Small Biz Boomer

Life Lessons for All Generations

Archive for the tag “Reinvention”

Inspiring Boomer: Toni Lewis, 10 Years of Bringing Music and More to the Lives of Children

In the spring of  2004, Bowie resident  A. (Arethia) Toni Lewis decided it was time to leave her six-figure job at GSA. She wanted to pursue her dream of giving back to her community through education.   One of the Washington area’s premier event planners,  she had was involved in planning for both of President Clinton’s  inaugurals and served as CEO for  inaugural planning for President George H   Bush.
Toni, and a  friend musician Richard Payne, were concerned about  broad cuts to music programs in the Prince George County school  system and the lack of exposure young people in the region had  to a broad range of music (other than rap and hip hop).   Toni with her friends from all over the music industry (including  jazz artist Ski Johnson and Jerry Butler) launched FAME: the Foundation for the Advancement for the Advancement of Music (www.fameorg.org )
A. Toni Lewis, Founder of  FAME:Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education

A. Toni Lewis, Founder of
FAME:Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education

To finance the operation, she just  HAD just her retirement savings and initially held a fundraiser to offer scholarships.Since then, The Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education  has partnered with professional athletic teams, public schools, government officials, media outlets, theatres and dance companies.  It sponsors concerts throughout the DMV with music of ALL KINDS.
Lewis and Gospel Singer Byron Cage

Lewis and Gospel Singer Byron Cage

The organization has furnished public schools and youth with music programs with new & used instruments.   It also sponsors -two intense summer music technology camps that includes music, technology and academic programs, giving students access to the finest college music professors, instructors, musicians and technology in the music business. The camps are in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Music & Bowie State University Fine and Performing Arts Center,  Toni has advised the city of Philadelphia and the Lincoln Center in New York on  youth music programs.

 

Lewis and students from the FAME Music and Technology Camp at University of Maryland

Lewis and students from the FAME Music and Technology Camp at University of Maryland

 

 

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Leading Others to the Path of Reinvention: PR Guru Dwain Schenck

Dwain Schneck, author of "Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act"

Dwain Schneck, author of “Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act”

When Dwain Schenck lost his job in 2012 he was in denial for six  months. He had never been out of work and had a long, successful public relations career. He in fact was in many ways a pioneer in the public relations field. Now he is a leader in another arena – personal reinvention – as the author of a new book, “Reset: How to Beat the Job-Loss Blues and Get Ready for Your Next Act”

Dwain’s career path included  being  director of public relations for AmeriCares and director of communications for Quantel.  He also had his own public relations consulting business for many years before taking a job as Vice President of Communications for a Fortune 500 corporation. It was that job that would lead Dwain to his latest path of reinvention when he was let go. “I have found there are two kinds of ways people deal with losing a job in this economy: there are those who look at it as a market reality and are practical about the situation and say to themselves ‘it’s just a bad economy, it’s not my fault’ and they move on and usually find a new job or a source of income and satisfaction, ” Dwain said. ” Then there are those on the other side of the ledger: those who are emotionally devastated from their job loss and feel like they’ll never work again. I definitely fell into that category,” he said.

In his book Dwain describes his own journey after his firing which included a furtive and depressing job search. Throughout that time period he confided in friends including MSNBC”Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski who herself had gone through a devastating and public job loss at CBS. Dwain remained depressed and it was Mika who pointed out to him his unique  communications style and candor and suggested writing the book—for no other reason than to help others learn how to keep their sanity through their job search.  After some rumination he began to rebuild his life and now, in addition to writing the new book and making speaking engagements and media appearances he has formed Schenck Strategies LLC (www.schenckstrategies.com), a boutique corporate communications agency.

Still, his greatest passion is helping other people who have suffered the pain of job loss.  Indeed, “Reset” is a road map for those who need to quell the initial shock of being fired , forgive themselves before moving on and  to take that next steps in their careers and lives.  Dwain and his business associates have created a web site that serves as a resource and offers an open discussion platform for the suddenly unemployed to get moral support on an ongoing basis (www.resetyourfuture.com).ResetCover

“If you live long enough and have the ability to step outside yourself once in a while, you realize your problems are not unique – say from your neighbor’s problems,” Dwain said.

NELSON MANDELA’S PATH TO REINVENTION

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.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/11_inspiring_Nelson_Mandela_quotations_15739.aspx

Turning the Car Around

It is very important for me to think win-win. That is not the case for some people who need their word to be gospel. They mean well but they find your growth or your self-ownership invalidating. They use words or acts to sabotage or bring you down.

We often define these people as “playa haters.” Unfortunately, not all of the folks in your life that are envious or controlling are strangers. Sometimes you have to “gas up” yourself and head down the road in a more positive direction.

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