Positioned For Greatness

Positioned For Greatness

2020 found Michelle Johnson, Owner of Let’s Play Ultimate Events LLC., with a big decision to make; pivot now or lose traction in the marketplace. As a full-service event production company, Johnson and her business partner, Rock Tribble, had to learn to deliver across a broad range of clients. Because of their fearlessness and expertise in the tech space, Let’s Play has skyrocketed over the past three years.  “One day, I looked up, and we had made a quarter of a million dollars, and I couldn’t believe it because we had been working hard and keeping our heads down,” explains Johnson.

At a time when others were contemplating closing their doors, Let’s Play was getting a ton of business referrals. Their relationship with the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA) deepened, and they went on to produce events like the Black and Blue Series: African Americans in the Police Force, the Covid Education Series, and Virtual Homecoming Week. They continue to build community partnerships with organizations like Spellman LA, The Black Youth College Tour, The Nubian Leadership Circle, Sister Circle, Pasadena City College, and Biz Fed Los Angeles County Business Federation, among others. 

“When we started, success was getting 50-100 people in a room for a Taco Tuesday. Today, it’s seeing our clients understand the importance of hybrid events, hiring all black contractors, and working with corporations that allow us to commodify their virtual real estate with strong returns,” Johnson maintains.

Let’s Play Ultimate Events LLC.’s legacy of innovation, integration, faith, and fearlessness has positioned the company to secure major contracts and launch a new marketing strategy. This hallmark will continue to make them the go-to for all audio-visual needs, now and in the future.

Dawn Patton, Owner of Try My T, the award-winning cold-brewed tea, is “still in the game " by her own account.” She took over the reins of the business from her daughter in 2016, and the company has grown exponentially.

By the time you read this, Try My T will have made its debut as the official tea for the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at the Los Angeles Country Club. In 65 Whole Foods stores, Try My T will be expanding to all 514 Whole Foods stores in California and the Pacific Northwest in August. You can also find them in 97 Sprouts stores and as the newest brand in Netflix Studios' beverage portfolio on the West Coast. 

“We have quite a few corporate accounts like American Express, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and the NFL Headquarter Offices. Our footprint is expanding in different sales channels. We are in demand because our tea is ‘really’ good. I feel blessed and humbled. I love my customers and the fact that people love the product,” Patton reflects.

So, what’s next? Try My T is seeking investors and exploring other countries for distribution and licensing deals. They are also positioning themselves for acquisition in three to four years. Let A Girl Play, their nonprofit is currently awaiting its 501(c)(3) status and will continue to level the playing field across the board for women.

Patton’s vision is clear. She attributes her success and that of her company to her faith in God and the immense support that she has received from her family, team, and the beverage community. Now that is something to raise our glass to.

Don B. Welch, Director, Writer, Produce, and Author, has been on a roll… and on the road this year. He is wrapping up a month’s stay in Washington, D.C., directing another episode of Hush (Season 2, November 2023) on ALLBLK under the AMC Networks. “Prior to last year, I had never directed TV. It has only been film and theater, and to be asked to come back has been a wonderful opportunity that was given to me by Brett Dismuke [General Manager, ALLBLK network].” Welch has learned a lot, and though he may have had a bit of anxiety…in the beginning, coming back the second time gave him a whole new outlook. “The fear goes away once you plunge into it,” he affirms.

Welch knows a thing or two about plunging in…with faith. He has been in the entertainment industry for 30 years, and as of late, his projects have been a testament to the types of stories he wants to tell, intimate topics that raise awareness. The award-winning Baby Girl (2022) focuses on the ills of child trafficking and is currently streaming on ALLBK, and Just Before Sundown (2023), out later this year, delves into teenage cyberbullying and suicide pacts.

On Saturday, August 5th, Welch will present the 20th Anniversary of his stage play The Bachelor Party (2011). The reprisal will be held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, starring Christian Keyes, Aaron D. Spears, Kenny Latimore, Kareem Grimes, Khalilah Joy, and Karen Ward Ross. He will also be finishing up his self-published autobiography, Donald Welch, All Things In Time, in December. The book’s release date is July 9, 2024, in commemoration of his late mother. Lastly, one other film project is in the works but mums the word until things are finalized.

Welch’s body of work proves that he continues to walk purposefully, knowing that he is not walking alone. “God, my mother, and grandmother are watching over me. I have good people in my life that are as excited about my future as  I am, and that’s a wonderful thing.” Indeed, it is.

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