.M.E.
Beverly Gilyard | AARP
George B. Gould | Washington, DC
Dr. Larry Green | Maryland
J. Steven Hart, Esq. | Williams & Jensen, P.C.
Erica Wheelan Heyse | National Director *
Jesse Hill | Edward Jones Investments
The Honorable Richard Hudson | U.S. Representative
David W. Hunt, Esq. | Legal Counsel *
The Honorable Johnny Isakson | U.S. Senator
The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee | U.S. Representative
Dr. Brian Johnson | Maryland
Boris Kodjoe | California
Karlos LaSane | Caesars Entertainment
Lynn Lyons | Florida
Mateo Magdaleno | IDQ Group
The Honorable Joe Manchin | U.S. Senator
Lance Mangum | FedEx
Kimberly Norman | Texas
Steven Roberts | The Roberts Companies
Beth Ann Ruoff | Washington, DC
David Schiappa | Duberstein Group
DeMaurice Smith | NFL Players Association
Will Stute | McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
Chiling Tong | International Leadership Foundation
Jason Van Pelt | Crossroads Strategies
Rita Vaswani | Nevada
Kathryn Weeden | U.S. Senate Page School
Shawn Whitman | FMC Corporation
Charmaine Yoest, PhD | Virginia

*Ex Officio