Radio Producer, Host/Global Ambassador, Actor, Global Speaker, Expansion Leader, Business Woman, Author! These are just some of the many hats that Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly wears on a daily basis. The Guyanese-born Altanta-resident, who is also a member of the Guyana Association of Georgia, recently sat down for and interview with Voyage Atlanta Magazine. Here’s her story…
Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Native of Guyana, South America and came to the USA at age 14 with my mother and resided in Brooklyn, NYC. New York was my home from high school into college years until my relocation to Knoxville, TN in 1995. I relocated to Atlanta, GA back in November 2002, a single mother without employment nor my own place to reside. I temporarily stayed with my mother’s friend in a room, until I sought employment and place to afford for permanent living. My career then commenced in the Legal Arena as a Paralegal with intentions of pursuing my JD in the Criminal Justice Area. It appears my plans and God’s plan differ, as a silent VOICE emerge. My impression of Atlanta was I have to need to find myself and contribute somehow to all the success I was witnessing.
My first experience with the WORD “Networking” was at Hairstons, in Stone Mountain. I attended a business networking and was asked to present my business card. I did not have one and asked the host, how can I obtain a business card… she replied, “girl, you need a business”, a light bulb went off on my journey to find a business.
I was dubbed, “Atlanta’s No. 1 Networker”, because I wanted to learn the craft and thus entrenched into the world of networking, 7 days a week, I attended an event after I ended my workday. I told my husband, I won’t be able to cook and take care of the house (I am on a journey for freedom and finding ME), I told my daughter, I will have to miss a few volleyball games (so she can have a legacy). My Mother advised that she will contribute to cooking dinner weekly. God gave me the green light, my family knew their role in my journey of seeking success and taking that shot we all get in life.
My first business was Avon and that shaped me into a woman I am today. I have since acquired the title of Founder of The CabcGlobal Network (Caribbean and American Global Business Connections) and soon the Global Sister Speaks Platform. I have also partnered global companies in the travel and tourism industry in over 36 Countries. Produced and hosted a global radio show. Honored in several publications such as, Who’s who in Black Atlanta, Rolling Out Magazine, People You Need to Know magazine. The Georgia House of Representatives presented me with resolution 1699 for my work in the local and global business communities. As a motivational/empowerment speaker, I remind my audience of their entrepreneurial gifts and the purpose (you as a servant leader). I am currently in global business ventures and partnerships impacting individuals lifestyle.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing new is never smooth, but with faith and believe, that rough road will soon be effortless. I was very passionate about myself and what I had to offer, not everyone will come, but with persistence, your audience will come. As an immigrant, I honestly believed my people would be my biggest supporters. But I soon realized that it was not going to happen, I continued to deliver my networking events flyers to pretty much everyone. Atlanta being multicultural and ethnically diverse was a sign of others waiting to hear your message. I never stopped and my tenacity paid off.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Caribbean and American Global Business Connections story. Tell us more about the business.
The Caribbean & American Global Business Connections: serves a business network for entrepreneurs and professionals. One of the unique attributes, we visited a Brick and Mortar and hosted networking events, thus bring exposure and shine a light on the business. I enjoyed traveling to a different county or state meeting ambitious individuals. I was known as the global connector. I did not realize with local and global interaction, I was connecting individuals near and far. Our audience is very diverse. I always said: “You will meet someone from another country, embrace their culture through food, dialect and respect for difference, I encourage my audience to travel with me to ” meet someone you did not know from yesterday”. It was a pretty bold mission. Moving beyond your respective communities through networking will allow you to acquire genuine personal and professional relationships.
I am most proud of my will to continue with the hopes of finding my audience. I know now, we all have our village of angels. What we have to share is ordained and we must never forget that. There has to be a few falls and stumbles, that is part of the story that has to be told. You will have bystanders who are just that, your goal is to be the main attraction and own your stage.
As I look back on the late nights, a whole of sacrifice, the takers, non-believers, oh what a beautiful journey it has been and I am just getting started… each day, I get fired up!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Networking remains a vital ingredient in business overall. My business areas in business expansion, travel and tourism, empowering masses is always needed. Technology has actually made it that much easier to grow on a global platform. I have been able to empower people virtually.
CURATED Travel is a growing trend. Many people are traveling more with hosted trip options. I am elated to be a part of this option to travel and serves as an ambassador and business expansion leader.
Business has social media as a driving force in growing, expansion and visibility. The business partnership has seen growth due to leverage with ordinary individuals seeking just a little more in life. This year, I will be launching for the first time my brand in my country of birth, GUYANA. I do know, people are always seeking a voice to lead.
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