Ustwo (26 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, 16th Floor)

6:00 - 8:45PM



Ambition –– a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. Ambition is a feeling, it’s an aspiration, it’s not an action. In order to turn our ambition into action, we have to take steps that turn our desire to do something into an actual completed task. 

Each of these women have unique stories and perspective on what it means to be an ambitious woman and to push forward every day to achieve their goals. We’re excited to chat with them about this and hope you will join us! 



One thing that may come up when moving towards actualizing your ambition is fear. Then, when we face that fear and start taking action, there’s a chance that despite our best efforts, we may fail. Sometimes the thought of that failure fuels the fear and prevents us from taking action. We all feel this. But those who we admire, who achieve great things, move past this feeling and push forward. 

But how do they do it? What thoughts actually go through their mind and what tools and methods do they use to move through obstacles they face internally and externally to achieve their goals?

Well, to help us answer those questions, we tapped a few smart women who know a little something about overcoming fear, facing failure and actualizing ambition. 

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. Two years ago, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group. But before that, she was let go from her gig as an anchor for CNN’s morning show. But now, as a CEO, CNN is one of her clients and she’s still one of the most sought-after journalists today. Victoria Taylor, recently stepped into a new role as the director of digital community at WeWork after a very public firing from her previous position at reddit. Meagan Hooper, founder of worked her way up from administrative assistant to COO of a premier hedge fund. For this conversation, we’ll also be joined by Vanessa De Luca, Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE magazine. De Luca’s journey is special because in this era of feeling like we have to “make it” before 30, De Luca’s story proves this is not true. She did not begin her career in publishing until she was 30 –– a restart after her initial career path took a turn that she was not willing to follow. 







Soledad O'Brien…… CEO of Starfish Media Group

Victoria Taylor….. Director of Digital Community, WeWork

Megan Hooper….Founde/CEO of

Vanessa K. De Luca….. Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE Magazine





Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. At the forefront of the biggest breaking news stories of the past two decades, O’Brien is one of the most sought-after journalists today. In June 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of
race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal narratives



Vanessa K. De Luca is editor in chief of ESSENCE magazine. In this role, she serves as the brand’s editorial leader and oversees magazine and website content and vision. De Luca first joined ESSENCE more than a decade ago as Beauty and Fashion Features Editor, where she directed all style and beauty sections. In 2003, she was named Lifestyle Director, responsible for coverage including food, home, parenting and technology. Additionally, she was a member of the editorial features team, writing and editing numerous impactful stories on subjects ranging from teen dating violence to childhood obesity. In 2005, she was named Executive Editor, managing the editorial team to implement the brand’s creative vision, as well as overseeing staffing, systems, operations and the magazine’s operating budget.



Victoria Taylor recently joined WeWork as their director of digital community after previously serving as reddit's Director of Communications and Director of Talent and assisted with AMAs and more with the reddit community. Prior to reddit, Victoria was on the digital team at ID PR and helped work on digital strategy for a wide variety of nonprofits, individuals, entertainment and more. She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is based out of New York City.





Meagan Hooper, bSmart's founder, leveraged an arts degree and professional theatre and film experience into a decade long career on Wall Street, working her way up from Administrative Assistant for the founder of a premier hedge fund, to the firm's Chief Operating Officer. Self-taught in the world of finance, her prowess and expertise was quickly recognized, as she then became Director of Operations for a global wealth management firm, overseeing $4 billion in assets across multiple asset classes. Through her journey, Meagan discovered a need for advising, supporting, and connecting aspirational millennial women. This motivated her to launch to serve as a platform for women to learn, connect and promote their brands in order to achieve success and obtain their goals.  



Her Agenda is an award-winning media platform working to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. Named a top website for millennial women by our content attracts ambitious women and we give them the tools to become accomplished women. Wecurate, and create events, workshops, panels and conferences and we publish articles that feature actionable career advice. Her Agenda also publishesexclusive interviews with powerful, successful women who offer honest advice from their career journeys to our readers. For more visit,


Rhonesha Byng is a journalist and entrepreneur whose philosophy in life is established by her acronym of N.E.S.H.A. – No one Ever Slows Her Agenda. This motto serves as the inspiration for her company Dubbed a tech tastemaker by Clutch Magazine, and featured by publications including Black Enterprise,, and Seventeen Magazine, she's received awards for her work in journalism by the Associated Press, and the New York Association of Black Journalists. Her work as a field producer with NBC New York (WNBC-TV) earned her an Emmy award as part of team coverage for a breaking news story. Byng is a contributor to The Huffington Post and Madame Noire’s business section.