Our Chapter History

Our national organization, the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA, Inc.) was established in 1969. The NABA Twin Cities chapter has been in existence since the 1980s. Our local chapter would not be in existence without the vision and leadership of the following founders:

  • Jerry Lee (first chapter President)
  • Robert Colbert
  • Barry Rogers
  • LaCretia Bell (first female President)
  • Larry Spears

Over the last 20 years, our organization has evolved to provide avenues, through which our members can develop leadership skills, give back to the community, mentor others and build a meaningful network of like-minded professionals and friends.

Currently, the Twin Cities Chapter boasts a membership of over 100 professional and student members. Numerous programs have been developed over the years, including the Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP), Corporate Sponsors Breakfast and Student Scholarship Silent Auction Fundraiser.

In addition to local events, the chapter has played an active role at the national and regional levels by holding executive positions for the central region, planning the Central Region Student Conferences, and participating in the National Executive Council meetings.

The mission of NABA Inc. is to address the professional needs of its members, including providing avenues for member growth, development, and professional advancement in the accounting, finance and general management professions.
NABA is dedicated to uniting business professionals, as well as accounting and business students, who are committed to professional and academic excellence. NABA provides effective programs, activities and advocacy, which promotes our goals. They include:

  • Promoting and developing the professional skills of its members
  • Encouraging and assisting minority students in entering business-related professions
  • Promoting public confidence in its members and the services they provide
  • Encouraging cordial relations among members and cooperative relationships with other professionals
  • Representing the interests of current and prospective business professionals
  • Ensuring long-term financial stability and providing adequate resources to implement chapter, regional, and national programs
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Our Leadership Team

Orlando Bryant
Orlando BryantPresident
Orlando is a manager in the Forensic Technology & Discovery Services at Ernst & Young, LLP. He has been a member of NABA for over 5 years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“To me NABA gives me the opportunity to connect with students and professionals of color to help them learn more about the corporate business world. I didn’t get to where I am by myself, I received help along the way and being apart of NABA allows me to give back, by helping students and professionals with their journeys.”

My life’s mantra: Live life to the fullest.

Benjamin (BJ) Coleman
Benjamin (BJ) Coleman1st Vice President
BJ is Risk Assurance Senior Associate at PwC, LLP. He has been a member of NABA for over three years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“NABA to me means creating opportunity for other people within our profession. NABA allows us to continue to build a strong network of minority professionals, instill self-worth, confidence and provide a path forward for the collective minority community at a national and global scale in the world of accounting and finance.”

My life’s mantra: “No one can stop or define you.”

Ashlee Malet
Ashlee Malet2nd Vice President
Ashlee is an operational accountant at Cargill,Inc. She has been a member of NABA for over 6 years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“NABA is about opening doors and giving the next person a chance. A chance to explore his or her passion; make a difference in the community; and experience family away from home. Through NABA, I was given a chance five years ago and I have not looked back.”

My life’s mantra:“ My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style – Maya Angelou “

Kenny Hasstrup
Kenny HasstrupTreasurer
Kenny is a Merchandise Business Planning Analyst at Target Corporation. He has been a member of NABA for over three years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“NABA is a community that provides opportunities. NABA allows me to network and interact with other professionals of color and gives me a chance to see the future professionals grow in the student chapter.”

My life’s mantra: “Treat others like you want to be treated.”

Shayle Thacker
Shayle ThackerSecretary
Shayla is a Commercial Banking Portfolio Manager at US Bank. She has been a member of NABA for over five years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“NABA is an organization that embodies its motto, Lifting As We Climb. As a beneficiary of various mentors and connections helping to bring me along in my personal and professional development, being involved in an organization that serves that purpose allows me to give back and continue the cycle.

NABA is my professional family. From assisting with the ACAP program as an EY intern, serving on the student chapter board at the University of MN, or volunteering now as a professional, NABA has been an instrumental part of my professional upbringing.”

My life’s mantra:“Our world will improve only if the next generation becomes better.”

Charles Amevo
Charles AmevoVice Secretary
Charles is a Corporate Tax Compliance Auditor – Financial Ananlyst for the State of Minnesota Department of Commerce. He has been a member of NABA for over two years.

What does NABA mean to me?

“NABA to me means family. NABA is my professional family where I feel a sense of belonging an when I am with my NABA family, I have the motivation that drives me toward a satisfying future and NABA also helps me to get the most from the I do and achieve.”

My life’s mantra: “No one can stop or define you.”