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Tag: Inspo

2022 Nov. Mag

2022 November Mag

Cathy Dabney is an author, keynote speaker and lifestyle blogger. Cathy is uniquely gifted at captivating her audience with her contagious energy and invigorating passion to equip, empower and elevate others.

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Cathy Dabney is an author, keynote speaker and lifestyle blogger. Cathy is uniquely gifted at captivating her audience with her contagious energy and invigorating passion to equip, empower and elevate others.

Cathy is the founder of New Birth Enterprises & Cathy Dabney Ministries. Cathy serves as CEO of New Birth Enterprises, which incorporates the self-help books she has authored, public speaking, and her youth empowerment programs. Cathy is a former broadcaster on the HSBN network, and has attended Yale Divinity School and is currently attending Christian Leaders Institute.  

Additionally, Cathy works with corporations facilitating training to ensure executives, management & staff are maximizing their full potential personally and professionally. Cathy has partnered with NBA athletes, doctors, hospitals, school districts, universities and public and private corporations.

A licensed educator, Cathy found her passion in the human services industry at the age of 15 when she began employment with the Lansing School District. Cathy’s tenure at the Lansing School District prepared her for her future endeavors in education at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Le Cordon Bleu College, Saint Leo University and Arizona State University. 

A serial entrepreneur, the year was 1995 when Cathy launched De Leon Consulting, “Maximizing Your Career & Personal Development”. A Consulting Firm dedicated to providing clear and concise seminars, coursework & materials to help maximize both career and personal development in staff and management. Simultaneously, Cathy founded Cathy’s Word Processing Service. Servicing law firms, school district, county, state and government agencies with transcription, word processing and professional development materials. 

Women Who Win

A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, Cathy works alongside her husband managing their family businesses while preparing to release her third self help book titled Girl Go Get It with a release date of late November 2022.

Some of Cathy’s career highlights included, but are not limited to:

  • Educational Excellence Award
  • Women Who Win Honor
  • Excellence in Leadership Award
  • Salesperson Of The Year Honor
  • Distinction for Excellence in Leadership Certificate
  • Philanthropic Newsmakers In The Community Honor
  • Saleswoman of the Year Award
  • Elite Status Honor 

Join Hands

“I believe it is our moral responsibility to join hands with other women and facilitate the push that is required in order for them to birth the dreams that reside in their hearts. Look around you, whose dreams can you help give birth to? I pray it starts with the woman in the mirror.” ~Cathy Dabney

Stay connected with Cathy by subscribing to her Girl Go Get It online magazine at a magazine designed to uplift and empower. Subscribers receive this monthly in their email. 

Cathy Dabney Business card in white, pink and black


IG: @cathysdabney

FB: @authorcathydabney

Pinterest: @cathysdabney

TikTok: @cathysdabney 

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  • Woman with dark red lipstick and long auburn curly hair wearing a black top with a large silver colored necklace leaning on a gold framed mirror

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2022 Oct. Mag.

2022 October Mag

If someone asks, do you know Lynn Farris? Their answer would most likely be: of course I do. She’s a woman of valor and substance and she will do anything to make those she loves smile. One of her sorority sisters, Vanessa Caston LaFleur, Louisiana State Representative, has coined the phrase, “Lynn Love” because of her unselfish giving.

Smiling black woman wearing a bright green dress with large puffy sleeves and a large beaded silver necklace and large hoop earrings standing in a park setting.

If someone asks, do you know Lynn Farris? Their answer would most likely be: of course I do. She’s a woman of valor and substance and she will do anything to make those she loves smile. One of her sorority sisters, Vanessa Caston LaFleur, Louisiana State Representative, has coined the phrase, “Lynn Love” because of her unselfish giving. Lynn was raised around love and that is shown in her free spirit of giving. At the age of 12, her father died and her mother and grandmother reared her and her sister Kim with a spirit of love, gratefulness, and giving. Friends would always be welcome to stay at their house and even go on vacations with the family, so it’s natural to her. To this day, her friends call her home “the home of peace”. The Farris family makes you feel at home anytime you visit.

Louisiana Woman

Lynn Farris is a social worker and college instructor who was born and raised in Baton Rouge and Baker, Louisiana. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University at Louisiana at Lafayette (formerly USL) and a Master of Social Work Degree from Southern University at New Orleans.

She retired from the Department of Children and Family Services and is currently employed as the Client Services Supervisor at the East Baton Rouge Law Office of the Public Defender. She is also an adjunct professor at the Baton Rouge Site of Upper Iowa University and has taught at Southern University and A&M College – Baton Rouge, LA in the School of Social Work. She enjoys imparting knowledge to students as they are sponges who desire to have an instructor who actually cares about them. Little do her students know that they give her life by listening and valuing her experience and expertise.

Smiling black woman wearing a bright green dress with large puffy sleeves and a large beaded silver necklace and large hoop earrings standing in a white ballroom with a large chandelier.

Exceeding Expectations

Lynn considers herself a servant leader. A servant leader leads by serving others. In other words, servant leaders place the interests and needs of their followers ahead of their own self-interests and needs. Generally, they value the development of their followers, building their communities, acting authentically, and sharing power. She doesn’t like selfish leaders who think it’s all about them. People serve because they love their respective organizations, and they should feel like they are valued and appreciated for their service. After all, we serve our organizations for free, our free time, and our efforts. A leader with a bad attitude is a turn-off for her. However, she has been blessed to serve under several great leaders.

Lynn has always had great leadership qualities. From elementary school, being named most courteous, to high school serving in various organizations, through college, singing with the USL Gospel Choir, then later pursuing a Master of Social Work at SUNO. She has a fire that burns inside of her that keeps her going. There are always improvements that can be made. She doesn’t like “good enough”. She usually strives to “exceed expectations.”

Once she finished college, she was initiated into Nu Gamma Omega Chapter, South Central Region in 1991. Her late cousin, Mary Alice Gray Darby, was instrumental in her desire to become a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has been a member for 32 consecutive years and is a Life Member and member of the Heritage Club of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Lynn has served in various positions in AKA. In her chapter, Nu Gamma Omega, she has served as President, Vice President, Hostess, and Corresponding Secretary and has led various committees. She currently serves as the President of Nu Gamma Omega Educational and Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Chairs the Empower Our Families Initiative.

Serving on all Levels

On the Regional Level, she has served as Louisiana State Connection Coordinator, General Chairman of the South Central Regional Conference in 2013, Chief of Staff for the 25th South Central Regional Director, Katina Semien Smothers, and currently serves as the South Central Regional Hostess for the South Central Region under the leadership of Joya T. Hayes.

On the International Level, she served on the sorority’s Investigative Team for 12 consecutive years under three International Presidents. Last year, she was appointed by the 30th International President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, and served as one of the co-chairmen for the 69th Virtual Boule. In July, she was elected as a member-at-large of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation.

She has been honored by a few organizations namely, A Celebration of Women, an organization that recognizes servant leaders in the community, Xi Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Lamba Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. to recognize her community service in the Baton Rouge Community. She believes in giving back and helping others. It is a pet peeve of hers when others refuse to help people because of fear they will do better or just as well as them. God blesses us to bless others and she feels she is blessed because she freely uses the gifts God gives her. She also feels that jealousy is such a wasted emotion. Lynn feels that God will give her what He wants her to have and if she doesn’t get it, it’s not meant for her.

She is a member of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Southern University Alumni Home Chapter and the Baton Rouge Chapter of the NAACP. She also serves as a Commissioner of the EBR Housing Authority, the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the East Baton Rouge Mayor President’s Women’s Advancement Commission.

Lynn Love

She is also active in her church, Greater King David Baptist Church, where she has been a member for 33 years. She is the Founder and 1st President of the Greater King David Singles Ministry, a member of Usher Board #2, and has served as the Church Anniversary and Ministry Recruitment Day Chairman.

Lynn doesn’t have any biological children, but she spoils her two nephews, Javon and Jorrin as though they are her own. Her mother Lois Farris, is her biggest cheerleader. You can usually find Ms. Farris traveling with Lynn and sometimes, they will let her sister Kim, tag along.

Lynn wants her legacy to be, that she helped me when nobody else would and she reached out to me during a very dark time in my life. She believes we are put on this earth to help others and if we don’t help them, we surely shouldn’t hurt them.

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2022 Sept. Mag

2022 September Mag

An Alabama native, Ms. Charity O’Nell D. Latimore, credits growing up abroad for expanding her worldview, and charging her desire to give more. It contributed to her embrace of the Latin phrase: E Pluribus Unum – “out of many [we are] one.”

Smiling woman wearing a bright red dress and large red coiled necklace with gold accents standing against a white stone facade. on a Cerese D Magazine cover.

An Alabama native, Ms. Charity O’Nell D. Latimore, moved to Misawa, Japan, at the age of seven and is a 2013 graduate of Robert D. Edgren High School.  Growing up abroad expanded Ms. Latimore’s worldview. It contributed to her embrace of the Latin phrase: E Pluribus Unum – “out of many [we are] one.”

Campus and Community

Ms. Latimore earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology Pre-Health and Chemistry from Alabama State University (ASU) in Montgomery, Alabama. During her undergraduate matriculation, she was extremely involved in campus, community, and civic activities. Ms. Latimore reigned as the 61st Miss Junior on the court of Miss Alabama State University. Her platform initiatives included “Hope for the Homeless” and “Youth Empowerment.” During her senior year, she served as the university’s Student Government’s Chief of Staff, 2018.

After completing internships in Lisbon, Portugal, and Misawa, Japan, Ms. Latimore returned to ASU and earned a Master of Science Degree in Biology in 2022. While pursuing her Masters, Ms. Latimore co-authored her first scientific article The Impact of COVID-19 Infections on Individuals Suffering from Substance Disorders (i.e., tobacco, marijuana, vaping, or cocaine) and/or co-morbidities) and published her Thesis: Alcohol Modulates Cellular Biogenesis in Human Cardiomyocytes. Currently, she is working towards becoming a Doctor of Medicine at the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and aspires to become a surgeon with an undecided specialty. 

Give More

Ms. Latimore is the Founder of “Chit-Chat With Charity,” a non-profit organization dedicated to building self-awareness and sustained academic achievement in young women (ages: 13-18) of color. As she continues this journey called life, she stands by the motto she birthed in college, “To give in service is to give more.”  She has committed herself to a life of service in the health field and the community. 

  • A smiling black woman wearing an Alabama State letterman sweater over a white lab coat standing in a science lab with blue glass accents

  • A smiling black woman wearing an Alabama State letterman sweater over a white lab coat standing in a science lab with blue glass accents

  • Smiling black woman wearing a colorful traditional Japanese kimono and holding a red umbrella with a red flower in her hair

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2022 Aug. Mag

2022 August Mag

Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Amy grew up loving family, God, and country…and Alabama football. An entrepreneur at heart, Amy came up with a novel idea to create a place where everyone could learn the fundamentals of gun safety in a fun, and unique, atmosphere. 

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Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Amy grew up loving family, God, and country…and Alabama football.

A move to Atlanta would lead Amy to becoming a top graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, where she channeled her creativity into culinary expertise, and her outgoing, positive personality into five star customer service.

Building the Gold Standard

After working in some of the country’s top restaurants and hotels, Amy met her husband Brian, a proud Marine and entrepreneur who had launched one the nation’s top minority owned security companies. Together they built the company into what is the gold standard for security companies with clients including the Atlanta Airport, the Georgia Capital, and numerous court houses, and government building throughout the southeastern United States.

Insight – A Virtual Experience

Amy, an entrepreneur at heart, came up with the idea to create a place where everyone from novices to experts, could learn the fundamentals of gun safety and basic to advanced shooting skills. The idea of a virtual experience, totally safe, comfortable, and without the cost of ammunition and gun rentals seemed like a logical and exciting concept. Amy couldn’t help but to infuse her sense of style and décor into the design of Insight, including a custom bar designed by one of Atlanta’s top modern architects.  

Amy is excited to be a part of such a positive and fun startup and looks forward to helping people across the country to be skilled, safe, and secure.


I’d like to thank my glam squad:

Stylist: Crystal Cutcher
Hair: Larry Davis Hair Bar
Makeup: Mike Ward 

I’m forever grateful that you chose me for your magazine. Thank You 😊  Deborah Dolman.

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  • Woman wearing a white jumpsuit holding a rifle standing in front of a large video screen with pink lighting

  • woman wearing a long green dress standing in front of a white background with shadow silhouettes of two woman holding rifles

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  • Inside a room at Insight, a Virtual Experience image of two guns in front of a video screen with options to choice from

  • Inside Insight, a Virtual Experience room with a chandelier and a large video screen on one wall showing options of play

  • Image of a large video screen displaying the game Mallard Madness

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2022 July Mag

2022 July Mag

Kathy Walter Steele is an energetic, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven director, who approaches her duties with her pragmatic flair for problem-solving and program development, which results in measured successes and improvements. 

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Kathy Walker Steele a native of Nashville, TN relocated to the Metropolitan St. Louis area after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Psychology from Fisk University.  She earned a Master’s in Education Administration from the University of Illinois and an Education Specialist Certification from Lindenwood University.

Dedicated Educator

She began her 33 year education career in the East Saint Louis School District as a teacher and ultimately became Assistant Superintendent. Currently, she is a teacher consultant at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville-East St. Louis Center for the Project Success Program.  Her greatest joy has been serving the students in the East St. Louis Community for over 40 years.

Walker Steele served as the Central Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. from 2014-2018, she is the 29th Alpha Kappa Alpha woman to serve in this position. During her administration, the Central Region enjoyed its first digital magazine, the “CONNECT.” Green Initiatives were apparent with the Chapter Files Archiving System and the electronic submission of award entries. Webinars were hosted for chapter presidents and graduate advisors for training and information dissemination. Regional conference expenses were reduced through the purchase of regional assets. In addition, the Kathy Walker Steele Endowment Fund was capitalized within six months of her assuming office — a first for the Central Region.

Success Under Leadership

An energetic, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven director, Kathy Walker Steele approached her duties with her pragmatic flair for problem-solving and program development, which resulted in measured successes and improvements within the region. Under her leadership, the region drew a record number of attendees at its annual conferences. The region’s active membership significantly increased. Chapters and members were often highlighted for their accomplishments; and successfully launched programs and services that benefitted thousands of recipients throughout the eight states which comprise the Central Region. An effective communicator, Kathy sought to be fair-minded and approachable throughout her tenure. She aligned her guiding strategies with the overarching purpose of the Sisterly Relations Committee, so much so that she came to be known as the Sisterly Relations Soror.

Ever dedicated to ensuring the sorority is at the forefront of its mission, Kathy is unwavering in her commitment to serving humanity through the articulated mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

smiling woman wearing a bright pink leather jacket and tinted glasses and a large chunky beaded necklace with a yellow picnic umbrella in the background.

Serving Humanity

A Life member, she has been a devoted member with uninterrupted service since she became a member in 1977 in Delta Delta Omega Chapter in East Saint Louis, Illinois. She has served the sorority at the local, regional and international levels. She was the Central Region’s Representative to the Centennial Committee and chairman of the Sorority’s 64th international convention held in St. Louis in 2010. She also served as president of Delta Delta Omega Chapter. Walker Steele presently serves as Co-Chairman of the Sorority’s International Chapter Basileus Certification Committee. This committee offers training for sorority members who serve as Chapter President and those who desire to serve in that capacity

She is a member of the Archway (MO) Chapter, The Links Incorporated and Circle-Lets, Inc.  Mrs. Walker Steele was recognized as one of St. Louis’ Outstanding Women in Civic and Educational Leadership by the Urban League of St. Louis.  She is a devoted member of the Beloved Community United Methodist Church in St. Louis, MO.

In her spare time, she enjoys the friendship of dear friends and considers it a blessing to travel with family/friends. A lover of people she prays for world peace.

Mrs. Walker Steele resides in Belleville, Illinois with her husband, Marvin Steele, Sr.

*Each featured client provides written bios shown above. Cerese D, Inc. only publishes given content.
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2022 June Mag

2022 June Mag

Self-described as personable and enthusiastic, Beth leads by adhering to the values of the sisterhood and  challenges herself to operate and function differently. She uses her valuable life experiences to teach others how to collaborate and how to work with people of different perspectives and views of the world.

Creative Direction: Cerese D. / Photography: Ivan P.P.

Beth Monnin, the 27th National President of Phi Mu Fraternity, 2014-2018 was initiated into the sorority at Rho chapter, Hanover College in 1980. Self-described as personable and enthusiastic, Beth led her organization by adhering to the values of the sisterhood and challenging Phi Mu to operate and function differently through policy governance.

Valuable Life Experience

Beth knows what her own sorority experience has meant in her life, the growth opportunities and support of women who are not just friends, but Sisters who have held her accountable and pushed her to grow and evolve as a person. Sorority life brings valuable experience, in that it teaches members how to collaborate and how to work on initiatives and projects with people of different perspectives and views of the world. Beth believes that ultimately, whether you are a woman entering the workforce, raising children, or chairing a community philanthropic event, this experience becomes invaluable.

Greek Life

In her professional life, Beth has had the amazing opportunity to partner her passion of Greek life with her job at CLC. CLC is the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing agency, representing over 700 colleges, universities and other top collegiate brands including Greek organizations in protecting, marketing and managing their brands through a customized and strategic approach focused on each individual client. 

While the Greek business is relatively new to CLC, Beth has had the pleasure of working with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. since 2019 and more recently with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. for the past year since the spring of 2021. Through these partnerships Beth has been able to collaborate with Cerese D and the beautiful jewelry options that the business has to offer members of both organizations.

Smiling woman with brown hair wearing a blue and white flowered dress sitting at a table in a gardenEmbodying the lines of her Phi Mu Creed, “Being steadfast in every duty, small or large,” Beth exhibits this mentality at CLC when working with licensed vendors and the national organizations. “My job is to protect and preserve the brands of the clients that I am directly responsible to.  Brand loyalty is built upon consistency and quality and the partnerships I have developed with the licensed vendors mean they know that CLC and our partner organizations are holding them responsible for the integrity of the brand.   When the licensed vendors produce outstanding product that reflects well upon the national organizations, this is a win-win for all involved.”

Community Member

Outside of her professional and Phi Mu life, Beth is a member of St. Augustine Church in Minster, Ohio and has served for over 25 years as the Chairwoman of the Miss Oktoberfest Scholarship pageant (held annually in October during Ohio’s second largest Oktoberfest gathering). Beth and her husband of 30 years who was a member of Theta Chi at Purdue University, have 4 adult children.

Beth Monnin feels fortunate and blessed to have had the experiences of her sorority life provide such a strong foundation for all that has followed both personally and professionally. “I love my life-my family and my job in which I am able to extend my passion for the Greek experience and help my clients grow their brands.”

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2022 May Mag.

2022 May Mag

Dr. Mia K. Wright is inspiring people around the globe to do the unthinkable and pursue their passion for living. Her messages are encouraging that lead to stories of how she help others to begin again and complete unfinished plans.

woman with blonde hair wearing a bright pink dress smiling with a large ornate gold colored necklace

Dr. Mia K. Wright is inspiring people around the globe to do the unthinkable and pursue their passion for living.

woman with blonde hair wearing a bright pink dress smiling with a long beaded necklace sitting on a park benchMia’s book, UNTHINKABLE, has challenged readers to elevate their life’s platform by demonstrating how to overcome boundaries and self-imposed limits. Mia is a powerful speaker, who encourages others with uplifting messages, relevant life stories and life skills that apply to faith-based and corporate sectors. Her messages are inspiring as well as encouraging. Mia elevates others with purposeful thinking and action with a call to action. People respond with stories of how she inspired them to begin again and complete unfinished plans. She is a sought-after speaker, having shared transformational messages in churches, town halls, conventions, corporate venues, schools, prisons, and mud huts worldwide. 

Church Leadership

Mia is the Co-Pastor and Executive Director of Ministry at The Fountain of Praise, where she and her husband, Dr. Remus E. Wright, lead a mega-church with 20,000 members. Their church was honored to host the funeral for the late George Floyd in 2020. Mia was licensed and ordained into the ministry in 2005, and she is responsible for the social media and digital platforms that build engaging membership networks. 

In addition to her church leadership and professional speaking platforms, Mia fulfils her passion as the Executive Director of Metamorphosis, Inc., a women’s empowerment organization. “Meta” encompasses a life-changing women’s conference, compassionate projects; empowerment seminars; a mentoring program for young ladies; and international programs. Through her work, thousands have embraced life transformations, locally and abroad, in conferences hosted in Brazil, Tanzania and South Africa.

Foundation for Change

Her life’s work is to help others formulate a foundation for change. Dr. Mia K. Wright received her doctorate from The University of Southern California in 2022. Her research on Social Cognitive Motivations for Group Participation and the Development of Social Capital paved the way for future digital religious exploration.

In 2005, Mia received her Master of Divinity degree with Honors from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She participated in a Study Abroad Program on the History and Relevance of the First Century Church in Tunisia, North Africa. Her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin in Biology and Chemistry prepared her for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Mia worked for Merck and Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and was highly successful as a development-training specialist. Astra Merck’s 1999 Corporate Report featured her project for innovative customer engagement. 


Mia is a TEDx Speaker, a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum – Class XLV, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The Links, Inc. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees for the Holocaust Museum Houston. She received numerous awards for her engagement and concern for her community.

Beyond her impressive academic background and professional accomplishments, her most significant achievement is her family. She and her husband of 30 years are parents to three sons who fulfill their life’s purposes as a minister, an attorney, and a medical doctor.

Go here to learn more and to purchase Mia’s book “Unthinkable: Do the Unordinary to Experience the Extraordinary

Woman with blond hair wearing a bright pink top standing on balcony with mural on wall reading the book Unthinkable

Photo Credit @ShotByBishop

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2022 April Mag

2022 April Mag

Dr. Parul Jain’s path to her dental practice in Atlanta, Georgia, began as a child and the work ethic instilled in her by her parent’s example, the perfect mentor in her father-in-law, and an incredible partner at home. This combination was the recipe to help her take the leap, even during a global pandemic, to create her “dental family”.

Dr Parul Jain in a blue top and wearing a long tasseled necklace with trees and a brickwall in the background

My journey to our family dental practice here in Atlanta started when I was just a child.  My family and I moved to the United States from India in 1983, with hopes of a better life for me and my sister.  I watched my parents work multiple jobs, while my dad was simultaneously pursuing his master’s in computer science.  I credit my work ethic entirely to my parents.

Dr-Parul-Jain-in-white-coatFrom an early age, I had an affinity for math and science.  By the time I went to college at SUNY Binghamton, I knew I wanted to go into healthcare, so I majored in Biochemistry.  Following a few externships, I figured out I wanted to be a dentist. Dentistry would give me the ability to heal the hurting patient as well as use my creativity to make someone feel more confident with a beautiful smile.  With the help and encouragement of my family, I applied for and was accepted into my top choice program at Columbia University.  There, I worked harder than I ever had before.  Following dental school, I completed a General Practice Residency at NY Methodist Hospital, where I was able to get amazing training and obtain significant surgical experience.

Thankful for Grueling Hours

When I finished my training, I was saddled with massive loans.  And unlike many of my classmates, I didn’t have any family in dentistry so there was no practice waiting for me when I got out of school.  Instead, I worked grueling hours at six different offices in New York from Monday through Saturday.  Although it was difficult, I am thankful for that experience.  It gave me the opportunity to see the varying ways a dental practice could be run from both a clinical and business standpoint.  

Dr Jain working with a patient and her teamDuring this time, I also had an incredible partner in my husband Ben. We had met the summer between my third and fourth year of dental school.  He and I were both doing externships abroad in the Himalayas, mine in dentistry and his in general medicine.  It was every bit a fairytale as it sounds.  We married in 2008 and Ben came to New York for his ophthalmology training so we could be together for the first few years near my family.  But we knew we ultimately wanted to raise a family in the south, so after our son was born and Ben finished his training, we moved to Atlanta, Ben’s hometown.

Finding the perfect mentor

Fortunately for me, Ben’s father, Jeffrey Baumrind, was a dentist in Atlanta and had a well-established practice downtown. I was incredibly lucky to practice with him for seven years.  This was undoubtedly the most influential time in my career.  My father-in-law became my mentor, and he provided me with clinical pearls daily, as well as tactics for running a successful practice.  His advice was to always take care of your patients, and everything else would follow.  After seeing so many different practice styles in my career, his was the one I wanted to emulate as it brought me the most joy, just as it did for him.  His was a small, family style practice with a tight, dedicated staff, geared towards building long term relationships with each patient.  I soon figured out that, like him, I loved to know about what was going on with my patients’ lives.  And like him, I loved to factor in time to catch up with patients at each appointment.  I knew I didn’t want to have multiple offices, and I did not want to have a conveyor belt of patients coming in and leaving.  

My father-in-law passed away unexpectedly in July 2020.  I felt lost without him.  I had always thought I would practice my whole career with him.  It seems life had another plan.

Picking up the pieces

I eventually picked up the pieces of my life after my father-in-law died and took the leap to start my own practice, Jain Dental Care, in August 2021.  I was lucky to have my dream team:  a group of three women, two of whom are sisters, and each of whom I worked with for years at our previous office as our hygienist, dental assistant, and front desk receptionist.  If that weren’t enough, I was fortunate to hire another front desk worker who is not only my best friend, but who is also married to my husband’s first cousin!  She and I also designed every detail of our dental office together, from the wallpaper to the furniture.  I feel blessed that I am surrounded by such a hardworking, thoughtful group of strong women, and we all have each other’s backs.  Our office wouldn’t be what it is without their dedication.

Jain Team

Taking The Leap

Opening a new practice during a global pandemic obviously comes with its challenges, but we have been able to thrive through our commitment to our patients.  Many of these patients are ones I’ve known for years.  Others are new to our practice.  We treat each one as part of our dental family.  We learn about their lives and their families.  We help them through their anxieties, transforming their fears of dental appointments into genuine excitement for their next visit, just as my father-in-law had done.  And we especially love seeing our patients grow and hearing about their milestones in life:  finishing school, getting a new job, getting engaged, or having children (or grandchildren).  There is no bigger success for our office than to see the smiles on our patient’s faces when they walk through the door.  My dream of having a family-style practice has finally come to fruition.  And though I miss my father-in-law all the time, I couldn’t be more excited for this next stage in my career.

Jain Dental Care:

Dr Parul Jain Team

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2022 Mar. Mag

2022 March Mag

Keisha Lance Bottoms is a CNN Political Commentator, based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as the 60th Mayor. A visionary leader in bringing equitable outcomes to the forefront of government and commerce, she is proof that “a dream deferred is never a dream denied” in her current position.

Keisha Lance Bottoms wearing a blkack suit jacket with pink and white detailing wearing a large white beaded neckalce on a light purple background

Keisha Lance Bottoms is a CNN Political Commentator, based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as the 60th Mayor. She is a visionary leader in bringing equitable outcomes to the forefront of government and commerce. Keisha became the first Mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, having previously served as a Judge and a City Council member. As Mayor, she committed herself to realizing her vision of “One Atlanta” – an affordable, resilient, and equitable Atlanta.

Sworn in on January 2, 2018, Keisha served as Mayor during one of the most challenging times in the history of Atlanta. In the midst of a global pandemic and a racial justice movement, Keisha became a leading spokesperson regarding the challenges and opportunities facing cities and leaders across America.

Proactive Measures

While navigating these unprecedented challenges, the Bottoms Administration was able to remain focused on the resilience of Atlanta, negotiating and closing the largest real estate transaction in the history of Atlanta, and one of the largest in the Southeast United States, delivering millions of dollars in community benefits to people across the city.

Keisha Lance Bottoms wearing a blue top with a large chunky beaded necklace on a blue background

Keisha took proactive measures to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City and its agencies. As a result, during one of the worst economic  downturns the world has ever faced, the Bottoms Administration delivered four years of balanced budgets, without resorting to property tax increases, layoffs or furloughs of City employees. At the conclusion of her term, City’s reserves remained at a near high of $181M, far exceeding the requirements of the City Charter.

Shaped by a childhood and professional career that highlighted the inequalities amongst Americans, Keisha led her Administration in undertaking several major initiatives that would seek to eradicate systemic issues facing Atlanta, while creating a model for all cities to follow.

Building a Model

The major initiatives included:

  • Welcoming nine Fortune 500 companies who established a global or regional headquarters in Atlanta, helping the city add $11 billion to its total economic output and attracting $4.5 billion in total capital investment. Also ensuring that developments that would reshape Atlanta included historic levels of community benefits that would lift-up Atlanta’s most vulnerable. These benefits included affordable housing requirements, securing the funding necessary to launch a city-wide affordable housing trust fund, technical school training program, and city-wide savings account for public school children.
  • Closing the City Jail to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees, eliminating cash bail bonds for non-violent offenders, and leading the transformation of the City’s jail into a diversion center that prioritizes providing individuals with the human services they need to make permanent change in their lives versus an endless cycle of incarceration.
  • Took the landmark decision to remove members of the Atlanta Police Department from joint operations with the United States Department of Justice due to DOJ’s refusal to allow officers to wear body cameras. Shortly after taking this action against the Federal government, the United States Department of Justice announced that Federal agents would be required to wear body cameras when executing search warrants or making pre-planned arrests.
  • Leveraging a whole of government approach to add over 7,000 units of affordable housing, including multifamily, senior-living, and single-family developments. This effort was bolstered by issuing $140 million in new housing opportunity bond funds and making nearly $6 million in financial down payment assistance available for Atlanta’s legacy residents to purchase homes.
  • Establishing the “HomeFirst” $50 million investment ($25 million public and $25 million private). Projects funded include the creation of 550 permanent supportive housing units, over 1,000 shelter beds, housing for single women and families experiencing homelessness, and legal assistance for eviction protection for over 250 families.
  • Engaging with Partners for Home to execute the LIFT Initiative, providing more than $17 million in funding for emergency hotels and rapid rehousing. This resulted in the placement of nearly 1,000 people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
  • Utilizing innovative and resourceful leadership, the City financed infrastructure projects totaling over $3.59 billion for airport, water and wastewater, and multi-family / affordable housing projects. This included the opening of Westside Park, Atlanta’s largest greenspace, which features a 2.4-billion-gallon water reservoir that increases Atlanta’s emergency water supply from three days to up to 90 days.
  • Leading Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, traditionally one of the busiest in the world, through the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly reducing operating expenses, implementing budgetary reductions, utilizing federal relief grants to stabilize finances, and restructuring debt for near term savings, amongst other cost cutting measures. These measures ensured the City’s airport bonds continue to be rated among the highest of airport bonds in the country. Notably, the airport became the first airport in the world to receive a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizing the City and the Airport’s sustainability efforts.
  • Ensuring diverse opinions and perspectives were brought to government processes by creating the City’s first Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Office of Violence Prevention and appointing the City’s first Director of LGBTQ Affairs.
  • Creating government transparency and fostering trust with the public by creating the Office of the Inspector General and rollout of the most far-reaching financial transparency platform in the City’s history – Atlanta’s Open Checkbook.
  • Opened three new police precincts, two new fire stations, two new EMS facilities, and two new @Promise Centers to provide all Atlanta residents, regardless of neighborhood, with access to critical services.
  • Keisha Lance Bottoms wearing a Florida Gators sweater on an organce backgroundSuccessfully hosted College Football Playoff National Championship Games, the Major League Soccer All Star Game, the National Basketball Association All Star Game and Super Bowl LIII, which included unprecedented community benefits – a $2.4 million renovation of John F. Kennedy Park on Atlanta’s Westside, more than 20,000 trees planted throughout the community and the seamless coordination of 40 federal, state and local public safety agencies.
  • Ensured several of Atlanta’s historical inequities were respectfully remembered, including the Atlanta Child Murders and the preservation of the Chattahoochee Brick Company land. Keisha’s steadfast leadership and equity-focused philosophy have led to numerous accolades and leadership positions, including having served as the Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee and the Census Task Force for the United States Conference of Mayors and as a Trustee for the African American Mayor’s Association. She was also selected to Chair the Platform Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and serves as the DNC’s Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection.

Keisha Lance Bottoms wearing a black blazer and a chunky beaded white necklace on a background with trees

High Honors

Tracing her family’s roots to a slave plantation in Georgia, it was Keisha’s highest honor to be named the 2020 Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend Magazine. She also was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year and was named a member of Ebony Magazine’s prestigious Power 100 List. She has also been honored as a BET 100 Entertainer and Innovator of the Year and was named the Smart Cities Dive 2020 Leader of the Year. Keisha was also the recipient of the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award presented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law in recognition of her equity-driven leadership to help guide and protect marginalized communities. 

Keisha is the daughter of R&B icon Major Lance and Sylvia Robinson. She and her husband, Derek, are parents to four children.

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2022 Feb. Mag

2022 Feb. Mag

Wendy Turner Miller feels strongly about ignoring naysayers, not taking ‘no’ for an answer, thinking outside the box, and believing in yourself— all have one major thing in common: pushing past fear.

Smiling woman wearing red lipstick in black top with large multi-colored beaded necklace and other jewelry sitting on red colored chair

I’ve always felt that the purpose of life is to evolve and create growth opportunities for both myself and for others. The efforts we make towards achieving dreams—ignoring naysayers, not taking ‘no’ for an answer, thinking outside the box, believing in yourself—have one major requirement in common: pushing past fear. In fact, the negativity of naysayers often acts as the premium gas that motivates me to do my research, ensure I always have a strong base of knowledge, challenge myself to be constantly learning, work with an open mind, and never stop listening.

Embrace Life’s Journey

Smiling woman wearing red lipstick in black top with large multi-colored beaded necklace and other jewelry sitting on red colored chair

The essential elements of life include home life, children, family and work. The continual struggle to create work/home integration is forever challenging and forever changing. I committed myself from the onset to be the best wife and mom that I could be, all while continuously learning and practicing law. More importantly, I wanted to be an example to my children. I always wanted to show them that love, hard work, compassion for others and true commitment to your priorities can successfully co-exist, as my parents taught me. In addition to instilling in me the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, they also encouraged me to build my confidence, set out with ambition, and develop a work ethic that they knew would be important in my life’s journey.

My first job out of law school was at a small law firm that did a lot of bankruptcy work for municipalities and in the automotive industry. It was there that I started learning bankruptcy law through hands-on experience. I had my first son, Kirk, and then my second, son Kyle, 4 years later. I realized at that time that working 60 hours each week for someone else in the traditional office environment was not my vision to best integrate my work/home balance.

So I started my own law practice by taking on criminal and probate assignment work through the courts in addition to bankruptcy law, which I already knew well. In this chapter of my life, I was again pushing through the fear of the unknown, learning a totally different sector of the law, and moving towards my quest to create my own journey. During school hours I would appear in court for court appearances and would later pick up my kids from school. We did homework, played, and had dinner together each night. I would put them to bed and then work until 2am developing reports, drafting motions, and preparing for trials. The next day, I would wake up and do it all over again. During that time, I remember developing the skills of thinking fast on my feet and learning to strongly articulate my thoughts and feelings, all the while evolving and honing my skills and opinions. I learned that each new chapter of life would continue to pose different challenges and provide different perspectives.

Work Towards a Forever-Changing World

In the 1990s, Janet Reno was the U.S. Attorney General yet there were hardly any women in the US Trustees Offices and few Black females in these positions in the entire nation. Kudos to Janet Reno for seeing the need and the opportunity to make a change and to create a more equitable and inclusive membership for the Trustee panel. There were five open positions for Chapter 7 Trustees in the Eastern District of Michigan and I knew that I had the knowledge base and the experience needed to do the work, so I applied.

Fast-forward to February 1999. After multiple interviews, I was appointed as a panel Trustee by the US Trustees Offices, a component of the Department of Justice, to serve in this position. To further enhance my need to mentor and teach others, I became an adjunct professor teaching bankruptcy law at a local law school. This additional position allowed me to give back and teach something that I was very passionate about to young, eager-to-learn students. It was here, while a professor, that I realized how very important perspective is in our lives. New experiences create personal growth.

In addition to running and growing SIS, I still do trustee work today. This work gives me an amazing perspective on business—what works, what doesn’t work, and the best ways to run a business. Every day I challenge myself to constantly work on becoming my best self, learn from each moment, pick up new skills, and look at situations from new perspectives.

Challenge Yourself and Be Your Own Mentor

Soon after my divorce, I realized the absolute need, as a single mom, to create financial longevity and stability for my children, particularly for my special needs son. My law practice and Chapter 7 Panel Trustee positions were not something I could pass on to them; however, creating a company and a legacy for my children was, and it became a passion and my vision. Once again, I had to push back the fear of the unknown. I wanted to establish a business in an industry that weathered storms and would always be necessary. Through intense research and networking, I realized that service work, particularly waste management, janitorial services, and industrial cleaning were mainstays. These service industries have seen a steady, substantial gain in both revenue and the need for each in facility maintenance services. I saw an opportunity.

SIS LogoI created a business plan and incorporated Superior Innovative Solutions, LLC (“SIS”) in 2018. I started focusing on automotive work but quickly branched out to other industries including engineering firms, construction firms, utility companies, hospitals, municipalities and the US government. I am strongly committed to SIS becoming a premiere, one-stop shop for a company’s facility maintenance needs. I believe that building this business will not only provide a legacy for my kids, but will also allow for my sons to do things their own way. I want to challenge women to think outside of the traditional box. I am impelled to undertake endeavors knowing that I’m working for more than just myself.

Push Past Fear and Reach the Destination Your Past has Led You To

Are there many women who do what I do? No. There are still men who do not see my intense commitment to giving superior, safe and on-time solutions with a talented team of experts. Have I received some not-so-nice comments? Absolutely. But I am living proof that women can thrive in different industries and different positions in different chapters of their lives, and that seeing opportunities from new perspectives can build entire businesses. Maybe even empires!

Wendy’s Background

Wendy Turner Miller is an entrepreneur, attorney, adjunct bankruptcy law professor, Chapter 7 United States Bankruptcy Trustee for the Eastern District of Michigan, and servant leader who is committed to superior business and community service, all the while advocating for women’s growth in leadership and development. She received her undergraduate Degree at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her Juris Doctorate at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC.

She currently services as the President and CEO of Superior Innovative Solutions, LLC, (“SIS”), which company, with its roots in the automotive arena, specializes in industrial cleaning, COVID-19 disinfecting and cleaning, janitorial services, hydro-blasting, vac truck services, and waste management.

SIS is a certified, 100 percent minority/woman owned and operated business committed to exceeding the expectations of our customers with superior, innovative, safe and time driver work product and service to each of our private, public and municipal clients.

Wendy is also an owner of Blue Springs Metals, LLC, in Blue Springs, MS, and Georgetown Metal Processing, LLC, in Georgetown, KY, both ventures with Toyota Tsusho America, which involve blanking and slitting steel at the Mississippi plant and aluminum on the Kentucky facility.

Wendy further serves as a Chapter 7 US Bankruptcy Trustee since 1999, hearing over 2,500 cases per year, a job that involves the discovery of undisclosed assets, the liquidation of assets, and the payment of funds to creditors.

She has provided legal services, specifically Bankruptcy Law assistance through her law firm, Law Offices of Wendy Turner Lewis, PLLC, representing debtors, creditors and financial restructuring clients since 1995.

She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, National Associations of Bankruptcy Trustees, National Bar Association, and The Wolverine Bar Association.

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