Huami Magazine Charlotte July/August 2019

Page 1


July/August 2019 Vol. 3 Issue 1 FREE


Williams McAdoo,LPC Couple’s Therapist


We Cater and Deliver Dine In or Take Out


5009 Beaties Ford Road - Ste 112 Charlotte, NC 28216 704-919-1701 Charlotte - July/August 2019

Charlotte's Premier Barber Shop

Two Locations To Serve You

North Lake/South Park 980-553-1811

720 Governor Morrison - Suite 21 (Salon Lofts) 10216 Perimeter Pkwy. - Suite 22 - Charlotte, NC 28216 @TheCuttingCompanyNC Charlotte - July/August 2019 3

The Last Step Begins With Taking The First One There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

A Letter From The Editor

One of the toughest challenges for an entrepreneur is making the decision to pour all of themselves into their dreams. For A Letter from thepart Editor me, the difficult was dropping the crutches and learning how to faithfully balance my life on the foundations of what I wanted to become. What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes and dreams have street tohave parkfelt What if I admit thatwouldn’t sometimes mya dreams nightmares, everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow especially when things don’t sound and look familiar, ornever make happened? be from no reason save for a rainythe any sense. AsThere I havewould learned otherto ‘dream chasers’, day,began and you could spare the trouble making plan with a thirst of someone independence. Yet, I of would soon promises. Whatcan if your opportunity seemingly learn the journey be alast draining experience. Thatexpired is why it’s Whattowould do?the refilling stations are positioned sotoday? important knowyou where along the way. I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm During the moments when I have run out of answers and believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me solutions, I pause and reflect on the reasons why I decided that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would to be an entrepreneur. These are times that affords me an be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I opportunity to refill my desire to continue and press on. When have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity I doubt my ability to finish the job, I think about the first step I is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge took to begin, then I am refilled. As I encounter naysayers and to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? ‘dream-killers’, I am once again refilled because it proves that If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn I’m headed in the right direction. This is another important step something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in of my journey. return acquire life.

As ‘dream-chasers’, instead of doubting ourselves, we should The best advice ever given to me happened when someone take value in the many accomplishments of our lives. To make it told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so from the first step to the fifth step, it demanded perseverance, I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only determination, faith, accountability, and sacrifice. So, to make hope provided. I have also learned the difference between it from the sixth step to the twentieth one, we must prepare what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with ourselves to repeat what was done previously and apply a few as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and more methods if needed. when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused Ofwith course, wearrogant. will make being mistakes, and yes, we will stumble, but what’s important is that we Make you tomorrow learnhappen from these occurrences today, but most and allowimportantly them to strengthen us. It’s make it count. also possible that we mayand repeat Life is but a whisper somewe or must even put all ofourselves the samein a mistakes, andto that too is okay. position hear what it is Remember that everything plays a telling us. significant role to help us reach the final step of our journey. Only then we will see how important taking Terry L. Watson the first step was.

Editor/Founder Terry L. Watson


4 Charlotte - July/August 2019

November/December 2014 Editor In Chief Publisher Terry L Watson

Terry L. Watson Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Dawn C. Thornton Writer Terry L. Watson Writers Writer Junious Smith Dixon Writer Tonya Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Todd Youngblood Tamara Smith Photographer Jeuron Dove Photographer Lechele Trent-Jackson Ashleigh Crawley Photographer Photographers JLG Photography Perfect Lenz Photography Todd Youngblood Photography Photographer Shaw Photography Group Still Shots Photography

Howard Photography Who Shotya Keep UpGaither With Photography Us on Facebook Huami Magazine For Charlotte Layout A Group For Followers and Mykel Media Company Supporters of Bennett Huami Magazine Linda (336) 340-7844 (336)340-7844

HUAMI MAGAZINE is published bimonthly quarterly by the Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication may be submitted to the editor by E-mail at Email or Telephone or to 336-340-7844 Mykel Media Company, LLC P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2019 All Rights Reserved 2014 All Rights Reserved

On The Cover

Photo by Shaw Photography Group Want to advertise, Call 336-340-7844

Want To Advertise? Call (336)340-7844




August June Desserts

Natosha Fleming

On The Cover

LaTania Williams McAdoo The Couple’s Coach


B.E. Suite Studios

Marquise Broadnax



She Does It All

TiShawna Pritchett

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Toban Kennedy



Also Featured

Cynthia Reynolds There is magic in her fingers. SewCynt is Cyntsational Creations


Demetra and Anthony Brewer Meet the owners of Omega Security Solutions, LLC of Richmond, Va.


Charlotte - July/August 2019

Betsy Rodriguez From vision into inception, The KinderFoundation is committed to providing affordable child care. Greensboro, NC.

24 5

LaTania Williams McAdoo ,

By Yasmine Regester Photos by Todd Youngblood

Hopeful Expectations Counseling and Consulting Group, PLLC, was started out of a love for helping people. “I have always had a passion for helping people, which is why I chose to become a Therapist,” says LaTania Williams McAdoo, Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Hopeful Expectations Counseling and Consulting Group, PLLC, located in the University Area of Charlotte, North Carolina. This new private practice specializes in helping committed couples work through the day to day conflicts that they face within their relationships. Previously a wedding coordinator for 20 years, LaTania established her counseling practice in March 2019. She worked for three local counseling agencies over the course of eight years before deciding to start her own private practice. She says she wanted to make sure she was prepared to offer quality counseling services and run her own business at the same time. “My own practice has been a long time coming,” says LaTania. A dedicated therapist, she explains she first became intrigued with the study of relationships while taking a psychology class during her last semester of undergrad. Having a love of psychology, combined with being a wedding coordinator, she shares that she noticed a lot of couples weren’t staying married. “That weighed on my heart a little. So, I began thinking about how I could help in some way,” says LaTania. About nine months after graduating from Pfeiffer University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, she decided to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University. After successfully passing the National Counseling Examination, she went on to obtain more than 3000 hours of post licensure training and direct counseling. She has experience with children and adults from ages 4-60, but says she has a passion for couples’ therapy.

“ ,

“I love couples work and really understanding how relationships work. After working with several demographics, I felt in my spirit that God was telling me to go back to where I started. So, I shifted my focus to couples’ counseling,” says LaTania. Continued on the next page


“ ,


LaTania offers counseling to individuals, couples and families. She also offers online therapy/coaching and intensive/marathon therapy, which is an intensive therapy session for couples that combine approximately 4-5 months of therapy into a two-day session. She is a Level II Gottman Trained Therapist, with a theoretical approach based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Gottman Method. The Gottman Method is an approach to couple’s therapy that was founded on more than 40 years of research about couples by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Using the Gottman Method, LaTania explains that when couples first come to her office, she will complete an initial assessment of the couple’s relationship and integrate research-based interventions based on Gottman’s Sound Relationship House Theory. “The Sound Relationship House Theory is a metaphor, developed by John and Julie Gottman, to explain what it takes to build a strong relationship. Like building a house, relationships need a firm foundation. The foundation for strong relationships is to build ‘Love Maps’ of one another’s world; to learn what is important to one another,” she says. She starts the initial screening with a questionnaire to get an idea of what couples want to address in their sessions. She explains the first session is approximately 90 minutes and consists of learning about the couples needs and desires. The second session allows LaTania to get to know each person on an individual basis. The third session allows LaTania to give feedback from session one, two and the assessment. At this time, the couple along with LaTania will set specific goals to help the couple to get to a healthy place in their relationship.


She also recommends that couples participate in therapy before getting married. “For most women we carry this dream of getting married with us for many years. But the love that takes you to the alter, is not the same love that’s going to keep you happily married. We spend so much time planning the wedding, that we don’t plan the marriage,” LaTania says she tells her clients. Being authentic, LaTania shares that she and her husband saw a couple’s counselor for two years before they got married. “We had been together for a while, but I could tell that we weren’t quite ready for that next step. Being in a relationship requires work. Learning who you are with will take time. I practice everything that I teach my clients to do,” she says, which also includes individual therapy sessions for herself. “There’s nothing wrong with counseling. I go to counseling for self-care. We get overwhelmed in our day to day lives, and sometimes you need to speak with someone. Therapy provides a balance, emotionally and spiritually. It helps you release the stuff you’ve been holding onto,” she states. Through her practice, LaTania is also working to combat negative stigmas associated with therapy in the African American community. She advises people not to think something is wrong with them if they want to seek counseling. “Counseling is that safe place that one can go to for support, encouragement, and it is always confidential. Counselors offer a wealth of knowledge and experience,” says LaTania. “Your situation might be unique to you or your friends, but it’s not unique to us.” LaTania is also planning to conduct a series of marriage workshops for couples called, “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work & Relationship Coaching.” Her future goal for the practice is to expand to offer group coaching to teen girls and young women. “Sometimes as women, we don’t set healthy boundaries for ourselves or we remain in toxic relationships past the expiration. We should learn to love self-first. I have a passion for empowering women to set healthy boundaries when it comes to relationships,” says LaTania, adding, “You must have a heart for therapy. One of the things I’ve learned is that a heart of empathy isn’t something you can learn in school, you are born with it. I love helping people,” says LaTania. She resides in Charlotte with her husband Jono McAdoo and is the mother of a 23-year-old daughter, Kiana Williams. h

LaTania Williams-McAdoo Hopeful Expectations Counseling & Consulting Group, PLLC 1923 JN Pease Place Ste. 104 Charlotte, NC 28262 704-247-7638 9

M aria M acon Concerned & Committed

By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Todd Youngblood If you’ve ever met Charléon Maria Macon you would resolve early on that she is someone special. Just shy of her 74th birthday, Maria has dedicated her life to serving the community and impacting countless people with her business Polish I.N.C., which helps small startup businesses that employ (2-50) employees and infrastructure building for nonprofit organizations. She also is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mecklenburg Council of Elders, Inc. which was formed as the result of a county commission appointment to the cities Community Relations Committee. Born and raised in Chicago, Il, Maria relocated to Charlotte in 1985 as she climbed the corporate ladder. That move would alter the trajectory of her career and enhance her focus for the betterment of community and family. Initially, she solely worked with for-profit businesses and volunteered for nonprofits, but realized nonprofits needed much more attention than they were receiving. “Historically, nonprofits led by African Americans failed in their infancy due to the lack of infrastructure development, so when I learned that, I knew I could really help my community and bring about resources, financially and otherwise that they had not had,” says Maria. In 1986, Polish I.N.C. was born, the name stemming from Maria working with artist to ‘polish’ their act and stuck as she moved into the business and nonprofit arenas. The I.N.C. was added later as she began to work internationally, becoming Polish International Nonprofit Consulting. One of Maria’s main objectives early on, was to show businesses how to leave legacies of wealth instead of just creating jobs for themselves. Though jobs are important, sometimes simply creating jobs only forces one to work harder and not smarter. Teaching business owners how to incorporate their business to protect their personal assets or liabilities then utilize that corporate status to grow the business, has become a driving force. Early on, Maria primarily worked with construction companies, hair salons, auto repair shops, and convenience stores, in doing so, she said “Some business owners were not aware that their business passions could qualify on some level as a nonprofit effort and receive public support. The IRS exempt organization Dept. premises is that of “if in fact, you are helping to solve a societal ill then you are entitled to societal support”. So many of what owners were calling businesses were really helping to solve the ills that existed in their disenfranchised communities and would have fared much better had they been operating as a nonprofit organization,” she explains. The 501c3 tax exempt status allows for public funding to take place but, in many disenfranchised communities the lack of access to information creates a fog relative to the rules and regulations regarding such exemptions that many don’t bother to clear. A huge misnomer with entrepreneurs is that a nonprofit business cannot make a profit or that for-profit business means that you will make one. Yet, when you observe real- world situations, the nonprofit sector is fueling the economy today. Why? because nonprofit organizations do business with for-profit businesses.

“Historically nonprofits led by African Americans fail due to lack of infrastructure development, so when I learned that, I knew I could really help my community and bring about resources, financially and otherwise they had not had.” Continued on the next page


“Just about anything you want to go into business for can be structured into a nonprofit organization, with proper infrastructure; from community grocery stores to a construction company that hire former incarcerated to recovering addicts,” Says Maria. To better serve her business and nonprofit community, Maria is a Duke certified nonprofit manager, and a certified grant writer. She is also a certified court mediator and a certified paralegal. “Early on I had aspirations of becoming a corporate attorney. So, I needed to learn how corporations exist. In that process, within my corporate job I began to learn about setting up corporations, reading bylaws, and taking classes, that gave me the foundation to do what I do now.” She made a nice mark for herself within Corporate America, which afforded her the opportunity to do what she currently does. Now she has clients nationwide and internationally, from El Salvador to Dimona, Israel to the Caribbean

Pictured are MCOE Members Sylvia L. Grier, Ellsworth Best, and Corey Muhammad presentation at Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum

It’s clear that uplifting others is near and dear to her heart which is why she was appointed to the Community Relations Committee in 2014. She, and the other inductees, were challenged with creating a project that they could work on during their three-year appointment. It didn’t take long for Maria to assemble a committee called Council of Elders which grew into the Mecklenburg Council of Elders, a recognized nonprofit organization and a full-time endeavor. The idea for this organization was fueled by her work in Chicago when she was with the Chicago Police Department in the WhiteCollar Crimes Division. She noticed disparities in the interpretation of the law between races and later discovered that when certain groups of people commit crimes, officers merely coordinated with that particular cultural-community’s council to mete out the punishment for the crime that had been committed. This was done void of arrests, mug shots, and paperwork. She wanted to see that type of system in the African American culture and infuse that kind of understanding within Charlotte.

Pictured are Maria and a volunteer at expungement clinic in 26th district Courthouse

The Mecklenburg Council of Elders, which Maria founded and is the executive director, is a nonprofit organization serving in the area of criminal justice. Under her direction they’re known for their tireless efforts toward expungement of criminal records within the Charlotte community. “We have a mission that encompasses three components: prevention, intervention, and post incarceration that eventually morphed into expungement. The first year we expected to facilitate 50 people for expungement and 300 showed at our session. The second year we expected to expunge one hundred criminal records and a thousand people showed up.” They quickly realized that they had opened a can of worms and no one was paying attention.

Pictured are Members and Volunteers at expungement clinic at Urban League


Recently the organization introduced other efforts to tackle prevention, such as the Know Your Rights program that takes place every quarter. Their intervention concept offers a Community Peace Walk once a month, in collaboration with the Nation of Islam and The Peace Keepers. They also have a program of Juvenile Court Watch which is a pre-sentencing advocacy program for juveniles during a court hearing to attend a program that would be beneficial to their reformation. In the five years the nonprofit has been able to force a drug house to close, be a part of laws changes in North Carolina and helped formerly incarcerated citizens return successfully from the prison system. This year, the Mecklenburg Council of Elders introduced Blacks Only: Town Hall meetings that invites only the cities Black citizens to attend to begin to talk with each other, voicing their opinions and implementing positive solutions that would benefit their communities. Despite receiving backlash and criticism of discrimination, the group facilitates a Town Hall meeting every 60 days with no White people, no law enforcement, no elected officials, and no media. The group is preparing for their second Blacks Only: Town Hall meeting this month. Maria Macon is an absolute force that fights for the betterment of all communities. She recognizes the disparities within the Queen City and works with others in her organization around the clock to remedy those ills. She is a champion for all people and a leader for her own. You may not know that you have been touched by one of her efforts, but chances are, you have. h

Polish, Inc.

310-A Yeoman Road Charlotte, NC 28217 980-202-9149 www.polishincbiz

1101 Sunset Road Charlotte, NC 28216 13

Cynthia “SewCynt” Reynolds

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Cynthia Reynolds When examining the garments Cynthia Reynolds creates, one would be led to believe that she has magic in her fingers. That would be an accurate assessment. She is the creative designer and face of Cyntsational Designs, a custom clothing and garment design company. Cynthia is a mother, sister, auntie, cousin, and friend. Her life has had its share of ups and downs, yet she has maintained and persevered through them all. Most importantly, she is a God-fearing woman who and true testament of someone who exercises their faith to its fullest capacity. “I inspire, challenge, and motivate myself to go above and beyond my own expectations. I believe there are no limits to what I can accomplish and I’m always eager to learn more about myself and my craft,” she says. “Cyntsational Designs is a form of art that I design and create through sewing. It is not only my brand, it’s also my love and passion and something that allows me to feel honored and humbled. I’ve been sewing since the age of 18 and have always known this was what I wanted to do. I’m extremely blessed to be able to express my thoughts and ideas in the form of clothing and other items,” Cynthia says. “Every piece is meticulously thought, planned, and executed with compassion.”

14 Charlotte - July/August 2019

Want to advertise, Call 336-340-7844

She has always had the desire to sew and been equally creative with both design and home interiors. Her business began in Charlotte North Carolina, amidst her divorce. While she drudged through her thoughts of single parenting and isolation, a very dear friend suggested that she find something that she liked to do to occupy her time. She also needed to do something that would generate an income. “I decided to design and create my daughter a dress to wear for Easter. From that design my younger sister also wanted different pieces made and would eventually become a constant source of encouragement for me. My confidence grew as well as the desire to do more,” she shares. While others admired her sister’s pieces, more work and opportunities began to pour in. What began as pleasure and a hobby became the birth of her business. Today, Cynthia’s product line includes custom church usher uniforms, women’s dresses, After 5 attire, formal wear, infants and toddlers wear, little girls formal wear and Easter designs. She also produces prom gowns, bridal gowns, wedding party gowns and dresses, suits, garment bags, handbags, and more, and she is constantly evolving and learning new ways of how to expand and improve her brand. For weddings she can service the bride and her wedding party, even on the day of wedding, providing any last-minute alterations and making certain everything is perfect. She will also travel to different states for fittings and consultations. For her business to thrive, Cynthia knew she would have to pour her heart into it. “My drive, motivation and determination are immeasurable. I love the fact that my business allows me to envision art in the form of sewing and then take that vision and create beautiful and unique pieces. It has also given me the opportunity to meet many people from different walks of life. I’m ecstatic when someone shares their vision of what they want, and I can bring their vision to life. The feeling is overwhelming. “I am also grateful for the flexibility my business provides to be there for my children and grandchild. I have an 18-year-old daughter teaching her to always have a plan and to pursue your passions is very important to me. I advise her to never give up despite life’s obstacles,” she said. The life of an entrepreneur can often present its own set of challenges. For Cynthia one was finding ways to manufacturer the usher uniforms she creates. Another one was having the financial means to operate. “I remain confident, knowing the results will be rewarding,” she says. Moving forward, Cynthia plans to continue to improve her craft. She also hopes to launch her own clothing line and h possibly become a celebrity designer.

Cyntsational Designs (202) 718-3946

Charlotte - July/August 2019 15

Natosha Fleming August June Desserts 16 Charlotte - July/August 2019

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Rae Images

The name August June Desserts is derived from her birth month (August), and her son’s birth month (June). Natosha Fleming loves to cook and bake and was looking to find a hobby that was related to cooking. That is how her business August June Desserts was born. Over the past eight years, August June Desserts has evolved into a state-approved, home-based cake studio/bakery that is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before starting her business, Fleming stated that she already knew how to bake, but wanted to learn how to properly decorate cakes. In 2010, she took a few cake decorating courses at Michael’s, and that was really the start of August June Desserts. She shared that family and friends really liked the items that she baked, and it was suggested that she go into business selling desserts. The business began to gain more exposure due to word of mouth, and she sued skill sets obtained from work experience over the years and applied to them to the business. August June Desserts specializes in made from scratch custom cakes and gourmet cupcakes for occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, or just because it’s Wednesday and their client wants to have a cake. “I believe that there is nothing better than a freshly baked dessert. I enjoy creating custom cakes and desserts that are beautiful and delicious,” says Fleming. They offer cupcake flavors ranging from classic vanilla to egg nog. Their cake and buttercream flavors can be mixed and matched to provide the perfect custom cake flavor such as lemon cake with strawberry filling, and white chocolate buttercream. There is also the AJD Gourmet Cupcake Collection, which is a specialty cupcake line that has six sweet and savory flavors such as Lavender Honey, Rosemary Cilantro Cheddar, and Wild Mushroom. Additionally, they design custom dessert tablescapes. Besides running a business, Fleming is also a mother, a connoisseur of good music, great food, books, and interior design. Being in the kitchen and her love of food is inherited from her late father Neville Bullard, a native of the Bahamas, an excellent cook as well. Fleming was born in Miami, Florida and is the second oldest of five girls. She moved to Warner Robins, Georgia at the age of 15, is an alumnus of “THEE ILLUSTRIOUS” Hampton University, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. She worked with a community action agency in Georgia in various roles before moving to Charlotte in 2005, and has worked in corporate America for the past 13 years. She has been baking for the last eight years. Continued on the next page

Charlotte - July/August 2019 17

Fleming has found love in operating August June Desserts. “I love the fact that I can create a cake from scratch, knowing it’s a work of art that will be a beautiful and delicious experience for a client’s once in a lifetime celebration. I also love the freedom that entrepreneurship affords. I am able to set my own hours, guidelines, and share my talents, all while making a profit,” she states. Fleming also acknowledges the many challenges that come with running her business. The main challenge she says is balancing work and life. “I have a full-time corporate job, and as we all know, being a parent is a 24/7 job. As a small business owner, I manage all aspects of the business and wear many hats that range from being the owner, baker, website designer, branding and marketing person, graphic designer, photographer, and anything else that is required. All of that takes a lot of time, and I am still adjusting to it all. Another challenge for her is learning that everything in business doesn’t happen overnight. She admits that it’s a long and tedious process that requires adequate preparation.

“As a small business owner, I manage all aspects of the business and wear many hats that range from being the owner, baker, website designer, branding and marketing person, graphic designer, photographer, and anything else that is required”.

Fleming says her mother, Eleanor Bullard has impacted her life and business with her strength, and by providing inspiration on how to be an entrepreneur, as she owned a clown business and a cleaning service. Her father’s impression was felt through his cooking, work ethic (he was a teacher for over 35 years), and his zest for life. “My father’s passing had an effect on my life, as it taught me to take time to enjoy life,” she says.

August June Desserts

704-594-5283 18 Charlotte - July/August 2019

The future looks bright for August June Desserts. This year, they started a blog, August June’s Kitchen which discusses topics ranging from baking, recipes, business, and motivation. Classes teaching business/ branding photography, and cake decorating are also on the forefront. They will also hold pop-up shops at retail locations such as West Elm, and participate in vendor events to introduce and promote the August June Desserts brand to new audiences. h .

Richmond, Virginia (804) 683-7961 up and had no life. But I realized that’s not true, “says Tony. In 2010 he received his preaching license, and by 2014, Tony had graduated with a master’s degree in Divinity, from Virginia Union University. Now he travels from time to time to share God’s word.

Demetra and Tony Brewer Owners of Omega Security Solutions, LLC

By Dawn Cauthen Thornton - Photos by Lechele Trent Jackson

Most parents believe it’s their job to assist their child in achieving anything they have ever dreamed of. They motivate them and often give them boosts of confidence needed to take necessary steps forward. But when the child motivates the parent to do the same thing, it’s undeniably transforming. Anthony ‘Tony’ Brewer experienced this firsthand, after years of contemplating starting his own business, but wasn’t sure where to begin. His own son, wife, and a business owner were instrumental in the creation of Omega Security Solutions, LLC. Of course, the Almighty orchestrated the feat and Anthony hasn’t looked back since. The veteran’s connection to securing the safety of others dates back decades when he served six years in the U.S. Army as a combat nurse. When the time was right, he ended his military career but continued nursing as a civilian. Eventually he was ready to embark on other ideas and decided to go to barber school. From there, he owned and operated his own barbershop until he was ready to move on to something else. “Someone mentioned that a school was hiring for security and so I was a security officer for the school system for eight or nine years,” Tony explains. But in 2001, his life took a turn that led him down a dark path. Drug use consumed him, and he found himself in a recovery facility in Atlanta, GA. Tony spent the next two years reclaiming his life. Since then, he’s made the decision to not allow previous mistakes to define the direction of his journey. Once he found his way back to Richmond, VA, his security roles ensued, and he continued to make strides with his recovery. He even yielded to the call he’s been running from since the age of 18 – to serve as one of God’s messengers. “I always felt like preachers were stuck

A word wasn’t the only thing that Tony provided, he also offered his gift in making those around him feel protected. “When you’re given a gift, you share it.” A few years ago, Tony’s son (also named Anthony) established a recurring event at his Richmond coffee shop where he asked his father to provide security. He did, and it was a safe, fun event where the community could fellowship with no worries. Soon after, his son referred him to a fellow businessman who owned a construction site that had been robbed of equipment several times. He was looking for the best and it seems that is just what he got when he hired Anthony and his team of trained professionals. “There is a big piece of this puzzle that I don’t want you to miss,” Demetra, Tony’s wife and business partner, interjects. “Even with his son initiating and encouraging him, we still had to figure out how we were going to do this. We looked at our own financial situation and realized we didn’t have the money. Our credit didn’t look good so we couldn’t get a loan. When we started we didn’t really have a business yet. But God worked it out. When the construction company started paying us, we were able to obtain our license and are now are accredited as a business.” Tony had been perusing this idea for two years and was on the brink of giving up. In January 2019, Omega Security Solutions, LLC was officially in business and didn’t waste time obtaining more clients. They have recently been granted their largest contract to date, with a local church, offering mobile security for the remainder of the year. Omega also provides security for private parties and single events. To help grow the budding business, Demetra, who also oversees the marketing, advertises on the radio and just produced their first television commercial. They’ve learned that one of the biggest obstacles is budgeting. “You have to know what to pay your employees, what to spend money on, and what to invest in,” says Tony. Another matter of importance is knowing what to pay yourself and how to do bookkeeping to ensure taxes are properly handled. Of all the struggles they’ve faced, neither of them would have it any other way. “It feels great to own a business. It’s stressful but also rewarding,” says Demetra. There were a few naysayers that didn’t believe in their vision, but knowing they have something to pass on to future generations makes it all worthwhile. The couple sees their children and grandchildren one day taking over and growing the business even more. h


Lamont & Stephanie CenterStage In The City

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Still Shots Photography At sometime or another, the need for a dedicated event planner will arise for most people. Whether for a wedding reception, anniversary celebration, corporate event, or birthday party, there is a certain level of attention required to successfully produce these kind of affairs. Fortunately, there is a company who is proven and capable to answer the call. That company is CenterStage In The City. At first glance, it would be understandable for someone to think that owners, Lamont Bradsher and Stephanie Carver have been working together for quite sometime. However, their collaboration has been in the works for quite sometime. Lamont and Stephanie grew up in Roxboro, NC. They were classmates and childhood friends and have enjoyed a friendship that has lasted for over 20 years. That friendship is what lead to the creation of their joint business venture. Over time, they began to run into each quite often. Stephanie was hosting and decorating events with her business, Perfect Harmony Graphics, and Lamont was managing Sumthin 4 Tha People and providing live music and sound services. The opportunity to do more together became obvious and so after a few short months of prayer and consultation, both of their businesses merged and came together to form CenterStage In The City. Their professionalism is complimented by their dedication to meet their clients needs, and ensure that every aspect of their service is executed, flawlessly. “CenterStage represents the climax of the event, where everything comes together,” they share. “People seek the services and talents of event planners mainly because they do not have time to or are not capable of producing the occasion for themselves. We understand our clients frustrations and work diligently to address all of them. It’s not just about booking a date, we are here to create memories that last a lifetime,” Stephanie says.

20 Charlotte - July/August 2019

Want to advertise, Call 336-340-7844

With CenterStage, Lamont is the director of marketing, and live sound production. Stephanie serves as the director of sales, venue host, and decor. Collectively, they are wellversed in every area of event planning and capable of handling many of their business needs in-house simply by eliminating the hassle of juggling a long list of vendors, timelines, and payments. “We are a one-stop shop. We are here to answer every question from the beginning, when the lights come on, until the end when, the doors are closed,” Lamont says. Lamont is the owner of Sumthin 4 Tha People Band, a group of young church musicians which was formed nearly 19 years ago. From their first gig at a family reunion, their performance list now includes festivals across the city of Durham and around the country. When not leading the band and co-managing CenterStage, he serves as the director of Sound Media and Technology at his home church of Union Baptist Church in Durham, NC under the leadership of Rev. Prince Rivers. For Stephanie, in addition to co-managing CenterStage, she is a community advocate and facilitator of LifeLine Unified, Know The Facts, and owner of Perfect Harmony Graphics. Created in 2006, Perfect Harmony Graphics services include executive copy/print administrative services for flyers, banners, obituaries, weddings, graduation celebrations, and creating custom decorations. Stephanie attends Faith Assembly Christian Center Durham, under the leadership of Apostle Mary D. McKenzie. There she learns to apply the word of God to effectively lead her in the community. She is also is an ordained elder/ evangelist, team lead on witnessing team, lead of Flags of Glory, serves on the intercessory prayer team, and sings on praise and worship team. “We are proud parents of school age and college age children with a common goal to be the best example our children see. Through business, we make a difference in our family, church and our community. We love what we do and we have fun doing it by keeping Jesus as our focus for strength,” Lamont says. The emerging company is currently constructing it’s own custom venue space and will host an event expo on July 26, 2019 where a special announcement will be made about their second business location and new event venue. h

Lamont Bradsher 984-227-9289

Stephanie Carver 919-724-5926

Website Email


Tishawna Pritchett & Ron Pritchett Shawn’s Hair n More

By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Lechele Trent Jackson For as long as she can remember, Tishawna ‘Shawn’ Pritchett has been a fan of creating beautiful hairstyles. She’s spent years of studying how to care for healthy hair and how to educate others to do the same. Her salon, Shawn’s Hair N More opened in 2007 and has exciting news coming down the pike. When she was barely a teen, the Virginia native would allow people to come to her home so she could style their manes. She became an assistant to a hairstylist in a salon at 17 to obtain the practical aspect, and later began classes at a local community college that offered the theory of cosmetology. She graduated with a certification in 1992. As life unfolded, Shawn expanded her family, giving birth to her first daughter (she and her husband later had two additional children), got married, and relocated across the country. For the next six years she took a break from styling hair and explored other lines of work. In 2002, her family decided to move back to Virginia and she picked up where she left off – in the salon. “When I came back, I worked two jobs – one in customer service and the other in a hair salon across the street,” says Shawn. She hustled to increase her clientele by passing out business cards to her coworkers and even had a website built to showcase her work and here services. She accomplished her goal and was able to leave her second job after a year of hard work to pursue her passion full time. By 2007, Shawn’s growth allowed her to open Shawn’s Hair N More. The business has flourished so much the she has plans to open in a larger location in August and add an additional six stylists. What sets Shawn apart from the rest, is that she has a heart for healthy hair care and maintenance. “My focus is teaching my clients how to wear the right styles, how to use the right products, what things to stay away from, what foods to eat and which vitamins to take to keep themselves and their hair healthy.”


Her salon offers a wide variety of services, including caring for the ever-popular natural hair. She admits to encouraging women to stay away from braids and weaves because they tend to cause hair loss. And Shawn explains that if you’re a stylist who only styles hair and doesn’t educate yourself on the complexity of hair follicles, you may not be able to effectively serve the client. When so many women put value in their appearance, or regard what sits atop their head as their crown of glory, it’s imperative the stylist isn’t providing a one-size-fits-all experience. It’s equally important for the client to be educated in caring for their own locs. To further drive the practice, she wrote a book in 2017 entitled “31 Tips To Healthy Hair”. Shawn teaches this to the high school students she mentors and in the continuing education courses she offers. “There is a lot of turn-over within the high school cosmetology program, possibly because many of them think it would be fun, or they just like to do hair. When it’s time to truly learn about hair, they’re not ready.” Shawn takes her profession seriously and it’s no different with her mentorship program that teaches the fundamentals of cosmetology. The program started after she received several requests from parents to allow their high school age children to shadow her in her salon. The school that her daughter attended took notice and formed a partnership with Shawn. The sudden interest sparked ideas and prompted Shawn to create her nonprofit in 2012 called The A.B.L.E. Center, aka A Beautiful Lady Exploration Center, that offers continuing education and life skills teaching. In 2014, the program was offered to mentees and business owners who were interested in keeping their businesses healthy and successful. This included cosmetologists, make-up artists, and barbers in the surrounding areas. “We teach business, skills in hair, the different things to avoid, and we offer coaching for adults who want that extra help.” Continued on page 30


Cutest Baby

Toban Jacob Kennedy The son of Chris and MacKenzie Kennedy

To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to

Charlotte - July/August 2019 23

Betsy Rodriguez KinderMission Foundation

24 Charlotte - July/August 2019

By Yasmine Regester - Photos by JLG Photography Nine years ago Betsy Rodriguez envisioned having a child care center and a non-profit organization to assist young women who did not have the resources to afford quality childcare, but didn’t know how to bring it to life. But in 2018, that vision became a reality when she co-founded the KinderMission Academy. At KinderMission Academy, the focus is about providing students from six weeks – 12 years old, with exceptional academics following the motto: “Play, Learn, Create.” The lead teachers at KinderMission Academy all hold a degree or higher and receive extensive training from their mentor- teacher and additional programs. The Academy implements the Creative Curriculum focused on six learning centers: Science/Math, Manipulatives, Blocks/Music, Art, Language Development, and Dramatic Play. Currently serving 56 students, KinderMission Academy will be welcoming 24 new students in the fall into its Early Head Start program, that is through a partnership with Guilford Child Development. The program is designed to make sure students will be well equipped as they transition into Kindergarten. A new afterschool program is also underway for school-age children that will kick off in the Fall, as well as acquiring additional staff, such as an intake case manager. Originally from Miami, Florida, in 2011, Betsy was offered an opportunity to be a Director at a school in North Carolina, so she moved to High Point, North Carolina. After establishing a life in the state, building her career, getting married and then divorced, by 2017, she found herself as a single mother and in need of affordable childcare. After looking endlessly for resources to assist her in paying for childcare, Betsy found that she earned too much to qualify for any of the programs, however her debt to income ratio told a different story. “I was blessed to have a child care provider who really assisted me in making payment arrangements, however not everyone that was in the same position I was in had the same outcome, and that is when I truly realized the epidemic most families are dealing with; sacrificing quality child care in order to make ends meet,” says Betsy. The single mother shares that in 2018 she saw her opportunity to open KinderMission Academy and knew this would be the perfect avenue to allow her to assist those families facing the same financial challenges as her. “It was through a life coaching session that God truly gave me the full vision of what my non-profit organization was supposed to be: KinderMission Foundation. KinderMission Foundation is my non-profit organization that provides scholarships for families to enable them with the ability to afford quality childcare that every child deserves and peace of mind that every parent should have,” says Betsy. She attends Elevation Church in Greensboro and does minisitry work with The Kingdom Nation. KinderMission Foundation is a newly formed non-profit organization founded June 2018, under the umbrella of KinderMission Academy, and is currently serving families in High Point, North Carolina. KinderMission Foundation offers scholarships for tuition assistance and free financial coaching to the families they serve.

“It was through a life coaching session that God truly gave me the full vision of what my non-profit organization was supposed to be”.

Charlotte - July/August 2019 25

“Financial coaching is about parent success,” Betsy explains. “The purpose is to assist families, what we’re doing is bridging the gap. We don’t want them to continually need assistance. Teach them how to budget and get into a position to afford childcare without any assistance.” The staff works one on one with families on monthly budgeting, home ownership programs and employment and educational opportunities for parents. “When parents have stability, children have stability,” says Betsy. KinderMission Foundation’s mission is to foster a safe and empowering environment for children and their families to excel through quality childcare. When providing tuition assistance, the debt to income ratio is evaluated to determine the scholarship eligibility and the additional financial coaching helps to guide parents to outgrow the program. “The community has conveyed a high need for more quality child care that is affordable. Most financial assistance programs are solely based on income limits according to family size and do not take into account the increasing cost of living and the financial challenges most families face,” she says. Betsy is working on fundraising for student scholarships and says it is a joint collaboration between the school and the parents. Parents help raise money for their child scholarship, which goes straight back into the school. KinderMission Foundation also accepts donations. “I want donors to know that they are not helping particularly low-income families, because most low-income families qualify for a lot of the programs already in place. You are helping those families that are in-between. The parents may have graduated college and/or have decent jobs. But once you factor in a mortgage, car payment, student-loan payments and regular bills, they don’t have an extra $1200 per month for childcare,” she notes.

Betsy Rodriguez KinderMission Foundation 4065 Premier Drive High Point, NC 27265 336-886-0121 26

She credits her two daughters, 11 year-old Sarai, and four year-old Kassidy as her biggest supporters. She said she understands that she is also leading by example on how to work hard and go after your goals. “Children soak up everything, so it matters what they see and are learning. My children have been so good through this whole process. They stick it out with me through long hours at the school and always encourage me,” says Betsy, who adds they are the ones who teach her about a balance between work and having downtime. She shares that her future aspiration is to have the KinderMission Foundation provide childcare scholarship assistance to families at other schools across the city, the state and eventually nationwide. “There is a high need in Early Childhood Education and affordability for parents, and KinderMission Foundation will be used as the vessel,” she adds. h Charlotte - July/August 2019

Charlotte - July/August 2019 27

Marquise B.E. Suite Hair

28 Charlotte - July/August 2019


By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Still Shots Photography Not many entrepreneurs can start a business without actually being in that particular line of work, but when you have favor, nothing can stop you. Marquise Broadnax, owner of B.E. Suite Hair Studios, a fullservice hair salon, opened the doors to not only allow stylists to offer their services, but to share the love of Christ. Broadnax is an educator, business owner, and lead pastor at Revelations Life Empowerment Center. As a pastor, he helps people find their passion which also allows him to find his. “During my pastoral training, I was challenged to revisit the vision that I had written for my life some years back. And one of those things was to own a hair salon,” he shares.

“I’m stretched but I don’t feel like I’m stretched,” he laughs. He values family time and makes every attempt to spend it with his large family, though his siblings are spread out. Considering he is the oldest, he hopes that he’s paving the way and setting a good example for the younger siblings to follow. Years ago, he may not have been able to say that he wanted anyone to follow in his footsteps. He was failing in school, not taking his education seriously, and wasn’t sure if he would even finish with a degree. But God, and grandma. During visits, his grandmother would always ask him had he finished school yet, even though she, nor his parents earned degrees. She saw the value in education and how it would change his life. It took longer than expected, and he didn’t end exactly where he started, but Broadnax continued pushing forward and earned his bachelor’s degree as well as his master’s degree, and is currently working towards his Ph.D.

He freely admits that he doesn’t know the first thing about styling hair, but he does have the gift of leadership. And he loves to be able to create the opportunity for others to utilize their passion. “My mom used to do hair and my sisters are hair stylists. I have so many people around me with that gift,” he said. The idea of opening a salon manifested in 2013 but he took time to research the endeavor, consult with other salon owners, and pray about the strategy needed to have a successful one. The 32 year old knows it takes time, effort, and consistency, but he has seen major growth in the clientele since B.E. Suite’s grand opening in April 2019. His sister, Ashanti Harris, is lead stylist as well as the salon manager, while another sister, recently licensed as a cosmetologist, will start in the near future. When it was time to decide on a name for the salon, he incorporated his own name, Broadnax, and came up with Broadnax Elite. Elite sets the standard for the type of service the salon provides during each customer experience, as he wants that to set them apart from the rest of the salons in the area. It’s evident that the Danville, VA native enjoys uplifting those around him, including his students. He’s been an educator for over 13 years, starting as a substitute teacher, then a teacher’s assistant, and is currently a middle school choral director and a college professor at NC Central University, although he’s an alumnus of NC A&T State University. “My alarm clock goes off every morning at 6:15 a.m. and says ‘Change the world one student at a time’. So that helps me focus on what I’ve been called to do. So when I go through the doors of the school, I look at my students and know that I have to do whatever I can to help them get to wherever they want to go,” Broadnax explains. He knows that black male teachers are a rarity, so he makes a concerted effort to be present. He makes the same effort with his hair studio by conducting random visits to check on the clients as well as the stylists. The stylists are the backbone of his business and without them, it would fail completely. Just listening to all the ventures Broadnax is involved in makes me tired but staying busy is all he knows. The eldest of eight children takes his brotherly duties seriously too, void of his overloaded schedule, and sometimes gets reprimanded by the younger siblings for acting like he’s their father. He wears the badge proudly.

From reinventing his first business, to creating a new one with B.E. Suite Hair Studios, and everything in between, he understands that never settling and never allowing others to settle is his purpose. He shares one of his favorite scriptures, Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’. Broadnax truly feels that he must live up to those standards.


B.E. Suite Hair Studios

2124 Veasley Street Greensboro, NC 27407 323-327-2450

29 29

TiShawna Pritchett Continued from page 22

The program offers a quarterly meet-up with a panel of beauty industry professionals to discuss the do’s-and-don’ts and things they’ve experienced as they were building their businesses. She also hosts the Beautiful Blessed ABLE Empowerment Annual Conference for those in all walks of life to come together and empower each other. With this year’s conference in the bag, it seems to be growing each year, despite the goal of maintaining the intimacy of it. “I want to make sure that I’m doing it the way God wants me to do it. I didn’t want to go by my own feelings and my own thoughts, and stay in his will,” Shawn explains. The five-year plan Shawn has mapped out for herself and her business include a full training center and The A.B.L.E Center program serving the community at a larger rate so it can aid more people who need someone to walk through life with. It’s often difficult to face tough times alone, which is why Shawn provides life skills training, such as financial advisement, budgeting, health and well-being management, basic hair maintenance, healthy dating without sex, dealing with grief, and a host of other life-enhancing topics. Within the past month, Shawn celebrated the release of her quarterly success planner to help people to organize their life.

Shawn’s husband of 22 years, Ron, is a Godly man who has the same size heart as his wife. He pours into young men and pushes them to reach their next level. It’s fitting that he has a t-shirt line, Pritchett Menswear, that boasts powerful and encouraging messages. While he’s conducting business on the road as a truck driver, he’s empowering anyone he can reach. Ron also plans to touch at-risk youth by hiring them to train and work with his car detailing service, Pritchett Mobile. Saving young souls is his passion, one male at a time. “We see a lot of young males getting in trouble in our area. Sometimes they just need encouragement from another man because they don’t see it a lot”, says Shawn. The Pritchett’s are a family that loves to build and strengthen the next person, help people know their worth, and find their Godgiven purpose. If everyone were this passionate and dedicated to their fellow man, our world would be in a much better place. h

Tishawna Pritchett

August June Desserts

custom cakes · gourmet cupcakes · made from scratch anniversaries · birthday parties · bridal showers · corporate events · graduations · weddings · just because

………………………………………………………………………… · · 704.594.5283 @augustjunedesserts

At August June Desserts, we believe that there is NOTHING better than a freshly baked dessert!!!! 30


32 Charlotte - July/August 2019

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.