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For Connoisseurs & Conscious Living This magazine is called TWELVE to note its monthly presence, only TWELVE times a year. Also, and more importantly, TWELVE is a symbol of time. So it represents timely information and the central point by which life events are measured. And of course, timepieces are part of the finer things, perfect for our core readers in pursuit of sophisticated living. Welcome to TWELVE.


Volume II, Issue III


MARCH 2014

 Kristina Griffin, Army DON’T MISS

Welcome to THREE!

 Calendar 50

TWELVE Magazine is part of the network. Owned by H.G.E. Marketing, LLC. (H.G.E.). Views & opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of H.G.E. or contributors.

Staying in tune with giving you timely information, we bring you the people making moves today. For Women’s History Month, we have a special feature on women whose professions are out of the norm. Explore the content, style and more. Remember, beyond the digital or print experience, TWELVE is interactive, so get involved and engage at our live events too!


Lenora Payne

Thanks for joining us for another BIG issue of TWELVE. We call this issue, THREE. If you’re just catching up, our issues are numbered, so rather than focus just on the month, we want you to be sure to read issues at any time.


Kevin Henderson 8

You have an opportunity to contribute to the content by writing, submitting story suggestions, and of course, attending the launch events and more. Contact us at to get involved and send us feedback, too! Sincerely,

Pastor McIntosh

Ken L





What’s Different? Read It & Experience it Live Money UFSC


Career: WOMEN 30

Carla Wilson



Though a lifestyle publication isn’t unique, TWELVE evolves the genre. It’s the only magazine that you both read and live. We set out to create more than a literary piece. We’ve merged both the online world and the live event into the “magazine experience”. Once a month, we release a new issue of the magazine. The release is paired with a live launch event on First Fridays, where the feature elements and characters of our magazine are brought to life for you to touch, taste, feel and experience. The live experience becomes part of gathering ground of additional stories, photos, and more for the final written magazine.


SPECIAL THANKS To all of Our Writers, Designers, Planners, Contributors, Advertisers & Supporters of Xii.

Ken L. Lena Banks Shemeka Cockerm Eryn Davis-Hayter


DJ Franklin Jasmine Jackson Raye Jackson Katrina Leonard Clarence Lomax Iman Lott Sherry Lumpkins LeAndrea Mack Marlo Marable Randi McCreary

FEATURED THIS MONTH: Myrina Roark Model #2635773

Carlanda McKinney Gary Mitchell Casie Murff Tiffaney Oakes Corey Phillips

Danie Hawkins Flaunt Esthetic 816.419.4935 3535 Broadway Kansas City, Mo 64111

Earl Smith Anna Thomas-Rios LaToya Traylor Tony Van Trece

Cee Cee’s Sweet Creations 816.686.6738

A’Yanna Gilmore Webster Jessikha Williams Christopher White


A’Yanna Gilmore Webster Speaker, Author, & Certified life coach., Facebook/twitter @Dr_ayanna.




ith revenue in doubledigit millions, it’s not hard for Lenora Payne to garner the attention of entrepreneurs, students and inquiring minds of all backgrounds when she’s speaking. She was certainly drew the interest of TWELVE magazine. Surely, we thought, securing her wisdom will require a team conference, 3-day lecture or convening a think tank to get to the essence of her success, but it’s simple to Payne. “Don’t let your customers down”, she says. Yes. A simple “customer centric” approach has enabled her to achieve beyond even her wildest dreams and modest upbringing in Kansas City, Kansas.

sales support and human resources. Prior to founding TGS, Payne held positions at GE Capital Information Technology Solutions, MicroAge Computer Center, and other I/T resellers in various senior positions. TGS provides superior customer service and unmatched value due in part to their strong vendor relationships and strategic partnerships. TGS has been recognized and received the following awards: 2013 Top Small Business, Supplier of Year, Fastest-Growing Area Business, MBE Supplier of the Year, Kansas Woman-Owned Business, Top Area MinorityOwned Business , 25 Under 25 and others.

“Don’t let your customers down.”

Lenora Payne, President, established Technology Group Solutions, LLC (TGS) in 2005, based on her belief in providing a full spectrum of information technology infrastructure solutions with integrity, honesty, dependability and a customer centric philosophy. She’s the majority owner of a company of just over thirty employees, and brings in nearly forty million dollars a year. She credits the company’s success to having a great team where everyone plays to their strengths, but all of the work is centered on the customers’ needs.

Payne began her career in Information Technology over 25 years ago in the word processing data equipment field. Her background includes operations management, employee training,


Payne has attended the Kellogg School of Management and completed the Kauffman FastTrac Growth Venture. She has also received various sales and technical certifications in the field of Information Technology. While growing its client base, TGS has also expanded its community footprint, supporting a number of organizations, such as the Project Warmth, United Way, Hospital Foundations, NFL Alumni “Caring for Kids” and various others. Additionally, Payne serves on committees for the MidAmerica Minority Supplier Development Council and Reach Out and Read. (Continued on page 7)

Lenora Payne You Could Learn A Million Things From TGS’s President

Tony Keith Scott and Tierra Love

Payne and TGS infuse the work with a sense of respect for themselves, their clients and the community around them. “We respect ourselves and others, and believe that individuals that are treated with respect and given responsibility will respond by giving their best.”

certifications for women, minority and disadvantaged business. Moreover, to budding entrepreneurs, Payne closes her lesson on success with this. “Be different. Find your niche.” Above all, it’s service. “If you say you’re going to do something, follow through.” Class dismissed.

Payne encourages people to seize opportunities to network, build relationships, and take advantage of 7

The College Basketball Experience Kevin Henderson, CEO

By Lena Banks


magine being in the stands at a college basketball game and your team is 2.9 seconds away from winning the championship title. There are tons of screaming fans all wearing matching school colors and chanting for the home team to pull out the victory. In the stands across from the visiting bench, you spot a group of 18 year old men, their bodies and faces painted, and they are swaying back and forth revving up the crowd behind them. That infectious excitement is the key element that Kevin Henderson, CEO of the College Basketball Experience, knew would take this collegiate Hall of Fame to the next level.


The College Basketball Experience (CBE) is the home of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and is located adjacent to the Sprint Center of Downtown Kansas City. The 41,500 square ft., two-level building celebrates the game of college basketball and encompasses the rich history of the sport dating back over 100 years. Conversely, the CBE is more than a Hall of Fame museum. It is a multi-faceted facility that provides highly interactive basketball exhibits for visitors to partake in such as a slam dunk court, free-throw booths, a sportscasting desk, as well as a center court for high-spirited play. Henderson believes the interac8

tive element is, “the engine that makes CBE go� and keep visitors coming back. In addition, the CBE operates as an attractive event space for corporate events, and parties throughout the year.

Kevin Henderson was appointed CEO of the CBE upon its inception in October of 2007. However, becoming the CEO was not an overnight endeavor; it was 25 years in the making attributed to hard work, long hours, and perseverance. Henderson came from humble beginnings. He was born and raised in Kansas City, MO to parents John T. & Vedrene Henderson whom he accredits being the driving force behind the heights he has reached. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1987 as an Economics major. Upon graduation, Henderson had no idea he would have a thriving career in the sports industry but he always had aspirations of running an enterprise. He got his start with the Kansas City Royals in 1990 working as the front desk staff and started his climb to the top of the mountain from there. Jim Haney, Executive Director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), reached out to Henderson in 1992 while Henderson was working as the Assistant Director of Public Relations for the Royals. Haney was building his (Continued on page 15)



Just Believe

Lia McIntosh


Words, Shemeka Cockerm


ucky me!!! On a brisk Tuesday afternoon I was able to have a chat with Pastor Lia McIntosh ,which is quite a feat considering her schedule. However, she was gracious, and made time, which is just in her character.

biblical scripture. Her non-traditional style is very welcoming. It allows all to feel accepted, just the way they are, which is the nature of her church. She told me “It is important that I inspire people to want to come to Christ in my daily life.”

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Pastor Lia, as she is affectionately known by her congregation, is a wife, a mother of three young children, and the Senior Pastor of two churches, Renaissance United Methodist Church on Longview Rd., and St. Luke's United Methodist Church on James A. Reed Rd. Both churches serve the Hickman Mills School District and surrounding area.

During our chat, we were able to discuss a number of topics that included her views on the breakdown of the family structure and community today, reality shows like The Pastors of L.A. , and how the media affects modern ideology. It was a great discussion of modern life, pop culture, and possible solutions. Pastor Lia is very down to earth and a conversation with her is comfortable on just about any subject.

From the outside looking in, you would believe that Pastor Lia has more hours in a day than the rest of us; especially considering her ministry, separate churches and the fact that her youngest child is still a baby. I was intrigued and asked her how she was able to manage all of her responsibilities with such ease. She quickly assured me that “being a superwoman is a myth” and attributes her ability to handle it all to her relationship with God, a strong partnership with her husband, and a support system of family and friends. She also sets strong boundaries and prioritizes her life in an order that I would personally agree with-that is, God first, her family, which she considers her greatest ministry, and then her congregation and the world around her.

It has always been my thought that as a minister you would probably have to take on other peoples’ energy, so out of concern and curiosity, I ask the reverend “who ministers to you, Pastor Lia? Who covers you?” I learned that she has a whole team of people who keep her spiritually, mentally and emotionally sound. She also has a ministry coach, just like singers have a vocal coach, and athletes have a coach. That was refreshing to learn. She also takes time for herself and does not neglect the opportunity to just be still and quiet, or read a good book.

If you have ever had the opportunity to hear this lady preach, you might be shocked by all of the power that comes from her small frame. She stands very bold, and confident in the Lord as the word goes forth. She has a great vision, a prophetic voice, and a heavenly anointing. Her message delivery seem tailored to individual parishioners. The words are relevant, contemporary yet she never strays from


Near the end of our conversation, I asked for advice to readers who may be struggling, so I asked Reverend McIntosh if she had personal disappointments. If so, what was her go to emotion at that time? Was it blame, self-depreciation, or was should able to manage through it as an opportunity for growth? She admitted that there was a situation that stood out in her mind in which she felt all of those emotions and relayed some of her personal history. Pastor Lia knew that she wanted to be a mom, but during the first four years of her marriage she (Continued on page 13)

Photographers. Get Featured!


“being a superwoman is a myth” and attributes her ability to handle it all to her relationship with God, a strong partnership with her husband, and a support system of family and friends.”

passed and she had resolved that she would be content even if she were not a biological mother. Yet surprisingly, after nine years of marriage she became a biological mother even though doctors assured her that it would never happen. Now she has three children that are a part of her personal testimony. She honors God’s perfect timing. It is always comforting to know that the person in the pulpit actually understands hardships, unmet desires, and what it takes to stay faithful. What we know about this

(Continued from page 11)

was content with enjoying her husband and all of the wonderful things that come with just being a married couple. When she and her husband decided that they wanted to start a family, she was told by doctors that she would not be able to conceive. It was during this time that she really realized that we are not in control of everything. She grew closer to God, and made her request to be able to bring forth life, but her ultimate prayer was that His will be done. More time

lady now is only the tip of the iceberg. She accepted her calling, and she left her corporate career behind. She is a powerhouse in the community and in the pulpit. She has a great heart, strong leadership skills, and her life’s work is to bring people to Christ. 13


Mykell Vaughn


LaToya Traylor

oshua “Mykell” Vaughn was born in Kansas City, Missouri on April 11, 1993. Growing up around talented and dedicated musicians showed Mykell the love he has for music. By the age of 8, Mykell was writing his own lyrics. Continuing to perfect his craft throughout high school, he linked up with super producer Mike Dupree. While working with Dupree, Mykell penned his first hook for hip-hop artist B.O.B and Runway Richie’s record “Awesome”. During his time with Dupree, he also released the hit song “DJ Turn Me Up”, in collaboration with R&B artist Nave´, which soon became the theme song for the And 1 re-launch series. As the buzz on Mykell continued, he soon gained the attention of an independent label out of Kansas City, Missouri, Lefeu Music Group. Looking to expand his reach, Mykell traveled to Brooklyn, New York, St. Louis, Missouri, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami, Florida, in March 2013. While in Brooklyn recording and networking was his focus. After meeting Jonny Shipes and being in the same recording studio that 2Pac Shakur last recorded in, Mykell began recording various videos in Florida with artists T-Pain, Rick Ross, Rocky Fresh, Styling, Dre Films, and Gun Play. While in Florida, Mykell also begin networking with DJ Q45 and Yo Gotti. After signing with Lefeu Music Group in August 2013 Mykell dropped his anticipated mix tape The Show Me and released the single “All Dat” featuring Problem. Shortly after, he released the singles “Missouri” featuring Rich the Factor, “Started From The Bottom”. On November 15, 2013, Mykell was featured as a performer for the Made Man Tour featuring Tyga, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Rocko, Kid Kid and Tech Nine.


Currently, Mykell is on the I Am T-Pain tour, which began February 22, 2014, in Macon, GA. “It’s a blessing. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities He is placing in front of me. I get to tour with T -Pain, hitting 40 cities.” He says “I’m going to make the best of this opportunity.” Mykell gained inspiration from his uncles and artists Drake, Jay Z, and Rick Ross. He has released several covers and mix tapes through and Mykell is currently working on his original project with features from Rocko and Pleasure P. Mykell Vaughn is the new Kansas City. He is the new leader for a new generation of hip-hop.

The College Basketball Experience.

Just one of many exhibits and interactive experiences at the CBE.

(Continued from page 8)

staff and offered Henderson an exciting opportunity to join his team with the NABC. He accepted, and from there Henderson held a number of executive positions within the organization and helped build the NABC to where it is today. During his tenure with the NABC, Henderson was responsible for producing two of the largest event attractions at the NCAA Men’s Final Four tournament. One of the events Henderson was responsi-

See the history of college basketball at the CBE.


ble for was “Fan Jam” which was the official fan festival of the Final Four (currently owned by the NCAA and renamed Bracket Town). Secondly, Henderson oversaw the NABC Expo, which he ran for 17 years. The NABC Expo was the largest coaches’ trade show of the conference. Henderson’s leadership ability was undeniable, which is why he was the natural selection to head the CBE when its doors opened. Henderson recognizes the brand of the sport is growing and knows more people are becoming interested in the game at the collegiate level. Henderson attributes the unpredictable outcomes of the NCAA tournament as the main factor that keeps people interested in college basketball. The institutional pride, excitement, surprises, and upsets, are all elements that keep people coming back each March. The CBE is privately owned by the NABC and it was Haney’s dream to have it established in Kansas City where collegiate level basketball is nurtured. The decades of conferences convened in Kansas City and the level of play by surrounding schools such as MU, KU, and Kansas State, all add to this region’s rich collegiate basketball history. Henderson is thankful that Kansas City has accepted the CBE and wants to continue to earn the city’s business and support.

A’Yanna Gilmore Webster


Salute To Women M

arch is Women’s History Month. It’s a time when we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions that women have made to events in history and contemporary society. It brings us to a pause as we recognize those far reaching “she did that” moments that have had a major influence on society. When you think about women who “did that”, I suspect that historic names like poet Maya Angelou or political pioneer Shirley Chisolm cross your mind. Or perhaps you go to more contemporary figures like Condoleezza Rice or Oprah Winfrey. Recently, I sat down comfortably in my lazy girl chair and considered the women that resonated with me. In doing so, I was quickly led down a path of discovery. I began to question not the “how” or the “why,” but instead the “what.” What is it that these women possess internally that catapulted them into the status of Women’s History? Coming out of deep thought, I grabbed my pen and notepad and began to brainstorm. After some time, three small but mighty words jumped out at me- Faith, Courage, & Action. Yes! This is the stuff that women who make history are made of. Put faith, courage, and action together and you don’t get your average run of the mill reality television housewife. No, you get women who dared to be and do something remarkably different. These women had the FAITH to pursue


The Stuff HERStory is Made Of their dreams, goals, and convictions despite the challenges they faced. They believed they could, and against all odds- they did. They enlisted courage. To create change one must take off fear and put on COURAGE. Marianne Williamson wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” These women proved this, pushed past fear and took ACTION. That’s because, NOTHING good nor great was every accomplished without it. They became game changers because they made a conscious decision to act - to do something. So this month, as we celebrate the triumphs of women, let’s also reflect on the inner strength it took to achieve them. As you reflect, I hope you, too, will find the inner strength that allows you to achieve your own greatness. Because if they did, so can you. A’Yanna Gilmore Webster is a Kansas City native. She is a speaker, author, and certified life coach. Catch up with her at, on Facebook or on twitter @Dr_ayanna.



February 7, 2014 First Fridays Mix at the Aladdin Hotel, KCMO Pre-Valentine’s Day Experience



Walk In Our Shoes SNEAKFEST is Back MARCH 29TH | MUNICIPAL Words: Jasmine Jackson Photos: Jessikha Williams


Last year, for the first time, Kansas City sneaker connoisseurs were able to share their passion with others like them. A syndicate of "sneakerheads" wanted to set themselves apart from the traditional monarchs and envisioned something their city had never experienced. This was the driving force behind the launch of KC SneakFest. Other cities had established celebrations for sneakers and their consumers. Therefore, DeMarkus Coleman and KC Sole felt the need to implement those types of festivities for their own city. Currently, the team has expanded to 20 members, which consist of a high school and college street (Continued on page 26)


Just a sample of the types of shoes you’ll see at Sneakfest. Styles are endless, even timeless as even the “retro” designs from over 20-years ago are as popular as today’s designs. Although functional wear, you’ll find these shoes in closets around the country, awaiting non-sports occasion to be worn.



hen it comes to money, Theodis is an expert. He’s the Assistant Vice President/ Branch Manager for Commerce Bank at the Blue Hills Banking Center. There, he manages the day-to-day activities of the branch and leads his team in educating clients and offering banking solutions that best support their needs. As a manager he is also involved with the business community to build partnerships, provides outreach, and listens to the needs of the public. This direct and personalized focus allows the bank to thrive in this ever-changing environment. Watson is also President of the UFSC-KC. The Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) formerly known as the National Association of Urban Bankers (NAUB), was established in 1974. The local chapter was established in 1998. It’s an organization of minority professionals in the financial services industry and related fields such as investments, retail/ commercial banking, human resources, mortgage, brokerage, and more. Affiliation with UFSC offers a unique opportunity to influence the shape of the banking and financial services industries. UFSC promotes the personal and professional development of its members as well as improvement in the financial condition of our ethnically and culturally diverse communities through education, home ownership, and local economic development. UFSC supports programs that offer practical benefits for minority financial services professionals, banks and financial institutions. The organization’s goals and objectives are:  Fostering the interest and expanding the numbers of minorities in financial services.  Increasing the understanding and use of financial services in low-income communities.  Enhancing scholarship programs for minority youth in pursuit of financial services careers. The local chapter has provided $75,000 in scholarships to assist students to further their education in finance or business related degree.


MONEY WISE Save money, and do it intentionally. Saving regularly through your work 401k, in a regular savings account or towards your emergency fund are fundamentals of good financial stability. Stash It. A good habit is to stash money that you would have spent but decided not to, such as weekly restaurant visits, new shoes or a daily latte at your favorite coffee shop. Were you going to buy a new tablet but thought otherwise? Pat yourself on the back for your frugality, and then take that chunk of change and put it in the bank instead or pay down that irritating credit card bill. Did you decide to save your income tax check this year rather than purchase new furniture? Put that money away; don't make it accessible. That serves two purposes: It keeps the money from evaporating, and it gives you a psychological boost by seeing your savings grow. REMEMBER: PAY YOURSELF FIRST ... AND LAST!

Theodis Watson President, UFSC-KC

Kingsley Kantanka President, NSBE-KC



UFSC-KC convenes to meet and present the 2014 Opportunities



(Continued from page 21)

team all with a love for having a strong “shoe game”. The interest in sneakers isn’t new, and neither is the capitalism surrounding them that creates developments into other merchandise, music and more. These shoes are a combination of fine art and jewelry—highly sought after, cher-

ished for a lifetime and worn at only the right occasion. So the question that remains is, “What to wear?” Today, there are countless popular brands on the market. Retro Jordans, styled and inspired by original designs of over twenty years ago, continue to lead the category, even with a (Continued on page 39)

Photo: Jessikha Williams

Aaron Stinnett, one of the members of KC Sole shows off his Nike’s.

#12MAG MUSIC Listen to INSPIRED, the latest CD compilation from XII Magazine. It features some of KC finest Gospel and Inspirational music. Hear it now or download it at ONLINE: CLICK THE COVER TO THE RIGHT TO LISTEN



Part II of the TWELVE Magazine Anniversary Weekend! Back By Popular Demand (BBPD). This one was called FOUNDERS DAY held at Groove Station and featuring KC’s Alumni Black Greek Organizations. Thanks to those who attended, especially in the SNOW!




Kristina Griffin Ready for the World

More women are in unconventional careers, even those that put their very lives at risk, at home and abroad.

Anna Thomas-Rios, words Raye Jackson, photo


XII: What was your deployment like?

Where’s a woman’s place?


ently, any place she chooses. No longer confined to domestic jobs or in lower-level administrative work in support capacities to a man. Women are shot callers and their work is as diverse as their interests.


his month, XII Magazine had the privilege to speak with Sergeant Kristina Griffin of the United States Army. She provided us with her experiences and insights as a female soldier.

XII: Why did you join the military? Sergeant Griffin: I grew up an Army brat. Both of my parents were colonels. My mother is still a colonel and I see her every day at work. I received an ROTC scholarship to KU that paid for college. The perks of the GI Bill--I received a stipend to be in college and I was paid for attending drills one weekend a month--so I had extra money. I never had to work and school was paid for.

“We were mortared and bombed daily. We lost soldiers in units close to us but not in my unit.”

XII: You're working in the office now, but the military prepares you to be a soldier? What are some of the combat/survival skills people will learn? Sergeant Griffin: It depends on the job. I have a Supply/ Administration background [Human Resources]. I previously worked on the Logistics side. I have been doing HR since 2008. I’ve been trained with weapons, as every soldier is. We are trained annually depending on what company we are in. I have also been trained in hand-to-hand combat. Our training also depends on what type of war we are in. I have been trained in urban warfare and spent 14 months in Iraq. XII: What type of work do you do? Sergeant Griffin: Currently, I am a HR Sergeant. I supervise six soldiers. We handle every enlisted transaction: transfers between units, discharges, awards, promotion boards and retention boards. I also do data entry. I take care of every enlisted action in the state of Kansas; I am the final approving authority.


Sergeant Griffin: I was deployed from September 2004 to November 2005 to Kuwait. I was sent there to become acclimated to things like the time change and weather. They sent our equipment ahead but we flew over with our weapons on a commercial flight. We started training in convoy operations. The goal was to make our training realistic and build our confidence. Every soldier has a different experience, depending on the company mission. I had an amazing time in Iraq. I had a great Company Commander and First Sergeant and our Upper Battalion was the 101st Airborne, a very prestigious Battalion. They instilled in us all the Army values, which made it fun and challenging. I was pushed past my limits. They treated me as an Active Duty soldier, not a Reserve soldier. We were mortared and bombed daily. We lost soldiers in units close to us but not in my unit. We were there at the time when females were first allowed to vote in the country. It was a great learning experience and allowed me to grow up pretty young and build my confidence. I was about 21 or 22 years old at the time. When I arrived, all of my training came together and made sense. The Army prepared us well and gave us proper training. The Army cares about their soldiers and they are in the best hands. The soldiers are trained and proficient in their warrior tasks and drills. I never worried about dying because I knew God had a bigger purpose for me. XII: What is your perspective on women in the military? Are there some roles that women shouldn't take on? Sergeant Griffin: Women and men are both required to meet physical standards. For instance, I have to be just as proficient with my individual weapon as a man. I must pass my physical trainings just like my male counterpart. I have to row march and carry my own 55-pound rucksack. I feel like I can stand shoulder to shoulder with a man. The Army is opening more options for women and has become more progressive. They’ve been opening positions in Field Artillery and Engineering Battalions for the past eight years. XII: How long do you plan to stay in the military? Sergeant Griffin: My dream is to become an elementary school teacher. I plan to retire in 10 more years after my 20 years of Active Federal Service. XII Magazine thanks Sergeant Griffin and all the women and men the United States Military for the services and protections they provide for our country.


By Eryn Davis-Hayter & XII

When I Come To Die hoices. We all have just one life to live and with it, we deserve to do our best. Treat each other well. Show respect. Make good decisions. These are some of the principles we should strive for in daily living. Yet, these are really goals, of course. Perfection is not expected and will never be achieved. Infractions, wrong thoughts and deeds are sure to cross our path. Being sentenced to death, one could reason, is the consequence of the latter, and the culmination of bad decisions. I recently had the pleasure of attending the stage play, ‘When I Come to Die’ written by Nathan Louis Jackson and directed by Kyle Hatley, at the Copaken Stage, of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, in downtown Kansas City. Despite the morbid title, the play is uplifting, and sometimes even humorous. The play is about a death-row inmate, Damon Robinson, who survived lethal injection. Throughout the play he tries to determine why he was given another chance at life and finds ways to cope, while waiting for his second death sentence. To ensure the audience is engrossed in this reality, the set was exceptionally life- like, almost as if the audience was imprisoned with the actors. The stage is maintained by prison cells in the background and a moving platform, to alter the scenes, throughout the entire play. Damon spends most of his time talking to his best friend, Roach, who is also awaiting death. Along the way, he finds comfort in a priest who encourages him to fully live the life that he has left. Unfortunately, Damon’s second chance at life was short- lived. However before his end, he becomes at peace with himself. 32

The play was excellent and well written. The story line provoked a feeling of hope and anticipation for the character, Damon. The play makes you think about the choices you make, and how they can change your life com-

pletely, especially when given an exact moment to die. See this at your next opportunity. Unlike Damon, we don’t know the exact moment of our demise, but death is inevitable. What will you do with your time? Let’s all make good choices.


Carla Wilson UMKC Athletic Director

RUNNING THINGS By Iman Lott Photo: Raye Jackson

What started out as a pursuit of her undergraduate degree back in 1983 evolved into 30 plus years of experience and collaboration as - Making HistoryAccording to UMKC Wilson becomes the only female athletics director in the Western Athletic Conference, and the first ever female leader of intercollegiate athletics at UMKC. She is one of a few minority women serving as an athletics director at the NCAA’s 351 Division I institutions. At the time of her hire, less than 9 percent of Division I athletics directors were women; less than 4 percent were minority women. She was also the only African-American woman athletics director in Division I not at a historically black college or university.

well as an expansion of knowledge that ultimately primed Mrs. Carla Wilson for the historic role as the first woman Athletics Director at The University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“Before coming to athletics, I worked in various departments at UMKC, including the Financial Services Department and the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Financ Office, where I was responsible for the preparation and distribution of $159 million dollar university-wide budget”.

Director Wilson started in athletics 16 years ago and was initially handling the budget and day-to-day fiscal operations of the department. Over time, she began taking on more responsibilities that included payroll, sports supervision, facility renovation planning as well as hiring new staff. “The more experience I gained, the more responsibilities I took on, until I was handling the day-to-day operations of the department in the absence of the Athletics Director.

(Continued on page 3



Carla checks out UMKC’s softball team running drills on the court.


ce -




GROOVE STATION (Continued from page 34) The rest, as they say, is Rd. this | KCMO “I 9916 wantHolmes to achieve history!” 816.942.1699 in three primary areas; Tues-Sat 11am - 1:30a As the overseer of all optheSun classroom with aca- erations and activities 11am - 12Midnight

demic excellence, in competition with athletic excellence, and in the community and on the campus with community service and involvement.

Carla’s responsibilities include setting the vision and goals for the department, as well as strategic/long-range planning, with emphasis on the fiscal operations and welfare.

“I have supervision over approximately 50 full-time coaches and administrative staff as well as over 220 student athletes. This includes 16 women and men’s sports programs as well as nine administrative areas. During the first year, I will be evaluating how well supporting our coaches, sports and student athletes. It is important for me to make sure student success is consistently at the forefront of all that we take on and that it remains the driving force behind our actions. I will also be looking for ways to better market our programs and provide a quality fan experience for all.” As the first woman stepping into what has historically been a man’s role, Carla welcomes the challenge. “It is often difficult to get others to look beyond the surface of gender and 36

to see the capabilities of the woman within. For some, it is hard to imagine a woman in a position that has been traditionally held by former football and basketball coaches in the past. We are often questioned as women on whether we are “tough enough” and passion is often mistaken for weakness. I want to be evaluated on my work instead of my gender.” Carla states as Athletics Director she wants to provide the tools and resources to create and sustain a winning culture of excellence.“I want to achieve this in three primary areas; in the classroom with academic excellence, in competition with athletic excellence, and in the community and on the campus with community service and involvement. This will lead to producing well-rounded women and men who are

the next generation of great leaders and productive members of society of whom I can be very proud to acknowledge as UMKC alumni and former student athletes.” Walking into a position already making history requires a high level of confidence and an even higher objective of achievement. Mrs. Carla Wilson proves that she has what it takes to thrust UMKC’S athletic program into this next stage of development. “My ultimate goal is to produce winners in life.” That, she will.




IN MY AIR FORCE ONES ome of us choose our careers. For others, it’s destiny. The U.S. Air Force seemed pretty (Continued on page 41)


Chardanee Harvey, standing Sunny Williams, sitting

KC SOLE Jalen Lawson, Damon Smith, Jr., Ugo Osuala, and Aaron Stinnett, just a few of the members of KC Sole.

KC SOLE: SNEAKFEST (Continued from page 26)

steadily increasing price of $170 and more, but there are many others gaining popularity. Next in line are the "Big 3" from Nike (Kobe, Lebron, and Kevin Durant). Their place on the hot list won’t diminish any time soon. Others in high rank include the Jeremy Scott's and other retro Adidas. Reebok has begun a line of retros, featuring The Questions, Shaq Attacks, and Kamikaze, all fairly priced. Basketball shoes have the highest interest, yet for runners, there are Asics, New Balance, Nike, Puma, etc. After a while, these popular brands , become “has beens (until they become popular again, possibly as Retros)”. Closets will be emptied to make space for new product. Enter KC SneakFest with a solution for shoe lovers. KC SneakFest is held annually for sneaker lovers to join together, chat, buy, sell, compare/contrast, and trade sneakers. A variety of vendors will display their collections for advertisement of shoes and clothing-as the two go hand in hand. A DJ and a 39

number of hosts will maintain the tempo in the midst of the frenzy.. Last year’s event held in the Municipal Auditorium marked KC SneakFest’s debut, with a turnout of over 1,200 attendees. A few local names contributed to the success of the event such as DJ Q, JC Tha Great, along with the launch of the new KC Sneaker Boutique. This year’s event will be held in the same location on March 29, 2014, 1:00pm-7:00pm. KC Sole is committed to the betterment of the community, so you’ll see work beyond SneakFest. In the past, they have partnered with Rubies Inc., the Know Joey Foundation, and donated sneakers to the City Union Mission. On April 19, the team will hold an Easter Egg hunt, and later this Spring, they will reveal other projects in development. It’s a credit to the city to host unique events like this, but even greater is that fact that shoes can be the impetus to create a greater service for the community.

SCENE Sunny Williams Airman

Both Chardanee and Sunny share a mutual love for shoes. No, not military boots, but sneakers, in particular. They are members of the group, Ladies of Sole.


#FFLYKC AIR FORCE ONES (Continued from page 38)

natural for Chardanee Harvey. The military was close to her heart. Her dad was a U.S. Marine, and her uncle was in the Army. The military has lured generations with the opportunities to travel and fund a college education. For Harvey, the Air Force’s focus on technology made it a standout among the military branches. Her interest flourished after participating in Air Force R.O.T.C in High School. R.O.T.C. left her familiar with and well-grounded in military principles, so joining the Air Force was just the natural, next-step. Today, Harvey active in the Air Force reserves. Chardanee took her contract with military to heart. Career perks aside, joining the military first and foremost means becoming a soldier. Harvey made an early vow commit fully and to be able to say that she truly experienced a soldier’s life, complete with stories to tell. While others would instinctively shun overseas duty, she volunteered in October 2010 to serve in Afghanistan. Considered the hotbed of the battle on terrorism, she was stationed there 6 and ½ months. She worked in supply, distributing parts and supplies during a very active battle period. “We had to take our M16 rifles everywhere except the shower.” Life can end at any moment. “It’s no fun being woken up from your sleep from bombing,” she says. She recalls, “You have Afghan citizens working among you, so you never know if the enemy is getting through.” It wasn’t safe, but modern conveniences made it tolerable—email, skype, calling cards—all within reach. During the holidays, even online shopping was available. With an eye toward the future, she aims to complete her twenty years of service to receive full retirement benefits. Yet, she counts the values and morals learned in the military as part of the benefits she’s received. Fellow airman, Sunny Williams had a similar 41

interest in the Air Force, that is, travel and meeting new people. Also in the reserves, she works in personnel. From basic training to today, she treasures her overall experience—not for the physical stress, and angst, but for the lessons. “You learn attention to detail, how to march, dress, respect ranks, and getting along with people of different backgrounds,” she says. Sunny appreciates the Air Force for its ability to mold people while presenting new opportunities. “I’ve seen people come from trailer parks, ‘brick city’, and develop into focused officers.” For her, part of the Air Force appeal was the fact it has its own university, with 100% of tuition covered. “You can earn six credits for completing Basic Training and, depending on your job, you could come out with an Associate’s degree”, she says. As reserve soldiers, Harvey and Williams complete their duty in one weekend each month. That leaves enough time for other interests. Surprisingly, both Chardanee and Sunny would later bond over “shoes”, not military boots but sneakers. They are members of the group, Ladies of Sole, a community service outlet and spin-off of the KC Sole organization. As shoe enthusiasts, Ladies of Sole members are shopping, purchasing hundreds of pairs of sneakers, ranging from $170 to $250. “It boosts your ego to have fly kicks”, says Chardanee. Retro Jordans to the Lebrons, they’ve got the shoes or will be getting them soon. Copping the shoes is a must, wearing them…only for the right occasion to introduce them to the world. Then they must be accessorized, of course, with the right shirt and pants to complete the ensemble. The fashion of Ladies of Sole creates the bond, but they are driven by service. They’ve supported R.U.B.I.E.S. Unwrap a Gift, donated Turkeys to Joey Cuts Turkey drive, participated in Breast Cancer Walks. Most recently, the produced the “Best of Both Worlds” fashion show at UMKC to showcase some of the talented artists in the city. Want to connect with them? Sure you’ll find them on social media, but they take pride in being a “face -to-face” organization. “We’re personable, says Sunny. We want you to know us. Kudos to both Chardanee and Sunny for showing us the big picture, giving at home and abroad through their careers, as well as through their community involvement, dedicating their time and energy to the benefit of others. Military…I think I’m just beginning to understand why they call it the Service.

Stephanie Pritchett Where There’s Smoke

What’s Your Profession? I am firefighter EMT with the Kansas City Fire Department. What are some of the things you're trained to do? My training allows me to respond to and render care at medical emergency calls. At motor vehicle collisions, we provide extrication & I'm mobilization of vehicle, as well assist in readying patient for transport to hospital. While I am trained for various situations, my main duty as firefighter is to handle a fire. This includes performing search & rescue operations to ensure everyone had made it out fire safely, deploying a hose to extinguish fire, using forcible entry, if necessary. This also includes, performing ventilation during fire to allow smoke to escape. Once a fire is out, firefighters do everything possible to salvage property investigate thoroughly to insure fire is fully extinguished.

Chardanee Harvey puts in her time with the Air Force now, and plans to retire in the military. Off the clock, she’s also a member of Ladies of Sole and represents in showing the latest styles to working in the community.

Why did you pick this career? What are some of the opportunities you see in the field? I picked this career because I love helping people and always found myself working the more laborsome jobs that were considered atypical for women. There are many opportunities for advancement on the fire department. I would like to take part in being trained as a paramedic because there is an increasing demand for firefighters to have that added certification. However my career goal on fire department is to become captain. What do you enjoy about your work? The biggest thing I enjoy is being able to help others and give back to community. As well, I love that every day is different and it is a challenging environment. What’s the perception of men and women when they discover what you do? Most people are shocked and tell me they've never met a female firefighter. And some even ask if they have different requirements for women or if I do the same work as the guys. As always I assure them it's the same requirements for women & men across the board. How difficult was it for you to enter the field? It was very difficult I had to apply several times before I actually got accepted. This is the same for male or female. It is very competitive to get on Fire Department. (Continued on page 44)


...TWO more women is all I want.

Stephanie Pritchett Firefighter

Photo, Raye Jackson


(Continued from page 42)

Are there any challenging work or situations on the job? Most definitely, it's a challenge on fire scene to be able to carry out all the duties that may arise. You just have to be mentally prepared & physically fit. What differences do you see between men and women in the work you do or the field? On the fire department most women are involved in EMS solely. There are very few women firefighters.

CAN’T TRUST What type of people would you recommend THE TRUTH pursue this career?

I would recommend I don’t trustpeople him.that I’lllove excitement, ever changing work environment, and those that aren't scan his Facebook page afraid of a challenge.

to see what women are after him. I feel like even when we’re together, he’s got his eyes on someone else.


Do you feel you're in inspiration to others? Young girls? I am just a humble regular person that loves my job. I would hope that others, especially young girls be inspired by all of us that choose to serve the community & help others in their time of need. How long do you plan to do this work? I plan on retiring a firefighter. So I will work as long as my body let's me.

Stephanie Pritchett Where There’s Smoke

Photo, Raye Jackson



Shield We Need a Super Hero Let’s see: Homicide, drugs, gangs, terrorism, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and hate crimes. If I were asked to recruit someone to counter the bandits…the culprits of crime and community ills, I’d imagine my job description would start like this, “Six-foot plus male, 200 pounds, trained in weaponry with a no-fear attitude, and preferably with a cape. Yes, Superman is who we need…or maybe just a few qualified women. Women nationwide are stepping up to protect and serve. In Kansas City, Sergeant Marisa Barnes is one. Officer Nicole Wright is another. Sergeant Barnes wouldn’t be described as physically intimidating, at least not at first glance. In fact, by description she’s a mother, petite, attractive, with two college degrees; characteristics somewhat common for virtually any white collar profession. Yet, she’s a badge-wearing, gun-toting member of KC’s finest, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Barnes has been turning non-believers into believers for eleven years on the force. Every step along the way, she’s been challenged from rigorous police academy training, to field work, to now managing media relations. Each time, she proves she’s ready and able for the next level. About a year and half out of patrol, she was selected to be a defensive tactics instructor, teaching fellow officers, including those with more tenure, Brazilian Jujitsu. “Once they figure out you know what you’re doing, they usually come around”, she says. Officer Wright, a seven year KCPD veteran, agrees. “Within the job atmosphere there's an unwritten thing to gain respect from coworkers, and its double for African-American females”. Dispelling doubt extends to the community. “Some citizens have a preference of whom they want to deal with depending on the type of call for service,” says Wright. 46

Sergeant Marisa Barnes & Officer Nicole Wright. Just a few of the Women in Blue. Barnes has moved beyond her early field days, promoted to sergeant in the media unit of KCPD, but she recounts patrol. “There’s no routine day”, says Barnes, citing that there’s something different on every call. She understands the risk and responsibility with that kind of volatility. “We carry guns and face life and death situations.” Still, she describes her job as fun. It’s the fast pace, the unpredictability and even being prepared to fight when the situation dictates it. Yet, being a positive force in the community is an even greater reward. That can be seen through her work to counsel and better other officers to help them serve the community, as well as through her work teaching self-defense classes to women in the community. Officer Wright, shares that sentiment to serve the community. “I wanted to become a more positive role model for inner city youth in the same neighborhoods I was raised in”, she says. Though it’s challenging, Wright is motivated by the people who appreciate the selfless act of being a police officer. When asked what type of people should pursue this career, Wright says, “Someone who has a tough skin. We deal with a variety of calls and encounter an array of personalities. So if you cannot handle being called out of your name, endure vulgar words and phrases, and not being respected despite the fact that you regularly risk your life, then this isn't the field for you. If you need constant appreciation shown from your superiors or the citizens you encounter, then this isn't the field for you.” Both Barnes and Wright hope their achievements inspire others. Wright states, “Although I lived in a very loving and supportive household, I'm from a neighborhood that is known for violence and poverty, and to overcome the obstacles and achieve not only a bachelor’s, but master’s degree is an accomplishment. I have a career - not just a job - in which the opportunities given are endless. You do not have to be forced into government assistance - not that that is a dead end road - but I placed education and career before anything else so that I could comfortably start a family and enjoy my life. Young girls and women can see that the negatively viewed video vixens or half naked women is not what makes a woman, but hard work and determination can provide you with some wonderful rewards. Most of all maintaining the faith in God will get you through.” To the Girls in Blue, Thanks for being our superheroes.

Sergeant Marisa Barnes 911



Face, hair, eyes, nails., body. Men, these are weapons of mass destruction. Women claim it’s really about making themselves feel good. Men, don’t trust it. Look closely. You get caught up because It’s all FOR and ABOUT you.









Shout Out to model,

Myrina Roark I’m So KC! Reppin’ the City!

Add your upcoming events and more to Just create a login or use your Facebook log-in. Fri 03/14 Cigars and Stilettos Event type: Other Venue: Qudos Cigar Bar and Lounge: 1116 Grand Blvd Kansas City MO Time: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM Producer: Omicron Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Contact: Haywood Jackson Email: Phone: 8166681524 Web: Sat 03/15 2014 Founders Day Luncheon Event type: Networking Ritz Charles: 9000 West 137th St. OP Time: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM Producer: KCMO Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Contact: Candice Reynolds Email: Sat 03/15 Men's Health Fair Event type: Community Action Venue: Linwood YMCA: 3800 E. Linwood Blvd. Kansas City MO Time: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Producer: Phi Beta Sigma -Alpha Delta Sigma Chapter-Linwood YMCA Contact: Ernest Jefferson Email: Phone: 50

Fri 03/21 School Board Candidates Event type: Forum Venue: Palestine Neighborhood Dev 3449 Indiana Ave KCMO Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Producer: GYRL/Voices of People Contact: Thu 03/20 AKA Public Program - Regional Conference Event type: Networking Venue: Sheraton Crown Center: KCMO Time: 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM Producer: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mid-Western Region Contact: Kristin Lambert Email: Sat 03/22 Grandview Zetas Youth Flapjack Fundraiser Event type: Networking Venue: Applebee's (Grandview): 12416 S US HWY 71 Grandview MO Time: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM Producer: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, I Contact: Porsche Elkins Email: Phone: 816-6868027

Sat 04/12 Jeans, Jewels, & Jamz Event type: Fundraiser Venue: Jack Reardon Center: KC, KS Time: 8:00 PM - 12:00 PM Producer: Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Contact: akabeta omega Email: Sat 04/19 2014 Cotillion Event type: Scholarship Venue: Westin at Crown Center : KCMO Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Producer: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.-Kansas City MO Alumnae Contact: Tausha Brooks Email: Phone: Sat 04/26 Oldies but Goodies Party Event type: Party Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall: 5101 Blue Ridge Gut-off Kansas City MO Time: 9:00 PM - 1:00 AM Producer: Beta Lambda chapter Contact: Beta Lambda Email: Phone: 816-921-6161 Web: KCs Urban Source. Add Your Events!


FITNESS by: Gabrielle Phillips

I Can’t Lose Weight

What really lies behind my inability to lose weight?

Wouldn't you agree that it’s about time for us to get to the nethermost parts of this matter? Over 7.1 billion human beings inPart I habit the earth. Out of that, the U.S. population, of just over 300 million, seems to be still leading in the public health problem of widespread obesity. So I have decided is to inform my fellow man of the statistical facts behind this dilemma and promote real solutions to this ongoing problem. Did you know, here in America, 68.8% of adults are overweight / obese and that at least 31.8% of children and adolescents are overweight / obese as well? Now, the natural thought would be “how is it that possible?” The Culprits: If you are on a surplus of medications, there is culprit # 1! Check with your health care provider to see if the medication he or she is are prescribing has a sideeffect of packing on pounds. Do you rely on convenient transportation? Catching a ride to locations within walking distance may not be in your best interest, if weight management is a goal. Diet soda is the love of your life. You see, aspartame (artificial sweetener) stimulates your appetite, increases carbohydrate cravings, and stimulates fat storage and weight gain.

What’s Causing The Weight 

Too many meds

Lack of exercise

Diet soda over indulgence

Binge and Crash diets

Biological abnormalities

Binge Routine. You diet all week, but binge on the weekend! If you expect to see any results, we have to be true to ourselves regarding whether we have given it our all or not. Finally, maybe your inability to lose weight is connected to a bodily malfunction, yet to be discovered. Those are typically in these areas: 1. Adrenal Stress 2. Insulin Resistance 3. Thyroid Abnormalities 4. Hormone Imbalance 5. Sleep disorders *Want to learn more, stay tuned for Vol. II next month!* Interested in ordering herbs or water kefir to jumpstart your health? Contact





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Welcome to number THREE of TWELVE! It's March, Women's History Month, so we've designed a special issue to salute women! March is also coll...


Welcome to number THREE of TWELVE! It's March, Women's History Month, so we've designed a special issue to salute women! March is also coll...