Author and Entrepreneur Therese Allison is Today’s Honoree

Therese Allison (Huntington Beach, CA, grew up in La Canada, CA, born in Hollywood) is a self-made success story, mom and Author of “Playing for Keeps – How a 21st century businesswoman beat the boys” (self-help memoir) – who empowers women and men to succeed in business and life. 

BUSINESS SUCCESS

To help others succeed, Allison openly shares her career success story. Readers learn how she became financially independent at age 38, and retired early at 43 to spend quality time with her 3 children. Based on her 20-year career, Allison’s new book uncovers her “16 Pearls of Wisdom,” “Velvet Glove for Women” approach (using humor while being smart/firm), “Lucy Moments” (self-deprecating stories that broke barriers) and how her unknown heritage helped her “break the glass ceiling” in a “man’s world” in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Using these self-taught skills, Allison became the first female producing Partner in an insurance brokerage company tied to Lloyd’s of London where for 300 years, women weren’t allowed on the underwriting floor. 

As someone who had to learn early how to fend for herself and won competitively in sports, Allison initially had no idea where she got her drive. While she was born in Hollywood, she grew up in La Canada (a wealthy area nearby). She always felt like her family struggled because her dad was a carpet salesman making $25,000/year. As a result, Allison took on more responsibility and learned the importance of winning and earning money at an early age. 

Visit http://thereseallison.com/about/ for more information.  

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Christian Country Rock Artist and Minister Randy Seedorff is Today’s Honoree

Randy Seedorff has been writing and performing for over 30 years, with his interest in music starting at the young age of 11 when his mother gave him his first guitar.  But it was during his teens that he met singer, songwriter, guitarist and good friend Bill Abernathy.  They frequently appeared at local venues in the Kansas City Area playing Americana and folk covers as well as co-written original tunes.  That friendship and collaboration continues today. 

In 1992 Randy joined the popular Kansas City based bluegrass group Greenside Up as its lead singer and guitarist and performed with them until 1999.  During that time he fell victim to an armed robbery that profoundly changed his life.  The experience turned his full attention to both his life and music, and he rededicated himself to serving God.  From 1999-2001 Randy studied at Midwestern Theological Seminary and began serving as a worship leader. 

In 2006, Randy met British born singer songwriter, recording artist and “brother from another mother” Shane Rootes and joined him as part of the worship leader team at River of Life Church in Kansas City, MO. 

Randy founded the group Soul Purpose in 2010.  They released their studio album Rearview Mirror, produced by Larry Gann and Matt Russo, of Awestruck Studios, in 2014.  Randy released his 7 track EP, Elevate, in 2017.  The first two releases from that project reached number 1 on Christian Radio Charts. 

Randy serves as pastor of worship and discipleship at Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Independence, MO.  Soul Purpose plays frequently at churches, festivals and other events, bringing the love of God, through the vehicle of music to as many people as possible.

A prolific song-writer, Randy is a member of both ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and GMA (Gospel Music Association).  All his original music is published by Danjartay Music.

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all that’s happening with Randy Seedorff & Soul Purpose.

Visit www.randyseedorff.com for more information.

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Author and Chef Tracy Wilk is Today’s Honoree

Chef Tracy Wilk is a Chef, Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer and Culinary Educator. #BakeItForward is available now. Find out more under Chef Bio. You can find Tracy in New York City, in her natural habitat of her kitchen surrounded by sprinkles. 

Tracy graduated from University of Central Florida and was trained by Natural Gourmet Institute. She went on to work in the James Beard award winning pastry department of ABC Kitchen, making many ice cream sundaes while filling donuts at Flex Mussels. She later became the Executive Pastry Chef at David Burke Kitchen, being recognized by FSR Magazine as 40 under 40 Rising Stars. Since 2018, Tracy has been teaching as the Lead Recreational Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. As our world changed during COVID19, Chefs de Partie was co-founded by Tracy, as well as the global baking movement of #BakeItForward. Tracy’s favorite things are wine, sprinkles, and the laughter of a shared meal with those she loves the most. 

Visit https://www.cheftracywilk.com/ for more information.

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Sheffield Counseling Founder Dr. Andrea Sheffield is Today’s Honoree

Dr. Andrea Sheffield is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) that provides individual, couple and marital counseling.  She is dual licensed in Tennessee and Georgia.  She holds a PhD in Clinical Counseling and a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca University in Nashville.  She is a certified provider of the  PREPARE/ENRICH pre-marital assessment/program.  She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and serves as a Board member for the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors.  Dr. Sheffield is also a listed Rule 31 Mediator for the state of Tennessee.

I specialize in couple/marital counseling.  My focus is restoring trust and increasing intimacy and connection in couple relationships. I also enjoy providing assistance to individuals experiencing depression, difficulty adjusting to life changes, crisis and trauma.  I offer Christian Counseling with a focus on strengthening families with the help of Jesus Christ.  I am also available for marital workshops focusing on communication, conflict resolution and prayer.

Visit http://sheffieldcounselingservices.com/ for more information.

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Black Fives Foundation Founder Claude Johnson is Today’s Honoree

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Claude Johnson is an author, historian, writer, and founder of the Black Fives Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is to research, preserve, showcase, and teach the pre-NBA history of African-American basketball while honoring its pioneers and their descendants. The Black Fives Foundation Archives contain the world’s leading collection of historical artifacts from that period, known as the Black Fives Era.

He was born in Vienna, Austria — his father is African American, from the South Side of Chicago, and his mother was German, from the Römerstadt section of Frankfurt am Main — and lived in the Republic of the Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) before moving to the USA with his parents at age six.

During a 20-year career in corporate America, Claude held management and exec positions at IBM, American Express, NBA Properties, Nike, Phat Farm, and Benetton Sportsystem. He has a BS in Civil Engineering and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Claude is the author of “Black Fives: The Alpha Physical Culture Club,” the history of a pioneering early 20th-century all-Black basketball team, and is writing his second book, with Macmillan Publishing. He also contributed a chapter in the new book “Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs In Sports History,” by Mike Pesca, a compilation of stories by an all-star list of sportswriters. Publishers Weekly called his piece “one of the best” chapters in the book. He is also a contributing writer for ESPN/TheUndefeated.

Claude’s work has been featured by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Slate, Fox Sports, SI for Kids, the History Channel, NPR, the BBC, MTV, ESPN, NBA TV, and Turner Broadcasting.

Claude has three sons. He and his family live in Greenwich, Connecticut.

For more information, please visit Claude Johnson’s profile page at LinkedIn

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Country Music Artist Gary Pratt is Today’s Honoree

Gary Pratt is a singer, a songwriter, but most of all, an energetic country entertainer who connects with his audience. He grew up in the small, old coal mining town of Slickville, Pennsylvania. In addition to being the front man for several local bands in the Pittsburgh area, he has had the experience of hitting the Nashville club and showcase scene. He has had the pleasure of singing at the Tennessee State Fair, Rocky Gap Music Festival and CMA Fest.  Gary has been the opening act for such greats as Dwight Yoakum, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Ronnie Milsap and Crystal Gayle to name a few.  His current recording project, “Something Worth Remembering”, is dedicated to his brother who recently passed. The album is a combination of Gary’s originals and songs written by credited Nashville writers. The title track was written by Grammy Award Nominee Tony Arata, who wrote Garth Brooks’ “The Dance”. This project has been in the making for over a year.  It was recorded at Tonic Studios with Engineer Doug Kasper, Producer Bryan Cole and Musician/Artist Adam Ernst. Excited about this new album, Gary invited MTS Male Vocalist Matt Westin and Female Vocalist Savannah Nider to help out on a few songs.  Savannah and Gary recorded the duet he wrote, “To Find Us”, at Omni Studios in Nashville. It was the first time Gary and Savannah actually met and they are now making plans to write together in the future. Gary is forever thankful to God for walking with him through life, paving this music journey and for putting the gift of music in his heart.  Not only has music been an outlet emotionally and has helped Gary through some rough times, it has brought family together and has introduced him to some of the most amazing people he is proud to call friends.  

Visit https://www.garyprattmusic.com/about for more

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Canadian Radio and Television Personality Orlena Cain is Today’s Honoree

Orlena Cain ignited her fierce entrepreneurial spirit in 2004 when she launched Sugarcain Entertainment. One of the first online magazines in Canada, she interviewed a wide variety of chart-topping music artists, actors, models, and more. Throughout its run, it accumulated 25 female journalists and gained over 200-thousand readers.
 
On-air television host of a popular Canadian network for over four years for the Shopping Channel, Orlena collaborated alongside a fantastic parade of celebrities helping sell their products. Shifting from television to radio, Orlena has devoted over fifteen years to her presence as a live radio hostess. Her effervescent personality shines through with her flawless sense of humor on weekday mornings on Mix97 radio with Sean Kelly.
 
Orlena has become an essential pillar in the Quinte community for more than fifteen years, promoting and advocating for small business, and being an ambassador of goodwill to charities. Running her own small business in the area for a significant period, she contributed a great deal of energy to help build a strong professional network in the Belleville downtown core. Being no stranger to public appearances, Orlena has conducted countless live broadcasts on location to showcase businesses. In addition to her broadcasts, Orlena developed herself as an online influencer with her following to promote local businesses in the Quinte area. With her never-ending compassion, she has dedicated a significant amount of her time to local charities and advocacy for children in care.
 
On her journey of self-healing, in 2017, she delved into the world of publishing, as a perfect complement to her nature of advocacy and transparency. Tactfully written, Orlena shared her candid memoir as she confronted her tumultuous journey to find love and happiness in a bid to inspire others to discover the importance of healing and self-love in the wake of trauma. Shortly after she released the first of her Confessions Series books, Confessions of a Die Hard Romantic, she enhanced her healing journey by committing to a year of personal experimentation. The completion of this personal reflection prompted her to publish her second book; 365 Days Single—Confessions of a Serial Monogamist. Her passion for literature grew, inspiring Orlena to combine her radio personality with her love of books, where she has since narrated over one hundred audiobooks for authors with Amazon/Audible in her first year alone.
 
To further her aspirations, Orlena turned to fitness as part of her strive to develop personal balance. With this regiment of health-focused activity, her love of self-care exploded into more ambition, where she entered into a new field of education. Eager to share her newly acquired skill and knowledge with others, Orlena completed her formal training to become a certified Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance.
 
Orlena passionately inspires others by sharing her personal experiences of adversity and success with a program called Pitching with Power encourages young female entrepreneurs.

Visit https://orlenacain.com for more information. 

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Devereux California Supported Living Services Program Coordinator Annika Tamkun is Today’s Honoree

At Devereux, employees are heroes in every sense of the word, helping children, adolescents and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. These committed and compassionate individuals humbly dedicate themselves to serving – and inspiring – others. Annika Tamkun – Devereux California Supported Living Services program coordinator – was recently highlighted.

In your role, what are your main responsibilities?

I oversee the day-to-day operations of our Supported Living Services residential homes to ensure our residents’ needs and goals are met. I supervise staff who work directly  with our residents, monitor their training, and help them grow in their roles. I also support our center’s learning team by teaching Safe & Positive Approaches incident response and reporting; and CPR/first aid training courses to new hires and existing staff as part of their recertification process.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love seeing the growth of the individuals we serve, as well as my staff. I also enjoy being able to meet and train staff during their onboarding process and watch them develop in their positions. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of the day also is a wonderful treat.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

A friend once shared the following advice from naturalist John Muir for staying calm through the chaos of life: He said: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

How do you demonstrate Servant Leadership principles on a daily basis?

I like to greet everyone each day with a smile. I put others first, and I am always ready to jump in and help as needed. I am a firm believer in open, honest and constructive communication between all parties to ensure the highest quality of care for the individuals we serve.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?

I’ve hiked to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. It was a 22-mile day hike with a 6,000-foot-plus elevation gain that began with a bear encounter at 2 a.m.

Why are you a Healthcare Hero?

I wouldn’t describe myself as a hero, but I am honored to receive this recognition! Challenging times like COVID-19 really shine a light on one’s character. I believe I am making a difference by finding unique ways to keep our residents happy, all while working to ensure the health and safety of our individuals and staff. Examples include: taking residents on drives through the foothills of Santa Barbara; coordinating video conference calls with family members who are not able to visit their loved ones due to the pandemic; and various other activities that are specially tailored to each individual. Above all, I come to work every day with a positive, can-do attitude to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Visit www.Devereux.org for more information.

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Body Cam App Entrepreneur and ANJEL Tech CEO James A. Samuel, Jr. is Today’s Honoree

James A. Samuel, Jr.

Meet James A. Samuel, Jr., founder and CEO of a new app called ANJEL Tech that allows users to immediately began live streaming and transmitting footage to their family members when they are in any type of dangerous situation. The app, developed by a DC-based Black-owned company, appeals to the African American community because of what has been happening across the nation in regards to police brutality. However, the app can also be used to alert loved ones of other personal safety issues such as domestic abuse, elderly abuse, etc.

James has over 30 years of federal experience working for the U.S. Department of Defense. He has worked as an engineer, an F-15 fighter pilot, and an Intelligence Analyst. He says that he came up with the idea to develop the app to help prevent and minimize personal and community security issues that often plague urban communities.

The ANJEL Tech app is cloud-based and geospatially-enabled. James comments, “My team and I ultimately created this app to help Black moms protect and save their kids’ lives, and help more Black children live and grow into adulthood and meet those expected life milestones such as school graduation, marriage, family/ children, career, homeownership, etc.”

James says that the app was created in response to the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, and what makes the app so unique is that users can easily live-stream what’s happening, immediately notify family members and friends of their location on a map (via text and email), and create a secure record of the incident for future accountability purposes. All of this occurs in real-time via the app.

The ANJEL Tech app can be downloaded now in the iOS App Store, and will soon be available in the Google Play store.

Learn more about the app at www.ANJEL.tech and for press inquiries, contact info@anjel.tech or 571-380-4740.

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TissueTech CEO Amy Tseng is Today’s Honoree

Amy Tseng

Amy Tseng is TissueTech’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Amy co-founded Bio-Tissue in 1997 and TissueTech in 2001 with the vision of commercializing cryopreserved amniotic membrane as a platform technology for the treatment of ocular surface diseases. Since its inception, Amy has presided over this mission, building Bio-Tissue into the industry leader in this sector and spearheading the founding of Amniox Medical to expand the Company’s technology into other healthcare sectors. She has guided the company through impressive levels of annual growth. Prior to founding Bio-Tissue, Amy spent 10 years with the big five accounting firms, Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse. Amy holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Visit https://tissuetech.com/executive-team/ for more information.

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