Connector

Candice Cook Simmons

Candice Cook Simmons, Esq. is the Managing Partner at The Cook Law Group, PLLC, a published writer, noted philanthropist, and business strategist in the technology, entertainment, and corporate/business sectors. Educated at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt Law School with attendance at additional programs at Oxford and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, her career began in private practice as a corporate litigator. Cook later expanded her experience to include a vast array of intellectual property, media, telecommunications, and social media issues. Her success in finding creative business-oriented solutions resulted in her invitation to join the Advisory Committee of several startups including BlazeTrak, Para Music Group, and fashion industry pioneer, Fashion Advance. Today, Cook’s firm has handled groundbreaking intellectual property matters—including the trademarking and strategy behind Dominique Ansel’s Cronut™ pastry—and business, entertainment, social impact/entrepreneurship, and talent issues for clients across the globe including Japan, China, Israel, Monaco, Mexico, France, U.S., UAE, and the UK. She also Co-founded an early stage investment accelerator–Wrd Ventures–with Venmo co-founder, Iqram Magdon Ismail. She has been honored as a Pearl Honoree, a finalist for Atlanta’s Power 30 Under 30 Award, a winner of the Celebration Award in Law, and as an Influential Women at the Potential to Power Girls Symposium by the YWCA. She was selected as the Hollywood Power Player by Hollywood & Vine Magazine and the Barrier Breaker award recipient for her work in the field of law and for her vast hands-on philanthropic engagement addressing education, humanitarian matters, and social justice. She appeared in the HBO documentary “Good hair,” the 2009 winner for Special Jury Prize for U.S. documentary at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the documentary Sag Harbor on the OWN network as part of the #Selma50 network campaign. She has appeared in the American Bar Association Journal, O Magazine, Elle Magazine, Essence, Forbes, Crown Magazine, The Today Show, and Sirius Radio. She was cited as one of the top interviews for the “Talentedly” platform as well as one of the top-five podcast interviews for “Today’s Leading Women” and was the number 1 downloaded interview on the business podcast “Beyond The Business Suit”. She has spoken at Google, SXSW, Smart City Expo Atlanta, Women Lawyers in Tech, The WNBA, and The Lady Project Summit. Cook has written for Levo League, Women 2.0, and Conscious Magazine and was a contributing author to the books Unconditional published by National Geographic and Conquering The Bar Exam. She also served as Co-Editor of the Culture Shift Labs 20 People To Watch of 2015. She serves as an Advisory Executive Member for the United Way of New York’s Young Professional Board, is an Advisory Board Member for TheHistoryMakers in Chicago, works to increase engagement as a Committee Member for Jazz at Lincoln Center, served as the Young Professional Board Member for both the Apollo Theater and America Needs You and served on the Leadership Board for the Council of Urban Professionals.

Describe the Impact of a Project you’re focused on.

My work expands the intersection of business, technology, and entertainment. One of my greatest concerns in the context of business right now is the lack of representation illustrated on corporate boards across the United States. This trend is not only troubling, but illustrates a blind-spot among leadership and those who purport to advise them. This is not a pipeline/talent issue, but rather a visibility issue stemming from the lack of amplification of those who can transform the system and I am excited to work with leadership in the business community about how they can tap into the brain trusts outside of their immediate circles and better create institutional change from the top down in meaningful ways.

What results do you hope for when the impact is amplified?

According to Catalyst, the data in 2018 reflected that in 2014, the combined buying power of Black women, Asian women, and LatinXs was estimated at $1 trillion. Multicultural Millennials have an estimated buying power of over $65 billion per year. There is no justification for not having those who best understand both the business case and personal narrative of these communities represented on corporate boards. If the message by companies is that they can't locate the talent or "don't know where to look"--I hope to help change that. This isn't Where's Waldo. We can address this. This is also not a charitable act--it's a smart business decision. Together, we can all win. Representation is good for business.

What do you have to offer as a connector? What can you give as expertise to others?

I am fortunate to live, work, and play in a world of intersection and not silos. Entertainment, Business Strategy, Legal, and Technology are my worlds and I have worked in those verticals since 2003. Geographically, I have lived in Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Europe, California, and New York. I have communities in those locations (and others) that reflect a diverse array of ideas and perspectives and am always eager to connect parties where there is a mutual benefit to those being introduced and a common ethos and mission in the world being amplified.
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