Board Members

Sarah Herring

Executive Director 

A native of SE Washington, D.C., Mrs. Sarah Herring launched her Full-Scale Global Boutique, HandBagsULike in 2001 which is now known as Fashion IMPACT By HandBagsULike. Her company provides a plethora of services including personal styling, wardrobe consultation, business development, event showcasing, fashion show coordination, and a variety of fashion finds and personal shopping for both men and women. In 2016 Sarah and Demetrius Herring Sr. launched their nonprofit organization The IMPACT Experience; where she now serves as Executive Director and is centered on helping women and families that have been marginalized by domestic abuse, homelessness, human trafficking, and other life challenging situations.


Her mission is to share with women that God loves them and they are beautiful inside and out. Through her design acumen, she will provide a full makeover head to toe. This experience shall give women confidence, and allow them to see their beauty inside and out.

As the visionary, Sarah began The IMPACT Experience to provide a platform to celebrate women who have overcome and are overcoming tumultuous relationships and circumstances that directly affect the mental and physical well-being of women. The IMPACT Experience brings awareness and supports causes plaguing women in communities around the globe. Developing relationships with community leaders and such women providing continuous support for their journey is the footprint of The IMPACT Experience. As she travels the globe sharing the message of hope and restoration, Sarah's genuine love for service is recognized and duplicated. As a professional stylist, Sarah’s goal is to encourage women to see how beautiful they are on the inside and have it reflect on the outside.

Since the inception of her nonprofit organization The IMPACT Experience, Sarah has worked to build and create more affordable housing options for those in need around the country through her real estate investment and development company RealtyULike. Recognizing the need and opportunity to provide the Federal Government with goods and services, Sarah made the pivot to HBUL Services.

She has received numerous awards proclamations and citations from our 42nd President of The United States, Bill Clinton, 49th Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson, Washington, D.C. Mayor, Sharon Pratt Kelly, Houston Texas Mayor, Sylvester Turner, Washington, D.C. Council Member, Kevin P. Chaves, and New Orleans Council Woman, Cyndi Nguyen (District E), just to name a few.

Sarah currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and three beautiful teenagers.

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Demetrius Herring, Sr.

Cofounder

Demetrius Herring, Sr. is a graduate of HD Woodson High School and married  his soulmate Sarah in 2015  and is the father of 3 children; 2 daughters and 1 son. Demetrius started his career as a Arlington County Firefighter, worked in Government Contracts and decided to become a business owner. He is currently the COO of HandbagsULike and is establishing a trucking business. He also cofounded the IMPACT Experience alongside his wife Sarah. He is a true believer of the Lord Jesus Christ and has a heart to serve. 

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Dr. La Shawn Denise Witt

 Board Chair

The Board Chair of The Impact Experience, Dr. La Shawn Denise Witt was born January 3, 1977. A native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Witt worked in the field of education for over 18 years as an Assistant Principal, Principal, Middle School Teacher, and Teacher on Special
Assignment. 

 

In 2017, she decided to step out on faith and live her dream of inspiring others. She coined her journey as, “The year of 40.”

 

A multi-entrepreneur, Dr. Witt owns Divine Diva Events (DDE), a wedding and special event business based out of Beverly Hills, CA with satellite locations throughout the country. During the holiday season, Dr. Witt provides special-made dishes to clients across the country under the auspices of Divas Fabulous Fixins’. She enjoys sharing stories about her childhood in the kitchen with her grandmother, mother and aunt. She takes joy in preparing these dishes, knowing that families are blessed with traditions that she once shared with her family.

 

Over the course of her life, Dr. Witt has faced and overcome many obstacles that have shaped her into who she is today. In the summer of 2021, she will finally release her first book appropriately entitled, “The Diva Herself”. In her book, she will discuss how being a silent rape survivor at age 15 contributed to abusive and failed relationships, poor handling of finances, long bouts of depression, struggling with validation and acceptance, and multiple attempts of suicide. She will share how her journey to “The year of 40” opened the door to walk into a more fulfilled purpose and produced her first Women’s Spiritual Retreat under My Sister’s Keeper. This retreat convened in May 2018 and celebrated diversity, spiritual experience, and healing of women from all walks of life. This event has led to many speaking engagements for women-based events around the country and continues today.

 

Dr. Witt has recently launched an initiative through My Sister’s Keeper to fund transitional recovery homes in the city of Los Angeles. Her mission is to end homelessness for women, families, and communities and assist with providing them with second-chance opportunities in life, and to restore self-sufficiency and dignity.

 

Outside of her professional commitments, she indulges in her passions of traveling, reading, shopping, buying shoes, attending live concerts, and participating in community service. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority- Inglewood Alumnae Chapter where she holds various positions both locally and regionally. 

 

Dr. Witt currently resides in Inglewood California where she enjoys spending time with the loves of her life, her adult daughter Morgan, a recent graduate of Howard University, and her two Shih Tzu’s Dolce & Gabbana.

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Dr. Asha Mwendo 

A Psychologist, Transformational & Keynote Speaker, Holistic Life & Wellness Coach, a Wellness Circle practitioner, host of her own radio program, Healing Moments, A Humanitarian by Nature, Wife and Mother, she has been a Life Transformation Facilitator for the past 15 years, and spends most of her time enabling care and support for persons living with HIV&AIDS. She provides support for women who are victims of domestic violence and operates 7 small Wrap around transitional homes, Parenting Coach, Counselor, Vulnerability Reduction Facilitator, Positive Lifestyle and Behavior Modification Specialist, a Gender Equity Specialist, Proposal and Business Plan Writer a certified Auto Mechanic among other things. 

She is the founding Director for wellness in Motion, she currently chairs the Trelawny Library Advocacy Committee & the Wellness in Motion Gender Equity Foundation, and she is also Chairman for the Trelawny Parish AIDS Association and the Western Regional Association of PAAs. She presently serves as President for the Trelawny Neighbourhood Watch Council and immediate past chairman for the Trelawny Interagency Network and past president for the Trelawny Parish Development Committee.

She has been lauded as a trailblazer with an Awards from the Butch Stewart Community for her selfless service to communities in Jamaica, and the Trelawny Parish Council and has worked tirelessly with various civil society groups. 

She is a conqueror who overcame a number of life threatening challenges and uses the experience to guide others in achieving the same. 

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A native of Perote and Aberfoil, AL, during her senior year in High School, Shelia enlisted into the United States Army Reserves. Upon graduation, she spent the summer and fall training as a Supply Specialist, in the United States Army, Quartermaster Corps, attended Alabama State University where she studied Business Administration and Accounting. In conjunction she joined the ROTC program at Auburn University in Montgomery, AL, and received her Army Commission in June 1987. She continued her education at American Technological University in Killeen, TX and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Accounting. Shelia also has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, graduating with honors from Webster University, Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Shelia retired from the United States Army on June 30, 2015 as Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). 

Over the span of 31+ years, Shelia has distinguished herself with exceptionally meritorious service.

She has received numerous awards including; Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service, Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal National Defense Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Staff Badge, and Army Recruiting Badges.

She received two distinguished awards consisting of the Quartermaster Distinguished Order of Saint Martin Medal and Distinguished Member of the Quartermaster Regiment.

Her civilian awards include the 2012 Biltmore Who’s Who in Executive Professional Women and the Presidents 2004 Volunteer Award. Shelia is a charter member of  Psi Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated as well as a charter member of the Stafford County Chapter of  Top Ladies of Distinction, Incorporated.

Shelia lives in Apex, NC and is married to Leslie Buford (Ret LTC), and has two sons, Leslie II and Darius.

Vice Chair

Shelia E. Vannoy-Buford

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Dr. Darice E. Richard

Secretary

Secretary of the Impact Experience, Dr. Darice E. Richard is a native of Miami, Florida who relocated to Tallahassee in the year of 1987. Since that time, she has become a model leader and community builder who is committed to making Tallahassee a better place.

 

She is a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Institute of Public Health, where she earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in 1995. She is currently employed as a Clinical Governmental Consultant at Anthem/Ingenio RX Health Services.

While as a busy mother to her15-year-old teenage son, Morgan Christopher, Dr. Richard also serves as a leader in many organizations. She holds active membership in several organizations including the Tallahassee (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, William Gunn Medical Society, Delta Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

Among her accomplishments, Dr. Richard received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s James Hudson Humanitarian Award for her commitment of service to the chapter and the community. She was also recognized as one of the “25 Women you need to Know in Tallahassee”, by the Tallahassee Democrat. Along with being awarded by Tallahassee Community College – as one of Tallahassee’s Top Community Leaders – during Women History Month.

Darice believes service is the cornerstone of life and should be a part of every woman’s DNA. She states... “We as women are ALL Servant Leaders and with this title – service is as easy as 1-2-3”.

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Tamura hill thomas

Tamura, known as “Tami,” is an award-winning speaker with an electrifying personality and heart for people. She is

one of the United States government’s prominent trainers and speakers. Tami travels internationally alongside political appointees addressing executive excellence, government accountability, professional development, system

innovation, cross-functional team building, homeless program implementations, and the implications of government policy. Her compassion in leadership, ethical accountability, and performance driven energy are reasons why she leads several key task forces for the government.

Tami is a highly motivated, resolutions driven leader with integrity. She is the founder and Principal of Wellness

Empowerment, a consulting firm. As CEO, Tami leads an award-winning team of experts across several disciplines. She is an established motivator and leader with a proven record of building community-based initiatives, increasing

system capacity, and establishing innovative approaches for crisis management. Having developed an instrumental

partnership with medical professionals and community leaders, she has implemented community health and

education conferences across the U.S. Tami has received accolades and awards from several community advocates, Sheriffs and Chiefs in law enforcement, and U.S. government officials including former President Ronald Reagan, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former District

of Columbia Mayors Marian Barry and Adrian Fenty. She is also a guest professor for many universities and serves on several non-profit boards, academic advisory councils, and government leadership groups.