Co-Founder | CEO & President
John Martin is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA), a non-profit organization focusing on leadership development, college preparation and career readiness for young black men. YBLA’s vision is to build leaders to positively impact their communities and beyond.
John knows the importance of positive reinforcement. Challenged by his guidance counselor’s comment in his senior year of high school that he was not “college material” and many years later inspired by a vision from God during a Get Motivated conference, he was led in 2006 to start the organization that is now known as YBLA.
In 2006, John started Young Black Men (YBM) Leadership Alliance to create a new reality for young black men. Frustrated with all the negative images of young black men, he decided to start working with high achieving young men to change the narrative of what the world was seeing. For ten years, John, his wife, Tammy, and a team of volunteers ran YBM and provided a myriad of services to elevate young black men. It began with summer education camps, extensive mentoring and college preparation services. Annual leadership conferences, workshops, service projects, mission trips, and fundraisers followed. Growth and the addition of young black women led to the current Young Black Leadership Alliance.
John has served as a member of several organizations and boards dedicated to empowering young people, He now serves on Read Charlotte’s Board of Directors. He has been honored for his tireless efforts by several organizations including Spectrum News, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Gabe’s Heart Foundation and the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte.
John holds a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree from the University of Delaware, both in Computer Science. His professional career has spanned more than 20 years in Information Technology, Telecommunications, and Software Development. He left a top management position to devote his full attention to young leaders.
John’s hobbies are traveling, sports, golf, and spending time with friends. He and Tammy have one daughter, Jalyn. She is a sophomore at UNC Greensboro studying to become a Speech Pathologist.
Co-Founder | Executive Vice President
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 school, 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 administration to return providing one-on-one therapy and health counseling for homebound seniors. She left the home health setting with Carolina Healthcare System in December 2017. After working 25 years in the healthcare setting, Tammy retired to follow a new passion of impacting the next generation of young men and women.
In 2006, Tammy joined her husband, John to start YBM Leadership Alliance. Throughout the years of working with YBM, many requests were made to create a similar organization for young black women.
In 2015, inspired by God to prepare and empower her teenage daughter and other young black teens for college, Tammy launched YBW (Young Black Women) Leadership Alliance with the help of her daughter and three additional teenage co-founders. Much like YBM, YBW focused on empowering young high school women to be future leaders.
In 2017, Tammy and John decided to combine YBM & YBW into the Young Black Leadership Alliance (YBLA). Together, they run the organization full time. They have a staff of six full-time employees and six contract consultants.
Tammy recently launched “TripleTtuesday”, a yearlong social media campaign of 52 elements of leadership for mothers. These weekly posts are also positive messages to young leaders from a mother’s perspective. She has also started an initiative called “Building Mothers to Lead,” which strives to help mothers guide the next generation of leaders.
In her spare time, Tammy loves planning family vacations, traveling, and CrossFit. She has been married to John for 24 years and they are finally adjusted to having their daughter, Jalyn away at UNC Greensboro, where she is still involved in YBLA.