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Meet L.Michelle Smith, award winning communicator, corporate leader and business owner

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1. So our readers can get to know you, briefly introduce yourself to our audience.

I am an author, speaker and leader who is also founder of No Silos Communications LLC, the parent company for a series of media, content, and tech brands including “The Culture Soup Podcasttm” and The30MinuteMentor.com. I have more than 25 years of experience as a communicator and integrated marketer at global agencies, my own boutique, PR agency, and a Fortune 10 technology, telecom, and media company.

More from my bio is below:

She is in constant demand as a keynote speaker, facilitator, panelist and host and has been featured across the United States for Brand-Innovators at their summits in Dallas, NYC Social Media Week and SXSW, Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, Howard University’s Annual Social Media Conference, the National Black Public Relations Society annual conference,  the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) global conference, Blogging While Brown, Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit, and other major venues. She is a member of the Texas Christian University Bob Schieffer College of Strategic Communications Board of Visitors, is featured in the nationally-televised TCU Lead On ad campaign, and profiled prominently in a related, digital, mini documentary.

Fast Company once called Michelle one of the best media trainers in the business. She spent about a dozen years training executives in the C-Suite for keynotes, presentations, interviews, and appearances on CNBC, The Today Show, CNN, and other national and local broadcast shows. She has since applied those tenets to her own speaking opportunities and added her own signature, infectious energy and personality to become one of the most sought after contemporary keynote speakers on topics that concern technology, business, and culture.

As a classically-trained mezzo-soprano who has sung professionally across a number of genres, she sits on the board of directors for Opera America where she is advising the organization on how to usher in a more inclusive experience in opera especially leveraging social media. Among a long list of other honors and recognitions over her career, recently, Brand Innovators named her to their “Top 100 Women to Watch” list. Women of Color in STEM recognized her as a “Technology All-Star,” and the PR Council and PRWeek name her as a finalist for their Diversity Distinction Champion—In House award. RollingOut Magazine also named her to their “Top 25 Women in Dallas”.

2. What is your business all about? 
I am an award-winning communicator who helps people and brands thrive at the intersection of tech, culture, and business.

3. What inspired you to get started?

I am a writer. I was inspired when I was entering college to find a way to make a living at it [writing]. The rest is modern, Black history!

4. What is your educational background?

I earned a bachelor’s degree in English, writing emphasis, and a Master of Science in media studies from TCU.

5. What are your motivations?
I am motivated by my faith in God, my love for serving people, and my incredibly beautiful and smart daughter

6. What advice do you have for other people who want to do this same thing?                                                                                                                            My advice is not to set out to blaze someone else’s path. Blaze your own. My story is unique to the path that God appointed for me. By all means, be inspired, but absolutely, do YOU.

In the meantime, take every opportunity to collect the tools so that you can do the skill. At the core of being a communicator and a businessleader is great interpersonal skills, articulate and concise writing, as well as compelling speaking and storytelling.

7. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?       I will continue my path as an extra-preneur, working in corporate while running my small business which supports all of my media and content endeavors. More content is on the way, so look for it!     

8. Any present or future projects?      

I’m also the executive producer and host of “The Culture Soup Podcast(tm)” which features human interest interviews with some of the most innovative names in tech, business and culture. It has ranked #204 on Apple Podcasts in the category of Business/Business News in the US and #282 in the UK according to Podkite and called a business podcast that is “anything but boring,” by Inside Podcasting. I am also The 30 Minute Mentor (#30MM), a program that organizes growth cohorts for entrepreneurs and mid-level, corporate professionals hoping to grow their leadership skills and business acumen. The platform offers one-to-one consults, cohorts and online masterclasses.

9. What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your business as a person of color?

I’m relieved in some ways that McKinsey and the LeanIn organization pointed out something that we as women of color already knew, that Black women however, educated and able we are, are met with resistance in the workplace when it comes to leadership opportunities. One way that I’m addressing that is by pouring into and pulling up other Black women so that we can increase representation in the management and executive ranks as well as small business ownership—slowly chipping away at the issue.

10. Are you Married or Single?

I am single.

11. How can we connect with you on social media?

IG: @lmichellemoves, @theculturesoup

Twitter: @lmichellepr. Or follow me on LinkedIn at in/lmichellesmith

12. What is your greatest accomplishment?

The work I’m doing to raise an extraordinary daughter who will be even more amazing than myself.

13. As a person of color, what advice will you give someone starting their own business or career?

Be excellent but be you.

Dominique Richardson is an experienced writer, editor, and organizer with a demonstrated history of working in the customer service industry. Focused on the English language, rhetoric, business, and writing. She is currently pursuing an English degree and corporate communications minor from Clayton State University.

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