Business & Technology

Alicia Boler Davis Selected 2018 Black Engineer of the Year

Alicia Boler, a General Motors executive, will be the sixth woman in the 32-year history of the scientific and technical awards to be named Black Engineer of the Year.

Baltimore, MD — US Black Engineer (USBE) magazine’s annual BEYA STEM Conference will recognize GM Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis with the Black Engineer of the Year Award on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the BEYA Gala in Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.

Aligned with the mission of USBE, one of the oldest diversity magazines for scientific and technical careers, and USBE‘s BEYA STEM Conference that promotes achievement and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, Ms. Boler Davis is active in providing inspiration and motivation for middle school girls who like math and science, mentoring at General Motors, and speaking to college students on leadership, and driving change.

Numerous organizations and publications have recognized Boler Davis for her community service. She serves on the board of directors at General Mills, is a member of the Northwestern University McCormick Advisory Council and a board trustee of the Care House of Oakland County. Boler Davis also serves as Executive Liaison for the GM WOMEN leadership board.

Alicia Boler Davis was named executive vice president, General Motors Global Manufacturing in June 2016. Her responsibilities include manufacturing engineering and labor relations. She is a member of the GM Senior Leadership Team and the GM Korea Board of Directors. She reports to GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra.

Prior to this assignment, Boler Davis was senior vice president, Global Connected Customer Experience since December 2014, where she led the company’s connected customer activities, including infotainment, OnStar and GM’s Urban Active personal mobility initiatives.

In February 2012, Boler Davis was appointed U.S. vice president, Customer Experience. Later that year, her role was expanded to vice president, Global Quality, and U.S. Customer Experience. Under her leadership, GM improved vehicle quality and fundamentally redefined customer care and its interaction with customers through social media channels and Customer Engagement Centers.

Previously, Boler Davis was simultaneously the Plant manager of the Michigan Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping facilities, as well as vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer, North America Small Cars, positions she held until January 2012. Prior to that, she was plant manager at the Lansing, Mich., Consolidated Operations and Arlington Assembly in Texas, where she was the first African-American woman to be a plant manager at a GM vehicle manufacturing plant.

Boler Davis began her GM career in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer at the Midsize/Luxury Car Division in Warren, Mich. During her career, she has held many positions of increasing responsibility in Manufacturing, Engineering and Product Development.

Boler Davis has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Indiana University.

When Boler Davis accepts the torch as the thirty-second Black Engineer of the Year in the nation’s capital February 2018, she will be the sixth woman to receive this award from the Council of Engineering Deans of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which graduate more than 33 percent of all black engineers in the United States.

The list includes Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Wanda Austin, former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, Lydia W. Thomas, former president and CEO of Mitretek Systems (now Noblis), and Stephanie C. Hill, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin Corporation, a longtime corporate supporter of the annual BEYA STEM Conference.

As the 2018 Black Engineer of the Year nominee, Boler Davis is recognized as a global ambassador of goodwill for underrepresented minorities in science and technology, and for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She will keynote the 2018 Council of Engineering Deans of Historically Black Colleges and Universities meeting at one of the historically black colleges and universities with ABET-accreditation.

Kids and Technology: What to Know

November 10, 2017

(StatePoint) – If you’ve handed over your tablet to your children more than once, it may be time to consider getting them their own device. There are a lot of great children’s tablets that offer so much more than passive games and videos.                                                                                                                                                    

“Tablets can be a great source of learning if the content is relevant, engaging and age-appropriate,” said Dr. Clement Chau, director of learning for LeapFrog.

Before you take the plunge, here are some things to keep in mind.


Kids are not necessarily known for their delicate handling of breakable objects. So, look for kid-friendly products that are durable, and built specifically for kids’ hands.


Seek out tablets pre-loaded with fun and useful age-appropriate content that blends education and fun. For example, those from LeapFrog, a leader in innovative learning toys, offer well-rounded curricula important to children’s development. The new LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition and LeapPad Ultimate feature preloaded content teaching core skills like mathematics, reading and science, as well as music, puzzles, logic and creativity to help prepare children for preschool and beyond. Both tablets offer access to a learning library of more than 1,000 apps, eBooks and videos and feature built-in technology that assess kids’ progress to personalize lessons. Additionally, LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition comes with a free trial of LeapFrog Academy, an interactive learning program for 3-6-year-olds that guides kids on learning adventures they can play on the go.


Remember, a tablet is not just a toy, it’s two-way access to the world at-large. But you can keep kids safe with a few precautions. Look for tablets that are kid-safe right of the box, with features like kid-friendly web browsers that provide access to pre-selected websites. Then, take advantage of parental controls to manage features.


If you find that your child becomes inseparable from his or her new tablet, consider setting rules like no tablets at the dinner table or for one hour before bedtime, and use built-in parental controls to set time limits. Even when devices are strictly being used for educational fun, it’s still important to limit screen time and strike some balance.

As tablets continue to top children’s wish lists, parents should do their research. With the right devices, apps and safety features, tablets can provide opportunities to engage kids’ creativity and knowledge.

Woman Entrepreneur Makes History After Raising $1 Million For Her Legal Tech Startup

November 3, 2017

(BLACKNEWS.COM) – Kristina Jones has worked hard to overcome enormous odds to became the 14th African American female founder to ever raise $1 million for her tech startup. Her San Francisco-based company, Court Buddy, is a patent-pending service that matches people with attorneys based on their budget. It’s a win/win for small firm lawyers and for clients with limited budgets.

Deemed “the Priceline for legal services” by Huffington Post, Court Buddy’s goal is to set new standards in the legal industry by providing a unique matchmaking service to anyone anywhere in the world. The service started in Florida and has now expanded throughout the Southeast, California, New York, Texas, and several other states.

Overcoming the challenges

Entrepreneurs in general are challenged with finding capital to start or expand their businesses. But it is substantially more difficult for Black women entrepreneurs who receive only 0.2 percent of overall venture capital dollars. On top of that, the amount they receive is considerably less, averaging about $36,000, compared to the average $1.3 million awarded to white male startup owners.

But that didn’t stop Kristina. In fact, she viewed her being an African American woman as an advantage. Being told no so often just made her more determined to succeed. She also said that when she was looking for funding, she looked far and wide which enabled her to achieve a more diverse group of investors. It meant she had to go outside her comfort zone and digging deeper.

Her advice to other women

Kristina believes that women “undersell our power and the success of our businesses.” She adds, “For minority women, we need to understand that we do have a seat at the table and it’s about believing in ourselves and not letting a ‘no’ stop us from moving forward.”

She also encourages other entrepreneurs to endure and go through the much-needed refinement process that every business must go through. “You can’t learn and develop the skills and tough skin that it takes to achieve the results without going through the process,” she says.

For more details about Court Buddy, visit or follow them on Facebook at


Single Mom Turns a $32 Bank Balance into an International Hair Care Brand — Ships Over 3,000 Orders Each Month!

November 2, 2017

(BLACKNEWS.COM) – Just 30 days before her grueling divorce was final, Gwen Jimmere from Detroit, Michigan, found herself being laid off from her job. As the breadwinner in the marriage, she was forced to pay the bulk of the attorney fees, which left her with nothing more than $32 in the bank. She was also now a single mother of their 2-year old son, Caiden.

But Gwen saw this as a new beginning, and transformed the “set-back” into a “set-up” for what is now Naturalicious – an international natural hair care brand that ships over 3,000 orders a month.

Started out in the basement

In the beginning, she mixed, bottled, packaged and shipped every order herself out of her basement. Making just enough to pay her bills, she next approached a then-not-yet-open-for-business Whole Foods store and convinced the buyers to take a chance on her small operation.

“I knew that if I could get Whole Foods to say yes, that would validate my brand in the eyes of the consumer,” she said.

4 years later, her products can be found in several Whole Foods stores around the country, as well as over 2,500 other retail stores across the world.

Her most popular product does the work of 12 products in only 3 simple steps, taking her customers from wash to style in a fraction of the time – a huge innovation in the natural hair care industry for women of all walks of life.

Becoming the first Black woman to hold such a patent

Gwen is truly a gifted visionary on an unrelenting mission to shatter the rules of the beauty game and change them for good.

When she masterminded The Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System, she cemented her place in history as the first African American woman ever to hold a patent for a natural hair care product.

She comments, “My products are the only sulfate, paraben, mineral oil, petroleum, gluten, and cruelty-free line of products that actually smash your hair care routine into smithereens!”

Inspiring other women

Before starting Naturalicious, Gwen served as the Global Digital Marketing Director at Ford Motor Company. So, her extensive knowledge of business and marketing is what has helped propel her brand to soaring heights in record time. And she is more than willing to share what she has learned with other women entrepreneurs.

In fact, her irresistible charm and relatable personality make her an explosive and highly sought after speaker. She lights up stages across the country, giving keynotes and talks on what it takes to win in business, entrepreneurship, and in life.

Her impressive journey in business is a testament to the magic that results from hard work and unfettered determination.

Now a respected authority in the hair care industry, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in the U.S. as a 2016 The Root 100 Award honoree, she is the winner of the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, and has been featured on Fox News, TV One, and in Entrepreneur, Essence, Fast Company, and The Washington Post.

For more details about Gwen Jimmere, visit

For more details about her company, Naturalicious, visit

Black Family-Owned Potato Chip Brand Expands to 41 States — Plans to Launch New Smoked Barbecue Flavor!

November 2, 2017

(BLACKNEWS.COM) –  Symphony Potato Chips, a Black-owned family business based in Atlanta, GA is quickly becoming a household name. Harmonious and flavorful are words that are used everyday, but try saying that with your mouth full of these gourmet potato chips!

Launched earlier this year by Dondre Anderson and his two daughters, Amina and Amari, word has quickly spread about their gourmet seasoned, all-natural, gluten-free potato chips! In fact, the company is getting daily orders from all over the country – 41 states to be exact. Sales have come in from all over the Southeast, most of the Northeast, the Midwest, and even as far west as Hawaii.

Dondre says that they have had sales success in all but 9 states, and he encourages everyone to visit their website ( and place an order for a chance to win a free 12-pack of chips. This offer is only good, however, while supplies last!

A new flavor is on the way

All of their success has been accomplished so far with just one flavor which is their Original flavor, but now the father-daughter team are planning to soon release a new flavor called SMOKED! This new flavor, created by Executive Chef Andre (Amina and Amari’s grandfather, and Dondre’s dad), was designed with smoked barbeque in mind but also with a gourmet twist.

Chef Andre comments, “While others are searching for flavors for you to snack on, we are providing a gourmet flavor you can feast on!”

With all the 5-star feedback from the Symphony Chips’ original flavor, they are confident that their customers’ taste buds are watering with anticipation of this new flavor. The trio prides themselves on staying humble and disciplined as they realize that success can be short-lived unless you stay focused and unafraid of the road ahead, which is always under construction.

For more details and/or to place an online order, visit