About Our Founder

DeAndrous “Dee” Wilcox has over 30 years of professional experience which includes training and development, project management, coaching and counseling, Human Resources, and leadership development. Dee also specializes in the design, development, and delivery of engaging, thought-provoking workshops which include topics such as: resume development, interviewing techniques, conflict resolution, professional development, and diversity, inclusion & equity. Dee has a genuine passion for helping others realize their potential to succeed. Her dynamic speaking and delivery styles motivate, inspire, and encourage others to achieve their goals.

In her role as Human Resources manager, Dee saw ‘firsthand’ how young adults presented themselves when showing up for an interview and/or for their new job. In many cases, they had very little or no experience in basic professional skills. Even more concerning was that many did not understand the expectations of employers which, in some cases, resulted in early termination. Dee was convinced that if they knew better, they would do better. She also knew that with her talents, skills, and educational background, she could make a difference in the next generation.

In 2012, while still working in corporate America, Dee launched the AnnieRuth Foundation. Named after her grandmother, the 501(c)3, non-profit organization is missioned to serve as a catalyst of positive change in underserved communities. Its focus is education, health initiatives, and economic development. In 2020, after spending 32 years in corporate America, Dee retired from corporate America so that she could manage the AnnieRuth Foundation on a full-time basis.

As Founder & CEO, Dee spends countless hours attending to the day-to-day operations of the foundation. ’s summer internship program; a one year, points-based program that provides a platform for high school students to develop personal, academic, and workforce development skills. Viewed as a ‘life changing’ experience, the program places students in a safe, professional environment that directly aligns with their career aspiration. During which time they receive hands-on experience, a mentor, and a paycheck. After completing the program, students are better positioned to make a more informed decision as to whether they will continue to pursue their aspiration or explore their ‘Plan B.’

In recognition of the work that’s done through the foundation, Dee has received the following awards/recognitions: 2022 Black History Month Honoree (Jean Ribault high school); 2020 “Unsung Shero” award (presented by At the Table & Ladies Night Out), 2020 Women who Change the World award (presented by Purpose & Power, Inc.), 2016 “She’s More Than You Can See” award (presented by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women); and the 2015 “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” award (presented by the Mayors Commission on the Status of Women). Additionally, Dee has been featured in numerous television interviews, radio interviews, and printed articles.

Dee believes in giving back to the community. She has over 15 years of non-profit experience at the executive level. Over the years, she has assisted in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of numerous youth and adult programs. Additionally, Dee serves as a consultant to those who are interested in starting a grassroots, nonprofit organization.

Dee earned her bachelor’s degree in Workforce Education & Curriculum Design from Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree in business administration from Jacksonville University, and a second master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. Dee is a ‘company’ certified Diversity facilitator, a certified Professional of Human Resources (PHR), Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC), and youth educator.