BWIM: Panel & Awards Ceremony Recap



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On March 29th, 2014 Black Women In Media held its inaugural Panel & Awards Ceremony at Le Skyroom located in the French Alliance Institute Francaise in NYC. Black Women In Media, an organization catered to creating a platform in celebrating Black women in all facets of the media realm, boldly and successfully created a thought-provoking, eye-opening, and enlightening experience this past Saturday.

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The event began with a networking portion sponsored by Birthday Cake Wines, Sweets by Alize, & Trust In Us Catering.The who’s who of black women in media joined BWIM and engaged in building beneficial and sustaining relationships. As guests enjoyed neo soul classics, built beneficial relationships, as our caterers passed Hors D’ouevres and wine.


Our Mistresses of Ceremony, Africa Miranda of Bravo’s The New Atlanta, and host of Uptown Magazine’s Uptown Unplugged: Uptown Studios, Ashlei Stevens began the event in high spirits by greeting guests and welcoming them to their inaugural panel and awards ceremony created by BWIM. Shortly after, they introduced the CEO & Founder Judith Jacques. A young woman who has many other powerful entities under her brand such as Black Culinary Expo, Black Celebration Awards, and BLACK STREET to name a few. Judith quickly greeted her guests and gave a short overview as to why she decided to create Black Women In Media among her other brands, stating,





“I would hear others murmur about the imperfections within our community while idly watching.  Although I never stated those exact words, but the thoughts did come across my mind. I had to ask myself– What am I doing to change my community for the better?”

Hence, the creation of the powerful organization which is receiving much and deserved attention today, BWIM.


Following her greetings, the event delved right into the first panel, Mass Communications which entailed moderator Africa Miranda, MSNBC Political Commentator Esther Armah, NULYP President Brandi Richard, Fixer & Co-Founder of 135th Street Agency Shante Bacon, and Ashlei Stevens. The discussion for the panel included perfecting ones craft, building your network and how Shante Bacon so eloquently put it,


“Your contacts can turn into currency”.DSC_4324


The next panel presented was the Beauty/Health & Wellness Panel. The panelist included moderator Africa Miranda, OWN’s Love In the City Co-Star Bershan Shaw, Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist Julia Jovone, Creator of the First Full Figured Fitness Phenomenon Anowa Adjah, Health & Sustainable Living Expert Yoli Ouiya, and Stylist & Style Blogger Joy Adaeze. Each woman provided healthy and proper alternatives to attaining the best you possible while living a healthier lifestyle.

In between panels, BWIM awarded each participating panelist including the mistresses of ceremony. Each received a note worthy introduction and were presented with an engraved crystal award.


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The event went into an intermission sponsored by MYX Moscato, entitled: MYX & Mingle. “VIP” ticket holders had the opportunity to mingle and converse with honorees, panelists and other phenomenal and elite women who joined BWIM on Saturday. During the intermission, guests enjoyed once again Hors D’ouevres prepared by Trust In Us Catering, chocolate covered strawberries by Sweets by Alize, and drinks by Myx Moscato, and Birthday Cake Wines.

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During the MYX & Mingle portion, the beautiful and talented ESNAVI gave a breathtaking and phenomenal performance for our guests. Right after the performance, the Mistresses of Ceremony encourages all guests to find their seats as the panels continue.

The next panel to go up was the Pioneer Panel with moderator Africa Miranda, MSNBC commentator Esther Armah, legendary Journalist Flo Anthony, New York 1 News Anchor Cheryl Wills, & OWN’s Love In the City Co-Star Bershan Shaw held a dynamic discussion at staying relevant, not overlooking up and coming entrepreneurs, and the meaning and sacrifice of being one. Cheryl Wills stated,





“Never overlook up and coming entrepreneurs” and “The same bridge that brought you up can bring you down.”


Flo Anthony also stated, “Entrepreneur= Entre-Poor-Neur” the real meaning to entrepreneurship; its struggle to attain a desired level of success.


Finally, the last panel TV & Lifestyle with moderator Ashlei Stevens, Bravo’s Blood Sweat & Heels Geneva S. Thomas, CBS Survivor Runner Up Sabrina Thompson, Bravo’s The New Atlanta Africa Miranda, 7x’s Essence Magazine Bestseller Tiphani Montgomery, and Lifestyle Expert Neffi Walker. This panel contained a heated debate as to whether women who are public figures should represent all Black women. Guests, and panelists/honorees, all participated in the topic of Black women, their responsibility to represent Black women as a whole, and their current lifestyle.

Throughout the entirety of the event, audience members as well as viewers from home viewing via Live-Stream; powered by WorldCast Inc., asked the panelist and honorees a series of questions. In return, each panelist provided a wealth of information in response to each question.

To conclude, Founder, Judith Jacques gave her final remarks, thanked everyone who participated and encouraged them to look forward to future events. BWIM accomplished putting together a dynamic and rewarding experience for their guests and all of its participants. Everyone walked away feeling encouraged, enlightened, and eager to venture off to their new projects. It is safe to say that Black Women In Media is rapidly becoming the source of new inspiration to all Black women!

Celebrity Painter & 3D Artist S. Whittaker debuted some of her pieces including pieces from her new line: DSC_3785WOMAN at the Black Women In Media panel & Awards Ceremony.  The pieces were absolutely breathtaking. Other partners and sponsors included NABJ, NULYP, Dynamic Endeavors, Wild Spirit Hair Products, & Doris New York Hair Products.

Photos courtesy of Kissing Lions Public Relations


How Janet Bashen Became a Software Pioneer


If you Google “African American inventors and scientists,” among the results is the name Janet Emerson Bashen.

Bashen is cited across the Internet as the first African American woman to hold a software patent. The invention is LinkLine, software that assists with Web-based EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) investigations.

[RELATED: Black History Month: Then and Now in STEM]

“I came up with the idea in 2001. Not everyone had a cell phone in 2001. I saw that papers in process got lost. There had to be a way to take in complaints—something Web-based and accessible away from the office,” Bashen told Black Enterprise. At the time, she was working for an insurance carrier investigating EEO matters.

Employees file EEO complaints when there may be discrimination against them because of race, national origin, sex, or religion—all protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

She is the CEO of Bashen Corp., a national labor and employment consulting firm that investigates Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints and also sells the LinkLine software to streamline the EEO filing process.

During her tenure at the insurance company, Bashen urged the CEO to handle EEO complaints as an independent party because there was no entity at the time doing so. The CEO dismissed her idea. It was at an Urban League convention that she serendipitously met someone from the company handling EEO complaints for the restaurant chain Denny’s, then fighting accusations of racism toward some black customers.

Bashen was offered the chance to handle the EEO filings for the restaurant chain which in turn, became her first contract as an independent business. Borrowing $5,000 from her mother, Bashen Corp. began.

She assembled a team to bring her vision for a software system to file EEO complaints to life.

“I started looking around, to say, ‘Who do I know?’” says Bashen. A cousin she had always looked up to, Donny Moore, had majored in computer science at Tufts University, She told him the idea and together, with a staff of EEO attorneys and an engineer, they mapped out the entire EEO process.

Bashen and her team decided to create the software using the ColdFusion platform, then, “the cheapest software on the market,” she says.

“We worked months and months on the design. At the same time, I contacted a very large law firm and told the team I wanted to see if I could get a patent because no one was doing this.”

The patent was submitted October 2001 while Bashen was finalizing the software code. The patent was not granted until January 2006 after a rigorous vetting process by the patent office.

Bashen has since received many accolades for her accomplishments including an MIT award in Africa for her out-of-the-box thinking. She credits her upbringing and her parents; a mother, who was the first black emergency room nurse in Bashen’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama; and her father, who was a garbage collector, for much of her success.

“Every day they said, ‘You have to set an example,’”  Bashen recalls.

A version of this article appears in the February 2016 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.





Lt. Gen. Nadja West Becomes First Black Female Three-Star General



Lt. Gen Nadja West will be honored February 10, 2016 in an official ceremony formalizing her promotion to three-star general, making her the first African American woman to achieve that rank in the United States Army. She is also the highest-ranking woman of any race to have graduated from West Point, according to reports.

[Related: Black History at Home and Abroad: 13 Leaders Whose Impact Went Global]

Late last year, the 54-year-old military leader was confirmed by the Senate as the new Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM).  In that post, West assists and advises the secretary of the army and army chief of staff on healthcare matters in the military branch, and oversees development, organization, policy direction, and other initiatives related to the army’s healthcare systems.

West was also the first army officer to hold a leadership role at the National Naval Medical Center, a top-tier center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she served as a deputy commander.

“I was once an orphan with an uncertain future,” West told theGrio. “And I am incredibly honored and humbled to lead such a distinguished team of dedicated professionals who are entrusted with the care of our nation’s sons and daughters, veterans, and family members.”

West’s military career includes deployments during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and she was part of a medical mission with the 5th Special Forces Group. She has held command at two army medical centers, as well as the Europe Regional Medical Command. She has also served as joint staff surgeon at the Pentagon. She has other previous assignments as commander of Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., and division surgeon, 1st Armored Division, Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.

An alumna of the United States Military Academy at West Point and George Washington University School of Medicine, she holds a bachelor’s of science degree in engineering and a doctorate degree of medicine.




5 Key Trends In Online Marketing and How to Build Your Strategy


Toni Coleman Brown (@ToniBrown) is the CEO of the Network for Women in Business, based in Queens, New York. The network provides training and coaching services for female small business owners. Since 2002, she’s been engaged in working with women mostly in the home-based business arena but in recent years has expanded her reach and now works with traditional brick-and-mortar businesses & product inventors to personal and professional services providers.

In January 2012, she launched the Network for Women in Business (@Network4), an affordable online resource for women to get training, connect with other professionals and advance their businesses. The motto is “We EDUCATE to ELEVATE Women in Business.” Training is Coleman Brown’s passion and she’s passionately excited about the network being currently over 2,800 members strong with a social media following that tops 26,000 and growing daily.

Coleman Brown has assisted thousands of women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad via her coaching and training services. “We help our clients improve their bottom line by providing up-to-date and cutting edge sales and marketing strategies that they can implement right away to positively impact their pocketbooks. Our strategies work both online and offline and are easily to implement and cost effective.”

She will be digging deeper and sharing these and other business strategies and techniques to grow small businesses at her upcoming Small Business Boot Camp for Women, happening July 18 in New Jersey.

Below she shares the latest trends in online marketing and proven strategies for increased visibility and sales on social media.

Facebook Retargeting: “If you think someone is watching you and following you around on the Web, then you’re right. They are,” Coleman Brown says. “The Facebook retargeting pixel allows Website owners to track their potential customers and follow them by placing ads on Facebook based on the pages they visited on their site. For example, if you log in to your Chase account, don’t be surprised that when you log on to Facebook you find an ad about some type of Chase credit card. Sweet right? Well, what’s even sweeter is the fact that as a small business owner, you have access to the same tools.”

Social Customer Relations Management (CRM): “By using dynamic small business tools like Nimble.com, you can now not only follow up with your customers and prospects via email or telephone calls, but you can follow up with them using social media. Nimble is one tool that is beyond brilliant for today’s market place,” she adds.

Utilizing Sales Funnels with Upsells and Downsells: By using an upsell or a downsell, online marketers are increasing the average order and lifetime value of their Web customers. “This is one of the most underutilized yet highly effective methods out there for increasing order values,” she says.

List-Building Using Lead Bait and Tripwires: Online marketers will always tell you that the money is in the list and they will use lead bait like free offers to build and grow to their lists. Today online marketers are using tripwires like a $1 trial or other low-costs items as a means to add more serious potential buyers to their lists.

Value-based Webinar Marketing: Offering free or low-cost educational webinars is another way to attract your ideal clients and customers. “This is a great way to allow your potential clients and customers a means of getting to know, like and trust you,” Coleman Brown says. “We all know that people do business with brands that they know, like and trust.”

For more information on Toni Coleman Brown, visit www.tonicolemanbrown.com. Also, check out part two of this interview, where Coleman Brown details social media strategy for businesses next week.




Queen Latifah Nabs Third Screen Actors Guild Award


All hail the Queen!

Queen Latifah just took home the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in HBO’s Bessie.

“I’m in shock right now,” Latifah said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you so much!”

Latifah continued in the hopes of inspiring others to pursue their dreams no matter what.

“I hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package people say you should,” Latifah added. “Keep fighting for it. Flip those rocks over. Keep pushing, keep turning. You can do it. You build your own boxes, not people. So knock that thing away, and do you!”

Latifah is a veteran when it comes to the SAG Awards—the multi-talented actress snagged her first award in 2003 for her role in Chicago, and then again in 2008 for Life Support.

Congrats, Queen Latifah!





Woman of Power Alicia Boler-Davis Named 2016 Corporate Executive of the Year


Each year the Trumpet Awards recognizes the accomplishments of African Americans who have succeeded despite great odds and have inspired success in others. This year, for the 24th Annual Trumpet Awards, General Motors officially announces that senior vice president of Global Connect Customer Experience, Alicia Boler-Davis, has been named the 2016 Corporate Executive of the Year, recognized for her accomplishments and impact on the industry, thus far, with GM.

[Related: Black Enterprise Announces 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America]

“Throughout my career, I was pushed to try new things—things that I hadn’t done before, and things that I couldn’t have imagined doing,” says Boler-Davis. “I truly believe that each of us can put our talents to use to change the world if we are willing to be bold, to take risks, and to write the books that need to be written.”

Boler-Davis began her career with GM in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer. Throughout her GM career she’s held several positions in manufacturing, engineering, and product development eventually becoming GM’s first African American female plant manager. She became senior vice president in 2014.

In addition to her current position, Boler-Davis is also a member of the Northwestern University McCormick Advisory Council, a board trustee of the Care House of Oakland County, a member of the OnStar/Shanghai Board of Directors, and Executive Liaison for the GM WOMEN leadership board. She received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and masters in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Watch Boler-Davis receive her Corporate Executive of the Year honor on the 24th Annual Trumpet Awards tonight, Friday, Jan. 29th, at 9 p.m. on Bounce TV.

Prepare to hear from Boler-Davis live at the 2016 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, March 6-12 at the Hilton Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, where she will celebrate top women in advertising and marketing who have overcome barriers and challenges. Register now using code MLK16 for a special discounted rate.

For information on the 2016 Women of Power Summit including sessions, speakers and performers, click here. Be sure to check back as updates are announced.

Follow Black Enterprise on social media @BlackEnterprise for Women of Power news, highlights, and updates. Use hashtag #BEWPS to stay in the loop. Please be on the lookout at BlackEnterprise.com as speakers, activities, and sessions are announced.





Women of Power: Build Your Team, Build Your Dream

women of power summit

Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development and Inclusion at NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios, Karen Horne, sits with Black Enterprise Executive Managing Editor Alisa Gumbs at the 2016 Women of Power Summit to address how you can build the trust, confidence, and respect that will make your team unbreakable. Register now at a discounted rate to secure your spot in the Inspiring the Troops: Building a Team that Will Go to Battle for You executive leadership session at the Women of Power Summit, March 9-12, Hilton Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida.

For a limited time only, use code Holiday16 to register for a special discounted holiday registration rate.

Be sure to follow Black Enterprise on social media @BlackEnterprise for Women of Power news, highlights, and updates. Use hashtag #BEWPS to stay in the loop. Please be on the lookout at BlackEnterprise.com as speakers, activities, and sessions are announced.



Report: Number of Female Billionaires Outpacing Men


Though women still have a long way to go in terms of equality in salaries and other aspects of the business world, a group of the wealthiest in the group seems to be on the uptick. A new report shows that the female billionaire population has grown 560% over the past two decades.

[Related: Black Wealth: Richest 100 Americans Worth As Much As Total African American Population in U.S.]

A study by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that a record 145 women around the world are now billionaires, compared with just 22 in 1995. Oprah Winfrey is among women of African descent among this group as well as Nigerian oil industry power woman Folorunsho Alakija.

The industries where this wealth is being built is real estate, industrial, and healthcare.

Eighty percent of the world’s female billionaires are based in the U.S. and Europe, but most of the women have inherited their riches. The report also found that new wealth creation is increasingly shifting to Asia, and there, more than half of female billionaires are first-generation entrepreneurs.

“The rise of female and Asian billionaires over the last two decades is creating an entirely new billionaire demographic, and I see no signs of slowing,” said Josef Stadler, head of Global Ultra High Net Worth, UBS. “While there is no such thing as a typical billionaire, virtually all are focused on building a lasting legacy for future generations. Achieving this goal increasingly requires strategic thought and long-term planning.”

The number of male billionaires (1,202) is growing at a slower rate, but this group of the wealthiest in the world is still largely dominated by men, which account for almost 90%.

Overall, the world’s wealthiest are getting richer much faster than the global economy. In the past two decades, billionaires’ wealth has increased eightfold to $5.4 trillion in 2014, while global GDP has tripled to more than $77 trillion.

More key findings:

  • Female billionaires are driving their families’ businesses, with 57% being located in the U.S., 63% in Europe and 96% in Asia serving as active wealth creators.
  • There’s a high attrition rate of billionaires: Only 44% or 126 of 1995′s billionaires have sustained the status over the past 20 years.
  • Those who have sustained their status grew their assets from an average of $2.9 billion to $11 billion, outperforming both equity markets and global GDP.
  • Billionaires see regulation and tax as current key challenges to maintaining their legacy.

The report is based on PwC data on more than 1,300 billionaires around the globe, along with many interviews with the world’s elite.