Saturday, July 04, 2009

Catch-up and read or listen to great stories featuring today's most dynamic and inspirational personalities. Discover what's new in the world of faith, entertainment, finance, health and fitness, the environment and how as a global community we can all make a difference.

Be sure to share your comments, ideas and solutions.

Let us know what you think!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

In 1996, Suzy Welch, a then senior editor for the Harvard
Business Review, was invited to speak to a group of
insurance executives in beautiful Hawaii. And like many
working moms, trying to crack the work-life balance code—
brought along, two of her then small children (ages 5
and 6) for what would be the ultimate business and
pleasure fix.

As she later delivered a keynote speech before a room

filled with executives, the two young children (who
managed a jailbreak style escape from a dance class
where she tried to warehouse them), burst into the hall
in hula skirts, bringing the conference to a screeching
halt, and Welch, to the realization that she needed to find
a better way for reclaiming life—at home, at work and in
love. We recently caught-up with the bestselling author,
O columnist and business journalist to learn more about
her new transformative approach—how it changed her
life but more importantly, what it could all mean for you—
in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years. FULL FEATURE

On the night of July 29, 1984 two lives were forever changed. Jennifer Thompson-Cannino a 22 year old college student would become the victim of a brutal rape. While Ronald Cotton the accused, would be later schedule to serve two consecutive life sentences.

In their own words they share the riveting accounts from “Picking Cotton” a joint memoir about their unlikely road from injustice to redemption. The lessons learned about the power of memory and perception—and the driving force that would become their lives mission.

He's no stranger to controversy in film. And with a list of credits including some of today's most compelling docudramas (the 2001 feature presentation, The Day Reagan Was Shot and the highly controversial, The Path to 911), Director Cyrus Nowrasteh again displays the necessary grit to deliver yet another powerful message. In his latest film, THE STONING OF SORAYA M., based on an incredible true story of a village’s persecution of an innocent woman—becomes both a daring act of witness and a compelling parable about mob rule. In the film, Academy Award® nominee, Shohreh Aghdashloo (HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG) stars in the heroic role of Zahra, an Iranian woman who against all odds reveals to a journalist (played by Jim Caviezel THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, DÉJÀ VU) a dark secret that the villagers will stop at nothing to keep hidden. Thus unraveling the remarkable account of what happened to Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), a kind spirited woman whose bad marriage leads her cruel, divorce-seeking husband to conspire against her, trumping up charges of infidelity, which carry an unimaginable penalty.

Adapted from the international best seller of the same name, penned by Paris- based journalist, Freidoune Sahebjam’s, THE STONING OF SORAYA M. brought global attention to the real Soraya, who in 1986 was buried to her waist in her hometown square and was stoned to death by her fellow villagers. In a recent interview Nowrasteh, talks about the making of his latest project, its brave and compelling message and his hopes for the future of human rights reform. FULL FEATURE

Expertly designed Logo? Check. State of the art Website? Check. The latest in office technology, corporate identity and direct mailers? Yes! of course. But what's the missing link between your big idea and the thousands of prospects you are hoping to reach?

Read on as author and marketing/brand expert Richard Reising tackles the do's and don'ts
of reaching your target audience. And explains why, whether you are launching a new startup, or expanding an established business or ministry— the real you, might be just what they are looking for. FULL FEATURE

For the gospel star turned radio show maven, reaching millions is all in a day’s work. But now she sets her sights on yet—a bigger prize. J.C. Manigault explains.

With a growing syndication now reaching 37 markets including
New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C, The Yolanda Adams morning show, reaches a diverse group of listeners from all walks of life. “I love the fact that people listen to us whether they're Christians or not, or whether they go to church or not. They just love the positivity in the broadcast, and that's what we do everyday, we try to lift people up” states the Grammy Award wining, first lady of modern gospel—now turned dynamic radio show host.

Under the banner of “Faith, Family and Fun” the highly popular
morning show provides a vibrant mix of contemporary gospel, power packed devotionals, health and fitness tips, celebrity interviews and a provocative yet humorous look at the days current events. FULL FEATURE

You are likely to find it in posh hotels, upscale shops, or the waiting room at your next doctor's visit. The brain child of former agency CEO and graphic designer, Dag Söderberg's, Bible Illuminated, is a sleek visual take on the good book—aimed at the average magazine reader, through iconic and sometimes shocking images, designed to draw attention to global issues and spark dialogue.

“I wanted to make it more accessible, he explains, I added very contemporary elements in the way of photos, captions and quote boxes to make it easier for the modern person to read and interact with the text without being interrupted. I do understand that those who are already Bible readers will miss certain elements, but this allows us to broaden our audience. Its for the many, not the few.” FULL FEATURE

In the groundbreaking Food Network's, The Chef Jeff Project—bestselling author, popular speaker and award winning Chef, Jeff Henderson steers at-risk youths through a culinary and lifestyle type boot-camp designed to give each a second chance—and about second chances, he knows. Once an offender himself, Henderson served a 10 year sentence for drugs, and while there discovered the power of food—his life's true calling. From pot and pan detail to Executive Chef at the renowned Cafe Bellagio and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, the passionate advocate for second changes now focuses on giving back. Here we caught-up with the Chef to see what's cooking!

Frankie: What sparked your interest in the culinary arts?

Chef-Henderson: It definitely wasn’t my dream to one day become a chef; until after spending several years in prison. I was bitten by the culinary arts through misfortune, when I was fired from my prison job and was placed in the pot and pan room in the kitchen. Many inmates may have seen this as punishment, but I saw it as an opportunity. That's what started me out in the culinary arts. FULL FEATURE

As arguably today's most notable African-American director, Kenny Leon brings great stories to life. His list of credits, includes the 2004 Tony Award winning Broadway revival and made for film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's “A Raisin in the Sun,”

August Wilson's Broadway productions of Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf, for which he
garnered a combined number of nine Tony Nominations. Production credits for Disney's and Elton John's Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, as well as director of the 2008 production of Flashdance: The Musical and the upcoming Broadway adaptation of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

His mission to introduce a new generation of theater-goers to classic African American works is being realized through the work of True Colors—an Atlanta based theater company where he is the founding artistic director. This spring, he brings to the stage, a True Colors production of the David Feldshuh's Pulitzer Prize Nominated Miss Ever' Boys—an eye opening drama about the Tuskegee study, featuring Jasmine Guy, TC Carson and Eugene Lee. Here in a Lingk2us interview Contributor katie Lee caught-up with the famed director to talk about what keeps him grounded, his pursuit of truth and clarity, and why a mix of cultural perspectives is key to bringing the classics front and center. FULL FEATURE


In his latest read, New York Times best-selling author Dr. Don Colbert demystifies the good, the bad and the ugly effects of your food choices. Here he shares with A. Belletty key strategies for a healthier you! FULL FEATURE

AB: What is the most common misconception about women's fitness?

BS: The biggest issue for most women is the fear of getting too big or too muscular from weight training, which should be the least of their worries. As a rule, women have approximately a twentieth to a fiftieth testosterone level in contrast to men, and without a significant amount of testosterone, which is the primary anabolic hormone (anabolic means to build up) it's impossible to get very big from lifting— and you're not going to look like a shemale. Because of this, most women will train with weights that are way too light for their abilities, and don't burn the necessary calories to lose weight and develop muscle tone and so their bodies don't change at all. FULL FEATURE

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In search of the next Big idea? Wondering how to increase productivity, brainstorm more effectively or simply overcome a creative road-block? Meet McNair Wilson. His brainstorming system is at the hearth of five Disney theme parks, contributions to corporate groups from IBM to Sony Entertainment as well as countless churches and organizations around the world. Listen in, as the 12 year veteran Disney imagineer (and self proclaimed 'professional third grader') shares valuable insights and creative solutions for any working team— attempting to solve, design, create, invent, rework or develop anything from the worlds best 40th birthday party to a 1.3 billion dollar theme park. FULL FEATURE

As Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Ben Carson has certainly
experience his share of touch-and-go circumstances. From conducting the first successful procedure separating conjoined twins to countless of other life changing cases—Ben Carson the once at risk kid from Baltimore D.C, shares with contributor Katie Lee—his thoughts on societies aversion to risk taking and how (even in these uncertain times) we can all benefit from making smart, insightful and deliberate choices. FULL FEATURE

30 year broadcast veteran Deborah Norville has certainly seen her share of life's up and downs. Despite the loss of her mother at age 20, the very publicized dismissal from the “Today Show” in the mid 90's and subsequent bouts of depression, Norville—has emerged stronger and the wiser for it. In “Thank You Power” her latest read—she draws compelling connections, between living life from a place of gratitude and being healthier, happier and more productive. (We somehow have a inkling, that she practices what she preaches!) FULL FEATURE

As the brain child of a former National editor for News World Report, has certainly found its niche. While working at News Week in the late 90's, Steve Waldman its Editor-in-Chief, began to take note, that when stories about religious themes made the cover sales went up, and wonder Why the gap in supply and demand for religious information was not more aggressively covered by the main stream media. On a more personal level—Waldman, a Jew married to a Christian and parent of two children, was also in search of answers that would reflect his unique spiritual needs—thus the birth of Beliefnet. Here, in a candid interview —Waldman chats about the business of religion. The motivation behind Beliefnet, the challenges of merging faith, business and the internet, and how he remains focused in a maze of religious perspectives. FULL FEATURE

With production credits that include the who's who of gospel music—
Paulis Sanchez’s debut CD “Seguro en ti” brings us a vibrant mix of Latin-fused gospel, rapidly becoming all the rage. While on tour across Latin American cities and the U.S, contributor Nikkilon Mccreary caught- up with the Colombian-born artist to chat about life, faith and the intro- duction of a brand new musical genre. FULL FEATURE

Saturday, May 10, 2008

As the fastest growing group of voters in the nation, Hispanic Evangelicals are now considered by many, the quintessential swing group to watch in this year's elections. In 2004, 2 out of 3 supported President Bush in the national elections, affording him a commanding win. But now, they have taken a wait and see stance, as concerns about the hard line rhetoric on immigration, the economy, the war in Iraq and other pressing issues could become deal breakers, according to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez President and founder of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference – the nation's largest Hispanic Christian organization, representing about 18,000 or so Evangelical churches. FULL FEATURE

Friday, May 09, 2008

Katie: There was quite a backlash from the gay community after your performance of “Shackles” on the American Idol. Could you tell us, what all the controversy was about?

Mandisa: As I was coming out on stage and going down the ramp, I said that this song goes out to everyone who wants to be free. Your addiction, your lifestyle, and your situation may be big, but God is bigger. That song is such a powerful testimony for me because of my struggle with weight. I feel that I sing that song to the top of my lungs because it is me testifying to the world, and proclaiming to the Lord that he is powerful enough to take these shackles off my feet.

I chose to sing that song for that reason because I want to give him the praise. That’s why the words I used were very important to me. By me choosing to use the word lifestyle I was talking about how people often use the phrase “don’t diet: have a lifestyle change”. Unfortunately, the homosexual community thought I was referring to them and their homosexual lifestyle. So it became somewhat of a buzz word within their community, and all across the Internet there was a campaign to kick me off American Idol because I was being cast as homophobic. It was said that I was attempting to shove my religion down the throats of others by singing that song. That certainly wasn’t my intention, and certainly wasn’t where I was coming from in that performance. When I heard about all of this it broke my heart, and I was eliminated the following week. I did several interviews where I had people yelling at me about what they thought I had implied. After that American Idol set up an interview with the Advocate, which is a publication geared to the homosexual community.

They asked me quite a few point blank questions, and my response was that I think the bible is very explicit about the issue, but I also know that God is the judge; I am not the judge of another individual. I can point you in the direction of the one who can tell you how you should live your life, but I’m not the one to tell you how to live your life. Only God can do that. I try to show my love by telling people that I love them, that I do no hate gay people. It was a very difficult time for me and often today I run into to people who ask me that same question and of course my answer is still the same. God loves them and so do I. It was during that people that my faith went through the fire as I began to question God. I began to question why he would put me in that kind of situation. I never would have chosen to go through that, but through it all I have come to really understand that God’s ways are not like my ways. I came out of it stronger in my faith that God knows what he’s doing.

Katie: After experiencing Simon Cowell’s derogatory comments following your initial performance on American Idol, you most graciously opted to forgive him. Would you share with us the motivating factor behind that decision?

Mandisa: When I did my audition I was afraid of what he might say about my weight. That’s the reason I didn’t audition for all those years, because I knew he would go there. However, when I finally did the audition in front of him he never mentioned it. He just said I had a very pretty face and that I was everything that he wanted me to be. I was elated that everyone would hear the wonderful things Simon had to say about me at my debut on American Idol. Much to surprise, when I went backstage to watch along with the rest of America, he did make comments about my weight, but only after I left the room.

Consequently, I found out with about 30,000 of my closest friends and fans exactly what he had to say about me, and I was mortified. It was my worse nightmare come true. I’ve got a great support system, and it’s so important that you surround yourself with the types of people you want to be. They gathered around me and began to pray for me. They prayed first of all that God would have mercy on Simon, and that he would heal my hurting heart. Then they began praying that God would help me to forgive Simon. It was in that moment that I realized that this was so much more than about my hurt feelings. That this was God’s opportunity to display his glory. What inspired me to forgive Simon was God speaking to me through his word and through my friends.

When I read in the word that “all things come together for good of those who love him, and are called according to his purpose”; “that he could make beauty from ashes” I realized that’s just what he was doing in this instance. The producers were edging me on to just let him have it; that they could edit out anything inappropriate for viewing during prime time. I walked in and said “Simon, a lot of people want me to say a lot of things to you. However, I want you to know that I forgive you, and the reason I can forgive is because Jesus Christ died so that my wrongs could be forgiven”. So I can certainly extend that same grace to you. That was a powerful moment in my life. FULL FEATURE

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Every week more than 7 million viewers around the world tune into watch Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the Dallas based Lakewood Church– America's MEGA Mega church. Quite a feat, considering that only eight years ago Pastor Osteen was virtually unknown even in Christian circles and had not set his sights on any pastoral ambition. But after his father's passing, (Pastor John Osteen, Lakewood's founder) – Joel, who up till then served behind the scenes as producer of the TV ministry, was now thrust into the limelight. FULL FEATURE

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

She finds inspiration in the silliest situations, and gets herself into the funniest messes as seen by millions on her online and cable TV show “I love Kerri”. “I know that if I find these situations hysterical others will too", says Kerri. "Everything in our lives seems to end up in the act. We get great material from our parents, (her mom is from the South and Ron's parents are Korean and Irish), and when you put those groups in a room, it's just hysterical”. Kerri Pomarolli, a comedic actress and rising star in the clean comedy circuit, did not start out in comedy the conventional way. FULL FEATURE