OUR TEAM

Venture Noire looks for high integrity, intellectually curious owners and operators with a hacking mindset for reshaping the future.

SUPPORTERs

The Walton Family Foundation is rooted in several generations of family, where no voice is louder than the next and different opinions are valued.

LEARN MORE

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) exists to relentlessly pursue economic, educational, social, ethnic, and racial equity for all Arkansas.

LEARN MORE

Entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) experience many of the same challenges faced by Kansas City’s diverse small business community that stifle their effectiveness.

LEARN MORE

VENTURE NOIRE BOARD MEMBERS

Ademote Thumbutu

Ademote Thumbutu

Board Member

Gordon Ebanks

Gordon Ebanks

Venture Noire Board Member

Gordon Ebanks is serial entrepreneur with a senior executive Fortune 50 Enterprise technology background. A Strategic thinker always looking to the future.

Bradford Allen

Bradford Allen

Board Member

Experienced Executive with demonstrated success working globally (NY, LA and Hong Kong) in finance, sports, media and technology industries. Strong leadership, skilled in Management, Capital Raise, Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Business Development, and Entrepreneurship.

Brandon Andrews

Brandon Andrews

Board Member

Brandon Andrews is co-founder of Gauge; an AI-driven mobile market research platform connecting brands to consumers and influencers to identify opportunities and avoid mistakes. As Senior Consultant at Values Partnerships he leads the company’s work on technology and entrepreneurship, including leading a nationwide casting tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to ABC’s, Shark Tank and building inclusive ecosystems. Named a Global Innovation Fellow by the U.S. Department of State, he has traveled the world speaking on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Emery Skolfield

Emery Skolfield

Board Member

Omni-channel marketing, strategy & CRM executive. Passionate about content and storytelling. Privileged to lead people and cultivate talent. Driver of profitable growth and brand value. Curious. Creative. Pragmatic. Focused. Hungry.

Gary Coichy

Gary Coichy

Board Member

Michael has over 15 years of experience in operationalizing Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) strategies and programs across multiple industries, to include Financial Services, Pharma, Tech, Retail, Energy, and Transportation.​ Michael has worked in Big 4 consulting within the cyber, IT risk, and the supply chain risk space for over a decade. He has built a reputation as a knowledgeable practitioner in his craft and as a leader that cares who consistently delivers optimal outcomes.​ Prior to starting his career in the civilian sector, Michael served in the US Army as a commissioned officer where he gained extensive experience in both large and small group leadership and problem solving, tempered with emotional intelligence. ​ Aside from his professional career, Michael is extremely passionate about diversity & inclusion and has continued to be involved in initiatives to support increasing awareness and opportunities for minorities, veterans, and women throughout his career.

Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Venture Noire Board Member

Jeff is a community impact architect supporting brands and organizations to harness culture and equity towards transformative social impact driven by market growth.

Omar Usmani

Omar Usmani

Venture Noire Board Member

Mr. Usmani has over 25 years of solutions delivery experience in the public and private sectors. He is a seasoned professional who has worked with Fortune 100 corporations and leading government organizations including the United States and Allied Governments, as well as varied international military organizations.

Michael Clark

Michael Clark

Board Memeber

Michael has over 15 years of experience in operationalizing Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) strategies and programs across multiple industries, to include Financial Services, Pharma, Tech, Retail, Energy, and Transportation.​ Michael has worked in Big 4 consulting within the cyber, IT risk, and the supply chain risk space for over a decade. He has built a reputation as a knowledgeable practitioner in his craft and as a leader that cares who consistently delivers optimal outcomes.​ Prior to starting his career in the civilian sector, Michael served in the US Army as a commissioned officer where he gained extensive experience in both large and small group leadership and problem solving, tempered with emotional intelligence. ​ Aside from his professional career, Michael is extremely passionate about diversity & inclusion and has continued to be involved in initiatives to support increasing awareness and opportunities for minorities, veterans, and women throughout his career.

Tue Le

Tue Le

Board Member

Experienced business executive, marketer, brand builder, and organizational, commercial and operational leader with over 15 years of experience building growth in corporate, startup, and non-profit environments. At the largest consumer products in the world, P&G, I was responsible for leading strategic business growth and marketing for some of P&G's most iconic and billion dollar brands, including Febreze/Ambi Pur, Charmin, Always, Puffs, and Pringles. I've served as a former brand and business-building consultant for major international brands and corporations. I founded Honest Label, an online store dedicated to supporting natural and organic lifestyles with high quality personal care, health, baby, pet, household, and food products. Currently, I am an executive within the hospitality, tourism, and groundbreaking work and travel industry.

Sharifa Murdock

Sharifa Murdock

Board Member

Founding Partner of Liberty Fairs, Sharifa Murdock, is a veteran fashion industry professional with a concentration on cultivating relationships and elevating new brands in the men’s and women’s fashion space through showcase. With a strong grasp of industry trends and emerging brands, with 20 years of experience, Sharifa’s extensive experience rooted in retail and fashion. Inspired by fashion when starting her career at her first job at Soho retailer, Atrium, owned by her mentor and now business partner Sam Ben-Avraham.

Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams

Board Member

Rodney Williams is the President and Co-founder of SoLo Funds, the largest community fintech platform for everyday Americans, providing the opportunity to access and grow capital and establish financial independence. Rodney grew up witnessing his loved ones struggling to survive paycheck to paycheck, and has dedicated his career to bringing quality financial services to underserved communities. Prior to co-funding SoLo Funds, Rodney founded LISNR (Visa Backed Fintech) and led the company to over $40M in funding, numerous awards, and partnerships across retail and financial services, and currently serves as the company’s Chairman.

Tommy Duncan

Tommy Duncan

Board Member

An experienced entrepreneur and CEO in the healthcare industry, having founded several companies, including a Medicaid managed care company called Trusted Health in 2013. Mr. Duncan grew this company into a multi-state plan serving 50,000 beneficiaries.

Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Venture Noire

Prior to her retirement in January 2022, Ms. Roberts had since 2014 served as the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association [“NBPA”]. In that role she was tasked with working on behalf of NBA players to ensure their rights are protected and they were fairly compensated for the value they bring to the sport and their impact on the community. Prior to joining the NBPA, she was an esteemed trial lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Her practice focused on complex civil and white-collar criminal litigation before state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings. Ms. Roberts has tried more than 150 cases to jury verdicts, representing clients in a wide variety of areas, including products liability, white collar, racketeering, securities regulation violations, Title VII issues and premises liability. She is a top-ranked attorney who has received numerous accolades from Chambers Global, Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation, among other notable publications. Ms. Roberts is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She worked for eight years in the office of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she was named Chief of the Trial Division. Ms. Roberts is a frequent lecturer and presenter to both the bench and bar on a variety of topics related to litigation and trial practice. She taught trial advocacy as an adjunct member of the faculty at Harvard Law School and as an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Ms. Roberts currently serves on the boards of Cresco Labs, The Marshall Project, The Bronx Defenders and Wesleyan University, her alma mater.

Keenan Beasley
Jeff Johnson
Jocelyn Tragesser
Shaheen Lokhandwala
Myron Branford
TEAM BIOS

VENTURE NOIRE MEMBERS

More FREE! Copy & Paste Components at Digital Bake

Shrink 

VENTURE NOIRE Team

Keenan Beasley
Jeff Johnson
Jocelyn Tragesser
Shaheen Lokhandwala
Myron Branford
TEAM BIOS

Jessi Daniels

Managing Director

With a solid background in large-scale transformations and investor relations, Jessi brings expertise in corporate strategy and operations, enhancing organizational effectiveness through strategic initiatives.

Keenan Beasley

President

Keenan Beasley is a proud #girldad, successful entrepreneur, industry disrupter and visionary who embraces and utilizes technology to tell stories and influence consumers in dynamic ways. Keenan’s expertise in blending tech, art and creativity has changed the marketing landscape and opened the door to modern strategies and fresh approaches.Keenan is the founder & CEO of Sunday II Sunday, an active haircare brand at the intersection of health and beauty. Keenan’s non-profit arm, Venture Noire, mentors and develops diverse entrepreneurs and provides them with access to critical resources to help close the quality of life gap for underserved Americans.

Jocelyn Tragesser

Chief of Staff

Jocelyn received her Bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University where she majored in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. She has supported CEO’s in healthcare and in tech by implementing practical, long-term solutions to internal processes. At Venture Noire, Jocelyn works to manage projects which include but are not limited to identifying and improving operational deficiencies.

Myron Branford

Creative Director

Having accrued many years of experience in design of all shapes and sizes, I have discovered and cultivated a passion that stretches across various media. Prior to joining Venture Noire, I’ve had the privilege of working with such brands and companies as Adidas, Emporio Armani, Burberry, Zodiac, Michele, DKNY, Mary Kay, Marc Jacobs, Diesel, AT&T, Karl Lagerfeld and Michael Kors. From packaging and retail websites to print ads, catalogs and consumer brochures, my experience has allowed for an expansive, diverse portfolio of work I’m very proud of.