Board Member Bios
Ellen Nash, Chair
Ellen Nash currently serves as Chair of the Black American Political Association of California, San Diego Chapter (BAPAC SD) where she is responsible for working with the board on the organization’s strategic direction. Ellen is also responsible for forging relationships with funders and community stakeholders and presiding over BAPAC’s monthly meetings. Ellen is a Southeast San Diego native who graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Public Administration, and an emphasis in Human Resources Management. Her graduate studies were in Educational Leadership and Counseling. Ellen was instrumental in forming the first Black Gospel Choir at SDSU. Over a 28-year period, Ellen worked her way up from student assistant to manager of SDSU’s Human Resources Department. She then served as manager of human resources at UCSD’s Health System for five years before retiring. Ellen is co-owner of Life Strategies, LLC which specializes in human trafficking, financial literacy, and human resources consulting. Ellen’s extensive volunteer work includes the San Diego Urban League, NAACP, San Diegans for Educational Justice Warriors, and the Black Leaders Collective. Ellen currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the Leon Williams San Diego County Human Relations Commission. She is also an administrator at Faith Tabernacle Family Worship Center and a board member at Youth Will.
Samuel Merrill, Vice Chair
Samuel (Sam) Merrill serves on the board as an activist for community outreach, education, and development. He plays a leading role in managing projects that serve the Black community. Sam was born in Camden, Arkansas and raised in San Diego, where he completed his K-12 education, graduating from Morse High School. Sam obtained a Master of Arts in Management; a Bachelor of Science in Education, Training, and Development; and an associate degree in electronics. After more than 25 years, he retired from the City of San Diego as a program manager for the purchasing and contracting Department. Sam is a proud retired veteran of the United States Air Force and is committed to serving his community.
Alyce Pipkin-Allen, Vice Chair
As the Vice Chair of BAPAC SD, Alyce Pipkin-Allen serves at the direction of the Chair and collaborates with the Chair on advancing the organization’s mission. Alyce also presides at meetings in the Chair’s absence or at the Chair’s request. Born in Mississippi, Alyce came to San Diego with her military family. She graduated from San Diego High School and attended Kelsey-Jenney Business College and San Diego State College. She holds a Lifetime K-14 Teaching credential, several personnel management certificates, and is a LEAD Graduate. She has over 40 years of experience in nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Alyce began her career as a direct service employee/supervisor with several local nonprofits. After spending over 20 years as a human resources administrator with the County of San Diego, Alyce retired and redirected her energies into a number of community projects. She has co-founded several nonprofits, notably the Black Women's Institute of Leadership Development (BWILD), Black and African Women Rise (BAWR), Women Give San Diego (DEI Committee Co-founder), and 1619 National Celebration of Black Women. The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc, the California State Black Women's Collective, and the County of San Diego’s Democratic Party have all recognized Alyce for her commitment to making the County of San Diego a better place to live, particularly for Black people. Alyce is a State Delegate for the Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, Ph.D, and is Marie Pipkin’s daughter.
Dinah McGraw-Goodspeed, Treasurer
Dinah McGraw-Goodspeed currently serves on the Executive Board as the Chief Financial Officer for BAPAC SD. She has been an active BAPAC member since 2016. Dinah is a recent retiree from the Department of Navy, with more than 40 years of career service in human resources administration, aircraft maintenance, quality assurance, planner and estimator roles, and training consultation for civilian employees. Dinah’s government career has carried her to Texarkana, Texas; Germany; Northern California; and San Diego. Dinah joined Blacks in Government (BIG) in 2000, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has held several positions within the regional office. She has hosted BIG Regional Conferences and meetings, serves as a BIG National Delegate, and has participated on the Elections, Nominations, and National Resolutions Committee. She became the Greater San Diego Chapter President of BIG in April 2010. In numerous capacities, Dinah has chaired and supported initiatives and programs to improve communities and education programs in San Diego. Dinah’s passion is to make the world a better place. This passion has sustained her desire to be active in programs that support Blacks and other minorities in establishing equity in education, medicine, jobs, and social injustices.
Jaynene Portis, Executive Secretary
Jaynene (Jay) Portis serves as Executive Secretary for BAPAC SD, providing administrative support, executing various secretarial functions, and coordinating communication. Jay loves her community and is a San Diego native who graduated from Bonita Vista High School. She received her associate degree from San Diego Christian College. For more than twenty years, she served on the staff of Faith Chapel COGIC as an office manager and as an executive administrator for City of Hope International Church. She volunteered for the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau as a Certified Visitor’s Information Specialist for 15 years. Along with her husband of more than 44 years, Jay manages Beloved Video and Event Productions and has coordinated hundreds of weddings and events. She has three successful and amazing sons and daughters-in-love, and four beautiful grandchildren.
Abena Bradford Stephenson, Director
As a director for BAPAC SD, Abena Stephenson provides leadership in the areas of home ownership, mortgage assistance and civic engagement. She is a native of Philadelphia, PA and was a longtime resident of Atlanta, GA before relocating to San Diego in late 2012. Abena is a proud graduate of two Historically Black Universities, receiving her B.A. from Shaw and her M.P.A. from Clark-Atlanta. She is currently seeking a PhD from Grand Canyon University, a Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Integrating Technology, Learning and Psychology. Abena is passionate about economic development and quality of life specific to the African American Community, and other communities as well. This commitment is demonstrated through her ownership of a mortgage company, Rapid Response Mortgage, and real estate company, Rapid Response Realty. Abena enjoys grassroots organizing and community building and participants in numerous community organizations. All her activities lead back to uplifting and improving quality of life through economic development and advocacy. Abena was recently appointed to the City of San Diego’s Consolidated Plan Advisory Board (CPAB).
Minister Gregory C. Mitchell, Director
Gregory (Greg) Mitchell serves as a BAPAC SD director, handling membership and outreach. Greg also advises on issues related to veteran affairs. He is a native of Chicago, Illinois and a 22-year Navy veteran. Greg has been an ordained minister since 2014 and is currently an active member of Mt. Zion MBC. Gregory received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from National University, an Associate of Science Degree from San Diego City College, and a Certificate in Human Resource Management from New Hampshire University. Additionally, Greg has belonged to the Masonic Fraternity for over 31 years. He is a Worshipful Master of Henry A. Willis Lodge #68, on the board of directors of The Most Worshipful Sons of Light Grand Lodge of California, and the president of the San Diego Masons and Eastern Stars. Greg is currently a state worker; a past president of the African American Cultural Awareness Committee; and a past Policy Council Chairman of the Neighborhood House Association.
Ray Osborne, Director
BAPAC SD Director Raymond (Ray) V. Osborne serves as key advisor on legal, policy, security, and administration related items. Ray has enjoyed a law enforcement and security operations career for over 32 years. He served in the rank-and-file and management of the United States Air Force Law Enforcement Security Forces and has provided specialized, full-service security services for private sector and non-profit organizations. In addition to roles with the University of California San Diego and Kaiser Permanente, Ray also served as a regional vice president for Hospital Housekeeping Systems. He has provided assessments and training for diverse clients across multiple verticals. He has proven successes with a vast number of financial, operational, and executive management responsibilities. In addition to Ray’s outstanding career, he has completed specialized training and has numerous certifications, awards, accomplishments, and professional memberships.
Aeiramique Glass Blake
Aeiramique serves as project manager on BAPAC SD activities and events. She specializes in community organizing and marketing.
Aaron Dalton Burgess Jr.
Aaron serves as project manager on BAPAC SD activities and events and specializes in database management, research, writing and fundraising.
Nekose is BAPAC's web consultant. She updates the site as requested by the board, managing content pieces that have been provided to her and creating new content as necessary.