2020 has been, for all us, a rollercoaster ride. So much has happened for the past nine months, the COVID-19 pandemic being the worst of all. The consequential effects of the pandemic have pushed many on edge, especially entrepreneurs. But despite this, many businessmen and women remain strong and continue to do their job servicing the general public. To stay afloat amid these trying times is a great achievement but to adapt and thrive is an even greater feat. US Reporter picked individuals among the sea of millions who faced many adversities but have stayed true to their mission. Here are 20 of them:
- Monique Robinson
Monique S. Robinson received a BA from Wilberforce University; Psychology, M. Ed from Concordia University-Portland; Educational Leadership, and Ed. S from Northcentral University; Educational Leadership. M. Robinson is the founder of A Better Chance for Youth Futures Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes higher learning for all scholars. Advocates for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. While providing consulting services on grant writing, scholar preparation letters, and test preparation. In addition, in 2009 received the Teacher of the Year award for Imagine Schools, district, and region for her contributions to education.
Facebook: A Better Chance For Youth Futures Inc.
- Paul Garcia
Paul Garcia is a cross-discipline engineer with a finance background. He recently became part of a small team acquired by Cruise Automation to create the driverless fleet products to allow the systems to scale. Born in Peru, raised in Queens, New York, Paul Garcia uses his experience from the SEC, Real estate, and high tech to focus on community-driven housing solutions. Rethink Bayonne is the first event with this kind of home buying experience, which will democratize urban development by getting the community to help decide how their city will be shaped using design competition with a home buying network feel.
LinkedIn: Paul Garcia
- Daniel Rondberg
Daniel has conducted live educational seminars on retirement for thousands of people for nearly a decade. However, when COVID-19 hit, Daniel had to make some serious adjustments to his business. He decided to turn to publishing. Since June of 2020, Daniel has published four books. Three of which have since become international bestsellers. He was accepted into”Top of the Table,” a top association for insurance agents and financial advisors composed of less than 2,300 professionals.
Daniel learned to conduct virtual events educating people on retirement during this crucial time. Finally, with no background in marketing, Daniel decided to give back to the financial community and help consumers reach quality advisors and agents with a proprietary process. The company he formed in September is gaining national attention and was recently featured in Forbes.
LinkedIn: Daniel Rondberg
- Christopher J Dobry
Chris Dobry is the owner of Stryker Records, where Chris promotes live concerts, manages artists, and releases music worldwide.
Chris has worked promoting artists, including Saving Abel, Saliva, and Merle Haggard, among others. Chris has teamed up with Holly Hutchison of AnRGirl to launch Stryker Records recording artists, Jamie Fontaine & the Level, to the Billboard Mainstream Rock #20 spot Indicator chart. Chris has also teamed up with Scott Wilson at Sunshine Studios to work with Jamie Fontaine & the Level.
Chris has an engineering background and is a military veteran. You can reach Chris through his email email@example.com.
Facebook: Stryker Records, Inc.
- Denise Kalos
Denise M. Kalos, Founder, CEO of AFFIRMATIVhealth, embraced her mission to make precision medicine treatment accessible to everyone with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. She pioneered the development of an unprecedented personalized memory improvement treatment program at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in 2015. Challenged by COVID-19’s effect on memory loss, she increased efforts to raise awareness of alternative treatments for reversing cognitive decline. Since March 2020, AFFIRMATIVhealth filed a provisional patent, published groundbreaking research in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, and a guidebook to maintaining cognitive health. They also opened an in-person research clinic at Sonoma, California.
- Vincent Brooks
Vincent Brooks is driven by his desire to be successful. Although he experienced a lot in the past, suffering from depression and anxiety, being forced out of the basketball court because of an injury, and changing careers every after turn, Vincent remains hopeful that he will capture the world’s attention as an emcee and artist. He will star in the upcoming movie Bruised as a judge in a UFC fight scene directed by Halle Berry set for the Canada Film Festival this September. Vincent will also appear in a television show called Reverso based in Atlantic City.
He is now in his 10th year as a public relations representative of Real Dreams Entertainment record label. Vincent Brooks’s consistent burning desire to succeed made him win in life by choosing to keep fighting and continue to educate himself and continuously work hard on his craft.
- Jeannette Mead and Jeremy Slade
In frame: Jeannette Mead
Photo by: Christopher Otrebla
Jeannette Mead of Napa, California and Jeremy Slade of Oahu, Hawaii are the Owners and Designers of Jeannette & Slade, a handmade jeweled leather handbag and accessories luxury brand made in Africa/South Africa. Their brand believes in slow fashion fair trade and they are working with small businesses in the region to help provide for the community in those areas. Jeannette & Slade’s VIP service allows clients to customize their own handbag and accessories. Clients can purchase their products at Kashmir Art Gallery in Los Gatos, CA & at Blake Fine Arts in Monterey, CA.
- Lisa Skeete Tatum
Photo Source: ImpactAlpha
Lisa Skeete Tatum founded Landit in 2014 to help women find the right jobs for them. For many years, Lisa has led many women to jobs and companies that best suit their skills. Landit is a one-size-fits-one platform that creates playbooks for women of potential. The company has played a significant role in personally and professionally providing the path to success, regardless of color, race, or age. The diverse community of Landit makes it a healthy headquarters for every dreamer out there. The legacy of Landit has been featured in several publications such as INC, Forbes, BBC, Vanity Fair, CNBC, and many more.
9. Bechara Imad
Gearing up to brave the present challenges the world is facing, raising the bar on branding and business growth services, aside TEYOI, his branding and media production agency in Los Angeles, Bechara has been recently stepping onboard of 3 young businesses (Brainrok, Drive Hospitality, and Maison Jeunesse). As an influential and successful business personality, Bechara is continuously raising the standards for service providers all over the world. He is showing fellow businessmen that hard work should come hand in hand with relevant strategies, priceless work ethics, and a sharp business acumen developed over time. A branding expert who specializes in engineering brand experiences, restructuring business models, and safeguarding brand positioning.
For Bechara, success simply opens new doors to impact the national and international markets. His motivation evolved in creating niche brands and drawing a suitable strategy to penetrate the market and build brand loyalty. He is making a name not just for himself, but also for every business individual who has ever dreamed of becoming successful.
- Cam Greenwood
Photo source: Cam Greenwood
Cam Greenwood intends to inspire and impact the lives of thousands of people through motivational speaking. When he was 18, he founded his company, Monsta Surf, which brings the best popular clothing brands to his clients. But more than selling apparel, Cam sells his mindset and stories, often starting a discussion with his customers about passion, great ideas, and life’s purpose. This has influenced him to start a career in motivational speaking. And since then, Cam has touched countless people’s lives – turning things around for them and giving the positive outlooks in life. He was also part of US Reporter’s issue on 30 Under 30.
11. Paul Bird
Born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, former professional MMA athlete and MMA/kickboxing event promoter Paul Bird is the co-owner and founder of Minnesota Digital & Iowa Digital, the largest indoor digital billboard networks in their respective states.
With over 300 highly trafficked locations with their digital screens that feature local, regional, and national advertising with their video animated content; the company hosts two of the largest indoor digital billboard advertising networks in the nation.
- Arum Kang
Photo Source: Glassdoor
It began with the vision to offer the women of NYC a say to their ‘dating destinies,’ now, Arum Kang’s company, Coffee Meets Bagel, has globalized their operations. Founded in 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel has grown to become one of the best female-centered and -empowering dating companies globally. Since its foundation, the dating service has allowed more than 2.5 billion introductions here and abroad. Coffee Meets Bagel is different from the ‘swaps’ that other companies offer. Instead, they encourage deep connections, meet-ups, and dates – maybe over a coffee and bagel.
- Yunha Kim
Photo Credit: Glassdoor
Yunha Kim went into the wellness and health industry because she has experienced the positive effects of meditation first-hand. Straight out of Wall Street, Yunha started her first company, only finding herself extremely stressed because of it. That was when she turned to meditation. Eventually, she realized that meditating improved her overall being, as with her responsibilities and relationships. So, she made a decision that would then lead her to become one of the best wellness instructors in the US. She founded Simple Habit in 2016, and for four years, Yunha has steadily built the company’s reputation as the best in helping people ease their worries and improve their lives in general.
- Jessie Goldenberg
Photo source: The NY Times
‘Fashion on wheels,’ one of Jessie Goldenberg’s company’s hallmarks, The Nomad Truck. Since 2013, Jessie has traveled to and fro NYC’s streets and beyond to make the best apparel and recent fashion trends nearer to people. US Reporter also featured her as part of the 30 Under 30 and now as Top 20 Entrepreneurs. It is not a question, however, why this is so. Jessie is the best at filling The Nomad Truck with some of the best clothes worn by many empowered individuals in NYC.
- Jade Tinner
Jade Tinner, VP of Community Investment at the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, is an influential millennial leader, communications professional, and relationship cultivator, dedicated to helping others. Miss Tinner, affectionately known as “The Brand Enhancer,” is the founder of HighRize Solutions and The One Unified Resource Foundation, INC. (OUR Foundation). Both entities’ missions focus on the need for the betterment of the community through brand enhancement, strategy creation, and community engagement. As the Vice President of the first and oldest operating Black chamber in the nation, Jade takes pride in delivering true community investment through educational and social programming, strategic partnerships, and advocacy initiatives supporting the creation, growth, and general welfare of Black businesses, executives, and employees. Ms. Tinner is currently pursuing her Executive MBA and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from UMKC, where she was a four-year Division I basketball player. Outside of business hours you can find Miss Tinner, refereeing basketball games and hosting basketball clinics, supporting young men through the MEN(tors) program with the OUR Foundation, or spending times with loved ones.
- Jasmine Crowe
Photo Source: Goodr
The legacy of Jasmine Crowe is one that will last for years. She founded Goodr as a movement to combat the prevailing hunger in the US. Jasmine Crowe has spent the last three years growing Goodr to feed millions of mouths in the country. Goodr started because Jasmine saw tons and tons of food waste from restaurants that are still fit for eating. In an interview, she said, “What I look at as hunger being is an issue of logistics, and so Goodr is solving what I call the surplus food supply chain problem.” Goodr is now one of the leading companies that counter some of the issues in the country today.
- Gen George
Photo Source: Michele Mossop
Gen George is a force to be reckoned with in the entrepreneurial world. She has founded several companies, like Skilld, OneShift, Tamme, and Like-Minded Bitches Drinking Wine. This serial entrepreneur is often found in several 30 Under 30 lists, including US Reporter. Through her many companies, Gen influences the community greatly. As an entrepreneur, Gen learned that ‘learning as we go’ is essential.
LinkedIn: Gen George
- Charlie Stigler
Photo source: Charlie Stigler
Charlie Stigler is the co-founder of Zaption, now part of Workday. Zaption is an exciting video learning company used by thousands of students and individuals in the country. Apart from Zaption, Charlie also created SelfControl, an application that allows Mac users to rid their PCs from distracting websites, mail servers, or virtually anything on the internet. In 2012, he became a Thiel Fellow because of his contributions to the community. Charlie now lives in San Francisco and enjoys his free time acquiring new tech, urbanism, education, and metalworking skills.
- Madison Maxey
Photo source: Loomia
Madison Maxey is not someone to take lightly. She serves as the Founder of Loomia, a company that works with company giants in developing e-textile prototypes and patents. She’s partnered with North Face, Google, PVH, Flextronix, Adidas, and Corning. Madison is highly requested by many companies to conduct workshops and has been invited by Columbia University, Parsons School of Design, NYU, and the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana to conduct lectures.
When she created her brand (formerly The Crated), Madison wanted to channel her artistry to every output that she comes up with. She works with a tight-knit group of professionals in Loomia. Together with experienced engineers, designers, and innovators, Madison stands at the forefront of the textile industry.
- Emily Vavra
Photo Source: Thrive Global
Emily Vavra is a woman of many things. She is a sought-after speaker, health and wellness entrepreneur, and network marketer. She helps many people create residual income and reach financial freedom through training and coaching. Emily has done things more than she should. She also extends help to those who need; the most recent is a community in Uganda. She partnered with Just Like My Child Foundation and traveled to Uganda to improve education and healthcare in the country. “Get crystal clear on what it is that you want to do, and why you want to do it,” Emily said.