In celebration of International Women’s Day, Boardroom highlights 10 women who are building products, brands, and initiatives across emerging industries.
A year ago, Boardroom featured eight of the coolest Black women in Web3.
Since then, those women have continued to build and cement why they made it on the list. Take Simone Berry’s launch of People of Crypto, for instance, or Ariana the Techie raising $3.3 million to build Mueshi, or Kirby Porter launching and wrapping the first season of New Game Labs’ podcast for athlete-creators. The accomplishments and the progression are endless.
To that end, we want to highlight another wave of ladies on International Women’s Day who are building the products, brands, and initiatives of the future in emerging industries.
Shannon Snow, COO of World of Women
WoW is known for its NFT collections featuring colorful, diverse, and powerful women avatars. Snow was an avid supporter of the brand before joining its leadership team, and she’s keen on being transparent with WoW’s progression — consider her recent Twitter thread in which she details some key takeaways from WoW’s first company offsite retreat focused on training, planning for the future, and more.
Latasha Gillespie, Head of Global DEI, Amazon Studios
Latasha Gillespie, Head of Global DEI at Amazon Studios, has worn several hats along her career path. She worked in finance and HR before realizing she had a passion for helping people, leading her to her current role with the e-commerce and media titan. Gillespie isn’t just helping the iconic company meet DEI employment needs — she’s also making sure staff and talent feel safe and secure in Amazon’s ever-expanding entertainment environments.
Betty, Co-founder & CEO, Deadfellaz
The world didn’t know what Deadfellaz co-founder and CEO Betty looked like until she revealed her identity at VeeCon 2022. Since then, Betty has continued to grow her Web3 brand, which has attracted a loyal community invested in far more than its green gender-neutral “undead” NFTs. Betty is every bit of a media mogul and an advocate for the evolving creator economy.
Johanna Faries, SVP & GM, Call of Duty
Did you know that one of the most popular first-person shooter gaming franchises is led by a woman? Activision Blizzard exec Johanna Faries started her corporate leadership career in traditional sports and esports before transitioning to the gaming industry. In her role at Call of Duty, Faries is constantly thinking about how her team is operating efficiently and ways to grow CoD’s community.
Avery Akkineni, President, Vayner3
Avery Akkineni is the founding president of Vayner3, a strategic consultancy working with brands and creatives to bring their web3 initiatives to life. When people hear Vayner, they automatically think of the brand’s namesake, Gary Vaynerchuk, but Akkineni is a name behind the brand that you need to know, too.
Summer Watson, President, Vol. 1 Music
Summer Watson was instrumental in bringing the Aku Web3 brand to life, but she has since left the company to focus on her own projects. Still, Watson is a builder in the industry that peers respect and want to support. She understands the value of blockchain technology and how it can be instrumental in reshaping industries like music.
Anjelic Vendette, VP and Head of Marketing, Alo Yoga
Anjelic Vendette, Vice President and Head of Marketing at Alo, can geek out about the power of Web3 all day. She’s the mastermind behind the fashion and lifestyle brand’s foray into digital goods and services, which started with the launch of a digital environment in Roblox called the Alo Sanctuary. Since then, Vendette has spearheaded the launch of Alo’s first blockchain-enabled clothing collection and the release of a digital fashion collection.
Megan Holston-Alexander, a16z partner & Head of Cultural Leadership Fund
Megan Holston-Alexander, a partner at a16z and driver of the VC company’s Cultural Leadership Fund, is on a mission to make sure Black entrepreneurs and creators always have a seat at the table. She has helped grow CLF’s internal team and spearheaded the fund’s investments in over 300 a16z portfolio companies. In December, CLF introduced the Black Digital Art Collective to invest in and onboard Black artists to Web3 and the blockchain. Holston-Alexander isn’t leading CLF to just cut checks. She’s investing in Black communities, artists, and creators for the long haul.
Chelsey Northern, Web3 communications & PR expert
Chelsey Northern’s Twitter bio reads, “storyteller for creators of the future,” and that description of her and her work couldn’t be more true. Northern leads communications and PR efforts for big brands such as FaZe Clan and Deadfellaz. She’s a network connector in the space and often works behind the scenes, but she’s also someone who understands the power of Web3 and is working to make sure the rest of the world does, too.
Lindsey Byrnes, lifestyle & entertainment photographer
Lindsey Byrnes is a devoted NFT collector with nearly 300 digital collectibles under her belt. She also often puts her photographs on the blockchain and played an instrumental role in bringing Fan Controlled Football into the Web3 era. Byrnes is still building in the space and soon have her work featured in a Sotheby’s auction hosted in conjunction with Unicorn DAO called “My Body, My Business.”