Meet the Top Ten D.C. Judges! These are 9 domain level experts with years of experience and hands-on knowledge in the nominee’s industries. They get the huge task to determine who makes the final TOP TEN D.C.
The nominees were invited to meet the Judges during a virtual meetup on Sunday, June 14th.
The winners will be revealed during our June 19th event, and all 90 winners will be covered in the first edition of the AYOO Magazine. Don’t miss this! RSVP to attend the event now.
For any questions in regards to the nominations contact AYOO AFRICA’s Editor and Top Ten D.C. list curator, Nico Kang, at [email protected]
We do not necessarily look at the entire company/person’s history. We focus on what the nominee has done in 2019 to stand out in the applicable category. Please note that the nominee’s project can be one that started pre-2019, but they need to have demonstrated how that built into 2019 till now.
The key here is to identify the novelty in what the nominee is doing and how it’s different than everyone else nominated in their category.
Judges will seek to see the impact your work and your voice in the Metropolitan Washington D.C region.
Growth & Strategy
Is the person or organization championing a new approach to an old problem? Is their work challenging the way we think about their industry in society? Are they engaging in a civic debate about the future within their work and strategy?
Current & Post COVID vision
We will want to know how COVID shaped your vision of your industry, your society, and your future?
1. Azocha Nkobena
Category: Technology & Innovation
Azocha Nkobena is an executive at Accenture, a Fortune 100 global consulting firm where she has spent her entire professional career. Her experience spans across multiple industries in the commercial and public sectors (Telecommunications, Federal Government, Postal Services, Banking). She specializes in project management, governance, business development, organizational change, and strategy.
2. Osita Ugeh
Category: Music & Entertainment
Osita Ugeh is the CEO of Duke Concept, a New York’s Live Events and Touring company with a wide range of interest in managing the best of African Music, Talent, and culture through Concerts, Promotion, and Festivals. Osita has demonstrated repetitively, a unique mastery of his industry in his concerts that have included Burna Boy, Davido, Stonebwoy, and Yemi Alade just to name a few.
3. Sophy Aiida
Category: Media & Film
Sophy Aida is a TV presenter for the most anticipated francophone African channel LIFE TV as well as the Event & Partnerships Manager for the renowned ELLE Magazine Côte d’Ivoire. With a career spanning fourteen years, Sophy Aiida has successfully established herself as a household name in the media world and has hosted a cohort of global institutional and cultural events, across three continents – Africa, Europe, and North America.
4. Kwame Som-Pimpong
Kwame Som-Pimpong is a consultant at Deloitte Digital, where he helps government agencies use human-centered design to improve their strategies. In addition to his work at Deloitte, he writes on issues at the nexus of black people, technology, business, and policy. Prior to working at Deloitte, Kwame founded CultureBanx, a business news site that targets black professionals.
5. Eden Hagos
Category: Culinary & Hospitality
Eden Hagos also known as “Eden the Black Foodie” is a celebrated host, food writer, and founder of the media and events company, Black Foodie. She’s an Ethiopian Canadian with a passion for African and Caribbean cuisine and hosts unique food events & tours throughout Toronto. Her work and notable mentions have been featured in: Chatelaine, Essence, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC to name a few.
6. Christian Benjamin
THE LOVE ART BRAND
Christian Benjamin is the Founder of StoryMKTG, Partner in @Eighty5Cigars by Ocho Cinco and Curator of the Love Art Brand, and organization that supports artists & creatives of color from around the world. At StoryMKTG he helps brands & organizations communicate to diverse & inclusive audiences through digital marketing, social media campaigns & brand activations.
7. Kibonen Nfi
Kibonen Nfi is the Founder of Kibonen NY. A winner of Africa Fashion International’s Emerging Designer Award, Kibonen’s clothing line has been showcased at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, and in South Africa, as well as the Vogue Talents Fashion Designers Edit in Italy. Oscars Awards winner Lupita Nyong’ o and CBS News TV Host Gail King have graced her designs.
8. Gbenga ‘Solitude’ Babalola
PARTY ADDICTS WORLDWIDE
Category: Nightlife & Events
Gbenga Solitude is an Entrepreneur. Innovator. Corporate Professional. Eighteen years ago, Gbenga Solitude Babalola founded Party Addicts Worldwide, an International Entertainment and Lifestyle Branding. His work and impact in the nightlife scene led him to receive Nigerian Entertainment Award for Best Event Planner.
9. Josephine Garnem
MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Category: Community, Policy & Government
Josephine Garnem is the Program Manager for the Gilchrist Immigrant Resources Center for the East County region. She is an experienced community mobilizer and humanitarian professional, with over 20 years of global experience in many places including Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and in the USA.
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