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TRIAD

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Nov./Dec. 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 10 FREE

Knotts Allstate Agency Triad - November/December 2020

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HuamiMagazine.com Triad - November/December 2020


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There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

Doors Open, and Doors Will Close There Will Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It! A Letter from the Editor

A Letter From The Editor

A Letter from the Editor

What tomorrow arrive? All of your plans, hopes To say the ifyear of 2020didn’t has been overwhelming would be an and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if understatement. For as long as I can remember, there has always that you decided to put off until tomorrow never Whatmystique if tomorrow didn’t arrive? Allabout of your beeneverything some etched in my mind theplans, year hopes 2020. happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if What will happen? What won’t happen? By now, I believe that day, and could someone the trouble of making everything that youspare decided to off until tomorrow never everyone hasyou their own version of put what the year has turned out promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy to be. I am hoping that 2021 will have a much better outcome. today? wouldspare you do? day, andWhat you could someone the trouble of making promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired With the onset of Covid 19, it’s my interpretation that many I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. today? What would you do? people may have taken the eventual pandemic for granted. All Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm of a sudden, and out of nowhere, the way we go about our daily believer in knowing that God seem wouldn’t put on me I’ve been told that I often like because I do anything too much. lives was interrupted. Can’t go to church of the dangers that I couldn’t sometimes wonderand how would Honestly, I feelhandle. like I amI not doing enough I’mlife a firm associated with the virus. Schools are closed, businesses have be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything onme. me I been closed and in some cases, even shut down permanently. haveI found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity that couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would Everywhere I go,that I must wear a mask or protective covering to is a blessing isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I ensure thatis Ian do get infected or possibly infect someone else. to me What is the In worst that can opportunity happen? have found adventure. that to be very boring. my opinion, Thenis a new word was even invented as a result of our new If aI do nothing, if I try to I don’t, but instead learn way blessing thatI fail, isn’tand afforded everyone. A challenge of living; distancing. Oh, how things something new about myself. yourchanged. pride and in to mesocial is an adventure. What is Relinquish the worsthave that can happen? return acquire life. If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn Even with allnew of the discourse confusion, God hasand in something about myself.and Relinquish your pride continued to show Hisever might andtopower throughwhen it all. someone While The best advice given me happened return acquire life. sometold things have been taken away, He has replaced them with me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so evenI greater ones. With newtonormal, many business owners have pressed my waythe through doors with a key thatsomeone only The best advice ever given me happened when including myself have been forced to develop new ways of how hopeme provided. have also learned the today. difference between told to makeImy tomorrow happen In doing so we do business. Asmy a result ourand businesses have flourished and God blesses me what cana burden with Iwhat have pressed waywith through doorslife with key thatme only become even more dynamic. All thatwhen I the amto left tobetween think is, but as well. I compare it toalso knowing bewith confident and hope provided. I have learned difference God.what God blesses me with and what whenlife tocan be quiet, burdenbecause me with may get it confused as well. I compare it to knowingsomeone when to be confident and with being I’m excited about what God is preparing everyone in when to for bearrogant. quiet, because someone may get it confused 2021. While we are closing out the year, we must continue to be Make you tomorrow with being arrogant. mindful of all of the things that happenallow today, most and God didn’t to but happen, importantly make it Make you tomorrow appreciate what He has. count. What Life is to but a whisper and happen today, but most I continue learn is when God we must put ourselves a importantly make it count. takes some things away, Heinalways position hear what it is Life is buttoawith whisper and replaces them even greater telling us. we must put ourselves in a things. When one door closes, position to hear what it is another one will open. Knowing telling us. this, we must stay encouraged and L. Watson continue Terry to pursue our purpose. More thanEditor/Founder anything, we must Terry L. Watson always trust God.

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written MAGAZINE permission isfrom the publisher to HUAMI published quarterly prior by the doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any for statements by individuals featured or portion of this made publication is prohibited without advertisers. Comments concerning this publication written permission from the publisher prior to be Media submitted to the editorresponsibility by doing so. may Mykel doesn’t accept Email or Telephone E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com for statements made Email by individuals featured or terry.editor@yahoo.com advertisers. terry.editor@yahoo.com Comments concerning this publication or toto the editor by 336-340-7844 may be submitted Mykel Media Company, LLC E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com P.O. Box 20102 terry.editor@yahoo.com Greensboro, or toNC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE Mykel Media Company, LLC 2014 All Rights Reserved P.O. Box 20102 2020 All Rights Reserved Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

On The Cover

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CONTENTS

Scalp Micropigmentation Clinic

Carolyn Cole

On The Cover

Byrdzetta Knotts Knotts Allstate Agency

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The Fatigue of The Pandemic

Dr. Erika Hendrix

Also Featured Arkansas

Sister Friends United Inc. Rhonda Aaron

Indianapolis

Miss Indiana University Alexandria Ford

Charlotte

Power Moves Rhonda Crowder

Nashville, TN

Kristen Turning Heads Crochet JaQuessa Finney

Dallas/Fort Worth

Savanah Bleu Handbags Rita Hinton

NOV./DEC 2020

TRIAD EDITION

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The Neighborhood Store

Yordi and Moses

Getting Ready For Tax Time

Mary Ann Adams

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Dmitri King

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He is lighting up things in the ATL. Meet the owner of D King Electric. Atlanta, GA

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Danielle White

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If you are buying or selling your home, she can help. Greensboro, NC

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Cutest Baby Photo

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He is a real cutey. Introducing Russell (Russ) Pennix.

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HuamiMagazine.com

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Sold By Danielle By Terry L. Watson Photos by Danielle White Are you looking to buy or sell a home? Danielle White is here to help you. Danielle is a Realtor with HERITAGE REALTY CO. in Greensboro, NC. She is also a North Carolina native and NC A&T State University Alumni. She understands that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction, it’s a life-changing experience. She is highly knowledgeable with over 20 years experience, and is dedicated to providing an exceptional and personalized service for all of her clients. “I take great pride in the relationships I build. I work relentlessly on my client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals,” she says. Danielle provides a trusted resource that guides buyers and sellers through the complex world of real estate. She works with state and local agencies to get buyers approved for programs that will help get them into their new home, with the least amount of out of pocket money. Oftentimes there is no down payment required. North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and SECU are two programs that she works with that offer great programs for homebuyers. She is qualified to guide clients with selling their home. “I believe in using my skills in finance, contracts, negotiation,

and marketing to the sellers best advantage,” she says. “People trust me with their most-valuable asset. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously.” To learn more about the products and services that Danielle has available, please contact her directly at 336-558-3317. Please visit her website at www.heritagerealtyco.com

Danielle White HERITAGE REALTY CO. www.heritagerealtyco.com

Nothing could be finer than to live in Carolina

336.558.3317 6

Broker | Realtor®

CSP, HUD Broker


ALSTON’S Yard & Landscaping

Owned & Operated by Johnny Alston

336-987-4488

Weed Control Lawn Maintenance Commercial & Residential www.42-Fry.com

Dena Harley



Knotts Allstate Agency By Dr. Marrrissa Dick Photos by JLG Photography In a time of health crisis and financial uncertainty a lot of people have been forced to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit. One up and coming path has been the insurance industry. Selling insurance can be a lucrative proposition with relatively high-paying commissions and a high degree of autonomy with flexible work hours. However, selling insurance is not an easy job. You can expect a high rate of customer rejection, stress, and attrition. Still Allstate Insurance agents press past uncertainty and work toward offering their new and existing clients a secure future during these uncertain times. Meet First Lady Byrdzetta Knotts; affectionally known to many as “Byrdie,” founder and CEO of Knotts Allstate Insurance Agency. She understands the necessity of possessing insurance which is why she decided to become the owner of her own Allstate Agency. Byrdie shares, “I was a stay at home mom for years supporting my husband in ministry and raising our children. I referred to myself a “Mompreneur.” During that time, I founded Savvy Planning Solutions, an event planning business, worked as Director of HR at our church, collected payments for a marketing business, and I occasionally booked travel. Seeing my husband being the go-getter and entrepreneur and witnessing his entrepreneurial spirit inspired me to launch my own business. He never let anything stop him from following his passions and I refused the same! That along with the desire to be my own boss ignited the fire to start a full-service insurance agency.” Since c. 52 B.C. to the 21st century the proverbial statement, “Experience is the best teacher” has been a

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proponent for wisdom and first-hand knowledge. Unfortunately, Byrdie is far too familiar with this statement. She shares, “My father passed away without life insurance and I saw the ramifications of that. From that day forward I understood the importance of having an insurance policy. After that experience I made sure that my family and those close to me had life insurance too if they would listen. In retrospect, that was the catalyst for my passion with the insurance industry. You want to make certain those you love and care for are covered in the event something happens to you because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Talking about death is a hard conversation to have but please do it. Nobody wants to think about transitioning or losing a loved one, but the truth is that people leave this earth every day and it’s up to us to make sure that those left behind are secure. Truthfully, being in this industry has helped me align my personal goals with my passion for helping others.” Losing a loved one is never easy, and we also know that such a loss can significantly impact a family emotionally and financially. Though having life insurance cannot bring your loved one back it can lessen the financial stress on the family. By protecting your family’s financial well-being with life insurance, you can potentially replace a lifetime of your loved one’s lost earnings. We should all consider protecting the ones we love by having life insurance.

She understands the necessity of possessing insurance which is why she decided to become the owner of her own Allstate Agency

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So how did she become a part of the insurance industry? Byrdie shares, “I didn’t find insurance, but insurance found me.” She explains, “I have been married since I was 18-years old, more than half of my life, supported the upstart of numerous endeavors, and was fortunate enough to have the flexibility to do all I was doing and still be able to be there for my kids through high school. While I enjoyed the traditional role of a stay-at-home mom, now that my kids are old enough it was now time to do something for myself. With no formal college education and minimal work history, it took me a year and a half to find someone to give me an opportunity which turned out to be with a health insurance company. During my interview he told me if I acquired my license, he would hire me. I used the money from my event business to get my license and so the journey began. I’ve been in the industry for almost four years now. I was approached about opening an Allstate office. I needed additional licensing to make it happen. After much thought, prayer, and questioning others in the field, I decided to go through the process of agency ownership. It took me almost two years to acquire the capital I needed to open my business.” After vigorous training and doing everything needed to start, she was finally able to open the doors of her business on April 1, 2020 in Burlington, NC during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This has been a life changing experience for me because I had to tell myself that I really could do this. It was all my previous experience managing staffs, quoting trips and presenting them to potential buyers,




countless hours on the phone cold calling while selling health insurance and putting together package plans that were tailored to my clients needs that prepares me for what I was getting ready to embark upon. When you put all that together I realized that I had just the right skillsets needed to be successful as an agency owner and selling insurance.” Let First Lady Knotts’ living testimony serve as an example for others. Don’t take anything you do for granted because it can be the gateway into purpose. For those who may be interested in expanding your skillset into the insurance industry you can receive some take-aways from Byrdie’s short time in her agency: She shares, “I was fortunate enough to move into a space that was owned by a previous Allstate agent, so I have inherited some clients and since have gained some new ones as well. I could not take for granted that some of those clients I was fortunate enough to inherit would remain with me or not so I had to be different in my approach. My staff and I seek to maintain the highest level of professionalism. We greet everyone who come through our doors with a smile. We put the needs of our clients first. An agent who is only out to earn a commission, regardless of the needs of the client, is not likely to last long in this business. Agents who listen carefully to what their clients’ needs are will be able to earn their trust as a trusted advisor does. One of the things I pride myself on is making sure we always provide personalized service because people don’t like to feel like a number. Before you attempt to sell someone insurance you should first be concerned about what’s happening in their life because that ensures them that you truly care about them and their well-being. Yes, the sale is good, but that’s not what we go for first. We find common ground. Our personalized approach has led to quickly getting to know our customers and that helps us to use our products and services to meet their needs. We are not just a sales organization; we are in the business of people. When you make people happy and meet their needs, profit will come. We educate consumers about what they are getting and make sure that they understand how to use it no matter which product they purchase from us.” It is those things that reassure her clients that the slogan is true, and they really are “in good hands” when The Knotts Agency is their insurance provider.

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“We educate consumers about what they are getting and make sure that they understand how to use it no matter which product they purchase from us.” It’s those things that reassure her clients that the slogan is true and they really are in good hands” when The Knotts Agency is their insurance provider.”

Knotts Allstate Insurance Agency, LLC not only offers premium customer service but they also offer a comprehensive selection of products and services including but not limited to: homeowners, auto, renters, condo, landlord, boat, motorcycle, universal and whole life insurance policies. They also offer specialty products: commercial auto, RV, mobile food trucks, restaurants, real estate and any industry that needs general liability or BOP policies. Don’t see your industry listed? Don’t hesitate to ask! We will soon be able to assist with investments and managing your retirement portfolio. Unfortunately, no one can predict what is ahead, but having the right insurance coverage and the right agency representing you will help to cushion tomorrow. h

Knotts Insurance Agency, LLC 3251 South Church Street Burlington, NC 27215 336-290-8806 www.knottsagency.com 14


Russell (Russ) Pennix

MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

The son of Crystal Adkins-Pennix and Rufus Pennix

To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to huami.cutestbaby@gmail.com



Scalp

Micropigmentation Clinic

By Laci Ollison Photos by JLG Photography

Many people feel their most confident when they feel they look their best. But for some people, hair loss has altered their appearance and stripped them of their confidence. That’s why Greensboro native Carolyn Cole has taken it upon herself to provide her clients with a service that restores something that they have lost. Scalp Micropigmentation is a process that provides individuals with hair loss a new way to regain their confidence. During a Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) session, ink is deposited on the scalp to make real life hair follicles. “SMP is great for people who have experienced hair loss, are completely bald, or have hair that is beginning to look thin,” Carolyn said. “This is different than other services like coloring or male hair units because those aren’t permanent solutions.” Carolyn said that she decided to get into SMP after some of her clients began to lose their hair. “I have customers who’ve had hair, so I’ve known them before it started thinning,” she said. “So I did some research to find something that was healthier and more permanent than other solutions that are out there. To be able to offer them this service is like a light. Once the process is done, and I am able to see their reaction afterwards is what it’s all about. They are so amazed.” When a client contacts Carolyn in order to receive SMP, she conducts a consultation in which the two will sit down and go over the clients hopes for their hair and what they wish to correct. Continued on the next page

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Carolyn notes that not everyone is a candidate for SMP. “Some people think that it’s a tattoo, but it’s not,” she said. SMP is done in sessions. Depending on the shade of hair that the client wants will determine how many SMP sessions they will need. The good thing about SMP is that is doesn’t wash away. It is also healthier for hair compared to coloring which is more damaging to hair follicles. Sessions can be done every seven days and during the seven days clients can decide if they would like to continue with another session. Clients can also return at a later date if they feel that they need more sessions. Before each session, clients receive a 5% numbing Lidocaine Cream. “That kind of gives you the idea of the pain level that a client might receive,” said Carolyn. “It’s bare minimum to none. There are no injections and it is not surgical at all.” Carolyn said that clients should even be able to return to work the same day if they choose. Redness may occur but will disappear within a few hours. Adding SMP to her list of services has allowed Carolyn to not only make a difference in the lives of her clients, but to also increase her streams of income. “I wanted to add another service because the hair industry doesn’t stop, it keeps going,“ Carolyn said. “I wanted to be able to offer services to everyone, not just men or just women.” Carolyn is also the first person in Greensboro to offer SMP. Although it is popular in other larger cities, it is now starting to become more popular in smaller cities. The next step for Carolyn and her SMP services is to teach other barbers and hair stylist how to perform the service as well. In addition to providing SMP, Carolyn is still a master barber and the owner of Art of Cuts Barber Lounge in Greensboro. Carolyn has been cutting hair since 2004 and has been providing SMP since she became certified Summer 2020. h

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“I have customers who’ve had hair, so I’ve known them before it started thinning.... To be able to offer them this service is like a light. Once the process is done, and I am able to see their reaction afterwards is what it’s all about.”

Carolyn Cole

Scalp Micropigmentation Clinic 1400 Battleground Avenue Suite 144-C Greensboro, NC 27408 336-763-7425 19


Bring Life Back To The Neighborhood


By Laci Ollison Photos by JLG Photography After more than 20 years of absence, the Old Famous Shamberger Store’s American Flag, is back. The new owners, with the help of the Greensboro Fire Department and The Greensboro VFW on Elm-Eugene Street, roped a 70 foot tall flag pole and rose an 18 feet by 12 feet American Flag to commemorate the re-opening of the business, with a new name, The Neighborhood Store. The new owners are Moses Wachira and Yordi Tesfay, making the local landmark a black-owned business once again. Moses relocated to North Carolina from San Diego six years ago while Yordi moved from Maryland two years ago. The duo started working in convenience stores when they were young and in college. But now, they have evolved from working in a store to owning their very own establishment. Moses has been a pilot for twenty years, flying food and medicine into war-torn countries for United Nations Relief Service as well as flying for other airlines. Yordi was a bartender in a famous black upscale restaurant in Washington, D.C., and that is where they met. They pay their loyalty to the convenience store jobs that they both had when young. Those jobs taught them customer service, hard work, and discipline. Today they work towards serving their newly adopted neighborhood of South Greensboro and are working diligently to improve the image of the neighborhood. The original store was built my Mr. Shamberger almost 30 years ago on Elm Street. Being a former military serviceman, he built a 70 foot flagpole to show his patriotism. Residents say they would see the flag from downtown and surrounding areas. Mr. Shamberger was a community activist, sponsored little league sports, and helped poor families.

“We do not treat anyone as criminals....There are lot more good people than bad. If you are going to bring us business, we will leave the door open for you. That is why we took away the burglar proof bars and removed the boarded windows.” Moses Wachira

However, when the new owners purchased the store a few months back, the store was dilapidated. The previous owners had run the establishment into the ground. They duo have invested heavily in beautifying the store and the surrounding neighborhood. The building had old burglarproof bars, and dark windows. It was also boarded from the inside with soda coolers so that you could not see the inside of the store from outside nor could you see the outside when standing inside of the store. Since purchasing the convenience store, they have removed the burglar-proof Continued on the next page

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bars and the dark boarded windows. They have also installed clear glass windows on all of the storefront. The store now looks bright and serves as a physical and metaphorical light in the community. As owners, their new goal is to provide services to the community. “We do not treat anyone as criminals,” Moses says. “There are lot more good people than bad. If you are going to bring us business, we will leave the door open for you. That is why we took away the burglar proof bars and removed the boarded windows.” They accept all major debit and credit cards as well as EBT. They also sell money orders, is able to process payroll checks, has an ATM machine, and also offers many convenience store essentials. The store also serves a variety of food items on various days including hot breakfast sandwiches, sausage dogs, Julie’s Famous Pork Chops, fried chicken, gizzards, mac and cheese, broccoli casserole, rice and chicken, and pasta with meat Sauce. Moses and Yori have also added two new additions to the outside of the store: a barbeque smoker for spare ribs and chicken, and a separate area for customers to wash and detail their car. The new owners are hoping to become part of this community and have aspirations of helping to mentor young kids to become pilots and entrepreneurs. A huge expression of appreciation goes to Nathaniel of VFW and Marcus of Greensboro Fire Department for helping hoist the Old Shambarger Store’s American Flag. Mr. Shambarger was a legend and the owner intends to carry on with the continued legacy of serving the community. h

Jr. Shipman

Yordi and Moses

Kitchen/Food Service

Owners

The Neigborhood Store 1301 S. Eugene Street Greensboro, NC 27406 336-370-6031 22


Domestic Violence Awareness is the key to erradicating domestic abuse and saving lives. We are here to prevent and educate the community. Portia Shipman the Founder and Executive Director has provided services and events for over 12 years serving hundred of thousands people. Portia has been featured on three major networks telling the story of Sherri Jackson. She is proud of the new beginning of a long journey to keep the name of Sherri out in the forefront. Now entering 2021 the year of murdered is released from prison. He only served 13 years. What’s next for the the foundation? Did you know that as of September 29th, 2020 there have been 50 homicides directly related to domestic violence? Domestic violence is defined as attempting to cause bodily injury or placing a victim or a member of the victim’s family in fear of serious bodily injury or continued harassment resulting in significant emotional distress. The definition includes stalking, rape and sexual offenses. Since 2015 the Paint the City Purple Campaign TM has been it’s major national awareness event. We are excited to provide other Free services and programs in 2021. TRUTHSPEAKS is our first victims group. It’s a four weeks group sessions for those who are still battling with the trauma of abuse. You can register online. You can refer a friend or client. Thank you being apart of the mission and vision of the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Inc.

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Making Power Moves


By Terry L. Watson Photos by Todd Youngblood Who is Rhonda G. Crowder? When asked that question, she describes herself as someone who keeps her focus on family and career. The single mother is vibrant, creative, jovial, and hard working. She is also determined, optimistic, and someone who puts God first. “I am a mother of two wonderful children, Kaila and Jaydn. I am an alumnus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. There, I majored in Journalism Mass Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations,” she says. Rhonda is the CEO and Founder of Power Moves Education & Consulting, and Power Moves Performing Arts Academy. “I am driven by pulling the creative out of someone who never thought they would succeed. I enjoy expounding on the greatness inside of them, bringing it to flourish it,” she shares. Power Moves Performing Arts Academy is set to personalize and develop, refine and showcase in dance, drama, musical theatre/theatre, photography, vocal and instrumental music and studio engineering while providing them with a rigorous academic curriculum. Everyone is welcomed to apply and all students must have a goal driven attitude. “We thrive on an HBCU level with creativity, allowing students to re-invent their creativity through arts,” she shares. Power Moves Education & Consulting prepares, exposes, and broadens all student’s horizons for colleges, universities, and first-generation students in either a one on one, group sessions and/or speaking engagements while building and connecting education and striving for excellence. Rhonda shares that her journalism and educational background have allotted her creativity to be cultivated in entrepreneurship. “Without God, and the vision He placed in me, none of this would be possible. GOD is my CEO!” Rhonda says she enjoys educating and bringing out the creativity in others. She is also inspired by strong women who have a story of power and strength and are willing to share how they overcame. She also finds strength in single mothers, just as she is, who are pushing to succeed and become successful. In the future, her goal is to own her own school, and have her own performing arts studio. The sky’s the limit, and Rhonda is proving that anything is possible with God. h

For more information, please contact Rhonda Crowder 336-325-8855 powermovesenc@gmail.com Follow Power Moves on Facebook and Instagram

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The Fatigue of the Pandemic 26


By Dr. Erika Hendrix Photos by Jarvis Harris On March 11th, 2020, the world was placed on a mandated lockdown and given instruction to social distance six feet apart to combat the spread of the virus that had no name. For the first time in my life the world and the church were left standing still with no instructions on what to do and what direction to move in. I quote Helen Keller who was an American Author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Helen is known by one of her statements, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” I must admit and many others as well we did not see this pandemic coming. We were preparing for the Year of 20/20, the Year of Focus, but we were not preparing on how to live during one of the hardest pandemics this world has encountered in my lifetime. At the onset I asked myself the question how to preach or minister to people that you were used to seeing in person and now we have resulted in worshipping virtually. The inescapable had taken place and we did not have a template to follow. You can compare it to getting a new position, with no job description and you are told make it up as you go along. We no longer had the proclivity to choose; we had to adjust to a new norm of what we now know is the, “Virtual Worship Experience.” For the first time in history the black church has been faced with the greatest crisis that affects not only its membership but has impacted the world. The next layer that the church must contend with is not having the ability to interact, gather, fellowship and a place to worship. The world has felt this pandemic socially, politically, culturally and economically. I know that it is a faith walk to stay open, but how do we figure out to stay connected virtually and not lose members. This was an unforeseen shadowing that has grappled America to its core and has left even the medical scientist baffled by an unknown virus that has not slowed down but has progressed faster than we have expected. The challenge that many churches had faced was the lack of a social media platform. So, overnight whether you knew it or not if you church was online or had a social media presence you became global overnight. That became the resounding theme and it also became a burden to stay relevant while we were in a stay at home mandate. Many people became perplexed and withdrawn because they had relied so much on a physical location, they did not know how to shift beyond the four walls. A point of transparency I struggled to preach and teach from home, because I felt that I would not be effective in my delivery. I did not have the amenities that I would have at church, at home. So, I went around and around in my head saying, “Lord how is this going to work?” God graciously provided a closed platform of group therapy for Pastors and Preachers for us to vent and express our emotions over the impact that this virus was having on us, how to deal with the loss of a loved one, church members, and the loss of the people whom we minister to each week. The fatigue of the pandemic was taking a toll on me mentally because I was trying to fit a circle inside of a box, instead of thinking outside of the box. Once I figured out that I had to change my mindset and my space of preaching I began to make my space conducive for me to

minister each week. I invested in podiums, high back chairs, cameras, teleprompter, ring lights, etc. to assist me in sermon delivery. The fatigue coupled with health issues I was battling began to wear on me physically and mentally, but my nature as a person was to keep pushing and I could not let the people see me sweat. So, I gave it to the people each week and I made sure I was present mentally and physically attentive to whom and how I ministered the word of God. The fatigue that I was experiencing was the lack of sleep, heavy exertion, racing on the mind, unhealthy eating habits, slowness, headaches and moodiness. I know many of you may be thinking why I am telling you about my experience, I want whoever reads this article especially leaders that it is okay to be human and need support. I am reminded that Peter had Jesus’ support and confidence that he could walk on water, but the moment he felt that he could support himself he started to sink. Sinking is not a sign of giving up, but you cannot rely on your own ability to walk this out without God’s divine intervention. It became a sign that many Pastors, Preachers and leaders lacked the confidence to allow themselves self-care and to provide Pastoral Care to those who needed it. Also, how can I fit it in a vacation and leave the people without a preacher? I felt closed in and at times smothered by the heavy assignment to carry a burden and blessing at the same time. I realized that self-care had to be a part in how I have survived to this point. I have preached for twenty-six weeks three times a week non-stop. As the Executive Pastor of Overcoming Deliverance Center our Pastor contracted the virus in March and she had It for almost sixty days. So, not only was I carrying the church along with our Bishop-Elect Charlie Watson my role reversed, and I became the Pastor to carry the church on as usual.

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Sinking is not a sign of giving up, but you cannot rely on your own ability to walk this out without God’s divine intervention. I know by now you may be wondering if I am still carrying the assignment I was called to do twenty-five years ago and the answer is, Yes. I believe that transparency is the catalyst and the driving norm for discipleship in 2020. I often used this as an example we are so busy gathering numbers for membership and we forsake their soul. I reminded of one of my favorite parables: John 4 (Message Bible) 4-6 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. 7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.) 9 The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days would not be caught dead talking to Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” 11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?” 13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” This is the oasis of the Pandemic known at COVID-19 was the bull that was let out of the gate with just a horn. The gate in this text is the well and he woman is the bull needing to be free, but she needs a sign; and Jesus was the living water the refresher and there was a need to draw her in for a drink, so she thought of living water, but Jesus was setting

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the opportunity and the encounter to give her spiritual water. How many of us during this Pandemic sought after spiritual water instead of material gain to move beyond the fatigue of the Pandemic? The irony of this text is she made some observations: Jesus didn’t have a bucket, the well was deep and what was his plan to get it, and then she had the audacity to ask was he better than Jacob and his sons who dug the well and left it for the Samaritans. To some this would have been an insult, but for Jesus it was an opportunity. What I am saying Jesus gave us an opportunity during this pandemic to redo, make over, re-invest, reassign those who were willing to dig deep wells. A well is a hole that is heaved with great effort to provide a place for the people to draw from it. As we look further into this text it never tells us where the water came from once the well was dug. I believe it was the positioning of the well and the direction in which the water was flowing. Do miss use your authority to redirect the flow to make it fit into your box. The glass ceiling no longer exists, it is now open season to build a virtual community that may not never come to our churches, but will follow you, share and like with those in their close circle. There is a circle to life in which we must follow, and it resonates with two sets of people that we are leading traditional and non-traditional attendees. It is just like driving a car for the first time. They are experienced drivers and new licensees. They both had to learn to drive the same way by following the road signs and adhering to the traffic laws and using caution while driving. The main factor is they were not able to operate a motor vehicle until we were able to pass the driver’s education writing exam and driver’s exam; and this could only be obtained by a person who had experience in teaching us the basic elements of driving. Unfortunately, you can be experienced and well learned, but millions have lost their lives and doubt has set in. Are we going to come out of this with no more casualties? How to overcome fatigue during this pandemic: 1. Examine who is around you. Have you contracted doubt and fear in which you live by that we will not come out of this pandemic? 2. Lay your hands on yourself and declare victory over your mind, body and soul. 3. Practice self-care: running, walking, riding a bike, journaling, taking a mini vacation in your city just to get out of your environment. 4. Circles are meant to be occupied, not empty, so fill your circle with people you can trust during a moment of transparency. 5. The promise Jesus made us that he would be with us to the very end of the world. In conclusion we are called to be world changers who can change the game. Life is a monopoly depending on what space you land on you can win or lose, but we all have a chance to start over again. COVID-19 has impacted our churches in more ways than we can even imagine, there will be effects of this pandemic long after history has been printed digitally. Rev. Victor J. Grigsby made a profound statement, “But, even when we were physically distanced, we were still socially connected. The vocabulary and terminology now threaten the very fiber of our community. We need each other. We’ve always needed each other.” I hope and dream that this pandemic has made families stronger, strengthened communities and restored the real essence of who the church is. We must find a balance that draws people and walk each day at a time and use best possible health practices by wearing your mask, washing your hands and practicing social distancing. It is the culmination of reaching the pivotal and climatic point for forwarding thinking. h

Dr. Erika Hendrix 336-587-8876



D KING ELECTRIC By Dawn Cauthen Thornton - Photos by Khi Visualz

The trajectory of your life is usually determined by the decisions you make for yourself and the odds that may be stacked against you despite those decisions. Unsurprisingly, black men tend to face these odds at a larger rate than any other ethnic category. In high school, in Greensboro, NC, Dmitri King was traveling down the wrong path. He was hanging out with friends late at night, taking the family car without permission, and eventually ran into trouble that he couldn’t escape. After he graduated, not much changed. Things got worse even. He and his stepfather weren’t getting along due to his constant mischief and eventually he was kicked out of the house. A close friend and his family took him in and for years it seemed his life was turning around…until he got arrested and thrown in jail. While spending time behind bars, King received a phone call from a close cousin that would change his life more than he could’ve ever imagined. “My cousin came and bailed me out and asked me was I ready to leave Greensboro, NC now. I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. So not only did he pay my bail, but he paid to rent a moving truck, packed up all my stuff and brought me and my son down to Buford, GA put us up, and put me to work that week,” King explains. He is beyond grateful to his cousin and freely admits that he could never repay him for giving him the career he currently has and a new lease on life almost two decades ago. Perhaps he’s reimbursing him by following in his cousin’s footsteps and being a successful businessman.


King’s cousin owned an independent electrical business and taught him almost everything he knew at the time. The New Jersey native absorbed as much knowledge as he could and moved on to another company where he worked alongside seasoned electricians who poured into him. Years later he transitioned to another cousin’s business, expanding his knowledge base even further. “I learned on three different levels and learned three different ways to run a business. They were all so smart and took their time to teach me everything about wiring and lighting and all of that,” says King. In 2010 King felt he’d had enough hands on experience to branch out and start a business of his own. He became a Certified Electrician and opened DKing Electric, LLC under the parent company Metro Atlanta Electrical, LLC. It wasn’t easy for me, but it wasn’t that difficult because I had support.” When one of his former employers changed directions to focus solely on commercial contracts, he referred two of his biggest residential clients to King because of his talent and the level of trust in his work. King met several more loyal clients who gave excellent references so it wasn’t long before his clientele began to grow. Popular nightclub owners, restaurant owners, and new construction home builders all across the area came calling and then connected him with others. Soon he had more clients than he could handle. That push only made him work harder, hire more workers, and make more money. The once troubled kid perfected his craft and is proud that he can wire an entire home by himself from ‘top to bottom’. Fortunately, he’s so busy with inspections, contracts, and clients that he doesn’t have time to do that anymore. He hires professionals whose work is just as thorough as his, so he can trust them to do a job when he’s not there. He’s currently training another cousin to one day take the rein or at the least, be his backup. “You’re only as good as the people you hire so I make sure I employ smart people who know what they’re doing.” A typical day for King consists of driving from city to city, managing projects and the variety of work that has to be done on each job. “The biggest part of my day, really, is going to a [home improvement] store several times! Easy. There isn’t a day when I’m not there at least twice. Sometimes five or six times in a day. So much that I should purchase stock!” he laughed. As busy as it is and as intricate as it can be, King can’t imagine where he would be without DKing Electric, LLC. It’s like the heart of his family. His wife lends her time to the business by handling the bookkeeping and much of the paperwork and he manages the field. His 24 year old son helps out from time to time but has his sights set on entertainment for now. His bonus-daughter watches from afar. The life-saving cousins King embarked on this journey with have now expanded to being builders and restaurant owners, and he is itching to do the same. Don’t be surprised to soon see Dmitri King’s name on something bigger and better around the Atlanta area. Whatever it is, it will be lit. Literally. h

“You’re only as good as the people you hire so I make sure I employ smart people who know what they’re doing.” D King Electric 678-791-3314 www.dkingelectric.com 31


T/E General Accounting & Tax Services, LLC


During the first quarter of the year millions of people sift through their mail to find W2 statements and other documents needed to settle the year’s income with the state and federal governments. Some welcome it if they’re expecting a refund and others dread it if they’re expecting to owe.

“Tax season goes beyond the April 15th deadline. There are monthly sales and use taxes that have to be filed, some payroll taxes are monthly. There are certain deadlines for corporations on March 15th and April 15th. Then on May 15th nonprofits have a deadline. September and October there could be deadlines if an extension has been filed. So, there is a misconception that there is a tax season. But it’s all year long,” explains Adams. To stay current, Adams has to attend continuing education courses that teach her new tax laws and everything that may have been modified from the previous year. Then, every three years she must re-certify.

In 2004, Mary Ann Adams utilized the tax preparation services of a popular tax company and was surprised when she was audited later that year due to a mistake in the calculations. She likely trusted the service because of the well-known name but realized they make mistakes too.

There is no doubt that Adams loves what she does. She has the flexibility of working from home or going into her office at her leisure. She admits that it’s hard work, but you must put in the time if you want a successful business. As much as she enjoys building her clientele, she doesn’t mind referring those she knows she can’t help.

By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by JLG Photography

“I asked the auditor how I could become a tax preparer so this wouldn’t happen again. And he pointed to the books on the shelf and said I needed to read all of those,” Adams laughs. She quickly enrolled in a course to become a certified tax preparer and had a secondary career the next year with the company who had prepared her taxes that triggered the audit. In 2013, Adams decided she wanted to go through the grueling process of becoming an Enrolled Agent, which allows you to represent clients in front of the IRS should more serious matters occur. She took a challenging course, studied for months, and submitted to a rigorous three-month background check. In 2014 she passed the exam and accomplished her goal of becoming a licensed Enrolled Agent. That same year, she decided it was time to step out and begin the process to open her own business. Months later, in 2015, Adams opened T/E Accounting & Tax Services in Greensboro. It offers a variety of services to small businesses and individual clients including bookkeeping, payroll, IRS representation, and of course tax preparation. She purchased a franchise and renamed it Toro Taxes, Inc. in 2017, that caters to the Hispanic community with Spanish speaking preparers. Her next goal is to add an additional benefit to her Enrolled Agent certification – to be able to represent her clients in court during a tax discrepancy case. She would essentially act as her client’s lawyer. Unfortunately, the test has been postponed due to the Coronavirus. With the pandemic causing mass unemployment and stimulus checks issued to families, Adams wants to make the community aware that filing taxes will look a little different this upcoming season. “Those who have children under the age of 17 most likely received quite a bit of money and it will definitely affect their filing next year. I don’t think a lot of people realize how it will impact them,” says Adams. She is gearing up now for what she knows will be a busy season ahead. In fact, because Adams services businesses also, tax season is the entire year. It’s not simply January thru April as most people think.

She’s witnessed other companies take advantage of customers financially then ask her to assist them in fixing their issue. It’s not about how much money she can make, it’s about how many people she can help. Currently, Adams’ son and daughter-in-law also work for the business which makes it a family affair. She offers, the key to a family business is that you leave your drama at home. Even her grandchildren help around the office and get paid a small fee. “If your office has a bad atmosphere, your clients can sense it. If you’re mad at me that day, stay home,” she says. “Right now, I’m sitting here with my kitchen table a mess and paperwork everywhere. I work all the time. Everyday. But I love what I do and h wouldn’t change it for the world,” she beams.

T/E General Accounting & Tax Services, LLC 1105 Wendover Ave, Suite D Greensboro, NC 27405 336-265-8348 www.teaccountingtaxservices.com

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Rita Hinton


By Terry L. Watson - Photos by David Gort There are some things that you do not mess with when it comes to lady. The most important one to remember; don’t mess around with her purse, pocketbook, or handbag. Rita Hinton of Dallas, TX has embraced this notion and made a business out of it. She is the CEO of Savanah Bleu, a retailer that specializes in designer style handbags without the designer price tag. She is quick to point out that she doesn’t sell any kind of “brand name” handbag. “My styles are big brands, and have the same quality. I specialize in vegan leather, faux leather, and genuine leather,” she says. Rita can be best described as someone who is dynamic and determined. She is the middle child of Ray and Dorothy Hall and was born in Dallas, TX in April of 1969 and raised in a small town in West Texas. She has always been ambitious and independent in her thinking. At the age of 50, she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Small Business from the University of Pheonix. Rita shares that she is a hard worker who has decided to work hard for myself. Her entrepreneurial experience began with her selling jewelry. “I love jewelry, accessories, and fashion. When I dressed up, women would always ask me where I purchased my jewelry, or my handbag, and sometimes even my attire. One day I was sitting at a restaurant eating lunch, and a young lady approached me and asked where did I purchased my earrings. I couldn’t remember because I had them for quite a while. However, she asked to purchase them right off of my ears. And so it began,” she says. Savanah Bleu Handbags was launched in 2009. Rita began by first dipping her hand in selling costume jewelry. She then added handbags and soon it became her best-selling product. She shares what has helped her business more than anything are the prices. “I’ve always told myself that I would not put a price on a bag that I myself could not afford. I firmly believe that every woman should be able to afford a nice quality handbag. Therefore, my prices are for all incomes and my target group are women that want to look good, stylish, and classy.” There are a few key factors that help to make Savanah Bleu successful. Rita shares that two of the key ingredients are superb products and great customer service. “Handbags are my thing and I love selling them. I believe that you must love what you do, and equally love what you sell. You must also love your customers, even on the bad days. I believe in providing my customers with quality. Savanah Bleu offers quality, all the time. Quality merchandise, quality prices, and quality customer service.” Rita has also been successful because she is committed to meeting the needs of her clients. “I’ve worked in customer service for more than 20 years, and throughout the years I have learned that customers love to be pampered and appreciated. Although my business is an online business, I am available at any time. My clients have full access to me, 24 hours a day. Even if it’s just to say hello, I am there. I maintain a personable relationship with all my clients which has proven to work well. I have the best customers this industry offers,” she says. Though Rita finds inspiration in many things, she says her mother inspires her the most. “She passed away in 2014, but before then she instilled in me to always do well, be good to people, and to always put family first. The next person would be my father. He taught me to always be myself. He told me that even if I try to be or act like someone else, not everyone will like you. It’s best to just be you and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to others and their opinions of you,” she says. She lost her father on Valentine’s Day of this year, and with both of her parents gone, she has pushed herself to take my business to the next level and to live life to the fullest.

Savanah Bleu

www.savanahbleu.com (469) 509-5982 savanahbleu@yahoo.com Like most businesses, Savanah Bleu has faced its share of challenges. The biggest one Rita shares is consistency. “I’ve learned I will not make money every day, and sometimes not even every week. Still, I cannot let that discourage me from continuing with growing my business. There are times that I make absolutely nothing, and the next week I can’t keep stock or restock fast enough. I have learned that working for yourself is not easy. I understand that one must put in just as much effort and time into owning a business as you would working for someone else. It is a constant perpetuation of time, effort, and research,” she says. In the future, Rita plans to continue to build Savanah Bleu into a reputable company. She is currently working on her men’s line, Savanahbleu4him, which will offer men’s jewelry and accessories. It is scheduled to launch in November 2020. She also offers some advice to others who may follow in her footsteps in regards to entrepreneurship and business. “Follow your dreams. Even if you must keep starting over, never give up on you. Nothing happens overnight and anything you want, you must want to work to get it. Nothing will be given to you which makes obtaining it all the better. Good luck and you can do it!” h

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By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Kristen Wray Photography If ‘Just Do It’ was a person, Alexandria Ford would be the poster child. Ford is the reigning Miss Indiana University And will quite possibly go on to compete in the Miss Indiana pageant that feeds into the Miss America competition. It’s unbelievable that Ford did not grow up on the pageant circuit. She participated in a small scholarship pageant as a senior in high school that focused on networking, confidence building, and tips for success in college. She proudly took home the first runner-up accolade but didn’t enter another pageant until her mother encouraged her while in college. “My mom wanted me to do Miss IU for a while and since I was a senior, it was my last chance. Even though I didn’t have that much experience, it was really easy to understand the information to compete,” says Ford. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she spent time consulting with her sorority sister, who had previously earned the crown, to ensure she was competition ready. The most important aspect of the pageant is your social impact initiative and Ford was passionate created Female Empowerment; A Seat at the Table. “It was all about empowering women, especially women of color. Because with my own experiences as a minority in business, it’s very important to instill that confidence especially at a young age.” The queen thought of the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington and envisioned an after-school program for elementary school students. She planned to implement a mentorship and workshop opportunity to help girls learn about different careers. “Though they live in a college town, many of them never thought about attending college,” says Ford. The program would match the mentee with a mentor in the career field they wanted to explore. The senior presented her idea to the organization and they were excited to execute it. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic surfaced, and the program was postponed. She hopes to reignite it this fall.

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“ “ Another significant category in pageants is talent. What do you do when you don’t necessarily have a traditional talent? You tap into your intellect and find the best part of you to showcase. Ford decided to display her public speaking skills with her own Ted Talk. She used her minute and a half time limit to discuss her female empowerment initiative. Since winning the crown, Ford has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economic Consulting and International Business. She admits that economics isn’t her favorite, but it was very much needed to pursue a career in management consulting concentrating on Strategy and Operations. She had the ‘Just Do It’ mentality and she did just that. “Most people ask what my major means and it’s basically helping big businesses with strategic goals that they have. It involves modeling different market scenarios.” Soon the graduate will be relocating to Chicago to work for Deloitte Consulting, with whom she interned for previously. Being a woman of color in an industry dominated by white males is challenging, but Ford has charged herself with changing the tides once she gets to work on the recruiting team. Her main goal is to help create an environment that more minorities would want to be a part of. After serving as Miss Indiana University, Ford plans to continue her efforts while working in Chicago. She was recently accepted at the Wharton School of Business’ Advance Access Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will pursue an MBA, after working for 2-4 years. Her idea is to continue her mentorship with an organization with the same interests. “Hopefully I can help other young girls reach what they want to do in their life.” If she has Alexandria Ford on her team, she’ll be well on her way. h

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Sister Friends United Inc.

Information by Rhonda Aaron Photos by Randall Lee-Contemporary Imaging Stylist- Style Me Stephanie, MUA- Brianna Young

Rhonda Aaron of North Little Rock, AR has devoted her life to helping and serving others. She is the Founder of Sister Friends United Inc., a non-profit organization of minority women with a mission to support, uplift and empower its members to better serve the community. Sister Friends United Inc. was founded and incorporated in the State of Arkansas in October 2007. With well over a decade of service to the Pulaski County community, they have provided $30,00 in scholarships to assist young minority women in pursuing their dreams of attaining a college degree. They’ve hosted an array of workshops, conferences and luncheons for women with topics ranging from finance management to health and fitness. Rhonda’s story is quite interesting. She grew up in Dumas, a small town in southeast Arkansas. There she learned her work ethic, playing piano on Sunday’s for the New Light MBC youth choir at age 9. Growing up in church “I learned how to pray and lean on God. This foundation continues to carry me through life. I never would have imagined having my very own day in two cities, receiving awards, and being the subject of news features. I contribute my upbringing to the success I’ve achieved in life. I passionately believe in the importance of hard work and being kind to others,” she shares. She also credits her grandmother for being a good example of giving your time to serve others. Rhonda says she’s learned through the years while working for Sister Friends United Inc. on how important it is to have a solid and consistent brand that people can trust. There are so many nonprofits that don’t survive but their formula has worked for over a decade. Rhonda states, “We are a group of black women who are impacting our community. Our motto says, “United We Stand, United We Make a Difference”. Sister Friends United initially started as a means to connect women and resources within the African American community to gain financial education, healthy living information sessions and empowerment conferences and workshops that would empower attendees to be stronger citizens of the community. A few of the inaugural year initiatives were to form a community partnership to focus on health and wealth. They connected with Baptist Health and Trainer Phyllis Hodges to teach healthy lifestyle habits. They also hosted a financial education workshop on budgeting, investing and retirement plans.

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In 2008, the organization wanted to expand their community reach to support future minority women leaders. As a result, they created the Faith Scholarship. It was established for a female minority senior with a competitive GPA that plans to attend an Arkansas four-year college. They hosted the first formal banquet program to recognize the scholarship honorees in May 2008, at the Burns Park Hospitality House in North Little Rock, Arkansas. As they began to gain momentum in the community by volunteering to work with and support other local nonprofit organizations, they wanted to grow their scholarship banquet to include honoring women in the community for their achievements and local community work. This idea birthed the inaugural Women of Excellence Awards and Faith Scholarship banquet. The purpose of the event was to provide a formal platform that would recognize the career achievements of African American women in their community, provide encouragement to the future leaders receiving the scholarships, and to inspire the event attendees. The honorees were recognized in five areas including Education, Media, Health/ Social Service, Religion and Business. The first honorees were Dr. Katherine Mitchell (Education), Dr. Emma Kelly Rhodes (Religion), Annie Abrams (Social Service), Korto Momolu (Business) and Evangeline Parker (Media). Some of our most notable honorees included Dr. Jocelyn Elders and Honorable Lottie Shackelford. May 12, 2018 was the 10th anniversary of the Women of Excellence Awards and Faith Scholarship, which represented honoring 50 women since inception and presenting our 28th scholarship. This event has been featured in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette as a High-Profile article titled, “Women Power” as well as being broadcast on Comcast Community local TV and many other magazine features, including STAND magazine and ML Community. Sister Friends United Inc. is also committed to helping other nonprofit organizations. The Annual Hat Luncheon was created to bring awareness to and monetary support to other nonprofit organizations as well as local African American business owners. This annual event has donated $2,500 to help support the mission of several local nonprofit organizations including Sisters Living with Alopecia, Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Sickle Cell Support Services, Timmons Art Foundation and Bearden Productions Art Studio, to name a few. The program includes local business spotlights and the notable hat contest. Their Read, Write, Get Fit and Lead & Back to School Bash is a biennial program focused on supporting the needs of girls’ ages 12-18 and teaching key fundamentals that are important to their success as future leaders. There are breakout sessions and various speakers for each topic that stress the importance of education when it comes to reading, writing, self-care and responsibilities as a leader. The 2018 event was sponsored in partnership with a grant provided by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield through their Blue & You Foundation. One hundred and ten girls have benefited from these free summer programs. Each year, Sister Friends United Inc has provided a holiday meal and breakfast for a family in need as well as fulfilled the request of a child from the Salvation Army’s Angel tree. They have received names from and partnered with Second Baptist (John BarrowPastor Ivan Lambert) and volunteer annually with Power 92 to support the Watershed with a monetary donation and preparing food boxes to distribute to families in need.

Rhonda shares that she is inspired by women winning, and others who achieve success and live their dreams. “I understand that journey and it is inspirational to see the victory,” she says. The future seems to be quite busy for the organization. They are preparing to expand outside of their home base in Little Rock, AR and opening national membership opportunities through their SFU Sister Circle, with a purpose to connect like-minded women through sisterhood and service through smaller chapters. They are also hosting their inaugural Girlfriend Conference in Orlando, Florida, on June 3-5, 2021. Its purpose is to bring together women from various walks of life to F.U.S.E “Fun, Uplift, Sisterhood and Empowerment”, They are combining a girlfriends trip with a powerful empowerment conference that will incorporate fun girlfriend activities, powerhouse motivational speakers. The threeday conference will end with a concert by Raheem DeVaughn. Rhonda has a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Strategic communication from UA Little Rock. She is currently the Co-owner and Chief Operations Officer for Mid State Counseling and Recovery Service, a mental health agency located in North Little Rock, AR. She currently resides in North Little Rock with her husband of 26 years, Deon. They have one adult daughter, Brianna and a feisty four-year-old grandson, Chance. You can follow Sister Friends United Inc on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You h Tube, and their website.

Rhonda Aaron Sister Friends United Inc. www.sisterfriendsunited.com 41



GlamHer Hair

Addiction

By Laci Ollison Photos by LA Photographie During the day, she has the responsibility of delivering packages and mail to local residents as a postal worker, but at night she is mixing, creating, and serving up natural haircare products to her male and female customers who are looking to grow and maintain their healthy locs and manes. Thirty-three-year-old Jaquesa Hayes-Finney is the proud owner of GlamHer Hair Addiction, which offers natural hair products for all hair types. She founded her company after gaining inspiration from her sister who was diagnosed with cancer and lost all of her hair. Her oldest daughter also has eczema on her scalp which lead Hayes-Finney to create a product that could be used on children’s hair as well. “I wanted to create a natural hair product to help women and children who have lost their hair for different reasons and to help establish healthy hair habits,” stated Hayes-Finney. “Although many of my customers wear extensions, I want them to understand that it’s okay to wear them but their hair should be healthy underneath as well.” She shares that her best-selling product is her, HERJuice which helps with the health of the scalp which is vital for healthy hair. HERJuice also helps with hair retention, density and breakage. Hayes-Finney states, “This product has helped women that have experienced loss due to alopecia, chemotherapy and eczema. It can also help with chemically treated hair and stress points.”

“I went to cosmetology school, but I never wanted to actually do hair. I was always more focus on the anatomy of the scalp so I could formulate, mix and create my own products.” Continued on the next page

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Customers have also used her natural products on baby’s who have experienced cradle cap and need moisture on their scalp and help with their hair growing back. GlamHer also offers a variety of other haircare products for customers such as shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, butter crème and edge control. “My edge control works with all different types of hair,” said HayesFinney. “I have a lot of customers who wear locs and they like to use the edge control to retwist their hair.”

GLamHER Edges Control

GLamHER Conditioner

The single mother of two said that she has always wanted to work for herself and to own her own business. And although she has always had a passion for hair, she says that she was never really interested in becoming a hair stylist. “I went to hair school, but I never wanted to actually do hair,” she said. “I was always more focused on the anatomy of the scalp so I could formulate, mix and create my own products.” Hayes-Finney said that the science behind hair and hair products drew her more because she loves science. She also earned a degree from Baptist College of Health Sciences in Memphis. The Nashville native said that the anatomy behind the hair and scalp drew her to taking online courses to create her own product line. “I took classes on how to mix products together and I learned what mixes well. Once I learned how to make the products, then I added my own twist to make something that would work for all hair types,” Hayes-Finney said. She also states that when coming up with inspiration for her products, she had a specific type of hair and customer in mind. “My target was 4C hair because that’s the type of hair that my oldest daughter has and it is the hardest texture of hair to maintain and find products for,” Hayes-Finney said. “My youngest daughter has curly 3C hair and I have 4A 4B hair. I made the product to where it is versatile on all type hair.” Hayes-Finney said that it was important for her to create a product that would work perfectly on all of her family’s hair, no matter the texture.

GLamHER Juice

GLamHER Shampoo

As an entrepreneur, Hayes-Finney states the hardest part about managing a business has been the marketing but being consistent and having good customer service is what has helped her be successful as a business owner. And although, working a full-time job and raising her daughters while managing her business can get tough at times, she keeps with the grind because failing is not an option. She hopes to pass down the importance of entrepreneurship to her daughters. Continued on the next page

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“I keep my daughters very involved in the business,” Hayes-Finney said. “Not only do they assist with getting the products together by helping with packaging, but they are also co-owners of GlamHer Hair Addiction,” she says. She encourages her daughters and teaches them that they can be their own boss and pave the way for the next generation to come. The businessowner is now looking to start two lines of products specifically for kids and for men. “The men products will be for men who may be experiencing hair loss, or who may just need a good moisturizer for their beard,” Hayes-Finney said. GlamHer Hair Addiction has been in business for over a year and you can also find the natural hair styling products on the shelves of Colored Essentials on Jefferson Street. All of the products that GlamHer offers are vegan friendly, kid friendly and have been approved by the FDA. h

Ja’Quesa Hayes-Finney GlamHer Hair Addiction www.glamorousbombshell.com 615-863-1578 45


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