How it started

In 2012, our Founder, Kwame Kuadey saw an untapped opportunity to connect low income individuals and households with government benefits and resources. Almost 10 years later, that vision has evolved into a digital media company with a mission to empower low income households to improve their financial well-being through content.


Kwame Kuadey

Before founding Empower Media in 2012, Kwame was the CEO & Founder of Gift Card Rescue, which gained prominence when he successfully pitched his startup on the debut season on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank. The company went on to generate over $60 million in revenue during its 8-year run and was listed on the Inc. 500 list in 2013 and Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Kwame is a recognized thought leader on Entrepreneurship and is a regular speaker and panelist at business events. He’s been featured in many leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, NPR, and Forbes.

BUsiness strategy & growth expertise

About Kwame

Currently, Kwame is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. In addition, he has worked as an advisor to early-stage companies, helping them navigate the chaos of a growing company. He is a member of the  Betamore adviser’s network and since 2014, he has been an active member of the  Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs – where he is the current President of the  Baltimore chapter

Awards & accolades
  • EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award in Maryland for 2014
  • Baltimore Business Journal “40 under 40” Award Winner
  • SmartCEO Future 50 Award Winner
  • B.A. in Economic from Middlebury College
  • M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School


Carrie Brenner

Before joining Empower Media in 2016, Carrie was the head of operations at Gift Card Rescue, an Inc. 500 company where she oversaw the day-to-day functions of the company, including Sales and Marketing. Her leadership in operations accelerated the company’s monthly revenue growth and led to the achievement of multiple financial milestones. 

Serving as the Chief Operating Officer, Carrie brings a wealth of valued business experience to Empower Media. She specializes in Marketing and Branding, as well as has a reputation for being extremely detail-oriented and a complex problem solver. Whether its technical Search Engine Optimization or creative Content Strategy, her expertise is a vital part of each Empower Media brand.


About Carrie

Currently, Carrie is mentoring a group of early-stage business owners and entrepreneurs at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). In addition, she is an active member of the Baltimore  Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Accelerator Chapter, the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs. She is an active member of the Ellicott City Partnership (ECP) – where she is the delegate for the Promotions Committee.

  • B.A. in Journalism and Marketing from Salisbury University