Huami Magazine Triad July/August 2022

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TRIAD

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July/August 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 2

The Think Tank: Building the 21st Century Church Triad - July/August 2022

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Pastor Michael Thomas

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30 Years of Ministry 2

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The Benefits and Burdens of Your Assignment A Letter From The Editor

With the onset of each new day, there is always a list of things for me to accomplish waiting for me. I prepare my day based on the available hours; you can probably say that I am routine. I would beg to differ and counter by saying I work better in blocks of time and with a plan in place. I have been fortunate to learn that I don’t efficiently function without one. That’s just me. On the other hand, I am grateful for having something to look forward to doing. While often things may appear overwhelming, I can rest in the fact that God has chosen me for this experience. This is my assignment. It’s not a “why me Lord” question that I ask; instead, it’s a “why not me Lord” affirmation expressed. There are several ways to understand or comprehend God’s assignment upon us. We can face it head-on and work diligently to complete the mission or not. What I find so fascinating is that when God initially blessed me with purpose, I wasn’t shown what the end would be like. He didn’t brief me on the events that would occur, and I must say, there have been some good and some bad ones. If I have learned anything thus far, I know that the same pattern will likely repeat itself at some time or another. Still, once I tapped into God’s presence and listened for His voice, I realized it was time for me to get moving. And that’s what I did. God also gives us the freedom to ignore our assignments. While it’s not wise, running from what God calls us into only delays our destiny and purpose. God’s word says His yoke is easy to bear, and the burden He gives is light. Because I believe His word, my desire to complete my mission is ignited. Even more, I understand that I am not alone in the fight, and someone else is actually carrying the bulk of my load. All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and move. The blessing in our assignments is revealed to us once our attitude about the assignment is changed. We can embrace the assignment and trust the process or ignore it. Remember that God gives us a choice. He also blesses us with life; with that gift comes a plan. I encourage you to tap into what God has assigned you to do and enjoy a life full of purpose and promise.

Terry L. Watson

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L. Watson

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Dorjae’ McClammey Monica Montgomery Terry L. Watson Ellen Richardson

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BOUVI’J Suites

Agatha Grimes

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On The Cover

Dr. Erika Hendrix A Financial Trailblazer

I’m Ready For What’s Next

Jeff Broadie

Also Featured Little Rock, AR

New Zion Grove Worship Center Pastor Stephen T. Robinson I

Greenville, SC

Ava & Associates Ava Smith

Milwaukee, WI

Breaking The Barriers LLC Carla Lathan

JULY/AUGUST 2022

TRIAD EDITION

CONTENTS

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Momspaceco

Antonia Boakye

This Is Me Taking Action

Sawand Belcher

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Little Miss Juneteenth

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Meet the winners of the Little Miss Juneteenth Pagent. Greensboro, NC

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Cutest Baby Photo

She is a real cutey. Introducing Love Monae’ Anthony. Huami Magazine’s Cutest Baby

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Juneteenth Pageant and Gospel Celebration “Featuring Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant” Information and Photos Provided by Linda Greenwood

UCON and WSPAA crowned the winners of the inaugural Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant. Participants in the Little Miss Juneteenth Pageant are girls ages 7-10 years old and girls ages 11-14 years old for the Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant from various cities throughout the state. “The pageant is designed to provide the girls with soft skills necessary to be well rounded and successful in life as well as building their confidence and offering encouragement”, says Linda Greenwood, UCON director. To enter the pageant the girls had to have a 2.0 GPA and participated in special sessions in haircare, journaling, presenting on camera, Juneteenth history as well as fundraising. Along with the pageant WSPAA executive director Elliott Lowery and UCON director Linda Greenwood put together a special Gospel Celebration that highlighted the rich heritage of the African American culture on Sunday, June 19th in Greensboro at the Van Dyke Performing Arts Theater. This event featured an incredible line-up of regional and local artists. Storyteller Fred Motley, renowned contemporary gospel artist W.I.L. and gospel rappers Ezzy Wall and Mr. GP.

Saraiyah Johnson Little Miss Juneteenth High Point, NC

Serenity White Little Miss Juneteenth 1st Runner Up Winston Salem, NC

Joie Holding Junior Miss Juneteenth Greensboro, NC

During their year long reign Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth are expected to promote positive images through school appearances and community events and serve as a role model and spokesperson for Juneteenth. The winners of the Little Miss and Junior Miss Juneteenth Pageant are: Little Miss Juneteenth representing High Point is Saraiyah Johnson, the daughter of Michelle and Tacuma Johnson, Saraiyah attends The Point, College Prep and Leadership Academy. 1st runner up Little Miss Juneteenth representing Winston-Salem is Serenity White, the daughter of Victoria Montgomery, Serenity attends Ward Elementary. Junior Miss Juneteenth representing Greensboro is Joie Holding, the daughter of Tiffany Donnell and Daniel Holding, Joie attends Morehead Elementary. UCON and WSPAA are 501c3 organizations. Unwind Communications Outreach Network (UCON’s) mission is to raise the awareness of community residents on the benefits of collaborating with communication venues; to disseminate information pertaining to Broadcasting; teach people about broadcasting; to develop Musical artists through training and to inform the community about how communication technology works. The mission of the Winston-Salem Performing Arts Alliance (WSPAA) is to inspire, uplift and educate underserved children, youth, adults, and seniors. We seek to build the self-esteem and self-worth of the communities we serve through the performing arts. h

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The Think Tank: Building the 21st Century Church By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Still Shots Photography In 2020, the world shut down. The COVID 19 pandemic made public and social gatherings impossible and, in some cases, illegal. Stores and restaurants were closed to the public, and schools had to find a creative way to provide quality education to students nationwide. Houses of worship were not spared the closures. The bible teaches that we must not forget to gather in worship. So, like the rest of the world, the church had to evolve or die. As the world finds its new normal, many have found a convince in remote life. Attending church online is as easy as going to Facebook or YouTube. To attend church, parishioners never have to leave their house. They can give online and attend online bible study from the comfort of their living room. Many “mega” churches were already a regular presence on social media, so the adjustment wasn’t as impactful. But for the smaller family and community churches, the effects were devastating. Without the weekly attendees, their buildings fell empty, and some shut their doors. Dr. Erika Hendrix has been in ministry for over twenty years and has witnessed firsthand the after-effects of pandemic life. “In March 2020, the world was on house arrest!” she says with a laugh. “Our malls, salons, and churches were empty. But now that things are opening up, we have to find a way to move forward with this new normal we find ourselves in,” Erika explains. “Church as we know it has changed forever. Some pastors and leaders are faced with

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huge edifices, and only about a third of the congregants, they are used to. So what do they do with all of that extra space? That is where my new consulting firm, The Think Tank, comes in.” In the years leading up to the pandemic, brick-and-mortar businesses started to disappear. Companies like eBay and Amazon made point-and-click shopping quick and easy. But what about the actual buildings? Are they abandoned? This doesn’t have to be the case, according to Erika. The Think Tank is a ministry consulting firm that will help churches and businesses evaluate and adjust to an ever-changing world. “Our ministry consulting firm focuses on helping ministries evaluate how they operate and what they need to be effective in the age of online living. The church used to be the center of community life. I believe it can be again. There are businesses that require space. Space that the churches now have in abundance. Churches can rent out their excess space, allowing it to generate revenue for Kingdom building, and simultaneously provide a service to the community.” Another focus Erika’s firm helps with is shedding the excess. “Let’s be honest for a moment. Many of our churches operate out of tradition and habit. It’s always been done this way, so we should continue to do it. As we reevaluate the ministries and auxiliaries in the church, we are finding that they are a drain on space and resources. The Think Tank will work with ministries to look for the trouble spots that can be combined or eliminated altogether. This will free up finances to be reallocated to other more effective ministry areas.”

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“Our ministry consulting firm focuses on helping ministries evaluate how they operate and what they need to be effective in the age of online living. The church used to be the center of community life. I believe it can be again.”

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The Think Tank helps the church focus on these critical areas: The Spiritual growth of the ministry, social health, and well-being. The psychological health and well-being of its members. The daily business dealings of the ministry, the effect it has on the community it serves, and how to fortify the church’s infrastructure. Churches interested in hiring The Think Tank would participate in the Emerging Leadership Training for the 21st Century Church. This course is designed to help church leaders realign their vision of the church regarding spiritual and community growth. In the month of July Erika will launch The Think Tank Ministry Consulting Firm with a master class. She currently hosts an internet-based radio show on 107.9 The Source called “The Xperience Live Presents The Think Tank” on the second and third Sundays of the month. Erika is passionate about seeing the Kingdom of God grow and adapt so that it can reach everyone. By helping churches reevaluate, repurpose, and rethink how they function, she believes there will be a revival of the Christian faith like never before. h

IG-@iamdrerikahendrix YT-Dr. Erika Hendrix FB-Erika H Hendrix Twitter-Dr. Erika Hendrix Podcast - Spreaker.com/Dr. Erika Hendrix www.drerikahendrix.com Email: hendrixerika@gmail.com 14


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Sawand Belcher This Is Me Taking Action By Back the Block

By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Tory Bass Sawand L. Belcher is the founder of Belcher & Belcher Properties, LLC, also known as Buy Triad Homes. Sawand and his wife LaMicah have five children, with number six on the way. Don’t be fooled by his easy-going casual demeanor; Sawand is serious about leveling the real estate field. He makes buying and selling real estate look easy. After building his company from the ground up, Sawand is ready to show just how easy it is to own our future. His real estate coaching services, This Is Me Taking Action, will show you step by step how to navigate the world of real estate, and you’ll be making a profit in no time. Sawand learned early in life that anything worth having is worth working for. “I’ve always been a great salesman. I remember when I was in sixth grade, my dad told me I couldn’t have something. But he said I could have whatever I wanted if I had my own money. So, I went over to his computer and came up with the catchy phrase, Wan’s Lawn & Dog Sitting Service. I made some flyers and started cutting people’s grass. I did that all the way through high school.” Sawand went to college at North Carolina A&T, where he studied political science, but in his senior year, his life took a new direction. “I loved my time at A&T. I studied political science not because it was my passion but because my parents wanted me to. My aunt, Hon. Romonda Belcher was the first African American female judge in Iowa. My parents wanted me to follow in her footsteps. But in my senior year, I found out I was going to be a father. That changed everything.”

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Sawand, always the entrepreneur, bought his first car by buying auto parts online and selling them locally. With him and his partner expecting their first child he had to shift things into high gear. “I left A&T fourteen credit hours short of my degree and got a job. I had new responsibilities, and those came first. That’s just how God made me,” Sawand explained. “Since I was familiar with car parts, and always liked cars, I went to a car dealership and applied to become a car salesman. I was hired on the spot.”

“We were going out to bars and clubs and spending the money just as fast as I could make it. The finance manager told me I should find a place to put my money. He suggested I buy a house.”

With mentorship from his GM and sales manager, Sawand did well. Selling cars came easy to Sawand, and in less than seven months, he had made over $100,000.00. “I had an amazing leadership team at Crown Honda. Scott Bisbee was my GM, and Mike Hilton was my sales manager. They were teaching and mentoring, not just me but everyone. I learned so much about business and sales from them, which served me well.” The next step in Sawand’s journey would take him from making money, which he found easy to do, to having and investing money. “So, there I was, making money hand over fist, and one day one of the financial managers at the dealership asked me what I was doing with my money. I told him I was spending it,” Sawand said, laughing at his younger self. “We were going out to bars and clubs and spending the money just as fast as I could make it. The finance manager told me I should find a place to put my money. He suggested I buy a house. I had every excuse in the book. ‘I have bad credit,’ ‘I don’t have any money,’ ‘Nobody will lend a young black man money.’ You know those kinds of things. But the sales manager told me to go to the bank and at least see what they would give me.” To Sawand’s surprise, they offered him a $120,00.00 loan. He didn’t take the first offer, but that helped him see that getting a loan and buying a home wasn’t so far out of reach. As a surprise for his girlfriend, Sawand purchased their first house. But the surprise was on him. “I wanted to show LaMicah that I was ready to be responsible, so I surprised her with a house. She surprised me by saying she didn’t want to move in. I tried to back out of the sale but couldn’t, so we ended up renting the house out. It wasn’t a lot at first, but it got me thinking. This was when I got the concept of real estate investing.” Sales-based employment means that you get a percentage of what you sell if you make a sale. This means if you make a sale, you get paid, but if you don’t, you don’t get paid. Sawand realized that with his rental property, he had regular income regardless of what kind of sales day he had. “When we bought our second house, we looked at off-market or unlisted properties. LaMicah and I were looking at a house and knocked on the neighbor’s door to see if they had any information on the owner. The woman invited us in and asked us what we thought about her house. We looked at each other and said it was cool, but we were looking for info on the house next door. The woman asked if we would make an offer on her house.”

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By the time the couple left the woman’s house, they had agreed to purchase the woman’s home for one-third of its market value. Sawand and his family live there to this day. With his new appreciation of being a property owner, Sawand decided to buy another off-market home. “Once we completed renovations on this house, I immediately started looking for the next one. I found a vacant house at the end of the street. I go the house under contract for $45,000. Like the first two, I didn’t have the money. I go to the bank, but this time they turn me down because I have two existing loans out. I had a debt-to-income problem. I started to get depressed because I had contracted to buy this house and couldn’t. So, I went to church. A friend from church, James Cox, said did you know you could sell the paper? I had no clue of what that meant.” Sawand learned that because he had a signed contract on the property, he could sell it to someone who had cash looking to buy properties. He shares, “I sold the paper for $1,000.00 nonrefundable upfront and was promised another $4,000.00 at closing. I made $5,000.00 and didn’t spend a dime. I realized I didn’t need money to buy real estate. I was like, ‘I’m in!’” Sawand has purchased over three hundred houses now. One thing Sawand says that has helped him find his path is his faith and trust in God. “When I started making money from real estate, a co-worker from the dealership said I should quit my job. I wasn’t ready to take that risk. But three weeks later, I decided it made sense. Yet it was still a difficult decision. I worried about failing. I didn’t want to let my family or myself down. I knew I could depend on my job, but I had to trust the one who made me.” Sawand used his faith as the foundation for running his business which led to financial, personal, and spiritual growth. As his business grew, Sawand understood the need for training. He was a great salesperson and was making great strides in the real estate market, but what he didn’t know was how to run a business. “I took a course from Carlos Rayez out of Arizona. He taught me how to organize, when to hire, who to hire, and basically how to run a successful and profitable business. Now I have ten amazing employees, and we work well together as we move the business forward.” Over the years, Sawand had learned a lot about the real estate business and mastered strategies and skills that helped him succeed. His goal now is to pass that on. “My program, This is Me Taking Action, is about helping people take ownership of their lives and their future one block at a time. The cost of the program is so low because I have a target audience—young, Gifted, and Black. I want young black men to know they don’t just have to rep their neighborhood. They can literally own it. We can create generational wealth today for ourselves and those around us,” he says. h

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By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Howard Gaither Have you ever Googled yourself? Go ahead… Try it. You may or may not be surprised at what you find. If you Google Agatha Bouvi’J Martin Grimes, you would find twenty years of business savvy and a smile that makes you feel at home. If you have spent time talking to Agatha, you wouldn’t be surprised. Agatha and her husband John are owners of Bouvij’s Enterprises, located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Agatha started in the beauty industry in 1995 and has been building a legacy of service and entrepreneurship ever since. “Service is a large part of who I am as a wife, mother, and business owner,” Agatha explains. “I’ve been in the business of servicing customers as a stylist for over twenty years, and my chair was always booked because I learned from childhood to treat people the way you want to be treated,” she says. Family and community are extremely important to Agatha and John. They have one son, Danny J. Martin Jr., and a nine-month-old granddaughter Demi Noel Martin. For this couple, It’s not enough to be a business owner and entrepreneur. They believe that the blessing is not just for them but everyone. “Our goal is to build a legacy of entrepreneurship that can be passed on to Danny, his daughter Demi, and her children. But we can’t grow as a community if we don’t work together to make it happen.” This was never truer than in the past two years. The pandemic damaged the economy in ways the US hadn’t seen in decades. Not only did we lose loved ones, many lost jobs, homes, and financial stability. Agatha credits her husband, John, as the visionary for their newest joint venture, Bouvij Business Suites, and Enterprises. “Bouvier’s is my middle name, and the J is from John’s name, hence Bouvij,” she explained. Bouvij Enterprises are a combination of smaller companies that Agatha and John own. They include a home improvement business, a commercial covid cleaning service, and their newest business venture Bouvij Suites. “Bouvij Suites are business spaces that entrepreneurs can rent as they build or expand their business. It’s essentially a platform for new business owners a running start,” John explains. “Any business owner will tell you that the biggest obstacle is finding quality spaces to rent,” Agatha interjects. “We toured some of the spaces people work out of, and it’s unbelievable. Either the rent is sky high, or the landlords are basically slum lords. Bouvij Suites give entrepreneurs who are serious about creating a business that people want to patronize the opportunity to do more with less capital.”

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Bouvij Suits aren’t just for those in the beauty or cosmetology industry. The suits can be customized on a fundamental level to meet most every need. “The way we see it, everyone can have a nice, clean, upscale business environment without having to go to other neighborhoods and paying exorbitant monthly rental fees,” Agatha shares. Unfortunately, the African American beauty salon isn’t always shown in the best light. Businesses in urban communities have been given the reputation that because they are black-owned, they are sub-par. Some business owners believe that to attract and maintain quality customers, they must leave their communities. Agatha and John are attempting to prove the naysayers wrong. “We want to keep our business and our dollars in our community,” John explains. “I don’t have a problem with other races, but I want to see more of “us” doing better,” Agatha shared also. Bouvij Suits are more than just brick and mortar. Renters are given the basic requirements to get started in their rental space. The suits are well kept, and there is 24-hour security and monitored security cameras. “Safety is a big selling point for our renters. Any business owner worth their salt wants a location where their customers and clients feel comfortable visiting. Reputation will only get you so far. When your clients see that you have taken basic steps to give them comfort and peace of mind, they will return and bring others with them,” John said. “All of these things are about servicing or serving our community,” Agatha emphasizes. “By creating a quality space for businesses to exist, we attract quality businesses, which attracts customers who want a quality product. It creates opportunities to generate income, jobs, taxes revenue, and that all works to elevate the community and the people in it,” Agatha says passionately. As community leaders, Agatha and John work to set the example of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. “As God has blessed us, we want to be a blessing. After twenty years of marriage and running a business, there is so much I have to share.” Agatha spends a lot of time giving back to support her community. “We helped set up a location so people could come and receive the covid vaccine. We feed the hungry, especially during covid. My husband makes a point to hire men who may need a second chance or someone willing to take a chance on them. We understand that everybody needs help sometimes.”

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“By creating a quality space for businesses to exist, we attract quality businesses, which attracts customers who want a quality product. It creates opportunities to generate income, jobs, taxes revenue, and that all works to elevate the community and the people in it.”

Agatha Grimes

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Agatha says her area is mentoring young women. “Young women are attracted to me for some reason. Well, I know the reason. It’s because I’ve been where they are. I know what it’s like to be in a bad relationship and struggle with self-worth. I pray that something I’m doing or saying to them is helping them see themselves as worthy. Sometimes all I can do is try to be an example of what is possible,” Agatha admits. “When I started, I had no money, but I knew what I wanted for myself.” Although Bouvij Suites doesn’t offer a mentorship program, Agatha and John are always willing to give new renters the benefit of their wisdom. “We try to offer new entrepreneurs the wisdom we’ve learned over the years. Some accept it, and some don’t. The offer is two-fold. Some new business owners may have a great idea but don’t have a good execution plan. As a result, they find themselves struggling to pay rent three months in. Our goal for all of our renters is long-term success. If that means giving them a little encouragement or a word of advice here or there, we are more than willing.” Agatha and John say they experience the same things most business owners do, but for the most part, they have been blessed. If they had any regrets, it would be not recognizing the power of oneness earlier in their journey. “I believe we could have been much further along in our business endeavors if we had understood partnership a long time ago,” Agatha admits. “I have many people ask for advice about going into business with their life partner or spouse. I often tell them if I knew what I know now,” she says with a laugh. “My husband is quiet and unassuming, but he is the man with the plan. John is very detail-oriented and helps keep things in focus. We talk about building our community and working together to elevate our people. First, we have to learn to have faith in God, the man or woman he ordained to be in our lives. If you are with the person God has for you, there is no question of partnership in life or business. Together we build.”- h

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Pastor

New Zion Grove Worship Center By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Pastor Stephen Rohinson

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15 KJV)

Have you ever felt a calling from our Heavenly Father that didn’t align with the path you thought you were on? Allow us to welcome you to an area pastor who has walked this path and is here to tell you why following your heavenly calling will lead you towards your best life. Born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Pastor Stephen Robinson grew up the youngest child of a faith-filled family of five. He was raised by Pastor Emeritus Ulysses, Jr. and the late First Lady Emeritus Lee Ella Robinson, and began his spiritual journey on a more musical path than that of his father. “As I was growing up, I used to tell my father that I would never preach or pastor,” said Robinson. “Instead, I wanted to sing and perform at various gospel revivals.” This dream began when Robinson was the tender age of three years-old. “My brothers and I performed together at my father’s church revivals. In fact, I sang my first song in front of a large crowd before the age of five. Before long, I was singing regularly at my church, and by the time I was getting out of college, I began singing with a gospel group called Purity.” he said.

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After Purity recorded its first album with PepperCo Records that reigns from Columbia, SC, Pastor Stephen rejoined his equally talented brothers, Bishop Kenneth L. Robinson and Ulysses Robinson, III. “I performed alongside my brothers for 15 years before going out on my own,” said Robinson. “After recording my first album called “I Still Have My Smile”, I really fell in love with the industry. That is until I had a personal encounter with God.” This encounter occurred in 1996 and Pastor Stephen says he was hanging out with his best friend one night when the Spirit of the Lord visited him. “The spirit told me that God had more for me than just singing and performing. He then showed me that he wanted me to preach His Word. This was around 1:00 a.m. in the morning and I remember getting up, driving to my father’s house, and falling into his arms, crying, telling him that I had been called to preach. The best part is that my father already knew I would come to tell him this because the Holy Spirit told him as well that I would be called to preach.” Following this encounter, Pastor Stephen went back to school to obtain his master’s degree in theology from Slidell Baptist Seminary, and later began serving as his father’s assistant pastor at New Zion Grove Baptist Church in 2004. This happened before he stepped into his father’s shoes in 2009. “In August of this year, I will have been serving my home church as its pastor for 13 years. I am so grateful to God for leading me into this role,” he said. Today, through his God given vision of Empowering People for Next Dimension Ministry, Robinson is making every effort to empower and lead his people towards God’s restorative love. “I love seeing people empowered and restored by His love and even seeing marriages restored by His power,” said Robinson. “I believe that God has ordained His people and their families to be empowered by His love in

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“These days people need to see a picture of what a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be.”

order to ensure that His might strengthens both our communities and churches. These days people need to see a picture of what a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be. As someone who knows the challenges that the enemy can have on both a marriage and family, it has been my mission to help these families be healed through God’s spirit of love.” What does the future look like for this servant of The Lord? “I aspire to lead my family and my flock by being the example of what it looks like to walk through trying and tough times with the help of God,” said Robinson. “I always say that the world may change, but God never changes, and I just want to show others what it looks like to lead knowing this.” To find out more about Pastor Robinson and New Zion Grove Worship Center, please visit their website. h

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By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Todd Youngblood Jeffery Broadie is a thirty-year veteran in the barbering and beauty industry. At age thirtyfive, Broadie exchanged his banking business suits for a barber’s apron and has never looked back. At sixty-five, he’s built more than just a business. Broadie has created a launch pad for anyone serious about entrepreneurship and ready to go to the next level. Broadie worked in banking, but barbering was always his dream. “In 1991, my company transferred me from Ashville, North Carolina, to Charlotte. I knew that if I was going to go after my dream, that was the perfect time to make a fresh start,” Broadie explained. Jeff’s career change was fueled in equal parts by desire and a businessman’s ability to discern an excellent opportunity to offer quality service to a flooded market. “Anyone who works a regular nine to five knows the struggle of getting a haircut after work. It’s almost impossible, and you must go in on a Saturday if you miss them. This particular day, I got to the shop at 6:00 A.M. The shop opened at 8:00 A.M. The barber didn’t arrive until 9:30-10:00 A.M. By the time I left, it was after 1:00 P.M. On top of that, I got the wrong haircut!” Broadie said with a frustrated eye roll. “Eventually, I bought a pair of clippers and started cutting my own hair. The job transfer presented me with a choice. Do I continue to chase a dollar in the corporate world or do what I really wanted to do? I made my choice, and I’ve never looked back.” In February 1992, Broadie started barber college at Black World Barber college. After finishing barber college, Broadie was ready to pursue his dream and his purpose. “In 1994, we bought Just for You, a barber and beauty salon, from an owner dealing with health issues. We decided to keep the name, so if we sold it, the buyer would inherit the recognizable name and reputation, making it easy to sell.” But almost thirty years later, the Just for You moniker dawns seven salons and a beauty and barber college in the Charlotte area. It’s safe to say they won’t be selling any time soon.

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“We’ve built Just for You into a brand that represents quality hair care for the family,” Broadie explains. “This was accomplished by teaching, training, and hiring barbers and stylists who are not only talented but who can handle diverse clientele and have a vision and plans of their own.” In his new book Beyond The Chair: Dare to Go! Broadie shares his key to success as a businessman and entrepreneur. “There is nothing wrong with being a barber or a stylist, but I want to help people see that there is so much more to this industry than cutting hair,” Broadie says passionately. “My goal is to teach people how to invest in themselves and take ownership of their dreams. Don’t just work in a shop. Own it!” Succeeding in any industry has its advantages and its obstacles. Most importantly, Broadie’s book doesn’t sugarcoat the work it takes to reach your goals. Early in his journey, Just for You had its share of trials. “If God had shown me what I would go through to get to this point, I don’t know if I would have stepped out. It was a hard road, and if it were not for my faith, I wouldn’t have had the strength to push through,” Broadie says, referring to a major setback they experienced when opening the Just for You Beauty and Barber school. “There is competition in any business arena. That’s to be expected. I guess what surprised me was the lengths to which people will go,” Broadie says with a chuckle. “We opened the school inside the mall, about two miles from the white school.” In 1997 there were only two schools in the area for barbering, and neither of them taught students how to meet the needs of African Americans. This was the need Broadie and his partners were trying to address. “We acquired a loan, hired a contractor, and went to the mall manager to find out what permits and paperwork we needed to begin construction. The manager told us we didn’t need a permit because we were under the building licensing and permits of the mall. We started building in March and were scheduled to open in July 1998. Two days before the school was scheduled to open, I received a call from the city pulling the plug. They said I needed a permit to build out the space inside the mall. They told us not only could we not open or accept any students, but we had to tear everything out, get the permit and start over,” Broadie explained.

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With an eighty-thousand-dollar loan out for the construction of the school, Broadie stood to lose everything. If not for his business savvy, all would have been lost. “By the grace of God, when the mall manager told me we didn’t need a permit to start construction, I had the foresight to say, ‘Put it in writing.’ Because I had what we were told in writing, the mall had to tear everything out and build it themselves. It did cause a six-month delay in opening, but it could have been much worse.” Broadie says his book, Beyond The Chair: Dare to Go! He emphasizes the four things that have gotten him to where he is today: God, Family, Integrity, and Business Savvy. “Your name is everything!” Broadie explains. “You have to have integrity in everything you do. Your clients have to trust you. When they do, they return and bring other people with them. That’s how you grow your business.” In his book, Broadie says he challenges those who dream of entrepreneurship not to limit themselves but to be courageous and step out. One way he is helping operators take the next step towards ownership is by giving them a stake in the salon.

Just For You Styling Academy

www.justforyoubarberstyling.com 704-921-2889

“I pay attention and select people I trust. People who are responsible and reliable. Stylists who think beyond the chair offer them a 49% stake in the salon. I hope they won’t stop there, but they will go out and start their own salons and build enterprises that will give others opportunities. That’s what it’s all about for me. Giving people, people that look like me, the opportunity to build something they can be proud of.” Broadie is taking his own advice and continuing to grow and stretch as he works to grow the barber and beauty industry Beyond The Chair. “Our school trains quality instructors all over the state, and I have been called on as a consultant to help start other schools.” Another way Broadie and Just for You is giving back is they have started a training program, the first one like it in the state for youth ages sixteen to seventeen in detention centers. “These are juveniles who have gotten into trouble. By teaching them barbering, they will leave with a skill set that can be a determining factor as to whether or not they return to the juvenile system or go on to live productive lives.” Broadie explains. The one thing Jeff Broadie if there is one thing he hopes those who read his book walk away with, is this. Play Chess, not Checkers. “Checkers is a basic game of survival. It allows you to skip steps, and if you get blocked, you can move backward. Chess, on the other hand, is about planning, growing, building, and most importantly, you can only move forward.” h

Copies of Beyond The Chair by Jeff W. Broadie Can be purchased at www.amazon.com 39


I’m Here To Serve

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Latisha Miles

She is known for her unceasing devotion to serving others, an attribute the Upstate area of South Carolina has grown to cherish and appreciate. Without hesitancy, she eagerly answers the call to assist in any way, whether in business or from a personal perspective. In addition to leading and serving, Ava Smith is also an accomplished entrepreneur. She is the owner of Flat Fee Recruiting and Ava Smith & Associates. Flat Fee Recruiting is a permanent placement recruiting firm that provides quality employees at affordable rates. It also assists companies in various industries and with all types of vacancies. Ava Smith & Associates is a full-cycle HR Consulting firm that operates as an outsourced HR Manager or Director for small businesses, non-profits, and ministries throughout the United States. Some offered services include onboarding, compliance, benefits, risk management, wellness, and training. The New Jersey native holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from Limestone University and is a Lifetime Member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society. She has over 25 years of experience as a Human Resources Professional. That includes employee relations, compliance, recruitment, retention, and training. Ava began her career in the non-profit sector and shifted into manufacturing, the corporate arena, and staffing. Throughout her career, Ava progressively moved upward in her positions, serving in various roles from HR Assistant to HR Director. In August 2002, Ava began her own firm, HR Specialties, which specialized in providing HR services, training, and recruiting. She later expanded this firm by adding additional experts and rebranded it into what is now widely known as Ava Smith & Associates. In 2010, she formed a permanent placement agency called Flat Fee Recruiting. Her agency received the Minority Business of the Year Award in 2013 through the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Ava is also a noted Diversity Trainer and has delivered hundreds of sessions throughout the Southeast since 2005. Her clientele involves corporations, manufacturers, non-profits, service organizations, government officials, municipalities, universities, hospital systems, local chambers, and faithbased organizations. Ava is known for her unique style and approach that captures her audience’s attention, allowing them to discuss diverse topics easily. Even more, she was the Recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Diversity Award, given by the Greenville, SC Chapter of SHRM.

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Ava has served the Upstate of South Carolina in various roles, including current Board Member with the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, current Board Member with The University Center of Greenville, Board Member with Greenville Technical Charter High School, Board Member with Junior Achievement (Greenville, SC), Diversity Director of the SC Society of Human Resource Management State Council, Advisory Board Member with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Steering Committee Member with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Advisor with Greenville Chamber of Commerce CAPACITY Builders program, Chair with Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Greenville Women at Work (GW@W) initiative, Advisory Board Member for Virginia College, Advisory Board Member for ECPI School of Technology, Board Member for the Greenville Society of Human Resource Management (GSHRM), Chair of the Diversity/Inclusion Committee for GSHRM, President of the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greenville, Board Member of Fostering Great Ideas, Advisory Board Member for Clemson Small Business Development Center, Steering Committee Member for MLK Dream Weekend, a member of the Clemson CU-ICAR Diversity Committee, and member of the Greenville Technical College Multicultural Advisory Board. These accomplishments and contributions have resulted in her being honored extensively. How did Ava get to where she is now? She says, “I originally started my career in accounting. After obtaining a two-year certificate, I became a bookkeeper for a large finance company. I thought I was destined to have a 10key calculator under my hand until I retired. However, a restructure left me without a position. As a single mom, I had no choice but to pursue any vacancy I could find to make ends meet. After searching for several weeks, I found a position at a local non-profit that would change the trajectory of my life.” Her career in HR began when Ava was only 24 years old. “At that time, the industry called it the “Personnel Department”. My job description had two line items. I was to pass out applications and answer the phone. I was unsatisfied with those simple tasks and began asking for more responsibility. A year-and-a-half later, I was the HR Manager of a facility with 400 employees. As my career continued, I would eventually hold HR roles in various industries,” she says. Ava says while serving in her previous HR roles, she realized a common need for employees accompanied by the inability of their small budgets to cover the cost of staffing. To address this, in 2009, she launched Flat Fee Recruiting. When asked what she loves most about what she does, Ava shares how she loves bringing solutions. “I am a problem solver for businesses that need HR support without having the workload that requires a full-time position. I also love being a part of their business strategy team. My clients include me in their vision and long-term plans, and I assist them with walking it out,” she says.

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Ava shares how she finds inspiration in her children and grandchildren. “I always want to be their role model, and knowing they look to me as an example pushes me not to give up. I am also inspired by my father, who recently passed away. He left such a feeling of “legacy” that it has shown me that I am not only working for what is in front of me, I am also working for what I plan to leave behind,” she says. Becoming an entrepreneur, Ava says, was not something she had planned to do. “I was not prepared, and I had to identify training and learning opportunities to gain knowledge on how to be successful. I was challenged by having to build a network with other business owners and people that could support me on this journey. Being open-minded and believing that failing could still be a form of winning helps me overcome challenges on a daily basis.” For anyone who is considering starting a business, Ava offers some advice that may be of assistance. “Knowledge is power. If you are pursuing entrepreneurship, take business courses, be aware of what your legal and financial obligations will be so that you will be prepared. If you are currently in business, continuously find ways to stay innovative and an expert in your field. Choose yourself even when you feel like no one else will.” Please visit her website to learn more about Ava Smith and her companies. h

Ava Smith & Associates Ava@YourFullCycleHR.com 864-448-0939

Flat Fee Recruiting www.flatfeehiring.com 864-326-4211

Celebrating Fifteen Years of Acknowledging Black Excellence

2007 - 2022


Baby MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Love Monae’ Anthony The daughter of Alneshia Torian

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

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Carla Lathan Beyond The Barriers LLC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Carla Lathan Carla Lathan is obsessed with leveling the playing field and committed to serving her community. At 38 years old, she is a proud mother to a beautiful multi-talented 17-year-old daughter. She was raised as the middle child by Ollie Lathan, who she describes as being very resilient, an attribute that Carla clearly identifies with. The Milwaukee, WI native shares how in 2018, she embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that allowed her to center her vision on identifying community barriers and developing a curriculum that allows individuals a chance at growth. Carla is the founder of Beyond the Barriers LLC, a positioning and career development firm that promotes personal development. It also provides soft skills training, resume building, time management, financial literacy, social and emotional awareness, employment etiquette, interview preparation services, and strategic management services for small business owners. “Beyond the Barriers LLC is committed to enhancing conceptual capacity for long-term safety through love, stability, training, assessments, and employment, for the development of families and parental growth,” Carla explains. Building a business may look effortless from the outside. For Carla, she shares that starting a business after years of working at a non-profit level taught her that the early stages of entrepreneurship were anything but transparent. “I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources. I focused on what motivates the community towards growth and learned that support, facilitation, mental health awareness, compassion, and resilience contribute to the best outcomes for community growth,” she says.

“I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources.”

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Academically, Carla possesses the necessary tools to assist with accomplishing her goals. She has a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, and a masters degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Program Management and Non-Profit Security. Her public service involvement is validated with over ten years of experience in social and community advocacy, working directly with families regarding incarceration and rehabilitation. She has also interned with the juvenile court system and worked as a facilitator for secondary placement homes. Her list of certifications includes Certified Community Respite Worker, Cognitive Behavior Intervention Facilitator, Compassion and Resilience Facilitator, Notary Public, and African American Birth Work Doula. Additionally, Carla has served as the Adult Service Director at Silver Spring Neighborhood center since 2018. In this role, she has hosted a variety of community collaborations and secured subsidized employment opportunities. She has also provided health care training and certification courses to the community. As a Program Director, Carla has worked through the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program, which is federally funded. Carla says she loves exposing herself to be able to retrofit growth in her community. She wants to be a voice for people who feel like they’re not being heard. “I love meeting new people and meeting people where they are in life,” she says. She is inspired by her daughter, whom she describes as being carefree. “She reminds me daily how to be a better version of myself. I’m inspired by her understanding that while everyone is created differently, we can all learn from one another,” she says. Moving forward into the future, Carla shares how she hopes to continue impacting the lives of community members. “I have plans to embrace more community collaborations that encourage growth. I desire to create avenues in our school systems that allow learning and prospects of stability for youth. I also plan to strengthen my social media awareness and following,” she says. To learn more about Beyond The Barriers LLC, please visit their website. h

Carla Lathan www.beyondthebarriers.com 414-378-6010

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www.momspaceco.com

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Antonia Boakye Antonia is Boayke of Baltimore, MD describes herself as a caring and fun-loving person. She is a wife and mother to three beautiful kids. Amongst all of her responsibilities, she has enjoyed a career as a professional hairstylist for almost 12 years. As life has continued to happen for Antonia, many opportunities have also presented themselves to her. One is the host of a podcast called MomSpace&co. “I am a hairstylist turned podcast host. I love to laugh and enjoy good company, but resetting and self-care are vital in my everyday life. MomSpace&co provides a platform for me to do that,” she shares. A mother, wife, and everything else in between, Antonia says her passion for helping others provided a path to helping mothers. She shares, “Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.” The podcast started in 2017 with a focus on bringing moms together to have the “taboo” conversations about motherhood and life. “We’re a nonprofit organization that moms exactly where they are; in motherhood, business, and through conversation and community. Antonia is inspired mainly by people, and she is always looking for opportunities to serve, offer solutions, and give back. Antonia says she loves what she does and wouldn’t change a thing about the process to get to this stage in her life. “Coming from a place where I had little to no experience operating a business put me in a position to learn and grow personally and professionally. It has helped me to become who I am today,” she says. As she looks toward the future, Antonia says she plans to receive whatever God has in store for her. “I pray it’s more meaningful connections and continued support from our community for our mission. I also hope to grow more,” she says. Her advice to others sitting on a dream or facing a similar path that she has traveled is simple. “Don’t give up. It seems so cliche, but persistence and diligence will get you where you once dreamed of seeing yourself. It’s no easy road, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t forget to celebrate yourself and the milestones you reach, both big and small!” h To learn more about Antonia Boayke and MomSpace&co, please visit their website.

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Cherri Dixon

336.500.4187 Cherri.TheDixonGroup@gmail.com

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253.414.3785 Ryan.TheDixonGroup@gmail.com

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