Coastal Today Magazine Fall/Winter 2022

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0 51497 36951 4 23 COVERING FLORIDA, GEORGIA, AND BEYOND ULYSSES OWENS JR. THE PREMIER ISSUE The CEO of 8 Successful Companies Janay White Selected for the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award 6th Annual Taste of the Holidays Set for Nov. 20 Events Local Spotlights Patrice D. McClendon Dana Roberts Beckham The Local St. Augustine Named Best Roadside Motel In America FAll 2022 / WINTER 2023

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Contents Ulysses Owens Jr. Selected for the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award 17 Janay White, “The Goat” of entrepreneurship The Local St. Augustine, Named the best Roadside Motel in USA 24 28 Florida Spotlight Patrice D. McClendon Georgia Spotlight Dana Roberts Beckham 10+50 Home Styles for 2023 Nephew Tommy Recovers from Thyroid Cancer 33 36 Empowerment for Today A Year in Review 40 The DONNA Foundation Announces New Partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars What you need to know about heel pain 32 Fatty Foods that are Good for You 35 22 8/55 Events from around Florida and Georgia 20 VOLUME 1, NO. 1 FALL/WINTER 2022-2023 Health Expert Arthur Hairston Launches Books and Company to Help Families, and Educators Understand Disorders 4 COASTALTODAYMAGAZINE.COM
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Coastal Today Magazine, is published four times a year by Coastal Today Media, LLC. We reserve the right to edit any materials chosen for publication including photographs. All materials are strictly copyrighted and all rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the expressed permission of Coastal Today Media, LLC. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage of any material, solicited or unsolicited. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Coastal Today Media, LLC, No cash alternative will be offered for competitions and the publishers decision is final. Printed in the United States of America.

Welcome to the inaugural of Coastal Today Magazine, our first print edition. We’ve worked hard over the past year for this special day to bring a new publication to the area.

Founded in July 2021, Coastal Today Magazine is a news + lifestyle magazine serving Florida, Georgia, and beyond. Keeping you informed, entertained, and involved.

Coastal Today Magazine is owned and published by Coastal Today Media, LLC.

Our mission at Coastal Today is to provide a quality magazine demonstrating a positive outlook across communities and states. We reach out to many cultures to bring together unity in our neighborhoods. We offer a voice for the people, promote events, recognize achievements, and present information positively and accurately.

We desire to be a trusted source of information and advertising content that is useful and valuable to the readers we serve.

We want to hear from you: Email your submissions, events, comments, or news to info@coastaltoday

Enjoy the issue, the next edition comes out in Spring 2023. Happy Holidays!

— Coastal Today Media, LLC


Ulysses Owens Jr. COVERING FLORIDA, GEORGIA, AND BEYOND ULYSSES OWENS JR. THE PREMIER ISSUE The CEO of 8 Successful Companies Janay White Selected for the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award 6th Annual Taste of the Holidays Set for Nov. 20 Events Local Spotlights Patrice D. McClendon Dana Roberts Beckham The Local St. Augustine Named Best Roadside Motel In America
photographed by Felicia Bass


Family-Friendly ‘Jazz On The River’ Will Be Held At Riverfront Park, Palatka

A brand new fall event will take place on the last Sunday of the month in September, October, and November at Riverfront Park, 100 Memorial Pkwy, Palatka. Jazz on the River, sponsored by Ancient City Entertainment, Visit Palatka, Beck Automotive Group, and Putnam County Tourist Development Council, will welcome Bold City Classics Featuring Paris Winningham, Season 21 finalist of ‘The Voice,’ on Sunday, September 25, Let’s Ride Brass Band on Sunday, October 30, and Ulysses Owens Jr. and Friends on Sunday, November 27. Each event is family-friendly, free, and runs from 4:30 pm to 8 pm.

November 12

Miles Jaye presents a 35th Anniversary/65th

Birthday Celebration

WJCT Soundstage 100 Festival Park Avenue, Jacksonville 7 pm – 11pm

Former Village People “Cop” MILES JAYE celebrates a 35-year career and his 65th birthday, November 12, 2022.

November 13

Kevin Hart: Reality Check

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville, 7 pm

Kevin Hart is heading out on tour with his new comedy show Reality Check, which will see him travel across North America for four months.

6th Annual Taste of the Holidays 2022

The 6th Annual Taste of the Holidays, will be held November 20th at the Aloft Hotel, 4812 West Deer Lake Drive - Tapestry Park off Southside Blvd., Jacksonville.

Taste Sampling, Food , Fun, Fashion. Live Jazz with David Sylvester and another special guest. Special Thanks to our Sponsors Coastal Today Magazine, Sisters Catering & Decor & our VIP Sponsor Forty- Eight Seventeen Events an so many more!!

November 25

Owned Businesses this Holiday Season! Featuring LIVE entertainment, Food Trucks, a Kid’s Zone, & More.

November 13

Angry Insecure Men

Ritz Theatre & Museum, Jacksonville

From Award winning Writer-ProducerDirector, 2 Wing Ent, Drew 2 Media, and Angel Terron, Jacksonville’s own... Comes her 10th run of this domestic violence production, loosely based on true events of survival during her 13 year span relationships. Angel Terron’s story will have you in tears, laughing screaming praising. Don’t miss this award winning riveting production. Get those tickets NOW! Not a dry eye in the house. As seen on VH1 Basketball wives, this story will have you understanding traits in abusive men.

November 17 - December 24

White Christmas

The Real Black


Hosted by Jax Melanin Market

822 A. Philip Randolph Blvd

11am - 4 pm

Join the community for the 6th Annual Black Friday Market! Bring the family and shop with over 100 local Black-

Alhambra Theatre, Jacksonville

When two WWII GI’s discover the secret their General has been keeping from his family, they use their musical talents to help him out. Don’t miss this Christmas Classic!


November 25 - 27

Christmas Made in the South

Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville

Friday 9 am - 6 pm Saturday 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday 11am - 5 pm

As Christmas time approaches what better way to get ready for the holiday season than to stroll the aisles for treasures at this year’s award winning 33rd annual Christmas Made in the South! This nationally acclaimed event is a fantastic way to ease into your holiday shopping and find that special holiday gift for that “hard to shop for” friend.

Christmas Made in the South is focused on keeping the world of fine arts and crafts vibrant. Exhibitors will be there all three days demonstrating and selling their handcrafted works, Santa’s elves hard at work.

December 4

Black Violin

Florida Theatre

128 E Forsyth St, Jacksonville 7 pm

December 18

Manifesting Over Mimosas

Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville

November 26

Jacksonville Light Boat Parade St. Johns River, Downtown

A Jacksonville holiday tradition is making its return to Thanksgiving weekend. The City of Jacksonville is excited to announce the Jacksonville Light Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 6 pm on the St. Johns River.

Vessels of all shapes and sizes adorn their hulls with festive decorations as they float along the north and south banks of the St. Johns River. Residents and visitors alike gather downtown along the North and Southbank Riverwalks including Riverfront Plaza to witness this magical event. Following the parade, the evening concludes with a beautiful fireworks show featuring the one-of-a-kind waterfall fireworks on the Main Street and Acosta Bridge.

Participants will be judged on overall look and decoration composition. Judging categories: Vessels under 30’; Vessels 30’ and over; Sailboat; and Corporate.

To most people, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical are musical genres. But to revolutionary music group Black Violin, they’re nothing but ingredients. After graduating from high school, both Wilner Baptiste (Wil B) and Kevin Sylvestor (Kev Marcus) were granted full music scholarships to college, Florida State and Florida International University respectively. Combining a daunting array of musical styles and influences to produce a signature sound that is not quite maestro, not quite emcee, the two classically trained violinists Kev and Wil alongside their DJ are redefining the music world-one string at a time.

This event is designed for young women and entrepreneurs to connect with one another and leave equipped with the tools to build the life they dreamed of. Connecting you with some of the best black owned businesses you need to know. Shop and support over 100 of your favorite brands in the M.O.M marketplace from 4-9 pm.

December 31

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Along the St. Johns River Downtown Jacksonville Say goodbye to 2022 and ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display over the St. Johns River. Make your way down to the waterfront with friends or family before midnight to snag a great seat for the festivities. Fireworks will begin exactly at midnight.

December 9


Intimate Evening with Will Downing

Ritz Theatre & Museum, Jacksonville 8 pm

Patrice D. McClendon Florida spotlight


I am the oldest of 3 girls and the product of the hard work and sacrifices of my parents, Eugene and Claretha P. McClendon. They instilled in me hard work, humbleness and servicing the less fortunate or those who may be going through a rough patch in their life. They taught me to be resilient, stand strong during all trials and trust God. He will see me through any storm.

The leadership skills I received from my parents is visible in my day to day walk through life and my work ethics.


Currently, I am the Human Resource Generalist for SanMar, Jacksonville, FL location. I am also the Founder and President of Sista 2 Sista: Women Empowering Women, LLC.

What brought you here to the First Coast or are you a native Floridian?

I was born, reared, and educated on Florida’s First Coast, Jacksonville, FL. I graduated from Ribault Senior High School, received my undergraduate degrees from Jacksonville University and graduate degrees from Webster University.

Tell us a little bit about your career path?

My corporate careers span the areas of Human Resources, Payroll, Mortgage, Finance and Banking. However, founding Sista 2 Sista: Women Empowering Women, LLC have been the most rewarding. The mission and vision of Sista 2 Sista: Women Empowering Women, LLC is to bring together women of diverse cultures and backgrounds in support of one another in family, business, health & wellness, mental health, education, spiritual wellness, finances and so much more. We are here to engage, encourage and empower women of all ages. This is executed by facilitating and coordinating various workshops, events and participating in community service.


What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about people. I love going to events where I can meet new people and learn new things. I also enjoy assisting people with various issues or projects. Sista

2 Sista: Women Empowering Women, LLC was built from the love I have for empowering people. This includes our civic responsibility to our community. We participate as a team for the American Heart Association, collect and donate items for disaster recovery (i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.)

victims in various parts of the world.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best advice I have every received was by watching my parents operate life daily. One thing they would always say to me, and my sister, is, “If you see someone who needs help, don’t wait on them to ask you for the help. If you are able to help, do it. It does not have to be money. It could be your time or a listening ear that they need.”


What is something most folks don’t know about you?

Most people do not know I love going to the beach and I hope to travel to cities or countries I have never visited. Also, most people do not know that I do a lot for other people and not so much for myself. Because of my love for people, I want to help others where I can. Again, this was instilled in me by my parents.

What are some future goals that you are looking to achieve?

My future plans include, continuing to grow the Sista 2 Sista: Women Empowering Women, LLC mission. I will continue to participate in community service events, facilitating more workshops, conferences and partnering with other organi zations to engage, encourage and empower our village of women to know that they are not alone in this thing we call Life. We are here to give them the tools to help them navigate their lives, their children, their family, their households, their careers, and their health.

Name someone you consider to be your mentor.

There are so many people that I consider to be my mentors. I do not want to list them for fear that I will miss adding some one. However, one of my previous managers pushed me into leadership roles in Corporate America and taught me that if I do not know the answers to questions or issues, it is import ant to know my resources and where to find the answers.

However, I always remember that there is an opportunity to learn something new from others every day. Even if it is a one-time conversation.



HBCU rivals meet on Nov. 19, at 2:30 p.m. in Orlando, Fla.

Orlando, Florida

The Florida Blue Florida Classic has a fresh new look, and tickets for the 2022 edition of the nation’s fiercest HBCU rivalry game are now on sale at

This year’s matchup between Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Camping World Stadium. It is the 76th all-time meeting between the Rattlers and Wildcats and the 43rd official “Florida Classic.” The 2022 clash also marks the 25th Classic in Orlando since the game made Central Florida its full-time home.

In addition to gameday, 2022 Florida Blue Florida Classic weekend will feature a variety of ancillary events, including the Florida Classic Consortium Kickoff Luncheon presented by Florida Blue (Nov. 18, noon) and

the popular Florida Blue Battle of the Bands at Amway Center (Nov. 18, 7 p.m.), which features the FAMU “Marching 100” and B-CU’s “Marching Wildcats.”

An Orlando fixture, the Florida Blue Florida Classic drives nearly 60,000 spectators to Camping World Stadium each fall, with an estimated economic impact of $30 million annually. Nearly 1.5 million fans have attended the Classic since the game settled in Central Florida in 1997; the event also holds the Camping World Stadium football attendance record (73,358), set in 2003.

On the field, Florida A&M won last year — both teams’ first as members of the SWAC — to end a nine-game B-CU winning streak and leads the all-time series 50-24-1. Bethune-Cookman is 13-11 against the Rattlers since the matchup moved to Orlando

and also claimed a 1976 meeting between the teams at the former Tangerine Bowl.

Additional information regarding the Florida Blue Florida Classic and its events will be released in due course. For more info, visit

Have News to Share?

When Kara Pound started her St. Augustine, Florida-based boutique public relations company, Old City Public Relations, just a little over five years ago, she was a struggling single mom with a desire to make a better life for her and her daughter. With a background in journalism and more than a decade of experience as a professional writer, Pound leaned on the relationships she had been building since graduating from Flagler College back in 2006.

“During my time as a writer, I interviewed hundreds of super interesting people all over the world,” explained Pound. “The one thing that I kept seeing over and over again was how much people needed help promoting themselves. They could tell their own story when prompted with the right questions, but, otherwise, they didn’t know where to start. That’s part of why I was driven to found my public relations company.”

Today, Old City Public Relations has worked with some of the biggest brands in Northeast Florida, including The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, Mayday Ice Cream, The Local – St. Augustine, Odd Birds Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge, Vested Metals International, MasterCraft Builder Group, Flagler College, Florida Film Academy, Jenna Alexander Studios, Camp Craft Cocktails, Mover & Shaker Co., and dozens of others.

“I work with a great team of writers, photographers, and graphic designers who help me create content that tells compelling stories,” Pound said. “I use my journalism background to write press releases and

Provided photo/Justin Snavely Odd Birds Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge media event
Provided photo/Monarch Studios

curate professional photos that are distributed to members of the media. As a former member of the media, I know how much editors and publishers appreciate interesting, error-free content being sent their way as well as those producers who need ideas on who to book for their radio and television guests spots.”

Old City Public Relations offers press release campaigns for local, regional, and national audiences. They also work with a range of brands, including global health nonprofits, craft distilleries, real estate professionals and homebuilders, attractions, bars and restaurants, filmmakers, artists, writers, and much more. Aside from press releases, some of the company’s specialties include media events, grand openings, brand awareness, and some marketing services such as blog writing and social media content creation.

“The reason I remain so passionate about what I do is that every day is different,” said Pound. “The clients are different and the type of content that I am creating is different. I’m a person who gets bored very easily, so having this type of diversity is the perfect fit for me.”

Although Pound went to school for communications and took a few classes in public relations, she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed the work until her three-year stint as Director of Communications for the St. Augustine Distillery. The craft spirits brand was just starting out when Pound came onboard and she was responsible for marketing new spirits and the tour and attractions side of the business as well as the brand as a whole.

“I loved deciding what was newsworthy within what the company was currently doing and then finding writers, social media influencers, bloggers, and other types of media contacts that I thought would be interested in that topic,” explained Pound. “I worked with national publications like Forbes, USA Today, and The Boston Globe as well as spiritsfocused media like Chilled and Whisky Advocate. To this day, my company specializes in working with craft spirits brands and other hospitality-focused companies.”

After more than five years since she started Old City Public Relations, Pound has a lot more flexibility with her work-life balance. She’s been able to take time off on weekdays to volunteer at her

daughter’s school and has been able to be choosy about the projects and clients that she takes on.

“I can’t believe how terrified I was to take the leap and start my own business,” she explains. “I had $500 in seed money to start Old City Public Relations and today, we are one of the most sought-after public relations firms in Northeast Florida. It’s surreal and incredibly fulfilling.”

Old City Public Relations is a boutique public relations company based in St. Augustine, Florida that specializes in press release campaigns, media events, grand openings, content creation, brand awareness, social media marketing, and other marketing services.

To learn more about Old City Public Relations, visit, contact and follow along on social media @oldcitypr

Provided photo/Justin Snavely Kara Pound and Gabby Ervin of Old City Public Relations Provided photo/Justin Snavely Black Hole Rainbows media event

Taste of the Holidays


Selected for the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award

Jacksonville, Florida

Grammy Award-winning jazz percussionist, producer and educator Ulysses Owens Jr. was recently named the 2022 Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award recipient by The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. The award, bestowed annually, recognizes a gifted local artist whose work brings distinction to Northeast Florida. The award is named for the late Ann McDonald Baker and includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant for the recipient.

Provided photo/Felicia Bass

A graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the Juilliard School of Music, and a Jacksonville native, Owens was called “a drummer who takes a back seat to no one,” by the New York Times. Owens’ artistic command of percussion has earned him positions in some of the most successful jazz ensembles in the world. His accolades are numerous, including being named a Rising Star by DownBeat Magazine five times in a row; the Gold Medal winner in the 2014 Global Music Awards; and a 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center Awards Honoree.

His most notable accomplishments are performances on the 2021 Grammy Award-winning album Dedicated to You, and the 2021 Grammy Award-winning Big Band album, The Good Feeling.

In addition to touring, he is regularly involved in special projects, including serving as Artist-in-Residence at the Park Avenue Armory Conservancy. He was also commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art to compose a work for the Museum’s Summer Garden Series. Owens has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to educating music’s next generation and has held music positions at numerous music schools.

“ ”
Just as remarkable, through Don’t Miss A Beat, Ulysses has impacted the lives of thousands of young people and their families in Jacksonville. Students have stayed in school, graduated, and received scholarships to colleges. His passion for cultivating young artists by investing in their education has profoundly benefitted our entire community.
Provided photo/Felicia Bass

Alongside his international touring schedule, Owens is deeply invested in Jacksonville. In 2008, he was inspired to create a nonprofit organization, Don’t Miss A Beat, with his family as an antidote to the level of high school dropouts and murder rates among young Black people in the community. The program began with the singular objective of helping suspended youth stay in school so they wouldn’t “miss a beat.”

Today, Don’t Miss A Beat blends music, art, academic achievement and civic engagement to enhance the lives of children, teens and their parents in the Riverside, Brooklyn and Woodstock communities of Jacksonville. The organization uses the performing arts to facilitate youth development, cultivate talent, provide academic support, and enhance educational achievement and graduation rates.

“Ulysses’ superior artistry has brought a singular

distinction to Northeast Florida. It is this type of dedication to craft Ann McDonald Baker sought to recognize in her lifetime through Art Ventures,” according to Amy Crane, senior program director at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and coordinator of the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award selection process.

“Just as remarkable, through Don’t Miss A Beat, Ulysses has impacted the lives of thousands of young people and their families in Jacksonville. Students have stayed in school, graduated, and received scholarships to colleges. His passion for cultivating young artists by investing in their education has profoundly benefitted our entire community.”

Owens was introduced as the 2022 Ann McDonald Baker Award winner at the Don’t Miss A Beat Summer Camp finale and the Broadway Production of Dreamgirls held last month in Jacksonville.

Provided photo/Felicia Bass

The DONNA Foundation

Announces New Partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars

The DONNA Foundation recently announced a new partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars, making the NFL team the presenting sponsor for the 16th annual DONNA Marathon Weekend Health & Wellness Expo, and the “Fearless” presenting sponsor of the Athletes’ Village for all DONNA Signature Events in 2023.

The partnership includes moving several 2023 DONNA Marathon Weekend events to TIAA Bank Field, including the two-day expo with packet pickup, the DONNA 5K and DONNA Dash. Moving these events to the stadium will elevate the experience for the more than 10,000 runners, survivors, volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors and other participants who travel from all 50 states and around the world each February. The Jaguars will also have a presence at other DONNA signature events in 2023, including the Black Knight DONNA Mother’s Day 5K in May, and THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K in October.

As changes to the Downtown Jacksonville landscape continue, the DONNA Foundation began a search for its new home for several events for the 2023 DONNA Marathon Weekend. A longtime partner, the Jaguars stepped in to become the presenting sponsor, giving DONNA Marathon Weekend Downtown events a home base.

This partnership expands a longstanding pairing of the two Jacksonville-based organizations to raise awareness and funds for families living with breast cancer. Under current owner Shad Khan’s leadership, the Jaguars became the presenting sponsor of the DONNA 5K and Family Fun Run in 2016 and in that same year made a $1 million commitment to the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center’s new facility. This partnership comes full circle

as the Jaguars step in as host for the Downtown Jacksonville DONNA Marathon Weekend events.

Through the DONNA CareLine and other avenues, the DONNA Foundation supports patients and families navigating a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as funds groundbreaking research to one day finish the disease. The Jaguars organization has a long history of supporting community health and wellness and, in conjunction with the NFL, annually recognizes the importance of cancer awareness during its Crucial Catch game. Together, these organizations are racing toward a future without breast cancer.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and their families every day, especially through our DONNA Marathon Weekend events. We are so proud to have the Jaguars join us this year as host to our downtown events,” said Amanda Napolitano, Executive Director of The DONNA Foundation. “Partnerships like this make what we do possible. As we look toward a future free from breast cancer in our Foundation’s 20th anniversary year, this sponsorship will help us make an even greater impact for the patients and families we serve.”



Arthur Hairston launches books and company to help families and educators understand disorders

Jacksonville, Florida

After working with children with autism, mental health, and behavior-related disorders as a teacher, Arthur Hairston and his wife Shanita have officially launched their company North Florida Behavior Consultants which offers training and solutions to schools, families and individuals with developmental delays. He is also writing books for adults and children to help them understand such disorders.


At 32-years-old Hairston, BCBA, M.Ed said he launched the company for families who needed the help and also to help educators who may not be trained in certain areas to deal with the disorders students may present.

“Having worked as a teacher, then a dean of students, plus helping families in foster care and adoption, I realized that certain demographics had different challenges,” Hairston said.

I always knew I wanted to use my acquired skills to hit the underserved and African-American areas because so many families just are not aware of what they can receive in terms of help when it comes to dealing with children who have behavior issues. I want to break that stigma that we as a community don’t seek help. It’s not just a child being bad. There are so many other factors we need to look into to help a child.

Hairston is now writing books for children, parents and educators to help with understanding behavior patterns. His first children’s book ‘Cloe Has A Tantrum’ was released in April 2022 and made Amazon’s top 10 bestseller list in the disabilities and emotional behavior categories. His book for teachers, “Behavior Management: Practical Applications To Apply To Your Classroom” will be released in October 2022.

In the meantime, Hairston continues in-person trainings, seminars, consultations and speaking engagements.

Autism/Behavior expert Arthur Hairston’s first children’s book ‘Cloe Has A Tantrum’ was

in March 2022

“ ”
released Arthur and Shanita Hairston of North Florida Behavior Consultants with their children. Provided photos/Arthur Hairston

Named Best Roadside Motel In America

St. Augustine, Florida

When husband-and-wife team, Adam and Leila Bedoian, opened The Local –St. Augustine last October, they never envisioned that they would quickly accumulate such a large social media presence, garnering viral viewership, and topping the must-see list for social influencers and travelers alike. And they did just that including being named the 2022 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Roadside Motel. The Local – St. Augustine took USA Today’s number one spot out of 20 motels around the country from Arizona to Maine.


Leila and Adam Bedoian Provided photo/ Lily Larson Photography
Provided photo/Justin Snavely

“It’s amazing to see our passion and commitment to this project be recognized and appreciated on a national level,” explained Leila Bedoian, co-owner of The Local – St. Augustine. “We are so excited to be able to bring attention to our local community, which has welcomed us so warmly, and we want to pass that hospitality on to our guests!”

Originally built in the 1940s, back when roadside motels were the standard accommodation offered in the Sunshine State, The Local – St. Augustine is currently a 21-room property renovated to feel like nostalgic Old Florida. It features a retro inground pool, flamingo pink façade, kitschy palm frond wallpaper, and seaside artwork as well as the new “Florida Room,” which functions as a hospitality suite, offering up complimentary coffee and tea services.

The Local – St. Augustine is also a digital property, which means that it features the latest technology such as an app that provides contactless check-in/check-out and acts as the front desk, verifying identification and granting access to a guest’s room with a digital key using Bluetooth technology while also providing a platform for guest services. This means that guests can bypass the front desk and use their phone as a key to their room.

Provided photo/Iris Photography
Provided photo/ Leila Bedoian

“Even though we both have extensive backgrounds in the hospitality industry, owning your own property is a completely different experience,” said Leila. “In less than a year, we have learned a lot about what the modern guest is looking for while also making fun improvements to the property such as revamped rooms, all new landscaping, and pool upgrades. We are one hundred percent focused on making sure our guests have an amazing experience when they come to St. Augustine. Exciting changes have just begun! Upcoming upgrades include a deck and more improvements to our outdoor areas and experiences!”


Founded in 2021 by Leila and Adam Bedoian, The Local - St. Augustine is located at 512 Anastasia Boulevard, just south of the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island. It is a pet-friendly, 21-room boutique-style inn that caters to the modern traveler with a digital check-in and check-out process and concierge app to help guests plan their St. Augustine vacation. For more information, visit and follow along on social media @thelocalstaugustine

Provided photo/Leila Bedoian
Provided photo/Justin Snavely
904-824-3206 904-824-7974



Janay White, affectionately known as “The GOAT” of entrepreneurship is the chief executive officer of eight successful companies including J White Enterprises. A mother of two from Jacksonville, Fla., Janay cultivates and creates opportunities for individuals to attain financial freedom and become prosperous in generational welfare.

Working two jobs a day for a living, Janay is no stranger to financial lack. Being coined as “less fortunate” she was not one born with the proverbial silver spoon. She worked for over nine years as a social worker and fraud investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families by day and as a Revenue Auditor in the Accounting and Finance Department for UPS by night.

With financial independence being a part of the foundation of her work, Janay says that she is “addicted” and passionate about credit repairing and sustenance. This passion and knowledge acquired with a lot of struggle, fuels her to educate others on wealth creation. She sat within inferior credit for seven years after receiving her first loan of $500 from Vystar Credit Union when she was 18 years old. She began rebuilding her credit at the age of 25, teaching herself to boost her scores. With the success of her credit boost, she seemed to have found the formula to not succumb to debt.

With self-determination, Janay is the chief executive officer of the following: J White Enterprises, Luigi’s Concrete and More, J White Marketing Inc., J White Construction


Inc., J White Business Center, J White Properties and More, J White Institute, and Free Game by J White.

As a successful example of what it means to be a Black woman in business and entrepreneurship, Janay has managed to acquire over 26 Airbnbs and has succor all 26 for over a year. She has also purchased a plethora of investment properties using business credit only and coached mentees who serve in real estate with purchasing properties using business credit totaling over $2.5 million

In addition, her firm was awarded Best Credit Company of the year in 2021 by Best Boss Awards Group and she currently serves as a Trustee Member of the Jacksonville Jaguars Leadership Team. She was also nominated as Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has been selected as the City of Jacksonville’s Entrepreneur of the Year for 2022.

Janay conducts seminars, classes, and even oneon-one counseling sessions to pass her knowledge of credit to others. She calls her seminars, The Credit Repair University where she focuses mainly on her mission to preach what she is practicing, i.e., financial independence especially while being a woman. She believes that with the right information, dedication and willpower, anyone can achieve financial independence.

The formerly homeless mom of two who is now 8 The CEO of SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES




Very common in adults and on the rise in children, heel pain continues to be the number one reason patients seek care from foot and ankle surgeons. While experts say there are many reasons for heel pain, including bursitis, Achilles tendonitis, bone bruises, fractures, growth spurts and nerve pain, the most common cause is plantar fasciitis, a condition that one in 10 people will suffer from in their lifetime.

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), plantar fasciitis can have serious repercussions if left untreated. Here’s what to know:


Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes in which the fascia becomes irritated and then inflamed. Symptoms include pain on the bottom of the heel, pain in

the arch of the foot, and swelling on the bottom of the heel. For many, the pain is worse upon arising and increases over a period of months.

A telltale sign of mechanical issues in the foot, those with overly flat feet or high-arched feet are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Lifestyle factors can also play a role. Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia. This is particularly evident when one’s job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity and overuse may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.


“We typically treat plantar fasciitis conservatively, at first,” said Michael J. Cornelison, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon and president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. “This can include a combination of remedies, including rest, exercises that stretch the calf muscles, orthotics, icing the heel, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, supportive footwear and physical therapy.”

Most patients respond well to conservative treatments. However, depending on the severity of the plantar fasciitis, additional therapies may be required, including:

• Injection Therapy: Growth factor injections and platelet rich plasma injections are used to boost the body’s healing response and help repair injured tissue.

• Shockwave Therapy: This in-office treatment uses sound waves delivered over the skin to slightly damage the tissue and stimulate the body’s natural repair process. This helps the plantar fasciitis heal and relieves pain symptoms without making an incision. Patients can expect to be up and moving immediately after treatment, but it may take three to six months to see results.

• Ultrasonic Treatment: In this newer procedure, a small incision is made into the heel of the foot and a probe directs ultrasonic energy at the fascia to break down bad tissue and help the healing process. A diagnostic ultrasound tool is used to create an image of the inside of the foot and guide the probe. Patients may need to wear a boot immediately after the procedure for up to two weeks and they can expect to see improvements anywhere from three to six months after the procedure.

• Surgery: Also called a plantar fasciotomy, this minimally invasive, minimally traumatic surgical treatment involves making a small incision through the heel into the damaged tendon to try to lengthen it and relieve tension. Patients tend to recover in six to 10 weeks, but it may take up to three months to resume exercise and more vigorous activities.

No matter what kind of treatment a patient undergoes, the underlying causes that led to the condition may remain. Preventive measures, such as wearing supportive shoes, stretching and using custom orthotic devices, are the mainstay of long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.


Nephew Tommy


Comedian Thomas Miles, better known as the nephew of Steve Harvey and the host of the hit dating show, Ready to Love, recently shared the news that he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The prank call comedian took some time off from being a radio personality and touring to undergo treatment. But the good news is, Nephew Tommy’s concer has since been completely removed and he’s on the road to recovery. The 55-yearold thanked his wife, Jacqueline Miles, for having his back throughout the ordeal.

Jacquline and Thomas have been married since 2016 but met in 1986. They share two sons and a daughter together – Thomas Wesley Miles III, Sydnei Miles, and Jhordyn Miles.

Thyroid cancer is a growth of cells that starts in the thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.

Thyroid cancer might not cause any symptoms at first. But as it grows, it can cause signs and symptoms, such as swelling in your neck, voice changes and difficulty swallowing. Several types of thyroid cancer exist. Most types grow slowly, though some types can be very aggressive. Most thyroid cancers can be cured with treatment.

“Thank you to my wife for her support. I am truly blessed,” he said in a caption accompanied by a photo of him in a hospital bed with his Jacqueline by his side. “May 18th, 2022 I got the call that I had been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. August 24, 2022 surgery was performed. ALL CANCER IS 100% GONE. No chemotherapy necessary.”


Pharmacists Turned Entrepreneurs Design

Jacksonville, Florida

Adiscussion between bearded men took root and grew a self-care brand serving unmet needs for men of color.

Pharmacists Dr. Derick McElveen Jr. and Dr. Theron Douglas created Everyday Fresh Club, a line of all-natural products specifically designed to address the deficiencies in hair, skin, and bald care products for men of color worldwide.

specifically designed to address the deficiencies in hair, skin, shaving and hygiene essentials. Everyday

McElveen, a graduate of Florida A&M University and Douglas, a University of Florida alum, met while working on the same floor of a military hospital for a week in 2017. The two shared their experiences attending pharmacy school at an HBCU and PWI , as well as grooming hacks that best suited their jobs’ strict clean-shaven demands.

Noting a lack of #blackowned beard care brands, the pharmacists used their expertise to develop a line of grooming, shaving and hygiene essentials. Everyday Fresh Club products are specially formulated to have substantial shelf life without the use of harmful chemicals and preservatives.

Since 2017, McElveen and amid all

Background: Since 2017, McElveen and Douglas’ began working on Everyday Fresh Club products until the COVID-19 pandemic catapulted them into entrepreneurship in 2020. Their discussion on aesthetics morphed into a conversation on mental health and wellness amid racial unrest and their immediate call to action as front-line workers during the global crisis. They were all hands on deck to save others, but they also realized the need to take care of themselves.

McElveen says, “It’s a fast-paced environment with hours

around the clock, and a mistake could kill someone. To have that emotional toll and keep moving, it’s a lot of pressure. Taking the

the day might bring– that is what inspired the brand. ” With pharmacists used their shared knowledge of

around the clock, and a mistake could kill someone. To have that emotional toll and keep moving, it’s a lot of pressure. Taking the time every day to prepare yourself, quiet your mind, and set your intentions despite what the day might bring– that is what inspired the brand. ”

With a focused intention on self care, the trained pharmacists used their shared knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding to create Everyday Fresh Club products. This line of grooming, shaving and hygiene essentials is specially formulated to have substantial shelf life without the use of harmful chemicals and preservatives.

shaving and hygiene essentials is specially formulated to have substantial shelf life without

McElveen and Douglas pitched their products at TechStars StartUp Weekend competition, hosted by Elevated Ventures, and University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurial Growth. They won third place, earning resources for business development, sales modeling and consulting.

McElveen and Douglas pitched their products at TechStars StartUp Weekend competition, hosted Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurial Growth. They consulting.

For these essential workers who continue to serve as pharmacists everyday, the goal is to accentuate self care as our most essential need.

For these essential workers who continue to serve as pharmacists everyday, the goal is to accentuate self care as our most essential need.

“If you start with yourself, it translates into everything you touch throughout the day, palpable in every interaction. If you prepare yourself to be your best, you just may accomplish it.” McElveen says.

touch throughout the day, palpable in every interaction. If you prepare yourself to be your best, you just may accomplish it.”

Pharmacists Dr. Derick McElveen Jr. and Dr. Theron Douglas created Everyday Fresh Club



Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are great sources of monounsaturated fats, while walnuts pack polyunsaturated fats. Next time you find yourself rummaging through the kitchen for a snack, grab some nuts. You can even add them to your salad for an extra crunch. For those that are into DIY, try mixing equal parts almonds, peanuts, seeds and dried fruit for your very own trail mix.

1 2

Seafood: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies are unable to make on their own. The omega-3s found in fish like salmon and herring, can promote heart, brain, and eye health.

Avocados contain 21 grams of monounsaturated fat plus an added bonus of nine grams of fiber. Luckily, avocados can be snuck into pretty much anything. The tried and trusty avocado toast is always a great option. Try spreading a quarter of an avocado on a piece of whole-grain toast for a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack. You can even swap saturated fats like butter in muffins or brownie mixes for avocado. Whether you choose to swap butter for avocado in whole or use half avocado-half butter, is completely up to you.

Seeds: The variety of seeds available are endless and so are the ways to incorporate them into your diet.They can be used as a topping for your salad or veggie dish or added to smoothies and yogurt.


3 7

Healthy oils: Not all oils are created equally. Some oils are healthier than others and it is completely possible to get both flavor and nutrition from them. So which oils are healthy?

Monosaturated fat-containing fats like peanut or canola oils or polyunsaturated fat-containing oils like sunflower, corn, soybean, or flaxseed oil are all good options. Try using these alternatives instead of saturated fat-containing oils like coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil. There is one caveat to healthy oils, however. They can contribute to excess calories. So when using them, try not to be too heavy-handed.

Soybeans (edamame in their natural form or tofu or tempeh in block form) really pack a punch in the protein and healthy fat department. Want to reap the benefits, but not sure where to start? Adding soybeans or grilled tofu to your salad is a great place to start.

Eggs are a popular source of protein, especially if you are a vegetarian. One 50 g hard-boiled egg boasts 5.3 g of fat, 1.6 of which are saturated, and just 78 kcal. Whatsmore, egg yolk contains vitamin D and choline, a B vitamin that supports the function of the liver, brain, nerves, and muscles. One egg a day can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a 2018 study. As you can see, fatty foods can be healthy as well and are essential. Next time, you’re looking for healthy fats, refer to this list.


With travel returning to normal, there’s a renewed interest in seeing the world but you don’t have to go far to bring the beautiful details of faraway destinations into your home’s spaces.

With this in mind, FrogTape brand painter’s tape and celebrity interior designer Taniya Nayak have identified the top design trends for 2023, all with an eye to how travel can inspire home décor. — Statepoint



Redrock Renewal

Breathe fresh air and renewed energy into your space with “Redrock Renewal,” which incorporates both nature and spirit through earthy tones paired with bold influences of turquoise, clay and olive. Embrace a clean, light slate layered with simple textures to create a room that is calm, joyful, serene and spiritual. This trend can make a big impact in any space through small details like textured pillows, cozy blankets and clay vases.

Bohemian Bazaar:

The “Bohemian Bazaar” style is about creating an environment that emboldens everyone in it to live a vibrant, authentic life. To achieve this look, add a pop of color where it’s least expected, like mixing chairs in different shades of fabric around the table or adding bright, bold hues to an otherwise small, dark hallway. Inspired by the people, culture and food of destinations like Morocco, India and Africa, this trend merges the details of handcrafted goods with soulful experiences by encouraging the mixing of patterns and colors.

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Midtown Modern:

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and excitement of a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle, but the “Midtown Modern” movement is about turning your place into a space to pause and savor every moment of each day. Implement saturated hues like black or navy to cre ate an urban, contemporary vibe. Elevate the look with plush fabrics like velvet, wool and satin. Complete the room by adding a special sparkle, with statement pieces that have bright, brass or metal finishes.

Nordic Nature:

“Nordic Nature” encour ages a pure, clean and fresh space by bringing elements of the outdoors into your home. The palette is reflective of a Scandinavian aesthetic, consisting of concrete, wood and crisp white walls to create a space with natural, modern and organic appeal. Look for unique oppor tunities to make nature-inspired but daring statements that balance the rustic feel with an uncluttered and contemporary vibe.

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2022 Schedule

Sun 09/11 L 26 - 27 New Orleans Saints

Sun 09/18 L 27 - 31 @ Los Angeles Rams

Sun 09/25 W 27 - 23 @ Seattle Seahawks

Sun 10/02 W 23 - 20 Cleveland Browns

Sun 10/09 L 15 - 21 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sun 10/16 W 28 - 14 San Francisco 49ers

Sun 10/23 L 17 - 35 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Sun 10/30 1:00 PM Carolina Panthers

Sun 11/06 1:00 PM Los Angeles Chargers

Thu 11/10 8:15 PM @ Carolina Panthers

Sun 11/20 1:00 PM Chicago Bears

Sun 11/27 1:00 PM @ Washington Commanders

Sun 12/04 1:00 PM Pittsburgh Steelers


TBD @ New Orleans Saints

Sat 12/24 1:00 PM @ Baltimore Ravens

Sun 01/01 1:00 PM Arizona Cardinals

TBD Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sun 09/11 L 22 - 28 @ Washington Commanders

Sun 09/18 W 24 - 0 Indianapolis Colts

Sun 09/25 W 38 - 10 @ Los Angeles Chargers

Sun 10/02 L 21 - 29 @ Philadelphia Eagles

Sun 10/09 L 6 - 13 Houston Texans

Sun 10/16 L 27 - 34 @ Indianapolis Colts

Sun 10/23 L 17 - 23 New York Giants

Sun 10/30 9:30 AM Denver Broncos

Sun 11/06 1:00 PM Las Vegas Raiders

Sun 11/13 1:00 PM @ Kansas City Chiefs


Sun 11/27 1:00 PM Baltimore Ravens

Sun 12/04 1:00 PM @ Detroit Lions

Sun 12/11 1:00 PM @ Tennessee Titans

Sun 12/18 1:00 PM Dallas Cowboys

Thu 12/22 8:15 PM @ New York Jets

Sun 01/01 1:00 PM @ Houston Texans

TBD Tennessee Titans


Sun 09/11 W 20 - 7 New England Patriots

Sun 09/18 W 42 - 38 @ Baltimore Ravens

Sun 09/25 W 21 - 19 Buffalo Bills














Thu 09/29 L 15 - 27 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Sun 10/09 L 17 - 40 @New York Jets

Sun 10/16 L 16 - 24 Minnesota Vikings

Sun 10/23 8:20 PM Pittsburgh Steelers

Sun 10/30




1:00 PM @Detroit Lions
Sun 11/06 1:00 PM
Sun 11/13 1:00 PM Cleveland Browns
11/27 1:00 PM Houston Texans
Sun 12/04 4:05 PM
San Francisco 49ers
Sun 12/11 4:05 PM
Los Angeles Chargers
Buffalo Bills
Sun 12/25 1:00 PM Green Bay Packers
Sun 01/01 1:00 PM
New England Patriots TBD New York Jets
09/11 W 19 - 3
Dallas Cowboys
Sun 09/18 W 20 - 10
New Orleans Saints
Sun 09/25 L 12 - 14 Green Bay Packers
10/02 L 31 - 41 Kansas City Chiefs
10/09 W 21 - 15 Atlanta Falcons
10/16 L 18 - 20
Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun 10/23 L 3 - 21
Carolina Panthers
10/27 8:15 PM Baltimore Ravens
11/06 4:25 PM Los Angeles Rams
11/13 9:30 AM Seattle Seahawks
11/27 1:00 PM
Cleveland Browns
12/05 8:15 PM New Orleans Saints
12/11 4:25 PM
San Francisco 49ers
12/18 4:25 PM Cincinnati Bengals
Sun 12/25 8:20 PM
Arizona Cardinals
01/01 1:00 PM Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons


The year 2022 came to us in a sobering way. Usually, we as a society are carefree, full of revelry and hope for a year that was better than the last. However, many of us are still operating in a posttraumatic stress disorder state because the shutdown in the pandemic year of 2020 left us shell-shocked. In addition to the lives lost; many of us are still dealing with being directly impacted by an aggressive virus that snatched our loved ones from our lives. 2020 gave us a wake-up call to the importance of connection, family, and how or what is relevant.

We’ve asked ourselves more meaningful questions like ‘How do we move forward after this?‘ Or ‘Will we ever find that new normal?‘ experts kept referencing ‘How do we remain hopeful and yet productive when there are still unanswered questions about how a virus that

decimated millions of families spreads and mutates?

One thing I recognized is a need to liberate ourselves from the pain of what may have happened in that shutdown year and the fear that still seems to plague us. These were the prevailing issues that were suggested or even directly communicated to us through the media. The sensational journalism tactics which kept us glued to our screens were crippling. We wanted to be educated about what was happening and how our lives would take shape in the future. However, we needed to be liberated from a mindset that was pointing us to gloom and doom mandates that would snuff out our joy, creativity, and peace. We needed liberation from anything that was standing in the way of us securing meaningful connections with loved ones. We needed to be liberated from a

methodology that suggested our only option for financial success was to appear daily at an office for eight hours a day to showcase our talents to affirm our lives have meaning.

Elevating our thinking is not for the faint of heart. Elevation in our thought process means we must do thing with intention. Although the journey can be terrifying, we must unleash new ideals to embrace the “new normal” we are being compelled to confront. We went into the pandemic kicking and screaming, filled with the “way we’ve always” done things only to realize that the old way wasn’t working and hadn’t been working for many years. It takes the bravery of an elevated soul to forge into a new frontier while paving the way for future generations.

We desperately need to uncover a way to neutralize the confusion and crippling


fear that followed what we as a society endured in the last two years. Since the shutdown, we’ve had a Birdseye view of a fallen system. Yes, we can blame it on the evils of capitalism, greed, or the many ills that plague our society. However, we now understand how relevant service workers, first responders, retailers and teachers are to the fabric of our lives. We learned to value the simple pleasure of hearing the cry of a newborn baby or the welcoming voice of a loved one on the phone. We realized how important self-care truly is; because we’ve reacquainted ourselves with how valuable community can be. Additionally, we’ve missed and understand there is nothing more sacred or meaningful than the power of the human touch.

Lastly, we all learned that money can fix a lot of things but not everything. We’ve learned all the riches that one can be amass will not always shield them from

pain. Given the right circumstances any person or family can be touched by a viral airborne monster that knows no class. We learned that liberating ourselves from the barrier of what we’ve always done allowed us to find our brave. In discovering it; we’ve had to face a bondage gripping fear which has altered us forever.

Now here we are in the last months of the year 2022 but as we look back; we can lift our heads high. We can be grateful that we survived that first year after the world was shaken to its core. We have overcome a shutdown, and somehow navigated our lives and family during a worldwide pandemic. We’ve sobered up and learned how to work from an office that may look more like our living room. Many have also overcome their fears of technology. We overcame the displacement and loneliness in our lives and now desperately know the value of being

physically and emotionally healthy. We hug each other a bit tighter and extend a bit more grace to those who are underserved. We learned to truly appreciate generations of ancestors that came before us because they overcame insurmountable odds to bring us to this moment because we were built to survive even this.

We realized at the end of it all, it’s the relationships and legacy we build now that truly matter. It’s not just how we survive it’s how we add value to the lives of those in our circle during our brief yet meaningful existence.

Dr. Denise J. Williams is a nationally certified empowerment coach and the founder of The Healing Place Global Alliance. The aim of her organization is to empower leaders and provide clients with the necessary tools to realize their dreams. She resides Jacksonville, FL with her husband of 15 years.


Edward Waters University Baseball receives $20,000 Donation from Tyson Foods

The 2022 Black College National Cham pion Edward Waters University baseball program recently received a $20,000 gift from Tyson Foods, title sponsor of the Black College World Series.

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein, made this donation to Edward Waters, while each of the other seven participants in the 2022 Black

College World Series (Florida Memorial, Talladega, Rust, Albany State, Miles, Kentucky State, and West Virginia State) each received $10,000 donations to their baseball programs.

“We thank Tyson Foods for their gener ous donation to our baseball program,” remarked head baseball coach Reginald Johnson, II. “This donation means so much to our guys and will go

a long way in continuing the success of our program both on and off the field.”

“Additionally, we would also like to thank the Executive Director of Black College Championships and Edward Waters alum Michael Coker for being the founder of the Black College World Series, and his continued coverage and support of HBCU Baseball for Black College Nines.”

Wealth Watchers Receives USDA Grant to Help Farmers of Color

Big news for a nonprofit committed to building wealth for future generations!

Wealth Watchers Inc. recently received more than $700,000 in grant funding over a three-year period to support under served farmers in Northeast Florida and Georgia.

The funding was made possible through the USDA’s 2501 Program. Wealth Watch ers was one of two Florida agencies to receive money. Through this investment, USDA awarded a total of $36.1 million to 52 organizations.

“We are so honored to be a recipient. We will be able to help deserving farmers and ranchers acquire, own, operate and retain their agriculture businesses. We will assist them with establishing economically sustainable systems for farming, ranching and land conserva tion,” said Carrie Davis, Wealth Watchers president and CEO. “This funding will go a long way in ensuring farmers of color have access to financial management, agribusiness education and more. This is another way for Wealth Watchers to build and create generational wealth.”

The funding will allow participants to implement outreach strategies such as on-farm demonstration projects, youth-related agriculture STEM programs and other USDA events. The Wealth Watchers team will partner with farmers and ranchers not only in Northeast Flori da, but also North Florida and Southeast, Southwest and Central Georgia. The monetary investments are part of USDA’s commitment to take aggressive action to advance equity for all, especially for farmers and producers in underserved communities.

Provided photo Members of the Edward Waters University baseball team pose with tournament officials Executive Director Michael Coker and Special Consultant Gavin King after winning the 2022 Black College World Series at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama this past May.

Junior Achievement of North Florida

Adds Seven New Members to its Board of Directors

Junior Achievement of North Florida has named seven new members to its board of directors. Nader Farhat, Patty Keenan, Jennifer Kirouac, Mike Knox, Shehani Ranadewa, Trish Skoglund and Shatara Troy have joined the board.

“We welcome everyone to the board and look forward to working together to achieve our mission of inspiring and preparing young people to succeed,” said Shannon Italia, president of JA of North Florida. “Each person brings experience and skill to their new role that will help guide our organization and drive results that increase our impact on students in Northeast Florida.”

Three of the new members come from the banking industry. Jennifer Kirouac has more than 25 years in banking and is currently the vice president, senior business banking relationship manager for First Horizon Bank. Kirouac has a passion for financial education and literacy and is excited to become a part of the JA of North Florida board as she has seen so many people throughout her career that have benefited from JA programs. Mike Knox is the senior vice president/senior relationship manager for PNC Financial Services and has been a volunteer for JA. He said that experience made him realize JA was the perfect outlet for him to give back to the community and positively impact young people’s perceptions about the importance of education and life skills. Shehani Ranadewa, an AVP with Deutsche Bank, also started with JA as a volunteer and has helped to coordinate several JA fundraisers. Ranadewa said teaching a JA class for a day allowed her to see firsthand the

positive impact that JA programs have on students.

Nader Farhat is the managing partner of the Jacksonville office for pWc and says he truly cares about school children and believes we all can make a difference in their lives. Patty Keenan is the chief learning officer for Miller Electric Company and founded an executive coaching firm where she coached CEOs and their executive teams for more than 15 years. Keenan realizes the importance of community leaders doing their part to build for future generations.

Trish Skoglund is the director of mergers and acquisitions with Crowley. She said she is looking forward to being part of an organization that provides resources to young kids to learn about the career and financial opportunities that are available to them, regardless of their socio-economic background.

Shatara Troy is a JA alumna who currently serves as both the COO of Harbor View Advisors and the managing director of the firm’s consulting practice area. Troy participated in JA as a high

school student in the Bahamas. She said the program provided one of her first experiences with entrepreneurship, strategy, and mentorship. Troy said JA sparked something in her that continues to guide her career and community involvement. She said she looks forward to helping ignite that same spark in a new generation of future leaders.

“We are excited to have these new members who understand and believe in what JA can do for the community and our young people,” said Meg Rose, JA of North Florida board chair. “We are at a critical time in the life of our organization and desire to expand our board with people who reflect the communities we serve and can help to drive our strategic initiatives related to growth and impact, particularly in the areas of financial literacy and work readiness.”

The seven members are now part of a board made up of 36 community leaders who volunteer their time to help promote and enhance the mission of JA of North Florida.

Jennifer Kirouac Mike Knox Trish Skoglund
Nader Farhat Patty Keenan Shatara Troy Shehani Ranadewa


Jacksonville marked First Inaugural R&B Soul Festival at Jacksonville Beach, Florida August 20, 2022. The event featured song artists Sunshine Anderson, Adina Howard, Cupid (Bryson Bernard), and others.

Sunshine Anderson Adina Howard Cupid
Photos by Tramaine Nunnally, Allene Bryant and Leroy Lewis



The Port of Brunswick handled 53,600 units of vehicles and heavy machinery in August, an increase of 1,700 compared to the same month last year. The auto port recently added Nissan to its list of customers. (Georgia Ports Authority)

Nissan North America has chosen the Port of Brunswick, Ga., as a new point of entry to serve U.S. markets.

“We are pleased that Nissan has chosen the Peach State as its gateway to the Southeast,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority. “Brunswick’s central location and superi or connectivity, combined with the ease of doing business in Georgia, make it the perfect home for Nissan to serve the fastest growing region in the U.S.”

Nissan North America joins two doz en other major auto manufacturers at Colonel’s Island. The 1,700-acre terminal provides immediate access to Interstate 95, and from there, I-10 and I-16.

“Brunswick is a great fit into Nissan’s network, based on its location close to our dealerships in the southeastern U.S., proximity to I-95 for truck haulaway, and rail connections,” said J.S. Bolton, director of supply chain management for Nissan.

At the GPA Board meeting Tuesday, Lynch reported that August Roll-on/ Roll-off volumes at the Port of Brunswick grew 3.3 percent to 53,600 units, an increase of 1,700 units of vehicles and heavy machinery compared to August 2021.

“For manufacturers seeking to serve areas such as Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte or markets across Florida, the auto port at Colonel’s Island offers the best mix of inland connectivity and a broad ocean carrier network,” said Cliff Pyron, chief commercial officer at GPA. “Its position as the nation’s second busiest, but fastest growing Ro/Ro port offers a strong customer endorsement for relying on Georgia Ports.”



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To help accommodate new business, GPA has developed an additional 85 acres for storage. Further, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions is building three new buildings to support its auto processing operation for Nissan and Infiniti. The buildings are expected to be complete this fall.

Also at its meeting, the GPA Board approved $60 million for additional buildings, property development and civil infrastructure to expand Ro/Ro capacity at Colonel’s Island Terminal. The new slate of projects is in addition to $186.8 million in improvements the board approved in January and March. A total of $25.4 million will go to upgrades for GPA common areas. Its presence to make Brunswick a hub port for its auto processing, combined with new customers such as Nissan coming onboard, Colonel’s Island Terminal is poised to become the nation’s premier gateway for vehicles and heavy machinery,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “With the enormous asset of space, our facility provides ample room to take on new business with on-site auto processing for services such as accessory installation.”

“With WWS expanding its presence to make Brunswick a hub port for its auto processing, combined with new customers such as Nissan coming onboard, Colonel’s Island Terminal is poised to become the nation’s premier gateway for vehicles and heavy machinery,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten. “With the enormous asset of space, our facility provides ample room to take on new business with on-site auto processing for services such as accessory installation.”

The Port of Brunswick recently received federal approval to add a fourth berth at Colonel’s Island. The project will more efficiently accommodate the larger vessels with a capacity of 7,000-plus vehicles that are becoming the industry standard at U.S. ports. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 561,000 jobs throughout the state annually, and contribute $33 billion in income, $140 billion in revenue and $3.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.

Keep Golden Isles Beautiful Receives Grant

Keep Golden Isles Beautiful has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Wells Fargo that will fund three Golden Isles area clean and green projects.

The grant will allow the nonprofit to replace a pelican litter prevention sculpture in downtown Brunswick’s Mary Ross Park. It will also fund a new Brunswick Mobile Gardens project that will provide bucket gardens to qualifying city residents who are 65 years or older and will fund the Stash Boat Trash program, which outfits boaters with mesh garbage bags to prevent boat-related litter and marine debris.

“We are beyond thrilled to be named a Wells Fargo grant recipient,” said Keep Golden Isles Beautiful executive director Lea King-Badyna. “These three exciting and beneficial projects would not be possible without this grant funding.”

“I love volunteering with Keep Golden Isles Beautiful,” said Wells Fargo regional banking manager Dwain Walcott. “The nonprofit’s mission to keep Georgia clean, green and beautiful aligns with Wells Fargo’s mission to integrate sustainability across our business for our customers and our communities. We are excited about the positive community impacts these projects will bring to coastal Georgia.”

For more information about project volunteer opportunities contact Keep Golden Isles Beautiful: or 912-279-1490.

Regional banking manager Dwain Walcott, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful executive director Lea King-Badyna, St. Simons branch operations manager Yukia Fuller and St. Simons branch manager Bobby Turman.

Dana Roberts Beckham Georgia spotlight

Family: Johneya’ Beckham (Daughter), Jamie Cooper Jr (Son)


Family Support Specialist with Costal Coalition for Children- Healthy Families of America (8yrs)

What brought you here to the Golden Isles?

I was born and raised here in Brunswick, GA. My mother’s side of the family extends back eight generations from the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation. The ninth generation is said to have come from Senegal or Sierra Leon (West Africa). My greatgreat-great-great-great grandmother Lettie Bennett acquired 300 acres of land along Highway 17N in the Needwood Community. My great grandparents moved closer into the city of Brunswick with their children. I was educated in the Glynn Count School System, where I graduated from Glynn Academy High School in 1986.

Tell us a little bit about your career path?

I started my career at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, where I worked for 16 years with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Home Land Security. For the last eight years, I have worked as a Family Support Specialist at Coastal Coalition for Children, Healthy Families of America. “I like to say, I help develop whole and healthy families throughout the community by working with prenatal mothers, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I am also the CEO and founder of my own profit Friends of Historic Selden Park in Honor of Genoa Martin. I am also the proud owner of Geechee Girls Tastings & Tours, a touring company that provides tours of African American historical sites along the Gullah Geechee Corridor in Glynn and McIntosh Counties to include: Brunswick, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Sapelo Island, and Darien, Georgia. Each tour is followed by a traditional Gullah Geechie delicious dish or a savoring meal.


What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about my family.

My family means everything to me. I am also passionate about teaching Gullah Geechee history and telling Gullah Geechee stories of families around the area. I am passionate about Social Justice for all people. That’s why I find myself involved in Lastly, I would say I am passionate for taking care of the elderly and children. I feel a spiritual connection to the elderly and to children.


Best piece of advice I have ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received in the “Always trust your instincts.” I always pay very close attention to my intuition and to my inner-spirit.

What is something most folks don’t know about you?

Most folk do not know I keep my circle very small. Because I am a social butterfly, folk may think I enjoy the company of many people, “I do, but I keep my few close friends closer”.

What are some future goals that you are looking to achieve?

I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology/Community and Organizational Leadership from the College of Coastal Georgia. Because

I am concerned with the physical and psychological well-being of all people and look at prevention as a way to promote individual wellness so one of my goals are to become a community psychologist.

“I’ve always wanted to be Dr. Dana Roberts, Ph.D”. I‘d loved to open a few Air B&B’s on my family land. I am looking to start traveling the world, especially across the continent of Africa

Name someone you consider to be your mentor. I consider Barbara R. Arnwine, Esq. as my mentor. She is the Founder and President Emeritus of Transformative Justice Coalition, the Laywer’s Committee for Civil Rights.


Five Star Credit Union Foundation Makes $10,000 Scholarship Grant to the College

The Five Star Credit Union Foundation made its first scholarship grants to help students pay for college for the 20222023 school year. The Five Star Credit Union Foundation awarded the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick $10,000 for incoming freshmen. Providing scholarships is one of the main ways the Five Star Credit Union Foundation removes the financial barrier to college for students in the Wiregrass.

“Our purpose at Five Star is to brighten the financial future of the communities we serve,” said Robert A. Steensma, president of the Five Star Credit Union Foundation. “By helping as many students as possible attend college, it sets a foundation for the rest of their lives. We want to not only remove barriers for our members to gain access to financial services, but we also want to remove barriers to help our communities prosper and gain the skills

they need to be successful.”

The $10,000 grant will enable two students to be able to attend college tuition free this school year. The grant goes into the College of Coastal Georgia scholarship system. The recipients of the scholarship will be chosen by the College of Coastal Georgia.

“We are so thankful to the Five Star Credit Union Foundation for their generous gift to Coastal Georgia students,” said College of Coastal Georgia President Michelle R. Johnston. “This scholarship will make a significant difference in the lives of students and will allow them to stay focused on their education.”

GCSS Surpasses State, National Graduation Rates

In the latest analysis report released by the Georgia Department of Education, Glynn County Schools is once again recognized as a state leader in graduation rates. With an overall graduation rate of 95.2 percent – up from 93.9 percent in 2021 – Glynn County Schools has surpassed the state average and is now among 41 districts statewide that recorded graduation rates at or above 95%.

Glynn County Schools Assistant Superintendent Tracolya Green attributes these positive results to “our students and their families’ resilience as well as the commitment of school staff who monitored and supported them throughout the school year and the pandemic. Our

leaders maintained high expectations for every student and provided resources for those who were at risk of graduating on time.”

This year, students at Brunswick High recorded a 94.5 percent graduation rate this year, up from 93.1 percent in 2021. Glynn Academy students saw a 95.8 percent graduation rate in 2022 compared to 94.4 percent last school year.

Scott Spence, superintendent of Glynn County Schools, said the rate increase in Glynn County, when compared with the decrease seen in surrounding counties, speaks to the work done daily by teachers and administrators.

According to the Georgia DOE’s report, high school graduation rates rose to 84.1 percent in 2022– an all-time high since the state began using the adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law, and up from 83.7% in 2021.

Georgia’s graduation rate has increased by 14.4 percentage points since 2012.

“Teachers and students who persevered through the challenges of the last several years deserve credit for Georgia’s graduation rate increasing and other recent positive indicators, like Georgia students beating the SAT national average once again,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.

Mike Bridges, Five Star Credit Union Foundation Secretary/Treasurer, Freddie Jackson, Five Star Credit Union Foundation Board Member, Michelle R. Johnson, College of Coastal Georgia President, and James Bessette, College of Coastal Georgia Vice President of Advancement.



GLYNN ACADEMY City Championship


Brunswick High has now won three straight years over crosstown rival Glynn Academy in City Championship.

Photos by Djuan Powell/ New Lens Photography and others

November 13

Brunswick PorchFest

Noon - 6 pm

Historic Old Town Brunswick

Bands will perform on porches of homes. Food trucks and beverage stations will offer items for sale. Admission is free. The event will be held rain or shine.

November 14 to 20

The RSM Classic

Hosted by Davis Love III, will be held from November 14 to 20 at the Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island. For details, visit

November 19

Kingsland Catfish Arts & Food Festival

9 am - 5 pm

Live Music, Outdoor Event, Admission is free

Presented by The Kingsland Downtown Development Authority ( KDDA )

December 3

Jekyll and Hyde Comic Con

11:00 am – 6:30 pm

Jekyll & Hyde returns to Brunswick, GA at the Glynn Place Mall for another year of nerdy fun with our partners POP VAULT! The festivities include: vendors, artists, panels, cosplayers & costume contest

December 3

The Brunswick Christmas Parade

The annual community Brunswick Christmas parade takes

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walking groups,
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Mary Ross Waterfront Park in the heart of the Old Town National Register Historic District.
The RSM Classic


AUTHORS Become Six-Figure Storytellers

Jasmine Womack, an Atlanta-area mom and former middle school teacher has earned over a million dollars on a single platform by coaching and selling books. Recognized by digital content creation tech company Kajabi, she’s now holding in-person intensives to show others how to do the same so that they can share their skills and earn thousands as self-published authors.

Womack admits her path to success was met with some obstacles she had to overcome in her personal and professional life, and even though she loved her teaching career, she desired a switch because she was overwhelmed and burned out. After writing her first book, she learned to navigate and market with digital platforms and made $5,000 in pre-sales alone. This led her to host own online workshop, offer

business and coaching services and earn $125,000 within a year.

“I went full time into entrepreneurship and one day, I clicked into my Kajabi portal and saw in that outlet alone, that I had crossed the million dollar mark,” recalled Womack who generated nearly $1.5 million dollars from writing, speaking, and coaching in other online spaces. “This started out as me wanting to spend more time with my husband and children instead of being burned out from work and now, I feel as if I am breaking strongholds, shifting mindsets, restoring faith and helping people become the best versions of themselves while sharing their stories.”

Womack was so inspiring, Kajabi highlighted her as a Top 10 Black History Month Hero in 2022 about a year after her book, ‘Published and Paid: Write, Self Publish and Launch Your Nonfiction Book In 90 Days Or Less’ was released.


As an executive coach and writing consultant, Womack notes that she doesn’t work with everyone. This is the reason she launched her free group Make An Empact on Facebook, and her paid Author Made Easy Bootcamp®. In October, she also challenges authors in person during her three-day retreat for aspiring and published authors, speakers, and personal & professional development coaches who are ready to lay the foundation to write a best selling book and build a six figure online coaching business.

Womack, who was raised by her teen mother and stepfather, said that she had always felt a connection to writing and publishing. As a college student, she met a long-lost cousin from her father’s side who informed her that in 1921, her paternal great-grandmother Mary Lena Lewis Tate was one of the first Black women in the USA to own a publishing company.

“That was a defining point in my life because I realized the call on my life was already destined in my bloodline,” said Womack. “My ancestor created her publishing company to have material for ministry as she founded the Holiness Church. And here I am, all these years later, having been disconnected from that side because I didn’t know my father that well, still fulfilling her legacy and creating my own.”

Womack said that she encourages the people she works with to understand that their books and programs are not just about them doing something but to create a legacy for themselves and their family as she did for her children.

“It’s not just about showing people how to create their bankable books and products but about shifting their mindsets to see the importance of creating the life that they desire,” she said.
“It’s about total transformation and leaving a mark.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION and to attend her programs, visit
52 nd Thiokol Anniversary CommemorativeCeremony Y O U A R E C O R D I A L L Y I N V I T E D T O T H E IN HONOR OF THE PATRIOTS & HEROES "Their Spirit illuminates the City on the Hill" F R I D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 3 , 2 0 2 3 A T T E N O ' C L O C K T H E H I S T O R I C K I N G S L A N D D E P O T 2 0 0 E . K I N G A V E N U E K I N G S L A N D , G E O R G I A 3 1 5 4 8


International HISTORY


After losing her mother and her closest cousin to cancer, then being told she too had cancer and would need her leg amputated, Erin Brown went from worrier to warrior and is now an internationally recognized disability inclusion consultant and ambassador who has presented to the UN, WHO and PAHO roles as International Disability Inclusion Consultant for the Caribbean. Additionally, she created a movement to empower people facing cancer and living with disabilities, from paralympic development to disability rights.


In 2021, Brown’s tremendous contributions led to her being a face of Royal Caribbean Cruise International (RCCI), a historical moment as she is the first Bahamian, paratriathlete and Black woman with a disability named Godmother of Odyssey of the Seas.

Years ago, Brown fell while she was a student at university in the USA and a doctor examining noticed a mass that would later be diagnosed as bone cancer, osteosarcoma. She later experienced disrespect as an above-the-knee amputee, especially in her native Bahamas which did not have the support for the disabled when compared to other places. A passionate ally for the underdog and community activist, she transitioned from self-advocacy pledging to use her voice to amplify the disabled voices of those with disabilities to help them advocate for access, inclusion and opportunities. This included calling out jobs that were prejudiced against hiring qualified people based on disability, creating more parking spaces and being represented in forums where disabled voices were not represented on a global level.

In order to do more, Brown began training to get her strength and eventually, her athletic prowess led her to become the first disabled paratriathete from The Bahamas to compete internationally. Usually the only amputee in many of the events, fellow competitors began calling her Bionic Brown.

Now at 41 and with the trust of those she represented, she created Erin Brown Connects Disability Advocacy and Inclusion Management, a multidimensional entity she raises funds for so that she can continue to assist the disabled with basic necessities, job training and more.

Among her international accolades, Brown has worked along with the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, spoken before the United Nations and was recently declared RCCI Godmother to Odyssey of The Seas by Royal Caribbean. It was a national celebration as even the Bahamas Prime Minister led congratulatory remarks.

“My experiences have empowered me to reinvent myself and transform my life, and I’m committed to helping ensure others can do the same,” said Brown. “Every time someone walks on that ship and sees my photo, hear my story, or meet me in person, they see a cancer fighter, a Black woman, a woman, a single parent, an athlete, an advocate, an ambassador... I saw a need to create a solution and after being ignored for years, to be recognized by such entities, by national leaders, by international organizations and more is truly a testament that people will eventually listen if you continue the fight. It’s not about being known in women’s month, cancer awareness month or disability awareness week because this is my daily life. I do it for those who need to be seen and heard and who don’t have the strength to fight. We matter.”

Now, Brown is writing a children’s book to help others, especially families with young children, find strength when a parent is battling cancer. From age 12, she watched her own mother eventually lose her battle with cancer and feared her children would lose her too. That gave her the strength to fight and write. She admits to being inspired by her son, who is now in college and her daughter who recently entered elementary school. She noted that as a divorced mom, she wants to encourage single and divorced parents with disabilities that they are valuable.




Meet Kescha Wilson, The HBCU Grad Who Mentored FBI Agents, Law Enforcement Officers


Kescha Wilson, the mom who mentored both FBI agents and members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and whose talents as a nuclear scientist helped her dismantle meth labs, is now teaching women in high level executive careers to extinguish exhaustion and balance their personal and professional commitments.

Wilson details the strategies in her book ‘The Power of Ease: A Blueprint For Women Leaders To Put Yourself First While Managing A Thriving Home Life And A Legacy-Driven Career’. She also creates strategies for individuals wanting to reprioritize their work-life structure. The book and resources were birthed from her own experience


of feeling T.I.R.E.D (like Turning In Resignations Every Day). She says some of her clients express they feel the same after experiencing microaggressions, workplace trauma, fatigue from being resilient for too long, and even feeling like they have to sacrifice their well-being in order to have it all.

“I know firsthand what it is like to seemingly have it all but feeling like I would be buried under the weight of it sometimes,” said Wilson. “It’s even more challenging to have a demanding career, manage the responsibilities of home, and navigate some of life’s devastating and unexpected events. It is possible to have it all. You have to define what having it all means to you. Burnout can happen but understanding your individual recipe for it and customizing a plan to get ahead of it is vital.”

Wilson’s story begins in Crystal Springs, Mississippi where she was raised by parents who were education professionals. She later graduated with honors from Alcorn State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and was inducted into the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society. She is also a former member of MAMP (Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation), a program dedicated to advancing the talents of STEM students in underrepresented groups.

As a chemist in Tennessee’s Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), Wilson became the front line supervisor whose duties involved conducting lab testing on nuclear fuel for naval submarines and aircraft carriers as well as other enriched uranium products. She later joined the North Carolina State

Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent and Forensic Chemist. Wilson was an expert witness in drug chemistry and was certified in dismantling clandestine laboratories used to make methamphetamine. Following the September 11th, 2001 attacks, she enlisted in the FBI as a Special Agent where she conducted highly sensitive investigations assigned to multiple divisions including Louisville, New York City, and Washington, DC. She also mentored and counseled hundreds of high performing professionals through the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

These days, Wilson has found her balance as a wife, parent and caregiver to her aging mother while teaching women to shift through her personal development company, Design Her Queendom®. Through this company, she has led high achieving professionals through burnout recovery and guided them to realign their lives to their value system.

“I want to help resilient women leaders reprioritize themselves while managing the demands of career and responsibilities of home,” Wilson says. “While it is great to perform well, we must also learn to prioritize ourselves so that we can give our best to others.”

For more information visit

Former FBI Special Agent Kescha Wilson
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