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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Anastassia Elias: Heart for Art

A thing of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Artists like Anastassia Elias make our world come to life. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness and clever outlook allow us to see beyond the norm. Elias pushes artistic boundaries by using often overlooked materials and turning them into masterful artistry. “I often take what others don’t see and turn it into something that everyone can connect to,” she says. Elias is a Paris-based digital artist, illustrator, and innovative do-it-yourself (DIY) designer, residing in Landerneau, a small town in the western part of France (Brittany) near Brest, who uses precise techniques to inspire free thinking and bring attention to important global issues. Her mediums include painting, paper collages, ink, photos, fiber, drawings, and recycled materials. Thanks to her unique outlook, her artwork has been featured in exhibits all over the world, including the National Museum of Singapore, the Portuguese Film Festival, and in Milan, Italy. She’s on a Roll We’ve all heard the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but Elias knows this all too well. As an artist, illustrator,

Alicia Keys and Keep a Child Alive

Superstar takes positive action to combat the physical, social, and economic impacts of HIV. Star Power Alicia Keys, a world-renowned songstress and piano player, uses her global fame to make the world a better place. For years, her soulful voice and lyrics about hope, love, and freedom have inspired fans worldwide. As a classically trained pianist with 15 Grammys, she understands the power of music. She was signed to Columbia Records when she was 15 and has recorded megahits like No One, Empire State of Mind, If I Ain’t Got You, and Girl on Fire. Aside from music, Keys has acted in films such as The Secret Life of Bees and The Nanny Diaries. Even though Alicia Keys’ powerful voice, undeniable piano skills, and star power are her claim to fame, that’s not the only way she wants to leave her mark on the world. Few people know that she is a human rights activist and a spokesperson for afflicted women and children around the world. Musical Mission One of Keys’ most pivotal moments was when she traveled to South Africa

Jonna Mendez: Veil of Spies

Risking it all to turn the odds to America’s favor. If I told you the Soviet Union fell with the help of glued-on facial hair and commuter dummies would you believe me? Well, probably not. But if a former CIA master of disguise told you it was true, you would. Seemingly innocuous things like wigs and ink pens were essential parts of the CIA’s ingenious toolkit for protecting assets who gave us vital information, consequently protecting millions of American lives. Tools like this were invented out of necessity during the Cold War, and Jonna Mendez, former Master of Disguise at the CIA, was the Mother of Invention. All-American Girl Mendez was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky to a family whose roots in the county were six generations deep. The plucky blonde no doubt learned the ways of the hills as all Kentucky children do; how to make something from nothing and fashion what you need with what’s on hand. Skills like these would come in very handy in her career. She graduated high school in Wichita, Kansas, attended nearby Wichita State,

Jack Haldrup: Dr. Squatch

A simple idea raised the bar on the men’s grooming industry and how men approach their hygiene. Heeding Nature’s Call Sometimes the biggest success stories are spawned by the simplest of ideas. This was the case for Jack Haldrup, who came up with a business idea and scrawled it on a napkin while on an airplane flight. He was restless, wanting something more than what his current job could offer. By the time he stepped off the plane, he knew exactly what he wanted to pour his energy into – creating a line of high-quality natural soap for men. Going at it from scratch wasn’t easy but he was determined. He did his homework and learned to build a website, researched suppliers, and honed marketing skills – practical tools he needed to launch his product. Not knowing a thing about soap-making, he taught himself how and learned all about natural ingredients. “A major advantage I had was that I was creating a product I wanted to buy myself. I also didn’t really identify with any of the brandings that were

Bernadette Placky: Climate Central’s Weather Expert

She’s educating the public on extreme weather events and the impact of climate change. Weather the Storm There is no Planet B. Climate change is real and it is threatening the way most people live. Bernadette Woods Placky says there is no debating the science that weather is heating up and that the global population is feeling the effects. Woods Placky is the Chief Meteorologist and Program Director for the Climate Matters program on Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization focused on climate research. Discussing the effects of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, fossil fuels, and human consumption on our ecosystem are normal conversations for Woods Placky. She understands the dangers of extreme weather patterns, like sea level rise, drought, heat, and more. As an accomplished journalist, she has a knack for simplifying complex terms and spitting out the truth. She’s appeared on MSNBC, Public Radio, ABC, PBS, and other major networks linking our weather to climate change. “You can’t go outside if the weather is not cooperating. I learned this lesson when I was young, and it still applies to

Douglas Klutz: Top-Rated College Professor

In the field of criminal justice, there is one man making an indelible impression on his college students. Student ratings of their professors have become a valuable tool for those seeking to choose the best instructor for their chosen field of study. While some in higher education see ratings as inconsequential, others view it as an important source of student feedback. Receiving consistent glowing remarks would make any professor feel a sense of accomplishment. Case in point is that of a criminal justice professor… “One of the most caring professors I have encountered throughout my college career. He is incredibly helpful with career advice.” “You learn so much in his class about your rights and different cases. He is a really great mentor.” “CJ 220 was my second class with Klutz. He is an AMAZING professor. Always is willing to help with career advice.” “Excellent professor. Fun lectures and very caring and helpful.” “LEGEND.” These are just some of the hundreds of comments that students submitted about Professor Douglas Klutz of the University of Alabama on RateMyProfessor.com, the largest online

Nigel Franklyn: Creating Mindful Luxury

Trusting his instincts, he’s reenergized the world’s finest spas and hotels into “result retreats.” Life events often create life missions for creative people; their work becoming a process of discovery and purpose. Such is the case for internationally renowned “Spa Whisperer” Nigel Franklyn. A particularly soulful treatment session at an Atlanta spa awakened in him the desire to share just how emotionally powerful and healing the spa journey can be. He set off to change the way they operate, one luxurious location at a time. Life Event #1 – Emotional Chaos The youngest of six children, Franklyn began British life surrounded by siblings and enjoying his creative talents. At 14, his beloved mother passed away and his world was thrown into emotional chaos. The sensitive child felt lost for many years, struggling to heal. When he finally came through to the other side he felt grateful for having lived it. It gifted him with a unique spiritual empathy that would ultimately revolutionize an industry. The Road to Spa-dom Franklyn originally wanted a career as an actor, and his good looks