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huami North Carolina’s Community Magazine

FREE Volume Two Issue 1 Nov/Dec 2010 Triad Edition

Vonda K. Sampson VB Still

November/December 2010


2 November/December 2010

November/December 2010



from the Editor/Founder

Making that Turn in the Road Where did yesterday go? All the thinking, dreaming and planning have come to fruition; 12 issues and counting! Huami Magazine is everywhere…well, not quite everywhere…yet! When I reminisce it is difficult to believe it all started with a dream. Often I am asked why I chose to publish a magazine. Honestly, I believe this magazine chose me. I have never considered myself to be a literary genius. However, when necessary I have picked up a pen and delivered. The term artist should never be listed on my resume’ but I have acquired the art of graphic design. I do consider myself a visionary. I have a clear idea of what I want to do; I work my plan until my goals are accomplished. I have also realized that no one can tell the stories of African Americans in my community quite like Huami Magazine does. From the outside looking in our dreams may seem impossible. Our minds have a tendency to make tasks seem larger than they really are; more than we can handle. Consequently, we block the lessons we were destined to learn and delay our rewards. In addition, when we find ourselves in the throes of success; we should allow ourselves the privilege of looking back over the path we took to get there. The journey is what makes the destination so sweet. Reminiscing gives us the opportunity to evaluate the time and energy we wasted buried in procrastination and fear but also to relish all of the obstacles we overcame and the victories we won. Volume II of Huami Magazine has arrived. Our focus is to be better than ever! With three different issues dedicated specifically to the Charlotte-Metro, Raleigh-Triangle and Piedmont-Triad areas, Huami will continue to showcase African American owned businesses and be a platform for them to market their goods and services. Although recognizing the accomplishments and achievements of African Americans in our community remains our priority, we also want to impact the community we serve by providing information that will encourage and inspire. It is my belief that by helping others reach their full potential we elevate ourselves. I thank the many supporters who have not only helped me to make Huami Magazine one of North Carolina’s best resources to experience African American culture, but also a positive publication that consistently connects African Americans with knowledge that improves their lifestyles.

Terry L. Watson

4 Editor In Chief Terry L. Watson Deputy Editor Alana Allen Copy Editor Almena Mayes Women’s Interest Editor Alana Allen Writers Tonya Dixon Crystal Kelly Photographers Bradford McKenzie Howard Gaither Tiffany Fuller Layout Mykel Media Company Chamon Gayton (336) 340-7844 HUAMI MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication may be submitted to the editor by E-mail at or to Mykel Media Company P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2010 All Rights Reserved SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE Have Huami Magazine delivered to your home or office. Send Money Order for $16.00 for 4 issues to our P.O. Box, and allow three weeks before first issue is delivered. Include subscriber contact information with phone number. No Refunds Allowed. On The Cover Photos by Howard Gaither Hair design by Sitan’s Hair Brading

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Naroshmi Theater

Nathan Alston


Stone Workz Design

Janeen Stone


Upper Room COGIC

Pastor Wooden



Upper Room COGIC Pastor Patrick Wooden

Chef Barry Moody Bovanti Cosmetics

Piedmont Triad Health Services & Sickle Cell Agency Early Middle College High School at NC A&T State University

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Head Turnerz Salon Yolunda Turner

A Perfect Image

Couikislams Barbershop Delmar Little & Shatonie Reaves

Felicia Poteat


NC Freedom Monument

John Hope Franklin

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Huami Fashion Kingz Closet

November/December 2010

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Designs By Roxie Roxie Elliott North Carolina Junior Chamber President Maria Hicks Few


Community Connection


Designs by Roxie By Terry L. Watson Photo by Roxie Elliot

A Labor of Love

She also says that with God’s guidance she has withstood everything and prospered while doing so. Elliott recalls the moments when she would style her Barbie doll’s hair. When she was older she was blessed with the Barbie head that had more hair. This is when she knew that she wanted to style hair for a living Roxie says. After graduating from high school, Elliott intended to enroll in beauty school. This plan was interrupted by the birth of her son. She enrolled in Leon’s Beauty School and subsequently obtained a job at St. Center Beautyrama in Greensboro.

God makes the impossible, possible ― this is how Designs by Roxie was birthed according to owner/stylist Roxie Elliott. She states that her childhood dream to become a professional hairstylist only happened by the grace of God.

As the years passed Elliott migrated from the field of hairstyling and landed a position with the Aetna insurance company. “I let my passion die down, but I didn’t give up,” says Elliot. While at Aetna she began a mission to renew her cosmetology license.

Elliott says that God blessed her and allowed her to cross paths with influential individuals that sowed into her life, and encouraged her to pursue her dream at full force. In 2008, she says she was torn between the idea of working in someone else’s salon or opening one in her home. She decided on her home but was faced with financial challenges for equipment ― dryers and chairs. “I did not have thousands of dollars but God in all His awesomeness blessed me and furnished my salon fully with only one hundred dollars,” Elliott explains. “There have been times that I wanted to quit and give up, but could not. God is truly my inspiration and I had to remind myself that He would not give me these gifts and talents and not allow me to continue to develop and use them,” says Elliott.



Want to advertise? Call (336)340-7844

Community Connection

Maria Hicks-Few


Named First African American North Carolina Junior Chamber (Jaycees) President By Terry L. Watson Photo by Maria Hicks-Few Maria Hicks-Few was elected by fellow members of the North Carolina Junior Chamber (Jaycees) to the office of president for 2010. This achievement makes her the first African American to serve as president of a United State’s Junior Chamber since 1920. As an active member of the Greensboro Jaycees since 1999, she has served as the first African American female president, recruitment director, communications director, and as chairwoman of the Greensboro Jaycees Holiday Parade. She also held positions as membership and training vice president for the North Carolina Jaycees in 2009. During her tenure, the North Carolina Junior Chamber was able to grow their membership base for the first time. Hicks-Few received a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science from North Carolina A&T State University, a master of science degree in public affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a MBA in human resources management for the University of Phoenix.

November/December 2010

Hicks-Few is also a small business owner in the Greensboro area. She is the owner of HRforU, a human resources consulting company focusing on small businesses and non-profit (www.hrforu. org). For the past eight years, she has been an adjunct professor of political science at North Carolina A & T State University. The Junior Chamber (Jaycees) is an organization that gives young people between the ages of 21 and 41 the tools they need to build the bridges of success for themselves in the areas of business development, management skills, individual training, community service and international connections. Hicks-Few suggests that anyone who wants to meet interesting enthusiastic people, better oneself, impact one’s community, involve one’s children, participate as an adult learning leadership skills that can be used anywhere or have an all-around good time, can join the Junior Chamber (Jaycees). For a chapter near you or to start one in your area please visit the website at


Cover Story CS


Vonda Sampson VB Still

8 November/December 2010

Succeeding Is Very Important


By Tonya Dixon Photos by Howard Gaither Photography ne of the biggest obstacles many people face is the lack of understanding regarding their personal purpose. People’s lives are spent searching, questioning, and seeking the right paths to take. Often, the answers are revealed through transformational events from one’s own past.

VB Still has come not only to understand her purpose but also has been able to recognize her own destructive, success hindering characteristics. It denied her the freedom and opportunities to propel herself but others. After 10 years of failed relationships and ensuing disappointments, Still realized she was dealing with a generational curse called rejection. She recalls how as a young girl she was wounded by her grandfather. “As a child I was innocent, and simply wanted to be loved and give love in return,” says Still. Her grandfather she says erroneously taught her that love had to be earned.

VB Still’s son Marshall, is also an artist (Marty B) and is currently writing and producing his own cd.

The years of succumbing to the dysfunctional effects of what Still terms, “the spirit of rejection”, began to take a deep-rooted stronghold in her life. She began to notice a distinct pattern in her adult relationships. That singular understanding was the turning point in Still’s lifelong duel with rejection. She questioned the root of her rejection. In her quest she found it to be fear; fear of being rejected was her personal fallacy. Recognizing the issue in her own life, but she has been able to clearly recognize the destructive behavioral patterns in others. “Experience only becomes knowledge once we are able to grasp and understand the lesson,” says Still. “It becomes wisdom when we can use it as a reference to make better choices. Once we are empowered with wisdom, we can overcome any situation.” She considers herself the poster child for an over comer.

“Experience only becomes knowledge once we are able to grasp and understand the lesson,” says Still. “It becomes wisdom when we can use it as a reference to make better choices. Once we are empowered with wisdom, we can make better choices and then become over comers in any situation.”

Business partner Frederick Brown

Making better choices is exactly what Still has done. She has essentially turned her problems and pain into her purpose. After 10 years of journaling her experiences, struggles, failures and finally triumphs, the Greensboro native authored and self published “ManChaser, Overcoming Rejection...From the Club to Love”. The title itself, ManChaser, is selfexplanatory, but she will quickly explain that ManChaser is not gender specific. “ManChaser is a book for any person who is able to read and comprehend the trials and tribulations of human existence and the affairs of the heart,” she says. The urban fiction novel, which sold out in eight days following the first shipment, chronicles the evolution of a four year old girl who walks into the cruelty of love denied. Her war scars become a testimony of a chase for the cure through failed relationships, sexual escapades with professional athletes, and an addiction to the VIP room. The chase leads

November/December 2010

Twin sister Rhonda Sampson


her to the gutter, reaching for the extended hand of God. Through mercy, God delivers her and shows her where she belongs, but the question remains, will she receive it? The success of ManChaser has been great. Borders bookstores has designated the novel its own BINC number, a unique Borders number which allows certain books to be found and sold in all Borders stores. Although the book has definitely propelled and repositioned Still in her career and life aspirations, it has more importantly been the cathartic medicine she needed to become completely delivered. The piece set in motion Still’s progression toward fulfilling her purpose. She began to take responsibility for her own actions. The light was revealed. It was her duty to walk therein. A person that does not know is ignorant, but the individual that knows but does not do is a fool. She is definitely nobody’s fool, and there were no more excuses. She admits looking at herself in the mirror was a painful yet absolutely necessary process. It was only when she received and understood the depth of God’s love for her, that she was able to see, love and protect herself. The evolution of the little girl, born Vonda Kay Sampson brought her to the place she relishes today. Simply by being at the right place at the right time, divinely appointed opportunities have been opened up for Still. She has been able to fulfill her purpose of sharing her testimony, and utilizing her gift to teach from the knowledge and wisdom learned through a life lived by faith. Walking in her purpose and the power of the Lord, she has been given the chance to reach out to the masses. Once as a guest on a local radio station, she was asked to host a regular spot deemed “VB Still’s Inspirational Moment”. This is a time set aside in which she shares wisdom through biblical principles. “My goal is to empower and inspire through lessons learned by loving the hard way,” says Still. Accordingly, empowerment is the focus of Still’s activities these days. She is now the program director for a new and innovative girls mentoring program called Ladies Organized to Serve Others or L.O.T.S.O. The L.O.T.S.O. program has opened the door for an entire women’s empowerment movement including the Girl’s and Women’s mentoring program as well as L.O.L. or Ladies of L.O.T.S.O program. The entire network and support system is something Still believes to be a part of her life’s work. It is easy to see the program has captured her heart. “Empowering girls is like a drug, I get high, deeply fulfilled off of making a difference in someone’s life. However, the difference is I never come down, it keeps me motivated,” says Still. “When I see the eyes of a child, boy or girl, when I can speak into their spirits about what they are going through, seeing their reaction is the best form of pay check. I understand what it feels like to have your feelings and emotions validated and not made to seem trivial or irrelevant.” Her days (nights, weekends, vacations and holidays) are filled with thoughts of the girls of L.O.T.S.O…. and she loves every minute of it. “Working with L.O.T.S.O is like a dream come true. I feel like I was born to do this,” says Still. I have less free time, because it is required to get the program off the ground, yet I feel more empowered. More doors and opportunities have presented themselves [for me] to share the testimony of ManChaser. It has been the perfect marriage.”

L.O.T.S.O/B.O.T.S.O Community Mental Health partners, Carter’s Circle of Care. L-R Luther Smith, Crystal Tate, Sonya Carter, Ron Carter, Vonda K. Sampson, O.J. Caldwell, Owner, Maria Lara

For booking or speaking engagements Please contact VB Still at or Email: For information about LO.TSO please contact 336-230-1232 or visit our website at


The key is that Still understands that perfect, purified marriage would have never taken place until she made the choice to sever her ongoing relationship with rejection and fear. Likewise, she has purposed in her heart to teach that very lesson to the many women she comes across. When she speaks of women her words are filled with fervor and compassion. She wants women to know they cannot obtain the elusive, perfect relationship with a man that they so vehemently pursue until they understand their true role as a woman. Still says this role is to nurture, cultivate and bring forth the seeds she has been given. “Our marriage to God is more fulfilling than any human relationship, yet it’s the hardest love to understand, embrace and treasure,” Still states. “This is ― loving the hard way ― and it’s the process of understanding, requiring great patience, practice and humility.” The November/December 2010

energy she once used to chase men has been redirected towards her obedience to her purpose, her son, family and community. “Understanding relationships may seem difficult, but they operate on the same premise as purpose ― allow God to reveal them and then simply operate in them” says Still. Ironically, Still has seen that her purpose is not just one stagnant point. It does not culminate with a few words on a sheet of paper but is fluid; It moves and changes. Amazingly, the path of Still’s purpose began with her written testimony, ManChaser, but through the years has branched out into women’s empowerment. Her current and upcoming projects, include plans for a ManChaser workbook and curriculum, and the publishing of many great authors under her company Pen and Word Publishing. She is also working with many artists and personalities such as local radio host and activist Amos Quick, music producer Powerful, promoter Q-Diddy, Jojo III, and author, Donna Harrelson-Burnett. Working with others under SuperVonda Arts & Media Group, there are plans for a ManChaser movie, a corresponding CD, and the much anticipated sequel, ManChaser II. Still proudly admits her most rewarding work has been working with her son, Marty B, who led and co-produced the theme song, ManChaser, The Anthem. She collaborated with her son on his upcoming CD, Savage. “The arts and film have a way of reaching the soul of a person like no other medium,” says Still. “I’m looking forward to many great ventures therein.”

Debra Vigliano, Win Win & L.O.T.S.O/B.O.T.S.O, Susan L. Taylor, founder of Essence Magazine & National CARES Mentoring.

L.O.T.S.O Girls, Hank Wall (back ctr) Program Director B.O.T.S.O (Brothers Organized To Serve Others)

ManChaser is currently available at Borders, listed on their best sellers list for African American publications.

November/December 2010

Promoter Q-Diddy, of Q-Diddy Productions hosted the premier of VB Still’s single ManChaser, the Anthem with Jamie Totten at B.G. McGee’s



xperience only becomes knowledge when we are able to grasp and understand the lesson. It becomes wisdom when we can use it as a reference to make better choices. Once we are empowered with wisdom, we can make better choices and then become over comers in any situation.

12 November/December 2010

November/December 2010


Greensboro, North Carolina

Marquel & Marquis COSMETICS & SPA 14 November/December 2010

Unleash Your Beauty

Pictured left to right: Tom Curlee, Michael J. Bohannon, president of Bovanti Corporation, Marquel Bohannon, Marquis Bohannon, Anita H. Bohannon, president of Bovanti Cosmetics and Deborah Wilson.


By Tonya Dixon Photos by Howard Gaither arquis and Marquel Bohannon begin each day in a prayer seeking God for divine guidance. The next few hours are spent researching innovative marketing and promotional ideas. If that weren’t enough they make every effort to spend time with their business team, motivating and inspiring them. With the day not even over, they are in the trenches doing what they absolutely love, business and beauty.

24 year old Marquis is the junior president of Bovanti Beauty Company and president of the Bovanti Cosmetics store at Four Seasons Towne Centre Mall in Greensboro, N.C. A division of the Bovanti Corporation, for over 27 years, Bovanti Cosmetics has been a leader in the cosmetic and beauty industry providing quality, top of the line beauty products and services as well as education. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., the company has been deemed the fashion and beauty leader of the south. One doesn’t have to convince either Bohannon of the exceptionality of the company. They know the Bovanti story and brand all too well. Marquis and Marquel are not only Bovanti store owners, but they are proud members of the company’s “inner circle”. Marquis Bohannon proudly describes their intimate relationship with Bovanti, “My mother and father founded Bovanti Cosmetics,” she says. In 1982, Marquis and Marquel’s parents, Michael and Anita, who staunchly believed in business ownership, put their heads together, as well as their namesake, and formed Bovanti Corporation. Marquis admits she loves the cosmetic industry; the glitz, glamour and excitement, however having a MBA from Hampton University, she tends to focus more on the business of Bovanti. What’s the most logical way to combine business and beauty? Certainly the answer can be solved many ways, but for the Bohannons the answer is to keep it all in the family-literally. While Marquis excitedly handles the day to day business affairs for Bovanti, Marquel gladly accepts the title of educational director. The Bohannon duo teamed up as business partners. Only 15 months apart in age, the sisters understand each others strengths and weaknesses and use them as business advantages. “I have always been the business side,” says Marquis. “I’m the creative side,” inputs Marquel. “Everything from dealing with colors, artsy things, fashion and make-up education.” continued on page 16

November/December 2010


continued from page 15 It is only natural for the Bohannon ladies to continue the family tradition of entrepreneurship. The sisters have always had a business venture going on or waiting on the horizon. They have dabbled in everything from graphic design to arts and craft camps. Marquis had amazingly managed a Bovanti kiosk in New Orleans at the age of 18 with record-breaking success and previously sold Fantasia IC hair care products. However, it wasn’t until the Hampton University graduates began to set up shop on campus that they realized they had a winning combination and witnessed a serious demand for Bovanti products. “We would setup every Friday at Hampton University’s Student Center” says Marquis. The demand was so impressive they would always sell out of products. From then until now Marquis and Marquel’s focus has been expanding Bovanti to new markets. They’re presently on a nationwide tour with the Bovanti Beauty Stars (which includes their mother Anita H. Bohannon) and still showcase at Hampton, but on a larger scale. They recently returned from Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island Bahamas teaching makeup classes for Bronner Brothers Seminars by the Sea. Marquis’ thirst for knowledge and education has always been a mainstay in her life. Even at the early age of six she dreamed of taking over the family business. She is doing exactly what she planned. “It is amazing to hold steadfast to your vision and make it become a reality,” says Marquis. “My vision has always been to take our business to unseen heights.” Bovanti Cosmetics provides more than just a pretty face and quality products and services. This beauty industry trendsetter helps women manage a lifestyle that improves their skin, health and image.

Bovanti Beauty Team from left to right: Kendra Diggs, Marquel Bohannon, Marquis Bohannon, and Courtney Brown.

The young entrepreneurs are just as committed to the growth of the Bovanti brand as they are customer satisfaction. Take a minute to walk into a Bovanti Cosmetic’s store. The products and services offered are not only astounding but everything is visually state-of-theart. The local store offers everything from cutting edge color cosmetics and makeovers to brow arching, lash enhancement and spa services including massage therapy, facials and reflexology, all from certified technicians. Why is Bovanti Cosmetics growing so rapidly? It’s all because women want to feel empowered and confident. That very desire is consistent with the Bovanti Brand. “We encourage women to make the most of their natural beauty and strive to bring out their best features,” says Marquis. “We inspire women all over the world with our story. My mother looks just as young as we do. We are beauty educators and have become retail savvy. We educate women how to become an ageless beauty and look and feel their best inside and out.”

Bovanti Signature Beauty Store at Four Seasons Town Center

It’s clear that Marquel is also just as passionate about the creative aspects of cosmetics. “We provide makeup education classes and instruct you on everything about the proper use of makeup and skin care,” she says. “Women need to know how to find products with the right ingredients for their skin type.” It’s no wonder these two young women and certainly Bovanti Cosmetics are highly sought out to provide seminars, makeup classes, interviews and training videos. Through the Bovanti National Beauty Tour, Bovanti is encouraging women to look beautiful naturally. Bovanti Cosmetics is destined to become a household name, at least if the Bohannon sisters have anything to do with it. There are already plans to open more stores in North Carolina and make Bovanti a household name throughout the community. For the sisters, the business has definitely grown and changed since those college years, but the dedication, desire and most importantly the Bovanti gold standard of excellence and state-of-the-art products and services have prevailed.


Bovanti Cosmetics & Spa 219 Four Seasons Town Center Greensboro, NC (336)299-0109

Marquis applies Bovanti shadow quad to Diane Smith


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May/June 2010


want to advertise? call (336)340-7844

Greensboro, North Carolina

Change Requires A Vision, A Plan, And Some Action


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Howard Gaither Photography

elmar Little says when he first laid eyes on Shatonie nearly 20 years ago, she was dropping off her younger brother to get a haircut at the very same shop where he was working. Unbeknownst to her, he attempted to introduce himself way back then but he says it was too late; she had pulled off before he could reach her. As fate would have it, in 2008 their paths would cross again at a softball game where she played second base and Delmar umpired. Shatonie jokes that he has been chasing her ever since that day when she hit a triple and ran the bases under his watch. Shatonie Reaves is a native of Greensboro and Delmar Little hails from Aurora, N.C. which is also known as “Little Washington”. As a self described ‘Daddy’s Girl’, Reaves has worked with her father doing commercial, residential, and industrial construction

since age 14. This work involved pouring concrete, painting, operating heavy equipment, structural steel, tile work and carpentry. Little is a country boy who grew up under the wings of his grandfather, William Henderson Little, who owned a logging business and farm. The nickname “Coukislam” was adopted by his grandfather, passed on to him, and now serves as his business name, Coukislam Barbershop, Inc. This joint venture combines Little’s farm experience and passion for barbering with Reaves’ construction experience and business knowledge. These qualities are enhanced by both partners strong work experience. continued on page 20

18 November/December 2010

Coukislams Barbershop Incorporated

November/December 2010


continued on page 20 Reaves is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in mass communication and a minor in theater technology. She played basketball, volleyball, and bowled for A&T, worked as an on-air radio personality for eight years and behind the scenes in television for nine years. Little got his start in the front yard of his mother’s house using a picnic table, a shade tree and a pair of clippers, he attended Winston Salem Barber School. For the 20 years he has operated as a professional barber, he has always considered himself a business owner. “A barber at work behind a chair is considered a self-employed individual,” states Little. “Sure your boss is the owner of the building and you have to pay a weekly chair rental fee, but you’re also considered your own boss and set your own work schedule and work load.” Coukislam Barbershop, Inc. (a.k.a. Slam’s Barbershop, Inc.) was created to gather men, boys, and friends allowing them to share special moments in a place they would never forget. “It’s a new age barbershop with an old school atmosphere,” says Little. “It’s a unique barbershop that provides a safe and relaxed atmosphere for our barbers and our clients. Slam’s is a place where we employ good role models because we take pride in what we do and care about the future of the next generation, our kids.” The vision for Coukislams Barbershop was developed about 15 years ago. As an avid North Carolina Tar Heels fan, Little says he caught a lot of slack for being such. He decided to dedicate the entire front portion of his shop to the Tar Heels to give clients a greater opportunity to express how they really feel about them. Little says, “It drives people crazy and it’s worth every moment of it.” The back portion of the barbershop, in addition to a pool table for clients to enjoy, represents Duke, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest, Clemson and the University of Maryland. The setup at Slams Barbershop resembles a basketball court with the staff being the team players. In addition to a basketball court, there is free Wi-Fi and two high definition televisions with audio streamed throughout the facility. Slams Barbershop is a place that has everything for both the client and barbering staff. Little says that he thanks God for allowing him to open his shop without the assistance of loans. Even though they had to jump through hoops with plumbers, electricians, and city codes the vision has come to fruition. He says he was advised over the past 20 years by a lot of older gentlemen in the barbering profession, both directly and indirectly about life and what is required to achieve his goals. This advice Little says, also taught him how to treat his customer’s. The lessons continue to prove their worth even today.

Coukislams Barbershop, Inc. 510-E Nicholas Road Greensboro, N.C. 27409 (336)856-9618 20 November/December 2010

Delmar “Anyone can come and enjoy themselves. It’s a place where fathers can momentarily get away from their family, a terrible work day, or a stressful lifestyle. Yes, it’s true, a barbershop is a man’s country club. It’s a place where men can relax and be themselves. The pressure is lifted from a man’s chest once he leaves the barbershop with a great haircut. That’s what I really like about my job. If my team and I can make someone laugh or smile before he leaves the shop, then we at Slam’s Barbershop Incorporated have done our job.”

November/December 2010


Nathan Alston

22 November/December 2010


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Michael Logan Hill

athan Alston is a singer, actor, producer, director, promoter, playwright, dancer, choreographer and most recently an entrepreneur. He has shared the stage with everyone from Patti LaBelle to Luther Vandross. His performing arts career spans over 22 years. Alston’s craft has taken him around the globe from Europe to Australia and Fiji. He has toured with world renowned theater companies and his name has become synonymous with great performing art and quality entertainment. Nevertheless, despite all of Alston’s accolades and accomplishments his motivation comes from something much simpler yet deeply gratifying. “Knowing that I can brighten someone’s day or be a blessing to someone makes me love what I do that much more. That is what drives me,” says Alston. Born Roland D. Alston, Jr. Nathan is his stage name, and whether he’s called Nathan, Nate, Roland or Ro, all of which he humbly answers to; he’s still the cool guy next door that happens to be a fantastic performing artist. A local favorite, born and raised in Pleasant Garden, N.C., he has paid his dues and has spent many years in the trenches. While his professional career has spanned two decades, Alston has always been performing. Whether he was singing in the church choir or performing alongside Tony Award winning artists, his gift has always been revealed. “Many people ask, How does such a small guy produce such a big voice? Well it all started in church when I was maybe four or five years old,” says Alston. “For years I led songs in the junior choir at St. John Baptist in Climax, N.C. I would also sing every year at the Deep River Sunday School Convention. My grandmother Ceola Alston would always load up the car with grandchildren (and other people’s children) and we’d go to the convention...all day!” However, the joyous stage plays and authentic music that Alston graciously shares with the world may never have been conceived if it had not been for those early years of time well spent singing for the Lord. At a very young age Alston was diagnosed with a life threatening disease that kept him in and out of the hospital often months at a time. Nevertheless, as Alston grew he continued to sing and his family continued to pray for his healing. He recounts being at a church service with his grandmother where he was completely healed. At the amazement of the doctors, the disease could no longer be found. “The doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t live past 15 years old,” says Alston. Since then Alston has been unstoppable. He credits his mother, Shirley Alston and high school teachers Cassandra Williams and Maggie Gallagher as well as Mabel Robinson, artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and Donna Bradby, a North Carolina A& T State University theatre professor for his success. He titles them all as the leading ladies of his career. The veteran artist has a list of credits a mile long, but his most recent projects are what have the performing arts community buzzing. From Love Machine the Musical to Dreams of a King: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Hello My Name is JOE (A Children’s Show), Alston is developing and building his own personal production and publishing empire. He has three shows that he has totally written, produced, directed and choreographed and two in which he starred. His productions are nothing short of amazing. The precisely choreographed dance moves of Love Machine the Musical are absolutely astounding. The record-breaking, top–selling tribute celebrating classic Motown and soul will have music and arts lovers quickly swaying to the ensemble’s astonishing, harmonic tunes of the time and laughing to tears with Sweet Daddy Love, the lead character who doses the audience with a bit of comedic banter and real life love advice. Spectators are admonished, “What goes on in Sweet’s house, stays in Sweet’s house.” Viewers are even cajoled to participate. The play simply draws the audience into a time when music had substance and was able to bridge any divide. Performed locally at the Barn Dinner Theatre, Love Machine became the top pre-selling show in the theater’s history and the demand for the play shows no sign of stopping. “When Ric Gutierrez, producer of the Barn Dinner Theatre, approached me in 2006 with the idea of [me] writing a classic Motown show, I jumped at it,” says Alston. While Love Machine continues to draw massive crowds, Alston’s Dreams of a King: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. posed the challenge of presenting the life and story of such a great man without overwhelming viewers with historical facts. Alston took several months to prepare for the show. After much time spent researching he finally had the play ready or so he thought. “Lots and lots of studying took place. Many “first” drafts. Three months later I was finally finished! A great script, but still, something didn’t sit right with me. I had Dr. continued on page 24


continued from page 23 King as the lead and many great ensemble roles written, but something was missing,” says Alston. “It was three weeks before rehearsals were to begin. I prayed about it and God gave me the answer in a dream. I immediately rewrote the entire script, adding a new lead character, five additional songs for the show, including the title hit “Dreams of a King” and a few days later we started rehearsals. Instead of having Dr. King tell the story of his life, I introduced Shirley Jean Glover Mitchell Johnson, a lovable elderly woman who tells her story of her time well spent with a famed King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The show was a hit! We first presented the show at the Barn Dinner Theatre in 2009 and in 2010. After that, it made its appearance at the Broach Theatre in downtown Greensboro” says Alston. What is most surprising about Alston’s production is that he is the mastermind behind the scenes. He even penned five original songs in Dreams of a King. Show or solo versions of the songs can be purchased. The projects are all composed and presented under the Naroshmi (pronounced Nah-roh-shmee) Theatre Company. “The Naroshmi Theatre Company is the new face of Nathan Alston Productions and offers nothing less than the best in professional talent,” says Alston with pride. “We introduce ourselves as a new kind of theatre company. We create and produce our own shows; we are the publisher and copyright holder of our own works [scripts and music] and we work with local studios in recording, mastering and producing our own music and commentary [for CDs], through the company’s own record label, Twyn Boi Records. We take much pride in our productions and performers, says Alston.” Alston understands the African American community has never been targeted as a culture that supports and patronizes the arts. Therefore, the Naroshmi Theatre Company has purposed to offer productions that have a special emphasis on the African American community. The theatre company supports and creates opportunities to introduce and teach diversity to a broader spectrum of people through the arts. Within the Naroshmi Theatre Company Alston has also launched The Naroshmi Project. As founder and overseer, he wanted to develop a sponsorship program designed to raise the necessary funding for future productions and the children’s theatre department as well as provide the means to produce other local and national aspiring playwrights and offer advanced career training. Providing funding for up and coming, aspiring performing artists is extremely near and dear to Alston’s heart. He believes the future of the arts is in the hands of our youth and all they need is someone to cultivate the gift that dwells inside; which is why he wrote Hello My Name is JOE. Four guys all named JOE act out awesome stories from their “Great Big Book of Stories.” The 40 minute show is packed with rhythm, audience participation and a lot of fun. “I love working with kids and I think that the arts should play a very important key role in their lives while growing up. Kids are like, for lack of a better word, balls of expression,” Alston excitedly says. “All tightly wound and ready to explode, full of energy and vigor, ready to take on any challenge. The arts are a perfect avenue for them to release all of their emotions and truly express who they really are. Whether it be through theatre, music, painting, dancing...whatever! The arts are very important in a young person’s life and they should be involved in it and exposed to it as much as possible.” For all those budding script writers who have awesome scripts but can’t get noticed, Naroshmi Theatre Company is the answer. The company understands your plight and will gladly review anyone’s script. If they feel it can be a hit, they will even produce and stage it. 24

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November/December 2010


Raleigh, North Carolina

Pastor Patrick & First Lady Pamela Wooden Upper Room COGIC

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him as a great Christian apologist and places him on the frontlines of religious battles where he continues to promote Jesus Christ into all spectrums of society. His involvement in societal issues such as fighting the homosexual agenda, protecting traditional marriage and the Keeping Christ in Christmas Campaign, has carried him into mainstream media. Most recently and notably, he has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and The O’Reilly Factor. Pastor Wooden serves as superintendent of the Greater Central District and is the administrative assistant to Bishop Leroy J. Woolard in the Greater North Carolina jurisdiction. A renowned national speaker, Wooden is known for his uncompromising preaching and teaching of messages that transcend all cultural and denominational barriers. He is a pastor, teacher, evangelist, prolific conference speaker and builder of strong men who boldly preaches about issues that affect today’s society. First Lady Pamela Wooden, is a renowned and active leader within the ministry. She is the director of the women’s ministry, which has 22 auxiliaries. She serves as the vice president and oversees the human resources and administrative departments. She is the president of the board of directors for the Upper Room Christian Academy & Preschool with a staff of 50 employees that is steadily growing.


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Upper Room COGIC

astor of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, N.C. Patrick L. Wooden, Sr. has devoted his life to serving God and the building up of His kingdom. Born in Rockingham, N.C., and saved at the very young age of 16, Wooden attended Fayetteville State University where he was called to preach the word of God. He later joined the Temple COGIC under the tutelage of Superintendent James H. Turner. In 1982, Pastor Wooden founded Lighthouse COGIC and served there for nine years. He has served for 18 years as pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ alongside his wife of 25 years, Pamela McNeil Wooden. In 1992, due to the phenomenal growth of the ministry, God led him to build the first COGIC sanctuary in Raleigh. In 1996, he led the church in building its current sanctuary, a 2,000 seat edifice. Under his leadership the Upper Room church has reached a membership of more than 2,400 members, and is steadily growing. Early in the ministry the Lord commissioned Pastor Wooden to build a Christian school for children to receive the highest quality education, free of the world’s humanistic ideologies, while providing for their total development. Students would be taught to know the God of the Bible and the glory of his son, Jesus Christ. That vision became a reality in August 2001, with the completion of the James H Turner Educational Building, a 66,000 square foot facility. The Upper Room Christian Academy and Preschool is housed on the 16 acre campus of the Upper Room COGIC. The academy has a fully equipped, NBA regulated gymnasium. The state-of-the-art computer lab is utilized for technological training and advancement. The academy has a spacious media center, a commercial cafeteria, and a highly qualified faculty and administration. This Christ centered place of excellence provides a full range of educational and extracurricular opportunities under-girded by the teaching of Biblical principles.

First Lady Wooden is also a sought after speaker in the area of women’s ministry. Many souls, women in particular, have been saved, healed and enlightened by her unique and insightful delivery of the word of God. She is full of wisdom and God has truly gifted her to deal with the issues that affect women. She considers her greatest accomplishment to be her successful marriage to a wonderful and powerful man of God and the rearing of their two children, Crystal and Patrick Jr. She is saved and loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all her heart. She and Pastor Wooden truly live by the principle of GOD FIRST.

Due to the phenomenal growth of the ministry, in 1992 God led him to build the first COGIC sanctuary in Raleigh. In 1996, he led the church in building its current sanctuary, a 2,000 seat edifice. Under his leadership the Upper Room church has reached a membership to over 2,400, and is steadily growing.

Pastor Wooden has been the recipient of numerous awards for his continuous efforts to support people and the community. These awards include, but are not limited to, the “Humanitarian of the Year” award and the “Religious Leader of the Year” award. His allegiance to Christianity esteems

November/December 2010


Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina Freedom Monument All information provided by the NC Freedom Monument parts of the state. Town meetings were then held from Asheville to Elizabeth City and culminated at a statewide conference in Raleigh that summer. Solid contact had been made with representative citizens of the state. An early outgrowth of this grassroots activity was to reach school children with the spirit of the project. Thanks to additional funds from various foundations, individuals and arts agencies, a web-based curriculum focusing on well-known North Carolina African Americans and events have been developed in cooperation with the Department of Public Instruction. This curriculum is available to all teachers and can be adapted for all ages of children. It can be used in conjunction with school visits to the capital. The curriculum can be downloaded from the NCFMP website ( and is available on CD. In 2004, the Paul Green Foundation made a significant donation to launch NCFMP as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. More about the project, board of directors, advisory board members and staff can be seen on the NCFMP website. Distinguished historian John Hope Franklin is chair of the resourceful advisory board. An international search to identify artist to design and build the artwork began. A jury of distinguished artists, architects and other professionals assembled to judge proposed designs. Of the 108 entries from all over the world, the jury selected a Chapel Hill artist team – multimedia artist Juan Logan, landscape architect David Swanson and art historian Lyneise Williams. With information and ideas from the town meetings in a document entitled Communicating the Project’s Vision and Voice, the Logan team created a marvelous mixture of words and shapes, in stone and water, along walls and sloped walkways (Uphill Struggle), winding through a grove of trees, passing a reading bench (Literacy is Freedom) and coming to an amphitheater with quilt pattern seating – all of which express words and images of freedom.

John Hope Franklin


Advisory Board Chair Duke University

n Barbados, the grandson of the well-known humanist Paul Green, witnessed the awesome statue of a man breaking his shackles and becoming free. This 1960 monument, memorializing the 100th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s emancipation of slaves, inspired him in 2001 to persuade the Paul Green Foundation to start a Freedom Monument Project for North Carolina. The mission of the project is to create and strengthen bonds between diverse people and to conceive, finance and create a lasting and fitting public tribute to freedom as especially expressed in North Carolina by the African American experience. It will take the form of a public monument park on a large corner space near the State Legislative Building and State Library – a location visited annually by thousands of tourists and school children. The project leaders agreed to begin the journey toward a monument by gathering personal ideas and experiences relating to the concept of “freedom” from persons of all races and ages across the state. The goal was to communicate these impressions to artists who would propose ways to express them through public art that would educate and inspire those who view it. The first step was to seek advice from people who might have a stake in seeing a freedom monument created in our state. Other neighboring states have already erected a variety of statues and memorials in their capitals that reflect the progress of African Americans, but it was hoped that North Carolina would find a unique way to both honor the past and ensure a promising future. In 2002, 50 community leaders from across the state gathered for a daylong meeting to develop a strategy that would take this grassroots idea to all


The site in the state government complex provides both history lessons and contemplations about the future for all who visit here. It will both inspire visions of the struggles for freedom and spur optimism in the continuing quest by the many diverse individuals and disparate groups of persons who desire to participate fully in society. The “Freedom Grove,” as it may be called, is a fascinating design of a space that will attract students, scholars and sightseers alike, all drawn in by inviting entries, walkways and eye-catching points of interest. A visitor will want to learn more about the historical events and symbols of the numerous struggles for freedom. The challenging ideas and issues embedded in textual quotes will beg for answers in today’s context. There are remembrances of the underground railway and Jim Crow times, of school integration and breakthrough accomplishments by African American leaders, and there are places for today’s citizens to sit and contemplate the wonder of freedom (unfinished work). The park will be the site of public gatherings of all sorts – school children visits and picnics, docent tours, poetry readings, music events and celebrations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and other ceremonial events. All year programming of educational events will cause the students to the Monument again and again. The immediate challenge, of course, is to find sources of funding. North Carolina’s political leaders have seen the value of this project. With support from several groups, an appropriation of $100,000 toward the fabrication and construction of the monument was approved in 2007 by the North Carolina State Legislature, passing the funds through the Department of Cultural Resources. This grant, and the excitement of the monument as an enduring place of great public interest, has stimulated the promise of private gifts, notably a $100,000 gift and an additional $100,000 challenge pledge from Paul Green, Jr., and his wife, Skip. The project’s board of directors plans to

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launch a statewide capital campaign in the coming months to raise the funds to construct and maintain the monument. The target figure is $3.5 million, which will include $2 million for the art work and construction, plus an additional $1 million for perpetual maintenance of the monument and ongoing programming for the community; additional money is budgeted for operations, including public relations and facilitating the capital campaign. At the November 2007 board meeting a contract was signed with the Logan Team for the Schematic Design phase of the artwork. The fundraising consultant presented a strategic fundraising plan. Capital campaign co-liaisons Jaki Shelton Green and Marsha Warren were introduced. The meeting was also significant since it was the beginning of the newly enlarged 33-member Board that now represents all geographic areas of the state. The North Carolina Freedom Monument – an idea that began as a personal inspiration and was engendered by Paul Green’s human rights legacy – has become a grassroots movement and is now in the process of becoming a special landmark in our State capital. The magnificent design has been chosen, the prime site is awaiting approval and now, fundraising is underway that will assure its completion.

Ascending Columns


Jim Crow Wall

Lane Street Approach

Reading Bench

November/December 2010


Greensboro, North Carolina

Celebrating 10 Years

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Howard Gaither Photography


elicia Poteat and Perfect Image Salon are celebrating their ten year anniversary. On the fourth day of November in 2000, Poteat opened her doors at 609 State Street, Suite 502-A in Greensboro with one objective; to promote healthy hair in a clean, professional environment while still creating new looks based on their clients lifestyle. Poteat, a native of Greensboro relocated to Atlanta, Ga. in 1985 after graduating from Smith High School. In Atlanta she pursued a degree in computer information systems at DeVry Institute of Technology. After working in her field for ten years and learning that corporate America was not quite her forte, she was inspired to change her career path and embark on her childhood dream of being a cosmetologist. She attended Atlanta Technical Institute and received her cosmetology and barbering license. After only two years of working as a hairstylist, she was able to open Perfect Image Hair Salon.

Felicia Poteat Perfect Image Hair Salon

Poteat says being a salon owner has been a great experience and she’s very fortunate to have found dedicated and loyal people to work along side her. “We are like family,” she says. Most of her team has been with her for at least seven years including Kim Shoffner, Nikki Smith, Felita Briggs, Regina Mumford and Jessie Sloan. The stylist’s of Perfect Image believe that once a client is served, they will notice a difference. The company motto, “The Difference Looks Good on You” is a testimony to that belief. Poteat explains, “We believe that everything is not for everybody. We will analyze the hair and lifestyle of each client to come up with a hairstyle just for them. We also retail the products that we use in order to create a joint effort to keep your hair as healthy and salonfinished as possible.” “Ten years is an accolade and it also gives you a chance to reflect on what you have done in the past and where would you like to be in the next five or ten years,” says Poteat. “We have added new services such as waxing, facials, eyelash extensions and reflexology.” As the salon celebrates its anniversary, various specials on products and services will be offered along with events honoring their loyal clients of ten years. An event is also planned ten months later for all clients. “Without our customers and favor from God, we would not have been able to make it thus far,” Poteat says.

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Kim Shoffner This Virginia native is inspired by her love of people. Before uniting with Poteat nearly ten years ago, she attended Dudley Cosmetology University. Her specialities are natural hair, creative styles and formal events. Her passion doesn’t end with healthy hair, but with the overall health and well being of her clients.

“The Difference Looks Good on you. We believe that everything is not for everybody. We will analyze your hair and lifestyle to come up with a hairstyle that is customized just for you.”

Nikki Smith Nikki, a Greensboro native, was initially inspired by her mothers’ hairstylist, Charlz Henry (who was also Poteat’s first stylist). After high school she embarked on her career by attending Dudley Beauty College. With over 12 years of experience, Smith specializes in an array on hairstyles from updo’s, colors, cuts and hair replacement.

Felicia Poteat

Felita Briggs

Regina Mumford

Inspired by her enjoyment of doing family members’ hair, Felita became a professional in 1997. She has been a part of the team since 2003. She enjoys working with all lengths of hair and says her skills are best exhibited with styles for special occasions. She is a native of Chatam, Va.

Perfect Image Hair Salon 609 State St. Suite 502-A Greensboro, N.C. 27405 (336) 389-0130 Open Tues-Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Jessie Sloan Retiring after 30 years at Lucent Technology, Sloan was introduced to the wonderful world of reflexology in 2004 and received her certification in reflexology from Natural Touch School of Massage in Greensboro. A native of Greensboro, she has always had the gift of touch and has enjoyed helping people, especially the elderly. Reflexology has opened up a whole new world for her; not only massaging the feet and hands but learning techniques in the art of healing naturally.

November/December 2010

A native of Philadelphia, by way of Danville, Va., Mumford is the newest stylist to Perfect Image. She brings diversity to her chair which includes men, women and children. She specializes in healthy hair, maintaining and styling natural hair and offering an array of styling techniques that will fit any customer’s needs. She attended Dickerson Beauty School and was inspired by her mother and grandmother who were both hairstylists. She has practiced hair care since the age of 14 but has been a licensed professional since 1996.


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November/December 2010


Greensboro, North Carolina



olanda Turner

Head Turnerz Styling Studio

1325 South Elm Eugene Street Greensboro, NC


36 November/December 2010


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Howard Gaither Photography

olanda Turner, a.k.a. the “Weava Diva”, owner and operator of Head Turnerz Styling Studio in Greensboro, N.C., was born in Fayetteville but raised in Lexington, N.C. She attended Dudley Cosmetology College where she obtained her cosmetology license. With 13 years of hair styling experience she has served as an artistic technician for Ashtae hair product company for four years. Described as outgoing, fun and humble, her hard work and go-getter mentality has elevated her as a trendsetter in the hair industry. “My business is turning heads,” says Yolanda Turner. “At Head Turnerz Styling Studio we offer complete makeovers from head to toe. Our clients can get hair and makeup, health, wardrobe and accessory design services.” Typical clients range from college students to professionals who desire to look good. Catering to everyone from all ethnicities and backgrounds, Turner states she has noticed an increase in clients transitioning to natural hair styles. Visit Head Turnerz to get a temporary character flip or a dash of spice in your personality with weave additions or full commercial hair. Turner says healthy hair is the first priority of her salon. Head Turnerz is a vision from God that manifested from a push and to stand on her own two feet to make the right choices to do business differently. “It was important to me to have a business that was professional and through faith and determination; I moved from a partnership into a two chair salon, says Turner. However she soon realized her business was quickly outgrowing that location only after two months and soon moved into a neighboring four chair salon. This year, Turner opened the doors of a seven chair salon, fully staffed and quickly growing with an abundance of clients. Under her leadership, Head Turnerz reflects the hard work and dedication that is required to be successful. “I try to lead by example. I personally know what it is like to juggle a lot at once,” she says. Many of her stylists are just starting to work in the salon and work an extra job to make ends meet, also to school and manage the responsibilities of their families. Building clientele is an important component of the hair styling profession. Turner says she advises her staff to be thankful for the clients they have and remain hopeful for new ones. Every stylist depends on clients to come in on time and keep their appointments, a cancellation or rescheduling can create a financial lack. She firmly believes that regardless of your appointment book, you have to be in the salon and ready to work to make money. “You have to catch the attention of new clients when you’re not at work,” she says. “Everybody who sees you is a potential client. Have your looks on point all of the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s your day off, you still have to be fly.” The staff at Head Turnerz invests much time and resources into establishing a good relationship with its community. They give back not only financially, but by opening their salon doors to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, heart disease and weight control. They encourage advocates of these campaigns to share material and information with their clients. Head Turnerz also supports local businesses as well. “If someone has an event going on, we like for our clients to be informed,” she says. Other ways Head Turnerz gives back to the community is through sponsoring free “Welcome Back to School” hair do’s for school age children. This event is geared towards promoting self esteem and confidence at the beginning of the school year. They also donate school supplies to local child care centers and sponsor families from the Salvation Army for Christmas. Going forward, Turner says she would like to open up several Head Turnerz regional salons and continue to brand their name by competing in national hair styling competitions.

November/December 2010


Charlotte, North Carolina

Varnell Gray Exclusively Your Design

38 November/December 2010

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Brad McKenzie


he face behind Exclusively Your Design, a premier source for total event and special occasion designs is Varnell Gray. Founded in 2007, EYD specializes in floral creations and wedding décor. In addition, Gray focuses on the art of customizing events from vision to fruition and designing a very personal and unique occasion that will reflect his clients’ style and taste. Five years ago, Gray was a typical employee of one the largest banks in Charlotte, N.C. As the craving of entrepreneurship pulled at the strings of his mind, he gave in and decided to chase his dreams. He describes himself as daring and creative, but most importantly a man of integrity. A native of Chester, S.C., he is well known for having an eye for detail. Confessing that he is a man after God’s heart, he says that he is determined to accomplish all that God has planned for his life. Exclusively Your Design is just that. The vision of Gray’s clients are realized through the utilization of his gift. His staff of design consultant’s sole purpose is to patiently listen and create unique and exceptional experiences that will always be memorable. “We will create anything unique from intimate to extravagant blooms, props and draping,” Gray says. “I am always considerate to incorporate fine linen and table-scapes, along with the valued effects of romantic and dramatic lighting.” He says these services are available for corporate or small business events, personal milestone celebrations such as first birthdays, sweet 16’s, or graduation parties. In addition, he services baby showers, bridal parties, rehearsal dinners and bridal party brunches. With any event produced by Exclusively Your Design, a floral team of experienced design consultants will assist you with selecting and sculpting the perfect floral tapestry for a majestic day. “We design classic and sophisticated center pieces for your corporate or small business event ranging from the striking to the out-of-the ordinary and accommodate the sizeable to modest indoor or outdoor venues,” says Gray. Exclusively Your Design has serviced clients from as far as Baltimore, Md. to Atlanta, Ga. As word has spread about his business, Gray says he routinely travels throughout North Carolina. His flexibility allows him to work with all budgets and design a very personal and unique occasion. ‘Our creativity can sometime exceed the expectation that our clients have for themselves,” Gray admits. Keeping up with cutting edge trends in his industry allows Gray to consistently provide clients with the best possible service. The company explores and pursues all aspects of an event and gives it everything and more to deliver quality service. The focus is to commit to what the client wants, build lasting relationships, take the clients vision and values and give it life, and serve each client with integrity and purpose. In addition to being inspired by his parents, Gray says he was influenced by a former employer who required him to decorate and coordinate various meetings, conferences, banquets from beginning to end. Eventually, he says he would like to open a one stop elegant venue for all occasions that would include a breathtaking spot to host unforgettable weddings or receptions.

Exclusively Your Design 2135 Southwind Drive Charlotte, North Carolina (704)400-6449

November/December 2010


Raleigh, North Carolina


Janeen Stone November/December 2010


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Janeen Stone t’s a combination of things that adds value to the life of Janeen Stone. She credits her success to her family, her education and a sincere desire to achieve and complete whatever she starts. Her natural talent to translate her vision to canvas has allowed her to peek into the lives of others. By doing so, with each work she speaks a new message.

A Midwest native, she spent most of her life between Illinois and Michigan until moving to North Carolina to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There she obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Later attended Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh and received an associate’s degree in advertising and graphic design. Still an artist craving pulled at the strings of her heart, eventually setting off a river of expressions that has yet to subside. Stone says she does mostly realists paintings with a slight cartoonish appeal to them. “I enjoy using a combination of acrylic and printing ink. I love working with bright, bold colors and still find time to sketch on a daily basis,” she says. Ironically, Stone just began painting within the past two years. Without any formal training, she has been drawing as far back as she can remember. When she enrolled in school to study graphic design, she had to do a painting for a class project. “I stared at the blank canvas for what felt like hours because I had no idea what to paint. I had never painted before,” says Stone. “Finally, after about half hour, my professor told me to stop thinking and just start painting, and I haven’t stopped yet!”

Bille’s Blues Stone’s tribute to musician Billie Holiday and expression of her talent and the pain she endured as an artist.


The face of a lovely black woman surrounded by flowers. It represents peace and beauty of life, where it began and how it began.

Deeply influenced by her culture, surroundings, daily observations and lessons she has learned she’s inspired by individuals who have left their stamp on the world and had larger than life personalities such as Billie Holiday and Gil Scott Heron. She is also inspired by her favorite artist David Garabaldi, describing his work as phenomenal. Unless well established in the industry, there are not many venues where artist can display their work on a consistent basis. Stone says her greatest challenge is just getting her work seen. The average cost for a print by Janeen Stone generally runs between $100$400. Her most memorable piece she calls “Eden”. “It is the face of a lovely black woman surrounded by flowers. It represents the peace and beauty of life; where it began and how it began,” she states. Stone says she loves being a artist because she is able to stir up emotions in all types of people. “I love it when someone tells me why they think I painted a certain piece and how it made them feel. Being an artist never feels like a job, just pure enjoyment,” says Stone.

Janeen Stone

November/December 2010


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November/December 2010


High Point, North Carolina

A ’Faires Banquets and Events, LLC

Pictured from left to right are A’Faires owners John and Robin Archie McIntyre, Willie and Brenda McIntyre, and Lenore and Curtis “Amp”Bittle 202 Ardale Drive High Point, N.C. (336) 886-3370 44

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by Howard Gaither Photography

he entrepreneurship bug has truly bitten several of the six owners of A’Faires Events & Banquets in High Point. John and Robin Archie McIntyre have owned and operated Oak Hollow Enrichment Center for the past ten years and managed JMACK Properties 4 Rent, a real estate property management company also located in High Point. Curtis “Amp” and Lenore Bittle have owned and operated A&L Upholstery Furniture in High Point for 25 years. Then finally, Willie and Brenda McIntyre who have invested in A’Faires because of their desire to help people and to see them enjoy themselves. A’Faires Banquets & Events, LLC is a banquet and special events venue located off Business I-85 and Highway 311 in High Point. It offers over 6,000 square feet of space with two separate banquet rooms. The Grande Affair Room accommodates 200 guests for a sit down function with round tables or a floating cocktail party of 300 to 400 guests. The Intimate Affair Room accommodates 50 guests for a sit down function with round tables or a floating cocktail event of 60 to 70 guests. A’Faires is noted for its elegant decor, style and class. The company is fully capable of hosting weddings, receptions, holiday and birthday parties, proms, corporate functions, meetings, anniversary celebrations, social events, religious functions, networking functions, family and class reunions and bridal showers. A’Faires Banquets & Events provides full service catering and a full service wait staff. In addition to having all ABC licenses and permits, setup and cleanup comes at no additional charge. All tables, chairs, linens and china are included in the rental plus chair covers and centerpieces are available as well. There is assistance with vendor referrals such as DJs, photographers, and an outdoor facility for weddings and activities. An on-site professional event planner, Lenore Bittle, is always ready to service the needs of everyone, and there is on-site security through the High Point Police Department. A’Faires offers its clients a one stop shop experience. Having an on-site wedding and event planner, the client can come in and talk about their vision and discuss options including everything from colors to vendors. On most occasions, the client only has to show up once and everything is done for them. This is A’Faires claim to fame. “Customer satisfaction is the glue that makes or breaks a business,” say the owners. “We understand that word of mouth is the most important and valuable tool in our arsenal and how it affects the clients decision to return and refer new ones to us.” One of the biggest challenges faced by A’Faires was securing financing for a start-up venture. However, they didn’t allow this to deter them from the mission of opening and operating a banquet and special events venue. As partners, they came up with a game plan. Without losing focus they had to resort to selffinancing, which was a blessing in disguise. Due to not having any outstanding loans, they’ve worked really smart with their existing resources. The finished product is proof of their hard work and they now enjoy the fruits of their labor. It is their commitment to constantly improve the quality of service provided to all of their clients, acknowledging that if they do their part, longevity will follow. “Our clients are guaranteed honesty, integrity, reliability and the assurance of exceeding their expectations,” state the owners. “As a rule of thumb all quotes are provided in writing; no hidden charges, no hidden fees.”


Living Healthy

Piedmont Triad Health Services & Sickle Cell Agency Free Health Screenings for Diabetes, Chlosterol, Blood Pressure, HIV, Sickle Cell, Syphyllis, Breast and Prostate Cancer Visit the Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency on the internet at or call (336) 274-1507 or 1-800-733-8297 What is Sickle Cell Disease? Sickle Cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. It is the most common genetic disease in the US. Over 70,000 Americans have sickle cell disease. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia

when babies are born. The simple blood test will detect sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait. Other types of traits that may be discovered include: Hemoglobin C trait, Hemoglobin E trait, Hemoglobin Barts - which indicates an alpha thalassemia trait What is sickle cell trait? Sickle cell trait is a person who carries one sickle hemoglobin producing gene inherited from their parents and one normal hemoglobin gene. Normal hemoglobin is called type A. Sickle hemoglobin called S. Sickle cell trait is the presence of hemoglobin AS on the hemoglobin electrophoresis. This will NOT cause sickle cell disease. Other hemoglobin traits common in the United States are AC and AE traits.

Lunch & Learn to Prevent Illness Project

Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency has received a $6,100 award from the City of High Point, Community Development and Housing Department to fund a “Lunch & Learn to Prevent Illness Project”. The project goal is to raise awareness about health disparities that affect low/moderate-income and minority populations. Lunch & Learn to Prevent Illness is a 12 month project. It will provide an opportunity for targeted residents to gain health education through awareness sessions, access to free health screenings through PHSSCA’s existing clinic, as they discuss health issues in a comfortable, non-threatening environment. Lunch and Learn Sessions will occur at Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, 401 Taylor Avenue, High Point, NC on the third Thursdays of each month, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. as follows:

What Makes the Red Sickle Cell? There is a substance in the red cell called hemoglobin that carries oxygen inside the cell. One little change in this substance causes the hemoglobin to form long rods in the red cell when it gives away oxygen. These rigid rods change the red cell into a sickle shape.

Are there different types of sickle cell disease? There are three common types of sickle cell disease in the United States: 1. Hemoglobin SS or sickle cell anemia 2. Hemoglobin SC disease 3. Hemoglobin sickle beta-thalassemia

•Diabetes and Cholesterol 11/18/2010 11am-1pm

How do you get sickle cell anemia? You inherit the abnormal hemoglobin from both parents who may be carriers with sickle cell trait or parents with sickle cell disease. You can not catch it. You are born with the sickle cell hemoglobin and it is present for life.

Each of these can cause sickle pain episodes and complications, but some are more common than others. All of these may also have an increase in fetal hemoglobin which can protect the red cell from sickling and help prevent complications. The medication hydroxyurea also increases fetal hemoglobin.

•Cancer 02/17/11 11am-1pm

Is Sickle Cell only in African Americans? Sickle cell is in many nationalities including African Americans, Arabs, Greeks, Italians, Latin Americans and people from India. All races should be screened for this hemoglobin at birth. In the US, 1 out of 10 African Americans have sickle cell trait and 1 out of 625 newborns have the disease. How can I Test for Sickle Cell? A simple blood test called the hemoglobin electrophoresis can be done by your doctor or local sickle cell foundation. This test will tell if you are a carrier of the sickle cell trait or if you have the disease. Newborn Screening Most States now perform the sickle cell test


•Domestic/Intimate Violence 01/20/11 11am-1pm

•Debt Reduction/Homeowners 03/17/11 11am-1pm •Stress Awareness Month 04/21/11 11am-1pm •Stroke/Hypertension 05/19/11 11am-1pm •Migraine/Headaches 06/16/11 11am-1pm

Greensboro Office 1102 East Market Street Greensboro, N.C. 27401 (336)274-1507

High Point Office 401 Taylor Avenue High Point, N.C. 27260 (336)886-2437

Screenings available Every Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Every Thursday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Screenings available 1st & 3rd Thursday of every month 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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Barry Moody

Holiday Makes Turkey about 12-14 servings INGREDIENTS 12-14 pound whole turkey, thawed 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3 tablespoons Spice Delight All Purpose Essence 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning 1 tablespoon black pepper METHOD Rinse turkey, pat dry Place turkey in large basking pan Mix oil and all spices listed above in small bowl Rub mixture inside and outside turkey Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 24 hours to marinate Preheat oven to 350º - Remove plastic wrap Roast turkey 21/2 =3 hours or until internal temp is 180º Let turkey stand 10 minutes before carving Chef Barry’s Tip: Add two cups of water to bottom of roasting pan to retain moisture

November/December 2010


Greensboro, North Carolina Educational Feature

The Early Middle College High School at North Carolina A&T State University


he Early Middle College High School at North Carolina A&T State University was founded in 2003, as a collaborative effort of Guilford County Schools and NC A&T State University. It is the first all male high school in the state of North Carolina. Its mission is to graduate male students in the Guilford County Schools who were struggling to find success in the comprehensive high schools they attended and who were in danger of dropping out of school. It was the hope that with the many resources offered by the university, and especially those of the School of Education, that these at-risk students would, for the first time, experience a high level of academic success and would even be able to take some university courses. In January 2006, the Middle College applied for, and was awarded, a grant by the North Carolina New Schools Project to become a Learn and Earn School. Learn and Earn is a project funded through the Governor’s office that is creating Early College High Schools (ECHS) across the state. These schools are located on the campuses of institutions of higher learning (universities, colleges, and community colleges) and share the following major characteristics:

Style Guide for Guilford County Schools Logo

Eric Hines, Principal

• They are small (maximum of 400 students, and many are currently half that size). Small classroom sizes with a large class being 15 students. • They offer students in grades 9-12 a curriculum that guarantees a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit at no cost to parents of students who successfully complete the program. • They target middle school students (a) who are willing to accelerate their high school studies and begin taking college courses while they are still in high school, (b) who may prefer a small-school environment to that of a large comprehensive high school, (c) who may in fact be at risk of not thriving in a large high school, (d) who are under-represented in normal college student populations (e.g., first generation college-goers; low socioeconomic status).


The following information provided by Eric Hines: As a result of our vastly changing society and collaborative efforts with Guilford County Schools, North Carolina A&T, and NC New Schools Project, we felt the need to revisit our school’s vision and mission. No longer could we be content with just graduating young men from high school but rather we felt it was imperative that we prepared them for college and the 21st century. Thus, “Our mission is to provide a single-gender education that will establish a school culture raising educational achievement in an innovative, nurturing environment where young men are offered exceptionally challenging education opportunities that support academic development at the highest standard”. This was accomplished through a paradigm shift in our school. We began to utilize school wide strategies and practices that studies showed produced success in male students. The first thing I realized was in order for our school culture to produce the success we envisioned

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for our young men, we had to have the right staff members in place. It is vital that our staff members love “other people’s children” and do whatever is necessary to help them succeed. Our success as a school has everything to do with staff members buying into the mission and vision of the school. Through team meetings and professional learning community meetings, data is analyzed and decisions are made collaboratively to ensure success for our students and school as a whole. Secondly, we focused on creating and building strong relationships. The old adage that “children don’t care what you know, until they know that you care” was very evident in our school. Realizing that our students and parents are our customers caused us to look at how we do business in the area of customer service. As a principal, it was my goal to build teacher leaders in our school. In order to be an effective leader in any organization, one must be willing to serve. In modeling being a servant, we have created an environment where children feel confident, safe, and enjoy coming to school every day. When the culture of our school improved, so did the attitudes of the students, which produced successes academically. Thirdly, the instructional practices implemented in our school produced success in our male students. We have made a concerted effort to move away from “sit and get”. Through renovating our classroom instruction we moved to best practices that fostered success in male students. Through utilizing powerful teaching and learning strategies, movement, and technology, we have seen monumental improvement in the learning of our students. We have seen our school turn around in two short years, thus enjoying great successes with students who in any other environment may have become a statistic. We have grown from a low performing high school to one who has achieved high growth and AYP (Annual Yearly Progress). We have a graduation rate of 96.4 percent, of which 99 percent were African American males. In 2009-2010 school year, we graduated 22 seniors. Out of the 22 young men, 21 were accepted into college or a university. One young man opted to enlist in the United States Air Force. Our SAT scores have increased by an average of 294 points which was the second highest growth in the district in 2009. The future is very promising for our young men who attend the Early Middle College at North Carolina A&T. No longer do they feel that the most they can hope for is a high school diploma. Our young men know that they have options after high school. We do not spend a lot of time looking into the rear view mirror. Our young men enjoy the panoramic view of the windshield because it gives them a greater perspective of where they can go. Regardless of the obstacles and stereotypes unfairly thrust upon our young men, they know that “We get even by succeeding”. 105 Hodgin Hall NC A&T State University 1601 East Market Street Greensboro, North Carolina 27411 Telephone: (336) 691-0941 (336) 691-0941 Fax: (336) 691-0952 School Hours: 9:45am - 4:25pm Serving male students in the 9th through 12th grade.

November/December 2010


K and F Detail

Maria Hicks-Few Owner

automotive 24

Ask yourself.. Are my Human Resources in order? Are my people and processes being effectively managed? Call us to find out.... (336)883-1412


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Oscar Ad

November/December 2010


Graphic Design & Advertisment

Tastes Better Than Ice Cream



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Winston Salem


Screen Printing for t-shirts, caps, sports wear, jacketws and more for company outings, church functions, sporting events, team clubs, Festivals, schools, reunions, etc.

3714 Indiana Ave Winston-Salem, NC (336)725-3840

TMF Photography The Digital Experience


Celebrating 10 Years of Service

Getting Married? Call us now!

609 State St. Suite 502-A Greensboro, NC 27405 (336)389-0130 Follow us on Facebook


Gail M. Crawford VP of BSC Bank 704.891.8409



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November/December 2010


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