2018 HEROES

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~ Al Cole from CBS Radio ~ 

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And His 2018 People of Distinction Awards HONOREES!

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~ 2018 Special Honoree: Rev. Temple Hayes~ An ordained Center for Spiritual Living Minister & CEO of First Unity Spiritual Campus

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Temple Hayes is a spiritual leader, author and international motivational speaker. Rev. Hayes is an ordained Center for Spiritual Living Minister and an ordained Unity Minister. She is currently CEO of First Unity Spiritual Campus, a New Thought center, in St. Petersburg, Florida that transcends religious denominations, embraces all ethnicity, and reaches beyond national borders.

Temple is currently serving on the leadership team of the Association of Global New Thought. www.AGNT.org. She is a successful radio host on Unity FM with her show, “The Intentional Spirit” – Seeing and Being and reaches people throughout the world. She is the author of “The Right to Be You” and “How to Speak Unity”.  Her latest book, “When Did You Die: 8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up” is an Amazon bestseller.

Temple is also the founder of Global Peace Workers – a 501(c)3 which focuses on Peace Through People Initiative. GPW brings relief through products, services, and education which provide assistance to help Humanity transcend to a greater sense of empowerment and positive change. Additionally, Temple also founded Life Rights – a 501(c)3 dedicated to education, teaching and supporting the awareness of valuing life in all living things creating a world longing for peace. Because of Temple’s dedication to Life Rights, she has been awarded with the People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards in September, 2016.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Dan “Tito” Davis ~ Author of the extraordinary book “Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive

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On April 13, 2018, at the People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards gala in Florida, Al Cole had the pleasure of presenting a prestigious Humanitarian Award to Dan “Tito” Davis, author of the extraordinary book “Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive“. Tito is an inspiring example of what a man can do with his life when he courageously goes from being an international fugitive to a productive and compassionate contributor to the betterment of our Human Family.

Through Tito’s vast experiences, he has now guided people world-wide to a greater understanding of their own inherent potential to treat themselves and others with respect and love. He has shared his positive messages in his travels around the world and has helped countless individuals to proceed down positive pathways of life. Tito’s message of “never quit” has given new resonance to all who have heard him speak and who have been touched by his powerful words. Visit Tito at https://gringobook.com/

Al Cole from CBS Radio encourages Dan “Tito” Davis to continue his outstanding work enthusiastically into the future for the good of our Human Family!

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~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Dottie Chicquelo ~ Celebrating Native and African American Spirituality and Heritage… and our Human Family Integrity too!

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Dottie Chicquelo celebrates her Native and African American spirituality and heritage through advocacy. She challenged the status quo and spearheaded the hanging of the first African American life- like portrait on the PWI campus before becoming President of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Maryland. After volunteering in State Mental Institutions at an early age she continued to advocate for students with disabilities and received the prestigious President’s Commission for Disability “John W. King’s Staff Disability Achievement Award” from the same PWI. She is CEO and President of the recently established Students Stay Supplied, Inc., which will provide off-season school needs to special need students.  She advocates stamping out domestic violence and abuse as a charter member of the Women Coalition against Domestic Violence and Abuse

Dottie’s other impressive credits include: Past President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., (NCBW) Montgomery County, MD Chapter, and presently, an active member of  the Prince George’s County MD Chapter (PGC) to advocate for Black Women and Girls. Chair of  Outreach and Programming, PGC MD chapter of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, Inc; Ambassador for Peace (appointed by the Universal Peace Federation and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace);  and Diamond Life member and Delta Dear in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, PGC MD Alumnae chapter. After receiving three prior degrees, presently a Ph. D. Doctorate candidate in Philosophy whereas her dissertation will support “Native American and Alaskan Native U.S. Students Academic Retention and Employability”.  She enjoy playing a 9 hole game of golf as well.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Frank Wells ~ Founder of Venture House ~ Low-Cost Housing Options to Attract and Retain Entrepreneurs, Artists and Social Innovators.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzFrankWells_-240EditedCroppedTiltFrank Wells is a lifelong entrepreneur, founding several successful businesses, including World Power & Water, which developed technology for infrastructure-scale ocean-based production of electricity and clean water, and raised over $100,000,000 in project funding commitments, and the Venture House social enterprise project creating low-cost housing options to attract and retain entrepreneurs, artists and social innovators while improving target neighborhoods and creating jobs and community impact. 

Frank is a graduate of Leadership St Pete, Leadership Tampa Bay, Leadership Orlando and the statewide Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and has served on numerous boards and community groups, including USF St Pete’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Your Real Stories, The Collective and Florida Food Policy Council. 

Frank currently serves as Chief Impact Officer for Bright Community Trust, solving the critical need for good, safe, healthy homes within financial reach for every individual and family.

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……~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Amy Ballon ~ A Successful Florida Real Estate Professional Talks about the Horrors of Domestic Abuse

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For 22 years Amy Ballon has been recognized as a leader in real estate development sales and an exemplary marketing professional for South Florida’s real estate residential luxury development industry. She has also provided exclusive sales and marketing leadership management for some of the nation’s most prestigious landmark signature luxury communities such as: Bellini Williams Island, Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A Live as well as at Miami Beach, Canyon Ranch Living Miami Beach, Dezer Development’s Trump Grande, as well as Palazzo Del Lago-InterContinental in Orlando (a 2 billion dollar project with over 2,000 for sale residences), Golden Isles Georgia (a 1.5 billion dollar multi-use project) and many, many more. Amy Ballon has been a recognized industry speaker on prestigious panels, sharing her knowledge on various transitional areas where she has been a pioneer in transforming untapped markets to nationally successful projects.

… So why would anyone want to abuse such a wonderful and successful woman like this? Well tragically, one man (Amy’s x-husband) mistakenly thought he had the right to. Amy was not only the victim of extreme battering by her x-husband, but also the victim of a wrongful accusation by her x-husband of her own physical abuse of him!

Sadly, Amy’s story is not singular in our society. As we all know,  of women are abused everyday in horrific domestic situations. However, many more women than ever are now speaking out, and so is Amy. Amy Ballon has created her groundbreaking and compassionate “Raising Awareness for the Innocent” organization to help woman all over the nation fight back against the horrendous disease of domestic abuse. Now Amy courageously tells her story to inform and sensitize women and men all over the globe to the horrors of domestic abuse.

And Al Cole has opened the door to have Amy tell her gripping story at our People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards event too!

 

 ~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Kenneth Johnson ~ Wrongly Accused, and Still Loving!

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Kenneth Johnson places no limits on what he can do to help himself or others. Kenneth, 38, spent four months in the Alachua County jail several years ago for a crime he didn’t commit. Kenneth was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers, and was held in jail for four months in 2016 before prosecutors realized he didn’t commit the crime. “I did the research and found the real person they were looking for,” Kenneth said.

In Kenneth’s words, “I grew up on Lake Road in East Gainesville, and I used to see a lot of stuff happen when I was a little boy that involved people being treated unfairly by the legal system and others. As I have grown up, I’ve had to deal with people close to me being murdered, harassed by police, get involved with drugs and other criminal activity, so I decided to start own organization in 2007, the No Limit Outreach Foundation, to have a positive impact on my community.” Though he’s involved with helping people fight the legal system, Kenneth’s driving force is empowering his community, especially young people. The No Limit Outreach Foundation has done just that. Through his foundation, Kenneth created the Gainesville Gladiators Youth Football and Cheerleading program. Teaching young people teamwork and cooperation through sports. The foundation also sponsored after-school tutoring and mentoring programs, career and life skills training and leadership workshops. The foundation fed thousands of people through a breakfast and lunch program it operated during the summer, and helped many elderly people by taking them grocery shopping and to doctor’s appointments. Kenneth is also involved with Raising Awareness for the Innocent, an organization that helps people in wrongful arrest situations.

In Kenneth’s amazingly loving words, “I know my assignment on this earth is to help others and to share what I have to make other people’s lives better.”

So what goes around often comes around: Kenneth Johnson is now being openly awarded for the things he has done in secret to wonderfully help others.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Chris Castro ~ Senior Advisor to Mayor Buddy Dyer of the City of Orlando, Fl ~ Chris has also been Recognized by the Obama Administration, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Al Gore!

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Chris Castro is a sustainability and clean energy professional, eco-entrepreneur, urban farmer, and community organizer working to accelerate the transition to smart, resilient, and sustainable cities. Chris is currently the Senior Advisor to Mayor Buddy Dyer, Director of Sustainability, and Co-chair of Smart Cities for the City of Orlando, developing partnerships, policies, and programs to support the sustainability, clean energy, & climate resilience goals of Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Green Works Orlando initiative. In 2008, Chris co-founded IDEAS For Us, an international 501c3 nonprofit & UN-accredited NGO, working to incubate global environmental solutions and fund local action that advances the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, he helped co-create “Fleet Farming“, a renowned urban farming program that is redefining local food systems by building distributed organic farms on homeowner lawns through neighborhoods and communities in the U.S.

Chris has been widely recognized for his effort as an environmental leader. Chris was named a ‘Champions of Change’ by the U.S. White House & Obama Administration and has received formal recognition from President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, and Vice President Al Gore. Chris has also been recognized as the ‘Guru of Green’ by the Orlando Business Journal, as well as receiving the Grist 50 Fixer Award and Top 30 Under 30 sustainability professionals by GreenBiz.

As a thought leader, Chris has spoken at more than 100 conferences and events, including the United Nations Rio+20 Summit, Smart Cities Week DC, SEPA Grid Evolution Summit, NASA Kennedy Space Center Innovation Expo, Sustainatopia and TEDx Orlando. Chris has held sustainability & energy-related positions with University of Central Florida, Orange County Government, and the U.S. Department of Energy. And if that’s not enough, in 2012, Chris also co-founded a clean energy consulting firm, Citizen Energy, that provides custom energy efficiency & renewable energy solutions as a service for commercial buildings in the Washington DC Metro area.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Gina Wilkins ~ Founder of  “The Kind Mouse” ~ Filling the Little Tummies of Hungry & Homeless Children!

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Gina Wilkins, an architectural draftsperson by trade, saw the need of local hungry children and hardworking career families falling on economic hard times.  In 2012 The Kind Mouse Productions, Inc. was founded to serve this population suffering in silence – chronically hungry children, homeless children struggling to get their high school diplomas and hardworking families that were failed by the fallen economy.  To date over 168,000 little tummies have been filled each weekend, countless homeless students have been provided emergency meals and over 200 hardworking families and their pets have been given 90 days’ worth of food.  Gina has formed 2 outreach groups of “Kids Feeding Kids” – Mice In Training (ages 5-12) and Mice Interns (ages 13-18) where through their own boards they are servicing the chronically hungry children in their county. With the use of video through their MOUSEVision Program the older outreach members are raising awareness of the needs in their own backyards.  Gina sees these students as the next generation of The Kind Mouse.  All of this is done out of a 1600 SF rented facility with 1.5 staff people!

Gina and her Kind Mouse have humbly been recognized in the following ways: 2014 Woman’s Day Online Magazine – “One of 9 Hunger Heroes In The Nation” ~ 2014 Live Your Legacy Honoree o 2014 Positive Impact Magazine – Unsung Hero Honoree ~ 2014 Best in Grassroots Marketing in LocalShops1’s Best in Biz Annual Awards People’s Choice – LocalShops1 Best in Biz Awards ~ 2015 Positive Impact Magazine – The Infinity Stars Honoree ~ 2016 St. Pete Chamber Good ‘Burger People’s Choice Award – Best Nonprofit ~ 2017 PARC’s People of Purpose Honoree o 2018 Queen of Hearts Court.

And now Princess Gina Wilkins will be a People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards “Unsung Hero” at First Unity on April 13th!

~ PLUS: Two “Rising Star Mice”!

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Elizabeth Hodgson, 18, a senior at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, FL, is committed to feeding the chronically hungry families and children of Pinellas County. Immediately after meeting Gina Wilkins, the Founder and CEO, two years ago, Elizabeth knew there was something special about The Kind Mouse. She couldn’t imagine a child not knowing when or where their next meal would be, and she felt called to take action. Elizabeth loves that there is so much that she can do as a high schooler to make a difference in the community, and she is always seeking to influence her friends and peers to get involved. 

Elizabeth has been a part of the Mice Interns program at The Kind Mouse for almost two years. As President in 2017 and Secretary in 2018, Elizabeth’s preeminent goal is to spread awareness of local hunger among the younger generation because they have considerable energy and drive to solve such a pervasive issue. Recently, Elizabeth completed and submitted a well-defined plan to address food shaming in school cafeterias. When children and teenagers don’t have the same high quality lunch or any lunch at all, bullying can result from misconceptions about hunger and its causes. Elizabeth’s plan focuses on spreading messages in engaging ways for youth, implementing a curriculum to acknowledge, teach, and discuss hunger, working interactively with the community, and setting up an optional Kind Mouse club for members to represent and stand with their classmates suffering from chronic hunger. Elizabeth and The Kind Mouse hope to encourage positivity, tolerance, and compassion when addressing hunger and food shaming. 

 

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Lily Schneider, 17, a junior at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, FL, spends her free time with the local nonprofit organization, The Kind Mouse Productions, Inc. The Kind Mouse feeds chronically hungry children in Pinellas County with food for the weekends. These chronically hungry children are digging through dumpsters and searching the streets for their next meal. Often, the hungry teenagers must provide for their younger siblings by working multiple jobs, while still attending high school. 

Inspired by the founder and CEO of the organization, Gina Wilkins, Lily knew from the moment she began volunteering three years ago that The Kind Mouse is where she is happiest. She became aware of the problems of food insecurity, and Gina has supported her throughout her work. As the current President of the Mice Interns (one of the two outreach programs), Lily has found a passion for feeding as many kids as much healthy food as she can. Recently, Lily has established a garden where she plans to harvest fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement the children’s diets. Lily plans to begin this program with driven determination and promotion, so that The Kind Mouse can grow for years to come.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Fred Bollaci ~ An Attorney & “The Healthy Global Gourmet” too ~ Fred Lost 150 Pounds in One Year!

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Fred Bollaci is the CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises, a practicing trusts and estates attorney in Florida, an entrepreneur, author, and sommelier. Fred lost 150 pounds in one year while living “La Dolce Vita” and has become known as “The Healthy Global Gourmet.” Fred’s book “The Restaurant Diet” (Mango Media) outlines his four phase weight loss plan, teaches dieters how to lose weight and eat healthier in restaurants by making the restaurant a partner in your success, as well as how to shop, cook, and eat better at home. “The Restaurant Diet” features recipes from 100 top restaurants from coast-to-coast, and offers dieters the freedom and flexibility to make losing weight an enjoyable, positive experience, rather than most diets which leave dieters feeling deprived and offer no realistic plan for longterm success. Fred reveals the real key to losing weight and getting healthier is learning to love oneself and make eating a vital part of nourishing and caring for ourselves, rather than something that is done to excess.

The Restaurant Diet” is available for purchase online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, direct from the publisher at Mango.bz, and in select independent and Barnes and Noble bookstore locations nationwide. Fred also writes “The Golden Palate” blog on his company’s website, www.fredbollacienterprises.com, and has written about hundreds of restaurants, hotels, and wineries, and writes about food, wine, and travel in Venu Magazine (www.venumagazine.com), a leading contemporary art and culture publication based in the New York area.

Fred has trademarked The Golden Palate and Platinum Palate Certificates of Excellence, two distinguished awards he has presented to nearly 1,000 establishments worldwide. showcased nearly 1,000 restaurants. Fred has helped coach and inspire many folks to lose weight and get healthier. I am grateful for the chance to give back by showing millions of folks who are struggling to lose weight that with a change in attitude, the journey to weight loss and a healthier life can be the most rewarding adventure they will ever take, and as a result people can claim the life they were always meant to have.” Fred is available for private coaching and as a motivational speaker.

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~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Marc Hoberman~ Keynote Speaker, best-selling Author & CEO of Grade Success ~ An educator’s Educator!

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Marc Hoberman is a marvel, truly an educator’s Educator. He’s a Keynote Speaker, best-selling Author and CEO of Grade Success, Inc. Marc’s best-selling book Search and Seizure has helped train students, teachers, and corporate executives nationally with tried and true, cutting edge personal improvement techniques. Marc’s been featured on TV and radio across the country and Grade Success has been a workshop leader at the New Jersey and New York State Reading Conferences as well as the International YAI Conference. Marc was also chief Staff Writer for the prestigious Canada Camps Magazine.

Marc realizes that children today need to learn how to deal with the often unexpected struggles of fear and doubt. They’re “searching” for role models. Sometimes they and their parents become so overwhelmed with possible choice options that confusion becomes inevitable… confusion that can easily result in the slowing down of positive “search” options altogether. This is what Marc calls “seizure“. The “search” engines have suddenly slowed to a grinding halt!

This is where the expertise of Marc Hoberman, the Educator, steps in. Marc helps teens and their parents navigate positively and effectively through myriad issues that often confront them when they least expect it. Issues like bullying, drug use, depression, teen suicide and more. In his inspiring teaching programs, Marc has touched the lives of young people and parents alike, helping all to recapture dreams of success and mastermind grades to realize their wonderful, full potential.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Sara Taylor ~ Cultural Greatness through Diversity!

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Sara Taylor, President and Founder of deepSEE Consulting, has twenty five years of extensive training and consulting experience serving local, national and global clients. While her areas of specialty are in both Diversity and Leadership Development, Sara has become a thought leader particularly in the field of Cultural Competence. Her bestselling book, Filter Shift: How Effective People SEE the World, is used by numerous individuals and organizations to increase success and create greater effectiveness.

Sara holds a Master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota, is bi-lingual in Spanish and English and, prior to founding deepSEE, held positions such as Chief Diversity Officer and Leadership and Diversity Specialist.

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~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Mike Aloia ~ CEO of American Hearts Radio LLC Entertainment Network ~ Mike has the Support of Johnny VanZant of Lynyrd Skynyrd & Donnie VanZant of 38 Special too!

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Michael D. Aloia is Owner and CEO of American Hearts Radio LLC Entertainment Network. Mike is on a Mission from God to bring the hearts of the world together with the universal language of entertainment also by uniting ministries such as Hands and Feet Foundation with James Gandy, Richard Norton and Jim Wilson in Jacksonville Fla, Shine his Light Ministries with Frankie Holbrook in Atlanta, Ga. and Purified Living Ministry with Pastor Christopher & Helen Carlyle in Newnan Ga. Mike is also Spotlighting on great Independent Musical Artists as well as Inspirational Radio Shows. He is also working with Full Throttle Magazine by Covering National Acts at their Concert Events.

Mike also has the support and endorsements from Johnny VanZant of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Donnie VanZant of 38 Special and US Ambassador for Humanitarian work and Global Cooperation Mr. Pete DeLorenzo. American Hearts Radio Network has been built completely by Faith.

Along with his Father, Dennis Aloia, a 40 year Navy Veteran and Comedy Magician and Executive Producer Bruce Shepard, they have brought together Production Engineers Matt Roberts with Chisel Multimedia in Atlanta, Ga. and Craig Scott of Lake Jackson, Texas. They have produced close to 1,000 Professional Web TV Shows with other Members of the Network that have a passion and inspiration to let their voice and presence be known on all social media worldwide. Mike also works with No Strings Attatched E-News and NSAEN Independent Film Festival. AHR Network offers people a way to have their own WEB TV Series and also offers Career Opportunities in Sales and Production Engineering. Please check out his Radio Network https://www.americanheartsradio.com/ and watch AHR Web TV Shows on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-Gl8t2QF9xFUPdYYdxaBFA?view_as=subscriber

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Olivia Coley-Pearson~ Olivia is a Political Force in our Country, who adds Heart & Soul to Public Service!

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Olivia Coley-Pearson is a distinguished Councilwoman in Douglas Georgia who has worked diligently to help protect human rights and individual dignity in her district and in our world. In 2016, Olivia served as Mayor Pro-Tem for the people of her city.

Olivia also has the honor of serving with The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice (SRBWI). SRBWI is a collective of women leaders across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia dedicated to lifting up Black women and families in rural, impoverished areas. For generations, Black women have been at the very foundations of the South. This important organization also promotes the first human rights agenda in the United States aimed at eradicating historical race, class, cultural, religious and gender barriers experienced by southern rural black women.

In Olivia’s inspiring words as Mayor Pro-Tem, “I am proud to have had the upbringing I had from my parents, because my mother always taught me to stand up for what is right, if you have to “Stand by yourself”, because justice will prevail!  I give God The Most High, ALL OF the Honor, Glory and Praise!!”

In all of her wonderful work, Olivia seeks to be a political force in our country, who adds Heart & Soul to Public Service! 

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Lieutenant Colonel, retired, Carol Barkalow ~ Co-founder of  Heaven on Earth for Veterans, Inc. ~ Focused on providing safe, affordable, furnished living quarters to Military Veterans in need of Housing

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Lieutenant Colonel, retired, Carol Barkalow graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 1980 as a second lieutenant in the Army. She served our country for more than 22 years, retiring in September 2002.

In 2013, Carol co-founded a non-profit organization, Heaven on Earth for Veterans, Inc., focused on providing safe, affordable, furnished living quarters to military veterans in need of housing. Currently, there is room for 28 veterans who are either homeless or in need of assistance to share 8 houses in St. Petersburg.  Each veteran has his/her own bedroom and they share the common areas of the house. The veterans’ common background of service facilitates mutual support and companionship in a safe environment. Heaven on Earth for Veterans recently purchased a 9th home and is currently refurbishing it to house 3 more veterans.

LTC Barkalow has also testified to Congress on the subject of women in combat. In 2012 she was honored by the Florida Business Professional Women’s Association as a “First Woman of Tampa Bay.” Carol currently serves as the President of The Rotary Club of St Petersburg West and is a member of the Elks Lodge #1224 and holds the position of Esquire (Sergeant at Arms) for the Lodge.

Carol and Sheila Mutascio, her spouse and co-founder, have appeared on the syndicated show Daytime. They have also been honored by the City of St Petersburg as official Sunshine Ambassadors for outstanding goodwill and valuable contributions. Carol was honored by the Military Officers Association of America at their National Conference in October of 2016 as a Community Hero for her efforts in helping veterans in need. In 1990, Lieutenant Colonel Barkalow published a book, In the Men’s House, detailing her four years as a member of the first class of women to graduate from West Point. She has been interviewed for German television, and has appeared on American television on the TODAY Show, the CBS Morning News, McLAUGHLIN Hour, CNN Future Watch, NBC Nightside, CSPAN Book Notes, PBS special on West Point’s 200th Anniversary, FOX 23 and has done numerous radio and press interviews.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Dr. Frank M. Tedesco ~ Compassion in Action Serving All Living Beings in Distress and at the End of Life

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Dr. Frank M. Tedesco is also known by his Korean Buddhist name Jin Bup, a name given to him after a long meditation retreat in a monastery in Korea. It means  True Dharma or  “authentic Buddhist wisdom”.  Among his Indian Buddhist friends, he is called Saddhamma, meaning True Dharma in Pali,, the ancient language of Shakyamuni Buddha. Frank founded the tax-exempt public charity True Dharma International Buddhist Mission and Research Institute in Florida in 2007. True Dharma Int’l is dedicated to friendship and compassionate service to all sentient beings.. In most recent years his primary focus has been on the dying.

True Dharma’s mission of unconditional love for all beings is multi-faceted. From pet and wildlife rescue, blessing and burying roadkill, attending to diverse needs of the homeless including food, transportation and financial assistance. Frank has regularly visited a number Florida state prisons, including the Pinellas County Jail, as a Buddhist teacher, chaplain, and meditation instructor in the past two decades. For the last 12 years Rev. True Dharma has primarily focused on hospice chaplaincy, or spiritual care, and befriending people (and their spouses and families) at the end of life. Frank provides Advance Care Planning and Living Will counseling with the elderly.  He also lectures on Buddhism, death and dying and leads intensive workshops on Preparing for a “Good Death” and an “Auspicious Rebirth”.  Passing from this life doesn’t have to be a gloomy affair when we approach the inevitable with clarity, honesty, humility, kindness and generosity.

Frank has received numerous scholarships and grants in his long academic career. In the last two years, he has received two research grants from the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies to develop a psychosocial training program to introduce the four Dharma traditions of India- Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism- to medical staff treating  terminally-ill patients from those traditions.

The oldest and core Buddhist Dharma teachings are very simple:

DO NO EVIL (that leads to any form of suffering)

Do ONLY GOOD (for others to increase their happiness)

Purify  Your Heart and Mind (to refine your selfless intentions to help others)

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~ 2018 Special Honoree: Karen Steil ~ Minister to Entrepreneurs with her Church of Profitsea. A New Trinity: Happy, Healthy andWealthy

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Karen Steil’s resume spans 42 years, which can be summed up in her book, “Church of Profitsea.  A New Trinity: Happy, Healthy and Wealthy.” Karen is a minister to entrepreneurs and she believes in teaching by example.  Karen writes in her book, “Every child born is the Light of the world,” which equates to every person on the planet being a “person of distinction.” There is no shortage of love in this world. There is no shortage of well-being in this world. There is no shortage of Pure, Positive, Non-Physical, God-force, Source, Love-Energy in this world.  Happy, Healthy and Wealthy is a mindset; it is a state of consciousness that rises to the call of evolution. Karen’s mission is to release the creative energy potential in everyone she meets so they can let their Light shine. “You will know them by their fruit.”

Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame. (Albert Einstein)

Albert Einstein also said, “Everything is Energy. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.”

Karen’s life purpose is to bring the God frequency to her daily practice of ushering in the new heaven and new earth.

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~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Bob Parkinson ~ Living Out “Building Effective Relationships” as a Teacher, a Communications Consultant… and a Devoted Husband!

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Bob Parkinson’s diverse professional life has involved him in business, academia, and government activities, all concentrating on the importance of effective communication in developing relationships.  Specific areas of attention have included formal education where he has served as an elementary and high school classroom teacher and administrator, and later as a university professor. He played a principle role in the development and implementation of the successful school desegregation program in the Evanston, Illinois, public school system. When he was a member of the Governor’s staff in Illinois, Bob developed strategies for implementing federal legislation and programs to expand employment and training opportunities for people throughout the state. As a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Bob’s conducted educational research in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana. He’s also provided corporate support to companies throughout the U.S. and internationally by offering more than 1,800 instructional programs and seminars concentrating on the skills necessary for building effective relationships.

An active author, he writes a weekly column for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and he has had fifteen books published on business communications and management techniques including the latest, Be As Good As You Think You Are which was co-authored with his wife, Eileen.

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Eileen Parkinson ~ An Inspirational Force in Communications, Motivation and Exploring the opportunities of Successful Aging!

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Relationships, whether they are with another person or with groups of people, are dependent in large part on the ability to communicate well. Eileen Parkinson, communications consultant and coach, has more than twenty years hands-on experience in the field of communication. She is a former news anchor, documentary producer, and professional singer and actor. Her varied and extensive experiences have enabled her to provide a unique approach to teaching and coaching business professionals at all levels from CEO’s to the newly hired, throughout the United States and internationally, as well.

One of her prime objectives is to help individuals learn and master skills that establish that person’s unique presence when communicating with others – life skills that lead to success in whatever one chooses to do. To that end, she co-authored Be As Good As You Think You Are, a book written with her husband, Bob, and published by Motivational Press, which is designed to help everyone interested in personal improvement and development. Eileen is also a past President of the Chicago Branch of Screen Actors Guild.  She also sat on the National Board of Directors of S.A.G., as well as that of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (now merged as SAG-AFTRA). Because of her interest in the “art of graceful aging” she also served on the board of Terra Nova Films, whose mission was to provide educational and informative films and videos that focused on exploring the opportunities of successful aging along with its many challenges.

 

~ 2018 Unsung Hero: Rob Rowen ~ Involved in working to make the world better most of his life

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Rob Rowen has been involved in working to make the world better most of his life. In 1990 he was Founding President of the Tampa Bay Business Committee for Culture and the Arts and in 2002 the Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival.  He was Board Chair of the Tampa Bay Children’s Chorus, The South Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and the South Tampa Military Affairs Committee.   He was given an Honorary Ambassadorship to Central Command for his work with the International Coalition of military officers serving there.

He worked in Bangladesh after Typhoon Sidr and it inspired him In 2008 to create Global Action Coalition with several amazing community leaders an organization to work in Nepal and Africa to help with education, water and health projects.  He currently is the Chairman of the Board as they work to expand their work in many ways.

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