DERRICK Interview with Eugene “Nap” Napoleon

March 18, 2015

EugeneNapolean

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Eugene Napoleon who grew up in the Marion Garden Housing Projects located in Jersey City, New Jersey. He dreamed of accomplishing two major goals in life. He wanted to play professional football, and become President, and CEO of his company. A collegiate standout student-athlete at West Virginia University, Napoleon went on to achieve both goals. He played professional football in the Arena Football League (AFL) with the Tampa Bay Storm, and the Orlando Predators. Also signed a professional contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

After retiring, Napoleon went on to establish both his Nap Records label, and Nap Sports Marketing / Management Company. The Nap Records Label is an independent record company that has successfully been around for the past 20 years. Nap Records recording artist Ny’a has sold over 500,000 records worldwide, which gave Eugene Napoleon, and Nap Records their first Gold-selling recording artist, and album. Napoleon has successfully negotiated (8) worldwide “Pressing and Distribution” deals for his Nap Records, LLC. Company.

In 1999, Eugene Napoleon established Nap Sports, LLC. In which, he is the President, and CEO. Nap Sports, LLC. Is a limited liability company involved with marketing, promotions, contract negotiations, special events, camps / clinics, speaking engagements, endorsement opportunities, and consultant work, for professional athletes, and other celebrity clients. In 2005 alone, Napoleon represented the MVP of the WNBA, and Co-represented the U.S. Open LPGA Golf Champion, and a member of the White Sox World Series Championship Team.

The Future is now, and because of the many years of success in the sports, and entertainment world, Eugene Napoleon decided to focus on another company. He is the CEO of Nap Vision Entertainment, LLC. Nap Vision Entertainment will continue to operate in the same fashion as Nap Sports did back in the late 90’s. Nap Vision Entertainment will be responsible for management, and representation, marketing, promotions, consulting, special events, and speaking engagements for professional athletes, professional recording artist, and other celebrity clients. Nap Vision Entertainment, LLC. Is home to Pamela Long, known around the world as “Pam,” the platinum selling recording artist, and lead singer of the R&B group, TOTAL. Eugene Napoleon also manages, and represents the R&B group, TOTAL. Nap Vision Entertainment also represents professional basketball player, Thazina Cook. Thazina plays for BC De Chenove in France.

Eugene Napoleon is also an educator. He has 20 years of teaching experience. He is a certified Special Education Teacher, dealing with Emotionally Disturbed, and Behavioral Disability students. Napoleon currently works for the Linden Board of Education.

Q. What is your dream, and what have you achieved?

A. When I was 7 years old, I told my mother that I wanted to play professional football, and become a CEO of my own company. My mother always inspired, and pushed me to make my dreams a reality. I thank God for her, because I did achieve those goals. I played professional football in the
Arena Football League (AFL) and I am the President, and CEO of Nap Records, LLC. And Nap Vision Entertainment, LLC. I am a successful, and well respected business man, Barnes & Noble “Bestselling” author, sports agent, and consultant, and manager of one of the most successful R&B groups in the history of the music business, TOTAL.

Q. What encourages you?

A. I have always been blessed with great faith. I grew up in the Marion Garden Projects in Jersey City, New Jersey. So, my mother was my HERO! My mother taught me the importance of character, morals, values, discipline, and having a great work ethic. So, with that came this burning desire to
want success in everything that I was involved in. My encouragement comes from always wanting to inspire positive change in the life of others. I am encouraged, and motivated by all of my sisters, and brothers that did not make it to see their dreams become a reality. My mother had 7 children, and she buried 5 of them. So, I have a totally different perspective on life.

Q. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand
out?

A. I was blessed to have a mother that taught me so many different lessons regarding life. My background in sports, and entertainment, has provided me with many great opportunities to meet, and work with many other successful people. I am respected, because I bring honesty, integrity, with a high moral code to anything that I am a part of. In most cases, those qualities, and beliefs are hard to find in the kind of businesses that I am involved in.

Q. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

A. When I was 7 years old. I had a conversation with my mother telling her what I wanted to accomplish in my life. We mapped out something called, “The Blueprint.” I used “The Blueprint” to inspire my entire life. I told my mother was my dreams were at 7 years old. I was blessed to accomplish every goal, and objective that we discussed that day. So, I would say, I knew when I was 7 years of age.

Q. Name at least one person that you know you feel others should learn about, and why?

A. I my life, I’ve had a few special people that I would think people could learn a few things from. It starts with my mother. She was the strongest person I’ve ever met. As I stated before, because of my experiences in my life, my personal perspectives are different. I don’t view or measure success the way most people would. So, I’ve learned from those special individuals that understand the importance of the core of who we should be as people. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, or how many cars or homes you may have. It comes down to how we treat each other, and
are your actions reflective of your words, and the way you are living your life. So, I would say, my mother, Ivedell Mcclam, and my high school head coach, Frank Gargiulo.

Q. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic, what makes you want to continue?

A. I understand my purpose in life. When I was just 4 years old. My 9 year old sister saved my life. We were in the biggest house fire of that time period in the history of Jersey City. My sister died in that fire. She gave her life for me. So, I’ve always had a greater purpose, and an understanding that my walk in life would be different. My faith in God, and my personal belief in myself, has always allowed me to stay focused in the face of adversity.

Q. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs, and leaders?

A. I would tell them to learn their own purpose. It’s important to know the purpose, and the reason, and how you will use your success to impact others around you. In order to be a successful or productive leader, you first have to understand all positions of structure. That would mean, if you were a follower at one point in your life, that would give you an opportunity to learn, and become an effective leader when given an opportunity. I have learned from others, and their mistakes on how to become a better husband, a better father, a better person, CEO, Sports Agent / business consultant, a better Special Education Teacher, and someone that walks in their own truth. I would hope to leave those lessons for anyone that would listen. For me it’s all about, inspiring positive change in the life of others.

Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. Stay blessed.

Regards,
Eugene “Nap” Napoleon,


DERRICK Interview with Universal Elite Aerospace CEO Kenneth Morris

March 17, 2014

KennethMorrisEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives DERRICK Interviews by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you insightful perspectives from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Kenneth Morris who was born and raised in Houston, Texas, 5th Ward to be exact. Kenneth graduated from high school and soon thereafter joined the United States Navy. After separating with an Honorable discharge He went to college and got my degree in Computer Information Systems. After college I returned home to start my nonprofit, Universal Elite Aerospace, to educate the disengaged youth, teens and adults about rewarding aviation careers and more positive options and choices in life.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

As an Aviation Philanthropist my goal is to diversify aviation operations by exposing more disengaged youth, teens and adults to the positive and rewarding career fields the industry offers. I would like to infuse more African-American, Hispanic and Female pilots, aircraft mechanics, Aerospace Engineers, Airport Executives, Air Traffic Controllers, Aviation Lawyers, Aviation Doctors, Customer Service Agents, etc. into the aviation/aerospace industry.

Currently for every 100 commercial airline pilots less than 3% are Hispanic, 2% are African-American and even less are women. My dream is to multiply these numbers by ten-fold within the next decade through our grassroots outreach effort today! I hope to show our urban youth that they can attain this career and do not have to be professional athletes, Hip-Hip superstars, entertainers, celebrities or even worse, habitual criminals.

Our company launched on 11/12/13 and the progress has been amazing! We have mentored over 1,000 disengaged urban youth. We were the only nonprofit invited to participate in Houston Independent School District Aviation week alongside United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Houston Airport System employees and other major aviation companies. We have built solid relationships with premier aviation groups and organizations around Houston and gained the support of others throughout the country. We have gained media exposure to help spread the message about the program and also great feedback from other nonprofits who have been in the business for decades!

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I graduated from Jesse H. Jones HS and went to the United States Navy three weeks after graduation. In the Navy I studied the behaviors and propagation paths of acoustic sound signatures produced by diesel and nuclear submarines. I earned the title of Anti-submarine Warfare Systems Operator and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist. After separating from the military I attained my degree in Computer Information Systems. I use these achievements to motivate me to keep going, because in high school I was an average student and the success afterwards really pushed me to excel.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I bring a unique set of resources, education, knowledge and experiences that most people in the aviation field lack. I work with a wide range of military veterans who are very interested in seeing this company remain a positive staple in the community. I have access to various airports, aviation companies, executives, leaders and program participants. Growing up in 5th Ward the values and lessons of hard work were instilled in me early. I grew up poor so I learned quickly how to make the most of my situation regardless. When I speak to students and teens I share my personal story of setbacks and triumphs to inspire them to get through whatever may be holding them back.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I realized I was ready to start my company, Universal Elite Aerospace, when I was sitting in an advanced aviation seminar and I was the only minority and the ‘new’ information they were teaching was already 5 years old to me. I didn’t seek permission or approval to start my company; I did the research for about 10 months, interviewed many people, noticed the need for a program like mine and the rest is history at this point.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

Very tough question! I can name so many people that were vital to the development of the organization as well as my own foundation.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far is de-programming the mindsets of our urban youth and teens who never even considered a career in aviation. I anticipated this obstacle so I prepared myself to deal with the resistance. Besides getting the youth on board, funding is a priority.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

When it comes to success as an entrepreneur, especially in a non-profit, you have to remain persistent and willing to work harder than anyone else to promote your cause. It is important to be honest and have the utmost integrity in all dealings with others. Communication is vital and be punctual for all events, meetings, conference calls, etc. Never miss an opportunity to learn and listen before you speak! There will be tough days, but get through them, always finish what you start and regardless of how tough it gets, never quit!

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

Universal Elite Aerospace aims to provide more positive options to the disengaged people throughout urban areas and communities throughout every city and state. Though we continuously make great progress we are always interested in contributions and quality volunteers. Also, our fundraising effort can be found at www.gofundme.com/UniversalElite.

Visit Kenneth Morris for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Baci Founder DeLisa Richards-Hawkins

February 11, 2014

DalisaHawkinsEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with DeLisa Richards-Hawkins founder and owner of Baci who was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia a small town south of Atlanta. As a young girl my interest was always in science, with biology being the field I wanted to major in. After my first year in college, and a lot of life experiences, my passion for science turned into an interest in fashion and cosmetics. The joy of redesigning a woman’s face, more specifically the lips led to the creation of “Baci” lip care products.

Dream:

My dream is to one day turn Baci into a household name. In doing so, I plan to open a beauty bar in major cities, and other locations across the nation . I dream of having a full service bar offering hair, nails, and makeup. This will give customers all they need in one stop and one price.

Education:

I graduated the Pharmacy Tech program back in 2010, but no longer work in the field. I’m looking forward to obtaining my B.A. in business entrepreneurship, I start classes in the spring.

Resources:

I think every person is unique, but what makes Baci unique is the fact that I can relate to every woman and her needs as far as lip care, and the fact that we’re affordable. What makes Baci stand out is that our products are composed of all natural ingredients, such as Shea butter, nourishing oils and waxes, and vitamin E&D, just to name a few.

BaciReady:

I knew I was ready to launch Baci when I actually paid for my first order of product. At that moment I knew things were really about to happen and it was totally up to me to see it all the way through. I was ready to finally make my dreams a reality.

Individual:

Laura Smith, my accountant and right hand girl. Laura has a background in accounting and is very knowledgeable and talented in her field. Since the start of Baci she’s been by my side every step of the way. She’s a New York native, mother of two, whose very passionate about what she does.

Challenges:

My biggest challenges were doubt and fear. I doubted my abilities to make things happen in my life and I feared failure. I had to learn that things aren’t going to happen over night and that failure is just a sign that your going in the wrong direction and need to turn around and try a different route. Once I was able to over come my two biggest obstacles I felt as if nothing or no one could stop me.

Key:

“A dream is nothing more than a dream until you put it into action and make it a reality”. Starting a business can be scary, but if its something you really want to do then don’t let fear stop you. As a upcoming business woman and entrepreneur I’ve learned that you have to invest in yourself and believe in yourself if you want to make it far in this world.

Visit Delisa Richards-Hawkins for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Mr. Tycoon Wahid Shakur

February 4, 2014

TycoonEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Mr. Tycoon who is an Internationally renowned Motivational Speaker, Personal Development Coach, Investment Real Estate Guru, and Entrepreneur of Success, Mr. Tycoon is legendary for his “tough but fair” deal-making and negotiation skills. His bestselling book,“Success Is Not A Secret, It’s A System,” extracts the lessons he learned on the road to building his successful real estate investment company and personal fortune, and is the “must-have” guidebook to achieving financial and personal success.

Mr. Tycoon oversees the management of a multimillion dollar real estate investment empire which includes both commercial and residential real estate holdings, educational tools and seminars, private consultation as well as personal coaching. Having been mentored by Ron LeGrand, Tony Robbins, Stephen Pierce and Marshall Sylver, Mr. Tycoon is a true product of  mentorship and success. Mr. Tycoon has developed his own brand and prowess in motivating, educating and inspiring people to achieving their financial freedom.

D is for Dream:  – My Dream aka Mission is to help Create a 100 Millionaires in the Next 10 years with 50% of them using the vehicle of Real Estate.

E is for Education: – School of Doctorate from The School Of Hard Knock and Favor! Plus Self Development

R is for Resource: – Resource is my middle name over 15 years of Wealth Building from Real Estate and Personal Development! Plus I have Mastered the skill of Sell & Marketing.

R is for Ready – It was about 7 years ago when I truly realize I had a gift.

I is for IndividualEric  Ah Ha Anderson – A  Master at marketing and help individuals market their Gift to Corporation to  get a paid a Fee to Speak.

C is for Challenges – Everything from being in the game to getting catch up in a ponzi scheme and loosing it all to facing my own depression.

K is for Keys to Success – Not just keep God – Have a true Relationship and do what you have been instructed by The Father. Become the Best at your Craft and Continue to Work On it to you and it become 1!!! I am Real Estate and Real Estate is Me.

Visit Mr. Tycoon for more information.


DERRICK Interview with RedShift Writers Founder Daniel J. Cohen

January 28, 2014

DanielCohenEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Daniel J. Cohen who is the Founder and Lead Writer of RedShift Writers, Houston’s fastest growing content writing company. Cohen and RedShift provide businesses with high quality content that helps achieve specific business objectives, particularly exposure and sales. 

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I envision a world where learning is a goal for everyone. Education is so essential to everything that I do. If learning and teaching were our focus, we would be learned and well-taught; peace, dedication and resilience would reign over hatred and struggle. Fear would fade. Love would prosper. That is my dream.

So far, I have brought a small piece of that to world. I would love to continue to do everything I can to contribute more.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

My formal education is an undergraduate degree in political science from American University and a Master’s Degree in Communication with a PR focus from the University of Houston. Just as importantly, I have extensive career education based on experience. Just shy of 30 years old, I have had more than 15 jobs in ten different fields. Every job brought something to light for me. My job at the movie theater when I was in high school taught me character. My job in fast food taught me humility. My jobs in telemarketing taught me to sell. My jobs in marketing firms taught me to move quickly. My jobs teaching bilingual education and test prep taught me to teach others.

Each day, I use my ability to learn and my ability to teach to my advantage. I train 100% of my staff in-house and keep an eye out for the latest tools and technologies that I can use to my advantage. I believe in the power of education, of learning for self-improvement, of teaching others to be successful and find their own success. I do this with my clients too, showing them the best possible path to achieve their own goals by explaining what it’s going to take to conquer the market they want to conquer.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

First and foremost, I and my team are excellent writers. We craft language that positions companies to succeed in the open market. We message for businesses in unique ways that cannot be found in the standard firm or in the toolkit of the standard consultant. Our writers are capable of creating PROLIFIC amounts of well-organized content in a short period of time, and doing so with excellent service. We also provide high level messaging related to the name, slogan and category of companies.

Simply put, we are excellent wordsmiths.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

About six months into my last job, I realized I was working far too any hours to not own a company. I was a lead content writer by day for the corporate marketing arm of a classifieds company and a fast-paced free lancer by night. I began to realize the need there was in the market for good writers. The only available options were independent free lance writers and marketing firms, and both had major drawbacks. The power of a content writing stable is that you can find a writer that works for you but still has the backing of a company infrastructure.

I made plans to exit the company and start my own immediately upon that realization.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

There are plenty of names I could give here. John Whaley, host of FM 92.1’s Executive Entrepreneur Hour probably knows as much or more about the economy as anyone I have ever met. Michele “@prosperitygal” Price is the queen of building an audience. But if I had to answer this question with the first name that came to mind, that would be Marc Nathan. Marc is probably the best networker I have ever met. Everyone can make a valuable business contact with Marc because everyone can make a valuable business contact through Marc. His business insight is also generally fantastic. Great person to know.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I am very fortunate not to have what most people would call a major disease or injury. My challenges have come down to many of the standard service challenges companies face: late payments from clients, collection issues, problems with time, and more.

One thing that has been difficult for me is hiring the right people. However, I have recently brought in some great talent on a contract basis and hired one full-time staffer who has been wonderful. I still have the standard scalability issue most entrepreneurs have, and would love to figure out how to package my products to sell them better. We do fairly well overall, though.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

1) Be nice to everyone. You don’t have to be a pushover in a bid or leave yourself vulnerable. But when it comes to your general public outreach, be warm with everyone in every room you enter. Your competitors are in your industry; be nice to them. The strangers you meet are potential clients, friends, family, lovers, etc. Be nice to them, too.

2) Educate yourself. Learn. Aim to teach. Leave others with something lasting and valuable.

3) Pursue fearlessness. Fearlessness is like world peace in that you can strive for it every day but you may never achieve it. Strive for it anyway. It’s worth it.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

Writing is an amazing skill that can bring great clarity to what you do. Try it. You may just like it. And if you need a professional content writer for your business, RedShift Writers is the company for you.

For more information:


DERRICK Interview with Social Media Consultant Barbara Curtis

July 18, 2013

BarbaraCurtisEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with a young ambitious woman by the name of Barbara Curtis who founded BC Management & Promotions in 2010.  Out of high school, she became a intern at Baby Boy Entertainment and 102.3FM KJLH as a Marketing intern while attending California State University, Long Beach. Her mission was to take her passion for marketing and create a career as a business owner.

While in college, she decided to turn her passion into a reality by launching BC Management & Promotions in 2010. After filing for her business license, she immediately started managing musical artists and building marketing campaigns with local independent labels, entertainment professionals, and musicians. However, her goal is to one day have her own international prestigious marketing firm in all fields of business.

Now, she has increased her level of skills; she is now a social media consulting, marketing specialists, publicist, and event planner working with clients, such as: Metropolitan Design, WE Labs, Elbows Mac n’ Cheese, Lush Hair Imports & Salon, etc. As a recent college graduate with a Communication degree her motto is “taking clients to new heights and the place they want to be.”

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dream is to own a prestigious marketing firm. Already I have owned my own business at the age of 19 that service event planning, business consulting, marketing, and management. As a college graduate this Summer I plan to take my business BC MANAGEMENT & PROMOTIONS to the next level.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

My community and peers encourage me to keep going. Not only able I doing this for the love of marketing but also, to create jobs and opportunities to those around me and generations to come.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I have a Communication degree, network of over 17K, experience in marketing and entertainment from being an intern at KJLH and hosting events in Hollywood with celebrities like Lil Zane, Lonzo Williams, Haskel Jackson, Richie Rich, Jon B, etc.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

The moment I found my talent for producing leads, building networks, SEO, Social Media, Event Planning, and Marketing.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

Yahsha Robinson – Legal and Business Consultant at Elite Global. He has much knowledge about Intellectual Property, Copyrights, Trademarks, Building a corporation, etc.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

I believe failures are there to help you grow and become a stronger person to hurdle over any obstacle that come your way. I am a witness to that.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Never give up your dream! Only you can make it an reality. Networking is key. Network = Net worth.

Visit Barbara Curtis the CEO/Founder of BC Management & Promotions for more information.


The DAILY (Derricknyms, Apps, and Ideas to Lift You) Message for Tuesday

April 16, 2013

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes brings you The DAILY Message to empower and inspire you to your next level.

(Please read and Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

In This Issue:

1. Daily Derricknym is COMPARE. They Will Always COMPARE (Concentrate On More Positive Aspects to Raise Expectations). Now you can also order your name as a Personalized Derricknym.

2. Today’s word is Jewel. Even in the dark look for light. Dust off and keep digging as it will show you things that shine. Never underestimate ideas that don’t impress you at first because they can lead you to trail of gold. This is brought to you by Motivation To Your Mobile and you can download Today’s word to your Android or I Phone.

3. Idea for today is to find someone doing what you want to do and learn how to do what they do.

Upcoming Interview:

If you have a business and you want to find creative ways to get your name in the news it is a must you listen to my interview with Charmaine Hammond on the topic “How To Get FREE Publicity.” Everyone has deadlines but can you turn them into headlines. Wednesday April 17th at 3:30 PM EST.

Derrick Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University is available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com  and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.


DERRICK Interview with Multicultural Center Director Dr. Shakeer Abdullah

April 5, 2013

DrShakeerEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Dr. Shakeer Abdullah who the Director of the Multicultural Center at Auburn University along with being an Author, Diversity Consultant, Host, and Motivational Speaker.

Dr. Abdullah has worked in the field of higher education for more than 15 years and has worked in a number of capacities related to diversity, leadership development, program management, strategic planning, and many other areas.

Dr. Abdullah’s passion for student success and higher education comes from his range of experiences in higher education as both a student and an administrator.

As an undergraduate student at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio Shakeer took full advantage of all the opportunities that Witt had to offer.  He was a four-year letter man on a football team that won 3 conference championships and only lost four games in four years.  In addition to football, Shakeer joined a fraternity, served as the president of the Black student union, co-founded the school’s unity march, served on the campus programming committee, acted in the experimental theater troupe and much more.

Please watch our DERRICK Interview below and visit Dr. Shakeer Abdullah for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Silicon Valley Technology Transfer Director Donna Maurillo

March 28, 2013

DonnaMaurilloEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Donna Maurillo who is director of technology transfer for the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose, Calif. For 20 years, she had a PR agency before being lured into Silicon Valley’s technology industry. She earned her Master of Science degree just a month before qualifying for full Social Security. She has two children, three grandchildren, and no plans to retire.

D is for Dream. What is your Dream?

I don’t really have dreams. I have a few long-term goals, such as saving for my retirement or traveling to Italy again. But when it comes to dreams, I find that if I slow down enough, some really good things catch up with me. Too often, people run after what they think will be good for them, and they don’t pay attention to what is already being sent their way.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

It doesn’t take much! I’m one of these people who can run all day on a few kind words. But when I fail at something, or when something bad happens, I allow myself time to feel sorry for myself, to feel that it isn’t fair, or even to get angry. I’ve known people who believe that those so-called negative emotions are bad for you. No, they’re not! Your emotions are simply your unedited reactions to events. If we deny them, they come back as obstacles — or ulcers. So I guess another source of encouragement for me is to allow myself to wallow for a bit. Once I can acknowledge those very real emotions, I can set them aside and get back to work.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

My friends would say it’s my ability to find humor in almost any situation. Sometimes it’s gallows humor, but that also has its place. Laughter releases some good chemicals into your brain, it reduces tension, it can make adversaries lower their defenses, and it can help a group feel some kinship. Just the simple act of smiling — lifting those muscles at the corners of your mouth — can release “happy” endorphins. Isn’t that amazing?? Even a forced smile can make you feel better.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Ready? I don’t think I’ve ever been ready. Often, I’m one of those “ready, fire, aim” kinds of people. You can over-think some situations, and then you never feel ready enough. Most times, all you really need are some quick strategies, some reassurance that you’re reasonably prepared, and a willingness to charge into it. I used to have a sign in my office that said, “Leap off the cliff. Grow wings on the way down.” It reminded me that when we’re pushed, we can come up with some great solutions. I also had a boss who liked to say, “Never leap a chasm in two steps.” In other words, if you’re going to do it, then give it all you’ve got.

I is for Individual. Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

The first person who pops to mind is my mother. She had some tough times raising eight kids, and she has every right to be beaten down. But she is one of the happiest and most positive people I know. Once I asked her how she ever stood up to the challenges, especially when we were teenagers. She said, “I remember only the good stuff.” My Mom’s parents are also memorable. They gave up everything they had in Italy to come to an unknown country and make a new start. Imagine leaving behind all your friends, many of your relatives, and all that was familiar to you — and never going back. I’m so grateful that they took that leap of faith because it gave the next generations so many opportunities that we would not have had otherwise.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic, what makes you want to continue?

Age is a great thing because the older you become, the more perspective you gain. At least, that’s how it should be. But for too many of us, perspective is a gift we never unwrap. I try to keep in mind that the things I worry about today will likely be forgotten next month. And when you realize how big the universe is, and how long it’s been around, our problems are simply dust motes. A good dose of dark chocolate also lifts my mood.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Be true to who you are. As Thomas Jefferson said, you have to keep your roots planted in your principles, but when it comes to issues of fashion, then flow with the tide. Flexibility is important, but not at the cost of what you believe to be right and true. Or as my mother always says, “Keep an open mind, but don’t let your brains fall out.”

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DERRICK Interview with Strategist Liora Farkovitz

March 18, 2013

LioraForkivitzEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Strategist Liora Farkovitz who was born “Mary Beth Bundy”, called “Beth Stein” while she was married the first time and had her three wonderful children. She eventually came to be known as Liora when she began using her Hebrew name in 2006 and then very proudly married artist Louis Farkovitz in 2010.

Liora often reflects on how she evolved from the daughter of an engineer that moved all over the Eastern US, a social work student seeking justice;  a business woman in the Information Technology field, an entrepreneur; her Judaic spiritual sense of the world, a mother, a social advocate, researcher, an author and a publisher.

Since 2003 Liora has provided business and product development consulting services.  Her primarily focus has been on a fusion of technology and psychological support services that help to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; in all, five different projects or products were developed.  Ongoing research and development is directed more specifically through digital forensics training for attorneys, the judiciary and police academies since she began publishing “The Electronic Advantage” series with editor/co-author, Mindy Nemoff.  The first book and its companion curriculum, “Understanding Technological Evidence for Legal Professionals: 101 the Basics” was published in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Liora’s work in supporting the needs of people with PTSD slowly evolved from medical support products to legal support product development projects between 2005 and 2013. The emphasis is upon helping legal professionals understand the technical basics of digital forensic evidence which is increasingly presented in court proceedings.  Through her project TechnologicalEvidence.com, she blended her strategic marketing and product development business to her intensive research of federal, state and local government policy and funding.  Demonstrating how examining the interior world of litigants and defendants is reflected in their electronic behavior, her projects are helping victims of violence or corruption, effectively present their evidence to the courts or to the world through what they publish.

D s for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

When my first business and marriage failed, I founded Legacy Strategic Development, in order to develop different types of businesses and services that would spread out the risk of having too many eggs in one basket.  I want to be able to create a “Legacy” of success for the people I love so much in this world.  I am working on developing outlets for different types of businesses; my primary focusing being towards justice and safety because I felt I lost custody of my children to my first husband in a circle of circumstances that I believe were unjust.  My second husband is working towards developing his own line of guitars, and I often support his efforts.  We have many publishing projects through Legacy Strategic Development, as well as jewelry and Judaic projects.   I’ve been writing for eForensics Magazine, which was a first for me.  For the future, I hope my children will be interested in these different opportunities and that these businesses will have a future through them.  I hope that they are successful and provide for them financially as well as for my husband and myself.  I am hopeful that our work will help many other people, in a wide variety of ways.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

I have been lucky to have very good friends who encourage me, as does the people within my spiritual circle, like my Rabbi does as well as my business partner Dr. Allen Rosenthal who sadly passed away last December.  But most of all my husband Louis encourages me.  He supports me, loves me and pushes me to be willing to face and overcome difficulties, hard realities, and to be strong enough to accept those challenges.  He makes me feel protected and safe and that gives me the foundation to build what I need for the two of us in the future.  He’s family to me, in a way no one else in my life wanted or was willing to be. I am encouraged and inspired by the hope that my children and I will someday have the kind of freedom to just “be” without all the conflict and drama that existed when they were little.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

Perseverance, tenacity, creativity, traditional values about customer service, a quick mind and a big heart; those are traits that make it possible for me to be successful.  But in addition to these resources, I have a broad knowledge base about creating and running businesses.  I know how to find vendors and supplies for that business, and how to strategically position it to be successful.  I have an ability to dissect situations in a certain way and then regroup the strengths through a new point of view; then we present the elements of those issues and “break them down” in bite sized pieces of information to redirect the focus of our audience – whether they are in court or in the market place.  So, if I am helping an attorney explain to the court the effects of a technology, forensic research, or of a disability in a particular case – I do it in a way that helps them have compassion for our clients.  If someone wants to build their own business then that same analysis is just applied to a commercial end.  It allows me to have an underlying expertise that supports a seeming endless number of topics or concepts.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

It’s taken a lot of patience to see how my businesses were going to take shape and the kind of potential that would be there.  I was “ready” when I started my first business in 1991, but over time I realized that “I” am not my business, my businesses and projects are more like my children.  They each have their own objectives, needs and goals, and their own formulas to thrive.

I is for Individual.  Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

That’s a hard question to answer because each project has an Individual standing behind it.  I have always wanted my husband, Louis Farkovitz’s work to be appreciated because he’s an amazing artist and he deserves to be celebrated in his own right.  His passion for the last five years has been applying his skill as a master goldsmith and jeweler to the surface of electric guitars – they are gorgeous and one of a kind works of art.  I love seeing his happiness when all goes well.  This theme extends to the authors I publish or narrate for, to be able to share their stories, ideas, or teachings with other people.  I love helping people achieve their goals.   Likewise, I want the parents that benefit from the legal advocacy I do to benefit by being able to overcome the difficulties they face and become better parents.  I want their children to be safer in this world.

C is for Continue. When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

On the worst days and there are horrible days where I want to hide under a pile of pillows – someone reaches out and has a need that I somehow seem to be custom made to respond to.   Injustice, corruption, or cruelty, dishonesty on an individual level really frustrate me and occasionally I see that kind of thing in a very intimate way.  Increasingly I find that I can be more effective by responding in a systemic way.  But when someone is advocating for a child, or a victim, or the disabled, I seem unable to say “No” to someone that really needs help.  Over the last year, I have begun to apply much more balance to my charitable versus my business life.   My desire to make a positive difference and the renewed belief that I can make a difference – replaces whatever doubt I have had. Sometimes the “C” is capital.  I get frustrated at meager financial resources at times, but, sometimes it forces us to be very Creative so that we can Continue.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

I thought about writing a book once and calling it “Ass Kicking Business Advice” because we all learn from our mistakes.  While I was considering it I realized something else; that for all of us there are probably a finite number of ways to succeed.  So, each time you eliminate one that won’t work – you’re actually closer to your success – not further away. Statistically, that’s the way it works.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

At one point in my career I had a tremendous failure.  I lost a business, my family, all of my belongings, and it was excruciating.  I didn’t have many other people to look to in order to figure out what to do next.  You triumph over disappointments by choosing to take the things that were meant to be bad, or even evil, and transforming them into instruments for good.  Every challenge we face can be used for good, often in surprising ways.  I learned that from my faith and a man known as The Kelever Rebbe; and through an author named Gregg Braden who taught “The Gift of the Blessing” on a CD he recorded.

Visit Liora Farkovitz for more information.