Nikoa Evans is a business strategist with an expertise in marketing and brand positioning; and community/economic development. Evans twenty-five years’ experience includes advising national brands, retail developers, entrepreneurs and economic development corporations on market entry strategy, consumer engagement, business development and commercial revitalization strategies in emerging U.S. markets. Nikoa is also a co-founding board member and strategic consultant for economic development corporation Harlem Park to Park (HP2P). She has served as the organization’s Executive Director for 11 years; and currently oversees the general management, marketing strategy, business/economic development, and strategic partnerships for HP2P, which represents 250+ entrepreneurs in Harlem, NY. Under her leadership, Harlem Park to Park has created and implemented results driven strategic initiatives designed to integrate community engagement, cultural preservation and economic development. Prior to advising Harlem Park to Park, Evans served as Vice President of Investments for financial lending institution Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), managing a $3 million restaurant and retail initiative designed to assess investment opportunities for retail and restaurant expansion within the Harlem market. As an Executive Producer, Nikoa spearheaded the commission and public art exhibition of the Black Lives Matter Harlem Street Mural. An accomplished entrepreneur, Nikoa is co-founder and managing partner of Counter Culture Hospitality Group, owner of restaurant brands: former La Bodega 47 Speakeasy, Sexy Taco restaurant and bar; and Ruby’s Vintage restaurant and bar. Nikoa received her B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is a graduate of the premiere civic leadership training program, Coro New York produced in partnership with NYC Small Business Services; and recipient of City & State’s “Responsible 100” award. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and lives in New York City with her husband, Garrett Lee Hendricks, a writer, producer, and actor in theater, television and film. They have an 8-year-old daughter named Zuri Alija.