Tech Wrap Queen
By Thee Renee Reid
Tech Wrap QueenJan 01, 2021
Terrell Griffith | A Mindfulness Journey into Design
Wrap Session 35: Lead Product Designer at Headspace, Terrell Griffith who at the time of the recording was a Senior Product Designer, takes the Royal Court through his very mindful & thoughtful journey into Design. From attending a small design school in his hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to working at ESPN/Disney and then having a career awakening in the midst of the global transformational year of 2020. In search for deeper purpose in helping the Black design community, Terrell also joined the organization Where are the Black Designers.
Terrell details his own personal anxiety experience that drove him to downloading the Headspace app and ultimately applying to a design role at the mindfulness & meditation company after seeing a position on the job board he built for the Where are the Black Designer's website.
This heartfelt episode that also includes a shout out to Terrells mother, helps to inform and celebrate a linear path to a career in design that was supported very early by Terrells family.
Be inspired and encouraged by Terrells journey in this gem dropping cool & calm conversation.
Ere Santos | Beyond the Pixar Gates- An Animators Journey
Wrap Session 34: In this episode Ere Santos , currently a Animator Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, takes the Royal Court on a captivating story telling journey of rejections and triumphs as he pursues his dream of becoming an animator and working at PIXAR Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Born in Nigeria, raised in Scotland & currently living in Canada Ere, who started out as a self-taught animator describes his process and experience working on the critically acclaimed animation, Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse . Ere also shares how he hopes sharing his career journey, animation process and work across social media will inspires others especially other black kids to purse their animation dreams. Other animation movies Ere has worked on include Hotel Transylvania and Spirit Untamed.
This episode inspires and encourages the Royal Court to remember a dream deferred is not a dream denied.
Aladrian Goods | Learn & Lead: A Journey to UX Content Design
Wrap Session 33 Design & Culture: In this episode, The Royal Court heads to sunny San Diego, California where we wrap with music lover, Lakers fan and Content Design Manager at Intuit, Aladrian Goods. Aladrian candidly shares her journey from Marketing Events to UX Content Design, from working 3 part-time jobs at the same time to funding her Design Education, and describes the early days of ClubHouse helping to grow one of the largest Design rooms. Finally, Aladrian shares gems on leadership, becoming a People Manager, a list of resources that have helped her along her career including, Content Design by Sarah Richards and Writing is Designing by Micheal Metts , as well the songs she finds joy listening to by Stevie Wonder and Kendrick Lamar.
Another episode overflowing with Energy, Vibes and Inspiration. Listen Now!
Eric Puplampu | Growing & Amplifying UX in Ghana
Wrap Session 32 Design & Culture: From Accra, the capital of Ghana, Tech Wrap Queen heads back to the continent of Africa to wrap with Eric Puplampu, Co-Founder of UX GHANA and UX Product Designer. Eric shares his journey to a career in UX, his involvement in the early days of the popular Design Mentorship site ADPList ,as well as the inspiring & exciting origin, future, and importance of UX GHANA - a community of UX, UI, product designers and product managers shaping the future of the industry in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
Eric drops gems on the importance of tapping into local African design talent and recommends several African books on design to help with decolonizing design bookshelves Spirit of African Design and Contempary African Design Eric's passion and energy will leave the Royal Court ready to visit Ghana. Until then you can enjoy the rhythms from the popular Ghanaian artist Sarkodie that Eric mentions during the wrap session.
Designing Equity Programs | Founders of Project InkBlot
Wrap Session 31 Design & Culture: Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao join the Royal Court for an in-depth discussion on how they are helping leaders, organizations, and individuals co-design a more equitable world. As the founders of Project Inkblot, a BIPOC-owned and operated company that provides transformational design education, programs & support through Inkblot Design™ framework (formerly Design for Diversity™ or D4D) - their team equips people to become co-designers who with intentionality build for equitable futures.
In this wrap session, we learn how the two New Yorkers' and their creative paths working at magazines brought them together and how their own passions for Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) birthed Project Inkblot.
Jahan Mantin and Boyuan Gao also share how they lead, coach, and create the dialogue to help others understand what it really takes to design equitable products & experiences and describe how the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd shifted their mission.
Kevin Bethune| Dreams • Design & becoming a published Author
Wrap Session 30 Design & Culture: On the heels of his debut book," Reimagining Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation," out March 8, 2022, Kevin Bethune takes the Royal Court through his journey from his humble beginnings as a child in Detroit, his career in a nuclear power plant as a mechanical engineer before heading to Nike and now Founder and CCO of dreams • design + life.
In this episode of deep career & strategic design knowledge, Kevin drops gems on how stretch assignments helped him navigate a career into Design and how polymaths & pillars along his journey including Dori Tunstall at Ontario College of Art & Design University(OCAD), John Meda, fellow Nike Alumni D'Wanye Edwards and former Tech Wrap Queen guest Ian Spalter have all inspired his trajectory.
Dee Speed | Design Director in Grillz
Wrap Session 29 Design & Culture. From her roots in New Orleans to Silicon Valley, Design Director Dee Speed shares her journey from pivoting out of medical school all the way to leading a design team as the first Black Design Director at Alphabet where she heads up a team at YouTube Music. With her cool & sage advice, Dee takes the Royal Court through her 20-year professional journey including stops at Disney and Yahoo. This episode is filled with regal conversation including Dee's love for music, AfroBeats and wearing Grillz to meetings, to hard truths about being the first, mistakes people make when interviewing for design roles and how she wants to see less ego in Design.
Chidiebere Ibe | The Black Fetus Medical Illustrator
Wrap Session 27 Design & Culture. We kick off Season 3 of Tech Wrap Queen with an international episode with medical student and medical illustrator Chidiebere Ibe whose medical anatomy picture of a Black fetus in the womb went viral across social media & the world. In this episode Chidiebere shares how the loss of his mother at a young age further secured his mission to become a doctor & how another disappointing life event led to him creating the illustration of the black fetus.
A self-taught illustrator, Chidiebere describes how he used his talents to draw the human anatomy so he could learn while still applying to medical school. The lack of Black representation in medical books caused Chidiebere to create his own depictions of medical symptoms in an effort to help change the way Black people are viewed and treated in the health care ecosystem. The now-famous illustration of a black fetus inside of a the womb of a black mother has been featured across the world and on CNN, CBS This Morning and countless international articles.
This episode will encourage you to never give up on your dreams and leave you inspired.
Check out all of Chidiebere illustrations
AND THAT'S A WRAP | SEASON 2
Renee Reid aka "Thee Renee", the Queen of Tech Wrap Queen closes out Season 2 with a special shout out to the Royal Court and a reminder to get ready for Season 3, filled with even more table shakers and innovators in Design, Tech and Culture.
Be sure to catch up on all Season 2 episodes before the news ones are released in February 2022.
Harrison Wheeler | Designing & Doing Big Things
Wrap Session 26 Design and Culture. Get to know the amazing Harrison Wheeler in a whole new way. In this fun wrap session, this Senior Design Manager and host of the podcast Technically Speaking shares his journey from his college days as a featured football player in the EA sports NCAA video game, becoming a stock photo favorite for media campaigns and how more Black representation and leadership is Design is needed.
Maurice Cherry | Making Design & Podcast History
Wrap Session 25 Design & Culture. There are very few podcasts that can say they have been around for 8 years, there is only 1 that can say it's located in the Smithsonian Archives. Maurice Cherry, award-winning designer, host & creator of Revision Path podcast, shares his impressive journey from the early days of Revision Path to how 11 episodes of his podcast made history by becoming part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. Maurice has recorded over 400 episodes of this podcast that amplifies & showcases the world's Black graphic designers, web designers, and web developers,
Markell Baldwin | Moonshot straight to TESLA
Wrap Session 24 Tech & Culture. Geek out on this tech episode with founder, former Tesla engineer, & venture capital partner at Drive Capital, Markell Baldwin. Markell takes the Royal Court on an illuminated journey from his early days of discovering his love of physics with the help of a high school teacher, creating a path to Telsa during his college days at Purdue, to landing his dream right out of college as an engineer at Tesla where he also got to meet & do a fireside chat with Elon Musk.
Shelly Omilâdè Bell | Creating Access to Capital for Black Women
Wrap Session 23 Tech & Culture. Shelly Omilâdè Bell, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Black Girl Ventures (BGV) a foundation addressing the unique challenges Black/Brown women face in accessing social and financial capital, takes the Royal Court on a dynamic journey from launching BGV to landing a pivotal partnership with NIKE.
In this episode, Shelly provides critical advice for founders and shares how shifting her mindset from wanting validation from other Venture Capitalists has helped her keep the focus on the mission -to provide Black/Brown woman founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building.
Shelly was named one of the Top 100 Powerful Women in Business by Entrepreneur Mag, Entrepreneur of the Year by Technically DC, and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek
Eso Tolson | Artist and Vibe Curator
Wrap Session 22 on Design and Culture. Eso Tolson aka "Cool Urban Hippie" as he is known on social medial is an artist, designer, & proud plant zaddie. His gift & talent for lettering & words have recently landed him a viral tweet about REST and brands including Best Buy & Coca-Cola have commissioned his work. Listen to this wrap session as Eso takes the Royal Court through an artistic journey filled with good vibes and good energy. Learn how he turns his words of wisdom into powerful pieces of print art mantras including "Protect Your Energy" and "Do Dope Stuff Every Day" inspired by the book "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon.
Alexandria 'Lexi B' Butler | Freedom Fighting in Tech
Wrap Session 21 on Tech & Culture. This wrap session illuminates with Black Girl Magic. Standing on the shoulders of her ancestors, Alexandria Butler better known as "Lexi B" is a proud self-proclaimed freedom fighter, storyteller & founder of the now 10,000 strong international group Sista Circle Black Women in Tech. A group first started to help Lexi navigate her own tech career journey as a Black woman, which has taken her to companies including AirBnB, Facebook ( now Meta) and Twitter; Sista Circle Black Women in Tech has grown to become an international community of advice, guidance, and sisterhood not only helping women find careers in tech but how to secure the bag.
Creator of Unfiltered By Lexi B
Darren Hood | The UX Avenger
Wrap Session 20 on Design & Tech is a spicey one. Darren Hood is the outspoken passionate UX professional, an author of 97 things that every UX Practitioners Should Know, and a podcaster from The World of UX. Darren takes the Royal Court through a dynamic discussion of many UX topics including bootcamps, piracy in the industry, his experiences of being trolled for calling out unethical practices in UX and more.
Follow Darren and his work.
Dr. Lesley Ann Noel | Decolonizing Design & Research Accountability
Wrap session 19 on Design with Dr. Lesley Ann Noel, academic scholar, design researcher, and creator of the Designers Critical Alphabet, takes the Royal Court on a design and research critical thinking journey often embraced and discussed in academia but not as much in industry.
Dr. Noel challenges UX and Design practitioners to decolonize bookshelves as well recognizing how identities play a part in design & research for both practitioners and participants.
Books & resources mentioned in this podcast:
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed- Paulo Friere
- Research is Ceremony- Shawn Wilson
- Epistemologies of the South- Boaventura de Sousa Santos
- Designers Critical Alphabet- Dr. Lesley Ann Noel https://criticalalphabet.com/
James Baduor | From Spreadsheet to Sequoia Capital Start Up
In Wrap Session 18, James Baduor Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of the hugely popular design mentor site www.adplist.org shares the amazing journey from spreadsheet to startup with his cofounder Felix Lee. From opposite ends of the globe and all virtually, the two met over LinkedIn and together in the midst of the pandemic have built a now Sequoia Capital-backed startup that is helping to democratized mentorship globally across industries, starting with Design and Research. Listen to this inspiring episode as James shares his journey and gems from his home in Accra, Ghana.
What I learned in my First Year as a Podcaster- A celebration of Tech Wrap Queen Year 1
On the heels of National Podcast Day, Tech Wrap Queen is celebrating 1 YEAR!
In this special Anniversary Episode your Queen, Thee Renee, the host of Tech Wrap Queen shares with the Royal Court 3 Lessons learned in launching her first Podcast and what to look forward to in the year ahead. With a new logo & branding, Tech Wrap Queen is ready to bring even More Energy, More Vibes, and More Inspiration to the Royal Court.
Ian Spalter | The Design Jedi
Wrap Session 17 | From the suburbs of Westchester County, New York just north of Manhattan, to Silicon Valley and now Tokyo, Japan; Design Leader, Ian Spalter authentically shares his personal and professional journey from riding his bike as a kid to his very first job, discovering design and ultimately becoming the Head of Design at Instagram before going on to become the current Head of Instagram Japan.
In this exclusive wrap session, Ian also takes the Tech Wrap Queen listeners, The Royal Court, through his experience being featured in the Netflix hit design series Abstract the Art of Design & what he would like to see more of and less of from the Design Industry.
Jen White Johnson | Designing for Disability Activism
Wrap Session 16 Welcomes the amazing Jen White Johnson, Design Activist and Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design & Digital Media Art at Bowie State University, the oldest HBCU in Maryland.
Jen shares her personal journey to understanding her son's disability as well as her own while creating & designing a new narrative in how Black and Brown disable lives are portrayed in society. She also shares with the Royal Court how she would like to see companies seek out and work with HBCU Design programs.
Her photography and design work has been featured in numerous print, online publications and creative collaborative projects, including Print Magazine, The Washington Post, Maryland State Education Association and the 2019 Women’s March on Washington, and in two grammy-nominated visual art designs.
Follow Jens activism & design work:
Ty Heath | Transforming through Leadership
Wrap Session 15 | Director of the B2B Institute at LinkedIn and Founder of the TransformHER conference, Tyrona "Ty" Heath, takes the Royal Court on a guided journey through her personal & professional journey to leadership as the former president of the Employee Resource Group, Black Inclusion Group (B.I.G) to the creation & growth of the popular TransformHER event. The premier conference is dedicated to supporting professional Black women & women of color in technology and their allies. Listen to the gems Ty drops as she shares insights on leadership, showing up fully in spaces as a Black Woman & gearing up for the free virtual conference taking place on Friday, March 19, 2021
Register for TransformHer: https://www.linkedin.com/events/transformher-216765434658609078272/
Antionette Carrol | Equity by Design
Wrap Session 14 is power-packed with personal stories, gems & hard truths spoken with unapologetic passion by the incredible Antionette Carroll, TED speaker & fellow, designer & redesigner for Justice and Equity. Antionette is the Founder & CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri but also having global impact and influence. The organization empowers Black, Latin and Indigenous youth to be creative equity leaders helping to design the communities they live in & beyond.
Find out more about Creative Reaction Lab and get involved:
Maurice Woods | Life Cycles & Design
Wrap Session 13- Founder & Executive Director of Inneract Project, Designer & Leader Maurice Woods joins the Royal Court to authentically share his personal journey to Design and discuss his work leading Inneract Project; the nonprofit that empowers underrepresented youth through design education and links them to opportunities to explore design in career and life.
To get involved, partner and find out more about Inneract Project be sure to follow them and visit their sites:
The Queen is Back: Welcome to Season 2
A new lineup of amazing guests is ready to bless the Royal Court. Be sure to subscribe to the Tech Wrap Queen YouTube Channel to view video content of interviews and follow across social media to stay up to date.
Wrap Session 12: THAT'S A WRAP for SEASON 1
A special message to the Royal Court
Wrap Session 11: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: DJ M.O.S.
2020 has introduced a lot of things good bad and ugly. One of the brightest experiences has been the birth of the virtual DJ that has helped people get through these times by creating a sense of community through music. DJ M.O.S. and his virtual experience, Club Insomnia takes followers on a journey through music that will leave you feeling nostalgic and euphoric.
In this wrap session, DJ M.O.S. shares his journey making the pivot to streaming his DJ sets on Instagram & Twitch , his relationship with DJ DNICE, the strong DJ community, his experiences playing in Abu Dhabi and Sean Combs (Diddy) birthday party.
Wrap Session 10: Sourcing Gems with Recruiting & Sourcing Industry Leader Maisha Cannon
Affectionately known as the Talent Genie, Maisha Cannon brings "oodles of creativity" and tons of resources to the Talent Acquisition industry. This International speaker and leader in the recruiting and sourcing space shares her gems on her industry experiences through Entertainment and Tech, best practices for Job Seekers, and why showing up authentically is a process.
Wrap Session 9 : Planting Tech Roots with AI Leader & Founder Dr. Nashlie Sephus
From her humble roots in Jackson, Mississippi, to obtaining a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech and later becoming the CTO of a startup (PartPic), lead by Black women and acquired by Amazon; Dr. Nashlie Sephus is on a mission to ensure her community is empowered and equipped. In this wrap session, Nashlie shares her experiences as an AI Leader from college to startup life and now Amazon and also drops gems on the importance of rooting & planting tech seeds back home through her nonprofit The Bean Path.
Wrap Session 8: A worldwide journey through ATL to CEO with Rhonda Allen, CEO of /dev/color
Rhonda Allen was recently named and CEO of /dev/color, a nonprofit organization whose mission and movement is: " To empower Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders". From her international experiences living and teaching abroad to her southern roots in Jacksonville, Arkansas, Rhonda shares gems from her career journey as well the important work of /dev/color, their members, and the organization's impact on the tech industry.
Wrap Session 7: Daring to Design with Designer & Pentagram Partner Eddie Opara
The South London raised Eddie Opara jokingly admits he should be a Chelsea Futbol Club supporter but actually roots for Tottenham who's motto "To Dare is to Do" has become a way of his design life. Eddie is one of 25 Partners at the world-renowned design firm Pentagram which has created some legendary and popular pieces of work including most recently, Saturday Night Lives opening title sequence.
In this wrap session, Eddie shares his design wisdom and speaks on his projects including Pyer Moss, Samsung, and having former First Lady Michelle Obama where the brand identity he created for re-inc , a brand founded by members of the US Women Soccer Team.
After this wrap session, be sure to check out the Pentagram episode Eddie mentions on Abstract: The Art of Design, featuring partner Paula Scher.
Wrap Session 6: It's All About Love with VP of Brand at Blavity Inc. Mrs. Love Beach
Immediately upon meeting, speaking, and hearing Love Beach you cannot help but fall in love with first, her name of course, but also the person.
As the VP of Brand at Blavity, Inc., the largest network of platforms, experiential, and lifestyle brands serving the multifaceted lives of Black millennials, Love is responsible for brand management and leads the creative & digital production teams.
In this episode Love shares her very personal candid stories of navigating life & her career paths, finding success being an executive of strategy, and how Blavity, as well as herself, are both thriving during the pandemic.
Wrap Session 5 Special Edition: A Warrior Goes Viral with Ashkia Trujillo
In this special edition of Tech Wrap Queen, the recent viral sensation, Ashkia Trujillo aka Self Made Warrior, takes us on a journey through Native American & Indigenous Tradition, Heritage, and Culture. A video shot by PhotoJournalist Sharon Chischilly, of him dancing on a downtown street in Alburgque, New Mexico after elections results were announced, has been viewed over 5million times.
In the midst of the celebration, with cars bumper to bumper and honking horns, Ashkia jumped out of his vehicle with a Red Chicago's Bulls hat in hand and danced a Men's Northern Traditional Pow Wow dance and won the hearts of a global community.
This month is Native American Heritage Month and this episode is rich in culture, emotions, and much learnings. For All.
Wrap Session 4: Creating for the Culture | Editor in Chief & Creative Director Mike Nicholls
Mike Nicholls- Founder, Creative Director, Designer, Graphic Artist, Editor in Chief & Mastermind behind UMBER MAGAZINE magazine drops life and career gems as he shares his personal & professional journey from the East Coast to the West Coast while schooling the Royal Court on the importance and beauty of Print Media.
A staple of the Oakland Black creative community and beyond, @thisisumber visually tells the stories & captures vivid imagery of the Black diaspora in music, design, culture, movement, and more. If you have ever felt, read or just flipped through an Umber Magazine, you know that you are experiencing a unique piece of print media. If you haven't yet, you will want one after listening to Mike's energy, laugh, and passion for his craft.
Wrap Session 3: Research Real Talk with Design Leader Ovetta Sampson
LISTEN. If you are a UX Researcher, Designer, AI enthusiast, heck if you just want to hear from a Powerhouse Black Woman in these UX, HCI, Design streets from the South Side Chicago, you definitely want to tune in to this Energy, Knowledge and Real Talk packed Wrap Session with Principal Creative Director Ovetta Sampson.
We talk Design Research, how knowing what NOT to design is important, her career journey to the world-renowned design firm & genesis of design thinking IDEO to a Design Leader at Microsoft and the importance of supporting each other as Black Women in Design Research.
All of this built on Ovetta's mission which she shares- to WIDEN THE NARRATIVE.
Wrap Session 2: Silicon Valley Engineering VP & SneakerHead Sabry Tozin
In this wrap session, Sabry Tozin takes us through the pressures he encountered during college to the pressures & successes of being a Black Silicon Valley Executive. He drops gems on life and career lessons learned from having a different perspective on failure, shares insights on leadership, Jordans, and makes us laugh reminiscing about throwback video games like the classics Command & Conquer and Galaga.
Wrap Session 1: From History Teacher to Making History with KAI FRAZIER
Get ready to be Inspired
KAI FRAZIER Founder and CEO of KAI XR, a VR EdTech company, takes us on an incredible candid personal journey from her days in DC working with several museums such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, all the way to the tech streets of Oakland where she is now building the most inclusive and accessible, educational VR platform where kids can explore, dream, & create.
KAI has created VR experiences with the Obama Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery to Jennifer Doudna at UC BERKELEY, one of the scientists responsible for the scientific breakthrough CRISPR which was recently awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
So many Gems in this Wrap Session. Enjoy.
The Intro: The Queen Has Arrived
In this energy-packed inaugural episode of Tech Wrap Queen, Renee "The Queen" Reid introduces listeners to the journey they will be on as she prepares to take them through the soon to be released Episodes of Season 1 of Tech Wrap Queen; wrap sessions on the intersecting worlds of Tech, Design & Culture.