Black History Month was started by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week in 1926 and centered on two main ideas: recognition and importance. As Woodson said, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” To celebrate Black History Month this February, we reached out to some of our staff, recent contributors, and favorite marketers to talk about their careers and some of their favorite people in Black history.

Shondell Varcianna

Founder and CEO, Varci Media

Heritage:

Was born in Canada. My mom is from Jamaica and dad is from Ghana.

I started working in the banking industry in 1998 at BMO Bank of Montreal. I worked in several different positions, including being a mortgage loan originator, where I underwrote million-dollar mortgages per week and exceeded weekly targets by 130%. During my time at CMHC, I paid off two mortgages of my own: the mortgage from the home I lived in and a rental property. A friend suggested that I start a blog to help others to pay off their mortgage. Soon after, Redbook Magazine and a few radio stations started contacting me wanting to hear my story. That led to companies wanting to hire my to write for them. Today, I own and operate Varci Media, a writing company in Atlanta, Georgia that helps financial institutions save time by writing content that speaks to their target customers. I’ve transformed my clients blogs into solution providers. 

“Oprah Winfrey is a huge inspiration for me. Her ability to connect with people from all walks of life is a gift. I strive to be like that.“ 

Career Highlights She’s Most Proud Of:

I am most proud of retiring my mom back in 2012. It was a promise I made to her in 1992 when I was 12, and to be able to retire her was a dream come true. 

Amara Omoregie 

CEO, amaraREPS

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Heritage:
Black/African American

Inbound sales and marketing agency. Building brands from the inside, out for the last 12 years. Treating my team with respect, and encouraging their growth and creativity really makes me so happy. Also, helping my clients build ideas into enterprises. I’ve helped several clients build their businesses to over $1M in revenue in a few short years. These are great new businesses to work for and to support with the right ethics and leadership. I really feel like I’m doing my part in my own little way to make the world a better place. 

“My mom was one of the first African American women to be a lead chemist at a ballistics laboratory when I was younger. My uncles have all been entrepreneurs for years, and inspired me at a young age to do my own thing and to do what I love. They continue to do great things in the world, and I thank them for their guidance and their support. I also thank everyone that came before me, and all of the people in my space that are doing amazing work. The CEO of Calendly, Tope Awotona, for example is a hero that I look up to right now for all that he has accomplished, for his amazing growth thus far, and for building such a successful company. We need more Black entrepreneurs showing up in tech this way. 🙂

Career Highlights She’s Most Proud of:

Honestly, being able to pay for my staff’s medical insurance 100% and being able to offer fair and equitable benefits, especially during the pandemic! 

Maya Hughley

Content Coordinator, DigitalMarketer

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Heritage

Black

Maya Hughley graduated from UT Austin with a degree in marketing and has been delving deep into content ever since. As a member of the DigitalMarketer team, her main goal is creating tools and trainings that are actionable and up-to-date. She spends most of her time tracking trends, consuming content, and writing words.

“My favorite Black history icon has always been Mae Jemison. As if being the first Black woman in space wasn’t enough, she’s an engineer, a medical doctor, a dancer, and appeared in an episode of Star Trek. She has always inspired me to follow my interests, no matter how different they may seem from each other—there’s truly no limit to creativity or intelligence. ”

Career Highlights She’s Most Proud of: 

Being on the DigitalMarketer Podcast and being the host of Insider Training 🙂

Lloyd A Poku

Senior Sales Executive, Scalable

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Heritage: 

Ghanian 

I am an experienced Senior Account Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the social media, e-learning industry, and orthopedic industry. Born and raised in Allen, Texas, I love soccer and have a passion for improving mentally and physically. 

“My father is definitely the Black person that’s influenced me and my career the most.”

Career Highlights He’s Most Proud of: 

  • Achieved President’s club at ADP 
  • Won D2 NCAA national title at University of the Ozarks 
  • Helped build multiple sales divisions at Spredfast (now Khorus) 
  • Over 1,000 hours with Ortho Surgeons and providing surgical hardware in Trauma and Sports Therapy.



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