Huami Magazine Richmond May/June 2022

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May/June 2022 Vol. 3 Issue 5

Focus Point Mental Health, LLC


We May Wish, But God Has A Plan A Letter From The Editor

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

Modern technology, such as the internet and smart devices, has changed the way consumers shop for everyday necessities. A Letterfrom fromgroceries the Editor to televisions, tires, medications, and Everything patio furniture can be purchased directly from a smartphone or computer. Foot traffic in stores has been greatly reduced, and What if tomorrow arrive? aAll your hopes the Covid 19 pandemic maydidn’t have played bigofrole inplans, that also. and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What Anyhow, many retailers have adjusted how they make theirifproducts everything that decided to put off until tomorrow never accessible in order foryou them to survive. happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy andI you could spare someone the trouble makingthat Asday, a child, remember the huge department storeof catalogs promises. What if your opportunity seemingly expired would come in the mail everylast year, usually around the Christmas today? What would you do? holiday season. I would look at them and prepare my list of items that I wanted before submitting it to my mama. Sometimes I got told that often seem Still, like Ilooking do too much. most of I’ve whatbeen I wanted, butInot always. through the Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough a firm for catalog and believing that I would get them wasand veryI’m exciting believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me me. Unfortunately, the catalogs are long gone now and have been thatby I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would replaced digital ones. Awwwe, technology. be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I have found that to be very boring. In mymoments opinion, opportunity I compare those childhood catalog surfing to some is a blessing isn’t afforded tooften everyone. challenge experiences I havethat as an adult. I have tried toAplan out my life to me is an adventure. Whatstages is the without worst that happen?of by creating a wish list for various thecan assistance If I do nothing, I fail, andI ifhave I trymade I don’t, butfor instead learn a department store catalog. plans various things something new myself. your and prideaccomplish and in and experiences and about made plans on Relinquish how to acquire life. submitted to God, and I’m always amazed them.return Thoseacquire plans were at what I receive from God in response. The best advice ever given to me happened when someone told me to make that my tomorrow happen today. doing See, I have learned even though I make plans,InGod hasso the final say. What I think good for me,doors God knows is truly I have pressed myisway through with a what key that onlybest for me. Even in my lowest Godthe hasdifference already prepared hope provided. I havemoments, also learned betweena path what to higher I choose follow Godground blessesfor meme. withAnd andeven whatwhen life can burdentome withmy own as way, He redirects. well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and when to be quiet, because I strive to live amay better a life someone getlife, it confused that is connected God through with beingtoarrogant. obedience and grasping a better understanding what He desires Makeof you tomorrow for me. happen I admit that I don’t have all today, but most the answers, and sometimes I make importantly make it count. mistakes. good to know and that even LifeIt’s is but a whisper when I get track life, God’s we off must putinourselves inlove a never changes. position to hear what it is telling us. Terry L. Watson

Publisher Terry L. Watson Editor In Chief Writer Terry L. Watson Writer Monica Montgomery Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Ellen Richardson Writer Dorjae’ McClammey Writer Writers

Tonya Dixon Still Shots Photography Terry L. Watson Photographer Rob Lay Alana Allen Photographer Tamara Smith Jeuron Dove Photographers Perfect Lenz Photography Todd Youngblood Photography

To Advertise? ShawWant Photography Group Still Shots Photography Send An Email or Call Today

Who Shotya Photography (336)340-7844 Layout Howard Gaither Photography

Mykel Media Company Linda Bennett (336) 340-7844 HUAMI MAGAZINE is published 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 Greensboro, NCeditor by may be submitted to the 2022 All Rights Reserved E-mail at or to Mykel Media Company, LLC P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

Terry L. Watson 4

Terry L. Watson Editor/Founder

On The Cover

Photo by Shaw Photography Group




Manifest In Your Success

Danielle Gilbert

On The Cover

Focus Point Mental Health LLC Angela Williams


My Legendary Travel LLC

Shanna Jennette



Noble Strategic Solutions

Dr. David Banks

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Marrel Gravely Foushee



Peyton Zora Doctor

Also Featured

Christina Bennett Learn more about the face and founder of Say It Sow. She is helping others find their way with words. Huntsville, AL


Kwaku Bentil From Ghana to The DMV and around the globe. Learn more about this ambitious fashion designer. The DMV


Nicole Fulk Beauty begins from within. Learn more about how she used her experiences to help others realize theirs. St. Louis, MO


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A ngela Williams Focus Point Mental Health, LLC By Dr. Marrissa Dick Photos by Still Shots Photography Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental illness has emerged to the forefront of many people’s lives. Not that it wasn’t in existence before, it just wasn’t openly discussed as it is today due to the negative stigmatism associated with it from society and family members. Fortunately, mental illness is now being acknowledged more readily by doctors, educators, the athletic world, and society. COVID-19 has revealed that individuals have problems being alone. It has also shown that depression comes in many forms, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessivecompulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, to name a few. It is common for most people to worry or feel anxious or downhearted from time to time, but mental illness can derail a person’s life and the lives of their loved ones. At the very least, mental health issues affect one’s ability to live life to the fullest. At the worst, it may lead to fatal outcomes such as suicide. Albeit mental illness is an equal opportunity health concern because it affects both young and old, male and female, every ethnic background, every educational level, and every socioeconomic status. Society should know that there is a difference between mental health and mental illness. Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, and can still work productively, while mental illness affects a person’s ability to function over a long period of time. If you fall in the latter category, you should seek help from a qualified agency that can help you come up from that “sunken place” to stop feeling as though you are on a continuous slide down the rabbit hole. One place that can help you balance the daily


stressors of life or your inability to function in a healthy emotional state over a long period is Focus Point Mental Health, LLC. Angela Williams is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of mental health agencies located in Danville, Martinsville, and Richmond, Virginia, where you can receive assistance with both mental health and mental illness. At Focus Point Mental Health, LLC, clients are provided with mental health services for adults who suffer from serious mental, behavioral or emotional illnesses resulting in significant functional impairments in major life activities. Training and supports are provided to enable individuals to achieve and maintain community stability and independence in the most appropriate, least restrictive environment. Skill-building services are rehabilitative and help individuals acquire and maintain the greatest levels of independence possible through training in daily living skills, health and safety, appropriate behavior, use of community resources, medication management, and self-monitoring of personal health, nutrition, and physical condition. They also provide Outpatient Therapy. Each location is staffed with licensed professionals who are equipped to service Mental Health Skill Building, Crisis Stabilization Mobilization, Intensive InHome, Substance Abuse, Mentoring, Parent Aid, Psychiatric Services and Administrative Services. The Lynchburg location provides all of the same services and offers 23-hour stabilization. It suffices to say that Focus Point Mental Health is your one-stop shop for your all-around mental health needs. Angela has worked for the past 17 years in the most critical areas of mental health. From working on the administrative side as a Qualified Mental Health Professional-Auditor, (QMHP-A) and directly with the clients as a QMHP, she realized her skill while working successfully for other agencies acquiring accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, (CARF). CARF is a prestigious accreditation certification that all mental health agencies strive to achieve and in some cases must have in order to operate. After years of helping other agencies to open their own mental health facilities, she decided to open her own agency so she could make needed improvements within the mental health field regarding her own policy and procedures.

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“I opened my own agency because I knew the field and was already preparing audits for other organizations. I wanted to be a part of the solution and assist people with finding the quality of mental health care they needed.” Read on as Angela shares her story, “I opened my own agency because I knew the field and was already preparing audits for other organizations. I wanted to be a part of the solution and assist people with finding the quality of mental health care they needed. Because I had worked in the field for so long, I saw where changes could be made to address specific areas in the mental health field, so I started by creating my own manuals that spoke to the policy and procedures that would enhance what the clients’ needs actually were. It took me almost two and a half years to create my own manuals because while I was working on them, the Department of Health and Human Services laws and criteria continued to change, and I had to fit those new policies and procedures into my manuals before they were finally approved. Once I received the approval and acquired my license from the State of Virginia, I opened my first facility in Danville, VA. Within three years, we added two additional offices in Martinsville and Richmond, VA and we’re adding our fourth location in Lynchburg, VA where we will be partnering with The Lighthouse Community Health Services, which is near and dear to my heart because they focus on mental illness for the homeless.”

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In addition to the services mentioned Focus Point Mental Health, LLC also has a solid male mentoring program operated by the Chief Operating Officer, Barry Martin, who has been a staunch supporter of the organization. According to Angela, “Mr. Barry Martin has been right there with me. He’s is also one of the mentors. He works with the young boys and teaches them about being young men, making good decisions, and being a positive influence. They discuss life skills and being responsible citizens within their communities. He also works on their self-esteem. I appreciate the fact that he is hands-on. He saw the need and jumped right in to fulfill it. He has strong interpersonal communication skills that make a noticeable difference in the lives of the young men we serve. I couldn’t be successful without people like Barry Martin and our core professional team members having bought into the vision and purpose of the organization. They make the difference in everything we’re able to do here.” With such a well-rounded staff to provide all the needed mental health services, it’s easy to see how and why Focus Point Mental Health has expanded to four locations. “Yes, we’ve expanded very quickly, but I want people to know that this is not a rat race to see how many clients we can get. We’ve expanded because there is an obvious need for mental health care, and we are making a notable difference in the communities we serve. If we don’t offer the service you need, we have become a liaison by partnering with other organizations so people we cannot serve can have a place to go and receive quality care. We don’t just send people anywhere. That organization must provide the same quality care, have the same passion for eradicating mental health illness, and possess the same credentials. That’s very important because we service clients from age five to 99. We also focus on a wholistic approach and “wraparound care”. Normally we can assist the entire family because mental illness affects everyone in the house. We can address all of those needs in one location instead of clients having to go to multiple places and start building that trust with a new counselor or therapist. They already know us, and relationships have already been established, making life much easier for the person receiving the help.”

Angela Williams 434-483-5070

Futuristically, Angela is working on a non-profit organization called Focus Points Vision Inc. This organization’s mission is to acquire property to assist teen moms who are suffering from depression or anxiety because they are having difficulty dealing with the challenges of being a young mother. She shares, “I want to be able to purchase houses for these young ladies to live in with their children and teach them about financial literacy while giving them a safe place to live so they and their children can grow and get the things they need. By the time they complete these programs, they will be able to move out and get their own homes. This is just another way of creating that continuum of care for the teen mom I was also a teen mom and now have two beautiful daughters, and one grand daughter.” What an excellent way to break the cycle of children having children, but it is comforting to know that these teen moms will have a place to go for support. Focus Point Mental Health, LLC accepts Medicaid, Medicare, Private Pay, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and participates with all Employment Assistance Programs (EAP). Angela would like people to know that most employers will cover four to six counseling sessions through their EAP. Please visit their website to learn more about their programs.


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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Danielle Gilbert

Danielle Gilbert of Richmond, VA, can easily be described as a go-getter. Along with being a wife to Markie, and mother to twin girls, Mariah and Makenzie, she is the CEO of Manifest In You Consulting. Her firm evaluates, elevates, and equips small to medium-sized employers with valuable human resources to minimize risk, avoid lawsuits and save thousands of dollars. She also focuses on measurable results leading to increased value, improved employee morale and engagement, and overall organizational performance while minimizing risk. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and management with a minor in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Business Administration concentration in Human Resources Management, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Strayer University. Her leadership abilities, servant leadership, business acumen, project management skills, and executive presence have distinctively positioned her to effectively lead enterprisewide human resources transformations, which have saved companies over $50 million. She has also provided techniques to increase employee engagement by 50%, reduce unemployment claims by 30%, and streamline human resources processes. Even more, her company provides a full range of human resources as well as strategic planning development, employee relations, labor relations, compliance, talent acquisition, training and development, and organization development.



In addition to her consulting company, Danielle is the visionary leader of The Gilbert Group, LLC, which oversees M & M Creative Arts, Gilbert Transportation, Creative Designs By Danielle, and Galas By Gilbert Travel. She has also developed Gales By Gilbert Event Planning, and Women Can Inspire 2. She also serves as a professor at Virginia Union University and teaches Employee Relations at Sydney Lewis School of Business.


In January 2013, Danielle was certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She was later approved by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as an SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) in 2015. Later in 2019, she completed the Women in Entrepreneurship through Cornell University and most recently became certified by the Institute for Healthcare and Equity as a Diversity Management in Health Care Practitioner. Presently, Danielle is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Danielle was recognized by the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., Gamma Delta Chapter as 2021 Emerging Business Women of the Year, 2018 Allen and Allen Hometown Heroes. She was also recognized by the Catholic Healthcare Association of the United States as one of nine Tomorrow’s Leaders in 2015 and was a 2016 Style Weekly Top 40 Under 40. She was featured in CEO Magazines, Women Who Do It All, and received the American Hospital Association Gary Willis Leadership Award. More of her civil achievements include National Association of Women Business Owners Community Service Leader, Partnership for the Future Helping Hands Community recipient, 2015 and 2016 Chamber RVA HYPE Icon award finalist. Finally, she received the 2014 Strayer University’s Outstanding Alumni Award, which is given to a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his/her professional, public, and personal life since graduation.

“Don’t allow others to dictate your success. You are in charge of your own imagination, so don’t allow others to change your mind.” As if her plate wasn’t already full, Danielle has found time to publish a few books also. She is the author of “The Unspoken Words: Pain, Patience, and Progress,” HR Is Not That Bad: 7 Ways to Create An HR Department on a Budget, and co-author of Letters to My Legacy, Breakthrough, I AM ME, YOU ARE YOU (Co-Author with her daughters), and Courageous Enough to Launch.” Danille says she loves that her career allows her the ability to walk in her purpose and passion. She also notes that some things have greatly impacted her life and career and shares they have helped her to become the best version of herself. While her journey has been eventful, Danielle says there isn’t much she would change about it other than the time it took for her to understand her value, learn how to manifest her desires, and love herself first. Her advice to others who may follow in her footsteps is to create your own path by believing, speaking, and writing your life desires. “Don’t allow others to dictate your success. You are in charge of your own imagination, so don’t allow others to change your mind. Shift your mindset always to be great.”


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Kwaku Bentil DYHYT LLC By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by DYHYT LLC While Kwaku Bentil proudly professes he is a Ghanaian, with roots in the African West Coast country of Ghana, the 32-year-old loves everyone, regardless of where they are from. He is the owner of DYHYT LLC, a company that produces urban streetwear and loungewear. Their two main goals are to make sure their clients are comfortable in what they wear and be responsible for their own happiness. Kwaku says his merch is designed for any and everyone. He has stuff for infants, toddlers, and adults, including t-shirts, hoodies, and crewnecks. Kwaku is a native and current resident of the DMV. He attended Frostburg State University, and while there, he received his bachelor’s degree. He later acquired his master’s in Cyber Security from the University of Maryland University College. Kwaku shares that he is a Senior Compliance Specialist by day, and Deejay and CEO of DYHYT LLC at night and on weekends. So how did things begin for DYHYT LLC. Kwaku says he had been saying the phrase “happy yourself” over the course of some years. “The term “happy yourself” is African slang to pretty much say do what makes you happy. I’ve always wanted to get into the merchandise business but I had no idea or real concept. I would be doing research here and there, and then one day in 2019, while I was in Ghana, I decided to take a risk, get some samples made and try my hand. It’s been a great journey ever since.”

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Being a business owner has its perks, and Kwaku says he enjoys the opportunity he has to express his creativity through his current merch, and is equally excited about what is coming in the future. “This experience has made me a better businessman and taught me how to handle my business thoroughly,” he shares “I am inspired by the success of my peers and others, and I truly love a good success story. I love seeing people run and go after their dreams. That motivates me even more because naturally, I am selfmotivated.” Kwaku says he wouldn’t be where he is in life without the love and support of family and friends. “I know a lot of people, but the ones closest to me have been thorough with me and honest. I trust them and they trust me, and it’s a never-ending building process.” Kwaku has put some great plans in place for the future. One, he would like to own either an NFL or an NBA team. He would also like to build a major state of the art hospital in every major region in Ghana. He also has film and documentary ideas he would like to make happen. His immediate plans are to make DYHYT LLC flourish as much as possible and hopefully partner with a major retail store. Finally, he also plans to get into real estate and build up a good stock portfolio. h

Kwaku Bentil DYHYT LLC

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I’m Your Traveling Expert By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Todd Youngblood “We are a group of people who are well-versed in the fun and rigors of traveling. Our travel agency came together to help other people plan and book their dream vacations.” It’s that time again. The warm weather months have arrived and if you haven’t already booked your summer vacation, Shanna Jennette of My Legendary Travel LLC is here to help. Last year, she launched her very own swimwear line, showcasing her creativity and style. Shanna, who resides in Greensboro, NC, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She began her career as a special education teacher with Teach for America. After accepting the position in 2011, she was relocated to New York City to teach in the public school system for the next two and a half years. Moving to New York was Shanna’s very first major traveling experience and the first time she had ever traveled by plane. This was the furthest she had ever been from North Carolina, and this experience introduced her to a lot of new things. Living in New York City ,Shanna became intrigued with all the new people she met and cultures. An interest in learning more about the cultures of her students and friends began to grow, and she decided that she would travel to these places and see them for herself. When she began planning her first international trip, she learned a lot of new information and thought about how she could share this knowledge with others. Shanna then reconnected with an old college friend who also happened to be a travel agent. After many conversations, Shanna eventually learned of all the required classes and certifications that she would need to begin this new venture. Fast forward to 2016, and her company was ready to go. My Legendary Travel LLC provides quality care, and service for its clients and their vacation plans. This agency does it all for international or domestic travel, cruise, or land adventure! The addition of fashion allows them to assist women with finding functional and affordable swimwear for their vacations. Richmond - May/June 2022 23

While planning her own vacations, Shanna always seemed to find trouble picking swimsuits that complimented her shape. Swimsuits that provided the coverage she needed were never quite that stylish, and the more fashionable swimwear that she would find would be too revealing. She figured that other women were probably experiencing the same issues, so she began creating her own pieces. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, traveling came to a complete standstill all around the world. That situation shifted her attention and revealed an opportunity for her to expand the business. During the lockdown, she forged new business relationships with a swimsuit vendor and a fashion designer who had made unique swimsuits for her in the past. Through collaboration with the vendor and the designer, Shanna produced multiple designs for monokinis, one-pieces, and two-pieces. Each swimsuit has a price point that ranges from about $25-$45, depending on the style. Shanna finds motivation from the community of women entrepreneurs that she is now surrounded by. She stated that attending business workshops and seminars where other black women share their success stories inspires her to keep going. “Going to those kinds of events allows me to network and build new friendships and business relationships, we are all able to help each other and keep each other motivated,” says Shanna. Shanna shares that her success in business continues mainly due to the rapport she has built with her clientele. “I get so many returning customers. I love that they always come back because it is a testament to my service,” says Shanna. She also gets a lot of business from the referrals made by her previous clients. Moving forward, Shanna plans to continue expanding the fashion sector of My Legendary Travel. She also plans to expand her business to other areas around the country. Recently, she dropped eight new swimwear styles on her website and has plans for more styles in the upcoming weeks. All previous styles are currently 50% off. Additionally, there are lots of summer travel deals. There is still a $200 deposit required per person to book, no matter the destination or cost. Many countries have lifted their Covid 19 restrictions and no longer require Covid testing to travel there, but it is still required to get a test to return to the U.S. Covid testing is available on most resorts, and if not, resorts will provide a location for a fee. Contact Shanna about Covid testing for specific locations before traveling. To learn more about My Legendary Travel LLC, please visit their website.

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Providing Noble Ideas To Manifest Success By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Dr. David Banks

He has a genuine and compassionate love for God. It was August 0f 1982, and Dr. David Banks had just given his life to Christ. He shares how he struggled with his Christian walk all throughout high school and even while in college. However, despite his struggles, he always believed that his life served a greater purpose, and soon God would reveal what it was. Born and raised in Covington, GA, Dr. Banks is an International Best Selling Amazon Author, collaborating with Les Brown and Dr. Cheryl Wood. He is also the President of Noble Success Strategic Group, LLC. His company serves various notable clients, including Volkswagen, BB&T, Ace Hardware, Office of Family Empowerment, Family Promise, National League of Cities, Urban League, Academy of Allied Health, BlueCross Blue Shield, Chattanooga State, and the Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments. He is also the President of Noble Marriages and the Founder of Global Alliance for Leadership Development. He is manages the popular Facebook Forum, Dr. David Bank’s Noble Tribe. With all of his personal and professional accomplishments, Dr. Banks shares that none of it would be possible without the love and support of his family, that being his wife of 31 years, Slyvia, and three loving children, Caleb, Maiya, and Benjamin.


10 Books Written By Dr. David Banks

Ebooks “30 Days of Success” “30 Days of Purpose” “30 Days of the Kingdom” “30 Days to a Mountain TOP Mindset” “30 Days to Release your Inner Greatness” Children’s Books “My Daddy’s Coat” “Jada’s Treasure Chest” Marriage Books “Draw Me Close” “30-Day Couple’s Devotional

Today, Dr. Banks is fully walking in his divine purpose and serves as the leader of The Empowerment Embassy. His ministry he says, operates with a mandate to Empower Kings to Flow and Reign in their domain. “I had been in the counseling field for over twenty years. In Sept. 2003, I was called away for a time of fasting and prayer and instructed to plant a church. I was reluctant at first, but I submitted to His will. I started the ministry with my bride and three kids and was also given further instructions. In 2005, after digesting a book written by Dr. Myles Munroe called “Rediscovering the Kingdom”, God revealed to me the purpose of my ministry, which was to empower leaders to flow in their giftedness and reign in eight fields,” he says. These fields are Home, Business, Education, Government, Medical, Ministry, The Arts, and Region. “I realized that I’m a Kingdom citizen made in the image of God, created to function as a king and being given a Kingdom by God to establish in the earth.” In March 2020, Dr. Banks made the decision to convert his ministry to a total virtual platform. He now has partners across the United States, and in Australia, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Zambia, Africa, and Lagos Nigeria. Dr. Banks has worked in the field of personal growth and professional development for over twenty years and specializes in Relationship Development, Success Development, Leadership Development, Kingdom Intelligence, Motivation, and Purpose Discovery. He holds a PhD in Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family. He is a Certified Behavioral Analysis Trainer, Wholeness Coach, and Leadership Strategist. He is a Certified Professional Career Coach, Certified Professional Trainer, Speaker, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team. Dr. Banks also serves a the Director of Leadership and Professional Development for the City of Chattanooga, TN. He has expertise in Relationships, Leadership Development, Motivation, and Purpose Discovery. When asked what he loves most about what he does, Dr. Banks says the ability to live out his purpose. “I enjoy empowering people to discover their original design for them to succeed in personal and professional life. I also enjoy being able to shift individuals’ natural intelligence to Kingdom Intelligence and educating them about the Kingdom of God,” he shares. He says that Dr. Myles Munroe impacted his life and ministry more than anything else has. “When I met Dr. Myles Munroe in 2010, we instantly connected in our spirit. He made it clear that he wanted to assist me in fulfilling my Kingdom mandate,” he says. While Dr. Banks’ journey has been enjoyable and fulfilling, he says there are a few things he would change about it if given a chance. “I would focus more on my mandate instead of trying to please people. Instead of going to church in the four walls, I would have focused on being the church and made sure I spent more time with my bride and my family. I would have also read more books and stretched my faith to do more God-sized projects,” he says. His advice for those who may follow a similar path in life as he as is simple. “Discover your purpose and surround yourself with a key team. Also, clarify your mandate, keep pressing beyond your comfort zone, and stay focused.” 28 Richmond - May/June 2022

Futuristically, Dr. Banks plans to expand his business, Noble Success Strategic Group, LLC, to a global level. He also plans to custom design his own bow ties, and create a strategy to impact his city. There are also plans to develop a Humanitarian project in Pakistan. Personally, Dr. Banks is preparing to run a Half Marathon. A self-described avid reader, he has set his goals of reading a book a month and writing an ebook. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also planning to create an online course. To learn more about Dr. David Banks, please visit his website.


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Nicole Beauty and Wellness Expert By Terry L. Watson - Photos Provided by Nicole Fulks

When your talent speaks for itself, your presence and participation are all that is required. Nicole Fulks, of St. Louis, MO, keeps those ingredients readily available. She is nationally recognized as the Nicole Beauty and Wellness Expert. Her company provides makeup services that leave women feeling like a glammed-up version of themselves. In her capacity as a beauty educator, she teaches everyday women the skill of makeup and helps other artists enhance their skill sets through instruction and mentorship. Nicole is a wife to an amazing husband, Josh, and mother to her son, Shamir. She’s expecting a daughter soon, and she has two bonus children, Josh Jr. and Caydence). She is also a follower of Christ and says her faith has allowed her to enjoy a career as a makeup artist, spanning 11 years. Choosing a career associated with beauty appears to be purposeful for Nicole. “As a woman, I’ve overcome some serious image issues. I, like many others, was teased in school for having full lips, a wide nose, being too tall, and always being the chunky kid. My insecurities were deeply rooted in me even after becoming a makeup artist and gaining this ‘super power’ to transform myself into what was once the object of ridicule to the object of many’s desires. I wouldn’t go anywhere without makeup, and any confidence I had came from the affirmations of people that admired my beauty but never truly from within. Fast forward to December 2015, I was led to fast and set aside time to communicate with God. My sacrifice was mostly solid foods, which began a life transformation for me, from the inside out,” she says. The year 2016 was a banner year for Nicole’s business. She says not just monetarily but because the spirit of God was actively flowing through her, and her business would become a ministry. “Naturally, I am a woman who empowers and inspires women to show up for life as their authentically beautiful selves, inside and out. As God moved, I became a vessel, and my belief in my inner beauty was birthed. This experience completely changed my self-perspective as I helped women change theirs.” Nicole’s journey began in 2010 after she landed a retail job at Bare Escentuals. There she learned what makeup artistry was all about and quickly fell in love. She did100 wedding parties that same year, and the rest of her story is history. She says what she loves most about her company is her impact on others. “My reviews come from great makeup, undoubtedly, but there’s rarely a review that doesn’t compliment my intentionality in making the whole woman better. This happens through my witnessing God’s love for them, being a safe place for them to process life, my own transparency, or just laughing and having a great time. It’s never forced, and I know I have a special gift. People leave feeling better than they came, and that is a fact,” she says.

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“Naturally, I am a woman who empowers and inspires women to show up for life as their authentically beautiful selves, inside and out. As God moved, I became a vessel, and my belief in my inner beauty was birthed.” Nicole says she is inspired by entrepreneurs who have made adjustments in their careers to improve their lives; she has also made moves. “I reclaimed my freedom and have divorced the grind. During the first three months of this year, a season of rest came upon me and has made a lifelong impact on my career. I am a recovering workaholic, and during the time I rested, God showed me He doesn’t need my help being God. So now I just flow, I tell my business what I have to give it, and at whatever capacity, and I watch God multiply my efforts. I’m not grinding like I don’t trust Him, and now my family sees more of me. I am not worn out, and I enjoy work a whole lot more,” she says. Like most small business owners, Nicole has faced some challenges. One was a lack of business knowledge. She has always given excellent customer service and done good makeup; however, behind the scenes, she says she didn’t know the first thing about owning a business. “Tax filing, grant securing, policies and procedures, even time management; they were all new to me. I hired my first business coach in 2021, and she was a Godsend. She helped me organize my business and gave me great guidance on how to scale. Hiring her was a game-changing investment.” Her advice to others who may follow in her footsteps is simple. “This industry is very competitive. You absolutely must have something that makes your customers always choose you. I put my heart into my connection with clients, and that cannot be duplicated. It gave me a purpose serving women that I can utilize even if I never touch another makeup brush. Find your purpose. Perhaps it could be like mine, hidden in a deep insecurity you’re working to overcome,” she says. In the future, Nicole hopes to develop more opportunities for people to gain access to her training. She also plans to develop a formal coaching program. To learn more about her, please visit her website. 32

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Christina Bennett By Dorjea McClammey Photos Provided By Christina Bennett Christina Bennett is the founder of Say It Sow, a speech therapy program in Huntsville, Alabama. Their motto is “What You Speak Life Into Grows, “ which is a constant reminder for Christina. She says, “Use your words positively to speak life and manifest your heart’s desires.” A native of Houston, Texas, Christina was raised in the small town of Fayette, Alabama. In 2002, she made the trek to Huntsville to attend Alabama A&M University. There she received her bachelor’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and followed that by earning her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Christina stated she enjoyed Huntsville so much that she decided to build her life there. She met her husband in Huntsville, and together they’ve produced two wonderful daughters. “I love Huntsville. It’s like porridge, just right. Huntsville is not too big like Houston and not too small like my hometown.” The journey of Say it Sow began in 2013. Christina was working in a private speech therapy practice that offered services to children and adults with speech-language, swallowing, voice, and hearing impairments. She served as the rehab director for about eight years but began to feel uncomfortable and determined she needed a change. Her mentor at the time encouraged her to step out on faith and launch her own firm, even providing Christina with the company’s name. “I continued to talk to God about the situation, and He ultimately revealed to me that I was going to have a private practice. True to His word, I would have just that,” she says. Christina did one of the hardest things she had ever done and left her sixfigure job to pursue her dream, but she shared she knew God was leading her. “Being in a corporate setting for so many years and lacking the flexibility to be with my family and treat clients was a hindrance. I wasn’t happy, and my clients weren’t getting what they needed, so I vowed to be able to not only give myself the flexibility but give my clients what they deserved,” she says.

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In 2020, Say It Sow was born. Christina says it was a rough start, and she had only one client that entire year. However, she remained grateful and determined to succeed, and soon her business began to flourish. Presently, Say It Sow has over 100 clients. Christina’s practice offers various services, including articulation, language delays, fluency apraxia, aphasia dysarthria, autism, dysphagia, traumatic brain injury, and voice and motor speech disorders. She also addresses Neurologic impairments such as Parkinsons and Dementia. “My services are for everyone, from ages zero to 99,” she says. She also provides in-home visits and virtual sessions and even travels to local daycare centers to help make it easier for parents. A career as a Speech Pathologist was something Christina always knew she wanted to pursue. She was once in a position like her clients as well. Christina was involved in a car accident that caused her to break both of her legs when she was younger. She also fractured her pelvis bone and sustained a severe head injury. Because of her injuries, she had to forfeit her entire 10th-grade year in high school and take speech therapy to regain her speech and language skills. After surviving that ordeal, Christina knew what her passion and purpose were. Christina says the experience of having her own practice has not always been easy. Some of the disorders and neurological impairments her clients can be difficult to work with, mainly due to the loss of speech or language. “However challenging it can be, the opportunity to help others is always rewarding,” she says. “When you teach someone who has suffered a stroke to repeat their wife’s name, or teach someone to tell their daughter “I love you” again, it makes it all worth it.” Being able to give her clients hope and help them achieve their goals continues to push Christina to be the very best version of herself. As for the future of Say it Sow, Christina plans on expanding her practice to serve other disciplines and be a complete resource to her community. She is also accepting new clients and will soon launch two summer camps.

Christina Bennett M.S. CCC/SLP Say It Sow 256-715-1249

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For those who may be considering a career such as hers, Christina offers some sound advice. ‘Our field is gratifying, independent, and broad, so if you get tired of one aspect, there are many more opportunities to try under the speech pathology umbrella. To learn more about Christina Bennett and Say It Sow, please visit their website. h


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