By News Americas Now
Caribbean-born and women with Caribbean heritage, can be found in every facet of the United States – from the military to NASA to business, health care, tech. fashion, and music. Here are 10 you should know this Women’s History Month:
1: NIKKIA REVEILLAC
Trinidad & Tobago national Nikkia Reveillac is the Head of research at Twitter. As Head of Research, Reveillac is charged with helping the multimedia platform develop products and policies that facilitate healthy conversations among its 330 million monthly active users. She was born and raised in Arima and went to Arima Girls’ RC School, then St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph.
Reveillac told Trinidad Newsday she doesn’t have to “try hard” to maintain her culture in the US as it “just comes naturally,” and that her “Trinidadian and Caribbean energy” is always appreciated by those she comes into contact with. At age 18, after completing A-levels, she moved to Miami, Florida. Nikkia did a degree in international business at Barry University, Miami. After her degree, she moved to New York in 2001, which she said is a great place to “try to figure things out,” since there are so many opportunities. During that period, she taught dance classes. A cover letter she wrote earned her a meeting and then an entry-level position at Colgate-Palmolive. She spent 13 years climbing the ranks, living in the U.S., Switzerland, and Mexico as she worked her way to Director of Insights for the company. She joined Twitter last year.
2: DR. CAMILLE WARDROP ALLEYNE
Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne was born in Trinidad & Tobago and is the only woman of Caribbean descent in a top position at NASA.
Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne is Trinidad-and-Tobago-born US rocket engineer, space scientist, internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, educational leader and science ambassador.
Her accomplishments in the field of space exploration have been extraordinary. In the highly technical fields of science and engineering where women are in the minority, she is one of the most-recognized women in aerospace engineering and one of the few women of color to serve in a senior technical management position at NASA. Dr. Alleyne is also an expert in the areas of space, science and technology application in international development, specifically focused on developing countries. She is renowned for her work on global STEM education for girls, which she does through The Brightest Stars Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded in 2007 that is dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring young women to be future leaders through the study of science, math and technology.
3: DR. MARCELLA NUNEZ-SMITH
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith was born in the US VI.
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith was born in the US Virgin Islands and is now the co-chair of President Joseph R. Biden’s Biden task force on health equity.
The American physician is also an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine, where she is also associate dean for Health Equity Research and founding director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center. She co-chaired the Biden-Harris transition’s COVID-19 Advisory Board from November 2020 to January 2021.
4: MAXINE WILLIAMS
Facebook’s Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams – born in T&T.
The Global Head of Diversity at social media giant Facebook was born in Trinidad & Tobago. Maxine Williams, a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Yale University, is a former attorney and journalist who now develops strategies to harness the unlimited potential of Facebook’s talent while managing a high performing team of diversity program managers from the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. Prior to Facebook, she served as the Director of Diversity for a global law firm and has represented clients in criminal, civil and industrial courts in both her native Trinidad and in the U.K. at the Privy Council. Her mandate spans people, product and policy spheres, reporting directly to the COO and serving as a member of Facebook’s most senior executive leadership body under the CEO.
5: ANN-MARIE CAMPBELL
Jamaican Ann-Marie Campbell has been named executive vice president of U.S. stores and international operations for Home Depot
Jamaican Ann-Marie Campbell has been named executive vice president of U.S. stores and international operations for Home Depot, adding responsibility for all operations, business functions and strategy for the company’s Canada and Mexico businesses to her current responsibilities.
It was one of five senior leadership promotions the home improvement giant announced on Oct. 2, 2020.
Campbell began her career with The Home Depot in 1985 as a cashier in South Florida and managed to work her way up to the top post. In this role, she leads the company’s three U.S. operating divisions comprised of nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and the bulk of the company’s nearly 400,000 associates.
Campbell learnt her first lessons in retail from her grandmother in Jamaica, a successful retailer in her own right. And after more than 30 years with the company, Campbell brings a deep understanding of The Home Depot’s operations, culture and customers. During her career at the company, she has served in a variety of positions, including store manager, district manager and regional vice president. She has also served as vice president of operations, vice president of merchandising and special orders, vice president of retail marketing and sales for Home Depot Direct, vice president of vendor services and, most recently, president of the Southern Division of The Home Depot. Campbell is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in business administration. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor society, and the National Scholars Honor Society and currently serves on the boards for Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, Barnes & Noble and Potbelly Corporation. In 2014, Fortune Magazine listed her among the top 50 most powerful women in business.
6: NIA DACOSTA
Nia Da Costa, born to Jamaican parents in New York, is first Black woman to direct a Marvel film
When Disney’s Marvel Studios tapped Nia DaCosta last year to direct the upcoming “Captain Marvel” sequel – due to hit theaters in 2022, she became the first Black woman director to tackle the Marvel Universe.
The 31-year-old at the time had only released one movie in theaters and raised roughly $5,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund a short film, called “Little Woods,” about two North Dakota sisters who have to cross the Canadian border illegally to obtain medicine for their mother.
She later expanded that into her first feature film in 2018, winning the Tribeca Film Festival’s Nora Ephron award for the best woman writer-director and catching the eye of Academy Award-winner Jordan Peele.
Calling DaCosta a “bold new talent,” Peele hired her to direct and co-write his much-anticipated horror sequel “Candyman,” which will be in theaters in August 2021 after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. DaCosta takes over for Anna Bodn and Ryan Fleck, who directed the first pic to massive box office success. Marvel is known for switching up its directors on its popular franchises like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America to give the next installment a fresh voice, and had been meeting with candidates for the past couple of months.
7: MONA SCOTT-YOUNG
Mona Scott-Young was born in Haiti and is now CEO of Monami Entertainment, best known for producing the VH1 reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop.
Mona Scott-Young was born in Haiti and is now CEO of Monami Entertainment, best known for producing the VH1 reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop. The media mogul, television producer, executive producer, and entrepreneur has worked in the music business for many years and helped launch and revamp the careers of artists such as Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Q-Tip, Foxy Brown, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Fantasia and Missy Elliott. She transitioned into television in 2005, producing The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott on UPN and creating her own television production company, Monami Entertainment. In 2006, Jim Ackerman, a director at VH1 at the time, approached her to help develop a reality television series centered on rapper Jim Jones. The series, now known as Love & Hip Hop, went on to become a huge success, spawning a media franchise that included the spin-offs Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Chrissy & Mr. Jones, K. Michelle: My Life, Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood and Leave It To Stevie.
8: YVETTE NOEL-SCHURE
Grenada-born Yvette Noel-Schure is most known as “Beyoncé’s Publicist,” but she is vice president of Schure Media Group.
She is a highly regarded music and entertainment PR executive who has developed press campaigns for a diverse roster of artists, such as Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Jessica Simpson, Prince, John Legend, Adele, Wyclef Jean, and Destiny’s Child, including each of that group’s individual members: Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. She also oversaw media launches for Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night and Beyoncé’s I Am… Sasha Fierce.
9: FELISHA NOEL
Grenadian American designer Fe Noel.
The Grenada-American designer known now as Fe Noel, has come from working out of her mother’s Brooklyn basement to a Nike, collaboration, her designs in Bloomingdales and with both Gabriel Union and former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing custom Fe Noel ensembles. Noel also has presented her collection at New York Fashion Week FW20. Her skills were self-taught through application and hands-on experience. Fe Noel has been featured in Harlem’s Fashion Row, Vogue Italia, various music videos, and PROM Creative film “OLGA.” Noel is heavily influenced by her Grenadian heritage and large cohesive family. She especially holds her mother and grandmother in high regard, crediting them for showing what drive, determination and humble hearts will earn you.
10: CLEMENTINA RICHARDSON
Bahamas-born Clementina Richardson is the founder of Envious Lashes. She is a pioneer in the field of eyelash styling and her skill, speed and artistry are a testament to her experience and have made her one of New York’s most sought after lash stylists. When she first began in 2007, she was one of only eight eyelash stylists listed in the city. Word of mouth spread like wildfire and soon Clementina was driving with her table, lamp and eyelash portfolio to an ever-growing clientele across the 5 boroughs of New York City, trying to keep up with the demand.
Her passion turned her talent into a true art form and in 2011 she opened her own beautiful boutique salon on 5th Ave in Manhattan. Since then, she has built up an incredible list of international and celebrity clientele, including Mary J Blige, Naomi Campbell, Kate Capshaw and Nicole Baharie among many who keep coming back again and again for her amazing, personalized attention and artistry. She also has a second salon in Long Island and the third opening in Miami, FL.