Meet Our Team and Join Our Village
Our Board of Directors
Ruqayyah AbdullahBoard Chair
Orazio MancarellaVice Chair
Darlene L. WilsonTreasurer
Earlisha WilliamsBoard Member
Ruqayyah is an Agile Discipline Leader at BBVA USA where she brings innovative expertise and adaptive best practices to lead the organization’s agile transformation. A certified project management professional, Ruqayyah has lead initiatives in all phases of the project delivery life cycle for more than a decade. Her diverse experiences coupled with her ability to manage complex projects have resulted in substantial cost savings and on-time performance within budget using multiple frameworks and methodologies.
Prior to her role as Agile Discipline Leader, Ruqayyah served as a Regional Operational Manager, responsible for the operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, and business continuity for 15 branch locations at a national financial institution. In this role Ruqayyah was recognized by her peers and received the “Best by Any Measure” award.
Additionally, Ruqayyah has served in supply chain and senior sourcing roles at the bank where she was recognized as the #1 Top Sourcing Manager for two-consecutive years.
Community oriented and service focused, Ruqayyah has served as a volunteer and Board Member for Cahaba Valley Healthcare and a past Jr. Board member of the YMCA. Ruqayyah is an active member of the Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
A product of the Birmingham City School System, Ruqayyah graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and obtained her Executive MBA from the University of Alabama. She is the proud mother of 2 loving and active children, Yusuf (son) and Sahirah (daughter).
Driven, methodical, faithful and passionate all describe Orazio Mancarella, a VP and HR Solutions Developer at BBVA. Also a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Orazio Mancarella received the Bronze Star for his work with the U.S. Department of State to stabilize the Iraqi banking industry while deployed.
Mancarella extends his personal and professional talents and resources to many organizations including Omega Psi Phi fraternity, INROADS and the United Way where as a loan executive he raised over $1.3 million. Orazio was named to the Alabama Leadership Initiative Class III, and has established the Jennica Kimberly Endowed Scholarship at the University of Alabama in memory of his late wife.
Orazio is a native of Mobile, AL with a B.S. in Finance and an MBA from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dedicated and committed to family and community, Orazio currently resides in Hoover with his three energetic children; son Oliver and daughters Haley and Sophia.
Darlene Wilson is a distinct representative of how Birmingham businesses operate given effective and efficient leadership of their organization. With more than twenty-five years in the corporate
banking and public accounting industry, more than fifteen of those years as an entrepreneur in our city qualifies her as a leading entrepreneur in Metro Birmingham and many other regions and states.
Darlene received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Montevallo. She is honored for being recently named to the 2020 Birmingham’s Most Influential Executives – Power 60 and 2019 National List of the Top 100 Influential Execs in Finance. Her firm was also recently nominated for ICIC’s 2019 Inner City 100 Award. The Inner City 100 is a national ranking of America’s fastest-growing urban businesses in inner cities. She completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program at Babson College in the Fall of 2018 and Emerging Leaders through the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2017.
Darlene was selected to serve on Legacy Prep Charter School Board and the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham Board of Directors in 2020. She serves on Regions Bank Advisory Board for the Birmingham market and is also a member of the Inaugural Small Business Council for the City of Birmingham where she serves as the chair of the City Services Committee. Darlene was appointed by Mayor Randall Woodfin to Birmingham Airport Authority Board of Directors in 2018 where she serves as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee. Darlene also serves as Treasurer of The WellHouse and Alabama Women in Business. She is Immediate Past Board Chair of REV Birmingham. She is also a Member of Foundation Capital where she serves on the Loan Review Committee.
She has been a mentor for Bizwomen Mentoring Monday for the past four years. Darlene was recognized as BBJ’s Women to Watch 2017 and 2015 CEO Finalist of the year in the Small Business Category presented by Birmingham Business Journal.
Darlene is the mother of one son, Christian is a Senior at MSU in Denver studying accounting. As Darlene says it best, this is by far her greatest accomplishment in life and family brings her the most joy! She is a native of Lake Charles, LA and has been in Birmingham, AL for thirty years and both are home to her. She enjoys cooking, wine tasting, traveling the world, flower/vegetable gardening and reading. She simply loves life!
Earlisha is a native of Bessemer, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama where she studied business administration. After graduation, she began working at UAB where she earned an MBA. After a short experience in Georgia, she returned to Alabama to attend law school. She graduated in 2013 and began working for a global boutique labor and employment law firm before joining the litigation team at UAB. She is currently a member of the human resources leadership team. Earlisha is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two beautiful children. In her spare time, she enjoys home renovations, watching HGTV, and traveling.
Legacy Prep is expanding our Governing Board of Directors. Our selection process:
Upload resume and complete brief application.
Complete a school tour and interview with the CEO.
Complete interview with the Governance Committee and/or full board and/or board vote.
Interested in joining us?