SHEMAKER (n.) she·mak·er | shē-mā-kər:  A person who is skilled and successful and helps women succeed.

SHEMAKERS is a weekly program for women who are looking to take their personal and professional game to the next level.

Hostess, Shavannia Williams, aims to develop more big time SHEMAKERS by interviewing guests who are experts in their field, championing women and advocating women’s rights to provide career guidance and life lessons. No sugar-coating here, guests are real about their careers, issues that impact women and how they achieved success.  They are diverse in industry, education and background, so all women — corporate, entrepreneur, stay-at-home mom or student — can gain valuable insight to develop their playbook to win in business and life.  Sprinkled in are some episodes of Shavannia going one-on-one with wit and sass, passing advice and encouragement to the audience.  This is the show to get tactics to navigating business, strategies to balancing life and inspiration to becoming a SHEmaker.

Have an idea for the show?  Know a SHEmaker who would be a great guest?  Email us!

Next Episode - Wednesday, May 12 | 7:30 pm ET

Episode 16

Shelly Kovacs is an author, consultant, and public speaker. She has more than three decades of experience in higher educational administration and fundraising. Her areas of expertise include academic success and motivation (high school, college and professional levels), college readiness for high school students and parents, staff training, coaching through life transitions, students with learning disabilities and other nontraditional students. 

During her 30-year career at the University of Michigan, she led student services, major gifts and alumni relations. In 2007 the Shelly Kovacs Scholarship was created by alumni to honor her significant accomplishments and service at Michigan.

Her book “College Knowledge for the Student Athlete” (Schoem/Kovacs) has been widely acclaimed by former athletes, coaches, teachers, parents, and administrators and is based on her expertise working with college and high school athletes.

Watch or listen live for the playbook notes! 

Previous Episodes

Episode 15

Shavannia Williams welcomed her mother to SHEMAKERS on Mother’s Day!

Helen Anderson-Williams is Managing Director of Human Resources at Career Employment & Education Placement (CEEP Agency, LLC) a company she founded that provides human resources services for companies, government, and nonprofits. Helen was the Human Resources Consultant for the opening of Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore and a leader on  the team that launched a Hilton hotel property in West Michigan.  She has also worked in education and government.

She is an avid supporter of social responsibility who founded GIVE ME FIVE (Gm5) a city-wide community clean-up initiative.  Additionally, she has served on several boards including Mission for Area People (MAP) and Muskegon Heights Public Schools, as well as held volunteer leadership positions with the NAACP, Girl Scouts, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MHSDA) Home Buyers, and Phillip Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes and hear about the “motherisms” that Shavannia heard growing up.

Episode 14

Monica W. Best, MD, is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Fertility Specialist at Reproductive Biology Associates.  Dr. Best earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Michigan where she graduated with honors and multiple academic awards. She is a native of St. Louis and returned to Missouri for medical school where she was awarded a full academic scholarship to attend the University of Missouri School of Medicine. It was during medical school that Dr. Best became interested in research in reproductive medicine. She was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship where she did research and later published work on the novel rapid non-genomic actions of sex steroids at the University of Pisa in Pisa, Italy. Dr. Best completed her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 13

Jahaan Blake, Sports Executive turned Career Coach helps high achieving women in the Sports and Entertainment Industry who feel stuck, frustrated, and defeated find their voice and tackle whatever is keeping them from getting exactly what they want out of their career.

During Jahaan’s eighteen years of working in sports, including working for three major league teams (Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs), her favorite part of the job was helping others see their full potential. So, she made a business out of it. Whether her clients want to break into sports, take their performance to the next level, or own a place at the executive table, Jahaan provides customized coaching programs to accelerate their career.

Jahaan is also the host of the Game of Her Own podcast which highlights the inspiring journey of influential women working in the Sports & Entertainment industry. These candid interviews offer unique advice and strategies to help empower women in the industry.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 12

Joyette Jones-Geday has a rich HR background in the hospitality, sports and entertainment industries. As the Director, People & Culture, for the Atlanta Hawks, she is responsible for providing a high level of customer focused HR support to the State Farm Arena operations leaders and teams.  In her role, she provides data driven, strategy and tactical guidance and counsel on all aspects of the employee life-cycle. 

Before joining the Atlanta Hawks, Joyette was the HR Business Partner for Mercedes- Benz Stadium.

Prior to transitioning to sports and entertainment, Joyette spent over 15 years in hospitality working at various global hotel brands as the Director of Human Resources.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Paula Buckhaulter uses her vast sports experience to provide strategic planning and event marketing for diverse organizations and businesses including Detroit Area African-American Veterans Appreciation Dinner, Sports Legends of Cleveland Benefit and the Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau.

She was the Assistant Director for Championships Engagement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) where she managed event marketing for select championships to promote ancillary events and enhance overall fan experience. 

Prior to the NCAA, she had roles in events, marketing, promotions and sponsorship fulfillment in college athletics as well as the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 10

Ellen Hill Zeringue manages the branding strategy for the Detroit Tigers and oversees all functions of its marketing and promotions departments, including print and broadcast advertising, Tigers.com, multicultural marketing, promotional giveaways and social media.

Prior to joining the Tigers, she served as the Director of Marketing for WMXD (MIX 92.3 FM) where she was responsible for the station’s marketing, imaging and advertising strategies. She had a variety of roles during four years at Vaughn Marketing Consultants in Detroit, MI, where she was responsible for overseeing special event execution, public relations strategies, budget management, branding and advertising for select accounts and clients.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 9

Tasha Cole currently works as the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Diversity Officer for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She is also the Democratic Co-Chair for the Board of Directors for Running Start, a national organization founded to train high school, college and young professional women to develop the confidence, capabilities and connections they need to run for elected office and win.

Her political experiences include working on several defining moments in political history including three presidential campaigns, five political conventions, two statewide ballot initiatives and deputy campaign manager for a U.S. Senate campaign in Florida. Tasha served for nearly a decade on Capitol Hill as a Chief of Staff, Senior Advisor and Communications Director for two Members of Congress from Florida.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 8

Beverly Carey is the founder of Carey Communications and a global experience strategist, having provided leadership and operational counsel to eight Olympic and Paralympic Games editions and holds strategic positions on high-stakes projects across the entertainment, sports, tech, and non-profit sectors.

Beverly is also the founder of sister company Live Alive™, a modern empowerment lifestyle brand with a mission to create a movement of self-actualized and wholehearted women through a peer-based mastermind purposeful accountability™ mentorship series.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.


Episode 7

Naomi Patton leads communications positioning and strategy as Catalyst’s vice president of Global Communications , in the United States, Canada, EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions for Catalyst, a nonprofit that advocates for women in the workplace.

An award-winning journalist who worked for nearly 20 years with the Milwaukee Community Journal, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Detroit Free Press, Naomi was a member of the Free Press staff that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. She transitioned from journalism to work as press secretary for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, and to lead corporate, entertainment communications for Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons.  Patton also worked with corporate clients at Weber Shandwick and Ruder Finn; and as a consultant focused on internal communications, thought leadership, issues and reputation management.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 6

Diana Ruiz is the CEO and Founder of Women’s Global Leadership Initiative. Since 2008, Diana has served as a professional advisor for women’s leadership and economic development in several communities throughout the United States, Latin America, the Balkan Region and women in STEM associations in Tunisia and Turkey. Diana resides in San Francisco, where WGLI is headquartered. The daughter of pro-democracy Cuban revolutionaries, Diana continues to build on her family’s legacy through believing in the possibility of a more just world. Diana received her BA in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco and has worked for more than 20 years in finance, sales, mediation and labor negotiations. 

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 5

Gail Dent is Associate Director of Communications at the NCAA headquarters where she works with national media and focuses on communications surrounding NCAA issues and programs. She is an adjunct professor in higher education who teaches in person and virtually, sharing her experiences in communications. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the athletics communications department at the University of Kentucky.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 4

Chincie Mouton is the Director of Business Connect at the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC), where she works to identify and connect local and diverse businesses in Los Angeles County with professional development, networking and sub-contracting opportunities directly linked to large-scale sports and entertainment events such as Super Bowl LVI and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mouton gave solid advice on conducting your job search and the essential things businesses need to get contracts on large events.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 3

Kali Franklin is currently the Vice President, Human Resources at New York City Football Club. She is recognized as a transparent and communicative leader, who drives results through influence and collaboration. Kali has been successful implementing human resources strategies within a small, family business, large organizations such as Target and Microsoft and sports.

Franklin kept it 200 on getting in sports and the need for women to negotiate.

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 2

We celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day and African American History Month with a trailblazer in professional football, Jennifer King!

Coach King made history on January 26, 2021 when she was announced as the Assistant Running Backs Coach for the Washington Football Team and became the first African-American woman to be a full-time assistant position coach in the NFL. 

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.

Episode 1

In the kickoff episode, Shavannia Williams went one-on-one with viewers and opened her playbook, 10 Steps to Move the Chains to Your Comeback!    

Watch or listen for the playbook notes.  Share a picture showing your authenticity @HeelsandHelmets #BeAuthentic

Let’s get your playbook started!