2023 Stakeholder Awards Ceremony – Celebrating Black Businesses the RICE Way!

The first-ever Stakeholder Awards Ceremony was an intimate gathering and celebration held on August 31,2023 honoring our first Founding 100 Stakeholders at RICE. Certificates of Achievement were also given to those promoted Stakeholders that completed their action plans and catalyst sessions within their Big IDEAS programming. The evening was topped off with a presentation of checks to recipients of the Amplify Grant powered by MasterCard.

The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs chose to recognize and celebrate our Founding 100 Stakeholders with plaques and commemorative t-shirts to mark the occasion. Of course, we did it the RICE Way by engaging fellow Stakeholder businesses Royal Trophies and The Bottomline Pivot as vendors for the tokens of appreciation we provided.

Founding 100 Stakeholders were welcomed back to Atlanta’s home for Black entrepreneurs with a VIP Pre-Reception before the formal event begin. There was nothing but smiles, hugs, and love as many of the Stakeholders reconnected to catch up. After, they were ushered into the lavishly designed space to receive their recognition, some Stakeholders received more acknowledgements Kris Hale, Eldredge Washington, and Adrian Shelby were honored for their early contributions and efforts to build the RICE rich culture and vibrant community.

Moreover, Channing Baker of Evolve Contractors was recognized with the Exemplary Stakeholder Award having completed the requirements of the Big IDEAS programming for his stage with zeal and excellence after embracing all the resources that RICE offers. Almost 70 RICE Stakeholders were promoted to the next stage of the Big IDEAS continuum. We would like to recognize the following Stakeholders moving forward!

Congratulations to you all!

Aisha Floyd of CRM Tech Global®

Aisha Ervin of E-Line Media & Production

Alison Mason of Lilacs on York Creative Studios

Amia Mize of TavT4Families

Andre Parr of Mudd Made Manufacturing LLC/ Fly Guy Entertainment Co.

Anitra Terrell of Reflektion Design

Anthony Howard of HR Certified, LLC

Averri Liggins of Black Women Moguls

Brian Reynolds of Just For Teens

Brian Davis of Stealth Tech Services

Brittany Hardy of The Hardy Clinic

Bunduki Ramadan of BNDK LLC

Caiseen Ward of Aesthetic Engineering LLC

Carla Halls of The Cactus Beauty Bar

Channing Baker of Evolve Contractors

Charla Mitchell of C.R. Clothing Co./Charla Ruschelle

Chi T Mathias of Inside Out Health & Beauty, LLC

Christie Rankins of Redress Lives In Logistics

Danielle Clay of AGC Solutions

Dawn Sizemore of Practical Education Solutions

Debra Dantzler of 3D Psychotheraphy

Dedren Snead of Subsume Media

Delroy Walters of inSIDEKonnect

Demarco Steed of Majestea, LLC

Donnetta Wells of Wellsons Financial Group

Ellakisha O’Kelley of Scire De Jure Legal Firm, LLC

Eric Marcus of Royal Trophies

Felicia Johnson of Ella & Iris Home

Francine Bethune of C Marie Botanicals

Jace McKie of Nation Unlimited Services

Jadaun Sweet of Take Heed Media

Jarvis Broughton of Interrüt

Jeff Cook of The Bottomline Liquidators

Jennifer Barbosa of International Supply Partners, LLC

Keith Ambersley of Boutyah Technologies LLC dba JIB RSA

Kenneth Barnes of Humble-Speaks

Kyeron Simmons of Agripreneurs

Kyra Cisero of Waisted One, LLC

Lakila Bowden of iSee Technologies

Latabia Woodward of Who’s Got Next Music

LaTrice Ross of Humanizing Diversity

Lawrence Nathaniel of Skyhub Company

Leisha Starchia of Black Feather Mystic, LLC

Lindsay Barnette of Kultured Misfits Clothing Collection, LLC.

Lisa Tinsley of KISA Public Radio

Morale Ocain of The Hair Debate, Suite Morality Salon Suites,  Rooted, The Hair Experience Podcast

Mouse Gregory of Mouse Apparel Inc.

Natasha Simmons of Yacht Club Access

Omar Whilby of Capsul Tools

Oral Gooden of SWISSHTECH Corp.

Ottea Cormelo O’Connor of GHST Investments LLC

Queen Oddette Activille of Senan Wholistic Market and Cuisine

Reginald Smith of TrendTech Logistics

Shari Pritchard of Skyyes the Limit Ventures Corp

Sheryl Merritt of Creator In Me / Kingdom Atlanta


Sumayya Holmes of Ops by Design

Susan Simmons-Stevenson of The Lifecycle Network

Symphony Lyricist of Lotus Flower Om

Tiffany Turner of TC & Co., A Prestigious Brokerage Firm

Tobias Browne of IndigoBlueDevelopment

Tonya Menefee-Parker of Thrive Care Home Consulting, LLC

Tresaca Hamilton of The Sid Center

Tunisia Cornelius of Levels 2 Skin

Vinny Williams of AddressMe Inc.

Wendy Taylor of Faith & STEAM, LLC

Wesley B. Fountain of Ed Fountain Jewelry & Leather

Yaminah Childress, J.D. of YANY Beauty

Yvonne Theresa Bostic of Kayla’s Italian Ice

Take some time to view and download photos taken by Stakeholder Adrian Shelby here.

Terri-Nichelle Bradley

Terri-Nichelle Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Play at Brown Toy Box. Bradley believes that Black children should see themselves positively represented in every space the experience regularly, starting with their toybox and the toy aisle. Bradley, an equity in play advocate, is on a mission to disrupt the $27B toy industry by creating a brand that reflects the world we live in today. Launched in 2017 as a STEAM kit, Brown Toy Box evolved into a full-scale educational toy company producing and curating STEAM toys, media, and experiences for centering and celebrating Black children in a manner all children can enjoy, learn, and have fun. Prior to starting Brown Toy Box, Bradley led a communications consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies in campaigns designed to connect with the African American community. Prior to that, Bradley served as the VP of Corporate, Crisis, and Public Affairs for the world’s largest global PR agency. Bradley has been awarded the Civic Impact Award, was recognized as a 2019 Atlanta’s Top 100 Businesswomen of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, acknowledged on the 2020 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta list of influential leaders and most recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 Female Founders 100 list. Brown Toy Box is sold in Target stores nationwide, with Amazon, over 30 museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, as well as other independent specialty toy stores and retailers. Learn more at browntoybox.com

Stefan Miller

Stefan Miller is the Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care, which launched in December 2019. Young King Hair Care is a multicultural grooming and lifestyle brand company with tailored offerings catering to specific needs of young men of color. Stefan is a marketing professional with 15+ years of experience across marketing, sales and consulting in the CPG and tech industries. At Young King, Stefan has been featured in over 75+ national publications, was recognized by Mintel as one of the top US brand innovations of 2021, partnered with Disney and Marvel Studios for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and was a participant on Season 13 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Currently Young King Hair Care is available in multiple retail partners, including Target, Walmart, and CVS, selling in over 3,000 stores across the US. Prior to founding Young King Hair Care, he led business strategy and marketing communications, while launching innovations across multiple billion-dollar brands and categories at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull. Stefan L. Miller Bio Stefan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Brand Marketing, Media Management and Management in Organizations, and is a proud HBCU alum of Morehouse College with a BA in Business Administration. He currently lives with his wife and co-founder Cora and 2 kids, Kade and Cree in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at youngkinghaircare.com

Ceata E. Lash

Ceata E. Lash, CEO and founder of PuffCuff has emerged as a pioneering figure in the natural hair accessory industry, holding the distinction of being the first African-American woman to secure four US patents in this domain. Her journey to entrepreneurship was built upon a 30-year career as a graphic designer, which laid the foundation for launching PuffCuff in 2013. Ceata’s innovative leadership has earned her prestigious accolades, including the President’s Innovation Award from Sally Beauty and the New Voices + Barefoot Wine Beauty Business Grant. These achievements have placed her among the top female founders featured in Inc. Magazine. Committed to lifelong learning and growth, Ceata has completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses National Cohort and was part of the inaugural Amazon Black Business Accelerator Cohort. Her recent completion of the “Building a Successful Diverse Business” program at Tuck Executive Education, Dartmouth, further underscores her dedication to continuous improvement and leadership in the business world. Learn more at thepuffcuff.com