Propeller Team Welcomes New Leadership

Krystal Hardy Allen, Sydney Gray, and Crystal McDonald join Propeller leadership team

9 January 2019

Propeller is excited to welcome new additions to its leadership team. These new faces will help focus and grow specific components of the organization’s mission of supporting entrepreneurs and tackling social and environmental disparities. Krystal Hardy Allen joins Propeller as its Senior Director of Programs, Strategy, and Policy, Crystal McDonald as Director of Entrepreneurship, and Sydney Gray as Senior Director of Impact and Operations.

As Propeller’s Senior Director, Krystal Allen oversees Propeller’s programmatic team, guides the organization’s policy and advocacy initiatives, and steers Propeller’s organizational strategy. A former New Orleans school administrator, Krystal is also the Founder and CEO of national education consulting firm, K. Allen Consulting™, that has supported over 130 schools and an index of over 50,000 students nationwide. She has been a White House guest of President Obama’s administration for ESSA policy formulation and recognized locally and nationally for her work on behalf of children and families.

As Director of Entrepreneurship, Crystal McDonald manages all Propeller programs, including its Alumni Program, Social Venture Fund, Startup and Growth Accelerators, and PitchNOLA series. Propeller is the former CEO and Founder of Acrew and currently serves as CEO and Founder of JCM Management LLC. Her entrepreneurial achievements include awards such as the Ada Lovelace Award in Tech and first place winner at competitions including NOEW’s IDEApitch, the Rise of the Rest, and Black Women Talk Tech.

A Propeller team member since 2014, Sydney Gray joins the senior leadership team as the Senior Director of Impact and Operations. Sydney has been recognized by Ashoka as an Emerging Innovator and received the Creating Shared Value award from Nestle in 2018. She holds a Master's in global development and is also the Founder of the international social enterprise Mama Maji.

With new organizational leadership, Propeller is preparing to share details of its 2019 programs calendar. Propeller’s Accelerator programs will run concurrently in September 2019. The PitchNOLA series will launch in April, with applications opening later this month.