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@deluxmagazine Keith N Griffin II

PUBLISHER/CO-FOUNDER @1CognacPapi Lawrence Bryant Co-Founder @lbfoto1 Michael Winfield Co-Founder @brklynstl



Kyle A Griffin Co-Founder Brian Shields Co-Founder MANAGING EDITOR Ashley Winters


EXECUTIVE EDITOR Shadress Burks MARKETING DIRECTOR ML Hunt Photographers McArthur Smith Allen B. Thompson Mena Darre Keith N Griffin II Omar O’Hara




regular featured Stuff 8 Who Got Next 12 Art + Culture 14 Beauty 16 People Who Inspire 18

23 47 48 67 68

COVER: DELUX 50 Maxine Waters 13 FACTS: Joel Richardson DELUX EATS DLXProfile: Books + Bros


DELUX MAGAZINE No. 48 Mar/Apr 2017 · Year 8· PUBLISHER Keith Griffin II GRAPHIC DESIGN G5IVE MEDIA GROUP 2525 January Ave St. Louis Mo 63110 DISTRIBUTOR Papers Unlimited MO IPAD APP Available in itunes store WEBSITE ADVERTISING Email SUBMISSIONS Email PRESS RELEASES Email

Editor’s Note By Shadress Burks It’s officially springtime! A time where we come out of our winter hiding places, and allow the sun to shine on our skin once again. It’s a time of transitioning, rebirth, and what other time to try something new than when a season changes over.

This issue is special to me, and to all of us at DELUX, because we are celebrating women! There is no better time to do that than in the month carved out to celebrate the women who created us. In a society, where we are held to so many beauty and professional standards, yet overlooked, we wanted to shine a light on all of the dope women out there. Being a woman is one the biggest honors you can have. We are nurturers, fighters, and uniquely constructed. We hold the pressures of life on our shoulders, while keeping our crown tilted just right. We slay effortlessly, and when we unite with our fellow sisters, we are a force to be reckoned with. We keep the world spinning as we aid in its constant rotation. Women are the real architects of society. And I could not imagine being anything other than a woman. Though there are so many women out there doing their thing, this month we wanted to dedicate this issue to 50 of the Most Intriguing Women, making moves and changing the game. As you turn the pages, we hope they inspire you as they did us.

may we be them, may we praise them, and may we raise more. The women on our cover embody roles in a variety of career fields. They are examples of willpower, endurance, success and strength across different generations. They reflect how beautiful, intelligent, and divine we were created to be.

In honor of celebrating women, I leave you with this: To all the queens out there, may we be them, may we praise them, and may we raise more.


The Swift Life THE ALL NEW MARTELL BLUE SWIFT In 1783, Martell was the first to ship its barrels of cognac to the United States. Today, Martell celebrates this history with another first : Introducing Martell Blue Swift, the first-ever Martell VSOP matured in French Oak casks and finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks. Martell’s signature process of distilling cognacs free of impurities leave it open to absorbing the rich aromatic tones from the bourbon cask. The result is Martell’s hallmark cognac style, characterized by delicate notes of candied fruit and plum, now complimented by the subtle sweetness of vanilla and toasted oak from bourbon casks. Exceptionally smooth, with a rounded taste and unique character, this redefines the boundaries of cognac. For years, the Swift has been an icon for Martell. A bird with the rare ability to fly for days without stopping, the Swift is bound by nothing – traversing oceans and continent.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar® winner Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.

WHERE BROOKLYN AT!? Men and women alike will love smelling great with Bond No. 9 Brooklyn, a fragrance by Bond No. 9. This scent was released in 2009 and has notes of juniper, cardamom, grapefruit, and more, making it neutral enough for either sex. The moderate scent is best for daytime, and it won’t overwhelm work colleagues or friends. The fragrance lasts for hours, making it ideal for the workday or afternoons with friends. New York’s legendary city within a city, home to a century or more of strivers, dreamers, and Nobel laureates, its reinventing itself, neighborhood by neighborhood, as an edgy metropolis… Notes: Grapefruit, Cardamom, Cypress-wood, Geranium Leaves, Juniper Berrie, Cedarwood, Leather and Guaiacwood 100ml - Complimentary Scent of Peace for Him pocket spray — $260.00 50ml — $190.00 Gold Pocket Spray 7ml — $95.00


Acme Made was created in 2002 with the sole purpose of designing, manufacturing and selling well-designed products to protect your Apple computer and peripherals. Their goal has always been to build the best products possible using the highest quality materials available; high-impact plastic

INTRODUCING: AVION RESERVA 44 Avión Reserva 44 is crafted in the highlands town of Jesus Maria, Mexico. The process to create this exceptional tequila begins with the founder’s unwavering commitment to quality. Avión Agave is hand selected and estate grown at 7,000 feet above sea level. Slow roasted in brick ovens for 72 hours, the Avión Agave is carefully distilled and filtered through Avión’s proprietary ultra-slow filtration method, where it is then aged for 43 months in oak barrels to create an incredibly smooth and finely balanced finish. The final step for Avión Reserva 44 is aging the liquid for an additional month in specially selected petite barrels, which are rotated daily. It is during this intensive process that Reserva 44 takes on its rich, complex character. The liquid is then hand-filled into a fire polished crystal bottle, hand numbered and individually signed by Founder, Ken Austin. Reserva 44 is then enclosed in a uniquely crafted luxury gift box and shipped in a wooden crate.

inserts and orged metal hardware help make this vision a reality.

“I’ve waited and waited to release Avión Reserva 44. Years ago, I reserved specific batches of our tequila to be placed into the Reserva 44 barrels and have closely watched their progression,” said Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman. “This release is the culmination of our bespoke tequila process. Reserva 44 is a spirit that the most demanding of tequila connoisseurs and single malt scotch drinkers will fully appreciate.”

With over 30 years experience in the design, advertising and technology worlds, the Acme Made team continues to create durable Apple design products that are sure to last a lifetime.

Avión Reserva 44 has the distinctive character of Avión Agave with hints of warm vanilla, ripe luscious fruits and a touch of spice—the hallmark of Avión fine tequila. It is 80 proof and is available in 750ml fire polished crystal bottles (SRP – $150.00). It is best enjoyed neat at room temperature or with a single cube of ice.



NO PLACE LIKE HOME hether you’re enjoying family game night or entertaining guests during a party, there is no better place to congregate with family and friends than the living room or family room. True to its name, it’s the space where you and your family truly live; you watch movies, read stories, roughhouse and maybe get some homework done. As the focal point of the home, it’s meant to be comfortable, with a cozy fireplace, practical furniture, fully stocked bookshelves and, of course, a nice big-screen TV. Because it’s where we spend most of our time, it is important to truly love and be inspired by your space. While planning a renovation or redesign, it’s key to keep your family’s needs in mind. If you love playing games, ensure there is a large table for game night. If your kids are all about video games, there should be plenty of seating and the TV setup should be fully stocked. And if you want to encourage studious behavior, add a built-in desk, bookshelves and a handy reading nook. To start your process, your first priority is thinking about your focal point. Many living rooms aren’t complete without a fireplace, but if you live in a warmer climate, maybe a large entertainment center is your best bet. Once you figure out your top feature, invest in those built-ins. Bookcases, media consoles, desks and shelves are a great way to add practical storage without taking up too much space. Finally, when the big components are planned out, think about what color scheme and decor will best suit you and your family. Should I include a fireplace in my living room or family room? Depending on your climate, a fireplace might be a great way to add warmth and interest to your living space. Even if your location is warm year-round, you can always add a faux fireplace or nonfunctioning

fireplace as part of your decor. There are many options to choose from, so be sure to check them out. A wood-burning fireplace gives an authentic experience, though a gas one still emits heat without the mess. A double-sided or corner unit strays from the ordinary, or you can go with a wood stove fireplace if you’re looking for a piece of art. If you want a contemporary touch, veer away from the traditional wood or tile mantel by going with stone, concrete or metal instead. What kind of built-ins should I add to my living room? Although it might not seem glamorous, having enough storage is instrumental when it comes to keeping the room organized and practical. Built-in bookcases, shelves and cabinets are a great way to add hidden, functional storage for all the knickknacks you accumulate. Movie and gaming buffs will love a custom entertainment center, with enough cabinets for movies, speakers and electronic accessories; you can even create a media room with a projector and lounge chairs! If you still have room to spare, include a booth for homework or craft projects. How do I decorate my family room? When it comes to decorating, neutrals are always the safe option because they look good and never go out of style. If you do want to try out a bolder color scheme, add color with walls and accessories. That way, if you get sick of a color, you can quickly repaint the walls and find new knickknacks, instead of having to replace your sofas every time trends change. Popular colors include blue, green and gray, but don’t be afraid to try bright colors like red or yellow, even if it’s just on an accent wall. Finally, make sure there is plenty of light. Recessed or track lighting are great ways to hit every corner — better yet, add more natural light by installing additional windows or a skylight.


Dante Wolfe By Ashley Winters

“it’s about what you’re saying when you’re saying it..

Speaking with St. Louis’ up and coming rap artist, Dante Wolfe was like no other interview, I guess you could say it was more like at chat between two friends discussing music. Who has the dopest rhymes, who influences him musically, so on and so forth. But the interesting part was talking with Dante in the heart beat of St. Louis’s music scene only added to the magic. Sitting across the street from the famous Vintage Vinyl Records with the newly painted mural of one of the founding fathers of Rock-n-Roll, Chuck Berry with Bob Marley playing in the background. The sun was shining and a nice, cool breeze made it all perfect. Even at one point, the roles switched and he started to interview me as we bumped heads about Kanye West and these so called new rap artist like Lil Yachty and Young Thug, but I won’t get into that (laughs). However, I will say Dante Wolfe is one to keep an eye on. Growing up on the north side of St. Louis, music has always been a part of him, listening to all types of music with his dad he was exposed to more than the average kid. Dante can recall listening to Hip-Hop legends like Wu Tang Clan and Ghostface Killa that gave him his first kiss with music. Dante has had an interesting journey towards his musical career starting with theater. Attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, is where part 2 of his musical journey started. Being a theater major, Dante had the opportunity to see firsthand how powerful performing can be. It was his way of holding up a mirror to society and showing them their reflection, and he believes his music can do the same thing by telling the stories of the community. He’s trying to pull something out of his fans, blending his natural talents in acting and music makes Dante a force to be reckoned with especially on his latest album Carlton Ave. He describes the album being very cinematic in the way it is put together, there are music pieces constructed in a way that is the beginning, middle, climax, and an ending that is telling the story of his life from 2014 to 2016. He strongly feels when he has completed an album those on the receiving end should know something about him. Dante doesn’t understand how some rappers don’t want the title of a rapper, to him it is one of the most influential genres in music. He explains that Hip-Hop/Rap has crossed over into almost every entity out here, fashion, dancing and it’s the expression and attitude of the culture. And the way he makes sure he is doing it for the culture is by joining the Meditate Elevate Record label better known as MME Records, an independent label that appreciates music and

the art of it is what drew him in. At a young age, Dante started rapping back in 2009 as he became a student to the rap game. He made it his business to listen to as many rap artists as he could. He wanted to use his music to talk to the streets. Acknowledging he has a platform and a real opportunity to touch people, referencing Hip Hop greats like Jay Z who reports what’s going on in the ‘hood’ but will follow up with lyrics like “ Hov did that so hopefully you won’t have to go through that” from his chart topping Izzo (H.O.V.A). For Dante, it’s about what you’re saying when you’re saying it, and reaching the people you can. Things you digest in your everyday life comes off in their music, and for some artist it’s drugs, sex, rock-n-roll. It’s turn up, turn up, turn up, but as an artist you still have some type of responsibility. Rap music creates opportunities for that people that wouldn’t have it otherwise. And speaking of turn up music, it wouldn’t be a good interview without a healthy debate about the new direction of rap music. As someone who came up with labels like Cash Money and No Limit, I was like what happened to the “good ole” days, referring to my favorites like Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Outkast, T.I, and Ludacris. But of course, like most music artists, he broke it down in a way that only someone who is musically inclined could. He explained some of these new artists like Lil Yachty need time to be groomed and to grow into his own, not to him or the rest to harshly. So needless to say, Dante Wolfe taught me a new perspective regarding some of these new age rap artists. Now, regarding his performance and lyrics with all the confidence he proudly states as a rap artist they have this moment when they first write something and when they read it back it like Yo! This ish is dope as hell, let me rap that again. That moment is everything to him. That moment of creation when that dope lyric came out of nowhere is so cold you don’t need nobody to tell you it is cause you already know. So, what’s next for Dante Wolfe? Well he wants to remain an independent artist and have complete control over his catalog, touring and hopefully to one day partake in an acting project. But what I do know is his talents will take him far, sky’s the limit for him.

Who Got Next




providing logistical and culinary solutions



Providing Logistical & Culinary Solutions


VENUES Third Degree Glass Factory Sheldon Concert Hall The Rialto Ballroom

Mad Art Gallery NEO The Carriage House at DeMenil


Life Changing Art By Ashley Winters

“He wants to live his everyday life like his mantra. Keep Grinding. Keep God. Keep Going.”

Sitting in Kas King’s newly owned art gallery Magnify; I could tell he was so excited proud and humbled at the same time. To finally be an owner of his destiny by having his own art gallery. Located just blocks away from the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Stadium, the cozy gallery will be a new home to many of St. Louis’ finest. Moving to St. Louis in 2006 from Springfield, IL for Kas seemed like he was in the land of opportunity coming from a smaller town. Taking up some courses in Business soon helped Kas realize he wasn’t living his full potential if his art was not involved, he wanted to completely dive in it, nothing but him and his visions. In in the beginning, Kas King started out doing logos for a variety of local businesses, after some time drawing his creations didn’t allow him the freedom to create more in a smaller time slot. Thus, painting became his new way of designing, plus it allowed him to be more creative. When asked where he first realized he wanted to be an artist, Bob Ross was his answer. Kas grew up watching the infamous painter on TV, and for hours he would have a stack of papers in pencils trying to mimic everything he saw Ross doing. On Saturday mornings when most kids were watching cartoons Kas was preparing for his future as a painter. Over the years Kas has developed his own style of art combining abstract art and street art. Looking up to iconic greats like Andy Warhol and local artist and business partner Jolease Marshall. He has learned a great deal from both. Which opened his to mind to what he is creating, why he is creating it, and who he is creating it for. Kas King’s art is meant to communicate a message to the people. It’s for US! Kas’s work has been in galleries locally and nationally. Coming up through the ARTC Movement with Jacquelyn Craig and local artist Brooklyn, Kas’ work has been in the galleries of the upcoming art scene in Old North neighborhood. He’s looking forward to tapping into the fashion industry giving fashion a unique makeover, because to him everyone looks the same. Which he has dabbled in a time or two before, taking vintage clothes and adding the Kas King look taking them to an astronomical level. His goal is to help influence as many young people who are stricken with poverty and crime to show they are more than their environment. Kas would like to give kids especially those who have the odds stacked against them a better outlook on life through art. Kas’s passion goes beyond just creating, because his art has a purpose. After showing me his “Strange Fruit” piece he explained the significance behind it, stating it was inspired by Billie Holiday and Kanye West, both paradigmatic performers with such powerful and intense song called “Strange Fruit”. The purpose to of course in his own way create a visual of the song from his perspective but to also bridge the gap between generations who know of Billie Holiday’s original version of “Strange Fruit and Kanye West version. Kas uses his art as a form of mentoring people of all ages from all walks of life. Kas never thought he would ever have such an influence on people and now he strongly feels it is imperative for him to be super conscious of what he does and says. Sitting on his own platform, every Saturday he wants his gallery to be that gathering place for youngsters to use as a positive outlet, gain people skills, and to help them gain self-confidence. His first solo exhibition will be this July at his art gallery M.A.G.N.I.F.Y which standing for Manifesting Artistic Gifts and Nourishing Ideas for Youth. MAGNIFY will help kids walk in their purpose to let kids creatively direct their own projects, and with a little guidance from both Kas and they will.


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Deeply Rooted Heritage By Shadress Burks

“We celebrate natural beauty because it doesn’t get the praise...” – Thompson.

When it comes to beauty, black women have always had to struggle between what we were told, what society presented us with, and what we believed was beautiful. Over the years, we have had to deal with shelves of hair and beauty products not catering to our skin tones or hair textures. African American women are blessed with a range of skin tones ranging from light brown to deep indigo; however, we’ve had to mix this hair product with that product, this shade of makeup with the next shade to find the perfect color match or hair product that doesn’t dry, tangle or pull our hair out. Though, these days things are finally looking up for us. As the idea and face of beauty constantly changes more retailers, small businesses and home grown inventors are creating products that not only pair well with melanin filled skin, they maintain its youthful appearance. As beauty ideologies and trends shift, more and more companies are catering to our natural crown texture with products of all kinds. Allowing us to embrace, appreciate, and represent our natural beauty like everyone else does. That’s exactly what fashion blogger, entrepreneur, philanthropist, anzd natural beauty advocate Latoya Thompson did. Tired of the narrow perception of beauty society had been giving us, the CEO/Founder decided to take the best parts of her past and combine them with her passion for loving the skin you’re in. In 2015, using her degree in fashion merchandising a different way, Thompson founded Heritage 1933, a beauty and hair product company. Thompson, a St. Louis native, founded her company on the belief of giving back and celebrating natural beauty of all women. The company named after the year her grandmother was born and pays homage to the many women who came before us and whose legacy we carry on. With her grandmother as her biggest influence, she faced her challenges head on as they shaped her into the woman she is today. So, how does Heritage 1933 embody natural beauty? It’s simple, all of their skin products are made with natural ingredients and the hair extensions and clip-ins are natural as well.

Tips for healthy summer skin Drink plenty of water! You must take care of your insides first since beauty really is inside out, so keep your skin hydrated. Healthy skin is measured by your level of hydration. Stick to a beauty regimen and don’t cut corners (like not taking off your makeup at night or washing your face in the morning and at night) Purchase a good moisturizer and sun screen to protect your skin.

Tips for purchasing the right skin products Know what’s in them! Products are like food. You can’t just feed your body and hair anything. Read the directions. The better the directions, the better the product is going to be.

Products featured: Beauty Box contains: | But First, Coffee Exfoliating Scrub | Purity Clay Mask | O.M.G. Seal & Moisturizing Oil | Ms. Know It All Whipped Hair & Body Moisturizing Butter

Taking on the task of creating a product that allows women to be comfortable with their natural look while using natural based products that help enhance their beauty is no easy one. When starting the company, Thompson originally set out to partner with hair care companies to assist in the shelter drops her company makes quarterly. When no one stepped up to the plate, Thompson took matters into her own hands. Determined to produce quality products, she took to YouTube to learn different ways to create natural skin products. Through trial and error, she had finally found recipes she was happy with. Structuring her business as social enterprise, she managed to incorporate a giving model into her business plan which allows her to use the revenue made from sales to go towards donations made to shelters for women and children in need. Growing up in shelters herself, Thompson’s passion for giving back is coupled with her perseverance, and is living proof of what you can become when you don’t let your past define your future. As she strives to affect change within the community, giving back isn’t the only platform she wishes to stand upon. Through the entire process of creating her products, Thompson stands behind everything she sells and believes her company is a part of a movement that is equipping women with the tools they need to feel naturally beautiful. “We celebrate natural beauty because it doesn’t get the praise,” Thompson states. Though she has nothing against other forms of beauty enhancements, Thompson’s overall message is that women should embody what makes them feel beautiful in their own skin and loving themselves. Well with beauty products named, And I Don’t Care and Ms. Know It All, we are sure women will feel a little bit of sass to go along with their natural beauty look.

leandra green • DR. JAMES CLARK


LEANDRA GREEN Words by: Ashley Winters Faith Leader, Spiritual Guider, Minister, and Preacher are all titles of someone who gives spiritual guidance through a magnitude of outlets. Whether it’s in a church, Senegal, or over the air waves. Their teachings are to help us get through troubled times, while helping us maintain our faith in our specific religion of choice.

of 5. Still through her contagious humor, she cracks a joke saying she would have been content being a bench warmer. For years Minister Green ran from her calling, she didn’t understand why God chose her.

Being a member and daughter of the Pastor of Believers Temple Church for the past 24 years, one could say Minister Green has had her fair share of “church life”. She has been a witness to the powers of how a strong and healthy spiritual family or congregation can groom and cultivate individuals to tap into their gifts within.

During my interview, I had the privilege to go on a life changing journey with Minister Green as she gave me vivid memories of how at a young age she saw her role in life as an adult. Naturally, those around her thought she had an over the top imagination, but to Minister Green she knew God was awakening her to what would be her destiny. I’m sure as a young person this wasn’t easy to deal with, especially when your called weird or strange, of course like many youngsters she rebelled. Minister Green was a teen mom, she dealt with poor grades, she recalls just barely graduating from high school. In fact, her teachers wanted to put her in a program for students with special needs. What her teachers didn’t realize was Minister Green was dealing with sexual abuse trauma from age 5 and being raped at 14. Nevertheless, she still felt a strong connection to God. From 2007-2010, she served as a youth pastor at Believers Temple Church.

However, her gift to lead those to Christ didn’t start from her parents. Minister Green believes God was speaking to her at the age

After a few life storms, a few years back, she wrote a book called Inspired and Redeemed. Ironically, writing her book became her

Minister Leandra Green, is the definition of who a woman of faith should be. Through her unwavering love for Christ, she reaches a congregation of all kinds. But her specialty is ministering to young girls and women who have experienced sexual abuse. Having dealt with her own battles in this area, Minister Leandra Green believes it is her calling to help heal those to avoid later incidents associated with this type of trauma.

therapy session and with each word written, she was releasing the pain from her past. She wanted the same thing for those who have been hurt like her. She wanted them to be free too. Her book has crossed national and international borders, helping all girls and women overcome their own battles with sexual abuse. With the success of her book, Minister Green knew the next step was to start her own non-profit organization called Broken to Be Made Whole. Her organization will work specifically with women and girls who are victims of sexual abuse to help rebuild them through spiritual counseling, teaching life skills, and how to tap into their natural gifts. Even though it is in the early stages, Minister Green has an amazing road map aside for those who are need for her help. As Minister Green expands as a teacher for God, she hopes to one day have a housing program designed for single mothers, also a program that will help them earn their GED and learn life skills. Minister Green, thank you for giving yourself to the Word. I know it wasn’t always easy or appreciated, but through your selfless, and unwavering faith in your calling, someone will say my life is better because of Minister LeAndra Green. DELUX MAGAZINE





JAMES CLARK Words by:Ashley Kane

Photo by:Arthur Smith

James Clark, a community leader that has been working with St. Louis residents for over twenty five years. After an honorable and successful term in the United States Army, he started working with Better Family Life, an outreach organization in St. Louis, Missouri. There he started the Role Model Experience Program that mentored juveniles who remained in detention centers. Mr. Clark then became Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of St. Louis; he oversaw youth summits, job fairs and recreational programs. In 1998, he returned to Better Family Life, and in 2000 he was appointed as Vice President of BFL. Throughout these years Clark has continued to advocate for change from the political powers as well as the community members. Most of us are aware of the problems that plague our city, the homelessness, loss of jobs, lack of proper educational funding, and we hear nightly the violence in our streets. How do we repair a broken system, plagued by racism and corruption. When James Clark speaks, he does it with conviction and passion for his community. Where does he get the desire to keep going, to keep forging ahead? He said “it comes from seeing others in great disparity. I look myself in the mirror and ask, am I impacting the trajectory of people’s lives”. He said for him it was never about cars, clothes, or money. For Clark, “life is about helping people. I used my intelligence to solve a problem, making this place better then when I got here”. Clark has continued to expand programs like Pulpit 2 Porches and Neighborhood Alliance that empowers neighborhood churches to aid with social programs, job placements, G.E.D.

classes, legal and utility assistance. Clark believes families don’t know where to turn, and if there were resources in the community, families would engage in opportunities and success. The BFL program will support and help fund the churches to further these initiatives. It started with just one church. They now have eighty-seven active churches. Clark professes, it’s mandatory that churches show increased presence in every block. He says, “we must end the downward spiral of our challenged neighborhoods, and the church is in the best position to help black people”. Just as the church played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement, it must now become the cornerstone to troubled streets of St. Louis. There’s definite progress, the Neighborhood Alliance has instituted twelve drug treatment programs, abet 19 residents in finding employment and assisted 25 people in obtaining their G.E.D.. One of the most important curriculums James Clark has developed is the “We Must Stop Killing Each Other” campaign. This grassroots movement allowed 10,000 residents to spread their belief in the program by displaying the We Must Stop Killing Each Other yard sign. Although there’s been great promotion, killings continue in St. Louis every single night. Clark insists this is not a problem that police and politicians can solve, he says, “We are the number one killer of ourselves, no other race kills each other more. All we have to do is stop. We will always have conflict, and gun laws will not impact the crime rate. People kill people; you failed the test. We have to create better people who resolve conflict instead of killing.”

Clark’s honest and profound words remind us of our own shortcomings. Some cover up hurt and insecurity then act out in ways to numb the pain. Clark says, “once we challenge our self to discover our purpose, to be service to mankind, then our lives become real”. There’s hope though, there’s real change happening one household at a time. One mother called Clark to tell him all the wonderful gifts her family received. Her daughter had finally enrolled in the CNA program she’s been talking about, her son had all of his warrants expunged and her grandson had earned a spot in Job Corps. Stories like this reminds James Clark every day of his dedication to what he calls a “personal mission”. A journey to change lives. Clark affirms frustration is an easy road to take, but with progress, you possess great happiness. He recalls an interaction he had recently at a gas station. Clark bumped into a former student he mentored. The student professed “Mr. Clark, the stuff you told me, I now tell my son”. The reward makes all the risk, sweat, tears, and time worth the sacrifice. As his inspirational journey continues, Clark’s life is about service. He enjoys spending time with his family, working out, and the feeling of inspiring someone to change their path. He quoted DMX in saying, “We each have a star, all we have to do is find it. Once you do, everyone who sees it will be blinded”. You can contact Mr. Clark or Better Family Life at and you can also find them on Facebook! DELUX MAGAZINE


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By Shadress Burks & Ashley Winters There has always been something magical about women. The burdens we bare, the roles we embody, all the while being exceptionally phenomenal at everything. We run corporations, touch lives through community outreach, stand on the front line of activism, excel at science & medicine and we even manage to leave our mark on the world in the most fashionable way. There is definitely something uniquely special about being a woman. We possess the power to heal, lead and influence people in a way no one else can. The women, along with so many others are game changers, healers, mothers, trendsetters, and most importantly they are this year’s 50 Most Intriguing Women.

Connecting the dots in broken people in efforts to make them whole again is something she works hard at. Helping people find their way back to their center place of peace is what she cherishes. Candice Cox, Founder of K.H.A.O.S. and K.H.A.O.S. Kids does just that daily. As a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), Cox takes the time to do what most of us finds so very little time for… just listen. In a world where a lot of people hear what you say versus listening, Cox creates a haven for people to talk and she simply listens. With ten years in her field, Cox stated this was not her original career plan. With a love for children and passion to fix people, pediatric nursing was what she set her sights on working in. Regardless to what title she would possess, she knew she wanted to be planted in something involving helping people. Realizing she was not particularly fond of the science field, nor death, Cox quickly changed her trajectory. “I just knew I wanted to help people be better, that’s it,” she says which is why she landed in the social work field. Helping people help themselves is what she feels the scope of her job is. Putting her passion to the test, Cox got her start when she moved to Arkansas for personal reasons, though found herself right in the middle of where she was supposed to be and obviously, very needed. Immediately taking notice to the fact there were no black therapists in a town with a large, black population; Cox dove in head first putting a plan together. “Honestly, I just felt it’s not okay for white people to teach black people about black trauma, because they don’t have any experience with it,” she spoke as the further explained the importance of being able to relate to your patients, so an open dialogue can begin their healing process. Bursting onto the scene with a different approach, Cox tells me of her first encounter with the cradle to prison pipeline that seemed to be occurring within the town. Unhappy with what she was seeing, Cox swiftly took on the role of advocating for the children. Understanding the “it takes a village” mentality, she also began to get the parents together. Holding meetings in a local school, she educated them on what was happening to their children and how they needed to step in now before it became too late. On track to making a difference, Cox created other activities to aid the children in becoming college graduates versus inmates of the state. With her passion moving full steam ahead, Cox created the curriculum to what would be the stepping stone to her KHAOS program.

Helping people help themselves... Yet and still, even when you are doing good, someone will always find a way to dim your light. Spotting other racial issues that were occurring, Cox began shedding a light on other questionable practices regarding minorities within the town. Not happy with the stones in which she was turning over, Cox’s license was brought under attack by a local resident. After being blacklisted, Cox picked herself back up and kept pushing. Determined to not let fear block her, she remained on track and stayed focus on her purpose. Knowing she had touched a part of their lives, Cox remained in contact with the young girls she impacted along the way. Confident in the difference she was making, seeing what was still needed to be done, and working within other programs; Cox knew it was time to create her own life changing program. “I believe trauma is embedded in our DNA…” - Cox Believing that mental health issues were the underlying cause to the violence, stress, and other undiscussed problems occurring within the black community; Cox went on to explain how as a people we have never had a chance to heal from the trauma that occurred to us; therefore, we are seeing the after effects of the untreated trauma today. “I believe trauma is embedded in our DNA. We’ve never had a chance to heal from what happened to us when we arrived in this country,” she said. I listened as she explained her broken people theory and absorbed how what she was saying could very well be true. With years of seeing up close the unraveling behaviors coming from a broken family can become; Cox founded KHAOS and KHAOS KIDS. After working at the Boys and Girls club in Cape Girardeau, Cox saw what could happen when you gave kids a voice to speak about things they often felt uncomfortable speaking about. Structuring her program to work on the whole family as a unit; Cox explained how the real healing begins when everyone in the household is a part of it and re-reflects on her broken people philosophy. “I can’t have the kids come in here and we’re working on them and their parents need help as well, it will only reverse the progress,” Cox explains. Identifying there may be a lot of issues which affect certain behaviors, she breaks down what each patient may need according to their circumstances. This is where her books and characters come into play. As someone who grew up undiagnosed, Cox has an intimate relationship with it and works closely with kids who have ADHD. Penning the book, Please Oh Please, Be Patient with Me; Cox helps parents with children who have the diagnosis better understand what they are struggling with and equips them with the tools to be more patient to how they function. Seeing how characters help children cope and improve, Cox created individual characters for her KHAOS KIDS program. Each character suffers from something that over the years she has encountered being a social worker. The idea behind it is to reiterate the many steps and mottos her programs are built around. Taking one day at a time, Cox allows people to travel their own path and gives all her patients the room they need to come to terms with their healing. One of her biggest lessons since beginning this journey has been that she cannot force people to heal if they are not ready to heal. However, for those that are ready, she heavily instills her KHAOS mindset. Keep healing and overcoming struggles is a mantra she lives by and helping others see how healing and becoming a better person is a daily goal we all work towards and doesn’t mean life has to stop while doing it.

Candice Cox


Atty. Carla Allen Carla Allen, what can I say about her? Well there is plenty to say, but most of all she is a woman of the law. And no, she’s not a police officer, which I’m sure she could have that career and soared in it because the sista is that dope. However, Carla Allen is an attorney! A graduate of Hazelwood East I’m sure all you Spartans are proud of this gem.

A lover of numbers and business, Carla took her aspirations to Tennessee State University where she majored in accounting. After graduating in 2002 from Tennessee State University, Carla aspired in a new field of study. Her next stop was at St. Louis University where she received her Master’s degree in law. Her goal was to obtain her degree, set up shop at a law firm, and help small businesses succeed. Combining both her accounting degree and law degree, Carla is someone you didn’t want to mess with. She understands the numbers of business and the law of business, making her the perfect candidate for a consultant or legal advisor. Undoubtedly, Carla wanted to be a one stop shop. Which makes a perfect recipe for having her own law firm, but I’ll get to that later.

Starting her career at Armstrong Teasdale Law Firm, Carla started to feel she was straying from her original plan. She felt she wasn’t helping the little guy and business owners that look like her. After spending six years at Teasdale, Carla decided it was time to make a difference, and the Allen Law Firm was born.

it was time to make a difference... Located in the heart beat of the city, tucked inside the newly developed neighborhood of Martin Luther King Blvd, (next door to Friendly Temple Church, which she happens to be a member of) the Allen Law Firm is a strong entity in the community, and is surrounded by up-and- coming black owned businesses. Her goal is to have a practice where she is making an impact; therefore, she wants to be accessible to the surrounding areas. Carla also does legal work for Friendly Temple, and provides legal advice to some of the members. She mentions many members of her church are small business owners, and she wants to ensure they are receiving top notch legal advice. Lending her expertise to help them understand the finances, legal documents, and legal matters that occur when being a small business owner. However, being in a field that is predominantly male and white wasn’t a cake walk for Carla. She had to endure some pretty unyielding times. As everyone knows the field of law is sometimes referred to the “good ole boys” club, so I can just imagine some of the things said to her and behind her back as she made a name for herself. Carla has had to deal with her counterparts viewing her as incompetent, trying to take advantage of her, and even using belittling terms towards her such as “sweetie” or “ sugar”. Even in 2017, she is still being tested due to the fact she is a woman and African -American. Yet, through it all Carla didn’t let the negativity deter her from her goal, which is to be a successful attorney. She overcame her obstacles by reminding herself she deserved to be a lawyer, and to be prepared for any fight knowing she was doing this for her clients. Carla’s expertise has allowed her to handle some family court cases, and she is now in a place of her career where she understands the law. Law school taught her how to think like a lawyer but she firmly believes all good lawyers will and ask questions. She reiterates keep asking questions and searching for answers. Carla hopes to one day join forces with another African American lawyer and open a law firm together to become an all-purpose black law firm in St. Louis. Also, her goals are to become a judge. She also mentors young girls at Berkeley South High School. At the end of the day, Carla is helping her community. Whether it’s a family court matter or something as small as helping someone get their driver’s license back, she is here to make a difference.


r. Ebomi January Growing up, the only doctors I saw who reflected me was the famous Heathcliff Huxtable from the hit, prime time show, the Cosby’s. Overtime the professional life of African American men and women represented on TV began to diversify. However not by much, for those who were tuned in to these hit shows, watching individuals with these glamorous lifestyle and careers didn’t resonate with that little black boy or girl. In life, we didn’t have the privilege of always having a physician that represented us.

Now, we have lots of African American who portray doctors, including Rainbow “Bow” Johnson played by Tracee Ellis Ross on Black•ish, which I totally love. She’s a fierce, intelligent, strong Black woman, who so happens to be a doctor and wife and soon to be mother of 5 kids. Who by the way is the star of the show!

However, who do we have? And when I say “we” I mean the folks in St. Louis. Who do we have to look up to that’s not on a screen or 500 miles away? Someone we can say #Goals to? Well, to answer your question, we have Dr. Eboni January, an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) right at our finger tips. From East St. Louis, IL. at the young age of 14, she watched her stepmother experience pregnancy and the changes her body was going through. This sparked a sense of curiosity in Dr. January, as she became fascinated with the female anatomy and how powerful women are when giving birth. Also during this time, she was witnessing her grandmother’s health failing from heart disease, and those life experiences played a huge role in her interest in the medical field. Dr. January, or to some “Doctor EJ” started her medical journey at the University of Missouri Columbia better known as Mizzou. Majoring in Biology and minoring in Anthropology, Dr. January set her goals high, studied hard and graduated in 2003. Being in the medical field for seven years and practicing medicine for three, she has found her place at People’s Health Clinic and performing deliveries and surgeries out of St. Mary’s SSM Hospital and Barnes- Jewish Hospital. As an OBGYN, Dr. January’s job requires more than just delivering babies or giving women their annual checkup, she also has her hands full doing hysterectomies, tub ligations, and performing fibroid surgeries. Unfortunately, many of these poor, health conditions are caused due to poor dieting and exercise which unfortunately are higher in the African American community. Dr. January’s road toward success wasn’t always easy. Being in a male driven profession, and also being African American, she was tested regularly by her counterparts. She had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. There were people there who didn’t believe she earned her position. Especially being in the surgical room, during her time training at St. Mary’s SSM Hospital. Through all her hurdles she held onto her “why”, which represents her reason for sticking it out and overcoming the unfair challenges. It was her shield of armor.

overcoming the unfair challenges Now, that’s just part one of Dr. January. She also has her own health/ fitness business. I know what you’re thinking home girl is dope! Upon finished her residency, Dr. January began working in the inner city and she started to notice people who looked like her struggling with weight and the affects that unhealthy weight gain can have on them gynecological. Surprisingly, many of these women were young ladies in there early 20’s. As she continued to see this pattern it motivated her to have conversations with her patients on how to live a healthier lifestyle to prohibit future gynecological issues. Though because she worked in poor neighborhoods, her patients couldn’t afford to hire a personal fitness trainer or nutrition coach. This prompted Dr. January to go the extra mile and write out diet and exercise plans for her patients. Living in the age of technology, Dr. January felt it was more convenient for her patients to receive tips through text messages. Texting her patients every two-three hours of their specific diet plan, Dr. January came up with the concept of “ text coaching” and changed the game of health/fitness training. So, they receive a personal diet and exercise plan and grocery list. Plus, the kick is, she’s not expensive! You can have this package deal for $20 per month. Now where are you going to find a better deal than that. In addition to those perks, she’ll meet with you tri-weekly just to ensure you are staying connected to your plan. Her goal is to help change the behavior of poor eating and exercise. But, the buck doesn’t stop there. Dr. January has her own YouTube channel called Doctor EJ, where she continues pushing healthy eating habits and exercise through quick tips. She also serves on a variety of boards in our area. The board of St. Louis Crisis Nursery, Community Women Against Hardship, and Get Fit Crew STL, just to name a few. Dr. January hopes to one day start her own supplement line and owning her own gym. You should look her up and follow her at Doctor EJ Bootcamp, her website, and her YouTube channel Doctor EJ. Tell her Ashley sent you. Peace!

We’ve all seen them come and go. Club after club, we’ve shifted from one place to the next as one opens their doors, while the other closes. Though, we haven’t quite figured out how or why, nightclub owner Melanie Stith seems to have the secret to the success of keeping her doors open. Married into the nightlife, Stith was somehow destined to find her own footing within it as she can now proudly say she’s had three different establishments. With twelve years in the business, she honestly feels this was the best decision she could have made. After walking out on a job she wasn’t very fond of, Stith says she stepped out on faith with the help of her husband, and has never looked back. Now as her empire grows alongside her husband and partner, she feels the best is yet to come.

I never thought about being an entrepreneur...

Determined to make their dream work, Stith admitted she was nervous when she took the leap from a stable, 9 to 5 job. Never once thinking about being an entrepreneur and content with being an employee, Stith credited her husband to expanding her way of thinking. “I never thought about being an entrepreneur. I was content in working a 9 to 5, but meeting him made me want to try something different”, said Melanie. She goes on to tell me her secret to success and staying in business for as long as they have is, not making it about them. Stith says a lot of club owners fall prey to the allure of being a club owner and that’s where they fail. To her, when people take time out of their lives to spend their special moments at their establishments, it’s about them. She continues with telling me how she doesn’t get caught up in the “clickish” mentality a lot of people feel she should subject herself to. For her, being a club owner means catering to everyone. It’s a business first and when it comes to her business, she doesn’t separate you from me. Our conversation continued as we reminisced about the Loft and the memories we had of it first opening. We laughed when I asked what she thought about the transitions of her clubs and their environment. To her, she simply seemed unbothered by the critics and expressed how as people evolve, certain environments may not be appealing to them anymore. As a frequent dabbler in the night life, we chatted about what she felt St. Louis was missing as far as the nightlife. Now, she didn’t give any hints as to if this would be something she would explore, she did say how we need


hay Gillespie

If you see a need, don’t complain about it, simply find a way to fill it. This is exactly what Shay Gillespie did when she started Color Coded Kids. As a mother of a son who enjoyed the coding aspect of computers, Gillespie started out in search of said activities for her son. Encountering the fact that every program she had placed him in was either too far or he didn’t qualify to be in, she knew she had to something to nurture his interest. Already in the field of technology, Gillespie had the means to jumpstart her business. Tossing around various entrepreneurial ideas; she pondered on what she could start a business in. During the day, she fills the role of Regional Business Development Manager at World Wide Technology for over seventeen states. Once the head of the Supplier Diversity department; Gillespie is no stranger to making things happen and connecting the dots. Blessed with the ability to help businesses grow, she lit up as she talked about how much joy it gives her to make great things happen for others. Admiring the entrepreneurial drive in others, Gillespie knew her bright idea would soon come, and it did. Dissatisfied with the lack of technology activities available for minorities, and having firsthand knowledge of how it’s a minority deficient field, she put her connections into action. Not afraid of a challenge, and believing a progressive mindset helps a community grow; Gillespie opened the doors to Color Coded Kids. A coding program for elementary kids, geared to level the playing field for minorities in the computer science and technology field. “If you educate and give people tools, and expose them to something new, the possibilities are limitless,” Gillespie says about equipping people with tools to succeed. Directly connected to developers and engineers, she saw the gap a program of this magnitude could fill. Believing the earlier you start teaching children, the greater your chances are of making an impression. Using social media to her advantage, Gillespie made one simple post and the rest is history.

equipping people with tools to succeed. Starting out with two classes and sixteen kids, Gillespie was ready to step out on faith. Seeing how everything aligned, partnership after partnership began to form. Equipping her participants with the best, she states how everyone who teaches her classes work in the industry. Having real life experience passed onto the kids in her program was important to her. With classes equipped with coding lessons and presentations, Gillespie gives them real-life activities mixed with some fun. Knowing the kids are in school prior to attending, she wanted her program to be more than just educational. She knew in order to reach them and have them return they needed to have fun. Therefore, giving them the opportunity to build their own app does just that. Now with partnerships like Microsoft and Boy Scouts, the program has grown by leaps and bounds. With kids of all ethnicities, Gillespie explains how having a diverse program was most important to her, particularly minorities. Though not a coder herself, she finds it fascinating how the kids in her program can write their own ticket. Creating entrepreneurs or future developers is what she feels is the key to them succeeding. “If you see a developer or coder, they are never out of a job. There is always someone looking to hire them,” Gillespie says, and that the chance she wanted to give them. Growing from sixteen kids to now having fifty, Gillespie takes pride in the fact she is using her skill of growing minority businesses and entrepreneurs, one color coded kid at a time.


ae Shields Ryan When you think of the word community, what do you envision? Is it a neighborhood filled with houses, a park down the street, or a market on the corner? Possibly, kids riding their bikes seeing who can go the fastest. Or, is it person who takes the word community and puts it into action for the greater good of our youth? Well to be honest, I see both because you can’t have one without the other. Shuntae Shields Ryan is a “community”. She’s a wife, mom, servant leader, gives love, mentorship and teaches life lessons, all while communicating to St. Louis City & County families the services offered to their youth at a space solely designed for them, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. As the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Greater St. Louis Boys & Girls Clubs, Shuntae uses her talents and skills to keep this organization at the forefront of our communities. In a profession that requires all of you, Shuntae Shields Ryan is the perfect fit. After graduating from the University of Missouri Columbia with her degree in English and a minor in Atmospheric Sciences (Meteorology), Shuntae’s plans didn’t exactly map out the way she intended when she realized moving out of state to pursue being a Meteorologist didn’t fit in with her future endeavors, she knew she wanted to go back home to St. Louis, and serve within her community. Fresh out of college in 1994, after serving as an HR recruiter for AT&T, Shuntae landed at Downtown Incorporated, a nonprofit organization that had been newly revamped and was looking for fresh ideas in the Marketing and Communications department. She attributes the knowledge she has learned in Marketing and Communications and, her extreme commitment to professionalism to her very first boss at Downtown Incorporated. She also notes that EVERY door that has opened for her then and now has truly been a blessing. Shuntae has served at the Boys & Girls Clubs for four years now, but how she got there is a one of a kind journey. As she was at a crossroads at Downtown Incorporated, they were facing challenges concerning the youth in that area in regards to community centers not being accessible to them. At a networking event, she met the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs, Dr. Fowler and, connected with him on her willingness to volunteer her time with his organization to provide outlets for the youth in that area. After serving on the Marketing Committee for the Clubs for a few years, Shuntae knew a transition was in order, and that her passion had finally met up with her purpose, to her it was all a part of God’s plan.

a wife, mom, servant leader, gives love, mentorship and teaches life lessons Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis has ten locations in both the City and County of St. Louis, are in every major school district and they work with kids starting at elementary school all the way up through high school graduation; providing after school, summer, teen, mentor, job skills, and sports programs. Shuntae feels her work is intentional, as she’s building up the community through our youth. But, like most non-profits there can be challenges that many corporate companies wouldn’t understand. One of the main challenges always on Shuntae’s mind from an outreach perspective is being able to reach people on a larger scale, as it’s tough when trying to reach every parent and every child to let them know all that’s available to them at a Boys & Girls Clubs where they provide opportunities to kids and teens who wouldn’t otherwise have them. Yet, Shuntae will continue to fight the good fight. She wakes up every day motivated and inspired to create new ways to reach the youth in our area. She will continue to overcome hurdles by building and connecting partnerships throughout St. Louis and making sure the Boys & Girls Clubs becomes a house hold name. It’s her desire to stay and grow within non-profit organizations where she values the work that is being done, and feels it’s her way of knowing she is intentionally giving back. Through her and the teams work the Boys & Girls Clubs, they provide every child the opportunity to reach their full potential, armed with the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their own lives and this great nation! That is what makes her job easy and heart happy - to know the leadership team that she works with are all passionate about serving our youth. Next for Shuntae, is to always be that positive role model in a young person’s life, work to make an impact on the community she was born and raised in, to pass on the wisdom of finding what you are passionate about and being willing to serve. As she keeps striving to be that community for young people, I can guarantee something big is around the corner!



ALEX STALLINGS Alex J. Stallings has explored avenues for advocacy, education and community engagement throughout her career. She moved from the secondary classroom to the Missouri History Museum where she cultivated underrepresented audiences, collaborating with individuals and organizations to provide relevant programming around critical issues. Afterwards, she served Deaconess Foundation in the areas of child advocacy and communications. Her work is founded on the belief that seats at the planning table predict engagement outcomes.

ANDREA TOPPS Born and raised in St Louis. Attended Rosati-Kain High School and Fontbonne University, receiving a Bachelor of Science and an MBA. I am a Project Manager with a PMP certification. I work for AT&T, and this year marks my 25th year with this company. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her passion is giving back, always willing to help. For the past 2 years, I have been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award. It was an honor having them both awarded under President Obama. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

ALICE PRINCE Dr. Prince is currently the Young Adult Workforce Division Manager at the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) American Job Center in St. Louis, Missouri where her work in bettering the lives and the futures of young adults in the city goes unprecedented and unmatched. She currently oversees approximately multiple contracts which all focus on youth employment, empowerment, mentoring, financial literacy, and legal services.

ASHA PEREZ Asha is a powerhouse player in the design arena. She catapulted herself from her first career as a Distribution Manager for a luxury lifestyle magazine publishing company to consulting for close friends on small design projects, to being a lead designer on multiple projects during her short career with KAI. She has led the interior design for spaces totaling over 150,000 square feet and has had her hand in collaboratively designing spaces three times that amount.

ANDREA JACKSON Andrea Jackson- Jennings was appointed to Director, St. Louis County Department of Human Services in December 2011 by then County Executive Charlie Dooley. Jackson-Jennings was retained by now County Executive Steve Stenger in 2014. Under her leadership, Jackson-Jennings manages a $13 million operating budget for five divisions that provide quality programs and services to help enrich the lives of St. Louis County residents.

AVERI WOODLEY Co-owner of ATT Evolution MMA & Fitness Center and wife of UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley. Averi Woodley have received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, from Michigan State University. She’s made fitness a part of her life after excessive weight gain with her first child. In 2015, she founded a women’s only fitness program called ``Bad Bish Boot Camp,`` designed to help women adopt a healthier and realistic lifestyle, with a focus on self-worth. In addition to being a powerful speaker and motivator, she is a mother of three boys and a very energetic daughter! “Mastering balance in business and family is true success!”

ANDREA PURNELL St. Louis native Andrea Purnell has had tremendous success professionally in her career both as an artist and an arts administrator. She has been engaged in public outreach and media relations, appearing in numerous local broadcasts and has maintained an active artistic career. As an artist, she uses her background in the arts to educate the community on matters related to public health. Purnell currently serves as the Audience Development Assistant with the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) where she assists in implementing initiatives to increase and diversify the museums audience profile. In addition to her public relations duties at SLAM, she continues to raise

BOBBY PENN Bobby Pen has independently crafted a progressive career in digital media based on passion and persistence. Currently R1 Online Editor with Radio One St. Louis, Bobby Pen is responsible for creating, managing and marketing digital content for Hot 104.1 and 95.5 The Lou. Developing an affinity for magazines, social media and arts & entertainment at an early age, the Washington, D.C. native set a goal to write for a publication that would literally pay her to be herself one day. Equipped with the latest training in audio / video, website design, photography and writing for web, Bobby Pen was excited to enter the world of media upon graduation from Temple University in 2010.

BRENDOLYN ROYAL Aside from her daily efforts to help those who often suffer in silence, Brendolyn has been leaving her footprints in the cosmetic industry since 2012 with her luxury line of vegan nail colors, Liquid Frosting. Liquid Frosting Nail Color is the only independently owned brand of nail polish produced in St. Louis. Partial proceeds from the sale of Liquid Frosting goes to supporting families of children with ADHD in honor of her twelve-year old son and Ovarian Cancer in honor of late Grandmother of whom was the inspiration behind the entire brand

DANA TUCKER DANA TUCKER REDWING, ESQ is a Partner at Fox Galvin focusing on pharmaceutical defense. During her extensive career, Dana refined her trial skills under the tutelage of Willie Gary and Johnnie Cochran. She also served as Chief Counsel under the former Missouri Attorney General. Dana is committed to ensuring our youth develop their artistic talents. In that vein, she serves on the Board for St. Louis Children’s Choir and Center of Creative Arts (COCA), where her son is an accomplished dancer.

CECILIA HARRIS Devoted mother, healthcare professional, and Entrepreneur, Cecilia Harris is best known for her long running healthcare business, Extracare Home Health Agency, Inc. The much talked about company delivers in- home, consumer directed, veterans, and private duty nursing services. The company has been a staple in the healthcare industry for over 17 years.

EBONEE SHAW Ebonee F. Shaw is the Principal Owner of Dream Catcher Productions and Sr. Director of Special Events for the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery. Her career in non-profit events and fundraising began 14 years ago, over that time frame her fundraising events have raised over $10M for the community. A community activist by passion and fundraiser by trade she is devoting her career to bettering the lives of those who reside in the Greater St. Louis area.

CHEERAZ GARMON Storyteller, poet, author, and award winning advertising creative Cheeraz Gormon is from St. Louis, Missouri, and every bit a native daughter. She recently appeared on VICELAND’s Abandoned, which was focused on closed and neglected schools in St. Louis. The opportunity, in effect, introduced her and her love for the city to an international audience.

EBONY BEATTLE Ebony Beattle services the needs of individuals in a wide spectrum of genres. She is a Sr. Business Development Officer for Edward Jones Trust Company, Co-Proprietor of Cuetopia II Billiards Bar, and the Creative Director for UMAD Design clothing brand. She credits her successes in all three genes to a dedicated focus on brand development and fostering brand recognition. She earned both her BA in Organization Studies and MA in Management from Fontbonne University.

CHRISTI GRIFFIN Christi Griffin is a retired attorney and founder and president of the award winning non-profit organization, The Ethics Project which addresses the impact of crime, incarcerations and injustice on children, families and the community. Dr. Griffin has served on numerous non-profit, civic, educational and religious boards and is the recipient of numerous awards including having twice received the President’s Call to Service Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award.

ELLICIA QUALLS Ellicia Qualls is the founding Executive Director of Urban Sprouts, a diverse Reggio Emilia school focusing on early childhood education. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Qualls is committed to developing and administering programs that enrich the lives of children and their families. Among her proudest achievements at the College is extending Early Childhood Education (ECE) courses to the St. Louis community, in partnership with the Boeing Company.

GINA CHEATHAM Television host, entertainment news correspondent, actress and lifestyle expert and are just a few of Gina Cheatham’s credits. Dubbed the “well-mannered socialite” on Lifetime Television’s 2014 reality docu-series “BAPS”, Gina’s effervescent personality made her the cast stand-out for all the right reasons garnering her national notoriety and celebrity status.

KHALIA COLLIER A pioneer and trailblazer Khalia Collier, is the owner & general manager of St. Louis’ own women’s professional basketball team, the two-time National Champion St. Louis Surge. A St. Louis native with a deep commitment to the city, Collier is an entrepreneur dedicated to her franchise. Delving into sports management, she has taken on the task of re-branding the face of women’s athletics through the St. Louis Surge. Collier has developed a strategic business model partnering with prominent executives, corporations and non-profits to build the Surge brand and develop new initiatives, while encompassing the community.

JADE HARRELL Speaker, producer, radio personality and television host Jade Harrell resonates with diverse audiences globally through her positive engagement and multi-platform productions. Her company, RareGem Productions, has an established track record of excellence with over 10.5 million downloads spanning 190 countries. She is an on-air personality 7 days-a-week across 5 diverse radio stations. Jade Harrell has become a trusted and familiar face in the region recognized for her passion, commitment, community advocacy, energy and positive influence.

KIMBERLY FRANKS Never afraid to challenge the status quo, Kimberly Franks seeks to engage and inspire progressive thought in the areas of racial justice, education, politics, and parenting. She aspires that the voices of Black women infiltrate the public forum. Educated at the Ohio State University and Howard University School of Law, she has presided in leadership positions with several community organizations. She is married to Anthony and proud mom of Peyton, Garrett, and Aaron.



Kayla Reed is an activist, organizer, and student in St. Louis. She leads St. Louis Action Council - a group that focuses on building Black political power through political education and increasing civic engagement through legislative advocacy and direct action. Her work includes organizing efforts such as #wokevoterstl debates, and the election campaigns of varying black leaders in her community; including Kim Gardner for DA and Tishaura Jones for Mayor. Kayla hopes to continue to organize around the intersection of electoral politics, racial justice and the Movement for Black Lives.

Keisha Mabry is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur on a mission to change the world one connection at a time by changing trajectories and changing minds. Her new book *Hey Friend: 100 Ways to Connect with 100 People in 100 Days* is a movement to make the world friendly again or at the very least friendlier than it’s ever been. It’s a must-read, a fun read and the ultimate guide to meeting new peeps. Keisha believes that by connecting people to people and people to resources she can increase movements, access, communication and progress to get the right people in the right seats to end inequality. Learn more about this fearlessly free human being at www.



a serial entrepreneur, is the co-founder Social Synergy Project which facilitates and offers incubator space for underrepresented entrepreneurs. She is the CEO of DK Solutions creative consulting and owner of the DK Annex private meeting space. Kristy serves as the first African American coordinator of Gifted Education in the Webster Groves School District. She is the founder of GLAMMGirls Lead And Make Moves, an entrepreneurship and leadership program for young women.

A Team Lead at Wells Fargo Advisors and I have been employed with them since 2008. I’m best known in the community for my volunteering experiences/dedication to numerous organizations. She provides volunteers to assist with various events. Linda has received many awards for serving the community. A sweet caring and overly giving spirit.



Minority Caucus Whip. Born in University City, Missouri. Graduate of Georgia State University with a B.A. dual degree in Political Science and Sociology. Previously worked as Director of Communications, Director of Boards and Commissions and Missouri’s Senior Advocate for former Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell. Member: Democratic Minority Caucus; Women in the Neighborhood; National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women; National Hispanic Council of State Legislators; National Foundation of Women Legislators; Young Elected Officials; Democratic National Committee 2005–2009.

Pastor Miki King is the Senior Pastor of The Unity Center of Missouri. She is the Founder/President of T.E.A.M., a ministry of collaborated effects. T.E.A.M. umbrellas several affiliate ministries. Pastor Miki King was licensed as a Lead Minister in 1995 by Apostle Cledell R. King. She was ordained as a Pastor in 1999 by Bishop E L Warren of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC) College of Bishops.

PASTOR PATRICIA PHILLIPS Dr. Patricia M. Phillips is a native of East St. Louis, IL. She is the seventh child of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer and Ethel Brewer’s eleven children. She was reared with a solid Christian foundation. At the tender age of eleven, Dr. Patricia Phillips accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. In the formative years of her Christian walk, she served as a faithful worker within her local church and held several leadership positions including that of Usher, Choir Director, Adult Sunday School Teacher, and a Youth Ministry Coordinator.

REINE BAYOC In December 2008, she opened SweetArt Bakeshop and Art Studio with her husband Cbabi Bayoc. SweetArt is still open and thriving, and Reine has added a resident chef position at Anew in St. Louis, Missouri, to her list of tasks, and she is currently teaching culinary classes at SweetArt and across the world. She has taught (and trained) in France, Italy, Cuba, and all parts of the United States.

DR. NICOLE EVANS Dr. Nicole Evans earned all her educational degrees in St. Louis and began her journey of giving back in her hometown. What makes Dr. Evans an intriguing woman, is her desire to inspire and impact the children in the City of St. Louis by educating them at a high level, utilizing Montessori Education combined with Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism education. She is committed to leading by going above and beyond to ensure success for every student and family!

DR. ROZALYN MANAHAN Dr. Rosalyn Manahan is phenomenal God-fearing woman with an undeniable heart for children and education. The youngest of seven children and a graduate of Pattonville High School, she earned a BS in Education from Northwest Missouri State, a Masters of Administration Leadership from Lindenwood University and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Maryville University. Dr. Manahan has proudly served 18 years in the Hazelwood School District where she currently serves as an Assistant Principal.

NIKKI BOLDEN Nikki is a 17-year luxury retail veteran working as a style advisor, guiding clients to achieve their complete look. Being a Wife, Mother, Friend, and Mentor has contributed to her success along with her own Mother encouraging her to conquer it all. As a top performer, Nikki is a multi-year honoree of the 45-member, $2M-plus sales club at the Saks Fifth Avenue corporation. In addition to professional success, Nikki chairs social events and volunteers to not only give back, but to also pay it forward.

SCHALENE HOUSTON While at STL TV, Houston has had the privilege of serving in various roles. One of her favorites is that of a producer. She has had the opportunity to assist in producing one of the station’s signature shows, Best of the STL . This hour long program allowed her to build relationships with local celebrities, organizations and restuarants in the area to feature the best of the best in St. Louis. Houston also had the privilege of being a coproducer for the Mid-America Regional Emmy nominated program, St. Louis Junior Football League: Monday Night Football .

SHANELLE DAVIS hanelle E. Davis serves as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Scottrade Financial Services, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. She leads a team responsible for oversight of regulatory activities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Options Clearing Corporation, the Federal Reserve System (FRS) and other regulatory bodies that possess supervisory authority for any of the Scottrade entities. and creating the Regulatory Affairs department at Scottrade.

TERHEA JONES Terhea Jones, founder and owner of Sweet Success, LLC, has over two decades of experience working with children, adults and non-profit organizations. She has a passion and developed education to know what “is” and “can” be detrimental to our young girls. Her experience has brought her to this point of “how can we instill character, hope and vision” within our young girls. She has worked in several entities, to develop her awareness and build a foundation. She decided to begin a consulting service to change the direction of young girls and give valuable tools to better equip them. She has B.S. Degree in Human Resource Management.



Brittany Clarke Fennell is the Associate Athletics Director for NCAA Compliance/ Student Services and Senior Woman Administrator at Maryville University in St. Louis. She has direct oversight of over 350 student-athletes and 22 NCAA Division II varsity programs. She is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports and National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC). Brittany holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and master’s degree in Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. She is an avid sports fan. She and her husband reside in Chesterfield, MO and they enjoy playing golf, traveling and trying new restaurants.

Dr. Stacy Hollins is a 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri – St. Louis and holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, M.B.A. from Fontbonne University, B.A. from St. Louis University in Organizational Communication, and an A.A. from St. Louis Community College in Business Administration. Dr. Hollins is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Maryville University and has over 20 years of experience training and teaching. Prior to working for Maryville, she served as an Associate Professor of Information Systems at St. Louis Community College for 10 years. While Dr. Hollins teaches with passion in hopes of stirring up students’ desire for lifelong learning, she realizes that the relationships that she builds with students outside of the classroom are equally important.



Winnie Caldwell is a St. Louis, MO native. She studied Corporate Communications at Lindenwood University and proceeded to work in a fast-paced industry blogging, content creating, teaching and empowering others in the community. Passionate about serving others, writing began as a natural fit. Winnie began blogging in 2012, which led to speaking engagements from St. Louis, MO to Washington D.C. Blogging also led Winnie to manage and build websites for others as well as teaching teens how to do so, through a local financial literacy start up.

Dr. Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Nigeria-American is President & CEO, FOCUS St. Louis. She is recognized as an expert in the areas of civic and leadership development, diversity and inclusion. She has close to 20 years of experience in designing and facilitating civic and leadership training, diversity & inclusion and coaching programs. Missouri.



DeArika L. Binion, MBA is setting trends, standards and examples as the entrepreneur makes her mark in both the fashion and business world. Binion owns Stylehouse STL, Binion PR & Marketing Firm and is now working on her Juris Doctorate to practice corporate law. Most intriguing, DeArika still finds time to give back, raise two children and travel around the world, most recently with a solo trip around the world that included Thailand, Dubai and Paris.

Karen Jordan is a member of Dentons’ Corporate practice. She concentrates on advising corporate clients in a wide range of corporate, public finance, corporate finance, real estate and securities transactions. In her public finance practice, Karen has represented underwriters, borrowers, issuers and political subdivisions in transactions totaling in excess of US$1 billion. She focus on all aspects of project financing for commercial facilities; real estate developments; health care facilities; governmental, community and cultural facilities; and facilities for colleges, universities and other educational institutions, including public, private and “virtual” schools.



Dr. Maya Warren received her PhD in Food Science in September 2015, one year after taking home the $1 million prize on THE AMAZING RACE. Her research background is in frozen aerated desserts. She researches the microstructure, behavioral, and sensorial properties of frozen aerated desserts and how partial coalescence (the agglomeration of fat globules) effects the melt behavior of frozen aerated desserts. “I look at ice cream as a science; just like we dissected frogs in high school, I dissect ice cream

Reaching for the stars and taking herself to new heights has been Trenell Billups main focus as she builds her empire. A Biology Pre-Med graduate from Alabama A & M University, Trenell is a chemist for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Trenell is the Owner/Creative Director for Janai Nicole Collection. As of late, Trenell is pursuing her Master’s Degree at Webster University and serves on numerous boards, including being a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.



As Director of Marketing and Community Outreach for Home State Health, the Missouri subsidiary of Clayton-based Centene Corporation, she is responsible for leading up external Communications, Grassroots Outreach and Member Marketing. Jones, responsibilities include increasing brand awareness and knowledge of the health plan- as a MO HealthNet Managed Care Company- among medical providers, plan members and healthcare advocates throughout Missouri.

Gwen Moore is the Curator of Urban Landscape and Community Identity at the Missouri History Museum focusing on race, ethnicity and race relations in St. Louis. Gwen has been associated with the museum since 1998 working as a researcher, community programmer and oral historian. Gwen is the researcher on the team that produced “#1 in Civil Rights: the African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis,” the exhibition currently on view at the Missouri History Museum until April of 2018.

By Delux Magazine

MaxineWaterswasborninSt.Louis,Missouri,thefifthof13childrenrearedbyasinglemother.Shebeganworkingatage13infactoriesand segregatedrestaurants.AftermovingtoLosAngeles,sheworkedingarmentfactoriesandatthetelephonecompany.SheattendedCalifornia StateUniversityatLosAngeles,wheresheearnedaBachelorofArtsdegree.Shebeganhercareerinpublicserviceasateacherandavolunteer coordinator in the Head Start program.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is consideredbymanytobeoneofthemostpowerful women in American politics today. She has gainedareputationasafearlessandoutspokenadvocateforwomen,children,peopleof color and the poor. ElectedinNovember2014toherthirteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives with more than 70 percent of the vote in the 43rdCongressionalDistrictofCalifornia,CongresswomanWatersrepresentsalargepartof SouthCentralLosAngelesincludingthecommunitiesofWestchester,PlayaDelRey,and Watts and the unincorporated areas of Los AngelesCountycomprisedofLennox,West Athens,WestCarson,HarborGatewayandEl CaminoVillage.The43rdDistrictalsoincludes thediversecitiesofGardena,Hawthorne,Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita and Torrance. CongresswomanWatersservesastheRank-

ing Member of the House Committee on Financial Services. An integral member of CongressionalDemocraticLeadership,CongresswomanWatersservesasamemberof the Steering & Policy Committee. She is also amemberoftheCongressionalProgressive Caucus, and member and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Throughout her 37 years of public service, MaxineWatershasbeenonthecuttingedge, tacklingdifficultandoftencontroversialissues.Shehascombinedherstronglegislative andpublicpolicyacumenandhighvisibility inDemocraticPartyactivitieswithanunusual ability to do grassroots organizing. Prior to her election to the House of Representativesin1990,CongresswomanWaters hadalreadyattractednationalattentionfor her no-nonsense, no-holds-barred style of politics.During14yearsintheCaliforniaState

Assembly,sherosetothepowerfulposition ofDemocraticCaucusChair.ShewasresponsibleforsomeoftheboldestlegislationCaliforniahaseverseen:thelargestdivestmentof statepensionfundsfromSouthAfrica;landmarkaffirmativeactionlegislation;thenation’sfirststatewideChildAbusePrevention TrainingProgram;theprohibitionofpolice stripsearchesfornonviolentmisdemeanors; andtheintroductionofthenation’sfirstplant closure law. Sheisaco-founderofBlackWomen’sForum, anonprofitorganizationofover1,200African AmericanwomenintheLosAngelesarea.In themid-80s,shealsofoundedProjectBuild, working with young people in Los Angeles housing developments on job training and placement.



delux profiled





JLR: I pursed graphic design and photography due to the aspects of being creative. Growing up looking at magazine and comic book layouts that’s created a story line. I always thought Vibe Magazine expressed the greatest pictures towards the hip hop culture and style.

JLR: I started graphic design at the age of 12. lol. I worked as an illustrator for this small printing company in Jennings called Promise Printing.


JLR: Soul and Hip Hop Music bumping in my ears, Green Tea Honey Sweetened, Cherry Licorice, and my iPad.

JLR: Being able to capture true values of emotion. Making the colors dance on the layouts. It’s something about telling a story versus just putting something on a piece of paper. Intriguing the consumers mind and emotion.


9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? JLR: Life and everything in it. Good music and the feeling of accomplishment.

3. BOTH FIELDS TELL A STORY IN THEIR OWN WAY. HOW DO YOU TELL YOUR STORY WHEN YOU ARE TAKING PICTURES, AND DESIGNING? JLR: I go off the person’s character traits and what makes them want to be in front of a camera. The real emotions of what they want to capture whether it’s crazy, fun, or serious. Whatever your imagination has for you to show I want to embrace. 4. WHAT IS YOUR MAIN OBJECTIVE WHEN YOU ARE TAKING PICTURES? JLR: The trueness and dopeness of a person. I want the raw realness of you to come out. Don’t just show a you. 5. WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION WHEN IT COMES TO PHOTOGRAPHY? JLR: God, Gordon Parks, Howard Bingham who was Muhammad Ali’s personal photographer, and Tim Tadder. 6. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PICTURE YOU’VE TAKEN THUS FAR? JLR: I was having a photoshoot with this gospel rap artist by the name of Life 27. We were down by the St. Louis flood walls by the train tracks. There was an old chair and a God poster I had in my truck at the time. So, I placed the God sign on the chair, Life 27 body was shadowed completely by the sun and the train tracks was under his feet. The picture was an accident but was selected by a lot of art galleries. As I was looking the picture I had to Title the piece. I named the piece “Choose your Direction”. The reason I named the piece that was because of the simplicity of the mistake. The picture literally said to me ...” Either choose man or choose God”.

10. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR CAREER OVERALL? JLR: To consistently reach to the mass and to appeal those who want to be inspired to keep pushing in this field. To inspire people to do better. Maybe even teach to those who are interested in the fields. SOUNDS LIKE I WANT TO BE A PROFESSOR. LOL 11. TELL ME YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN PHOTOGRAPHY? GRAPHIC DESIGN? JLR: In 1st major shoot. It was scary and filled with anxiety but I knew I can do all things. The person I shot was amazed by how comfortable I made them and they were the superstar. I wish I could say the name but, you know how that goes. (Drake voice) lol. Graphic 1st layout with a record label. I was only 21 years of age and didn’t have my degree yet but the skills I brought to the table shadowed my soon to be degree. They were completely convinced that I was better than the designer they already had in house. But it kept me humble as a designer that I didn’t allow them to make me big headed about myself. 12. DO YOU FEEL BOTH CAREER OPTIONS BLEND WELL? HOW? JLR: Yes...the eye should have a yin and yang, a black to white, a hip to hop. Meaning everything should have a balance. Photography and graphic design goes hand and hand. One has to have the other like the pen to the pad. Put together and you can create some Dope-Ish! 13. HOW CAN OUR READERS FOLLOW, FIND, AND GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU? Instagram: @jlrphotodesign & jlrmusicstl Website:


At Maryville University, it’s all about you. We’re a diverse and welcoming campus community—one that provides countless opportunities to explore your own interests, as well as gain deeper understanding about the world around you. From our vibrant campus life to our life coaches to our 90+ academic programs, Maryville values your higher education. To find out more, visit MARYVILLE.EDU.






Stepping into a New Career ByAshley Winters

The “out with the old, in with the new” motto has slowly become the go-to mantra of every new season. However, as cliché as it may sound, a new season can mean a variety of things. Maybe a new relationship, living a health ier lifestyle, or a new career. So if you have decided to kick start your summer with a new look and career to match, Tierha Jones, a pro in the Human Resources field, gave us some Do’s and Don’ts that will help further your chances on your path towards success.

Do’s & Don’ts on an Interview DO’S


Remember there are eyes everywhere. For some companies, the interview starts as soon as the interviewee pulls onto the parking lot. They are looking for character deal breakers such as, littering outside on the property, or how pleasant he/she is towards the receptionist. This may seem trivial; however, these very things provide your future employer major details about the person they may hire. Jones, strongly suggests to keep these best practices in mind, if you want to take the next step forward in your career. Small things like turning the volume of your cell phone off, and no loud music playing from your car, can all determine if you will get your dream job or not. So let’s get you ready!

According to sources, there are a lot of things you can do to showcase your skills and interest level; however, there are also a large number of ways to completely tank an interview. The Don’ts listed below can be your road map that will help guarantee the position offered.

1. Arrive 15 minutes early to your interview, there may be important paperwork to fill out before you see your interviewer. It’s best to have ample time to complete any and all paperwork before your actual interview may begin.

3. Don’t read from your resume. If you feel you may leave out major details concerning your accomplishments, rehearse talking points, practice in the mirror, and make sure your talking points are aligned with the position you are applying for. There is no need to read from your resume.

2. Be sure to bring at least three copies of your resumes. This is to ensure all participants during the interview process has a copy. Plus, you never know who the interviewer will invite to the interview. 3. Dress the part! Always keep in the mind the golden rule of “Dress For Success”, remember they see you before they hear you. 4. Ask questions and remember YOU are interviewing them too. You want to make sure this is a great fit for you as well. So ask about the culture, ask about the managing style and what is expected. You want to walk away knowing this is a great match for everyone involved. The best way to do this is by researching the company you are interviewing. This shows the interviewer you are serious about the position and your future with the company.

1. Don’t be late! Never ever be late! Being late leaves a bad impression on the interviewer. “I’m immediately thinking you have an attendance or tardiness problem and who wants to deal with that?”, says Tierha Jones. 2. Don’t chew gum during your interview. It is a distraction, spit the gum out!

4. Don’t interrupt! Please by all means practice your listening skills, and never interrupt the interviewer. If you have a comment in reference to what he/she is speaking on, write it down. When it’s your turn to speak, refer back to your notes. 5. Body language is VERY important! Don’t cross your arms over your chest or tap your foot. It may send a nonverbal message to the interviewer that you are impatient or bored. Be sure to sit up straight, remain poise no matter how long the interview may go on. Ladies, please cross your legs at the ankle, men legs/feet are planted flat on the ground. Hands should be relaxed in lap or taking notes. Be sure to look attentive, give eye contact, and smile always because,

You got this!

5. Do ask for clarification of anything you don’t understand. It’s better to ask for clarification or ask the interviewee to repeat his/herself. Neither of these make the interviewee look less intelligent. Also, you are also in control of the interview so if you need time, simply ask for it by letting the interviewer know.

SUMMER HUES photography by: McArthur25 Wardrobe Calla Lily Boutique Hair: La Foi Luxe Hair Salon Make Up on Alexandra Whitley and Ronyea Harvey done by Blush on the Boulevard Make up on Reine done by Mechee Marvel Shoot Director LaTanya Sanders Models Alexandra Whitley Ronyea Harvey Eriica Lovee / Reine Noire



ow much are you worth? Financially speaking, you can tally up all of your assets, subtract all of your debts, and get a number for your net worth - but does that really describe how much financial muscle you have? Does that give a clear picture of your purchasing power or your financial health? Imagine you need a car, so you go to the dealership, find a great new car and start talking financing. It turns out that your monthly payments could be either $300 or $350 depending on the interest rate you get quoted. That’s $50 more every month! Over the life of a 5 year auto loan that adds up to paying an additional $3,000 - for the same car! Why the difference? It is one of the most underrated aspects of personal finance, and one that you have the most control over. Your credit score. If you want to start gaining some serious financial power you need to make an effort to boost it. Generally, here are the three ways to potentially improve your credit score right now. 1) Review your Credit Report All the credit rating agencies will tell you - they are not perfect and credit reports can have errors in them. Go to each of the credit rating agencies and make sure to get the report, and check it. Getting erroneous accounts taken off can sometimes dramatically increase your score. When I was living near Chicago, I found an unpaid bill from New Jersey on my report! After a phone call and some verification was able to get that removed from my credit history, boosting my score. 2) Have credit, but only use it sparingly. If you do not have a credit card, get one. If you currently run high balances on a credit card, pay them down. According to Experian, one of the three major credit rating agencies, approximately 30% of your credit limit is a good guideline to aim for. So if you have a card with a $5,000 credit line, working to get the outstanding balance below$1,500 (that 30% level) can immediately increase your score. 3) Pay all your bills on time, all the time. Seriously. Your reputation as a good borrower means a lot to the credit rating agencies and missed or late payments will cost you. If you have been a little less than perfect in the past, there is nothing you can do now except to be perfect going forward. Pay your bills early, set reminders, and make sure if you run into any financial trouble that could affect your ability to pay, you get on the phone and try to work something out. Many companies will be willing to work with you (and count you as late) because they would rather get paid instead of sending your payment to a collection agency. The biggest step you can take toward real financial freedom is to educate yourself about your personal situation and your credit score is going to be the biggest component of that. It is also one thing that you have the power to change. Taking positive steps to increase your score, thereby lowering your cost to borrow, will make your money work its hardest for you. Keith J. Akre, CFA, CFP® About the Author Keith has been a portfolio manager for Midland States Bank for the past three years working with families and individuals managing investments, constructing financial plans, and advising on all aspects of wealth management. He also works as an adjunct professor of finance and investment at Rockford University, teaching in the accelerated Bachelors program. Prior to working at Midland States Bank, he worked in a similar role for a trust company in Chicago. He has his master’s degree in Business Administration and holds the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant. The views and opinions expressed in the article referenced above are those of the author only and are not to be attributed to Midland States Bank.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Service to St. Louis Youth! • After School & Summer • Homework Help & Tutoring • Sports • Free Dental & Vision Care • Field Trips • Computer Lab • Teen Center • Mentoring • College & Career Planning • College Tours • And, more!

Volunteer. Mentor. Donate. Join.

A MOMENT IN BLACK HISTORY Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Celebrating 50 years of Service to St. Louis Youth The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is celebrating a pivotal and significant milestone this 2017 - - its 50th year of service to countless boys and girls in the St. Louis region! When the Cardinals baseball team moved to its new downtown stadium in 1966, Richard Amberg (then publisher of the Globe-Democrat newspaper) persuaded August A. Busch, Jr. and Anheuser-Busch Brewery to donate the property for use as a Boys Club. After receiving the green light, Mr. Amberg called on several key area business leaders to raise the capital needed to build a facility on the site of Sportsman’s Park. The Herbert Hoover Boys Club was born. The planning committee spared no expense to ensure that boys had all the amenities needed to be safe, have fun and stay out of trouble. The Club offered swimming, boxing, baseball, basketball, football, woodshop, photography, fishing derbies, billiards, field trips and holiday parties. There was even an on-site dental clinic! Vocational, recreational, educational and social development programming was evident in every corner of the building. The Club was named after Herbert Hoover, former U.S. President and Amberg’s friend. It also honored President Hoover for his more than 28 years of serves as Chairman of the board of Boys Clubs of America. Mr. Hoover, who was orphaned at the age of ten, spent most of his post-presidential years helping youth from disadvantaged circumstances. Several local African American pioneers, including St. Louis American Publisher, Donald Suggs and Civil Rights Activist Frankie Muse Freeman were founding Board members of the Herbert Hoover Boys Club at the time it was established. Other noted St. Louisans were involved with the Club’s founding and operations included Dr. Jerome Williams, Judge Theodore McMillian, Nannie Mitchell-Turner, Sgt. Clem Billingsley, Clifton Gates, Professor Jack Kirkland, Sam Miller, Capt. Thomas Brooks, Dr. Ben Davis,

Mrs. Jesse Abbington, James Hurt, Jr., Rev Paul Smith, Dr. Alice Smart, Walter Ambrose, and Roscoe McCrary. Although officially a boys Club, girls were always on the scene. They competed as members of the swim team, cheered for football and basketball teams, and took part in fieldtrips. Following the trend of other Clubs across the country, the Herbert Hoover club started admitting girls for membership in 1993, and the name was changed to Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club. In 2012, following the expansion of services and the establishment of club operations in south city and north county, the agency changed its name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis. This decision was made to reflect the organization’s growing footprint, and more strongly align the St. Louis operation with the national brand, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For the past fifty years, the Club has been at the forefront of youth development, proudly working with young people from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. BGCSTL strives to ensure that our community’s youth have greater access to quality programs and services that will shape their lives and build their futures. Dr. Flint Fowler, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis said of the anniversary, “We are excited to be celebrating 50 years of providing youth development services throughout the St. Louis region. Our success compels us to address the needs of more kids, more often and in more places during non-school hours. It’s our hope that every kid who comes through our doors, leaves, having graduated from high school with a plan for their future. We are very thankful to community partners, leaders and funders, past and present, who help us continue our proud tradition of service to St. Louis’ youth.” In addition to after school, summer and sports programs, for as little as $25 a year, Club members also receive free dental and vision care. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis now serves youth across St. Louis City & County at eight locations (Adams Park Club, Ferguson Middle School Club, Grannemann Elementary School Club, Herbert Hoover Club, Lee Hamilton Elementary School Club, O’Fallon Park Club, Hazelwood Southeast Middle School Club and Riverview Gardens Club), a dropout prevention program in two high schools (Normandy High School and Roosevelt High School) and through our Mentor St. Louis Program. We are also a proud member of the United Way.

Community Moving Forward By Ashley Winters

It seems like only yesterday the world had its eye on Ferguson, MO, local, national, and international news lined our streets gathering any and every image they could while our streets were burning, and our hearts were heavy. The idea of Michael Brown’s death was unjust and was a heart wrenching experience for all of those who witnessed his body lying on the ground for four hours, but to be killed unjustly by that very person who is sworn in to protect us, felt like someone kicking us when we were already down. Lieutenant Perri Johnson has transcended into that spirit force between officer and community. A veteran of the St. Louis City Police Department he is a part of the Moving Forward Through Ferguson board. After the uprising in Ferguson, this board was established to continue the work of looking through the police- community relationship through a racial equity lens. Lt. Johnson is willing and ready to examine where we are as a society and the necessary steps we need to take to get us to where we need to be. He was the perfect fit to be that voice or bridge to help bring us together. The idea behind his work is, this is a community problem that involves everyone. Therefore, it’s important to have all the right people at the table. As a Being a part of the Moving Forward Through Ferguson board has given Lt. Johnson an opportunity to see there are a lot of people who are concerned with the direction in which our law enforcement and neighborhoods are headed. He is amazed and blown away at how invested they are in the name of change. Moving Forward Through Ferguson isn’t just addressing the issues in Ferguson, but to make a difference in St. Louis. With such passion in his voice he reminds me it’s for the people who are afraid, who don’t know what to do. It’s for the people who fear their son or daughter can be in a similar situation as Michael Brown or Tamir Rice. We all must fight this. Showing an example of a good cop and being that voice of reason, he’s trying to show us not all cops are bad or think in a negative manner. He’s ok with taking suggestions from the community hearing our ideas, creating a dialogue and coming up with solutions. He wants us to help each other.


“He wants us to help each other.” In today’s climate regarding the police and community some may wonder what does it mean to be a police officer, what are their roles regarding to protect and serve is a police officer? Well after sitting with Lieutenant Perri Johnson of the St. Louis City Police Department he explained how he goes above and beyond to repair the relationship between police and community. A police officer is someone who works in partnership with the communities they serve to maintain law and order. To protect citizens of the public and their property, prevent crime, and reduce the fear of crime. Identify the perpetrators of a crime and ensure fair, and successful prosecutions against those who break the law. But, what do you call those officers who go above and beyond? Doing things such as, working alongside community organizations going the extra mile to rebuild the relationship between officers and the public. Or teaching other men and women in uniform how to defeat cultural biases when dealing with a diverse community. Training them to act with a certain sense of sensitivity when dealing with complex issues. What label should these men and women have, does their ability to go above and beyond and to be a catalyst in the community transcend them into a super hero?

Lt. Perri follows the 90/10 rule. He firmly believes about 90 percent of people in the community are good. They are the citizens who do right, but there is the 10 percent out there that gives them hell. While on the flip side, he again believes about 90 percent of police officers are the good cops, those who take that oath as a badge of honor, but there is also the remaining 10 percent that gives us a reason not to trust cops. Each one of us must hold our 10 percent accountable and we all need help dealing with our 10 percent. He is fully aware we are going up against a system that has been in place for centuries, so it will take some time, but he is optimistic since he has witnessed the progress. If we continue to get the right people aligned with them. Lt. Johnson knows firsthand police officers are taught to be hard core, and sometimes they forget they are human. However, with every good cause there are minor setbacks, new evidence regarding the Michael Brown case was made public and naturally some of the hard work to rebuild had been undone. Talks of a cover up and not trusting the police began to resurface once again. However, Lt. Perri will continue to put in the man hours needed to fix what was broken. In his opinion all information regarding this case should have been disclosed, though in some instances that is not the case. His rule of thumb you must police from the heart not the head, and you must be willing to listen to the people.

Photographer Lawrence Bryant



Wedding Guide

Photographer Allen B. @AllenBwithAg Our Wedding IG is @AgWeddingphotos

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AR EVENT PLANNING 1113 Wooden Dr., Florissant, 773-457-1852 www.

AG PHOTOGRAPHY 7 North Oaks Plaza, Saint Louis, 314-669-4657

UnVeiled Beauty 314-718-4272

CAKES BY NETTE 1130 N Florissant, Ferguson, 314-562-7193 www.cakebynettecom

DIVINE EVENTS 11425 Dorsett Rd #202, Maryland Heights, s314-805-3587

LB PHOTOGRAPHY Saint Louis, 314-445-9718

TARA LOWERY 1430 Washington Ave 105, St Louis, 314-805-3587

ICED IMPRESSIONS 1111 Arsenal Ave, Saint Louis, (314) 219-9272 /IcedImpressions

STYLE COUTURE EVENTS 5335 Highway N, Cottleville, 314-479-3204


NETTIE KELLY 3840 Washington Ave Studio 218, Saint Louis, 314-498-6299

SweetArt 2203 South 39th Street, St. Louis, 314-771-4278

KAYDIS EVENT PLANNING, Saint Louis, 314-458-6425

LANCE THURMAN 2609 S. Kingshighway, Saint Louis, 314-368-3599


La Patisserie Chouquette 1626 Tower Grove St Louis 314-805-3587

6 DEGREES EVENT PLANNING, Maryland Heights, 314-229-8007

SUTBERRY PHOTOGRAPHY Saint Louis/ Illinois 618-406-0041

The Rebel Florist 1414 Park Ave St. Louis, 314-962-3232

Sugaree Baking Company 1242 Tamm Avenue St. Louis, 314-645-5496

Bella Daydream Events St. Louis, 314-537-1739

iDEX PHOTOGRAPHY, Saint Louis/Illinois 618-407-3288

Artistry Florist & Event Design 2734 LaSalle Street, St. Louis 314-772-1301

La Bonne Bouchee 12344 Olive Blvd Creve Coeur 314-576-6606

Simcha’s Events 55 Chaminade Drive St. Louis, 314-458-5463

JOSEPH CAMPBELL Saint Louis/Kansas City/ Mid-Missouri Area 314-805-3587

Wildflowers 1013 Ohio Avenue St. Louis, 314-772-9900

Sarah’s Cake Shop 10 Clarkson Wilson Centre - Chesterfield, 314-728-1140

Cosmopolitan Events 18132 Big Bend Boulevard St. Louis 314-249-9107

CEDRIC SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY 3840 Washington Av 218, Saint Louis , 314363-6303

The Special Events Florist Call for Consult. Saint Louis, 314-845-3362

The Sweet Divine 1801 S 9th St St. Louis, 636-942-2900


LA PATISSERIE CHOUQUETTE PAR SIMONE FAURE A Peanut Free, Gluten Free Friendly French Bakery 1626 Tower Grove Avenue, St Louis Mo, 63110 314-932-7935 HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm

There are moments in life which require celebratory madness. When you pop the Veuve Clicquot and wave aside anything which could hinder the sheer ecstasy of the perfect moment. The element of perfection; of luxury; the substance from which dreams are made… that thing. The je ne sais quoi in the tangibility of happiness. Maybe it’s the God particle. Perhaps God particle is a hyperbole. But taking a bite out of a pastry from La Patisserie Choquette will make one question all that is earthly and heavenly, and brings us to a succinct point of realization: YES. There is actually heaven on earth. Go. Everything about La Patisserie is decadence and perfection. From the ambiance created by the warm and friendly staff, to the carefully curated French décor and casual elegance of it all. It is wonderful. It is the essence of a French patisserie right here in the sweet spot of the city of St. Louis. We are incredibly lucky to have Simone Faure’s hands and artistry in our fair city. A chef of her caliber is available to create your perfect 50th birthday cake or simply cure your craving for Earl Gray tea macarons. Take advantage. Go. Might we suggest an afternoon of high tea? Afternoon tea service is offered on Saturdays at 11am, 1 pm, and 3 pm by reservation only. You can enjoy an assortment of sweet and savory selections and choose from a variety of hand selected loose leaf teas from England, France, Israel and India. Check out their website, and give them a call. You will not regret taking time from your busy schedule to stop the world and melt with cake at La Patisserie Chouquette. Isn’t life supposed to be full of phenomenal experiences?


delux profiled

BOOKS & BROS SIDNEY KEYS III, founder Words by: Ashley Winters


ave you ever had the opportunity to sit down with an extraordinary kid, who had their entire life mapped out at age 11, whose purpose in life is to bring about change in his community?

Well I have. Sidney Keys lll, founder and owner of Books & Bros LLC, is our newest shining star. At just 11 years old, and in the 5th grade when most kids are playing sports, riding bikes, or just being the average kid, Sidney is creating a space where boys can come and gain a love for reading. And not just any olé book will do; Sidney’s goal is to make sure that African American books are in the hands of the boys who are a part of his book club. He wants to make that our stories are being told as well, and to have books that told a different narrative of the African American experience other than what the media portrays. Like most people of color who were educated in this country our stories were limited to a chapter or diluted like we were never a part of American History, until now. Sidney has taken Books and Bros and helped establish a platform for these authors, and a haven for all boys. Attending Ross Elementary in Hazelwood School District, Sidney isn’t just an entrepreneur, he’s a part of the D.A.R.E program, the president of Student Council, and Safety Patrol where he helps other students practice safe habits around school. Plus, he is a photographer in the making and has his own website. Sidney Keys lll is already a big deal on and off campus! Books & Bros meet up once a month and take a trip into the world of literature reading and discussing books about adventures in outer space to riding horses in the wild west. His favorite book thus far is “Danny Dollar Billionaire Extraordinaire” by Ty Allen Jackson, which was the first book he presented at his book club at the local, black owned bookstore Eye See Me. Sidney started Books & Bros, because he had never seen an African American book club before. Also, he thought it would be fun to read with other boys, plus he knew it would be an opportunity to black and brown boys to read books by an African American author. And it all started when he took a surprise trip to the Eye See Me bookstore.

he wants to make that our stories are being told as well, and to have books that told a different narrative of the african american experience other than what the media portrays.

Sitting down with young Sidney, I felt like I was talking to an adult. He’s wise beyond his years, and at age 11 he is changing the world. In just a few short months Sidney’s story has reached media outlets such as Essence Magazine, The Huffington Post, and CNN. Even icons like Steve Harvey shouted him out. He now must use a bigger venue to host his book club meetings, which now will be held at the Ferguson Youth Initiative club. Sidney speaks with a plan for his people, and is committed to that plan through action, he talks the talk and walks the walk. I know you’re thinking what else does this young man have up his sleeve? Well in the future, Sidney plans to spread his business nationally and internationally, especially since he has received calls about Books and Bros from across the world. And while he’s talks about Books and Bros being international, Sidney hopes to one day have his book club virtual as well. Sidney Keys III, KEEP UP THE WORK GOOD WORK!

You ‘re Invited to host your next party or event at the

Missouri Athletic Club

When it’s time for a celebration, make a statement by entertaining at the exquisite, historic Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis. Missouri Athletic Club F 405 Washington Avenue F St. Louis, MO 63102 F FDELUX 314-539-4448 MAGAZINE 69

May 2017  

50 Most Intriguing Women

May 2017  

50 Most Intriguing Women