Representation matters. The voice of successful black professionals makes a difference. Trailblazers.FM is an interview style podcast, where host Stephen A. Hart seeks out professionals of color in every possible venue, no matter how small. He is determined to find the best entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, creatives and business professionals, representing the most diverse viewpoints. Through these conversations, our listeners (the Blazer Nation) gain the know-how, confidence and mission fuel needed to blaze their own trail.
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Now displaying: 2018
Jul 16, 2018

We have 6 months left in this year to figure out what the rest of this year will look like for us. How far are you willing to go to get your goals accomplished?

What can you do to knock off a couple of things that you wanted to get done by the end of this year? It’s time to take control and get to your desired state!

We’ve got a really short but powerful episode for you today. My sista from anotha mista, Ms. Minda Harts is on today. Minda is the host of the Secure The Seat Podcastand co-founder of The Memo.

Minda has been a guest of the podcast before on ep 60 and I asked her to give us something really dope for this new content approach I started last week with Donald C. Kelly. So you’re about to hear Minda speak her truth and pour some mission fuel all over ya’ll. So take it all in.

It’s 10 minutes of greatness! I know you can sit still for 10 minutes. Believe me, it’ll be worth it.

Jul 9, 2018
Our very first guest ever on the Trailblazers.FM podcast, Mr. Donald C. Kelly is back and here for yet another first on the podcast.
Today, we are trying something brand new. I've asked Donald to do our very first masterclass style episode, where he's dropping some mission fuel directly with you.  
For those of you that aren't familiar, Donald C. Kelly is the host of The Sales Evangelist podcast, which has over 800 published podcast episodes and has featured some amazing folks in sales and business.  Donald is also a sales trainer, coach, and speaker.  And beyond the podcast and business, Donald is a fellow Jamaican and an amazing husband to his wife Cristina. 
And so thinking about the need we all have to sell ourselves, whether you're in sales, the corporate world or you're a business owner, you've got to know how to effectively sell yourself. So Donald is going to share some tips with you on how you do just that. 
Hope you enjoy today's episode with our returning guest and featured trailblazer, Mr. Donald C. Kelly. 
Jul 2, 2018

This past week, Kristin and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and I've decided to share 3 lessons that have helped us to not only survive, but thrive at the completion of our first complete decade of marriage.

And if you’re single, I hope these nuggets of wisdom give you insight into things you might want to begin working on in your current or next relationship.


Jun 25, 2018
DO NOT create a product or service or a promotion or offer, or a book or podcast, or even a resume or cover letter, until you understand who you are speaking to. 
Knowing your audience is essential. 
And here's why: You are likely not creating your product or service for yourself. 
Jun 18, 2018

Today is Father’s Day and I want to wish my dad and all dads a Happy Fathers Day. To celebrate I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me pursue my quest to becoming a great father. 

Jun 11, 2018
So here’s what’s up, it’s summer and like Outback Steakhouse, we’ve got no rules and it’s just right. So today, I thought to expand on the concept I laid down last week with Think Big, Aim High, Act Bold.
But instead of me going for a round 2, I thought to share a couple clips from some other amazing past guests that shared some of the things that I wished I knew when I was younger.
Shout out to Dre Baldwin, who actually inspired this episode’s title when he said this 
Jun 4, 2018

Stephen A. Hart is the Founder of Isles Media LLC. His passion lives in guiding busy professionals and entrepreneurs through a clear process to create, market and grow their personal brand, quickly and effectively. Stephen is also the host of Trailblazers.FM™, the #1 podcast highlighting today’s successful black professionals.

Stephen was recognized and selected to the 2016 class of the Black Enterprise 100 Modern Men of Distinction, and has also been seen on the home page of Apple Podcast, BETs Centric TV, and featured on several other podcasts.

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Stephen moved to the U.S. at the age of 16 to attend college. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Business Management and is happily married to his wife Kristin for 10 years and considers himself the best dad ever to their 8 year old daughter and 3 year old son. Stephen's vision and big hairy audacious goal is to guide 1,000,000 professionals through developing their amazing personal brand and online digital footprint.

May 28, 2018
Today's featured guest is another amazing DMV blazer, born and raised. I was blessed to have Kanika Tolver on the show.
Kanika Tolver is a former government employee turned rebel entrepreneur and Certified Professional Coach.
We had a great conversation and I'm excited to hear your thoughts on it, so hit me up as you're listening. You can tweet us up @tbpod and let me know what you're enjoying most in this conversation.
That said, let's get set to receive some mission fuel from today's featured guest Kanika Tolver.
May 21, 2018

Kenneth L. Johnson is a distinguished Diversity Recruiter and Executive Search professional with 20 years of experience delivering talent-acquisition solutions. In 2017. Kenneth was named to the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council. In 2016, Mr. Johnson was recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as a BE Modern Man (only 100 people received this honor globally).

His dedication to innovative talent-acquisition strategies and quality candidates makes him a highly sought-after strategic diversity business partner and consultant. Kenneth currently serves as the Staffing Consultant Specialist for The Urban League of Philadelphia and is a Forbes Contributor. He has served on several panels and has been featured in Black Enterprise, INC., Solve Magazine, NY Daily News,, Fast Company Magazine, and The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Kenneth is the host and executive producer of The Career Seekers Show on WPPM 106.5 in Philadelphia, PA.

May 14, 2018

Nathan Cook wants to help you see, believe and reach your human potential by transforming how you think. Using powerful, electrifying, and passionate speech and methodology, Nathan’s approach will instantly affect how you see yourself and the world around you. As president of Inspiring Inspirations and , Nathan's mission is to empower people to unleash the power within them.

As a premier Keynote Speaker, Nathan has engaged audiences at churches, drug recovery meetings, networking marketing companies, and blue collar to white collar events. Audience members love his message because living a life of purpose, meaning, and success is something we all desire. Nathan believes in the idea that what we don't know that we don't know can stifle our growth. Using this concept as a backdrop, he equips his listeners with the knowledge, insight and belief that you can live up to your potential. His ability to skillfully interweave his intriguing life story into the fabric of our daily lives keeps Nathan’s clients coming back for more. You will leave his events with the confidence to live your life as the original you, not a copy of anyone else. His message is simply contagious.


May 7, 2018

Karen Millsap, also known as, The Grief Consultant, began her career in human resources and talent acquisition where she lead countless training, new process, and change initiatives. At a young age, she suddenly became a widow when her husband tragically died which completely changed the trajectory of her life. After experiencing a domino effect of other losses, she became acutely aware of the overall lack of support in our society for grieving people. We are all connected through our struggles, from the death of loved ones, to life-altering illnesses, divorce, even job loss. This realization ignited Karen's desire to turn her pain into purpose and pay it forward to help others.

Karen's work has been featured in SHRM Magazine, on Good Morning Washington, MSNBC, and many others! She's also a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington's THRIVE Global community.  Karen is a TEDx keynote speaker who inspires audiences to embrace compassion and empathy to help alleviate other’s suffering by becoming advocates for their own adversaries.

As the CEO (Chief Empathy Officer) of Egency, Karen’s training firm helps organizations create a human-centric culture with compassion and empathy. She's also the founder of Well Now Global Retreats.

Karen received her BA in Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist through the Grief Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, California.

Connect with Karen:

Resources Mentioned:


Apr 30, 2018
If you trust the process, you can accomplish anything. That’s the takeaway from today’s episode and our featured guest Henry Keculah. 
Henry  is the founder and CEO of 4.0 Growth Productivity Accountability (4.0 GPA). 
Henry is a first-generation American, who's parents immigrated to the U.S from Liberia.  Henry mom was unfamiliar with the college readiness process which prevented Henry from taking advantage of opportunities that could have provided him with full rides.
Thankfully, Henry was able to turn things around after failing six classes. He ended up graduating from high school with a 2.5 GPA and gaining admissions to top public University of Texas in the state of Texas which isn’t usual. As you’ll hear in just a moment, he  was winning scholarships in high school with a 2.3 GPA. 
In our conversation, Henry reflects on the problem he saw other students facing and how he launched a company of his own with $500 and very little business knowledge and how things are paying off today. 
Apr 23, 2018

Business growth strategist Quiana Murray has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs learn how to acquire sponsorship for their businesses, events, products and services. Having left her comfy corporate job to launch her first business (only to watch it all fall flat), she knows the importance of being able to create a business that you not only love, but one that allows you to thrive!

Now Quiana uses her experiences and expertise to help entrepreneurs be smart, make more money, increase their influence, and do work they enjoy by offering smart strategies to help them partner with large corporations that will help fund their dreams!


Apr 16, 2018

Allow me to introduce Major Kenneth Reyes. Ken is our very first Latino man and active duty military featured guest on Trailblazers.FM.

Ken has served our country for more than 20 years. He’s deployed to support the NATO led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and has also volunteered to fight in Afghanistan as a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Ken has taught as an Assistant Professor of Military Science for the United States Army Cadet Command at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman University (HBCU), and Daytona State College.

Today, Ken is currently serving as the Director of Army Human Resources for the 1st Special Warfare Training Center (Airborne) at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, NC.

Among his many awards and decorations, his accolades include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.


A few of the questions I asked Kenneth:

  • What was it like for you growing up and traveling around the country and the world, as a military dependent?
  • What were some of the most challenging parts of navigating and making it through these lengthy deployments?
  • What do you wish more military men knew about depression and managing their mental health?
  • What fuels your passion to mentor minorities?
  • How do you mentor and guide young men to finding their purpose?
  • What do you teach young men about masculinity?
  • How do you thrive as a husband and father, while still managing your leadership role while your spouse is away on military assignment for years?
  • What are some of the things you try to do and also encourage your wife and others to do to increase their self worth?
  • How has the military helped or hampered your own marriage life?
  • We heard Maxine’s take on relationship resilience and I wanted to get some tips from you on how we as husbands can help our wives and our relationships not only to survive but to thrive?



Apr 9, 2018


There is a ton of opportunity that can come out of our prison cells; but only if we help create a culture of second chances.

Marcus Bullock is an entrepreneur, justice reform advocate, and public speaker. Following his 2004 release from prison, he launched a painting business and is now CEO of construction firm Perspectives Premier Contractors, which employs other returning citizens.

Bullock is also founder and CEO of mobile app Flikshop, a free app that enables incarcerated people the ability to receive postcards in the mail from friends and support organizations. Flikshop ships postcards to over 2,200 correctional facilities around the country, connecting thousands of families to their incarcerated loved ones. Flikshop has become a leader in their industry, and led Bullock to co-found Washington, DC non-profit Flikshop School of Business, a program that teaches persons returning to their community from prison life skills, entrepreneurship, and mobile application development.

He is a member of the Justice Policy Institute’s board of directors, has been appointed by Washington, DC’s mayor as a Commissioner for Reentry and Returning Citizens Affairs, and Aspen Institute Scholar. Notable awards that Bullock has won are the 2015 Innovator of the Year (The Daily Record) and 2016 Booz Allen Hamilton Aspen Ideas award (The Aspen Institute).

Married with two children, Bullock has given a TEDx Talk and received coverage from CNN, TechCrunch, Black Enterprise, NPR, and the Washington Business Journal.

Apr 2, 2018

Whether on the stage, in the classroom, in the community, or as a father, Marcus Johnson leaves a mark wherever he lands. Musician, Entrepreneur, Professor, Author, Motivational Speaker, he is the consummate dreamer-doer. He believes that investing in the community and in one’s self is the best way to solve some of life’s most pressing questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? In answering these questions for himself, Marcus has successfully navigated the realms of music, business, education, and entrepreneurship.

Marcus spent his undergraduate years at Howard University and went on to earn his JD/MBA degree from Georgetown University. As a graduate student, he partnered with Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson to start Marimelj Entertainment Group. This entity later became Three Keys Music, an independent record label that produced over 25 albums by several internationally-known artists. As a musician and independent artist, Marcus has released 18 studio albums (seven of which have appeared on Billboard’s Top 10 Contemporary Jazz chart), garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for Jazz Album of the Year, and has toured the world, performing at various music festivals and venues both domestic and abroad, including shows in Paris, Ghana, St. Lucia, and Bermuda.

An entrepreneur, Marcus is CEO and Founder of FLO (For the Love of) Brands, which houses his most recent venture, FLO Wine, LLC, and has enabled him to combine his passion for music with his love of good wine. USA Today recently included FLO Wine on its list of Top 10 Celebrity Wines. As a result of his business pursuits, Marcus was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2004 and currently serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence with the Greater Washington Urban League. He currently teaches entrepreneurship at Howard University. He has also had the opportunity to teach on business-related topics at Georgetown University's Center for Professional Development, Bowie State University, and Elmira College.

In this conversation, Marcus talks about Flo Wine, and what's driving him today. We discuss his music and the biggest downsides to being a musician. We discuss the impact of the team he has around him, and how he goes about attracting the right people to help his organization grow.



Mar 26, 2018

Maxine Reyes is a super charged woman that wears multiple hats. When she’s not speaking at schools and mentoring teens, she is leading women’s groups teaching self care and resilience, and inspiring with her platform “Women leading their lives with courage and grace”.  She can also be found hosting couples retreats with her husband of 20 years, or volunteering at her daughter’s school. Did we mention that she recently retired in December 2017, after nearly 22 years of honorable service in the Air Force and Army respectively?

In a male dominated organization, as a young Captain, Maxine has lead a team of nearly 700, majority of which were men. She was also the commander of Orlando Army Recruiting from 2014-2016. Her leadership and work in the community earned her a Proclamation from the city, naming 14 July 2016 Captain Maxine Reyes Day in the City of Orlando.

If that doesn’t say enough, this woman is also a seasoned singer. She has graced stages with dignitaries at home and abroad to include a U.S. President, entertaining troops in the Middle East and NBA opening ceremonies including twice for the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center, the Lions soccer team at the Citrus Bowl, and the city’s Veterans Day Parade.

In this conversation, Maxine talks about military life, leadership and life skills, marriage and motherhood and shares some advice for the women, mothers and wives wanting to live their best lives now. You don't want to miss Maxine's ending to this episode, it was a first of its kind on the podcast.


Connect with Maxine:

Resources Mentioned:


Mar 19, 2018

Yendi Phillipps is doing it all! She blazed her trail by winning two national pageant titles for the island of Jamaica, but her accolades didn't stop there. Since then she's become an ambassador, mother, social media influencer, model and is also a creative entrepreneur who has found a way to live a life of purpose, while still monetizing her creative passions.


In this conversation, Yendi talks about how the experiences of being a beauty pageant contestant impacted her as a business woman, creative and mother today. She shares what's worked to cultivate her social media influence and grow her personal brand. Despite having nearly a million social media followers, she opens up about how she handles the negative sides of cyber bullying and what helps her to find inner happiness and stay present when there's so much happening around her.



Connect with Yendi:

Resources Mentioned:


Mar 12, 2018

What holds most people back from sharing their story?


Cheryl Wood is an international motivational speaker, author, and master speaker development coach for women.  She is committed to empowering women globally to courageously share their unique voice, story, and perspective.  She equips new, emerging, and aspiring women speakers with strategies to MASTER and MONETIZE their message.  Cheryl’s compelling story of transitioning from a legal secretary and mother of three who was frantically challenged with creating work/life balance to building her own speaking empire generating over $1million inspires women to take bigger risks and play all out in life and business.


Cheryl has been featured on ABC, Radio One, Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, ESSENCE, Good Morning Washington, and other media outlets.  She has delivered keynote presentations for a host of organizations including: Federal Bureau of Investigations, United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Agriculture, The United Nations, Federally Employed Women, Virginia Women in Public Finance, and Verizon Wireless.


In today's conversation, Cheryl and I discuss what holds people back from sharing their story. Cheryl shares what aspiring speakers need to know to get started and shares the four types of speaking engagements.



Connect with Cheryl:

Resources Mentioned:


Mar 5, 2018

"When building your network or social following, focus on quality not quantity" - Cameka Smith

Speaker, trainer and award-winning entrepreneur - these are just a few words that describe Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online engagement and event-based networking. Working towards one simple goal, BOSS® is “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” to promote and encourage the small business spirit and professional development of women.

Under Cameka’s leadership, The BOSS Network has become one of the fastest-growing women business communities, garnering several accolades such as a Top 50 Website for Entrepreneurs (Inc. Magazine), 10 Best Career Sites for Women ( and one of 9 Twitter Accounts to Enhance Your College Experience ( In recognition of her achievements, Cameka was listed in Jet Magazine as a 40 under 40 Entrepreneur, named one of the Top 40 Chicago Game Changers by Ariel Investments, The Network Journal listed her one of their 2016, 40 under 40 Business Leaders, and she was presented with a Rising Brand Star award by the Adweek in 2017.

In today's conversation, Cameka and I discuss the power of networking and building relationships. She shares why she launched her business, and how she developed a business strategy to monetize her brand and grow her business.

Connect with Cameka:


Resources Mentioned:


A few of the questions I asked Cameka:

  • Who are some of the women in your life that you're grateful to have around you and those who have really inspired you?
  • What would people who you know today find surprising about you as a teenager growing up in Chicago?
  • What did you have to give up to glow up? Did you have to shift your mindset, let go of people?
  • What are some of the lessons you've learned about building relationships?
  • How important is networking and social media to building and nurturing these relationships and an individual's personal brand?

Key Points from Cameka:

  • I am grateful for my mom and those who came before us. Because of them we are who we are.
  • Our dreams and visions are tied to other people’s dreams and visions
  • Cameka Smith used the power of relationships and networking to build The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other.
  • Find those who are looking for the same thing you’re looking for and build the solution
  • Cameka Smith talks about building the business strategy to monetize the brand and grow her business
  • Your business vision and desire to help people cannot be sustained without a forward-looking strategy
  • If you’re gonna be in business, you gotta know your “why?” or you’ll be very easily deterred and distracted by everything else that is going on around you.
  • The “why?” of The BOSS Network is to give women of color a platform to showcase their talents and their gifts and give them resources and opportunities to help them expose their brands.
  • You have to build relationships and not just your rolodex
  • BOSS stands for "Bringing Out Successful Sisters," and its mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit in women
  • When building your network or social following, focus on quality not quantity
  • Here’s great networking advice from BOSS Network’s founder, Cameka Smith: Do your research before you get into the room, so you can drive the conversation and have something of substance to talk about.
  • We must be sure we are operating with good character in our professional relationships to build authentic connections
  • Social media is the great connector. It allows you to connect with an audience that you would have never otherwise met
  • Connect the dots on all your media platforms
  • Leadership does not always mean being out front, but it means serving in a capacity where your work impacts more than just yourself
  • I operate from a servant leadership standpoint: looking for ways to serve my clients, my tribe, and give women in my network access and resources
  • Great leaders are people who have crafted, molded and created their own table to have that conversation, then taking that information back to their communities
  • Collaboration is so key: you can reach new audiences by collaborating with people in your industry or even other industries

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Go out and serve other people. Serve someone who can't give you anything in return.  

Thanks for Listening!

Please help us expand the reach of this podcast. Follow and share the podcast with your friends on: Twitter:@TBPod Instagram:@TBPod Facebook:/TBPod If you're on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

Feb 26, 2018

As we close out Black History Month, it doesn't mean that we stop celebrating black history. Every day is black history. Every day, we are writing black history.

And as I think about how podcasting has allowed me to have an impact on black history in the making, I wanted to share some of my vibranium with you (Black Panther reference here - if you haven't watched it yet, you better get to a theatre near you right now).

I'm going to share with you, my top 7 tips that will absolutely help you to blaze your trail and write your own black history.

Feb 19, 2018

We celebrate athletes, civil rights leaders and others during Black History Month, but there is often very little conversation about black legacy in business.

Our guest today is Alfred A. Edmond Jr., Senior Vice President and Executive Editor-at-Large of BLACK ENTERPRISE, responsible for providing brand, marketing and content leadership as a member of the multimedia company’s senior management team.

In today's conversation, Alfred and I discuss a few of the black business legends who paved the path for today's generation. Alfred shares their stories, his connection to them and several black business books we should be reading to learn more about these black business icons.

Feb 12, 2018

"If you would stop making it all about money, all the money you want will come."

Known as America's Money Maven, Patrice Washington is a nationally recognized best-selling author, transformational speaker, and a leading authority on personal finance, entrepreneurship and success for women and youth.

Patrice’s wisdom on money matters has been tapped as a recurring voice by national brands such as NBC, FOX News, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Essence Magazine and more. She’s most known as the personal finance voice of the top-rated and nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Radio Show  where she hosts her own weekly segment, Real Money Answers with Patrice Washington. 

Full Show Notes:

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Feb 5, 2018

"By 2053... black median families will own zero wealth if current trends continue."


Dr. George C. Fraser is the Chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc., a company he founded some 30 years ago, to lead a global networking movement for people of African descent.


He spent 20 years in leadership positions with Procter & Gamble, United Way and Ford Motor Company before starting his own business in 1987.


Dr. Fraser is the author of 6 best-selling books. He has been named as one of the best speakers in America, and President Barack Obama recently awarded Dr. Fraser “The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award”.


Today Dr Fraser and I discussed his love/hate relationship with black history month, and what’s required for us as a community to begin to close the wealth gap between African Americans and other groups.

Full Show Notes:

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Jan 29, 2018

Why is legacy wealth important to the black community?

Dr. Pamela Jolly is the Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises. She's helped 1000s of entrepreneurs, national non-profits, trade organizations, the Federal Government, foundations and financial institutions.

She's a smart and committed woman who's developing data-driven strategies that will help lead us to wealth as a legacy in the African American Community.

In today's conversation, we talked about her meaning of the term legacy wealth and why it is important to the black community. We discuss what needs to happen to shift us from looking at this gratification of the now to a perspective further down the road.  Lastly, she walks us through the steps involved to chart our path toward legacy wealth and ownership.



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