Diesha Banner’s story begins with a simple desire: to empower others to live successful and enjoyable lives.
A co-founder and visionary of mixologist duo, Toast It Up LLC, Diesha uses her distinctive blend of experience, creativity, and influence to serve up the perfect blend of value and fun, while changing the narrative in female leadership.
A proponent of collaborative partnerships, Diesha is leading the charge to heighten awareness and ensure hers and other minority businesses have access to quality opportunities. A graduate of Black Upstart, an initiative that teaches Black entrepreneurs the fundamentals of successful and profitable business and LaunchRaleigh, a program for small businesses in under-resourced communities in Southeast Raleigh, Diesha’s experience has elevated her drive to educate, inform, and offer invaluable resources to aspiring leaders. A woman with heart, Diesha is also a passionate advocate for humanity and truth who strives to be of meaningful service to others.
Nonetheless, Diesha’s most cherished title is that of mother. The mother of one son, Diesha’s focus has always been to teach her son the principles she lives by - to show compassion, be impactful and to live a bold, strong, and beautiful life.
"I always say that I stumbled into the wine and spirits industry, so it in some ways chose me. It wasn't until I became involved that I realized all the possibilities that were available. It was and still is amazing to me how vast this industry is. Being a social butterfly, and finding an opportunity to feed my inner geek has been a joy to discover. This scholarship will allow me to further feed that quest for knowledge. In an industry that is primarily seen as caucasian and male, upon entering I immediately wanted to seek out those that looked like me. Although it takes a lot of research to find them, it has been a pleasure to see we exist. My hope is to continue to showcase the diversity of this industry. Being that I am a black woman, it is essential for me to continue highlighting the narrative of bold, powerful, women that can add value whenever invited to the table and if not invited, creating the table as representation matters. I am truly honored to receive this scholarship and hope to utilize it to learn more that I can share as my ultimate desire is to pave the way for others like me."