Zaka

mission

Zaka is a platform and community for immigrants to gain knowledge, mentorship and coaching to attain and succeed in their careers. Part of what makes Zaka appealing to members is our access to top, global immigrant leaders across industries.

Our Story

Advancing Careers & Expanding knowledge.

As three immigrants who moved to the United States at a young age and had to figure out how to create our version of the “American Dream” through trial and error, all while immersing into American culture and maintaining our own culture, a clear path towards attaining our professional and person vision was unclear. 

Doing well in school, getting into a great college, getting a good job and making an honest living would not be enough for us to thrive in this world or position us to use our talents and capabilities to attain our dream, a reality for all immigrants who have been underserved, marginalized and adversely affected.

Moving into our careers, we further realized the reality that our diverse, cultural backgrounds were not considered an advantage; rather, they were ignored or often taken advantage of. What would have helped us understand our potential, learn from similar-background immigrant leaders who attained success and reach for more than what was expected of minorities would have been having access to a platform like Zaka.

In 2020 in the height of social and racial injustice conversations, people of all backgrounds got a glimpse of the many challenges underrepresented minorities face in their personal and professional lives, a topic that is often stifled. There is no time better than now to offer a motivational and career development- focused platform like Zaka to First and Second Generation Immigrants.

our founder

greg maurice

Greg Maurice was born and raised in Haiti before moving to Brooklyn at the age of 13. Greg started his career working in digital media for ICR INC, a top 10 Investor Relations firm. He served as the Director of Marketing at eOne within the Black vertical for 5 years and launched their Black division Currently, he is the Director of Acquisitions at Screen Media Ventures where he is focused on highlighting the stories of underrepresented communities. 

Although Greg has had a successful career, the challenges he experienced in creating his professional path through trial and error was met with challenges of unfair treatment, uncertainty in how to thrive in corporate America or advocate for his needs, a reality most first and second generation immigrants face. Greg’s vision for Zaka is to create the future leaders of the world by providing first and second generation immigrants with the blueprint for success through actionable content, education, and community.

FEATURED

ZAKA LEADERS

FEATURED

ZAKA LEADERS

Munya Choga

principal Solutions Consultant at

Zimbabwean AmericanMunya left Zimbabwe when he was 19, and went on to work for a plethora of high profile companies such as Goldman Sachs, AppNexus, Facebook, and LinkedIn. On top of this, he also launched Career Palz, which is a mentorship program intended for international college students and young professionals to grow and progress personally and professionally. 

Sonya George

vice President of Client Solutions at

Guyanese AmericanSonya is the Vice President of Client Solutions at Great Place to Work US, and is also the mother of a child actor. She has a strong work ethic implanted in her by her immigrant parents, and takes that into the corporate world to help her succeed. 

DAVID CArLOR

Financial Advisor at

Liberian AmericanDavid’s family left Liberia when tensions from the civil war were rising and came to Brooklyn. He is currently one of 1,400 registered Black financial advisors, and has learned many things in his time and wants to share his vast experience and knowledge with underrepresented communities, and uses his background to empathize with his clients.

JEFF PIERRE

Actor, Walker Series on

Haitian AmericanJeff is a professional actor from Boston who has been a part of several productions including Drumline: A New Beat, Shameless, Beyond, Once Upon A Time, and Walker. 

TEL GANESAN

Founder Of

Tel Ganesan is an entrepreneur, investor, business leader, movie producer, and philanthropist operating in Detroit. His company started in the basement to generate $60 million in revenue within a couple years. He became one of the most powerful business leaders in Detroit. He shares his story of moving to the U.S. from India, and how manifestation and reinforcing a positive outlook kept him going and helped him become an extremely successful player in the business world.

ZEINA ZEITOUNI

Founder of

Lebanese American professional who graduated from UCLA with a double bachelor’s degree in sociology & international development, sustainability, and also studied public relations, advertising, and applied communication. Along with being a Product Manager for Alumni, she is a Design Strategist, and a Product Innovation Coach & Trainer at Spark Engine, and has received certifications in behavioral economics, executive banking, and several other areas. 

SAHIB PATHEJA

Vice President of Delivery at

Sahib is a program manager and works in information technology business, delivery, IT sales, and process development. He believes that a diverse work environment is beneficial because it always fosters growth if you want to attract the best of the best for your company from all over the world.

Hedy Wong

Take Out Girl Lead Actress

Based in California, Hedy Wong is a professional actress, writer, rapper, and producer, and has starred in the Hulu film Takeout Girl that was featured in several films festivals such as ABFF and Cinequest.

CESAR ALEJANDRO VEGA

Assistant District Attorney in the Worcester County District

Cesar Alejandro Vega emigrated from Peru when he was 10 years old. He refused to let the early struggles of learning a different language and not being classified as a “regular” student interfere with his ultimate life goals. Given tradition is important to the Peruvian culture, he followed the trajectory of his parents by becoming an attorney. Today, Cesar aspires to be a man his community can be proud of and an inspiration to individuals who have been classified as “others”.

Afua Donkor

Program Manager for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at

Afua has always been passionate about people, now working committed to advocating for them as the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program Manager.  Afua stresses the importance of self advocacy for underrepresented minorities. Afua felt pressure as a child to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant or an engineer like most immigrants. She chose to create her own path by tapping in her passion for creating nurturing environments for people and becoming a leader at Reddit, the 7th most visited site in the US. Afua is responsible for creating an authentic and inclusive culture that fosters engagement talent development and retention.

PETULA SKEETE

Emmy Award Winning Hairstylist for

Nevisian American, growing up in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean, Petula was often bullied about her appearance. Her peers called her too dard and too tall. She used those experiences as motivation to become the woman she envisioned herself to be and redefine how society qualified beauty. As a result, she became an Emmy Award winner as a leader in the beauty industry for her work as hair, makeup and wardrobe stylist for Robin Robets and Good Morning America.

KALSANG TANZIN

Head of Enterprise Relationship Management, North America, Sales Solutions at

Indian Canadian, Kalsang was born in India and is currently the Head of Enterprise Relationship Management, North America, Sales Solutions for Linkedin.  Her personal connection to LinkedIn is one of many factors that contributed to Kal’s successful climb from individual contributor to respected leader within the organization. Currently, Kal is managing a team at LinkedIn that includes 5 transformational sales leaders and 30+ enterprises professionals across North America.

JOOEUN ALEXANDRA WOO

Senior Product Manager at

Korean American, Alex was embarrassed of her Korean background as a child until college when she realized the importance and power of community. Her passion and leadership transferred to her career and pushed her to develop strategy product development for companies like American Express, Facebook and now Spotify.

Wendy Zeng

Director of Media Analytics and Insights at

She is mostly recognized  as the Food Network “Chopped 420” winner on Discovery +but that is only one of her professional endeavors and accomplishments. Wendy is also an executive at Redbull, a creative consultant, business owner and a cannabis advocate.

HEMA PERSAD

Interior Designer at

Indo-Guyanese American, Hema was a commercial attorney for 7 years who followed her heart to pursue a career in fashion. In 2014, she moved across the country to Los Angeles with her husband and 2 children. She spent the following 7 years dressing A-list celebrities, styling ad campaigns and editorials, and working with the top fashion talent in the world. In 2021, Hema launched her interior designing business where she helps her clients decorate their homes.

AISHA LOSCHE

SVP of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at

Haitian American, Aisha is an expert in DEI, and a Certified Executive & Leadership coach. Aisha offers a wealth of knowledge on how corporations can support and retain their minority employees and their leadership teams.Prior to her current role, Aisha served as VP of Talent Engagement and Inclusion for Publicis Groupe US. In June of 2020, Losche was instrumental in the creation and execution of Publicis Groupe’s “Pausing for Action” where more than 18,500 employees across Publicis Groupe U.S. and Canada came together to imagine, design and execute new ways for Publicis to address systemic racism and create more opportunities for the Black community within the organization.

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