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.


Founder Of Leading Black-Owned Construction Firm Honored With Prestigious Award

Rodney Greenup, the Founder and President of Greenup Industries, a leading Black-owned provider of industrial construction and maintenance services, is celebrating that his firm has been honored with the prestigious Gold Safety Award by Highwire, which is presented to companies registering a safety score of 85-95% in the Safety Assessment Program.

Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Greenup Industries has proven its commitment to safety and its efforts to maintain a safe work environment for its employees, contractors, and customers. The company has implemented rigorous safety protocols and training programs to ensure compliance with industry safety standards, and regulations.

In addition to its focus on safety, Greenup Industries has also leveraged the power of Highwire to mitigate contractor risk, streamline operations, and improve project outcomes. Highwire’s innovative technology platform has enabled the company to manage its contractor risk more effectively, reduce costs, and improve overall project per projects.

Rodney comments, “As a trusted solutions provider, our company has also been the recipient of other awards including the Gold Medal Award presented by Shell/Norco, the Contractor Safety Award, presented by CAST, Supplier of the presented by Tier III, Emerging Growth Company Award, presented by ACG and many more.”

Greenup Industries provides a full range of onboarding solutions, maintenance and design services, and specialty construction services to our diverse set of clients. They offer effective onboarding, reduced costs, accountability, and consistent vetting of vendors. The company has clocked over 500,000 safe work man-hours.

To learn more about the benefits of working with Greenup Industries, call (225) 283-4843 or visit their official website at

For press inquiries, contact 504-598-3677 or


Meet The Black Woman Leading Her Own Electric Company In Detroit

Deana Neely, the Founder and CEO of Detroit Voltage, is making history as an African American woman in Detroit who is leading her own electric company. Most recently, she has secured a historic six-figure deal with DTE Energy, the largest electric utility company in Michigan serving 2.3 million customers.

Deana’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations and prioritizing safety and compliance has solidified its reputation as a trusted partner in the Metro Detroit area.

Through the recent deal, she says that her company has teamed up with DTE Energy to install hundreds of local electric vehicle charging stations.

With over a decade of experience in electrical contracting, Deana has proven her expertise in the field. The company, a certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), offers top-notch residential and commercial services, focusing on safety, following the rules, and customer satisfaction.

What sets Detroit Voltage apart is its strong relationships with building department officials. This ensures smooth navigation through regulatory processes, guaranteeing safe and code-compliant electrical work that passes inspection without any problems.

Learn more about Deana Neely and her company, visit the official website at

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @DetroitVoltage


Black Woman Owner Of 3 Successful Businesses Named 2024 Enterprising Woman Of The Year

Roslyn Ellerbee, a prominent Black woman entrepreneur based in Atlanta who is the owner of three successful businesses, has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Enterprising Woman of the Year title. This esteemed recognition is a testament to her outstanding achievements and leadership in the business community.

Roslyn is the owner of three successful businesses, including Express Errands & Courier, Dream Team Digital Marketing, and Manifesting Greatness with Roslyn V-360° Business Coaching, Roslyn Ellerbee has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence and innovation. Her dedication to business development and marketing has driven the success of her own enterprises and inspired and empowered countless others in the industry.

The Enterprising Woman of the Year award is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. It honors women who have exhibited exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, and commitment to their businesses and communities.

In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Roslyn is actively involved in community-based activities, including mentoring early-stage businesses, volunteering at local shelters, and supporting youth programs. She is also a ‘Big’ in the Big Brother Big Sisters Program, further highlighting her commitment to positively impacting the community.

“I am incredibly honored to receive the 2024 Enterprising Woman of the Year award,” said Roslyn. “This recognition reflects not just my hard work and dedication but also the amazing team and support system that surrounds me. I am grateful for the opportunity to inspire and empower others on their entrepreneurial journey.”

The Enterprising Woman of the Year award is a well-deserved accolade for Roslyn Ellerbee. It highlights her as a true leader and trailblazer in the business world. Her commitment to excellence, innovation, and community involvement inspires women entrepreneurs everywhere.

For more information about Roslyn Ellerbee and her businesses, please visit

For press inquiries or media interviews, contact


This Health Insurance Agency Owned By A Black Mom And Daughter Duo Is Helping Applicants Get Free Coverage

Meet Shaughnna and Fallon Blackmon, an African American mom and daughter from Houston, Texas, who are the founders of The Real Insurance Lady, a Black-owned multi-million-dollar health insurance agency that provides affordable and free health insurance plans across the United States. Making it a family affair, they have enlisted many of their close friends and family members and have grown their agency now operating all over the South with agents in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.

Shaughnna, the mom, is the mastermind and foundation of The Real Insurance Lady providing the executive strategy that allows them to boast about being the #1 Obamacare policy writer in the nation. Together with her daughter, Fallon, they helped more than 16,000 people get health insurance coverage last year and that number is expected to grow exponentially this year. Thanks to Fallon’s marketing expertise, their company has gone viral in Houston in other small towns across the state and the nation.

Shaughnna comments, “We are on the ground, in the community, helping people to live happier, healthier lives by meeting them right where they are. Healthcare is a universal right for everyone, and our team is doing what it takes to ensure everyone in America has health insurance.”

Obamacare has been in place since March 23rd, 2010, and more than 21.3 million people have enrolled in ACA marketplace coverage. However, so far in 2024, nearly 50% of Americans are struggling to afford their existing healthcare bills. The Real Insurance Lady has over 50 employees working around the clock to make a difference in the healthcare outcomes of people everywhere. They have a host of insurance agents, brand ambassadors, and customer service team members available online, by phone, and in person to help people get health insurance.

Many clients that get health coverage with The Real Insurance Lady pay $0 a month because of the government subsidy. This is a huge help to applicants who are underemployed or don’t have an employer-sponsored health insurance plan accessible to them. In some cases, what an applicant can get through an ACA health plan allows them to save significant dollars each month.

This is truly a great economic gain for those who enroll amid a host of benefits:

• It takes 7 minutes or less to get health, dental, and vision insurance in place for individuals and families.

• Focuses on providing coverage to underserved and low-income communities across the country.

• Individuals and families put money back in their pockets and reduce their healthcare expenditures.

• 95% of applicants qualify for free health insurance.

For more information about their health insurance plans, call (713) 367-1161 to speak to an insurance specialist or visit their official website at to request a quote.

For press inquiries or media interviews, send an email to


“Media Bae” Publicist Known For Her Red Carpet Interviews Celebrates Almost 20 Years In The Industry

Monesha “Mo” Clark, also known as Ms. Media Bae, is an Atlanta-based African-American journalist and publicist who has been in the media and entertainment industry for almost 20 years. Known for her personable red-carpet interviews as well as moderating panels, she is also a published freelance writer who has had her articles featured in publications like FEMI Magazine, Sheen Magazine, and Upscale Magazine.

Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Monesha intertwines her cultivating creative drive for writing along with her engaging social media, marketing, and networking know-how together with multiple platforms to create and conquer additional media strategies and teaching techniques. She herself has been featured on multiple platforms such as FEMI, VOYAGE Atl, Pretty Women Hustle, and many more.

Monesha has hosted several events throughout the city of Atlanta, as well as promotional modeling for several venues including, Opera Night Club. In the summer of 2016, she was offered an opportunity to join a local internet radio show as a host for a rotating chair. With her fan base and charismatic personality, she was able to land a full-time and permanent spot as one of the hosts on the show where she stayed until January 2019. She then decided to pursue her own entrepreneurial opportunities.

She has conducted celebrity interviews with the likes of T.I., Shad Moss, Yung Joc, Scrappy, Crystal Renee, Curvy Chrisy, Tony Talks, and many more. Mo is also the publicist for celebrity clients such as Suzette The Realtor, Kendrick Daniel, Prince Razi, and others

She is also the host of DaPostUp, a popular TV show turned podcast that currently airs on Status Network’s Global Vision TV and keeps viewers up to speed and in the know about what’s happening in Atlanta, Georgia. Her podcast features both in-studio and on-site interviews.

Learn more about information about Mo Clark and her services by visiting her official website at

For press inquiries or media interviews, contact


First And Only Black Female Licensed Master Plumber Now Runs Her Own Contracting Company

Adrienne Bennett, a true pioneer in the plumbing industry, made history at the age of 30 when she became the first black female master plumber and contractor in the United States. She also became the first African-American female plumbing inspector and certified medical gas inspector and installer. Now, over three decades later, she is the Founder and CEO of her very own Detroit-based contracting company, Benkari LLC, and she continues to make waves in the male-dominated field.

Bennett, along with her son A.K. Bennett, founded Benkari in 2008, venturing into commercial plumbing and water conservation.

“I’ve been a journeyman plumber, a master plumber, project manager, plumbing inspector, and code enforcement officer for the city of Detroit for a decade. There was no place left to go but become an independent contractor,” she told CNN. “It was the final frontier.”

Growing up, Bennett has always been interested in math and science. She wanted to study mechanical engineering in college, but a discriminating incident led her to abandon her college aspirations.

A chance encounter at a 1976 election rally for Jimmy Carter changed her life’s trajectory after she was offered a spot in a federally-sponsored apprenticeship program. She faced challenges and bullying in a male-dominated field but emerged as the first woman in the state to complete the apprenticeship program successfully.

Eventually, after accumulating 4,000 hours of experience, Bennett took the master plumber exam, making history as the first black female master plumber in Michigan and the entire United States. Even the state’s labor department recognized her achievement with a letter commending her “unblemished record.”

In 1995, Bennett faced another hurdle when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, prompting her to take a break. But when she returned, she launched Benkari, contributing to Detroit’s revitalization with notable contracts like the Little Caesars Arena and the Anthony Wayne Housing Development.

Now in her 60s, Bennett continues to navigate the male-dominated industry with her own company. As a survivor and industry leader, she also plays a role in shaping the next generation of skilled tradespeople by serving on the advisory board for Lawrence Tech.

Learn more about the company via its official website


Meet The Black Entrepreneur Transforming Customer Service With Flexible Work Solutions

David C. Williams, an award-winning inventor, tech entrepreneur, and author celebrated for his innovations and leadership in technology, has launched FlexAgent, an innovative Black-owned customer service solution, designed to redefine the way customer care is delivered. This ground-breaking platform connects independent agents to top US brands, allowing them to handle customer service calls from the comfort of their homes and on their own schedules.

FlexAgent is not just a job; it’s a movement towards creating more fulfilling and empowered work experiences. Agents are matched with leading US brands, trained to provide exceptional customer service, and given the tools to start earning flexibly. FlexAgent is here to show the world what happens when technology meets humanity – a seamless blend of support and heartfelt care that results in unmatched service quality.

Being a FlexAgent means being in control. Agents from anywhere in the U.S. can join the platform. After a simple background check, training begins at a pace that suits you – some agents begin earning in as little as one week.

FlexAgent is more than just a gig – it’s a platform that empowers individuals to create their own success stories. As independent contractors, Flex Agents enjoy the freedom to dictate their own hours, enabling them to work as much or as little as they desire. FlexAgent is committed to empowering people and fostering inclusive economic growth. The platform is designed to:

• Enhance Job Access: By offering remote and flexible work options, FlexAgent is expanding job opportunities, particularly for marginalized groups.

• Offer Cost Savings: The remote nature of the work significantly cuts down commuting expenses, helping agents save money.

• Improve Work-Life Balance: FlexAgent promotes a healthy balance between professional obligations and personal life.

• Wage Equalization: By mitigating geographical wage gaps, FlexAgent allows individuals to earn higher wages irrespective of their living area.

• Empower Marginalized Groups: The platform offers more inclusive employment options, challenging systemic inequalities and encouraging economic empowerment.

“As we launch FlexAgent, we’re not just introducing a new way to work; we’re driving tremendous savings, higher levels of security, and an experience that benefits all. Our mission is to drive exponential savings, empowered individuals, and exceptional customer experiences. FlexAgent is where technology, humanity, and innovation converge creating a recipe for mastering the Art of the Possible,” says David.

FlexAgent is not just transforming customer service; it’s shaping the future of work. Join us as we embark on this exciting journey to become the global leader in customer care.

About the Founder
With humble roots in Dallas, Texas, David C. Williams’ journey from a challenging upbringing to a tech luminary is chronicled in his best-selling book Business Model. His accolades include the 2023 D CEO Corporate Innovator, multiple Stevie Awards, and the 2021 Legacy Award at the Black Engineer of the Year STEM Conference.

For more information about becoming a FlexAgent, please visit the official website at

For press inquiries, please contact Creative Voices PR at 917-328-6509 or


Free Incubator Program To Teach Black-Owned Businesses How To Grow In The Tourism Industry

Black Wall Street AVL, an Asheville, North Carolina-based non-profit that empowers Black entrepreneurs with scalability, expansion, and growth programs, has proudly introduced the launch of its Inaugural National Virtual Incubator, adding to its educational lineup in anticipation of the Fourth Annual Grind-Fest. This virtual program webinar series will be hosted on March 6th and 13th. The ninety-minute sessions are designed to empower Black-owned businesses by equipping them with crucial tools, language, and resources to access opportunities within the tourism industry.

“We have enrolled more than 141 businesses, generated over $3 million in total revenue, and created 22 jobs. Black Wall Street has actively tapped into the $3 billion tourism economy by preparing BIPOC entrepreneurs for engagement,” says J Hackett, Founder of Black Wall Street AVL.

Black Wall Street AVL National Virtual Incubator will offer participants entry-level assistance in accessing local tourism funding, locating decision-makers to access tourism dollars, and how they can be a part of Asheville, North Carolina’s biggest revenue-generating festival, the Grind-Fest, happening in May. Notably, Grind-Fest is renowned for celebrating black business and entrepreneurship. In addition, the incubator offers monthly meetings for members to learn and grow collaboratively and quarterly virtual sessions, expanding its national reach to support black-owned businesses in tourism education.

“By empowering entrepreneurs, we are using our local programming, by leveraging the E13 data tool and employing our dynamic logic model, we have cultivated resilient leaders who seize opportunities, mitigate risks, and create impactful ventures,” says Aisha Adams, Co-developer & Director of Black Wall Street AVL’s G.A.T.E. Program.

Nestled under the umbrella of Black Wall Street AVL, the Grindfest is a free, three-day event that celebrates the success of Black entrepreneurs + business owners in Asheville. Commencing May 24-26, attendees will enjoy music and live performances from national recording artists and entertainment such as games, food, local vendors + learning, employment, and partnership opportunities with the organization’s Duke Energy & Buncombe County.

Black Wall Street AVL partners include Explore Asheville, Mountain Bizworks, and Thrive Asheville plays a pivotal role in developing, contributing, and connecting participants with learning resources. In addition, this year’s program is funded by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Asheville Merchants Fund, Buncombe County, Community Foundation of W.N.C., Duke Energy, Mountain Bizworks, and Thrive Asheville.

To learn more about Black Wall Street AVL’s impact in shaping the future of BIPOC entrepreneurship in Asheville, visit the website at

To sign up for the Black Wall Street AVL Incubator Program, visit the registration link.

About the Founder
J Hackett, founder and board chair of Black Wall Street AVL, has over 20 years of community and economic development experience. He is an expert in social enterprise with work featured in NAADAC’s scholarly journal and the NC Bar Journal.

He is also the owner of GRIND, Asheville’s first Black-owned coffee shop, and has been recognized as the #1 fastest-growing startup in Asheville, the #1 minority-owned business in WNC, and the #3 best coffee shop in the state of North Carolina.

About Black Wall Street AVL
Black Wall Street (BWS) AVL is a Black business incubator with a mission to help people start, grow, and scale to turn their ideas into reality and build a supportive community for local Black entrepreneurs. This program is designed to scale their business to revitalize Black Wall Street.

For press inquiries, contact or 470-650-0571.


Founder Releases Landmark Report Revealing Secrets Of Black-Owned Service-Based Business Success

Speak Your Way To Cash®, founded by sales strategist and attorney, Ashley N. Kirkwood, has published an unprecedented report unpacking the inner workings of successful Black-owned service-based companies. Based on a survey of over 120 entrepreneurs, “The State of Black Service-Based Businesses” report unveils game-changing data and strategies for exponentially growing service businesses. Speak Your Way To Cash® hosted a free summit in February 2024 to unveil the full report and give entrepreneurs resources to scale using the findings!

One major finding highlighted is the need to target larger corporate clients, with data showing that only 17% of respondents have sold services priced at $10,000 or higher. Furthermore, 87% reported catering mainly to small businesses (with less than two employees), evidencing a gap in securing more stable, corporate clients.

“There is clear data showing that entrepreneurs who focused on larger corporate clients had more profitable and resilient businesses,” said Ashley. “One strategic directive this report issues is selling higher-priced, value-driven offers to mid-sized and enterprise customers.”

Another major revelation indicates that nearly a third of the most successful respondents had invested over $30,000 in business coaching. Additionally, over 85% of entrepreneurs who leveraged coaching saw tangible benefits and positive ROI. This busts myths about coaching ineffectiveness, highlighting its instrumental role in scaling companies.

The report also found that business owners valued expertise above all else when selecting coaches and advisors – prioritizing experience and niche knowledge over metrics like testimonials. “This indicates a market still hungry for qualified experts versus casual advisors who make bold claims about their programs without substantial expertise to back it up,” said Ashley. “For coaches looking to differentiate themselves, establishing undisputed authority is key.”

Other strategic insights include:

• Alarming legal vulnerabilities, with only 32% having secured federally registered trademarks to protect intellectual property. This showcases gaps in safeguarding unique business assets.

• Overdependence on social media marketing versus high-yield tactics like paid advertising, evidencing potential for expanded digital strategies.

• The need to graduate beyond service-based businesses’ current clientele of individuals and small companies. Data shows the most profitable entrepreneurs focus on larger corporate customers.

“This report lays out a clear roadmap for creating resilient, prosperous service businesses,” Kirkwood remarked. “It translates raw data into tactical advice for breaking through new barriers.”

As founder of Speak Your Way To Cash® and author of the book Speak Your Way to Cash®: How to Start at the Top of the Speaking Market, Ashley has empowered countless service-based entrepreneurs to land lucrative contracts with leading corporations and universities.

Through the company’s coaching programs, educational platforms like their podcast and Facebook group, and Ashley’s own journey scaling a multi-million dollar service business, Speak Your Way to Cash® has become the go-to resource for selling high-ticket offers to enterprise clients. Their trademarked methodology has helped clients across industries ink partnerships, sign licensing agreements, and win 5-6 figure deals with renowned global brands. After already guiding hundreds of six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs, the company has bold plans to assist 1,000 more businesses in securing milestone corporate contracts in 2024.

Founded by Ashley Kirkwood, Speak Your Way To Cash® is on a mission to help entrepreneurs land lucrative corporate contracts. Learn more about her coaching programs, educational platforms, and game-changing methodologies by connecting with her brand on social media:

Facebook group: Speak Your Way To Cash® Facebook Group
Facebook page: @SpeakYourWayToCash
Instagram: @SpeakYourWayToCash
Podcast: The Speak Your Way To Cash® Podcast

Download the full “The State of Black Service-Based Businesses” report for free at

These unprecedented findings are essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur.