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Orlena Nwokah Blanchard    

President & Chief Operations Officer at JOY Collective

Orlena Nwokah Blanchard is an entrepreneur and innovative leader behind social impact movements and marketing programs for some of the world’s biggest brands. She is an award-winning cultural marketing strategist and one of the chief architects of the CROWN Act movement to end race-based hair discrimination nationwide. She has more than 27 years of experience building value for Fortune 500 companies and startups.

Blanchard is co-owner of JOY Collective, an award-winning cultural insights, marketing and creative agency specializing in brand building in today’s complex, poly-cultural world. As JOY’s President & COO, she has led marketing insights and strategy with high cultural competency for JOY’s diverse portfolio of clients including the United States Naval Academy, Dove, Dove Men+Care, OWN, WW, Tory Burch, Diageo, SheaMoisture, Google Fiber and more. Before JOY, Blanchard served as the Executive Director of the Black Media Matters Consortium and as the former head of digital media for TV One. She has also worked for world renown brands including Andersen Consulting (Accenture), American Express, the Corporate Executive Board, and Time Warner Cable.

Blanchard serves on the Board of Advisors of BeautyUnited and as an Executive Board member of Digital Pioneers Academy, a Public charter school in Washington DC. She previously served on the board of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Cable (NAMIC) and as Board President of the Washington DC chapter of The WICT Network. She is a 2020 recipient of the Purdue Outstanding Industrial Engineer Award and a 2021 recipient of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) 2021 Nation Builder Award.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is a multinational citizen with roots in Nigeria, the UK, the US and Canada, and a fiercely proud wife and mother of three sons.

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