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MEET NALY

NalyRice.com | Bold, Chic & Empowering products

Naly is a wife, writer, and entrepreneur.  What got her there, is overcoming poverty, paying her way through college, working in technology, starting her own business, and becoming a voice for women. Her business writings, poetry, and keynote speeches are inspiring a new generation of women to chase 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 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.

 

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, 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

 

Timeline Biography

Naly Rice (nee; Yang) is an American technology Entrepreneur and Writer of Hmong ethnicity.  She was born in California on July 8, 1988 to Hmong immigrants. Her parents escaped the Vietnam War and lived in a refugee camp until a church sponsored them to America in 1976. She is the fifth of six children, and youngest daughter (four boys and two girls). 

Looking for new opportunities, her family moved to Syracuse, New York through a church sponsorship where she was raised. Life wasn’t easy or fair growing up as a Southeast Asian family in America, however, her parents always kept a strong family unit with a focus on hard work, dedication, and education.

Although her parents were not formally educated, they are highly skilled people. Her parents taught all the children how to earn money growing up to survive.  Naly’s parents made handmade goods, vegetables, food, and desserts to sell at craft fairs and markets.

It’s here that Naly got her start learning the basics of entrepreneurship skills. 

Naly’s parents worked hard in blue collar jobs to attain their American Dream, and made higher education a main focus for all her siblings.  This meant everyone in the family was expected to study, work, and be self sufficient from a young age. 

Growing up, Naly read a variety of books and excelled at English and writing.  She competed in spelling bees, writing contests, and won English awards.

She was part of a competitive traditional Hmong dance group called Starlight. She would attend dance practice after school, had a wide variety of sparkly performance outfits, and learned how to perform and compete in front of an audience in elementary and middle school.

In Junior High, she learned Adobe Photoshop 7.0 from an old college textbook her brother left behind with a companion disk. This sparked her creative interests and she learned basic HTML and CSS online.  She designed her first website in AngelFire for fun.

She attended three high schools growing up due to her family moving to North Carolina. Naly was part of the Business Club and Technology Club.

She continued reading, writing, and learning graphic design before being old enough to waitress. She also worked with her mother at a paper factory after school. She learned how a warehouse worked, assembly line creation, paper types and finishes, and shipping palettes of books and products.

As a teenager, she posted her graphic design skills online and got her first client.  She designed a flyer for a cosmetics company that was going to a trade show. They paid her $150 in cash at Panera and she sent them a designed flyer front and back. 

Naly Rice attended The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2006 and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with a Minor in Public Relations in 2010. 

She studied Branding and Public Communication as an international exchange student at The University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 2009.

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. 

She is a fellow of The University of North Carolina’s Honor’s College semester in Washington, DC in 2008.  There, she studied Public Policy and Global Affairs while interning for a Communications firm on Capitol Hill.

Naly was an original team member at a $25M funded Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Software company. She learned and taught about electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, software design & development, and green transportation. She designed one of the first electric vehicle charging locator apps and software in the marketplace. 

Naly received a certificate of completion on HIPAA Privacy & Security Training for Business Associates in 2015 while working in cloud data centers and managed hosting.

Naly took a creative writing and acting course at The Everyman Theater in downtown Baltimore, MD.

Co-Chair at Rice Family Enterprises
(2021 – present)

Owner at Altairzen
(2013 – present)

Owner at NalyRice.com
(2013 – present)

Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI) – Technology Marketing Subject Matter Expert 2021

Dell Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) – Woman of the week April 2020

Director of Marketing at Edge Hosting
(Acquired by DataBank)

Director of Marketing at SemaConnect
(Acquired by Blink Charging)

Naly Rice gives back to philanthropic endeavors that support her mission of uplifting and empowering women towards entrepreneurship no matter their social, cultural, or economic barriers.

She has collaborated, mentored, and shed light on the following organizations:

Dell Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN)

Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI)

Women Entrepreneurs Grow International (WEGG)

Tory Burch Foundation

Purpose Jewelry & International Sanctuary

2021 Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub Keynote Speaker at The University of NC at Pembroke

2021 Performance on “A Moment of Your Time” podcast. Reading original poem, “The Grind,” to kick off National Women’s History Month. [IMDB]

2021 Fireside Chat: Entrepreneur at The University of NC at Pembroke

2020 SCORE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Speaker & Guest

2020 Technology Marketing Speaker at M&T Bank

2019 Technology Marketing for Businesses during COVID training courses for SCORE

2019 Women2Women 5th Annual Business Summit Keynote Speaker

2018 Women in Business Conference Keynote Speaker

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Read Naly's Startup Journey to Entrepreneurship.