SAVE THE DATE

MERGE SYMPOSIUM BALTIMORE, MD

JULY 11-13, 2017- BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER

Presented by

THE MERGE SYMPOSIUM BALTIMORE, MD SPEAKER PANEL

Lisaraye McCoy

Actress

LisaRaye McCoy-Misick was born September 23, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. She is of African American and Native American descent and is proud of her heritage. She later attended Eastern Illinois University but she never really took the idea of a career in acting seriously until persuaded by an insistent roommate to attend a local audition in Chicago.

Dorinda Walker

Vice President of Consumer Strateg

Dorinda Walker is a Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Key Initiatives within Multicultural Marketing for Prudential's U.S. Businesses.
In this position, Walker is responsible for supporting U.S. Businesses to plan and execute profitable growth strategies among diverse consumer segments. Her career has a particular focus on expanding new business opportunities among diverse markets, with an emphasis on strategic planning, targeted marketing, program management, event planning, and community engagement. Since joining Prudential in 1999, Walker has held a variety of roles within Group Insurance, Individual Life Insurance, and Finance. Walker is past co-chair of the Black Leadership Forum, a business resource group at Prudential that provides personal and career development resources for African American employees. She is an Advisory Board Member of Hispanicize, a Board of Trustees member for Ironbound Film and Television Studios, and former Board of Trustees member for the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum.

Mc Lyte

DJ/Speaker Actress

MC Lyte was born on October 11, 1971 in Queens, New York, USA as Lana M. Moorer. She is an actress, known for Limitless (2011), Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (2012) and Love & Basketball (2000).
MC Lyte was the first female Hip Hop artist to receive a Gold record (certifying over 500,000 units sold). She has received two RIAA certified Gold singles and a Platinum single.
Lyte has also received a Billboard Artist of the Year Award, been nominated for a Grammy and after having two nominations, won a Soul Train Award (for Video of the Year). *
Honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Made a song with Beyonce Knowles, Missy Elliott and Free called ``Fighting Temptations``.

Holly Carter

President/Producer Releve Entertainer

manager, television, film, and interactive media producer and a former talent agent. She is the founder of Relevé Entertainment in Beverly Hills, California, which packages, produces, and distributes family and faith-based projects for mainstream success. She also represents urban crossover talent, where intersecting involvement in the genres of film, television, and music is the focal point. A graduate of the MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business, she also holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the Southern California School of Ministry.

Leah Daniels-Butler

Casting Director

Leah Daniels-Butler was born in October 4, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a casting director and producer responsible for launching the careers of talented actors like Gaborey Sidebe, star of the Academy Award winning film ``Precious``, and other notables. She currently serves as Casting Director for television's #1 show, ``Empire`` on Fox.

Traci Lynn Blackwell

Sr. VP Current Programs, CW Network

As senior vice president of Current Programs at The CW Network, Traci Lynn Blackwell, C'90, oversees the day-to-day production of some of television’s most talked-about shows including Vampire Diaries, The Originals as well as the prequel to Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries. Other shows Blackwell has shepherded include Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, Girlfriends, Eve and Half and Half.

Kierra Sheard

Artist

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Michelle Thornton

Media Executive

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Kim Kimble

Celebrity hair stylist

Kim Kimble (born December 24, 1971) is a celebrity hair stylist originally from Chicago, Illinois.She is most recognized for her starring role work on WE tv's L.A. Hair. Some of her celebrity clientele include Beyoncé,Kelly Rowland, and Mary J. Blige, Halle Berry, and Shakira.

Mikki Taylor

Editor at large, Essence magazine

Mikki Taylor is the quintessential authority on all matters regarding beauty and style. From A-list celebrities and world-renowned cover models to women in the know, Taylor influences all types of women with her vision of beauty and style. She has devoted a lifetime to helping women manage their inner and outer beauty and inspiring them to own their lives to the fullest.

Robi Reed

VP Talent & Casting BET

Robi Reed (born Robin Lynn Reed) is an American casting director and producer. She has over 50 films and television shows to her credit, including The Best Man, Soul Food, For Colored Girls, Love Jones, Set It Off, In Living Color and Girlfriends. Reed got her start working with writer-director Spike Lee. His 1988 release School Daze was her very first film as a casting director. She later went on to cast Lee’s Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Crooklyn, Clockers and Jungle Fever.

Marilyn Booker

Morgan Stanley, Head, Urban Markets group

Marilyn joined Morgan Stanley in January 1994. She is a Managing Director and the Head of Morgan Stanley’s Urban Markets Group. She holds her Series 7, Series 9, Series 10 and Series 66 Licenses. Prior to establishing The Urban Markets Group, Marilyn was the head of Diversity, Work-Life, EEO and Human Resources Policy for Morgan Stanley. Marilyn is an attorney by training. She has practiced in the areas of criminal defense litigation, municipal finance, corporate bankruptcies and corporate restructuring

Sheri Riley

Entrepreneur

Sheri Riley received her start in the entertainment industry over twenty years ago at Trevel Productions, a management and production company owned by the late, great Gerald Levert. She then moved on to run the marketing at LaFace Records where her innovative approach to marketing and partnerships helped introduce the world to some of the most influential, multi-platinum artists of the 90’s including Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, Outkast. The creative marketing campaigns she developed led to international exposure for these artists, which included strategic partnerships with NBC, NBA, Boys & Girls Club of America, Sega, and the sale of over 30 million albums worldwide.

Endyia Kinney-Sterns

Senior Development, BET

Endyia Kinney-Sterns is an accomplished television producer and network executive with over 20 years of entertainment television experience. Named one of the “Top Female Executives in Hollywood” by Essence Magazine, Kinney-Sterns has been instrumental in identifying and developing various new programming for various networks.

Eva Marcille

Model/Actress

Eva Marcille Pigford (born October 30, 1984), known professionally as Eva Marcille, is an African American actress, TV host and fashion model, who most recently played the role of Tyra Hamilton on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She started her career by winning the third cycle of America's Next Top Model.

Cameka Smith

CEO and Founder BOSS Network

Speaker, trainer and award-winning entrepreneur - these are just a few words that describe Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online engagement and event-based networking. Working towards one simple goal, BOSS® is “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” to promote and encourage the small business spirit and professional development of women.

Sophia Nelson

Award-Winning Journalist

American author, political strategist, opinion writer, and attorney. She was born in Munich, Germany and grew up in Somerdale, New Jersey. Graduating from San Diego State University, she was the first African-American woman elected to a major position in student government. She originally wanted to be the first Black female Supreme Court Justice, but decided to become a freelance writer instead. Nelson is an attorney and a member of the Republican Party.

MERGE BALTIMORE 2017 CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Time: 1:15pm
Room: Main Stage

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

Sheri Riley, Endyia Kinney-Sterns, Kierra Sheard, Leah Daniels-Butler

Day in and day out, you fight for your dream, your big break, success. But are you really ready? Mentally, physically, spiritually, are you prepared for all you dream about? Is what you seek in alignment with what God has called you to do; have you even asked? “Success without fulfillment is failure”, Tony Robbins often says, and Hollywood is littered with shining stars who fit this bill. Talented, rich, famous but bankrupt and broken in every other way.

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS? is a candid discussion designed to help you avoid this and to prepare you to win on purpose. You’ll hear from people who’ve been there, both the artists themselves and the executives who have seen the same mistakes derail the most talented time and time again. You will leave this conversation empowered, inspired and more ready than ever.


Thursday, July 13, 2017
Time: 2:30pm
Room: Main Stage

GIRL BOSS

Cameka Smith, Michele Thornton, Marilyn Booker, Dr. Condessa Curley, Kim Kimble

Join us for GIRL BOSS!, a conversation among amazing women who are making major moves in media and entertainment. You will learn from their insights and stories, their successes and failures, as they share all in an effort to help take you to the next level.


Thursday, July 13, 2017
Time: 3:45pm
Room: Main Stage

BOLD, BEAUTIFUL & ON PURPOSE

Mikki Taylor, McLyte and Eva Marcille

This panel is a lively discussion amongst some of the industry’s most powerful women who will share their experiences from challenges to triumphs as they have developed their careers in order to achieve the highest potential in the field of entertainment


Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 3:00pm
Room: 340-341

Scripted Unscripted – Television Discussion

Traci Blackwell and Endyia Kinney-Sterns

Have you ever wondered exactly what it takes to write and produce a great scripted or reality television show?  Have you ever wondered what happens during the development process of a reality or scripted series on digital, broadcast or cable television?  Have you ever wondered what really goes on in a writers room of scripted television?  Have you ever wondered what the job of an Executive Producer or Showrunner actually entails?  If the answer is yes, this breakout session is for you! Two of television’s top executives in the world of scripted and reality television, whose projects have been critically acclaimed, will share the answer to these questions and more as well as share their insights, tips, and strategies on what it takes to bring your project from script to screen.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 4:00pm
Room: 340-341

THE WOMAN CODE

Sophia Nelson

Every woman lives by a code, whether she realizes it or not. This code is her road-map to living, a guidepost residing deep within her spirit. It governs her romantic relationships, friendships, family ties, career choices, and personal sense of well-being and value. And when her code is out of balance, her life is out of balance.

Drawing from her personal faith and experience in the business world, Sophia A. Nelson, ESQ will explore the 20 keys to unlocking the life you want, such as: knowing your innate value and worth, aging gracefully, teaching people how to treat you, making peace with your past, never cut what you can untie, lifting other women as you climb. The Woman Code master class will help women honor themselves while navigating the demands of work, home, family and friendship. You will not only learn how to practice purpose in your life but how to do it with grace.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 3:00p
Room: TBD

CASTING EXPERIENCE COLD READ

(Breakout Session – Limited seating)

Emmy Award winning Casting Director Robi Reed will lead a panel and workshop with top network, studio, and independent casting directors. Learn what goes into the casting process, what to perfect, and how to prepare and put yourself in the best position to land the part.  There will be an opportunity to cold read or perform a one minute monologue.

**This is a small group workshop with limited slots available. Registrants may signup at check-in for available slots.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Time: 3:00pm
Room: TBD

“LIFE ROCKS” WITH LISARAYE MCCOY (Breakout Session – Limited seating)

Renown Actress and Humanitarian, LisaRaye hosts an interactive and fun workshop where YOU are able to create your very own VISION BOARD complete with a collage of photos from books and/or magazines to affirm your personal goals, wants and desires. This is an opportunity for you to paint a visual picture of where you are headed in life, career and more.

**This is a small group workshop with limited slots available. Registrants may signup at check-in for available slots.

Nearby Conference Hotels

-14Days -4Hours -25Minutes -57Seconds