Speaker Bios

Judge Kristina Hammer Blum

Chief Magistrate, Gwinnett County Magistrate Court

Kristina Hammer Blum is the Chief Magistrate of the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court. Judge Blum began her legal career in 1994. Although she practiced in a variety of areas, she spent most of her time in the federal courts, specializing in the representation of city and county governments and public officials. After spending seven years as a Senior Assistant County Attorney for Gwinnett County, she was appointed to the Magistrate Court in 2005 and became the Chief Magistrate on January 9, 2013. As Chief Magistrate, she presides over one of the busiest courts in the State of Georgia (handling approximately 100,000 matters a year).

Judge Blum lived all over the United States growing up as a proud “Air Force Brat;” she chose Gwinnett County as her forever home because of its vibrant and inclusive community, for which she remains very involved and committed. Judge Blum is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and she has served on the Leadership Gwinnett Steering Committee as the Retreats Co-Chair since 2011. She is a member and former Executive Board Member of the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf and she has served on the Advisory Boards for the Gwinnett Reentry Intervention Program (“GRIP”), Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, and United Way. For three years, she was the production coordinator for the Hi Hope Service Center’s annual Gwinnett’s Kid’s Got Talent Show benefitting adults with developmental disabilities.

Judge Blum is a Past President of the Georgia Magistrate Council and served as a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia from June 2015 until June 2017. She previously served on the Justice for All Strategic Action Plan Work Group for the State Bar of Georgia and is presently a member of the Access to Justice Advisory Board for the Judicial Council of Georgia. Judge Blum is also a frequent instructor for the Georgia Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, where she was awarded the Excellence in Judicial Education Medallion.

As Gwinnett’s first female Chief Magistrate, in 2014, the League of Women Voters honored Judge Blum with their Legacy Award. In 2015, the Council of Magistrate Court Judges presented her with their “Workhorse of the Year” Award. In addition, Judge Blum received a Public Service Award from the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

In 2020, Judge Blum, Commissioner Marlene Fosque, Matt Elder of HomeFirst Gwinnett, and Gwinnett County Grants Director Shannon Candler joined forces to create and implement Project RESET, an eviction intervention program that built a pipeline directly from active eviction and pre-eviction cases to federal COVID relief funding. Launched November 1, 2020, Project RESET has now utilized over five million dollars of CARES Act funding to stop evictions and keep renters stably housed by paying rental arrears directly to landlords (as of April 1, 2021), thereby protecting Gwinnett County’s portfolio of affordable housing. Several other jurisdictions have since followed the Project RESET model. Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court, and HomeFirst Gwinnett are preparing to launch the next phase of Project RESET, with an additional $28.1 million dollars of federal funding allocated to Project RESET’s continued efforts to prevent homelessness.

Kristina has been married for 26 years to love of her life, Jim Blum; Jim has a law office in Peachtree Corners (Blum & Campbell, LLC) where he specializes in complex real estate litigation. She is also proud mom to two amazing kids, Merritt (a freshman at Georgia Tech) and Corbin (a sophomore at Norcross HS). Outside of work, Kristina is an avid SCUBA diver (certified through Rescue Diver with over 300 dives), loves to sew (she has made over 150 masks for friends and colleagues), she is obsessed with CrossFit and has competed in two CrossFit competitions (just ask her, or don’t, she’ll bring it up anyway), she loves a good Tough Mudder, Savage or Spartan Race, and she plays rhythm guitar in the (mostly basement) bands Honey & Oates and Deeper Pie. On weekends, you can usually find her on a campground somewhere with friends setting up the pop-up camper (the Honey B) she and her husband lovingly restored. She also got a mandolin for Christmas!

Njeri Boss

Vice President, Public Relations, Waffle House

Njeri Boss is a graduate of the Dekalb County school system. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Iowa and a Law Degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California.

After her undergraduate work, Njeri worked as a reporter for three years in Arlington, VA, Melbourne and Cocoa Beach FL, and Savannah, GA. Thereafter, she attending Law School and served a one-year federal clerkship in the Southern District of California’s Magistrate’s Court, before practiced law for an additional 11 years.

In 2016, Njeri joined Waffle House as a Manager Trainee and rose up in Operations to the District Manager Level before transitioning to the Corporate Office in August of 2019. There she initially joined the Training Department as a Special Projects Coordinator. In December of 2019, she was selected to become Waffle House’s next Director of Public Relations. Thirteen months later, Njeri became an officer of the company and currently serves as the Vice President of Public Relations.

Julie Ann Crommett

Equity and Inclusion Strategist, Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie

Julie Ann Crommett has been working in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) space for over a decade leading disruptive, systemic change across media and tech. She was most recently Vice President of Multicultural Audience Engagement at The Walt Disney Studios spearheading efforts to diversify talent in front of and behind the camera, connect creative projects more closely to the communities they touch, and build a more inclusive culture within the Studios. Her team contributed to many projects including SOUL, COCO, BLACK PANTHER, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, and ALADDIN as well as launching the Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator, an industry-leading program guaranteeing up to six directors from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to produce a short film for Disney+. Julie Ann was also instrumental in Disney’s library review process leading to a revised content advisory and proactive resources for families to discuss negative stereotypes in media. In partnership with Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, she launched and co-chaired the company’s first-ever Creative Inclusion Council dedicated to increasing inclusion and accountability in Disney’s creative endeavors. Previously, she was Google’s Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief leading their efforts to shift and diversify onscreen perceptions of computer science through storytelling (a position she created) as well as having led Google’s DEI efforts in Latin America. Before that she worked at NBCUniversal managing behind-the-camera diversity programs including Writers on the Verge and the Directing Fellowship. Julie Ann has been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 under 35, the IMAGEN Foundation’s Influential Latinos in Entertainment list and as an ADCOLOR Innovator. She serves on the boards for the Hispanic Federation, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers), and Women in Animation. A proud Puerto Rican and Cuban American, Julie Ann was raised in Atlanta, GA and earned her BA in English at Harvard University.

Aisha DeBerry

Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gas South

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Aisha received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She started a career in admissions at her alma mater that eventually led her to Atlanta to continue her work in professional education focusing on diversity in the areas of enrollment and retention while owning dollar stores in the greater Atlanta area. Aisha later received her Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University where she served as President and Sub-Region Director of the Black Law Student Association, as well as other leadership positions in organizations such as the Women’s Law Society, Immigration Law Society and OUTLaw, an organization to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Aisha is the co-editor for the book entitled Human Trafficking (Taylor-Page, Piatt, Jr. Carolina Academic Press) which addresses the legal psychological, and moral effects of sex and labor trafficking. She has worked in the area of Title IX and Compliance addressing issues around sexual misconduct and gender-based discrimination. She is currently the Executive Director for Diversity and Community Partnerships for PCOM Georgia where she implements strategic efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment for both the Georgia and South Georgia locations. Aisha serves on advisory boards and diversity councils both locally and nationally. She is a podcaster for a show entitled “Dad, Daughter Dialogues,” which explores the intersectionality of life between her and her Father. Aisha also is the founder/member of ADJ Consultants and creator of aishadeberry.com, an inclusive site where she holds live sessions and masterclasses in the areas of DEI.


Contact Alicia Krogh, Sr. Vice President, Executive Engagement & Programs, with questions.
770-232-8809 or akrogh@gwinnettchamber.org

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