Hennessy has announced 20 members of its inaugural “Never Stop Never Settle Society,” championing the next generation of Black entrepreneurs.
Hennessy, the world’s best-selling Cognac, introduced the initiative in March to create and support an inclusive environment for business growth and development.
The “Never Stop Never Settle Society” builds on Hennessy’s long-standing commitment to Black communities, which dates back to the 1800s, including involvement in what would become the National Urban League, the first corporate sponsor of the NAACP and the only company in its industry to be a founding corporate donor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Hennessy has a rich legacy of assisting in the growth of African American business and socioeconomic status.
“Hennessy recognizes the tenacity and resilience each selected member embodies as they push the limits of potential to carve their path, address social and economic challenges and make a lasting impact on their community,” Jasmin Allen, senior vice president, Hennessy US, said in a statement.
“Hennessy has always supported the Black community,” she added. “We are honored to continue this legacy through the ‘Never Stop Never Settle Society’ by celebrating extraordinary individuals and championing the vision of their businesses.”
The program was co-created with the Marcus Graham Project, a nonprofit organization that helps identify, expose, mentor, and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry. The inaugural 20 members selected for the program were chosen due to their commitment to changing the world through social impact and increasing representation of Black businesses and job creation within their communities.
“Marcus Graham Project shares Hennessy’s vision to embolden the rich legacies of Black entrepreneurs who are moving the culture forward,” says Lincoln Stephens, co-founder, and CEO of the Marcus Graham Project (MGP).” We are honored to have co-created a platform that will continue to champion Black excellence, celebrate entrepreneurial endeavors, and advance early ventures.”
Each member will receive $50,000, access to professional development sessions with Moët Hennessy executives, business development resources and tools and a membership to The Gathering Spot Connect, a Black-owned digital community offering networking options, business development resources, and culturally relevant content.
Hennessy believes its inaugural members are paramount to creating positive change for the future while paying respect to past models of community-built success such as Tulsa’s Greenwood District.
The 2021 inaugural members are:
- Abeille Creations is based in Atlanta and established by CEO Melissa Mitchell, a self-taught artist who endeavors to illuminate the Black Art movement through community engagement.
- Annie Admin is founded by Chicago native Erica Davis and offers a complete virtual office management solution to help manage the day-to-day administrative needs of home service professionals across America.
- City Press Juice & Bottle is a Chicago-based establishment helmed by Todd McCrainey Jr. to provide the healthiest, most nutrient dense cold-pressed juice by superfood blends and raw food.
- EatOkra Inc. is the go-to app for discovering Black-owned restaurants nationwide co-created by Brooklyn-based husband and wife duo Janique and Anthony Edwards.
- EnrichHER connects institutional and retail sources of capital to companies led by women and people of color; founded by gender equality activist Dr. Roshawnna Novellus and based in Atlanta.
- Esquire Branding Agency is led by principal and owner Matthew Harper of Atlanta to deliver top-tier services across event production, creative and branding.
- Gallerie 88, founded by Alex Delotch Davis in Atlanta, is a digital media and lifestyle company that celebrates Black luxury fashion, fine art, and design.
- HealHaus is a Brooklyn-based wellness company established by entrepreneur Darian Hall to provide digital and studio mental health programming.
- Kanarys, Inc. is a Dallas-based technology company co-founded by Mandy Price, Star Carter, and Bennie King that focuses on providing the tools organizations need to create long-term, systemic change around diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges.
- Listen TWO Me is a full-service production company founded and led by CEO George A. Peters II that collaborates with Black creatives to develop original content from in-person events to digital series and films.
- Mischo Beauty, based in Washington, D.C., and founded by CEO Kitiya King, focuses on the formulation of the healthiest, safest, and cleanest beauty products.
- Podpal is an Atlanta-based tech startup that provides an all-in-one platform for podcast management. Founder and CEO Aaron P. Woods leads the product vision to help podcast teams plan, publish, and promote their show.
- Quartz Water Source was born out of the Flint water crisis and developed by Flint-native Jonathan Quarles to expand global access to clean water through innovative technology.
- Saint Miles Creative Agency is a creative sanctuary where ideas are actualized. The Jacksonville, FL-based award-winning storytelling agency was co-founded by Enitan Bereola II and Steve Canal.
- The Kinship Advisors is based in the Washington, D.C. area and founded by CEO Alexys Feaster. A strategic advisory company, the Kinship partners with people of influence and brands committed to racial equity and sustaining impact in underserved communities.
- Soulgood is based in Dallas and founded by plant-based visionary Cynthia Nevels to provide opportunity zones across Texas with healthy, organic, and plant-based fast foods using eco-friendly materials.
- TNT Wangs Tulsa is a Tulsa-based food truck that was founded by Latia Vann and is known for serving “the best chicken in the Midwest.”
- Toasted Life is a Bay Area-based lifestyle-entertainment platform co-founded by Warren Jones and Matt Tuffuor that provides access to elevated events and experiences for BIPOC professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs across the U.S. and abroad.
- WaySlay is an on-demand delivery app for Black haircare and cosmetics created by Miami-based Michael James and Ian Grant II to deliver beauty supplies directly to consumers’ doorsteps.
- WITH, led by co-founder Amy Lattimore in Atlanta, is a wellness education platform designed to help employees learn how to care for themselves and others. Through live and on-demand sessions, WITH makes holistic wellness accessible for employees.