Makisha Boothe is Founder and Head Business Coach of Sistahbiz Global Network, a business accelerator for Black women entrepreneurs. Sistahbiz Global Network helps Black women solopreneurs and microbusinesses build scalable, sellable businesses. As a rapid improvement coach, Makisha helps small
businesses rethink their revenue strategies, brands, systems, resource allocation, and human capital strategies.
Jouanna Crossland-Wells & Marlon Wells
Artistic Apparel Graphics and Signs (AAGS) is a small business located in Aurora, CO. AAGS is a certified minority & women owned by the federal government. We specialize in apparel decoration with a variety of print processes including screen print, embroidery, and direct to garment printing. We also provide graphic design services as well as a host of sign types from corrugated plastic yard signs to channel letter and LED building signs. We have been serving the Colorado community since 2008.
Davian Gagne (she/her), through her 25-year professional journey, is experienced in issues such as dismantling white supremacy, LGBTQIA+ issues, organizational change, racial justice, justice philanthropy, solidarity economy, community development, community engagement, constituent led grantmaking, gender violence prevention, health, healing, transformative leadership, and youth justice. She believes that moving resources through a social justice framework will lead to a world that shifts power for all communities.
Social justice is at the center of all that she does. Davian comes to this work by way of being an empath, connector, and generator of possibilities, and often works at the nexus between the head and the heart. She brings the wisdom of being a cisgender, owning class, bi-racial Filipina to every space she enters. Talking about money and communities with embodied intention is important. Davian comes from a tapestry of poverty, government food, middle class immigrants, and creative entrepreneurs. She is interested in offering spaces where people with wealth can show up authentically and share their story as a way to move money - where whole people can move away from transaction and into transformation.
Chef Lisa Givens
Chef Lisa Givens is Executive Chef of Gourmet Away, LLC, providing custom meals services to “What’s
for dinner?” challenged individuals. She is highly sought after for her attention to detail in treating each client like they are her only clients. She is a mentor, community volunteer and life learner. Chef Lisa enhances the food experiences and life style of the people she serves.
Felicia is Deputy Director at PowerSwitch Action. She is responsible for strengthening and expanding the network's membership, supporting the leadership development of network staff and affiliates, developing emerging programs, campaigns and strategies that ensure that our local campaigns and organizing add up to building state power. Prior to joining PowerSwitch Action, Felicia was the Executive Director of our Colorado affiliate, United for a New Economy. Since 2002, Felicia has worked with labor and community partners on many campaigns, including increasing Colorado’s state minimum wage, increasing Medicaid enrollment for 80,000 children in New Mexico, passing statewide wage theft protection legislation in Colorado and increasing local funding for affordable housing ($150 million) in Denver, Colorado. She has a deep commitment to racial justice, and all the work she does has a goal of reducing disparities for low-income workers and communities of color. Felicia currently serves on the governing circle of the Transformative Leaders for Change Fellowship and provides coaching to movement leaders in Colorado and beyond. Felicia lives in East Texas and enjoys spending her free time traveling with her husband and five children (three girls and two boys).
‘Rick’ as he is fondly called by his friends and family, is a product of the Philadelphia Public School System. After graduating from Overbrook High School, he went on to serve his country in the United States Army during he Vietnam War. Upon returning to civilian life, he attended The University of Utah where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. For years he also worked for the University, and held a number of management positions in Utah, as well as serving as the Associate Dean of Student Services at Humboldt State University in California. Rick has also been involved in a number of successful business ventures in Utah and Colorado. He is very proud of the number of young men and women that he has been able to provide employment opportunities for. Despite his various business and professional commitments, he always strived to ‘give back’ to the community. His community service profile is even more impressive. Rick has served on the Salt Lake City NAACP Board of Directors, 100 Black Men of SLC, Calvary Baptist Church Trustee Board VP and as Chairman of the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City, and much more.
For the last three decades, he has operated in Denver where his commitment to the community continues. Rick is the father of two adult children and very proud Grandpa. He is a true believer that no matter how much one achieves in this life, service to one’s family and the community should always be of the highest priority.
Dr. Carolyn Love
Carolyn Love, PhD is the founder of Kebaya Coaching & Consulting. The Company focuses on enhancing the leadership talent in organizations, creating equitable and inclusive workplaces, and facilitating meaningful and sustainable change. Carolyn served as the executive director and CEO of three nonprofit organizations in the Denver area. She is an Affiliate Faculty member at Regis University, teaching Governance and Organizational Leadership, Leading from Within and Social Justice and Civil Society. As a consultant, trainer, and leadership coach, she facilitates workshops and training on leadership, equity, diversity, inclusion and creating a culture of belonging. Internationally, she presented workshops at La Universidad Anãhuac in Mexico City, Mexico and University of Stellenbosch Business School in Bellville, South Africa on non-governmental leadership and change. Additionally, Carolyn spent time in Cuba studying their health care system.Carolyn is a graduate of the Coach Training Institute (CTI) and serves as a leadership coach for the Community Resource Center and Colorado Health Foundation. As a public speaker, Carolyn focuses on discussing the question “what does it really take to create and sustain an inclusive multicultural, multi-racial democracy?” In 2021, Carolyn launched a nonprofit organization focused on bringing the voices of Black women working in the areas of racial and gender justice into the public domain. The nonprofit, Black Women Solutionaries, hosts webinars to educate, share knowledge and uplift the work of Black women who are solutions oriented.Carolyn serves on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado and the national board of ACLU. Carolyn also serves on the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee. Carolyn earned a PhD in Leadership & Change from Antioch University.
Dr. Asia Lyons
Dr. Asia Lyons is the founder of Lyons Educational Consulting LLC, a consulting and coaching firm that supports foundations, schools and other non-profits in their creation of culturally responsive programming and curriculum through equity-centered design thinking. Prior to founding Lyons Educational Consulting, Asia worked as a K-12 educator in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado for over 10 years. She also served as the school-partner specialist in an Aurora-based non-profit, a role in which she worked with schools and other non-profits across the Denver Metro Area in order to provide communities with resources to help close the access gap for children of color. In addition to her work in coaching and consulting, Asia is also an adjunct professor in the
School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado - Denver. She has her doctorate in Leadership for Educational Equity. Her research focuses on the ways that racism-related stress crosses over from Black educators to their families. She also is the co-host of The Exit Interview, a podcast focusing on the lived experience of former Black educators. Asia and her husband Cliff are both from Detroit and have been married for 16 years. They have a beautiful daughter, Zoe.
Owner and Founder of on the Go Wellness Spa and Skincare solutions. A full Day spa located in Aurora, Co. Her mission is to be Your advocate and bridge for your overall health and wellness with beauty being the bonus. Her passion and mission is guided by educating her clients thoroughly with solutions and alternative options from mainstream misguided information.
The spa offers full day spa packages, advanced skincare such as chemical peels, microneedling and medical grade facials, massage therapy, full body waxing, detox body wraps, and so much more. Tasha has designed and formulated OTG SKINCARE with people of color in mind however anyone can use this Aloe based full skincare system that was created to balance oil without stripping the skin while hydrating it to not overproduce natural oil, helping with clarifying and controlling breakouts.
President Omar Montgomery
I serve as Director of Equity, Culture, and Community Engagement for Cherry Creek School District. I continue to follow my family's footsteps by continuing to teach as an adjunct instructor for the University of Colorado Denver. I have remained faithful to this family’s tradition of strengthening the community. As one of the stakeholders in Colorado’s Transforming Safety Initiative which created new economic opportunities for Northwest Aurora. I also serve on the Aurora Police Department’s Citizens’ Advisory Board and Key Community Response Team to improve law enforcement’s relationships with underserved communities. I also serve as board chairperson at the Village Exchange Center—a “one stop shop” supporting integration, engagement and empowerment of Aurora's immigrants and refugee communities. Currently in partnership with "Visit Aurora" I am happy to announce that the Aurora NAACP opened the "Aurora Economic Development Center" which is a co-working space, and a small business incubator. I am also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Chi Phi Chapter, Denver, CO.
My educations background is a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, and a Dual Master’s in Education Administration and Public Administration. I am president of the Aurora branch of the NAACP, and a member of Aurora’s Budget and Golf Commissions. I am a proud family man, father, and companion to my dog, Marley. In closing, I love my family who supports everything I do! Regina Edmondson the love of my life, Carrie Walker my amazing mother, Amen Rahh my father and mentor, and Evan my son who is super smart. I also have in my life my son Lawrence who is a hip hop artist and Marlon who is a mental health provider. I am spoiled with love by my family
Joan Hunter (Njagu) is the founder and CEO of Njagu Consulting Services, LLC, an accounting and financial services consulting firm. She graduated from Regis University with an MBA in Finance and Accounting and supports many nonprofit organizations in the Denver Metro and surrounding areas with among other things; financial literacy, budget development and forecasting, payroll, taxes, grants' financial reporting, and occupies other leadership roles as needed. Joan is passionate about helping nonprofits committed to social justice to navigate financial health, sustainability and overall understanding of accounting and finance.
Jason Shankle is the Owner/Founder of Book King Publishing, Inc. and CEO of Inner Self and Wisdom, LLC. He is the author of Soul Searching Poetry, Crowns and Shattered Dreams, and Sufferless: Meditations for Transforming Trauma into Healing. He is a 40 under 40 Denver Business Journal recipient, The Association of Black Psychologists: Community Service Award and the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado: Wellington and Wilma Legacy Award recipient. He runs a private mental health practice as a therapist, author, and healer.
Coach Ken Stern
Ken Stern Consulting LLC
Ken Stern received his law degree from DU in 1978. Ken worked as an immigration lawyer until 2018 when he retired from the practice of law.
Ken completed basic and advanced coaching training with Coaches Training Institute in 2002. Ken formed Ken Stern Consulting LLC in that year and continues to have an active life coaching and consulting practice.
Ken has been an active member of the Chinook Fund community in a number of capacities, including previously being a board member for close to 20 years.
In his coaching practice, Ken has worked with many social justice leaders and activists focusing on a wide range of topics. For several years Ken has offered pro bono coaching to Chinook Fund grantees.
Dr. Nicole Tuitt
Dr. Tuitt is an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health and the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health. Her research focuses on the associations among modifiable structural and social determinants of health and substance use and sexual risk-taking among Black and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth, and multilevel interventions to reduce adverse sexual health and substance use outcomes among Black and AIAN youth.
Dr. Tuitt is an auntie to Anthony (AJ) Cruz and Maya Tuitt and dog mom to two adorable Whoodles (Wheaten Terrier/Poodle) named Roscoe and Otis.