Join us for a virtual panel discussion and Q & A with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) alumni business owners. Learn from four BIPOC Badgers in different industries about the unique challenges and successes they experienced when starting their businesses, and get candid advice specific to the BIPOC experience. This panel will be moderated by Beny Pérez-Reyes ’09.
This is a casual lunch and learn in which attendees will remain off camera and ask questions via live chat.
Alexis Avila MS’02 — owner of Prepped and Polished Tutoring and Test Preparation
Lisa Harris ’97 — author, speaker, and CEO/founder of Lisa Harris & Company
Reena Vokoun ’98 — founder and CEO of Passion Fit
Ja’Mel Ashely Ware ’11 — founder of the cultural event production company Intellectual Ratchet
RSVP by 11 a.m. CDT on April 28. Registration is required to access this free virtual event.
Schedule and speakers subject to change.
Questions? Email Pasha Thao ’16 or call 608-590-5265.
Alexis Avila MS’02 is the owner of Prepped and Polished Tutoring and Test Preparation, which he founded in 1999. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002 with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Prior to launching his company, he worked as an adolescent counselor for runaway and homeless teens at Bridge over Troubled Waters in Boston. He also worked for one year as a guidance intern at Madison Memorial High School. In 2010, he was a finalist for Big Brother of the Year with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts.
Reena Vokoun ’98 is the founder and CEO of Passion Fit, launched in 2014. She is an author, TEDx speaker, media spokesperson, certified wellness expert, personal and professional development coach and consultant, content creator, and marketer. She graduated with a bachelors degree in marketing and management from UW–Madison in 1998 and earned a master’s degree in advertising and communications from Boston University in 2006. She spent years in marketing, sales, and business development leadership roles for Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET, GE, and Grokker. Vokoun is a proud wife, mom, and first-generation Indian American who lives in California with her family.
Ja’Mel Ashely Ware ’11 is an actor, entrepreneur, public speaker, and founder of the cultural event production company Intellectual Ratchet. In 2017, the Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN) awarded him the Spotlight Award for his community contributions and developments. In 2018, the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce named him Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2019, he was named on POZ Magazine’s POZ list of 100 advocates in the HIV field. In 2020, THRIVE SS rewarded him for his innovative approach in restoring Project Innovate. Ashely Ware centers himself through his faith in God and uplifts his peers through personal prayer and motivation. He has achieved educational and personal success by following the motto: “#LiveLifeIR, Live Life Whole. Be your complete self, and live life fully.” His 2021 motto is “Stay the course!”