Join us Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the Duke Energy Center for the 2013 Women’s Empowerment Conference!

Performing LIVE – Mateo

Mateo wasn’t always singing the same tune. Born into a musical family, the Cincinnati, OH native witnessed the trials and tribulations endured by the musicians in his family and decided to travel a different path. Yet after graduating from college and spending a year at a normal 9-5 job, he found his heart yearning for more. He started writing/recording music and performing during his off hours which he often referred to as his “5-9.” Match set and fire brewing, Mateo soon packed up and moved to LA to pursue his 5-9 passion full-time…

Mateo first gained recognition and popularity through the release of several mixtapes. Garnering over a million views on YouTube, he solidified a fan base eager for his material. Intrigued by his sound and authentic voice, Grammy-award winning producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers (Alicia Keys, Nas, Drake) took notice and soon began working with the young artist, helping him to mold his style. Also impressed was R&B star, Alicia Keys, who joined Mateo on “Say Its So,” from the Love & Stadiums II mixtape, becoming one of his biggest supporters.

Mateo has since witnessed the success of his October 2012 release, Suite 823 (Krucial Noise/Interscope Records) and is fresh off his first national tour, where he opened for Keyshia Cole and Chrisette Michele. Showing no signs of letting up, he will release his latest single and video, “How Good Is Your Love,” just in time for the summer.

We are excited to bring you Tracee Ellis Ross, as this year’s Keynote Speaker!

Charming, classy, versatile, and beautiful are just a few of the characteristics that define Tracee Ellis Ross and make her one of the hottest chameleons in the entertainment industry today. She is described as a “trend setter with signature style,” a woman “gracefully redefining the rules for success.”

Ross is best known as the star of the hit sitcom, Girlfriends, which aired for eight seasons on the CW and can be seen in syndication throughout the US and the world. Her portrayal of “Joan Clayton,” has earned her seven NAACP Image Award nominations, including one win in 2007 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, one BET Comedy Award win, and two nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, a Women’s Image Network (WIN) Award nomination for Best Comedy Series, and two PRISM Award nominations for Outstanding Performance in a Comedy series.

Ross recently completed work on the feature film Labor Pains opposite Linsday Lohan, Cheryl Hines and Chris Parnell. She was last seen on the big screen in Daddy’s Little Girls, opposite Gabrielle Union and Idris Elba. She made a dramatic turn in HBO’s Life Support opposite Queen Latifah and real-life brother, Evan Ross. Covering a wide range of characters, Ross’ big screen debut was a leading role in the feature film Far Harbor opposite Marcia Gay Harden and Jennifer Connelly. Ross also appeared in the comedy Hanging Up, in which she played Meg Ryan’s distracted assistant.

Ross was honored by The Los Angeles Urban League as “Volunteer of the Year” for 2004. She is passionate about her work with young girls in this country and works very closely with the Big Brother Big Sister program and the Aviva House Organizations in Los Angeles. This past summer she created and held a self-esteem workshop for young girls called “The Me I Know”. She is also a vetted Obama Surrogate and spent this past year out on the campaign trail.

Ross began her television career as the host of her own television show, Lifetime’s The Dish, for which she was named a “Face to Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. She has written, produced, and performed in segments for cable shows, appeared as a series regular on MTV’s sketch comedy The Lyricist Lounge Show, and guest starred or co-hosted in various other television programs, including cameos in the Kanye West videos “The New Workout Plan” and “Touch the Sky.”

As a model, Ross worked with highly regarded photographers in the fashion industry, including Herb Ritts, Peter Lindberg, Francesco Scavullo and Mario Testino. She has graced the pages of top fashion and consumer magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, Mirabella, and Life, to name a few. She has also appeared in advertising campaigns for The Gap, Donna Karan Collection, DKNY and Paul Mitchell.