press release

CBIC Announces Viola Llewellyn as Keynote Speaker for 25th Annual Awards Gala

The Charlottesville Business Innovation Council(CBIC) is proud to announce Viola Llewellyn as the keynote speaker for its 25th Annual Awards Gala, which will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at North Fork.

Viola Llewellyn, a trailblazer in financial technology and inclusion, is the 'co-founder and manifestor in chief' of The Tulle-Box™, which offers innovative leadership development workshops for women that combine human design with transactional analysis and common sense. Previously, she was the co-founding president of the acclaimed African financial technology company Ovamba, where she led technology innovation, strategic implementation, investor communications, and global business development.

Llewellyn's impressive career includes managing a $500 million life insurance investment fund at a Washington, DC-based firm, with prior roles at prestigious organizations such as Unisys Corporation, IBM, KPMG Consulting, BearingPoint, and Rothschild's. Notably featured in Vanity Fair's April 2018 issue, Llewellyn has raised over $1 million for a technology company, marking her as one of only 34 Black women in the USA to achieve this milestone. She has been recognized on Innovate Finance's "Women in FinTech Power List" and appeared on Latice80's "Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019". Llewellyn is also the first African female tech founder to speak at both Slush events in Helsinki and Tokyo and has presented a TED Talk as part of the "Reboot" Series with Boston Consulting Group. Her insights were published in The Brookings Institute's "Foresight Africa 2019."

"[Viola Llewellyn's] remarkable achievements and dynamic presence in the global tech and entrepreneurial ecosystems perfectly embody the spirit of innovation and inclusion we celebrate."

Tracey Greene
CBIC Executive Director

Tracey Greene, executive director of CBIC, shared her excitement about Llewellyn's participation: "Having Viola Llewellyn as our keynote speaker underscores the prestigious nature of our gala. Her remarkable achievements and dynamic presence in the global tech and entrepreneurial ecosystems perfectly embody the spirit of innovation and inclusion we celebrate. We are honored to have her insights and inspiration at this landmark event."

Craig Honick, Founder and Principal Advisor of The Good People Research Company, a strategic consultancy firm based in Charlottesville, will return as the Gala's emcee. Known for his profound involvement in fostering local business and entrepreneurial growth, Honick brings a wealth of experience to this role.

The 2024 CBIC Awards Gala promises an unforgettable evening of networking, recognition, and inspiration. Over 200 tech and STEM enthusiasts, innovators, and professionals will enjoy locally sourced cuisine, signature cocktails, and a vibrant atmosphere. Additional attractions include a photo booth, Innovators Row showcasing local startups, and exclusive networking opportunities with industry leaders. The Gala will also celebrate the exceptional achievements within the regional innovation ecosystem by presenting the prestigious CBIC Awards.

For more information about the 2024 award finalists, ticket sales, and sponsorship packages, please visit