SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR:
Mayor Kasim Reed
Mayor of the City of Atlanta
Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche Best-Selling Author of
The One Week Budget
THE HONORABLE MAYOR KASIM REED is the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta. He was elected to a second term on November 5, 2013 and took the oath of office on January 6, 2014. Elected with a clear mandate for fiscal reform, Mayor Reed has increased core city services and reduced the City’s spending during the worst recession in 80 years.
Since taking office, he has hired more than 900 police officers and created the largest police force in the city’s history, re-opened all of the city’s recreation centers as safe havens for young people and improved fire-rescue response times. Working with the Atlanta City Council and the city’s employee unions, he successfully initiated a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability. Mayor Reed began his term facing a $48 million budget shortfall; under his leadership, the city has had four years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, and its cash reserves have grown from $7.4 million to more than $127 million.
The Mayor's Office currently presents the Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), which entails a competitive selection process in which 15 women entrepreneurs will be selected to “incubate” their business at WEI, in a technologically advanced environment, designed to foster and promote interaction and engagement with their likeminded counterparts. Through an ecosystem of educational resources, access to funding assistance and mentorship, the women will grow their businesses, over the course of 15 months, and then transition the business back into the City of Atlanta at the culmination of that period.
TIFFANY "THE BUDGETNISTA" ALICHE is quickly becoming America's favorite financial educator. The Budgetnista a spokesperson and passionate, award winning teacher of financial empowerment and founder of the LIVE RICHER Challenge. Since 2008, The Budgetnista has specialized in the delivery of financial education that includes seminars, workshops, curricula and trainings. She was also the financial education expert for City National Bank.
Tiffany is the bestselling author of the book, The One Week Budget (#1 Amazon / budgeting), and she and her financial advice have been featured on: the TODAY show, PBS, TIME, The New York Times, Reuters, ESSENCE Magazine, FORBES, Fox Business, MSNBC and CBS MoneyWatch. She also blogs about personal finance for The Huffington Post.
Learn more about Tiffany and The Budgetnista here: thebudgetnista.com
Chief Marketing Officer
Star & Consulting Producer of Bravo
TV's Mother Funders
Entrepreneur and PTO Expert
CARLA STEPHENS is a Mother, Wife, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Parent Teacher Organization Expert, and Star & Consulting Producer of Bravo TV's Mother Funders. Carla is known for her straight forward approach to life and her passion for helping others to become the best version of themselves. A doting wife to her husband Jesse of 22 years, and mother to her two sons Evan and Ryan, she is also a businesswoman who runs two successful companies. Always a go-getter, Carla works tirelessly to raise money and awareness for several organizations that she is passionate about. Carla loves to go out dancing with her husband, and prides herself on her cooking and poetry writing. Carla's motto in life is: "Knowing who you are will help you reject who you are not."
"I am extremely honored to be a part of the upcoming GC4W Expo. My passion for working mothers and women in business runs deep because I have first hand knowledge of the many gifts they bring to the table as mothers and business women. Women are more than mothers, wives, sisters and friends. They are more than females. There is so much more to women than what others can see beyond their gender roles. Thank you GC4W for honoring working moms and showcasing their strengths in the area of business. Women by nature are nurturers and have this Innate ability to nurture people, places or things especially in an infantile state. They are in the business of nurturing and that is one of the many characteristic that makes them successful at mothering and business. They harness their ability to give what is needed to bring life and vitality to businesses and their families." --Carla Stephens
Lilian O. Ajayi
Founder and Executive Director
Global Connections for Women Foundation
LILIAN O. AJAYI is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W). She is recognized as the Global Ambassador of Hope and a Power Woman. Lilian O. Ajayi is a resident of Manhattan, with origins in Africa. She is a Harvard University graduate and a MBA Candidate in Finance & Marketing from Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College. Lilian is a Member of the Harvard Club and the UN World We Want Strategic Taskforce. Lilian was awarded the Ambassador of Goodwill by the Governor of Arkansas, Mike Bebe and recognized as Power Women in Diaspora by Black Enterprise.
Lilian gave the keynote remarks at the Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI), Trinity College Dublin University of Ireland “Inspiring Change: Empowering Women’s Futures in Africa” where she spoke on the “Status of Women in Africa and the Rest of the World.”
Lilian O. Ajayi recently addressed the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Climate Change, where she spoke of the impact of the climate change on the rural women in Africa. Lilian O. Ajayi joins other young delegates as a Guest Speaker at the upcoming United Nations Youth Assembly – an forum where the youth are inspired to change the world.
Black Bride Magazine
Former Miss USA Award Winning Author
Founder and CEO, TheBossmoves
Associate Managing Editor,
FORMER MISS USA, TERRI BRITT is a Love Expert, Energetic Healer, and Change Agent for women and their families. She is the author of The Enlightened Mom: A Mother’s Guide for Bringing Peace, Love & Light to Your Family’s Life ~Winner of the Best Spiritual Book at both 2011 New York and San Francisco Book Festivals. Terri is the founder of Enlightened Family Institute. She is a wife, mom, stepmom, mompreneur, inspirational speaker and former television host. She’s been seen on Today, On the Record with Greta van Susteren, Hannity & Colmes, and NBC NY.
As the foremost expert in the Law of Attraction and the family, Terri has been a featured speaker with the likes of Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Marianne Williamson, Marci Shimoff, John Assaraf, and Dr. John Gray. Terri has been studying energy and the family for nearly two decades and gives a unique spiritual perspective as to why families struggle and how to heal it.
Terri’s mission is to guide women and their families from emotional chaos to peace, passion, playfulness, miracles and abundance. Terri says, “We women have the power to create immense change in our lives and homes. We claim that power when we break the good girl rules and treat ourselves as if we matter. And as we do, we thrive instead of simply survive and become examples for our loved ones. THIS is our greatest act of service.” For more information, go to .
MARY CHATMAN, president and CEO of Black Bride Magazine, has a passion for all things romantic, meshing her background in business development and enthusiasm for the bridal industry to provide a key online resource to brides of color. Along with tips for minority wives- and grooms-to-be and entrepreneurs in the industry, the company hosts bridal shows offering participants a chance to interact with vendors and get advice from industry heavy hitters, from makeup artists to event planners.
Chatman also seeks to put a spotlight on black love and marriage and give brides the opportunity to support other entrepreneurs of color who can provide top-notch services. “For our bridal shows, vendors connect and work together, and some are businesses that would not otherwise get prime exposure.” At shows, Chatman says, the company also provides resources for entrepreneurs of color that will help them forge partnerships and tips on marketing and business practices.
Chatman’s mission to provide support to culturally diverse brides and to shed light on healthy and loving relationships is clear as she speaks with robust passion in her voice. As she talks about remaining relevant in her industry among African Americans, she talks about new partnerships, a bridal magazine, their first out of state bridal show, Black Bride International and content specific to couples who have already gotten married called “After The Aisle.“
JANELL HAZELWOOD, founder and CEO of TheBossmoves, is an award-winning digital media manager, content producer, editor and blogger with more than a decade of experience working for top companies including Black Enterprise and The New York Times--- all before age 30. She has covered areas including Money, Career, Small Business, Fashion, Beauty and Technology, and has interviewed Fortune 500 executives, business leaders and celebrities to specifically find what makes them tick and how they overcame challenges in their journeys to success.
Her consultancy, TheBossMoves, helps minority and women-owned businesses reach their highest potential and increase their bottom lines via dynamic branding, content creation, social media and audience development services.
She has also been a featured blogger and speaker for organizations and institutions including the City College of New York, The National Urban League, St. Johns University, Black Girls Code, and many more, on topics including branding, millennial career development, employment trends, minority entrepreneurship, social engagement and leadership. Further pursuing her passion and love for the Diaspora, she has interviewed global leaders from around the world, helping change the way people of color are viewed internatonally, and showcasing their excellence in business, the arts, academia and government.
A faith-based woman, she lives by one motto: Happiness is a luxury afforded only to those who are able to follow and monetize their purpose. "God is my publisher, Jesus is my editor in chief, and I am the author of my life."
Denise Mobolaji Ajayi-Williams
Founder and Creative Director, Working Mom in 20s
Author of Akiti the Hunter
DENISE MOBOLAJI AJAYI-WILLIAMS Challenging the traditional roles women are often cast to play, Denise Mobolaji Ajayi-Williams has created a revolutionary organization for women worldwide to be a part of. Denise’s organization “Working Moms in 20’s” comes from a unique concept all her own, the idea that women can redefine their position in history and establish themselves as the true leaders that they are to their homes and communities. “Women are the pillars of communities,” asserted Denise, “They are the driving force of success, stability, and growth.” The mission of the organization is to theoretically go back to the 1920’s and to rewrite history, celebrating our racial, cultural, ethnic, and religious differences while making visible the parts of history not often celebrated. Denise’s vision is to go back in time to create a mindset that there are no limitations for women and highlight the unsung female heroes.
Denise’s most recent endeavor has emerged, the rebirth of a classic West African folktale AKITI THE HUNTER. The children’s book which is now available in Barnes and Nobles stores and online at Amazon.com, features the first super hero of his kind. The first of a five book series introduces the world to a unique hero who will aspire children to see the greatness in themselves within the beautifully illustrated children’s book. AKITI THE HUNTER, also known as King of the Forest, is challenging the traditional ways super heroes are portrayed and giving children a new character to admire and emulate. Akiti is the first developed action hero derived from African heritage, encouraging children from different backgrounds to read, and become acquainted with history and heritage.
Largess Affair Company
AFI LARTEY is a creative entrepreneur who is passionate about her calling. At a point in her life when most people would have simply given up and buried their dreams, Afi decided to believe in herself and began walking down the path the LORD set out for her. Afi freed herself from her setbacks, hindrances, obstacles, limitations and stopped caring about what other people thought and activated her will to succeed. Inspired to share her story, Afi began a new chapter as entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach.
Centered, and once again successful, Afi Lartey reconnected with her mission to powerfully enhance the lives of other women who maybe facing the same challenges as she did. She is the founder of transformational women's organization Women Impacting Lives and the CEO of Largess Affair a luxury gifting company. She empowers women with the tools to break away from what is holding them back and step into their divine purpose.
LINDA HUGHES has over 25 years of experience in company operations with extensive experience in business strategy, operational planning, revenue generation, and information technology management. She has worked in a variety of industries, including consumer products, hospitality, healthcare, technology, industrial products, retail and telecommunications.
Some of Linda’s past roles include a divisional CIO for The Coca-Cola Company, Vice President of the Technology Practice and CIO for The North Highland Company, an international management and technology consulting firm, and most recently held the position of CIO for AIG Agency Auto. Linda is currently the president and CEO of The Great Ridge Company which provides consulting services focused on improving the operational and growth capabilities of small to medium businesses. She is also the CEO of AnyTrax, a privately held SaaS company delivering web and mobile solutions to the government.
Ms. Hughes is a frequent speaker and author on business and technology topics. She has presented at numerous industry conferences as a panelist, individual presenter, and key-note speaker. She is heavily involved in non-profit activities and serves on the board of multiple organizations headquartered in the Atlanta area. She has been interviewed for articles appearing in CIO Magazine, TechRepublic, as well as many local Atlanta magazines and has written articles for publications such as Optimize Magazine.
President / CEO
Great Ridge Company
Former CIO at Coca Cola Company
YETUNDE SHORTERS is an international branding expert and founder of the celebrated International boutique firm ICY Public Relations. She brings a successful 15-year track-record in public relations, personal branding and marketing small businesses, celebrities and grammy award winning artists.
She is the inventor of the groundbreaking "Purposeful Brand Audit" and the ICY Academy for purposeful branding. In addition to these field-leading innovations, Yetunde is a bestselling author who is also known as "The Afropolitan Chef" for her culinary brand and Afro-fusion cookbook "Love with Food, African-fusion meals made easy.” She helps individuals and businesses create a Purposeful, Powerful, and Personal Brand that is Profitable. With many years of experience in PR, Branding and Marketing, Yetunde has helped brand over 100 personalities and businesses in the last 10 years.
She is a freelance writer for Genevieve Magazine and Holistic Fashionsita who earned her B.A. in Communications from Loyola University Chicago.
Yetunde Taiwo Shorters
Owner and Publicist
ICY Public Relations
JAMIE WATKINS is the Founder and CEO of Iluminada Wellness, a holistic lifestyle consultancy, based in New York City dedicated to helping others create and connect to living their life as light. Jamie has studied with some of the world's top health and wellness experts including Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities. Jamie supports her clients with an integrative approach to wellness through a variety of healing modalities including health & nutrition coaching, personal development, spiritual growth, meditation, and Reiki.
A leading autism specialist and advocate for children with disabilities, Jamie has traveled internationally helping build capacity and educate individuals, non-profit organizations and schools in Ethiopia, Mexico, Cuba, Thailand, England, and France to incorporate inclusive practices that provide and promote equal access to quality education of students with disabilities. Jamie has served hundreds of special education teachers, families and students with autism over the past 13 years for the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the U.S. She has been a guest panelist and lecturer at many universities and filmed for an upcoming documentary on the importance of arts in education to build self-esteem, socialization, and increase communication for children on the autism spectrum. Jamie’s scholarly research includes the effects of dietary protocol to reduce targeted maladaptive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as well as the efficacy of Integrated Movement Therapy as a viable intervention across interdisciplinary teams for students with ASD. Jamie is excited to support GC4W's New School Development Project Fund for Disabled Girls in Karamajiji, Nigeria.
Jamie is a former freelance writer and producer for CNN and has also been featured in Elle Magazine's style guide. In her spare time she leads meditation and writing retreats in Mexico, The Hamptons, and Upstate New York. She is currently writing her first novel inspired by the women in her family.
Founder and CEO
Chanda Tracy Lightsey
Founder and CEO
All About Business
CHANDA TRACY LIGHTSEY, Founder and CEO of All About Business, a Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs. For the past 10 years Chanda has passionately worked with women business owners to help empower, engage and encourage them to follow their dreams and elevate their businesses. All About Business also has a Jr. Entrepreneur division which her 15 year daughter Alexandria oversees.
Chanda is also the author of Red Flags for Women Everywhere, an insightful compilation of real life stories regarding relationships and dating warnings shared by women everywhere. In addition to being a wife and mother she also wears the hats of Freelance Photographer, Publisher, Blogger and owner of A-DelCor Search Group.
Chanda is currently working on several book projects and the upcoming launch of her internet talk show All About “The Biz” Talk.
Angela Payne Guzman
Founder and CEO,
HA Management & Consulting
ANGELA PAYNE GUZMAN is Founder and CEO of HA Management & Consulting for over 10 years. She has positively represented the interests of municipalities and private companies throughout the US and abroad. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Angela’s professional experience and expertise includes business development and structure, project financing, strategic relationships (international and domestic), marketing and distribution, business imaging, contract compliance, and quality control support.
As CEO of HA Management & Consulting, Angela has expanded her services to defy geographical boundaries to procure superb professional services available in the global market. Angela has provided funding, business development and specialized business management consulting services to a diverse portfolio of clients based in the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa. Angela Guzman represents elite US technical firms seeking to partner with international public and private sector representatives focused on advancing community and economic development through the delivery of funding, energy, infrastructure projects, goods and services, particularly those representing emerging countries eager to benefit from the unparalleled expertise of US companies and manufacturing.
Angela Guzman has organized several trade missions to the US by partnering with US Municipalities such as the State of Arkansas for the “Arkansas-Nigeria Economic Development Form”, a high level networking think-tank focused on improving healthcare delivery, Agricultural revamping, Educational Reform, and Infrastructure Development to greatly improve the Economic Development of a Nation.
Angela was one of the key organizers for The Republic of Senegal to establish a Trade Mission with The City of Atlanta & Fulton County to hosts members of the Senegalese Mayors Association for the “Community Building through International Partnerships Seminar”. This seminar is positioned as an International Framework for Technology Transfer and Cultural Exchange. The seminar promotes international trade partnership and financing for capital projects which resulted in an Atlanta based firm procuring a large water distribution project with the Republic of Senegal.