In 2016, Erica Stephens founded Nana Grants in honor of her grandmother, Mary “Gran” Arivett, and her mother, Diann “Nana” Arivett. Mary helped raise Erica while Diann, a single mother, attended nursing school. In turn, Diann helped care for Erica’s young son while she built her public relations business. Every mother deserves a Nana in her life!
Photo: Erica Stephens and her Gran, Mary Arivett
LeadershipMeet our Board and Executive Director
Founder & Executive Director, Nana Grants
A former editor for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Erica Stephens has an extensive background in print and broadcast journalism. In addition to her tenure as a print editor, Erica worked in broadcast news, reporting for the Atlanta Business Chronicle Report on Georgia Public Broadcasting. In 2004, Erica left journalism to pursue a career in public relations. She began with an account management position for the William Mills Agency, the largest independent public relations firm serving the financial and transactional services sectors. In 2005, she founded Weaver Stephens Group, where she manages and directs strategic planning, client relations and account services.
In 2016, Erica founded Nana Grants in honor of her grandmother, Mary “Gran” Arivett, and her mother, Diann “Nana” Arivett. Mary helped raise Erica while Diann, a single mother, attended nursing school. In turn, Diann helped care for Erica’s young son while she built her public relations business. Every mother deserves a Nana in her life!
Dan Berman, Board Member
CEO PharmaCentra & Concentra Solutions
As PharmaCentra’s founder, chairman and CEO, Dan has created and managed successful teleservices and customer relationship management programs for Fortune 100 companies for over 25 years. Other companies Dan has started include Concentra Solutions, a leader in call center quality assurance monitoring. Dan helped revolutionize the patient compliance industry with the creation of WellTouch™, an innovative contact management program that transformed the way patients communicate with physicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers for better health outcomes. His contributions have earned him a reputation as a recognized leader in the industry.
Dan holds a B.S. degree in broadcast journalism from Ithaca College in NY and is an accomplished vocalist. He is connected to the community through numerous charitable and civic organizations.
Dan resides in Atlanta with his wife, Lauren, and their three sons.
Mary Jane Credeur-Leith, Board Member
Director of Intelligence for the Transaction Sciences team at Transwestern
Mary Jane is the Director of Intelligence for the Transaction Sciences team of commercial real estate brokers at Transwestern. She began her career as a financial journalist, covering the dot-com implosion of the early 2000s while working at the Atlanta Business Chronicle. She then spent nearly a decade at Bloomberg News, covering the beverage industry (Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Anheuser-Busch, etc.) and the aviation and logistics industry (Delta Air Lines, United Continental, UPS and FedEx).
Postsecondary education for working parents is cause near and dear to Mary Jane’s heart. She is the middle of three daughters raised by a single mother who wasn’t able to finish more than a few college classes. She watched her mother juggle several low-paying part-time jobs and struggle to cobble together the cheapest possible childcare — often elderly acquaintances, neighbors or high school kids who weren’t formally trained in good childcare principles. A grant to cover childcare could have allowed her mother to continue her education, which would have had a profound impact on her family’s financial situation.
Mary Jane earned a bachelor’s in journalism with a minor in French from Grand Valley State University, a public liberal arts university near her hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. She lives in Decatur, GA, with her husband Scott and their young son, Jack.
Benji Kurtz, Board Member
Founder/Executive Director, Alliance to Repair the American Diet
Benji is the founder and executive director of Alliance to Repair the American Diet, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about the effect that food choice can have on human health. The nonprofit, which operates under the name Remedy Food Project, puts on weekend-long events all over North America and brings thought leaders in plant-based nutrition to a central location. In addition, Remedy has its own on-demand network on Comcast throughout the southeast U.S., and hopes to spearhead 21-day programs in the future to introduce small groups to plant-based nutrition.
Benji is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Oconee Radio Group, a small broadcast firm that owns several radio stations in Georgia.
Benji is excited to take part in the mission of Nana Grants, as a strong proponent of access to higher education for all. He believes that the availability of these Grants will lighten the heavy load on mothers seeking to further their educations.
Benji was educated at Emory University and lives in Midtown Atlanta with his wife Claire and their cat Mia.
Chief Marketing Officer
Atlanta Community Food Bank
Senior Policy Analyst
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute
Tender Tech Child Development Center at Southern Crescent Technical College
Global Growers Network