Success Profile: Moms Who Hustle Nationwide Instructors

Walker’s Legacy recognizes unique women of color in business who embody the legacy of Madame C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire. In this installment, meet the Walker’s Legacy Foundation Moms Who Hustle Nationwide Instructors!

Moms Who Hustle: A Financial Planning and Entrepreneurship Program for Millennial Moms is an opportunity for women to learn how to manage money and seek ways to reach their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Moms Who Hustle provides a financial literacy and entrepreneurship curriculum that helps single mothers of color take their finances and businesses to the next level. The 12-week program is guided by instructors in various geographical locations that provide on-site child care. Participating mothers have access to financial planning tools and entrepreneurial insight to begin self-empowerment, and are supported through community, learning, and resources provided at your fingertips with Walker’s Legacy App.

Women selected should be between 18 to 35 years old, be the head of their household, and be self or government classified as low income or  “Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed” (ALICE), income insecure or fall below the poverty line.

If interested, please apply here and learn more about the Moms Who Hustle instructors below!

bran15_2-2Brandey Rodgers: Washington, D.C- Kenilworth Parkside

Brandey is an executive with over 15 years of building, leading, and advising corporations in construction, real estate finance, and corporate finance. An accomplished leader in structuring and negotiating transactions and favorable terms with owners, contractors, and commercial banks, she is known for her excellence in leadership with a track record of documented contributions leading to improved financial performance, heightened productivity, and enhanced internal controls.

As a former subcontractor and commercial banking officer, Brandey is an expert in the growth and development of small business. She found her passion for small business working as a senior commercial lender for such national banks as National City Bank, US Bank, and Suntrust Bank where she advised numerous owners in various industries including construction, healthcare, technology, and real estate. She worked diligently with her clients to improve their business operations in the areas of financial management, helping them to develop the necessary solutions for financial growth.

As former owner of GreeCon Elevator, the only minority-female owned elevator company in the US, Brandey was recognized as a leader in a male-dominated field building her firm to a multi-million dollar producing corporation before opting to transition into real estate investing and development.

Today, Brandey is owner of Yednarb Realty Advisory Group, a real estate advisory firm that focuses on social impact development, transforming neighborhoods throughout the US. She also owns Yednarb Diversity Partners, a world-class consulting firm that specializes in bridging the gap between large corporate and small business by promoting the inclusion of diverse and small business concerns.

Brandey is a known advocate for small business. She serves on various boards that contribute to the overall success and growth of small businesses with the District. She is currently a member of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development where she chairs the Greater Voice for Small Business and serves on the Small Business Policy Committee.

Brandey has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters of Science degree in Finance and Real Estate from American University.

Why is working with women of color in business important to you?

Women of color are so very powerful! We often times fail to realize we come from a long lineage of strong women who not only carried us on their backs, but sacrificed tremendously in order for their legacies to continue forward in greatness. This is why I believe women of color in business are a vital asset to the overall corporate world. Our knack for overcoming diversity combined with our ability to endure various obstacles and hurdles in life have prepared us for the ability to not only climb the corporate ladder, but break glass ceilings like no other.

Why is working with young moms of color important to you?

In this day and time where our young moms of color are so easily influenced by the negative examples displayed in various avenues of media, it is extremely important for these young women to be presented with examples of successful women of color who can guide them down the correct paths to accomplishing their career goals and creating a better way of life for their families.

For me, it’s very personal because working with young women of color helps me create social impact in my very own community. Working with these young women increases their financial awareness, their ability to create jobs, and the betterment of their local communities. There is no greater feeling than the joy I feel when I know my personal experiences have served as an aid to a young mother who is in search of her own destiny as an entrepreneur.

Favorite Quote

“Let us not act out of fear and misunderstanding, but out of the values of inclusion, diversity, and regard for all that make our country great.” Loretta Lynch

Social Media

Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin | Facebook

Montez_headshot-2Tina L. Montez: Baltimore, MD

Upon graduating from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Tina L. Montez embarked on an increasingly successful career in the media spanning some 18 years, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Disney/ABC Television Group, AT&T Media Services, and CBS affiliate KDKA. She worked in various positions including news writer, producer, scriptwriter, and as a sales and marketing executive. Ms. Montez received numerous honors and public recognition for her work in the industry including the prestigious Orson Welles Award for Creative Media and KDKA’s Winner’s Circle. The Centers for Disease Control recruited her to assist in strategic planning for AIDS/HIV public service campaigns. She was selected from nominees nationwide to become a Production Fellow for WGBH and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Her career path pivoted when she made the decision to attend graduate school, earning her master’s degree in business administration from Dominican University of California. Following graduation, she acquired a shipping company and became a self-described social entrepreneur. Under her leadership, she aggressively built the company technologically and fiscally, all the while advancing social responsibility, a concept inextricably linked to business success. The company championed the Mayor’s Literacy Program, hosted charitable events, and when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans she galvanized the community, collected supplies, and shipped them to emergency response teams. The company was sold after eight years. She would go on to win a contract to operate a café in the Amtrak train station.

During her tenure at the Northern California Small Business Development Center, she provided expert management, training, and technical consulting to entrepreneurs which, in turn, contributed to job development, investment, and economic growth.

Upon relocating to the East Coast she continued her work as a business consultant at the Maryland Small Business Development Center focusing on firms that provided innovative and high tech solutions. She also counseled and trained entrepreneurs in the start-up phase at the Northern Virginia Women’s Business Center; has written business articles for numerous organizations including Walker’s Legacy, and is currently an intermediary for Transworld, facilitating the sale of small to medium size privately held businesses.

Ms. Montez joins the Walker’s Legacy Foundation in the role of Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship Instructor to lead enterprising single mothers on a 12-week value-added learning experience.

Why is working with young moms of color important to you?

According to the National Poverty Center, “Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic.”

A chilling statistic.

“One of the best vehicles for overcoming poverty and gaining prosperity is business ownership,” espouses Ms. Montez. “This is why Walker’s Legacy is so important and one of the reasons their mission resonates with me.”

Why is working with women of color in business important to you?

A diverse workforce drives economic growth. So if you’re going to scale your company, you’re going to have to reach out to diverse populations and this includes women of color. Moreover, diversity fuels innovation.

I particularly inspired when I read an article stating, “Black women are the fastest-growing entrepreneurs in the nation, starting businesses at six times the national average,” according to Black Enterprise.

There are challenges to this growth, however. The Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire reports that women of color face challenges when it comes to access to capital, and connecting with influential networks and mentors.

My goal, ultimately, is to utilize my expertise and connections to erode some of these challenges.


Favorite Quote

“One of the wonderful things about Oprah: She teaches you to keep on stepping. “ ~Maya Angelou

I love this quote because it reminds me of my precious family and friends who live this principle authentically and share it generously. We’ve got to keep it moving!

Social Media 

Twitter | LinkedIn

Nikki1-2Nikki Pardo: Detroit, MI

Nikki Pardo is the owner of Global Alliance Solutions, a diversity training and consulting company. She has been featured in numerous publications, on several talk shows and podcasts, serves as a keynote and panel expert on the topic of diversity and inclusion throughout Michigan and other states. She currently serves on the Boards of Birmingham’s Race Relations and Diversity Task Force and Michigan’s Hispanic Police Officer Association. Nikki is a graduate of the New Detroit-The Coalition’s Multicultural Leadership Program, ProsperUs Detroit, and Build Institute, for which she is also a facilitator. Nikki earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Management/Leadership, a Master of Science in Administration degree with a concentration in International Administration, she is also a state-certified mediator, nationally-certified Global Career Development Facilitator, a member of National Career Development Association, the National Diversity Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Jack and Jill of America.

Why is working with women of color in business important to you?

Working with women of color in business is important to me for two reasons. Women of color is the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs in the country and are hitting the proverbial “glass ceiling” so rapidly and need to continue that momentum going! For decades, the automotive industry has driven (excuse the pun) Detroit’s economy. During the recession of 2008, Detroit was hit the hardest and there was a significant industry shift. During the city’s recovery, it is raw talent and small businesses that have help rebuild its infrastructure and economy. Since 2015, I have had the opportunity, through the Build Institute, to be the first Alumni Coordinator and currently facilitator to help support and cultivate small business owners. The Build Institute now has over 1,000 graduates, and 70% of them are women of color. As women of color continue to hit the glass ceiling, we are choosing to invest in ourselves and the communities in which we live. I’m extremely grateful that Detroit is encouraging of entrepreneurship through programs such as Motor City Match, TechTown’s Retail Bootcamp, Detroit Soup’s citywide pitching competitions, Comerica’s Hatch Detroit, just to name a few.

Why is working with young moms of color important to you?

This question hits home for me. My grandmother, who actually worked until the day she died, was a young mother of three small children when my grandfather walked out of the house and never returned. She had no education, no job skills, and no family to lean on. However, her culinary skills were phenomenal! A childhood friend helped her get on her feet and gave her the capital to open a soul food restaurant, and later a car wash in Detroit. My dad shared stories of her struggles and sacrifices she had to make to provide them a comfortable quality of life. As such, I am dedicated to working with young moms of color because I am awarded the opportunity to provide them with the resources that my grandmother never had while launching her businesses. It is important that I connect them with entrepreneurial-related resources, mentors in their industries, and provide access to capital, marketing, branding accounting, and legal (with relation to small business) experts.

Favorite Quote

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. ~ Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Social Media Accounts:

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter


Lavonda Daniels PIC-2Lavonda Daniels: Washington, D.C

Lavonda Daniels is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. She has led a life of love and service for her community of which she attributes to her success in business. Her parents played a major part in shaping her into who she is today. Her father being a businessman who works in accounting and sales showed her how to get up and go get business. He never met a stranger and always showed her a strong work ethic. “He talks in numbers” and is inviting to all he meets quickly converting them into clients or family friends. Her mother on the other hand led a life of service in the field of education and supported Lavonda’s creative efforts and how to take that creativity to bless the community. “I got the best of both worlds in my genome– a business man and a service woman in the community!” Lavonda’s passion for entrepreneurship was sparked in her at the age of 18. “So I started pursuing a business degree and my business ideas and I never turned back”. She obtained two degrees in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and participated in numerous consulting projects. The highlight of her collegiate was working at the Nussbaum Center of Entrepreneurship in Greensboro, NC, a business incubator. She had dreamed of working there and it came true her senior year of college where she received a scholarship to assist the President in raising funds for a new building for the incubator. After leaving the Nussbaum Center she continued consulting for small businesses.

Her dream went to another level when she met her husband Kevin Daniels who shares her passion for entrepreneurship and they founded Daniels Development Group. Their Develop, Connect, Grow Business Strategy sessions help the business owner focus on top priorities for growing their business and prepare them for investment for expansion. Lavonda is also a Commissioner on the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission whose mission is to preserve, protect, and promote African American arts, history, and culture for all citizens of North Carolina. With the Commission, she shares her commitment to culturally-relevant business sustainability practices and economic development.

Currently, Lavonda is obtaining her MBA in Innovation Management from Regent University. She is building an innovation lab that will explore and jumpstart innovative business ideas. Lavonda wants all people to reach their full potential and even though there may be obstacles she believes that we should persevere and press through them to the greater blessing.

“We should always remember that we have a specific purpose that the Lord will bring to pass in the good and bad tidings of life. There are a lot of gifted and talented people who have great business ideas and they need support to birth these ideas to create jobs. Given the right business support combined with the freedom in America those aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners can reach their full business potential!”

Why is working with women of color in business important to you?

Through my position as Commissioner of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, I learned a lot about the stories of our ancestors who were women who managed to become business owners. I learned that they realized and knew their value and could capture it and share it with others to bring prosperity and service to the black community and the white community as well. If they could perform this service, then other women of color in today’s society who have aspirations to become business owners can do the same.

Why is working with young moms of color important to you?

I can relate to single mothers who have a passion to pursue business ownership.  I have the testimony of experiencing single motherhood and receiving government assistance while gaining my degrees in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.  During that time, I learned how to use the resources at my disposal to propel me to the next level professionally and personally.  I didn’t let the challenges deter me from my dream of becoming a business owner.  I am honored to assist other women of color who are facing the same challenges.

Favorite Quote

Give me Your perspective so I may see the masterpiece you are painting through my life. Amen.– Prayer by Serita Jakes from Beside Every Good Man Loving Myself While Standing by Him

Social Media

Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

dee RTC 29-2-2Della M. Walker, Jr.: Newark, NJ

Della M.Walker, Jr. is the owner of CityWalk Realty in Newark, NJ. As the CEO of CityWalk, Della is continuing the family business of real estate started by her great-aunt and continued by her mother, who was a real estate broker for 35 years. A Newark, New Jersey native and single mother of two boys, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Phoenix. Della has over seven years of coaching and entrepreneurial experience. Della is a natural born creative thinker who specializes in contract negotiations and investment strategies. A veteran management professional, Della has coached agents in the areas of productivity, sales, marketing, and personal finance. She is successfully growing her real estate firm from a single agent operation to a successful tech-based real estate brokerage and development firm specializing in streamlining the process of purchasing blighted properties in emerging real estate markets focusing on her hometown Newark, NJ.

Uniquely suited for coaching, Della possesses the ability to empower her students and foster their success through transformational change. Della believes that “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” (Socrates). Her teaching style, facilitation skills, and coaching methods make abstract concepts of finance fun, relatable, and understandable. Della enjoys helping students to develop a love and understanding of finance, real estate, and business strategy, making her a wonderful addition to the instruction team of Moms Who Hustle: A Financial Planning and Entrepreneurship Program for Millennial Moms. This program is offered by the Walker’s Legacy Foundation as 12-week value-added learning experience.

Why is working with women of color in business important to you?

Working with minority women of color is important to me because of the underrepresentation of women of color in technology and boardrooms across America. Women of color are subject to discrimination due to color and gender. We often earn less than our counterparts and have to fight twice as hard to prove our worth, prove that we are a good “fit” for executive leadership, and that we can be successful as a C-level executive while balancing motherhood.

Working with women of color in business is about ensuring equity in the small business arena. My definition of equity is: giving everyone what they need to be successful. This includes empowering women in their field, providing support and mentorship, and making needed resources including training, coaching, and funding readily available to women of color.

Why is working with young moms of color important to you?

Working with young moms of color is personally important to me because I was a young mom and it was the village of women in my life that supported me and fostered my growth allowing me to complete my degree and start my business. This is my way of giving back and lifting as I climb.

As a single mother, I understand the challenges faced and duality required to be a good mother and successful entrepreneur. My objective in teaching Moms Who Hustle – Newark, is to use my extensive knowledge of all aspects of small business and finance to teach young mothers financial literacy and how to navigate being a “Mompreneur”. By fostering the entrepreneurial passion of young mothers of color, we are helping them create a solid foundation to achieve financial freedom and start the process of building generational wealth, which is one of the ways to eliminate poverty in our communities.

It is my goal in working with this program is to help remove barriers to advancement that many young mothers often face in building a foundation to start and grow their businesses. My commitment to Newark and its residents creates a deepened connection to the program and participants.

Favorite Quote

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. ~ Anonymous

Social Media 

LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Walker's Legacy Foundation

The mission of the Walker’s Legacy Foundation is to provide a foundation of entrepreneurial, financial and professional support to improve the economic equality and entrepreneurial prosperity of women. The Walker’s Legacy Foundation is a project of the Washington Association of Regional Grantmakers.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.