Community Leadership Council

iNvictus Office Center - Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Shaheen Syal, 336-705-3207

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Announces Newest Cohort of Community Leadership Council

Twenty NC leaders appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Foundation

Winston-Salem, NC (August 30, 2016) – The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is pleased to announce its newest cohort of Community Leadership Council members.

Established in 2012, the Community Leadership Council is a group of 20 diverse leaders from across North Carolina who represent various sectors, professions and backgrounds. Each cohort spends three years working alongside the Foundation to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing our communities and State. This new group is the Foundation’s second cohort of Council members.

“The appointment of this exceptional group of leaders could not have come at a better time,” said Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green. “In May, the Foundation announced plans to launch a yearlong strategic assessment to determine how we can best serve North Carolina communities in light of changes to the State’s landscape as well as to examine and evaluate our current approach to grantmaking and broader work. The Community Leadership Council, in so far as it represents a microcosm of North Carolina, is the ideal group to assist us throughout this process. We are excited to have them on board during this important time in the Foundation’s history.”

The predecessor to the Community Leadership Council is what was known as the Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel was established in 1977 and later took on responsibility for selecting the recipients of the Foundation’s Nancy Susan Reynolds Awards, which were presented annually to three individuals in one of three categories – race relations, advocacy and personal service. Award winners were considered North Carolina’s unsung heroes.


The Board and staff of the Foundation have appointed the following individuals to serve on the 2016-2019 Community Leadership Council.

  • Adam Klein, Chief Strategist, American Underground (Durham)
  • Adam Tarleton, Partner, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP (Greensboro)
  • Anna Warburton Munroe, Shareholder, Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, PA (Winston-Salem)
  • Charles Thomas, Program Director, Knight Foundation (Charlotte)
  • Dawn Chavez, Executive Director, Asheville Greenworks (Asheville)
  • Edward Boyd, Chief Strategy Officer, iNvictus Group Holdings, LLC (Durham)
  • James Moore, Police Chief, City of Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount)
  • Jamilla Hawkins, Extension Agent, Community & Rural Development, Edgecombe County Center, NC Cooperative Extension (Tarboro)
  • Jill Swain, Executive Director, Huntersville Chamber of Commerce (Huntersville)
  • Juanita Wilson, Director of Snowbird/Cherokee County Services, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (Cherokee)
  • Kate Pett, Executive Director, Asheville City Schools Foundation (Asheville)
  • Lorelei Costa, Executive Director, Outer Banks Community Foundation (Southern Shores)
  • Marcus Hill, Lead Coordinator, Forsyth Community Food Consortium (Winston-Salem)
  • Mary Joan Pugh, Deputy Director, N.C. Zoo (Asheboro)
  • Matt Calabria, Wake County Commissioner, Wake County (Raleigh)
  • Misty Chase, Director of Greene County Transportation, Greene County (Snow Hill)
  • Peter St. Onge, Associate Editor, Editorial Board, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte)
  • Ricky Hurtado, Executive Director, NC Scholar's Latino Initiative (Chapel Hill)
  • Shorlette Ammons, Community Foods Systems Outreach Coordinator, NC A&T State University, Center for Environmental Farming Systems (Greensboro)
  • Sonja Gantt, Executive Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation (Charlotte)

The Foundation held orientation for the group in late August. The next meeting is scheduled for October.



The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is committed to improving the quality of life of all North Carolinians. ZSR invests in statewide, regional and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that ZSR supports both work to build healthy, robust communities at the local and regional level and engage in education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. ZSR currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity and strengthening democracy. The Foundation is an 80-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For more information or to learn more about ZSR, visit

iNvictus Masters of Fate Fellowship Program

iNvictus Office Center - Wednesday, May 25, 2016




May 22, 2016 

INvictus Office Center Hosts the Launch of the iNvictus Masters of Fate Fellowship Program to Erase Inequities, Boost Minority Entrepreneurial, Business and Non-profit Ventures

iNvictus non-profit arm, iNvictus Forward Outreach, publically unveils eight entrepreneurs selected for inaugural Masters of Fate Fellowship

Forbes magazine reports 8 of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business fail within the first two years. Among the culprits: Leadership breakdowns; lack of access funding; and an inability to execute a profitable business model and produce proven revenue streams.

iNvictus EMERGE (Entrepreneurship, Mentoring, Economic Development, Research, Growth in Business and Education) continues to address the inequities and change the story with its Fellowship that selected a cohort of minority entrepreneurs, business owners and non-profit venture leaders from a pool of over 300 applicants nationwide to spend 18 months gaining access to information, capital and an international network of experts and industry leaders to guide their journey to success.

On May 26, 2016, at 7 p.m., iNvictus Office Center located at 601 Fayetteville St. Suite 300
Downtown Durham, NC 27701 will open its doors to its non-profit arm, iNvictus Forward Outreach, and through its EMERGE program, introduce its eight 2016-17 fellows of its inaugural Masters of Fate Fellowship cohort.

The June 2016 –November 2017 fellowship provides each venture leader a one-on-one mentor, an industry specific advisor and other strategic advisors to help them navigate a tailored blueprint to strengthen and grow their venture through access to executives, capital and the expertise of advisors, experts and investors.

“Our ecosystem fosters a community of inclusion, and the businesses we work with are destined for success as a result,” said Edward Boyd, Jr, Chief Strategy Officer of iNvictus Group Holdings, LLC and Board Chair of iNvictus Forward Outreach. “We understand that entrepreneurs are essential for a strong national economy and through our program, minority-owned ventures can experience success and have a global impact." stated Iyon Mitchell, Executive Director of iNvictus Forward Outreach.

Each of the iNvictus Masters of Fate Fellows works in one or more of four defined areas at various stages of venture development: STEM, Health/Healthcare, Food and Education.

One of the fellows, Ursela Jones, is the program director for iNviTECH, an educational technology company that hosts a summer camp for students in grades 6-12 focused on both STEM skills and developing entrepreneurial savvy. iNviTECH also provides a year-long semester based course catalog whose goal is to aid in producing next generation's IT entrepreneurs/leaders as well as increase minority participation in STEM fields.

“I’m a lifelong learner and programs like this fellowship will help me to continue to grow myself and, in turn, help me to grow my students,” said Jones, an award-winning robotics and automation teacher at a Durham, NC, middle school. In addition, Jones applauds the program’s mentorship component. “It is essential to the life of any organization or business. Having mentors well versed in business concepts, marketing and procuring partnerships will help me become a better business woman, and help me structure my company in a way it will be sustainable.”

Michael Stewart-Isaacs and Donnell "Artist" Woods joined the fellowship with Board Nation U.S.A., which focuses on bridging gaps in unity within the board sports community and campaign for board sports as an organized sport.

Other iNvictus Masters of Fate Fellows:

Ivan Jenkins, of Durham NC, owner of Bull City Sports and Fitness which offers a variety of youth/adult fitness and sports programs that stress the importance of sportsmanship and leadership skills and a healthy lifestyle.

 Tahirah Jennings of Raleigh NC, by way of Baltimore, MD, founder of K-TECH Vibes is founder of an IT company whose main purpose is to make technology easier to operate and understand for the everyday person. 

Dwight Brake of Pittsboro, NC owner of waLA an on-demand delivery service that enables its users to order food from any restaurant seamlessly and easily.

Mina Forte of Durham, NC, founder of Java Coffee and Espresso Bar, more commonly referred to as "Mina's Java"

Dante Evans of Las Vegas, NV, founder and CEO of American Concierge, a lifestyle management organization that provides exquisite and unparalleled concierge services.

Giszell Weather, of Chapel Hill, NC by way of Portsmouth, VA, is founder of Herban, a community space that nurtures and inspires youth through food cultivation.

"iNvictus Office Center strongly believes that the community and environment fosters innovation, productivity, and creativity. Therefore, we built a community for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to work alongside each other and be inspired. From private conference and meeting rooms to shared up to date amenities, we are where people and business come to work and grow together." added Joseph Biggs, Jr. CEO and Managing Partner of iNvictus Office Center.  

For more information, visit 


The Next Step: The Durham-Raleigh Entrepreneur Workshop

Gerald Richardson - Tuesday, February 16, 2016


February 16, 2016

Media Contact: Joe Biggs,

The Next Step: The Durham-Raleigh Entrepreneur Workshop

We are excited to announce that iNvictus Office Center is a Co-Presenting Partner and Host for "The Next Step :: The Durham-Raleigh Entrepreneur Workshop".

This day-long event will be held at iNvictus Office Center, 601 Fayetteville Street Suite 300, Durham NC 27701 on Saturday March 26th, 2016

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from successful investors and entrepreneurs who have raised millions of dollars and built multi-million-dollar companies. They will also receive direct coaching with a full-scale review of their business plan and investment strategy.
Moderated by Hezekiah Griggs III, the managing partner of H360 Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Griggs is a well-respected entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. A global leader, Griggs lectures around the world and is universally recognized as one of the most successful African-American entrepreneurs in the US.

Registration with a discount is available for INvictus members and entrepreneurs. Please  check back with us or follow us on facebook and twitter @invictusoffice for future announcements.

Registration ( )

Slots are limited.

Located at 601 Fayetteville Street in Durham, iNvictus Office Center, A Coworking Community Space is an Ecosystem located in the Heart of Durham that provides Mentoring, Consulting, and Support for Entrepreneurs coupled with a Vibrant Coworking and Collaborative Office Space for Business Owners and Professionals.

For more information, please visit


Black Future Month 2016

Edward Boyd - Friday, February 05, 2016

Press Release:

For Questions regarding Black Future Month, presented by iNvictus Office Center - The HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship, please contact Joe Biggs, Jr at

Black Future Month

presented by

iNvictus Office Center – The HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship


Throughout the month of February, we will celebrate Black History Month at iNvictus Office Center. Being The HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship, we are electing to do so by highlighting great historical African-American entrepreneurs alongside current and future African-American innovators. While we, like the rest of the United States, use February to acknowledge the huge accomplishments of African-Americans, we don’t want to focus so intently on the past that we overlook the reason why we celebrate these accomplishments; that being how African-American pioneers affect and inspire future generations of African-American entrepreneurs. Subsequently, this February, iNvictus Office Center will celebrate Black Future Month!

The Advisory Council of iNvictus Office Center has researched through centuries of African-American entrepreneurial greatness and selected individuals that we believe offers the most impactful depiction of the connectedness between current African-American entrepreneurs with historical pioneers of whom shoulders they stand on. Please join us this Black Future Month 2016 in honoring the following African-American entrepreneurial giants:

Sarah Breedlove (Madame CJ Walker)

Tristan Walker

Arthur Gaston

Lauren Maillian Bias

John Harold Johnson

Arielle Patrice Scott

Maggie Lena Walker

Baldwin Cunningham

Frederick Douglass Patterson

Hannah Bronfman

Larry & Denise Hester – M&M Real Estate Development & Consulting


Heven Rooks – R.E.A.L. Kids United (

Frankie Crocker - WBLS

DJ Nabs

Mario Van Peebles

Chase Dawson - Kid DJ/host

Sherrod Banks – The Banks Law Firm

Kimberly Williams - Right Time Realty (

John Merrick – NC Mutual Life / Black Wall Street

Talib Graves-Mann - Rainbow Me (


Gerald Richardson - Friday, September 04, 2015


iNvictus Office Center, the HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship

Gerald Richardson - Wednesday, July 29, 2015


July 29, 2015

Media Contact: Joe Biggs,

Invictus Office Center, the HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship

Joe Biggs, community manager and one of the managing partners gave a recent interview for Invictus Office Center, A Coworking Community Space.

It has been about a month since the grand opening, how are things coming along?

Things have been great. Since our grand opening on June 30th, we have been quickly accepted into the community. We’ve definitely been gaining momentum here in Durham. Invictus is fulfilling a need that the community has been lacking. One of the mottos that we have is ‘Changing the way you work, because the way you work has changed’. This illustrates how quickly coworking has been accepted in today’s society. Gone are the days of working in a traditional office setting. In addition, small business owners no longer have to work in coffee shops or be isolated working at home. Coworking spaces and the collaborative, connective environment they create has become more and more important from both a social and professional standpoint. There are days that I walk into the center and am amazed of the diversity of businesses, meetups and networking that occurs here. What other place would you find a lawyer sitting next to an artist and providing legal advice while an IT professional is setting up a meetup event and a realtor giving a home buying seminar in one of the conference rooms? Incredible and exciting.

The Triangle Business Journal did a short article on Invictus and one of the aspects they wrote on was that the owners of the office center being all minorities. Could you elaborate?

What sets us apart from other coworking spaces is that Invictus was created for the community. We strongly believe in Durham and all eight founders are contributing members. We are businessmen, educators, and fathers. As far as I’m aware, we are the only locally and minority owned coworking space in North Carolina and perhaps the United States. We launch Invictus Office Center to foster the entrepreneurship talent already growing in Durham. Durham is full of entrepreneurs and visionaries and Invictus will be their launch pad. Additionally, one of our initiatives is for Invictus Office Center to be the hub of minority entrepreneurs.

Invictus Office Center is the hub of minority entrepreneurship. That is a bold concept and statement.

Yes, that is correct. Unfortunately, a large number of minority owned businesses do not survive past the first couple of years or they do not enjoy the level of success their counterparts may experience in the same industry. It is not because minority entrepreneurs lack the drive or passion to be successful. They may have the perfect product or provide the best service but in most case, they do not have the support or knowledge necessary to prosper. In addition to having access to the office center with its amenities and networking, each Invictus member will have the opportunity to receive business guidance and mentoring. Through partnerships we cultivated with other community-based organizations, Invictus members will have access to mentoring to gain the critical business acumen, knowledge and strategy development to help them grow and be successful. We ourselves are minority entrepreneurs with strong ties in Durham and the community. This along with other enterprises we are pursuing for our members will strengthen our position that Invictus Office Center is the HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship.

Located at 601 Fayetteville Street in Durham, with over 6,000 square feet, Invictus Office Center, A Coworking Community Space offers an open area for coworking with private phone booths, a café lounge, high quality printers, 3x meeting rooms, 2x large conference rooms, private offices, and dedicated desk spaces.

For more information, please visit

Press Release

Gerald Richardson - Monday, June 29, 2015


June 29, 2015

Media Contact: Joe Biggs,

Invictus Office Center, a new coworking space opening in Durham

Invictus Office Center provides work place solutions for freelancers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and business professionals.

Whether you are looking for a welcoming coworking space to set up shop with other motivated members, a place to launch the next big idea or American Dream, or a convenient place to meet with clients, Invictus Office Center has the solution for you.

Invictus Office Center offers its members a comfortable work environment with fast internet access, connectivity, and power at an all-inclusive price. Members also have access to meeting rooms, high quality printers, and a fully functional café located on site with light snacks, assorted beverages, and premium coffee. Conveniently located in Durham off HWY-147 with easy access to downtown and Research Triangle Park.

With over 6,000 square feet, Invictus Office Center offers an open area for coworking with private phone booths, a café lounge, 3x meeting rooms, 2x large conference rooms, private offices, and dedicated desk spaces.

Gone are the days of working in a traditional office setting, where cubicles separate colleagues and the only social interactions occur around the water cooler. The rise in coworking spaces have left more people yearning for work environments that are collaborative, inspiring, and stimulating. Coworking has witnessed a significant resurgence over the past few years with the increase of the contingent workers – professionals who work independently as freelancers.

Individuals have become more flexible and creative with their professions. They are starting businesses and creating jobs for themselves. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2020, about 65 million Americans will be freelancers or independent contractors, making up about 40% of the workforce. Concurrently, workspaces are sprouting around the country in order to accommodate the growing number of nomadic workers.

“As the American workforce trends toward independent contracting, freelance, and temping, coworking spaces and the collaborative, connective environments they create become more and more important – from both a social and professional standpoint,” said Joe Biggs, one of eight founders of Invictus Office Center. “No longer the exception, coworking spaces will be the rule.”

“Coworking spaces are melting pots of creativity,” added Biggs. “They generate a level of synergy that results from the proximity and collaboration of like-minded people. New relationships are developed. Ideas are challenged. Problems are solved.”

Today, coworking comes with benefits beyond just wifi and free coffee. Professional, personal, and social gains come as added bonuses that are more advantageous than working in a coffee shop or at home. These environments are not only stimulating, inspiring, and fun, but also lead to new business development and collaborations, as well as increased levels of productivity and income as a result of being part of an expanding business network.

“What sets us apart from other coworking spaces is that Invictus was created for the community. We strongly believe in Durham and all eight founders are contributing members,” said Biggs, “We are businessmen, educators, and fathers and we launch Invictus Office Center to foster the entrepreneurship talent already growing in Durham. Durham is full of talented freelancers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries and Invictus will be their launch pad.”

Located at 601 Fayetteville Street in Durham, Invictus Office Center’s Grand Opening is on Tuesday, June 30th at 5:30pm, sponsored by the Durham Chamber of Commerce and catered by Bull City Pitt Masters.

For more information, please visit