Juliette Powell

Juliette Powell

Title: Author & Entrepreneur
Born: New York, Manhattan
Heritage: American

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here are people who were just born to stand out and no matter what they did;  always destined to make an impact on their community. Some of these outstanding people knew from the beginning to live their lives without any compromise. These people, with everything they do will be remembered. Juliette Powell is one of these people.

Born in Manhattan, NY in 1971, Juliette moved to Montreal with her mother at the age of 8 following her parents’ divorce, and as a result spent the better part of her time traveling back and forth.

By the time she was 10, she was already constantly and keenly aware her differences, and eventually grew tired of being bullied. With the support of her mother, Juliette made the bold move of requesting a meeting with her teachers to voice that she was no longer interested in attending school, and would only be present for exams. They eventually agreed and she was able to successfully complete her time at elementary school to go on to high school.

At 16 her Calculus teacher, noticing her potential, referred to the mechanical engineering program at Concordia University. Although it wasn’t immediately her first choice because she didn’t even consider herself to be especially strong in math, she ended up really enjoying the program as it gave her the opportunity to explore various ideas and even build her own database to keep track of the race cars she and the other students tested.

In 1989 when she was 18, Juliette entered the Miss Canada pageant – which she went on to win, and holds the honour of being the first Black Woman to win the title and go on to represent Canada as Miss Universe. However, what should be a proud accomplishment in any young woman’s life, Juliette also remembers that it came with its drawbacks when it came to find employment because most were intimidated by her title as Miss Canada.

Already used to being in front of the camera, Juliette’s luck began to change when she was hired as a VJ on MusiquePlus – the French equivalent to MuchMusic – in 1992, while continuing her studies in Finance and Business at McGill University. It is with this experience as a VJ, that she decided to take the opportunity to move to Toronto and work for MuchMusic, as the host of the shows “Electric Circus” and “French Kiss” in 1996. While juggling this busy schedule, she also continued her education in the University of Toronto Economics program.

Juliette attributes all her early success in TV to Moses Znaimer, co-founder of CityTV, who had seen her potential from early on. Finding her passion for global and cultural affairs, Juliette started writing show ideas beyond her scope as a VJ but was told to focus on interviewing. In 1999, she began working as a business reporter for CablePulse 24 (now known as CP24). She was on air during the 9/11 attack in 2001 and she saw that as a turning point in her career.

She founded Powell International Entertainment Inc (PIE Inc.), a media production and development company in 2001, and produced features with none other than Nelson Mandela, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner and Prince Charles, to name a few. She has also co-founded The Gathering Think Tank Inc, a forum that connects like-minded individuals in varying communities including technology, business and media in 2002.

Honing in on her skills and expertise in TV and social media, Juliette wrote the book: “33 Million People in the Room: How to run a successful business using Social Networking” in 2008. Her commentary has appeared on networks including NBC, CNN, ABC and BBC and she has done presentations on The Economist, Harvard and MIT.

In 2011, Juliette who had been employed to produce TED Talks, went on to present her own on TEDx Gotham which she describes this as one of her proudest accomplishments. In her candid talk, she describes finding her place within her community which lead to finding her digital voice. In it, she talks about the power of connection via social media. “It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s what you do with it”, said Juliette in her talk.

Always wanting to say yes to life, Juliette has also spent time travelling and would “lose herself” in the foreign culture for periods up to, if not more, 6 months at a time. She continues to work on her media brand and educating others on how to connect via social media and shows no signs of slowing down.

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