Celebrating US Black History Month: Tricia, Cherie, Aaron, Latori & Reggie

6 minute read

February is US National Black History Month – a time to celebrate the cultures and contributions of Black and African Americans throughout US history.

This February, in celebration of Black History Month, The Bridge — Red Ventures’ Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and Pacific Islander (BILAP) employee resource group — will be highlighting teammates from RV’s Black community who have made a lasting impact on their teams, towns, and networks. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at RV, visit diversity.redventures.com.


What is your role on your team?

I’m a Human Resources (HR) Business Partner, so I support the Financial Services and Travel verticals from an HR standpoint. I handle everything from strategic planning for the organization to employee relations, and I’m currently knee deep in managing the annual reviews process for my client groups.

What’s been your proudest moment, biggest accomplishment, or most impactful contribution in your RV career so far?

Helping my teams navigate a large-scale resourcing exercise last summer as a result of the significant business changes they experienced due to the pandemic.

Why is it important for companies to nurture and celebrate diverse workforces?

Simple — diverse workforces lead to diverse ways of thinking which leads to more creative and unique ideas. This allows us to challenge the “norm” and discover new perspectives.

What is your favorite inspirational quote or mantra?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

What might people not know about you?

  1. I’m 9 months pregnant and due with my first child, a boy, in a few weeks!
  2. I have a little brother who is 21 years younger than me — we fondly refer to him as the “oops baby” of the family.

What’s been your proudest moment, biggest accomplishment, or most impactful contribution in your RV career so far?

Completing the Data Science Accelerator has been my proudest moment and biggest accomplishment so far at RV. I started my career here as an engineer, but was always fascinated with machine learning and artificial intelligence. So when I saw that we had a data science accelerator I jumped at the chance to take it. Even two years in I’m constantly learning new things and am continually amazed at how brilliant the people who I work with are. If anyone has a chance to take the accelerator in future years I highly recommend it!

What is a moment in Black History that influenced or shaped your career or life?

The election of President Obama in 2008. I remember sitting in silence with my sophomore year roommate watching his accepting speech. I was absolutely captivated, inspired, and in awe. Of course, my parents had always given me the “you can do anything speech,” but it wasn’t really until that moment that I really internalized it.

Who are some of the Black and African American role models in your life?

My parents first and foremost. Both of my parents grew up pretty poor. My mom was raised in rural, southern Ohio and my dad grew up in a rough part of Cleveland. They both worked extremely hard to provide a nice, comfortable middle class life for my brother and I. I took everything that they had done and accomplished for granted during high school, but now as an adult I find myself in awe whenever I think about where they ended up in life versus where they started.

Other than that, I wouldn’t say there was a singular person (excluding President Obama) who was a role model, but instead it was Black athletes and artists in general. Being one of the only Black kids in school growing up, I was very uncomfortable in my own skin. However, seeing the success, “coolness” and popularity of Black hip-hop artists and athletes during the late ’90s and early 2000s really helped give me the confidence to accept and be proud of who I was. Seeing successful people who “look like you” is extremely powerful.

What is your favorite inspirational quote or mantra?

“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.” – Kobe Bryant

What might people not know about you?

  1. I love doing yearly challenges in order to promote self growth. This year my goal is to run 1,000 miles and complete a marathon.
  2. I moved to Charlotte from Ohio without a job and about $3,000 in savings. I told myself that I would just figure it out. I was down to my last $200 when I finally landed a job working at Vanguard. Making this move is still probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What is a moment in Black History that influenced or shaped your career or life?

Madam CJ Walker was the first Black woman millionaire, the daughter of slaves, and came from nothing. She took her research and determination and made an empire for Black hair that’s still used to this day. She made a way when there was none for Black women at that time. She demonstrated the fact that anything can be accomplished regardless of where you came from.

Are there any ways that you hope to see RV celebrate and acknowledge Black History Month in the future?

I would absolutely love for RV to organize and host a Black History Month showcase in the future once it’s safe. We have great young local talent, and they express our culture in so many unique and beautiful ways — singing, dancing, poetry, art, and more. 

What might people not know about you?

I’m very passionate in the art field. I own a balloon décor business for event planning. I love all kinds of poetry and music — I actually love to sing to myself (and I actually have a nice voice!), and I write poetry quite often. I also love dancing for exercise. I have a hobby of trying a new recipe to cook once a week for my family.

What’s been your proudest moment, biggest accomplishment, or most impactful contribution in your RV career so far?

I am most proud of Road to Hire’s ability to transform and evolve to address the needs of our community. The evolution of our Apprenticeships, Pathways, and Scholarship programs are remarkable. While many programs were forced to scale back, our team engineered change and embraced the unknown. We quickly recognized that the need for our programs was larger now more than ever. Our last cohort took off just one day after we starting working from home, and our team brainstormed over the weekend to create new standards that resulted in that cohort graduating and receiving jobs at partner companies.

At an individual level, I am most proud of seeing everyone I interact with grow. From our staff of fierce leaders, committed instructors, teacher assistants and interns to the most important folks we serve daily who learn new skills, obtain scholarships, excel in academia and go on to graduate and join the workforce their growing commitment to themselves is so inspiring. At a personal level, I’m proud of how I’m balancing my current role as an instructor while successfully participating in Red Venture’s Internal Training Academy.  Maintaining my commitment to personal development in order to be a better mentor, instructor and person to work with has been extremely rewarding.

What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month”?

Black History is American history. Many Black contributions and interesting facts have been overlooked or not circulated nearly enough. I learned recently the story of Onesimus — a slave who shared his wisdom that led to the first smallpox vaccine. The story was so relevant and timely considering the current climate and need for vaccines.  

What is a moment in Black History that influenced or shaped your career or life?

Most recently, seeing Kamala Harris elected as Vice President. As a fellow Howard graduate, it has imparted so much pride and heightened what I deem possible. All of us have an ability to make an impact in the areas in which we choose to focus.

Why is it important for companies to nurture and celebrate diverse workforces?

If the goal is to innovate and be the best, diversity is a requirement. The best ideas do not generate from homogenous perspectives but from diverse avenues of thought.         

Who are some of the Black and African American role models in your life?

My grandmother is a bright light in my life. If I could be half of the woman she has always been I would be happy. Her character, cheerfulness, kindness and ability to make everyone feel seen and special are unmatched. She is my best friend and certainly the reason I have any sense.  

What is your favorite inspirational quote or mantra?

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.” – Mae Jemison

And also, “I don’t lose. I either win or I learn.” – Nelson Mandela

What might people not know about you?

My family is of extreme importance to me. I am a wife and mom of two and expecting a third sometime this fall. We all have the responsibility to not wait for others but to be the change.  I am hoping to create a world where my family and everyone can be seen as individuals and be provided opportunity.

What’s been your proudest moment, biggest accomplishment, or most impactful contribution in your RV career so far?

Coming up on my 7th year at RV, I’ve reflected on this a lot. Starting out as an agent in the sales center and seeing how my career has grown definitely makes me proud, but my biggest accomplishment and most impactful contribution has been the work we have done in our community through our non-profits. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with multiple Road to Hire cohorts, Life Sports, as well other non-profits in the Charlotte area through RV-sponsored events. Pouring into our youth, giving back to our community, and seeing how we have been able to impact so many lives over the past few years has been such a rewarding and inspiring experience.

What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month”?

Black history should be celebrated and recognized throughout the year, but when I hear Black History Month I think about an opportunity to learn, grow, and celebrate those that paved the way for people that look like me.

Why is it important for companies to nurture and celebrate diverse workforces?

Nurturing and celebrating a diverse workforce gives companies the opportunity to challenge their ideals, broaden the scope of their talent pool, and most importantly gain a different perspective on strategies and issues within and outside of the organization. Ultimately the most important gift that diversity gives to companies and their employees is the opportunity to learn from each other and grow together.

What is your favorite inspirational quote or mantra?

“He who only seeks to learn from those that share similar perspectives has learned nothing at all.” – Unknown

What might people not know about you?

  1. I’m an avid golfer!
  2. In 2008, I spent 7 weeks in Europe in with the US National Baseball Team.
  3. I love to cook!

Be sure to check out our previous installment of our Black History Month Employee Spotlights right here.

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About the Author:

Natalie Brown

Natalie works as a Creative at Red Ventures from the Atlanta office. When she isn’t designing for Allconnect, she can be found cooking some delicious vegan meals and running her vegan cookie company, BOV Treats.

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