Board of Directors



Board of Directors

Members of the River East Emerging Leaders (r.e.e.l) have chosen a cross-section of residents from East of the River neighborhoods to establish the Board of Directors. The organization’s newest officers and representatives will serve for a two year term.

Kia Weatherspoon, President
The dancer turn solider who fell in love with Interior Design. Kia has ten years of diverse experience in hospitality design and management, high-end residential and multi-family design with a splash of architectural sales. Kia found Determined by Design in 2012 to begin creating spaces that eclipse current design trends.
She believes in service-based leadership, demonstrated through active involvement with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). When summarized by her top five Gallup Strengths, Kia is a futuristic positive WOO that’s a strategic activator.

Eleasah Banks, Development Chair
Eleasah Banks has been a resident of Historic Anacostia since 2009. She joined R.E.E.L to lead a focused effort on engaging the families in the community more in events, meetings, and gatherings. Professionally, you will find Eleasah each day working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Rockville, MD. When not working she’ll likely be catching up with friends, participating in family activities, playing dodge ball, running a teen kickball league, supporting her daughters in their extracurricular activities, and looking for local adventures for the fam.

Erik McClain, Event Chair
A resident of Congress Height, Erik joined the R.E.E.L. leadership team in hopes of finding ways to make a positive impact within the community. Erik brings a unique skill set to the organization as he has more than a decade of non-profit organization experience on projects focusing on youth development, community building and special events. By day, Erik works as a HR Manager however on the weekend you might find him exploring wildlife, volunteering, or swimming.

Akaii Lineberger, At-Large Representative
Born and reared here in Washington and within the metropolitan region and educated in local schools, earning her diploma from Benjamin Banner Academic High, an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from The George Washington University, and successfully completing graduate study in Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University, Akaii has lived in the Anacostia region on the District of Columbia for nearly 15 years. She has volunteered and worked in the community in several capacities as a former Program Committee Chair and member of REEL's board of directors, on the Economic Restructuring Committee of the Anacostia Main Street, and on a number of local economic development efforts with the DC Office of Planning and other local nonprofit organizations. Akaii looks forward to working on economic development initiatives here in East of the Anacostia Washington, DC.

Jessica Smith, Ward 7 Representative
Jessica G. Smith is a third generation Washingtonian and in 2015 she became a homeowner in the River East community of Deanwood. She is passionate about creating greater economic opportunity through equitable development and having resources that allow residents east of the river to live in healthy and vibrant communities. With all of the changes happening in DC, Jessicabelieves it is so important for native and long term residents to be included in the conversations that shape the communities. Her hope is for REEL to be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth through programming and place-making

Charles Wilson, Senior Advisor
With thirteen other East of the River residents, Charles co-founded the River East Emerging Leaders ( in 2008. This past September Charles was elected as president of the Ward 8 Democrats. The Ward 8 Democrats is the leading political organization in Ward 8 commissioned to engage democratic voters on political issues impacting our community. Charles looks forward to providing a basis of history of the organization for the incoming board as they explore new avenues of growth and excitement.

Sharona Robinson, Membership Coordinator