Vanessa Riley Harris
Founder, Single Parents in Need Nationally
Vanessa Riley Harris, Founder and CEO of Single Parents in Need Nationally (SPINN), is a decorated Air Force veteran who actively served our country for many years as a single parent due to the tragic death of her husband.
SPINN was birthed in May of 2015, after Vanessa navigated several avenues of resources to assist her and her three young daughters, only to realize that there were none. Instead of giving up, Vanessa worked to create a national network of valuable monetary and social resources for single mothers and fathers connected to the armed forces, including veterans or civilians who struggle mentally, physically and emotionally after the loss of a spouse or partner who contributed to the household.
SPINN provides food support in a variety of ways, including uncooked groceries, and grocery store vouchers.
A native of Dothan, Alabama; Vanessa is recognized across the country for her outstanding work and leadership in instructing etiquette and professional development training for hundreds of children and adults. Through her flagship organization, Ladi Vee’s Etiquette and Consulting, LLC, Vanessa organizes Fashion Week Dothan, Fashion Week Columbus, and An Evening of Motivation and Fashion in several cities, including San Bernardino, CA, Atlanta, GA, Fayetteville, NC, Warner Robins, GA, Chesapeake, VA, Norfolk, VA and Washington, DC. Vanessa developed Dothan City Schools’ Peer Mediation Program in 2017.
Vanessa graduated from the Community College of the Air Force after receiving two Associate degrees in Information Management and Education and Training. She furthered her education at Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Florida where she recieved a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management. She continued her post graduate studies at Defense Acquisiton University. In addition, she graduated from the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama which prepares graduates for increased leadership responsibilities in joint, combined, and interagency operating/strategic environments.
In 2014, Vanessa coordinated leadership conferences for the United States Congressional Black Caucus, with attendees including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Named “Distinguished Servant Leader” by the Women’s Caucus of the Georgia House of Representatives, she received Dothan’s Key to the City in 2016, whereupon the Dothan Eagle Eagle described her work as promoting “respect for life, humanity, authority figures, the law of the land, and for the opinions of others and their right to express them.
Recalling her mother’s advice, Vanessa sees education as a constituting life-long process, including conscientious behavior, communication, and successful self-presentation, to ensure one’s place at the “table of opportunity.” She believes that no parent – especially when single – should have to be without basic quality of life necessities or counseling services.
Vanessa has three daughters, Alecia, Alexias and Alonah and three granddaughters, Simora, Saniaya, and Savanah.