The Biz Hack Academy Black Alumni Panel is proud to present some of the many Black professional alumni to share their thoughts about: The Transformative Impact of Digital Marketing on Black-Owned Businesses.”
Kerline Jules, PCM®, CDMP is a branding aficionado and certified digital marketer who is passionate about leveraging the power of storytelling and digital media to create brands that empower, educate, entertain, and empower. She is the powerhouse behind Jules Management Group, partnering with small and minority-owned businesses and mission-focus non-profits.
Her enthusiasm for brand development and digital marketing was cultivated while serving as the Vice President of Operations for her local Urban League Young Professionals chapter where she masterminded the PR & Marketing initiatives for the organization. It is there where she learned the power of digital media as a strategic method for outreach and brand awareness.
Kerline has supported projects for various organizations from national non-profits to large corporations to small local businesses. Her portfolio has included: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Burger King Corporation, National Urban League Young Professionals, Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, Urban League of Broward County, South Florida Youth Summit, and COOL Church to name a few.
She is a BizHack alumn and is dually certified by the American Marketing Association as a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM®) and the Digital Marketing Institute as a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP).
Kerline is a proud graduate of the University of Miami where she earned a Bachelors of Business Administration. She is an active member of the South Broward Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Mr. Billings launched his career on Wall Street as a financial analyst and equity and fixed income trader. During that time, he worked with some of the largest financial firms including Merrill Lynch, Paine Webber, and Bank of America. As CEO of Veriloquent Wealth Advisors, Mr. Billings instituted a client-focused approach, which delivered unbiased advice. As a VP at US Trust, he provided solutions to complex wealth management needs. Todd is currently President and CEO of USDV Capital, a Fort Lauderdale based private equity firm that has purchased and originated over $1BB in mortgages. He is also the Co-Founder of Klose Mortgage. Mr. Billings attended Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University, has been married to his wife Neida for 21 years and is the proud father of five children.
Shakira Monet Johnson is a strategist, communication expert, event producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As the founder of J. PR & Events, she has created award-winning public relations campaigns and innovative solutions for clients in the corporate, non-profit, sports, and government sectors.
She has worked with brands such as Google, Microsoft, Prudential, Saks Fifth Avenue, Scotch Porter, The Great Girlfriends, Diverse & Engaged, Johnson & Johnson, and New Community Corporation, one of the largest community development corporations in the US. Her campaigns have also been featured on local, national, and international media outlets, such as CNN, Associated Press, New York Times, BBC World News, and Time Magazine.
A dynamic and sought-after thought leader and trainer, her expertise spans the areas of strategic communication, social impact, media training, corporate social responsibility, and event planning.
For her efforts, Shakira has been recognized as a “Mover, Shaker & Deal Maker” by the American Marketing Association of NJ, Top Event Planner by NJ Biz, and Adjunct Professor of the Year by Middlesex College. She has also been honored multiple times at the Public Relations Society of America NJ Pyramid Awards and won their coveted Best in Show Award for excellence in public relations.
A purpose-driven leader, Shakira is the proud founder of The OMG Tea Party, an organization that empowers women and girls to reach their highest potential through personal development and memorable experiences. She also serves on the Board of Directors for PRSA NJ and the Library of the town she lives in.
Shakira holds a MA in Organizational Communication and a BA in Communication and Sociology both from Rutgers University. In addition, she has her certification in Event Planning Management.
In her leisure time, Shakira enjoys reading, communing with nature and spending quality time with her family.
Ricardo Berrís is a Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Speaker and Coach. He is the founder and CEO of the MI Group of Companies which include MI
Group USA, MI Group Colombia and MI Group Bahamas, which provides digital marketing and software development solutions for non-technical
businesses throughout the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. The company is particularly interested in businesses looking to grow locally and internationally through digital marketing and software development
Through his companies, he has led successful projects with various organizations worth over $100 billion combined, including but not limited to: Government Departments, Retail Banks (Fidelity, First Caribbean), Hotels (Courtyard Marriott, Warwick, Ocean Clubs), Quick Service Restaurants (McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Domino’s), Universities (Florida National University, Nova Southeastern) to name a few.
He’s also the founder of the startup Purpusly, a multi-channel platform helping cause-conscious customers find and discover products that support causes they care about. He recently co-founded Rolle Away Inc. producer of The Belle Booth, a portable all-in-one workstation for beauticians launching in 2021.
He’s a Goldman Sachs 10KSB Alumni, Member of Atlanta Black Chambers, Woodstock Business Club, a member of the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneurship Center of the Caribbean, Miramar Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce, and ICABA World Network. In January 2021, he became a Certified Volunteer with SCORE; a national organization providing help for small businesses.
He’s the author of Who Says You Can’t, a motivational book for getting out of your own way into achieving anything you want in life.
Ricardo has more than 18 years of entrepreneurship and business development experience growing and selling companies. The first company he built and exited was a Boutique Tutoring Math Company. And he owned and operated an international music franchise in Bahamas that was headquartered in Malta, Italy to prepare stage bands for international competition; one of the bands came third in the world finals among 40 other countries hosted in Scala, London.
He is a graduate of a business management program run by Omega College in association with St. Thomas University. Certified with Google Analytics and Facebook Blueprint.
On his creative side, Ricardo is a musician and enjoys singing, composing music, producing, and playing instruments (piano and guitar). He is also an active member of a worship band. He expresses his musical art through Riccii Anthony which can be found anywhere music is listened to. His most recent tribute “Hats off to you” was dedicated to the Bizhack Academy’s students who demonstrated exceptional courage through the COVID-19 pandemic.
He enjoys cooking, (loves Moscato), playing golf, traveling, reading and doing life.
His philosophy: “Your choice determines your destiny; therefore, be today what you wish to become tomorrow”.