GRAITH Foundation

Board of Directors

2021-2023

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SHELBI WALKER, M.S., J.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Shelbi is the Founder and CEO of GRAITH Foundation.  With over 20 years as a professional genealogist and family history researcher, she has reunited, researched, and solved over 1500 cases for adult adoptees in search of their birth families and birth families is search of the children they placed.  Shelbi has been called upon to speak and conduct seminars for hundreds of organizations.  For three seasons Shelbi was a researcher for TLC's Long Lost Family, and is currently the co-host for The Triad, a podcast dedicated to providing a forum for all members in the triad of adoption.  Shelbi is the heart and soul of the GRAITH Foundation family.  She attended Fisk University and holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY, a Master of Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Juris Doctorate from Trinity Law School.   She is a member of the Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  She is a child of God and she and her husband Byron are the parents of three beautiful daughters, Kesha, Bethany, and Olivia.

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LESTER BARRIE

Chairman of the Board

Lester hails from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He has been featured as a “Def Comedy Jam” All Star, honored as an “Apollo” Legend, and performed as a season host of “Comic View” on Black Entertainment Television. Currently Lester Barrie is the founder and creator of Lester Barrie’s “Back To Church” Comedy Tour in which he taps profession comedians from BET, HBO, STARZ and Comedy Central to perform his brand of “Inspirational” Comedy on community church events around the country. As recently as 2019 Lester has starred in “The Match Maker” by independent film director Tamera Hill.  His comedy special “Super Saints” is available on DVD and is also directed by Tamera Hill. 

With many accolades Lester” is still best known in the role of the “preacher” in the Wayans urban cult classic “Don’t be a menace to South Central while drinking your juice in the hood.”
He can also be seen in a guest starring movie role in “Slam Dunk Ernest” starring Jim Varney.
Barrie also enjoyed moderate success in small acting roles as well, most notably in a recurring role on the Fox's & Sci-Fi Networks “Sliders.” Additionally, Lester has enjoyed guest starring TV staring tv roles on “NYPD Blue”, “Sister Sister” and “In the House” with LL Cool J. 

Lester Barrie, who was a licensed minister before his comedy career began, is now the Senior Pastor of the Bible Believers Missionary Baptist Church in Lakewood CA where he has served since 2011. He has been married to Minister Trinette Barrie sense 2013. Together, they have a daughter and Lester has an adult son from his previous marriage.

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GWENDOLYN WILLIAMS

Secretary/Treasurer of the Board

Gwendolyn received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Fisk University in 1994.  After graduating and returning to California, student loans were coming due soon, so she took a job at Mercury Insurance Group thinking she would just be there for a while.  She has shown her loyalty, as 26 years later, she is still at Mercury as a Subrogation Supervisor.  Gwendolyn has gained a great amount of experience in the insurance industry, as well as dealing with people.   


Gwendolyn was born in Kansas City, MO and given up by her birth mother.  At 5 days old, she was placed with a loving family that ended up adopting her.  She was told at a young age that she was adopted, as her adopted parents never wanted to keep that a secret from her.  Although she had a great upbringing filled with an abundance of family and love, she always had a longing to know who and where she came from.  Not wanting to make her adoptive parents feel like she was unhappy or ungrateful, she never acted on her desire to search for her birth parents.  It wasn’t Gwendolyn was 34 years old, that she finally attempted to search for her birth parents.  Going through the adoption agency, she was able to locate her mother, who provided her father’s name.  With the help of her good friend/sister Shelbi Walker, she was able to find her birth father. Thanks to Shelbi, Gwendolyn no longer had to wonder who and where she came from.  Today, Gwendolyn has a great relationship with All of her parents.  Gwendolyn is blessed to have her son Elijah and her daughter Eden.


Gwendolyn is happy be a part of such a great Foundation and sit on this Board of Directors.  She believes that people not only want to know who and where they come from, but they also deserve to know.

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JOHN TEETER

Board Member

John is currently the president of Paper Mart, a nationwide paper and packaging distributor located in the City of Orange in Southern California.  After a career managing business in distribution, manufacturing, and services, John is currently building a 100 year old business for the next century.  Volunteering, particularly for homeless causes, has been a passion for several years in and around Long Beach. Food insecurity and feeding the homeless are of particular interest. Travel and exploration are other passions, and between business and personal travel he has visited all 50 states and nearly 80 countries. Exploring the history and geography of the western US is also a hobby and he can often be found in the middle of nowhere in a Jeep. John is married to Pam, a Los Angeles based clothing designer, and has 2 daughters, Olivia, 17 and Lena, 15. add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection.

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SCOTT STEWART

Board Member

Scott is very passionate about educating and preparing the youth of today to become their best selves.  With over 30 years working in Finance and Insurance, He is an experienced sales manager with a proven history of facilitating lasting growth and profit increases in So. Cal. auto dealers and Fortune 100 companies.  Scott is a new member of the GRAITH Foundation family, but is excited about leading and hosting seminars on finance related issues facing people today.  He holds a Bachelor of Science from Biola University and a M.B.A. in Business Administration. Scott and his bride of 28 years are the happy parents of three very industrious kids, Meaghan: M.B.A. St Johns University, Taylor: professional gamer and Auto Technician, and Brooke: Dance Team University of Arizona fall 2021.

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STEVEN L. WOLFE

Board Member

For more than 20 years, Steven L. Wolfe has developed professional expertise in helping organizations successfully achieve their strategic results and objectives in a focused and coordinated manner. Fundamentally, Steven uses the tools and techniques of project portfolio management to enable businesses and nonprofits to increase their organizational value while serving their greater communities – from selecting, prioritizing, and coordinating initiatives to the execution and delivery of the same. Steven is committed to the mission and goals of the GRAITH foundation as he has been an avid researcher of his own genealogical roots for many years. As the founder of the All-America Valley Basketball Club, a community-based, 501(c)(3) AAU club, Steven understands the unique challenges facing mission-driven organizations. He offers himself and all that he has to be of service to GRAITH in any areas of need – Grant Writing, Fundraising, Business Management, Public Speaking, Genealogy, and Information Technology

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SHERITA HERRING - OGLESBY

Advisory Board Member

As a sought after speaker, motivator, best-selling author, radio personality and business/non-profit strategist, Sherita J. Oglesby has been instrumental in impacting innumerable communities, businesses, and individuals all over the world, including multiple countries across the continent of Africa (Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Legos, Nigeria, and Ghana), Paris, Canada, Pakistan, Cambodia, the Philippines, China, Trinidad/Tobago, and countless municipalities throughout the United States.

Raising over $30 Million in funding and aiding the formation of more than 600 businesses operating globally, Sherita has inspired thousands.

LEROY R. TITUS

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Titus hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a product of the Pittsburgh school system He attended Lincoln (PA) University with a BS in Biology.  Mr. Titus was pursuing a career in medicine until, as a young man, he was offered a position as a Program Director for the Centre Avenue YMCA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His career path shifted to one of community development.  He retired as the Chief Executive Office of the Weingart YMCA in South Central Los Angeles.  Under his leadership the 65.000 square foot Weingart YMCA was built in the heart of South Central Los Angeles.  Through his efforts millions of dollars were raised for its construction.  Mr. Titus has served on a number of Boards, trained thousands of leaders, and changed the lives of millions of children and teens in the Los Angeles community and beyond.  He has been married to his wife Anna for over 55 years and together they have three adult daughters; Shelley, Sherre, and Shelbi.  His pride and joy, however, are his five grand children; Mecca, Sean, Kesha, Bethany, and Olivia. 

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REV. BILLY WILLIAMS

Advisory Board Member

Since his birth in July, 1967 Billy Williams has had to learn how to perservere. Sold as a
toddler Billy had to grow up being the different one of the family, learning quickly how to adapt to
his environment. This trait he continues to use as God directs him in His ministry. Billy is a
graduate from Crenshaw high school where he was a football all star and a tenor in the world
wide known gospel choir. Billy is also a graduate from West Los Angeles college and is an
ordained minister of over 20 years. Coach Williams has volunteered many years to the youth of
this country. Although Coach Williams won three straight championships with the Omega Psi Phi
Fraternity youth football team the Bulldogs from Ft Gordon, Ga. It's Sharing his knowledge with
the youth that truly drives him. Among many coaching jobs, Coach Williams was a varsity
Football and lady basketball coach for the Cleveland High school cavaliers in california. Sgt
Williams has served all over the world in the United States Army and is now a disabled veteran
with an honorable discharge. Because of Sgt. Billy's service in the army he was bound to a
wheelchair for 14 years, miraculously God healed and delivered him from that wheelchair.
Pastor Billy as he is also known is the Pastor of a youtube church called Unity Christian
Fellowship. Unitycfnm out of New Mexico. Married over nine years, Billy and Honey enjoy God's
many blessings. Including Family time, grand baby time, and travel time, Pastor Billy now
continues to live a life dedicated to the service to God. Hoping one day to hear those rewarding
words,”well done my good and faithful servant.”