During her 20 years with Southern California Edison (SCE) — the last quarter of which she served as Principal Manager of Supplier Diversity & Contract Management, delivering over $1.5 billion in contracts to diverse business enterprises — Debbie Lumpkin developed an extraordinary passion for business and helping others that has led, quite organically, to her new and thriving career as an entrepreneur. In just four short years, she has launched both Laissez Style, an online and mobile pop-up boutique and styling service, and Debbie E. Lumpkin Consulting (DELC), serving small and diverse businesses, new startups and companies seeking to break into the California marketplace. Drawing upon her experience at the helm of SCE’s Supplier University (now called EDGE), DELC provides business readiness training, business planning, strategy development and execution, request for proposal (RFP) support, coaching and mentoring through established business organizations, as well as corporate and prime contractor support in achieving diversity targets.
Lumpkin is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Los Angeles African American Women's Public Policy Institute at the University of Southern California (USC). She has completed course work for a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, and is currently completing curriculum for the Leadership California program.
From working in one of his parents’ McDonald’s restaurants as a teen to running his own restaurant management company 25 years later, Karim Webb has risen steadily and relentlessly through the ranks of the restaurant industry. Today, as Owner and Operations Partner of PCF Restaurant Management, his ongoing success is driven by a deep, longstanding commitment to community engagement and developing conscientious leaders, from the entry level to the C suite.
Webb’s expertise and contributions have earned him speaking engagements at the NAACP: Leadership 500 Panel, the Women’s Financial Empowerment Symposium, the National Restaurant Industry Group: Taste of Tomorrow and many more. He also serves as Special Advisor to the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), Foundation Vice-Chairman of Greater Los Angeles African-American Chamber of Commerce (GLAACC), and is a Board member of the LA Kitchen and Living Through Giving (Hashtag Lunchbag).
A leading authority in customer experience, leadership, personal branding and executive presence, Chris Bryant and his training and consulting firm, Bryant Group, provide best-in-class strategies and techniques for building brand loyalty and lasting success. His client roster reads like a Who’s Who of corporate titans, ranging from Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America, Chrysler, and Nestlé to over 30 professional sports franchises in the NFL, NBA, ML and NHL.
Bryant’s sought-after mastery of the customer experience grew out of his career with Ritz-Carlton Hotels, where he led the largest Ritz-Carlton in North America to a #1 guest satisfaction rating. While there, he served as a Director of Training and Development, company spokesman and a key member of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center. Today, his expertise is in demand not only by major corporations, but also the media, having been featured on MSNBC, in Black Enterprise Magazine, Ebony Magazine and on careerbuilder.com.
A serial entrepreneur and former journalist for CNBC and Bloomberg, Kalika Yap is the founder of award-winning interactive branding agency Citrus Studios, based in Santa Monica. Since launching Citrus in 1999, she has also become an inventor — creating the innovative accessory Luxe Link to keep women’s handbags fashionably off the floor — and the CEO and founder of Honolulu’s first high-end waxing salon, The Waxing Company. Her latest startup is Orange & Bergamot, a digital branding firm whose mission is to democratize branding and marketing for 1M women-owned businesses.
Yap has been featured as an expert guest on the topic of entrepreneurship on MSNBC, Hallmark Home & Family and the Business Rockstars podcast. She has also appeared in Inc., Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, The Today Show and was featured in fashion brand BCBG’s campaign highlighting the new guard of top women executives.
An award-winning creative director and brand designer, Erika Brechtel brings to the table 15 years of experience developing unique identities for international clients through digital, print and social media, and photography art direction and styling. At erikabrechtel.com, she leads an editorial team to deliver highly curated, original content in design, home, fashion, fitness, beauty, food, travel and art.
In 2016, Brechtel co-founded Mavens Media Group, providing content and community dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs. She has contributed hosted content and interviews for EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) and Inc.com, and has appeared in SELF magazine and on Huffington Post Home, Today.com and Refinery29. She continues to lead branding workshops and speak at events, most recently at the LA Business Journal Women’s Summit, the LA County Women’s Leadership Conference and Entrepreneur’s Organization’s global EO24 virtual day.
A partner at national labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips, Kristen Nesbit represents employers throughout the US in a full range of labor and employment matters. Her focus is on finding practical, cost-effective solutions to the needs of her clients, which include startups, national and international companies and public entities across a range of industries. She also assists MBEs, WBEs and VBEs in developing employment policies, practices and procedures that enable them to meet supplier diversity objectives related to employee recruitment, retention and performance.
Nesbit has also brought her supplier diversity expertise to the table in her role as the firm’s Women’s Initiative Leadership Council (“WILC”) Ambassador and as its Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow for 2015-16. Named one of the National Advocate’s Top 100 African-American Lawyers for two years running, in 2016 she received the L.A. Biz “Women of Influence” Award.
ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Following a distinguished career with global corporations including Procter & Gamble, Warner Bros. and Mattel, Erika Williams-Rogers founded Elevate Lyfe LLC, a training and consulting firm specializing in supporting companies in the expansion and scaling phases to develop the capacity, applied leadership, workflows and systems needed to realize sustainable growth, efficiency and productivity. To that end, she designed the MOR=E Business Formula™, a comprehensive yet simple methodology integrating strategy development, implementation and resource allocation to empower companies and corporate business units to achieve optimal results.
Today, Williams-Rogers is known for translating corporate and entrepreneurial strategies into invaluable leadership and business training for executives, business owners and organizations, including the SBA’s SCORE program, for which she serves as a workshop facilitator. In addition, she is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and a certified life coach recognized by the International Coaches Federation.
At only 26, Carmen Red parlayed her fashion design and marketing background into launching CR&A Custom. With no outside funding or equity to secure a loan, she began marketing for her custom clothing and embroidery from her extra bedroom, with just one employee: her mother. Soon, with her fashion and textiles expert husband Masoud onboard as her business partner, CR&A transitioned from promotional apparel to large format printing.
Now, 24 years later, they work out of a 25,000-square-foot facility in Los Angeles with major brands like Coca-Cola, Coors, AEG, the FBI and the Marines. CR&A has also launched two new companies: Strawberry Notes, which converts children’s artwork onto canvas, flags, tote bags and shower curtains, and Hashtag Cutouts, which prints hash tags onto interactive boards for events and promotions. They are one of only a handful of digital and outdoor advertising companies in America that is minority- and women-owned.
Through more than 26 years driving organizational growth, transformation and profitability for organizations including Southern California Edison, Black & Decker, General Motors, Paccar, Value Chain and Toyota, Tony Green has developed the prized and proven ability to manage and motivate large, cross-functional teams while achieving buy-in across multiple stakeholder groups. He is a deft performance manager, consistently driving productivity while reducing costs, as well as a skilled communicator, with years of experience successfully managing contractors, union and non-union personnel.
A certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt with an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of the Pacific (1993), Green has an innate capacity for seeing not only the big picture, but also the tactical steps that will bring the vision to reality.