Our Leadership

We are proud of the Board of Directors and leadership of Educational Arts Society, Inc. and look forward to the implementation, progress and success of the principles and policies established by the corporation under their leadership.

Business backgroundChief Executive Officer

Founder & Treasurer Walter Parham II


Biography of Walter Duane Parham II

Saxophonist Duane Parham is one of the Motor City’s most beloved jazz artists. He is recognized as an innovator and top performer in Smooth Jazz, R&B and Gospel Music. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Duane’s latest project, “Motor City Sax Appeal: My Tribute to the Motown Legends”delivers a Mo-Jazz tribute to Motown Records with guest appearances from some of the label’s most legendary performers. Duane, one of the Executive Producers on this project is joined by other talented producers such as Pat Lewis, Carl “Butch” Small and Maurice Whitsett.

As an artist, Duane has amassed several accolades acknowledging his talent and civic contributions. He is the recipient of three Mayoral Proclamations of Achievement from Mayors Coleman A. Young and Dennis W. Archer of Detroit along with Mayor Martha G. Scott of Highland Park, MI for his accomplishments in the development of Music Arts and his outstanding contribution to the progress of both communities.

He also received the Spirit of Detroit Award for producing and arranging “Dream Detroit,” a song co-written with the late Detroit Councilwoman Kay Everett. Most recently, Duane was inducted into the “Detroit Legends of Jazz Hall of Fame.” He holds the distinction of being the youngest person to join this elite fraternity at the time of his induction.

As a performer, Duane has opened for noted motivational speakers Les Brown and Iyanla Vanzant, R&B and Soul singers Anita Baker, Martha Reeves, Freda Payne and Spider Turner. Duane has also performed alongside gospel greats Michael Matthews, The Clark Sisters, the legendary Shirley Caesar and Rance Allen.

Parham extended his voice worldwide as a radio Internet DJ on EAMT  RADIO /www.eamtradio.com every Sunday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. E.S.T.

Duane’s talents reach beyond just making music. He has written, produced, directed and performed in the musical drama, “ALONE IN THIS WORLD” a play focusing on the strength of family, the perils of drug abuse, and the spiritual uplifting from Gospel and Jazz music in the church.

Along with his many artistic pursuits, Duane still finds time to share his gifts with young people who are looking to develop their musical talents. Duane has taught music at Marygrove College at the Continuing Education Kid’s College Department, where he showcased local talent. He also taught music at St. Ambrose Academy Middle School in Detroit, MI.

True to his gospel roots, Duane serves as a saxophonist at Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and formally served at Transforming Love Community Church, for 8 years where he serves as the Minister of Music.



Chief Operating Officer & Marketing Consultant

Dr. Mamie Smith

 Biography of Dr. Mamie Smith

Dr. Mamie Smith is an author, talk show host, vocal music teacher, business woman and inspirational speaker. She writes on numerous social media sites and has established her own social network, Unfolding of a Rose.Com and blog, Open Thought.

Dr. Smith can be heard worldwide on numerous online radio stations as an “Expert in Helping Others Overcome the Loss of a Child/Loved One.”  Her knowledge, wisdom and experience . . . uplifts, comforts and guides listeners to a pathway of peace.

Smith is the author of three books:

The Unfolding of a Rose, Medicine: A Daily Dose of Spirituality and recently published An American Story: My Family and Yours.  Five ebooks bear her name, knowledge and viewpoint on many topics.

As a business owner, Smith was President and Co-owner of Rio Boutique, an upscale women and children clothing store in downtown Detroit for 22 years.  Recently, she became a talk show host on EAMTRADIO with “Talk to the Author with the Famous Dr. Mamie Smith”–a show that reaches across America and shares heartfelt stories of numerous authors.

Belle Isle Conservancy of Detroit
Strathmore’s Who’s Who WorldWide

Doctorate Degree
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

Master’s & Specialist Degrees
Wayne State University

Bachelor’s Degree
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN

Business Owner for 30 Years 




President of Board of Directors Janice Slappy

Janice Slappy joins Educational Arts Society with extensive knowledge of tax liabilities relative to businesses and individuals residing in the State of Michigan.  Her knowledge of tax code changes, accounting procedures and the ability to assist in the evaluation of financial information, are essential elements the non-profit deems helpful. Further, as a tax examiner for the State of Michigan, Director of a National Housing Association, and President of a 502 c 3 organization, equip her with the "know-how" to step into the role of Presidency with ease and confidence.



Detroit College of Business – Associate of Management Degree

Currently Enrolled at Davenport University

The professional profile of Slappy reads like this:

  • Management and Development of Organizational Employees, Volunteers and Organizational Structure.
  • Verification that Non-profit Mission Statements & Activities are in Compliance.
  • Development, Implementation & Monitoring of Sound Financial & Budgetary Practices.
  • Confirmation that Board of Directors’ Policies, Directives & By-Laws are Correctly Administered.
  • Initiation & Implementation of Grant-Writing Proposals & Grant Acquisition.
  • Leadership & Implementation of Non-Profit Duties, Responsibilities and General Organizational Performance.

We welcome Janice Slappy as President of Educational Arts Society, and look forward to her leadership in helping us reach our goal in developing a network of resources that young artists can positively explore in music, art and theater, which allows them to take advantage of a range of opportunities that traditionally may not have been available to them.



Vice President of Board of Directors Yvonne Smiley


Biography of Vice President Yvonne Smiley

Vice President Yvonne Smiley is an entrepreneur, travel specialist and model.   She worked in the travel industry for 23 years in several capacities, including Sales Representative for Northwest Airlines in Livonia, Michigan and Tampa, Florida, Corporate Travel Counselor for American Express in Dearborn, Michigan and Independent Travel Agent.

In 1993, Smiley founded All About Teens (AAT)a non-profit organization that promoted youth involvement and academic participation, focusing on youth between the ages of seven and seventeen.   AAT provided educational programs that enabled students to achieve life skills in problem solving, time management, organization and leadership in a positive environment.  It operated on Detroit’s east side in the Franklin-Wright Settlement for 12 years.

Yvonne Smiley utilized her modeling skills to produce annual beauty pageants, talent and fashion shows, which consisted of teaching teens choreography, poise, stage presence and modeling techniques, thereby building self-esteem, confidence, courage and a competitive acumen that allowed them to perform in a broader setting.


Studied Business Administration –  Davenport University, Dearborn, Michigan
Certificate of Professional Modeling – Austin Modeling School, Detroit, MI
Travel Specialist Certificate – World Span Travel Academy, Kansas City, MO
Presently Enrolled in Bachelor’s Degree Program – University of Phoenix, AZ


Community Service Award – Hair Wars


International Pageant Association – Los Angeles, CA

Secretary of Board of Directors Karen Thornton 

Biography of Secretary Karen Thornton

Karen Thornton comes to Educational Arts Society with an illustrious background in many areas.   She is a retired United States Government employee, West Bloomfield Area Mary Kay Consultant, Certified Children & Business Etiquette Trainer, Organizer/Facilitator Mentor,  Ambassador for the City of Southfield and Owner of Detroit Delivers, a Personal Planning & Etiquette Services Company.

As a Mary Kay Sales Consultant, Thornton’s leadership enabled her team  to achieve top sales every quarter, thereby, paving the way for the reception of several awards:

  • Miss America of the West Bloomfield Area
  • Queen of Sales
  • Queen of Recruiting Award

Detroit Delivers, LLC occupies office space in Midtown Detroit and “provides concierge level personal assistant and etiquette services to successful women and businesses in the City of Detroit” and surrounding areas.  Recently, the City of  Detroit Michigan Motor City Match Program honored and awarded Ms.Thornton  for obtaining levels of technical assistance funding for Detroit Delivers because of its innovative ideas and implementation.

Detroit Delivers was selected as the Retail Partners Lead for the Detroit Startup Week 2017, powered by Chase Bank.  Responsibilities for this distinction included assisting in the coordination of businesses with discounts, partnerships across area coffee shops (breakfast/coffee), Restaurants (dinner), and Clubs (Nightlife).

A Business Etiquette Class during the Detroit Startup Week taught by Karen,  spiraled into various etiquette series and workshops.  She is also featured in the Motor City Match and Detroit Demo Days 2017 Quicken Loans videos which highlight entrepreneurs from various industries competing for “pitch” or demonstration.

Karen is excited about her book club entitled: “This is How We Roll” because she is an avid reader, loves to play board games, travel, and volunteer for various organizations and charities.

Educational Arts Society welcomes Karen Thornton as Secretary of the Board of Directors and approaches 2018 with the confidence  that her talents will lead to growth and enrichment in the many areas our mission seeks to serve mankind.


Southfield Chamber of Commerce

Skyline Club Corp, Southfield

National Association of Professional Women of Royal Oak


Attended Wayne State University – Psychology & Criminal Justice



 Vice President of Production

Carl “Butch” Small

Biography of Vice President of Production Carl Small

Master Percussionist

Carl “Butch” Small is the co-founder of World One Records Inc., GenCar Productions Inc., Class One Music ASCAP, Forever Smash Music BMI, and S.D.M. Management Inc.–all based in Detroit, Michigan and established since 1986. Carl brings over 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Mr. Small has been an Executive in charge of production for 10 years at a major platinum independent record label Death Row Records based out of Los Angeles, California. He has been the music director for two nationally syndicated prime time music variety TV shows for King World Syndications, Music Machine the 1987 season, and Natalie Coles’ Big Break Show for 1989 to 1990 season.

Mr. Small is also an accomplished professional musician of 43 years as a Master Percussionist, and Platinum Performer to the stars performing and recording with greats like Aretha Franklin, The Parliament-Funkadelic Family, The Dramatics, Enchantment, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Was Not Was, Mariah Carey, Beyonce′, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2 Pac, Ice Cube, and Eminem just to name a few. Mr. Small is also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer and has also appeared in several music videos and performed on several film scores. His expertise and contacts are worldwide and in huge demand.

He has booked entertainment in Nagoya, Japan at the famous Motown Voice Club along with Gladys Knight in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has also performed on over 150 distinctive albums and CD’s extending from R&B, Rap, Pop, Rock, to Gospel with approximately 25 distinctive Record labels. He has successfully engrossed in the sale of over $50 million in record and CD sales. 

Carl (Butch) Small has been a fixture at Educational Arts Society since its inception.


Director of Board

Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant


Biography of Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla #2Internationally acclaimed Iyanla Vanzant joins the Board of Directors at Educational Arts Society, a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization that has as its mission to “help aspiring young artists develop professional and artistic skills in art, music and theater while increasing self-esteem, self-discipline, confidence and responsibility.”

Rev. Dr. Vanzant’s life exhibits unfathomable courage, determination, persistence and perseverance, which is a model for children across America and the world.  She has earned the respect and admiration of many, generating a well-earned tagline:  One of America’s Most Profound Spiritual Leaders. Laced with empathy and understanding, she speaks with authority, candidacy and sometimes abruptness, as she tells clients how to “fix their lives.”

Many laurels and accolades describe the contributions Dr. Vanzant has brought to the forefront of inner and higher levels of thought.  Lives have been placed on a pathway to self-respect and self-discovery, while relationships have been cemented in love and partnership.   She has published 15 books, 5 of which are best-sellers, giving her a platform as an inspirational speaker, legal advocate, spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. Her educational background includes attending Medgar Evers College and Virginia Union University, a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York School of Law, and becoming an ordained minister.

In the year 2000, Ebony Magazine gave her the distinction of being one of the “100 most influential Black Americans” and Alpha Kappa Alpha selected her as an honorary member.  Television has been a centerpiece for Dr. Vanzant’s world acclaim, offering such exposure as Iyanla, a TV series from 2001 – 2002; Starting Over, Life Coach – 2004 – 2006; Oprah’s Life Class – OWN Network, 2011 – present; Iyanla, Fix My Life – OWN Network, 2012 – present; guest appearances on popular shows such as:  Tavis Smiley, Moesha, The Chris Rock Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson Live, Super Soul Sunday, The Dr. Oz Show and Oprah Prime. Inner visions, an Institute of Spiritual Development, was founded by Dr. Vanzant in 1998.  It has a diverse curriculum, classes with a foundation based in spiritual principles and laws, and seeks to generate personal growth and spiritual evolution.  It is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and practices divine awareness and religious tolerance.


 Key ingredients behind the philosophy of Inner Visions, are discipline of the mind, spiritual awareness and devotion to a positive life purpose. Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant brings to Educational Arts Society a multiplicity of resources:  wisdom, invaluable life experiences, strong sense of legality, admirable work ethnic and a solid moral foundation.  We are delighted and over-whelmed by her addition to our Board of Directors, and look forward to a successful and extended relationship.


Advisory Board Member

Victoria Griffin

Victoria is a Motown Ambassador, musically referred to as “The Queen.”


Advisory Board Member Mary Jackson

Advisory Board Member Roberta Jones

Advisory Board Member Sherry Parham

Advisory Board Member Debra Anderson



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