About Us

Adriana Davis - Dquared Media

Adriana Davis has worked in film, television and radio as a producer, writer, editor and voice-over artist since 1991. After working as a field producer and assignment desk editor for electronic newsgathering houses (NETWORK VIDEO SERVICES), production companies (BROADCAST NEWS NETWORKS, CAMERA PLANET) and cable and broadcast networks (A&E, HISTORY CHANNEL, CNN, PBS, CBS, NBC, COURT TV, ESPN, BET) she founded D-Squared Media in 1995. A full-service production company, D-Squared Media offers corporate clients producing, editing, scripting, voice-over and online media services. In addition to establishing and growing her production company, Ms. Davis has also produced, written and edited several independent documentaries, feature films and radio programming.

Joan Michelson - Green Connection Media & Podcast Host


Joan Bryna Michelson. MBA is an award-winning, creative, business and communications leader, public speaker and reporter/producer, focused on the clean energy-sustainability sector and on advancement of women. As CEO of Green Connections Media™, Joan produces and hosts the acclaimed podcast Green Connections Radio™ (GCR) and consults with Fortune 500, Inc. 500/5000, government agencies and non-profits on communications, marketing, sustainability, diversity, and leadership issues. 

GCR was chosen in 2015 by USA Today as one of the top six podcasts especially for business travelers for its engaging and informative interviews with high-performing innovators and leaders – featuring mostly women. Joan also has a blog on the Huffington Post and has been published in numerous media, including: TheAtlantic.com (e.g., on the dearth of women in energy), The Washington Post, The New Economy, Life & Style magazine, Greenbiz, WTOP, and a column on leadership and gender for a regional business journal chain, as well as on newsmagazine shows, including CBS’ “60 Minutes,” ABC, and “The Crusaders” on NBC.

Committed to advancing women’s careers, Joan actively promotes the visibility of women leaders in her consulting work and as a dynamic public speaker. As an interesting aside, Joan’s great-great aunt Miriam Michelson was a reporter, and one of the foremost interviewers of Susan B. Anthony, who literally kept the women’s suffrage movement on the front page. Joan is writing the foreward to a forthcoming book by a prominent historian on Miriam due out in late 2017.

Tanya Valle - Coaching, Mentor for Professionals


Tanya Valle believes in following her curiosity. She's been a television news reporter, press secretary in NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Administration, Fortune 50 company executive, and a public relations business owner. And a zookeeper in her 20s. She pursues work that interests her and follows her own rules. 

Tanya is a Certified Professional Coach. She provides intergrated coaching services for professionals that include Mindfulness, media and communications training. She holds an MBA from Fordham University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY. Tanya is a proud member of BizzyChicks.org, and on the Board of Directors of Ancient History Encyclopedia, and The India Group.
Tanya was born and raised in New York City and still lives here. Some of the things she loves to do are roller dance skating, traveling the globe, and reading lots of books. She enjoys life and look for lessons and opportunities to grow personally and spiritually, and to help others do the same.

Chairidee Smith - Business & Real Estate Advisor & Radio Personality


Chairidee Smith also known as Ms. Mogul® is a Realtor®, business leader, visionary, entrepreneur, and media personality with 15 years of business and leadership successes in the Houston market and national business and women’s empowerment scene.

For over a decade, Ms. Mogul ®has utilized executive coaching, leadership development, keynote speaking, business start up and growth, mentoring, entrepreneurial ventures, and global enterprise to not only fuel the Houston economy, but women’s businesses in global economies.

Ms. Smith is founder of the ROAR!® Women’s Network and annual ROAR!® Women’s Leadership Summit, Legacy Leadership Institute for Girls, and Girls Global Leadership Day, celebrated October 11 in accordance with the United Nations’ Day of the Girl Child, and Business Symposium: Growing Small Businesses. Fueling Houston’s Economy.

Becca Tebon - Fitness Guru

Becca FIT, which is the acronym for FEARLESS INTEGRATIVE TRANSFORMATIONS. I had always been curious about my personal health 

(especially missing 20% of my elementary school years due to congenital health challenges). During my college years I tuned into my conscious thoughts and started nourishing my self development. I took an emersion into my overall well-being in 2010 when my life twisted (casual name I use for life’s bat shit crazy horrific events) 3 times in the last 90 days of 2009. I hit my personal rock bottom. Ready to give up and ‘go home’, I spoke to God and my life began a radical transformation. To others (who didn’t know the deep secrets of my divorce) or pain from not having inner peace, it seemed like i bounced back… but in truth it took years of nurturing and building my new character muscle. I have since taught at a Oprah Winfrey’s Retreat, featured in Boca Raton Magazine, a contributor for Mind Body Green, Yoga Today, National Association of Realtors, Fabulous Fifty and many other online and traditional magazines, blogs, health & wellness webinars and podcasts.

Monica Delia Cardoza - Media Personality, Host & Journalist

“MONICA BLACK DIAMOND”. Born in Red Deer, Canada and raised in Calgary-Alberta, Canada Monica's work has always been inspired by her bloodline roots, of Uruguayan and Argentinean.

Background: makeup artist & nail technician Artist, web designer, graphic designer, dancer, painter, and calligraphy artist and designing clothes... 

Nancy Halpern - Leadership Coach

Nancy Halpern is a recognized professional in organizational development, executive coaching, leadership development and talent management. She has served as head of talent management for a Fortune 500 company and led numerous consulting engagements in the C suite and at the senior executive level in the health care, pharmaceutical, advertising, publishing, bio tech, and financial services industries.


After earning her MBA from Yale University, Nancy began a ten year career in the retail and import industries, ultimately as Vice President of Operations for a subsidiary of Target. In that role, she travelled extensively in Asia, Latin America and Africa to negotiate with manufacturers and inspect factories for U.N. Health and Safety violations. She also led a customer service division for over twenty domestic and international clients, and oversaw a multi-million dollar warehousing program.

Jen Glantz - Author , Speaker, Life & Business Coach

The founder of the viral business, Bridesmaid for Hire, the creator of the blog, The Things I Learned From, the voice of the soon-to-launch podcast, You're Not Getting Any Younger, and the author of the Amazon-best selling books, All My Friends are Engaged, &  Always a Bridesmaid for Hire, published by Simon and Schuster. 

I've told my stories on hundreds of press outlets around the world, such as TODAY ShowGood Morning AmericaCNN, NPR, and Fox News, where they called my job the “weirdest of all time”.

I proudly serve as a mentor for entrepreneurs and travel as a speaker for conferences, such as SXSWCreativity Next, and She’s the First. In 2016, I received the "30 Under 30"  award from my alma mater, University of Central Florida. 

I'm a freelance writer for more than 25 different websites, including Today.comGlamour Magazine, Prevention Magazine, BRIDES Magazine, and Bumble. As a hobby, I teach creative nonfiction & memoir writing at Gotham Writer's Workshop in New York City, as well as classes on improv, storytelling, and how to start a side hustle.

My passion is my consulting and coaching business, Jen & Juice, where I've worked with over 50 Individual and companies like GoogleHyattBrooklyn Brewery, and ESPN.

Linda Pliagas - Publisher of Realty 411 & Wealth Magazine

Linda Pliagas is the publisher/owner and media/marketing maverick for Realty411 Magazine (reWealth is their alternate cover). The publication reaches real estate investors and real estate professionals. They produce expos around the country and publish CashFlow Express, which is a financial newspaper. (maybe this can be at the event?)

Pliagas is a former veteran journalist for a variety of national magazines, newspapers and online news sites. My areas of specialty include: business, personal finance, lifestyle, celebrity interviews, real estate, personal growth, financial news and real estate marketing. She is a current and active real estate investor, and has owned properties in five states and understand the power of real estate. Pliagas been a licensed real estate agent in California for the past 11 years.

Judy Sahagian - Publisher & Host of Real Estate Subway Series

Judy Sahagian is the Founder & President of Judy Networks, a full-service real estate events firm catering to the needs of industry professionals. In working with real estate’s leaders, the firm delivers customized campaigns incorporating social media, technology, events and publicity personalized to meet each client’s individual goals. Top ranked real estate professionals have now come to depend on Judy to consult and gain insight in developing professional relationships. 

Keira Ingram - Real Estate Broker & Owner of AOC Realty

Keira Ingram is known as the Real Estate Queenpin.  She is the Broker and Owner of AOC Real Estate which is an investor friendly real estate brokerage with fifteen agents in both Lansdowne, Pennsylvania and Atlanta, Georgia.  She has over twelve years of experience as a real estate agent assisting investors, first time homeowners, and retail clients in buying and selling properties.  She opened her own independent real estate brokerage AOC Real Estate in 2016 and serves as the managing broker, mentor, coach, cheerleader, and deal saver to her agents as well as a and is a priceless resource and asset to her clients and community. She believes strongly that home and business ownership are the keys to financial freedom and building a strong legacy for future generations. 

With experiences in starting her own businesses and coaching her agents to make their real estate their own business, she saw a great need for entrepreneurial support in minority communities.  This caused her to expand her business portfolio to include a small business academy that will inspire and personally and professionally guide others with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Advantage Business Academy provides entrepreneurs, and small business owners with coaching, mentoring, workshops, resources, and newly state approved real estate licensing classes beginning February 2018. 

Keira and her team are passionate about the needs and goals of each client. They also give back to the community they serve by volunteering, conducting free home ownership, real estate investment, and small business workshops, and more.  As a wife, mother, minister, real estate professional, teacher, and business coach she has a packed schedule but always finds time for her family, team, and clients. 

Keira is extremely excited about participating as a panelist/speaker at We Rise To Inspire because she feels that there are not enough women sharing information, resources, and mentorships.  She feels that it is the responsibility of each successful woman to share the truth about the trials and triumphs of business with other women who are trying to get to a new level in business, entrepreneurship, and life.

Marilyn Meertins - Business Mentor & Religious Philanthropist

Mrs. Meertins has used her business knowledge to apply to her religious beliefs in attributing that having faith is essential for successful business endeavors. Marilyn has also battled cancer and won through her preserverance and guidance from God, lessons that she continues to teach through her mentorship.

Ilene Carol - Publisher of Men's & Women in Career Magazine & Media

Working as an Operations Manager, taught her time management and organizational skills, how to achieve sales goals, meet deadlines under pressure, train and motivate employees. 

As an Entrepreneur, she has been offering consulting, coaching and business advice to small businesses, non-profits, entertainers and public figures since 1995. 

Every since her sons were small, she has been mentoring elementary aged children and involved in reading and enrichment programs for underprivileged children. The desire to help others started in her youth when she was asked to become a Peer Facilitator. 

Training was received to assist students struggling with academics, social-emotional issues, peer conflicts, family concerns and she learned the importance of confidentiality. This genuine concern for others, got her voted Most Liked by her peers, as well as, a sought after voice of reasoning to solve the problems of her peers. 

Today, she continues to devote much of her spare time to supporting the charities, causes and campaigns that are close to her heart. Along with her many other commitments, Ilene campaigns tirelessly for the charities, causes and people that inspire her, from mentoring young people to championing women in business.

Like a Best Friend, Ilene shares her personal story and knowledge from her work and life experiences through coaching and on her blog, Your BFF Online. 

Dawn Del Russo - Fashion Stylist & TV Personality


Dawn Del Russo is an author and on-air TV style expert seen on Access Hollywood Live, Meredith Vieira, Extra TV, E News!, Glamour Mag Show Dress To Kill  and in print Vogue Italia,  InStyle, Cosmo, Real Simple, Life & Style and US Weekly. She is NY’s 95.5 PLJ resident “What to Wear Weather” girl in the mornings.

Dawn is a social media sweetheart and can be found chatting about fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle her Youtube channel,Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

She attributes her designer taste from travel abroad while seeking unique pieces for her belladawn.com clients and Live The Glamour.com.  As a new reiki master she has exponentially increased her success by combining her passion for business and a mindful lifestyle. 

Roxanne Roxanne - Owner of BBox Radio

Farrah Roxanne, a first generation American to Jamaica parents is the self proclaimed, "Goddess Of Brooklyn."  Roxanne started doing radio in 2013 after answering an advertisement placed on FaceBook, looking for a cohost to share the stage on a sex talk internet radio show.  That stint was short lived, as Roxanne grew weary with the content and limitations, and this is how Roxanne Roxanne was birthed.

Roxanne has a show called "Roxanne Roxanne" which takes place every Saturdays 5-6pm.  Her show is comprised of 4 segments (Roxanne's Rant, Ask Roxy, Roxanity, and Roxanne's Roundtable).

Roxanne Roxanne brings you latest in news information from around the world as well as informational conversations on a variety of subjects. With guests ranging from entertainers to political figures, health gurus, community activists and on and on, you never know what you'll get from week to week, but its always just what you needed.

Not only does Roxanne host her own radio show, she has hosted countless events and is now the new owner/station manager of BBOX Radio where the focus is to "Fall In Love With Radio Again."

Roxanne also has her bachelors degree in Speech, Hearing and Communication with a minor in Early Childhood.  She plans to obtaining her masters degree in the near future and works with children with developmental delays.

Roxanne is just beginning her journey for there is much more to come!!!!

Kacey Cardin

Kacey Carden is a Life, Leadership, & Business Coach, as well as a Creative Multipreneur.  A graduate of Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, and Accomplishment Coaching, She currently serve as a Mentor Coach and with Accomplishment Coaching while also maintaining a private coaching practice and traveling the globe as an opera/cabaret singer and writer/producer. 

Her clients can be found in your living room on your television screen, in executive offices of companies including Etsy, Disney, and some of NYC's top finance firms, and behind the creative visions of some of NYC's most popular restaurants, theatrical productions, operas, and orchestras.  She specializes in working with entrepreneurs, creative spirits, brilliant minds, hidden talents, and anyone who is ready to live a more powerful and fully-expressed life.

Maybe you've got the "perfect life" but want more and can't really explain that to anyone else.   Or are you a "hidden CEO", a diva who doesn't hasn't been seen or heard, or a brilliant badass... with a chip on your shoulder?    Maybe you're handling a whole lot and just need some freakin' support already!  Her clients love coaching for a multitude of reasons, and they create some wildly unpredictable results, above and beyond what they came for.

What will you create?

Michelle Gershfeld, JD - Bakruptcy Attorney


Michelle Gershfeld is a debt settlement and bankruptcy attorney who negotiates resolutions between clients and their creditors. Initially, she practiced law with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy. She practiced bankruptcy law as counsel to a chapter 7 trustee for over 27 years at Kittay & Gershfeld. Gershfeld has 25+ years of bankruptcy and consumer debt experience which provides her clients with strong analytical and negotiating skills. Subsequently, this year Michelle opened her own law firm, Law Offices of Michelle Gershfeld. She says, “The experience of being on my own has been incredible.” Michelle has been working with investor clients, buying and selling distressed properties, as real estate counsel. The rest of her time she spends working with individual and corporate clients who are financially distressed.

Shoshanna Gleich - Writer, Director, Actress

Shoshanna Gleich is an award winning multi media artist.  She is a writer, director, actress, poet and professional dancer on roller skates. 

Her upcoming television series, Super Fire Woman and Her Sparks for Manhattan Neighborhood Network will feature Shoshanna as the Roller Dancing Hero of the Heart who helps others to honor their heart’s dreams.

Shoshanna’s credits include writing directing and appearing in No Thank You I’ll Twist Some-more (1984) aired on WABC television in New York and Los Angeles and had showings in New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles and for US Navy troops.

She wrote, directed and acted in Dinner at JoJo’s (1989). The film won the People’s Choice award at Chicks with Flick’s and was honored as one of NYU’s best films. The film continues to be featured at film showings, festivals and competitions and has been honored at industry events including Cine Women and New York Women in Film presentations. 

God’s Giggle premiered at Here Main Arts Center (1992). An original comedy-on rollers-skates, created and performed by Shoshanna, received a special honorary introduction by Obie Award and Drama Desk award winning Gretchen Cryer.  God’s Giggle played off Broadway at The Garrett Theatre (1993), Where Eagles Dare (1994), The SFC in Vermont and at two NYWIFT events (1995).

2006 marked the debut of Shoshanna’s Super Fire Woman, the Roller Dancing Hero Of The Heart.  For the last 10 years Super Fire Women has appeared in venues that include The Woodstock Farm Festival (2009), The International Pickle Festival (2010), and The Rosendale Street Fair (2010). At Market Market, Super Fire Women appeared in a comedic skit.  Jerry Marotta, drummer for the Indigo Girls, played back up for a Super Fire Woman performance and reading of original poem, and Sizzle In My Fizzle (2015). 

The character, Water Woman, was created in 2012 as a way to voice  the need for protecting our waters.  Shoshanna was the choreographer and lead skater in the film Water Woman Dance.  Her original poetry, featured in the film, was scored by Grammy Award winning composer and musician Steve Gorn. I appeared as Water Woman at The Goddess Festival At The Colony Café (2012).   

Shoshanna 's acting credits include 1997 Warner Brothers Addicted To Love, and The Spawn; 1994 Touchstone Pictures When A Man Loves A Woman; 1993 Paramount Pictures Coneheads,1991; New Line Cinemas Ninja Turtles II ; and 1985 The Key Exchange.  Her list Her Independent film acting credits include: 1991 Falling, 1990 Musical Chairs On Snowflakes, 1986 No Time For Sleep, and Dream 1985 Christmas In Coollsville, and The Key Exchange.

Shoshanna has been commissioned to act and dance in a ritual re-enactment of sacred story for an annual event that celebrates the Divine Feminine that appeared in ON Canada 2015, Vashon Island WA 2016, and Sewanee Tennessee 2017. Shoshanna is scheduled to appear again in the sacred story in Tepotzlan Mexico in May 2018.

Why Are You Excited To Participate In We Rise To Inspire:

Shoshanna means Lotus in Egyptian. The Lotus is known for its ability to rise from the depths of the mud as a beautiful flower. My name mirrors my life and tells the story of why I am excited to participate in We Rise To Inspire.

I started out, at age 17, with playing a role in a successful and acclaimed film that led to being cast in a second film that won numerous awards.  My career in film showed great promise. 

Unfortunately, I was sexually assaulted. The assault resulted with a brain injury. Every facet of my life suddenly fell to pieces. The head injury affected my capacity to make decisions and think clearly.  My injuries were further exacerbated in 1996 when a dental treatment caused nerve damage which altered the structure and shape of my face. 

I decided to use creative expression as a way to heal and work with the traumas I had suffered, and to bring healing to others. Shoshanna, the Lotus is finally emerging out of the depths of the mud and it is time to share the flower of my journey.

After 30 years of steadfast dedication to healing, I have reclaimed my health and wellbeing. It gives me great pleasure to share what I have created and learned to help others to honor their hearts and dreams at the upcoming event at We Rise To Inspire!!!

Alisa Rajkitkul- White House Presidential Journalist

Alisa Rajkitkul is a White House Presidential Journalist, an internationally award winning Inspirational Speaker, Breakthrough Catalyst Coach and Reiki Energy Healing Practitioner. 

Alisa’s life took a dramatic shift at the age of 10 when her father flew  her and her siblings back to Thailand and left them at a religious cult where by age of 12,  Alisa was engaged to be married. This Bangkok, Thailand native has been through more in her 30+ years than most will ever experience in their lifetime. 

Alisa turned her pain into her purpose and now lectures and coaches worldwide on breakthrough transformation; helping people conquer their fears, as she escorts them into the depths of their transformation to achieving success, and living in unlimited possibilities.

She got her start at the University of Kansas, where she was a student athlete and member of the Omega Theta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.  Basketball provided her with the motivation and support to succeed early on, but she has since found a deeper purpose in giving back to my community.

In 2005, in memory of my late grandmother who dedicated her life to special needs children, I founded the Betty Ann Robinson Foundation. Through her legacy in this foundation, she continues to inspire thousands of young women to “raise the B.A.R” in their personal, academic, and spiritual lives. Every day, I am more grateful for her passing down to me the tenacity and work ethic it took to build a professional basketball career and now, off the court, carry forward her important work.

Finally, as an important part of my mission to help those around me succeed, I work as a Broker with Primerica Financial Services, providing real-world financial literacy, education, and empowerment.

I am a change agent on a mission to save my community one family at a time by impacting the financial futures of generations!

Stephanie Badillo - Commercial Industry Development & Design

Armed with over three decades of experience in interior design, project management, public relations, marketing and public speaking. Stephanie's experience in the luxury residential and commercial interior design arena, led her to take the leap to start her own development and investment firms. She has designed thousands of private residences, corporate offices as well as kitchens for large multi unit projects, including hotels throughout the United States and Canada. 

Lathea Morris - Real Estate Investor

Lathea's goal is to help real estate entrepreneurs grow their portfolios and small business owners grow their businesses.

Terra Renee - Founder & President of African American Women In Cinema Organization, Inc. (AAWIC)

 Terra Renee has utilized her strong background in filmmaking to serve as a continuous support for the vibrant work of women