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FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE! @urbanluxmag Š Urban Luxury Media, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher Urban Luxury Media. The views expressed in Urban Lux Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. The registered office of Urban Luxury Media is 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093. All information contained in the magazine is for information only and is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Urban Luxury Media cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such format. Readers are advised to contact manufactures and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Urban Luxury Media a license to publish your submission in whole, or in part, in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Urban Luxury Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Published four times a year by Urban Luxury Media, LLC 4565 Kent Road Atlanta, GA 30337

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A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR VICTORY! DO YOU HEAR what we hear? We hear victory, loud and clear. Rounding out 2014, the Urban Lux staff imagined that 2015 would be a year for the taking. Niecy Nash graced our January cover as we watched her in the groundbreaking civil rights movie, Selma. Directed by Ava DuVernay, we shared in the joy as she was the first AfricanAmerican female director nominated for a Golden Globe award. Meanwhile John Legend and Common snagged honors for best original song, Glory.

Photography by LEE JONES

Do you hear it yet?

Now as we prepare to bring the year to a close, we celebrate once

With a much talked about close up of Jussie Smollett, he captivated us all on our April cover. A star on 2015’s breakout show, Empire,

again a prestigious ensemble of leaders who are making a difference in the areas of STYLE, CULTURE & COMMUNITY.

we saw inside the life of a child turned adult TV actor. With a

Former NFL player and philanthropist Warrick Dunn, artist and

predominantly Black cast, Fox’s Empire opened their season with

scholar Fahamu Pecou, singer, songwriter Avery Sunshine, writer

9.9 million viewers and closed with 17.6 million onlookers holding

and celebrity event planner Warren A. Huntley, stylist and Modern

their breath until the credits rolled. Renewed for a second season, the

Classic Salon owner Brandon L. Thompson, and Atlanta Ballet’s

show returned on September 23rd.

own AileyCamp director and community partnership manager Diane

Can you hear it now?

Sales. They all take center stage in our final issue for 2015.

Demetria McKinney bared it all on our July cover as she revealed the

And in the foreground of it all we saw and heard and cried VICTORY

truth and dispelled the naysayers with grace, poise and good voice!

as Viola Davis accepted her award as the first African-American to

At the same tine, Misty Copeland made headlines as the American

win an Emmy for best actress in a drama.

Ballet Theatre’s first African-American female principal dancer in

Diversity equals victory for us all and that is what Urban Lux

the company’s 75-year history.

Magazine is all about.

We know you heard it!

We heard it. Didn’t you?


Lentheus Chaney















DeMarco Morgan is a celebrated news anchor for Atlanta’s 11 Alive station. Every weeknight, this cutting-edge journalist delivers the evening news at 6pm followed by the nightly news at 11pm. With a personality diverse enough to manage stories filled with controversy (Trayvon Martin’s shooting) and others that tug at the heartstrings (public calls to action for HIV/AIDS), Mr. Morgan continues to raise the bar on newsworthy causes. @DeMarcoReports

Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and creative writing. She is a two-time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart© Finalist. Her debut novel, ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS, is set in Atlanta, and she writes a weekly column called Intersections for Decaturish.com. She lives nearby with her four children, husband, and a cat. @NickiSalcedo

As a freelance writer and editor, Amelia has a weakness for all things fitness and wellness. Her “spare” time is spent writing about a range of lifestyle topics for regional and national magazines, teaching everything from cycling to resistance training classes, and trying out the latest spa treatments and boutique fitness classes for her weekly blog. Learn more about her editorial and fitness experience at @fitbelleatl.

Charles Wilson is a gifted motivational speaker, commercial nuclear operations trainer and entrepreneur. A pillar in his community, this Chicago native has risen to the top of the nuclear energy sector by gaining national notoriety for his role in implementing critical thinking curriculum and advocating for minority visibility in STEM-related careers. @Atlantaoliveoil

Brian describes himself as a personal style instructor. Style has always been a huge part of who he is. Through the years, he has come to find that there is indeed a connection between the way a person dresses and the way they feel about themselves. Knowing this, Brian believes that we should dress as if we belong to a Great God who thinks very highly of us. @_dresslikeagent

Will Kennedy is a freelance portrait and fashion photographer based in Atlanta, Ga. As a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, Will relocated to Atlanta in 2006 armed with a camera and one light. After working in several night clubs taking pictures, Will decided to transition from event photography, to beauty and fashion portraiture. In 2009, he was given his first opportunity to work with a major publication and has not looked back since. View his work on pages 16-21. @imagesbykennedy




LUX APPROVED Irresistibly Vegan

13 LUX MARKET WATCH All That Glitters






Deborah Cox: A Work Of Art and So Much More


Celebrating Leaders of Style, Culture & Community


43 LUX DESTINATIONS Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

44 LUX LOVE Power Couples Revealed



Alkaline Water: Fact or Fiction













Photography: Keith Major URBANLUX






PREPARING FOR DINNER guests during the holiday season can be stressful. The task becomes even more daunting when taking into consideration feeding those who live vegan lifestyles. Contrary to popular belief, there is more to vegan cuisine than rice, beans and raw carrot sticks. So, with a little research and proper planning you can cook flavorful vegan entrees that even your kids will love. Consider adding one of the following LUX vegan recipes to your menu and watch it disappear one tasty forkful at a time!! Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY



Apple Gingerbread Cake INGREDIENTS: 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water) 1/4 cup organic cane sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar 3 Tbsp molasses

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: 1 - Preheat oven to 325°F and butter two round cake pans. Coat pans with flour. 2 - In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax eggs by mixing flaxseed and water and let rest.

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 - Core apples and grate. We recommend a mix of finely

1/2 cup grape seed oil

grated, and coarsely grated. Place grated apple on a clean dish

1 1/4 cup grated apple, loosely packed 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk 1/2 tsp salt

towel and gently squeeze to remove about half of the juice. 4 - To the flax egg, add sugars, molasses, oil, vanilla, almond milk, grated apples, and whisk.

1 tsp baking powder

5 - Add dry ingredients in this order: 1 cup whole wheat flour,

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, remaining

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Stir gently with a spoon, then sift

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

over wet ingredients and stir to combine, being careful not to

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour

over mix).

1/2 cup rolled oats

6 - Lastly, add oats and stir again to combine, being careful


not to over mix. The batter should be thick but pourable. If it

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened | butter sticks are best 2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup flour 1 cup chopped pecans for topping (optional)

appears too thick, add a bit more almond milk to thin and stir. 7 - Pour batter into prepared cake pans. 8 - Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. 9 - To prepare frosting, mix softened cream cheese and softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously to combine and add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until thick and spreadable. 10 - Add flour at the end to thicken (optional - or just more powdered sugar). 11 - Once the cake is completely cooled, add 1/3 of the frosting to the top of the bottom layer and spread into an even layer. Then add the top layer of cake and frost generously with remaining frosting, coating sides last. Add crushed pecans on the edges (optional), slice and serve. 12 - The cake should be stored covered in the fridge for optimal freshness, and should keep for 3-4 days. Move to the freezer after that, and thaw at room temp before serving.




Vegetables Wellington

INGREDIENTS: For the Roasted Carrots: 1 1/2 pounds small carrots or large carrots quartered and cut into 4-inch sticks, scrubbed but unpeeled Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil For the Mushroom Duxelles: 12 ounces cremini mushroom, roughly chopped

For the Cashew-Bean Mixture: 1 pound raw cashews 1 quart Hearty Vegetable Stock 1 (15-ounce) can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, caps only, thinly sliced 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely diced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

2 medium cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/4 cup bourbon

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) For Assembly: 1 (1-pound) package frozen phyllo dough, thawed

1 cup Japanese-style breadcrumbs

Extra-virgin olive oil as needed

1/2 cup Smoked Mushroom Bacon

Coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the Gravy:

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 1/4 cup minced fresh tarragon leaves 1/4 cup minced fresh chives 1/4 cup minced fresh chervil leaves (optional)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons flour 1 quart Hearty Vegetable Stock 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 sprigs thyme and 2 bay leaves



COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: For the Carrots: Preheat oven to 400째F. Place carrots in a large skillet and cover with cold water. Season gently with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender. Season cooked carrots with salt and pepper. Add thyme sprigs to pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss to coat, and transfer to oven. Roast, turning occasionally, until carrots are lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, discard thyme, and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350째F. For the Duxelles: Place mushrooms in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and cook, tossing and stirring, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and bourbon and cook about 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil

piece of parchment paper and place

in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

remaining bean/cashew mixture on top

Add shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring

of it in a rough 8-inch by 3-inch row. Lay a

frequently, until moisture evaporates and

second sheet of parchment paper on top,

mushrooms are beginning to brown, about

followed by a second rimmed baking sheet.

12 minutes. Add leeks and celery and cook,

Press down firmly all over the baking sheet to

stirring frequently, until softened, about

spread mixture into a thin, even layer that will

4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, about 30

roughly fit on a piece of phyllo dough leaving

seconds. Season with salt and pepper and

a 2-inch border all around.

add to food processor.

Remove top baking sheet and top layer of

Process dried beans and mushroom mixture

parchment paper. Place a single layer of

until roughly chopped. Transfer to bowl

phyllo dough on top.

with cashews. Transfer sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer bowl with bean/cashew mixture. Add remaining parsley, tarragon, chives, and chervil to mixture and fold together. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Brush with olive oil, add another sheet of phyllo, and repeat, adding a total of 5 to 6 layers of phyllo and oil (do not oil final sheet of phyllo) Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of last phyllo sheet, place the second baking sheet on top, and holding both baking sheets together, invert the stack.

To Assemble: Lay a single sheet of phyllo on

Remove the top baking sheet and the top

a clean work surface and brush with olive oil.

parchment. You should now have 6 layers of

(Make sure to keep remaining phyllo covered

phyllo with a thin, even layer of bean/cashew

with plastic wrap to avoid drying out). Layer

mixture on top.

In a small bowl, toss bacon and mushrooms

with about 1 1/2 cup bean/cashew mixture,

with maple syrup until thoroughly coated.

leaving a 2-inch border all around.

Roughly chop mixture and add to bowl with duxelles. Add half of parsley, tarragon, chives,

Roll the phyllo and stuffing up like a burrito,

and chervil and fold mixture together. Season

tucking in the sides about halfway through

generously with salt and pepper and set

rolling. Set the cigar-shaped roll aside.

aside. Lay a clean sheet of phyllo on your work For the Cashew-Bean Mixture: Place cashews

surface and brush with olive oil. Lay two

in a medium saucepan and add stock. Season

more sheets on top, brushing each with olive

very lightly with salt. Bring to a boil and cook,

oil as you layer them.

stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost

Place the existing carrot/mushroom roll on top and roll up to secure. Set aside. Lay out a fresh sheet of phyllo and brush with olive oil. Place roll on top and roll up. Repeat, adding more layers of phyllo and olive oil until all of the phyllo is used up. Transfer roll, seam-side down, to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush with more olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and score gently with a sharp paring knife at 1-inch intervals all the way across the top.

completely evaporated, about 30 minutes.

Spread half of mushroom duxelles evenly over

Bake until golden brown, crisp, and puffed,

Remove from heat and season to taste with

bottom two thirds of phyllo sheet, leaving a

about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let

salt and pepper. Transfer cashews to food

2-inch border all around. Lay roasted carrots

cool for 10 minutes.

processor and pulse until finely chopped.

in even, parallel rows in the mushrooms and

Transfer to a large bowl.

cover with remaining mushrooms, pressing

For the Gravy: Combine 3 tablespoons

down with clean hands to form an even layer.

olive oil and flour in a medium saucepan

Spread beans on a foil or parchment-lined

Place the cigar-shaped phyllo roll on top of

over medium-high heat and cook, stirring

rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Transfer

the carrots and mushrooms.

constantly with a whisk until flour is nutty brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly,

to oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until beans are mostly split open and outer skins are

Roll the phyllo sheet up into a tight cylinder

slowly drizzle in stock. Add soy sauce, thyme

beginning to get crunchy, about 35 minutes.

and set aside.

sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about

Transfer mixture to food processor and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425째F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with a large


20 minutes. Season to taste.



Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses INGREDIENTS:


2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half

Pour pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice into a small

1/4 cup olive oil

saucepan and heat over medium until the sauce begins to

Salt and pepper

simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar and cotinue to simmer very

1 cup walnuts, toasted

lightly for 60-80 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes untill the

1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

liquid reduces by 75% to about 1 cup of molasses. Remove

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

from heat. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.

For the pomegranate molasses: 4 cups pure 100% pomegranate juice (bottled or fresh) 2/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450째F. In a large mixing bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Spread evenly a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes, until some of the outer leaves start to blacken around the edges. Bite through one to test for tenderness and doneness. I like them quite tender. In a large mixing bowl, toss the roasted Brussels sprouts with the toasted walnuts. Place on a serving dish and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.



All That Glitters... Y

ou know the rest of this age-old adage but the popular phrase, meaning that not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so, couldn’t be further from reality this season!


From every angle, our LUX market watch is sparkling, shining and trimmed in gold. You’ll love our fall and winter holiday gift picks which are sure to adorn, excite and bring cheer to everyone on Santa’s good list. Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY

2 (1) THE CELLAR SET OF 4 STEMLESS GLASSES $43 - macys.com (2) MICHAEL KORS WATCHES $225 - $250 - macys.com (3) CALVIN KLEIN DOME SATCHEL $168 - macys.com



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THERE IS A BOW WAVE of business opportunities presently upon us and they’re increasing in the energy and manufacturing industries. Historically (and currently), minority owned firms have remained almost invisible on the map in terms of bidding on and winning supplier contracts for those particular industries. The energy and manufacturing industries generate billions of dollars yearly and contract out millions of dollars to other businesses to assist with and complete projects. Existing business fortunate enough to snag these jobs range from large cap companies to small, mid and large cap suppliers. As the U.S. Congress considers lifting the oil export ban, a brand new emerging market of worldwide an industry leaders is poised to flood the U.S. These companies will ultimately trade, transport and/or produce these energy products and will need the of help of contracting suppliers to be successful—presenting thousands of bidding opportunities as they need to supplement their workforce needs. The question remains, if these opportunities are open for bidding by all companies, why are the minority owned firms overlooked or underemployed? Though there are many reasons, we will concentrate on the main culprits. LACK OF EXPOSURE On a regular basis the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Energy post Requests for Proposals (RFPs)— opening the gates for contractors to pitch their businesses and bid on the postings.

Some hiring companies collaborate with these departments and send RFPs directly to them to implement workshops and conferences to assist with pairing them with a contractor based on compatibility. Many minority-owned firms are not thorough in their research efforts or are unaware of how to sign up to receive notices when these opportunities are made available. On a different note, some minority business owners are reluctant to attend informational sessions which would help them to establish relationships with the Diverse Supplier Managers, Directors and VPs that have the decision-making power when selecting bidders . Sometimes gaining access to this information and key-players includes fees to attend events—often deterring smaller business owners. If they considered these fees as an investment, this could be a professional way to gain an audience of their target market and plant seeds—establishing relationships in-person. Contract awards often boil down to existing relationships. Following up with a prospective client, knowing their business needs and keeping their representatives aware of your new certifications or services are some of the ways to nurture relationships. Stalwart suppliers know this and now you do too. LACK OF PREPARATION Being prepared to do business with these firms requires that you have your house in order. Not having business documents necessary to prove your legitimacy or tax and corporate structure can be impede you from successfully securing a contract. When striving to broker deals with the private sector, some things to have (in addition to those listed above) are a corporate banking account, business insurance and certifications with your company’s name listed—not just your name.


The Small Business Administration offers a tutorial which provides step-by-step processes to meet the criteria for those who desire to do business with the government. You should find out if there is a prime contractor and necessity of subcontractors for an RFP. You should also research collaborative opportunities for an RFP. This means money will have to be split between firms, but it increases the credibility of both firms. It’s better to have a piece of the pie than no pie at all, right? The Minority Supplier Diversity Council (MSDC) can be of assistance when you’re legally registering your business as a minority-owned entity. If you’re a woman, the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) can get you on path to get that certification. Lastly, are you willing to adjust your business model and offering? Many supplier fields are saturated with firms fighting for the same pots of money. It’s public knowledge that there is a discouraging phenomenon of under-representation in diverse supplier business contract awards across many platform fields. Consider switching up or expanding your service and product models to become eligible to bid on a wider range of contracts. NOW IS THE TIME! You will need patience, research and diligence, but the rewards can be endless. Don’t allow another new opportunity to go to your competition without a fight. Position yourself on relevant avenues so that your business being overlooked is no longer an option. What are you waiting for?





Photography by WILL KENNEDY Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: BRANDY WELLS Wardrobe Stylist: JERREL GANT Mask/Crown Desiger: IMITATION BY J



















EVEN THOUGH she has the credentials to act like one and the vocal chords to rival living and posthumous legends, Deborah Cox is anything but a diva. The Canadian born singer made the United States her home when she was 19 years old, and has maintained it as such.

While signed to the titan Arista label, she released her debut, self-titled album Deborah Cox and One Wish. Her songs were also picked up for soundtracks including the popular films, Money Talks and Dr. Doolittle 2.

“I moved here to search of a dream. To think about where I am right now, my place in life says it all. Going for it is essentially the most successful part of my journey. I didn’t know anyone here and all I had was drive. I did not have a plan B.”

Early on, the reality hit that being a good songwriter is a gift and a curse—Deborah admits that she has experienced turmoil associated with writing songs that her label forced her to give to other artists. We are not talking B-side songs; we are talking about songs that contributed to essentially putting other artists on the proverbial map. Although Heather Headley made, “Always Been Your Girl” popular and early on in their career, we heard “Crazy Kind of Love” from Destiny’s Child—none other than the one and only Deborah Cox conceptualized and wrote the emotion-provoking lyrics.

In an industry, that rots some people to the core— where people act as if they’ve arrived before they’ve displayed any real talent, this songbird has held her footing through industry fluff and is now stronger than ever. To most of the world, Deborah Cox is known as a songstress who burst onto the burgeoning American music scene in the 90s. Penning and performing songs like, “How Did You Get Here” and “We Can’t Be Friends”, this made her a household name and sealed the envelope of approval on her artistry. Because she had previous stage experience from high school (and through her younger days in plays like Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Mama I Want to Sing) and was an established background vocalist and jingle singer, she was fearless. She moved to Los Angeles and hustled until what she wanted came to fruition. After months of being in the trenches doing session work, demos and everything musically in between, Arista records founder, Clive Davis signed her to a recording deal. That changed everything for the young, eager artist—her hustle began to pay off.

“There have been a lot of songs that I’ve written that ended up with other artists. Early in my career, I would put up a real fight to keep my songs for myself. As a singer, writer and artist, these come from my soul and to hear a committee of A&R people telling me that the songs were not for me was a strange feeling. Even though it’s tough, I did learn that sometimes to me, a song is an expression and to artists it’s their next hit. I really had to separate myself from the business.”


~ continued on page 24


Photo: Keith Major URBANLUX



“I’ve always had big dreams but didn’t always know the right path to take to achieve them. I did know that I needed the right support system and the right people that would get it.”

Photo: Keith Major URBANLUX



aining success made her hungry for more and because the world embraced her with open arms, she kept that momentum going, crossing over to movie soundtracks, television, films and the coveted Broadway stage. Auditioning and earning starring roles in the popular Broadway productions Aida and Jekyll and Hyde was proof that she was multidimensional—and had an acting voice good enough to captivate live audiences. Those platforms allowed her to reach people in a way that she’s always dreamed of doing. She had no idea that social media would become so prevalent and important. It has allowed her to have a direct interaction with her fans—and it has allowed her to hear firsthand what they wanted, needed and expected from her. She gives that much credit for her being able to sustain and remain relevant for so long. The consensus among many music lovers is that they’re starving for quality music and actual singing, and she’s up for the challenge. Throughout her career, it’s always been important for her to find people to align with that understood her vision. Because she set high standards for her brand, she remained adamant that anyone on her team would be on board with her goal to connect with people through her platform. “I’ve always had big dreams but didn’t always know the right path to take to achieve them. I did know that I needed the right support system and the right people that would get it. My husband (manager, Lascelles Stephens) and his business partner understand my vision.” Whitney’s Voice… Earlier this year, The Lifetime Movie Network premiered the Whitney Houston Biopic to 4.5 million viewers. Directed by Angela Bassett and with Dick Rudolph in tow as the musical supervisor, Deborah received a presumptive phone call (from Bassett) to inquire about her interest to be the actual singing voice on all of the late star’s greatest hits. Like any smart artist would, she packed her bags and flew in for a jam-packed two-day recording schedule including “Greatest Love of All”, “I’m Every Woman” and “I’m your Baby Tonight.” She knew going in that they needed someone that

would bring the right emotion, tambor, spirit and tone to the songs, and she was definitely up to the challenge. Citing that, “... preparation that meets opportunity makes things happen…,” she successfully executed the project—an accomplishment she holds dear to her heart. “To have been chosen to do it was an honor.” Even though not all of the late singer’s family agreed with the star’s depiction in the film, no one can deny that Deborah represented Whitney’s legacy in the best light. Back Down Memory Lane… Now at 41, she smiles thinking about her younger self. Remembering how driven she was, and being proud of that, she also recalls how unsure she was of herself in some critical situations.

“I would tell the young Deborah to trust her instincts. Early in my career, I would rely so much on other people’s opinions. I stopped myself from doing things that felt right. I leaned so much on other people to validate me. I’ve learned over the years to rely on my own confidence, decision making and my own sixth sense.” Realizing that she was right all along, she no longer experiences angst about people liking her music. She puts out the type of music that feels good to her whether it’s on-trend or not. Comfortable with her craft, she doesn’t get involved with charts—especially since she’s traveled the world and is selling out shows, even without having a number one single. Today’s radio station programming is far removed from the organic, truly paying homage to real artists’, stations from the Motown days. She knows that because her music isn’t forced down people’s throats, new fans will keep discovering her—and all real artists prefer that. Now signed to Primary Wave, one of her latest releases, Work of Art (written by Babyface, Greg Phillinganes and Antonio Dixon) answers the real-time desires of her social media fans. The beautiful record was meant to exemplify the message that each human being is a work of art and to provoke people to see the positivity within them.


A Little On Family... A busy woman indeed, the wife and mother of three chooses to live in the moment. Being in love with her husband since high school, she beams with pride that after all of these years that he is her friend and they are raising their son and two daughters with love and togetherness. “It’s a juggling act, but I do remember to take care of myself.” With a united front parenting approach, the couple focuses on raising their children to be confident and to love themselves. Deborah and her husband are both songwriters and he manages her career. They credit great communication and understanding as the key to their long-lasting marriage and business partnerships. 20 Years Down, Many More to Go… Since the release of one of her earlier records, “Who Do You Love”, she developed a massive LGBTQ following and became extremely popular in the gay/lesbian community. Wanting to reciprocate their love and support, she lent her star power to the stages at WorldPride in Toronto, London and elsewhere. Standing strong in the philosophy that being gay is not a flaw, she has no problem displaying public agreement with the U.S. Supreme Court decision to grant and make marriage legal across the nation. Adding to her schedule, Cox signed on to John S. Anastasi’s off-Broadway play, “Would You Still Love Me If?” opposite Kathleen Turner (acting credits include Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor). In the play, Kathleen plays the mother of a woman considering gender reassignment surgery and Deborah plays a doctor. With 20 years under her belt, by no stretch of the imagination is she’s done making goals. In fact, she’s planning for the next 20 years—with her heart set on dominating a Las Vegas stage, Tina Turner style by age 60! Deborah’s “Work of Art” album was released in August and can be purchased wherever music is sold. The stage play, Would You Still Love Me If? debuted with previews in September and officially opens on October 10th at New World Stages in New York. Follow Deborah on Twitter @Deborah_Cox and on Instagram @DeborahCox.




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THE BRAINWORK behind planning and

preparing for an upscale event is one thing, but to creatively produce and execute these ideas is where most would much rather pass the baton. “Warren Huntley Presents, Inc.” is the ideal name for a business brand that so masterfully blends the two together incorporating both the founder’s expertise in artistic entertainment and the client’s overall vision for their planned event. Warren A. Huntley, Founder and CEO of Warren Huntley Presents, Inc., is an entertainment genius and well-versed in “creating lifestyles” that are sophisticated, chic and most importantly, unforgettable. When asked how Warren Huntley Presents (WHP) got started and what inspired it, Warren shares that prior to starting his own business, he had spent over 15 years in the entertainment and nightclub industries. After becoming displeased with the way the industry had become more business than it was an art, Warren felt it was the right time to branch off into his own. To date, WHP facilitates over eight hundred events annually. These events range from, but are not limited to weddings, grand openings, birthday parties, and galas. More than just your average event planning company, Warren and his staff specializes in “the art of all things entertaining” such as selecting the best venue, décor and lighting, providing transportation, custom floral arrangements, designating musicians, and more.


THE VISIONARY Warren A. Huntley is a Brooklyn, New York native who grew up in North Carolina. Warren states that event planning is not only his passion, but it is also his lifestyle. He goes on to say that in order to effectively carry out this type of work, “you must be experienced with the lifestyle that you are presenting” and he states, “I look at every event that I create as if I’m entertaining myself”. One could gather that this state of mind pre-event is one of the key ingredients toward leaving an impact on the client that will “WOW” them. Hence, WHP’s most-fitting tagline, “Experiencing the Art of WOW!” The gift of bringig to life the vision of his clients in a way that is engaging and classy, is what Warren prides himself on along with the impeccable skill and collaboration of his staff. The success of his company can be attributed to several factors including constant prayer and consistency. Warren admits that he has always been extremely detail-oriented with a deep appreciation for “clean lines” and things that are “sophisticated and pristine”. Anyone who knows him personally or has been a guest in his home could certainly attest to this as Warren is also an avid art collector of original paintings, signed prints, and sculptures.

PERSONAL STYLE One of the style icons that Warren makes mention of when describing his own personal style is that of James Dean. “My style is very contrary, simple and sophisticated”, he explains.


He describes his style as “old-school, but chic.” In addition to being an avid art connoisseur, he has also been a heavy collector of classic timepieces since the early age of fifteen and currently has approximately three hundred pieces in his collection. Again, this is another aspect of the total Warren A. Huntley package that we see trending through his creative business aesthetic.

NEW VENTURES With his hands involved in so many events throughout the course of the year, it seems virtually impossible to have room for anything else. However, with over 25 years of experience in his field, Warren informed that he has “returned to his roots” to the nightclub industry. As of just a few months back, he has collaborated with an exceptional managerial team for the grand opening of the classy St. James Live Jazz Supper Club in South Atlanta, which features great food, beverages, stellar service and LIVE jazz artists. Warren A. Huntley is also an established writer, lecturer, instructor and gentlemen indeed worthy of honor and special recognition. For setting a standard in high-end entertainment, event production and design and for creating life-long memories that will be spoken of for generations to come, we honor you and eagerly anticipate more “WOWS” in the days to come.


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Photography by LEE JONES




IN A CITY inundated with hair salons on every block

and renowned for having some of the nation’s top celebrity stylists, people not only demand quality service, but also a trained professional who will demonstrate both character and skill in their respective element. Master Stylist and Proprietor of The Modern Classic Salon, Brandon L. Thompson, is a renowned stylist and creative artist. Thompson has honed and perfected the craft of A – Z hair styling including precision cuts, natural styles, corrective and creative color, extensions, braids, Keratin Smoothing Complex and more. THE HAIR DOCTOR: Thompson is known on several social media platforms as “The Hair Doctor” and his clients, friends and family all agree that he was destined to become a hairstylist. Coincidentally, while his mother was pregnant with him, she was also a student in beauty school and would give birth to Brandon just a few weeks after graduating. Thompson passionately believes in styling hair back to health. In fact, when asked what his specialty is, he says, “I specialize in healthy hair. I do it all and work with a vast array of clients.” He continues to explain that making his clients’ hair look good is only one component of what you will get at The Modern Classic Salon, but more importantly, the end game is healthy hair and determining what is needed in order to restore and maintain it. As an experienced stylist, Brandon has learned the science behind achieving healthy and shiny hair for his clients. BEGINNINGS: Throughout his formative years, Thompson demonstrated an early interest for hair and its multiplicity of styles. He spent a lot of his childhood hanging around his mother’s two salons watching her style her clientele. Thompson states that he was so fascinated by hair, that even to this day; his mother often tells the story about how he would come home from football practice and sit down in the house to play with one of her mannequins. It was not until college that he began to do hair more consistently for side money. Thompson would braid the hair of college basketball, and football team members,

incorporating their names and designs into the braiding upon request. As time progressed, he decided to professionally cultivate his gift of hair styling and enroll at an Empire Beauty School where his mother was an instructor. Thompson was later licensed as an instructor and relocated to Atlanta GA, where he further developed his craft, while subsequently launching his own salon, The Modern Classic in June of 2014. INDIVIDUAL STYLE: Brandon describes his style as “modern classic” which explains the vision behind his salon brand. He feels it best describes his personal style, hair styling, interior design, and lifestyle as a whole. His aesthetic typically gravitates more toward classic-timeless pieces such as oxford shirts, blazers, jeans, etc., but with a contemporary edge and play on accessories such as layered bracelets, hats, head wraps, and distinct shoe styles. As an avid shopper and connoisseur of fine garments, Brandon is unashamed to say, that fashion is a big part of who he has become. Beyond the outer, he shares that what people mostly admire about him is his ability to relate to his clients and that he very purely cares about their welfare altogether. INSPIRATION & SUCCESS: Brandon attributes his success to the leadership and examples of hard work, set by his mother and father, who helped him believe in himself. Thompson states that his mother always encouraged him to do his absolute best at whatever he chose to do in life and has cheered him along the way. As a result, this has sparked a level of confidence, which compels him to keep building his brand and effectively manage the salon. In addition, the salon itself is elegantly postured in a private classy space at The Meridian Hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta where he and his intern tirelessly work their creative art! Brandon, though endowed with great talents beyond just hair, says that his main priority is to continue to solidify the business and to give it the time needed to blossom from the inside out. To learn more about Brandon L Thompson and his artistry, please visit: themodernclassicsalon.com.









rom the moment she steps on stage you can feel her love and the absolute return of love from her audience—even before she sings one single note.

Denise Nicole White, professionally known as Avery Sunshine, is a singer, a songwriter, a pianist and a mother. Avery knew from a young age that she was meant to perform. She remembers, “at six or seven I saw a classmate playing the piano and I told my mother that I wanted to do that. It was clear to me that was what I wanted to do.” By 13, Avery had earned a gig as choir director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Her other big dream of being a corporate lawyer moved further from sight when she realized music was tugging harder at her heart— she was a piano major at Spelman College. Truly a believer in destiny, Avery feels wholeheartedly that our steps have been planned and mapped out by God but, “I was completely unaware of that map. There was this unspoken kind of movement that was happening in my life.” Things just began to fall into place and into her lap. First a phone call from Jennifer Holliday asking her to perform and then an appearance in the movie and a song on the soundtrack of “The Fighting Temptations.” A conversation with a friend lead to Avery hitting the road, with keyboard in tow, to tour with Tyler Perry’s hit stage play “Meet The Browns.” Never second guessing her blessings, Avery confesses to writing down a list of wants and desires but says that she is very careful to, “yield to what the universe has for me because it hasn’t’ failed me yet.” As an independent artist, she has the luxury of doing things her way without the pressures of a major label. And although the industry may dictate that a mainstream artist must make music that radio stations will play, Avery believes in making music that feels good to her.

“I am much happier than I probably could ever be with a major label because this is our thing we created.” The pressure was on however when her song “Call My Name” hit number one. This independent artist was not only on the radio but “Call My Name” had surpassed people that she had been listening to her entire life. It was internal and industry pressure she began to feel and it kept her wondering how to make that magic happen again. “There is a fear that goes along with it. Do you try to do that again or do you keep making music that is true to you.” Her resolve is to just keep making music and “pray that people will love it.” 40 and proud, Avery has no issues with her age and says that aging has always been a “badge of honor.” Because commercial success happened for her later in life, it allowed her to raise two children and still do what she loves. She remembers working on her first album in 2010 and having a conversation with a close friend, who happens to be a staple in the R&B music scene, “she had three or four albums out at that time but was just having her first baby and we were looking at each other like WOW! It was really sobering.” That one conversation changed Avery’s whole perspective about being almost 40 and producing her first album. Her fears of it not working were no more. “We were going through the same thing but in different ways. There is no age limit on any of this and that is what’s so revealing. ”

Do not get married at 21 is what Avery would tell her 21 year-old self. “You don’t know who you are let alone who this person is you are trying to mesh with. Date, travel, try new foods, fall in and out of love and cut you hair!” Now divorced she admits, “I am grateful for my children’s father and I don’t regret a thing. If not for my experiences with him I would not have written that first album.” In love again, Avery says that she is very happy. The tone of her voice changes ever so slightly as she speaks on love and her mood reminiscent of her other hit song “Sweet Afternoon.” She sweetly professes, “When you find that someone who brings out the best in you, you figure out how to make it work and I am thankful to God for sending me someone who didn’t just care about me but also cares about my family and my children. I am grateful to God and I mean that!” Avery is continually learning about herself and is 100% comfortable in her skin. When asked to describe her favorite thing about herself she paused, “I am finally at a place in my life where I love a whole bunch of stuff about me because there was a time when I didn’t. There was a flaw in everything about me. There was a flaw in my voice, there was flaw in my weight but now I love my body. I do. I love my face, I love my hair, I love these children that God gave me that look like me. I love the music that God has given me to share. I like the way my fingernails look when they have nail polish on them. I like the shape of my nose and I love my lips, they look like my mother’s lips. I love a lot of stuff about me now. ” Vowing to continue to make music until death, Avery sees more music, more opportunities, more tours and television in her future. She promises, “there

will be no grass growing under these feet!” I believe her.

Learn more about Avery*Sunshine, her music, performances and tour dates at averysunshine.com.




THE NIGHT Fahamu Pecou received a simple gift, an old construction

box, he learned about transformation. He had been studying African art and decided to create a spirit box as a tribute to his mother. For years, the story of her murder by his father went unspoken by Pecou and his three siblings. Fortunately, the act of transforming the box encouraged him to discuss his past and set him on a journey to change his future. Pecou’s first exhibit “Life After Death” centered on his mother’s death. The show affected attendees in different ways. Some cried, some sat in the middle of the art installation; others complimented Pecou for how he was able to deal with his struggles. Though the first show was emotional, Pecou liked the reaction from the crowd.

“I wanted to do something that meant something. Make connections and resonate with the audience.” Pecou, knew that he didn’t want to simply make art that was just pretty, but art that would evoke inspiration and challenge the viewer Success and recognition quickly followed, but at times people missed the deeper message in Pecou’s art. The exhibit “Stunt’d Like My Daddy” challenged the idea of Black Masculinity and the perception of the white gaze. He used images of his actual body in the series. In one piece, he holds a strategically placed picket sign that reads, “More than (the sum of) some of his parts.” Pecou understands the difference between hype and meaningful content. He recognizes that the body of the Black male is often dissected into parts. Athletes, entertainer, and laborers are often the symbols of Black masculinity. Pecou’s works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art, and popular culture. He thrives on the notion of collaboration, rigor, and the questions that occurs in an academic setting. Fahamu Pecou is currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA). His work is featured in national and international collections such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Societe Generale in Paris, Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, and many others. Pecou is the curator of “ELEVATE 2015,” an Atlanta based project from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The theme is “Forever I Love Atl (F.I.L.A.)” with art projects going on display in central downtown Atlanta this fall. It might be easy to overlook the journey and trials that Fahamu Pecou has experienced to get to where he is today. His struggles are evident in his art, but the result of those struggles is overwhelmingly positive. He wants his work to be used as a tool for his son and other young black men. Pecou will continue to shape contemporary representations of Black masculinity just as he shaped that spirit box years ago. There will be more conversations because of his art. This is how he intends to impact the future.



Fahamu Pecou


Photography by BRYAN MELTZ





WARRICK DUNN keeps running forward. People are often familiar with the popular The program is a tribute to his mother, Betty

During his twelve successful seasons in the NFL, he was Rookie of the Year and a three-time Pro Bowl selection. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons benefited from his skills on the playing field, but Dunn was far from finished when he scored his final touchdown.

football player, and all-around good person. But Dunn continues to use his notoriety for the benefit of not-for-profit and philanthropic work. The most well known, “Homes for the Holidays”, was created during Dunn’s first season in the NFL.


Smothers, a Baton Rouge police officer, and single-mother of six. While working a second job as a security guard, she was killed in the line of duty, never achieving her dream of owning her own home. So now, Dunn helps make her dream a reality for other single parents.


After his mother’s death, the city of Baton Rouge stepped in to support his family. The generosity made an impact and solidified the lessons his mother and grandmother instilled in him. “My grandmother would just open her heart to people,” Dunn says. “She didn’t have a lot, but she would give.” When asked why he gives back, Dunn hesitates because there is a choice. Giving is an instinct.

“It is not about the money. It’s about doing the small things. Saying hello. Recognizing someone. Taking a couple minutes to look at someone directly in the eye.” Dunn has put smiles on faces and roofs over heads but his vision is deeper. His greater hope is that families will learn how to manage personal finances, become more educated and understand the importance of maintaining health and wellness. His overall dream is to help teach families how to find and expand their dreams. In fact, his Home for the Holidays program doesn’t build the house at all, but works with other organizations that already build and furnish homes. Dunn has further dreams too—he’d like to offer nutritional education, grief support and show families how to navigate other resources to become entrenched in their neighborhoods and larger communities. As much as he encourages education, Dunn is also an avid student. He chose to return to the classroom and earned an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Going back to school wasn’t easy. “It was like being in a dark room where very slowly the lights turned on,” says Dunn, “You can’t be afraid to ask for help or learn on the job.” The same discipline and perseverance Dunn used on the playing field has helped in the boardroom as a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons, under the leadership of Arthur Blank. And Dunn is still learning. “Our goal is to impact communities with long term solutions that are sustainable—and that takes money. Donations are appreciated and the best thing you can do is talk about what we are doing. Word-of-mouth is compelling and it helps people learn about our organization.” Warrick Dunn feels at “home” in Baton Rouge, Tallahassee, Tampa and he resides in Atlanta. But his heart? Well that’s anywhere people need a helping hand. To learn more about Warrick Dunn Charities please visit wdc.org.








Diane Sales



t was toes down and heels up throughout the performing arts center and athletic facility on the campus of Atlanta’s Drew Charter School. Inside, young, mostly African-American youth between the ages of eleven and fourteen are in harmony, gracefully gliding across wooden floors in fourth and fifth position; their reflections ricocheting off the mirrored walls projecting images of their meticulous, yet, at times, timid young souls – all participants in Atlanta Ballet’s AileyCamp.

Facing a potential loss of funding and the imminent closure of the “AileyCamp”, instructor Diane Sales chose not to give in, and her prayers would eventually be answered with the help of a major grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. It allowed the “AileyCamp” to continue its operation.

It was famed choreographer, activist, and legendary dancer, Alvin Ailey who founded “AileyCamp” in 1989. Ailey’s goal was to provide inner-city youth with an environment for developing creative expression, discipline, and critical thinking skills. Atlanta would become the first city in the South to play host to the camp. The camp has been in existence for almost nine years. However, after several successful years of operation, the program almost came to an abrupt halt when it lost its funding along with one of its major sponsors.

The world-renowned ballerina and dance instructor would have to revert to the unwavering perseverance and strong will she developed at age ten when she first became infatuated with dancing after watching Russian dancer Natalia Makarova on her family’s black and white TV in her native Brooklyn, NY.

“This is the first time that some of them are dancing, putting tights and leotards on and being exposed to something different,” said Diane Sales, the director of the six week summer program. “My position is to give them ownership of their life. To stand behind them so that they know there are so many possibilities. And, if they take advantage of what’s around them, they’re going to be successful.” It is a message Sales is hoping the aspiring dancers will inherit once they have completed the camp. The students, both boys and girls, all come from under-served communities. However, you would not know it by their carefully manicured haircuts and tightly pulled back ponytails with black leotards - for the girls - along with their signature satin pointe shoes. It’s as if all of the campers’ cares and worries somehow dissipate when the soothing sounds of classical piano chords collide with the formation and cadence specifically designed and tailored for both the danseur and danseuses. “They learn so much about themselves and personal development,” said Sales. “They’re building their self-esteem and self-confidence and critical thinking skills – such a range of growth.” More than one hundred “Ailey Camp” participants are spread out across the center, some in the auditorium, and others in the school’s gymnasium learning technique, form, and style from a group of dance instructors under the leadership of Sales.


“My heart was broken and I felt so much pressure,” said, a now emotional, Sales. “If it weren’t for the Atlanta Ballet, this program would have been dissolved two years ago.”

“There were times when I was told that I wasn’t going to be successful as a ballet dancer,” said Sales, who would eventually attend the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago IL, and later begin her professional career with Ailey II performing across the world in places like Italy, Syria, Africa and nearly all fifty states here in the U.S.

“I pray and I keep myself grounded knowing that even in the hard times, I’m going to succeed because I have to.” “That’s the most rewarding part that I can be a part of bringing arts to so many children that haven’t been exposed,” said Sales. “If I have inspired young African American girls and boys to pursue dance as a career, I’ve done a lot because I didn’t have anyone there to tell me that I was going to be successful.” To learn more about Atlanta Ballet’s AileyCamp please visit http://centre.atlantaballet.com/community-programs/atlantaballets-aileycamp




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asty temptations like bone marrow and short rib slathered on crispy toast and covered with a runny quail egg. An in-room fitness program designed by celebrity trainer Erin Oprea. Whether you’re looking to be a sinner or an angel in Nashville, the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel has you covered. About a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta, Nashville is an easy option for a long fall weekend — particularly as the fall leaves surrounding the highway reflects a myriad of beautiful colors as you wind through the mountains. As the name implies, the Loews Vanderbilt is situated across from the Vanderbilt University campus. Yes, guests of the hotel get the added bonus of experiencing the charm and perks of a college campus atmosphere (whether that means enjoying a gorgeous place to go for a soothing fall walk — or being surrounded with bars & grills where you can find a cheap drink and reasonably priced meals), all in the heart of a southern city with fine dining and an electrified nightlife. And, just a quick one-mile drive or Uber ride away you will find the famed “Music Row” that Nashville is known for. Here are just a few reasons why this destination and the Loews Vanderbilt should be on your list of travel ventures for this fall’s getaways! Sleep. The property has undergone $20 million in renovations since 2013 and offers up 340 rooms (including nine suites). Elegant notes of Nashville can be experienced and admired throughout the décor. And in true Loews fashion, you’ll enjoy amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi in every room, iPod docking stations, fully stocked mini bars, Comfort Zone toiletries, Egyptian cotton sheets, and wake-up calls recorded by Nashville music royalty such as Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and other notable artists. On The Move. On a cool fall morning, there’s nothing better than getting up and heading for a run on Vanderbilt’s lush campus. However, if the chill in the air is too much, the Loews Vanderbilt offers a fitness center that is fully stocked with the cardio and resistance training equipment you need for a calorie-killing workout. Or, take advantage of the in-room Balance by Erin Oprea fitness program. Just pick up the phone, and your equipment (yoga mat, exercise ball and resistance tube) will be delivered to your door in minutes along with step-by-step instructions for an exercise program developed by Operea, who trains celebrities like Carrie Underwood and other well-known artists.

Dining. Enjoy the short rib and bone marrow to the fried green tomato, egg, and bacon Black Keys breakfast wrap from Mason’s, the hotel’s go-to for every meal — including brunch on weekends. Mason’s serves up a Southern-inspired menu with a kick of Appalachian and European influence In addition, the Balance by Erin Oprea program also extends to Mason’s with a menu that follows a rigid set of nutritional guidelines, which ensures that each dish is low in sugar and sodium, high in protein, and includes healthy fats. For example, you’ll find a Persian breakfast frittata with shaved asparagus, dried cherries, and chickpea mash, and blackberry peach pie crepes with skim milk ricotta and pistachio granola. Other guest favorites include the ancho-spiced pork chop with smoked Sea Island pea charros and mango jicama slaw. Another favorite is the East Nashville “Hipster” biscuit with cage-free eggs and smoked bacon, and for those, who occasionally crave a succulent steak every now and then will be pleased to find that there is a Ruth’s Chris Steak House housed in the hotel as well.). Of course, there is also a full room service menu, in case you love your room so much you don’t want to leave. But, before you head to bed, wrap up your evening with a drink at Mason’s Bar — the Mason’s Julep is not to be missed. It is the perfect spot to end your day. Visit loewshotels.com/vanderbilt-hotel for more information. A Dining Gem Down the Street: 1808 Grille Chicken fried lobster, fried Brussel sprouts, and a 10-ounce New York strip served up with chimichurri sauce — these are just a few of the tastes you’ll be treated to during dinner at 1808 Grille. The eat spot, tucked away in the Hutton Hotel, is only a few blocks away from the Loews and is open for all meals and weekend brunch. Headed there for dinner? Start with the compressed watermelon and work your way up to the fried whole bronzino. Oh, and don’t forget about dessert. Whether you’re in the mood for black forest cake or honey thyme crème brulee, 1808 has a sweet to ensure that everyone leaves this resto on a happy note.






“WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.” This historical quote unequivocally describes this year’s LUX power couples.

As our staff read through nominations, we noticed recurring themes of lovers being in love, family-first sentiments and partners striving to walk in purpose. Find out what makes these power pairs tick— and maybe learn a few tips to take home. Story by LENTHEUS CHANEY

Names: Xavier Peoples + Nicole Peoples Ages: 33 + 34 Occupations: Managing Partner of M Bar + Internal Medicine/ Integrative Medicine Doctor/ Dekalb Medical What Makes You a Power Couple? Our shared love of service and teaching our children the importance of giving back alongside our professions make us a ‘power couple’. As a couple we strive to make the world a better place. How do you use your power for the good of others? As a family, we dedicate ourselves to philanthropy so that our children will understand that being blessed means you’re able to bless others. We feed the homeless, mentor youth and volunteer locally with the YMCA. We don’t just say it for “talking points”, recently, M Bar was given a proclamation from the City of Atlanta because of the commitment we’ve made to employing African-American men, particularly those who have felony records.

Names: George Ross + Christian Ross Ages: 42 + 34 Occupations: IT Director + SVP/ Managing Broker, Village Realty What Makes You a Power Couple? We are successful but that does not define us. We fuel each other. We lift each other up, support each other’s dreams and goals and put our love and friendship before anything else. In addition to giving to each other, we are focused on the everyday ways we can make lives better for those around us whether it is from a community or professional perspective. How do you use your power for the good of others? George mentors young AfricanAmerican men looking to transition into IT and Christian mentors younger real estate professionals and serves on committees at the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Beginning in 2016, Christain will begin a 3-year term on their Board of Directors.

Names: Carlton Godby + Erica Godbey Ages: 39 + 41 Occupations: Fitness Instructors and Gym Owners, I Like It Fit What Makes You a Power Couple? We are not only in love but the way we relate to each other within relationship also demonstrates positive examples of love to others in a Godly manner. How do you use your power for the good of others? We use our influence as fitness instructors to counsel, encourage and equip other couples on the importance of their physical, mental and emotional state of being. We have discovered that the more love we give to others, the more our relationship is enhanced. We practice being open and transparent with each other. In the near future we hope to create additional practical ways to share what has worked for us in our relationship.


too busy to run out for food? trying tolose weight? tired of costly fast food?

lunchbox IT

HOW LUNCHBOX WORKS & HOW TO PLACE YOUR ORDER On a weekly basis the Chef creates four (4) meal options. You select three (3) items from the menu, and then we double your order for a total of six (6) meals. Menu items are published every Thursday. Orders should be placed by Saturday afternoon for Sunday and Monday delivery. Place orders at ndlegroup.com under the menu tab or by sending an email to info@ndlegroup.com






t’s a proven fact that staying hydrated is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The benefits of drinking water used to go unchallenged, but nowadays with spring water from here and filtered water from there, the simplicity of good ol’ H2O has gone down the drain. Alkaline water has been a topic of constant debate for several years. Alkalinity and acidity are measured on the pH scale, ranging from 1 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely alkaline). This scale measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in compounds from household electronic batteries to organic garden vegetables. Alkaline water is simply water that has been altered to increase its pH. In the United States tap water is regulated and must measure between a 6.5 and 9.5 (depending on the region of the country). So is alkaline water a better choice? Proponents claim that alkaline water has many health benefits, and helps keep the body in an alkaline, and ultimately more healthy state. The US National Institutes of Health is conducting studies to determine the benefits of alkaline water in the fight against cancer. According to cancertutor.com, ionized water (which is very alkaline) works effectively when added during the course of active cancer treatment. Because the water contains good antioxidants, it neutralizes free radicals, making many oxygen molecules available to the cancer cells— either slowing the

growth of cancer killing the cancer cells altogether. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment, thus the theory of increasing the body’s pH leads supports reports that alkaline water is in fact beneficial. Ionized (alkaline) water has the ability to rid the body of excessive waste products. This characteristic is helpful, even for individuals who are not battling cancer. Water molecules in the body do not float around individually, they exist in clusters. These high pH clusters are significantly smaller than normal water clusters and because of their reduced size, water can penetrate more places within the body—providing additional, internal therapy for cancer patients. Adding to the—list of prospective health benefits, alkaline water has been noted to reverse dry skin, poor hydration, and exhaustion. Many have even reported losing unwanted weight after introducing the popular water into their diet. A recent health study reports that people who regularly drank alkaline water lost an average of 12 pounds over a two month period. I agree that alkaline water shows promise in providing health benefits to the body, however more professional medical research over a longer period of time is needed. Consult with your doctor or a certified healthcare professional to for more information on how alkaline water could be beneficial to you.