History has shown us time and time again that when you see something dope happening; many times it’s because women are behind it, ie the Civil Rights Movement, but I digress. The People Matter Festival is no different and no man is an island. Papa Keith, the Miami 20 year radio veteran, prides himself in having a great team but loves the group of women who have been helping him to plan the festival– many of which have been with him since the festival’s inception. This is an all volunteer staff who dedicate their time so that the People Matter Fest is a success.
The festival, happening June 15th at Gwen Cherry Park, is brought to life with the help of many great people, but we wanted to shout some of the ladies who are holding down the People Matter Fest this year. Although, everyone’s roles are not limited to their titles because it’s all hands on deck with the PK4PM team. Check out the ladies below.
Jessica Walcott– Logistics and Operations Director. Literally nothing gets done unless Jessica plans it out for the team. She is the glue that holds and plans it all and she’s the lovely wife of Papa Keith, aka Keith Walcott. Fun Fact: Jessica is a corporate event planner with more than 10 years experience, so she really does this work and does it well. She also has her own company that does event planning as well called, Beekman Steele Events.
Anne “AnnBanz” Urist– Main Stage Manager and Event Coordinator. You will not get on that stage unless Anne says so. She will make sure all runs smoothly with the run of show. And she’s the one making sure Papa Keith’s very long checklist for the festival gets done. Fun Fact: Anne is the former 103.5 the Beat Assistant Promotions Director, but now she’s Papa Keith’s radio show producer so she’s literally his right hand woman.
Tif Boom– “On the Come Up” stage manager, Talent Booker and Social Media Director. Tif Boom is the reason so many local artists get a chance to perform at the People Matter Fest. She scouts music talent and listens to artists’ pitches to be on the show– but always makes the best decision so that performances will be on point. Tif also makes sure the PK4PM and People Matter Fest social media pages are popping. Fun Fact: Tif Boom is a dope poet, does artist development for Miami Outchea and she’s the Executive Assistant for the Sound Boys Media, which is one of Papa Keith’s companies.
Valencia “V” Gunder– Community Outreach Director. Valencia is the team’s ear to the street and the heart of the community. She and Papa Keith created the 24-Hour Cease fire campaign to further impact the teams work around gun violence. She helps the team identify who to honor in the community for their work to end gun violence, she provides insight to community resources and she recruits and manages all volunteers. Fun Fact: Valencia is the CEO and founder of the Smile Trust, a non-profit organization that has fed more than 20,000 homeless and in-need people. She recently closed on her first property in Liberty City that will house her non-profit operations.
Yvette Harris– Public Relations Manager. Yvette has made sure every publication she knows of has heard about the 2019 People Matter Fest. She has worked non stop on making sure the press covers correctly the People Matter fest. She has landed the festival coverage in all the local media as well as regional and national media outlets. She’s also willing to give her insight on working in PR and events in the South Florida market for the past 20 years. Fun Fact: Yvette is the CEO and founder of Yvette Harris PR Firm. Her clients include the American Black Film festival, which is happening right now, Miami Broward Carnival and a slew of other major events and brands.
Shannon Thomas– Food Vendor Coordinator. Shannon works closely with Jessica to find food vendors for the festival and to make sure they are in compliance with County Standards. She has been working with the People Matter Fest since it began and gives the team great insight on planning events. Fun Fact: Shannon is the CEO and founder of Miami Slush — a food truck that sells great tasting frozen desserts. She will be a vendor at the People Matter Fest this year so come check her out.
Janey Tate– Community Liaison and Media Relations Director. It’s a little weird to write about myself and “big up” myself. lol. All I’ll say is I help with the festival. I honestly think my part is small in comparison to what the others on the team do. This team is awesome!
Even though this was way to shine a spotlight on women who many may not know help Papa Keith to keep the wheels turning for this festival; we have to give a few honorable mentions below.
Kevin “Ras Kev” Ross manages all things video and picture related for the festival and makes sure we capture the memories being made at the festival. He’s been working with the festival since the beginning.
Rasheed AKA Fresh helps with financial planning of the event and plans the football tournament that takes place during the festival. He has also been a part of the festival since the beginning.
SN: I have to give a special shout out to Kiana Powell, who managed PR and so many other tasks for the People Matter Fest for the first two years. She took a break this year to give birth to her beautiful baby boy. It would be cool to see what she and Yvette could conquer together for the festival.
Major salute to all the staff, volunteers and sponsors — it’s too many too list– who help bring the People Matter Fest to life. Be sure to be there tomorrow. Event details below. Click here for more information on the event.