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USINES ssue

March 2011

PROshop

LGBT industry toppers

the PINK economy

the new green of 2011

The Business Of

being Coti Collins

This issue is dedicated to

Complimentary Copy


March, 2011


Dear Friends, Welcome to March and our “Business Issue.” Each year around this time Vital VOICE takes a look at those members of our LGBT and allied community who are leaders in the business industry. This year Senior Writer, Colin Murphy presents 10 new “PROshop” members who, as industry toppers, are representing our community and steering the greater St. Louis region to brighter tomorrows. During this time of economic recovery make sure to check out Alishia Alexander’s new feature, “The Pink Economy”. The research piece details how our community is one of the primary demographics in the driver’s seat in terms of establishing a more stable national economy. Now that’s something to be proud of! This year St. Louis has been named the tenth “Gayest City in America” by Advocate Magazine. That recognition has inspired HRC St. Louis, Bill Donius and Vital VOICE to collaborate on a city-wide marketing campaign to celebrate the advancement of our LGBT community at the local, regional and national level. We invite you to join us, March 19th at Wild Flower Lofts for a “Conclave” about how best we as a community can showcase LGBT St. Louis to the rest of the world.

Darin Slyman, Publisher

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oi

this

N ISSUE Volume 12, Issue 3

cE

Index

Contributors

Darin Slyman Publisher/Editor vitalvoicemag@gmail.com

Doug Ruble Photography www.douglasrublephoto.com

Jeff Kapfer Art Director design@thevitalvoice.com

Richy Quigley Graphic Design www.richyquigley.com

Drew Baumgartner Producer of Video & Multimedia Alishia Alexander Writing Dbaumgartner05@gmail.com aalexander24@webster.edu

6 The PINK Economy 9 Being Coti Collins 13 PROshop 2011 22 Styling Sappho 23 Ann Hampton Callaway 25 Inspired Office Space 30 Game Changer 32 Scene & Styling 34 Non-profit of the Month

Kristen Goodman Director of Business & Marketing kristengoodman@ymail.com Dieta Pepsi On Air Hostess dietapepsi@gmail.com Colin Murphy Senior Writer/Web Editor colin_murphy@sbcglobal.net

Bill Westmoreland Photography www.billwestmoreland.com

ADVISORY BOARD

Colin Lovett Writer colin.lovett@gmail.com

William A. Donius Thom Halter Colin Murphy Jay Perez Pam Schneider Kellie Trivers Sharon Tucci

Chris Andoe Writer chrisandoe@gmail.com

ADVERTISING

Raj Tailor Writer rajeevTailor@gmail.com

Joshua Barton Writer josh.barton49@gmail.com

VitalVOICEmag@gmail.com

Sydney Britt Eisenstein Fashion Editor sydney.eisenstein@gmail.com

CONTACT

ONLINE

Vital VOICE Magazine 4579 Laclede Avenue #268 Saint Louis, MO 63108 VitalVOICEmag@gmail.com 314.256.1196

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The Pink Economy

Written by Alishia Alexander

As the economy stumbles out of 2010 and one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, economists are predicting that Americans will be encouraged to spend more money to help power the economy. Among the Americans who will spend at least 3.2% more this year than last year, the LGBT community continues to be optimistic about economic improvement, according to a study crafted by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications. The results from the midJanuary survey illustrated that almost four in ten (39%) gays and lesbians will see an improved economy while only 29% of heterosexuals shared the same optimism. Despite the fact that some members of the LGBT community feel more secure in their financial situation versus last year, it is crucial to recap the good, the bad and the ugly realities of 2010 in order to foresee the power of the “pink dollar”. Last year the DINKS, “double income, no kids,” and other male and female counterparts of the gay community experienced an income status ranging from 23% of $25,000 to $49,999; 19% of $50,000 to $74,999; 15% of $75,000 to $99,999; 13% of $100,000 to $149,999, according to Community Marketing Inc. The numbers indicate that the economic conditions took no dire affect within the LGBT community, which ultimately enabled them to spend $743 billion in 2010 compared to the $732 billion spent in 2009. While some marketers are sitting in a conference room scratching their heads on how to advertise to American consumers during these hard times, wise marketers are scheming up new ways to directly seek out LGBT consumers. It was clear that Frito Lay, the maker of Doritos, wanted to cater to the queer community when a leaked Doritos commercial displayed two gay men sitting by the pools side and snacking on a bag of Salsa Verde Doritos from a pink bowl. 6 |

March, 2011

However, recent research has shown that gay and lesbian consumers purchase from companies and brands that advertise in gay media, deliver product messages in gay-specific advertising, support gay and lesbian community causes and are good to their own gay and lesbian employees, according to U.S. LGBT statistics on mygayweb.com. The most recently noted contributions to the economy from the LGBT community and the “pink dollar” has been the brand loyalty of the LGBT consumer. Many companies and organizations are using the idea of “pink” being the new “green,” and because of it there is now a new “niche market.” The new market identifies the spending habits where gays and lesbians refer to their consumer loyalties when making a purchasing decision at work, according to a study done by Community Marketing Inc. The study that proved that business leaders, especially those involved with their local LGBT chamber of commerce, are likely to research and buy products and services for their companies from known gayfriendly suppliers. “We call this the ‘trickle up’ or multiplier effect, where a lesbian consumer might make a three-night booking at a gayfriendly hotel for her vacation, but then go and make a booking for 100 rooms at a similarly known gay-friendly hotel for a company meeting, because of that same loyalty,” said a Community Marketing Inc. spokesperson in a press release. The Community Marketing Inc. research study also proclaimed that 1 in 5 LGBT owned companies are National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, NGLCC, certified in which one third of their purchases come from LGBT friendly hotels, banks, insurance companies and other businesses. From a marketing approach to this new niche market, the best ways to reach

and influence the money spenders is through the LBGT media. One of the key tools to advertise to the community is through the constant and emerging online communications outlets. Nevertheless, the LGBT community exhibits that they are still holding their own despite terrible economic conditions and continue to embody an optimistic outlook for 2011. This ultimately means that the pink dollar is stronger than ever and that the gay community isn’t afraid to spend their hard earned dollars. v


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March, 2011

Feel Better | Look Better | Perform Better


1 Out of 10 Ain’t Bad!

Being

Coti Collins Written by Colin Murphy – Senior Writer/Editor Photography by Tios Photography David Lowman has been performing the illusion of Coti Collins since the mid 1980s starring on stages across the country, including An Evening at LaCage in Las Vegas, NV. The Raleigh, NC resident has toured with Reba McIntire as her double in the 1996/97 Starting Over Road Show and appeared on the Phil Donahue Show, Sally Jesse Raphael, and CMT. But this past fall the veteran entertainer fulfilled the dream of a lifetime—becoming Miss Gay America 2011 and will be center stage at next month’s Miss Gay Missouri, America pageant, April 28-30 at The SoCo Club in Columbia, MO. MGMA is the second oldest preliminary to the storied female impersonation franchise which celebrates 40-years in the art form. (For details check out mgmpageantry.com) Colin Murphy: How did you get your start in female illusion? Coti Collins: I was introduced to the art of female impersonation while attending college in Huntington, WV. I was always interested in theater and this seems to be the perfect outlet. My first show was a benefit to send Mimi Woods to Miss Gay America. I remember the night to be magical—allowing about 8 months to get ready for it, I felt it was such a perfect introduction to a new venture. I never imagined it would be my career in later years. CM: When did you first compete at Miss Gay America? Talk a bit about your competitive journey. CC: The next year [1987], I decided to compete for Miss Gay West Virginia America. After placing

1st alternate to Bridget Nichols, we were off to Dallas. Two pivotal moments standout in my mind. I remember a judge asking me “why do you want to be MGA?” I suddenly spoke up and said...I don’t want to be MGA—I just want to meet everyone. I often tell the story stating, I’ve now met everyone. The second moment was meeting Lindsay Love. We followed each other in the lineup. I was so wide eyed and asking so many questions, Lindsay answered each one and at the end of the week he turned to me and said “You will be Miss Gay America someday.” I only wish he was here to see his prediction come true. CM: Are you able to appreciate the experience of being MGA more so now, then say, if you’d won 20-years ago? theVitalVOICE.com | 9


C: Absolutely!! During my long journey to obtain my dream, I felt MGA has prepared me to master my craft. It allowed me to interview with ease, polish my illusions and stay current. I’m a firm believer that God gives you what you need when you need it. CM: You’re known for your illusions of Reba and Judy. How did those come about and were there any illusions you’ve tried that just didn’t work? CC: All illusions are trial and error. It sometimes takes years to perfect the feel of one’s character. Reba was totally by accident. After putting Viki Williams’ wig on, everyone stopped and screamed, You look like Reba! I actually was put off—I was going for the Debbie Gibson look. All I can say is Thank God for un-answered prayers. Judy was more planned. I was working in Provincetown, MA and we were required 2 illusions. I’m often asked who is my favorite to perform: I reply, Judy Garland. Educating gay youth is something I’m passionate about. How can we get there when we don’t know where we’ve been? One illusion comes to mind that just didn’t work for me...Marilyn Monroe. She was so much more than hair and make-up. I never captured her sexuality. Capturing a personality is very important with any illusion. CM: As you know Miss Gay Missouri turns 38 this year—it’s really become a legacy—what comes to mind when you think of MGM? CC: I’ve always thought MGM was one of the strongest family units in the system. Each has blazed the trail for us to follow our dreams. The state of Missouri has always been known for having top contenders at the national level. CM: What advice would you give to a performer who is just now starting down the professional competition path? CC: Always be yourself; never let anyone determine your self-worth. These are two things I have built a career on.

10 | March, 2011

CM: In the documentary, Pageant you said that female impersonation is a good 10-year career— you’ve shattered that record. Do you still feel the same way? CC: Yes.... In the entertainment industry, youth sells. You must stay current and surround yourself with fresh ideas. When I’m asked this question, I simply reply, perfecting ones performance will give you a long career. Thank God for “Fancy.” CM: Now that you’ve realized the dream of Miss Gay America—what will Coti Collins’ stamp be on the system? CC: That nothing in this world is impossible...Set a goal, change the world, make a difference in your craft. So many times I was told to give up—you will never achieve your dream. I refused to accept that. I am in control of my destiny. Never let anyone determine your self-worth. v


Law Night

Novak’s Bar & Grill March 10, 2011, 7 to 8 p.m. • Adoption • Civil Unions/Marriage • DADT • Estate Planning • Juvenile • Criminal Law A Conversation Hosted by Thomason Law Office, Law Office of Venus V. Harry, and Nancy N. Helping You Protect the Ones You Love

Thomason Law Office “Family” Law Custody Child Support Divorce Name Changes

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PROshop 2011 Written by Colin Murphy – Senior Writer/Editor Photography by Doug Ruble As spring takes hold and the New Year unfolds, Vital VOICE continues to showcase and celebrate all that embodies the modern queer community. To that end we are pleased to bring back our popular PROshop series spotlighting the Gateway City LGBT and allied community’s top creative business owners and industry toppers. This year’s class features a cadre of individuals who not only have made names for themselves in their respective fields, but through their involvement in the LGBT family. Whether LGBTers making their mark or our community’s unsung allies lending their voice to equality—this year’s PROshop is the best yet.

Joey Giliberti GM/Director of Operations, The Maytag Store Joey Giliberti has worked at his parent’s appliance company since he was 14-years old. He’s done a bit of everything from delivering merchandise and sweeping the warehouse floors to answering phones and selling appliances. After completing his bachelor’s degree in 2004, Giliberti was the District Sales Manager overlooking eight stores and the entire sales force. The next year he started the Commercial Services division dedicated to property managers and real estate investors to serve their unique and timely demands. In 2006 Giliberti was brought into Operational Control where he currently manages everything that gets a consumer to his stores. When not running the family business, Giliberti devotes time to charities that are important to him like the American Cancer society and PROMO. “Being an out member of the LGBT has not only made me a better person, but a stronger person. It’s so important that we as LGBT people give back to our community in whatever positive way that we can. If I can show one young LGBT person that you can succeed and be gay, then that’s all I could ever want.”

theVitalVOICE.com | 13


Amie Needham Attorney As a partner at Thompson Coburn, Amie Needham practices human resources law focusing on the representation of employers in labor and employment issues. What’s more, the fashion forward Memphis native who moved to St. Louis in 2000 has poured herself into her community. She serves on the Boards of Food Outreach and Victory Fund, volunteers with St. Louis Effort for AIDS, Stray Rescue, and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and is a member of HRC Fed Club and PROMO Governor’s Council. “Serving on the National Board of Victory Fund has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Knowing that you’re a part of THE organization that gets LGBT candidates elected to office makes each Election Day all the more special. As a political junkie, and advocate for LGBT rights, it’s the best Board I could ever be part of.”

Dwight Carter Owner Rock Uniform / PR Guru Dwight Carter has been involved in entertainment marketing since he started his own music management company during his first year in college. With over 15-years experience in fashion, retail sales and event marketing—Carter has made strong connections within the St. Louis industry. He has produced, promoted, and managed over 300 events since the creation of Rock Uniform. Some notable events include: Fash N Bash, RFT’s ‘Best Of’ Party, Alive Magazine’s Liquid Style, Sauce Magazine’s Movable Feast launch, Pins and Needles Rock ’n’ Roll Fashion Show and Project: Design! “The LGBT community has contributed to the majority of the fashion industry in St. Louis. I create fashion shows and events so I tend to lean towards my LGBT friends for support and involvement.” 14 | March, 2011


Dr. Sharon Fitelson Founder: InMotion Health Center Dr. Sharon Fitelson is the founder of InMotion Health Center and is currently celebrating her 30th year of practice. The Chiropractic Orthopedist and Acupuncturist maintains that holistic health care is a very effective way of combating disease, and extends her team approach well beyond the walls of her own clinic. Her goal is to enhance and expand her patients’ care by working in close conjunction with their other doctors, therapists, orthopedists and specialists. InMotion Health Center is unique in its vision of treating the whole person through a variety of approaches: Chiropractic care, Acupuncture, Nutrition Counseling, Addiction Control, Fitness, Rehabilitation, Ergonomic Assessments, Massage Therapy, Stress Reduction, Hormone Evaluations, Posture Therapy and Antiinflammatory diet plans. “InMotion has always offered a safe environment for all people, where they can trust they will be listened to and cared for individually. My personal intention is to be a mentor and health educator for our vibrant population, and I am very proud to be recognized as such by the LGBT community, especially on the complex issues of Women’s Health.”

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Kevan Crans Business Development Manager, Pulaski Bank Kevan Crans started with Pulaski Bank as a Business Development Manager in 2006 after some encouragement from then CEO, Bill Donius. Pulaski had recently acquired The Central West End Bank and needed someone who could go out and market their products to the Central West End and the city of St Louis. Doubling the number of deposits at his Maryland Plaza location, Crans soon became manager of that location, continuing in that role until 2010. This past summer the Ohio native was again promoted back to Business Development Manager. A firm believer that one individual can impact their community, Crans served on boards such as Loosen The Leash, NARAL Pro Choice, and The Professional Theatre Council (Kevin Kline awards). He co-chaired Doorway’s RED in 2009 and was one of the head chairs for RED in 2010. “I feel that as a gay man, it is my responsibility to serve as an example of who 'we are'. In the Midwest there is still so much misunderstanding of who we are as a whole. I feel that by presenting myself in a positive way, I hope to make my footprint on St Louis and in all I do.”

Kelly Alcorn Business Activation Strategist As speaker, coach and mentor, Kelly Alcorn works with individuals and groups to help them first identify obstacles and then create an activation plan that’s life transforming. Her unique approach inspires people to dream about and identify their goals—then she successfully moves them to action so they become successful achievers. A recently published author, Alcorn holds a leadership position on the board of ESPW (Encouraging, Supporting and Promoting Women) and is active in several local chambers. Kelly was a top ten nominee for the Spirit of St. Peters award and was recognized by Zonta as a woman of leadership in the community. “I love being able to create a community of women to come together for fun, friendship and sometimes more.”

16 | March, 2011


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18 | March, 2011


Mary Dorn Managing Partner, CDS Group Financial Services Mary Dorn began her financial career working for a national bank as an operations officer and personal banker before obtaining her insurance licenses and joining the CDS Group as an agent. Dorn quickly took the insurance agency serving the LGBT community to an entirely different level. Purchasing the company in 1997, she added Income Tax preparation and Bookkeeping services to the menu of financial services offered by the company. Dorn also changed the name from The CDS Group to the CDS Group Financial Services, LLC to more encompass what the company does. Dorn has served on the Board of Directors for both Pride St. Louis and HRC and has worked closely with PROMO, then called PREP. “I’ve been out even before I was 'out' and I’ve always felt that by being my true self—willing to answer any question honestly, without judgment has helped to change a great few minds about who we are as a community.”

Rachel McCalla Lucky You Productions As a straight ally, Rachel McCalla started working with the LGBT community as the full time event planner for Saint Louis Effort for AIDS—she was the coordinator for Dining Out for Life and still holds the record for most restaurants recruited. McCalla also worked as the publicist at Vital Voice while launching Lucky You Productions which specializes in extraordinary weddings, events and floral design. McCalla is an active volunteer for PrideFest, assisting with the “flow” of the Pride Parade and as sponsorship/publicity consultant for PrideFest in 2008-2009. McCalla and Lucky You business partner, Amanda Hill also volunteer for Food Outreach every April as raffle sellers at A Tasteful Affair. “It’s so important that Lucky You Productions be a part of the LGBT community as a straight ally. We believe that all citizens of the United States should be treated equally. It will be our generation’s finest hour when we achieve true equality and a genuine separation of church and state!” theVitalVOICE.com | 19


Jason Nichols Sales Account Executive, ALIVE Magazine For the past 18-months Jason Nichols has been one of ALIVE Magazine’s more prolific Sales Account Executives handling businesses such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brown Shoe Company and Lounge Concepts. The Washington, D.C. native moved to St. Louis in 2003 to attend Washington University where he was awarded a full, four-year merit scholarship and completed double majors in Women & Gender Studies and Psychology. Nichols has been actively involved in the LGBT community and at 25, is the youngest member on the Board of PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization. He has applied his background in marketing and event programs to build a sustainable annual fundraising event titled ‘Urbanaire’. “Being involved with PROMO has been a wonderful experience. It has opened my eyes to the strength, determination and beauty of the local LGBT community. I am very proud to be a member of PROMO, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to make a contribution to our diverse community.”

PROshop 2011 20 | March, 2011


conclave JOIN US!

Saturday, March 19th at Wild Flower Lofts

4590 Laclede Ave. St Louis, MO 63108

11a – 1:30p (lunch provided)

To discuss both the present & future of the St. Louis LGBT community.

PLEASE RSVP TO: WDONIUS@GMAIL.COM

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Todd Alan Vilmer Owner, TAVRA, LLC After a long career in estate, business and financial planning the last few years have seen Todd Vilmer transition into President and Owner of TAVRA, LLC, a nationwide “heir finder” for businesses and corporations, recovering assets owed clients from hundreds of entities. Vilmer has been consistently active within the LGBT community having volunteered for PAWS-Pets Are Wonderful Support for the past 15-years and in 2005 founding and continuing to chair PAWS’ “Thirst for Life” fundraiser. He is a Founding Board member of iCare and is also Founder and Chairman of Project St. Louis aimed at supporting groups fighting for marriage equality and against social injustice. Vilmer has also Chaired ChoiceArt in 2010 and serves on the Board of Directors of Play It Forward. “I am blessed to be able to have the free time to donate my time and energies to some of the greatest organizations in St. Louis. I hope my small part can in turn inspire others to give of themselves, and together we can all make a difference.” v

theVitalVOICE.com | 23


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Ready for the task at hand, I hit up one of my longtime butch lady friends, Nikki Funk who is recently single and oh-so-ready to mingle! The 40-something Funk has a passion for animals and lives her life mainly in vet scrubs or jeans and tees. Now that she is back on the scene (welcome back) she needed just a little style boost to get back on track for single life in the community.

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They key to a good makeover is not to shock and awe the person with a totally different look, but to introduce them to new elements within their sense of style. The true butch lesbian should never be styled in some feminine, frilly dress. However, in today’s fashion-forward menswear stores like Moris Fashions, there are a plethora of amazing finds to sparkle up your style. Now ladies, you can still wear your jeans, but how about paring them up with a velvet jacket and bright colored striped shirt for a more polished look? You will still be comfortable but present an air of fashion-forwardness. Add a touch of mascara and some lip-gloss and you are set to make your entrance on the scene!

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After Clothing Credits:

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before 24 | March, 2011

after


The Vital Interview: Ann Hampton Callaway Written by Joshua Barton Photography by Bill Westmoreland

Ann Hampton Callaway is an icon of Broadway and cabaret as well as an adopted daughter of St. Louis jazz. We caught up with her in the midst of her current U.S. tour to ask her about life post “coming out”, her love of music and of course, Glee.

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Joshua Barton: What was your earliest musical memory? Ann Hampton Callaway: My earliest musical memory was sitting on my mother’s lap in our little Chicago apartment at the piano and she took my hands to show me how to play the piano. I remember feeling excited about playing music and I was probably two years old. JB: Do you feel that your life as a singer is a calling? AHC: I think everyone has a calling. When you’re born you’re given gifts and talents and a soul. So you ask yourself: What does the world need from you and what are you going to do with that? I love thinking of myself as a vessel and I’ve always loved singing and performing. JB: Today is the second anniversary of your public “coming out.” How would you say coming out has changed your career? AHC: I don’t know how it has changed my career but it has changed my life. You know I’ve been out to so many people for a long time but that was my press outing. It wasn’t that I am simply gay. I’ve loved men and I’ve had wonderful lovers as men but I never fell in love with men. And then I found the love of my life, my partner Kari. I thought it was such a profound relationship that I wanted to shout it to the highest! I wanted to be able to share it. I have mentored so many people about being true to themselves and as I took a deeper look at what it means to be truly yourself I realized I had to widen that definition by being more upfront and outspoken about who I was. I am who I am and I have no apologies. So now when I perform the audience gets all of me and they feel the power of that and get excited. JB: Have you ever come across a song that you couldn’t conquer? AHC: For years I’ve stayed away from certain songs. There is a Judy Garland song I always think, “I can‘t wait to sing it!” Its “The Man That Got Away,” and it‘s a great song. I can sing it well but 26 | March, 2011

I haven‘t thought of a way to make it mine. I don‘t own it yet but maybe one day I‘ll find that one thing that makes it my song. It‘s a fun thing to take songs I haven‘t done and make it something that is so personal and so YOU that the audience forgets about everyone else who has sung it. JB: Are you a Gleek? AHC: Yes, I am a total Gleek! I would love to be on the show just so I could tell them, “Don’t breathe between syllables!” I think it’s a delightful show and its fun to see all the different ways it brings out different styles of music. I always look forward to the next episode. JB: Do you think Glee will help inspire a new generation of jazz/standard singers? AHC: Yes, much more so than American Idol. I see a show like Glee and I think they’re doing something special. They’re exposing different styles of music and showing what a song means through performing. I think it has been very inspirational to people because music is being taken out of schools and kids aren’t growing up with music anymore. They hear it in TV and movies but to not have the opportunity to sing as a child is a crime. JB: A lot of your work revolves around the theme of love. Are love songs still important in a jaded world? AHC: The more jaded the world is the more important they are. And not love songs that are slippery but love songs that are TRUE and where your heart feels and recognizes the love. I think we’re all born to love and born to experience a profound connection to another person. My job as an artist is to rekindle that feeling. When I perform the people in the audience are holding hands, they’re laughing, some are crying. They feel the joy of being alive and maybe they’ve taken someone for granted and hearing these timeless songs reminds them what is important. Music is the greatest reminder of why we are here. Ann will be performing in St. Louis at Jazz St. Louis March 30 – April 2. For ticket information visit: jazzstl.org/experience/artists/ann-hampton-callaway v


This section sponsored by

INSPIRED OFFICE SPACE The Law Offices of Burton Newman, P.C. Clayton, MO Designed by Raj Tailor/Tailordesign

Creating a feeling of spaciousness was an important goal of mine. To achieve this, I employed the use of a long, gracious curved wall, further emphasized by the similarly curved architectural lighting and custom designed receptionist desk. Additionally, keeping flooring material changes to a minimum adds to that spacious feel. It was also important that the main space be clutter free so the copy machine, file cabinets, etc are all designed for and completely out of sight. Even though the plan necessitated an internal conference room, it ended up being one of the most interesting spaces in the office. The room features an angled wall which meets the aforementioned curved wall to create a dynamic feel. A generous amount of frosted glass combined with small hits of clear glass adds light and activity to the room without sacrificing privacy. The room is furnished with a custom designed triangular shaped concrete table which adds an unexpected hip, urban vibe. Burt, in addition to practicing law, is an avid and talented photographer. His work is characterized by a playful spirit with a modern edge. It proved to the be a perfect fit for the space and adds a personal touch to his professional space. Burt’s direction when I started the project was clear when he said, “Raj, make me a law office that doesn’t look like a law office.” I think he got it. theVitalVOICE.com | 27


“Raj succeeded in creating a space that is not just unique but incredibly functional as well. The openness really lends itself to productivity. Everyone feels comfortable here. We all just love it.” Burt N. “Our clients really like the office. I hear compliments all the time. It’s a great environment to work in. There are so many cool things to look at.” Ashley T. Receptionist “I’ve been to the office many times and each time I am always struck by the overall design. It feels so fresh and upbeat but also very inviting. Quite memorable.” Kathy F. Client

28 | March, 2011


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GAME CHANGER: FDA Approves HPV Vaccine for Men 9-26 Written by Colin Lovett For thousands of years, various forms of pharmacological research and practice sought to treat or cure disease. A recent breakthrough in medicine is now the talk of the LGBT and medical community: Gardasil, a vaccine for HPV, has just been approved for males 9 to 26 by the FDA. Most of the 200 different types of HPV (human papillomavirus) do not cause any symptoms or have any harmful effects. Some, however, can lead to skin and genital warts and/or cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, scrotum and anus of both women and men. Gardasil has exhibited protection against 4 types of HPV, the kinds that cause 70% of the reported cases of cervical cancer and 90% of the reported cases of genital warts. By causing your immune system to produce antibodies to these specific types of HPV, the 3 shots, given over 6 months, will keep you protected for at least 5 years. “Gardasil represents a breakthrough,” says Paula Gianino, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. “[It is] the first vaccine [for HPV] made widely available that has evidence to prove it prevents some cancers.” Gardasil manufacturer, Merck, provided clinical data showing the vaccine could be up to 78% effective in preventing anal lesions and anal cancer in men who have sex with men. Because anal cancer is the same disease in both sexes, the data was also used to support the expanded use of Gardasil in women. Anal cancer is rare, but the incidence is increasing. Nearly 5,300 people are diagnosed each year, and about 720 die, according to the National 30 | March, 2011

Cancer Institute. About 1.6 people per 100,000 develop anal cancer each year, with a slightly higher proportion of men to women. However, the incidence is much higher among men who have sex with men. In that group, the rate jumps to about 40 cases per 100,000 men. If those men have HIV, particularly the receptive partner, the rate spikes to 80 per 100,000 cases. “I definitely think this is a game changer for gay men in particular,” says Tom Barry, VP of Development at Planned Parenthood. “For the first 10 years of the century, this was the most momentous in gay men’s health. Far too many people have died. HPV is alive and well within the gay community and among the heterosexual community as well.” Men and women should seek information from their health care provider about getting the Gardasil vaccine before they are sexually active. However, even if you are already sexually active, it is recommended you get the vaccine if you fall within the age range (9-26). “This can stop cancer,” Gianino says.

Vaccinating Children

Gianino recommends parents should get information also. “As children begin to reach age 9, getting them vaccinated provides reassurance in their future health. What I would say to parents is, look – HPV is spread in a lot of ways having nothing to do with sex. Parents need to think about this in a different way. This is about giving your son or daughter protection for a skin to skin disease. We need to get parents beyond thinking that ‘If I get my 9 year old vaccinated, will she start having sex?’ We need to make it part of the normal vaccination regiment in children.”


I’m out of Range

Gardasil is doing additional testing for people beyond the 9 to 26 age range, but it is not yet FDA approved. Unfortunately, that restricts some clinical applications or insurance coverage to administer the regiment for those who fall outside the range – namely, males older than 27. There are, however, some doctors and service providers who can administer off-label regiments. “It’s not black market,” Gianino advises, “many providers provide off-label prescribing. But it may not be covered by insurance. Physicians would not be doing anything ILLEGALLY by prescribing Gardasil. People ought to call their commercial insurance and get information up front.”

STD vs. Skin Disease

HPV is often misclassified as a disease exclusive to sexual transmission. People who are not sexually active can be infected with HPV. If somebody has

HPV, and you’re having skin to skin contact, you can put yourself at risk for contracting HPV. Lots of people may not be engaging in anal or vaginal intercourse, so they may think they don’t need to use a condom. Condoms do not prevent HPV.

GET INFORMATION. GET TESTED. GET VACCINATED. The Vital VOICE and Planned Parenthood recommend anyone in the age window get informed: go online and get the information you need. Talk to your health care provider. Check out the Gardasil website (Gardasil.com), the CDC website (CDC.gov) and the Planned Parenthood website (plannedparenthood.org). Make a sound decision about your health. v

theVitalVOICE.com | 31


Red Party

Just John February 12, 2011 Just John nightclub turned back the clock for a night of love, lava lamps and disco balls. The appropriately titled Red Party was a disco inferno just in time for the season of Valentine love. Red Party also benefited Promo by selling specialty love shots all night long. For upcoming parties check out the Just John facebook page facebook.com/justjohnsclub.

32 | March, 2011


&

Scene Styling

Bud Light presents OUT in the City The Loading Zone February 17, 2011

ALIVE Magazine and Vital VOICE launched a brandnew event series last month called OUT in the City which offers the opportunity to mix, mingle and network in an upbeat, post-work setting. With every networking event, a $5 donation will go to charity partner paid at the door, guests will receive one complimentary Bud Light. Stay tuned for dates on the next OUT in the City. theVitalVOICE.com | 33


Vital VOICE dedicates this issue to our Non-profit of the month

The American Cancer Society Says THANK YOU To It’s Volunteers! The American Cancer Society named Joey Giliberti, member of the LGBT community and resident of St. Louis City, as a chairman of this year’s Celebaroo Gala: Urban Cowboy. Joey, General Operations Manager for The Maytag Stores in the St. Louis metropolitan area, is overseeing a committee of 35 fellow volunteers in preparation for the event, which will be held Saturday, August 6th at Kemp Auto Museum in the Chesterfield Valley. “Each of us has suffered the pain caused by cancer either personally or alongside a family member or friend,” said Giliberti. “That is why the volunteers of the gala and I are passionate about the American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate this terrible disease. Today there is more hope than ever, but funding is still needed.” Jason McClelland, Manager of Distinguished Events for the American Cancer Society states “I am so fortunate to have Joey apart of our volunteer base, as well as a friend. His leadership and dedication to our mission is remarkable.”

34 | March, 2011

The Celebaroo Gala Urban Cowboy is a gala type event with a western theme. Throw on your boots and cowboy hats and get ready to kick up your heals for an evening of fun. The event will feature western cuisine, a saloon filled with adult beverages, live and silent auctions, a Vegas style gaming section, headline entertainment, and plenty of other activities. For more information visit www.celebaroo.org or call Jason McClelland at the American Cancer Society at (314) 286-8157.


See It Now! Closes April 3! EXPLORE – Arrive eArly for expert discussion ABout the performAnce

EXPERIENCE – enjoy the performAnce with new insight!

ENGAGE – mingle with Artists And fellow pAtrons At post-show reception E3! is sponsored by

{ free with your ticKet } Reception features products from McArthur’s Bakery, Chaumette Vineyards & Winery, Misty’s Enchanted Florist, Thomas Coffee

ARIANNA STRING QUARTET: QUINT-ESSENTIAL MARCH 5 8 pm

THE MIKADO

PRESENTED BY NEW YORK GILBERT & SULLIVAN PLAYERS

MARCH 11 8 pm

TRIPTYCH

PRESENTED BY THE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

MAY 14 8 pm

MADCO: VEZA

PRESENTED BY MODERN AMERICAN DANCE COMPANY

APRIL 1 & 2 8 pm

Image © Photo.12.com – Pierre-Jean Chalençon.

touhill.org 314.516.4949 Forest Park (314) 746-4599 mohistory.org To purchase tickets, visit mohistory.org or call (314) 361-9017. The exhibition is produced and distributed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cultural Arts Entertainment Group.


A S F E AT U R E D I N

DOWNTOWN'S PREMIER EVENT SPACE FROM

AND THE PEPPER LOUNGE • MANDARIN LOUNGE • EL BORRACHO

AVAILABLE FOR WEDDINGS, RECEPTIONS, AND PRIVATE EVENTS ACCOMMODATING UP TO 600 GUESTS FOR DETAILS AND RESERVATIONS PLEASE CONTACT INFO@LUMENSTL.COM

Photography: Pam Brendenkamp/Jon Koch/Tim McDermott Photography

“From the food to how smoothly everything went it was just plain amazing and one of the best nights” —Lumen Bride

March, 2011

“Thanks again for all of the hard work that you and your staff put into our wedding! Everything was fantastic and many of our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to!!” —Lumen Bride 2201 LOCUST STREET | 314.241.5757 | WWW.LUMENSTL.COM

March 2011  

The BUSINESS Issue, Vital VOICE Magazine, St. Louis, MO

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