“YOUR PREMIER URBAN BUSINESS DIRECTORY”
Brooks, Hubbard, James & MillsP.C.
serious lawyers. serious injuries. Learn the 5 mistakes you could make if you’re ever injured in a car accident. (See Story Inside)
FT A R E E KE ONE 3RD QUARTER 2014
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ABOUT US Gumptown Magazine is a free quarterly publication that connects the community with local businesses. Gumptown is where you can find the businesses that can help satisfy your needs. You can find your nearest beauty salon, restaurant, mechanic, dentist, insurance agent, and more. Gumptown also gives you the latest in business, community, and lifestyle. Gumptown helps you stay connected to the businesses that have the resources for you!
Gumptown currently serves: MONTGOMERY, MACON, DALLAS, & ELMORE COUNTIES
WHY GUMPTOWN EXISTS? In early 2011, God gave me the vision for Gumptown Magazine. That vision is to encourage urban communities to patronize local businesses. That way, we can keep the dollar circulating in the community and grow econically. When we patronize large corporations, the money leaves our community and goes into the pockets of corporate giants. By patronizing local business, we keep the dollar invested in our community. Furthermore, that vision is to help new and small businesses get the market exposure that they need and deserve. We understand that these issues busineeses lack the resources to invest in larger mediums such as radio, billboards, and television. That is why our rates and affordable and effective. Gumptown is here to help small businesses because we believe that they deserve the same privileges of free enterprise that larger coproations have. JAMAL THOMAS, MBA Founder
CONTENTS Accounting & Auto Repair 7 Bakery 8 Barber/Beauty Boutique/Consignment 11 Community Service College/University 15 Consulting/Dentist/Physician 16 Eyewear/Exams & Entertainment 17 Graphic Design & Grocery 20 Insurance 24 Media/Production
s we enter into this third quarter of the year, let us take a moment to reflect. Have we achieved the goals that we set at the beginning of this year? What progress have we made? Did sales increase? Did business grow? What 26 Real Estate & Restaurant relationships were 27 Web Design established? After evaluating your year thus far, take advantage of all the opportunities BUSINESS Many times, the thought of walking into a room of people you don’t to take your business to know makes some people cringe and their stomach tie up into knots. They know the ‘should’ network; however, they may definitely feel like the next level! Things are they would rather go to the dentist. “falling” back into action COMMUNITY Divas 4 Divas is a non-profit community service organization for like school, sports, and collegiate and non-collegiate women. It is an organization that allows women of all educational backgrounds a place to belong to as long as entertainment. And your heart is open to give. guess what? Customers LIFESTYLE Did you know that you could eliminate a lot of stress by hiring a are spending more! So professional real estate agent to orchestrate showings, inspections, appraisals, contracts, and negotiations? don’t miss out on the GUMPTOWN GROOVE opportunity to capitalize Have you ever met a woman that was so desperate for love, she gave up her entire being just for a corner of a man’s heart? The old saying goes, on different market “A piece of a man is better than no man”. But, no man is worth having if he doesn’t add to a woman’s life, but takes away from her value. trends this season! 6
FEATURES 9 12 22 25
28 CONNECT BUILD GROW
Graduated from Tuskegee University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She earned her Master’s degree in Adult Health/ Nursing Administration from Troy State University Montgomery in 1995. In 2008, she gained her certification from the State of Alabama as a Dementia Educator and Trainer.
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Why NETWORK Anyway? By Stacia Robinson, The BeneChoice Companies Many times, the thought of walking into a room of people you don’t know makes some people cringe and their stomach tie up into knots. They know the ‘should’ network; however, they may definitely feel like they would rather go to the dentist. Does this describe you (or someone you know very well!)? The point of networking is actually a lot less daunting than many people think. Some think the point of networking is to “get” something immediately from someone they just met. When new to networking, there are those that act on their thoughts that “If I’m going to meet someone, there hasto be a result; like asking for a job, having them buy from me, telling people they know about me so that I can ask THEM for a job or sell to them!” Well, those of you who may think that’s the point of networking; well, you’re in luck. That’s not the point at all. The purpose of networking is just simply to meet people! You may be saying, “That’s it?” Yes, that’s it. When you meet people for a purpose, you are meeting them to START the process of getting to know them and them getting to know you. Once you have an initial conversation, your purpose is to meet them so that when you finish, they might remember you enough to connect you to people you may need to know, but not so fast. Have you ever been to business mixer and noticed a few people running around making people accept their business card or brochure? Sometimes, they don’t even pause long enough to say their name! Or similarly, have you gone to a conference and seen someone go up to someone they obviously don’t know and ask something like, “I’m looking for a job and you’re the one who hires. How do I get an interview with you?” Unfortunately, those are the situations that give networking a bad name. The purpose of networking is simply to meet people that you would want to know beyond an initial conversation. You won’t know if you want to get to know them until you meet them first. So, when you first meet people, all you’re doing is talking with people to find a common interest that’s worth cultivating. When you first meet, you are talking with them to find out what’s of immediate interest to them and how that might connect to what’s of immediate interest to you. That perspective makes networking less stressful and redirects the focus. Most of all, it is fun not to have an “agenda” when you meet people. People pick up on that and your authenticity makes you someone others want to know as well. Your ability to bring value by listening to them is what makes you valuable. GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE | 9
BUSINESS ARE YOU USING
SOCIAL MEDIA TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? By Lutalo Ayree, A Simple Business Solutions As we all know as entrepreneurs one of our main objectives is to get more customers. Let’s face it, social media is not going anywhere and many of us don’t know how to use it to sell our products and services. Many polls have estimated that there are over a billion people using some type of social media application be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. Most of those users are actively using social media daily. Today there are many people leveraging social media to grow their business. If you are not using social media you are likely leaving potential customers in the dark about your services and therefore leaving money on the table. If you are not on social media and don’t have a clue where to begin, trust me, you are not alone. There are many publications online and at your local book store to get more information about social media. Look into taking a workshop on social media for business. You may want to contact your local chamber of commerce, library or community college. There may be a social media seminar or workshop offered in your area to give you some insight on getting started. There is a difference between using social media to be social and for business. Remember just because your nephew Tweets all day and is very active on Instagram, doesn’t mean he can effectively communicate with your customers. Social Media applications are great tools to help you enhance your business. One of the best things about social media is most of it is free. If you have any questions you can email me at email@example.com
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If you have any questions contact:
Lutalo K. Aryee,
Strategic Social Media Expert A Simple Business Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org
GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE | 11
We took the time to speak with Aretha Bettis, Founder of DivasforDivas. Here is what she had to share with us: 1. TELL US ABOUT DIVAS 4 DIVAS: Divas 4 Divas is a non-profit community service organization for collegiate and non-collegiate women. It is an organization that allows women of all educational backgrounds a place to belong to as long as your heart is open to give. 2. YOU SPONSOR A LUPUS WALK ANNUALLY. TELL US MORE ABOUT IT: Divas 4 Divas mission is to supply the community with volunteer services and awareness of certain health causes so each year Divas 4Divas partners up with Alabama State University to help the community to become more aware of lupus and how it effect so many people in our communities. .3. YOU PARTNER WITH MANY LOCAL BUSINESSES. WHY ARE PARTNERSHIPS SO IMPORTANT? Divas feel that in order to help the community we must first know our community. To form partnerships in the community is important because without those partnerships we cannot begin our mission in giving back to the community. Divas is so honored to have so many wonderful partners in the community. 4. SHARE WITH US SOME OF YOUR RECENT PROJECTS. We are currently working on a Lupus support at Alabama State University, help women of domestic violence, Big Brother Big Sisters, Feeding the homeless for the holidays by making food baskets for them, and we do our annual Teddy bears for the sick and shut in for sick children in the Jackson Hospital. 5. IN YOUR SLOGAN YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE “COMMITTED TO THE COMMUNITY”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? As the founder of Divas 4 Divas, it means I am committed in giving back the community. I wanted the community to know that there are women out there that believe in giving from the heart and want to see their communities grow in a positive way. 6. DESRCIBE TO US SOME OF THE CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN IN THE WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM. One of the biggest changes I ‘ve seen in the women who join Divas is that they feel proud of what they are doing in their communities and for one another. Now Non-Collegiate women have an organization they can be proud of and collegiate women have a place where they can share what they have learned in the community. To contact Divas for Divas or to become involved, email them at email@example.com 12 | GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE
COMMUNITY DUNCAN KIRKWOOD
Speaks About the Alabama Black Alliance for Educational Options
Duncan Kirkwood graduated from Alabama State University with a degree Public Relations 2008. There, he served as Student Body President. Duncan is an proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. and is currently the senior human resources officer for Army National Guard Unit the 145 HHD Chemical Battalion 2010. Duncan worked as Chief of Staff for Montgomery Alabama City Council 2009-2012 where he worked to write laws for the city, planned community events and spoke and presented on behalf of the city pro-temp on a regular basis. This position is where he began his life of community organizing. In addition, Duncan organized education community conversations with Montgomery Education Foundations “Believe It” Campaign 2010. He worked diligently to make sure that the community was involved in the process of advocating to the county school board about changes that needed to be made. His list of leadership roles does not end there. Duncan served as a Field coordinator for Students First 2013-2014 in Alabama. There, he built strong relationships with state legislators and parents from all over the state. He also organized trips to the capitol to give parents a voice in advocating for education reform in Alabama. He spoke in 35 cities to over 40,000 supporters for the American Israel Public Affairs committee. And he led a volunteer trip of 8 Christians to Israel 2008. We had a great conversation with this native of Buffalo, New York who is now the Executive Director for the Alabama Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). Here’s how it went: What is BAEO? The mission of the Black Alliance for Educational Options is to increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting transformational education reform initiatives and parental choice policies that empower lowincome and working-class Black families. Alabama is one of the last ranking states in education. In what ways can BAEO change that? BAEO is working to ensure the success of the scholarship program created by the Alabama Accountability Act and to pass a charter school in during the next legislative session. By passing parent choice policies we will allow low income and working class families to have access to high quality education, as opposed to being trapped in schools that are not serving their children. There is power in choice, and people who have the means make choices for their children all the time, they can pay for private, they can move to a better public school system, or home school. The people without those means are trapped in whatever school they are zoned for, and the failing schools across the state are disproportionately located in black communities. The Alabama Accountability Act was passed in 2013. What does it detail? The AAA created a scholarship program that allowed Scholarship Granting Organizations to raise up to 25 million dollars to give to low income families. The only requirement to receive the scholarship is to meet the income guidelines. The income limit for the Alabama Opportunities Scholarship Fund run parallel to the free and reduced lunch limits. I.e. If someone meets the income limit to qualify for free and reduced lunch, than they also meet the requirements for the scholarship. The awards are $5000 for a k-5 student, $6500 from middle school student, and $8000 for a high school student. Also, for those who make more than the state guidelines they can receive a tax credit for up to $3500 if they take their child out of a failing public school and place them into a private school. You work with business leaders in the community? Why is that important? It is important that we keep the business community up to date on the education reform issues here in our state. They are the leaders in our communities and they often serve low income and working class families, so having the information about the scholarship program is vital. Furthermore, they will be an important part of the coalition of community members to help pass a charter law in Alabama. How many scholarships have been awarded this year? Over 10,000 applications have been submitted to the Alabama Opportunities Scholarship Fund (AOSF), and so far over 2500 have been awarded. AOSF and BAEO project that somewhere between 3000 and 4000 scholarships will be awarded for this academic school year. How can the community get involved? They can 1. Contact BAEO and join our fight to pass a charter school law that will allow more options for low income and working class families. 2. Spread the word about the scholarship program (all someone has to do to qualify is be low income). 3. Visit our website for more information, follow us on twitter @BAMABAEO or like us on FB at Alabama BAEO, or just call me for more info 334-440-0390.
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COMMUNITY Upclose with Alabama
House District 69 Candidate
Cedric Coley was born in Las Vegas, NV, in 1990. At the age of 2 years old, Cedric and his mother relocated to her native state of Alabama. Growing up in the Tri-County (Autauga, Elmore, Montgomery) area, Cedric Coley was taught values and the importance of an education by a single mother working two jobs while helping close relatives. The work ethic and morality of Cedric’s mother shaped his world view of being thankful and giving back when possible! He graduated from Morningview Elementary School in Montgomery, AL, in 2002 and Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook, AL, in 2008. Cedric became very active in his community throughout high school by being apart of JROTC, canned food drives, nursing home visits, and fundraising for local charity organizations. Cedric Coley realized at an early age that responsibility for yourself and your community does not begin when a person reaches “adulthood”. It begins the moment you understand you have something to contribute to society! He let’s his young life of community service speak for itself with the dozens of medals, trophies, personal awards, and appearances on local television and radio to discuss solutions. In 2008, Cedric was accepted into Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, to study Political Science. In 2010, he transferred to Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL, to study Theology and pursue a career in the military as a U.S. Army Chaplain. Cedric Coley has always had a principled, moral compass and a strong patriotism. It is not typical for a young person in their early 20’s to seek public office, but, Cedric knows the problems plaguing our communities cannot wait. He has been apart of numerous forums on violence, education, and economic growth. He is willing to reach out to anyone and have a conversation about how we all can be the solution! Cedric knows everyone has a role to play in building a better community and country. Regardless of political views, Cedric Coley believes we can improve tomorrow by working together one issue, one step, one day at a time. Cedric took the time to speak with us. Here is what he had to share! What areas does your district cover? Alabama House District 69 emcompasses all of Lowndes County, all of Wilcox County, half of Autauga County but mainly west of Highway 82, and west Montgomery County. Describe to us the events that led up to your decision to run for office. I’m concerned about the direction of the state. Therefore, I’m running because I see the urgency of now. Our schools need new life, our infrastructure is becoming more dangerous and obsolete everyday, and Alabama has to unleash it’s unlimited potential by investing in it’s human capital. I believe the People of District 69 have settled for below average for long enough. In this pivotal election, we have to meet our challenges face to face without faltering and without excuse. You are a young individual. Why do you think it is important to have more younger individuals in the legislature? I think most young people have been conditioned by society to aim for low and safe goals in life. It has become common place to hear negative stories about the youth of today. However, young people have no idea how powerful they are. As a individual and a unified generation, it is important for visionaries to stand up, speak out and stay informed about how to build a better future. If more young people were involved in every level of government, then we would see more understanding and more change for the better. What changes do you plan to implement in your district? I believe my platform is a roadmap for progress and a path to prosperity for House District 69 as well as the state of Alabama. Tax Reform- I support repealing the grocery tax. I support providing more access to tax credits, special depreciation allowances and tax holidays for small businesses. Reform Judicial/Penal System- With prisons over 190% capacity, the economic toll of not having penal reform is felt by every Alabamian. Education Vitalization- I believe every child deserves the best education our state can provide. I will work to modernize schools. First Responders Pay Raise- First Responders are a vital part of law and order. I support and believe they deserve a pay raise. Pay Elected Officials the Minimum Wage- One way to give first responders a pay raise is to lower the wages and benefits of elected officials state-wide. I oppose allowing the bureaucracy to have royal benefits while those we depend on to keep us safe and healthy struggle to make ends meet. Neighborhood Watch and Community Policing- I will work to strengthen and encourage partnerships between local businesses, faith organizations and law enforcement agencies to ensure community safety. Infrastructure Restoration and Expansion- I oppose continuing to defer maintenance of our infrastructure and I believe we have to face this challenge with strategic planning. Storm Shelters for Mobile Home Communities- I believe building a better Alabama includes preparing for extreme weather events with widespread storm shelters for mobile home communities. Where do you see your district in 10 years? What will it take to get there? I see the establishment of a 21st Century Alabama and District 69. An Alabama that creates economic opportunity by restoring and expanding upon the local infrastructure. An Alabama that reinforces the importance of an education as a way to better ourselves and our world around us. And a District 69 that embraces its unique role in helping Alabama leave a long-lasting impression on this new century. I firmly believe we can improve our way of life and leave a steadfast foundation for future generations to build upon. To achieve this we have to come together to renew our future through restoration, education and innovation. The urgency of now dictates that we be of one mindset and allow one consensus to govern us. That is the belief that we have it within our power to set a new standard for this new century. We are approaching the 50 year anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. What has changed? What is still the same? Since the 1960’s, great leaps of progress have been made to unite America across racial and generational lines. Yet, the enemy of the people has remained and adapted. Our enemy is ignorance. It comes in many forms but it’s mission is the same: to conquer by dividing. Nevertheless, we the people are the solution. We can combat all forms of ignorance in education, economics and civil liberties with informed activism rooted in a independent mindset! Cedric Coley can be contacted via: facebook.com/cedriccoley | firstname.lastname@example.org | alabamaindependenceparty.com | P.O. Box 250813, Montgomery, AL 36125
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Petty & Associates are committed to providing the highest quality of services to maximize our clients’ potential. It is not the mission of Petty & Associates to be the biggest but to be the best by providing motivation and encouragement to our clients assisting them with achieving goals that may seem unreachable at an affordable cost. ACADEMIC RESEARCH CONSULTING SERVICES WE OFFER: Personal Statements | Admission Essays | Scholarship Essays Essays | Research Papers | Term Papers | Book Report/ Reviews Annotated Bibliographies | Research | Concept, Prospectus, and Outlines Literature Reviews | Methodology | Instrument Development and Pilot Studies Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analyses | References | Presentations Data Analyses in SPSS
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Feature Story: ABOUT BROOKS, HUBBARD, JAMES & MILLS, P.C.
“The Serious Lawyers” Car Accident Attorneys
The law firm of Brooks, Hubbard, James & Mills, P. C. grew out of an increasing demand from regular people in need of exceptional legal services. The legal market has long been dominated by oversized, hard-to-navigate law firms with rigid billing practices and inaccessible lawyers. Personal service is all too often lost in piles of paperwork. Gerald Brooks, Joe Hubbard, Chuck James and Wallace Mills all chose to leave larger firms in Montgomery and Birmingham to form a law firm to provide exceptional legal services without sacrificing the flexibility and responsiveness that today’s world demands. Together, they represent individuals and businesses who have suffered injury due to the negligence or intentional conduct of others. Lawyers get a bad rap, and some deserve it. While many lawyers only take a case seriously when it is ready to settle, we understand that serious cases require serious attention from start to finish. We take all of our cases as seriously as our clients do. The lawyers of Brooks, Hubbard, James & Mills, P. C. have nearly 50 years of combined legal experience. Gerald Brooks, a native of Sumter County Alabama, is truly passionate about assisting individuals who have been injured or wronged as a result of the recklessness and negligence of others. Joe Hubbard is from Montgomery and has served four years in the Alabama Legislature. He is currently running as a candidate in the State of Alabama Attorney General race. Hubbard wants to help the residents of Alabama fight corporate interests when they have been injured or hurt. Chuck James, a native of Mobile, takes pride in representing those who have been injured in automobile and trucking collisions. Wallace Mills is from Bullock County and excels at taking complicated issues and putting them in terms regular people understand. These lawyers have come across many people who have been taken advantage of by the system. Their motto is “We pride ourselves in being the rock in David’s sling as we go after Goliath.” They return phone calls and emails. They will treat you like family. They know that without their clients, they don’t work. They pride themselves in delivering competent and courteous service. If you are ever hurt or injured in a car accident and Brooks, Hubbard, James & Mills, P.C. can be of service, please call (855) SERIOUS (7374687). Get the REPORT on “The 5 Mistakes you can make if you’re ever Injured in a Car Accident in Alabama” This Report is normally $20.00, Alabama residents get it for FREE, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) SERIOUS (737-4687). To get the report for FREE let us know you saw it in GumpTown Magazine. Find us online at www.seriouslawyers. com. For daily updated information on Car Accident Injuries “Like” on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at Serious Lawyers.
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Brooks, Hubbard, James & Mills P.C.
serious lawyers. serious injuries.
GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE | 19
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LIFESTYLE ARE YOU PROTECTING YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET? by: Chris Lewis Your ability to work and earn a living is your most valuable asset. Most of your income is earned income. When you stop working, your income stops. When protecting your most valuable asset, you should ask yourself, “How long could I live on my savings if my income stopped this very second?” It’s shocking that many people in the richest nation in the world, are within six weeks of personal bankruptcy. Your chances of becoming disabled are high. If you’re currently between the ages of 25 and 45, your chances of becoming disabled for at least 90 days are greater than one in three. Statistics show the longer a disability, the less likely the person will return to work. The logical solution has been to buy some form of disability income protection coverage through your insurance agent. Like most forms of insurance, disability income has its own language. To make sure you choose the kind and amount of coverage you need, here are some suggestions to consider when shopping for disability income policies. • Consider buying a policy that is guaranteed to be renewable and can only be canceled if you fail to pay the premiums. You purchase insurance to make sure you get a specific result. Always buy quality coverage from a reputable carrier. Also, with a non-cancelable policy, premium rates can not be raised at anytime for as long as you own the policy. Your rates will never go up. • Look at the definition of disability. When you buy disability coverage, you are actually buying the insurance company’s definition of disability. There are three basic definitions: o Presumptive Disability: If your sickness or injury results in the loss of your eyesight, power of speech, hearing, use of both hands, both feet or one hand and one foot, then most insurance companies will consider you totally disabled. Not only that, but many companies will waive the elimination period and you could start receiving your benefits immediately. o Occupational Disability: You’ll want to avoid insurance policies that have an “any occupation” definition. If the policy pays only if the insured is unable to perform any occupation that reasonably fits, then his/her chances of getting paid are small. You want a disability policy that considers you disabled if you can not do the substantial and material duties of your regular occupation. o Partial, Residual and Income Loss: You hurt your back because you fall off a chair changing a light bulb or you lose time from work for a stress-related illness. In these situations, it’s likely you would not be totally disabled. Look for a policy that will pay a proportional benefit if you have a partial or residual loss of income. Many definitions of disability are concerned with your ability to work part-time and do all of your regular duties; or coming to work full-time and only being able to do part of your regular duties. You need to be thorough in reviewing any clauses. To resolve this confusion, several major insurance companies have adopted loss of income provisions. These basically say that if your sickness or injury causes you to lose 20 percent of your income, you’re considered disabled. These companies generally agree that if your income loss is 75 percent or more, you’re totally disabled. •
Once you find a satisfactory definition of disability, look for other provisions that fit your needs. Some questions you may want to ask are: o How long should my disability benefits last? This depends on your age, income and cash position. Usually the shortest benefit period is two years. Other plans pay for five years or to age 65. Many people purchase coverage that lasts until age 65. If you can’t afford age 65 coverage, buy the longest benefit period you can afford. Many companies will allow you to upgrade coverage if your health is good o How long must I wait to receive benefits? Companies have various elimination periods —the period of time after you’re sick or injured before benefits begin to accrue. The elimination period can be as short as 30 days or as long as one year. The shorter the elimination period, the more expensive your policy will be. Many people choose either a 90- or 180- day elimination period. Your elimination period should consider your savings and your assets. o How does my disability policy meet inflation? Quality disability insurance companies offer cost of living agreement (COLA) riders. These riders increase your monthly disability benefit during disability to help keep pace with inflation when disabled, based on the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U). Companies offer a wide variety of COLA riders. Some are fixed rates, others are based on the CPI-U. Some are calculated on a simple basis, others on a compound basis. Determining which you buy should be based on your age, your income and your length of time to retirement. o What else should I look for? Most high-quality policies contain a rehabilitation clause. No matter how good your disability policy may be, it is not a substitute for your ability to work and earn a living. Insurance companies are interested in getting you back to work, and will often help you get rehabilitated. Some policies limit the amount of money paid for rehabilitation and some are based on a mutual agreement. Make sure you read the fine print and understand the insurance company’s responsibilities and yours.
• Find a knowledgeable insurance agent. When looking for an individual disability income insurance policy, you should find a knowledgeable insurance agent, especially one who specializes in your profession. He or she should know and understand professional disability product lines from all of the major companies and available association coverages. • Don’t be afraid to ask for sample policies. Make sure you read them. In insurance, only what is in the policy applies. Like other financial products and services, review and update your disability plan annually. Remember, insuring your income could be the most important thing you ever do. Even though a disability may leave you unable to earn an income, purchasing a disability income policy helps protect your ability to meet your financial obligations! FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Chris Lewis, Financial Services Representative
Principal Financial Group Telephone: Direct 205.444.5597, Toll Free 800.253.7989 Ext. 597 or Cell 205.276.6115 E mail: Lewis.Chris@principal.com Disability Income Insurance has limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact your Principal Life representative. Home Office: Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA 50392. www.principal.com DI2200 | t10100701u7 ____________________________________ Commissioners Individual Disability Table B – Equally Weighted 30 Day Elimination Period
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LIFESTYLE PETTY’S TOP
6 REAL ESTATE TIPS
for Home Buyers
1. Hire a Qualified “Tour Guide” Did you know that you could eliminate a lot of stress by hiring a professional real estate agent to orchestrate showings, inspections, appraisals, contracts, and negotiations? Keep searching until you find an agent with the right chemistry for you and is sure to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Don’t settle! 2. Get Preapproved With a Lender Oftentimes, without a preapproval letter you are nothing more than a “wannabe” buyer; and no seller will negotiate their best deal with a “wannabe” buyer. By having a preapproval letter in hand and knowing how much you’ll be able to borrow from the bank will help you stay realistic when it comes to the purchase price, and help your realtor negotiate a deal for you. 3. Know the Difference between Your Needs vs. Wants I often advise my clients that you want to be able too still live after you purchase your home. Your budget will dictate to a large extent how much of your dream you’ll be able to achieve, so prioritize a home’s features by their level of importance. Think about your priorities and be aware that you will most likely re-prioritize several times throughout the buying process. 4. Don’t Look at Too Many Homes Many people tend to get confused and be overwhelmed when they look at too many homes. At times family and friends can add to the confusion when they add their opinions. Create you a wish list and refer to your list of needs and wants as a way to narrow your search if you have too many homes in contention. 5. Don’t get Emotional Buying a home can be stressful, but very exciting and emotional. Keep your emotions in check, and keep your business mind on. Purchasing a home is a business transaction and no matter how much you love the house, be realistic and don’t ever extend yourself by succumbing to your emotions on this business transaction. 6. Get an Inspection INSPECTION! INSPECTION! INSPECTION! I cannot stress this point enough. Unless you are home inspector by trade, your skills will only get you so far so hire an impartial professional inspector. A good inspector will identify problems, explain the extent of the problems, and also recommend the appropriate repairs. These inspections cost more upfront but they can save you thousands in the long run. William Petty, COL, USA, Retired is an IntraVest Real Estate Agent. He can be reached at (334) 538-8580 email@example.com
Remember…….When you are Ready, Just call Petty!
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SOCIAL SECURITY CELEBRATES 79 YEARS For the past 79 years, Social Security has maintained its place as an American cornerstone. Secure as its foundation is, Social Security has also been at the forefront of change. As the face of America has evolved over the course of the last eight decades, so too has Social Security changed along with the needs of the nation. On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that Social Security “represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.” The Social Security Act that President Roosevelt signed that day covered a limited number of workers in commerce and industry and provided only retirement benefits. Today, Social Security is much more than a retirement program. It provides benefits to disabled individuals and their families and benefits to widows, widowers and the minor children of deceased workers. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps aged and disabled people who have low income and limited resources. We have work incentives to help those people with disabilities go to work. Social Security even provides Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. In so many ways, Social Security benefits America. Social Security works because it is an enduring agreement between generations. It is arguably our government’s most important program, and quite possibly the strongest expression of community our nation has. For 79 years, Social Security has made a tremendous and positive difference in the lives of millions, and this is certainly something to celebrate. Learn more about Social Security’s rich history at www.socialsecurity.gov/history. Become a part of Social Security’s history by choosing to do business with us online at www. socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE | 23
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GROOVE Just CUPID or Plain STUPID GUMPTOWN
by Deetra La’Rue
her unborn children.
Have you ever met a woman that was so desperate for love, she gave up her entire being just for a corner of a man’s heart? The old saying goes, “A piece of a man is better than no man”. But, no man is worth having if he doesn’t add to a woman’s life, but takes away from her value. At some point in her life, every woman has dreamed about her ideal man, planned her wedding and even picked out names for
But to what extent would she be willing to go to get that “happy” ending? Is losing her sense of identity worth the cost of being happy? Unfortunately, a lot of women become so caught up in the things that they want, that they neglect to take care of their own needs. Rather than be patient and wait on the man that God has for us, we instead try to create him. However, sometimes what we want is not necessarily what we may need. What we fail to realize is that you can be in a relationship with someone, but not have ownership of their heart. In other words, what good is it to have the key to a man’s heart, if it doesn’t unlock it? No matter how hard we try to twist and turn the lock, it fails to open. In more ways than one, relationships are a lot like puzzles. We as women have all the pieces (signs), but are too afraid to put it together, because the whole idea of being finished (broken up) scares us, because there’s nothing left to do, but move on. Rather than move on, we frantically check the box (hold on) hoping that maybe all of the pieces aren’t there. Truth of the matter, they always were. But, for some apparent reason, we can’t fathom the idea of being alone. Immediately, we find fault and blame ourselves for the demise of our relationship, because of something we may or may not have done. Therefore, we change ourselves and try to fit the description of what someone says we should be. As a result, we ultimately end up not liking the person we’ve become. While we were so busy finding love, we managed to lose ourselves in the process. What’s even sadder is a man doesn’t realize he had a good woman until she’s gone. Even then, he still doesn’t realize, because he never paid enough attention to even know she was there. Besides, I don’t want a man whose ego is bigger than his heart. He’ll never be able to love me, because he’s too busy loving himself. Truth be told, a woman should never fall for a man and expect him to pick her up, when he is the sole reason she is down. Love is a beautiful thing, but it means nothing when you can’t feel it! Ladies, know your worth and know when to move on. Deetra La’Rue © 2012 --------------------------------
Fearless, fabulous and fun, Deetra La’Rue is a 29-year-old author and writer from Montgomery, Alabama. Growing up, she had the “helping gene”, and always wanted to be an Attorney and Counselor, which led her to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Political Science (2007) and Master’s in Counseling (2012), both from Troy University. However, no matter which direction she chose to take, “The Pen” always proved mightier than the sword. Aside from her current job as a Student Affairs Specialist, Deetra enjoys fashion, spending time with her family and has plans to publish her three poetry books.
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InterVest R E A L I T Y
William H. Petty
REALTOR/Ret. Col. US Army Cell: (334) 538-8580 Email: email@example.com 1759 Eastern Blvd Montgomery, AL 36117
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LEGAL PROTECTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
CALL 334-245-4127 to get started!
GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE | 27
CONNECT BUILD GROW Veronica McKenzie graduated from Tuskegee University in
1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She earned her Master’s degree in Adult Health/ Nursing Administration from Troy State University Montgomery in 1995. In 2008, she gained her certification from the State of Alabama as a Dementia Educator and Trainer. She is a Basic Life Support instructor through the American Heart Association. Ms. McKenzie has worked with individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in hospital, nursing home and home care settings. Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers suffered with the disease. Her understanding of what families are experiencing makes Successful Living Center more than a nonprofit business; it reflects her personal passion. Her desire is to provide supportive services to families, minimizing the stress of continuous care-giving, and presenting them an opportunity to rest, work and have normal lives. Veronica McKenzie founded a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Successful Living Center, Dementia Specific Adult Day Care Center in March 2006. Successful Living Center has been providing services to individuals with early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease for five years. We took the time to speak with the Executive Director of Successful Living Center Veronica McKenzie. Here is what she had to share. TELL US ABOUT SUCCESSFUL LIVING CENTER Successful Living Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Montgomery, was founded in 2006. The inspiration for the name of the facility came out of the belief that all individuals have the potential to be successful regardless of their physical or mental limitations. The mission of SLC is to improve the quality of life; preserve the dignity and well-being of the elderly; promote development in special needs children; provide family caregivers with emotional support, physical relief, peace of mind and practical information; and provide support for community volunteer activities. Many times, family care givers are not able to work regularly due to the need for continuous care for their loved one. By providing affordable daily care, SLC enables caregivers to remain in or rejoin the workforce. Our services also facilitate respite and support for family caregivers. Successful Living Center has paid and volunteer staff trained in the care of persons with dementia. 2. YOU SAY THAT YOU TAKE AN INTERGENERATIONAL APPROACHTO ADULT AND CHILD CARE. DESCRIBE THAT APPROACH TO US. Intergenerational sites are programs where children and/or youth, along with older adults, receive services at the same site. Both generations interact during regularly scheduled intergenerational activities, as well as through informal encounters. Research has shown that for older adults, regular interaction with children results in an atmospherethat is more homelike and promotes social enrichment and a renewed interest in others. 3. IS THERE A HIGH DEMAND FOR ADULT CARE? Yes. As the number of seniors continues to increase, the demand for adult day care continues to rise. Based on information from the 2013 U.S. Census report, in Montgomery County 14.9% of the population is 65 years or older; in the city of Montgomery 11.9% of the population fall within the 65 and above category.As healthcare advances, people with health problems are living longer, resulting in an increase in the aged population. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance website, the 65+ population and the number of caregivers will more than double between 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million in 2000. 4. WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES DO YOU HAVE FOR THE ADULTS? HOW DOES IT HELP THEM? Our program provides the structure needed for individuals with dementia. Our participants have a sense of belonging, and they engage in activities designed to enhance their cognitive functions and their quality of life. Successful Living Center provides a homelike environment that encourages and promotes independence. We provide memory enhancement games , reminiscent sessions, and individualized care plans to help guide staff in meeting each participant’s individual needs. We offer activities that encourage social interaction, arts and crafts,and medication assistance. Our main goal is to encourage independence in a nurturing and supportive environment that will give them a sense of well-being.
Successful Living is located at 1902 Bullard Street Montgomery, AL 36106 For more information call 334-264-1790 28 | GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE
CONNECT BUILD GROW
SECOND CHANCE INVESTMENTS One on One with Timothy Williams, Founder of Second Chance Investments, LLC. Interview by Dylan Williams. We took the time to speak with Timothy Williams, Founder of Second Chance Investments. Here is what he had to share! GTM: Where are you from and how long have you been in business? W: I’m from Brooklyn, New York and I have been in business for two years GTM: Tell me a little about the basics of credit improvement. W: The main focus of credit improvement is to eliminate negative accounts on a credit report, and learning how to understand the scoring system along with learning how to build positive credit. GTM: Would you give us some advice on credit scams and how to protect your credit? W: Credit scams are mainly found within companies that don’t comply with the credit repair organization act. This is a law that governs credit repair companies and organizations. GTM: How would you better serve a client compared to other credit repair companies? W: First off, I’ll be in compliance with the credit repair organization act, I don’t accept full payment upfront, I educate my clients on how to obtain and maintain positive credit. Most companies leave the client to pay collections without informing them that this is documented on their credit reports. GTM: What is bankruptcy, and is it a solution to bad credit? W: It varies, it depends on how much debt you’re in and how long the debt has been existing. Personally I’ve helped quite a few people avoid bankruptcy because 9 times out of 10 the people just don’t understand how the credit system works. GTM: Why does applying for different credit negatively effect your credit score? W: Every time you pull your credit you lose 5 points. Everytime you open up a new account you lose 10 points. Everytime you dispute something on your credit you lose 20 points. Everytime you make a late payment you lose 20 points, and everytime your account goes to collections you lose 30 points. When you try to pay an old collection you lose 20 points. GTM: When using your services, how long does it usually take for a person’s credit to increase to perhaps a 500 or a more acceptable score? W: The average time it takes with about 95% of my clients is 3 to 4 months. For those clients with more activity on their credit, it may require a little more time. GTM: Where does a person’s credit score have to be in order to be approved for things such as personal loans, a house or a car? W: Mid 6000s, however we prefer to get the client to the mid 7000s so the will not have any problems. A 740+ will allow a person to be able to walk in a bank for any type of loan with no money down and be approved. On the other hand, most banks and mortgages look for a 640. GTM: Credit repair companies require their clients to sign a contract. This locks the client into a monthly rate. Do you think this is a good idea for a person with already less than acceptable credit? W: It’s the law. The companies that don’t have their clients sign a contract and explain thoroughly how long the process can take is breaking the law. GTM: What is the average debt of your overall clientele? W: The average is between $2000 to $5000 which is definitely not a reason to file bankruptcy. GTM: Would you say that $10,000 to $15,000 of debt would be a reason to file bankruptcy? W: It depends on the person’s income For more questions you can contact Timothy Williams at 334-239-9889 or 334-239-7519. You can also visit www.secondchanceinvestmentsllc.com
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A R O U N D T H E WAY
ARE NOT AS SCARY AS YOU MIGHT THINK.. In my work across the state of Alabama, I have noticed when the subject of “charter schools” is brought up; there are a lot of misconceptions about what they are and who they actually serve. I immediately find myself having to dispel the myths and untruths about them. This week, the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and education reform organizations all over the country are celebrating National Charter School Week. In honor of that, I’d like to take a moment to explain why I support charter schools, and why I think you should too. Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, they are open to all children; do not charge tuition; and do not have special entrance requirements. Charter schools were created to help improve our nation’s public school system and offer parents another public school option to better meet their child’s specific needs. Successful charter schools in other states have taken advantage of the freedom they are afforded to extend the school day to provide more time on task; adjust the curriculum to meet students’ needs; create a distinctive culture or special theme; and develop groundbreaking learning models that redefine the classroom and reflect the latest research on effective teacher training. Like other public schools, charters are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on enrollment; and they are open to anyone who wishes to enroll. I will not make the case that charter schools are a one-size-fits-all solution to the educational challenges of our state. Charter schools come with challenges, and I would never argue they would solve all the issues Alabama’s public education system faces. However, studies have shown that charter schools work for children when they are carefully and thoughtfully planned and implemented with fidelity and with high expectations. There are scores of examples of great charter schools that are doing amazing things in the world of education. They inspire our best and brightest educators to design and operate schools for children who traditionally have been underserved in the traditional public school system. Charter schools have particularly created new educational pathways for low-income and working-class families who otherwise may have been stuck in failing schools. Charter schools serve the primary purpose of inspiring innovation in education as well as offering members of the community an alternative choice in how their children are educated. Instead of lowincome and working class families being trapped in schools they’re zoned for, charter schools offer an added option for parents to select if they’re not satisfied with the public school their child would otherwise attend. When it comes to educational options, there are two questions any community needs to ask itself. Should families be forced to go to a failing or inadequate school without an alternative? And should a child’s zip code determine the quality of education they receive? To both of these questions, my answer is no. I hope yours is too. Duncan Kirkwood, State Director Alabama Black Alliance for Educational Options 30 | GUMPTOWN MAGAZINE
Website: www.Alabama.BAEO.org Phone: 334-440-0390 Email: Duncan@Baeo.org Twitter: @BamaBAEO
A R O U N D T H E WAY August 2, 2014
MORNINGVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
YARD CLEAN UP
with EMERGE MONTGOMERY and local Volunteers
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Stay Connected is a Radio Talk Show on Steve Soul Radio Network in Montgomery, Alabama. The Steve Soul Radio Network is an Internet Radio Station that can be streamed online at www.stevesoulradio.com Stay Connected will debut Late September 2014. On Stay Connected, we will conduct interviews with leaders, movers and shakers, business owners and everyday people with various backgrounds to discuss social and economic issues that impact urban communities across Alabama. The discussions will be about an array of topics based on the profession of our guest that we invite. Stay Connected will air three times a week; once Monday mornings (9am11am), once in the Wednesday afternoons (1pm- 3pm), and once in the Friday evenings (6pm-8pm). Each segment recorded will run the three times previously mentioned. Each segment will be filmed and posted on Gumptown Magazine social networks. The purpose of Stay Connected is to bring socioeconomic awareness to urban communities. Stay Connected will endeavor to educate, empower, and motivate our listeners so that they can improve their lifestyles.
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TODAY! Call (334) 531-3644 and mention reference number REFER189
WSFA 12.2 Bounce TV, Knology 121, Charter 192, and Brighthouse 213
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Published on Oct 9, 2014