Zitty Nxumalo, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO
Zitty was born in Swaziland, southern Africa, and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina with her family when she was 4 years old. She grew up passionate about authenticity, stories, connection, and leadership, and has worked in a number of sectors including higher education, nonprofit, and finance. No matter the role, every position has led her back to those same passions. They now serve as the foundation for Deftable®, LLC.
In 2016, Zitty was recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under 40, and received a full scholarship to attend Google's Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) in New York, NY. Her SIYLI experience strengthened her ability to approach inner development and leadership as the convergence of emotional intelligence (EQ), mindfulness, and neuroscience.
As a freelance writer, Zitty's work has been featured in several publications including O.Henry Magazine, Triad City Beat, Black Business Ink Magazine, and Huffington Post. She has also authored speeches, op-eds, and research-based web content on a variety of topics including leadership, spirituality, addiction recovery, and culture.
Zitty earned her B.S. in Business Management from Guilford College, her M.A. in Communication Studies from UNC-Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from NC A&T State University.
Director of Operations
Ayeza – like her sister, Zitty – was born in Swaziland, southern Africa, and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina at the age of 3. Ayeza has always been inclined toward leadership and creativity, serving as the first African American woman drum major and Sophomore Class President at her high school. She values unconventional leadership styles, and enjoys incorporating the arts – painting, music, and cooking – in unexpected ways through her holistic wellness coaching.
Over the course of nearly 8 years, Ayeza worked for the highest grossing Pappas restaurant in the United States, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia. She was promoted 7 times, ultimately working as the Front-of-House Point Manager. She was given the “Most Positive Pre-Shift” award in 2012, a recognition voted upon by those she led. Following her time at Pappadeaux, Ayeza returned to her love for marketing and communications, working as the Director of Communications at the Open Mind Center in Atlanta. She moved back to Greensboro in 2016, taking on a position as a Copywriter for Red Letter Marketing. As her entrepreneurial inclinations grew, Ayeza accepted a position as a freelance Content Writer for NewsCred in New York, NY. She brings a wealth of wisdom and experience in organizational leadership, communication, and wellness to the Deftable®, LLC team.
Ayeza earned her B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Georgia State University. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.
Director of Events and Logistics
Lisa, at the core, is a nurturer and an advocate. Born in Raeford, North Carolina, Lisa grew up being known for being wise beyond her years. She was always drawn to the elderly, a fascination that has fueled her appreciation for wisdom, listening, and a life well lived.
Between 2005 and 2016, Lisa worked as the Personal Assistant to the President in the Office of the President at Bennett College. During those 11 years, she had the honor of serving 5 different presidents, an experience that truly birthed her appreciation for women and leadership. During a transitional period at Bennett College, Lisa was among several employees to get laid off. For most, it was a significant end. For Lisa, however, it was a new beginning. After a quarter century of putting the needs of others before her own, she decided to take her layoff as an opportunity to re-discover her own interests. She learned that among them were event management, nutrition, and personal development.
She spends her free time volunteering to advocate against human trafficking, teaching etiquette to youth and cultivating her culinary skills as Chef N'gai's first Community Culinary Apprentice.
In 2017, Lisa re-enrolled as a full-time student to complete her undergraduate degree at the very university she left 24 years earlier to raise her son – North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&TSU). She is now finishing her B.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Women’s Studies, a degree that will enhance the intuitive leadership skills that she has cultivated over the course of her career, supporting women leaders. She will graduate in December 2018.