Cherice R. Calhoun

Founder and President

BlackNLA.com

 

The probative value of Cherice Calhoun’s technological innovation begins with her intent. When she started BlackNLA in March of 2000, she wanted to produce a means of finding “at the drop of the hat” African American resources such as physicians, lawyers, organizations, service providers and events that would be of interest to her and her friends. At that time she found a lot of web sites, but none provided the array of services she envisioned. Some of the sites promoted businesses while others promulgated professional or personal services. “I didn’t want to remember 20 different web addresses and I wanted to retrieve information in a relatively easy manner,” recalled Cherice.

 

Amazingly, Cherice didn’t have a background in technology before she plunged into the discipline. Once she realized the need for the website she sat down with Microsoft FrontPage, a couple of books on the Internet and started learning how to put together a website. Her first website showcased events and businesses, but because she fashioned the site to accommodate the feedback from visitors to the site. The site now boasts over 15 sections including travel, career center, news, organizations and a diverse range of other services. The idea was to use technology to bring the community closer together.

 

BlackNLA.com is renowned for disseminating information to urban professionals living, working and visiting the greater Los Angeles area. The distinguishable aspect of BlackNLA.com is the varied information it presents, inclusive of promotional advertisements, upcoming events, networking opportunities and community outreach information. “We provide this at no cost to the community, “says Cherice. Her aim is to enhance Black Businesses, Organizations and Networking Opportunities through wider exposure to potential customers.

 

BlackNLA is constantly evolving and has expanded to also provide offline services to include after work social and networking mixers, movie screenings, travel getaways, special events and an annual toy drive. On the horizon, BlackNLA will add components such as Entertainment, BlackNLA Recommends, LA Fashion and more. Unlike most sites, which are controlled by boardrooms, users of the service shape BlackNLA.

 

Cherice and BlackNLA.com have received the following awards and recognition:

2004 Master of Technology Awarded by Recycling Black Dollars

2006 Entrepreneurship Award presented by Urban Influence Magazine.

2011 SoftSheen-Carson recognition BlackNLA.com as the ultimate resource for the African-American community in Los Angeles.

2011 Divine Nine Award in recognition of contributions to the community by the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals.

2013 Recognized by the Los Angeles Wave newspaper as one of LA’s Most Influential African Americans.

 

Cherice received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California Riverside. As a native of Los Angeles, CA, Cherice is committed to supporting local organizations by giving back to the community.