The virtual exhibition, Women of a New Tribe, was generously funded by IBM
Learn more about the backgrounds and experiences of some of the local women featured in the Women of a New Tribe exhibit.
Jennifer R. Smith
Multicultural Marketing Manager
Pepsi Bottling Group-Central Business Unit
Jennifer Smith is the Multicultural Manager for Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), the world’s largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of beverages within the Pepsi portfolio. As Multicultural Manager for PBG-Central Business Unit, Jennifer is responsible for developing and driving the business unit strategy for multicultural marketing programs in Southeastern Michigan. She is also responsible for the management of local community partnerships on behalf of PBG.
Prior to joining Pepsi Bottling Group in 2006, Jennifer welcomed the world to Detroit for Super Bowl XL, serving as the Community Relations Manager for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee. Before the SBXL Host Committee, Jennifer served as the Director of Programs and Operations for Why Not Sports, Inc., an Atlanta non-profit with the mission of education youth on alternative careers within the sports industry.
A native of Detroit, Jennifer is a proud alumnus of Grambling State University, where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication-Public Relations. She also hold a Master of Science degree in Sports Management from Georgia State University. Jennifer contributes to various community organizations in the metropolitan Detroit area and serves on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Urban League, the Generation of Promise, Communities in Schools and the Michigan Food & Beverage Association. She is a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, Dream Academy and HDQ (Heroes Don’t Quit). She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Detroit Shock and Detroit Pistons
Tamela Jackson is a Detroit native. She attended Clintondale High School, where she decided to stop playing basketball, and instead exclusively focus on her love of music and the Japanese language. While at Clintondale, Jackson was Drum Major of her the Marching Band for two consecutive years, becoming the first African American female at Clintondale to do so. In addition to accomplishments in band, she was chosen to travel to Japen on two separate occasions: Once in 2000 as an exchange student, and again in 2002 with the Mt. Clemens Rotary Club as a volunteer interpreter. In 2003 she graduated, Magna Cum Laude, placing her amongst the Top-20 in her graduating class. In summer of 2003, she began her freshman year at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, becoming the first in her immediate family to attend the university.
At U-M, Jackson continued her love of languages and culture. She attained her Bachelors of Arts in both Japanese and American Culture and graduated with honors in 2007. Immediately, following her graduation from U-M, she began her career as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator with the Detroit Shock and the Detroit Pistons where her unique cultural background, and love for people, allows her to easily service and provide for her very diverse clientele base. As a result of her involvement with the 2008 WNBA Champions, Detroit Shock, Jackson will be proud recipient of her very first professional sports championship ring. However, her ultimate goal is to become a curator and museum director.
Jackson dreams of obtaining her Ph.D. in American Studies and Museum studies before her 30th birthday. Jackson continues to shadow her museum mentor, and to immerse herself in all that museum culture has to offer. A self-described bibliophile and lover of old-school music, Jackson enjoys spending long afternoons reading books, visiting record stores and volunteering at museums and mentoring youth. She gives all thanks to God, her amazing parents, beautiful older sister Sanura, and her big brother and hero LeBron.
As Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for MGM Grand Detroit, Juliette Thorpe Okotie-Eboh, Ph.D. serves as a member of the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors for MGM Grand Detroit, LLC. She is responsible for local, state, and federal government affairs, represents MGM Grand Detroit on policy matters that could impact MGM Grand Detroit, and develops policy recommendations to address those proposals, and implements strategies to include direct lobbying and legislative coalition-building. She oversees all community affairs activities for the property, including community outreach, maintaining relationships with community organizations, managing and executing community relations programs, as well as diversity initiatives. She also manages communications and media relations.
A native of Detroit, Juliette joined MGM Grand family in 2003 from the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) where she served as Senior Vice President & Ombudsman for the areas of community affairs and Diversity Management after joining the DMC joining the management team in 2008.
Juliette has a wealth of community affairs and diversity experience. She served, for nearly 20 years in Detroit City government, as Chief of Research in the Planning Department. From 1994-1995, she advised the President & CEO of New Detroit, Inc. as Vice President of Policy, and moved on to the position of Civic Affairs Manager and Vice President of Comerica Incorporated.
As Deputy Project Manager and Consultant for Omokhodion Associates, Ltd., Lagos, Nigeria, Juliette was stationed in Benin City, Nigeria for two years where she directed the preparation of master plans for 11 Nigerian cities and towns. She also has extensive consulting experience in demographic research, survey research, and organizing focus group sessions.
Juliette serves on numerous boards, including the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Booker T. Washington Business Association, University Cultural Center Association, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan’s Children, Coleman A. Young Foundation, City Connect, Crockett Technical High School, Eastern Michigan University, and Corp! Magazine. Juliette is also Wayne County’s representative to the Regional Convention Facility Authority.
Educated in the Detroit Public School system, Juliette graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan. Juliette lives in the city of Detroit and is the proud mother of Margaret, her favorite travel companion. Over the years they have visited mand places in the United States, Caribbean, and Europe, including Italy (three trips), Paris, the French Rivera, Switzerland, and London.
Detroit Public School
A native of Detroit, Catherine was born into a household of pioneers on December 10, 1919. Her father, Burrell Carter, a barber and chiropodist (podiatrist), opened the first black-owned four chair barbershop in the city. Her mother, Beulah Carter, became one of Michigan’s first black social workers. In 1928, the Carters hired a local black construction engineer, named Brumal Penick, to build their family home on West 25th Street. They were also among the five founding families of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, located on 28th Street. Catherine became its first christened baby. Click here to read more.