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PRINT MEDIA PUBLISHER Willie Stewart / Atlanta, GA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL NETWORK MARKETING & WEB DEVELOPMENT **Lukeither Willingham / Atlanta, GA VICE PRESIDENT / CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Derek Payne / Columbus, OH VICE PRESIDENT SALES / MARKETING Kenneth Prophet / Atlanta, GA EDITOR Sylvie Chantal Humphreys / Atlanta, GA Cheryl Izard / Atlanta, GA FREELANCE WRITER Sylvie Chantal Humphreys / Atlanta, GA Greta Wheeler / Atlanta, GA Beverly Hill Shelley / Atlanta, GA Glenda”China” Scott / Atlanta, GA Melody Edwards / Atlanta, GA Shernita Wiggins / Atlanta, GA CONTRIBUTING WRITERS **Kirstin Fuller / Washington, DC Dr. Linda Amerson / Arlington, TX The Weight Loss Angel / Philadelphia, PA Joseph Booker / Baton Rouge, LA Bryson Clark / Dalton, GA Utrena Johnson / Charlotte, NC Krystal (LadyKarar D) Brown / Orlando, FL ** Digital and Print TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MEDIA GROUP RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PUBLISH ANY MATERIALS RECEIVED. WE APPRECIATE ALL MATERIAL, HOWEVER, SUBMISSIONS MUST BE OF A POSITIVE AND INFORMATIVE NATURE. PLEASE MAIL OR EMAIL ARTICLES TO WSTEWART@TRENDTOTRENDMAG.COM | TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE, 3007 PANOLA ROAD | SUITE 283C | LITHONIA, GA 30038 / 1-866-958-7363.

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DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL NETWORK **Lukeither Willingham / Atlanta, GA ONLINE STAFF WRITERS Valante Grant / @ByDesigNetwork / Chicago, IL **Kirstin Fuller / @TheTravelinDiva / Washington, DC Donna Payne / @DonnaPayneAtl / Atlanta, GA Rashida Veronique Serrant - Fitzgerald, DWS / @wineLIFECEO / New York, NY Latrice Scott / @TampaBizWomen Tampa, FL Paolo Morelli / @uncronista Turin, Italy Denise Renee Phinn / @DeniseReneePhin Atlanta, GA Angelique Williams / @AngeliqueW New York, NY Bianca Shane DeLoach / @BiancaShane1 Columbus, OH Trevor / @1VooDooChild Southside Atlanta Coline Walther / VirtualVirtuos1 Canandaigua, NY


PHOTO BY J. MARIELLA PHOTOGRAPHY

VP NOTES

Derek Payne

What’s Your Love Language? ords of affirmation, acts of kindness, gifts, acts of service and quality time are the five love languages according to author Gary Chapman. After taking the assessment, I discovered that my dominant love languages were words of affirmation and quality time. We all have a primary love language. According to Chapman, once we discover the basic five love languages and understand our own primary love language, as well the love language of the person(s) in your life, we would then have the needed information to apply the ideas in books and articles we read about relationships. When all is said and done, I personally think that communication is the key. It is the glue that holds our relationships together. We at Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine believe in building strong relationships together. Now T2T has been communicating to America now for nearly seven years and believe we have been speaking your love language...but have we really? Write and tell us how you feel about our publication, the things you like and things you would like to read about in upcoming publications. Feel free to send your comments and suggestions to me via email at dpi@trendtotrendmag.com. I’d love to hear from you! On a more personal note, I’m striving to improve my ability to speak the love language of those important in my life….what about you? Be Blessed, DPayne

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OFFICIAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER FOR TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE


PUBLISHER’S NOTES

Willie Stewart

T

rendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine was launched in February 2007. It’s a magazine that provides the platform to connect positive individuals together in a networking community. This magazine was designed to honor and spotlight our unsung heroes. I am talking about those individuals that you don’t read about on a day-to-day basis, yet they are making a difference in their communities or behind the scenes. Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine is a national publication that reaches thousands of homes and businesses bimonthly via hardcopy and Internet. If the publication can’t be found in your area, you can order a subscription by going online to www.trendtotrendmag.com or www.t2tmagazine.com . Our targeted market is the “young and young at heart”. We have created a magazine that is designed for everyone… a magazine that contains positive and informative content and shares stories from the elite to those whose lives have been transformed in such a way, it will inspire others to achieve their dreams and goals. You will not find us reporting on gossip or negative situations, there is enough of that in the media. We

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do what we do… Hair magazines write about hair, Car magazines write about cars, Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine writes about the “trendsetters” who not only have succeeded against the odds, but have taken the initiative to give back in the process. T2T magazine is the meeting place for trendsetters around the country. Trendsetters in Atlanta will meet the trendsetters in Charlotte and the trendsetters in Chicago will meet trendsetters in Houston, the trendsetters in Cleveland will meet the trendsetters in Akron/Canton and the trendsetters in New York will meet the trendsetters in Des Moines and the trendsetters in Los Angeles will meet the trendsetters across the globe. If you know of a trendsetter in your town that has either made an accomplishment in spite of obstacles or stands out in such a way, it has compelled others to “follow” suit, no matter their age, please visit our website or one of our staff writers and let us share their story with the rest of the world. ■ Thank you and God bless.

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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2013

what’s inside

06 VP Notes 07 Publisher Notes 10 Community Empowerment 16 Young & Trendy 20 Up and Coming Trendsetters 26 Education 31 Health & Wellness 35 Fitness Trends 42 Comedian 50 Inspirational 70 Fashion Trends 72 Arts & Entertainment Trends 76 Real Estate Trends 77 Travel Trends

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features

27 Education Spotlight

President, Dr. Mickey L. Burnim

30 Health & Wellness Spotlight 35 Fitness Trends Spotlight Krystal (LADY KARAR D) Brown

36 Lifestyles

ON THE COVER:

46 Inspirational Spotlight

Child star turned veterinarian Danielle Spencer-Fields.

Mixing Love and Business Utrena Johnson and Tariq Mix

Photo by Tom Fowlks

52 Author Spotlight

Jonquille, Harriett Scott Lee, A.J. Dugger III, Dr. Nycole Lyles-Belton and Ereycka Davis

56 Trendsetter Spotlights

Marcella Phillips, Tariq Nasheed, Quintana Pretoria Jones, T.Y. Martin, Jodi Brockington, Keyla Berry and Clifton Wade III

64 Beauty Profile

Chantal Humphreys and Shonda Lewis

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STEPP STEWART and “A Soulful Christmas” Written by Glenda “China” Scott live a fast and exciting life. I’ve always been a humble servant, and encourage others to do whatever they want to do in life.” Growing up in Orrville, Ohio Stepp Stewart had dreams and aspirations of being on stage. He wasn’t sure in what capacity but he knew he wanted to be a part of "the theater." His mother recognized his talent at an early age, and began bragging about his singing abilities to his brother Girrard who eventually introduced him to the theater. Stepp’s father died when Stepp was ten and did not see the fulfillment of his son’s dreams. During his years at Kent Roosevelt High School the teachers were very receptive to Stepp and provided many theatrical opportunities, some of them written specifically for him. He then went on to attend The Ohio State University where he initially majored in vocal music and theater, but after meeting several dance majors on campus, changed his major to dance and theater. The stigma that people often attached to male dancers never affected Stepp because he was totally confident in who he was and what he was doing. After college he auditioned and landed a part at the Opryland Theme Park in Nashville which at the time was the only theatrical job available for someone his age. Two years later, with just $500 in his pocket and hungry for more, Stepp moved to New York. There

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he auditioned for Bubbling Brown Sugar, landed the job and off to Europe he went. While in Europe Stepp was selected for the role of Mungojerri in Cats the Musical. These productions became prominent additions to his resume. Stepp Stewart’s exceptional talents have taken him all over the world meeting extraordinary people and experiencing remarkable opportunities. He performed on tour for four years with singer, songwriter and actress Debbie Gibson. He is the dance fitness star of The Dr. Oz Show, and creator of the hot selling fitness videos Burn It Up and Stepp With Me. He has worked with numerous celebrity entertainers including Savion Glover, Diana Ross, T-Pain, Gladys Knight, Vivica A. Fox, Paula Abdul, and is the choreographer for the Grammy nominated, singing group SWV. This energetic professional is now an Emmy nominee, Broadway veteran, dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, actor, director, fitness expert, and theatrical producer. Some of Stewart’s achievements include his first production in 2001 called Red Hot Broadway, which was so successful that he was able to produce it off Broadway for five weeks without any sponsors. Funding for the production came directly out of Stepp’s pocket, as he always used the money he made from dancing and singing to put back into his productions. In 2009 Stewart wrote, choreographed, and produced the kids musical Show N Tell, a story of a little girl named

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COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

Stepp Stewart on the Dr. Oz Show with The Chocolettes Vivian Lorraine who goes to school on Show and Tell day and doesn’t have anything for show until one of her classmates convinces her that she does have something to show…her voice; another brilliant production. With all the successes under his belt, the most memorable moment of Stewart’s career was when Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, asked him to portray Academy, Tony and Emmy The Chocolettes Awards winner, Bob Fosse, in the workshop of the Musical, Chicago. A dynamic and gifted producer, Stepp Stewart is now full speed ahead with the musical stage production of A Soulful Christmas. This high energy, exciting musical hits home in our hearts and revitalizes fond memories of Christmas past. “The show had been in my head for several years. It reflects the songs that I grew up with and the shows I’ve been a part of. I want everyone to remember that the magic of Christmas is within each one of us and we’re not too old to make a wish. Atlanta is a place where hip hop rules but theater is on the rise. We have such a hungry African American audience that is thirsty for the theater. We are teaching the kids about theater, acting skills, stage direction and more than anything how to be better people. I recruited my staff Rosemary Fitzpatrick, D Vensen, and Antonio Davis, and we started putting the show together in August of last year. Dekalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, and David Manuel, managing Director of the Porter Sandford III Performing Arts & Community Center took a chance and partnered with me. The blood sweat and tears paid off and A SOULFUL CHRISTMAS became an actual show in 2012. The cast is a group of people who are not jaded, most of whom are non-professional, eager to learn and are

being introduced to theater for the very first time. I’m happy to bring them to this level and it’s been wonderful to work with them. I created The Chocolettes in 2007 and they have been called "the soul version of the Rockettes". The Chocolette Chips are the younger version and are happy to be making their debut this season. DanceMakers of Atlanta is a partner for this production and we have recruited over 60 young dancers from them. Gladys Knight's Signature Chicken & Waffles Restaurants is our major sponsor and a portion of the proceeds from this production will go to such charities as: Porter Sanford Development Fund, Caregivers 911, and the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. The blessings keep coming in!!!” says Stewart. A Soulful Christmas cast members include Ramona Debreaux of V-103 radio, who is singing in the production and Ronda Heaggans who has appeared in all of Stewart’s productions since she was 15. The show also features stand outs like: Devin Fairrow, Avis Adams, Kea Watkins, Devin Baggs, Vicki Don, Kevin Curtis, Brooklyn Renee Freeman, Jalen Smith, Richardine Holmes and Broderic Simpson. What’s next for Stepp Stewart? He has several projects you’ll be hearing more about in the near future: His own talk show; the 16th touring season of Dynamite National Talent Competition; The Atlanta Fit Fest will return next year; and he will continue teaching acting classes, choreographing shows and producing. When asked what would he be doing if he weren’t in show business? Stewart replied by saying “I’d be trying to get in it… I love the theater…it’s in my heart….it’s who I am!!!” ■

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COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

David and Sons

DECATUR, GA

Celebration of Art By Melody Edwards

estled in the heart of Southern Dekalb County is a gem. The Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, a 500 seat state-of-the-art theater, is a place where professional talent abounds and untapped talent is cultivated, refined and polished. Executive Director, David Manuel, is the man who oversees the center often from behind the scenes, but his creative genius and influence are evident everywhere. A graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Atlanta College of Art, and former director at the Woodruff Arts Center for 25 years, Manuel is responsible for providing a broad range of performances and a platform for new artists to showcase their work. Manuel is a visual artist who set aside the production of art to learn the business side of art. Although he runs the Center and is in the midst of art, he misses creating it. “Art is one of the very few opportunities where you get a chance to wrestle with a format and try to conquer it. That format can be paper, it can be on canvas, but its part of an expression that you internalize to bring forth. People can view it, they can judge it, they can like it, they can not like it, but it doesn’t matter because it comes from within.” As an artist and art advocate, Manuel is passionate about demonstrating that art is “a way of life, an improvement of life.” He praises Dekalb County for their investment in the arts. “I work in a county that understands extracurricular activity. We have over 200 parks, which is great; people need that. We also have four small art centers, so the county gets it. We just have to make sure that individual people get it and understand the value

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of it.” The Porter Sanford Center is booked for the rest of this year and Manuel anticipates there being even more activity next year. One show that was popular last year is returning for the holiday season. A Soulful Christmas, by choreographer and producer Stepp Stewart, will be coming to the theater in December. Initially, Manuel says, it was a risk because it was a new work, and although he is always excited about new work, it was still a risk. “Stepp is just a joy of creativity. When he walks into a room he has that award winning smile and you just have to work with him because he won’t stop smiling. He is someone who makes an attempt to put as much effort into things as I do. He’s passionate about what he creates; he’s excited about it; he rolls up his sleeves. He has a wholehearted and honest approach to inviting people to be a part of what he’s trying to create, and I have a lot of appreciation for that.” Manuel strongly believes in community as well as family. He has two sons and has written a book called I Am a Father, that speaks from a child’s viewpoint. When it comes to work, Manuel says he is more about the process than the project. “I’m more about developing something that’s going to be worthwhile and meaningful for a lot of people than just some famous project. We are trying to change the perception and complexion of what we do.” Under Manuel’s direction, the number of events and audiences has increased at the Center since he took on the role of Executive Director in 2010. Even so, Manuel is not concerned about the numbers but more interested in audience involvement and building relationships. His goal is to see people invest in and celebrate the arts. ■

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Yung Joc EXPERIENCE TAUGHT HIM HOW TO DEVELOP HIS ARTISTRY TO INSPIRE: HE’S RAW-N-RUGGED BUT ON A QUEST TO SAVE THE YOUTH Interviewed by Kenneth Prophet and Written by Shernita Wiggins, Contributing Writer

“Art imitates life… not the other way around.” ATLANTA, GA

TROUBLED PAST. HARD CORE LYRICS. PRODUCES ARTISTRY. owever, this Hip Hop Rap artist is on a mission to keep the youth from following in his footsteps. Jasiel Robinson, known as “Yung Joc” stepped on the scene in 2006 with the release of his album New Joc City with one of the hottest singles, It’s Goin Down with Bad Boy Records and has been a “force to be reckoned with” every since. He expressed that his childhood was filled with mischievous deeds which caused him to move from the south and west sides of Atlanta between his parents when his actions would catch up with him. He was not the kind of youth that stole or broke into people’s houses, but as he shared, “I was trying to do some hustles selling some dope and weed to get by. But as I got a little older, I realized that life wasn’t for me, I turned to music and I’ve been on track for a long time trying to be successful.” The caveat to that is…he actually realized his errors in life and holds himself accountable enough that he gives back to the community and youth through speaking engagements where he has the opportunity to talk to the kids about the importance of finding other ways to [get money]. Yung Joc, actually gets it and through his experiences he refuses to be one who chooses to be blind to one side or the other of right and wrong. “You can’t be doing right and pretend like you don’t see the wrong. And you can’t be doing wrong and pretend like you can’t see what’s right. That is the duality to life. When I was coming up, a lot of times I was challenged with obstacles to choose whether to do right or wrong and you already know if you get caught, what the consequences are

and yet on the flip side, when you do right…sometimes it is hard to see the benefits it provides over doing wrong. But over time, you can see the effects of what doing wrong can have on a person’s life and the future of what they really should be doing. This helps me to understand about the influence that the young kids get when they listen to our music, watch TV shows or even movies. They try to emulate what they see and hear in the streets; not realizing that it’s the artistry of the industry and because the artistry comes from the hearts of the [Kats from the hood,] they think it is real life. When they imitate it, they feel like they are living out and not understanding that “art is supposed to imitate life” and not the other way around. I try to be mindful when I speak to the youth and tell them it’s a better way and it’s cool to be intelligent. Listen, I can go from one hat to the other…I can be like: “Shawty, Heeeey, We bout to turn it up, turn it up, turn it up!” then I can also go to “Yes Sir”, “I appreciate you” and “Thank you”. Yung Joc is the epitome of testament that anyone can make changes to his/her life IF…they make the decision to do so. When this transpires, then the natural order of the compassion of mankind should be to “give back” and help our youth who are our future. Clearly, it will assist in spreading healing to those who have strayed, encourage them and provide platforms for others to jump on board to do the same in order to change society’s views on the assumption that troubled youth are not able to achieve. Yung Joc is working on a new single featuring “Self-Made, Self-Paid Click” and others, along with television shows of which he couldn’t share at the time of the interview…but he said to stay tuned, we would see him soon. ■ Check out his website: http://www.iamyungjoc.com/ and you can follow Yung Joc on Twitter @IAmYungJoc for more updates.

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YOUNG & TRENDY

VALARIA FENDERSON FOUNDATION SOME BATTLES ARE NOT CHOSEN, THEY ARE ASSIGNED:

A Story of Fearlessness, Struggles and Triumphs By Shernita Wiggins

“Never take life for granted - LIVE each day to the FULLEST!” - Valaria

o doubt, Cameca had any idea when she found out she was pregnant; that she would bring into this world a precious gift of which she vowed to provide every ounce of her being into ensuring that she…lived a life of longevity that was not promised. Valaria Tatiana Fenderson was diagnosed with the Sickle Cell disease before she was born in her mother’s sixth month of pregnancy after an amniocentesis. Doctors told Cameca that she had a high chance of birthing a child with Sickle Cell and a lower percentage of her having DownSyndrome or both. Yet, it didn’t halt this warrior from fighting. She braced herself and girded her loins to prepare for the battle of the unknown. It was a surprise, because Valaria’s father did not know he was a trait carrier for Sickle Cell. Cameca always knew she was and had endured various illnesses of her own because of it. So after being told this news, she said, “I prepared by educating myself on everything I could find about the disease. Especially since my daughter had the worst kind, the SS Trait. My pregnancy was not difficult and immediately following her birth she developed the hand and foot syndrome of being in pain. Valaria was heavily monitored and had different complications from birth to 5 years old.” It was at this time, she said the doctors wanted to do a study on Valaria and put her on Hydroxyurea, The “chemo-therapy” of the Sickle Cell community. Her little

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girl’s history of drugs read like the pharmacy list at the drug store. During this entire time, Cameca and her husband began to deal with marital issues. Valaria’s right lung collapsed at the age of 6 and she was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, with C-PAP and a whole body blood exchange. She developed learning deficiencies which affected her academically with the ADHD diagnosis, in addition to medical efforts, methods had to be put in place to help her educationally now in conjunction with the growing medical treatments. She constantly had chest and back pain and now Osteopenia had arrived in both legs, along with the severest kind of Acid reflux, the need for gall bladder and tonsil removal…then without warning, when Cameca was in need the most, her marriage faltered. Cameca had no family here. She sought solace and support from the doctors by exposing her latest reality and the need to receive emotional and additional help in ensuring that this circumstance was not going to add to the severity of the present cases in Valaria’s life. In spite of Cameca and the medical team’s intentions, it still had a major effect on Valaria, she was now losing her dual parental unit to divorce. Last year the doctors informed Cameca that they had done all they could pediatrically for Valaria and she needed to go cold turkey on all her narcotics to prepare her for a bone marrow donor. She was eligible to be put on the list where only 68% of African Americans are on the registry.

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YOUNG & TRENDY

Cameca partnered with an organization called “Be the Match” and became certified to host bone marrow drives on her behalf. “Valaria has a story to tell and so do I. Many networks have come to our assistance and just last year, the NBC 11 Alive’s Bill Liss and Damarco Morgan assisted us in doing a “bone marrow drive” with all of the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). They promised to follow our story until a donor is found. This is how the Valaria Fenderson Foundation was born. During Valaria’s battles, I have learned a lot about sustaining in the fight. There were many times I didn’t even have six dollars for food and now I have learned of programs and organizations that will assist in support for families with children who have severe illnesses. This is now not only a mission for us, but for Valaria and I to help someone else through the foundation’s efforts of educating those who are affected with Sickle Cell or any disease that needs long term care. That is one thing that gives me comfort and motivates me. Knowing in the midst of helping my daughter, we can help someone else.” This brave little girl turned 13 the day after our interview [every birthday is a blessing and gift not taken for granted,] what she has endured, has not deterred her from dreaming just like any other teenager. She is quite the young entrepreneur. She even gives her mother ideas on how to get people to come to their table or booth during hosted drives or events through the distribution or selling of items. She has already created a body fragrance spray with chemist called “Sunshine by Valaria Body Mist” fragrance. Valaria also desires to be a

model and actor. “I want to model for fashions like Justice, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe.” When asked who she was inspired by, she quickly blurted out like any star struck teen, “Tia and Tamara are my favorite, Real Housewives of Atlanta and of course Tyler Perry. I love Madea!” she giggled with excitement. For this mother and daughter duo, they are nothing short of amazing. Cameca has realized how important it is for her to receive counseling along with learning to love and focus on herself and her daughter. A visit to Jejusauna Spa in Atlanta, Georgia is on her “me” list…real soon. At this point in Valaria’s life, she has already exemplified strength in the form of not wanting her peers to know she is sick so they won’t feel sorry for her or treat her differently. “I just want to live a normal life like everyone else.” This young lady’s zeal is one to admire. You can follow her through the social networks on the links below and come out to support the efforts of those with Sickle Cell or any major life-threatening disease. Cameca seeing her vision manifested from when Valaria was two years old, states, “Dreams do come True!” ■ For more information on how you can HOST a drive for Valaria to help find a bone marrow match or keep up with her progress, visit their website at valariafendersonfoundation.org, FaceBook: Cameca Wright and Valaria Fenderson, and Support Valaria Fenderson page, Instagram: xovalariaxo and Twitter: @supportvalaria

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YOUNG & TRENDY

SIERRA CALNINAUR Editor in Chief

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ries, articles, drawings and recipies so that the youth can all come together and uplift each other. Over the years , My Magazine has had the pleasure of featuring people such as actress Ke Ke Palmer from the hit biopic Crazy, Sexy, Cool , actress CeCe Michaela who played “Yvonne” in the popular television show Girlfriends, RnB singer Chris Brown, and actor Hosea Sanchez from the hit television series The Game, just to name a few. Each issue, My Magazine also features local youth and organizations that are doing positive things in their communities. By highlighting positive teens, it can encourage others to want to do the same. Every month, My Magazine visits local schools, juvenile courts, and community functions to speak to the youth and encourage them to stay on the right path. Brittiney and Sierra make it their personal goals to get young people involved in positive activities that will ensure them a bright future. They also teach seminars on writing and recruit

A living testimony of where thinking outside of the box and determination can get you.

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[

M

y Magazine was started in November of 2007 by then, 11 year old Sierra Calvinaur and 13 year old Brittiney Clay. The publication came about from an art project the girls had in school where they were to design their own cover for a magazine. The girls became inspired from the project and began creating an entire magazine. After months of planning and brainstorming, the idea for My Magazine was born. Brittiney and Sierra wanted to create a publication for the youth just like themselves to inspire, empower and educate each other. My Magazine covers topics dealing with health, nutrition, education, finance, music, pop culture, relationships and much more. My Magazine also encourages their readers to send in poems, sto-

TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE

BRITTINEY CLAY Managing Editor

young inspiring writers to join the My Magazine team. Over the years, My Magazine has grown and progressed into the publication it is today. My Magazine is run on a quarterly schedule and as of today, there are 10 issues and counting! Outside of working on the magazine, Sierra is a junior majoring in journalism at Georgia State University and Brittiney is a junior majoring in marketing at Atlanta Tech. The duo plans on graduating school and using their skills to improve the magazine. In the next few years, My Magazine plans on expanding world wide and becoming one of the top youth magazines. My magazine also plans to create a web based series to reach as many teens as possible. Brittiney and Sierra are a living testimony of where thinking outside of the box and determination can get you. They plan to continue encouraging the youth to go for their dreams and with a little dedication and hard work, anything is possible. ■


INTERNET MARKETING MANAGER & STRATEGIST

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UP & COMING TRENDSETTERS

1st Lady of HipRock…Reigndrop Lopes By: Beverly Hill (Shelley)

ATLANTA, GA

R

eigndrop Lopes is the sister of Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes from the world famous trio TLC! It was never Reigndrop’s desire to be in the music industry. She did so just a short time before her sister’s passing. There was a TLC song that she knew; she really liked Lisa’s rap verse. Reigndrop would always rap that verse, but she would rap it in a different and what she called “a crazy way.” It was so different from the way that Lisa did it. Never rapping before, she went into her friend’s studio to record. He took Lisa’s verse out and replaced it with Reigndrop’s version. She said that she did not like how it sounded, but others heard it and liked it! They convinced her that her version was such a different sound and she should go for it. With her unique style and encouragement from her friends, she decided to use her talent and create music of her own. She says, “I am the 1st Lady of HipRock!” When asked, what is HipRock? She replies, “I am HipRock, it’s the way I dress, the kind of music I do…pretty much hip rock!” It is a fusion of hip-hop and rock, and she always performs with a live band. Her first musical influence and favorite group is Guns and Roses. Reigndrop Lopes was also influenced by Alanis Morissette and later by Missy Elliott and Pharrell (N.E.R.D). Reigndrop’s style of dress is definitely a style of her own! She designs a lot of her outfits by taking pieces that she already has and alters them. She may add to them, take away or wear them in a way they weren’t designed to be worn. Linda Bezuidenhout is now her designer. Linda designs all of Reigndrop’s clothes from scratch. Recently signing with a new management company,

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The Burke Management Firm, Reigndrop is now working on several new projects. One is an overseas project, and she is working on collaborations with some artists here in the states. She says she is also in the beginning stages of an animation project which includes animation for a children’s book. Reigndrop even has plans for a healthy cooking show to teach young people healthy, delicious alternatives. The show will be vegetarian based but will have a few recipes that include fish. As far as her future plans, she takes it day by day. Reigndrop has several releases, “Sleigh Rock” (a Christmas song), “Xplode,” “Rock-da- Riddle” (feat. Farrell Da Flo Poet), “HipRock” and her most recent one, “Looking Out My Left Eye.” “Looking Out My Left Eye” is a tribute to her sister, Lisa. The song was released in Japan in June of this year. She is waiting for clearance for it to be released in the United States. All of her releases can be found on Amazon or iTunes. Concerning the music business, Reigndrop Lopes states, “It is not a pretty business. It can change who you are. You can lose yourself or sell your soul.” She continues, “I don’t encourage anyone to get into this business…unless…you are trying to change it for the better. I’m in it to make it better.” HipRock is REIGNDROP! Beverly Hill (Shelley) – writer, lyricist Hits on the Hill© hitsonthehill@gmail.com hitsonthehill.com

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UP & COMING TRENDSETTERS

MZ. HUNNY LEE

“ON THE RISE”

PHOTO BY J. CARTER PHOTOGRAPHY

my Lee was born in Cincinnati,

RIVERDALE, GA

Ohio and in the midst of enduring instability because her mother was in prison, she developed a love for music at an early age. While moving from house to house, she had to grow up at an accelerated rate; however, music was always there to fill in the gap. At age 5 she was in the choir and later formed musical groups with family members, performed in school plays and talent shows with all of the music written by herself. Her talent was evident early on and by age 12, she was recording and doing hooks with local rappers. This would turn out to be a taste of what she really longed for and therefore, it wasn’t enough to satisfy her appetite, so she diverted her attention from the type of music she was doing to write rhymes expressing in a different way. She knew there was a lot she needed to learn, but she mastered the technique of writing and performed in Ohio, Flint, Michigan and Atlanta. She performs under the name of Mz Hunny Lee who she deems as her “alter ego”, the opposite of the shy and quiet Amy Lee. On the stage, she becomes an outgoing, crazy, sexy, witty star who knows what she wants when the lights signal it’s time to “shine like a diamond”. Hunny Lee has appeared in music videos and Cincinnati riots spitting hardcore rhymes, proving looks can be deceiving. She inspired a movement called Team Camel Toe or TCT, which empowers women to stand together and exude confidence, no matter their ethnic background or size. Her recognitions include Cin Magazine, I Love My Plug, Rap Star Promo and being nominated Best Female Artist in the Ohio Hip Hop Awards. Mz Hunny Lee moved to Atlanta to take her career to another level working with Tia Culver of Atlanta Talent, DJ Kurupt and more. It is obvious that Hunny Lee, Hip Hop goddess, songwriter and music composer is on a mission to prove her worth in entertainment, so brace yourself and STAY TUNED. Are you READY?! ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE

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GRAMMY AWARD‐WINNING  ARTIST REGINA BELLE, THE TAMS, CASE, DAVE  TOLLIVER, HESTON, HANK STEWART, TORION,  NO PHEAR, TRAV WRIGHT,   UNCLE REECE AND MANY OTHERS WILL PERFORM AT THE 1ST EVER   STAR‐STUDDED BLACK MUSIC AWARDS SHOW IN ATLANTA ON DECEMBER 1, 2013    The Black Music Association & Academy of America (BMA) proudly present the first ever "Atlanta Black Music Awards Show” on Sunday, December 1, 2013, at Center Stage Theater. The Black Music Awards promise to be an extravagant night filled with many memorable moments. The event will honor and celebrate past, present and future icons in the music industry. The star-studded lineup of performers and presenters for the first Black Music Awards spotlights some of Atlanta's best. Presenters for this star-studded event include WBO Boxing Champ Demetrius Andrade, Atlanta's first Platinum Group - Brick, Mrs. Georgia US United 2012- Nancy Klausner, Kari Wells of Bravo TV's Married to Medicine, Jazz Great Russel Blake, Harlem Globe Trotter's Tammy Brawner, and Actress Lisa Lauren Smith of BET's Let's Stay Together, Music Mogul Ian Burke, Music Mogul Kevin Shine, Youth Entertainment Journalist Shay'na Fields, Mrs. Bo Talley, and many others. Additionally, performers include Four-time Grammy Award-winning Artist Regina Belle, The Tams, Case, Dave Tolliver, Uncle Reece, Kelani, and many other artists will perform at the event. The 14 Karat Gold Band will serve as the House Band for the night. BET/Def Comedy Jam Comedian “Pierre” will be the evening's host. Ms. Nickee of Diva Day International will host the red carpet. The Red Carpet Event & VIP Reception is from 4:30-5:45 pm. The awards show kicks off at 6:00 pm sharp. Enclave Lounge will host the After Party. Honorees include Atlanta Icons' The Tams; Black Music Hall of Fame recipient “Regina Belle”; Janice Mathis, Leadership Award; Brick -Living Legend Award; Organized Noize- Icon Award. Mr. Joe Beasley will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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UP & COMING TRENDSETTERS

Interviewed by Kenneth Prophet and Written by Shernita Wiggins, Contributing Writer

W

hen she and her 22 Durrty Gurlz hit the stage or club scene, and the music begins, you know it’s about to go…DOWN! Her hits like “Onion Booty” and “Go” brings out the sex appeal of any woman and is the essence of the crew she is surrounded by which include ladies of all sizes, heights and complexions who are mothers, college graduates, models and MORE. What few know, there is more to CoCo-Kiss than just a pretty face, sexy body and hot beats with “booty-shaking” lyrics. She is a woman of confidence, mystique, entrepreneur and heart. Standing 5 feet tall with the attitude of a “BossChick”, she goes through great lengths to still encourage and inspire young ladies who cross her path. CoCo-Kiss’ entourage of 22 women materialized from an invitation of former boyfriend ET, from the Dirty Boys who asked her to “run his team” for him after she quit her job, but then became bored. This would become an opportunity that not only humbled this new and upcoming hot talent, but compelled her to “evolve” according to her and gain the title of “Mama Durrty”. She has helped these young ladies to learn skills in promoting, modeling and building self-esteem in their “street-sorority”, as she labels them. Amazingly enough, this Hott-i-liscious star from the southwest suburbs of Chicago came here several years ago and within a year was able to step into the Atlanta culture with ease. CoCo-Kiss shared her reason for this stemmed from the “southern soul” she encompassed from spending summers in Mississippi. A city girl with a southern twist worked in her favor and made the transition to Atlanta… possible. Although her transformation into the music industry

was not as easy, she soon found her niche’ there too. When she was first approached by her boyfriend that he intended to make her a rapper, capitalizing on her “unique” voice, her response was, “Whatever!” At first she said she didn’t take is serious, because most of her life, her voice was not her greatest asset, but after getting sold out frequently booked shows, it dawned on her, she might have something to offer the public, after all. Her first single “Onion Booty” that showcased a dance she and the Durrty Gurlz performed became a hit reaching over 9 million views on YouTube. On the stage, she is a “Boss-Chick” and off stage, she is an entrepreneur who endorses the 22” Virgin Remy she rocks to make a statement of her “sexiness” which is displayed on a billboard here in Atlanta. Her community projects give back to charities that are dear to her heart for children and dogs. One exclusive tidbit that she shared in her interview is that she does voice overs for Hot 107.9 and their sister stations for kid commercials. CoCo-Kiss said, “I was teased for my voice coming up and now it is how I eat.” She leaves positive advice for young ladies who aspire to get into the game: “Keep your legs closed and you will go further. Don’t sleep with people just because they want to sleep with you, unless it’s an adult and personal choice.” She believes just as strongly in that as she does her lucky number, “22”. Astrology and numerology play a huge part in her life and their significance “makes sense”. Considering where she is at this moment, it’s working for her quite nicely. Be on the lookout for CoCo-Kiss new album this October which has 12 tracks with a lot more of her works and you already know to expect it to be a “Go”…CoCo-Kiss Style! ■

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PHOTO BY DEAN CHAMBERS

MAKING MOVES ON STAGE AND WITHIN THE COMMUNITY WITH A “MILLION DOLLAR” VOICE


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EDUCATION

Solid Foundation and Sir Markadoo Develop Teen Entrepreneurs By Dr. Leslie Ashlock DECATUR, GA

Sir Markadoo teaches SF students Entrepreneurship olid Foundation and Sir Markadoo of Heavenly Body Products started collaborating after a staff member walked around the neighborhood to find out which businesses would be interested in opening their doors to allow their students to come in to learn about their business. Heavenly Body Products welcomed Solid Foundation students with open arms. After the initial “tour,” Dr. Ashlock was so impressed with the contents and the conceptual framework that appeared to go into developing the business process of the 10,000 square foot facility. She was also impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by Sir Markadoo and his wife, Stefanie. In 1994, Sir Markadoo bought two dozen T-shirts, printed two religious messages ---"Thank You Jesus" and "Fill My Cup Lord"--- on them and went into business. A year later, Sir Markadoo leased a 700-square-foot space and expanded into fragrances, body oils, lotions, bath and shower gels. Due to a genuine zeal for providing the best quality products at the best price, Sir Markadoo had to expand to a 2,500 square foot facility. Today, Heavenly Body Products International occupies a 10,000 square foot warehouse in Decatur, Georgia as a flourishing retail, wholesale and online business across the street from Solid Foundation Christian Academy. In a wholesaler capacity, Heavenly Body Products International helps entrepreneurs launch their own small business with $25 starter kits . "We help God's people prosper." This is the vision of Heavenly Body Products and lines up with Sir Markadoo's belief that "If you are not afraid to work for yourself, we can help get you started in your own business and make today's dream, tomor-

row's reality. Solid Foundation Christian Academy is a private-school K12 and has 6 high school students working with Sir Markadoo on a daily basis teaching them how to become entrepreneurs. The students are using the concepts created through “Sir’s” marketing techniques and daily skill building workshops. The students absolutely enjoy walking to Sir’s classes everyday which are right across the street. Each student had to create their own company name, company brand, and purchase their product for $25 to get started. Sir Markadoo has taken them out to the streets and various events to show them how he markets his products. He also allows the students to learn from him by sitting in on some of his client meetings. Students take the opportunity very serious because they receive class credit for taking the course. In addition to learning entrepreneurial skills, the ultimate test and goal for each student is to use the skills that they learn and apply them via practical application and earn $7,000 that they will keep for themselves to help their parents with graduation fees and college expenses. Solid Foundation Christian Academy is an accredited private-school which uses a nontraditional approach to education. Their students are bright, energetic, creative thinkers that have a unique style of learning. Our students face a variety of challenges that often act as roadblocks in traditional schools. A few of these roadblocks include difficulty in reading or writing words or numbers, problems transferring thoughts to paper, trouble with organization and time management, failure to turn in homework, inability to concentrate in class, and a history of falling behind classmates academically. ■

If you would like more information, please visit the website at www.solidfoundationchristianacademy.com or call 770-323-8700. More information about Heavenly Body Products can be found at www.heavenlybodyproducts.com.

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EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT

BOWIE, MD

Bowie State University (BSU) President, Dr. Mickey L. Burnim

. Mickey L. Burnim began his tenure as the ninth president of Bowie State University (BSU) on September 1, 2006. With 25 years of experience as a leader in higher education, Burnim has engaged the university community in a shared vision that is guiding the enhancement of institutional excellence and academic distinction with a focus on helping students succeed. Under his leadership, Bowie State University has seen steady growth in enrollment and the addition of eight new degree programs. His focus on strengthening the fiscal foundation of the university has led to significant increases in grants and contracts, the launch of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign and a revitalized BSU Foundation. He has built stronger relationships with alumni who are showing greater support and participation in giving to advance the university's commitment to student success. An economist by training, Burnim holds a B.A. degree and an M.A. degree from the University of North Texas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, all in eco-

nomics. He has written papers and published several scholarly articles on labor economics and public finance. Burnim recently completed his term as chairman of the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and serves on the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Board of Directors. In addition, he serves as an educational leadership consultant to various entities. Prior to arriving at Bowie State University, Burnim served as the chancellor for 11 years at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He also previously served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University. Earlier in his career, he worked as assistant vice president for academic affairs in the General Administration of the University of North Carolina; and as a staff economist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He began his career as a faculty member at Florida State University. A native of Teague, Texas, the president and his wife, LaVera Levels Burnim, have two adult children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren. â– 

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www.Angelicarms.com NOV / DEC 2013 29


HEALTH & WELLNESS SPOTLIGHT

Tattoo Turns Heads! By Dr. Linda Amerson

T

attoos are popular for all parts of the body, even your head can become a canvas! We continue our alopecia awareness by interviewing alopecia beauty Dotty Jenkins from New Hamphsire, who has a head full of meningful tattoos. In addition, her alopecia journey is poetically expressed in a poem. Dotty shares, "I would like to take this opportunity to comment on my head tattoos. It is a collage of meaningful separate tattoos pulled together with flowers and vines that my tattoo artist drew freehand to make it all come together beautifully. As far as whether it hurt, I will just say that all tattoos hurt, and head tattoos do not hurt any more than tattoos anywhere else. I was so psyched to get it done that it was really like therapy for me. I forgot about the loss, and focused on the beauty. I didn't want anyone to think I had Cancer so I took my blank canvas and had it made into a masterpiece. I went for 22 different sessions for a total of about 45 hours. It took about 3 years to complete it but it was well worth it. I do not regret any of it. It is a great conversation starter and I get to educate people about Alopecia. I paid just under $3,000 for the tattoo completion. Ironically I paid more for my vacuum wig that I don't even wear! Thank you, Dr. Linda Amerson for giving beautiful Alopecian women a voice and helping us spread awareness. You are awesome!!!" ■

This Thing Called Alopecia By Dottie Jenkins

Okay, world, where do I start? I guess I'll tell it from the heart. It all began seven years ago, Why it picked me, I Still don’t know.

One fine day I went online, Where I met new friends of mine. Alopecia groups, how nice, I go to them for advice.

It may be heredity, it may be stress, All I knew was the doctor’s guess. There is no cause, no known cure, You’ll lose more hair, that’s for sure.

Alopecia won’t discriminate From age one to ninety-eight. Not caring who or where you are, In the USA or from afar.

You may lose some or lose it all, No way to know how much will fall. This can’t be true! This isn’t fair! I’m a woman! I need my hair!

If you’re black, white or red, It takes your hair right off your head. Hair may come back or maybe not, Is there anything else I forgot?

This thing called Alopecia, didn’t stall, Within three months I lost it all. No scalp hair, brows or lashes now, I had to accept the loss — but how?

Yes! Alopecians Beautiful inside and out, We need to show what that’s about. Alopecians neither freaks nor contagious, Think otherwise is outrageous.

I felt alone, I couldn’t share, I just cried, I didn't care. I bought some wigs, they hid it well, My Alopecia? None could tell.

I lost all my hair, not my identity, My Alopecian friends give me serenity. So, give us achance and don’t make fun, Alopecians are just like everyone!

Tried everything my doctor suggested, Still all my hair, my body rejected, Three years later I had no hair, Three years living with despair.

For additional information about alopecia or scalp disorders, contact Dr. Linda Amerson at 817 265-8854, or dramerson@hairandscalpessentials.com or check our site @ www.hairandscalpessentials.com. We also invite you to tune in every Wednesday from 11am-12noon CST to Ask the Hair & Scalp Doctor Radio Show onwww.DfwiRadio.com.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS SPOTLIGHT

TOLL FREE 1-866-958-7363

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

ALBANY, GA

large stature and was loved by many, especially ne of the most painful memories in the ladies. He loved being called “Big Nard” or my 48 years of existence was on as was the case of the recently-deceased rapper Feb. 11, 2004. It was the day my Heavy D, he was also called, the “Overweight only brother, Bernard Green, lost his Lover.” battle with years of obesity-related In those days, it was uncommon to be overmedical complications. Widelyweight because we didn’t have the technology known as the second leading cause kids have these days. We were considered of preventable death in the U.S., the healthy because outside activities kept everyone real cost of obesity is far more imactive. Bernard, also known as Beno, loved to pactful than the $2.1 billion reported dance and was good at it, which also kept him by the Centers for Disease Control. somewhat healthy. But, as his popularity inAccording to the website, http:// creased, so did his weight. www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/facts.html, more However, as the years progressed, he develthan one-third of adults and 17 percent of chilPamela Green Jackson, oped other illnesses caused by carrying too dren ages 2 – 19 in the U.S. are overweight or Founder much weight. First, after joining the Marine obese. This number represents more than 12 Corps, he was sent home after six weeks million individuals in our overall population. deemed unfit for duty after failure to meet weight guidelines, Since 2003, the prevalence has decreased slightly from 15.21 to joint problems and the discovery of a small non-cancerous 14.94 percent. brain tumor. Depressed, he returned home and began eating While one in three children overall are overweight, one in high-calorie foods to deal with it. seven of them are pre-school age. Although a one percent gain Next was the diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes, which was disin progress over the past nine years is considered good news, covered after he collapsed at work with a blood glucose level of more must be done. more than 800. Later, after a failed marriage, he seemingly Since his middle school years, my brother reveled in his

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gave up and continued eating all the wrong things. In late 2003, Bernard and I had a conversation about becoming healthy and all the kids he noticed who looked like him. He said, “Sis, you need to do something to help these kids so they won’t end up dealing with the health problems I have.” After fighting with God and my pastor, spiritually of course, and talking to a few community leaders and pediatricians, I discovered how prevalent obesity and health issues were becoming. It was then that I decided to ‘do something’ and planned a pilot initiative to raise awareness and remove barriers to exercise. The Youth Becoming Healthy Project, Inc., (YBH) was launched Feb. 14, 2004, three days after the death of Bernard with the explicit intent of raising awareness of obesity and its devastating effects – preventable death. The pilot consisted of converting a vacant classroom at one of the local middle schools into a health club and partnering with the Health and Physical Education Department at Albany State University where college students would gain work experience by serving as health coaches, under the supervision of a certified personal trainer and dietician. YBH coaches served as mentors to help students deal with emotional eating, choosing and eating healthier foods and enjoying fun physical activity such as hip-hop dance, martial arts, walking clubs and more. Thanks to programs like First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative and others, we are beginning to see a difference in healthier menu options at schools and restaurants, the return of physical education to schools and a greater emphasis on living healthier lifestyles. One of the faces of the obesity epidemic gripping this country is my brother, Bernard Green, and all others who have lost their battle since 2004. Health experts have already predicted we are living as the first generation where parents will outlive their children. As a nation, we must work together to save future generations and continue to ‘do something’ to reduce the real cost. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pamela Green Jackson is the founder of The Youth Becoming Healthy Project, a non-profit organization based in Albany, Ga. She is also employed full-time by the Department of Defense as a Community Plans & Liaison Officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. The recipient of numerous local, state and national awards, including CNN Hero, for her work in combating childhood obesity, she was recently awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama.

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FITNESS TRENDS SPOTLIGHT

Krystal (LADY KARAR D) Brown

BIG BONE FITNESS Vol.1

ORLANDO, FL ries no positive results. I rekindled my love and passion for ’m Krystal (Lady KararD) Brown, the creator of the Big dance and choreography. I pulled myself together, decided at Boned Fitness Philosophy in Atlanta, GA. I am a multi246 pounds that I would study the certification material and try media producer by profession and a certified plus sized and take the test. And like wow… I passed the first time. A fitness instructor by passion. I am overweight, over fat, month or so after that I had a few choreographed classes and and heavily concerned about my health. I started my started teaching classes under the brand weight loss journey while comBig Boned Fitness. pleting my master’s program in I’ve been certified for over 2 years Orlando a few years back. I had now. During that time I have achieved a gotten up to 246lbs, and at a healthy weight loss of 29 pounds. My height of 5’2, that’s a lot of body has embraced tighter curves. I weight stacked on top of two short legs. teach the philosophy to “Live, Eat, and Life became uncomfortable. Clothes Exercise today for a better you tomorcontinued to shrink. My weight was row.” Its important for every obese overuncontrollable. My mind was so foweight person to realize “no” this is not cused on making my grades that I lost a lifestyle that will provide the quality of sight of what my body was doing. life that will be healthy and productive. After graduation I sat down to reAfter that has been realized they need to view all the great pictures I took with KRYSTAL (LADY KARARD) BROWN know there are healthy ways to get that family and friends and I remembered “fabulous body” you want. Then when feeling a sinking feeling in my gut. I you find that path that will work best for looked very happy in my pictures, but you, pursue it like a mad man until you get there. to see how big I had gotten compared to my family, I was horriI teach a class in Decatur called “Curvylicious Cardio”. It is fied. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming because I did notice I a low impact cardio class designed for plus sized and curvy could hardly breathe when I laid down to sleep. I felt tired all women over 170 pounds. Its great on the knees, builds muscles the time. I had no control over my eating habits. I was out of to burn the fat, and it is a lot of fun learning new dance exercise control. I was getting too fat to wear clothes I had just gotten a routines!! ■ few months earlier. At this point I was waiting for a job to come through. I could have been depressed but I felt like I needed to make the best of this situation. Being depressed car-

“Live, Eat, and Exercise today for a better you tomorrow”

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LIFESTYLES

David and Christal “I’m not living without her!!”

ave and I met at work in 2006 shortly after I was promoted to a supervisor position. The day we met I remember thinking how incredibly nice he was. Dave says that he felt an instant attraction to me, thinking that I must be married or in a relationship. We had a very nice conversation that day, but went our separate ways only seeing each other occasionally for the next several years. We both were never interested in dating anyone we worked with, so it was always just friendly when we would see one another. Fast forward four years, I was working at a location for a week and Dave was working there. We had great conversations that week and I remember feeling so drawn to him by his personality and positive demeanor. The timing for us to get together was not good at the time and we went our own way again this time. We were, however Facebook friends and kept in contact so to speak this way. In fall 2011 I had been thinking a lot of Dave and decided to say hello to him so I sent him a private message on Facebook. We communicated this way for a couple days and arranged to meet for lunch. We went on an unconventional date to our favorite department store and had lunch together, and we had the greatest time together. We fell in love almost immediately. We had an immediate connection that has gotten stronger each day. We discovered that we had an almost identical upbringing with the same values and morals. There has never been a forced moment between us; things have always been natural within our relationship. We are best friends; there is no judgment or preconceived notions. We have absolutely no shame in our love for one another. Dave is always telling his crew at the barber shop “I’m not living without her!!” We have a mutual respect for one another and we support each other in our goals and endeavors. We are always motivating each other to succeed, in everything we are setting out to accomplish. We were married February 24, 2013. Our relationship grew, and my work location changed around this time so we would see each other more often at work as well. When we decided to date we agreed that we would keep our relationship and our professional lives separate. That meant when we were in the scope of our work duties we kept things professional. It also meant that we do not discuss the details of our relationship with coworkers. While we have received tremendous amounts of support from our coworkers, having conversations about what goes on between us is totally off limits. We also agree that whatever happens at work stays at work and what happens at home stays there. We try to spend as much time together privately as we can by scheduling the same vacation time and off days. ■

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CLEVELAND, OH


LIFESTYLES CANTON, OH

Grant and DeLores

Pressley “Friends Forever” Grant Pressley, Jr.

eLores and I started out as friends and after a while we realized that we had something special together. We have been together for thirty-eight years. We dated for four years and have been married for thirty -four years. We both have busy schedules and DeLores is high octane and I am low octane. (Lol!) She started as an elementary teacher. Now she is an author and radio host on the road a lot speaking at varies corporations, businesses and churches all across the country and world. Occasionally, I get the opportunity to travel with her. We have both grown. We are trying to make a difference in this world, she does it globally and I do it locally in my community. I am President of A-Plus Marketing which often has me traveling on weekends. Also, I am a police officer for the City of Canton and currently work as a Homicide Detective. However, we find a way to make time for ourselves. Sometimes that includes going for a walk after work or having a quiet dinner at home or sitting at the dining room table just talking. Should DeLores and I have a disagreement (yes, there will be times in all relationships that opinions differ) and we don’t

seem to be able to come to a solution, we “Take 24”. “Take 24” means we will take 24 hours before we continue the discussion. This gives us time to control our emotions, calm down and think about a solution that works for both of us. And we always go to bed by saying we love each other no matter how we are feeling. This is just one of the many techniques we have done to make our marriage last. I think many relationships don’t last because they are not built on a strong foundation. For us we have a strong religious and spiritual foundation that holds us together. Recording Artist James Ingram said it best when he wrote the song, “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" In his song he asks the questions; “How do you keep the music playing? How do you make it last? How do you keep the song from fading too fast? He then answers his questions by saying, “If we can be the best of lovers yet be the best of friends. If we can try with every day to make it better as it grows, with any luck than I suppose the music never ends. DeLores and I never want our music to end. ■

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COVER STORY

By: Beverly Hill (Shelley) eople still call her Dee. I’m talking about Dr. Danielle Spencer-Fields, Dee, from the sitcom What’s Happening!! Danielle says that people on the street still call her Dee assuming that it is short for Danielle. Her family and close friends call her Danny. Born in the Bronx, New York, she moved to California in the summer of 1976 because she was cast on the show What’s Happening!! Danielle had auditioned for the show while she still lived in New York. She went to acting school with a few other kids, one being Kim Fields. They thought of it as just something to do after school, since their parents didn’t have babysitters. She never had any idea the extent of what acting could do for her life. She started acting at about seven years old. What’s Happening!! was her first big acting gig. Danielle’s signature quote was, “Ooh…I’m gonna tell mama!” She says that when she was a child, people would come up to her and say that to her all the time. As an adult, it doesn’t happen much. Now they tell her how they liked the relationship between her and her television brother, Raj’. Yet, some hated how she would always get him in trouble! Danielle says people tell her how much she and Raj remind them of themselves growing up. When Danielle was in

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her twenties she did a commercial, had a small bit part in the movie Serpico and acted in several plays. She also was in an after school special called The Tap Dance Kids, which became a series. The What’s Happening!! cast and Danielle were like family. She would hang out at Mable Thomas’ (Mama) house when Mable would host parties. Danielle was really tight with Ernest Thomas (Raj) and also with Haywood Nelson (Dwayne) because he was her age. Fred Berry (Rerun) and Shirley Hemphill (Shirley) were doing a lot of stand-up comedy. She wasn’t as close to them because she was not allowed in the venues where they performed due to her age. As she got older, she developed relationships with them also. Danielle and Ernest are still very close seeing each other at least once a month. They do autograph signings all over the country. What’s Happening!! ran for three years, and ironically so did the sequel, What’s Happening Now!! Danielle says one of the good things about this sitcom was the fact that it was the first show to go into new production after being in syndication. Ernest Thomas was actually the person that birthed the idea to bring the show back as, What’s Happening Now!! In 1977, Danielle was in a car accident that took her father’s life. In the accident, her pelvis, left arm and her right leg were broken. Once she healed from the car accident, she had no problems for over thirty years. She had worked for ten years as a Veterinarian with no apparent effects from the accident.

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COVER STORY Danielle started having feelings of suicide! These feelings started happening during the eight month period of her being paralyzed. She felt like she was not getting any help from her physical therapy in California. She was getting frustrated with all of the doctors, the

the hospital, he slept there with her so she wouldn’t be alone, brought her food, took care of their pets, and worked two jobs. While Danielle maintains her therapy at Northridge Hospital, Garry encourages her to continue her daily physical therapy and to get out of the house

“God is the only reason that I got through all of this. I think I appreciate life so much more….” DANIELLE SPENCER-FIELDS

Danielle’s doctors believe that her childhood accident was the cause of the problems she began to face in 2004. One day she started to experience tingling in her legs, and the pain got progressively worse. Danielle states, “The only conclusion that doctors came up with was that the healing of my broken pelvis must have lead to some instability in my back.” She had a disk in her back that had calcified and was putting pressure on a nerve. No one could actually pinpoint the reason for her pain. In just a few short weeks, she needed a cane in order to stand normally. Surgery became necessary to give her some relief, but what happened next was devastating…she was now paralyzed from the waist down! Before the surgery, she was walking! She remained paralyzed for almost a year. It became a very frustrating, tiring road because the doctors didn’t seem to know any more than she and her family did.

neurologists, spinal cord injury doctors…EVERYBODY! Danielle recounts, “I absolutely saw NO hope, NO hope for getting better, and I felt like I had NO options. I never thought I would ever consider suicide, but I did. I didn’t want to go through this pain; I lost my faith and everything. This was the lowest part of my entire life.” That feeling lasted for two or three months. After her thoughts of suicide passed, she started trying to pick herself up and make efforts to get into the Kessler Institution for Rehabilitation in New Jersey. She was finally able to get into Kessler. Everything now seemed really promising! They were more knowledgeable of her condition, because they handled these kinds of injuries every day. Danielle suddenly had hope, and her improvement was dramatic! She was at Kessler for one and a half years. For three weeks she was inpatient, and the remainder of the time as outpatient. She was walking with a walker in about three weeks, and in a couple of months she was using crutches! At present, she is using two crutches to strengthen her abdominal muscles so that she can support more of her own weight. After her stay in New Jersey and attending Kessler, Danielle returned home to California where she was reunited with her husband, Garry. She and Garry have been together eighteen years and married for fifteen. He is very supportive of Danielle from the time of her being paralyzed to this day. From day one, Garry was on his job as a loving, encouraging husband. While she was in

more often. Danielle wrote a book titled, THROUGH THE FIRE: Journey of a Child Star. Instead of going to schools talking about how to prevent injury to the head and spine, she felt that she could reach a wider audience by writing and sharing her experiences. She highly credits her mom for encouraging her to start and complete her book. Danielle’s future plans include more books, more acting and just enjoying life. She has two books in the works now, and has a couple of reality shows that will probably come out next year. She says, "I may even make my book into a movie (laughing).” Danielle keeps herself strong and motivated by praying. She says, “God is the only reason that I got through all of this. I think I appreciate life so much more. I want to do any and everything that I can to be happy. Life is too short. You never know if or when your faculties will be taken away.” Danielle enjoys traveling and works a couple of days at her old job at the veterinarian clinic. She says there are a lot of major things in her life that she is still able to do, and there are things that make her happy enough to keep going. She continues, “Be your own self advocate when it comes to your healthcare. Do your own research. Surround yourself with positive people. Stress has a lot to do with the illnesses that we have. Adopt a positive support system through family and friends. Have faith and a relationship with God.” Danielle has been THROUGH THE FIRE! The one word she leaves us with is, “SURVIVOR.” And yes, a survivor she is! ■

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COVER STORY

^tÜÄ|x exww Love and Hip Hop Atlanta Star THE GOLDEN TOUCH OF REDD: THERE’S MORE TO THIS “DIVA” THAN MEETS THE EYE Written by Shernita Wiggins, Contributing Writer Photography by Rodney Adams

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COVER STORY

he New York born “divanista” with the Trinidadian roots is clearly rocking the boat in the entertainment industry with her versatility and ability to hold her own. In the endeavors that she has embarked upon, Karlie Redd, the Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’s latest spark of golden-flava”, has a Midas Touch. Lately, everything she touches has turned into a golden opportunity for success. With a background studying from the Harlem School of the Arts and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, her portfolio is rolling out nicely, “Redd Carpet” fashion. When Trendsetters to Trendsetters magazine made it to the photo shoot location in mid-town Atlanta, even in her black rhinestone cap, casual attire and natural look, Karlie was still the embodiment likened unto the jewel of the Nile…in youthful appearance. After a few moments of observation and conversation before the arrival of her glam-squad, it was immediately evident, this woman was very confident in how her brand was marketed in the industry, and she was successful because of how her staff and team followed her instructions to the letter. As we waited for her to get transformed for the photo shoot, her friend Yung Joc entered into the building and they chilled like a scene from an up close and personal TV show, proving that fame has not tarnished their ability to appreciate some down time in the midst of work. Just before Karlie’s team made it, she opted to give me a few minutes to get the 4-1-1 on what she’s up to these days. As we sat on the sofa in a corner of the rustic building, she invited me into her circle and opened up to talk about her career and the things that are near and dear to her heart, as if we were old friends. I learned by the end of the interview, this woman was like an iceberg, you only see the surface, but there is so much more to her, than many realize underneath. She shared the joys and challenges of making it in the entertainment business and what compels her to reach back and share what she has learned with others to help them on their way. When I asked her what impact Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’s reality show had on her career her response was, “I was acting and modeling long before the show. I was on three other reality shows before this one. I was one of the ten actresses on the VH1 Scream Queens and I have over 50 commercials, movies and TV shows accredited to me…however, this was the biggest opportunity that I had. So in an essence, it did enhance my present career.” Needless to say, because of the background that Karlie Redd comes from, it just added fuel to the fire of her ability to “make things happen”. She is appearing in a movie directed and starred in by Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart and more! She also has another movie entitled 30 days in Atlanta starring Vivica Fox and Lynn Whitfield that will be an international film.

That’s pretty impressive for this timeless body of intellect who is also reaching beyond the boundaries of the screen and music scene to interact with charities that she is passionate about to give back to the community. She donates hair from her new Redd Hair Line products to Cancer patients, participates in speaking engagements at schools and hosts mentoring programs for young women aspiring to enter into the modeling or acting career field. Karlie’s workshops teach young ladies the fundamentals that she was denied when she first started out, like how to be prepared with headshots, acquiring an agent and connecting them with local photographers to get the material for portfolios. She told T2T, “I give back, because when I came into the industry this wasn’t done for me. I would ask at casting calls, ‘What are they expecting? What do I need to have?’ and people treated this like top secret information. I want them to know this is not all fun and games and you don’t have to show TNA [tits and a**] or be a video vixen to make it in the industry.” She is available to travel to any city and as long as there are about five girls or more in attendance, she will be there. I found this to be an amazing way of returning the love to those in need. Sort of reaching back in the barrel and pulling out the next one instead of pulling them down to get ahead. One thing about Karlie Redd’s success is…it was not a surprise. She expressed that one gentleman from her New York stomping grounds reminded her that when she was 10 years old she told him she was going to be famous. Karlie’s own driving force was herself, “I was my own motivation. The streets of New York and Trinidad prepared me for this. I am always working on multiple projects. Some people tell you to focus on one thing, that is not me. I say, do as many as you can and whichever one sticks, do that one first.” She is such an excellent actress, that her belief tells her when one door closes, a new one opens so…”Never Give Up!” For more information you can follow her on Twitter @KarlieRedd, on FaceBook and KarlieRedd.com for bookings and charitable events. ■

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COMEDIAN

Funny Man…Rodney Perry By: Beverly Hill (Shelley)

odney Perry was born on the south side of Chicago. His family moved to Louisiana when he was in high school. Several years ago, when he became co-host on the Monique Show, he moved his family to Atlanta, Georgia. Even after the show ended, because of their love for the city, they decided to stay in Atlanta. Rodney is a stand-up comedian. He says, “I can live without just about anything… except being a stand-up comic. I began standup when I was in second grade. My teacher would let me tell jokes at the end of the day…if I would shut up throughout the course of the day (laughing)!” When in high school, Rodney performed comedy in coffee shops and in his freshman year of college, he started performing professionally. He remembers being very young and seeing Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live. He said, “That’s it! That’s what I wanna do!” Rodney believes that comedians are born and believes that he too was born to do this! Rodney Perry is on the move and has a lot on his plate with current and future television and film projects. He shot a stand-up comedy for Bounce TV called Off the Chain. He also shot a comedy special, Rodney Perry All the Way Live. The film Broad Street Bully, shot in Philadelphia, is a drama. His role in this film is a departure from how people are accustomed to seeing him. The movie, C’mon Man, he filmed with Tony Rock was his most fun acting role. Rodney says, “This is a look at stand-up comedy shot documentary style, but we are acting.” All of Rodney’s projects are special to him because he meets really great people, and he gets to meet celebrities that he has been a fan of. He currently does a weekly radio show called, Rodney Perry Live where he does one on one interviews, and he is also developing a game show

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COMEDIAN for television. When asked if he is always ‘the funny man Rodney Perry’ when he goes out in public, he says, “If you’re a comedian, people expect you to be on to a certain extent. I know how to be public. When you’re out, people want to see how funny you are.” When Rodney is doing a show, he likes to come out into the audience to break the wall. He says that the comedy experience can be kind of flat with one guy on stage talking and the audience just listening. He likes to break into their space by talking to them and asking questions. Rodney wants to make everybody feel like they have a front row seat when he does a show! Rodney shared with me a few things he does not think fans know about him. First, he is a mama’s boy. He says, “I love my mommy, and I still call her mommy.” Second, he cries easily when watching a tearjerker movie! Two movies that really make him cry are Rudy and Cooley High, when Cochise gets killed. And third, Rodney says if he could play a movie role of anybody dead or alive, it would be James Brown. He believes this role is waiting for him to get famous enough to do it. Rodney states, “Just like the movie Ray waited for Jamie Foxx, I think the James Brown story is waiting for me!” According to Rodney, there are a few things that can help to fulfill a dream. He shares, “If you want to be an actor, put yourself around actors. If you want to be an author, start writing. Put yourself around people that do what you want to do. Develop a peer group. Once you start moving towards that goal, the rest is history. God rewards action.” Beverly Hill (Shelley) – writer, lyricist Hits on the Hill© hitsonthehill@gmail.com hitsonthehill.com

Comedienne MzWallstreet Original and Clean omedienne MzWallstreet was born as Michelle Hodges in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. She spent summers in New York City taking in the culture, flavor and people as she hung out on stoops listening to stories, and jokes. Her unique flavor and flare that is seen today during her high energy performances consists of a unique mixture of colloquial flavor from the north and the south. Michelle soon decided to settle in New York City and gained employment within the corporate sector. Her ambitious tenacity prompted her to attend and graduate from the College of New Rochelle with a Bachelors’ Degree in Mass Communications. It was only natural for MzWallstreet to become a professional entertainer; she was a IN DA HOUSE PHOTO “JEROME DORN” fan of comedy long before she decided to perform. She had a niche for making people laugh with witty comments and a full personality. Her stage presence was big and full of energy which is why she is deemed MzWallstreet. MzWallstreet made her debut appearance as a comedian at Backstage with the legendary Bruce Bruce and her career hasn’t stopped since. She has performed at Café 290 as the house comedian, Sister’s in Spanx 1-2, Jerry Farber’s Side Door, Atlanta Punchline, and at the elite Presidential election party at Paschals. Her more recent and upcoming work includes being a feature for, ”So You Wanna’ Laugh”, being a headliner for Starbuck Conyers Comedy, being a feature on the Georgia Pine Society Dinner and Cruise, and being an actress in “A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Apollo”. Her performances are lively, original, and clean. The content is versatile and unique appealing to the church and club crowd alike. Delivery of material is authentic and will surely leave any room cheering for more and anticipating her next move. MzWallstreet has graced the stage as an opening act for Slick Rick, Jon B, Mint Condition, DruHill, Jodeci and Kutclose to name a few. Her career has secured a solid name for herself within the comedy circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. Her large personality and heart to match really amplifies during her shows, drawing her audience in closer begging for more. This is only the beginning of a sure to be awesome run of entertaining for the talented MzWallstreet; the actress, model, orator, poet, and comedienne. ■ TRENDSETTERS TO TRENDSETTERS MAGAZINE

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INSPIRATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

By Anthony Smith

CHARLOTTE, NC

his woman is unequivocally the best and brightest writer to come out of South Carolina ever, and I will not go back and recant this claim. She has developed and produced the best stage plays in the country and if it weren't for some of the bigger names at this moment, she would be the center of attention in the industry today. I became aware of Utrena Johnson by chance, and I have been blown away by her body of work on the stage and small screen. A woman of sheer grace and sophistication, Utrena has the ability to capture a room with her stylish and relevant Stage Plays and brilliantly produced New Sit-Com, Changes. I first became aware of the works of Ms. Johnson only a short time ago, but to say that I am blown away, is an understatement. I am a fan for life! To meet someone who has accomplished so much in a profession in which I myself strive to succeed is a blessing and an opportunity to admire, while I learn. As a writer, I simply couldn't ask for a better example of a

blueprint to follow towards achieving my goals. Ms. Johnson is a Diamond, and I am mesmerized by her illuminating shine. Her body of work truly can speak for itself and when it's all said and done, people will regret that they didn't pay more attention to this phenomenal Actor, Playwright, and Director and her contributions to the business and the state of South Carolina sooner. I take it as an honor and a duty to bring you all up to speed on the accomplishments and Body of Work that has been built by this Queen of The Industry. Since 1998 she has written 24 stage plays and produced 17 of them and there is no end in sight for this very intelligent and spiritual woman of God. The absolute embodiment of perseverance and commitment to a cause, Utrena can easily be slated as the woman to pattern after in life as well as professionally. Ms. Johnson’s motto is, “Different won’t happen without change”... Join her here each month as she chronicles her changes and inspire yours… ■

Photo By Nikki Richards

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INSPIRATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

COLUMBIA, SC

want the world’s soul to dance and light up with joy and emotion, as I give you the gift of creative energy and emotion." That gift manifested at an early age for Tariq Mix. Born in Long Island New York, Tariq moved with his parents to Durham, North Carolina at the age of 3. As a young boy he spent much of his time drawing and playing sports. He was always drawing – in class, in textbooks, on tests, on homework, on his notes, everywhere! When Tariq was not drawing you could find him racing friends in the neighborhood, playing football, basketball, or riding his bike through trails in the woods. During his teen years Tariq began developing his body strength by working out and lifting weights. Drawing superheroes was another favorite past time. In high school he ran track and was a running back for the football team. He was accepted to Howard Univer-

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sity in 1999 where he received several scholarships, one for track. The strong African American studies program at Howard inspired him to major in graphic design and fine arts and gave him the opportunity to explore various mediums including painting, constructing illustrations, and the art of photography. Tariq received numerous awards for academic and athletic achievements and loved competing in track with the dream of running in the Olympics one day. In the spring of 2001 that dream became a harsh reality. While competing in the Pennsylvania relays, Tariq collapsed after running the 100 meter dash. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a near-fatal ventricular arrhythmia. After a lengthy procedure and the placement of a defibrillator to keep the heart rhythm normal, he was told that he should no longer compete in sports. Although devastated, Tariq would not let this stop him. He took his paintbrush and put all of his emotion on canvas as the depth of

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INSPIRATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

the artistic gift began to emerge. Tariq says, “The pain of giving up on your purpose is greater than continuing pursuit and sacrifice for it.” Sitting in class one day Tariq was called down to the office by the art curator. His first thought was “what in the world did I do?” When he arrived he was introduced to the late jazz legend Donald Byrd who wanted to purchase 2 of Tariq’s paintings for his art collection. It was the first time that Tariq realized the extent of his talent. Requests started coming in for his artwork including one from Howard University’s jazz ensemble for which he designed a CD cover. Oftentimes Tariq missed the exhilaration of competing in track, but he put that energy into his artwork and academics. Graduating magna cum laude in May 2004, he was determined to live life with purpose. Today, with vibrant colors, energetic lines and shapes,

Tariq tells stories with the strokes of a paintbrush. He utilizes strong colors, bold design, abstract concepts, composition and lively characters to create a menagerie of pieces. His jazz series features sultry and soulful works such as “Dance with Me Love”, “Kiss me Baby” and “Saturday Night Live Jazz”. Recently Tariq started a Greek series that includes AKA and Delta images that have become quite popular among sororities and fraternities. His latest project is focused on breast cancer because he understands how precious life is and identifies with the struggle and determination to live life to its fullest. Tariq now runs the race of life with renewed energy. “I wish to give life to the world with my art, a gift given to me by God. His gift has certainly made room for him. ■

Artist/: www.tmixstudios.com http://facebook.com/tariq.mix

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INSPIRATIONAL

Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival Gives RDM Films The Red-Carpet Treatment ATLANTA, GA

Robbie D. Mack Founders, Marie Robinson and Donna McKissack

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obbie D. Mack (RDM) Films attended the 5th annual Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival (KCFF), October 4th - 5th, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, GA. The evening started with a red carpet walk and an interview with Atlanta Live. Founders of RDM Films, Marie Robinson and Donna McKissack told Atlanta Live how excited they were to have a forum for independent filmmakers to screen films that promote and inspire Christian values. They enjoyed attending the festival and seeing so many up and coming directors showcase their work at KCFF. The night continued for RDM Films with a personal interview with the founders of the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival, Audrey Thomas, CEO and Joe Williams, President. The three day faith-based film festival started in 2008 and has continued to grow exponentially over the past six years.

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Today KCFF continues to provide a platform for independent filmmakers to screen their films. After a script submission call this year, the festival received over 1,000 projects from all around the world. One of the many highlights of the event was the introduction of the Kingdomwood rating of “K”, which was established to give audiences a more informed choice for their viewing pleasure. The K rating ensures spiritual content, excluding any explicit language or violence. Overall this film festival was a major success and enjoyed by all who attended. To quote the CEO of Kingdomwood, Audrey Thomas, “It was amazing to meet people who know the Lord and know their mission to create films that will Reach, Teach, Inspire and save souls. RDM Films is looking forward to attending the next KCFF in Hilton Head, South Carolina 2014. Plan to be there as this is sure to be another amazing event you don’t want to miss. ■


INSPIRATIONAL

God's Man for God's People m blessed to be a blessing, I’m Abraham’s seed, I am an heir with Christ, God’s favor’s on me…. are the words that South Florida native, Daniel Smart, decrees in his new single, Mighty Favor. The child prodigy possessed a flair for music at an early age. He began singing in the Children’s Choir at Pure Church of Righteousness at age 4. By age 10 the autodidact taught himself to play the lead guitar. It was his aunt, Pastor Lillian Boger, that cultivated his musical abilities by teaching him to play the piano as she sang hymns and traditional Pentecostal devotional songs. By August 2006 Daniel had recorded his debut project, Live In Miami. He has shared the stage with Gospel Greats like: Hezekiah Walker, Micah Stampley, Donnie McClurkin, The Anointed Pace Sisters, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kim Burrell, and several others. Daniel is the Pastor of Edgefield Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Now ready to revisit his musical endeavors, his debut single, Mighty Favor, due to be released on November 5, 2013 will lead Praise & Worship across this country. While an

COLUMBUS, OH

omedian Warren V. has been on a comedic warpath since Summer 2010. Fueled by his mother's death in early 2010, the Columbus, OH native set out to establish his presence in his own Midwest region. Winning the Midwest Comedy Showcase and featuring for veteran comedians such as; D.L Hughley, Talent, Capone, Deray Davis, Fazion Love, Alex Thomas, Finesse Mitchell, Brandon T Jackson, Steven G. & many more. He is also rampaging through venues such as: The Kings Art Complex, Ohio Theater, Columbus Funny Bone, Dayton Funny Bone, Newport Funny Bone, Improv Comedy Club-Hollywood. CA. Laugh Factory-Hollywood CA, numerous Colleges and many more. Using comedic legends Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx as inspiration, Warren V. has a delivery that is animated, expressive, RECKLESS and sure to keep you wanting more. ■

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PHOTO BY FUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

avid fan of music and arts, he embraces the full range of ministry.

MIAMI, FL

For booking: 323-877-6020 or comedianwarrenv@gmail.com

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Jonquille Emotional Energy Enterprises, LLC LITHONIA, GA eginning her literary career in 2002, Jonquille has published four books and is the president of Emotional Energy Enterprises, LLC a publishing company. Emotional Energy Enterprises publishes inspirational poetry, novels, children’s books and plays. She provides an educational atmosphere where you can improve your craft and yourself as an author. Along with being a Neurovascular Ultrasound Technologist, she is the coordinator for the Hank Stewart Foundation’s Health Fair and volunteers with The Hank Stewart Youth Foundation, The Guyana Association of GA, The Caribbean American Heritage Coalition and The Caribbean Association of GA., Jonquille is also a member of M-PACT Writers (Motivated Pens And Creative Thoughts) an authors online motivational group. Jonquille has been the motivational speaker for pre and post graduates at Sanford Brown College 2008 through 2010. Currently Jonquille is working on developing workshops for indie authors just getting started in the business of writing. She has worked with nationally recognized authors such as Kendra Norman Bellamy, Hank Stewart and Sonnie Beverly. Jonquille is a native of Guyana whose goal is to allow positive, inspirational words to seep into your soul and energize your spirit. She has also been featured in online magazines such as Talawah journals and Crossroads News. http://crossroadsnews.com/ news/2013/jun/21/caribbean-writers-library/ While Jonquille loves her work, it is not the most important thing in her life. That position belongs to her family. She is married with three children. They live just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Her focus is all about family, community, education and leadership. ■ 678-595-0488 Kimjhodge1@gmail.com Visit Jonquille on the web at any of the following www.emotionalee.com https://www.facebook.com/jonquille.hodge

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Harriett Scott Lee’s

BLOOD ON THE BAYOU

fter the death of their grandmother, Toni, her sister, and their cousin decide to take a vacation. Unaware that Jamaica is home to a vast number of vampires, they make it their destination. Upon arrival they meet Dante' and Jabari, two vampires on vacation as well. They introduce the ladies to the handsome Eric Von Luke Valencia III, Prince of the Immortal Nation. Toni and her cousin are totally smitten with Eric and his comrades so much that they ignore common sense and Toni's sister. Once she and her family return to Louisiana and think they're safe, Eric and his soldiers end up at her door. Foolishly she invites him in. She falls in love with him and is branded by him. Soon afterwards she becomes the target of Eric's uncle, Satan. After rescuing Toni, Eric finds himself in a war of his own. Marcus, his immortal enemy from childhood, has always wanted Eric's position of power, and Ranada, Queen of the Feline Nation, who's always wanted Eric. Ranada is determined that if she can't have Eric then no human will. Marcus and his Immortal Banes join forces with Ranada and her Felines. Together they make Eric’s existence unbearable. Eric enlists the aid of his brother Ivan and sister Azealia. Their disciples along with his create a sizable army, but will it be enough to rid Eric of the thorns that prickle his existence. 216 pages - $13.99 (paperback)

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

“The Dealers: Then and Now” Award-winning journalist A.J. Dugger III releases a book about the legendary funk and R&B band By Bryson Clark

J. Dugger III is an award-winning journalist who is based out of Clarksville, TN by way of Memphis, TN. As a reporter for the Tennessee Tribune in Nashville, Dugger has covered many projects, often writing headlining articles and interviewing celebrities and other powerful people. Perhaps the one project that he holds near and dear to his heart is his newly published book, titled “The Dealers: Then and Now”. The Dealers were a funk and R&B band based out of Memphis that found regional success throughout the United States and Canada. Throughout their tours, they found themselves performing as opening acts for legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, The Supremes, Cameo, The Gap Band and many other music legends. One may ask why this book is so significant to its author. The reason being is that his mother and uncles were members of the music group. In this book, Mr. Dugger shares vivid memories of his years growing up with and around the band, and how he would

often have the opportunity to travel with The Dealers. As a small boy, he would sometimes become part of the show when his musical family would shine the spotlight on him and watch him dance his little legs off. In Dugger’s book, he shares some of the group’s memorable experiences with music legends such as Marvin Gaye, as well as some of the group’s challenges, which included being music labelmates (CBS ReCLARKSVILLE, TN cords) with Michael Jackson, only to have their album poorly promoted because the label invested their time and money in Jackson. (The Dealers unfortunately recorded their album when Jackson was at the pinnacle of his fame with “Thriller”). However, times weren’t always difficult. The Dealers experienced regional fame, having been recognized as highly sought after performers in many states. The group’s popularity lasted for three decades up until the late 1990s. It wasn’t long, however, that interest in The Dealers would be renewed in 2010, after one of their songs appeared on YouTube. ■

The author of “The Dealers: Then and Now”, A.J. Dugger can be reached at the following locations: “The Dealers: Then and Now” is available at amazon.com on Kindle and Paperback.

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Preacher, Teacher, Ordained Minister, Doctor, Author, CEO, Radio Personality & “Fire Ball”

Dr. Nycole Lyles-Belton DR.NYC  . NYC is the Founder & CEO of, Greatness In You, Inc. an organization which is based on the belief that all are destined for Greatness. It is designed to Equip and Empower people with the necessary tools to assist in the process of achieving sustained Greatness. Nycole Lyles-Belton was born in Racine, Wisconsin to Bishop Dr. James Washington and Rev. Dr. Ruby Washington. Nycole graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1994 and matriculated into Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA. with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and Special EducationLearning Disabled/Mentally Retarded. While attending N.S.U., Nycole became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in the spring of 1997. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in December of 1998 from N.S.U. Nycole enrolled in Capella University pursuing

TULSA, OK

a Master’s Degree in Leadership in Educational Administration, and in April of 2006 she received her Master’s degree. She continued as a student at Capella University in their Doctoral Program; with Honors in August of 2009 she earned a Ph.D. in Leadership in Educational Administration and became Dr. Nycole Lyles-Belton. Dr. Lyles-Belton is affectionately known as Dr. NYC, as a result of her fiery messages of encouragement, pursuit, and perpetuation of healing and sustaining Greater and Greatness in this walk of life. Some of these messages include: “Thanks for Making Me a Fighter”, “Somebody’s Gotta Die” and “Make Your Next Move Your Best Move”. She has recently added to her resume “Author”. Dr. NYC penned two books, “Loving Me Beyond What My Eyes Can See” and “30 Days to Greatness: An Inspirational Journey to the Greatness In You”. She is currently writing a book entitled, “But I Love Me More: A Guide to Walking Away from Unhealthy Relationships.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ Dr. NYC is the Host/Radio Personality for the Stellar Award Winning WEHA Gospel 88.7 and 99.9 FM “Power by The Hour” on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as the Host of her own BlogTalk Radio Show, “Pregnant with Destiny”. When not functioning in her church home she can be found spreading the Word in various states and facilitating numerous workshops and seminars. Meet Nycole Lyles-Belton…. Dr. NYC. ■

THROUGH MINE EYES

ricka Young Davis has been writing poetry for many years for performances and events. She is a graduate of Southern University, where she holds an undergraduate and graduate degree in Communications/Broadcast Journalism. She also has an MA Ed. in Adult Education and Distance Learning from University of Phoenix. Ericka Davis lives with her family in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she is an elementary school teacher. As a native of Louisiana, Ericka gets her inspiration from family, neighbors, friends and life experiences. She is the proud, busy mother of 2 boys, Jordan and Joshua. She enjoys writing, traveling, decorating and entertaining. Ericka’s intention is to expand her work further in education by following in the footsteps of a family of educators. She will continue working to inspire and write one thought at a time. ■

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Available at Amazon.com

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT

Marcella Phillips Philanthropist and Life Coach

arcella Phillips has taken communities by storm and embraced them with tireless passion! A native North Carolinian, philanthropist, Transitional and Life Coach, her philosophy is “Live, Laugh, Love, and be kind to one another.” And that she does! Marcella is Founder and CEO of International Talent Elite Enterprise (ITEE), a non-profit organization that focuses on the future of our youth through their own creativity, talents and the desire to be successful. “I’m very excited about launching my Foundation ITEE mainly because my goal is to someday save lives, inspire and create successful futures for our kids.” She is also an advocate for Pediatric Cancer (Laughing at ATLANTA, GA Leukemia), Izzy’s Promise, Autism, Sickle Cell (The Valaria Fenderson Foundation), and Domestic Violence (The Still Standing Foundation). Tamiko Lowry of The Still Standing Foundation awarded Marcella the I’m Every Woman award in recognition of valuable contributions to the community. She also volunteers with the Atlanta Allstars Talent Show Network (Adrie Keaton), R.U.T.H4Kids (Philana Stokes), and Men in the Kingdom (Joe Williams) as Fashion Coordinator. “I stay very busy in the community by mentoring, volunteering, networking, and attending various fundraisers and award ceremonies. I enjoy extending my services, prayers and support to others. I feel that it is my God given purpose.”

Marcella has another vision for an Arts Academy for Youth. She sees it as a way to facilitate a stable environment where kids can come learn, express and explore their talents in a safe and comfortable environment. Marcella says, “As part of their Transitional Life Coaching, I will continue to make a difference in the lives of our teens as well by providing them with techniques and workshops which would allow them to be goal and purpose driven for an easy transition into adulthood.” Marcella attributes her giving spirit to her deceased mother, Kasandra Linebarger, who always inspired and opened her door to troubled and abused kids as well as made her home a safe haven for anyone in need of love and spiritual guidance. ■

Photo by John L. Allen III

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT LOS ANGELES, CA

Tariq Nasheed The best-selling author and critically acclaimed filmmaker discusses his work, and the third installment in his hit documentary series, “Hidden Colors 3” By Bryson Clark

ariq “King Flex” Nasheed is a man of many talents. His work was introduced to the world with his 1999 best-seller, “The Art Of Mackin’”. He also owns a clothing and fashion line, he is an author of four additional books, two earthshattering documentaries (“Hidden Colors 1 & 2), and a horror/sci-fi film titled: “The Eugenist”. In spite of the projects that Tariq has created, many of his die-hard core followers are more familiar with his work as a relationship expert. Tariq also serves as a host for his weekly podcast, “The Mack Lessons Radio Show”, which has a following of millions of listeners worldwide. The best way to describe Tariq’s versatility is to refer to a term that he coined years ago. This term is the “Urban Renaissance Man”. “It was a term that I created in the late 90’s/early 2000s”, he explains. “The Urban Renaissance Man is a guy who has the ability to combine street smarts with book smarts. He’s tough when need be, yet he can be compassionate as well. He embodies all facets of manhood, which is a trait that many men are lacking today”. It is this very same trait that he uses to make the seamless transition from books, to fashion, to film. When it comes to Mr. Nasheed’s films, perhaps his most popular film work to date would be his critically acclaimed “Hidden Colors” series. The two previous documentaries cover the historical origins, heritage, and greatness of people of African descent on a global scale, which is a subject that has for many years been deemed taboo by skeptics. “The first two Hidden Colors films had an almost feel-good vibe to them, because they primarily provided everyone with history facts”, he says. However, he notes that the third Hidden Colors film will be more hard-hitting in its approach, be-

cause there will be more emphasis on racial issues in the U.S., as it pertains to the black population in this country. “Blacks have been bred to mistrust each other, and this is an old habit that we need to destroy”, he says. We have to stop being afraid to acknowledge racism, because it works against our (blacks) own self-interests as a group. Let’s start practicing group economics, put our differences aside, and empower each other”. We can very well observe that Tariq has done his part to counter the ugly stereotypes and issues that continue to plague the black community by creating these films. Although Tariq Nasheed has recently put much energy into his films, he plans to release yet another book titled “The Game Advisor”. The book is a fictional novel based loosely on his life and experiences in the streets of Los Angeles in years past. Proven to be an already savvy author and publisher in his own right, Tariq advises all people who aspire to do the same thing to nurture whatever topic that they’re writing, as long as they’re passionate about what they’re writing. He says that the readers can sense whether or not a writer puts their heart and soul into a project. As a world-renowned author of relationship books, his observations of the state of relationships in 2013 have been indicative of the socioeconomic climate of this society. He explains that men and women are seeking security in any way that they can, even if it means that they date outside of their traditional dating parameters. Tariq Nasheed’s lasting legacy will most certainly be his tireless work ethic, commitment to quality, and attention to detail that distinguishes his body of work as a brand of excellence. This is what makes him truly “Elite” in his approach. ■

For more information on Tariq Nasheed, his products, and his services, visit: https://twitter.com/tariqnasheed https://www.facebook.com/tariqnasheed http://macklessonsradio.com/ http://www.macklessons.com/

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT

Quintana Pretoria Jones: Writer and Producer

THE ACCUSER By Ton'e Brown

ATLANTA, GA

uintana Pretoria Jones (born January 29, 1977) is an Actress, Writer, Director, and Producer. As a graduate of The Art Institute Of Atlanta she is honored with a Degree in Video Production & Film Making. Quintana aspires to make her debut with the release of her Short Film titled, “The Accuser” which has the buzz for the next level for a feature film. Jones states, “Even though men of today are considered CHEATERS, she presented a synopsis to her title, “The Accuser”, showing the variances of misunderstandings between men and women in mis-communications that can easily lead to the betrayal of the heart. The height of this amazing short film written and produced by Quintana Pretoria Jones will send shock waves as the film, "The Accuser" derails the road of what an accusation can cause, MURDER AND A HURTING HEART. Although this is Jones first short film directed by

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George Pringle, it's a sure sign this dynamic team has put together a film that is edgy to today's era of demand for good films. There is no doubt recognition is sure to point out that Quintana Pretoria Jones shall rise to be a powerful writer, director and producer who stands out as an actress to her own right. Its in only a matter of time Jones will come toe to toe in the industry with the best of the best. Jones’ inspiration stems from her admiration of Tyler Perry and her desire to become a female version of the the talented playwright, producer, director and actor. Jones is also inspired by the love she has for her family, she enjoys writing but admits sometimes she finds herself glued to the TV. You can expect more films from Quintana Pretoria Jones as she is continuously creating thought provoking stories that make her a talent to behold. ■

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT

T.Y. MARTIN

Playwright, Producer, Director and Actor T.Y. MARTIN S T U D I O S….A T H E A T R E C O M P A N Y

ATLANTA, GA

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Y. Martin, playwright, producer, director, and actor, has been involved in more than 40 stage plays in ten short years. Relentlessly working in the entertainment industry, Martin has the uncanny and tireless ability to write scripts, cast actors, direct, and obtain sponsorship. Recently, T.Y. Martin has sold out the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA with his blockbuster plays "The Hem of His Garment" and "The Biblical Principle" multiples times. Originally trained in fashion merchandising in Chicago, Illinois, Martin first took to the stage in 1993. He was on tour in the USA for eight years as a standup comedian, opening shows for the O’Jays, the Whispers, Mary J Blige, Kirk Franklin, Steve Harvey, and many others. Martin made the transition from comedy to acting in 1996, when he toured with the professional production company, “Marvelous Entertainment.” This afforded him the opportunity to work with Margaret Avery, of the movie, “The Color Purple,” and led to roles in the plays, “God Don’t Like Ugly,” “Just Be a Man about It,” and others. Martin was featured in the 2005 New York Film Festival, in a documentary called “If You Love Me Why Do You Cheat?” which details the behind the scenes world of staging his play of the same name. In addition to his work on the stage, Martin has easily delved into film and TV, with minor roles in major movies. Martin has taught drama to at-risk children in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently teaching acting classes in metro Atlanta. The mission of T.Y. Martin StuIN ADDITION: dios is to reach people who might never, otherwise, experience live thea• ONE OF THE STARS tre, and to offer gritty, humorous, and OF THE NEW TV REoriginal productions. T.Y. Martin’s ALITY SHOW PLAYtheatrical productions present a look at WRIGHTS ATLANTA – a variety of life’s most challenging coming soon situations, and sometimes, even suggest practical solutions. These productions • Presently touring the hit provide an opportunity for actors, in the stage productions H. U. S. developmental stages of their careers, H & LORD WHY ME? to enhance performance skills and to 2013/2014 build professional resumes. “Above • 4 TIME PLAYWRIGHT all,” he notes, “our mission is to bring OF THE YEAR the gift of laughter and entertainment to the lives and hearts of • Presently nominated for 4 our audiences.” ■ playwright awards this year!

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT

Jodi Brockington “In The Boardroom” s founder of NIARA Consulting, a full service marketing and business development company, Jodi utilizes her more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors to consult for individuals, nonprofits, small businesses and corporations, as well as offer career and college coaching for youth and professionals. Her work runs the gamut because of her years of experience and her ability to connect with people from various walks of life. Some of her most recent work includes her partnership with Women in the Boardroom, an executive leadership event designed to assist women in the preparation of board service and 100 Urban Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit that finances, teaches and mentors entrepreneurs who would otherwise not have access to startup capital, first -class knowledge or a professional network With a passion for educating young women, Jodi has been featured in books that showcase her myriad skills in networking and branding. She is a featured author for “Sister to Sister A Guide for African American Girls,” where she penned a chapter titled The Power of Your Social Network and Brand. She has also been featured in “Leading from the Middle—Conversations with Successful Middle

Managers,” and “CRAVE NYC—The Urban Girl’s Manifesto.”

Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson about networking, to name a few.

NEW YORK, NY

She is not only a leader and a master connector, Jodi is a well sought after speaker, who has given networking presentations to the New York State Bar Association, presented on Corporate Social Responsibility to a business class at Baruch College, and talked to the

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, as the Vice President of the Center of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management, Jodi was the Director of Alumni Affairs at the National Urban Fellows, Inc., where she was responsible for social media, fundraising, strategic planning, and exe-

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cuting special events. She is a Class of 2000 graduate of the National Urban Fellows. Jodi was Director of Corporate Relations at the New York Urban League Inc., and served as a senior consultant to California State Senator Kevin Murray. Recently recognized by NV Magazine as a 2011 Mover & Shaker, Jodi has also been featured on the cover of The Network Journal, as one of the magazine’s 2004 “40 Under Forty.” She has also been recognized by the National Urban League as an Urban Influencer, is a 2010 Young Gifted & Black Entrepreneur honoree and a 2010-2011 America’s Leader of Change fellow, a National Urban Fellows program in partnership with Wal-Mart. She was also featured in the online magazine, People You Need to Know (PYNTK), as a woman who excels in business. Additionally, Jodi is a blogger for AwakenYourCareerpreneur.com and NVmagazine.com, where she talks about various topics pertaining to social networking, branding, and the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Jodi earned Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California in Social Work; from Baruch College in Public Affairs; and from the Hunter College School of Education. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA. ■ NOV / DEC 2013 61


TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT CFOX PRODUCTION, INC. Presents:

Keyla Berry REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

POWER-HOUSE BROKER WITH THE HEART OF AN ANGEL

Photography By Regis Lawson

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs” ll of us are gifted, but it is what we do with those gifts that determines our paths in life. This is the case of Real Estate Agent Keyla Berry who holds her license with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage firm and paving her way to the top of the industry with finesse and vigor while helping her clients to establish or re-establish their future. Her straight forward techniques and ability to understand the realty market labels her an effective agent blazing the trail with the tools and resources that can help those who seek her services, with providing mortgage services, home warranty, closing and title services, as well as, concierge programs designed to make the moving process simple. Keyla Berry is very passionate about why she chose this career field, “I simply wanted to make a difference. I did not become a licensed realtor until 2009 which was after the housing market tanked and left so many homeowners upside down in their properties. The public had lost trust in professional Realtors and Loan Officers because of this; however the tough market seemed to weed out those who operated unethically. I wanted to help educate the public on how to get back on their feet through the housing crisis and share with them my knowledge of the various avenues they could use to do so.” In a time when financial crisis is knocking at mostly everyone’s door, this woman is presenting opportunities for home owners to have a second chance at the American Dream. She attributes her drive for success to God. “I personally know that NONE of this would be possible; I am just a foot soldier. I believe that my ministry is through Real Estate and helping those that I meet on a daily basis. I have clients that I have assisted that were less than 24 hrs from their homes being sold on the courthouse steps, others who lost everything in a residential fire and were left living in hotels, and several who have suffered divorce or the loss of a family member and after such a devastating loss fell into depression. My goal is to remodel my client's lives, one real estate transaction at a time, through the

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various resources and partnerships that I have available to me in order to assist their need.” To some, she may appear as an “angel in disguise”. No matter what she is for each of them, it is evident she does her job to fulfill her God-given purpose in life and in return, He has blessed her abundantly. The fuel behind this Realty Mogul’s success comes from traits and characteristics developed from experience and a delicate, but blunt strategy to enlighten her clients so she can help them. “My uncanny ability to network and connect with the public allows me to always be direct with my clients and many of them appreciate that in me. They understand that they may not always hear what they "want" to hear, but they are guaranteed to hear what they "need" to hear. I respond timely to requests meeting client deadlines often with time to spare. My clients are made exceptionally comfortable and trust is established early in the process so that they know that they can depend on me and can reach me on my personal phone at all hours of the day.” This is certainly something that everyone needs to practice, [personal touch] with those who they work with or provide services to, which in turn, makes them return or refer that organization or person. Keyla Berry has been very profound in her methodology to make her mark in the real estate industry and for those who are considering getting into the same business or just “business” in general, this is her advice to them. “If your goal is to be a Realtor, do your research on the various brokerage firms in your area. If your goal is to be the best, align yourself with the BEST. That is, with the most ethical, the most visible, and the most innovative firm that offers support, training, and various tools to support your business. These are "must haves" in real estate in order to "brand yourself" and offer your clients the most productive and enjoyable experience.” ■ For more information on how to get Keyla Berry’s services contact her office at: 770-429-0600

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TRENDSETTER SPOTLIGHT CFOX PRODUCTION, INC. Presents:

Clifton Wade III Businessman/Inventor/Certified Fitness Trainer/Author

HE’S LIVING THE DREAM AND LEAVING LEGACIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME BY DIVINE ORDER Written by Shernita Wiggins, Contributing Writer CFOX Productions, Inc.

“"Eyes that LOOK are common, but eyes that SEE are rare. Once you start SEEING you will never SEE the same way again... ” There are some who “think about it” and then there are those who “DO” with a natural flare when they have that “IT” factor and are embodied with gifts that are already embedded in them. After talking with Clifton Wade III, I found myself entering onto a journey that took me into the realm of maintaining faith and self, stimulating conversation and creatively “taking the bull by its horns”, for a greater calling.

his St. Louis native, resides in Houston, Texas and has mastered the ability to “be at his best” at all times, to accomplish tough feats. An Electrical Engineer for a major Oil and Gas Industry Company for 20 years, he chose this line of work that keeps him challenged with being innovative in bringing new technology to the market. Wade was recently promoted to Product Line Manager which is more of a leadership role in driving the continual growth and improving profitability of the product line he manages, “This role will be a challenging one for me coming from the Engineering side of it but it's one that's a fit for my skills and talent.” He said. Four U.S. patents registered with the Library of Congress are under his belt, no easy feat, and on his way to being a Best Selling international author of his latest book, Straight Talk Fitness Bible for Ladies. A Certified Personal Fitness Trainer in Houston and virtually to women around the world, this book has already been sold in Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and nationwide. Clifton’s clientele range from women in their early 20’s to late 50’s. Clifton explains that fitness is something he has done his entire life because he, “loves it…lives it…and breathes it for a life change and not just a moment”. The inspiration stemmed from the idea that most women have difficulty in achieving successful health and fitness mainly due to lack of knowledge or motivation. Here is an excerpt from his book: Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make.

INSUFFICIENT WEIGHT TRAINING “Not enough weight training to reduce percent fat— 70% of your exercise should consist of weight training and the other 30 % should be cardio training (interval cardio training specifically— if your goal is to reduce fat and tone your body). Reasons strength training is absolutely essential if your goal is to create a visual change in your body...” Clifton attributes his success to this, “Honestly, it's not so much as anyone being a motivation for my life's success, but rather finding the specific purpose that GOD has planned for me and walking it out. If done by HIS lead...success is eminent, but not without being obedient to

HIS WILL and putting action and work behind it. One could call it self-motivation based on the desires deep within your heart and the WILL of GOD. So if I had to credit anyone, well...All glory is unto my heavenly FATHER who had a plan for my life even before my life existed, therefore I thank HIM for his grace and mercy and that is sufficient.”  Clifton Wade III leaves us with some inspiring words of wisdom…”My advice is quite simple…If you can SEE it, you can BE it…If you CLAIM it, you can ATTAIN it and this works for every aspect in your life.” ■

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NOV / DEC 2013 63


BEAUTY PROFILE

ATLANTA, GA

64 NOV / DEC 2013

ha’Kiva Latrell Felder is the reigning Ms. Georgia Plus America 2013. She represented the state of Georgia at the Miss Plus America Pageant in Monroe, Louisiana this past July and placed first runner-up to the title in her division! The Miss Plus America Pageant System is devoted to celebrating the essence of the full figured woman and believes that all women are beautiful, inside and out, and deserve a chance to promote those causes closest to her heart with a title worthy of her representation. As part of her platform of building self-esteem and promoting a healthy body image, Cha’Kiva is partnered with the George Washington Carver Boys and Girls Club in the Kirkwood district of Atlanta where she developed the “Real Talk” program for Elementary and Middle School aged girls. Real Talk provides girls with a supportive environment in which they can talk openly about body image and selfesteem issues. Her objective is to help them develop confidence and inner strength so they don't need to strive for superficial, media influenced goals. Cha’Kiva earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Marketing and has worked in the apparel industry as a creative and technical designer, developing apparel for Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant and Reebok. She later earned her Master’s in Business Administration and now operates and manages her own brand of ladies accessories and apparel called Spoiled Diva by CL Felder ( Spoiled meaning favored or cherished and Diva meaning a person of excellence). Cha’Kiva designs and makes all of the styles in the line and sells her designs in boutiques and online to customers all over the world! Visit Spoiled Diva by CL Felder online at www.spoileddivaonline.com. ■

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BEAUTY PROFILE

COLUMBUS, OH

honda Lewis, Fitness Celebrity, would struggle through a busy schedule on nothing but water or juice and absolutely no food until five o’clock. At night she would eat anything she wanted. But with 165 pounds on her 5’4 frame, it was not a healthy lifestyle. It took several months of begging before Mike Davies (www.mikedaviesfitness.com ), a Worthington based fitness trainer, agreed to help Shonda Lewis. That was in December of 2006. Today, Shonda eats six to seven small meals a day, runs the bleachers, and trains daily. “People think it is easy staying in shape, but it’s not,” Lewis confides. “If you’re having a bad day or busy, you’re tempted to skip the gym. Things happen that can throw you for a loop” but she resists and continues her transformation. After 90 days, Lewis weighed in at 120 pounds, down from 165. Three months later she competed at 109. The next couple of seasons she went on to win the Arnold Sports Festival in Figure- Amateur Division.

Shonda’s Top Tips: • Go to the internet for inspiration. I look at pictures of ladies in shape and motivational quotes. It psyched me up and kept me true to my new lifestyle. • Use music to motivate yourself. When I’m doing cardio, I love my iPod. It helps keep me moving when I’m getting tired. • Go with what’s best for your body. Starting out, I used two pound weights in training. Everyone else was using 15 pounds! They wanted to kick me out of the group but I kept going! It takes discipline, and it’s not cheap. The food and training session, that is. But what’s more expensive: living this way or visiting the doctor? What makes you happier? It’s a lifestyle! Shonda Lewis has always been at the top of her game. She believes, “I will either find a way or make one.” Shonda Lewis and her Business Partners/Renowned Trainer Mike Davies of Fitness Factory, has one of The World’s Largest Bikini Contests (www.rockstarbikini.com). Shortly after creating the contest, they launched the RSB Swimwear and clothing line. This dynamite team also manages the careers of several models and athletes. Mikes Davies believes that you should help people take their career to the next level. When our clients win, so do we! It’s a team effort.” Lewis and Davies also have an amazing bikini line for those days of laying on the beach, parties or just swimming in your backyard. (www.rsbswimwear.com) Shonda Lewis had been seen on the Tyra Banks Show, and this season Bravo Network’s “Millionaire Matchmaker.” Due to her busy schedule, she hired expert Patty Stanger to set her up with a potential mate. Shonda said, “My Celebrity crush is Mr. Donald Trump because he handles all aspects of his business brilliantly. I admire that about Mr. Trump. He’s my Rock Star ”What’s in the future for Shonda…her new book with fitness writer Tony Reynolds “Getting Fit For Your 50 Shades Adventure” This book will truly help people to get fit to perform their 50 Shades adventure. ■ ■ www.rockstarbikini.com ■ www.facebook.com/ShondaLewisGlobalPersonality?ref=hl ■ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-Daviess-Fitness- Factory/174951619195100

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NOV / DEC 2013 65


BEAUTY SPOTLIGHT

ATLANTA, GA

orn on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and raised on the Commonwealth of Dominica (West Indies), Sylvie Chantal Humphreys eventually migrated to the USA, specifically GA, to further her education. She possesses a BS in Criminal Justice and a Master of Divinity (Theology) degree. However, her love for the "Arts" has always accompanied her. Currently, Sylvie is a model, "aspiring" actress, writer, editor, motivational/public speaker, interviewer, blogger, inspirational hip hop and spoken word artist, poet, confidante, and entrepreneur, among other roles. Ultimately, it is safe to say that Sylvie is a force with which to be reckoned!!! Often complimented for her smile, poise, writing prowess, and articulate speech, Sylvie stands proudly and tall at 5' 10". Nevertheless, her physical stature cannot be compared to her immeasurable heart and passion for people. Congruently, she uses her art as a tool to empower others. From a very young age, Sylvie discovered her love for performing and comfort being in front of an audience, whether it was singing, dancing, or rapping. In high school, she formed her own song and dance groups, "Girls to

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Women" (emulating the "Boys to Men" group) and "Legal X-plosion" respectively, along with planning and hosting a successful talent show. She even played Mary, the mother of God in her church's Nativity Play. Her high school year book is pregnant with references of her, one day, being showcased on a reputable TV network – a remark of which she awaits the materialization. Her ultimate dream is to be eventually respected as a role model in live theater, film, television, and almost any art platform to be able to positively impact the lives of others. Since migrating to America, she has performed at various venues, ranging from a local pageant, Georgia State University, a RAW Atlanta, and the 2013 Fresh Anointings' fashion show, her country's annual cultural events, the Apache Club, the 47-Spot, the Green Room, church functions, and her local Toastmasters Chapter, and so on. Today she can be seen networking and socializing with celebrities and upcoming artists at various social events in the Atlanta, GA area. She strongly advocates studying the journeys of those who have come before her in order to enhance one's craft. She takes her craft very seriously. It is not a game; neither is it about chasing fame and fortune. Sylvie is constantly seeking ways to optimize her gifts by taking acting/

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BEAUTY SPOTLIGHT

modeling classes, auditioning for roles in the Entertainment Industry, finding ways to improve her business and non-profit endeavors, writing, editing, and interviewing for the Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine, performing in local shows, and simply trying to improve herself spiritually, intellectually, and health/fitness-wise. All in all, Sylvie Chantal Humphreys lives to love and inspire; it is who she is! Her FAITH is the catalyst that drives her. She wholeheartedly believes that she "can do all things through Christ who strengthens" her! Moreover, she describes herself as a true artist and her life as a canvas upon which the ingredients are simply thrown randomly and are then somehow rearranged into magnificent artwork. So stay tuned for what the future holds for this "Trendsetter" and Woman of God! God!

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SHEmpowerment, read her blogs on www.shempowermentmoments.blogspot.com, review her articles on www.trendtotrendmag.com, and check out her website, www.IamSHEmpowerment.com!

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BEAUTY TRENDS ATLANTA, GA

ALL ABOUT PRIMERS AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOUR MAKEUP By Ty’’Lechelle

“BAD GURL KAY”

Up & Coming Model/Actress

PHOTOS BY J CARTER PHOTOGRAPHY

ATLANTA, GA

s a makeup artist, I enhance the features of beautiful women everyday. Sometimes, its not the women who could use a boost, but the actual makeup itself needs a little help. This is where primers come into play. There are many types of primers like foundation primers, eyeshadow primers, and primers for mascara. Mascara primers are some of my absolute favorites. For those who's lashes curl in different directions and are hard to tame, a coat of mascara primer just before your normal mascara application can work wonders. Using foundation primers help your makeup to last longer. They can minimize the appearance of pores and makes for a smooth application. Putting a bit of eyeshadow primer across your lids before eye makeup can really help colors appear more vibrant and prevent eyeshadow from creasing. Taking advantage of this industry secret has worked wonders for myself as well as keeping clients happy. These products really take your makeup to the next level when used correctly. A little goes a long way no matter what type of primer you may need.

Quick Tips on making primers work for you: 1. Only apply primers before your makeup application. They are only used to "prime" and prepare your face for makeup. Using them on top can go really wrong. 2. Try matching ingredients for more flawless results. Example, if you're using a silicone based foundation, try finding a silicone based primer. 3. Don't apply makeup right away. Try waiting a few minutes to let the product settle into your skin and stay put. ■

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EAUTY TRENDS

Jacynth Hall “ KEEPING YOUR SKIN LOOKING GOOD” acynth Hall is the founder of Corrective Skin Care International. She is a Board Certified Aesthetician and has been in the skin care industry for over 22 years. She is certified in Effective Acne Treatments, Pigmentation Disorders and Effective Skin Analysis. Ms. Hall has appeared on CBS, several radio stations and has been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines. She is dedicated to correcting all types of skin problems with emphasis on acne (pimples and blackheads), razor bumps, as well as the unsightly bumps on the back of the neck of African-American males. By strict adherence to the total program, dramatic clearing and radiant skin are achieved without the use of prescribed medications with their negative side effects. Based on her solid background in skin care and proven results, there is no doubt that Ms. Hall is the skin care expert and her impact in the skin care industry is well-recognized and greatly appreciated by her customers. •

An Inside Look At Holiday Gifting Traditions (NAPS)—The holiday season was a special time for Elizabeth Taylor, as it is for many. Her casual, warm and welcoming California home was a beautiful holiday haven for an extended family of regulars that included her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her loved ones were her greatest joy, but she also knew a thing or two about the art of gift giving. Her go-to choices featured soft cashmere sweaters and blankets or anything with a touch of sparkle. Diamonds were her favorite, including her signature scent White Diamonds Elizabeth Taylor. The White Diamonds fragrance collection reflects the deep feminine warmth and classic enduring beauty of the woman who created it. White Diamonds is a rich sensual floral fragrance with notes including narcisse, jasmine, amber and sandalwood and is available for the holidays in a beautiful gift set at Macy’s and other fine department stores. It includes a 3.3-fl. oz. Eau de Toilette Spray Naturel, 3.3-oz. Perfumed Body Cream, 3.3-oz. Gentle Moisturizing Body Wash, and .5-oz. Eau de Parfum Spray Naturel. As part of Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate commitment and fearless leadership in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, she directed that 25 percent of her royalties from White Diamonds and her other House of Taylor fragrances go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

The fragrance collection reflects the deep feminine warmth and classic enduring beauty of the woman who created it.

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FASHION TRENDS

LIGHTS, CAMERA...ANOTHER DESIGN CARRIE’S “FRESH ANOINTINGS” FASHION SHOW By Sylvia Chantal Humpreys

t was September 22nd, the first day of Fall 2013, and there was a buzz in the air. The crowd gathered patiently at 115 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Atlanta, GA to find out what the commotion was all about. The media, vendors, caterers, staff, and patrons all took their respective places in the building, as Designer, Carrie Johnson, her entourage, and models waited in quiet anticipation for the "big debut". The suspense was slowly building and one LYNBROOK, NY could cut the tension with a knife! However, that was to be expected as with any parent giving birth to his/her first child. Carrie Johnson was about to deliver her new clothing line, "Fresh Anointings". The fashion show was jumpstarted by the rhythmic recital of the featured, spoken word artist. Then the moment had arrived. From sexy, sultry dresses, black jumpsuits, animal print coats, to aquatic designs and circular patterns, the runway was rich with a plethora of designs "For the Confident Woman!" The room was set ablaze by the flashing lights of the cameras as the curvy models strutted their stuff down the catwalk and showed off their pieces. The models put on quite the show!!! The evening culminated with a social mixer, some networking, business card exchanges, and the red carpet/photo-opp. aspect

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of the event. There were even various groups of media conducting on-site interviews, some of which were with Ms. Carrie, as well as some of her models. "I wasn't the typical teenager," blushed Carrie; "I wore skirts and dresses unlike the other teens." Carrie proceeded to share how she always dreamed of making her own clothes and subsequently, her own money. She was so determined that in 2006 she actually took the steps to owning a clothing store, called "Carrie's Closet;" its mantra was to "Celebrate your Curves." Carrie attended several events as a vendor, pursuant to opening her shop. Unfortunately, her customers, though they loved her clothing, conveyed their disappointment in having seen the identical items in other stores. This prompted Carrie to start her own clothing line. Consequently, in February 2013, she opened a shop and could now move into designing. "I want women to feel special in my clothes," she expressed. She was obviously determined to do something about the feedback she had received. After the launch of her new clothing line, "Fresh Anointings," Carrie Johnson has released the photos on social media, and is now planning to go into production. Her primary objective is to reach out to boutiques so that they could carry her clothes in their stores. She prefers boutiques due to their exclusive nature – albeit she is not opposed to department stores in the future. Ultimately, her desire is to let women know they are beautiful, sexy, and that they have to get out there and actively pursue their passion! Congruently, the tag line of her new clothing line, "For the Confident Woman," is to remind ladies to be confident, hence the reason she incorporates color in her designs; color brings life. Negativity can and should be counteracted with inspiration, and that's what her brand is all about! To find out how you can own a piece of inspiration, check out her designs on Facebook@FreshAnointings! ■

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www.carriescloset.biz

222 Merrick Road Lynbrook, NY 11563

(678)671-6564

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

LARON MARCUS

Smash Hit “I GOT IT” By E. Darlene Jennings

riginally from Long Island, New York, Laron Marcus became interested in music at an early age. Collaborating writer, producer and arranger, he has opened for numerous artists such as Lil Kim and 112. In the community his humble and humanitarian spirit pioneered youth programs such as “Rap and Roll” which fostered an avenue for urban youth to resolve issues without violence. As an active member of P.A.L.Police Athletic League, he assists with youth involvement in sports as an alternative to street life. Laron was born on April 4th in a town called Wyandanch, a small town in Long Island, New York. Wyandanch is also the home of famed rapper/actor Darryl “Chili Dog” Mitchell and fellow rapper “Rakim”. Growing up, Laron was inspired by watching Soul Train and listening to artists like the Jackson Five, New Edition and the Sugarhill Gang. He developed a deeper interest in the performing arts and music, and was soon performing for family members while spending countless hours at studio/ practice lessons with his mother, who once sang in various local bands. He credits his loving grandmother for keeping a keen eye on him and teaching him patience and humbleness, and appreciates other family members who provided the opportunity to expand this unstoppable talent further. Rakim, LL CoolJ, and Big Daddy Kane had a big influence on Laron and he often emulated their styles. He is grateful that they paved the way for his music, and realizes how much strong messages in music can touch the lives of many. After a junior high school talent show in which he performed, “All Cried Out” by Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, with a beautiful songstress, Charmaine Cruz, Laron’s interest in singing catapulted. His interest was further peaked by a group named “Class” and his desire was to form a group to work on moves and dance performances. In high school Laron joined a group called 2nd Chance which consisted of multi-talented brothers. Although a few of the members thought he was too young, proof o f his dynamic talent came after their first show. He was asked to lead a New Edition cover song originally sung by lead vocalist Ralph Tresvant. Their voices were close in style and from that moment on he continued to win talent showcases, leaving audiences screaming with excitement at his performances. Throughout the years, Laron has vigilantly worked towards bringing positive messages to his musical portfolio. He continues to write and arrange various music genres, including studio sessions for various artists, while striving to master his craft in the performing arts. He has now ventured out on a solo career and is becoming a well known artist. Laron’s versatility is impressive. His creative writing ability as a rap artist and outstanding vocals as a R&B singer with songs like I Just Wanna, Tell Me, I Got It and Don’t Stay will leave you breathless! ■

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LONG ISLAND, NY


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Kory Miles ory Miles has always been comfortable using the talents bestowed upon him for praise and as a testament. In particular, as a father of two before he'd graduated high school, he felt his strongest call to be towards children who he felt could flourish if they were only guided rather than talked about; nourished rather than ridiculed. In 2006, it became clear, however, that God called him to tend to a greater height. While Kory had consistently, until this juncture, pursued the goal of being an established and successful entrepreneur, songwriter, and powerful head of his

Releases his first world wide single with Resurrected Praise entitled, "He Is."

household, he had fought the reoccurring prompting and persistent call to preach. Kory's purusit in life thus far, could easily be illustrated by Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is more desirable than great riches," His success as a man, father, and servant of Christ had thus far exemplified his pursuit of THAT name, and it was after much prayer, and under the tutelage of Dr. Richard L. Jordan, senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, that he accepted the call to not only pursue a life in which his walk in God granted him a good name, but one that also sought out and nurtured other's walks in the same pursuit.

God's blessings continued as Kory's faith and sense of direction grew. In 2007, Kory again undertook a task and started the gospel music group, Kory Miles and Resurrected Praise. His collaboration with likeminded artists and fellow believers allowed

BATON ROUGE, LA

For booking contact Pullcorp Media Group at (225) 366-7855

him to continue in his goal of leaving a positive mark on the world. That mark was solidified in February of 2011 when Kory released his first world wide single with Resurrected Praise entitled, "He Is." Just a few short years K.Miles & RP would work on and release their popular song "Rescue ME" Oct 9th. â– 

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

BEAVER FALLS, PENNSYLVANIA

inger/songwriter Alvin Rodgers III a.k.a. "ARodge" was born in 1987 in Fairfield Connecticut. His parents Alvin and Regina Rodgers moved to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania a little town about 35 minutes from Pittsburgh to start their lives over again. He had been introduced to music by his mother and father through church. His father Alvin Rodgers Jr. was in a gospel group called “Sons of Thunder.” At the age of seven he would go on tour with them and would even sing in the group. By the time he was in middle school, hip-hop was very popular and his friends would always have freestyle battles after school. He started battling and came to find out he was a lot better than he thought he was. Battling had got so popular that other schools started attending and getting involved. That is how he got his rep in the area and even in Pittsburgh as being one of the best local rappers/

singers around. He then knew it was time to get serious and start recording songs if he wanted to get to the next level. He has gotten radio play with his songs, opened up for major artists, and is still putting a buzz in the clubs in Pittsburgh. He also has been traveling across the U.S to perform and get his music exposed . Recently he recently linked up with multi platinum producer GARY CAROLLA and put out his single "Better With Me" on Itunes. The video for this project is soon to come. ■

Facebook-www.Facebook.com/therealArodge Twitter@the real_Arodge

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ATLANTA, GA

eah, she got Bass! Ms. Téja Veal is a Bass player originally from Miami, Florida. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in January 2010. When Téja was in 6th grade she chose orchestra. She had never seen an upright bass before. She was almost 5’10’’at 12 years old, and it was as tall as she was! The teacher wanted her to play violin like the other girls. Because she didn’t like being told what she couldn’t do, she insisted on playing that bass. Once her teacher saw that she was good, he started encouraging her. Most of her training came from being recruited in a jazz performing arts program. Téja says she was drawn to the bass because it looked so cool. One of the first basslines she learned by ear was “Boogie Oggie Oggie” by A Taste of Honey. Téja started listening to music with her father; it was one of the ways they bonded. She liked listening to his old school music like Earth Wind and Fire, Maze, Stevie Wonder and others. When she started gigging at 16 years old, her mother chaperoned her to every show… even when she was old enough to drive! Téja has performed with several artists including Musiq Soulchild, Angie Stone and Joe, along with many other Atlanta artists. Since the 3rd grade, her favorite song has been “That’s the Way of the World” by Earth Wind

and Fire. Téja really loves Verdine White, his energy and all of his basslines. As a female bass player, she admires and respects female bassists Janice-Marie Johnson of A Taste of Honey, Rhonda Smith and Me'Shell Ndegeocello. Téja plays with several bands, but she also has her own all-girl band called Venus. By her next birthday she has vowed to put out her own music…playing and singing! It will be her official singing debut. She says, “Being a female bass player, I don’t feel intimidated because it is easier now since there are more female musicians. You really have to prove yourself and be twice as good to get a fair chance. There was a time when I would walk in and the guys would look with raised eyebrows like, ‘I’ve got to play with a girl!’ Once I proved myself, they were willing to work with me. I am a girly girl. I’m a woman, and I want people to know that! I can look like a girl and play just as hard as they do.” Téja thanks God for the opportunities she has had and those that are coming. She says, “We as women must know who we are, be confident, and be cute doing it! Don’t allow yourself to be less than because you are a woman. Don’t use that as an excuse not to be the best! Celebrate being a woman even when you’re doing something typically done by a man…and kick butt!” ■

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REALESTATE TRENDS

ATLANTA, GA

The leaves have changed colors, fallen and in some areas snow is on the way. Despite the colder temperatures people still buy homes during the winter. Don’t lose hope; put your home on the market to sell in the winter. When you decide to sell, let’s not forget curb appeal. Below are 3 Simple Tips to enhance the exterior of your home and perk homebuyers’ interest in your home. Set The Stage The outside of your home tells a story and creates interest for the potential buyer. Imagine the outside as your stage. The lawn should be well maintained, bushes trimmed, grass edged and leaves raked. In areas where snow is prevalent, snow should be shoveled, driveways and walkways clear. Bring All That Jazz or Pizazz Adding some color to the front entrance of the home draws attention to your stage. Fresh coats of paint on the front door add some extra sparkle, for example try a bold color like red. D decorate the entry with potted plants and flowers such as mums or pansies in fall colors like orange, golden yellow and deep russet will bring pizzazz. Light, Camera and Action A well-lit home appears to be inviting and welcoming. Make sure to replace non-working light bulbs in light fixtures around the home. With porch lights, flood lights and accent lights all functioning, a potential buyer will get an enhanced view of the home. It’s Showtime!!!

About the Author, Nita Gray is a Real Estate Professional with PalmerHouse Properties Realty in Atlanta, GA and can be contacted at nita.gray@palmerhouseproperties.com.

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TRAVEL TRENDS

Make Memories To Share For A Lifetime (NAPS)—The trend toward a “sharing economy” is growing. Shareable programs from designer dress rentals to music files to bike shares offer consumers a chance to sample something at a lower cost and at their leisure, without having to buy it.

Sharing The Fun

One of the first and most popular examples of collective consumption is vacation ownership, which came about five decades ago with the development of the world’s first timeshare resort in Switzerland. It’s a way for vacation time and accommodations to be shared among several individuals. Today, there is even more sharing and flexibility within vacation ownership thanks to vacation exchange companies like RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange with more than 4,000 affiliated resorts, which allow owners to swap time at one resort for a stay at another.

The Benefits

This type of collaborative vacation lifestyle can provide a range of benefits: 1. Save Money: Ownership at a timeshare resort rather than owning a vacation property individually can be very cost effective over a lifetime. Because many timeshare resorts come fully furnished and include multiple bedrooms, a dining and living room, a full kitchen, a washer and dryer and other lavish amenities, you can save a lot of the money you’d otherwise spend on decor, furnishings and other expenses. 2. Go Green: Investing in shared accommodations can help minimize wear and tear on the environment as well as lessen your long-term carbon footprint. Additionally, many timeshare resorts follow green practices that can further reduce the use of resources, including recycling and paper conservation services, motion detectors and energy-efficient lightbulbs, and native plants in landscaping. 3. Experience More: For many, one of the greatest things about a timeshare is the conve-nience, luxury and affordability of a vacation experience at a fraction of the cost and without the personal burdens of maintaining an investment. With timeshare exchange, you’re not locked into one vacation experience but can swap out your vacation experience for a new one whenever you like.

Learn More

Those considering timeshare can learn more at www.vacationbetter.org or can check out sites like Endless VacationRentals.com that allow travelers to sample timeshare firsthand by booking stays at available resort accommodations around the world. By owning a timeshare, you can enjoy many of the pleasures of a vacation home with a lot more freedom. ■

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Trendsetters to Trendsetters Magazine Nov/Dec 2013