Felicia Jackson

CEO & Founder. CPR Wrap, LLC. Chattanooga State Community College/ UTC

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EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference WINNER

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What was your first job ever?  Pizza maker at Pizza Hut 

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My parents are my mentors because they taught me how to work hard for things I needed and not things I wanted.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I never really thought about being an entrepreneur until I invented my product, the CPR Wrap. As I dug in deep to learn everything about getting my product into the world I just knew this was now my new journey.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We must work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? I would tell future entrepreneurs and strong business leaders to not try to go at this alone because this can be a lonely journey with many barriers. Surround yourself with mentors and friends and family that will lift you up and also pull you back down when you need it.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I like to think of my circle like something King Arthur would implement. We sit a round table where everyone can present their thoughts and ideas. Yes, I am the owner of this company but I could not be who I am without the people around me.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? I always step back to determine the best way to put out that fire and then pull from what my advisors and mentors have instilled in me to oversee what need to be done. That one proved hard for me to do. I now have to schedule walking times for myself on my calendar because my health depends on how I decompress.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? That one proved hard for me to do. I now have to schedule walking times for myself on my calendar because my health depends on how I decompress.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Being a determined mother. I say that because when my son almost died from choking, I not only thought about future incidents that may involve me again but I thought of others and how they may react in my situation and the CPR Wrap was born because of that determination.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? Never think that I know everything and always be open to life's lessons.

How do you define success? I define success by achieving whatever goal you have set for yourself through-out the day. It's the little successes that keep me focused on my larger goals.

What's next for you? I just invented and patented an animal version of the CPR Wrap so now I am starting all over again while propelling my initial invention to greater heights.

Spotify Soundtrack. Beyonce. Irreplaceable . Spanish version

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.
 

 

Shreya Bhargava

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

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Shreya Bhargava . Founder & Co-Director . District Mugs . Brown University

District Mugs is a nonprofit volunteer group that introduces entrepreneurship to the homeless in DC by teaching them how to paint, market, and sell coffee mugs.

https://www.districtmugs.org/

What was your first job ever?  Math Tutor

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? I have been lucky to have found mentors in every opportunity that I have pursued. However, most influential person in my life are my parents. Their hard-work has truly taught me the value of perseverance and enabled me to develop an attitude of never giving up. They are both consistently positive and always willing to go out of the way to help people around them. They have inspired me to set high goals for myself and work hard to reach them.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? After moving to D.C., I began volunteering at a homeless shelter and extensively interacted with the homeless individuals at the shelter, listening to their stories firsthand. These interactions compelled me to do something more fundamental that could enrich their lives and eventually help them out of homelessness. So, over a year ago, I started District Mugs (DM), a nonprofit volunteer group that introduces entrepreneurship primarily to the homeless in DC. By teaching business fundamentals through the painting, marketing, and selling of their own coffee mugs, DM has helped homeless participants earn a small income while instilling in them a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pride.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? First, start with the end in mind. Think about what your immediate and long-term goals are. From there, work backwards to the present in building a business plan with well-defined milestones and benchmarks that systematically lead to the ideal version of your future business.
Second, life is nothing but a pursuit of an ever-moving target. So, define your priorities. As an entrepreneur, every day means facing new unanticipated hurdles and setting your priorities right is very important and beneficial.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? My top priority when managing people is to identify their strengths and to help them use those strengths to their best advantage. When someone does good work, I make it a point to give a shoutout to them in our team meetings or team email - that really serves as a confidence booster and motivates them to work harder!

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? In starting and managing District Mugs, I have faced many unanticipated hurdles. But, what has worked best for me is thinking hard about solving the problems. Getting caught up in pitying yourself or wondering why you have to face the problems does nothing to help you.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Outside of my work, my top priority is spending quality time with my family and friends - even if it is just chatting with them on Facetime. It prevents me from burning out my passion for my work.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Founding and managing District Mugs, has certainly required a lot of work, but the joy of making a difference makes up for it. Nothing brings me more gratitude than helping others elevate themselves and I am excited to do this on a larger scale by expanding District Mugs. Through my experiences at District Mugs, I have realized that I can make a meaningful difference, yet there is a lot more that I can do.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? No matter what I do, I need to be confident and at the same time humble.

How do you define success? I draw my definition of success from famous author Deepak Chopra - "Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals."

What's next for you? My goal in the next 3-5 years is to scale up District Mugs, a nonprofit I founded, to be able to help at least 20% (approx. 1,700 individuals) of the homeless population in D.C., become financially stable and make District Mugs a sustainable venture.
My long-term goal is to expand District Mugs to other parts of the world such as Asia and Africa, which are facing extreme homelessness and poverty, by collaborating with global nonprofit organizations such as the Gates Foundation and UNESCO.

Spotify Soundtrack. Beyonce. Irreplaceable . Spanish version

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.
 

 

 

Angelita Steele

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Angelita Steele . CEO/Camp Director .  Camp S.A.S.E  Hair & Fashion Boot Camp.  Belhaven College

https://www.steeledivine.com/home

What was your first job ever? I landed my first job through at an inner city program in Memphis TN at Mud Island as a cashier at age 14. My track coach Herman Adam helped make this opportunity a reality. I worked for them 3 summers.

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? Such a great question, but I have several mentors. The one that sticks out most is Deborah Townsend. For almost 10 years she has been the voice behind me encouraging me to keep winning. Her mindset, realistic conversations, strategies to maneuver through business, and her friendship is priceless. Icon that I admire is Arianna Huffington. Her name and accomplishments speak for itself. However, I'm in love with her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life if We'll Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? At age18 I was given a company credit card, salary, bonuses, and named part owner of a flower shop. I learned sales, customer service, how to interact with different cultures, and knew then I wanted more. My mom & I launched a business decorating cakes. The earnings in a week was an exciting trip to the bank. However after college and not getting my degree, I aimed for beauty school, graduated, and opened my first salon. I found being my own boss was awesome and the earning and being in charge of my schedule was what I desired. I've never looked back, but have created so many open revenues for myself.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? Advice I'd like to impart to future entrepreneurs & strong business leaders is to be well balanced. The entrepreneur lifestyle is great, we try to attend to so many things, but selfcare is important. Never neglect your body, spirit, & Family. Your body will let you down one day, your spirit man needs fuel to keep going, and families want to aid & support you.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I often say that great leaders build great teams, so to keep a team motivated I have to find ways myself. We all listen to motivational podcast, go to conferences that builds us up, and do round table events together to reflect, build, and extract.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective?  When I have to put out a fire the method I choose is using perception. I ask myself is it really a fire or just smoke. However to answer the questions I try to find the baseline problem and work from there. I reflect to see how my mentor would handle the situation, and go from there.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Decompressing is most important to me. I like to keep balanced. There's several things that I do and they're going for walks, reading books, hiding away at beach, and meditating.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? The most gratifying role that has led me to be where I am now is through my vlog I host live on Facebook called Let's Talk with Angie Steele. I use this platform to push all my events, my girls camp, because it's free and has a great reach. I bring on other entrepreneurs and interview them so that people can understand the work it takes to build a brand, yourself, and keep balanced. This has helped me network with some great people, build my own personal brand, and has given me the courage to keep going. It's encouraging to me that people inbox, see me out, and tell me how my vlog has helped them.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? The reason why I do what I do are for the generations to come.
My grandmother taught us life lessons in storing up for later. The methods she used was gardening, canning, and preserving. I apply that in everything I do in business. Not storing up will catch up with you one day. So I try to never become to complacent; this is my fire. I tend to my businesses and reap the harvest whether big or small from them and preserve them over time.

How do you define success? My definition of success is when what I imagined to be has manifested. Success is the outcome!

What's next for you? What's next for me prayerfully is planting Camp S.A.S.E in Atlanta, Chicago & Seattle. I'm in contact with connections to make it happen, finish my degree in business, & grow.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken . Publisher. WireTap Media.

Spotify Soundtrack. Beyonce  Run The World

 

 

 

Lenora Wilkinson

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Lenora Wilkinson . Founder & CEO . The Wedding Soda App . Roosevelt University Chicago (Masters of Integrated Marketing Communications)

Wedding soda is an interactive application that allows the entire wedding party and guests to receive invitations, budgets, timelines, directions and reminders for their individual tasks and roles.

What was your first job ever? Painted houses for the elderly.

Who were your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? Christina Murray- she has mentored me for the past 3 years and has given me the best advice in helping me understand how as a woman of color to be taken seriously and make wise moves. In building this app my journey has been extremely emotional. I've been through a lot and I hate being emotional! Christina has always offered me a shoulder, but then told me to woman up at the same time! I appreciate that.

Cory Ruth- Cory is extremely plugged when it comes to knowledge in the tech world. He actually ran for Atlanta City Council last year. Coming from Chicago I did not know much about Atlanta Tech or the connections I should make here or even the steps to take and making my idea and actual reality and Cory gave me the guidelines and also key relationships that were needed to eventually bring this to reality.
My Pastor, Anthony Murray - Oasis Family Life Church & Oasis Atlanta. My Pastor is dope. He wrote a book 'what happens to your dreams'. I pretty much followed the steps in the book and ended up with wedding soda, kind of neat. On top of that my mental and emotional state and losing my father and just going through life starting over here in Atlanta... I never would have survived if not for Anthony Murray being there for me. The fact that he has thousands of members but still cares about and looks out for every one of them seems impossible to me but it's true.

My icon is Oprah Winfrey! This lady is amazing hurdles that she's overcome and the influence that she uses to change the world is so inspiring. When she wrote' what I know for sure' it was groundbreaking for me because she has so many stories that parallel mine from dating, to learning to say no to understanding true friendship. I honor her because some of the hurdles she overcame I will never have to. She also has allowed me to believe that if she can be great I can be great. I am forever thankful.

Lastly my mom and sis. My Parents were married 35 years before my.father died of ALS. I have always had a strong support system. My sister and Mom I now call 'my parents'. When I was down to my last dime about a year ago, I was giving up and ready to move back to Chicago. They wouldn't let me. Financially they both helped me stay afloat, and mentally they were the nicest kindest definition of family. I still stand in awe of the love that they have shown for me. I love my parents :)

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? Ok, I never realized that I was born to be an entrepreneur! Lol. I really just wanted to create a tool that would help the wedding team out here. I thought it was a good enough idea to make a reality, and I had made a vow to God to pursue every idea He gave me, without wasting them. So I went for it, and here we are. I can't believe that I actually have users to this day! It's kind of amazing.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? Research, plan, be ready for delays, ask people for advice but - follow your own gut response. Endure, endure, endure. No matter what. Weddingsoda.com took almost 3 years to be a reality for me.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? So far, I give the project, allow them to do what makes them great and when they present their project completed, I give them feedback. Yes this is awesome, or no I don't get it- let's revisit. I have found that allowing other people to be brilliant will make my product more diverse overall with peoples different views and knowledge combined.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? Delete, take down, eliminate first, where no one else can see it or the fire can not spread. Then evaluate see what went wrong, find a solution, and rebuild with the solution in hand.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? My friends!!! I have awesome friends:) A phone call, dinner and laughs, or a crazy group text and convo is all I need to relax and realize - it's not that serious. Or a facetime session with my mom, we laugh every single time we facetime.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Volunteering at Oasis. I volunteer as lead on the social media team at both campuses. It is the most gratifying experience. Directing the volunteers, getting to know them, learning new techniques, collaborating with our media director on content is just straigth up fun. I love it! Likes, followers, and comments for God is all the way what's up.

How do you define success? Reaching my goals with a sound mind and joy in my heart.

What's next for you? Well I need to grow my user base so that wedding soda can open the vendor portal. The more users I have the more appealing to vendors, so just getting the word out about weddingsoda.com is key for me.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

Kelli Mumphrey

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

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Kelli Mumphrey. Founder & CEO. MilkSpace. Virginia State University & American Military University

MilkSpace is a DFW Start-Up that is committed to providing accessible and adequate event rental nursing cubes for moms on the go no matter her location.

First job ever? Pizza Hut

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My mother, grandmother and great grandmother all have served as both my mentors and icons that have had a heavy influence into the development of the woman I am today. The ladies of my family have always been present as mentors by offering a welcoming ear and unjudging heart in rendering their advice. Indeed, there have been many discussions in which they expressed their concern and perspective, but not once did their words ever come from a place other than love. Offering advice from a place solely of love is the most beneficial foundation for a mentor/mentee relationship, as there is an unspoken understanding that their advice and perspective is genuinely meant for your good even if it hurts a little. Although there are many influencers both men and women that have impacted me either personally or professionally, the ladies of my family have exemplified the true meaning of women living a life of service.

My mother served 20 years in the Army. While in the Army she earned BS in Professional Aeronautics and became a commissioned officer. My mother raised four children and managed to earn a MS in Counseling and a JD law degree. My mother’s academic achievements are admirable, but what is even more impactful to me is my mother’s selflessness. Throughout my life, I have witnessed firsthand my mother’s deeds in servicing others. Once retired, she worked for EEOC for nine years then later made a career change where she now works for the Maryland Resource Center providing pro-bono legal services for the homeless. She resides in Fort Washington, MD yet travels 90 minutes to and from work to Baltimore, MD and has taken a pay cut twice as low as her previous salary. She acknowledges the desires of her spirit which is to help others without allowing money to be a factor.
At the age of 47 my grandmother Mrs. Brenda C. Whaley attained her GED and then went on to earn her Associates degree at 70. As you can imagine, beginning college at the age of 67 she had a tremendous learning curve in the use of computer technology. During those years in college she loss siblings, her house was burglarized twice, and she had a stroke on her birthday, but through it all she managed to come out on top with a G.P.A. of 3.5. Her perseverance has taught me that it’s never too late to start over again, and that it’s never too late to be what you should have been.

My late great grandmother Mrs. Louise Copeland who was loved by her family and community has had the greatest impact in my life. Although small in stature standing at 5 ft, weighing less than 100lbs, she was a feisty faithful queen with a heart of gold. Raising eleven children, their children and other community children (both young and old), she had a very special stern but loving way of encouraging others to live a life worthy of living. She was undeniably true to her faith and was a selfless servant to all who knew her, but most importantly God. She would literally give you her last quarters if you needed it. My great grandmother’s faith and determination to live a life of purpose serves as a constant reminder that we only have one life on this earth, and that it should be lived not for self, but in love and service. I know for certain that her prayers and my blessings are directly connected with the other. It’s simple, she prayed for not only for herself but for many others, especially for her family. Because of her faithfulness and life of selflessness, I am truly blessed. In return, it is only natural that I do the same to be deserving of the blessings she prayed for and live a life of love and service myself.
 

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? Funny thing is I never felt that I was born to be an entrepreneur. However, I have always felt a desire to help others in their everyday lives, and I have always felt I wanted to do just that on my own terms. Meaning, bringing my dreams into reality in where I have a direct contribution in what and how my dreams are achieved, and I can create an inclusive culture that places a heavy emphasis on a positive work culture where everyone’s values and perspectives are welcomed and included in the company culture. Initially, I had wanted to earn a second master’s degree because I thought that was the smart thing to do. However, once enrolling in a Public Administration program, I came to the realization that my third degree needed to be in an area that directly contributed to my truest desires. I am grateful that I can create my own narrative and become everything that I desire to be.


My husband and I have two little girls Zoei-5 and Zyla-3, it is my responsibility to live and be an example. Often, I say to our little girls that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. How can I tell my girls that they can be anything they want to be if I am not leading by example? I have made a conscious decision to begin taking steps in becoming an entrepreneur that will enable me to say with full confidence to my family in full confidence that they can be anything they want to be if they are happy and are not hurting themselves and other in the process. Entrepreneurship is simply part of me, but not all of me and I want to be an example to my children and to the world, if it is in your spirit…pursue it! My personal motto is “Realize Every Aspiration Can Happen…REACH for the Stars!
 

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? As a newbie entrepreneur with only two months in, I have experienced my share of others expressing their concerns about my ability to be able to provide for my family, and that I must keep in mind that it’s not about me anymore with children to care for. I strongly feel that being a parent should be the number one priority when children are in the equation of your life. I would remind entrepreneurs indeed, we have children to care for and/or other personal responsibilities that requires our devoted heart and mind however, those responsibilities can be equally met/provided for while simultaneously pursuing our dreams. The number one thing is to have a plan in place that will enable entrepreneurs to handle their responsibilities while making their dreams a reality. My children are “MY WHY”, and I feel that I should serve as their first example of living a life of choice, happiness and purpose. There may be some lifestyle changes that need to be considered when pursuing entrepreneurship, and that’s totally fine. Just know that it is a process, and in going through the process entrepreneurs should keep their “WHY” at the forefront of their mind to ensure that their vision is not clouded with others’ doubts.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? As a newbie entrepreneur, I have not had the opportunity to lead a group. However, in my past military and professional experiences I have always found that while serving in leadership roles, teams appreciate a leader who not only recognizes his/her teams’ differences, but values them as well, and can create a team dynamic where team members embrace their differences and are able to utilize their differences as perspective qualities in making the team a true powerhouse.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? As a newbie entrepreneur, I have not had to put out any fires yet. However, when the time occurs, I feel that it is important to use operational risk management (ORM). ORM is a Navy process used that includes risk assessment, risk decision making, and implementation of risk controls, which results in acceptance, mitigation, or avoidance of risk. When putting out a fire, there is almost always some damage because of the fire. In moving forward an analysis of the what was the fire’s fuel should be recognized as well as a thorough projection of future risk to prevent or mitigate future fires.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? I simply must remind myself to make a conscious effort to literally stop and look at my growth and blessings. As I have a vision that I am actively trying to make a reality, at times I must stop and embrace my current reality and know that my current reality is simply a path to achieving my ultimate vision(s).

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? The most gratifying business and personal role is being able to share my ideas with others and in turn they are receptive, encouraging and view my vision(s) as making a difference in the lives of others.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? The three lessons that I have learned throughout my life is that it is nice to have help, but if you don’t what are you going to do for yourself? Secondly, knowing that my dreams can be more than dreams by putting the necessary work in to make them a reality. Lastly, you get back what you put in…so you should give it your all.

How do you define success? Some correlate success with society’s standard of success, most commonly associated with wealth or status. Success for me is defined as someone who is truly fulfilled with their life. They are living a life that directly reflects the deepest desires of their heart, and in retrospect have inspired others to do the same. Setting personal and professional goals whether big or small and achieving them are worthy to be validated as success even if not associated with monetary gain. If my actions can inspire others to pursue their deepest desires, only then can I say in confidence I have achieved the greatest definition of success.

What's next for you? There are so many things that I am interested in pursuing. However, in the next two to three years I will be actively creating a MilkSpace experience that is recognized and highly sought after to provide service solutions that supports active nursing mothers. More importantly, I will be developing relationships at the local, state and federal level needed to move the needle in creating dialogue and real action pertaining to developing solutions for women’s nursing needs in communities’/cities’ strategic developmental plans. The intent would be to eventually establish state and/or federal laws that mandates states develop and implement plans that is inclusive to nursing mothers within their communities.

 Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

Melissa Chung

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Melissa Chung. Founder. Krippit . Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management

Krippit is an artificial extension of the heel, Krippit increases the surface area of the heel base for walking stability and balance - providing the user confidence while walking on uneven surfaces. Krippit is a unique solution, fitting the majority of heel sizes/shapes while not scratching the heel where it is attached.

https://www.krippit.com/

First Job Ever? Ironically, when I was 16 years old my first job was at a shoe store chain, where I won top summer sales! Perhaps, this experience has always sparked my area of curiosity for shoes!

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My parents, who worked hard all their lives to grow a global business. My dad who is never short of ideas and will turn anything into a new business venture. My dad has a similar philosophy to the late Steve Jobs; stay hungry for ideas new ideas.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? My father immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1967 with only $100 in his pocket. He slept on the ground of the restaurant where he worked as a waiter to save money. He was successful in drawing upon his analytical skills, business instincts, vision, leadership, and entrepreneurial focus to develop a unique idea in an untapped market. My dad’s best advice is to invent something that everyone in China can buy for $1, and you will have a billion dollar idea! Krippit follows a similar idea. Women around the world love their heels! An invention is only interesting if the masses can benefit.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? Being an entrepreneur is tough, you need to be mentally prepared to battle the known challenges and stay ahead by being even more prepared for the unknown. After hearing 100 no’s you grow a tough skin and are able to face whatever lies ahead.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? My abilities to lead and motivate others have also been among my talents and skills. During my first year as the president of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA), a charity board that I’ve been involved with for over seven years, I have had to address great challenges between the staff and the executive director. My goal was to re-connect them with our organizational vision of improving the lives of many families and remind them of their important roles. I have demonstrated strong team leadership by embracing staff comments and suggestions in our main brainstorming sessions, making it clear I hear their feedback and concerns. I empower staff members with clear responsibilities, coach team members and celebrate when we reach important milestones. I have made a practice of acknowledging the best staff ideas at our monthly board meetings, raising morale. I have inspired my team to focus on common goals and to try new approaches. We have succeeded in securing $100,000 in United Way funding by demonstrating our organization’s ability to run successful programs.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? I first evaluate the worst outcome and work backward from there to set expectations for myself or my team. I focus on the tools I have and what I can do this moment to reduce the damages. I think taking ownership and providing strategic action plans for each challenge will not only help to reduce the overall costs but, lead to a process to benchmark future results.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Over the years, I’ve taken up Bikram yoga.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? I’ve always’ enjoyed being my own boss. During the financial crisis when I had the opportunity to take over for a retiring branch manager, I jumped at the opportunity to turn a money-losing business around and started growing the bottom line within 6 months. I love the challenge of solving a problem especially when it is my own. When I first told people about krippit, I definitely heard resistance from skeptics. I just turned those skeptics to believers today.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? Today, my family owns and runs a global platform for which I serve as a consultant. From a young age, I watched my family’s business gain market share despite competing with global firms, and I learned first-hand how to maintain a competitive edge and deliver outstanding, customized service. As a small business owner, I’ve learned how to make quick decisions and adapt to customers’ needs—eventually landing the Microsoft and VIA Rail pension plans. I helped raise $2M of private funding and secured million-dollar consumer packing contracts with Fortune 500 companies including Motorola Mobile and Coca-Cola.

How do you define success? Success is merely defended by having a good support team around you. I learned that throughout the years having a group of like-minded friends and positive energy from people at home is what allows me to keep on going.

What's next for you? My plans for krippit, is to continue to expand our product line offering and continue to grow our customer base. I want to work closely with manufacturers to provide other makes the opportunity to manufacture their unit ideas to add new made in America products to our shelves.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

 

Quyionah Wingfield

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Quyionah Wingfield. CEO and Co-Founder. Cool Moms Dance Too. GSU

Cool Moms Dance Too is an at home mommy and me dance as fitness and therapy program which provides enrichment tools to improve the overall health of families worldwide.

http://www.coolmomsdancetoo.com/

First Job Ever? Assistant to the Communications Director of DeKalb Police Department

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My mother was my first and most influential mentor. She shaped my worldview and taught me the importance of pursuing continuing education and empathy, which I believe are my greatest attributes personally and professionally. Her drive to help her community by providing resources and education on intellectual property nurtured my passion for social entrepreneurship. Also, Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba is someone who has influenced me as well. Her relentless pursuit to maintain, uplift and fight for her country has inspired me to find a cause worthy of my relentless pursuit. She is an iconic figure to me and her story ended peacefully unlike many of those who fought for injustice and didn’t live to see their work manifest. Beyoncé’s work ethic is unparalleled, and I’ve always looked to her for inspiration and I live by her infamous words "How we're smart enough, To make these millions, Strong enough to bare the children, Then get back to business."

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I'm naturally a creative and have worked in the arts community as a dancer and songwriter since I was a teenager. My mother founded a family owned publishing company so entrepreneurship was a big part of my growth. I was taught early on entrepreneurship was the path to freedom. Prior to Cool Moms Dance Too I've worked as an entrepreneur on other ventures. I've always had the passion to create but the loss of my mate in 2013 is what helped me start the journey of refocusing and refining my passion. The journey of surrendering myself to my passion was wanting to be a better mom. I knew I would not stop until I provided the world with my gift and it’s difficult to do so when you're a multi-passionate creative and single parent. However, realizing I wasn't doing well as a parent, juggling life and business pushed me back to my first passion… dance because it was something my two girls and I had in common. It enriched our relationships and set me on a path of peace and an honorable purpose helping my family and families worldwide find creative ways to engage, connect and grow.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? I would tell future entrepreneurs and change-makers to take your time and learn yourself. The best thing you can bring to an organization is a clear understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and what drives you so you can help others help you. Also, do not underestimate the importance of time spent on R&D. Your business is like being in a relationship so put into it what you want to get out of it. Most importantly as Jay-Z says "a loss ain't a loss it's a lesson". If you take this approach you will learn, pivot quickly and find your way to success.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I check in with my team often and not solely to regard business but to see how they are doing in general. Our organization is built on family values, engagement, communication, empathy, health and this included mental health. I place a focus on balancing a regard for the business associate and the human being. They are intertwined, and many businesses fail at keeping morale high beyond a paycheck simply because the person is disregarded and the bottom-line is the main and many times the only focus. By doing this and being mission driven it inspires us all to want to do the work and remember our why.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? The combination of EQ and mindfulness has been a lifesaver in situations like this. My approach to life is to be proactive instead of reactive. I use the same practices learned in mindfulness meditation and my EQ research, take a second maybe six, relax and breathe. Depending on the situation and time allotted to find a solution I regard the big picture and how my next response or action will domino affect a reaction. Thinking ahead and composing myself to think rationally and not emotionally has helped our organization navigate issues and sudden changes.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? To keep balance, I turn to a few key activities to remind me of my blessings. I love going on nature walks. Looking at nature and trees helps me appreciate the fact many trees have sustained storms, sunlight, darkness, all the elements of life and many are still standing tall. Also, first thing every morning as soon as I awake, I conduct a gratitude talk with the universe. I speak of all the reasons I am grateful starting with life itself. When I have an unsolvable problem or feel the need to connect, I reach out to my community, not to find the solution but to hear about their experience that day. It is most definitely a perspective shifter and helps me maintain a healthy balance.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Being a mother has been the most gratifying role for me personally and professionally. I take my experiences I have and apply them by finding solutions to our issues at home. I get to work with my children, as my co-founders, and watch them grow as young ladies into kidpreneurs and it brings me so much joy to nurture their minds, bodies and spirits.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? Stop tracking time and just do the work, what is for you will be yours. It doesn't matter what others believe it matters what you believe and what you can prove through your work. People will say it’s impossible until it's done. If it changed your life it can change others’ lives stick to your passion.

How do you define success? I define success as impact and joy. If I've helped a family in any way engage more, connect while using our programming, and grow their relationship with a healthy lifestyle, I am successful and joyful.

What's next for you? What's next is the launch of our dance fitness programing online. We are crafting a video collection so families can workout to our dance fitness videos in the comfort of their home. We are also launching an instructor training certification online for fitness professionals and those interested in providing dance fitness classes to their community. Collaborating with communities nationally and internationally to teach and promote family integrated fitness is our goal. Maybe you'll find us performing or conducting a class in a city near you.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

Dr. Amy Fan

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Amy Fan. Founder & Pediatrician. Kinder. University of California, San Diego (B.A. Anthropology); University of Virginia School of Medicine (M.D.)

Kinder is a full service virtual pediatric clinic and community. Launching July 2018. 

http://www.gokinderkid.com/

What was your first job ever? Barista at a beach coffee house.

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My parents are the ones who have influenced me the most. In many ways, the immigrant spirit is the entrepreneur spirit - the willingness to leave behind familiarity to work towards a vision under potentially unstable conditions. Their perseverance, and more importantly their relentless optimism and gratitude, showed me at a very young age that possibilities are more powerful than limitations. My father discussed big ideas with me as soon as I learned to speak, so I inherited a mentality of always digging deeper, asking questions, and having the audacity to think imagination can turn into reality. I admire the famous entrepreneurs of our age for their resourcefulness and persistence, but the people I consider personal icons would be those who leave the legacy of changing how we think or challenging us to open our minds. Krista Tippett and Maria Popova come to mind.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I’m not sure that moment existed for me. The process has been gradual. I was an extremely social child and many people - teachers, friends’ parents, family friends - commented that I should become a businesswoman. I chose medicine out of a desire to do something that would always feel meaningful and fulfilling. I didn’t see, at 18 years old, that business can be a tremendously powerful way to change the world and incorrectly thought it would be only about money, which was not interesting to me. A decade of school and training showed me that the meaning of medicine and healthcare has been destroyed by the fact that it is a badly run business. Idealism alone doesn’t preserve the human spirit when the environment is hostile to innovation and collaboration. A key component to my realization was the experience of working for Khan Academy and witnessing the potential of creative technology to revolutionize an old institution. I started exploring by creating my Ask Dr. Amy Youtube channel, and that connection with parents led me to ultimately take the entrepreneur approach to clinical practice.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? I don’t think I’m at the place to give advice to future entrepreneurs already, but I’ll speak from my experience with hard work and sacrifice as a resident physician. Keep your loved ones close, thank them for understanding and try to not always let work win. Take care of yourself, especially when you don’t want to. Pick one hobby and hold on to it. No, not three, pick one.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I draw on my experience as a coxswain on the crew team. A good leader takes full responsibility for the team - all of the blame and very little of the glory. Don’t just act open minded, be open minded. Choose team members that feel like family and treat them as such.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? Breathe, stay calm. Come up with a solution and see it from the first step to the last, then execute from the top.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Rock climbing, yoga, hiking, reading, & playing music.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Working on my Youtube channel to make information for parents and families helped me identify the joy in sharing knowledge freely and connecting with people in a way that is hard to do in the current medical practice model. It was not a business role, and I still don’t make a cent from the material, but the connection I felt was instrumental in realizing the rest of the vision for Kinder - access, personal relationship, education.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes; including you.” Anne Lamott. Keeping a fire alive involves letting it breathe and have oxygen. I try to let work breathe.

How do you define success? Ralph Waldo Emerson said it pretty well.

What's next for you? Residency is winding down. I will be working as a pediatrician in hospitals around the country while gearing up to launch Kinder later in 2018.


Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

Kim Gamez

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

Kim Gamez . Founder & CEO. Mi Padrino . Siena Heights Univ

Mi Padrino is an event planning service to help parents and families organize, plan, and fund events celebrated in the Hispanic tradition. We help you organize and share the details of your events with your friends and family around the globe, instantly. They can be a part of your celebration no matter where they are in the world.

Kim Gamez, the CEO and founder of Mi Padrino, saw a need for a more efficient solution for organizing Quinceañeras, Weddings, and baby showers for the Hispanic community. As a mother of 5, Kim appreciates the complexity of coordinating all aspects of these time honored traditions with families near and far.

Mi Padrino is a one of a kind solution to plan and share your special day and we are so excited to offer this easy event planning platform to simplify this age-old tradition. 

https://mipadrino.com/

What was your first job ever?  Ice Cream Shop.

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? Although I could name off many famous people that have influenced my path along the years it really has been the people that I love the most.

My mother- She was an amazing entrepreneur and always found a balance between being a wife, mother and boss. She taught me to work hard and think outside the box, be patient and kind but most importantly to always be grounded. Treat customers and employees like gold because they will be the ones to make you successful.
My older brother- he has his doctorate in Hispanic culture and was the first person to introduce me to this amazing community.
My husband- teaching me about his heritage (Mexican), and what being a part of a community really means "always giving to others even when there may be little to give".

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I was raised by parents that were entrepreneurs. I have never known what an 8-5 job means. My parents worked days/nights/weekends... it's always been the norm. When I was in beauty school, I realized I didn't want to stand behind a chair and make money for someone else, so I enrolled in business school to one day open my own salon. This was the start to my crazy entrepreneurial journey.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders[MA1] ? You have to work harder and smarter than any of your employees and at most of the time get paid less. You have to listen to yourself, your customers and your staff. Sometimes the answers to your problems are right there in front of you... you just have to listen. You have to LOVE what you do because if you don't love it and take care of it no one else will.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I like to offer education to my staff every chance I get. If there is a webinar, course or convention that they might learn something new at I try to make that happen for them. I also encourage mystaff on a regular basic to think outside the box. We do this during weekly meetings. If money and time were not an issue... what would you love to do? Sometimes you get some crazy ideas.. and sometimes you can figure out how to actually make them happen!

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? Listen to all sides and approach the situation calmly, putting personal issues/opinions aside.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Keep a good calendar.
Enjoy your family... without your phone in hand. Love what you do, and it won't feel like work. If you don’t love it... get out while you are still ahead. Drink good wine. Life is too short and too busy to have a headache from crappy wine.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now?  Being a mother and showing my kids that you can be a great mom and have a successful business is a role I take seriously. Showing them that hard work literally puts food on the table and ballet shoes on their feet. My little babies give me the drive to work harder and dream bigger every day.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? I was born with my twin sister Katie who died when we were babies. I am constantly reminded that God chose me to live and not her. That my life is a gift and not take one day for granted. When life gets tough, like throw in the towel tough, I just think about how lucky I truly am. I take a step back, assess the situation and one way or another get back up. Sometimes you just have to breath and reflect.

How do you define success? Success to me is Love and Happiness. If you know what love truly is and you call yourself happy then I don't know what could beat that. If you are talking about business, well success is making enough money to take care of your family, having a place that employs others in your community, having a little bit extra to give back to those in need and when all of that is said and done if there is enough to treat yourself for a good'o mani-pedi well then, I would call that success!

What's next for you? Next? Keep on living the dream. My work here is not finished. I have a business to grow, kids to raise and a mark to make on this earth.

 Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media

Stephanie Smith

EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections.  In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”  EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.  

According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur.  Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.

Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist

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Stephanie Smith.  Founder & CEO .  HopN, Inc. Georgia Tech

HopN is on a mission to help parents all over feel good about their busy lives by providing reliable transportation for their kids by way of optimized carpools. Coming to a city near you!

http://www.hopnapp.com

Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

What was your first job ever? I worked as a seasonal Sales Associate at JCPenney

Who were your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? Dave Williams. He's a serial entrepreneur and the founder of a startup that I worked for after I graduated; BLiNQ Media. He is the epitome of a leader that puts his people first. I had so many doors open for me while working under his leadership that I will forever be appreciative of my experience and tenure there. Even years later, I still feel that he has an active interest in my well-being and what I am doing professionally.

My other mentors include my close friends, whom I also call my tribe. They have been the ones who have pushed me to pursue my goals, cheered on my successes, encouraged me during tough times, and critiqued my ideas when I needed it most. They believed in me during times I was questioning whether I should really give entrepreneurship a try. There are a select few that I have regular calls or meet ups with to just exchange updates concerning what we are each working on and some short-term goals. It keeps me going and creates a sense of urgency to have updates for my next call or meet up.

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? There was a certain point in college that I knew I wanted to own my own business. However, I never thought about it being my main source of income. My idea was to own a company while maintaining a regular job. I didn't grasp what it really meant. However, when I started my first real job at BLiNQ Media being surrounded by serial entrepreneurs opened my eyes. At that point, I told myself that I would learn as much as I could from my experience and those around me, and I would know when it was time for me to take that knowledge and step out on my own.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs? My advice would include to go after whatever you are truly passionate about and it won't feel like you are working harder or sacrificing that much. It will feel like you are getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. I would also advise not to pursue an idea based on money; when you believe in yourself and your idea, the money will come.

I would also say to stop making excuses as to why now isn't the time. Excuses tend to be a lengthy way of saying that you are scared. Admit that you are scared and let your mentors, friends and family encourage you to push through.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? Leadership is an area that I am constantly aspiring to be better in. The best leaders that have been in my life took initiative to get to know me as a person and to know what drives me in life. I do the same with my team or anyone else I work with. I like to know what people are passionate about outside of work, who they are as people not just about why they are there.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? Keeping calm. I do not believe that showing frustration helps anyone. Staying level headed and calm under pressure has always been a strength of mine. I typically take some extra time to get a full understanding of what the fire is so that it can be put out correctly.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Travel. Make 'me' time.  Having some me time can be a little difficult to achieve at times but with the village that I have around me, I make it happen. Being able to live and laugh with my friends or seeing new parts of the world, relaxes me and clears my mind.

What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Motherhood. I had my son at 21 so most of my adulthood has been spent figuring out parenting while also figuring out life. Even with navigating into areas that I simply had no idea about, I've enjoyed motherhood to the fullest. My son is my motivation and ultimately is the reason why I am who I am and why I am where I am today.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? My motto is "You don't know what hard is unless you have experienced easy. Until then, it's just life." I've been asked so many times if being a single mother is hard and I've never known how to answer that question. What in life with high reward, isn't somewhat hard? From that, my life lessons include not dwelling on what some would consider hard or difficult and instead focusing on my goals and what my story will be. My story at the end of all of this keeps the fire alive.

How do you define success? Success is when you have reached a point where you can give back; not just monetarily. Where you have learned so much (whether from successes or failures) that you are able to give back by sharing your knowledge to those who may be following in similar footsteps. Where you have gotten to a point in your career, that you can give back time to those who really need it. I also define success as solving the initial problem that you had. While starting a business, it's so easy to pivot while working on your idea because one path makes more sense than another, but in the meantime the original problem gets lost. I will personally feel successful when I have helped parents ease the guilt and ultimately make their lives a little less stressful.

What's next for you? Continuing to push forward with HopN. I want to position the company for possible investment by late spring / early summer. In the meantime, I'll be constantly tweaking the idea and proving out the concept and business model.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publiser. WireTap Media.

DR. ROSHAWNNA NOVELLUS

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Dr. Roshawnna Novellus. CEO & Founder. EnrichHER. University of California, Santa Cruz; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The George Washington University

What was your first job ever? My first job was at the age of 16. I taught middle school kids paleontology at the Elementary Institute of Science in San Diego, CA.

Who were your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My biggest influencer was my mother. Beyond working full time as a teacher, she also was a serial entrepreneur. She showed me that women have the capacity to do anything.

When did you first realized that you were born to be an entrepreneur & a business leader and what course of actions did you take in terms of following that passion? I’ve always known that I wasn’t meant to blindly follow others. I’ve always figured out my own approach to life. When I was in junior high, I started selling candy making a profit of $40 per day. After that experience, I knew there was something amazing to be had from profiting from the difference between supply and demand.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? Each of us has the choice to pick where we want to work hard. We can work hard for someone else or we can work hard for ourselves. Neither choice is better. But pick which one is best for your personality and give it all that you have.

Leading a successful group is a challenge.  How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? One of my tricks is to capture everyday moments that inspire me. I share these moments with my community. Furthermore, I share my struggle with people so that they know that everything is not perfect. By doing this, others know that they can let go of the idea of perfection and still win. They know that obstacles are just part of our course of existence". When people join the story, there is a circular flow of energy that inspires both of us.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? My first step is to wait until I’m not angry or upset. Figuring out the best plan only happens with a peaceful mind. Next, I determine the most efficient path to take to get to where I want to go. This is the most effective approach for growth and minimized stress.

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How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? I decompress through yoga, meditation and spending quality time with loved ones.

What are the life lessons you've learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive & how do you stay on top of your game? Most people are just going to assume a lack of capability. As such, it’s good to surprise them and win my own way.

How do you define success? Success is reaching my goals while being authentic and managing self-care.

What's next for you? Our EnrichHER Funding Platform is slated to launch this month. We hope to enable members of our community to connect directly with investors who can help them grow.

What is EnrichHER? EnrichHER Spark conferences are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections. In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs. The EnrichHER Spark Conference will be held at Atlanta Tech Village on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm.

Find out more about the EnrichHER Conference and get to know the Keynote Speakers and Guest Speakers by clicking here. 

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Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media. PaperGlass Media. WireTree Media

 

Four! A set of FOUR Questions. Derrek Kayongo > CEO > Center for Civil & Human Rights Museum

Interviewed by Jennifer Sutton. CEO & Founder. Art Meso extracted from PaperGlass.

What has been your most challenging obstacle you’ve had to overcome? Fear to vacate my comfort zone in my career to opt for risk. At first I didn't trust myself to dream and act upon my dream. I thought my skills were inapt. But now I realize risk-takers like everyone fear to start but they gather the gumption to start and don't fret to fail. When you courageously start, the universe provides helpers and you should trust in yourself so the helpers can gain confidence as they help you.

What was your driving force behind Global Soap Project? I spent ten years perfecting my skills and talents before I went out to chase after my dream of building Global Soap. My skills and talents at the end of the day drove me into success. But at the end of the day the idea of hotels throwing away 800 million bars of soap in juxtaposition of the two million kids that die every year due to poor hygiene and sanitation were the reason I set off on this noble journey.

What does it take to be great at leader? The characteristics of a great leader are endless but a key one that I love comes from an acronym that I coiled a while ago called SELF. It stands for Service, Education, Leader and faith. Great leaders start with a sense of service. Then with a teutonic thoroughness educates him/herself on the issue they want to champion and then determine what sort leader they are and lastly develop a sense of faith and belief in something more noble then they are to aspire for a legacy through their work. A leader who does have faith in themselves or others is a leader who dictates and develops authoritarian methods. Hence a great leader has a great sense of SELF.

Being named as the CEO of the Civil Human Rights Organization, what does that mean to you? It means that I did all the right things to get to this place of recognition. But it also means that I have to do the best I have ever done to get the world to understand the power of the Center in helping fend off the abuses of human and civil rights. I will be the champion of the CENTER as the CEO more than everyone else because its future is the future of the world.

Derreck Kayongo . CEO . Center of Civil & Human Rights Museum and Mavericks 2016 interviews former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center.  

Photo Credits: Scott Reeves Photography