How to Survive & Thrive as an Entrepreneur
Moderator: Dr. Sabrina Robins
Operations Director, TAPFIN
Dr. Sabrina Robins works as director of operations at TAPFIN, a Manpower Group company, and serves on the board of directors of African Heritage, Inc. She is also the driving force behind many of their events, including their annual Juneteenth celebration. She was also on our very first Black Power list, as one of the most influential African Americans in Wisconsin.
CEO, Diamond Discs International
Ugo Nwagbaraocha is President of Diamond Discs International, a Future 50 Award-Winning company that is a leading construction tool supplier including power walk behind concrete saws, high power gas saws, safety construction equipment, dust extraction equipment and premiere distributor of professional grade diamond edged cutting tools. Nwagbaraocha has received numerous awards in recognition of his commitment to quality leadership in the local business communities, including the United States Small Business Administration Emerging Small Business Person Award, 2018 Black Power List - State of Wisconsin’s Most Influential African Americans, the Governor’s Minority Business Award for Outstanding Small Business, the Greater Milwaukee Committee Inner City Business Award, the Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award, the Pan African Community Association Entrepreneurship Award, the Africans in Milwaukee Heritage Leadership Award, and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce Rising Star recognition. He serves as Chairman of The Business Council, Vice President of the National Association of Minority Contractors – Wisconsin and Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, the National Association of Minority Contractors and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a Law Studies Option from UW-Milwaukee.
Owner, JP Hair Design
Jeff “JP” Patterson knows better than anyone what “the barbershop” means to any black community, and makes the most of it. Stop byu JP Hair Design on Madison’s west side on any weekday and you’ll likely find some of Madison’s most prominent black and Latino leaders, Badger athletes, even the occasional NBA star in his chairs. JP’s Hair Design has an innovative partnership with the Rebalanced Life Wellness Association (RLWA)’s Men’s Health and Education Center (which was recently featured on the Megyn Kelly Today television show on NBC), which promotes good health for African-American men and reduces racial health disparities right inside the JP Hair Design building. Patterson, who is very active in the African-American business and entrepreneurial community, also hosts his own talk show, “Behind the Chair,” on a YouTube channel and at his website where he interviews prominent African Americans in the community. He also teaches in the barbering and cosmetology program at Madison College. During JP Hair Design’s annual back to school event, which will be celebrating 10 years next year, JP provides hundreds of free haircuts for area students to get them ready for school.
Owner, Unfinished Business and GigBlender
Mark Richardson is President of Unfinished Business, a consulting company that helps professionals with career transition. Mark is also the CEO of GigBlender, a technology start up that has created an opportunity matching app. that helps people and organizations find a better talent employment fit. Prior to starting these enterprises, Mark’s most recently served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Urban League of Greater Madison, Division Administrator at the Wisconsin Dept. of Commerce, and Deputy Secretary for the State’s Dept. of Tourism. Mark is an active community leader serving on several Boards of Directors: Dowtown Madison Inc., Starting Block Madison, Sustain Dane, Mann Scholars Educational Fund, and the Monona Terrace & Convention Center. He is also a long-time member of the Madison Network of Black Professionals.
Milele Chikasa Anana
Founder and Publisher, Umoja Magazine
Milele Chikasa Anana is publisher of Umoja Magazine, which she founded in 1991 to produce positive news and features from Madison’s African American community, always with a focus on the arts. She is also a founder and leader of the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce. She graduated from Talladega College in 1955.