Management Team / Advisory Board Bios
Amari Ruff is an award-winning serial tech entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in sales, marketing and business development. Amari has been featured as a top entrepreneur in Forbes, Black Enterprise and Blavity to name a few. He's passionate about people, process and product and has the superior organizational and leadership skills to meet demanding business objectives. He recently founded Sudu, where the technology was sold to a publicly traded company. As CEO of Memik, his focus is on being a team builder and master motivator and leading a successful go-to-market roadmap.
Laron is a serial entrepreneur specializing in technology, architecture and system integration. He's helped launch, advise and invest seed capital into several technology startups and is currently an active patent holder. Throughout his career, his focus has been to help companies plan, develop and implement strategies using innovative technology approaches. Laron graduated summa cum laude from Tennessee State University (TSU) with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and continued his studies at Purdue University where he worked at the Haptics Lab more than 20 years ago. In 2018, Laron successfully exited MyStemKits.com, a startup he started and sold to a public company in less than 3 years.
Ann Marie Almariei
Ann Marie Almariei has spent 20+ years on the leadership teams of New York City agencies including Grey, McCann and 360i. She led creative, marketing and strategy for Fortune 500 brands like Samsung, Coca-Cola and xBox. After taking a position under Gary Vaynerchuk at Vaynermedia, she left the agency world and started her first company under his leadership. While finding her groove as a Founder, Ann Marie met other entrepreneurs and small businesses that enlisted her help. Since 2017, she's acted as a fractional marketing lead to provide strategic direction for overall marketing strategy and launches.
Since early 2015, Craig has been the fractional CFO/advisor to startups in the Atlanta area. Craig has also served as SVP of Hughes Telematics, Inc. (now Verizon Telematics Inc.) and Principal Financial and Accounting Officer from inception through acquisition by Verizon in 2012. He was responsible for all aspects of the financial, accounting and tax operations of the company and played a key role in capital raising transactions. Following the acquisition, Craig transitioned into a strategic role for the CEO of Telematics. Craig holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and a masters of accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Daquan High (aka Toosie)
If you listen to hip-hop, like to dance, or like to watch people dance to hip-hop, you’ve probably come across one of Toosie’s videos. He got his start posting Nae Nae routines on Instagram that immediately blew up and has now collaborated with the likes of Future, Rae Sremmurd, 2 Chainz, Tory Lanez, Migos, Lil Wayne, Diddy, Playboy Carti, Usher, and of course, Drake, who tapped Toosie for dance moves by the song inspired by him, the ‘Toosie Slide’.
Jordan Brown (AKA Mr Hotspot)
Hotspot is a member of the internet-famous rapping quartet, “Tha Krew”, who have put out highly viewed videos such as "Waffle House Madness" and "Krew-libs." Apart from performing as a member of the group, he has established himself as a famous solo rap artist. He has already released such impressive hits as “Slide Like This,” “Taught Me,” “Little Debbie,” and others. He performed alongside Usher at the BET Awards and has appeared on Drake’s show YOLO Estate. He has more than 1.5 million Instagram subscribers, and has 78K and 28K followers on YouTube and Soundcloud.
Highly accomplished enterprising visionary combining outstanding sales & marketing talents with high-caliber general management qualifications. Recognized for building strong brands using integrated marketing methodologies. Key contributor to strategic business planning with experience leading, managing and developing long-range growth plans. Served as VP Business Development for more than 9 years at Combs Enterprises for Blue Flame and Combs Wine & Spirits.
NBA sharpshooter Dennis Scott has spent the majority of his 10-year NBA career with the Orlando Magic (1990-97), earning All-Rookie Team honors in 1991 and helping the team win the Eastern Conference Championship in 1995. Scott hosted his own local television show while in Orlando titled "The Dennis Scott Show," and a weekend show called "The Highlight Zone". Currently in his third season as the radio analyst on 790 The Zone and the Hawks Radio Network, he hosts the late-night show, "3-D's After Dark" and also serves as the General Manager of the American Basketball Association Atlanta Vision team.
30+ years in production, computer programming and engineering. Co-founder and CEO of Rap Plug alongside Branden Criss and Rick Ross a.k.a. “The Boss”. Rap Plug Live is an international online and mobile multi level membership subscription-based platform with partners including Comcast/NBC/Universal. As a music producer and lyricist, he's worked with Grammy award-winning artists and producers Will Smith, Ludacris, Aaliyah, Quincy Jones and Kanye West.
Rikki Hughes is a showrunner of comedy specials, award shows, television series and independent features. Since 2018, Hughes has won two Emmy Awards and three Grammy Awards, and is the first African-American woman in Emmy history to win in the category of Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded). She’s producing awards shows and comedy specials for BET and VH1, four comedy specials with Dave Chappelle for Netflix, as well as a comedy series for HBO based on the special, All Def Comedy.