Founder and Board Chairman
Dr. Dennis B. McKesey is the Founder and CEO of In Our Best Interest LLC and The Off School Grounds Coalition, Inc. He is a dedicated, innovative and resourceful education professional with close to thirty (30) years of experience in working for private, public and charter schools in New York City. It is his belief that with the support of Educators' and their passion to learn and grow, we can enhance capacity to facilitate students' learning, mental and social emotional growth, all of which leads toward urban school reform and community development. As an Alma Mater of Mercy College with accreditations in School Administration and Supervision, a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Business Leadership Development Program, and having successfully completed his Educational Doctorate at the University of New England, he remains passionate for the direct involvement of community and education through effective school leadership. Dennis consults nationally with teachers and administrators at schools and districts and has presented at school leadership conferences. As a former principal at one of the most premier charter schools in the country, he built a proven track record of success and desired to share his effective and beneficial strategies with other educators in the area and across the nation.
Chief Operating Officer and Co-Chairman
Deneise leverages over fifteen years of experience in Retail and Investment Banking as well as ten years in the Mortgage Industry. With her astute acumen of how financial institutions evaluate applicants, she is one of the best in her business. She graduated Summa Cum Laude at Iona College where she received her Bachelors of Business Administration and MBA with a concentration in Financial Management.
Deneise McKesey is the CEO and founder of Focused Solutions Services, Inc., a business consulting and personal finance literacy firm. She believes financial literacy is one of the essential aspects that everyone should possess, especially in today’s fast-paced economy. Her goal is to create sustainable financial resilience. Beyond business and personal finance consulting, she emphasizes building financial literacy among her clients to enjoy the benefits of achieving long and short-term financial goals.
With 35 years in the entertainment industry, Laze is a businessman known as a pioneering icon in the Hip Hop and R&B world and also in the international touring world. Laze Elliott began his broadcasting and global media career in 1990 serving as Music Producer, Production Manager and Creative Director to world renowned artists. Laze has produced music legends Billy Danze & Lil’ Fame (aka M.O.P.), Jay-Z, Positive K, Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, Nice n’ Smooth, Vanilla Ice, Buju Banton, Lil Jon and the list continues.
Taylos Media, LLP serves as a platform to advance children in 21st century with new technology in Media Production. As technology advances in the music industry, Laze brings his unique expertise of the behind the scenes knowledge in production, sound waves, music frequency and creative audio-visual effects. His most notable NYC studio projects consist of the reimagining of Sony Music Studio, redesign of D&D Studios from an analog to all-digital room as well as the Hammerstein Ballroom studio and lounge in NYC, Unique Studios, Quad Studio and Pyramid Studios.
Priscilla is an Entrepreneur, Award winning Journalist, Activist & Community Organizer who consults Executive and Political Clients. Priscilla also has a proven track record coaching entertainment industry A-Listers. A creative visionary, and author (2021) not just passionate about work, but deeply involved in community affairs with internationally renowned activist.
Currently, Ms. Echi serves as Board Chair for M.A.D.E. Transitional Services. The Steven Tyler “Dream On” Project creator has consistently contributed to the Non Profit arena for over 15 years, executing programs at signature events, while securing sponsorships from high end brands including but not limited to: Chase, American Express, Mercedez Benz, Hennessy, Sam Ash, Ruth Chris, and Neiman Marcus.
This experience has given her distinctive vision and deep appreciation for how excellent communication through media relations, top notch events, and non-profit work when managed well, can improve the quality of life in our region, one program and city at a time.
Armani is an accomplished attorney and a creative mind who has successfully merged his love for the law and for the world of innovative thought into a career that positively impacts both. He is the founder of the Law Office of Armani B. Scott in Brooklyn, New York. He also serves as Business Counsel and Executive Producer for Strategy Park Management. Mr. Scott believes in the power of helping others to solve problems and manifest their visions. It is with this higher purpose that he provides his signature services which cover all aspects of law, business development, art curation, brand development, and creative writing.
With over 20 years of legal experience, Mr. Scott is a member of the New York State Bar and the United States Federal Court. He is skilled in corporate and entertainment law, including intellectual property protection and copyright and trademark procurement. Mr. Scott has provided business counsel, art curation, and art development for exhibits, murals, and multimedia campaigns on behalf of clients including Smif-N-Wessun, Roc Nation, Pepsi, Champion Sportswear, Bronx Brewery, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Yankees.
Steve is a dynamic sales professional having served in a variety of sales leadership roles at TransUnion. He has 20+ years experience servicing the financial services and related industries, is well versed in financial service consumer products and brings a passion for promoting financial literacy and financial inclusion across all communities.
Steve attended Colorado College, Boston University and has BS Business Management from Lesley College.
Ken is the Founder and Executive Director of Intellectus Preparatory Charter School located in Mount Vernon, New York. With investments from B-16, Ken has had success in early childhood education, elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as in professorship at the college level. Ken was most recently an instructional coach at Merrick Academy Queens Public Charter School, where she contributed as a school turnaround specialist, leader, and teacher coach. She has spent 13 years working in the field of organizational development and school improvement, including serving as the director of STEM, data, and assessment at Invictus Preparatory and dean at Achievement First.
Ken earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Adolescent education from CUNY’s College of Staten Island. Ken graduated Magna Cum Laude with a M.S. degree in Organizational Leadership (a non-profit MBA) and a M.S. degree in School Building Leadership from Mercy College. Most recently, Ken graduated with a 4.0 and earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Niagara University in School District Leadership. Ken holds New York State certifications in teaching Birth through 2nd grade and mathematics for grades 7-12 and administrative certifications as a principal and superintendent.