Ericka M. Pittman

It has been a 15 year adventure since her graduation in 1998 with a degree in Corporate Communications, but Ericka Pittman has risen to a position in Senior Marketing Management overseeing brand strategy at Blue Flame (a Sean Combs Enterprises company), reporting to the EVP/GM of The Blue Flame Agency/Bad Boy Worldwide. In her current role as Vice President- duties include staff development, and training, brand positioning, innovation, revenue forecasting and strategic process streamlining.

Blue Flame is a leading boutique firm providing expert capabilities in the areas of Influencer Marketing, Social Diffusion, and Advertising. Ms. Pittman joined Blue Flame in March of 2009 as Vice President of Brand Strategy after previous success within the Radio One Inc, Time Inc, Conde’ Nast, and Vibe Media Group publishing houses. Her work with Blue Flame follows more than 15 years of experience in interactive and publishing media. Prior to joining Blue Flame, Ms. Pittman held positions at ; Honey, Heart &Soul, and Savoy Magazines –Vaguarde Media Group; Baby Talk Magazine – Time Inc; Glamour Magazine – Conde’ Nast; Vibe & Vixen Magazines – Vibe Media Group and GIANT Magazine – Radio One Inc.

“My secret is to become focused and passionate about every brand I represent. By creating a genuine group effort, I inspire my team which in turn produces program effectiveness and positive return on key performance indicators. I develop a deep understanding of my audience, fully comprehend my brand, apply learned and fool-proof techniques ultimately bridging audience connection, into one neat package that generates revenue for the client. I think my unique strength is seeing from a “birds-eye” perspective the opportunities that others do not via multi-dimensional marketing programs which in kind, catapult my clients into new revenue streams and opportunities.”

Ms. Pittman is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, Advertising Women of New York, Cosmetic Executive Women, lends her time and energy to a number of causes and other organizations, including Dress for Success and NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). Ms. Pittman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications from Baruch College. She is a native New Yorker with homes in both New Jersey and Maryland.

To learn more, log on to: or connect @erickampittman.

Debi B. Jackson

Deborah Bolling Jackson was born, raised and educated in New York City. For over 30 years she was known as Debi B in the radio world where her voice was heard every Sunday on 107.5 WBLS co-hosting the WBLS Sunday Classics. Debi’s radio career began beside her legendary broadcast husband, Hal Jackson in New York City. The Sunday Classics had consistently been rated as a top five program in the #1 market and has had the largest listening audience in the history of radio. Debi’s voice has been heard widely as the national radio voice for the Essence Music Festival, the Essence Awards and many radio commercials.

One of Ms. Jackson’s passions is photography, which led her to become the first to annually host a one-woman photographic show at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in New York City. All proceeds from the sales of Debi’s photography is donated to the Youth Development Foundation, Inc. (YDF) of which she is the CEO and President.

For over 44 years the Youth Development Foundation, Inc. (YDF) has awarded over $2,000,000 in scholarships and prizes to young women from around the world through the Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International (HJTTI) scholarship program. Ms. Jackson served as Producer of HJTTI, which showcased young talented women and gave them exposure to the music, film and entertainment industries. Debi’s philanthropic work includes awarding scholarships to participants of Black Women for Black Girls of which she is an Executive Board Member. She strongly believes in volunteerism and for over 30 years has given her time and voice to community and non- profit organizations such as Insight For New Housing, Make The Grade, Black Women of Influence and Wheelchair Charities which has raised millions of dollars to mobilize, educate and entertain quadriplegics and paraplegics at the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility.

If you know Debi, you know that she has traveled extensively. Since she loves the opportunity of visiting other countries, Debi started an online travel store where you can book your travel anywhere in the world. As she says, “When you think of travel, think My Feet Travel.” You can visit her online travel store at

Ms. Jackson’s New York corporate experience encompasses the broad field of Human Resource Administration where she worked as an Employment Supervisor, EEO Officer and Labor Relations Manager. She then went into higher education at Fairleigh Dickinson University as the University Assistant Director of Affirmative Action.

Debi Jackson’s motto is “Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you.”

To learn more, log on to: or connect @BLSlady.

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever is a Career Reinvention Strategist, Diversity Consultant, and Women’s Empowerment Expert.  She’s the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, a global personal and professional development firm that helps established and aspiring entrepreneurs and executives experience accelerated success while building a holistic life they love. She’s also the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.

Dr. Avis previously served as the youngest ever Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women.  She also had the honor of being the Keynote Speaker to the Inaugural President of the United States’ Young African Leaders Summit and was a Featured Speaker before the World Bank.  She currently conducts workshops and trainings on women’s career, political, and entrepreneurial success on behalf of U.S. Embassies across the globe and helps corporations better design and implement strategies to maximize the power of diversity and inclusion at work as well as for the marketplace of today and tomorrow.  For individuals, Dr. Avis helps her clients Master the Art of the Career Shift.  In so doing, she helps women shift careers in three distinct areas: (1) ascending to leadership within their current professional space; (2) safely and effectively transitioning to a new career; or (3) making the ultimate shift, from employee to successful entrepreneur.

Find Dr. Avis regularly as a Contributor to TV One’s NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, PBS’ To the Contrary, Sirius XM Radio’s The Agenda, and the Huffington Post.

To learn more, log on to: or connect @sistahscholar.

Sharene Wood

Sharene Wood is President & CEO of 5001 FLAVORS and Harlem Haberdashery. Sharene is responsible for all administrative and organizational duties of the company. Her keen business sense and love of fashion make her a perfect manager and integral part of the company. She also contributes greatly in the company’s client relationship building efforts.

With the brand expansion of Harlem Haberdashery, Sharene has assumed the leadership position of President & CEO of Harlem Haberdashery. She brings the same enthusiasm and administrative management skill to this new venture that she brought as a founding partner of 5001 FLAVORS.

Sharene is a native New Yorker – born and raised in Harlem. Sharene is a proud graduate of Columbia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. She is an active Prep For Prep Alum. Sharene is a philanthropist supporting Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Food Bank of New York,#TakeCareofHarlem Y.E.S. (Young Executives For Success- volunteer and fundraising branch of Dress For Success Worldwide),and Board member at Black Women For Black Girls.  Sharene has been honored by Council Member Inez E. Dickens and Sylvia & Herbert Wood Scholarship Foundation (along with her husband Guy). Sharene is a Market America UnFranchise Business Owner. Sharene is featured in various media outlets: New York Daily News,,,,,, New York Amsterdam News, and other press outlets.

To learn more, log on to: or connect @shayswood.

Valerie Rainford

Valerie Rainford is an author, speaker and leader who believes that everything that has occurred in her life was intended to test her will and resilience and to prove that success can be achieved despite the struggle that may precede it.

Valerie endured a series of traumatic experiences in her young life, including the suicides of her brother and mother but stayed true to the strong ethics passed down to her from her parents and grandparents and a determination to beat the odds. After graduating from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, she was appointed as an officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the age of 29—the youngest ever at that time in the Fed’s history.

In addition to being a successful senior banking executive, Valerie is a writer, speaker, teen/community advocate and mentor who uses her work to inspire others to see past their current circumstances, whether in the workplace or in their personal lives to reach their full potential.  Valerie was honored in 2007 by the Network Journal magazine as one of “25 Influential Black Women in Business” and in 2009 by the Harlem YMCA as a “Black Achiever in Industry.” She has appeared on TV shows such as: the Black Enterprise Business Report and Brooklyn Savvy and has been featured in multiple publications including Black Enterprise magazine and Adecco’s Leadership Tribute to Women.

To learn more, log on to: or connect @AuthorValRain.