Who Is Shefik?
While others may be fixated on the challenges attributed to fitting a square peg into a round hole, Shefik first understands that it is geometrically more efficient to fit a round peg into a square hole. Through this, he places importance on analyzing how to solve problems, while equally dissecting why such problems materialize — and what can be further accomplished when one adheres to learned experience.
After graduating Nolan Catholic High School in 1991, Shefik was immediately honored within the same year as a "Talented Tenth Honoree" by the Fannie M. Heath Cultural Club and Tarrant County Junior College, all located in Texas. Shefik later received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he focused on the discipline of television broadcasting and Mass Communication, while also studying the theatre arts. He secured his first job in the professional workforce as an entertainment publicist at the New York-based firm Double XXposure. It was there that Shefik honed his natural instincts in public relations, and his colleagues were quick to take notice of his meticulous strengths and skill sets.
At Double XXposure, Shefik led and aided in national publicity campaigns for a multitude of multi-platinum recording artists, record company executives, and notable brands, such as 5-time Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee The Isley Brothers; iconic recording artist Nona Hendryx of Labelle; Billboard Music Award winner Dru Hill; free speech advocate and recording artist Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew; and the celebrated sound of Motown Music Publishing.
In 1997, Shefik went on to establish his own New York-based entertainment company, Knight Entities, Inc. A mere two years later, Shefik was inducted into the 1999 edition of "International Who's Who of Entrepreneurs", which reached a worldwide audience in an endeavor to recognize highly accomplished executives and professionals for their outstanding professional and civic achievements. His roster of publicity clients included Tony Award winner and 4-time Grammy Award nominee Melba Moore; Levi Little of the multi-platinum recording group BLACKstreet; as well as actors and recording artists Herculeez & Big Tyme. Outside of Shefik's publicist duties for Herculeez & Big Tyme, he also conducted one-on-one training sessions in artist development and etiquette, a service he respectively observed during his time at Double XXposure.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the real-life brothers Herculeez & Big Tyme had roles in many high-profile films, starring alongside an impressive galaxy of A-list stars. Herculeez (real name: Jamal Mixon) is best-known for his role as Ernie Klump, Jr. (Hercules) in "The Nutty Professor" (1996), and its sequel "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" (2000). Both films starred Eddie Murphy in multiple roles, including the lead roles of Sherman Klump and Buddy Love. Whereas, Big Tyme (real name: Jerod Mixon) is best-known for his role as Shonté, Jr. in "Me, Myself & Irene" (2000), which starred Jim Carrey in the lead roles of Charlie and Hank.
Herculeez & Big Tyme have also appeared in films together, including the comedy "The Cookout" (2004), which starred Queen Latifah and Danny Glover, along with an ensemble cast. In the film, Herculeez & Big Tyme played twins named Willie and Nelson. This was the last film for Farrah Fawcett before her death in 2009.
As the landscape of mass media evolved in late 1990s, specifically due to the industrial readiness for the Internet as a media force, Shefik adapted his client service offerings. While promoting events at many of the largest nightclubs (Tunnel, Limelight, Webster Hall, Exit) in New York City, Shefik amassed a large list of loyal patrons. Through this, he was able to cast spectators (many of whom were his patrons) as on-screen seat-filler roles in the comedy film "Anger Management" (2003). The award-winning film starred Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, and Woody Harrelson. Shefik aided in filling outdoor seating for a critical scene of the film at Yankee Stadium.
After teaching himself computer programming in the 2000s, Shefik secured his first position in the field of Internet Technology, as Technical Producer at TIME magazine and its website time.com. His primary duties involved developing web-based applications, which served millions of website visitors daily. In addition, Shefik was tasked with conducting regular training sessions with key members of the editorial staff, to educate them on the proper usage and best practices of the technology that Shefik developed and maintained on a daily basis. As such, he engaged with staff across TIME's international bureaus, and aligned himself with the understanding of cultural conditions.
Coincidentally, while Shefik worked at TIME, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Shefik was already in the process of developing a web-based live blogging system for usage at TIME (an idea he proposed). Therefore, the United States presidential election of 2008 served as a launch for the live blogging system. Shefik's development proved to be successful, as his idea came to fruition. Not only did he produce the live blog coverage for the presidential and vice presidential debates, but also for the historic election night coverage itself, where Obama was hailed as the first United States President of African-American descent.
Due to the success of the live blogging system, Shefik produced coverage of other highly trafficked events at TIME, some of which also became cross-promotions with the editorial teams at the sister magazines People and Entertainment Weekly. This included coverage of the 81st Annual Academy Awards, the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and the season 8 finale of the hit television show "American Idol". For the latter, Shefik also produced a video highlighting the pre-show red carpet event at "American Idol", where he secured season 6 finalist Blake Lewis as the correspondent.
Continuing with Shefik's now expanded skill set as a video producer at TIME, he also contributed to the production of two other popular releases, which covered the death of Michael Jackson and the subsequent posthumous film, "This Is It". In the first release, Spike Lee, Lenny Kravitz, Clive Davis, and others talk about Jackson's music and its influence on their lives and the world.
After leaving TIME, Shefik worked at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands. He was a Web Developer at Condé Nast Digital, where he developed projects for their premiere online brands GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, Epicurious, and Concierge, as well as their advertising clients Chase Sapphire, Continental Airlines, Buick, Smirnoff, Stacy's Pita Chips, and Valspar Paint and Coatings. Shefik was also a Web Developer at Columbia Law School, where he developed projects for both external and internal use for the Ivy League university.
Shefik was later a Senior Web Developer, MTV World at Viacom, and a senior-level Web Developer at IBM Interactive Experience, were he worked on projects for Prudential and the Mexican-based financial institution Banorte. He was also a Drupal Developer at Penton Media, where he contributed to the development of a robust and feature-rich content management system for the diversified business-to-business media company. He also contributed similar development for a television network, while serving as a Software Engineer at CNBC.
Continuing in a senior-level programmer capacity, Shefik was a Senior Web Developer, Syfy at NBCUniversal, as well as a Senior Web Developer at Merriam-Webster, an Encyclopædia Britannica company. Shefik was recently a Programmer, Merck Creative Studios at Merck as well as a Senior Software Developer, RFI Studios at Ruder Finn, where he worked on projects for Amgen, Citibank, and Shire.
Additionally, Shefik conducted contract-based work at companies, such as The Wall Street Journal, Vimeo, Coca-Cola Enterprises, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Bear Stearns, Publicis Modem, Posner Advertising, and JOOR.
Currently celebrating over 20 years in the entertainment and technology industries, media personality and technology maven Shefik is an accomplished industry insider, who has appeared on MTV, SiriusXM, PBS, network television, and in print media, as well as internationally on TRT World (Turkey). A seasoned pro in social media with a career background as a Lead Architect and Senior Web Developer, Shefik is on the cutting edge of new media, as he currently serves as Official Member at Forbes Technology Council, National Associate Member at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Television Academy), Professional Member at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (New York Emmys), and Board Member, Customer Experience Advisory Board at Rutgers University (New Jersey).
As a videographer and producer, Shefik's work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for not only TIME, but also The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), Broadway World, and a major television station in New York City. Additionally, his photography has been featured in print and online publications, such as Daily Mail (United Kingdom), Harvard Kennedy School Magazine, Playbill, and China Press, as well as over 100 other websites in China.
Throughout 2017, Shefik was very active in the community. He served as a judge for a local Miss America competition, aiding in the 2018 crowning of Miss Northern Highlands, Miss Northern Lakes, and Miss North Jersey. The winners moved on to compete for the state title of Miss New Jersey 2018. Shefik also served as moderator at a panel discussion on "Equity & Diversity: Community Dialogue", held in Washington, D.C., and he was named Master of Ceremonies for various charitable events to benefit Autism New Jersey, and Eastern Shore Self-Advocacy Project (Chestertown, Maryland), as well as industry leading events Maarkah New York Fashion Week SS18 (New York City), and Lehigh Valley Fashion Week (Pennsylvania).
Additionally, Shefik appeared as a guest speaker at various uplifting events, such as a holiday fundraiser for YWCA Yonkers (Yonkers, New York), the 2018 Conference for National African American Drug Policy Coalition (Dallas, Texas), the 7th Annual Broadway Sings for Pride (Manhattan, New York), and Global Tech Meets Fashion Affair Fundraiser (Brooklyn, New York).
In honor of his work and devotion to community service, Shefik was awarded the Presidents' Volunteer Service Award in 2018. The President's Volunteer Service Award is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and is administered by Points of Light. Through a shared mission of inspiring more to answer the call to service, the President's Volunteer Service Award celebrates the impact we can all make in bettering our communities and our world. Shefik was also honored again in 2018, as the recipient of the Communitas Leadership Award.
Communitas Awards is an international effort to recognize the spirit of "communitas". Winners of Communitas Awards unselfishly give of themselves and their resources, and are changing the way they do business to benefit their communities. Shefik has been honored under the category "Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility: Leadership in Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility". Some businesses, organizations, and individuals that complete for an award are also recognized as Leadership winners, because of their excellence in multiple programs. As such, Shefik has been named a Leadership winner in 2018, alongside his brand "Shefik presents Invocation".
Shefik is the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation". The show is currently broadcast on 23 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, with an audience of over half million listeners monthly. Additionally, all interview segments are shot on video and distributed internationally via outlets, such as Amazon (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan).
"Shefik presents Invocation" is a multiple award-winning show (currently over 40 awards). It is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking journey through musical discovery and appreciation that spans the decades. Each episode highlights one relatable focal point, along with an accompanying playlist of songs, encompassing a unique thematic concept that invigorates the audience with creative impact. Top recording artists, actors, business executives, politicians, community leaders, and other special guests are invited to offer their own commentary on the topic, as a supplement to Shefik's engaging mindset.
Since its launch on July 4, 2016, "Shefik presents Invocation" has already garnered an impressive roster of guests, inclusive of former publicity clients Dionne Warwick and Melba Moore, as well as the iconic Mary Wilson of The Supremes; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chris Jasper of The Isley Brothers; 2-time Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award winner Siedah Garrett; singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Usher, Anita Baker); multi-platinum music producer Rickey "Slikk Muzik" Offord (Babyface, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Kirk Franklin, Jaime Foxx, Master P, Tank, Ludacris); 2-time Grammy Award nominee Freddie Jackson; Sonny Turner (former lead singer of The Platters); Grammy Award winner Gerald Alston of The Manhattans; musician and bandleader Tito Puente, Jr. (son of legendary mambo musician Tito Puente); Grammy Award nominee Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge; and many more performers from hit Broadway shows ("The Phantom of the Opera", "Kinky Boots").
Other compelling guests of "Shefik presents Invocation" include royalty and nobility, such as His Royal Highness Prince Emanuele Filiberto (Crown Prince of Italy and Grandson of Umberto II, the Last King of Italy); His Highness Dr. Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe of Germany; His Royal Highness Prince Gharios El Chemor (Heir to the Ghassanid Dynasty); and Baroness Olga Papkovitch of Russia.
The journey continues right here and everywhere.