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Ted Nichols

Affecting Change in Gainesville


Miss Florida

Onyx Awards on Tap in Jacksonville & Orlando



Central Florida's


Wedding Trends



Volume 10, Number 6


Ted Nichols Affecting Change in Gainesville

After an impressive career that took Nichols from Melbourne to Miami he has returned to Gainesville using his talents to help expand economic development in Alachua County. BY LUCIA REID



PEOPLE Central Florida's

‘Girl Wonder’ When it comes to graphic technology, Erica Crawford is Central Florida’s ‘Girl Wonder.’ See what over 60 Central Florida Businesses have in common.



Wedding Trends,Tips and more... African American Shayla Wilson Wins Silver Medal at Student Nations' Cup In a field of 54 riders representing 16 Nations, Shayla Wilson of Orlando, FL finished a coveted second place in the show-jumping phase at a recent Student Riding Nations' Cup held in Spain.

A QUEEN WITH A HEART As Miss Black Florida, Eunice chose to use her reign to focus on a health issue of increasing mportance to all children, but especially African American children, childhood obesity. BY KARYN BEACH

Your Step by Step Guide to the Holiday Season Suggestions to add style to your home for the holidays include a timeline meant to eleminate last minute frustration. BY SHELYA HUFF-HRENYA

From the Editors

PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lillian Seays ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER / EDITOR Lester Seays (Director of Operations) Director of Technology Brian Seays Director of Special Projects Cheryll Daniels Special Projects Consultant RBlack & Associates Director of Sales, State of Florida Jonathan Aldridge

As 2007 comes to an end, we thank all of you, our readers and advertisers, for your loyalty. We hope we have included articles that you have found to be enlightening and well as inspiring and entertaining. We hope that in the coming year, you will respond by your letters to the editor, we need a pat on the back every now and then to let us know that we’re doing things right; of course we also need to know when we’re not. Our Website has been updated with a new look and with new features: • Our banner lets you know where we are located • Click on the cover and get a live response from the person on the cover • Click on newsroom and get live interviews and video clips from special events. (Notice the live clip from Robert Johnson who is opening Urban Banks in Wal-Mart’s located in various areas of the state. Please know that we welcome your announcements and recap of events throughout the state, which we can place on our Website and/or in the Florida Scope section of the magazine. Some people are already taking advantage of that feature. You can too. Let us remind you of the upcoming Northeast Florida Onyx Awards, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville on January 12, 2008. The Statewide Onyx Award will be held in Orlando on March 29, 2008. You can down load nomination forms from the Website: or The Bay Area Onyx Awards to be held in Tampa will be announced at a later date. This issue of Onyx Magazine includes, an interesting array of articles. Beginning with the cover story, Ted Nichols, Gainesville attorney. His story takes him from boyhood to his short-lived teaching career, his involvement with the City of Miami, the University of Miami, AvMed, as president of the Bethune-Cookman University Alumni Association, as an attorney in Gainesville, and finally his impact on economic development in Alachua County. His experiences are very engaging. This issue is dedicated to wedding trends. It’s amazing to note how the wedding cake, dresses, methods of communicating, etc. have evolved as we’ve entered the 21st Century. Thanks to Kenard and Meredith Lang for allowing us use their recent wedding as a lead in to our editorial. (Kenard is a recent retiree from the National Football League. His last team was with the Denver Broncos.) We encourage wedding planners and newly weds to place their announcements and/or wedding photos in Onyx. The Lifestyle section is brilliant. Shelya Huff-Hrenya has done a marvelous job with her suggestion about holiday decorations. And Recipes for Entertaining by Charmaine gives you something sink your teeth into (no pun intended). Do you want to improve your memory? Also find out what you need to know about the Metabolic Syndrome. It’s all here in this issue of Onyx Magazine. ENJOY.


Director of Sales (Northeast Florida) David Williams Director of Circulation Kenneth Seays Contributing Writers Melva Akens Karyn Beach Zelma Dickerson Cathy Howse Shelya Huff-Hrenya Denise Mose Wanda Toby Photographers Ted Hollins Lester Seays David Williams

Onyx Magazine is published bimonthly by LBS Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 555059, Orlando, FL 32855-5059. Phone: (407) 293-6102, (407) 579-9894 or (407) 443-6237, Fax: (407) 523-5225. Subscription rate is $15 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 2006 by Onyx Magazine. All right reserved. No part of this 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 by Onyx Magazine.

November/December 2007

Holiday Spirit

Lifestyle Counting Down to a


Thanksgiving Your

Step By

Step GUIDE to the

Holiday Season 8 Onyx Magazine

By Shelya Huff-Hrenya Four Weeks Before Thanksgiving No Sooner is Halloween over that you begin to think about the next wonderful holiday on the calendar, Thanksgiving. Whether you’re having guests for a big celebration or spending a quiet time of gratitude with your family, you’ll enjoy the holiday more if you do some preparations ahead of time. If you follow the timeline here,you’ll have everything done in plenty of time and be able to spend time with your family and friends. Not only will Thanksgiving go smoothly, but you’ll have a great start on Christmas & Kwanzaa too. Before you start, consider these special tips: • Keep copies of menus, lists, chedules, tablesettings, and centerpieces that work well in your home. Set up a file titled “Thanksgiving” that you can use as a resource in years to come. • Begin a file titled “Christmas or Kwanzaa since you’ll find lots of great ideas along the way that can get you off on a good start to the December holidays, as well.

• Do as much ahead of time as you can.You’ll be more relaxed when the special day arrives.

During the first week of November, you’re at four weeks and counting. • Order tickets for holiday productions. It may seem like it’s way too early, but special shows sell out fast. • If you’re planning to be away for the December holidays, you should book your travel arrangements now ! • Decorate the outside of your home so that any quests coming will feel welcome and get into the spirit of the season. • Start thinking about decorating the inside of the your home for Thanksgiving.Get wonderful ideas for fall centerpieces, mantle decorations, and beautiful wreaths. • Make preliminary menu plans and a quest list for your Thanksgiving dinner. • Decide on your perfect centerpiece and start to collect the things you’ll need. • Prepare your list and invite houseguests to enjoy Thanksgiving with you.

November/December 2007

Ways to Add Style to Your Home for the Holidays By Shelya Huff-Hrenya Holiday Sparkle in No Time at All If you’re like most people, you don’t have much time left at the end of a busy day to do anything extra. But at this time of year, you want to do something to make your home look festive and special and create the wonderful holidays atmosphere. You’ll find some ideas here for quick and simple ways to add a festive look to your home without spending a lot of time or money. And you’ll have time left over to really enjoy Christmas and Kwanzaa ! 1. Decorate Everything with Bows • Tie generous ribbons to chair backs,candlesticks,picks in plants ,wreaths, garland, basket handles,drapery tiebacks,stair railings and doorknobs. • Bows look festive and the ribbons you choose should tie together with the rest of your decorating. Choose ribbons in colors and patterns that coordinate with your decorating scheme. • You don’t have to stick with red and green. Choose plaids or florals that tie in if you can’t find anything that looks quite right, then choose metallic silver, gold, green, or red. • Choose a ribbon that you can re-tie each year. This will save money in the long run, and you’ll end up with a good collection. • When the holidays are over, untie the ribbons and press them lightly. The bows won’t get crushed and the ribbons will be ready when you want to take them out the next year. 2. Use Holiday Tableware for every meal in December. (Look through your cupboards and get out any dishes that look festive.) • Discount stores often carry seconds of name brand china, as well as fun designs that are not so common. • Start a set of holiday dishes with dinner plates that coordinate with your everyNovember/December 2007

day dishes. Add new pieces each year, like salad plates and mugs. Note: Be sure the pattern you select will be continued from year to year. • Buy 1 or 2 place settings each year. Before long, you’ll be able to serve a feast. • If you’re adventuresome, choose a different pattern and one place setting each year. Arrange the different dishes around the table and get lots of comments and rekindle memories. When they’re not in use, the dishes can be displayed around the room. 3. Turn off the lights • Arrange lots of candles on the dining table and dine by candlelight, even if you’re just having leftovers. Every meal will feel special. • Burn a fire in the fireplace each evening and encourage family members to gather around and read, do homework, write Christmas and Kwanzaa cards, or snooze. • Arrange pillar candles in your bathroom, on the sink or around the tub. Take tme to soak and enjoy ! if you have little children in your home, you should be very careful with candles around the house. Always have an adult in the room. 4. Hang Holiday Wreaths. • Put a wreath or swag on every door you have. Of course, start with the front door to welcome quests. • Go to the back door, inside and out. Remember over the mantle, and in all your front windows. Don’t forget bedroom doors inside and out. • Use real pine, holly,or grapevine,decorated with bows, berries, fruit, pinecones, raffia, ornaments, birds, photos, or candy. • To keep wreaths year after year, buy artificial wreaths that will last. Remember, you’ll need room to store them

Onyx Magazine


10 Onyx Magazine

November/December 2007

People A Queen with


As Miss Black Florida, Eunice chose to use her reign to focus on a health issue of increasing importance to all children, but especially African American children, childhood obesity.

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November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine profiling up and coming–– young people who are ensuring the future of Florida Racy photos and scandalous behavior have become almost commonplace when it comes to beauty pageant contestants. So it was refreshing to talk to the current Miss Black Florida, Eunice Cofie. She’s a young woman who exemplifies the very things that beauty pageants are supposed to stand for: intelligence, education, contribution and, of course, beauty. The Tallahassee native will be vying for the Miss Black USA title in May 2008 in The Gambia, West Africa. Yet, more than a pretty face, Eunice is also a future physician and a budding entrepreneur with her own line of cosmetics. I had the opportunity to speak with Eunice about her platform, her business and her passion for giving back. As Miss Black Florida, Eunice chose to use her reign to focus on a health issue of increasing importance to all children, but especially African-American children, childhood obesity. Eunice said, “We’re finding that middle school and high school students, even elementary students are exhibiting signs of type two diabetes and [developing symptoms] that can lead to heart problems, kidney problems and all other types of health problems. … It’s all due to the way we think about our health.” She said the key to improving health is to make better choices about what we eat and the physical activities we engage in on a regular basis. Even at their young ages, kids have the ability to make healthy choices. Eunice explained, “When [kids] are in the lunch room eating, they may choose to eat the cheese pizza over the pepperoni or they choose to eat an apple” over a more sugary snack. When it comes to activity, they could choose to play outside instead of watching another television show. While kids certainly don’t run their households, Eunice believes they have more influence than we might think. “It’s amazing how a child can influence a parent November/December 2007

when it comes to that PSP or that Nintendo. If they can do that, I’m sure they can influence their parents when it comes to eating choices.” If selected as Miss Black USA, Eunice will take her childhood obesity platform to the national level. Once her reign is complete, this beauty queen will turn her focus to bringing out the beauty in other African queens. With a bachelor's in Chemistry/Molecular Biology from Florida A&M University, Eunice has combined her love of science with her love of the Continent (her parents are Ghanaian) to develop her own line beauty products called Nuekie. Nuekie, Eunice’s middle name, means “first-born daughter and hard-working one.” It is a name that suits Eunice well as she has personally handcrafted all of the items in her beauty line which includes skin care, hair care and cosmetics. She explained, "My philosophy combines ancient African wisdom with modern cosmetic science. I looked to the ingredients found in Africa. When you look at Africans, you notice that they have beautiful skin. I use the shea butter and cocoa butters as well as what's been found and used in Africa for ages and incorporate it with the [scientific] knowledge I have and have created a premier product." Eunice began working on her line after one of her chemistry professors encouraged the class to develop relaxers and lotions. As a result, she focused her chemistry studies on cosmetics. “Through my research, I saw a great need for skin and hair treatments for women and men of color. So, I decided to

start my own beauty company … I see myself as the modern-day Madame C.J. Walker.” Currently her products are available in several salons and spas. She plans on selling her products online at Her bath and body line will be rolled out first, followed by the hair care, skin care and cosmetics lines. Between her obligations as Miss Black Florida, the upcoming Miss Black USA competition, furthering her education, and a business to run, it wouldn’t be surprising if, Eunice didn’t have much time for volunteer work. However, the ‘hard-working one’ has always made a point of giving back. In addition to her childhood obesity campaign, Eunice recently participated in the Gal-to-Gal virtual walk for Breast Cancer which raised money for women with Stage 4 breast cancer. She’s also spent several of her summers in her parents’ homeland of Ghana working with the Student National Medical Association on an HIV/AIDS education and prevention program. While there, she divided her time between providing medical services at the local hospital and educating members of the community on HIV/AIDS. Her philosophy is simple. Eunice concluded, “Each and every person is placed on this earth to use their gifts and talents not to serve themselves but to serve others. I’m just one person who wants to bring change into the lives of others. And it makes me happy. Cause one minute you think you are giving to another person when in reality they are giving so much more back to you.” Karyn Beach is the web mistress of, a movie review and news site. She’s also a screenwriter and budding documentarian. Onyx Magazine


Onyx Community


on Tap for 2008

THE 3RD ANNUAL ONYX AWARDS OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA WILL BE PRESENTED JANUARY 12, 2008 AND PROMISES TO BE THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS GALA OF THE NEW YEAR. JACKSONVILLE, FL --- The 3rd Annual Onyx Awards of Northeast Florida will be presented January 12, 2008 and promises to be the most prestigious gala of the New Year. Sponsored by Winn-Dixie, LBS Foundation, Inc., and ONYX Magazine, proceeds from the black-tie, red-carpet event benefit children with sickle cell disease. Lester and Lillian Seays

mostly African Americans. There is no cure for the disease which is hereditary, but through your financial support, we are able to offer an opportunity to help educate the community and provide care for those children who are afflicted with the disease.”

The gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront at 225 East Coastline Drive and kicks off with the VIP reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The awards ceremony begins promptly at 8 p.m. Rob Sweeting, anchorperson with WJXT Jacksonville’s Channel 4 news, will be the master of ceremonies.

Winners from the Onyx Awards of Northeast Florida will automatically be eligible for nomination for the statewide coveted Onyx Award. The ceremony for the statewide event will be held March 29, 2008 in Orlando, FL and is the brainchild of Lester and Lillian Seays, publishers for ONYX Magazine.

The highlight of the evening will Dr. Theresa Hodge be the presentation of the various community awards to persons on the Sponsorship and First Coast who demonstrate excelfundraising chairperson for lence and leadership. The competitive the Northeast awards, David categories include Business, CommuWilliams, adds, “We thank nication, Education, Community Inthe community for your volvement and Music/Performing overwhelming support of the Arts. In addition, there are four nonfirst two events which were competitive categories: Humanitarsold out. From all indicaian, Lifetime Achievement, Diversity, tions, your continued supand Publisher’s Award. A Posthumous port is being evidenced presentation will be made to the fam- David Williams because tickets for the 3rd ily of Mrs. Olivia Gay-Davis, a former Annual Event are selling Jacksonville educator and community fast.” activist. For more information, and to purchase Dr. Theresa Hodge, chairperson for the Northeast Florida Awards committee, says, tickets, contact Williams at 904.254.7230 or by “We are excited about this opportunity to email to Individual showcase some of the great leadership from tickets cost $75 and a corporate table of 10 costs this area while we also bring attention to the $1,000. sickle cell disease that historically strikes 14 Onyx Magazine

Join Us... ONYX AWARDS KICK OFF RECEPTION Friday, March 28, 2008 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The Status Lounge 912 West Colonial Drive Orlando, Florida

Featuring Live Entertainment

ONYX AWARDS Saturday, March 29, 2008 Reception: 6:00 p.m. Dinner: 7:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony: 8:00 p.m. Rosen Centre Hotel 9840 International Drive Orlando, Florida

Special Invited Guests Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, The Tuskegee Airmen, Actor Philip Michael Thomas, Golf Legend Robert Lee Elder, Bennett College Past President Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Doug Williams, MVP, Superbowl XXII and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. President Dr. Louise Rice

This is a statewide Televised Black Tie & Red Carpet event.

Visit Us Online:

November/December 2007

The Florida Department of Health Stresses the Importance Of Hygiene Recent MRSA Study Highlights the Importance of Hygiene TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today reminds Floridians of the importance of proper hygiene to prevent the spread of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the common cold, influenza and a number of other infections. Research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that there are more than 94,000 MRSA infections and 18,000 deaths in the USA each year. MRSA no longer appears solely in healthcare settings, it is becoming more common in the community since its appearance in the 1960’s. “The article published this week points out a serious problem,” Department of Health Epidemiologist Roger Sanderson said. “There is no single measure that can address MRSA and associated mortality; it is going to take a multi-disciplinary approach.” MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus (staph) resistant to some antibiotics. While 25% to 30% of the population is a carrier of staph, approximately 1% are afflicted with MRSA. Most staph and MRSA infections are treatable with antibiotics. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems. These healthcareassociated staph infections include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. In the community, MRSA is most often associated with skin infections but may also include more serious and life threatening infections. Any disease outbreak or cluster in a community is considered reportable and the Department of Health has established a surveillance program aimed at MRSA in the community. The Department of Health is currently developing further surveillance to look for severe cases of MRSA infection in the community. The Florida Department of Health highlights the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended precautions: • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed. • Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages. • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors. The Florida Department of Health is committed to promoting proper hygiene. The Department recently received a Suncoast Emmy nomination for its “Fifth Guy” campaign aimed at promoting proper hygiene. For more information on the campaign visit The Department of Health also received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the “Get Smart” Campaign, an education campaign promoting the prudent use of antibiotics in order to prevent antimicrobial resistance organisms such as MRSA. For more information visit

Florida Scope The National Black MBA Hits the Ground Running in Orlando The 29th Annual Conference and Exposition or the National Black MBA Association ® (NBMBAA) opened on September 11th in Orlando and hit the ground running with extraordinary recipes for business success. With 8,000 members, the conference offers the largest career fair in the United States with more than 400 of the Fortune 500 represented. RELEVANCE Staying Current, Creative, and Credible! was the theme for six days of education, mentoring and lifestyle activities. Among the roster of speakers were Susan Taylor, Glenn “Doc” Rivers, Judge Glenda Hatchett, and Kevin Carroll. These esteemed celebrities unselfishly shared personal and professional details that helped create vision and balance for their success. Each has a platform for service, made sacrifices, took risks and have impacted their careers and community with vigor. The NBMBAA Institute, a cutting edge training program, presented four learning tracks that fed intrapreneur and entrepreneur minds with information to excel in today’s business economy: • The Maverick Mindset – The secrets for challenging the current trends to buck the system and creatively and consistently deliver breakthrough ideas and leadership. Content focused on free thinking and polished delivery. • The Entrepreneurs Edge – Examination of new opportunities created internally by the more decentralized mode of sourcing, production, sales and service. Additionally, information focused on the need for managers and leaders within to learn the skills of entrepreneurship as they relate to more fluid organizational structures and goals-based planning and resource allocation. • The Innovation Roadmap - Innovation is a core competency that is a premium and will gain in value in the years to come. This discussion sited specific methodologies for idea creation and innovation. in value over the next will be structured to help our partners and members get on top of the latest learning’s an • The New Success Formula – Focus on credible ways to advance career and deliver ex16 Onyx Magazine

Inspirational speaker Kevin Carroll rewards a conference attendee with a $100 bill for being a risk-taker, and presents a Leaders of Tomorrow student with one of his one-of-a-kind d.r.e.a.m bands at his post-presentation book signing.

With 8,000

members, the conference offers the largest career fair in the United States with more than

400 of the Fortune 500 represented.

ceptional results. Develop the art of quickly identifying the right formula for long-term success even as market conditions constantly change. 84% of businesses are service oriented and in just under 12 years, products not currently tied to the service industry will become inextricably linked. It is factors such as these, that the MBA’s embrace and prepare members to respond with relevance. Especially empowering at the conference was the discussion by an international panel, on the issues impacting African American

sionals and entrepreneurs. We are living in a global environment that lends business opportunities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, and Brazil. Dr. Trevor R. Hall, Former Race Equity Adviser, United Kingdom Home Affairs Department expressed to successfully perform, individuals must have skills to comprehend, speak and write the English language well, and understand how to work with those outside your race. Knowing courtesies (especially Islamic or Muslim) while conducting business in foreign countries are also vital. Johnson (Marilyn D.), Vice President, Market Development IBM Corporation stated “only 16% of the U.S. population owns a passport”. Americans must think outside of these demographics and embrace business world wide. Otherwise, our delayed action and inability to respond limits opportunities. The association is not shy in offering something for everyone. The range of activities were a 5K Run/Walk, Scholarship Golf Classic, plenary sessions, separate forums for men/women/students, a host of workshops on business plans & target marketing, meals, etc., and job fair to corporate. Evening festivities included multiple hospitality receptions and entertainment venues featuring a Midnight Old School Jam and Billboard artists. The conference welcomed over 15,000 attendees from around the world, and required five different locations to accommodate its schedule. The organization has an impressive family of partners, and together they share an agenda for delivering diversity, achievement and excellence in business. The 2-day career fair and exposition houses corporations and educational institutions who are looking to attract talent at various stages in their careers. Candidates literally come to the table armed with the education or expertise to walk away with new career beginnings. And the spot, it happens. The NBMBAA’s mission is dedicated to increasing the intellectual and financial capacity in Black communities and individuals in business world-wide by providing access to success through five channels of engagement: education, career, leadership, entrepreneurship and lifestyle.

November/December 2007

Highlighting opportunities for black professionals to participate in the global economy is one of the National Black MBA Association's key missions, and it explores this topic in-depth each year at its Global Partnership Roundtable. NBMBAA President and CEO Barbara L. Thomas (middle) is joined by panel participants (from left to right) Marilyn D. Johnson, Vice President of Market Development, IBM; Trevor Hall, CBE, Race Equality Adviser to the Home Office's Permanent Secretary of State, United Kingdom; Virginia P'an, chairman and founder, TransCapital Group; and Osavaldo Luis Do Nascimento, Cluster Unit Executive, IBM Brazil.

National Black MBA Association 29th Annual Conference & Exposition Career Fair Opening: Front Left - NBMBAA board member, Audrey Dillard Hines; NBMBAA President & CEO, Barbara L. Thomas; NBMBaa board chairman, William Wells; and NBMBAA board member Dr. Dt Ogilvie.

During the annual conference, NBMBAA President and CEO Barbara L. Thomas honored Susan L. Taylor for her work and accomplishments, acknowledging her as embodiment of the the National Black MBA "Empowering Visionaries" slogan. The ladies are joined on stage by NBMBAA Board Member Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. (left) and NBMBAA Board Chairman William (Bill) Wells, Jr.

After addressing conference attendees during Friday's keynote luncheon, Brian T. Moynihan, President, Global Wealth & Investment Management, Bank of America Corporation (middle) is joined by (from left to right) Dr. Randall Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners and season four winner of "The Apprentice with Donald Trump"; Barbara L. Thomas, NBMBAA President & CEO; Judge Glenda A. Hatchett; and William Wells, Jr., NBMBAA Chairman of the Board of Directors. (LEFT) Judge Glenda A. Hatchett, left, looks on while NBMBAA President & CEO Barbara L. Thomas and Dr. Randall Pinkett, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners and season four winner of "The Apprentice with Donald Trump," discuss what it takes for black professionals to stay relevant, current, creative and credible in an emerging and quickly changing global marketplace.

November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine



‘Girl Wonder’ When it comes to graphic technology, Erica Crawford is Central Florida’s ‘Girl Wonder.’

Modestly, she contends that she is an artist whose talents and skills in graphic design and marketing helps businesses and organizations to achieve brand positioning, marketing and communications goals. Erica is an energetic, young entrepreneur and owner of Crawford Designs and Promotions. Her multifaceted skills and talents in graphic and web design as well as marketing and promotions for businesses and events can be seen in various mediums -- from billboards to print collateral -- across Central Florida. Erica took a leap of faith when she started her own business. She recalls how her hands shook while presenting her company’s services before the esteemed Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees. Her enthusiasm, fairness, and ‘can do’ attitude, enabled the young entrepreneur to plan, manage, create the branding and market the university’s Centennial Celebration marking the historic 100-year anniversary of the university as well as the inauguration of the newly appointed President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed. Although the first – and clearly major – undertaking was a valiant feat for the first timer, she had lots of experience under her belt as well as a dynamic committee to aide her every step of the way. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow’…really?” recalls Erica. It was an unbelievable and phenomenal opportunity that was clearly a catalyst in Crawford Designs and Promotions quickly becoming one of the contenders in Central Florida’s graphic design, promotions, and print production industry. This is just one of the groundbreaking feats the ‘Girl Wonder’ has been known for since the inception of her business.

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Reared in the Lowcounty of Beaufort, South Carolina, Erica moved to Orlando -- what she referred to as the ‘Big City’ in 2002 after graduating from Savannah State University with a Bachelors of Art Degree in Print Communications. Instead of the run of the mill jobs, Erica designed and printed funeral and special event programs to sustain her lifestyle throughout college and worked as the Senior Graphic Designer for The Gullah Sentinel, the first Blackowned and operated newspaper in Beaufort, South Carolina. Upon her arrival in Orlando, she remembers telling her mother, ‘I only plan to be here a short time. I plan to save money then move to Virginia with friends.’ No sooner had the words left her lips; she landed a job as a reporter at the areas oldest Black newspaper, The Orlando Times. Under the tutelage of Dr. Calvin Collins, Jr., Erica quickly progressed from Reporter to Assistant Managing Editor in under a year. “I was blessed to cross paths with people who wanted to pass the torch of experience, talent and wisdom. Being a self-starter, team player, and a good listener makes me a perfect match for building business and customer relationships. I constantly remind myself of the lessons my mentors shared. I am able to give this interview because some one else cared enough to help me grow and succeed along the way,” says Erica.

Like the Little Engine That Could, Crawford Designs and Promotions continues to emerge and revamp its services. They strive to provide their clients with the most cost efficient and highest quality graphic design, marketing, and event planning services. Erica, the ‘Girl Wonder’ of Central Florida is truly talented in all aspects of print and electronic graphic design, event planning, and marketing. November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine profiling up and coming–– young people who are ensuring the future of Florida What do over 60 Central Florida Businesses have in common? They have all used the services of Crawford Designs and Promotions • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

100 Black Men of Orlando African American Chamber of Commerce Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Annetta Wilson Media Training B-CC/FAMU O.C.A.C. Golf Classic Bethune-Cookman University Bethune-Cookman University National Alumni Association Big and Beautiful Pageant Bigg Johnson Holiday Classic of Friends Black Business Investment Fund Black Partnership of Florida Boy Scouts of Central Florida Bruce Antone (Former State Rep. D-39) Cando Event Planning The Circle of Friends City Commissioner Daisy Lynum (D-5) Fairness Ministries, LLC Florida Black Business Expo Florida State Conference NAACP The Genesis Group The Girl Friends, Inc. Golden Rule Foundation, Inc. Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. Jada Jackson Collins/Be-You Foundation JCB Construction The Lexington Hotel Lynum & Sanchez Law Firm Metropolitan Orlando Urban League Moderneers Civic and Social Group Montsho Foundation, Inc. Morgan Ministries, Inc. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Onyx Awards - LBS Foundation Inc. Onyx Magazine Rejoice in the Lord Ministries Rosen Hotels and Resorts Diversity Office Status Lounge Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown University of Central Florida – Athletics Vitas Hospice Care, Inc. Willie Clark Media Network Word on Da Streets Newspaper Wyche & Associates Yvette Register – State Farm Agent * See the complete client list online.


TUSKEGEE AIRMEN LEGACY LUNCHEON In celebration of the awarding of Congressional Gold Medal and to benefit the Educational Assistance Fund for Florida students

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2008 • 11 A.M. ROSEN CENTRE HOTEL • ORLANDO, FLORIDA The Tuskegee Airmen, the American Icons, accepted the challenge of conquering notorious foreign enemies. In doing so, they initiated a significant impact upon the policies of race in this country. There was a consensus in this country that African-Americans were deficient in intelligence and moral character. Thus, the Tuskegee Airmen's dedication to country and determination for success against all odds and prejudices was no small feat. The Tuskegee Airmen, adamant to be no less than their best, went on to show the Army and the country that there were no barriers of intelligence, leadership capabilities or moral character as it relates to race in the Army, or nation for that matter. Their due diligence and shear determination led to them being deemed American Icons to all that knew their story. To this day across the Nation, Tuskegee Airmen are civic participants and contributors in their respective communities. In Central Florida, the General "Chappie" James, Jr. Chapter's annual Legacy Luncheon provides funds to Florida students to further their education and enhance their future aspirations. We are all beneficiaries of the work of the Tuskegee Airmen and can all be benefactors for our youth's future.

For More Information, Visit:


Onyx Magazine


Cover Story


20 Onyx Magazine

November/December 2007

NICHOLS: Growth and Experiences that Have Allowed Him to Affect Change And Progress for the People of Gainesville BY LUCIA REID Ted and I sat down for an interview in October. I found him to be a phenomenal person who has worked hard to improve conditions for African-Americans. Like many others who have made a difference in society, he came from humble beginnings; however his parents taught him the meaning of integrity. Whatever they told you they would do, they would do. They didn’t write contracts. Their word was their contract, and that became a part of his commitment as well. That lesson has brought Ted Nichols the success that he enjoys today. This is what he had to say about his life. Nichols, who is no a private attorney in the city of Gainesville, grew up in a little township outside of Ocala, Florida called Kendrick. He lived with his grandparents, Eliza and Papa James on a small farm populated with one or two cows, horses and some pigs. “It was a good environment for my sister Sally and me,” he said. “We had lots of care and attention from our grandparents.” Ted and Sally’s parents worked in other locations in Ocala. Their mother, now Gracie Gude, currently lives in Daytona Beach. Matthew Nichols, their father, passed in January of 2004.

sioner. He was reluctant, but finally decided that he would run for the office. It was a three-man race, which he won. However, a court battle ensued when the incumbent, on a technicality, tried to prevent him from being seated. The technicality was that Nichols had not been a free holder (owned his home there) for one year. He had owned it for nine months. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a new election had to be held on the same basis as the first election, because it was the local Melbourne Commission that had approved the partition in the first place, and they could easily have excluded him from the race if they intended to apply that rule. The second time around, he won by a three to one landslide, because there was a serious backlash in both the white and black community, as a result of the way he had been treated following the election.

Ted and his sister were inspired to do their best and to stay in school. They both completed high school and Ted went on to attend college at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. In fact, in September 2007, Nichols was elected president of the Alachua County Alumni Association of Bethune-Cookman University (BethuneCookman became a university in February 2007).

Meanwhile as a teacher at the high school in Melbourne he learned a valuable lesson as a result of discipline problems in the classroom. He learned that as a teacher, it was up to him to make the lesson interesting enough so that problems would not occur. By his third year of tenure he had acquired brand new typewriters and brand new books that were not passed down from the white schools with other children’s names in them. Moreover, he was able to get their children involved in a business club where they won local, state, and in one instance, a national competition. This was with all schools competing. During that same time, Nichols married Bessie Knight from Abbeville, AL. She had two boys, Danny and Dallas and together they had two more boys, Tarrance and Marcus and one daughter, Jane.

After completing his bachelor’s degree at Bethune-Cookman College, Nichols began teaching for a short while in an all Black school in Melbourne, FL. While there, he was asked by the NAACP to be a candidate for city commis-

“Needing more income,” said Nichols, “I decided to apply for vocational teaching during the evenings; however, I was offered a job with the Bendix Corporation at the Kennedy Space Center. Because of the significant increase in salary,

November/December 2007

I took that position and became a full time compliance director and recruiter bringing candidates for engineering and clerical positions and other positions available at the cape. I traveled to Howard University and other places looking for candidates –– Blacks and other minorities.” While I in that position, Nichols was offered a fellowship to study for his Master’s degree at the University of Miami. A week after he accepted the fellowship, he was offered a position at the City of Miami. Consequently, he was able to go to school fulltime for his master’s degree and work part time for the city establishing the City of Miami’s Department of Community Affairs. Said he, “We had various tasks to fulfill, but one of the biggest was handling all the community conflict following the 1968 riots after Dr. Martin Luther King was killed.” The claim was that were no young Black candidates for the Police Academy. Nichols was instrumental in establishing “Operation Badge” out of which came nine candidates who completed the academy and eventually over time, three of them actually became chief of police of the City of Miami. There were various other steps towards progress in the community such as getting housing inspections for poor communities that had been ignored and getting access to both city and county government to get complaints resolved. Shortly after that experience, Nichols was offered a position with the University of Miami where he worked with the president of the university to handle compliance, issues that affected the 10 schools at the University of Miami including law, medicine and ocean sciences.


Onyx Magazine



TED NICHOLS: Growth and Experiences that Has Allowed Him to Affect Change And Progress for the People of Gainesville The objective there was to implement the Executive Order and also Title IX making opportunities available to women and minorities in all of the departments. Soon, they were able to see some advancement and improvement in reducing the inequities in salaries paid to men and women. During this time, Nichols had been greatly influenced by people like Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, reading the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., learning more about the work of W.E.B. Dubois and other leaders whose efforts had been to bring equality. While he was a teacher, Nichols became involved with the Florida Council on Human Relations and was elected as its State President. This move brought him to the attention of a wider range of people in the area of improving human relations between the whites and blacks. Becoming more involved in Civil Rights activities, he was appointed by the United States Commission on Civil Rights as its chairman for the Florida Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. During his chairmanship, they were able to hold hearing and provide reports on hiring and enforcement practices involving police in Jacksonville, Miami Dade and the city of Tampa. During those days, Blacks were often involved in confrontations with the police during which they were beaten and many were killed. Said Nichols, “We think that our efforts contributed to exposing a lot of the inequities and helped to increase the employment participation in each of these departments.” After being at the University of Miami for several years, Nichols was offered a position with the school board, which was a brief experience, primarily because it was not consistent with some of the objectives that he had in mind. So instead, he then went to work for an HMO that served the elderly under the Medicare program. It was the largest HMO in the country, located in Miami Dade County with 350,000 members and he was hired as program analyst and evaluation specialist to help identify ways to improve the monitoring of the services being offered to the seniors. He later left that HMO and went with AvMed Health Plan, a not for profit, and eventually became statewide with some of the work that he was able to do. 22 Onyx Magazine

While still at the University of Miami, with a family and working full time, Nichols was able to attend the University of Miami Law School and complete his law degree. This allowed him to use that degree, once he became a lawyer, to become an associate general counsel for AvMed Health Plan, the only full time Black attorney of any HMO in the state of Florida. At one point, there were 36 HMOs in Florida. AvMed grew to nearly 400,000 members in a period of about 14 years. During that time he was the person who filed the contracts that had to be approved by the Department of Insurance and also obtain licenses for the company to move from 7 counties to 31 counties in the state of Florida for commercial business and from 5 counties to 25 counties for federal contracted Medicare business. In addition, he traveled to New York, California, and Louisiana to establish licensure for AvMed companies in those locations all of which occurred with both commercial and Medicare components. Nichols said, “One of the very significant inspirations for my future work was hearing Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune while I was in my first semester at Bethune-Cookman College address the convocation, an assembly on a Sunday afternoon. The guys were in dark suits and white shirts, the girls in dark skirts and white blouses and we sat on opposite sides of the room. She addressed us as ‘My beautiful Black boys and girls.’ And even today, just saying that nearly brings tears to my eyes, because it meant so much to feel the warmth and to feel her commitment. That continues to be one of the inspirations of my life.” While in undergrad school, Nichols became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity where part of the fraternity’s commitment is also to provide service to the community. So is the college theme is to train the heart and the hand and go out to serve. That is still the theme of Bethune-Cookman University––“Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve.” Nichols went from his work with AvMed Health Plan into private practice of law in the City of Gainesville. Prior to that time, he had spent some 27 years in Miami, which is where his children grew up; the oldest being Danny, second child being Dallas, Marcus who completed a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004. The fourth was Jane Elizabeth who is married and living in Tallahassee, having completed Florida A&M University in

nance, and Tarrance who lived with me here in Gainesville for a period of time. A hospital company in Gainesville purchased AvMed. Having attained his law degree and making the move to Gainesville, Nichols was able to continue to work as an associate general counsel for AvMed. He also began to be involved in the Alachua County and soon became chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Development Corporation in the city of Gainesville. Within an 18-month period, the organization was able to provide loans and technical services to nine new start-up businesses. Just prior to retiring from AvMed Health Plan, Nichols helped to create and was a founding member of a real estate investment company that was able to acquire a significant piece of land in Gainesville, which they are now looking to develop. The plan is to build homes, businesses, a fitness and health center, a restaurant and a bank– –“All the things that our community needs in the southeast Gainesville area,” said Nichols. Privately he continues to practice law with an emphasis on real estate, wills, probate, trusts, real estate closings and a few other areas. “These are areas that I believe are critical, especially in the Black Community,” he stated. In closing, Nichols confirmed, “I believe that every individual, black or white American from any particular background of from any religious group has a right to have hope, a right to dream, a right to create, a right to achieve and a right to contribute. I think that’s all that any of us hope for, that’s all that Martin Luther King hoped for––for himself and the children of America; to be able to fulfill the hope, the dream, create, achieve and contribute speaks to the lives of many of the people whose names are common to us: Abraham Lincoln, Ron Brown, who was Secretary of Labor, or you can think of Bill Clinton or Al Sharpton any of the names we know those were the driving forces. The question for me has always been and continues to be, “What are you going to do about it –– about my family, about my community, about my state, about my country, about the world and about my own feelings, because those are the things that give direction and motivation in my life.”

November/December 2007

African American

Kimble Officially Enters the Office of Bishop at Consecration Ceremony

Shayla Wilson Wins Silver Medal at Student Nations’ Cup

EATONVILLE, FL -- The Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops, at the direction of the Board of Directors, is conferring upon Dr. Ronald F. Kimble, Sr., Senior Pastor of the Life Center Church of Eatonville, Florida the Office of Bishop in a sacred formal consecration ceremony to be held Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 11:00am at the Life Center Church. As the Senior Pastor of The Life Center Church located in historic Eatonville, Fl., the oldest black municipality in the United States, Dr. Kimble has served this thriving congregation for the past 29 years. Under Dr. Kimble’s leadership, an array of ministries have been birthed, among which are The Life Academy, which serves K4-8th grade and a national television ministry (The Healing Touch). Dr. Kimble is the founder of H.E.L.P. Community Development Corporation. Dr. Kimble received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from United Bible College and has received training at other schools and seminaries. In 2004, Dr. Kimble was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree by St. Thomas Christian College, Jacksonville, FL and an honorary Christian Doctor of Theology degree by Florida Christian University, Orlando, FL. Under his Apostolic leadership, Life Center churches have been planted in the cities of Ocala, FL, Titusville, FL and Monrovia, Liberia. He is the Overseer for numerous churches in the U.S. and the Spiritual Life Center & The Life Center Orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. Dr. Kimble is the father of three, Ronald, Jr., Renee, and Rosalyn. Serving as Chief-consecrator for the ceremony will be Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr., D. Min., Pastor, Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church, Washington, D.C. Bishop Owens serves as the Dean of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops and has recently been named an Adjunct Professor at Howard University School of Divinity, where he teaches classes in the field of Homiletics. Bishop Liston Page II from The Highway Cathedral, Patterson, NJ and Bishop Hayward Parker from Truth Tabernacle Ministries, Rocky Mount, NC will serve as Co-consecrators. A reception will be held in Dr. Kimble’s honor following the ceremony at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel in Maitland, Florida. For more information contact Pastor Cornell King, Executive Pastor, The Life Center Church (407) 6283229.

November/December 2007

MADRID, ESP --- In a field of 54 riders representing 16 Nations, Shayla Wilson of Orlando, FL finished a coveted second place in the show-jumping phase at a recent Student Riding Nations’ Cup held in Spain. The competition took place from September 19-23 at the Club Sek Villafranca del Castillo just outside Madrid, Spain. Qualified students and graduates up to age 28 met to gain international experience in the Olympic disciplines of dressage and stadium jumping. Sharing their love for horses and equestrian sport, like minded individuals from across the globe were given the opportunity to compete on borrowed horses. Like all other Student Riding Nations’ Cups, the format was a knockout competition where three riders from three different countries compete on the same horse, with the best score continuing to the next round. Each succeeding round became increasingly more challenging and required horses of different calibers. The finalists were required to compete on two different horses to determine the winner. The first two rounds of jumping were judged primarily on style, allowing Wilson to showcase her well honed seat and sense of rhythm. Afterwards, she qualified for the semi-finals where the winner is determined by sheer speed and faults, similar to a speed class. Wilson managed to knockout two more riders, moving into the finals. The other rider to join her in the race for Gold was Spanish rider Javier de Wit. It is notable that Javier de Wit is a sponsored professional from Spain and is the son of a Spanish Olympian. "I was very nervous and excited to jump a course this high and this interesting. It was a great opportunity." stated Wilson, a senior at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA, The last round proved to be a suspenseful and nail-biting finale with an extremely close finish. Wilson, with a shaky start, was eliminated with 2 refusals on her first mount, a bay Oldenburg stallion. Spain followed with an excellent 4-fault round on the other final round mount, a 17.3h Selle Francais gelding. After the traditional kissing ceremony, de Wit was up on the Oldenburg stallion. Although a very talented rider, de Wit had an unfortunate fall at the B portion of the triple combination and was eliminated, giving Wilson a chance for the Gold. Starting strong, Wilson had a clear round until

U.S. rider, Shayla Wilson, clears a fence during the semi-finals.

U.S. rider, Shayla Wilson (left), accepts her silver medal beside Spanish riders Sebastian Mateu and Pablo Indurain.

fence at the A portion of the double combination towards the end of course, ending with 8 faults due to light rubs. After three days of competition, the difference between silver and gold in show jumping had come down to one rail. In addition to her skill in both jumping and dressage, Wilson brought diversity to the arena as an African American rider. Clearly a talented and adaptable rider, Wilson’s solid dressage performance led her to a combined third place finish. The American team ranked well throughout the competition. American riders Hailey Quirk from Cal Poly Tech Institute and Anne Woetz of University of Maryland alongside the team’s Chef d'Equippe, Kama Godek, a College of Charleston graduate who currently resides in the Netherlands, also left a mark in Spain. Team USA ended the competition with a 4th place finish overall. Hailey Quirk gave the American team an edge by making it to the second rounds in stadium jumping and dressage. Individually, Quirk placed 5th in the combined individual ranking, contributing several points to the team score. During each round, she displayed excellent fundamentals and elegant position while quickly developing rapport with the horses.

Onyx Magazine


Florida Scope Walt Disney World Sponsored Event Salutes Outstanding Businesses ORLANDO - The African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida awarded high honors to Central Florida businesses with extraordinary accomplishments and commendable cultural diversity programs during its reception and annual Eagle Awards and Business Recognition Dinner held this past Saturday night at Disney's Yacht Club Resort. "We were proud to celebrate our third year of this signature Chamber event," noted Paul Wyche, Board Chairman. "This year we expanded the Eagle Awards event to include three new categories. The awardees were selected largely because of their commitment to the African American community by providing contracting opportunities and helping to make our communities better places to live." The two Eagle Award honorees were R.L. Burns Inc., a building construction and construction-management company; and Johnson's Diner, a popular family owned Orlando restaurant. The Chamber also honored Darden Restaurants and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida for national leadership in their business diversity efforts; Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort for excellent community service; and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and Orange County Public Schools for leadership in providing, collectively, more than $140 million in contract and vendor opportunities in 2006 to minority and women owned business enterprises. The African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida is committed helping improve the economic outlook of Central Florida with resources that can better shape the business environment through improved corporate sensitivity and business responsibility. For additional information about the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, visit 24 Onyx Magazine

Florida-Based SAKILÉ Enhancing the Mind, Body and Spirit SAKILÉ (sah-key-lay) is an all natural body care company that features ingredients from the Continent of Africa. SAKILÉ owner, Karen Peters has created a festive, “green” environment that attracts guests to come in, browse and sample natural, decadent body butters, creams, shower gels, and the big seller, the Fulani Candles. SAKILÉ literally began as a dream that Karen had during her internship to Cameroon, Africa. While there, she was blessed with the unique opportunity to visit remote villages in the bush of the country and learn about the healing and curative botanicals of the land. Conversations with indigenous folks also helped inspire Karen to share what she learned. After several years of trial and error, and meditation and prayer, SAKILÉ came to be. With just a handful of ingredients, SAKILÉ offers a simple, yet unique body care collection that honors the traditional skin care of Africa, uses all natural ingredients, and respects the nature of us. This is what we're all about and this is what we share with you.

If you are a true SAKILEAN, you have a certain style; unlike any other, yet sharing a common aura. The aura we call "peace and beauty". You've embraced SAKILÉ style if you... • •

Actually stop and smell the roses Know about little, eclectic shops that have high quality items at affordable prices Use SAKILÉ body butters as moisturizer, hand cream, lotion. lip balm, hair dressing and perfume Think sticks and stones aren't for breaking bones; they're for making jewelry You truly appreciate the organic aromas and therapeutic qualities of essential oils

SAKILÉ is an African word that means peace and beauty and it is on these principles that we've come to be and continue to grow. SAKILÉ is not a brand. It's not simply the name of a company. SAKILÉ is a way of life. Using a handful of all natural ingredients like coconut milk, Demerara sugar, vanilla, honey, jasmine, watermelon seed oil, and hibiscus, SAKILÉ offers a distinctive collection of basic skin care that honors traditions of Africa, celebrates the sacred beauty of us, and respects the divine order of nature. SAKILÉ offers a variety of body care products that enhance the Mind, Body and Spirit. Taking your senses to a place of peace and beauty. To experience more SAKILÉ visit us at the flagship store located in downtown Orlando at 421 West Church Street, Orlando, FL., or visit our website at www.SAKILÉ.com. For questions or assistance call 1.888.725.4531 or 407.648.0078.

November/December 2007


y c a g e L h t f i F m a r g o r P s d r Awa and its

e s u o H n e p O d n Seco th, 2007 7 2 r e b m e c e Thursday, D 0 p.m. 5:00 p.m. – 8e :0 in th r Cafeteria e w e r B id v a D e Avenue Grand 801 South Rio ida Orlando, Flor


SVP to 407-88

00 • R Donation: $20.

Announcing the JHSHS Membership Drive The Jones High School Historical Society, Inc. invites you to become a member during its Membership Drive which ends on December 31, 2007. The Jones High School Historical Society, Inc. needs you, your input, and your support to help keep it strong and viable.

Won’t You Join Today?

Membership is open to graduates, students, and friends of Jones High School and comes in two-forms: executive and general. If you do not wish to become a member at this time, a monetary contribution in any amount would be appreciated. Your contribution will help fund the scholarship that the Society presents to one qualifying senior each year. Importantly, your contribution will help make it possible for the Society to increase the amount of its scholarship and/or will make it possible for the Society to increase the number of recipients.

Please join the Society today and let's work together to preserve Jones High School's rich legacy. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact: Walter Hawkins at (407) 246-3190

Working Together to Preserve Jones High School's Rich Legacy

Jones High School Historical Society, Inc.

Friends and Alumni of Jones High School…

Florida Scope Nu Iota Omega Will Honor Three for Exceptional Service MAITLAND - After more than twenty-five years of service to Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park areas, Nu Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will honor three more exceptional individuals for their dedicated service at their 3rd Annual Community Service Awards Banquet. Nu Iota Omega honors individuals in three separate categories, Community Service, Humanitarian and Trailblazer. This year’s recipients are: Toni Evette Shinn, the Community Service recipient is the creator of the non-profit organization Community Concepts, Incorporated (CCSI). Tony has developed a program for young girls between the ages of 11-18 called P.U.R.P.L.E.; Powerful, Urban, Passionate, Ladies Excelling. This program teaches young ladies a higher level of self esteem, life skills, time management, money management, anger management, conflict resolution and academic achievement. Toni is currently in the process of developing a program for young boys with the same agenda, entitled H.A.R.D.; Having A Real Dream. Derrick Baxter, the Humanitarian recipient is a retired airline pilot who gives freely of his time and effort to improve the lives of children. Derrick volunteers with E.N.A.B.L. (Education Now and Babies Later) through the Seminole County Healthy Start Coalition. This abstinence education program teaches 6th grade middle school students how to recognize and respond to pressures from peers, media and society that could potentially lead them into risky behaviors, including sexual activity. Derrick helps young teens to understand through self discovery that the best lifestyle choice for them is abstinence until marriage. Derrick’s work as 26 Onyx Magazine

a volunteer eventually led him to full-time employment with the Seminole County Healthy Start Coalition where he continues to serve as an ENABL Coordinator. Dr. Angela D. Adams, the Trailblazer recipient has worked tirelessly and diligently for the past twelve years to educate African American men about prostate cancer. Recognizing that prostate cancer was not a common topic of discussion in the African American household, but yet it was the most common kind of cancer among African American men, Angela organized the African American Men’s Health Summit. The primary purpose and goal of the summit was to educate African American men about the risk factors for prostate cancer and to participate in early detection screening. The first program was held in her church, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Oviedo, FL. Later it moved to inner city Orlando, where 250 men attended. Each year the summit has grown and over 3,000 men attended the summit last year. Dr. Adams’ exceptional dedication and commitment to her community has been instrumental and essential to the establishment of corporate partnerships and sponsors to fund the Summits. She is responsible for recruiting and inspiring more than 300 volunteers to join her in her efforts. Her efforts have inspired other communities in Florida to host African American Men’s health programs, focusing on prostate cancer.

Dr. Angela D. Adams

Derrick Baxter

The Florida Division of the American Cancer Society has used her model as a format to host successful African American Health Summits in Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona, Jacksonville and other counties in the state as well as saving the lives of 30 men as a result of the screenings. Toni Evette Shinn

November/December 2007

Florida Scope RPOF Announces

Florida African American Details of Black Education Alliance to host its 2008 Annual Issues Summit Republican Conference and Recognition Program CONFERENCE WILL FEATURE GOVERNOR CRIST, LYNN SWANN, AND MICHAEL WILLIAMS

The Florida African American Education Alliance will host its 2008 Annual Issues Summit and Annual Recognition Program on January 20-21, 2008 in Orlando, Fla. This year FAAEA has created an additional program that is designed to applaud the advancements, accomplishments, and successes of minority students, teachers, administrators and community leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. To this end, FAAEA will recognize and honor: high achieving minority students who are focused in science, technology, engineering or math; teachers and administrators who have demonstrated a commitment to advance and increase minority achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math; and innovative after-school and community programs that have proven success in serving minority students in science, technology, engineering, and math. We have invited key elected officials and celebrities to participate in this event. Our last forum attracted more than 1000 students and their families, teachers, administrators, school board members, celebrities, businesses, community leaders, organizations and key elected officials, including former Governor Jeb Bush, former Florida Board of Education Chairman Phillip Handy, Florida Board of Governors Chairwoman Carolyn Roberts, former DOE Commissioner John Winn; DOE Chancellor K-12 Cheri Yecke, Chancellor of Colleges & Universities Mark Rosenberg, and Chancellor of Workforce Education and Community Colleges David Armstrong. Our event is dedicated to celebrating the successes of Florida’s students. During the event, we will celebrate the gains in closing the achievement gap and disseminate information regarding the educational achievements of all students, with special emphasis on minorities. The Florida African American Education Alliance was created to educate Florida's minority communities on the benefits of our current education system and encourage them to take advantage of the programs and services available within the education system. The Alliance seeks to: • To promote open dialogue and collaborative efforts between parents, administrators, educators, students, lawmakers and the community to ensure quality education for minority students. • To provide information to the public on issues related to education as well as provide access to tools and resources needed to ensure real gains and success for all students. • To develop strong, informed communities that will provide the backbone and support structure for a skilled workforce. The Alliance monitors the performance of African American students and applauds improvements. The Alliance seeks to facilitate an open line of communication between educational institutions implementing education reform and our communities in order to ensure that our unique issues are addressed. The Alliance also provides assistance and recommends corrective action for declining student performance.

November/December 2007





TALLAHASSEE—Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer today announced details of the Party’s upcoming Black Republican Conference, scheduled for November 16 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. “This historic conference will bring together influential African American leaders, grassroots supporters, elected officials, and statewide policymakers to convene a dialogue on the issues that are important to African Americans in Florida and across the nation,” noted Chairman Greer. “We are honored that such notable figures as Governor Crist, Michael Williams, and Lynn Swann have agreed to participate and we look forward to continuing our outreach efforts in the African American community.” The conference will include discussions on minority voter outreach, an introduction of the newly-formed African-American Leadership Council, and a keynote address by Governor Crist. Special guest speakers include Representative Jennifer Carroll, the first AfricanAmerican female Republican ever to be elected to the Florida Legislature, and Michael Williams, Texas Railroad Commissioner. Additionally, motivational speaker and former Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro-Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann will speak. Governor Crist will also attend the Florida Classic, the annual football game between FAMU and BethuneCookman University, to toss the traditional pre-game coin. There will be a $25.00 fee to attend the Conference to cover limited transportation, lunch, and the reception. For additional information or to sign up for the Black Republican Conference, please visit

Onyx Magazine


Loss of Our Children is Costing Us


By Kevin Thomas

The enemy is nigh, ever lurking to devour our children. It wants to take away our children and make them slaves forever. This dreadful enemy is cold, heartless and has no soul. The enemy is nigh, ever lurking to devour our children. It wants to take away our children and make them slaves forever. This dreadful enemy is cold, heartless and has no soul. This enemy is television.

at a very young age to Disney’s product line aimed at children. As they age, they get passed on to the adult Disney products, such as ESPN, ABC, and Touchstone Pictures (all of which Disney owns).

Television has been able to effortlessly do what the elite have tried desperately to accomplish forever—to get into our homes and train our children, almost from birth.

Another example is Nickelodeon (owned by Viacom). Viacom wants to attract your children with Nickelodeon, get them to be loyal viewers, and when they’re older, pass them on to the other companies in Viacom’s portfolio. According to, “These companies include (but are not limited to) MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and BET.”

The corporate elite don’t want parents to raise their children. They want us, as parents, only to sponsor our children, while they (the corporate elite) do the rearing. “Let the child’s first lesson be obedience, and the second will be what thou wilt.” — Ben Franklin Even though Ben Franklin was not talking about television, the principle still rings true. Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and various other TV programs have one goal in common—to make your children loyal and obedient viewers. The industry accomplishes this feat through subtle and not-so-subtle suggestions in image and sound displayed across the screen. Once your children are sucked in, your job as a parent changes from a nurturer, teacher, and provider to just a provider. From then on, the TV (as well as all other forms of media) will nurture and teach your children without your input. As a parent you only need to provide the products and services that TV tells your children they need. You see, Disney wants to make your children “lifers.” It starts by indoctrinating them 28 Onyx Magazine

Let’s not leave out Cartoon Network, which is owned by Time Warner. Time Warner gets your children to fall in love with Cartoon Network and once they’re of age, Time Warner invites them to continue their adult education through HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS, AOL, Mapquest, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Essence Magazine, Fortune, Life and Moviefone. Unfortunately, television doesn’t hold all the advantages we sometimes think it does. As a matter of fact, television is one of the leading causes of the deterioration of America’s children—your children. Some of the other contributors include radio, music, movies, the Internet and cell phones. However, let me emphasize that none of these forms of media, in and of themselves, are harmful. Rather, it’s the unchecked freedom that TV has undeservedly earned that causes the problem. If we’re honest with ourselves as parents, we have to admit that we use the TV as an assistant to help us raise our children. Admit it. What we need is a lot more

enting and a lot less TV. How can this information help stabilize you financially? Let me explain. Your child is an empty slate, eager to be filled. The question is, will he or she be filled by you or by the TV? If you fill your child with love, freedom, justice, equality and nurturing, it costs you very little. But being a sponsor is expensive. If you allow the TV to raise your child, it will cost you a fortune. Every suggestion the TV gives your child costs you money. Remember, TV’s sole purpose nowadays is to connect your child to the corporate world’s products and services. And it depends on you for financial backing—which you provide when you buy those products and services. One of the greatest enemies to American society today is not lurking in an alley. It will not come and kick down your door, and you will not find it in Iraq. Instead, you’ll happily invite it into your home. This enemy is your TV. If you want to control your life and your family’s life, you don’t have to bar the windows or install a new security system. You only have to control the TV. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”— The Bible By Kevin Thomas Catch 22 Publishing (

November/December 2007

November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine


“It was an enlightening and emotionally exploring experience.” IS THE OPINION OF INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED POET,





Blending classic styles and contemporary rhythms, Now You’ve Seen Me Naked challenges our ideas about how we view ourselves particularly in the scope of love and relationships. Referencing the title of her work, the poet disrobes her very soul to give readers the opportunity to peer into her own self reflection and analysis.


Now You’ve Seen Me Naked Now You’ve Seen Me Naked describes the joys and failures of relationships expressing Eros and Agape love incorporating both feminine and masculine viewpoints both inviting and exacting. 30 Onyx Magazine

Now You’ve Seen Me Naked describes the joys and failures of relationships expressing Eros and Agape love incorporating both feminine and masculine viewpoints both inviting and exacting. Divided into Chapters, Now You’ve Seen Me Naked outlines the work with headings entitled Burlesque, Pastiche and Farrago which in definition alone lends to the description of a work that is as raw as a strip tease and as playful and exaggerated as a satirical variety show. As unpretentious as its author, Now You’ve Seen Me Naked is the book for both experienced readers and those newly introduced to poetry. Expressing relatable feelings of vulnerability and desperation, Ms. Crooks explores the human condition in lines excerpted from her poem “Soliliquy”: “Can you just bathe me Wash me so I don’t feel dirty Like I swam through muddy waters…” Ms. Crooks examines the spirit with expressions like: “For the children who ran from the neighborhood dogs For the same children who still run from the neighborhood For my children who run till their chests feel tight Breath…” Excerpted from the poem, “Still Born Dreams.” About her work and her purpose Renee’ explains, “I live to write. I’ve always felt as though I needed to express myself through poetry. It’s intimate it’s like reading a hand-written letter from a loved one which is such a rare treat in a world of forwarded emails and texts. I love the intimacy and sincerity of writing, particularly poetry.” Now You’ve Seen Me Naked can be purchased online at A true investment, it is a book that will place a smile on your face, a tear in your eye and add an inch to your soul.

November/December 2007

November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine


Wedding Trends TODAY’S WEDDING CAKE AFTER CENTURIES OF INNOVATIONS Confections are symbolic of fertility. Some form of it has appeared at wedding celebrations as far back as the Ancient Greeks when the bride and groom partook of the sesame cake during the wedding banquet. Following their vows, the early Roman bride and groom ate part of their wedding cake (honey cake) before offering it to Jupiter. Later, the banquet guests broke small cakes over the head of the bride in expression of a fruitful marriage.


During the Middle Ages, the guests threw small cakes at the bride and groom as they returned to the bride’s home after the ceremony. Similarly, in Elizabethan England, they carried and consumed the wedding cake in procession to the bride’s home following the ceremony.

Once home, the bride and groom were targets of small cakes. The single ladies customarily saved some to place under their pillows in hope of having dreams of a suitor.

flavors. Many brides also choose to include the groom’s cake. There has been a period in which the groom’s cake had been partially abandoned because of the expense.

French chefs are recorded as having influenced the revolution of small cakes to the larger iced and more appealing version among the English royalists. With the passing of time, the British went to two cakes––one to break and one to admire. This practice soon revolutionized to cutting of the wedding cake. The bride’s cake was so popular that the English started the tradition of the groom’s cake.

Today, one will find it in use quite often. It is usually a spice, chocolate or other decadent cake decorated to reflect the groom’s hobby, work or special interest. The bride and groom do not cut this cake during the cake cutting ceremony. Instead, the caterer slices it and the guests are free to serve themselves. Sometimes the caterer places each slice in a small white box that bears the bride and groom’s names. They wrapped the boxes in a white satin ribbon and station them on a table near the door where each guest is expected to take one upon departing.

Today, we are more familiar with the delectable decadent brides cake available in many

We received a lovely wedding git, but the card was apparently lost. We’re heart-sick because we may never know who sent this expensive piece of crystal. Can you help solve this problem? Cards that are misplaced or lost from wedding gifts can be frustrating for the newly-weds. When gifts are sent from the store, this seldom happens, because the card is usually placed inside the box. Gifts that are wrapped at home and taken to the reception should have the card inside the box and not attached to the outside. As a wedding coordinator, I’ve seen cards barely attached to gifts when they arrive at the reception. Hopefully, by the process of elimination, when writing thank-you notes you will discover the missing gift-giver. Use your guest book as a guide to the people who attended your reception. How can bridesmaids who live out-of-town be fitted properly for their dresses? Ask the consultant at the bridal shop to help with this. Usually you will need the precise measurements of your out-of-towners. The final fitting can be handled in two ways: athe dress can be shipped directly to the bridesmaids to have alteration done in the city where they live, or they can be altered a day or two before the wedding in the city where they were purchased. Why are some male attendants referred to as ushers and others as groomsmen? What’s the difference? The term usher and groomsman are often the same. A groom who has many friends will ask some to walk in the procession as groomsmen. Others will usher guests, light candles, pull the runner and assist with late-comers. It is really a matter of choice for the groom.

32 Onyx Magazine

KNOW YOUR WEDDING ETIQUETTE Let’s not step on anyone’s toes. The following rules of etiquette were taken from Wedding_Etiquette: • Before announcing the engagement to the world, the parents of both the bride and groom need to be told the good news. Proper etiquette dictates the mother of the bride being told first, followed by the mother of the groom. • Wedding guests don't have to purchase gifts from the registry, but they are required to give something. • The wedding begins once the mother of the bride is seated. It's for this reason that she's always seated last. • If you're allowed to bring a wedding guest, the words "& guest" will be written next to your name on the invitation envelope. If this isn't indicated, you're to fly solo. • The cost of a gift does not have to total the cost of a meal at the wedding reception. Guests do not have to pay their way. Gifts only need to be in good taste. • It is considered very bad manners to ask for money as a wedding gift.

November/December 2007

WEDDING GOWNS: A Hint of Color Some 21st Century brides find it daring and exciting to buck tradition and they are doing it with color. What was first hints of color in the form of a bow, sash or embroidery has now become more bold. While hints of color allowed the brides to wear the traditional white gown, daring to be different, some brides are turning to colored wedding dresses. Whether you call it the independent women or a trend-setter. Some brides prefer to wear a dress that is sure to get both favorable and unfavorable comments. Today's independent woman doesn't want to go along with the crowd; she wants to stand on her own merit. What better way to prove she sets the trends rather than follows them? Indeed it takes a daring bride to wear a dress everyone will talk about – and some not so favorably. Seasonal colors are favorite for brides who choose to wear colored gowns. Pastel pinks, lilacs, blues and purple for spring; deeper shades of the same in summer and yellows, golds, and shades of orange for the fall. Those who are choosing colored gowns, are doing so according to season. Spring brides are choosing pale pastel pinks, lilacs, blues

and purples, while those who are marrying in the summer choose deeper shades of these same colors. The winter bride makes a bold statement in deep reds and blues and even white dresses with black edging. While not yet as popular as their counterpart, color gowns are more difficult to find. Brides who want color, but are not brave enough to take that bold step find that very faint pale colors is an option to step into color. People who are set in their ways are going to question the bride’s choice of color. The bride might even shock her own mother with the announcement of a colored wedding dress. However, historically, white wedding dresses weren’t the norm until Queen Victoria stepped out in her white wedding dress during her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. So if today’s bride is concerned about shocking everyone, just remember A colored sash or bow or colored edging can still add color while keeping the "traditional" feel of the wedding dress. Oh, by the way, can you imagine the day when a white wedding gown might be bucking tradition?

WEDDING WEB SITE Wedding website is fast becoming a popular wedding trend. It’s a wonderful way to update every aspect of the impending wedding. It has become a way of keeping friends and loved ones up to date without having to repeat details. This is also a perfect way for the couple to tell their love-story, share music and pictures of both themselves and their families. Wedding websites are convenient, because family and friends can access the site at their convenience. The components of the wedding website should include: Wedding date, Ceremony time, Reception time, Maps to ceremony and reception locations, Links to ceremony and reception websites, Pictures of the reception area, the church, bridesmaids dresses and anything else, Notes to various members of the wedding party, Wedding or honeymoon registry information and Wedding plan updates. Brides often link their website to their registries, although some call it tacky since it is impolite to ask for money as a wedding gift. If a guest does not know what to give a couple or would like to know what their needs are, they can get that information through their registry. It’s convenient too, because you can shop and home and the vendor will send it straight to the bride’s home.

of these expenses. It can be paid directly to the vendor until it all paid up. Of course, any deficits will have to be picked up by the bride and groom. For example a hotel may cost $1000, the bride and groom could break that up into $100 increments. If 10 guests choose to accommodate to the tune of $100, then the hotel bill is paid. The wedding newsletter is a recent trend, however many feel the newsletter is more of a hassle, because it involves making copies and purchasing postage and mailing copies. A website is not necessarily more cost efficient though, as hosting fees and a domain name have to be paid for. Yes, there is free web hosting available, but the bandwidth is limited, which is bad news for those wishing to use lots of pictures. Free websites also come with annoying pop-up and banner ads which cheapen the look. So for some the wedding newsletter may be the better choice.

Wedding websites are great for out-of-town guests. It can include maps and links of hotels and motels, tourist attractions, restaurants and beaches. It can also list flight information. This saves wedding guests from having to do Internet searches on their own.

With today’s wedding costs averaging about $30,000 many couples have to be creative in their wedding plans. A sponsored wedding is something that celebrities have been doing for years. For example, the reception hall might offer a free or discounted event in exchange for being able to put their logo on the wedding invitations and place cards. Wedding programs can also hold advertising from sponsors as can the bride and groom’s website. The couple has to do their best to convince the vendor that his advertisement will be seen. The couple’s be negotiating skills will be taxed. It may even seem more like arranging a business merger than a wedding.

Another trend has evolved from the wedding website –– sponsored honeymoons. The way this is done is that the couple choose where they want to go and do a breakdown of the expenses: travel destination, car rental or cab fare once they reach their destination, hotel, food, attractions, etc. family and friends can then choose how much they want to give toward any

Purchasing a wedding dress from a shop specializing in formal wear over a shop that only sells wedding gowns might be a more profitable arrangement for all involved. It’s important to be creative when choosing vendors, but it’s equally important not to stray too far from home. Local guests are more inclined to visit local establishments.

November/December 2007


Most churches or other wedding and wedding reception venues do not provide decorations. It is the duty of the bride to inquire about decorations such as arches, flowers, bows, candles, balloons and confetti. When booking these venues, be sure to inquire about decorations. Also find out bout the use of nails, screws or push pins. If the happy couple is planning a holiday wedding, the wedding decoration could be inspired by the holiday whether by colors or by trinkets symbolic of the holiday. Center pieces, table cloths and elaborate carvings are probably the best use of carrying out a theme.


Wedding gifts seem to always be a source of discussion and debate. Lover to Know About Weddings could help dispel some of the concern: • Guests are invited because the bride and groom would like for them to share their special day, not because of the gift they will give. They're certainly not expected to pay for their meals! In fact, a wedding gift can be handmade, it can cost $10 or it can cost $1,000. It's the thought that counts. • A wedding registry only includes suggestions. Yes, these are gifts the bride and groom would enjoy, but wedding registry participation certainly isn't mandatory. You're welcome to choose wedding gifts from any store you like. • You shouldn't bring a gift to the wedding seems to be a regional rule. While proper etiquette does dictate gifts be sent to the bride's home, it's acceptable in many areas to set up gift tables in a discreet area of the reception hall. Where wedding gifts are given is usually up to the bride and groom. • Most guests choose to give the happy couple money to help them pay for their honeymoon or to help them start their new life together. Whether you choose to give a check or an actual physical gift is entirely up to you. It's actually considered poor etiquette to request only gifts of cash. Wedding guests should never have specific gifts requested of them. • Technically guests have up to a year to give a wedding gift. While this is allowable, it's not very thoughtful to be so tardy. When choosing a gift for a special couple, choose from the heart. Don't worry about the amount of money you spend or whether or not it's purchased at a specific shop. As longs as your heart is in it, the bride and groom will be touched no matter what you give. Retrieved from "" - Initial Author: Debng

Onyx Magazine



and Ours...

How to Blend Financial Goals in a Blended Family Creating a clear and comprehensive estate plan for a blended family can be challenging. There are many complex emotions that come into play, all of which can put added stress on family members. Meeting with a qualified financial planner is essential –– here’s a quick list of dos and don’ts to take to your appointment and get you started on the right track.

The Do List Do –– Be clear about your desires from the start. Statements such as “I want my spouse to be provided for” or “I want my children from my first marriage to receive their inheritance” can help avoid misunderstandings later. Do –– Consider an allocation of separate assets for a surviving spouse, children, and stepchildren. Do –– Set up clearly designated managers and operational rules for your estate. Do –– Consider your life insurance needs and how life insurance can benefit your overall estate plan.

Do –– Provide incentives to prevent litigation, including specific instructions about your intentions for every aspect of the plan. If you own your own business, for example, make sure your estate plan includes a clearly spelled out business succession plan. Do –– Review beneficiary designations on a regular basis – especially on company benefits, qualified retirement plans and group life insurance. Do –– Commingle separate assets acquired prior to a second or later marriage with community property – ask your financial planner to clarify community property laws in your area’s they vary from state to state.

Provided by…

Benjamin Davis, MBA Financial Services Associate Prudential 8702 Perimeter Park Boulevard • Jacksonville, FL 32216 (904) 641-7933 ext. 7231 • 34 Onyx Magazine

$ November/December 2007

November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine


Florida Health

Forgetful? 10 Ways to Improve Your Memory


It happens to everyone once in a while. You go to do something, then forget what you were about to do. You start to speak, then forget what you were going to say. Memory loss can be a serious problem, especially as we age. “We all want to keep our minds sharp as we age,” says Dr. John Montgomery, a family physician and vice president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. “The good news is that there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your memory and even lower your risk for dementia.” 1. Exercise regularly Exercise promotes blood flow and new brain cells. Even something as simple as a daily 30-minute walk can have memoryboosting benefits. 2. Stick to a healthy diet Make sure your brain is getting the right fuel. Avoid sugar and saturated fat and eat lots of antioxidant-rich fruits. That means plenty of dark-colored vegetables and fruits (including kale, spinach, broccoli, beets, red bell peppers, tomatoes and berries); coldwater fish (including halibut, mackerel and salmon); and nuts (including almonds, pecans and walnuts). 3. Learn something new Try to do something you’ve never done before, such as playing the piano or learning a foreign language. Even modifying your regular routine can stimulate your brain. Walk a different path or take a different route on your drive home. 4. Get enough sleep Too little sleep impairs concentration. Some evidence shows a good night’s sleep ap36 Onyx Magazine

The most important thing you can do to improve your memory is adopt an overall healthy lifestyle and participate in activities that stimulate your brain every day.

pears to boost memory after learning something new. 5. Use memory strategies Use word associations to help you remember things. Make notes or highlight key paragraphs to help you remember what you’ve read. 6. Socialize Research shows that those who regularly interact with other people, particularly during activities that also involve mental and physical exercise, lower their risk of dementia. So join that social or book club, take a dance lesson or volunteer.

7. Get organized Designate a place for important items such as your keys, wallet and checkbook. Keep checklists for things like daily medications or items to pack when you travel. 8. Check those numbers Keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels within recommended ranges. 9. Jot down new information Writing things down helps transfer items from short- to long-term memory. Do it as you think of it rather than wait, before the thought escapes! 10. Solve brainteasers Crossword puzzles, card games and board games can improve your memory. Other games are good for remembering numbers (Concentration), spatial concepts (pinball, pool) and strategizing (chess, checkers). “Finding ways to reduce stress is another important factor in sharpening your memory,” says Dr. Montgomery. “Stretching and relaxation exercises can help.” According to Prevention magazine, stress causes the body to release cortisol, which has been found to shrink memory centers in the brain. “It’s also important to check with your doctor if a new medication doesn’t feel right or if you are concerned about the interaction of multiple medications as this could impair memory as well,” says Dr. Montgomery. “But the most important thing you can do to improve your memory is adopt an overall healthy lifestyle and participate in activities that stimulate your brain every day.”

November/December 2007

People Orlando’s Next Top Model?

ORLANDO – Seventeen-year-old Cynthia Carino has surpassed the bar of versatility, brains and beauty, according to the over 30 modeling agencies across the east coast that wanted to recruit her. She’s the epitome of versatility, pose and drive the model and fashion industry are seeking…and she hails from Orlando via Kissimmee.

A student at West Orange High School, she dreamed of displaying her grace on the catwalk. The opportunity came during an exposition presented by ProScout, a scouting organization for new models and actors. Cynthia would leave this debut with over 30 agencies wanting more. Like any sophisticated aspiring model, she hired an attorney to counsel and represent her with the agencies. “I knew she would be a star the moment she walked through the door,” says Attorney Juan Lynum.

PHOTO CREDIT: Seth Sabal @ Seth Sabal Studio

Her mother, Darlene Drakes, traveled alongside her daughter to Miami as they met the first gamut of interested agencies. In New York City, Cynthia hit the second wave of agencies while dropping in on a few open calls with her grandmother, Noelia Lopez. When she returned home to Orlando, a decision was made. The pick: Elite Model Management, an agency that boasts the careers of Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. “Surreal” is how her mom describes the experience, although mom says, “I knew she would be in entertainment because she commands attention with everything she does.” Hannah Edwards, the Elite agent that recruited Cynthia, would agree, she says, “Cynthia has the Jaslene look” referring to Jaslene Gonzalez, this years winner of America’s Next Top Model. “She’s gorgeous…I was blown away.” Although Cynthia’s heritage is Puerto Rican, Hannah describes her versatile look as “Black, Hispanic, Thai or Indian.” The decision for Cynthia was easy, “Elite has the best reputation, I felt good about what they planned on doing with my career,” says Cynthia. Who now plans to work between Miami, New York City, and undisclosed locations in Europe. Her stepfather, Eric Drakes, former 1998 champion offensive/defensive lineman with the Orlando Predators, is the strength behind Cynthia’s rearing. Her parents have much to be proud of. Not many things bring more pride to a hometown than its homegrown talent. Cynthia Carino is a young star, with big dreams and bigger potential. Orlando will be watching. November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine


Florida Health Metabolic Syndrome:

What you need to know Zelma Dickerson, RN, M.Ed Shands Jacksonville Community Affairs


About 47 million adults in the United States (almost 25 percent) have metabolic syndrome, and the numbers continue to grow. The increasing number of people with this condition is connected to the rise in obesity rates among adults. In the future; metabolic syndrome may overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for heart disease. Signs of heart disease are appearing even among children. According to a recent study, one in eight children has three or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that serves as an early warning signal for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). What is Metabolic Syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a warning. It is a cluster of health problems that include too much fat around the waist, elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and low HDL cholesterol. Together, this group of health problems increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if he or she has three or more of the following risk factors: 1. Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150mg/dL; 2. Blood pressure greater than or equal to 135/85 mmHg; 3. Waist circumference greater than or equal 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men), and 4. HDL “good cholesterol” below 60mg/dL. It’s possible to prevent or delay metabolic syndrome, mainly with lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. Successfully controlling metabolic syndrome takes not only a long-term effort but teamwork with your health care providers. Most of the risk factors linked to metabolic syndrome have no signs or symptoms, although a large waistline is a visible sign. 38 Onyx Magazine

Key Points to • •

Treatment First line treatment for metabolic syndrome is includes; weight loss, increased physical activity, an improved diet, and quitting smoking. People with metabolic syndrome who are overweight or obese are urged to reduce their weight by 7 to 10 percent during the first year of treatment. The next line of treatment is medications used to treat and control individual risk factors such as high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and high blood sugar. If prescribed, aspirin may also be used to reduce the risk of blood clots; a condition that often occurs with metabolic syndrome. Part of managing metabolic syndrome also includes taking all of your medicines as your doctor prescribes. The main goal of treatment for metabolic syndrome is to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes. Risk factors are behaviors or conditions that increase your chance of getting a disease. Shands Jacksonville Disparity Clinics provide free health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. For more information contact about clinic locations call, 904-765-9123.

• • • •

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that increase your chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have any three out of these five heart disease risk factors: a large waistline, a higher than normal triglyceride level, a lower than normal level of HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), higher than normal blood pressure, and higher than normal fasting blood sugar (glucose). About 47 million adults in the United States (almost 25 percent) have metabolic syndrome. The rate of metabolic syndrome continues to rise as obesity levels increase. Metabolic syndrome has several causes that act together. Some can be controlled, while others can’t. To diagnose metabolic syndrome, your doctor evaluates your risk factors and checks your waist size, cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and blood sugar. The first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome is lifestyle changes, including weight loss, increased physical activity, and a healthy diet. If lifestyle changes can’t control your risk factors, your doctor may recommend medicines. Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent metabolic syndrome. But if you develop metabolic syndrome, healthy lifestyle changes also can help to reverse or reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and complications of those conditions. If you have metabolic syndrome, follow a healthy eating plan and increase your physical activity to manage your weight; quit smoking; and take all of your medicines as your doctor prescribes.

November/December 2007

Photo Gallery

40 Onyx Magazine

November/December 2007

Photo Gallery

November/December 2007

Onyx Magazine


By Cathy Howse Cathy Howse is a Black hair care expert and the founder of Ultra Black Hair Products/UBH Publications Inc., a 17-year old company that teaches the truth about Black hair care and growth. Her book, Ultra Black Hair Growth II, is classified as the only proven black hair growth system in the world. Notoriety for her method has been included in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the World. Visit her website at or send your hair care questions to her via email at, 2007

42 Onyx Magazine




I have a problem with thinning ends. My hair is healthy but according to my stylist, it could be healthier if my ends were not so thin. I get my hair professionally done every two weeks and do everything I'm suppose to do, but as my hair get longer it tends to thin out towards the ends (my hair is pass shoulder length). Over the years it has thinned out a lot. How can I thicken my hair ends?


When hair is thin at the ends and the rest of your hair is thick and full, your hair is breaking along the hair shaft. Since the ends are the oldest hair on the head, they require more moisture and treatments to keep them from breaking. The way to stop thinning hair at the ends is to stop the hair from breaking excessively along the hair shaft. My first guess is that you are not replacing the protein your hair needs to make it strong. Secondly, you could be abusing the hair with heated appliances or brushes. Finally, your conditioner is not improving your hair which is requirement for our hair to minimize hair breakage.

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A.

My stylist says as my new growth come in she wants to trim my hair about an inch each time I get a touch-up to thicken it out. Is that necessary? No it is not necessary. Trimming the ends will not stop the hair from breaking along the hair shaft. Nor will it help thicken the hair.

I'm considering moving from Michigan to Mobile Alabama. How do I go about finding a good hair stylist down there? Look at other sisters’ hair. When you see someone with nice hair, ask her who does her hair.

I know that breakage is different from shedding, but how can you tell the difference. Also, is it possible for the life cycle of your hair to be a very short one? If so does this mean that you could possibility have short hair forever? The difference between breaking and shedding hair is - shedding has a little white bulb (root) on the end of the hair. Breaking hair can be quite long, but it will not contain the root. To determine the life cycle of your hair consider this: the average growth of all hair on our heads is about 6" per year. That is AVERAGE. My life cycle is 3 yrs and I have 18" of hair so my hair growth rate is average. Although I have been growing my hair for 18 years, it still is only 18" because the lifecycle starts over after 3 yr. So is it possible to only have 3" of hair growth per year? Yes, but is also possible to have 12" per year. You must go through a life cycle with very little breakage to determine your hair’s lifecycle.

November/December 2007


RICHARD E. “RICH� BLACK President RBlack & Associates

RBlack & Associates is a marketing, branding, strategy, communications, content development, and startup advisory consulting firm. The company's Founder & President is Richard E. "Rich" Black. The firm has worked with several successful emerging corporations and non-profits over a decade. RBlack & Associates was founded in 2005 to serve the unique needs of companies of all sizes, most businessto-business but some consumer. Its focus has always been strategic marketing, corporate initiatives and sponsorship and event consulting, often working with founding teams from the concept stage.

Creating Win-Win Relationships

2201 Lake Sunset Drive Orlando, Florida 32805 Phone: 407-293-0544 Cellular: 407-451-2891

ONYX Magazine November / December 2007  

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