30 Black Professionals with Careers that Will Inspire You

Want to move to the next stage in your career and meet ambitious young pros like you? Join us for FindSpark Next, an immersive professional development event, taking place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at The Wix Lounge. We’ll connect you digitally and in-person to an exclusive group of kick-ass professionals. Learn more & apply for tickets at findsparknext.com 


Want to meet, network and learn from some of these amazing people in real life? Don’t stay stagnant in your career! Come mix and mingle with members of the FindSpark community and inspiring professionals like these at our first annual Black History Month Spoken Word Happy Hour on Wed. Feb 24th: BHMHappyHour

It’s February and if you’ve been living under a rock Team FindSpark is here to tell you that Black History Month is in full effect! Black History Month is a time for people from every race, ethnicity, and culture to embrace and celebrate Black culture. We are as excited as ever to show appreciation for the people and events of African American history that helped shape America into what it is today.

To celebrate this wonderful month, we have featured 30 inspiring Black Professionals highlighting their careers, passion projects, and overall awesomeness. Did we mention that they are all FindSpark community members that have either worked with us as event speakers, employers, or job seekers?!  We appreciate each and every one of you for representing that hustle and being that shining light for everyone especially our younger community members of Black descent.

Now take a look at these incredible people:

 

JamilaJamila Roswer

Social Media Manager

Jamila Rowser is a geek writer and overall fangirl, currently living in South Florida. She launched Girl Gone Geek Blog in 2010 and is the co-founder of Geek Girl Brunch, an international meet up organization for self-identifying geek women. She’s also the creator of Straight Outta Gotham, a Tumblr blog of geeky rap lyrics shared as gifs and memes. Jamila was raised around the world as a military brat and loves to travel. She plans to start writing her own comics in the future and become the creepy cat lady that lives next door.

 

Emily Cavalier

Senior Account Executive (Business to Business) at Twitter

Emily Cavalier has a decade of experience as a digital media consultant to business and consumer brands via digital and live event activations. Previous to joining Twitter, she was head of marketing and communications at Havas Media, a large media agency. Leading up to that, she spent five years as one of the first employees at Argyle Executive Forum, a privately owned professional services firm, building and managing a line of business serving Fortune 500 CMOs. Her strategic side is balanced by passion and creativity. She created Mouth of the Border, an online community for lovers of ethnic food, culture and craft cocktails in New York City. She is also the founder and hostess of Midnight Brunch where she has successfully thrown rogue dinner parties in the middle of the night for companies like Google, KitchenAid and the Mexico Tourism Board.

 

Parris Whittingham

Relationship Photographer

Parris is the founder of From Parris with Love, a collection of remarkable love stories that change the world. For nearly a decade, he’s served as a relationship photographer & storyteller for couples and businesses who honor their culture but aren’t afraid to write their own rules. His story is featured in Making Ideas Happen, the international bestseller by Scott Belsky as well as Forbes, Success Magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Based in Tribeca, he is available to serve clients locally and for international destinations. He actively supports community building and learning, and is curator and producer for TEDxNewYorkSalon, the longest-running and most active TEDx program in NYC. Additionally, he collaborates with businesses and individuals who care deeply about community and the creative process including: Behance, The Harlem Children’s Zone, Seth Godin, Cool Hunting and The Royal Norwegian Consulate. 

 

Lee Hawkins

News Editor, On-camera Reporter/Host at The Wall Street Journal, WSJ Celebrities Reporter

Lee Hawkins covers “the business of celebrity” for the Wall Street Journal, where he reports on the print, television and digital platforms. He is most known for his on-camera interviews with superstars from the worlds of entertainment and sports, as well as influential newsmakers and icons. He has reported from around the U.S. and world and has written hundreds of stories for all sections of the WSJ, including Page One. He also appears regularly on the Fox Business Network and other TV networks, rendering analysis on the businesses of sports and entertainment and the brands of celebrities. His in-depth celebrity interviews appear on WSJ Live, WSJ.com (80 million unique visitors a month), Apple TV, YouTube, and are picked up by the WSJ’s 28 online partners and by many influential blogs and web sites. In addition to the WSJ’s platforms, his digital videos are picked up regularly by outlets such as AOL, Yahoo, Hulu, SI.com and high-profile music, culture and lifestyle blogs and sites.

 

Shantell Martin

Visting Scholar at MIT Media Lab

Shantell is a visual artist whose iconic black and white designs have been displayed all over the world, including in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and installations all over Tokyo and Russia. She uses her work to transform visual experience in the design, fashion, and music industries. She also happens to be a visiting scholar at MIT Media Lab, an adjunct professor at ITP and NYU, and volunteers with schools and organizations to teach art to kids.

 

Bradley Ogbonna

Photographer

Bradley specializes in creating unique content for himself and his clients. He is a photographer and videographer specializing in documentary, portrait, travel and lifestyle projects. He is originally from the Twin Cities; currently based in NYC and is open to projects worldwide. He has worked with select clients such as SPIN Magazine, Diet Coke, Nike and Madison Square Garden. To get a full dose of his content check out his personal website: bradogbonna.com

 

Gleana Albritton

Industry Marketing Lead (Media & Entertainment) at Twitter

Gleana is a global marketer with a wide range of professional experiences in the media/entertainment fields with specialty in affiliate, digital, CRM, promotions, partnerships and events marketing. Currently she is the Industry Marketing Lead for Media & Entertainment at Twitter heading up all of the B2B marketing and sales strategy. Prior to joining Twitter, Gleana worked at AMC Networks International, where she was the Director of Digital Marketing where she headed up the digital marketing, strategy and operations for AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global in Asia, EMEA and Latin America. She began her career at the Island Def Jam Music Group in marketing and Artist Development and eventually moved on to marketing roles at A+E and Fuse TV. Gleana has her MBA from Vlerick Business School (Belgium) and her BBA in Marketing from Valdosta State University (Georgia).

 

Kai A. Brown

Director of Creative & Marketing Operations at BET (BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc.)

Kai A. Brown is an award-winning broadcast media professional with more than 15 years of experience in television production. She is currently the director of production at BET Networks in the creative services department. In this role, she manages a team of production managers, coordinators and production assistants. She works in conjunction with the team’s creative directors, media planners and post production to ensure consistency in look, tune-in information and accuracy of all messages. She is a member of Women in Cable Television (WICT), National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and a PromaxBDA Ambassador. One of her career highlights was serving as the board chair for the Multi-Media Training Institute (MMTI), a nonprofit media production training company for at-risk youth and young adults in the DC Metro Area.

 

Katrina Craigwell

Director, Global Content & Programming at GE

Katrina Craigwell is an expert digital marketer and storyteller, a field that is becoming an integral part of business. She is the Director of Global Content and Programming at GE where she leads the digital content strategy for GE corporate and the digital marketing team. She drives content creation and distribution across GE.com, Txchnologist.com and GE’s corporate properties internationally, as well as GE’s social-media presences on platforms including Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. She has spent the last two-and-a-half years at GE bringing the company’s technology to life via visual content.

 

Dara Adeeyo

Editor/Writer

Dara Adeeyo was formerly the Managing Editor for XXL/XXLMag.com but has since switched gears from journalism to mental health. She has incredible writing experience including freelance writing for SheKnows, Conde Nast, web editing for Hearst Digital, and contributing writing for Johnson Publishing. She will soon be getting her Masters in Psychology. In the meantime, she is working on launching LiveLoveYourself.com, a website where she will be inspiring women to live a life filled with self-love.

 

Joi Brown

SVP, Marketing, Brand Partnerships

Joi Brown is currently the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records. Her passion for business development and strategic partnerships has led her through a robust career with increasing achievements in the music industry. She has a talent for integrating marketing and sales with strategic partnerships, enabling sustained, long-term growth that mutually benefits all parties. Her approach to marketing campaigns is grounded in data and customer research, but she also enjoys exploring creative avenues to maximize relationships and generate cost savings. Her specialties include leading multi-million dollar campaigns between leading artists and global companies, utilizing market research to define and execute strategic plans, developing relationships with industry leaders and C-level executives, implementing marketing campaigns that achieve revenue growth, directing teams towards sustaining and scaling relationships and driving revenue growth through customer retention and referrals.

 

Peter Boyce II

Venture @ General Catalyst Partners + Rough Draft Ventures

Peter Boyce II is an Investor at General Catalyst Partners and the Co-Founder of Rough Draft Ventures.  He is also the Co-Founder and former President of Harvard College Venture Partners & the Boston Director of Skillshare. He helped launch Skillshare in new cities and worked directly under CEO Mike Karnj on Finance & Operations. Before Skillshare, Peter worked at a hedge fund as a summer analyst and Bad Boy Entertainment as a Business Development Analyst. Peter also Co-founded GoGirl Finance, an organization whose mission is to foster a conversation and greater awareness around personal finance. He loves finding ways to collaborate with great founders and technologists, and living life with a bias towards action.

 

Mina E. Black

Founder at In The Black Financial Wellness

Mina Ennin Black wants to live in a world where people understand their money, are interested in finding ways to grow it and are unabashedly committed to giving it away to friends, loved ones and complete strangers. As a personal finance expert, she’s been featured in DailyWorth, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, Ebony magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, Bankrate, NY Times, GoGirl Finance and other publications. She’s the founder of In The Black Financial Wellness, a corporate financial wellness company that partners with employers & organizations to provide in-person & online financial workshops & 1-on-1 financial planning for employees & members. Learn more at www.intheblackworkshops.com.

 

Shaton Winston

Senior Copywriter at IBM Interactive Experience

Shaton Winston is a Freckled Creative and Award-Winning Copywriter. He is currently the Senior Interactive Copywriter and Content Strategist at IBM Interactive Experience where he is responsible for creating future-forward physical and digital experiences for the world’s largest brands. He hails from small northeastern town of Queens, NY and has a knack for producing culturally and socially relevant content. To check out some of his content and projects visit behance.net/shatonwinston

 

Byron L. Williams

Diversity Outreach Specialist at Peace Corps

Byron Williams is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. During his time volunteering he was the Youth Project Advisor and managed the Sedibeng Youth Center in Lesotho from 2003-2005. He was also a University Instructor in English language and American culture in Ukraine from 2011-2013 and is now the Diversity Outreach Specialist at Peace Corps. He has a strong background in training and development that has crossed the United States from Africa to Europe. He is a proven leader that is passionate about assisting people in reaching their professional and personal goals.

 

Lee Moulton

Head of Strategic Partnerships at Breather

Lee Moulton is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at Breather, a start-up providing hourly office and relaxation space rentals in metropolitan cities. Prior to joining Breather, Lee spent 6 years at Goldman Sachs working in various capacities including as a Client Strategist for the Chairman & CEO of the firm. He also spent time as a member of the Institutional Sales team in the firm’s Asset Management Division. Between leaving Goldman Sachs and joining Breather, Lee served as a Business Development consultant to various start-ups including Paay.co, Vayable, Keystats and Work Better. Lee is a Founding Director, at Youth Action International, a humanitarian non-profit organization focused on rebuilding war-torn African countries.

 

Daniel Simpson

Sr. Manager, Diversity and Campus Programs at The New York Times

Daniel Simpson is the Sr. Manager of Diversity and Campus programs for The New York Times, where he focuses on the recruitment, development and eventual retention of recent college graduates and interns from top universities. In addition to recruiting, he also overseas general diversity programs at The Times, which includes numerous affinity networks, a scholarship program and a diversity oversight council. He has extensive experience in campus recruiting and diversity hiring having previously held similar roles at JPMorgan, Google, Microsoft and Barclays. Prior to his HR career, Dan taught English in Germany and France. Dan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he earned his BA in French.

 

Juliette Austin

Diversity & Inclusion Strategist | Organizational Development Consultant | Career Coach

Juliette is an Organizational Development Consultant with experience in diversity and inclusion, talent management, and personal coaching. Formerly the Global Talent Diversity & Inclusion Leader at Buzzfeed, Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Canon USA, and Diversity & Inclusiveness Consultant at Ernst & Young, she has had amazing success supporting organizations in creating strategies and direction for building diversity, inclusion, and engagement. She also supports young professionals and leaders in implementing their personal vision and goals through coaching and wellness approaches. She is now the President and Founder of FrankEvans Consulting

 

Geovanni Derice

Youth Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author, Life Coach, Marketing Consultant

If you’re looking for an extraordinary inspirational speaker who speaks to the hearts, minds and souls of your students Geovanni Derice is your guy! When Geovanni is not speaking, he is working behind the scenes as a marketing consultant and project manager for a 7-figure business, working with private clients, lending a hand with the young adult ministry at his church, or spending time with his beloved wife and family. He looks forward to continuing to empower today’s youth to become models citizens for their community for years to come. To see highlights of his amazing work check out geospeaks.com.

 

Nubia Murray

Vice President – Sports & Entertainment Marketing

For nearly a decade, Murray has worked on Chase’s global sponsorships including the Corporate Challenge running series, which she managed in the US, Frankfurt, South Africa, Sydney and Singapore. As Vice President of Sports & Entertainment, Nubia guides Chase’s partnerships with FC Dallas Soccer, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the PGA Tour, and the firm’s Madison Square Garden relationship, inclusive of the Rangers, Liberty, Knicks and the Westchester Knicks.  As a result of Nubia’s leadership, Chase was awarded the Community Partner of the Year and Most Valuable Partner awards by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nubia is currently earning George Washington University’s Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate, the only specialized academic track in the industry. She’s actively leveraging the curriculum as Co-Founder of Front to Back Communications, a sports philanthropy consultancy that helps professional athletes win on and off the field. 

 

Donte Ledbetter

Content Producer at Appboy, Marketer, Writer, Photographer

A New York City native, Donte Ledbetter is the Content Producer for Appboy, marketer, writer, and photographer. From interning at one of the largest companies in the world, to being a part of two tech startups, he continues to help companies grow their marketing efforts and develop brands with personality, meaning, and direction. Donte is also dedicated to helping young professionals and minorities find their passion and path to success. 

 

Jerome Wright

Creative Innovator, Sales and Marketing Enthusiast

Jerome Wright is a Bronx, NY native with a love for growing creative businesses. He is a Professional People Person with a passion for service and mentorship and a knack for being able to foster authentic relationships. He currently works at FindSpark doing Partner Sales and Community Development where he develops new and existing employer and sponsor partnerships that drive revenue and deliver value to both clients and the FindSpark community. He is always looking to expand his knowledge in Sales and Client related roles where he can add his own creative splash to growing a business. 

 

Daniel Dickson

Creative Director at Vevo

Daniel is an Emmy award winning multi-disciplined creative director/design director with a special interest in brand identity, typography, and illustration work. He has considerable experience in brand management/development, art direction, graphic design, digital, and motion for the entertainment industry. Dan is especially effective in bridging the worlds of entertainment and commerce, bringing artistic and culturally relevant values to technology and product applications. Drawing from a deep well of fine art, music, cinematic, digital, and street culture references, he creates multi-layered, meaningful communications that make brands stand out and stay relevant. Some of his most prominent clients in the entertainment/media industry include Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Tribeca Enterprises, Nike, Saatchi and Saatchi, Adult Swim and Rolling Stone.

 

Adama Sall

Partner, Planning Director at Ogilvy & Mather

Adama started her advertising adventure at Discovery Channel working in the Design Group as a jack-of-all-trades. She immediately fell in love with the creative & independent spirit that embodied the group of misfits, and set out to replicate that experience throughout her career. She moved to San Francisco at the height of the dot.com boom, landing at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. After working on various businesses, and twice earning the dubious award of “GS&P People Who Don’t Suck,” she followed her mentor to TBWA/Chiat/Day where she helped launch the Never Hide campaign for Ray-Ban. Adama then journeyed to Wieden + Kennedy. One of her proudest moments in advertising came when, along with the Nike Foundation, she helped launch The Girl Effect – a cause that is dear to her heart. After a year and half in “cozy” Portland, Adama packed up once more and headed to NYC, where she currently resides. After a two-year stint at Ogilvy, working on Fanta, UPS and the Gap, she joined BBDO in January 2012.

 

Edmond Hawkins

Director at The Special Without Brett Davis

Edmond is creative who has a passion for film-making and animation. Some of his past work includes The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and 6 Days To Air: The Making Of South Park. Currently, he is a Director at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and works on The Special without Brett Davis –  a live weekly variety show that brings new, different, terrible hosts each week, all of them NOT comedian Brett Davis.

 

Joymarie Parker

Manager, Advocacy Strategy at American Express OPEN | Creator & Co-Host of Joblogues Podcast

Joymarie is a proud RIT alum who specializes in activating campaigns and programs that deepen client engagement, increase brand loyalty, generate leads and drive acquisition. As a Senior Analyst of Customer Experience at American Express OPEN, she focuses on driving Card Member and prospect engagement through sponsorship and proprietary activations. As a side hustle, Joymarie is creator and co-host of Joblogues – a podcast designed to inspire and empower young professionals to reach their full career potential through candid conversations with professionals around the globe.

 

Faith Cummings

Senior Internet Coordinator at Victoria’s Secret

Faith is a fashion-lover with many years of freelance writing experience under her belt. She is working at Victoria’s Secret as a Senior Internet Coordinator where she makes sure that everything is published with the brand’s voice and analyzes all thing on the web. While working full-time, Faith is also the founder of Urban Sybaris – an online blog that is dedicated to life’s luxuries and pleasures.

 

Rajiv Lahens

Art Director & Creative

With over 5 years of experience as a creative, Rajiv is currently the Director of Brand Experience at Calvin Klein. Prior to this role, he has been in the art direction field for many years. He has worked and used his artistic skills at some of the best companies (Grey Group, Deutsch, CP+B, Anomaly, MKG, and Ready Set Rocket) to design campaigns and compelling digital experiences for clients.

 

Zuley Clarke

Co-Founder at Humblee

Zuley Clarke is cofounder of Humblee and Thirty Day Fit. She is an entrepreneur, user experience researcher, and product designer with over ten years of experience. Prior to cofounding Humblee, she served as Director of User Insights for Shutterstock where she successfully established a practice of product research and usability testing. Zuley has worked at a variety of companies including The Economist, AOL, and Showtime Networks. Although her experience is varied, she is singularly focused on listening to customers, uncovering problems, and creating solutions that people need and love.

 

Maya

Maya Pope-Chappell

Education & Millennials Editor at LinkedIn | WSJ Alum | Recovering Expat

In her role as News Editor at LinkedIn, Maya not only works with influential names in education, but she gets to work with students to help them write posts that showcase their knowledge and experiences in a way that creates opportunities for them. She also oversees all editorial initiatives involving education and millennials for LinkedIn, which currently boasts more than 380+ million members worldwide. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal where she contributed to coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight, the Hong Kong protests and the protests in Ferguson. She has substantial online news experience in the U.S. and Asia, including social media and audience engagement, breaking news and video production.

 

Wow. We know for a fact that absorbing the great careers and experiences of all of these incredible people is no easy task (we’re having a little trouble over here ourselves). We are extremely proud to have these people be a part of the FindSpark community. Most importantly the celebration of black culture and influence is much more than a one month affair. We must always embrace and learn about different cultures and backgrounds to progress as a people.  Now then, what successful black professionals do you look up to? Share with us in the comments. 

Happy Black History Month!

Want to meet, network and learn from some of these amazing people in real life? Don’t stay stagnant in your career! Come mix and mingle with members of the FindSpark community and inspiring professionals like these at our first annual Black History Month Spoken Word Happy Hour on Wed. Feb 24th: BHMHappyHour


Want to move to the next stage in your career and meet ambitious young pros like you? Join us for FindSpark Next, an immersive professional development event, taking place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at The Wix Lounge. We’ll connect you digitally and in-person to an exclusive group of kick-ass professionals. Learn more & apply for tickets at findsparknext.com 

One comment on “30 Black Professionals with Careers that Will Inspire You

  1. I really enjoyed reading about all of this success, it is truly inspiring reading about these leader. I have goals of being one of the people on lists like this one day. Congratulations to you all and keep up the great work!

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