Soledad O'Brien…… CEO of Starfish Media Group
Victoria Taylor….. Director of Digital Community, WeWork
Megan Hooper….Founde/CEO of bSmartGuide.com
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 DE LUCA
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 bSmartGuide.com to serve as a platform for women to learn, connect and promote their brands in order to achieve success and obtain their goals.