Preston Brown Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our mission is to motivate, serve and provide resources that encourage vulnerable youth to prioritize education, lead a healthy lifestyle and engage in communities with respect for self and others. 

#Pres_Forward is a community outreach program advocating on behalf of youth mental wellness. Our youth are in crisis. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24. We work to reduce the stigma, support evidence-based prevention and treatment programs in underserved communities.

As the story goes, one half was all Preston got. With 44 seconds left in the second quarter of his 1st game as a Cincinnati Bengal, Preston hurt his ankle. The first of three injuries which ultimately placed him on IR, and ended his season in early November 2018, 7 weeks early.

Preston pondered was his NFL career over. Thankfully he had his degree from the University of Louisville, but what would he do. For the first time in 20 years he wasn’t playing football in December. He eventually disregarded his work out regiment, productive sleep routine, and healthy eating habits. His season ended with surgery – the worse scenario for a guy on a one year deal. Not knowing if he would be cleared in time for free agent workouts, if necessary, compounded his anxiety. 

That’s when he decided to get professional support to effectively cope with all the changes. He had been Preston the “football player” almost all his life and grew up believing the NFL was his calling. It was a scary time. 

The therapy sessions helped him sort it all out - mentally, physically and spiritually. Rediscovering the kid with the big smile and even bigger heart. Preston’s experience, compounded by the recent suicide of a young man his father coached in high school, and he spent time with as a kid, compelled him to leverage his foundation to launch #Pres_Forward!

Special thanks to our partner 1N5.org, for their work in promoting optimal mental wellness for Greater Cincinnati Youth.



Mike Brown, B.S. Education

Mike has over 30 years of teaching experience in Florida and Ohio public schools. The past five years supervising a staff of 10 teachers and 5 paraprofessionals at a Juvenile Court facility in Cincinnati, OH. His responsibilities include budgeting, planning, and continuing education. With over 20 years of coaching high school football, boys and girls basketball, and track - he is successful managing athletic programs, and developing talent at all levels. Mr. Brown is a much sought after motivational speaker and a true advocate for all children.

Keena McDowell Smith, MPA

Corporate Secretary

A successful executive and entrepreneur, Keena’s diverse career spans 25 years in public and private sectors where she focuses her leadership on economic and workforce inclusion. She has been responsible for over $1 billion in capital flow to under-resourced communities and small businesses. In 2016, the Columbus Business First regional newspaper recognized her as its Outstanding Head of Diversity. She founded the Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity, a non-profit dedicated to growing African American women owners, leaders and innovators across the country. She is the founder & Principal of Catalyst Consulting, which specializes in inclusion program design, management and compliance. Catalyst celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. An active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. A proud Buckeye, Keena holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Ohio State, where she also earned a B.A. in Economics. She is mom to Keeanna M. Smith, MD and Stewart A. Smith, MD.

Michael Hairston

He has twenty-three years of experience as a financial advisor and money manager for professional athletes, entertainers, high net worth families, and small business owners. Presently, he is Financial Advisor with Alpha Financial located in Dublin, Ohio. Michael is a native of Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He lives in Westerville, Ohio and is married with three children. He is actively involved in his local community and church where he serves as an ordained minister.

Wayne Box Miller
Marketing Chair

Wayne Box Miller is an author, multifaceted media veteran as well as a respected diversity and inclusion professional. Wayne has published three books, From the Soul of A Man, The Power of Love andYou Wake-up, You Win!”™ which focuses on developing a winning attitude in the face of adversity.

Wayne is a graduate of Morehead State University, where he was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame for career achievement and contributions. He stays active in the community volunteering and mentoring. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Crossroads Church.

Paige Brown, M.Ed
Social Media and Events Chair

Paige is from Cincinnati, OH. She received her bachelors degree in Psychology from Central State University and holds a Master degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Louisville. Ms. Brown is a human services professional with 10 years of experience in all facets of behavioral support and risk reduction plans for youth and adults. Currently employed as a Hamilton County Probation Officer in the Victim Services Unit, she advocates for justice. Paige serves her community in various capacities, including an active member of Cincinnati Youth Collaborative's Young Professional Board. CYC empowers vulnerable children and young adults to overcome obstacles and succeed in education, careers, and life.


Patrice McDowell-Brown, MBA
Executive Director -

Patrice directs and provides leadership on all aspects of Preston Brown Foundation. She graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in Communications Management, and received her MBA with honors from the University of Phoenix. She is also a certified NFLPA Contract Advisor.

In 2013 she founded Purpose-Based Sports Management LLC. Her agency provides professional athletes with contract negotiation, marketing, player development and community engagement support.

Patrice has over 20 years of corporate sales and human resource experience with Fortune 500 companies. A member of the Professional Football Players Mothers Association and Alpha, Kappa, Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is actively engaged in the Greater Cincinnati communities and a member of Inspirational Baptist Church. She resides in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Michael. They have two children Paige and Preston.

To contact Patrice email her at info@prestonbrownfoundation.org



Mary McAlister Cleveland, B.B.A., J.D.

Education advocate, elected to Princeton City Schools, Board of Education in 2013; re-elected 2017; current President. Appointed 2014 to Board of Directors, Great Oaks Career Campuses; 2017 re-appointed; Planning and Policy Committee Chair. In 2018, appointed to Ohio School Board Association, Southwest Region Executive Committee.

A Major Gift Director at American Heart Association working with individual donors who support AHA mission at highest levels. In 2017, she received the coveted AHA, Rome Betts for Excellence Award.

Earned Bachelor of Business Administration from Thomas More College and Juris Doctorate from Salmon P. Chase, College of Law. Graduate of Executive Service Corps of Cincinnati’s, Executive Curriculum for Emerging Leaders. A certified mediator with extensive knowledge and experience in HR, operations, facility management, business and law. Mary was recognized in Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati as a community leader. Member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority; Married with four children and one grandchild.

Michael Johnson, MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Wisconsin

In eight years as their CEO, the Club made significant accomplishments: They developed a bold, five-year $15M plan that resulted in more than doubling the number of children and families being served in South Central Wisconsin, tripled the number of employees and grew their operating budget by 318 % during his tenure. Transforming the organization from a local children’s charity to a change agent for children and families.

Johnson left Boys & Girls Clubs in June of 2018 to become President & CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati and resigned after four months to return to his role with the Club.

Michael earned a BA in Business Education from Chicago State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He also holds a certification in fundraising management from the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, a certification in human resource management from Cornell University and an Advanced Leadership Certification from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.