Sokpoh Law Group, LLC
Karine Sokpoh is the Managing Attorney of Sokpoh Law Group, LLC, and the President of the Midlands African Chamber, Inc. She practices in the areas of immigration, juvenile law, and intellectual property law among others. Originally from Togo, West Africa, in 2020, Karine was awarded the Nebraska State Bar Association Visionary Award for her pro bono work. Karine was also named one of the 2019 Midlands Business Journal 40 under 40 award recipients.
In 2016, Karine was recognized as a recipient of the University of Nebraska at Omaha CPACS Alumni Award For Excellence in Public Service. She has also been recognized by the Nebraska State Bar Association as an Outstanding Young Lawyer in 2010 and as part of the NSBA’s Leadership Academy in 2012. Karine is very active in the community and is the Vice President of the League for African Advancement, a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, a member of the board of the Women’s Fund, and the Women Center for Advancement.
Marco Kpeglo Leroc
VP Strategic Planning/ Partnership Chair
Marco LeRoc & Co.
Marco Kpeglo LeRocVP Strategic Planning/ Partnership Chair
Marco Kpeglo LeRoc is a leading personal achievement expert. He’s the founder of Marco LeRoc & Co., an organization that inspires people to grow personally and financially.
He is a speaker, an accountability partner, and the author of three books: Activate Your Untapped Potential, Screw College Debt, and Cash In with Your Money. Marco has been featured on many news outlets locally, nationally, and internationally.
An international speaker, Marco has engaged audiences in the Americas, Europe, and Africa on the subjects of financial literacy education, college planning, and self-leadership.
Marco is a go-getter and the host of Inside a Great Mind a web-based TV show that features the story of thriving entrepreneurs, leaders, and game-changers.
With a passion of enhancing and impacting the lives of the underserved, Marco is the founder and President of the League for African Advancement Inc., an advocate champion for the United Nations Nothing But Nets, an ambassador for Global Partners in Hope and board member for the Hidden Talent
Member at large
Philipe BruceMember at large
Originally from Togo, in West Africa, Philipe Bruce moved to the United States at the age of 21. He has held several executive leadership positions in start-ups over the past ten years. He is currently the CEO and Founder of The Bloc, a nonprofit organization that aims to change the quality of life of all community members through education, charity and philanthropy, and community building.
Before founding The Bloc, Phil held the title of Assistant Vice President of Cybersecurity and Third-Party Management at BNP Paribas | Bank of The West. He joined BNP Paribas from Nebraska Furniture Mart, one of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway companies, where he worked in the technology department for eight years.
In 2013, Phil founded P.O.D.S. Coaching, LLC, a Professional and Organizational Development Solutions company. As the CEO of P.O.D.S. Coaching, he coached organizations and startups in Africa, Europe, and the United States. Phil is a published author and teaches Organizational Management courses at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, through the Nebraska Business Development Center. Before all, Phil is a husband, a father. He is passionate about understanding how people and processes function in an organizational setting so much so that he spent the past 15 years studying leadership and organizational management. He has earned his Master’s degree in Organizational Management, Economics, and Entrepreneurship from Peru State College.
Nouvelle Beautée, LLC
Originally from Togo (West Africa), Fidèle earned a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2015. She is currently working for UNMC as an Administrative Assistant. Prior to that, she worked as a Community Health Advocate At CHI Health. With her passion and ambition to lead dynamic organizations and contribute to the betterment of her community, Fidèle brings to the Midlands African Chamber the same passion and ambition.
Fidèle is the owner of Nouvelle Beautée, LLC, a beauty salon specializing in makeup and hair. She earned the title of Master International Makeup Professional after completing her Master Makeup Artistry course at QC Makeup Academy in 2019. She truly believes everyone should look their best in every occasion and this translates into her mission to offer her clientele professional-grade beauty services with a personal touch. When she's not busy with everything she's involved in, she enjoys spending quality time with her family.
VP marketing and public relations
The UNO Gateway
Josefina LozaVP marketing and public relations
A journalist with more than 20 years of experience, Josefina Loza worked for the Omaha World-Herald, Associated Press, Colorado Springs Gazette, Omaha Magazine, Huffington Post, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Momaha.com, a parenting site operated by the World-Herald. She was honored this year as one of Omaha’s most influential Latinas in Media gracing the cover of the 2020 Directorio Latino.
Loza currently serves as publication manager of The Gateway, which is the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s official independent student-run newspaper. At the college newspaper, she works with a talented group of creative and young aspiring journalists where she gives mentorship and guidance.
Loza is a freelance writer, editor and communication manager who highlights extraordinary people and events happening in her community. She is a journalism graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha who is expected to complete her Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies this spring. Her area of interests are parent-child communication, biracial identity formation, and intrapersonal conflict. Her research has been accepted and presented at several media conferences including the National Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s School of Communication High School Media Conference.
Loza is a former diversity fellow for the Society for Features Journalism and a member of the Nebraska Press Association and College Media Association. She serves on the Omaha Cinco de Mayo research committee, the Salvation Army Head Start parent/community board, Omaha Public School’s District Citizens Advisory Committee, and the Jackson Elementary Parenting Group. She is an active alumna and advisor of the Omicron chapter of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., and member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a 100-year-old national leadership honor society.
When she’s not writing or creating journalism training materials to help college students hone their writing, interviewing, editing, and photography skills, you can find the mother of two daydreaming about her next story idea or adding a ridiculous amount of hashtags to her social media accounts: @lozafina
VP Advocacy/ Community Engagement
Olowolafe Law Firm, LLC
Oluseyi "Seyi" OlowolafeVP Advocacy/ Community Engagement
After serving as a former Federal Investigator, Mr. Olowolafe is a trial attorney at Olowolafe Law Firm, LLC, experienced in both criminal and civil matters. Mr. Olowolafe passionately defends individuals under investigation or who have been charged with a state or federal felony or misdemeanor throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Mr. Olowolafe also aggressively represents individuals who have serious civil rights claims and personal injury claims. Mr. Olowolafe continually strives to give back to his community as a Midwest Innocence Project Nebraska Regional Advisory Council member, Greater Omaha SCORE Chapter volunteer mentor, Board Member for Nebraska Legal Aid, and a volunteer attorney for the Iowa Legal Aid COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline.
John OuedraogoVP Membership
Wendnonga John Ouedraogo is originally from Burkina Faso. John is married and father of two precious daughters Arielle and Holly.
He graduated in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Political Science/Business Law from the University of Ouagadougou. John worked as a Program Assistant in a Non-Governmental Organization called Laboratoire Citoyennetes from 2013 to 2015.
The quest for a better future brought John to the United States of America in 2015. He dedicated himself to bringing value to the community. John joined the Nebraska Army National Guard and he served from 2016 to 2019.
Engaged in his local community, John is dedicated in helping people for a better integration and he is currently serving as the Secretary General of the Association of Burkinabe in Nebraska. As part of this engagement, he is registered as a Lister for the US Census Bureau 2020.
John is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Nebraska Realty, representing buyers, sellers and investors in their real estate transactions. Additionally, he is graduating this summer 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and International Security from Bellevue University.
Luper AkoughVP Fundraising
Luper Akough is a first-generation Nigerian born in the United States. He was recently named one of the 40 Under 40 by the Midlands Business Journal. Luper spent the early part of his life in the Chicago area and has lived in the Omaha Metro for the past 15 years. He has a passion for helping others that want to help themselves. Luper has spent the past seven years working for a few of the top property and casualty companies in the nation and has truly found a home at Farm Bureau Financial Services.
Luper was able to grow his agency to over 500 households in five short years with word-of-mouth advertising. He is also a founder of a real estate group that buys, sells, and holds real estate property. His most recent venture is a mobile application that is currently in the beta stage. He was recently a fellow participant with the New Leaders Council of Nebraska and serves as the Insurance 101 instructor for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, as well as the Commercial 101 instructor with the Omaha Chamber. He currently serves on the following boards: Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals and New Leaders Council of Nebraska. He is a committee member for the Omaha Chamber Young Professionals Group. He enjoys traveling, trying new cuisine, and spending time with family and friends.
Damien P. Foster
Foster & Dolleck
Damien P. FosterTreasurer
Damien has served a large array of clients in various industries and states. Prior to Foster & Dolleck, Damien worked for a regional accounting firm in Omaha, Nebraska where he worked with clients in private industry, government, and non-profits. Damien has significant experience in providing accounting, auditing, and consulting services.
Member at Large
Program Director of Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the Business Administration program at Metropolitan Community College (MCC)
Deborah GaspardMember at Large
Deborah Gaspard currently serves as the Program Director of Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the Business Administration program at Metropolitan Community College (MCC).
In her twenty years of teaching, Gaspard taught undergraduate and graduate courses for institutions serving international student populations in more than 65 countries.
After earning both a Bachelor's and an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, Gaspard gained extensive professional experience in all domains of marketing, public relations, advertising, management, strategic planning, customer service, and small business development.
Gaspard is the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Gaspard is an Emeritus Member of the Kappa Beta Delta International Honor Society (KBD), the 2010 ACBSP International Teaching Excellence Award Recipient, and the recipient of the Jack Kahl Entrepreneurial Award for the Enactus Sam M. Walton Fellow of the Year in recognition for successfully developing sustainable service-learning projects promoting financial literacy and women’s empowerment in communities across Nebraska, in South Africa, and in Haiti.
Sherman L. Wells
Member at Large
Lead Guide Coach at Marriott Internationa
Sherman L. WellsMember at Large
Sherman L. Wells is a born and raised native of North Omaha, NE. He is a Lead Guide Coach at Marriott International.
Wells recognized at a young age his God given talent to bring people together from all walks of life, so in 2007, he created a lifestyle change in his community, and called it U.N.T.A.M.E.D. (A Unified Nation Taking Action Mentally Erasing Deception)
Wells is also the author of The Melanated People Pledge, which can be found on display in the majority of Black owned businesses in North Omaha. The pledge serves as a standard of pride and respect for each other he would like to see held in the community.
Working alongside his wife of over 25 yrs and their young daughter, they were able to build a grass root genuine movement while simultaneously collaborating with multiple community leaders, politicians, and organizations becoming a conduit for resources to the very community he serves.
“The passion I have for my people’s unity is what drives me, so I will continue to denounce publicly the stereotypes that separate us and spread the message of loving one another because like wildflowers in a field we can all grow together"