Vanessa Gilliam-Collier          2017 Eydie's Angel Award Breast Cancer Warrior

Vanessa Gilliam-Collier was born and raised in New York City before moving to Westbury, NY. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree; Howard University Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree; and, the University of Maryland with an M Ed. in Education. In other words, she is a professional student.

She was chosen to teach Legal Research, Writing and Argumentation at Howard University Law School immediately after graduating with her Juris Doctorate. She also pursued a Master's Degree in Education at the University of Maryland in order to give back to area youth in Prince George's County. She implemented and directed a Peer Mediation Program at DuVal High School in Lanham, Maryland which was credited with reducing fights and suspensions among at-risk youth by fifty percent (50%). This program is still operational in the Prince George's County Public School System as it continues to help reduce violence among our young people.

She then went on to open a Law Firm and practice as a sole practitioner with a major emphasis on real estate and title matters in the Washington Metropolitan area. She is dedicated to helping members of the public and sets aside time for those with very limited resources.

She and her husband reside in Silver Spring where they enjoy helping to meet the needs of others by working in supportive roles in our local community.

She gives God all the glory for ordering each of her footsteps. She is thankful that Dr. Oscar Mims personally took her case to Dr. Lori Wilson, of Howard University Hospital after being diagnosed in 2015. She was blessed to be successfully treated under the surgical care and watchful eye of Dr. Wilson and is thankful for both the excellent care and prognosis she has received.

She and her husband, Arnold, are committed to working with medical and administrative staff members of Howard University Hospital and volunteers from the Edith P. Wright Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. as they seek to serve members of the Washington, DC metro area during designated Howard University Hospital Mammo Days.

She considers it an honor to serve with the EPW Foundation that seeks to serve the needs of families in a holistic manner. Thank you for allowing my family to serve as a volunteer for this fine organization.

Arnold Collier                                             2017 Eydie's Angel Award Caregiver

Arnold S. Collier was born and raised in New York. He graduated from Howard University School of Engineering as a Chemical Engineer. He then graduated with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. While in graduate school he met his wife, Vanessa Gilliam at the Howard University Medical School Library. They were both studying for mid-term exams.

Arnold works as an Aerospace and MechanicalEngineer for Arnold Engineering Development Corp. (AEDC) located in Silver Spring, MD. He has served in this capacity for more than 30 years.

He enjoys volunteering to help and encourage others. He and his wife work together as a team on projects they commit themselves to. He considers it an honor to work with the Edith P. Wright Foundation as they serve members of the Washington Metropolitan area community together on Mammo Day.

He is very supportive of his wife and endeavors to support her and the causes that she supports. He is a man of few words as he believes that actions speak louder than words.



Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey             2017 Eydie's Angel Award Women's Wellness

Sharon Denise Allison-Ottey, MD is an energetic and engaging speaker, author, health educator/physician and health strategist/consultant. Dr. Allison- Ottey is the CEO of CARLDEN Inc. and Beautiful Woman Inside and Out, Inc. She also serves as Executive Director of The COSHAR Foundation. Dr. Allison-Ottey serves as the Health Strategist for several national companies/organizations and develops and oversees programmatic agendas with long and short term strategies ensuring effectiveness and achievement of goals.  Dr. Allison-Ottey’s companies have a national scope that reaches millions with their products, services and events.  Dr. Allison-Ottey received her medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine. Dr. Allison-Ottey is a proud alumna of North Carolina Central University where she earned dual degrees in Biology and Chemistry with minors in Physics, African American History and English with honors.


 Dr. Sharon Allison - Ottey is instrumental with the minority health initiatives of the American Cancer Society (ACS) wherein she speaks and trains others on cancer in minority communities, breast, colon and nutrition related issues with cancer. She is a featured speaker and trainer in various topics with a specific focus on cancer in minority communities. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Partnership for Life Initiative of the ACS.


Dr. Allison-Ottey has appeared on local and national television programs, including all of the major networks. She co-hosted a popular radio program for several years and is a frequent guest on nationally syndicated as well as regional/local radio programs across the country. She has served as health columnist for Gospel Today magazine, and written for numerous publications. She’s been quoted and interviewed by several print publications including Redbook, Essence, Heart and Soul, Jet, Ebony, USA Today, Black Enterprise, The Wall Street Journal and numerous other media outlets. Because of the colorful and “down to earth” manner in which she addresses health, relationships and offers motivation; Dr. Allison-Ottey is a well-recognized and requested speaker for conferences, universities/schools, churches, corporations, community groups and a host of other outlets. She hosts several health and empowerment events every year and reaches tens of thousands with impactful programs. One of Dr. Allison-Ottey’s passions is writing and she introduced a new genre to the world of fiction, “fiction with a purpose” with her first novel, “All I Ever Did Was Love a Man.” This bestselling novel has given birth to a much anticipated sequel, “My Breaking Heart” which is scheduled to be released. She also wrote a nonfiction/self-help book entitled; “Is That Fried Chicken Wing Worth It?” Additionally, she has a nationally distributed full greeting card line, “Cards by Dr. Sharon.” She is the founder and host of the “Beautiful Woman Inside and Out” conferences and truly makes an impact in the lives of women. Dr. Sharon remains dedicated and diligent to improving the lives of others in all that she does.



Meredith McNerney                              2017 Eydie's Angel Loving Hands Award

Meredith McNerney is the founder of A Message of Hope Cancer Fund, Inc., an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide direct financial assistance to families in need.. She served as the Executive Director for 10 years during which she led the organization to raise over 1 million dollars for patients in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. She was inspired to start the organization after her own battle with Merkel Cell Cancer, at age 31. In addition, she has published a memoir about her cancer battle in a book entitled, “Facing Cancer:  A Spiritual Journey from Pain to Peace.”  She hopes her story will inspire others to rely on their faith during difficult circumstances. Professionally, Meredith is an elementary school principal with Montgomery County Public Schools. Her school, Gaithersburg Elementary, serves almost 900 students; many of which qualify for free and reduced meals and are learning English as their second language. She absolutely loves her school, the students, and the community as this is her ultimate calling in life. Meredith earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from East Carolina University and completed her Master of Education degree at Towson University. She also earned a certificate in Administration and Supervision from McDaniel College. Meredith lives in Ijamsville, Maryland, with her husband, Mark, and two children, Danielle and Kaitlyn.

Founder and Executive Director 
A Message of Hope

Cancer Fund, Inc. 

Arnold & Vanessa Gilliam-Collier

2017 EPW Awardees