Ariel Belgrave, C.E.O. at Gym Hooky, is a health and fitness coach, stress management expert, corporate wellness trainer, and sponsored Under Armour athlete. Through her signature approach, The L.E.A.N. Method™, she's helped 2000+ busy women eat better, move more, build confidence, and avoid burnout.
Before becoming a full-time wellness entrepreneur, Ariel spent over a decade as a corporate Human Resources leader for Fortune 100 companies like JPMorgan and Facebook. She also was the Founding Program Director of /dev/color, a nonprofit focused on helping Black software engineers advance in tech. Today, she fuses her past experiences and health expertise to create engaging wellness training for her tech clients.
Ariel's energizing personality and commitment to wellness has earned her opportunities to partner with Fortune 100 companies, influence the health programs of top colleges, and receive recognition from major outlets, such as The Today Show, N.B.C., Women's Health, Shape, Elle, Glamour, Refinery 29, PopSugar, Entrepreneur, and The Huffington Post.
She is a native of Brockton, MA, and a graduate of Boston College, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology/Pre-Med and played D1 club rugby. You can catch her dancing, traveling, learning how to D.J., and trying new recipes outside of work.
As an accomplished international business mogul and inspirational speaker, Ari Squires found her voice by writing and speaking about her personal story of incarceration and homelessness to million-dollar entrepreneurs and how ultimate success is simply a matter of releasing one's mental and emotional, financial, and generational chains.
She does not play any games when it comes to helping hungry entrepreneurs reach and surpass their profit goals. As the SHE-EO of Profit Attraction Academy and Release the Chains Training Centers, Retreats, and Podcast, Ari provides brand management services for her clients using problem-solving high dollar product creation and online and offline profit strategies.
Her signature training programs —Brand Mastery Masterminds and Silent Money—have helped students attract a multitude of paying fans, leads, investors, and sales, increasing their ROI through live events, relationships, offline sales, speaking, and consulting by using her profit attraction methods.
As an inspirational film director and self-mastery trainer, Ari is devoted to the mission of helping organizations and individuals who are in transition create the lives and businesses that they love.
Faida Fuller is a mission-oriented, non-profit leader serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Vital Voices Global Partnership. At Vital Voices, she oversees all operational, administrative, and internal functions ensuring that the systems, policies, and guidelines enable the organization to fulfill its mission to its highest potential. In addition, she is a strategic partner to the CEO, helping to lead organization strategy development and implementation.
Faida is a passionate leader with experience in social impact and education equity. Before Vital Voices, she served as Chief Operating Officer at Friendship Public Charter Schools, helping to expand the network to fifteen campuses serving over 4000 students. She also worked in various other roles to drive impact and equal access to quality education at the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, DC, focused on providing public school choice grounded in innovation, opportunity, and excellence. Faida is a proud graduate of Spelman College and sees her most important role as mother of her two children. She is co-founder of Beaded Souls in her spare time – an African import and design business.
A Girl Scout and an Entrepreneur since she was seven years old, Angelique Sina is now President and Founder of Sinabel Group, Panorama Farm, and Friends of Puerto Rico. Her mission is to motivate more women and girls to start small businesses. Angelique is a former relationship manager at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford University. In 2016, she was appointed Commissioner for the Latino Community by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., and was a nominee for Forbes 30 under 30. In addition, she serves as a trustee of the New York Foundling and AT&T's Millennial Council and is an avid golfer who likes to explore different cafés.
Over twenty years of IT Industry experience across engineering and architecture. I utilize my passion for continuous learning, collaborating with multiple teams and client-focused engagement to help companies drive digital transformation. I have been involved in all aspects of enterprise digital transformations, using Design Thinking, Cloud, AI, DevOps, Integration and Data strategies to create a better customer experience. I have designed and created PoVs, PoCs, led workshops, made technical documents, led responses to RFI/RFPs, acted as the voice of the customer by sharing customer feedback with product management teams, interviewed prospective hires, and mentored/coached many technologists. I am passionate about teaching the next generation technology skills. I do this through volunteerism with various organizations. In addition, I love to learn new things, travel, attend live concerts, and spend time with family and friends. My motto is Sharing Knowledge is EMPOWERMENT and KEEP LEARNING!
D.C. born, Hyattsville raised twins Eleisha Faith & Tonisha Hope McCorkle hold BFA’s from New York University in Studio Art. Formerly enrolled in the Visual and Performing Arts program at the Jim Henson School of Arts, Media, and Communication in Hyattsville, Maryland, the two have been curating, studying, and creating art since they were 13. At the age of 17, the twins lost their mother to the rare lung condition of Sarcoidosis. Since then, the two have used their art as a space of healing, creating immersive experiences that engage with loss, grief, and identity. After spending almost a decade developing their crafts individually, they have decided to come together and form an interdisciplinary collaboration. The dynamic duo dives into concepts of reconstruction and resilience, traveling dimensions and embodying life and growth, soul food, magic, hope, and faith in their work.
My name is Sonya Holland, and I am where I am today because of my parents, church, community, and the strong men & women who came before me. My Dad, Joseph Holland, was the first Black Army helicopter pilot. From an early age, my parents stressed education. I did well academically throughout high school and college. I knew it was essential to study hard and connect with other students, role models, and teachers who were focused on elevating me to the highest level of success. I completed high school, college, and graduate school. I have worked as a cashier at Wendy’s, as a bank teller and then the Bank Branch Manager, as a programmer/developer on an IT project, as a Project Manager, and now I am a Senior Assistant Vice President of a consulting firm.
I am a longtime public servant and was most recently selected as the Chief Recovery Officer in July 2021 for the City of Baltimore. In February 2022, I was chosen as a 2022 Face to Watch by the Baltimore Business Journal. Before this role, I served as the Deputy Director of Performance Management in the Executive Office of the Mayor for the District of Columbia. In that role, she evaluated service delivery to D.C. residents and businesses provided by District government agencies and assessed equity in budgeting decisions. I was previously a senior analyst at the United States Government Accountability Office with the Financial Markets and Community Investment team. As a part of this team, I conducted program audits and evaluations at the request of Congress for federal programs related to housing, disaster assistance, insurance, small business assistance, and the U.S. financial systems. In addition, I enjoy volunteering and have served in leadership roles for various non-profit organizations. Finally, I am a proud graduate of THE Clark Atlanta University, earning my Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Masters in Public Administration from this exceptional university.
Lisa is currently Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs at REGENXBIO Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in regulatory affairs and medical/technical writing in the government/non-profit sectors, with most of her career in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. After completing her BS in Biochemistry at NC State University, Lisa obtained an MS degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, followed by postdoctoral research at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the Laboratory of Immunogenetics. She lives in Washington DC with her family and currently also serves as Vice-Chair the (and Parent Trustee) on the Board of Trustees for E.L. Haynes Public School. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the TSC Alliance, a local non-profit dedicated to research in the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
Asha M. George, DrPH, is the Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. Previously, she served in the U.S... House of Representatives as senior professional staff at the Committee on Homeland Security. She has also worked for various other organizations (including government contractors, foundations, and nonprofits) and with all federal departments and many agencies. Dr. George also served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer and paratrooper. She is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran. She serves on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the board of Healthcare Ready. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies, steering committee of the Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center, and member of the Preparedness Leadership Council. Dr. George holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, run by the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government.
Monique Johnson is the owner and founder of Empowered For Life Fitness, LLC. She holds training as a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, corporate wellness presenter, CrossFit Athlete, kickboxing, and Mayweather boxing instructor. Monique's passion for kickboxing has allowed her to be showcased internationally and domestically with Century Martial Arts.
She makes training motivating, challenging, and fun. Monique has helped hundreds of individuals change their lives through fitness. She finds value in empowering others in the gym and life.
Monique is also partnered with local non-profit organizations in the community, providing services for opportunity youth on educating the importance of having a healthy lifestyle through exercise and movement.
She has other professional roles as an Academic Services Specialist at Johns Hopkins University, helping to guide high schoolers with their educational goals.
Audrey Johnson is the Director for Economic Innovation and Strategy at John Hopkins University and John Hopkins Health Systems. She is responsible for economic diversification and innovation in the university and health system footprint to incite emerging sectors, strengthen assets, support growth, and solve complex challenges. In 2019, Audrey was selected as the Healthcare Champion of the year and received the Community Leaders Award by Women of Prince George’s. In 2021, Audrey was named President-elect of the National Association of Health Service Executives, Baltimore Chapter, and after eight months in the role, ascended to President. In addition, Audrey is an Advisory Board Member of the District of Columbia Community Anchor Partnership, Advisory Member of the Greater Washington Partnership, Capital Region Rail Vision Committee, and Board Member of Art with a Heart. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Howard University, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The George Washington University School of Business, and completed The Academy for Women and Leadership, Executive Education at the Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School.
Michele Joseph is the Student Global Ambassador Program (SGAP Leaders). SGAP Leaders is a non-profit leadership program that empowers underserved youth (ages 13-18) to take action on real-world problems by using STEM to solve sustainability and social justice challenges. Over the years, SGAP Leaders has inspired, engaged, and empowered upwards of 4,206 students from 78 middle and high schools.
Ms. Joseph attained her MBA in strategy and marketing from Georgetown University and her BSc in Biology/Environmental Sciences from the Catholic University of America. She was the team lead for Net Impact while attending Georgetown University. She also earned a certificate in Sustainable Practices for the Workplace and has taught entrepreneurship to promising high school students at the WEB Dubois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. She is currently pursuing her certification as a Climate Change Professional (CC-P). In addition, she has over 15 years of strategy, marketing, and branding experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Kori Hill is from Baltimore, MD, and graduated with her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). She obtained her MBA from Cornell University. After UMD, she received her CPA license and worked at EY and Freddie Mac as a financial auditor. Post-MBA, she joined McKinsey & Company's DC office as a strategy consultant. In Kori's spare time, she enjoys mentoring underrepresented minority students through organizations such as the CollegeBound Foundation and volunteering with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Danielle Conley is Deputy Counsel to the President in the Office of the White House Counsel. In that role, she works on a wide variety of legal issues related to domestic policy, including voting and democracy, policing and criminal justice reform, and racial, gender, and LGBTQI equity issues. Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Danielle was a partner at WilmerHale, a large law firm in Washington DC. Danielle has represented companies and universities in high-stakes government and internal investigations and several civil rights matters. For example, she was a vital member of the trial team that successfully defended Harvard University in a case challenging the University’s consideration of race in its admissions process. In addition, Danielle served as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice during the Obama Administration. She worked on a wide range of litigation and policy issues and managed some of the Department’s most significant civil rights enforcement actions.
Danielle also previously served as a fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and as a law clerk for the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer on the United States District Court. She has been recognized for her work in the public and private sector by the National Law Journal, the Washington Business Journal, and the Diversity Journal. In 2017, Danielle was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington DC’s “40 Under 40.”
Danielle is a graduate of Tulane University and Howard University School of Law.
Dr. Demi Fauziyyah ADEBO-Adelaja is passionate about disrupting health disparities. She’s a trained public health researcher with over 20 years of experience in community development. Her interest in public/community health was first sparked by the opportunity to serve as a peer health educator during her undergraduate years. This interest was further deepened when she worked in the community as an HIV counselor to youths faced with inadequate access to healthcare in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2020, a renewed interest in addressing health disparities emerged in light of the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on African Americans in her home residence of Prince George’s County.
Dr. Demi founded The Aafiyah Project to help address two of the root causes of health disparities that created a perfect storm of adverse health outcomes experienced by the Black community at the beginning of the pandemic. The Aafiyah Project addresses 1) access to health information through culturally competent health promotion programming and 2) low educational achievement through academic achievement opportunities to K-12 students. With these two focal areas and Dr. Demi’s leadership, The Aafiyah Project is beginning to help build a legacy of health and wellness in the community.
Dr. Demi earned her doctorate in Management of Public Health Services from the University of Maryland Global Campus, a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University, and her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Elyse Bonner is a 2021 graduate of Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. Elyse grew up in St. Louis, MO, and currently resides in Columbus, OH. During her junior and senior year at Tuskegee, she was selected to be a 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Education Partnership Program (EPP) Undergraduate Scholar. She interned at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, where she participated in meaningful research projects and ultimately decided to further her education to become an Environmental Engineer. Elyse is currently a first-year Dean’s Graduate Enrichment Fellow and National Science Foundation (NSF) GEM Fellow in the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program at The Ohio State University. Elyse works with Dr. Linda Weavers’ whose research focuses on emerging contaminants and innovative technologies. Elyse’s research focuses on Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) treatment and reservoir management. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, traveling, and exploring new trends in the beauty industry in her free time.
Elizabeth Thrush is the Vaccine Advocacy Officer on the Global Health team at the United Nations Foundation, providing advocacy support for UN Foundation’s polio and broader immunization portfolios. Before joining UN Foundation, Elizabeth worked on the immunization team at the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), providing support for the countries of the Americas on immunization and surveillance activities polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Elizabeth holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree focused on global health and behavior change communication. When she isn’t advocating for vaccines, Liz can be found riding her bicycle around DC and practicing yoga at Yoga District, where she is also a yoga teacher.
Over 19 years as a marketing and sales professional, Rachel has worn many hats. She is currently Sr. Director of Product Marketing at Diligent, a SaaS technology company focused on helping corporations, the public sector, and nonprofit boards run their organizations effectively and with purpose.
Starting in retail sales during undergrad, Rachel found her way into SaaS technology sales at Blackbaud, at first making cold calls as a Business Development Representative and eventually earning her own sales territory. After four successful years in sales and completing her MBA at night, Rachel sought to evolve her resume with leadership and strategy-oriented positions. First, she moved into sales management and then product marketing. She covered an increasing business portfolio, took on projects and roles expanding into sales enablement, market and product strategy, and spearheading an M&A transaction (the first time a public company purchased a woman and BIPOC-founded startup!).
Rachel holds a BA from Syracuse University in Political Science, Philosophy, and Communication & Rhetorical Studies and an MBA from The Citadel.
Brenda Perez (she/her/ella) is an award-winning community activist who is passionate about the environment and immigration. She has a master’s degree in Water Resources Management from The University of the District of Columbia and works for DOEE's Office of Urban Agriculture. Recognizing that climate change is a time-sensitive issue, she strives to be inclusive and open up spaces for action in communities that have been impacted disproportionately.
Patrice Arrington is the Assistant Athletic Director and Head Women's Volleyball Coach at Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va. She handles all logistics and schedules of all the sports teams at Flint Hill. Arrington is a sponsor of the Athletic Academic Counsel as well as the Black Student Union (BSU). The athletic department collaborates with all divisions of the school to make sure the students are given opportunities for success on and off the court.
This past fall, Arrington coached her team to their 11th Virginia State Title and 20th ISL league Title, her first as the head coach at Flint Hill. Because of the success of her team, Arrington was named Co-Coach of the year for the Washington Post along with her sister Perette, Head Coach at Wilson High School in Washington, DC.
Prior to Flint Hill, Arrington was the Director of College and Career Services at Wilson High School, where she counseled students with their career choices and advised them through the college selection process. She created action plans through tutorials and academic mediations, regarding undergraduate and postgraduate studies, by providing resources and opportunities to encourage college and career exploration. She pioneered daily tasks in community outreach initiatives, by building relationships with local/district leaders and Wilson High School stakeholders through positive and active engagement. Additionally, she is an Advanced Placement (AP) testing coordinator, NCAA school representative, the Title IX representative, and the Women’s Sports Liaison, assisting in the recruiting process and student-athletes' collegiate athletic eligibility.
Prior to her work at Wilson High School, Patrice played professional volleyball for 12 years and was a 4-year member of the USA Women’s National Volleyball team and helped them qualify for the Olympics in 2000 and 2008. During her career, she played for several professional teams in countries such as Holland, Belgium, Russia, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. She received several awards including MVP of the Russian Super League.
Patrice has coached volleyball at the collegiate level for both The George Washington University and Fordham University, where she was responsible for recruiting and other team preparations. She is a certified personal trainer, specializing in performance enhancement training, weight management, and Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT). Along with her sister, Perette, the two have coached the Wilson High School Volleyball team to 20 DCIAA Championship titles, 2 third-place State finishes, and most recently, runner-up in the DC State Championships. Additionally, the Wilson High School volleyball team was ranked 10th in the Washington Post All-Met Sports for the first time in history in 2017. Currently, Patrice also coaches for the Metro Volleyball Club of DC’s 18 Travel team, which is ranked 7th in the country.
Patrice graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. While attending the University of Oklahoma, she played volleyball as an outside hitter and ran track. She earned AVCA All-American honors and still holds records for Oklahoma and the NCAA. Patrice graduated with her Master of Arts Degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and earned a certification in Fundamentals of Global Sports Management from New York University’s Tisch Institute of Global Sport.
Dr. Perétte Arrington earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology from Howard University. She continued her graduate training at The George Washington University and earned a Doctor of Psychology degree in clinical psychology.
As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Arrington has worked in a variety of mental health settings such as a group home for pre-adjudicated youth, therapeutic foster care, a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents, and a group practice focusing on the psychological assessment of learning disabilities. Dr. Arrington has a part-time private practice located in Rockville, Maryland and for several years, served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at The George Washington University supervising doctoral candidates in psychological evaluations and report writing. Dr. Arrington currently serves as a Clinical Psychologist with the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) School-Based program and has been assigned to Wilson High School for the past 11 years. The School-Based program is a joint effort between the District of Columbia Public and Charter Schools and DBH, and it is designed to support a school environment in which all students are emotionally prepared and ready to learn.
At Wilson, Dr. Arrington has been an integral part of the Wilson Parent Community Drug Prevention Network often collaborating with the Wards 3 & 4 DC Center for Prevention. She also assists with the coordination of the Wilson Mental Health Team, a multidisciplinary team servicing the mental health needs of the students and families at Wilson High School. In addition to providing individual, group, and family therapy to the students and families at Wilson, Dr. Arrington works with entire classrooms of students to educate them on issues plaguing our youth today, including suicide, domestic and dating violence, substance use & abuse, and bullying. Facilitating psychoeducation training for staff and parents on various topics related to mental health also is an aspect of her day-to-day functions at Wilson High School. As an employee of DBH, Dr. Arrington has been appointed by the DC Mayor's Office to serve on the Task Force regarding the city-wide initiative related to body-worn camera videos. Dr. Arrington collaborates and assists DBH, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Mayor's Office with providing clinical support to families viewing the body-worn camera footage related to the police involved death of their family member(s). eligibility.
Prior to joining the Wilson High School Tigers’ athletic staff in 1998, Dr. Arrington was the head volleyball coach for the junior varsity squad at Sidwell Friends School in 1997. She was one of the head coaches of the DC Juniors Volleyball Club from 1997 through 2002, and also served as interim Club Director in 2002. She served as an instructor at the Nike Volleyball camp at The George Washington University in 2001 and ’02. Dr. Arrington also served as a Graduate Assistant coach for the women’s volleyball program at The George Washington University from 2000 to 2003. She was a volunteer coach in 2004. In addition, she was one of the head coaches for Metro-American Volleyball Club in 2005. Dr. Arrington received her Increased Mastery and Professional Application of Coaching Theory (IMPACT) certification in 1998. At Wilson, Dr. Arrington’s teams have won 19 out of 21 City Championship titles and posted a DCSAA Volleyball State Championship First Place finish in 2021, and a 2017 and 2019 DCSAA Second Place finish since she took over as the head coach in 2000.
Dr. Arrington’s career awards include DCIAA Coach of the Year in Volleyball (Fall 2021); The Washington Post Fall All-Met Co-Coach of the Year-Volleyball (December 2021); DC State Athletic Association Coach of the Year-Volleyball (Fall 2021); Coach of the Season, Wilson High School (Fall 2019); National Federation of High School Coaches Association 2017-2018 Coach of The Year for the District of Columbia; National Federation of High School Coaches Association 2017-2018 Sectional Coach of the Year (Mideast Section); Coach of the Season, Wilson High School (Fall 2017); Outstanding Coach of the Year, Pigskin Club of Washington (February 2017); Coach of the Season, Wilson High School (Fall 2014); Coach of the Year, Wilson High School (May 2003 & 2012); The Washington Post Fall All-Met Coach of the Year-Volleyball (December 2011); Coach of the Year, District of Columbia Women’s Sports Association (June 2011); and Public School Coach of the Year, Women’s Sports Foundation (February 2003).
Dr. Arrington played competitively (semi-professional) in 2014 and 2015 with the Chesapeake Rising Tide which is a United States Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) team representing the Chesapeake Region. Dr. Arrington took a year off from playing competitively but returned to the 2017 USA Volleyball Open National Championships with Fog Canada 40’s to win the Gold medal in the age division in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She continues to play volleyball in her spare time on a competitive USA Volleyball Adult Women’s volleyball team. She also plays coed softball in the spring and summer, and she enjoys snowboarding and playing golf. The Oxon Hill High School graduate and Fort Washington, MD native currently resides in Washington, DC.
You miss one hundred percent of the shots that you don’t take. Set your goals and go after them!
My name is Aishwarya Singh, Ish for short. I received a degree in fine arts and marketing in 2021. During my academic career, I worked retail jobs to pay for my diploma and graduated with no debt. During my time at Kutztown University, I participated in the Business Idea competition and won second place for my idea. I did not even expect to win, I just worked hard and received results.
I want the girls to know that if you are struggling now, that life does get better. Getting involved and networking can take you further in your career. Every day if you strive to make good choices and surround yourself with ambitious people, you will see immediate results.
Serves as the leader of Truist Emerging Markets Segment Performance and Optimization Team supporting our high priority client growth segments including Underbanked/Unbanked, Young Professionals, Multicultural Banking and Teammate Banking. Key areas of focus includes Performance Reporting and Analytics, Incentives, Enablement & Training Execution and Administrative Support.
Experience: 17 years of financial services experience leading diverse teams and high impact projects (Corporate Function and Client Facing)- Retail Sales, Client Experience, Analytics, Execution. Bachelor’s in Business Management & Finance - Brooklyn College, New York.
Volunteerism: Her passion for community and financial inclusion inspires her to give back and she continues to leverage her skills in execution and program management to support organizations such as Operation HOPE, Junior Achievement and United Way. She is also a Co-chair for Truist’s Greater Washington Region BOLD BRG (Black Organizers, Leaders & Doers Business Resource Group) where she helps lead the efforts to engage teammates to make a positive impact in our local communities through education and volunteerism.
Personal: Yolande immigrated to the United States in 1998 from the island of Grenada and has been able to give other family members the same opportunity that she received in 1998 to immigrate to the United States to pursue their dreams. When Yolande is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband, watching football, traveling and practicing wellness to help live a balance life
I am originally from Kansas City, MO and moved to Washington, D.C. in 2013. I was 14 years old when I decided I wanted to become a pediatrician. I attended Xavier University of Louisiana and graduated in 2001 with a degree in Biology Pre-Med. I decided to stay close to family and attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City for medical school and residency. After residency I completed my training in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Kansas. After moving to D.C. in 2013 I joined a private practice and I have established myself as a successful allergist within the D.C. area. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
Raheemah Abdulaleem was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Her parents are both Philadelphia public school teachers and Raheemah graduated from public high school in Philadelphia. After graduation, Raheemah attended Yale University where she graduated in 1998 with distinction in her major. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001. After she graduated from law school, Raheemah worked at two nationally-recognized law firms. In 2009, Raheemah joined the federal government as a Senior Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Currently, Raheemah works as Deputy General Counsel in the White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration.
As you embark on your life’s journey, know that you will make mistakes, face challenges and encounter setbacks but never give up! You must believe in yourself, make sure that you surround yourself with other people who will support you, motivate you, challenge you and encourage you to succeed.
Ms. Shawn Smith is the Senior Physical Scientist for International Programs in the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), where she coordinates, plans, and provides policy recommendations on international cooperative technical activities related to nuclear materials safety and safeguards programs. Ms. Smith has 20 years of experience advising Federal, State, Tribal, and foreign governments on technical and policy matters regarding nuclear regulation and radiological public health. In addition, Ms. Smith has extensive international experience, which has included serving as the United States (U.S.) representative to Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Radioactive Waste Management Committee Regulators Forum and as the U.S. representative on several advisory and working groups at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the NEA. Before joining the NRC, Ms. Smith worked as an Associate Engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University and has completed post-graduate studies in international relations and public policy at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Autumn Dea is a Philadelphia, PA area native and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. She received a BA in film with a double minor in media studies and psychology. Today, Dea resides in Los Angeles, CA where she works full-time as an editor on film, television, and commercial projects. Her most recent feature film, Shithouse, directed by Cooper Raiff, won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at SXSW 2020. Additionally, Shithouse was named Vanity Fair’s 10 Best Movies of 2020. Her work in television has also received accolades including an Emmy for The Future of America’s Past for PBS, and inclusion in the Tribeca Film Festival for the documentary feature The Death of My Two Fathers. Previously, in 2019, Dea was an Assistant Editor on Black Is King, Beyonce’s 85-minute elaborate visual album nominated for Best Music Film at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards. In 2018, Autumn was one of four editors selected in the competitive Film Independent Project Involve Fellowship. She is represented in film and television by the GERSH agency and commercially by Whitehouse Post.
My name is Jade McNair Black. I am a Superintendent for Gilbane Building Company, a general contractor, in Washington, D.C. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Building Construction and I received a Master's in Construction Management from Drexel University in 2020. As a superintendent, I've had the opportunity to work on schools, roads, underground utilities and other really cool projects. I oversee different areas of work onsite, such as scheduling, trade workers and materials which are necessary to build out a construction project. At Gilbane, I am the Chair of UJIMA, which is an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Black/African American employees and allies that exist to foster an inclusive culture in Gilbane. Outside of work, I am the Community Service Chair of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) NOVA Chapter and I am the founder/CEO of a skin care company, Sweet Therapy. My accomplishments have opened so many doors for me to be a leader within my field and my community which continues to guide me on my journey to success.