Community Engagement Symposium 2019: Keynote Speakers

Grady L. Crosby

Grady L. Crosby

Vice President Public Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and President, Johnson Controls Foundation

Grady L. Crosby is a Corporate Officer of Johnson Controls and is responsible for leading Johnson Controls’ global diversity and inclusion strategy, sustainability thought leadership, LATAM government relations strategies, and its philanthropic endeavors, in order to enhance enterprise business objectives and maintain the company’s commitment to social responsibility, community involvement and the environment. In this role, Crosby continues to drive Johnson Controls’ commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce as well as partnering with a diverse vendor/supplier base aligned with company values. In addition, Crosby also leads the Johnson Controls enterprise sponsorship capability.

Crosby joined Johnson Controls in 2011 as vice president and global general counsel for the Power Solutions business. In that position he supervised all legal operations associated with that business, and served as a member of the company’s senior legal leadership team providing support to the Johnson Controls General Counsel.

Previously, Crosby held positions with Hanesbrands, Inc., National Textiles and Sara Lee Corporation.


Annie McGinnity Kubes

Executive Director, McGinnity Family Foundation

Annie McGinnity Kubes is a native of Milwaukee, graduate of UW-Milwaukee, and spent the first 15 years of her career in MPS where most recently she served as the Coordinator of City-Wide Programs for the Recreation Department. Prior to her work in Recreation, Annie was an MPS Teacher.

Annie was recently named the first executive director of the McGinnity Family Foundation which works to elevate the voice of young people by funding their game changing, socially innovative ideas for addressing community-based challenges. Her role with the Foundation combines her passion for youth leadership development with her interest in using philanthropy as a vehicle for creating sustainable positive change in communities.

Annie was given a voice as a young person while serving as a member of Youth Advisory Councils at both the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee. She credits these formative experiences with her first exposure to both the giving and receiving sides of philanthropy, building a solid foundation of leadership capabilities and fueling her passion for empowering young people to lift their voices. Annie lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two sons.


Naya Jones

Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical College of Wisconsin

Naya Jones, PhD is a geographer, holistic practitioner, and healing arts strategist. Her engaged research with community partners uses arts-based and body-centered methods for social change. Her current partnerships focus on food sovereignty, cultural healing ways, and wealth-building with communities of color. Naya is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a national Culture of Health Leader, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Learn more about her work and partners at


Janan Najeeb

President, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition

An educator, social justice advocate and community builder, Ms. Najeeb is able to mobilize diverse communities to counter hatred and bigotry and find common ground. A scientist by profession, Ms. Najeeb left her career to work tirelessly for a just and equitable society.

Ms. Najeeb engages thousands of people every year. She runs the Islamic Resource Center, which hosts Wisconsin's first Islamic public lending library and cultural center. She is founder of the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival and publisher of the Wisconsin Muslim Journal. She is the first Muslim to open the floor of the Wisconsin State Legislature with a prayer. Ms. Najeeb lives by the motto, if you are not actively part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!


Shauntay Nelson

Wisconsin State Director - All Voting is Local 
The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Shauntay Nelson brings a deep background in policy and government and years of effective networking skills, facilitation, public policy, organizing, and strategic planning. She is a registered lobbyist and her successes include lobbying for the expansion of early voting locations in the city of Milwaukee (leading up to the 2018 election), influencing legislation introduction around automatic voter registration, redistricting, and voting rights, and influencing the outcome of Executive Orders from the Governor’s office. Shauntay is one of the primary contacts for nonpartisan issue advocacy in the state of WI; working with the Evers Administration and the State Legislature to draft, submit, and introduce policy for the state.


Tracey Sparrow, Ed.D.

President, Next Door Foundation

Dr. Tracey Sparrow joined Next Door in 2015. She previously served as Vice President for Children’s Programs at the Milwaukee Center for Independence and as President of the Milwaukee Academy of Science. Next Door works in the Direct Service pathway: We are addressing the immediate needs of low income children and families in Milwaukee through early childhood education and family support services.