Lioness Magazine - April 2013

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Published by The Lioness Group. Founder, Natasha Clark.

Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Gendron Copy Editor Jeanne Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brenda’s Child Erin Corriveau Kristina Chapell Michelle Perry Higgins Aliyah Cherrisse Contributing Writers Lamara Hunter Emily Thurlow Jennifer Sawyer Carley Dangona

Š2013 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.

welcome to editor’s letter Katelyn Gendron

Juggling prerequisite for personal-professional development Much of my thought process as of late has surrounded the strength and fortitude necessary for women to achieve success in the professional arena. Is it possible for women today to have it all; or must we sacrifice one professional aspiration to achieve a personal one (or vice versa)? I, like so many, have nothing definitive to offer as it pertains to these age-old queries, however, I can offer humorous and humbling examples of how two featured within this month’s issue are making the best – and the most – of the personal-professional balancing act. Motherhood, according to actress Brooke Burns and comedienne Caroline Rhea, certainly added to their personal responsibilities but also translated into some unconventional professional development. Rhea shared a story of how forgetting to fully dress her toddler one morning made for a snafu in a public restaurant but also provided some content for her latest standup comedy tour. Burns described the depth of love and knowledge necessary to raise her daughter as a personal education that has aided in the emotional development of her characters. Maybe what it all boils down to is that women must strive to be circus performers who spin plates on top of sticks making every effort to ensure that gravity doesn’t get the best of their dinnerware. Or maybe Rhea was correct when she said that it’s the broken plates that make us better calculators of the gravitational pull our personal and professional lives have on our psyche. I don’t have the answer and I doubt anyone else does either. I will say this, however: let’s about forget trying to be professional jugglers and just throw those plates against the wall and see what kind of beautiful disaster becomes of the pieces. Are you with me? Either way, we’ll surely get one heck of an education!


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Caroline Rhea

Caroline Rhea brings joys, comedy of motherhood to CityStage By Katelyn Gendron

Caroline Rhea believes that it’s possible for women to have it all, both the career and the family life, and it turns out, the “all” can provide some great comedic moments for her latest stand-up tour.

Rhea, who will be appearing at CityStage in Springfield, Mass., on May 4, said she has integrated some real life experiences as a comedienne, actress, 40-something mother to a 4-year- old and all around “multi-tasker” into the show.

“Women can multitask. It’s amazing how much women can accomplish. There’s a list that you go through of 2,500 things that you’re checking on as a mother and then sometimes you blow it in such an obvious, hilarious way. My daughter was dressed like

her American Girl doll and we were out at a restaurant [recently]. I pick her up to leave and I realized that I forgot her underwear. I [said to myself], ‘Today I forgot her underwear but usually I get it right,’” she recalled of a foul-up most have experienced at one time or another.

When asked how she is able to keep her career moving forward in spite of an industry that tends to focus on the youngest, sexiest stars, Rhea replied with a laugh, “Always try to play an immortal.” She has been able to land otherworldly roles such as Hilda Spellman, a quirky sorceress in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” from 1996 to 2003, and even as Mrs. Claus in a 2001 made for TV movie.

“I look at Joan Rivers and she’s such an inspiration. [To be successful] is a choice

that you can always buy into. There’s always a voice of doubt that tells you you’re not good enough,” she said, adding that she pushes to be a better professional not just because of her own drive but for the benefit of her daughter. “Nothing will make you work more than being a mother because you’re responsible for someone else’s life.

“Women are just natural entrepreneurs. There are so many tricks for women to feel defeated. You have to fix your priorities and you want to be adding to the world, not taking away from it in any way ... you have to embrace all the great qualities you have as a woman,” she continued.

For tickets to Rhea’s May 4 show at CityStage at 8 p.m., visit the CityStage/Symphony Hall website, located at



Actress Brooke Burns

Photo courtesy of Capital Productions 8 (SV) Inc. and Reel One Films 3 Inc.

Burns reveals the fire heating up her life’s work By Katelyn Gendron

Brooke Burns can’t keep a straight face when recalling the chance encounter that spawned her modeling and acting career some 20 years ago.

“My mom and I were sitting having breakfast, stuffing our faces with pancakes and this JC Penny guy came over and said, ‘You should model. You have a fresh face,’” Burns said with a laugh, noting that she couldn’t have looked camera ready with a mouthful of flapjacks and syrup on her lips.

The man’s remarks, although not taken seriously at the time because Burns was a dedicated ballerina, were a springboard for mother’s attempt to woo her daughter out of a deep depression following a career ending injury to her anterior cruciate ligament. Burns joked, as she does with so many uplifting and tragic moments within her life’s history, that injuries and happenstance lead to her having three careers before most others finish college. Burns was a ballerina until age 12, a model beginning at age 15 and then an actress in her first big role as Jessie Owens on “Baywatch” from 1998 to 2001.

Actress Brooke Burns plays Suzanne, ‘A Sister’s Revenge’

Photo courtesy of Capital Productions 8 (SV) Inc. and Reel One Films 3 Inc.

“My personality has always been living your life without fear. I’m willing to try anything once in order to make an educated decision if I’ll ever try it again. Growing up, I’d always say, ‘Life belongs to the enthusiastic,’” she said, adding that her fearlessness could also be perceived as a detriment to her health.

A diving accident in 2005 caused Burns to break her neck and live the rest of her life with a titanium plate, rod and screws in her back. “I was in a [neck] collar for five months. I would walk around the set [of

FOX’s ‘North Shore’] with a hula-hoop so no one would bump into me. FOX was really great about not firing me,” she recalled as she laughed at herself once again.

The show’s single-season run and her physical recovery did not deter Burns from continuing in the industry, rather, it spurred her onward, especially with her then-5-year-old daughter Madison at her side. Burns gave birth to Madison in 2000 during her threeyear marriage with actor Julian McMahon.

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‘A Sister’s Revenge’ Motherhood comes first these days, Burns said, citing her Twitter bio, which states, “Above all else … MOM. Philanthropist, Host, Actor, Student, Believer in Love L.A.” She explained that as a mom she searches for projects such as Lifetime’s “A Sister’s Revenge” airing April 27 at 8 p.m. EST/PT, which allow her to be challenged professionally while away from her daughter and fiancé Gavin O’Connor for the least amount of time.

“The role of Suzanne [Dell in ‘A Sister’s Revenge’] was something I’ve never done before. She’s mentally unstable and I know people who’ve struggled with schizophrenia and it was fascinating to dip my toe in that pool to begin with. [I had] to find some kind of reason or justification for her actions,” Burns explained, adding that life’s experiences allow her “to have more layers” as an actress.

She said Suzanne’s character was particularly challenging, not only because of her mental instability but her willingness to seek revenge quite seductively and unrelentingly on one man, Michael Miller, played by Tim Rozon.

Burns said she’s currently looking for other complex roles, while also shooting a pilot for the Game Show Network, titled, “Where Have You Been All My Life,” a 2013 version of “The Dating Game.”

When asked how she manages to balance her career, motherhood and philanthropic endeavors all while planning a summer wedding, Burns replied with a giggle, “It has been tricky.”

She added, “It also helps to have a family that is very business minded. My dad is a lawyer and entrepreneur and always instilled in us [my siblings and I] the desire to work. I live my the motto that if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

Brooke Burns as Suzanne Dell, ‘A Sister’s Revenge.”

Photo courtesy of Capital Productions 8 (SV) Inc. and Reel One Films 3 Inc.



Eight sure fire ways to fail By Paul LeJoy

America continues to be the world’s largest economy and boasts the lion’s share of global billionaires. In fact, there were reportedly 442 billionaires in America in 2012 – the majority of the record 1,426 people who have earned this laudable distinction around the world. When considering the staggering success only an elite few attain in business, it begs the question: “What do these billionaires know that the rest of us don’t?” And, just as importantly: “How can we avoid failure as we aspire to achieve career success of any measure?” To achieve a notable amount of success at anything and certainly a notable measure of wealth, you must become a specialist at what you do. And, you must “do what you do” better than anyone else. You must become indispensible – the go-to person because your results are superior. In working towards this objective it is important employ a specific combination of essential elements that, combined, will make you a force to be reckoned with.

With this in mind, here are eight pitfalls to avoid that’ll assist the proverbial 99 percent in their quest for success:

1) Short-sightedness: Every successful person at some point in their lives had a vision for what “could be,” and set out in relentless pursuit of their dream. From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs and countless success stories in between, visionaries are filled with a passion and purpose that drives them every day. Those who are short-sighted and unmindful of future consequences of their efforts, both the good and the bad, are more likely to fail than those who are



thoughtful and perceptive in their approach.

2) Inaction: Have a vision or a goal? The first step is to write down along with objectives and action steps related thereto. Now you’ve taken initiative, which is the critical first step to achieving success. Post it your vision statement in your bedroom, bathroom and office. Share it with others. And, be sure to follow your action steps. By taking these minor steps, you make yourself accountable and become the master of your destiny. Take quantum action and you will surely have a breakthrough. Or, find contentment with the status-quo and, well, remain there.

3) Contentment: You may have the vision. You may write it down. You may have shared it with others, but without passion, that vision will likely wither. Passion for what you seek to accomplish should be almost palpable to the extent that others can see and feel your drive. The key is to match your vision with something you can be truly passionate about. Something that will keep you engaged every moment of every work day to bring you one step closer to the measure of success that you personally desire. Or, approach your job with a lackluster attitude and suffer the inevitable ominous consequences.

4) Instability: Many have vision and passion, but lack the self-discipline required to stay the course. The pain of living a life of discipline is less than the pain of regret for what “could have been if.” Those who are self-disciplined motivate themself to continue with their action steps and persevere amid adversity, asserting sheer willpower over their more base desires and instincts to give up or turn attentions to something more enjoyable in the moment. This requisite self-control will channel emotions, behavior, and desires toward obtaining the reward of success and, as importantly, to avoid the punishment of failure.

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5) Doubt: You have the vision and you take action to write it down. You may even embellish that vision with passion and be quite disciplined in your approach. However, without the will to endure you may not get too far. Life and work can be hard and even cruel. Remember, the race is not for the swift but rather those who persevere. Rather than allowing doubt to seep in and poison the process, you owe it to yourself to remain confident in your vision and your methodologies to get you there. Sure, you can adapt as needed along the way, but always know that success will ultimately be yours.

6) Going it Alone: No one is an island and there’s strength in numbers. A master-

mind group, coach or mentor is an excellent way to get motivated. Meeting regularly can be a great boost to your morale and provide new perspectives on your approach. The Internet makes it extraordinarily easy to find a coach or mentor and join a mastermind group that can help propel your vision to new heights and facilitate invaluable networking opportunities.

7) Dishonesty: While it sounds cliché, honesty is indeed the best policy in business. Integrity is of paramount importance for those seeking to find and sustain longterm success. True success comes when you are a person of your word, when you have a pure conscience, and when you have not cheated others on your way to the top. Dishonesty has a tendency to sneak back up on you causing far more problems than the risk was work taking in

the first place.

8) Arrogance: Humility, like patience, hard work and integrity, is a virtue. So, when you finally reach your destination of success, when your vision becomes a reality, do not forget your humble beginnings and all those who helped you to get to the top of the hill. Extend an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. There is no such a thing as a self-made millionaire. People get there because others helped them get there.

If you have a vision, passion, take action, are determined and disciplined; if you get a coach or mentor; get in the right environment; and are honest and humble you be well positioned to achieve your dream … whatever that may be.

Paul LeJoy, Pacific Realty Partners founder and principal, is a revered real estate investor and top business-building expert lauded for helping others realize success and create wealth. Paul may be reached online at



Help Us Ask an Entrepreneur Make Lioness Your Magazine Answers By: Angie Jordan, owner and head coach, Better Sports Initiative, Agawam, Mass. 1) How long have you been in business? April 5 [2013] will be our third month in business

2) Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business? I chose to dedicate myself to this industry of work simply because as a mom to multiple children and one who is autistic, the words “I’m bored” are heard often. I figured if I could open up a place that keeps kids active, healthy, and fit by doing classic games, obstacles, and some arts-n-crafts it would make everyone happy. I can keep the cost down and kids can be kids and have fun. No electronics are allowed during a session.

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3) What makes Better Sports Initiative unique? The fact that there is really nothing else in the area that offers obstacles, board games, classic games, arts-n-crafts at affordable prices for the whole family, as well as we do not allow electronic devices at all during a session. 4) You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur? Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to follow your dreams. You can’t be successful without failure.

5) What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment? Today. You can't please everyone. So [what if] those moments are frequent, you just have to know that you are doing your best and put on a smile and make each day the best day possible. I am actually in the process of opening another business but that remains a secret until closer to time. 6) Every female professional should have __________. CONFIDENCE!

7) If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why? Giuliana Rancic. I think that she has proven that no matter what obstacles get in your way, with confidence you can get through it. 8) What is your business motto? My Better Sports Business Motto would be Just Have Fun!

9) If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be? 1. Always do your best. 2. Treat your customers well and listen to their feedback. 3. Follow your heart.

10) Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you? I would say my computer. Being able to get my website,, up and running has been a great thing for business.

11) What is your goal for the next year? My goal for the next year is to increase the amount of clients that come in to the studio, to open up another business, and to always know that no matter what I have put my heart and soul into everything I do.

12) When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say? Wow, we had a great time and the kids can’t wait to come back.

Money with Michelle

How to thief-proof your identity By Michelle Perry Higgins

Quick! Your identity has just been stolen! What’s the first thing you should do? If it takes you more than a minute to answer that question, noted East Bay financial expert Michelle Perry Higgins said it may be time to re-think over your identify theft protection plan.

“There are so many technological advances that make it easier or more convenient for us to conduct business and handle personal finances,” she says. “With each one there is a new opportunity for a thief to steal your personal information.”

Being prepared for breaches in security goes beyond setting up new passwords and being wary of dubious websites, according to Higgins. “Sometimes it’s the businesses and institutions that we trust with our sensitive information that fall victim to identity thieves,” she said. “Banks, stores, schools and even government databases have systems that are sometimes compromised, and that could

leave your personal information at risk.”

The dangers of identity theft go far beyond having to replace credit cards, Higgins said. If gone unnoticed for extended periods of time, identity thieves can run up charges, ruin your credit and take out loans in your name, some of which you could be held legally liable. “You should regularly monitor your credit reports as a hedge against identity theft,” she said. “In a worst case scenario, you could be dealing with the consequences of someone else’s actions for years to come.”

Knowing how to properly respond in the event of an identity theft can be key in minimizing the potential damage or loss. “Just as you would want to have an emergency plan in place in case of a robbery or natural disaster,” she said, “you should also be prepared for an attack against your identity.”

Among Higgins’ simplest recommendations for protecting yourself is to shred all personal information rather than put-

ting it in the trash or recycling. “It only takes a few pieces of information for a thief to put together your identity,” she said. “Shred things with your name, address or social security number on them, as well as bills, receipts and credit card or bank statements.”

She also recommends staying informed. “Knowledge is power,” Higgins said. “Call your credit card companies. Ask what their policy is for reporting fraudulent claims and find out how to get erroneous charges removed from your account.”

In addition, Higgins advises that individuals seek out the help of a professional financial advisor. “They can put together a plan for responding to identity theft that is best for navigating your personal economic situation,” she said. “They may also have information on the latest financial scams and current protective measures.” She added that a financial advisor could be crucial in helping you stay one step ahead of the curve against new potential identity theft risks.

Michelle Perry Higgins is a financial planner and principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, Calif. Higgins specializes in wealth management, and has built a successful practice advising executive professionals into retirement. Her passion for financial management has helped hundreds of individuals better understand investing and financial planning. For more information, please visit



The Lipstick Chronicles

Men, men, and more men

By Kristina Chapell

Last month I shared the beginnings of dating in a new city and this month I have even more stories to tell. I can’t believe the “action” I have had and while I would like to credit my new salon and hairdresser, the wonderful Daniel from Muse Salon, the action comes from being more confident and comfortable, not just having good hair!

After some dates I decided to let my friend Anna’s boyfriend, Mario, set me up. He is an amazing guy and I am so happy for her, so when we were all out at our “home away from home” bar he said I needed a guy. While I don’t disagree, I didn’t necessarily need one tomorrow … but I did agree to listen more.

Mario said his neighbor, also a good friend, has a younger brother who just moved from New Jersey. He showed me some pictures of him from Facebook and I wasn’t completely sure; they weren’t “what happened in Vegas stays in Vegas” pictures but they were certainly on the borderline. Regardless, I put my hesitations aside and said if he’s interested, ‘sure.’

A week later Anna calls my roommate, Carol, and we go out that night to, as Anna put it, “meet my boyfriend.” I hemmed and hawed, especially because I was curled up on the couch and comfy but both Carol and I sucked it up, got gussied up and met everyone for drinks.

He was late but that was OK as it gave me a chance to have a few sips of my drink and relax. I WAS nervous. So there we are, five of us, sitting at the corner of the bar drinking and chatting and he is sitting next to me. He is quiet and I feel like I am carrying the conversation but that’s OK. Eventually he started talking more; ladies, ask him about his life – what he does, his animals, interests, etc. That was what finally got him talking; I showed I

was interested in him. While I am from Massachusetts and he from New Jersey it was ironic he moved here the day before I did and lived not too far from me. He moved to be closer to his family, has a good job, two dogs, likes to bike outdoors and seemed like a really nice guy.

The “awkward” silence that started the evening soon disappeared and we were all having a good time and because we met for 7 p.m. we wondered what next – bowling was apparently the answer.

At the bowling alley Mr. N.J. was a bit touchy, feely with me. I had linked our arms walking in so he put his arm on my waist, then around my neck, holding my hand, etc. Things seemed to be going well, minus my bowling game. Mario has assured me Mr. N.J. liked me.

As the two games came to an end we decided it was time to go and all piled into Mario’s SUV. He dropped Carol and I off first and I hopped out, without giving my number. And he hadn’t asked. So, on the drive home I reassured myself if he wanted my number he knew how to get it, he knew Mario after all. Sunday came and went and no call, no new Facebook friend request, no news. I simply decided it was on him and if he didn’t want to contact me again then that was his problem, and honestly I truly believed that. I wasn’t at fault and I wasn’t sad. I had a fun night and if it happened again, great, if not, oh well.

I admit, I am impressed by this thought process as I don’t always feel this way but ladies, in all actuality if he doesn’t call you or reach out in a circumstance like mine, it is his loss.

In fact, Carol was seeing what we thought was a good guy until he NEVER called or followed through. They met at our “home away from home bar” and he sought her out through the

bartender. He met her for dinner and drinks and the very next night invited her over and made her dinner. They had a good two nights and then she didn’t hear from him for a week. Then he picks her up at her house for dinner, and because I live with her, I met him as he came to the door; another good date night for them; then nothing for another week. As we were getting ready to go out to the bar Carol gets a text from him asking her to get a drink, so he meets us out. Two more weeks go by and they have dinner and that is the last time she has heard from him. Really buddy? Here is another accomplished guy who has a few good dates and then doesn’t follow through. Men! Wait, could it be he was from New Jersey? Just kidding.

Since Mr. N.J, I have met a few other guys. One was even from the town next to mine back home! Apparently I needed to move to find a nice guy from home. Honestly, I was at my “home away from home bar” and am introduced to this guy and he asks where I am from. I said Massachusetts and he probed further so I said western Massachusetts and again he probed more. Usually that response is enough but then I said Springfield, Mass., and he says, “I am from Wilbraham, Mass.” OK, I know most people around here are transplants from other places but wow that was strange. He is the same age as me and works in a similar industry so we plan to at least grab coffee now that I am back from a mini-vacation. More updates on him to come.

As you can tell life hasn’t been boring in Atlanta. I keep having fun and seeing what life has to offer, men included. Here’s to more updates next month; in the meantime get out there and enjoy yourself and know YOU are worth it. If they don’t call you back it is their LOSS. ~ xoxoxo KC

Kristina Chapell is a single gal in her 30s 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 Business Channel.



Stiletto Statement

Photos courtesy of Ruby Ribbon/Sense of Style Boutique LLC

Comfort is key to your confidence!

By Aliyah Cherrisse

What if I told you that, as you’re getting dressed every morning and you look in the mirror, if you second guess your look, nine times out of 10 you’re going to be self-conscious about the way you look all day? So here’s a tip, TAKE THAT OUTFIT OFF! Why go an entire day pretending to actually like the

way you look? The first person you should always look to impress, is yourself. Comfort of the heart and mind reigns the automatic confidence of the outer appearance. There’s no second guessing, checking a slip, adjusting a girdle, or constant tugging at a skirt that keeps rising because it honestly was probably not a good fit for you. Since we are speaking of girdles, what if I told you I have found a

clothing line that was beyond comfortable and was made with built-in shape wear?

Well ladies, I am not pulling your bra strap here! I recently had the pleasure to do some fit and commercial print modeling for an online boutique, “Sense of Style Boutique,

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Stiletto Statement

LLC” and can I tell you how I dreaded taking off the garments to return them! Ladies, these garments were so lightweight, they provided so much give thanks to the material, and they were very stylish – we’re talking from the office to the gym, “Ruby Ribbon,” which is the brand carried by “Sense of Style Boutique, LLC,” is the ideal clothing line for the highly active woman. I mean just ask yourself, do I really want to wear two different body shapers to get that ultra smooth look I desire to have? Absolutely not, and yes I am answering for all us because I know for certain we do not want all the extra clothing!

Photo courtesy of Ruby Ribbon/Sense of Style Boutique LLC

Be realistic when it comes to shopping. Not every material is made for every shape to look flawless in. Not every pair of jeans are made to flatter the backside of every woman. Not every skirt is going to hug and stay in place of the hips of every woman. Ladies, not every top will give the illusion of a nice full, lifted, and slightly smaller bust to all of my bustier women. It’s all about taking the time to try your clothing on, as I mentioned in my last column. Even if you take the clothing home for a more comfortable try on, be sure you are willing to return the items later if they were not flattering to you or your shape. You must know your body

shape, however, we will save learning your shape and proportions for another column! Right now, I want you to look into the “Ruby Ribbon” brand and help your wardrobe come to work for you instead of against you. You deserve all around comfort in order to obtain all around confidence. So start by visiting the online boutique and see me in the items I spoke of as well as a few more. Now I am not ashamed to share my measurements 42-36-48. So with that in mind, if we share the same measurements or you are close to my measurements the hard work is already done for you, clearly we wear the same size, which would be a 12/14 or a (L/XL)! Ladies, you can thank me later, for you may find something else you like seeing as though the boutique caters to all size women with a “sense of style!” “Don’t ever be afraid to help yourself, love yourself and build your confidence level up. We are our own worse critics, so take the time out, figure out what you don't like, and then take the steps to fix it. Don't be afraid, for God gave us the spirit of love, use that love on yourself first!”

– Signing off, Aliyah Cherrisse!

Aliyah Cherrisse, born and raised in Atlantic City, N.J., has grown to be a very educated, vibrant, and driven intellectual. As a graduate of Morgan State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Marketing, Aliyah has put her studies to use in branding herself as the “Multimedia Personality” she is to-date. Currently pursuing her love of entertainment, Aliyah is known for her titles of “Fashion Show Production Assistant, Radio/TV Personality, Curvy/Full-Figured Model, Red Carpet Correspondent, Host, and Blogger,” but let's not forget to mention: this is all while being a single mother! With no intentions on slowing down, Aliyah anticipates what God has awaiting ahead for her!



Managing Me

Powered by dreams By Brenda’s Child

Do you have a dream but don’t know where to start? Are you surrounded by naysayers who shoot down your ideas? Are you so boggled down by everyday life that your goals have become what Langston Hughes called “A Dream Deferred”? Then you haven’t joined the Dream Support Network.

Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad (Dream Chaser #1) founded this movement to inspire people to NEVER STOP DREAMING! He created a network of Dreamchasers to help each other with their endeavors and to keep one another motivated. Through workshops, dream energizers and leading by example Dream Chaser #1 show us how to avoid the negativity, cease the procrastination, prioritize, and find a way. He is taking his mission to the streets, in schools, on line and anywhere where there are people with dreams.

On a personal level, his idea of 12-for-12 forced me to leap instead of drag my feet. The concept of identifying 12 things you want to accomplish major or minor in 12 months gave me a deadline while simultaneously helping me to prioritize. It definitely lit a fire under my you-know-what! I rallied up with my best friends and we shared our 12 for 12 last year, giving ourselves until March 30 of this year to finish. I enrolled in Ph.D. courses, lost weight, published a book, and more. As I write this article I have just one more to go? Will I do it?

To find out visit follow my fan page on

To become an official Dream Chaser or attend an event, visit 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



Failure is life’s learning curve

By Minister Gregory Jones

There’s a common belief among most people that it is somehow a personal mark against them if something they try doesn’t work out. When this happens, they try to dismiss the experience by saying something like, “Well, it was just bad luck.” What that person really means is that they’ve learned nothing from their experience. And they’re less likely to try new or risky things in the future. They become the people that believe that someone or something is blocking them from success. Giving it the old college try is just a bunch of nonsense. People really don’t realize that failure is not a personal attack against you, but its life’s way of trying to show you that the path you’re taking is not the right one, turn around and go back the other way.

I remember when I had my first experience with a GPS. I programmed something really silly like, going to the store up the street. When I got in the car and started to drive the GPS started telling me the right direction to go. Turn left at the next light. Turn right when you get to the stop sign, so fourth and so on. But what I did was I wanted to see if this thing really worked. I started making different turns. It said go left, I went right. It said turn

Minister Gregory Jones is a Certified Christian Life Coach and Christian Counselor through the Association of Christian Counselors. Jones uses his God given ability to inspire, educate and motivate others to attain new heights in areas of spiritual growth and development. In 2008 he founded Still Waters Christian Life Coaching where the motto is: “Christian Coaching Without Religion, but With Results.”



right; I turned left. And every time that I did that, the GPS would say – in its annoying voice – “stop and turn around, you’re going the wrong way, rerouting for you.” I found out that failure works the same way. It’s really God’s way putting you on the track to success. His word is clear “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Did you know that research has shown that the people that fail the most often are the people that succeed and are very exceptional and good at what they do? Why? They accomplish the most because they fail, learn, fail, learn, and succeed.

The greatest attitude that anyone can bring to any problem looks like this: “Let’s try it. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try that, or maybe the other one.” People who work and think like that learn very quickly, and that’s the whole idea. The right question to ask after any venture fails is, “OK, what did we learn?” Not, “is there something wrong with me” or “nothing” because that is not the right answer. Make every failure a learning curve in your life and you will be well on your way to massive success. See you at the top.

Photo courtesy of

‘Real Housewives’ star ‘woos’ entertainment, business industries By Carley Dangona

Lisa Wu is a chameleon in her own right, growing a new skin, one that is sassier and stronger than ever before. The actress, best known for her two seasons on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is a savvy entrepreneur who has parlayed her time on reality television into several successful business ventures.

Wu kicked off 2013 with the launch of “Chameleon,” her lip color line from Lip Addyct. “I have a fetish with chapstick and lipstick. Something always has to be on my lips. I will cover my lips with my jacket if there’s nothing on them. After having my children, the first thing I asked for was my lipstick,” she confessed. “Lip Addyct’s brand is cutting edge. It was a perfect fit. The products look great on your lips. After wearing the products, your lips are still moisturized. They are quality products. I am proud to be a part of this brand.”

The name of the line stems from women’s ability to adapt to each role of life. “The four colors, Confidant, Matriarch, Queen and Empress represent every woman as they transition through [their] day. There’s a bold red to reflect the business woman and neutrals for the office or school events – a little bit for everybody,” she explained.

“I’ve had an entrepreneur spirit from an early age. I’ve always wanted to work. I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. I’m working on lots of fun stuff,” she added.

Wu described herself as an “aggressive” businesswoman who believes in “win-win situations.”

This year alone, Wu stars in five, yes five, upcoming movies.

In “First Impression,” she plays “Katrinah” and costars with Lamman Rucker and Lisa

Arrindell Anderson. She stars alongside renowned actor Charles Dutton in “Must Be the Music,” and has upcoming roles in “Atlanta Undercover” with Denyce Lawton and “Envy or Greed” with Rockmond Dunbar.

While on the set of “The Internship,” she had the opportunity to work with Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell. “Will Ferrell is an absolute delight and is very, very gracious,” Wu said, adding that the cast trouble holding in their laughter during his scenes. “We all had fun.” When asked how being on reality television has aided her professional aspirations, Wu replied, “Being on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ broadened the awareness of who I am. There’s sense of familiarity with other industry folks that opens up a level of comfort and prompts discussions that I wouldn’t otherwise have.” One example is a compliment Wilson gave to her during shooting. “You know, you’re really funny,” she recalled of Wilson.

Wu described her approach to acting as “a gradual process.” She added, “You’re always studying – you never master it. You have to continue to work that muscle. When choosing roles, I look for range. I like to show different layers as a character.

“When filming, I start my day as the character and when I arrive on set I am already in the role. I am that person, in the moment doing whatever the character requires. I am no longer Lisa,” she continued.

When selecting a project, Wu’s drawn to the story and likes dramatic roles whose characters “evolve.”

In addition to her movie roles, Wu, still a real estate broker, and also plans to begin pre-production of the film adaptation of her book, “When the Cake is Made.” Wu said she will work alongside co-author Miasha Coleman as

well as produce and act in the film.

When asked if she’d ever return to reality television, she replied, “I enjoy my privacy now. I would never return to reality TV unless I was producing it. You have to protect your brand. I remain true to myself and am the same person on camera as I am off camera. You have to have integrity, being accountable for how you treat others. You have to like the person you see in the mirror.” One business tip she learned from her time as a “Real” housewife was “not to act like a total clown on the show and let them push my buttons.”

Wu offered advice to fellow female entrepreneurs just venturing into business. “Do as much research and study as hard as you can. Then network with people in the field you are trying to get into. Prepare yourself; equip yourself with the tools necessary to succeed in your field,” she said.

Wu is also a single mom. “I’m blessed with three well-mannered beautiful boys – Justin, Jordan and EJ. I am hands-on with my children. Quality is better than quantity. Some parents have their children day in and day out and still to take the time to get to know them.”

She said she manages her life with the support from loved ones and her faith. “I have a great support group; people around me that love me and chip in to help me out. There’s persistence, passion and my faith. What balances me most is my faith in God. That’s what keeps me strong and grounded,” Wu explained.

She also cited the necessity of being a chameleon in her everyday life, and noted the importance of taking care of oneself. “You have to have a balance and have great people around you, who know when you need to rest. “I’m doing what I love. It doesn’t seem like I’m working. I’m having fun,” she continued. LIONESS APRIL 2013


Williams-Hines fights for ‘victories’ during Autism Awareness Month

The Center for Disease Control’s recent telephone poll of 100,000 U.S. families suggest increased autism prevalence with findings of 1-in-50 having a member diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Official statistics remains at 1-in-88, and 1-in-54 for boys alone. While these numbers are staggering, with the exception of Autism Awareness Month in April, very little media attention is garnered by these statistics throughout the remaining months.

Jacqueline Williams-Hines, founder of No Small Victories

Photo courtesy of No Small Victories

Autism is defined as group of disorders affecting neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Diagnosis include classic autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s Syndrome. Though these diagnosis share characteristics to varying degrees, the most profound are impaired social skills and communication deficits. The impact not only affects the child with the diagnosis but the family unit as a whole, often requiring large amounts of time, effort and funds to see positive outcomes. Springfield, Mass., author and autism awareness advocate, Jacqueline Williams-Hines, knows only too well how autism can take its toll. “It can be extremely overwhelming to


receive a diagnosis of autism. Most people have a hard time understanding that it changes every aspect of your life; how you move about your community, services you access, education, everything. Things that typical families take for granted such as taking a child to a movie or out for pizza can be an ordeal. Often when people have no understanding of autism it can be viewed as a behavioral issue. Parents feel judged by onlookers. It can be extremely isolating, very difficult,” Williams-Hines said.

Williams-Hines is the founder of No Small Victories, a program of The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services through which she conducts autism awareness seminars with hopes of expanding to offerings such as karate classes and family support groups. A current graduate student of Cambridge College in Springfield, Mass., WilliamsHines is pursuing a Master of EducationAutism/Applied Behavior Analysis as well as publishing her forth autism awareness children’s book, “Joshua, I’m Over Here.”

When asked how she manages it all she replied, “Our children don’t live in a bubble. If they are going to learn to navigate their communities and realize true inclusion then the community has to be educated. It’s my passion now to see that happens.”

• No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months • No babbling by 12 months • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months • No words by 16 months • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age For more information about Williams-Hines and No Small Victories, call Dana Swinney at 413-426-9539 or visit



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