Skip to main content

Tag: Inspo

2017 August Mag

2017 August Mag.

Meet multifaceted recording artist and writer Kathleen Bertrand.


http://www.kathleenbertrand.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGl7G5Dig20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbHY_m7Q75Q

http://bronzelens.com/

Multifaceted recording artist and writer Kathleen Bertrand is a native Atlantan and Spelman College graduate, whose performances have ranged from two Olympic Games to performances before two presidents, and appearances at jazz festivals world-wide. Bertrand toured and recorded as vocalist with jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers.

This three-octave vocal artist has received numerous honors including the Kuumba Award given by East Point/College Park Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, the inaugural Impact Award from Black Women In Jazz, as well as recognition by the United Negro College Fund as one of “Atlanta’s Legends” and by Spelman College with its distinguished “Alumnae Achievement Award for the Arts & Entertainment.” Most recently, she was named the 2015 “Jazz Vocalist of the Year” by the Black Women in Jazz organization. She has been an invited performer at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on three occasions and has made multiple appearances at the Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF), including as a 2012 headliner and this year as part of the AJF’s Main Stage tribute to Nina Simone. In September of 2015, she performed to a sell out crowd at the historic Blues Alley in Washington, DC.

As a songwriter, she penned the national theme song for the 100 Black Men of America – What They See is What They’ll Be – as well as several songs on her CDs All of Me, No Regrets, Reasons for the Season, New Standards, and Kathleen’s most recent CD Katharsis, which was released in June 2011 and is still receiving nationwide and world-wide airplay, including 14 weeks on the UK Soul Chart top 30, 6 weeks in the UK Soul Charts Top 10, and 2 weeks at #1.

She has recently returned to the studio in preparation for her next CD release. Bertrand has opened for many of America’s finest jazz artists, including Ray Charles, Will Downing, Rachelle Ferrell, Najee, Roy Ayers, and Kenny G. Her fan base includes radio and internet listeners across the USA as well as in England, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, and Brazil among others.

She is the Founder and Executive Producer of the BronzeLens Film Festival. The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, that is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. In fact, the mission of the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is two fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers.

http://www.kathleenbertrand.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGl7G5Dig20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbHY_m7Q75Q

http://bronzelens.com/

Multifaceted recording artist and writer Kathleen Bertrand is a native Atlantan and Spelman College graduate, whose performances have ranged from two Olympic Games to performances before two presidents, and appearances at jazz festivals world-wide. Bertrand toured and recorded as vocalist with jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers.

This three-octave vocal artist has received numerous honors including the Kuumba Award given by East Point/College Park Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, the inaugural Impact Award from Black Women In Jazz, as well as recognition by the United Negro College Fund as one of “Atlanta’s Legends” and by Spelman College with its distinguished “Alumnae Achievement Award for the Arts & Entertainment.” Most recently, she was named the 2015 “Jazz Vocalist of the Year” by the Black Women in Jazz organization. She has been an invited performer at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on three occasions and has made multiple appearances at the Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF), including as a 2012 headliner and this year as part of the AJF’s Main Stage tribute to Nina Simone. In September of 2015, she performed to a sell out crowd at the historic Blues Alley in Washington, DC.

As a songwriter, she penned the national theme song for the 100 Black Men of America – What They See is What They’ll Be – as well as several songs on her CDs All of Me, No Regrets, Reasons for the Season, New Standards, and Kathleen’s most recent CD Katharsis, which was released in June 2011 and is still receiving nationwide and world-wide airplay, including 14 weeks on the UK Soul Chart top 30, 6 weeks in the UK Soul Charts Top 10, and 2 weeks at #1.

She has recently returned to the studio in preparation for her next CD release. Bertrand has opened for many of America’s finest jazz artists, including Ray Charles, Will Downing, Rachelle Ferrell, Najee, Roy Ayers, and Kenny G. Her fan base includes radio and internet listeners across the USA as well as in England, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, and Brazil among others.

She is the Founder and Executive Producer of the BronzeLens Film Festival. The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, that is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color. In fact, the mission of the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is two fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers.

 

Photo Credit: Cat Max Photography https://styleblueprint.com/atlanta/everyday/kathleen-bertrand-faces/

Continue reading

2017 July Mag

2017 July Mag.

Katrina’s style has been described as eclectic and is often called upon to offer style advice, source products, and create fun looks for themed events.  


Katrina L. Slaughter is known to many as “KLSSTYLE” for her love of fun fashion in particular statement accessories that will entice even the most conservative dresser to compliment her liberal fashion sense!  As an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Katrina is often called upon by her sorority sisters and other sisters in Greekdom to offer style advice, source products, and create fun looks for themed events.  Katrina’s style has been described as eclectic!

How does Katrina finance “KLSSTYLE”?  Katrina holds two degrees – a Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership and a Master’s in Business Administration and has nearly 25 years of work experience within the Professional Services Firm industry.  She has managed, directed and provided consulting services in key firm areas such as Corporate Finance and Human Resources Management. While the culture of some firms only allow for professional dress codes, Katrina’s style is embraced within the Architecture and Interior Design firm where she is currently employed as a Controller/Human Resources Director.  Several partners within the firm have commented on Katrina’s style…. “I love your style”, “Can I wear your cool shades? My wife would love your shoes”, “Your necklace makes me happy”, just to cite a few.  Katrina’s fun “Outfit of the Day” (OOTD) makes juggling the demands of her role less stressful and more enjoyable!  You’ll often hear Katrina say “wearing a pretty necklace makes me smile”.  Katrina feels blessed to have a career that allows her to express her individuality through fun fashion!

Katrina’s sense of style dates back to her childhood as early as age 4.  She would miss the school bus because she would re-do her ponytails if she didn’t like how her hair was styled.  According to Katrina’s mom, she’d get dressed and go outside to play but would be found sitting on the doorsteps because she didn’t want to get dirty.  Katrina was born to be prissy. Her friends and colleagues will tell you that Katrina’s love of fashion has always brought and continues to bring people together for social and civic causes. 

Katrina often purges her closets and donates these items to local women’s shelters and high school students during Prom season.  In April 2017, she launched “KLSSTYLE Accessories Pop-Up Shop” and SOLD OUT of over 400 accessories and 50 pairs of shoes! Katrina is not just fashion conscious during the workday, you’ll also see her “sweating pretty” while climbing Stone Mountain or at local run/walk races.  Katrina wanted to share her love of fun accessories and designed a headband for her sorority’s chapter with the tagline “Chi Tau Omega Sweats Pretty”.

Katrina resides within the metro Atlanta area and is a family woman married 25 years to Randall who allows her to be the Fire buff SHE is through HIS career as a Fire Chief.  She’s the mother of two sons – Omari who is a Staff Sergeant currently serving in the United States Air Force and Corey a recent college graduate of Kentucky State University.  She is also the proud grandmother of 2 year old, Madison. 

As Katrina approaches her 50th birthday in 2018, she plans to continue to live her life unconventionally through fashion while inspiring others to do the same. #KLSSTYLE is FOREVER!

Katrina’s fun facts: favorite color is pink, collector of fire department/station patches, collector of hearts, loves frogs, favorite candy is gummy bears.

Katrina’s favorite hashtags: #KLSSTYLE #funaccessories #jewelryaddict #prettynecklaces #fashionfun #shoesrfun #sweatpretty #luvpink

Social media:  @shoesrfun (Instagram)

Continue reading

2017 June Mag

2017 June Mag.

“Chief BOSSpreneur Becky A. Davis is known as the “Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon”


Website:  www.beckyadavis.com

Social media:  @Bosspreneur (FB, Twitter, Youtube)

“Chief BOSSpreneur Becky A. Davis is known as the “Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon” for her straight-forward coaching skills that develop individuals into well-rounded business owners.  As a member of the prestigious Forbes Magazine Coaches Council, official private coach for the ultra-exclusive Odyssey Media Company, and national entrepreneur spokesperson for The Coca-Cola Company. Becky is one of the most in-demand experts for small businesses.

It isn’t her education or impressive resume that makes Becky stand out.  It’s that in Becky’s 20+ years of coaching and speaking, her real-life, in-the-trenches experience gives her a radically different view on nearly everything.  Becky realizes that every business has a unique code that unlocks a flow of clients and cash. Mentally, Becky never removes herself too far from remembering the days when she experienced the trials and tribulations of fighting to get clients and make profits to stay in business. As a speaker, Becky is known for her practical, street-savvy style; Becky’s fusion of real-life stories and her conversational techniques connect with her audience at an intimate, intense and individual level.

Becky is a Certified Executive Coach of The Leadership Circle and provides a 360 Leadership Profile Assessment.  She is also certified by Gallup for the Entrepreneur Talent Profile Assessment and a Facilitator of the Discover Your Entrepreneur Talent Workshop and continues to work with the best and brightest aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs around the world.  She hosts, workshops, teleseminars, webinars, masterminds, and private coaching to women entrepreneurs all over the world.  Becky was selected to be a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.  She was the featured entrepreneur speaker on 15-city National Tour for Odyssey Media, a marketing & communications company, focused on connecting and empowering influential and affluent multicultural women around the world.  Her national partnership with The Coca-Cola Company’s initiative to help serve five million women entrepreneurs by 2020 aligns with her heart’s purpose and mission to empower entrepreneurs. 

Before her success as an entrepreneur, in her last corporate position, Becky was Regional Vice President, responsible for Operations and Sales at Sears Optical, a division of Luxottica Retail the largest optical company in the world. She has 20+ years in retail management where she advised Regional Vice Presidents, Training & Development, Human Resources and coached employees at all levels.  MVPwork LLC is a certified woman and minority owned business with Women Business Enterprise National Council and National Minority Supply Diversity Council.

Becky has been featured in media for her contributions to entrepreneurs including ABC, FOX, Forbes, Essence, Black Enterprise, and   Huffington Post.  She has been recognized as one of 25 Women Who Inspire by Hope for Women Magazine, Woman of Excellence by Atlanta Gospel Fest and recognized as a Woman of Influence by Radio Love 860 am and Best Motivational Speaker for 2015 by Examiner.com.  She is also the author of 5 books.

Becky is an advocate for domestic violence.  She is the founder of Leading In High H.E.E.L.S., a non-profit organization that focus on provides shoes and resources to women of domestic violence and abuse.

Becky is married and lives in the metro Atlanta area.

Website:  www.beckyadavis.com

Social media:  @Bosspreneur (FB, Twitter, Youtube)

“Chief BOSSpreneur Becky A. Davis is known as the “Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon” for her straight-forward coaching skills that develop individuals into well-rounded business owners.  As a member of the prestigious Forbes Magazine Coaches Council, official private coach for the ultra-exclusive Odyssey Media Company, and national entrepreneur spokesperson for The Coca-Cola Company. Becky is one of the most in-demand experts for small businesses.

It isn’t her education or impressive resume that makes Becky stand out.  It’s that in Becky’s 20+ years of coaching and speaking, her real-life, in-the-trenches experience gives her a radically different view on nearly everything.  Becky realizes that every business has a unique code that unlocks a flow of clients and cash. Mentally, Becky never removes herself too far from remembering the days when she experienced the trials and tribulations of fighting to get clients and make profits to stay in business. As a speaker, Becky is known for her practical, street-savvy style; Becky’s fusion of real-life stories and her conversational techniques connect with her audience at an intimate, intense and individual level.

Becky is a Certified Executive Coach of The Leadership Circle and provides a 360 Leadership Profile Assessment.  She is also certified by Gallup for the Entrepreneur Talent Profile Assessment and a Facilitator of the Discover Your Entrepreneur Talent Workshop and continues to work with the best and brightest aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs around the world.  She hosts, workshops, teleseminars, webinars, masterminds, and private coaching to women entrepreneurs all over the world.  Becky was selected to be a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.  She was the featured entrepreneur speaker on 15-city National Tour for Odyssey Media, a marketing & communications company, focused on connecting and empowering influential and affluent multicultural women around the world.  Her national partnership with The Coca-Cola Company’s initiative to help serve five million women entrepreneurs by 2020 aligns with her heart’s purpose and mission to empower entrepreneurs. 

Before her success as an entrepreneur, in her last corporate position, Becky was Regional Vice President, responsible for Operations and Sales at Sears Optical, a division of Luxottica Retail the largest optical company in the world. She has 20+ years in retail management where she advised Regional Vice Presidents, Training & Development, Human Resources and coached employees at all levels.  MVPwork LLC is a certified woman and minority owned business with Women Business Enterprise National Council and National Minority Supply Diversity Council.

Becky has been featured in media for her contributions to entrepreneurs including ABC, FOX, Forbes, Essence, Black Enterprise, and   Huffington Post.  She has been recognized as one of 25 Women Who Inspire by Hope for Women Magazine, Woman of Excellence by Atlanta Gospel Fest and recognized as a Woman of Influence by Radio Love 860 am and Best Motivational Speaker for 2015 by Examiner.com.  She is also the author of 5 books.

Becky is an advocate for domestic violence.  She is the founder of Leading In High H.E.E.L.S., a non-profit organization that focus on provides shoes and resources to women of domestic violence and abuse.

Becky is married and lives in the metro Atlanta area.

    

Continue reading

2017 May Mag

2017 May Mag.

First impressions can have the most lasting effect with every event, every experience, and every introduction to a new life, new school, and new “family”, and be extraordinary.


http://www.andrewjyoungfoundation.org

Carolyn McClain Young

They say first impressions have the most lasting effect on us. Well, my first impression of Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, impacted me for a lifetime. It was freshman year orientation week, and it was the most amazing week of my life. Every event, every experience, and every introduction to my new life, new school, and new “family” was extraordinary. By the end of the week, we had all bonded; we became brothers and sisters. Whether my classmates were from in the city or outside of the city, we came together as one and accepted each other into our new lives and this new adventure. That experience taught me a lot about sisterhood, caring for others, and accepting others as they are. It grounded me and set my footing on accepting people from all walks of life, a quality that has served me well in my work, personal and social life, and enabled me to become the woman I am today.

I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors in my life, and they all led me to Clark. There was Ernest Pharr, my homeroom teacher for five years beginning in the 8th grade. He was the yearbook and newspaper editor and used to bring his work to school to show me. My English teacher, David Stanley, was a Clark alum, as was Moses Norman, who always had me quoting great writers. My high school counselor, Eula Cohen, was also very influential on my decision to attend my illustrious alma mater. Coming full circle, it has been my passion and privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees for Clark Atlanta University for many years now.

I am fortunate to have met the love of my life. I married my husband, Andrew J. Young, in 1996 in Cape Town, South Africa. My wedding was officiated by Bishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke the ceremony in Xhosa, and Bishop McKinley Young, who spoke it in English. It was attended by family, friends and dignitaries from all over. In March of 2016 my husband and I will be traveling back to South Africa, along with a cohort of friends and associates, to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and renew our vows. Bishop Tutu will preside once again.

Attending Clark, becoming a teacher, and marrying my dear husband were the best decisions I have ever made. Because of these three choices, my life has been amazing.

Biographical Sketch:

Carolyn McClain Young is a life-long educator, civic leader, and the vice chair of the Andrew J. Young Foundation. She also serves as the executive director of “Andrew Young Presents,” the Foundation’s Emmy-winning nationally syndicated series of 20 documentaries highlighting Africa, the Civil Rights Movement and other social issues.

A dedicated fund-raiser and philanthropist, Young is a major force behind the success of the Foundation and other causes and organizations she cares deeply about supporting. She raised an endowment of more than $1.3 million for the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University; used her influence to raise and is the sponsor for the Carolyn Young Mentor Walk, held the last two years at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Previously, Young was an executive with the Atlanta-based GoodWorks International, LLC, a leading global advisory firm offering international market access and political risk analysis in key emerging markets within Africa and the Caribbean. In this position, she was co-owner for Protocol Contact for Foreign Dignitaries, and was responsible for planning logistics for guests and event planning for staff and corporate sponsors.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Elementary Education from Clark College in 1966 and a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from Georgia State University in 1971. She was instrumental in desegregating the faculty of the Atlanta Public Schools – East Lake Elementary School – as a first-year teacher.

During her teaching career, Young was recognized with several awards and honors including the 1976 Atlanta Area II Teacher of the Year, Georgia Teachers Incentive Award for Intermediate Grades, and the Southern Bell Black History Calendar as a “Teacher of Excellence.” She retired after 30 years of distinguished service with the Atlanta Public Schools.

Following her retirement, Young joined GoodWorks International, LLC with her husband, Ambassador Andrew Young, serving as Partner and Protocol Contact for Foreign Dignitaries where she played a major role planning and hosting social events, meetings, and private affairs.

Young has volunteered her time, talent and influence to a host of local, national and international civic and community service organizations holding leadership position. Some of the organizations she has served include G-Capp (founded by Jane Fonda); Steering Committee for the King Center’s King Week Activities; National Committee for the Arts; Finance Committee for the City of Atlanta Celebration of Older Citizens Month; Atlanta Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Buckhead Cascade Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Union Baptist Church; the Ebony Fashion Fair scholarship fundraiser; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Women’s Board; the Clark Atlanta University Guild; and the Sophisticates, Atlanta Chapter. Her international work includes serving as co-sponsor of the Bethesda House (an orphanage in Soweto for children with AIDS).

She currently serves on the following boards: Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees; United Negro College Fund; Andrew & Walter Young YMCA; Atlanta Area Technical College; WestCare; and the Board of Advisors for the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University. Previous board affiliations include the Governor’s Reform Commission for Education; Georgia Human Relations Commission; Board of the Georgia Council of Abused Children; Apex Museum; Fernbank Museum; Rabun Gap/Nacoochee School; Starlight Foundation and Literacy Action, Inc.

A full list of Young’s experience in civic, community and board service, as well as awards and honors, is as follows:

Current

Co-Sponsor of the Bethesda House, which is an orphanage in Soweto for children living with AIDS – raised money for the children and the facility.

Raised an endowment of more than $1.3 million for the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University and served as Honorary Chair of a weekend of events honoring the school and Andrew Young.

Co-Chairman of the Patron Committee for G-Capp, which was founded by Jane Fonda to halt teen pregnancies.

Founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Women Board, as well as the following positions:

Served as Chair of Enrichment for Children for 10 years,

Served as the key organizer of a Christmas party for 10,000 children of Atlanta for 10 years, and

Participated and volunteered at a dinner for 2000 Atlanta seniors for 10 years.

Member of Southern Regional Leadership Team of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Co-Chair for 10 years of the Founders Day Committee of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Co-Chair of 80th Celebration for the Southern Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Co-Chair for the Welcoming Committee for the National Convention for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. that was held in Atlanta, Georgia in July, 2002.

Member of the National committee for the Arts

Member of the International Taskforce and the Arts Committee for Buckhead Cascade Chapter of the Links

Member and 2005-2006 Co-Chair of 5th Annual Gala for the Buckhead Cascade Chapter of the Links.

Member of the Finance Committee for the City of Atlanta Celebration of Older Citizens Month.

Past

Founding member, Co-Chair for 3 years, and Chairman for 3 years of the Clark Atlanta University Guild

Member of the National Arts and Letters Commission for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Co-Chair for ten years and a leading fundraiser for the Ebony Fashion Fair, which is an event that raises funds for scholarships sponsored by the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Founding member and Vice-President of the Sophisticates, Atlanta Chapter

Member of the Steering Committee for the King Center’s “Celebrate a Difference” King Week Activities from 1985-1989

Superintendent for 10 years of the Union Baptist Church Sunday School

Director for 10 years of the Union Baptist Vacation Bible School

Sunday school teacher for six years

Board Positions

Current

Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees

Atlanta Area Technical College

Board of Advisors – Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University

Board of WestCare

Past

Governor’s Reform Commission for Education

Georgia Human Relations Commission

Board of the Georgia Council of Abused Children

The Apex Museum

The Fernbank Museum

Board of Directors for the Rabun Gap – Nacoochee School

Board of the Starlight Foundation

Literacy Action, Inc.

Honors

Recognized as the Atlanta Area II Teacher of the Year in 1976 and 1994

Received Southern Bell Black History Calendar Teacher of Excellence 1993

Received Georgia Teachers Incentive Award for Intermediate Grades in 1993

Honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Women as a Faithful Servant in 1993

Received first MASKED Award (Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams) in 1989

Recognized as an Outstanding United Negro College Fund Volunteer in 1989

In 2010 received the Lady Who Leads Award

2010 Honored at the Legacy Ladies Tea

Continue reading

2017 April Mag

2017 April Mag.

Paula Diane Cunningham’s dedication to education, small business and community have been recognized by many organizations.


Paula D. Cunningham is the State Director for AARP Michigan which has more than 1.4 million members.  AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million.  They work to lead positive change and deliver value to all people 50+.

Prior to joining AARP Michigan, Paula D. Cunningham was the CEO of Capitol National Bank (CNB).  CNB has been in the community for more than 32 years.  She was the only African American woman in the country to be president of a majority owned bank.

Prior to joining  Capitol National Bank  Ms. Cunningham was the first woman  to be President of Lansing Community College. Lansing Community College has more than 30,000 students and is the State’s 3rd largest community college.  As President of Lansing Community College, she successfully led a community millage campaign to generate an additional $9 million for the institution into perpetuity. Under her leadership, the college implemented a strategic planning process that resulted in five new buildings. The main building on the LCC campus was officially named thePaula D. Cunningham Administration Buildingin 2006. This is the only building named after a woman in downtown Lansing.

President Cunningham has also been a small business owner.  She and her husband owned and managed an 18-hole golf course and she was the founder of an entrepreneurial academy for young people.

Paula Diane Cunningham’s dedication to education, small business and community have been recognized by many organizations.  She has received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, including being inducted in 2013 to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, a former recipient of the prestigious Athena Award, featured in Ebony Magazine as a “Woman on the Move” and featured in Bridge Magazine as a woman who “Breaks Barriers”, as well as other featured articles.

Paula serves on numerous boards including, but not limited to Davenport University, McLaren Health Systems – Lansing, and she was the first African American female to Chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.  

A favorite quote:   “Only as high as you reach can you grow.  Only as far as you seek can you go.  Only as deep as you look can you see.  Only as much as you dream can you be.”  Karen Ravn

A favorite quote:   “Only as high as you reach can you grow.  Only as far as you seek can you go.  Only as deep as you look can you see.  Only as much as you dream can you be.”  Karen Ravn

Continue reading

2017 March Mag

2017 March Mag.

Noni Ellison Southall, Brilliant Legal Mind


Ms. Noni Ellison Southall joined W.W. Grainger, Inc. in February 2015 as Associate General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary and is responsible for leading the support on finance, treasury and governance issues worldwide. 

Prior to Grainger Ms. Southall was with Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., a Time Warner Company in roles of increasing responsibility, often handling licensing and other intellectual property matters.  She was the head of Turner’s music division and a lead marketing attorney for Turner’s entertainment networks. She also completed a long term assignment in Turner’s Hong Kong office, negotiating international joint venture and licensing deals. In 2014, she delivered the keynote address at the 25th Golden Melody Awards (Chinese equivalent to the Grammy Awards) in Taipei, Taiwan.

Throughout her twenty year legal career, Ms. Southall has been a catalyst in the workplace. She has distinguished herself as an innovative, strategic, thought-provoking leader who has influenced the lives of employees, young professionals and students and has spearheaded efforts to create a more productive and cohesive work environment. She currently serves as a mentor for the University of Chicago’s Doctoroff Business Leadership Program and was previously a T. Howard Foundation mentor and a Turner Women Today Circle mentor. She was a founding member of the Working Parents at Turner and Black Professionals at Turner business resource groups and also represented Turner’s Legal Department on the Supplier Diversity Council Taskforce.

Additionally, she is a dynamic and sought after speaker, often serving on panels at colleges, law schools and conferences around the nation, including the University of Chicago Women’s Leadership Summit, National Summit of Black Women Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, Savoy Women’s Leadership conference, Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Creating Pathways to Diversity conference and Inside Counsel’s Women, Influence and Power in Law conference. In March 2017, Ms. Southall will serve as a featured speaker for the Chicago Network’s Launch Pad for Women Senior Leaders Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Before Turner, Ms. Southall worked at Scripps Networks, Inc. and with two prominent national law firms.  During this time, she worked on a variety of distribution, finance, bankruptcy, corporate governance and business formation issues. 

As a respected leader in the community, Ms. Southall is actively engaged with numerous organizations that span diverse interests. Currently, she serves as a member of the University of Chicago Law School’s visiting committee and serves on the board of the Atlanta Speech School and the Fulton County Public Access Channel.  She recently completed a five year term as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the nation’s ninth largest transit system ($6 billion net worth), and she is the immediate past two-term Chair of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. Ms. Southall has previously served on other local and national boards to include the Emory University Board of Visitors, the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA). She is a founding member of Black Women in Entertainment Law and is an active member of The Links, Incorporated (the Dogwood City Chapter), Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (Atlanta-Buckhead Chapter) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Atlanta Alumnae Chapter). Ms. Southall is a member of UNCF’s “A Mind Is” Giving Society and previously served as Vice Chair of the Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball. She has also served as a member of the National Black Arts Festival Gala Steering Committee and a member of the Host Committee for the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Dinner.

Ms. Southall’s contributions to the legal and civic communities have not gone unnoticed. She received the Georgia Diversity Council’s “2016 Multicultural Leadership Award” and was featured in Inside Counselmagazine as a member of the 2015 and 2014 R-3 100 list of women poised for prominence, Diversity & The Barmagazine as a “2013 MCCA Rising Star in the Legal Profession” and The Atlantanmagazine as a “Woman of Influence and Power”. Ms. Southall was selected by the YWCA as a “2012 YWCA Woman of Achievement” and was named as the City of Atlanta’s “2012 Powerpreneur in Media and Entertainment”. The Atlanta Business League selected her as a “Woman of Influence” and the National Bar Association named her as one of the “2011 Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40”. Ms. Southall is a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2012, the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014 and is a recipient of the State Bar of Georgia’s 2012 Justice Benham Service to the Community Award, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney’s 2014 Founders Award, the National Council of Negro Women’s Tribute to Black Women Community Leaders Award, the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.’s 2013 Torch Award, the Trumpet Awards Foundation’s High Heels in High Places Award, the Virginia Union Alumni Association’s 2014 Service to the Community Award and has been featured in Who’s Who in Atlanta. Additionally, she was selected by AIPAC as a 2013 American Israeli Education Foundation Fellow.

Ms. Southall simultaneously earned a Doctor of Law, Master of Business Administration and Certification in Health Administration and Policy, from the University of Chicago, where she was taught by President Barack Obama and United States Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan. She graduated magna cum laudefrom Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice and Communications. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar, the State Bar of Georgia and the Illinois Bar.

Ms. Southall, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana is the proud mother of two children, Kenneth, Jr. and Kourtney Rose. Ms. Southall recently served as the keynote speaker for Lafayette, Louisiana’s 11th Annual African-American History Gala, where she was presented with a key to the City of Lafayette and received the Louisiana House of Representatives’ expression of commendation.

{Read More}

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/alumni/accoladesandachievements/noni-ellison-southall-97-so-much-her-plate-it%E2%80%99s-become-platter

{Read More}

http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/25/my-view-when-the-president-was-my-professor/

{Read More}

http://www.blackgivesback.com/2010/06/monique-honored-at-atlanta-urban.html#.WLV2Ljvys2w

Continue reading

2017 February Mag

2017 February Mag.

Cheryl Lawry, Black Excellence


http://www.loweryinstitute.org/

Cheryl Lowery is Executive Director of the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights. A product of the 5th district and Atlanta Public Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, Cheryl graduated from the University of Maryland, with a B.S. in Business Management and concentration in Marketing. Cheryl is a servant leader. She is also a proud and active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated. The Atlanta Business League has recognized her in their “100 Most Influential Women of Atlanta”.

At the Lowery Institute, Cheryl and her incredible team connect high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students with elementary, middle and high school students in Atlanta’s historic Westside community. These Change Agents, from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, and Candler School of Theology, focus on principles of non-violence of the Institute coupled with conflict management, alternative dispute resolution and peer mediation training. CA’s encourage the younger students through daily interactions to de-escalate potential conflict. The curriculum is structured to reinforce topics including: respect/disrespect, use of violence, anger management, emotional intelligence, positive relationships, trust building, discipline, active listening, friendship, acknowledgment, teamwork and problem-solving. Change Agents also manage Mimi’s Pantry, a campus pantry which currently serves 100 full-time students from the AUC weekly who do not have full meal plans. Translating the legacies of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery to a new generation is a full time calling. Cheryl loves traveling across the United States and abroad in her free time.

Continue reading

2017 Tucson Gem Show

2017 Tucson Gem Show

Our highlight of the year!


Cerese and Deborah have been attending the Tucson Gem Show since 2011. This is surely the highlight of our year. Going to Tucson is the most fun experience to purchase gemstones. It is surely unlike any other buying experience. Here is a bit of history about the Tucson Gem Show….

It all started pretty small, back in 1955, with a free exhibition put together at a local school. In later years the event that started it all moved to a spot in Tucson’s Rodeo Grounds. Over the years, additional shows sprung up and collectively grew into the largest and most amazing display of rocks, fossils, gems, minerals, jewelry, beads, dinosaurs, and meteorites of all time. Conservative estimates put the annual number of show visitors at 50,000, and that’s a big influx for a city with an urban population of about 550,000. Today, the Tucson shows consist of about 45 separate events running concurrently in hotels, parking lots, and tents from the end of January through the middle of February. Admission free except for one show at the Tucson Convention Center, and most are open to the public, though a few are wholesale only and ID may be required for entrance.

Continue reading

2017 January Mag

2017 January Mag.

“Pat” Russell-McCloud, Esq. is Outspoken!


Pat Russell-McCloud in a stylish blue suit aitting at a tableHer work is from the podium as she takes her place on the global stage.  Whether in the United States, the Motherland of Africa, Europe or the Caribbean, wherever Pat Russell McCloud, Esq. is located, it is very likely that she is engaging an audience on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion, STEM- related careers, women’s issues, work/life balance, and civic engagement.  Her message is urgent, passionate and relevant today.  She is widely known for her animated oratorical style of speaking which educates, invigorates and entertains her audiences.  Her delineation of issues invites the listener to simply, get involved, and commit to making a positive difference.

Highly conscience of image, she appreciates the classy combination of clothes and accessories, whether business or casual, that when appropriately coordinated, result in the desired statement that has become her signature.  Significantly, her bold and courageous oral expression is highly complimented by the couture designs of Cerese D, custom jewelry designer, Atlanta, GA.  The designs of this artist, feature the unexpected findings, including, semi-precious stones, fresh-water pearls, crosses, and so much more, as her jewelry pieces become the perfect companion for each outfit.

As the spouse of Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr., the presiding Bishop of the 14th Episcopal District, 2016-2020, (West Africa – Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote’ D’ Ivoire, and Togo-Benin) of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, she has the significant role and responsibility of serving as Supervisor, and plans and executes programmatic engagement for women and their families throughout the District.   Previously, she has served in this capacity in Southeast Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique; and South Africa, living in Cape Town, and supervising in the Cape, Angola, Namibia, Kalahari and Queenstown.

Pat Russell-McCloud sitting at conference tableIn September of 2016, Russell-McCloud was notified that she had been selected as a member of the prestigious International Women’s Forum (IWF), which is intentional in building leadership across careers, continents and cultures for its over 6,500 members who reside in 35 countries around the world.  Global leadership is not foreign to Pat as she is the 11th International President of The Links, Inc., a 14,000 member premier African American women’s organization who are linked in friendship and service.  She is an active member of the Dogwood City Chapter (GA).

Patricia Russell McCloud at podium making a speechAs a telecommunications attorney, she is dedicated to STEM initiatives as she seeks to close the disparity of African American females represented in the careers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  For the past two years, as founder/strategist for the STEM Scholarship for African American Women at her alma mater, Kentucky State University.  There have been thirteen (13) scholarships awarded at this time.

The respite of the holiday season is a favorite time of the year for Russell-McCloud, in that she travels approximately 180,000 miles a year, annually.  She returns to the speaking circuit in January with the popular mantra, “…have speech, will travel.”

Russell-McCloud, is a best-selling author,  “My Journal:  Myself, Inside Out”, and “A is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living”.  Her successes are measurable; and, her speeches memorable; and, her commitment to “stand and deliver”, unforgettable.

Russell-Mccloud is a ”visual speaking experience.” With more than 30 years on the lecture circuit, she is categorized as being one of the nation’s best. Her speaking style is engaging, highly substantive, well researched, pertinent to her audiences, and entertaining, whether for the public or private sector. She is distinguished and distinct, her style is classified as “big, broad and animated which leaves her audiences anxious for more.

With each presentation, she demonstrates, yet again, that she is a master at her craft as she artfully seeks to master the spoken word. In sum, this is a “speaker’s speaker” who specializes in ascertaining the organization’s culture, interests and challenges. The client, in turn, receives the value add of the experience and exposure to this qualitatively measurable speaker who is, in a word, unforgettable.

Here is a sample of her signature style:

Continue reading