Speakers


Dr. Nancy Adegoke

Nancy Adegoke

Dr. Nancy Adegoke earned her PhD at Seton Hall University. Her research interest lie in examining mental health issues in minority communities. In 2013, she published her first book, Eating Disorders in Black Women. Adegoke is a member New York Psychological Association and the Haitian American Psychiatric Association. Currently, Adegoke is a consultant psychologist where she provides clinical services to adults in hospital, rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing homes.

Program: The College Guide to Stress Management: Getting Your Mind and Body Right


Brad Aikins

Brad Aikins

Brad Aikins is currently a Client Partner with Twitter, Inc. tasked with the role of managing Twitter’s advertising relationships with professional sports leagues & brands. Prior to Twitter, Brad spent over 10 years working in the sports industry for such organizations as ESPN, The Brooklyn Nets (NBA) & Syracuse University Athletics.

Program: Personal Branding and the Power of Storytelling

 


Claudio Alejo

Claudio Alejo

Claudio Josuel Alejo is an educator and performer from Jersey City, N.J. of Afro-DominiRican descent. After studying at New Jersey City University and earning his BA in history he became a graduate student at Montclair State University and is its current graduate coordinator of Greek life and an assistant community director for the Office of Residence Life. As an undergraduate student Alejo was a diligent student leader. He has delivered lectures about resiliency at New Jersey City University’s TEDx and annual LofT conference and he has held diverse workshops in different conferences including Queens College SGA Retreat, Montclair State's Annual Greek Leadership Conference, Psi Sigma Phi’s Annual National Summit, the ASCEND Summer Bridge Program, and the Annual EOF/OSP High School Conference.

Program: Beyond Bachata: Leading an Effective Team


Cybel Betancourt

Cybel Betancourt

Cybel Betancourt is an educator, speaker and leader developer, and she is also a spicy Latina who comes out from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. She is the founder of Buenas Cosas, LLC a company formed by college students focused on personal and professional development. After studying a BBA in Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, she began working in higher education where she later earned an MBA in human resources from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus. Currently director of extracurricular activities and professor for the Business Administration Department, she designed a series of student development workshops focused on helping them gain the tools to go out into “adult life”, which she calls “your personal jungle”. Cybel uses everyday college situations to empower students to become the best version of themselves. She focuses on student development such as leadership, establishing professional paths, effective communication skills, and personal branding. She is also committed on empowering “startup” businesses and has advised more than 40 small and medium-sized enterprises on the island. Cybel is currently writing her first book focused on personal development. Her motto is “I believe in you, do you?”.

Program: Zombie Apocalypse: A Survival Guide to Public Speaking | Design Thinking: A Story That Became A Recruitment and Retention Experience (Advisors)

Contact: www.buenascosas.info


Odell Bizzell

Odell Bizzell

Odell Bizzell is an inspirational storyteller who tells stories through his keynote speeches, books, music, podcast, and his entrepreneurial efforts. While in high school Odell started a candy company that earned more than $75,000 while earning an academic scholarship to a top-25 college. As a keynote speaker he’s been featured on some of the same stages as Grammy Award winning artists such as John Legend, Super Bowl winning coaches, national politicians, and celebrities including Oprah Winfrey.

Program: IMPACT—6 Ways to Exhibit Leadership | The Trust Formula- 5 Ways Leaders Can Build Trust Quickly

Contact: www.odellspeaks.com


Marisa Cabrera

Marisa Cabrera

Marisa Cabrera is a staff attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. She previously worked as the principal law clerk for the Administrative Judge of the Supreme Court of New York, Queens County and as a supervising attorney at the Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL), a not-for-profit law firm that handles appeals and post-conviction proceedings on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. Cabrera graduated with a BA in psychology in 2007 from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. In 2011, she graduated cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. where she worked as a teaching assistant for a first-year legal writing course. Prior to working at CAL, Marisa worked as a law clerk for the Law Offices of Gary M. Gilbert & Associates, a plaintiff-side employment discrimination law firm, and as a judicial intern for Hon. Ariel Belen at the Appellate Division, Second Department. Additionally, while in law school, Marisa worked as a student attorney at the D.C. Law Students in Court civil litigation clinical program where she represented low-income tenants in D.C. landlord-tenant and small claims courts.

Program: Negotiation Tactics and Preparation


Ash Cash

Ash Cash

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is a 15-year banking executive, personal finance expert, motivational speaker, and the author of six books including three Amazon.com bestsellers. He is the founder and chief educator at MindRight Money Management, a financial education and media company that blends psychology and personal finance with music, pop culture and relevant news to help people manage their money better in order to live the life that they want. He is also a financial teacher as well as a Leadership Council member of the World of Money Financial Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth with an immersive financial and technology education, creating financially responsible adults one child at a time. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with corporate America, colleges, churches, and community-based organizations. Through his message of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, and wealth empowerment, he has become a regular speaker at national conferences across the country. Ash has been featured on popular, national media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, WSJ, American Banker, CNBC, TheStreet.com, Black Enterprise, Essence Magazine, Ebony, BET, Pix11 Morning News, and countless others. He is the host of his own radio show titled The Ash Cash Show, which airs on WHCR 90.3FM NY with a current reach of 2.2 million listeners. Above all of his credentials, accolades, and titles, Ash is simply known for helping people maximize their full potential. He thoroughly enjoys his life in Metropolitan New York Area, where he resides with his wife, and two children. You can also read more about Ash by visiting

Program: The Art of the Side Hustle: Turning Your Passion into Profit (Students and Advisors)

Contact: www.IamAshCash.com


Chinez

Chinez

Chinez is dynamic educator, public speaker, video creator, and social media figure. After obtaining a MEd in college student affairs from Rutgers University she became full time higher education professional who worked with and trained student leaders nationwide. As a culturally responsive speaker, Chinez focuses on integrating pop culture into student development theories. She also has a passion for Generation Z teaching and learning as well as career and professional development. Her expertise challenges students to hone their personal identity and practice transformational leadership. Chinez’s recent presentation “U MATTER: Putting the Social in Social Justice Education” was featured at 2018 NASPA Region II Conference.

Program: Selfish: The Purpose Movement | Black Unicorn | Self-Love, Self-Care, Self-Aware (Advisors) | and Why I Divorced then Started Dating Student Affairs: Confessions of an Ex SA-Pro (Advisors)


Jeff Dess

Jeff Dess

Jeff Dess is a dynamic public speaker, author, emcee, and professor. Of Haitian descent, the native New Yorker known as the Disruptive Educator is also the co-founder of the educational platform Trill or Not Trill. The company bridges the gap between popular culture and student development. Dess is the author of five books, including Trill Motivation, which through imagery, poetry, and commentary tackles leadership and motivation from a contemporary perspective.

After studying at St. John’s University and earning a BA and MA in English literature, he worked in student affairs for more than 10 years. He has delivered lectures at more than 25 universities including Columbia and Princeton University, has performed globally in Indonesia, Italy, and South Africa. He’s been featured in Ebony Magazine, The Root, and Urban Cusp Magazine.

Program: Keynote: The Laws of Trill | What the Elements Of Hip Hop Can Teach You About Leadership | Leadership Master Class (Student Preconference Workshop-additional charge) | 9 Things Successful Educators Do Differently (Advisors)

Contact: www.trillornottrill.com


Ebony Dilworth

Ebony Dilworth

Ebony Dilworth is a New Jersey native, where she matriculated through the Roselle public school system. After high school, she attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., a historically black university founded on the principles of “truth and service.” There she majored in English and mass communications. After graduation in 2007, she moved back to New Jersey, where she entered the advertising industry. While working full time at a New York City advertising agency, she managed to complete an accelerated MBA program at Metropolitan College of New York.

Even after all her professional successes, Ebony felt incomplete. She knew that God gave her so many blessings, to be a blessing to others. With the help and dedication of a few childhood friends, she started the PRINCESS Foundation, a non-profit organization created to empower and support young women in urban communities to develop skills, effective communication, and dedication, which will prepare them to be of service to their community.

In addition to serving as the President of the PRINCESS Foundation, she is also a strategic account lead at Microsoft, where she collaborates with advertisers to execute strategic digital marketing campaigns. Ebony has a passion for innovation and a life purpose to help young people create their own definition of success. She currently resides in Essex County, New Jersey, with her husband and their son.

Program: Lifting as You Climb


Kevin Garlan

Kevin Garlan

Kevin is an accomplished senior executive and board member with demonstrated success spanning corporate and consumer banking, financial technology (fintech), digital innovation, and start-up venturing and acceleration. Leveraging extensive experience in the global payments industry, Kevin has served in functions ranging from product management and strategic business development, to digital innovation and relationship management. He has advised some of the industry’s most dynamic and complex clients (i.e. Apple, General Electric and MasterCard) on topics ranging from cash management and digital payments to working capital practices and treasury innovation. He has led global business development growth, advised fintech startups, and designed and launched corporate innovation and startup integration. An industry visionary, Kevin specializes in identifying growth opportunities and building cross-functional teams to drive revenue within these areas.

Throughout his executive career, Kevin has held leadership positions with Citibank and Deutsche Bank across the world. In May of 2018 he assumed the role as Head of Innovation for Citi’s Transaction Bank in North America where he is responsible for running the division’s enterprise innovation program by leveraging a lab network across Dublin, Singapore, and New York. Prior to that, he had been responsible for innovating strategic partnerships to commercialize and implement real-time payment, bill pay, and international remittance solutions for the consumer banking business at Citi. Previously, he spent over a decade at Deutsche Bank in a number of roles including product management, business development, and client coverage. While at Deutsche Bank, he helped co-found and develop the bank’s Innovation Lab network and orchestrated the firm’s first corporate sponsorship of the Plug and Play Technology Accelerator.

Kevin obtained his BA in business from the College of Mount Saint Vincent with Magna Cum Laude honors. As a seasoned board member, he has held positions with the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and Advisory Board positions with WaldDirekt GmbH and The Economist.

Program: Started from the bottom and now…”


Alvert Hernandez

Alvert Hernandez

Alvert is a young professional in Student Affairs and has had experience in residence life, Greek life, academic advising, and opportunity programs for first generation college students. During his undergraduate career, Alvert held a variety of student leadership roles including being a two-term student body president. Alvert has a Masters in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Montclair State University and currently works at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania as an assistant director of residence life overseeing their first-year student residential population.

Program: The Building of Leadership | Working your Network | Lessons Learned by Jugando Dominó


Maurisa Li-A-Ping

Maurisa Li-A-Ping

Maurisa Li-A-Ping is a storyteller, educator, and performer raised by a village of Black women in Brooklyn, New York. Maurisa utilizes poetry to document the experiences of Black Queer Womxn. She has touched stages at the World-Famous Apollo Theater, United Nations, Poetic License Festival, Barclays Center and more. Her commitment to her craft and scholarship has allowed her to present and perform at NASPA’s Annual Conference, the ACPA Convention, the Herman C. Hudson Symposium, The National Conference on Student Leadership, and various other venues. Maurisa's dedication to her craft has led her to receive national honors from The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, their Alumni Microgrant, a Poetry Pushcart Prize nomination with Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as publication with Wusgood Mag, in Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader, Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism, and so much more.

Program: Being QTPOC, Love is My Resistance | The Glo Up


Barb Meidl

Barb Meidl

Barb Meidl is a passionate advocate and mentor to students and clients, committed to fostering servant-leadership, personal and organizational excellence, and lifelong learning. Ms. Meidl is director of student life and leadership at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, N.C. In her role, she designs and implements engaging co-curricular programs and activities focused on building leadership capacity and a vibrant, inclusive student body. She also supports the development and maintenance of student-driven clubs and provides direction, support and facilitation for several annual campus-wide events and educational trips. Ms. Meidl received her BA in communications from East Carolina University and MA in leadership from Pfeiffer University. She is a John Maxwell Certified Life Coach, Speaker, and Trainer. Married to her husband Doug Smith for 15 years, they live in South Rowan County with their menagerie of fur babies. She enjoys gardening, woodworking, writing and texting with her adorable oldest brother who she resembles, although exceeds him in cuteness, spunk and vivacity. (Edited by said older brother.)

Program: Purpose Passion Play (Advisors)


Dr. Jennifer Mullan

Jennifer Mullan

Dr. Jennifer Mullan works with people to create healing spaces within themselves, and within organizations. In her work, healing involves paying sacred attention towards what needs remembering in our lives. Healing is about remembering who we are and what we know in order to release and relieve present and past suffering. Jennifer believes that healing is a decolonization process of allowing the pain and discomfort associated with feelings of rage, systemic and internalized oppression, vacant esteem, and collective socialization. She identifies this process as a decolonization of our minds, bodies, and spirits. She is passionate about working with people to create containers of wellness, equity, and elevated consciousness through workshops, retreats, classes, coaching and consulting.

Jennifer is an author, therapist, community organizer, and an academic. She has more than 15 years of experience in clinical practice, higher education, teaching, and non-profit management, with a focus on social justice and inclusion issues. As a therapist, consultant, and coordinator of the Peers Educating Peers (PEP) program, Jennifer has helped hundreds of youth and adults in both California and the N.Y./ N.J./Conn. tristate area cultivate a sense of conscious “woke-ness” that embeds self-love, self-worth, and a sense of reawakened identity- all combined with community healing.

Program: What’s Mental Health Got to Do with It | Students, Trauma, and Triggers: Why Mental Health Matters in Higher Education (Advisors)


Holley M. Murchison

Holley Murchison

Holley M. Murchison is an author, education producer, and learning strategist whose purpose lies at the intersections of education, communication, and culture with a focus on amplifying marginalized voices to catalyze change. As the founder of Oratory Glory and HOLI. Brands, Holley's work oscillates between education strategy, multimedia storytelling, instruction and facilitation, speaker coaching, and leadership development. Her talent lies in activating executives, students, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to source their passions and desires while using their voices to shape the world.

Program: Keynote: Become Who You Are: The Self as Sustainable Solution


Kholi Murchison

Kholi Murchison

Dr. Carrie Y. T. Kholi Murchison (khoLi.) believes that every human being has the right and responsibility to confidently and creatively contribute toward an equitable future for all. As the Founding Partner and Executive Director of HOLI. BRANDS, khoLi. expedites these contributions by working to enhance the quality of life for historically marginalized communities through the fulfillment of deficiency and growth needs like belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization.

Program: Big Ideas, Tiny Details

 


Adrien Odate

Adrien Odate

Adrien “A.D.” Odate is a Bronx-born emcee. For decades, A.D.’s backdrop was the ever-changing hip-hop scene. To this day, his work pays homage to the early emcees who used their voices to spark awareness and change. Notwithstanding the many challenges of life as a black, first-generation, immigrant man, he was afforded the opportunity to witness—and be a part of—the wide spectrum that exists in social class and wealth in New York. From The Bronx to Brown and from Goldman Sachs to United Way, his life and choices have created a broadened perspective that doesn’t quite fit into a simple mold. Over the last fourteen years working as a fitness professional and with young professionals entering the field, A.D. has developed his many passions and coaching is the overarching theme in all his work. His emphasis on the importance of evolving as a person to achieve your goals and building your personal brand is at the core of his teachings. He guides those under his tutelage to create a career and sustainable livelihood all while not having to give up who they are. A.D.’s impact has been felt in many different, even opposing, worlds. His voice focuses on social commentary and pushes awareness. Above all, he’s an influencer. His charisma and honesty win over the trust of people that he is meant to serve, allowing them to open themselves to change and growth.

Program: The Well Leader Leads Well


Winston Peter

Winston Peter

With an affinitive love for education and the arts and being deeply rooted in the New York City cultural and business communities; Winston saw a common theme among his creative peers; the need for organization and business advice. With this insight and his finance and business management background, Winston sought out to create a business consultancy to provide inspiration, support, and solutions for individuals and culturally aligned companies. As founding partner of the NYC consultancy MyUberLife Consulting Group; Winston works with individuals and companies to make a cultural impact on the world. As founding partner of WULF University, Winston mission is to share his business and life experiences to educate students, entrepreneurs, and creatives with knowledge beyond the classroom.

Program: The Power of Relationships and How to Grow Them


Alyea Pierce

Alyea Pierce

Alyea Pierce holds an MEd and a BA from Rutgers University New Brunswick. She is an author, international poet, and playwright who is a “real nice cook up” of the West Indies. Pierce’s work has been featured on the stages of the Apollo Theatre and Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre, as well as countless TEDx events across the states and abroad. Her work has been published in the Caribbean Writer, and she is the 2016 playwright-in-residence and actress for the Strength Out of Shadows Theatre Company, in which she wrote and performed in her spirited play, Financial Slavery: The College Debt Sentence, which premiered at The New York International Fringe Festival in August of 2016.

Program: Why Y(OUR) Story Matters | History & Hip-Hop: How Art Inspires, Impacts, and Ignites a Nation

Contact: www.alyeapierce.com


Tonya Rapley

Tonya Rapley

Tonya Rapley is an internationally recognized millennial money expert. She is author of the Amazon best-seller, The Money Manual: A Practical Guide To Help You Succeed on Your Financial Journey and co-host of the Colorfull Lives podcast with Angela Yee (The Breakfast Club) and Aminatou Sou (Call Your Girlfriends). In 2014, she graced the cover of Black Enterprise magazine and was deemed the "New Face of Wealth Building". Her mission is to help millennials break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and own their power. Her work has been featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Daily Worth, Business Insider, and Vogue to name a few.

Program: The Money Code: Money Lessons They Don’t Tell You About in College | Just Google Me: Using Social Media to Create a Career You Love


Raven Solomon

Raven Solomon

Raven Solomon is a successful entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author of the 2019 release Leading Your Parents: 25 Rules to Effective Multigenerational Leadership for Millennials and Gen Z, where she shares leadership principles and practical advice for young professionals seeking to transition into leadership positions in today’s diverse workplace. As the valedictorian of her college graduating class and one of the youngest executives in the Fortune 50 company with which she spent nearly a decade, Solomon has shown that her approach yields results. Her story of overcoming challenges of poverty, illness, and bullying to surpass her goals and lead through service is motivational and relatable. Solomon’s mission is to use her expertise and leadership principles to help remove obstacles, inspire communities, and enable individuals to overcome and thrive. She is a speaker, author, and the founder and president of the Charlotte-based Center for Next Generational Leadership and Professional Development, a startup focused on providing soft-skill development to the leaders of tomorrow. Solomon uses her leadership skills and business acumen to help Millennial and Gen Z professionals reach their full potential as leaders and changemakers. She has reached thousands of young people from podiums around the country and partnered with dozens of industry-leading clients to help them attract, develop, and retain young professionals. She’s also facilitated trainings with students of world-class universities all over the US.

Program: Leading Without Positionality | Imma Show You How to Network | Put a Ring on It


Antonio Talamo

Antonio Talamo

Antonio is a dynamic higher education professional with a focus on student activities and campus culture development. His mission is to help influence and impact as many students as possible through his creative workshops and approach. Being a first generation college student has fueled his desire to identify and professionally develop underrepresented students on college campuses. He is passionate about helping students reach their full potential through leadership and mentorship. As a pop culture enthusiast, Antonio uses music, TV shows, movies and sports to present on leadership topics such as conflict resolution, diversity, branding, and more.

Program: 24 Karat Goals


Jey Van-Sharp

 Jey Van-Sharp

Jey Van-Sharp is a founding partner of @MyUberLife Consulting Group based in NYC. MUL offers creative, business, and educational services to bad-ass entrepreneurs, crazy creatives, and cutting-edge companies hunting greatness and cultural impact. Jey is concerned with the relation between culture, community, customer, and commerce. Jey was born in Venezuela and is from a poly cultural background. Jey loves the nuances of culture and how it shapes the world. Jey is also a founding partner and educator @ WÜLF University, educating entrepreneurs, creatives and students with knowledge beyond the classroom.

Program: The Power of Relationships and How to Grow Them


Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams holds an MBA from New Jersey City University where he currently serves as a professor of entrepreneurship within the School of Business. He also teaches in the business departments of Union, Hudson, and Brookdale Community Colleges. Within higher education, he has a strong background in enrollment management, admissions, and retention. Still under the age of 30, he’s already impacted many students inside of the classroom and has assisted hundreds more get into college. Williams has traveled nationwide and abroad speaking to many companies and schools to spread the message of being an effective entrepreneur. He has overcome hurdles and has a masterful storytelling ability. With every engagement, he strives to achieve his mission of reaching generations and reminding them that greatness can be achieved against all odds. In addition, he has created a scholarship program in his hometown, and worked with schools and organizations such as: Yale University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, Towson University, YouTube sensation Latoya Forever, Thisis50.com, Free from 106 and Park, The Root, The Breakfast Club, NFL Players Association, and many more.

Program: Keynote: The Laws of Trill and Are you the plug?


Joe Urbanski

Joe Urbanski is committed to helping people find purpose and meaning in their personal lives, relationships, and careers. As director and master facilitator with Collegiate Empowerment (CE), he has re-engineered the What Every College Student Needs To Know® Seminar Series and authored Preventing A Miserable Career Journey to reflect this mission. Urbanski is the director for Collegiate Empowerment where he leads the development of 60+ seminars, retreats, and conferences and trains and coaches a cast of 15 performers and facilitators. CE presents at more than 150 colleges and universities across the country to impact more than 30,000 students and professionals every year. Starting in college with the Leadership Development Program in college and for two decades since, Urbanski has honed his electrifying facilitation style performing for as many as 2,400 participants during full-day trainings, three-day retreats, and multi-year leadership development programs. He has designed and delivered more than 560 seminars and workshops for more than 420,000 participants over the years. Urbanski’s genius and passion for delivering high-energy, empowering experiences is at the core of his appeal and success, while his entertaining style and simple approach make him a favorite at seminars and conferences across the country.

Contact: www.collegiate-empowerment.org