Executive of the Year
Mrs. Palestine Ace
Come inside and learn about 8 dynamic women on the move! visit their websites, get involved in their foundations or organizations and just support their movement. Wanna learn more email us at
About our 2013 InfluenceHER Honorees
Palestine A. Ace is Senior Vice President/Senior Marketing Advisor at Bank of America with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mrs. Ace has spent her professional career at Bank of America or one of its subsidiaries providing resources to communities across the bank’s platform. In her current roll, she oversees a 375 million dollar marketing budget and manages the day to day Agency Operations of Enterprise Marketing.
Prior to her current position as SVP/Senior Marketing Advisor, Palestine filled various roles within the Bank supporting the organizational goals of the institution. Her most compassionate role was in the FleetBoston’s Women Entrepreneurs’ Connection, which was a unique Business Model connecting woman to capital, information and resources inside and outside the bank at the early stages of growth of their businesses. Palestine also spent time in the First Community Bank a "bank within a bank" whose mission was to significantly affect the future economic wellbeing of historically underserved and culturally diverse urban communities through education and collaborating with community partners.
Mrs. Ace is committed to her community and maintains a strong presence in supporting young people. She currently sits on the Boards of the Tallulah Morgan Scholarship Fund which awards scholarships to eligible minority students in their quest for higher education and WEATOC (We’re Educators A Touch of Class) a peer health education program to support youth development. The mission of WEATOC is to elevate young people beyond their circumstances and surroundings and to equip them to move forward towards their dreams and limitless potential.
Mrs. Ace holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and is a recipient of the Project REACH (the Road to Educational Achievement) scholarship.
Palestine’s goal in life is to lead by example and empower young people to overcome any obstacle as they strive to meet their professional and personal goals.
Dr. Bernice King
Bernice A. King (Be A King) is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother, in 1968. She was appointed to this position in January 2012 by the Board of Trustees. Nationally and internationally known as one of the most powerful, motivating and life-changing orators and speakers on the circuit today, Bernice leaves her audiences speechless and challenges people to RAISE THE STANDARD. Born the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, she has had the occasion to speak in such places as The White House, DuPont Corp., Warner-Lambert Corporation, AT&T, NIKE, USANA Health Sciences, University of Toledo, Xavier University, University of North Carolina, Duke University, Pepperdine University, Department of Defense, Salvation Army, and in such places as Sydney, Australia, Lubeck, Germany, Auckland, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few. In the summer of 2000, she narrated the “Lincoln Portrait” along with a symphony orchestra in Keil, Germany at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Bernice is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law Degrees from Emory University. She has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia. On January 30, 2007, the 1st year anniversary of her mother’s death, Bernice returned to her alma-mater at Spelman College to announce the establishment of the “Be A King Scholarship in honor of Coretta Scott King.”
Bernice serves on the HOPE Southeastern Board of Directors of Operation HOPE and the Board of the inaugural Regions Diversity Advisory Council for Regions Financial.
Bernice founded Be A King, whose mission is to re-brand and re-image generations of people to elevate the way they Think, Act, Live, and Lead. In September 2007, she launched the first Be A King Summit in Montgomery, Alabama on the campus of Alabama State University. Through Be A King she hopes to develop a nation of young people who will impact the global marketplace and transform the world culture with a KINGdom mindset.
Bernice has been featured on such shows as, Oprah, BET Talk with Tavis Smiley and the Judge Hachett Show to name a few and in such magazines as People Magazine, Ebony, Essence, Ladies Home Journal, Gospel Today and Charisma Magazine. In 2005, the American Legacy Magazine recognized her as a “Woman of Strength and Courage.” She has also guest hosted a live lunchtime television show on CNN. In April 2008, Bernice was one of the fifteen delegates selected to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States. She also received the “2009 Lifetime Achievement Advocate Award” from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
As an author, she has to her credit, her book, Hard Questions, Heart Answers, a compelling and inspiring book.
Creative, captivating, challenging, compelling and courageous are a few words that describe THIS King! Be A King is a woman gifted to change the lives of those who come into contact with her.
Ms. Carol Blackmon
Mrs. Terri J. Vaughn
Terri J. Vaughn has entertained us on television for more than ten years. First, she stole America’s heart with her lovable portrayal of Lovita Alizay Jenkins on “The Steve Harvey Show.” After that, she made her way to Will Smith's executive produced, “All of Us,” as school teacher Jonell, and now she brings Renee, a sexy, sassy and hilarious nurse, to life on Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns. But, before Terri ever had her first audition, she was growing up in a housing project in Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. Today, this woman is hell-bent on creating positive, inspirational experiences for other young women growing up in the projects. Out of her desire to give back to her community, in 1997, Terri started Take Wings Foundation.
“We motivate, uplift and inspire young girls, 13 to 18 years old, growing up in at risk communities and foster care, in the San Francisco Bay Area, to be positive, productive and successful.”
From her first professional job in a 20-city tour of “Tellin’ it Like it Tiz” to her first sitcom role on the hit show “Living Single,” to a memorable turn as a single mother wrongly accused of abusing her child on “ER,” this San Francisco native has proven herself to be a talent to be reckoned with.
Terri has been honored with three Image Awards for Outstanding
Supporting Actress for her work on “The Steve Harvey Show" and was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on “Soulfood,” as Eva Holly, a lesbian, who shocked Showtime viewers by passionately kissing Byrd (Malinda Williams), during her multiepisode guest arc on the groundbreaking series.
Included on Terri’s resume is the Tyler Perry film “Daddy’s Little Girls,”
where she gets to flex her acting chops as the bitchy Brenda, playing
opposite Gabrielle Union and Idris Elba. She can also be seen in the
independent dramedy, “Dirty Laundry,” starring opposite Rockmond
Dunbar and Loretta Devine, “3 Can Play That Game” and “The Marriage
Chronicles” where Terri is absolutely hilarious.
Along with starring in several other independent projects and conducting her Atlanta based acting school at The Green Room, Terri adds to her list of can-do’s, by producing multiple projects under her and producing partner,
Cas Siger’s production company, Nina Holiday Entertainment. Creating,
starring in and producing such projects as “Between Sisters,” which
recently aired as the highest rated show on GMC Network and “Sugar
Mommas,” which was nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award, are just a couple of the projects that have garnered huge success under their provision. Next up, a Burt Reynolds film titled “Hamlet and Hutch,” which goes into production April 2013.
Always smiling, unless she’s crying tears of happiness, Terri’s a girl from
humble beginnings who tells everyone to “take wings.” Her infectious
positive energy and altruistic spirit embodies her life, her family and
everyone who meets her.
Mrs. Leona Barr - Davenport
Leadership that embodies integrity, precision and results are the benchmarks that make Leona Barr-Davenport the business figure she is today. She currently serves as President & CEO of the Atlanta Business League (ABL), Atlanta's oldest minority business development and advocacy organization. As such, she works with the board of directors to provide increased access to business opportunities for minorities with specific emphasis on the development of businesses owned or operated by African-Americans. Her back-ground combines more than thirty (30) years experience in the areas of customer service, program development, organizational management & fundraising for associations and youth oriented programs.
A native of Johnsonville, South Carolina, Leona received a B.S. Degree in Business Administration & Economics from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1999, Leona was awarded the inaugural Dean’s Community Improvement Scholarship totaling $28,000 in the School of Business Administration by Clark Atlanta University. She completed the requirements for a Master of Busi-ness Administration with a Marketing concentration in the Weekend Working Professionals Program in August 2001.
Several organizations have been the beneficiary of her community and civic volunteerism. They include the Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization (SWAYBO), Metro-Atlanta Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), the Atlanta Inter-Alumni Council of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Voter Education Project, Inc., Atlanta Red Cross, Minority Recruitment (2002 Co-Chair); Workforce Investment Board for the State of Georgia; Atlanta Development Authority; Clark Atlanta University Community Advisory Board (2002-03 Chair); Workforce Development for Fulton County; Boy Scouts of America, Better Business Bureau, the Community Foundation and United Way of Metro Atlanta and the National Leadership Coalition on Aids. She currently serves as an advisor for SWAYBO and is a previous board member. Subsequent to coming on staff with the Atlanta Business League, Ms. Barr-Davenport served on the ABL Board of Directors.
Barr-Davenport serves on the Advisory Boards and committees for BusinessNOW of Goodwill Industries of Atlanta, Inc. and the At-lanta Coalition of 100 Black Women of Atlanta. Her current board affiliations include Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Child Care Advocacy, Crossroads Community Ministries, Economic Development Corporation of Ful-ton County, Minority Entrepreneurship Education, Inc. (Secretary) and the National Business League. She is a 1999 Leadership Geor-gia graduate, 2002 Leadership Atlanta graduate and graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy.
Leona’s accomplishments in business development have presented her with numerous accolades. In 1997, she received the Keeper of the Dream Award from the Golden Neo-Life Diamite (GNLD) Wellness Center and Bradley-Carmack, Inc. and the Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Talents Award from Women Looking Ahead News Magazine, Inc. in 1998. She was recognized as the Out-standing SWAYBO Advocate in 1999, and she received the President’s Award from Concerned Black Clergy in 2000. Other honors include the Community Achievement Award in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of For Sisters Only from WAOK/WVEE Radio, the 2002 Pinnacle Leadership Award from the Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Foundation, the AIAC/UNCF Out-standing Alumnus Award and the Advocacy Award from the National Association of Minority Contractors, the 2004 Leadership Award presented by the Center for Black Women's Wellness, Inc. and the SWAYBO Outstanding Advocate Award. The year 2006 proved to be quite memorable in that she was featured in Atlanta Woman Magazine as its Woman of the Year Nominee. She was also recipient of Atlanta's Top 25 Most Influential Women Award from Rolling Out Magazine, recognized by the National Business League with the Visionary Leadership Award and was inducted into the 2006 YWCA Academy of Women Achievers. Further, Leona is recipient of the 2008 Trumpet Foundation's High Heels in High Places Award, the 2009 8th Annual Bridge Builder Award from At-lanta Technical Foundation, Inc. and the Spirit of Sweet Auburn Legends Heroes and Heroines Award in 2010. On July 12, 2010, Leona was honored to be interviewed by The History Makers (thehistorymakers.com).
Leona resides in Sharpsburg, GA, with her husband, Jewel L. Davenport. She is a member of Antioch Baptist Church North where Reverend Dr. Cameron Madison Alexander is pastor.
Dr. Rogberts Phillips
Rogsbert Phillips -Reed, M.D., FACS
A native Georgian, Dr. Rogsbert F. Phillips-Reed is a general surgeon and fellow of the American College of Surgeons specializing in breast surgery. She graduated from Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons in 1977 and in 1982 became the second woman and first African-American woman to successfully complete Emory
University’s Surgical Program.
Dr. Phillips-Reed heads Metro Surgical Associates, a community-based surgical practice with offices in downtown Atlanta and Lithonia, Georgia. For 30 years she has practiced medicine in metropolitan Atlanta area, serving a diverse patient population. Dr. Phillips-Reed hospital affiliations include Emory University Hospital at Midtown, DeKalb Medical Center, and Rockdale Medical Center in Conyers, Georgia. For thirty years, she has dedicated his professional career to serving women diagnosed with breast cancer.
A pioneering physician, she remains at the forefront of breast cancer research and has participated in many clinical trials which have impacted how we treat breast cancer today.
Dr. Phillips-Reed’s achievements are vast. She has received scores of awards and honors that attest to her professional excellence and reputation as a first rate physician. She is respected by her peer and is considered by her peers as being among top breast cancer care doctor s in this country. She is widely known for her excellent patient care. She is committed to community service and passionate about her work in the fight against breast cancer.
In 1989, Dr. Phillips-Reed founded Sisters…by Choice, Inc. (SBC), a non-profit organization that began as a breast cancer support group committed to educating, counseling and providing support to breast cancer patients and their families. Since its inception, SBC has evolved into an organization that has provided a myriad of services to low income and minority communities throughout metro Atlanta area. SBC also has an on-going program which provides complete breast cancer screening services for women living in shelters. This organization works with other breast cancer organization throughout the community.
Realizing there is health disparities surrounding access to quality breast care in rural Georgia; Dr.Phillips-Reed has begun an initiative to address this disparity by developing a Mobile Breast Clinic which will travel throughout rural Georgia reaching women who would not have quality breast care because of lack of resources and lack of access to health services. This will be a full service breast clinic providing screening and diagnostic services along with some treatment services.
Dr. Phillips-Reed provides internship programs for high school and college students who are interested in the medical profession. She enjoys teaching and feels it is a responsibility of all doctors to mentor and help the next generation of health care professionals learn the art of medicine and pass on the knowledge of breast surgery. She holds a clinical professorship with the Department of Surgery at Morehouse School of Medicine. She also partners with Graduate Medical Consultant Group and Graduate Education of Atlanta to teach and train medical students from St. Christopher in Bedfordshire, St. Matthew’s School of Medicine in the Grand Cayman, British West Indies and University of Saint Eustatius in Netherlands, Antilles. Students are able to obtain hands-on experience in a highly professional setting under Dr. Phillips-Reed’s personal tutelage.
Over the years, Dr. Phillips-Reed has served on several community service boards, various healthcare committees, and she is actively involved in clinical trials and research projects. Her professional affiliations include the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, and Association of Women Surgeons, Society of Surgical Oncology, American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Society of Breast Disease, Georgia Surgical Society, Medical Association of Georgia, National Medical Association, Atlanta Medical Associates and the Medical Association of Atlanta.
Electing not to limit her work to the United States, Dr. Phillips-Reed has carried the breast cancer fight to the former Soviet Union (Republic of Georgia), Antigua in the Leeward Island and as a member of Zenzala, was part of a missionary team to South Africa.
She is married to Junius Reed and enjoys traveling and playing golf. She also loves spending time with family and friends.
2013 Spotlight Honoree
Mrs. Judi Cohen - Wade
Judi is an accomplished digital and broadcast media executive with twenty plus years in national and local account management with a strong focus on brand and ad agency business development. She is an effective thought influencer for agencies and advertisers who need digital media planning and buying to achieve their clients’ goals.
A graduate of Drexel University, she decided to start her media career in Philadelphia with CBS Radio. A few years later, she joined Blair Radio in the New York office to experience the national representative arena. The Katz Radio Group then recruited Judi to manage their Philadelphia office, where she became Vice President of Sales, responsible for revenue in the five state mid-Atlantic region.
She has formed lasting relationships with regional advertisers and ad agencies from New York to Florida and most recently in the Southeast with Radio One, Inc., ReachLocal, and MacGregor Carson Marketing, providing digital marketing campaigns for regional advertisers in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
She joined Traffiq.com to continue to expand the company’s footprint in the Southeast. Traffic.com provides digital media solutions to brands and ad agencies. Judi enjoys the collaborative process and is passionate about developing and planning strategies for advertisers and turning them into actionable solutions.
2013 Spotlight Honoree
Mrs. Rashan Ali
Rashan Ali - The Original Sporty Girl
With a passion for sports, empowering young women and the people of Atlanta, Rashan Ali continues to establish herself as a formidable and revered multimedia personality within the sports and entertainment industries.
While attending Florida A & M University as a Broadcast Journalism major, Rashan knew that she wanted to share her voice with the world, and set out on a quest to make that happen. She became heavily involved in the entertainment scene in Atlanta, working for LaFace Records and also as the personal assistant to the late Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. Rashan decided to enter a contest searching for new talent on Atlanta radio station HOT 107.9 FM and was handpicked from over 500 applicants to join popular radio personality Ryan Cameron on-air. Her charisma and grace appealed to millions of listeners, which quickly propelled the program’s rating into the #1 position during its 6-10 AM timeslot. She then went on to become the host of the “A-Team” Morning Show on the same station, where she was one of only three women in the country leading a Hip Hop and R&B morning show. Rashan’s journey in radio came full circle in 2010 when she was reunited with Ryan Cameron for a year as the co-host of The Ryan Cameron Show on V-103 FM, Atlanta’s #1 urban formatted station. Not straying away from her gift, Rashan Ali recently joined new hip hop station Streetz 94.5 as the host of “The Streetz Morning Grind.”
Her career in radio opened the door for many opportunities, including the chance to add 'actress' to her resume in 2007 when she starred in “3 Can Play That Game” opposite heavy hitters Vivica Fox and Terri J Vaughn, “The Gospel” with Boris Kodjoe and “Trois 3,” which was produced by Will Packer.
Rashan's unique perspective and knowledge of sports did not go unnoticed as the sports reporter while at HOT 107.9 FM. She was invited to become the sideline reporter for the Atlanta Hawks, which she did for four seasons. In 2009, Rashan joined an elite group when she became one of few African American women providing sports commentary on a national scale as a reporter for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Preview Show, which aired on ESPN 2 and ESPN U. She continued to make her mark in the sports industry when she became the Social Media Correspondent during the 2010, 2011 & 2012 NBA Playoffs on NBA TV’s NBA Gametime. Rashan served as the sideline reporter for the Southern Conference Sports Network during the 2011 football season as well as the Atlanta Football Classic in 2011 & 2012 for NBC Sports Network. Rashan joined forces again with NBA TV in her second season as social media correspondent for the network’s show, “Fantasy Insider.”
Ali attended Florida A&M University after receiving swimming and academic scholarships and obtained a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism (magna cum laude) in 1997. She remains involved in countless charities and organizations, which include: The National Association of Black Journalists, Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, Incorporator of Pretty Girls Run, Inc. and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In 2006, she founded an organization called Sporty Girls, Inc., which encourages the development of life skills in girls ages 8-18 through participation in non-traditional sports like golf, tennis, soccer and swimming. Ali adds author to her list of accomplishments with the 2013 release of her first children’s book, “Piper Sky’s Pink Popsicle Shoes.”
In 2003, the Coalition of 100 Black Women honored Ali with the Unsung Heroine Award and during that same year, Ali became one of Jet’s legendary weekly beauties. In 2005, she was the recipient of the YWCA’s Women of Achievement honor and YOUTH Vibe’s “Leading Lady” award. She was honored with the 2006, 2007 and 2008 March of Dimes A.I.R. awards for outstanding achievement in radio.
Rashan enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters, Bailey and Carter. For more information about Rashan Ali, please visit www.rashanali.net.