We were fortunate enough to talk ish with Entreprenuer & Hall of Famer…Kandi “KC” Conda!!! KC is an entrepreneur and overall businesswoman who also happens to be the mother and manager of WGCI’s radio personality, Demi Lobo. Let’s get to know Kandi “KC” Conda…
3 Voices: For those who are not aware, can you give them the broad strokes of who Kandi “KC” Conda is and what you do.
KC: I am Kandi Conda, CEO of the KC Power Players, which is a business consortium where we help emerging entrepreneurs’ brand grow and fund their business. We help with brand development, we help them to grow their business, and we help them with certain areas of funding, some that we provide through elevator pitches and also finding funding for their business. I am also the manager of the radio personality and host Demi Lobo. Also I was inducted into the African-American Hall of Fame for my work with the Women’s Basketball Association.
3 Voices: Congratulations on being inducted into the African-American Hall of Fame! Can you tell the people about your history with basketball and being a pioneer?
KC: About 18 years ago, I had a sports magazine called Super Fans, where I did articles on up and coming sports leagues and teams, kind of an unsung hero type of thing. I stumbled on a women’s basketball team and they asked me to help them with the marketing for their team and they were called the Chicago Honey Bees. While I was helping them do marketing, we found a women’s league and they wanted to be in the women’s league with the WBA and the Chicago franchise opened up, it didn’t have a name at the time, so we were really working to get them into the league.
They fell back and decided to be an exhibition team, so at that time I had to leave them. I put down the deposit to purchase a team, which became the Chicago Twisters and we had to begin drafting players and I had to raise $10,000 to purchase them, which I did. Then, what the league did was make a suggestion that some of the team members from Iowa and Indiana come together and help form the Chicago Twisters, and of course we got some new players from Purdue and Northern Illinois. After a while we started playing, our head coach was Stephanie Rivera, who is the wife of former Chicago Bear and NFL Coach of the Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera. The league was 3 years old and our team was a year and a half.
One of the things that is a very important point for me is that I did not necessarily do all of this initially to get into the hall of fame. I was trying to correct the history books. I knew I was the first African American woman to manage a woman’s pro team, I purchased my team, although it ended being bought by a television company, they purchased the entire league. Now that the WNBA is going, though I did not necessarily have any affiliation with the WNBA, I wanted people to know the legacy for my family and it just so happens that the person who did the research for me was the hall of fame. It wasn’t easy; it took a lot of massaging and talking to them over the years. I was initially honored by the Naismith hall of fame in 1998, but they had a fire and lost all of the programs. They sent me some stuff that they had left over, but we had a ceremony there and everything was burnt up in the fire. So I had to start the process over. About 5 years ago the curator at the hall of fame decided to help me do the research. He finished it up last March and when he finished it, he sent me the package inviting me to be in the Woman’s Basketball hall of fame and we sent that same package to the African-American hall of fame. The Woman’s hall of fame, which is in New York, asked me also to submit a package to them in the next couple of weeks or so to be inducted there as well.
3 Voices: You are also the manager for WGCI personality Demi Lobo, who is also your daughter. When did you know that Demi was an exceptional talent and what made you want to be the one to manage her?
KC: Demi has been involved in some of everything since she was 2. She started out with modeling and doing a few commercials when she was very small. She has always been a standout in whatever she does. She started paying attention to music from a professional standpoint at 14, but she was in the church choir singing solos when she was 7. I always knew that she would be doing something exceptional, we just weren’t sure if it was going to be acting, singing, basketball or what. I actually thought that she was going to be playing basketball. She’s actually really good. She played basketball from 3rd or 4th grade all the way up until her freshman year of college.
Maybe 5 years ago she decided to pursue music professionally. Once she decided to do that and we started charging and traveling and we had dancers, it really became a big production and we realized she may need a manager. It’s always a challenge when someone is managing you. You have to want to do it from the heart, because as you know it’s not always a lot to get from this kind of stuff. I was an author already, I’d written several books, so I knew about percentages and contracts and things of that nature. So I kind of fell into it by default and I’ve been here all along.
3 Voices: Can you tell people about the KC Power Players? What made you want to start it and what exactly are your goals with it?
KC: The KC Power Players started November 10th of 2013. Because I have been working either from a nonprofit stand point, or just being involved with small businesses, I have been doing that for over 20 years. One of the things that happens to me on a regular basis is people always call me for every time they have any kind of little business “hiccups”…they call me. And so, I was spending so much time on the phone answering business questions for people [about] marketing to events to legal questions…you know branding assistance and I said, “You know what, is there a way for me to do this and at least make it into a business, but not from a regular everyday consulting stand point.” Truthfully, with the internet being so accessible, people do not want to pay. Unless it’s something that involves a large [amount] of money, people don’t want to pay for a consulting. I had to wrap it into almost kinda like an organization and give the consulting away, (I don’t want to say give it away for free) but included as part of the package so that they didn’t feel like they were being charged extra but they were still getting something in terms of the next level. [With the KCPP] I just want to continue helping small businesses to grow their business. A lot of them are home based businesses so they are not able to network as much as I’m sure they would either like to or just don’t have the time to do outside networking and that’s one of things I want to provide, a national network for businesses to brand and fund their businesses.
3 Voices: You are an author who has written many books. Entrepreneurship seems to be a recurring theme in your books, what are some of the most important things that you have learned about entrepreneurship?
KC: Things change daily. The most constant thing about being an entrepreneur is change. When it comes to entrepreneurship so you have to be ready…be prepared at all times because things will definitely change. Pay attention to the trends around you, and do something you are very passionate about. Know your competitors…know what they’re doing.
3 Voices: You have your hands in many things. What is next for you? Are there any exclusives you can share?
KC: The most exclusive is that there will be a book coming out in the next probably 60 days titled, “It’s Your Go Season, Time To Execute Your Game Winning Plan”. The book has a little bit, I’ll say a few chapters, about the journey to the Hall of Fame. The majority of the book is a motivational tool for women and entrepreneurs. We will [also] be having a book tour we will be doing in probably 10 different cities, sharing with women, athletes and entrepreneurs…basically some principles I have about running this wave as an entrepreneur, a trailblazer…and the Hall of Fame.
3 Voices: How can people get in contact with you? What is your website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc?
KC: Right now I don’t have a separate website; I’m putting everything on www.kcbizboss.com and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything @kcbizboss and @kcpowerplayers.
And there you have it! You heard it all from Kandi “KC” Conda herself! Be sure to www.kcbizboss.com and become a KC Power Player today! Much success to you KC and keep in touch!
Here’s Kandi “KC” Conda – Hall of Fame: