Gilbert T. Bland Joins CEE's Board of Trustees

MCLEAN, Va. - Aug. 9, 2021 - PRLog -- The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is pleased to announce that Gilbert T. Bland has joined CEE's Board of Trustees. He is President & CEO Urban League of Hampton Roads, and Founder and Chairman of The GilJoy Group, based in Virginia.

CEE's President Joann DiGennaro said that Mr. Bland exemplifies excellence with his tremendous expertise in operational management and his passion for supporting and advocating for educational opportunities for underserved students.

Mr. Bland has been an owner/operator of restaurants for over 30 years, as a franchisee of Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Mrs. Fields Cookies and employed more than 2000 team members annually. He is among the nation's largest African American franchisees.

Mr. Bland has pursued a lifelong passion by supporting and advocating for opportunities for the underserved throughout the educational pipeline. His interests have supported Pre- K initiatives, K-12, and higher education.

Mr. Bland is the recipient of numerous awards and community recognition for volunteerism, contributions, and leadership, including the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. Burger King Corporation has recognized Mr. Bland with the James McLamore Founder's award for outstanding contributions as a franchisee and endowed a scholarship in his name at James Madison University. He serves as Chairman & President of Healthy Neighborhood Enterprises, a Community Development Corporation (CDC). Bland has also served as Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia African American Advisory Board, and Eastern Virginia Medical School Advisory Committee. For the past eight years, he has been chosen by Virginia Business Magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians.

Mr. Bland received a B.S. in accounting and economics from James Madison University (JMU) and an MBA from Atlanta University. Bland is a charter member of the JMU chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (honor society for economics) and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma chapter (honor society for business) of Atlanta University.

Mr. Bland is married to Joyce, and they are the proud parents of five children.


About the Center for Excellence in Education

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among scientific and technological leaders in the global community. CEE sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biolympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). Visit CEE's website,

Media Contact:  Tom Flavell, (703) 448-9062 ext. 237 or

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