Angel Rich | March 22

The Wealth Factory
She’s being called the black Steve Jobs despite the challenges of being a woman in the tech biz.  Creating an algorithm for the stock market to win Goldman Sachs Portfolio Challenge, selling her first marketing plan to Prudential, becoming a founding employee of FINRA, authoring the first ever African American Financial Experience study, inventing the top financial literacy product in the world, and being named the “Next Steve Jobs” by Forbes – all by age 30, Angel Rich has earned the title Wealth Pioneer.  In 2018, the United Nations named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the African Diaspora and one of four Icons.


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Behind The Mind Radio Show is a 1-hour bi-weekly talk show airing LIVE ON Friday 11 am (EST) and Tuesday 7 pm (EST), showcasing design thinkers, visionaries, game changers and innovators; while shedding light on designers of well-known and upcoming products and services both domestically and internationally.

Shelly Bell | March 29

I AM Shelly Bell
Shelly Bell is a system disruptor and business strategist who moves ideas to profit while empowering people to live more authentically. As a cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands. A Computer Scientist with a background in performance poetry, K-12 Education and IP Strategy, she is what best-selling author Daniel Pink defines as “A Whole New Mind.” Named Entrepreneur of the Year (2017) by Technically DC and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek, She is among the nation's most sought-after Ecosystem Builders and transformational speakers in the Washington, DC Metro area.


Damon Lawrence + Marcus Carey | February 1

Homage Hospitality

In 2014, Howard Grad, Damon created the Homage Hospitality brand and oversees operations and creative direction.  Damon began his journey in the nation's capital as a front desk agent for the Thompson Hotel Group’s Donovan House Hotel in Midtown DC and within management ranks at companies such as Ritz Carlton, Intercontinental Hotel Group & Dusit International.  Howard Grad, Marcus, after getting his training wheels from stints in private equity w/ CCMP Capital and venture capital w/ SVB Capital, Marcus joined Damon to help launch the Homage Hospitality brand in 2016. He leads our business strategy and fundraising efforts.

Tim Gordon | February 8


Film Critic, Association President, Festival Director, Film Historian, Radio Host, Film Festival and Award Show Founder, Adjunct Professor, Executive Director, Brand Creator, and lover of ALL things film, Tim Gordon remains a cinema innovator.  He serves as executive director and chairman of the Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) and president of the Washington Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA). In addition, Gordon is a former member of the Variety Magazine Bureau of Film Critics (Washington, D.C., chapter).

Mimi Plange | March 8

Mimi Plange
Mimi Plange launched her own ready-to-wear label in 2010, after a decade
working in the New York fashion industry. She has received acclaim for her work in the fashion industry, winning such accolades as International Emerging Designer of the Year in 2011 at the Mercedes-Benz Africa Fashion Week held in South Africa. 
Mimi Plange’s designs have been worn by the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama, Vanessa Hudgens, Serena Williams, Rihanna, Paris Hilton, Michelle Trachtenberg and Janelle Monae, and many amazing women across the globe.

Chris Richards | February 22

Washington Post
Chris Richards has been The Washington Post's pop music critic since 2009. Before joining The Post, he freelanced for various music publications.  He happily spends his evenings in D.C. nightclubs listening to rap, rock, jazz, country, go-go, bluegrass, and bachata. Sometimes he remembers to go home and sleep.