Dollar & A Dream Management promotes networking among young professionals

Dollar & A Dream Management event planning provides young black professionals in Columbia with opportunities to celebrate black culture by showcasing their talents and networking.

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Akil Hutchins is the CEO of Dollar & A Dream Management and has found a home in Columbia through his event planning business.

Daad Management creates events for young black professionals who are interested in mingling, trying new things and meeting new people.

Hosting events at black-owned businesses is also an important aspect of Daad Management, giving it a sense of pride as it rebuilds black businesses in the community. Joshua Williams, former collaborator and owner of Columbia restaurant Papadoo’s, said he had a great experience working with Hutchins.

“[Hutchins] brings new and fresh ideas to Columbia,” Williams said. “My favorite event so far was the comedy show, we all had a really good time with a big crowd.”

Williams has been to more than five events and enjoys that Akil is “bringing something positive to the Black community that is outside that box for students to do.”

Hutchins’ goal when hosting Daad Management events is “improving social networking among young black professionals where they are off their phones and actually speaking to people and connecting.” He coins this ideology as “partying with purpose.”

Daad Management hosts a variety of events that celebrates and highlights various aspects of Black culture. The diversity of entertainment provided at these events caters to different ages, interests, talents and overall needs. In the past, this has included comedy shows, silent parties, art shows, brunches and other themed parties like “Rhythm N Brunch,” a regular Sunday event generally hosted at a restaurant that features food, music and teamed tournament games like spades, dominoes, Uno and other board games.

Hutchins said “other than profits, event success is measured using reviews, recommendations and feedback.” Online reviewer Jay Michelle wrote on the Daad Management’s Facebook page, “Every event is an experience. I love the way they incorporate their authenticity into each event and the vibes are always good.”

Hutchins also provides a platform for students who are hopeful in having a career in event planning and hosting. “Students who are interested in event planning have the opportunity to collaborate and gain experiences from various aspects of the event planning process,” Hutchins said.

The next upcoming event, “Sip & Paint with Live Poetry,” will take place on April 12 at 7 p.m. at Sidelines Sports Bar in Columbia, and will provide a platform for upcoming artists and poets to showcase their talents, network, gain support and interact with those interested in buying their work. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to paint and listen to live poetry while getting support and advice from local professional artists.

“I pride my events on being different,” Hutchins said. “I enjoy showing people a good time; it makes me feel good.”

Gabrielle Love moved to Columbia four years ago and has been a regular attendee of Daad Management events.

“I really enjoy being a part of Dollar and a Dream events because it is a good opportunity to network, especially if you are new to town,” Love said. “You get to meet black intellectuals, which is always a plus.”

Love said she commends Hutchins for hosting events that give a good vibe, particularly being around and engaging with like-minded people.

“You work hard, you play hard and you are able to do that with Dollar and a Dream,” Love said. “I would have to say one of my favorite events, which was a while ago in St. Louis ... was a sock party at a loft. You had to take your shoes off and if you had the craziest socks, you would enter a contest. It was a really good time, with a good crowd and really good food.”

Love expressed that she is really looking forward to the “Sip & Paint” April event and is convinced that it might become her new favorite.

Even though past events have been successful, Hutchins said his biggest setback has been student turnout. He hopes to find new ways to promote the upcoming events to college students, especially those looking for something to do, or people to network and connect with.

Additional information about past and upcoming events can be found at modreamz.com.

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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