The thought of our very first event outside of the United States just keeps getting more and more exciting the closer that we get! Last week, the good folks at Women In Travel Summit announced our track for The ME Experience at their upcoming conference and we couldn’t be more proud. Here’s a look at the sessions and speakers that we have on deck for you next month:
Building impactful relationships is key to driving business and success. Considering that we live and work in a world of rapidly shifting demographics and are more connected to those around the globe than ever before, diversity is more relevant than ever. In this session, participants will be guided to discuss what makes them special and describe their unique attributes and talents highlighting their diversity. Included are fun and engaging exercises on the “comfort zones and biases” we create in all aspects of our lives. Participants will learn how adding diversity can improve the odds for success in business and life, and how to create optimal networking circles to increase their brand, revenue, and growth.
An entrepreneur, female founder, marketer, brand expert, women’s leadership advocate and authenticity guru, Karen Maria Alston is an award winning proven expert. She is affectionately known as The Advertising Diva or for her hashtag #beingkarenalston. In 2002, Karen stepped out on faith, left her job at America Online to follow her passion and create Alston Marketing Group now d/b/a, AM+G Marketing Communications. (www.alstonmarketing.com) Alston Marketing Group based in Washington, DC has created several notable branding and advertising campaigns including the ‘red bikes’ known as Capital Bikeshare.
In 2015, Karen added to her entrepreneurial endeavors and founded the innovative women’s empowerment and professional educational leadership development platform, The Spectrum Circle. (www.thespectrumcircle.com) The Spectrum Circle is growing exponentially and has held several notable events in the Washington, DC area featuring a plethora of local and nationally recognized exceptional women sharing authentic leadership stories of navigating the glass ceiling and learned experiences. Karen is a content expert that articulates the brand voice of women (millennials to C-suite) who need outlets, experiences and educational opportunities to expand their lens of possibility.
Born as a 3rd generation entrepreneur and a 4th generation college graduate Karen knew early on in her career she would eventually work for herself and become an entrepreneur as previous generations. In addition to her success as an entrepreneur, Karen enjoyed an illustrious professional career which included stints at JP Morgan Chase, America Online and Bank of America. She has been featured in several print & online publications, radio, blogs, podcasts and speaks on a range of issues on TV news including The Today Show, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Fox News and TV One (News One Now) where she is a frequent guest contributor. Karen is a public speaker and commentator on a range of topics including authentic leadership, women’s empowerment, marketing & branding, sexual harassment, (#metoo), gender bias & inclusion, fearlessness & vulnerability, the glass ceiling, design thinking, and women entrepreneurs. Her favorite speaking topic the “burdens of the driven superwoman” was the motivating pre-cursor to founding The Spectrum Circle.
In 2015, The Annenberg Center at Sunnylands asked Karen to participate on a panel of experts on emergency communications, alongside technology luminaries such as Vint Cert and Adam Clayton Powell, III. In 2015, Copa Style Magazine named her its inaugural “Woman of the Year.” In 2016, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) asked her to join its Leadership Network. Karen has received numerous awards and accolades and has been recognized for her leadership, entrepreneurial expertise and authenticity.
Karen Maria Alston received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Howard University, an Executive Education Certificate in Branding and Design from Harvard University, an Executive Education Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, and in 2017 an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard Business School for completion of the Women’s Leadership Forum. An exclusive program that accepts 60 female participants annually from a worldwide pool of applicants.
There are many ways to grow a profitable business. And there are ways to do so while also impacting social change. As a leader, you’re in a unique position to do both. During this presentation, you will learn specific strategies to grow your business while impacting social change in the area of cultural diversity.
Have you ever wondered how you can grow your business by embracing diversity and building a more inclusive brand? Have you considered the profound impact that building a culturally diverse brand can have on our tremendously divided communities? If you have ever felt inspired to build cultural diversity but don’t feel equipped or know the steps to take, then this presentation is for you. In this interactive session, you will learn simple and practical strategies for using cultural diversity to leverage your business relationships and to grow your brand. This workshop invites you to understand the impact that growing a diverse brand can have on social change.
Monique Melton is a business coach, relationship expert, published author of the book EntrepreFriendships, a motivational speaker and diversity advocate. She supports creative business owners in building profitable and purposeful businesses while maintaining healthy relationships.
She’s the creator of SWEET Brands, which is a business development system to strategically support business owners in building more profitable and sustainable businesses. She travels the country speaking at conferences and events on topics related to business & relationships.
She’s been published in magazines, featured in blogs and podcasts and has touched the lives and businesses of people all over the world. She is a natural big-bold dreamer and a deeply rooted woman of faith. She is a proud Navy wife and loving mother to two little ones.
She has a BA in social science with an emphasis in sociology & psychology and two years of graduate school education in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. She believes it’s not all about your comfort, but it’s about your growth.
It’s the elephant in the room… The issue of pricing and pay rates in the blogger and influencer marketing space is a tricky one. Why do influencers who seem similarly positioned receive different pay and command different rates for the same campaign? Is it truly a matter of them being better negotiators or is there something else at play? The truth is, there are some unique nuances that can factor in to the campaign dynamics, especially when it comes to multicultural influencers. In this working session, influencer marketing leader, Stacey Ferguson, will share behind-the-scenes considerations for multicultural bloggers and influencers as they relate to marketing campaigns and sponsorships, and how all influencers can help us change the game.
Stacey (also known online as Justice Fergie) is a digital brand strategist, sponsorships expert, veteran blogger, event producer, social media personality, public speaker, and Chief Curator of the Be Blogalicious community and conferences celebrating diversity among women in social media. She also coaches women influencers in building their empires through her exclusive, high-touch Rockstar Influencer Program.
Since 2009, Stacey has grown the Blogalicious community to a movement of over 10,000 multicultural women influencers. The cornerstone of the Blogalicious brand is its annual Blogalicious Weekend conference; a 3-day educational and experiential event featuring high-profile speakers and major consumer brands. She is responsible for a 200+% growth increase in both conference attendance and sponsorship revenues in the last 8 years.
Through The b-Link Marketing Network by Blogalicious, Stacey ideates and activates influencer outreach and blog and social media-based marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 brands and nationally recognized organizations. Campaign clients include Unilever, McDonald’s, Disney, The U.S. Department of State, Proctor and Gamble, and more.
Stacey regularly consults with entrepreneurs, startups and established brands on digital and brand strategy, as well as influencer outreach and social media disclosure guidelines. She also is an accomplished public speaker, presenting at conferences and events nationally – such as SXSW, the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, the Pennsylvania Women’s Conference, and BlogHer.
Stacey has been featured in various media, including NPR, Fox, Southern Living Magazine, The Washington Post, EBONY, Mashable, Sirius-XM Radio, Uptown Magazine, Black Enterprise, JET Magazine, Rolling Out, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and all around the Web. She has been named as a Best Brand of the Year by Stiletto Media, a Top 10 Black Innovator by MVMT50 at SXSW, is a SaluteHER Mocha Maven Award recipient, a MogulAward recipient, and was spotlighted as a successful woman-run technology venture in EBONY magazine.
She is a wife, and mother of 3 and resides in the DC Metro Area, and was an attorney in the US Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Advertising Practices for 7 years, where she specialized in investigating unfair acts and practices relating to social media disclosures, spyware and adware, and peer-to-peer file sharing, among other hi-tech goods and services issues. Prior to her time in the federal government, she was a corporate attorney in private practice.
Stacey received her B.S. in Telecommunications, with a specialization in Radio and Television Production from the University of Florida, and her J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.