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Meet Kofi Asante, A Black Executive Leading At Aerospace Company Elroy Air

As an undergrad, Kofi Asante developed a knack for figuring out how to connect dots without a roadmap to guide him. Being rooted in problem-solving is what landed him at Uber Freight post-grad. The platform, launched in 2017, was created as a hassle-free way to connect shippers with carriers. During his time at Uber Freight as a strategy and partnerships lead, Asante went on to launch its sister company Power Loop — a technology that allows you to load trailers ahead of time and aims to reduce driver detention time. With the company also bridging autonomous trucks together with Uber Freight, its operational model is similar to one of the next steps in his journey of working with Elroy Air. As its vice president of strategy & business development, Asante is a Black executive in aerospace. “[Elroy Air] has been around for five years and around that time they’d been around for maybe a year and a half or two. And they didn’t have any business people yet. It was all engineers. [Charles...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 4, 2022

As Associate General Counsel, Civil Rights, & Product Lead, Facebook's Julie Wenah Plans To Effectuate Change

Julie Wenah doesn’t necessarily want to address the elephant in the room about Facebook, but she knows she has to. “When it comes to the product, itself, I know there’s a lot of work to be done,” she told AfroTech. “Leaving aside the privacy concerns, there is also no shortage of safety concerns, as well. The trust in our brand is lost amongst a certain segment of the population — we understand that, and we appreciate that. But more than anything, we’re doing everything we can to re-establish the trust in the brand, in the product — and we thank people, in advance, for their patience.” The shattered trust in the Facebook brand, of course, comes from a combination of sources. Black people in general — and Black women, in particular — don’t feel safe in the space; according to Pew Research, almost 60 percent of all Black Internet users say they have experienced a form of online harassment — and social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram could be incubators for such...

Diddy, WME Launch ‘The Excellence Program’ To Help Aspiring Entertainment Execs Break Into The Business

Sean “Diddy” Combs knows firsthand how tough it is to break into the entertainment business, but his latest initiative aims to make that process a whole lot easier. The music mogul revealed that he’s inked a deal with WME in all areas to launch “The Excellence Program” — a free virtual development program and resume database designed for aspiring entertainment executives who come from underrepresented communities, Variety reports. According to the outlet, the new program — created in partnership with Endeavor — is a six-week experience that will offer eligible students insight on how to break into entertainment, marketing, music or fashion. As someone who’s had to carve his own lane in the industry, Combs aims to use this program as a way to pay it forward and level the playing field for all who aspire to lead in the entertainment business. “Beginning my career as an intern changed my life, so it’s been a lifelong dream to give the next generation of entrepreneurs and executives...

Njera Perkins

Jun 17, 2021

Seasoned Exec Tarik Brooks Of Combs Enterprises Joins Cresco Labs' Board Of Directors

The leading U.S. wholesaler of branded cannabis products just leveled up its board of directors! Cresco Labs has appointed seasoned executive Tarik Brooks to its board of directors effective immediately, Business Wire reports. Brooks is the current President of Combs Enterprises where he is responsible for overseeing all business operations and investments owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs. The diverse portfolio includes moves in the spirits industry through CÎROC Vodka and DeLeón Tequila, media through REVOLT TV, music through iconic label Bad Boy Records, consumer packaged goods with the AquaHydrate brand and education through the Capital Preparatory Schools. Brooks is also responsible for new business development activity which includes the launch of “Our Fair Share,” a platform designed to help minority-owned businesses gain access to capital through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Tarik Amin (@tarikamin) “I’m thrilled to welcome...

Shanique Yates

Apr 22, 2021

6 Black Women Leading the Modern Aviation Industry

In honor of Women’s History Month, AfroTech has decided to celebrate Black women at the helm of the modern aviation industry. Check out six Black women leading the industry below: Stephanie C. Hill, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Missions Systems Photo Credit: Instagram / @StephanieC.Hill Stephanie C. Hill is executive vice president of Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) for Lockheed Martin Corporation. In her 33-year tenure at RMS, she’s held several senior positions, serving as president or vice president for different arms of the business. She is also a champion for women and people of color in STEM careers. In a recent interview with The Network Journal, she spoke about her passion for helping the next generation of leaders: “Our industry requires top talent in engineering and science, and our nation right now is facing a critical shortage of STEM workers,” she told The Network Journal. “We have to encourage as many young people as possible to pursue STEM...

Colleen Williams

Mar 29, 2021

M·A·C Cosmetics Names Aïda Moudachirou Rebois As SVP of Global Marketing

M·A·C Cosmetics, a leading global provider and purveyor of health and beauty products, has announced that it has named Aïda Moudachirou Rebois as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing. In a press release announcement, it was revealed that Moudachirou Rebois will oversee the Consumer Marketing and Product Marketing teams with a dotted line management responsibility for Product Development to drive global Consumer Engagement strategies and deliver breakthrough Product Innovation in order to maximize consumer connection to M·A·C Cosmetics. “Aïda has an innovative and flexible leadership style, cross-industry experience and global brand-building expertise, which combined with her multilingual, multicultural background, will undoubtedly help to drive the global M·A·C  business forward in our complex fast-changing environment,” said Philippe Pinatel , Global Brand President of M·A·C Cosmetics, in the press release announcement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her to the...

Harvard Business School, Executive Leadership Council Partner to Build Pipeline of Black Execs and Scholars

Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) have announced that they’ve forged a partnership to build a pipeline of advanced opportunities for ELC scholarship recipients and the most senior Black executives in corporate America. According to a press release, the ELC is aligning its mission to “open channels of opportunity for Black executives to positively impact business and communities” with the same goals outlined in Harvard Business School’s recently announced Action Plan for Racial Equity. “HBS must do more to create opportunities for Black talent to succeed and take up leadership roles,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria in a statement. “The Executive Leadership Council has demonstrated the ability to create these opportunities and harness the power of Black talent. Together, we can create a tremendous and unique opportunity for ELC scholarship recipients, ELC members, and the HBS community.” The new collaboration will reportedly offer enhanced MBA...

Njera Perkins

Dec 18, 2020

Former Netflix Exec Tara Duncan Named President of Freeform

Black women in media are taking over in more ways than one. Today, news broke that producer and former Netflix and AMC executive Tara Duncan will be joining Freeform as their new President, according to Deadline . Duncan is set to replace Tom Ascheim as the network’s new chief starting June 8. Freeform chose Duncan as their President, who’s closer in age to their target audience demographic (18-24). “Tara is an exceptionally skilled executive and a seasoned producer who is bringing a wealth of experience, across linear channels and streaming platforms, to her new role,” said Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman, Dana Walden, in a statement . “Her background, great taste and reputation make her the perfect choice to lead Freeform and its original programming that entertains viewers across its linear channel and distribution on Hulu. Tara and I met for the first time a little over a year ago, and I was truly taken with her vision and understanding of the creative process....

Njera Perkins

May 28, 2020

Five Black-Led VC Firms to Watch

The diversity numbers in venture capital (VC) are even worse than the numbers in tech as a whole. According to Tech Crunch, 81 percent of VC firms don’t have any Black investors at all. A study released by Harvard in 2017, indicated that women have accounted for less than 10 percent of the entrepreneurial and venture capital labor pool from 1990-2016 with about two percent having been Hispanics, and less than one percent African Americans. A more recent Stanford study indicates that even successful Black VCs have a tougher time in the industry than their white counterparts. Here are five Black VC making a mark: 1. BLCK VC According to their website , “BLCK VC was formed to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors.” Their goal is to increase the number of Black venture capitalists from 200 to 400 by 2024. BLCK helps VC firms incorporate effective diversity and inclusion practices in their...

Colleen Williams

Jan 2, 2020

How Empowrd Is Using Tech To Increase Civic Engagement

When Horace Williams left his executive position at Oracle, he wanted to create something that could have a huge impact on his community. The New York-native began developing his own platform focused on civic engagement in 2013 and Empowrd was born. Empowrd is based in Atlanta where the startup scene is taking off for Black entrepreneurs. Williams said the city has become communal space for Black founders and many leaders are leaning on each other to foster success. Empowrd is an app for individuals and organizations to stay informed and to motivate political action. Users can access news, contact elected officials and find ways to get engaged within their communities. Organizations use the app to conduct surveys on their constituents, build partnerships with influencers and political leaders, and access data analytics. Photo: Empowrd AfroTech had a chance to chat with Williams about Empowrd and the problem he’s trying to solve using tech. This interview has been lightly edited for...

Arriana McLymore

Mar 12, 2019