Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to a Black BRAND member whose business success is evident. The ideal candidate is a staple in the community who reaches back to help others and whose business had stand out activity in 2022.

Entrepreneur Of The Year

Shawanee Waters.jpg
Shawanee Waters.jpg

Shawanee Waters

Founder & CEO, MAYFIELD GROUP LLC

Shawanee Waters is the founder, CEO and owner of Mayfield Group LLC, a business that helps emerging business owners set up their business accurately and provide top notch referral services so they can maintain and sustain a successful company. Business consulting has always been one of her greatest passions. Shawanee loves helping and sharing information with people to help give them insight on their future business endeavors. She is a strong advocate for community service, community transformation and equality.

 

With over 20 years of experience working in the local municipality it afforded her the opportunity to meet and network with people from all walks of life. In addition to consultative services, Mayfield Group offers various business services to include job readiness and training, business certifications, resume writing, contract forms and specialized presentations.  Shawanee enjoys team building projects and has a niche for hands-on training.

Sebrina Brown

CEO, GIRLFRIENDS TEA

Sebrina Brown retired from the United States Postal Service in May 2019 after 35 years of service. During her career, she coordinated internal and external events, wrote event speeches for senior leadership, conducted media interviews, and wrote press releases. As a certified master and national field trainer, Sebrina was a sought-after speaker at customer events.

She graduated from Virginia Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.  She is currently pursuing a Master of Ministry with a Concentration in Leadership at Virginia Bible College. She continues in her passion for public speaking by way of her virtual talk show, Girlfriends Tea, where women are informed about an array of topics while sipping on their favorite cup of tea. In April 2021, Sebrina accomplished her dream of launching her own luxury tea line called Girlfriends Tea.

Miss Brown supports Stop Abuse (stopabuse.com) by educating the public about child sexual abuse while sharing her own story. Additionally, she is an active member of Calvary Revival Church where she has served in ministry for 23 years. She is qualified to speak on topics of living single, ministry, and child sexual abuse.  Her passion is cheerleading for others.

Sebrina is a great supporter of Black BRAND,  and was a 2021 recipient of a $1000 grant awarded during our Women and Equality Forum presented by Truist in August.

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Nikkia Tolbert.jpg
Nikkia Tolbert.jpg

Nikki Tolbert

Executive Director, HEARTS FULL OF GRACE

Nikkia Tolbert is the Executive Director of Hearts Full Of Grace, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on sowing S.E.E.D.S (Service, Education, Empowerment, Development) and rooted in the belief that we are all "called to serve." Hearts Full of Grace focuses on the betterment of the entire community, with a particular focus on youth and those dealing with trauma, and food and/or housing instability. Some of our efforts include: providing hot meals, clothing, and toiletries to the area homeless; facilitating workshops for community youth; and supporting women in transition.

Alongside leading Hearts Full of Grace, Nikkia is a trauma-informed care specialist, an educational consultant, and a certified life coach.  She has been recognized as a recipient of several awards for her efforts in her community. 

Arrington Gavin

Founder & CEO, RUGGED EVOLUTION

Arrington Gavin, Founder and CEO of Rugged Evolution Beard Care.  This grooming line was featured in December 2018 Essence Magazine holiday gift guide and Coastal Virginia Nov.-Dec. Magazine holiday guide!  Rugged Evolution provides handmade products that have natural ingredients which enhance all facial hair types.  Arrington graduated from Chowan University with a BS in Wellness, Recreation and Sport.  His passion for the human body internally as well as externally is what led him to create a men's grooming line.  He prides himself on helping men accomplish their personal best with the use of Rugged Evolution Beard Care.

 

Arrington is also the owner of Rugged Evo Trucking and Founder & President of The Rugged Evolution Foundation - 501c(3) non-profit organization that mentors male adolescents and for the past three years have supplied over 1500 families in Hampton Roads with new backpacks and school supplies.  He strongly believes in investing in our youth today for tomorrow's future.

 

Arrington is currently a co-host on V-Point, a radio talk show aired weekly on Peace 95.3 FM where guests can get their viewpoint across.  Lastly, he hosts a weekly Podcast, R Smooth Club - where everyday men discuss everyday topics.  The podcast is available on multiple platforms.

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Tanya Shadley.jpg
Tanya Shadley.jpg

Tanya Shadley

Founder & President, MELIQ ON THE MOVE

Tanya Rollins Shadley  is the Founder and President of Meliq On The Move,  a 501c3 created to provide resources and information to special needs families through community inclusive programs.  The nonprofit organization is named after her oldest son in which some people say has special needs. Tanya explains, “we say differently abled because we just have a different way of getting things done.”   Meliq On The Move  provides support groups meetings, host Roller nights (our kids bring their own wheels , equipment exchanges and more! 

 

Tanya is also the owner of TRS PRODUCTIONS  and TRS Kids, a theater arts production company providing quality entertainment experiences featuring local talent and providing them a platform to grow and learn in the arts.  

 

Tanya is a proud wife to her high school sweetheart Melvin Shadley, the proud mother of two boys Meliq and Melichi Shadley, and now princess Tatiana. Tanya knows God has gifted her with skills and talents so that she can share them with others.

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Shekita Jackson

Founder, CARE FOR ME YOUTH INITIATIVES

Shekita is a Wife, Mother of four daughters, ordained Christian minister, Business Strategist, Leadership Coach, Community Advocate, Founder of Care for Me Youth Initiatives- 501C3 non-profit organization & Assurance Home Care Services L.L.C., Author of "Do You See Me Trying to Breathe? Faith-Based Journey From The Imprisonment Of Anxiety & Panic Attacks", C.E.O. of Revel Belles Beauty- haircare & skincare, creator of Life Under Construction annual conference, & current Business Strategic Leadership Doctoral degree student. 

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Jarvis Gray.jpg

Jarvis Gray

CEO, THE QUALITY COACHING CO

Jarvis Gray is a seasoned entrepreneur, business coach, and keynote speaker. As the founder of two companies, Jarvis knows all about the highs that come with launching, building, and growing successful businesses. From establishing solid business foundations, effectively generating leads, converting prospects to clients, and delivering at the highest possible levels ... Jarvis has been there, done that, and has the scars (and positive customer reviews) to prove it!

 

Jarvis has published/co-published two books on business and process management, including “The Business Revenue Playbook: How to Uncover $50K in Your Business in 45 Minutes Without Spending a Dime" and "Ten Secrets: A Healthcare Quality Improvement Handbook". Widely respected for his knowledge and views on strategy implementation, business development, and process improvement across the healthcare industry, he is the creator and host of "The Healthcare Quality Cast" which is a unique podcast series serving as the hub for thought leaders across the industry. 

 

For the past 11+ years, Jarvis’ focus has centered on serving the healthcare and small business markets, where he has built The Quality Coaching Co. into a premier business coaching and consulting agency. Jarvis is passionate about the people aspects of business strategy and improvement; and has spent much of the last ten years traveling the country learning from, teaching on, and researching best practice organizations on the aspects of achieving world-class performance; and how executives perceive business, strategy, and operational excellence. In this capacity, Jarvis has coached hundreds of professionals and has been fortunate to interview and interact with numerous CEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs.