Recognizing a need, Quienna Broadnax, Nikia Acy, and La'Conya Cobb founded Santa Barbara Young Black Professional (SBYBP) in July 2016 with the goal to launch an organization that facilitates advancement, networking, and community service amongst the Black millennials living and working in the Santa Barbara area. With the assistance of other founding members such as, Warren Ritter and the input of countless others, that vision has evolved into a group that not only shares resources and encourages quality social interactions, but empowers its participants to thrive while making a difference in beautiful Santa Barbara. The organization has attracted a diversity of participants, who hail from all over the world and country, work in a wide range of professions, have a variety of interests and hobbies, and don’t prescribe to a singular form of Blackness. We wholeheartedly appreciate, celebrate, and foster the synergy and camaraderie of our participants while working to make a lasting impact in Santa Barbara and beyond.
MEET OUR BOARD:
Warren Ritter, President
Warren Ritter is originally from Orangeburg, South Carolina and came to California to work as a manger for a national bank in Santa Barbara. Warren is passionate about education and is supremely focused on the betterment of the community. In his current profession as a financial advisor, Warren helps individuals with overall problem solving, financial literacy, and estate planning. In addition to serving on other non-profit boards and advisory groups, Warren is an avid reader who enjoys both playing basketball and practicing on the piano in his free time.
Jewellisa Bolden, Secretary
Jewellisa Bolden, our Santa Barbara native studied psychology at Howard University. Post schooling she has found her career as a corporate buyer for a large staffing company. She enjoys the part she plays in supporting a company that helps 100,000 Americans find work each year. Keeping busy, she is also a manager at Lane Bryant in Santa Barbara where she enjoys changing her clients lives through fashion. In her fleeting spare time she enjoys lending her skills to the Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals as our webmaster. She enjoys event planning and is always ready to throw a party. She is also a country buff and enjoys getting out to line, two step, and swing dance.
Nikia Acy, Marketing Director
Nikia Acy, multitalented New York native and SBYBP Vice President relocated to Santa Barbara in August 2014. Previously a professional dancer, Nikia has trained with Alvin Ailey, performed with the Oscar nominated group IMPACT Repertory Theater, and performed in several charity events. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Organizational Communication while working in the Hospitality industry, Nikia is the driving force behind the social media and marketing of SBYBP. She is also active in the community by assisting the connection and collaboration of community based organizations and volunteering. Nikia's current focus is creating professional development opportunities for college students preparing to conclude their undergraduate career. She enjoys avid traveling, fitness, and photography in her spare time.
Ogechi Nwaokelemeh, Board Member
Ogechi Nwaokelemeh, Ph.D is a Kinesiologist who has a passion for promoting health in under-served communities. She earned a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, a MS in Exercise Physiology from Howard University and a PhD in Kinesiology (Physical Activity and Health) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She recently contributed to a chapter in the textbook titled, ‘Physical Activity in Diverse Populations’ that went to press this year. Dr. Nwaokelemeh’s research interests include obesity prevention and physical activity promotion in children and adult populations alike. She is currently a professor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.
La'Conya Cobb, Secretary and Community Service Director
La'Conya Cobb is a trailblazing young professional who transplanted to Santa Barbara from Georgia in August 2014. La'Conya is a Rehabilitation Counselor and has a passion for individuals with disabilities and veterans. She takes an active interest in the welfare of her community, and dedicated to raising awareness of mental illnesses in the Black community. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In La’Conya’s spare time she enjoys reading.