Our Dream Team
Small Business Development Instructor
Frankie Roe: Innovative, inspiring, passionate, and professional is exactly what you get when you collaborate with F.R.E.E (Frankie Roe Exhorting Enterprises). Frankie's purpose is to inspire others to imagine the possibilities, leap fearlessly, and soar like an eagle in their mind, body and spirit. Frankie Roe is an author, speaker, self-care enthusiast, and online marketing entrepreneur. When Frankie entered her teen years, she realized her passion for inspiring others and more recently her God-given gift of exhortation, and how her gifts motivate, empower, and incite others to action. When deciding what business venture to pursue she completed a life-map activity. Frankie has done scores of these with clients and she knew it was time to revisit the exercise. The consistent theme within her employment history and business endeavors was motivating and encouraging people. Not only was it a theme but it is truly a way of life for her. Today she helps women embrace self-care, accomplish goals and live the life they have always envisioned. It is really rewarding to improve the quality of someone's life by inspiring them to be more, do more and have more of what is going to help them get real results. Frankie Roe has dedicated thousands of hours to helping others achieve freedom, success, and organization in their personal and professional lives, and she has inspired many to imagine, leap and soar while on their freedom journey.
“ My name is Deborah Keme, I am currently a sophomore studying Computer Science. I am passionate about elevating the African Diaspora. This school year I’ve had the privilege of serving the people in a greater sense by being the Marketing Director of an independent organization ran by undergraduate student of UW. This year will be our second annual leadership conference that holds the theme of « Empowering the Diaspora. » As a curious and ever changing young-adult I’m learning to take advantage of my intuition. I’m grateful to African Women Business Alliance for giving me a platform for growth. "
Founder/Chief Executive Officer
Nourah Yonous: Nourah Yonous has roots deeply embedded in social justice work, particularly in gender/racial equity and cross cultural-multifaceted-intersectional grassroots community development. Nourah is a Founder and Executive Director at African Women Business Alliance, (AWBA) a culturally responsive platform that creates and foster community and inclusive economy for African women diaspora and their full potential in business development and entrepreneurship. Nourah also works at Nonprofit Assistance Center- as a Capacity Building Program Manager where she brings a decade of advocacy experience in the Global South Feminism/Gender Activism working in, and outside the nonprofit sector. She serves as a board member at SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) and Voices of Tomorrow, a local grassroots organization focusing on early learning systems of change. Nourah is also a Community Leadership Institute Fellow at Puget Sound Sage. Nourah holds Two BA's in Political Science, Feminist Studies/Theory, and Legal Studies/Pre law with a concentration on law, gender politics, and social change from University of California Santa Cruz, UCSC and plans on pursuing her MPP/MPA at Seattle University. Nourah’s own immigrant narrative and trajectory has shaped her life’s mission work, which centers global south/black feminism and deeply connects with Audre Lorde’s work on intersectionality: ”There’s no hierarchy of oppression. There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Nourah is also a proud mother to her champ, Abdel’Razak. She loves dancing and enjoys teaching Zumba when she has the time.
Kathy Fowells is Art Director at SouthEast Effective Development SEED. She has always been passionate about creating economic opportunities for artists. She lived in southern Africa for 4 years, consulting with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and numerous artist cooperatives to improve the economic vitality of the arts. She was awarded a Fulbright research grant to document this work. When she returned to Seattle in 1995, she opened Mwoyo Arts, a gallery that featured contemporary art from southern Africa. Fowells holds an MBA degree from Seattle University and a Bachelors of International Studies with a focus on Economic Development.
Niesha Brooks: Niesha Fort is Leadership & Engagement Program Manager for Global to Local. She brings a diverse set of skills and experiences as a board member for the African Women Business Alliance. A graduate of California State University-Sacramento in Political Science, Niesha is trained in mediation, negotiation, and peace building through the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at California State University – Sacramento. Niesha holds a Masters in Urban Environmental Education from Antioch University.
Brukab Sisay: Brukab is first and foremost a student of Pan-Africanism, immigration & black diasporic resistance cultures. He is a graduate student working towards his doctorate in African Diaspora Studies and aspires to teach and conduct research impacting the African diaspora in the northwest. He is a resident of Tukwila, WA, and currently lectures at the University of Washington, Seattle in the Department of American Ethnic Studies.
With 30 years in the venture industry, helping new ideas become significant companies, and the last 15 years learning what works, and what does not work, to change lives in the developing world.
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bill began his career as a Special Education teacher, then worked in Community Mental Health programs before becoming an Executive Recruiter and then co-founding his own firm. He joined Mayfield Fund in 1983. He served in leadership positions on many corporate and not-for profit boards, and continues to advise early stage technology companies.
Representative investments include Sandisk (SNDK), Silicon Architects (acquired by Synopsys (SNPS), Calico Commerce (acquired by Oracle(ORCL), Newport Communications (acquired by Broadcom (BRCM), Stream Machine (acquired by Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Simplex Solutions (acquired by Cadence (CDN), Excess Bandwidth Corporation (acquired by Virata (VRTA), Verplex Design Systems (acquired by Cadence (CDN), Nextest (acquired by Teradyne (TER), Sabio Labs (acquired by Magma (LAVA) and Berkeley Design Automation (acquired by Mentor Graphics (MENT).
Bill’s current philanthropic activities include; Board member of CARE USA, CARE Enterprises LLC, Microvest, D-Rev, and Wildlife Conservation Network, and he serves on the Deans’ Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other organizations he has served include; past board chair of the Career Action Center, YouthNoise, and former Vice Chairman of the Anita Borg Institute. He was an advisor to the Dean of Engineering of University of California at Berkeley, a member of The Philanthropy Workshop and Legacy Ventures, and is an active supporter of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
Mariama Mounir Camara-Petrolawicz is one of the most influential rising African women. Her inspiring presence reflects her power, optimism and energy. Her entrepreneurial spirit and humanitarian work has led her to mingle with some of the most influential individuals in the business, entertainment, political, and nonprofit sectors.
Mariama is a voice of her country Guinea and fights to ensure hidden voices are heard. Her career experience includes working in fashion, cosmetology, and public relations.
Mariama is also the President of Mariama Fashion Production. She has readily given her support and voice to worthy causes dedicated to ending violence against women, breast cancer, and diabetes. She also supports organizations bringing change to developing countries, and has participated in high-level meetings including those organized by the World Food Program, Feed the Future and World Pneumonia Day.