Executive Board

Rodney H McRae

Rodney H. McRae,

The ultimate goal of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Committee of Nassau County Inc. has always been to raise funds in order to award scholarships to those deserving Nassau County High School Students who might not otherwise achieve their dream of a College Education.

Nelson Mandela stated that "Education Is The Most Powerful Weapon Which You Can Use To Change The World"

It is my objective as President to increase the reach of our organization so that we can assist as many Nassau County students as possible to achieve the dream of education and be in a position to actually change the world.

Wilma H Tootle

Wilma H. Tootle, 
Youth & Education Chair

A native of Autaugaville, Alabama. She received her Bachelor's degree from Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama; Master's Degree from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York; and Professional Diploma in Educational Administration from C.W. Post College, Greenvale, New York. In addition, she has taken doctoral courses at New York University. In 1988, she was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Monrovia College in Monrovia Liberia. In October 2010, she completed her etiquette certification at the Etiquette Institute in Saint Louis, Missouri. 

A retired career educator, she has been a teacher of English, Reading and Social Studies; a high school Dean of Women, Asst. Principal, Principal, district director of personnel and asst. superintendent of human resources and professional development Currently, she is the President of W. H. Tootle Consulting Services, specializing in social, business and children's etiquette.

She is a long serving member of the Nassau County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee who serves as the Youth and Education Committee Chair and a member of the Board of Directors.Her mantra is "make service your signature" as she works to make a difference in the community, especially the youth of the community.

Parveen Chopra

Parveen Chopra, P.H.D,

Dr. Parveen C. Chopra has been dedicated to volunteering with this organization since he was awarded the Recognition Award in 2005. He has fought against racial violence in the Indian, Asian and American communities.

To fight the crimes against Business Community and customers, he organized and created Jackson Heights Merchants Association in 1989 and Flushing Merchants Association in 1990 in Queens, New York. With sustained efforts from the community and with the help of the Mayors, Borough Presidents, Police Departments, Washington D. C. elected and appointed officials, these problems were solved and helped the Indian Community to be part of main stream America.

Dr. Chopra has excelled in academics by attaining five graduate degrees with honors and top ranks from prestigious universities and an MBA, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Business Administration From the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has taught over seven thousand BBA, MBA and Doctoral students at quality oriented Universities: Hofstra, LIU, Rutgers and Kean. He also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham and Stevens Institute of Technology. He has authored several books and articles in the field of Business Administration and has been a member of the Academy of Management since 1976.

Audrey L Hadden

Audrey L. Hadden,
Financial Secretary

Audrey L. Hadden was born on the first Anniversary of Dr. King's March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The purpose of the march was to advocate for civil and economic rights. Audrey is an advocator for Justice and self-empowerment through her volunteer efforts as President of the County Clerk Unit of the Local CSEA Union, the African American Museum, the Anti Bias Crime Task Force of Nassau County and her commitment for the past fourteen years serving the Nassau County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee who serves as Coordinator of the Luncheon and on the Board of Directors. She obtained her Bachelors degree in Psychology with a concentration in discrimination from Queens College.

Audrey enjoys helping students realize their goals for higher education.

"Education is not preparation for life, Education is Life Itself" John Dewey

Vaughan McCall

Vaughan McCall,
Board Member

I enjoy my voluntary experiences with the MLK committee as the heartfelt commitment from its members demonstrate the vision and values that is necessary to assist youth in there quest for education, responsibility and creativity. The events that are sponsored are not only for the youth but for our diverse communities to share the commonality dream the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has vision for all of humanity.

John Nedd

John Nedd,
Board Member

John has been an active participant and member of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration Committee for over fifteen years. During that time, John has worked diligently as part of the former Youths on Parade Performances and the Awards Recognition Committee. He became the Chairman of the awards committee, and has faithfully chaired the selection of individuals whose work, activities and achievements exemplify the qualities and ideals of Dr. King, to build bridges and improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live. John has developed a reputation of being a great community advocate amongst his peers, as he strives to make certain that all recommended candidates chosen for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration Committee of Nassau County Award, are recognized for their excellence and service to their community.

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Gerald Wright,
Board Member

Gerald G. Wright is active in many community and legal organizations. He served as President of Legal Aid Society of Nassau County from 2002-2004. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of Nassau County and was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, 1990-1992. He served on many other Boards including The Boys Scouts of America, Girls Scouts USA and The Urban League. He gives back to his community as evidenced by the "Gerald Gardner Wright Endowment Scholarship Fund" at Hofstra University and the Mentor Programs that he established through his office for the youth. He is fair and reasonable but can be tough when necessary. He is a retired decorated Police Officer.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
 Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"  
Martin Luther King, Jr.