I am a venture entrepreneur and solutions expert with a passion to assist others to get to their goals. I am a consultant, author, artist and inventor. My passion to deliver ideas, strategies and solutions to people and organizations all started at an early age listening to my father solve problems in his business and my mother manage social and educational issues with in the city of Cincinnati.
In life, we have profound experiences that shape us. One such experience was when my father was contracted to install a large tree near French Lick, Indiana. Large equipment dug holes that as a child’s eye appeared massive. As I carefully stood on the edge of this huge hole which would house a future tree, it became apparent that there was more than planting a tree that meets the eye. Planting a tree required information on dimensions, safety, depth and relationships to other trees.
More than fun, it became a learning experience thinking of root systems, water and the life of this large tree which required such a big space and depth to take root. I was 4 and at that moment I looked up and I became a systems thinker. Thinking of the size, height, diameter and all the potential things that this deep cavity in the earth could do and be, I then became analytical. My mother told me later in life that I was always an organized thinker and I always simulated events and actions.
I was Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised by two amazing parents who provided me with “rich” life. My mother told me I was always an organized and creative thinker as a child; today I use that same innate talent in my business and social life. My mother, Bettye Oldham was a strong civic leader, social entrepreneur and advocate for her city and others. She loved the arts and surrounded herself with beautiful things and people. She served on the Symphony, Ballet and many other boards during a the time when this was extremely rare for Black woman. My father, Robert T Oldham was a conservative successful contractor who understood the importance of networking and politics as one of the largest contractors in Ohio. He was very instrumental in teaching me how to analyze situations and identify valuable solutions for all parties involved. He taught me “Never be bothered by “NO” because you didn’t have it in the first place,” as well as “move it once”. My mother gave her experiences of the world through travel, education and art. My first international trip was when I was two and my first flight was at 18 months. My parents were my first Heroes and that remains today.
To date, I have been to 39 countries and this view provided me a global opportunity of the world and allowed me to master cultural communication and understanding the value that is brought to situations by appreciate others. This global exposure gave me the ability to communicate not only across diverse cultural backgrounds but professional as well. It carved my appreciation for world foods and the arts.
At the age of two, I attended Cincinnati Country Day where Mr. Hopple, Mrs. Rothchild and Mrs. Rice. They were inspirations and shaped my life. Mr. Hopple was a tall compassionate man who broke the racial barriers by opening Cincinnati Country Day’s door to African Americans students; partially due to persuasion of the local Urban League under the influence of my passionate and directed mother.
I made my first speech at age 6 in a what would be considered a mega church in today’s standards and of course I don’t remember what I spoke on, just that it was the beginning of a life full of exploration of ideas, speaking and teaching and later art. When I was 10, I wrote and published my first poetry book which included wonderful etchings by the famous Tom Shaw. I made $700 from book sales and the entrepreneur in me was ignited!
When I was two, Mrs. Rothchild, my teacher and the founder of the Country Day Schools in America, was a Holocaust survivor who shared her story with me including the tattooed identification number which remained on her arm. This exposure intrigued me and was the catalyst of my passion to understand what empowers some groups to overcome obstacles and why other groups find it so challenging. I made it a point to go to Holocaust camps around the world to understand more about the human experience, diverse cultures and history. The great historian, John Hope Franklin introduced me, as did my father, to the importance of history which led to data and the meaning by facts. Further, Dr. Franklin introduced me to what would be my undergraduate Alma Mater, Fisk University. This education was powerful and filled me with life, learning and grace. I went on to seek more education gaining a Master of Business, Women’s Studies Degree, International Business from Russia, Doctorate and Racial Reconciliation for Harvard. My life has been filled with experiences that I share with my clients to effect change and assist them in gaining their goals.