Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Top 10 Friendship Mistakes You May Be Making

Posted by BOSS Member 

Friendships are an invaluable type of support system that will help move you into your destiny. They’ll be your cheering squad yelling, “You can do it!” Friends will cheer you on no matter what and will reinforce your strengths and talents especially when you’re not completely convinced of them yourself.

Are you that type of friend? Or are you the one that prevents your friends from being the best that they can be? Being a good friend – as with any relationship – takes work. It takes a concerted effort to make a friendship better.

The list below includes some of the top 10 friendship mistakes people make based on my own observations, spending exorbitant amounts of time listening to others vent and through my own personal friendship inadequacies, all of which became recurring themes in each scenario. So without further adieu, the LIST!

1. You’re not a good listener.
You have no problem reaching out to tell your friends about your problems and putting all your weight on them but when the tables are turned, the conversation’s cut short, someone’s at the door, you’re on your way out, the dog has to pee, put your excuse here: __________________ but either way, you just don’t have time. Listening is truly a skill and as the old saying goes, “…that’s why God gave us one mouth and two ears.”

2. You’re overly critical and judgmental.
Your friends come to you and they’re all excited to tell you about something awesome that just happened to them that day, or want to tell you about the new guy or gal they just met or about some new invention they just came up with that will increase the world’s efficiency by 100% and you immediately knock them down. You tell them it won’t work, they can find someone better, there’s already something better, and so on and so forth. And that’s always the case. There’s a fine line between being a realist and being a crab. Don’t be a crab.

3. You don’t call enough.
With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Stumble Upon…read me, find me, search me pleeeeease and the numerous other social media sites out there, this is what your friendship has now converted to. What happened to that archaic method of picking up the phone and dialing those 10 little numbers? Some people still long for that.

4 – 6. You harbor jealously, you’re not genuinely happy for your friends’ accomplishments and you’re not encouraging.
Numbers 4 – 6 I’m going to lump together, as they’re closely related. At some point or another, the green – eyed monster has reared its ugly head. Your friends seem to be the most engaging, most attractive, most intelligent and most accomplished and with everything going for them, your happiness has turned to sourness. You can’t be happy for them to save your life. Look at what you HAVEN’T accomplished for yourself and make the change there.

7. You allow your friendship to remain one-sided.
Your friend calls you all the time, your friend pays for the excursions all the time, your friend picks you up all the time, your friend listens to your problems all the time, your friend encourages you all the time, need I say more?

8. You’re not aware of your own friendship limitations and if you are, you don’t work to improve on them.
When I asked a friend of mine, what did they see as their ultimate friendship fault they said, “Uhhhh…nothing.” Coooome oooooon! No friendship is perfect. As we, as individuals change and grow, so does our friendships. There’s always room for improvement but you have to figure out what those improvements are.

9. You don’t communicate your friendship needs.
If you like to be called everyday or not, if you want to hang out every weekend or not, it is YOUR responsibility to articulate those needs to your friend. People have different friendship styles and a friendship trait that works for one may not work for the other. You have to let them know what works for you!

10. You lie.
This one would seem like a no – brainer but you do it all the time. You’re not honest with your friends. You invent stories to impress; you create a fantasy world with you as the main character with the hope of…..people liking you more? The web of deceit you’ve created will soon catch up to you so why not just let your friends see the real you?

Evaluate your current friendships to determine in what areas you may be lacking and work on the areas that need improving.

Meet BOSS Honoree and President of the Chicago Teachers Union Karen GJ Lweis


Karen GJ Lewis

President of the Chicago Teacher Union 

Karen GJ Lewis was elected President of the 30,000 member Chicago Teachers Union on June 11, 2010. 

A member of Chicago Teachers Union since 1988, Mrs. Lewis taught high school chemistry in the Chicago Public Schools for 22 years.   Karen has served the Union as a member of the House of Delegates, High School Functional Vice President and as a member of the Illinois State Certification Board.  She received National Board Certification in 2002. 

During the American Federation of Teachers Convention held in Seattle, Washington in July 2010, Mrs. Lewis successfully won her election as an AFT Vice President, where she has input in the national organization’s policy decisions. 

In October 2010, Karen was elected Executive Vice President to the 70,000 member Illinois Federation of Teachers.  She now works tirelessly to effectuate excellence in the teaching/learning experience, guard against opportunistic self-interest groups who would eradicate public education, advocate for equal quality education for all students,  and protect the rights of  educators throughout the state of Illinois.

Mrs. Lewis is keenly aware of the need to protect member rights, and to fight for an educator’s voice in the decision-making process of a currently business-dominated school district.  She believes that students, parents, teachers and community members are educators’ natural allies.  Her goal is to truly improve Chicago Public Schools and stand firmly against the privatization of public education.

In her State of the Union address, Mrs. Lewis stated that:
“Today marks the beginning of the end of scapegoating educators for all the social ills that our children, families and schools struggle against every day.  Today marks the beginning of a fight for true transparency in our educational policy — how to accurately measure learning and teaching, how to truly improve our schools, and how to evaluate the wisdom behind our spending priorities.

…Corporate America sees K-12 public education as $380 billion dollars that, up until the last 10 or 15 years, they didn’t have a sizeable piece of.  This so-called school ‘reform’ is not an education plan.  It’s a business plan and mayoral control of our schools, and our Board of Education, is the linchpin of their operation.”

Karen is a product of Chicago Public Schools, having attended Kozminski Elementary School and Kenwood High School, until accepting early admission at Mount Holyoke College.  She later transferred to Dartmouth College, where she earned the distinction of being the only African American woman in the class of 1974.

Mrs. Lewis comes from a family of educators -- her father, mother and husband, John Lewis, who is now retired, all were CPS teachers.  She is a foreign film buff and enjoys tennis, reading and travel.

Meet BOSS Influencer and Founder of The Fabulous Giver Karyn Brianne Watkins

Karyn Brianne Watkins

Karyn Watkins.jpg
Founder of The Fabulous Giver
Co-Founder of The Red Pump Project

Karyn Brianne Watkins is a healthcare and nonprofit communicator focused on using new media to promote positive social and health behaviors. Having worked in pharmaceutical advertising for over three years, Karyn switched gears to the field of public relations and now works day in and out assisting top tier Clients with media relations, managing social media networks for brands (including content development), and the execution of in-market events.

Karyn is the Founder of The Fabulous Giver, a website promoting charitable initiatives in the world of style, beauty and entertainment. She is also the co-founder of The Red Pump Project, a nationwide HIV/AIDS awareness nonprofit focused on women and girls. Originally launched in March 2009 as a blogger initiative, The Red Pump Project now has an online and ground presence via the support of Red Pump ambassadors raising awareness across the country. The inaugural “Rock the Red Pump” outreach campaign recruited over 125 bloggers to display a custom blog badge and/or discuss HIV/AIDS on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2009. The second annual campaign attracted over 250 participants. Red Pump is active across several online networks (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook) and uses these outlets to connect with HIV-related organizations and encourage open dialogue about how this disease affects the target population.

Currently, Karyn is a member of the American Cancer Society’s National Blogger Advisory Council and a board member of the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project. She regularly provides social media advice and support to various health causes and organizations. Karyn resides in Chicago and received her Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet Boss Honoree Lora Michelle Whitticker

Lora Michelle Whitticker
Attorney and Democratic Party Fundraiser

Lora Michelle Whitticker is an attorney and Democratic Party political fundraiser in Chicago, Illinois. Lora is originally from Kokomo, Indiana, and she is the grandchild of the late Judge John T. Grimes.  Lora attended Kokomo High School and went on to attend Indiana University where she graduated with dual-degrees in Political Science and African-American Studies in 1999.

After completing her undergraduate study, Lora went to Indiana University School of Law where she matriculated in 2002.  While at Indiana Law, Lora served on the school’s Admissions Committee, was an officer of the Black Law Student’s Association, and worked as an Editor for the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Lora currently serves as one of  the youngest members of Indiana University School of Law’s Alumni Board and BLSA Advisory Board.

Lora has spent the majority of her legal career working for large law firms such as Lord Bissell & Brook LLP and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP.  In 2008, Lora was inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and became a political fundraiser first with Young Lawyers for Obama and then directly for the Democratic Party.  She eventually went on to work for the Obama presidential campaign full time and subsequently went to work for the Presidential Inaugural Committee in Washington, DC after the election.

In 2009, Lora became a Founding Member of Gen44 – the Democratic National Committee’s Young Professionals’ fundraising organization and began to serve on the DNC’s National Finance Committee. Lora currently is in private practice and is one of the most successful political fundraisers under age 35 in the United States.  

Lora is extremely active in organizations and bar association and credits her community service work for developing her vast professional network. Lora is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and has been a board member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago, the Cook County Bar Association, and the National Bar Association.  Lora is the immediate past chair of the National Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. 

Meet Boss Honoree and Sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross

Dr. Rachael Ross 
Physician, Sexologist, and Media Expert 
Twitter - @DrRachael

As a medical doctor and a sexologist, Dr. Rachael Ross has been heralded by the Chicago Tribune as the next Dr. Ruth, the nationally renowned sexual therapist who pioneered frank sex talk.

Dr. Rachael is an energetic, outspoken, no-holds-barred speaker known around the country for her open discussions about relationships, sex, abstinence for teenagers , and HIV/AIDS prevention.  She is featured twice weekly on Chicago area television on “You & Me This Morning” on Chicago’s  WCIU – ‘The U’, she offers her sex and relationship advice weekly on Chicago’s Power 92FM, is quoted frequently in Cosmopolitan Magazine, writes for several medical publications, as well as provides medical commentary for the nationally syndicated Tavis Smiley radio show. 
This winter Ross releases her first book,  Down Right, Feel Right. Outercourse For Her & For Him. “Taste, touch and feel. Exploring Your Way to Orgasm.  The easy-to-read, instructional guide offers individuals and couples advice on improving their sexual relationship through outercourse.

“Sometimes you don’t have to or you cannot go all the way,” says Dr. Rachael, a medical practitioner and clinically trained sexologist. “Oftentimes it is safer, funner and more convenient to just go Down Right and Feel Right.”

Her book is a fun flip book designed to be read out loud, alone and together.  In the end, couples and individuals commit themselves to focus on intimacy and ecstasy.   The ladies read ‘Outercourse for Her’ from the front and then, men flip it over and ‘Outercourse for Him’ is on the back.  She encourages both men and women to read both sides of the book.

Says Dr. Rachael, “Outercourse is a safer and an enjoyable way to please your partner.  It covers everything except traditional intercourse. “  

There’s no question that Dr. Rachael is the real deal:  She has her M.D. from Meharry Medical College, B.A., Vanderbilt University and her Ph.D., from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists.  Her clinic is in her hometown of Gary, IN where she practices medicine alongside her father Dr. David, brother Dr. Nathaniel, and sister Dr. Rebekkah.   Dr. Ross is the medical director of one of Indiana’s largest male prisons, and she lives in Chicago’s trendy Hyde Park neighborhood, just a few miles from our president.  

Dr. Rachael is on call 24/7 at 1-888-DrRach7 (377-2247).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet BOSS Honoree and CPR Expert Katherine Y. Brown

Dr. Katherine Y. Brown
Founder of Dr. Katherine and Associates CPR Courses

Dr. Katherine Y. Brown is Founder of Dr. Katherine And Associates CPR Courses. Fueled by a passion for cardiovascular health and driven to combat the disproportionately higher percentages of deaths resulting from cardiac arrest in our communities, Dr. Katherine Y. Brown dedicates herself to teaching others life preservation skills. She strategically established Dr. Katherine and Associates CPR Courses on Chicago’s Southside and currently travels nationwide teaching CPR with the intent of “saving lives one CPR class at a time.”

Dr. Brown and her team teach Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, AED, and First Aid courses to healthcare providers, school faculty and staff, and the community at large. To teach CPR to the greater public on a national level she has visited homeless women’s shelters, churches, schools, service organizations and parks. She currently travels to low income
areas conducting CPR demonstrations.  Her motto is, “We are in the community for the community.”

Propelled to increase bystander CPR across the country, and invited as far as Jerusalem, Dr. Brown launched a nationwide campaign. Last year, she and her team taught over 1000 people with free non-certification CPR courses during National CPR Week. As she explains, “People are dying every day. I look forward to the day when the community views learning CPR not as an option, but as the necessity
of life it really is.”Known for doing more than what's expected and with a goal to encourage people
to become their own health advocates; Dr. Katherine And Associates CPR Courses provides heart healthy initiatives including free walking clubs, a triathlon training program, and heart  healthy cooking classes with Chef Irving Brown II. She explains, "We are a family owned and operated company and it is our goal to serve where we are

Dr. Brown is a CPR Instructor, Training Center Faculty Member, and highly sought after motivational speaker. Dr. Katherine Y. Brown resides in Chicago, IL where she enjoys family life with her husband, chef Irving Brown II, and their four children. 

Dr. Katherine And Associates CPR Courses
820 E. 87th Street Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60619

Meet BOSS Honoree and Holistic Health Expert Karyn Calabrese

Karyn Calabrese 

Entrepreneur and Holistic Health Expert
Twitter - @karynsenlight

Karyn Calabrese is a successful entrepreneur and popular holistic health expert based in Chicago.  At 64 years old she looks nearly a generation younger and enjoys boundless energy and great health. She started on her journey of health after suffering from a host of allergies and ailments as a child. In her 20¹s, she turned to natural solutions to improve her health, gradually transitioning from vegetarian to vegan to a complete raw vegan diet. For the past 30 years, Karyn has been committed to taking care of her body and helping others to do the same. In addition to a raw diet, she believes in regular detoxification and has developed a program that she teaches to hundreds of people a year in Chicago and is now available in her debut book, Å’Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing with Karyn.  Karyn¹s business also includes 3 vegan restaurants, a holistic wellness center, and a line of all natural supplements, skin care and makeup.

Karyn has enjoyed huge success as a health expert in the local and national media including two appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show that featured age-defying women.  Karyn was awarded the First Annual Raw and Living Foods Golden Branch Award in 2002 for introducing the idea of raw and
living foods to the greatest number of people in the mainstream public.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BOSS Network Influencer & Special Honoree Merri Dee

Merri Dee 

Merri Dee

Chicago Broadcast Legend

Merri Dee Communications is a full-service consultant practice offering the development, implementation and evaluation of community and public relations, fundraising, and corporate social responsibility initiatives and campaigns.

Dee's broadcasting career is legendary.  She's one of the few women who have enjoyed true staying power.  For 37 years, Dee has held a number of high profile positions at WGN-TV, from newscaster, talk-show host, staff announcer and editorial spokesperson, before moving into the management ranks in her current position.  She has also hosted countless parades, telethons and TV specials.   Her broadcast log reads like a 'Who's Who' - having shared camera time and stages around the world with the likes of Lou Rawls, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Wilson, Bernie Mack, Tom Joyner, Ed McMahon, Frank Sinatra, and literally hundreds of other well-known entertainers and personalities.  She is a recipient of many awards honoring her broadcasting experience, including the Silver Circle "Lifetime Achievement Award" presented by the Chicago Academy of TV Arts and Sciences.
Interestingly, even to this day, when you ask lifelong Chicagoans about Dee, many remember her story of being kidnapped and almost murdered by a stalker.  Given last rites, overcoming paralysis and blindness, she not only survived, but also was renewed and inspired to make a difference with her second-chance in life.

This passion and drive to make a difference has served her role as manager of WGN-TV Children's Charities, a fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation well, where she raised over $30 million dollars for various children's organizations in Chicago.  She even made the welfare of children waiting to be adopted in Illinois her personal project.  This adoption advocacy led her to receive many awards, including the national "Gracie Allen Award" by the National Assoc. of American Women in Radio and TV and the "Adoption Excellence Award" by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

A strong believer in education, Dee has also hosted the United Negro College Fund's "Evening of Stars" for 30 years, serving two years as the volunteer general chairman of the nationally televised event raising millions of dollars for college scholarships.  Additionally, Dee was the co-founder of  Athletes For Better Education (AFBE), an academic, athletic program, where graduates i.e. Player/Coaches Terry Cummings, Doc Rivers, Tony Brown and others received academic support, guidance and motivation  toward reaching their  goals as professional athletes.   As a result of these accolades and accomplishments, Dee is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, constantly in demand to also serve as a keynote speaker, panelist, moderator, and fundraising strategist.

Merri Dee  is a U S Army Ambassador, appointed to the Mayor’s Council on Women’s issues and  is State President of AARP’ 1.7 million members.  In addition, Illinois’ Governor has appointed  Ms. Dee to The Serve Illinois Commission.   Merri was recently honored by the National Association of Women In Film and inducted into the National NABJ Journalism Hall of Fame.  A book on her life’s history is in production. 

Merri Dee is the Special Honoree for the 2nd Annual "Inspired By Influencers Tour" Charity-Fundraiser Chicago Kickoff Event
Wednesday, April 27th
Room 43, Historic Bronzeville at 1039 E. 43rd Street 
Purchase Your Tickets Today 

BOSS Network Influencer & Host Zondra Hughes

Zondra Hughes

Author, Editor, Blogger
Twitter - @zondrahughes
Zondra Hughes is the national Deputy Editor of Rolling Out.  She is the creator of SixBrownChicks a ChicagoNow daily relationship blog for women, and a Social News blogger for The Huffington Post-Chicago.

Hughes, a member of The Author's Guild, made her literary debut on the outrageous and over-the-top Wendy Williams smash hit, Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood! (Pocket Books/Karen Hunter Publishing).

Professional honors include Who's Who in Black Chicago; Top Leaders in Business, (Chicago Sun-Times); 100 Women Making a Difference, (Today's Chicago Woman); and most recently, one of the nation's Top Media Movers and Shakers (Monarch Magazine) and Top 25 Influential Women in Chicago (Rolling Out Magazine).

In her spare time, she studies entertainment law and digital publishing.

Zondra Hughes will be Hosting the 2nd Annual "Inspired By Influencers Tour" Charity-Fundraiser Chicago Kickoff Event
Wednesday, April 27th
Room 43, Historic Bronzeville at 1039 E. 43rd Street 
Purchase Your Tickets Today 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Join Us For Our 2nd Annual "Inspired By Influencers Tour" Charity-Fundraiser Chicago Kickoff Event
Wednesday, April 27th
Room 43, Historic Bronzeville at 1039 E. 43rd Street
The first 50 BOSS ladies will receive a gift bag from our sponsors valued at over $300 dollars. 

Complimentary treats and eats will be provided by BOSS member 
Creative Turkey Cuisine 
 Not to mention complimentary Minx Nails and Make Overs by
All Thats Glam

Purchase Your Tickets Today 

Proceeds will benefit HIV/AIDS org "Chicago House" and our mentoring
                                    initiative @ProjectBOSSorg