From her fifth floor perch, overlooking the Capital Beltway, Carolyn Cuff thanks God for a smart decision that bloomed into successful real estate, computer science and media entities.
At one time the New Carrollton, Md. space where Cuff’s office is located was home to Cathy Hughes and the Radio One family.
Carolyn Cuff is a business consultant in Prince George’s County, Md. who helps small businesses. (Courtesy photo)
“I am passionate about entrepreneurship,” said Cuff, a former telecom executive who founded High Tech Minds, business and technology training loft in Lanham, Md., in 2006. Under her brand she operates publications, a television studio for productions, a half dozen business suites for rent, classrooms and a 6,000 foot space used for corporate and special events.
“The truth is many people start a business but they don’t know to make money,” the business mogul said. “I stay in contact with entrepreneurs contractors and I help other people fulfill their dreams,”
Cuff has developed expertise through holding contracts with federal government agencies, non profit groups and small businesses. She is also an author, trainer, speaker and diversity business expert.
In addition to Cuff’s professional work, she has appeared on ABC News Channel 7 several times throughout the years and has produced several business and nonprofit media productions on Radio One.
In 2014 Cuff was selected to participate in a health care initiative program launched by President Barack Obama’s foundation Organizing For Action, where she was a grassroots organizer promoting women’s health. Her current title under the organization is as state digital lead for Maryland and Washington D.C.
A native of Wallace, N.C., Cuff moved to the D.C. area in the early the 1970’s when she worked for Xerox and then she enlisted in the Army. Following a honorable discharge she returned to D.C. and worked for several Fortune 500 companies, gaining experience as a software engineer.
“I was on the ground floor in the advancement of computer technology and I was coding when it was cobalt, JSl and other computer languages,” said Cuff who in the 1980s entered into the publishing field, where she started a newspaper called DEW — Determined to Win — in addition to being a federal contractor.
“I really wanted my degree,” said Cuff who in 1988 earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Strayer University. In 2013 she received a Master’s degree specializing in Acquisition and Supply Chain Management from the University of Maryland University College. In addition to computer technology, Cuff also studied theology, earning a Doctorate of Ministry from Breakthrough Bible College in Oxon Hill, Md. in 2013. Cuff continued her education getting a certificate in 2014 in Intellectual Property, Digitization and Digital Media.
“I earned my degrees to prepare myself for my clients in changing business environment,” Cuff said. “We are now in the age of disruption, Uber is disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb is disrupting the hotel industry and online education is disrupting brick and mortar universities.”
In 2009, Cuff published “Run It Girl,” a book that teaches women how they can run a small corporation.
While Cuff has many degrees she has a long list of businesses that she has started and ran. In terms of her experiences the bulk of her work has been setting up non-profits and through helping others secure government contracts.
“You don’t get a grant because you want one, you have to show that you are already doing the work in the community and developing partnerships,” Cuff said. “I have helped more than clients. Some of the clients never got off the ground but I helped them anyway. I did all of their business filings and now I have been blessed to have clients like the current Miss USA Kara McClough. I helped her set her non-profit organization.”
“The most important thing that I have done is what I am doing now,” said Cuff. “I have 6,000 square feet where small business can come fulfill their dreams. We have office space, training space and an event venue.”
Cuff is a resident of Prince Georges County. She is married and has three sons. Her husband works for the federal government.