Naly Rice’s burgeoning come up as an Entrepreneur and Writer 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 humbly with her family as a first-born generation Hmong-American. Born in California (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, 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 Chapel Hill’s Honors Semester 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 Creative Writing & 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, General Electric, and more. After raising $25M in venture funding and becoming the 2nd largest producer of EV Charging Stations in North America, she exited to join one of Inc. 5000 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. The cloud company was acquired by DataBank. The electric vehicle charging station company was acquired by Blink Charging.
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,” said Naly Rice.
In the fall of 2020, she launched a more gritty and artistic side to her mission of empowering more women and minorities towards entrepreneurship with her poetry on social media. She also began testing her hand at fiction and very short stories.
“My keynote speeches are a great solution for connecting with executives and business owners, but my poetry series and creative writing is for unleashing creativity through storytelling,” said Naly Rice. “Being able to connect the dots with work, life, and personal development is a cornerstone of my message.”
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 Co-Chair at Rice Family Enterprises, Owner at Altairzen, and NalyRice.com. She’s a member of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Cartier Women’s Initiative, 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.