The Squad



Hailing from the Magic City and born comfortably between "Thriller" and " Bad", Carmen is a sought after Public Administrator and budding entrepreneur.  She is known for her candor and spot-on analysis which makes her an invaluable resource and advisor to many in her network. She has a decade of public sector experience engaged with Community & Economic Development.

After a 13 year bid in Catholic Schools, Carmen went on to the University of Alabama in Huntsville earning a BA in Foreign Language (Spanish) and International Trade in just three years.  When trying to "adult" in the 2008 economy proved futile, Carmen decided to continue her education by attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham earning a Master of Public Administration with concentrations in Public Management and Planning & Nonprofit Management.  

She was selected to the 2015 Upstate Class of the Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University’s Riley Institute and ICMA’s Emerging Leaders Development Program.  She also attended Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador.

In her spare time, Carmen enjoys the arts, outdoors, sports and volunteering.  While she has received many awards and recognitions, Carmen's most prized accolade is "Bestest Auntie in the World".


melvin griffin
Culture Cultivator

Born and bred in Birmingham, Melvin has developed an immense love for his hometown. Sticking to his hometown roots, he attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham earning a BA in History. His love for historical research lead him to the local non-profit The Ballard House Project, with the focus on telling the city’s history through the eyes of African Americans. When not in the library archives, Melvin spends his time at concerts and showcases across the metro area. He’s built a strong connection with the creative scene in the city as a part of the collective, The Kickback