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Table of Contents Physical Well Being: Uncommon Knowelge Preventative Pilates Column: Eva Galambos Award Winner

Corperate Well Being: Well-ness and Productivity in the Workplace Effective Ways to Resolve Conflict Column: Keep It Simple Cooking

Personal Well Being: Vacationing on a Budget Weaning Babies off of Breastfeeding Community Spotlight: Community Assistance Center

Professional Well Being: Getting a Certificate vs. Getting an Advanced Degree Using Technology to Thrive in Today’s Workforce

Column: Sandy Springs Education Force

Emotional Well Being: Symptoms of Depression Coping with Greif 13 Most Beautiful of Sandy Springs


CEO’s Bio: LaKisha C. Brooks

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n internationally recognized women’s leadership expert, LaKisha, has been featured on ABC, FOX, CW, and NBC affiliates across the country, as well as, The Denver Post and The Miami Herald. She was also recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as a “Person on the Move.” She has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Georgia State University and two Master’s degrees, one in Administrative Leadership and a second in Training and Development from Central Michigan University. She has over 10 years of sales and management experience and previously worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions at the Art Institute of Atlanta. She has also traveled the country training global clients in the areas of leadership, management and sales.  LaKisha is a member of the 2017 Leadership Sandy Springs Class. LaKisha was cast as a mentor on MTV’s hit show MADE. LaKisha is a trailblazer in women’s leadership and empowerment and lives by the motto of “Create the Strength, Discipline and Freedom to Define Your Self ”. She is also the author of the books, Leadership’s Got Everything to Do With It! Women’s Guide to the Sustainable Leader and Organization and Learn, Lead and Leave a Legacy: Advancing Women to the Top!

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Editor’s Letter

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aving lived in Sandy Springs for the past 10 years, it has quickly become my second home, after Valdosta. Throughout the years, I have seen the city expand, and I am honored to be part of the journey. I made a decision two years ago to become more active in my community. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, volunteered on a number of councils and participated in Leadership Sandy Springs Class of 2017, but nothing has given me more joy than creating U Sandy Springs and U Media. The health and wellness of the Sandy Springs community is thriving: from our schools to our economy and everything in between. I get the chance to work with talented and innovated students from North Springs High School as they serve as our interns. The publication and company could not be what it is today without their hard work. Our goal is for U Sandy Springs to be the go to guide in the community for a holistic approach to wellness. We strive to partner with city leaders, educators and activists to continue to provide informative wellness content to our readers. Sincerely, Your Editor LaKisha C. Brooks

Most Beautiful Issue • November • 5


U Sandy Springs Writing Staff Brittany Brolley

Brittany Brolley is a freelance writer and blogger from southern New Jersey. She specializes in pop culture, well-being, and women’s writing. Brittany contributes to a variety of popular sites and strives to empower others through much of her work. In addition, she is an advocate for the childless and childfree and strives to dismantle the stereotypes surrounding these women through her site therinkydinklife.com. When she’s not writing, Brittany enjoys reading nonfiction and binge-watching Netflix with her husband Colin from within their turn-of-the-century bungalow. Brittany also admits to being a bit Twitter-obsessed so be sure to give her a follow @rinkydinklife.

Maria Angelova

Maria Angelova is a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate, and 20+ years of diversified fitness experience, who left corporate behind to begin an entrepreneurial journey into the world of wellness. Along with being a certified Romana Pilates instructor, personal trainer, and a presenter and speaker on various wellness topics, Maria is also the founder of Rebellious Intl, which specializes in individual and corporate transformations by incorporating physical activity, natural alternatives, environmental toxins reduction, and other lifestyle interventions through a network of wellness professionals. Rebellious Intl is about bringing wellness to the community, and is an active co-chair of the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Health & Well-being council. Learn more at www.rebellious-intl.com.

Maria Horstmann

Maria Horstmann is a health and well-being coach, a blood sugar/insulin resistance coach, a personal trainer, and a corporate wellness consultant who loves to educate and help people increase their energy, productivity, and mental clarity so they can be more successful and do more of what they love. After 20+ years in corporate, and transforming own her health and lifestyle, she left corporate to follow her passion. Maria customizes programs for individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Not local or keen on stressing about traffic? No Worries. No Excuses. She delivers programs virtually (video/online), by phone, and in-person—she comes to you or vice-versa. Schedule an Energy Audit Health Strategy Session at www.BeFabBeYou.com or call 770.835.5490. You will find more information at www.BeFabBeYou.com. While you are there, opt-in to get a copy of Maria’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Shopping List and receive news/tips on health, wellness and fitness, events, and recipes in your inbox. Follow her at www.Facebook. com/BeFabBeYouWellness.

Martha McGinnis

Martha McGinnis enables high-achievers who are frustrated with their lack of success in dieting to regain their power over food so they can maintain a happy weight, eat with joy and satisfaction, feel comfortable in their bodies, and build energy and confidence to follow their dreams. No diets, no drugs, no supplements, no special foods, no will-power needed. Together, Martha and clients build new eating habits based on self-awareness, self-trust and self-confidence. Having maintained a weight loss of over 45 lbs for more than 30 years—without dieting—Martha has developed the AIM Eating Program (Aligned~Intuitive~Mindful) out of her own experience, learning and research. There’s huge overlap between Mindful and Intuitive Eating, and both are valuable. Alignment with an individual’s realities, values, beliefs, and aspirations is also key to long-term success. Learn more at https://www. rethinkingfood.net.

Sabrina Brawner

Sabrina Brawner is a Certified Life Coach, speaker, author, writer, and entrepreneur. A professionally trained writer, Sabrina co-authored and edited the compilation book Learn, Lead, and Leave a Legacy: Advancing Women in The Workplace. Sabrina’s writing work has also been published in READY Publication, and her articles about emotional intelligence have been featured on HR.com. Sabrina also frequently blogs on her own entrepreneurship based website, sabrinabrawner.com, covering topics that help women step out of their comfort zones, create authentic businesses, and make a profit doing what they love. Sabrina is a sought-after public speaker, and is active in serving the community through sponsorship and multiple philanthropic efforts. Sabrina is a Georgia native, and enjoys writing poetry and songs in her spare time. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 6


Uncommon Knowledge: The Surprising Way You Can Achieve and Sustain a Healthy Happy Weight By: Martha McGinnis

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gnore the fads, ditch the diets, relax, and let yourself truly enjoy what you eat. We are surrounded by hype and mistaken assumptions. The sad truth is that, as a society, we’ve taken much of the joy out of eating and gotten heavier in the process. Our sense of guilt

around eating is growing exponentially. Before 2010, about 50% of Americans said they felt guilty after eating something they liked. By 2015, 80% of women and 70% of men expressed that feeling — a dramatic increase in a few short years!

With so many beliefs about diet, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. So, what are the facts? • Self-criticism or criticizing others about their weight leads to more pounds, not less. Healthy eating begins with self-respect. We don’t necessarily have to like our weight, but we must accept it in order to move on. Guilt and shame keep us stuck in place and often make things worse.

• Being moderately overweight is actually less dangerous than being moderately underweight. Otherwise healthy people who are moderately underweight are more likely to die within one year than moderately overweight individuals (BMI=27), who also live longer in general.

• Exercise alone seldom works. Unless you’re a serious athlete, you can almost always eat more than you can exercise. Is exercise helpful? Of course, and any exercise at all is better than none. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do much, just do what you can.

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• You don’t have to endure hunger, count calories or points, or live on lettuce to lose weight. In fact, if you want to keep the weight off long-term, it’s better NOT to do those things. According to experts, “dieting seems to have a paradoxical effect and has been considered a risk factor for weight gain and obesity in women and for eating disorders.”

• Many gluten-free foods are so low in protein and other critical nutrients, and so high in sugar and saturated fats that experts are concerned they’ll contribute to malnutrition and obesity. Only about 1% of people have celiac disease, very few others receive any demonstrable benefit from avoiding gluten and may be short-changing their bodies.

So what DOES work? Intuitive & Mindful Eating:

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on-diet approaches shift the focus away from weight outcomes to the improvement of health outcomes and psychological well-being. One such approach, Intuitive Eating, promotes dietary intake based on internal cues of hunger and fullness, body acceptance, and making behavior choices based on health as well as enjoyment.” Likewise, Mindfulness around eating results in more pleasure, a greater level of satisfaction and lower overall food intake. Big meals are naturally balanced by smaller meals so that energy in = energy out. The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating were identified more than 15 years ago by two Registered Dietitians who did something remarkable. When they realized the diets they prescribed weren’t

working out, they didn’t just blame their patients. Instead, they studied normal-weight people with positive eating habits and attitudes. When they taught their patients those same behaviors and beliefs, they began to lose weight too and to keep it off. Like Intuitive Eating, Mindful Eating supports normal eating behaviors that allow an individual’s weight to move toward their unique genetic set-point. Based on the 2,500 year-old tradition of Meditation, Mindful Eating practices help us relax and bring our attention into the present moment: What does our body tell us about the food we need? What are the situations and feelings motivating us to eat? How does each bite satisfy our needs and desires? Together, Intuitive and Mindful Eating are powerful tools that transform

our guilt and worry around eating into pleasure and satisfaction. Over time, overeaters and emotional eaters can become normal eaters, comfortable in their bodies, and at ease with foods of all kinds. They have lower average BMI than people who practice other eating styles, and their weight tends to be stable as well. These Principles and Practices are simple, and while building them into our lives takes time and effort, it doesn’t take willpower, because we’re not fighting our bodies — we’re working with them instead. So, before you begin any weight loss program, look into the long-term results: How many people actually keep the weight off? How much and for how long? Can you sustain it for the long term? Is that how you want to live? Know you have a choice!

Sarah Knapton - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/10/gluten-free-con-clean-foods-not-healthy-real-thing-warn-nutrition/ Body Mass Index and Mortality Rates in Denmark Shoaib PhD - http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2520627 Explaining rigid dieting in normal-weight women: the key role of body image inflexibility. C Ferreira-I Trindade-A Martinho - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25753131 A review of interventions that promote eating by internal cues. J Schaefer-A Magnuson - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24631111

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Preventive Pilates Exercises for Back Pain By: Maria Angelova

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ack pain is one of the most frequent complaints for many adults. Modern life in America is conducive to spending many hours sitting. Although frequently only symptoms are treated, it is more productive to tackle the cause. For many, back pain is related to weakened musculature supporting the spine, and tight muscles causing imbalance. This results in body misalignment with the lower back carrying most of the body weight while also compressing different organs. With age, this leads to poor posture and diminished balance. 

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ilates is well known as one of the best methods for strengthening the core—the muscles encompassing the torso. Pilates creates muscles that exhibit strength, flexibility and control. Strong muscles take pressure off the spine, thus reducing the opportunity for back pain. Pilates also works on improving muscle and spine flexibility. This combination brings better posture and balance, which are essential not only in daily life but especially as we age.

Here are 2 exercises that help strengthen the core, thus keeping back pain away: The Wall Place back against the wall. The goal is to get your lower, middle, upper back, shoulders and head flat against the wall. Move feet forward and, if necessary, bend the knees some. Keep heels together and toes apart. Pull belly button toward your back, and tuck tail bone gently under. Keep shoulders down and neck long. If getting into this position requires a lot of work, focus on holding the position while maintaining normal breath. If your body is up to it, raise your arms parallel to the floor. Keep shoulders down and make 5 arm circles going from the center out. Then, repeat with 5 circles going from out to center. Release the arms. Maintain flat back the entire time.   Most Beautiful Issue • November • 9


Next, gently and naturally drop the chin into the chest, then move your upper back and shoulders off the wall vertebrae by vertebrae, also known as articulating, as if you are slouching forward. Keep mid and lower back on the wall. With relaxed arms, make sloppy circles from the center out and then reverse. Do 5 times each. You should feel a nice stretch in your upper back. Slowly articulate upper back, shoulders and head back against the wall. If you do not have knee issues, open heels to parallel feet and move the feet slightly forward. Slide your back against the wall down into a squat while you raise the arms parallel to the floor. Keep the back, shoulders, and head against the wall the entire time by keeping the belly tight and shoulders down. Make sure that knees do not go beyond the toes when you are getting into a squatting position. If they do, move your feet further forward. Hold the position down for a couple of seconds and then slide back up. Repeat 3 times. Once your body is straight up and your arms are down, place the palms of the hands against the wall and walk your feet all the way back to the wall trying to keep the back, shoulders, and head against the wall as much as possible. Once feet are all the way back to the wall, press with the palms against the wall and push your body away from the wall.  Now maintain that posture throughout the day!

The Plank While not a traditional Pilates exercise, a solid plank is part of a few different Pilates exercises. The plank is fullbody work. There are several progressions of a plank and posture is key for each one. Keep your entire body on a straight line. Do not allow the hips to sink in, or stick out, or shift left or right—stay centered. Do not allow the lower back to sink in. That will further contribute to back pain. Ensure shoulders stay down and the upper back stays wide. Feel resistance and push with the arms away from the wall or floor while holding the position. You should feel the long abdominals (rectus abdominis) in the front of your body fire up. Hold the position suitable for you as long as you can. Basic Plank: Stand a bit over arm’s-length away from a wall, with feet shoulder width apart. Extend the arms forward and place palms on the wall. Intermediate Plank: Perform plank with bent arms on elbows and/or on your knees. Do not do plank on your knees if you have bad knees. Advanced Plank: Do the plank with straight arms and knees off the floor. Keep heels together and toes apart to make it harder; widen the feet to ease it up. Before performing any physical exercise, and especially if you have concerns, always seek medical clearance. If at any time you experience any discomfort or pain while exercising, stop. Do what is suitable for your body.

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ard

Win n er

2017 D r. E va G

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mmunity Trai o C lbl os b aze m a r al

Mayor Rusty Paul

lected mayor in November 2013, Russell K. (Rusty) Paul brings more than 35 years of federal, state and local public policy and public administration experience to the job. Mr. Paul was elected to the founding city council for Sandy Springs in November 2005 and served one term. He chaired the city’s charter review commission and the Sandy Springs Development Authority. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations in the first Bush Administration under Secretary Jack Kemp. Secretary Kemp also appointed him acting Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development, detailed him to the Office of Thrift Supervision to

set up the Federal Housing Finance Board under the FIERRA legislation and tapped him to oversee the department’s disaster response to Hurricane Hugo and the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. He received the Secretary’s Golden Eagle Award, the highest honor a cabinet officer can bestow. He served also as an intergovernmental relations officer and deputy assistant secretary for grant programs. Besides his stints in federal government, Mr. Paul is a former Georgia State Senator and also served on the Stone Mountain City Council, the Stone Mountain’s planning and zoning commission and served two terms on the Georgia Municipal Association board of directors. In 1995, he was elected chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and

served on the Republican National Committee, where RNC Chair Jim Nicholson appointed him to chair the State Chairman’s Advisory Committee.

“Rusty Paul brings more than 35 years of federal, state and local public policy and public administration experience to the job.” He is a past chairman of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Center Chamber of Commerce and a member of Sandy Springs Rotary. He and his wife, Jan, are parents of five adult children and attend Holy Innocents Episcopal Church.

Bio Courtesy: City of Sandy Springs Most Beautiful Issue • November • 11


Wellness and Productivity in the Workplace By: Maria Horstmann

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s your wellness level in the way of making the most of your workday and 24-hour day? Simply put, energy is the capacity to do work and productivity is the rate of output produced/ completed. The variability of quality, time, and [perceived] value makes the measuring of productivity in the service sector challenging.

Successful and growing companies with a mission to deliver products and services to inspire customers... • Want employees to be an uphill climber. • Want employees to produce beyond their standard ability and capacity. • Embrace employees as their most valuable asset. • Provide the structure and environment for growth. • Offer incentives based on different levels of motivation (innate, intrinsic, and extrinsic) Costs of Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Absenteeism is when a person is absent due to illness, injury, or calls in “sick” for unrelated reasons. Presenteeism is when a person is at work but is not fully functioning due to sickness or other medical condition. As the cost of absenteeism and presenteesim continues

to rise, companies are taking employee wellness more seriously now than ever. These costs make up a large portion of overall employee costs. What might surprise you is that presenteeism costs businesses about 10 times more than absenteeism.

Health Risk-Factors and Productivity In a report by SHRM Foundation, the top risk-factors/ health conditions responsible for the highest organiza-

tional lost productivity cost in relation to absenteeism and presenteeism are:

Overweight/obesity • Stress • High Cholesterol • Physical Inactivity • Diabetes Most Beautiful Issue • November • 13


Energy Matters Interesting enough, each one of the conditions above impacts our energy. According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, approximately 40 percent of working Americans experience fatigue. Employers incur over $136 billion annually in health-related lost productivity—about $101 billion more than those without fatigue. Causes of poor energy include malnutrition, high stress, poor sleep, and inadequate hydration and physical activity. Addressing the

root cause of fatigue prevents the build-up and vicious cycle of sickness, mental health issues, and addictions. Plus, it allows us to live life to the fullest more often. When it comes to eating habits in Sandy Springs, Georgia, businesses, residents and workers can do better. Recently, Gallup released the U.S. Community Healthy Eating Rankings and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell ranked 141 out of 189.

Boost Health and Profitability Consider the following “food for thought,” wellness strategies: Beyond ROI (Return on Investment): Go beyond ROI. Value on Investment (VOI) benefits for employers may include higher improved morale, attracting talented employees, lower employee turnover and training costs, and higher productivity. Employees’ quality of personal and professional lives and self-esteem may get a boost as well. Communication First: Foundation points of a wellness program include communication, participation, encouragement, reward and recognition. Although 85% of the companies with more than 1,000 employees offer a wellness program, only 60% of employees are aware of its existence, and only 40% of them participate. The bottom line is only 24% of the employees actually benefit from wellness program. Statistics like the above send organizations a message it is time to revisit communication. Culture and Leadership: Ensure executives and senior managers are fully engaged. Statistics show that their involvement and participation can make or break the effectiveness and continuity of wellness programs. Incentives and Motivation: Ensure the program offers incentives based on different levels of motivation:

• Innate: needs and desires that motivate a person. • Intrinsic: engagement in activity for its own sake driving autonomy and self-confidence. • Extrinsic: engagement in activity directed by others for reward driving tangible incentives and social support. Help employees identify their own intrinsic motivators based on innate drives. Extrinsic motivators get employees to participate but rarely result in behavior change. Leverage Existing Assets: Look at your office space and leverage it to boost health: • Convert an empty or underutilized space into a meditation or exercise room • Revamp your cafeteria • Encourage, offer, and/or sponsor healthier breakfast and lunch. • Replace unhealthy snacks and beverages for healthier options. • Organize healthy potlucks. Rest your mind and move your body. Encourage your team to: • Eat lunch away from the desk. • Take small breaks away from the screen. • Use stairs—turn it into a corporate challenge. • Go outside for fresh air and take a walk.

What to do Now Health and well-being starts within each one of us. • Take the lead. • Get help and support to kick-off your initiative/journey. • Start with small and measurable steps. • Have a win daily. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 14


Effective Ways to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace By: U Sandy Springs Staff

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magine that your alarm goes off at 7 a.m. You make coffee, rush out the door, and push through traffic to get to work, only to be welcomed by a tense environment in addition to your workload. Conflict may seem inevitable, but what creates conflict in the workplace? Competitive tensions, power struggles, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, or just someone having a bad day all contribute to conflict in the workplace. Many hard working people encounter friction within the workplace that

makes the task of getting their jobs done a little tougher. How do you resolve this conflict and get through the work week? There are methods and steps companies can use to de-escalate certain situations amongst co-workers and even management. This is important because conflicts can lead to employees losing their jobs. No one should have to lose their income over issues that could be resolved in a professional manner. According to hrdailyadvisor. com there are six steps to resolving conflict:

Clarify what the disagreement is: The goal is to get both sides to agree on what the disagreement is.

Establish a common goal for both parties: Both sides agree on the desired outcome of the conflict.

Discuss ways to meet the common goal: Listen and communicate about options to meet the goal.

Determine the barriers to the common goal: Parties acknowledge what has brought them into conflict and what may prevent a resolution.

Agree on the best way to resolve the conflict: Examine the root cause of conflict so that it doesn’t happen again and determine the best resolution.

Acknowledge the agreed upon solution and determine the responsibilities each party has in the resolution: Own responsibility and confirm agreement.

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bove all it is important to stay calm and listen to understand the other person’s point of view. Avoid the blame game because that will only make matters worse and leave the issue unresolved. “Conflict is inevitable because we’re human beings and come from different backgrounds,” says Marcia Reynolds, an organizational psychiatrist based in Arizona. “People think that anything in disagreement with my belief is intended as a personal affront.” Reynolds says. “We like to ascribe meaning to everything that happens.” Conflict avoidance can also lead to a major blowup when the other party can no longer hold in what their issue is, and it also affects the productivity of that individual. Be sure to face any workplace issues head-on to resolve the matter at hand.

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hen you find the reason behind workplace conflict, and resolve it, the person in conflict with you becomes your ally, working with you towards the greater good. Keep your emotions in check, find the core concern behind the conflict and use it as a learning opportunity to find a win/win solution for everyone involved. Most conflicts resonate from lack of communication and understanding. Compromise must be a key ingredient to getting the issue under control and creating a better work environment again. Negativity and tension can be downer for anyone on the job. If you encounter conflict along the way, use the given methods to make sure your atmosphere is peaceful, and you’re a productive employee. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 15


Keep it Simple Cooking with Maria Fuel. Connect. Thrive!

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re you interested in eating healthy while optimizing your time in the kitchen, increasing your energy and mental clarity, lowering cravings, and feeling fab? You are in the right place to get recipes. As a former professional in Corporate America for over 20+ years, I understand that making time to build and sustain a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. The good news is that we all have 24 hours in a day, and it is a matter of choices.

In this column, I promote: • Eating real whole foods—especially “stuff ” that grows • Minimizing consumption of added sugar—read labels underground and on trees. and ingredients. • Eating organic and non-GMO as much as your pocket • Taking full responsibility for our health. allows for. Not everything in a package is bad—read la- • Saving time and using kitchen toys. Life would be hardbels and ingredients. er without use of my Crockpot, steamer, food processor, • Cooking in bulk to save time. Vitamix, vegetable chopper, spiralizer, dehydrator, and • Balancing your plate with anti-inflammatory foods: pressure cooker at times. The investment in acquiring fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Fiber = vegetables and these toys over time, have been indispensable to susfruits. Protein = plant based protein and/or organic taining a healthy and balanced eating habits. Win-win. grass-fed meats, pasture raised, and wild caught fish. • I like to keep it real. Let’s focus on getting balanced Healthy fats = plant based with minimal use of oils and meals, colourful and nutrient dense whole foods, low a focus on Omega 3 fatty acids. sugar, and quality over quantity. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 16


Taco Meat

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his recipe is easy to prepare, versatile, rich in nutrients, and absolutely delish. It is by far a favourite of mine and a go-to for red meat. A few ounces of this meat recipe can add fantastic flavour to almost anything you eat from breakfast, to lunch, and dinner. The quality of foods, especially proteins you put in your body, are so important. Think outside the box—the rich flavour of this recipe may be added to many different dishes. Flavour is a key component of building sustainable eating habits. Prep Time: 15 minutes • Total Time: 4 hours + 15-45 minutes • Serving Size: 3 ounces • Serves: 8-10

Ingredients: • 2 lbs. grass-fed beef • 3 tablespoons tomato paste best if organic and comes in a glass jar • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped • 2 tablespoons coconut milk, full fat • 1 tablespoon chili powder • 1 teaspoon cumin • 1 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic sea salt • 1 teaspoon black pepper • 1 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 teaspoon onion powder • ½ teaspoon cinnamon • ½ teaspoon coriander • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

• ¼ teaspoon paprika • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper • ¼ teaspoon turmeric Directions: 1) Combine and mix all of the spices, except for the parsley, in a cup or small bowl. 2) Add the beef, tomato paste, and spices to the Crockpot. Use a spoon to mix up the spices and break up the meat. 3) Poor coconut milk on top of the meat. 4) Cook on Crockpot on low for 4 hours. 5) Break up the meat some more. 6) Add the fresh parsley, mix up, and cook on low for another 30 minutes. This step is not necessary, but it adds an extra flavour. 7) Remove the meat from the Crockpot to serve and/or freeze.

Smart Food Facts: Why grass-fed meat? Grass-fed meats contain greater amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (“CLA”), vitamin A and E, and Omega 3 (“O3”) fatty acids—the anti-inflammatory type! Fats are not all created equal. The average American consumes 20 times more Omega 6, the inflammatory fatty acid type, than that of O3. Cows that eat a natural diet and grasses only, are hormone and antibiotic free compared to those that are grain-fed. I encourage you to reduce the consumption of foods and beverages sourced from grain-fed animals. Too expensive? Smart budgetary trade-offs, simple cuts like ground beef, bulk purchase, and more plant-based protein are good practices to get you started. Take small steps to reduce your intake of “junk,” from the outside. You will improve your energy and overall health. Choose wisely!

Most Beautiful Issue • November • 17


Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh

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abbouleh is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad. Authentic tabbouleh has bulgur wheat. In this recipe, I am replacing bulgur for cauliflower and adding radish for additional Vitamin B2, B6 and C, folate, potassium, fiber, and some protein. Raw garlic and onions are good sources of prebiotics that enrich the good bacteria in our colon. Prep Time: 20 minutes • Total Time: 20 minutes • Serving Size: 1 cup • Serves: 12

Ingredients: Tabbouleh: • 1 medium-large head purple cauliflower (or orange, green, or white) • 3 cups radish, shredded • ½ cup tomatoes, diced • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced or diced • ½ red onion, chopped • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced • 1/3 cup parsley, thinly chopped Dressing: • Juice of 2 lemons • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • ½ teaspoon salt (favour Himalayan or Celtic Sea salt) • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Salad: 1. Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor (or grate them on a box grater) until the consistency of rice. 2. Place in a large bowl. 3. Add remaining ingredients and mix all ingredients. Dressing: 1. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. 2. Serve cold or at room temperature. 3. To prevent soggy tabbouleh, add 2-3 teaspoons of dressing directly to you salad bowl 4. Or skip dressing all together if you are adding a few ounces of animal protein to your salad.

Smart Food Facts: Why purple cauliflower? Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable with potent detoxification properties, has become a staple on my plate. When available, try the purple, orange, and green cauliflowers. They are not only fun, but also higher in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits. A diet rich in added sugar and simple carbohydrates raises your blood sugar, lowers the body’s defence mechanism, and creates additional oxidative stress and cell damage. Antioxidants, found in bright fruits and vegetables, can protect the cells from some damage. Keep in mind that heat can easily destroy antioxidants.

Most Beautiful Issue • November • 18


Arugula “Kitchen Sink” Salad

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his salad is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants; protein (plant-based), and healthy fats. Time to prepare will depend on whether you had a few of these vegetables shredded in advance—which I recommend. Prep Time: 10-20 minutes • Total Time: 10-20 minutes • Serving Size: 1 large plate • Serves: 1

Ingredients: Salad: • 3 cups of mixed greens: arugula, baby kale, radicchio, and mizuna • 1 tomato, diced • 1 mushroom, cut and sliced • ¼ avocado, sliced • ½ cup red beets, shredded • ¼ cucumber, sliced • 1/3 cup jicama, shredded • 1/3 cup radish, shredded • 1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts • ½ kiwi, peeled and diced • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds • 1 (or 13-15) tablespoon pistachios Dressing: • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

• 1 tablespoon coconut milk, full fat • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar • Juice of 1 small lemon • 1 teaspoon mustard • A pinch of salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary Directions: Salad: 1) Option one: combine all ingredients except avocado in a bowl, mix them up, transfer them to a large plate, and finally add avocado OR 2) Option two: add each ingredient on layers directly to your plate leaving the alfalfa, kiwi, hemp, avocado, and pistachios for last. Dressing: 1) In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, lemon, and spices. Gradually whisk in avocado oil and coconut milk. 2) Pour the dressing on top of your salad and enjoy.

Smart Food Facts: Why Arugula? Amongst greens and bitter foods, arugula is one of my preferred choices. Arugula is packed with nutrients and health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and A, folate, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Want more? Add anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, plus—it fights blood sugar fluctuations and improves insulin response. Reversing prediabetes was one of the hardest accomplishments of mine and ultimately, led me to become an Insulin Resistance Practitioner. So, yes, I recommend you add bitters to your plate—it will balance added sugars in packaged foods, and foods prepared for you outside your home.

Most Beautiful Issue • November • 19


Coconut Butter Baklava

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This recipe replaces most ingredients traditionally used in the traditional Greek recipe to minimize blood sugar spikes, but adds in healthy fats. Coconut and berries are sweet enough. It deserves the name baklava because you cut it in triangles. Enjoy it! Prep Time: 5 minutes • Total Time: 10 minutes • Serving Size: 1 piece • Serves: 8

Ingredients: • 2 coconut wraps • 1 tablespoon coconut butter • 1 tablespoon raw almond butter • ½ teaspoon cinnamon • 3 walnuts, crushed • 2 teaspoons 100% cacao nibs • 1 tablespoon goji berries, dried Directions: 1) Spread a layer of coconut butter on one of the coconut wraps.

2) Spread a layer of almond butter over the coconut butter. 3) Sprinkle cinnamon over the layers. 4) Add a layer of walnuts. 5) Add a layer of cacao nibs. 6) Add a layer of goji berries. 7) Add the other coconut wrap on the top. 8) Cut them into smaller pieces (across all angles and middle) to make 8 small triangles. 9) Put the pieces in the freezer for 5 minutes, or longer, for a crunchy delish bite.

Smart Food Facts: Why coconut? This is an amazing food—when sugar is not added to it. I LOVE coconut and eat unsweetened coconut flakes daily. Besides the amazing taste, it is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are digested differently in the body and provides energy much quicker than other fats. Another huge thumbs up to coconut is that, when consumed with foods rich in Omega 3, it enhances the absorption of anti-inflammatory properties of such foods—hint, hint!

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Vacationing on a Budget By: Sabrina Brawner

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vacation is usually a luxury outing for most families. Although a vacation can be an important way for families to create memories, relax, or bond, the cost of organizing them can put a strain on household incomes. Since part of the purpose of going on vacation is to connect with others, and enhance your relationships, money worries are one of the last things you want on your mind, when you’re supposed to be having a good time. Here are some ways you can budget properly for your next vacation, so that you can enjoy piece of mind while you get away.

Budget for Your Trip Ahead of Travel Time Plan well in advance for the financial portion of your trip. Sometimes trips are more of a spontaneous venture and while vacationing on impulse can be fun, it can be a challenge to ensure that they are cost effective. Most people know when they will be vacationing. It may be something they plan to do every summer, or it may be based around a particular event they attend every year. Either way, start thinking about that budget at least 6 months in advance—or for international travel, a year in advance. This gives you plenty of time to determine or estimate the major costs of the trip, such as transportation, hotel, and or flight. Then you can begin putting money towards your “travel stash” every month.

Plan Your Activities Once you begin your getaway, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of things, and spend extra money on impulse. Instead, try picking a few activities you know you will want to engage in before you leave. This will help you to prioritize the activities you want to accomplish while on your trip so that you’ll be less likely to splurge on an expensive activity that catches your eye. Once you’ve made decisions on what you’ll do while on vacation, you can search for coupons, and discounts, and make activity item purchases before you get there. For example, you may plan to go to the beach for your vacation. Inflatables, toys, swimming suits, and swimming trunks may be found at a cheaper price at home versus seaside. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 21


Plan Your Meals You already know that you and your family will have to eat every day of the trip. It is common knowledge that eating out can quickly rake up costs that can put a strain on your wallet and budget. Do some research ahead of time to determine how you will cover the costs of food on your vacation. If your hotel provides daily breakfast, then that will be a plus. Make sure your family takes advantage of that daily breakfast, so that you have one less meal to worry about. If your accommodations include a kitchen, then do some grocery shopping and prepare a few meals in-house. Utilize the internet, and pick out a few restaurants near your hotel, or near the activities you’ll be participating in before you arrive. Scout out the costs, and find out if they offer any coupons or special discounts.

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Find the Best Deals Don’t be afraid to utilize the resources you have at hand to find the best deals. Call your hotel, and find out their recommendations for fun, low-cost activities, or meals. If you have a rewards credit card, brush up on how to use it to your advantage on your vacation. There may be discounts or cash back bonuses associated with patronizing certain companies, gas stations, and airlines, they’ve partnered with. The internet will be your best friend when looking for deals. Try using discount travel websites, and Groupon for meals, and activities as well. It’s also a good idea to consider traveling with other friends and families for group rates, and to travel off season.


Weaning Babies off Breastfeeding By: U Sandy Springs Staff

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he glory of birth gives way to the wonderful bonding experience between mother and baby during breastfeeding. Yet, there also comes a time when you should wean him or her from breastfeeding. For some mothers, this can be a great relief, but for others it’s surprisingly emotional. Several factors can contribute to the reason a mother chooses to wean her baby, even though the process may not be easy for all parties involved. Mothers may feel it’s time to start the process, because they’re planning on returning to work, experiencing health problems, or expecting another baby. Even though a mother may desire to wean, she may still feel uneasy about it. Once a mother has begun to encourage weaning, she may feel sad, frustrated, or exhausted. Coming to

grips with these mixed feelings can help a mother know how to handle them. It can also be an emotional roller coaster for the baby, since the dependence on breastfeeding is being taken away. There are options that can assist with moving the transition of weaning a baby along in the right direction, such as substitution with snacks, and introducing a sippy cup. During weaning, several questions may arise about the weaning process such as: When do I start? What about nutrition? How long will this this transition take? It’s perfectly normal to ask these questions, and many more. Doctors and other parents suggest letting your child lead the way, but not taking over. This needs to be easy on both parent and child.

Here are a few tips: • Drop a feeding and replace with a snack, or if age appropriate, whole milk. • Change the bedtime routine, as this is the main feeding time that will be the most difficult for some babies. Read a book instead. • Introduce the cup around 6 months so that when you completely stop breastfeeding the cup won’t be a foreign object. • A child’s mind associates events through routine. You can break this by avoiding familiar nursing positions and places. • Take it slow! Gradually decrease the time during feedings and how many times you feed a day. And remember, substitution plays a major role, for example, the sippy cup. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 23


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Your baby will still receive the appropriate amount of nutrition along the way since Whole milk or baby formula will have sufficient vitamins and minerals. If you decide to wait until after the first birthday there are now milk supplements for toddlers that provide the same nutrients. Patience will be key in going through this process with your little one. Weaning is dependent on your approach. It could take days, weeks, or months. But don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go as quickly as you planned. Rushing the process can upset your child and cause painful breast engorgement, the swelling of milk glands. There was plenty of love and affection given to your baby when you began breast-

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feeding and the same, if not more, needs to be given for the weaning process. You also would want to consider delaying weaning if you or your child are ill, if you have any concerns about allergies to cow milk, and if a major change occurs in the home, such as a recent move or anything stressful. Going cold turkey with such an already tedious process is not recommended. Everything should be gradual and at a comfort level that will have maximum results. At the end of the day, do what works for your baby at the most efficient level. With these tips, and a lot of patience and love, weaning from breastfeeding should be just another phase in child rearing to get through.


Community Spotlight: Community Assistance Center

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ommunity Assistance Center (CAC) is an organization addressing suburban poverty in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. CAC provides various resources to assist individuals and families in becoming or maintaining self-sufficiency. The mission of CAC, as outlined on their website, is to “provide compassionate assistance to neighbors in need by providing financial support, helping to meet basic needs and promoting self-reliance”. In order to fulfill their mission, CAC offers a myriad of services for its clientele. Though known for their robust food pantry and beautiful boutique, services offered also range from basic adult education classes to tax return filing. Tamara Carrera, CEO/Executive Director of CAC, provided insight on CAC’s services and why they are important in the Sandy Springs area. Carrera shared that the median income in the Atlanta-metropolitan area is around $36,000 while the median income in the Sandy Springs area is approximately $65,000; hence the need for individuals in the community to secure jobs that pay far more than minimum wage. Carrera shares that some of the main reasons individuals are unable to secure and maintain employment are because of their communication

skills and soft skills. Carrera shared, “the separation notices have things like tardy 5 days straight or rude to a customer”. Carrera further explains how some clients may have to catch multiple buses to get to work and fail to communicate this information to their employer. One client explained that he did not believe that his supervisor would understand, so he never attempted to have a conversation with his supervisor regarding the delays he may experience relying on public transportation. Carrera notes that personality cannot be changed; however, skills, such as communication and soft skills can be taught. Due to the current workforce being heavily technology-driven, Carrera shared the importance of the computer courses offered by CAC. The computer courses include information on basic computer skills as well as information on various software programs such as the Microsoft Office programs and QuickBooks. Carrera references the stayat-home mom returning to work and the older working adult who did not grow up around technology as reasons why the computer courses are important and in high demand. Carrera stated, “individuals go take a license test, it’s all electronic, and you’ve never done an electronic test before…it’s

embarrassing”. Carrera further explains the importance of computer courses by noting that clients needs the skills to survive in a technology-driven world and also to be able to compete in the job market. Although the computer courses are popular, English as a Second Language courses are just as popular. Carrera explained the diverse make up of Sandy Springs by noting the high percentages of individuals from countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, and China. Due to the need to speak English fluently, many individuals take years of language courses. Carrera shared that enrollment in language courses has increased by 52% over the past year. Classes were previously offered twice per week and are now offered four times per week. For those individuals who need extended assistance with improving their fluency in English, the program now offers six levels of English, as opposed to the three levels previously offered. CAC offers many programs and continues to expand its reach in the community. Microenterprise and micro loans are programs and services that are in the dream stage for CAC. To learn more about CAC and continue to follow developing programs, visit http://www.ourcac.org Most Beautiful Issue • November • 25


Getting a Certificate vs. Getting an Advanced Degree By: Sabrina Brawner

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etermining what educational path is best when it comes to reaching your career goals can be intimidating. It’s a big decision, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It’s an investment of your time, money, energy, and effort, so you’ll want to be as informed as possible when you decide. Many Americans are put on a particular path based on the expectations of our families, or society. We know that we’ll need some sort of higher education as we enter the world of work, but we generally make the decision based on the advice of others. Often, it’s already determined that once you get your high school diploma, off to college you go, regardless of whether or not you know what your career will be. This can lead to students getting a full education in a field that isn’t right for them, or not getting enough experience or training in order to advance within their field. Some jobs, and positions will require specific experience, education levels, or continuing education. During the course of your work life, an adjustment in your set of skills could be needed at any time in your professional life. At times getting a Certificate is acceptable, and the best choice, and at other times, you will have to obtain a new Degree. Both have their own set of uses, and pros and cons.

Make the Best Choices for You There are pros and cons to each side of whether you should get a certificate or an advanced degree. It truly depends on what is going to be the best fit for you and your professional goals. Depending on the career you choose, at times you may not have a choice, but if you do, then carefully weigh the investment costs before making a decision. Although some employers prefer a degree over a certificate, there is no limit to what you can achieve with either choice. Many people with certificates and specialized skills own their own businesses, and make much more money than people with advanced degrees. People with advanced degrees may find it easier to negotiate salary and employment expectations. You’ll have to do what’s right for you.

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Getting a Certificate A Certificate is used for very specialized education and training. They are generally used when people want to take on a career or advance in a career that requires certain specific training or specialized skills. These careers can include mostly technical or vocational jobs. They can also include required continuing education standards for jobs in medicine or law. If you are established within your career, Certificate programs allow you to obtain the ability to get a promotion or raise faster based on your skill-set. They can take a year or less to complete, which is less time to complete than an advanced degree, and cost much less, allowing you to get a faster return on your investment. Because you become more employable faster, you can start making money in your trade faster, however, the amount of money that you can make will usually be less than if you had an advanced degree. If time, and money are a major concern, then a certificate can get you into your desired position while requiring less of both. Getting an Advanced Degree An advanced degree takes 2 years or more, beyond your Bachelor’s degree to complete, and allows you to obtain a Master’s or Ph.D. “A master’s degree is aimed at a broader career or field, which means a professional may have greater flexibility within his or her career with a master’s.” This means that you will have qualifications for a number of career paths under your degree instead of one specialized path or specific job. The investment in an advanced degree is much larger than the investment for a certificate. You’re going to pay thousands of dollars for your degree, not to mention the time investment. Still the payoff will generally be bigger for you, meaning that you’ll eventually get your return. For example, “Starting salaries in the physical sciences skyrocket from around $59,000 to about $90,000 when someone holds a master’s degree...In the fields of psychology and social work, the payoff is just as impressive…BA grads in the field will earn $42,000 upon graduation, whereas their counterparts with master’s degrees will earn $60,000.” Bankrate.com, Marcia Passos Duffy •. “Masters Degree Or Graduate Certificate?” Masters Degree Or Graduate Certificate? | Bankrate. com. Accessed August 20, 2017. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/jobs-careers/masters-degree-or-graduate-certificate.aspx#slide=5.

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Better Biz with Bri W

hen it comes to owning a business, every milestone is a success. You come up with your business idea, put it into action, build your business, get your first sales, and grow from there. Before you know it, you could be looking at your first-year-inbusiness anniversary. This is certainly something to celebrate, as many businesses either don’t really get off the ground, or they simply fail for various reasons. While you’re preoccupied with the day to day obligations of your business, you may not take a moment to look up from your work until your first year in business. Once you’ve found the business formula that works for you, it can be daunting enough just to keep that system going in order to stay open from day to day. The pressure is on to keep things rolling in order to cover expenses and operating costs. At some point, however, you may

feel that your business has stalled. What happens when you need your business to grow? You may not have the extra time or resources to replicate your business. Plus, it can be hard to deviate from a system that is working in order to take a risk that may or may not bring growth. What you’ll want to do is begin to scale your business. This means you’ll want to tailor your business or create business models that generate higher revenues without adding massive costs and resources along the way. At the most basic level, scaling means you take what works, and make it work on a larger scale. The pathway to a larger scale is the strategic part of this process. You’ll have to determine what processes you’ll want to change or tweak, in order to service more clients or sale more products.

Make Sure Your Business Is Scalable Take a quick inventory of all the components of your business that keep things running. When it comes to scaling, automation is best. You want to set up as many systems as possible that can do the operating work of the business. This may mean that instead of hiring a new person every time there is a new task needed, you may want to use a new software system instead. There are a number of software systems that have been created for the convenience of handling business operations, payroll, customer rewards, email blasts, marketing, and customer support. The costs of these over time will be far less than hiring human labor, plus it’s more efficient, allowing you to increase what you can get done within your business. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 28


Go Virtual Make sure that internet technology is a vital component of your business scaling plan. Social media is a major part of this. Your social media branding strategy can make or break how scalable your business becomes. Every business should be utilizing social media. With it, there is no limit to the amount of people and potential clients you can reach. You can run marketing campaigns to tailor the type of audience you want to connect with. It allows you to engage with people through content. Plus, one well-placed viral video or post could practically bring you overnight success. Your website is also a great tool to use when scaling your business. Use it to venture into the world of e-commerce, or to add membership services to your business model. Membership plans could grant clients access to premium content or products. Create a Great Team Some businesses are going to require real, human employees to get the job done. You’ll want to make sure that anyone you hire is a major asset. This means that they need to be multi-talented, and have various skills between them. They’ll also need to be able to work well independently of you. Conversely, you may not be able to afford to hire a team. In that case, outsource human labor tasks that you can’t do, or don’t have time to do. There are a number of freelance websites with talented people, ready to do jobs you need at low or affordable costs.

With these simple and strategic tweaks, you could quickly add more revenue to your business with less time, and less stress.


Using Technology to Thrive in Today’s Workforce By: Brittany Brolley

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any hail the internet as the greatest invention of all time. With its endless information and methods of communication, it isn’t difficult to understand why. However, if you do not take full advantage of this invention, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Modern technology, including the internet, is vital for success in the workplace. Develop Basic Computer Skills You may not consider yourself computer savvy if you entered the workforce in the pre-internet days. This may have been a valid excuse in the ‘90s, but if you’re still clinging onto this reasoning, it’s time to let it go. The internet doesn’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon and the need for basic computer skills is imperative. Thankfully, most local colleges offer very affordable classes, including keyboard skills. This is a good place to start if typing a letter feels like an all-day chore. Learn How to Navigate Microsoft As of 2016, there were 1.2 billion people using Microsoft Word. In addition, there were 60 million commercial customers. There is a high likelihood that your workplace not only has Microsoft software but expects you to use it. Do you? And if you do, can you use the programs effectively? While it may seem like a daunting task at first, learning your way around Microsoft programs is a highly beneficial, even marketable, skill. Just as community colleges teach typing, they also offer classes on most, if not all, Microsoft software. If you don’t think a class is right for you, visit Microsoft’s website for comprehensive tutorials. Once you’ve learned how to use Microsoft Word, you can feel confident creating resumes and drafting memos. Harness The Power of LinkedIn Once you’ve learned the necessary basics of typing and using software programs, you can begin to tackle the internet. One of Most Beautiful Issue • November • 30

the most powerful tools at your disposal is LinkedIn, the largest professional social network in the world. What do the 467 million users gain from using this tool? For one, exposure. With so many employers on the site at any given time, there is quite a good chance of being seen. A writer for Forbes elaborates on other uses, “Professionals at all levels - entry-level, middle management and executives - use it for networking, keeping in touch with current and former colleagues, and engaging with others in their industry. And those more established in their careers also use it to promote their businesses.” If you are in charge of hiring at your company, LinkedIn will be of even greater value to you. Understanding the Wonder of Webinars Webinars which are online seminars, were once used mainly for training purposes within the workplace. Recently, however, many have found webinars to be a very valuable marketing tool, especially to those in business-to-business marketing. According to contentmarketinginstitute.com, over 60% of marketers are now utilizing webinars. Whether you are in the field of marketing or not, learning how to use webinars effectively is still important. Even just attending webinars will greatly benefit your career. How? Simply put, webinars teach valuable skills. Plus, if you attend ones hosted by your competition, this allows you a peek into their business strategies. Embrace technology and you will thrive in today’s workforce.


State of Education: Sandy Springs Public Schools no charge to students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch, and a small charge for students whose families have the ability to pay), After School at North Springs (launched to support ASAS students and others identified by the school as they transition to high school). Additionally, all 11 schools offer before or after school STEAM Clubs through SSEF Grants. • Mentoring, through Reading Buddies (elementary school, instilling a love o learning), Link with a Leader (where middle and high school hear from young community business leaders about their personal journeys to successful careers), Junior Achievement Success and Life Skills (at North Springs HS, where students learn how to write a resume, job and college applications, dressing for success and other needed skills), as well as CHOSEN and SAIL (targeting high school seniors on track for graduation but with no plans beyond that date to help them develop a plan for a job, school or the military).

SSEF’s Mission, purpose and vision: SSEF’s Mission is to inspire and support all Sandy Springs public school students to graduate and pursue productive lives beyond high school by providing educational and enrichment programs through community collaboratives. SSEF’s mission supports that of Fulton County Schools to educate every student to be a responsible, productive citizen, and our vision aligns with that of the school district – for all students to learn to their full potential. This mission and vision mean that some students in our wonderfully diverse city may need additional support and experience to help them realize their potential for success in their future. SSEF currently focuses its efforts on SLAM : • STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) Initiatives (such as our annual STEAM Showcase each March, speakers, curriculum-related activities, field trips, creation of clubs in one or more of these areas) • Literacy Initiatives, such as providing more than 14,000 books last year to students who may not have owned a single book before receiving one or more from our SSEF Mini Libraries. • After-School Programs, such as our After-School All-Stars (ASAS) program (serving nearly 200 students per year at Sandy Springs Charter Middle School and providing two hour per day five day per week academic support and enrichment activities at

Purpose - Why we do what we do: In 2008, a group of engaged parents and community leaders in Sandy Springs came together with a common goal - to help provide the support and guidance every student in our city’s 11 public schools needs to graduate from high school - ready for college, technical school, military service, or work. We know that an educated, productive workforce is the best opportunity for a successful community. Our city is a great one where many businesses and families thrive. But, like other towns, ours is also home to families struggling to make ends meet and to kids who may require assistance beyond what our teachers and counselors can provide. With nearly 60% of students considered financially vulnerable, the task is arduous even for our impressive school faculty. Schools and teachers are being asked to provide ever-increasing support to help students and their families, becoming safe havens for before and after school activities, providing mental and physical health, feeding, clothing, psychological counseling and other supports well beyond the education, training or capacity of school staff. SSEF works to help bridge this divide by listening to principals about needs at each school and then working to find community businesses, organizations and individuals who have expertise in those needed fields. SSEF is helping to lay the infrastructure so that our Sandy Springs Village is ready to help collectively raise our children and ensure the success of our community. SSEF believes every student should have the opportunity to thrive academically. And, with just a little extra support—a reading tutor, a business mentor, an after-school program, a science team— each student can be inspired to fulfill the dream of a successful and meaningful life, becoming dynamic and contributing citizens of our city and our world.

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Upcoming endeavors, causes and initiatives: We know that an educated, productive workforce is the best opportunity for a successful community. Our city is a great one where many businesses and families thrive. But, like other towns, ours is also home to families struggling to make ends meet and to kids who may require assistance beyond what our teachers and counselors can provide. With nearly 60% of students considered financially vulnerable, the task is arduous even for our impressive school faculty. Schools and teachers are being asked to provide ever-increasing support to help students and their families, becoming safe havens for before and after school activities, providing mental and physical health, feeding, clothing, psychological counseling and other supports well beyond the education, training or capacity of school staff. SSEF works to help bridge this divide by listening to principals about needs at each school and then working to find community businesses, organizations and individuals who have expertise in those needed fields. SSEF is helping to lay the infrastructure so that our Sandy Springs Village is ready to help collectively raise our children and ensure the success of our community. We are working to raise awareness for this need and to engage the approximately 70% of our city that currently has no connection to our public schools. We want to create more public awareness of how individuals and groups can help in this effort! To raise the funds to deliver our amazing programs and create more awareness of the important work we do, SSEF looks to the community in various ways, both in financial and human capital. We have an annual Fall Campaign, where we ask individuals who may be like-minded to support SSEF with an individual donation. We hold an annual SSEF Footprints for the Future 5K Road Race (a Peachtree Road Race Qualifier) and 1K Fun Run, and we include the community as race participants, volunteers, sponsors and exhibitors for a family fun-filled morning! In March, we hold an annual SSEF Community-Wide STEAM Showcase a North Springs Charter High School, where exhibitors from universities, technical schools and cutting-edge technology companies display the latest hands-on technology and both current and emerging STEAM careers for more than 1200 middle and high school students during the day and for more than 800 community members in the evening! We partner with the Atlanta Science Festival and have twice won the Technology Association of Georgia’s Award for Extra-Curricular Programming!

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With school district and community support, the Sandy Springs Education Force is helping to move the needle on student achievement and success, and we invite you to Join the Force! For more information, please visit our website at www.sandyspringseducationforce.org. Title I Schools • Dunwoody Springs ES • High Point ES • Ison Springs ES • Lake Forest ES • Woodland ES • Ridgeview MS • Sandy Springs MS

Non-Title I Schools • Heards Ferry ES • Spalding Drive ES • North Springs HS • Riverwood HS

As for issues and concerns regarding public schools in the area, one that immediately comes to mind is the issue of misperception about school quality. With so many private schools flanking the area, Sandy Springs has a higher private school population and many people assume that it’s directly related to school quality. Rather, it’s largely due to so many private schools being conveniently located near Sandy Springs and the fact there is a more affluent population that has the means to afford private school.


2017-18 Facts-at-a-Glance

Employees

Board of Education Linda P. Bryant, President Linda McCain, Vice President Julia Bernath • Gail Dean Katie Reeves • Katha Stuart Jeff Rose, Ed.D., Superintendent

More than 10,500 full-time personnel More than 6,800 certified personnel (those who hold teaching or administrative certifications)

Number of Schools 59

Elementary Schools, grades K-5 (prekindergarten available in some schools)

19

Middle Schools, grades 6-8

18

High Schools, grades 9-12 (includes two open campus high schools)

10

Start-Up Charter Schools

106

FY18 General Fund Budget $1,013,313,270

FY18 Cost Per Student $10,445.34 (estimated)

Total

FY17 Tax Levy System-wide Enrollment

2016-17 System-wide Free/Reduced Meals

96,870 (projected)

46.4% eligible

Maintenance & Operations Debt Service Total

2016-17 Racial Composition (rounded) Black or African American

White

Hispanic

Asian

Multi-racial

Pacific Islander

American Indian

42%

29%

15%

11%

3%

0.1%

0.1%

2016 Georgia Milestones (% of students scoring as Proficient or Distinguished)

2016 SAT Reading

Math

Writing

Total

Fulton

500

507

495

1502

State

493

490

476

1459

National

494

508

482

1484

Fulton

State

Analytic Geometry

47%

40%

CCGPS Coordinate Algebra

43%

36%

9th Grade Literature & Composition

51%

41%

American Literature & Composition

53%

43%

Biology

54%

43%

Physical Science

34%

34%

Fulton

23.2

U.S. History

49%

45%

State

21.1

Economics

58%

46%

National

20.8

2016 ACT Scores

6201 Powers Ferry Road Atlanta, Georgia 30339 470-254-3600 • www.fultonschools.org Twitter.com/FultonCoSchools • Facebook.com/FultonCountySchools Equal Opportunity Agency. Compliance Coordinator: 470-254-4585 • TTY 1-800-255-0135

18.483 0.000 18.483


Symptoms of Depression By: Brittany Brolley

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hen you have a bad day at work or a close friend hurts your feelings, it is natural to feel upset. It is also easy to identify that what you are feeling is sad-

ness. Unlike brief episodes of sadness, depression isn’t nearly as easy to recognize. However, it is similar to other illnesses in that depression does have identifying symptoms.

Identifying Symptoms: Fatigue Feeling tired in and of itself is not unusual. In many jectives like ‘flattened,’ ‘pressed down’ or, ‘lowered cases, when a person is tired, a good night’s rest can to sink’...can also accurately describe the feelings of easily remedy the situation. Fatigue caused by de- fatigue one can get from depression.” Me goes onto pression, on the other hand, is not rectified so sim- explain, “Sleep doesn’t re-energize.” ply. Merely Me of healthcentral.com says that, “adRestlessness Restlessness is defined as the inability to relax and causing severe fatigue. Feeling both tired and unit is a symptom that affects many with depression. able to relax can be very distressing. Restlessness It can prevent people from getting adequate sleep, can also cause irritability, and at times, even anger.

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Eating Too Much or Too Little Eating habits can severely change when a person also be a symptom of depression. Some sufferers has depression. Many attempt to self-soothe with lose their appetites or sleep through times when unhealthy comfort foods. This may be because they would normally be eating. Even those with“foods high in carbs and sugar increase levels of out depression can relate to not having an appetite serotonin, a brain chemical that elevates mood,” at when nervous. When you are depressed, you may least temporarily. Binge-eating is merely a Band- feel constantly anxious or worried, making eating Aid for those suffering from depression. This is not difficult. a healthy long-term solution. Eating too little can

Experiencing Feelings of Intense Sadness Intense sadness includes “feeling helpless, hopeless, paper might be totally fine—they would even admit and worthless,” and can last for multiple days, even this is true—and yet they still feel horrible.” If you weeks. This kind of sadness need not even be tied to have been dealing with long bouts of sadness or are any particular distressing event. Guy Winch, Ph.D. not sure what is causing your moods to negativeof Psychology Today explains, “It often occurs in ly shift, it is well worth consulting a mental health the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on professional.

Thinking About Dying or Committing Suicide With depression, there may come thoughts of death either suicide or death, do not wait to seek help. If and suicide. If your loved one is currently battling you are currently having suicidal thoughts, you do this symptom, it is comforting to remember that not need to wait for an appointment with a medimost people who have these types of thoughts do cal health professional. The emergency room sees not carry them out. However, if you or someone patients with all medical emergencies, including you know seems to have an abnormal fixation on mental health emergencies.

https://www.healthcentral.com/article/symptoms-of-depression-series-fatigue www.webmd.com/depression/features/depression-food-traps#1 www.webmd.com/depression/features/depression-food-traps#2 www.webmd.com/depression/guide/what-is-depression#1 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201510/the-important-difference-between-sadness-and-depression www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/suicidal-thoughts-ideation-193026

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Coping With Grief By: Brittany Brolley

G

rief, or the feeling of deep sorrow, is by no means a pleasant experience. Yet, it is something that everyone will endure at some point in their life. While grieving is a common and normal process, these emotions

are not easy to cope with. If you have been searching for relief, there are things you can do. The following six points can help you cope with your grief.

Mourn It may sound counterintuitive, but feeling your grief - frustration, sadness, or even anger. Remember: is one of the first steps to coping with it. If you are you should never feel guilty for these feelings. You one to swallow your emotions, this may be more are going through something extremely taxing and difficult than it sounds. Regardless, you should take you have the right to cry or mourn in the way that the time to properly mourn. Mourning looks dif- comes naturally to you. ferent for everyone and can include many emotions Accept Support With mourning often comes withdrawal. Most peo- a few minutes with a close friend can be helpful. ple wish to grieve in private and that is understand- Accept their support on your terms. Allow ample able. However, your friends and family are going to time for mourning, but try not to isolate yourself in want to help. You may not want their assistance but the process. could you benefit from it? Yes. Even just spending Most Beautiful Issue • November • 38


Don’t Neglect Self-Care Grief can be all-consuming. When you are feeling equate sleep, eat a healthy diet and include physical so burdened by sadness, it can even be difficult to activity in your daily routine. Consider a medical get the will to take a shower or prepare a meal. Still, checkup to make sure your grief isn’t adversely afself-care is of the utmost importance while griev- fecting your health - especially if you have any exing. The Mayo Clinic recommends, “Try to get ad- isting health conditions.”

Talk About It If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, you sary for coping. It allows you to fully process what may feel like his or her passing is a taboo topic. It’s happened and your support system of family and not. Talking about the cause of your grief is neces- friends are there to listen.

Delay Major Decisions When you are grieving, it can be difficult to concen- self ample time before making any major decisions. trate let alone make decisions. If you have just lost Your judgment may be temporarily clouded and it your spouse, you may be wondering if you should is often best to cope with grief without the added downsize. The pangs of loneliness may make you burden of unnecessary change. want to move in with a family member. Give your-

Seek Professional Help If you seem to have gotten stuck in your state of grief counseling. Both can provide you with the mourning, it is a good idea to seek help. You can necessary help in moving forward. It will take time, choose to attend a grief support group of private but you can be successful in coping with grief.

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/end-of-life/in-depth/grief/art-20047261?pg=2 www.apa.org/helpcenter/grief.aspx www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/coping-loss-bereavement-and-grief

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Bethany Diamond Title/Occupation: Executive Assistant • Age: Seriously? • Zodiac Sign: Leo One Word That Describes You: Passionate What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? WOW! That is a lot of happiness. The keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness are goal setting, working for the betterment of others…and cookies. Who inspires you and why? Gay Lenner died of ovarian cancer in September 2015. Throughout her struggles, she made herself available to other women who were diagnosed. She spent countless hours on the phone talking to women undergoing treatment and giving them the benefit of her experience—even when she wasn’t feeling well. She made connections across the country and was a huge rainmaker for Ovarian Cycle. When Gay’s death was imminent, she still gave of herself to her family.

She planned her funeral with her husband, and according to her daughter, they had moments of hilarity when Gay selected the dress she wanted her to wear to the service. Gay inspires me to be available to others, to give of myself, even when I am not feeling like it, and to bravely face the future. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? Aside from raising my children and rebuilding my life after my first husband’s unexpected death, Ovarian Cycle is my greatest accomplishment. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? July 18th, 2007, my husband kissed me goodbye at 7:00am. He kissed me 3 times—our short hand for “I love you”. It was the last time I saw him alive. He died that night on the tennis court serving out the last point of a third set match. We were married for almost 26 years. It was a watershed moment—a distinct line in the sand—before and after. My husband loved this life and embraced it with gusto. It would not have served his memory to curl up and retreat, so I didn’t. The decision to be happy was just that, a decision. I decided to find my happiness; which includes my husband of 6 years, and my new career, and my home in Sandy Springs! How do you want people to remember you and why? Most of all, when people remember me, I want them to smile. I want them to have a story—one that they remember—that time when we did this thing. I want them to be happy. What is your favorite quote? Maya Angelou: “I did the best I could with what I knew, now that I know better, I will do better.” What are some of your hobbies and interests? Triathlon; Dogsspecifically bully breed rescues: I foster for Bullseye Rescue; Ovarian Cycle- for OCRFA What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I can read upside down. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Mind Meld – to be able to access someone’s specific knowledge by request. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Celebrate Good Times: Kool and The Gang

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Brian Patterson Title/Occupation: Work-Based Learning Coordinator • Age: 41 • Zodiac Sign: Gemini One Word That Describes You: Gemini

either been being the youngest Vice President in the history of WorldCom Wireless, or securing over one million dollars’ worth of scholarship money for my students. Personally, my greatest accomplishments is raising two of the world’s most beautiful and intelligent Who inspires you and why? I am inspired by anyone who daughters. puts others before themselves, and anyone who does not let their starting point determine their final destination. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? I lost my father when I was 14, and promised What do you feel has been your greatest accomplish- my mother I would pay my own way through college. ment? Professionally, my greatest accomplishment has Along the way, I became a teenage father, who had to mature faster than his peers. I honored the promise to my mother and learned early that there is no testimony without a test, and that hard work could overcome any obstacle. What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? Laugh every day. Stay passionate or leave. Realize that the biggest problems are not necessarily big problems. Count your blessings daily.

How do you want people to remember you and why? I would like to be remembered as someone who uplifted others with kind words, deep listening, humor and genuine empathy while staying positive in the face of adversity. I hope that I am remembered by my family, friends, students, and coworkers as a person who cared deeply about others I came in contact with, and shared my time and resources freely, and with love. I believe the impact a person makes on the lives of others is what defines one’s legacy. What is your favorite quote? “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” -Whitney Houston What are some of your hobbies and interests? Reading and Fantasy Football What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I have been in 5 car accidents. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Time travel. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? I’m too sexy for my shirt. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 43


Cory Begeal Title/Occupation: Police Officer Sandy Springs • Age: 44 • Zodiac Sign: Taurus One Word That Describes You: Guardian What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? I focus my time and energy on close, supportive friends, family and community. With my family, I make it a complete priority never to miss a significant event, no matter how small that might be. I keep a very active lifestyle. I just turned 44 years old and I have a 5-year old son and a two year old daughter that I have to keep up with. I coach my sons little league team so staying fit is a big part of my everyday life. I am very fortunate to have a city that cares about its police officers. In 2014, the City of Sandy Springs built us a gym. Every day I work, you will find me in that gym. I focus on keeping a positive attitude, and not obsessing over others’ approval is what keeps me focused. Work hard and accomplish tasks that make you happy. Every day I come to work with the attitude of: “Taking on the day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind!”

Who inspires you and why? I have never had a role model to inspire me. I am completely self-motivated on creating a good name for my family. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? Creating the Sandy Springs Police Explorers Post #59, is my greatest accomplishment. I am charged by Chief DeSimone to inspire kids and motivate them to achieve their career goals. Each week, parents bring their kids to me, allowing me to have in influence in their lives. To me, this is a tremendous honor. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? I moved to Atlanta in 1996 from New York with nothing but a Plymouth Reliant and a car full of clothes. I filled out every police application I could obtain. DeKalb County Police hired me in 2000. The following year, I lost my mother to cancer. After the loss of my mother, I moved my sister in with me to help her out the best I could. Just before putting in my application for Sandy Springs Police, I met my beautiful, smart, loving wife Sarah who changed my life forever. How do you want people to remember you and why? I teach numerous classes to police academy cadets, police explorers, and active shooter response for civilian participants. The only thing I would hope is that each person learned something from me and could pass it on to the next person. I coached baseball at Murphey Candler Park long before I had kids, and I continue to coach today. With all the community work I have done, my only dying wish would be to have a local baseball field named after me. What is your favorite quote? “Take on the day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind!” - Jim Harbough What are some of your hobbies and interests? I enjoy spending time with my family, specifically vacationing at Lake Burton or Alys Beach. I work out five days a week and coach my 5 year old son’s little league team. I enjoy fantasy sports leagues, golf, and mixed martial arts. My true interests are helping people to not be victims of crimes, and guiding the youth in our police explorer program to be successful and positive contributors to society. My passion truly crosses paths with my career. What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I have coached little league baseball for 9 years now. 7 years were before I had kids and 2 years now with my son. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The power to cure cancer. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? My wedding song“You are the best thing,” by Ray LaMontagne.

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Dorthy Benson Title/Occupation: Activist/Teacher • Age: 95 Dorothy C. Benson is a 95 year old activist and advocate for senior citizens and has a Fulton County Senior Multipurpose Center named in her honor called the Benson Center, located at 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, in Sandy Springs. The goals of the facility include supporting the recreational, intellectual, social, physical, and health needs of senior citizens. This facility promotes a safe, active, meaningful and productive life for seniors.

Some of Ms. Benson’s other accomplishments and achievements include: • Distinguished Older Georgian for 2016 (Recognized by the Governor and Legislature with a Resolution read from the floor) • Lifelong champion for aging issues including Affordable housing and Transportation • Received the Martha Eaves Positive Change Award in 2009 for her exemplary service in the aging community • Well known for her achievements in: • Rotary Club, U. S. Pony Club • Girl Scouts • Fulton County Parks and Recreation • U. S Olympics (Equestrian Judge) • Grady Hospital • Chairman of the Friends of Benson (non-profit) • Teaches Stained Glass Art at the age of 95

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Janetta Randolph Title/Occupation: Underwriting Manager • Age: 37 • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius One Word That Describes You: Loyal What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? Easily put: Balance. Stay true to who you are. If you love to run, then run. If you love to fish, then fish. I truly believe that if we incorporate, and not ignore the things that pull at our heart, then happiness is natural and inevitable. If you do what you love and/or enjoy daily what is there not to be happy about. Be intentional with yourself. I would also add caring. If we care for others and have the right intentions in what we do, then physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness exists—at least it does for me.

vironment and awesome education. My dad worked really hard to fight his own personal addictions and did so after many years. As I reflect on who my parents are today, and the tough times they have come through, I could not be more proud. So on the days that are tough for me, I never give up because I have two really great parents who are wonderful friends to me and each other. The strength, toughness, strong morals and values, work ethic, integrity, and appreciation for life, are the gifts they have given me. I know that without their commitment and understanding of the responsibility of raising me, I would not be who I am today.

Who inspires you and why? My parents, as cliché as it is. My parents had me at the tender ages of 18 and 19. So being teen parents was no easy task. What inspires me is that regardless of their challenges/struggles as parents, I always knew I was the priority. As you can imagine, the stress/pressure of raising a child when you yourself are a child comes with many struggles. My parents individually had many obstacles to overcome so collectively it was quite difficult. My parents split when I was very young, but that never stopped them from working hard to be the best parents for me. My mom worked 2 jobs, for as long as I can remember, to provide a stable en-

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? Going to college and receiving a Bachelor degree, and then obtaining a Dual Master degree. My educational accomplishments mean the world to me. Statistics would have counted me out long before. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? Being 24 years of age and receiving news that your Rock (Mom), was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. The emotional journey, instant responsibility (financially – included), and fear, were major obstacles to get through. With prayer, faith, and a mother who fought hard and never complained, we were able to make it through this journey. How her diagnosis now 13 years later shaped who I am today? Well—my daily mottos are: Never give up, don’t complain, keep perspective, do your best and always do what is right, even if it is not popular. How do you want people to remember you and why? I want people to remember me as a great person, friend and listener. I want to be remembered as someone who was caring, kind and generous. I want to be remembered as one who strives to be the best person possible each day, and that I do so with my hard work. I want to feel like I have made a difference in someone’s life and I did so with integrity, honesty and sincerity. I want to be described as dependable, ambitious and confident. If people remember me this way, I would know that I gave my all with my heart, and that I was committed and determined to always do my best, and that those who interacted with me saw the same. What is your favorite quote? “Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy What are some of your hobbies and interests? Running, yoga, hanging out with friends and watching sports. What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I ran in the Penn Relays 4 years straight when in high school. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To speak every language in the world. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Suavemente Besame -Elvis Crespo

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Jeff DeLorme Title/Occupation: Owner, CycleBar Dunwoody • Age: 64 • Zodiac Sign: Libra One Word That Describes You: Busy What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? I believe that the key to achieving happiness on multiple levels is to devote your life to caring, valuing, and appreciating others. I credit my happiness to my unwavering commitment to the people in my life. My loving family, great friends, and talented co-workers constantly inspire me. I am thankful to live in a country that gives me continuous access to education, opportunity, healthcare, and more. I believe that if you put gratitude first, happiness and success follow. Who inspires you and why? My wife, Billie Lampinen, is my greatest inspiration. She is beautiful both inside and out. I first met Billie 53 years ago. A few days later, I was knocking on the door to her fam-

ily’s home. Now, we share our own home and a steadfast family. In fact, we recently celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. Billie’s love for our family and her caring heart are a constant inspiration. Together, we motivate each other to be the best possible versions of ourselves. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishments are still unfolding. Billie and I raised two happy, well-adjusted children into becoming loving, responsible adults. Now, we get to play important roles as Grandma and Grandpa. Being an exceptional role model for my family means everything to me. I always want the people that I love to feel cherished and supported so that they, in turn, can fill the world with care and kindness. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? My father overcame so many obstacles; as such, he tried to protect me. He was born just before the depression and lost his father when he was only five years old. At eight, he was placed in an orphanage. Desperate, he ran away and joined the Merchant Marines as a fifteen-year-old. My father served our country in the Navy during WWII and then earned his GED. The last 20 years of his life, he fought an alcohol addiction. Despite the obstacles that my father faced, he remained dedicated to his family. Because of his devotion, I am a better person. My life is blessed with greatness in all important aspects: family, friends, mentors, education, health, religion, and country. How do you want people to remember you and why? Foremost, I want to be remembered as a loving, devoted husband and father. I hope that my friends, co-workers, clients, and community recall me as being caring, committed, sincere, and honest. Moral values and integrity are extremely important to me. What is your favorite quote? “Excellence is not an act, but a habit”. - Aristotle What are some of your hobbies and interests? I love time with family, especially sharing grandparent duty with my wife. We also play a little golf and travel with friends. What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I met my wife in 7th grade math class.  She was the smartest kid in the class and I was just smart enough to sit next to her. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The ability to make people love and accept others. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? What a Wonderful World. By: Louis Armstrong.

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John Paulson Title/Occupation: Engineer/City Councilman • Age: 65+ • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius One Word That Describes You: Enthusiastic What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and proud, and a successful professional career based on professional happiness? One must strive to stay rele- competence, integrity and honesty. vant, both personally, professionally, in one’s communiWhat obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you ty and within oneself. are today? Everyone has personal obstacles in life, and I Who inspires you and why? My mother and her genera- am no different. The Vietnam War was an obstacle and tion, who lived through the Great War, and lived her life an opportunity that shaped me into who I am today. humbly, not looking back, but always looking forward. How do you want people to remember you and why? As What do you feel has been your greatest accomplish- an honest, straightforward individual, and community ment? I have a great wife and family, of which I am leader who helped the City of Sandy Springs grow and prosper. What is your favorite quote? I have two: 1) If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. 2) Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why they call it the “present.” What are some of your hobbies and interests? I’m interested in lots of things, and play golf as a hobby and a passion. Also, I love the beach. What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? The ability to take complex subjects and topics and explain them in ways that are simple and easy to understand. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Fly like a bird. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Frank Sinatra singing “I get a kick out of you.”

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Larissa Von Rodney Title/Occupation: Owner of Stush Beauty Lounge/Creative Director/Philanthropist/Speaker & Writer Age: 28 • Zodiac Sign: Cancer • One Word That Describes You: Divine What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? The keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness are self-love, gratitude, action and God. With physical happiness, it truly starts from within. Firstly loving yourself; loving your physical body that you have been blessed with. Emotional Happiness isn’t a destination to me. I believe it is something that occurs in the present and with daily consciousness. Be aware of your emotions, take control and pay attention. Personal happiness is related to being your most authentic and divine self. Going for it is a major key when it comes to professional happiness! One of my favorite scriptures that makes things really plain is, “Faith without action is dead.” Another major key to professional happiness is having a vision for yourself and your career path, and leave some room for the supernatural to occur! Who inspires you and why? My mother and my grandmother inspire me. My grandmother inspires me because she carried her

family on her back from Jamaica to the United States (figuratively). Her eye for design and creativity, tenacity to take leaps of faith for change, and hard work are embodied in me today. My mother inspires me because she loves in such an unconditional way. She loves people. She’s a wife and amazing mom. She’s also a business owner. At around 11 years old, I saw my mom leave corporate America and start her own business. Today these two women have inspired me to be a loving, artistic, hard and smart working business woman, not scared to step out on faith—to see the vision come out of my mind. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment so far in life is attaining my goals & dreams fearlessly. By far opening up a Beauty Salon is one of my greatest accomplishments. This symbolizes a vision being manifested and a dream come true. It has been such a surreal process. I look back at old journals where I have my goals and dreams written, and ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to open up a place where women can come to feel beautiful! This accomplishment isn’t just for me. I recognize that it is an accomplishment for women, women of color, young women, cancer survivors, second generation immigrants and immigrants—it’s a win for us all. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? I’ve overcome so many different obstacles in life and I am forever grateful for each and every one of them. I have overcome sickness, death, heartbreak, bullying, rejection, shame, and fear. They have shaped me into the woman I am today by providing different perspectives of life. Because of these obstacles I can relate to so many other people who may feel trapped by the obstacle in front of them. Now I can empower women with my story, testimony and experiences on how to overcome these many obstacles. How do you want people to remember you and why? I want to people to remember me as a light—a beautiful spirit who made them feel the presence of God’s love in some unique way. I want people to remember me as a person who overcame, survived and never gave up! What is your favorite quote? “If you fail to prepare you fail to prepare.” -my old Guyanese track coach What are some of your hobbies and interests? I enjoy creating. I love making soaps and bath products. Painting, designing, interior decorating, writing and shopping. What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? Hidden talent; I can sing a little bit and freestyle lol. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To fly. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? This one is Hard. Golden, by Jill Scott. Most Beautiful Issue • November • 49


Le’Dor Milteer Title/Occupation: 2017 Sandy Springs City Council District 4 Candidate & VP of Broadcast/Exec Producer & Host for iN Contact • Age: 39 • Zodiac Sign: LIBRA...of course! • One Word That Describes You: Dynamic What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? True happiness embodies physical, emotional, personal, and professional happiness so I believe you must be healthy in all aspects of your life (including spiritual happiness). As a result you become the benefactor-starting from within. As a mom and an active member of the community, I’ve had the tendency to put everyone’s needs/wants in front of my own, which is not good for anyone—including myself. I now take time out to prep healthy meals for me and my family, and I also add exercising and pamper time/girlfriend’s time as appointments in my calendar. Who inspires you and why? I’m inspired by my mother,

and other moms who have proudly worn all hats in order to positively contribute to the lives of others. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is completing what I started, and getting back up each time I fell or failed. Returning back to school after 20 years was one of the most vulnerable and hardest things that I have ever done. I was a wife, mother, and very much an adult at this point, and that was a humbling and exhausting experience. But worth it! What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? Owning a business in Sandy Springs as the city just began to develop, during the recession in 2007, was a very hard time to be a business owner. I was up for the challenge and opened Sandy Springs Hair Studios and Salon Le’Dor—both on Roswell Road, with over 20 employees (I was the youngest of them all). After a year, my businesses failed, and though I was bruised, I was not broken. Failure in life should be seen as obstacles to overcome—shaping you into reaching your highest potential. How do you want people to remember you and why? I want to be most remembered as a loving and generous mom, wife, friend and mentor to all. What is your favorite quote? Faith without works is dead. -James 2:17 What are some of your hobbies and interests? Co-coaching my son in Basketball & Soccer by screaming on the sidelines (Soccer & Basketball Mom). What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? An interesting fact about me is that I was born in Jamaica. I’m an Island girl. Yea mon! If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To read minds. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys.

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Michael Wilensky Title/Occupation: Wrongful Death/Serious Injury Attorney • Age: 34 • Zodiac Sign: Taurus One Word That Describes You: Productive and Ambitious What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and be a great role model and teacher for my two daughters. professional happiness? “Eat half, walk double, laugh What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishtriple and love without measure.” Tibetan Proverb ment? Having an amazing wife and two wonderful Who inspires you and why? My parents inspire me. At daughters who all laugh together. the same time while working, they always gave back with their time and energy to the community and those What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you less fortunate. I hope I can follow in their footsteps and are today? When my wife and I decided to try to have children, we assumed it would be easy. However, as with many others, it was not. It took years of pain and sadness. Miraculously, we now have two healthy children. Because of that experience, I will always work to create a world for my daughters where they can live, be healthy, and thrive in all aspects. How do you want people to remember you and why? As a great husband and father, and an individual who tirelessly represented those whose voices needed to be heard. What is your favorite quote? “Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” - Ancient Chinese Proverb. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” - Albert Einstein What are some of your hobbies and interests? Atlanta Falcons football and UGA Football What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? I was born and raised in Sandy Springs. If you could have any super power, what would it be? The ability to stop hate. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Paolo Nutini - New Shoes

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Stacey Hader Epstein Title/Occupation: Public Relations Consultant & Writer/Community Volunteer • Age: Physically: 57/Mentally: 24! • Zodiac Sign: Gemini • One Word That Describes You: Optimistic What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? For me, the keys to happiness in each of these areas include taking good care of my health and trying to live in the moment. Staying on top of eating well, getting enough sleep, exercise and meditating are vital “happiness,” keys for me. Each of these relates to how I handle my life each day. When I physically feel good, it naturally affects and guides everything else I do. Another key is my being mindful of my actions and words. When I stop and consider where I am in the moment, whether in a personal setting, or in the business world, it helps define my roles and my responsibilities. Once I recognize these, I’m more likely to succeed and be happy in what I’m doing. In addition, being able to step back and see the landscape around me allows me to take a deep breath, giving me a little more insight and clarity into the expectations of me.

acquaintances, I learn so much from those around me. Just as small children learn from observing others, I too, enjoy gathering more of what I don’t know from watching, talking and laughing with others.

Who inspires you and why? It’s hard for me to pin down one person as my inspiration. I draw inspiration daily from positive and interesting people in my life. From long-time friends to short-term

What obstacles have you overcome that shape who you are today? One obstacle I’ve overcome is having moved around the country several times as an adult (due to my husband’s career), and trying to maintain my identity and sense of self. Moving is stressful and hard. I chose to grit my teeth and make each move an adventure. I learned all I could about my new communities, subscribed to the local newspapers, and sought out volunteer opportunities that exposed me to new people, and local culture. Each location has added a little bit of goodness to my life—I’ve learned about other communities, plus I’ve made some wonderful, life-long friends.

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? Without a doubt, my greatest accomplishment(s) are my remarkable daughters. During the process of raising them, my husband and I tried hard to instill in our girls the power of honesty and ethical behavior; of being kind and compassionate to others; and of being passionate about their goals. I realize it sounds sort of “Pollyanna,” but to me, these values are guiding posts for good people. Watching my daughters now embark into their own adulthood fills me with pride.

How do you want people to remember you and why? I want people to remember me as an honest and ethical person, always looking to do the “right thing,” for others. I also want to be remembered as someone who laughed a lot and found the lightness in life. As to “why,” I’d want to be remembered like this—it’s so others might be inspired by my actions to make our world a better and happier place. What is your favorite quote? “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” What are some of your hobbies and interests? Yoga, Cooking, Genealogy. What is your hidden talent or an interesting fact about you? I used to play the Doumbek Drum in a little troupe when I lived in San Francisco. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To be able to “time-travel” to the past. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.”

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Susan Riley-Hayes Title/Occupation: CEO – Highpointe Wealth Advisors • Age: 42 • Zodiac Sign: Libra One Word That Describes You: Multifaceted What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? Clarity of mind, consciousness, and thought. Being present every day and not so caught up in your thinking that you can’t experience the beauty of life as it unfolds. Who inspires you and why? I am inspired by professional women I meet and work with every day who juggle family, life, and caregiving, with grace and elegance, in often difficult circumstances. These women inspire me to be a better person and a better woman every day. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? As a mother, there is no greater accomplishment than my three

beautiful children. They inspire me and delight me with the beauty and joy of what it is to be a child, and the kindness they have given to each other and to the world. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? Just like everyone else, there are quite a few to list, but each stepping stone fortifies me and gives me confidence and resilience. If I had to choose one in particular, it would be having to support myself financially at a very early age due to an extremely trying circumstance that no young adult should endure. I’m grateful for the times in my life where I have embraced the gift of hardship, because without those times and gifts, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today. How do you want people to remember you and why? Honestly, I don’t know how people will remember me, but I hope that the legacy I create is one of generosity. What is your favorite quote? “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill What are some of your hobbies and interests? Traveling (and especially all things French); Spending quality time with family and friends; Making a difference in the lives of the clients we serve, but also in the community in which we live; Reading; Boating/Sailing; Mixed Martial Arts What is your hidden talent, or an interesting fact about you? My husband says that I know the words to so many songs, and that I can actually sing in tune. I also love to ride horses with my Mother who is still riding and competing at age 70! If you could have any superpower, what would it be? My superpower is my ability to see the best in others, but an invisible jet would be very nice! If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Happy by Pharrell Williams.

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Tisha Rosamond Title/Occupation: Owner, Nothing Bundt Cakes • Age: 46 • Zodiac Sign: Pisces One Word That Describes You: Passionate What are the keys to physical, emotional, personal and professional happiness? I would have to say the key to my physical, emotional, personal, and professional happiness is having balance in my work life and fulfillment in my personal life. For me I have found this balance by doing yoga each week, volunteering on the board of The Drake House, and having peace in my surroundings. This took some time for me to grasp early on when starting my business, but now that I have embraced it, I feel I am a much better person. Who inspires you and why? Anytime anyone has asked me who I admired, or who influenced me, I have always answered, “My Grandmother.” She is the strongest, most God-fearing woman I know. She is talented, smart, and beautiful inside and out. Throughout her life she faced many heartbreaks—more than

most do in a lifetime, but she was never bitter. She taught me so much – my love of design, fashion and of course jewelry. The importance of friendship and business-savvy. She was the back bone—not only of our family, but of the family business she ran with/for my grandfather. She passed away 8/24/2016 at the age of 94, and she inspires me every day! What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment? Community service is a huge part of what drives me, but if you were to ask me what I’m most proud of, I would say being a mentor to those that work for me, and helping them develop the fundamental building blocks to positively move forward in their lives. They have changed me over the past 5 years for the better, and I hope I have changed their lives as well. What obstacles have you overcome, that shape who you are today? I have experienced a lot of close personal loss. My father passed away when I was 15 years old, and my mother and aunt [passed] 4 weeks apart from each other 8 years ago. Together my sister and I became stronger. I decided to leave the corporate world to start a small business. This afforded me the opportunity to give back in ways that I couldn’t working for someone else. I am motivated by my love of 3 things –community, team and giving back. How do you want people to remember you and why? That the Nothing Bundt Cakes shop in Sandy Springs is a story about following your dream and about changing perspective. The idea that “Cake Changes Everything,” couldn’t be more true –that we touched the heart of the Sandy Springs neighborhood not only with cake, but with compassion. What is your favorite quote? “Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:18 What are some of your hobbies and interests? I enjoy yoga, retail therapy (better known as shopping), and any time spent at the beach! What is your hidden talent or an interesting fact about you? I was this year’s Woman of Distinction for Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Telepathic Travel! If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be? Alicia Keys – “Girl on Fire”


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U Sandy Springs 13 most beautiful digital issue  

U Sandy Springs 13 most beautiful digital issue  

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