KECHIE'S PROJECT

Annie Goeke

Advisory Board Member

Known as Annie Goeke, she has been a noted leader in the Greens and Peace movement worldwide for over a decade including elected positions in the Green Party such as cochair of the National Steering Committee, International Committee and a delegate for the Global Greens Coordination. She was a cofounder of Lancaster Greens, Green Party of PA and ASGP.

​Over many years, Annie has been involved as a community activist who has promoted green markets, healthy lifestyles and progressive agendas concerning one's community. Besides her green activity, Annie Goeke cofounded a local chapter Women in Black (international peace organization) and codesigner/taught an educational curriculum for educators on peace building in the classroom.

​As codirector of Earth Rights Institute, she has been providing a unique green consultant program in which her principal role is to develop and provide a holistic strategy with sustainable concepts for social enterprises and community development. She is presently working with Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and helping initiate a new international program developing the criteria and certification for sustainable development.

​In 2002-2004, Annie Goeke participated in the United Nations World Summit in Johannesburg, World Social Forum 2003 in Porto Alegre, UN CSD11 and 12 in NYC, and WTO in Cancun. She is also an author and lived in numerous countries around the world. She is currently finishing work on the introduction of a TV series, a home style program that presents projects on how to live green.

Nnena Agba

Face of Kechie's Project

Born in Houston and raised in Nigeria, this Black Beauty was the most beloved Finalist on the hit TV show “America’s Next Top Model”. Having captivated her viewing audience, she was voted “Cover Girl of the Week” numerous times by her fans as well as their favorite to win each week until she left the show. With an exquisitely unique face that transitions flawlessly from high fashion to commercial, Nnenna commands the attention of both national and international markets in different continents across the globe.

​ In addition to been on the cover of TimeOut London, Ross buzz Paris, Clam Magazine, True Love Magazine, e.t.c., Nnenna has also been featured in British Vogue, Essence Magazine, Jewel Magazine, Arize , Spring Magazine, Blush Magazine, and Elle Girl. She has been showcased in ads for Pepsi, Mc Donald’s, Garnier Corps, Sears, Payless, Banana Boat and the top jewelry designer Karl Maria Egger, Paco Rabanne, and Sephora. She is also a spokesmodel for MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid, a company that promotes and provides alternatives to Blood Diamonds and conflict Diamonds. While gracing the runways of Paris, London, and New York, Nnenna has worked for designers such as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Micheal Kors, Heatherette, Jared Gold, Agonavich, Victim, Imitation of Christ, Zuly Bet, Irakli, Fatima Lopez, Maria Pinto, and Rebecca Minkoff to name a few. 

​More than just a beautiful face, Nnenna is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. This former Analytical Chemist is doing her part to give back to the community and make a difference in the world. She is one of the celebrity spokespersons and also the face of Kechie’s Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on self-improvement, empowerment, and education of young women in Africa. As a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model, Nnenna is already a household name and has attracted and continues to attract fans from all walks of life. With an awesome charisma that engages those who encounter her, Nnenna is on her way to becoming a presence to be reckoned with and is destined for greatness! Most importantly, she proudly serves as a positive role model for all young girls and women of African origin and Nigeria in particular.

Nkechi Ogbodo

Founder/President

​Nkechi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lehman College and a Master of Arts in International Relations from City College of the City University of New York. She was born in Jos, but grew up in Enugu and Lagos State, Nigeria. Two major events have played a significant role in the path Nkechi has chosen. The first was being born a girl in Nigeria and the other, a personal tragedy. Despite being born in an Ibo culture in which some show a preference for a male child over a female child, Nkechi at an early age was determined to prove that girls are equally important. Nkechi was also fortunate to have had a father who believed in educating girls. She credits her sense of independence and the ability to leave her native country for the US to her father’s foresight in sending her and her siblings to a boarding school.


Still, nothing prepared Nkechi and her family for the unknown. On June 14th , 2011, her world was shattered when she received a phone call from Nigeria that her mother was kidnapped for a ransom. This experience was traumatic not only for her mom but her entire family. Her mom was taken for eight weeks and after her return, her beloved father passed away a month later. Instead of seeing her mom as a victim, the situation gave Nkechi the courage to stand up for the voiceless; to educate, mentor and be a voice to girls in underserved communities in Nigeria. According to Nkechi, “My mom now has a voice through me.” Though she was violated, Nkechi is using that adversity to help her support many unknowns who have been equally violated.


Before Kechie’s Project Inc, Nkechi had vast experience in the fashion industry, with years working for luxury labels and retailers. While at Neiman Marcus, she received numerous awards as one of the top associates in new account acquisitions. Nkechi was a top producing Brand Specialist for Elie Tahari and Piazza Sempione at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. She was consistently over one to two and a half million dollar Sales Consultant and was a member of the Sak's Elite Million Dollar Club. Nkechi has a strong record of achievements in driving revenues, motivating a team and building relationships. What set Nkechi apart from her colleagues while in the fashion industry was her uncanny ability to communicate and relate with people from diverse backgrounds and culture. Her strong work ethic and branding ability made her a very valuable and reliable employee.


However, it was her passion to make a difference in the lives of others and give back to her community that led to her resignation at Saks Fifth Avenue to found Kechie’s Project, Inc. Nkechi believes in inspiring and empowering girls in Nigeria and in our local community here in New York through education, mentorship, and opportunity. According to Nkechi, “Nigeria is a country near and dear to my heart, not only because it is where I grew up, but also because each time I visit I am directly faced with unfavorable conditions, moving me to make a difference.” As opportunities for African woman are limited, Nkechi affirms the notion that education equals empowerment; when a girl is inspired and supported she will empower and help her family and her community. Nkechi is giving back to her local community here in the US and in her native country of Nigeria because she sees herself as a return of the investment made by her parents and United States Education System in giving her the gift of education. Nkechi has been creating  awareness through her organization to the yearning need of representing and educating girls, inside and outside of Nigeria


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LEADERSHIP TEAM

Dr. Aletha Maybank

Advisory Board Member

Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH is Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and serves as the Director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office located in Central Brooklyn since April 2009. The mission of the DistrictPublic Health Offices is to reduce health inequalities and promote health equity across New York City by targeting resources, programs, and attention to high-need neighborhoods in the South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, and North and CentralBrooklyn.

​Prior to this, Dr. Maybank was Founding Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in Long Island, NY since its launch in 2005. Under her leadership, the Suffolk County Office of Minority Health addressed the alarming health inequities and barriers to care for racial and ethnic minoritiesimplementation of the CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Standards and by working with communities to build relationships that encouraged equitable interactions. In 2007, Dr. Maybank, along with faculty at the Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research at Stony Brook University co-founded the Suffolk County Minority Health Action Coalition, which now involves over 50 community stakeholders all interested in improving the health outcomes of minority communities in Suffolk County.

​Currently, Dr. Maybank serves on the Executive Committee of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association. She also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Masters in Public Health Program at Long IslandUniversity Brooklyn Campus teaching on topics related to health inequities, public health leadership and management, and community organizing in health.

​Dr. Maybank has presented and led trainings on topics related to health inequities, cultural competency, and health literacy at numerous local and national events. She has been a television guest on BET-106 & Park, NY Public Television’s Q &A, and CMS andYou to name a few. She has also had the opportunity to facilitate workshops and to advise on two film projects, respectively: The Deadliest Disease in America by Crystal Emery and Soul Food Junkies (still in production) by Byron Hurt. She has also beenrecognized for her public health contributions with various awards and honors from organizations such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Men and EMG Communications.In her spare time, Dr. Maybank has served on two medical mission trips to Haiti in 2010 to assist in the post-earthquake relief efforts. While there, she provided health care, conducted a public health assessment, and provided recommendations on how toimprove sanitation and hygiene conditions on a tent camp of 20,000 people.

Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and a MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine/Public Health.

Barbara Modeste

2014 Board Chair

Barbara Modeste is an award-winning multi-million dollar sales professional with expertise in management, coaching, mentoring and teaching. She has a strong record of achievements which includes driving revenues, improving sales team performance, building new business and forging strong relationships with external business partners. These include competitive high-end retailers, such as Fortunoff and Saks Fifth Avenue. In here role as the Diamond Department Manager at Fortunoff, she influenced, motivated, trained and cultivated her sales team to become million-dollar producers. She surpassed her sales goals 12 consecutive years. Ms. Modeste continues such successes at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, where she is a mulit-million dollar sales consultant in the Fine Jewelry Department and is a member of the Elite Million Dollar Sales Club. Ms. Modeste specializes in fine jewelry as well as fashion apparel and accessories. She is known for creating a remarkable and informative luxury shopping experience for clients. Her strong jewelry knowledge, great sense of style, and charming personality has made her a much sought-after consultant.

​Ms. Modeste has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including an award from the Fortunoff Group for closing the highest diamond sale in the history of the company. She received an award from the former President of York College for achieving the highest sales in advertisements for the annual college journal.

​Ms. Modeste was recognized by The Big Apple Presidents’ Council of The Links, Incorporated for hosting a private cocktail party at Saks Fifth Avenue. She received the 2010 Business Award from Key Women of America Inc. She is a member of the Women Jewelry Association, National Association of Professional Women, Black Retail Action Group and National Honor Society in Psychology.

​Her philanthropic work includes contributions to American Foundation of the University of the West Indies, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lupus Foundation of America, Women in Need, The Hungry Project, Medgar Evers College, Gospel of Asia and Bible Teachers International.

​Ms. Modeste shares her experiences and wise-business tips with professionals and students. Her volunteer partners include Free Arts Inc., York College Commemorative Quilt Committee and New York City Public Schools. Her volunteer experience includes working with abused children on art projects, and helping them to improve their reading skills. Students benefit from her wealth of experience, particularly through mentoring, coaching and teaching. Her ability to effectively communicate with ease to people of varying ages and background makes her an effective mentor.

​Ms. Modeste holds a B.A. in Psychology from York College: City University of New York. She was recognized by the National Honor Society for Academic Excellence in Psychology, and holds Certificates in Diamonds and Colored Stones from the Gemological Institute of America.