Dyslexia Advocacy Group

                                                                   of the Carolinas

IEP and Advocacy Specialist


Jeanette Meachem - Executive Director


Jeanette Meachem is an advocate and founder of Dyslexia Advocacy Group of the Carolinas. She is dedicated to spreading awareness as well as providing support for parents/guardians, and educators of dyslexic students. Since 2010 Jeanette has made the well being of dyslexic children her primary goal. She has worked with parents and school systems to develop individualized education program and interventions for students with dyslexia. She’s lobbied on behalf of families in the state of North Carolina which has resulted in NC’s first dyslexia law. Jeanette has hosted numerous dyslexia awareness events at local libraries, schools, and universities in an effort to educate the community on dyslexia. She believes by teaching students to embrace dyslexia we open the doors to self discovery as well as give them the lifelong gift of a positive self awareness.  Jeanette Meachem is a wife and proud mother of two sons. Jeanette Meachem currently serves on the board of NCIDA (NC International Dyslexia Association) and volunteers with DDNC (Decoding Dyslexia of North Carolina). She enjoys art, music, cooking and baseball (spectator only;-)

Board of directors

Connie Thornhill Bettis-  Director of Wealth Management and Insurance Planning

Connie Thornhill Bettis, a native of the City of Pittsburgh graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Business Administration and later obtained her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Connie worked at Verizon Communications as a Revenue Assurance Manager where she was responsible for managing projects to minimize unnecessary risk, increase revenues, and improve processes for the Retail markets division. After twelve years of dedicated service Connie was downsized and changed careers. Connie joined Prudential Financial where she obtained her Insurance and Securities licenses and began helping individuals protect and grow their wealth. After several years with working at Prudential and later with Guardian Life, Connie is now the Director of Wealth Management and Insurance Planning for Keith Clark and Associates. Connie focuses her practice on helping individuals and small business owners with comprehensive financial plans including retirement, business succession, and estate planning.  As a Financial Professional on a mission to serve and educate her community, Connie has conducted financial literacy classes at churches and community centers. She has been a panelist for the African American Leadership Conference, African American Chamber of Commerce, National Black MBA, and has been a guest speaker on the Allegheny County MWDBE radio talk show “Taking Care of Business”.  Connie is currently the Treasurer of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Girlfriends, Inc., served 4 years as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the North Shore Community Alliance, and is a member of the African American Chamber of Commerce, National Black MBA Association, and the Women’s Business Network.


Shonda Irby -  Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo

LaVetta Dawkins McDonald - Vice President with Well Fargo 

LaVetta Dawkins McDonald is a Vice President with Well Fargo.  In her current role, LaVetta is a Process Engineer and helps drive operational efficiency across Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. 

Before joining Wells Fargo, LaVetta was Senior Vice President at Bank of America. While at Bank of America she served in leadership roles across Operations, Finance and Technology areas within the bank. She also held the position of Diversity Manager at TIAA-CREF, helping drive a culture of awareness and placing emphasis on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

LaVetta has more than 20+ years of Management, Project & Process Management, Diversity experience in the financial industry.  Drawing on her broad and varying experience, LaVetta’s passion now centers around managing change and helping others solve problems and manage change with diversity lens at the forefront of all of her endeavors both professionally and personally.  LaVetta is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Davidson College.