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Seed to Bloom Award Honorees 2020

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Nogie Udevbulu

Her Wall Street Award

Nogie Udevbulu is the Global Head of Markets Strategy within GBAM’s Data & Innovation group at Bank of America. In this role, she manages a team that delivers quantitative products and solutions that combines index expertise, and trade execution flows intelligence. Her team provides insights and advisory services to Quantitative, Long-Only and hedge fund managers on cross asset portfolio related events as it pertains to index methodologies, special corporate actions, factor exposure/attribution analysis and event driven situations. Nogie spearheads the prediction and analytics of multi-billion dollar of global indices and ETFs rebalances and has handled the analytics of several multi-billion dollar portfolio transitions for some of the largest index fund managers in the industry.

Nogie joined Bank of America in 2006 and has been involved in several employee professional networks especially the Women Leadership Council (WLC) where she has organized programs for senior and junior women bankers to gain exposure to senior management at the firm. Nogie is also involved with the African American’s Networks co-organizing events that connect business initiatives with diversity. Nogie has been recognized on the 2014 Toigo Top 40 under 40 list and named a 2013 Rising Star Finalists of the Bond Women’s Club Association. Nogie was a 2018 fellow at the 92nd Y Women InPower program geared towards women one level away from CSuite positions.

Nogie graduated from the Darden School of Business (UVA) with an MBA in General Management with a concentration in Finance. She also has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College (City University of New York). Nogie sits on the board of the Forte Foundation and is a committee member of FTSE Russell IndexAdvisory committee for the Americas. Nogie currently resides in Long Island, NewYork. She is married and the mother of two children.


Karen Boykin-Towns

Women of the Year

Karen Boykin-Towns has built a reputation as a visionary and strategic results-driver in complex business and government environments based on demonstrated success in the areas of policy, advocacy, communications, and proactive change management. Since concluding her impressive 22-year career at Pfizer Inc. she now serves as President/CEO of Encore Strategies, LLC and was recently reelected Vice Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors, the oldest and largest non-partisan civil rights organization in the nation established in 1909. 

Ms. Boykin-Towns’ career at Pfizer spanned 22 years where she advanced quickly into executive management roles. She was recruited as a Senior Legislative Analyst based on her reputation for success in state government and held key leadership roles in public affairs, government relations, global policy, and human resources. Based on her positive impact driving change across the organization, in 2008 she was selected by Pfizer’s CEO to serve as its first Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she successfully developed an integrated, global strategy resulting in internal progress and external recognition of the company’s advances in diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage. Karen concluded her career as Vice President Corporate Affairs for their $34B Innovative Medicines business where she served as a member of the Senior Leadership Committee (SLC) that consists of the top 200 leaders in the 90,000 person global organization. 

Ms. Boykin-Towns leverages her talent as a coalition-builder and social change agent through her active participation in various organizations. She has served as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors for 12 years before being elected as Vice Chairman of the Board in 2018. She is also the Chairman of its Image Awards Committee. Karen is a member of the Brewster Academy Board of Trustees and past Co-Chair of the Business Council of New York State. She has been featured in Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, Ebony Magazine, Crain’s, African American Career World, Network Journal and Crisis Magazine. Savoy Magazine named her a “Top Influential Woman in Corporate America” in 2016. 

Karen holds an MBA degree from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. A mother of two girls, Karen is married to former State Assemblyman Darryl C. Towns and lives in Brooklyn, NY. 


Kiola George

Entreprenuer of the Year

Kiola George is a NYC based project management professional & entrepreneur. Kiola started her career over a decade ago at ABC Networks in their Standards and Practices division, after 5 years, she began producing content for a national cinema advertising company. In 2020, she joined the project management team at TBWA/WorldHealth, a disruptive marketing & advertising agency.

Born in Guyana and raised in Brooklyn NY, she is the eldest of four and her parents raised her to be caring and supportive to all people. Kiola always valued building community and through that passion she created two companies, Heybor™️ and The Good Girlfriends Network. Heybor™️ is an app that allows users to rate and review their experiences living in multi-unit residential properties. It’s a game changer when it comes to doing your research when looking for your next apartment. In addition to being a source of information, Heybor™️ will also be a form of inter-building communication for tenants currently residing there through posts and messaging. With Heybor™️, Kiola and her startup team are looking to put the neighbor back into the neighborhood! 

Kiola created the Good Girlfriend Network in 2019. She curates events for women of color to connect and support one another in their personal, professional and entrepreneurial endeavors. The network has grown to over 2500 members in the past 6 months and gains new members daily. With five events executed since July 2019, Kiola is looking on expanding on the resources and building out the network exponentially in the years to come.


Pamela Abner

Corporate Community Award

Ms. Abner is responsible for system-wide administrative, fiscal, policy and practice related management activities to sustain diversity, inclusion and equity. She collaborates with hospital and school leadership to establish best practices, conduct integrative work and set the strategic, innovative and programmatic agenda for diversity, inclusion and equity across all business lines. As a certified patient experience professional and unconscious bias educator, Ms. Abner strives to develop and guide initiatives to create an inclusive environment. Utilizing research methodologies, creating education curriculum, and applying best practices, she continuously seeks to implement initiatives to identify disparities and eliminate barriers to medical care, employment and education for underserved and underrepresented groups as well as foster relationships with community partners. Her thoughtleadership and strategic management guidance was fundamental to Mount Sinai Health System attaining several national rankings as the #1 health and hospital system for diversity and inclusion management. She regularly serves as a guest speaker at national forums and provides expert consultative advice to organizations. Pamela received her Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her Master’s degree from Columbia University.


Denise Campbell

Business Community Award

Denise Campbell is Assistant Vice President, National Accounts at AIG where she works as a Client Director at AIG, servicing AIG’s most engaged major accounts through managing relationships with insurance buyers and key client executives at their biggest trading partners. During her time at AIG, Denise led the Black Professionals Employee Resource Group (ERG) New York chapter for three years, where they were recognized for excellence in Business Integration. She currently serves as Business Advisor to the ERG. Her passion for diversity and inclusion has led to her working with local and global leadership as well as HR as the company works to increase their diversity recruitment and retention. Outside of AIG, Denise has always sought to get involved socially and civically. Denise has volunteered with the “I Have A Dream” Foundation where she spent her Saturday Mornings tutoring students in Ravenswood, Queens. She’s been an active participant with Junior Achievement and the Police Athletic League through AIGs corporate responsibility relationships. In 2012, she joined the National African American Insurance Association and is now President of the New York Tri-State Chapter.  She holds a position on the Board of the Water Street Club and served through 2019 on the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council for the Insurance Federation of New York. Through these organizations she works tirelessly to bring diverse talent into the insurance industry and provide them with the exposure and knowledge they need to develop and advance. 


Brittany Richards 

Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Brittany Richards is a proud New Yorker, a Brooklyn Native, and first generation American. An Alumna of University at Buffalo, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and was the recipient of the Ruth T. McGrorey Excellence in Nursing Award. After completing her Bachelor’s, Brittany’s area of focus was in Medical-Surgical Nursing and expanded to Critical-Care/ Surgical Trauma Nursing. She then went on to pursue her Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration of Family Nurse Practitioner, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Columbia University. Practicing in medically underserved communities sparked her research interest on Health Disparities in the African-American Community.  Her passion to be of service to all extends to her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and National Black Nurses Association. Brittany is also a Clinical Instructor and an Assistant Professor, who is working diligently to educate the next generation of nurses. 

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