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Serial Entrepreneurs

November 30, 2016

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Unity Consultants

524 N. Homewood Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15208

$19.95 / person

(Limited to 30 Participants)

What does it takes and the sacrifices required being able to run multiple businesses? How do you balance the relationship when you and your partner are both entrepreneurs?


Guest presenters include serial entrepreneurs:

James “Auto” Ellis

Christian Hughes

Brian Smith

Aki Jamal Durham


James "Auto" Ellis

James “Auto” Ellis is a multiple business owner with businesses located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His businesses include: Auto’s Landscaping, Ellis Moving Company, Ellis Properties and Auto’s Car Wash.

Through his multiple businesses, Mr. Ellis has served thousands of clients and hired hundreds of employees in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Despite the day to day operations of running multiple businesses, Auto displays great passion for helping others. It is a priority of his to mentor and support

other entrepreneurs in their dreams and maintaining their business. Mr. Ellis is committed to God, his family, and the community. He strives to make a difference in the lives of those around him daily. Through his many endeavors he lives by his motto GOD GOT US!!!

Christian Hughes

Christian J. Hughes, NOMA, Associate AIA, M.Arch, is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He received the Master of Architecture Degree from Hampton University in 2014. Upon transitioning to Pittsburgh in 2014, Christian completed the UDREAM (Urban Design Regional Employment Action for Minorities) Fellowship with Carnegie Mellon University's Remaking Cities Institute, in their School of Architecture. Christian has remained at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture as a Research Associate and Instructor for their K-12 Outreach Programs.

Christian is an Architectural Consultant, in pursuit of his professional license as an architect. He is the Founder and Education Director of Drafting Dreams, an educational service that educates students K-12 on principles of architecture and urban design, through creative design exercises and curricula. He is also Co-Founder and CEO of Nside Out Spaces, a design-build company specializing in outdoor spaces for entertainment, leisure, and functionality. Furthermore, Christian serves as Project Manager for Unity Consultants, where he reviews broken systems and create strategies that enhance operational capacity, leading to stronger institutions and improved neighborhoods through a lens of sustainability.


Most recently, Christian served as Design Associate for Michael Baker International, LLC. in Moon Township, PA. He has also served as Intern and Project Assistant for Jenkins Construction, Inc. (Detroit, MI) and The City of Detroit's Department of Buildings, Safety Engineering & Environmental. Christian serves as: Board Member and Treasurer for the Homewood-Brushton Business Association; Board Member for the Young Preservationists Association; and Advisory Board Member for The Pittsburgh Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program.


Brian Smith

Brian K. Smith grew up in Chartiers-City a middle-class neighborhood in the West End of Pittsburgh. The youngest of 3 children. Brian graduated from Perry Traditional Academy in 1989. Attended the University of Pittsburgh from 89-93. Brian is married with 2 children. He is known to reference himself as a serial entrepreneur. Along with his wife Monica they have successfully ventured off into many business endeavors

ventured off into many business endeavors, such as Residential and commercial cleaning (Good 2 B Clean), Personal assistant and Concierge services(Time in the City), Real Estate investing (Smith-District Investments), Franchise ownership in the company Super Shuttle, Salon owner(Salon XO), Private Contractor of transportation services(ExecuCar & Z-Trip) and owner of T-Shirts company(Smith-District-T-Shirts). Brian believes there are no limits to the sky.


Aki Jamal Durham is Relationship Educator and published author who holds a masters of arts degree in human services counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Liberty University.  He offers free relationship insights for life and marriage, as well as for business and industry through his weekly eNewsletters, (Successful Relationship Practices), monthly articles in a Christian lifestyle magazine (The Mount), and a weekly radio segment that broadcasts nationally in more than 40 markets (The Power of Gospel Radio Show with Brother Marlon). 

Aki has more than fifteen years of experience in the managing, brokering, and coaching of relationships for corporations in the experiential marketing, beverage, real estate, and finance industries. He has also spent 10 years planning and facilitating experience based workshops for married couples and those preparing for marriage with a focus on couple’s strength assessments, communication, conflict resolution, finances, family of origin examinations, and intimacy.


Aki is coauthor of The Spider Web Philosophy: Catch Your Dreams, which unlocks the secrets to creating explosive growth and maximum effectiveness in your life and business while simultaneously creating an enhanced life/work balance. The book offers step by step instructions which illustrate how you can discover your authentic self, reveal your true purpose and passions, and drastically improve the quality of your life by enhancing your most significant relationships.

Aki Jamal Durham

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