Apryl Armstrong Founder, CEO / President of SKILL4 Inc.
B.S. Marketing Minor Computer Science * Jackson State University, Jackson Ms. 1982
A.S. Construction Technology / Management * Miami Dade College, Miami Fl. 1996
MBA / Energy Management * Univ. of Phoenix * Maitland Campus 2011
The founder of SkilL4 has been a construction professional for over 25 years. Her journey in construction started after college when she offered to provide her boyfriend who was a general contractor, assistance with some of his projects. She had one requirement to provide her assistance; to be taught how to do the work. Apryl took to construction well, learning all the finishing trades hands-on while completing various residential renovation projects in the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. With a committed interest to remain involved in the building and construction industry she set out to return home to Miami, Florida to add a second degree to her educational profile. The degree sought was a B.S. in architecture. Because Apryl is aware of the availability of grant money for college, she wrote and received approval to get a grant from the American Association of Women in Architecture. Unfortunately, when it was time to enter the college she was accepted to attend (Florida International University), she was informed that the information never arrived and her opportunity for that year to enter was lost.
However, after spending time in the community working with uncles and her brother in a family construction company following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Apryl recognized two things: her hands were starting to reflect the hard work that comes with working on construction sites and that she still had a passion for the industry. She sought out another grant to go to school and found one. This grant was to get a degree in construction management at Miami Dade College.
While pursuing her second degree she maintained her first home as a single mom, and a successful Painting and Decorating Company. After her graduation in 1996, she never looked back, landing jobs with very large prominent construction companies Like Turner Miami and Pulte Homes in Orlando when she and her son moved in 2004. Each position was in field management in the residential and commercial arenas. She was finally hands-off, unless to get the job done on time, she had to strap on her tool belt, put on her gloves and do what it takes to meet deadlines.
Apryl’s career in construction revealed several things that compelled her to one day provide a chance to share her experience with young girls. 1st there is a personal comfort and advantage to knowing how to install your own flooring or other types of home maintenance. 2nd that there are very few women in the construction and building industry both in the field and office management positions. Because of those facts and the undeserved foster care system, Apryl is committed to do what it takes to provide girls in foster care help and motivation to identify the talents they have to establish a successful and productive life.
Prairie View A&M Univ. - Bachelor of Arts Library Science and Business Administration * 1971
Univ. Of Illinois - Master of Science Degree Library Science * 1972
Univ. of Miami - Master of Education Administration * 1978
George Washington Univ. - Grad Certificate, Information Resource Mgt. * 1994
National Defense Univ., Fort McNair - Leadership for the 21st Century * 1997
Retired Command Librarian, US. Army Material Command, Alexandria, VA: Managed and coordinated the programs for 35 libraries located throughout the United States; served as career program manager for over 100 librarians. Interfaced regularly with high level military and civilian officials throughout the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. Prior to Command, she was the Division Chief of the Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright Acquisitions Division for 13 years. As chief she committed to hire student workers each year in coordination with the Prince George County School System, Cooperative Education Program.
Jewel Player is the consummate mentor both professionally and within the communities where she lived. Professional: Department of the Army; She was supervisor of junior professionals and para-professional staff; encouraging them to develop career plans. Provided inspiration for selecting careers by encouraging them to take advantage of available opportunity’s that would move out of their comfort zones. Library of Congress: 5-year participant of the LC Mentoring Program which was formal mentoring and training; assigned junior para-professional to mentors who was not part of her division.
Jewel is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.: a sisterhood that “is a conduit through which individuals can grow and develop, personally and professionally, while simultaneously providing "Service to All Mankind.” In her community she is an organizational advisor and mentor for the Precious Pearls: High School age girls that receive guidance for career, academic and real-life skills. Also, within her chapter Eta, Eta Omega she is a part of the formal mentoring training element that served as a mentor to AKA sisters new to the chapter. The mentors encourage new sisters on how to be an effective and dependable member of the local chapter and the national presence of the Alpha Kappa Sorority.
South Carolina State College University – B.S. Biology *1987.
Pam has worked for 30 years as a Fishery Biologist with NOAA Fisheries. She is also and active labor advocate serving as the President of her union (AFGE Local 2875.
Pam is also passionate about the resolving the issues that surround the effects of climate change. She currently serves as the Environmental and Climate Justice Chairperson of the South Dade Branch of the NAACP where she has volunteered her services since 2019.
J. D., Concord Law School, Purdue University Global
Rollins College - Crummer Graduate School of Business – MBA
Benedict College Bachelor of Science Mathematics
IBM Corporation - Industry Certifications from
Florida A&M University Small Business Program - Certificate of Competency,
Real Estate License, Georgia
University of Florida - Environmental Certifications,
Elise is a former IBM executive where she authored several IBM Technical publications. She is certified in a cross-section of industries and has worked to ensure that small businesses gain access to business opportunities in the public and private sectors. Elise has owned and operated several businesses including a fashion retail store for the working woman and a casual clothesline wholesale distribution firm with twenty-eight distributors in seven (7) states in the southeastern United States.
Currently, Dr. Elsie Hamler provides oversight and management of Contractors Resource Center (CRC), a non-profit organization which administers construction support and assistance to small and minority firms. She has earned the respect and recognition of the business community because of her advocacy for inclusion of these firms on governmental funded projects. Dr. Hamler is the Managing Partner in Outlook International, Incorporated where she directs a team of professionals in providing consulting and advisory services in such areas as system controls and processes, business streamlining, administrative services, community outreach and public involvement.
Elise is dedicated to providing her support and expertise within her community as evident in the following list of her past and present civic involvement and affiliations:
Secretary, Executive Committee, Benedict College Board of Trustees
Member, National Association of Women MBAs
President, Dade County (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
Past President, The Girl Friends, Inc., Miami Chapter
Former President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Delta Omega Chapter.
Board Member, Allied Minority Contractors Association
Past National President, Benedict College National Alumni Association
Past Chair, Minority Business Advisory Committee, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Board Member, Community Small Business Enterprise Advisory Board, Miami-Dade County
Former Chair, Coral Reef Montessori Academy Charter School Board of Directors.
Bachelor of Science Nursing Education Albany State University
Master’s Degree South University Nursing Education
Certified Nurse Practitioner
APRN of Jupiter Medical Group * Primary Care & Internal Medicine
Critical Care, Emergency medicine and interventional radiology.
Specialist of Adult gerontology, acute chronic disease management.
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Palm Beach Nurse Practitioner Council
Delta sigma Theta Sorority Community Service Organization”
“Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. “
Prairie View A&M University Bachelor of Arts in Social * 1968
University of Texas at Arlington Master of Social Work * 1978
Has served Foster Care and Social Work Community:
Catholic Charities as a Foster Home Licensing Social Worker * Miami, Florida
Director of the Outpatient Substance Abuse Program in Dallas, TX.
Gwendolyn Johnson is a retired Administrative Officer for the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center Mental Health Department, currently lives in Desoto, Prior to being hired by the VAMC, she worked for Texas Employment Commission, Family Guidance Center, and the Texas Department of Child Protective Services.
Since retirement in 2013, she volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for the Ellis County Family Court System in Waxahachie, Texas. Additionally, she volunteers at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church’s Turn Around Agenda Family Service Center as a client advocate.
Bachelor of Science Social Work - Tennessee A&I State University
Master’s in Social Work - Florida Memorial University
After graduating college Arlie begin her professional career with Florida Memorial University in the Department of Social Science as a professor. Later she moved to Dallas where she was employed as a Clinical social worker with the Dallas, Texas Department of Children Service in the sexual abuse unit. However, Arlie found she has an affinity for health and wellness, staff training and development. She returned to Miami to become a Supervisor with the City of Miami Police Department where she was a fitness instructor, curriculum developer and trainer. Having excelled in Curriculum development and employee training, Arlie gained an opportunity as Vice President with DESA, Inc. Conference Department.
A position that is near and dear to Arlie which she remains an active part of today is her working with NSRI (Nonviolent Schools RI). NSRI host domestic and international nonviolent training at schools, college, military factions, police departments and many other corporate and political structures. The training program is called “ Kingian Nonviolence” and Arlie is a Certified Trainer and Practitioner. She has traveled to many parts of Africa over the past 10 years multiple times and have conducted trainings in various city’s within U.S. state and local organizations.
Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy of nonviolent conflict reconciliation, based on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and the organizing strategies he used during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a holistic view of conflict that includes the study and analysis of conflict (how to understand conflict), the Principles of Nonviolence (the values of a community), and the Steps of Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation (how to address conflict and restore relationships).
"The time is always right to do what is right." - Dr. King
Middle Tennessee State University - Bachelor of Business Administration / Accounting * 1987
Deborah started her professional career as a Tennessee Legislative Auditor traveling across the state auditing state departments including Universities and Community Colleges. These experiences lead to being hired as the Business Office Accountant at Volunteer State Community College. There Deborah’s diversity of responsibilities positioned her as the ideal candidate for the newly created Manager of Financial Systems and Procedures position at her alma mater.
Having noticed her work ethic and the success she was having with her responsibilities, the Vice President of her division promoted Deborah to a life changing opportunity-both professionally and personally. Deborah became the Director of Administrative Services at a time when MTSU was starting to encounter amazing opportunities and growth. This position allowed her to be a vital part of the campus strategic planning, while also overseeing the operations of several major administrative departments including Parking and Transportation Services, Tennessee Livestock Center and Murphy Center Complex. Although Deborah’s background was in accounting, this position allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and explore administrative skills she wasn’t aware she possessed. She was also very instrumental in helping start several initiatives including the Relax and Ride Bus Service. Through her leadership, several departments were created including Event Coordination and the Evening Extended School Program.
Deborah also found success as the MTSU Business Coordinator for INROADS, Inc. Internship Program. This allowed her to mentor students to not only be successful during their college years but to receive advanced degrees and have successful careers. Through her leadership, Deborah was awarded the Business Coordinator of the Year twice and MTSU was awarded Company of the Year.
Her vast years of professional experience landed Deborah in her current position with the TN Small Business Development Lead Center coordinating internships for MTSU students and marketing the Center’s services to new and existing businesses. She also implements the funding process for students that are in unpaid internship opportunities. During the Internship Funding Orientations and Onsite Internship Visits, Deborah also devotes time mentoring these young adults and teaching them life skills.
Deborah’s passion for helping others can be seen in her professional career as well as throughout her community. Over the years as an American Cancer Society volunteer, Deborah has held numerous positions including Relay for Life Team Captain, Board of Directors Vice President, Advocacy Team Leader, and Media Spokesperson. She is also very involved in several ministries with her church, Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.”