MEET THE TEAM
Ryan Kilgore - Founder/CEO
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ryan Kilgore has been playing the soulful sounds of the saxophone since age 10. Being a fourth generation sax player is just one of the many milestones Ryan has come to accomplish over his musical career. After playing in the band for four years at Southwest DeKalb High School, Ryan went on to attend Clark Atlanta University and was the first freshman to become drum major, as well as proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Inc. Ryan's musical inspiration came from his grandfather, Ester Betterson, who was not only in love with music, but also bought Ryan's first horn. Before joining Sol Factor in 2003, Ryan played on the Fighting Temptations soundtrack with vocalist Faith Evans, on the song titled "Heaven Knows", as well as performed on the Walt Disney movie Country Bears. He then continued to work with legendary producers/writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as the phenomenal Stevie Wonder. Ryan is also no stranger to the film industry. He has made cameo appearances in 20th Century Fox's Drumline, Paramount Pictures' Fighting Temptations, and Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman. The feelings that he can't express verbally, he can express through his smooth sounds of "Saxuality." Ryan is an exceptional saxophone player who strives to instill in all people the importance of music's role in the enrichment of the human spirit.
Amber Mason - Evaluator
Our evaluator, Amber N. Mason, is a current Educational Policy doctoral student at Georgia State University. Amber is experienced educator, specifically teaching high school mathematics for 7 years in the Chicago area. She currently serves as a Graduate Researcher in the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University. As her doctoral program concentration is Research, Measurement, and Statistics, Amber's goal is to systematically improve education oriented organizations and non-profits through empirical research, development, and evaluative efforts.
Dana E. Salter, M. Ed - Executive Director
Dana E. Salter is the interim associate director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University. She assists in supporting the center's research, outreach and professional development activities (including program/nonprofit incubation) in the metro-Altanta area. Salter is also completing her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at McGill University, Canada, and her research focuses on critical digital literacy/media, culturally responsive digital equity, connected learning and education with historically underserved youth and communities. She is the co-author of the book Community-based multi-literacies and digital media projects: questioning assumptions and exploring realities (Peter Lang, 2014). Salter has been an national and international educator and non/for profit program developer for 18 years.
Joe Bailey Jr. MM, LPMT, MT-BC - President
Joe Bailey is a percussionist at heart but also plays piano and guitar fluently. He has earned several accolades ranging from high school to graduate school pertaining to music education, music therapy, and percussion. Joe works for Fulton County Public Schools providing music therapy for students in self contained special education classes. He is also the music therapist at Georgia Regional Hospital providing music therapy for individuals suffering from mental health and developmental disabilities. On his spare time, Joe enjoys mentoring and motivating today's youth, being a T-ball coach at his neighborhood park and recreation center, DJing events throughout the city of Atlanta, and informing, educating, and advocating for the field of music therapy. Joe is a proud father of two little boys, a mentor, an established musician of several instruments, an awesome leader, and a great follower to name a few. His passion is instilling music in those that desire it, motivating the youth, and advocating for music therapy.
Mitsah Henry - Vice President
Mitsah Henry has been a force to reckon with since her moved to Atlanta in 1996. She quickly jumped behind the scenes leading to work with grassroots organizations, civil rights legends & celebrities. Mitsah now has her own company, which focuses on event planning, artist management & booking. As a relentless connector, Mitsah lives her life in the words of the late great Maya Angelou, "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud". She's been a long time friend & supporter of Ryan Kilgore and is eager to work with the KMF family.
Beth Collier, LPMT, MT-BC - Secretary
Making music connects people, pushes us to reach for something greater and has shaped my life since my first piano lesson at age 5. The work I do as a board certified music therapist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provides that connection and motivation to patients after a serious illness or injury. I spend some evenings and weekends playing violin with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and many others enjoying live music performances. I’m sort of a concert junkie.
LaCretia Stirgus - Treasurer
Kre has been active with several boards and nonprofits for over 10 years and has over 15 years of Accounting experience. Philanthropy is her passion and she attaches herself to organizations that fall in line with her personal vision/mission as well as that of her company, The Whole-Sum Group, LLC. When not assisting with helping to make the community great, she enjoys reading, relaxing and running.