Imani Joy Smith
Founder and CEO of Joyous Evolution Dance Company; a dance and mentoring program in the DMV area
Imani Joy Smith is the 22-year old Founder and CEO of Joyous Evolution Dance Company; a dance and mentoring program in the DMV area.
Imani Joy Smith has committed herself to uplifting the youth in her community. In addition to her dance and mentoring program, she also coaches the dance team at the high school she graduated from, and works with several non-profits in the area geared toward mentoring youth; specifically teenage girls.
Imani has always dreamt of owning her own dance company and always knew it would happen, but not as soon as it did. When she was forced to take a brief break from her studies at the Pennsylvania State University, she decided to just go for it. Instead of seeing that as a setback she took advantage of being able to touch the youth in her hometown, which has been a passion of hers for many years. Imani reached a rough patch in her life during high school when her mom suffered an illness. This is when she developed the passion for touching the youth and letting them know that there’s someone out there going through the same thing as them.
Imani is currently finishing her first book, which is set to be released Summer 2016. She will complete her studies at the Pennsylvania State University with a B.A in Broadcast Journalism, and plans to eventually own several studios in the area.
Senior auditor for CPA firm Gelman, Rosenberg, and Freedman
Born in 1987, Hugene T. Fields is a native of Bowie, MD. He attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC where he obtained in Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting in 2009. He then went on to obtain his Master in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College in 2012. Currently as a senior auditor for a local CPA firm in the DC area (Gelman, Rosenberg and Freedman CPAs); Hugene performs and reviews staff working papers for audits and is responsible for coordinating interactions between firm and client staff. He also ensures engagements are completed in a timely, accurate and efficient manner. Hugene is experienced with the requirements of Title 2 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) and/or OMB Circular A-133. As part of his job, he has had the opportunity to travel to over 15 countries around the world to perform engagements in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Aside from work, Hugene is an active participate in making the community a better place. He currently serves as a board member for a local non-profit organization that provides services to individual with disabilities. He also served two consecutive terms (three years) as Treasurer for the Bowie/Mitchellville (MD) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. Through his works within the fraternity, Hugene has been a participant in community service activities which help young African American males in high school graduate and matriculate to post-secondary schooling.
Hugene enjoys spending time with his family, attending sporting events and reading.
Erica Danielle Woods
Legal counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security in Washington DC
Ms. Erica D. Woods is 29 years old and currently serves as legal counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security in Washington DC. Working for Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (Democrat- Mississippi), Ms. Woods focuses her practice on overseeing and monitoring the Department of Homeland Security, particularly the United States Secret Service. During her time with the Committee, Ms. Woods has investigated numerous USSS security breaches and personnel matters, helped evaluate the Department budget requests, and drafted legislation designed to support the Department’s Unity of Effort campaign and acquisition reform.
Ms. Woods is originally from Memphis TN. She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, finishing cum laude and law studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Both institutes rank amongst the Top 20 in the country. After successfully passing the Missouri State Bar Exam, Ms. Woods began her legal career at the national renowned Bryan Cave LLP where she practiced Bankruptcy Litigation, Banking, and Real Estate. After one year of practice, Ms. Woods was presented the opportunity to serve for the Obama administration as a political appointee and joined the General Counsel’s Office of the Department of Homeland Security as an Oversight Attorney. Ms. Woods has now taken her talents to Capitol Hill, serving on the Homeland Security Committee.
Founder of The Mentor Method is reimagining the mentor/protégée dynamic to address the urgent need for genuine, simpatico mentor relationships.
Janice Omadeke is a Washington, DC native and Founder of The Mentor Method. Through successfully mentoring and managing teams for Fortune 500 companies and boutique corporations, she discovered her passion is mentoring and encouraging millennial women to “Create their Career Squad”. She shares her career knowledge and passion as a career contributor on The DC Ladies blog, in addition to speaking engagements.
She loves empowering millennial women in their careers through sharing her experiences and knowledge in navigating corporate environments. Janice is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is certified in Entrepreneurship from MITx and is completing a graduate certification in Strategic Management from Harvard. Janice, along with The Mentor Method, was chosen to participate in the 2016 MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.
For more information about Janice Omadeke and The Mentor Method, visit www.thementormethod.com
Legislative Director for Maryland Senator Joanne C. Benson of the 24th Legislative District
Pokuaa Owusu-Acheaw, 25, is a DMV native who grew up in Laurel, MD. A proud graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science & Communication in 2012. Missing home and wanting to make a larger impact in her community, she attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, where her concentrations were in Public Policy and Intellectual Property.
She graduated in May of 2015. Currently she is the Legislative Director for Maryland Senator Joanne C. Benson of the 24th Legislative District. In her capacity, Pokuaa works with numerous communities, organizations, and stakeholders to assist in the creation of better policies to benefit Prince Georgians and Marylanders. She has been an active volunteer in organizations such as Street Law, Operation Hope, and Black Law Students Association’s “Know Your Rights Campaign”.