Board of Directors
Candice M. Smith
Founder and CEO
Candice M. Smith is Founder and CEO of Boss Generation a non profit organization that proactively focuses on addressing student loan debt, creating economic well being and generational wealth for Black women and Women of Color. Prior to starting this organization she spent over a decade in education, as a teacher coach, and district trainer for a local school district. Candice holds a Masters degree in Education from Regis University. She is a native of TN and grew up in Denver.
Chevy Lowe is the director of The College Place-Colorado located at the University of Colorado – Denver campus. She has over 10 years of experience helping students pursue higher education. Her passion lies in supporting students with career exploration, financial literacy, and finding an affordable path after high school to pursue their education and career goals.
Vice Board Chair
Ms. Young has more than 20 years of Human Resources operations and management experience including developing HR processes and policies, employee relations, performance management, budget management, talent acquisition, benefits, compensation, leaves administration, compliance/compliance reporting, training, vendor management and new employee on-boarding. Her professional experience includes creating a proprietary DEI Framework to help companies ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded into their processes, policies and procedures. Her hands-on experience leading HR initiatives including policy design, organizational development, change management, talent acquisition, HRIS implementations and HR workflow development.
Ms. Young has experience serving as a Human Resources
Executive and entrepreneur and has worked with both large and small companies and in a variety of industries including government/not-for-profit organizations, technology, banking/financial, and professional services. Lisa has managed a cross functional HR staff, supported up 30+ business units with more than 1200 employees, and partnered with operating unit leaders and executives to ensure alignment of HR strategies with business initiatives and goals. She has led, participated in, and implemented various client projects including HR compliance audits, employee handbook development, job analysis, job descriptions and compensation design. In addition, she has led projects regarding process improvement, process mapping, and employee engagement.
Ms. Young has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Mountain States Employers’ Council. Ms. Young enjoys volunteering and has served on various advisory councils and boards that focus on education, career opportunities and human rights.
Manushkka is the founder and Moisturizer-In-Chief of Chubby Curls Hair Products as well as the Executive Assistant/Board Coordinator at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. A proud native of Queens, she loves trips to the city, Broadway, and all things New York! Like most young Black girls, during her childhood and young adulthood, she enjoyed the straight, flowing hair that came from chemical relaxers. But over time, she became frustrated with the thinning, limp hair that resulted from years of over-processing and took the leap to go natural. Excited for all the healthy new growth, she didn’t regret her decision, but she had NO IDEA how to style her thick coils. Manushkka made her way from NY to Florida where she graduated from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) with a BA in History. After working as a flight attendant for several years, and the events of 9/11, Manushkka decided to go back to school, attending Penn State University, graduating with a BS in Meteorology. After Penn State, she packed her bags and headed west to Denver, Colorado. It wasn’t until her move to Denver’s dry climate that she truly understood the complexities of natural hair. She spent months researching natural hair products, tools, and techniques. She discovered they all had ONE common denominator – a great moisturizer! Natural hair products were scarce at that time and the few available were full of cheap fillers that didn’t deliver the moisture her hair needed. Thanks to her curiosity, creativity, and determination, she is now the Moisturizer-In-Chief of Chubby Curls Hair Products. Manushkka loves to partner with salons, schools, and other organizations to host her workshop, “I’m Natural, Now What”. This workshop is ideal for those who are thinking about going natural, beginners on their natural journey, parents struggling with their children’s natural hair, or anyone stuck in a rut looking for new natural hair style options. Manushkka is proud to be a recipient of the 2021 My Black City People’s Choice Award and the 2021 5280 Black Professional Women (BPW) Aunt Clara Brown Award. She is also a member of the Sisterhood of Philanthropists Impacting Needs (SPIN) and sits on the board of Boss Generation, a non-profit that centers and prioritizes resources for BIPOC women to navigate and ultimately eliminate student loan debt.
Carla Ladd is the Founder and President of IIMS, L.L.C. dba DenverBlackPages.com (DBP). DBP is an online resource for Denver’s African American community, established in 2002. The mission of the Denver Black Pages is to empower Colorado’s African American small businesses by providing a comprehensive tool by which to market their products and services to a targeted audience. DBP also produces quarterly networking events (Strictly Bizness), the Little Black Book – Entertainment & Resource Guide (print publication), and the annual Mountain Region Black Economic Summit. Through her work with the Denver Black Pages and the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit, Carla has received numerous awards including the Urban Spectrum’s African Americans Who Make a Difference (2003), the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce’s Clara Brown Award (2006), the Colorado Black Women for Political Action’s Community Service Award (2007), the Gospel Music Workshop of America Business Award (2008), the National Council of Negro Women’s Business Award (2008), the Black Employees for a Better Aurora (BEFABA) Trailblazer Award (2011), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Torch Award for Economic Development (2013), Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award (2018), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award (2021). Carla Ladd was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. She resides in Centennial, Colorado with her husband, Marion Ladd.