Karla L. McCullough, Ph.D

Dr. Karla L. McCullough is the President and CEO of Tri-K Group, a management operational firm that aims to provide value and opportunities for businesses and the community through services including business efficiency trainings, strategic planning and program/project design and development. Tri-K Group services multiple educational and business profit and non-profit organizations in the state of Mississippi.

Karla is also the Executive Director of the Juanita Sims Doty Foundation (JSDF) where she serves as executor of its goals and objectives, enabling the Board of Directors to fulfill its governing functions. In this position, she provides direction and leadership applicable to the realization of the organization's philosophy, consistent with the values and standards set forth by the foundation. She is the Co-investigator of the Ambassadors of The Evers Academy for African American Males (A-TEAAM), a mentoring program for young males of color. In partnership with the principal investigator, she developed an innovative program that successfully created a consortium of 21 volunteer organizations in the community whose goal was to implement two service projects.

The consortium is entitled the Community Engagement and Empowerment Network (CEEN). CEEN was developed to minimize silos in the community and to create a partnership that enhances the families of males of color. In the A-TEAAM program, CEEN volunteers mentor young males in five middle schools in Mississippi and hosts sites in Cincinnati, OH, Houston, TX, Washington, D.C., East St. Louis, IL, and Los Angeles, CA. Through research and evaluation methods, the program has proven to increase the confidence and awareness of young males of color. Karla has developed and designed the curriculum, day-to-day tools, evaluation instruments and the A-TEAAM Blueprint, a guide for the replication of the A-TEAAM program, along with the JSDF Chairman of the Board.  

Karla has worked much of her career with Coldwater Creek, ending as the Visual Design and Merchandising Manager for both the Southern and Northwestern districts, a $15.5 million dollar market. She traveled the United States utilizing the retail store design aspects to maintain brand consistency through the medium of strategic planning, training and visual merchandising. During her tutelage, the combined districts increased the bottom line from 1.5% to 3%, each year.

Karla utilized in-depth research of the clientele on a store by store basis to develop, train and implement projects for the Coldwater Creek visual teams. In doing so, she has never veered from her personal principles rooted in education and community service, therefore, Karla transitioned back to non-profit in 2010. Her specialty of identifying a need, researching and providing solutions has transcended from the corporate arena to her passion for, “the community”. 

Some of Dr. McCullough’s awards, accomplishments and affiliations include: Post-Secondary research and Leadership training by; the Else School of Business at Millsaps College, the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) and Dale Carnegie Leadership Training; Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the graduate level professional honor society; Executive Director and charter member of the International Community Ambassadors Network (I!CAN), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Charter Member of National Black Child Development Institute, Leadership Greater Jackson, Hosea feed the Hungry and the Homeless, the Mississippi Club of Denver, and Habitat for Humanity. 

Karla received the Inaugural Community Advocate of the Year award from the Father Lawrence Watts Council #199 Knights of Peter Claver and the Citizen of the Year award from the Epsilon Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. McCullough co-published “Who’s Who in Black Mississippi”, a bi-annual magazine recognizing the success in the African-American Community in Mississippi, as well as, “I!CAN” Imagine, a book written for children by children. She has developed the “How To” strategic planning manual on the delivery of excellent customer service that is utilized throughout a $1Billion company. 

Dr. Karla L. McCullough is a native of Jackson, MS. She received her bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University in Psychology. She subsequently obtained her master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery with a concentration in Public Policy. Karla received her Doctorate from Jackson State University from the Executive PhD program in Urban Higher Education. As Karla has traveled from Mississippi to Atlanta to Denver and back home again, she has maintained her foundation in church, family and serving those in need. 

Karla L. McCullough, Ph.D CEO and Executive Director

Karla L. McCullough, Ph.D

CEO and Executive Director

Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Facilitation & Strategic Planning
Project Management

Career Stage
  • Fellow
  • Next Gen
  • Mid-Career
  • Bridge
  • Encore
  • Emeritus