A Black Woman-Owned Electric Company In Detroit Just Landed A 0K Deal

A Black Woman-Owned Electric Company In Detroit Just Landed A $100K Deal

After gaining insight about contract work and electrical work from her day job and ex-husband, one businesswoman birthed a company that’s now closing six-figure deals.

Deana Neely never saw herself in the electrical industry until it was put on her radar due to her ex-husband’s work as an electrician. Observing his work eventually sparked a business idea she had to see through. So, in 2016, she founded Detroit Voltage, a certified Woman Business Enterprise, and serves as the CEO. The Detroit native’s organization is an electrical contracting firm that specializes in residential and commercial electrical installation, repair, remodeling and renovation services, and installs electrical vehicle charging stations in addition to supplying LED lighting to other businesses nationwide. She recently signed off on a $100,000 deal with smart energy company, DTE Energy, a victorious moment for DV, Because Of Them We Can reported.

 
 
 
 
 
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Before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, Neely worked for the city of Detroit. While serving her hometown she gained some valuable insight into contract work and partnerships through projects she assisted with. Although her marriage resulted in a divorce, she stumbled into her purpose.

“I worked in local government for over a decade, and while working in [the] Buildings and Safety Department for the city of Detroit, I had an opportunity to work with contractors, and so I learned both sides of the counter never really thinking that I would be a contractor,” she said in an interview with CBS Detroit. “I ended up marrying an electrician. The relationship didn’t work, but the company was birthed from that, and so here we are.”

As someone who grew up in “The Motor City,” Neely had a front-row seat and experience of how her community was often overlooked by various companies that could be the solution to some problems that need attention.

“As a born and raised Detroiter, I also saw that people didn’t really want to serve the community, and I was more than happy to do so and so I kind of found that niche and just rolled with it,” she said.

Despite the hard work and dedication she’s put into her brand over the past eight years that’s led to this monumental moment for her business, she’s grateful for the relationships she’s built through connecting with other like-minded women. A group she credited with having women who have offered support along her successful entrepreneurial journey is the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

“I was looking for a safe place where I could get some mentorship,” she said. “They have been the most amazing organization for me. I mean, they welcomed me with open arms and have helped me along the way, so I’m in my eighth year of business and they have been just dynamic.”

Check out Neely’s full interview with CBS Detroit below:

Bun B’s Trill Burgers Named in New Lawsuit From Ex-Business Partners

Bun B’s Trill Burgers Named in New Lawsuit From Ex-Business Partners

Trill Burgers

Bun B has the hottest thing coming out of Houston since “Still Tippin’” in his wildly popular Trill Burgers. But now, it seems like Bun B’s baby is at the center of a court case with several allegations being thrown around.

According to Chron, Bun B and his ex-associates and co-founders of Trill Burgers, Patsy, and Benson Vivares, are duking it out in a court of law as both sides are accusing each other of theft.

In 2023 Bun B, Andy Nguyen, and Nick Scurfield filed a lawsuit against the Vivares brothers alleging that the two had stolen $45,000 from the company’s coffers. Turning the tables on Bun B and company, Patsy, and Benson filed a counter lawsuit in which they claim that Bun B, Nguyen, and Scurfield not only stole their smash burger idea but also the original recipe, which led to Trill Burgers being crowned the best burger in America.

Represented by Saad Aziz and Walter “Web” Beard of Aziz and Beard Trial Law, the Vivareses are claiming that they linked up with Andy Nguyen in 2021 when they were looking for a new menu item to add to their Sticky’s Chicken restaurant menu.

Chron reports:

“[The Vivareses] spent a lot of time and energy developing the recipe,” Aziz said. “They are the ones who kind of came up with the specifics of the smashburger … now called the OG Trill Burger.”

According to the counterclaims made by the Vivareses, the siblings and Nguyen in July 2021 connected and partnered with Bun B, who had known Nguyen since 2010 and was said to be a fan of Sticky’s Chicken. At the time, Bun B was approached by the Vivareses through a meeting facilitated by Nguyen and Nick Scurfield, founder of the public relations firm Scurfield Group who at the time listed Sticky’s Chicken as a client. According to court documents, the initial meeting was set up to test the rapper’s interest in “being involved with the promotion” of the burger.  

A partnership over the smashburger concept was confirmed on July 22, with each partner assuming a percentage of ownership, according to court documents. An email sent to each partner outlined the partnership, indicating that the Vivareses and Nguyen together would retain a 50 percent share, Bun B would have 40 percent, and Scurfield would retain the remaining 10 percent. It is unclear how ownership was split between Nguyen and the Vivareses, though court documents claim that the Vivareses are entitled to 33.4 percent. By Jan. 4 , 2022, a limited liability company was established for Trill Burgers.

Damn! We thought this was Bun B’s secret recipe, but the Vivares are claiming that it’s theirs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court and who came up with the recipe that put Trill Burgers on the map.

Still, the Trill Burger made its debut in February of 2022 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and was a massive hit. The Vivares brothers ran the pop-up themselves and cooked thousands of burgers that day bringing in quite the haul.

As for the $45,000 that Bun B’s team claimed was stolen by the Vivareses, the brothers admitted in texts to “misappropriating” the money but said that all the partners were aware that they would use the profits from the pop-up to pay off Sticky’s mounting debts.

The Vivareses are seeking $1 million from Bun B, Scurfield, Nguyen, and Trill Burgers, LLC, saying they not only stole their recipe for Trill Burgers but also poached their chef, Mike Pham, in the process.

What do y’all think of the drama surrounding Trill Burgers? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jeffery M. Jordan’s HEIR App Is a Game Changer for the Sports Landscape

Jeffery M. Jordan’s HEIR App Is a Game Changer for the Sports Landscape

The HEIR App is seeking to transform the way athletes and fans interact with each other. Co-founded by Jeffery M. Jordan—son of basketball great Michael Jordan—Jeron Smith and Daniel George, HEIR is the first product launched by Heir Inc., “a next-generation holding company that connects brands at the intersection of sports, tech, and entertainment.”

A player-focused app, the digital platform allows community members to gain exclusive access to athletes and one-of-a-kind experiences.

EBONY spoke with Briana Richardson, HEIR’s Head of Product about the launch of the app, the needs of Gen Z sports fans, and the team’s vision to connect athletes with their fans

EBONY: What led the team at HEIR Inc. to launch this app?

Briana Richardson: Our founders, Jeffrey, Jaron, and Daniel all know each other from Nike. It all started with the idea that athletes today have to bring their communities together on channels that they don’t own. They have social media platforms, which are already regulated by the League, but they don’t really have the opportunity to own the stories themselves. So when the company was founded, it was really centered on whether players should have more control over their narratives. This was actually before NIL became what it is today. The team saw an opportunity based on previous experiences that athletes don’t get the flexibility and the control that they should have for how much value they bring to their sports. So there was a high emphasis on evolution from the athlete’s perspective. We wanted to make it easier for these athletes to bring their own communities together through a channel where they have maximum control. Now their content reaches them, and they’re able to monetize it, however, they see fit.

Can you speak to how Gen Z fans are underserved in the sports world and how HEIR serves this demographic?

HEIR is at the epicenter of Gen Z sports culture. We found that Gen Z consumers are so different from other consumers, and that’s not just for sports, but for everything in every industry. They want to have an experience that’s very different from what consumers had before. In sports, we feel like there are some definitive points that we’ve heard from our consumers that we really leaned into when we were building the app. So the first thing we learned is that with Gen Z-ers, you have eight seconds or less, short attention span You really can’t have these long-drawn-out videos. That’s why TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Reels are so popular.

We focus on just highlights and being able to catch the biggest moments of the night before, We also focus on the player first versus the team or the league. A lot of Gen Z consumers, or Gen Z in general, look to identify more on a personal level. So the way we deliver our entire experience is through the lens of the player. Whether that’s looking at content or stats, we view it through the lens of the player first.

Would you say that sports fans today want to be more interactive with athletes than previous generations?

Yes, personal connection is big for them. If you think about sports and the way it’s consumed right now, you and I could jump on any of these apps, and it would be a solo experience. We could both be on ESPN right now and know that both of us are on ESPN doing the same thing. The difference with HEIR is that it centers on the fact that Gen Z loves community. They want to find homes virtually or find other people that are similar to them, the same way of describing athletes. So we very much focus on having that experience on our app as well.

NBA stars Anthony Edwards and Lonzo Ball are featured athletes on the app. How did they become a part of HEIR?

Jeffery, Jaron and Daniel have known Anthony and Lonzo for many years. They fell in love with that ownership piece. If you think about it, a lot of athletes may have their own signature line of clothing or other endorsements. But we think today’s athlete wants more freedom to express themselves and the freedom to control how they can express themselves. When you look at their social media, it’s more like fulfilling obligations that they may have with other partnerships. But we position it to them as an avenue for them to be themselves. A human first and an athlete second. Anthony and Lonzo were drawn to those ideas.

The post Jeffery M. Jordan’s HEIR App Is a Game Changer for the Sports Landscape appeared first on Ebony.

Rihanna Steps Down As Savage X Fenty’s CEO: ‘This Is Just The Beginning For Us’

Rihanna Steps Down As Savage X Fenty’s CEO: ‘This Is Just The Beginning For Us’

Rihanna is stepping down as CEO of Savage X Fenty, the lingerie brand she co-founded in 2018. While she still remains as executive chair of the brand, Rihanna said the latest change is part of the company’s effort to keep expanding the vision.

“It’s been beautiful to see our vision for Savage X Fenty impact the industry at such an incredible magnitude over the last five years,” the “Diamonds” singer said, according to Vogue Business. “This is just the beginning for us, and we’re going to continue to expand in ways that always connect with the consumer.”

Beauty mogul Hillary Super will now take over the position that Rihanna held since launching the brand. “I’m so grateful and excited to welcome Hillary Super as our new CEO – she is a strong leader and is focused on taking the business to an even higher level,” Rihanna said.

Super, the former CEO of Anthropologie Group, also held executive positions at Guess, American Eagle, Gap and Old Navy, Independent reported. “I’m thrilled to join the Savage X Fenty family,” Super told Vogue Business. “The brand is a major powerhouse in the lingerie and apparel industry, and its unwavering commitment to celebrating inclusivity and fearlessness is inspiring.”

Savage X Fenty has become a worldwide brand featuring global fashion shows and a wide selection of clothing lines that include lingerie for plus-size models, as well as gender-neutral items. Fenty, which has seven stores in the U.S., is also looking to expand its e-commerce business.

Rihanna now has a net worth of over $1.4 billion. The 35-year-old entrepreneur launched her cosmetics company Fenty Beauty in 2017 before she co-owned Savage X Fenty. Rihanna also has a lot going on; she’s expecting her second child with A$AP Rocky. Rihanna gave birth to her first child, RZA Athelaston, in 2022.