LOVE Bachelors in Business The Fab Five
F E AT U R E S
22 26 34
EMOTIONS Cry Baby When it comes to crying, do men get a fair shake?
HISTORY Black History Reflection Meet some of the early pioneers of Black Business.
E N T E R TA I N M E N T Born for the Stage Tasha Taylor is charting her own course in entertainment.
5 EDITORâ€™S LETTER 20 THE LIPSTICK CHRONICLES 30 SHINE ON SISTA! Illumination(and inspiration for the daily grind)
MANAGING ME YEAH I DID
ISSUE 5 FEBRUARY 2012
COVER BACHELORS IN BUSINESS (l-r) Leonard W. Underwood, Joffrey Smith, Michael Carter, Kris Ludwig, and Alfonso Santaniello
ISSUE 5 FEBRUARY 2012
Editor-in-Chief Natasha Clark Copy Editor Jean Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brendaâ€™s Child Erin Corriveau Dawn Leaks Katelyn Gendron Contributing Writers Tony Gaskins, Jr. Lamara Hunter
Lioness Magazine is the first online magazine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals. We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.
Taking a detour to the world of Bachelors in Business
“Where are they?” My single girlfriends and I have shrugged over Happy Hour cocktails. “They” being awesome bachelors doing work that inspires them, fulfills their dreams and makes the world a little sweeter to live in. Well, HERE THEY ARE! This month Lioness is highlighting bachelors rising in their respective industries. From a clothing designer to a financial advisor, these men run the gamut in professions, interests and what they are looking for in a significant other. Our feature cover bachelors were photographed in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts last fall. Jackson & Connor, a modern apparel store for men, dressed the fab five and Denise Smith of Denise Smith Photography shot the quintet inside Monarch Place on Main Street, on the downtown city streets and on the steps of City Hall. Many of these bachelors fall between Generation X and Y, both of which are less likely to stick to the traditional roles of men and women in the workforce, like previous generations. In the days of old, women entering the workforce seemed as if they were waging war on men’s territory. What they really wanted was the freedom to do as they chose – whether that was dunking a basketball or running a fortune 500 company. Dennis Cauchon reported back in 2009 in USA Today that women were on the verge of historically outnumbering men in the workforce, part of it is due to the current recession. “The gender transformation is especially remarkable in local government's 14.6 million-person workforce. Cities, schools, water authorities and other local jurisdictions have cut 86,000 men from payrolls during the recession — while adding 167,000 women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” So here is to all of the men who are carving their niche in business and all the women who are keeping an eye on the lookout for them. We had loads of fun putting this issue together and we hope you enjoy it. We also take a special moment to recognize those who have paved the way for African Americans in business. These brilliant entrepreneurs and their inventions made waves and the ripples effects are still being felt today. Happy Black History Month!
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
City, State Agawam, MA Hometown Agawam, MA Occupation CEO of Santaniello Media Group, Inc. (President of the Creative Strategy Agency & The Businews Channel). Company/Organization “Developing innovative digital practices”. Our companies are all about getting the word out for yourself or your business. tCSA offers strategic marketing, web marketing, mobile marketing and marketing consulting. TBC is a business web channel airing original business web series in an entertainment format. “Where business meets entertainment”. Title and/or specialty CEO
Alfonso Santaniello What do you do? For tCSA, I handle marketing initiatives for several businesses. For TBC, I direct, produce, and edit all the web series, as well as host two of the 15 web shows. Why you do what you do? I am a creative person. I have ideas coming out of my mind left and right, day and night. This is a great, positive outlet to help grow businesses through marketing. What is your motto in business? “Think. Plan. Grow.” What is your motto in life? Have an idea? Run with it! Favorite quote: “Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.” - Sergey Brin
I am a first generation Italian-American. My parents were born and married in Italy and then moved to America. I am an identical twin but we are very different. I have a younger brother who looks nothing like us, but character wise is a mix between both of us. I am all about my family and friends. I am a low key, fun person...and I like to think I have a great sense of humor... that’s probably why you would see me laughing 95% of the time.
What are you passionate about and why? I am passionate about helping people. It’s a natural knack I have. If someone needs something, and I have the capabilities to help them personally or professionally, I will. Favorite Pastime? Spend low-key quality time with friends and family.
What other boards/committees/ or activities are you involved in outside of work? Director of Marketing & Board Member of the Agawam Small Business Assistance Center. Marketing Committee and Member of the Young Professionals of Greater Springfield. Outreach Coordinator and member of Referral Partners BNI Chapter. Volunteer for Human Resources Unlimited. Do you have a unique talent? If so, what is it? Sometimes, I can’t stop laughing. The 3 adjectives that best describe you: Entrepreneur, Creative, Laughter. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Starting my first business at age 24 and my second at 26. I always wanted to own my own business, but to own two before 30... I am happy where I am at. The first thing you notice about a woman and why? Her eyes. The simplicity and beauty of them just get me. It’s like looking at who the person really is. What do you appreciate in a significant other? Honesty and trust. I am a very honest and trustworthy person, so I would only expect that from my significant other. What is a little known fun fact about you? I’ve been to Italy 16 times.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
City, State Springfield, MA Hometown Springfield, MA Occupation Education/ Fundraising Company/Organization Junior Achievement of Western Mass Title and/or specialty Special Events and Marketing Manager
Michael Carter What do you do? My primary role at Junior Achievement is to plan our largest fundraising events such as our Stock Investing Competition, Bowl-athon, Golf Tournament and 5K Race. These events allow us to keep providing our students with programs that instill the principles of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career readiness. I am also working hard on developing a marketing strategy to make our non-profit organization more visible to the community.
Well I am extremely laid back and somewhat reserved, but once you get to know me you’ll be doubled over laughing at my corny jokes and outrageous comments. I believe my purpose is to help make the world better and I put my best foot forward in that regard. I stand for what I believe in and do my best to stay true to my values.
Why you do what you do? I choose this occupation because of the possibility of changing a young person’s life. It is especially rewarding to work with inner city youth, who go to the schools I used to attend. Introducing these young people to the concept of financial independence, becoming a businessman or woman is extremely rewarding. I wish I had this sort of education when I was younger. What is your motto in business? Our business motto is “empowering young people to own their economic success.”
What is your motto in life? My motto is “Excellence and nothing less.”
Favorite quote I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. What are you passionate about and why? I am passionate about a lot of things. I think the order has to go something like: God, Family, Education, Food and Music. The first two are kind of obvious and shouldn’t need explanation (hopefully). The last three may need some description. As a kid a huge emphasis was placed on education, and now that I am older and have graduated from college, I understand that my education has helped me get where I am. I also understand that it wasn’t for me only, but that it needs to be spread with others. I LOVE FOOD! Want to win me over? Make me a meal I cannot refuse! Music is my life; I can’t get through the day without a song or six.
Favorite Pastime? My favorite pastime is somewhere between eating a great meal and performing on stage. What other boards/committees/ or activities are you involved in outside of work? I am on the Advisory Board at The Springfield High School of Science and Technology.
Do you have a unique talent? If so, what is it? I am capable of eating a family out of a house and home! But I also play the piano and sing. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Ambitious, Humorous and Passionate.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? I am proud that I am the first member of my immediate family to go to and complete a 4 year college. That was a very defining moment in my life.
The first thing you notice about a woman and why? I think that’s a toss up between her hair and her smile. There is nothing more captivating than a woman with a lovely smile, but when her hair is equally attractive I’m beyond intrigued!
What do you appreciate in a significant other? I appreciate a beautiful woman who understands that the value of her self worth is not only measured by her beauty; but also by her drive, her passion, and her determination. ALSO, if she knows how to make fried chicken and macaroni and cheese I’m sold! What is a little known fun fact about you? My birthday is on Halloween but I promise I’m not a vampire. Also, I know I talk a lot about food, but I promise I work out as much as I eat.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
City, State Worcester, MA Hometown Worcester, MA Occupation Financial Advisor Company/Organization Joffrey Smith Financial Group Title and/or specialty President
Joffrey Smith What do you do? Work with individuals, families and businesses in the areas of insurance planning, retirement planning, investments and employee benefits.
Why you do what you do? I have always enjoyed finance and helping people, so this allows me to do both while having the opportunity to run my own business. What is your motto in business? Always operate with integrity and do the right thing for clients all the time and you will build a long term sustainable business.
I have been involved in doing some work as an actor over the years. I have been in a number of movies and commercials including five movies that I filmed in 2011 alone. The most notable was a new Adam Sandler movie that I worked on this past summer which should be out in June of 2012 which I was in and also was the Baseball Technical Advisor to the film.
What is your motto in life? I believe you have to have balance in life between work and your personal life. I work hard but like to mix in some fun as well. Favorite quote The secret of success for every person who has ever been successful lies in the fact that they formed the habit of doing the things that failures aren't willing to do. What are you passionate about and why? I am passionate about my work, sports and improving the community. I have always been a very motivated person and after starting my financial services career upon graduating college I decided to get involved with politics. I have also been involved in numerous charity events such as boxing to help raise over $100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club and dancing in a Salsa with Worcester Stars charity event. I also helped organize and host the Karaoke for a Cure charity event to benefit cancer research. Favorite Pastime? Playing baseball. I played Division 1 baseball in college and had several major league try-outs.
What other boards/committees/or activities are you involved in outside of work? I founded my own charity event, the Joff Smith Celebrity Auction which raised over $50,000 in 2 years for local charities. I was appointed by Governor Patrick and Lt. Gov. Murray to the Board of Trustees of the State Library of MA. I serve on the Board of Worcester Comprehensive Education and Care, Inc. Iâ€™m also on the Board of the Masonic Angel Foundation and the Hourglass Foundation. Do you have a unique talent? If so, what is it? I am very athletic and have played sports my whole life including being a three sport athlete in high school and playing baseball in college. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Self motivated, Hard working, Smart.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? I was fortunate enough to become the youngest person ever elected to the Worcester City Council at the age of 24. I served 3, twoyear terms from January 2006 - January 2012. I enjoyed my time in politics and trying to make the city a better place. The first thing you notice about a woman and why? I notice her overall physical appearance as attraction is very important when first meeting someone. What do you appreciate in a significant other? I want someone that is good looking, intelligent, motivated, kind, fun loving, athletic with a great personality. Is that too much to ask for? What is a little known fun fact about you? I still work out often and play in two baseball leagues and a basketball league.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
LEONARD W. UNDERWOOD
City, State Springfield, MA Hometown Springfield, MA Occupation Youth Director at St. John’s Congregational Church, Professional Photographer of Underwood Photography, Substitute Teacher in the Springfield Public Schools
Leonard W. Underwood Why you do what you do? In the field of education, I would like to think that I am making a positive impact in the lives of inner city students. In photography, I am immortalizing special moments in time. What is your motto in business? Unofficially, I like to say, Seize every opportunity and do ordinary things extraordinarily well. What is your motto in life? Work hard, play hard!
LEONARD W. UNDERWOOD
Favorite quote One of my favorite quotes comes from the bible, James 1:2&3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. What are you passionate about and why? I am passionate about mentoring students by instilling values, goals, principals and exposing them to positive opportunities. As Youth Director at St. John’s, one of the exciting aspects to my position is engaging the youth to prestigious colleges and universities, letting them know that they can do all things! Favorite Pastime? Working out. Its like recreation to me. I’m actually a certified personal fitness trainer!
What other boards/committees/ or activities are you involved in outside of work? School Centered Decision Making Team at Deberry Elementary School, Young Professionals Society of Greater Springfield, The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, The Brianna Fund for Children with Physical Disabilities. Do you have a unique talent? If so, what is it? I like walking on my hands. I have dreams of joining the circus one day. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Motivated, Focused and Upbeat.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? Being the first in my family to earn a master’s degree (completed the program in 12 months at 22!) Being voted prom king in high school (the underdog was on top!). The first thing you notice about a woman and why? I think her teeth! Personal hygiene is quite important to me. What do you appreciate in a significant other? I appreciate natural beauty, sense of humor, sense of style and her relationship with God.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
City, State Holyoke, MA Hometown East Longmeadow, MA Occupation Fine Artist / Painter, Teacher, Exhibit Preparator Company/Organization I am self employed as a visual artist, Springfield College, and Springfield Museums Association respectively for the following two. Title and/or specialty As an artist I guess you could say I am the owner/sole proprietor- I specialize in painting. At Springfield College I am an adjunct faculty member and at the Springfield Museums I am the preparator for the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum.
Kris Ludwig What do you do? When I am in the studio I mostly try to focus on working toward a series of paintings for exhibit although I do some commission work and illustration at times as well. At school, I teach the fundamentals of drawing and painting. I work to impart in my students the ability to ‘see’ like an artist at the same time as directing them in the skills that allow them to effectively express their ideas. The museum work involves a bit of everything that goes into putting a museum quality show together- matting, framing, hanging, carefully packing and unpacking work, designing displays just to name a few of the regular things. I am working on a project that involves restoring many Victorian frames, which is probably my favorite thing at the moment. Why you do what you do? I started off my college career with the aim of becoming a computer programmer. It didn’t take me too long to realize that this would never be fulfilling to me. I was feeling more drawn to the elective courses in the arts- something that I had always been passionate about but never really thought seriously about as far as an occupation. I jumped in, and have not regretted it for a moment.
What is your motto in business? I don’t really have a motto really- it’s hard to have one in the arts and not be cheesy. If I could steal the Boy Scouts motto ‘be prepared’ in relation to working at the museum I think that works. What is your motto in life? Try something new at least once.
Favorite quote I don’t really have a favorite quote of all time, it sort of changes depending on what I am thinking about, reading, or working on. It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. –Thoreau
What are you passionate about and why? I think it goes without saying that I am passionate about painting but also about promoting the arts, art education and appreciation. I believe strongly in the ability of the arts as a means to better understand ourselves, relate to each other, and find something to appreciate about most every aspect of life. This is why it should be more important in education.
Favorite Pastime? Besides all the art related stuff, there is just nothing better than floating on a tube staring at the summer sky.
What other boards/committees/ or activities are you involved in outside of work? When I’m not working, I try to do fun things that get me outside. I’ve recently started skiing and hardly fall down as much as I used to. Cycling, kayaking, hiking, restoring a classic car and photography are a few of the other things I enjoy. Do you have a unique talent? If so, what is it? I do a pretty good impersonation of Jimmy Stewart, and my Sean Connery isn’t so bad either. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Funny, Kind, Patient.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? Accomplishments that I am most proud of are finishing my graduate degree, sticking with art despite all the related challenges, and rebuilding my car’s engine and having it run The first thing you notice about a woman and why? I notice a smile before anything else. I think you can tell a lot about a person’s character, and what they really think about you.
What do you appreciate in a significant other? A good sense of humor can go a long way in enjoying any number of situations together. It helps make the good times even more enjoyable, find pleasure in the mundane, and helps you put life’s struggles in perspective. What is a little known fun fact about you? I am a distant relative of King Ludwig II of Bavaria who built Neuschwanstein castle.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
Why you do what you do? I always had an affinity for fashion and being creative, and it was a period of self-reflection that led me to discover my innate creativity and my talent for fashion.
More importantly, it is a means to an end. I have nurtured a culture of giving in my life and everything that I do. My profession affords me the opportunity to help those that are less fortunate, particularly underprivileged children. What is your motto in business? Help others succeed.
City, State Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Hometown Valsayn Occupation Fashion design and merchandising Company/Organization Jessel Brizan Design Group Ltd. Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design Title and/or specialty Business owner and educator
What is your motto in life? Live, laugh, and love wholeheartedly. Always give willingly and with a sincere heart and expect nothing in return.
Favorite quote Too many to name one. But if you can call it a quote, I would have to say all of Psalm 23.
What are you passionate about and why? God. Finding God and accepting Christ as my Lord and Saviour has been the most significant event in my life to date. Through good or bad, when no one else is there, He is the one constant that guides my every thought, word and deed. Mentoring, tutoring and helping underprivileged and/or disadvantaged children. Volunteering with such children and seeing their plight has led me to discover and nurture a strong devotion to enriching the lives of these children. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Giving, Caring, Passionate.
The first thing you notice about a woman? Her face. The way her facial features make up her own unique, distinct beauty.
What do you appreciate in a significant other? Spirituality is important to me, so I appreciate someone who nurtures the spirit. No one is perfect, so essentially someone with a good balance of mind, body and spirit. Mind = Intelligence Body = Natural beauty Spirit = A close relationship with the Most High Ambition Healthy lifestyle The usual suspects â€“ loving, caring, giving, nurturing, honesty, trustworthiness.
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
Why you do what you do? Since I was little I have always loved music and the idea of creating a sound to call your own. My passion for music and creating eventually lead me into the field of audio production. What is your motto in business? Eclectic Creativity.
What is your motto in life? Love what you do and do what you love.
Favorite quote Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
City, State Windsor, CT Hometown Newark, NJ Occupation Audio Engineer Company/Organization Iron Bars Productions
Title and/or specialty Co owner specializing in audio & video production
What are you passionate about and why? Iâ€™m passionate about the work I do, because I believe passion breeds success. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Ambitious, Creative and Unique. The first thing you notice about a woman? Eyes.
What do you appreciate in a significant other? I appreciate willingness to explore and good sense of humor.
Scott Sheehan City, State Granby, MA Hometown Granby, MA Occupation Customer Service Representative Company/Organization MassMutual Financial Group Title and/or specialty Annuity Service Center CSR
Why you do what you do? I chose customer service because I love interacting with people and helping them out. I have a very outgoing personality that helps me to relate with clients on a personal level. What is your motto in business? “Success is a journey, not a destination.” –Arthur Ashe
What is your motto in life? Live life to the fullest and stay true to yourself.
Favorite quote “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.” -Groucho Marx
Nick Sheehan City, State Chicopee, MA Hometown Granby, MA Occupation Compliance Company/Organization MassMutual Financial Group Title and/or specialty Compliance Analyst
Why you do what you do? I help in creating new Life Insurance and Disability Insurance products to benefit people later on in life when the unfortunate happens. Knowing that these products will be there when someone needs them is comforting. What is your motto in business? You have to work hard to get where you want to go. What is your motto in life? Pay it forward.
Favorite quote There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
What are you passionate about and why? I am very passionate about art. Any aspect, whether its fine art, music, theater, etc. Being able to use your creative license in a way that can move people is really inspiring and admirable. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Fun-loving, Gregarious, Compassionate
The first thing you notice about a man? The way he carries himself and his eyes.
What do you appreciate in a significant other? I appreciate ambition. Someone that has the drive to chase their goals and motivate others around them, while staying positive is uplifting.
What are you passionate about and why? Staying active whether it is through playing sports or working out. It’s a great way to stay healthy and maintain a competitive edge. The 3 adjectives that best describe you Athletic, Outgoing, Kind
The first thing you notice about a woman? Smile and demeanor.
What do you appreciate in a significant other? I really appreciate a willingness for spontaneity. I love random trips, whether they’re day trips or weekend trips, or depending on schedules, even fitting in a week long vacation out of the blue.
the lipstick chronicles
My Perfect Valentine’s Day By Kristina Chapell
nce the Christmas holiday is over we often see the Valentine’s decorations being put up in the stores, sometimes even before the holiday even began. For years this signaled the time of year when I would stress about how I would spend my Valentine’s night but not anymore. Now I look back and think about some of the crazy times I had while enjoying what I consider “my perfect Valentine’s.” It is safe to say I have never had a “hot date” on Valentine’s. Over the years I have spent the night with my single girlfriends, dog-sitting, traveling to Florida for vacation, staying home, or going out with my family. While I have never had a date on this “romantic” night, don’t cry for me just yet; I have had some very memorable Valentine’s. February 14, 2003 was the year my single girlfriends and I decided to be single in style. We
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
rented a limo, started out at a BYOB restaurant for dinner and then went into downtown Springfield for more fun. At stop number two downtown I ran into someone I used to have a crush on (about 10 years ago when we were kids). He was out with his friends as he didn’t have a hot date either. I was really excited to see him again and he remembered me too. We chatted and chatted but… all I remember is being left with the biggest hangover known to mankind the next day – like ‘couldn’t get off the couch all day’. Not even sure what happened that night my friends had to fill in the blanks. Apparently I was nervous and kept ordering drinks. I remember being so frustrated with them because they let me keep drinking. Needless to say I never got his number; which is probably a good thing. Oh, I do remember buying some guy shots that night; turns out he was the owner of the bar. The year after, 2004, I decided to make less of a fool of myself and agreed to dog-sit for a friend.
I spent the weekend at her house with her chocolate lab, Teddy. She loved teddy bears so he was aptly named Ted E. Bear. After ordering in and opening a bottle of wine, Teddy and I spent the night on the couch watching movies. In 2005 I decided to fly down to Florida to spend some time with my cousin. Having no Valentine’s plans I decided to fly down that afternoon. Low and behold the weather had another plan as snow moved in, close to a foot. With no plans and no food in the house I suited up and traipsed into the snow to my car and drove to Friendly’s for takeout. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a burger and fries. Luckily, I was able to fly out the next day but the one contingent I was told was I would have a five hour layover in Atlanta. A five hour layover for a week of warmth – bring it! While in Atlanta I spotted someone who looked like someone I used to work with and low and behold it was.
Continued on next page
The Lipstick Chronicles KRISTINA CHAPELL is a single gal in her thirties making her way in the world. Passionate, savvy, and stylish; Kristina is a social relationship builder. You can often find her on Facebook and Twitter keeping up with the latest news and always supporting causes she is passionate about such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Link to Libraries, and The Businews Channel.
My Perfect Valentine’s Day He noticed me too and came over. He was on a layover to head back to Springfield so we sat and talked for close to two hours until his flight left. We parted ways with plans for dinner when I got back and we kept those plans and continued to go out for one year. We realized though we were better as friends and remained friends for over five years after that day. Today, at 31 I have realized my perfect day is one spent with those I love – family and friends. My favorite date I have decided is my dog, Max. He does not buy me flowers – they die, he doesn’t
buy me chocolate – I get fat, but he does follow me around and snuggles with me. I can curl up on the couch with a glass, or bottle, of wine and watch a movie with the fire roaring and he is snuggled right next to me giving me the best gift of all – unconditional love. I can count on him to always be there by my side; the best part - he is excited to spend time with me. Growing up as a young female I felt all me and my friends wanted was a card, chocolates, flowers, and a guy to take us out but I have come to realize it is a bit over-rated. No, I haven’t turned
cynical over the years, I just became smarter. A holiday shouldn’t be the only time we “expect” or want these special things from someone who loves us, we should want and get them all year round. I am not opposed to having a date with a live human, preferably a single-male; on Valentine’s Day but if it doesn’t happen I am not going to get upset. There are 364 other days in the year and I don’t want February 14th to be the only day I get dressed up to go out to dinner with someone I love.
BIG BOYS SHOULD CRY By Anne Kreamer SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18TH, 2010 I'm no John Boehner fan. And I'm even less of a Mitch McConnell fan. But as a person who chokes up at a movie or book or a news story most days and full-on cried during Toy Story 3, as tough as it is for me to admit it, I feel for both of them right now. Crying politicians are nothing new. Remember Democratic Presidential candidate Ed Muskie, who lost the 1972 nomination after he teared up during a press conference in New Hampshire while defending his wife? And Hillary Clinton, who also famously choked up, in 2008, also while campaigning for President in the New Hampshire primary?
Continued on page 25
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
ANNE KREAMER has been fortunate to be at the right places at the right times. In the late 70s she was part of the team that turned Sesame Street into a global brand. A decade later she helped launch SPY magazine. In the 1990s, when her children were little she had the perfect job — Worldwide Creative Director for Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite. She created the monthly “American Treasures” column for Martha Stewart Living. In 2007 she published her first book, Going Gray, What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity And Everything Else That Matters, and wrote a Yahoo blog, “Going Gray, Getting Real.” It’s Always Personal, a book exploring the new realities of emotion in the workplace was published April, 2011. Anne lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Kurt Andersen, the novelist and host of public radio’s Studio 360, and their two daughters, Kate and Lucy.
big boys should cry
I understand the modern default assumption that a politician is using emotional displays cynically. (See Clinton, Bill.) And I understand why women, especially women who politically oppose the un-compassionate conservatives Boehner and McConnell, are tempted to revile them for tearing up, which Senator McConnell did this week delivering a farewell speech to his friend Judd Gregg (of New Hampshire -- again New Hampshire!)while Boehner apparently gets weepy on a daily basis. But I'm made uncomfortable that these apparently authentic emotional displays by powerful men are fair game for ridicule. Men completely controlled the workplace when women first went into the labor force in significant numbers during the late 60s and 70s, so we females believed that to be successful we had to "man up," and emulate their emotional restraint. For forty years women have had to adhere to a poker-faced workplace persona that denies essential aspects or our emotional wiring. Nancy Pelosi said of Boehner in The New York Times magazine, "You know what? He is known to cry. He cries sometimes when we're having a debate on bills. If I cry, it's about the person-
al loss of a friend or something like that. But when it comes to politics - no - I don't cry." But a hard outer shell of pseudo-invulnerability comes at a cost to both genders.
tears on the job as only "slightly unprofessional." In other words, women see tears at work as some kind of moral/psychological failure, but men don't.
Women cry, on average, four times as often as men - according to neurologist William Frey, an average of 5.3 times per month, compared with 1.4 times for men. And this isn't just a function of cultural training - women generate far more prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production that also controls the neurotransmitter receptors in our tear glands, and women's tear ducts are anatomically different from male tear ducts, resulting in a larger volume of tears. In a 2009 survey I conducted with J. Walter Thompson probing the nature of emotion in the workplace I discovered that *both* women and men divide themselves into two large camps: those 25% who cry regularly and those 75% who tend not to cry frequently. McConnell, Boehner and I are part of the 25% of us who are members of the "crying tribe." We also discovered in our survey that when we do tear up on the job, women can be our own worst enemies - a plurality of women consider people who cry at work "unstable," whereas roughly that same fraction of men see
"We will stop here briefly to contemplate what would happen if she [Nancy Pelosi], or any female lawmaker, broke into loud nose-running sobs while discussing Iraq troop funding or giving a TV interview," Gail Collins wrote in her December 16th New York Times Op-Ed column about Boehner. But instead of decrying (no pun intended) the operative gender double standard, and suggesting that the nocrying rule be enforced equally for male and female Speakers of the House, I think it would be much better to allow McConnell's or Boehner's tearfulness to abolish the no-cry rule for *both* genders. Women (and men) who are belittling Boehner and McConnell for getting emotional are not helping humanity's larger cause - that all people should feel comfortable being as authentically themselves as possible. We can continue to despise their politics and cynical maneuvers but still grant them their humanity.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
A Black History Month Reflection …
There have been remarkable individuals who have left their stamp on American History. This month, we take a moment to highlight their unforgettable contributions.
Mary Church Terrell In 1898, Mary Church Terrell wrote how African-American women "with ambition and aspiration [are] handicapped on account of their sex, but they are everywhere baffled and mocked on account of their race." She fought for equality through social and educational reform. Born on September 23, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee, Terrell became an educator, political activist, and the first president of the National Association of Colored Women. Terrell understood the value of education. Susie Baker King Taylor Susie Baker King Taylor was the first African American to teach openly in a school for former slaves in Georgia. As the author of Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers, she was the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences. the daughter of slaves, was born in Liberty County on August 6, 1848. Allensworth, California Allensworth is the only California community to be founded, financed and governed by African-Americans. Created by Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient, allblack city where African-Americans could live their lives free of racial discrimination.
Famous Amos Wally Amos was born on July 1, 1936, in Tallahassee, Florida. He started in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency and in 1962 became the first black talent agent in their history. As an agent, he signed Simon and Garfunkel and headed the agency's rock 'n roll department. In 1975 Amos opened the first Famous Amos store. In 1998, Keebler purchased the brand, with Amos as the spokesperson. Paul Cuffee Paul Cuffee an African-American, philanthropist, ship captain, and devout Quaker transported 38 free African-Americans to Sierra Leone, Africa in 1815 in the hopes of establishing Western Africa. He also founded the first integrated school in Massachusetts in 1797. Garrett Morgan With only a fifth-grade education, Garrett Morgan (born March 4, 1877) began his career as a sewing-machine mechanic. During the innovative early days of manufacturing, Morgan patented a sewing machine and a hair-straightening process and automated traffic signals.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT HISTORIC AP RANDOLPH PULLMAN PORTER MUSEUM ELECTS NEW YOUNG PRESIDENT
he Board of Directors of the A P Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in Chicago has elected David A. Peterson, Jr., as its president. He replaces the Museum’s Founder and Director Emeritus, Dr. Lyn Hughes, who is stepping down after 17 years at the helm. The Museum, which is located at 10406 S. Maryland in Chicago’s Historic Pullman District, was founded in 1995 and is dedicated to promoting, honoring and celebrating the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and contributions made by African-Americans to America's labor history. It is the only Museum of its kind worldwide. The new president’s election and subsequent rise within the organization signals a change of the leadership guard as his ascension is being billed as a resolve to Preserve, Rebuild and Move Forward, with a fresh mindset. He is under 30 years old so his youth, passion, background and vision are symbolic of the qualities the Museum needs to go forward with conviction and purpose. Under Dr. Hughes’ leadership, the Museum gained acclaim as one of the leading institutions for preserving and celebrating the AfricanAmerican contribution to the labor movement. Mr. Peterson is expected to build on Dr. Hughes’ success while taking the Museum to the next level.
In handing over the leadership reins, Dr. Hughes pointed out that Peterson has been involved in many facets of the museum since he was a child. While in high school, he lived in the historic north Pullman community, and often volunteered at the Museum. While he was in college during the summers, he worked at the Museum. Finally from 2008-2010 he toured nationally for the museum with Amtrak, as the coordinator for the Museum's traveling exhibit. In that role, part of his job was to work with union labor in the various cities setting up the exhibit for display. Peterson has already made significant strides in safeguarding the Museum’s future by cultivating the next generation as he established the young adult division, MUSEUM 44, in honor of the 44th President Barack Obama. This is in recognition of his conviction that attracting a younger demographic is key to the survival and sustainability of the Museum. Peterson has also begun the rebuilding process with a completely new multi-generational board of directors. Among the new directors is Alvis Martin, Field Director - Illinois AFL-CIO. Explained Peterson, "Aside from being a cultural institution, we are also a part of rapidly-growing multibillion dollar tourism industry. It is our desire to maximize tourism opportunities and attract new audiences.
Continued on next page
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
BHMS One of his first tasks is to preside over the Museum’s 17th Anniversary ”Gentle Warrior Awards Banquet,” which takes place on Feb. 25 at the Historic Marmon Grand 2230 S. Michigan Avenue at 6 p.m. Peterson credits his mindset and approach to the museum environment as being honed at DePaul University's School of New Learning where he is completing his master's degree in Applied Professional Studies. His focus area is in facilitating the design and development of small business and entrepreneurial endeavors, in the urban setting. He says this background and entrepreneurial perspective will be beneficial in growing the Museum. Peterson, a Chicago native attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) where he graduated with a BS in Political Science concentrating in Urban Planning and Economic Development. The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum was founded in 1995 by Dr. Lyn Hughes and is named after Asa Philip Randolph and Pullman Porters who made up the membership of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) union. Randolph was the chief organizer and founder of the BSCP, the first AfricanAmerican labor union in the country to win a collective bargaining agreement. With the help of Randolph, the Pullman Porters fought a valiant battle for employment equality with the corporate giant, the Pullman Rail Car Company. These pioneering efforts created the first bona fide union for the African American worker. This victorious struggle in America’s early labor movement was also the doorway through which many civil rights gains were made. The A. Philip Randolph Museum is locally recognized as a historic site and is a unique addition to the tourism sites of the Pullman community of Chicago, Illinois. The Museum is also nationally recognized as a valuable and unique African-American museum. Since its founding, thousands have visited the Museum. Among the highlights of the cultural institution are exhibits, artifacts and original porters memorabilia donated by descendants of the labor pioneers. For more information on the Museum visit www.aprpullmanportermuseum.org.
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
shine on sista!
DODDS FATHER, HUSBAND, WRITER, KAPPA MAN, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AND FRIEND
By Crystal Senter Brown
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
hen you’re an artist (writer, singer, etc.) it can be hard to find someone who will collaborate with you without feeling threatened. It can also be hard to find someone who will “have your back” through thick and thin. I believe in order to be successful as an artist, we have to form partnerships with others and I feel blessed to have found a wonderful artistic partner in Keshawn Dodds. He’s a writer, husband, father, community organizer, Kappa man and all around good guy. Keshawn and I have worked together over the past few years to bring various arts-based community programs to Springfield residents. We have collaborated to present several youthfocused literacy events and most recently we
Continued on page 33
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
me and my
MAN By Brenda’s Child
If you are like most girls, you dreamt of having it all one day ... the career, husband, kids, house, car, and a social life. I most certainly did. Halfway through my tenacious attempt to finish college after getting pregnant during my freshman year, things changed. I had my son August 1st, and was back at school 4 weeks later. I also worked full time, cooked, cleaned, and took care of my son’s father. Somewhere in between burning the midnight oil and changing diapers, I began to feel like having it all meant that something had to be sacrificed. Then I came to the realization that what I was sacrificing was myself. Through some real soul searching, (and it know it sounds cliché) I found myself. Shortly thereafter, I found myself single. Once this happened, there was no turning back. I became even more determined to get my degree and land a good paying job. It wasn’t long before I was in a position where I was able to work hard, and play hard. I dated different types of men, but found myself unable and unwilling to give them the commitment I had given in my first relationship. I could be exclusive, but not attentive. I had goals and dreams, but not time. It was then that I began to think that I was going to end up the lonely, cold career woman. I hypothesized that the reason I had my son so early in life was because I would never meet the man of my dreams and get to have any more children. It was a sacrifice I had to make and I was totally OK with my revelation.
Continued on page 37
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
Shine On Sista! Crystal Senter Brown has been a performance poet for most of her life. Born in Morristown, TN she has performed at thousands of events. Her song "Large and Lovely" was nominated for several music awards including the Billboard Music Song Award, Peacedriven Song Award, ASCAP Music Plus Award and the Urban Music Award. Visit www.crystalsenterbrown.com
keshawn dodds presented the “So you want to get published?” workshops at AIC and the Mason Square Library. We also traveled to the Harlem Bookfair last summer to promote our books together. Keshawn allowed me to sit at his table free of charge! Keshawn has written six books, including the popular Menzuo series, and his newest book is “Who’s on my side? The story of Kalen Brown.” “Who’s on my side?” tells the story of a young man named Kalen who has been mentally and physically abused by his alcoholic father, Michael Brown since he was a child. Now that
he’s eighteen years old, he’s filled with many mixed emotions. Luckily, Kalen is blessed with two best friends: Jesse and Sharee but Kalen is still tired of having to deal with the abuse from his father. In a recent interview on WGGB Keshawn said he is amazed at the feedback he has received from readers of the book. “They relate to each one of the characters in the book. So it kind of makes me feel good that I can touch on something that I’ve been around and I grew up with. Hopefully something that people can gravitate towards as well,” Keshawn said in a recent interview. I downloaded “Who’s on my side” for my Nook
a few months ago and I couldn’t put it down. The book reads like a movie and I was blown away by the vivid descriptions of each character and scene. And now Keshawn has added another dimension to the book, as “Who’s on my side? The Story of Kalen Brown” will be performed as a stageplay on May 12, 2012 at American International College. Tickets are available at http://www.keshawndodds.blogspot.com/. Buy “Who’s on my side?” at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/whoson-my-side-the-story-of-kalenbrown/18755037.
WOMEN PROVE THERE’S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS “These women come from all walks of life and different financial backgrounds,” says founder Karen Dunigan of Jackson, MI. “As individuals we felt that it was difficult to make a very large impact, but as a group we have the ability to contribute to the growth of our community in ways that we never before thought possible.” Started in November of 2006, 100 + Women Who Care is a brilliantly simple way to raise money efficiently and quickly for local charities/non-profits/worthy causes. The group of 100 + women, at their first one-hour meeting, each wrote a check for $100 directly to the charity, raising $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for an organization in their city. Since then, they have grown to over 200 members and chapters are forming all over the country. Each member commit to donating $100 per meeting ($400 per year). The donations are given to Detroit Metro charities/nonprofit/worthy cause serving the Detroit area only. No national charities are considered. The purpose is for the contribution to stay 100% in the community. Each charity/non-profit/worthy cause that is under consideration will be given five minutes to make a presentation at the meeting by a member of the 100+ women who care, not by the charity/non-profit/worthy cause. Three charities/non-profit/worthy causes are presented at each meeting. The group then votes by ballot and majority rules.
BORN FOR THE
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
Tasha Taylor was born into music, now she is charting her own course
edigree will tell. In rhythm and soul, it’s bred in the bone. Tasha Taylor, the youngest daughter of pioneering R&B artist, Johnnie Taylor is having a breakout year with the release of her first solo CD, TAYLORMADE. And the magic will continue, when Tasha makes her Broadway debut, creating the role of Margie Hendrix in “Unchain My Heart,” the upcoming new musical based on the life and music of Ray Charles. An entertainment triple threat, Tasha is a multitalented musician, actor and performer. As a musician she is the complete package, an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician and now, producer of TAYLORMADE. Early R&B artists like Johnnie persevered, though often confronted with financial inequalities and social indignities but the rich heritage of their music continues to dominate popular music today. One of Stax Records’ major artists, Johnnie Taylor, remained on the road for four decades, providing for his family, and keeping his music alive.
Tasha began traveling with her family on tour as a child and was constantly surrounded by music legends. Johnnie, by example, instilled his concept of dedication and hard work in pursuit of his music career. He never pushed his children to follow an artistic career…but that decision was taken out of his hands when early on Tasha decided to carry on his musical legacy. “I just remember being on the side of the stage … A LOT!” remembers Tasha. “Watching dad work shows with great artists … The Jackson 5, Natalie Cole, Sister Sledge, Johnnie Guitar Watson … and so many others over the years.” Johnnie chose Dallas, Texas, Tasha’s childhood home, as home base because it was smack dab in the path of his winter and summer tours. And Dallas provided the opportunity to spend some time at home with his family, parking the tour bus in the back driveway. Dallas gave up everything it had to offer to an up and coming soulstress, and subsequently Tasha moved to the northeast, enrolling in the Theater Department at Boston University.
After semesters of polish and Shakespearean training, Tasha recommitted herself to follow her father’s muse. Was Hollywood or New York going to be her new home? A flip of a coin sent her west. Within a relatively brief time, she acquired on the job training, and the accoutrements of an entertainment career, coaches, agents, managers, producers, the gamut of services available to those who come to town with talent. She has been busy as a featured guest on acclaimed network fare such as “House,” and “Ugly Betty,” and in indie films, “Dimples” and the just released, “Heaven Ain’t Hard to Find.” As a composer, her original music has been featured on “Men In Trees” and “Lipstick Jungle.” Tasha adds, “My dad always told me that it was called show business for a reason. It’s 90% business and 10% show. If you don’t know your business … you’re in trouble!” To learn more visit, www.tashataylor.com
LIONESS FEBRUARY 2012
yeah i did
A question of a lifetime
ix years ago, I walked into my boss’s office at 10 a.m. for a regular scheduled meeting. Armed with requests, letters and emails for him to review, I sat down at the familiar square glass table and admired the stained glass lamp that sat upon it while I waited for him to finish up a phone call.
He leans in, putting both arms on the table, clasps his hands together and says “No Kiddo – what do you want to do….with your life.”
He stood up from his desk and casually walked over to join me at the table. “Hey Kiddo” he says with a smile. I smile back and ask him how his day was going so far. He brushes it off casually with an “OK so far” and proceeds to ask “So, what do you want to do?”
You see, nobody had ever asked me what I wanted to do with my life until that very moment. Sure I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” However, this was much more than that. I had never gone to college other than a few basic courses at a local community college. I began working for MassMutual in customer service as my first “big girl” job and the work continued. I met a man, we got married, we had two wonderful boys. Now here I was, an executive assistant, sitting in front of a man who saw in me what others hadn’t, and what I had yet to see in myself - ambition, potential, passion, desire, heart and a long-
I chuckle a bit as it’s quite obvious to me that I’d like to go through all of the paperwork sitting between us – and I say so. He asks the question again and again I provide the same answer, although a bit agitated that we have so much to go over and he’s being coy.
FEBRUARY 2012 LIONESS
I stop shuffling my papers and sit back in my seat, taken aback. I open to my mouth to say something although I’m unsure what to say so I shut it again. My eyes look at him quizzically. All I can manage is “What do you mean?”
ing for more … a longing to become what I wanted … whatever that was. For the next ten minutes I listened as he told me all of this. He told me exactly what he saw in me and how I would not be doing myself a favor by staying his executive assistant for the rest of my life. He told me that so much more lied within and he saw it when we were at community events, or in the way I spoke with people. He saw me as successful. He saw me as a leader. In that moment, in that 20 minute conversation that man changed my life in a way I could never have imagined. In the months that followed I soul-searched and for the first time in my life I did what I wanted. I worked toward the businesswoman I would become, the future I wanted. Along the way this man believed in me, in what I could do and where I could go. He never introduced me as his assistant but rather a colleague. He trusted in
Continued on page 38
Managing Me Brenda’s Child has made it her life’s mission to inspire people through poetry and stories and through leading by example with courage, confidence, and integrity. She emphasizes self-love, worth, and value. She also feels obligated to tell the truth ... even if it hurts. Visit www.brendaschild.com
managing me and my man It wasn’t until about 10 years later, when my boyfriend of two years and I began to first get serious that I challenged my fate. Somewhere in our journey together, I decided I did want it all. I deserved to have it all. Still the question lingered in the back of my mind… How would I possibly be able to handle a middle school boy, work, social life, physical fitness, mentoring, homeownership, family…and a relationship?
Something would have to be sacrificed again. This time, what would it be? Fast forward to two years later - now I’m engaged to this man and we have a four month old. Guess what? I still don’t have an answer. There are times when the household chores are neglected, other times the home projects or my hobbies. What I discovered is that it’s okay for me to let go of some things temporarily, but it’s pertinent that I
pay attention to the people in my life. This means including them in my many projects at times, and then dropping everything to give them my undivided attention other times. There are also those days where I drop everything for me (otherwise I couldn’t maintain my sanity). Eventually, I always pick them back up, because I wanted it all, and now that I have it, I don’t want to let it go.
Yeah I did Erin Corriveau is the Marketing Manager for Reliable Temps, Inc, a full service staffing firm founded in 1989 with offices in Agawam, Easthampton and Greenfield, Massachusetts. An avid writer, Erin has primarily worked in community and public relations adding Environmental Compliance Services, MassMutual Financial Group and Baystate Health among her previous employers. Visit www.reliabletemps.com.
question of a lifetime me and my abilities and I knew I could and would never let him down.
community supporter, lobbyist and most importantly to me - a great friend and mentor.
In less than a year I was chosen to become the Director of the West of the River Chamber of Commerce. I never looked back. I make no apologies for not having my degree and I work hard to earn my place in the business world and community. If it weren’t for that day and that man, I’m not sure I would be where I am.
In the four years I worked for Steven I gained more than experience I gained a love of business and my community. I learned to not judge. I learned to be open. I learned to follow my instincts and do what’s right. I learned that every day, no matter what you do, you are accountable to yourself first and foremost. I learned who I was.
His name is Steven Bradley, Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Baystate Health. He is a husband, father, active
To this day, I work hard not only for me but for Steven as well – for the man who believed in
what I could do and gave me the tool to see it through – confidence. I could never truly repay him for this so instead I pay it forward, doing the best I can to help mentor, teach and lead – hoping to make a difference in someone’s life the way Steven did in mine. So Steven, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for me and for our community. You’ve made more of a difference than you know and I’m honored to know you. Yeah….he did.