September | The List: 10 Trailblazing Women in Communications

Each month, Walker’s Legacy profiles trailblazing women in business throughout the country to provide inspiration and motivation. October is all about power players within the communications industry – women who are creating game-changing narratives of their clients and women of color.

Check out this month’s installment of The List!


Jummy Olabanji – TV Personality/ News Anchor for ABC7 News

EC_jummyOlabanjiWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Emmy award-winning anchor and reporter Jummy Olabanji joined ABC7 and NewsChannel8 in 2011. Covering the news in her hometown is a dream come true for this Fairfax County native. Prior to returning to the D.C. metro area, Jummy spent several years working as a reporter and anchor at WTKR-TV in Norfolk and WCAV-TV in Charlottesville. She started her career as a news assistant at CNN’s Washington D.C. bureau. She is an avid supporter of many community organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation while supporting other organizations such as March of Dimes, Suited for Change and Girls on the Run.

Jackie Bird, CEO and Insights officer at Redbean Society

EC_Jackie-BirdWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: A pioneer in Hispanic marketing this U.S. brand marketer turned communications expert started her career with Procter & Gamble Puerto Rico. Breaking the glass ceiling, she has been a recognized C-level executive at Grey Worldwide (2000-2008) helping Fortune 500 clients build brand preference among Hispanic consumers. Grounded on her 25+ years of experience, Jackie has paved the way for marketers to better understand Latina women and the influence that cross-cultural consumer segments have over brand development in an increasingly diverse, cross cultural America.

Stephanie Young, Director of African American Outreach, White House Office of Public Engagement

EC_AlumNow_slider_stephanie_youngWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY:  Stephanie Young recently replaced Heather Foster as Associate Communications Director in the Office of Public Engagement for the White House where she now serves as the primary liaison between the white house and the African American community. Prior to joining the White House, Stephanie served as National Press Secretary for the Democratic Whip, Representative Steny Hoyer. Where she was the chief spoke person for issues ranging from the house legislative schedule to voting rights to trade and immigration. Stephanie also served as Communications Director for the Congressional Black Caucus, making sure that all Americans, regardless of race, had a voice in Congress and beyond.

Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications Inc.

EC_michelle-ebanks-WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Michelle Ebanks serves as President of Essence Communications Inc. and President of People en Español; responsible for advancing Time Inc.’s business within the nation’s fastest growing population segments: African-Americans and Hispanics. As President she leads the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women as well as the internationally renowned Essence Festival, one of the largest annual live events in the world attracting more than 540,000 attendees to New Orleans during July Fourth weekend.

Nuria M. Santamaría Wolfe, Multicultural Strategist, Twitter

EC_NuriaWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY:  Nuria Santamaría leads Twitter’s Multicultural efforts in the United States.  She also spearheads consumer insights and strategy for Twitter’s Hispanic, African American, Asian American audiences working across all industry categories. Before joining Twitter she was VP of Business Development and Partner Strategy at EQAL where she developed new and existing relationships with talent, brands, agencies, and digital media companies to grow both the EQAL Celebrity Influencer Network and the Branded Communities Department. She began her career in technology and management consulting at Accenture, focusing on customer relationship management. Leaving to pursue her interests in start-ups and marketing, and her passion for the Latino market, she joined a Hispanic digital marketing start-up, helping brands connect with this market through online advertising and branded content.

Lauren Wesley Wilson, Founder of ColorComm

EC_Lauren-Wesley-WilsonWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Lauren is Founder and President of ColorComm, Inc., which houses the professional membership organization for women of color in communications. While working as the Communications Director for a Texas Congresswoman and managing media relations for corporate clients she became frustrated by the lack of women of color represented in the communications industry. Thus, she started ColorComm to strengthen the voices of those who are often underrepresented in business and political discourse. Her accomplishments include being the youngest professional to make it on PR Week’s 40 Under 40 list in 2013.

Michele Thornton – Head of Television Sales for CentricTV

EC_Thornton_Michelle3WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Michele Thornton is the Head of Television Sales for Centric TV. She joined Centric, a Viacom-BET Network Company, in July of 2012. Since joining the company, she and her team are charged with growing the revenue base for the network by leaps and bounds. Prior to joining Centric, Michele was the SR. Director of Emerging Partnerships and led the CNN Advantage business group with sales across CNN, HLN, CNN Airport networks, and


Darieth Chisolm, Founder of Hustle and Heart TV

Darieth1WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Not only is Darieth a new Walker’s Legacy G+ Hangout Host. She has over 25 years of experience as a television news anchor and media personality, entrepreneur, and life and business coach. She is also a successful and top-rated video podcast show host for Hustle & Heart TV with Darieth Chisolm; which was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2015 Podcast Awards for Best Video Podcast. Her show was also ranked #1 on iTunes for over two months with subscribers and viewers in several different countries.  When she’s not hosting, Darieth coaches women in becoming confident and outrageously successful, conveying their brand, message and mission to the world through various online media platforms. You can subscribe to her show Hustle and Heart or watch and listen directly from her website at Hustle and Heart TV.

Lizette Williams, Multicultural Marketing Leader, Kimberly-Clark

EC_LizetteWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Lizette Williams is one of the dynamic new leaders in communications. She is currently Multicultural Marketing Leader for North America at Kimberly-Clark Corporation leading the organization’s multicultural marketing strategy across all brands. As part of her role, Lizette is charged with implementing a total market strategy throughout the organization and chairs the Multicultural Taskforce, a 20-person, cross-functional team responsible for growing the North American businesses with ethnic consumer segments.

Maria Cardona, CNN Political Commentator

EC_hs_maria-cardonaWHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Maria Cardona is a CNN and CNN en Español political commentator, who has appeared on MSNBC, FOX, Univision, and Telemundo prior to signing on exclusively with CNN. She is regarded as one of the nation’s top 100 most influential Latinos. A seasoned public policy advocate and political strategist, Cardona has more than two decades of experience in the government, politics, public relations and community affairs arenas. Recognized among the most influential Latinos in the country, Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group (DSG), leading the Multicultural and Public Affairs practices. Cardona joined DSG in 2005 and founded DSG’s Latino Strategies practice, “Latinovations,” leveraging her reach in the Latino community by advocating on Latino issues, guiding clients on “best practices” for coalition building and support for their positions, products, and brands within the Hispanic community, and spearheading multicultural campaigns.

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Walker’s Legacy is a digital platform for the professional and entrepreneurial multicultural woman and exists to inspire, equip, and engage through thought-provoking content, educational programming, and a global community.

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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.