Catch us up! Tell us about yourself and what’s happened over the last 15 years?
Let’s see, where should I start?! Over the past 15 years, I’ve lived in five different states and cities - and no, I nor my spouse at the time we’re not military. All of this moving around was due to the nature of my job requirements at the time, and I enjoyed every moment of this journey. I married my high school sweetheart, and unfortunately went through a divorce.
He and I share four healthy, intellectual, and beautiful children (Tavarius Smith Jr. – 11, Kahlan Smith – 10, Khariyah Smith – 7, Kallie Smith – 6). In 2017, I felt like I had accomplished about 70% of my personal and professional goals that I set while attending Spelman. After graduating in 2008, I received an amazing job offer at one of the top five Global IT Consulting firms, Accenture Ltd. It was a wonderful experience and great life lesson of what Corporate America is for an educated Black Woman. To be completely transparent, the burnout has been real, so I decided after eight years (six as a Change Management Consultant and three in HR as a People Advisor) it was time for something new.
In 2014, I said my goodbyes to Corporate America. I took a leap of faith on relocating back home during all of this transition and landed the career of my dreams as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Health Medical Program, Inc. This was truly just the beginning of my next adventure in life, which turned into me becoming the youngest black, female Chief Executive in Community Health Centers in the state of Alabama. Community Health Centers are the safety nets for providing quality permanent and preventative healthcare services to the underinsured and uninsured populations.
In 2018, Prestige Consultancy was established and I began building the process of analyzing, creating, marketing, and developing a more streamlined concept for helping advance the Black individuals and families with becoming generational, first-time business owners. Shortly after this accomplishment, I saw the need to establish “Prestige Property Management,” in 2020, for short-term rentals needs. Last but certainly not the least, the birth of my non-profit, the “Privileged Society,” in 2022, whose focused on new business startup and business development services offering via learning series, and how to workshops on business start-ups services.
Over these 15 years, I have learned change is hard, change is necessary, change is inevitable so we all must embrace change so that we too progress along in this life.
What were you most looking forward this Reunion?
I was most looking forward to reuniting with my tribe "Spelman Sisters” that experienced the transformation from young girlhood to the Spelman Women we are today. Life after graduation, and becoming the booked and busy, successful Spelman Women that we have become, has created barriers for us to connect as frequently as well liked. Opportunities such as Reunion, Homecoming and our personal life events create these lifelong memorable experiences with each other.
What do you value most about your experience as a student and alumna?
The most valuable experience as a student would be my Student Life and Engagement experience. I was a Bonner Scholar recipient during the years of 2004 – 2008. I served in leadership roles of the Bonner Scholars Program, Greek and non-greek Student Council, joined NAACP, Young Democrats, Young Professionals, Toastmasters, Alabama Club, Jack & Jill Chapter AUC Chapter, and Inroads Scholar Greater Atlanta Chapters. I joined and chartered the Alpha Line of Gamma Sigma Gamma in 2007 and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in 2008.
As an alumna, networking and fostering meaningful relationships has been an amazing experience for me. In every city that I have resided in, I was able to find a local Spelman Chapter. This kept me connected and up to date on the local and upcoming happenings. I also actively participate in the Annual Giving campaign, special programs and building funds, and Class of 2008 Reunion activities.
What’s one thing about yourself that your Spelman sisters may not know?
My sophomore year was the year I took my first airplane ride, and ever since then it’s always been my preferred way to travel. Traveling became a top priority for me and has provided so many amazing adventures throughout the years. My time as a Spelmanite challenged me to try so many new things and dared me to step out of my comfort zones in so many ways in life. These types of experiences and life lessons shaped me into the well-versed and traveled woman that I am today.
What impact would you like to make on the world and why?
To establish the BLU print for Black businesses across the world to become “Black Wall Street” again. To reinvent self-made and self-sustainable Black communities to reinvent the necessity of healthy Black families, communities, and businesses to regain our sense of self-worth and value in this world.
What most excites you about your future?
The most exciting areas about me and my future include the launch of my business ventures and non-profit. Prestige Consultancy is a group of dream makers who cultivate influential brands and virtual experiences. Our mission is to create and facilitate business startup frameworks and virtual management resources that produce precise high performing solutions to perfect sustainable small businesses. Prestige Property Management Services is another business solution oriented service that was created under Prestige Consultancy in 2020, to provide exceptional, quality, and precise short-term rental services for personal leisure and corporate housing solutions for clients in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee areas. That’s not all though. In 2022, The Privileged Society was created to provide business startup educational opportunities and resources, mentorship, and startup funding for minority entrepreneurs across the black belt region of Alabama. Our mission and purposes of the Corporation are to narrow the educational gap for rural and minority families in and around, but not limited to, the black belt community region of Alabama by creating a community destination that provides support for educational success, workforce readiness, and overall healthy living. I would love to get connected to the PULSE, LEADS and Spelpreneur Series to expand our collaborative effort in the state of Georgia, primarily on the Spelman campus for internship and distant learning opportunities.