top of page


Our vetted 2018 Inner Circle Experience speakers are both inspirational and influential. We know they have the potential to impart seeds of success to all of our attendees- even those who have seen and heard it all. World-renowned brands, innovative encouragers and social media gurus alike are represented here, each a particular piece of that ever-shifting puzzle known as Success. We know that having all the right pieces in place will add up to Excellence and can’t wait to introduce you to these key influencers.

Bethenny Frankel



Bethenny Frankel is a businesswoman ahead of the curve who has always identified and capitalized on business opportunities. From becoming a natural foods chef where she marketed Bethenny Bakes, her healthy baked goods, to selling “Princess Pashminas” at house parties, and ultimately creating the first low-calorie cocktail category with the launch of Skinnygirl Cocktails. A true entrepreneur, to further build Skinnygirl Cocktails, Bethenny partnered with Beam Suntory in 2011 to grow the portfolio to include wines, flavored vodkas, and ready-to-drink cocktails. Skinnygirl has since expanded into a $100 million dollar lifestyle empire featuring products for women that offer practical solutions to everyday problems.
Frankel also started her own TV production company, B Real Productions, producing two seasons of FYI’s “Food Porn,” and creating, producing, and staring in Bravo’s new real estate show, “Keeping it Real Estate with Bethenny and Frederik”.

Amilya Antonetti



She recently was assigned as Steve Harvey’s Chief Digital Strategist and Marketing Officer. She is an Entrepreneur, speaker, and media personality Amilya Antonetti has built almost a dozen multi-million-dollar companies and is known for her business turnaround and brand extension skills across several industries. Her “on the job” training as a serial entrepreneur started at the age of 17, but it wasn’t until her 20s that she founded her first major business: After noticing that her newborn son was suffering from the chemicals in common cleaning products, Amilya created Soapworks, which quickly became one of the fastest-growing privately-held household product companies. As she moved her natural products into the major grocery chains across the USA and Canada, Amilya helped redefine the cleaning aisle and became a pioneer of the “human and earth-friendly” movement.


Amilya’s life-changing story has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as well as NBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC, and in Jack Canfield’s You’ve Got to Read This Book! and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Amilya has been the “Small Business Voice” on Fox News and Fox Business. She has been highlighted in numerous magazines, including People, Time, Inc., Entrepreneur and Forbes. An accomplished author, she has published 3 books, including Why David Hated Tuesdays: One Mother’s Courageous Guide to Keeping Your Family Toxin and Allergen Free (Clarkson Potter) and numerous magazine articles.

Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events. Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Kristen Hadeed



Kristen Hadeed imagines a world in which all organizations have cultures that empower people to keep climbing toward the best version of themselves every day. As the young leader of Student Maid, a successful cleaning company that hires students, Kristen has fostered a unique perspective on leadership, organizational culture and engaging the next generation. Her optimistic, energetic and insightful keynotes and workshops unleash potential in others to exceed their wildest expectations. She is an expert in developing and teaching practical, ready-made tools that inspire people to take action.


Over the last eight years, Kristen has challenged the millennial status quo. From her first leadership disaster, which resulted in three-quarters of her workforce quitting on the spot, to handing over day-to-day operations to a leadership team comprised of millennials, Kristen has learned what it takes to create a work environment that brings out the best in people of all ages. Student Maid has employed hundreds of people and is known for its culture of trust, accountability and empowerment. Many of the students who have worked with Student Maid have gone on to run their own businesses and receive highly sought-after positions in companies around the world. 


Today, Kristen helps organizations make a lasting, meaningful impact on people by creating environments in which they thrive. She has worked with organizations in a variety of industries including healthcare, education, retail, real estate, non-profit, hospitality, aviation and consumer products. In October 2017, she published her first book, "Permission To Screw Up," in which she tells the stories of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes to inspire other leaders to share their "perfectly imperfect" stories of success to empower people with the knowledge that even if they screw up, they can still make it. Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX, Inc., TIME and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has received more than two million hits on YouTube. 

Kristen Hadeed



Brett Lavender has been speaking to and communicating with large crowds, small groups and individuals on the art of communication for over 25 years. A highly coveted speaker, motivator, presenter and trainer in the professional event performance and presenter space for decades. Brett’s unique approach to personal performance and instinctive, behavioral communications focuses heavily on a fundamental component of his practice he calls “The Lost Languages”.


In this category he highlights the influence of and provides the necessary tools to consistently improve upon and deliver ALL of the non-verbal communication skills that are so often lost in translation between humans from different cultural, intellectual, financial and spiritual backgrounds. He provides clients and audience members with a highly elevated understanding of how to most effectively deliver any message to anyone in every situation.


The process includes a strong emphasis on both verbal and non-verbal skills including eye contact, body language, facial expression, tone of voice, melody and results-focused, positive self-talk, etc.

Aba Kwawu



Founder and owner of TAA  Public Relations, located in Washington DC, Aba Kwawu specializes in public relations, marketing and special events. The TAA Agency is best described as a lifestyle public relations and events agency which specializes in the fashion, design, entertainment, hospitality and luxury lifestyle sectors.

Over the last 15 years, the agency has built an impressive track record of representing the highest profile fashion retailers, award-winning restaurants, hotels, culture and lifestyle purveyors, and upscale event productions. Their exclusive cast of clients includes Cirque du Soleil, Tysons Galleria, DeBeers Group, Rag&Bone, Mercedes Benz, Renaissance Hotels, Laduree, Fashion Week Miami, In Style Magazine, The Smithsonian Institute and countless others.

Widely recognized for outstanding attention to detail, excellent client service and dedicated commitment to cultivating influencer programs (especially within the dynamic digital world), TAA PR helps organizations everywhere put their most stylish and sophisticated food forward. A mission to evolve, nurture and maintain essential relationships with media, celebrity and complex consumer markets consistently positions TAA PR’s clients with integrity, intelligence and always a sense of unparalleled style.




Tanya Leah Lombard is widely respected government relations and public policy executive with decades of professional experience and leadership in government and the private sector. Ms. Lombard currently serves as the Head of Multicultural Engagement and Strategic Alliances at AT&T. Her core areas of responsibility focus on creating, promoting and managing the company’s brand messaging to minority communities and women through the development and stewardship of tactical community-based relations, strategic policy initiatives and special projects. Ms. Lombard is a native of New Orleans and is recognized as a confidante to leaders at the highest levels of government, business, entertainment, national, civic and professional organizations.    


Prior to joining AT&T, Ms. Lombard was a Principal with Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart, Inc., a premier international government relations firm providing strategic, legislative, regulatory, public policy and communication services to clients around the world.    


Ms. Lombard previously served as the Director of Government Affairs for Altria Corporate Services, Inc. in Washington, D.C. where she was responsible for representing Altria and related companies including Kraft Foods, Kraft Foods International, Miller Brewing, Philip Morris International, and Philip Morris USA. At Altria, she managed the landmark Youth Smoking Prevention legislation with Sen. Ted Kennedy. Ms. Lombard was deeply involved in the development of international trade strategies, including the Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).    

During President Clinton's administration, Ms. Lombard had the honor to serve in several capacities, including Special Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs. In this capacity, Ms. Lombard advised the President, Vice President, First Lady and senior White House officials on the national political climate in the United States and abroad.    


Ms. Lombard is active in several professional and civic leadership organizations. She currently serves on the NAACP Foundation Board, and the Board of Directors for the National Action Network, ColorComm, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.    


In recognition of her community and civic leadership, Ms. Lombard has received numerous honors and awards including the National Urban League Donald H. McGannon Award, the National Newspaper Publishers Leadership Award; the Woman of Distinction Spirit Award from the Greater New York Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; the Politics365 Game Changer Award, and the Corporate Leadership Award for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Lifetime Achievement Award the International Black Broadcasters Association, the Power Player Top 100 Corporate Executives List of Uptown Professional Magazine, ColorComm Circle Award, Essence Strength of a Women Award, Essence Woke 100 Women, Ciroc-Variety Empowered Woman, the Champion of Digital Equality Award from the Minority Media and Telecom Council.    


Ms. Lombard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University, and is a former elected official in Louisiana, serving on the Democratic State Central Committee and Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee. 

bottom of page