The Elevate Influencer Conference Experience

The Plutus Foundation had the pleasure of sponsoring the inaugural Elevate Influencer Conference, held in New York City on May 24-25.

The conference was hosted by Sandy Smith, author of the blog, Yes I Am Cheap, and founder of the Elevate Community. To really explain this conference, we have to start at the beginning.

What is Elevate?

The idea of Elevate was birthed out of Sandy’s desire to help communities of color who were struggling  post-Great Recession. She realized that she and her personal finance peers had the skills and resources to bring about real solutions. As she would put it “we were the ones we were waiting for”.

The elevate community group photo

They lent their collective skills to the Colorful Money magazine and formed the Elevate Mastermind, to help each other figure out how best to serve their audiences. Since the heart of Elevate is collaboration and not competition, the group could not help but grow and the Elevate Community now exists as more and more personal finance experts and professionals are learning, sharing, and growing so their communities can benefit.

Who is the Elevate Influencer Conference for?

Tulsa Real Estate Fund Meme Elevate Conference

Elevate is for financial professionals, authors, teachers, speakers and educators who are dedicated to improving the financial lives of people of color as they discuss the unique financial challenges and opportunities facing communities of color. Those who are small business owners, entrepreneurs or side hustlers are also encouraged to attend.

The conference is purposely intimate to give the attendees opportunities to not only network, but to extend the conversation on nuanced topics facing their communities.

There were approximately 50 attendees as well as a lineup of authoritative speakers.

Day 1

Elevate Influencer Conference Day 1 collage

Jason Vitug, who the Plutus Foundation has been overjoyed to partner with, shared about his Road to Financial Wellness, the growth and motivation for this undertaking, and the many lessons along the way.

Sandra Carr shared about a scholarship opportunity for African Americans to become Certified Financial Planners

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox and Earl Cox. As he put it, she’s the “wow” and he’s the “how.” Lynnette, the Money Coach, talked about growing your media presence and then tag-teamed with her husband, Earl, to teach us about book publishing.

Day 2

Elevate Influencer Conference Day 2 collage

We started off Day 2 with a panel discussion on how we can level the financial playing field for people of color. This was a really lively and educational panel and the conversation continued long after the panel ended.

Yai Vargas shared best practices for reaching the Latin market. This was very informational and I heard from a few people how helpful the info was for their approach to their audiences.

Gerri Detweiler showed us everything that you need to build credit for your business and how you can help your audience learn about small business credit while earning affiliate income.

Tonya Van Court was briefly joined by a sidekick and shared about her experience on Shark Tank and the importance of believing in your ideas and not measuring your worth based on the thoughts of others.

Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista, closed the conference teaching us about organically building community and the importance of authenticity.

Conference takeaways

One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was something that Jason Vitug shared: Knowledge is power, financial power is life changing.

Another takeaway from the conference is the idea that there is room for everyone. All of us have access to different sects of people and they all need our help. Therefore, when we all learn and share, it benefits us all.

Congratulations to Sandy and the Elevate team on a very successful first conference! From in-person testimonials and social media posts, the attendees received value and left motivated and inspired.

One of my favorite things about the conference besides the wealth of information there is that it really felt very warm – like a family get together. It’s clear that the community is close and welcoming of those who are new to the space.

Elevate Mastermind 2019 group photo

Not one to let the grass grow under her feet, Sandy has already scheduled the second Elevate Influencer Conference for June 26-27, 2020 in Washington DC!

We are excited that the conference went so well and that the Elevate message and influence will continue to grow.

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