President Story

Acho Byrd, my paternal great grandmother, who we affectionately called “Ma Byrd” lived in Uvalda, Georgia, a little country town about 15 miles south of Vidalia, home of the Sweet Onion and 95 miles from Macon, the next metropolis. Being on a large farm, she was healthy and lived to 103. During college, I interviewed her for an economics research paper regarding technological change.

I asked her at the age of 89, "If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?"she boldly stated, “Embrace technology and Embrace change. There is no money in being the follower. Too often, it takes Black people decades to catch on to an idea and by the time they do, they have missed the money.

She only had a 3rd grade education and washed clothes for “the White Folks” on a rub board. When the washing machine was introduced, she attempted to convince her neighbors and fellow colleagues to pool their monies and buy 1 washing machine to be shared by all. She believed they could wash 20 times more clothes collectively and make more money. The masses got into a squabble on who was going to house the machine and hence never bought it. It took her 10 years to save the money to purchase her own machine. Fifty years after the incident, she was still emotionally furious regarding her neighbors slack. If they had only bought the washing machine collectively, they all could have made more money and improved their lives faster.

She looked at me with her puppy dog eyes and stated, “If you don’t like your circumstances, you change them. The world will hate you. Move on anyway.

I have lived by her wisdom every day of my adult life. She reinforced the pioneering spirit  my father, a trucking entrepreneur had. I have attempted to deposit that spirit and technological innovation into my own children and now every family I touch through Uplift, Inc.

President Biography

 

Essence Magazine in its May 2010 article, Helping Our Children Achieve Excellence, states “Byrd-Hill is the very personification of Detroit's refusal to surrender.

Xconomy in its December 2011 article, A Detroit Mom’s Quest to Breathe Innovation Into Young Minds states," I’m fond of saying that what Detroit needs is a Cory Booker. But I need to amend that: What Detroit really needs is a few more people like Ida Byrd-Hill"

 

MISSION DRIVEN CAREER EXPERIENCE 
Ida Byrd-Hill’s mission, to improve people’s lives financially, is weaved throughout her entire life;

As a nonprofit executive where she transformed of 6 urban public schools with these radical projects:

  • Automation Workz – a math and tech based scavenger hunt & pre-apprenticeship program beginning at the North American International Auto Show annually
  • Fluke – the wealth building game of accidental inventions
  • Hustle & TECHknow Preparatory High School – a cyber blended alternative high school
  • K.I.S.S (Kids In Successful Schools) Begins at Home – iSTEAM invention Science, Technology, Engineering, artistic Design and Mathematics based Parent workshops

 

As a Wealth Manager where she acquired 353 million in managed assets for 2200 individual clients and 10 corporate clients. She created SMART MONEY- Financial Fitness Course for 1000 hourly UAW/ Chrysler

As an Executive Search Consultant where she placed 72 attorneys in the patent, environmental and FDA areas.

As a Mortgage Loan Officer where she guided mortgage loan applications through the FHA, VA, FREDDIE MAC, FANNIE MAE underwriting process to closing. Closed $1,000,000 of loans monthly with average loan of $50,000.

As a Human Resources Manager where she recruited all employee types – exempt corporate, non- exempt corporate, nonprofit and unionized.

 

EDUCATED
Ida has a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1989 and a MBA from Jack Welch Management Institute, 2014.


ENGAGING SPEAKER 

Ida Byrd-Hill is a prolific engaging speaker having  authored 8 paperback books. Her newest book, Invisible Talent Market, a diversity & inclusion guide for executives of the digital revolution, released May 2017. She has presented at:

  • Women of Color STEM Conference Partnership 2017 - Garnered 66,000 Facebook Live views
  • MEATA (Michigan Educators Apprenticeship and Training Association) Spring Conference 2015
  • NABSE (National Association of Black School Educators) Annual Conference 2014
  • Techweek Detroit 2015
  • National Alternative School Conference 2014
  • New York State STEM Conference 2014
  • Inner City Economic Summit 2013
  • iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning) 2010
  • ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) 2009

She is interviewed for articles and talk shows often having been recognized by Associated Press, Crain's Business Detroit, Daytime TV, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Education Week, Essence Magazine, Learning Matters, Michigan Chronicle, Xconomy and other media outlets. She is preparing to launch a new talk show, Ida-The Art & War of Business on Fox Business Network.

 
COMMITTED TO FAMILY  

Ida is the divorced mother of twins, Karen and Kevin Hill, who matriculated to Western Michigan University and Rochester Institute of Technology, respectively.

 
 
Articles & Videos
Crain's Business Detroit 

CEO Headed to Silicon Valley

 
Crains Business Detroit
Essence Magazine article

Essence Helping Our Children Achieve Excellence Article PDF Format

Helping Our Children Achieve Excellence

Xconomy Article

A Detroit Mom’s Quest to Breathe Innovation Into Young Minds PDF format

A Detroit Mom’s Quest to Breathe Innovation Into Young Minds

Associated Press Article

Fluke: Detroit mom develops board game to teach entrepreneurship to inner-city kids

dBusiness

Drones, Robots, and 3-D Design Coming to ‘The D’

Daytime TV Interview

Women Patent History and Fluke Powering Inventions

 

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