OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dionne Bussey Reeder has worked in communities and across cities in the field of community relations and human capital development for over twenty-five years. Some of her major accomplishments include the development and implementation of a college preparation program, which successfully assisted hundreds of District of Columbia high school seniors complete the arduous process of college admission and financial assistance. She also contributed to the development and management of the $9 Million District of Columbia Local Law Enforcement Block Grant and the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. While serving in the District of Columbia's Office of Neighborhood Services in the Mayor Williams administration, she worked with community leaders to successfully close open-air drug markets in Southeast Washington, D.C. She also assisted several area churches to create youth development curriculums and community programming to engage at-risk youth.
Dionne has served with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative (FSFSC) as the Principal Deputy, Community Engagement Director and Program Director for the Ward 8 Drug-Free Coalition. Her work has included oversight of the community mini-grant and capacity building grant program, where she annually provided support and oversight of approximately $2,000,000 million dollars for youth and family development programming in Ward 8. Dionne was recognized as a Hometown Hero by GEICO and Fox 5 News for her leadership and service. Dionne served on the senior team that brokered the purchase of FSFSC’s new home office, and successfully closed the deal to bring Anacostia, Washington, DC the first Busboys and Poets restaurant east of the Anacostia River. Busboys and Poets became the first anchor tenant in the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative’s newly owned building.
Knowing the impact and power of entrepreneurship in underserved communities, in May 2015, Dionne joined a partnership and opened a restaurant, Cheers @The Big Chair in Ward 8. She is now the sole proprietor. With only 3 sit-down restaurants in the entire community, Cheers @The Big Chair has served as a model for the importance of investing in communities where the need is the greatest. Since its opening, Cheers @ The Big Chair has been committed to hiring Ward 8 residents. It has become an important community gathering place for networking, fun, and fresh healthy food options. The spirit of Cheers @ The Big Chair is felt around the city, as its customer base has expanded to residents from all walks of life and from all parts of the City.
Most recently, Dionne embarked upon one of the greatest challenges in her life thus far. In 2019, Dionne ran for the At Large DC City Council seat. Attracting nearly 50,000 votes, this race would go down in history as one of the most interesting and most talked about races in the District of Columbia politics. Dionne led such an impressive race that she caught the attention of Mayor Muriel Bower and became the first, first time candidate endorsed by the Mayor over a seated incumbent. Dionne won the endorsement of the Washington Post, The Washington Blade, The Georgetown Current and all of its local affiliates’ papers, The Restaurant Association of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Reverend Willie Wilson of the world-renowned Union Temple Baptist Church and many other community, corporate and civic leaders in Washington DC.
Our organization is led by members of our community who work hard to direct our vision and operations. Members of our board come from diverse backgrounds and professions, all focused on ensuring that family and community always come first at FSFSC.
Kathleen R. Holly, President
Rev. Eugene Kinlow, 1st Vice President
Nathaniel Howard, 2nd Vice President
Clyde Edwards, Treasurer
Diane Fleming, Secretary
I. Toni Thomas
L. Yvonne Moore