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The Carter Malone Group
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TNT Cleaning Services Sweeps the Competition
in the ‘Controlling How Your Cookie Crumbles’
‘Best’ Business Plan Competition
 
(April 4, 2013 – MEMPHIS, TN)  Entrepreneurs who participated in three free business symposiums received more than advice from a panel of business executives on how to launch, fund and sustain a business. They also were encouraged to compete in a “best” business plan competition for a $1,500 grant.
 
Toya Bailey, owner of TNT Cleaning Services, was one of a dozen entrepreneurs and potential business owners who submitted a business plan after the conclusion of the “Controlling How Your Cookie Crumbles” business symposiums. Much to Bailey’s surprise, the business that she’s owned and staffed for nearly 2 years swept the competition to win the coveted award.
 
“I was already on the page of the executive summary before the competition was announced. So I went home and didn’t give up” on completing the business plan, said Bailey, who’d worked in customer service for 12 years and performed other tasks, such as troubleshooting a computer, prior to starting her own business.
 
Bailey said she started TNT Cleaning Services because she wanted to set up a business and run it herself. “I wanted to be my own boss,” she added. “I felt if I had my own business, I could give back to the community.”  
 
Giving back to the community was the impetus that motivated Deidre Malone, president and CEO of The Carter Malone Group, to sponsor the business symposium and thus award $1,500 for the “best” business plan.
 
“When I started my business 10 years ago, I had only one client -- the National Baptist Congress. There are far more opportunities now for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to launch and sustain a business than when I first started,” said Malone, who has since added dozens of local, regional and national clients to the list. CMG is now an award-winning agency and the largest female-owned firm in West Tennessee.
 
When TNT is finally running at full throttle, Bailey said she, too, would like to expand. “I want to create a cleaning and janitorial service for different states and be competitive with larger cleaning companies,” she said. “I want to branch out and offer franchises to others who’re interested in this business.”
 
The symposium was designed to educate and empower entrepreneurs and business owners such as Bailey, who may have needed strategic planning and technical support to help launch, grow and/or sustain a business of their own.
 
The symposium served its purpose, said Bailey, the mother of five children, ages 2-17. Her husband, she said, is very supportive of her business. His support – and the support of her mother’s as well -- factored in her decision to attend the symposium. 
 
“I wanted information on how to grow my business and to make it stronger – anything that I could grasp to bring to my business,” she said.
 
Bailey now has four full-time employees and two on call. The company -- currently home-based and located in the Bartlett area -- offers commercial and residential cleaning services and specializes in waxing, buffing, stripping, sealing and polishing. She plans to spend the $1,500 on supplies and equipment.
 
Although TNT has grown considerably within a two-year period, Bailey found time to enroll at Strayer University and earned a master’s in business management in December of 2012.
 
“I took what I learned in school and processed it in real life,” she said.
 
 
Toya Bailey, owner of TNT Cleaning Services, is the winner of the “best” business plan competition and the recipient of a $1,500 grant that The Carter Malone Group sponsored after the conclusion of its “Controlling How Your Cookie Crumbles” business symposiums. From left: Deidre Malone, president and CEO of CMG, Bailey and her husband, Toby. (Photo by Wiley Henry/The Carter Malone Group)
 
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A device that interprets language
to aid emergency responders

Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

A device that can interpret language between emergency on-scene responders and the people they transport is being touted as the latest technological advancement in rescue operations.

Rural Metro Ambulance, a company that provides ambulance service in Shelby County, including the unincorporated areas, is believed to be the first group in the country to use such a device.

"Our on-scene responders, or emergency rescuers, are sometimes faced with the inability to communicate with the people they are called to transport to area hospitals and other facilities," said Nikki Gast, Rural Metro Ambulance market general manager.

"If there is a communication problem, this device will help save valuable time and lives."

When using the device, a simple press of a button dials an interpreter, who can directly communicate with the patient, even if they do not speak the same language. The interpreter can detect the dialect and language and transfer the call to another person who can communicate with them.

"Language barriers keep people from getting the help that they need in an emergency situation and in a timely manner," said Gast. "This device is an essential component in our quest to deliver spotless service in Shelby County without being hampered by the patient's dialect and language."

Gast said the device will help take out some of the guesswork when responding to an emergency in the field.

Emergency rescuers are training on the device and expecting to use it in Shelby County in a few weeks.

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Kickboxing keeps Healthy Church
Challenge participants on their toes

Written by Wiley Henry

Madison Hopkins kicks her legs and swings her arms and Bettie Nelson throws a left jab followed by a right cross. This is not your average step class.

It's kickboxing in its simplest form and taught by a certified personal trainer, who kept dozens of Healthy Church Challenge participants on their toes during a March 9 workout session at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church.

"My goal is to inspire people to reach their goal," said Yacqui Peete, 41, who got men, women and children to stretch, bend, kick and punch to loosen up their limbs. "I'm trying to get people to change their lifestyle. If you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and keep going."

Hopkins and Nelson were expending the same amount of energy on the gym floor, but the only difference is their age. Hopkins, the daughter of Maurice and Lawinter Hopkins, is 3 years old, and Nelson, a retired lockbox clerk, is 66.

"It's the norm for me. I do this every day," said Nelson, a member of The Healing Cathedral Christian Church, who works out four days a week doing cardio kick boxing, aerobics and walking the treadmill at the Church Health Center.

"When you get older, your metabolism slows down. And I'm just trying to strengthen my bones and stay at a size 14."

Hopkins worked out alongside her mother at one end of the gym floor, and her 2-year-old brother, Matthew Hopkins, worked out with their father at the other end. They mimicked every kick and jab, and jumped around incessantly.

"I participated in the Challenge last year," said Lawinter Hopkins, 28, an employee at the Advertising Check-in Bureau. "My husband is involved this year. That's why we brought our children along so all of us can live a healthy lifestyle and maintain our health."

A member of Citadel of Deliverance Church of God in Christ, Lawinter Hopkins has dropped 20 pounds since last year's Challenge. Relatively healthy by self-description, she wants to lose about 60 pounds to ward off diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Presented by BlueCross® BlueShield® of Tennessee, the Challenge is designed to address health problems through area faith-based organizations and create a healthier place to live, work and play in Memphis, Shelby County and West Tennessee.

The winning teams of the Challenge will receive prizes that will benefit their churches and health ministries. The grand prize is a $5,000 certificate for fitness equipment and nutritional counseling. There will also be an individual prize awarded to the person who loses the most weight overall.

Lawinter Hopkins said the Challenge is an "eye-opener" and "exciting." The family, she said, had initially planned to do something else on that weekend, but decided that working out together was far too important to miss.

Nelson is keeping up with various workout regimens, both at the Church Health Center and when she is participating in workouts during the Challenge. "I got in a good workout for today," she said.

She initially started working out in 2011 after doctors diagnosed her with low bone density.

"I went to the doctor because my legs were getting numb. My hip joint was deteriorating and I had stabbing pain," Nelson recalls. "But I don't have those problems anymore since I started working out."

Peete encourages women such as Nelson and Hopkins to start thinking about themselves and not spend the majority of their time taking care of others. "They do everything for everybody else," she said. "They need to think about themselves."

She paraphrased a verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19 to justify why the body should be treated with respect. "The Bible says the body is our temple, so we need to treat it as such."

(For more information on the Healthy Church Challenge, call 901-278-0881 or visit www.Facebook.com/TheHealthyChurchChallenge.)

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Susan Taylor Urges NAACP Supporters to Mentor African
American Children at the 37th Annual Freedom Fund Gala

By Wiley Henry

The Memphis Branch of the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Gala drew a crowd of supporters to the Grand Ball Room of the Memphis Cook Convention Center Wednesday evening, March 20, for an annual event that brings out the best in Memphis.

Each year a keynote speaker tops off the evening with a poignant message that undergirds the message and mission of the NAACP. For the 37th gala, however, the keynote speaker graced the stage with poise, enthusiasm and zeal, and urged the audience to consider mentoring African-American children.

“We’re only asking for an hour a week of your time. We’re not asking you to become parents. We just need a little of your time,” said Susan L. Taylor, a celebrated magazine columnist who rose through the ranks as a fashion and beauty editor, editorial director, and finally the editor in chief emeritus of Essence magazine.

Taylor took aim at the deplorable conditions in African-American communities across the country and singled out African-American males as an endangered species worth saving. These communities, she pointed out, have been devoid of educational opportunities and ravaged by poverty and drugs.

“We need to invest in education,” she said.

Taylor founded “Essence Cares” in 2006, which morphed into the “National Cares Mentoring Movement.” The mission is two-fold: to increase high school graduation rates and create safe “top-tier schools in every underserved community in this nation.”

She said mentors are recruited, connected and then deployed wherever they are needed.

“The village is on fire and children are screaming for support (available resources),” she said. “They represent the healing water our children need to survive this crisis moment.”

Taylor’s remarks underscored the work already in progress at the NAACP and highlighted in its own goals and mission. However, Rev. Keith Norman, senior pastor of First Baptist Church-Broad, who was elected in October of 2012 as the organization’s new branch president, laid out a strategic plan going forward.

He calls it the “5 Game Changers for the 21st Century”: 1) renewing a focus on voter education and maintaining voting rights; 2) making sure that all children have access to a free, high quality public education; 3) leveling the field for affordable health care and access for all; 4) building systems of wealth and strengthening economic sustainability for all; and 5) ensuring public safety and criminal justice.

The 5 Game Changers coincide in many ways with Taylor’s goal to end violence in the African-American community, rid the community of blight, and stop the express train to juvenile facilities and penal systems that “warehouse” African-American males.

Madeleine C. Taylor, the executive director of the Memphis branch, said Susan Taylor’s remarks were on-point and that her work in the community is desperately needed in this day and time to help lift the African American community out of economic despair and low educational attainment.

“We have been vigilant in our pursuit of a thorough education for African-American children by sponsoring the ACT-SO (Afro-Academic Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics) competition for high school students,” said Madeleine Taylor. “Many of them have excelled in Science, Humanities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Entrepreneurship.”

Fighting for economic parity, justice and freedom is still vital to the NAACP’s mission, Madeleine Taylor added.

About the Memphis Branch of the NAACP

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. The Memphis Branch is the largest branch in the organization.

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