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“My Journey” Women’s Entrepreneurial Forum Celebrates New Essence Communications Leadership

In honor of Women’s History Month, nationally syndicated Café Mocha Radio and The Ubiquitous Beauty|Hair|Health Expo will showcase the inaugural, “My Journey: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” entrepreneurial forum at the Newseum on Thursday, March 29, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The invitation-only event, presented by Toyota Motors North America, with supporting sponsors, Mielle Organics, Tropic Isle, Metro and The Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council will include dynamic discourse with new Essence Communications proprietor, Richelieu Dennis and President, Michelle Ebanks as they embark upon a landmark age of African-American ownership for the iconic women’s brand.

“For more than two decades, I have witnessed the evolution of Richelieu Dennis into a beauty industry powerhouse,” says long-time friend and business associate Germaine Bolds-Leftridge, founder of The Ubiquitous Beauty|Hair|Health Expo. “His commitment to identifying the beauty needs of African-American women make him the perfect person to elevate Essence to even greater heights.” Dennis, the co-founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, is the curator of the Shea Moisture brand, a much-heralded line of haircare products largely developed for African-American women with natural hair.

Comedienne Loni Love, co-host of The REAL and Café Mocha Radio, will serve as the evening’s host.  The conversation with Mr. Dennis and 15-year Time Inc. veteran Michelle Ebanks will be facilitated by Fox 5 Morning News anchor Allison Seymour, as they focus on the future of the beloved African American women’s publication and its related properties.

“This event not only marks the first-time that Richelieu and Michelle will address the new era of African-American leadership at Essence Communications, but it will also serve as the first stop for Café Mocha Radio’s 2018 Salute Her Tour Initiative,” says Sheila Eldridge, CEO of Miles Ahead Entertainment and its subsidiary, Miles Ahead Broadcasting. “We are excited to host a platform that gives these influential leaders the opportunity to empower aspiring entrepreneurs globally.”

“The power of women is a global force that creates change around the world,” says Alva Adams Mason, National Director, Multicultural Business Alliance and Strategy, Toyota Motors North America.  “Toyota is proud to sponsor an event that elevates the voices and the entrepreneurial spirit of women.”

Both Sheila Eldridge and Germaine Bolds-Leftridge are trailblazing female entrepreneurs committed to providing resources for women of color in business.  Through her firm, Miles Ahead Entertainment, Eldridge has spent more than 30 years shepherding the careers of major artists like R&B songbirds En Vogue, Janet Jackson and Yolanda Adams while also developing urban marketing and communication strategies for blue chip corporations such as Coca-Cola, Boost Mobile, United Healthcare and more.  Bolds-Leftridge launched her career in the beauty industry 25 years ago as a merchandiser for Soft Sheen products before tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit. She then founded GBL Sales to provide her clients with innovative sales and marketing strategies designed to grow their market presence and retail shelf space. The “My Journey” series is the first major collaboration between the companies’ unique brands that target the affluent multicultural female consumer.

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