10 to Know in Atlanta: Women Who Are Living Out Their Purpose

Like most people who are walking in their destiny, the following women have an unmistakable inner beauty and give off a glow that warms whomever comes in contact with them. Dynamic, multifaceted and resilient, they inspire their contemporaries and counterparts with their illustrious career portfolios.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, rolling out is paying homage to women who have, and continue to be, lighthouse beacons. They not only have achieved success, but they also love casting a light on the road to that desired destination called destiny. These are women who haven’t just taken their games to the next level. They are the next level and, best off all, they want you to scale to that cherished plateau as well.  –terry shropshire

Candace Reese (pictured above), founder of Envision Global Corporation, professional speaker, inspirational coach, www.theceopundit.com: “I absolutely love what I do. I am not only passionate about my career but everyone else’s career who’s around me, whether it’s my friends, family, clients,” says the woman known as “The Connector.”

“I am passionate about people pursuing their dreams and, ultimately, bringing their visions to reality. I connect people. That’s what I love to do. I put all the puzzle pieces together, and that’s on an international level. Whatever resources that my clients need, I go get them.”

Leona Barr Davenport
President and CEO, Atlanta Business League:

“I love what I do. The [ABL] is a wonderful place to be. I have been president since 1997, and I’ve enjoyed it for a couple of reasons. It allows [me] to meet people from all walks of life, from individuals who are looking to go into business to professionals in the city to small business owners to corporations. I’m in a wonderful place, and it allows me to be who I am, and I can grow as large as I want to be. It really is a great job.”

Rashida M. Winfrey, MBA
Founder, Mosaic Advisors, private client and business solutions.

“I am absolutely living in my purpose. My interest in finance began at a really early age. Even when I got ready to go to graduate school, I wrote my graduate school entry essay on this. I get such joy from helping my clients understand finance and really create a plan. And I enjoy teaching young adults personal finance topics.”

Nicole Harbin
Owner, Pampered Mobility LLC, and creator of Models Fashion Heels & Makeup:

“I love the thought of sharing valuable information with those who aspire to do great things. I would advise others to never be afraid to fail. Every failure is a learning curve that you can take on as a lesson to advise others in their journey.”

Roman James

Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Actors’ Innovative Resource, www.aireatl.com:

“This company provides professional development and career strategies through workshops, classes and networking with legitimate industry professionals. “So many people draw inspiration from what I do. I was told recently that what I do is provide a ‘ministry’ for actors. I had never thought about it that way before. But I know that’s what I do. I want to make our actors that we train more competent, capable and competitive with the national market.”

Sonhara Dawkins
Executive Assistant, Tyler Perry Inc.:

“I love being able to work in a field where visions come to life. My goal is to write and produce cutting-edge programs that will motivate generations to come,” says Dawkins, affectionately called ‘Sonny’. “What you put into your journey is what you will receive. In other words, don’t sit back and wait for things to come to you. Get out there and make it happen! The Bible says, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ ”

Thomese Scales-Baranco
Agency Development Manager, Colonial Life:

“Yes, I am living in my purpose because I am in business for myself. I have the flexibility of not only coming to work [or not], but of setting my work hours, taking care of my kids and doing things that I want to do with them.”

Kya Muckle
Founder, Writing Concepts Agency:

“I am getting to make a difference with a lot of businesspeople. I’m able to help other people realize their dreams. The smiles on their faces when they are succeeding makes me very happy,” she says. “I hate to sound like Nike, but ‘just do it.’ Stop waiting for the right time. It will never be the ‘right’ time. There will always be something that could deter you from doing it. Just do it.”

CeWyon Chandler-Ward
Owner, Future Forward Consulting and Zoom Express Car Wash:

“I am absolutely living my dream job. The earliest memories I have are of me and my brother having a lemonade stand in Orlando, Fla. I come from a family of ‘serial’ entrepreneurs. Everybody I can think of owned their own business or continues to do so. Success is this: If you are doing what it is you desire, you have a passion for and are actively pursuing [it], then that is success.”

Mashawn Alexander
Co-Owner of Mashawn’s Restaurant, College Park, Ga.:

“I am living my dream, but, growing up, I dreamed of going to medical school, and I did go. Now, this is my dream job. I have about 50 employees. What I love most is creating great food and the people. I meet so many different people through the restaurant.”

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