The “Living Single” Panel
Laz Alonso – from “Jumping The Broom” – Host
Lazaro “Laz” Alonso (born March 25, 1974) is an American film and television actor. He is known for playing Tsu’tey in James Cameron’s science fiction film Avatar and Fenix “Rise” Calderon in the film Fast & Furious. Alonso has had roles in other films such as Jarhead, This Christmas, and Miracle at St. Anna.
Lonnie Hunter from Praise 103.9
Minister, musician, artist, producer, singer, model, radio personality, director, CEO, and the list GOES ON! In a suburb of Chicago, Lonnie was one of those we would consider a “church baby”, being the youngest of 5 children. He was surrounded by Gospel at a very young age, due to the fact that his mother was a popular background singer for many of Gospel music’s legends during his youth. She passed on to be with the Lord on Lonnie’s 8th birthday. It was at this time that he became determined to carry out her legacy.
Dezzie – From Praise 103.9
With an illustrious voice and soulful lyrics Dezzie distinguished herself as a trendsetter on the gospel music scene. Her Neo-soul flair garnered her title as the Jill Scott of Gospel. Being the powerhouse she is, Dezzie, gained notoriety, respect and the attention of many rising quickly as a notable voice on the Philadelphia Gospel music scene. At the age of 32, Dezzie became the youngest syndicated radio personality on Philadelphia’s Praise 103.9. With listeners throughout the Delaware Valley Region and North Carolina, holding a captive audience of over 30,000 listeners. Her voice and influence quickly spread along the east coast and across the seas.
Shawn Bullard – from WEtv’s “Match Made In Heaven
Shawn Bullard is a young, talented, self-made business man with an innate drive that has
propelled him into a successful career. Shawn is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, former Division
One & NFL Football Player. Shawn is more than just a handsome face – he is the mastermind
and CEO of several businesses, in addition to his Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Development
Company. Shawn has been recognized by several notable organizations for his achievements
as a real estate developer and investor. In 2009, the Fox School of Business announced
Shawn as the winner of the distinguished “Be Your Own Boss” Bowl, making him the first AfricanAmerican
to win this honor. “Your business has to come before you. You have to be vigorous
in your thinking and accountable. You have to be resilient,” says Shawn. In addition to being
a successful entrepreneur, Shawn has entered the entertainment world as a noted “Sex
Symbol” in Hollywood. Shawn’s suave personality, physique, and debonair charm has landed
him as THE STAR on a reality dating competition series as America’s First “Black Bachelor.”
The show, featured on WE tv, is called, “Match Made in Heaven,” where 24 women contend
for Shawn’s affection. His goal is to bring the Black Gentleman brand to TV, and provide ALL
Americans with an entertaining New Role Model who embodies dedication, hard work, and
utter class. Shawn Bullard is one of the hottest, most relevant personalities of today! His sex
appeal and charisma exude from his disposition and style; His radiant smile and sophistication
– the classic mark of a notable “ladies man.” As a self-made millionaire, entertainer, and sex symbol…
Shawn is a “Triple Threat,” and any advertiser’s dream.
Jessica Reedy – Gospel Recording Artist
Fearless. That one adjective captures the essence of Jessica Reedy, a formidable light in a dark room, with the voice of an angel. Jessica has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary gospel music, an ultra soulful songstress whose voice captivates audiences everywhere.
Ever since, the 5’11 gifted singer, actress and songwriter received national exposure in 2009 as the runner up on Season 2 BET’s Sunday Best with her signature deep vocal tone, the Saginaw, Michigan native, who went from singing at her grandfather’s church as a child to stardom has never wavered from delivering a message of hope through music. “I am committed to being used as a vessel to inspire, uplift, and encourage,” says Jessica. “I do not take my gift for granted, and I am so very grateful for every opportunity I am provided to share that God has a plan for your life and it does not include defeat.”
Mya Warren from “Amazing Race”
Maya Warren is the winner from the popular TV Show Amazing Race. She is also a Ph.D. Student (Food Science) at The University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Glenn Ellis – President/Founder of Strategies for Well-Being, LLC
Glenn Ellis, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, is President/Founder of Strategies for Well-Being, LLC, a health education-communications consulting company promoting health ethics and equity.
A respected author, in 2006, his book, Which Doctor?, was received with wide acclaim, and Information is the Best Medicine, was released in January of 2012. He is working on his 3rd book, scheduled for release in 2016, on A History of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Marriage Beyond The Vows
Marco Mercado from Praise 103.9 – Moderator
Marcos Mercado has devoted his life to helping people all over the world. Marcos answered his calling at the age of 16 when he started preaching at his local congregation in New York City, where he was born and raised. Over the last two decades, God has transformed him from a young zealot to a spiritual and mature man of God. He has worn many hats in his life; including that of a Full-time Minister, Preacher, Teacher, Motivational Speaker, and Marriage and Life Coach. Now, he is taking his seasoned experience and his passion for people on the airwaves via the weekly radio show “Marriage Beyond the Vows” on Praise 103.9FM (Philadelphia) and 100.9FM (Charlotte, N.C.). He has led life-changing marriage seminars throughout the country helping couples from all walks of life find healing and a future. He now lives in Philadelphia and is happily married to his wife Amarillis, who serves alongside him as a Women’s Ministry Leader. They are the proud parents of two beautiful children ages 7 and 11.
Pastor & Mrs. Theodore Winsley
Pastor Theodore Winsley a discipler and mentor who loves to be used by God to walk people out of the bondage and pain of this world into the liberty found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been a licensed minister for 16 years and member of Living Faith Christian Center for 14 of those years and has recently been acknowledged as an Assisant Pastor. In 2001 Pastor Theodore left his position as a national sales manager for a globally known fashion wear company, to follow the Lord’s call on his life. Pastor Winsley has served as chaplain of the Philadelphia Eagles since 2001 providing weekly bible studies, counseling, and personal mentoring to many of the players. He is a passionate preacher/ teacher who loves to convey biblical truths that change lives. Born and educated in Delaware He resides in south jersey with his college sweetheart Minister Dawn Winsley and two children Tierra and Theodore II.
Mr. & Mrs. Jason Avant
Rick Diamond /Getty
Jason Raye Avant (born April 20, 1983) is an American football wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He played college football at Michigan and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Avant has also been a member of the Carolina Panthers.
Women and Finance
MC Lyte – Hip Hop Recording Artist
Lyricist, pioneer, icon, inspirational speaker, veteran, historian and entrepreneur describe one of the most prolific and well-respected female Hip Hop artists of our time: MC Lyte. A pioneer in the industry, she opened the door for future female Hip Hop artists by daring to do what had never been done while doing something she loved. A role model to women and respected by men everywhere, Lyte never compromises who she is and consistently displays that a woman can turn heads fully clothed! Whenever possible, Lyte enjoys traveling across the nation to use her expertise and story of success to motivate others to take ownership of the world around them while striving to be the best they can possibly be.
Author of “Unstoppable: Igniting the Power Within to Achieve Your Greatest Potential,” Lyte is also very active in many social projects, including anti-violence campaigns and Rock the Vote. MC Lyte is the presiding President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy, co-host of the nationally syndicated Café Mocha radio show, and she is also a proud honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Lynn Richardson – Celeb Financial Coach on Centric
Named by Urban Influence Magazine as one of the 20 Hottest Influencers in America, Lynn Richardson is an author, entertainment executive and celebrity financial coach who uses her quick wit and humorous presentation style to help others face their money issues and achieve personal, professional and spiritual harmony. With more than a decade of leading roles in the banking and real estate sales industries, Lynn’s vision is best portrayed in her books, most notably Living Check to Monday: The Real Deal About Money, Credit and Financial Security, which achieved Best Seller status at the 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Conference Book Pavilion. She is currently the President and CEO of MC Lyte’s Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, COO of MC Lyte’s Sunni Gyrl entertainment and celebrity management firm, and Chief of Operations for Russell Simmons’ foundation — the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. In 2012, Richardson was appointed President of MC Lyte’s Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, where she was responsible for assisting in the launch of various significant programs and she was later appointed COO of MC Lyte’s business enterprise, Sunni Gyrl, Inc, which specializes in artist support, development, business strategies, and wealth creation for various celebrities.
Lil Mama – Hip Hop Recording Artist
Rapper, actor, musical talent, speaker and entrepreneur, Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland reigns as the youngest member of the Hip Hop Sisters Legends Performance series, and rightfully so, since she is a solid entertainer with the formidable skills of a seasoned lyricist who draws in audiences nationwide with her hypnotic performance skills.
With her broad vision, quick wit, business acumen and commitment to excellence, Lil Mama is a force to be reckoned with in the world of entertainment and her experiences have positioned her to exude wisdom beyond her years.
Lil Mama served as a judge for seven seasons on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, enjoyed billboard placement success with the release of her first album, which spawned the popular “Lip Gloss,” and portrayed an epic role as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez in VH1’s TLC Biopic: Crazy, Sexy Cool.
Gail Perry-Mason – Author
Detroit native Gail Perry-Mason has come a long way, from foster care to caring for others. Gail is a respected authority in the financial industry. And now she can add bestselling author to her list of accomplishments. And it’s her years of experience, coupled with her down to earth but also down to business style that has made her a sought after speaker and presenter. Gail maintains a packed schedule of media and speaking engagements. She regularly addresses capacity crowds educating people on financial literacy and has conducted financial training sessions and workshops for companies such as DaimlerChrysler, IBM and Wells Fargo. Gail’s wisdom also hits the airwaves and she co-hosted an award-winning talk show entitled “Building Wealth,” via radio broadcast on MIX 92.3 and a television broadcast on Comcast Cable and currently has MIX Money Minute on Clear Channel every Sunday. She has appeared on all the local Detroit television networks, and on national outlets such as BET, Fox News, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR Radio.
Tonya Rapley – of myfabfinance.com
Tonya Rapley is the Millennial Money Coach and has been deemed the “New Face of Wealth Building” by Black Enterprise Magazine.
Priding herself on being financially savvy and fabulous, Tonya became a Certified Financial Educator after improving her credit score by 130 points in 18 months and significantly growing her investment portfolio and savings. Upon realizing she had a knack for personal finance she embarked a mission to inspire others take control of their future.
Tonya propelled herself to the financial frontier and founded MyFabFinance.com in 2013. My Fab Finance promotes financial freedom by supporting financial behavioral change and offering relatable information that increases financial literacy. In less than a year, My Fab Finance has grown to nearly 30,000 views per month.
Mya Warren from “Amazing Race”
Maya Warren is the winner from the popular TV Show Amazing Race. She is also a Ph.D. Student (Food Science) at The University of Wisconsin, Madison
Brittish Williams – from Basketball Wives
Brittish Williams is a former star on Basketball Wives of LA and the owner of LoveofLabels.com, an online store that caters to a large demographic. The store sales clothing and fashion for affordable prices
Dr. Yashima Asilove
Vice President, Corporate Communications Radio One
Dr. Yashima White AziLove is the Founder and Chairperson of Magnate Consulting, LLC and the Vice President of Corporate Communications at Radio One, Inc. An award-winning brand communication strategist and trail blazer with a proven track record as a print and television journalist turned marketing executive in the insurance, healthcare, entertainment and financial services industries, Dr. Yashima is the first woman of color to hold her executive level position in three corporations. An internationally traveled speaker and certified coach, Dr. Yashima empowers professional/entrepreneurial women, corporations and faith organizations on the power of branding and communications. The spokesperson for the Radio One family of companies encompassing TV One, Reach Media, Interactive One, One Solution and the One VIP Card, Dr. Yashima utilizes her multifaceted skill set and robust experience to leverage the only African-American owned and targeted multi-media conglomerate in the country. She is a University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business graduate and holds a Doctorate of Divinity degree in Leadership and Organizational Development.
Dr. Elyn Jo Waller – First lady of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
Ellyn Jo Waller, a native of Queens, New York is the partner in marriage and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller. Ellyn Jo was educated in New York City and received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Ohio University, her Masters of Education in Curriculum Instruction and Technology in Education and a Doctor of Education in Literacy Education from Temple University. Ellyn Jo is passionate about combating Human Trafficking, education and lifting the lives of women. She is a member of the Women’s Division of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, which addresses women’s issues around the globe. After being introduced to the issue of Human Trafficking in 2005, Ellyn began participating in the anti-trafficking efforts domestically and internationally. Ellyn is a member of the Philadelphia Anti Human Trafficking Coalition and actively supports rescue and restoration efforts in Cape Town, South Africa and Padova, Italy
Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross
1st Deputy Commissioner Richard J. Ross Jr. was appointed to the Philadelphia Police Academy on April 17, 1989. After graduating from the Police Academy Deputy Ross was assigned to the 9th Police District where he served the citizens of this city as a patrol officer, His other assignments included but not limited to the Anti-Crime Team, Major Crimes Unit, Homicide Unit, and Internal Affairs. Deputy Ross is the recipient of two national awards in policing as well as a number of departmental commendations. 1stDeputy Commissioner Ross is a graduate of Central High School. He has a B.A. in Labor & Industrial Relations from Penn State University. He has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph’s University. In addition, he is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy, F.B.I National Executive Institute and the Northwestern University Traffic Institute and Leadership Philadelphia.
Honorable Lori Dumas – Judge at First Judicial District
The Honorable Lori A. Dumas has been serving as a Common Pleas Court Judge in the Philadelphia Family Court, Juvenile Division, since 2003. She is a graduate of Duke University and North Carolina Central University School of Law. She currently serves as an Officer of The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission and is a member of The National and International Councils of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Her past and present community involvement includes membership in several charitable and civic organizations, including but not limited to, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA (Regional Board Member), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., NAACP, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Urban League Guild, Housing Association of Delaware Valley, and Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Judge Dumas also provides Legal Education as a Guest Lecturer, Panelist and Instructor at several Forums and Colleges and Universities in the Philadelphia area.
Jamie Manirakiza, Salvation Army
Jamie Manirakiza, MSW, is the Director of Anti Trafficking and Social Services for The Salvation Army Philadelphia Social Service Ministries. Jamie is also an adjunct for Eastern University’s social work department, where she teaches a course on Women’s Studies, with a focus on human trafficking. Jamie services on the board of advisors for the Villanova Law Institute to address Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Jamie received her bachelor’s degree in social work and political science from Eastern University and her masters of social work from the University of Pennsylvania.
Shea M. Rhodes, Esq
Shea M. Rhodes, Esquire is the Director of Villanova University School of Law’s new Institute to address commercial sexual exploitation. Ms. Rhodes has significant experience working with survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, prostitution, and human trafficking. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Dawn’s Place, the Greater Philadelphia region’s only residential treatment facility for women who are victims of sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation. She sits on the Oversight Committee for the First Judicial District Project Dawn Court and is an active member of Philadelphia’s Anti-Trafficking Coalition and the Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Work Group (a statewide initiative of Pennsylvania’s community-based anti-trafficking coalitions and state and national partner organizations, dedicated to improving law and public policy regarding trafficking in the Commonwealth). Ms. Rhodes is a graduate of Villanova Law School and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas