A self-made man and entrepreneurial exemplar, David Ben David started Sprayground about two years ago in New York City. Since blowing up on the backs of influential wearers, Ben David and his brand now sit at the forefront of the backpack ‘revival’ of the past few years. Throughout his successes though, the School of Visual Arts graduate and designer keeps the same influences around – equal parts reminders of his past accomplishments as they are grounding ideas. The things he carries – cans of spray paint, a keychain mini-pack for fat caps, and notebooks littered with personal scrawling – all indicate a kind of urbane creativity, while other featured items showcase past collaborations with K-Swiss and other custom work. Model and longtime brand supporter Krista Ayne is also featured amongst the Essentials.

Bernard Bronner

For Bernard Bronner, success did not come easy. Bernard Bronner, second generation President and CEO of Bronner Bros., Inc., learned the rules of success and achievement from his late father, Nathaniel Bronner, Sr.

Mr. Bronner’s preparation for running the 66-year-old hair care company began at age six with his own paper route. He later joined the family business as stock boy, quickly ascending the ranks to cashier, beauty salesman, accountant and Vice-president of marketing for the company.

In 1993, Mr. Bronner was named President and CEO of Bronner Bros. Under Mr. Bronner’s direction, Bronner Bros. has built on the legacy established by his late father by developing new brands and establishing itself as Georgia’s largest African American, Christian-based company. Mr. Bronner continues to keep his father’s vision alive by expanding his holdings and developing even more business ventures.

In 1989, he undertook his greatest business challenge and started UPSCALE Magazine. Today, UPSCALE’s popularity continues to grow in leaps and bounds. UPSCALE is the ultimate lifestyle magazine bringing readers the very best of black culture from arts and entertainment to beauty, fashion, news and views. With nationwide circulation, it has remained loyal to its readers’ every-changing lifestyle.

In 1995, Mr. Bronner started Bronner Bros. Real Estate Division, acquiring a building with over 150 offices, which is Bronner Bros.’ headquarters and houses UPSCALE’s marketing and advertising executive staff. Mr. Bronner is endowed with a keen business sense – moving the company to another level with his unyielding energy and focused mind.

One of his ventures, Rainforest Films, launched the independent theatrical release of the 2000 smash hit, TROIS, which became one of the highest-grossing African American independent films of all time. Rainforest follows all projects from concept to production to promotion, ensuring success and satisfaction in every product. Rainforest’s successful films, Gospel and Stomp the Yard received outstanding reviews and were box-office hits. Despite all that he has achieved, Mr. Bronner gives credit for everything Bronner Bros. is today to his father, Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr. Mr. Bronner says his father’s basic philosophy dictated that family members place “God first, family second, business third and everything else after that.” He says, his father also emphasized the importance of hard work, honesty, moderation, thriftiness and selective association.

Mr. Bronner is a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Business Administration. He has been married to Sheila Bronner, editor-in-chief of UPSCALE Magazine for 29 years and they have five children.

Melissa Harville-Lebron


  • NASCAR TEAM OWNER E2 Northeast Motorsports, Inc.

  • Founder & CEO W.M. STONE ENTERPRISES, Inc. The Holding Corporation and Coutrá Music Group, Inc. Distribution

Melissa Harville-Lebron never imagined that her entrepreneurial pursuits and ambitions would lead her to make history as the first African American woman to solely own a race team licensed by NASCAR.

Melissa Harville-Lebron is the first African American woman to solely own a Camping World Truck Series and a developmental racing team in NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series, Division I. The multicultural racing team is the first ever to consist of two brothers from two different ethnicities and minority classes, hailing from the North East and under the age of 25. The team consist of 6 drivers of various professional licensed levels. On February 16, 2018, E2NE partnered with Copp Motorsports for “The Next Era Energy 250” at Daytona. Scott Stenzel finished an impressive 15th. Melissa is an African American, single mother of 7; 3 biological children from a prior 16 year marriage and legal guardian of 4 additional children from younger siblings. Known as "Captain Lebron" for the last 5 years of her career in the Mental Observation Unit in New York City’s Department of Corrections Rikers Island, Melissa was forced to retire after 19 years of service due to a work related injury. A chronic asthma sufferer, it was after another severe attack that she had an epiphany ~ “never be able to say “I wish I had", be able to say “I'm glad I did." The pursuit of her passion was born. Ms. Harville - Lebron is the founder and CEO of W.M. Stone Enterprises, Inc., a multifarious entertainment conglomeration that is the home to Coutrá Music Group, a boutique music label. CMG’s eclectic roster at one time included a female racecar driver with a phenomenal voice. This would be Melissa's initial exposure to NASCAR and also what would capture her attention and direct her awareness to the lack of diversity in the motorsport. At that moment, the conscious decision was made to pursue and fill that multicultural gap. E2 Northeast Motorsports was developed to be the 1st multicultural team in NASCAR. Melissa has always felt that the many obstacles in life were preparation for greatness in the future. Focused on creating her own destiny, she incorporated opportunity and imagination. Accepting social accountability for the impressions portrayed to youth throughout various platforms, she created Lè E’mergê Unlimited, a fashion and lifestyle company that fosters the goal of encouraging youth to “unlock their dreams and pursue the unimaginable”. ALPHA ONWARD AND UPWARD FOUNDATION, INCORPORATED l P.O. BOX 12343 l COLUMBUS, GEORGIA 31917 ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY, INCORPORATED DELTA IOTA LAMBDA CHAPTER



The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock car racing. The privately owned company was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, and his son, Jim France, has been the CEO since August 6, 2018.[3] The company is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.[4] Each year, NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. 1985 photo of Junior Johnson, 1950s NASCAR driver who began as a bootlegging driver from Wilkes County, North Carolina In the 1920s and 1930s, Daytona Beach supplanted France and Belgium as the preferred location for world land speed records.[5][6] After a historic race between Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton in 1903, 15 records were set on what became the Daytona Beach Road Course between 1905 and 1935. Daytona Beach had become synonymous with fast cars in 1936. Drivers raced on a 4.1-mile (6.6 km) course, consisting of a 1.5–2.0-mile (2.4–3.2 km) stretch of beach as one straightaway, and a narrow blacktop beachfront highway, State Road A1A, as the other. The two straights were connected by two tight, deeply rutted and sand covered turns at each end. Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition,[9][10] when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity. The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by then Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, and a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine", this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations. The cars continued to improve, and by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit. These races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, and they are most closely associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced.

Melissa H. Lebron


Cup Series The start of the 2015 Daytona 500. Main article: NASCAR Cup Series The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) is the sport's highest level of professional competition. It is consequently the most popular and most profitable NASCAR series. Since 2001, the Cup Series season has consisted of 36 races over 10 months. Writers and fans often use "Cup" to refer to the NCS and the ambiguous use of "NASCAR" as a synonym for the series is common. The 2020 NCS Champion is Chase Elliot. The record for most championships is 7, held by three drivers: Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson has the record for most consecutive with five consecutive Cup Series drivers' championships from 2006 to 2010. Previously, the most consecutive championships had been three in a row by Cale Yarborough in the late 1970s, the only other time when a driver has won three or more NASCAR Cup Series championships in a row. The Cup Series had its first title sponsor in 1972. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which had been banned from television advertising, found a popular and demographically suitable consumer base in NASCAR fans and engaged NASCAR as a promotional outlet. As a result of that sponsorship, the Grand National Series became known as the Winston Cup Series starting in 1971, with a new points system and some significant cash benefits to compete for championship points. In 1972, the season was shortened from 48 races (including two on dirt tracks) to 31. 1972 is often acknowledged as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era". The next competitive level, called Late Model Sportsman, gained the "Grand National" title passed down from the top division and soon found a sponsor in Busch Beer. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (bottom), and team in victory lane in 2004 In 2004, Nextel Communications took over sponsorship of the premier series from R. J. Reynolds, who had sponsored it as the Winston Cup from 1972 until 2003, and formally renamed it the Nextel Cup Series. A new championship points system, the "Chase for the Nextel Cup," (renamed "Chase for the Sprint Cup" in 2008) was also developed, which reset the point standings with ten races to go, making only drivers in the top ten or within 400 points of the leader eligible to win the championship. In 2007, NASCAR announced it was expanding "The Chase" from ten to twelve drivers, eliminating the 400-point cutoff, and giving a ten-point bonus to the top twelve drivers for each of the races they have won out of the first 26. Wins throughout the season would also be awarded five more points than in previous seasons. In 2008, the premier series title name became the Sprint Cup Series, as part of the merger between Nextel and Sprint.

Nascar Racing


In 2011, NASCAR announced a number of major rules changes, the most significant being abandoning the points system. The winner of a race now receives 43 points, with one-point decrements for each subsequent position (42 for second, 41 for third, and so on). The winner also receives 3 bonus points, and single bonus points are awarded to all drivers who lead a lap, plus the driver who leads the most laps. Another significant change involves the qualifying process for the Chase. The number of qualifying drivers will remain at 12, but only the top 10 will qualify solely on regular-season points. The remaining two Chase drivers will be the two drivers in the next 10 of the point standings (11th through 20th) with the most race wins in the regular season. In 2014, NASCAR announced another revamp to the Chase format, expanding the Chase pool to 16 drivers, and eliminating four drivers after every three races, leaving four drivers to compete for the championship at the season finale at Homestead. In addition, wins were given an increased emphasis, with the 16 drivers with the most wins (15 if the points leader is winless; points leader will receive an automatic berth) gaining a spot in the chase. If there are fewer than 16 winners, the remaining spots will be filled based on the conventional points system. Monster Energy became the title sponsor in 2017, which changed the series' name to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. With Monster Energy's title sponsorship, NASCAR also abandoned "The Chase" name and now refers to the last 10 races simply as "the playoffs" similar to most other sports. After the 2019 season, NASCAR declined an offer from Monster Energy to remain the title sponsor of the top series. On December 5, NASCAR revealed their new sponsorship model. Instead of a singular title sponsor, four "premier partners" (Coca-Cola, Xfinity, Busch Beer and GEICO) would be closely affiliated with the top series, which was simply renamed the NASCAR Cup Series.

MYA Marie Harrison

Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979)[1] is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. Born into a musical family, before entering the music industry she appeared on BET's Teen Summit. Signed in 1996 with Interscope Records, she released her eponymous debut album in April 1998. A critical and commercial success, the album produced her first top ten single "It's All About Me". Subsequent singles, "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)" and "Take Me There" continued to raise her profile and attained chart success worldwide, with the former garnering her first Grammy nomination. Fear of Flying, her second album, was released in April 2000 and became a worldwide success, boosted by the success of its singles "Case of the Ex" and "Free".[3] Harrison continued her rise to prominence in 2002 when she won her first Grammy Award in the category for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for her rendition of Labelle's 1975 hit "Lady Marmalade" along with Pink, Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim, which topped the charts globally.[4]

Taking a more active role in the production of her music, Harrison released her third studio album, the eccentric Moodring, in July 2003. The album produced the single "My Love Is Like...Wo" and was certified gold by the RIAA.[3] Following a label change and a delay in her fourth studio album, Harrison went independent and recorded two exclusive albums for the Japanese music market, Sugar & Spice (2008) and K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sexy & Simple) (2011).[5][6] In between recording those two albums, she launched her own independent record label Planet 9 and competed in Dancing with the Stars – season nine; finishing in second place.[7]

As an independent artist, Harrison continues to regularly release music. Beginning in 2014, she released a trio of R&B-rooted EPs, With Love (2014), Sweet XVI (2014), and Love Elevation Suite (2015). In 2016, Harrison released her seventh album, the Grammy-nominated Smoove Jones. The follow-up, TKO (The Knock Out) arrived in April 2018 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her debut album.

Harrison made her feature-film debut in 1999's thriller In Too Deep starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps. She continued to appear in supporting roles in films such as Chicago (2002), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004), and Cursed (2005).

Harrison's contribution to music has earned her many accolades in the fields of pop and R&B music categories. In 2009, Billboard listed Mýa as one of their Hot 100 Artists of the 2000s; placing her in the 97th position.[8] As of October 2020, she has sold over 3.2 million albums in the U.S. and 7 million albums worldwide.[9][10]