Minority Vendor Showcase: Change Starts Here

The Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport is proud to host a Black-Owned Business Vendor Showcase on Feb. 28 under the exciting theme of Food, Fuel, Fitness and Fun! This event is an open invitation to black-owned businesses and their supporters. The Showcase will be a convergence of Hyatt property leaders from across the region, DMV community leaders, local hotel partners, business executives and other notable guests. In partnership with Arlington Economic Development’s BizLaunch, we will offer a series of business training sessions, covering social media marketing and empowering your businesses. 

You are cordially invited to attend a special celebration of Black entrepreneurs during Black History Month 2024. This dynamic event features networking for businesses from Arlington, VA as well as from around the country to share best practices and uncover business opportunities. Training on the latest marketing trends for your business and better understanding local policies and regulations to empower your business. Join us at Brunch and Business to hear from leading area Black entrepreneurs about their successful journeys (as well as the many challenges) into launching, growing, and sustaining their business. Learn more about our speckers here

This event is part of Hyatt’s commitment to support Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). Over recent years, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has actively integrated DE&I practices across all our business areas, fulfilling our purpose to care for people so they can be their best. Building connections and opening doors for people is our passion especially in our National Landing community.  

February 28, 2024: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

  • Marketing and Leveraging Technologies Like an Industry Expert, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Minority Vendor Showcase, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Tiffany Hamilton and Isaiah tell their Victor Wear story and talk about the Victor Wear Expo, 11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
  • Brunch and Business, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Access to Capital for Startups, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 Limited parking available. Please use public transportation. 

For more information contact BizLaunch at bizlaunch@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-0808 



Brunch and Business: Celebrating Black Excellence – A Fireside Chat

Let’s honor the last days of Black History Month 2024 over brunch as we hear from two dynamic Arlington business leaders. You are cordially invited to celebrate with us on February 28, 2024 from 11:30 am – 1 pm at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Network, and meet innovative entrepreneurs from around the country at this month’s Brunch and Business. During the fireside chat which begins at noon, Economic Development Commissioner Avril Ussery Sisk will interview Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble about her journey into launching her nonprofit, The Aakoma Project. Dr. Alfiee will speak on her successes, challenges and just what inspires her to lead her organization every day. Dr. Alfiee was recently featured in The Power of Kindness documentary with Lady Gaga and was also showcased on the Today Show. Be prepared to be inspired, register today!

About our speakers

Avril Ussery Sisk currently serves on the Board of Managers, NextUP Solutions LLC, an Arlington company focused on information technology, software engineering and workforce development. She is Immediate Past Chair, Arlington County (VA) Economic Development Commission (EDC) and chaired the EDC’s Workforce Taskforce, the Commission’s collaborative community initiative to address workforce development, business recruitment and realignment, business climate and other economic development concerns. She also spearheaded Arlington County’s Framework for Prosperity 2.0- Equity Update: Equitably Advancing a Dynamic Economy toprovide a strategic framework for the equity resolution adopted by the Arlington County Board with the emphasis on economic development. At the conclusion of her tenure as Chair, Avril was presented a ceremonial Key to Arlington County. A former Chair of the Arlington Community Foundation Board of Trustees, Avril helped design a new direction for the organization and provided governance and oversight on capital programs, growth strategies, and expansion planning.

An attorney with more than 30 years of professional and community leadership and recognized for her skills in risk assessment, process improvement and ROI initiatives, Avril has a strong record of innovation in large and mid-size government, business, and nonprofit organizations as well as consulting experience. She combines governance and ethics expertise with community engagement successes, and her career has included a variety of leadership roles in public policy and state governments. In 2022, she was presented the Willard W. “Woody” Brittain Community Appreciation Award by the Arlington Branch of the NAACP.

A frequent speaker and panelist on these and related issues, Avril is a certified Leadership Professional in Ethics and Compliance (LPEC) through the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI) with government and regulatory, business, public affairs, and legislative experience. She has earned Director Certification conferred by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and serves on the NACD Capital Area Advisory Board. She is a member of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Annual Ethics Bowl Competition Committee and has been a judge of that competition for several years. Avril is a former North Carolina State Court judge, and has extensive board experience, including previous service on the national Alumni Board of Directors of U.C. Berkeley Law School, and the Bioethics Resource Group LTD, affiliated with Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC. Currently ethics counsel at the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), she is active in a number of civic and cultural organizations. Avril is married and the mother of an adult daughter.


Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble (known professionally as Dr. Alfiee) is a pioneering psychologist, scientist, author, mental health correspondent, and the founder of the million-dollar nonprofit, The AAKOMA Project.

An expert in her field, Dr. Alfiee focuses on mental health and suicide prevention for intersectional youth and young adults (including LGBTQ and youth with disabilities). She is a regular media contributor for outlets including the Washington PostSELFCNNPeacockINSIDERFortunethe New York Times, and more. She was instrumental as a mentor and advisor to the first-ever MTV Youth Mental Health Action Forum held in May 2022.

Frequently representing her nonprofit, The AAKOMA Project, Dr. Alfiee has engaged with global superstars to uplift discussions on mental health for diverse young people. She was co-host to Lady Gaga on the short film The Power of Kindness, produced by the Born This Way Foundation; she joined Red Table Talk with Jade Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne “Gammy” Norris discussing suicide and women’s mental health and she joined Charlamagne Tha God on the Hoda and Jenna hour of the Today show to discuss mental health in the Black community.

With over 25 years of experience and widely recognized for her ability to draw in audiences and inspire, she embodies her belief that there is enough love and light, informed by strong, culturally relevant science, to help everyone achieve #optimalmentalhealth.

Program Partners

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