Authentic, fresh, unique, and informative.

Participants are often spellbound by the speakers and presenters at our retreat. We’ve created a safe and trusted environment where we can engage in conversations that respect who we are.

Many of our participants are subject matter experts and outstanding national speakers themselves, therefore, we shy away from presenters who are often overexposed on the speaker circuit.

Odyssey 2017 In The Black Talent – Atlanta, GA


Sharmeen Hawkins

Ms. Hawkins is Co-Founder and President of Atlanta-based, SOAR Enterprises, a $13MM company that acquires, develops, owns and operates national restaurant brands and commercial real estate. A seasoned business leader, she held executive level positions in international corporations including Sodexo, McDonalds, Starbucks Coffee Company and Limited Brands.
A passionate civic and community leader, Ms. Hawkins served on various boards and is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Atlanta.
She serves on the board of the J Mack Robinson College of Business, School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. Her professional memberships include Women’s President Organization (WPO) and Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).

It’s Not What You Make… It’s What You Keep! How to Expand Your Business and Make a Profit

Kelli Fisher & Tana Gilmore

Kelli Fisher & Tana Gilmore, The Matchmaking DUO™ , are Certified Life/Relationship Coaches, Certified Matchmakers, international speakers, and authors of the critically acclaimed book, “Relationship DUOvers.” Together, they own Fisher Gilmore, Inc., an exclusive agency which specializes in helping women of power balance their career, personal, and love lives by teaching how to effectively blend all three. The DUO has been featured on the Steve Harvey TV Show, the New York Post as well as appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Tom Joyner Morning Show, Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine, Huffington Post, Essence Magazine, and enjoy being bi-weekly columnists on Essence.com.

From Passion to Purpose – How I Launched My Business!

DeShawn Bullard

DeShawn Bullard Owner of NouriTress Hair Products is a licensed Cosmetologist, Author and Radio Host that provides healthy and thinning hair restoration products and services nationally & internationally. Just Google her name and you can find her name or products buzzing in places such as Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Success Conference, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, Essence Magazine, Women’s Health, and Black Doctors.org to name a few. NaturallyCurly.com named DeShawn one of the top Women Pioneers who influenced the Natural Hair Movement and Essence.com has named her as one of the top salon experts who actually know their stuff!

The Beauty of Natural Hair

Mikki Taylor

Mikki Taylor is a popular writer, motivational speaker, and TV personality, and is known as the country’s leading authority on beauty and style for women of color. A media veteran for more than three decades, Taylor is editor-at-large for Essence magazine and the president of Mikki Taylor Enterprises, LLC, a strategic branding, consulting, and communications company.

Your Business Image: Know Your Body Type – The Hair Has It! – Neckline To Necklace

Tshai Budhi Henry

T & J Auto Transportation was formed in July 2008. T & J Auto is a small family-owned trucking company that began by specializing in auto transportation amid the restructuring of many automakers after the economic recession. Tshai’s husband worked for a company honing the specialized skills of auto transportation, “car hauling”, before they decided to start our their own venture. Tshai focuses on the management aspect of the business. T & J are experienced in all segments of transportation and logistics management and are proud of the safety and the service they have provided to clients for the last 9 years.

Buckle Up – How I Kept My Business Open

Odyssey 2017 In The Black Talent – Los Angeles, CA


Catarah Coleman

Founded in 2007, Southern Girl Desserts is co-owned by Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, who combined their family recipes to create a Southern dessert arsenal. The self-proclaimed “Dessert Divas” bake from scratch based upon traditional flavors and home-style techniques. They create one-of-a-kind cakes, puddings, cookies, and pies at their bakery in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. Coleman and Robison received national recognition when they won Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” The women were also featured for their celebrity dessert catering on E! Network’s “L.A. Sugar”. Some of their famous customers are Denzel Washington, Stevie Wonder and many more.

It’s Not What You Make… It’s What You Keep! How to Expand Your Business and Make a Profit

Shoneji Robison

Shoneji is the managing partner and co-owner of the Los Angeles based, Southern Girl Desserts.
Originally from Sarasota, FL and a graduate of Florida A&M University, in 2007 she partnered with Catarah Hampshire and the Dessert Divas have been serving up sweet treats ever since!!
Along with some dynamic family foundations, Robison has been able to develop the menu for the company and deals closely with the day to day operations and procedures. She prides herself in her ability to create unique flavor combinations that somehow remain reminiscent of your youth in grandma’s kitchen.

From Passion to Purpose: How I Launched My Business

Bianca Vobecky

Bianca Vobecky, is the Founder, President & CEO of Vobecky Enterprises, Inc.; a business dedicated to providing construction, construction management and nationwide trucking services. Ms. Vobecky’s experience in the logistics and construction industry spans more than a decade and predates the founding of her own company in 2006. Since founding Vobecky Enterprises the focus of her efforts has been the building of meaningful professional relationships with a focus on customer service. In addition, she keeps a sharp eye out for good opportunities to grow the interests of Vobecky Enterprises, its clients, and the larger community as a whole.

Buckle Up – How I Kept My Business Open

Angela Dean

Almost three decades ago, Angela Dean established Deanzign Designer Collections. Angela Dean has been the go-to fashion designer for some of the most famous and powerful women in the world; from Madonna to Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey to Halle Berry.
Due to Angela’s extensive experience in lingerie, she decided to create Shaped by an Angel shapewear. She created a revolutionary shapewear line designed for the 5 most common body types.
Angela Dean’s long term goals involve continuously growing her fashion empire into an international lifestyle brand.

Your Business Image: Know Your Body Type – The Hair Has It! – Neckline To Necklace

Odyssey 2017 In The Black Talent – Philadelphia, PA


Anika Thompson-Staples

You’re beautiful every time you step foot outside her salon, but natural is the only way this stylist creates her magic. From what she uses on you to what is sent home with you, Anika makes everything in her salon. Holding patents on signature formulations, this wife and mother of three somehow juggles entrepreneurship, manufacturing and family seamlessly and still finds the time to educate as many individuals as she can on how natural hair can fit into their lives. If that’s not enough she also started a nonprofit (Ryan Foster Cares) in 2017 for indisputable communication around sexual abuse.

Know Your Body Type – The Hair Has It! – Neckline To Necklace

Jody Davis

Jody Davis is the CEO/Designer of Jody Davis Designs. Davis, a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in both Fashion and Accessory Design has been designing Women’s wear for more than 25 years. Jody states “I’ve loved fashion since way back during my high school years, but it took me many years to realize that my Passion for Fashion was actually my Gift from God.” Jody opened her Boutique, Jody Davis Designs in downtown Baltimore in September 2009.

Know Your Body Type – The Hair Has It! – Neckline To Necklace

Odyssey 2017 In The Black Talent – New York, NY


Lisa Price

With $100, her own kitchen, and a determination to follow her dream, Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, Inc., grew her beloved hobby of creating fragrances, creams, and oils into a multi-million dollar beauty empire. In 1994, the burgeoning entrepreneur founded Carol’s Daughter (which is lovingly named for her mother), the high-quality collection that started an industry-wide movement in natural beauty products, and placed Price as a pioneering figure in the space.

It’s not what you make it’s what you keep! An Eye On The Profit

Melanie Elturk

Melanie Elturk is the CEO of Haute Hijab, the leading US hijab brand with a strong social mission of women’s empowerment. By providing innovative products & connecting with her customers in a meaningful way, Melanie has propelled Haute Hijab from a cult favorite to a household name with a loyal following and dynamic social media presence. She is a regular contributor on ELLE.com, has been featured in the New York Times, NBC Today, CBS News, USA Today and others. She has spoken in London, Malaysia, Italy, Nigeria, Istanbul and across America.

From Passion to Purpose – How I Launched My Business!

Amoy Pitters

Amoy Pitters is one of the most sought-after hairstylists in the worlds of beauty, fashion and entertainment. Her indisputably glamorous work has appeared in such leading publications as Vogue, W, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Vanity Fair, O The Oprah Magazine, ESSENCE and British Vogue. A huge influence for global fashion houses, Amoy’s work has set the tone on the runway at Chanel, Versace, Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rodarte, Missoni and Hermes, just to name few.

Your Business Image: Know Your Body Type – The Hair Has It! – Neckline To Necklace

Odyssey 2017 In The Black Talent – Houston, TX


Kim Roxie

Kim Roxie is the founder of LAMIK Beauty, which stands for Love And Makeup In Kindness. The millenial cosmetics creator is also the Winner of The Keys to Success Business Pitch Competition presented by Odyssey and Coca-Cola. Kim Roxie is a native Houstonian and Beauty TV Personality. Kim Roxie is a licensed aesthetician and graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She also is a breast care advocate, raising over $100k for uninsured African-American women to get mammograms.

From Passion to Purpose – How I Launched My Business!