Sulaiman W. Rahman : Founder & CEO at Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN)

Sulaiman W. Rahman

Founder & CEO at Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN)

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Sulaiman is a social entrepreneur and investor. Over the last 5 years, he has successfully built an international marketing and distribution business in the gourmet coffee and tea industry. As the founder of the Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN), he developed the organization with a purpose to engage, empower and connect Philadelphia’s next generation of diverse business and civic leadership. The organization has over 16,000 subscribers, primarily professionals and entrepreneurs between the ages of 25-45 in the Greater Philadelphia area. UPPN programs and events are focused on leadership development, entrepreneurship, social/civic engagement and networking.  Sulaiman is currently serving on the board for Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, TeenSHARP and the YearUP Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Previously, he has served as Chairman of the Board for the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, DE, NJ from 2010 to 2012, co-chair of the 2016 DNC Volunteer Committee and served time on other boards including Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Philadelphia Film Society, and Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP).

Contact: Sulaiman@uppn.com | 215.583.2344 ext. 700

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sulrah
Jessica Lili : Program Manager at Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN)

Jessica Lili

Program Manager at Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN)

Starting her professional career as a bank branch manager, specializing in consumer relations and investments, with a B.A. in Forensic Psychology, M.S. in Mathematics Education and a second M.S. in Education Leadership, Jessica later transitioned into education serving as a high school algebra teacher for 9 years.  Jessica currently serves as the Program Manager to the Urban Philly Professional Network.  With a passion for people, she works behind the scenes in event planning and the development of programming designed to engage, empower, and connect the network.

Contact: Jessica@uppn.com |  215.583.2344 ext. 701

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicalili
Senzwa Ntshepe : Director of Millennial Engagement / UPPN Connector

Senzwa Ntshepe

Director of Millennial Engagement / UPPN Connector

Senzwa Ntshepe is a Philadelphia native with fervor for engaging and connecting individuals.  One of his favorite quotes is from an African proverb exclaiming, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far go together.” While attending The George Washington University,  Senzwa studied psychology, and worked extensively with the Association of Black psychologists focusing on community engagement, group solidarity, and professional development.  Senzwa currently works as an account manager for an overseas corporation. He also is a certified Krav Maga (self defense) instructor. Senzwa has a passion for personal and professional development and community empowerment. As a self-proclaimed philosopher, Senzwa encourages everyone to navigate through life with an intractable and unwavering resolve.

Contact: Senzwa@uppn.com |  215.583.2344 ext. 704

https://www.linkedin.com/in/senzwa-ntshepe-784b8928
Melinda Brown : Entrepreneur/UPPN Connector

Melinda Brown

Entrepreneur/UPPN Connector

Melinda Brown has more than 10 years of experience in the Workforce Development industry.   Her area of expertise is in business assessment, professional development, and mentorship/coaching.  She has a B.S. Degree in Business Administration studying best business practices and strategies for organizational growth. Ms. Brown is an ORGANO International Sapphire Consultant with a marketing and distribution network that produces over $200,000 in annual sales revenue from home. Additionally, Ms. Brown is the CEO of MB Properties, LLC a real estate investment and property management company since 2003.  She is passionate about bridging the poverty gap and empowering individuals to prepare for their future.                  

https://www.linkedin.com/in/melinda-brown-7b94b1a0
Kristin Cooke : Educator/ UPPN Connector

Kristin Cooke

Educator/ UPPN Connector

Hailing from New York, Kristin came to Philadelphia in 2005 to pursue her undergraduate degree from Temple University. Although her initial purpose was for her degree, she became fascinated with the culture, the people, the history and the overall feel of Philadelphia.  It is now the city that she calls home. Kristin has obtained a Masters degree in Education from La Salle University and has settled into her career working with students who have special needs at Harambee Charter School. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education Leadership at Saint Joseph's University. Her ultimate pleasure is to be involved in promoting citizens to exercise their freedom to vote.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-cooke-157950a8
Christine Dancey : Marketing Specialist/ UPPN Connector

Christine Dancey

Marketing Specialist/ UPPN Connector

Christine Dancey is a creative and art enthusiast. As a Philadelphia native and graduate from Temple University where she received her B.A degree in psychology, she is passionately invested in the development of Philadelphia’s urban community through the power of art. She currently serves as a marketing specialist for Dance Affiliates and Stagestep, where she specializes in design, website, organizational and creative development. She is also a dance instructor at School of Dance Arts and serves as a member of the Friends of Children’s Crisis Treatment Center. Her interest lies in exploring the connection and power between art, psychology and Africana studies. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-dancey-8b7a4144
Deona Hatley : Dean at The University of Pennsylvania / UPPN Connector

Deona Hatley

Dean at The University of Pennsylvania / UPPN Connector

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Deona L. Hatley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Hatley also holds a Master of Art degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Currently, she serves as a Dean at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She came to Penn from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. During her tenure at Duke, she served as a Residence Coordinator and also assumed the role of an Academic Advisor, Athletic Mentor, National Pan-Hellenic Council Advisor, Multicultural Greek Council Advisor, Black Cultural Living Group Advisor, and more. Outside of Duke, Ms. Hatley served as a personal mentor and support for dozens of Durham youth, as the Head Cheerleading Coach for North Carolina School of Science and Math, as well as other recreational leagues.

In whatever spare time her position may afford, you might find Ms. Hatley exploring Philly, attending sporting events, concerts, traveling, or volunteering in the community.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/deona-l-hatley-m-a-ed-8aa82911
Danielle Paige Jeter : CEO AOI Events & PR/ UPPN Connector

Danielle Paige Jeter

CEO AOI Events & PR/ UPPN Connector

Danielle Paige Jeter is the founder of AOI Events & Public Relations, a full service communications firm specializing in event production and public relations. As a sought after social innovator and civic leader in Philadelphia, she serves as an ambassador for a long list of professional organizations in Philadelphia and South Jersey such as The African American Chamber of Commerce, the Women in Media Network, the Public Relations Committee, and NAACP’s Millennial Youth Committee. She is devoted to developing the next generation of leaders, empowering women, and passionate about ensuring good stories about great people doing impactful work is highlighted.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielle-jeter-57407b16
Anan Johnson : External Relations Manager YearUP/ UPPN Connector

Anan Johnson

External Relations Manager YearUP/ UPPN Connector

Anan Johnson is a native of North Jersey and graduate of Temple University with a degree in Marketing and a certification in Event Leadership.  He has years of experience and comprehensive expertise in business development, sales, marketing, event management and mentorship. He currently works for the fastest growing national non-profit started after 2000, Year Up. He is the External Relations Manager for the Greater Philadelphia site. Anan is also a master of ceremonies for the award winning event and production company, EBE in Philadelphia. He is also independently sought after as a talent for weddings, private events and voice recordings.  He has been recognized by his employers, clients, students, colleagues, associates, and prominent professionals throughout the Northeast region as a leader in his many different fields of expertise. He is committed to exercising leadership while being a team player in order to create the change that he would like to see in the world.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ananjohnson
Rashaad S. Lambert : Founder Sporty Marketing Group / UPPN Connector

Rashaad S. Lambert

Founder Sporty Marketing Group / UPPN Connector

Rashaad Lambert, affectionately known as ‘Spit’, is a perpetual entrepreneur, marketing strategist/consultant, experiential philanthropist, curator & visionary hailing from Philadelphia.  He is the CEO of Sporty Marketing Group, Cerebellum H2O, TL Marketing Solutions, Marketing Director for MyNewPhilly.com & the Philadelphia/South Jersey Brand Ambassador for Uber.  Rashaad also currently holds senior level positions at several other companies including Vice President of Tabb Management Firm, I Am Not a Rapper LLC, iSpit Marketing and me5Consulting Solutions, The M.O.O.R. Group (where he is Executive Director), Sporty Boyz Mobile Detailing where he is the Owner & CEO, Director of Marketing for ‘Star & BucWild’ Media, & co-founder of popular online radio show “#PodcastWednesdays”

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrlambert
Teresa M. Lundy : Principal TML Communications/ UPPN Connector

Teresa M. Lundy

Principal TML Communications/ UPPN Connector

Teresa M. Lundy has commenced a way of change and possibilities for the current “millennial” generation. For many years, Teresa has connected and engaged people within her field of work in media, communications and government affairs. Her dexterous background in management, organizing, public relations, campaigns and event management has given her the network to communicate effectively and efficiently with community leaders and City, State officials. Teresa is the Principal at TML Communications, LLC a firm convinced the power of communication can lead to a new start.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresamlundy
Inez Nelson : Solutions Lead at eBay Enterprise/ UPPN Connector

Inez Nelson

Solutions Lead at eBay Enterprise/ UPPN Connector

Inez A. Nelson is an avid traveler and investor. She has over 10 years of experience in the software industry. At Ebay Enterprise, she leads the creation of software delivery strategies and is an integral link between new clients and technology leadership teams. She is the owner of Matriarch Capital, a private mortgage investment company that funds real estate projects throughout the United States. Matriarch Capital’s mission is to empower professionals to take control of their investment portfolio by helping them to acquire short-term assets secured by real estate. She is also the founder of Immersion Excursions, a boutique voluntarist travel company, with a mission to develop a globally conscious generation, that purposefully coordinates their leisure with socially responsible volunteering. Known as “TheMentourist,” she has visited 8 countries across 4 continents in the last 4 years and has no plans of slowing down.  

https://www.linkedin.com/in/inezanelson
Shane D. Nelson : College Student/ UPPN Connector

Shane D. Nelson

College Student/ UPPN Connector

Shane is a native of Southwest Philadelphia. He has committed himself to rebuilding the city by way of improving education. He currently serves as the 2015-2016 president of the Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.  After completing his degree at Drexel University, Shane plans on studying in the field of Institutional Advancement. Ultimately, Mr. Nelson aims to create a network of elite schools across the city in disenfranchised neighborhoods to give students there a better chance to succeed.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanednelson
LeToy Price : HR Business Partner NFI/ UPPN Connector

LeToy Price

HR Business Partner NFI/ UPPN Connector

Le’Toy Price is a motivated and strategic HR Business Partner for NFI. She has expert HR experience in the areas of benefits management, compliance, employee relations, developing policies and procedures, employee communications, recruitment, and acquisitions. Using her cross-functional knowledge of HR policies, she oversees the Northeast Division of the company. Outside of her profession, Le’Toy’s passion is for music. As a former member of R&B girl group, Mysundastood, she landed a record deal with J Records performing around the country, with diverse acts such as Kirk Franklin, Ashanti, Tyrese, Cassidy, R. Kelly and Fat Joe, to name a few. As an established song writer, she was asked to write for Grammy Award nominee and label mate Mario, which led to many writing projects for Disney and other artists and major labels. Today, Le’Toy continues with her love for music as Executive Artist Manager for Galaxi Entertainment Management.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/letoy-price-70921924
Damien Sims : Allstate Agency Owner/ UPPN Connector

Damien Sims

Allstate Agency Owner/ UPPN Connector

Damien R. Sims has been in the financial service industry for more than ten years.  He has a passion for helping and educating individuals and families on the importance insurance, money management and financial services. He's worked multiple areas of the financial services industry, including final expense, financial planning, variable annuities, as well as property and casual insurance. In March of 2015, Mr. Sims opened his first office as an exclusive Allstate Agency Owner.  His Allstate office, The Sims Agency, has been performing at a high level since the doors have been opened, being recognized as one of the top new agencies in the region, and has been highlighted as a top producing agency in the region every month since its inception. Mr. Sims attributes his success to the soft skills he has learned in the direct sales industry, as well as his passion for educating people in insurance and making sure they are properly covered. He has a goal to help more African Americans become Allstate agency owners by creating a model of success for them to follow.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/damien-sims-94a6281a
Tawana Skipper : Director of Career Services for Orleans Technical College/ UPPN Connector

Tawana Skipper

Director of Career Services for Orleans Technical College/ UPPN Connector

Tawana Skipper serves as the Director of Career Services for Orleans Technical College and as an Account Manager for JEVS Human Services.  As a management and training corporation certified leadership coach and trainer, she leads the Department of Career Services.  With 16 years experience she specializes in teaching sales and leadership across varying industries. Inspired to influence and impact our communities, she is the Founding President of SOAR Solutions, creating confident expectations through workforce development, leadership training, and community initiatives.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tawanakipper
Isaiah Thomas : Director of Community Affairs City Controller's Office/ UPPN Connector

Isaiah Thomas

Director of Community Affairs City Controller's Office/ UPPN Connector

Isaiah Thomas is a coach, educator and mentor. He is the newly appointed Director of Community Affairs for the City Controller’s Office Academy and also serves as an adjunct professor in the Human Studies department at Lincoln University. In addition to his work as a coach and mentor, he spends a large amount of his free time volunteering for a number of non-profit organizations including Mature Cradle Inc., and Rising Sons Inc., with a passion for empowering youth through athletics and mentorship. As a dedicated servant leader, Isaiah was the youngest to ever run for City Council At-Large at the age of 26 in 2011 earning 31,000 votes. In a second attempt in May 2015, he gained more than 47,000 votes.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/isaiahthomasphiladelphia
Darryl Vereen : CEO of Vereen Development Group/ UPPN Connector

Darryl Vereen

CEO of Vereen Development Group/ UPPN Connector

Darryl J. Vereen is founder and CEO of Vereen Development Group (VDG); a family owned corporation designed to create profitable businesses that produce jobs, economic empowerment and revitalization of underserved communities.  He launched Chosen Path, a VDG subsidiary to provide executive & life coaching services targeted to small businesses and entrepreneurs.  His passion to serve stems from his dedication to his church, family, and 20 years of non-profit community development experience.  A Philadelphia native, Darryl received an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University’s Graduate School of Business and a Certificate of Community Economic Development from the University of Delaware.  Currently, he serves as as the Chapter Chair President of Philadelphia and Vice President for the Homeowners Counseling Association of Delaware Valley.  

https://www.linkedin.com/in/darryl-j-vereen-
Akeesha Washington : Adolescent Psychotherapist/ Program Coordinator/ UPPN Connector

Akeesha Washington

Adolescent Psychotherapist/ Program Coordinator/ UPPN Connector

Akeesha M. Washington is a Philadelphia native and a certified PA Professional School Counselor for grades K-6 and 7-12 as well as a certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She received her B.S. in Criminal Justice at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and holds an M.S. Ed. in School and Mental Health Counseling and an M. Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania. Akeesha currently works as a Psychotherapist and Program Coordinator at Main Line Health where she has developed and implemented a mental health and substance abuse program designed to offer therapeutic interventions for adolescents throughout Delaware County. She also works as a part time Psychotherapist for the adolescent drug and alcohol program at Northeast Treatment Center in Philadelphia and is Alumni Coordinator for the Education Entrepreneurship program at the University of Pennsylvania.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/akeeshawashington
Dontay Wilson : New York Life Agent/ UPPN Connector

Dontay Wilson

New York Life Agent/ UPPN Connector

Dontay Wilson is an agent for New York Life servicing individuals and families in local communities by implementing well designed insurance and financial strategies. He was recently assigned as an Ambassador for NYL 50 Billion Dollar Empowerment Plan committing to help individuals/families build, protect and pass on billions of dollars, generation after generation.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dontay-wilson-12a55738