Patrice Grell Yursik, "Afrobella", is a Trinidadian writer who currently lives in downtown Chicago. In August 2006, she created Afrobella.com, a blog to fill a void that existed in print and online media - a continual celebration of natural hair and women all shades of beautiful. Afrobella readers are enlightening and entertaining, intelligent and glamorous, friendly, fabulous and fun. If you love the skin that you're in and the beautiful natural texture of your hair, if you enjoy learning about different cultures and listening to eclectic music, if you have an obsession with makeup and fashion and all things fabulous -- then this is the blog for you.
Afrobella has been featured in Essence, Ebony, Glamour, People Style Watch, Allure.com, the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad Newsday and Fast Company.
Patrice Yursik has contributed writing to Essence, Newsweek.com, xoJane.com and Ebony.com, and was one of the initial contributors to Italian Vogue’s Vogue Black.
She has been featured in full page print advertising campaigns for hair care brand Crème of Nature – these ads have run in every major African American magazine from Essence and Ebony to Sister to Sister and Hype Hair. She has participated in online advertising campaigns for cosmetics brands Urban Decay and Lancôme, and hosted events for brands including the Huetiful hair steamer, Design Essentials and Carol's Daughter.
In 2011 Afrobella partnered with MAC Cosmetics to create her own custom lipglass called "All Of My Purple Life," part of the Bloggers' Obsession collection (which debuted on June 21,2011). Her lipglass sold out in a week was re-released, and then sold out again in another week. To promote the lipglass, she created a Tumblr blog where fans of All Of My Purple Life could submit their photos. Currently there is a fan-created petition calling for the color’s return.
Afrobella is currently on Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list, alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Oprah and the Obamas. Afrobella.com is one of few blogs in the Black Weblog Awards Hall of Fame, and to date Afrobella has won more than ten online awards, ranging from Glam’s Best in Beauty Award to Best Writing in a Blog from the Black Weblog Awards.
Afrobella is on The Root’s list of 20 Black Bloggers You Should Know, Black Enterprise’s list of 20 of the Blogosphere’s Best, For Harriet’s list of 45 must follow Tumblr blogs, and on Mike Street’s list of top 10 African Americans to follow on Pinterest. Afrobella is on the Signature 99 list of top beauty and fashion bloggers in the world.
Elizabeth A. Bert @elizabethbert-
Elizabeth A. Bert is a certified professional career coach (CPCC), and Founder of Total Leadership Ventures, LLC., a strategy management consulting and executive coaching and leadership development consulting company; with over 15 years of experience advising Fortune 100 industry giants such an Apple, Dell, HP, General Motors, Microsoft and Motorola.
Elizabeth is an innovative, results-oriented leader, and strategic thinker that applies a wealth of business experience to challenge current thinking .Her specialty is partnering with individuals and teams to create clarity, action and effectiveness. She delivers customized results - driven coaching programs through one-on-one sessions, seminars and workshops for specialized areas such as personal branding, leadership development, career transformation, social intelligence and high performance teamwork efficiencies for peak productivity to accelerate innovation and boost bottom-line business results.
A native Austinite and graduate from the University of Texas with a B.A. in OrganizationalCommunications and graduate of the prestigious award winning University of Texas at Dallas Graduate School of Management Executive and Professional Business Coach Certification program.
Craig Brimm @Kissmyblackads-
Craig is the creator, curator & editor of the popular multicultural blog Kiss My Black Ads, a blog that highlights the selling of goods & services to diverse audiences for both marketers and creatives. Kiss My Black Ads has been featured in Step Inside Design Magazine, Ebony/Jet.com and has also contributed to AgencySpy.com andAd Age
As Creative Director and founder of Culture Advertising Design in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past 15 years his work has included television, video, and radio advertising spots for Ford Motor Company, The Atlanta Football Classic, Levi,’s and Coca-Cola, print advertising for Wachovia, Kenya Tourist Board, Proctor and Gamble, Tylenol, out-of-home advertisements for Atlanta Metropolitan College and Bermuda Board of Tourism, and package design for SoftSheen Carson, Luster Products, and Colomer U.S.A. among others. Craig’s approach to design is moving brands ahead through relevant concepts and visuals. Craig says “Today’s society is moving so fast and we receive messages so quickly and frequently, that it is essential for brands to evolve so they do not fall victim to circumstance.”
Craig is Currently employed at Saders Wingo in Austin, TX. He has also worked at agencies such as Roy Advertising, JWT, Nomenudum, and MLT Creative. In 2001 Craig founded Culture Advertising Design and has been successful in leading an award-winning design team.
Natalie Maderia Cofield-
A native of Rochester, New York, Natalie Madeira Cofield currently serves as the President & CEO of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce in Austin, TX, a regional entity that focuses on economic development, supplier diversity, business and community relations on behalf of the Greater Austin African American community. Through her role, Cofield travels domestically and internationally promoting Austin for business recruitment and establishing relationships with corporate partners throughout the region. She comes to this role after gaining years of expertise in strategic planning, program development and management, public affairs and marketing for businesses, nonprofit, micro-finance/enterprise, economic development entities. Her experiences have included management roles in major global markets including: Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY and London, UK.
Natalie is a magna cum laude graduate of the Howard University School of Business where she earned a degree in Information Systems and was named a Top 40 under 40 at the School of Business 40thAnniversary. Cofield also obtained her Master of Public Affairs as a Pi Alpha Alpha and magna cum laude graduate of the National Urban Fellows at the Baruch School of Public Affairs in New York.
Her work has been featured in Black Enterprise, Ebony, C-Span, BusinessInsider, national business journals and the Washington Post, among others.
Benjamin Floyd @benjaminfloyd-
Ben is a husband, dad, geek & creator of awesomeness. As the principal at Socially Savvy & The VP of Marketing at Fluencr he spends his days teaching brands how to identify, connect and engage with their audiences.
Floyd is all about teaching clients how to leave lasting a mark in the hearts of their consumers. He lives by the motto: “A brand that captures your mind gains your behavior. A brand that captures your heart gains your commitment.” - Scott Talgo. His repertoire includes leading organizations and companies such as Hasbro, Nintendo America, Warner Brothers, The Walt Disney Co., Nike, and Pepsi-Cola, to name a few. He believes in building the right strategies, partners and placements to ensure results for his clients. Benjamin has garnered recognition and respect for his creativity and achievements in brand development, marketing and public relations. He is both passionate and committed to making his clients recognized, successful and beloved in the marketplace.
But for him the real fun is at home where he is typical doing one of three things. On the floor playing with his son (literally), testing his culinary skills and/or hanging with his beautiful wife. He vlogs at My Dad Saved the World! His topics are usually centered around being a fatherless father, Family/Marriage, Dad's cook too and reviews. In addition to contributing to TimetoPlayMag.com Parent Panel, Ben works with KRIV Fox 26 Houston as the on-air technology and social media contributor and is also a member of the Dad 2.0 team.
Tamara Floyd @tamarafloyd-
Tamara L. Floyd is a communications #PRblmsolver, wife, mother and serial blogger by day and by night a modern day super hero. Her mission is simple "World Domination"!!!
As founder and CEO of Floyd and Associates | An Innovative Solutions Group she has developed successful campaigns that are fueled by interactive digital marketing strategies which include both traditional and new media. She solves communication problems with the use of integrated marketing and public relations. These campaigns include social media, public/media relations and community involvement.
Her serial blogger career began with the creation of Natural Hair Rules.com!!! It is a top niche blog with more than 65,000 "Likes" on Facebook. After being promoted to motherhood it only seemed appropriate to blog about it on Boxer and the Baby.
Joi Gamble @newageprdiva-
Joi is highly experienced in communications and public relations as an educator and has personally moderated and conducted countless focus groups and in-depth interviews. As a social entrepreneur Joi launched The Voice PR as an education brokering company, using public relations to disseminate and educate individuals who are seeking an alternative to formal education. She offers her programs and courses at a lower cost and educates in the areas of personal and professional development, social entrepreneurship, and creating intelligent communities. Joi is most importantly a loving wife and the domestic engineer of a blended family of five children with ages ranging from fifteen down to four months. With heavy involvement in her community that includes the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and Round Rock ISD, Joi continues to engage in creating intelligent communities through public relations.
Brother Jesse @BrotherJesse-
Born and raised in Houston, Jesse Muhammad, affectionately known as Brother Jesse, is a journalist, award-winning blogger, experienced community organizer, new analyst, social media strategist and touring international motivational speaker.
He has served as a Staff Writer for The Final Call Newspaper since 2005. The Final Call is the most widely circulated and only remaining independent national Black weekly in the United States. You can read many of his stories and interviews at: www.finalcall.com.
He is a member of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He is a product of Forest Brook Senior High School (Houston) and Prairie View A&M University. (Prairie View, TX)
He developed a passion for blogging in 2007 and launched Brother Jesse Blog. Surprisingly, he walked away with three honors from the 2009 Black Weblog Awards (BWA) for his blog including Blog of the Year, Best Personal Blog and Best Microblog. He was honored to be a finalist in their 2010 and 2011 awards voting in the categories of Best Faith Blog, Best News/Political Blog and Best Microblog. In 2012, he was BWA semifinalist in the category of Best Personal Blog.
From 2010 - 2012 he was a guest blogger for the Houston Chronicle's religious site Houston Belief [dot] com (http://blogs.chron.com/brotherjesse/) that was also a finalist for Best Faith Blog by BWA. He has also been a Celebrity Guest Blogger for Global Grind [dot] com (GlobalGrind.com).
Brother Jesse has become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He regularly speaks to students on all levels including colleges and universities. He has been a featured speaker at commencements, conferences, conventions, workshops, panel discussions and more.
In 2010, he completed a 20-plus city national and international speaking adventure as part of the Community & Resistance Tour. The rigorous schedule kicked off with 19 consecutive days of speaking alongside journalist and tour organizer Jordan Flaherty and Victoria Law, an advocate for the plight of incarcerated women. From early September to mid-October they spoke in cities such as Brooklyn, South Hadley, Chicago, Syracuse, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Amherst, Asheville, Atlanta, Columbus and Pittsburgh. They even crossed the Canadian border to address audiences in Montreal and Toronto.
Anjuan Simmons is technology practitioner and advocate who helps companies understand and implement enterprise software solutions. He is currently a Software Project Manager at OnCenter Software, a leading construction software manufacturer. Before joining OnCenter Software, Anjuan worked as a technology executive for Infosys, Accenture, and Deloitte, all multi-billion dollar technology services companies with hundreds of clients around the world.
Anjuan is also an energetic and informative speaker who often presents at conferences, seminars, schools, and community events. He is a sought after thought leader for his opinion on social media, equal access to technology, careers in technology, and IT leadership. Drawing from his work experience as well as his educational background, Anjuan delivers presentations that focus on facts and provide simple explanations of complex ideas.
Anjuan has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University (where he was the first person voted by his fellow MBA students to serve as Student Speaker during their graduation ceremony).
He lives in Houston with his beautiful wife and three amazing kids. Anjuan’s hobbies include reading, writing, social media, photography, travel, and exercise.
You can learn more about Anjuan by viewing his Facebook profile (facebook.com/Anjuan), following his Twitter feed (twitter.com/Anjuan), or reading his blog (AnjuanSimmons.com).
Ashley Small @AshleyRSmall-
As President of Medley Incorporated, the Brand Development Company, Ashley evaluates each clients branding needs and creates custom, highly-targeted strategies with measurable results. At Medley, Ashley leads the web marketing and public relations initiatives within a broad range of industries including fashion, arts, non-profits, entertainment and media. Her unconventional approach to company growth and awareness, emphasizes personal branding, thus positioning her as a leader in technology, new media business and public relations.
In 2011, Ashley was named a "Face of Houston" by Fast Company Magazine and was recognized for her entrepreneurial spirit. Additionally, she is a regular contributor to top news stations in Houston, sharing insight on the trends in social media and web marketing.
She was a cast member on the docu-soap, Keeping up with the Joneses, where she contributed to the highly anticipated national launch of Jones Magazine as the Special Events & Promotions Manager.
Crystal Washington @cryswashington-
Crystal Washington- Social Media Marketing Strategist Hired by companies including Google, Microsoft and GE, companies in the USA, Africa and Europe book Crystal Washington when they want their teams to take action online! Crystal is known for her ability to take complex Web and social media topics and make them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. As the owner of CWM Enterprises and co-founder of Socialtunities, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone from Gen Y's to Baby Boomers in strategically using social media, Crystal educates consumers on the practical applications of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Crystal was named one of the Top 25 Women in Houston in 2011 and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, Black MBA Magazine and CareerBuilder.com. She has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe as a social media expert.
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler @blackandmarried-
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler make up the husband and wife power pair behind Black and Married with Kids, the largest independent African American marriage and parenting site on the web. Armed with a passion for empowering families and a knowledge of how to leverage social media, Ronnie and Lamar have in five years taken Black and Married with Kids from a small personal blog to an international brand under their own Tyler New Media umbrella that also boasts four independently produced films and a social media presence that includes over 150,000 Facebook fans. In November 2012, for the second year in a row, Ronnie and Lamar were named one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100, a list of the top 100 movers and shakers in the black community which lists President Barack Obama, Beyonce and Jay-Z and Tyler Perry among its ranks.