Entrepreneurship: Turning Passion into Profit
About Marva and Patrice:
Marva Allen is the CEO and Founder of Wordeee. An entrepreneur since the age of 24, Allen has led many companies to success. A technologist, author, publisher, bookstore owner and Business School University Professor, Allen brings pedagogy, vision and experience to the leadership team.
Ms. Allen was president and co-owner of USI, a multi-million dollar technology firm that was thrice nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurship Award. She is the recipient of numerous business awards, including the IBM & Kodak Excellence Awards, and was named a Crain’s 40 Under 40 Award for significantly achieving in business before her 40th birthday. Allen, a nominee of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan. She joined the Hue-Man Bookstore in New York City, as a majority partner and became CEO in 2004. Under her stewardship, Hue-Man gained worldwide brand recognition. Currently, Allen is the on-air book contributor and commentator for Arise TV and on the faculty of Touro University’s Graduate School of Business, where she teaches entrepreneurship and often consults with entrepreneurial organizations in need of restructuring.
A national speaker and lecturer on entrepreneurship, Allen’s influential footprint spans multiple disciplines. She holds a BSN from SGI in England; a B.S in Biology from the University of Michigan; and an M.S. in Health & Business Administration. She was a past member of the University of Michigan’s CSP Board, Eastern Michigan Hospitality Board, the IBM Great Lakes Region Board, the General Motors Diversity Board, a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Hope Leadership Academy founded by NBA player Kevin Johnson, and LitWorld, an organization concerned with literacy around the world. Allen is also a trustee of the Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, and an Advisory Board Member of Asia Initiatives. A recipient of the 2008 New York Urban League Frederick Douglass Award, Allen has received myriad proclamations and citations from the community of Harlem and beyond.
As a noted book subject matter expert, Allen has been the “go to” person for books for NPR, NBC, and has been featured in the New York Times, NYSE Diversity Magazine (she rang the closing bell for Wall Street), Time Out, Sister to Sister, Black Enterprise, PGW Magazine, Amsterdam News, among others. She also appeared on Good Morning America as spokesperson for her technology company USI.
Allen is the author of two acclaimed books, Protégée (1993) and Camouflage (2000), the sequel. She was a contributing writer to Open a World of Possible, (2014, Scholastics). Her latest novel, If I Should Die Tonight, will be published in 2017.
As a partner in the imprint Akashic/Open Lens, she has expertise on all fronts of the publishing industry. Allen has been instrumental in guiding the success of many authors’ books by creating one of-a-kind events which have enjoyed success worldwide. She spearheaded the First Literary Festival in Anguilla and hosted major events for Toni Morrison, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Maya Angelou among many others. She consults with celebrities and high profile authors who want out-of-the-box thinking on marketing, promoting, and selling their books.
Allen’s latest project, Wordeee was selected as one of 50 startups invited to Web Summit, the world’s largest tech event Ireland in November 2015 that boast success stories such as Airbnb and Uber. Within a week of attending, Wordeee received offers for investment opportunities.
Patrice Samara is the COO and Co-Founder of Wordeee. Emmy award-winner Patrice Samara has over twenty years experience as a Global Strategic Communications Advisor, Documentary & Event Producer, and lifelong entrepreneur with over twenty five years experience working with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations in over thirty countries. She is also an accomplished author, publisher and editor.
She has produced numerous large scale global events and significant anniversaries including the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Coming to America, the 100th Anniversary of American Express, the opening of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and The Exploring the Future of Global Learning Symposium at the University of Seattle. An innovative, passionate change agent committed to meeting the rapidly evolving needs of an increasingly integrated, information-driven economy, her ability to provide thoughtful, unerring direction and creative strategies earned her a reputation as one of the world’s top event management leaders as President of Triumph Communications Group with offices in New York and Miami.
Well known for her vision, integrity, and commitment to excellence, Ms. Samara has been honored with over fifty international awards for creativity and excellence, including thirty Cine Golden Eagles and two Parent’s Choice Awards. She has twice been a NGO Representative to the United Nations and received the Orphans International Global Citizenship Award for Leadership in Helping Humanity. Ms. Samara has been a Strategic Communications Advisor for several high profile global leaders including the 61st President of the United Nation’s General Assembly. She is the author of seven multi-cultural children’s books, produced music, developed characters, toys, educational activities and curriculum for the Alphabet Kids Series and has produced with Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies and Walt Disney. Ms. Samara tours widely speaking on the topics of entrepreneurship, cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, and bullying. A committed humanitarian, she dedicates time and resources to global education and women’s rights. Her latest charitable activity is Designing Angels: The Sanctuary Project creating warm, homelike, and welcoming environments and dinners for homeless, refugee, or immigrant women and children in need.
As Chief Operating Officer of Wordeee, a disruptive, new publishing and social media platform, she assisted founder, Marva Allen, in the realization of her dream to build a high tech-high touch community for authors and readers.
Savvy Ladies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to empowering women through financial education.