Powerpreneur: Trailblazers in Media and Entertainment

Melissa Dawn Johnson, Stacii Jae Johnson, Brian Leary and Noni Ellison Southall at Powerpreneur

(March 21-22, 2012) People have been saying for a while that Atlanta is one of the best places in the country for entrepreneurs. And this year touted that acclaim even more with the two day PowerPreneur event held at 201 17th Street in Atlantic Station. On March 21 and 22, 2012, Atlanta experienced the first annual Powerpreneur event. Powerpreneur is a new platform recognizing and honoring innovative leaders who are shaping the future of business in Atlanta and other hotspots. With companies such as Infiniti of South Atlanta, Belvedere Vodka, Hennessy and HP, it is easy to tell that this movement is making major moves in business. The Powerpreneur event featured many leaders in the industry as well as new entrepreneurs who have recently found success. These amazing professionals were the headliners for the two day event honoring the 2012 Trailblazers in Media and Entertainment.

On Wednesday, professionals who have made their mark in the media or entertainment business took the stage at the Powerpreneur event. These names included Michael Tavini, co-founder of Scoutmob, and Grammy nominated gospel singer, Canton Jones. One of the biggest names of the event on Wednesday was Vicky Free. Free is the Executive Vice President of Marketing for BET Networks. Before going to BET Networks, she spent nearly 20 years working for Turner Broadcasting. While at Turner Broadcasting, she built effective breakout campaigns for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and TV shows such as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and The Closer. She also spent 8 years as Director of Women’s Initiatives and Multicultural Branding at McDonalds. She currently dedicates her free time to mentoring young entrepreneurs in hopes of helping them realize their full potential and career goals. Other honorees for Wednesday’s event included Roger Bobb (former Executive Producer at Tyler Perry Studios and President of Bobcat Films), Genevieve Bos (CEO of IdeaString), Briab Leary (CEO and President of Atlanta Beltline), and Noni Ellison-Southall (Senoir Counsel at Turner Broadcast System).

Thursday showed no shortage of who’s who in the entertainment and media industries. Charles King (Partner/Agent in Motion Picture at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment), Mariela Romero (Communications Affairs Director at Univision) and Bert Weiss {host of Atlanta Q100′s “The Bert Show” were some honorees who took the stage. Also headlining that evening was the CEO and founder of Entertainment Arts Research INC, Joseph Saulter. Saulter has released a McGraw-Hill series of books for video game design as well as worked as Chairman of the International Game Developers Associations Diversity Advisory Board. Most impressive of these accomplishments is that he is the CEO and founder of Entertainment Art Research Inc., which is the first African American controlled game design and publishing company on the market. As Co-Founder of Urban Video Game Academy, one of his main goals is to create a powerhouse of urban industry that will revolutionize video games and media. Being genre specific, this endeavor will also encourage people who aren’t represented as much in these forms.

It may seem like a great challenge to get that many inspiring professionals together under one roof, but the host and creator of Powerpreneur as well as President of Velvet Suite Marketing, Melissa Dawn Johnson, was able to pull off this amazing event, perfectly. The success of this years Powerpreneur event certainly guarantee that we haven’t seen the last of it. And Melissa Dawn Johnson is probably already working on making next year’s event bigger and better.

Sources: iamapowerpreneur.com and youtube.com/user/Powerpreneur
Writer: Christopher Mobley
Contributor: Patrick Kelly

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