USA Vice President Kamala Harris at RICE with President & CEO Jay Bailey and Senators Warnock & Ossoff

Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Warnock, Senator Ossoff Visit RICE

Big news for the Russell Center!

On Monday, April 29, 2024, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Russell Center as the first stop on her nationwide Economic Opportunity Tour! Vice President Harris visit shine a spotlight on the importance of economic empowerment and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to uplifting communities across the country. Senator Raphel Warnock, Senator Jon Ossoff, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams joined the Vice President to discuss the recent $158 million Reconnecting Communities Award for The Stitch project to reconnect Atlanta neighborhoods and drive economic growth.

We were truly honored to have Vice President Harris to choose the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs as her first stop in Atlanta. Local entrepreneurs and RICE Stakeholders Charmaine Gibbs-West of Essence Tree Holistic Life along with David Walker of Positivity Alkaline Water had the pleasure to meet VICE President Harris during her tour. This visit isn’t just a big deal for the Russell Center family—it’s a true testament to the game-changing experiences that happen at RICE. This momentous occasion marks another significant opportunity for the Russell Center, allowing us to showcase the strength and dynamism of our community to the world.

Additionally, as part of her economic opportunity tour stop in Atlanta, the Vice President is helping highlight the historic Biden-Harris Administration investments in access to capital and small business support that are available to help entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses in Georgia with approved lending partners like Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE). She also spotlighted the $65 million investment from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM) Coalition, led by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia AIM is driving the equitable development and deployment of innovation and talent in artificial intelligence for manufacturing across Georgia. RICE is a proud partner in the Georgia AIM Coalition, working to create the LaunchPad AI Innovation Mobile Studio to support underserved entrepreneurs.

Check out photos taken by Founding 100 RICE Stakeholder Adrian Shelby of this incredible experience here: RICE X VP Kamala Harris :: Adrian Shelby Photography (


RICE Stakeholders Charmaine West Gibbs, David Walker meet Vice President Harris

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