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Women of Wealth



Hiring Solutions with Impact MELISSA DAVIS



Entrepreneur, Mommy & Influencer

Empowering Women Globally MONIQUE HICKS



Read How She Came Back KELLY GALLAGHER


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Mondo Creation opened its doors in January 2018 in the South Okanagan of Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. This is a picturesque region situated in a desert climate with Award Winning Wineries featured prominently on its landscape and alongside its many lakes and beaches. If we are living in the Middle Ages of our time then surely the seeds that are being planted in this Arts focused community may be the cradle for a Renaissance movement. Our Founder and Creative Director Lisa Lauzé has taken her extensive experience in Retail Sales, Real Estate Sales and Property Management, Health and Wellness facilitation and her love for creating beautiful spaces and exciting events to culminate in Mondo Creation - The Artisan’s Business Incubator. Mondo Creation will be hosting several events in March 2018 to celebrate International Women’s Day! In 2017 the most frequently googled word was “Feminism”. Come join us as we redefine what feminism means to us post #metoo. As we redefine boundaries, trust and next steps.

EVENT: Women of Wealth Magazine in Partnership with Mondo Creations will be hosting the “Living Forward Prepared” Seminars and the Global Economic Awards Luncheon DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 8th, 2018 - 9 am to 3 pm LOCATION: 221 Main Street, Penticton, BC COST: $149.00

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Dr. Lei Lewis Frank Lewis Brandy O. Neal Shondalon Hoffler Somalia Hoffler Richard Brickus III Fran Sherman Remi Osi Nykole Wyatt Lydia Pace Ayana Finch Sheryl Nance-Nash Remi Osi Krystol Diggs Jan Robertson Jared Zem Photography Berlin Kerry Grant Photography Tory Brown Photography Daniel Evans Photography Dee Moore Alyiah Thomas Satia Thomas El Cherae McMillian Christian Sheraton Gatlin Magazine Availability Issues are available at Barnes and Noble and national airports. In addition to freelance writers, Women of Wealth seeks experienced advertising sales executives. Inquiries should be sent to

Magazine Issues are available at Barnes and Noble and NATIONAL AIRPORTS TO INCLUDE ATLANTA, MIAMI, DALLAS AND LOS ANGELES. Letters to the editor at Correspondence may be edited for length and clarity. Please include name, address and email address. Published 4 times a year | Subscription Rate: U.S. 1 year $49.95 Copyright©2014 Women Of Wealth Magazine USA Inc. 786-510-3571



Features 14 April Bernal-Cleek 20 Monique Hicks 26 Janice Bryant Howroyd 32 Melissa Davis



Departments PUBLISHER’S LETTER 08 Katrina Ramalaho HER STORY 10 Kelly Gallagher PRESERVING HISTORY 36 Natasha L. Rogers CONVERSATIONS WITH WEALTHY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN 40 BiLan Liao 42 Attorney Gillian Mullings 48 Farida Akadiri 52 Dr. Deborah Bartlett 56 Ginger Moxey 6 |

WOMEN IN MUSIC, FILM, TV AND ENTERTAINMENT 60 Sue Ann Taylor WOMEN IN WEALTH MANAGEMENT 64 Latonja Eppinger 70 Charlene Obal 74 Dr. Sonya Hamm 78 Kimberley Goudey THE POWER COUPLE 82 Patrick & Mari Kucera KIDS AND TEENAGERS (KAT) 89 Madelyn Davis 95 Chloe Jae

EXCERPTS FROM MBQ MAGAZINE 101 Dr. Linell King 103 J.T. Williams 107 Tim Ray

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Publisher’s View

An Open Letter to my Loyal Readers:


o my many readers, I truly hope you have enjoyed reading about the many women in Women Of Wealth Magazine who have shared their life story with you from quarter to quarter. We thoroughly enjoyed interviewing and writing about them. We noticed that the women experienced day to day challenges just as we do even with their success. I found that the interesting part of their stories was how they went from the challenge to the winners circle. I refer to that as redefining their stairway to success, an exercise that we all must do from time to time. Even if success was handed to us on a silver platter, life is too unpredictable to rest on ones laurels. We must always remain alert for the next opportunity to redefine our path to success or redirect our success at the top in order to stay on top. Personally, I have found that life is like a chess game, you must always remain focused, disciplined, alert and prepared so that when it is your turn to make the next move you are able to move even when there does not seem to be a move available to you. I recall the story that someone told me and now I will share it with you. There was this museum filled with many things and one of the things was a chess board sitting on this table. People would walk up to the table and study the board from all different angles and soon walk away shaking their head, as far as they could see the game was over, the King was trapped. One young man walked up to the board, took a seat at the table and stared at the board. He stared and stared seemingly for hours and then he could be heard way down the corridor shouting! The King has another move! The King has another move! Whenever it appears that I am truly boxed in. I see no way out of the situation. I stop squirming and will myself to be at peace. I remind myself that the King always have another move. I turn it over to Him. When the noise becomes louder than life; the seasons change with barely a notice, the still quiet voice within you grows even quieter and no one you really trust seems to be near you anymore. I know, it may not seem so, but it is a good space to be in. The Space is called the Valley of Decision. Here you will find the time to ask yourself, ponder and reflect on where I go from here. When I was in that same space, I took time to reflect and I noticed that WOW Magazine accomplished so much in 2016. Doing very well in 2017. We have moved forward by placing the Magazine on the digital platform as well as increasing its visibility throughout Airports around our nation. In addition, we began forward movement in another direction when we launched our Billionaire Roundtable Intensives. We experienced huge success with this phenomenon as we

traveled the nation, playing with certified billionaires and multi-millionaires. In addition, we established our Fabulous 5 Cover Speakers Tour. An empowering move that serves as the foundation and framework for the WOW Speakers Bureau. With the Fabulous 5 we have traveled too various cities within our nation empowering the greatness in women that are already successful but want to enlarge their space or be stretched in the space that they are in. We have launched 2 more magazines, KAT, our Kids and Teen Magazine and MBQ, our Men Of Wealth Magazine. Many women Entrepreneurs claw their way to the top of the CEO Ladder and then one day find themselves in the Executive Directors seat of their life and now they must write and direct and produce the next chapter of their movie, you see all life is but a stage. The beauty of it all is now well you learn how to perform in the role that you have been cast in by yourself or someone greater than you. You want to write the chapter with excellence so that the footprint you are creating in this green space we call earth will become your legacy. So I say to you, keep living out loud, looking ahead with a forward, fierce and courageous look and no one will be able to forget you and what you contributed to the green space that you were designed to occupy. Please expect more from us in 2018 as the WOW TV LifeStyle Series enters your living room and onto your mobile device, your social media and internet platforms. God has indeed enlarged our territory. For additional information about Women Of Wealth Magazine or to be in one of our amazing magazines you can reach us at To send letters to the publisher, you can do so at shondalon@ For more information, please visit us at | 9



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have been in publishing for over 7 years and I have never had a woman come tell me “I am a five time cancer survivor! That wasn’t what I set out to do with my life, but it ended up being my life’s work.” I was stunned and almost in tears just listening to Kelly Gallagher’s story. You would never suspect that Gallagher is in a fight for her life as she remains beautiful, articulate and very intelligent. I am blessed to hear her story and I know our readers will be too. I wanted her compelling story told in her own words. I know many women that are suffering with, or have not recovered from, cancer and this intimate sharing will be a blessing to all.

“My life was not in my control,” said Kelly. “My birth father gave me to his sister because he could not take care of me. There were eleven children in that family. I grew up in a military environment surrounded by army colonels, army nurses and people who served in the United States Public Health Services. I guess you could say that discipline was a family value! I know you are a very highly motivated and courageous woman, can you tell me who inspired you to be that way? I am highly motivated and energized despite the fact that I’m a five-time cancer survivor powered by my 6th pacemaker. My life began to change when I was about 19 years old while attending the University of Florida. I was a surfer and on the National Scholastic Surfing Association team, and had become very active producing concerts and other ventures, when I was first diagnosed with cancer. One day in my psychology class, my deepest darkest secrets started to erupt. I began recalling this horrible memory of being abducted and molested as a nine year old, and it hit me hard when I saw Oprah Winfrey openly talking about taboo subjects on television. She produced a special episode entitled ‘It’s Not Your Fault., which inspired me to get help. That moment, watching the Oprah show became one of my most influential turning points. It was in that moment, when all of this raw repressed emotion about my history and cancer diagnoses suddenly surfaced. Oprah’s strong spirit and fortitude inspired me and gave me hope. I embraced the idea that my focus should be on living my life and reaching my goals, as opposed to focusing on my cancer, which was out of my control along with my drug use. As a kid, I had a few dark years where I felt like I was going to die and I was going to go out with a bang. Instead, I graduated and went on to college at Florida International University. I studied marketing and combined that with engineering and theatre. I was on the Mayor of Miami’s advisory board and very involved in a variety of activities. Finally, my life was looking up, but in another defining moment I was hit with another devastating setback, my mom died. I was forever changed because her death was the reason I quit taking drugs. My dad and I subsequently left Miami and drove from Florida to Alaska, since he wanted to see the Alcan Highway. While there, I was offered a great job making twice the money I was going to make at a Miami television station. I accepted my new television job and worked for a fabulous woman who became my mentor and was like my second mom.

I believe we manifest what we set our sights on. If you create your goals, and keep your eye on the prize, you can get your life back. You are in control. | 11

About your life story, the movie…. Twenty years ago I wrote a movie script, my life story, with my partner, Dan Steven. Dan and I wrote 75% of the story together. I completed the story while on tour with my then husband, who was the drummer for Cher. In the story, as a cancer survivor, I wrote a happy ending because I wanted a happy ending. My happy end of the movie was I would bring together the worlds’ most integrative, alternative and conventional doctors and they would do a spectacular event with me. As life sometimes imitates art, that dream just came to fruition. I just produced my movie’s happy ending; an event entitled The Doctors Who Rock Awards, which was a great success. We honoured the paradigm shifters, the change agents, support leaders, the world changers of the movement of health and wellness. This was the first of many celebratory events yet to come! Doctors Who Rock Awards will be back next year honouring courageous and innovative “merged medicine” doctors. I want to remind people that the power of intention can have a profound impact in our lives. I believe we manifest what we set our sights on. If you create your goals, and keep your eye on the prize, you can get your life back. You are in control. I’m so grateful to the women who have supported me over the years and inspired me not to quit or give up. Push forward, and you’ll reach your goals. There were times when I hit the proverbial slippery slope of despair, being both financially and spiritually broken, and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I remembered to push forward and I did not give up, I did not fade out. I thank God for this opportunity

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Kelly is a Paradigm Shifter, freedom fighter who believes the key to the future of wellness will pivot when we reward consumers for personal responsibility and penalize products that damage health of populations by holding the manufacturers accountable. because it is definitely a divinely inspired journey and opportunity. For me, it has been a big turn around and I give all the glory to God. So Kelly Gallagher, the Paradigm Shifter, what is that about? I have a team of people that help me now. I’m sharing more, speaking more and hosting a panel show called Paradigm Shifter. I’m really excited about it because I wrote the original concept for the panel and already have six people in media participating. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I am starting a radio series called Paradigm Shifters for the United Intention Network. My first interview will be with another cancer survivor, Fran Drescher. Fran is another person who has inspired me. It was a phone call from her that made me realize, for first time, that maybe my journey could help inspire others. When you have cancer you find yourself always living on the edge, so I certainly hadn’t expected this new career path that is before me now. Because of the journey I’ve travelled, I can now package it up and share it with other people. My blessing comes through the partnership I have with Tim Ray and our new company, Jammin Planet. It’s so important that we have everybody uniting their support and intentions from other organizations. The unity of our organization has been so in

the flow, magic, cosmic, God, Jesus and whatever you call it! I just call it abundant blessings. What is Doctors Who Rocks about? Doctors Who Rock and the companion event, Get Your Life Back Now, held in Orlando, sort of what my whole life has been about. It’s all about getting your life back after an experience that did not actually kill you. It’s about living life on purpose. Finally, in 2017, I have had the most incredible year; ending my five cancer episodes of bone marrow transplant, 14 months of chemotherapy, and six pacemakers, which cost me months in the hospital. This destroyed me financially, but I was fortunate to have a house that was paid off in Florida, which was a blessing. In addition, I was finding emotional healing through our “Get Your Life Back Now program as I prepared it for on-line and DVD sales. My life, my experience, my very soul are proof that we attract what we want. There’s a life lesson in the saying ‘make lemonade from lemons.’ If we set our intentions and goals and do it with love and a clear mind and heart, we can get what we want. That’s my message is to women. That’s why the ‘Get Your Life Back Now’ program is so useful, it’s an opportunity to focus on positive health messages. I finally have an opportunity to bring everybody into my journey to learn together through our Live Stream events. We are putting the Get Your Life Back

Now program together and packaging the information to make it available for sale for less than the cost of a doctor’s visit. It’s really new, it’s integrative medicine, its personal power health care, and it’s what I’m all about. How did you get involved with your partner Tim? I was having problems in my lungs and legs and needed to see a specialist. Because of my past health history stemming from this five -time cancer survivor thing, I came to Atlanta for the best treatment. It was another one of the divinely inspired moments when Tim came into the clinic where I was being treated. We connected on our mutual interest around the issues of the dangers of vaccinations and the work I did on the documentary VAXXED. We instantly clicked! I started to work with Tim’s organization called United Intentions and am now on the Board of his radio network. I had been producing a show for my doctor and the funding dropped out. I went to Tim for assistance and to set a new intention. I offered to help build his organization, and he said yes. It was just magic and it was a perfect start. At the beginning of every year, I make my vision board and my goal list and how much money I want to make. In 2017, I had put on my vision board meeting someone like Tim Ray. He is an amazing business partner and an unexpected blessing. What an amazing interview. Kelly Gallagher is an awardwinning Filmmaker, Strategist, Writer, Patient Advocate and International Health Speaker/

Researcher. She has navigated both conventional and alternative wellness protocols for over 30 years, succeeding with what she calls “Merge Medicine”. She got well by changing her focus and controlling variables such as food, thoughts and toxins…. the parts of her treatment that she could control. Kelly is a Paradigm Shifter, freedom fighter who believes the key to the future of wellness will pivot when we reward consumers for personal responsibility and penalize products that damage health of populations by holding the manufacturers accountable. Focusing on “organic health education classes for early childhood students and

personal responsibility/choice management classes for adults are paths to positive change and better health outcomes.” Kelly has always been on the go and involved in world changing missions from largescale concert production to mission oriented work. She is the creator of the Doctors Who Rock Awards, Producer of Get Your Life Back Now, the Co-Producer of the controversial film VAXXED; From Cover Up to Catastrophe, and a Director/Producer of the upcoming film entitled, DRILLED; a heavy metal misadventure about a dental cover up of epic proportion. Contact Kelly Gallagher at planet.kelly@ or (323) 791 6950. WOW | 13


April Bernal-Cleek



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s kids we would dream about what we would be one day: a nurse, a lawyer or even a doctor. But for April Bernal-Cleek, all she dreamed about was being a leader who inspires others to believe their potential and go after their dreams. Little did she know that one day she would be living her destiny.

April was born in Palm Springs, California then moved to Massachusetts at the age of 5. Growing up, April lived in a Christian home, raised by two loving parents where she and her siblings learned to develop structure early on in their lives. Bernal-Cleek states, “I learned throughout my education and church foundation what it was like to have core beliefs and values for my life.” Like all success stories, many celebrities and those who are wealthy in their careers always have struggles or hard times. April too had her fair share of life-challenges and shared her story with WOW. “In 2004, I had recently gotten married and was waiting tables for a living. It was hard, my husband at the time was in the army and we were just trying to make ends meet. I was unhappy with the serving job but surprisingly the owner wanted me to become a partner and began sending me to proprietary school. My eyebrows raised—I was like, absolutely not! But then I really made a choice, a pivot point in my mind, and my heart to see this as an opportunity and to be grateful for it and make the most of it. Soon after that, I was given a job opportunity from a man that came to the restaurant often offering me the chance of a lifetime to travel the world to places like Japan, Germany, and Italy teaching doctors on Electronic Health Records. My world began to change from these small decisions of gratitude and seizing opportunity. Now into a new career and having been married for over a year, my then husband’s Humvee was hit by a rocket propelled grenade while serving a tour in Afghanistan. He was sent home shortly thereafter from the army and suddenly I become the sole breadwinner. I enjoyed work and travel in the Electronic Health Record Industry, and eventually began consulting on my own. It was feast or famine in this season. Sometimes the work was coming in faster than I could keep up with it, other times I felt like I was going backwards in my career and steps of success. I recall many times when I would have to live on credit cards until the next job came in and I

It was through these series of challenges and seasons of longsuffering that I started learning I had a choice: I was either going to believe that I would always have more than enough or I could believe that I would always be in a place of deprivation and loss. | 15

wasn’t sure if I would be able to pay our mortgage. I would look for work and live in that fear and torment wondering what I was going to do. It was through these series of challenges and seasons of longsuffering that I started learning I had a choice: I was either going to believe that I would always have more than enough or I could believe that I would always be in a place of deprivation and loss. Essentially the choice was mine and how I shaped my thoughts and belief structure directly dictated my future outcomes. I learned this from some of my favorite authors, like Tony Robbins and Dr. Caroline Leaf. I also remembered the power of gratitude that changed the course of my life earlier on at the restaurant. I chose to believe that I was going to have more than enoughI chose to believe that there was an abundance available to me. Power of Giving. One Sunday morning, we were at a church and they started passing the offering plate around. I barely had a couple hundred dollars in the bank account. My credit cards were maxed out and I had no work coming in. The offering plate started down my row and tears came streaming down my cheeks because I knew fear of money was holding me back and that I needed to give and trust God. I wrote the check and I gave pretty much the last little bit that I had in the bank. I wanted to be free of the fear of finances. It was a very defining moment for me, putting faith first as a confession of what I believe.” Having learned the power of gratitude and generosity, April’s journey of success was just beginning. Having travelled all over the world at this time implementing EHR’s, she saw a need to create a company of consultants and employees that truly cared about their clients. She decided to start EHR Concepts in 2008 and officially launched it with the help of her family in 2010. She believed in herself, followed her instincts and started the company. She provided the needed upfront funding from her own savings account and continued to fund the company. She hired staff and taught them to do what she learned to do when she first started in 2010. It paid off! She was able to pay her employees and within six months of having her own business, she had seven employees and had grossed half a million dollars. Bernal-Cleek’s company “EHR Concepts”, was now on fire in 2011. Her company was bringing in over 1.5 million dollars within the first year of business.

We treat every job, no matter what the size, as our only job, receiving our full attention and subject to our rigorous standards.

WOW asked, what is EHR Concepts? Bernal states, “It’s ironic that healthcare information technology is supposed to make life easier; but trying to make sense of it can actually add to your hardships. That’s where EHR Concepts can make a difference. Simply put, we make healthcare information technology easier to use, allowing you to integrate and optimize technology solutions to empower your organization. EHR Concepts puts our focus on you, the client, with a full suite of professional service offerings such as: help-desk support, implementation, legacy support, managed services, training, staffing, hosting and all IT related services. We treat every job, no matter what the size, as our only job, receiving our full attention and subject to our rigorous standards. We take great pride in exceeding expectations the first time and every time we work with a client. We’re not just quick fix troubleshooters, we’re also teachers. Our team of seasoned consultants will transform your employees into confident users of technology, and help your organization process information smoothly and efficiently. So, for the

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last 7 years, we have been a Health Care Information Technology staffing and consulting firm.” How do you motivate and help women identify their vision so that they can move forward on their own? “Mentoring, says April, is one of my absolute passions and I think one day I may end up going into private coaching. I have several people that I mentor and I meet with them once a month, or even sometimes once a week, and look at some gaps that they don’t see in their business or personal life. I love coming in and helping create profit and productivity focusing on time management and schedule.” Life isn’t always easy, I struggled personally with infertility for years. Bernal-Cleek goes on to share her raw pain with us. “I struggled with infertility for about three or four years,” she says. I could not get pregnant and it became this painful secret. Most women will not talk about this pain and I wasn’t talking either. It felt like I had tried everything between the infertility medications and even insemination. I had not tried In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and didn’t know

Developing faith in yourself and in something greater than yourself, whether that be God or life’s purpose, will guide your way so you can become empowered to stand on your own feet. | 17

I always want to be thankful no matter what. I find myself being thankful for anything and everything until it comes into existence.

much about it but it’s what the doctors were recommending would be next. IVF is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside of the body. The process includes monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process by removing an egg(s) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid where it’s done in a laboratory. I took two to three months off of medicines and doctors appointments to relax and try to reset my mind. During this time “off ” from doctors visits, I decided to start a blog and share with whomever wanted to read it, that I was struggling and desperate. I then began to find courage and faith that I would one day get pregnant, they would be twins, one boy and one girl. I believed that they would have blonde hair, and almost in a supernatural way, I had seen them, I had prayed about them, so now, I was going to believe for them even though, I had not been able to get pregnant. I believed that God had even given me what their names would be Samuel: and Selah. A couple of months later I went in for the IVF. I got pregnant the first time. And yes, they were twins- a boy and a girl. Immediately I said their names, Samuel and Selah- a perfect pair. Oh and yes, they have blonde hair. I always want to be thankful no matter what. I find myself being thankful for anything and everything until it comes into existence. I’ll write later on why I am thankful and the lessons I’ve learned from speaking thanksgiving. Today I am thankful for Samuel and Selah. … This time in my life is IVF, later on I’ll [think] about adoption. Blog entry, July 2011 Five months after the twins were born, I got pregnant with a little girl Shiloh on my own and a year later after that I got pregnant with another little boy Solomon. I had 4 little ones, in a matter of 3 years. They are now 5,5,4,& 2. There are many women who struggle to conceive and may have to take the nontraditional path such as IVF. April Bernal-Cleek joins the ranks of celebrities such as Giliana Rancic and Khloe Kardashian who have shared their stories involving IVF.

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If there is one single piece of advice that Bernal-Cleek would like for WOW readers to take away from this interview it’s… “Women can create whatever story they want to create. I am proof of that. I made a vision board of the life and family I wanted to have. It happened.” Life happens to many of us, but it is how we continue to fight that will determine how successful we will be at it. One of Bernal-Cleek’s favorite passages in the Bible is “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 What is next for you, I asked. There is talk about a new book. Can you give us some thoughts on that? “Yes, I do have a new book coming out this year, called How Gratitude and Generosity Made Me Millions.” It is my personal story as well as me sharing inspiration, practical tools, resources and things that I did to help my business get to where it is today. So, I’m hoping that as people pick it up, they not only have tools, but they are inspired to know that they can do it too.” The truth is, that the book is not about “millions” at all, it’s about understanding what gratitude and generosity truly are and ultimately whether or not you believe the potential that lies within yourself. Through understanding and accepting this approach and living this way, everyone will find true wealth. Remember, that building your own faith in yourself takes time, but that this is helped immeasurably by the principles of generosity and gratitude because these by definition have the power in practice to free you from fear. Developing faith in yourself and in something greater than yourself, whether that be God or life’s purpose, will guide your way so you can become empowered to stand on your own feet. -exert from book I have recently started a new company called Illuminative. It will be an apparel line set to launch in January 2019. The past few years, things in my marriage took a turn for the worse and recently my divorce was finalized. Shouldering the weight of being a single mom, the sole bread winner, manager of a complex personal life, CEO and trying to keep a brave face on when the pain sometimes felt unbearable is how this Illuminative was birthed. I now believe that pain is put in our life to create passion, purpose and a plan. Life is full of challenges, however if we program ourselves to be what we believe then anything is achievable. This brand will promote “I AM” statements all over the world and people will finally believe that “I am beautiful, I am brave, I am powerful, I am smart, I am courageous, I am loved.” I am a lover of life and people. I truly believe that most anything is possible and love the challenge of seeing if it is. My desire is to inspire others to dream, pay it forward in every regard, and consistently live with expectancy in knowing something great is right around the corner. I say live to thrive and thrive to live. Be what you BELIEVE. Create incantations for yourself and your family. “I am Brave, I am Smart, I am Inspirational…” Have fun – laugh a lot – love fiercely. I own multiple companies, some small, others worth millions. I have 4 little babies and still want more – I would have 100 babies if I could…maybe I will. I am a year and a half into being a single mom. I love to see the world and help others. I am me, and happy with that. —April Bernal-Cleek WOW

TO CONTACT APRIL: EHR Concepts, Headquarters PO Box 1855 Villa Rica, GA 30180 EHR Concepts 121 N Center St #204 Statesville, NC 28677 Subscribe to April’s Blog: Instagram: AprilBernalCleek Featured in: Wall Street Journal August 2015 Silver Winner: Best Women Run Workplace of the Year by International Stevie Awards Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, 2017 Featured in INC magazine multiple times Great Place to Work Certified Winner of Best in Biz, 2015 | 19


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s we interviewed Monique Hicks, it was clear to see that she is very passionate about women’s health. According to her, it is true “age is just a number and is no factor in how far a woman can take her beauty.” Med Spa gives credence to the current saying that 50 is the new 30 and so on and so forth. You can go into Monique’s Med Spa and come out looking years younger. The new world is for the bold, courageous and beautiful. You can find it all in Med Spa. We covered many topics during our interview with Hicks. Enjoy: How long have you had your MED SPA? This September will be 6 years. How did you get started? MED SPA is such a unique business. I am a nurse by trade and in 2007, I went to work in the hospital system. After 2 years, I decided that I wanted to go to medical school. I flew out to California to a medical school symposium and met with about 70 different schools. It was there that I met a navy doctor and his wife. They invited me on a humanitarian mission for 4 months with the Navy. We went to Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda. I applied to medical school during this trip but to my dismay, my documents were not transmitted properly via the ships intermittent internet connection. Unfortunately, it is very expensive to apply to medical school and I could only afford to apply once. So, upon my return I began working at the office of a plastic surgeon. I was in charge of the weight loss division of her practice and very quickly uncovered an embezzlement ring in her practice run by three of her employees. She was very grateful for my discovery and she put me in charge of managing the practice. Her practice became very successful and profitable and she decided to sell after 2 years of my employment to retire. I had an option to go with either the person whom she was selling to or to go out on my own. I decided to go it alone. In 2011, I moved from Florida to Georgia and opened my practice. Was it a struggle or did everything happen for you all at once? I did not have very much money, so nothing came easy. After searching Atlanta for my first location, I soon realized anywhere desirable was out of my budget. I decided to go out to the suburbs of Atlanta where commercial property was more affordable. I met a gentleman named Clyde who owned the building that I was interested in. He was a contractor and occupied the upstairs of the building. He had a 973 square foot space for rent and he told me that the rent was going to be $7.61 a square foot and then he asked me, “How are you going to pay for your build out? I think we’re going to be somewhere around $20,000.” My heart sank and I told him I didn’t have the money for it and I couldn’t afford it. We ended up sitting there and just talking for a while. He told me his story and I told him my plans. We finished talking and he said, “I see something in you and I want to lease the space to you. I’m going to go ahead and let you sign a year’s lease and I’m going to do the build-out for you complimentary.” In that moment, he gave me the chance of a lifetime. With what he spent for the build-out, he did not even make his money back in the first year. However, he saw something in me and decided to take a chance. His decision paid off for him and me! After 12 months, I opened my second location. After 18 months, I went back to my first location and took the entire bottom floor of Clyde’s building amounting to 2500 square feet. He did that build out as well as building out my third location. Clyde has been a mentor to me and he’s been a part of my growth since day one. He really gave me my one in a lifetime chance.

WPO is a group for women entrepreneurs as well as women who have a C Suite position, CFO or COO or something of that nature and make high-level decisions in their business. | 21

Have you found a difference between male and female mentors? I have had mostly male mentors up to date. The male mentors I have had have been very business savvy, they see the issue at hand and they help me with specific issues but they don’t really see what I like to call the tentacle effect. So you have your problem, but there are lot of tentacles that can’t necessarily stay outside that one problem box. Women on the other hand tend to be able to see the tentacles. Kara, my right hand who has been with me since day one in the practice, sees the tentacles. She really helped me implement everything along the way and about 6 years in, we really feel like we have reached the pinnacle of what we know how to do by ourselves. We knew that we had reached the level where we needed to take it to the next level and that is when I sought out leadership groups. I was in a meeting with someone and they recommended WPO, Women Presidents Organization. In this group, I have been introduced to women mentors and the floodgates have opened. It has been quite incredible with the leadership and development that I have experienced in just the last three months. There have been so many opportunities that have come across my plate since I joined WPO. These powerful, exciting women have been there to mentor and help me grow exponentially. Are you a mentor? I am, yes! I would say Kara and I are developing our team and we have 12 staff that we’re developing in their careers. We are developing them personally and professionally. We’re working on growing our community through our membership with WPO. I was attending the WPO, 20-year conference in Orlando in May, 2017. I submitted an application for a scholarship to Harvard for their Executive MBA program. The finalist was to be announced that evening and we had to present the very next morning. I found out that evening that I was one of the four finalists. We had to write a four minute speech and prepare for four questions. After the presentation, the excitement intensified when one of the women said to me, “your speech really inspired me. I’m fostering a young woman, she’s 18 and she really wants to be in your industry and she’s had a really rough life. I would really love to show her the potential that’s out there and would you be interested in mentoring her?” I said, I would absolutely love the opportunity to mentor her. She will be coming down in August to stay with me and see what we do every day in the office and determine if it’s something that she would be interested in doing. I look forward to meeting her, hearing her dreams and assisting in any way that I can to pay it forward. This WPO Organization sounds like something that women should definitely know about. Please tell us more about becoming a member. WPO is a group for women entrepreneurs as well as women who have a C Suite position, CFO or COO or something of that nature and make highlevel decisions in their business. Women learn from other women about how to operate their business, how to identify their major challenges and how to find solutions to the various short and long range challenges that they are confronted with through each

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In order to be accepted as a member into WPO, you have to generate more than 2 million dollars a year in revenue and successfully complete an interview process.

other’s experiences in business. In order to be accepted as a member into WPO, you have to generate more than 2 million dollars a year in revenue and successfully complete an interview process. There’s no more than 20 women in each group and no one can overlap as far as industry. It is really unique. You get to sit in a boardroom with up to 20 other women and you go around and give a synopsis about what’s going on in your business, what are some hot spots you have. At the end of this, the moderator picks two issues that the group would like to tackle. We do not give advice, we just share experiences if we have any on the topic. These A-ha moments happen right before your eyes in real time. It’s really an honor to be a part of this type of group with women of this caliber in business. What other groups have you joined to help you further your vision? I am a member of a group called Entre-leadership and it is a group for all entrepreneurs looking to expand their skills as leaders. They have many resources available. For instance, I have just given my team a DISC assessment to identify their personality type, strengths, weaknesses, their communication style and that’s all been through Entre-leadership’s direction. They also provide a list of fifty books every entrepreneur should read. So far I’ve been a member for 2 months and I have read 4 out of 50. The ‘Rocket Fuel ‘ and EOS Traction books are incredible. They talk about the entrepreneurial operating system. It identifies issues and solutions for your business. It provides the tools to help you to really grow and develop. I have also read ’Profit first’ which is a financial book to help you organize your finances and make sure that you’re putting your paycheck as a priority while keeping business expenses in check. It’s a very unique way to run finances and Profits. It has been life-changing for the Financial Health of my business. I have read a book called the ‘Ideal Team Player’ which talks about hiring and aligning with people who are hungry, humble, and smart. The book teaches the importance of these 3 skills, what happens if any are missing and how to develop the skills as management. Tell us-what Vitality Med Spa & Plastic Surgery Center can do for a woman? We have 14 talented professional members of our team who are all expertly trained and sought after for the expertise in the industry. Our goal is to provide natural looking results for women who would like to look and feel their best. We operate a medical Wellness division wherein we offer hormone balancing and replacement, weight loss, nutritional coaching and counseling in addition to providing ways of developing healthy habits to create, live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We also offer plastic surgery and cosmetic injectable as well as laser and aesthetic treatments to assist with skin and body care as well as restoring a youthful look but in a very natural way. What is vaginal rejuvenation? This is a Hot Topic that nobody talks about and that’s the real issue. As we age, our face, our arms, our hands and other areas such as our vagina, age just as we do anywhere else. What we’re recognizing is that women, whether they’ve had children or not, they’re having some changes with sexual function. The vaginal area may not be as lubricated as it once was or may not be as tight as it once was or the sexual pleasure may not feel the same as it once did. So we are recognizing that there is a need to create healthy, fresh collagen and tissue in the vagina to restore it to its most optimal state. A lot of the focus is on restoring that tissue to a healthier place and we typically do that with collagen stimulating treatments and products. We have noticed that if we use these procedures in the vaginal area that clients are obtaining incredible results and satisfaction. Also noted is that in addition to sexual health, women are getting relief from urinary incontinence which is that pesky leakage that comes along when you sneeze or laugh or jump or even when walking for some women. The methods that are coming out now are painless and some of them are one treatment. Some of them, depending on the device, can be three or four treatments but they | 23

We offer complimentary consultation to every client to come in and identify their concerns and see what is important to them. are life-changing and FDA approved. The results that we are seeing with one treatment is phenomenal. I purchased a device called ‘Genevieve by Viveve’. It is one treatment for 30 minutes. I’ve personally had it done. I had a baby almost 2 years ago and I was suffering from incontinence, it was mild but it was really annoying and it definitely didn’t make me feel as confident as I wanted to. One 30-minute procedure and I was back to my normal self. I’ve also had some other fun benefits that I enjoy in the satisfaction department. What about belly fat? I know that is a big concern for women over a certain age. How do you eliminate that? That is a common complaint that we hear from almost all of our clients. We have a lot of clients that take care of themselves, eat healthy diets and work out but it’s that area that they just can’t get rid of and there are a couple things on the market that really help. One of the most popular is Coolsculpting. Coolsculpting is a treatment that allows you to freeze the fat in a short 35 minute treatment time. In order to get rid of fat there are a couple of methods you

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can employ: you can freeze it, heat it, or you can surgically remove it. Everybody wants a non-surgical method if possible. We’ve found by cooling it you do not have to work out, you do not have to change your diet or do anything different. You are actually freezing that fat causing what we call cell death and you urinate out that fat over a 60 to 90 day period. It is permanently gone and you can do this on multiple areas of the body such as the arms, chin, bra fat, abdomen, love handles, the little banana roll in between your tush and your thighs and even the little roll above your knees. I mean this is body contouring with the cherry on top! It is incredible that you can do it without changing your lifestyle and get those results that you want without surgery. We have clients that come in, have a glass of wine and their Coolsculpting and move on with their lives looking amazing. Do you treat the skin differently in the summer than you do in the winter? Yes, most definitely. Most people have skin changes in different seasons so their skincare changes and there’s no onesize-fits-all. Our consultations are very

individualized. We offer complimentary consultation to every client to come in and identify their concerns and see what is important to them. As trained professionals, we have an aesthetic eye and we know what we’re looking for but that’s not always the individual’s primary complaint. Our job is to educate them about aging, how it happens, what is expected to happen and what you need to do to take care of your skin in each season. Not only the seasons according to winter, summer, spring and fall but the seasons of life and aging. What about your social activities? Do you bring women in and just have a wine and education type networking party? We definitely do. We have lunch and learn events, educational seminars and all sorts of other events around different topics. We have day, night and weekend events to accommodate all of our clients and talk about different procedures or services that we offer and how they benefit our clients. We usually have the Representatives from the companies who offer these procedures on site so they can really go into the technology part of how the company formulates and specializes

in what they do. Next, we show them the results that we have had in our office with our clients and ourselves. We are a training facility for several vendors. We teach other professionals how to perform these services to offer to their clients. We test anything we consider bringing on ourselves to ensure that the products really do what they say they will. Are these procedures safe? We do FDA approved procedures and then there are what we call off-label procedures as well. There are lots of procedures where the service rendered wasn’t what it was originally intended for but we are a training facility and are experts in what we do. Companies and Vendors give us the ability to research and report our findings on whether procedures will work in other areas not yet FDA approved. Once we feel very confident and safe that this product will do what we think it should do, we recommend it to our clients. For instance, Botox is only FDA approved in between the eyes and around the eyes. But as most of our clients know, there are so many more uses like in the forehead that render safe and satisfactory results. In another example, there is a product on the market called Kybella. It is an injectable that you put in your chin and it dissolves fat. So we thought if it does it in the chin, let’s see if it can potentially do it in some other small areas. We have been able to successfully combine Kybella and Coolsculpting, and in other areas, just use Kybella by itself, such as the love handles. We’re an industry leader and pioneering new, effective services and procedures with the products that we have expertise in.

expertise that we have in the industry and how we present it at Vitality Med Spa & Plastic Surgery Center. We pride ourselves on presenting our expertise through education and guiding women as mentors through their journey. Is there anything else that you would like for our readers to know about that I have not asked you? I think that the only thing that we haven’t really touched on very much is my personal life. I get the joy of being a sweet little girl’s mother. Her name is Dylan Sophia and she is 2 years old. My husband and I have been able to watch this little girl grow and enjoy life together. My personal growth is completing the journey of being a mom and wife. I think it’s definitely a balancing act though. I’m inspired by women entrepreneurs all around me and I think we all have different paths. But my path is being a mom, a leader and a pioneer and it’s exciting to see it all unfold right before my eyes. I’m really excited to be able to be mom and mentor to this little girl. Do you have a special that you can offer our readers and be sure to give us your contact information. Our website is http://www. Our

website goes over all of the different procedures and services that we offer. At the bottom of every page we talk about recovery time, the cost, the safety of the procedure and then we offer complimentary consultations on everything that we do. Right now, for the summer we are offering our Summer Skinny Package. It gives a customer 20% off of all Coolsculpting procedures. In addition to that, for anybody who comes in for a Coolsculpting consultation, if they have not experienced a product called Dysport, we are offering a complimentary treatment. Dysport is just like Botox, in fact we say it’s like Coke vs. Pepsi. Dysport is a cosmetic injectable that softens fine lines and wrinkles. It takes about 3 to 5 days to take full effect. The most common side effect is a tiny little bit of redness at the injection site which can typically leave a mosquito bite for about 5 to 15 minutes. Other than that you can go right back to work or to your daily activities. The procedure, for most people will last, about 3 to 4 months. The average cost of an area of treatment is usually between $150 and $250. Dysport is one of our most popular treatments. Clients respond that they love the way Dysport makes them look 10 years younger almost instantly. WOW

Have you found a difference in the number of African American women as oppose to Asian women that will participate in one or more of the procedures or services that you offer at Med Spa? We get the joy of being in a very diverse area like Atlanta where we have multiple cultures, different backgrounds and diversities. We really get a plethora of women who are interested in antiaging. We see all skin colors, skin types and all backgrounds of women. What it really comes down to it, it is the | 25


People ask so often what advice I can give to a woman who wants to be successful in business and I say “The same advice I’ll give to a man; start out how you can end out. Teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself.”

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Janice Bryant Howroyd J

anice Bryant Howroyd, or JBH as she is fondly called, is an exciting combination of foresight, fortitude, and faith. Her vision is uniquely evident from her decision to start a business at a time when no role models were blazing a trail, and her fortitude from her ability to lead her organization through years of economic changes to be the beacon that it is today. Today she is one of the wealthiest and most influential African Americans in the nation (http:// She is the Founder and CEO of The Act-1 Group (, an award-winning staffing and human resources enterprise with multiple divisions across 21 countries. The organization is a multi-billion dollar revenue driver. Howroyd is a woman who believes in service, innovation, and the importance of reaching beyond the ordinary. She was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Board of Advisors for the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is a wife, mother, businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author, mentor and Presidential Special Appointee and we are excited to welcome her to the Women of Wealth family! | 27

WOW: Tell us about your decision to delve into Human Resources? How did that come about? JBH: As a little girl growing up in Tarboro, North Carolina and one of eleven kids, I didn’t even know what Human Resources was. I understood the concept of people working because everybody in my community worked. But beyond teachers and preachers, I didn’t have any role models for what professional African Americans looked like. So, I have to say that God championed me and enabled me to sustain through my education and my work experience to gain a better concept of how people work well together. When I started my company in 1978, I had no long term business plan at all. I had tried to get a job I believed was right for me and didn’t find it, so I decided that there was a gap I could fill in staffing and human resources. Early on, I learned what the core of business really is. Finding problems, developing solutions and packaging that in a very user-friendly way; that’s the way it works WOW: As a young, beautiful African American woman in business, how did the men see and relate to you back then when you got your company started?

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JBH: You know, our father taught us years ago that people will treat you and your home the way you treat you and it. At the time, we’d have lots of friends come to our house to hang out, and as children, we would be tempted leave a mess, or with the boys, occasionally wreck things. He repeatedly told us that people would treat our home the way we treat it. And I remember a particular time when he turned to us girls and said, “By the way, young men will treat you the way you expect to be treated.” Many years later my mother told me the same thing about how to train my husband, and I’ve never forgotten that. With respect to business, a lot of those values are still precious for me. People ask so often what advice I can give to a woman who wants to be successful in business and I say “The same advice I’ll give to a man; start out how you can end out. Teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself.” It is also crucial that you be very thoughtful about people in the process Understand that, in business, the client is a part of your team. Your team doesn’t stop when you walk out of the door of your business. Your enterprise has to integrate well with needs and expectations, and do it in a very friendly way. Those are simple things I learned growing up in my home.

It is important to understand what success is to you. True success happens from within. It’s not measured from without.

WOW: Let’s talk about wealth and riches. In your opinion, is there any difference between the two? JBH: Absolutely. Riches can be gotten in so many ways, and may come and go Wealth, on the other hand, builds upon itself. You could be rich and able to afford a few things, but you’ve got to keep at your trade to keep that money coming in. When you’re wealthy, your money can be trained to earn money for you in a dynamic and sustainable way. However, being rich or being wealthy are neither the full indicator of success. Mother Theresa was successful, but she died penniless. Dr. Martin Luther King was highly successful, but his family wasn’t swimming in money when he passed away. We’ve got to be very thoughtful about how we measure success. Contrarily, Elvis had all the money in the world, and he died brokenhearted, not feeling successful. It is important to understand what success is to you. True success happens from within. It’s not measured from without. WOW: What do you think God meant when He said: “I’m the one that gives you the power to get wealth?” JBH: I think God measures us, not regarding what we accomplish for ourselves, but how we enable others to live their best lives. I learned something vital from Zig Ziglar, and that is ‘You can get anything you want in life if you just help other people get what they want.’ These are important values we have taught our children, ‘You have everything you need to be everything you need to be.’ And when you think about it, success is not a destination. It is a very enjoyable and strategic journey. WOW: What do you say to a woman who has been struggling for years trying to make it in business? | 29

I believe having mentors can be very helpful to women in business Getting the right mentor, however, is critical.

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JBH: I’d say maybe rethink the business? This is crucial and is not an indicator of failure at all. Many successful people, as measured by their income or their ability to employ people, became successful and had great results only after having tried other things. Many individuals who look like overnight successes have had a long journey during which they tried several things before finding accomplishment in a particular area. If something is not working after a long time, it might be best to rethink your strategy. WOW: Does mentorship help? How do you think that factors into business success? JBH: Mentoring is a co-operative process. I’m often asked by people if I would mentor them, and I always ask them to tell me what mentoring means to them. Mentoring engages time, resources, hopes, dreams and strategies. It involves a full life’s work. I’m mentoring a young woman right now, and God could not have sent a more beautiful woman into my life. She’s a Junior in a University who is very definite about her goals and understands that she may need to be flexible in how she approaches her strategy. This young woman comes from a family who have brought her up with a great set of morals, and she’s living those values in such a beautiful way. Mentoring for us works really well because we’re both in agreement about what we’re doing, and we’re in alignment about how we’re doing it. So, mentoring is more than just a series of phone calls; it requires that we understand each other and make sure that it’s a mutually beneficial opportunity. So, yes, I believe having mentors can be very helpful to women in business Getting the right mentor, however, is critical. WOW: So, we read that you were the first African- American Billionaire? JBH: Well, I don’t know about that really. I’m not interested in being first. What I’m interested in is making sure that I’m not the last. Every person who achieves an element of success in business and gains some level of notoriety, or peer respect, is someone who has earned opportunity by virtue of other people’s work as well as their own. So, my truth is that nobody gets anywhere alone. And it would be disrespectful and dishonest to suggest that any business I’ve built was uniquely from my solo strengths. I have been fortunate to work with so many amazing people who support the dream. What I believe I have given this business is the ability and the consistency of disciplined work. Lots of people want things, but they’re not prepared to give the disciple to achieve them. WOW: What does the concept of legacy mean to you? JBH: Eternity. As a woman of faith, no door opens or closes in my life that is not accompanied by prayer. The greatest thing, I believe I have learned from my prayer life is to pray in gratitude - regardless of what’s going on. Because faith without works is dead, I am disciplined to do what needs to be done in order to live a life of positive impact. It is good to remember that everything we do in life has breath and gives breath. WOW

The Act-1 Group ( Twitter: @jbryanthowroyd Instagram: @jbryanthowroyd Facebook: Janice Bryant Howroyd Website: | 31



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was looking for a very different and impactful interview for the next issue and someone suggested that I interview Melissa Davis with Elev8. I have never been happier that I took someone’s suggestion for a story. Not only was her interview compelling but it was very informative about things women want to hear. She raised challenges that women will experience just from being a woman business owner and then she would offer solutions to the challenges. It was so inspiring. I commented on the uniqueness of her company name and began to quiz her for her WHY as she journeyed down the road of entrepreneurship. Melissa was so forthcoming with her answers and went on to say. “I grew up in a small town in Northern Maine, Presque Isle, where there are no big businesses, only small mom, and pop shops. My Father and 5 of my Uncles, all are Entrepreneurs and I grew up working in my father’s shop, which was my first introduction into running a business. It was a blessing, because I got to understand how business operates from sales, operations, HR, and an accounting standpoint. After, college I moved to Atlanta, to work for Crawford Communications, where I supported the 3rd Army as a Media Relations specialist, covering the Iraq War from the front lines. After a few years, I was ready for a change, my girlfriend was doing financial recruiting in Boston and said I would love it. I was like, “What’s Recruiting?” That’s when I began my journey. I worked for two firms and was the top producer for over five years. After 5 solid years of killing it in sales, I felt like I needed more. I convinced my bosses at the time to send me to an industrial psychologist to help me figure out my path in the business. After five hours of being analyzed and about 4 tests later, he told me that I had the profile of an Entrepreneur and that I most likely would not be fulfilled until I was running my own business. It was true, I was not feeling challenged anymore. I realized it was time to follow my dream of being an Entrepreneur. I reached out into the deep. Next, I found a business partner, although it didn’t work out in the long run. What I learned is that partnerships are hard, but it certainly was very helpful

for me in the beginning. I asked Davis, How long did it take her to become successful? In a very transparent manner, she stated. “I feel very blessed that we were very successful early on, and became a multi-million-dollar business within a few short years. What set us apart and allowed us to take market share, was our focus on quality verses quantity with purpose behind it. Elev8’s purpose is to connect high-tech individuals to innovative tech centric companies, with a focus on purpose, culture, collaboration, and a healthy work environment. Elev8 has never tried to be all things to all people. We are more of a specialized recruitment firm specializing in clientele selection and even more particular who we support as candidates. Our technology expertise, our qualifying process, and our strong connections in the technology community, have really helped our success. I have always believed in being more niche focused. We have always focused on more of the cutting edge, open source, technologies, and “Progressive” companies doing cool stuff. As for our clients, we spend a lot of time consulting them on the market conditions, how to interview passive candidates, what technologies they should think about using, etc. It is a very high-touch approach, versus the “body shops” that most staffing firms operate under. You know, the spray and pray model. Some firms are very successful with that type of model. But for me, I did not start Elev8 solely focused on money, and how fast I can grow. I honestly started Elev8 to help people along their journey, both clients and candidates. Why so much passion for helping

others? Any testimonials? Melissa, with deep emotion, states “My passion and why is to confidently connect with others to help fill their cups so that they can have a better quality of life. That’s why I love recruiting because I get to help people every day. Throughout my career I have placed hundreds of people and have tons of testimonials on how I have effectively changed people’s lives. One that comes to mind is a young technologist that did not go to college and he was an incredible security guy working at a local bakery. I met him at this networking event and he came up to me and told me he liked security and likes hacking but he’s having a hard time getting into any companies because he doesn’t have formal education. I could be a liaison to one of my clients who is known for only hiring people with degrees but I was able to convince them to meet this candidate and figure out his skills and see if they could align. They did and he got the job. He also got a $30,000 pay increase which was life changing especially at his stage and age in life. When Davis was asked to share some of her best and worst decisions made as CEO of her own company, she stated “My best decision by far made for my company was joining Entrepreneurs Organization. EO is an organization for entrepreneurs. Due to the nature of my business, I didn’t necessarily need a board of directors, but that is what EO is like. You have a big city chapter, but then you have a small group. Each group is like a small board of directors that meets once a month to go over the top 5% good and bad of your business and personal | 33

life. Growing a business is hard, and it is much harder to do alone. This group has taught me so much and given me access to so many amazing resources.” As Davis pondered what she wanted to say concerning her worst decision. I could hear the concern in her voice about what she was going to say. In truth, she states, the worst decision that I have ever made was when I was getting started I gave away a little too much power and did not set proper boundaries for my first couple of employees. When you are new and building something from scratch, you get caught up strategizing with them and allowing them to cloud the boundaries of their job description. This is a very slippery slope, because as you start to grow, you start taking some of that power back, but the employee is not comfortable not being in the “know”, and they start to act as a partner and not an employee, which makes it really difficult to manage them, or even have them managed by others. I wanted to move the conversation over to mentoring, so I asked, what should an Entrepreneur do to perfect her “ask” when trying to find a mentor? According to Davis, “One should first build a relationship with the desired person. It is hard to just walk up to someone and ask for them to be your mentor. It takes a few meetings to start to get some cooperation going. I think a key ingredient to a mentor and mentee relationship is chemistry and a natural connection. I mentioned to Davis, that there are so many women business owners today but not without their challenges, so what did she think are some of the most significant barriers to the female leadership. “Accessibility to the same things men have, like capital and funding are the biggest barriers” she said. She goes on to say “Other barriers I have personally experienced are ageism, sexism, and serviceism (yes that is my own word). I own an IT Recruitment firm in a heavily male dominated industry. I often get, “Wow” you’re the owner, “Oh, it’s your company.” Though I hang my head high, it still is a daily occurrence of me explaining that I am the founder and the owner. As far as sexism, yes, it is still heavily a part of the corporate world. I often

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get treated like the “pretty recruiter girl” and not the woman that has built a multi-million-dollar business. As far as serviceism, women do not get enough credit for the types of companies we are building. Statistically, women build mostly service based businesses. My business is a service based business and a very credible business. Though it might not produce as high of a return in the end, it is still producing high returns yearly, and contributing to our ecosystem. Men tend to be focused on bigger and better, and I think women tend to be focused on life style and work-life balance. I have spent the last several years thinking about what “product” I can build and not focused on growing my perfectly growing business, because I never thought my current business is good enough. It’s just service, it’s just recruiting. Davis goes on to state, “we have yielding returns of profit in the 25% and above, which is strong for beginning stages of any start-up business. My team has grown so much and we have built such a strong reputation for our hard work and how different we are from all the other “commoditized” staffing firms. It has taken me some time to realize this, but once I finally reflected and truly see what my team and I have accomplished, it is a beautiful thing. So, my advice, when thinking of barriers, we should be celebrating all women owned businesses. As a community we should be recognizing, and highlighting what local women in our ecosystem are doing, the jobs they are creating, the lives they are impacting. One last barrier that I think women suffer from that men are good at is bartering. Women often won’t go there but men do it all the time. I don’t know if it is because we are so

prideful and independent, or too scared to ask, or not groomed that way, but business is all about bartering. “I’ll hook you up, if you take care of me.” Also, men do a lot of bonding on the golf course, and at happy hours. However, when you are a female, and you are trying to go golfing to build a relationship with a client, it is sometimes looked upon differently.” I asked, what helped you rise above it all? “Well,” says Davis, “I surrounded myself with tremendously successful people that wanted to help me and build me up.” I also hired a business coach this year, Robert Fish of CXO Insights. He practices the Gazelle’s methodology, but since working with him what I have gained the most is him working on my confidence and truly showing me what I have built. Because I had nobody around me looking into everything, seeing how successful we are, and being surrounded by other companies constantly getting recognized for what they have achieved, and we were achieving just as much without the recognition, I finally started believing in what we have accomplished. I hate to say, I needed confirmation. Granted, I might not have needed that as much if I was not in the ecosystem we play in. Lesson learned: don’t let negative influences around you hold you down. Use that energy to focus on growth and shine the light on what you have accomplished and not what you have not accomplished. That answer inspired me to ask, what woman inspired you the most yesterday and today? Why? Excited to share that answer, Davis states “First off, my mom. She instilled in me at a very young age to have a strong work ethic. She taught me if you want something, work hard for it and it can be yours. She also always told me I can be and do whatever I want when I grow up. She used to say to me all the time that I would be the President of the United States, not that president but certainly a president.” Another inspiration in my life was one of my old bosses, Kathy Madore. She had spent a very successful career in the business world as a top buyer for Cole Hann, she travelled the world and always stressed to me to travel and go out and experience life. She also taught me the power of utilizing your network,

which I capitalized on when I moved south. I called her up two weeks after quitting my job and moving to Atlanta. She introduced me to someone in her network which gave me my first job in Atlanta. I tend to seek out women that are strong willed who are more on the aggressive side, who don’t take crap from anyone and have a very strong sense of confidence about them, as these are areas I need to continue to work on. There are a lot of women in EO that I surround myself with. One is Sue Hrib, she is the most caring, giving and compassionate person that I know. She has a heart of gold, but is very direct, and transparent. When Davis was asked, What do you say when asked, What can Entrepreneurs do if they don’t have money but need resources to start or move their company along? She said “I would first start with the schools. All the colleges have amazing career centers, which are always looking for good companies to collaborate with. I also highly recommend starting off with interns, as they are sometimes free, or very cheap. And believe me, if you are hiring someone for technology, some of the young kids are brilliant these days and at times know more than some older technologist. After you have exhausted the local schools, your network, and social media, it might be worth it to invest in some advertisement. Good answer I thought, but where do you see the world in 10 to 15 years with regards to technology? Specifically, women in technology. “In my opinion” Davis goes on to say, “I see far more women in technology, which is very exciting. I believe the school systems are finally putting a focus on STEM education, and there are a lot more influencers for young girls in technology these days. It is not just seen as a man’s world anymore. When I was growing up the video games were all masculine and made for boys and Barbie’s were made for girls. Right? But now society has keyed in certain areas and made gaming fun for girls. I was recently part of a group that was helping teach 4th graders about technology and coding and what they can do with that type of skill set. Having people like Sheryl Sandburg as someone that we can add, not just Mark

Zuckerberg helps, so we are having powerful women that we can relate to. I think statistically women entrepreneurs are outpacing men entrepreneurs. That is very exciting.” Melissa, why don’t women support other women? “Again, in my opinion, I think some women hold other women down due to insecurities and the fact that we are very judgmental and territorial. I learned from being around more successful women Entrepreneurs that I had to prove myself first. I had to become worthy to be worthy. The problem with that scenario is that we need the help in the beginning not once we have gone through the trenches ourselves. It is kind of like women dress for other women, not for the men. Men don’t really notice, know, or care if you are wearing the latest trends or fashion, but women do. I know when I got started, all the men around me were helping me, they wanted to mentor me they wanted to grow me. They really encouraged me and the women that I reached out to always gave me the sense that I wasn’t good enough and I had to prove myself. I would receive the cold shoulder and I didn’t know why. As my company grew, those same women that gave me the cold shoulder are now really close to me, open to me, trusting of me and have let me in. I think women are very independent and think they can do everything on their own and think that they don’t need help. We are our own worst critics. I have also found, the women that judge the most are the ones most insecure. They may be able to give you good advice, but remember how they treated you in the beginning. I personally love helping other women excel and succeed. I believe we are stronger together than separate. One last question, What are your thoughts about working with Millennials in the work

place? “I am very excited because by 2020, Millennials are going to be over 75% of the work place. I have heard multiple times that Millennials feel “entitled.” I think to some degree they are, but I also believe it is not their fault. Millennials only know what they know, and they were raised in an instant gratification way of life since they were little. So yes, they lack patience. They also get bored easily, as they are accustomed to a faster pace of life through learning and the connectivity of all social media and the internet. This generation is literally the first generation that are smarter than the generation before them. The teachers cannot stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, so it is almost like tech students would be better off going to a technical school focused on current trends and technologies. One of the lessons I continue to learn is that Millennials also crave feedback, and not just at monthly or yearly reviews, they want it daily. This is very different then when I grew up in the working world. For me, if you did not hear from your boss that meant you were doing well but in this generation if you do not hear from your boss that means you’re not doing well. A great example of this, I had a top performer on my team. We highlighted her work constantly, with weekly, monthly, and yearly meetings where she would be recognized for the work that she had done. What I found out, was that was not what she desired. What she desired was the constant recognition for the little stuff, not just the big stuff. It was not the rewards that she was motivated by, it was the recognition and appreciation that motivated her more. Millennials, in reality, I think just want a voice, to be heard and to be appreciated. This was awesome Melissa, thank you. WOW

I personally love helping other women excel and succeed. I believe we are stronger together than separate. | 35



L. Rogers


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t’s a partly cloudy day in Birmingham, Alabama, intermixed with a soothing gentle breeze blowing from the east with occasional sunshine emitting the cumulus clouds. Present and distant sounds of automobiles honking provide colorful conversation and personality to the steel city. Pedestrians and workers navigate the sidewalks as some divert to an entity nestled on Birmingham’s Parkside, a patch worn on the sleeves of the local district due to the opening and success of Railroad Park and the economic resurgence that resulted from its success. The patrons enter and exit in a rudimentary, yet off speed cadence.

Tucked away at the corner of 1st avenue south and 16th street stands the Negro Southern League Museum, the largest African American Sports Museum in the country. The museum tells the story of African American baseball from a Birmingham, Alabama perspective. As patrons enter, they are greeted by Natasha Rogers, museum director. Actively engaged, she greets each patron with a warm and ingratiating smile. She is attentive, knowledgeable and engaging. The museum begins to hum. There are laughs and intimate discussions with young and old, short and tall, blue and white collar. The interior soon becomes a vast array of people, personalities, genders, and ethnicities. All appear engaged in the interest and charm of Negro league memorabilia and history. Visitors start the self-guided tour. Many eagerly move along the tour like a determined runner advancing to the next base. Others pause for photos, occasionally overwhelmed by the authenticity and appeal. There appears to be a cultural ambiance. It is aged, wise and plentiful. North of the entrance are the offices. To the left is the director’s office. It is a jazzy space filled with color, cheer and duty. A large dry erase board with a to-do list etched with a pink marker is displayed in a succinct, neat penmanship. It is a vibrant place; accented with personality, character, and wit. And those who know museum director Natasha L. Rogers, know the museum emanates her dynamism. “I want to build a world-class museum that the residents of Birmingham, Alabama can be proud of and the visitors enjoy. I want to help preserve the history of the Negro League and educate the world on Birmingham’s contribution to America’s favorite past time,” Rogers explained. Why build a Negro Southern League Museum in Birmingham, Alabama? There are a number of reasons that include:

I want to help preserve the history of the Negro League and educate the world on Birmingham’s contribution to America’s favorite past tiem

1. There are more former “living” Negro league players in Birmingham than any other place in the country 2. The city of Birmingham sent more baseball athletes to the Negro leagues than any other city in the country | 37

3. Birmingham is home to the Birmingham Black Barons. They were an active club from 1920 to 1963. The Birmingham Black Barons had more seasons as a professional league team than any other city in the country! 4. Lastly, Birmingham is home to Rickwood, the oldest ballpark in the nation. It was home to the Birmingham Black Barons and Birmingham Barons

There has been talk of a Negro league museum in Birmingham for many years. Through the leadership of the current mayor, William A. Bell, Sr., the dream of the museum finally became a reality.

Rogers gets succumbed with emotion when she sees the survivors of former Negro league players visit the museum. It is a testament to servicing a need in the Birmingham community. “They cry tears of joy, proud of the accomplishments of their loved one. Some are disappointed that they are not here to experience the museum and see how important their contribution was to the fabric of our community and the sport of baseball,” Rogers explained. Rogers gets a burst of energy thinking of how proud her great grandfather would be to know that she was asked to serve as director of the historic museum. “My great grandfather, Clarence Orme, whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting, played for the Kansas City Monarchs. So working to preserve its history is in my DNA,” she added.

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Why was Natasha L. Rogers chosen to lead Birmingham’s Negro Southern League museum? Rogers has navigated the city of Birmingham, Alabama with success, grace and determination. She is an honors graduate of Birmingham’s HBCU, Miles College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and a Master of Arts in Communication Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A broadcast journalist by trade, she interned for CNN Newssource Sales in Atlanta, Georgia. Rogers was also selected to the esteemed NBC Page program in New York, New York where she had the opportunity to work with Dateline NBC and Weekend Today. This allowed her the opportunity to interface with network elites and gain valuable insight and application from one of the top networks in the country. She later moved to Monroe, Louisiana and worked as a general assignment reporter for the local CBS affiliate KNOE. Following a 10 year career in broadcast journalism, Rogers made the transition to public relations for Miles College. She secured national media coverage on ABC and BET and played major roles in the planning, implementation and execution of college fundraisers, generating over $300,000 for institutional sponsorships. Rogers strategically joined Railroad Park Birmingham as the special events coordinator and was instrumental in Railroad Park being one of the best parks in the nation. She is the architect of the Railroad Park’s Get Healthy on the Railroad program, a seven-month exercise program providing free weekly exercise classes and serves over 7000 people each year. Rogers is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Women’s Network, and Public Relations Society of America, where she has held multiple leadership positions. She has continuously advanced her professional portfolio through Leadership UAB, Who’s Who in Black Alabama, served as a role model for a Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama’s fundraiser, Wonderful Outstanding Woman (WOW) Award recipient by the Metro Birmingham Branch NAACP, Birmingham Business Journal’s selection for Top 40 under 40, and a member of Leadership Birmingham. Rogers’ passion for the museum and her life’s work is unique. She reigns with an eagerness and perseverance that sets her apart from many. Like the museum, she is indeed another rare, esteemed treasure tucked away in the heart of Birmingham. The patrons and appointees of Birmingham scored an authentic homerun with Natasha L. Rogers. WOW | 39



iLan Liao is a contemporary Chinese artist, educator and motivational speaker. She was born and raised in China experiencing the many reforms under Mao Zedong from 1949 to 1976. The most common reform known in the West was called the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which would become the modern world’s greatest tragedy. During Mao’s period, it is estimated that over 45 million died. Even today, people are surprised to learn about this history of China under Mao’s dictatorship. BiLan Liao dealt with the pain of struggling through this difficult period in history by painting the story of her journey.

BiLan’s art and her stories are featured in her book Diary of the Dragon’s Daughter that follows her journey in China and offers an honest look at the political, social, and cultural issues of China for 50 years. She explores the relationships between her personal story, Chinese history, and fine art. Her paintings are dramatic,

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soulful and revealing, and they open a discussion to what it truly felt like to live through the worst holocaust in recorded human history. Her paintings are a window into a search for meaning, purpose, love, and the power of holding firm to your dream. BiLan’s father was a physician, and along with other professionals,

educators and business owners, they lost everything and were sent to work in the factories, on farms and many went to prison. BiLan’s father was “labeled a Capitalist,” and went to prison three times while Bilan along with her mother, grandmother, sister and brother went hungry with millions of Chinese. At the age of fourteen, Bilan went to

work as a welder to help support her family. At the age of fifteen, her job required her to leave home to work at another factory where she was forced to sleep in an old morgue where she was afraid of ghosts at her window. During this time, Bilan was fortunate to have educators working alongside her who helped her continue to study in hiding. With the encouragement of these “Capitalist-Educators”, BiLan learned to never give up her dream of freedom. She endured many hardships, discrimination, an abusive husband, and much more through these dark times with the dream of finally coming to America. Under the political system, BiLan was not allowed to paint what she wanted to paint. As an artist, BiLan dreamed of painting what she felt from the depths of her heart and soul, and to paint the story of her family’s harrowing journey. During her journey there were many setbacks, and each time Bilan vowed to herself and her daughter that she would never give up her dream. While still in China in 1999, she was granted a U.S. permanent residency visa under the “Alien of Extraordinary Abilities” category. At the age of forty-five, she gave up an established career and the financial security she had finally gained as a successful artist in China. During the 18 years she has lived in America,

BiLan’s art and her stories are featured in her book Diary of the Dragon’s Daughter that follows her journey in China and offers an honest look at the political, social, and cultural issues of China for 50 years. she worked her way up from a dishwasher in the cafeteria at Purdue University where she spent much of her time learning English and the customs of her new homeland. BiLan also managed to earn two master’s degrees in painting, and studied art in Italy. She taught at Heron School of Art and Design for five years, and for eight years she lead the painting program at Paducah School of Art & Design where she built the BiLan Liao Gallery. On March 15, 2016 BiLan married Ken Scroggs fulfilling her dream of a romantic and loving marriage. She has now retired as an Associate Professor to concentrate on her art work, public speaking tours, museum special events featuring her work, her book, a documentary and feature film (produced by Blue Heron Films). Her paintings were so moving to Maestro Juan Ramirez (violin) of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that he has composed several pieces in her honor, which are

expected to score the upcoming films. BiLan’s book “Diary of the Dragon’s Daughter” includes three series of artwork. Painting as a Window into Chinese History is about the five generations of women in her family who experienced discrimination, abuse, and neglect, as well as the death of her father, all told in over forty-four paintings and five sculptures. Coming into Tibet captures the vastness of the landscapes and the beauty of the Tibetan people as depicted in twelve paintings. The Return series is a compilation of seven paintings about the impact of war on women everywhere. BiLan’s paintings and stories are the source of a feature film that is in development, and a documentary feature film that is currently in production. BiLan Liao’s book can be ordered through or and she can be reached for bookings at WOW | 41




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illian Mullings is a legal Strategist and Attorney at Law at Naylor & Mullings in Kingston, Jamaica. She has practiced law for 17 years, representing a broad range of clients and handling cases from corporate law to commercial and civil litigation. A thoroughbred professional, Mullings has been described as tenacious and highly knowledgeable in her field. This mother of two is also a successful entrepreneur and owner of “Secrets of Nubia,” a Jamaican skin care line made from authentic Jamaican herbs. Mullings has made a name for herself by combining her knowledge of chemistry and her love for healthy and natural skin care products.

Her Early Years. Mullings was raised by her grandparents in Black River, St Elizabeth. They lived in the countryside and, as it is in many parts of the world, living out in the country meant farming, caring for the land and tons of work. While there were other industries like mining in the area, the primary occupation for most of the locals was farming. Her grandparents owned a Pimento farm, which is a Jamaican Nutraceutical used in food and also as a healing oil. Chemistry, Law and The Seeds of Entrepreneurship Mullings later moved to Kingston, Jamaica to go to elementary and high school. She was a diligent student who was great at Chemistry. She loved science and would set up her little experiments at home. However, according to her, she never really got into exploring chemistry as much until she became a teenager. At that time beauty trends were in vogue, and the need to look beautiful and have great skin was important to Mullings. So, she started making her own scrubs and skin care products from sea salt, coconut oil, cocoa and other household products, and they worked really well. The years passed by and she went on to study Law at the University of West Indies, got married and had two kids. In her Law practice, she made the decision to go into social activism and ended up handling a lot of cases in relation to social issues; the environment, labor laws, etc. One of these was the Algix vs. Appleton case which involved the Rum-Sugar company at, Appleton , of putting waste from sugarcane production into the river. It was also discovered that other kinds of waste from distilleries, a mixture of molasses and sugar, etc. were also being introduced into the waters in and around the River. These, unfortunately, are alleged to have affected the fish, the fishermen and health and livelihood of the locals in the region.

A lot of the people didn’t even know they had rights and that the company couldn’t just do whatever they wanted. It was my job to educate the people. | 43

She realized that she needed to sell the products to make that venture a success, and that was how her cosmetics business started.

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Mullings is currently developing more therapeutic products made from authentic Jamaican ingredients that are natural and make you feel and look good.

She was contacted by people in the community and started investigating these issues. Being someone who has always been interested in Chemistry, Mullings began to research on the production processes, fermentation, molasses, etc. and realized that the allegations were serious and would continue to impact the community. She mobilized Chemists in the area to do the research and then subsequently filed the lawsuit. “It was a pressuring lawsuit because we were going against such a huge company,” Mullings recalls. “But we kept on anyway. We assumed that the corporation would be willing to abide by the legal standards and that was part of our initial application to the Jamaican Courts for relief.” Unfortunately, the company resisted that application, the court made an order in favor of Mullings’s client. The company went all the way to the court of appeals trying to set aside the Court’s order. Mullings succeeded anyway. “However, that was only the beginning of the battle,” she says as they are now seeking compensation for the many stakeholders involved; the fishermen, the villagers and everyone affected by the waste. “A lot of the people didn’t even know they had rights and that the company couldn’t just do whatever they wanted. It was my job to educate the people, so the company did not get away with any potentially harmful practices.” Her Entrepreneurial Journey During this time, Mullings decided to take her dream of starting a cosmetic/skin care business more seriously. She had gone from making the products just for herself

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ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN: To young women with a dream to be entrepreneurs Mullings says, “There’s nothing wrong with having a full-time job as you prepare and learn more about having your own business. However, when the time comes to jump, you have to be ready because what people call good luck is simply preparation meeting the right opportunity. So, prepare yourself and once you see that opportunity, go for it.” She also advises young women to stay away from mentalities that center on dependence on others. Plan your life so that you can enjoy the things you want to do based on your dreams and aspirations.

to sharing it with friends, family and anyone who was interested. And the requests kept coming. She realized that she needed to sell the products to make that venture a success, and that was how her cosmetics business started. She would make both purely cosmetic and also therapeutic products. With time, she began to refine the products using her knowledge of Chemistry and more employing more sophisticated equipment. Today she has a full line of oils including Moringa Magic oil blend and Jamaican Hemp magic blend; African black soap and shea butter. She believes that natural is best and continues to provide high-quality products for her customers who always come back for more. The products have sold out in every pharmacy that has carried them. Mullings is currently developing more therapeutic products made from authentic Jamaican ingredients that are natural and make you feel and look good. Her raw materials are sustainably sourced so the people they buy from can support themselves. As an activist, she is committed to business practices that are socially, morally and economically ethical in order to serve both her customers and the communities with which she partners. The business also works with local coconut and cocoa farmers who process the extra virgin coconut oil, an old Jamaican remedy that it great for the skin and always in demand from customers. She is also currently investigating the use of other nutraceuticals like the Jamaican climbing hemp and particular Jamaican species of Rosemary that grows in drier regions of Jamaica. “The next step is to expand their products into other markets including the United States,” she says. WOW

“Be bold. Get out there and let people know what you want. Don’t be afraid of getting a no.” To learn about the benefits of establishing trusts of property and other growth opportunities in Jamaica and the Caribbean (offshore). Call (876) 631-5534 or email for your free consultation. | 47

Farida Akadiri



e caught up with super star, Farida Akadiri at the FraserNet PowerNetworking conference in Maryland and got her to stop long enough to give us this amazing interview.

WOW: Hi Farida, such a pleasure to finally meet you. So first, tell us a little about you and your family. Farida: I am originally from Benin, in West Africa. I grew up in 6 different countries before the age of 18, and then I moved to Paris, France to start my business degree. I graduated with a Master in Business in France and then I worked for over 10 years in Finance: first for one of The Big Four: PricewaterhouseCoopers, and then for the French Regulatory Commission of Energy. WOW: Awesome beginning. Now tell us about the space that you are in today Farida: Despite this great start, something was missing. I was not totally fulfilled, and deep inside I felt I had so much potential not yet exploited. That’s how my quest to live my full potential started. And over the years, major changes happened into my life. I was a very shy woman, lacking self-confidence, with poor self-esteem and insecurities and

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totally incapable of speaking in front of a group. My level of English was really bad, and I had stopped dreaming. After a major challenge in my personal life, I made a decision, to discover who I was, and what I was really capable of. I didn’t want just to go to a 9 to 5 job until retiring and regret my whole life to not have lived my life to its full potential. In few short years, the caterpillar that I used to be became a butterfly. As my self-leadership grew, I was able to get out of my comfort zone more and more and did things I never thought possible. I learned public speaking and now I am international motivational speaker. I couldn’t speak at my sister’s wedding and now I am travelling the world speaking for corporations and organizations like the United Nations. My transformation made people around me asking me for advice and I realized there was a major need today for people not living their full potential and aspiring to live a better and bigger life, career or business. Those pieces of advice

As my self-leadership grew, I was able to get out of my comfort zone more and more and did things I never thought possible. | 49

transformed into a Consulting Firm where I help business owners, entrepreneurs and executives increase their business performance. I discovered that the pathway to better success in your business and life is by growing your self-leadership. So I show people that they don’t have business problems. They only have personal problems that show up in their business. When you fix your self-leadership problems, it becomes easier to fix your business problems and your business can grow again. This journey lead me to be a featured expert in the award-winning movie “The Secrets of the Keys” by award-winning filmmaker Robin Jay. As the only FrenchAfrican woman in this inspiring and uplifting American movie with superstars and best-selling author Brian Tracy and Don Miguel Ruiz, with John Assaraf and Michael Beckwith from the hit movie “The Secret”, spiritual leader Dannion Brinkley and actress and singer Gloria Loring, it gave me proof that it’s never too late to live your full potential. WOW: I noticed that you are a Business Consultant. What sets you apart from other Business Consultants? Farida: You know, in Arabic, my name “Farida” means Unique. Until that big breakthrough couple years ago, I never saw the truly gift that my parents did to me by giving me this name. Why try to fit it in when I am supposed to stand out? But you know what? We are all unique. And I have a unique approach to help my clients becoming successful. After many years of trial and errors, I realize that just applying other people success formula was not helpful because it was not lasting over time. So I developed a proprietary system where people crack the code of their own success formula. And when they really hone it, they are able to have lasting and recurring results, not based on me but on them. That’s why the pathway to success in business and life is to know how to master your self-leadership. WOW: Did you have a mentor? Farida: Yes, because you cannot start a self-leadership journey by yourself. And I still have mentors right now. A mentor is there to guide you, to show you what to do, how to do it and to make you do it. Having mentors really helped me avoid many of the mistakes that most people do and put me on the fast track. I was dedicated about that and I keep doing that. That’s why I am attending PNC by Dr George C. Fraser and in three years I was in the US almost 20 times just to learn, be coached and be mentored. Surrounding myself with successful and inspiring people was key to my success. You cannot stay in the same environnement all the time and expect different results. But for me, there are two kind of mentors: the mentors that inspire you with their achievements and life story and that you won’t meet on a daily basis like Michelle Obama. Then you have the mentors that guide you to implement and execute your strategy toward your vision. I think we need both to nurture our vision and our actions. WOW: What type of footprint do you want to leave on earth, what will it look like? Farida: If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would quit my job to launch my own consulting firm, that I will become an international motivational speaker, that I will be the only French-African woman in an award-winning American movie and among the 400 African-European Leaders listed in the “Who’s Who” for the African-European, I wouldn’t have believed you. It is the complete opposite of what I expected or even dreamt possible. The footprint I would like to leave is “it’s never too late for the impossible. Because what was yesterday impossible can become tomorrow possible”. The key to success is simple. Learn to master yourself, to build you self-leadership and everything you need, will come to you. But you will have to take massive and immediate actions to transform those opportunities into results. When you do that, you become an inspiring leader in your family, community and in the world that people want to

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follow. Instead of trying to change the world, I followed Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you want to see in this world”. It’s a life journey but it worth it, for me, my parents, my children, grandchildren and future generations. WOW: Farida, what is the key message that you would like to leave with our readers? Farida: The key message for the readers is that there is no shortcut for success. The same way it is going to take couple years for the toddler to become an adult, living our full potential won’t happen overnight. We just have to give our best every time we can. Sometimes we are going to fail and it’s ok. We can still bounce back. But to keep up with that momentum, we have to follow Warren Buffet’s advice: “You are your best investment”. We have to invest our money, time and energy to reveal our full potential. If you do those things, you are going to have the results that you desire and beyond. Personal growth is really something that I value the most and that’s why I am travelling all the time to learn from the best. WOW: What do you tell women that ask you, “how do I get funding for my business?” Farida: Become the person people would love to invest in. I remember when I announce to the people around me that I was launching my own firm, an investor came to me offering me to become an investor in my company, because of my character. If you want some people to invest in your business, start investing in yourself and they will come. That’s why I would recommend starting with your power base (family, friends, former colleagues, peers, etc…) people who know you, who believe in you and want you to succeed. Here another example that happened this time with one of my clients. She needed some investment to start her business. Because she had invested in herself, her family, saw her transformation, saw her growth, and saw how she was mentally, spiritually, and emotionally balanced. Her confidence and self-esteem were obvious, so when she started raising money people were willing to invest in her. WOW: Can you share your contact information with us? Farida: People can write me at or follow me on social media. I have a platform both in French and English. So, everyone can interact with me in which language they prefer. WOW: So, all they need to do is plug in your name and they can follow you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube. Anything else? Farida: Totally or visit my website www.FaridaAkadiri. com. Women, you are the key. We need powerful, strong successful women to change the world. Thank you for what you are doing with the magazine. It is a way to inspire women all over the world so that together we can make a difference. WOW: Yes, that is so true. Farida, thank you so much for this interview and your support of women. Farida: My pleasure! . WOW | 51


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n 2010, the Israeli- American centrist think tank of Jewish people policy Institute reported that “Statistics indicate that per capita, Jews are a little over 100 times more likely to become billionaires than the rest of the human race.” Jews were once slaves. The annals of ancient history including the Bible, have preserved the records of some of the torturous experiences of the Jews during their 400 years of slavery in Egypt and the murderous operations of the holocaust between January, 1933 – May 8th, 1945.

Jews are wealthy thinkers and planners. The wealthy mindset thinks and plans generationally. The poor mindset makes decisions without thoughtful or informed consideration about the consequences. A culture of poverty is evidence that little was learned from the past, decisions are being made for the most part only for today and certainly little or no planning for tomorrow. I am grateful that my parents and grandparents of my mother and father taught our family to think big and plan generationally. My grandparents are deceased, they all left an inheritance for their children. One of my grandfathers instructed in his Will that certain properties are not to be sold but to be left as an inheritance for his children’s children from one generation to the next. The prefix of wealth is “WE.” I believe wealth should be defined as the “WE” culture that is governed by the abundance of love, compassion, kindness, peace, prosperity, integrity and the spirit of helping the qualified succeed. The Jews have mastered the “WE” culture within their community. Their hard work, vision and determination to never become slaves again harnesses their focus. Even though the statistics may suggest otherwise, wealth creators are not exclusively assigned to a race, nationality or gender. Greatness and wealth creation is assigned to the human potential. I was born in The Bahamas. When I was born we were a colony of Great Britain. Only white men were allowed to vote. Further, parliamentarians had to be land owners. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Nassau to consult with our civil rights activists from political activists and the labor movement. As a matter of fact, the environment of Bimini, Bahamas inspired him to write the “I’ve been to The Mountain Top” speech where we got one of our most inspiring and resonating speechs that speaks to a culture of wealth. The global civil Rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, “I’ve been to the mountaintop, I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you but I want you to know tonight that WE as a people will get to the Promised Land.” The CEO network was established in 1997 in Nassau, Bahamas to cultivate the “WE” culture of wealth. The mission of the CEO network is to inspire a strengthened work ethic, higher levels of productivity and serve as a networking platform for

I believe wealth should be defined as the “WE” culture that is governed by the abundance of love, compassion, kindness, peace, prosperity, integrity and the spirit of helping the qualified succeed. | 53

The mission of the CEO network is to inspire a strengthened work ethic, higher levels of productivity and serve as a networking platform for economic empowerment.

economic empowerment. The intended destination for you and I, for the human potential is the Promised Land. My grandparents were wealth thinkers but they did not become millionaires. They believed for local and global success for their children. The millionaires of their day were few and far between, not to mention, aspirations to be a billionaire was not even a thought. The Information age and digital revolution contributes to fueling bigger dreams and stronger faith. What dreamers need is environments of learning, mentorship and caring to defeat barriers and hinderances. The CEO Network conferences are designed to cultivate business friendly environments. Hence, political, business, spiritual and community leaders are speakers who are committed to taking action steps towards identifying opportunities and investments. Our leaders speaking this year include the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, The Rt. Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis, The Secretary of Housing, The Honorable Dr. Ben Carson, The Minister of Financial Services, the Honorable Brent Symonette, The former President of Nigeria The Honorable Goodluck Jonathan, the VP of Carnival Cruiselines, Gary Eppinger, movie legend of Nigeria and of Nollywood fame, Ambassador Clarion Chukwurah and many more. The CEO Network conference is the meeting place for opportunity. This year the CEO Network has strategic partners, the government of the Bahamas,” Smart gals” founded by Latonja Eppinger , Women of Wealth magazine founded by Dr. Lei Lewis and Nubien TV founded by Darrin Lavertt. Our partnership is in the spirit of the “WE” culture. We are committed to increasing and expanding the culture of wealth in our homes, communities and nations. My career as journalist/talk show host, owner of a radio station, Gems 105.9fm, the multi-media platform, the Caribbean Digital network and founder of the CEO Network consultancy group, I am humbled and honored to meet some of the most powerful and influential leaders in the world. Your company also gives you a glimpse of your future. You ascend to your throne of purpose when you master and excel in serving the kings of Industry. The wisest king that ever lived, King Solomon declared, “skilled men shall perform before kings.” Serving a king of Industry through your work teachs you the laws and culture of the kings’ court. We cannot increase our ownership for generations to come without right relationships. Relationships that are not enemies to your progress but cheerleaders for your success give access to the exclusive opportunities assigned to our individual and collective purpose. Relationship means connection. You will make the right connections at the CEO Network conference. WOW

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Photography: Alfred Anderson with the exception of the Junkanoo Costume photos [Foto Factory] Makeup: Ronique Johnson, LifeStyle Hair: Justina Johnson, LifeStyle Nails: Quetel Deveaux, LifeStyle

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inger Moxey will be the first to tell you that it hasn’t been easy, and that it’s still a challenge, but her goal of empowering others and assisting those in need will continue to be her definition of creating wealth.

It began at a very young age. Her father was killed when she was 8 years old and her mother struggled to take care of her and her brothers, but moving in with her grandparents, she believes, cemented her foundation of wanting to help others. “It all started with the after-school classes that I held at age 10 for the kids in the neighborhood,” expressed Ginger. “I realized at that time that I was not only assisting the kids in my community, but I was reinforcing what I had learnt in school. This was a win-win situation.” At the age of 12, Ginger was awarded a scholarship from a public primary school to a private high school on the island. The scholarship included tuition, but she still lacked funds for books and uniforms. She asked the company that provided the scholarship for a job, began working during the summer and at Christmas, and eventually went on to become Vice President. Her desire to assist those in need continued throughout her career, but she felt that there was always more that she and others could do. So in 2014, Ginger left her secure, 6-figure job to pursue her purpose and her passion and created Immerse Bahamas, a destination and project management company that focuses on developing entrepreneurs, and its non-profit arm, 700 Partners that is dedicated to assisting those in need. Ginger insists, “I’ve been asked time and time again, how helping others creates wealth? I look at wealth in terms of my happiness, my satisfaction, my joy! I cannot separate helping others from my life… And, yes, when the going gets rough, I ponder, who is there to help me, but alas, God has never forsaken me, and answers right on time!” When Women of Wealth Magazine told Ginger that they wanted to feature her in its upcoming edition, not only was she surprised, but in her words “Why… Why feature me when I do not symbolize what others associate with wealth. I am not there and last year has been one of the toughest to date?” This is exactly what makes Ginger’s story so compelling. She aligns her own goals with the goals of others; encounters road-blocks many times along the way, but keeps on fighting for what she believes is her purpose. “During a very difficult period, the thing that forced me to soldier on was looking at my son’s bedroom wall with a prayer fastened to it that I had written in 2014 about my vision for that year.. He had somehow found it in the home office, and uses it to inspire and guide him on a daily basis.” The prayer reads, “Dear God, I bring Immerse Bahamas before you dear Heavenly Father. You know me… you know my heart… you know that I care sincerely about the wellbeing of others. I ask dear Father that this is the year that you bring Immerse Bahamas to fruition with excellence, and allow it to be the transformation that is needed in The Bahamas. Immerse Bahamas will touch the world; it will revolutionize the way we promote The Bahamas. Immerse Bahamas will be a beacon of hope for so many Bahamians. Immerse Bahamas will bring me and the people that I love into a lifetime of wealth and prosperity. Immerse Bahamas will take care of the educational needs of my children. Immerse Bahamas will be all over the world with hotels and resorts, airlines, cruise ships, and a communications conglomerate. Immerse Bahamas will make history for The Bahamas, and will be featured on the international stage. Immerse Bahamas is God’s company, showing the world how,

I look at wealth in terms of my happiness, my satisfaction, my joy! I cannot separate helping others from my life. | 57

For Ginger Moxey, what continues to drive her today is the passion that she has for people and how it makes her feel when she is able to assist someone in need, or allow others to make a living from what they love to do. a desire to help others can be profitable. Immerse Bahamas will bring a sense of joy to me and the people in my life. It will benefit those that I love.” But the road of Ginger has not been easy. She’s had her share of challenges and set-backs, and 2017 proved to be one of the worst. As Ginger explains, “2014 was a year of change. I left a job that I had been associated with for over 28 years; got divorced after 20 years of marriage; and took a leap of faith and launched my new company and non-profit organization on my 40th birthday.” She expands, “2017, however was a year of growth, challenges, and discovery. After the devastating hurricane of 2016 (Hurricane Matthew) and being approached repeatedly by a childhood mentor and many others to use my love of others to assist the country at an even greater level, I decided to enter politics, something that I never wanted to do. This by far was the most eye-opening experience that I could have ever imagined. I am now a firm believer that internal politics is worst than party-to-party politics. As fate would have it, I was not selected as the party’s standard bearer for the 2017 election, and unfortunately my party lost the election. Making a difference, outside of frontline politics, continues to be my most enjoyable and fulfilling moments. For Ginger Moxey, what continues to drive her today is the passion that she has for people and how it makes her feel when she is able to assist someone in need, or allow others to make a living from what they love to do. “I believe that Immerse Bahamas is that organization that will do this, and I am so thrilled that both of my chil-

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dren will be involved in the company, as we move forward,” shared Ginger. I’ve been through it all; from rejection to redemption, and it seems like it never ends. I recall being rejected because I refused a job straight out of high school, and later on that same executive became one of my greatest advocates. The famous phrase, ‘the stone that the builder refused became the corner stone’ is something that Ginger has encountered all her life. First as a child, then as a young worker, as an entrepreneur, and as a proposed political candidate. Fortunately, blessings continue to flow after every battle. In July 2017, Ginger was appointed Country Representative for The Bahama,s and Regional Representative for the Caribbean for Sister Cities International. The loves of her life (her kids), as she calls them, have embraced the vision that she has set out in her 2014 prayer. Her son, Creighton Khalli,d is completing his degree at Louisiana State University and has developed a new strategy for Immerse Bahamas to take it to the next level. Her daughter, Gabrielle, is back home with her from boarding school, attending the University of The Bahamas, and working shoulder to shoulder with her on the projects in the pipe-line. “This is better than I could have imagined… to have the people that I care most about not just believe in the vision, but to be intricately involved in seeing it come to fruition.” Ginger believes that her children will continue to be what drives her to perform at ultimate levels on a daily basis; all those who continue to dream, but have not found a way to tap into their potential; and those who continue to tell her to ‘get a job’. “One day, I’m going to write the book that the late Dr. Myles Munroe told me that I needed to write,” said Ginger. “I’ve given many speeches throughout the years to various audiences, and love to share the Steve Harvey video about taking that leap of faith ( Jump), and Oprah Winfrey’s video about being full of yourself. We have to believe in ourselves and our goals, if we don’t, no one else will. You have to immerse yourself in your dreams and aspirations, and remember that God didn’t bring us this far to forsake us!” Ginger believes that 2018 will be a year of bountiful opportunities and wealth; wealth of mind; wealth of achievements; wealth of assisting those in need. She is dedicated to impacting lives in a real way, while promoting opportunities for the people of The Bahamas and the Caribbean. WOW | 59


Sue Ann Taylor


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e caught up with world renowned television and filmmaker, Sue Ann Taylor when she visited the Lewis Finch Studios in Atlanta, GA. She allowed us a few minutes for an interview. We were so inspired that we felt compelled to share. Very exciting read, so grab your coffee or tea and get set.

WOW: So good to catch up with you again. First, for our readers, give us a little of your background …. Sue Ann: I am originally from North Berwick and Wells, Maine. I spent my teenage years loving the Maine beaches and my early childhood living on a small farm. My grandmother used to let me take 50 cents and go to the movies on a Saturday afternoon – where we could see a double feature for 35 cents. That is where my love for movies got started. Later, my best friend’s family owned the motel next door so we would get free passes to the beach movie theater so I got to see everything that had a summer release. I was sure I wanted to work in movies or television from an early age. It sounded crazy then, and to some of my family it remains a crazy idea! WOW: You have come a long way from the beaches of Maine! Sue Ann: Yes and no. My growing up in Maine is part of everything I write although I have now lived in Georgia longer than I lived in Maine. I love the strong characters and strong opinions from Maine. We have had some strong leaders that came from Maine, and we still do. From Senator Margaret Chase Smith to Senator Susan Collins the senators from Maine have made me proud to be from Maine, even though I am an Independent, like Angus King, also from Maine. WOW: I see that you have been producing television since the late ‘80s. Sue Ann: Yes, I started with a nationally syndicated health show called Dr’s Second Opinion then we produced Success Stories with Bruce Jenner, shows for The Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, and PBS, and two international wildlife series, Jim Fowler’s Life in the Wild and Keeping it Wild with Jason Raize the last two series will be available on Roku in April, 2018. Starting in 2006, we started to curate and produce entire networks such as Quilter News Network (QNNTV), Holistic News Network, The Preservation Channel, Choosing Green, and Cherokee TV, a news channel developed for Cherokee County Georgia. Our news on Cherokee TV won national awards and eventually led to our running community television for Comcast in Atlanta for eight years.

I often advise filmmakers to listen to the people with money at stake, they want the same success you do! | 61

WOW: Did you have a mentor? Sue Ann: Yes, many. I started my television career in Philadelphia and New York and worked with some of the best in the business. I learned a lot from my team on Success Stories, especially Jessica Velmans and Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner). My distribution team was very influential as well. I encourage people to listen to distribution first! If they can’t sell it, you can’t continue to make it! Michelle Pryne, my first syndicator, taught me a lot as did Dick Perin from MGPerin. They were both very tough, “take no prisoners,” demanding excellence personality types. I was terrified by both of them, but I find myself repeating their advice to my team today. My sales rep to the advertising world, Mark Roffman, has become a trusted advisor and partner in our continuing ventures. I have also learned a great deal from my investors. I often advise people to listen to the people with money at stake, they want the same success you do! I seek mentors all the time! My team is filled with people who know more than me about some aspect of our business. Our business manager, Jan Robertson, is an expert in insurance and gives us a leg up when negotiating contracts. WOW: How would you like to be remembered? Sue Ann: I am hoping that I was a good mother and wife as well as a good and fair business person. I have been blessed with a family that has enabled me to take on opportunities that have caused me to travel all over the world. My husband, Roy, has been a steadfast supporter for 34 years and continues to inspire me to take on greater challenges. His passion for solving the homeless veteran problem was my inspiration for the Charlie’s Christmas Wish script. I would like to be remembered as someone that offered many people their first chance in the media or film business, or offered someone a strong

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second chance. I love to be a part of individual’s success and try to enable each of them to achieve their own dreams. My editor, Nina Marinov, was born in Russia and overcomes language barriers often, but has become a respected director and producer of films in the Atlanta area, and it thrills me to see her star rise. She won her first Emmy last year for a project she did while in school. I am fascinated with how quickly people adapt to our ways here in America. WOW: What is the key message that you would like to leave with our readers? Sue Ann: Be positive and Stay positive! There is so much negativity in the film business, especially in the funding process. I like to remind people that there are hundreds of films getting made or financed every day…and why not this one? Timing is everything! Money changes everything! Surround yourself with people that can help you get your vision produced. Get a good advisory team around you. Go big in your brain! No one has to know your true goal, but if you are not reaching for the stars you will never land on the moon! Champion those who are doing what you want to do and get into their sphere. Success begets success. WOW: What piece of advice do you offer someone that wants to produce a film? Sue Ann: Remember! It only takes one! One good script, one produced film or television show, one investor, one distributor, one “star” actor, one great director and the team to make it happen will appear. Imagine sitting in the theater and seeing your film on the big screen. Does it hold your attention? When you can watch the whole film in your mind, you can make it. It all starts with an idea. Write it down and register it! Start writing a script! There are plenty of people that can polish your script into something

filmmakers can embrace. Think it through. How will you get it made? I look for scripts that take place within a short distance, moving crews around and blowing things up is expensive. Sign up for Master Classes online! Learn from the best every chance you get! Put yourself in the game every chance you can. WOW: How can someone be in touch with you? Sue Ann: People can write me at or follow me on social media. My shows can be seen on broadcast television in syndication, Roku, Socially U and sometimes on YouTube. WOW: So, all they need to do is plug in your name and they can follow you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Anything else? Sue Ann: Well, of course, look for our upcoming feature films (Charlie’s Christmas Wish, The Last Dance, Diary of the Dragon’s Daughter, Twitcher, Sins of the Father, Appalachian Summer) and go to the theater to see them! I love to produce inspiring stories that involve solutions and suggestions to tough issues such as homelessness. I also look for strong women stories that feature people who have weathered storms and remain standing. I think a feature film about Dr. Lei Lewis needs to be on the radar! You and the women you feature in Women of Wealth give me inspiration and endless material! WOW: That would be great. Let’s do it! Timing is everything! WOW

What I would like to be remembered for is this: It only takes ONE! One good teacher, one good mentor, one investor, one distributor, One banker, one superstar signing on with your idea, one sale, one good turn, And just one success sets the bar from which you will always fly past. | 63



Today, I’m a successful entrepreneur, dedicated mother and community servant. My purpose in life has changed. My job and purpose is to empower. | 65

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WOW: Latonja, what a pleasure speaking with you! Let’s get started right away and tell us about the Eppinger family. LE: Simply put, we are a family of 6. I inherited 3 and and gave birth to 1. We are a big, philanthropic family of honor and loyalty. WOW: Sounds like a winning family. Tell us about your spouse. LE: My husband is The Chief information Security officer of Carnival Corp he is also the VP of compliance and highly honored in his field of Global technology and sits on the board of the Carnival Corporation. Honestly, he’s such a devoted person and he gives everything his all. He played professional ball in Germany and is a dedicated community leader hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. I am original from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but recently moved from the suburbs of Minneapolis where we resided for 6 yrs. I worked a contract with The Vikings football team while my daughter worked as a cheerleader for the organization. Carnival came into the picture 3 years ago which lead us from snow to the beaches of Miami Florida. My life’s journey has led me from corporate world to entertainment to finance and now nonprofit.

I have a third project that includes cruising with women and empowering them to embrace each other’s platforms while educating each other in what we’re doing.

WOW: That sounds exciting and with the moves, I’m guessing you’ve had an exciting life. Let’s explore it in phases. What would you say about Latonja in the past? LE: That young lady grew up very early. I was a quick learner and started college at 17 years old. The Latonja ‘that I left in the past, is very different from the Latonja of today. I moved from the Midwest to Washington DC to go to Howard University. What a challenge! While at Howard University, I saw leadership and power within African American men and women that was changing lives every day. I developed great ventures with former mayors and politicians. It was at that point I knew I was in the right city. For me to embrace that, started me on a different path where I began to feel my power. I knew I was smart enough but now, I felt I had a voice. I became politically involved in campaigns and learned about the city and the laws that govern the people. I was learning how to change the world – just like the leaders I looked up to. When my light bulb came on, I just knew that this was my journey to use my voice and I only had to figure out what I would do to embrace women and make the world a better place. I was changing and becoming powerful within myself so it was only inevitable that I would also change others. I learned to become assertive and to ask for what I wanted and meet the challenges before me. I returned to Wisconsin as a stockbroker at age 22 to take care of my mother. She had breast cancer – stage 3 and I had a choice to graduate from Howard or go home and take care of my mother. I decided to do both – that’s the type of woman I was becoming. I went to summer school and went home and my mother didn’t think she would see me graduate but she watched me walk across that stage. I made sure of that. | 67

Going back to Wisconsin was really a sacrifice and a different type of challenge. Things were not as progressive in Wisconsin but, I knew I wasn’t going to lose my mother at 22 years old. I was determined that part of my journey was to save my mother another part was to finish school and I was going to be a stockbroker. There were a lot of transitions but I knew I had to go through them. To throw an even crazier piece into the puzzle, I also went to Los Angeles. A friend was a casting agent and asked me to come out for a role on Days of Our Lives. I wasn’t really interested but I went for the screening and began coaching for the part. I ended up in the Lee Strausburg School – which was the same school Robert Deniro went to. It was there that I learned that the acting life wasn’t for me. However, I could see myself on the production side. When I returned to DC, I got a job with BET and worked with Donnie Simpson. After that, I went to the news station and became an Associate Producer. WOW: Having heard your past, I now ask, what about the present day Latonja. LE: Today, I’m a successful entrepreneur, dedicated mother and community servant. My purpose in life has changed. My job and purpose is to empower. The past was more of a journey and now I’m committed to a cause. It’s a cause to see the differences and to create a legacy. I want to know now what I can do to let my daughter and other girls learn from my journey. How do I help them not make the mistakes I made or that other women have made? How do I keep them focused on reaching their dreams? My focus on helping girls reach their goals and helping them be empowered in believing in what they can accomplish is so clear. I really want to make a difference in young people’s lives.

My crystal ball says I will become one of the most successful entrepreneurs that I can become in 2018.

WOW: What projects are you working on? LE: I’m working on several projects. The first is a reflection of what I just mentioned in my purpose and supports my daughter’s foundation, Glam It Up. She started this at 10 years old and she’s now 12. My purpose is to teach her leadership skills so that she can become and embrace the CEO path she’s on. This project encourages other girls to take leadership roles too. My other project is launching my transportation company with Cooper Elite. We launched in Florida and we’re coming into ATL. Making this one of the largest entitles in FL with VIP clients and service, this transportation service is not a typical one. We have community partnerships and each year will give monies to organizations that are resources in and for the community.

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WOW: Perfect! Any other projects? LE: I have a third project that includes cruising with women and empowering them to embrace each other’s platforms while educating each other in what we’re doing. This Corporate to Cruise project will help us learn from each other. WOW: Have you looked forward into the future and saw your vision? What would that look like? LE: You’re asking about my crystal ball? As a child I used to look into the future and that’s why I became Entrepreneur of the Year at Howard University at the age of 17. I always knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I would do it. My crystal ball says I will become one of the most successful entrepreneurs that I can become in 2017. My crystal ball says I have some goals I need to achieve and by embracing women and partnering with the right people, I know I will accomplish these goals. WOW: Nice. Now, what does the footprint look like that you’ve built on this earth? LE: That’s a nice way to put it … my footprint. There’s a poem people use as a footprint and it goes something like, “Step by step, day by day, moment by moment… I will not stop until I reach the end and my legacy will be that I’ve accomplished everything that I will accomplish on my journey of life. Until that is done my job won’t be done. When I walk this path day by day, step by step, moment by moment, every thing counts every day and every action. Until that day when it’s over for me. “ My legacy is when it ends for me – when it is accomplished. WOW: Even as you speak the footprints are so clear I see other’s walking in the same footprints and that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that. LE: That is my journey. Until you have a vision and understand your footprint, you won’t have a calling. When you take it step-by-step and day-by-day and not take advantage of any time -- then you will accomplish your vision step by step. WOW: I think you’ve said it all. Thank you so much for the interview. I so appreciate the time you spent with us! LE: Thank you! I would like to invite your readers to be a part of our Corporate to Cruise project that will set sail on Carnival Cruise Lines in October, 2017. If you would like to participate, please email us at WOW | 69


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t has been over 5 years since I first saw the beautiful lady Charleen Obal. I was very excited to connect with her again and do this inspirational and impactful interview. It was certainly empowering learning about the path that Charleen Obal has taken as she moves along through her Journey to There. When we first met Charleen she was the owner of one of the fastest growing restaurants in Maryland. We were visiting Maryland and her restaurant was recommended as the place for fine dining in Maryland. We met her, the owner and what a pleasure it was. We interviewed her at that time and today we are here to do a follow up interview with her to discover where she is today on her Journey to There. We learned so much from her. Obal was just as excited as we were and was eager to share her experience.

As Obal pondered our questions, we asked her to share her thoughts on her Journey to There. In deep thought, she began, although I thought I had a wide variety of paths available in my future, I was unprepared for the sudden and drastic changes that have occurred in the last few years. The recent economic turmoil caused me to close my Southern-themed restaurant and find other venues for my cooking talents. I have been doing some occasional catering and assisting another young woman in opening her restaurant and giving her the benefits of my experience. I was preparing for a life of semi-retirement and travel, but had to carry myself through a divorce after 35 years and the unexpected passing of my daughter. I’ve needed to absorb the grief and all the emotions and actions that needed to be done with the passing of a loved one. I am so sorry to hear that, I said. What sustained you through all of this tragedy? My Faith. I grew up on James Island, South Carolina, the fifth child of nine. I attended church every Sunday and had dinners at my great-grandmother’s house afterwards. We were poor; but rich in family. God was, and still is, the center of my life.” After this emotional pause, Obal continues with her story. “At this time of my life, I realize that if it hadn’t been for my upbringing in the church, many of my paths would have not turned out as they did. Being raised in a strong family (mainly of women) gave me the strength to do the many things I’ve accomplished in my life.” Obal goes on to say that her “great-grandfather and grandmother were both slaves. They had the fortitude to open a home-based business even in that time period, selling vegetables and penny candies. My grandfather also had a store in the home where he lived,” she states. “My family has always had the spirit of entrepreneurship; therefore, that was born into me.” How did you end up in Maryland? I joined the military after high school and was stationed in Georgia, Germany, and South Korea. I spent eight years and enjoyed every minute of it. I was able to see many things that a woman who would have remained in South Carolina would never have experienced. After that experience, I finally settled in Maryland and made lots of new friends. Speaking of that, what is friendship to you? What a beautiful question, she says. “Friendship, to me is very difficult to put into words. It goes deep into how I was raised. True friendship does not require you to always present yourself as though life is wonderful...your real friends accept you for who you are and are there for you when you need them. That also includes my ex-husband. Some of my dearest friends have been my friends for over 40 years. I have friends that I met in second grade, and still count them as friends today.” Charleen, if you were asked to speak to a group of women looking to minister around the globe, how would you prepare them? First, I would tell them to prepare their hearts. To prepare your heart, you need to make sure you have the spirit of God in you. Just be real...know that you are called for such a time as this. For example, when I realized that preparing food for others was my calling, I opened a restaurant. Just like a horse with blinders pulling a carriage, you

Wealth to me means family, friends, and living life to the very best of the abilities God gave you. | 71

I would hope that people could look at me and say that you can make a difference by being just who you are.

must focus on what you’re called to do.” If you had to summarize your life’s journey in one sentence, what would you say? “I did not allow circumstances to deter me from what I wanted to do.” As we know wealth means more than just money to so many people. When we asked Obal to share her thoughts on wealth, we were pleasantly surprise by her answer. Obal goes on to say, “Wealth to me means family, friends, and living life to the very best of the abilities God gave you. Charlene you mentioned that your daughter died a few months back. I know that must have been super hard on you. Can you tell us about some of the lasting effects this has had on you and your family? “First off she states, I am now a grandmother raising a grandson, while the circumstances that brought this about is so very sad. It is still a beautiful thing. At 64, it is definitely very challenging bringing a five year old into my life. My exhusband and I had been taking care of Jonathan for a period of time while our daughter was in rehabilitation. When she completed that, she and Jonathan were staying with me while she tried to get her life back on track. She had finally moved out and was raising Jonathan before her unfortunate passing in May of 2017. My daughter was engaged to be married, but there was no question that Jonathan would be raised by me, along with my ex-husband. At the present, I’m sorting out the Social Security, the school registration, and all the other legalities that you can imagine in a situation like this one. In spite of the joy that he brings me, I still have to deal with my grieving and knowing that my life will not be the same from here on.” With all of this going on Charlene, how do you find time to mentor others? “I lead by example,” she says. “I let them see my successes and my failures. I tell them that if you fail, be sure to “fail forward” so you can get up and try again. Don’t let go of your passion.” Awesome, now one last question, what footprint do you plan to leave on this planet? “I love this question and have long given it deep thought,” states Obal. “I would hope that people could look at me and say that you can make a difference by being just who you are. Give when you can, help out those who are in need, be there when you are needed. Be who you were created by God to be and don’t let anyone change you unless you recognize within yourself that you need to change.” As we close this follow up interview, I am reminded that Obal always said that she wanted to be a change agent for others. Her passion is to help others. Thanks Charlene, I do so much appreciate this interview. How can my readers contact you if they are someplace in the struggles that you mentioned and would like your advice. Thank you for taking a moment from your Journey to interview me, she states. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Your readers can reach me at WOW

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nnovative, Influential and Inspiring are just a few words to describe the Visionary and Chief Inspiration Ambassador™ Dr. Sonya R. Hamm. Her selfless contributions to help others achieve personal and financial success have paved the way for her to be recognized and awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama, along with many other distinguished accomplishments.

One might ask, what exactly is this leading lady doing to gain such honored recognition? The answer is simple. Dr. Sonya R. Hamm is actively pursuing her passion for “Inspiring Women to Emerge, Excel and Expand in their Purpose, Power and Profitability.” She founded High Definition Women’s Network(HD Women) in 2015 and launched the first HD Women’s conference in Atlanta, GA with over 600 women in attendance. Recognizing the changing family structure and how behavior patterns in society were impacting the position, roles and responsibilities of women, Dr. Sonya sensed a strong call to action to create a platform that would bring awareness, bridge gaps and provide lifestyle training to empower women to succeed. For this reason, High Definition Women’s Network is all about women sharpening women to EMERGE, EXCEL and EXPAND in their Purpose, Power & Profitability! Through the fun, high impact HD training platform, women are inspired to believe in themselves, live from purpose, develop their dream life blueprint and expand their influence to impact those they lead. The name High Definition was derived from the scripture found in 2 Corinthians 3:18 which says, “Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it. (Message Bible Translation). The word High means to be lifted above all and the word Definition speaks of the distinction and visual clarity of something such as an image. When women take on the title, “High Definition Woman,” it represents being lifted into a high place of visual distinction that reflects a regal, classy, elegant, brilliant, powerful, bold, fearless, confident, fierce, influential and courageous woman of faith and grace. Dr. Sonya believes the name High Definition speaks to the core of our identity as women and the gifts, talents and power we carry to effect change in our

Dr. Sonya R. Hamm is actively pursuing her passion for “Inspiring Women to Emerge, Excel and Expand in their Purpose, Power and Profitability.” | 75

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Dr. Sonya believes the name High Definition speaks to the core of our identity as women and the gifts, talents and power we carry to effect change in our homes, communities and workplace.

homes, communities and workplace. Every woman is a High Definition Woman with Purpose! As one of the nation’s premiere leadership and lifestyle development companies focused on empowering the faith, finances and success of women, Dr. Sonya and her team have amassed a social media following of over 1100 women and growing. Her vision is simple—empowering women to BE! This is exactly what she and her team are planning to do during the High Definition Women’s Conference 2018 entitled, “EXPOSURE,” (Illuminating Your inHER Brilliance) to be held in Atlanta, GA September, 28-30, 2018. The passion in Dr. Sonya’s heart for HD Women became evident as she said, “Too many women have resigned to living a stuck, stagnant and settled life because they do not have a supportive network, access to affordable coaching and the accountability necessary to inspire them to develop and maximize their full potential—HD Women’s Network is here to disrupt that dynamic with a platform to help every woman succeed. An integral woman of influence, Dr. Sonya is a profound speaker, leader, author, entrepreneur and mentor residing in metro Atlanta, GA with her husband, Dr. Ronald L. Hamm. She is the proud mother of three amazing children and 4 adorable grand children. Dr. Sonya earned her Master’s in Christian Counseling and Psychology and was awarded a Doctorate of Theology degree from Freedom Bible College & Seminary of Rogers, Arkansas. She can be followed on social media @ hdwomennetwork and contacted at Step Into a New Life with High Definition Women’s Network! WOW | 77

Kim Goudey



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was so excited to have met Kimberley Goudey. She is an awesome and phenomenal woman, and her message is revolutionary. It’s something women have needed to hear about for a long time. I caught up with Goudey as she was doing a Resolute Trust presentation at Lewis Finch Studios. Her message blew my mind. I felt it was truly revolutionary, and my readers needed to hear about it. I asked Goudey why no one was talking about this concept, and just what was The Resolute Trust? I’m still just as excited today conducting this interview as I was from the first time I heard her presentation on the power of The Resolute Trust. You are in for a knowledge treat.

“It was reported that Nelson Rockefeller said, ‘The secret to success is to own nothing and control everything.’ I couldn’t agree more,” says Goudey. “I originally thought Trusts were for the super-wealthy, and their sole purpose was to protect the family’s estate from Estate Tax when one passed. I have since learned that Trusts can be quite powerful while one is still living. The wealthy pass down their knowledge from generation to generation. Each of their children are taught how to maintain their family’s legacy and wealth. I see an opportunity with the new entrepreneur. Not many people are teaching the first-generation entrepreneur the asset protection and strategic tax reduction strategies needed to build a lasting legacy. Many business owners excel at making money, but very few are taught how to keep their money. It’s not about wealth; rather, it’s about acquiring the knowledge that will lead to sustained wealth, and about teaching generations of families how to leave a legacy utilizing the IRS rules the wealthy use to THEIR advantage.” Goudey goes on to explain just what The Resolute Trust is. “It has been around for over 25 years, specifically designed for BOTH Asset Protection and Tax Reduction. The word Resolute means purposeful, determined, and unwavering. The Trust was designed by a collaboration of CPAs, Trust Attorneys, Tax Attorneys and, Contract Attorneys. It took 12 years to develop and has been vetted in all 50 states. Some of our Signature Trust lines include Legacy, Business, Real Estate, Retirement and Charitable Trusts.” According to Goudey, “Our Resolute Trust not only helps the business owners protect assets, but also helps with strategic tax planning while the business owner is alive and producing income. I have grown and owned businesses my whole adult life utilizing my CPA knowledge in business, but I have never seen such a powerful tax reduction strategy as provided by utilizing our Trust. It all boils down to knowledge and using the rules in your favor.” Exactly, what type of clients do you work with? “I work with business owners as well as individuals to protect their assets and reduce their tax liability. I was looking for personal asset protection when I found this Trust. Having a CPA background, I recognized the power on the tax reduction side, and began using trust strategies personally. After it helped my family so dramatically, I said “We’ve got to get this message out there”. Learning the rules changed my life, and it was a message I just had to share. So, that’s why this business was formed.”

...the reason they don’t like the IRS is because they don’t know the rules. I love the IRS!!! Once you know the rules, it works. | 79

I asked Goudey, Do you need to be wealthy to play in this revolutionary space? “You don’t have to be wealthy to possess this knowledge, it’s just that most wealthy people have it. Having it could change your life as it has mine. I’ve met people with NET worth of $60 million or more that didn’t possess this knowledge. They didn’t realize that they were just one lawsuit away from losing everything. I’ve also met many career attorneys and tax professionals that never heard of utilizing strategies of this type. It’s proven to be a narrow and specialized field that many don’t understand. As I mentioned, this Trust is 25 years old, and it took over 12 years to write. Its development included some of the brightest minds in the field of Trust law.” As I said, revolutionary knowledge, so how does the tax code fit into this Resolute Trust? “Good question,” says Goudey. “People usually say, ‘That seems too good to be true’, so I spend at least 10-15 minutes of my presentation showing clients the background and history of Trust law. Most folks ask, ‘Why don’t I know about this already?’ and that’s where we have our discussions on the knowledge of the wealthy, how they teach each other, and how they keep the knowledge within their circles. There are a lot of people out there that do not like the IRS and I hear it constantly. But the reason they don’t like the IRS is because they don’t know the rules. I love the IRS!!! Once you know the rules, it works.” “I actually take businesses out of the gray areas and make them more compliant utilizing the Trust tax code. And we’re fully transparent to the IRS because we use legal means to do it. Did you know the IRS handbook says, ‘Avoidance of taxes is not a criminal offense, and any attempt to reduce, avoid, minimize or alleviate taxes by legitimate means is permissible’? The problem is that most people aren’t doing it legitimately. I actually make businesses MORE compliant.” Fantastic! Next question - how did you come upon this concept? I know it’s been around, but how did you discover it? “Well, I am a CPA and I was looking for asset protection for a number of different businesses I own. I’ve always been told I’m not the typical CPA. So, this enabled me to align my passion for creative strategies (what I love to do) with making a living.” Scenario­—I have prepared my taxes which includes all the deductions that I think I can lawfully take, but I still wonder if I’ve realized every legal opportunity to minimize my tax liability. So, how would you help someone with that scenario? Each person’s life situation will be very different. The tax strategy is customized depending on my client’s current situation. The power is in the planning. The details would be really hard to go into, but we take a look at your tax returns, assets, income, and personal or business situation and decide how we want to customize the use of the different Trust tax codes. Everyone has different goals. Some choose not to protect all their assets, but others might want to use a Trust to protect most of them. So, it really comes down to what the client wants and what they are looking for from a Trust. We look for a long-term plan. It’s beautiful… You’re in control, and you’re in the power seat.” When asked about piercing the veil, Goudey goes on to explain. “A lot of people believe they are protected by the LLC. They are protected by the LLC as long as they are compliant, and they’re doing their board meeting minutes, and meeting all the

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requirements of the LLC. But no matter how hard someone tries to be compliant, they usually are not. All it takes is one swipe of their business credit card to buy their groceries or taking their family out to dinner on a business meal when it’s not technically a business meal. They have pierced that corporate veil. Also, on protection issues, the more successful you are, the more you’re going to be sued. The average person gets sued four times in their lifetime. In business, owners are more likely to be sued by their employees than anyone else. The more famous or wealthy you become, the more of a target you are. The Trust creates a healthy barrier between these often-frivolous lawsuits and your assets. Regardless of whether you’re right or wrong, in America, anyone can sue anyone for anything. The normal cost of defending a lawsuit, if it doesn’t go to court, is $50,000. If you end up going to court this cost rises into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If there are no assets to access, there is no motivation for someone to sue you. Again, if you own something it could be taken away,” states Goudey. My passion is helping women entrepreneurs, therefore I had to ask, how you would describe your work with women groups? Goudey answers, “I speak to professional women’s organizations often. I always tell people, ‘If you can get a group together I’d love to do a presentation’. Most of the time I do seminars. The more, the merrier. It’s more interesting when you get a group of people together. You get a certain dynamic where one person might ask a question which answers another’s question, or perhaps prompts a new question from someone else. You can start to see the power of the product in those group discussions.” Tell us a little about your family. “I’ve been married 20 years to my husband Bill. We have a son, Nicholas (13), and a Daughter, Allie (16). I’m originally from the DC area, and my husband and I moved to Atlanta in 1998. We organized a group of investors to open a restaurant franchise. We bought the franchise rights to build Copelands of New Orleans restaurants here in Atlanta. Upon moving to Atlanta, I finished school and my MBA program, starting my career as a CPA. I was able to do CPA work for two years with a large firm, but I have since been running and growing businesses in a number of different industries.” The interview is amazing. Thank you for speaking with us. Are there any final words that you would like to leave with us? “As a business owner, my whole life, I’ve wanted to find the person that holds the collective knowledge of a tax attorney, CPA, estate planner and financial advisor to design my financial future. I have yet to find that knowledge in one person. What I love about our Trust is that it took over 12 years to write and included a collaboration of tax attorneys, CPAs, trust attorneys and contract attorneys that came together to make this Trust so powerful. It was the dream team I was searching for. I know it sounds strange to have a Trust with a tax reduction strategy, but you can protect the assets and you can minimize your taxes. It’s a powerful combination that you won’t find elsewhere. Your beneficiaries get to enjoy the benefit of the assets paid for by the Trust without owning the properties themselves. By taking individuals and businesses out of the personal and business tax code and bringing them into the Trust tax code, there are so many more legal expenses available” Again, thank you so much for this interview, it was simply amazing. Now please tell us how someone that needs your services would reach you. Kim Goudey WOW

We look for a long-term plan. It’s beautiful… You’re in control, and you’re in the power seat. | 81



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he editors of WOW Magazine know that anyone following business, ministry, and politics today need to hear the timely words from The Entrepreneurial Evangelist Patrick “PK” Kucera and his wife, Mari Kucera. He is a bundle of enthusiasm and positive energy that just might propel him into the Governor’s mansion in Topeka, Kansas. His entrepreneurial spirit has had him involved with many business ventures including media, aviation, and aquatics. He is a passionate outdoorsman, family man, minister, and enthusiastic community organizer in times of our most severe disasters, most notably, Hurricane Sandy. Patrick has travelled the world spreading the Gospel and his encouraging message of The Revival of Revenue. Our interview begins!

WOW: The Entrepreneurial Evangelist? What is that, Patrick? PK: If entrepreneurs create revenue, and Evangelists create revival, when you put the two together you get The Revival of Revenue! I’m leading that charge right now! People of all religions, or people with no faith at all, are seeking a revival of revenue. Political leaders are always looking for more money! School districts always need more money! Businesses always need more money because their employees always want more money! So this message has been a way that I can take my love for business and my love for God and meet at the intersection of being able to love people. WOW: So, in your new book we are going to learn about The Revival of Revenue. Tell me what you mean by that. PK: The subtitle is: You and the New American Dream. The economy has changed. The information age, the technology age, and the internet in general has just changed the economics for millions of people. The challenge is there are so many people who need to enter this new global economy, but just don’t know how. That is what The Revival of Revenue is all about, plus bringing back the entrepreneurial spirit that birthed America.

The information age, the technology age, and the internet in general has changed the economics for millions of people. The challenge is that there is so many people who need to enter this new global economy, but just don’t know how.

WOW: I understand you are running for Governor of Kansas in the 2018 race, why would you want to get into that political hotbed at this time? PK : Well, my state, Kansas finds itself in a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of my advisors have highly suggested that I bring the Revival of Revenue to my back yard. I have brought my message to crowds all over the world, and now it is time to apply those principles to our State. Politics has been chasing me for three decades. Now I’m going to run for public office and share my Entrepreneurial message from a political platform to affect public policy. It will be my third platform to spread my message; business, ministry and politics. I want to bring sacred solutions that solve secular problems. Here we go! | 83


WOW: Who were your mentors? PK: Well certainly you know my greatest source of inspiration comes from God Almighty, you know that calling. But early on, it was my mom and dad. They were great parents who taught me an incredible work ethic and put me through a great education at Creighton Prep. Also, when I was a young boy growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, I would see Warren Buffett on TV. Not only was he the richest man in the world at the time, but he also lived in my town. That was pretty inspiring. I get excited when I am compared to the likes of Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and have been called the “Billy Graham of business”, or a “modern-day Napoleon Hill” for the next generation… because they were all great mentors for me. In 1988 I was reading about the financial and political success of King Solomon in the Bible and I discovered a second economy, what I call “God’s Economy.” It drove me to encourage and empower others to monetize their God-given talents and maximize their God-given potential, and always reminding to give God all the credit as the original author and true source of success. I like to show you how to work with Almighty God in your pursuit of making the almighty dollar! WOW: What was it like to be raised in Nebraska? PK: It was very much like you would see in a Norman Rockwell painting of the time. I loved and excelled in athletics and academics and was already making money in small ways from home as a young entrepreneur. After I graduated from Creighton Prep High School and went on to Creighton University where I met the love of my life, Mari, on our very first day of college.

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At a time when our nation is experiencing cultural conflict, demographic differences, political confusion, and economic frustration, we need a Revival of Revenue that answers the 21st century “money problem� for millions of Americans. | 85


WOW: Tell me about your family. PK: I married Mari in 1990 and since then we experienced all the joys and humor involved with raising six children—as well as the wrenching heart-ache and anguish of burying two other children—Patrick and Michaela. Since 1990 we have been involved in numerous business and ministry ventures, serving in various capacities such as senior pastor, church planters, life coaches, business owners and consultants, missionaries and global entrepreneurial evangelists. Mari and I have personally baptized hundreds and led thousands of people to Christ and introduced the masses to the wisdom of God’s Word across America, Asia, Africa and around the globe. WOW: What is life like for you today? PK: Well, we are in a new chapter of our lives. One of our daughters was married in early January, and the run for Governor has us traveling a lot. We love Kansas City and love to serve the community. Life can be hectic with six children and our business ventures keep us very busy as well. We have big things developing in the aviation world that will bring potentially hundreds of jobs to Kansas and reinvent consumer air travel. The new system will be easier on the traveler and the environment. We are also developing a new media platform called The Jetstream that will offer encouraging programming, uplifting movies, and daily input from the Revival of Revenue, tracking successes all over the world in “real time.” It’s a great time to be “in The Jetstream”! Change is scary and thrilling all at the same time. I am happy and excited to be in God’s Economy as we transition into politics for the Glory of His Name and for all of His Fame. WOW: Thank you! WOW

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Flexibility is the keyword for entrepreneurs and their families; flexibility in work life, home life, financial income, cashflow, creativity and emotional expectations. When the world is changing, you have to adapt. Flexibility wins. | 87


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KAT KIDS AND TEENS Empowering Teens to Become Successful Entrepreneurs

Madelyn Davis

Teen Entrepreneur

A Division of Women Of Wealth Magazine | 89



adelyn Davis is an 11 year old budding entrepreneur. She is a natural and like many entrepreneurs Madelyn doesn’t fit into a specific box or category.She has had an interest in a variety of things including art, piano, gymnastics, figure skating and even spent two years as an ice hockey goalie. However, dance has been her true love since she was 2 1/2 years old and over the last couple of years has danced with a competitive show group.

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Madelyn’s interest in business was an evolution as she would cook up everything from spaghetti sauce to lip scrubs and sell them at her mom’s workshops. She attended a program with her mom called CEO Space when she was 10 years old, her mom planned to enroll her in the hotel’s kids program while she attended the sessions. It was Madelyn who wanted to stay with her mom and subsequently spent the entire weekend immersed in learning about raising capital and compliance with SEC Regulations from Berny Dohrmann, founder of CEO Space. Madelyn played full out! So much so that she was invited by Mr Dohrmann to cut the opening Ceremonies ribbon on Monday morning, She spent the week moving from classroom to classroom and when she wasn’t in classes, she spent time being the interpreter for a young boy who could only speak French. In CEO space she found the freedom, encouragement and excitement that was missing from her classroom experience and the idea that anything is possible. Madelyn was just 4 years old when she started a French pre-school in Vancouver. She told her mom that she missed her Montessori school in Geneva, because she was allowed to explore the things that interested her and was not always being told what to do and when to do it. CEO Space was like going home! Now, Madelyn is in grade 6 public French Immersion school and was home schooled last year. She had the opportunity to travel to places like Ireland, France, Poland, Sweden, Russia and Switzerland. The experience left her with an understanding and compassion | 91

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In the beginning she wanted to start a t-shirt business, but quickly moved toward her interest in beauty products and experimented with preparing natural products for herself and others.

for what children have endured and continue to endure and a new appreciation for the privilege of going to school. She works hard on her homework and looks forward to going to school every day! Madelyn now plays, learns and grows as she did in her Montessori school and applies that to her new and evolving business. In the beginning she wanted to start a t-shirt business, but quickly moved toward her interest in beauty products and experimented with preparing natural products for herself and others. She searched the internet for local quality supplies and a name for her business, she found and settled on www. and jumped with joy and screamed “I found it�! She has been testing out her products on friends and family members over the last 6 months, giving out dozens of foot massages. The opportunity to appear on the debut cover of KAT (Kids and Teen Entrepreneurs) was an exciting opportunity that was born from a subsequent visit to CEO Space and an introduction to Dr. Lei Lewis. Madelyn’s budding entrepreneurial spirit and interests seemed like a match for the birth of this new magazine that held similar values and interests of planting seeds for our kids and teens to experience the early development of an entrepreneur. Whether it an 11 year old girl like Madelyn or an adult the spirit of entrepreneurship is born from giving ourselves permission to make mistakes and to learn, grow and change direction! WOW | 93

KAT KIDS AND TEENS Empowering Teens to Become Successful Entrepreneurs

Chloe Thigpen

Teen Entrepreneur Chloe created the Beautiful and Chosen organization to educate and encourage young women. She recently received the Bronze Award from the President of the United States.

A Division of Women Of Wealth Magazine | 95



t’s a common adage that high school is “the best years of your life.” This could not be truer for high school senior, and teenentrepreneur, Chloe Janae Thigpen.

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There is an abundance of information on breast cancer awareness but not much attention directed towards doing selfexams for young girls,”

At just 18 years old, Chloe has faced, and overcome, things that most of us couldn’t possibly imagine in twice that time. While the majority of Chloe’s peers are worrying about prom, finals and college admissions essays, Chloe focuses on dance, her family and faith, and spearheads the nonprofit organization: Beautiful and Chosen. Having survived a cancer scare in her mid-teens, Chloe felt the call to help promote awareness of the selfexam techniques that saved her life. “My mother and I just started an organization called Beautiful and Chosen to help women of all ages and to promote breast self-examination. There’s a lot of breast cancer awareness but there’s not really too much about doing self-exams for young girls,” she said. “They should start any time during the puberty age range. That’s 10 to 21. I was 16 when I found out, and I met a girl who got her diagnosis at age 13. I want to increase awareness of self-examinations, because that saved my life.” When asked what does it means to be an entrepreneur, Chloe had this to say: “To me, it means to not be afraid to take risks and not be afraid to jump. Because of my health, I didn’t really have an easy period of childhood.” She went on to say, “I just say to not be afraid, especially when I had my diagnosis. It just means to discover yourself and don’t be afraid to put your | 97

“I want to tell those who’ve been diagnosed that you’re Beautiful and Chosen,” ideas out there. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it’s never too late.” Chloe truly is a remarkable girl. Even though she is so young, we could all benefit from her words. When asked about her aspirations for her program, Chloe said, “I just want to take it wherever it goes. I just want to promote it so people will know about the organization.” The message Chloe and her mother want to project with Beautiful and Chosen, is simple, but beautiful. “I want to tell those who’ve been diagnosed that you’re beautiful and chosen,” said Chloe. “You were fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I just want to let them know that everything is going to be okay.” The movement is now looking for support, volunteers and a board of directors to help manage the non-profit. Nominations and applications should be filled out through WOW

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Creating Change is Simple But Not Easy WRITTEN BY: DR. LINELL KING


kay, so you’re ready to make lasting change in three simple steps. Sounds easy, right? If it were so easy then everyone would be happy, healthy and at the top of their game! It’s very difficult to achieve what you really want in life without absolute clarity as to where you are right now and where you want to go. It’s not enough to just know “what” you want, it’s equally important to know “why” you want it. | 101

By definition, clarity is the freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity. When you try to gain clarity in any aspect of life, being as specific as possible is a must. That means knowing where you want to be and what it takes for you to get there.

GETTING CLEAR ON YOUR SURROUNDINGS The first step is to become aware of where you are right now. We’re going to take immediate action together, so get out two pieces of paper. On the first sheet, describe your daily environment. Is it clean and organized, or cluttered and messy? Are the people you hang out with optimistic and healthy, or reactionary and tired? Is your home filled with fresh energizing foods, music and life, or boxed prepared meals, packaged snacks and television continuously blaring in the background? What is your bedroom like? Is your bed made and clothes neatly put away? What are your work surroundings like? Is your desk clean and organized? How about your car? This type of awareness allows you to recognize where you are right now, it’s your current state. SETTING CLEAR AND CONCISE GOALS Often, women tend to be ambiguous with their health goals. Common statements that I hear are, “I need to lose some weight,” or “I gotta take better care of myself.” When you achieve your ideal body weight or optimize your health, I refer to these end results as “Ultimate Vitality.” This is when you not only look great but you also feel great! You’re in a state where your body is performing as it should and you have an abundance of energy. When you reach this point, you can actually free yourself of most chronic illnesses too. What does vitality mean for you? Take a moment and make a list of your wants. What do you want to feel like? What do you want to make possible in your life? What do you want for your personal relationships? Where do you want to live? Where do you want to work? How do you want to spend your free time? How do you want to connect spiritually? Who do you want to become? What do you want to be known for? What legacy do you want to leave? Make two columns, on the right hand side, write everything you want to become, or have. On the left side, compare those to where you are right now. This is such a simple process to skip over, yet it provides so much POWER when you take the time to do it. If it feels overwhelming, don’t worry! By noticing where you are, you now have the ability to get really clear about the next step, which is discovering your “why”. BEING CLEAR ON YOUR WHY In business, this section would be called, “What is your Mission Statement?” or “What is your Purpose?” Whatever you choose to call it, the question is, how do you find the secret sauce that continuously inspires you, even when times get tough. How to Discover Your “Why” – Take out your second piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, list all

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of the ways your current lifestyle has hindered your desires and negatively affected your life. What places haven’t you visited? Who haven’t you approached at an event? What beautiful clothes did you see on someone else that you wished you could wear? What sporting or holiday event did you pass on to avoid embarrassment? When was the last time you removed yourself socially because of your weight? What else can you think of? On the right side of the paper, create a list of everything that you would like to do again. Include things you would like to try, places you would like to go, people you would like to meet, clothes you would like to wear. What relationship would you be in right now if you were healthy, happy and confident? How could you improve someone else’s life or set an example for someone else if you lived with Ultimate Vitality? What new adventures would you go on? How proud would you be at the next fundraiser, wedding, or graduation? Be sure to go back to your left column and add anything you missed. Now imagine yourself as the new you. Close your eyes and imagine having every quality and experience from your list in the right column: happiness, confidence, style, energy, flexibility, filled with energy. Play with these ideas in your mind for a few minutes, you might want to sit back in a chair and close your eyes. Imagine playing with your children or grandchildren. Think about living vibrantly as you age, being free of disease and setting an example for your family and friends. Think of a time in life when you might have had the energy to do these things, times when you were happiest. When you discover this state, you have unlocked the emotional leverage needed to create long, lasting change. This is your own, special secret sauce. Master this process and you will live the life of your dreams. WOW DR. LINELL KING is the #1 Bestselling author of Mastering Vitality. He has helped thousands of people achieve ideal body weight and overcome medical illness.


Go to www.masteringvitalitybook. com for a free download of Dr King’s #1 Best Seller, Mastering Vitality.



here are an abundance of signs on I-75 at exit 224 in Henry County Georgia leading up to a massive bridge crossing. The wording, in collective unison reads J.T. Williams Honorary Bridge and is the commendation of a group of men and women of the Georgia Assembly and the Governor who recognized and subsequently dedicated the bridge to Mr. Williams for his exemplary service to the state. The bridge measures 11 lanes wide and carried a $36 million price tag to construct. The commendation occurred in 2012, however the legacy of J. T. Williams spans many decades. A devout Christian who believes that with God all things are possible, Williams has masterfully sculpted a tremendous amount of success for himself and others. This unwavering, kindred spirit has reinforced his collateral impact as a bridge builder through world-class innovation, impeccable service and good deeds.

Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Joseph Thomas ( J.T.) Williams was the eldest of three siblings. At the age of nine, he began to work for his father who was mayor of Tallahassee. His initial duties included reconciling and filing bank statements. At age 12 he prepared his first individual income tax return and at age 13 prepared his first corporate income tax return. The childhood experiences he gained at a young age were tenets that built character, pride, and responsibility. After graduating high school, he attended Florida State University where he had a double major, accounting and economics, and even sang in an opera. Williams graduated from Florida State University in 1955 and went on to post the highest score in the state of Florida on the CPA Exam. He extended his acumen further by enrolling in a 4 week training program at Price Waterhouse & Co. in New York City. The only student from the south, he graduated at the top of his class. He was employed with Price Waterhouse & Co. for a year and a half, before serving 3 years in the Air Force. Williams returned to New York after serving his country to complete a total of 4 years at Price Waterhouse & Co. as a CPA where he audited some of the largest companies in the world. After his 4 year stint in New York, he returned to Tallahassee and started his own accounting firm and ended up with 18 CPA’s. Williams continued his prowess until he became bored and wanted to pursue another challenge. Out of this tapestry, he chose a hobby in real estate and founded Killearn Properties, Inc. in 1964 with a simple concept: to build homes of exceptional quality and distinction that would exceed homeowners’ expectations in every way. Williams’ first project was a 4,000 acre development where he planted 1 million trees and the emergence of Killearn Estates and Killearn Lakes Plantation communities began. His developments include the Eagles Landing Country Club in Henry County, a 51,000 square foot plantation-style clubhouse and 27-hole championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio. There’s the Waterfall at Lake Burton, the most picturesque course in the southern mountains, with a 216 feet waterfall, Durham Lakes Country Club in south Fulton County and Kingwood Resort to name a few.

It’s good for the developer to also be heavily involved in the operations of the country club and its members.

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Williams serves as chairman and CEO of Killearn, Inc., a developer of quality golf course communities in Georgia and Florida, with over 16,000 acres throughout these states, 7 golf course communities, shopping centers, hotels, residential and commercial properties. Killearn is an industry leader and sets the bar with innovation, quality and excellence. He has hosted 41 professional golf tournaments, 20 PGA and 21 LPGA, and mingled with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Nancy Lopez, and Jack Nicklaus. He has a close friendship with Bobby Bowden and has been friends with Nick and Terri Saban for over 25 years. He is the father of three sons; 12 grandchildren; and 5 great grandchildren. Appointed to major boards in Florida and Georgia by 10 governors (7 Democrats and 3 Republicans) and also served as chairman of the state board of education, he’s a political independent and prefers to support the candidate he thinks is best. “Dad taught me to either run for office or help people in office,” he recalls. J. T. had an affinity for developing cities of tomorrow. He was ahead of the curve for many years in his thinking, intellect and vision for energy conversion, sustainable and green cities. He continues his work while serving as a medical field consultant; one of the founders of Champions for Life, the largest prison ministry across the globe; and still somehow has time to serve on major local and state boards and support great causes in a big way. He led Killearn’s publicly traded company on the American Stock Exchange for 31 years as it garnered numerous awards for acclaimed golf courses and club communities. He and his sons later purchased it from the other shareholders and Killearn is now a private company again, owned and operated by the Williams family. How does he do this? “Planning is the key. I have the ability to look at raw land and imagine what it could be. And it’s great seeing it come to pass. I am also dedicated to service because we are stewards of what God entrusts to us.” Williams explained. Garnering awards like Best Floor Plan, Best Exterior, Best Overall and Builder of the Year are only miniscule testaments to the robust features, designs and innovation exemplified by the Killearn brand. The distinction is led by an unparalleled visionary with unwavering pride and customer service who believed in the faculties of leadership and a commitment to excellence. The selflessness that Williams displays has resulted in numerous appointments and awards to include chairmanships of

Planning is the key. I have the ability to look at raw land and imagine what it could be. | 105

the Atlanta Regional Business Coalition, the Georgia Board of Education, Projects and Planning for GRTA, and the Chamber of Commerce. He was a Trustee of both Mercer University and of the Florida State University Foundation, and is the recipient of the Herman Tallmadge Visionary Award by the Chamber of Commerce and the Patrick Henry Award from the Henry Council for Quality Growth. He has also served on the Development Authority Board of Rabun County, the North Georgia Metro Water Board, the Georgia Board of Education, the Hospital Steering Committee in Rabun County, and Henry County Health Systems, Inc. J. T. Williams has made a lifelong commitment to grow and nurture those in his path. When he isn’t working on projects or assisting others, he is living an active and healthy life, golfing, and engaged in Christian ministries. On Friday, April 21, 2017, J. T. Williams became the recipient of the President Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award. It is an esteemed honor extended to philanthropists and community leaders who consistently give of their time and service to make a difference in the lives of others. He is yet again recognized for being a selfless bridge builder, humanitarian and agent of change by the nation’s highest office. WOW


Tim Ray | 107

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I The average person has over 70k thoughts per-day that can become negative or repetitive.

n 2009 Ray founded the United Intentions Foundation, a nonprofit foundation, to assist others in learning how to transform worrisome thoughts into positive intentions. He also hosts a radio show where he interviews thought-leaders from around the world. He helped create tools, programs, and resources to help people attract what they truly desire. He now travels, speaking to groups about his passion, turning thoughts into realities. According to Ray, “the definition of living life intentionally is living in the present moment with your thoughts. Once you are conscious of what your thoughts are, you are able to be conscious of what you are creating.� | 109

This interview centers on the Power of Intentions. As stated by Ray, “The average person has over 70k thoughts per-day that can become negative or repetitive.” He goes on to say that “This talk helps people turn challenges into opportunities.” We found that Tim Ray is helping people with goal setting, creating purposeful thinking and teaching you that your “thoughts create your reality”. He reveals how we create our reality, how our thoughts travel inside and outside of our body affecting our environment. Ray’s life work teaches you how to turn worrisome thoughts into positive realities. Let’s listen in. Warning: this interview was thought provoking and extremely powerful. The opinions, beliefs and content of this interview belong to Tim Ray. Welcome to our interview Bridge Tim Ray. What a thought provoking interview this is, so tell us what are you involved in right now? Well, currently I’m involved in two things. Jammin Planet, which is a company I started with Kelly Gallagher, is all about shifting paradigms; highlighting as well as shining light on paradigm shifters in whatever industry they may be. Also, I started a foundation called United Intentions Foundation which is about awareness and awakening people up to the power of their intentions. I started out my career in senior health care, where I started a company Golden Home Services, a home health care company where we send nurses out to provide a service for people in need in the community. We have been doing this for over 15 years. Intentions, please give thought and reaction to that word? I feel like intention is more of a steering wheel. We are all aware whether it’s consciously or not, although most of the time our subconscious runs the show. So, the intention aspect of it is a purposeful

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From the moment we wake up our thoughts take over. So the more we dig deeper with our thoughts and how they can serve us, the more likely we will be able to manifest what we truly desire. thought. I like to say intention is a knowing that hasn’t happened yet. When you realize that your intentions can help direct what you want to create in your life, much like the steering wheel when used for the first time, we understand that thoughts come first, and experiences and reality come second. Thoughts create your reality, not the other way around. When you realize that you have the steering wheel and can turn it this way or that way, it creates power in your life. You realize that you can steer your life in a direction where you are empowered to work to do anything you choose. You now have a glimpse of being able to create your reality and perhaps for the first time ever, apply the intention process into your daily life. You now can be the creator of your destiny. You really can become a person of intention. When Ray was asked, how do you know that you are really manifesting what you want? Good question. So, if you want to know what you are manifesting in your life, look around you. What’s happening in your life? Your car breaking down all the time, you always have money problems, you have a relationship issue or you’re always going out with the same type of person or are things going well for you, or do you have the job that you want or whatever the situation might be. The above observations are your best indicators of what you are manifesting in your life in that present moment. If you’re having a lot of positive experiences or what you perceive as positive, these

positive experiences qualify that all is up to you. So, if you are perceiving certain positive things in your life then that should be a great indicator of what your state of being is. If you’re doing the opposite, and unfortunately I’ll say most people are doing the opposite because, as previously stated, your subconscious mind runs the show. Your subconscious is thirty thousand times more powerful than the conscious mind. From the moment you wake up, your thoughts take over. So, the more you believe and sync your subconscious beliefs with your conscious beliefs, the more likely you’ll be able to manifest what you truly desire. A lot of people talk about quantum physics, the movie ‘The Secret’. One thing The Secret kept secret was that the subconscious beliefs run the show. I believe quantum physics helps explain our reality in the world that we live in, especially related to understanding how our thoughts affect what and how we experience reality. What is the mission of the United Intention Foundation? To help others experiment with the power of intentions. As an entrepreneur, I say well why not create a business out of this foundation that I could give back and share with others because I do believe that it is more powerful energetically when two or more people unite intentions. Even the Bible says when two or more people come together in prayer, it’s much more effective. That’s why we started the United Intensions Foundation for people to understand that alone we’re powerful, but together we are

unstoppable, and we can consciously create and manifest what we desire in this three-dimensional world. I am listening to you and what you are saying is so powerful, so how did you meet Kelly Gallagher, your business partner? Kelly and I met a couple of years ago. It was kind of destined. At the United Intentions Foundation, I started a radio network and was looking, at that time, for some speakers on vaccines and the dangers of vaccines and the cover up about vaccines, specifically, the cover up with the CDC and the MMR vaccine. Kelly Gallagher is from Los Angeles and co-producer of the movie the Vaxxed, which basically exposed the whole corruption of the vaccine industry. Eventually she travelled around the country and around the world. She was up in New York and, unknown to me, she was working on a project for getting the integrative doctors together, not only in this country, but internationally. She wanted to recognize and honor them for all their work and sacrifices they have been making as they resist the manipulation by big Pharma. They focused on more of a holistic integrative functional medicine and dealing with truly curing chronic illnesses. So, we started an intention together to help get her back on track since she had a few obstacles thrown in her way. Through our process of talking about manifesting intentions, quickly we decided that maybe it’s a good opportunity that I take the lead here with United Intentions Foundation and we move forward to inspire sponsors for this program. Fast forward to August where we formed a company called Jammin Planet: Paradigm Shifting and honoring people who work on the edge of the collective consciousness, positively stretching it forward and trying to make the world a better place. Normally it would take a year of planning and organizing to pull this awards program together, but we only had a few months to make it happen. We pulled teams together and somehow, we united and made it happen. We used our super powers and within two months we put on an

unprecedented-- one of its kind Awards Show that had never been done before. DOCTORS WHO ROCK AWARDS, it was an Academy Award style event of honoring the integrative doctors like Dr. Mercola, Dr. Cowden, Dr. Sinatra, Vaccine industry with Dr. Andy Wakefield and Del Bigtree and so many more. We had celebrities there like Eli McPherson. We filmed it, live streamed it and both of us gave credit to the divine for this. So that’s how we met, why we met and where we are today as partners with Jammin Planet. What’s next for you and Kelly Gallagher? We are already planning our next endeavors of paradigm shifting with other industries and other people to move it forward and change this world for the better. What was your take away from this project? I realize someone else is in charge so let me just play with this energy and realize I’m part of it. I’m a ripple in the ocean. I’m made up of it, but I’m not the whole ocean. I’m the essence of that ocean or essence of that of God. When I wake up the in morning and create with my own intentions, I set my day, and I stop being overwhelmed by people or their intentions. I’m talking about the media, the newspaper and the radio. I’m talking about our parent’s intentions, our school’s intentions, our education intentions, and our boss’s intentions.

the MMR vaccination does affect kids negatively, especially African-American kids,” In my opinion, autism is a fancy covered up word for brain damage. We romanticize Autism and we take away brain damaging of children. Brain damaging children to save a buck or so for whatever the agenda, the big Pharma’s are wrong. In fact, we had a local reporter talk about it years ago and did a remarkable story on it, but his story never got picked up nationally. In my opinion, the bottom line is our children are being brain damaged by playing Russian roulette with the vaccine that we know, and there’s no accountability at any level. That is a tragedy, a crime against humanity, and not only this needs to be changed on a policy level and a legislative level but we need people to be held accountable, not only for brain damage but when children die because of vaccines. Now at the United Intentions Foundation we are set up to assist others to learn how to shift their perspective, so they can change their experience. However, we ultimately share that we have to see reality for what it is to ourselves and not get caught up in denial based positive thinking, where fear is our motivation to think positively. As we see the world we are creating around us for what it is, the darkness and the light, then and only then can we shift to a new paradigm that we desire to experience. Learn more at WOW

Do you think it’s harmful that people are given vaccinations like the FLU shots and other like vaccinations? You should go to the CDC itself where we have Dr. Thompson who, as the premier scientists who tested the MMR to see if it was good or bad, came out back in the 90’s and said the MMR vaccination is fine. He also, years later, spilled the beans to another doctor, Dr. Hooker, and said that he lied and in fact it was a cover up. He had burned much of the records of the experiment with his colleges at the time. He went and hired a lawyer out of Chicago, I believe. and wrote him an affidavit. I have a copy. It says “I lied; basically, | 111



Women of Wealth  

Wealthy women share their success stories

Women of Wealth  

Wealthy women share their success stories