Culture and Coaching with Debbie Barrett

How does company culture impact business performance? In this episode of Business Edge, special guest Debbie Barrett suggests that a lot of it boils down to managers and the support and training that they’re given. She also speaks to the different career paths existing within the expansive HR field, the concept of “coaching out” (and why it may not really be a bad thing), and her most rewarding experiences within HR.

Debbie is the Vice President of Work Life & Culture at ITHAKA (ithaca), an alum of the Montclair State University’s Iota Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi and serves on the Fraternity’s Board of Directors. She’s a strategic and results-oriented Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience in all areas of HR management. Debbie is a creative problem solver and proven leader with a record of improving efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing business performance in a fast-paced, high-growth culture. As a trusted advisor, she creates strong, effective, and collaborative relationships, inspiring confidence at all levels.

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IT and Cybersecurity with Besong Tambeagbor

As technology continues to evolve and become so engrained with society and our day-to-day lives, IT and Cybersecurity have emerged as prominent fields that cannot be overlooked. In this episode of Business Edge, special guest Besong Tambeagbor discusses the overlaps between business and tech, and explains what exactly can go wrong when people and organizations don’t follow the best practices online. If you’re someone who uses the same 2-3 passwords for all of your online accounts, then this is the episode for you!

Besong is an alumni of Georgia State University’s Pi chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi and the Chapter Advisor for Epsilon Sigma. She has over 12 years of experience in the IT and cyber security field and is currently an Application Security Consultant in Threat and Vulnerability Management. Besong has also served as a Women in Technology Campus Team Member and a Teaching Assistant for Black Girls Code. She’s passionate about furthering her career in cyber security and ethical hacking.

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Managing Up with Alison Jennings

Managing up is defined by the Harvard Business Review as, “Being the most effective employee you can be, creating value for your boss and your company.” While it is a good skill to have, in this episode of Business Edge, special guest Alison Jennings argues that there needs to be a balance. She proposes that this balance can be achieved by finding a boss who is a good fit for you and is knowledgeable about your role. She also speaks to how exactly to do this during the interview process so that interviewees can spot potential red flags before they commit to a role.

Alison is Vice-Chair of the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Board of Directors and an alum of Oakland University’s Mu Nu chapter. She’s an experienced finance and accounting professional and is currently the Senior Director of Finance at Goodkind Co. Alison focuses on creating efficiencies and process improvement while supporting overall business needs. She has a passion for numbers and an analytical mind which helps her excel in diverse team dynamics.

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Clarity Coaching with Precious Azurée

Clarity Coaching, which differs from life coaching, is a term coined by Precious Azurée to explain the work she does with individuals seeking clarity and confidence in tackling their goals. In this episode of Business Edge, listen to Precious discuss the biggest issues she sees that hold her clients back from fulfillment and success. She discusses how people can overcome hurdles such as time management and a lack of prioritization, and how she has developed her craft through reading and learning. Plus, listen to her explain how data can help elevate the lived experiences of people of color!

Precious Azuree is a Clarity Coach sought out by entrepreneurs, small business owners, and nonprofits seeking clarity on their brand strategy, systems to boost productivity and personal development. In addition to her consulting business, she is breaking barriers as the Vice President and Co-Founder of the award-winning black female-led nonprofit MEASURE, a public education & data advocacy organization that uses data and education to mobilize communities to eliminate social disparities. In 2021, she was awarded Houston Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Outstanding Nonprofit Leader Award and positioned as the Social & Cultural Committee Chair of Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals.

With a strong emphasis on developing people, Precious has made it her mission to develop the human, social, and financial capital of her community to position their legacy for sustainability and growth. As a woman of faith, she leads with love, grace and this in mind: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

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Paying it Forward with Janine Branch

Janine Branch loves to give back to those around her, and she strives to be a good example because in her words, “you never know who’s looking up at you or looking down at you.” In this episode of Business Edge, listen to her speak to the challenges and misconceptions that come along with mentorship, the importance of cross-cultural engagement, and how she has been able to help steer the organizations she has been a part of to success. Plus, listen to her discuss the journey of her and her husband’s pin business!

Janine Branch is a servant leader on a mission to foster purposeful global engagement by uplifting and nurturing civic-minded leaders to persevere and be resilient. Currently, Janine is a Program Officer implementing the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program at FHI360, a nonprofit human development organization, and is the Onboarding Champion for the Global Connections department.

Janine spent more than a decade developing professional exchange programs at the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She uses her unique combination of over 13 years of international exchange program management and talent management experience to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful person-to-person interactions. In addition to the U.S. Department of State, Janine has worked with a variety of clients, including the Open World Leadership Center, U.S. Agency for International Development, Korea International Trade Association, the Embassy of the United States to the United Kingdom, and the University of Jos in Nigeria.

Janine is passionate about using professional development as a driving force to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations around the world. Janine is dedicated to building practical training programs to provide young leaders with opportunities to explore the international exchange industry and apply their academic knowledge to the “real world.” In doing so, Janine hopes to increase the network of citizen diplomats who have the individual willingness to build relationships to help sustain a secure, economically sound, and socially interconnected world.

Janine is a master’s degree candidate at the University of Baltimore focusing on Global Affairs and Human Security and plans to graduate in the Fall of 2021. During her studies, she developed a study abroad course on the “Sustainability of Voluntourism in Haiti,” which cumulated with an experiential trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from Towson University. She volunteers as a career mentor at Towson University. Janine has been married for eight years to her college sweetheart, Taurean and a dedicated mother to their 5-year-old son, Matthew and 7-year-old Maltipoo, Obie. She enjoys long-distance road running competitions, gardening, and visiting as many gluten-free restaurants as she possibly can!

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