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Volume 9 – Number 27 MAY/JUNE 2017




African-American History Takes Center Stage


Verizon’s Freestyle 50 Challenge

contents 5 Women on the Move 8 Make a Joyful Noise 9 ONYX Magazine Salutes the Lives and Legacies of Audrey Reicherts and Dr. Valerie King 10 Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes 11 Fashion Designer Merline Labissiere 22 2017 Legacy Banquet surpasses fundraising goal for FAMU 24 Profile: Sherry Paramore 25 Profile: Javonté Anyabwelé 26 Profile: Suzan A. McDowell 27 Profile: LaDonna Boyd 29 United Arts 30 A Moment in Black History 31 Ce Ce Winans Takes Her Message of Love on the Road 36 Jazz in the Gardens Re-Cap 38 Verizon’s Freestyle50 Challenge 41 Book Sheds Light on Boss Moms 42 Elisabeth Withers-Mendes 43 Spend Well to Save Big


DIANA ROSS Cover Photo courtesy of Diana Ross

Photo courtesy of Diana Ross




Leah Flynn

Mr. Lester Seay (Founder ONYX Magazine), John F. Davis, President, African American Chamber, Richard E. Black (ONYX Publisher/Editor-In-Chief) And Michelle Tatom (ONYX Chair)

Women on the Move Luncheon

Herzing University Staff

Women on the Move Honorees

ONYX Women on the Move Staff, Honorees and Presenters

In celebration of Women’s History month, Herzing University and ONYX Magazine presented the Second Annual Women on the Move (WOTM) Awards at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park in March. The luncheon was an iconic tribute to some of Florida’s corporate leaders, who also were featured in the March/ April issue of ONYX Magazine. The WOTM Awards was sponsored by many amazing organizations that recognize the power and influence women have in helping drive their organizations’ success: Title Sponsor Herzing University; Presenting Sponsor Orange County Public Schools; Souvenir Sponsor Florida Virtual School; and Event Sponsors African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida; Commissioner Samuel Ings; City of Orlando; Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau; Mercedes-Benz of Orlando; Starbucks Coffee; Kirby Rentals; ONYX Magazine; and Chic Desires.

Annetta Wilson, president of Annetta Wilson Media Training and Success Coaching, hosted the event. Dr. Rosalie Ellis Payne, recently retired sr. director of Human Resources at Carnival Cruise Line, gave the keynote address. The event was highlighted with an award presentation to 30 of Florida’s top corporate leaders. Young violinist Leah Flynn, Cheiron Music Group artists, Tray Johnson, and Emily Lucas provided entertainment. Fallen Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Debra Clayton received special recognition. WOTM co-chair Deidre Parker, owner of Parker Realty said, “Our 2017 Women on the Move Honorees embody the spirit and resilience of their predecessors – women like Fanny Lou Hammer, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama and others who have dedicated their lives to transformative leadership.” ONYX MAGAZINE 5



ASSOCIATE EDITORS Dr. Phyllis Davis Dr. Laura Dorsey Gail Andrews Sharon Fletcher Jones Kenya Woodard DESIGN DIRECTOR Jason Jones

MAY/JUNE 2017 I cannot express how excited I am about this issue of ONYX Magazine. We are celebrating the human-uniting power of music. No matter what other entities in life tear us apart, music has the strength to bond us as one. As we celebrate Black Music Month in June, I am reminded that a song often sparks emotions in us we carry forever. Like the first time you saw The Supremes. Whether you were alive in the 60s or you’re a member of a younger generation, those beautiful women in their shimmering gowns locked you in for the moment. In this issue, we shine the spotlight on their leader Ms. Diana Ross who is still “The Boss” after decades of chart-topping success. Her music has won fans the world over, and soon she will be gracing the stage of the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. What an evening that will be. As additional inspiration, we celebrate CeCe Winans who blesses us with her godly encouragement and angelic voice. But we didn’t have to travel far to find musical genius. Elisabeth Withers-Mendes mesmerized us in the acclaimed Broadway musical “The Color Purple,” and now, as a Florida resident, she’s bringing a tribute to the late, great Prince. You don’t want to miss it. In this issue, mothers who aspire to be business owners will get a glimpse into the highs and lows of mompreneruship. We also share some delectable treats you can share with mom at her Mother’s Day brunch. You will also be inspired by our ONYX On the Move Profiles: professionals at the top of their game, making things happen. As always, we remain committed to our readers to entertain, inspire and inform. Enjoy.

PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Brandi Jordan BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Matt deJager CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gayle Andrews Steven King Pamala McCoy Marianne Eggleston Sharon Fletcher-Jones D. Shenell Reed Colette Glover-Hannah Elizabeth Thompson Zelda Jones Roniece Weaver

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Chester Glover Billy Jones ONYX ADVISORY COMMITTEE Michelle Tatom, Chair Johnny Rivers, Immediate Past Chair Bob Berryhill Dr. Lavon Bracy Bryon Brooks Hon. Mable Butler Dr. Cynthia Chestnut James Clark John Crossman Tony Hill Alma Horne Rodney Hurst

Ann Jenkins Larry Lee, Jr. Zita Steglich-Ross Margaret J Thompson Gail Thomas-DeWitt Hon. Alan Williams Carla Williams Dr. Samuel Wright Lady Dhyana Ziegler



Rich Lester and Lillian Seay ONYX is published by RBlack and Associates, LLC, Address: P.O. Box 555672, Orlando, Florida 32855-5872 Phone (407) 4512891, or (407) 298-0544. Subscription rate is $19.95 for six issues. For subscriptions and notification of address change, contact ONYX Magazine at the above address or e-mail us at Letters to the editor are encouraged. Copyright 2015 by ONYX Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writer or interviewee and not necessarily those of the publisher. Manuscripts, photos and art should be submitted with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The publisher does not assume responsibility for any materials not submitted in manner advised. Unsolicited materials are not subject to payment from ONYX Magazine.

Make a

Joyful Noise By Zelda Jones


he Negro Spiritual is deeply rooted in African American history. Since its origins, the Negro Spiritual has served as an integral part of the African-American presence by illuminating the often dark episodes of captivity and quest for freedom held ever so tightly in the bosoms of a proud people who were ferried to our colonies so far away from their native homelands in Africa. American-born slaves, too, sang songs not only to pass the time and to lift their spirits, but also sang of hope and the possibility of freedom from bondage and oppression. It is said that fugitive slave songs such as Swing Low Sweet Chariot acted as a form of communication referencing the Underground Railroad with its covert lyrics to help guide others to safe homes on their way to freedom. Singing Negro Spirituals could be, and was sometimes, a solitary activity, but it was mostly a communal event where slaves would gather together out in the openness, as they did not have their own church building, to praise and worship God. Often the singing was accompanied with dancing, leaping, shouting, and moaning. In addition to these rhythmic movements of the body, Negro Spirituals were sung while using make-shift instruments, clapping of the hands, and stomping of the feet. It was a great time of jubilee, praise, and exultation. Negro Spirituals became the natural conduit of religious expression and segue to Gospel Music, which is highly commercialized and enjoyed by many people both in the United States and abroad. Gospel music is performed in many mediums. There are live performances, recordings, videos, and radio stations that play Gospel Music exclusively. It is sung by soloist, in duets, by singing groups, and entire choirs. Most importantly, gospel singing is 8 ONYX MAGAZINE

sung by family and friends as members of congregations of churches throughout the nation. Like Negro Spirituals, Gospel Music is sewn into the fabric of the African-American community so intricately that it is inconceivable that one could even have a discussion regarding African-American life without referencing the presence of this type of music in our everyday lives. Whether grandmother is humming a tune from her favorite hymnal or mom and dad are listening to their favorite gospel radio station as the family is getting ready to attend morning church services, it is evident that Gospel Music continues in the role of the Negro Spiritual of lifting spirits, inspiring hope, and expressing faith.


the Lives and Legacies of Audrey Reicherts and Dr. Valarie King

Audrey Reicherts Audrey (Williams) Reicherts, nee Hightower, was born in Orlando to the union of Lillie Mae (Walters) and James Hightower on 17 September 1930. She was an active community member serving as pianist for churches and writer and editor for anyone seeking help. She earned master’s degrees in three English disciplines and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She taught English, World Literature and English Literature. She was an excellent teacher who positively influenced thousands in her classroom, and she also nurtured others in extracurricular activities like drama and journalism. She earned tenure at Valencia Community College where she spent the second half of her career. After retiring at age 60, she cruised around the Caribbean numerous times and traveled the U.S. extensively with her husband, Clarence Reicherts. Reicherts focused her energy on the history of African Americans in Central Florida with the Jones High School Historical Society and Museum where she remained active until 2016.

Dr. Valarie Greene King Dr. Valarie Greene King was a diversity practitioner who held a B.A. degree in psychology from Spelman College, a M.Ed. in counselor education from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D., in counseling psychology from the American University. She had more than 35 years of experience as an administrator, counselor and psychologist at Bethune-Cookman University and Southern Methodist University. She served as a Captain in the United States Army as a clinical psychologist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Tx.; and DeWitt Army Hospital, Ft. Belvoir, Va., where she was executive officer and chief of Clinical Psychology Services. Dr. King was the founding director of the University of Central Florida (UCF) Office of Diversity Initiatives, serving with distinction in that role for more than 24 years. After her retirement from UCF, she launched a consulting firm, “” —continuing her work on inclusion, strategic diversity planning, stress management, career development and culturally competent leadership.



Mother's Day BRUNCH RECIPES By Roniece Weaver

For those of you who love your Mom, plan this day and make it the best for her. You can begin the day off with making her breakfast in bed or serve her a heart healthy brunch. If you want to earn some brownie points with Mom, plan ahead and treat your mom like a queen. Happy Mothers Day! For Breakfast try these delicious berry filled muffins: Moms Favorite Blueberry Muffins Ingredients 1/2 cup low-fat margarine, trans fat free 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 2 teaspoons, divided 2 eggs 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup low fat milk 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries Preparation Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk until well incorporated and being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the fresh blueberries. Scoop batter into the paper lined muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Serve with low fat sausage or turkey bacon , fruit cups or juice. Enjoy! Mothers Day French Toast Ingredients 1 1/2 loaves cinnamon bread, cut into 1” cubes 8 oz low fat cream cheese, cubed 6 whole eggs 6 egg whites 2 cups low fat milk 2/3 cup syrup 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 10 ONYX MAGAZINE

Preparation Preheat oven to 375°. Spray 13 x 9 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Put half of the cubed bread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with the cream cheese. In a small mixing bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle casserole with half of the sugar mixture. Cover remaining bread cubes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites, milk and syrup. Pour mixture over bread. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate over night. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. If you shake pan and bread jiggles, bake a little longer. Serve hot with syrup. Momma Dukes Breakfast Casserole Ingredients 1 lb maple pork or turkey sausage, ground 6 slices soft hearty white bread 1 (8 oz) package cheddar cheese, shredded 8 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander 2 cups whole milk 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper Preparation Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, add coriander, stir and cook until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; drain well on paper towels. Cut and discard the crusts from the bread. Cut the slices in half, and arrange in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, cutting pieces to fit as necessary to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with the sausage and cheese. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper; carefully pour the mixture over the cheese. Bake casserole until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Architecture and Fashion provided by Merline Labissiere

Designer Blends Architecture And Fashion Merline Labissiere’s curiosity for fashion design sparked at an early age when she learned crochet. While pursuing a degree in architecture at Miami-Dade College, she was a costume and set designer for a church drama ministry; this prompted the Haitian-American woman to explore the unconventional unification of architectural blueprints with fashion designing. Though she attended Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to pursue a degree in architecture, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design in 2011. A few years later, Merline founded the non-profit Provokestyle Fashion Camp in 2014 which teaches the art of fashion design to inner city youth. The program’s participants actively engage in the process of designing their collection from thee sketch phase to production phases. “The best part of this experience is watching the students’ eyes light up when they accomplish something for the first time or the look in their parents’ eyes as their child’s garment comes down the runway,” she says. Merline got the chance to showcase her design aesthetic to the world as a season 14 contestant on Lifetime’s Project Runway. She designed the lingerie-winning look selected to be manufactured and sold nationwide for super model Heid Klum’s intimate’s line.

“The best part of this experience is watching the students’ eyes light up when they accomplish something for the first time or the look in their parents’ eyes as their child’s garment comes down the runway” –Merline Labissiere’

Now with her own clothing line, Merline’s architectural background continues to inspire her design and collections. The Merline Labissiere collection is designed for the creative business woman who desires quality, stylish, yet affordable garments pieces that can transition from day to night attire. As an entrepreneur, she presents to various groups of people, including SCAD students and alumni. In her quest to create, she plans to pursue her graduate studies in architecture. She believes that you can do anything that you envision and vows to impact the world through fashion and architecture. ONYX MAGAZINE 11

Diana By Marianne S. Eggleston


Diana Ross is one the most iconic female singers, Ms. Ross has shared recordings with Marvin Gaye, actresses and songwriters of all time, and she remains Michael Jackson and Julio Iglesias. Another duet, The Boss on stage and in business. Ms. Ross is a stun- “Endless Love,” with Lionel Richie topped the U.S. ning, elegant and very glamorous performer with a charts for nine weeks - one of the longest residencies at resume that bridges five decades of unrivaled success. the top of the chart in the history of American music. To the delight of her fans, both young and old, Ms. She has also been recognized by The Guinness Book Ross is embarking on the “In The Name Of Love” tour of World Records as the most successful female artist with her daughter Rhonda Ross who is an artist in her of all time with more than 70 hit singles to date. own right. The two will be performing around Florida Diana Ross is extremely active and successful as a in June. business woman managing a network of recording, In the 1960’s as lead singer of the pop vocal film and entertainment entities. Through her own group The Supremes, Diana Ross company, Anaid Film Producachieved the unprecedented feat of tions Inc. (US), Ms. Ross has 14 consecutive No.1 hit records, executive produced her last five JUNE 21 rivaling The Beatles for the position television specials for ABC, CBS, Ruth Eckerd Hall in of most successful recording act of HBO and Showtime, includClearwater that generation. During her career, ing “Diana in Central Park” and JUNE 23 she has had a string of Recording “Diana!” Van Wesel Performing Industry Association of AmeriIn 1992, Ms. Ross starred in Arts Center in Sarasota ca-certified Gold and Platinum a special pay-per-view television JUNE 27 albums, singles and soundtracks event, “Diana Ross Live... The Dr. Philips Performing with sales over 100 million units Lady Sings.” The program feaArts Center in Orlando worldwide. Among these chart tured Ms. Ross performing jazz toppers are: “Endless Love,” “Stop! and blues and music that she In the Name of Love,” “You Can’t loves, and was shot live from New Hurry Love,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Ain’t No York City in an intimate setting, evoking a smoky Mountain High Enough,” and “Why Do Fools Fall after-hours scene. In Love.” Ms. Ross had also entered a production deal with In 1970, Ms. Ross moved to a solo career and for the ABC Television Network in which she produced two decades continued to produce an endless stream made-for-television films. Ms. Ross made her draof No. 1 records and sell-out world concerts. Her matic television debut when she starred in the made repertoire has covered popular music, the works of for television movie, “Out of Darkness.” Her stunning such diverse and legendary writers as Sam Cooke, and inspired portrayal of a woman’s personal battle Jules Stein, and Rogers & Hart. She made her film with paranoia/schizophrenia which aired on ABC acting debut in 1972 portraying the late Billie Holi- Television as part of that network’s prestigious “ABC day in “Lady Sings The Blues,” the film that won her Theater” presentations. Ms. Ross also produced the an Academy Award nomination. She also showed her critically-acclaimed project. extraordinary gift for jazz performance in the film. She Her daughter Rhonda Ross is an artist who likes went on to star in the popular films “Mahogany” and to use her music to examine, as she states, “The social “The Wiz.” constructions which we live in such as: race, class and gender.” Rhonda also said, she “was influenced by her mother, who is a powerful, powerful women, and she was raised to stand in her own self and not allow the outside world to limit who she could become.” With an amazing capacity to combine many different interests and with a seemingly tireless energy, Diana Ross continues to be a leading figure for each generation. She lives a life one could only dream about. Ms. Ross is the mother of five children: Rhonda (whose father is Berry Gordy Jr.), Tracee, Chudney, Ross and Evan.



Lifelong Service to Orlando Staff Report

Left – Right: Olympic Medalist DeeDee Trotter and Super Bowl Champion Roland Williams show Olympic Medals and Vince Lombardi Trophy at the annual Red Tie Celebrity Golf Extravaganza fundraiser for District 6 programsCommissioner Ings poses with long-time supporter Thelma Montgomery after presenting her award.


ommissioner Sam Ings is dedicated to the people of Orlando. After 40 years of serving his community, he’s still smiling and he ain’t tired. Take a look at a day in the life of Commissioner Ings and how he’s making a positive impact around the city. It is Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Sam Ings is just leaving downtown. But he is not going home. After a day of meetings and catching up emails and paperwork at City Hall, his mission to build a better Orlando continues. He arrives at a 7 p.m. meeting with a developer known for rehabbing old buildings. After a 30-minute chat, they set follow up times because there’s more work to be done. Now, he jets off to eagerly-awaiting neighbors in a nearby subdivision to discuss safety at their Homeowners Association meeting. Meanwhile, a youth after school basketball program is honoring its students. Commissioner Ings arrives just in time to present each student with a trophy. It’s now after 9 p.m. and Commissioner Ings is leaving the Dr. James R. Smith Center. While in the parking lot, a constituent asks for a moment to talk about an upcoming job fair and he engages. Next, he makes a call to confirm his attendance at an Easter Egg Hunt and now he’s headed home. Tomorrow will be much of the same.


Ings laughs with iconic cartoon characters after “Eggcellent Health Fair and Easter Egg Hunt held last month

“Working in the community comes natural to me,” Ings said regarding managing his busy schedule. “Taking care of our community and preserving our history is a priority and it is nonstop. I feel a lot like that old song that says, ‘I have been running for Jesus a long time and I’m not tired yet.’ I have been running for my Orlando community almost my entire life and I am definitely not tired yet,” he said.

More New Business Commissioner Ings, alongside store manager, Chris Tamaru, encourages residents to patronize local businesses at grand opening of Orchard Supply Hardware held last month in his District.

Rev. Dr. RB Holmes, FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., and Rev. Dr. Julius McAllister thank honorees during a press conference prior to the Legacy Banquet.

FAMU VP for Advancement George Cotton, Rev. RB Holmes, Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., and Athletic Director Milton Overton proudly hold the Legacy Banquet check for $225,000.

2017 Legacy Banquet surpasses fundraising goal for FAMU FAMU - Staff Report


he Florida A&M University Lawson Recreational Center was bursting with pride as 700 patrons poured into the arena to make history and buoy efforts to raise money for the Athletics Department. In its second event, the 2017 Annual Legacy Banquet more than doubled its fundraising commitment and handed over a check for $225,000 to address the needed renovation of Bragg Memorial Stadium. FAMU athletics needed just over $450,000 to repair the stadium. The faith-based effort led by the Reverend Dr. RB Holmes of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church said, “We are highly appreciative of those we are honoring, the men and women who played a significant part in strengthening, giving and sustaining Florida A&M University. Without them, there would not be a legacy or heritage.” The honorees were serenaded by the Marching 100 and praised by prominent leaders including Congressman Al Lawson, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and many others. The honorees: Former faculty senate presidents: Narayan Persaud, Ph.D., & Mary Diallo, Ph.D. Former student government association presidents: Monique Gillum, Tonnette Graham, James Mathews and Larry O. Rivers, Ph.D. Former National Alumni Presidents: Tommy Mitchell, Sr. and 22 ONYX MAGAZINE

Carolyn Collins, Ph.D. Former Board of Trustee Members: Rufus Montgomery, and Dr. Spurgeon McWilliams Avid Supporters: Eddie Jackson, Elaine Bryant, Ph.D., and Stephanie L. Clark Former Miss FAMUs: Denise Barrett, Ph.D., and Treniece Seniors “We want to thank the faith community for its kind and willing heart because we wouldn’t be here if it were not for you,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “And to the honorees, you all deserve to be standing where you are. If we could only do more. I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate you.” The Reverend Dr. Julius H. McAllister, whose congregation at Bethel AME Church played a prominent role in the success of the event said, “This is a signature moment in the life of FAMU, a university that has given so much to so many people. Its academic influence shines worldwide.” Holmes continued to emphasize it generosity of a giving spirit, “We are making history because we came together to raise $225,000 and people are still giving. Once we have that giving spirit it tells us that FAMU is going to be all right.”


SHERRY PARAMORE As Director of Advancement at LIFT Orlando, Sherry Paramore’s role is to secure funds to assist families in the LIFT impact area and to help community leaders empower the neighborhood through housing, education, health & wellness and economic development. Tell me a little about you. First, I give God all the glory for blessing me with two wonderful parents, Luther and Rosa Priester. They were married for 48 years before my father passed. My parents instilled in me life-long values which have carried me through this journey. My five brothers and I were born and raised in Orlando, grew up in the Washington Shores neighborhood and are all proud graduates of Jones High School. Helping my community has always been a passion, from serving on boards to formerly holding the position of Vice President of the Orange County NAACP. I am a lifetime member of the Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) Alumni Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., a member of The Links, Inc., and I serve on the Board of Visitors at BCU. How did you get into fundraising and why? I landed into fundraising by divine intervention. After graduating from Jones in 1987 and Bethune-Cookman College in 1991 with a degree in Political Science, I began serving in my community. In 1993, I earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Central Florida and landed my first job as


a budget analyst with Orange County Government. The budgeting position provided a foundation which led me into grant writing fundraising. I have worked at BCU and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) as a fundraiser. As a first-generation college student, it truly was a passion to help secure scholarship funds for so many young people, ultimately changing their lives. After 10 years with UNCF I needed to slow down, because my husband, Mike, and I were in the process of adopting our 7-year-old son, Mikey. I learned about LIFT Orlando while working as the Orange County Community Action Division Manager, a position I held for two years. What attracted you to LIFT Orlando? LIFT Orlando and Community Action have missions to alleviate poverty, so it was a natural fit. I love the holistic vision of LIFT Orlando, which consists of business leaders partnering with residents to break the cycle of poverty through holistic neighborhood revitalization by accomplishing the shared goals of mixed income housing, cradle to career education, community health and wellness, and long term economic viability. Many people are working for Orlando to become a place of promise, hope and opportunity. LIFT Orlando exists to accelerate community transformation through a new model for urban development that addresses racial equity and access to opportunity. I truly feel blessed to work in the community where I was born and raised and care so much about.


JAVONTÉ ANYABWELÉ Carnival Corporation continues it deep commitment to diversity and diversity of thinking. With 10 global cruise line brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, Carnival Corporation is the world’s largest leisure travel company. Its success is marked by its dynamic talent, and earlier this year Javonté Anyabwelé joined the team as the vice president of Global Strategic Sourcing - Hotel, Corporate Indirect, Onboard Revenue. Reporting to Chief Procurement Officer Julia M. Brown, Anyabwelé plays a key role in the company’s strategic initiative to leverage its industry-leading scale, working closely with colleagues across all 10 brands in the development and execution of sourcing strategies for the procurement of several categories, including plastic consumables, kitchenware, linen, office and cleaning supplies, casino, and shore excursions. Anyabwelé has an extensive background in business development, leadership and procurement across the globe. Prior to joining Carnival Corporation, Anaybwelé was group director for Procurement 50 at World 50. In addition, he was director of productivity and business development at Valiant Pharma/ Bausch + Lomb where he sat on the Asia Pacific Leadership Team. He earned his B.S. in business administration and M.B.A. in finance at Florida A&M University.



SUZAN A. MCDOWELL Personal motto: “The one who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the One doing it” Suzan McDowell is the CEO & president of Circle of One Marketing, a full service marketing and advertising agency, with a tilt toward the African-American and Caribbean markets. Past and current projects include such high profile clients and campaigns like the wildly successful City of Miami Gardens’ Annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival, responsible for all marketing, media, branding and public relations in local, national and international markets for the past 11 years; The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, a traveling photographic exhibit of Miami Dade’s foster care children; Make Healthy Happen Miami/Fe Sante Mache Miami, the local campaign that paralleled First Lady Michelle Obama’s national “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity; Miami Airport Concessions/Clear Channel Airports as the exclusive local Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise sales representative for all advertising in the Miami International Airport; OneUnited Bank, the largest African-American owned bank in the U.S.; the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation; Urban League of Greater Miami; The Mourning Family Foundation; The Orange Bowl Committee; HistoryMiami; and Burger King Corporation. “The Circle” has built a solid reputation for producing polished, modern, eclectic, fresh and result-driven marketing campaigns through multi-layered competencies including creative design/art direction, public relations, social media, community outreach, media buying, event management, and strategic partnerships. Energy is what gives “The Circle” “edge” (and you have to be impressed when a circle has an edge). Incorporated in Florida in 2001, over the past 14 years the agency has built a stellar local and national reputation for creating award-winning marketing and public relations campaigns that produce unprecedented 26 ONYX MAGAZINE

gains for the agency’s diverse client base. “The Circle” has been named one of the Top 100 Minority Businesses by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce for seven consecutive years. The firm has been privileged to win “The Best of Miami in Entrepreneurship” from “Miami Today” in 2008; a Silver Addy for the Jazz in the Gardens campaign in 2011; Corporation of the Year from the Women’s Chamber of Commerce for Miami Dade County in 2010; Small Business of the Year by the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce in 2011; and Business of the Year by “Legacy Magazine/Miami Herald” in 2011. McDowell won Network Miami’s Top 50 Most Influential Black Business Professionals in 2004; Network Miami’s Most Prominent & Successful Black Business Women in 2005; Millennium Movers “Phenomenal Woman” in 2006; HOT 105’s Caribbean Heritage Award of Excellence in Entrepreneurship in 2009; “Legacy Magazine’s” 50 Most Powerful Black Leaders in 2013; and was featured on the cover of the magazine which was distributed in the Miami Herald’s Business Monday. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post: www.huffingtonpost. com/suzan-mcdowell, touching on whatever subjects that strike her fancy. Active in the community, McDowell has donated her time to the Foundation for New Education Initiatives; Miami Children’s Initiative; Overtown Youth Center; Women for Obama; Obama Victory Fund; Joshua’s Heart; Camp Waziyatah; Planned Parenthood; One Billion Rising; and the Sandy B. Muller Breast Cancer Foundation. Suzan is of “Jamerican” descent and works like an ant. She’s a natural comedian, has been known to break out in show tunes, is a wordsmith, and at times tangential (understatement), can hula hoop like an 8-year-old, twice rappelled down 19 floors for a children’s charity and is the proud mother of her polar opposite, a surprisingly calm, patient and well-adjusted daughter, Sydney Alicia.


NEED PHOTO LADONNA BOYD LaDonna Boyd is a native of Nashville, Tenn., where her family has resided for the past five generations, leaving a significant impact on the economic development and cultural history of the city and beyond. She is a graduate of Spelman College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in French. She is also a graduate of Tennessee State University (TSU), where she earned a master of business administration degree with a concentration in finance. She has served on the TSU College of Business’ Economics and Finance Advisory Board since 2012. Currently, she is a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University, where her studies focus on corporate technology implementation, andragogy (adult learning), women’s studies, and leadership in the Black church. Professionally, she is the Chief Operating Officer at R. H. Boyd Publishing Corporation in Nashville, which was founded by her great-great-grandfather, Dr. Richard Henry Boyd, in 1896. The company specializes in producing Christian literature, pastoral guides, church supplies, and many other scholarly resources, as it has done for more than 120 years. Boyd is also on the Board of Directors at Citizens Savings Bank and

Trust, which was founded by her great-great-grandfather in 1904. Boyd is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, as well as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). She volunteers at Youth Encouragement Services, Nashville Rescue Mission, and many other local charities. Additionally, she serves as a Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Ambassador, which is an organization that has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to support cancer research and innovative technologies. Boyd was named as one of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30 Honorees, where proceeds benefited Cystic Fibrosis research, as well as one of Nashville Lifestyle Magazine’s 25 Most Beautiful People. Lastly, she is the recipient of Resolution Number RS2010-1433, awarded by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County honoring her commitment to community service. As a former Miss Tennessee U.S.A. 2010 (Miss Black U.S.A.), Boyd has developed a passion for working with young girls to develop self-esteem and success in education. She also enjoys yoga, hiking, domestic and international travel, mission work, and public speaking.



ARTS Over the last two years, United Arts has focused on engaging and encouraging our local cultural sector to consider broadening their outreach into more diverse and underserved communities, to reach a wider audience, and to increase the potential to attract new subscribers and donors. Duke Energy has been a strong United Arts partner; first by supporting a series of workshops focused on “marketing to diverse communities” and then by forming a pool of funding dedicated to supporting cultural groups that wish to create programming that appeals to diverse audiences. Here are some results of the exciting and unique new programming that the Duke Energy funding has made possible, through United Arts. In dance news, now through May 2017 the Orlando Ballet is providing “Proyecto Somos Orlando” at Osceola Arts in Kissimmee and at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando a series of community engagement programs with the goal of developing deep, long-term connections with the Central Florida Latino population. In the Spring the Albin Polasek Museum presented an exhibit featuring the work of Frantz Zephirin, one of the leading contemporary artists working in Haiti today. Associated programming explored Haiti through a Haitian Mardi Gras event and a presentation on Haitian culture through the lens of art history. Snap! Orlando, presented Posing Beauty in African American Culture in January; a photography and video exhibition that explored the ways in which African and African American beauty has been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through photography, film, fashion, and other forms of popular culture. One of the most fun offerings was the Garden Theatre’s production of Destiny of Desire in March. The Southeastern U.S. Regional Premiere of an award-winning telenovela-style comedy with a Latino cast and an acclaimed NY Latina director. Garden

Theatre was the first theatre awarded licensing after the play’s world premiere in Washington D.C. This May through July the Mount Dora Center for the Arts, will showcase a photography exhibit of Gordon Park’s work documenting segregation in the South. In May –September, Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center will host a 10th anniversary exhibit which chronicles Central Florida African American history through photographs, oral histories and public art. The exhibit opens May 12. An original musical experience will be created by Central Florida Community Arts whose orchestra and youth vocal ambassadors will present the concert “Sound Bytes” on May 20 at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. This concert will infuse the music of cutting-edge video games and Asian culture, including performances in Mandarin and Japanese. For more information about United Arts go to ONYX MAGAZINE 29

A Moment in Black History By Elizabeth R. Thompson


eekends in Orlando in the 1930s through 1960s found merrymaking groups of African Americans strolling in Parramore In the days of racism and segregation. Many of those seeking recreation were military personnel stationed at the segregated military base, South Camp near South and Bumby. In addition, Florida’s many African American agricultural and citrus workers looked for venues where they could have a great meal and listen to musical performers that sang the songs of their spirits. Throughout the United States, a collection of juke joints, clubs and other performance venues dubbed the “Chitlin Circuit” provided safe and acceptable places for African American musicians to perform and make a living while performing for African American audiences. Drawing its name


from the stewed pig intestines that were often served, these venues often were event spaces where families and friends could celebrate life’s events together. One of Central Florida’s own stops on the “Chitlin Circuit” was the South Street Casino located in the center of the Black community in Orlando. The South Street Casino was built, owned and operated by Dr. William Monroe Wells, one of Orlando’s first African American physicians. The performance venue would host such great musicians as B.B. King, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. These performers were often early in their career with a strong following in the Black communities and on radio. Musicians and their bands would often travel from city to city, venue to venue by car, and or buses. Florida has long provided work for traveling musicians with “Chitlin Circuit” stops throughout the state. The Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg, the Ritz Theater in Jacksonville, the Cotton Club in Gainesville were all venues where African Americans could perform. Performing on the “Chitlin Circuit” was often one of the only ways for music artists to expand their reach and build a larger fan base. Many of the performers who traveled the ‘Chitlin Circuit’ were recruited by

the Theatre Owners Booking Association known as TOBA. TOBA artists had grueling schedules and performed at numerous venues in one city before traveling to another. Many times the artists stayed in tourist homes, slept in their cars or, if they were fortunate, found upscale accommodations in hotels like the Well’Built in Orlando’s Paramore community. The Wells’Built was a two story structure adjacent to the South Street Casino and located just west of Orlando’s train depot on Church Street. Visitors often stood outside the Casino and Wells’Built Hotel to watch flamboyantly dressed entertainers arrive in buses with their names printed on them. When performances ended at the South Casino, entertainers checked into the Wells’Built and held jam sessions until early morning hours. Dignitaries like Thurgood Marshall also lodged there.

CeCe Winans Provided by eByrd Communications; Photo by Jeremy Cowart



en-time Grammy winner, CeCe Winans, is not only a great vocalist but she is a true professional. Her career spans over three decades and there are no signs of stopping because her future continues to shine brighter with each new album release. Her latest delivery, “Let Them Fall In Love,” is the first solo release in nine years and the 10 tracks are polished with emotion and confidence and come alive with Winans’ iconic voice. Musically, big band horns and strings from the Nashville String Machine come together in a glorious blend of past and present, with arrangements that simultaneously recall the

heyday of Motown while still sounding undeniably modern. CeCe’s son Alvin Love III co-produced the Motown-inspired throwback with her longtime collaborator Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt). Winans inhabits each song on the record so fully in part because she’s lived their stories. On “Hey Devil!,” she’s joined by fellow vocal powerhouses The Clark Sisters for a playful rebuke of temptation, while “Lowly” is a lesson about pride and humility aimed at the young men and women who might need it most. Winans’ eclectic ability shines through on the pedal steel country

waltz of “Why Me,” a song she discovered when she was invited to perform it live with its writer, Kris Kristofferson. On the album’s other cover, “Dancing in The Spirit” (written by Lady Peachena), Winans is joined by Hezekiah Walker and his choir for a jubilant celebration. On May 31, CeCe will kick off The “Let Them Fall In Love” tour in New Orleans. Check http://cecewinans. com for tickets and upcoming dates in Florida. The multi-city tour sponsored by Medi-Share will stop in some key markets across the country. CeCe will also be joining the famed Boston Pops as a guest performer

for a concert in Boston, MA at the Boston Symphony Hall on June 17th. “I’m looking forward to my upcoming Falling In Love tour! I’m excited about sharing Love and Joy through my music. Hope to see you there!,” said Winans. Christian Care Ministry CEO, Ted Squires says, “We are honored to partner with Grammy-award winning Christian artist, CeCe Winans. As the best-selling female gospel artist of all time, CeCe has touched hearts and changed lives with her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics.” Winans’ accolades and accomplishment are numerous. She has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more. She has sold in excess of five million albums in the U.S. alone, topping the Gospel charts repeatedly while managing to cross over with smashes like “Count On Me,” her stunning duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum “Waiting To Exhale” soundtrack, which sold two million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts. She touched millions more with inspirational performances everywhere from Oprah to The White House, and even showed off her acting chops on television series like “7th Heaven” and “Doc.” In 2016, Winans became a member of the Artist Committee for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. ONYX MAGAZINE 31


in the Gardens Re-Cap

By Sharon Fletcher Jones

On Saturday, Will Downing, Marion Meadows, Chante Moore, Betty Wright, Morris Day & The Time, Herbie Hancock, Robin Thicke, and Jill Scott showed everyone their chops and left us wanting more. Sunday’s performances by Smokie Norful, Esperanza Spalding, The Roots (Quest Love included), Andra Day, Common and LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip were equally as powerful. The icing on the cake was the two young homegrown actors (Jaden Piner and Alex Hibbert) who starred in 2017 Oscar Best Picture “Moonlight”. Accompanied by their real-life teacher Tanisha Cidel, who was also in the movie, the boys said making the film was the highlight of their lives so far. No music festival is complete without delectable cuisine and the food did not disappoint. From Jurassic Park-like turkey legs to the best conch salad around, the wafts of flavor in the air had mouths watering. Not to be outdone, the fashionistas did their thing. The highlight of the fashion parade was rubber-looking outfits and couture short shorts that made people stop and take notice. Sistahs spared no expense with their flowing ethnic print maxi 36 ONYX MAGAZINE

Betty Wright

Chante’ Moore & Attorney Main



Herbie Hancock

Esperanza Spaulding


Marion Meadows

Morris Day

skirts and matching head wraps, swimwear and daywear. Jazz In The Gardens hit every point, and there was a beautiful sea of all shades of brown bobbing, swaying and dancing like there was no Monday to come.

LL Cool J

The Roots

Photos by Chester Glover

Miami Gardens’ 2017 Jazz in the Gardens was yet another great success. Artists, actors, activists, and attendees became one very big happy family and got us excited for next year’s event.


#Freestyle50 Finalist and London on Da Track (center) and CEO of KWL Enterprises Kevin Liles

Kevin Liles and Rapper Ludacris

#Freestyle50 Winner Tre Da Kid Performing

Rapper Migos Performing


here have been numerous social media challenges that have flooded our timelines, but none have yet to provide a life changing opportunity such as the Verizon #Freestyle50Challenge. Over the course of two weeks, thousands of aspiring rap artists submitted their original freestyles over Dae Dae’s “Spend It,” on Instagram and Twitter, for a chance to win the gig of a lifetime. Seven finalists would be granted the opportunity to be opening acts across a 300 Entertainment artist tour. They also were entering for a grand prize to record a single deal with 300 Entertainment, produced by London on da Track, and $10,000. Technology met innovation as many contestants submitted music videos to complement their original freestyles. This raised the bar significantly for Verizon and 300 Entertainment with the judging criteria being based on talent, originality, creativity, confidence and appeal. One contestant,


who goes by the Instagram handle @geezgotgirlsgoing, recorded a video in front of a Verizon store and cleverly integrated Verizon’s name in his song. Another contestant, known by the Internet as the Vegan Rapper and goes by the Instagram name of @airmaxjunkie, freestyle immediately went viral and was viewed on Worldstarhiphop more than 150,000 times. Per the contest rules, contestants had to be 18 years of age or older, but this didn’t stop the iGeneration from taking advantage of an opportunity to showcase their talents. There were several youth who showed social media they were also lyricists. It was the 11-year-old who goes by the Instagram name of @itsmebabykaely that gave one of the most “woke” and lyrically dynamic freestyles to come across the #Freestyle50Challenge hashtag. The #Freestyle50Challenge was inspired by Verizon’s 7GBs for $50 prepaid offer exclusively at Walmart and targeted five key

cities where semi-finalists were selected. Those cities included Miami, Washington DC, Baltimore, Raleigh and Atlanta where semi-finalists battled it out (on-air at a partnering radio station) for a spot at the final cypher event in Atlanta. Of the semi-finalists, five moved on to the Atlanta cypher event and two wild cards were selected from a national pool of entries to advance straight to Atlanta. Seven finalists battled it out at a cypher event at Atlanta’s premiere club, Opium. The event also included a special performance by Migos. The contestants went through several rounds of freestyles that were judged by 300 Entertainment Co-Founder Kevin Liles, Producers London on da Track and Nitti Beatz, Spotify’s Global Programming Head of Hip-Hop Tuma Basa and owner of Fetty Wap’s RGF Label Danny Su. Tre da Kid, Baltimore resident, took home the grand prize.

Group Photo: Osmond Curtis; Tre Da Kid, Migos, Kevin Liles & Ludacris: Diane Abapo

Verizon’s Freestyle50 Challenge Raises The Bar For Viral Social Challenges


Copy provided by Brevard County Government

Originally the homesite of slain civil rights activists Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore, the park features the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center. The 11.93-acre community park honors the Moores who were parents, educators, and leaders in the civil rights movement both locally and nationally. The Moores were murdered for their involvement in the civil rights movement when a bomb exploded under their home on Christmas night in 1951. The park is dedicated to the celebration of their lives, to promoting awareness of their contributions to the early civil rights movement, and to preserving African American history. Located on the property of the original Moore family home site, the 5,000 sq. ft. Cultural Center opened April 9, 2004. Programs include visual, literary and performing arts, museum and outreach exhibits. Donations or loans of memorabilia and artifacts for museum exhibits are welcomed. The center is also a meeting place for community organizations. The conference center has surround sound with a 90� flat screen smart television with Windows media format. The library offers visitor access to reference materials relating to people of African descent. The park also includes a replica of the Moore’s home, a pavilion with kitchen, a gazebo, and Walk of Freedom paver walkway with reflecting pools and fountain. Landscaped with indigenous trees and foliage and shaded by large oaks, the park is ideal for concerts, 5K runs / walks, and family reunions. Funded through the State of Florida, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, and the North Brevard Parks Referendum, funding for continued development is being pursued by the nonprofit corporation, Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc.


Provided by Colette Hannah-Glover

BOSS MOMS Some say being a mom is the hardest job there is. Not only is she shuffling kids to practice and managing the home. She also is playmate, counselor, comforter, preacher, teacher, the list goes on. Add to the mix a career of her own and motherhood takes on a whole new dimension. And when she’s the boss, it can get tough. But some moms have found the right formula to juggle motherhood and entrepreneurship. A newly released book looks at the challenges and rewards of being a mompreneur. Mompreneurs: Managing Partnerships, Parenthood and Presentations is a collection of stories from Tampa mom Colette Glover-Hannah and other mompreneur co-authors from around the country. It shows a snapshot of mothers who are successfully running businesses, while attempting to balance the daily demands from their family. “At some point you really don’t know where the business requirements begin and the parental duties for that day end,” Glover-Hannah says. “You have to learn to be OK with both decisions.” The book focuses on those most challenging moments of being a business owner and insight on how the matters can be managed; helpful information to the leagues of mompreneurs rising in this country. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report from American Express OPEN: • Women are starting 1,072 new businesses per day; • Women-owned businesses generate 1.6 trillion in revenues; • The number of women-own firms has grown at five times the national average (45 percent versus 9 percent); • Since 2007, 79 percent of new businesses have been started by women of color. Glover-Hannah, who is a wife, mother of three and CEO of Hannah’s Shoebox, adds that the she wants those moms who are considering

opening a business to use this book as a tool for working through the original doubt and fear that prevents many aspiring mompreneurs from pursuing their dreams. “I would not be telling the truth if I pretend that I was not nervous and afraid to start Hannah’s Shoebox.” Mompreneurs: Managing Partnerships, Parenthood and Presentations is available at and Amazon. Colette Glover-Hannah is the Founder and CEO of Hannah’s Shoebox, a global online shoe store for girls who wear women size shoes and a co-author of Mompreneur: Managing Partnerships, Parenthood and Presentations, www.mompreneurbook. org. Colette enjoys sharing her journey as a Mompreneur. For additional information, visit www. or email her at



ELISABETH WITHERS-MENDES Bringing Another Level of Arts & Entertainment To Central Florida

Elisabeth Withers-Mendes


prah tapped her for Broadway. Sir Paul McCartney personally invited her to sing at his wedding. Nick Ashford of singing duo Ashford & Simpson declared she had the “it” factor. Tony Award-winning singer/actress Elisabeth Withers-Mendes has seen the peak of entertainment success and now she’s helping aspiring young artists in Florida show their chops through Orlando Eye on Talent, Inc., an entertainment company she developed with her husband, Damon. Orlando Eye on Talent developed partnerships with colleges, universities, middle schools and department stores, like Bloomingdales, to bring another level of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to the city. The program provides keynote addresses, in-school field trips, talk-back concerts and live performances, which give opportunities to the most talented of Central Florida. Recently, it hosted A Master Bass Clinic, featuring Mark Kelley of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” house band The Roots. In the clinic, students learned the performance and business sides of the entertainment industry and participated in an essay contest. On June 7, Orlando Eye on Talent will present the “PRINCE Birthday Concert Tribute,” a fundraiser to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation and mental health programs.




“Our motto this year is “let’s elevate our minds and all connect,” says Withers-Mendes. “So we have dug deep and invited some of the most renown musicians and actors in the industry.” Artists like Mike Phillips, a saxophonist for the late Prince, and local talent from Orlando, Miami and Tampa. The anticipated event will be held at I-Drive 360 courtyard on International Drive Wednesday at 7 p.m. Contact EventBrite for $35 tickets. Before starting Orlando Eye On Talent, Withers-Mendes was no stranger to entertainment. Nudged by Nick Ashford, she auditioned for the steamy role of Shug Avery in the acclaimed Broadway hit “The Color Purple.” Mogul Oprah Winfrey herself gave Withers-Mendes the job, and she returned the honor by receiving the Tony Award nod for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. The Grammy Award-nominated singer also produced two highly-acclaimed albums; one included the hit “Be With You,” which she wrote with Disney producer Toby Gad. The song became the steppers anthem. Singing under the name Elle Patrice, she and Tony Moran produced the songs “Rising” and “Emotions,” which quickly gained international club success. Her third album, “No Regrets,” garnered rave reviews. Before rising to fame, Withers-Mendes earned a bachelor’s degree at Berklee School of Music in Boston and a masters degree at New York University. She later became a lead vocalist on the hit children’s show “Between the Lions” and went on to sing backup for renown artists like Erykah Badu, Celine Dion, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few. Withers-Mendes and her husband have a 12-year-old daughter.

photos by Wire Image and Kermit Innis

By D. Shenell Reed


Spend Well to

Save Big By Pamala McCoy

Does it appear that you have more money going out than you have coming in? Many of us love to live for the moment, but often that leaves us in financial disarray. We commonly hear ‘save your money.’ Less often do we get tips on how to spend well. Get your money goals together with a Spending Plan. A Spending Plan, also called a budget, is strategic plan for how you will spend your money as you work toward your financial goals. There are many ways to start your plan, but the simplest way is to record monthly the funds you have coming in [income] and what you have going out [spending]. This will design a roadmap to monitor your spending and help you determine a pathway to saving. Who should have a Spending Plan? Everyone with income: no exceptions. You can create a Spending Plan by following the BONA5D steps below.

1. Identify all sources of income 2. List all expenses 3. Calculate your Cash Flow (Income – Expenses) 4. Set priorities and make changes as needed 5. 5. Review monthly

Get started today by tracking each family member’s spending for a week. This “Spending Tracking” can be done with a simple spread sheet. Since you’re tracking for only one week, multiply the total by four to get your monthly spending. Now, you can see your miscellaneous spending versus necessary spending, like housing and utilities. This also shows you where to cut back and save for those big things you want. For more information on your Spending Plan or personal money management, contact Pamala McCoy, CEO of BONA5D Credit Consultants, LLC – the first choice for those seeking to ‘FUEL THEIR FINANCIAL POTENTIAL’™ through Education. Empowerment. Evolution. Enlightenment. Enrichment. McCoy also is the author of “BONA5D™ BITS: Where Inspiration And Intellect Collide With Your Finances.”





SMALL BUSINESSES CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES For more information contact: Hensel Phelps Joseph Giunta Operations Manager 407-856-2400 ext. 2342

Small Business Development Department Greater Orlando Aviation Authority 407-825-7133

GOAA Supports National Small Business Week April 30 – May 6, 2017

Turner Construction Victor Perry Project Executive 954-635-3181

ONYX Magazine_May/June 2017  

Black Music Month

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