DERRICK Interview with Entertainment Attorney Antavius Weems

July 20, 2015


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 Antavius M. Weems who is the managing partner of The Weems Firm, P.C., a premier full service law firm in downtown Atlanta, which focuses on Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Entertainment/Sports, Corporate Reconstruction and Family Law.

Prior to joining The Weems Firm, Antavius was an attorney with Fulton County, Georgia working in the Juvenile Court Office of Child Advocate Attorney focusing in the area of deprivation and neglect, representing the “best interest” of the children that came before the court.

Before working with Fulton County, Antavius was an attorney with the City of Atlanta, representing the City in criminal preliminary hearings and trials. Mr. Weems also served as the liaison from the City Solicitor to the State Legislature, focusing on legislation that impacts the City’s legal standing in the criminal area.

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

To make a solid impact in the lives of others. As a Lawyer who served as a Therapist first, I have a different philosophy on law. I believe that we have to use it to positively change the loves of people who are in conflict.

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

I have a Bachelors Degree in Polictical Science from Clark Atlanta University; a Masters Degree in Social Work from Whitney M. Young School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta Univerity; and a Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Law. I use them all everyday in my practice

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

I believe that I try to look at the gray area in every situation that I encounter with or on behalf of a client. Its not enough to just see one side. The true reward comes in seeing the point of view of the other side and growing enough to understand it, although you may not always agree.

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

When I was named one of the Nation’s Best Attorneys by the National Bar Association/IMPACT. One of my highest honors, along with being named a Super Lawyer.

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

Attorney Lairin Taylor. I admire the tenacity, strength and perseverance of this young brother. He is indeed a force to be reckoned with in the Legal industry.

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

People trying to place me in a box based on where I come from. I was not your traditional pedigreed Attorney. I come from the rougher side of the tracks. However, in my mind, it makes my story even sweeter.

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

Be who YOU are. Never hide from your story. Find a way or make one (motto of Clark Atlanta University).

Visit Antavius Weems for more information.

6 Things That Can Make Your Network THRIVE

June 23, 2015

CharlesThe Charles A. Archer Story with Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes.

Charles A. Archer is a lawyer, author, speaker, professor, entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder of The THRIVE Network. Archer is the author of the “Everybody Paddles” book compilations that provide strategies to building a unified team through leadership. In 2011, Archer served as a Cuba Research Delegate with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), for which he has also lectured.

Before his CEO assignment for The THRIVE Network, Archer served as an Associate Executive Director to the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disability Agencies of New York, where he liaised with state agencies and community and government organizations on behalf of the mentally disabled and disadvantaged. Archer worked closely with local, state and federal legislators and contributed to shaping the programs and policies that directly impacted this group.

During my interview with Charles A. Archer I realized that he is someone who not only wants you to survive, but THRIVE and to help you do so through each letter in the word THRIVE we give you 6 Things That Can Make Your Network THRIVE.

How do you find, develop and share Talent?EvrydayPeoplesBook

(Charles A. Archer) We find talent by being an employer of choice.  Once people are at The THRIVE Network we cultivate learning from orientation throughout their tenure with our organization.  Talent is shared by offering growth opportunities and recognition of performance.

What Habits can make and break you and what habits can help you breakthrough?

(Charles A. Archer) The habit of tenaciousness can propel individuals forward and also exhaust you at the same time. The breakthrough occurs by giving yourself permission to reflect, rejuvenate and refocus.

When you have no Resources what makes you want to turn that dream into something? 

(Charles A. Archer) The human spirit finds resources for the things that support our dreams.  The challenge is dreaming big enough and not accepting the limitations of resources.

How do you find the right Individuals to play their parts in your motion picture?

(Charles A. Archer) The right individuals, or actors in motion pictures, are developed.  People grow, develop and support each other differently based on exposure, experiences and explanation. We would like to believe that we are the right one at various times but if the truth is told, we become the right people over time.

What do you do to keep your Vision from perishing?

(Charles A. Archer) I prime.  Priming is the activity of putting oneself into the proper state of mind.  I live in a state of knowing that my life and work matters and adds value daily.

Why do you do what you do and keep Enduring through the rain and pain?

(Charles A. Archer) As the eldest of eight, there are marginal differences being 15+ years with someone. This makes my life and work an example for them as well as others.

When you have the right Talent, Habits, Resources, Individuals, Vision and Endurance your life will change because you will have the 6 Things That Can Make Your Network THRIVE.

Visit Charles A. Archer for more information.

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit email  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.

DERRICK Interview with Columbus Georgia Mayor Teresa Tomlinson

February 23, 2013

DIMayorEncouragement 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 Mayor Teresa Tomlinson who was elected as the 69th Mayor of Columbus, Georgia on November 30, 2010 with 68% of the vote. On January 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the city’s first female mayor. During her time as Mayor, Tomlinson has successfully taken on issues ranging from comprehensive Employee Pension Plan Reform to reforming the Muscogee County Prison after prior mismanagement.

For 16 years she practiced with the law firm of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood, LLC, where she specialized in complex litigation and was the firm’s only female partner. She served from 2006-2010 as Executive Director of MidTown, Inc., a non-profit community renewal organization. She is a 1983 graduate of Chamblee High School in Atlanta, Georgia, a 1987 graduate of Sweet Briar College, in Virginia, and a 1991 graduate of Emory University School of Law, in Atlanta. Mayor Teresa Tomlinson moved to Columbus in 1994 from Atlanta and married Wade H. (Trip) Tomlinson, who was raised in Columbus.

Listen to our Exclusive DERRICK Interview below or for more information visit the City of Columbus, Ga.

NOW (National Organization for Women) Founder Sonia Fuentes Gives Back To Education

February 4, 2013

SoniaFuentesI was born in Berlin, Germany, of Polish Jewish parents in 1928. My father never attended school at all; my mother attended some elementary school classes in Poland because she had uncles who were teachers. We fled the Nazi regime in 1933, going first to Antwerp, Belgium, for several months, and then arriving in the US in 1934.

In the US, I graduated as valedictorian of my high school class in Monticello, NY (in the Catskill Mountains); Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University; and first in my class at the University of Miami (FL) School of Law. Then I had a 23-year career as an attorney with several federal government agencies, mostly in Washington, DC, and as an attorney and executive with two major corporations, TRW Inc. and GTE Service Corporation, where I was the highest-paid woman at each of their headquarters.

In the federal government, one of my jobs was at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) where I was the first woman attorney in its Office of the General Counsel. I also became one of the founders of NOW (National Organization for Women) as well as of other women’s rights organizations.

In 1993, I retired from the federal government and eventually moved to Sarasota, FL, where I now live. I am a community and feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. My most recent speech was on Oct. 24, 2012, at the law school of Cornell University, where I gave a talk on women’s rights.

For more information visit  Sonia Fuentes at website at

5 Strangers I Met At Lunch

May 24, 2012

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 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 or call (706) 615-1662.