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Valeisha Butterfield Jones

Chief Executive Officer, WEEN and Head of Black Community Engagement, Google

large-valeishaRecognized by ESSENCE Magazine as a top 40 executive under 40, Valeisha Butterfield Jones has blazed a trail in public and private sectors for more than a decade.

Valeisha Butterfield Jones is the Head of Black Community Engagement for Google and the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN). Valeisha is also the author of the top selling book The Girlprint, a mentorship guide for women.

As a college student, Valeisha began working full-time for music legends Wu Tang Clan and for former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. After graduation, Valeisha was recruited by HBO Boxing and served as the Executive Assistant to the President of HBO Sports.

Valeisha returned to her North Carolina roots and served as the Field Director for Chief Justice Henry Frye of the N.C. Supreme Court. After a devastating loss on election night, Valeisha moved to New York City to further pursue her entertainment dreams and landed an unpaid internship with music mogul Russell Simmons.

Valeisha was a professional standout and turned her entertainment aspirations into action by becoming one of the youngest Executive Director’s of a national organization at the time. Butterfield Jones served as the Program Manager, Director of Sponsorship and Events, Vice President and eventually the National Executive Director of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network over a seven-year period.

During this time, she was introduced to then Senator Barack Obama and began serving as a volunteer for his 2008 Presidential campaign. Valeisha recruited celebrity surrogates to endorse and support Senator Obama and received a call soon after election night to serve in the Obama Administration.

Valeisha served by Presidential appointment in the Administration of U.S. President Barack Obama as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the International Trade Administration and as the National Youth Vote Director for the 2012 Obama for America campaign.

Valeisha has been widely credited for her magnetic relationship with youth culture and her role turning out young Americans during the 2004, 2008, 2012 Presidential elections. Valeisha also served as the National Ambassador for the United Negro College Fund’s Empower Me Tour in 2014 and 2015.

Valeisha has been recognized by Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, Essence Top 40 under 40, Ebony Top 100, Jet, Black Enterprise and Sister 2 Sister Magazines as a leading young executive in the United States with her finger on the pulse of all things youth, entertainment and politics. Valeisha has also appeared on OWN TV’s Light Girls, Aspire TV’s Exhale, Arise News, Arise 360, Centric TV’s Morning Cup, BET News, BET’s 106 and Park and others.

Valeisha was born in Wilson, NC and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University. She currently serves on the board of directors for iVote (www.ivoteforamerica.org) and the Hip Hop Sisters Network (www.hiphopsisters.org).

Valeisha is married to 2016 NBA champion Dahntay Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers and gave birth to her first child in 2012. She is the daughter of U.S. Congressman G. K Butterfield and N.C. State Legislator Jean Farmer Butterfield.

Follow Butterfield Jones on Twitter/Instagram at @valeisha

Sabrina Thompson

Founding Member, National Board of Directors

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Sabrina Thompson is a filmmaker, photographer, activist and owner of KUU productions (www.kuuproductions.com), a Brooklyn-based dynamic media production company specializing in producing campaigns, digital stories and short documentaries for clients such as HBO, BET,SAKS 5th Avenue, Verizon, RocNation Sports and more.  In addition, she was hand picked to be a cinematographer for Hillary Rodham Clinton focusing on issues involving Black women during her Presidential campaign.

In 2007, she co-founded WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network), a NYC based women’s non-profit which currently has 80,000 members. Thompson is a former inner city high school teacher and a former producer for Court Television Network and several Columbia TriStar TV syndicated talk shows.

In 2012, she went on the wildest adventure of a lifetime and appeared on Survivor on CBS where she was the runner-up of the Emmy award-winning program.  Currently, she is directing her first TV pilot, a comedy about inner city teachers, and developing a few television dramas. When Thompson is not traveling the world filming projects, she speaks with teens around the country about entrepreneurship and how to execute their dreams.

Kristi Henderson

Founding Member, National Board of Directors

board-kristiCo-Founder Kristi Henderson calls North Carolina home and the New York/New Jersey area her home away from home. Raised in a rural farming town she left the tobacco fields of Warrenton, NC to attend Howard University earning a BS in Psychology with a Minor in Business Administration and her Masters from The London School of Economics in England. Not sure how to bridge the worlds of pop culture, lifestyle and entertainment with her degrees she worked in various industry positions until she found her match, Public Relations and Branding.

With over 10 years of experince, she has worked with the leading PR firms and companies; Weber Shandwick Worldwide, M Booth and Associates, 5W Public Relations, Carol’s Daughter Inc, Essence Communications Partners/Suede magazine, Vibe Vixen Magazine. She is also a trained MAC Cosmetics make up artist. Currently, Kristi is the CEO of her own boutique Public Relations and Branding firm, The 2fifty Seven Group. He client roster includes industry executives, lifestyle brands and artists.

Ms. Henderson’s innate passion for social, cultural and community issues surpasses national boarders. Using her own unique culture, perspective and hip-hop as a vehicle, Kristi has literally traveled around the world twice, creating a global platform to dialogue and demand equality, justice and respect for all people of color, religions and genders.

Lauren Lake

Founding Member, National Board of Directors

board-laurenAsk Lauren Lake, and she’ll give you the lowdown on hot topics concerning life, love and the law. The multi-talented lawyer, television host, entertainer, and designer dishes out her no-nonsense advice, sharp commentary, and bold expert opinions on many of today’s popular television shows. Lauren appears as a legal expert for the “Dr. Phil” show, laying down the law to at risk youth and families in crisis. She has served as guest host/anchor and legal analyst for MSNBC and Court TV, and is a regular on-air commentator for CNN, Headline News, Fox News Channel, and CNBC. Lauren shares her poignant points of view on everything from current criminal trials, civil cases, race, politics, and women’s issues to the latest pop culture news. Lake is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Wayne State University Law School, in her native Detroit, Michigan.

Currently licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Michigan, Lauren is a solo practitioner concentrating in entertainment and criminal law. Not only is she a powerful voice in media, Lauren is also a professional vocalist, musician, and a seasoned performer. She’s sung background for and toured the world with many multi-platinum recording artists including Sean “P-Diddy Combs”, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and JT Taylor, formerly of Kool & the Gang. She has written and produced songs for artists signed to major record labels including Sony Music and J Records. Lake writes and records her own original material and continues to perform throughout the New York metropolitan area. Lauren Lake remains committed to motivating others to pursue their passions and get the most out of life and love, with her strategies for “Limitless Living”, “Negotiating in Relationships” and her upcoming book for successful single women, entitled “Girl! Let Me Tell You…”

WEEN Mission

The Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of women and men of all ages and races committed to supporting, promoting and defending the balanced, positive portrayal of women in entertainment and society.

WEEN Vision

WEEN is comprised of individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life of women worldwide. Representing the entertainment industry, WEEN has taken a leadership role in the balanced portrayal of women and partners with like-minded organizations and individuals to provide educational programs targeting women.

WEEN grants scholarships each year to deserving college students and young women entrepreneurs. WEEN also provides mentorship match-making and programs year round with the following focus:

Health Education

Financial Literacy

Career Development

Personal Advancement

Join us today by becoming a WEEN member at no cost and supporting a program in a city near you!