Derek has been working with mission-driven organizations for over eight years, implementing resource development strategies for arts, community, education and public policy programs.
Derek's passion for the arts led to a five-year tenure at Harlem's Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., supporting the theater's evolution into a dynamic 21st century performing arts organization. As Associate Director of Institutional Giving, Derek managed the theater's corporate, foundation and public sector solicitation strategies for a suite of new programs, capital renovations and special projects. His work led to a thirty percent increase in grants awarded, including commitments from The Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Target and Bank of America.
Beyond the Apollo, Derek has provided grant writing, campaign management, and administrative services to organizations including the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, the RAND Corporation, and Northside Center for Child Development, Inc. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in English at Morehouse College and also holds a Master of Arts from New York University.
In addition to consulting, Derek is a playwright and producer. Numerous institutions — including the United States Embassy, the National Black Theater and the Jerome Foundation — have supported his work. Originally from Pickerington Ohio, Derek has lived in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City and Osaka Japan, and is relieved to finally settle in Chicago. He lives in Lakeview with his partner, Dr. Aymar Jean Christian, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Northwestern University.