Class ’76, Chair of the Board of Directors & Chief Executive Officer

Duties of the National Chair

  • Preside over all Board meetings of the Corporation.
  • Presiding over the Annual Conference of the Corporation.
  • Countersign all the Corporation’s checks in conjunction with the Chairperson of Finance prior to the disbursement of any Corporate funds.

Rena, is a servant leader who serves with honesty, accountability, and transparency. A 1976 graduate of Ricks Institute and the National Chair of the Board of RIAA-USA, Inc. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Ricks Institute, Virginia, Liberia.

Brief Bio

Rena holds a BBA from the University of Liberia and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Rena is a recent retiree of the World Bank where she worked for 23 years in Budget/Financing with specialty in Procurement. She loves to sing and is a founding member of the iconic University of Liberia Alumni Chorus.



Class ’83, Vice-National Chair & Member of the Board of Directors

Duties of the Vice-National Chair

    • Assist and work closely with the National Chairman in carrying out the executive duties of the Corporation.
    • Perform all duties of the National Chairman in his/her absence or in case of any situation of incapacitation

    Raphael Koikoi is a member of the Ricks Institute Class of 1983 (Floaters) who spent most of his formative years at Ricks Institute. He has served RIAA, USA Inc in various capacities, both on the local and national levels. Koikoi, an advocate for the marginalized, serves as a United Methodist Clergy-person.

    Brief Bio

    He believes that those given opportunities should be part of the work of creating opportunities for others. Koikoi enjoys travel, golf, cycling, and photography.



    Class ’76, Chair of Records & Correspondence & Member of the Board of Directors

    Duties of the Chairperson of Records and Correspondence

      • Preside over the Records and Correspondence Committee.
      • The custodian of all official records of the Corporation.
      • Keep all Corporation document in a confidential manner.

    Keep and distribute all official records of the Corporation proceedings, including agendas and minutes.

    • Responsible for keeping records of attendance at all Board meetings.
    • Coordinate all official correspondences of the Corporation.
    • Implement mechanisms for obtaining and retaining minutes of all Local Chapter meetings, as well as all meetings of the various Standing Committees either by having Records and Correspondences Committee liaisons on these committees, or by making other arrangements with the respective leaderships of the committees.
    • Responsible for ensuring a continuous update of all alumni membership contact data.

    Mietta Smallwood serves as RIAA USA Chairman of Records.  With a MS in Public Health Education and fulfilling careers in both business and health, she is a detail-oriented lover of humanity who champions goodwill and good health for all.

    Brief Bio

    Mietta is a devoted and proud mother of three wonderful adult children and an amazing son-in-law. Mietta is an ardent sports fan who prefers watching a game over a movie. This love of sports was developed many moons ago while at Ricks. She cherishes memories of her childhood friendships, and looks forward to creating many more through the work of the alumni association.


    Class ’80, Chair of Financial Affairs & Member of the Board of Directors

    Duties of the Chairperson of Finance

    • Preside over all Finance Committees. This committee shall be responsible for the receipt, tracking and disbursement of all funds and/or solicitations, including funds raised by the Local Chapters.
    • Ensure that all funds of the Corporation are deposited in a bank account bearing only the Corporation’s name. Under no circumstances should the Chairperson of Finance co-mingle the Corporation’s funds with his/her personal funds.
    • Countersign, along with the National Chairman, all checks issued by the Corporation on the corporate account.
    • Prepare and present to the Annual Conference a report showing all receipts and disbursements of the past year and all potential receipts and disbursements for the coming year.
    • Shall periodically make available reports to members of the Corporation clearly setting forth the financial status of the Corporation.
    • Chair all investment committees and appropriately invest the funds of the Corporation to obtain at least a market profit consistent with the decision of the investment committee.

    Mary Evonne Weeks serves as Sales Executive for Verizon enterprise solutions with Fortune 100 Global accounts in Southeast Michigan.   Evonne began her career with MCI Communications, and has held a variety of positions in Sales, Business Operations, and Service.

    Brief Bio

    She serves as a Member of the Board for the Ricks Institute Alumni Association, where they provide assistance for kids’ education in Liberia, West Africa. She is currently serving as the Chairman of the Trustee Board of New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Pontiac. She serves as Treasurer of the Liberian Association of Michigan. She is married to Tim Weeks, and they are proud parents of two Harvard graduates.


    Class ’77, Chair for Programs & Development

    Duties of the Chairperson for Programs and Development

      • Preside over the Programs and Development Committee. This committee shall be responsible for developing, organizing and implementing activities, projects and programs to aid the Corporation in achieving its objectives.
      • Work closely with the National Chairman by providing continuous information obtained from the above duty.
      • Work closely with the other Standing Committees and Local Chapter Presidents to coordinating activities for their regions that are separate from general Corporation activities

      My name is Gloria Freeman-Woniewala. I am a graduate of the beloved  class of 77 (Homosapien) and proud to have been a member of the mighty girls’ basketball team.

      Brief Bio

      My passion is working with children and I have worked with three different school systems over twenty years as an educator, mentor and team leader. I am a mother of two wonderful daughters. Being a public servant and a mother have been my greatest joy. I enjoy gardening, traveling, and keeping a healthy life style.


      Class ’87, Chair for Audit

      Duties of the Chairperson for Audits

      • Be responsible for conducting financial, timeline, compliance and other audits of the Corporation.
      • Submit reports of such audits to the Annual Conference.

      Sherleen is a member of the Treton Class of ‘87, and past Chair of Records of RIAA USA. She attended Ricks Institute from Kindergarten through grade 12, and was enrolled in the Ricks Institute School of Business where she developed an interest in the field of Accounting.

      Brief Bio

      She pursued that interest with a BSc in Accounting from Strayer University, and Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University. Sherleen serves as the Controller for Brillient Corporation – an information systems, is a member of the First Mt Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, VA and a member of the Mass Choir. She is married to Dr. Lawrence Totimeh, has four children, loves to sing and listen to music.


      Class ’79, Chair of Legal Affairs & Member of the Board of Directors

      Duties of the Chairperson of Legal Affairs

      • Function as the Chief Legal Officer of the Corporation.
      • Responsible for maintaining the Incorporation Status and 501(C) 3 status of the Corporation.
      • Responsible for advice regarding interpreting and enforcing the Constitution and By-laws of the Corporation.
      • Review all Election processes and maintain its compliance.
      • Appropriately review all legal issues facing the Corporation and obtain legal assistance and/or advice when necessary.
      • Provide routine updates of Incorporation and non-profit changes that may affect the Corporation.
      • Preside over all votes at the Annual Conference for compliance.

      Brief Bio



      Class of ’80, Chair for Elections

      Duties of the Chairperson for Elections

      • Organize and preside over all general elections of the Corporation.
      • Organize and continuously review Election guidelines.
      • Make appropriate and timely announcements regarding upcoming elections to include the offices to be filled and the assigned duties.
      • Review requirements for eligibility of candidates for various electoral positions.

      Kedrick Lilweti White was born in Ganta, Liberia, early education in Zwedru. He graduated in 1980 of Ricks Institute and is the Chairmen of elections.

      Brief Bio

      Attended Cuttington University and transfered to Tuskegee University, Architecture 1985. Practice Architecture in Boston, Minneapolis and St. Paul with public Housing. Returned to Liberia in 2007, continued in Architecture & Construction. Managed ELWA Ministries while hosting a Radio show for 4 years. Currently in Atlanta, GA with Urey Companies. Licensed Minister, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Four adult childrenand four grandchildren.


      Class ’79, Chair of Religious Affairs

      Duties of the Chairperson of Religious Affairs

      • Lead all assembly of the Corporation in appropriate religious practices.
      • Establish Religious guidelines. Such guidelines shall define the religious outreach to all Corporations’ members during times of births, deaths, or ailments.
      • Ensure that the Local Chapters have the requisite mechanisms in place to implement religious practices during their regional assemblies.
      • Facilitate religious growth of individual members of the Corporation; as well as to ensure that the Corporation remains committed to those religious values emphasized at Ricks Institute, our Alma Mater.

      Brief Bio