Pan African Trade Conference - CONFERENCE NEWSLETTER

Conference Schedule*

September 24, 2018
California State Capitol ~ Room 126 
Sacramento 95814

Pan African Global Trade and Investment Week Informational Briefing
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM 
Join us as we kick off Pan African Global Trade and Commerce Week with a briefing in Room 126 at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. 

September 27, 2018 
California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) 
Loker Student Union   

8:00 AM - Urban Issues Breakfast Forum 
                                      Pan African Arts, Culture Economics                                        Mervyn Dymally African American Political & Economic Institute 
& the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Cultural Affairs    

10:00 AM - Amos Wilson Panel
A Global Economic Vision for Black America: A Twentieth Anniversary Reexamination of Amos Wilson's Blueprint for Black Power 
CSUDH Dept of Africana Studies

11:00 AM - African Diaspora Relations Panel
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus Engagement with the African Union, International Diaspora Organizations and Africa Policy Institutes
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus
12 noon - Luncheon Presentation:  
Building an Africana International Studies Program: Pathways to Forging Global Trade & Foreign Investment in Africa & The Pan African Diaspora
CSUDH Africana Studies Department
1:00 PM - Concurrent Afternoon Sessions  
Global Perspectives on Education, Entrepreneurship & Wealth Creation    
CSUDH Entrepreneurial Institute  
Bilateral Foreign Direct Investment in Africa & The African Diaspora  
The Carson Creek Ranch Agricultural & Food Processing Center   

2:00 PM - African Business & Investment Opportunities
North Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal, Botswana  

3:30 PM - Business Pitch Competition 
CSUDH Entrepreneurial Institute   

6:00 PM - Business Network Reception   

September 28, 2018 
Leimert Park Village  

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM - Bilateral Foreign Direct Investment 
in Africa & The African Diaspora
The Development and Expansion of the Leimert Park Village
The Carson Creek Ranch Agricultural & Food Processing Center
California Business Portal Presentation: EB5 Foreign Direct Investment Program
Awinish Bawle, Deputy Director of International Affairs & Trade Development 
Governors Office of Business & Economic Development

Pan African Arts, Culture and Economics Panels

Special Thanks to the following 
Participating Speakers/Panelists and 
Conference Organizers

Dr. David Horne is a tenured full professor of Critical Thinking and African and is the former chair of the Pan African Studies Department at Cal State University Northridge. He also teaches graduate public policy and introductory political and is the graduate advisor for the department. He is the original Executive Director of the California African American Political Institute at CSU Northridge and the former Executive Director of the revised California African American Political and Economic Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Currently, he is the Director of the Pan African Public Policy Institute housed in the of Pan African Studies at Cal State and is the Co-Founder and political consultant to the newly formed “Council of Black Political Organizations”  (COBPO).

Dr. Donna J. Nicol is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at California State University Dominguez Hills. Dr. Nicol earned her doctorate degree in Social and Cultural Foundations of Higher Education from The Ohio State University (with a specialization in African American higher history and a graduate minor in African American Studies) in 2007. Prior to coming to Dominguez Hills, she was the first woman of color to be promoted and tenured in Women's Studies at CSU Fullerton. She worked in higher education administration for nearly a decade prior to joining the faculty ranks. Dr. Nicol’s primary research interest focuses on the role that political forces outside of the university (namely philanthropic foundations and boards of trustees) have on African Americans’ access to and success in public higher education institutions. She has written and presented several papers on the historical and contemporary uses and abuses of philanthropy in American higher education as it pertains to attempts to eliminate Africana Studies and other ethnic studies programs in the United States. Her secondary field of interest centers on African American women as faculty and educational leaders and the ways they must wrestle with a specific type of “cultural-identity taxation” which affects not only their ability to be successful teachers, scholars and university administrators but also affects the quality of their personal lives, health general well-being.

In February, 2018, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad became the Executive Director of the Mervyn Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, a non-partisan research think tank studying the history of African Americans in politics in California and the economic effects of public policy on African American communities. Recently retired, Dr. Samad is a Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at East Los Angeles College since 1996. Dr. Samad is also President of Samad and Associates, a strategic planning/urban affairs firm founded in 1991 that specializes in the management of public policy, formulation of economic development, urban culture studies & assessment of race issues.

Dr. Samad’s civic engagements and community involvements include serving as Managing Director and host of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles—a popular bi-monthly public affairs forum ( the past 19 years, “the forum” has hosted over 125 of the nation’s top newsmakers including (now President) Barack Obama. Dr. Samad is also a past President of both the Los Angeles NAACP (1988-89) and 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Inc. (2007-2009). Dr. Samad is a Distinguished Service Chapter member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity (fraternity’s highest honor), a Past Master and 33 Degree Prince Hall Mason (highest honor) and is a member of the Gamma Zeta Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Author/columnist/scholar, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is the author of six books, numerous scholarly articles and is one of the most read featured columnists in the African American press today. 

Samad has a Bachelor of Arts degree (Communications) from Cal State University at Los Angeles, Master of Arts in Public Administration (Public Finance specialization) from the University of Southern California, a second Master of Arts Degree, in Political Economy and Ph.D. in Political Science from the Claremont Graduate University’s School of Politics and Economics.

James Burks is the founder and CEO of the African Marketplace which is developed, designed, created, and implemented as a planned commerce/entertainment tourist destination in Los Angeles that made the "List of Top 100 Events in North America in 1996 and 2002. The month-long theme park successfully bridged relations between cultures of the African Diaspora and became one of the largest attractions annually in Los Angeles. The organization diversified its tentacles to create the Global Cinema & Urban Media Initiative with an annual conference for Pan African Film Festivals in Brazil, France, and Los Angeles. The growth of the Marketplace commercial retail and cottage merchants led to a desire for a year-round presence formed the premise for the African Marketplace Import Export Centers with a 10,000 and 4,000 square foot stores in two Malls in LA County. The design and development of the "Shop Africa and the Caribbean" on the Home Shopping Network; The African American Tourism and Hospitality Council in Greater Los Angeles; The International African Marketplace & World Center an accepted development in the City of San Francisco, California; The African Marketplace Small Business Center in Los Angeles; and the Pan African Global Trade and Investment Conference in Partnership with the Africa-USA International Chamber of Commerce. The African Marketplace sponsored the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica, partnered with Cultural Engineering in Dubai to provide consultation to the concert industry; and with the Ford Foundation to meet with Indigenous Hawaiians, on the design and development of Indigenous Village in Hawaii. Additional work included panelist for the Ford Foundation Cultural Tourism forums in Trinidad, Salvador, South Africa, Chicago, and France.

Dr. Salim Faraji was the founding Executive Director of the Masters of Arts in International Studies Africa Program (MAIS Africa) in West Africa at Concordia University Irvine where he forged links between academia, the private sector civic organizations in the development of emerging global leaders.  He has served as an external reviewer for the Management Science at the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.  He is a Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills and is both an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a priest-initiate in Akan Traditional Healing and Spirituality.  He is a member of the Society for Nubian Studies and specializes in early Christian history, Africana and Africanist historiography, Coptic and Nubian Studies.  He is one of a handful of Nubiologists in the United States and is the author of Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh among other publications. 

Mike Grimshaw has over 30 years’ senior level sales and management experience in the highly competitive technology industry with industry leaders IBM, Cisco, Nortel Unisys. At IBM he helped successfully launch several new strategic products and won numerous sales and recognition awards for his contributions. Mike was the founder and President of Pace Data and the US President of Israeli based RAD Network Devices. Mike has proven success in the challenge of bringing innovative start-up companies - Equinox Networks, Cascade, Shasta Networks and Ellacoya to acquisition or IPO. Some of his specific accomplishments include: Built pipeline in a dormant region to over $6M within first 6 months (VanguardMS); Hired sales team in 30 days and closed 90% of initial business for the company (Ellacoya); Start-up business development and sales, which led to  $340M sale of company to Nortel (Shasta); Managed 20 person regional sales/ team and grew annual business over 100% to $50M (Cisco); Negotiated and won competitive $7 million deal with key service provider (Cascade); Closed 6 volume purchase agreements with Fortune 100 corporations worth $8M (Andrew Corp); Promoted 6 times in 3 different divisions (IBM)

Errol St. Clair Smith the Executive Producer at BAM Education Radio a 20+ year veteran of traditional media. He has authored four books, wrote for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, and spent three years as a radio talk show host at KIEV in Los Angeles. Worked for seven years as an “on air” political commentator and co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning program, Life and Times, on PBS television in Los Angeles. Nominated for four Emmy Awards since 1998 and received an Emmy Award in 2002 for work as a business reporter at KTLA television in Hollywood, California. Started an online network in 1996, expanded its reach into 140 countries and five languages before selling the venture to a publicly traded company in 1999. Co-founded of BAM Education Radio Network, the largest all-education talk radio network. BAM Radio has produced and currently airs programming for the nation's leading education associations. His specialties include new media content production, syndication, and network development, and evolving innovative business models in the emerging areas of digital media, social media, e-commerce, education trends, education technology, Nanocasting, Podcasting, IP radio, traditional media, start-up ventures, and global business development.

Constance Jackson is the /Production & Engineering Director of Media Health Technologies, LLC (MHT) an early stage research and development company in healthcare technology platform integration, with an emphasis on patient/provider engagement features that are culturally-centered She was also the President/CEO of Permanent Productions and producer of the documentary films that delved deep into the underlying factors that make up the nuances of an individual and a country. She was also the President/CEO of Permanent Patients Inc a Healthcare Management & Marketing Co. for physician-centered patient care in which she was a strategic leadership process organizer for public/private partnerships of various physicians in under-represented communities.

Dr. Jim Katzenstein serves as an international consultant, educator and organization systems design expert to bring telehealth solutions to the developing world. His consulting strategy brings together an international group of equal partners who develop solutions to problems within the developing world. They then provide access to knowledge and skills from both the developed and the developing world to make these solutions a reality. He utilizes an educational infrastructure, low-technology communications systems, and a collaborative knowledge-sharing model for developing countries to become more self-reliant. He has done extensive research and testing of these concepts in connection with the Fielding Institute, California State University, Dominguez Hills and numerous hospitals and universities in various African countries.  He is a member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and former chair of the Human Factors Special Interest Group (SIG) within the ATA. Dr. Katzenstein is a lecturer of business and International Program Specialist at California State University, Dominguez Hills, College of Business Administration and Public Policy. His extensive business experience in senior management positions at companies such as Keebler Foods, Laura Scudder's Inc., A&P Grocery Company and General Cinema brings a unique perspective to the application of organization systems design in the business environment.Dr. Katzenstein holds a doctorate in organizational systems from the Fielding Graduate University, as well as an MA in Organization Development and a Masters in Business Administration

Gary L. Polk, Sr. is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of the brand new Innovation Incubator at Calfornia State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH).  Also, since 2001, Gary has served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Management, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship at CSUDH.  Gary began his teaching career at Cal State Univ. Northridge. in 1991 earned his BA in Marketing from Loyola Marymount University and his Master’s degree at CSUDH. The quote that most personifies Gary comes from Gandhi, “Live as if you were going to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were going to live forever.” 

spent most of his 15 years of business as an entrepreneur with a two-year stint at a non-profit. Ricardo’s experience has spanned advisory responsibilities within the Fortune 100, International Corporations, LA’s start-up eco-system, his own start-up ventures and extensive involvement with Southern California’s non-profit community. As Managing Director and Founder of Vnesto Capital, Ricardo is responsible for overseeing operations of US Los Angeles offices, South Korea’s Seoul office, and Cuenca Ecuador office.  Vnesto Capital is a financial services firm arranging debt and equity funding for projects in emerging markets.  Throughout, he brings a disciplined and analytic real-world perspective to all of his deals and projects. Ricardo was a Business Development Officer for CHARO Community Development Corporation and oversaw the Business Financial Center, which was funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Ricardo is involved in many different community organizations and currently is an active Board Member and past Vice President of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Past Board Treasurer for ArtShare Los Angeles – a nonprofit educating youth through the arts. Additionally, Ricardo was a Founding Member of the New America Alliance Emerging Leaders Los Angeles, a membership driven non-profit that is comprised of prominent American Latino entrepreneurs and business leaders who are committed to giving back to the community. Mr. Tejada also volunteers as a financial coach for the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Southern California Program.
Robert Lewis is the President/Board Chair of the Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF). BCIF is California’s only community-based, nonprofit organization that focuses solely on providing microloans to African Americans by pooling dollars from individuals who are passionate about empowering the community, with a specific focus on communities in the Southern California region. Robert has almost 25 years of professional experience working in philanthropy and the nonprofit human and social services sector in various capacities.  Robert is the Principal Consultant for NEX-Impact, a boutique management consulting group that provides relevant and culturally competent capacity building and technical assistance services to nonprofit organizations and helps social investors better engage and support nonprofits. Prior to NEX-Impact, Robert was the architect of the Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM) Initiative at the California Community Foundation (CCF). In this role, he served as director and led the research, development, and implementation of a grantmaking effort focused on re-directing Black male youth who have been involved with the L.A. County probation system toward improved employment and educational opportunities. Before joining CCF, he served as a program director for programs in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Robert received a bachelor’s in sociology from Occidental College and a master’s in social work with a concentration in administration and management from Howard University. Robert serves on local nonprofit boards and is actively involved in several community-based efforts geared toward improving the lives of marginalized communities, particularly the Black community.  Robert brings various perspectives to his work: investor, “no box” critical thinker, service provider, concerned citizen, and L.A. resident.  These qualities position him as a unique and compelling voice across various L.A. communities, and beyond.

Chidinma Menakaya, President of Menakaya Ministries & United Visions International Entertainment was born on April 23rd in Dallas, Texas to parents originally from Anambra State in Nigeria. She is the oldest of 6 and went to Nigeria for the first time at 16 to attend secondary school in Nkpor, Nigeria. She returned to the USA to acquire a Bachelors in Communications and a Masters in Management – Marketing. Chidinma was the number 1 renewing Account Manager/Director every single month and at she held throughout her 10-year corporate career. While working at Groupon she blew through her quarterly renewal goals of 300k to close over 3 Million each quarter. While at Groupon, Chidinma closed their largest deal in the company history and was mentioned on Walmart's earnings call. Never one to shy away from bold moves, she relocated to Los Angeles in 2014 from Washington, DC after pitching her marketing skills to an entrepreneur she saw on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker TV program. He hired her the following week as Senior Vice President of Marketing for his company. After 10 years of record-breaking marketing and account management success, Chidinma decided to faithfully step out of Corporate America and work on projects that genuinely and passionately moved her. She realized her passion and purpose is to use her stellar experience in marketing/operations strategy, extensive tourist travel exposure captivating personality to dispel the negative narrative of Nigeria through entertainment content and unique tours of Africa. She also has a clothing company whose focus is on the redevelopment of the cotton cash crop in Nigeria and the production and worldwide sale of African made products.

Nneka Egbujiobi is a first-generation Nigerian-American whose parents immigrated to from Anambra state, Nigeria. She was raised in the small town of Beloit, Wisconsin, USA. Although she grew up in the USA, Nneka spent many summers in her village, Okija. Nneka is a licensed attorney in the State of California and the State of Wisconsin. She pursed her Bachelor's degree at the University of and earned her Jurist Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. After completing law school in 2012, Nneka moved to Los Angeles, California to practice law, and transition into pursuing her passions in media and technology. Working as a complex litigation attorney, Nneka has worked on multi-million dollar cases, which has resulted in settlements for tens of millions of dollars. Apart from her legal background, Nneka is an entrepreneur with a special passion for connecting Africans in the diaspora, and across the globe. Nneka is the founder and CEO of "Hello Africa" which is a dating/networking mobile application created exclusively for Africans to meet other Africans all over the world for dating, networking and/or social purposes.  

Global business leader, celebrity car builder, and speaker, Thomas “TJ” Loftin revolutionized the Low Riding and auto industry with nearly three decades of business innovation.  Former CEO, Mr. Loftin founded three successful global businesses, including Express Gold Plating, Compton Wire WheelsMolded Suspension.  Mr. Loftin is a manufacturer and distributor of auto parts and accessories.  He played a pivotal role in creating a new industry during that time.  His classic cars led him into the film industry as his cars were featured in music videos, movies, commercials television shows.  He was also invited to be on of NWA’s reunion movie, Straight Outta Compton and Driving While Black.  Mr. Loftin has been featured in and classic car magazines highlighting his industry genius.  He recently has been featured in July2018The Washington Informer in Washington, D.C. and in the July 2018Liberated Minds Black Homeschool & Education Institute, where he is a partner and advisor to the organization in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mr. Loftin also has a production company called LOF10 Productions.  Through his production company, Loftin travels the country giving Key Note speeches, panel discussions, workshops, lectures, and provides business coaching and consultations.  He also speaks on numerous panel discussions around the country with the Black College Expo.  He travels the country with his tours called The Auto Industry and Monetizing Gentrification as an expert in real estate and business investments while he trains investors to create wealth and coach people on how to monetize gentrification and create legacies.  Mr. Loftin develops educational programs by planting the seeds of entrepreneurship.  For example, he has developed a program to help the youth called TJ’s Toolbox where he teaches youth about the auto and the real estate industries.  Mr. Loftin is dedicated to educating the masses and building business owners, not employees.  He also is an advisor and partner for the Inglewood and Compton school districts. He played a pivotal role in 2017 in getting the auto shop class and other vocational classes added to Centennial H.S. in Compton, California, and participates yearly by going on automotive field trips and plans on duplicating this move with other schools globally.

Michael Harris is the Co-Chair of the California Black Agriculture Working Group who are currently developing the Leidesdorff Ranch Heritage Project in Sacramento County. This project concept was approved by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the plans to repurpose 140 acres of the closed Sacramento County Boys Ranch located near Rancho Murrieta are ready for consideration. The United States Department of Agriculture 2018 Census of Agriculture will show nationwide the importance of inclusion of both Rural and Urban Agriculture, sparked here in California impacting the #1 Agriculture region in America. The approved concept project will partner with U.C. Davis, Los Rios College District, and the Sacramento County Office of Education to maximize new opportunities in the tradition of Honorable William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. the African Founding Father of California. 1/3 of 1 percent of the California Agricultural industry is Black Agriculture and ongoing education and advocacy needed to make a difference restoring Pan African agriculture in the fertile soil of the greatest garden world. The long-term focus of Leidesdorff Ranch will be to introduce practical experience to balance agricultural education for global Pan-African youth and scholars. Globally, we are sourcing innovation and best practices to pursue K-12 education and programs for Pan African agriculture. 

Dr. Kristin M. Warren, from DeSoto County, Mississippi, is the Senior Consultant for the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) and the first African-American woman to earn a mechanical engineering from the world-renowned Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to graduate school, she worked for General Motors at the Milford Proving Grounds and then Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on machine vision systems. Dr. Warren’s doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon incorporated computational analysis and microfluidics to develop microalgal biofuels. At CMU, this Gates Millennium Scholar served as Black Graduate Student Organization president, Multicultural Student Advisory Council member to the university president, and STEM mentor to local middle schoolers. In 2016, Dr. Warren received the California Council on Science and Technology Fellowship where she worked with the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC). Within her first year, she developed the 2017 legislative agenda, which included both policy and budgetary measures, and she was the office lead on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protections, Banking and Finance, Revenue and Taxation, and Administrative Accountability. Dr. Warren was also the lead in the adoption of outreach and contracting policies for diverse businesses in the CA Department of Transportation. Now as the senior consultant to the Caucus, Dr. Warren continues to work on a myriad of topics. She is most excited to lead initiatives towards educational equity. She spearheads the CLBC Scholarship and the African American Leadership Program for the Caucus. To date, over $450 Million has been secured in the California state budget for educational initiatives as a result of her work. 

Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is an Agricultural and Cannabis Attorney based in Florida. She is General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Counsel for Green Roads of Florida, LLC, Counsel for the EOP Foundation's Medical Cannabinoid Research and Policy Institute, and General Counsel for Patience with Patients. She is an Activist and speaks Internationally at Cannabis and Agriculture Conferences. She owns a Cannabis Staffing Agency called Canna Headhunters and a Consulting firm Green Sustainable Strong.

Dr. LaWana N. Richmond, Educator, Strategist, and Futurist is an engaging and analytical leader with a passion for organizational design and development. She has experience in leading system upgrades, developments, acquisitions, and retirements as well as business process analysis and engineering. She genuinely enjoys providing people with tools and techniques to improve their lives by building trusting relationships with and between individuals to make things happen quickly and effectively.  She loves finding ways to connect goals and aspirations of individuals with the objectives and interests of the organization or team for the greater good. She currently chairs the Scholarship Committee of The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce’s Jesse Knight, Jr. Leadership and Scholarship Awards for high school seniors. The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce makes these scholarships available to support and encourage the pursuit of higher education in an effort to create avenues of opportunity for academic, social and career success. In addition to the scholarship funds recipients benefit from participation in three specific personal growth activities hosted by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce with an aim towards helping the recipients grow and develop as leaders. She is also the founder of The Afrofuturism Dream Tank, a think tank for people who want to be proactive and solution oriented towards reconnecting our past, present future with attitudes, behaviors, and choices that are in the interest of Black wellness. This gathering of creative and critical thinkers seeks to develop the dreams we have for our future as children of the African continent and diaspora, as well as generations to come to so we can reverse engineer and build the world we’d like to realize in the future in the spirit of Sankofa

Mully Lingua was founded in 2016 by Tami Garcia who was raised disconnected from her West Indian and Latino cultural heritage and language and understood the pain and loneliness that stems from that. As the parent of a daughter from Ethiopia, Tami wanted to ensure her daughter understood the culture she was born into, the culture she was being raised in and had access to meaningful language and cultural learning opportunities. After years of trying, Tami could not get her daughter into a bilingual school, nor was she satisfied with the alternatives. Private school tuition was prohibitive and language school locations were inconvenient. Tami quickly discovered other parents had similar challenges. She decided that learning another language and about other cultures shouldn’t be that hard and set out to create a fun, affordable and practical solution 25+ years of consulting, nonprofit management, education youth development experience has given her a range of employment experiences which also includes Fortune 500 companies, government agencies nonprofit organizations. But she is a social entrepreneur at heart creating and supporting enterprises that deal with some of society’s most pressing challenges both domestically and internationally in Ethiopia.

Haas Diop, Founder/CEO Dr. Pooch Foundation. The Dr. Pooch Foundation was created out of the dire need to educate and train a new generation of health-conscious youth and adults. The emphasis is on youth health-literacy for it is they who will be the catalyst to change and will be the future and great minds for a healthier and sustainable world. Our organization was started in 2017 with the intent of educating children holistic health concepts using books and technology that resonate culturally with who they are. Dr. Pooch Foundation serves economically challenged neighborhoods and provide education, community resources, holistic health services technology to reverse the current trends of chronic disease Foundation uses as an introduction to children’s holistic health the Get Well Johnny book series which is a 12 part children’s book series that youth respond to. The concept is to train kids to want healthier food so the adults can make better decisions for the whole family. Time and time again, children’s holistic health outlook is changed by using Dr. Pooch stories. Books used in schools and homes are changing the conversation around holistic health and nutrition every day.

Kyra Young is currently the CEO of Kyra’s Shea Medleys, LLC, a natural, multipurpose, and vegan hair and skincare line based in LA. Their mission is to empower women to embrace their natural curls and love their skin. Kyra was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a B.S. in Political Science, B.A. in African-American Studies with a concentration in Sociology, and minor in Labor and Workplace Studies. Kyra believes that she “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [her]”.

Modefywear was founded by Melissa Scott, a 20 year veteran of the Olympic movement and has been deaf since birth.  While working for the Olympics and having to travel to places where a hijab is a cultural norm, Melissa had a hard time wearing one over her hearing aids as the fabric made her aids whistle and block the flow of sound. Thinking she couldn’t be the only deaf person in all the Middle East, Melissa set out to find a hijab that was appropriate but could not find one. She then set out to design one for herself and to share At the same time, the advent of Muslim women participating in competitive sports on an international level was growing, many athletes were interested in Melissa’s hijab design as it made long hours of training more comfortable with ear holes, interior pockets, and ear band for glasses. From there, Melissa’s career trajectory in creating an equal playing field for ALL women came to a pivot point and Modefywear was born the underserved, yet fastest growing female population in sports and career – women who dress modestly.

Michael Manahan is a financial strategist, interim & part-time CFO, and professor of accounting & finance at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He served as financial officer for three publicly traded companies, has started and owned seven small businesses, and as an advisor has worked with more than 100 management teams.  Mr. Manahan earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and his CPA (non-active) in Canada.  He is the author of “Secrets to Raising Capital.”

Sarita D. Jackson, Ph.D. Founder, President/CEO, Global Research Institute of International Trade (GRIIT). GRIIT is a think-tank/consulting firm focused on providing research to do the following: 1) help businesses compete in the international market and 2) guide U.S. trade policy. Dr. Jackson collaborates with federal, state, and local government agencies to offer training in international market research for small businesses. Additionally, she works with universities to provide customized market research for local businesses and connect these businesses with partnering firms and resources in overseas markets. She is the author of It’s Not Just the Economy, Stupid! Trade Competitiveness in the 21 Century. In addition to running her own firm, Dr. Jackson teaches courses in the areas of international trade and corporate global strategy at UCLA Extension and California State University, San Bernardino. Dr. Jackson earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish at the University of Southern California and a Master’s and Doctorate in political science at Brown University.

Mr. Osa Sonny Adun is the founder and the visionary force behind Everything Adun is a media entrepreneur and founder of the 1st private television and radio network in Africa. Adun is also the chairman of Broadcasting Network - DBN Media Group, which brought the Olympics to Africa for the first time in 1984. He has pioneered production studios for global sports on the African content for global distribution. Adun enjoys reading, sports music.

Kris Allen is a TX native who graduated from Texas A&M University in 2002 with a Manufacturing Engineering degree and was a 5 time All American in Track & Field. Kris now is a Senior Manager, Vice President at First Bank in Bixby Knolls. His focus is with small business banking & lending. Kris currently serves on the Board of Directors at “The Guidance Center” as well as the “Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (BKBIA) “

May Gah Allah is the Founder & Managing Director of Kounouz Nubia Foundation, PFP Fellow (The Professional Fellows Program).  May's career was enriched by working in different fields and prominent positions, including economic empowerment and social businesses, in addition to assisting peace-building organizations for women. She additionally worked on gender-based initiatives and Nile-wide projects with national and international organizations. Her last position was in the banking sector, handling compliance in the Middle East and North Africa for The Bank of New York Mellon. Today, she oversees the Konouz Nubia Foundation in Aswan & Cairo, Egypt. Konouz Nubia foundation is a non-profit foundation, which aims to empower the people of the Nubian community. It strives to enhance their skills by providing opportunities for a non-formal education. It furthermore empowers Nubians economically through local production projects, using Nubian heritage to create new horizons for sustainable development. These projects help the Nubian community rediscover and protect their heritage, while also fostering the bond between the native people and their land.

Dr. Jahi Issa holds a Ph.D. in History from Howard University. His upcoming book 'Until Africa is Redeemed': The UNIA AND GARVEY Movement in Louisiana'  is under review at Michigan State University. He currently teaches History at Evers College in New York City.  He is an expert in international affairs and has lived and traveled extensively throughout the African continent.

Dr. Dimah Mahmoud is a humanist, activist, and passionate change-maker. Her extensive interdisciplinary expertise in research, political analysis project management are reflected in the diverse conferences she has organized as well as the initiatives and collaborations she spearheaded through an independent research consultancy she established in 2014. Her work contributes to advancing sustainable socio-economic and political development in Africa and the Middle East. She consulted for the League of Arab States, UN Women Arabia, El Karama, Arab America Foundation and more recently for EURAXESS North America and The Antiquities Coalition. Prior to this, Dr. Mahmoud was the Interim Executive Director of Bridges of Understanding Foundation, during which she helped launch it onto its current forward trajectory: emphasizing the necessity of youth-targeted educational programming as part of the effort to catalyze an effective, long-lasting paradigm shift. In addition to her consulting, she has co-founded The Nubia Initiative (TNI), a transboundary aimed at leveraging art, academia technology to protect, preserve and promote Nubia’s endangered heritage and languages. Dr. Mahmoud completed her MA and at the University of Exeter in the UK on Middle East Policy Studies and Sudanese Foreign Policy and International Legitimacy respectively. She obtained her BA in Political Science from Towson University in the USA.

Gwen Patrick, MBA, -- Founding Board Chair, CFO and Chief Strategic Business Development Officer of ABC & D International Consulting Group Corp (NV)--has more than 30 yrs. executive experience with Fortune 100 Multi-National Corps, County Governments, Non-Profit Corps, Academia, Federal Budget Title Programs, the Small Business Administration Guarantee Financing programs, extensive expertise with entity formations, small business startup corporations.  Ms. Patrick also holds certifications in Private Capital Markets and Import/Export Trade.  ABC & D—The acronym for Advanced Business Capital & Development—is a private international consulting firm, which provides specialized services in Finance, Marketing, Strategic Planning and Business Development for small business and non-profit entitiesProfessionally, her services also comprise high-level capabilities in competitor intelligence, industry/market research, import/export trade opportunities and economic analysis of current and future emerging markets. Ms. Patrick recently established the USA-AFRICA Trade Research Institute, a non-profit and NGO alliance group member of diversified industry partners that facilitate global development projects and investments in Africa and South Africa Regions. Ms. Patrick is the California Chairperson for Global Business Roundtable-USA, Inc., an International Affiliate of the South African Global Business RoundtableNGO and currently sits on the Global Board of Directors and the 10 State National Board of Directors for GBR-USA, Inc. & GFFJ-USA, Inc. as Vice President-Compliance Officer.

Since May 2017, Bawle has served as the Deputy Director forInternational Affairs and Business Development at the State of Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).  he oversees the development of two-way international trade and investment opportunities for the world’s 5th largest economy. Prior to his tenure in Sacramento, Mr. Bawle spent over seven years serving as an international trade specialist in the Office of South Asia at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he helped reduce U.S. industry trade barriers to India, and to enable effective market access there in the infrastructure, energy and environment, and financial services sectors.  Mr. Bawle advised senior Commerce officials on the agency’s role in the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy initiative to help boost U.S. exports to India’s clean technology market, valued at $175 million. Mr. Bawle also developed advocacy arguments which successfully removed Indian market access restrictions for U.S. water heater exports valued at $10 million and scrap metal exports valued at $600 million.  Mr. Bawle managed the U.S. Government’s recruitment and selection process of U.S. private sector members for the U.S.-India CEO Forum, a mechanism designed to foster policy recommendations for bolstering the bilateral economic relationship. Mr. Bawle also undertook two temporary rotations while at Commerce: first, working as an economics officer for the State Department at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India, where he focused on financial inclusion; and second, as a commercial attaché to the U.S. Executive Director’s office at the World Bank, where he focused on helping U.S. industry understand the global carbon credit market. Mr. Bawle holds a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, which included one semester as a visiting scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University School of International Studies in New Delhi, India.  He also holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of and is a native of Detroit, Michigan.  

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