How TDI Was Formed
In the fall of 1993, a group of over ten young men from Talladega, AL and Dallas, TX met as freshman on the campus of Alabama State University (ASU). They started what is now a perpetual friendship with a common ambition to be successful and a desire to use their knowledge, time and monetary gifts to give back through an organization they founded called TallaDallas; now operating as TDI.
TDI: Turning Dreams Into Realities is a unique and mission driven organization dedicated to assisting people turn their dreams into reality by providing scholarships, mentoring, and professional development. Through our story and brand, we will help by developing or enhancing leadership qualities, equipping people with tools for professional growth, or coaching habits for success.
Our vision is to advance human well-being by assisting in developing holistic, well rounded individuals who will become positive contributors to society and will in turn assist in reciprocating that effort for future generations of young men and women.
Guiding the work of the divisions of TDI are its core values. These values include:
- God 1st
- Family 2nd
Collectively, the members of TDI have over 100 years of experience in a variety of disciplines such as:
- Criminal Justice
- Public Relations
- Human Resources
- Payout a minimum of $25,000 in scholarships per year by 2020 to males attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities
- Mentor at least 100 male college students by 2020
- Create a resource network for college students
- Increase retention and graduation rates of male scholars. 100% of our mentees will be retained and graduate from college.
- Scholarship Award Program
- Mentorship Program
- Professional Development
- Public Seminars & Workshops
- Internship Program
- Community Service & Outreach Program
- Business Development Program
- Entrepreneurship Program
- Career Camp
(Picture of the TDI Mentors; 2016)
Jeremy L. Spratling
Jeremy L. Spratling was born and raised in Talladega, Alabama. He graduated from
Auburn University at Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics in
1996. He graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University
in 2001. He worked in the financial services industry for 14 years before founding
Corporate Facilities Management, Inc. Mr. Spratling serves in several philanthropic roles.
He is a board member and current President of Turning Dreams Into Realities, Inc.
http://www.tdi2r.org , a mentoring organization for college aged men. He is a certified business
counselor with SCORE SBA.
Mr. Spratling handles the overall management of Corporate Facilities Management, Inc.
Corporate Facilities Management, Inc., (“CFM”) is a facilities management company. It
is one of the largest facility management companies in the Southeast as well as one of the
largest minority owned firms. CFM was ranked the largest minority owned firm in
central Alabama by the Birmingham Business Journal. CFM provides service
management expertise to industrial, governmental and commercial entities. Their main
lines of business include, but are not limited to, facility maintenance, commercial and
industrial janitorial services, commercial floor care, and chemical and paper supply
distribution. The company’s footprint serves Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and
He is married to Fredricka. They have a daughter and a son. He enjoys coaching youth
sports, business mentoring, fishing, reading, and competing in crossfit style competitions.
A native and resident of Dallas, TX., Marc P. Desgraves, IV is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of Desgraves, CPA providing fractional CFO services as well as merger & acquisition consulting to the tech start-up industry. Marc is also general partner in the seed funding venture capital firm A-Plus Management Group, LLP which exists to provide capital and business development opportunities for new and innovative products. Corporate America contributions over the last two decades include several executive level stops in the oil & gas, public accounting, financial services, airline, and publishing industries. Whether serving on the Board for Turning Dreams Into Realities or a group of charter schools in the DFW area, or even being a huge supporter within the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, Marc’s true purpose in life is to assist youth in reaching their full potential.
Terrance is from Talladega, AL. He attended Alabama State University from 1993 to 1997.
Terrance graduated with honors from ASU in 1997 with a B.S. in Accounting. After which, Terrance attended the University of Arkansas where he received a Master’s in Business Administration. He started his career at the Dallas office of Arthur Andersen as an auditor and later accepted a position in Atlanta, GA in Arthur Andersen’s Transactions Advisory Services (M&A).
After leaving Andersen in 2002, Terrance accepted a position as a Financial
Controller for a business within the Emerson Retail Solutions Division (“ERS”) which is a
Division of Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions. He was later promoted to Director of Finance, Director of Operations and Director of Strategic Planning. Terrance currently serves as the Vice President, Finance for Electronics and Solutions (Emerson) where he oversees all aspects of Finance and Accounting for the Division.
Terrance has been married for 15 years to his wife Kerri. They live in the Atlanta metro area and together, they have two boys, Jackson (11) and Xavier (9). He enjoys playing golf, watching various sports and spending time with family and friends.
Ramone is the CEO of BNB Consulting and Associates, a management and consulting firm whose vision is to become the premiere Kingdom based enterprise that will assist leaders to identify, interpret, and strategically transform their visions into realities. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan but lived the majority of his teenage years in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
He contracts with ministries, major corporations, not-for-profits, and start-ups in the areas of business organization and development, financial management, fundraising, project management, and systems development. Prior to launching his own business full time, Ramone was a Management and Program Analyst for the United States Environmental Protection Agency for 7 years and Chief Operating Officer for one of the nation’s fastest growing ministries.
Ramone has over fifteen years of strong community partnership building experience along with excellent leadership, organizational, strategic planning, communication, financial and project management skills. Ramone earned his BS in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration from Alabama State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1997. He is currently enrolled at Regents University working on his Masters of Divinity Degree.
His community service resume is extensive which began with his work in college in the Public Relations Council of Alabama where he served as President for two years. After graduating from college and beginning his career with the Federal Government, he was selected as the Community Relations Liaison for the Houston Area. His work involved coordinating all outreach activities at local schools and community fairs. He also served on the Houston Federal Executive Board where he served on the initial planning committee for the Government Procurement Connections, which is now held annually and aimed at helping small businesses learn how to do business which government entities. Most recently, he was awarded the Ebony Men of 2006 Award by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and included in the 2013 Houston’s Who’s Who in Black Houston publication as one of top entrepreneurs.
Immediate Past President & Parliamentarian
Dr. Brencleveton “Donta” Truss career reflects his dedication toward strengthening institutions and improving the pathway to higher education for many, especially low income and first generation students. As an experienced administrator and educator for the past 20 years, he has served in a variety of capacities including student success, student affairs, institutional research, planning and effectiveness, accreditation, working with faculty members, student retention, admissions and recruitment, data sensitivity, data driven decision making, advising, grant writing, program development, and supervision. Currently, Dr. Truss is the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, where he leads a team of dedicated educational leaders who have set out to make waves by becoming the premiere enrollment management /student success focused university in the nation.
Dr. Truss was in senior leadership in the University System of Georgia for almost 15 years. In his most recent capacity, he served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Retention at Albany State University. Under his leadership, he led the institution to an unprecedented 66% increase in first time, first year student enrollment. This role encompassed providing leadership and coherence to the departments of admissions and recruitment, Registrar’s Office, Veteran Affairs, Career Affairs, Financial Aid, Testing, and Student Orientation Programs.
He formerly served as the Vice Provost for Student Success and Enrollment Management and Chief Student Affairs Officer, at Fort Valley State University. During his tenure at Andrew College, he directed several TRiO programs, including Upward Bound. Throughout his career in higher education, he has authored and secured over $10 million in Federal, state and local grant funds to support student achievement.
His commitment to innovation in higher education and national best practices focuses on both strategic development and implementation of academic programs, student success, enrollment, and retention. His expertise in interpreting organizational needs, programs, and activities related to employees, community, organizations/agencies, area school systems, the Legislature, and providing services and training for business and industries; in addition to his strong background with SACSCOC, compliance, development of assessment methodologies, and tools for monitoring and improving the quality of all education programs has coroneted him as a highly sought after professional.
Dr. Truss is a triple graduate of Alabama State University. His dissertation research topic was entitled Student Retention: An Analysis of Organizational Change at Three Alabama Two-Year Community Colleges.
He has received several commendations for his work, including being recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 leader in 2004, Cuthbert Georgia Rotary President’s Award, the Silhouette Award from his alma mater Alabama State University, and several awards from the Georgia TRiO program. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and holds professional memberships in NASPA, SAIR, and the Association of Professional Counselors. While remaining deeply invested in administrative responsibilities, he continues to mentor through his non-profit organization, Turning Dreams Into Reality (TDI) aimed at developing collegiate scholars, and teach students how to reach their fullest potential and to strive to become the best they can be.
Bryant Spencer is a Director of Store Brands for CVS Caremark. In this role Bryant has the full scope of responsibility for attaining budgeted Store Brand sales, penetration, gross margin, and building market share.
Bryant Spencer is from Carrollton, Alabama. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Alabama State University. His work experience began with Sears Holdings Corporation where he served at Sales Manager with responsibilities for managing a sales team with over 20 associates. He was soon promoted thru the ranks and served in various capacities such as Inventory Management, Marketing Advertising Production and Associate Buyer, where he was responsible for long-range planning and financial goals for multiple categories.
After completing a successful tenure at Sears, he moved to OfficeMax Inc. as a Buyer. Shortly after, he became a Senior Buyer where he was responsible for managing a buying group that is accountable for the buying and merchandising activities of multiple channels including retail, commercial, and e-commerce. Manage new product launches, supplier agreements and negotiations. Establish and maintain relationships with senior executives, both internal and external, to gain support to implement initiatives and exceed goals. Optimize products, suppliers, and inventory across these channels.
Bryant’s accomplishments include: Recipient of a number of professional awards. Completion of several business development courses from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and DePaul University. He is also an Alabama State University scholarship recipient and graduate.
Tyrish Garrett was born in Talladega, Alabama, the son of Brenda Garrett and Howard Leonard. He has one brother, Brian Garrett, who currently resides in Talladega, Alabama. He received his formal education at Alabama State University where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing. Tyrish, also received his M.B.A from Troy State University in Business Administration.
Tyrish has been employed by United Parcel Service for the last thirteen years. He has worked as the Sales/Marketing Supervisor for the last three years. Tyrish’s duties included implementation of sales strategies, evaluation of customer compliance and value, and provide cross-functional support for profitable sales growth. Tyrish’s was previously a Finance Supervisor. Tyrish’s duties have included district profitability analysis, customer profitability, and Auditor training. Tyrish has also worked as a volunteer for United Way. His United Way responsibilities included meeting with Company Coordinators to plan, organize and schedule employee meetings. Assist with developing campaign goals based on potential. Generate ideas; provide enthusiasm, and a new perspective. Educate and communicate the United Way story. Develop and deliver brief speaking presentations to employee groups. Assist coordinators with completing campaigns on time.
Dr. Anthony Lewis is from Talladega, Alabama. He is married to Tiffany and they are the proud parents of six children: Jasmine, Akirah, Anthony II, Sierra, Kailey, and Braxton. Dr. Lewis received a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degree in Special Education and a degree in Educational Leadership from Alabama State University (Montgomery, Alabama). He also was selected and completed the Instructional Leadership Academy with Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama). Dr. Lewis received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri). He began his educational career in Montgomery, Alabama as a Special Education Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Because of his successes in Alabama, he was recruited to work in the Kansas City, Missouri School District where he served at Principal, Director of Elementary Schools, and Assistant Superintendent where he assisted the district in receiving enough points to be fully accredited – which had not happened in over thirty years. In 2017, Dr. Lewis was selected, completed and received certification from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)/The School Superintendents Association’s Urban Superintendents Academy in partnership with Howard University. In January 2018, the Lawrence Public Schools School Board unanimously approved Dr. Lewis to become the first African-American Superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools in Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence Public Schools in the 7th largest school district in the state, 2nd largest employer in the city, and serves nearly 12,000 students in 21 schools.
Demetrice A. Jones was born the younger of two siblings in Talladega, Alabama. He attended Alabama State University in 1993 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 2003 he enrolled into the ASU Graduate Program and received his Master of Science degree in General Counseling.
Demetrice is employed with Hancock Bank and currently serves on the management team. His responsibilities include the supervision of call center associates, coordinating statistical reports, as well as evaluating and counseling associates on performance issues. He was previously employed with BB&T, formerly Colonial Bank, from August 1999 through June 2010. From January 2008 through June 2012, Demetrice was employed with Youth Enhancement Family Service, Inc. There he served as a behavioral therapist for at-risk youths that encountered personal, family, and behavioral issues within their homes, communities, and schools. He has also written two relationship novels, When the Truth is Revealed 2008 and If He Won’t, I Will 2009. Demetrice is currently working on his third novel titled, Now that the Truth is Revealed.
Herman Moncrief currently serves as the Vice President of Finance for HealthTech Holdings, Inc. Mr. Moncrief is responsible for all aspects of accounting and financial reporting, in addition to managing and directing the general accounting, billing, credit, collections and tax functions of the Company. Mr. Moncrief is originally from Prattville, AL and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Moncrief is married to April and is the proud parent of fraternal twins, Asia & Bryce.
Mr. Moncrief received a BS degree from Alabama State University, with a concentration in Accounting in 1997 and is a certified public accountant in Georgia. Shortly after graduation Mr. Moncrief relocated to Atlanta, GA and begun his professional career as a Staff Accountant for The Maxim Group. Mr. Moncrief subsequently served as Senior and Staff Auditor for Arthur Andersen, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia from December 1998 to June 2002. From June 2002 to November 2004, Mr. Moncrief served as Corporate Controller for InterCept, Inc., a Norcross, Georgia provider of information technology solutions for community-based financial institutions. Mr. Moncrief served as Audit Manager for KPMG LLP in Atlanta, Georgia from November 2004 to February 2006. From February 2006 to July 2013 Mr. Moncrief served as Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer of American Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSWA). American Software is a publicly traded software company operating primarily in the Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) and Supply Chain segments of the software industry Mr. Moncrief is currently a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church of Atlanta, GA and his hobbies include fishing, golf, and listening to various genres of music.
Greg Hall was born in Anderson, IN. and moved to Talladega when he was 3 weeks old to be raised by his grandparents. He graduated from Talladega High School in 1992 and enrolled at Auburn University and majored in Electrical Engineering. After two years in school he withdrew and moved to Montgomery and enrolled in John Patterson State Technical College where he earned an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, thus reuniting him with his childhood friends at Alabama State.
He is now employed with AT&T as a Service Technician, where he has been for the last twelve years, holding various positions within the company in three different cities. He is married with four kids and currently living in Mobile, AL.
Terrence Hall is originally from Talladega, Al. He attended Alabama State University back in the fall of 1993 and majored in finance. After college, he worked as a loan processor for Northeastern Financial Services from 1997-2001. From there he started working for Regions Financial Corporation as head loan officer for hazard and flood loans for the Midwest Region from 2001-2005. Mr. Hall was then employed with Delta Airlines, the premier airline in the global airline industry, where he worked in Global Sales Support and Services. Afterwards he obtained the position of Learning Support Trainer. He has been awarded with the Certificate of Excellence for outstanding performance, is a three-time member of the renowned Pinnacle Club, and a nominee for the Chairman’s Club which is the highest award to an employee with Delta Airlines.
Upon his return home he became a finance manager for Truss Auto Group, LLC. He has now started his own tutorial service, F.I.N.A.O., Failure Is Not An Option, that mentors to youth of all ages to encourage the advocacy of good grades. In his spare time he enjoys reading, traveling the world, and watching and playing sports. He is also a youth basketball and Cal Ripken youth league baseball coach. Mr. Hall is currently single and has no children and is a renowned member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
Timothy Fields is a proud Texan, Morehouse College Graduate , product of the 70’s, father of very opinionated twins, and husband trying to keep his wife happy. By day, he the self proclaimed ” Higher Education Plug” educating teens and anxious parents on navigating the college admission process to some of the most selective colleges in the country. Beyond his passion for Education and serving others, he is an entrepreneur, author, as well as a well-dressed traveling and drinking connoisseur, enjoying cocktails and listening to good music anywhere he can.