The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community

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In 2010, Stacey became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. As House Minority Leader, she has worked strategically to recruit, train, elect, and defend Democrats to prevent a Republican supermajority in the House, and has worked across the aisle on behalf of all Georgians. During her tenure, she has stopped legislation to raise taxes on the poor and middle class and to roll back reproductive healthcare. She has brokered compromises that led to progress on transportation, infrastructure, and education. Most recently, she passed legislation to improve the welfare of grandparents and other kin raising children and secured increased funding to support these families.

Stacey has worked hard to harness the extraordinary opportunities available to our state. She understands that if we have the vision to strive – and the courage to confront our challenges – our potential is boundless. She has met with families and small businesses in more than 150 counties, and she has proven her ability to find solutions across divides.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Stacey Abrams, Georgia House of Representative, House District 89

In 2010, Stacey became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. As House Minority Leader, she has worked strategically to recruit, train, elect, and defend Democrats to prevent a Republican supermajority in the House, and has worked across the aisle on behalf of all Georgians. During her tenure, she has stopped legislation to raise taxes on the poor and middle class and to roll back reproductive healthcare. She has brokered compromises that led to progress on transportation, infrastructure, and education. Most recently, she passed legislation to improve the welfare of grandparents and other kin raising children and secured increased funding to support these families. Stacey has worked hard to harness the extraordinary opportunities available to our state. She understands that if we have the vision to strive – and the courage to confront our challenges – our potential is boundless. She has met with families and small businesses in more than 150 counties, and she has proven her ability to find solutions across divides.

Candace L. Byrd is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and was educated in the Fulton County Public School System. She received her B.A. from Georgia State University in 1991 and her Juris Doctor Degree from the Howard University School of Law in 1994, where she was a member of the National Moot Court Team. Upon being admitted to practice in the State of Georgia, she began her career in the areas of medical malpractice, criminal defense, workers’ compensation and probate law at the law firm of Forrest B. Johnson & Associates, where she practiced for seven (7) years. 

Ms. Byrd served as the Chief Public Defender for the City Court of Atlanta as well as the Director of the Office of the Public Defender for the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Following a distinguished tenure as the Director of the Office of the Public Defender, Mayor Kasim Reed appointed her as Chief of Staff of the City of Atlanta. She is responsible for providing advice and guidance to the Mayor on legislative and political issues and serves as liaison to the public and private sectors in fostering partnerships and the development of revenue generating initiatives.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Candace Byrd, Chief of Staff, City of Atlanta

Candace L. Byrd is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and was educated in the Fulton County Public School System. She received her B.A. from Georgia State University in 1991 and her Juris Doctor Degree from the Howard University School of Law in 1994, where she was a member of the National Moot Court Team. Upon being admitted to practice in the State of Georgia, she began her career in the areas of medical malpractice, criminal defense, workers’ compensation and probate law at the law firm of Forrest B. Johnson & Associates, where she practiced for seven (7) years. Ms. Byrd served as the Chief Public Defender for the City Court of Atlanta as well as the Director of the Office of the Public Defender for the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Following a distinguished tenure as the Director of the Office of the Public Defender, Mayor Kasim Reed appointed her as Chief of Staff of the City of Atlanta. She is responsible for providing advice and guidance to the Mayor on legislative and political issues and serves as liaison to the public and private sectors in fostering partnerships and the development of revenue generating initiatives.

Catherine Buell is the newly named president and chief executive officer (CEO) and immediate past chief operating officer (COO) for Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA). As president and CEO, Catherine is responsible for strategic, financial and operational aspects of AHA.  Catherine previously served as the Executive Director of St. Elizabeths East—the largest Washington D.C. redevelopment community of retail, office and mixed-income residences. She also worked for Patton Boggs LLP where she counseled institutional investors on real estate assets and private equity funds in the United States, South America and Europe.   Catherine earned her Juris Doctor at Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts at Spelman College.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Catherine Buell, CEO, Atlanta Housing Authority

Catherine Buell is the newly named president and chief executive officer (CEO) and immediate past chief operating officer (COO) for Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA). As president and CEO, Catherine is responsible for strategic, financial and operational aspects of AHA. Catherine previously served as the Executive Director of St. Elizabeths East—the largest Washington D.C. redevelopment community of retail, office and mixed-income residences. She also worked for Patton Boggs LLP where she counseled institutional investors on real estate assets and private equity funds in the United States, South America and Europe. Catherine earned her Juris Doctor at Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts at Spelman College.

Peru-native Monica Campana moved to the United States as a child in 1998, but continued to feel like a visitor well into adulthood. That is until she turned her artistic talents and organizational skills to the task of transforming buildings into canvases for artists, “living walls,” with the power to catalyze conversations, change the way people think about their neighborhoods, and inspire hope
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Monica Campana, Founder, Living Walls

Peru-native Monica Campana moved to the United States as a child in 1998, but continued to feel like a visitor well into adulthood. That is until she turned her artistic talents and organizational skills to the task of transforming buildings into canvases for artists, “living walls,” with the power to catalyze conversations, change the way people think about their neighborhoods, and inspire hope

Compassionate, Zealous, Visionary and Inspiring are just a few of the words that describe Jasmine Crowe, an HBCU alumna and MBA graduate who is working to make the world a better place one cause at a time. Jasmine’s goal is to foster change and create awareness about the leading socioeconomic issues and challenges of today, like poverty, education and hunger.

In 2011 she founded BlackCelebrityGiving.com (BCG) . The idea for the site came from the vivid awareness of a lack of media coverage for black celebrities doing positive things to impact our communities. 

In October of 2016, she created Goodr, a real-time food rescue app with a goal to reduce food waste and eliminate hunger. Jasmine recently wrote her first children's book titled “Giving is Good” which teaches youth the importance of giving back and she plans to open Atlanta’s first stand alone soup kitchen in the fall
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Jasmine Crowe, Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Goodr Food Rescue

Compassionate, Zealous, Visionary and Inspiring are just a few of the words that describe Jasmine Crowe, an HBCU alumna and MBA graduate who is working to make the world a better place one cause at a time. Jasmine’s goal is to foster change and create awareness about the leading socioeconomic issues and challenges of today, like poverty, education and hunger. In 2011 she founded BlackCelebrityGiving.com (BCG) . The idea for the site came from the vivid awareness of a lack of media coverage for black celebrities doing positive things to impact our communities. In October of 2016, she created Goodr, a real-time food rescue app with a goal to reduce food waste and eliminate hunger. Jasmine recently wrote her first children's book titled “Giving is Good” which teaches youth the importance of giving back and she plans to open Atlanta’s first stand alone soup kitchen in the fall

Each week during her sophomore year, Ebrahim attended classes for aspiring young entrepreneurs at the Georgia Institute of Technology that used an innovative and evidence-based learning approach to learn about succeeding in the competitive start-up realm. After mastering the business model plan, a group of young girls and Ebrahim brainstormed an empowering platform called Inconspicuous that provides rape and domestic abuse survivors a platform to share their stories. 

The online platform is also a safe place for women and men to secure a request that is “inconspicuous” and redirects them to local shelters and advisors that guarantee beneficiary safety. The start-up has presented pitches to Google and various companies through the Georgia Tech Incubator.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Kiran Ebrahim, Founder, Inconspicuous Start-Up

Each week during her sophomore year, Ebrahim attended classes for aspiring young entrepreneurs at the Georgia Institute of Technology that used an innovative and evidence-based learning approach to learn about succeeding in the competitive start-up realm. After mastering the business model plan, a group of young girls and Ebrahim brainstormed an empowering platform called Inconspicuous that provides rape and domestic abuse survivors a platform to share their stories. The online platform is also a safe place for women and men to secure a request that is “inconspicuous” and redirects them to local shelters and advisors that guarantee beneficiary safety. The start-up has presented pitches to Google and various companies through the Georgia Tech Incubator.

Dr. Nicole E. Ross is an Internal Medicine Physician who practices hospitalist medicine in Monticello, GA. where the majority of her hospitalized patients are seniors. She is a graduate of Spelman College where she received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1991. She completed medical school at Temple
University School of Medicine in 1995 and internship/ residency
at Emory University School of Medicine in 1998.

She is the co-owner and Clinical Director at Right At Home of East Atlanta In Home Care and Assistance. She and her husband and co-owner, Mark Ross, saw a vital need for increased
support for seniors, allowing them to maintain independence
and dignity as they age in their own homes.

Right At Home opened its doors in April of 2012, now serves over 80 families weekly and employs over 100 caregivers. They were awarded Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s
Emerging Business of the Year in 2013.

Right At Home of East Atlanta provides many services which include bathing, toileting, meals, medication reminders and light housekeeping. Serving Dekalb, Henry, Newton, Rockdale, and Lower Gwinnett counties. They would love to serve you and your loved one.

Dr. Ross is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She pledged Eta Kappa Chapter at Spelman College in 1990 and is
currently a Charter Member of the new Covington Area Alumnae Chapter.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Dr. Nicole Evans Ross, Owner, Right At Home East Atlanta

Dr. Nicole E. Ross is an Internal Medicine Physician who practices hospitalist medicine in Monticello, GA. where the majority of her hospitalized patients are seniors. She is a graduate of Spelman College where she received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1991. She completed medical school at Temple University School of Medicine in 1995 and internship/ residency at Emory University School of Medicine in 1998. She is the co-owner and Clinical Director at Right At Home of East Atlanta In Home Care and Assistance. She and her husband and co-owner, Mark Ross, saw a vital need for increased support for seniors, allowing them to maintain independence and dignity as they age in their own homes. Right At Home opened its doors in April of 2012, now serves over 80 families weekly and employs over 100 caregivers. They were awarded Newton County Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business of the Year in 2013. Right At Home of East Atlanta provides many services which include bathing, toileting, meals, medication reminders and light housekeeping. Serving Dekalb, Henry, Newton, Rockdale, and Lower Gwinnett counties. They would love to serve you and your loved one. Dr. Ross is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She pledged Eta Kappa Chapter at Spelman College in 1990 and is currently a Charter Member of the new Covington Area Alumnae Chapter.

Pegged a Gender Advocate, Dr. Shekina Moore, believes developing discipline and healthy esteem in girls is the key to tapping into their leadership capacity.

She empowers audiences with her 5 Principles for F.I.E.R.C.E. Success. She has spoken out against gender oppression and disempowerment since 1992, penning her first published article, “Blocking Out the Gender Gap”, while a high school student. This article garnered the attention of the National Press for Women. She has also authored several girls empowerment books including:  Beautiful, Big-boned and Brown; Black Girls Hear: Untold Stories of the Marginalized, Unsafe & Unwelcomed; and co-author of When Dark Chocolate is Bittersweet: Controversy Within A Culture.

Dr. Shekina launched Fierce Girl Empowerment Movement, to inspire females to show up in their own lives that they may ignite those watching and taking notes. The Movement includes B2F Girls!™, a nationwide resource for women with a calling to mentor girls; and the Tween Star Awards™, a national recognition platform for girls who are showing up in various spheres of community, academia, innovation, philanthropy, character, entrepreneurship and athletics. She is also the visionary behind many empowerment events for women and girls–the Annual AuthenticiTea & Social, B2F Girls! Roundtable and B2F Girls! ZOOM Conference.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Dr. Shekina Farr Moore, Founder, B2F Girls

Pegged a Gender Advocate, Dr. Shekina Moore, believes developing discipline and healthy esteem in girls is the key to tapping into their leadership capacity. She empowers audiences with her 5 Principles for F.I.E.R.C.E. Success. She has spoken out against gender oppression and disempowerment since 1992, penning her first published article, “Blocking Out the Gender Gap”, while a high school student. This article garnered the attention of the National Press for Women. She has also authored several girls empowerment books including: Beautiful, Big-boned and Brown; Black Girls Hear: Untold Stories of the Marginalized, Unsafe & Unwelcomed; and co-author of When Dark Chocolate is Bittersweet: Controversy Within A Culture. Dr. Shekina launched Fierce Girl Empowerment Movement, to inspire females to show up in their own lives that they may ignite those watching and taking notes. The Movement includes B2F Girls!™, a nationwide resource for women with a calling to mentor girls; and the Tween Star Awards™, a national recognition platform for girls who are showing up in various spheres of community, academia, innovation, philanthropy, character, entrepreneurship and athletics. She is also the visionary behind many empowerment events for women and girls–the Annual AuthenticiTea & Social, B2F Girls! Roundtable and B2F Girls! ZOOM Conference.

Dr. Lia P. Gallo-Urrego is a dentist and entrepreneur based out of Gainesville, GA. After practicing the dental profession in her native country of Colombia for several years, she and her husband decided to move to the USA in order to provide a better future for their daughters. She realized her dream of becoming a dentist once more in 2007, when she graduated from The University of Colorado. The following year, she opened her own dental practice and has been serving the North Georgia community ever since. Because of the true love for the work she does and the people she encounters, Dr. Gallo-Urrego volunteers much of her time giving back by working with The Good News Clinic and providing full mouth reconstructions, free of charge, for men and women recuperating from drug addiction. In her spare time, Dr. Gallo-Urrego likes to continue learning, whether it's reading medical journals by the beach, or spending her weekends in surgical implantology courses. She also enjoys salsa dancing with her husband, Harvin, and traveling with her family.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Dr. Lia P. Gallo-Urrego, Owner, GDC Smiles

Dr. Lia P. Gallo-Urrego is a dentist and entrepreneur based out of Gainesville, GA. After practicing the dental profession in her native country of Colombia for several years, she and her husband decided to move to the USA in order to provide a better future for their daughters. She realized her dream of becoming a dentist once more in 2007, when she graduated from The University of Colorado. The following year, she opened her own dental practice and has been serving the North Georgia community ever since. Because of the true love for the work she does and the people she encounters, Dr. Gallo-Urrego volunteers much of her time giving back by working with The Good News Clinic and providing full mouth reconstructions, free of charge, for men and women recuperating from drug addiction. In her spare time, Dr. Gallo-Urrego likes to continue learning, whether it's reading medical journals by the beach, or spending her weekends in surgical implantology courses. She also enjoys salsa dancing with her husband, Harvin, and traveling with her family.

Mary-Pat Hector just (19) knows how to change the world. This  Atlanta native and Spelman College student recently became the youngest woman and person of color to run for office in the state of Georgia. 
 
She grew a community service project into a non-profit: Youth in Action USA which became this nation’s fastest growing youth lead organization.
​
Mary-Pat is the National Youth Director for National Action Network; one of this country largest Civil Rights organizations. She can now add Peace First Prize Fellow to her list of accomplishments. She was awarded the fellowship for her national campaign call Think Twice a national campaign that educates youth on non-violence and other issues crippling her generation.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Mary-Pat Hector, Community Organizer and National Youth Director, National Action Network’s Youth Move

Mary-Pat Hector just (19) knows how to change the world. This Atlanta native and Spelman College student recently became the youngest woman and person of color to run for office in the state of Georgia. She grew a community service project into a non-profit: Youth in Action USA which became this nation’s fastest growing youth lead organization. ​ Mary-Pat is the National Youth Director for National Action Network; one of this country largest Civil Rights organizations. She can now add Peace First Prize Fellow to her list of accomplishments. She was awarded the fellowship for her national campaign call Think Twice a national campaign that educates youth on non-violence and other issues crippling her generation.

Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is Professor and Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Endowed Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds the position of Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE. Her academic career is highlighted by her focus on technology development for intelligent agents that must interact with and in a human-centered world. This work, which addresses issues in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics, has resulted in over 200 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects - from assistive robots in the home to therapy gaming apps to remote robotic exploration of extreme environments. 

She has over 20 years of R&D experience covering a number of projects that have been supported by various agencies including: National Science Foundation, Procter and Gamble, NASA, ExxonMobil, Intel, and the Grammy Foundation. 

In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of therapy and educational products for children with differing needs.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Dr. Ayanna Howard, Chair of Bioengineering, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is Professor and Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Endowed Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds the position of Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE. Her academic career is highlighted by her focus on technology development for intelligent agents that must interact with and in a human-centered world. This work, which addresses issues in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and robotics, has resulted in over 200 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects - from assistive robots in the home to therapy gaming apps to remote robotic exploration of extreme environments. She has over 20 years of R&D experience covering a number of projects that have been supported by various agencies including: National Science Foundation, Procter and Gamble, NASA, ExxonMobil, Intel, and the Grammy Foundation. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which is currently licensing technology derived from her research and has released their first suite of therapy and educational products for children with differing needs.

Meria Joel Carstarphen, Ed.D, is superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. She brings to Atlanta an impressive record in transformative educational leadership that has led to significant student performance gains. Dr. Carstarphen has nearly 20 years of education and experience in diverse, major metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas; Saint Paul, Minn.; and the District of Columbia. In Atlanta, she leads the district’s 50,000 students, 6,300 employees and 98 learning sites and oversees the system’s $1 billion annual budget.
 
In Atlanta, Dr. Carstarphen’s first graduation class - the cohort of 2015 – reached a high for the district’s graduation rate with 71.5 percent, more than 12 percentage points higher than the previous graduating class. That reflects similar trends in Austin, where she was superintendent of the Austin Independent School District from 2009 to 2014. With a great team, she made extraordinary achievements in academic excellence that included improved graduation rates that reached an all-time high of 84 percent and reduced dropout rates by 25 percent.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Meria Joel Carstarphen, Ed.D, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools

Meria Joel Carstarphen, Ed.D, is superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. She brings to Atlanta an impressive record in transformative educational leadership that has led to significant student performance gains. Dr. Carstarphen has nearly 20 years of education and experience in diverse, major metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas; Saint Paul, Minn.; and the District of Columbia. In Atlanta, she leads the district’s 50,000 students, 6,300 employees and 98 learning sites and oversees the system’s $1 billion annual budget. In Atlanta, Dr. Carstarphen’s first graduation class - the cohort of 2015 – reached a high for the district’s graduation rate with 71.5 percent, more than 12 percentage points higher than the previous graduating class. That reflects similar trends in Austin, where she was superintendent of the Austin Independent School District from 2009 to 2014. With a great team, she made extraordinary achievements in academic excellence that included improved graduation rates that reached an all-time high of 84 percent and reduced dropout rates by 25 percent.

Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed is the wife of the 59th and current Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed.

The First Lady is an advocate for the arts and has devoted her time to bringing greater awareness to the importance of early childhood education. She serves on boards including the Atlanta Children's Museum, the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Motherless Daughters Foundation and the nonprofit BIH.   

Mrs. Reed has received several honors and awards for her work in early childhood education and development including the Early Childhood Champion Award from Sheltering Arms Early Education and Childhood Center and she was also named a Women of Achievement by the Greater Atlanta YWCA.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed, First Lady of the City of Atlanta

Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed is the wife of the 59th and current Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed. The First Lady is an advocate for the arts and has devoted her time to bringing greater awareness to the importance of early childhood education. She serves on boards including the Atlanta Children's Museum, the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Motherless Daughters Foundation and the nonprofit BIH. Mrs. Reed has received several honors and awards for her work in early childhood education and development including the Early Childhood Champion Award from Sheltering Arms Early Education and Childhood Center and she was also named a Women of Achievement by the Greater Atlanta YWCA.

Since being sworn into office in January 2010, Keisha has represented a large portion of the historic Southwest Atlanta community as a member of the Atlanta City Council. Over the course of her service, Keisha has sponsored groundbreaking legislation that has addressed the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability and helped grow the city’s reserves from $7.4 million to nearly $150 million, in just over five years. She has also authored the toughest Panhandling legislation in the history of the city, which combines empathy with enforcement, and has resulted in offenders receiving often-needed social services to help break the cycle of recidivism. Keisha worked with colleagues to achieve the goal of 2,000 officers within the Atlanta Police force, and to successfully balance the City’s budget each year during her time on Council, without increasing taxes. 

Alongside her public service career, Keisha has maintained a private law practice for more than 20 years, and has served as General Counsel for a multi-million dollar business, as well as a Judge (Pro Hoc) in Fulton County State Court. She has worked as a legal analyst and reporter for various media outlets and has served as a guest speaker and panelist during numerous events, speaking on a variety of topics, including, law, community engagement and public policy.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta Councilmember, Atlanta Mayoral Candidate

Since being sworn into office in January 2010, Keisha has represented a large portion of the historic Southwest Atlanta community as a member of the Atlanta City Council. Over the course of her service, Keisha has sponsored groundbreaking legislation that has addressed the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability and helped grow the city’s reserves from $7.4 million to nearly $150 million, in just over five years. She has also authored the toughest Panhandling legislation in the history of the city, which combines empathy with enforcement, and has resulted in offenders receiving often-needed social services to help break the cycle of recidivism. Keisha worked with colleagues to achieve the goal of 2,000 officers within the Atlanta Police force, and to successfully balance the City’s budget each year during her time on Council, without increasing taxes. Alongside her public service career, Keisha has maintained a private law practice for more than 20 years, and has served as General Counsel for a multi-million dollar business, as well as a Judge (Pro Hoc) in Fulton County State Court. She has worked as a legal analyst and reporter for various media outlets and has served as a guest speaker and panelist during numerous events, speaking on a variety of topics, including, law, community engagement and public policy.

Dina Marto is one of music’s fastest rising entrepreneurs, having shattered gender and ethnic glass ceilings during her tenure at Island Def Jam and as an independent music executive. Named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list at just 27, Dina’s Arab-American roots make her an anomaly in a male-dominated arena, where women of her background have seen rare success. Now, the owner and operator of Atlanta-based Twelve Studios, established in 2012, she’s built one of the South’s most sought-after creative environments to produce Billboard shattering hits. In 2015, Dina received a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta and it was announced that Twelve Studios is Maybach Music Group’s new headquarters by label owner Rick Ross. She also has a formal role as counselor to the music mogul and MMG.

Dina was born in Amman, Jordan and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oglethorpe University. She actively serves the community through her philanthropic endeavors, focused on inspiring youth, women, and raising awareness about mental health.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Dina Marto, Owner/Founder, Twelve Studio

Dina Marto is one of music’s fastest rising entrepreneurs, having shattered gender and ethnic glass ceilings during her tenure at Island Def Jam and as an independent music executive. Named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list at just 27, Dina’s Arab-American roots make her an anomaly in a male-dominated arena, where women of her background have seen rare success. Now, the owner and operator of Atlanta-based Twelve Studios, established in 2012, she’s built one of the South’s most sought-after creative environments to produce Billboard shattering hits. In 2015, Dina received a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta and it was announced that Twelve Studios is Maybach Music Group’s new headquarters by label owner Rick Ross. She also has a formal role as counselor to the music mogul and MMG. Dina was born in Amman, Jordan and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oglethorpe University. She actively serves the community through her philanthropic endeavors, focused on inspiring youth, women, and raising awareness about mental health.

Candace V. Mitchell is cofounder and CEO of Techturized Inc., a high tech hair care company based in Atlanta, GA. Their consumer brand, Myavana, is a personalized hair care service that recommends products and services based on scientific analysis of consumer’s hair type and texture. She was recently named on WWD’s Top 50 Beauty Innovators Under 40, 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the category of Retail and E-Commerce, and BET’s Next In Class STEM Award Winner. She graduated from Georgia Tech in 2011 with a B.S. in Computer Science. 

Her company has been featured nationally on CNN, Headline News, BuzzFeed, ‘The Real’ daytime talk show, Marie Claire Magazine, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry show, ESSENCE magazine, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Business Insider. The visionary entrepreneur is sparking innovation in the worlds of beauty and technology as one of the first entrepreneurs chosen for the Sephora Accelerate program. Candace also currently serves as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Ascend2020 Atlanta, a technology startup and small business support ecosystem for minority-led companies throughout Metropolitan Atlanta.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Candace Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder, Techturized, Inc.

Candace V. Mitchell is cofounder and CEO of Techturized Inc., a high tech hair care company based in Atlanta, GA. Their consumer brand, Myavana, is a personalized hair care service that recommends products and services based on scientific analysis of consumer’s hair type and texture. She was recently named on WWD’s Top 50 Beauty Innovators Under 40, 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the category of Retail and E-Commerce, and BET’s Next In Class STEM Award Winner. She graduated from Georgia Tech in 2011 with a B.S. in Computer Science. Her company has been featured nationally on CNN, Headline News, BuzzFeed, ‘The Real’ daytime talk show, Marie Claire Magazine, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry show, ESSENCE magazine, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, and Business Insider. The visionary entrepreneur is sparking innovation in the worlds of beauty and technology as one of the first entrepreneurs chosen for the Sephora Accelerate program. Candace also currently serves as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Ascend2020 Atlanta, a technology startup and small business support ecosystem for minority-led companies throughout Metropolitan Atlanta.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. Marrying her management skills and strategic thinking to tackle challenging problems, she has a track record of redesigning complex organization's management infrastructures to reflect the needs of evolving strategic environments and position the organization for success.

The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she served since 2011.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy.  The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she served since 2011.

Prior to MSM, she served as dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs at Meharry Medical College where she founded and directed the Center for Women’s Health Research, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color.

Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, Dr. Montgomery Rice lends her vast
experience and talents to programs which enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse
students, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health care access and health outcomes. To this end, she holds membership in many organizations and boards such as: National Academy of Medicine, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Board of Directors for Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, Board of Directors for The Nemours Foundation, Ni-Q Medical Advisory Team, Board of Directors for UnitedHealth Group, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans.

A Georgia native, Dr. Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and an honorary degree from UMass Medical School. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, MI.

Dr. Montgomery Rice has been married to her fellow Georgia Institute of Technology alumnus, Melvin Rice, Jr., for 26 years. They have two children, Jayne, a medical student at Harvard Medical School, and Melvin, a recent graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. Marrying her management skills and strategic thinking to tackle challenging problems, she has a track record of redesigning complex organization's management infrastructures to reflect the needs of evolving strategic environments and position the organization for success. The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she served since 2011. Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she served since 2011. Prior to MSM, she served as dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs at Meharry Medical College where she founded and directed the Center for Women’s Health Research, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, Dr. Montgomery Rice lends her vast experience and talents to programs which enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse students, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health care access and health outcomes. To this end, she holds membership in many organizations and boards such as: National Academy of Medicine, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Board of Directors for Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, Board of Directors for The Nemours Foundation, Ni-Q Medical Advisory Team, Board of Directors for UnitedHealth Group, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans. A Georgia native, Dr. Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and an honorary degree from UMass Medical School. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, MI. Dr. Montgomery Rice has been married to her fellow Georgia Institute of Technology alumnus, Melvin Rice, Jr., for 26 years. They have two children, Jayne, a medical student at Harvard Medical School, and Melvin, a recent graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design.

Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the Founder and CEO of EnrichHER, a platform created to provide funding opportunities for the vastly-underserved women-led business community.  Dr. Novellus has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc. WSJ, and Rolling Out. She has also completed the Pipeline Angels Fellowship, a Kauffman program in angel investing. Roshawnna serves on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta, and was honored as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Roshawnna Novellus, Founder, EnrichHER

Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the Founder and CEO of EnrichHER, a platform created to provide funding opportunities for the vastly-underserved women-led business community. Dr. Novellus has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc. WSJ, and Rolling Out. She has also completed the Pipeline Angels Fellowship, a Kauffman program in angel investing. Roshawnna serves on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta, and was honored as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Palmer’s nonprofit organization, I Will Survive, Inc. has a mission to provide prevention education, economic support, and health & wellness services to those at higher risk and those affected by breast cancer headquartered in the state of Georgia.  

I Will Survive was founded in 2010 after Palmer’s second deployment in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She has survived two tours in Iraq and felt God revealed a mission for her to serve in another way. A graduate from Georgia State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Speech Communications, she then went on to complete a Masters in Public Administration concentrating in Public Health and Nonprofit Management. 

She has served as a mentor and coach to teens and college students and will continue to serve our youth for they truly are our future. She additionally coaches breast cancer survivors to reduce stress and live healthier lives free of charge through my nonprofit organization.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Anisa Palmer MPA, CNP, CPC, Founder & Executive Director, I Will Survive, Inc.

Palmer’s nonprofit organization, I Will Survive, Inc. has a mission to provide prevention education, economic support, and health & wellness services to those at higher risk and those affected by breast cancer headquartered in the state of Georgia. I Will Survive was founded in 2010 after Palmer’s second deployment in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She has survived two tours in Iraq and felt God revealed a mission for her to serve in another way. A graduate from Georgia State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Speech Communications, she then went on to complete a Masters in Public Administration concentrating in Public Health and Nonprofit Management. She has served as a mentor and coach to teens and college students and will continue to serve our youth for they truly are our future. She additionally coaches breast cancer survivors to reduce stress and live healthier lives free of charge through my nonprofit organization.

Joy Rohadfox is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corporation (RCCSC). She became the key driver of RCCSC’s strategic direction in 2001.  Joy oversees the corporate direction of RCCSC, focusing on leadership, innovation and clients. Her versatile and broad background of marketing and construction administration has led to an impressive resume, which includes high profile contracts with state agencies, municipalities and federal agencies on a national level.  Throughout her tenure as CEO, Joy has built a reputation for developing business strategies to chart new territories and developing long lasting relationships with clients, which has created repeat business for RCCSC. 

She continues to embrace the core values of innovation, growth and integrity that her father, Dr. Ronald Rohadfox, instilled in the company.Joy has been recognized in local and national publications including, WE magazine for Women, Black Enterprise and American DBE.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Joy Rohadfox, CEO, Atlanta’s Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corp.

Joy Rohadfox is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corporation (RCCSC). She became the key driver of RCCSC’s strategic direction in 2001. Joy oversees the corporate direction of RCCSC, focusing on leadership, innovation and clients. Her versatile and broad background of marketing and construction administration has led to an impressive resume, which includes high profile contracts with state agencies, municipalities and federal agencies on a national level. Throughout her tenure as CEO, Joy has built a reputation for developing business strategies to chart new territories and developing long lasting relationships with clients, which has created repeat business for RCCSC. She continues to embrace the core values of innovation, growth and integrity that her father, Dr. Ronald Rohadfox, instilled in the company.Joy has been recognized in local and national publications including, WE magazine for Women, Black Enterprise and American DBE.

Katerina Taylor is a 15-year veteran in the financial services industry. An entrepreneur, and community advocate, she also served as vice president for SunTrust Bank from 2003-2012. Where Taylor successfully designed and executed business growth and development strategies, and created and facilitated training programs for more than 500 regional and local bank managers.   

Taylor became the first woman president and CEO in the Chamber's 79-year history in 2014.  The chamber’s core focus is to work with businesses across DeKalb and metro Atlanta, focusing on business growth, economic and workforce development, community outreach, education initiatives, business and public advocacy and Entrepreneurship. Taylor currently serves as Chair for the DeKalb Thrives Steering Committee, DeKalb Thrives is the county’s strategic plan to improve the business climate, enhance quality of place, and revitalize commercial corridors and employment centers.
Actively engaged in the community, Taylor serves on the board of directors for United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA), and many others.  As a strong advocate for women, Taylor is the immediate past Chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Women’s Society and served as Chair for the 2015 Leading a Life of Purpose Women in Philanthropy annual event.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Katerina Taylor, President, Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce

Katerina Taylor is a 15-year veteran in the financial services industry. An entrepreneur, and community advocate, she also served as vice president for SunTrust Bank from 2003-2012. Where Taylor successfully designed and executed business growth and development strategies, and created and facilitated training programs for more than 500 regional and local bank managers. Taylor became the first woman president and CEO in the Chamber's 79-year history in 2014. The chamber’s core focus is to work with businesses across DeKalb and metro Atlanta, focusing on business growth, economic and workforce development, community outreach, education initiatives, business and public advocacy and Entrepreneurship. Taylor currently serves as Chair for the DeKalb Thrives Steering Committee, DeKalb Thrives is the county’s strategic plan to improve the business climate, enhance quality of place, and revitalize commercial corridors and employment centers. Actively engaged in the community, Taylor serves on the board of directors for United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA), and many others. As a strong advocate for women, Taylor is the immediate past Chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Women’s Society and served as Chair for the 2015 Leading a Life of Purpose Women in Philanthropy annual event.

Tori M. Silas serves as Privacy Officer and Senior Counsel with Cox Enterprises, Inc., a leading communications, media and automotive services company.   Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Cox Enterprises is the parent company to Cox Communications, Inc., Cox Automotive, Inc. and Cox Media Group, LLC.   At Cox Enterprises, Ms. Silas is primarily responsible for privacy and data security compliance, corporate transactions and new media matters.

Prior to joining Cox Enterprises, Tori was Corporate Counsel with Harland Clarke Corp.  At Harland Clarke, she managed Harland Clarke’s regional legal department and was responsible for corporate transactions, intellectual property matters, privacy and data security compliance and corporate governance and subsidiary management.

Ms. Silas was also previously in private practice with Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Atlanta, Georgia and Cox & Smith in San Antonio, Texas.   Prior to attending law school, Tori worked as a consultant in the financial services industry.  She is a member of the Georgia and Texas state bar associations.  In 2013, Ms. Silas was named to the Fulton County Daily Report’s “40 Under 40 On the Rise” list, recognizing top attorneys in the State of Georgia under 40 years of age.  Ms. Silas was also recently named to Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and the Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Toronda "Tori" M. Silas, Senior Counsel, Cox Enterprises and President, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA)

Tori M. Silas serves as Privacy Officer and Senior Counsel with Cox Enterprises, Inc., a leading communications, media and automotive services company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Cox Enterprises is the parent company to Cox Communications, Inc., Cox Automotive, Inc. and Cox Media Group, LLC. At Cox Enterprises, Ms. Silas is primarily responsible for privacy and data security compliance, corporate transactions and new media matters. Prior to joining Cox Enterprises, Tori was Corporate Counsel with Harland Clarke Corp. At Harland Clarke, she managed Harland Clarke’s regional legal department and was responsible for corporate transactions, intellectual property matters, privacy and data security compliance and corporate governance and subsidiary management. Ms. Silas was also previously in private practice with Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Atlanta, Georgia and Cox & Smith in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to attending law school, Tori worked as a consultant in the financial services industry. She is a member of the Georgia and Texas state bar associations. In 2013, Ms. Silas was named to the Fulton County Daily Report’s “40 Under 40 On the Rise” list, recognizing top attorneys in the State of Georgia under 40 years of age. Ms. Silas was also recently named to Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and the Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.

As the founding Executive Director of the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), Theia Washington Smith’s passion lies in championing for equal access to economic self‐sufficiency for women and girls, particularly those whose talent is often overlooked and undersourced.  

As the director of the only city‐funded initiative of its kind in the nation, Theia was appointed to her position by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to conceptualize, design and execute a rigorous solution to equalizing opportunities for entrepreneurial advancement for women business owners in Atlanta. Within the first six months of Theia’s leadership, WEI’s cumulative effect included attracting resource support from Goldman Sachs’ 10K Small Business initiative, equity involvement from Atlanta‐based Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, technology sponsorship from Microsoft and the convening of an advisory board comprised of some of the nation’s leading business influencers, including Carol Tome’, CFO of The Home Depot, as the board’s chairperson.  

Theia oversees the totality of services WEI offers including its incubator competition – a community‐wide campaign to provide company‐building, early stage women entrepreneurs with designated office space in a technologically‐advanced incubator, designed to invigorate them with the resources, mentorship engagement and collaborative workspace critical to growing their businesses, at no cost to them, for a 15 month period. She works to galvanize synergistic support from the public, private and education communities, to amplify the initiative’s key objective of intersecting untapped opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship with emerging women business owners for inclusion in the economic landscape of Atlanta and beyond.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Theia Washington Smith, Founding Executive Director, WEI, City of Atlanta

As the founding Executive Director of the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), Theia Washington Smith’s passion lies in championing for equal access to economic self‐sufficiency for women and girls, particularly those whose talent is often overlooked and undersourced. As the director of the only city‐funded initiative of its kind in the nation, Theia was appointed to her position by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to conceptualize, design and execute a rigorous solution to equalizing opportunities for entrepreneurial advancement for women business owners in Atlanta. Within the first six months of Theia’s leadership, WEI’s cumulative effect included attracting resource support from Goldman Sachs’ 10K Small Business initiative, equity involvement from Atlanta‐based Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, technology sponsorship from Microsoft and the convening of an advisory board comprised of some of the nation’s leading business influencers, including Carol Tome’, CFO of The Home Depot, as the board’s chairperson. Theia oversees the totality of services WEI offers including its incubator competition – a community‐wide campaign to provide company‐building, early stage women entrepreneurs with designated office space in a technologically‐advanced incubator, designed to invigorate them with the resources, mentorship engagement and collaborative workspace critical to growing their businesses, at no cost to them, for a 15 month period. She works to galvanize synergistic support from the public, private and education communities, to amplify the initiative’s key objective of intersecting untapped opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship with emerging women business owners for inclusion in the economic landscape of Atlanta and beyond.

While attending different networking events in Atlanta, Diamonde found that she was meeting tons of incredibly brilliant and talented women that were hustling to live their dreams, and building  unique businesses. She also found that she loved working in television production. After working for television networks such as OWN, VH1, USA and WETv, as a producer, Diamonde Williamson made it her mission to redefine what we know as reality tv by creating feel-good programming for multicultural women through her streaming network, Blossom. 

Her work with female entrepreneurs, girl bosses and tastemakers to produce content for their businesses as well as content for her network through Blossom:Studios, has created an unique opportunity for Diamonde to merge her passion for empowering women and producing video content.
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Diamonde Williamson, Diversity Coordinator, TechSquare Labs and Founder, Blossom

While attending different networking events in Atlanta, Diamonde found that she was meeting tons of incredibly brilliant and talented women that were hustling to live their dreams, and building unique businesses. She also found that she loved working in television production. After working for television networks such as OWN, VH1, USA and WETv, as a producer, Diamonde Williamson made it her mission to redefine what we know as reality tv by creating feel-good programming for multicultural women through her streaming network, Blossom. Her work with female entrepreneurs, girl bosses and tastemakers to produce content for their businesses as well as content for her network through Blossom:Studios, has created an unique opportunity for Diamonde to merge her passion for empowering women and producing video content.

Tanya Mendoza, GDA Planning Editor, FOX 5/ WAGA TV
The List: 25 Women Mobilizing the Atlanta Community
Tanya Mendoza, GDA Planning Editor, FOX 5/ WAGA TV

Walker’s Legacy, a global platform for the professional and entrepreneurial multicultural woman, is proud to announce the recipients of its Annual Atlanta #WLPower25 Awards hosted by WeWork

#WLPower25 Atlanta Award recipients are women who have thrived in an array of industries including technology, media, corporate, business, and education and are committed to the improvement of their local community.

You may learn more about this year’s awardees and their transformative work in the gallery and RSVP to attend the awards reception on Thursday, October 12, 2017, here

Kesi Felton

Communications Intern

Kési Felton is a sophomore Journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia. This year she serves as the Senior Editor for Her Campus Howard Chapter. She also works with the Cathy Hughes School of Communications Student Council as the Assistant Director of the Freshman Mentoring Program. In addition to writing her own personal blog, she has written articles for Walker's Legacy and Pretty Girls Sweat, LLC. Through writing and journalism, Kési hopes to share the stories of underrepresented groups, starting with Black women.

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