As President and Founder of Ethnic Online, New England’s Magazine for Ethnic Professionals, Leonard is not new to the professional scene. As one of the original founders of the Nubian Professionals in 2000 and Executive Producer of The Trailblazers of Color Gala, his dedication and passion for supporting ethnic professionals in New England are clear.
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Leonard attended the exclusive Copley Square High School (now known as the Muriel Snowden International School) and attended Northeastern University where he majored in computer science. With over twenty-five years of successful executive-level experience in technology and advertising sales, Leonard has worked for a number of Fortune 200 & 500 companies, including Forrester Research, Computervision (now Parametric Technologies), Prime Computer, InterGlobal Services and The Boston Globe.
Leonard currently serves on the board of the Engineering Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in New Haven and Minority Business Initiative (MBI) in Hartford, Ct. Through Ethnic Online, Leonard has worked with a number of top New England corporations, such as Children’s Hospital of Boston, Bank of America, Staples Corporation, National Grid, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Stop & Shop Companies, and he has connected ethnic professionals to resources, people, and places. Leonard has also worked with a number of affinity groups in New England, such as the Black MBA, National Association of Black Accountants, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and National Association of Asian American Professionals. Leonard includes the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Urban League of Greater Hartford and Southern Connecticut as national organizations with which he has partnered over the years.
Ethnic Online has also worked on the Ebony Fashion Fair in 2006–2008 as a co-producer in the Boston area. Since the incorporation of Ethnic Online, Leonard has developed an active database of over 20,000 professionals throughout New England (and many outside of New England) and has supported their personal and professional development through corporate and community connections.
Samantha Williams | Managing Editor
Samantha (Sammi) Williams, M.S. is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience. She founded the content development firm, Sam’s Word, LLC in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, marketing, and communication workshops. When Sammi is not providing training to other businesses, she assists businesses with content development, editing, proofreading, copywriting, and more.
Sammi earned a Master’s in Health Care Administration from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration / Human Resource Management from York College – CUNY. Sammi is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Notary Public.
Takiya Green | Senior Contributing Writer
Takiya Green is a nonprofit strategist and founder of Divine Writing Solutions. Takiya Green founded Divine Writing Solutions in 2018 with one primary goal in mind – to add value to each client’s life.
Takiya has over fifteen years of administrative experience and has worked in various industries, including hospitality, insurance, and legal. She is a licensed life, accident and health producer, certified paralegal and certified grant writer. Her passion is to provide nonprofit organizations with the tools they need to be successful.
Takiya is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in sociology, at Albertus Magnus College. She is also a mom and wife. In her spare time, she enjoys, reading, singing and spending time with family.
TAMMIE PATTERSON GRAY | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Tammie Patterson Gray loves to write. Until now, this New York native from the Bronx has been writing in any capacity possible, except professionally. She works as a Senior Administrative Assistant for the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale University.
Tammie has made New Haven, CT her home for the last 15 years. Over the years, she has held various jobs and has never been afraid to work hard or learn something new. Previous positions have included Accounting Clerk at Shea & Gould Law Firm, in addition to working for Attorneys Wofsey and Certilman. She also worked as a Sandwich Clerk at Yeshiva University, Entree Chef at Colette Pastry, Direct Care Counselor for developmentally disabled adults at AABR and Private Party Clown before leaving New York in 1998.
When Tammie first arrived in New Haven, she was a volunteer for the Fair Housing Association of the city and did a short temp assignment at Yale New Haven Hospital. Tammie Patterson Gray is currently working to finish her first book about living with bipolar disorder.
JACKIE DAVIS | HOME DESIGNER
Jackie Davis is the owner of Wilmington, MA based RoomScape Interiors and an interior redesign expert featured on HGTV’s “Decorating Cents”. She is recognized for her one-day redesign, interior decorating, and home staging abilities.
Jackie has been featured in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and many other print and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada. She has appeared on NECN, WGBH, and BNNLive and is a much sought after speaker. Jackie specializes in creating well-decorated homes using things you already own.
TOM FICKLIN | PHOTOGRAPHER
In English, Tai Chi Chuan (more commonly known as “Tai Chi”) simply means “the ultimate”. Represented by the yin-yang symbol, this ancient form of Chinese martial arts helps bring about mental clarity and calm by focusing the mind on the body’s movements.Focus.
After graduating from the prestigious Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, Tom Ficklin continued his education at Bucknell University in PA, where he earned a bachelor’s in political science. He then left his home in Pittsburgh for good to pursue a graduate degree in divinity from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT. Here he has made a home for himself, his wife, Julia, his son, Toma, and his two grandchildren.
Having assumed leadership roles in several companies, Tom’s experiences are varied; his career path, unorthodox. After serving as Director of Health and Education for the Urban League of Greater New Haven and then working in human resources for fifteen years, Tom’s career path transformed. He became CEO and Editor in Chief of the Inner City Newspaper and then pursued a career as Chief Information Officer for Empower New Haven, where he was responsible for creating and implementing brand identity, partner media relations, awareness campaigns, program launches, and multimedia platforms. When asked about the course of his career, Tom replies, “My profession continues to evolve, but my interest in writing and communicating has been a conscious preoccupation for my entire life.”
Like tai chi, Tom’s career has been about coordination—a process of learning to leverage what is generated and received to create balance. The pinnacle of his work is the Ficklin Media Group, started in 2008 and dedicated to “Delivering Your Unique Brand Experience and Big Picture Marketing in a Multichannel Media Driven World.” Ficklin Media Group is a culmination of several decades of management experience, extensive networks and relationship building, and the celebration of our common humanity - That’s focus.
Tom attributes his success to the world around him. “I view life as being a daily mentorship opportunity; everyone you meet can be a source of inspiration and support,” he shares. In five years, Tom sees himself continuing on his path: “Continuing to contribute and to be supported. The cycle of life is endless and we must just recognize what is important and what is not.” His hobbies, or “preoccupations,” as Tom calls them, are tennis, yoga, tai chi, and a developing knack for cooking.