CEOMOM Fall 2022

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Fall 2022






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CONTENTS 06 HELLO QUEEN BY JJ DAVIS In this installment of "Hello Queen" by JJ Davis, we discuss the power of embracing our softer side to experience true vulnerability and the freedom to be wild.

14 OVERCOME THE FEAR OF BEING YOURSELF Gianna Biscontini shares tips on how to fully embrace who you are.

20 MEET POWER MOM, KATHY FIELDER We caught up with 2019 CEOMOM Dallas Power 15 honoree, Kathy Fielder, about closing her boutique, and entering her newest phase.

32 DISCOVERING THE BLESSINGS IN FORCED DOWNTIME Lorena Junco Margain shares the hidden blessings of being forced to rest.




REDEFINING HER POWER Publisher Vonna Matthews Editor Contributing Designer Cover Photographer Makeup Artist Wardrobe/Hair Stylist & Creative Hair Contributing Writer Contributing Writer Contributing Writer

JJ Davis Taly Melo Octavia Whitlowe, For Beauty Sake Octavia Whitlowe, For Beauty Sake Danyel Surrency Jones Lacee Nagin & Pretty Hair Boutique Gianna Biscontini Katie Sandler Lorena Junco Margain

Editorial Office 9355 John W. Elliott Drive Suite 25449 Frisco, Texas 75033 +1-972-302-9150 | CEOMOM Magazine is published by For Her Media LLC Frisco, Texas 75033 | +1-972-302-9150

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER If you're like me, you are in disbelief that we are nearing the end of 2022. It seems like only a few months ago, we were celebrating the new year. Now, the holidays are once again around the corner. As we are get ready for what will be another hectic holiday season, I want us to take the time to reflect on what we've accomplished in 2022. This year marks another year that is bringing us closer to what we were... before the pandemic. But with some much needed changes, like the shift in corporate culture, more awareness related to social injustices that impact disenfranchised people, and voices that are fighting for women's rights, we are reminded that nothing stays the same. We must challenge the status quo. We must evaluate current systems. We must remember who we are as women, as powerful beings, as thought leaders and change makers. We must evolve as the world changes. We must adjust as cultures shift, and we must recognize who we are and what we bring to the table. As we gear up for 2023, we must redefine what it means to be a powerful woman. What does it mean to walk in unapologetic confidence that not only empowers our being, but is contagious and transformative? We must stop dimming our lights, so as to not seem too bright. We must walk into every space recognizing what God has given us and who He has called us to be. Our uniqueness is our power. Our softness is our power. Our vulnerability is our power. Our resilience is our power. Our faith is our power. Our love is our power. As we gear up to relaunch the CEOMOM Dallas Power 15 in 2023, in the October 2022 issue, we are revisiting a few past honorees to see what they've been up to since their feature. We are excited to catch up with cover mom and 2018 Power 15 honoree, Danyel Surrency Jones, to see how her mega brand POWERHANDZ has grown over the past few years. We also revisited 2019 Power 15 honoree, Kathy Fielder, to discuss her new marketing firm, Thrive by Kathy Fielder. No longer will we apologize for our right to breathe, to be taken seriously, to be respected and to function in a world where our power is recognized, and honored.


Vonna Matthews


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MEET JOY J. Joy Davis is the Female Founder of THE FIRM MANAGEMENT, a company with a capacity for management, creative production and brand strategy that is best suited for women who dare to live as large as they dream. She has spent over a decade working with multilocation entrepreneurs, investors, luxury retailers and Fortune 500 companies including but, not limited to NBA, WNBA, Marriott, Michael Kors, BCBG, Max Azria, Tory Burch as well as nonprofits and charitable foundations on the Business Development, Corporate Sales and Relationship Management sides of the table. Joy has developed a keen business sense as to how to connect the right people with the right resources to move the needle in the right places. CEOMOM

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With a love for academia and a heart for empowering young power players, she is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte where she teaches Business Communication courses for Belk College of Business. She is currently working on what she is manifesting to be her first bestseller while praying for a publisher who is AS obsessed about the plights of the high achieving woman as she is! Her greatest joy is being a mother to her teenage son, Nolan. Thus, Joy believes that while success is a powerful antidote, it is authenticity where God shines the brightest. Follow Joy: @thefirmwins

. t f o s y a t s , t Be wild bu By: JJ Davis

Wild means bold, brave, powerful. She dances to her beat, listens to her tune and sings her song, her way. In other words, she is living.

Hello Queen, Over the past few months, social media has been abuzz about living the “soft life.” It didn’t take long for Beyonce to release her single, the soft life anthem, “Cozy” to make women every where want to jump on board. The irony to this provocative shift is how we went from glamorizing the grind, the hustle, the perpetual state of chaos to normalizing softness, ease and its lack of stress. I recall my own spirit telling me that this was exactly the freedom I needed after enduring multiple seasons of traumatic personal and professional fatigue. It was in this place that I learned to embrace rest and to prioritize self. With softness, with peace comes clarity. It’s invigorating to feel your world align and your lenses become less cloudy. I saw love more clearly. I saw my role as a mother with vivid eyes. I saw my desire for my career, my life’s work, and my passion for it become even more intense. My life now, has more purpose because I began to relax and the end finally justified the means but, with a greater level of joy and authenticity. Why shouldn’t we be the priority? Why shouldn’t we choose what makes us feel light? For some women, this is what travel does for their soul. It gives you permission to embrace your life in a way that your day to day does not always allow. For others, there’s our daily workout routine or the value found in yoga. It may be that one glass of wine you allot yourself at the end of the week or a peaceful lounge outside after a long day. However you choose to define your soft life; know that your soul deserves to relax into all of the feels. Relax into a season where your peaks outweigh your valleys. Relax into a season of triumph after the previous ones were so plagued with turmoil. Relax into the fear of the “what ifs” and “what nows?” At first, you may wonder how you’ll continue to accomplish your goals and take care of your family if you aren’t existing in a constant state of normalized angst. But, the peace that exists inside of you will manifest in a way that you’re able to feel contentment and power where you once felt chaos. The gift of resetting our mind to kiss the lightness of life is one in which you are, dare I say it? Allowed. So, Queen, I leave you with this: Be wild but, stay soft.


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We seldom think of the word wild as a cousin to softness. But hear me out as I shift our narrative. In the same way that our mothers taught us that we could be different than who they were raised to be and in the same way that they inspired us; we can, should and will do the same for the little girls who will walk our journey after us. Be courageous enough to tell her that wild isn’t a naughty word. Reckless doesn’t have to conjure up thoughts of regret. Wild means bold, brave, powerful. She dances to her beat, listens to her tune and sings her song, her way. In other words, she is living. I have decided that this will be my mantra as I exist in my softer season of life. But, I love walking on the wild side so I saved you a seat or should we call it, a ride? Either way— you choose. Either way — you decide. “If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” ~ bell hooks

"I'm learning to be more at peace, okay in the stillness, and to keep my heart and mind open to new experiences, lessons, and opportunities." Kathy Fielder


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Manish Rangan Teen Entrepreneur & Inventor "Yes, I’m inexperienced. But with that inexperience comes a greater hunger and desire to succeed than those who have already done it all."


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How to Tell If you Are Burned Out (and What to Do About It) Katie Sandler, career development and impact coach, helps people recharge and make an impact Many people suffer from burnout in their careers and life in general, but may not realize it. Going through the motions, dreading the fact that it's time to go to work, and feeling mentally exhausted are draining, but they can take a toll on one's attitude, work performance, and quality of life. Knowing the signs of burnout and what to do about it can make a difference. “We live in a time when all we do is rush from one point to the next, constantly being busy with work, tasks, and life chores,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “Before long, this can lead to people feeling emotionally depleted.” Recognizing the signs and taking action can help people overcome them and feel great. It can also help ensure that it doesn't happen again. According to the National Institutes of Health, burnout is a term that was coined in the 1970s by an American psychologist. The term is widely used today to describe the condition where people experience various symptoms, including mental exhaustion, feeling unmotivated, detached and helpless, feeling like a failure, having an increasingly pessimistic outlook, and not feeling satisfied with life. People who experience burnout often feel like they have a lot of bad days, that the things they do don't matter, and that they are not appreciated. These feelings all lead to a decrease in life satisfaction, and until it's addressed, things will stay the same or even continue to decline.

Pay close attention to those you surround yourself with to limit the time spent with people who are overly negative or drain you emotionally.

Here are some things that can be done to address burnout: Take a serious look at your job. Burnout is often caused because people are not satisfied with their job. When this happens, it is time to determine what can be changed. Perhaps it is time to switch jobs or make a plan to move into a new career field. Cut back on the number of hours worked that may be contributing to the problem. Some people put too many hours in at the office, and others still take their work home once they leave it. Set boundaries so that there are hours when work is not a part of your life and schedule. Work on improving your attitude by practicing gratitude, meditation, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. Your work-life balance must be balanced in order to help create happiness. Pay close attention to those you surround yourself with to limit the time spent with people who are overly negative or drain you emotionally. This goes for people at work and in your personal life.

Get help if you feel that you cannot overcome it. Work with an impact coach, career coach, or counselor to get the help you need to help move things in the right direction. “I’ve worked with many people to help them address and avoid burnout,” added Sandler. “When you finally take control and stop letting it control you, you will improve your quality of life. It's better to address it now rather than let it go on, getting worse." About Katie Sandler Katie Sandler is a popular impact coach and provides health and wealth coaching and personal and professional development. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live with purpose and make an impact in our world. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit the site:

Take some time off. Taking a sabbatical or planning a vacation doesn't have to be fancy. It just needs to be something that will allow you to relax, unwind, and re-charge. Relaxation time needs to be a part of your weekly schedule, too.


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Understanding authenticity is easy. Showing up? Sometimes, it feels impossible. But not only has authenticity been correlated to mental and physical health, the world is getting more diverse every day. In recent times, the war on women has felt stronger than ever, catalyzing many women to simply give up being everyone else in order to be themselves. The biggest distractor? Fear, according to Gianna Biscontini, a behavior scientist, lifestyle design coach, and author of F~ckless: A Guide to Wild, Unencumbered Freedoms. Identify your values. “When we are aware of and rooted in the things we care about the most, we are less likely to fall prey to the opinions of others. We cultivate gratitude and certainty around who we are and wholly understand our lives are no one's but our own. This sovereignty is the first step in overcoming the fear of what other people might think about who we are as the freest, truest versions of ourselves.” Redistribute your energy. “Explicitly and intentionally taking stock of where we spend our time and energy alerts us to where it's being wasted, so we can redistribute our efforts toward endeavors that truly set our souls on fire. When we see on paper that we are giving inordinate amounts of time to orbiting around other people's wants, needs and beliefs - from what we wear to how we spend our time we can drop our fear of being liked, right or good enough and reclaim our time for things that serve us.” Weigh your alternatives. “When we can change our internal narrative from a hesitant ‘What if I do this?’ or ‘What will they think of me?’ - which is often a main sign of fear - to a more helpful question, ‘What will happen if I don't?’, we can change the thoughts and rules that drive us. We immediately shift from avoiding authentic behavior out of fear to being unapologetically ourselves, empowered.”


I have learned to love myself and all the areas where I am not perfect. I tell myself daily that I am enough. As women, we don’t need to face a rock bottom moment to practice selflove. Learn new language signals. “How we speak about our actions and choices, along with the tone we carry, sends signals that we are up for judgement, or not. By learning to change the way we speak, we change the way we act - and we change others in the process (or at least weed out the people who may be getting in our way). For a comprehensive list of scripts and ways to respond to those who are unlikely to receive your authentic self, download the free guide on my website (”

Regifting. “Recognizing when we are absorbing other people's values, beliefs, thoughts or opinions is the most powerful step in overcoming the fear of being ourselves. So often we take on what other people find likeable, right or worthy that we forget we are the ones who get to choose for ourselves.” About Gianna Biscontini Gianna Biscontini is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who challenges women to overcome narratives and fight for their rights to live interesting and authentic lives outside boxes created by society. Her work as a keynote speaker, lifestyle design and leadership coach, and writer has gained national attention in publications such as Forbes and has reached podcast audiences in over 100 countries. Prior to publishing F~ckless: A Guide to Wild, Unencumbered Freedoms, Biscontini founded the innovative employee wellbeing agency W3RKWELL. Learn more at






Photographer: Octavia Whitlowe Makeup: Octavia Whitlowe Wardrobe/Hair Stylist & Creative: Danyel Surrency Jones Hair: Lacee Nagin & Pretty Hair Boutique

TALKS BUILDING THE WORLD CLASS BRAND, POWERHANDZ, AND THE POWER OF FAITH CREATE A SUSTAINABLE BRAND THAT LASTS BEYOND TRENDS In 2018, CEOMOM Magazine honored Danyel Surrency Jones in our inaugural Dallas Power 15 issue. Since then, Jones, founder of POWERHANDZ, the only African-American woman-owned global athletic training and rehabilitation product tech platform, has continued to reach new heights in the world of sports. In 2022, POWERHANDZ received a multimilliondollar capital investment from Vanguard. In this CEOMOM Magazine interview, Jones shared how her vision to create a global brand that impacts beyond trends has positioned her to continue to excel as a powerhouse in business. Vonna: Since we last spoke, you have experienced exponential growth both personally and professionally. From 2018 to 2022, who is Danyel Surrency Jones now? How would you describe your evolution? Danyel: Wow, that’s a great question and one that I recently thought about when Pastor Travis, challenged us on Sunday to “Be Better”. As a wife and mother and then CEO, I am constantly pushing forward and pushing back, as a result of this ongoing process to build and give a better version of me. When I stop and reflect on my evolution over the last four years, I keep recycling one phrase in my mind….I am learning. You would think after 40 something years (ha) I’ve mastered some things. The only thing I have mastered is how to keep learning. I have learned so much since 2018 that has led me to being a better mother, wife, business leader, speaker, community activist and student. I am learning through my peaks, valleys and fears. Most important, through it all, I have learned to practice gratitude in a much more intentional way than I ever did in 2018. It’s mentally refreshing to finally understand the importance of gratitude during times that feel like the worse labor pains. My evolution as a life learner helps me realize the journey to releasing and sharing my gifts is connected to perspective. We have achieved some significant feats, but it’s not easy. I’m not only proud of the multidimensional woman I am learning

to become, I am grateful that I’ve never wavered in my personal and professional desire to achieve excellence in the midst of the evolution. Vonna: POWERHANDZ has developed a strong relationship with Amazon and just launched in Champs Sports and other major e-commerce outlets. What has been your key to sustainable growth? Danyel: The most important word is sustainable. We never created POWERHANDZ to be a trend or a one hit wonder, but a world class leader with innovation that will change lives. While the journey in our pursuit isn’t perfect, we have been fortunate to create a business model that meets our community where they are. Developing an ecommerce and overall digital blueprint in our early stages has increased our reach to a global presence. Digital analytics enabled us to realize our customers reside in multiple communities around the world. Sports, fitness, and overall performance is an international language----no matter what your background is; the desire to enhance your performance, reduce injuries and improve overall health and wellness is a goal. The next key to sustaining our growth is designing best in class innovation. You can’t continue to sell products and technology that don’t work. We let go of our egos to focus on our customers’ mission. Customers will tell you what they want, how they want it and what they don’t want. Our portfolio and operations in 2018 don’t look the same as 2022. As our customers evolve, our innovation must evolve too. The most essential key to our success is people. As the only global, black woman owned sports and fitness tech company, we would not be the company we are today without our ancestors, investors, advocates, community and team. Our small and mighty team has never failed us. Their passion for our innovation is evident as this is our daily motivation.




"The most important word is sustainable. We never created POWERHANDZ to be a trend or a one hit wonder, but a world class leader with innovation that will change lives."




Photo Credit: Octavia Whitlowe

My leadership style has always included a blend of Godfidence. This mindset allows me to share my testimony of struggle and truth because I know my journey is connected to a much bigger vision.

Photo Credit: Octavia Whitlowe

Vonna: You have also won several awards over the years including the Dallas Business Journal 2022 Women in Technology award. What do awards like this mean to you? Danyel: I am consistently humbled by awards like this, and I mean that from the deepest place in my heart. My motivation is not recognition or to fill up an awards case—I do it because I’m passionate about affecting change. The odds are rarely in my favor, so you have two choices, be defeated or be fueled. If I’m recognized for that, then I’m grateful and honored but not fulfilled. What’s fulfilling is to know my award, inspires someone to keep going until they receive their reward. Showing my children, especially my daughter, that her gifts have purpose, and there is truly nothing she can’t do. My presence on a stage, in an article or on glass, means nothing if my visibility doesn’t help others to see. Vonna: There's a movement to reject the strong black woman trope and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, soft and transparent. Sharing your own challenges as a business powerhouse and mom, what has being vulnerable and soft meant to your personal and professional growth?

mindset allows me to share my testimony of struggle and truth because I know my journey is connected to a much bigger vision. My transparency is a release of bottled-up energy that could not only set my soul on fire, but it could save other women who are suffering in silence, as they try to be all things for all people. Women are the “Harriett Tubman” of the community, and we face a lot of pressure from society to follow all rules passed down from the PTA, Wall Street and the Wifey 101 Handbook. There are so many shades of grey, I stop counting in 2019 when I added one more title to my belt, Autism Supermom. My son Harper has shown me, my power is not in being strong, but standing tall in my truth. Helping a child on the spectrum see life through your lens, is a real-life parenting trap. Harper has taught me, there is joy in the unknown, there is vulnerability in discovery and there is grace and patience in all things. These are leadership lessons that have led to the best growing moments of my life. Learn more about Jones at and POWERHANDZ at

Danyel: That’s hard and I wish that I had an ironclad formula that I can easily use when I need to! Unfortunately, there’s a lot more nuance to it and I think it’s a line that so many women try to walk. My faith keeps me meek and humble, while my purpose keeps me confident and driven. My leadership style has always included a blend of God-fidence. This CEOMOM




Photo Credit: Victor Aguirre




Kathy Fielder's influence continues to evolve beyond a brand. She has developed the Kathy Fielder brand to include a boutique, an interior design firm, a signature line of home furnishings, and now THRIVE by Kathy Fielder, a concierge marketing firm. Since we honored Fielder for our 2019 Dallas Power 15 issue, she has evolved professionally and personally to become a woman who embraces stillness and welcomes new experiences and opportunities. CEOMOM Magazine talked to Fielder about the power of remaining still and not being afraid of starting over. Vonna: During the pandemic, Kathy Fielder Boutique produced and shipped masks across the country and donated a portion of the proceeds to those in need.. What inspired you to make the pivot? What impact did the pivot have on you personally and professionally? Kathy: Well, it wasn’t exactly a pivot. I continued to maintain my other businesses, but also saw a desperate need in both the medical community and the private sector for masks and Personal Protective Equipment. I was able to leverage my existing relationships with factories overseas to expedite the shipment of masks to the United States at a time when medical professionals didn’t have access to these important supplies. It was certainly one of the most stressful times in my career. It had a profound impact for so many. Hospitals and doctors were desperate for supplies to keep themselves protected, and the general population was also in great need to find ways to protect themselves especially with mask mandates being put into place. The day we

received a shipment of hundreds of thousands of masks, I recall looking at Amazon, and they were sold out for another 60 days. I had so many tell me thank you. By taking such a great business and financial risk, people felt safer and more protected. It was an honor to be able to help so many, and to save lives. Vonna: You are entering a new season with the Kathy Fielder Boutique. What do you look forward to experiencing on your new journey? Kathy: I have actually elected to close Kathy Fielder Boutique and move on to a couple of new endeavors. I wanted to get back to my roots of being an influencer and public figure, as well as focus on the lifestyle facets of my brand. My team and I are focusing heavily on my growing Amazon influencer account. I’m getting back to my roots, and being an influencer who curates a lifestyle that helps others lead more dynamic and beautiful lives through inspiration and practical application. That coupled with my newest endeavor, Thrive by Kathy Fielder, has me and my team BEYOND excited about what is coming for the KF Brand. Vonna: A lot has happened with the Kathy Fielder brand since the last time we spoke in 2019. How would you describe your evolution as an entrepreneur and designer since then? Kathy: Every challenge and change in the Kathy Fielder brand has brought me to where I am today as an entrepreneur,




"I’ve learned to give myself grace, listen to my instincts, and allow myself the creative outlets I need to be my authentic and best self."

Photo Credit:Victor Aguirre

designer, and mother. These truly have been some of the most challenging years in my life both personally and in business. I’ve learned to give myself grace, listen to my instincts, and allow myself the creative outlets I need to be my authentic and best self. Every challenge I have faced has made me into a better businesswoman, a better creator and designer, and a better mom. Challenges and hardships I would have been floored by five years ago really don’t seem like such a big deal anymore. I'm learning to be more at peace, okay in the stillness, and to keep my heart and mind open to new experiences, lessons, and opportunities. I honestly don’t believe I could have said that a few years ago, and I can also say that because I have become more centered, I believe the next five years will be the most successful and DYNAMIC that I have ever had. I’m so excited about what my KF Brand is doing! Vonna: What’s next for the Kathy Fielder brand? Kathy: As I continue to focus on maintaining my influencer position and role as a public figure, my team and I are




beyond excited to roll out Thrive by Kathy Fielder, a new enterprise that is unlike anything in the current digital marketing space. Thrive is a concierge social media and marketing firm focused on refining the digital footprint of our clients. This service will encapsulate all aspects of what modern marketing is and is becoming. Our job at Thrive is to listen to our client’s vision and make it into a reality. Today, to stand out as a brand, influencer, product, or service you need more than a great logo and a dazzling brand story (although those are a start). Thrive by Kathy Fielder is here to help brands evolve into their most dynamic form. Thrive is more than just consulting, brand development, and social media expertise. There are many aspects that make us stand out in this competitive field. One of which I am very excited about is our exclusive partnerships with different experts in their respective fields to bring our clientele services and professional advice ranging from wellness, to design, beauty, staging for social media feeds, photography, filming, web design and beyond. Thrive also uses my extensive connections in these industries to connect brands with influencers like myself, and to connect influencers themselves in a whole new marketing dimension.

J O I N U S F O R O U R 11 T H A N N U A L



FEATURING SPECIAL GUESTS Shandra Woworuntu Founder & CEO of Mentari

Shandra is a trafficking survivor who is now an international leader in the fight against human trafficking as she works with survivors.

ONE EXTRAORDINARY EVENING TO BRING A MILLION DREAMS TO LIFE Global Renewal is not only rescuing hurting children — we are stepping in through prevention efforts to identify and eradicate modern-day slavery, for good. Join us for a night of music, stories, and celebration as we raise the funds needed to continue our work in Southeast Asia to provide safe homes for little boys and girls rescued from abuse and trafficking.

Maryanne George Maverick City Music

Maryanne is a dynamic worship leader and songwriter who is passionate about encountering the Lord through worship.

Zion Dance Project

ZDP is a leading sacred dance movement of gifted artists.




Photo Credit: For Beauty Sake




One of Cheryl Polote-Williamson's missions is to show women what they can have, who they can be, and what they can do. She unapologetically approaches every project with a fervor that is as contagious as it is transformative. Since honoring Williamson as a part of our inaugural CEOMOM Dallas Power 15 issue, she has started a magazine, written four more books and added filmmaker to her resume. CEOMOM Magazine caught up with Williamson to learn more about her projects that support, employ, empower and impact women. Vonna: Since our last interview, you have written several more books, produced films including “Illegal Rose” and launched Cheryl Magazine. What has been the key to your reinvention and influence? Cheryl: The key to my reinvention and influence is my desire and drive to create opportunities and tables for other women to win. By pursuing film and media, this has broadened my reach and provided me the opportunity to support, employ, empower and impact women globally. My influence comes from my keen ability to show women what is possible when your mindset is your superpower, your peace becomes priceless, and you become unstoppable.

I have learned how to walk out boldly and unapologetically without having all the answers, and do what GOD asked me to do for humanity.This has not been an easy road, and is not for the faint at heart.

Vonna: You have a quote that says, “You are not the same person you were a year ago”, and I think that’s beautiful. Tell us about your evolution over the past two years. Who are you now? Cheryl: My life has changed drastically over the past two years because I became more aware of who I am in Christ. By doing this, I have learned how to walk out boldly and unapologetically without having all the answers, and do what GOD asked me to do for humanity. This has not been an easy road, and is not for the faint at heart. However, in order for

me to hear “Job well done my good and faithful servant,” I pursue my purpose on a daily basis, which is to make global impact as a media executive. As a result of this evolution, Williamson Media Group completed three film projects, in which one of the films was awarded an HBO Max award for “Best Documentary”. I launched Cheryl Magazine, that offers inspiration for the everyday woman. We were blessed to celebrate our first anniversary in January 2022. I produced four additional best-selling books. I created Cheryl Magazine C-Suite Retreat for women executives to experience a luxurious and relaxing retreat. We provided business grants to women entrepreneurs around the globe. Through my nonprofit organization, Soul Reborn, we served over five thousand meals to frontline and essential workers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vonna: As mentioned, you’ve added filmmaker to your resume. What ignited your passion for filmmaking? What stories are you hoping to tell as your role as a producer grows? Cheryl: My passion for filmmaking was ignited through reading the stories of women in the anthologies that I have produced. While reading the stories and listening to women throughout my travels, I realized these experiences should be shared with the world. The most compelling way to share the stories and reach a broader audience, would be through film and television. I knew that through sharing these stories, it would ignite healing through the world, and show others, they are not alone. As my role as producer continues to grow, it is my desire to produce stories that heal, motivate, inspire and transform humanity to a place of love, kindness, acceptance and the ability to clearly see that we all have a story worth sharing. Vonna: Your latest book, The Art of Influence, is a how-to guide on leveraging the capabilities of your personal brand, something you’ve mastered. What is one thing you want readers to get from the book? Cheryl: I want each reader to understand that they could influence and impact others within their own social circles. Through my book, The Art of Influence, the readers are taken on a journey of resilience. The Art of Influence sounds the alarm and shows you that you, too, are made of all the right ingredients to become a million-dollar influencer who transforms every soul you encounter. Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, have a PhD or a GED, this book will teach you how to overcome selfdoubt, learn your worth, and attain the lifestyle that mirrors your dreams.




The key to my reinvention and influence is my desire and drive to create opportunities and tables for other women to win. CHERYL POLOTEWILLIAMSON Photo Credit: For Beauty Sake





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Photo courtesy of Team UVSET

Taking what we've learned from the pandemic, teen inventor, Manish Rangan, has created a product that will help consumers prioritize and redefine their safety. Your product-based company, UVSET, created SAFETouch using UV-C technology. What is SAFETouch? What problem are you solving? UVSET SAFETouch, at its core, is a door handle sanitizer. According to a University of Arizona study, if an infected person walks into a traditional office building using their door handle, up to 60% of people in the building can be infected within just two to four hours. Likewise, research has shown that without constant encouragement, hospital workers wash their hands only about 40 percent of the time and that within just a few hours, viruses can spread to 40 to 60 percent of workers or visitors in a facility from just one contaminated door handle – for a hospital, that could be the difference between life and death for the ill patients. Additionally, influenza causes 40,000 deaths in the US, with nearly all being senior citizens due to their significantly weaker immune systems.

The problem is clear – door handles are one of the largest spreaders of diseases in your households, workplaces, shopping centers, etc, and therefore must be targeted in order to keep people safe. Tell us more about UV-C technology and how your product works. Traditional sanitization methods simply do not cut it anymore. It is very important to take human and environmental safety into consideration, as the CDC reports that the overuse of chemical disinfectants such as glass cleaners and bleach can lead to medical concerns such as skin irritation, respiratory irritation, and allergic reactions from the user. This dangerous overuse is a trend that is growing immensely, due to fear and anxiety inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, production and consumerism of chemical disinfectants have increased by over 500% since 2019. Moreover, the ecological impact of chemical disinfectants is staggering. In fact, The Marine Conservation Society reported that in 2014, the number of wipes found on UK beaches had doubled from the previous year.

The problem is clear – door handles are one of the largest spreaders of diseases in your households, workplaces, shopping centers, etc, and therefore must be targeted in order to keep people safe.




And following all of this research, Team UVSET decided to utilize UV-C technology to solve this problem. UV-C, also known as germicidal UV, includes wavelengths from 200-280 nm. Radiation at this wavelength is great for killing bacteria and pathogens, (killing up to 99.99%), so with the impending danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, Team UVSET became motivated to bring the world back to normality, devising a patent pending, UV-C based sanitization product that fits many types of door handles. UVSET SAFETouch has an innovative modular ring containing the UV-C light, which using a motor, moves up and down along the touch surface of the door handle sanitizing it entirely within just a minute. Additionally, UVSET SAFETouch has an eco-friendly design and has near zero UV light leakage, making it safe for both the user as well as the environment. It comes with a double rechargeable battery lasting up to 27 days and a “Do-It-Yourself” installation process. What inspired your team to form UVSET Inc.? Our team is made of four high school students (Hisham Ahmad CMO, Humza Sheikh CTO, Vihan Yerubandi CFO, myself CEO) and one college graduate (Aiman Khan COO). We are all graduates of the DiscoverSTEM program, where we learned to become better innovators. As part of this program, we designed, innovated, and filed a patent for the concept of UVSET SAFETouch. Then, because of the impending Photo courtesy of Team UVSET

danger of the pandemic and COVID-19, we decided as a team to commercialize and bring our innovation to the market, thus founding UVSET Inc (UV Sanitize Every Touch). While SAFETouch is our first product, we do not expect it to be the last, as our goal is to Sanitize Every Touch in order to limit the spread of germs and viruses as much as possible. Designing and building your own technology based product seems like a huge undertaking. What are some of the challenges you have faced as a young inventor? How are you overcoming those challenges? The two biggest challenges that I constantly face are my lack of experience and the fact that many people don’t take my ideas seriously due to my age. But, the best way to combat these challenges is to find a way to turn them into strengths. Yes, I’m inexperienced. But with that inexperience comes a greater hunger and desire to succeed than those who have already done it all. Additionally, Team UVSET has a great team of mentors and advisors backing us. We were nurtured and mentored by Mirza Faizan – a renowned aerospace scientist and Founder/CEO of DiscoverSTEM, a Planobased entrepreneurial education organization that teaches students to identify problems to form inventive solutions. UVSET also received funding from Kubera Capital to launch UVSET SAFETouch, which brings us further legitimacy. And yes, many people don't take

me seriously due to my age, but being a young innovator, there are so many great opportunities I can capitalize on. This magazine is proof of that. It’s not every day a 16 year old starts a product based business to create a societal impact. What’s the next step for UVSET Inc. to bring SAFETouch to market? Just to give a bit of a status report, we have (as of July 18th) successfully completed the testing of the secondgeneration prototype of UVSET SAFETouch. The next immediate step is getting our kickstarter crowdfunding campaign ready, which will then finance our product launch in early fall of 2022. Our team is putting a lot of effort into our pre-crowdfunding activities such as marketing, increasing product awareness, social media forums, in-person product pitches, articles, magazines and more. We want to launch the product for all potential customers. In the US, there are about 23,000 pediatric offices and about 16,000 OB/GYN offices. High risk patients such as sick children and pregnant women frequent these areas, making them a massive part of our target demographic. Additionally, assisted living and nursing facilities are a growing market for UVSET. 10,000 Americans turn 65 every single day. What advice do you have for other young inventors who want to build their own product-based businesses? The biggest piece of advice that I have for young innovators is simply to go for it. Be ambitious, be hungry, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. So many people (especially at my age) have had incredible ideas but haven’t gone anywhere with them because they were deterred by everything that could possibly go wrong. Rather than focusing on what could go wrong, focus on what can go right, what you can go on to achieve should you be successful. Of course, if I was more experienced and never made mistakes, UVSET SAFETouch could have hit the market earlier. But with those mistakes has come that coveted experience, experience that will help me in all facets going forward. I think that is the biggest thing that young innovators should know. Learn more at




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Discovering the Blessings in Convalescence and Forced Downtime By: Lorena Junco Margain We all know how it feels to be stuck in bed or at home with the flu, a bad cold or a virus. On top of being miserable from discomfort—a pounding head, stuffed sinuses and all sorts of other unpleasant symptoms—we are miserable with impatience. Time drags on as we pine for the day when we’ll be on our feet again, back to our routines and the activities we love. Most of the time, we can take comfort in the fact that sooner or later the symptoms will pass. But what about those of us living with a chronic health condition? Whether it afflicts our digestive system, our heart, our lungs or our liver, it’s always with us. The symptoms and discomfort might cycle from good days to bad days but they never really go away. How, then, do we reassure ourselves during those times when the symptoms are flaring and keeping us bedridden or simply unable to go about our daily lives? This is a dilemma I know all too well. Thirteen years ago, a surgeon treating me made a grave mistake. Instead of removing my right adrenal gland, which had been diagnosed with a tumor, he removed the left adrenal gland. Our adrenal glands are small, but powerful and important. They regulate hormones that control vital functions like blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, growth, fertility, and a host of other bodily functions we never even think about until they go wrong. This error changed my destiny, leaving me with a lifetime of medical issues I must confront every single day. Although ultimately, a second surgery removing part of my remaining adrenal gland saved my life, I now live with only one half of one adrenal gland and must contend with a lifetime of medical issues. There are days and often weeks where I am excessively fatigued. I am often plagued with extreme fatigue, pain, depression and confusion.

When sidelined from your usual activities, you have a chance to embrace silence and solitude... LORENA JUNCO MARGAIN


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It’s difficult and often painful, but above all, it can be extremely frustrating. I have always been a very energetic, fast-paced and busy person. I love embracing life every day, being involved in and active with my family, my community and my art. But when bad days stretch into bad weeks and even months, there is little I can do except stay at home, stay in bed and wait. It would be easy to slip into darkness and self-pity—and I confess there are times when I’ve let this happen. We’re only human. But I have learned that, while not a gift in itself, being bedridden or confined at home can open doors to a host of hidden blessings and opportunities if we let it. Here are some of them:

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Limitations encourage introspection. When sidelined from your usual activities, you have a chance to embrace silence and solitude, and to dig deep into your own mind and heart. It is a powerful time for meditation, prayer, reflection, journaling and generally connecting with your soul.

Pivot when necessary. Life doesn’t always go as planned, so you need to be prepared to change direction, Parsi says. As an example, Parsi originally planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor. But admission to medical school in India is highly competitive and he missed the cutoff criteria by one-tenth of a point. That’s when he pivoted and became a pharmaceutical scientist instead.

You become more spiritual. When so much is beyond your control and in many respects all you can do is wait, there’s little to do aside from surrender: to your caregivers, and to the higher power that guides you. This is a time ripe for coming to terms with your human condition and your mortality. During my own times of being bedridden or confined, I have noticed a very tender window opening up inside of me. Surrendering is extremely powerful. It gives you a glimpse of the immense universe and the perfection of creation.


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It’s a chance to get your affairs in order—mentally and physically. During times of confinement, I’ve put together a living will mapping out my wishes in case I’m unable to make decisions. This has meant reflecting on what I want, talking about it with my family and consulting an attorney. There’s a physical process as well that downtime lends itself to: organizing drawers, closets, attics; deciding what material things you really want to keep and what you can let go of. It’s very cathartic.

You notice miracles. Miracles aren’t just the huge, earth shattering events we hear about in religious settings such as healings at Lourdes or manna from heaven. On the contrary: miracles happen all around us, every day, in the smallest ways: a flower blossom opening, a baby cooing, a stranger catching our eye from a distance and warming our heart with a smile. When stuck in bed or at home, time slows down and our perspective zooms in on our immediate surroundings. We experience the smallest moments and the miracles they hold.

Gratitude is amplified. When we are tuned into miracles and the tiniest of moments touch our hearts, we are filled with intense gratitude for everything, small and large: healthy food to eat, a cozy bed to rest in, people we love, the amazing complexity of the human body. Nothing can turn challenges and frustration into a blessing like gratitude can.

Lorena Junco Margain is an author, art collector and philanthropist as well as an advocate for forgiveness and compassion. After surviving a surgeon’s error in 2012 that left her with a lifetime of medical issues, she penned a memoir about the experience, On the Way to Casa Lotus, promoting forgiveness as a force for personal and universal change.

POLISHED emboldens women in their faith and work.