Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sister Days


On my journey to connect with Women Making Moves, I recently met 365 women who were doing just that. And I met them all at once. You're probably wondering how I met so many women in one setting. Was it a conference or another woman-focused event? Actually, it wasn't. I was honored to learn about these women through a book, "Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African American Women's History."

Author Janus Adams highlights one woman each day of the year and tells the story of what makes them outstanding. This is a powerful book. I've written before on Women Making Moves about the negative images of black women that are so often portrayed in the public. Janus hopes to counter those negative images with positive one this this book. On her website, Janus comments that she began a career in publishing "when negative images of race and gender began to taint the lives of her twin daughters."

"Sister Days" showcases women who are well-known to those who quietly made moves, but became an inspiration to women regardless. Examples include Charlayne Hunter who helped intergrate the University of Georgia on Janury 6, 1961. She went on to become a noted journalist with CNN, NPR and PBS. She also writes of Anne Hampton who on November 19, 1852 was successful in getting her husband released from slavery. Twelve years prior, he was lured from their home in upstate New York to New Orleans where he was sold as a slave. Anne never stopped believing he would return home, and he did.

The stories compiled by Janus Adams are amazing and inspirational. We're all aware that women are synonymous for multi-tasking, taking care of others and ultimately doing it all. This book confirms that women are wonderful people and most of us are Women Making Moves.

Women, start making your Moves today!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jennifer Dyer Buddin & Sunny Rakestraw Gray

This post was originally featured on www.gutsglamgrace.com.
What if you could have all the information ever given to you by your girlfriends in one place? It would include recommendations to the best boutiques, spas, beauticians and other businesses catering to the needs of women. Well there’s no need to look any farther. The Little Black Book, launched in 1999, is the brainchild of Jennifer Dyer Buddin and Sunny Rakestraw Gray. The word-of-mouth directory for the busy woman on the go was originally launched in Charleston, South Carolina. As people say, women are natural net-workers and The Little Black Book is the perfect outlet for women to share information when time is a factor. Guts, Glam and Grace received the opportunity to learn more about the founder’s motivation to launch this much needed service for women.

Jennifer and Sunny proclaim they are both living the life of their dreams. Since leaving their jobs as advertising sales representatives, both women have committed to helping women save time by offering them a one-stop publication of services. The decision to pursue their dream of creating
The Little Black Book has been a revolutionary experience and has helped Jennifer and Sunny achieve some of their personal goals. “I live in my dream city, I work daily to continue the growth of a fantastic publication that provides a valuable service to women and I have a supportive network of family and friends,” said Sunny. Jennifer goes on to say that, “I’ve found that the reality of life is even BETTER than living the dream!”

Both women realize their dreams would not have come true without supportive people in their lives. Jennifer credits her parents for leading by example and for their tremendous support. She also acknowledges her husband of almost 20 years for having patience and an unwavering belief of her dreams. Sunny has a similar story. She says her mom dreamed along with her, but also ensured she became the independent women she is today. Additionally, Sunny credits a former teacher for helping to cultivate her aspirations. Mrs. Woodlief, Sunny’s high-school English and journalism teacher, continuously supported her goals and enhanced her writing skills, which have been vital in the publishing of The Little Black Book.

The co-founders of The Little Black Book hope to serve as role models to other women. Their business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit allows them to lead lives they didn’t foresee 10 years ago. Jennifer suggests women make plans, but also open themselves up to what the universe has in store. A sense of work-life balance is essential. Women should acknowledge they are busy, but also take time to savor life’s experiences. Sunny encourages women not to give up. “Anything worth having takes time and hard-work,” said Sunny. She goes on to say that the baby steps women take will eventually add-up to giant leaps! Sunny also advices women to write down their goals to ensure they are in plain sight and say them aloud as often as possible.

Jennifer and Sunny provide great insight into what it takes to live the life you were meant to have. Don’t wait until tomorrow to live the fabulous life you deserve.

Women, start making your Moves today!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Taylor Ann Bozydaj

This is a first for Women Making Moves. This post is dedicated to an 11-year-old resident of Milton, New York. Since the age of four, Taylor Bozydaj has donated over 1,000 pounds of pet food as well as blankets and towels to animal shelters in her community. This story originally appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Once I read it, I realized Taylor was a young lady making moves who would eventually become a woman making moves.
Management staff at the Animal Hospice of New York, which has received donations from Taylor, is impressed and grateful that someone Taylor's age is so devoted to community service. She is credited for being a primary reason that the shelter's animals are well taken care of.
I'm extremely impressed that Taylor embarked on a project that allows her to help the community and put others before herself by forgoing birthday presents and donating money to animal shelters. While it's not often reported, youth are playing a more significant role in their communities. I volunteer six hours per month with a teen youth group. One of the group's focus includes community service. Throughout the year the program participants volunteer at a nursing home, Meals on Wheels and It's My Park Day. My mentees have learned valuable lessons through these projects. I foresee that more young women will take the torch and become leaders in their communities.

Women, start making your Moves today!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sil Lai Abrams

This post was originally featured on www.gutsglamgrace.com.

You have to give to get! These are the empowering words spoken by mother, author and motivational speaker Sil Lai Abrams. No More Drama: Nine Steps to Transforming a Breakdown Into a Breakthrough is the name of Sil Lai’s book and she is determined to help women start the New Year off with a bang.

Sil Lai is a successful woman, but Sil Lai stands apart from others because she has experienced positives as well as negatives in her life that are not usually equated with the lives of successful women. Sil Lai’s experience of being at the top of her game to the bottom and back at the top again, gives her the insight to lead other women to live an empowering life.

No more drama is a theme women should take into the New Year. With the constant changes occurring in the lives of many, including the economic crisis and the possibility of layoffs, many women are stressed. Sil Lai highlighted that stress can lead to women not dealing honestly with their issues, but rather participating in activities where the consequences are not thought of before hand. We’re all familiar with this; blowing money on items that aren’t necessities is one of them.

The profound steps in the SEPIA Process came about as Sil Lai was experiencing a major shift in her life. “I was in the process of a negative breakup and I honestly didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Sil Lai. While her story of an unhealthy relationship and break-up are not unique, the experience allowed Sil Lai to do something other women may have not been able to do. She dramatically changed her life and committed herself to helping other women change their’s as well.

Sil Lai encourages women to following the nine-step process, which will teach women to acknowledge the truth; learn acceptance; take action; make a commitment; focus; have faith; accept love; show humility and make the world a better way through charity towards others. “I had to choose the way I viewed and responded to events in my life,” said Sil Lai. This break through and acknowledgement of the power she has over her life has made Sil Lai an inspiration to women who are determined to take control of their own destiny this year.

Going into the New Year, everyone tends to have a number of resolutions. Whether it’s a weight lost, career aspirations or finding a mate, women should be realistic and take ownership of their resolutions to achieve them mentions Sil Lai. During our conversation Sil Lai mentioned a quote she tends to live by. “Water rises and sinks to its on level.” This is a profound quote that women should keep handy when the stress of keeping it together becomes overwhelming. No more drama in 2009 is certain to lead to a fantastic year.

NO MORE DRAMA by Sil Lai Abrams. $15.95 http://www.amazon.com/

~Tiffany Winbush

If you would like to be The Girlfriend of the Week, email your headshot and bio to GGT@tinaleemedia.com.

Friday, January 9, 2009

WMM~Amber Naslund

One of my Twitter connections informed me of Amber Naslund's new position with Radian6. She was named Director of Community for Radian6, a service that provides social media monitoring for PR and advertising firms. I'm not sure how much you know about Amber, but she's an all-star in the social media arena.

Amber's primary duties will include community building and outreach, client engagement and assisting companies with their online brands. Being that Amber is so heavily involved in the social media space, she shares her insights on branding and social media in her blog, Altitude Branding. Brandig is an extremely popular topic at the moment, whether it's companies or individuals attempting to establish successful brands. But Amber stands out because she is very aware of how to create a viable brand. Read Amber's take on her new role as Director of Community.

I have to congratulate Amber for her new role with Radian6. I had an opportunity to meet the company's VP of Business Development, Chris Ramsey, at a Technology Thursday event hosted by PRSA-NY. Chris was passionate about Radian6's products, which made the audience excited to learn more. It's encouraging to have another woman active in the technology field. I've discussed women in technology previously on WMM and our representation is slim. Amber is doing her part to make sure women are represented at the technology table. Are you participating in the technology community too? Share how you're involved in the comments section. And finally, join me in sending Amber a round of applause on her new opportunity by leaving a congratulatory comment below.

Women, start making your Moves today!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WMM~Caroline Kennedy

I'm sure some people will disagree with my decision to highlight Caroline Kennedy as a woman making moves. But she certainly deserves credit for campaigning for the New York State Senate seat vacated by Senator Hillary Clinton. Caroline wasn't even considered a viable replacement for Senator Clinton, but recently she has inserted herself into the spotlight.
I think she was originally hesitate to step-up and announce her interest in the Senate seat when Clinton was first selected as Secretary of State. But this is no longer the case. Search Caroline's name on Google, Huffington Post or any other search engine and you'll see tons of stories regarding her desire for Governor Patterson to appoint her to the senate seat.
Isn't this a woman making moves? Caroline concluded that she should be the next Junior Senator of New York State and she's taken the necessary strategic steps to accomplish this goal. The women highlighted on Women Making Moves have taken these same exact steps to achieve the accomplishments in their life. I'm not here to debate whether Caroline Kennedy is the best person to represent New York in the Senate, but she is on her way to becoming the standout choice.
Women, start making your Moves today!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

WMM~"You"

Happy New Year Women Making Moves! I've been on a mini hiatus visiting family in Shreveport, Louisiana for the holidays. I had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends I haven't seen in a year. I'm not sure how much you guys know about Louisiana, but it's slow and completely different from where I live now, NYC. But never-the-less, I enjoyed spending the holidays with those I love. But now it's time to get back to showcasing women who are making moves!
I know you're probably looking at the title and wondering who "you" refers to. You're also probably having a flashback to 2006 when Time Magazine named its Person of the Year "You." There's no need to wonder any farther, the you I'm referring to is YOU of course. Seriously let's think about it. Most of the women I come into contact with are super women. They take care of themselves, their families, work full-time jobs, volunteer, donate to various charities and the list goes on. There are times when we as women underestimate our accomplishments, but we shouldn't because we are truly magnificent people. WMM highlights extraordinary women, but I've also written several posts about people every reader could relate to. These posts were titled, mothers and my girls.
Women can sometimes set impossible expectations. I know because I often do this myself. But there are times when I have to step back and applaud myself for the things I've accomplished. I relocated to NYC almost four years ago with very little, landed a job in two weeks and moved into an amazing apartment with my husband. I've also made a number of close friends and I've made a commitment to highlighting and uplifting women through Women Making Moves. These are some great accomplishments if I can say so myself.
As the New Year begins, I'm encouraging women to not be so hard on themselves. We are super women and sometimes we deserve pats on our back, not from other people, but from ourselves.
Women, start making your Moves today!