Dr. Altreisha Foster is best known for her work in Public Health, her contributions to vaccine science, and advancements in infectious diseases. She is the CEO and Founder of Foster-Bentho Scientific Consultants. A firm that aids underserved jurisdictions in vaccine programming, medical sociology, and community engagement.
She has over 10 years of experience in the Infectious Diseases field. Her career in public health and vaccine science began in Washington, DC. Later, she worked in the Caribbean as a vaccine principal. Her research has been published in several prestigious journals, including Nature.
Most recently, Dr. Foster, wife, mother, scientist, and baker, is also now the proud author of the book “Cake Therapy, How Baking Changed My Life”, where she highlights the correlation between trauma, her life experiences, and hardships, and overcoming the sweet decadence of baking through her recipes. Premised in purpose, Dr. Foster specializes in baking extraordinary, flavored cakes and goodies. She finds peace, solace, remembrance, and renewal of life in her nurtured craft and has since been sharing it with the world.
She is now a formidable baker and entrepreneur. With just a couple years of training under her belt, the perfectionist she is quickly mastered the art of baking and baking architecture at record breaking speeds. Born in Jamaica, this Caribbean principled, Minneapolis, Minnesota based resident, is now the face and masterful hands behind the cakes of Sugarspoon Desserts a premier baking and dessert making company, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her desserts are highly sought after and have appeared in local and international media, both print and electronic.
She is also the CEO and Founder of the Cake Therapy Foundation, designed to offer baking as a form of therapy to systems impacted women and girls. She was recently listed among the top 20 female entrepreneurs to watch in 2023.
She is a graduate of Campion College and the University of Technology in Jamaica as well as Howard University and George Washington University, Milken School of Public Health in the USA.
Dr. Foster is married to Dr. Oladi Bentho whom she met at Howard University College of Medicine. They currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with their two children, Kende and K’nedy.
Altreisha hopes to continue her work by sharing her expertise and love for seeing people smile through baking, cake therapy, and building her community while she continues to champion and advocate for race and health equity.
Terrance Kwame-Ross, Ph.D., professor at Augsburg University, and a visiting faculty at the University of Minnesota.
Terrance is a scholar-practitioner with over 25 years of experience working with Black boys and men in school, community, and treatment settings. Dr.Kwame-Ross is a professor of education at Augsburg University, and a visiting faculty in the School of Social Work, Youth Development Leadership Master Program at the University of Minnesota. In addition, Dr. Kwame-Ross also served as Clinical Supervisor for My Home Inc., a former community-based African-American Transition Institute in St. Paul, MN, where he supervised and led men’s parenting, anger, and domestic abuse programs and groups for 18 years for Black and Brown males and their families. Dr. Kwame-Ross’s current research and writing focuses on the power of Black male learning in hostile White environments.
W. Curtis Marshall MS, Public Health Strategist/Consultant
Curtis Marshall has a broad background in public health. He recently retired after thirty-one years as a Public Health Strategist with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. He served as the health equity consultant with the Wisconsin State COVID Response Testing and Vaccination Teams, advocating the short and long-term effects in minority communities because of toxic and deep social structural conditions.
His belief that ‘public health is everything, and everything is public health’, has placed him in multiple public and private strategic discussions and think tanks to develop population-based health and safety improvement strategies. He is recognized as an engaged change leader, building, and facilitating partnerships for sustainable momentum and progress to resolve community issues at the community and system levels.
Sam Simmons has over 33 years of experience as an alcohol and drug counselor and behavioral consultant specializing in practical, culturally sensitive trauma-informed strategies addressing historical trauma and focused on improving outcomes for African American males and their families. He is an Adverse Childhood Experience Interface Trainer in Minnesota and certified as an administrator of the (IDI) Intercultural Development Inventory. Sam received 2016 Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma award and the Black Tear Drop Award for his vision and leadership in culturally sensitive trauma-informed work in the community and around the country. In 2018 he received the city of Minneapolis Public Health Hero Award for his unique, innovative, and culturally specific trauma-informed work in the community.
In 2020 he was called upon to assist organizations in addressing the challenges of recruiting and retaining African Americans and other staff of Color and developing culturally sensitive, trauma-informed diverse organizational practices. Sam is the co-creator of the Community Empowerment Through Black Men Healing conference called “Groundbreaking and Visionary”. He co-hosts the "Voices" radio show on KMOJ FM that addresses urban community issues.
“A role model is one who is aware that the babies are watching and acts accordingly.” Uncle Big