Tomisha Brock is a Cool Soror of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc and the Band Director for Clark Atlanta University. An accomplished educator, she has led superior instrumental and vocal ensembles on the public school level in Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Virginia State University in 2005 and a Master of Music Education degree from Norfolk State University in 2011, and has completed additional coursework at Capella University (2012). She is currently pursuing her PhD in Music Education at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, with an anticipated completion date of December 2017.
Prior to her appointment at Clark Atlanta University, Ms. Brock served as Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Mississippi Valley State University. She is one of five female band directors in the country and she is determined to grow the CAU to the highest of ranks. “And she shall lead the band.”
Nicole D. Smith joins the Cool Soror Podcast. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, she is the Owner of spa810 Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA. She has one of the first franchise locations in the state and has plans to expand to three locations in metro area.
With 20 years of comprehensive experience in various industries, including Accenture, AT&T and General Electric, Nicole established herself as a leader. In 2016, Nicole left corporate America and became a franchise owner of spa810. She has been very passionate about spa810, and is excited to begin developing the spa810 brand in Atlanta. Her ambition is to become the best spa810 franchise in the country.
With this desire, she knows she has to truly touch the people and she is doing just that! She decided to offer 81 Massages for 81 educators for just $8.10!! Yes!!! She is so enamored of the teaching profession, even recalling the teacher that helped her get straight A’s for the first time she was in elementary school. Nicole says it’s the ultimate give back!
Not only does Spa 810 offer massages, but they offer facials and laser hair removal.
She understands how to run a business and is the only African American woman in the Spa 810 franchise concept. Nicole understands that sets her apart, but it makes her unique at the same time. Unique begets beautiful opportunities and this opportunity for educators to feel special, will be one for the books.
DJ LV joins the Cool Soror Podcast as our Cool Bruh Feature of the week. A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., LV has a rich story on fatherhood that truly hits the core.
As a father, a visionary, and an advocate for strong families, he founded Cool Dads Rock in response to the support he received from friends and family who admired the relationship he built with his own son. The organization began as a hashtag he used to encourage another father who was going through a custody battle when he lent his support with a simple, #cooldadsrock.
Known to most as “DJ LV”, the founder of Cool Dads Rock is an authority on cool. As a DJ, he has performed with artists such as Robin Thicke, Ne-Yo, Usher, A Tribe Called Quest, and Sting. He has entertained guests at events for NASCAR, Turner Broadcasting, Coca Cola, Conan O’Brien, BMW, NBA All-Star weekend and the NCAA Final Four just to name a few. However, his favorite “gig” is as a father. It was through his excitement and love for his son that he realized he wanted to do something to promote and honor that same enthusiasm in other men.
This year marks the 5th annual “Cool Dads Rock” Soapbox Derby competition. This events allows children and their fathers to come together to conceptualize, design and execute their own soapbox for this awesome cause. LV says it’s an allotted time for fathers to spend with their children from idea to race. What an amazing concept! But what else would you expect from such a COOL DAD?
Our host, Rashan Ali, takes a look at how being steadfast has helped her reach another milestone in her career. In this episode, she recounts the moment she knew she needed to make a move which led her to her current venture. Her constant was staying the course, even when she was weary.
Dr. Chynna Steele joins the Cool Soror Podcast! A Cool Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., this Harvard, University of Chicago and Washington University (St. Louis) graduate is our host, Rashan Alit’s dermatologist!
Dr. Steele is a nationally renowned board certified dermatologist who has spent years undergoing specialized training in the medical care of the skin, hair and body. Patients are eager to see her for her expertise in medical and cosmetic dermatology and her unique blending of the two, along with her honesty and warm bedside manner.
In this episode, she shares with us why some women, particularly women of color, have been reluctant to get many of the services she offers. It has been her personal quest to make these women feel more comfortable with having treatments that will help them feel more confident. You will truly get an in depth informational on treatments such as botox, fillers, cool sculpting and alopecia.
Dr. Steele loves what she does and her passion and her practice run “Skin Deep.”
In one of the most candid and in depth interviews to date, Rod Minger, a Cool Bruh of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity joins the show today. The Montgomery, Alabama native is an actor, comedian and radio personality who has performed in over 20 stage plays across the country. A gifted musician as well, Rod felt the glare of the spotlight after a solo performance in junior high school. It was then that the crowd’s reaction would be a catalyst for the need to share his talents.
Starting out his professional career as a music teacher in a small town in Alabama, a chance opportunity led him to Atlanta where he would experience success. He has performed in plays alongside our host, Rashan Ali, NFL great, Dorsey Levens, and Hollywood Diva Lisa Wu. appeared in a recent episode of the Starz hit series “Survivors Remorse.”
The beauty of his journey is the crafted way he tells his story. From living in what most would consider an outhouse; to finding what he thought was love; to heart break and divorce; Rod has a path like no other. You will laugh and think and laugh again during this episode. In the “Art of Storytelling” Rod authors his life one chapter at a time.
The air smells like it has never been tainted by the chemicals of exhaust pipes or the pungent aroma of waste that often tickles on the palette of city life. The pace is slow and the mood is a constant palpitation of happy. The wind is a melodious cacophony and makes for a unique and steady soundtrack that rests easily on the ears of the 21,000 people who call St. Simons Island home. This is living and The King and Prince Resort nestled beautifully on the beachfront – the only hotel that offers this picturesque view – is a gem. It is perfect for a family get away – a five-hour car ride from Atlanta, Georgia.
Greeted by friendliness and smiles, I felt welcomed by each and every person. From the front desk personnel to the award winning mixologist at the bar, I felt like I was royalty. I am certain each guest has experienced this feeling. Everybody is important in this world and the people at King & Prince seem to live by that mantra. I knew I was in store for the type of sweet treat that has lifelong impact. I would forever be moved by this experience from start to finish.
When visiting such an historical place, finding out more of the history of this landmark is a must. St. Simons Island, one of the Golden Isles that sits on the corner of Georgia’s coast, is a town that garnered a thriving plantation industry prior to the Civil War. As an African-American woman, visiting some of the remains of the plantations and seeing two preserved slave cabins allowed for a deeper introspection into my own truth. I felt my ancestors’ spirits as I rode along for one of several guided tours by the island popular Captain Fending.
One of the very famous historical truths of the island was about a slave named Neptune Small. We were given the backstory on Neptune Small on two of our tour stops. Neptune Small, was a servant of the King family, one-time owners of St. Simons Island’s Retreat Plantation. He was responsible for caring for the King children. Small accompanied them to war and was later rewarded for his loyalty for traveling hundreds of miles to St. Simon’s alone with the deceased body of the family’s first son who went to war.
His story was celebrated and every native seems to rest on that loyalty. This, too, allowed me to see the story from a very different vantage point. It made for another introspective moment for me. Slavery was just as mental as it was physical. Had he known a life of freedom, he more than likely would have chosen to escape. It is truly a conversation for people from all walks of life to indulge. History tells us so much about ourselves and a wonderment of answering the question of who we are, no matter our backgrounds.
The first tour lent itself to a visit to Christ Church. Surrounded by beautiful moss trees and a cemetery, this church has beautiful mosaic windows and pristine architecture. Down the road a bit, sits the First African Church. This place of worship allowed for slaves to praise in their own settings. To see the place where slaves sought refuge from their day-to-day conditions, gave me peace.
From land to sea, St. Simons Island offers beautiful excursions like the Dolphin Cruise led by Captain Fending and his amazing crew. There is nothing like the feeling of the ocean air landing sweetly on your cheeks as you try to take in the massive beauty we call the ocean. I let myself simply be in the moment knowing that this was nothing but God’s grace to see the artistry of the world of sea life. We passed and waved at the men in the blue crab boats. They waved as the easy going culture of the town stretched into the deep waters. You felt the authenticity and organic feeling of the people, miles away from the shore.
We spotted the rare and regal appearance of three bald eagles. It was almost as if they were waiting to be seen, resting in the trees as the onslaught of human paparazzi took as many images as we could. And then there were the dolphins – the prettiest fish in the sea. Our friends put on a show, making their way to the surface of the water as if they were performing a routine at Sea World and had never missed a step. What beauty lies in these oceans that we were able to witness. The Dolphin Cruise should be top of the list when visiting St. Simons.
The personality of this great town is capped off by its amazing fare and spirits. I LOVE FOOD and each stop allowed each section of my varied cravings to be thoroughly satisfied. We enjoyed Chef James Flack’s dinner selections at Echo’s Coastal Trilogy at King & Prince. From the twin crab cakes to the southern peach creme brule, the ambience heightened the taste as we glanced over a breathtaking view of the ocean.
Another sweet spot is the Georgia Sea Grill, owned by Zack Gowen and Chef Tim Lensch. I opted for white wine to accompany the oyster and bacon appetizer followed by she Crab soup and the Red Fish filet over a bed of rice. The service was impeccable and the festive mood made for smiles and laughter as the musical underlay of the evening.
If you’re ready for a down home breakfast, the Sandcastle Cafe & Grill is the place to go. Tim and Melissa Wellford have been serving the good folks in this town since 1989. The pancakes and french toast reminded me of my days visiting my grandmother in Charleston. When a restaurant and recipe can garner nostalgia of a worry-less childhood, it’s an unprecedented win. The home feel and the endless coffee is certainly a favorite for me and so many others.
Lunch at Gnat’s Landing was a fun treat decked with fried pickles, slaw bowls, sweet Georgia fried shrimp and oysters. It’s the perfect spot to mingle with friends on its semi-covered patio in the back or simply grab a cold, solo beer.
The trip culminated with a lovely night for Echo’s Wine Dinner in King & Prince’s Retreat Room. The view was simply indescribable. While the entire pairing was superb, the Smoked Sea Scallops, Lemon Curd, Georgia Caviar and Pepper Brunoises with the Caramel Road Barrymore Pinot Grigio was my favorite. See Chef James Flack’s complete pairing below:
I am officially a fan of what St. Simons offers and The King & Prince Resort is a shining example of the greatness of the island. Its rich history and significance in its place in the American puzzle, allows visitors to leave knowing the people built this town with tremendous strength and character. Their resiliency has kept it and preserved it like aged marmalade awaiting its opening in the cupboard.
St. Simons Island and the King & Prince Resort: RARE & REGAL.
For more details on booking your next trip, visit http://www.kingandprince.com
Dr. Karmetria Burton joins the Cool Soror podcast today! A Houston, Texas native and Cool Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., she is the Director of strategic programs and supplier diversity for Delta Air Lines and the founder of “Paint Your Lips Red”. She attained her bachelor’s degree from Southern University and received her master’s degree from the University of Nebraska.
Learning how to be a business woman early in the game, she worked for her father, who is an entrepreneur, and was able to learn the ins and outs of running your own business. Thriving in her field for 15 years, she enjoys giving the blueprint to help those who are seeking to grow their business on the corporate level, while also impacting and influencing others.
A well-respected authority in supplier diversity, she is a contributing writer for MBE magazine that focuses on minority business development. In 2014, she was noted as a woman of Excellence by the Atlanta Daily World Magazine and in 2015, she was awarded the InfluenceHER award for her influence in the community and in minority business development. Her work and her passion have gained her notoriety in several publications.
Dr. Burton is the visionary and creator of the ‘Paint Your Lips Red’ campaign and has teamed up with NARS for a special event in Atlanta on July 30th. She believes that women should feel empowered and bold in their RED lip!
Karmetria Burton credits God for her success and her family for instilling the importance in her of family and service to others. She has made it a goal in life to remain in a ‘Position of Impact.’ Dr. Burton is certainly in position and she is definitely making an impact.