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NYC Summit 2023-1


Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: Atlanta Summit in partnership with Luminary RECAP

On November 2, 2023, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready partnered with Luminary to bring the Digital Ready experience to Atlanta. From panels and workshops to fireside chats and networking, incredible speakers, and experts, together, the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: Atlanta Summit in partnership with Luminary gave attendees a chance to develop their skills with exclusive live events, including a sweepstake; five Chrome Books and 10 Luminary Fellowships were given out.

The day included robust workshops from subject matter experts across all areas needed to run a business - not to mention valuable time to connect with other local business owners.

2-Nov-08-2023-05-18-22-8923-PM  1-Nov-08-2023-05-18-22-8453-PM

Highlighted Sessions:
  • Introductory Remarks with Sarah Nakintu, Partnership Lead at Verizon and Cate Luzio, Founder and CEO of Luminary
  • Branding Your Business with Jazmyn Williams, Director of Brand Marketing at The Honey Pot
  • Access To Capital for Small Businesses with Sandra Font, Director at ACE Women’s Business Center, Xamayliz (Xama) Gonzalez, Sr. Business Consultant Chase for Business-Focused on Minority Entrepreneurs, moderated by Alejandro Coss, President & CEO of Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
  • The Power of the Digital Ready Platform with Anwar Dougsiyeh, Co-Founder and Lead Organizer of Lotus Rosery, Lakila Bowden, Co-Founder of iSee Technologies, moderated by Rachel Shanklin, Georgia Director/National Women's Entrepreneurship Director at Small Business Majority
  • AI-Powered Marketing to Outsmart The Competition NOW with John Lawson, President of Colder Ice Media
  • Digital Marketing 101 with Maribel Lara, SVP at The Sasha Group, of Vayner Media
  • Fireside Chat with Ryan Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder of The Gathering Spot and Cate Luzio, Founder and CEO of Luminary


Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is a free learning program developed by small businesses to help small businesses grow and build their skills to succeed in the digital economy. Filled with courses, events, coaching sessions, and grant opportunities, it’s an easy way to advance your business, learn new skills, and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. For more information, visit verizon.com/digitalready.

Luminary is a gender inclusive, global membership-based professional education and networking platform created to uplift, up-skill, and propel women and our male allies forward through all phases of their professional journey. Our goal is to provide our community with access to tools, resources, and connections to help build, grow, and move businesses and careers forward.

The Speakers

Lakila Bowden

Co-Founder of iSee Technologies

Alejandro Coss

President & CEO of Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia

Anwar Dougsiyeh

Co-Founder and Lead Organizer of Lotus Rosery

Sandra Font

Director at ACE Women’ Business Center

Xamayliz (Xama) Gonzalez

Sr. Business Consultant, Chase for Business-Focused on Minority Entrepreneurs

Maribel Lara

SVP at The Sasha Group of Vayner Media

John Lawson

President of Colder Ice Media

Cate Luzio

Founder and CEO of Luminary

Sarah Nakintu

Partnership Lead at Verizon

Rachel Shanklin

Georgia Director/National Women's Entrepreneurship Director at Small Business Majority

Jazmyn Williams

Director of Brand Marketing at The Honey Pot

Ryan Wilson

CEO and Co-Founder of The Gathering Spot

Ryan Wilson

CEO and Co-Founder of The Gathering Spot

Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for
collaboration, connections and experiences and is the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services

At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan
and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established
itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally
impactful events. Responsible for the company’s overall management and strategic vision, Ryan has led the club’s physical
expansion with location openings in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, launch of membership communities in New York City,
Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, and Chicago; as well as the digital expansion of the company’s platform TGS Connect.

In 2022, The Gathering Spot was acquired by Greenwood, Inc, creating the largest fintech and community platform for Blacks
and minorities with a combined community of over 1 million people. The companies share a mission of closing the wealth gap
for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship and education. This partnership represents a historic move as one
of the few black-on-black M&A transactions at scale and was recognized as one of the most influential Deals of Year in 2022
by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Ryan has been honored as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was selected as one of the
2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under Forty honorees and one of their 100 Most Powerful leaders, was named one of
Goldman Sach’s Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2021, and named as one of Georgia’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders by Georgia Trend. The Mayor of Atlanta honored Ryan and his business partner with the prestigious Phoenix Award, the city’s highest
honor, was named by Atlanta Magazine as one of “Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders’’, and he has been recognized as one of
Inc.‘s 30 under 30. He has also been named one of the country’s most influential African-Americans in The Root 100 and the
Ebony Power 100.

Ryan has been featured in notable national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, The New
York Times, Revolt, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. He is a trusted speaker
and regularly moderates conversations with thought leaders and notable individuals ranging from political figures like
President Joe Biden and Senator Raphael Warnock, to business pioneers like Thasunda Duckett and Ben Chestnut, as well as
leaders in the entertainment industry including Will Packer, Kelly Rowland, and Gabrielle Union. His work has led to several
keynote presentations for various companies including Goldman Sachs, Delta, Google, Meta, Ford Motor Company, and Nike.

He also led to keynote presentations at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities including Georgetown University
Law Center, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, and The
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
A native to Atlanta, Ryan is currently an active participant in several Atlanta civic and community organizations. He proudly
serves on the boards of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Usher’s New Look, The Woodruff Arts Center, The
Atlanta Business League, The Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Invest Atlanta’s Foundation and previously served on the
boards of Hands on Atlanta and Peace Preparatory Academy. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men and
Atlanta Rotary Club.

Ryan graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center where he proudly serves on the Board of
Regents. He currently resides happily in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.