Pennie Douglas

Executive Director

2012 - Present

     Executive professional for over 30 years. Moving to Paris, France in 1988, she was hired by the French Federation of Gymnastic as their Chef du Service Informatique. While learning to master French, she became a French national. Within a year of her employment, she acquired additional responsibilities as the American Attaché for all International Olympic Gymnastic competitions and trials. 

     Sought out by Euro Disney, Paris she consequently left the Federation in 1991.  Disney hired Douglas onto the Executive team where she quickly became a valuable asset as a liaison between the French and American executives. Later, her responsibilities expanded to include translating Disney's Standard Operating Procedures and Policies (SOP) for the 7 Disney hotel properties that helped hone her technical and operational skills. She even contributed her voice when asked by the audio production team to record the English speaking park service announcements.

     While still employed, in 1994 she co-founded Mac & Dam, Inc. importer of European athletic gear for the American market. By 2000, her company had expanded its vision creating an internet domain registration and web hosting branch located in Publier, France.

     The summer of 2004, she found herself returning to the United States where she settled in Corona, California. When seeking employment, she became cognizant of the educational barrier that precluded her from American executive employment. In Europe, her experience was exalted, in the US it was almost non-existent. Her opportunities were relegated to low entry level positions. 

     Frustrated, she took employment well below her qualifications and restarted her corporate climb. She promoted quickly to positions just below the executive branch. Reaching her glass ceiling, she decided to go back to school.  Working full time and caring for her family as a single mother, she received an Associate Degree in Arts and an Associate Degree in Science at Riverside Community College. Consequentially, she continued by obtaining a Project Management certification from University of California, Irvine. In 2018, she acquired her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Cal Poly Pomona. Still not satisfied she continues her education.

     During her employment at Southern California Edison as a Project Analyst, a colleague asked Douglas to assist in helping her high school sophomore son get into college.  After successful admission into Northwestern, another colleague sought her out.  Soon she was assisting several students while becoming painfully aware of the disparity of information ordinarily given to underrepresented students in college admissions, retention and graduation process. Suddenly she realized helping students achieve their post-secondary academic goals was the task she was born to do.

     Reflecting back on her life and truly understanding her father’s climb to become one of few black Aerospace Engineers during a time where Janitors was the occupation of black men; a passion ignited in her soul. Taking her retirement savings she left Edison. 

     In 2012, she founded and became the Executive Director of the William H. Douglas Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization. The main goal of the foundation is to serve African American students by giving them the tools, strategies, and resources which will empower them to complete their post-secondary educational goals