No Excuses

Women With NO Excuses to CHANGE the World!
They don’t have the power of Oprah Winfrey nor do they have the money of Donald Trump, but these women have a passion to change the world! Through serving with Beyond The Game they not only learn the lessons of selfless love and the destruction of AIDS, but ordinary every day people can change the world! As the eliminations of careers, children, and day to day excuses are removed of their path, the passion in their hearts will teach you how to go Beyond The Game! Each of these women are committed to raising $2k each year personally for the organization in addition to sponsoring a child and attending 3 events a year.

NOTE: Click the name to read the bio.

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Yolanda Smith

Any questions about education and community service, Yolanda Smith is the person to ask. With her roots stemming from East Palo Alto, California, education has been a very important aspect in her life.  Yolanda has obtained a BS Business/Accounting from San Jose State University and a MBA/Accounting from the University of Phoenix. She is also attending Grand Canyon University seeking a Masters in Professional Counseling.

Her enthusiasm of community service began while partnering with Joe Smith (Former NBA player) and establishing the Joe Smith Foundation for Underprivileged Children in Norfolk, Virginia.

Yolanda is currently a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, Jack and Jill of America and Behind the Bench. She also serves as a big sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Phoenix.

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Terri J. Vaughn

A dedicated actress who has transcended her meager beginnings to become a valuable onscreen commodity, Terri J. Vaughn did her best to keep off of the streets while growing up in San Francisco’s Ridgeview Terrace Housing Project — and one look at her impressive film credits shows that all of the hard work most definitely paid off.

The daughter of a hardworking secretary and department-store employee, Vaughn divided her time between studying, singing in the church choir, modeling, and working at McDonald’s early on. And while all of this served well to instill the ambitious young woman with a solid sense of self and purpose, her peers weren’t always so impressed. It was during this period in her life that Vaughn became a frequent target for neighborhood bullies, which helped her to realize just how hopeless some of her peers truly felt. Later, Vaughn was determined to purchase her own car and go to college — a goal she ultimately achieved by working as an operator and a post-office employee in order to pay both her car payments and her tuition at California State University.

At a friend’s request, Vaughn participated in the Miss Black California Pageant while a senior at CSU. Her reading of a passage from Ntozake Shange’s -For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf marked a turning point when she earned a spot in the Los Angeles finals and one of the judges asked her to appear in a play he was producing. Soon spirited away on a 20-city tour of +Tellin’ It Like It Tiz, Vaughn had finally found her calling in life. Numerous stage roles were quick to follow, with a brief appearance on the hit television series Living Single marking her arrival as a film and television actress.

Throughout the 1990s, Vaughn’s career gained momentum thanks to parts in such films as Friday, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, with subsequent television roles inThe Steve Harvey Show, Soul Food, and All of Us showing that the rising starlet was equally comfortable on screens both large and small. In 2006 and 2007, respectively, Vaughn could be seen in the independent comedy drama Dirty Laundry and the Tyler Perry drama Daddy’s Little Girls.

In addition to her acting work, Vaughn has shown her commitment to bettering the lives of young girls growing up in public housing and foster care by founding the Take Wings Foundation — which aims to motivate, uplift, and inspire adolescents aged 13 to 18 by encouraging them to be positive, productive, and successful.

 

Chanita Foster

Chanita Foster

Chanita Foster is a native of Oak Park, Michigan. A firm believer in education she owns degrees in Communications, Sports Marketing, and Photography. She also has a heart for a number of causes, mainly the orphans and widows of Swaziland, Africa, for whom she founded the Beyond The Game Foundation. In addition to her philanthropic endeavors, she is also a passionate entrepreneur. She is the owner of Wife Material Custom Jerseys, Rock Star Publishing, Urban Christian Rock Star Properties, and Divine Diva Photography. The energetic mother of six children and seven animals is also an athlete. When she is not busy with any of her various projects and businesses, she loves to take part in a local competitive volleyball league, a sport for which she is still in the record books at Chicago State University. As the wife of NFL veteran, George Foster, she is an active board member of Off The Field; the NFL players’ wives association. Off The Field is involved in community service projects in the host city for the Super Bowl each year. With a lightning bolt personality it is no big surprise that Chanita is one of the most talked about cast members currently on VH1’s hit Reality Show “Football Wives”.

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Latresa ‘Tree’ Cunningham

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, LaTresa “Tree” Cunningham was a member of the Bishop Borgess Girls Basketball’s Three-Peat State Championship team and had her name hung on the school’s gymnasium wall.  While at Bishop Borgess, LaTresa lettered in three sports Basketball, Volleyball, and Track & Field. She also played AAU Basketball for the Motor City Blazers, AAU Volleyball for the Michigan Victors, was a member of the Borgess step team, and took ballet.  She received All State honors, MVP honors, and was the team captain of her volleyball team. Through the widespread exposure with the Michigan Victors, LaTresa received numerous full scholarship offers to just about every school in the country. She was wanted for Basketball and Volleyball and many schools wanted her to play both sports for them.  LaTresa decided to play volleyball for Middle Tennessee and her Freshman year she broke a school record for her hitting percentage in a match.  She had 14 attempts with 12 kills and one error.  While at Middle Tennessee LaTresa participated in fashion shows, beauty pageants, MT’s Dance Production, and was a member of the Blue Belles, who assisted with football recruiting.  She later began coordinating and choreographing fashion shows and beauty pageants on campus and in Nashville, TN.  That was when she started her first company, Divàshun Productions.  LaTresa later moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue her modeling career and then discovered volleyball again.  She started playing for the Atlanta Boom Women’s Team and they won a Bronze Medal at the 2007 USA Open in Austin, TX, and she won a Bronze medal with her reverse coed team from TX at the 2008 USA Open in Atlanta, GA.  She led the Atlanta Boom Women’s Team to Back to Back Regional wins in 2009 & 2010.  At the 2011 USA Open in Dallas, TX her team Homecourt Advantage won the Copper Division.

Having a HUGE love for youth, LaTresa spends most of her time giving back to them.  She coaches youth volleyball with A5 Volleyball, one of the top clubs in the country, and basketball as well as help out with many foundations and camps.  She works with Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade’s “Summer Groove,” Allan Houston’s “Father Knows Best,” Dwight Howard’s “Bridging The Gap Between Fathers & Sons,” and more.  Seeing a need for it, LaTresa was inspired to start a non-profit organization for youth.  She is the founder of the “Making A Better Me Foundation,” which offers financial support for youth who do not have funds to pay fees for AAU and Junior Olympic Sports.

LaTresa sits on the board of The Warford Foundation and travels the country doing motivational speaking with ICF (International Children’s Support Foundation).  ICF is a non-profit organization that plants seeds of hope in minds and hearts of children worldwide through events featuring professional athletes and celebrities.  She loves going around speaking to youth because she feels that the more youth’s lives she touches the more lives she can make a positive difference in.

Fascinated with fashion, LaTresa designs clothing and will launch her own clothing line in the near future called Divàshun.  Having spent many years on the runway, LaTresa trains models on how to walk the runway and teaches classes to young ladies and women about loving themselves and having high self esteem.  She is in the process of writing two books and working on a couple of movie scripts.  She is one of the hosts of “Ladies in the Locker Room,” a show that has women discussing sports, but mainly football.

When LaTresa is not on the volleyball or basketball court, she enjoys working out and training others.  As a certified Personal Trainer she loves helping others achieve their goals in fitness and in life.  She understands that when you look good you feel good, and when you feel good you are happy.  LaTresa is known for her bubbly personality.  She enjoys giving back and helping others and lives by the quote, “A day without a smile is a day wasted.” -unknown.  She follows her dreams and encouraged others to follow theirs as well.

 

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Deanna L. Hamilton

Deanna L. Hamilton is President & CEO of Circle One, Inc. a consumer product marketing & multi-format printing company, specializing in commercial print, direct mail, specialty printing, packaging and point of- purchase marketing collateral. Deanna’s strategic vision, excellent leadership, organizational and analytical aptitudes, and proven ability to influence business partners has directly impacted Circle One’s robust growth; establishing Circle One as an emerging leader in the print industry. Circle One has been honored as National Minority Supplier Development Council Supplier of the Year. Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council Supplier of the Year, and a finalist of the Atlanta Business League’s Non-Traditional Business Enterprise Award. Clients such as PepsiCo, AT&T, NFL, NCAA, and the Sears Holding Corporation to name a few, have entrusted Circle One to communicate their brand message through innovative graphic design and printed marketing collateral. Deanna honed her craft in the Consumer Product Marketing and Printing Industrys Chief Financial Officer of Origen Partners, Inc., an Innerworkings Company responsible for the overall financial plan and accounting practices of the organization, including treasury, financial and cost accounting, budget, tax and audit activities. Fortune 500 companies including The Chrysler Corporation, General Electric, and The Interpublic Group of Companies have all entrusted Deanna to skillfully drive the financial thermometer of their organizations.

Deanna generously donates her time by serving as Board Member in the capacities of Immediate Past President of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, President of Why Not Sports and Assistant Treasurer of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. She is an active member of The Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, The Atlanta Business League and Walsh College Alumni Association. Her commitment to community is reflected in her support of The American Cancer Society, St. Judd Children’s Hospital and Goodwill Industries. Deanna has been honored as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women in Atlanta by Rolling Out Magazine, Top 50 under 50 Corporate Executives by Diversity Magazine, the National Black MBA Association, Atlanta Chapter Outstanding Service Award and MBA of the Year, 100 Most Influential Black Women in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business League, and as a feature in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. A Detroit native, Deanna graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance and a dual Master of Science Degree in Finance and Management from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan. Deanna currently resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

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Sharlinda Rowe-Parker & Sabrina Rowe

Demi Moore, Katherine Heigl, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Usher, Martin LawrenceAnd, the list goes on. The list reads like a Hollywood Who’s Who. But, the one common factor is all these individuals have been clients of celebrity manicurists Sabrina Rowe and Sharlinda Rowe‐Parker. These twin nail artists are in high demand and their clientele expands daily. Their career in the nail industry started close to 20 years ago in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Fresh out of high school, Rowe and Parker knew they wanted to become entrepreneurs. They were intrigued by the beauty industry and decided that the nail business was their ideal choice. It offered flexibility as well as, an opportunity for them to be creative and interact with people. Upon receiving their certification, they began building their business and haven’t looked back since. After years of professional success, they decided they wanted a change of pace. That change came in the form of a move to the bustling city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Once in Atlanta, the twins knew they wanted to stand out so, they specialized in luxury service. They secured employment at a high‐end salon in the upscale Buckhead area of Atlanta. In addition to working in the salon, they noticed another gap in the industry. Most upper‐level executives and celebrities didn’t want to make routine salon visits so, the twins offered mobile service with quality treatments at home or office. Once they landed many of the city’s music industry elite as clients, their names began to spread. Although their business was booming, they still managed to continue their education. They became Tammy Taylor and Axxiom certified. After several years of building their brand and establishing themselves in the Atlanta community they felt the time was right for them to branch out on their own. In a leap of faith, January 2002 they formed Tula2 Nails. Tula2Nails is located in Buckhead Atlanta and specializes in natural nail care. Tula2 Nails was one of the

What does the future hold for Sabrina and Sharlinda? They are gearing up to teach classes and offer certification to new nail technicians. And, continue to travel with their clients to prestigious events such as the Oscars, Grammys and movie premieres. This successful duo isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and plan to continue making strides in the competitive nail industry.

 

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Nicci Gilbert

Writer, Director and Producer Nicci Gilbert is a fifteen year entertainment industry veteran. As the lead singer/songwriter forBrownstone, Nicci was nominated for a Grammy Award and has sold over 2 million records worldwide. Nicci, a Detroit native has guest starred on hit TV shows such as “Martin”, Living Single” and “Sister Sister” and films such as “Living Out Loud” with Queen Latifah and “Woo” starring Jada Pinkett.  While Starring in Tyler Perry’s hit play “Meet the Browns”, Nicci decided to pursue a career as a playwright and producer. Nicci Gilbert has since written, produced and directed hit stage plays such as “Sweet Potato Pie” starring Boris Kodjoe, Sherman Hemsley and Ginuwine; “Soul Kittens Cabaret” starring Fantasia Barrino, Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Tatyana Ali, Monifah, and Trenyce from American Idol. Nicci Gilbert has also written and directed a short film “Rubes Café” starring Fantasia Barrino and Terri J Vaughn. In addition, Nicci is about to embark on a new endeavor, playing Maxee Ballard in “Florence Ballard” story starring Faith Evans.  Nicci Gilbert has an Artist Development Company where she coaches and develops new talent at patchwork studios. Nicci’s Atlanta based entertainment company No-Ego Entertainment, will continue to produce Stage, Film and Television projects; while continuing to mold and develop new talent for the Television, Music and Film industry.  Nicci Gilbert’s mantra is simple…Visualize, Pray, Produce, and judging from her passion for everything creative she will do just that…

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Penna’e

Penna’e, a renowned, in-demand celebrity make-up artist, hair & fashion stylist possesses an enviable client list and a passion, which sets her apart from the rest. Inspired by her Mother, Jacqueline Cofield, a great hairstylist, Pennae’ knew by the age often that she would be a household name in the beauty industry. Her foundation is built on the support and love of her family which includes her Godfather, the late Barry White who taught her how important a stylist and make-up artist is to an entertainer. Penna’e not only knows the responsibility which comes with her God given talents and believes not only to be good at what you do but making a difference in the world in which she lives. In her 30 year career, Penna’e has worked with a multitude of celebrities day to day and in preparation for red carpet events including the Grammy Awards, Hoodie Awards, Bet Network, Stellar Awards, T.V. & Movie premieres, charity galas and more. Her celebrity clientele includes such personalities as Legendary Ruby Dee, president of BET Mrs. Debra Lee, Steve Harvey & the Morning Show, Shirley Strawberry , Michelle Williams/ Destiny Child, Lil Jon, Musiq Soulchild , Jessica Reedy, C-Lo Green, Kirk Franklin , Tiny & Toya, Tiffany Bleu, Salt & Pepa, Darwin Hobbs, Q Parker , Fantasia, 112, Mary Mary, COKO/SWV, Super Model Cynthia Bailey, and Melonie Fione to name a few. If you are in search of a new look, cutting edge styles, and to be lifted up in your mind, soul and spirit, Pennae’ is the name that you should think of. Although Pennae’ is based in the heart of main stream

Atlanta ,Georgia, her experience occasionally demands her to travel extensively wherever her work is needed. Moreover, her salon hosts experience stylist and interns to handle various beauty needs and to provide a seamless and professional quality of customer care. The ambiance of the salon allows clients

to experience a wide array of special hair, spa services and many other unique styling services without the hassle of a classic salon. Pennae’s passionate mission is to not only provide a unique style to her clientele but to “Change Lives One Head at a Time.”

 

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Lenna Daniel Chenier

Lena Danielle Chenier is a native of New Orleans, LA where in 2005 she graduated from Dillard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Currently she resides in Atlanta, GA where she works as a Senior Analyst at a prestigious Fortune 100 institution. In 2009 Lena used her creativity and love for fashion to develop a line of specialty bracelets.  SLEEVE Jewelry has been seen on the wrists of many celebrities and has been featured in various publications.  Beyond creating quality jewelry to stack on the wrist, she creates pieces that express her passion for awareness.  Lena believes in working to affect change and advocating for causes around the world through her jewelry line.

One of Lena’s greatest passions aside from her love of her family and friends is her active involvement in giving back. Over the past few years she has been active in organizations and events that seek to help people. She is captivated with programs that promote change and awareness through fashion and music.  Lena has played an integral role in several initiatives over the years and continues to seek out ways to be involved.

Her continued involvement and love for all children has attracted her to the Beyond the Game. Lena is proud to be considered one of the “Women with NO EXCUSES” and looks forward to working more on global issues with “Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things”.