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Speaker Bios

Jackie Aina is a Nigerian-American beauty content creator and activist who started her channel of makeup tutorials in 2009 while serving in the United States Army Reserve and has since become the “most influential voice in beauty today”-Harper’s Bazaar. Aina's engaging videos, which teach, inspire, and give confidence to people of every color, have cultivated a loyal and thriving fanbase--over 6 million across her social platforms including 3.5 million YouTube subscribers.

Jackie has launched inclusive product collaborations with top brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Too Faced, Sigma Beauty and more. In 2020, Jackie launched a self care-focused lifestyle brand, FORVR mood featuring candles, a silk headband and a silk pillowcase with plans to expand into skin care solutions and fragrances. The brand had a pre-launch wait list of over 45,000 and continues to sell out every launch. Jackie is further expanding her lifestyle offerings in 2021 with the launch of "Lavishly Jackie" a self-care, home and luxury content vertical across Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and blog on JackieAina.com. She is also venturing into the entertainment industry as the Executive Producer of Social Beauty, an upcoming feature-length documentary exploring Black women creating social change through beauty, set to commence filming early next year.

Jackie continues to fight for inclusivity, arguing that people of color are poorly represented and often ignored within the beauty industry and has openly criticized makeup brands for not providing enough shade ranges within their lines. For her advocacy efforts, Jackie was deemed the NAACP’s first-ever “YouTuber of the Year” at the 49th NAACP Image Awards, Glamour’s Woman of the Year, Refinery29’s Beauty Innovator of the Year, WWD Beauty Inc Awards’ Influencer of the Year and has been nominated for three E! People’s Choice Awards. Jackie has been recently featured on the covers of Essence and The Knot, and profiles in Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Allure, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and more. 

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Erica Culpepper has built her career on four key pillars of success: driving strong performance, having a sense of  purpose, a deep rooted passion for the work, and a spirited personality. She is currently, General Manager of Carol’s  Daughter|SoftSheen Carson, and oversees the US and Global business unit for this dynamic portfolio of brands which  celebrates, inspires and empowers women of color.  

While in college, Erica read a profile on a senior female executive in beauty, and it inspired a career that has now  spanned over 20 years, and taken her to the helm of some of the most powerful and iconic beauty brands in the world.  She is a proud 16 year veteran of L’Oreal Consumer Products Division, and has spent her tenure in increasing leadership  positions, managing businesses across L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, Garnier, and now Multi-Cultural Beauty. Prior  to L’Oreal, she spent 7 years with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Division, leading the company’s entry into  anti-aging with RoC Skincare, and managing the adult skincare initiatives on Johnson’s Baby. 

Throughout her career, Erica has driven strategic initiatives across multiple functions including marketing, sales,  acquisitions, business development, and organizational readiness/change management. And across multiple categories,  including Cosmetics, Skincare, Haircare, and Haircolor.  

Erica is often celebrated as an inspirational leader with a relentless fighting spirit for her business, her team, and  her consumer. She is an avid champion of women’s empowerment thru building self-confidence, and developing  products that allow every woman to embrace and celebrate her own unique beauty. As such, she serves as a leader and  mentor to young professionals within and outside of L’Oreal, providing career advice, coaching, mentoring and overall  encouragement. Erica serves on the L’Oreal USA Executive Committee, an Advisory Board Member for the L’Oreal USA  Women of Color Think Tank, a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), as well as a board member for  Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and BUILD NYC.  

When she is not working, Erica’s most cherished role is being MOM to her 3 children

One of Fast Company's Most Creative People, Melanie bridges purpose-driven leadership with hyper-growth management to scale businesses that perform for people, planet and profit. As the founding President of Versed, Melanie leads the fastest clean brand in drugstore skincare to make 'good for us' accessible for all. Melanie was previously Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development at Who What Wear, founded a millennial marketing firm working with Sephora and Make Up For Ever, and has spoken at SXSW on the Future of Retail. Melanie has a B.S. in sustainability, accreditation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and has been active with purpose-driven organizations for over 17 years.

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Shannae Ingleton Smith (@TorontoShay) is a content creator and co-founder of Kensington Grey, a boutique Influencer Agency rooted in diversity. Not only has her agency made much-needed strides within the influencer industry, particularly for black women, but over the past year, she has led the launch of The Standard, an advocacy platform focused on removing systemic barriers faced by Black Women in marketing.

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Known by many as the Brow Queen, Anastasia Soare is a beauty industry icon and the Founder/CEO of Anastasia Beverly Hills, who’s fierce determination and entrepreneurial spirit, led her to create one of the most highly respected brands in beauty.

 

Born in Romania, Soare immigrated to Los Angeles in 1989 and got a job in a beauty salon. She quickly noticed that women weren’t grooming their eyebrows, a common practice in her home country. Determined to change the way women cared for their brows, Soare studied Leonardo da Vinci’s work with the golden ratio and developed a specific technique for shaping brows according to bone structure and natural brow shape. She eventually rented a small room in another salon and opened the doors to her first brow studio. Within six months word of “Hollywood’s best kept secret” spread, and Soare had celebrity clients like supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Stephanie Seymour, and a line of people clamoring for an appointment with her. Several years later in 2000, Soare launched her first brow-centric product, again filling a void, as eyebrows were an almost nonexistent category in the beauty business. Today, the brand offers an extensive and inclusive collection of brow solutions and makeup that focus on proportion.

 

For the past two decades, Soare has pushed boundaries and set industry standards, not only for brows, a category which she single handedly revolutionized, but in all aspects of the beauty and cosmetic industries. Anastasia Beverly Hills has developed a cult following, and Soare maintains a client list of iconic women, including: Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey.  

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“I founded ROSEN after years of dealing with difficult skin. Tons of treatments, medications and appointments later, I was in college and found that the mass acne care aisle had the exact same products I had been shopping in 6th grade. With ROSEN, our goal is to create the next generation of mass acne care, making the category a cleaner, more enjoyable place to shop!”

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Driven to infuse each creative encounter with joy-inducing laughter, (em)powerhouse Dre Brown seeks to offer both something for the eye and for the soul. Southern-born with big city savvy, this free spirit sees her approach to beauty as a vehicle through which she cultivates delight and empowerment in those she reaches.

Self-taught, Dre has honed her skills as a makeup artist over the past 16 years — freelancing for television, film, fashion, beauty, and entertainment clientele including ELLE Decór, FOOD NETWORK, Interscope Records, Elle.com, Comedy Central, Refinery29, COSMOPOLITAN, COMPLEX, HarpersBazaar.com, VH1, HBO, E!, ESSENCE Magazine, Oxygen Network, Black Enterprise, Bustle.com, Unilever, House Beautiful Magazine, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, SEPHORA, CRWN Magazine, Bloomberg News, RCA Records, Macy's, Jean Claude de Castelbajac, CANTU, and celebrity talent including Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas, actress Dominique Fishback, recording artist K.Michelle, model/actor Tyson Beckford, actress Zoe Bell, actress Sufe Bradshaw, recording artist Jason Derulo, recording artist Tinashe, actress Tatyana Ali, NBA athlete Kevin Durant, rap legend MC Lyte, actor Marcus Scribner, recording artist Jidenna, activist Tarana Burke and actor Omari Hardwick.

Also a gifted writer, content creator, and facilitator, Dre's beauty industry footprint has extended beyond artistry via her editorial contributions on Beautylish.com, JetMag.com, and MadameNoire.com, motivational insights and illustrations within The Ultimate Empowerment Activity Workbook for Her, and via her work as a nationwide ambassador, curriculum consultant, and educator for the DoveⓇ Self-Esteem Project -- through which develops and curates content and experiences designed to empower women of all ages.

In addition to promoting healthy self-esteem since 2014 on behalf of Dove, Dre has expanded her role with the brand, its partners, and beyond as an inspirational voice in the beauty industry — sharing  her unique insights and talents via an editorial highlight in Black Enterprise Magazine, guest spots on several popular women’s empowerment podcasts, and host/facilitator roles across the U.S. in partnership with The United Nations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, Summit21, Essence Festival, She Leads, Mom 2.0, The MastHERclass, The Compass Retreat, The Rooted Collaborative’s UPROOTED Virtual Conference, and Unilever Beauty & Personal Care.

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Hannah Diop is the founder and CEO of Sienna Naturals. To create Sienna Naturals, Hannah harnessed the values of her upbringing and skills of her business background. She spent weekends researching ingredients found in nature and proven by science to improve wellness outcomes for textured hair and scalp. Working alongside cosmetic chemists, she made, tweaked and tested product formulations until a line of clean products that significantly outperform competitors was born. Hannah Diop, holds an MBA from Wharton and was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company where she worked for clients in big box retail and OTC Pharmaceuticals.

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Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. She is a former psychology representative at the United Nations and a past president of the Society of the Psychology of Women. She hosts the Homecoming podcast and has been a mental health expert on CNN, WE TV, OWN TV, and VH1.  Dr. Thema directs the Culture and Trauma Research Lab and her expertise is in empowering women to survive, heal, and thrive.  She is author of Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A multicultural guide.  Dr. Thema is also an activist, spoken word artist, and sacred dancer who is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Dr. Thema is committed to anti-oppression, liberation approaches to holistic wellness.  

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Rahama Wright is a social entrepreneur who works at the intersection of beauty, policy, and international development. After serving in the Peace Corps, she launched Shea Yeleen, a social impact company that creates living wage jobs for women in Ghana through the creation of shea butter based body care products. Her entrepreneurial journey spans bootstrapping to landing distribution with Whole Foods Markets, MGM Resorts, and most recently Macy's. The brand has been featured in a variety of media outlets including O, The Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Washington Business Journal, MSNBC, and CNBC Africa.  A leading voice on African women’s economic and business development she has completed 150+ speeches and panels globally including at the United Nations, World Bank, and Global Entrepreneurship Summit. During the Obama Administration, she was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa and is currently serving her third term on the council.  An avid traveler she has visited and worked in 36 countries.

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Dunni is a careerpreneur with entrepreneurial endeavors in beauty and a career in biopharma. Dunni is the Co-Founder and Co-host of the Beauty Needs Me podcast – nominated for the 2021 iHeart Radio Podcast Award for Best in Beauty & Fashion. Beauty Needs Me is an inclusive platform where honest and down to earth conversations about beauty, skincare and self-care cross color, culture and country lines. The podcast features discussions with founders, industry folk and the science behind the products we love to use and more!

Dunni is also the founder of House of AREWA (HOA), the modern-day matchmaker for independent beauty brands looking to expand into African markets. Dunni’s professional experience as a L’Oreal cosmetic chemist and her global roles in the biopharma industry allow her to use a scientific and international business mindset for beauty brands looking to expand into Africa. Dunni leads the way for HOA by leveraging relationships in the U.S. and African beauty industries to promote a two-way exchange of commerce and visibility. With a mission to bridge the gap between Africa and the global beauty industry, Dunni strives to create connections and opportunities for business growth within Africa.

Dunni received both her B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs from Temple University.

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Tomi Alisha Jones is a product developer, brand designer & strategist, and beauty educator. She is passionate about helping, humoring, and healing her community by creating products and content for multicultural audiences and hosting an eponymous YouTube channel. There, she guides her community through beauty rituals and brand education. Tomi has helped a number of CPG brands across the beauty industry develop marketing strategies, products, design, and voice. 

Tomi currently serves as a consultant and leads a multidisciplinary team that focuses on integrated marketing, brand innovation, and visual communication where she elevates all brand touchpoints including web, product, packaging, copy, and beyond.

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Lisa Price’s journey begins like that of many entrepreneurs—with curiosity and determination mixed with moments of panic and a resounding belief that products that were made with love and delivered on their promise would find their following.  It was a company born of Price’s love for fragrance and a passion for scent alchemy that formed the foundation of her high-performing products. More than a quarter of a century later, even amid massive industry disruption, new company leadership, and acquisition by L’Oréal, Carol’s Daughter continues to thrive and remain relevant in an industry where brands come and go as quickly as trends change.  

Carol’s Daughter began in Price’s Brooklyn kitchen. With a career in TV production, mixing up  fragrances, perfume sprays, and creams served as a creative outlet. It wasn’t long before Price  began dabbling in aromatherapeutic oils, educating herself on their healing properties. 

In 1993, Price, with the gentle nudge from her mother Carol, began to sell her products. With $100  in cash and a cramped kitchen, she crafted a collection that would become the foundation of a  beauty empire. Selling her homespun concoctions at flea markets, and later out of her living room,  favorable word-of-mouth began to spread for early iterations of Almond Cookie, Hair Milk, and  Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie—all of which retain their cult-status today. 

“To name my company, I listed everything I was, and wanted to be, and realized the most special  thing that I am, is Lisa, Carol’s daughter.” 

Over the next few years, word spread, with celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Erykah Badu, Rosie  Perez, and Halle Berry becoming loyal customers.  

Joining the L’Oréal family in November 2014, Carol's Daughter widened its extensive  footprint, selling its hair, body, and skincare solutions nationwide at key retailers. During the Obama administration, Price was appointed to the National Women’s Business Council,  an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and  the U.S. Small Business Administration, on economic issues that face female business owners. 

Price mentors female entrepreneurs and works closely with an array of organizations to give back  to the community. Price was featured in the film She Did That (2019) and is the recipient of numerous awards,  including the National Black MBA Association's Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2000), the  Working Woman Magazine’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2001), and a Cosmetic Executive  Women Achiever Award (2010). She is also the author of “Success Never Smelled So Sweet,” a  memoir that chronicles her transformation from a young Black woman deep in debt to president  of a paradigm-changing business. Price and her husband, Gordon, have two sons and a daughter and still live in Brooklyn. When she  can find the time, Price enjoys going to the beach, reading, crocheting, knitting and watching  movies.