Small Biz Boomer

Life Lessons for All Generations

Archive for the category “Inspiration”

Start New

Self-forgiveness is probably one of the  most underrated traits  necessary for successful business ventures.  We make a mistake or we blow a pitch or  we hurt a business colleague,  friend or family members’ feelings (unintentionally of course).  Hope is the anecdote to mistakes.  It’s about   you can and will be given another opportunity to right the wrong,  strut your stuff and make a difference . We all have the ability to keep moving forward.





For 27 years Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, prior to that he was a man of many passions, a lawyer, a boxer, a husband and a father. His quest to end the travesty of apartheid got him there but he grew from the experience. When he emerged from prison at age 70, he was a new man and he became one of the world’s great leaders. He not on transformed himself but his country of South Africa.  He passed at age 95 last Friday but he left us with his amazing wisdom.

Memories from Talford Street: A Mentor Extradonaire

I grew up on Cleveland’s East Side in a middle class  neighborhood.   My mom and her girlfriends would play bridge  at  one of the homes on Talford Street while us kids played outdoors  rode our bikes, played kickball in the street,  caught lightning bugs or would gather in the basement to watch “The Twilight Zone” or “Ghoulardi.”     On weekends our Dads would gather at Mr Pace’s house on Talford Street to watch sports and barbecue.   Often my family would join the families of Talford Street on   trips to the West Side  Euclid Beach Amusement Park or , Punderson State Park Lodge  in the winter and the Jersey Shore in the summer.

The  families central hangout on Talford Street was the home of   Louis and Gloria Chapmon .  I came to know the couple as Mr. Chapmon and Aunt Gloria.  Later “Gloria” would become a lifelong mentor  when she hired me for my first job at age 11.  Eventually the lure of  the suburbs resulted in my parent’s  friends moving from Talford Street.   Still come Christmas at least we would  all gather at the Chapmons in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford, Ohio.    Aunt Gloria, a native of Bermuda,  was always a glamorous host and great story-teller.  Part of her accent remained.

"Aunt" Gloria

“Aunt” Gloria

Aunt Gloria   was a school  official for the City of Cleveland for much of her career and a  was a Legacy Life member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) .     She was also  close associate of Dr. Dorothy Height .  In fact Dr. Height attended  her  son’s funeral and her daughter’s wedding.  We all attended the  many luncheons and weekend activities for the many organizations that Aunt Gloria belonged – even on weekends during my college days when I would visit home,  my mom and I would go to one of “Gloria’s luncheons.”  In fact Aunt Gloria would come to Washington, D.C. and take me to events sponsored by NCNW.

She was also member of  the  sorority  Eti Phi Beta Sorority where she served as national president.  She was also honored with several awards from   numerous organizations and individuals  including  Congressman Louis Stokes (D-Ohio),  NCNW and the NAACP.

Growing up in  Bermuda   she   was a playmate to then Princess Elizabeth.  No surprise the Queen held audience with her former chum a couple of times .    Aunt Gloria also  traveled with  Leon Sullivan’s African Summit with her daughter to  Gabon, Morocco,  Zimbabwe and South Africa.  Hers was a life well lived for herself and for others.   She also met with Nelson Mandela at the South African Presidential Palace.

Aunt Gloria, Her Mom and Her Son in front of Buckingham Palace

Aunt Gloria, Her Mom and Her Son in front of Buckingham Palace

We all need people who can see in us something that others don’t see or can’t seem to grasp.    For me it was my “Aunt Gloria” who while not a blood relative was every bit as important in helping to shape the fabric of  the woman I am today and the woman I hope to become.    She passed two weeks ago but I still see her smile and  hear her laugh.

Inspiring Boomer : Flo McAfee, Renaissance Woman

This was the first  blog posted  on this site in  2013.  Flo McAfee recently  published a Kindle version of her book “Grown-Up ABC’s Momma Taught Me” available on  Amazon.   The hard copy version will come out later this summer.   You can find her beautiful art works at

Flo McAfee is an army brat who has lead a very peripatetic life.  Always on the move, she grew up calling more than 20 places home during her formative years including Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Augsburg, Germany and West Point Military Academy.

Floydetta "Flo" McAfee

Floydetta “Flo” McAfee

Flo also is a wife, step-mother, entrepreneur, political activist, public relations pro, writer, photographer, and artist.  She worked on numerous political campaigns including that of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  She worked with the legendary advertising executive Caroline Jones  (see Flo’s Blog  She served at the White House during the Clinton Administration.  And Flo has produced or held production positions on award-winning documentaries and video productions.

For more than 20 years, she has run her own communications business.   Summerland Studio is her multimedia and public relations firm with a “cross-cultural edge,” that is based in the D.C. area.  In between business, Flo  finds time to satisfy her creative yearnings.  She recently wrote and illustrated an inspirational book, Grown-Up ABCs Momma Taught Me. 

While Flo McAfee appears to be a fixer in the vein of “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, she is more an adviser offering clients strategic solutions and thoughtful guidance to help them avoid business and branding pitfalls in today’s media driven world. Her calm, cool demeanor belies a steely discipline perhaps stemming from her military upbringing.

 “An entrepreneur must keep three things in mind:  to move beyond your boundaries; to deliver something—if you don’t, all you end up with is an idea,” Flo says.  “Finally, it is important to give back to flourish the business flow to future generations.”


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