40th Gala Emcees

Vanessa Freeman

Vanessa Freeman is an anchor for the PIX11 Morning News weekdays from 4:30 – 6 a.m. Prior to joining the PIX11 team, she was a national host and news anchor for Cheddar News and Cheddar Business.

Vanessa was also an anchor and reporter for News 12 Networks in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Throughout her career, Vanessa has covered every aspect of news, from hard-hitting stories, and politics, to celebrity red carpet interviews.

She is a former co-host of NBC’s local lifestyle show, Living Dayton, and has also been featured on MSN, AOL, and CNN. Vanessa is also founder of a non-profit, 1 Woman 4 All, Inc. and resides in New Jersey.

Ke’Shawn ‘King Flexxa’ Forbes

Ke’Shawn Forbes, culturally know as “The Massive Host King Flexxa”, is an Emmy Award Winner, a proud product of Brooklyn, New York, with roots from the beautiful island of Jamaica west-indies.

At age 17, Forbes left home to pursue a higher education, intentionally at an HBCU, attending the illustrious Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. During his tenure, he was involved with numerous organizations, and leadership positions, most notably, serving as Mr. Morgan State University for The Student Government Association. This role and responsibility helped him realize he was representing something far greater than himself—Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

While at Morgan State, Forbes discovered his passion for using the microphone as his weapon of mass entertainment. He is extremely versatile with the craft of hosting, and approaches it as an ever-evolving art form. His range has no bounds, from hosting corporate occasions for major companies, concert and festival stages, to intimate settings, such as… having the honor and privilege to be the Master-of-Ceremony for a bride and groom’s special wedding reception day.

After graduating in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, he immediately applied and was accepted into an advance-standing program for the Fall of that year—receiving his Masters in Social Work in just 9 months.

Immediately after, Forbes wasn’t quite finished with his beloved alma mater, as he was offered the opportunity to work as the Retention Specialist for the School of Social Work, becoming the youngest Freshman Orientation Instructor at the University, as well as Maryland’s state history—at just 22 years old.

In the Spring of 2010, Forbes created and hosted his own show ‘FlexxRated TV’ on YouTube. He fully bet on his personal brand, and used a combination of the allowance from his Mom, as well as the savings from hosting gigs, to travel to Miami for Memorial Day Weekend festivities—garnering exclusive impromptu interviews with major celebrities, while creating original content. This life-changing investment helped cement ‘The MASSIVE Host King Flexxa’ as a household name in the media/entertainment industry.

In 2013, Forbes garnered the opportunity to work for a major global spirits brand, serving as the Brand Ambassador for an entertainment and business mogul. Also, that same year, he became the first personality on ‘DTLR Radio’—a unique and groundbreaking radio station, nationally syndicated, broadcasting inside 250 DTLR stores, in 20 cities nationwide. To date, ‘The FlexxRated Radio Show’ is the longest running show on that station.

In the summer of 2020, as a result of the worldwide pandemic, he pivoted, and created “DC…A Chocolate City Story”—hosting an Instagram-LIVE series from his home kitchen, that affectionately became a beacon of light for the nation’s capital, virtually interviewing and figuratively giving flowers to a wide range of Washingtonians as well as transplants from various industries—including the 100th milestone chapter/episode featuring the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser.

As a result of this innovation, Forbes was offered the opportunity to work as the D.C. Brand Influencer for global legacy brand, Hennessy. Then in 2021, Forbes was called directly by the CEO, to rejoin the global spirits brand he had previously worked for in 2013-2020. This opportunity elevated him as the National Director of Lifestyle & Culture for the company.

Now Forbes has completely doubled-down on his gifts & talents, becoming a best-selling author, collaborating with global companies such as Pepsi—where he’s hosted events at Super Bowl in Las Vegas. In addition, he’s collaborated with the Starry brand, a Pepsi product, hosting NBA activations across the country.

One of his greatest accomplishments to date is hosting for the ‘HBCU GO’ television network, created and owned by Media Mogul, Byron Allen, winning an Emmy for the “Spade A Spade” show.

Infusing his educational background with an extensive hosting career, this energy-enthusiast is passionately committed to speaking life, positivity, and pure fun into the lives he encounters.

God is the greatest! Gratitude is a must!