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Bonfire appoints Trailblazer Odessa “OJ” Jenkins as CEO to Drive Growth and Innovation


(August 8, 2023) — Bonfire, a distinctive talent development accelerator, helps employers engage, retain and empower diverse talent by equipping women on the rise with workplace confidence, coaching, and core skill development tools. Today the company announced Odessa Jenkins as its new chief executive officer and member of its board of directors.

Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, Bonfire’s co-founders, will continue as executive members of the board. Jenkins is a successful start-up tech executive and is listed by Sports Illustrated as one of the most influential and powerful women in sports. As founder of the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC), Jenkins created one of the fastest growing sports brands in the country, accelerating economic opportunities and equity in football for women and girls. Most recently, she held the position of President at e-learning company Emtrain. Prior to this role, Jenkins served as an executive leader at YourCause, a pioneering start-up that played a transformative role in the Corporate Social Responsibility industry (exit to Blackbaud).

Suzanne and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of Bonfire under OJ’s leadership. It’s incredibly rare to find this kind of fit: someone with a passion for the mission, the leadership skills to manage a rapidly growing team, and the vision, strategy, and B2B sales chops to take a company to scale. OJ’s lived experience and EQ allow her to deliver all that talent in a stunningly authentic way.

Heralded as one of the top inclusive leadership experts in the country, Jenkins has built a career creating and growing businesses that focus on delivering opportunities in the workplace and workforce to women, people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community. The decision to appoint Jenkins comes at a crucial time when the company aims to expand its technology market presence and stay at the forefront of innovation. Known for her visionary leadership and ability to inspire teams, Jenkins is poised to steer Bonfire towards achieving ambitious goals and setting new industry standards.

“We are witnessing another significant shift in our ever-changing workplace. Just one year ago, the call for engagement, inclusion and empowering women was a loud outcry. Today, too many leaders, brands and companies are settling for “whispering” about the needs of women, said Jenkins in a statement ”

After completing a $4M Super Seed round the company is looking to scale its proprietary curriculum, experience and global impact on women in the workplace.

“The future of work is here; its success is dependent on how we equip women in the workplace to win wherever they decide to land in the company. Building a corporate culture where all can truly rise is business critical, and Bonfire is uniquely positioned to be the partner that helps employers do just that.” – Jenkins added.

About Bonfire

Bonfire is a distinctive talent development accelerator that equips women with workplace confidence, coaching, and core skill building in the workplace so it works for all. Founded in 2019 by Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, Bonfire has helped 150+ companies and 4,000+ women ignite a culture where All Rise™. Bonfire’s proprietary curriculum, and cohort experience developed by experts and thought leaders, helps employers engage, retain and empower diverse talent. For more information, visit and follow @bonfire__women on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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