Des Moines, IA 


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©2019 by Spark Foundation

 Akil Clark

Founder of Spark

My desire to work within my community started in tenth grade. I was lucky enough to have a history teacher go the extra mile, helping me connect to history on a personal level. The exposure to great men and women who dedicated their lives to helping create opportunities for those around them had a profound impact. I am not an educator, but my youth mirrored that of many DMPS students. I have never been a school administrator but as President of River Woods PTA, I have listened to teachers and have seen how much love, hard work and energy they give on a daily basis. I am no longer a student, but have two children in elementary whom I love deeply and like every other parent, want them to have the opportunity to succeed regardless of zip code or school system. So many people in my life helped me achieve a level of success I never though imaginable as a child, I’m excited to pay it forward with the Spark Foundation.

I am currently an Instructional Design Associate Consultant at Wells Fargo and reside in Des Moines, Iowa with my wife and two children. 

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Meet The Team

Larry Twitty 

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A Des Moines Native, Larry Twitty, Jr. has worked full-time in the staffing and recruiting industry since 2012; partnering alongside various companies to help form strategic hiring initiatives while analyzing current job market trends.  In addition to recruiting top talent, Twitty, Jr. is also the founder of LatitudeDM, LLC, a company he started to help non-profit organizations tell their stories through social media and digital marketing.  In his spare time, Larry enjoys giving back to his community, and has volunteered with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Bowl For Kids Sake, CI-SHRM, NAACP, Iowa C.O.R.E., Dress for Success, and Evelyn K. Davis Center For Working Families.  Larry Twitty, Jr., his wife Ariana, and children, have been residents of Johnston, IA since 2016.

Robert Thole

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Robert Thole is an attorney at Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C. in Des Moines. His passion for social welfare began in high school when he went on a service trip to a mountainous village in Haiti. There, the people taught him the change that a helping hand and kindness can bring. Robert has since returned to Haiti numerous times to visit friends he made on his first trip twenty years ago.


Robert is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Spark Foundation and its leadership team. He intends to utilize his legal experience to promote the Foundation’s initiative to promote giving back to this great community. But he knows from his work in Haiti that it is not only those that the Spark Foundation assists that will reap the benefits. It is those that give that oftentimes are the greatest benefactors of charity. 

Brandon Weber 

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Brandon Weber is a Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands, human-to-human. After marketing for a variety of brands and startups, Brandon knows what truly drives leads, conversions, and social engagement — and it’s not mastering the new marketing flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the people you’re trying to help and your ability to translate that into engaging digital content. 


In addition to his extensive marketing experience, Brandon is also a real estate investor and holds a AA in Business Administration from AIB College of Business.

James Simmons 

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James Simmons is a student at Drake University, where he is an English and Musical Theatre major. He is a trained volunteer through Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services where he provides first response victim counseling to Drake students who have survived violence. James is also proud to be working with State Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines as her campaign manager for her 2020 re-election campaign. He has also worked with the Fund for the Public Interests and Environment America as a field manager on a multi-state campaign. An avid reader and writer, he hopes to be able to share that passion with students all around Des Moines.


James is excited to be apart of the Spark Foundation’s team as an editor and outreach coordinator, and feels blessed to have the opportunity to reach out in assist his community through his work.