Caribbean & American Business Connections ~ Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly
Spark Plug Radio Show
Spark Plug: Welcome to People You Need To Know on Spark Plug Radio. I’m your host, Spark Plug, publisher of metro Atlanta’s premier business spotlight magazine for women. At People You Need to Know Magazine, we are a leader in helping women grow their business by promoting them in our magazine, in our newspaper and online. In addition, we give our clients world-class recognition at numerous business expos and women’s events throughout metro Atlanta. Our show today is brought to you by our official corporate sponsor, Staples, “That was easy.”
In this segment, we are going to be talking about a new and exciting networking organization that can help you expand your business network. It’s called Caribbean & American Business Connections. My guest today is a native of Guyana, South America. She is the president and founder of Caribbean & American Business Connections. They strive to help the Caribbean and American community network effectively by hosting monthly networking events. We are honored to have on the phone today, a young lady who is known as Atlanta’s #1 Networker, Ms. Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly … welcome to the show.
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Good morning, Spark Plug, and thank you for having me.
Spark Plug: How are you today?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: I am doing very well, very well.
Spark Plug: Well, great. Are you ready to talk about Caribbean & American Business Connections?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: I am.
Spark Plug: Well, let’s get right into it, okay?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Yes.
Spark Plug: Tell our listeners, what is the CABC or as you call it, Caribbean & American Business Connections?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Caribbean & American Business Connections is a platform that I created to have the people, or the global community, I should say, and the American community come together through personal and professional relationships where they will share their businesses, their expertise, promoting, supporting and just referring each other through business connections.
Spark Plug: What are some of the benefits of attending this monthly networking experience?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Well, when they come to the event, the first thing I let my viewers and the folks that come to these events know is that this is not an event just for show. It’s not a social event. It’s an event for you to come and network, share what you have and promote what you have. The platform will have speakers there who will help you expand on what you already have. You know, a lot of people are in business, but they are sort of stuck and not sure how to get to the next level. This is where I have speakers who will come and explain to them that when you are in business, in order for you to stay in business, there are certain things that must be done.
Networking, we know, can be overrated, but if you network effectively, you will get what you are looking for when you go to these events. It’s not just shuffling business cards. It’s creating that relationship, authentic relationship, that will further expand what you have and so we created this platform that will allow them to get up there and speak, and say who they are, so when they leave, somebody will say, “Well, I know who Spark Plug is … I know what he has to offer.”
Spark Plug: As Atlanta’s #1 Networker, what’s your best tip for someone who is going out to network this evening?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: First of all, know where you are going. A lot of times, we are not sure what to expect when we go to an event, but you as a person going to an event — you have to be fully prepared, first of all. You are not just going there, again, for a show. Make sure you have lots of marketing tools, lots of business cards. Get all of that information and when you get there, approach someone and not just stand around. You have to go, meet and talk to someone face-to-face. You have to let them know why you are there. So there are a lot that goes into these events when you go to them because for many of us, we forget why we are there. So you have to be fully prepared to give your information, and that everyone knows who you are when you leave that event.
Spark Plug: Alright, well, Sebrena, how is it different or how does CABC stand out from other monthly networking events?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Because our platform, as I stated before, it’s a platform that will remind you why you’re in business. We have, what we call the “pass the mike” segment, where we invite everyone in the room to get up and speak before the crowd. We also have segments where we do role playing, where you let everyone know what your business offers. The key thing is a lot of us forget why we are in business, and so the platform that we’ve created, it will not just be there for you to come and pay and eat and drink and look pretty, but for you to have a lasting impression when you leave that event that night.
Spark Plug: Speaking of lasting impressions, what is the mission of CABC?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Well, the mission again is to let everyone know who you are and what business you’re in. My biggest goal for this platform is to create a global presence, not just a nationwide presence, but a global presence, and by doing that, our platform is not just in one central location. My goal is to go into several communities, so we can further expand our businesses. We’re hoping to eventually take this event across the waters to the Caribbean, so they too can see what it is, and what it takes to network and to stay in business and have a presence.
Spark Plug: Speaking of growth, what is your vision for CABC?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: My vision is to let everyone know — we have an international presence. If you are traveling, let’s say, to the Caribbean, Barbados, Jamaica, whenever you hear of the CABC, you can say, “You know what, because of that platform, my business is well known.” So again, the vision, the bigger vision for me, since I am a product of the Caribbean, is to have a global presence for everyone.
Spark Plug: Tell our listeners what inspired you to start the CABC.
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: I will tell you what it is, EXCUSES. Time and time again I would hear people say, “Well, Ms. Kelly, you live too far.” You know, I host another event for women in business and I’m being told constantly that you live too far. I had the men approach me and say, “Ms. Kelly, what do you have for me? We don’t have a platform. We don’t have a voice.” So I took all those things into consideration to create this platform on a bigger scale because the women’s movement is just primarily for women, but I wanted men to be included as well and the diversity is another reason why I started this — to bridge the gap between the international community and the American community.
Spark Plug: Alright, well, Ms. Sebrena, you are one of the newest members of the People You Need to Know Network. Tell our listeners . . . why did you decide to advertise your business in People You Need to Know Magazine?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: If you recall about five or six months ago, I reached out to you by email. I’ve been collecting this magazine since I came to Georgia in 2002 and the title alone is profound. It’s just profound and I always said, “One day, by the grace of God, I would be in this magazine, so I can let anyone and everyone know who Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly is, and I want to thank you for reaching out to me and giving me this opportunity to be in the 2012 edition. I can let everyone know, including the radio station this morning . . . know who I am and what I’m here to offer.
Spark Plug: Well, before we bring this interview to a close, is there one last thing you would like our listeners to remember about CABC?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Yes, I first want to let them know that we launched on April 15, 2011, and that day was a day where the weather wasn’t the best, and I was so humbled by the response of the people who came out and supported my vision and they are looking forward to more. I want to let them know it will be a monthly event. If you would like for us to be in an area where you are, please reach out to me and I would be more than happy to get something arranged, so we can have a presence in your community.
Spark Plug: Sebrena, tell our listeners how you can be reached.
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Yes, my contact number is 404-981-7087.
Spark Plug: Alright, what about a website?
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: The website is SebrenaTheNetworker.com
Spark Plug: Ms. Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly, president and founder of Caribbean & American Business Connections — thanks for spending some of your most valuable time with us today.
Sebrena Sumrah-Kelly: Thank you again, Spark Plug, and thank you for this opportunity. Have a great day.
Spark Plug: You too.
Spark Plug: You’ve been listening to People You Need to Know on Spark Plug Radio, the radio station connecting you to America’s leading women in business who are doing great things in metro Atlanta.
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