How many of us can say we’ve found a person, that, before they become your friend, they were already supporting you and offering to help you on crazy ideas you come up with? For me, that’s Veronica Soles, who in the last 10 years has become one of my biggest supporters and accountability partners that I could never have imagined.


Veronica and I grew up four doors away from each other but it wasn’t until 2009 that we worked on a project together that I discovered her work ethic and supportive spirit. Over the years, she has provided me nonjudgmental advice on relationships, work or business and has been someone I’ve known I could count on to be honest and hold me to a higher standard than I hold myself, even if I didn’t always ask for it.

I chose Veronica for this Conference because she’s the perfect example of the type of friend we all need in our lives: a cheerleader, a coach, and all around good human being.

Veronica is opinionated just like I am but in a more tactful way. Sometimes when I have gotten out of hand on social media, it is usually Veronica who messages me to either check on me or suggest I tame things down. We compliment each other very well and I am delighted to share her spirit with attendees.

Phil Echols is someone else I’ve known as long as I can remember. Phil had no idea I was an admirer of his philosophies and approach to everyday situations. Through his YouTube videos ( and Facebook posts, I have admired Phil for a very long time.


I’m certain he sometimes sees me as radical or intense but I often look to his videos to help me find balance when I am approaching a bad situation or confusion in my life.

Phil is an educator, Life Coach and administrator in North Carolina with a foundation that makes him the man he is. As the son of Rev. Echols, a Beacon of Light in Martinsville-Henry County and his late mother who, too, was an educator, Phil has a beautiful foundation that makes him an excellent participant of this Conference. I chose Phil because I see his passion and gift for enhancing more lives, as he has certainly enhanced mine.

A few months back, I kept seeing different people in Martinsville post about this grand opening of a Yoga studio in Greensboro. Because I had recently began yoga classes, I decided to follow Stephany McMillan and “Rise and Flow”.


Watching her videos and seeing her exuberance for life and her passion for yoga touched my soul. I wanted her positivity. So daily, I found myself going to her page to find inspiration.

Eventually, I decided that you, too, should know Stephany and was humbled that she was willing to participate with me. Here is the link to her thriving business in Greensboro:

Chad Martin is no stranger to Martinsville, VA. Chad and I attended Shaw University together and while we knew each other, we weren’t very close at the time. Chad is someone who sees opportunities and forwards the opportunity on to others who he thinks may benefit. He has been a voice and fighter for those who can’t fight for themselves.


Many times, Chad has thought enough of me to provide me with opportunities that I have doubted my abilities for. He doesn’t let me see doubt. He believes in me and the way he has faced adversity and redemption in Martinsville, as Vice Mayor, Chad believes in the people of Martinsville.

Chad is someone you want on your team. Therefore, I believe that his presence  continues to need a platform. When I asked Chad to participate, he only asked for the date and time.

Lastly, if anyone follows me or my blog, you know my conflict or hesitation with religion. Many think I don’t believe in God or that that I have no relationship. Fact is, Zeb Talley III has been my spiritual advisor without him even knowing he was.


Zeb’s message of Christ and his relationship to his community and congregation is one that resonates with me.

I’m not a scholar of the Bible or religion so, whenever I have had a question or been in doubt of something, I know there’s a message on Zeb’s social media page to lead me to some explanation. Many times I have asked questions on my own page and, without hesitation, judgment, or forcing his Christian ideals on me, Zeb has responded with kindness, knowledge and an understanding that I don’t often see in ministry.

I cannot wait to provide this stage and platform for you to hear these voices or receive their expertise. For those of you who haven’t gotten your ticket yet, you may do so before February 1 at:

Event details are posted on the link. See you soon. Peace!