DeMya Milligan is Today’s Honoree

When you come into the life of someone at 6 years and you get to see them graduate from High School and now see them graduate from Valdosta State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts it is time to celebrate. DeMya has been in many plays and Productions including the Columbus State University Active Shooter Video. As a youth she developed her voice into a great vessel in the Friendship Baptist Church choir and as a young woman she has earned the respect of her peers behind the scenes as a Media Specialist.

The best for her is yet to come and I wish her nothing but what she already is and that is greatness. Thank for being in my life and for being Today’s Honoree


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Author and Owner of ProSport CPA Dr. John Karaffa is Today’s Honoree

About The Book:

When it comes to finances, there are no hail Mary passes or buzzer beater moments that will score you financial security. Like a professional athlete, you have to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best, and always give 100 percent. And if all goes according to the game plan, you’ll walk away a winner.

That’s what Certified Public Accountant and former professional basketball player Dr. John Karaffa—the tax pro for the pros—teaches his A-list clients. In Touchdown Finance: Personal Finance Tips from the Pros, Karaffa advises readers that they don’t have to have the bank account of a professional athlete in order to learn from their financial failures and success stories. In a simplistic and direct writing style, along with words of advice from athletes in the NFL, MLB, Olympians and more, Touchdown Finance serves as the ultimate personal finance playbook.

Touchdown Finance tackles many financial burdens that haunt a lot of Americans today, and tips that can overcome them, such as:
•Financial hits and misses his clients have taken—and what people with any type of salary can learn from them
•The basics of personal finance stability that can transition to smart investment choices
•Analyzing spending habits and net worth, which may resolve you to become aware about your savings and protecting your assets
•The harmful overspending habits of Americans, and the best ways to resolve them.

About The Author:

Dr. John Karaffa understands sports and taxes, which is the perfect combination for this book. He’s a Butler Bulldog at heart. That’s where he played college basketball before competing for twelve seasons professionally overseas. While playing in Germany, he used his accounting degree at a Big 4 global tax firm and now has more than thirty years of experience in the industry.

After his professional basketball career, John realized the need for tax accountants who understand the unique challenges faced by professional athletes. He founded and is the President of ProSport CPA, a Virginia-based accounting firm. ProSport CPA is the leading tax firm in professional sports, serving more than 500 clients from all major leagues.

John is a sought-after speaker about sports tax and has been featured in publications such as GQ, Accounting Today, Journal of Accountancy, Bloomberg Tax, Nerd Wallet, Fox Business, and Global Sports Law and Taxation Reports.

If John is not at the office or at home with his wife and four kids, you might find him on a basketball court in his community or joining a group of friends for pick-up games. He’ll never lose his love for sports.

For more infomratio0n please visit

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Internet Expert Stephan Paternot is Today’s Honoree

About The Book:

Before Facebook’s arrival in 2004 and social media’s subsequent ubiquity, there was — the first-ever social networking site, created by dot-com era darlings Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman. Launched from their college dorm room at Cornell, after a meteoric rise, became world-famous for its billion-dollar IPO in 1998. Only to quickly plummet toward the depths.

The youngest-ever CEO of a public company, Paternot was just twenty-seven years old when he first wrote and released A Very Public Offering: A Rebel’s Story of Business Excess, Success, and Reckoning — an intimately personal account of the rise and fall of published by John Wiley & Sons in 2001.

Now, Paternot has released an updated edition of his memoir — reissued to celebrate the 20th anniversary of‘s IPO, which expands upon Stephan’s story featured in National Geographic’s limited series, Valley of the Boom, premiering January 13th, 2019.

A singular and significant first-person history of, in Paternot’s words, “the crazy era in American business history that ostensibly embodied,” the 2018 edition of A Very Public Offering contains a new epilogue that addresses a range of timely topics in today’s social, economic, and tech industry landscapes.

Setting the record straight on Paternot’s past and present, version 2.0 of A Very Public Offering sees one of the internet’s first whiz kids all grown up: analyzing the deformation of modern online identity, offering hard-won lessons and clear advise for future generations of innovators, and addressing what needs to happen for the next tech revolution.

About The Author:

Stephan Paternot is co-founder and CEO of Slated, the world’s first online film finance marketplace, where over 1,200 films have received over $1.25 billion in investor introductions as of 2018. Stephan is also co-founder of PalmStar, a film production and financing company that has helped bring to life over 30 films including HEREDITARY (2018), COLLATERAL BEAUTY (2016), SING STREET (2016) and JOHN WICK (2014). In addition, Stephan is the founder and general partner of the Actarus Funds, which have backed companies including LendingClub, SecondMarket, Indiegogo, AngelList, Digital Currency Group, and more.

Prior to these ventures, Paternot is best known for co-founding one of the first Internet community sites,, in 1994. The company set stock market history when it went public in 1998 with a record-setting IPO, pushing the company valuation to over $1 billion. Over a six-year span, the company grew to over 300 employees, and the website became one of the top thirty most trafficked sites in the world. In 1999 Stephan won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and in 2001 published his memoir, A Very Public Offering, detailing his experience at A Very Public Offering was updated and reissued in 2018 in conjunction with the worldwide release of the National Geographic Television series Valley of the Boom, in which Paternot is featured as a character.

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Author and Foster Care Advocate Keri Vellis is Today’s Honoree

Keri and her husband Ted became licensed as foster parents about five years ago after Ted, who is in law enforcement, had a particularly grueling night on the job. He came home from work and told Keri about a very young child being left in the wake of a sad and violent domestic incident. “He said, ‘I wish I could have taken her home,’” Keri recalled. After that, despite the challenges of raising their own young children, the couple decided they could handle one or two more.

The new foster mom searched for a storybook that could gently address the topic to help ease the transition for the displaced children. When she couldn’t find anything suitable, she decided to write her own books for foster children and adoptive kids as well as children who have been abused and neglected.

Keri wrote Sometimes…A Story of Transition for Foster and Adopted Children for foster parents to pick up when they are seeking tools to help them succeed at the often-challenging task of supporting and nurturing foster children. When I Was Little was written to for kids who have been a victim of abuse. Her books provide an identifiable story and comforting resolution for such children, whoare often so isolated and feel this has only happened to them. The books help them feel not so alone and reinforce they are not the only person this has happened to. Keri knew she needed to find an illustrator who could convey the emotions and tone of her story with lively and colorful art. In a twist of fate, she was introduced to illustrator Jin Lehr, who happened to be a one-time foster child herself. Having aged out of the system, Jin understood the emotions of what Keri had written because she had gone through it as a child.

The book is an ideal tool to have available in social service agencies, law enforcement agencies, daycare and schools, as well as to have in a home library where foster children are living. Foster and resource families will find this book both helpful and inspirational. Even older children could relate to the feelings of sadness, loss and betrayal that are simply depicted in Keri’s books.

Keri’s Kids is dedicated to placing the books in the hands of the thousands of at-risk and foster children nationwide. Contributors at may designate a specific state or a single agency where they want their books to be sent. The funds that Keri’s Kids raises goes into printing and publishing more books for at-risk children.

Visit for more information.

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Shaving Expert Douglas Smythe is Today’s Honoree

Douglas Smythe was first introduced to traditional shaving as a child watching his dad shave on the weekends, fast forward to today and find him and his business, Phoenix Shaving, trailblazing on the forefront of the Traditional Wet Shaving revival we are currently seeing crop up around the world.

Having created his first perfume at age 8 with his chemistry set the die was cast. After college he moved to Central America where he lived in a hammock at the edge of the rain forest. While there he developed an after bite type solution that relieved the inflammation of bug bites. The product became popular with both locals and tourist alike, so much so, four years later he was back in the USA producing and shipping his wares to Costa Rica.

Eventually his passion for male grooming and traditional shaving became the focal point of his business and Phoenix Shaving was born. Almost immediately, folks began to take notice of Phoenix Shaving’s daring scents and creative approach to all things shaving and within 2 years both him and his business partner were featured in Forbes Magazine.

Douglas is also co-host of the popular morning show I’d Lather Be Shaving and organizer of The Big Shave West, a yearly “Shave Festival” held each year outside of Los Angeles in sunny Pasadena, California. He is a lively online personality and a dynamic public speaker on all things male grooming with a concentration in the art and technique of traditional shaving.

Documentary on The Big Shave West, year 2:

Prior podcast appearances: Fit Man Project, Gentlemen’s Scofflaw, Niche Pursuits, Passive Income, The Cutting Edge Wet Shaving Podcast, Moustache & Blade.

Douglas also runs the YouTube show I’d Lather Be Shaving.

Links/Social media:
Twitter: Douglas_Smythe
Instagram: phoenix_shaving

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Author Steve Pemberton is Today’s Honoree

About The Book:

Hope for the Holidays: Digital release of the USA Today Best Selling Memoir, “A Chance in the World,” reveals how lauded global executive Steve Pemberton’s disturbing, tremendously moving and highly inspirational story of persistence and perseverance has resulted in a legendary corporate executive career and ‘paying it forward’ advocacy work for kids ‘aging out’ of foster care system across U.S.

From the day he was five-years-old and dropped off at his foster home of the next eleven years, Steve Pemberton’s days are filled with loneliness, fear, uncertainty and trauma. Along the way, through small acts of kindness from a neighbor that fortuitously included a box of books, Steve decides to fight in whatever way he can. Against all odds, he succeeded, graduating college and becoming a wildly successful and revered global corporate C-suite executive whose worked with the likes of iconic tech innovator—one of the 10 largest businesses in the world, Walgreens, and now with social engagement leader Globoforce.

One of America’s most inspiring executives, Steve has shared his powerful story and moved millions. This across social media and at more than 250 events he’s presented with for some of the biggest organizations in the world, including IBM, AT&T, Nissan, Southwest Airlines, United Way, National PTA, Boys & Girls Club, and J.P. Morgan.

Indeed, Steve’s story is one of conquest, detailing how he overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to grow into a man of resilience, determination and vision. So compelling is his experience, a feature film based on his top-selling autobiography—A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home” (Thomas Nelson, Paperback)—has been turned into a major motion picture distributed by Cinemark, which debuted nationwide in over 1,000 theaters on May 30, 2018.  The book and film recounts Steve’s hurts and despair, but also his triumph against daunting obstacles. It’s a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of the human spirit’s ability to find hope, strength and forgiveness in the darkest of times, which readers are often moved to share with their family, friends, and neighbors.

Starting December 1, 2018, the film available as a digital release via On Demand on local cable providers including Verizon, Xfinity, Direct TV and Time Warner.

The movie is actually based on the now revised and expanded edition of Steve’s celebrated book,” in which his story is further elaborated upon with fresh reflections that have left so many readers forever changed. This moving account spotlights a young man’s determination to move forward in life, inspiring us all to reflect on the current, problematic state of the American Foster Care system.

About The Author:

Best Selling Author, Philanthropist, Acclaimed Speaker, and Senior Level Executive for the Likes of, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Globoforce

Steve Pemberton’s story is about defying seemingly insurmountable odds to become a trail-blazing corporate executive, enlightened diversity leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker. His best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World, recounts his triumphant life journey and drive to become a man of resilience, determination and vision. Now an upcoming major motion picture, A Chance in the World further amplifies Steve’s highly motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere.

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Author Robin Stevens Payes is Today’s Honoree

About The Book:

What if a runaway science fair scheme and your parents’ smart device suddenly gave you the power to bend time?

When science-smart Charley Morton decides to build Leonardo da Vinci’s futuristic designs for a time machine for the middle school science fair, her secret plan is to take it for a spin. Her dream: to meet her Renaissance hero and learn the secrets of his success.

But the past proves a treacherous place for girls with brains and a smart device from a future that da Vinci, himself, can’t wait to try out!

Edge of Yesterday aims to transform learning through story, interactive engagement and hands-on experiences. The mission: to inspire young people to pursue their dreams.

But, as Charley notes, “It is not enough to dream; we must do!”

About The Author:

Robin Stevens Payes, a social marketing consultant and science writer, is the author of Edge of Yesterday, a teen time travel novel series. She created the Edge of Yesterday interactive platform to pioneer a new form of engaged “learning through story.”

Visit for more information.


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