"We were given a unique assignment to change the world's perception of young black men and women. We are writing a new narrative and creating a new reality for the next generation of young leaders! It is an honor and privilege to do so."
-- John and Tammy Martin
CEO & Co-Founder
John Martin is the CEO and Co-founder the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA), a non-profit organization focusing on leadership development, college and career readiness, and service learning for young black men and women.
Forever impacted by his high school guidance counselor’s comment of “you’re not college material”, John was inspired many years later by a vision from God during a 2006 Get Motivated Conference to start the organization that is now known as YBLA.
John and his wife Tammy firmly believe that the key to developing leaders is education, experience, and exposure! With that in mind, they have exposed many young leaders to worldwide travel including mission trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba and cultural service-learning trips to Johannesburg, Soweto and Cape Town of South Africa and Abu Dhabi and Dubai of the UAE.
In addition to his work as CEO and Founder of YBLA, John is a Read Charlotte Board Member and mentor to several non-profit leaders. He is a past member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools African-American Males Task Force, the Male Leadership Academy Board, Central Piedmont Community College Minority Male Mentoring Advisory Board, Vance Academy of Engineering Board and the SAME Academy Board.
John was named Hero of the Week by Spectrum News. He is also the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award by the Omega Pi Phi chapter, Paradigm 360 Colin Pinkney Man of the Year Award, Made Man of Charlotte, National Council of Negro Women Brotherhood Award, Gabe’s Heart Foundation Big Heart Award, and the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte Robert Davis Award.
John and Tammy, his wife of 25 years, are both second-degree black belts in Tae Kwon Do. Jalyn, their daughter, also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a Junior at UNC Greensboro.
EVP & Co-Founder
A native of Statesville, N.C., Tammy attended East Carolina University and earned a BS in Occupational Therapy. After ten years of working with geriatric patients, she returned to college, earning a master's degree in Healthcare Administration from Capella University. She has held several rehabilitation leadership positions including one position as a nursing home administrator. Driven by her love of caring for older patients, Tammy left her administrative position to return to providing one-on-one therapy and health counseling for homebound seniors. She left the home health setting with Carolina Healthcare System in December 2017 to work full time with a much younger clientele.
In 2006, Tammy joined her husband, John to start YBM Leadership Alliance. Throughout the years of working with YBM, their unique leadership development, college preparation, and service organization for young black men, many requests were made to create a similar organization for young black women. So, in 2015, inspired by God, motivated by her teenage daughter, and her passion for working with young people, Tammy launched YBW Leadership Alliance with the help of her daughter and three additional teenage co-founders. Much like YBM, YBW focused on empowering young high school and college women to be future leaders. After the overwhelming success of the first YBW Leadership Conference, Tammy and John decided to meld YBM and YBW into the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA) in 2017. Together, they run the organization full time. Since merging the organizations, Tammy has created initiatives such as “Building Mothers to Lead,” which is helping mothers to lead the next generation of young women. Tammy launched “TripleTtuesday,” a social media campaign on leadership elements for mothers. The weekly posts were also positive messages to young leaders from a mother’s perspective. Her most current project, Aspire Sister Circle where she brings professional women to engage with teenage girls to share their individual professional stories and support them to become the leaders they were created to be. This project stemmed from the philosophy that “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
In addition to the work at YBLA, Tammy also participated in many leadership workshops and earned three certifications. She is a certified Career Coach, which was awarded by Paradigm 360 in Charlotte. She earned a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Boston College and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
In her spare time, Tammy loves planning family vacations, traveling, and CrossFit. She has been married to John for 26 years and they have one daughter, Jalyn who is a senior at UNC Greensboro, where she a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., and is still involved in YBLA.