Speaker Bio: Sirita Wright, Black Enterprise

Conference Session: The State of the Digital Space, Sunday, 4:40PM

Sirita Wright is a digital savvy professional with a fashion and media background plus a proven record of exceeding expectations, improving processes, establishing goals/metrics and turning around underperforming social platforms.

She loves analyzing social intelligence to find new points of audience engagement. And she’s had great success working with major brands like AT&T, Lexus, Prudential and others. She’s a self-made woman, living, learning and sharing in New York City, by way of Prince George’s County.

Sirita is also an actress and has had guest roles on the ID Channels, My Dirty Little Secret and her first web-series 195 Lewis was recently unveiled at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

When Sirita isn’t spending her days crunching numbers, analyzing and optimizing tweets, Periscopes or Facebook post she can be seen in the Black Enterprise HQ interviewing artist like Common, moderating panels at Social Media Week NYC and sharing her expertise on The World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show aka The Breakfast Club.

Speaker Bio: Winnie Caldwell

Session Title: Black Weblog Awards

I’m a dreamer and a doer. I use my testimonies as different pieces of advice to share through my writing. As a St. Louis, MO native, I definitely have that ‘Show Me’ state mentality. I don’t tell too much in advance, but when I show the end result, I show out. If I would be any animal, I would say I am a Chameleon. Except instead of being a small slow-moving Old World lizard with a prehensile tail, long extensible tongue, protruding eyes that rotate independently, and a highly developed ability to change color; I move swift and fast while having the ability to adapt to my surroundings and leave a bit of my color behind for admirers to savor. The most interesting compliment I have received is that someone told me I was unflappable, which means to show calmness in a crisis. For that I am proud. I have grown from being nervous when I interviewed celebrities such as actress Malinda Williams, and radio host Special K to now having great communication with highly influential persons such as celebrity MUA Alexandra Butler, VH1’s Torrei Hart and Christina Johnson,  and more! To experience this bright spirit everyone loves, visit thewirehangerbywinnie.com where the motto is “Hang Up Your Problems & Move On To Better.”

Speaker Bio: Vashti Patrick-Joseph

Session Title: PIVOT: How to Successfully Rebrand Your Blog.

Vashti Patrick-Joseph is the creator of the Award Winning, Dallas based blog VeePeeJay.com. In addition to creating content and engaging with her audience, she is also a online media consultant for small business owners & bloggers. Vashti holds a M.Sc in eBusiness from the University of Wyoming.

Speaker Bio: Ty Alexander

Session Title: Sponsored Content 101: How Publishers & Brands Can Get Sponsored Content Right

Known for her beauty and lifestyle savvy, but adored because of her gorgeous grey tresses, Ty Alexander is an expert online beauty and lifestyle editor, social media consultant and style and beauty TV correspondent.

Ty started her impressive editorial career as the style and beauty editor of HelloBeautiful.com, building the section from occasional stylish musings to an authority in all things beautiful with her bare, manicured hands. Armed with extensive knowledge, compassion for women of color and the kind of sass that instantly made her your BFF, Ty’s work with this top women’s site has allowed her dedicated readers to face their days with grace, and of course style.

Her killer personality shines through every style guide, HuffPost Live, “The Today Show” and “Dr. Oz” appearance. Ty has established herself as a trendsetter in the media, boasting over 11k Twitter followers, over 8k on Instagram and over 5k on Facebook.

As a trusted influencer, with a distinctive voice, Ty has partnered with some of the best beauty and fashion brands in the business, offering her social media services to Ouidad, BET, Lane Bryant and EDEN BodyWorks.

From HelloBeautiful.com, Ty became a well sought-after editor, who currently contributes to reputable publications like Style.com, Huffington Post, Hype Hair, GM District Overdrive, TodayShow.com and XOJane. And because of her undying dedication to building a brand from the bottom, up, Beautiful Textures chose Ty to be the Editorial Director of their new online vertical, TalkingTexture.com.

Ty is one of those rare people who are so talented, they’re featured in the very medium where they work. Featured and/or dubbed “Top Blogger” on CNN Living, NY Daily News, Essence, Redbook, Ebony, Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, BUST Magazine, Hype Hair and more for everything from expert beauty tips to the sheer lust over her stunning grey mane. Ty has easily become a trusted voice and powerful influencer for beauty and lifestyle. She’s built her personal brand, Gorgeous In Grey from a personal blog to a lifestyle site with over 100k page views per month, offering the best in fashion, beauty, fitness, health, celebrity and lifestyle.

Speaker Bio: Stefanie Newell

Session Title: Writing Your First Book

Stefanie Newell is a well sought after book writing coach. Her company Write One Publications, Inc. consults aspiring writers on how to bring their book ideas to fruition or more seasoned writers on how to sell more books! Her exposure to branding, marketing and publicity fueled her desire to help other writers to go after their dreams and gain attention for their books. As a book coach, Newell has successfully assisted writers since 2008 with writing their books, book marketing, and publishing. Newell has spoken at numerous book, blogging, and film festivals including, but not limited to: the National Black Book Festival, Bronzeville Film Festival, the Los Angeles Black Book Expo, and WordCamp ATL.

Speaker Bio: Sarah L. Webb

Session Title: Black Weblog Awards

Sarah L. Webb blogs at ColorismHealing.org and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English at Louisiana State University. She is a writer, educator, advocate, and mentor whose work focuses on literacy, digital media, and issues affecting young women of color. Sarah has previously taught high school and college English courses; mentored youth poets, performers, and writers; managed online content for local news and TV stations; and provided freelance writing and blogging services for businesses and magazines.

Speaker Bio: Sarah Glover

Session Title: State of the Digital Space

Sarah Glover is the social media editor at NBC Owned Television Stations and is based in New York City. She serves as president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Prior to joining NBC OTS, Sarah worked at NBC10 Philadelphia (2012-2014), Philadelphia Daily News (2008-2012) and The Philadelphia Inquirer (1999-2008). For two decades, she has been a freelance photographer for outlets including Jet magazine, The Washington Post, Liberty City Press and Black Enterprise.


Speaker Bio: Rob Walch

Session Title: How to Be a Podcasting Rockstar Part I. & Part II.

Rob Walch is the Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Libsyn.  Prior to joining Libsyn in 2007, he was President and founder of podCast411, Inc. Rob is Co-Author of the book “Tricks of the Podcasting Masters” - Que 2006, an editors pick as a Top 10 Reference book for 2006 by Amazon.com. Rob was listed as the 5th most influential person in podcasting according to the book “Podcasting for Dummies” – Wiley Press 2005. He has consulted on podcasting for Jack Welch, Senator Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, Noah Shanok (Stitcher), Tim Ferriss, and the Sacramento Kings/Monarchs to name just a few. He is also a monthly columnist for Podertainment The Podcast Magazine. Rob was Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee for the Association of Downloadable Media.

Rob started podcasting in 2004, and is the host of the award winning podCast411 podcast, where he has interviewed such prominent podcasters as Quincy Jones, Walt Mossberg, Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Ronald Moore (Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica), Phil Gordon (World Series of Poker), Larry Kudlow (CNBC’s Kudlow and Company) and Leo Laporte (TechTV, G4 TV).  Additionally Rob is host of Today in iOS (iPhone) Podcast – The first and largest podcast about the iPhone - www.todayinios.com and also the KC Startup 411 podcast which covers the Kansas City Start up scene - www.kcstartup411.com

Since 2004 Rob has presented at over 100 events on the subject of podcasting and New Media including the Newspaper Association of America Marketing Conference, the US Latino Film Festival, the Corporate Podcasting Summit, The Association for Women in Communications 2006 Annual Professional Conference, Social Media 2007, Ad-Tech, Podcast Movement, New Media Expo, and Blogworld Expo. He is also a regular guest Lecturer at the University of Kansas School of Journalism.  Rob was the Track Leader for the Podcasting sessions at the 2009 Blog World Expo – where he recruited 25 top experts to speak on podcasting.

In 2004 Rob received his MBA from the University of Connecticut. He also has an Engineering degree from the University of Dayton.


Speaker Bio: Naya Scarbrough

Session Title: Mobile UX for Bloggers

After getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Media Production, I earned a Master’s Degree in Publications Design (Writing, Design, Web Development, Photo/Video). I've spent around 9 years of experience in agencies, in-house digital production teams, and teaching digital media.

I’m here to help entrepreneurs take the plunge into the online branding world and prove to them that the world won’t crumble beneath their feet when they take that step. I’m here to help bloggers create and maintain delightful experiences for their users.


Speaker Bio: Monique Johnson

Session Title: Livestreaming to Leverage Your Business

Monique is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality (MoCris) and video creator who has created videos for the digital, health, and many more industries. She has also ventured into all aspects of media including blogging, social media, etc.

Her company, Ehm Ooo Media, produces videos for businesses and brands that tell their unique story. Monique founded DIYMobileVideo.com, and teaches video production and camera presence for the web at BothSidesoftheCamera.com and MoniqueJohnson.com.

Speaker Bio: Lucrecer Braxton

Lucrecer is a podcaster, award-winning photographer and graphic designer, who seeks the light for the best self-portrait.

She has graced the stage at many conferences, sharing passionate, motivating messages with her audience. She has led workshops on relationship building, photography, blogging, podcasting, building communities online and pitching for speakers. 

As the host of the Hello Friend Podcast, Lucrecer introduces her audience to inspiring guests, through candid conversations where they offer a glimpse into how they live their most awesome lives. She is a hardcore podcast and live broadcasting connoisseur and enjoys not only listening, but sharing great information that help people grow, reclaim and own their personal freedom and power. 

Lucrecer is the Events Programming Manager for SheKnows and scouts the best speakers and developsdynamic programming for BlogHer and BlogHerFood conferences.  

She was born in Georgia and is a southern girl at heart. She loves on herself, loves on haters and has no problem calling out "hot mess" when she sees it. 

Speaker Bio: Michelle Smith

Session Title: State of the Digital Space

L. Michelle Smith is the award-winning lead for Diversity and Citizenship & Sustainability corporate communications for AT&T. With more than 20 years’ experience, she has led teams of dynamic PR professionals for some of the world’s largest PR agencies, as well as her own boutique agency to award winning results. She’s a former television news writer/producer with an insatiable nose for news, a precise insight for intelligent social engagement and a curious interest for anything tech related. She directs five agency teams for the Fortune 10 mobility and digital video giant. Embracing a no-silos approach to communications, she is an extremely energetic change agent, news and social media junkie. She is a creative, strategic thinker, planner and problem solver who always drives to results.
Follow Michelle on Twitter at @lmichellepr

Speaker Bio: Kristy McCarley

Session Title: 5 Steps to Explode your Instagram & Facebook Audience

Kristy McCarley is CEO and founder of Shazzy Fitness LLC, the top-selling inspirational dance workout based in Atlanta, GA. Shazzy Fitness initially began as a cardio exercise DVD series in 2013 and has now evolved into a comprehensive workout program which can be found on TotalFitnessDVDs.com, Amazon Prime, The Dove Channel and Koorong, Australia's largest Christian media retailer - and ShazzyFitness.com.

In 2014, the DVD entitled "Shazzy Fitness: In the Beginning" was named one of the "Top DVD Workouts of 2014" by the Chicago Sun-Times and has been featured in SHAPE, Rolling Out, Examiner.com, Chicago Tribune and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

McCarley's professional experience began after she graduated from Howard University and the University of Virginia with both undergraduate and graduate Engineering degrees - which led to a notable career in IT and ultimately, Internet Marketing.

In 2015, McCarley was able to draw on her graphic design and marketing background to grow the Shazzy Fitness Facebook following from 3500 to over 35,000 in less than 10 months. Shazzy's substantial social media presence has led to several business partnerships, national media appearances as well as increased sales, which keeps this unique fitness company well above the pack as the #1 faith-based fitness workout program on the market today.

Kristy McCarley is a child of God, wife, mom, entrepreneur and proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Speaker Bio: Ebony Ajima Maddox

Session Title: Learn from My Mistakes: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started a Blog

Ebony Ajima Maddox runs Black Women Losing Weight, a thriving community focused on making a positive impact on the health of black women. With over 14 years of experience in communications and web strategy, she believes in using the power of the web for good. The left side of her brain is a skilled internet marketer, web developer, and content curator while the right side loves to sing soul music and study eastern philosophy. She’s a proud mom and Howard University grad. You will find her blogging and celebrating success stories daily at blackweightlosssuccess.com.

Speaker Bio: Davina "Dayvee" Sutton

Session Title:

Dayvee Sutton is a two-time Emmy Award Winning sports journalist, entertainment and lifestyle reporter, social commentator and entrepreneur. Over the course of her career she’s worked for ESPN, Comcast Sports, Turner Sports and CNN, including CNN’s London bureau. She hosted an entertainment and lifestyle show for NBC Charlotte and most recently covered sports for CBS Atlanta. Now Dayvee hosts “Beyond the Usual” travel show, “Conversations with Regular Folk” and “Travelscope” podcasts, write and work as an on-air contributor for various outlets, and produces special segments and documentaries through her production company Dream Network Media - - including the thought provoking and emotional film “What We Told Our Sons: Families React to the Trayvon Martin Verdict.”
You can learn more about her at www.dayveesutton.com


Speaker Bio: Davida Arnold

Davida E. Arnold is a passionate storyteller, entrepreneur and community builder with an ear for women and girls’ stories. Davida’s company, GirlGameChanger, is the social forward alliance of #WomenWhoDare create solutions from challenges. “I am dedicated to amplifying the female voice to create brighter futures. A strong woman’s voice makes sure all of the members of our community are heard, she says.” Girlfriend style insights speak across across careers, countries and stations of life, bringing content to light with humor, insight and authority. Like your favorite auntie, sister or BFF, GirlGameChanger’s s strength lies in its ability to keep it red emoji one hundred, while helping others to do the same.

Philly born and Brooklyn raised, this multi-hyphenate is also a marketing consultant with over a decade of experience across branding, future-casting and on-air appearances. Currently Manager of Content Marketing for SheKnows Media, she lives with her two very tall and very hungry sons, lots of sneakers, oodles of books and two passports. “Nothing gets me more excited than boarding a plane to go interview a daring female. And cheesesteaks-but I digress, Coco Cherie.” Davida asks“Today, what do you dare do?”

Catch Davida on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook,  and the web: @GirlGameChanger

Speaker Bio: Carlos Nai

Session Title: Engaging Audiences, while Increasing Content Monetization

Carlos Nai, Partner Development Executive, Google
Carlos is a Partner Development Executive focusing on building partnerships with North America's top digital publishers. He's primary focus is on helping publishers deploy an effective programmatic strategy. Prior to joining Google, Carlos was the Network Strategist and AE for Game Advertising Online's publisher business.

Speaker Bio: Cari Rene

Session Title: The Social Science – Productivity Tools You Need to Soar on Social Media   

Born in Delaware and raised in Atlanta, Cari’s discerning eye and love for fashion developed at a young age, when she would watch her mother sew beautiful garments for her clothing store she owned and managed in South Philadelphia.  After completing her Marketing degree from Georgia State University and spending a few years in Corporate America, Cari decided to follow her passion and set her sights on a career as an Image Consultant and Stylist. She started her fashion blog LAYLLAH with her sister Kay Lynn in 2014 as an online outlet to showcase their affordable, easy, accessible and edgy-chic style to readers all over the world. Just under 2 years later, the blog displaying clean lines, monochromes, neutral tones and classic pieces has become a go-to source for fashion inspirations and amassed a social media audience of over 56,000 followers. Taking a modern minimalist approach to style, LAYLLAH is catching the attention of local, regional and national media outlets as one of the popular fashion blogs to follow.  With her keen eye for detail and fresh approach to styling, Cari's ability to simultaneously predict trends, and transcend them, has solidified her presence in an ever-changing industry.  Cari has created content for brands such as Halston Heritage, Zara, Diane Von Furstenberg, J Brand and H&M and continues to pave the way for bloggers inspired by her journey.


Speaker Bio:Bee Quammie

Session Title: Black Weblog Awards

Bee Quammie is a healthcare professional, blogger, freelance writer, social media consultant, and speaker. With a degree in Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario and work in George Brown College’s Post-Graduate Health Promotion program, Bee has turned her passion for health into a career in mental health research, international health, and acquired brain injury.