Texas-born entertainer Kbella on major comeback: “God said, ‘Now it’s your turn to shine.’”

DALLAS — In case you don’t know her, allow Karla P. Bell to introduce herself.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, listening to Bell, widely known in the world of entertainment as “Kbella, it would become virtually easy to tell that there are no filters when it comes to this vibrant, progressive woman of color . Need more proof? During a recent, in-depth interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson, Kbella didn’t hold back, proving time and again to be blunt and forthright unlike never before. So what else does this ever-evolving, ever-so-competitive entertainment universe want to know about the rising entertainment icon known as Kbella. We bring to you a thorough introduction from the woman herself.

 

Bella“Well…I went to a Catholic school as a child for many years. My parents always made sure I had the best schools and education. After I transferred to a more different environment, which meant going to a public school, it only furthered my skills in music. In fact, I went to St. Phillips College as well as DBU (Dallas Baptist University), getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management And Finance. My mother is Wanda Darden and father is Karl Bell. My siblings are Tabatha Allen, Stacie Marshall, Jeanette Winston, Edwin Bell, and myself; the youngest is Karla Bell.

“My childhood growing up was great for the most part. I was a spoiled little girl who had everything and never could recall going without as some people who have endured some of the less-fortunate things life. The environment I grew up in was Baptist and Catholic, but learning both religions were actually a great thing to me. The close people in my life who inspired me was my father, Karl Bell, who also was a member of the Ohio Players for a short while before their great success. My father was originally from Ohio, and worked and lived across from the group Roger and the Zapp Band, which led up to him pushing me further in my career because of wisdom from Roger Troutman.

Bella2Bella8“Also my cousin, (rapper) ‘YoYo’ kept believing that I could do this dream of being a recording artist as I persevered in making my dreams come true, not to mention Jalon Woods, who said, ‘I’m gona make sure the best comes out of you. You are really a star. Ericka Bella3Sodie, Panzie Johnson, Christie Glenn, and my favorite cousin, Madella Mosley, have been with me on this journey of success. As an entertainer, I love music and acting. This has been my love because; of course, God is my First, and my parents and children are after that. But next to the ones I care about in my life, I have to say my music is right there, next to my heart, and has always been ever since I was performing as a child in Catholic school.

Bella4“Ms. Doris Callis, my first music teacher had me perform Diane Ross, ‘Muscles.’ I’ll never forget it. I was a total knockout. I have met a number of famous people: YoYo, my cousin, Scarface, and Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boyz, not to mention a short lived relationship with Scarface at a young age. It was very intriguing and fun, but when you’re young with a lot of money and power, you don’t tend to pay attention to the valuable things in life. Marvin Sapp, J. Prince Ceo of Rapalot Records, UGK, 5th Ward Boyz, George Clinton, and the Parliament and etc….the list can goes on and on. Being with the group PKO at 15, I was signed and performed rap battles all in middle school and high school, and nobody could hang with me…and I meant nobody (lol).

“And hearing a man say, ‘You never know, you might get discovered one day soon,’ I’ll never forget that. I was graduating high school at 16 and I got signed and discovered by a man name Authur Smith, who then was an AR rep for Rap-A-Lot Records. Performing on the stage with the Geto Boys and Bushwick Bill has really been a great success for my life…exposing me to the spotlight with a number of artists has kept me going and growing. My cousin YoYo would always say you have to stay focused and that people like us have a blessing on our life through God and that no one can take it away.

Bella7“Thanks for that Cousin. YoYo and I are very close. Even if were distant, I can call her for anything and she will pick up the phone for me and say what’s up ‘Poo’….her nickname for me. Her sister, Dawn, and their family would always come for the summer here to visit our whole family and everybody would stay at my mom’s house. It was just plain fun-loving… cousin love, you know, getting fused at playing and fighting and back together again. The Geto boys are like brothers to me. I get tired of talking to Bushwick, but I love him a lot. He knows this business inside and out. After all I been through, I feel God has kept me covered under His blood because he has a purpose for me in life which is to mentor to people of a deeper situation. Meaning I’ve been through fame, sex, celibacy, and relationships that I can speak strongly on now, because of what I’m going through and have been through…and not to mention parenting.Bella6

“Life can throw curve balls, which is why you have to be patient and here the word of God to bring you through. I may not be where I need to be, but I can say I’m not where I started. My start is definitely not my finish. My motto is, ‘Live what you represent, which is success.’ I was taught to pay tithes, sow seeds, and God would keep the enemy off of you. And with all I been through, I can say God has definitely did that for me. The comeback is for me just to know I can still do it after a hard fall in my life. From everything I’ve been through, God is still keeping me while He’s on the thrown; my children all love me. They see everything I’ve been through and they embrace me and my personal relationship is coming forth. God is definitely working it out the way He sees fit, and whatever He chooses to do from now on, I can say I can finally rest at night, knowing God is giving me my breakthrough with everthing!

Bella5“After all I’ve been through, God said, ‘Now it’s your turn to shine.’ I have a performance on stage with Geto Bosy and Bushwick Bill at the South By Sothwest in Austin, Texas March 11-20, with a great number of artists such as Snoop Dog, Nelly, and all the BET performers…Gospel and Radio and Executive record companies will be there. I also have radio interviews all over Texas in various cities and states, and I have a current video shoot that is coming out in the Dallas area, so look out for that my first single, which will be called, ‘Real Square Biz,’ a remake of Teena Marie.

Thank you all for your support, and look out for all the upcoming events.”

Kbella

 

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Martesha Haynes’ SGIA, Inc. has become a beacon of light in Houston, surrounding areas

TEXAS SIZE IMPACT --- A Communications Facilitator in the Deaf Education Resources Department for the Houston Independent School District, Austin, Texas native Martesha Haynes also is the chief executive officer of the Houston-based Social Good In Action Incorporated. A non-profit organization that was established in 2009, Social Good In Action (or SGIA) is an up-and-coming community-based establishment in which its boats the primary vision of being dedicated to connecting with issues within the community, world and various causes that are in need to be noticed more than others.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACTA Communications Facilitator in the Deaf Education Resources Department for the Houston Independent School District, Austin, Texas native Martesha Haynes also is the chief executive officer of the Houston-based Social Good In Action Incorporated.
A non-profit organization that was established in 2009, Social Good In Action (or SGIA) is an up-and-coming community-based establishment in which its boats the primary vision of being dedicated to connecting with issues within the community, world and various causes that are in need to be noticed more than others.

DALLAS — You can practically see it in her eyes.

Make no mistake, upon crossing paths with Martesha C. Haynes for the very first time, amongst the lasting impressions one would grasp is that she undoubtedly is a woman with a vision.

A notable vision.

An exceptional vision.

A life-enhancing, extraordinary vision, one that, given her immeasurable track record as an educational professional, figures to change lives.

One person at a time, regardless of their race, creed, or color.

Tsh5An Austin, Texas native, Haynes is a former prep track and field standout who, to her credit, enjoyed an array of success as an athlete.

Today, unlike never before, the 37-year Haynes is running masterfully in the race called life, partaking in a figurative marathon that is so admirable and so meritorious, that this current Houston resident has become a fixture while functioning comfortably in her distinct element in Texas’ largest city.

YOU GO GIRL! --- SGIA has become popular in recent years, in large part because of its annual fashion shows and community concerts, particularly when the organization aspires to generate funding by way of fundraisings and other charitable events.

YOU GO GIRL!SGIA has become popular in recent years, in large part because of its annual fashion shows and community concerts, particularly when the organization aspires to generate funding by way of fundraisings and other charitable events.

A Communications Facilitator in the Deaf Education Resources Department for the Houston Independent School District, Haynes also is the chief executive officer of the Houston-based Social Good In Action Incorporated.

A non-profit organization that was established in 2009 and is also ran by Haynes’ assistant, Rodney Lagard of Sir Savage Entertainment, Social Good In Action (or SGIA) is an up-and-coming community-based establishment in which its boats the primary vision of being dedicated to connecting with issues within the community, world and various causes that are in need to be noticed more than others. According to its website, SGIA also is geared largely toward assisting children with an assortment of disabilities, most notably autism, as well as members of their families who are coping with such incapacities.

esh7SGIA has become popular in recent years, in large part because of its annual fashion shows and community concerts, particularly when the organization aspires to generate funding by way of fundraisings and other charitable events.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 18th congressional district, for instance, is a devoted affiliate with SGIA, as is renowned and longtime Houstonian Freddie Jackson, Barbara Jordan Endeavors Founder Thelma Scott, and Houston Civil Rights activist Sandra Massie Hines.

Haynes has two daughters: A’lazhia Burrage (19) and A’liciah Burrage (13). 

FOLLOW SGIA ONLINE: www.socialgoodinaction.com.

Nearly seven years removed from its inception, Haynes seems confident that her notable organization will continue demonstrating to be the beacon of light it become in such a short time span.
“What I like most about my organization is that I am able to teach and assist students that are deaf or hearing impaired with learning disabilities,” Haynes told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Also, we go out into the community and provide food, clothes and hygiene items to men, women and children in shelters.”

According to Haynes, SGIA has evolved, in part, as a community-based ministry, of sorts, in that as God enlightens His children, He doesn’t show favoritism to anyone.

In other words, SGIA has become the loving, admirable beacon of light by which many have described it, in large part because, in essence, Haynes’ organization routinely welcomes the community with open arms.

SPREADING LOVE --- According to Haynes, SGIA has evolved, in part, as a community-based ministry, of sorts, in that as God enlightens His children, He doesn’t show favoritism to anyone. In other words, SGIA has become the loving, admirable beacon of light by which many have described it, in large part because, in essence, Haynes’ organization routinely welcomes the community with open arms.

SPREADING LOVEAccording to Haynes, SGIA has evolved, in part, as a community-based ministry, of sorts, in that as God enlightens His children, He doesn’t show favoritism to anyone.
In other words, SGIA has become the loving, admirable beacon of light by which many have described it, in large part because, in essence, Haynes’ organization routinely welcomes the community with open arms.

Just as her mother, Sheila E. Mims, had steadfastly taught her as a child.

“I thank my mother for making me the strong woman I am today,” Haynes explained. “Now that I look back over my life I know that she was hard on me for a reason. Also, my grandmother — ‘R.I.P. Winnie M. Haynes’ — was always a loving and giving person. As a child growing up, I watched how she was with everyone, always giving and feeding everyone in the neighborhood. My aunts, Natalie Haynes, Diane McNeil, Khisha Johnson, cousins, Asheia Haynes, Da’Sha Haynes. My family is a big inspiration.”

All of which is why as big and as loving Haynes’ heart is, SGIA, too, has emerged as the progressive, thriving organization it has become in the Houston metropolitan area.

Generally, because Haynes is committed daily to esteeming others highly than her, it’s safe to assume that SGIA’s best and brightest days are well ahead of it.

CHASING GREATNESS ---Generally, because Haynes is committed daily to esteeming others highly than her, it’s safe to assume that SGIA’s best and brightest days are well ahead of it.

CHASING GREATNESSGenerally, because Haynes is committed daily to esteeming others highly than her, it’s safe to assume that SGIA’s best and brightest days are well ahead of it.

“People and children in this world go through a lot, and sometimes they need a little encouragement or inspiration to keep pushing forward,” Haynes said with such motivation and optimism.

That, after all, is no secret.

You can practically see it in her eyes.

For more information about Social Good In Action Incorporated, call 832-885-3468, or call its office at 1-801-657-3433. Also, send e-mail: socialgoodinaction@live.com, or send a personal e-mail to Martesha C. Haynes at mburrage2@hotmail.com.

 

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

LaVonia Horne-Williams aiming to have Texas size impact as a business owner

DALLAS — LaVonia Horne-Williams isn’t one who makes excuses.

Given her commendable track record as a rising business owner, it’s safe to say she isn’t one who waits for things to happen.

VonShe’s empowered to make things happen.

And not just make things happen, but she makes certain others around her are positively impacted as well.

In fact, just recently, there was Horne-Williams, explaining in great detail why as a progressive, thriving entrepreneur, it’s imperative that she steadfastly esteems and inspires others daily.

Texas4“As an African American woman, stepping out on faith and advocating for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses, I believe it’s important to inspire others to follow their dreams,” Horne-Williams told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “If a small town girl from Monticello, Florida can do this…so can you.”

Raised in Monticello, a small, rural Florida town with a population of approximately 2,500, Horne-Williams, to her credit — and relentless faith — continues to demonstrate why her best days as a business owner are well ahead of her.

Horne-Williams, 45, is owner and chief executive officer of Horne-Williams Management Consulting, LLC.

Texas2An up-and-coming establishment that is located at 348 Tobin Drive in Buda, Texas, and officially opened for operations in September 2015, Horne-Williams Management Consulting’s mission is that it strives to enrich and educate industry partners by providing excellent training in the development and implementation of DBE/SBE/HUB/MWBE minority programs.

According to Horne-Williams, who had spent seven years working for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights as a Civil Rights Program Specialist and as a Business Opportunity Program Specialist, she felt compelled sometime last year to launch her very own consulting business, one that would offer federal program compliance for heavy highway construction projects.

In a nutshell, her primary emphasis would be to assume the role as an expert source, of sorts, particularly for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (or DBE) and Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) compliance and best practices.

So far, so good for an emerging, effective business owner who, given her immense track record, is destined to connect with the right people — early and often.

No excuses.

None whatsoever.

“With the changing regulatory environment of heavy highway construction projects, it is important for government agencies and companies doing business with them to be knowledgeable about diversity compliance management,” Horne-Williams explained. “As an excellent, results-oriented firm that can take their programs to the next level, Horne-Williams Management Consulting, LLC strives to enrich and educate industry partners by providing excellent training in the development and implementation of DBE/SBE/HUB/MWBE minority programs.”

That’s not all, as this opportunistic, vibrant business owner quickly points out.

That she has established a business venture of this magnitude will ultimately serve as a significant asset to a number of Texas’ thriving, progressive markets, thus provide her with the independence to function and excel in an industry that could very well become a competitive one in the foreseeable future.

Fortunately for Horne-Williams, her track record is such that she’s already ahead of the game.

No excuses.

None whatsoever.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACT --- According to Horne-Williams, who has spent seven years working for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights as a Civil Right Program Specialist and as a Business Opportunity Program Specialist, she felt compelled sometime last year to launch her very own consulting business, one that would offer federal program compliance for heavy highway construction projects. In a nutshell, her primary emphasis would be to assume the role as an expert source, of sorts, particularly for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (or DBE) and Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) compliance and best practices.

TEXAS SIZE IMPACTAccording to Horne-Williams, who has spent seven years working for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights as a Civil Right Program Specialist and as a Business Opportunity Program Specialist, she felt compelled sometime last year to launch her very own consulting business, one that would offer federal program compliance for heavy highway construction projects.
In a nutshell, her primary emphasis would be to assume the role as an expert source, of sorts, particularly for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (or DBE) and Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) compliance and best practices.

“First, gaining independence with my career and recognizing that I am the captain of my fate,” said Horne-Williams, assessing what she likes the most about her business. “Next, I’m providing a service that fosters a partnership for small minority businesses in a field not readily accessible to them….heavy highway construction.”

Other appealing factors that figure to add to Horne-Williams’ entrepreneurial success is that she possesses the credentials and education to exceed even her own lofty expectations, thus eclipse her own customer service goals and objectives.

For starters, she graduated in 1988 from Jefferson County High School. Years later, she enrolled at California State University-Hayward (currently known as Cal State East Bay), where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Philosophy in 1998 (and minored in Religion).

Consequently, she graduated from Virginia College at Austin with an Associate’s Degree in paralegal studies in 2005 before earning a Master’s in Legal Studies from Texas State University in 2013.

Other notable accolades include having received certification as a Certified Compliance Administrator in 2009 through the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA) and Morgan State University.

All of which essentially sums up why this former dual sport prep athlete (basketball and track and field) and high school senior class president’s reputation is such that she isn’t one who waits for things to happen.

She’s empowered to make things happen.

“The whole can-do attitude, never-quit attitude, and always-believing and quitting were never an option,” Horne-Williams, who graduated sixth overall in her high school class, said. “It taught me discipline and commitment to self.”

Not to mention no excuses.

None whatsoever.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Sherry Hamilton’s Red Heart CPR becoming a national fixture in restoring and saving lives

TRUE LIFE SAVER --- Sherry Penson Hamilton, 44, is owner and chief operating officer of Red Heart CPR in Kyle, Texas, an American Heart Association-sanctioned course that is designed for the lay-person rescuer.

TRUE LIFE SAVERSherry Penson Hamilton, 44, is owner and chief operating officer of Red Heart CPR in Kyle, Texas, an American Heart Association-sanctioned course that is designed for the lay-person rescuer.

DALLAS — Just like that, Sherry Penson Hamilton had seen enough.

Unfortunately for her, she had seen death hit home way too much.

First by way of heart attacks.

Then by way of heart disease.

Then by way of cardiac arrest.

Then by way of heart attacks again.

The latest death, amid a heart attack as a matter of fact, had ultimately proved the most devastating, thus prompted Hamilton to take a much-needed assessment of the overall landscape of her life.

Even from a career standpoint.

REMEMBERING MELVIN --- “When my late uncle, Melvin Penson Sr., whom I loved dearly had a heart attack early one morning around love ones, no one had taken CPR in years,” Hamilton told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “This really convicted my spirit and inspired my saying, ‘The life you save may be your love one.’ Since then, I have lost three friends, all in their 40's due to heart attacks, and they all were with family or co-workers. Therefore, I don't just have a passion, but I'm on a mission.”

REMEMBERING MELVIN“When my late uncle, Melvin Penson Sr., whom I loved dearly had a heart attack early one morning around love ones, no one had taken CPR in years,” Hamilton told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “This really convicted my spirit and inspired my saying, ‘The life you save may be your love one.’ Since then, I have lost three friends, all in their 40’s due to heart attacks, and they all were with family or co-workers. Therefore, I don’t just have a passion, but I’m on a mission.”

“When my late uncle, Melvin Penson Sr., whom I loved dearly had a heart attack early one morning around love ones, no one had taken CPR in years,” Hamilton told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “This really convicted my spirit and inspired my saying, ‘The life you save may be your love one.’ Since then, I have lost three friends, all in their 40’s due to heart attacks, and they all were with family or co-workers. Therefore, I don’t just have a passion, but I’m on a mission.”

In demonstrating arguably the most resiliency she’s exemplified since she effectively had given her life to Christ and accepted her ministerial calling years ago, Hamilton thought it necessary to bolt her Corporate America job as a county employee less than a year ago and shift her focus primarily on a venture she sensed would prevent her and others from enduring even more heartache and disappointment and sadness.

MAKING PROGRESS --- So that Red Heart CPR can better strive to save lives, Hamilton has launched an initiative called "Life Matters,” a movement whereby she dauntlessly poses the question, “Are you CPR Certified?"

MAKING PROGRESSSo that Red Heart CPR can better strive to save lives, Hamilton has launched an initiative called “Life Matters,” a movement whereby she dauntlessly poses the question, “Are you CPR Certified?”

Today, Hamilton, 44, is owner and chief operating officer of Red Heart CPR in Kyle, Texas, an American Heart Association-sanctioned course that is designed for the lay-person rescuer.

Open seven days a week, Red Heart CPR serves a number of areas in North Texas, most notably Austin, Buda, San Marcos, and other surrounding areas.

According to organization’s website, Red Heart CPR covers the CPR instruction for adults, children, and infants, as well as offers a course that is geared toward airway management of a choking victim (via the Heimlich maneuver) and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (or AED).

Red Heart CPR offers a number of informative classes, some lasting as long as 5-to-7 hours at reasonably afforded prices (ranging between $40-60).

A business venture Hamilton established nearly four years ago, RED, as it pertains to her business means, “Rescuing Every Dying (Heart),” a trend the Austin, Texas native is committed to fortifying daily.

LOG ON TO RED HEART CPR: http://www.redheartcpr.com/index.html

“I absolutely love it,” said Hamilton, a former Sidney Lanier High School (Austin) track and field standout, when asked what she loves the most about her business. “Empowering others with the skills to rescue someone from death is what I like best. I understand every life will not be saved, but knowing you tried is a powerful thing.”

Sherry2Amongst the intriguing trends about Red Heart CPR is that its mission and courses are prevalent for individuals of all ages, some as young as five years old, some as old as 70.

After all, Hamilton — given the array of untimely deaths she’s witnessed in recent years — would be the first to tell you that heart attacks, cardiac arrest, and heart disease don’t merely have an age attached to them.

Moreover, so that Red Heart CPR can better strive to save lives, Hamilton has launched an initiative called “Life Matters,” a movement whereby she dauntlessly poses the question, “Are you CPR Certified?”

KID COUNTS, TOO --- Amongst the intriguing trends about Red Heart CPR is that its mission and courses are prevalent for individuals of all ages, some as young as five years old, some as old as 70.

KIDS COUNTS, TOO — Amongst the intriguing trends about Red Heart CPR is that its mission and courses are prevalent for individuals of all ages, some as young as five years old, some as old as 70.

“I hope to make this a household conversation,” Hamilton said of her latest project. “We should ask our day care centers, recreational facilities, and especial every parents, ‘Are you CPR Certified?’”

Aside from teaching courses to ensure that lives are being saved and restored, another integral part of Red Heart CPR’s mission is to reach individuals in a way that suggests that what it has to offer is rather informative.

Not to mention fun, of course.

“Who says CPR has to be boring?” Hamilton said. “You can have a family night out and learn a life-saving skill or include a class during your baby shower. I’m not traditional bound; however my classes are always taught with triple P’s: Triple Passion, Professionalism, and with a Personal touch.”

How commendable and inspiring for a seasoned licensed evangelist who, last May, took a leap of faith by resigning from her job so she could empower others to exercise their faith by — what else? — speaking life over potentially deadly situations.

Speaking life by way of learning CPR rather fluently, that is.

KICK BACK AND RELAX --- Aside from teaching courses to ensure that lives are being saved and restored, another integral part of Red Heart CPR’s mission is to reach individuals in a way that suggests that what it has to offer is rather informative. Not to mention fun, of course.

KICK BACK AND RELAXAside from teaching courses to ensure that lives are being saved and restored, another integral part of Red Heart CPR’s mission is to reach individuals in a way that suggests that what it has to offer is rather informative.
Not to mention fun, of course.

“I totally feel I have begun my journey and I can’t wait to share more at a later date,” Hamilton said. “However I can share this: The opportunity to equip and empower others with a life-saving skill, whether it’s through CPR or an encouraging word, it totally brings me joy, because life does matter and life is priceless.”

How else to explain why Red Heart CPR was organization on a solid foundation, one that is a accompanied by the featured headline that is housed in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing,” said Hamilton, recalling the Apostle Paul’s letter to members of the Thessalonian church.

To her credit, ever since God impressed it upon her heart to establish Red Heart CPR, she’s done just that.

One life at a time.

For more information about Red Heart CPR, call Sherry Penson Hamilton at (512) 749-6071, or email her at: sherry@redheartcpr.com.

 

 

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Rising author Erika Sodie recalls life’s gruesome lessons in ‘game-changing’ book

Book1DALLAS — Just recently, Erika Sodie is going on and on about her educational background.

Those who know her realize there are no filters with her.

“I had too much fame and so much pain,” Sodie explained during a recent interview with longtime journalist Andre Johnson.

So stagnant and dysfunctional Sodie had become with regards to academics that she ultimately sensed that bolting school unceremoniously was a popular trend.

Little did she know, however, her life would eventually seem as if it was on a downward spiral.

Consequently, the life of this then-teenager seemed on a constant tailspin, considering she endured what seemingly was endless chaos and turmoil.

GAME CHANGER --- Erika Sodie knew all along --- even before the untimely demise of her mother --- that God had a divine purpose for her life. As the 41-year-old Sodie tells it, the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint her Creator, especially with her mother looking down, high from above. Today, Sodie is still a flourishing entertainer, mind you --- one who also has evolved as a rising author.

GAME CHANGERErika Sodie knew all along — even before the untimely demise of her mother — that God had a divine purpose for her life. As the 41-year-old Sodie tells it, the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint her Creator, especially with her mother looking down, high from above. Today, Sodie is still a flourishing entertainer, mind you — one who also has evolved as a rising author.

At the youthful age of 18, her mother and stepfather were on the brink of divorce.

The home in which they lived was being foreclosed.

Her oldest — but young — sister had given birth to a fifth child, all while her youngest sister was trapped in the middle of it all, unsure how what apparently was a divided family would come to grips amid arguably its darkest, yet roughest times.

If that wasn’t enough to shake up what was a Christian-oriented family, Sodie had ultimately turned to the rugged, tumultuous streets, where she put her young life in harm’s way time and time again.

How could things have possibly come to this?

STAY TUNED WORLD --- Fortunately for Sodie, her upcoming book is expected to sale in record numbers, considering she’s still deemed a household name in the secular industry. Among the reasons is that she has been afforded the opportunities to share the same universal platform with such artists as Project Crew, MC Overlord, Simply Mackin, FloMob, Papa Chuck and Quince 1, Smackola, among others --- all at the tender age of 16.

STAY TUNED WORLDFortunately for Sodie, her upcoming book is expected to sale in record numbers, considering she’s still deemed a household name in the secular industry.
Among the reasons is that she has been afforded the opportunities to share the same universal platform with such artists as Project Crew, MC Overlord, Simply Mackin, FloMob, Papa Chuck and Quince 1, Smackola, among others — all at the tender age of 16.

“I was motivated to hustle every day,” Sodie, an Austin, Texas native, explained. “Just to keep a roof over our heads was the focus. I couldn’t look at it any worse than it was. Seeing my family struggle and the uncertainty of what could happen next was heart-wrenching and debilitating. I was the one brave enough, bold enough, and strong enough to do whatever needed to be done to keep us going.”

To her credit, she had become quite resilient, extremely aggressive, of sorts, in that she had fought tirelessly to help keep her family afloat, even if it meant living in life’s dreaded fast lane.

Book55That’s exactly what she did.

Then just like that, arguably her life’s grandest turning point had transpired in 1995, hitting her smack dab in the face like a Mack truck.

An up-and-coming rapper at the time who were just hours removed from having opened up for the renowned Master P and the No Limit Crew, Sodie had awaken only to discover that her mother, Doris Rogers, had passed away — a shocking occurrence that essentially brought even more heartache to a divided family that was already in dire need of a figurative heart transplant.
“Once again, everything changed,” she recalled.

Luckily for her, though, she sensed it was time to get her act together, sensed it was time to put life in its proper perspective, sensed the time had come that she steadfastly begin applying all of the life lessons about which her mother had taught her since her childhood days of growing on these dangerous Texas inner city streets.

Mama had transitioned to the other side of heaven, meaning it was time that her beloved daughter and the rest of family to carry on collectively but, most of all make her proud.

“Of course, death was always so close to home,” Sodie said. “I began engaging in things that I knew were wrong and contrary to my upbringing and the word of God. For the wages of sin is death and, once upon a time, I found myself living a very dangerous lifestyle. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when (I would die). The truth is, I can give you a million reasons or excuses why I did this or that, but the reality is it was all by choice, never by force. I owned up to it. It is so lonely at the top that you can think you’re at the bottom. Some people that are there, struggle with being there, and others are willing to lie, cheat, kill, and steal to get there.”

Still, Sodie knew all along — even before the untimely demise of her mother — that God had a divine purpose for her life.

As the 41-year-old Sodie tells it, the last thing she wanted to do was disappoint her Creator, especially with her mother looking down, high from above.

Today, Sodie is still a flourishing entertainer, mind you — one who also has evolved as a rising author.

A damn good one, too.

Bokk2With a book entitled Game Changer that is currently in the works and scheduled to be released in the coming months, Sodie acknowledges that her primary objective moving forward is to fulfill and savor God’s plan and purpose for her life through ministry, music, public speaking, and sharing her life-changing testimony with the world.

By and large, Game Changer, as Sodie explained, is the journey of her life, one that is mired by an assortment of hard lessons, trials and tribulations, highs and lows and, as Sodie points out, “a host of characters known and well known — from the church to the streets, back to the church, but always gracing the stage of life.”

Fortunately for Sodie, her upcoming book is expected to sale in record numbers, considering she’s still deemed a household name in the secular industry.

Among the reasons is that she has been afforded the opportunities to share the same universal platform with such artists as Project Crew, MC Overlord, Simply Mackin, FloMob, Papa Chuck and Quince 1, Smackola, among others — all at the tender age of 16,

“I was 16 and in New York and Melly Mel passed me the mic,” Sodie said with a grin. “That was a moment, being in the presence of greatness had become a normal thing.”

That’s not all.

She also met and opened shows for such artists as Big Daddy Kane, KRS 1, Public Enemy, D.J. Quik, SPC, the 5th Ward Boys, Zro and, as she tells it, “everybody before, between, and a few after.”

Book7“When you’re 16 and Bushwhick Bill (of the Geto Boys) comes to your show then takes your whole entourage for a night on the town in (Houston), you can’t complain to have had such encounters with great artists,” Sodie said. “Rappers like KRino and the entire South Park Coalition of H-Town showed the same love and became our H-Town family.”

This after weathering and journeying through life’s rocky, yet stormy last lane.

This after conquering life’s hard knocks.

That she managed to persevere and exemplify such resiliency in going back to school, earning her GED, advancing her education (Houston Community College, Walden University, and Allied Real Estate School) are amongst the grandest reasons Sodie is destined to keep chasing greatness.

Say what you want about her now.

But this game changer has changed the hard knocks game.

Once again.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Covington’s scholar athlete Alexis Johnson making the grades, aiming to impress scouts

AJIn case you don’t know her, allow Alexis Samantha Johnson to introduce herself.

For starters, Johnson a senior multi-sport athlete at Covington High School, an institution that is approximately 30 minutes from Memphis.

She is an honor student who is well on her way to graduating in the top 10 percent of her graduating class in the spring.

Aside from having a monumental impact in the classroom, she has become a fixture for the Lady Chargers’ cross country team.

She has routinely provided favorable contributions for Covington’s track and field squad.

GO GETTER --- As far as athletics go, Alexis Johnson works out virtually “daily” to fine-tune her mechanics, most notably her basketball fundamentals. According to the 5-foot-9 combo guard, now is not the time to become complacent, considering she’s doing everything she deems necessary to make a favorable impression upon college scouts and recruiters.

GO GETTERAs far as athletics go, Alexis Johnson works out virtually “daily” to fine-tune her mechanics, most notably her basketball fundamentals. According to the 5-foot-9 combo guard, now is not the time to become complacent, considering she’s doing everything she deems necessary to make a favorable impression upon college scouts and recruiters.

As if that’s not enough of a thorough introduction, she is the catalyst of a streaking Lady Charger basketball team that could very well find itself vying for a state championship sometime next month.

“She’s the type of kid who doesn’t want to sit around and not do anything,” said Nacquia Smith Johnson, Alexis Johnson’s mother, during a telephone interview with Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Sunday. “She’s a true competitor.”

Let alone one who, as she tells it, doesn’t shy away from the notion of what she aspires to do when she sets foot on a college campus this fall.

Surely, Alexis Johnson — who’s ranked No. 6 overall in her graduating class and boasts a 3.96 grade point average — is optimistic mightily in that she will continue to fortify academic excellence at the collegiate level.

As for engaging college athletics, she’d be the first to tell you that embarking upon such a commendable feat will only add to what figures to a memorable college experience.

In a nutshell, this vibrant, assertive student athlete who boasts an array of resiliency appears destined to go full throttle even at the college level just as she has done for a majority of her prep career.

“Playing sports in college is a dream for me, because I have been doing it my whole life,” Alexis Johnson said. “I wouldn’t want all of my hard work and dedication to (sports) to be for nothing. I want to prove to everyone who has ever doubted me and said I can’t do it. Nothing is impossible for me to accomplish.”

TRUE GENIUS --- Johnson is an honor student who is well on her way to graduating in the top 10 percent of her graduating class in the spring.

TRUE GENIUSJohnson is an honor student who is well on her way to graduating in the top 10 percent of her graduating class in the spring.

Covington basketball coach Katrisha Glass echoed Alexis Johnson’s dauntless declaration on Monday prior to her team’s afternoon practice.

“Alexis Johnson is a young lady whose character is what one would like to see in every child that they come across,” Glass said. “I have coached Alexis for the last four years in basketball, and her hard work, dedication, and perseverance is what has left a lasting impression on me.”

All things considered, her resiliency and willingness to persevere are what college scouts and recruiters ought to take in account as it pertains to expressing interest in Alexis Johnson, Glass acknowledged.

Alexis Johnson trains regularly with Team Penny AAU hoops guru Jevonte Holmes as well and with Mid-South area trainer Frank Harris.

“Alexis’ zeal to want to be the best makes her stand out from the rest of her peers,” said Glass, whose team (17-4) is first in the Region 15-AA standings heading into Tuesday night’s game at Liberty Tech in Jackson. “She is not only a great athlete, but she is also an excellent student. She is very deserving of any (scholarship) that is offered to her. Whatever Alexis sets her mind to, she will achieve it. Her humbleness and willingness to help out her teammates are qualities that will help her excel not only in sports, but also in life.”

MOM KNOWS BEST --- “She’s the type of kid who doesn’t want to sit around and not do anything,” said Nacquia Smith Johnson, Alexis Johnson’s mother, during a telephone interview with Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Sunday. “She’s a true competitor.”

MOM KNOWS BEST“She’s the type of kid who doesn’t want to sit around and not do anything,” said Nacquia Smith Johnson, Alexis Johnson’s mother, during a telephone interview with Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Sunday. “She’s a true competitor.”

As far as athletics go, Alexis Johnson works out virtually “daily” to fine-tune her mechanics, most notably her basketball fundamentals. According to the 5-foot-9 combo guard, now is not the time to become complacent, considering she’s doing everything she deems necessary to make a favorable impression upon college scouts and recruiters.

“A college that chooses me will inherit an athlete that will not give up and will do whatever it takes to get to the top,” Alexis Johnson said.

Not bad for a solid introduction.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Home of “Mothertrucking Burger,” Dallas’ Trucker’s Café garnering national presence

OH WOW!!!!! Dallas' Trucker’s Café has emerged as a fixture, in large part because of its featured menu item, the famous “Mothertrucking” Burger, a massive, bicycle-tire-size cheeseburger that will make a customary size burger seem like those sold at the White Castle franchises.

OH WOW!!!!! Dallas’ Trucker’s Café has emerged as a fixture, in large part because of its featured menu item, the famous “Mothertrucking” Burger, a massive, bicycle-tire-size cheeseburger that will make a customary size burger seem like those sold at the White Castle franchises.

DALLAS — Like many of her peers, Paulette Woods was raised in the projects, was brought up in a single-parent home.

Still, regardless of how insurmountable, tumultuous or chaotic things had become — and they surely did — Woods was taught to never disregard the notion of what it means to see from beyond where she was, to steadfastly devise ways to maximize her potential.

“Being raised in the projects was a very hard difficult time for us,” Woods told longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “So I started cooking, because my mom always had to work to support us.”

To her credit, not only was Woods a fixture in her household in that she made sure she and the rest of her siblings had home-cooked meals when their mother was away to work, but her tireless contributions in the home ultimately served as the fuel that drove her to her destiny.

AJToday, more than ever before, the Dallas Thomas Jefferson High graduated has fully connected with her divine purpose, her supreme calling, of sorts, considering her gift is routinely embraced and savored by countless individuals around the country.

AJ2Along with her husband, Jalon Woods, the Woods are owners and chief executive officers of Trucker’s Café in Dallas. Located at 8445 South Lancaster Road, roughly a fourth of a mile west of the Lancaster, Texas city limits, Trucker’s Café has undoubtedly become a fixture, particularly amongst the thousands of truck drivers who travel to and throughout the Dallas Fort-Worth area daily.

AJ8Now that this longstanding establishment — which is open six days a week from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. with the exception of Monday — has made its presence felt, thus ignited hunger amongst various social media account holders, Trucker’s Café is now starting to emerge as a popular venue for tourists to Dallas, let alone for residents through the massive Metroplex.

Housed inside of the Citgo convenient store that is adjacent to the historic Whataburger restaurant, once customers enter this ever-so-popular setting, they can’t help but notice the assortment of piping hot soul food entrees and the array of delectable fixings that come with them.

By and large, Trucker’s Café has emerged as a fixture, in large part because of its featured menu item, the famous “Mothertrucking Burger,” a massive, bicycle-tire-size cheeseburger that will make a customary size burger seem like those sold at the White Castle franchises.

AJ7Aside from its featured item, consumers can partake in the restaurant’s variety of eye-catching, mouth-watering salads and desserts. And, for those who are preparing for the upcoming Super Bowl or, perhaps planning weddings, family reunions, baby showers, board meetings, etc., the Woods and their team of well-established cooks also offer meat, vegetable and fruit party trays as well as a catering service.

A business that was established in 1995, Trucker’s Café’s foundation was erected when the Woods began exclusively serving truck drivers. This place has since become arguably of one of Texas’ finest truck stops, in large part because it has evolved as a dazzling eating destination for residents of the DFW.

All because Paulette Woods had a vision, one that was essentially birthed when she was only 14 years old, one that essentially came to fruition during those times her mother was away to work.

AJ4“We were at a women’s battle shelter and that’s how I started cooking,” Paulette Woods explained. “I was cooking for the mothers who had to work. I was babysitting and cooking dinner for everybody at the shelter at the time. I was only 14 and cooking like that…in and out of shelters…in and out of school. Thank God I made it.”

AJ3With the tireless support from her husband, family, and staff, the Woods are collectively walking in their divine purpose, a trend that is starting to become noticeably evident — all throughout Texas, where virtually everything is done big here.

“I been all over the United States and have never tasted food like we have at Trucker’s Café,” Jalon Woods, an Arlington Sam Houston High graduate, said. “We really appreciate that we are giving the opportunity to feed people in our community and, the people who are not in our community, we thank everyone for joining us in making Trucker’s Cafe possible (in Dallas). And we also thank God for blessing us with the opportunity to stay in business.”

Given its continuous success, Trucker’s Café is only expanding. So much, in fact, that that a new facility is currently in the works and is expected to open for operations in the coming months.

All because at the tender age of 14, a girl from the projects devised ways to maximize her potential.

The rest, as they say, is history.



DALLAS’ TRUCKER CAFE STAFF

Lawrence Davis (Head Chef)

Carla Johnson (Manager)

Arnold Robinson (Head Dishwasher)

Courvoisier Campbell (Pastry Chef)

Ashley Wafford (Head Cashier)

 

For more information about Trucker’s Café, for catering needs, to place party tray orders for the Super Bowl or for other events, call 972-224-0008.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

 

The Real Hairstylists of Memphis reality TV series creating a buzz in the Bluff City

Keith Turks is a man with a vision.

mEMPHISA man with a lofty, monumental vision.

A man who understands the notion of what it means to persevere and maximize his potential.

A man, who, well, on second thought, perhaps he can tell you better.

“I know how having strong faith and a vision from God will open many doors,” Turks told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.

To grasp a thorough concept of just why Turks, a native Memphian, deems it necessary to harbor and put on display a spirited temperament as it pertains to achieving success, look no further than the latest project assembled by this rising business professional.

Turks is the executive producer and mastermind behind the reality television series, The Real Hairstylists of Memphis, a new show one-hour show that is scheduled to debut on Comcast channel 31 in May.

tURKS2While a start time for the 12-episode show has yet to be determined, Turks and his six-member cast have essentially created a continuous buzz throughout the Bluff City and various message boards about their much-anticipated reality show, one that could very well catch the attention of renown producers in Hollywood.

Least we forget, Turks, who has previously produced a biopic that lasted three seasons, is a man with a vision, let alone a favorable track record in this ever-so-competitive entertainment industry.

“I was inspired by God first,” said Turks, explaining his inspiration that ultimately gave way to his desire to birth his local reality television series. “In my journey as a stylist, I have met many amazing and talented people all over. I have noticed that the talent that is in Memphis, Tennessee…most of the time, goes unnoticed.”

So much, in fact, that the Memphis Central High graduate thought it essential to do whatever was necessary to launch a compelling project that would ultimately generate positive headlines within the confines of a major U.S. city that in recent months has been mired by crime and a downtrodden economic landscape.

In a nutshell, given the outpour of anticipation, high praise and support for The Real Hairstylists of Memphis, it’s safe to assume Turks is just what the Bluff City needs at this present time.

And so forth.

MAN WITH A PLAN --- Memphis producer Keith Turks, who has previously produced a biopic that lasted three seasons, is a man with a vision, let alone a favorable track record in this ever-so-competitive entertainment industry.

MAN WITH A PLANMemphis producer Keith Turks, who has previously produced a biopic that lasted three seasons, is a man with a vision, let alone a favorable track record in this ever-so-competitive entertainment industry.

“(Memphis) has so many entrepreneurs, small business owners, singers, fashion designers etc.,” Turks said. “But most of the time, the spot light never hits home for us. I had a vision in regards to my business and brand. I also have great businessmen and women as colleagues. I felt that it was time that I put that spotlight in this city.

Did he ever.

Along with the Debbie McClennon, the show’s producer, Turks was not only committed to assembling a cast that were originally from Memphis but, above all, he steadfastly sought to produce a show that would greatly grasp — and retain — the attention of the African-American community.

“I feel that this show will benefit the black community by displaying unity amongst the community,” Turks explained. “It will show that a group of black entrepreneurs are able to come together and give back. Just overall, (this show) makes a difference in a community that has had so many negatives behind it.”

With the birthing of The Real Hairstylists of Memphis, Turks and his cast hope that Memphis’ best days — particularly as it relates to local television entertainment — are ahead of it.

“This show, I feel, will bring a positive look to the community and also the city,” Turks said. “This show will make you, laugh, cry, scream, and sometimes make you angry. But after all of those emotions, you will be able to relate to the people.”

More than anything, Turks acknowledged, The Real Hairstylists of Memphis will especially inspire the younger generation to adopt a vision, thus maximize its potential.

“Reality shows get a bad rep because you see all the back stabbing and craziness,” Turks said. “This show will show that we are people of like minds, striving for goals. And you will see those goals being met.”

As if we expected anything less from the man with a vision.

 



 

THE CAST OF ‘THE REAL HAIRSTYLISTS OF MEMPHIS’

Monica Miller (Memphis)

Atlantis White (Memphis)

Kori Randolph (Memphis)

Charlie Ponder (Memphis)

Shecowa (Wendy) Thompson (Memphis)

Keith Turks (Memphis)

 

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Rosa Fort lineman Kylon McMullen’s stock rising as he aims to impress scouts

Kylon3TUNICA, Mississippi — Fortunately for Kylon McMullen, he’s still got time.

He’s still got time to tone up on his 6-foot-2, 280-pound frame.

He’s still got time to enhance his speed in the 40-yard sprint.

He’s still got time to upgrade his mechanics on both sides of the ball.

Most importantly, he’s still got time to improve his recruiting stock as he readies for what he hopes will be a memorable senior campaign next year.

As it stands, McMullen, a junior offensive guard for Rosa Fort High, has yet to generate any scholarship offers from four-year colleges, although many whom have followed his football prowess believe that will likely change in the coming months.

For starters, Rosa Fort coach Edwin Norwood and his staff are working intensely to help increase McMullen’s stock, mostly doing the necessary things to expose their standout lineman in various camps this spring and well into the summer.

STOCK RISING? Rosa Fort football coach Edwin Norwood and his staff are working intensely to help increase Kylon McMullen’s stock, mostly doing the necessary things to expose their standout lineman in various camps this spring and well into the summer. By then, McMullen and the Lions coaching staff are confident things will begin to work out in McMullen’s favor

STOCK RISING? Rosa Fort football coach Edwin Norwood and his staff are working intensely to help increase Kylon McMullen’s stock, mostly doing the necessary things to expose their standout lineman in various camps this spring and well into the summer.
By then, McMullen and the Lions coaching staff are confident things will begin to work out in McMullen’s favor.

By then, McMullen and the Lions coaching staff are confident things will begin to work out in McMullen’s favor, in large part because, well, he’s still got time.

“No college offers right now, but hopefully that will change by next season,” McMullen told sports journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “My coaches are working on the camps I will attend this spring.”

As he implements the essential strategies he believes will draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters, McCullen has a forthright message to those are contemplating sending his letters of interest to his mailing address in the foreseeable future.

“I would like for them to know that I am a great listener, a hard worker on and off the field, and a good team player,” McMullen said. “I have been working out every day…Monday through Friday to get ready for next season.”

In the process of working intensely on his mechanics, most notably his weaknesses, McMullen fortunately has taken on a solid supporting cast besides the Rosa Fort coaching staff.

His uncle, Darrelle Steele, has proven to be one of his grandest supporters ever since McMullen began playing competitive football.

As far as Steele is concerned, that his nephew has yet to acquire any official offers is indicative of how much his talents have been overlooked in recent years.

STAR WATCH --- McMullen (No. 54) is ranked as the 60th overall recruit in Mississippi by MaxPreps for the Class of 2017.

STAR WATCHMcMullen (No. 54) is ranked as the 60th overall recruit in Mississippi by MaxPreps for the Class of 2017.

Whichever college lands McMullen, Steele said, it will be inheriting a player whose reputation is such that he possesses a wealth of resiliency on the gridiron, let alone a player who harbors a winning attitude.

WATCH KYLON IN ACTION: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1034561083295311&id=100002242879696

“When he was in sixth grade he was bigger than the other kids,” Steele said of McMullen, who is ranked as the 60th overall recruit in Mississippi by MaxPreps for the Class of 2017. “I told him he should go out for football. So he started playing in seventh grade.”

As he tells it, Steele has been blow away by his nephew’s talents ever since.

“My immediate reaction was, ‘Man, if he keeps putting in work he could be the first in the family to go to college and play sports,’” Steele said. “What normally goes through my head (on game day) in the stands is, ‘Man, he’s going to be a beast.’”

All of which is why many who have followed his rise to a prep football standout believe McMullen’s best day are well ahead of him.

“They will be inheriting a great learner and a hard worker,” said McMullen, reiterating what kind of player colleges will ultimately acquire. “I want to be the first person in my family to play college football.”
More than anything, he’s still got time to improve his recruiting stock as he readies for what he hopes will be a memorable senior campaign next year.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Memphis’ iKare Taxes enjoying success, thanks to owner and CEO Alis Rhymes

Alis Rhymes loves corporate America.

Given her immense track record in the industry, it’s safe to assume corporate America loves her just as much.

Tax2To her credit, Rhymes, 42, undoubtedly has found her niche as a dedicated working American, in large part because her track record is such that she has been a fixture in this ever-so-competitive industry for nearly two decades.

Aside from her career as an Assistant General Manager for a company based in Southeast Memphis, Rhymes also has become quite efficient as a Mid-South-area tax preparer.

How else to explain why she thought it essential to establish her very own tax service?

A graduate of Memphis Whitehaven High, Rhymes is owner and chief executive officer of iKare Taxes.

Located at 1661 International Drive, Suite 400, in Northeast Memphis, iKare Taxes has adopted the catchphrase as the “Maximum Refund Specialist,” in large part because Rhymes’ business specializes in free tax refund estimates, past year filings, IRS and tax audit assistance, a service that helps individuals recover from becoming victimized by identity theft, and $100 referrals, among other entities.

According to a spokesperson for the rising tax business that is an authorized E-file provider, iKare is professionally run and has developed a keen reputation for providing consumers and tax payers with efficient, accurate service.

So much, in fact, that if customers find it difficult locating the establishment, an iKare representative will come to them to meet their tax preparation needs.

“My competitive nature has always been the driving force in my life,” Rhymes, a former Mid-South-area amateur basketball, bowling and swimming standout, told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Failure isn’t an option. Winning is the only mentality I have.”

TaxA trend that, to her credit, was essentially organized when Rhymes was in her late 20s.

So far, so good for this rising business owner.

“I have been preparing all forms of taxes for about 15 years,” said Rhymes, assessing her lengthy track record as a professional tax preparer. “It started with just doing a few friends here and there and eventually it became a business that was growing.”

As Rhymes recalls, people who sought help with their taxes had ultimately come from all over the Bluff City.

“I wasn’t aware of how many clients I had taken on,” Rhymes explained. “I enjoy making sure my customers are comfortable and understand exactly what’s going on with their taxes.”

Today, however, Rhymes said iKare Taxes are devising ways to expand beyond the Mid-South.

“My business caters to all people who are of working age and either received a W2 or 1099 form from their employer or are self-employed,” Rhymes said. “I haven’t taken the business any further than Memphis, but my goal is to expand across Memphis, Nashville, and Kentucky.”

Given her notable track record as a professional tax preparer, Rhymes realizes more than anything that because of her devout faith, all things are possible.

“My personal mission is to follow a dream I never thought was possible,” Rhymes said. “I want to inspire anyone who crosses my path that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. What man said wasn’t possible, God said it was.”

For more details about iKare Taxes, call Alis Rhymes at 901-387-8598.

 

AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.