Eric A. Sheppard is President and CEO of Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. (DRS), a U.S.-based cultural heritage awareness and international trade development firm located in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Eric is the chief visionary and project director of the Homecoming Project featuring the Door of Return Homecoming™ and Underground Railroad Experience Day Tour projects that bring awareness of the upcoming 400th anniversary of the documented transatlantic slave trade era in the Americas in 2019.
Eric uses this knowledge to help transform U.S. and African/African Diaspora trade and cultural relationships to help develop emerging countries on the continent of Africa therefore strengthening cultural and human relationships, including business relationships. Eric is also an author and family genealogy researcher. He started family genealogy research in 1996. He is a past member of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society.
During his genealogy research, He discovered an internationally recognized slave narrative about a former slave named Moses Grandy from Camden, NC, whom he believes is his ancestor. In 1843, the British & Foreign Anti-Slavery Society of London, England published Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy; Late a Slave in the United States of America. Moses Grandy is considered one of a forerunning Black abolitionists, predating Frederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman and Solomon Northrop.
Eric has over 25 years experience with Department of Defense agencies and contractors in Industrial Base and Quality Assurance management. He holds a B.S. degree in Technical (Industrial) Management from University of Maryland University College and an A.A.S. degree in Production Management from the Community College of the Air Force.
Lisa Sheppard is the Vice President and Tourism Director for Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. (DRS) and a Corporate Advocate for the 2019 Africa Homecoming Network Pilgrimage project. Lisa oversees administrative functions for DRS and is the Tour Director for the organization's Underground Railroad Experience Day Tour. Lisa is the lead event planner for DRS domestic and international programs. In addition to her responsibilities with DRS, Lisa has over 25 years experience as a human resources professional, specializing in employee benefits and holds a B.S. in Mass Communications (Public Relations) from Towson University.
Virginia Advocate - Larry Elliott
Larry Elliott is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, where he graduated from the Portsmouth Public School System in 1972. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the United States Army and served most of his military career as a Maintenance Supply Technician in Germany during the Viet Nam Era. Upon being honorably discharged from the military he matriculated at Virginia State University (VSU) majoring in Industrial Education. Earning a B.S. Degree in Industrial Education he entered the teaching profession and taught Industrial Education/technology in the Richmond, Hopewell, and Chesterfield Virginia Public School Systems before accepting employment with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). He recently retired from DLA as a Technical and Quality Specialist/Business Process Analyst for the last 36 years.