Meet The Team

Since our founding in 2009, Poetry for Personal Power has developed and grown in a positive direction. We’re very proud of the diversity of our board and staff, and their abilities to contribute their own unique experience and skills to our success.

Find out more about some of our team members below.

Since our founding in 2009, Poetry for Personal Power has developed and grown in a positive direction. We’re very proud of the diversity of our board and staff, and their abilities to contribute their own unique experience and skills to our success.


We couldn't do what we do without them!


                                                 BOARD OF DIRECTORS













Sheri Hall - Interim CEO | Julianna - Program Director | Mildred Rand - Program ManagerMatt Spezia - Program Manager | 

Andre "Hakeem Furious" Carbonell - Program ManagerBrian Be - Program ManagerAja Owens - Program Manager |

Regina "Serenity" Wagner - Program Coordinator | Tiara Patterson - Executive Assistant

  • Dennis Budd, Chairman

  • Jene Hong, Treasurer

  • Taylor Brown, Secretary

  • Andre Bennett

  • Adrian Kelly Jr

  • Derrick Owens

  • Gail Williams

  • Georgetta Clark

  • Onica Crawford

  • Robyn Peebles

  • Tierany Black 

  • Ralonda Simmons



Interim CEO

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Sheri Hall is a goal-oriented manager, a certified peer specialist in Kansas and Missouri, and an artistic creative with over ten years of experience in non-profit operations, arts administration, advocacy, community organizing, and team development.  She has extensive experience with Fortune 500 and international companies in user acceptance testing (UAT), vendor management, and business analytics. 

She is the Interim CEO of Poetry for Personal Power.  Sheri started with P3 as a Sponsored Artist in 2012. During her time with the agency, she has worked to solidify relationships with community partners, developed a peer support program for the organization with agency certification curriculum; developed agency processes; and assisted in writing grants that have yielded over $750,000 in agency funds.


Artistically, Sheri Purpose Hall is a highly decorated writer and performance artist and founder of East of Red ArtHouse. She has four books: “Mélange du Femme Noir” (2019), "Black Girl Shattered" (2017); “Chosen for Both” (2015); and a workbook "Writing Wrongs: Writing to Heal" (2016) which won an award from Bike for the Brain. She is the 2020 National Spoken Word Awards Female Artist of the Year,  2019 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Awardee and previous 2-year Studios Resident, and an Arts KC Inspiration Grant recipient (2017/2019). She has also represented Kansas City at the Women of the World Poetry slam (2017/18), at the National Poetry Slam (2015/16/17/18), and most recently at Rustbelt Poetry slam (2019).




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Mildred Rand spent fifteen years as an Accounting Specialist, before starting at Poetry for Personal Power as a Peer Support Specialist. After her successful career in the finance industry, she is now a vital part of the organization as bookkeeper and program director for our peer support program.


She has Peer Support certifications in both Missouri and Kansas, is trained in WRAP level 1, and is certified as a Writing Wrong Writing to Heal trainer and a CCAR Peer Coach Recovery trainer.


In 2010, Mildred founded Daughters of Christ Ministry, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support women from all walks of life through spiritual friendships, peer support, networking, educating and encouraging one another to reach their full potential and fulfill purpose. After years of Christian counseling experience, in June 2016, she accepted her higher calling and was officially and legally ordained as a licensed Minister. She is a devoted wife, mother, and friend.




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Julianna Sellers, Program Director – has been working at Poetry for Personal Power since October 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies from BYU-Idaho and an Associates degree in Business Management from Blue River Community College.

She is a Missouri Certified Peer Support Specialist, trained in WRAP level 1, a Kansas Level 1 Peer Support Specialist, and certified-- and trained as a trainer-- in the CCAR Peer Coach Recovery training.

She has training as a life coach through Tapping into Wealth, Enwaken, and Pure Life Coaching. She is also trained and certified as a trainer in Verbal Aikido advanced communication training developed by James MacNeil.

Julianna says she is addicted to learning and constantly attending conferences and training to learn and share what she has learned. She is skilled in building connections and working relationships with researchers and funders.


After being widowed in 2011, she studied grief and the grieving process in depth. Today, she teaches people how to grow through grief and find healing. She has developed "Grief Basics," course to help ease the grief journey by helping people learn how to find a new normal after loss. As a parent three children with special needs, one in recovery, she has learned advocacy and resilience first-hand. Connect with her on social media through her connecting site: 



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Brian Be is the founder of Be Arts Wellness and a body movement specialist.  He has assisted with the development of the Colorado expansion of Poetry for Personal Power with intense effort related to program design and is deeply involved with and a strong advocate for the Story Circles Programming.

Brian also assists in the management of several of the Poetry for Personal Power Social Media Platforms and takes care to ensure the accessibility of all events so that peers will feel welcomed.

Brian is a performer at the Denver Performing Arts Center, an Autism self-advocate. Funny, warm, a natural empath, and a really nice person to talk to.



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Matt Spezia is the Kansas Program Manager. He sees P3 making a lasting improvement in people's daily lives in regards to mental health, peer support, artist activism, and entrepreneurship. 


Matt Spezia uses his platform and his art to promote self-confidence and betterment, social awareness, cultural change and has worked to directly influence school children in 26 different school districts

Artistically, Matt is a national powerhouse of lyrical ability, combining his seven-time national award-winning poetry style with Kansas City hip-hop, and his thespian education. This artist has released three albums and published one book. His poetry has appeared in an anthology cd and print collection: Poetry in MotionDual Psychosis, P.O.E.T Etched in Stone and his latest album, Babylon

Spezia is also an avid business pitch competitor. He won the Washburn university business pitch competition, competed in the highly prestigious SBAF series, and was a global runner up of the NIBS competition, the largest college entrepreneurship contest in the world. He also led a business pitch workshop at the 2019 Health Futurism Conference held at the Kaufman Foundation. 

Matt Spezia has 3 years of radio hosting experience, he was the lead host of a national award-winning program “Voices Behind the Pens.” He has produced 4 video commercials, 1 music video, and is one of the primary film contributors for “The Blaq Out” filmed in Jamaica. 

Above all. Matt Spezia credits his sucess not only to his talent but ability to be an instrumental part of a wining team.   

Everything is a #teameffort. 



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Andre Carbonell B.K.A Hakeem Furious is an international performance artist/writer, facilitating artist and community organizer. His work started in 2012, immediately after graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and becoming a member of Black on Black Rhyme, which is a community organization that contracts poets/writers for events and programming throughout the south.


After spending 4 years in Tallahassee, Florida attending Florida A&M University, performing at universities across the state (FSU, UF, EDWC, etc), teaching workshops in the local schools, and organizing community events centered around education, innovation, and liberation. He migrated to his birthplace Denver, Co to grow his business and learning in 2016. 

He soon after started his brand #TheUltraTerrestrialTour working as an independent contractor to different grassroots organizations and nonprofits



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Aja Owens is an author, councilwoman, peer specialist, trauma educator, poet, hip hop artist, community organizer & regional coordinator from St. Louis, Missouri. She received her bachelor's degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. 


Aja has dedicated her life to serving underprivileged youth and minorities by implementing empowering programs and events throughout the community. 


She is the founder of IAMHIPHOPSTL and the WHAT ABOUT US FOUNDATION.  She has traveled throughout the country sharing her gift, appeared on BET several times and has opened for artists such as Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Da Brat, and 50 Cent.  In addition to publishing nine poetry books, she has helped more than 30 authors publish their own books. as well.  She has been performing spoken word poetry for more than 20 years.

Serenity on the mic.jpg



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Regina Serenity Wagner is smooth with a hint of sass, Poet, Host, Serenity has her pulse on what's trending. Author, Media Personality and Actress. Serenity has dominated the airwaves and internet in Kansas City since 2011. From hosting events, an online web show, to a radio show, Serenity is also an accomplished slam poet winning Jazz Poetry Jams in May 2014, 2nd place in March For the Win Slam qualifier in 2015, and Lenexa Sunflower Slam Winner March 2018.  She was awarded the Best Open Mic Host by the Music & More Foundation in April 2018. 


Serenity, a founding member of Slamulit (For the Win Slam) helped to send the squad to their first national competition, a historic feat in the history of the Kansas City Poetry Community. In October 2014, she started a project with Cascade Media group in which she interviewed local poets for their website. Serenity worked diligently and built the poetry section in less than a year. She eventually moved into the position of Head of Arts & Entertainment/ V.P. for Cascade Media Group in late 2015. As of 2017, Serenity has interviewed such celebrities as Regina Belle, Tech N9NE, Courtney Richardson, Fred Hammond, Murphy Lee, Post Malone, and Jane Elliott to name a few. 


In 2018 she started her own platform Prose & Verbs a consultant and media company in which she plans to continue with media and her artistic endeavors. She currently host a weekly radio show, Speak on it,  on KUAW presented by Prose and Verbs Media right from Kansas City. Her work ethic and reputation is unmatched and she is eager to expand to other markets. She feels with ambition and hard work there is nothing a person can't do. Contact her on 



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Tiara Patterson is a literary and performing artist with a heart for youth development. She founded an arts company called Project 1311 and has dedicated her art and life to serving those that often go voiceless.  

Tiara was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, is a high school graduate of Kansas City Public Schools. A busy mom, and a spoken word artist, she competes in local slams and is a part of the host team for Arsyn Spit Fire Open Mic Nights.


She has led many youth groups and dance teams helping them to learn how to connect their spirit and body, helping them to find their voice through the empowerment of knowledge and poetry, and teaching them how words translate to body movement and back again. 

While she is undeniably talented, she has a passion for behind the scenes work and has managed countless events, stage plays, and productions.