Board of Directors

Tina Marie Jackson, Ph.D. | Founder/CEO

Dr. Tina Marie Jackson is the founder of The Surviving theGame Conference, which focuses on educating, empowering and guiding students toward economic development. Jackson is well-known in social service and academic circles for her vitality and commitment to youth development and mentorship.  In 2013, Tina was named a Jackson Scholar by the University Council for Educational Administration. In 2012, Jackson was awarded a Community College Leadership Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin. Jackson is a former Professor, Department Chair and Academic Dean. Ms. Jackson holds a Bachelor’s Degree In Science, a Master’s Degree in Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. Contact Info:

Natalie J Lee Phote
Natalie Johnson Lee | Board Chair

Natalie Johnson Lee is owner of Sister in Power, LLC, a professional coaching and personal development consulting firm.  Johnson Lee is also the Director of Girls in Action in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Former fifth ward City Council Member, Natalie Johnson Lee transferred to Minneapolis from Philadelphia in 1992 to advance her corporate career. Upon her arrival she became immediately involved in grassroots organizations, which enhanced her understanding of critical issues in the fifth ward and the need for more citizen participation in local politics. Her passion for community organizing and economic development lead to her decision to run for her current office.  Council Member Johnson Lee was elected in November 2001 to represent Minneapolis residents in Willard-Hay, Near-North, North Loop, Harrison, Sumner-Glenwood, Marcy Holmes and Nicollet Island-East neighborhoods. These communities are composed of one of the most diverse wards in the City of Minneapolis.  Natalie serves as a board member for The Greater Minneapolis Visitors And Convention Association, The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, The Salvation Army Harbor Lights and The North Community YMCA.   Natalie spends time volunteering for Chrysalis, B.A.H.I. Circle Of Caring and several homeless shelters throughout the community.  Her diverse experience includes working at the Minneapolis Urban League, General Mills and Dudley Products. Natalie is a life-long learner, wife and mother of four children and two grandchildren.

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Stephen D. McGregor Jr.

Stephen D. McGregor Jr. has been a part of the Surviving the Game Conference from its inception. As the Director of Technical services for the conference, Stephen is responsible for working with Timberwolves / Lynx personnel, STG Staff members and external vendors to help coordinate, plan and oversee the technology needs of the conference.  Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the IT Field where he has worked as an advanced CADD Support Specialist, Enterprise Systems Administrator and now manages a team that provides network support for over 5500 Minnesota employees.  Stephen has Bachelors of Computer Science, holds several technical certifications and is a partner of Desktop Integrated Systems: a proud 10 year sponsor of the Surviving the Game Conference.

Cyreta Oduniyi, STG Minnesota Conference Director

Cyreta was born and raised in a Minneapolis Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with her Bachelors of Science in Youth studies. Cyreta has been a Youth practitioner for 10 years, and works with teen girls as a life coach. Currently Cyreta is seeking her Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Cyreta enjoys  mentoring students.  Contact Info:


Samantha J. Ruiz-Gross STG Texas Conference Director

Samantha J. Ruiz-Gross is a mother, student and youth advocate. Samantha has been active in the youth community for many years serving in several capacities. Samantha comes from an educational background in Human Services and Youth Studies. Samantha is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was selected to participate in a national Youth Leadership Conference. Samantha is currently leading a ministry with the local youth who are incarcerated. Samantha spends a lot of her free time, volunteering in the community, traveling and just being with family.  Contact Info:

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Charles E. Cox, Jr.

Charles E. Cox, Jr. is a proud and accomplished native of Saint Paul Minnesota. Charles’ commitment to community and helping underserved families realize their dream of homeownership is evident in his work as a real estate broker and agent. Charles also has an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit which led him to explore professional opportunities across industries. Charles is the former owner of an electrical contracting company, a real estate agency, a general contracting company and a downtown Minneapolis bar and grill. Currently, Charles is using his expansive real estate knowledge at the law firm of Rosalind R. Sullivan to assist clients in negotiating real estate short sales or obtaining mortgage loan modifications.  In 2009, Charles shifted his career and is focusing his passions toward inspiring people. Charles is proud of his expanding public speaking career and is looking forward to marketing his life improvement book.