Last night Ambassador Andrew Young’s daughter-in-law, Angelica Young, sent me this video that Ambassador Young filmed the day before the election results were made clear. I didn’t see it until I woke this morning. Why? Because my eyes were glued to the television, my laptop, my iPhone, and the election results that were becoming hauntingly clear.

With all of the hate and divisiveness displayed throughout this election cycle, Ambassador Young is still optimistic. His message is as poignant post-election as it was pre-election. He’s never witnessed this level of hate and cruelty in his lifetime, and remember, he was a civil rights leader who had to face the vile nature and brutality of Bull Connor and Governor George C. Wallace. This is the first time when all of the “isms” of the world has collided and come together and landed on the doorsteps of each and every American. We’ve never had to deal with racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, classism, elitism, misogyny, fear, and pure hate, all at one time.

Our country is deeply wounded and a bandaid won’t fix it.

Here’s 84-year-old Ambassador Andrew Young sharing his heart and love of God’s children, even when they aren’t being loving—and sharing his vision for the bumpy an highly emotional journey ahead for the United States and the world.

We need healing…we need love.

Earlier today I posted this announcement to two of my college classes:

Good afternoon team!

Today is Election Day and I know that many of you will be tuned in to see who the American public voted for to be our next President of the United States (POTUS). Hopefully all of you took part in early voting or you’re hitting the voting booth today.

Make sure that you are well-versed on on local and state elections and various amendments that can positively or negatively impact your community. The federal election has one level of impact on us, but our local and state elections have the biggest impact on us—especially since there are certain issues that the federal government has little to no say over, which means that state officials can rule whichever way they choose.

Crime, sentencing laws, education, sidewalks, potholes in streets, adequate lighting, jobs, community centers, parks, community policing, human trafficking, and other important issues are local matters that you need to voice your concerns about.

Change NEVER comes from the efforts
of government. It ALWAYS comes from the people making demands of those they put into office. And it shouldn’t wait for every four years, but should be on going each month.

Let your voice be heard and don’t ever think that your vote doesn’t count. Your vote could be the one that helps pass an amendment or law, or prevent one from being enacted. Your vote could help fast track important measures that our communities need to thrive.

Voters fixate on the presidential elections and then ignore local and state elections. No. No. No!

There has never been a POTUS who sat down and looked specifically at the concerns of residents near ATC, West End, Ben Hill, and other neighborhoods. Your local commissioners and representatives are responsible for that. Are you voting or leaving it up to everyone else to put in office and hold accountable the men and women who will try to dictate your and your children’s present and future?

If you’re against the death penalty wouldn’t it be in your best interest to make sure that a pro-death penalty candidate running to be the next judge, senator, or congressman, is NOT elected?

If you want to protect your child’s school and make sure that it is adequately funded, has quality and qualified teachers, has enough textbooks and resources, and is a bully-free and drug-free zone—don’t you think that you need to be involved in advocating for that and other schools, and voting for or against amendments and individuals that can negatively impact it?

You can’t complain about things taking place in your neighborhood, city, county, state, and country if you don’t vote and aren’t active in advocating for yourself and your family.

Do you know that there are tons of former inmates who don’t even realize when they are eligible to register to vote? Voter suppression is real and you can be an advocate for them. I recall walking through the West End MARTA station a few years ago, and I was helping to register voters. I would hear from individuals that they couldn’t vote due to their incarceration records. When I provided them with materials and informed them of the laws and their rights, many were shocked to find that they had been missing out on local, state, and even federal elections, thinking they couldn’t vote at all or weren’t eligible for several more years. I did meet two men who were ineligible but knew the exact year of eligibility and said they were determined to register at that time. I’m confident that both of those men are now registered voters and that they took part in this year’s election. They were passionate about voting on matters that impacted them and voting for (or against) candidates whose views on sentencing laws, incarceration, rehabilitation, jobs for former inmates, and other related matters, aligned with theirs as voters.

I don’t care if you choose to ignore all candidates for every office and only vote on amendments and measures that matter to you. Just get out there and vote! If you don’t, no one wants to hear your complaints and grievances. If you can’t vote (for legal or residency issues) then speak up and speak out, while encouraging others to cast their votes.

Systems only work when everyone impacted by the system plays a role in it.

Prof. Bryant

It’s important that as an instructor and a leader, that I encourage my students to speak up, speak out, get and remain engaged, and vote. This isn’t just about who’s running for the office of POTUS, this is about the men and women who want to lead in your state! Don’t be blinded by one thing and ignore your own backyard.

Natasha

The Weather Channel interviewed and compiled an informative list of nonprofits that we can contact about donating food, water, supplies, and money, to help Haitians impacted by Hurricane Matthew. 

Six years after being clobbered by a devastating earthquake that killed and destroyed countless families throughout the country, now they have been hit with the biggest storm to hit the island since 1954.

Doctors are concerned about a cholera outbreak. Their water supply will most definitely be contaminated by the flood water that overtakes it.

Unlike the US (except their island-based states and territories) and other countries with large land mass, Haiti and other island countries and territories don’t have a quick getaway path— as they are surrounded by water. 

In the US we tell our mainland residents to evacuate and head to areas away from the coastal area. But just like our Haitian brothers and sisters, the US has to sit, watch and pray, for our families in Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and other island areas, when they face natural disasters. 

Given ample time, the wealthy and the well-connected can flee to safety. But even with ample time, the poor and struggling are left behind to face an uncertain fate. 

With Hurricane Matthew destroying property and lives, those of us who are sitting by watching the devastation from our TV, computer, or mobile device—should do something to help. There are other humans on the other side of those devices we’re staring at. There are families and yes, even pets, who are scared and possibly injured. 

Will you skip your favorite coffee shop and fast food restaurant for a few days,  take that money and donate it to one of these reputable nonprofit organizations, who are on the ground right now in Haiti? 

Or you can take the money, buy the much-needed supplies, and then drop off or ship them to one or more of these charities. You have a choice, and hopefully for the thousands of lives impacted by yet another disaster, you will choose to give rather than sit by and watch in awe. This isn’t a Hollywood movie folks!

Here’s the link to find out more about how to help:

https://www.weather.com/news/news/hurricane-matthew-how-help

With love,

Natasha 

I just received this announcement from the White House Office of Public Engagement and decided to share it with you:

Friends—

The U.S. Treasury yesterday officially launched its myRA program, a new simple, safe, no-fee retirement savings option for the millions of Americans without access to a retirement savings plan at work. Please see the below press release and spread the word to your colleagues, community members, and businesses.

myRA makes saving simple, safe, and affordable for individuals to start saving, and is a good option for employers who do not offer a retirement savings plan to any portion of their staff, such as part-time, seasonal, or other employees.  With myRA, there are no costs to open an account, no fees, and no complicated investment options. Plus, people can choose how much to contribute – any amount that fits their budget – and they can access the money they put into their account if they need it. Also, at tax time, individuals can direct all or part of their federal tax refund to their myRA account.

To learn more or sign up for an account, visit myRA.gov.

*                              *                              *

U.S. Treasury Department
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2015
Treasury Public Affairs, (202) 622-2960

U.S. TREASURY LAUNCHES myRA (my Retirement Account)
TO HELP BRIDGE AMERICA’S RETIREMENT SAVINGS GAP

With pilot concluded, program expands with new funding options 
to make myRA available to more people

WASHINGTONWith millions of Americans lacking adequate retirement savings, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the national launch of myRA, a simple, safe and affordable new savings option for those who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work.  People can get information about myRA and sign up for an account at myRA.gov.

myRA is designed to remove common barriers to saving, and give people an easy way to get started,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “myRA has no fees, no risk of losing money and no minimum balance or contribution requirements. To make saving easier than ever, you can now put savings into my myRA RA directly from your bank account.”

With the initial pilot phase of the program concluded, myRA is now available nationwide with multiple ways for people to start saving:

  • Paycheck. Set up automatic direct deposit contributions to myRA through an employer.
  • NEW: Checking or savings account. Now savers can fund a myRA account directly by setting up recurring or one-time contributions from a checking or savings account.
  • NEW: Federal tax refund. At tax time, direct all or a portion of a federal tax refund to myRA.

myRA can give people confidence that they’re taking steps in the right direction, and it can serve as a bridge to other savings options that will carry them the rest of the way,” said Lew. “myRA alone will not solve the nation’s retirement savings gap, but it will be an important stepping stone for encouraging and creating a nation of savers.”

According to a 2015 Federal Reserve Report, 31 percent of non-retired people said they have no retirement savings or pension whatsoever. Additionally, a 2013 report by the National Institute on Retirement Savings found that the average near-retirement household had only $12,000 in retirement savings. Among workers who do not participate in a 401(k) or other defined contribution plan, 42 percent say it’s because their employer does not offer one. Furthermore, among part-time workers, a 2015 BLS Economic Release found that 62 percent don’t have access to a retirement plan at work.

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he would direct the Treasury Department to develop myRA. Throughout 2014, the Treasury Department developed the framework for the program, including creating a new Treasury savings bond to serve as the underlying investment for these accounts, as well as designating a financial agent to help Treasury administer the accounts and set up a simple way for savers to fund their accounts through their employers. This year, the Treasury Department worked with a small, diverse group of employers as part of the initial pilot phase of myRA to get feedback and ensure that the user experience is as simple and straightforward as possible.

myRA is designed as a starter retirement account to help bridge the savings gap for many of these workers. It is optimized to appeal to first-time savers, for whom a no-risk, principal-protected investment is more appealing than a higher-risk investment option.   As myRA account holders grow their savings, they have the option to transfer to a private-sector Roth IRA with diverse investment options at any time, or transfer to a private-sector Roth IRA once they reach the maximum myRA balance of $15,000.

myRA is a Roth IRA and follows the same eligibility requirements. To participate in myRA, savers (or their spouses, if married filing jointly) must have taxable compensation to be eligible to contribute to a myRA account and be within the Roth IRA income guidelines. Savers can contribute to their myRA accounts as little as a few dollars up to $5,500 per year (or $6,500 per year for individuals who will be 50 years of age or older at the end of the year). Savers can also withdraw money they put into their myRA accounts tax-free and without penalty at any time.  Roth IRA requirements apply to the tax free withdrawal of any earnings.

For more information about myRA or to sign up for an account, visit myRA.gov.

###

Attorney Garrett Sutton shared ten rules for protective asset protection planning, so that your family and your business can be protected from creditors, lawsuits, judgments, and divorce. Sutton wrote that you should consider:

  1. Planning your strategy before you’re sued. It’s too late to try to protect your assets once a lawsuit is filed. But a strong protection structure can possibly deter lawsuits.
  2. Separate your personal and business assets. This is especially true for sole proprietors.
  3. It’s risky being a sole proprietor. If you own a business then you are personally sued and aren’t insulated by your business. Consider becoming an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or LLP.
  4. A partnership can mean double the risk. You can be held liable for what your partner does or doesn’t do. 
  5. Protect yourself by using a registered corporate entity for asset protection. Do research on forming or converting your company into an LLC, LLP, S-Corp, or C-Corp.
  6. Maintain annual requirements so that your legal protection remains intact. That means making sure you’re holding your annual meetings and keeping minutes, keeping your company assets separate from your personal assets, and not signing business documents in your name.
  7. Protect your business and real estate assets in a business entity. Consider putting your rental and investment properties in an LLC
  8. Have a comprehensive commercial insurance policy. This can help you keep your property rather than lose it in a court-ordered settlement.
  9. Use entities as a second line of defense. Just in case your insurance doesn’t fully protect you, using entities for asset protection could possibly save you the added headache.
  10. Avoid incorporation scams, like the “We can incorporate your business for $99”.

Take the time to do your research and make sure that you do your part to protect your personal and business assets. You never know when you can be the party in a lawsuit or on the end of a creditor’s wrath.

Never have I experienced the level of care, consideration, thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and efficacy from an airlines until meeting the amazing Korean Air team. You can tell from the moment you step up to the counter to check in your bags, that they are here to serve you.

Korean Air is celebrating their 45th year of service, and I wonder if for 45 years they have been providing this level of service for passengers, and how did they get their start? That of course requires me to do some research (which I haven’t done as of yet, because I’m too busy enjoying this cappuccino that the attendant just brought me!).

Now let me share a disclaimer. My husband and I are both medallion members with two super awesome airlines, and with our travel records (his definitely, definitely more extensive than mine) there are added perks when you travel with these airlines and partnering airlines. There are various upgrades and accommodations that you receive as a medallion member (or even just First-class passenger) that you don’t receive as a non-member (or Coach-class ticketed passenger), but I have to say, that even when I observed the treatment and accommodations of Coach and non-Medallion members flying with Korean Air, they still had a great experience throughout their travel.

VIP Treatment
Medallion members and First-Class ticket holders get a VIP treatment that makes you feel as though this is your private jet and your personal staff serving you.

Arrival at the Istanbul, Turkey ticket counter was met with smiles and greetings. They immediately synced our medallion status with our tickets so that it showed across the board on all of Korean Air’s computers. They then offered to plastic wrap our bags for free (a service that many people prefer when traveling around the world as it helps to protect it from bumps and bruises, as well as sticky fingers that may want to snatch an item or two from your precious cargo).

To and From Gates: Personal Guides to Escort You
The staff offers to have a personal guide to escort you to your medallion club lounge, direct you to any airport shops or restaurants that you might be interested in visiting (even escorting you there if needed) and then they escort you from the lounge (or store) to the departure gate. Yes, they come inside of the lounge and personally assist you with getting to the gate. There’s not just the traditional announcement from the lounge’s front desk (that you hope you don’t miss hearing) that indicates boarding times of flights.

With Korean Air they personally collect you and make sure that you get to your gate on time (personally handing your boarding pass and passport to the gate agent, and waiting until you board the plane). But it didn’t end there. Korean Air also has a feature that offers this same service when you arrive at each of your destinations (including connecting flights). All of this is optional, and honestly I don’t know why anyone would pass on this.

So when we arrived in South Korea we were greeted at the plane doors by a young man carrying a computer-printed sign with our name. This young man then escorted us through the security check points, answered questions about South Korea’s history, growth, culture, customs, and people (not to say that that will always be an experience that will be shared—but this was ours, and most likely because we asked the questions). Then our private escort guided us through the airport to the lounge and then returned in time to escort us through to the gate, graciously hand us off to the gate agent, and send us on our way with wishes for safe travel.

Flight Crew Experience
On board of every Korean Air plane, and now I’ve been on two, so of course I would boldly say “every”, right?!? the flight crew takes your experience up about ten or more notches. From being greeted by each crew member (even pilots), to receiving fresh and very comfortable pajamas and slippers aka “house shoes” (which normally the slippers are the only thing you receive in Business and First Class along with your toiletry bag), Bose noise-canceling headphones (Delta also offers these on select flights), an awesome toiletry bag with tons of goodies–Delta airlines also has a super awesome Tumi toiletry bag that I love collecting, and I believe it’s Air France that carries some scrumptious toiletries both in their bags and restrooms.

Speaking of restrooms…even Korean Air’s on board restrooms are spacious, comfy, and filled with travel essentials (and some pleasant potpourri that make being in that space more than tolerable). I assumed that the same accommodations are made in the Coach section of the plane. I couldn’t imagine their level of care dropping significantly, so I checked it out…wowsers, not only were they favorable, they were twice the size of the First and Business Class cabins. Why? Because Korean Air uses common sense, there are more Coach passengers than Business and First Class (and also more families traveling with small children in Coach), so you build out their restrooms with this in mind.

Class, consideration, and dignity. Just awesomeness!

So back to the pajamas…after you have slipped on your pajamas (in the restroom of course) you return to an attendant who is waiting by your seat to offer you comfy bedding that they will place over your fully-reclined seat that converts to a bed, and then they give you a fluffy blanket and pillow. I must add that Delta also has an amazing blanket and pillow for International flights. I wanted to ask for one of each to take home. But Korean Air is the first airline experience that I’ve had with full bedding for added comfort.

The Food
Oh my goodness…so I’ve already ruined my detox from my trip a few weeks ago to France, so I was rarely thinking of my food consumption when I returned to Paris several days ago, and then while in Turkey for a few days, and definitely not while aboard these fabulous planes. I just don’t have that level of willpower to say “no” to local cuisine. Besides I convince myself that their food is more organic. Yeah, like I said, I have no willpower. So anyway, from dinner to breakfast, each and every meal I had on Korean Air was absolutely scrumptious. Whether you chose Korean dishes or Western dishes (I sampled both), you will be amazed (unless you have a bland and barely exposed palate). I had the Bibimbap (and other Korean delicacies) and a glass of Gewürztraminer 2012 (that I enjoyed with my fruits and cheeses) on my flight from Turkey to South Korea.

On my flight from South Korea to Los Angeles I had the Jedong Beef, foie gras (which I normally pass up but sampled this go around), a huge salad (that I barely put a dint in) and a partial glass of Chateau Lascombes 2006 (from the village of Margaux in Bordeaux). I’m not a red wine lover or even a wine connoisseur, so this was a big girl step that wasn’t that bad. I could actually smell and taste the fruits. I think being 30,000 feet in the air may help with your senses. Maybe.

Breakfast heading to South Korea I chose an omelette, Danish, fruit and cheese, and orange juice. There was no way I could eat the yogurt or cereals offered. One reason, because I knew I couldn’t eat that much food, and the second reason is because I was trying to show that I had some willpower in limiting my amount of dairy, empty carbs, and sugar. So both flights I elected to skip that portion of what seemed like a six-course meal. Two hours before arriving in Los Angeles, my breakfast choice was scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes (garnished with sliced red onions and tangerines), a slice of bacon, two delicious cups of cappuccino (one of which I’m sipping as I type this), and a cinnamon Danish.

Both flights I’ve been absolutely stuffed to capacity. So on this leg to Los Angeles I’ve chosen to skip the fruit and cheese because I have no more room in this belly that I’m trying desperately to get back in tip-top shape! Matter of fact as I sit here typing I feel like an ever-expanding balloon. Who could possibly eat all of this food and not pass out? Jeesh!

Arrival in Los Angeles: See you Later Korean Air!

Landing in Los Angeles was just like landing in South Korea, individual salutations by each crew member including the co-pilot, and then a group thank you and bow to the entire plane of passengers. Korean Air shows from the beginning to the end of your journey that they value you as a customer and guest with their airlines, and they value their careers and roles not just with the airlines but in the world.

Korean Air as Servant Leaders
You can tell when people are servant leaders and when people simply take a job that requires service of others. Korean Air truly has a staff, a team, a family of individuals that value excellent service and express that through their daily interaction with guests as well as amongst themselves. I will definitely travel with Korean Air again, and this time I will remember to take the complimentary pajamas and slippers with me. I naively left those comfy threads behind.

I strongly recommend that if you ever get the chance to fly with Korean Air that you seize the moment and then share your experience so that others can benefit from your viewpoint. People are quick to post negative comments about negative experiences, so let’s pour on the love when we receive an awesomely rewarding experience!

~Natasha

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Saturday!

It’s been an awesomely jam-packed week, and I have two more announcements to share with all of you:

Connecting Theory With Application
I am honored to announce that I now serve as an Adjunct Professor teaching “Economic Development in Africa” at Emory University, and “Intro to Management” at Kaplan University.

Emory University
My first class at Emory was August 28th and I am thrilled to be co-teaching with Dr. Sam Cherribi, a brilliant professor, researcher, and leader. We’re tag-teaming in a three-hour class once a week, and so far it’s been awesome. The students love it too! I love the subject matter and the campus is breathtaking. What an awesome environment to learn, share and grow.

What is even more awesome is that I’m reconnecting my passion for Africa, the work I used to do there in the 90s, and my efforts to resume work there. To me it’s a sign of what’s coming my way, and boy I’m excited!

Kaplan University
Right now I’m going through my training and immersion into the culture of Kaplan, but now on the instructor side. See, years ago I graduated from Kaplan’s School of Business and Management, earning my MBA with a specialization in Marketing.

More About My History With Kaplan
I chose Kaplan’s MBA program because I needed a school that could travel with me (online) but give me the intense courses and workload that I needed to sharpen my skills and develop new ones. I wasn’t going to twiddle my thumbs on the super long waiting list at my alma mater, CSU Long Beach. No offense to CSULB, their waiting list is a testament to the strength, depth, and impact of the business school and the university. I just knew that if I didn’t move quickly I wouldn’t pursue and accomplish my goal, so I kept looking.

Since there were only a few brick and mortar schools that offered online programs, I ran with Kaplan. I was familiar with their name and brand, and their program looked interesting and challenging. Another bonus was and is, Kaplan University professors are subject matter experts who teach about the fields in which they work. They don’t just teach what they read, they teach what they know, do, and experience. They bring theory and application together in one setting.

I definitely earned my MBA degree through Kaplan. Some of those classes were painful, but in a good way! I was able to take what I was doing through my company (at the time), G4 Consulting Group, and learn the theories and laws behind what made things work in business, and how to make good work better. I also learned how to work on teams, rely upon team members, work around distance and time zones, work virtually, and work with difficult people.

Here I am several years later with an opportunity to give back to the Kaplan community that I admire, now as a professor. How awesome is that?!?

I begin teaching my first online class at Kaplan next quarter. Unlike my class at Emory, I will be the only instructor navigating the class and it will be in the super fast-paced online world. What’s so awesome is that I will be teaching students from all around the world one of my favorite subjects, and at my alma mater!

Okay folks, that’s all of my announcements for now. I will wait to send you reminders in about two weeks that my birthday is October 27th! Smile.

Thank you for the continued love, encouragement, and support. I’ve got to go because I have a lot of work to do. Have an awesome weekend!

Warmest wishes and hugs,

Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2014. NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is the first time in a long time that I have started a journey in my career where I’ve been scared. It’s such a huge thing and I’m scared. But dang it I’m running with it anyway! My parents didn’t raise a punk, so I’m putting on my big girl trunks and doing this!

Storiboard Nation LLC
I Co-Founded this company with my business partner, Markeith Wood. We first met in November 2013, and by February 2014 I decided to switch my role from serving as a consultant to actually becoming a partner. In March the company was legally formed.

I serve as the Co-Founder and Chief Global Strategist (and behind the scenes wearing a bunch of other hats!)

Markeith and I both share a passion for community and especially working with and mentoring the youth. We had similar ideas for an online mentoring network, but Markeith’s idea was super-sized as his vision had potential to be global, while I hadn’t broadened my focus beyond serving one nonprofit organization near and dear to me (hint hint). We put our minds together, tweaked some of our original thoughts, and I began sharpening my techie (after many years of laying dormant).

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Storiboard Nation, “an online mentoring network for youth, supported by parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors“. It’s a private network where we have students in middle school through college engaging in dialogue with their peers, with each other and with the adults who want to see them succeed.

Adults have to undergo extensive background screening before they can gain access to the network. We have student-only and adult-only forums. We have groups that meet and discuss topics from music to STEM, entrepreneurship to sports, attending college to changing the environment, and everything in between.

We’re creating an online community “where we can build tomorrow’s leaders today!

We already have teachers with more than 350 students waiting for us to open the virtual doors to them. The teachers have been part of our BETA testers along with several parents, coaches, and mentors.

We have students in grades 6-12 as well as several who are in college, who are adding their voice and creativity to helping us build the online community in a way that’s appealing to youth and not just us “old folks”.

We’re partnering with mentoring and youth organizations, as well as businesses from around the world who are interested in taking part in what we believe will be a big impact not just locally but globally.

We’re currently developing our mobile app, which will make interacting simpler and more engaging, and will give us the global presence that is needed. We’re also actively looking for team members and partners to help us build Storiboard Nation to where it needs to be.

To get a sneak peek into Storiboard Nation visit storiboardnation.com

Markeith and I are simultaneously working on other projects beyond the online community that will reinforce and nurture what we’re currently developing. Stay tuned for more announcements concerning those efforts.

Remember life is about our stories, share yours today on Storiboard Nation!

Warmest wishes,
Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2014. NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Okay folks, so here’s some more news that I haven’t shared fully with everyone:

Paradigm Life Fitness LLC
Earlier this year I launched Paradigm Life Fitness, LLC (PLF) as an answer to those who kept asking me, “when are you going to relaunch your training business?”

Many of you don’t know that I first started out as a Personal Fitness Trainer in 1993 and by 1995 I had started my own company, “Paradigm Fitness” training youth and adults around Southern California. Years later, for personal reasons, I stopped training. But over the past four years my friends and associates kept lovingly nudging me to pick back up the baton and run with it.

So I decided to be my first client, tell no one what I was doing, and take myself through some sometimes painful processes for two years. Yes, for two years I have been my own guinea pig, watching how I physically, mentally, and emotionally responded to combinations of food and exercise alterations.

The best way to train in any industry is to teach what you know from experience. So the weight gain, achy body, and emotional roller coasters came and left—and I yo-yo’d up and down more than 25 pounds!

What I could do at age 20 and even at age 30, I could no longer get away with at almost age 40.

Eating and exercise had to be intentional.

But I didn’t jump up to launch PLF. I instead looked at the marketplace and reconnected with some passions and concerns of mine. I wanted to know what trainers were focusing specifically on:

children
– families
– moms and moms-to-be
– “seasoned citizens”
– individuals with “food issues
(eating disorders, obesity, diabesity, yo-yo dieters, etc)

What I found was that most trainers in Metro Atlanta, Georgia were either focusing on only one group, or clumping them into one group—but treating them as though they were their traditional “I’m athletic just out of shape” clients. To me, the groups I referenced above need specialized training and settings that help encourage them to keep pushing.

That’s when I decided to launch PLF.

It has been rewarding and encouraging to be out there training with my clients. Even as they sweat and struggle, they tell me that I make it more bearable because I’m sweating right beside them.

When word got out that I launched the company, my “busy” friends and associates asked why I wasn’t marketing to their group. After contemplating it for a week or so, I decided to also offer my services to “Busy Professionals“.

I’m currently working on growing my team and aligning with fitness professionals who can truly relate and connect with PLF clients. So if you know of someone who might be interested in joining my team, send them my way!

To learn more about PLF and the services provided please visit Paradigmlifefitness.com

Warmest wishes,

Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2014. NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I am thrilled and excited to share some amazing news with all of you. Some of you know that I am a very private person and can be very secretive when I am working on things, or going through issues.

So for the past several months I have been very secretive about certain aspects of my life and career that I am now bursting at the seams to share with you today. Since I have a lot to share I’m going to do this in separate posts throughout the week. A mini-series on little ole’ me!

Trust me I’m not being a prima donna, you will thank me for not dumping all of this information in your lap at one time!

I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to start. Here’s the first announcement:

Foreman & Associates LLC
Over the past two years I have been doing some revamping and real “tweaking” of my operations, really trying to narrow down and focus on what I want and need this company to be for me, my team, and my clients.

I have added team members (including a new one yesterday) and we have realigned what we do and how we operate, with our mission, purpose, and vision. We have refocused our vision for what a prospective client looks like and we know that we cannot serve the needs of everyone, because there truly is a niche market that fits our model best.

For those individuals and companies who we are not in a position to serve, we are referring them to other firms and organizations that we have relationships with, who can best serve their needs.

We are pleased to announce our notary public and specialized consulting services (for professionals and companies and various industries) that are now available.

We also are ramping up our training services as demand has grown significantly. The goal is to eventually provide both on-site and online training.

We have more exciting news that I will be announcing in the coming months. So stay tuned.

Please be sure to visit our website at ForemanLLC.com to learn more. Also be sure to spread the word about Foreman & Associates, LLC

Warmest wishes,

Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2014. NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today marks the 22nd year that Operation HOPE has been serving communities throughout the United States and abroad.

It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve with my Operation HOPE family for the past four years as a HOPE Corp volunteer, and now as an Advisory Board co-chair for HOPE Business In A Box Academies, and the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

As the wife of the Founder, Chairman, and CEO, John Hope Bryant, I not only share in the mission of Operation HOPE, but I devote my life to its mission with the focus on poverty eradication and economic empowerment for all. This will be my mission until I take my last breath, so I intend to give it 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time.

Today I celebrate this amazing organization by sporting my treasured Operation HOPE cycling jersey (pictured below). I represent Operation HOPE with pride.

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Happy 22nd anniversary Operation HOPE! A lot has been accomplished in 22 years, but we have a lot of work still left to do. Let’s do this!

~Natasha Foreman Bryant

By Natasha Foreman Bryant

Parents and guardians now have a little more room to breathe when it comes to their beloved teens behind the wheel of a vehicle—phone apps that help prevent texting while driving. I’m sure there are more apps in the marketplace since this May 2013 article was published, but here’s a good start. Please remember that none of the apps are 100 percent foolproof, hack-proof, etc., but these apps do a pretty good job according to this review. Please share your feedback and experiences.

 

Source:

http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/2013/05/five-apps-that-help-prevent-texting-while-driving/

 

Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman.

According to Gallup, Michelle Obama maintains a 66% favorable rating, similar to her past ratings. Her average favorable rating so far is higher than Hillary Clinton’s during her time as first lady, but lower than Laura Bush’s.
 
 Read more at GALLUP
 
 
 
 Source:
 http://www.gallup.com/poll/167696/michelle-obama-maintains-positive-image.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 I love learning new things. So I get excited when I learn facts about people, products, things and places that I sometimes take for granted, for instance, I use Crest toothpaste, sometimes drink Folgers coffee, I like to pop in Bounce fabric softener in my laundry, and before I stopped drinking soda I used to love slurping back a can of Crush soda (Orange or Strawberry).
 
 


Well I was very surprised to find out that these products and more were developed by an African American chemist and executive, Dr. Herbert C. Smitherman, Sr. when he worked at Procter and Gamble beginning in the 1960s.
 
 


Dr. Smitherman developed several flavors of Crush many of which are still on grocery store shelves today.


Now I’m sure some of my friends from high school or even college will tell me that I knew this little known fact, but I honestly can’t recall—which is sad, especially since I have a degree in Black Studies. Uugh…well let me continue sharing what I found out about this great innovator.
 
 Dr. Smitherman was the first African American hired by P&G with a PhD in physical organic chemistry, and he continued working for the company for 29 years, helping to develop numerous products for them, while also helping to make P&G a more diverse company, as he recruited a great number of African American professionals to work for the company from the 1960s through the 1980s.
 
 How many of you use (or used) Safeguard soap? Well be sure to say, “thank you” to the late Dr. Smitherman, Sr for developing that for your daily use!
 
 Check out this 1960s Crest commercial: http://youtu.be/cbXuW97l3DQ
 
 Developing products and creating a more diverse environment for P&G aren’t the only things Dr. Smitherman did in his lifetime. Besides earning his PhD, the only child to an Alabama pastor (also a community activist), also served in his community, as an active member of the NAACP. He and his wife of 51 years, Barbara Flowers Smitherman, had six children and 14 grandchildren. The couple met while they attended college at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
 
 After retiring from P&G, Dr. Smitherman pursued a career in education, serving as vice president of academic affairs for Wilberforce University. Dr. Smitherman then started Western Hills Design Technology, a high school that was created to assist African American students in math and science. He later joined the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education as an assistant to Superintendent Mary Ronan.
 
 Dr. Smitherman passed away on October 9, 2010 at the age of 73. He left to carry on his legacy his wife, children, and grandchildren. He also left behind a history that can never be forgotten, as long as we do our part to share it in our households, communities and with the world. Some of the many patents Dr. Smitherman developed for P&G were featured in the ‘’America I AM: The African American Imprint’’ exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Check with America I AM for current and future exhibits around the country, by visiting: http://www.americaiam.org
 
 Every time I purchase a P&G product developed by Dr. Smitherman I will smile proudly at the cash register and all the way home. Thank you Dr. Smitherman for your amazing contributions to the world.
 
 Please share this story and other historical records of contributions made by men and women of color, and the African American experience, as it oftentimes goes overlooked, and has increasingly been removed from history books given to students in grades K-12. I don’t recall reading about Dr. Smitherman in any of my K-12 classrooms, and he’s not searchable on Wikipedia, so I know that the majority of students today don’t know about him and other pioneers, innovators, and leaders—don’t forget, many of them go to Google and Wikipedia for their research and fact checking.
 
 Knowing this, let’s do our part to keep the light lit and the information churning!
 
 
 
 Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant.