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#Siblinglove Interview Exclusives at the 40 under 40

By Felicia R. Shakespeare

The Night Was Magical....

The experience of the 40 Under 40 Awards Young Women's Professional League Ceremony this year was one for the books. The "girl power" factor was on 1000! To see the level of experiences and the backgrounds among these 40 amazing women was astounding. From PhD's, Entrepreneurs, to MBA's, the list goes on and on. I had the opportunity to start out the evening speaking to one of last year's co-hosts, Rendel Solomon, Founder of One Stock One Future. This year was extra special for Rendel because his younger sister, Quinessa Solomon, was one of the 40 inductees to be honored. This is what Rendel had to say:

INTERVIEW #1 Rendel Solomon
How does it feel to be returning back to this year's ceremony after being a co-host last year?
"Super excited to be here supporting my sister Quinessa Solomon as she's inducted into the 40 Under 40 Young Women's Professional League. I had the honor of hosting the event last year and had an amazing time. I looked out at that audience and saw the power in the room, and the power on the stage and the speeches and the careers and the civic work that they do working with young ladies, I couldn't be more impressed. So it is a double, triple honor to be here this year as my sister gets inducted into this year's class, so congratulations to all the honorees."

Tell us a little bit more about your sister too. 
Quinessa Solomon is a fashion stylist, independent consultant for a company called Cabi. She is a mother of two wonderful young children, including her first and oldest child my niece Kaydence, who inspired me to start my non profit, One Stock, One Future. So Kaydence now has a little brother, my nephew Kade who will soon be a shareholder as well, building the legacy and the family. So the way she and her husband and their family have been able to raise at least Kaydence for now and starting to raise Kade, while both working as entrepreneurs, that is powerful.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about the evening?
It looks even bigger than last year. I was blown away by the amount of support and the number of people. It's great to be here at the Dusable Museum of African American History here in Chicago to support the event.

#SiblingPower
Another sibling duo representation for the evening was this year's co-host Dometi Pongo and his sister Afenya Montgomery, also a Class of 2018 40 Under 40 inductee this year. Dometi was clearly overjoyed for his sister as he shared with the audience how life has a way of connecting its own dots because as she was nominated and chosen he had no idea at the time he was finalizing his hosting duties. This is what Afenya had to say about this year's honor:

INTERVIEW #2 - Afenya Montgomery
So how do you feel about tonight?
I think it's beautiful, I love seeing all the black excellence in the room and being honored and celebrated is so wonderful. It's just a dream come true!

So what would you like to do beyond tonight after receiving this honor?
I would love to continue with their mission of sisterhood and really joining communities together throughout Chicago. I think that's so very important. I think it's just really important for women to build strong bonds and build great things together, so I want to continue in this process with all the ladies in and outside of the organization.

SistaGurl Guest Contributor Alert: Felicia Shakespeare is an author, speaker, educator & entrepreneur. Felicia's career experience spans through many years in the business and education sectors, working for Fortune 500 companies & for the third largest school district in America. Felicia’s mission is to inspire others to be intentional about living a life of faith & purpose.

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