DERRICK Interview with Motivational Speaker and Author Jonathan Rivers

February 12, 2018

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 Jonathan Rivers who has as a BS in Marketing from Auburn University and MBA from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Rivers is married to his wife Erica and they have four children; Kingston, Ezra Adah and Titus. He is also an author, motivational speaker, professional development consultant and youth coach and mentor.

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

My dream is to travel around the world with the purpose of transforming mindsets through speaking, encouraging and enlightening. I plan to create a program that sends young men and women to leadership camps to build their acumen and leadership skills, which they will bring back to the community and share with their peers.

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

I have my BS in Marketing from Auburn University and my MBA from the University of Phoenix. I consistently speak about the principles I learned in college such as the product life cycle and human capital. I also discuss my experiences of discovering my purpose, overcoming adversity and building relationships.

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

I consider myself unique because of my versatility. I am a powerful and passionate storyteller with knowledge and experience because of my background as a former collegiate athlete, high school educator, motivational speaker and believer in Christ.

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

I realized I was ready to run my own speaking and consulting business when I was laid off from the University of Phoenix in 2014. I applied for at least 40 jobs and got told no every single time. I then knew I wasn’t being told no to anyone’s organization; I was being told yes to my purpose!

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

Darren Palmer is my publisher, one of my mentors and a driven individual. He is the owner of his own self publishing company (selfpublish-N-30days) and he has helped me step into a new level of greatness. His vision and preciseness regarding his professional direction is inspiring and beneficial to anyone.

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

I was abandoned by my father at birth and raised by a single mother. I was sexually abused as a child and involved in multiple life threatening car accidents. There was a time I only had $30 in my checking account but I did not allow those circumstances to make me a victim because I chose to allow them to make me a victor.

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

1. Do not compere yourself to anyone else! God made each of us in his mold, but unique in our own way. Everyone has a purpose and it is not predicated on being just like the next person. Work to be better than you were yesterday, rather than being better than someone else.

2. Be intentional about everything in your life! Too many people live life on cruise control with a laissez faire attitude because they don’t care what may transpire. If you don’t intentionally create your road to success, you are creating your road to mediocrity.

3. Learn, Learn, Learn! Continue to research what it is that you want to pursue in life. Do not allow the opportunity to learn be stripped because of arrogance or your perception of a specific source. Life is a teaching tool and it needs to be observed.

Visit www.Jonathanbamrivers.com for more information.

 

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DERRICK Interview with International Basketball Player Charles Smith-Perry

August 26, 2015

CSPEncouragement 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 Charles Smith-Perry who is an International Basketball Player who stands 6-0 at 185 pounds.  All CSP knows is how to beat the odds and now he has the ball in his hands with offers to play in China and France. From Columbus, Georgia to Providence, Rhode Island this is the type of story that will keep you smiling.

D is for Dream. As a young child evolving into a young man, I had dreams of being a doctor. I always felt that being a doctor would allow me to be mentally tough, as well as emotionally. However, my life turned into a sports tracker once I began becoming involved in the sports at the Boys & Girls Club and AAU basketball. From flag football, to baseball, running track and basketball, I easily chose basketball over the rest. Continuing with basketball into my high school years, I had been chosen to be a team captain, accumulating many awards and accommodations in both track and basketball.

Entering my senior year of high school, my mind was made up to attend the University of Tennessee to play college basketball, through a partial scholarship. However, my hope had been challenged as I had blew out and broke my entire left leg along with an Tibia/Fibula fracture. Schools told me I was no longer an interest of theirs, surgeons told me it’d be tough for me to pick up a basketball to compete ever again; however, God held my hand before and through the entire process of surgery and recovery.

Without rehab, I chose to attend a Div. II college that gave me an opportunity to showcase my skills and knowledge. With graduating with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration and concentration in Sports Management, I have had successes in leading the nation as the top 3-pt. percentage shooter in Div. II collegiate basketball worldwide. Named team captain for two years, I took on the role to guide, lead, and understand the process of becoming a better teammate, individual for myself and my family, and a better man altogether.

After graduation in May 2015, I declared to become a professional basketball player. Receiving offers from Nanjin Army (Team China) and Paris-Levallois Basket (France), these opportunities declare that all things are possible through Christ. Being told I was too small, I was too short, I was not good in certain skill departments, or that I don’t meet expectations, there were still an amount of teams that has shown me interest in a good amount of time. Tuesday, I’ll be participating with a PBL League basketball team named the Providence SkyChiefs. This will be my last professional work. Off of the court I have hosted basketball camps and spoke at church events and clinics as a guest speaker, about my testimony in both life and sports. One day I pray to open a center for young adults and kids that can provide learning and sports opportunities to the community, as well as start a scholarship fund to those that are less fortunate and have limited income.

E is for Education. I attended Fox Elementary School, Marshall Middle (before transferring over to Fort Middle School) and attended Northside High School in August of 2006. I graduated Northside High (Columbus) in 2010. I went on to further my education and receiving my degree from the Montreat College, in May of 2015, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and concentration in Sports Management. I have put my degree to use with becoming the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for Youth Services Counselor for my originated homeland, Providence, Rhode Island. Here I am developing bonds and relationships with over 40+ young adults from high school ages up to 24 years old.

R is for Resource. I am a ambitious and passionate young man. Everything I do, I put my all into. The words “impossible” and “can’t” are words I never found accepting. Failure has never been an option because I know that all things can be accomplished through Christ, my Lord. My resources have allowed me to develop relationships with professional attorney’s, coaches, scouts, motivational speakers, doctors, nurses and professional players.

R is for Ready. I knew I became ready when I met my coaches and mentors, Marshall Otto, Lincoln Walters and Hub Powell, when I got to Montreat. These men placed so much into my life that added onto my spiritual growth, my financial growth and my personal life that without them, my dreams of playing professional basketball, coaching or mentoring, would not even be of this world. I wanted to give in so many times so often, yet I always remained humble enough to pick up my Bible and look for answers and direction when things seemed a little deranged.

I is for Individual. Another individual that inspired me, that has also known me for my entire life and in the same network, is Mr. Xavier Lane. “Zay”, an organizational worker, a leader, father and independent clothing line designer, has shown me so much guidance and lead way. Himself earning himself a championship ring at Jordan High School, Lane is the ideal role model for a man. God-fearing, a loving son and father, and a very hardworking and excelling young man, my hat goes off to him for instilling so much in me and sets great examples in which I followed him and he may not even realize that.

C is for Challenges. Adoption at an early age, growing up angry feeling as though people owed me something, overcoming being ineligible for sports twice in college, losses of childhood and close friends, failing classes from not being attentive and focused, gambling, fought in high school and once in college, which almost led to a tough ruling from the president of the college.

K is for Key. In everything and all that you do, put God first and constantly want to improve and build that bond with Christ. He is KEY, He is THE KEY to all success. Anything that you put your mind to, you can achieve. When setting goals, make sure that they are attainable, approachable, maintainable, clear, concise and worthwhile. And always dream big; nothing in this world is too big for you! There is no limit to success.

Visit Charles Perry-Smith for more information.


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,


Florida State University Alumnus Linda Atnip Gives Back

January 9, 2013

LindaAtnipMy name is Linda Atnip and I graduated from Florida State University as a broadcast journalism major. Attending college totally transformed my life and has shaped every aspect of my adult career from my days as a television news reporter for WPTV in Palm Beach to working as a publicist, freelance writer and author of two books.

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and the lessons learned on campus have enriched and imprinted my career journey for more than thirty years. Not only did I gain widespread cultural exposure, I was given the skills to express myself creatively as both a writer and reporter. I believe in passing it on and have presented my story at more than fifty elementary schools encouraging children to follow their dreams and passions.

I have served on the Florida State University Southern California Alumni board where I lent my publicity and writing skills to creating special events. I have a strong belief in giving back to the community.

Visit Linda Atnip for more information.


DERRICK Interview with The College World Reporter Publisher Donnell Edwards

December 21, 2012

DonnellEdwardsEncouragement 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 Donell Edwards who is a professional speaker, author, spokesperson, CEO and President of Donell Edwards Media, Founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) online empowerment magazine, and CWR World News & Information Service daily
newspaper.

D is for Dream.  My dream is to influence and empower young people and students and help prepare them to compete effectively in the volatile world of today and tomorrow.  I have achieved the first phase of that goal by developing The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine, and having the blessing of assembling a very, very formidable group of highly professional advisors from a variety of backgrounds to contribute on a regular basis to The CWR.

E is for Encourage.  I am encouraged when I have the privilege of finding people who have the same passion that I have to help empower others,and when I find those who are eager to receive and apply the information and advice that is offered to help prepare them for survival and success in the global marketplace that we live in today.

R is for Resource.   I have a very eclectic background; I worked in retail sales, in radio as an announcer and marketing representative, I worked for over 11 years for a Fortune 100 company, IBM Corporation in administration and management, I am an entrepreneur and have been a motivational speaker, life coach, and have owned a direct sales mobile phone business.  My education is somewhat recent, since I did not go back to college and get my degree until later in life.  This has allowed me to have a better understanding of today’s youth and young adults. All of this has provided me with invaluable insights into life, and how to overcome adversity and successfully confront life’s challenges.

R is for Ready.  After my very first issue of The CWR, which was originally designed to be a small newsletter for local students, I realized that it could become something much, much bigger.  I also realized there was a need for a publication of this type because I had only completed my degree a few years prior, and had the pleasure of getting to know many of the college students in my classes, which provided me with a microcosm of college students in general.  I was able to discern that although students were getting a good education, they were in many ways not prepared to make the transition from being students to the real world.  Armed with this knowledge, I knew then that I was ready to embark on a course of finding the resources to provide students with advice and information from professionals on a variety of levels to help them successfully make the transition into the real world.  That has been, and continues to be the mission of The CWR.

I is for Individual.  There are so many, Kenneth Chenault, Marva Collins,Ann Fudge, Earl Graves, Jr., Cathy Hughes, Richard Parsons, and others. However, if I must pick one individual that I would recommend that others should learn about that would undoubtedly be the late Reginald (Reggie) Lewis.  Mr. Lewis established TLC Group, LP who made history in 1987 when he purchased the International Division of Beatrice Foods, consisting of 64 companies in 31 countries.  At the time of this transaction this $985 million dollar deal was the largest offshore leveraged buyout ever, by any American, Black or otherwise.  Mr. Lewis to me is an example of what we can achieve, and demonstrates how important it is for everyone to at least learn the basics of finance and money management.

C is for Continue.  I believe and live by the philosophy that one only fails when he or she stops trying, and that there are no failures, only life lessons.  So, to me, failure is never an option.  I analyze the life lessons I experience and become wiser and more informed, and move on.  The motivation to continue must come from within, from inside myself.  That is the set of principles I teach in my signature speech, “Motivation On Steroids®.”

K is for Keys.  My first key to success is to have a strong spiritual foundation. No matter what your spiritual beliefs may be, one must have a close relationship with God, and be guided by God and Godly principles.  Second, one must know himself or herself.  Understand your strengths and your weaknesses.  Know your limits.  Work to progressively master skills that are required to achieve your goals and convert weaknesses to strengths and overcome limitations.  Third, never lose confidence in yourself and your goals.  Regardless of what anyone else thinks, stay the course, stay true to yourself and your goals, while being aware of the need at times to make adjustments, but never losing confidence in yourself  and your purpose.  Fourth, build an inner circle of people who have abilities, skills, and expertise different from yours and in some instances superior to yours. Learn from them, share with them, and build a network that will be mutually beneficial.

Visit Donell Edwards for more information.


Smith College Alum Leslie Yeransian Speaks on the Importance of Education

December 20, 2012

LeslieThe value of an all women’s education is priceless. My experience at Smith College, a Seven Sister and the largest all women’s undergraduate school in the country could not be replaced with any other educational experience. I’d like to highlight the five best aspects of my Smith education:

First, Smith has no core curriculum, so the college gives students – who typically have been top of their class – the freedom to concentrate on a field(s) of study they are passionate about without getting bogged down in core curriculum requirements. I focused primarily on History, Computer Science, Film and English. I did not take any courses in Mathematics, Science or Language.  I had experienced enough of a broad range curriculum in preparatory school.

Second, Smith’s professors are phenomenal. Many of the professors have tenure and are committed to the culture of the college. You are taught by the professor him/herself, not a teacher’s assistant.  Most of the professors are published.  The professors are extremely accessible and class sizes remain small.

Third, Smith doesn’t have dorms, it has houses. Each house has a different feel and culture (i.e. the French House that speaks only French, the athlete’s house, the quad which is more social). Some students spend one year at a house, others spend all four. Many of the houses still have their own dining rooms and cooking staff, who knows each students likes and dislikes.

Fourth, Smith is part of the Five College Consortium. Smith students can take advantage of the other colleges/universities surrounding them via a free shuttle bus. Smithies can take classes at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire College and UMass Amherst, as well as engage in many of the other school’s social calendars.

Fifth, Smith offers the flexibility to create your own study abroad. Smith has some exceptional established study abroad programs. But if you don’t see a program you like, you can create your own. I had the pleasure and honor of proposing my own study abroad program through Oxford University. For one year I studied one-on-one under the tutelage of some of the most renowned professors in history.

As I write this, I wish I could go back and do it all over again. This time, in no hurry to graduate.  If you get into Smith, Go. Savor every second. And don’t be too eager to get out…because truly, those four years are the best years of your life. Needless to say, after graduating from Smith there is a strong, dynamic network of Smithies who are there for you post-graduation.

Visit Leslie Yeransian or let us know if you would like to give an Alumni Shout Out?


DERRICK Interview with Gospel Singer Alexis Gwin

December 10, 2012

AlexisGwinEncouragement 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 Alexis Gwin who knows that Jesus Christ is the only way to have life. He sings loud in Alexis’ heart. She sincerely believes through obedience to the Holy Spirit, one can reach perfection in any endeavor that God has set for them. Alexis Gwin “SongBird” is a Chicago native, and has been singing beautiful music since a child.

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

My dream is to reach all through the music that God has granted me to sing so beautifully, spreading the good news about Jesus Christ.  My goal is to never stop spreading the message of Jesus through the music I sing.  I am currently releasing my first album early 2013, I did a video recording on October 27, 2012 at Parkland College, and if you go to my webpage you will see a video clip.  So many wonderful things I have achieved but will never stop achieving them as long as God grants me the life to live and live for him.

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

I will say that the resources I bring to the table humbleness to God to lead and direct me in the places he only wants me to go.  I believe anyone with the uniqueness and the stand out spirit is only because they have chosen to walk on the path that truly God has ordained for their life.

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

I realized I was ready last summer when I step out on faith and totally trusted God; trust God that I did not need anybody but him to lead me towards the path of where I am now and where I will go.  If I trusted God then other believers would see I was following God and then they would follow God and help make the vision come to pass.

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

JESUS!!!!!! The reason why is because Jesus is the reason we have life and an opportunity to have eternal life.  There is no joy without Jesus, there is no purpose without Jesus, and life is truly not worth living without JESUS.

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

I only fail if I am disobedient because I did not follow the plan God has laid before me but what makes me want to continue is the desire to spread Jesus, Joy, happiness, and to be able to edify and uplift all who believe and who will believe that Jesus is our savior.

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

Strive with all you’re might to be led by God, and to feel good about what you are doing and what you are representing.  Remember we are what people see who represents Jesus so we must represent well, if we make mistakes get up, try again and get back on the road to obedience and ask for forgiveness to our father and to the ones who have seen you fall.  Also what I would like to pass along to upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders is that, we must forgive others because we one day will need to be forgiven.

Visit Alexis Gwin for more information.