DERRICK Interview with Buy Black Podcast Host Gerald Jones

November 11, 2017

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 Gerald Jones who is a husband and father living the dream in Omaha, NE. Professionally, who has been serving our nation’s military for 17 years across two service branches (US Marine Corps Reserve & US Air National Guard) while creating a rewarding civilian career as a Training, Performance, and Management Consultant. When he’s not working you can find him at the nearest basketball court or golf course (depending on the season), but the thing he loves to do most is Help Other People Win by organizing and structuring their personal goals.

Gerald started the Buy Black Podcast with the Mission to Draw Consumers and Business Owners together to Ignite the Global Black Economy.  Through this platform our socially conscious listening community will connect with black business owners and their companies, learn about their products or services, and support Black-Owned Businesses by buying from them.  Each week Mr. Jones brings you a new, compelling interview with an entrepreneur who will share their story, teach us some useful business information, and share their number one piece of advice for the Buy Black community as a whole.

What is your (D) ream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’ve achieved a great deal in my life, all of which set me up to realize what my dream is.  As of today, I’m at the beginning of the path to achieve it.  My dream is to create a platform that has a global impact in changing the way that we, as human beings see and interact with each other.  In short, I want to make the word “tolerance” a thing of history.  I want to crack the very difficult psychological code that moves people from “tolerating” the differences that make us unique to actively loving and appreciating how those differences make our teams, our communities, and our societies stronger.  “Build strength through diversity” is one of my personal core values, and I plan to instill that value into as many people across the planet as I possibly can.  My first effort toward achieving that goal is devoted to rebuilding economic strength and independence in the Black community.  I have developed and plan to grow a communications platform that offers free marketing exposure to black business owners via my podcast and forthcoming black business directory online.  When I close my eyes, I envision this podcast with an audience over 100,000 and a business directory with as many or more monthly visits, both of which will provide free exposure and listing for black business owners, as well as a reliable place where consumers can come to patronize black businesses and support our greater community.

What is your (E) ducational background and how do you use it daily?

I have an Associate’s Degree in Intelligence Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Additionally, I am a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance, Gold Certified in using the New World Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation, and an ICAgile Certified Professional.  While I continue to serve our nation’s intelligence analysis efforts, my passion and daily devotion is in training, process improvement, and business development.  In my traditional career as an associate in a major consulting firm, I use my Intelligence & Training backgrounds as well as by Business degree to provide performance consultation to U.S. military organizations, helping them streamline processes in order to allow their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines to spend more time and energy focused on their missions.  In my personal time, I am building the Buy Black Podcast from the ground up, establishing a foundation of valuable evergreen content that will continue to draw a larger audience over time.  As a one man show, I’m responsible for everything from book keeping to marketing…from booking guests to editing, producing, and publishing my audio tracks.

What (R) esources do you bring to the table that make you unique or stand out?

Throughout my life, I have ascribed to the philosophy that you should identify the things you love, the things you’re passionate about, and become an expert in them.  Since we all have different skills and different passions, it stands to reason that we will have different combinations of overlapping capabilities.  What has made me unique in the marketplace to this point has been my experiences.  Very few people have taken a path similar to mine in life, which means few people are qualified to provide the kind of education and consultation that I can.  I spent 8 years as an infantryman in the United States Marines.  Since leaving that branch, I have spent 9 years as an Air Force intelligence analyst.  As a civilian, I educated myself on Instructional Systems Design and Training Facilitation, using that Google knowledge and subsequent real-world experience to earn and become a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP).  What makes me stand out in any environment is that I can learn any system within a short period of time and identify ways to streamline and improve it to save resources while making a bigger impact.  It is how I landed by position as a performance consultant long before I had a Bachelor’s Degree.  It is that unique ability that I am using to build my podcast platform today.

When did you (R) ealize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Last year, in the summer of 2016, I had just finished by bachelor’s degree and was looking for my next project.  The CPLP tests were months away, so I had no immediate challenge ahead of me.  At that time, on July 5th & July 6th, I saw the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile murdered.  More than any previous tragedy of the kind, the deaths of those men affected me deeply, to the point of action.  I made up my mind then that I would have to do something that could impact the world beyond my family and small circle…so I began brainstorming.  Over the next 9 months I tried several small projects…doing Facebook live videos, posting motivational quotes and images to connect with people, but those things were too small scale.  In that period I had also begun listening to several business education podcasts, and I began to think about what kind of podcast I might be able to create.  Finally, in April 2017, I happened to reconnect with a friend from my childhood on Facebook.  When I went to her page, I saw that she did lots of research on black owned businesses and was posting articles about them on her page to help promote them, simply because that was her passion.  That was the final piece of the pie.  The idea for the Buy Black Podcast came to me and over the next two months I put everything in line to produce and publish the show to the world.  On July 5th, 2017, I went live with the first show.  I chose that date to honor Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Name at least one (I) ndividual in your network that others should learn about and why.

I would say Gerald Harris.  He and I grew up in the same town competing against each other in sports.  He is now the Student Engagement Coordinator at Duke University and is also becoming very active in the local political scene in Raleigh-Durham.  Remember the name, I predict it will be common in your household in the not too distant future.

What (C) hallenges have you had to overcome?

The toughest thing that I have had to overcome is my own personal growth as a human being and a man.  I have spent a great deal of my life looking at the world through the eyes of hegemonic patriarchy.  I have challenged myself to confront my subconsciously sexist views of women, homophobic and transphobic views, my religious views, my political views, everything.  After building a course on Analytic Tradecraft and Critical Thinking for the military, I spent so much time teaching people how to question their own views and biases that I became mired in doing the same to myself.  I went through a period of intense personal growth.  It was painful to look in the mirror and see who I really was, how I had previously viewed and treated people (even if only in my own mind), and determine to change the way I interacted with the world.  In the end, I came to one conclusion.  Jesus stated that the greatest commandments were to love God with everything that is of you and in you (paraphrasing), and to love your neighbor as yourself.  All of the laws and the prophets hang on those two commandments.  I made a decision to live my life actively loving other people in and on whatever walk of life is true to them, and to do everything in my power to help make their lives better, stronger, and fuller.  Since that time, challenges just haven’t seemed so challenging, and no matter what happens I am always content with the outcome.

What (K) eys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Everyone has their different keys and tips for what to do to be successful.  In my heart, I believe the absolute most important thing that anyone, be it a person or a business, needs to be successful is a Mission, a Vision, and a set of Core Values.  I believe people need to invest the time to identify those three things for their lives, write them down, post them where they can be seen, then proceed to live every moment in life adhering to those values, working in their mission, to make the vision become a reality.  Our Core Values are a statement of who we believe, in our best selves, that we want to be.  Our Mission is what we believe our purpose is in life…why we were put on this Earth.  Our Vision is the end game, the future that we want to create for ourselves, our families, and our communities.  All of these give us the “Why” of being on this planet, doing what we do.  I’ll leave the “how” and “what” tips to someone else.  For reference, my personal Core Values are a list of action statements.  I don’t believe in using cliché, abstract words to describe “values”.  No, your values must invoke ACTION in order for them to be real.  My Core Values Are:

  • Love People and Lead from Your Heart
  • Exhibit Ethical & Intellectual Integrity
  • Build Strength Through Diversity
  • Listen for Understanding
  • Practice Innovative Entrepreneurship
  • Model the Behaviors You Want to See in Others
  • Always Exceed Expectations

Visit for more information.

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

Visit Kenneth Morris for more information.

DERRICK Interview with Veteran Miyoko Hikiji

October 25, 2013

MiyokoBookCoverEncouragement 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 Miyoko Hikiji who joined the active duty Army in 1995 and served three years as a supply clerk at military bases in Louisiana and Texas before returning to her home state of Iowa where she attended Iowa State University. While studying journalism and mass communication and psychology, she continued to serve part-time with the Iowa Army National Guard as a supply clerk and truck driver. She deployed to Iraq for a year from 2003-04 and her experience as a female combat veteran is the crux of her memoir titled “All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq.”

Miyoko was honorable discharged after 9 years of service, with 12 military decorations, and since 2005 she has worked as a writer, actress and model.

Miyoko is an advocate for veterans, especially in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and Suicide. These topics, which effect a large percentage of the military population from the previous decade of wars, are the subjects she is investigating for her second book.

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

My dream is to be open minded to the gifts of the people and the world around me to live with an attitude of gratitude for the blessings of my life. I want to connect the strengths and talents of people in order to close the gaps and met needs, whether they be business, financial, social or emotional. I want to make a difference, no matter how small, each day, turning negative energy to positive in the world we share.

My goals, more concretely, are to pursue a master’s degree in journalism or creative writing, write a second non-fiction book, a sequel to my deployment memoir about post traumatic stress, military sexual drams, substance abuse and all the related challenges of veterans, especially women veterans, reintegrating to civilian life.

I want to continue to raise the awareness and education of the non-uniformed population about these issues and be a leader in the non-governmental, non-profit initiatives to help struggling veterans now.

Earlier in the year, my first book, “All I Could Be: My Story as a woman in Iraq,” was published by History Publishing.  It was a tremendous undertaking, but I can see now, that writing a book was only the launching pad for a much larger mission. I have joined forces with seven women vets to form the first National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau aimed at promoting a positive image of women and I am also the spokesperson for the military sexual trauma initiative for the Veterans National Recovery Center.

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

I have two BS degrees from Iowa State University in Journalism and Mass Communication and Psychology.  My media studies got me in the habit of scanning news stories, asking questions others are uncomfortable asking and many are hesitant to answer in plain truth. It also taught me to be a lifelong student of life to always wonder, search and learn.

My psychology studies helped me to view many mental disorders as challenges instead of illnesses, and many as manageable and treatable. Particularly in the realm of traumatic stress. I saw how the brain and body’s reaction was a normal response to extraordinary circumstances and that social support and help with others stressors, like homelessness or unemployment, can have a significant impact in helping a person win back their best self.

Through both courses of  study, I learned to listen compassionately to the stories of others.  Everyone has a great story inside.

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

My greatest resources are my abilities to communicate with clarity and passion as a writer and a speaker. What is unique about me is the fact that I have lived a soldier’s story, but don’t look like GI Joe. In fact, I now work part-time as an actress, a profession that some would label as quite opposite military life.  I see the two as having similarities life. There’s a different set of skills and a different uniform, but a similar level of commitment and preparedness. Good soldiers don’t miss “mission time”working actresses don’t miss “call time.” Both also require a high level of boldness and ability to think on your feet.

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

I knew I was both ready and moving in the direction of my destiny when I got those first few calls for interviews about my book prior to its publication. Some of the interview questions were difficult, complex or personal but I felt comfortable, articulate and in the right place at the right time.  It was time to raise the visibility of women in the military and I suddenly knew I was supposed to be a part of that movement. It was powerful feeling.

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

Photographer Ben Easter. I have a soft place in my heart for artists, of all mediums, that use their talents to not only express beauty and emotion, but do so for a greater good. Ben has a beautiful spirit  and easily connects with people through the lens of his camera to tell their stories. He has generously donated his time, talent and resources to create exhibits to raise money for children with Down Syndrome and children with an incarcerated parent. He also photographed my book cover, which I constantly receive compliments for.  Though Ben is already highly successful, I anticipate seeing his name attached to many projects in the future and I look forward to celebrating those with him and hopefully working with him again.

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

I came from a fairly large family of five brothers and sisters and I was the youngest. So, there was a lot of competition for my parents attention and considerable pressure for me to be as good in sports, music and athletics as my siblings, who were all very talented. My parents were only 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants, so they were hard working, but poor. College savings was not available to me. That’s the biggest reason I joined the military at 18 to earn the GI Bill.

I think there are also challenges embedded in being a minority, especially in a nearly all Caucasian state like Iowa. Many of my peers growing up, and some adults, displayed over discrimination and used racial slurs. Combatting their ignorance and developing thick skin prepared me for the greater challenge of being a woman in the military. My first duty assignment in 1995 was with a combat unit and had only recently opened its ranks to women in the few jobs labeled as “non-combat.” The women made up only about 3% of the unit and we had to overcome stereotypes and unfair treatment. Outside of my deployment to Iraq in 2003-04, that first year in the military was the most physically and mentally challenging experience of my life.

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

Don’t discount anyone. Many of the connections you make later in your career will originate from some of your first work relationships and friends, Movers and shakers from disparate industries often come together as leaders to promote community prosperity. Everyone is connected; always be professional. Also, a lesson I learned early on from one of my mentors was that it was my responsibility, at each rung of the career ladder that I climb, to reach down and pull someone up. The best position to be in is in the middle using the help of another to climb up while being the help someone else needs to achieve their next goal. Depositing into the dream accounts of others is one of the most rewarding investments you’ll ever make.

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

Trust yourself. You’ll make mistakes, especially if you take risks, But risks are required to actualize opportunity and the risk is often proportionate to the loss or gain. While we always want to gather information and trusted advice, at the end of the day the decision is yours and your path is unique. You will not get to where you need to go following in anyone else’s precise footsteps. Learn to adapt and don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way. You must pause and be thankful for the joys and blessings in order to have the emotional fuel required to keep charging ahead.

Visit Miyoko Hikiji for more information.

DERRICK Interview with Dr. Dayvon McCarrell

August 16, 2013

DayvonEncouragement 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. McCarrell who is a Professor and U.S. Air Force Active-Duty Airman.  Dr. McCarrell holds a BS/MS in Engineering from University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University along with a D.B.A from Argosy University.  Dr. McCarrell has been working in the field of Engineering Development/Design and Technology for past 15 years.

D is for Dream:  My overall dream is to work Full-time as University Professor while doing Engineering and Business Consulting after I retire from the Air Force in 4 years.

E is for Education:  My educational background is heavy in Engineering (Associates in Physics-Rose State College, BS Mechanical Engineering-University of Oklahoma, MS Engineering/Technology Management-Oklahoma State University, D.B.A (Doctorate of Business Administration: Management) from Argosy University-Sarasota Florida.  I am also a certified Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma

I utilize my degrees every day in some capacity of Engineering analysis, Technology troubleshooting and continuous improvement initiatives that result in increased production, worker efficiency or cost savings for my military unit.

R is for Resource:  The resource that I bring to the table is I am hybrid of two distinct worlds; Business and Engineering.  Although I hold a doctorate in Business Administration, I have experience in engineering design, troubleshoot electronic issues, and teach engineering and math.  Furthermore, I have the capability and experience to manage an organization, lead people and make business decisions.  I believe not too many people who have degrees in business or engineering are able to design an engine and figure out the costs associated with designing an engine; I have the capabilities of two people.

R is for Ready:  To this day, I still feel there are things I need to improve upon.  Since I am my own worst critic, I feel I am never “ready” to do what needs to be done, but I am always “Ready” to accept the challenge and continuously improve/accept criticism from all levels.  You are never too big to accept advise, guidance and direction from anyone.

I is for Individual:  One person who people should know more about happens to be a family member and his name is Clark McCarrell Jr.  He is a Senior Engineering in Las Vegas and when I later on learned about his credential early in my academic and military career, I was inspired to emulate what he had already accomplished.

C is for Challenge:  I had to overcome the challenge of my military commitment and deployment.  My academic goals took 15 years to accomplish and I wanted to quit numerous times because the road was so long and tedious.  Another challenge I learned to overcome IMMEDIATELY was to listen to all; especially to those who did not have the same credentials.  One of my problems early in my career was I thought I was more educated than others and those who were not did not have anything of value to say that “I did not already know.”  After some rough patches and learning things the hard way, I learned that listening is invaluable and EVERYONE has Valuable input…You just have to listen and engage.  Once I discovered that, I became a better leader, manager and working hard became a thing of the past because people wanted to work for me versus having to work for me.

My final challenge was to balance school, family and career.

K is for Keys to Success: I have learned the keys to success are to listen, be genuine, do not be afraid to say “I don’t know” and always accept the blame when things go wrong and give praise to others when things go well.  I have learned to stop all bad instances at my level and not let the bad affect my decision making or let my subordinates feel the blunt of mistakes.  Finally, I learned to engage all individuals at ALL levels to get the best input; one of the key components of systems thinking.  The individuals in the “trenches” know more than you and it is always wise to get their input when possible.

The only thing I would like to leave others with, based on what I have learned is you are never too smart, too big or important to include people in your decision making.  Also, do not be afraid to leave your desk and talk to people when possible to get their input on matters affecting the organization or section (department) as a whole.  People make things happen and it would be in your best interest to acknowledge and understand that you are just a figure head in the grand scheme of things and the employees will make or break your career.

Visit Dr. Dayvon McCarrell for more information.

DERRICK Interview with the Multi Talented Orrin K. Loftin

July 30, 2013

OrrinLoftin Orrin hails from Fayetteville, North Carolina.  He is currently a retired Captain out of the United States Air Force where he proudly served as a Satellite Operations Officer.  Among other things he was an actor who resided in LA for a short while and gives special thanks to Mr. David Parry who was his acting instructor.  Orrin currently resides in and amongst the beautiful mountains and foothills of Great Falls, Montana where he avidly writes poetry as can be gleaned to be seen in his new book, “My Divine Pantomimes”.

This year’s quote:  Music is the new frontier with which to endear without fear,…

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

My dream is to build a pyramid of accomplishments to be inspired by and to inspire others with.  The goal in doing so will hopefully be accomplished through my music, poems and videos while keeping in mind to help someone along the way.

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

I graduated from Fayetteville State University with a bachelors in Mathematics.  I graduated from Webster university with a double major masters degree in both Space Systems Management and Computer Systems Management.

Math and Computers are but the fabric of day to day life which I find useful in dealing with everything from finances, taxes or costs involved in producing a new album or poetry book.  It is gratifying to be able to take your fields of study and use them throughout your life like a Swiss Army knife.

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

I bring to the table that which I’ve been blessed with in terms of creativity, ingenuity and positivity.  Any math or computer major will tell you that the task is eternal in coming up with some kind of solution.  In writing poetry there’s the necessity to create something new that dwells within you.  Music is but the fabric sewn from magic, requiring you to surge with a creative urge.  It is all you can do to pursue that which is a part of you.

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

It wasn’t so much as a realization or an epiphany. It was when I made the song Prance Dance that I simply decided I was going to do an album.  I figured that rather than toying with a demo tape why not go straight to a finished product which can always be improved upon.  As a matter of fact it’s exactly how I do my poetry.  I don’t send in drafts.  I send in a finished product for review and from there all parties involved can see what to do.

With the album Fire Heart it was simply a burning desire to reach for something higher. So now this is what I pursue to do.

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

I feel others should learn about LtCol Richard Peace.  He’s a financial advisor out of Colorado Springs who knows how to assist you in establishing a sound financial foundation for life.  Whatever the topic or concern you may have he is there for you.  He is truthful and does not claim to have the answer to everything.  He feels the need for all of us to succeed.

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

I really don’t want the answer to be disseminated because I do not want to be a sob story with woeful allegories.

Grand Mal Seizures

Artificial Shoulders

Being Passed Over for Major

Being a Permanently Disable Vet


Major Depression

Me Getting in my Own Way,…

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

I think what is key is to build upon the pyramid of your talents, hopes and dreams.  In preparing, learning and exploring with dedication and determination you at least give yourself a chance to dance.  Don’t wait to be uncovered to be discovered.  Go at it now with at least the benefit of learning how.  Often efforts in one area translate to another.

Work on what you pursue to do on a day to day basis and let the calendar be your friend from beginning to end.

Maintain your health for you are your own musical instrument with which to play each and every day and remember to pray each and every day and please feel a need to assist others who are indeed in need.

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

Whatever it is that you want to do if you believe you can achieve even if you don’t do anything with it.  I set up Loftin Algorithms, Inc.  just to see what was involved in setting up a corporation.  For eons I did nothing with it.  Today it’s my record label.


DERRICK Interview with D 30 Marketing and Promotions CEO Kirsten King

March 8, 2013

KirstenKingEncouragement 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 Kirsten King who was born in the small town of Geneva, Georgia. At an early age she wanted to be a teacher and demonstrated a passion, and love for people always wanting to be around people and music which Ms. King would later find out that her father was a popular DJ in South Georgia.  She was a good student and often helped organize events to raise funds for school projects, and also was a member of the dance line and flag teams.

After graduating from high school she began working for a Poultry Processing plant, and upon the encouragement of an older co-worker who told her “Baby you’re too young to be in this chicken plant, u need to go to college and get what you can while you’re young,” she decided to further education enrolling at Cols Technical College where she earned certification for Customer Service Specialist in 2000.

Kirsten became a mother in 2001 giving birth to her first child, a daughter. She was subsequently let go from her job due to the pregnancy.  She learned the difference between circumstances and choices and successfully navigated through being a single mother, having to single handedly take care of 2 children, her first born Jakedrea a daughter, and son Jakeveon.  She loved being a mother; however the trials & tribulations of having to provide for her children would test her foundation of humility.

In 2005, she began working as a Human Resources assistant in Fort Benning, GA for 6 years. During her employment in Fort Benning, Ms. King decided to further her education while simultaneously interning for a promotion team learning the fundamentals of marketing. In 2009, Kirsten and 3 other friends established D30 Entertainment, where Kirsten excelled in her passion for promotions and marketing. After the former members went their separate ways, Kirsten became the sole owner and changed her business name to D30 Marketing & Promotions, all while earning her BS in Business Management.

Excited and motivated about her degree & moving forward with D30, Kirsten implemented various public service projects: Easter Kuts & Ponytails, #D30Cares, and also participating in political forums that bring awareness to the community such as the Why Note Vote Campaign.  In addition to serving her community, Kirsten has a list of clients to include YNCK whom she provided publicist services & created the 706 to 106 Campaign & helped raise over $1,000 in cash & sponsorships to provide travel accommodations to and from 106 & Park in New York, NY. Kirsten also added Diva TV, Georgia Record Pool, Vision Pr & Marketing and Davis Broadcasting/ Foxie 105 Radio Personality to the D30 Empire and her list of occupations.  These acts contributed to her receiving several awards: 2 Firm Grip Grammys as Promotions & Marketing Team of the year for 2011 & 2012, Foxie 105 promotions team of the year, Mary Cason Foundation Woman of Power in Media & Marketing, Woman of Wonder in community service/entertainment sector.

Kirsten has big plans for D30 Marketing and Promotions, has been very busy and is definitely not finished…Her motto is “With God first, I will not fail”!!

What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dream is to build a solid foundation for my kids, so that when they become young adults they wont encounter some of the struggles I did as a young adult. Some of the goals that I’ve achieved is maintaining as a single mother, providing for my kids as if they were in a 2 parent home. I successfully started my own business, creating a totally different, unique vibe and remaining #1 in the entertainment industry in Columbus, Ga .

What encourages you?

Jakedrea Niyhae Morgan & Jakeveon Markese Upshaw…my kids encourage me to go above & beyond even when I don’t want to.

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

I’ve worked within the entertainment industry for 7 plus years starting out as an assistant,….meeting new people, networking & building relationships. My abilities to conform to any environment are what definitely make me unique. People normally cling to me because I’m a giver, a great listener, & I will make sure whatever mission is set before me, I put forth 100% into completing it.

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

I realized I was ready for what I’m doing now, when I began to see how easy it was to make things happen. The relationships were built, 4years of free hard work was put in, my part time consumed most of my full time ..i knew it was then that all I had to do was walk in my purpose & have faith that God had me.

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

For me, it’s a personal acquaintance and that’s my brother James Johnson, he taught me the business & gave me an opportunity to learn all that I could. Jb was very influential in the starting of my own business and till this day he pours into me & is kind of like a mentor. If there’s ever a situation or business deal that doesn’t feel right, he’s the first one I call. It’s because of him, many have respect for me in this industry, if you’ve worked under Jb it’s kind of hard for anyone to manipulate you. So to anyone thinking about the entertainment industry he would be an excellent mentor to seek guidance from.

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

When I fail or things or not looking so well, I always look at what I put into it and what I could’ve done differently and every time it makes me go harder the next time. I look at life like everything happens for a reason & we must learn from our mistakes & move forward!

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

The keys to success that I can leave for upcoming entrepreneurs are 1.Keep God first 2. Find your niche & Do you! 3. Never waste time worrying about what others are doing; you then lose sight on what you’re doing! 4. Create your lane and ride in it. 5. There will be hard times, heartaches, failures, & disappointments, but if you hang in there, it will build a bigger, better, stronger YOU!

Visit Kirsten King for more information.

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.