Kamillah M. Hanks is a native Staten Islander and proud mother of four who has been a leader and advocate for smart growth and positive economic development in the North Shore of Staten Island for nearly two decades. Kamillah studied marketing and finance at the College of Staten Island, and has over 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors.
In 2012, Kamillah founded the Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership, where she works with civic leaders, community groups, and local schools to boost cultural and economic development in Stapleton and surrounding neighborhoods. Kamillah is particularly proud of pioneering Staten Island’s first YouthBuild program, which provides a pathway for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults with advanced vocational education, leadership development, job training and valuable life skills. In 2018, YouthBuild Staten Island was one of two organizations to receive 1.1 million for the U.S. Department of Labor.
During the onset of the global pandemic, Ms. Hanks partnered with local small business owners and students from her YouthBuild initiative and created a training program that manufactured over 5000 face shields that were donated to firefighters, first responders and medical professionals on Staten Island and the greater New York City area. In August 2020, Kamillah founded the Minority Women in Business Association of Staten Island to address inequities and disparities in women of color in business.
For her efforts during the pandemic, Kamillah Hanks was awarded with the prestigious honor of being named a 2020 Woman of Achievement by The Staten Island Advance and is also among the slate of honorees for the Young, Gifted and Black Entrepreneurial awards in February of 2021. Kamillah’s other accomplishments include serving on the New York City Council Redistricting Commission, the Interim President of the Van Duzer Civic Association in Stapleton and was the former Executive Director of the Downtown Staten Island Council. Ms. Hanks also worked as a public relations consultant at the Staten Island Museum and the Staten Island Economic Development Corp.
In 2014, Ms. Hanks was appointed by Staten Island Borough President, James Oddo to the NYC Panel for Education Policy, and served as the Staten Island representative until 2016.
She was the National Council of Negro Women Honoree in 2009, as well as an SIEDC 20 Under 40 Leadership Award Winner. She is also an alumna of Coro Neighborhood Leadership Program NYC, and was NYS Senator Diane J. Savino’s 2015 New York State Woman of Distinction honoree.
In 2001, Kamillah Hanks worked with producers and starred in a Staten Island documentary short film, “Ferry Tales,” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. Kamillah resides in Stapleton with her family.