Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health New York Food Service Manager Doug Patton is Today’s Honoree

In his 20 years on the job, Patton has always tried to keep a sunny disposition – and plenty of so-called “dad jokes” on hand. (e.g., “Where do ships go when they are sick? Well, the dock of course!”)

Patton’s kind, caring attitude – and positive approach to all he does – lifts the spirits of the individuals in our care and our employees every day.

Humor: The secret ingredient

Several years ago – to lighten the mood in Devereux New York’s business office – Patton began adding jokes to food service bills he submitted to his team members.

“I wanted to let my colleagues know that I cared about them, and to show them that life is not all about business,” said Patton. “All the jokes I share are corny, short and clean, and typically tie into a given holiday or life experience.”

Patton also strives to bring smiles to the faces of the youth he serves at Devereux New York. One day, when a student – who was helping him mop the dining room floor – seemed down, Patton cracked a joke and encouraged him to come up with one of his own.

“After a few weeks, the student finally told me his joke. It turns out, his whole classroom got involved,” shared Patton. “This opened the door and enabled me to form stronger relationships with our students. I visit them at lunch to hear their latest jokes. They even made me a poster with some of their favorites.”

Lunch with a side of wit

Recently, Patton began adding jokes – printed on tiny strips of paper – to the boxed lunches he creates for various meetings held on campus. Diners eagerly eat up his unwavering wit, along with his team’s tasty eggplant, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, guacamole and strawberry shortcake.

“The jokes add a personal touch to our boxed lunches,” explained Patton. “I consider everyone who walks through our doors – individuals, employees and visitors alike – to be family. I do things like this because that is what family does for family.”

During a recent visit, Devereux’s national Quality Improvement (QI) team praised Patton for his deliciously thoughtful meals.

“We want to thank Doug and his staff for everything they do to help brighten the day of all who visit Devereux New York – and for truly exemplifying the values of Servant Leadership by putting people first,” the QI team said. “What better way to bring people together than through good food and good jokes?

Visit for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifestyle and Procrastination Expert Chris Cooper is Today’s Honoree

Seen on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX,  TWO TIME #1 Best-Selling Author, Lifestyle & Procrastination Expert Chris Cooper is one of the most dynamic, engaging and accomplished authors, coaches, trainers and speakers in America. With three academic degrees, numerous professional certifications, book smarts and street smarts this young man of vision, passion and charisma has done it all! From being the youngest Senior Manager ever with a major Fortune 100 Company to starting three businesses, to running with the bulls in Spain and even Walking on Fire, Chris’ life has indeed  been and continues to be an exciting adventure.

Chris’ recent accolades include being named Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, being featured in The IMPRINT Magazine as “Young & Relentless”, being featured in Dunia International Magazine, being featured on the UNCF Empower ME Tour, The AT&T 28 Days Movers & Shakers Campaign, being named one of Power 30 under 30, and being named one of GXL Magazine’s Most Influential People.

Chris has worked and consulted for over 55 Fortune 500 Companies saving them millions of dollars and has transferred that success to his own practice in which he achieves outstanding results for his clients by implementing a customized need-focused approach utilizing best-in-class coaching tools and techniques. His no-nonsense process and system gets results!

His Motto: Breakthroughs are Sexy, So get your sexy on!

Visit for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Selah Way Foundation and Selah Freedom Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth Melendez Fisher is Today’s Honoree

Elizabeth Melendez Fisher is the Co-Founder and President/CEO of The Selah Way Foundation and Co-Founder/CEO of Selah Freedom. Headquartered in the Florida Suncoast, Selah Freedom is a national not-for-profit that focuses on ending sex trafficking and exploitation. Fisher is passionate about protecting our own local American children. Since Selah Freedom’s inception in 2011, she has led the organization with financial growth of over 200% annually. With her direction Selah Freedom has launched four nationally renowned programs: Safe Housing, Teen Prevention, Awareness and Outreach, through which Selah Freedom partners with and trains the FBI, local law enforcement and StatesAttorney’s offices throughout the nation. Selah Freedom educatesthousands on this issue every year including children, adults, community stakeholders, NPOs, government officials, school systems, and more. Houston Police Department is one of many agencies that was trained by Selah Freedom in best practices prior to tackling the rise of sex trafficking during the 2017 Super Bowl. The organization serves thousands of survivors and at-risk youth annually through each of their successful programs every year.

Accolades of the organization include being identified by the Attorney General and Governor’s offices of Florida as setting the highest standards and measurements statewide and being upheld as the model for best practices as an organization nationally. This ability to scale allows them not only to train countless other organizations, but to replicate their services and reach survivors from all over the country. Fisher oversees each programmatic arm of the organization nationally, incorporating hundreds of volunteers, faith partners and community leaders impacting the fight to end this crime and bring light to the root issue of childhood sexual abuse and trauma.

​Fisher has been highlighted and described as, “Part healer, part businesswoman, all resolve—if Selah Freedom is bringing light into the darkness, as the slogan says, then Fisher is the one behindthe megawatt.” She is the recipient of the prestigious Tampa Bay Business Woman of the Year Award and has been featured in the Herald Tribune, Tampa Times, Chicago Women Magazine, SRQ Magazine, WGN-TV and Radio, ABC, Fox, NBC News, METV, WBEZ Chicago as well as Bay News 9 and other notable publications and broadcasts. View her TEDx Talk, “Sex Trafficking In Our own Backyard.” Elizabeth has her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology.

Visit for more information

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ajax Union CEO Joe Apfelbaum is Today’s Honoree

Joe Apfelbaum is the CEO of Ajax Union, a B2B digital marketing agency based in Brooklyn, NY. Joe is a business strategist, marketing expert and certified Google trainer. Joe is the Author of his new book High Energy Secrets, How he lost 95 pounds and has more energy than ever. When he is not Mojovating entrepreneurs at events and on social media he chills in Brooklyn with his Wife and 5 kids.

Who is Joe Apfelbaum?

Joe Apfelbaum, brings more than thirteen years to the online business, technology and marketing community. Serving as CEO and Co-Founder of Ajax Union,, he has been featured on Fox Business Network and Fox Business News and was selected by Google as a Certified Google Trainer. Using his humor and candor to address a wide range of topics that cover Online Marketing & Business Development including Search Engine Optimization; SEO, Pay-Per-Click; PPC, Social Media and Web Development, Joe has educated thousands to improve upon their business and online success.

What is Ajax Union?

Ajax Union is a comprehensive internet marketing agency with a track record for client success and satisfaction. With offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Ajax Union serves business of all kinds and across many different industries, from mom ‘n pop retailers to major manufacturers. Really, we’re just a bunch of nerds who can help you grow your business online.

Visit or for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entrepreneur and Podcast Host Melissa DaSilva is Today’s Honoree

Melissa DaSilva is an entrepreneur, podcast host, therapist, hypnotist and artist.

Melissa started her career in the social work field.  She has worked in agencies and schools for many years.  Always wanting to make more of an impact on society, she started the mental health agency East Coast Mental Wellness.  She has created an environment that gives clinicians a place to do work that they love, so they can help clients make the change they so desperately want.

Melissa’s specialties include helping others get unstuck in their lives through the use of coaching, therapeutic techniques and  hypnosis.  Melissa is also the creator and host of the successful LGBTQ+ podcast Pride Connections.  She has been published on many website blogs and featured as a guest on several international podcasts.

When not working Melissa enjoys spending time creating art, reading and connecting with others.  She is a proud wife and pet parent.

Visit for more information.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rental Property Expert Lisa Phillips is Today’s Honoree

Lisa Phillips helps African American Professionals build profitable rental property portfolios. Her clients are generally first generation college, first generation white collar, and this is the best way to wealth investing in minority neighborhoods.

After a foreclosure in the bloated Las Vegas, NV real estate market, and her second lay off, Lisa Phillips found herself with  alone, with no job, halfway across the United States from friends and family. She was left with a 35k condo and only enough money to renovate the place doing the work herself to stretch her unemployment check.

It was the bottom for this electrical engineer with no job, however, it not only gave her a solid foundation of repair maintenance and costs, but also a taste of how owning real estate can be affordable (35k or less), and keep a shelter over your head during the hard times. And how to make money from it. These were hard won lessons are the ones that  shapes Lisa’s vision of the future today, and the legacy she is trying to leave behind.

After purchasing 4 rental properties around or under 30k in OH, MD, and VA, Lisa Phillips has learned the hard and easy ways of real estate investing in rural, inner-city, and midsized cities properties, all in working class neighborhoods. She is now focused on doing one thing she loves to do: Showing how EVERYONE can affordably start real estate investing for high profits and cash flow, and that its open to everyone with a little ingenuity. Every month there is another story of Lisa helping another investor realize monthly income, who was too scared before coming to this site.

You will find her approach different, refreshing, out the box, but extremely practical. Which is why the video blog is growing DAILY! So, join the club of her 7000+ youtube subscribers, 7300+ twitter followers, 700+ facebook fanatics and 100 group Sub30k Mastermind Group.

This isn’t a gimmick, Lisa can go to most cities and find houses under 30k within 80 miles. Living in Washington DC, Lisa has purchased 2 within 35 miles and 1 within 90 miles. Lisa also goes into the intricacies of investing in a region long distance, because sometimes the numbers just don’t make sense where you actually live for any positive rental income. (Always practical).

More specifically, Lisa shares this through personal stories of awkward moments, and using the input and advice in consultation and interviews with other real estate investors, lawyers, and CPAs. All of this to give the public the tools to get start investing in the properties that will earn them significant profits, all without them having to go through the trial and errors. If you want to learn some of the tactics Lisa uses, all you have to do is enter your name and ema

Visit for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation Consultant Ariel Snapp is Today’s Honoree

As a coach for creatives and leaders, Ariel helps people unlock creativity in order to feel happier, tell better stories and make a larger impact on the world. She’s led creative teams for over a decade and deeply understands the tension between art and service. Since she was a child, Ariel has always loved dreaming up future worlds through imagery and writing. As a speaker and author, she has been featured in prominent journals and blogs, written a fantasy novel and compiled a collection of art and poetry in the book, RESHAPE. She believes that what is missing most from our world is soulful connection and playful, creative ways of being. She strives to teach and embody them in all that she creates. She’s a mom of two girls, and it’s a big part of how she designs her life.

Visit for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment