Black Real Estate Entrepreneur Who Went From Broke To Millions Is Now Helping Others Do So Too

Mike Ealy is not just a real estate magnate in his own right; he’s a visionary who has transformed his passion for real estate into a multi-million-dollar portfolio. And he’s committed to helping others do so too. “I didn’t come from a wealthy family, but wealthy families will come from me,” quips Ealy, president of Cincinnati-based Nassau Investments, a commercial real estate investment firm. “I’m the first one in my family to do this, so that’s why I’m so passionate about giving back and teaching,” says “It all starts with knowledge and believing in yourself. You. Can. Do. This!”

From humble beginnings dreaming of a career in STEM to the helm of a thriving real estate empire, Ealy’s journey is a remarkable one of inspiration and resilience. Born and raised in Cincinnati, his career trajectory took an unexpected turn during his time as a student at Tuskegee University, an historically Black university in Alabama. His love of math initially drew him to electrical engineering, but he read a book that lit a fire in him to give real estate a try. “I ended up being a real estate guy,” says Ealy with a smile, reflecting on that pivotal shift that changed the course of his life.”

He first embarked on his real estate journey in his 20s with $3,000 he’d saved from working multiple jobs. He started small, acquiring his first property using creative financing strategies he’d picked up from reading more books on real estate investing and business. He eventually acquired multiple properties and enjoyed a validating season of financial rewards. However, he soon learned the hard way that he did not have the right foundation and structure and unexpectedly lost it all during the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy and when race riots erupted in Cincinnati.

Defeated, Ealy initially wallowed in what he perceived as “the valley of failure,” but then he stepped out on faith, opting to change his perspective. “I cannot lie, at first I was feeling defeated, like a failure, like I let myself and my family down,” he remembers. “But then I brushed myself off and used my ‘get back up muscles’ and eased myself back into the game. It was an unfortunate experience, but it taught me some important life lessons that I needed to learn early on, about the power of perseverance and adaptability. For that, I am eternally grateful.”

Ealy stayed the course and eventually bounced back, leveraging what became known as the “the Great Recession” as a stepping stone to rebuild his wealth while others were losing big. Today his real estate portfolio boasts more than 1,500 units and five hotels, valued at over $300 million. His latest venture, the Lion Capital Fund, he says, represents the culmination of his experience and vision. “The Lion Capital Fund is an opportunity to acquire real estate as a REIT, Real Estate Investment Trust, offering consistent returns to investors,” he explains. More than just a fund, Ealy says the Lion Capital Fund aims to increase access to wealth-building opportunities. “We want to help people build wealth and be more in control of it,” he says. The passive investment fund caters to a wide range of investors, providing access to cash-flowing properties such as apartments and hotels with limited risk. One of its key objectives is being nimble and able to identify and act on real estate market opportunities quickly. Most recently that has resulted in him launching a funding campaign to purchase a mix of hotels and apartment complexes via Vesterr, a platform touted as the nation’s first Black-owned and led crowdfunding platform for real estate investing. “There’s never been a time like this in history,” Ealy states, referring to the impending foreclosure wave predicted as interest rates remain high and commercial real estate investors begin offloading properties. “Now’s the time to seize the opportunity to be a part of this, to get your financial piece of the pie.”

Ealy says Lion Capital Fund offers investors a chance to invest in existing, cash-flowing properties with limited risk. With properties already renovated and generating revenue, investors can expect steady returns and tax benefits. “We encourage people to get educated,” stresses Ealy, highlighting that he believes real estate is a safer investment than the volatile stock market. “There’s just so much opportunity out there to build wealth with real estate,” he says. “Every investment comes with risk, but I want people to know that real estate investing is a vehicle and it’s accessible and very lucrative.”

Beyond his business ventures, Ealy is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience in the real estate industry with others who want to learn. Through his website,, he offers courses, webinars and mentorship opportunities to aspiring investors. “My goal is to show people that they can impact the lives of their family and transform their financial status,” he asserts.

Reflecting on his journey, Ealy says he uses what he refers to as “the hurdles of unbelief, fear and failure” that he’s faced throughout his own career as opportunities to grow. “People laughed at me, but that just made me stronger, more determined,” he says. His message to aspiring investors: “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to obtain wealth. You are always just one big deal away from financial success!

Ealy is available to share his story of hope and financial empowerment across all media platforms. For more information about Ealy and the Lion Capital Fund, visit the official web site at

To arrange an interview, please contact Jia You at (513) 288-4606 or email

Nassau Investments is a Cincinnati-based commercial real estate investment firm with a portfolio boasting $250 million in apartments and hotels. Its mission is to educate and increase the wealth of investors by offering opportunities to participate and invest in exclusive commercial real estate investments, such as apartments and hotels.


Black Woman-Owned Tax Training Academy Launches New Program With 74 Apprentices

Dr. Cozette M. White, Founder and CEO of The Tax Curative Institute, proudly announces the launch of her inaugural Advanced Corporate Tax Training cohort, comprising a diverse group of executives, CEOs, and business owners from tax firms across the nation. This elite program focuses extensively on a comprehensive range of complex tax subjects, including S Corporations (1120S), C Corporations (1120), Partnerships (1065), Estates and Trusts (1041), and Tax-Exempt Organizations (990 series).

Guided by the expert leadership of Dr. White, the cohort benefits from an intensive curriculum that incorporates two key books that she authored: Beyond Numbers: Empowering Business Owners Through Tax Planning and Tax Strategies for Small Businesses. These publications provide critical insights for reducing tax liabilities and are fundamental to training these top-tier tax professionals.

Dr. White remarks, “Our curriculum is specifically designed to empower tax professionals by deepening their understanding of critical tax issues and equipping them with effective strategies to serve their clients. Tax Strategies for Small Businesses is particularly tailored for S corporation clients, providing actionable strategies that are crucial for business success.”

The Tax Curative Institute is excited to introduce the following esteemed professionals currently enhancing their expertise through this transformative training program:

• Alesha Brown, CEO, APB Tax Solutions, CA
• Amore Minor, Minor Tax Solutions, GA
• Angela Medley, Medley Financial Services, FL
• April Whitley, McNeal’s Tax Services, NY
• Arkela Carrigan, AC Tax Solutions, NC
• Arline Robinson, K and A Tax Mobile Services, TX
• Ashle Madry, The BOSS Connect, VA
• Ashley Gross, Harvest Time Financial, OH
• Brenda Villa, Villa Tax Group, GA
• Bryandie Walker, ITC Pro Tax Solutions, IL
• Carol Lopez, Oasis Tax & Financial Services, OK
• Chantal Jarrett, Collective Tax Group, MI
• Chassidy Grady, Grady Tax Plus, TX
• Chondra Alexander, CCA Tax Service, TX
• Daisy Lopez, Cohn, Lopez & Associates, CA
• Danielle Ridgeway, Covering Your Assets, LLC, IL
• Davia Montgomery, Phoenix Rising Financial, GA
• Deborah A Chesser, Bookkeeping by DebCee
• Desiree M. Staples, C&D Tax and Accounting Services, LLC, GA
• Diane Cornelius, Cornelius Financial Services, FL
• Edeline Francois, Edeline Francois & Associates Tax & Accounting, GA
• Emily Ferrell, Empire Konnections, LLC, TX
• Erica L Gay, E Lynn Tax Services, OH
• Eve Estrada, 1st Action Tax and Financial Services, TX
• Itzel Hernandez, HS Notary & Income Tax Service, TX
• Jameal Clark, Best Face Forward Consultants, MD
• Jeanua Latina L Morris, After Hours Tax, SC
• Jennifer Guzman, Bright Tax Corporation, NY
• Karen Reese, KOAR Fast Tax Service, TX
• Kayla Joshua, Knowledge Solutions, NV
• Kenya LaShea, Senary Tax Solutions, AL
• Kesha Norman-Young, K and A Mobile Tax Services, TX
• Keyan Carter, DeLuxe Consultants & Accounting, LLC, TX
• Kimberly Barry, Barry Consultant Solutions, LLC
• Kristie Brinson, Tax R US, GA
• La’Keesha G Stones, Thomas Tax Pros, KY
• Lamesha Barnes, Banks Tax Service, TX
• LaShai Thomas, Simply Enterprise, IL
• Latasha Margin, LAM Tax Services, TX
• Latonya Foreman, Accredited Financial Services, CA
• Leslie Ross, Peace of Mind Tax Solutions, TX
• Linnette Santos, Mapade Management, LLC, GA
• Liz Estrada, 1st Action Tax and Financial Services, TX
• Loren Hamilton, Hamilton Excellence Solutions, NC
• Marcey Dauterive, Plus More and Some Tax Services, LLC, TX
• Margie Brown, Epique Realty, AL
• Martin McDuffie, Martin’s Tax Consulting, SC
• Mychaela Vanison, Premier Tax & Financial Solutions, GA
• Nariyah Simms, GWAP Financial Enterprises, Inc., NJ
• Nazokat Alimova, NAZ CPA Tax Accounting Consulting, LLC, TX
• Nekia Cohea, NMC Group & Companies, TX
• Nicole Aisha Sutton, The Rich Girl Brand, TX
• Nicole Banks, Banks Tax Service, TX
• Nilda Ortega, Excel Tax Solutions, IL
• Portia Jordan-Dozier, J&J Trilogy Accounting Services, LLC, FL
• Rebecca Davis, TaxTyme Express Tax & Business, TX
• Renee Shoate, MMI & Associates, LLC, OK
• Royauntavious D. Tate, Tates Consulting Prosperity Group, GA
• Samantha Mabry, Mabry Tax Firm, GA
• Sara Morgan, Morgan Tax Solutions, NC
• Shantell Wilkins, RBA Tax & Financial Services, NC
• Sharonda Williams, Tax Lady II Union County, LLC, VA
• Shecorie Conley, Elite Tax 99, VA
• Shenika Taylor, Taylor Tax Services, GA
• Stephanie Crutchfield, Crutchfield Taxes FS, TX
• Tabitha-Hall Dunlap, TTC Tax Solutions
• Tanita Daniels, Straightpoint Solutions, LLC, GA
• Tasha Dampier, IATIA Business Services, TN
• Taylor Pringle, Pringle Financial Services, VA
• Temeisha McNeil, Sweet Resolutions, VA
• Tonya Fairley, Elite Talent LLC, CA
• Toya Traynor, Truth Tax & Accounting, IL
• Yolanda Meade, Yolanda Financial Services, MA

As these professionals progress through their training, the Tax Curative Institute anticipates their future successes and positive impact on the tax industry and their communities. All aspiring tax professionals and business owners are invited to join the program and utilize these invaluable resources. Enrollment opens in July for the next cohort.

The Tax Curative Institute also proudly offers its proprietary tax software, designed to streamline and enhance the efficiency of tax preparation and filing for professionals. This software and the comprehensive training provided ensure that participants are well-equipped to excel in their practices.

For more information about the Tax Curative Institute and its educational offerings, including details on Dr. White’s books, please visit

Founded by Dr. Cozette M. White, the Tax Curative Institute stands at the forefront of tax education, preparing tax professionals to handle the complexities of the tax environment proficiently. The institute is committed to cultivating knowledgeable and ethical tax practitioners who are well-equipped to meet today’s financial challenges and opportunities.

For press inquiries, contact or 805-832-0104.


Young Black Hotel Owner Launches Real Estate Investing Platform To Help Aspiring Owners

As a little Black girl growing up in the South, Davonne Reaves never imagined one day that she’d own a hotel. Let alone that she’d eventually become co-owner of multiple hotels before the age of 40.Once that dream became a reality, first in 2020, when Reaves and her former college roommate became the youngest African American women to ever co-own a property in a major hotel chain and then later when she acquired two more hotels as part of the Indiana-based Nassau Investment Group, the longtime hospitality-industry-worker-turned-real-estate-investor found herself yearning to help others get into the commercial real estate game too.

“It’s truly an amazing experience and opportunity, but for decades, it’s been out of reach and limited mostly to those who are extremely wealthy or already experienced in the field,” says Reaves, 36, an Atlanta-based award-winning hotel consultant and asset manager who now boasts an investment portfolio that includes co-ownership of hotels and residential real estate properties totalling $30 million. ”I knew in my heart that I had to do my part to help connect others to these types of lucrative investment opportunities. Tapping into this industry has changed my financial future and transformed my life!”

How to accomplish that goal eluded her, until finally a big “ah-ha moment” came in 2021 to create a platform of her own to help others leverage their financial resources; no matter how much or little they had to invest. Federal regulations requiring investors to raise more money to support their endeavors came the same year.

The result is Vesterr, Reaves’ newly-launched crowdfunding platform that allows accredited and non-accredited investors to join in on commercial real estate securities opportunities, starting with as little as $5,000.

“Think of ‘GoFundMe,’ but for commercial real estate investing,” says Reaves. “We’re the first Black-owned, first woman-owned crowd-funding platform for commercial real estate to include hotels in the country and this is just the beginning! The Vesterr platform connects investors with owners to raise capital.”

Reaves says her mission is simple; help others grow their real estate portfolio by giving them access to the funds they need while providing investors with opportunities to invest in securities. Much like traditional crowd-funding platforms, those who sign up for Vesterr may peruse the site in search of investment deals in commercial real estate, including hotels, multi-family, retail space and more, that fit their unique investment needs. A minimum investment amount is listed up front and interested parties must meet a set deadline to contribute to the campaign. Vesterr investors also get to decide between investment projects that are more “hands on” or “hands off.”

“This platform is really about creating opportunities for all, but I also want it to provide a space for those who have not traditionally felt welcome or included in this industry, such as women, people of color, young people and so on,” explains Reaves. “You can start with the minimum investment and build up from there. Gone are the days where you had to have tens of thousands of dollars just to get into the game. This is a game-changer!”

Client Amina James agrees. She served as general partner for a recent deal, funding a Holiday Inn in Lake Charles, LA. on the Vesterr platform. “We met our fundraising goal and it was a successful raise,” gushes James, 38, of Washington DC. “I give so much credit to Vesterr. It is so easy for investors to ask questions using the Q&A feature on the site. When you put a deal on Vesterr you get great exposure and marketing support too.”

James says a broad network of accredited investors, amazing customer service, easy onboarding compared to other platforms and option to use several different investment methods – not just cash – all make Vesterr an excellent choice. The “Black girl magic part,” she says, is a bonus. “I love that Vesterr is Black woman-owned too!”

Reaves says success stories like James’ continue to inspire her: ”Whether you’re an owner or developer or an experienced investor, Vesterr can assist to make it attainable for you to get funding and add commercial real estate assets to your portfolio. You can have your part of the American dream!”

Reaves is available to share her inspirational story and details of her passionate advocacy work focused on education and economic empowerment across all media platforms. To arrange an interview, please contact June at or call 404-946-3317.

About Vesterr
Vesterr is an innovative investment platform that provides access to commercial real estate securities including hotels, multi-family, retail for both retail investors (accredited and non accredited investors). For more information, visit


Two Founders Launch Black-Owned Academy Teaching Entrepreneurs How To Raise Capital

Meet Sean Teamor and Kyle Freeman, the dynamic duo behind Capital Raising Academy, the ultimate destination for mastering the art of funding and accelerating business growth. The academy has an 8-week program designed to equip entrepreneurs with the expertise to navigate the intricate world of capital raising successfully.

Both Sean and Kyle have developed a comprehensive program that was meticulously crafted by seasoned professionals with decades of experience in finance, investment banking, and entrepreneurship. Attendees learn everything from crafting compelling pitches to navigating the complex landscape of investor relations. They also acquire the confidence, knowledge, and resources to secure the capital needed to turn their ambitious dreams into tangible reality.

With a keen understanding of the challenges faced by startups and growing businesses, the academy has curated a series of informative training modules meticulously crafted to address every facet of the fundraising journey. Throughout the program, participants are immersed in a dynamic learning environment led by industry experts and seasoned investors. From mastering the art of crafting compelling pitch decks to demystifying the intricacies of valuation and deal structuring, each module is tailored to provide actionable insights and practical strategies that can be immediately applied to real-world scenarios.

Capital Raising Academy goes beyond theory, fostering interactive discussions, case studies, and hands-on exercises to ensure that entrepreneurs not only grasp fundamental concepts but also develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. Whether seeking seed funding, venture capital, or exploring alternative financing options, participants emerge from the program empowered with the confidence and expertise needed to successfully raise capital and propel their ventures to new heights.

They also do speaking engagements

Both Sean and Kyle have decades of collective experience navigating the complex world of venture capital and raising capital. As educators, they are the ideal speakers to enlighten and empower your attendees. Whether you’re hosting a conference, workshop, or exclusive executive gathering, Sean and Kyle’s expertise will leave a lasting impact.

Their dynamic speaking style, coupled with their real-world experiences as successful entrepreneurs and venture capital experts, create an engaging and informative experience that will captivate your audience. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to transform their venture capital aspirations into tangible realities.

About the Founders

Sean Teamor is a driven and accomplished entrepreneur with a unique blend of military discipline and financial expertise. As an Air Force veteran, Sean brings a strong sense of leadership, integrity, and commitment to his work in the private sector. After transitioning from the military, Sean began his career in the world of venture capital, where he quickly developed a keen understanding of the intricacies involved in raising capital and guiding companies through the process of going public. His natural aptitude for finance and his dedication to learning led him to become a licensed stock broker, enabling him to directly assist companies in achieving their public offering goals.

Kyle Freeman got started in business marketing in 1996 in San Diego, California. He was the first field coordinator promoted in the region, in record time. He left the company after several years and became the head trainer of a similar company in the telecom marketing industry. After spending many years with two different companies, he decided to set out on his own. In 2003, he created Juice Marketing, Inc., where he served as President and CEO for the next five years. In that period of time under his leadership the company JMI became JMI Telecom Corp, a publicly traded company and one of the only minority-owned public utilities companies in the country.

Learn more about Capital Raising Academy by visiting its official website at

For press inquiries, media interviews, or to book them for speaking engagements, please contact Connia Walker–Johnson at or 503-683-1222.


Black Couple Launch Fastest-Growing Education Platform Teaching Financial Literacy And Real Estate

Meet J. Whit and his wife, Joy, the founders of Ask Whit, a groundbreaking Black-owned education platform that is dedicated to providing essential resources and knowledge to empower African Americans in personal credit, business credit, and real estate. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, this entrepreneurial couple is very passionate about financial empowerment, and they built their platform to help bridge the gap in financial literacy and economic empowerment.

The launch of Ask Whit will unfold in three phases, each focusing on a crucial aspect of financial empowerment:

1. Personal Credit – This phase will cover topics such as debt settlement and credit repair, providing individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to improve their credit scores and financial health.

2. Business Credit – The second phase will focus on building business credit, which is essential for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to establish and grow their ventures.

3. Real Estate – The final phase will delve into homeownership and real estate investing, offering insights and strategies for building wealth through property ownership.

Ask Whit offers a comprehensive range of resources, including ebooks, workbooks, and courses, designed to educate and equip individuals with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of credit and real estate. From understanding credit scores to building a successful real estate portfolio, Ask Whit provides practical and actionable advice tailored to the needs of the Black community.

One of the key features of Ask Whit is its vibrant and supportive community, Whit’s Wisdom, where members can engage in discussions, share insights, and support each other on their journey to financial freedom. This community-driven approach fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment, creating a space where individuals can learn and grow together.

“We believe that financial literacy is the key to unlocking economic empowerment,” said the founders of Ask Whit. “Our mission is to provide the black community with the knowledge and resources needed to take control of their financial future and build a legacy of wealth and prosperity.”

As a Black-owned business, Ask Whit is committed to uplifting and empowering the black community. By focusing on financial education and empowerment, the platform aims to create a brighter future for generations to come.

For more information, visit and join the movement towards financial freedom with Ask Whit.

For press inquiries or media interviews, contact 704-248-7534 or


Meet The Millionaire Maker For Black Women In Corporate America

Women’s leadership expert and executive coach, Christy Rutherford has assisted her clients with getting over $14 million in salary raises since 2020, with seven Black women receiving seven-figure compensation packages.

Since 2020, companies have touted their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and spent approximately $7.5 billion on related efforts. However, despite the increase in efforts, the progress to increase inclusion and diversity has been slow or nonexistent.

Currently, organizations like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are dialing back their DEI efforts, and while these programs are under attack in different industries, a South Carolina State alumna is unbothered by the battle because she has been breaking barriers for over twenty years.

Christy comments, “My superpower is helping people see a greater version of themselves, and this inherent gift contributed to executive-level success in my previous career. I mentored hundreds of people before I became an ‘executive coach.’ We (Black officers in the US Coast Guard) lagged behind our white male counterparts at the mid-levels of leadership, and the gap widened with every promotion. In 2007, I created a mentorship program to solve that problem. In the past five years, the organization has had the largest number of senior Black officers in history. I have a long history of creating leadership pipelines where women and minorities can flourish in their jobs.”

A Harvard Business School alumna, Rutherford completed the Program for Leadership Development and three negotiation courses to learn how to translate and apply her career guidance from the military to the corporate world.

Christy continues, “In the past ten years, I have talked to hundreds of women who feel overworked, underpaid, and underemployed. They want to be promoted but don’t ask. And when they ask, they usually say, ‘What are you going to give me? Or ‘What do you think is fair?’ Women put the onus on their leaders to tell them their value and continue to be disappointed year after year.”

What women are doing to be promoted makes them unpromotable,” Rutherford says. “Women exhaust themselves from working harder, getting multiple advanced degrees, volunteering for extra projects, and being available after hours and on the weekends. When leaders look for people to promote, they overlook the tired and task-laden woman and give the role to a less qualified person who can handle more work. ”

McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace study consistently reports that Black women lag behind their white counterparts at every level of leadership. Their 2023 report also showed the disparities in promotions started to widen for Black women at the manager level in comparison to Black men.

Christy shares that the women who are admittedly overworked, underpaid, and underemployed contribute to the talent gap that has persisted in the job market for at least ten years.

She assisted her global clients with doubling and tripling their salaries many times in less than six months. “The most significant change I get my clients to make that results in a salary increase and promotion is prioritizing their self-care. This may not be the popular opinion but holding high-achieving women accountable to taking care of themselves is no easy feat. I worked 16-hour days, created high-performing teams, and set national standards for my organization. While I had numerous degrees and countless awards, I never adopted a consistent self-care routine. When I finally earned my seat at the executive table, within 18 months, I mentally and physically collapsed and ended up resigning with 3.5 years left to retire with a full pension.”

“It was devastating,” Christy soberly shares, “and that’s why I’m so passionate about what I do: We all shouldn’t have to learn this lesson the hard way.”

Burnout, stress, and poor mental health have become normalized conversations. Professional articles cite what organizations should do to provide psychological safety for Black women; Rutherford contends that Black women have to take the reins of their careers and self-care and not wait for a policy to change their circumstances.

She believes that it’s possible for women to have it all – a healthy body, a great career, and balanced families and offers five suggestions for how women can restore their mental and physical health and set themselves up for promotion:

1. Meditate for five minutes three times a week
2. Workout three times a week for 30 minutes
3. Sleep for eight hours three times a week
4. Set a monetary target at least 30% higher than your current salary and look for jobs to match that.
5. Create a Personal Board of Advisors with a mentor, sponsor, and coach.

She offers, “A mentor is someone who has been where you want to go and will show you how to get there. A sponsor has power and will use it to open doors for you. A coach (non-company sponsored) will hold you accountable for taking care of yourself.”

She believes that Black women can close the pay gap themselves by owning their true value and implementing the five suggestions mentioned. It has worked for her clients time and time again.

Overall, Christy’s goal is to get 10,000 women $1 billion in salary raises by 2025. Find out more about her work and events here.


Minnesota Makes History With Its First Ever Black-Led Credit Union

Arise Community Credit Union is making history as Minnesota’s first Black-led credit union. Founded by the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP), the credit union aims to address financial disparities and empower underserved communities in the state, offering essential banking services and promoting financial literacy.

Back in July 2016, after tragic incidents like the death of Philando Castile, the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) set out on a mission to establish a credit union in north Minneapolis, led by members of the Black community.

“There was a huge need. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times, no cavalry was coming. It was a banking desert and the financial institutions that were there were having a hostile relationship with the communities riddled with payday lenders. So people were left to become victims to payday lenders raking over 400% on a loan,” said Debra Hurston, executive director of the ABEP, according to KARE11.

That’s when they set out to launch Arise Community Credit Union, Minnesota’s first Black-led credit union and the state’s first new state-chartered credit union in over two decades.

Daniel Johnson, CEO-designee for Arise, emphasized the cooperative nature of credit unions, where members benefit from lower interest rates and higher returns. With over two decades of banking experience, Johnson expressed a commitment to serving all communities, particularly those historically underserved.

“We love all and serve all, so we’re going to love and serve everyone. However, we’re going to really make a concerted effort to reach toward the communities and groups that have been left, before us, behind,” he said.

Arise will initially offer basic services like checking and savings accounts and consumer loans, with plans to expand its offerings gradually. All services are currently accessible through online banking but they’re aiming to establish a physical location in north Minneapolis soon.

Moreover, Arise, which is set to enroll its first members by the year’s end, also plans to organize events to promote financial literacy, helping members make informed decisions about their money.

Learn more about the credit union via its official website

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @AriseCCU


Black Couple Honored For Their Business Contributions To The City Of Baltimore

Andra and Dr. Tam Taylor, an African American couple known as the founders of TaylorMade Global, have been recognized by Alignable as Baltimore’s 2024 Business Person of the Year. Alignable is the largest online networking platform for business owners with 8.7 million members, and this year’s competition was the most popular one that it has hosted in over five years, marking a 40% jump in participation over 2023.

The Taylors were honored for supporting vital business needs from tech to financial planning via their company which they say is a mission-driven collective with a resolute purpose that has an unwavering commitment to serve Mission-Driven Brands, Nonprofits, and Public Purpose Organizations. Their goal is to empower such entities to elevate awareness, enhance engagement, and achieve enduring results.

“In our local business community, we look out for each other and refer businesses down the street or around the corner to help make everyone in town as successful as possible,” said the Taylors “And the challenges we’ve all encountered have compelled many of us to offer counsel to peers fighting to keep their businesses afloat. While I’m thrilled to receive this award, it’s really a testament to our entire community.”

Alignable’s 2024 Local Business Person of the Year Contest reached unparalleled participation levels, logging a whopping 309,000+ votes, 64,000+ recommendations, and an unheard-of number of local winners – over 5,100 across the U.S. and Canada. During the 2024 contest, more than 5,000 business owners emerged as winners (including ties), across 4,820 communities. That’s an increase of more than 1,100 additional Local Business People of 2024 compared to 2023.

These leaders were commended for helping their peers and communities through a year with many challenges, including rising interest rates and rents, not to mention skyrocketing supply costs.

“Our members can’t stop raving about how this contest supercharged the relationships within their networks, which have sparked referrals, ignited fresh business opportunities, and fueled an unstoppable wave of mutual support,” said Eric Groves, CEO and Co-Founder of Alignable. “Small business owners are the vibrant heartbeat of their communities, and it’s high time they got the recognition they deserve. With over 64,000 recommendations pouring in from this year’s contest, it’s crystal clear: when small business owners unite, they become an unstoppable force.”

The Taylors received a special badge on their Alignable profile, recognizing this big win. In past years, the awareness generated through similar contests has spurred expanded connections, as well as new business for many winners.

Learn more about Andra and Dr. Tam Taylor and their company, TaylorMade Global, at its official website at

For press inquiries and media interview requests, contact Chuck Casto at


34-Year-Old Financial Advisor Launches Free Masterclass, Aims To Help One Million Black Families Break The Chains Of Poverty

Tremaine Wills, an award-winning financial advisor and the founder of Mind Over Money, a Black-owned visionary financial advisory firm is rewriting financial narratives for families nationwide. She has launched a free live masterclass called “Multiple Streams of Income Done the Right Way” where she is teaching how to turn W2 income into passive income.

Tremaine has garnered recognition as an Excellence Awardee by Investment News, named a Top 100 Financial Advisor by Investopedia in both 2022 and 2023, and has shared insights on platforms such as Black Enterprise and the WSJ: Your Money Briefing podcast. With a mission to help one million families become millionaires, Mind Over Money is a beacon of hope and financial empowerment.

At the core of Mind Over Money’s innovative financial strategies lies Tremaine’s deeply held philosophy, a blend of personal experience and the timeless wisdom found in biblical teachings. This guiding principle from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise humble beginnings,” serves as a constant reminder of the value of laying a strong foundation for financial growth. Her journey, marked by the practical application of these principles, underscores the belief that true wealth is built brick by brick, starting with the smallest of assets.

Her programs are built around the idea of giving money a purpose. They’re designed to help people from all different backgrounds figure out their own paths to making their money do more. Tremaine’s advice starts with appreciating the small beginnings, encouraging people to look ahead and plan for a future where financial success is a real thing, not just a dream. It’s all about making smart moves with money, dreaming big, and seeing how all those smart choices add up over time.

For those who are ready to transform their financial destinies and break the chains of poverty, Mind Over Money extends an invitation to begin with a free 14-day trial in the Breakthrough Financial Coaching and Accountability Program. For a more advanced strategy, consider a free discovery call. Learn how Tremaine and her team can help.


Meet The Founder Behind Maryland’s First Pre-Approved Black-Owned 5-County Federal Credit Union

Meet Troy Smith, the Founder and CEO of G1 Investment LLC and the United States Economic Rights Coalition (USERC), who is working with seven other African Americans to launch the proposed C3 Federal Credit Union, which will be Maryland’s first-ever Black-owned 5-county Federal Credit Union. His group began meeting in March of last year to develop an FCU to serve their communities’ underrepresented African American and Hispanic residents.

Troy and his team are working hard to raise $10 million in donated capital. Their goal is to convince 100,000 people to donate just $100. They are based in Charles County and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and have worked throughout the year on the NCUA Proof of Concept submission, which requires the organizers to rigorously research all the legal characteristics of chartering a federal credit union, specifically focusing on their Purpose and Core Values, Field of Membership, Subscribers, and Capital Funding Plan. NCUA reviews and scores each Critical Element in the Proof of Concept using a 100-point scale, providing a score of up to 25 points for each element.

For groups meeting the minimum score of 80, the NCUA will send a formal invitation to submit a full charter application. Proposed C3 Federal Credit Union has received that formal invitation. Meet the leader of a group of volunteers who worked all 2023 to submit a Proof of Concept application to the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) to establish a black-owned five-county community development Federal Credit Union Charter. The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) issued a historic Pre-Approval letter to Proposed C3 Federal Credit Union on January 28, 2024.

For the first time in Maryland history, the NCUA has preliminarily agreed to consider these five counties in Maryland as one community — Charles, Prince George’s, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Anne Arundel—just under 2 million potential members. Federal Credit Unions (FCU) differ from banks in that their depositors equally own them, and they are geographically restrictive. FCUs must identify a Field of Membership (FOM) based on a common bond. The common bond can be occupational, associational, or community-based. Community chartered FCUs can have a field of membership (FOM) that consists of a single political jurisdiction or multiple contiguous political jurisdictions so long as the population is 2.5 million or less.

“The Federal Credit Union system is the most powerful financial institutional framework available in our country because it puts power in the hands of the people who make the deposits. Whereas a bank, especially large US banks, take deposits from the general body of people and funnel loans into the hands of their preferred account holders, leaving African American and Hispanic businesses and individuals chronically underfunded and voiceless,” says Troy.

Phase 2 of the chartering process includes preparing a business plan, developing a proforma, surveying the proposed field of membership (FOM), and raising capital.

C3’s mission is to financially strengthen the Maryland community by providing financial literacy workshops, entrepreneurship training, and investment educational seminars while ensuring access to responsible credit, savings, and business services in an environment filled with hospitality and compassion.

C3 will work to educate youth and adults on the purpose and importance of savings and investing and on understanding how to handle capital responsibly. The proposed federal credit union will support the local business community by providing business services, education, and loan products to keep the business community at the cutting edge of information and technology and well-leveraged to compete in an ever-aggressive competitive economy.

The following steps for this initiative are for the proposed federal credit union to survey the field of membership and begin raising the capital needed to bring this vision to life. If you live in any of the following counties (Charles, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Calvert, St. Mary’s), please complete the survey, as they need at least 384 surveys completed to qualify.

C3 seeks $10 million in donated capital to launch the proposed federal credit union. To donate, please visit:

To watch the DocuSeries created please visit the following links:

• Official Trailer:
• Full Episode:

Troy adds, “It is time to re-experience the power of intentional collaboration and show society that significant and impactful things can happen when people come together and demonstrate their strength.”

For press inquiries, contact Proposed C3 Federal Credit Union at