UPS & Walmart Executives visit RICE to connect with RICE stakeholder companies

Culture, community, curriculum, commerce.

RICE is building a comprehensive supply chain and retail management learning experience that will change the trajectory of Black entrepreneurs being exposed to new business opportunities.

On January 19, over 40 Senior Executives from Walmart and UPS  visited the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs for Walmart’s Business Leadership Experience (BLX).  Several RICE stakeholders in the retail product space were invited to connect with Walmart & UPS executives to discuss their business and how to prepare to work with large corporations. Deep transformation is happening at RICE and we’re excited to develop meaningful relationships that help raise awareness on the importance of Black entrepreneurship and economic development. Stakeholders that took part in the intimate conversations included:

Walmart’s BLX program immerses its next generation leaders in experiences that build cohesion, invests in Walmart’s culture, and prepares participants to lead the company through the opportunities and challenges of the future​. Principally, BLX is intended to target Walmart’s most critical senior talent and focus their mindsets and competencies to support business transformation. Through a series of immersive learning experiences focused on the company’s strategy, this program serves to enable participants’ to be a part of current and emerging challenges, while still being forward leaning on where the company is to go in the future.

Over the course of three days, the BLX program physically and virtually immersed itself into various types of communities in the Atlanta area to help its future leaders imagine – and in some cases, reimagine – community. Along with other ventures, the participants partnered with UPS and RICE to understand community and small business investment. This included understanding how inequity and disparity can be created in the mere designing of cities and communities, and how the inverse is true when thoughtful consideration is given to human experience wherever we commune. Additionally, participants were afforded an opportunity to sit with Black entrepreneurs from RICE to give business insights and create lasting relationships.

“It’s a movement, not a moment” were sentiments shared by the participants as they reflected on their time spent in Atlanta, and how they envision future investments into community. Each walked away with challenged schemas, illuminated perspectives and a deeper appreciation of why community matters now and into the future.


We are grateful for our corporate partners like UPS for making this connection with Walmart — these types of collaborations are so meaningful in helping RICE stakeholders to feel seen, heard, valued and supported. Learn more about how you can become a stakeholder and build connections and community by registering for our upcoming Stakeholder Info Sessions on Feb.21st or Feb 24th 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

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

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