Aaron Bean is a passionate social entrepreneur with a history of building systems for community good. As Managing Partner of Asemio, a social enterprise headquartered in Tulsa, OK, he leads a team of technologists and consultants who are working to address complex, systemic problems facing our communities.
Alberto Chapa is a Producer, Ableton Certified Trainer, and Music Educator with a genuine passion for helping artists, schools, and nonprofits turn their ideas into reality. Alberto serves as Brand Manager for Ableton and his company, Musical Guest provides artist development and live performance solutions for artists like Imagine Dragons, LP Giobbi, and DIIV. Alberto also creates educational content for organizations teaching Music Technology.
Alberto has presented and taught at: SXSW, The University of Texas at Austin, USC Thornton, The Recording Conservatory of Austin, Ableton, Spitfire Audio, The Academy of Contemporary Music at The University of Central Oklahoma, UC Boulder, University of North Texas, Loyola University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, The House of Songs, Austin Music Foundation, Austin Community College, UT Dallas, UTSA, Thaden School, Sensel, The Deli Synth Expo, and dadageek.
Alfredo Salazar-Caro is a creator living/working between Mexico City, NYC, and Online. His works are an amalgamation of Portraiture, Installation, Documentary, Video, XR, Social Sculpture and Speculative Architecture.
Alfredo Salazar-Caro is co-creator and creative director of DiMoDA, The Digital Museum of Digital Art. DiMoDA is a groundbreaking project that functions as a VR institution and exhibition platform dedicated to the development of XR Art.
His work has been exhibited internationally. Exhibitions include: Tribeca Film Festival, Dreamlands @ Whitney Museum US, The Wrong Biennale, BR, New Normal LB/TR, Die Ungerahmte Welt, HeK, CH, Siggraph Asia, TH, and 1Mes1Artista CDMX among others. His work can be seen in publications such as Leonardo, Cultured Magazine, Vice Magazine and +
Amber Thaxton, M.S., LPC
Entrepreneur, Mental Health Therapist
Amber is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is the founder of Joy Christian Counseling, LLC. Amber is a warm, insightful, and motivating individual who has found her life’s calling in serving others through encouragement and support. She is a married mother of two unique and inspiring children. Her life is not a fairytale, but she has definitely followed her dreams and pressed towards the things she values in life such as faith, individuality and love. Since graduating from Oral Roberts University, she has been working in the field of counseling for nearly 7 years and has experience working with people who have faced some of life’s toughest challenges.
Born in Minnesota, my family moved to Silicon Valley by the time I was four where I grew up and developed my excitement for STEM and new technologies. By the time I graduated from Santa Clara University with my B.Sc. in Biochemistry, I took on an Associate Scientist role at AbbVie Biotherapeutics in Redwood City. A little over two years later, with a thirst for new experiences and a need for a cultural change, I moved to Oklahoma in summer of 2017 to pursue higher education.
During my time in Oklahoma as a graduate student, I joined the OK Catalyst team as one of the first hires and quickly became the Oklahoma Women Impacting STEM & Entrepreneurship Conference (OK-WISE) coordinator, overseeing the development and growth of the events. I helped raise over $20,000 in sponsorships, invited 62 local and national speakers, and successfully executed two 350+ attendee conferences in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Our team also helped 13 startups secure $13M in SBIR/STTR and $6M+ in private funding. With my background in scientific research, I sought out ways to contribute to our programs by starting the NIH SBIR Accelerator program designed to help faculty and graduate students win NIH SIBR funding. It was through these experiences that I realized a passion for the startup culture and desire to continue my journey in improving the technology and startup landscape of Oklahoma. All this work ultimately culminated in the honor as a 2020 NextGen Under 30 awardee in the Science and Technology category.
From my time planning the OK-WISE conference, I learned about the bustling developments in Tulsa and as I finished my MBA at the University of Oklahoma, I yearned to be involved. Atento means “helpful” in Spanish, and this truly speaks to the person that I am. From working in the lab at a pharmaceutical, to planning a conference for women to build their networks and to be showcased, or to starting a program dedicated to helping commercialize research discoveries, my mission has always been to create better opportunities for future generations by being helpful in any way I can. I truly believe that when you allow yourself to be open to new prospects, life gets more interesting.
Annina Collier is the inaugural Dean of the McKeon Center for Creativity at Tulsa Community College. Through her leadership, the Center has become a convening hub for community programming, nonprofit events, art exhibitions, and multidisciplinary projects, with a guiding vision to uplift marginalized and underserved voices. Collier partners with national and international organizations including The Moth, TEDx, and Second City, as well as with more than thirty Tulsa non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Collier produces TEDx events under license from the TED organization and earned an enhanced license at TEDSummit in 2019. She is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa and was named one of Oklahoma’s 40 Under 40: Young Professionals Making a Difference by Oklahoma Magazine. Annina graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma and holds a master’s degree in music from Ithaca College in New York.
Anoop has worked in business development for 10+ years, gaining experience while at Loeb.nyc, Capella, the Founders Organization, and now Nifty Gateway. As a seasoned business development professional, he is passionate about advancing frontier technology like NFTs by partnering with the worlds largest brands.
Brandon Boone is a Louisiana native who currently resides in Austin, TX. As the Co-founder of a creative marketing agency Build Your Own Dreams, Head of Marketing for independent record label Reflection Music Group, and Co-founder of a production agency 413 Creatives, strategically building brands and implementing digital marketing strategies is what I do on a daily basis.
My motto “Create to Inspire” is what drives my God-given purpose for motivating others to turn their dreams into reality. When not working, I’m very passionate about community building and pushing the culture forward. You can also find me traveling the globe or trying to find the best donut in the world.
Brian Kurtz serves as President & CEO of the Downtown Tulsa Partnership, a management organization at the intersection of people, place, and economy dedicated to championing and advancing a prosperous, vibrant, and inclusive urban neighborhood. In 2021, Brian led the transition of Downtown’s improvement district services from the City of Tulsa where he served as Executive Director of the Downtown Coordinating Council since 2018. Prior to his roles in Tulsa, Brian was the Director of Economic Development for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and served in planning and economic development roles in Buffalo, NY. Brian holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and is professionally certified by the International Downtown Association as a Leader in Place Management. In Tulsa he serves on the board of Center for Housing Solutions, on the advisory board for This Machine Bike Share, and is active with the Oklahoma chapter of Urban Land Institute.
Tulsa-based Orlando, FL native Cameron James Williams, professionally known as Cam James, is a storyteller. He was influenced by Nas, OutKast, and 90's R&B; using that foundation to build his own sound. At Georgia Tech in 2011, he started turning his spoken word pieces into songs.
Cam performed in some of the largest national music festivals in the late 2010s (A3C '16, SXSW '17). Following his first major placement on BET's Being Mary Jane in September 2017, he announced his debut album leviTAPE, which was released in December 2017. Cam starred in an international tourism campaign called "Hear The USA" for Brand USA & Spotify in 2018 and has released several EPs and albums since.
In 2021, he was booked by the Fansub team to headline a virtual concert. He was so blown away by the potential of the product, he joined the team a month later as a co-founder. He's since become Chief of Production and uses his creative talents to empower other creators worldwide.
Cantiese Burrell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Empowerment Enthusiast. With her wisdom, leadership, spirituality, strength in connection, and commitment to peace, she provides one on one coaching and therapy, is a powerful speaker, and offers a plethora of opportunities for people to get free of powerlessness. Cantiese earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Northeastern State University (Broken Arrow, OK) and a Masters of Social Work from University of Oklahoma (Tulsa, OK) with a concentration of Administrative and Community Practice. Cantiese is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and targets issues of empowerment and family dysfunction. She has over 20 years experience as a change agent in the Tulsa community and in the lives of women, families, and children. She has been recognized as a community servant and awarded Honorary Membership to Tulsa Community College National Society of Leadership and Success. Through “Self Compassion” she leads by example in the journey toward tapping into personal power and knowing we are more than enough!
Charlie is a Bitcoin OG & cofounder of Nakamotor, a Bitcoin mining company. He moonlights the drummer for local band MORE&MORE (formerly Beachfriends). Charlie & his wife Lauren have several other endeavors including: The Sobo, The Drilldown (podcast), data analytics, and the TulsaDAO.
Chris Davis is an entrepreneur, community organizer, and creative producer from Tulsa; and a co-founder and Executive Director for Tulsa Creative Engine. A graduate of Booker T. Washington high school and the University of Oklahoma, Chris has spent most of his career as an independent project manager, communications specialist, and strategic consultant for clients in the worlds of music, sports, food, and culture. He is an executive producer for ‘Fire in Little Africa’, a multimedia project commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre including a hip-hop album released in 2021 on Motown Records. He has been a co-organizer of Dreamland Festival since 2018, and that event has since grown into one of the largest festivals in the region. Chris won the 2016 Tulsa Startup Series for his ice pop business The Pop House, and which has since evolved into a record label and management company, Pop House Records.
Chris Harvey is a North Tulsa Native with a heart for the people of his community. With roots within the community of the influential Transformation Church, where he leads the creative team as Social Media Director, to then launch his own marketing agency for organizations and businesses. While also finding ways to provide access and opportunity to creatives and entrepreneurs, specifically through an organization he co-founded, Blackwood and a California-based non-profit, Sky’s The Limit.
Corey Taylor Jr. started his college career at the Air Force Academy where he was considered an active duty soldier. After a short while, Taylor transferred to the University of Tulsa where he continued his academic and athletic career. In May of 2021, Taylor became a University of Tulsa Alumnus, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Marketing. Upon receiving his degree, Taylor went on to become a running back in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns. Taylor is now the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Tayburn Music. In addition, he also runs his own music label, Resonant Sound, with several artists. As an entrepreneur and innovator Taylor continues to bring people and businesses together. In this season of life, he is focused on being a bridge for under-represented and creative communities in order to facilitate growth towards a more equitable future.
In a business that’s ever-changing, Eddie Blackmon is a multi-faceted music industry executive with knowledge, experience, and an unwavering drive to win.
Growing up in Chicago, Blackmon’s formative years were steeped in the city’s rich legacy of 90’s R&B, shaping his homegrown musical sensibilities. After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in Communications and Sociology, Eddie began as an intern at Interscope Records in New York City shadowing then-Head of Black Music, Ron Gillyard and later then-Sony Urban General Manager Lisa Ellis, gathering indispensable knowledge as he maneuvered from department to department, learning the macro-view of the music industry’s interconnectedness.
Eddie was hired by the late Dr. Donda West to join Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint as an assistant to then-President John Monopoly where he quickly elevated to Director of Marketing and A&R Operations. There he oversaw projects from Fonzworth Bentley, SA-RA, GLC, and Consequence and began his professional relationship with John Legend.
After stints in the marketing departments of Columbia Records and Def Jam, Blackmon became General Manager of Legend’s boutique label, Homeschool Records, where he helped navigate the careers of Estelle (Atlantic) and singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe (Motown). During this time, he began his talent management and consulting company, A Shade of Red Entertainment (ASORÉ), and found himself crafting two of Legend’s biggest records; “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” from the Think Like A Man soundtrack and “All of Me” from the Love In The Future album, which Blackmon Co-Executive produced along with Legend and Kanye West.
Legend shuttered Homeschool Records and Blackmon focused on managing a collection of artists through his A Shade Of Red Entertainment brand, boasting Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ro James, Grammy-winning producer Darhyl “DJ” Camper along with Barthe.
In 2018, Eddie joined AWAL, Kobalt’s unique alternative to the traditional music label servicing independent artists and labels, as Vice President of A&R. In early 2020, he launched The CAST of R&B podcast with his co-host, veteran journalist Hillary Crosley Coker as well as the informative panel program, THE WEBINA&R SESSIONS, a weekly industry discussion around the hottest topics and enduring lessons.
I’ve never let my job title limit my contribution.”
Erinn Knight is an Atlanta Enthusiast, Artist Advocate, and Dreamer! She is the newest member of the Music Entrepreneur Club, President of Build Your Own Dreams, and Co-Owner of INVT Only.
Erinn Knight is an artist manager independent business consultant, show curator (A3C, Lxve Fest, Keys to the City), and music lover. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Knight has an uncanny ear for production and a talented eye for branding. She has worked with artists in the genres of rock, hip hop, and soul. Currently, she manages Kaleb Mitchell, Wanda, and Scotty ATL. Erinn is passionate about bridging the gap between artists and gatekeepers by teaching foundational business practices and simple industry hacks.
Co-owner of INVT ONLY, an independent booking agency, that services artists in the 500 cap and underbooking level. Artists include Derek Minor, and nobigdyl. Wande, Kaleb Mitchell, Bryon Juane, and Jon Keith.
Responsible for overseeing artist’ brands such as Wande, Kaleb Mitchell, and Scotty ATL. Manage business and financial affairs for artists, such as arranging travel, managing social media, selling tickets, budgeting employing a video team, recruiting a DJ, and promotion, day-to-day negotiations, schedules, and overall business. Plan, support, and navigate touring and merchandise logistics Coordinate hiring of all key personnel and fill in all gaps.
As a creative agency, Build Your Own Dreams has developed campaigns for independent artists that have yielded success. Some of our clients (indie tribe., nobigdyl. Kaleb Mitchell) have charted billboard, Spotify Top 10 albums, sold out movie premieres during the pandemic, and sold out their artist-led festivals (HOLY SMOKE!). These tactics were a launching pad for clients creating security in their independence. Our goal is to add value to the attendees by sharing experiences (testimonies, marketing plans, relationships) from our speakers and our company's experiences.
Kalup Linzy is a video and performance artist born in Clermont, Florida and raised in Stuckey, Florida. Linzy received his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2003. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Linzy has been the recipient of numerous awards including a grant from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation grant, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, an Art Matters Grant, The Headlands Center for the Arts Alumni Awards Residency, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film and Video and a BAU Institute Travel Grant.
Linzy's best-known work is a series of politically charged videos that satirize the conventions of the television soap opera. His work has been included in exhibitions Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Prospect.1 New Orleans, 30 Americans, Rubell Family Collection, MoMA PS1 Greater New York, At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College. His work is in the public collections at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, and the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester.
He has lectured at universities and colleges across the country including New York University and Harvard University.
Linzy has worked and collaborated with many well known artists, celebrities, and fashion designers. Among them are James Franco, Chloe Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne, Liya Kebede, Leo Fitzpatrick, James Ransone, Dan Colen, Nate Lowman, Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, Michael Stipe, Tunde Adebimpe and the band TV on the Radio. His work has been featured at numerous film festivals that include Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and Outfest. He has also been featured in numerous magazines including New York Magazine, V Magazine, W Magazine, Out Magazine, Interview Magazine, which featured an interview with his friend Chan
Marshall, Artillery Magazine, in which he was the cover story, and in May 2014 he was featured in a six-page spread in Harper's Bazaar, Hong Kong.
In summer 2010, Linzy appeared on the long running ABC soap opera General Hospital alongside James Franco in a story line that incorporated performance art.
Linzy’s film and performance work has been supported by the Sundance Institute and Film Festival, Tribeca Film Institute, London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the AFI Festival.
Linzy is represented by the David Castillo Gallery in Miami, Florida and The Breeder Gallery in Athens, Greece. He serves on the board of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa and the Community Advisory Council of the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio in Tampa.
He is a Tulsa Artist Fellowship Arts Integration Grantee. In 2021, he founded the Queen Rose Art House in Tulsa. Currently, he is completing his full length album Not Ready To Say Goodbye with a grant from Tulsa FMAC.
Image Credit: Courtesy of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship and Melissa Lukenbaugh Personal website: https://www.kaluplinzystudio.com/
Keith "Sneak" Daniels is a filmmaker and writer was born and raised on the Northside of Tulsa, OK, his love of cinema started from a young age when his dad Cordell Daniels used to watch classic films with him. This passion for film would carry on into college, after graduating from the Univ. of Tulsa with a degree in Fine Arts, he moved to Seattle WA. After 3 years in the Pacific Northwest he decided to come back home to focus on filmmaking. In 2020 he directed his first documentary “Fire in Little Africa The Doc” which garnered a total of 9 official film selections, and 3 awards during its festival run. More recently Keith just raised over $40,000 in funding for his next short film entitled "Enlighten".
Kelsey Davis is the Founder/CEO of CLLCTVE, the portfolio platform connecting creators to paid opportunities. Based in Tulsa, OK, CLLCTVE is fueled by partners like Google and Techstars. Prior to CLLCTVE, Davis was known for producing visual content for global consumer brands like Coca Cola, Land Rover, and Puma and Conde Nast Entertainment. Since graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Television, Radio, and Film ('19) and MS in Entrepreneurship ('20), Davis has already been featured as a next-gen leader by Forbes 30 Under 30, Adweek, and the NYTimes.
Kolby Ari is a Tulsa native merging journalism, urban design advocacy, social and arts work to bring communities together to talk about what matters most, solve problems, and amplify the joys of being a part of a strong neighborhood.
Luisa Krug has been the Executive Director of the Tulsa Global District since January 2022. Previously, Luisa worked at the Tulsa Planning Office, where she was responsible for managing the Destination Districts Program, the City of Tulsa's commercial revitalization program. Through this program, she was responsible for serving as a liaison between Tulsa Main Street programs and the City of Tulsa. Prior to that, Luisa worked as the epidemiology supervisor for the Tulsa Health Department.
Luisa has her Masters in Global Health from the University of Notre Dame and Bachelors in Biochemistry from Oklahoma State University. She also currently serves as a Planning Commissioner for the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.
Miles Dotson is an influential startup investor, business leader, career product manager, author, research advocate, and entrepreneur with over 20 companies to his credit. He holds a degree in Audio Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami and served as a visiting researcher at the University of Rochester through funding from the National Science Foundation. Throughout his career, he led technology development as a software engineer and product manager creating frameworks for repeatable innovation within Private Equity managed companies. He now focuses on designing sustainable ecosystems that forge technology creation through new ventures, alternative funding models, corporate innovation engagement, and applied R&D.
Patrick Hosford currently serves as the Partnerships and Data Analyst at inTulsa, an economic development initiative focused around inclusively building Tulsa’s tech economy through talent and business strategies. At InTulsa, Patrick spearheads workforce analytics research and local organizational partnerships to further inform and catalyze Tulsa’s tech workforce.
Patrick comes to inTulsa after spending the last decade in the Mid Atlantic region working in economic development and nonprofit consulting, supporting New York’s Public Markets real estate development programs and the CyberNYC initiative — a $30 million, civic-led cybersecurity workforce development initiative.
For over 20 years, Peter Hilborn has been an active musician, DJ, composer/arranger, and freelance growth hacker. Having projects in the music space, business space, and digital asset space has helped him focus on creative opportunities for creators as well as investors. Peter has been on both sides of the music business as a performer and as a booking agent. This unique experience has led to a deep understanding of the problems both sides face. He currently lives in Midtown Tulsa and regularly DJs around town.
Ray’Chel Wilson is not your regular teacher. She is Teacher 2.0.
Honored as one of the top “20 Under 2” teachers across the state of Oklahoma for excelling on the front lines of education, Ray’Chel finds educating young professionals about holistic financial wellness and closing the racial wealth gap, as a central part of her mission. Originally from Ohio, Ray’Chel moved to Black Wall Street, Tulsa, in order to teach high school biology to over 500 students and counting, while also blazing her own path to wealth as a first-generation entrepreneur. After achieving huge financial milestones, like leveraging cryptocurrency profits to pay off her undergraduate student loans, Ray’Chel birthed Raise the Bar Investments.
Raise the Bar Investments exists to provide young people of color with the relevant, timely, and holistic skills needed to build generational wealth and collectively decrease the racial wealth gap. In order to do this, Raise the Bar operates with values of excellence, integrity, and relationships at the forefront.
Ray’Chel is an award-winning educator and international author & speaker. Ray’Chel holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health from The Ohio State University, a Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University, and is recognized as a Certified Financial Education Instructor through the National Financial Educators Council. She is the published author of Black Wealth Freedom, a 3-part workbook series that is the foundation to next-generation wealth building & closing the racial wealth gap. Due to the holistic “money moves” and wealth-building habits Ray’Chel teaches and incorporates in her own life, Ray’Chel enjoys taking road trips in her hybrid, sharing conscious meals with friends, and thanking God for better days.
Rep. Daniel Pae, a Republican, serves House District 62 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where he represents west Lawton.
Pae was elected to the Oklahoma Legislature in 2018. In 2020, he was named a co-vice chair of the House State and Federal Redistricting Committee following the decennial U.S. census.
He was awarded the 2019 Rising Star Award by the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) for his professional achievements and dedication to the improvement of the Asian Pacific American community.
Prior to his election to the House, he worked in municipal government in Lawton. Pae graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2017 and holds a master’s degree in public administration, as well as bachelors’ degrees in economics and political science.
Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections and experiences; the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services platform for Black and minority individuals and businesses; and a principal at A3C, a music, tech and film conference and festival.
At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally impactful events. Responsible for the company’s overall management and strategic vision, Ryan has led the club’s physical expansion with location openings in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and launching of membership communities in New York City, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, and Chicago; as well as the digital expansion of the company’s platform TGS Connect.
In 2022, The Gathering Spot was acquired by Greenwood, Inc, creating the largest fintech and community platform for Blacks and minorities with a combined community of over 1 million people. The companies share a mission of closing the wealth gap for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship, group economics and wealth building. This partnership represents a historic move as one of the few black-on-black M&A transactions at scale.
Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections, and experiences; the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services platform for Black and minority individuals and businesses; and a principal at A3C, a music, tech, and film conference and festival.
Ryan has been honored as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was selected as one of the 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under Forty honorees and one of their 100 Most Powerful leaders, and was named one of Goldman Sach’s Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2021, and was selected for the inaugural class of Shea Moisture's Social Justice Coalition. The Mayor of Atlanta honored Ryan and his business partner with the prestigious Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor. Atlanta Magazine named him one of “Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders'' and he has also been named one of the country’s most influential African-Americans in The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100.
Ryan has been featured in notable national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Revolt, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. He is a trusted speaker and regularly moderates conversations with thought leaders and notable individuals ranging from political figures like President Joe Biden and Leader Stacey Abrams, to business pioneers like Thasunda Duckett and Ben Chestnut, as well as leaders in the entertainment industry including Will Packer, Gunna, Kelly Rowland, and Gabrielle Union. His work has led to several keynote presentations for various companies including Goldman Sachs, Delta, Google, Meta, Ford Motor Company, and Nike.
A native of Atlanta, Ryan is currently an active participant in several Atlanta civic and community organizations. He proudly serves on the boards of Usher's New Look, The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Business League, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Peace Preparatory Academy, and The Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men, Atlanta Rotary Club and has previously served as Co-Chair for the Black Men Count Initiative of Fair Count. Ryan graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center where he proudly serves on the Board of Regents. He currently resides happily in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.
Sam Viotty is a creative at heart with a specialty for building resilient systems and
processes for impact. She is the Co-Founder and Chief Experience and Brand Officer of the Rosedale Collective, a country music label dedicated to amplifying the voices of BIPOC musicians. She is also an adjunct lecturer at Loyola University Chicago's Baumhart Scholars MBA program. Prior to Rosedale Collective, Sam built partnerships and programs to improve accessibility, equity, and scale of COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution at Curative Inc. Sam was also formerly a part of The Obama Foundation's Program Team where she worked at the intersection of entertainment and social impact, designing programs to scale opportunities for young people globally. She received her Master of Arts in Civic Media, Art, and Practice (now Media Design) in 2017 and received a B.A. in Film & New Media Studies from Wheaton College MA.
Shai is the idiot in charge of Aaru Entertainment, a virtual reality arcade, coffee shop, bar, and game dev studio in downtown Tulsa. If the concept seems overly complicated, that's because it is. The business has lofty goals such as treating its employees and guests with respect, staying silly while somehow convincing people to put technology on their faces, and making games that we like.
Shai's professional background is in service and hospitality, his educational background is in I/O and developmental psychology, and his personal background is in being a huge nerd.
He likes long walks on the beach and hates writing about himself in the third person.
Shaun Simon is a serial entrepreneur who has founded several successful businesses, including STACE, a complete commerce platform that makes it easy for small-medium businesses to manage their businesses, set up an online storefront, and accept digital payments to sell both in-store and online. Shaun has two start-up exits under his belt: Service Fusion (acquired by EverCommerce) and Paramount (acquired by RL Carriers). Shaun was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a former student-athlete and graduate of Kansas State University. He has been an entrepreneur since he was a teen. In addition to his current role as CEO at STACE, Shaun also serves as a consultant to early-stage startups.
Steph Simon is an artist, entrepreneur and North Tulsa native known as a community leader and torch-bearer for Tulsa hip-hop. Steph has been telling the story of Greenwood and North Tulsa in his music throughout his career with his albums ‘Visions From the Tisdale’, ‘Born on Black Wall Street’ and ‘Diamonds From the Tisdale’. Steph is an executive producer and lead artist for ‘Fire in Little Africa’, a multimedia hip-hop project commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre featuring an album released in 2021 on Motown Records. In 2016 he created World Culture Music Festival, which relaunched in 2022 as Dreamland Festival and is one of the largest music festivals in the region. In 2019, Steph partnered with his childhood friend, former NFL running back Felix Jones, to create Skyline Star Records and reclaimed the former ‘Brady Mansion’ as ‘Skyline Mansion’ in the process. In 2022 he launched a non-profit record label program ’McLain Titan Records’ at McLain High School where students learn about all aspects of hip-hop and the music business.
Tori Burris oversees and represents Holberton Tulsa's Career Services Department to the school's student body, alumni population, the tech community, and employers. Tori completed Leadership Tulsa cohort 65, was named Oklahoma's NextGen Under 30, spoke at TEDxTulsa, and received awards from The Midwest Emmy Committee. She holds her B.S.B.A. and M.B.A from The University of Tulsa. With a background in ecosystem building at Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and innovation/entrepreneurship working at the NOVA Fellowship, Tori's eager to continue investing in Tulsa's growth.
Creative producer and department head with nearly 20 years of experience in content creation, business development, & brand integration. Travis is currently building out Forbes’ Entertainment vertical which includes the Emmy-nominated documentary WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn.
Tyrance Billingsley II an entrepreneur and community leader and entrepreneurial ecosystem builder with a background in politics. Tyrance is the founder of Black Tech Street- a firm looking to facilitate the creation of Black intergenerational wealth through tech. He is a former Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Advisory board chairman; and former entrepreneurial fellow for the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Tyrance was also an Oklahoma Policy Institute Fellow and is an alumni of Stitch Crew Accelerator and AmeriCorps. Tyrance is a Tulsa Creative Engine co-founder and currently serves as Chairman of the TCE Governing Board.