5 Strangers I Met At Lunch

by Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes

In 2008 my wife and I were on the Tom Joyner Morning Show Fantastic Voyage and one day we both decided to go to separate events and meet up at a later time. When I went to lunch I saw a table with 5 people and I asked if I could sit with them. Everyone was cool. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. They knew each other.

Now it’s 2012 and I remember the lunch like it was yesterday. 2 of the 5 people I met that day I still communicate with on a regular basis. 3 of the 5 people at the table that day are now on the legal team for the family of Trayvon Martin and they are Benjamin Crump, Daryl Parks and Natalie Jackson. Their efforts have helped give birth to the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation. The JusticeTM is a non-profit organization that was established in March of 2012.  If you want get involved with this movement go to  www.justicetm.org for more information on ways you can support this cause.

The 4th person at the table was CoCo Brown who has appeared in movies, plays and had the independent music classic Sun Dress. The 5th person at the table that day was L.J. Holloway who was a lawyer back then but now has started a nonprofit organization called All About HealthCare Advocates.

Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson

Benjamin L. Crump is a principal with the Tallahassee firm of Parks & Crump, LLC. Mr. Crump has been recognized for his generous contributions to those in need, excellence in the legal profession and personal service to the community. Recently, Mr. Crump received the distinction as the first African-American to be named Philanthropist of the Year from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in recognition of his donation of $1,000,000.00 to the Legal Services of North Florida. Visit Benjamin Crump for more information.

Daryl Parks is a founding and managing partner of Parks & Crump, LLC. He hails from Haines City, Florida, and attended Florida A&M University on a Presidential Scholarship. While there, Mr. Parks was the first Student Body President elected to two consecutive terms and founded the National Coalition of Black College Student Governments. In 1992, Mr. Parks was selected as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s National College Brother of the Year and received his Bachelor degree in political science and economics. He graduated from the Florida State University College of Law in 1995 and had his first client only one day after being sworn into The Florida Bar. Visit Daryl Parks for more information.

Natalie Jackson is the founder of The Women’s Trial Group and has more than 13 years of combined leadership, media and legal experience. She is best known for her work advocating for the legal concerns of women and children and her work in the fields of criminal defense, personal injury, injury to children and wrongful death as it relates to women and their families as well as being featured with her high profile clients on: The Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, CNN, Fox News, Headline News, and most local and state news channels. Visit Natalie Jackson for more information.

CoCo Brown is leader of The Phat Cat Players that sparked an Independent movement when their song “Sundress” began climbing Billboard’s hip-hop/R&B charts in early spring 2000. On the Parlane Entertainment label, the track first attracted attention when it was featured on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. Coco has made appearances in the play Love In The Nick Of Tyme and the movie Madea’s Family Reunion. Visit CoCo Brown for more information.

L.J. Holloway is an Author, Advocate and student of  Aviation. A divine original willing to DO the impossible, to achieve the inevitable.  Her life’s mission is to educate and enlighten.  Ms. Holloway devotes her energy and efforts toward three of her passions: Books; an Annual Benefit; and Business (all of which are inter-related and born on the same day). Consistent with the three’s in her life, lj is a native and resident of Jacksonville, Florida who plays on Amelia Island at historic American Beach and works in the Nation’s Capital (Washington, D.C.). L.J. Holloway earned the Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law and in her spare time enjoys fine dining, international travel and spending time with mature adults who impart wisdom. Visit L.J. Holloway for more information.

I wrote this to remind you that when you are amongst strangers you just might be entertaining angels.  I recently read in Reid Hoffman’s Book, The Start Up of You that the word company is derived from the Latin cum and pane, which means breaking bread together. You may never know when or where but sooner or later you will be breaking bread with great company.

Derrick Hayes is the Author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes, Creator of Derricknyms, Developer of the app Motivation To Your Mobile, Nominator of Today’s Honoree, and blogs as the Encouragement Speaker. For more information or to book Derrick Hayes for a meeting, conference or event email him at info@derrickhayes.com or call (706) 615-1662.

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5 Responses to 5 Strangers I Met At Lunch

  1. Indeed, you are an Angel. I shall never forget the Derricknyms you wrote for each of us. They were authentic and apropos. I applaud your ambition, salute your success and am blessed by your motivation (even those that are not via mobile). Thank you for reminding be to be cognizant of Angels. ~L.J. Holloway

  2. newbeg2004 says:

    That is an awesome story and the fact that they all are doing wonderful things. I wish blessings among you and your company of people. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This was an excellent read. It is really incredible how we have no idea who we will meet from day to day! I think sometimes people make a huge mistake for not approaching new people to get to know them!
    If I had to do it all over again- I would definitely talk to more people and make sure that I used any type of networking function to reach out.

    We have a networking group where many people do reach out- fortbenningareaguide.com and this is where I had the pleasure to meet Derrick! He is a wonderful man and he Inspires you! Thank You Derrick!

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