Donna’s Journal

TRACEY KEMBLE

CHARITY | iMentor

BIOGRAPHY | Tracey Kemble is the executive vice president of the Samuelsson Group, a hospitality company owned by award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author Marcus Samuelsson. She produces television content for Chef Samuelsson, who won the Food Network’s Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, and she works closely with him to cater events for President Obama and the first lady. Previously, Kemble served as senior vice president of production at Edmonds Entertainment and the vice president of production at HBO NYC. She started her career at The Walt Disney Company.

Tracey credits her mother and numerous colleagues for providing her with crucial guidance throughout her education and career--and for instilling a belief in the importance of mentoring. But it was a serious car accident, which left her with a traumatic brain injury and shattered pelvis, that revealed to her how much strength she drew from her support network. Her husband, friends, and family gave her the confidence to fight every day as she re-learned to walk, read, and even talk. “After having an experience where I truly saw the good in people's souls, I wanted to lift, support, and encourage someone the way I was supported during my challenging time,” Tracey says.

After her recovery, Tracey explored ways that she could give back and found iMentor, a New York-based nonprofit that empowers youth from low-income communities to succeed in college and achieve their ambitions. As a member of iMentor’s board of directors, Tracey lends her expertise to help strengthen and expand iMentor’s programs, which have connected 10,000 students across the country with mentors. Tracey's personal and professional experiences have also informed her work as a mentor to 19-year-old Shanice.

"Intelligence is not enough to achieve your goals. You also need to have self-confidence—that is what the mentors in my life have given me," she says. "I want Shanice to know I’m in her corner supporting her. And I want her to look at her dreams and believe, 'Yes, I can do this.' I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to help Shanice along her journey."

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