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Motivators of Tomorrow

"Committed to the Cause"


Deidre Greene

Founder - Chief Executive Officer

Deidre's passion for teaching art began while employed at Carthay Center and Bellagio Road Elementary schools as a Teacher Assistant.  This trajectory led to being the Director of the Rosewood Elementary After School Star Program and The Beverly Hills Catskills Summer Arts Day Camp.


She is a Los Angeles native who has been bestowed honors, awards & monetary compensation for her infusion of passion, industrial design & craftswomanship while aesthetically combining everyday up-cycled sustainable copper into jewelry art for everyone’s well-being.


Her jewelry has been exhibited in the Beverly Hills Art Show, Calabasas Fine Arts Festival, Laguna Beach Art Walk, Malibu Arts Festival and the California African American Museum. Deidre has been a featured demonstration artist, taught copper jewelry master art classes, virtual zoom classes, arts & culture classes at Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion. She has been the recipient of nine awards including the Beverly Hills People’s Choice Award, Jewelry category in 2020.


Numerous travels to Africa, Mexico, South America, Central America and the Caribbean Islands have given rise to her cultural lens teaching style.  Through creative adventures, Deidre instills students with self-confidence and a common sense critical thinking approach to problem solving thus assisting them with successfully maneuvering through life.


Her teaching/mentoring accomplishments include adults and youth. As a UCLA graduate and recently retired from law enforcement after 22 years of service, Deidre still remains active within underserved communities. 

Cliff Kerlegon

Curriculum Engager - Mentor

Dino Greene is an invaluable member of our team. Dino Greene is truly a joy to be around and it is indeed a pleasure to work with.  Dino is our team builder, resource supporter, client relationship esrabisher and project manager assistant.  His ability to orgistrate fundraisers makes him a great asset for Copper Gumbo.  His expertise as a Technical Engineer includes training and developing fortune 500 companies staff members, infrastructure development, product design and implementation.

Dino Greene

Art Education Administrator

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With us since our founding, Cliff Kerlegon is one of our veteran team members.  Cliff has worked in the digital field for over 20 years.  He is proficient in a multitude of editing and encoding and techniques and platforms and has a wealth of film/TV post production expertise.  A Design Assistant for more than 20 years, specializing in copper art production procedures and technical problem solvng.  His passion for working with students stems form years of teaching at Kim's Little Angels Daycare as well as assisting students during the City of Beverly Hills hosted jewelry making classes.    

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Director of Operations


Rikayah brings unsurmountable years of a counseliing, and mentoring for senior adults and youths.  Rikayah advises students on personal and academic problems, career choices, and the like.  Bringing her skills to the forefront in helping our organization grow and succeed.

John Forte

Vice President of Sales/ Senior Loan Officer

Innovative Lending Group

John is the Vice President of Sales and Senior Loan Officer at Innovative Lending Group in Los Angeles , California. John is setting a new standard in the lending industry, while delivering custom lending solutions. Born and raised in Los Angeles, John attended Pacific Palisades High School and the University of California, Berkeley. John started his career in mortgage lending and banking at California Federal Bank, where John received the President’s award, representing the top 20% of all loan producers. Prior to joining Innovative Lending Group, John was a top loan officer at William Gregory Mortgage and Westside Mortgage. John has over two decades of experience handling a wide variety of residential and commercial loans, including single-family homes, condominiums, multi-family and other investment properties. John’s expertise includes conventional, FHA, VA and commercial loans. John’s clients are located throughout Southern California.

Rose Monteiro


          A lifelong social worker

Rose, a licensed clinical Social Worker, Senior lecturer at UCLA Graduate of Social Welfare and a retired adjunct professor from the USC graduate school of social work. Rose's social work practices has included work with adolescent, couples, families and groups. She has been a school Change Consultant, and provided training to educators on stress management. Rose is a former Board Member for prototype residential drug treatment program for women and children. Rose was also a Board Member for Peace Over Violence, a social service agency providing services, training and community education regarding domestic violence.

Greg Tekin

Greg is an exquisite, accomplished, world renowned jeweler with a pulse on cutting edge jewelry manufacturing technology.


He is an expert in the art of design, computer aided design (CAD) modeling making, metal fabrication, laser welding, 3-D printing, gemstone and the French pave’ diamond setting. Greg’s micro-setting (use of a microscope)  diamond technique creates a continuous glittering sparkle as they are set close together giving the effect of a road made out of diamonds.  


Greg is a self-taught hand engraver who utilizes, when production requires, a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) laser/cutting machine.

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