Women who WOW: Alison Vaughn; Jackets for Jobs

Alison Vaughn is an author, speaker, award-winning entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Jackets for Jobs, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides employment etiquette, career skills training and professional clothing to low-income individuals. Since opening its doors in 2000, Jackets for Jobs has assisted more than 16,000 individuals in their pursuit of employment. This high profile organization has been recognized by ABC's "The View," NBC's "Today Show" and Oprah's O Magazine. 

In 2007, Jackets for Jobs caught the attention of retail giant T.J. Maxx with whom the organization has since partnered. In 2013, Jackets for Jobs opened an office in Botswana (Africa). Vaughn represented the organization on the floor of the NASDAQ where she rang the closing bell in 2006 and 2014.

A Detroit native, Vaughn is a sought-after public speaker nationally and internationally. In the fall of 2014, she was chosen to speak at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai, UAE on the rise of women entrepreneurs. 
Vaughn has inspired audiences with her insights on advocacy, entrepreneurism, empowerment and workforce development including area churches, civil rights organizations, corporations and non-profits, conference attendees, schools and universities and women's groups.

Vaughn was the 2011 co-chair of the 56th Annual Detroit NAACP Fight for Freedom Dinner, the largest sitdown dinner in the country annually drawing 10,000 attendees. The dinner is known for its distinguished keynote speakers, including U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton; the Honorable Hillary Clinton; the Honorable Colin Powell; and actor Danny Glover.

A member of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), Vaughn is a co-author of the book Inspired Style. This guide to glamour at any age features Vaughn and other top image experts sharing tips to help women look and be their best. She has also contributed articles on image, style and business etiquette for local newspapers.

Vaughn earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and graduated from The Women's Campaign School at Yale University, sponsored by Yale Law School. She is a member of Distinguished Women in International Service, Gamma Phi Delta Sorority and Top Ladies of Distinction.
 Vaughn is a Eureka Communities Fellow, active with the NAACP and was a 2006 candidate for the Michigan State Senate. 
Vaughn is a Goldman Sachs Scholar, a graduate of the investment firm's 10,000 Small Businesses Program that provides entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services. She is one of Martha Stewart's "Dreamers into Doers," a group of entrepreneurs who have turned their dreams into reality.

Having received numerous accolades, in 2007, Vaughn was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Alabama A & M University, and "Businesswoman of the Year" by the National Association of Negro Business & Professional Business Women in 2009. That same year, the Michigan Chronicle honored Vaughn as a Woman of Excellence, and Lakeshore Engineering recognized her with its "Leaders, Legends & Luminaries" award.

Vaughn has been listed in the Who's Who of Black Detroit for three years and the Who's Who Among Female Executives. 
She is a recipient of the Community Service Award from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Humanitarian Award from the Top Ladies of Distinction.

In her spare time, Vaughn enjoys traveling, being a mommy, reading and attending sporting events--never missing a Detroit Lions home game. She is a member of Word of Faith International Christian Center.

Women who WOW: Stephanie Johnson Delta Air Lines first African-American female captain

Two time trailblazer Stephanie Johnson is a Graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Technology. As a student in the flight program she displayed an unwavering work ethic and focus by earning her her Private, Commercial, Flight Instructor, and Flight Engineer Certificates with Instrument and Multi engine ratings in addition to working as a Flight Instructor in the Aviation program. After graduating in 1991, she continued as a Flight Instructor at Kent State University and at Medina Municipal (Freedom Field) Airport, Medina, Ohio. In 1993 Johnson was hired as an Airport Operations Agent at Burke Lakefront Airport, in Cleveland, Ohio where she continued to flight instruct as a second full-time job on her days off. She went on to become a charter pilot and in 1995 earned her Airline Transport Pilot certificate and landed a position as a commercial Airline pilot with Mesa Airlines. In October 1997 Stephanie was hired by Northwest Airlines making history as it’s first African American female pilot as Flight Engineer on the Boeing 727.

Stephanie Johnson Delta Air Lines first African-American Captain
According to Johnson, ""I feel a great sense of responsibility to be a positive role model. There are so few women in this profession and too many women who still don't think of it as a career option," Johnson said. "When I was hired by Northwest Airlines, there were 12 African-American women airline pilots in the country at the major airlines, and I knew all of their names."

Johnson earned qualifications as First Officer on the 727 and the Airbus 320 and served as First Officer on the Boeing 757/767 now with Delta Air Lines before making history a second time in 2016 by becoming Delta air Lines first African-American female captain.

Artists of Color in Entertainment hosts the Beauty of a Brand Brunch and Awards in Atlanta


Artists of Color in Entertainment (ACE) hosted the Beauty of a Brand Brunch and Awards on Sunday, September 26, 2016.at CODARUS in Atlanta. The event was hosted by Yvette Caslin, curator of ACE, and co-hosted by aspiring PR and media professionals: Tai Savage, Georgia State University student; Gia Dorsey, Payne College graduate; Lauren Martinez, Clark Atlanta University graduate; Iman Reid, Georgia State University student; Kaelyn Leaphart, Georgia State University student and Kaylan Ware, Decatur High School student.

The ACE Honors program recognized women who have made outstanding contributions to advancing women’s and girls’ visibility and power in media and entertainment. It also connected seasoned women with millennial professionals so they can be media savvy.

“The Beauty of a Brand Brunch & Awards is where female influencers and leaders in the media industry were honored and connected. Whether behind-the-curtain or in front of the camera, these ACEs have amplified their voices,” said Yvette Caslin.

The 2016 ACE honorees:
Wendy Corona, WSB TV anchor, ACE “Stellar” Award winner
Marissa Mitchell, FOX 5 multimedia journalist, ACE “Rising Star” award winner
Yvette Noel-Schure, SVP of Publicity, Schure Media Group, ACE “Phenomenal Entrepreneur” award winner
Cynn√© Simpson, FOX 5 anchor, ACE “Champion” award winner
Sharon Reed, CBS 46 anchor, ACE “Outstanding” award winner
LaChina Robinson, ESPN analyst, ACE “Superior” award winner

A popular Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel quote spawned the event’s theme, which reads: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

Get social: #IAmAnACE #NatureofBeauty @cremeofnature

About ACE:
Artists of Color in Entertainment (ACE) is the industry's newest voice curating conversations and commanding narratives. We are a multimedia platform celebrating and connecting achievers in film, theater and television. And we are creating innovative and original content.

Season 2 premiere of Rickey Smiley For Real

I had a chance to attend the season two premiere of TV One's,  “Rickey Smiley For Real" docu series at SCAD Show in Atlanta, GA. The evening kicked off with red carpet arrivals and an informal celebrity meet and greet with audience members. In addition to the entire cast of the Rickey Smiley reality show and radio show cohosts, many local Atlanta celebrities were in attendance to show their support.





The celebrity guests included: Rickey Smiley, Da Brat (“Rickey Smiley Morning Show”), Porsha Williams (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Joseline Hernandez (“Love & Hip Hop”), singer Kelly Price, Ed Lover (“Ed Lover Show”), LeLee Lyons (“SWV”), Nicci Gilbert (“Brownstone”), Lisa Wu Hartwell (“Hollywood Divas”), Brandi Williams (“Blaque”), Diallo Thompson (“Barbershop 3”), Drea Kelly (“Hollywood Exes”), Gary With The T (“Rickey Smiley Morning Show”), Juicy (“Rickey Smiley Morning Show”), Headkrack (“Rickey Smiley Morning Show”), Gwen Boyd Moss (“Selling It: in the ATL”), Julian Walker (“Saints & Sinners”), Roger Bobb (“Bobbcat Films”), radio host Willie Moore Jr., and more!

TV One President Brad Siegel greeted attendees and thanked the audience for their support. Guests pre-screened the premiere episode of “Rickey Smiley For Real,” and engaged in conversation during a cast Q&A hosted by Dish Nation host Porsha Williams (co-moderated by Comcast Xfinity journalist Aisha Jefferson). Immediately following the screening guests were treated to an after party at the W Hotel’s Whiskey Park“Rickey Smiley For Real,” premieres Tuesday, May 10 at 8/7c on TV One. https://tvone.tv/show/rickey-smiley-for-real


Profile of a Glam Girl: Ethiopian Airlines Makes History With An All-Women Flight Crew

Yesterday, Ethiopian Airlines celebrated women by dispatching its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. From the flight deck, crew members to senior executives on-board, all women. The on-ground flight preparations were also conducted by females.
The flight departed for Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday night, and upon arrival in Bangkok, the customs and immigration officers were female. This was done to celebrate women and promote African women empowerment.
You can read the full story on venturesafrica.com or click here Ethiopian airlines makes history

Google Translate update seeks to break language barrier

Your smartphone can now instantly translate text across eight different languages, even without an internet connection, thanks to an update to Google’s Translate app. Google has updated the app’s Word Lens functionality so that words are translated instantly on your screen when you hold up your camera to them.

Users will now also be able to start a conversation without having to designate a language first – the app will automatically translate for both sides of the conversation once it hears two languages. This technology has existed for some time, but marks a substantial step forward in terms of ease of use.

Barak Turovsky, from Google Translate, said: “The Translate app already lets you use camera mode to snap a photo of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages. Now, we’re taking it to the next level and letting you instantly translate text using your camera – so it’s way easier to navigate street signs in the Italian countryside or decide what to order off a Barcelona menu.

“While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you’ll see the translated text overlaid on your screen – even if you don’t have an internet or data connection.”
Until now, the text translation tool took several seconds to work and an internet or data connection was required, while users had to specify languages before speaking into the microphone using the conversation tool.

Both the camera translations and conversation mode are new features for iPhone owners, who use iOS.
“This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – and we’re working to expand to more languages,” Mr Turovsky added.
The Google Translate app is currently used by more than 500 million people each day, according to the technology giant, and the app is already used to make more than one billion translations every day – with Google hoping the new features they’re introducing will push these numbers up further.
“Today’s updates take us one step closer to turning your phone into a universal translator and to a world where language is no longer a barrier to discovering information or connecting with each other,” said Mr Turovsky.

Google has told Android and iOS users to expect to see an updateto the app appear in the coming days.

24 hours in..... Brussels, Belgium

My 24 hours in Brussels, Belgium was a surprising culinary delight. Most people think of brussel sprouts and Belgium waffles when it comes to this quaint European town, but my worldwind adventure was dominated by their world famous chocolates! Morning, noon and night, I indulged in hot chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate and more. I chocolate shop hopped my way around the Grand Palace only pausing my chocolatepallooza to gaze upon the majesty of the historical edifices in it's last few moments of holiday glory.

 Brussels has never been a place I considered for my holiday travels, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover the beautiful holiday markets that illuminated the city's most famous squares. Although I arrived post Christmas, there were still plenty of decorations adorning shops and lighting up the Grand Place square to enjoy.
 

I learned that the markets typically start at the end of November and run typically until the first week in January. And although the weather during that time isn't always the most tourist friendly, there's lots of cool activities including concerts and tours during that time that make Brussels a "cool" choice for a winter vacation. (See what I did right there :))

In my brief time, I was able to navigate a walking tour of some of the city's highlights. Here are my picks on a few fun things to see or do on a day trip to Brussels:

How to get there from the airport:  I was able to take the train directly from the Brussels International Airport into the city and walk to my hotel in under 45 minutes. The airport is located in the area of Zavantem, about 20 minutes by train from the city centre (Brussels Centrale station). It is important to note that you cannot buy a train ticket at the kiosk at the train stations unless you have change or a credit card with a chip. I wasted a fair amount of time trying to pay with my visa card sans chip before discovering that important little tidbit. You can also purchase tickets on board the train. Trains run into the city every 15 minutes or so, you can expect to spend about 8 euros each way for an average train ride. Once you are in Brussels there is also has an underground metro system but I was able to walk to most of the city's sights from my hotel.

Where to stay:
I love the hotel district near the Brussels Centrale Station, I really liked the area because it was safe and in walking distance of the historic Market Square, restaurants, and grocery stores. The Novetel Grand Place  is close to the famous Manneken Pis, the historic center and the Royal St. Hubert shopping arcade. Perks include free wifi and moderate pricing. Hotel Amigo is another great choice, this former prison, (yes prison!) became a hotel in 1957, just in time to host royals, celebrities and VIPs for the Brussels World’s Fair. Centrally located, you can walk to everything easily enough from here with tons of restaurants and bars including the reknown Delirium Tremors and their famous Belgium beers. For a budget friendly option consider Hotel Saint Michel, the historical hotel offers few frills but it's location right in the midst of Market Square make views from the hotel peerless.

Be sure to:  Go and see the famous " Pee" statue, the famous Manneken-Pis remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels. The statue is dressed in costume several times each week, according to a published schedule which is posted on the railings around the fountain. His wardrobe consists of several hundred different costumes, many of which may be viewed in a permanent exhibition inside the City Museum, located in the Grand Place, immediately opposite the Town Hall.

Try a Belgium beer or.... six. Beer is serious business with approximately 180 breweries in the country ranging from international giants to microbreweries. There are over 450 different varieties and many Belgian beers have personalized beer glasses in which only that beer may be served. The shape of each glass enhances the flavor of the beer for which it is designed. So have fun sampling!