WOMAN OF POWER AWARD
Owner/Consulting Partner ·
P. Sherrod & Co.
The Woman of Power Award is the National Women's Empowerment Ministry's highest women's empowerment award that recognizes the woman who has made the greatest stride in redefining influence and is changing the way our country thinks about women leading across multiple platforms.
Donna King is the Chief Visionary Officer and Head Designer of P. Sherrod & Co., an Atlanta-based leather lifestyle brand founded in late. 2009. While traveling on vacation in South America with a friend, they came across a small family owned leather manufacturer. Moved by the beautiful, brilliant, and supple Colombian leather, her entrepreneurial and creative spirit kicked in and it was only a matter of time before P. Sherrod was born.
Donna has a background in sales and marketing. Prior to the founding of P. Sherrod & Co., she worked in the field of journalism and later worked in IT. She consistently draws on her corporate experiences and love of fashion as an inspiration to continue to build the P. Sherrod & Co, brand.
EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN IN COLLABORATION AWARD
Chris & Lea
Design My Investment
The Extraordinary Women In Collaboration Award recognizes women who are empowered by the importance of effective collaborative relationships within and across disciplines to tackle difficult issues. These women exemplify what is working and what is possible when two parties come together to achieve a shared goal. Additionally, This award honors individuals who have been inspirational to Black Women worldwide by shattering barriers and creating opportunities for a new generation of women.
Design My Investment is an interior design firm started in 2020! With over 25 years of combined experience, these women have a love for curating spaces like you’ve never seen. Chris is the “dare to be different” designer and Lea is the “calm before the storm”. We’ve said all of that to say, they are the perfect melting pot of eclecticism, modernism, contemporary, transitional and timeless spaces.
Design My Investment was created to give residential and commercial clients intentionally designed spaces that never make you regret the property purchase you made.
EXECUTIVE WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Strategic Programming Initiatives National Black MBA Association
The Executive Woman of the Year Award recognizes a woman who has distinguished herself in business over a lifetime, demonstrating excellence and leadership in business throughout her career and community.
Paula Fontana was created to inspire and motivate others to be the best version of themselves in both her personal life through motivational spoken word, as well as her professional life through targeted programming at the National Black MBA Association.
Paula’s commitment to understanding member needs and creating initiatives and programming to fill those needs, intertwined with her passion for impacting and enriching lives provides the platform to make an impactful difference in serving National Black MBA Association® members. Paula uses her gift of motivational speaking at conferences, seminars, and on LPs for a variety of artists. You can also find her delivering a daily word on social media platforms IG (@paulafontana3) & TikTok (@iampaulafontana).
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AWARD
President and Chief Tax Officer
The Economic Empowerment Award recognizes an individual or a company’s work to empower individuals through economic and business empowerment initiatives. The economic focus may include financial inclusion, financial literacy, women’s economic empowerment, small and medium-sized business empowerment, diversity and inclusion, or job skills training.
Alysha Harvey, CEO and founder of Distinct Tax Consulting Group stands out as the first black woman awarded as a Certified Tax Strategist by AICTP. With over a decade of experience, this business consultant, tax strategist, and accountant has an impressive education from Savannah State University and Kennesaw State University. As an IRS Enrolled Agent, Alysha has propelled numerous small businesses to success, elevating them to multi-million dollar ventures.
An acclaimed author of "Risk it All: Wounds to Wisdom," she offers strategic advice to entrepreneurs, combining courage with humility. Raised in Georgia, her diverse organizational affiliations highlight her community commitment. At Distinct Tax Consulting Group, she fosters a culture of excellence and client satisfaction.
Alysha's commitment to female entrepreneurship led to the Girlfriend Tribe program and Fearless HERoes, providing business education and financial support. Her dedication has garnered multiple accolades, making her a source of inspiration in the entrepreneurial world.
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD
Dr. Dionne Cowan
Executive Director, The Principals Center
Clinical Assistant Professor
Georgia State University
The Excellence in Educational Leadership Award recognizes outstanding women school leaders and school district leaders and the vital role they play in guiding students and schools to excellence.
Dr. Dionne Cowan, a native of Dallas, TX, is called to be a problem solver in a world of problem makers. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Principals Center and a Clinical Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at Georgia State University. Additionally, Dionne serves as the Board President of STE(A)M Truck, Atlanta. Her life’s work and research interests include building a legacy of educational equity, creating exceptional educational outcomes for boys and young men of color, and championing the movement to dismantle the school to prison
Dr. Cowan’s journey over the past two and a half decades has afforded her the opportunity to serve as an elementary and middle school teacher, district numeracy trainer, public and private school principal and assistant principal respectively, director of education for a private learning center, and higher education faculty member and administrator.
Dr. Cowan earned a B.A. in Child Development from Spelman College and a M.A. and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University. She is the Founder and CEO of Dionne
Ink, LLC, an educational firm that helps leaders strategically leave their mark, or ink, on the world through coaching, consulting, and curating.
BUSINESS WOMAN ON THE MOVE AWARD
CEO and Founder
Occasions on Main
The Business Woman on The Move Award is presented to an individual who's recently promoted, accomplished a big career goal, or even exceeded margins in her own business. Additionally, they exemplify a strong sense of self, a success-driven work ethic, and the extraordinary accomplishments to show for it.
Maxine Baptiste, a formidable force shaped by resilience, emerged victorious from the shadows of adversity, leaving an indelible mark as a beacon of success in the entrepreneurial world.
Originating from a modest background in Toronto, Canada, Maxine's unyielding determination led her to Atlanta, where she embarked on a remarkable journey. After garnering invaluable experience in leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies, Maxine took the bold step of launching her own event planning business in November 2012. This venture reached its zenith with the acquisition and transformation of a historic landmark just east of Atlanta into two exquisite event spaces, infusing
vitality into the community's heart.
Maxine's narrative is a testament to her adeptness at turning challenges into opportunities, a prowess showcased when she was recently invited as a panelist at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business. There, she shared her wisdom, emphasizing that with unwavering tenacity and a dream, anyone can rewrite their narrative and make a lasting impact on the world.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH LEADERSHIP AWARD
Dr. Gail James
Certified Clinical Therapist
The Behavioral Health Leadership Award recognizes a female leader in mental health or a substance use treatment counselor, provider, and/or an organization that is saving lives, and helping communities thrive by paving the way for progress through mental wellness and awareness..
Dr. Gail James is a Certified Clinical therapist, specializing in trauma, grief and substance abuse. She is a motivational speaker, pastor, best-selling author, entrepreneur, CEO, domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse advocate.
As a public speaking expert, author, coach, and mental health clinician, she offers a rich reservoir of expertise and wisdom that equips clients with the skills and confidence to conquer their challenges, in both the private and public sectors. As a mental health clinician, she feels called to assist each and every individual to recognize they are priceless and loved beyond words.
Dr. Gail James is led to empower others to achieve their goals so they can wake up every day with determination and go to sleep every night with satisfaction!
OUTSTANDING WOMAN IN BUSINESS AWARD
Thomas Williams Management
Real Estate & Community Association Management
The Outstanding Women In Business Award is presented to an individual who has been in business for 10 years or more and exemplifies several traits — a strong sense of self, a success-driven work ethic, and the extraordinary accomplishments to show for it.
NaTasha Cameron has been a leader in her community understanding that true leaders create other leaders. She consistently pulls others and she climbs and has been a resource for many women in business to grow and scale their business.
NaTasha is a serial entrepreneur and has been in the property management field since 2000 and open her own company in 2012, celebrating 10 years in business as the ONLY black woman-owned GDOT approved vendor in the Atlanta metropolitan area that services HOA's, condos, commercial buildings, and Georgia Department of Transportation.
Additionally, NaTasha serves her community with her non-profit - Camerons Angels where she helps empower, educate and engage women on their journey to entrepreneurship. She also serves on several local Chambers and as the Chairwoman for her local high school council.
ANEDRA S. WILLIAMS -
MILLENIAL OF THE YEAR AWARD
Monica Nelldra Allen
The ASW Millennial of The Year Award is presented to a dynamic individual who is a young professional that contributes to the community through public service, make significant strides in business sectors, or serve as cultural a
Nelldra Allen was born on US territory in Frankfurt, Germany while her father served in the army. Her upbringing in a military family and consistently attending church contributed to her love for helping others in the community. This love for the community was further established as she taught math and science in Gwinnett County Public schools for 6 years. After pursuing various ventures as a stay-at-home mom she fell into real estate and a new journey began.
As a successful Realtor® and Associate Broker, she noticed a strong need for assistance in the Black and Hispanic community. Seeing problems as unaddressed challenges, Nelldra and her husband Brian started Purposely Covering the Gap, Inc., a non profit organization that provides educational and financial support to the underrepresented members of the local community.
Nelldra is proudly devoted to making a difference through her work, ministering to her family and serving God through her dedication to helping others.
BLACK GIRL MAGIC AWARD
Co-founder and Co-Executive Director at NoirUnited International
The Black Girl Magic Award honors and celebrates women in business such as ; senior level executives, entrepreneurs, and CEOs below age 40 for their creativity and business development. These women have mastered their industries and are admired by the business community.
Macire Aribot is an emerging global leader and advocate for social and economic justice for the African diaspora. Raised in Atlanta, GA, by immigrant parents from The Republic of Guinea, Macire is the Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of NoirUnited International. Macire helped lead NoirUnited's humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis, supporting African and other third-country nationals displaced by the war with assistance.
Prior to NoirUnited, Macire worked at the National Democratic Institute to strengthen government transparency, electoral processes, and youth political and civil society leadership in Central and West Africa and Southern and East Africa.
Macire is a recent graduate from Columbia University's School of International Affairs, where she received her Master of International Affairs in Economic and Political Development with a specialization in African studies. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Global Development Studies from Mercer University.
WOMEN IN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP AWARD
Pastor Shunnae McBride
Founder, Meeting in the Ladies Room
Co-Founder, Tabernacle of Praise Church International
The Women In Ministry Leadership Award is presented to a clergywoman with exceptional leadership capabilities - whose wisdom, resilience, courage, and creativity build up ministries, and communities, mentor or develop women, and/or empower others.
Pastor Shunnae McBride is a captivating and sought-after inspirational speaker who delivers a profound message of hope, healing, and deliverance. With a dynamic blend of candid wit and authenticity, Shunnae McBride embarks on a mission to liberate the captives-not just in the physical realm but mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even financially.
Pastor Shunnae is the visionary and founder of Meeting in the Ladies Room (MITLR), where she focuses on unity, empowerment, and holistic healing for women from all walks of life. This women-centered organization serves as a catalyst for transformation, nurturing a safe space where women come together to share their journeys, embrace their individuality, and embark on a journey of profound self-discovery in God. Central to her impact is the magnetic pull of the "Girls' Night Out" women's services as sanctuary of healing, sisterhood, and collective growth. Outside of ministering,
Pastor Shunnae's passion for nurturing young minds led to the birth of Metamorphosis Mentorship, a ground breaking initiative tailored for women aged 20-35. Through this mentorship program, she plants seeds of wisdom, igniting a ripple effect that spans generations.
Pastor Shunnae stands along side her husband, co-founding the Tabernacle of Praise Church International in metro Atlanta. She is a devoted mother to three remarkable children and the wife of Pastor Timothy McBride. Pastor Shunnae McBride is not just an inspirational speaker; she is the embodiment of metamorphosis itself.
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Vice President of Public Affairs
National Math and Science Initiative
The Innovator of The Year Award recognizes and celebrates a woman innovator who introduces new methods, ideas, or products in the business, government, or academia and who is a leader in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Nichole Austion is a seasoned B2B marketing leader with over two decades of experience at industry giants like IBM, Dell, Sabre Holdings, Teradata, and Acuity Brands. Known for crafting successful revenue-generating marketing strategies, she is recognized as a visionary marketer adept at navigating the complexities of modern business.
In addition to her corporate success, Nichole is a dedicated advocate for STEM education. Currently affiliated with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), she leads government relations and marketing teams, advancing NMSI's mission to enhance STEM education nationwide. Nichole actively participates in national STEM policy convenings, championing policies for innovation and excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
In 2023, Nichole collaborated with astronaut Bernard Harris Jr., former CEO of NMSI, to organize the "From STEM to the Stars" community event. This event, highlighting their commitment to inspiring Black youth in STEM and aerospace, featured an education panel, astronaut insights, and hands-on activities for young participants. Nichole holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Howard University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is happily married to Dwight Austion, and they are proud parents to their 15-year-old son, Jude.