About Us

We Are One Of Five Community Foundations Started and Managed by African Americans in The United States.

The Penny Foundation connects people, organizations, and resources in the areas of family, economics, and community development through the lens of technology and innovation. The Foundation is a Birmingham, Alabama-based community chest working to eliminate economic inequality in the Black community.

We accomplish our mission through grantmaking, programming and donor advised funds. Our programs, funds and grants are informed by a staff, board of directors and volunteers who have an intimate understanding of the community’s history, culture, politics, and population. We serve as a philanthropic vehicle for people to focus their resources.  


Founder & CEO

Lyord Watson, Jr.
(205) 677-8361

Board of Directors

Charlie Glover

Vice President
Commercial Banking
NobleBank & Trust

Martha Emmett

Director, Strategic Programs and AdvantageHR Consultant
BXS Insurance

Herschell Hamilton

Chief Executive Officer at
BLOC Global Group

Khadijah Abdullah

Vice President, Economic Development & Social Impact at Shipt

Tim Clay


Corey Green

Executive Associate Director of Athletics For External Affairs Samford University

Brittney Taylor

CoOwner and Operator

Lisa Williams

VP Community Development Consultant

Janine L. Smith, Esq.

Founder and Managing Attorney of Janine Smith Law Firm

Walter Turner


Julian Grant

Sr. Community Development Specialist - External Affairs Alabama Power Company

Bob Dickerson

Executive Director
Birmingham Business Resource Center, Foundation Capital, and Building Alabama Reinvestment

Eboni Little

Sr. Software Architect
Apex Systems

Floresha Watkins

Area Business
Development Coordinator
Regions Financial Corporation

Mauri Robinson

Director of Operations & Finance
i3 Academy

John Long

Corporate Communications Honda Manufacturing of Alabama

Our Team

Tameka Wren

Director of Operations
Penny Foundation

Dorian Kendrick

Communications and Marketing
Dorian Gabrielle Consulting

Yolanda Sullivan

Penny Foundation