In honor of International Women’s Day, which falls each year during Women’s History Month on March 8, we at Ladies America wanted to call attention to five women who we feel are shining examples of strong female entrepreneurs.
Samira Salman is founder and CEO of Salman Solutions, LLC, a strategic planning and business development firm. Over the past 20 years, Samira has harnessed her out-of-the-box thinking and expertise in corporate and tax law to personally advise over 75 executives on a variety of business issues, build and sell over 30 companies and rais over $60M in startup and growth capital.
In addition to serving as an advisor, Samira holds equity in several U.S.-based and international business and entrepreneurial ventures, which include real-estate; business and advisory firms; and lifestyle, luxury and health and wellness brands.
She also serves as a consultant and special advisor to Think Global, a global business institute for female entrepreneurship; an advisor to Ladies America, a national network of professional women with a focus on connections, education and mentorship; and has garnered a large social media following. Samira often serves as a speaker, moderator and writer on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, brand building, negotiations, business development, energy taxes, strategic collaboration, and women in business opportunities. She has spoken at the American Bar Association, the United Nations, the National Association of Women MBAs, and various entrepreneurship weeks, and business and law schools.
Prior to launching her own business in 2008, Samira held various positions at Arthur Andersen, Deloitte & Touch, KPMG and was in-house tax counsel at Shell Oil Company.
She received her primary and secondary schooling both state side and in Europe. She has an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Houston and completed her JD and BS in international trade and finance with a minor in economics from Louisiana State University. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Louisiana and before the U.S. Tax Court. Throughout her career she has hel many leadership positions within the American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations and Tax Sections–including as the Vice-Chairman of the ABA Energy and Environmental Taxes Committee and is an honorary advisor and program project director on social impact projects for the United Nations NGO Committee on Sustainable Development.
Samira is also the founder of Samira’s Table, LLC, a lifestyle brand curating a way to integrate work and play with health and wellness, travel and culture, spirit and self, and beauty and style.
Samira currently allocates her time between New York, Texas and Louisiana.
With over 12 years of experience in the fashion industry and an undergraduate business degree from the University of Southern California, Ustyled CEO Catherine Cassidy has a unique blend of business operations, sales, merchandising and personal styling experience. Her corporate experience is with Nordstrom, Robinsons May and BCBG.
In 2008, she launched Ustyled, a style company focused on serving professional women. She was recently featured in the Washington Post, on Today.com and is a sought after speaker on empowering women in business through what she calls “Style Power TM“. Catherine resides in Washington, DC and Ustyled serves clients all over the US and abroad.
Find out more about Catherine’s why: http://ustyled.com/about/
Born in Columbia, SC and bred in Washington, DC. BiancaChardei has been a part of the entertainment industry since the tender age of 10. As a child, Bianca was always intrigued by Arts. She was featured in various Wal-Mart commercials, PBS programs, hosted her own televised talk show and even taught Liturgical Dance. BiancaChardei has a BA in Journalism and Fashion Merchandising with a concentration in Public Relations From Howard University. Upon entering college , Bianca immediately began working on her career.She grew a strong appreciation for the diversity and the vast Arts outlet that DC embodies. She became a freelance fashion writer for various publications, modeled in DC fashion Week and became the face of many local boutiques. She soon became one of DC’s most requested and valued models which eventually led her to Fashion Scene in NY and LA. Since 2006, Bianca has been featured in various BET Rip the Runway commercials, NYFW and graced the runway’s of the some of the most respected and top designers nationally and internationally. In 2009, Bianca landed a spot on the 13th season of the hit show America’s Next Top Model. Since the show she has been featured in Campaigns for Jeffrey Campbell Shoes, Indique Hair International and three upcoming Fall Campaigns, Espion and Collection, Aman Itomi Jewelry Collection. In 2015 Bianca was one of the faces of Maggy London, a women’s ready to wear line carried in Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Belk and Aman Itomi Collection & and International Luxury Hair Line, Lux Extensions.
Bianca is also the face of Lux Extensions, and Aman Itomi Jewelry. In her Home State of South Carolina Bianca has had her own Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Segment on WACHFox that aired biweekly as a part of Good Day Columbia at 730am. Due to her High Volume of Followers and Viewers she will be launching her Fashion,Lifestyle and Beauty TV Show March 2016.
In 2008 Bianca Chardei Richardson started LoveYourself an organization geared toward Women. The main objective and mission of LoveYourself is to increase self esteem in young women through self grooming, innovative and holistic activities. After a successful summer with Camp LoveYourself in 2015 in Bianca’s homestate of Columbia,SC, LoveYourself is expanding to Orangeburg, SC and Washington,DC. LoveYourself is currently comprised of young ladies ages 4-17. LoveYourself also Hosts various events throughout the year to empower women.
As an extension of LoveYourself, BiancaChardei conducts Character Education Workshops in Public Schools and Colleges. Workshop Topics Include : Self Esteem Building, The Importance of Healthy Relationships, Sexual Health, Literacy, Finances, the Importance of Higher Education, Hygiene, Fashion & Beauty Hair, Skin & Nails Tips, Nutrition, Wardrobe and Many More.
The Primary Objective of the workshops is to increase the self esteem of young women through activities that enable students to carefully identify and define positive self love, self image and the importance of making healthy life decisions. Secondary Objectives include increasing writing skills, comprehension , problem solving and critical thinking. Bianca Utilizes theatre, visual art and music as her creative tactics to keep students engaged and interested. For more information visit loveyourselfalways.org
Nicole “DJ Neekola” Gallub
From her LinkedIn account:
As a former Information Systems specialist and current DC-renowned DJ, I used my technology background and experience in music to create PELONKEY: a solution to business problems for myself and my colleagues in the entertainment and events industries. In a nutshell, Pelonkey is an entertainment marketplace where people planning events can shop easily and transparently for entertainment options, and performers can manage, protect, promote, and organize their business. Both can find, book, and contract one another online quickly and securely.
After graduating from the University of Richmond with honors in the field of Information Systems, I worked several jobs in this field for a decade, including Helpdesk with MeadWestvaco, Network Administration with SITE-Blauvelt Engineers, and then Network Security for various entities within the Federal Government. During this time, I spent my evenings pursuing my passion for music, moonlighting as a DJ, and performing for various local venues and parties within Washington, DC.
Fortunately for me, my DJ career became successful enough to leave my career in IT and pursue my dream of working full-time as a DJ/Producer, and DJ Neekola was born. DJ Neekola is not only one of Washington, DC’s favorite DJ’s, but has also been requested frequently overseas in Switzerland, Greece, France, Italy, and Spain. In collaboration with J Punch she owned a record label in 2011 called NomNom Records, bringing on producers such as Dr. Kucho to produce original tracks and remixes, in addition to other talented local producers in the metro Washington, DC area. Neekola also produced an album in collaboration with Rex Riot called “Playtime,” which sold out in the first month of production.
Although DJ Neekola’s success paved a path for international fame, I directed my energy to solving key industry problems through technology, and created Pelonkey.