Shenami Founding Members
Founder & CEO: Michelle May is Founder & CEO of Shenami, with more than 20 years of experience in technology and media as a digital media producer, brand consultant and manager of award-winning teams. She has created content, designed platforms and developed audience experiences with marketing and highly profitable monetization strategies across TV, web, mobile, social and live events. She’s worked for companies like NBC, Tribeca Productions, TLC and Interface Media Group and with clients such as the Washington National Cathedral and The Sheik Zayed Institute Pediatric Institute for Surgical Innovation. Michelle has believed in the power of women since 5 years old when she wanted to be the first woman President (her sister wanted to be a disco dancer). As she grew up, she continued to be a champion of women delving into women’s issues during her college years at Penn State. Women’s consumer power has been central to her work and, over the past few years, she has immersed herself in the professional and personal challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Shenami was launched in 2014 while participating in the Conscious Venture Lab Accelerator Program in MD. She is an affiliate of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, a member of the Howard County Tech Council and has served on the Boards of the DC Chapters for Women in Film & TV and FemFessionals.
Sales & Marketing: Mike May, VP Sales & Organizational Development, has decades of award-winning Fortune 500 sales, marketing, management and leadership development consulting experience. A Masters degree in Organizational Development from Pepperdine makes him a real asset in designing systems that function effectively, in addition to selling and marketing.
Enterprise Project Management: Lorelei Sibet has more than 20 years as an entrepreneur and business owner managing freelance and employee digital media teams. For a decade, her virtual marketing agency supported Online Advertising fulfillment for 14 media networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and during that same time her agency produced over 150 promotions for the biggest names in cable and their advertisers. Lorelei recently released two mobile apps and continues to innovate in the digital space.
Business Strategist & Shenami Investor: Jeff Cherry is the Founder and Executive Director of the Conscious Venture Lab, an accelerator and VC fund for conscious entrepreneurship. He is an evangelist for the transformation of capitalism, attempting to bring whole brain thinking the realm of business creation and a more human-centered form of investing.
Strategic Relationships and Planning: Kathy Benson is the dynamic CEO of ORI, a multimillion dollar market research and business intelligence firm. Having grown her business over 25 years, ORI has been recognized in INC 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Businesses for five consecutive years. Kathy provides Shenami with tremendous experience with the government as well as successfully scaling a company. Her strategic relationships with leadership of organizations such as WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), give Shenami wide and credible exposure to our target market.
Strategic Relationships and Start-Up Expertise: Kathleen Warner is a seasoned business leader, strategist and high level connector with over 20 years of executive and leadership experience, both private and public sectors. She is the former COO and founding team member of Startup America Partnership, the national network of start-up ecosystems where she managed Start-up’s relationships with its sponsors the Case Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and the White House. She a leader in the national women entrepreneurial movement and brings a wealth of start-up experience and high level connections both critical to influencing Shenami’s rapid growth journey.
Consumer Marketing, Digital Educational Product Development & Start-Up Experience: Judy Harris is an accomplished senior executive experienced in leading the development of strategy, operating plans and developing new revenue streams to maximize shareholder value. She has developed and launched innovative new products, services and digital technologies in education and consumer markets for companies such as Channel One Networks & Films Media Group, CarsonDellosa Publishing and Discovery Education. Judy’s deep experience in the digital education space from start-up to corporate enterprise provides Shenami with tremendous insight and creative ideas to support a successful trajectory from launch to scaling internationally.
Business, Conscious Capitalism & Strategic Relationships: R. Edward Freeman is the University Professor and Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration; Senior Fellow at the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics; Academic Director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics; and Darden's Institute for Business in Society at the Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. Ed is an award-winning and internationally recognized thought leader in business, working with the CEO’s of companies such as Whole Foods and McDonalds. He offers Shenami unparalleled insight and access to producing for and providing our clients with the best in business information and tools regarding Stakeholder Management, Leadership, Business Ethics, Corporate Responsibility, Business Strategy and Conscious Capitalism.
Business & Legal Counsel: Shenami’s attorney, Laura Possessky, is a founding partner of Gura & Possessky, PLLC in Washington, D.C. Her expertise includes appellate litigation; constitutional law; trademark, copyright protection and fair use; business counsel and dispute resolution in the arts, entertainment, internet and publishing media industries and; legal assistance for nonprofits and associations on media, technology and IP law issues. She is a newly-elected D.C. Bar delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates and serves as the WBADC liaison to the ABA Commission on Women.
Financial: Tessa Lucero Bennett, CPA Accounting, serves as Shenami’s Accountant and Financial Adviser. A CPA with over 17 years of experience, she provides advice on issues critical to the financial health and future of businesses. Her experiences range from traditional accounting and tax services to complex advisory services, including business planning, financial budgets and projections, benchmarking and financial trends.
Video Production: Joel Westbrook is an Emmy award-winning producer with over 40 years of industry experience. Responsible for all production at Time-Life Video & Television and for all nonfiction and reality-based programming on TBS and TNT while at Turner Productions. As Shenami’s producer, Joel’s expertise supports our media model from the development and production to the distribution and monetization of our video content.
Technical & Business Advisers: Parminder Sethi and Maynard McAlpin, Managing Partners of Mokxa, a software/solutions and management consulting company. Both have vast experience in strategic planning, and innovative technology implementation. Previously the President and CEO of Chartered Health Plan, Maynard offers Shenami critical business and management insight. Former COO and CIO of Chartered Health Plan, Parminder offers us significant support in the strategic planning of our systems and day to day operations around IT. Mokxa will manage the development of Shenami’s technology as well as provide our clients with proprietary innovative solutions for consumer engagement, business process management and customer software development.