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ABOUT

Naly is a wife, writer, entrepreneur, keynote speaker and advocate.  What got her there, is overcoming poverty, paying her way through college, working as a Technology Marketing executive, and becoming a voice for female founders. Her poems, Notes by Naly, as well as her business writings and keynote speeches, are inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to reach for their dreams. 

Naly Rice’s burgeoning come up as an Entrepreneur, Writer, and Keynote Speaker is filled with silver linings.  Her unique background, career, and trajectory continue to unfold – but not before we take a peek at what has inspired, motivated, and empowered her on her journey.

Hustling graphic design gigs since she was 16, Naly always had a knack for entrepreneurship growing up in poverty with her family as a first-born generation Hmong-American.  Born in California and raised in upstate New York and North Carolina, Naly straddled two worlds: the ambitious American girl who loved to read and write, and the traditional Hmong role that is subdued and full of cultural expectations.  She’s carefully navigated and blended these two worlds and learned a lot of life lessons living and working around the world.

She got her start in public speaking and advocacy while attending The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as Founder/President of the Asian Student Association, Public Relations Chair of the Student Government, and member of the university’s Diversity Council.  Her charismatic and poignant public speeches eventually earned her a spot in the exclusive University of North Carolina Honor’s Public Policy Seminar in Washington, DC where she lived and interned on Capitol Hill while studying Public Policy and Global Affairs.  Additionally, Naly studied Branding and Public Relations at The University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  She later studied Acting at The Everyman Theatre, a professional theatre of resident artists from the Baltimore/Washington DC metro area.

After college, she waded into entrepreneurship doing public relations consulting before moving to Washington, DC and committing herself to a new little basement startup in Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and enmesh in the DC/MD/VA technology scene.  Naly led the national commercial roll out of the marketing, branding, and software design for EV Charging working alongside companies like GM, Toyota, and General Electric.  After several rounds of VC funding and becoming the 2nd largest producer of EV Charging Stations in North America, she exited to join one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing cloud companies in Baltimore, Maryland as head of marketing. Naly was part of the executive team working hand-in-hand with the CEO and COO, where she rebranded the company’s image, redesigned the cloud portal software and instituted a new marketing department, before exiting to start her own technology marketing services company, LN Creative Group.  The cloud company shortly thereafter sold to a major national data center corporation.

 

Her experience working in technology as an executive inspired her to start a career blog that was later hand-selected to join AOL’s Lifestyle Collective within six months of launching before kicking off her speaking career.  Naly’s been writing and speaking inspiring words and advice to women and minorities to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams since 2013.  

Her hard work was rewarded when Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network named Naly Rice the Woman of the Week in April 2020.  In May 2021, Naly Rice was honored with the title Subject Matter Expert (SME) with the Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI) and Cartier to support women entrepreneur fellows around the globe.  She will provide education and guidance on technology, marketing, digital advertising, and public relations.

“It’s taken me a while to find my voice and style but I’m grateful that audiences from business, lifestyle, and technology have responded well to the message,” said Naly Rice.  

In the fall of 2020, she launched a more gritty and artistic side to her mission of inspiring, motivating, and empowering more women and minorities towards entrepreneurship with her Notes by Naly poetry on Instagram.

“My keynote speeches are a great solution for connecting with executives and business owners, but my Notes by Naly series on Instagram and YouTube is better positioned for a younger generation,” said Naly Rice.  “Being able to connect the dots with career, life, and personal development is a cornerstone of my message, which makes my first book, Startup Girl, so exciting to write.”

With millennials being the largest generation in the workforce, the remote work movement due to COVID, and digital businesses ever-growing, the topics that Naly writes and speaks about are sure to continue making an impact well beyond the pandemic with her own unique brand of optimism.

Naly is a member of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Academy of American Poets, and Poetry Society of America.  She currently lives in the greater Washington, DC area with her husband, Chris Rice, and their chocolate lab Taco.

– MT

 

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Timeline Biography

Naly Rice (nee; Yang) was born in California on July 8, 1988 to Hmong immigrants from Laos and Thailand.  She is the fifth of six children, four boys and two girls.  Looking for new opportunities, her family decides to move to Syracuse, New York through a Catholic Church sponsorship.  Naly was baptized in the old Irish church of St. Johns.  She spent upstate New York summers at church camp, reading Harry Potter books, writing in her journal, listening to music, and going on road trips with her family.

Naly’s family spent years in poverty, working hard in blue collar jobs to attain their American Dream.  This meant that everyone in the family was expected to study, work, and be self sufficient.  As the first-born generation in America, Naly was very talented with English, reading, and writing.  She competed in spelling bees, writing contests, and was even the English Student of the Month at her Junior High.

Naly Rice earned her bachelor of science degree in Mass Communications with a Minor in Public Relations from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  She studied Branding and Public Communication as an international exchange student at The University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

In college, Naly started and was President of The Asian Student Association.  She was also Public Relations Chair of the Student Government and a member of the university’s Diversity Council of Presidents.

After college, Naly moved to Washington, DC after a brief foray into Public Relations consulting.  She had the decision between working for a large corporate public relations company or a tiny little basement startup in the unknown world of Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.  She ended up going with the latter, and the rest is history. 

Starting in 2010, Naly joined before the startup 

Accordion Content

Naly Yang married Chris Rice on August 15, 2015 in a beautiful Hmong-American wedding in South Carolina.  A Christian ceremony was held followed by a Hmong hand-tying ceremony before the reception. 

Naly’s journey to entrepreneurship began when she was a child and was filled with many starts and stops.  She always dreamed of owning her own business and/or being a writer.  She pursued her business goals for a decade before finally gaining the courage to try her hand at writing after turning 30 years old.  Naly became a member of The Poetry Society of America and The Academy of American Poets in 2021.  She is writing a fiction series and often participates in poetry contests across the nation.

She always dreamed of owning her own business and/or being a writer.  She pursued her business goals for a decade before finally gaining the courage to try her hand at writing after turning 30 years old. 

She began by writing technical documents, blogs, e-books for companies.  She eventually started a career blog that was hand selected to join AOL’s Lifestyle Collective.  

Naly spent her career in Marketing and Public Relations and was comfortable as corporate spokeswoman.  However, her Keynote Speeches took a different, more heartfelt, and story telling approach that instantly connected with other women in business and female founders.

She steadily built up her courage by speaking about marketing and helping small businesses.  Her first audience was three people, then ten, then twenty, then fifty, and so forth.  In winter 2018, Naly became a Keynote Speaker at the Women in Business Conference held by SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Association.  She later was Keynote Speaker at the 2019 Women2Women Summit, and various business events. Naly was also welcomed back to her alma mater as a featured guest at The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub where she shared her journey from college student to entrepreneur.

During COVID, Naly began channeling her writing into poetry as a way to cope with the pandemic.  She produced one poem per week for one year with an accompanying photo and music selection to match the mood of the poem.  She was featured as a guest on the popular podcast, A Moment Of Your Time.  She read her original poem, “The Grind,” to kick off Women’s History Month.

In the Fall of 2021, Naly Rice joined Rarible and opened her official NFT Artwork for sale.  Naly’s hobby of graphic design and graphic art stems back to her teenage years.  After her year-long project with poetry, the multi-talented individual turned to another form of art to cope through the pandemic. 

Her first collection was 100 pieces of video MP4 Art.  Her second collection was Patisserie Naly, made of 8bit style desserts.  Her third collection was the world of Silk & Sugar. 

Through her keynote speeches and writing, Naly has worked with brands including AOL, Lila P, Purpose Jewelry, Dell, Cartier, Siteground, Chase Ink Credit Cards, and more.

As her audience continues to grow, she looks forward to working with more brands who share her passion of inspiring and empowering more women towards entrepreneurship.

FAMILY

HERITAGE

Naly comes from a large family, being the fifth of six kids to progressive Hmong immigrants who believed in hard work, higher education, and entrepreneurship.

Naly married Chris Rice on August 22, 2015 in a beautiful Hmong-American ceremony in South Carolina.  Together, the couple founded and serves as Co-Chairs at Rice Family Enterprises and Rice Family Foundation where they manage a portfolio of ventures and philanthropic endeavors.

LOVE

My Family

My tiny family consists of my husband, Chris Rice, our dog Taco, and myself.  We’re Aunty and Uncle to 13 nieces and nephews.  We love to travel, eat, cook, and read.  A perfect weekend would be relaxing at home, grilling. listening to music or an impromptu getaway.  We take our jobs seriously, however, we don’t take ourselves seriously. Life is too short not to laugh and live it up!

BLESSING

Advocacy

Naly’s mission to inspire, motivate, and empower more women towards entrepreneurship has blessed her with the ability to give back.  She’s worked with international nonprofits, corporations, brands, and conferences to bring more awareness towards women and minority entrepreneurship. 

GRATEFUL

Soul Fam

Connecting with entrepreneurs, side-hustlers, and young dreamers is what propels Naly’s mission.  Naly is a member of Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network and honored as a Subject Matter Expert by the Cartier Women’s Initiative.  Meeting people and hearing their stories about entrepreneurship helps to inspire, motivate, and empower others to chase their own version of the American Dream.

FEATURED PROFILE

Read Naly's Startup Journey to Entrepreneurship.