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Willie Stewart / Chief Executive Officer Lukiether Willingham / President ■ Lindsay Powell / Executive V.P of Business Development Our Mission It is our mission to be the premier source for positive news and information among trendsetters around the globe and to build strong relationships among individuals, corporate companies, businesses, and organizations in the communities that we serve.

About Us Trendsetters to Trendsetters Media Group, Inc., (aka T2T Media Group and Trend to Trend Media Group) is a minority-owned, privately-held, national media group headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. T2T Media Group started as a single magazine and through strategic planning has grown into a multifaceted media company which now includes a Publishing Division with two magazines (Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine & Trendsetters to Trendsetters Latino Magazine); and a Digital Division which specializes in graphic design, marketing, and social media. Companies in our Digital Division include DPI Graphic Design, PRO-ARTS (Video Production & Entertainment), Lukeither Multimedia & Design (Internet and Social Network Marketing), T2T Live (Internet TV Show), FYI Blast (Eblast), and numerous interactive websites and blogs (entertainment, food, and technical). Through our divisions and various companies, it is our goal to provide excellent returns to our shareholders, and provide support to the community and businesses where we live, work and play. Our company motto is “Together Building Strong Relationships.” We pride ourselves in building strong business relationships and offering services that help businesses reach their target audiences. Trendsetter to Trendsetters Media Group, Inc. specializes in B2B relationships and offers strategies and solutions for every budget.

“Together Building Strong Relationships”






Willie Stewart CEO, Publisher


Next Level

ello T2T readers we have journeyed through another year!! The past three years many of us have witnessed the economic downturn and people losing their businesses, their jobs, their homes, their hopes and their dreams. The economy has brought understanding and new meaning to the word “focus” for me. Focus has taught me the value of strategic planning and the need for restructuring of financial metrics (if you don’t have a plan, you won’t be able to balance and manage them) to stay on task for reaching goals. In surviving the economic downpour we must be unconventional in our approach to business growth ventures. My metrics system that I use is called “Three A’s” and I; which means, Appearance, Approach and Attitude = Image and Image is Everything. There’s no time like the present to start preparing to get to the NEXT LEVEL. With the economy showing progress according to The Wall Street Journal, “Economists surveyed by Dow Jones forecast the government report would show the economy overall added 144,000 jobs in November.” Being focused may mean being unconventional. You have to be willing to consider all angles. 1) Creating multiple

streams of income within your company, 2) Creating less overhead, 3) Being effective with your approach to customer service and 4) Believing in yourself and your product.  Appearance: Getting to the NEXT LEVEL depends on who you keep in your reach. I call it the law of attraction. It’s important to build relationships with individuals who are already on the level that you’re trying to embrace.  Approach: You have to show passion about knowing your business products/services and in knowing what you’re bringing to the table. 99.9 percent of what we do in building strong relationships is done on approach, so cultivate your relationships with your current customers and when dealing with potential investors and sponsors.  Attitude: Embrace and learn new and emerging technology and how they can grow your business and enhance visibility. Be hands-on with your customers as well and engage more networking with your climb to the NEXT LEVEL.  Image: Your business is who you are. How is your appearance, approach and attitude? Have you measured them lately? If not ask your customers how you appear to them. They as well are doing the same. I’ll see you at the NEXT LEVEL. 2011 here we come!! ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011



CEO / PUBLISHER Willie Stewart / Canton, OH - Atlanta, GA



Ava Simone Collier / Atlanta, GA

Mark Hampton / Columbus, OH Mechelle Bowser / Atlanta, GA Dr. Leslie Ashlock / Atlanta, GA John E. Johnson / Canton, OH Gigi McCrary / Columbus, OH Camela Douglass / Dayton, OH Stacy Lattisaw / Washington, DC Richard Thompson / Akron, OH Jacques Miles / Ecuador, S. America Teri Miller Barker / Dayton, OH Corbin Cook / Atlanta, GA Lionel Locke / Chattanooga, TN Angela Thomas / Miami, FL Dr. Linda Amerson / Arlington, TX Dr. Dorothy Flake / Houston, TX Tracy Hill-Ashley / Ft. Worth, TX


CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR & WEB DESIGNER Derek Payne / Columbus, OH DPI Graphic Design


INTERNET MARKETING / WEB CONSULTANT Lukeither Willingham / Atlanta, GA

ASSISTANT TO PUBLISHER Lukeither Willingham / Atlanta, GA

ASSISTANT TO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Janelle Leonard / Orlando, FL


PHOTOGRAPHERS Rizia Latimer / Atlanta, GA Tameka Pero / Atlanta, GA

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Stephen Philms / Atlanta, GA Dwight Philpotts / Atlanta, GA Laurence Reed / Atlanta, GA Ethan Canton / Atlanta, GA DeJuan Guess / Atlanta, GA

Benita January / Lake Charles, LA Carla Daniels / Columbus, OH







Contents 18 Celebrate MLK

special features 10 13 25 38 32

Trumpet Awards Celebrity Spotlight Trendsetters Spotlight Mixing Love and Business Trendsetters Spotlight



03 08 09 13 14 16 18 21 36 42 45 48 49 50

On The Cover

Poet and Author HANK STEWART Photo by Ruby Clothing by Tribeca Fashions

31 Alex Richbourg

42 10

Bronze Ladies

Publishers Notes Editor’s Notes Commentary Celebrity Spotlight Up & Coming Trendsetters Young Entrepreneurs Educational Trends Health Trends Beauty & Fashion Trends Event Trends Art and Entertainment Corporate Trends Travel & Leisure Trends Auto Trends

10 19th Annual Trumpet Awards

Hilda Willis




Let It Go and Keep It Movin’ Photo by Tameka Pero Photography


s we begin a new year, I can’t help but to reflect on the last twelve months. I have embraced some wonderful changes in my life. Yes, I say embrace. There was a time not too long ago that I would look upon change as something to be tolerated, even feared. I no longer see it that way. I have relocated to Atlanta from Orlando to work with our magazine full time. The only person I knew before coming here was Will Stewart through our business association with the magazine. Since moving here, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to attend some very exciting events and have met some wonderful people. I am having so much fun! How blessed am I to actually do the work that I love the most! The media industry is exciting, demanding and fast paced and a tremendous amount of work! I am learning a great deal in my journey. I have been the Editor-in-Chief for our magazine for a year now and I would not trade one minute of it. To my writing and editing teams: This position has allowed me the golden opportunity to work with some of the most gifted and talented people that I will ever know. T2T is blessed to have a team of writers and editors who are both committed and dedicated. I truly thank each of you for your support as we’ve endured many transitions in the past year. I have always appreciated your talents, expertise, time and work, as well as your generosity in sharing your gifts with our readers. I have been blessed as well because there has never been an article that any of you have submitted that I did not learn something new or in which my spirit was not enriched and renewed. I simply say to each of you, thank you!

Will Stewart, I sincerely thank you for providing a platform for me to spread my wings and do the work that I was born to do. I am very grateful. Derek Payne, you are simply the best and I have truly enjoyed working with you this past year. We have spent many long hours putting T2T Magazine together at the “backend.” I have learned so much from you and I thank you! I continue to realize that nothing is ever just all about us. God always has a bigger plan for each of us. Many times those plans are not revealed to us until it’s time. In the interim, we are given opportunities that position and prepare us for the next level. We don’t always understand this. It comes down to trusting God’s perfect timing and believing what He says in Jeremiah 29:11. Many times we have to leave the familiar and comfortable behind in order to get to that other level. Sometimes God can’t give us what He has for us until we let go of what we think we need to hold on to. I have learned that if the thing that you’re holding on to does not make you stronger, let it go and keep it movin’! If it drains you of your emotional and physical energy, let it go and keep it movin’! If it makes you question and second guess yourself, let it go and keep it movin’! If your self esteem or confidence is compromised and you know that you’re settling for less than God’s desire for you, let it go and keep it movin’! If it causes you fear and doubt, let it go and keep it movin’! I encourage you all to step out on God’s promises. Wishing everyone a new year filled with dreams realized, promises kept, goals met and an abundance of God’s richest blessings! Replace fear with faith and keep it movin’! ■





riting columns for a publication can be difficult at times. You have many topics to write about based on current events, personal reflections or advice from friends or relatives. In AKRON, OH preparing for this article, there were times when I had what is called “writers block” where your mind simply goes blank when attempting to come up with the words to put to paper. Hard to believe but it does happen, even if you have been writing for as long as I have. This column was one of the times when I had “writers block.” With so much going on in the world today you

Celebrate Life By Richard M. Thompson

would think I would be able to articulate to the readers some in-depth or insightful knowledge about health care reform, financial services reform, global warming, the floods in Pakistan or the construction of the Martin Luther King memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. While all of those topics are noteworthy, nothing came to mind. What I did decide to write about was how life is a journey that needs to be savored while working towards the destination you have chosen. We seem to allow ourselves to be consumed by the work that it takes to achieve a goal focusing on the end result, making the goal seem harder to achieve. What we need to do is celebrate the minor accomplishments during the journey, breaking the task into smaller accomplishments which allows you to relax and enjoy the ride. In 2009, I decided to return to school to learn a new trade, majoring in Communications, with a focus on Mass Media/Radio/TV production. After meeting with my advisor, she informed me that my graduation date would not be until the spring semester of 2012, three years from the date of our meeting. That day I decided that the best way to make this goal not seem as long as it would was to celebrate the completion of each semester, thereby making a seemingly long journey into smaller ones alleviating the stress I would have encountered had I not used this strategy. Now it is 2010 and after this semester I will only have eleven classes to complete for graduation and the goal seems closer than it did when I began. And most importantly, I have achieved all of this with no stress at all. So my friends, my advice to you would be to work hard, love openly and laugh every chance you can. Love life, and as Jada Pinkett-Smith says, “Do You!” Richard M. Thompson is a freelance writer and can be reached on Facebook and at







ernona Clayton is the Founder/CEO, and President of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator and Executive Producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards. The Trumpet Awards is a prestigious event highlighting African American accomplishments and contributions. Initiated in 1993 by Turner Broadcasting, the Trumpet Awards has been televised annually and distributed internationally to over 185 countries around the world. Ms. Clayton began her television career in 1967 and became the south’s first Black person to have her own television show. Ms. Clayton show was a regular feature on WAGA-TV, CBS affiliate in Atlanta. Ms Clayton was employed at Turner Broadcasting for nearly 30 years where she served as a corporate executive. In 1988, she was appointed Corporate Vice President for Urban Affairs with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In this capacity, she directed internal and external projects for



the Corporation, and served as liaison between Turner Broadcasting (TBS Super Station, CNN, Headline News, TNT, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks) and civic groups in Atlanta and across the country. As a corporate executive, Ms. Clayton was one of the highest-ranking female employees in Turner Broadcasting System. Ms. Clayton moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She also traveled extensively with Mrs. Coretta Scott King on her nationwide concert tours. Ms. Clayton’s dedication to promoting racial understanding has allowed her to be a leader in civic projects and civil rights activities for several years. In 1966, she coordinated the activities of Atlanta’s Black doctors in a project called Doctors’ Committee for Imple mentation, which resulted in the desegregation of all hospital facilities in Atlanta. This project served as a model and a pilot for other states throughout the country and received national honor from the National Medical Association for its impact. Her persistent fight against the dragons of prejudice and bigotry was never more apparent than in 1968, when the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan denounced the Klan and credited Xernona’s influence with his change. Ms. Clayton’s dedication to the community is reflected in the many hours she spends promoting human relations through bi-racial groups devoted to improving racial understanding. A recipient of numerous media awards, Xernona has been widely honored for her contributions to humanity. She is included in various editions of some very impressive biographical publications. “The Peaceful Warrior” a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. authored by her late husband Ed Clayton and coauthored by Xernona in the revised editions, has been published in several languages. Xernona Clayton’s autobiography, “I’ve Been Marching All the Time”, was published in 1991. In private life, she is married to Judge Paul L. Brady. She is a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, formerly co-pastored by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. In recognition of Xernona’s contribution to broadcasting, her community and the nation, the American Intercultural Student Exchange (AISE) has created a scholarship in her honor. Each year, since 1987, Ms. Clayton chooses an outstanding minority high school student to spend a year living abroad with a European family, all expenses paid. The Xernona Clayton Scholarship is dedicated to increasing open relationships, internationally, through a global high school student exchange program. Additionally, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists named its scholarship in her honor and annually presents the Xernona Clayton Scholarship to a student pursuing a career in communications. Ms. Xernona Clayton has received numerous degrees, awards and honors for her accomplishments in her outstanding service and leadership, for the betterment of human relations throughout the United States and aboard. ■

TRUMPET AWARDS Trumpet Awards Foundation Announces 2011 TRUMPET AWARDS with Hosts Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker and Niecy Nash Ceremony Takes Place in Atlanta, Saturday, January 29 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


he 2011 Trumpet Awards promises to be another smash hit on the Atlanta entertainment scene with a banner group of honorees slated to receive the 2011 esteemed Trumpet Award and join the list of some of the most celebrated personalities in this nation and abroad. The 19th Annual Trumpet Awards black-tie ceremony, sponsored by the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. will be hosted by Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, and Niecy Nash. The event will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. Kicking off the events and activities will be the Race Relations Symposium on Wednesday, January 26th scheduled at 6:00 p.m., the Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for 8:30 a.m., and High Tea with High Heels, scheduled for 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, January 27th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. An induction of ten new footprints will be placed into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. This induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, National Park Service, located at 450 Auburn Avenue (Atlanta, GA). The program preceding the induction ceremony will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Annual Trumpet Awards was created to celebrate and honor African American achievers and those who support the African American experience. The Awards honor achievement in diverse fields including law, medicine, business, politics, community service, civil rights, sports and entertainment.



The following is a complete list of the 2011 TRUMPET AWARDS honorees:

The O’Jay’s Lifetime Achievement

Harry E. Johnson, Sr. for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Project President’s Award

Chief Justice Georgina Wood International

Richard Roundtree The Arts


Alfred C. Liggins III Media

Paula Madison Corporate Leadership

Rev. Al Sharpton Civil Rights

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr. Legal

Judge Greg Mathis Humanitarian


Dr.Andre’ Churchwe ll

Dr. Keith Churchwe ll

Dr. Kevin Churchwe ll



INTERNATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS WALK OF FAME ANNOUNCES 2011 INDUCTEES Footsteps of Civil Rights Leaders Placed in Historic Site During Annual Trumpet Awards Dr. Gerald L. Durley Bishop Barbara L. King Minister/Civil Rights Activist

James Brown Singer/Performer

Bishop Neil C. Ellis Minister/Civil Rights Activist

Mayor Carl Stokes First Black Mayor Congressman Louis Stokes Ohio’s First Black Congressman

Arthur Blank Entrepreneur/ Philanthropist

Leon Hall Civil Rights Activist

Henry “Hank” Thomas Original Freedom Fighter


ootsteps of ten new revered civil rights icons will be added to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame during the 2011 Trumpet Awards events. This induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, National Park Service, located at 450 Auburn Avenue (Atlanta, GA). The program preceding the induction ceremony will be held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The ceremonial host for this year’s occasion is Frank Ski with WVEE FM (V103) Radio. The program and unveiling of the footsteps are free and open to the public.

Marc H. Morial CEO, National Urban League

Henry “Hank” Thomas. The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame was created in 2004 to give recognition to the foot soldiers of justice who sacrificed and struggled to make equality a reality for all. This extraordinary display has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city of Atlanta and has enriched the heritage of the civil rights movement. The shoes used to create the footsteps will also be on display during the unveiling program.

The 2011 honorees in this distinguished group include Arthur Blank, James Brown, The Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley, Bishop Neil C. Ellis, Leon Hall, Bishop Barbara King, Marc H. Morial, Mayor Carl Stokes, Congressman Louis Stokes and

The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, now in its eighth year, is sponsored by the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., and was created and designed by Xernona Clayton, founder and executive producer of the renowned Trumpet Awards. Ms. Clayton states, “This is a permanent testimony to those who have dedicated themselves to human progress. Many of the shoes we use in the display remain on exhibition within the Visitors Center for those who visit the King Complex.”■




ROGER BOBB - Blessings Abound In Rhythm with Ava Collier


ou may not be i m me d i a t e l y familiar with his name, but no doubt you’ve seen the TV shows and films that this creative and talented producer has worked on. From television’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns to the big screen’s Why Did I Get Married, Daddy’s Little Girls and Madea Goes to Jail, just to name a few, Roger Bobb has been working diligently behind the scenes both producing and directing. The common denominator in all of these films? Yes, they’re all Tyler Perry projects and Roger Bobb is a major, integral force working beside Tyler. Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Roger is the supervising producer for the first major African-

American owned TV and film studio, Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Ga. He is also the youngest African-American First Assistant Director member of the Director’s Guild of America and the only person in the history of the American Black Film Festival to twice receive the “Best Film” Award as well as receiving an NAACP Image Award in 2008 for producing Tyler Perry's House of Payne TV series, which debuted as the highest rated first-run sitcom in basic cable television history. As the Executive Producer of a second hit sitcom

Meet the Browns and coproducing seven films in four years, five of which opened at No. 1, Roger has made great strides and says that he was influenced by Brooklyn native and innovative filmmaker Spike Lee. His dream of becoming a successful film producer began when he was one of only six applicants selected into the Directors Guild of American’s Assistant Director Trainee Program. Over the next couple of years, he received pivotal guidance from some of Hollywood’s most elite directors such as Woody Allen, Robert Altman and James Mangold. Roger’s dedication, commitment and passion for film captured the attention of renowned director and producer, Reuben Cannon. Then in 2005, Roger and Reuben joined Tyler Perry who was building a respectable following through DVD and internet sales of his play. Tyler was looking for a team to turn his play Diary of a Mad Black Woman into a film. With Roger’s film experience and shared passion for portraying positive African-American stories on film, a perfect match was made. Over the last several years, Roger, Reuben and Tyler have achieved incredible results. With an investment of a $5.5 million dollar budget, Diary of a Mad Black Woman opened No. 1 and grossed over $100 million dollars in theatrical and DVD sales. Roger teamed up with Tyler once again as co-producer on Madea’s Family Reunion and was No. 1 for two straight weeks. In 2006, Roger produced a 10-episode pilot series of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. Shot in a record seventeen days, the test run of the series resulted in an unprecedented 100 episode order. I caught up with this very busy and successful producer at the Atlanta premiere of Tyler Perry’s For Colored


Girls. I had the chance to speak with him on the Red Carpet. By now, I have met Roger several times and spoken briefly with him. However, this evening I had a chance to get a little more insight. Tall and handsome with a broad smile, Roger is gracious as he shared with me about how special this event is and how he feels about his work. “I’m very excited about this film and it was a labor for Tyler. There were over 150 Atlantans who worked on the film.” says Roger. “It’s not only about making the movies, it’s about employment. We are able to employ over 300 people at any given time on our various movies and TV shows. Not only are we creating good entertainment but we are able to provide for people’s families.” Roger shared that there are other projects on the horizon from Tyler Perry’s studio, on of which will be released in April 2011. “Madea’s Big Happy Family with Bow Wow and Loretta Divine will be released next year. We had so much fun working with Loretta last time that we decided bring her on our next movie.” Roger says that Madea’s Big Happy Family will be their 11th film. I asked him his thoughts on being such an important part of this successful entity. “I’m having a ball and I love what I do. I am the most blessed man on earth. I get to make films which I love doing and I get to make films that talk about family, faith, love, God and forgiveness… what’s better than that!” ■





In Rhythm with Ava Collier

asically I felt like my life was dark for a lot of years,” says LaKeisha Davis, “My oldest child’s father put me through all kinds of stuff. Once I was able to break away from that, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Before her break, LaKeisha was beaten and mentally abused by her boyfriend on a regular basis. This cycle of abuse ultimately led her to a suicide attempt. “I was eight months pregnant. He dragged me up and down the stairs by my hair. I fought to get away and to save my unborn baby’s life. I knew I had to get away.” However, LaKeisha’s idea of getting away came in the form of a suicide attempt later. “I felt like I didn’t have any alternative. I overdosed on a bunch of pills after putting my kids to bed. I took all the pills that I could CANTON, OH and became really light headed and began to cry as I waited to pass out and die.” Luckily, her boyfriend’s sister found her and called the ambulance to rescue her. “I realized that she was calling for help for me but I didn’t want it so I went and locked myself inside a bedroom.” LaKeisha states that despite her efforts to end her life, the ambulance attendants kicked the door in and began to perform rescue efforts. “At the hospital, they pumped my stomach and wanted to admit me to the psyche ward. I didn’t want that and they made me promise to get counseling. But I didn’t. I wasn’t happy that my daughter’s aunt tried to save me by calling for help. I felt like her brother didn’t care about me, why should she? LaKeisha says her cycle of dysfunction continued to esca-

“...I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”


late. Instead of seeking counseling, she began to “act out” her anger onto others, which landed her in prison after she attempted to murder some women that she’d had some issues with. “I was getting into it with some females. I was pushed to the point where I wanted to kill them but I didn’t. I cut three girls up and was on the run for two months. Police caught up with me and I was sentenced to 24 years. I only served 18 months.” LaKeisha explained that she knew she couldn’t leave prison the same way she came in. She knew a change for the better was desperately needed in order to reclaim her life and make it better. “I got into classes that helped me be a better person once I was released.” Twelve years since her release from prison has seen Lakeisha evolve into a wife, a loving and caring mother and an author. She explained that she met her current husband through a friend. Although she admits that her marriage is good, she shared that in the beginning, she had to constantly remind herself that her husband was nothing like her abusive boyfriend. “My husband is the light. In the beginning, I basically compared him to my former boyfriend. I wasn’t used to a good man and I was always trying to find something negative in him. I would hit him to try to get him to hit me back.” She admits that her cousin made her realize that she now had a good man who loved her and that she would have to stop her behavior or run the risk of losing him.” LaKeisha shares a laughs and says, “I don’t hit him anymore. That has stopped. He’s a good man and I know that.” She admits that her children had been psychologically affected by her life and were having problems in school during that time. Now, however, she says that their lives are back on track as well. “My children are doing well now. It had my kids messed up in the head. I wasn’t getting the love I wanted and I didn’t show them the love they needed. ■



In Rhythm with Ava Collier


Photo of leaves by Sarah Garland Photography


utumn Essie Bailey-Ford is a dynamic young woman who has over come the nay sayers. She has done more than just survive a troubled childhood, she is thriving! Born in Harlem, NY, Autumn says that her early years were filled with people who said she’d never be anything, including her own mother. She recalls the emotional pain that her mother inflicted. “My mother was a hooker and my father was a pimp. She didn’t like me because I was dark skinned like my father. She’d call me names like “blackie” and tell me that no man would ever want me because I was too dark and that I’d never be anything. My mother would say things like if I married a black man, my babies would have nappy hair and be black and ugly. Things like that really can put a hindrance on you. I was only nine years old” Autumn says that when she was three months old, her aunt Gloria took on the role of a parent to her and raised her in York, PA. “She was both mother and father to me. She’s the only woman I call mother. She’s 80 years old now and I thank God for her everyday.” Autumn’s mother died of AIDS when she was 12. Her father died from drugs when she was just nine. She admits that while growing up, her mother’s cruel words made her believe that she needed to be with a white man or a light skinned black man to justify her dark skin. Then she said something pivotal happened when she later attended Shaw University, an HBCU in Raleigh, NC. “I knew I was going to go to an HBCU. Once I hit the campus there, my mindset changed. I saw other students in all shades of black and I realized I didn’t need a white man or a light skinned black man to make me feel better about myself.” Autumn has been happily married to her husband, Rashad Ford, for a year and a half. She proudly shares that she remained a virgin right up until she married him. “When we met, I warned him that there would be no sex until marriage. I gave him the choice to walk away but he stayed and assured me that he wanted to grow to

love me for me. And he has and I love and trust my husband and thank God for him!” At just 27 years old, Autumn is doing some major things in the film industry. This beautiful sista’ with the bright, warm smile is a force to be reckoned with and is putting her signature on some very big projects. She is currently working as Co-producer on the upcoming film, Blondie: The Florence Ballard Story, a full featured film scheduled for release in September 2011. Spirit of Life Films is the producer and the film stars singer and actress Faith Evans. Autumn also has her own production company, Autumn Bailey Productions and is currently the Sr. VP of Productions & Acquisitions for Red Label Media Group with offices in Atlanta and L.A. This busy mover and shaker is also working with one of my favorite actresses Tasha Smith (Angela from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?) on her directorial debut with Autumn’s production company’s first featured film, Black Girls. “It’s a remake of the 1972 movie directed by the late great Ossie Davis which stared his wife and actress Ruby Dee. J.E. Franklin is the writer of the original screen play as well as the Broadway play. Tasha Smith loved the story and agreed to direct it. We’re in development right now,” says Autumn. Autumn is also a mentor to young people. She says that she constantly reminds them that it doesn’t matter where they started from or who they’re parents are, it’s about choosing a life of success and fulfillment of their dreams. “At the end of the day, it’s you. I used to ask God every night what my life is about. Everyday and every night, He’d tell me to just wait. Now I see why. So when I mentor, I remind them to do whatever they need to do for themselves. Do what you feel in your heart is your mission from God. Be prayerful and mindful and educate yourselves and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you’ll never be anything!” ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011



J. Chris Ford

Fighting for Your Dream! Mechanical Engineer by day and a Social Engineer by night, J. Chris Ford’s mission is to understand the energy balance of the world



orn into poverty in Akron, Ohio, J. Chris Ford was propelled by a dream to change the world through science and business. From the energy of his dream, Chris overcame many challenges to win over a half of a million dollars (>$500,000) in scholarships and fellowships to pursue his education. Chris, soon-to-be Dr. Ford, will graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. A 2003 graduate of Morehouse College/ Georgia Institute of Technology Dual Degree program (B.S. Math/Mechanical Engineering), Chris has had work experiences at NASA, CIA, and the Departments of Energy and Defense. During past ten years, Chris has sought to inspire youth and the youthful at heart to ‘fight for their dreams’ through motivational speaking, mentoring, writing, and community service. Always a servant at heart, Chris has served as the lead Sunday school teacher for teenagers and assistant youth pastor at the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia. Chris is also a budding entrepreneur as he is the founder of NuPotential Energy, Inc. and A & A Resources, LLC. NuPotential Energy is a developing business venture based upon Chris’ Ph.D. research on optimizing green energy systems. A & A Resources is a joint venture with Chris’ mother that manages personal care homes who serve the developmentally disabled. In all Chris’ pursuits, his number one desire is to see potential energy, whether in a human being or hydro-carbon, be transformed into useful energy in an efficient and effective manner for the glory of God. ■




licia Joy Scarborough is a rare breed, a hybrid thinker straddling the fence as an MBA strategist and relationship broker with an artistic, creative flare as a songwriter and television/film entrepreneur. By fusing her creative knack within the entertainment industry with past Fortune 500 advertisement and brand management experience, she provides a unique perspective to help clients realize, actualize and then maximize their brand’s vision within the parameters of any given project. Born April 27, 1983 in Columbia, South Carolina, Scarborough is the middle child and only girl of two brothers. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia and having graduated from Westlake High School in 2001, Alicia was courted by The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio where she acquired full academic funding, mainly from the prestigious Clarence Beecher Allen scholarship. The selection criterion was based on outstanding intellectual achievement, extra-curricular involvement & leadership, and personal merit. Majoring in Communication Studies, Scarborough was also the recipient of The College of Wooster’s highest leadership honor, The Campus Council Leadership Award, acknowledging talented and gifted seniors who have offered consistent dedication to education, service and leadership. In addition to holding several student organization leadership positions, Scarborough still found time to participate in her first love: the arts. She starred in theatre productions, cowrote a play and solidified her love for music and media via her participation both in front of and behind the scenes of musical, drama and dance productions. Upon graduating in May 2005, Alicia transitioned into human resources at Emory University. Shortly thereafter, in 2006 Scarborough founded H.A.N.D.S. Linked (which stands for Help. Aspire. Networking. Development. Success.) where she annually returns to her alma mater to host workshops, symposiums and networking events geared to inspire both students and alumni to pursue their dreams. Next, she became a Client Associate with employer brand consultant, Bernard Hodes Group. Having the privilege to manage the employer brand of Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America, Lowes and Duke University, Scarborough fused her client and agency experience and transitioned into the media industry in 2008 as a human resources agent with the southeast’s most prestigious public broadcasting entity, Georgia Public Broadcasting. While at GPB Scarborough launched her songwriting career and began pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Georgia’s, Terry College of Business, which she will complete in December 2010. Since then, Scarborough has worked as a television and film consultant, including roles as the Membership Director of The Black Women Film Network and Operations Manager of the newly launch BronzeLens Film Festival, showcasing Atlanta as the new mecca of film for people of color. Scarborough’s latest entrepreneurial venture as President and CEO of StrataVision Management and Consulting, LLC, will allow her to use creative strategy to maximize and propel


Alicia Joy Scarborough

A Rare Breed

others’ visions, be it in business or entertainment. One of Scarborough’s main goals is for StrataVision to infuse the entertainment industry with inspirational and Godly messages via her representation of faith based artists, speakers and entertainment entities while ultimately managing her own portfolio as a songwriter, television producer and speaker. Scarborough currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Georgia where she serves on the leadership team of the Singles Ministry. ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011



Celebrate the Life and Times of

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Historic Atlanta

Visit Historic Atlanta in April, 2011


Source: First Class, Inc.

iscover historic Atlanta as you learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life in the city of his birth. The four-day experience is offered by not-for-profit Road Scholar, known for its exceptional learning programs throughout the world for adults. Participants will explore the Sweet Auburn Historic District and pay a visit to the house in which Dr. King was born, explore “historic” Ebenezer Church and learn about the church’s 124-year history, and participate in the inter-active tours offered by National Parks Service at the Visitors Center. They will visit Morehouse College — alma mater to Dr. King and to many other influential African American figures — to see Dr. King’s historic papers. They will also explore the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel to witness the “hall of fame,” and engage in lectures offered by professors who knew King. Participants will have an opportunity to attend Sunday morning services at the new Ebenezer Baptist Church followed by dinner on historic Castleberry Hill at the famous Paschal’s Restaurant.

“Dr. King’s continuing influence more than 40 years after his death is unquestionable — this learning adventure is a look into both Dr. King’s life and the place he called home,” says Kathy Taylor, associate vice president of community development at Road Scholar. “It’s an exceptional opportunity to learn more about such a pivotal figure; and we’re excited to offer this new program.” The Life and Times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. takes place from April 7-11, 2011. For more information or to register, call toll-free (877) 426-8056 or visit

Pictured: King’s Birth Home (L) and King’s Chapel (R) 18




Dr. Leslie C. Ashlock


ccording to a recent report from the Justice Policy Institute, Young African American men are more likely to be in jail—or otherwise involved with the courts—than to go to college. In a day and age where statistics reveal that the local school systems are failing African American males, a leader in the educational arena has risen to the occasion by creating a private school called Solid Foundation Scholastic Program. One of the major goals for Solid Foundation is to ensure that every student that has a learning difference is afforded the opportunity to be a part of the program. SB10 is one such vehicle that is allowing students the opportunity to attend an accredited private school whereas they may have never had the opportunity to do so otherwise. There are strict dates in which students can enroll in the program, and that window usually closes in August of each year. Solid Foundation is a traditional educational program for bright, energetic students whose learning styles may not be complemented in traditional learning environments. Bishop Darius Ashlock, Sr., husband of the Founder & CEO of Solid Foundation said, “I did not learn to read until I was in the 12th grade. I am a product of an educational system that cared less if I learned to read or not. I was passed on to the next grade level time after time. For this reason, I have a

strong desire to help other young black males to reach their goals in life. Even though I learned to read, I still have reading anxiety at age 45 because of my past experiences. I don’t want my sons or anyone else’s child to have to go through life dealing with the same types of problems that I have had to deal with.” Dr. Leslie C. Ashlock, Founder & CEO of Solid Foundation started the school to fill a need that she saw missing from traditional schools. She is proactive in assuring that resources are available to provide a strong black male presence to help combat the reading challenges that black males face. Solid Foundation is a unique, non-traditional program designed for bright, energetic students whose learning styles may not be complemented in traditional learning environments. We work to transform obstacles and weaknesses into strengths and opportunities using God's spirit of love to celebrate differences and build self-esteem. For the student, the outcome is not only improved academic performance, but better self-esteem, greater confidence and a renewed joy in learning. If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an appointment, please email or call (770) 469-3211 or visit ■






Diabetes or Prediabetes Predicted for half of Americans by 2020

Source: CNN Health News | November 23rd, 2010


ore than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by the year 2020, at a cumulative cost of $3.35 trillion unless something drastically changes with U.S. health trends, according to a new analysis conducted by UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform and Modernization. Study investigators say diabetes and prediabetes will also account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade at an annual cost of almost $500 billion. That's up from an estimated $194 billion in 2010. The report, "The United States of Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade Ahead," was unveiled this week, because November is National Diabetes Prevention month. The study offers solutions designed to improve health and life expectancy, while also saving up to $250 billion over the next 10 years.

Personalized tips for managing diabetes: Take a health test Approximately 26 million Americans have diabetes. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the country, according to the American Diabetes Association. Experts predict that one out of three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetimes, which will raise their risks for heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, blindness and limb amputation.

An additional 67 million Americans are estimated to have prediabetes. In prediabetes, there are often no symptoms. In fact, the ADA notes more than 60 million Americans do not know they are on the verge of developing this dangerous illness. Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report projecting that one in three Americans would have diabetes by 2050. The CDC noted the main contributing factors for the increase were an aging population, with diabetics living longer, an increase in the number of atrisk minorities, and an increase in the number of obese people in the U.S. “Obesity is a significant contributor to the new cases of diabetes. It is certainly a factor,” Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation tells CNN. The most recent report by UnitedHealth addressed a number of strategies to combat diabetes over the next 10 years, focusing primarily on obesity, creating early intervention program to prevent prediabetes, instituting stronger medication programs and educating Americans on lifestyle changes they can make to combat or control their diabetes. "There is nothing inevitable about these trends," said Simon Stevens, executive vice president, UnitedHealth Group, and chairman of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization. "What is now needed is concerted, national, multi-stakeholder action." "Making a major impact on the prediabetes and diabetes epidemic will require health plans to engage consumers in new ways, while working to scale nationally some of the most promising preventive care models. Done right, the human and economic benefits for the nation could be substantial." ■




An Important Mineral for Healthy Hair Is Iron By Dr. Linda Amerson

I ARLINGTON, TX Doctor, educator, columnist, radio and television personality and international lecturer, all these things describe Dr. Linda Amerson, a doctor of Trichology and worldrenowned expert on hair and scalp disorders. In addition, she is the manufacturer of Dr. Amerson's ™ Hair, Scalp and Skin Therapeutic Essentials, LLC.

For additional questions contact Dr. Linda Amerson (817) 265-8854 or

t is estimated that millions of people in the United States suffer from iron deficiency anemia. The three most common causes of anemia are caused by iron, folate and B-12 deficiencies, as well as other causes. Anemia that occurs with iron deficiency is also called hypochromic microcytic anemia. Men may have anemia, however it is more common among teenagers and women who experience a monthly cycle. There have  Cravings to chew or eat ice been reported cases were girls as young as 7, 8 and 9 years old have begun puberty. Dur Low blood pressure ing consultations I have seen these hormonal  Cravings to eat red dirt changes in 7, 8 and 9 year old girls affecting  Pale fingernail coloring the hair growth cycle. Parents should be  Cravings for Sweets or aware that generations have changed and Chocolate children are developing much earlier. How is anemia measured? Anemia is  Cold extremities measured in a blood test. This test measures  Dry hair red blood cells, with the normal reference  Pale skin range being approximately 11.5-15.5, de Telogen Effluvium pending on the testing laboratory. Another  Fatigue iron test is serum ferritin. The average reference ranges of ferritin are 15-170, depending  Hair thinning on the testing laboratory. Telogen Effluvium  Shortness of breath (excessive shedding), Alopecia (hair thin Lassitude ning), and/or hair brittleness and breakage  Dizziness or Fainting may become prevalent if the range is below  Headache 12.0 or 70 in serum ferritin. How do you cure Anemia? Have your  Poor nutritional absorption blood work checked and monitored by your  Spoon-shaped finger nails medical doctor. Often times you will be re Poor scalp circulation quired to take Iron supplements or given a B Eye change 12 shot if you are extremely lower than average range. Iron is easily digested by your body, however many women complain about a constipation side effect. Diet combined with iron supplements will help to resolve anemia. A healthy body promotes healthy hair and scalp. ■

Symptoms of Anemia include:





Challenging, invigorating, breathtaking, and “insane” can best describe Shaun T’s workout. Best known for his creation of Hip Hop Abs and Insanity, Shaun T has taken exercise to another level. It’s not just a class, it’s a movement!


Exercise with Shaun T

By Camela L. Douglass, M.S. ED. DAYTON, OH

had the opportunity to host Shaun T in Dayton, OH for a Master Class and for his S.T.R.I.D.E. Certification. S.T.R.I.D.E. (Shaun T’s Real Intensive Dance Experience) is Shaun’s method of infusing dance and strength training without using any weights. In my 12 years as a fitness instructor, I thought I had seen it all. However, Shaun T challenged me to complete the hardest workout in my career! Shaun literally pushed me past my mental limit of “I can’t do that” into a physical challenge of “I didn’t know I could do that.” I wasn’t the only one who had blood and sweat dripping on the workout floor. There were nearly 100 insane individuals who signed their “I can’t do that” death warrant. From beginners to experienced trainers, we were all gasping for air as Shaun T spanked our “abs!” I was totally impressed with his personable antics as he walked around to each individual and charged us to take our workout to heights unknown. In addition, 23 more people were put to the test and were the first to be S.T.R.I.D.E. certified in Ohio. Shaun T is truly a gifted individual walking in his purpose. He has taken traditional interval training and remixed it into an unforgettable exercise escapade. No equipment or weights were used as we alternated between aerobic and anaerobic intervals, performing at our maximum exercise capacity. After performing long burst of intense exercise, we experienced only short periods of rest and small sips of water. I know each of us burned at least 1,000 calories during the 60 minute workout. Shaun T is a native of New Jersey. Educated at Rowan University, he has danced in television and in theater, working with various artists like Queen Latifah, Mariah

Carey, and Aaron and Nick Carter. He has one of the top selling products with, the producer of P90X. Amongst other creations, he has also released two programs for young people called Shaun T’s Kids Fit Club and Get Real with Shaun T. Shaun T is the new leader in the fitness industry. His energy, motivation, and creativity are exuberated in his classes and transcends race, age, gender, and physical capabilities. No one is allowed to quit; only restart. As we approach the “resolution” season, people should consider one resolve—“Dig Deep” and “Go In.” ■

Pictured: (L) Shaun T with Camela Douglas

For more information on Shaun T, check out










thel Oden is the owner of E. Oden Designs of Arts & Home Decorations. She explains her artwork as abstract and much more. “I never knew that I would be doing what I’m doing today,” says Ethel. “It was years ago when I started painting my rooms in my home and I would climb on a ladder to paint my house on the outside. What I’m doing now was the furthest thing from my mind.” Ethel says she knew that God had given her special gifts from Him in her ministry. “I suppose he wanted me to become an artist to create beauty in the world.” Ethel says she will never forget 2003 when she shouted out to God and asked him “What is my natural gift?” She explains that she didn’t get an answer right away. “It was later that year when I picked up a clear glass vase. Words came to my mind saying that I could draw on that vase and I started to draw.” She says that she kept drawing until years later, she could see that her drawings had materialized into art and unusual abstract designs. “I give all the glory to God because He is so faithful in getting you to where you need to go, no matter what it is that

you are doing.” This talented artist says that she loves creating things that add beauty to homes. “My wish is to bring hope and endurance to someone’s life by encouraging them not give up on what they want to do. I don’t create just a beautiful picture to hang on the wall, I draw paintings with messages in my art that deal with life.” Ethel says a picture can tell the truth when words can’t. She states she creates her art and designs for the home to be unique. Most of her art coordinates with each other. “I call them twins and some triplets because this is how they were birthed into my life. There are single pieces I do also.” She shared that she creates some of her paintings that have an African theme and uses glitter and rhinestones to accentuate the artwork. “The nature of my work is created from royalty,” says Ethel. “That is what God intended for us to be. I hope my designs and artwork will bring you much beauty to add to your home!” ■

Designs of





In Rhythm with Ava Collier



ank Stewart says he remembers the exact date he began writing poetry. “I started writing on November 5, 1991. That day was pivotal. That particular day I was a manager for UPS working third shift. I came home that morning and went to sleep. I woke up about 5:00 p.m. and turned on the

going right, Lord there are times when I can’t find anything good to talk about. Lord there times when I cry I wonder do you hear me Lord? There are times when I’ve fallen and I wonder did you see me. Can you hear me, Lord? Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Just give me a sign. And very softly He spoke to my heart. He told me about Calvary and this is what he said. ‘You know they slapped me across my face because I heard your cry. They pierced my side because I

news. It was nothi ng but murder, carjacking, floods and tornadoes,” he says. “I’m one of those brothers who can look at ESPN all day. I’m a sports fanatic but that same day Magic Johnson declared he had AIDS. From start to finish I had never in my life seen the news like that!” He said it was like a dark cloud over A tl a nt a t ha t day…and the world. He says the first poem God ever blessed him with was entitled Can you hear me? And it was birthed on that bad news day. Hank shared his poem with me. “Lord there are times w h e n nothing is

heard your cry and they spit on me because I heard your cry. I died on a Friday because I heard your cry and I rose on a Sunday because I heard your cry. Now my child you have it all simply because I heard your cry.” Hank is a phenomenal poet, writer and inspirational speaker. He is self published and has written several books, including his first book in 1993 called The Answer, a collection of poems which expresses love, unity and spirituality. Although Hank didn’t write his first poem until 1991, he states that there were always so many things inside of him. “There were things happening in my life long before I started writing that were setting up stories and poetry,” he shared. I am amazed as I sit and listen to Hank recite his poem. He doesn’t miss a beat and appears to remember each word as though he’d just written it. I, on the other hand, have to put everything on Sticky notes to remember! He effortlessly recites his poem and then shares with me about another tur ning point in his life. A time when he knew the difference in simply reading poetry and actually reciting it. “I remember a friend of mine who used to get up in churc h every year


COVER STORY SPOTLIGHT cal entertainment. And then there was Hank, bathed in rich chocolate attire from head to toe while he took center stage. The words that flowed from his lips were like the sweet chocolate that surrounded us as we all sat or stood… mesmerized, excited and completely engaged. This was truly a night to remember! Hank is now speaking about his poetry and what inspires him. “The best pieces for me have been the pieces of inspiration. I have been asked to write several pieces that were written from demand, like when Coca Cola hired me to do a tribute to Susan Taylor at the Essence festival. I was the only poet to grace the main stage at the festival.” He says

life.” And believe me, he does! If you’ve never heard Hank recite any one of his poems live, you’re missing something incredibly special! Hank says that no matter how talented he is, he believes it’s a gift from God and does not take credit for his creative soul. “I can’t get cocky or so full of myself because it’s a gift from God and I don’t ever want Him to take this gift away. I never even liked writing nor was I an English major in school. That’s how I know it’s a gift. It’s never about us.” Hank’s beautiful warm smile reveals dual dimples in his cheeks that are only surpassed by his humble, sensitive and beautiful spirit that exudes in his presence. His energy is contagious and he captivates his audience when he begins to recite. I witnessed this first hand at Hank’s annual Hot Chocolate Affair recently. Guests were invited to a classy evening of warmth, intimacy and chocolate delights which included a decadent array of sweet, delicious chocolate covered desserts and hors d’oeuvres. To add to this sensual affair, we were asked to wear any shade of chocolate attire. It was cold outside November night, but inside guests were embraced with the alluring sound of laughter, good cheer, sophisticated elegance, and soulful live musi-

that McDonald’s asked him to do some tributes during black history month and the King family asked him to do a tribute to Yolanda King when she passed. Hearing Hank recite “It” (my personal favorite) or “3:57,” I get the sense that this is a man who has a definite appreciation for love, romance and personal relationships. While Hank agreed, he also explained that he never wanted to be perceived as a one dimensional writer. “I hope that when you hear the spiritual pieces, you know that I have a personal relationship with God. I hope when you hear the historical pieces, you know I have an appreciation for our history and when you hear the romantic pieces, that I have a true appreciation for love.” In addition to his writing skills, this Jacksonville, Fl native is also the founder of The Hank Stewart Foundation, a community, education and youth oriented organization. Hank explains that it is a different time now from when he grew up in Jacksonville. “In the late 60’s and 70’s, there weren’t a lot of organized community centers. Our neighbors and family members watched out for each other and the children. It’s different today.” The Stewart Foundation Youth Leadership focuses on building leadership skills for our youth by fostering written/verbal skills, organizational skills and event plan- ►



during black history month. He would just rattle off facts about who we are, South African tribes and other historical facts. I used to look at him in amazement because he wouldn’t have one note. It was all in his head.” He smiles as he recalls this and continues, “ I didn’t know that later in my life that would be a part of my presentation. Anybody can read those pieces, but to actually be able to live those pieces and give them life better than anyone else could and look in your eyes and tell you why you’re “IT” or “Diva.” Yes, that was pivotal for me.” Hank says he doesn’t merely read poetry, he recites it. “You have to make it breathe and give it life. The beauty is that it’s mine … I own it and I bring it to




Introducing Lady M In Rhythm with Ava Collier



he book was ins p i r e d through a storm during my separation

from my ex-husband. The Lord pressed upon my heart to write this book to actually

give women and men a clear understanding on the foundation of marriage and how to prepare for it," says Melody Anthony, professionall y known as Lady M. The book that she is speaking about is her first book entitled So You Want to be Married. In addition to her recent self published book, Lady M is also a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel who facilitates group discussion forums about relationships for single women. She has also been the host of several radio, web TV and television networks in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the Coordinating Producer of the wedding television network, which will be in limited Comcast viewing areas in 2011. Among her many talents, Lady M says that she has always had an eye for creating fabulous affairs and opened her first event planning business at the age of

planning. The foundation is for males and females from 9-16. “Every child has a contribution to the successes of tomorrow,” Hank says. “We serve to be the key to unlock that potential.” Hank’s own relationship with his 15 year old son, Austin O’Connell Stewart, is very special to him and he believes that the real foundation starts at home. “I asked my son why he knew that I loved him. He said ‘because you buy me things and do things for me.” I told him it’s not about what I can buy him because if you have money you can buy kids anything.” Hank feels it’s about giving his time and full attention to his son that cements and really bonds the relationship. “We have good conversations. I’ll turn my phone off and we’ll watch a movie together…something he wants to watch. My legacy is to be a good father first. Also, when people think about me, I’d like them to say I was well rounded with my hands into a lot of positive things or that I did my poetry at a voter registration drive or raised funds for breast cancer or helped young people. At the end of the day, if my son stands up and says that I’m a good dad, then that’s good 28


19. She is now the owner of Creative Occasions Event Planning. Under the umbrella of Destined Enterprises, she also has Streaming Dreams, an outreach ministry which facilitates seminars and conferences for women and publishes online magazines and books. Lady M is also working on a cosmetic line for women of faith. Lady M states that she was also inspired to write her book because her church bishop and his wife, Bishop Paul S. Morton and Dr. Debra B. Morton of Changing a Generation Church, have been married for 34 years. "That was an inspiration to me and a blessing," says Lady M. "You have to place God first in the marriage and Bishop and Dr. Morton have done this. I also heard from friends, male and female, some who have put God first in their relationships and some who haven't." Currently pursuing a degree in Christian Minis-

tries, she plans to obtain degrees in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Divinity and teach at college level and continue her ministry to help women succeed in relationships. A native of Connecticut, Lady M currently resides in Atlanta with her two children. She offered this advice to single people before they get married. "Get to know and love who you are. Go on a date by yourself. Do things with yourself to you make you happy. Develop a healthy relationship with God first and foremost. When God provides a mate for you, He will show him/ her to you and it won't be deceiving." ■

So You Want to be Married can be purchased at or Lady M can be contacted at

enough for me.” Hank also shares that he wouldn’t be who and where he is if not for the unwavering love and support of his mother, Ms. Ruth Stewart, his sisters, Bobbie and Valerie and his brothers, Bernard and John. Hank says that he and his family are very close. “My family has always been very supportive,” says Hank. “They always request to hear me recite my poems and they come to everything I have. I think they would come to spoon clapping contest if I had one!” he laughs. He adds that he is also very grateful to his extended church family, Rev. Cameron Alexander of the Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta. “The church was my first audience of 2,000 members. Rev. Alexander supported me and gave birth to my dream. He gave me a platform to speak at various church events. This was pivotal for me and I’m so grateful.” Hank says that he could not do all that he does without the invaluable support and help that he gets from his very capable team of assistants, Maureen, Mitsah and Gwen and the Stewart Foundation staff. “I haven’t done this all by myself,” Hank says. “No one ever does it alone.” ■


ilda, actress, writer and vocalist, began performing in 1969. She has performed numer ous rol es throughout her per-

forming career. While at North Carolina A&T State University she became known for her outstanding work on stage at the Paul Robeson Theatre. Those performances include: Lorraine Hansberry in Young Gifted and Black and Nell Carter in Ain’t Misbehavin where she was nominated to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Irene Ryan Acting Competition and received high honors on the regional level as a top 10 finalist. Christmas Is Coming Up-town, Tell Pharoah, You Don’t Know Me But I’m Famous are also among some of Willis’ favorite shows she performed in as a student at NC A&T. In 1986, Hilda re-entered the professional world of theatre and went on to perform and direct on some of the most well known stages in New York and other Regional Theatres. They include: The Apollo, The Cotton Club, The Baby Grand, Sweet Waters, National Black Theatre, The Mint, The Trilogy, Theatre Row, Billie ATLANTA, GA Holiday Theatre, Lime Kiln, Mill Mountain Theatre, 7 Stages, Jomandi Theatre, 14th Street Playhouse and The Great Bay Plaza (Antilles), Highways Performing Arts Center, 4th Street Promenade Playhouse, The Beacon Theatre and Madison Square Garden. Some of her favorite professional roles include: Lady Capulet Romeo and Juliet, Dr. Charlotte Falsettos, Amy Stone Wall Country, Ancestor The Legacy, Mother Breath Boom and Clorine Glory Bound. By 1990, Hilda had co-written and directed two musicals that were produced in several OffEducator | Producer later Broadway venues. To date, she has directed in many of the well -known theaters in Atlanta, California and New York. She has also produced for television and radio and is currently on the staff of Kenny Leon’s, True Colors Theatre Company, the Executive Artistic Di-


Willis Actress | Director |

TRENDSETTERS SPOTLIGHT rector of the Performing Arts Program for Youth (P.A.P.Y.) and the Producing Artistic Director of Living Your Art (LYA). Willis lives her art and has dedicated her life to reaching and teaching all communities through the arts. Her passion to work with young people has been present since the beginning of her professional career but was formalized in 1983 when she was asked to help design and facilitate an arts summer enrichment program for the Theatre Department at North Carolina A&T State University. Today her arts and education methodology has been recognized by educators and many different types of youth serving organizations. Her work has been noted by Harvard University’s Project Zero and has afforded her the opportunity to take part in conversations that address the needs of instituting more Arts Based Learning. In 1997, Jane Fonda garnered the help of Willis to evaluate the staff and programming of the Performing Arts Program for Youth (PAPY). Hilda became the lead consultant for the PAPY program and worked with Harvard University's Project Zero in a two year program evaluation. Hilda then went on to design an artist/ teacher-training model and was later hired as Executive/Artistic Director, where she wrote the curriculum guide for the middle and high school level. In May 2000, under the leadership of Ms. Willis, PAPY became a performing arts school that offers full artistic training and development tools for youth and youth serving institutions and has acquired it’s 501(c)(3) and 107(c)(2) status. Hilda Willis currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia but before relocating to Atlanta she was in New York serving as the Artistic Director for the critically acclaimed CityKids Foundation based in New York City as well as The Michael Bolton's Safe Space of New Haven, CT. Hilda will be the special guest artist in the upcoming production of Mad at Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, written by Pearl Cleage, directed by Donna Baldwin-Bradby. ■




Championship Caliber Bernard H. Coleman, Jr.


native was not accustomed to that weather nor did his family have the resources to buy winter coats, boots and other cold weather apparel. This presented another challenge. “I was also very blessed to have a benefactor. Mr. Martin D. Cohen, an attorney from Boca Raton, Florida and his wife read about me in a local newspaper. They called my high school to inquire about me and to see if I would apply for their foundation for disadvantaged high school youth to help them go to college. I applied and was fortunate to have their support throughout my college years.” He says that the Cohens generosity provided him with the necessary resources to face the frigid temperatures. “Mr. and Mrs. Cohen really made a big difference in my life.” After sustaining a major injury in his freshman year, Bernard says that his decision to pursue and practice law also came from a need to study, understand and make a difference in his environment. He shared that it was a period of self discovery as well. “I majored in sociology because I wanted to understand what helped to create the environment that I came from. I wanted to know why there is so much poverty and why my grandparents and parents struggled financially. I wanted to understand what I could do to help change it.” Bernard offered his Three C’s as the cornerstone to success. “In order to become a champion, you have to perform at Championship Caliber, have Commitment and Character. The commitment comes when you go beyond what is expected of you. The character comes in when you ask yourself what you are doing when no one is watching you. When you perform at champion caliber, the results will follow. Those who become the most successful at anything are working when others are sleeping.” ■




ernard Coleman is a sports and entertainment attorney with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a partner in the firm and head of the sports entertainment group. “I’ve been practicing for over 14 years. I didn’t want to be an attorney. I didn’t know any business people when I was growing up nor did I see any established attorneys. I wanted to be a professional football player or a singer. I could hold a tune back in the day and it was a very useful tool in my pursuit of the ladies.” He laughs and continues. “It was one of my tools in my belt back in the day, but I haven’t had to use that tool in a while,” he jokingly shares. This married father of four and I are having a good laugh. Growing up in Florida, Bernard says he was the studious type. He was born to a single teenaged mother and had wonderful grandparents, who provided him with a solid foundation. “I really attribute them more than any one force with who I am. My grandmother has a fourth grade education and was from Willacoochee, Georgia. Although she only had a forth grade education, the importance of an education was instilled in me by her.” This future attorney says that football played a big part in his life when he was growing up. He shares that in conjunction with his grades, playing football created an opportunity for him that he may not have otherwise had. Bernard is a Harvard graduate and attended the University of Virginia for law school. He told me that the thought of going to Harvard would never have come to him had they not came to recruit him. “There are no athletic scholarships at Ivey League schools. I would go in as a regular student. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for college. My parents didn’t have money for that,” he says. He says when the football coach from Harvard came down, he reassured him that even though no athletic scholarships were available, that he qualified, after learning about his humble beginnings, as a full- needs student. This meant that his parents would not be required to pay any portion of his tuition. Because of their endowments, Harvard offered him a yearly package that enabled him to attend school. This consisted of student loans, grants and a work study program. Harvard is in Cambridge, Massachusetts and It gets very cold up there in the winter. This Florida


In Rhythm with Ava Collier

TRENDSETTERS SPOTLIGHT Musical magnate, Alex "Godson" Richbourg, may not be a household name but he is no newcomer to the intricacies of the music industry.


irthed on the sordid streets of New York, “Godson” has spent nearly half of his life migrating from state to state, producing “hits” everywhere he lands. Through an array of recording artist services which include programming, songwriting, producing, musician, A&R, etc., he has collaborated with Chubb Rock, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Usher, TLC , Sting, Elton John, and a

muc h mor e s e a s o ne d “Godson” is ready to take on new challenges. He shaded the limelight briefly to fixate on family life with his beloved wife of 20 years, who he met in high school, and his three children. This creative phenomenon would like to work with Jasmine Sullivan, Rhianna, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga and a slew of other artists as he plunges back into production. One distinctive factor that sets “Godson” apart from the rest is that he goes against the grain. Deeply embedded in his Christian values, he doesn't allow his dealings through the industry to supersede or intertwine with his beliefs.

Better than Ever! In Rhythm with Ava Collier

host of other entertainers and international popstars. Though “Godson” has never had any aspirations to be an actual artist, he has always been driven by his passion for music. He commenced the honing of his talents at the age of 12 as a bass player in his middle school orchestra. He later attended a high school for performing arts and began producing at the ripe age of 17. With the long-term goal of ultimately creating an independent “edutainment” company and independent “audio/visual label”, he launched his career. “Godson” co-founded the wellknown Trackmasters Productions out of his very own New York apartment. As if something magical happened, his career began to soar. He then served as a liaison between Bad Boy Records and Arista Records, became in charge of the Production Coordination for Bad Boy Records, and became heavily affiliated with cohorts L.A. and Perri Reid, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and many other top executives.”Godson‘s” on-going list of accolades include the critically-acclaimed hits No More Drama by Mary J. Blige, and Through the Rain by Mariah Carey, just to name a few. Now, a

Rather, his faith provides the foundation on which his career is built.“Godson’s” character in conjunction with his passion for music, are the perfect combination to put him on top of the game. “I’d like to get into television and music production and also “edutainment” which is educating and entertaining at the same time,” says Alex, who teaches music production and audio engineering at Omni Tech University in Atlanta, Ga. “I use my music program to teach students how to open their minds to learning. Primarily I’m trying to reach out to the community to overcome adversity through music.” Alex shared that he is currently in preproduction of a television show about non custodial parents who do not take care of their children and the impact on society. “It’s called Dead Beats. I want to produce material that impacts and changes the world and will make people think as opposed to partying all the time.” Alex offered up this advice for success. He says “work hard and diligently and be prepared for opportunity. When prepared for opportunity, luck seems to pop up and good things begin to happen.” ■





ving in this world with nonstop demands and people who glorify busyness has made time a tyrant that controls their lives. We have sadly bought into the illusion that more is better; more meetings, more events, more success and more money. All the power and fame this world has to offer cannot comfort your heart the way He does. We have allowed our-

By Angela Thomas enable us to calmly bring matters to Him and leave them in His capable hands. We cannot afford to miss time alone with God in prayer and meditation. This is where we sustain the strength and encouragement to meet the challenges of life. We will come face to face with impossibilities or situations totally beyond our ability to handle at times. Allow those difficult moments to rest completely in Him and allow Him to fight your battles for you. When we learn to relax in His company, we are demonstrating trust in Him. I believe that God yearns for those moments with us even more than we

Sometimes Just Look Up to See His Light selves to become distracted with our thoughts by taking our minds off Jesus and marching to the tempo of the world we have created that places emphasis on more. Yes, we are all guilty and I am certain that most will agree that we have allowed ourselves to place Jesus on hold by rationalizing that someday we will find the time to focus on Him. In this action-addicted world, few of us take time to sit quietly in His presence to thank Him for all things. He will guide us through the course of our day as we savor the pleasures and endure the difficulties it brings as well. He knows every step of the journey ahead of us all the way to the steps of Heaven’s doorway. Trusting in Him will

do. I believe that He still speaks to those hearts who obediently listen to Him. We are living in a world that has become obsessed with more; a fallen world filled with heart break, deceit, disappointments and shattered lives. We feel as though the sun will never shine in Angela M. Thomas CPC is a Certified our lives again. Take time to look Speaker and has written and up and see His light shining published eight inspirational books. brightly to provide you with hope, joy and peace once again. At For Media and Booking Contact: visit times, we may feel as though He her website at is far away or He no longer cares. Those rays of hope and reassurance can reach you at any depth. He is nearer than you dare to believe. He is closer than the air you and I breathe. ■

Angela’s Photo by Exclusive Video & Photo Productions


Cathy Howard





The Doll in the Closet

By Gigi


s I was getting dressed for work, I went to the closet to grab a pair of shoes. On the top shelf something caught my eye. It was the doll I had been given as a young child, tucked neatly in the corner. I pulled her off the shelf and examined her. Childhood memories flooded my mind. I remembered when I first got the doll for Christmas over 30 years ago. At that time she had a light blue and white checkered dress, little shoes and brown hair covered her small head. This was the first black doll I had ever received and she was special to me. As a child, she brought me companionship and comfort. “Shirley,” as I called her, was truly loved. Now, after years of wear and tear, her appearance has changed. Most of her eyelashes are missing, her hair is sparse, and she is not dressed in the trendy checkered dress that she arrived in. Nonetheless, she is still special so I keep her protected; away from my dog who would surely use her as a chew toy and from my daughters who may likely discard her because she is not esthetically pleasing nor does she do any dolly tricks such as eat, wet, cry, or say mama. She is just a simple doll that a child once loved to have and hold. Even with the passage of time there is a nostalgic happiness and peace that she elicits reminiscent of years gone by. Later in the day as I thought about memories with Shirley, my precious doll in the closet, I embraced the experience as a lesson that could be learned in regard to interpersonal relationships. Each day there are opportunities to interact with “dolls in the closet”: Those who are tattered and frayed by life and the turbulence it can bring. How do we treat them? Do we treat them special when they come into our lives, fresh, new, and exciting and with all the right packaging and accessories? Then, without a second thought or glance, discard them when they no longer have the luster they once had? Are we reciprocating in the flow of giving or always on the receiving end? Are we looking at these dolls which include family, friends, and loved ones from the eyes of superficiality? I not only ask these questions to the masses. I ask them to my inner self. Try to see beyond the surface glitter. Dare to see the spirit of a person. Foster longevity in healthy, loving relationships. It can be challenging. Yet it is a challenge that when met can provide one an opportunity to evolve as a person and be equally rewarding for all involved. ■







The Energy of Love In Rhythm with Ava Collier


o sum it up, I’m a man who has seen a lot of things in his life. All of those things have led me back to knowing the real Kevin. If you squeeze me, I’m like a sponge; the love of God will come out. My mother always instilled in me that through all things, trust in God. I’m learning to accept God into my life. I always keep Him filling me up. I knew He could change me and He is the author and finisher of my life.” Kevin Lambert (Kevin L) says that although we as humans change and develop, God never changes. “Press unto the goal for which I have called you,” he quotes. “I’m pressing on towards the goal that God is calling me. I’m not perfect, but in my song Joy, I say ‘I’ know that I need to learn more to be crowned. I’m not the most righteous around, but I’m pressing forward.’ God’s word makes me humble and lifted up through the blood of Jesus and the love of Christ.” Kevin’s current CD, Souled Out is a result of prayer, life experiences and a desire to reach a youthful audience in a spiritual but realistic way. “I really couldn’t find a genre for myself because I’m not R&B, hip hop, rap or gospel. Then this R& P thing came and it seemed to fit. I tell people that they can scream at me all they want, but I only respond to love and beats. I believe that love is and always will be the most powerful force on earth.” Kevin L is enlightened and feels that love is an energy and the spirit of that energy can move and change things. He continues, “Love will always get a response from me. Not a mushy type of romantic love, it’s more powerful and stirred. You can’t define love, but that’s what we are. Christ says if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the father. God says I am the perfect love...all things will cease to exist and nothing left but love.” He laughs and says that love is like kryptonite to the devil! Kevin explained that when he wrote this music, he was inspired and had a purpose. He shared that he wanted to create a unique sound to deliver God’s message to people, young and old. He states that where R&P came in. “When I wrote this music, I had a purpose that was given to me through a vision from God to reach the young through music…through R&P…a unique sound…a blend of different sounds and a unique message. Some young people say they don’t even go to church, but they’re feeling my music. I want them to feel the anointing. When they hear my music or leave a concert, I don’t want them to say that Kevin L is good, I want them to say that God is good!” Kevin L says he can’t change anyone but the anointing


of God can. He says that his music is geared towards the streets, and especially to young men. “I ask God to put the anointing in my music to reach the young who may never go to church. I want them to hear the message.” “In addition to his musical talents, Kevin L has spearheaded the H13 Project. In collaboration with T2T writer, Theresa Johnson (Tear Bear Ok to Tell), they have partnered their efforts to stop abuse, violence and to create positive images, role models and opportunities for a generation that many consider lost. Through a series of scheduled PSA commercials and community outreach, Theresa and Kevin hope to not only increase awareness of these problems, but make effective and positive changes and offer solutions. “We address things like teenage pregnancies, physical abuse and street violence and drugs. Tear Bear is awareness and H13 is a project. We want to create life skills and training, economic stability and opportunities,” offers Kevin. “I don’t want to preach to kids, I just want them to get the message. I want to come to kids on the real! I don’t talk about things they’re doing wrong, I want to talk about the answers and solutions and the love of God; to love one another as brothers and sister. We’re all in this together. Do not turn your face away from the problems that exist and feel that it is not ours to fix.” ■

Kevin is currently working on his newest CD, Manna. To find out more about Kevin L and to purchase his music, visit . To hear and see his truly encouraging and inspiring videos, Hallelujah Do You Do and U Got Somebody, visit Youtube. TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011






V and film star Lamman Rucker and Koffee and Kompany of Dallas, Texas, have announced the official launch of forplai, the actor’s signature bath and body care line for women, men and couples. The new line features four alluring scents personally selected by Lamman Rucker as a soft yet subtle introduction to intimacy while encouraging a meaningful and daily connection between the mind, body and spirit. Forplai is now available for purchase exclusively on its new website at Forplai is the culmination of a two year journey by Co-Owners and Co-Creators Lamman Rucker and Thai Morrison, Founder of Koffee and Kompany, after they discovered their mutual interest in natural approaches to health and wellness. The result is an innovative paraben-free, color-free, and vegan friendly product line that reflects every facet of Rucker’s sexy, stylish and sophisticated persona. Each distinct scent will feature a body butter, body scrub and body mist. Created with exquisite blends of quality ingredients such as avocado oil, walnut shells, mango butter, watermelon seed oil combined with delicate hints of chocolate, caramel, floral and more, forplai products are designed to exfoliate, moisturize and condition the skin. Morrison states, “What makes forplai and other Koffee and Kompany treats so appealing are the exceptional elements and edible-smelling scents that make you desirable.” The first products to be released from the line are Passion and Purity with the remaining two scents of Peace and Power to debut in 2011. The names of each scent are attention-grabbing affir-

mations also chosen by Rucker to remind us, with each application, of our inner power, beauty and strength. "I wanted to create a line for women and men alike that would encourage them to embrace the harmony and divine balance of sensuality and spirituality within all of us,” said Rucker. “Forplai is an opportunity to not only smell good and feel good, but to also take time to connect with the heavens above and the God in you.” The brand will expand its presence in the marketplace with an assortment of unisex indulgences that provide a chic and vibrant day spa experience in the comfort and privacy of your home. Bath and body care fanatics may purchase single items on the new website or a complete Ritual bundle containing all three products that work in tandem for optimal results and the ultimate body care experience. Holiday shoppers will find great gift ideas, too. All products are 4 ounces in size and priced competitively at $22 for body butters, $20 for body mists and $15 for body scrubs. Fans were treated to a special sneak preview of forplai at a series of exclusive shopping events hosted by Rucker during the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas this past February and the response was overwhelming. And, in keeping with Mr. Rucker’s passion and commitment to ‘green living’ and decreasing the impact on the environment, forplai packaging is recyclable and designed with classic simplicity. ■



For further information about forplai by Lamman Rucker or to request an interview, please contact Sabrina Russ at or (772) 226-0794. Also visit our website at and follow us on Facebook at



By Dr. Dorothy S. Flake, Ph.D.



good source for information on natural medicines, lists B6, inositol, pantothenic acid (B-5), and niacin (B-3), as well as the mineral magnesium and sulfur, as being important for hair health. The web site is a good source for information on natural medicines and emphasizes the importance of essential fatty acids (such as flaxseed oil), evening primrose oil, salmon oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C. It even suggests the addition of raw thymus gland herbs. I would not recommend the raw thymus gland herbs unless you are under a physicians or naturopath's care (and ideally seeing both who are talking with each other. The supplements (the website recommends) can be obtained through your diet. If you decide on supplements, be mindful of the recommended dosage amounts and do not exceed the recommended dosage unless directed by a physician. COUNT 'EM UP!! Read the labels on bottles of vitamins and minerals, and do the math! REMEMBER, some vitamins in excess can be TOXIC, and some may even cause hair loss. Go to Office of Dietary Supplement's Web site (, and look for fact sheets on particular supplements.

A HAIR LOSS DIET? The main thing about eating well and hair loss is that you don't want to do yo-yo dieting; having your weight go up and down. In other words, no rapidweight loss. Many women have suffered from bulimia or anorexia, as is common in our thinness-obsessed society. These extreme eating disorders can have an adverse effect on your hair, as they can deplete your body of many of the nutrients listed above. My nutritionist advises a commonsense diet with complex carbohydrates to keep your metabolism on a steady level, while avoidi ng hi gh-s ugar snacks. My nutritionist’s advice to me was that she did not think there is a dir e c t c or r e l a ti on be tw e e n hi gh sugar (intake) and hair loss: a good diet is really an effort to get women to think more careful about their diet and eat a more well-balanced diet. So really, THERE IS NO "HAIR LOSS DIET” per se. Know your body, talk to your doctor if you are overweight and ask to have a dietitian help work out a healthy, well balanced weight-loss plan---ONE WITH YOUR HAIR IN MIND!! REMEMBER, lots of anorexic and bulimic women do not lose their hair. Many people eat all the

wrong things and have a wonderful head of hair and somehow remain disease free. My theory is that those of us who are prone to HAIR LOSS must make every effort to be as optimally healthy as possible. It is my opinion that for us, our HAIR is our Achilles heel and the barometer for our overall health. So eat well, and exercise regularly. Being healthy is important for more than just our hair. While it may not help grow more hair, it probably will help us maintain what we have. Everybody knows that eating well is essential for a healthy heart, bones, and other key body systems, but you may not realize that a lack of protein, vitamins, and minerals can effect what grows out of the top of your head as well. Hair needs to be fed and fed well to keep growing and to stay put. A steady diet of junk food isn't healthy for your hair. Ladies, you may be able to allow or avoid hair loss caused by nutritional deficiencies and keep the hair you have looking healthy and at its best on your head. ■

WOMEN'S HAIR RESTORATION DOROTHY S. FLAKE, PhD. Salon in the Park/Willowbrook 17776 Tomball Parkway, Suite 106 BUS: 281-517-6145 FAX: 281-445-1058

Houston, TX 77064



A Delightful Duo “We work very well together because we have a common goal…”



In Rhythm with Ava Collier

ara Benedit says that she and her husband, Willie, began dating while in junior high school. “We have been together for over 28 years and married for 21.” They are the proud parents of daughter, Laura, who is currently attending Florida International University in Miami, Florida where she is in the Pre-Nursing Program. Laura says, “Willie and I agree that we are truly “soul mates”. Our family life and working relationship is a product of love, respect, and dedication.” Willie, an immigrant from Cuba, learned at a very early age that the only way to make it in life was through hard work and determination. Both he and Dara were raised in very loving families, and as a result says their family always comes first. “Willie and I started working together in 1991,” Laura shares. As a business owner, Willie Benedit owned an automotive repair shop called Elite Automotive. “Laura came to help me when she was in between jobs and has never left.” Willie says. “Over the years, we operated two automotive shops, then back to one.” In the automotive business, Willie was the shop fore-



man, master technician and Dara was a great service writer. Between the two of them, they had the back of the shop and the front of the shop running smoothly. “It was fully staffed and business was going well,” says Dara. Willie decided to expand his horizons. Since his father’s passing in 2008, Willie felt compelled to serve the Atlanta community the authentic Cuban cuisine introduced by his family many years ago. “Early 2010 we expanded our horizons and opened a Cuban restaurant,” says Willie. He continues, “Havana Grill is our latest and greatest business. A Cuban restaurant we opened in memory of my father.” Willie and his family opened the first Cuban restaurant in Atlanta, Havana Sandwich Shop, in 1976. “Willie and I, along with our long time friend, Shafiq, run the front. Willie prepares the menu items using Cuban recipes passed down from his mother and grandmothers.” Dara continues, “We work very well together because we have a common goal and that is to provide each and every customer with a ‘Delightful Cuban Experience.’ The Benedits offered their ingredient for making love and business work for them. “We have a love for each other and dedication to our businesses. We have learned that we each have something to bring to the table,” says Dara. Willie adds, “Even with our busy schedules, Dara and I make time to enjoy life outside of work. My favorite pastime is playing golf, while Dara enjoys spending time with her high school buddies.” Dara offers, “The secret to our success in love and working together is that we truly love and respect each other and our family. Not only that, but we are best friends. Sure, it’s not always easy, but at the end of the day, we realize how truly blessed we are!” ■ Havana Grill is located at: 3373 Buford Hwy Atlanta, Ga. 30329




aton Rouge, Louisiana is home for Gail and Arthur “Art” Moore. The Moores have been married for more than 30 years. Even after so many years of marriage, they both agreed that they still do everything together, from vacations, to business and even to shopping, they are inseparable. Art Moore admitted that he does go shopping with his wife and I have him on tape to prove it! “I love to go shopping with her. Ladies are comical the way they shop. It’s like watching a movie.” He says. “Men don’t know how much fun it is to go shopping with their wives. I often help her reach items that she can’t” No doubt that this is an easy feat for the 6’6” former NFL player. Arthur Moore was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and later went on to the New England Patriots where he played for five years as a nose guard. Among other celebrated highlights during his football career, Art is also recognized for the most single tackles against O.J. Simpson. Gail Moore says “He’s very involved with my shopping. He doesn’t just sit there bored, he helps to pick out some of the finest outfits for me. He knows my likes and dislikes…knows me well..what kind of shoes look good on me and what type of music I should sing,” she says. “He really knows my heart.” Art bravely admits that they are so close, that he even goes to the nail shop with her but says he doesn’t get a pedicure. “I’ve tried,” he says “but they don’t have a bucket big enough for my feet! They (the salon attendants) get excited when I come in and point at my

BATON ROUGE, LA feet and say ‘Oh big feet! What size shoe?’ I tell them size 16!” Art laughs. “He spoils me so much,” Gail says as she lovingly looks at him. “With Art, what I love about him is that I always come first. Whatever the plan is, it’s about what I want to do. For him, it’s about whatever makes me happy. He has never deviated from that. He’s very concerned about me, my wants and needs. To me that’s love and I know he really loves me.” Art says “I know she loves me because she takes care of me, she’s a good mother to my children.” Gail is a gospel recording artist whose vocal talents have backed some of the industry’s biggest entertainers such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Amy Grant, Donnie McClurkin and Bee Bee and Cee Cee Winans, just to name a very few. She is currently working on her sixth solo recording project. I had the pleasure of hearing this lady sing after our interview, and sing she does! In addition, the Moores are the founders of Yes I Can!, a non profit organization that they founded together. They use the platform of sports and contemporary music to reach kids and families in crisis and to present to them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both are pastors of Yes I Can Love Center church in Baton Rouge, LA. “There are lots of young people out there who are disenfranchised and think that they can’t become anything,” explains Art. “We want to help kids make positive choices in life. Yes I can! tries to help kids realize they can do better. It’s not about where you are, where you come from or what happened. It’s about what you do with it.” says Art. Gail added, “It’s designed for children in crisis. It’s mainly for kids in junior high

and high school. k Our long term goal is to have a community center, but now we do prison outreach, have programs in public schools and also have an international network. We connect them with other resources also.” When I asked this committed couple what keeps their marriage together, they said that it is about mutual respect and acceptance for one another. “We’ve been dating for 31 years,” smiles Art. “She hid the marriage license and said to keep doing the same things that I did when I pursued her.” Gail laughs and admits that it’s been working. “It’s important to keep things fresh. We were great friends first. I actually tore the license up and told Art that we can’t let things get stale between us.” Sitting here in their presence, it’s obvious that there is nothing stale about their love and respect for each other. Not to mention that their sense of fun and genuine affection and warmth towards each other was very tangible to me. Gail says, “Despite Art’s calm, laid back demeanor, he is a very passionate and emotional man inside about many things.” Art adds, “Gail is highly intelligent and a good business woman. She’s not just a pretty face.” They both offered advice for staying power and marital longevity. “It’s important to love and accept each other for who you are. Be open and honest. Learn to communicate and pray together,” Gail says. Art stated that prayer and a personal relationship with God is so important. “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath,” he says. “Love and forgive unconditionally and pray; The morale of this story is,” Art laughs, “Get saved and God will hook you up!” ■




“We trust each other in both our business and personal relationship.”

A Toast to Love In Rhythm with Ava Collier


alancing love and business has been quite interesting to say the least, especially when there are also two very active little boys thrown into the mix,” says Renee Rowe, President of The Wine Cellars in Smyrna, Georgia. “My husband, Wayne, and I have been married for more than 13 years and our little boys are six and ten.” Her husband, Wayne adds, “Our lives are a balancing act to say the least. We often alternate between who works evenings and who will take care of the kids; usually it’s not both. On Saturdays, the entire family is here together most of the day.” The Rowes say they are certainly complimentary in more ways than one; A yin and yang. “Things can get very tense and frustrating for us both,” shares Renee. “He’s more analytical and needs answers and explanations. I am a bottom line kind of person. In business, someone has to be responsible for profit and margins and someone has to be responsible for merchan-


dise and marketing. With our personalities, we’ve got all the bases covered.” Wayne said, “Separating work from home is challenging and can sometimes be an issue. But we both have a deep love and devotion for one another.” Renee added, “We trust each other in both our business and personal relationship. And we realize that at the end of the day, we have the same goal in all regards - a successful and prosperous business and a happy and loving marriage. We have been blessed with all these things.” ■

The Wine Cellars, Inc. | 1295 W. Spring Street Suite 100 | Smyrna, Ga 30080








Bronze Ladies

In Rhythm with Ava Collier



he Bronze Lens Film Festival (BLFF) descended upon Atlanta for four event-filled days in November, 2010. It was their inaugural year and I had the pleasure of being at several media mixers and a formal introduction event. Sheryl Riley Gripper, Kathleen Bertrand and Deidre McDonald are the lovely ladies heading the BLFF, along with their team of dedicated and professional assistants and support staff. Sheryl Riley Gripper is the Executive Director of the BLFF. She is also Vice President for Community Relations for WXIA-TV, an NBC affiliate and the founder of the Black Women Film Network, which celebrates the history of black women in film. Sheryl shares her feelings about the BLFF. “We are thrilled to present a multicultural film festival showcasing the talent of the next generation of filmmakers,” says this multi-Emmy winner. “From Roger Bobb, executive vice president, Tyler Perry Studios to Mayor Kasim Reed to William Pate, CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are indebted to those who have embraced this festival as their own.” “The BLFF featured filmmakers of color, complete with screening, panel discussions, workshops and celebrity involvement, giving participants and film enthusiasts a full educational and cultural experience in film,” says Kathleen Bertrand, senior vice president of community and governmental affairs for the Atlanta Convention & 42



Visitors Bureau and a member of the festival’s board of advisers. Kathleen is also a well-known jazz recording artist and writer. The BLFF consisted of an opening night film premiere, screenings and other events held at venues which included the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Georgia Pacific Auditorium and Rialto Center for the Arts and Spelman College. In addition to the scheduled events, there was a Women Superstars Luncheon on Saturday, which I attended. This luncheon honored extraordinary women of color with remarkable accomplishments both in front and behind the festival. The luncheon was hosted by actors Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Omari Hardwick. Veteran actress, Lynn Whitfield, accomplished casting director Robi Reed and up and coming film director and writer, Ava Du Vernay were honored, among others. Deidre McDonald is the Artistic Director for the BLFF and an award winning producer, writer and educator. Formerly Senior Producer for Programs and Projects for WXIA-TV, she produced and wrote documentaries and features that were shot locally, nationally and internationally. She is currently a consultant focusing on media production projects and event planning. Deidre shared her enthusiasm about the series of events that were planned for the festival. “We have assembled an exciting group of films for you to enjoy, from documentaries and features to music videos and shorts for this first BLFF of Atlanta. Our workshops include panels on why Georgia now ranks 4th in the nation in film production and Master Classes with people. ■


Ovo C'est Magnifique! In Rhythm with Ava Collier


e sat the in our seats like children eagerly waiting to see what other gifts were yet to be opened. It was exciting and mesmerizing. I had seen Cirque Du Soliel’s La Nouba several years ago in Orlando. I remember being absolutely fascinated and thoroughly entertained by the show. I’d forgotten the thrill until now. Sitting there under the “big top” in Atlantic Station watching Cirque Du Soliel’s Ovo brought a rush of memories back to me. To say that this show is amazing is an understatement. It is truly a feast for all of your senses. Cirque Du Soleil Ovo is a spectacular array of acrobatics and gymnastics. It is an explosion of luminous colors, incredible costumes and make up and imaginative stage props. The music ranged from fantasy, to mystical to seductive with a Brazilian and French influence. Ovo (Egg in Portuguese) is the story of the beautiful ecosystem filled with colorful and lively bugs and insects such as grasshoppers, ants, dragonflies, butterflies and frogs, caterpillars and more. It’s also a love story between a lovely lady bug and a mysterious egg-bearing unfamiliar bug that comes upon their “village. The egg disappears and he’s on a mission to get it back. Throughout his journey to recover the egg, we are introduced to the vario u s “ v i l l a ge bugs and i ns e c ts ” that entertain us and delight us. As I sat and watched this breathtaking performance, I occasionally looked around at other audience members. Like myself, they were enthralled as the stage transformed into a massive spider web or gravity defying wires were raised high above the stage where performers effortlessly spun, jumped, dangled, danced, teetered and leaped. Unbelieveable! In addition to the phenomenal performances and beautiful costumes, the thing I noticed was the perpetual focus of the performers when the spotlight was NOT on them. They would be onstage while another act was in progress. However, they always remained in character. For instance, we had fantastic seats and I sat in the aisle very close to the stage. While a particular act was being performed and the grasshoppers were hovering nearby, they would stay in character by making sounds and movements that a grass-

hopper would make. They made eye contact and “bug like” gestures and expressions to the audience. A funny moment for me was as the show began, the lights were dimmed. I sat expectantly in my seat. As I did, I kept hearing a strange noise that seemed to be coming from nearby but I didn’t see anything…until the lights came on and I looked to my left and almost jumped out of my seat! There, right next to me…in the aisle on the step, was the biggest, greenest grasshopper I’d ever seen just waiting for his queue to hop onto the stage in front of us. While he waited, he looked over at me and made a “bug gesture.” I couldn’t help but laugh! The interaction with the audience was a big part of their performance and it was so much fun! This was a constant throughout the show and added to its authenticity and genuiness. I felt like I had stumbled into this incredible bug village and was allowed to peek into their lives in their habitat. While there is no significant verbal dialogue between the characters, the story is quiet clear by body language and almost mime-like interpretation. Of course there was the sweet incomprehensible but coquettish sounds of the lady bug that punctuated the stage whenever

she was near her new love such as “Ooooh….cuckachew!” or “Ahhhhhh….” Or something along those lines…but we got the message…she was in love! The not-to-be missed finale is an adrenaline filled, gravity defying spectacular performance by the “frogs” as they leaped, hopped and jumped off and onto a “Wall” that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere on the stage. Amazing! ■ This is truly a treat for the entire family and a fantasy trip into the lives of a very important part of our world...bugs! I guarantee you, though, you’ve never seen such beautiful and talented bugs and insects as you’ll see at Cirque Du Soleil’s Ovo!



Hank Stewart, Atlanta, GA Author, Poet


Children's Pride

I am innovative, I am creative, I am a

Trendsetter! 44



hildren's Pride, Inc. held it's "1st Annual Mother & Son Dance" on Saturday, October 16, 2010 in Alpharetta, Georgia. Special guests included Award-Winning Performer and DJ, Tony ”T-Rep” Betton, Jr., a two-time Winner of "The 2010 YEGA Award" and Mrs. Angela Dukes & Son, Jamie Dukes, Jr., Wife and son of former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman, Mr. Jamie Dukes. Monique Evans, Founder & President of Children's Pride, Inc. would like to thank all of the attendees, fine corporate sponsors and individuals for their support. "The event was a great success and we plan on making it an annual Atlanta tradition, " she said. To learn more about Children's Pride, Inc.and this event, visit: ■



ilmmaker, Visual Artist, Writer/Poet STEPHEN PHILMS is the visionary and CEO of the creative production company/brand PRO-ART. His overall aim is to be daring and innovative while promoting quality artistic productions no matter the medium. This native of Atlanta, GA is highly influenced by his passion for creative individualism. The self proclaimed “Artrepreneur” (artist & entrepreneur) has combined his artistic strengths with those of his closest friends and family to form a very diverse PRO-ART team. He has served several years of professional experience in the film/media industry ranging from directing music videos, shooting feature films, to being a broadband video web editor for the Weather Channel. Since graduating from The Art institute of Atlanta he has signed on as a Director for a television series currently in production. He is also working on the release of his first book which is a combination of poetry and short stories entitled “The Toll Road to Grey Matter.” ■


AURENCE REED is the creative director of PRO-ART and brother to online publicist/media coordinator Ethan Canton. He was born in Puerto Rico, raised on the island of St. Thomas, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He is currently attending Southern Polytechnic State University, majoring in Architecture. With a strong interest in all things art related, he has treated higher level education as a catalyst to develop his graphic design skills. His mantra is to let beauty exist as a means to transcend our current social state and evoke deeper awareness of things that encourage growth. “I want to change the way we see each pixel or vector at a time.” ■


WIGHT PHILPOTTS is the cofounder and CTO? COO of PROART. Born in Brooklyn, NY but now calling Atlanta home. He only not gained a degree in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech, but also gained many real world experiences by studying in France for 3 months and was able to travel to 11 different cities in 7 countries. After graduating, he accepted a consulting position at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC where he develops solutions to technological problems for the company’s clientele. He is also a videographer and director bringing technical, business and srtistic skills to help achieve the goals of PRO-ART. ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011



Good Things =


THAN CANTON is the online publicist, editor and media coordinator of PRO-ART. Born and raised on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands until relocating to Atlanta, GA he also attends Southern Polytechnic State University. He is majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering and spends his free time exploring creative writing, religion and philosophy. After graduation he would like to focus his career on innovative solutions to bettering global energy efficiency. Ethan’s interests are what drive him the most and have allowed him to develop many talents. Through effective communication he aims to use his interests to reach and attract a variety of people who share the same passion and excitement for all things PRO-ART. ■


apper-turnt-sanga T-Pain ALOE BLACC has put together one of the doppest LPs I’ve heard. Not just this year either, but one of the best all time. Strong words, I know, but this total body of work beginning from his early hip-hop days to his transition to re-shaping and redefining modern soul/funk showed significant growth, style/creativity, and most notably, substance. Good Things’ blend of Neo-soul, funk, R&B, and a splash of reggae/roots is a cooperative effort of writing and production from Blacc and Truth & Soul’s Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman. “My purpose for music is positive social change...Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will.” - Aloe Blacc Orange county native and Panamanian-American, Blacc’s beginnings revolved around the ol skool hip-hop soul/funk era that was the early 1990s. As rapper in the group Emanon (“No name” spelled backwards), Blacc and artist/ producer Exile released cassette (yes cassette) mix-tapes holding true to the lyrical and highly poetic themes of the era and underground circuit. Emanon then resurfaced in a sense in 2002, dropping the EP Anon & On. Post that release Blacc decided to switch things up and experiment with the very seeds of soul and funk that the hip-hop he wrote and produced had sprouted from. His first two releases, The Waiting Room (2005) as a group project with Emanon and his solo debut, Shine Through (2006), both had a rather swiss cheese effect to them; pretty good but glaring holes throughout. But as great artists always do, he successfully completed the transformation process; think Black Thought meets Marvin Gaye. The labor of love in his latest work, Good Things. The featured single, “I Need a Dollar,” sprang into the mainstream via HBO original series How to Make It In 46



= Great Music

America, as it was the show’s opening/closing theme music. From the first listen, I was hooked. This is an undeniably dope mixture of genres by a multi-talented artist laced with smooth, soulful vocals, horns and organs. [ Ethan Canton ]

“My purpose for music is positive social change...Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive change, the product of the music.” -Aloe Blacc


EJUAN “JUAN” GUESS is a socialite, style maven, music fanatic, marketing mogul and most importantly, a Public Relations connoisseur. A master at multitasking, he is currently pursuing a degree in public relations as well as visiting and planning the hottest networking events in Atlanta, GA. He got his feet wet in the PR world while working fashion shows at this school and interning for an Atlanta Event Planning Company in 2008. Noticing his excellent work, his company asked him to manage the Marketing Department for PRO-ART and the Arts and Entertainment section for Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine. DeJuan is destined for success in the world of Public Relations. His hard work, determination, eye for fashion, and knowledge of the “now” will most definitely make him the next Hollywood official. He has coined and created the phrase “Earth2Marz” because his passion and ideas are out of this world! Now it’s up to you to leave your event on Earth, or let him escort you to another galaxy! ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011



Shawn Crenshaw

Indras Whittaker

Jackmont Hospitality Announces New Staff Appointments Shawn Crenshaw, Director of Human Resources and Indras Whittaker, Marketing Manager – New Appointments at the Home Office

Internal Promotions Include Dakita Plant and Charles Fleming Named General Managers at T. G. I Friday’s® Restaurants


tlanta based Jackmont Hospitality has announced several promotions within its T. G. I. Friday’s® franchise operation and at its home office. Shawn Crenshaw, promoted from his former position of general manager at the Camp Creek Market Place T. G. I. Friday’s Restaurant in Atlanta, moves into the home office as the new director of human resources. Indras Whittaker comes on board with the management team as Jackmont’s marketing manager. She will be responsible for restaurant in-store marketing, general marketing activities and community relations for all Jackmont business affairs. Dakita Plant, former kitchen manager at Camp Creek Market Place, is the new general manager at the T. G. I. Friday’s located at Hartsfield Jackson Airport on concourse E. New appointments at the T. G. I. Friday’s located on Camp Creek Parkway include Charles Fleming, general manager (former GM at Hartsfield Jackson Airport); and Waymon Hughley, kitchen manager (formally holding several positions at Hartsfield Jackson Airport). “At Jackmont Hospitality, we are proud of the fact that we offer our employees career opportunities and a chance to



grow with our company. We recognize the talent and dedication we have within our staff; and, wherever possible, we reward with in-house promotions. These staff members have earned these promotions with their hard work,” said Brenda Branch, vice president of operations for Jackmont. ABOUT JACKMOUNT HOSPITALITY Jackmont Hospitality, Inc., founded in 1994, is a results-oriented, comprehensive foodservice company with a proven track record of operational excellence, strategic problem solving, exceptional financial management, and innovative approaches to services. Included in the Black Enterprise list of 100 Top Industrial/Service Companies, Jackmont owns multiple T.G.I. Friday’s® casual dining franchises while also managing the dining programs for corporations and educational institutions. Jackmont’s T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants are located in Atlanta (GA), Greenville (SC), Silver Spring and Greenbelt (MD), Philadelphia (PA), and Washington (DC). ■ Jackmont was founded by Daniel Halpern, Brooke Jackson Edmond, and her father, the late former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, Jr., Jackmont Hospitality, Inc. is a comprehensive foodservice management company headquartered in Atlanta, GA.


Romantic Old Roswell, Georgia Atlanta, Georgia



c a pe t h e city for a small town getaway. Located a mere 20 minutes north of Atlanta, historic Roswell makes for a great day trip or even more. Roswell exudes southern charm from every old stick and brick. Enjoy the Main Street Shopping, experience the tranquility along the Chattahoochee River, explore the creativity of the arts community and discover its impressive past. Established in the early 19th century, Roswell became a successful textile town. Today you will find magnificent residences, ancestral plantations, bygone cemeteries and the remains of a milling history. Visitors enjoy touring Roswell’s “Southern Trilogy” that consists of three perfectly preserved antebellum plantations. Roswell King and his son, Barrington, founded Roswell in 1839, and also established the town’s first cotton mill. Their home, Barrington Hall, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While there, don’t miss the only antebellum garden in the Atlanta area opened to the public. The Archibald Smith Home contains fine antique furniture and objects original to the house. Visit the out-

buildings that include a barn, kitchen, carriage house and slave quarters. Bulloch Hall was the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch who wed Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. They were married in the dining room, and you can attend the reenactment of Mittie’s Chr i s tma s time nuptials every De c e mbe r . They sired The o d o r e Roos e ve l t, the 26th president of the United States. The house has been visited by Teddy Roosevelt and later by Eleanor Roosevelt, one of America’s most popular first ladies. The beautifully designed building with its colonnaded porch represents a perfect example of Greek Revival architecture. Authentic period furnishings grace the many rooms, and a museum room reveals the Bulloch family’s interesting history. While exploring the grounds, stop by the reconstructed slave cabins where a

plaque hangs with the known names of 33 people enslaved there. Wander about Roswell’s wonderful shopping district that’s full of “indie” boutiques, antique stores, arti-

san markets and old-fashioned trade establishments. A gem of a stop is the Raiford Gallery that displays and sells jewelry and other creations by local artists and craft persons. In February, Roswell celebrates African American history and culture. Go to for details. The charming town also hosts a plethora of annual fun events that draw thousands from around the Atlanta region. ■






The CTS Coupe By Lionel Locke


tunning! That is the word that comes to mind when looking at the new 2011 CTS Coupe. A car that was initially marketed towards younger buyers, finally got their attention. The CTS Coupe possesses that “valet factor” it takes to earn the title as one of the automotive trendsetters for 2011. All three trim levels are powered by the same 3.6L V6 engine rated at 304 HP and utilize a 6 speed automatic transmission to power either a rear wheel drive (RWD) or allwheel drive (AWD) configuration. The CTS Coupe is capable of a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city, and 26 mpg on the highway. The CTS Coupe is available in three levels; Base, Premium, and Performance. The base trim level of the CTS Coupe starts $38K and comes standard with an eight speaker Bose sound system, dual zone climate control, 8 way power seats, remote vehicle start, heated mirrors, and review back-up camera. The performance trim starts at $42K and adds leather seats, 10 speaker Bose sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity. The premium trim starts at $47K and adds a glide-up touchscreen navigation system with back-up camera, ambient lighting, and Sapele wood trim. For those of you who desire to own a luxury coupe with more power, you may want to consider the CTS-V. The CTS-



V Coupe is Cadillac’s ultimate performance luxury coupe and starts at $63K. The CTS-V is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V8 producing 556 HP and takes less than four seconds to reach 60 mph with the help of the six speed manual. The CTS-V is similar to that of the other trims levels with the exception of the race inspired 14-way power Recaro seats with suede microfiber inserts, Cadillac’s signature V grille, and race tuned suspension. Be sure to check out your local Cadillac dealership and schedule a test drive. ■ *Photos courtesy of Classic Cadillac of Atlanta.





Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine Jan Feb 2011  

Poet and Author Hank Stewart grace the cover along with the 19th Annual Trumpet Awards

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