Lioness Magazine - March 2013

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In last month’s issue, the “Yeah I Did: Forget resolutions. It’s all about vision,” column ran without the appropriate byline. The column should have been credited to Dawn Leaks. We regret the error.


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

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

Diamond shines brighter than this writer was prepared for As journalists we’re supposed to be impartial as we synthesize our interviews and research into a coherent story; however, some subjects are so powerful that we cannot help but to feel the strength of their message. While researching Michaela DePrince for this month’s cover story, I couldn’t help but to feel compassion for the trials she endured at the hands of warlords in Sierra Leone and inspiration for her ability to overcome such atrocities as seeing her caretaker murdered in front of the orphanage she called home. I can often comply with the demands of my chosen profession as a stoic observer of subjects and situations, however, speaking with Michaela made me laugh at her humor, tear up when she spoke so eloquently of her drive to persevere and be inspired by her humility. In truth, I may have left a bit of myself on the page when telling her story but I believe it better illustrates the depth of Michaela’s complexity as an artist and a young woman. She is truly a diamond of Sierra Leone and, in my opinion, a welcomed addition to American citizenry. I look forward to following her career in ballet, which speaks volumes as I cannot call myself a fan of this particular art. I hope you will be as touched by Michaela’s spirit as I was. Michaela, like so many women around the world, are triumphing over adversity. This issue is dedicated to not only female entrepreneurs but to the women who continue to pave the way for those in the developing world. Secretary John Kerry recently honored nine such heroes as Women of Courage as part of International Women’s Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., on March 8. Please take the time to read about these truly amazing women and I hope their stories will inspire you to help change your piece of the world, not matter how grand or minute.


Are You An Entrepreneur? We want to hear from you Send your email to LIONESS MARCH 2013


A Joyful Existence By Brenda’s Child

If I could summarize my conversation with BET’s star of “Let’s Stay Together,” Joyful Drake, it would be inspiring. This Renaissance woman is taking on the jungle of Hollywood in true Lioness nature.

As we kick up our heels to watch her fun, feisty and fashionable character, Tasha, on the March 25 season premiere, Drake will no doubt be working on one of her many projects. Later this year, she will co-star with Ryan Phillippe in a gritty drama. Currently, she is the creator, writer and producer of a scripted comedy, while simultaneously preparing to bring us a reality television show about female power and strength. Can you hear her roar?

Just how is Drake able to do so much, so well? She says it starts with taking care of herself. Working out and eating the right foods not only attribute to her sleek physique, but it fuels her through long, busy days and a hectic travel schedule. According to Drake, doing what you are really passionate about is supplemental fuel, because it’s “the adrenaline” that keeps you motivated.

In the essence of a true Libra, Drake must have balance; just as much as she works hard, she believes in playing hard. Making time for family, friends, and to just be quiet with herself is how Drake is able first to wind down, then reenergize.

“Business isn’t everything. If your mind is right, you are awake ... spiritually, mentally, and physically. When you are awake, you can make things happen,” she said.

Drake’s advice to those trying to reach their dreams is simple: do the work; don’t be afraid to try and fail; multi-task different things, not a bunch of similar projects; pray about it; and seek out role models and mentors.

BET’s star of “Let’s Stay Together,” Joyful Drake

Her most important advice, “Don’t let someone who doesn’t have the power to tell you yes, tell you no.” That is how to live Joyfully!



Diana Clemente, president of Big Apple Car Inc., was named a WBE Star at the WBENC’s “Summit & Salute.” Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/ Big Apple Car Inc.

Diana Clemente named a 2013 WBE Star by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Diana Clemente, president of Big Apple Car Inc., received the nation's premier award for excellence among women’s business enterprises (WBEs) bestowed by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) at its Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises on March 14. The annual event took place before 1,000 corporate and government executives, WBEs and members of WBENC’s Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) at the Baltimore Hilton, Baltimore, Md.

Big Apple Car Inc. is an industry leader in the provision of black car and luxury chauffeured services in the New York metropolitan region and throughout the world. Since 1983, it has served the ground transportation needs of corporate clients in the financial, legal, media and entertainment industries. Clemente joined Big Apple Car as Controller in 1984 and was named a Principal and President of the company within five years. Since then, the company reached at its apex $30 million in sales, and it is consistently ranked one of the top 25 women-owned companies in the Tri-State region. “Diana Clemente is an outstanding leader whose strategic and innovative approach benefits her clients and her company. She demon-



strates the power of women's businesses in driving sustainable economic growth,” said Pamela Prince-Easo, president and CEO of WBENC, the leading advocate for and authority on WBEs as suppliers to the nation’s top corporations and government agencies.

“We are proud to receive this recognition by WBENC, and I am especially honored to be included with such an impressive roster of fellow WBE Stars,” said Clemente. “I am so grateful to WBENC for shining a spotlight on women leaders and for creating a forum through which we can share our strengths with each other, and the world.”

Clemente continued, “Big Apple Car is the only major company in the black car industry owned solely by a woman. As such, we believe we are more sensitive to our client’s needs and understanding of what it truly means to be in the service industry. The same holds true for so many of our fellow WBENC members, and I salute them all.”

Clemente was recognized for her leadership in business, her inspiration to other women, and her active role at the helm of Big Apple Car Inc. The Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO) selected Clemente for

this national honor. WPEO is one of WBENC’s 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) that process WBENC’s world-class certification of WBEs, in addition to providing skills-building educational programs and business development opportunities in their regions.

“Diana’s drive, dedication, and strong work ethic have allowed her to take her company to the next level,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., founder and president of the WPEO. “Big Apple Car is a model of how far women-owned enterprises have come, and Diana is well-deserving of the WBENC Star Award.”

Under the banner of the organization’s 2013 theme “Join Forces. Succeed Together,” WBENC’s Summit & Salute is a major national event designed to drive business development and collaborative success among WBENC’s Corporate and Government Members and WBEs. Sponsored by Accenture and Ernst & Young LLP, the two-day event provides vital access to the thought leaders, business intelligence and senior-level networking opportunities that enable sustainable growth. – PRNewswire

Give your small business a social facelift

Photo courtesy of BPT

Small businesses that adopt online marketing strategies see significant business benefits, ranging from improved campaign performance to higher return on investment (ROI), according to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research. However, small businesses are likely still favoring direct mail, which is time-intensive and costly.

Consumers, however, are now spending more time online than ever before: the average time spent online by U.S. residents is 32 hours per month. They spend a large portion of that online time connecting with friends and family as well as businesses.

There is no better time than now for business owners to take a fresh look at how best to take advantage of social channels to reach consumers in a relevant way. For example, 150 million people visit Facebook pages (home to brands and businesses) every day, where they share word-of-mouth recommendations. With social platforms, business owners can listen, respond, take part in real-time conversations with their customers, and see how these recommendations drive sales.

Lolly Wolly Doodle, a North Carolina-based online retailer that creates personalized, monogrammed children’s clothing, went straight to social media to reach the right audience and increase business traffic.

“We really built a community on Facebook, so we’re able to listen to consumers and talk to them,” said company founder Brandi Temple. “The very first time we posted something we

got immediate response, people sending in orders faster than we could do production on them. Temple discovered that social media was the marketing channel that was growing the fastest and, as a result, shifted resources accordingly.”

Millions of business owners have seen big business growth through social marketing. Below are a few tips to enhance your business’ presence on social media and more effectively reach the right audience to grow sales in 2013.

1. Build your social hub

A business’ social profile, such as a Facebook page, is the central hub for any business and it's free and easy to set up. Fill out business hours on the page, then people can easily see when you’re open (there’s a green dot on your page when you’re open). Also, put your page’s URL on in-store materials – receipts, napkins, brochures, etc. to increase the number of people who can become fans of the page. These are all free ways to get the word out about your business.

2. Engage with your customers

Create content that will keep your audience interested and coming back for more. Post quality content regularly by listening to what customers have to say and making sure posts are relevant to your audience. Post at least two to three times per week to stay relevant to the people who are fans or followers. Mix up the content with engaging photos and videos.

Be timely by posting about current events, holidays or recent news.

State Bicycle Co., a bike manufacturer based out of Tempe, Ariz., that specializes in limited edition bicycles, used Facebook to frequently host photo contests on its page, and the contest winners received prizes including a new bike. They also encourage fans to like posts to see a sneak peek of new products. 3. Boost your results

After engaging with your customers, amplify your results by using social ad offerings geared towards small businesses.

If you’re on Facebook, promoted posts are an easy way to reach more people with your important messages. Promoting a post turns your posts into ads, right from your page, ensuring that more of your audience sees your posts. Promoted posts can be targeted according to gender, age, geography and other factors to reach the best audience.

Local businesses ranging from restaurants to salons to retailers can all take this opportunity to get a much-needed social facelift. Regardless of the industry or budget, now is the time to consider social as an integral part of your marketing strategy. Any business owner starting with these three tips will be on the way to building strong relationships with customers, reaching new people and, most importantly, driving sales. – BPT




Secretary Kerry honors Women of Courage on International Women’s Day

On March 8, Secretary John Kerry honored nine extraordinary women with the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award. First Lady Michelle Obama joined Kerry and the awardees as a special guest at the 3 p.m. ceremony in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 66 women from 44 different countries.

The 2013 awardees are: 2nd Lt. Malalai Bahaduri, Afghan National Interdiction Unit, Afghanistan; Julieta Castellanos, Rector, National Autonomous University of Honduras, Honduras; Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, president, Campaign for Democracy, Nigeria; Elena Milashina, journalist, human rights activist, Russia; Fartuun Adan, executive director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, Somalia; Tsering Woeser (Wei Se), Tibetan author, poet, blogger, China; Razan Zeitunah, human rights lawyer and founder, Local Coordination Committees, Syria; Ta Phong Tan, blogger, Vietnam; and Nirbhaya “Fearless,” champion for justice, India.

Bahaduri’s dedication to achieve success, coupled with a powerful spirit to endure the criticisms from both her peers and her family, was eventually recognized when she was selected and became the first female member of the Afghan National Interdiction Unit (NIU). Despite her achievements, she continued to endure social bias and additional death threats to herself and her family. As

an NIU instructor, she is committed to the professional development of the Counter Narcotics Police – Afghanistan. She plays an integral role in the Afghan effort to target the most significant drug trafficking networks, collect evidence, and arrest and prosecute drug traffickers in accordance with Afghan law. Bahaduri has developed a strong reputation for duty and excellence among the Afghan members of the NIU, as well as with her U.S. advisors and mentors.

Woeser has emerged as the most prominent Mainland activist speaking out publicly about human rights conditions for China’s Tibetan citizens. Born in Lhasa, Woeser’s website, Invisible Tibet, together with her poetry and non-fiction and her embrace of social media platforms such as Twitter, have given voice to millions of ethnic Tibetans who are prevented from expressing themselves to the outside world due to government efforts to curtail the flow of information. Despite the constant surveillance of security agents and routinely being placed under house arrest during periods deemed to be politically sensitive, Woeser bravely persists in documenting the situation for Tibetans, noting that “to bear witness is to give voice to,” and asserting that “the more than 100 Tibetans who have expressed their desire to resist the forces of oppression by bathing their bodies in fire are the reason why I will not give up, and why I will not compromise.”

Castellanos has repeatedly played a central role in efforts to overcome enormous challenges afflicting Honduras. Through her work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she helped her nation recover from violent political polarization following a coup d’état. She was instrumental in forming an umbrella organization for more than 400 organizations that have given civil soci-



WOMEN OF COURAGE HONORED ety a more powerful voice, and she has pressed relentlessly for systemic reform of the country’s police and justice sector institutions.

Known to India and the world as “Nirbhaya” (Fearless), the courageous 23-year-old physiotherapy intern whose brutal gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012 inspired widespread protests, has become the foundation of a popular movement to end violence against women in India. For millions of Indian women, her personal ordeal, perseverance to fight for justice, and her family’s continued bravery is helping to lift the stigma and vulnerability that drive violence against women. “Nirbhaya” bravely recorded two police statements while in the hospital, repeatedly called for justice against the six attackers, and stated her will to survive to see justice done. Like many Indians inspired by her struggle, she was born into a working class family that invested their hopes and life savings into her dream to pursue medicine. She had just graduated from a physiotherapy program when her life was cut short. In the wake of her death just two weeks after the attack, India’s active civil society began advocating heavily for legislation and social programs to stem gender-based violence in all its forms and to ensure higher rape conviction rates and gender-sensitive law enforcement and justice systems. Thanks to these efforts, the Indian government has begun to take action to follow through on those demands.

Odumakin has handled more than 2,000 cases of violations of women’s rights in Nigeria over the past 20 years, including cases of extrajudicial practices committed by government security agencies against women. Odumakin leads almost every protest, march, lecture or workshop aimed

at encouraging the rule of law and governing justly and democratically. Her advocacy led her to be arrested and detained 17 times during the dictatorship of Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s regime. Odumakin is currently the executive director of the Institute of Human Rights and Democratic Studies; president of Women Arise for Change Initiative; chairman, Task Force of the Citizen Forum; spokesperson, Coalition of Civil Society Organizations; and president, Centre for Participatory Democracy.

Milashina, regarded as one of the most experienced and influential investigative journalists in Russia, has spent her career shining light on events others shy away from. From drug trafficking, to terrorist attacks, to military disasters, and even the killings of fellow journalists, Milashina has covered some of Russia’s most controversial subjects with passion, fairness, and dedication. She is an ardent opponent of the extrajudicial kidnappings and torture that plague areas of Russia and is outspoken against xenophobia and racism. She has received overt and thinly-veiled threats from government officials, private citizens, and corporations, and she bears the scars of both physical and verbal attacks. Despite these challenges, Milashina continues to provide a voice exemplifying commitment to the highest human standards.

Adan has championed human and women’s rights, peace-building, development, and the rehabilitation of child soldiers across Somalia, often under insecure and dangerous conditions. Advocating for education as an alternative to perpetual violence and as a means to lift Somalia out of its 20-year cycle of civil conflict, Adan and her husband jointly coined the popular Somali peace mantra: “Put down the gun and pick up the



WOMEN OF COURAGE HONORED pen.” In 1996, Somali warlords assassinated her husband for their peacemaking efforts. After fleeing to Canada with her three daughters, she returned to Somalia in 2007 at the height of conflict in Mogadishu, between the Union of Islamic Courts, Warlords, and Ethiopian forces, to continue the work that she and her late husband had begun. In 2010, Adan initiated a Sister Somalia program to support victims who had survived rapes and/or escaped forced marriages. She established Somalia’s first sexual violence hotline and rape crisis center in Mogadishu in 2011. Adan has also restarted the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre’s efforts to reintegrate former child soldiers back into society by providing disengaged teenage child soldiers with both education and job training skills. These skills have allowed them to fill jobs created by the exodus of skilled laborers who fled Mogadishu’s violence. Many of these former child soldiers now work as teachers, electricians, and mechanics, as well as other professions. On average, she has trained 350 youths per year, and plans to expand this number to 700 for 2013 and to areas recently recaptured from al-Shabaab by African Union and Somali forces.

Zeitunah was forced into hiding after the Syrian government accused her of being a foreign agent for reporting atrocities against civilians to Internet and foreign media. She is now a leading voice of the Syrian revolution. Zeitunah worked with the Human Rights Association of Syria to monitor and expose domestic human rights violations. Her information website, SHRIL, became the international community’s principal source of information about the killings and torture of civilians by Syrian security forces. Zeitunah is also a founder of the Human Rights Association in Syria and the Local Coordination Committees, which have become the central repository and sounding board for information about the regime’s



actions. Although the 34-year-old Damascene has been in hiding for 22 months and her husband is in prison, Zeitunah continues to inform the world about the daily atrocities committed by the Syrian regime.

Tan, a ground-breaking blogger currently serving a 10-year prison sentence with two additional years of house arrest. Tan is a former Vietnamese Communist Party member and former officer in the Vietnamese security forces. After publishing online articles criticizing the policies of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), she was expelled from the security forces and CPV. In 2006, Tan started her blog “Truth and Justice,” posting essays and exposes online. She was among the first bloggers to write and comment on political news events long considered off-limits by authorities. In 2011, she was arrested and convicted of conducting propaganda against the state.

The honorees began their visit to the United States in Pittsburgh, Pa., where they participated in an open to the press forum at Chatham University on March 4, as well as in meetings with organizations such as the Women and Girls Foundation and Gwen’s Girls. They arrived in Washington on March 6 for meetings with Department of State and White House officials, members of Congress, and NGO leaders. Following the award ceremony, the honorees will travel separately to cities across the United States to engage with the American people through an International Visitor Leadership Program. They will visit Indianapolis, Ind., Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Calif., and Tampa, Fla. The women will reconvene in San Diego, Calif., to reflect on their visit and discuss ways to work together to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

The Lipstick Chronicles

A new city brings new adventures

By Kristina Chapell

On Dec. 15, 2012, I decided it was time for a change. My best friend offered me the chance of a lifetime, to help run and market her business, and I couldn’t refuse. I have watched from afar for the past few years as her business grew, often providing advice and guidance. Finally all of her hard work was paying off and her business was exploding with one success after the next. So when the call came I said yes without hesitation because she needed my help and I could assist her. This decision meant after 32 years in the same geographic region, I would be moving out of New England to the south. I was moving to Atlanta.

The next four weeks – I moved on Jan. 18 – were a whirlwind. Finishing work, saying goodbye to family and friends and packing the last 32 years of my life consumed every minute I had. I didn’t have time to write the column or even think about dating. I had no time to do anything other than worry about me and spend time with family and friends.

I moved in with a friend, while my best friend, and now boss, was working down in Florida with one of our contracts. I missed not seeing her right away but over the years of visiting I have become friends with her friends here and they welcomed me with open arms. I was lucky to move and already have some type of social life. I was familiar with the local hot spots the girls went to, the bartenders there and felt at home going out.

My second week here I met a girlfriend for dinner. We briefly saw each other over beer and football in December but now we had the

chance to sit and catch up. We caught up on our lives and that included her recent dating. She was telling me about her dates – some funny and some with potential. It was nice to see her happy and it sounded like there were some good prospects down here. Back home the same guys were still on that were on there four years ago when I was a member. So, when I got home I decided it was time to reactivate my account. With my jammies on I grabbed my laptop and curled up in bed with a drink in hand and decided to update my account. The last time I had an active account my hair was a shade red and was past my shoulders. Now it’s brown and short, think Kris Jenner or Tamron Hall (NBC) short. As I began updating pictures I also was reading what I wrote in the rest of my profile four years ago. That was probably one of the best reads I had in a while. Wow! The things I wrote, no wonder why I never found anyone of interest!

I started searching for my “criteria” and found some pretty decent men; sorry western Massachusetts but they are definitely better down in the Atlanta area. We winked, we “favorited” one another, I got emails from some (and some pretty racy emails too) and I even met some for coffee or a drink. (Not the racy email writers; they were too weird.) I can’t say I have found the “one” yet or even the “one” for regular dinners but it’s been fun getting out there.

I also found out the local Starbucks, which serves wine after 2 p.m. on Fridays has mixers that are pretty popular. Yes, of course I

stopped by, and even has a lot of its Stir events around my area. I am impressed because they definitely didn’t have those back home. There are some pretty fun ways to meet some men around here and you can bet I will be at them so stay tuned for those stories.

One date I will share more about was when I was in Tampa, Fla., for work recently and went on a date. Not even there for 48 hours and landed myself a date with a waiter at the restaurant we were at. He was super cute and nice and we started talking about work, the area, my move to Atlanta and work in Tampa and he asked if I would like to go out so I left him my number and he called.

We planned to go to lunch in two days (I was spending the weekend with family in Venice, Fla.) and I admit I was excited. I had that butterfly feeling in my stomach because we text messaged frequently throughout the weekend. The day we planned to meet he text messaged me in the morning to confirm. I thought that was so cute! I got there and he was already there and ordered waters and mimosas to celebrate my move and new job – um, yeah I was a happy camper. We had a great conversation and agreed to get together again when I was in town as I was flying out the next morning back to Atlanta. And since I have been back we have talked a few times so who knows where that’ll go.

What I do know is I am glad I made this move and I am going to take every opportunity I can to go out, meet some new people, some new men, and have a good time. Stay tuned, more fun to come, I promise! ~ 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 Businews Channel.



Money with Michelle

Straighten out finances with your honey for a better relationship By Michelle Perry Higgins

Financial planning may not be the sexiest topic in the world, but Cupid will fly off and the bedroom will be cold if it’s not taken care of. Let’s face it: relationships are not all roses and chocolates. They might start off that way, but reality eventually sets in and it’s time to pay that credit card statement.

It’s generally accepted that sex and money are the top trouble areas when it comes to creating tension in relationships. But according to a Psychology Today article, since the 2008 financial crisis money woes now outnumber sex issues for couples on the therapist’s couch. While I can’t help you with the sex, I can give you a few tips about money and how it may actually help make your relationship better. 1. Know Your Resources – Twice a month, sit down and review your pay stubs and bills together. Both you and your partner should understand how much money is coming in and know where it’s going. By having a clear picture of the inflow and outgo, you can easily and objectively see if any adjustments in spending need to be made.

2. Have a Savings Plan – Proactively discuss your nest egg strategy for the year with your partner or spouse. By including them in the conversation, they will be more likely to feel they are on the same page with you. In this way you encourage them to be supportive of your financial goals for retirement, college savings, emergency reserves, automobiles, etc.

3. Spend Wisely – Speaking of new cars, be absolutely sure to talk about any big ticket

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



items prior to making a purchase. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to come home with the latest 60” flat screen or a Ferrari without first consulting with your honey. Create a plan for large expenses together and consider setting money aside to make the purchase easier on your pocketbook.

4. Open Up About How Much You Owe – Never, ever conceal debt from one another. It will rear its ugly head sooner or later, and hiding it could make problems much worse. Treat it like a bandage and tear it off quickly, all at once. If you tackle it together, it may actually bring you closer because you’re no longer hiding the truth. Wouldn’t that be a relief?

5. Establish a Budget – Set firm spending limits for all household categories so it eliminates recurring arguments. Make sure each of you has a personal “slush fund” that you can do with as you please without consulting with your mate. We’re women and our bodies need maintenance: hair, nails, makeup and the occasional massage. You know they love us for it.

6. Talk to a Professional – Find a good financial advisor and meet with them as a couple. Take the time to sit down to review your investments and financial plan with her. If you and your spouse have money issues, share your struggles with your advisor. She will guide you in the right direction financially.

If you choose to follow my advice, there’s a good chance that your money worries will be behind you. On the other hand, if you need more assistance and your finances continue to be an issue in your relationship, maybe it’s time to see a therapist.

Participants on a Road Scholar program on New Mexico’s cuisine and wine.

Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Road Scholar, Ilene Perlman

Road Scholar offers new programs exploring influence, contributions of women

Each year, close to 50,000 women from all walks of life attend a Road Scholar program seeking to experience and learn more about their world. In fact, women represent more than 50 percent of Road Scholar participants, many of whom are former educators who wish to continue learning as they approach retirement and beyond.

This year, Road Scholar offers several new and existing programs that will appeal to women and anyone interested in learning more about the significant contributions women have made to political activism, history, and spirituality. In addition, there are several programs designed exclusively for women to simply enjoy one another’s company, nature and to rejuvenate in some of Americas most beautiful and pristine settings.

“We offer several programs that are exclusively designed for women to come together and relax, hike, or reenergize,” said JoAnn Bell, Road Scholar’s vice president of Programs. “However, we also offer several more academic programs that explore the role women have played in shaping our world. One specific program that comes to mind explores how women actively participated as spies and strongly influenced the outcomes of armed conflicts. Another program explores several well-renowned Celtic women leaders

and how their remarkable lives still influence people today.” Road Scholar offers close to a dozen programs that explore the role of women in society and the world. However, most Road Scholar female participants, especially baby boomers, are interested in a wide range of domestic, international and Adventures Afloat programs.

“Women who participate in Road Scholar programs are extremely adventurous and really appreciate the breadth of programs that we offer on a wide range of topics,” said Bell. “One amazing woman named Dorothy is 76-years-old and attended a program to Egypt with us in October 2012. All of her friends and family discouraged her from going, saying that Egypt was far too dangerous. Her response to them was that she felt comfortable going with Road Scholar, and knew we would make her adventure not only safe but memorable. I think that’s a real testament not only to her resolve and adventurous spirit, but her trust in our organization.”

Road Scholar can accommodate women who enroll with a companion, those who want to room alone, as well as assist those who prefer to choose other single Road Scholar female travelers to room with prior to their departure date.

To learn more about programs designed for and about women, visit s.asp?keyword=women Programs for Women: Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park for Women

Delaware During WWII: On the Front Lines and Women Spies Sedona’s Healing Arts for Women: Yoga, Tai Chi, Ayurveda and More Rejuvenation Retreat for Women

A Spa Retreat for Women: Wine, Laughter, Mindful Eating and Joy Women: Learning, Walking, and Writing on the Oregon Coast

– PRNewswire



More women making it into senior management roles

To mark International Women’s Day 2013 on March 8, new research from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) revealed that globally, more women are making it into senior management roles than at any time since 2010. However, progress is slower in the G7 group of developed economies, where economic performances have been stuttering, than in the high growth economies of Asia and the Far East. Grant Thornton urges businesses in developed economies to emulate emerging market counterparts and reap the benefits of having more women in senior positions.

IBR data shows that globally, 24 percent of senior management roles are now filled by women. This is up from 21 percent in 2012 and 20 percent in 2011. However, the G7 economies come bottom of the league table with just 21 percent of senior roles occupied by women. This compares to 28 percent in the BRIC economies, 32 percent in South East Asia and 40 percent in the Baltic states.

Francesca Lagerberg, Head of Tax at Grant Thornton UK and incoming Global leader of Tax at Grant Thornton International Ltd, commented, “The pioneer economies where economic growth is high have greater diversity in their senior management teams. Women are playing a major role in driving the world’s growth economies, bringing balance to the

decision making process and the smooth running of their companies. In comparison, the mature economies of the G7 are now playing catch up. They need to wake up to gender disparity and add this crucial ingredient to longterm growth and profitability.”

Japan (7 percent of senior roles occupied by women, the worst performer), the UK (19 percent) and the USA (20 percent) are in the bottom eight countries for women in senior management. These economies are also experiencing low levels of growth, with GDP in Japan (1.9 percent), the UK (-0.1 percent) and the USA (2.2 percent) in 2012 all modest. In contrast, top of the table for women in senior management is China, with 51 percent. GDP growth for 2012 there is expected to be between 7 and 8 percent. The top 10 also contains the growth economies of Latvia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

The situation is even starker when looking at boardroom positions. In the G7, just 16 percent of board members are women. This compares to 26 percent in the BRIC economies and 38 percent in the Baltic states. How to get more women in senior roles?

The IBR data reveals that flexible working, while welcomed by many, does not appear to be a determining factor in getting women into

top positions. Seventy-two percent of businesses in the poor-performing G7 countries provide flexible working, while in top of the table China only 27 percent of businesses offer flexible working, and only 40 percent in the BRIC economies.

In addition, 55 percent of businesses worldwide said they would be against the idea of quotas for the number of women on executive boards of large listed companies.

Lagerberg added, “Things are heading in the right direction, but it is slow progress. Flexible working is not the only determining factor in increasing female participation in senior positions. In mature economies, the majority of businesses offer it but that isn’t translating into more women in senior roles or making it on to the board. At the same time, businesses are telling us that they do not believe enforced quotas are the answer.

“In the absence of quotas, what will ultimately spur businesses on to include more women in senior roles is the belief that their performance will improve and their growth will be healthier if they do so. What our research shows is that it is good practice, and those regions adopting it are currently outperforming those who are not,” Lagerberg continued. – Grant Thornton

Michaela DePrince and Sam Wilson in Dance Theatre of Harlem’s “Black Swan.” Photos courtesy of Matthew Murphy

DePrince reigns gracefully over the stage By Katelyn Gendron

Each time ballerina Michaela DePrince, 18, leaps through the air it is with the graceful strength of a young woman who is not bound by her turbulent past but using it to fortify her artistic resolve.

DePrince, born in Sierra Leone in 1995 during the country’s civil war, spent much of the first four years of her life in a neglectful orphanage. There, the majority of caretakers played favorites and labeled her the 27th out of the 27 orphans due to her skin condition called vitiligo, a depigmentation of the skin that causes it to lighten in patches. She never knew the joys of ballet until a magazine photo of a ballerina blew up against the gates of the orphanage, which she hid from the others in her underwear.

DePrince is less inclined to speak about her time in Africa where she witnessed unfathomable atrocities against those she cared for, rather she likes to place emphasis on how the aforementioned photograph and her adoption by Americans Charles and Elaine DePrince in 1999 dramatically altered her life’s course.

“Both my parents work very hard for their careers. The fact that I was around their energy just kept me going. Because I was around their busy lifestyle I was able to focus on working hard and being very determined,” DePrince recalled. Such fortitude was necessary, she said, noting that she had many factors working against her aspirations to become a ballerina, including her skin color and lacking

knowledge of the art. “I thought it was a terrible flaw,” she said of her skin.

When asked if she had the raw talent instructors were looking for when she first began dancing at age four-and-a-half, DePrince replied with a giggle, “Absolutely not. I was absolutely awful.” However, such inadequacies, coupled with one instructor’s opinion that her parent’s “shouldn’t waste time or money training a black ballerina” only strengthened her resolve.

DePrince has since dedicated herself to training 10 hours a day at such prestigious institutions as The Rock School of Dance Education in Philadelphia, Pa., the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City to

Continued on page 32



Stiletto Statement

The Undergarment Is Your Friend!

By Aliyah Cherrisse

Feeling confident is not something that we just wake up to. It's a process that is built up from picking out the right outfit, the perfect shoe, applying the right amount of make-up, and drinking that cup of tea or coffee to set us off with the right energy boost. However, often times we neglect to select the correct bra, body shaper, or girdle if you will. These pieces are essential assets to our wardrobe for they lift and smooth us as needed, and shapes us as desired! Talk about a confidence boost in one instance!

Picking the proper garments, especially a bra, can be a task. You should be measured before just selecting your bra based off of what you normally purchase. When you purchase a new bra, normally it comes with three different hook levels, and with that you should always be able to start your latches on the very first hooks. If you need to go straight to the last hooks in order to get that secure hold feeling, then it is likely, you have the wrong bra in your possession, put that back and walk away fast! The next key point to knowing if your bra is the one for you or not, is if that front centerpiece is resting properly on your chest in between your girls. This aspect helps give that great cleavage we all want in our blouses and also provides that comfort we need so that we steer away from tugging and tucking all day.

A great bra can run you between $50 and $100-plus bucks easily, but believe me, it is so worth it. What woman wouldn't want full coverage, lift and comfort in something they have to wear for more than 10 hours a day? My advice to any woman who is uncertain of how to really purchase a bra on their own and you are of the fuller-cup family, please visit a specialty shop to be measured properly. For example, I prefer Nordstrom. They will measure you then help you shop, so give it a shot!

Your body shaper is also the ideal piece to have in your possession. As Mrs. Audrey Smaltz, of "The Ground Team," and former Ms. EBONY Fair herself would explain, "A great body shaper should be considered a part of your wardrobe." Mrs. Smaltz would recommend her trusty Squeem! When you are shopping for the ideal body shaper you must consider the pull it will have to guarantee that sucked and tucked look while also giving you the smooth look underneath your clothing. No one would be comfortable with a whole bunch of lumps and bumps bulging through their clothes and since the idea is for you to be confident about yourself with what you are wearing, the smoother the better. Hey, the world doesn't have to know you have on a secret weapon! Spanks are another huge seller in the body shaper arena for this product definitely gives you that baby bottom smoothness. You want

an all-in-one piece to target those most common jiggling places: the buttock, the thighs, and, of course, that entire mid area. So take your time when shopping for a body shaper, try them on in the store so that you are not discouraged to try a new one if the first one is not your fit. Seriously ladies, we all know once we get home and try something on, if it doesn't fit right, we throw it back in the bag and take forever to return it. So now you have merchandise that's not beneficial and still no body shaper to be a part of your wardrobe. Save yourself the trip, shop around, and fall in love with the dressing room.

Here's a tip: dress very comfortably once you decide to go out shopping and take several garments into the dressing room with you all at once. This way you avoid the hassle we all hate, which is that get dressed, get undressed process. Anything to help you stay enthused about getting your essential wardrobe piece, I recommend you go for it!

Don't ever be afraid to help yourself, love yourself and build your confidence level up. We are our own worst 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!



Metro Moms Network CEO named as finalist in social media Shorty Awards

As Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Moms Network, Kathy Zucker is one of the most vocal moms in Hoboken, N.J. On a normal day, she shares information about current events and activities in the New York metro area. Her sites and Twitter feed are trusted destinations for families seeking answers to tough questions ranging from school choices to real estate to starting a blog.

Based on her in-depth Twitter coverage of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on Hoboken, N.J., in the days after the storm – when more than half the city was flooded and without power for over a week – Zucker is a finalist in the Fifth Annual Shorty Awards, which honors the best in social media across various individual and industry categories.

The Shorty Awards honor the best in social media; recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare and the rest of the social web.

Every year, millions of people visit the Shorty Awards site to support their favorite social media content creators by tweeting nominations. All those tweets culminate in a highly anticipated awards ceremony that celebrates the winners as chosen by categories. The Shorty Awards also honors the industry’s best agencies, brands, and social media professionals. Past winners include Conan O’Brien, Ricky Gervais, “Sesame Street’s” Grover, Suze Orman, Neil Patrick Harris and NASA.

Hundreds of metro area parents have nominated Zucker for the #KeepGoodGoing category sponsored by New York Life, which honors a #mom or #dad who is passionate about

their family, and uses social media to help and inspire others to do the same. During Hurricane Sandy, Zucker became a lifeline for thousands of families who had no connection to the outside world aside from sporadic text messaging and felt completely isolated, sometimes unsure of their next steps.

In the hours before the storm hit, Zucker created a SMS group using the GroupMe service. She reached out to authorities and got answers via Twitter that she shared in updates that GroupMe members received when they turned on their phones between long intervals to conserve battery power. In this way, families learned the status of receding floodwaters, access to and from Hoboken, power restoration, and gas and food availability. They were also able to get speedy answers to questions about their specific situations.

Shorty Award #KeepGoodGoing finalist and Metro Moms Network CEO, Kathy Zucker.

Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/ Metro Moms Network

“With 40 percent of Americans working as freelancers, social media is increasingly coming to replace the water cooler,” said Zucker. “It is just as important to establish relationships online as in real life since you never know who will have vital, timely information.”

The Fifth Annual Shorty Awards winners will be announced on April 8 at a ceremony in Times Square at the New York Times Center. – PRNewswire



DePrince reigns gracefully become one of the world’s rising stars of ballet. Despite her success, and feature in Bess Kargman’s 2011 documentary “First Position,” as well as a guest performer on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” DePrince said she has no interest in being in the limelight.

“The public eye is not something that I like. Dancing is what I want to do. I don’t want to be a star,” she said, noting that Kargman would become frustrated with her because of her constant attempts to avoid the camera.

Ballerina Michaela DePrince Photo courtesy of Rachel Neville

DePrince is a star, however, as she made her professional debut in South Africa last year and has since been invited to join Het Nationale’s Junior Company in Amsterdam, Netherlands, for one year beginning in July. When asked how she’s been able to stand apart from others on the stage, DePrince replied humbly, “I have no idea. I was just trying to be myself and not the other dancer next to me. I think it’s the fact that people say that I jump like a guy, which is absolutely great. I’m very strong and a lot of my teachers know that.” While she continues to pursue a career in ballet, DePrince said plans to one-day return to Sierra Leone to establish a school for aspiring dancers. “I feel an obligation to give back. [My heritage] makes me who I am today. I feel like it helps me. Even now, I want to do more because I get messages from girls there who are just like me. Even though they want to [dance], they don’t have that opportunity,” she explained. For now, DePrince said she would focus her energies on her upcoming training in the Netherlands. “I hope I don’t disappoint. I hope people don’t get bored of me,” she added with the sincere modesty that refreshingly contradicts what audiences have come to expect from the stereotypical stoic ballerina.



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