Page 1










The CEC is committed to community. We believe that in every community there are qualified candidates that would love to be a part of the on-going developments in their communities. We are constantly looking for potential candidates currently in the construction industry or have a desire to be in the industry. If you are looking to join our network, please complete the Online Application.




Phone: 312-989-3903 Fax: 312-989-3910 Address: 2532 W. Warren Blvd Chicago, IL 60612

CONTENTS Completed Projects


Community Spotlight


6 Mobile Apps to Help You Put Money in Your Pocket


B/ACE Out & About


Behind the Scene


Faces of B/ACE

22 Editor’s Picks 8 Xbox VS PS4 10 Tax Season Tips for the Entrepreneur 12 Project on the Horizon 14 Style Station 16 B/ACE Boss 18 Marathon Motivation 20 Construction Workers and Mental Health 30 Do Men Need Pampering? 34 Massage Therapy 35 The Perfect Stay-cation 36 Employee Benefits for Small Business 40 Spring Makeup by Catherine 42 Subcontractor You Should Know 50 Women Writers Who Inspire Us 52 40 Things to Give Up for Lent 54 3

Letter from

the Editor Rachel Ivy | Editor-In-Cheif

me keep everything in perspective and encouraged me through the rain. I fell in love with Jen’s book, “You’re a Badass!” I called, texted, and emailed all my friends and told them it was a must read. My daughter said I sound like Kirk Franklin, directing a song because I had a comment after every nugget of thought provoking inspiration. The underlining theme from the book, which I want to share with my B/ACE family is “YOU decide how YOU want your life to be and go get it!”


he the old saying that “April Showers bring May Flowers”….can ring true in life as well. Sometimes when life appears to be raining cats and dogs and you just can’t seem to get a break, just know that the sunshine is coming! And coming with the sunshine is lush green grass, beautiful buds on the trees and an assortment of brightly colored tulips. This past quarter, my audio books were a part of my rain gear. Michelle O’Bama’s, “Becoming,” and Jen Sincero, “You’re a Badass” help


This month we have included a ton of articles to help you be the best you and go get it! A few of our favorite audio books, some great staycations, and even an article on mental health. In addition, the Faces of B/ACE represent two of our clients that are constantly striving to be the best versions of themselves. While it has rained a lot, I am so proud of Lamonica’s and Chris’s sunshine. She was accepted into the Ironworkers Apprenticeship program and Chris a Union Laborer! Lamonica, says she shows up early and everyday with a spirit of gratitude. Take a look at her story and you’ll see why. So as the weather begins to break and the days start to get longer commit to finding a little sunshine in your day. Take time to water your talents and watch how you begin to bloom……

2019 Spring Issue 5

Our Team

“Spring happens to be my second favorite season due to the continuous smell of rain, my ritual of purchasing new “flats” to match every outfit, the blossoming of flowers, and the perfect mix of not too hot and not too cold weather”.

“To me springtime represents change. Letting go of the old and looking forward to a world of new beginnings and opportunities! It also serves as a reminder that I will be turning the big 40 this March”.


“Every season brings its own beauty but spring is by far the most beautiful of them all; the blooming of flowers and the sunlight”...

“I am excited about the heat-waves that are on the way”.


Lemon Lime Vibes

Editor’s Picks

Juliette Sleeve Sweater

Yellow Luggage

Yellow Clutch… This subtle purse will look amazing with a cute yellow dress



Vans Old Skool sneakers in canvas

Samsung Gear Sport Smart Watch with Rubber Strap Happy Socks…. Wearing a pair of these just makes you feel happy and are perfect for the spring

Monogram Shirts… Nothing says style like a monogram shirt. Just remember to google the rules on monogramming. Who knew there were rules!

Scentsationa!!! Nothing captures the essence of spring like a wonderful floral scent. Try Scentbird’s monthly subscription option.


Victor Akpan

Team Xbox or Team PS4? The continuous gaming rival that is ever changing with the advances of technology and competitive price points. You have to ask yourself if you want cutting edge performance, or affordability? No matter what your preference, before you bust out your credit card, here are a few things to consider:


Xbox One

VS. PS4 Pricing

Historically, The PS4 has been a $100 higher than the Xbox, however the price diffrences have become minimal. The PS4 Slim’s retail price is $300. This system includes a 1TB hard drive, which is a nice upgrade from the standard 500GB in the original PS4 model. One of the best price advantages of the PS4 Slim is that many retailers sell bundles at the same price of $300, that includes the gaming console and video game. Popular bundles are Call of Duty, WWII and Star Wars Battlefront II. The Xbox One S, which features 4K Blu-ray support and 4K video streaming, usually costs $279 for a 500GB system and $350 for a 1TB model. There are also popular bundles for the Xbox One S that are retailed at $250 and include the system and popular games such as Fortnite and NBA 2K19.

Graphics Comparison

The Xbox One X in comparison to the PS4 Pro has the edge in both resolution and texture detail.

What’s in the box?

Both systems come with a controller, trial offers and an HDMI cable. However, only the PS4 comes with a headset.


Both consoles support the use of external hard drives. However, you can’t upgrade Xbox One’s internal hard drive, but you can upgrade the internal hard drive on the PS4. The Xbox One has more ports on its rear opposed to the two ports that the PS4 Slim has in its rear.


Both systems have 8GB of RAM overall. But they allocate that memory to developers differently.


The PS4 Slim is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One S and has the ability to display games at a higher resolution.

Which will you choose? Team Xbox One or Team PS4? We hope that our pro’s and con’s help you in your gaming choice. Until then, #gameon. 11

Tax Season Tips for the Entrepreneur By Jeff Badu, CPA

Tax season can be a very frustrating time of the year for entrepreneurs. From having to get your documents organized to filing a tax return, running a successful business can be a very daunting task. Rest assured that this will only serve to benefit you and ensure that your business remains compliant with tax laws and regulations. The purpose of this article is to provide entrepreneurs with some tips and tricks on how to get prepared for tax season as well as how to make the most out of your money.

Getting Organized

Organization is very key in the tax preparation process. This is probably the most important step. As a tax preparer, some business owners’ hand me a shoe box filled with receipts. Some hand me an Excel file with a list of transactions throughout the year. Although it’s good to get in the habit of keeping receipts and keeping track of transactions, this is not the most efficient method of organization. An Excel file is certainly a great place to start, but as a business owner, you simply don’t have the time to manually enter a transaction into Excel every time it happens. Meet QuickBooks. QuickBooks is an accounting software that will automate your business as it relates to recordkeeping. The way QuickBooks works is that you first purchase a subscription (or you can start with the free trial), select the type of organization you have, and you’re now able to


automatically record transactions. The way to do this is that you enter in your banking information and every transaction that has occurred in the bank account will auto-populate in QuickBooks. You then get to choose whether these transactions were business-related or personal. Most business owners start off with a personal bank account so there may be a bit of work starting out. As time goes on, you should have a business checking, savings, and/or credit card account that only records business transactions. Once you categorize a transaction, every time you swipe the card, it automatically gets recorded in that category. Once a week or a month, you go into QuickBooks and ensure that your transactions are being recorded correctly. Your financial reporting has now become automated at a very low cost. QuickBooks can also automatically track your miles through the QuickBooks Self-Employed app, which prevents you from manually having to track your miles.

Tax Preparation

Once you’ve organized your books, it’s time to prepare the tax return. It’s very important to know the type of entity you have and whether it’s passthrough or not. A pass-through entity means that the business transactions/tax return will ultimately end up on your personal tax return (Form 1040). A sole proprietorship (or a single-member LLC taxed as a sole proprietorship), partnership (or a multi-member LLC taxed as a partnership), and an S corporation all have pass-through taxation. A sole proprietorship files a Schedule C, which ultimately ends up on your personal tax return. A partnership files a Form 1065, which generates K-1’s to be sent to the partners and ultimately ends up on their personal tax return. An S corporation files a Form 1120S, which generates K-1’s to be sent to the shareholders and ultimately ends up on their personal tax return. The only entity that pass-through taxation does not apply to is a C corporation (or an LLC taxed as a C corporation). A C corporation files a Form 1120. Once you’ve figured out the type of entity you have, you then proceed to filing the tax return. You can go through all this headache yourself or you can seek the help of a qualified tax professional. If you are brave enough to prepare your own taxes, you can use commercial software such as H&R Block,

TurboTax, etc. Seeking the help of a tax professional is certainly the best way to go as they will (should) guide you through the process and ensure that you complete an accurate tax return.

Tax Planning

Knowing that you’re compliant with the IRS is a great thing, but strategically developing advantageous tax planning strategies is even better. Tax planning simply helps you minimize your tax liability, which ultimately puts more money in your pockets. For example, an entity might be classified as a C corporation right now and switching to an S corporation might make the most sense to avoid double taxation. Double taxation means that the entity is taxed not only on the money it makes, but there’s another tax when the entity makes distributions to shareholders.

Tax Saving Strategies

The tax system is in favor of the business owner and there are many tax breaks for entrepreneurs. One of them includes the ability to write off any “business expenses” that your business incurs. This is a very broad term and has a ton of room for interpretation. For example, if you buy a brand-new car to be “used in your business,” you can write off the entire cost of the car in the first year along with the miles you put on it. If you have dinner with someone and you “discuss business,” you can write off the cost of the meal. You can write off your health insurance premiums, home office you used, retirement contributions, and a million other things. There’s a ton of write-offs out there for business owners and either knowing them or knowing someone that does will serve to make the most out of your money. Being an entrepreneur is exciting, but does come with certain tasks that most of us view as tedious. Resources such as QuickBooks and tax professionals/accountants will serve to ensure that your business is intact and you can focus on the things that you love doing the most, which includes running your core business. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Jeff Badu is a serial entrepreneur and a wealth multiplier. He’s a Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the founder of Badu Enterprises, LLC, which is a multinational conglomerate that owns several key companies. His marquee company is Badu Tax Services, LLC, which is a CPA firm that specializes in tax preparation, tax planning, and tax representation for individuals and businesses. Another key company is Badu Investments, LLC which is primarily a real estate investment company that acquires residential and commercial real estate properties in areas such as the South Side of Chicago in efforts to restore traditionally underserved areas. What sparked his interest in launching these companies is his passion for helping people minimize their tax liability and ultimately multiplying their money by investing it and building multi-generational wealth. He’s extremely passionate about financial literacy and currently hosts various financial literacy workshops throughout the country. He’s a public speaker and his overall mission in life is very simple: to make a lasting positive impact in as many lives as possible, especially when it comes to their finances. and www.badutaxservices. com.


Project on the Horizon

730 MILWUAKEE Tandem has engaged in the redevelopment of 734 N Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The project consists of a 23-story mixed-use tower consisting of 211 rental apartments, structured parking for 102 cars, and ground floor retail. The redevelopment also includes the renovation of the existing timber loft office.






B/ACE Boss is a celebration of Minorities/Community Leaders, and Entrepreneurs making a difference in the construction industry. This quarter spotlight shines brightly on Dr. Suzet M. McKinney.

Dr. Suzet M. McKinney currently serves as CEO/Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District (IMD). She is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversaw the emergency preparedness efforts for the Department and coordinated those efforts within the larger spectrum of the City of Chicago’s Public Safety activities, in addition to overseeing the Department’s Division of Women and Children’s Health. Dr. McKinney holds her Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, with a focus on preparedness planning, leadership and workforce development. She received her B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University where she was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow. She received her Master of Public Health degree (Health Care Administration) and certificates in Managed Care and Health Care Administration from Benedictine University. In academia, Dr. McKinney serves as an Instructor in the Division of Translational Policy and Leadership Development at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. She also serves as a mentor for the Biomedical Sciences Careers Project, also at Harvard University.

Dr. Suzet M. McKinney 18

B/ACE BOSS 1. What is your favorite thing about Spring? My favorite thing about Spring is that it is finally warm enough in Chicago to move throughout the city with my feet as my vehicle and my heart as my engine. Health and wellness is not only at the core of my profession, but is the cornerstone of my personal passion. I love to work out and be active, and there is nothing like breathing in the crisp morning air and watching Chicago’s flowers and trees blossom during a morning run. 2. What is the most exciting thing you have experienced working with the Illinois Medical District? While every day at the IMD is exciting in new ways, the most exciting thing I’ve experienced working with the Illinois Medical District is working on the Gateway development. The Gateway development is an innovative 10-acre mixed-use development that will bring a range of amenities and facilities to the Illinois Medical District and Chicago’s greater West Side. The Gateway project is pivotal for the greater West Side community, and it has been thrilling working to bring another economic catalyst to the IMD and West Side. 3. If you could do anything in the world other than what you are doing right now, what would it be? If I could do anything in the world other than what I am doing right now, I would be a medical doctor. Medicine is something I’ve been passionate about since I was a little girl. I first began college with every intention of becoming a neonatologist. 9/11 changed so much for this country and its citizens, including myself. This watershed moment awakened my passion for emergency public health. Working at the IMD allows me to have a hand in both the medical world and the public health world, giving me the best of both worlds. 4. If your life was a movie, what would the title be? What celebrity would play your character?

and it would chronicle what it takes to run a global medical innovation hub in the incredible city of Chicago. It would be a comedy, of course. We have a great time at the IMD, and I love a good comedy, and I would want a movie about my life to reflect the smiles and laughter that fill both my personal and professional lives. I would love for Kerry Washington to play me in a movie about my life. She is such an impressive, versatile actress who perfectly captures the nuances of what it means to be a confident, ambitious, multifaceted woman in all of the characters she plays. Every time I see her on the screen, I see glimpses of myself. 5. What is the best advice you have ever received and what is the best advice you have given? The best advice I’ve ever received is “never stop being curious.” Some of the world’s toughest problems have been solved through pure curiosity and coincidental discovery. Exploring new ideas has always proven beneficial to me and has endowed me with critical knowledge I may have never acquired if I stopped being curious. The best advice I’ve ever given is “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I am constantly inspired by those I surround myself by, and that is completely intentional. 6. Two fun facts about yourself. Well, I don’t think it’s much of a surprise to anyone that I am endlessly curious about all things that I haven’t yet had a chance to do. I’ve ran a number of races over the last few years but in 2019, I plan to run the Chicago Marathon. The marathon is the only distance I haven’t ran and I’m curious to see the results. Second, I’ve always been a math and science geek, but I also have a passion for the arts. I’ve always wanted to sing, dance and model. I’ve recently been able to accomplish both the singing and the modeling. You can catch my next performance on May 19, 2019 at the Black Ensemble Theater.

If my life was a movie, it would be called The District, 19

Marathon Motivation If you have never participated in a marathon, you are probably convinced like I was that it’s not for you. I thought marathoners had to have exceptional athleticism, to run mile after mile, non-stop for hours. I also thought marathoners were former young athletes. Neither is true. Most marathoners do not run non-stop and many have no prior training in athletics. certified reaction cycle instructor and marathon coach. I train adults regardless of age, gender or fitness level. I also increase awareness about how marathon training manages stress, lowers the risk of chronic diseases and slows down aging.

I discovered this in 2005, when I joined a marathon team comprised of 50 men and women that was created and led by a well-known bodybuilder, personal trainer and figure competitor in Chicago. Her goal was to enlighten African Americans about the health benefits of training while enjoying a life changing experience, competing in marathons all over the country and the world. Today, I am continuing my former trainer’s tradition as a nationally

The method I use is run/walk interval training. This technique is the safest way to increase distance and endurance, while minimizing the risk of personal injury. Beginners may walk more than they run or walk throughout an entire race event. Although runners may move faster, their individual pace will vary. • Training follows a protocol that begins with a warmup to increase blood flow and loosen joints. After training, a cool down of low intensity body movements follows. The length of the training schedule depends on distance goals. For example, participants train longer for a full marathon (26.2 miles) than a 10K race (6.2 miles). 20

• Sufficient rest is strongly advised because rest is how the body responds to training after a rigorous challenge. The body only gets stronger while resting. Insufficient rest, especially sleep, can actually sabotage training efforts. • Staying hydrated and proper nutrition is also important, to restore and rebuild the body. Fitness apparel like footwear, socks, high performance outerwear and underwear help to keep marathoners comfortable. •Training requires motivation and discipline. One source of motivation is the body’s release of endorphins from training. Endorphins are neurotransmitters found in the brain. It is the body’s natural morphine that gives you a euphoric feeling or “runner’s high”. It eases mental anxiety, stress and depression and gives runners a pleasurable experience.

Marathon Motivation

•Music also makes training enjoyable because it elevates your mood, eliminates noise and detracts attention away from how much you are exerting yourself.

•Marathon training also promotes weight management. Training increases muscle mass and eliminates body fat used for fuel. Since muscles weigh more than fat, you could weigh the same on a scale but look much leaner in appearance. Marathon training is an easy and efficient way to support the body’s internal functioning, almost any time without restrictions. As a convenient way to increase physical activity, it allows the body to become strong and more flexible without being bound by equipment, classes or a gym membership. Mikyra Toney-James, Ed.D, has been a strong voice for ending disparities in both academic achievement and physical fitness among African

Americans, for almost two decades. She is an Illinois state certified teacher and administrator and a nationally certified

fitness instructor. She teaches reaction cycling, marathon training and has competed in almost 30 marathons.

Dr. Toney-James has served on national boards, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America. A Chicago native, she is married with two children.

Photo: Jordan Williams


FACESOfB/ACE Each quarter the faces of B/ACE aims to shine a spotlight on our CEC ( Communities Empowered Through Construction) candidates that are out in the field, showing up to work on time, drug free and making their community proud.




Christopher Turner LOCAL 6 UNION LABORER


My name is Christopher Turner, I grew up on the Near North Side in Evergreen Terrace Apartments, right next to Marshall Field Gardens. I’m soon to be a husband to a beautiful woman named Willena,who is the love of my life. I’m a father of four kids, two girls and two boys. I have been in the CEC program since 2016 and I’m proud of it.They have been a big help in my life. CEC help me learn that anybody can make it despite their past. It’s about your push and drive. Thank you CEC!


Fun Facts: I love to play and watch sports, I work hard during the weekdays and save Saturdays for my kids.




LaMonica LOCAL 1 IRONWORKER APPRENTICE Graduate of Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) TOP class. I was accepted into two trades, Carpenters (general) and Ironworkers. My first acceptance letter was from the Local 1 Ironworkers but I had to wait almost three years from my acceptance date of October 2015. In the meantime, I needed money to support my son. The Local 1 Carpenters Union came knocking, and I became a proud Local 1 Carpenter Apprentice for 2 years. CEC worked side-by-side with me and landed me my first carpenters’ job with Ashlar Construction in August of 2016. In addition, I continued to follow up with the Local 1 Ironworkers regarding a prospective start date into the apprenticeship. I received a letter in July of

2018 stating my number was finally called. I left Local 1 Carpenters and became a proud Local 1 Ironworker Apprentice. I am currently a second-period apprentice and absolutely love being an Ironworker. At times, it can be tough being a woman and most often the only woman on the job. However, Ironworkers are tough, funny and work in teams. I fit right in! Throughout my journey CEC has accompanied me along the way. They call to make sure all my information is updated as well as if I am working. Besides professionalism, CEC has personally influenced me to stay on this path. I will always show love to CEC and Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) for being my mentors - for free. They are here and care. I encourage anyone to start


here. This is family! Thank you CEC! Fun Facts About LaMonica: I am adventurous, love to eat and like to try new things. While I am normally in work boots in jeans, I actually enjoy getting dolled up. What is your favorite thing about Spring? Since the weather has been very cold, I have had to buy special clothing and attire to keep warm while working outside in the freezing cold. Once spring arrives, which by the way is my favorite season, I can simply shed some of the thick and heavy clothing. I also love spring because I also get to celebrate my birthday!



Spring has arrived... which is my favorite season



Construction Workers and Mental Health In 2016, over 45 million American adults had a mental health conditions. More Americans are insured but not utilizing mental health services. But, why? stigma, lack of resources and facilities, or personal beliefs. This may be alarming to some and not others, but I should mention that there are consequences to unmanaged mental health issues. The issues include co-occurring disorders, homelessness, and the potential for incarceration. Statistically, there has been a decrease in mental health and substance use problems however, there has been an increase in suicide and major depression. In 2014, the construction industry had over 11 million workers.This industry has been known to face several occupational health challenges and when compared to other industries include a higher incidence of work-related injury, substance abuse, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. The consequences of injuries in construction are often severe, and in 2010 the construction industry had the highest number of fatal occupational injuries of all United States industries. Another pressing issue that is often not considered or discussed is the risk of increased suicide. In 2015, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Within the United States, suicide rates have risen 30% and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly onethird of all suicides in 2012 were workers in the construction and extraction/removal


occupational group. In an occupation where safety is considered a priority over mental health or psychological needs, many subtle issues are likely to go unnoticed or untreated. When looking at the mental health aspect of these workers, in an industry where being “tough� is expected. This high demand career may be rewarding but lacks the resources to help aid in physical and mental health needs. With an increase in mortality rates of construction workers, it is important to help individuals understand the demands that may lead to negative thoughts.

Some of the factors that lead to increased suicidal thoughts include: • A high-pressure environment of schedule, budget, and quality performance with Potential for failure and resulting shame and humiliation • Exposure to physical strain or psychological trauma • Prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse • Reassignment and travel to remote projects creating separation from family and friends • Seasonal employment leading to a fragmented community and isolation • Chronic pain from years of hard, physical, and manual labor • An industry with the associated highest incidence of prescription opioid use • Sleep disruption due to construction work schedules and rotating shifts • Lack of access to mental health care • Access to lethal means (e.g., firearms and harsh chemicals) • A culture of high toxic masculinity, fearlessness, stoicism, and recklessness • Low utilization of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) (Pine Rest, 2019) I have witnessed mental health challenges in all types of people. The biggest lesson learned is that mental health has no preferences, it does not discriminate. For the past 12 years, I have worked in the field of Addictions and Mental health. When I think about the concerns and issues that individuals are dealing with usually it involves some form of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or even PTSD. Despite the availability of insurance and EAP access, as a coordinator, people are not asking for

help. Clearly, we do not always know what is going on in someone’s life and the painted picture on the outside does not always match what they are dealing with internally. Therefore, having a supportive network is a benefit for an individual who may be suffering in silence or isolation. In addition, I believe it is the responsibility of the person-in-charge at these workplaces to recognize some of the changes in staff and make appropriate suggestions to prevent increased dangers or risk. Mental health and substance use disorders go hand-in-hand and need to be treated concurrently. Although, stigma exist in mental health encouraging others to seek professional help is crucial when noticeable changes are taking place. Unmanaged issues have the potential to lead to accidental and intentional overdoses. The over use of prescription medication is not uncommon these days as we are in an opioid epidemic. However, we must suggest alternatives. PTSD is also common due to trauma and various accidents that result in fatalities at the worksites. Trauma occurs in everyone’s lives and impacts them differently usually leaving open wounds and scars that perpetuate greater mental health concerns. Counselors should be made available to these workers both on or off-site to assist with any grief or discomfort. All these varying disorders can be controlled with the help of therapy and or medication, but the key factor is taking the first step and seeking professional help.


Hotline Numbers

If you or someone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, both you and they are not alone. There are others in our industry who can relate, and more importantly, others who can help. For urgent assistance, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Kenyata M. Fletcher is currently a Coordinator in Addictions who has 12 years of experience working with adults in various settings including private practice, residential, outpatient, and Medicated assisted treatment settings. She obtained her undergrad at Chicago State (psychology and addiction studies), graduate degrees from Concordia University (counseling) and Walden (Human Services). She is also a PhD candidate at Walden University (Human and Social Services –public health specialization). Her current research is examining barriers to HIVcare in rural areas from a provider perspective. In her spare times she loves writing, music, spending time with friends, and helping others (volunteering). Kenyata is passionate about the counseling field and she lives by the motto “Be stronger than the storm”. Kenyata M. Fletcher, MA, MSc, CRADC, PhD Candidate Contributions from the following resources 1.Jacobsen, H. B., Caban-Martinez, A., Onyebeke, L. C., Sorensen, G., Dennerlein, J. T., & Reme, S. E. (2013). Construction workers struggle with a high prevalence of mental distress, and this is associated with their pain and injuries. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 55(10), 1197-204. 2. Mental Health America. (2018). The state of mental health in America. Retrieved from 3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). “Suicide”. Retrieved from statistics/suicide.shtml. 4. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. (2019). Construction Workers at Higher Risk for Suicide. Retrieved from https://www.pinerest. org/construction-workers-at-higher-risk-for-suicide-blog/


Creating with the Heart BUILD WITH THE MIND




Do I believe men need pampering services? Yes! Pampering for men is very important especially if they work 40-80hr weeks and taking care of a family. So many “Alpha” men stay away from pampering services thinking it’s more of a woman thing. Pampering themselves help reduces stress level. Men working intense jobs that requires repetitive actions can benefits greatly with massage therapy to help bring relief to muscle that’s being overworked. Also, adding pampering services to their life allows better immune responses to stress. So, they don’t get as anxious or fussy. You will get a better overall feel from the inside out when you take care of yourself which allows you to take care of everyone else. Men working long hours and stressful jobs I believe should take time out at less twice a month to pamper themselves.


My name is Tishana Brown . I’m a licensed Massage therapists and owner of Relax n’ Go Massage Suite and Mobile Spa. That’s currently servicing the entire Chicagoland area, South suburbs, and Northwest Indiana. I’ve been a trained therapist for 6yrs and licensed for 4yrs. My mission is to ensure that each of my clients leave feeling better than how they came in and educating on why massage therapy is important to their self-care. 34

MASSAGE THERAPY Massage Therapy is an overall preventative health care modality. Whether you implement it for sports training, injury prevention, ongoing stress management, or sleep deprivation, studies show Massage Therapy can and will help. Together, you and I can develop a treatment plan based on your needs with various techniques that begins with your confidentiality and consent.

Soulful Feels

Swedish Massage: This treatment is a therapeutic stress reliever where I improve blood circulation, address “fight or flight” responses to “rest and digest”. Clinical Massage(Deep Tissue): This treatment is a more vigorous process that addresses Chronic Conditions such as Carpal Tunnel, Sciatica Syndrome, Tendonitis, Slipped Disc, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome...etc). Sports Massage: This is an active treatment that prevent/recover sports injuries while performing Myofascial Release on neglected muscles and ligaments such as the IT Band, Piriformis, TFL, Iliopsoas, and the Glenohumeral area. Cervical Massage (neck region): This includes an Occipital Release treatment that addresses various muscles in the head, neck, pectorals, and shoulders. Photo: @mr_letthatdevelop

My name is Ashanti Dickerson. With my degree in Kinesiology and Fitness Specialist, I’ve chosen to pursue my passion as a Clinical Massage Therapist. In the past 5 +years my goal is to Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually heal my community while educating my peers about the essentials of their individual health through modalities of Clinical Massage. My practice is a personal and positive treatment to enhance and protect the Mind, Body, and Soul long term!

Please contact Soulful Feels at 6302967062 or email:



Publishing House Bed & Breakfast is ideal for a family getaway. Their amazing fireplace is perfect for snuggling, you can even beat the kids in a game of Uno, or enjoy a movie night in their wonderful theatre room.

With spring, the construction season begins! To unwind from the daily grind schedule a staycation! The west loop is booming with wonderful options and many of the facilities were built by community residents. Can you say winning!!!

With the warm weather approaching, the Ace Hotel and the Soho House have amazing rooftops available to their guest. Not only do the hotels have amazing amenities, including restaurants, spas, and swanky bars but the West loop neighborhood is bustling with things to do! So take a break, unwind and enjoy the city!

The Publising House

Housed in a 110 year old historic building, The Publishing House combines the warmth and hospitality of a bed and breakfast within the luxurious interiors of a boutique hotel. We elevate your traditional B&B experience by offering luxury rooms, highly personalized service and one of Chicago’s best breakfasts. Prepare to feel right at home. Captions and photos from


11 unique en-suite rooms of 250sq/ft to 450sq/ft – whether your heart desires a cozy corner for a quiet getaway or a suite for a romantic weekend, each of our rooms is quiet, private and beautifully appointed. The Publishing House encourages our guests to enjoy our expansive living and dining areas, no matter what time of day.



Ace Hotel Chicago lives in a stoic, industrial concrete and glass building in the West Loop, once home to an ItalianAmerican cheese making company and, before that, a pair of mysterious brothers. It’s walking distance to the Morgan Lake L Station and some of the best food in the city. Captions and photos from



Captions and photos from Soho House Chicago is located in the Allis Building, a historic five-story industrial warehouse in Chicago’s West Loop. The building was commissioned in 1907 by Charles Allis, an influential industrialist, art collector and philanthropist from Milwaukee, as the headquarters of the Chicago Belting Company. Close to the city’s Union Stock Yards, which supplied the raw animal hides for its products, the Allis Building is one of the city’s best examples of concrete industrial loft design.


Employee Benefits for Small Business


re you a small business owner or subcontractor? Do you care about the health and financial wellness of your employees? Do you offer or want to offer benefits to your employees? While businesses are not obligated to offer benefits such as medical, dental, life insurance or 401(k) plans to their employees, most care about the health and financial well being of their employees and want to do the right thing. However, if they do, they are immediately thrown into a world of complex laws and regulations known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, more commonly known as ERISA. ERISA sets the standards that a business must follow if it decides to offer benefits to its employees. As the old adage says; “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” may be true, but it will cost you! If you decide to offer employee benefit plans, you are required to provide certain legal documents such as plan documents and summary plan descriptions (SPDs) to all employees. Additionally, you must also satisfy stringent reporting obligations with the Internal Revenue Service to prove that you are complying with ERISA and other federal Internal Revenue Code requirements. These reporting requirements generally cause the most liability because many businesses often times fail to do so because they aren’t


aware that this reporting process is their responsibility. However, failure to comply to these laws could result in steep financial penalties and possible loss of substantial tax deductions to both the business and its employees. While working at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) as an Investigator, I witnessed firsthand the challenges and risk that small businesses face. The administration, compliance, and management of employee benefit plans can be time consuming and vastly complex with ever-changing laws and lengthy statutory requirements, which is quite cumbersome to small businesses. Small businesses battle with the lack of resources to keep up with the everchanging employee benefits landscape.

“ What you don’t know won’t hurt you.

There are resources available to assist you As a small business or subcontractor, you should know that there are resources and best practices available to mitigate your liability. The DOL provides the Reporting/ Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans, a reference tool for basic reporting and disclosure requirements under ERISA. The guide is available at reporting-and-disclosure-guide-for-employee-benefitplans.pdf. In addition, here are some other best practices you can follow to help limit your employee benefits risks: • Review benefit programs, eligibility, and processes on an annual basis. • Review employee benefits communications and materials to maximize employee benefit offerings. Talk about your benefits to your employees to increase participation! • Ensure that the required documentation and reporting has been completed. Check annually! • Establish a uniform new hire onboarding and termination process for enrollments and COBRA requirements. • Establish systems and processes to track benefits reporting and disclosures compliance. Retaining outside legal counsel to assist you ongoing with meeting all ERISA and IRS compliance requirements and corrections if needed is always a prudent idea and will help to ensure that you are kept abreast of your ever-changing legal requirements.

Malaika K. Caldwell, Esq., LL.M., is an Attorney in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group at Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP. She is a graduate of Elmhurst College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management; John Marshall Law School (Chicago) where she earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) and a Masters in Law (LL.M.) in Employee Benefits. Prior to moving into private practice, she has worked in numerous corporate human resources administration and management roles all focusing on employee benefits, as well as an employee benefits Investigator with the DOL. She is currently recognized by Super Lawyers as a 2019 Illinois Rising Stars Super Lawyer. As a native and current resident of the Westside of Chicago and a self-proclaimed “triple employee benefits threat,” having worked in administration, government, and private practice, her mission is to make the area of employee benefits let’s complicated, and to make the term “ERISA” less frightening. You can learn more about Malaika’s practice and contact her at professionals/c/caldwell-malaika#!#tab-Overview.





The Hatchery The CEC is excited to share The Hoxton Hotel and The Hatchery as our completed projects. The Hoxton Hotel is an International brand of hotels, which are inspired “by the streets and scenes that surround them, and each one is an authentic reflection of its neighborhood.� It sits at the corner of green and Lake in the West loop and we are proud to have been able to share in bringing the project to life. The Hatchery Chicago is a non-profit food and beverage business incubator at the corner of Lake and Kedzie. While we had several individuals from the community apart of the project we also had a number of Community Subcontractors work on the project. Including Unity Fencing & Security, Innovated Flooring, Community Playlot Builder and Albite Granite Install.

The Hoxton Hotel 44

The Hatchery Community Subcontractors • • • • • • •

Innovated Flooring Albite Granite Countertop Riteway Painting and Decorating Trice Concrete JLL Construction Unity Fencing and Security Community Playlot Builders

JLL Construction

Unity Fencing Unity Security

Community Playlot Builders



The Hatchery

The Hatchery Chicago is a 67,000 square foot development located at Lake Street and Kedzie Avenue. The space offer approximately 60 private kitchens to support up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The Hatchery also features spaces for co-working, mentoring programs, events, and an expanded Garfield Park Neighborhood Market. Here are a few of our candidates who worked on this project...

Dorian Hill Laborer Local 4


Javard Frierson Laborer Local 1

Alton Brown Laborer Local 4

The Hoxton Hotel Chicago Hoxton Hotel is a 12- story boutique hotel towering at 155,000 square feet and is located 200 N. Green Street. Hoxton Hotel is 155,000 square feet with 182 guest rooms. Only steps from Fulton Market District’s best restaurants, bars, galleries, and shopping.


Rasheed Allen Carpenter Local 13

Freddrick Taylor Plumber Apprentice Local 130

Patricks Johnson Carpenter Local 13

Michael Davis Laborer Local 6

Cross-section of some of the candidates who worked in the Hoxton Hotel.


Randy Carter


Randy Carter My name is Randy Carter and I’m the President of Innovated Flooring company. I started Innovated Flooring a little over a year ago. I am a Union MBE and DBE certified flooring company specailizing in commercial and residential properties. My motto is to make sure the costumers are always satisfied.

Randy Carter

Email: RCarter@


ntractor You Should Know What motivated you to get into the Construction Industry? I have been doing home repairs for years coming up as a kid with my uncle. I started with residential now I’m moving into the commercial sector.

that everyone was satisfied with the work I had done.

What have been some of the challenges? Just getting the company going. Nothing major, I looked at all of the challenges as learning experiences.

What are you hoping spring brings? More jobs and opportunities.

Share a moment/or feeling you won’t ever forget about this experience? ie. How you felt when you completed your first job, etc. When I completed my first project at the Hatchery and The Catalyst School. I was excited

What is the one thing you know for sure about this industry? In this industry, If you do quality work, you will always have a project to work on.

Rand Carte 51



Check out these books by women writers who inspire us.


If you think you might want to launch or run a business someday, then this book is definitely for you!


What we are reading Marissa

I came across You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life after seeing it shared throughout my social media timeline for a couple of months, but never got a chance to dig into its details until NOW. Jen Sincero has such a humorous and dynamic way of expressing the many ways of life. The ups and downs and the “how to get arounds” as it relates to taking charge of who you are and what YOU want. Some of my favorite key points are, you are what you make your life out to be, stop using the mindset of can’t so much, and what is for you will always be for you. I had the pleasure of listening to Sincero’s book via Audiobooks, which was also a treat since I am always on the go. If you are in need of a book that will provide, humor, sensibility, and real life “badass” reassurance, You are a Badass is the perfect reawakening for your Spring time read.

Victor Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD. is a simple and effective guide to turning your dreams into reality, by taking matters into your own hands. It’s filled with down-to-earth tips and easy exercises. It explains how simply writing down your goals in life is the first step toward achieving them. Writing can even help you understand what you want. In this book, you will read stories about ordinary people who witnessed miracles large and small unfold in their lives after they performed the basic act of putting their dreams on paper. Klauser’s down-toearth tips and easy exercises are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you’ll be writing your own ticket to success.


to Give 40 Things up for Lent While I am not a Catholic, I have always loved the premise behind Lent. Instead of giving up the usual red meat or red wine, try this list of 40 things to give up by Phil Kessler. Check out the full article online which goes into depth about each item.

1. Fear of Failure 2. Your Comfort Zone 3. Feelings of Unworthiness 4. Impatience 5. Retirement 6. People Pleasing 7. Comparison 8. Blame 9. Guilt 10. Overcommitment 11. Lack of Counsel 12. Impurity 13. Entitlement 14. Apathy 15. Hatred 16. Negativity 17. The Spirit of Poverty 18. Going Through the Motions 19. Bitterness 20. Distraction 21. Giving Up

22. Mediocrity 23. Complaint 24. The Pursuit of Happiness 25. Destructive Speech 26. Busyness 27. Loneliness 28. Disunity 29. The Quick Fix 30. Worry 31. Idolizing 32. Resistance to Change 33. Pride 34. Small View of God 35. Envy 36. Ungratefulness 37. Selfish Ambition 38. Self-Sufficiency 39. Sorrow 40. My Life








Mobile Apps

To Help You Put More Money in Your Pocket By Victor

When it comes to shopping online, there are hundreds if not thousands of tricks to save you money. However, many of these little tips, or ideas take up a lot of time and I am a big believer in the old saying, “time is money”. Here are a few apps to save you time and put more money in your pocket.


Retail Me Not Instantly Applies the Internet’s Best Coupons at Checkout.

With Ibotta, you can earn cash back on purchases, in-store or in-app. Ibotta works with leading brands and retailers, including Best Buy, Lowes, Safeway, eBay and so many more, to help you save money without the hassle of traditional coupons, or promo codes.


Raise makes it easy to save and earn money with your new or particially used gift cards. You can either sell your gift cards and receive a profit from the sale or you can purchase gift cards at discounted prices.




Ebates is a cash back app that sends money you’ve earned from purchases in the form of a Big Fat Check or PayPal payment. No points! No Fees!


The Drop app tracks your debit and credit card purchases and automatically adds Drop points to your account when you spend at certain merchants you’ve picked from their list. You can redeem Drop points for gift cards to popular retailers, like Amazon, Dunkin Donuts, Whole Foods, JC Penney, and many more!


Honey automatically finds coupon codes for the site you’re shopping on and applies them to your order when you check out; saving you money and coupon searching time.



Old Cook County Renovation Hiring Fair


City of Chicago Construction Summit

Alderman Walter Burnett Senior Bingo



Behind the Scene Here is a sneak peak behind the scenes of our Faces of B/ACE photoshoot. It started early but wrapped up nicely and we got to experience a gem in our community! The Garfield Park Conservatory was the perfect backdrop and was bustling with people that morning. If you, like me are over the winter, plan a morning to visit the conservatory. It sings spring!



Advertise with us

Build your brand and support the community by purchasing an ad. The profits from the magazine go to provide financial assistance to candidates who need help with union dues, Construction PPE, tools and other support in an effort to be successful in accessing the construction trades.

Please contact for our media kit.


Profile for B/ACE Magazine