Philadelphia is home to a vibrant community of movers and shakers making a global impact. From innovative business owners and influencers to brilliant doctors and beyond, the city of brotherly love boasts a roster of exceptional individuals. These visionary minds are driving change, shaping industries, and leaving their mark on the world and you should know them. To make this list, each person had to meet, at least 3 of the following requirements:
- They are a pioneer in their industry or a trailblazer.
- Mainstream media outlets in print or digital have recognized them.
- The news has featured them before
- A minimum of 10k followers on Instagram.
- A verified social media presence.
- 50k followers on Instagram.
- Brand partnerships on Social Media
- A business that has contributed positively to Black-owned companies and or the Black community.
- Hired to speak at an HBCU
- Currently holding an executive/Director position at a Fortune 500 company.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to be inspired and amazed by the incredible talent that call, or called Philadelphia home. Here is InClub Magazine’s 2023 list of Philadelphians you should know.
1. Dr. Michelle Nelson
Mama Tee’s Fridge
Dedicated to combating food insecurity and uplifting communities in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Michelle Nelson is the founder of Mama-Tee and the driving force behind its current initiatives. Soon, Dr. Nelson will open the Mama-Tee Pop-Up Grocery Store™ to further her efforts in providing accessible food options for those who need them.
2. Kyle Cuffie Scott
Kyle Cuffie-Scott is a trailblazing entrepreneur who opened Darnel’s Cakes in the midst of 2020. As an LGBTQIA+ and Black-Owned establishment, Darnel’s serves as a symbol of inclusivity and culinary excellence. Specializing in a delectable array of fresh cakes, cookies, bars, and savory snacks, Kyle’s passion shines through in each creation.
3. Sheena Roberson
Sheena Roberson, the visionary behind Cannabis Noire, is committed to empowering marginalized communities to pursue opportunities within the cannabis industry and society. Through Cannabis Noire, Roberson actively identifies barriers, fosters development, and supports underrepresented communities such as Black, Hispanic, and low-income individuals seeking access to the cannabis sector. Recently, Roberson hosted Philadelphia’s inaugural cannabis conference exclusively for women of color.
4. Miquon Brinkley
Thinker Makers Society
Quon Brinkley is the creative mind behind Thinker Makers Society. Located in Old City, the art gallery catalyzes creative expression and community engagements, fostering a vibrant vibe that celebrates and uplifts people of color. Thinker Makers Society offers public and private events, including poetry reading, exhibitions, and pop-up shops.
5. Jeannine A. Cook
Jeannine A. Cook, the founder of Harriett’s Bookshop, is a tireless advocate for social justice and positive change. With the successful establishment of Harriet’s Bookstore in Fishtown, Jeannine’s impact quickly spread and eventually expanded with the opening of Ida’s Bookshop in Collingswood, NJ. Next on Cook’s to-do list? Well, she’s opening Josephine’s Bookshop in France this week.
6. Dion Ringgold
Dion Ringgold has shattered barriers and made history as the founder of InClub Magazine, the only national Black-owned magazine in the tri-state area. His unwavering dedication to showcasing diverse voices and talents of the Black community has revolutionized the media landscape and earned him features on NBC 10 news.
7. Nok Suntaranon
Fondly known as “Chef Nok,” Nok Suntranon is the founder of Kalaya. Her culinary expertise reflects a deep connection to her roots, specifically the flavors of her childhood in the city of Trang, Thailand. The menu at Kalaya serves as a testament to Nok’s rich cultural heritage, with each dish bearing the imprints of her cherished memories and traditional Thai cuisine.
8. Keith Reed Jr.
Meet Keith Reed Jr., a star Philadelphia entrepreneur building his presence within the local fashion scene. Keith ventured into the world of concierge personal shopping and style with the launch of his business, The Jouni. His service altos are picked up and delivered to your doorstep in one day.
9. Christa Barfield
Viva Leaf Tea Co and FarmerJawn
Christa Barfield has left an undeniable mark on the tea industry by establishing Viva Leaf Tea, a farm-to-cup tea brand based in Philadelphia. Barfield has created a remarkable brand that celebrates the art of tea-making while prioritizing ethical sourcing and environmental consciousness. Barfield also founded Farmer Jawn, a community greenhouse and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program providing fresh, locally-grown produce and fostering a sense of community.
10. Will Toms
Will Toms is the co-founder and visionary leader behind Rec Philly, the city’s premier co-working space dedicated to nurturing and empowering local entrepreneurs and creatives within the community. As a Forbes 30 under 30 awardee, Tom’s influence has grown his space from a basement in North Philadelphia to a 10,000-square-foot space in Center City’s Fashion District. He was recently granted a $2 Million investment from Diddy to expand REC to Miami.
11. Dr. Uche Ukuku
Dr. Ukuku is a Nigerian-American trailblazer in the field of psychology. Focusing on family trauma and rape victims, Dr. Ukuku is on a mission to make a lasting impact. In an industry that often lacks representation, Dr. Ukuku stands as a beacon of hope. She has established her practice and provides vital support and healing to individuals and families affected by trauma.
12. Sandra Dungee Glenn
The Growth Collective
Sandra Dungee Glenn is the woman behind The Collective – a Black-owned real estate start-up committed to reinventing the landscape by investing in assets with meaningful impact outcomes. As the founder of The Collective, Dungee Glenn has held executive-level positions in community development, education, public policy, and electoral politics for over 40 years.
13. Patrice Banks
Girls Auto Clinic
Patrice Banks founded Girls Auto Clinic (GAC) in 2015. Located just outside of Philadelphia in Upper Darby, PA, Banks’ establishment provides workshops, a repair center staffed with women mechanics, and a nail salon for customers to help women confidently navigate their automotive experience. The garage holds monthly Car Care Workshops for Women, with a schedule available on Instagram.
14. Sabir M. Peele
Men’s Style Pro
Sabir M. Peele is the epitome of style and sartorial excellence. He’s been a prominent figure in the fashion scene since 2014, with a solid presence in the social media sphere. Peele has contributed to GQ as a social media influencer and event host for nine years. His company, Men’s Style Pro, curates and organizes major fashion and menswear events and recently launched a design collab with Damari.
15. Anthony ‘Munch’ Steele
Anthony ‘Munch’ Steele is the ultimate sneakerhead. Munch’s passion for kicks and sneaker culture has transformed into an inspiring career with Footlocker, the world’s largest sneaker retailer. As the Marketing Director for the retail shoe giant, Munch has been recognized by outlets like Yahoo, Billboard.com, and Bleu Magazine.
16. Aundrea Watkins
When it comes to high-quality hair care, look no further than Aundrea Watkins, the hairstylist and entrepreneur behind Salon A’Marie. A staple in the industry for over 15 years, Watkin’s Manayunk Salon has built a reputation for providing exceptional services and expertise with a commitment to top-notch results.
17. Sumi Floyd
PHL Juneteenth event and Peace Ralley
Sumi Floyd is a true pioneer and the planner behind the PHL Juneteenth event and Peace Rally. Floyd’s dedication and hard work have impacted the local community by uplifting Black artists, small businesses, and brands. The PHL Juneteenth event has garnered attention from reputable news outlets such as The Philly Tribue, WHYY, and The Inquirer.
18. Dyymond Whipper-Young
Artist and Educator
Dyymond Whipper-Young is a Philly-based artist and all-around creative powerhouse. She holds the world record for creating the world’s most extensive drawing by a single person. She is currently making a difference as a painting and sculpture teacher at the Oxbow School’s Young Artist in Residence Program.
19. GoGo Morrow
GoGo Morrow is a Phialdelphia-born artist with an incredible talent for silky smooth R&B vocals. With her mesmerizing voice and captivating stage presence, GoGo has taken the music scene by storm with her performances at events like the BET Awards. Her latest drop, “Ready” is making waves and showcasing her artistry as well.
20. Kenny Duncan
Barbers Who Care/ Main Attraction Salon
The creative force behind Main Attraction Unisex Salon, Kenny Duncan, envisions his salon as more than just a place for haircuts and styling. Intending to foster connections within the community, Duncan has crafted a gathering space where relationships are nurtured, and friendships are forged. His talents and expertise have even caught the eye of the renowned Andre 3000.
21. Ashley M. Fox
Ashley M. Fox is a remarkable educator who has made a significant impact in the financial education field in and outside of Philadelphia. With a background as a former Wall Street analyst and a graduate of Howard University, Ashley M. Fox has honed her expertise and emerged as a Financial Education Specialist. Her passion for improving others’ relationships with money led her to establish Emplify, a social enterprise aimed at transforming self-perception and the role of money in people’s lives.
22. Aunyea Lachelle
NBC 10 Philly Live
Aunyea Lachelle is a talented lifestyle and entertainment reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia. Her exceptional industry work and in-depth knowledge earned her an Emmy nomination and a reputation as a trusted source in the Philly area. Catch her weekday reports on Philly Live at 11:45 am., where she covers local events, lifestyle tips, and more.
23. Adeline Koh, Ph.D
Dr. Adeline Koh, a trailblazer in the skincare world, transitioned from English professor to the owner of Sabbatical Beauty in 2016. This small-batch Asian beauty brand was established during Dr. Koh’s academic sabbatical and has garnered widespread recognition and praise. Her dedication to quality has caught the attention of prestigious publications like Allure and Shape.
24. Stephaine Humphrey
Good Morning America
Stephanie Humphrey is your friendly neighborhood Tech-Life expert on a mission to make technology accessible and convenient. She’s the author of “Don’t Let Your Digital Footprint Kick You in the Butt!” and a tech and lifestyle contributor for Good Morning America. Stephanie’s expertise and relatable approach empowers the community to embrace the digital age with confidence.
25. Ernest Owens
Editor-at-Large, Philly Mag
Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and the editor-at-large for Philly Magazine. He is also the author of “The Case for Cancel Culture,” a book offering a fresh, progressive lens to favor cancel culture as a tool for activism and change. As an openly gay Black journalist, Owens is known for his opinions on intersectionality issues regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture.
26. Timothy N. Welbeck Esq.
Center for Anti-Racism Research
Timothy N. Welbeck, an esteemed Professor in Temple University’s Department of Africology and African American Studies, is a force to be reckoned with in academic and civil rights. With a strong background as a civil rights attorney, Welbeck’s scholarly work delves into the complexities of contemporary racial identity in America and critically examines the intersection of racial classification in American law. His expertise has landed him opportunities to share his perspective on platforms like CNN and recently at a Juneteenth Celebration at Temple.
27. Rashaad Lambert
The Black Excellence Society
Rashaad Lambert is an award-winning marketing architect, philanthropist, and community builder dedicated to creating positive change and empowering individuals for success. As a catalyst for change, Lambert is also the founder of the Black Excellence Society, a groundbreaking talent incubator community for black and Brown Professions striving to create pathways to success. Lambert’s organization empowers and uplifts emerging talent and connects them with the resources and support needed to succeed. His achievements have been recognized by Black Enterprise’s 2022 40 Under 40 list.
28. David Cabello
Black and Mobile
Introducing David Cabello, the co-founder of the first Black-owned food delivery service exclusively serving Black-owned restaurants. Alongside his brother Aaron, David’s groundbreaking platform has gained recognition from publications like WHYY and The Philly Inquirer. Through Black and Mobile, David empowers Black-owned restaurants and fosters economic empowerment.
29. Napolean Suarez
Napolean Suarez is the innovator behind Fishbox, an after-hours package delivery service in Philadelphia. Fishbox goes beyond traditional delivery services by offering convenient package return and mailbox rental services. Saurez aims to eliminate the hassle of missed or stolen packages by ensuring secure delivery.
30. Pastor Carl Day
Culture Changing Christians
Carl Day is the passionate pastor of the Culture Changing Christians Worship Center in North Philadelphia. Pastor Day is on a mission to bridge the gap between churches and their communities nationwide. He firmly believes in the power of reconnecting churches within their communities to foster a sense of unity and purpose. Day has also developed “Beat the Block,” a transformative four-month personal and professional development curriculum to help young men in the community change their lives and overcome the challenges of their environments.
31. Dr. Stacy R. Gill-Phillips
Pee Wee Prep
Dr. Stacy R. Gill-Phillips is a remarkable educator, principal, mother, wife, and entrepreneur behind Pee Wee Prep Educational Center. As an alumna of Temple University and UPenn, Dr. Gill-Phillips has demonstrated her commitment to education and the community with the 1990 establishment of Pee Wee Prep Education Center – providing preschool and before-and-after school care.
32. Ricky Codio
Ricky Codio is a talented photographer and the founder of Ricky Codio Studio. He has created a dynamic creative production space for photography, arts, and event – serving as a hub for artistic expression and offering a platform for collaboration and creativity. He’s earned over 40k followers on Instagram and has been featured in The Inquirer.
33. Jordan Cook
Introducing Jordan Cook, the visionary behind Loomen Labs, a unique candle-making bar in the center city. Loomen Labs uses high-quality soy wax and offers refill options, making their candles the most sustainable and plant-based choice. Each vessel and candle refill is meticulously hand-poured in the same space where they host candle-making workshops.
34. Alloyius Mcilwaine
Alloyuis Mcilwaine is a multi-talented painter, designer, and the CEO/Founder of Cultures Clothing Co. Mcilwaine has left an undeniable mark in the art and design world, with his exceptional skills utilized by organizations like the Philadelphia Eagles. His vibrant murals can be found throughout the city, adding beauty and creativity to its streets, or on Instagram, where he’s earned over 15k followers.
35. Micah Harrigan
Introducing Micah’s Harrigan, the inspiring 13-year-old CEO behind Micah’s Mixx, a delightful fresh squeezed lemonade stand popping up across Philadelphia. Despite his young age, Micah has already made a name for himself and his business and has been featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show and in Bon Appetit Magazine. Micha’s lemonade business continues to grow day by day.
36. Shannon Maldonado
Shannon Maldonado is the founder and creative director of YOWIE – a unique, innovative platform, storefront, and design studio based in Philadelphia. Located on South Street, YOWIE has amassed over 50k deviated followers since opening in 2016. The shop showcases art, homeware, and lifestyle products that embody her distinct aesthetics and supports emerging artists.
37. Shanti Mayers
The Sable Collective
Shanti Mayers is the owner of The Sable Collective – an online boutique that caters to Women of color and provides a space for them to explore narratives of joy, beauty, and wellness. Shanti’s visionary curation goes beyond just product; it creates a platform that celebrates and embraces the diverse experiences and identities of Women of Color.
38. Kimberly McGlonn, Ph.D.
As the Founder & CEO of Grant Blvd, Dr. Kimerbly McGlonn’s visionary approach goes beyond creating stylish clothes. She strongly emphasizes justice and reform and ensures that every design from Grant Blvd not only embodies undeniable style but carries a message of empowerment. McGlonn prioritizing hiring womxn, particularly those that are returning citizens, immigrants, & those working through homelessness — with her clothing line serves as a testament to her belief in fashion as a tool in the fight for justice. Her advocacy has earned her features in publications like Philly Mag.
39. Kenya Abdul-Hadi
The Modern Republic
Introducing Kenya Abdul-Haid, the force behind The Modern Republic, a mid-century modern retailer in Fairmount. Growing up in Germantown, Kenya’s passion for design and passion has propelled them from clothing to retail design. The Modern Republic offers a carefully curated selection of mid-century modern furniture and stylish home decor, showcasing his impeccable taste.
40. Jeanne Chang
Lil Pop Shop
Jeanne Chang is the mastermind behind Lil Pop Shop, a delightful haven for small-batch artisan ice cream, fruit bars, and pies. Located in West Philly, Jeanne’s passion for culinary delight and utilizing fresh and local ingredients is truly inspiring. Her attention to detail has earned Lil Pop Shop a reputation as a beloved amongst Philadelphians.
41. Christie Desir
Meet Christie Desir, the driving force behind the skincare boutique/coffee-shop hybrid Callowhill Greens, and a famous influencer with over 20k followers. As a former Miss Haiti, Desir has been featured in renowned publications like Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, and more to bring attention to herbal healing and promote confidence through skincare. With her focus on healthy skin, both inside and out, Desir is passionate about embracing natural beauty and harnessing the power of skincare.
42. Daniel Lee
Farina Pasta and Noodle
Drexel Culinary alumnus and Army veteran Daniel Lee is carving out a new culinary experience in Rittenhouse Square with his passion for pasta. Farina Pasta and Noodle brings a unique blend of discipline and creativity to the craft, offering affordable and delicious fresh Italian food for the local community.
43. Latoya Brown
Made With Love Juicery
As a dedicated wife and mother of Three, Latoya Brown opened Made With Love Juicery after reclaiming her own health and vitality through juicing. Having found a solution for boosting her immunity and overall-wellbeing, Brown’s success inspired her to share the benefits of juicing with the local community.
44. Dominique Shields
Pretty Girls Cook
Dominique Shield is the creative force and schoolteacher turned caterer behind Pretty Girls Cook. Located in Northern Liberties, Pretty Girls Cook offers the perfect fusion of looking good and tasting even better. Shields’ approach to classic American feel-good food has earned her rave reviews.
45. Chartel Findlater
Gold + Water
In our fast-paced world, where we are pulled in every direction, it’s easy to forget the importance of prioritizing our well-being. Amid this whirlwind, however, Chartel Findlater, a Temple University alumni, founded Gold + Water, a boutique soapery and wellness advocacy brand in Philadelphia, PA. By nurturing the local community and offering quality products, Findlater’s brand reminds us to pause, reflect, and prioritize self-care.
46. Mr. Larnell Baldwin
Baldwin Fine Custom Tailoring
Step into Philadelphia’s fashion scene and meet the extraordinary Larnell Baldwin – a master tailor whose artistry and craftsmanship have captivated the city since 1988. With a passion for design and an eye for details, Baldwin’s shop, located on Fabric Row, has become a destination for those seeking tailoring with personalized services. Baldwin’s decade of experience shines through and ensures clients walk away feeling confident.
47. James Ijames
Playwright and Director
Meet James Ijames, a prolific playwright and director who continues to leave his mark on the theatre world. As an esteemed member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright-producing organization, Ijames is at the forefront of creating inclusivity and groundbreaking local art that pushes the boundaries of the current theater scene. Ijames is also a professor at Villanova University and has earned 5 Tony Award nominations for his play Fat Ham’.
48. Ariell R. Johnson
Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse
As an alumna of Temple University, Ariell R. Johnson made waves when she opened Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in Kensington. This groundbreaking establishment holds the distinct title of the first Black woman-owned comic book store on the East Coast. Her passion for comics and story-telling and her entrepreneurial spirit have created a haven for comic book enthusiasts and coffee lovers alike.
49. Carla Clarkson
The Honey Blowout
Carla Jackson is an incredibly talented hairstylist and the owner of The Honey Blowout, a game-changing hair product for all curl types. Her expertise spans various domains, from styling hair on film and commercial sets to working on movies such as Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.” Clarkson’s expertise in the beauty industry led her to create the PrePoo and Curl Styler made with real honey.
50. Dr. Tina Scott
Psychotherapist & Professional Coach
Dr. Tina Scott, LPC, NCP, is a solution-focused therapist and professional coach dedicated to helping individuals uncover their true potential and lead fulfilling lives. Dr. Scott’s approach combines therapy techniques to address the obstacles that often hinder personal growth and happiness, including couples and families experiencing stress, anger, or related challenges.