The party starts! And remember, this is not the party where it's okay to show up late. You need to be in the door before 1pm. Early is on time and on time is late.
DJ Laing will be kicking off the event at 12pm with R&B, Trap, Soul, Hip-Hop and more. Get settled in. Grab some brunch, and get ready for the program to begin!
Opening remarks + introducing The Empowerment Social Host
Danielle Fontus, Funbassador & Event Specialist
Danielle, known to many as Dani Dares, is a native New Yorker – born and raised in Queens yet currently obsessed with her Harlem neighborhood. She spent her college days in Atlanta at Emory University and prevailed with a double degree in Psychology and English. Seeing herself as a modern day mix of Miss Frizzle and Carmen Sandiego, Dani can often be found traveling, eating, dancing, pretty much indulging in any adventure that tickles her fancy. When home in NYC, she is probably exercising her superpowers in the world of hospitality, doing her duties as Miss Harlem Shake, getting her girls together or planning her next adventure.
Danielle is the creator of the She Dares community, where women dare to take their social lives to the next level through adventures and experiences that not only push them out of their comfort zones but also allow them to form genuine, long lasting relationships with other like minded women. Danielle is an adventure planner, master connector, event host, writer, leader of interactive workshops and adding lifestyle influencer to her portfolio.
Empowerment Talk: "The Bounce Back"
Lejorne Leys, Career Development Specialist and Recruiter at Twitter
Lejorne is a transparent leader with proven skills of working directly with individuals from diverse academic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. He believes in the power of education, social intelligence and transformational leadership.
Lejorne’s transformational style of leadership truly developed during his undergrad years at the Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus in roles such as Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader/Coordinator, and the Charter President of the LIU Chapter of the NAACP, while earning his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.
Extremely passionate about providing positive life coaching and mentorship for young adults, Lejorne spent three years as an internship and career coordinator for an alternative high school before accepting a position at one of America’s most prestigious Ivy League institutions as a career counselor. He now utilizes his expertise to help undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students access professional success in the tech industry as a recruiter at Twitter.
Lejorne continues to build on his ability to effectively impact the lives of those he encounters in a whole new way while remaining true to his belief that, "persistence leaves no man hanging, but only grants success to those who try."
Empowerment Talk: "Stop, Drop, and Roll - Life changing tools for success!"
Lena Cohen, Author, Speaker, and Coach
For over 14 years Lena Cohen has dedicated her life to helping others find happiness, peace, and success. As a TED Speaker, decorated community activist, author and highly sought after life coach, Lena shares her knowledge and expertise in a way that inspires people to live their best life possible. She trains and counsels people on how to access, understand, and regulate their emotions; to have a heightened sense of self-awareness to achieve emotional and intellectual growth.
With this high level of emotional intelligence training Lena helps people focus on self-development, advancement, and fulfillment in their careers. All the while still promoting a life of balance, which includes satisfaction in the areas of physical health, relationships, mental wellness, and spirituality.
Empowerment Interview: "A New Mindset Through Fitness"
Andre Johnson, Master Personal Trainer + Coach
Andre Johnson is a Master Personal Trainer, nutritionist, mentor, life coach and gym owner. Fitness and a healthy way of living wasn't always a part of his life. As a youth he was overweight, topping the scales at over 450 pounds. Andre choose to lead a reckless lifestyle which landed him in prison. This could have been the end of his story, his journey in life, but he chose to make a change. Andre began to take care of himself and got healthy for the first time in his life. While trying to better himself physically he realized that he had a passion for fitness and decided that personal training was his calling.
Over 5 years ago he was released from prison and hasn't looked back since. His bad choices as a youth could have destroyed his life but he was too determined not to give up. Andre has lost over 220 pounds, kept it off for nearly 5 years and has dedicated his life to helping others reach their fitness goals.
Andre's story is so much more than one of extreme weight loss, it’s the story of a young black man that turned his life around and now lives to inspire and encourage others to do the same. Whether its mentoring youth, helping someone loose excess weight or just seeing the true beauty within, he is a living example of how fitness can change your life, the lives of those around you and hopefully the lives of those in our community.
In March 2016, Andre opened his own fitness facility to enable him to make the real community impact that he always hoped for. Andre Johnson is Fitness Fast Team!
Empowerment Talk: "Dream Chasing"
Beth Diana Smith, Owner + Principal Designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design
Beth Diana Smith is the Owner and Principal Designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, a New Jersey based interior design company. Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured in various print and online publications including Vogue.com, EBONY, and The New York Times. And, most recently, co-starring/hosting the show Restoring Glory on HGTV!
But know that interior design came years after pursuing degrees in business and accounting to satiate her love of processes and business strategy. After completing her M.B.A., she spent more than a decade in corporate finance in companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, budgeting, and a keen attention to detail.
Kimberly Brown, Founder of Manifest Yourself, LLC and The Empowerment Social
Kimberly A. Brown is a personal and professional development coach, established speaker, and trainer. She has professional work experiences in marketing, financial services, and higher education. She is the founder of ManifestYourself.com, a lifestyle brand that is dedicated to helping women build dynamic lives and careers. The brand’s mantra is, “You must believe in yourself and your vision. When you do this, you will manifest the life you desire.” The blog focuses on career and personal development, health, wellness, travel, and inspirational lifestyle topics. Currently, Kimberly also serves as the Associate Director, Employer Outreach at Princeton University, Office of Career services.
Kimberly has been featured on The Well by Jopwell, Greatist.com, Shape.com, and Bowflex Insider. She is also on the Board of Directors for The Power of You Teens organization in Harlem, New York. Through all of her experiences, she has become skilled in career development, action planning, public speaking, developing effective departmental partnerships, adult development and engagement, and social media content creation.
Kimberly is a graduate of Long Island University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (2008) and Master of Science in Counseling (2013). She currently resides in Central New Jersey.