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2018’s Power of Women Bosses

Not enough women in the entertainment industry receive the recognition they deserve. I want to provide a platform that does, so here it goes. If you don’t know these ladies already, meet the 2018 Power of Women Bosses: November Edition


Ayanna Wilks

Ayanna Wilks is currently the PR Director in the Celebrity Division at Wilhelmina. She studied English at Spelman College and soon began as a public relations assistant at Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF.) Her undeniable work ethic and desire for success landed her in the ‘Celebrity and Communications’ Department at DVF. After three years and three months, she transferred to Roc Nation’s Public Relations department. She took on a new role as ‘Communications Director,’ nine months later, to then depart the company for her newest role as Public Relations Director at Wilhelmina’s Celebrity Division.

On a personal note…

I met Ayanna at the 2017 BET Awards in Los Angeles.

But it wasn’t the first time we engaged with one another.

It was probably the month before, a good friend of mine, Walik sent me an opening she had for a PR intern at Roc Nation. We spoke over the phone, but I had a bit going on in my life, so signing up for the internship position wouldn’t have been a wise decision. Soon enough, we met at the BET award show, but my thought was “I don’t think she knew who I was”.

After being of assistance to some of her clients on the red carpet, Walik encouraged me to reach back out and connect the dots.

After emailing her, we spoke, met and BOOM, there was my first real internship as a Roc Nation Public Relations intern. Each day Ayanna continues to teach me the “do’s” and “don’t” of the entertainment industry. I continue to seek advice and cherish our relationship.

Brianna Agyemang 

Meet the Senior Director of Marketing at Atlantic Records, Brianna Agyemang.

Agyemang received her Bachelors of Arts in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. She began interning in the promotions department at WAMO and later obtained a marketing internship at Columbia Records. In her new position, she was responsible for creating, promoting, and planning appropriate events for signed artists.

When Agyemang became an executive Intern at Bad Boy Entertainment, she quickly and successfully adjusted roles — especially when it came to assisting company executives and personal assistants with office related tasks and company events.

After being a marketing assistant at Shawdow Lounge LLC and fulfilling her internship at Violator Management, Agyemang began her new position as Digital Marketing Coordinator at Roc Nation. Almost three years later, she was titled ‘Global Marking & Artist Management.’

On a personal note…

I was at a point in my life where I was desperately searching for freelance opportunities. As a fresh face to the entertainment business, I didn’t know how to go about doing my research, let alone who to get in contact with.

I discovered LinkedIn, reached out to Brianna who was one of the few people that would respond to my LinkedIn messages.

You know what brought us even closer? The fact that I’d even see her on the train and briefly converse with her.

Tiffany Bender

Tiffany Bender is currently the Senior Producer at Teen Vogue. She attended Syracuse University where she received her bachelors in communication and rhetorical studies — Master’s in television, radio, and film.

She began freelancing at the Wendy Williams Show, where she assisted Senior producers with daily segments and composed research packets for producers.

Five months later, she transferred to Sirius XM Radio as an associate producer. Bender was responsible for booking and researching talent, in addition to pitching and implementing original radio and web segments.

Fast forwarding eleven months later, she ended up at NBC Universal Media as a production assistant. Another eleven months later, she switched jobs and became a talent production assistant. She moved on to the associate producer position at Crazy Legs Productions, then associate producer at MGM, and back to NBC Universal as an associate producer. Before landing her current job as senior producer, she’s worked at Condé Nast as the senior producer and later narrowed it down to Teen Vogue. — which if you may not know, is a division of Condé Nast.

On a personal note…

I’ve always been a fan of Tiffany Bender. But let’s be real. As a young individual trying to connect to Tiffany, there is no way to get in contact with her without knowing someone who already knows her.

I messaged the people she already followed on Instagram and one of individuals I called, didn’t even know how Tiffany ended up following them.

Then one day, I was working the door of @thebrownies party and instantly knew this was my moment to shine. After emailing her numerous times, the rest is history.

Tiffany is the definition of what it means to BE AMAZING. She continues to provide me with various opportunities and encourages me always network. Did I mention how great she is at giving advice?

Khalia Braxton

Khalia Braxton is currently the community management associate at Condé Nast. She attended Spelman College and received her bachelors in International/Global Studies. She started off as a fashion intern at Sukari. A year and some months later, she began interning as an accountant management intern at Hill Holiday. Her exceptional people’s person persona landed her in companies like Marsh & McLennan, Bloomingdales, Harlem’s Fashion Row, L’Oreal, Looklive Inc, and now Condé Nast.

On a personal note…

Khalia is the queen that keeps on giving! Her confidence, determination, and most importantly hard work ethic inspires me everyday. I can’t express what it is to be able to work with her — it’s the dedication that inspired me the most.

Gia Peppers

Gia Peppers graduated from Rutgers University. She joined an non-profit organization called ‘Ween Academy’, which is a six-week crash course about all the aspects of entertainment media. When she graduated, she explored journalism fields such as entertainment reporter and writer. Peppers has worked everywhere from CBS News to Co-Hosting home games during the Washington Wizards basketball seasons.

Since 2015, Peppers has worked with the Essence Magazine’s senior editor, in creating daily content around artists and speakers, in preparation for the Essence Festival. Currently, Gia is one of five hosts for Black Girl Podcast. She generally freelances between VH1, BET, NBA, and more!

On a personal note…

As a Tidal special events intern, I fell in love with Gia after witnessing her interview with Miguel. Her personality was so bright, and I knew if I connected with her, the energy would be through the roof. Till today, Gia continues to believe in me and provide me with numerous opportunities to attend industry events with her. Thank you, Gia!

Alyssa Castillo

Alyssa Castillo is currently the wonderful and witty assistant to American rapper Fabolous. As an intern at Roc Nation, she worked under the Senior Vice President of the company, Lenny Santiago. Though she was Santiago’s intern, her hard working ethic didn’t limit hero one division. The company realized how valuable she was in which offered her a full-time position as Jay-Z’s assistant. She, however, turned it down. Though this was a dream come through, she knew she had to start somewhere manageable first.

On a personal note…

Alyssa is SUCH A SWEETHEART — so humble and genuine. I remember
wanting to be of assistance during an event — an individual reached out to her on my behalf and without knowing me, she gave me a chance. I appreciate the conversations we have, even when you’re schedule is extremely busy.

Elizabeth “Afrikaa” Johnson

Johnson is a brand & Image Consultant. She studied at various universities in Philadelphia before dropping out to purse a career in entertainment. She started as Director of Sales and marketing of The Fashion Mansion Group before branching into talent management and PR.

In 2016, Johnson discovered stylist and creative director Farren Fucci on Twitter. They’ve since collaborated on projects like PAPER’s cover stories with Bella Hadid and Rihanna. Currently, Afrikaa’s clientele includes Christian Combs, Poppy and emerging artist Gabriel Tirado

On a personal note…

Afrikaa is another individual who remains true to her brand. What I love most about her, was the chance she took on me. Despite the fact that I would call her numerous times or even woke her out of her sleep — I’m still shocked at  fact that she didn’t block me till today.

Karleen Roy

Karleen Roy began interning as an off the books intern at Def Jam. Her hard work and dedication landed her the assistant position for American singer and songwriter, Neyo who at the time, just signed to Def Jam. Couple years later, Bad Boy Entertainment hired Roy as Diddy’s executive assistant, who also carried the work of a personal assistant. After 6 years, Roy embarked on a new journey, which we all know as ”The Vanity Group.”

On a personal note…

Karleen is a BOSS! Her personality is so bright, and to be quite honest, her story is inspiring.

Paulana Lamonier

Paulana Lamonier received her bachelors from York College. Her love for journalism landed her gig as an editorial intern at Newsday Media Group. She has freelanced as a journalist for Network Journal Communications Inc, highlighting African American Entrepreneurs making a difference in the community through her writing.

She has interned and worked at companies like Black Enterprise Magazine, LearnVest, and HRDCVR magazine. At HRDCVR Magazine, she assisted in seeking researching, edited, and curating relevant news for the brand. After taking on roles such as the Digital Marketing Apprentice at COOP, Engagement Producer at Jetty, and Social Media Consultant at Soul Cycle, she accepted the responsibly of a Forbes Contributor. At Forbes, she highlights women in male dominated industries.

On a personal note…that’s not so personal

If you’re not already following Paulauna, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. She continues to posts about available job opening and provide continuous advice for those who are interested in taking on journalism.

She even created a whole thread on it. If you haven’t already. Check it out.


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