MEET OUR WOMEN CONTRIBUTORS
7 women OVER 30 years old
Latasha N. Thoms
Jennifer McIlwain is the 43 year old pastor’s wife and mother of three, ages 16, 9 and 5. She works as a Talent Acquisition Assistant with Fishnet Security and freelance editor/proofreader. McIlwain maintains a book review blog – Mother of Three – which can be found at www.motheroftwo-jenmom.blogspot.com. When not busy carpooling the kids to school and other activities, assisting her Pastor husband with ministry or working from home as a human resource specialist, Jennifer can usually be found curled up somewhere with a book in her hand. While a Mississippi girl at heart, she now resides in the Houston, TX area with her family.
Beth Jones is an International Speaker/Author/Coach, wife to Ray Jones, and mom of 3 beautiful daughters. She resides in the Kansas City, MO area. Her mission is equipping women to use their gifts for God, doing what they love, and prospering in all areas of life. Beth’s passion is motivating women to fulfill their great destiny and to dream big because we serve a big God. To book Beth as a keynote speaker for your women’s conference or event or to find out more about her books, visit www.BethJones.net.
Amanda D. Thigpen- Sandiford
Amanda is a Christian mother of two beautiful daughters, wife to a wonderful husband, and a woman who loves the Lord! God is not only her best friend, he is the one that she turns to when her life is happy, sad, stressful and celebratory. You see, Amanda has learned to give God all of HER.
In Amanda’s words ” And when I say all of me I mean every single part of my life gets handed over to my Lord and Savior. Because without his grace to guide me, I would not be where I am or who I am for that matter.” To read more about Amanda and to purchase her book visit http://www.girlsrulecelebrate.com/
Erika Davis- Jones
Erika Jones is a 40 year old wife to her amazing husband Brian Jones, mother of three and grandmother of four. She was born and raised in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and currently resides in Northern, Virginia. Erika worked with the Department of Social Services for over 10 years and is currently the President and Founder of Complete Purpose Inc. which is a non for profit organization devoted to helping people achieve their life goals through discovering their purpose in life. In addition to this, she is also the Founder and President of Peculiar People of Purpose which is a Ministry dedicated to spreading the Gospel through unconventional means. Erika loves the Lord and loves displaying the love of Christ Jesus through helping individuals. She loves traveling and has traveled to Ghana alone in 2009 for 10 days. Erika says ” I know God has called me to the nations to help those in need spiritually, naturally and emotionally. In 2015 I will be starting my own travel business. I am a very outgoing person who believes you have one life and you better live it.”
LaTara V. Bussey
LaTara V. Bussey has been there; done that, and not writes books, coaches, teaches, trains and speaks nationwide about a life not lived and the dangers it cause. After losing her business in 1997 and becoming homeless, LaTara went on an 11 year journey of depression, anger, bitterness, and un-forgiveness that taught her the value of soul prosperous living.
In February 2008, at her heaviest weight of 360 lbs, in the midst of an emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abusive marriage, with her kids in the next room, she tried to take her life. That was her rock bottom and the reason why today she believes in laughing, loving, and living each day to the fullest. She gets that life is not to be taken for granted and has learned that it is that core of the woman, where the success she desires, lies.
There are a LOT of people teaching about the meat and bones of business but they miss the core….the soul! She is a witness that a soul in pain cannot optimally succeed at anything that is tried and will often speak and act from place of pain; gaining very little in return. Today LaTara works with women creatives, helping them to create authentic person brands, tell their story without shame, create a style all their own, and emerge from the mess of the past for lasting success!
Rochelle “Shelley” Valasek
Rochelle “Shelley” Valasek is a motivational/inspirational speaker, life purpose coach and author. She founded the ministryReflecting Excellence ministries in 2000’. Her main goal, her purpose, is to reach out to the women of this world and direct them towards the enlightenment of living with purpose through biblical truth to start their healing process that is throwing off their spiritual health. Rochelle also has a love for business; she thrives on helping other’s reach their potential. She coaches women who are interested in furthering their speaking ministry and/or their faith-based business. What sets her apart from the rest is that she is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and certified AromaTouch Technique Practioner and she incorporates it into her coaching. Rochelle has authored two books, Frazzled Moms Devotions-to-Go, and a proverbs woman Bible study, The Ruby Legacy. (And more on the way!) Shelley is excited as she’s making a come-back in radio at BlogTalkRadio, Testimony Today. She lives in the Nashville area with her high school sweetheart, Tony, and her two sons, Anthony and Noah. You can find her at www.rochellevalasek.com
7 women UNDER 30 years old
Asia Brown is a 17 years old of mother of a 1 year old daughter and 8 month twin boys. She currently resides in Northern Virginia. I have a natural talent for Art. She has been winning awards and having her Art showcased since Kindergarten. Asia also has a natural talent to style hair and started locking her mother’s hair at the age of 8 and still maintain her locs. She currently work as a Hostess and starting in January of 2015, will be starting Community College to further my education. Asia loves my children and enjoys being a mother. She depends heavily on God to help her maintain her life and loves helping people especially teenage mothers who may need encouragement.
Ny’Dia is a 11 year old middle schooler, sister to 3 brothers and daughter to the author and parents of Joseph and LaToya Gay. She is on fire for Christ and loves to share her love for Jesus with everyone she knows. Ny’Dia loves to sing, write, read and is currently well known for her boldness and desire to thrive in her generation. She has struggled with peer pressure, depression, and was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 years old. She always had that burning desire to fit in but soon realized that God had a better plan for her life. Her story has impacted many lives of young girls her age and she is learning how to be a better role model by her choices and her heart to follow Christ and not the world.
Taneisha LaGrant is a writer who was born in Panama City, Florida of 1988. With two books of poetry published, she has decided to go deeper and write her first novel. She currently attends college majoring in English in hopes of graduating in the class of 2015-16. She is happily married and hopes to grow old with her husband. They have one child together.
Mandy is a 25 year old woman who is an avid blogger and advocate for the pursuit of purity. Growing up in a Christian home and being homeschooled, she has attended church all of her life which allowed for a great foundation to begin her thoughts of ministry. When Mandy was 13, she decided to Be Different and serve God by going against the world’s standards and committing not to date. This decision became much deeper and visible when she then committed to not kiss anyone but her husband on their wedding day. Through this lifestyle choice, God has provided many occasions for her to share her story of purity and encourage other young women that they can do it too! Working with church youth and young adult ministries, she has been transparent in her life struggles, but has always pointed toward God for her strength. Mandy is now planning a wedding with a wonderful man of God who shares in her pursuit of purity.
TYSHAWNDA G. SILVER was born in Richmond, Va. in 1991. She grew up mostly in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Va. She has received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing.
She has had the opportunity to speak for several Black History month programs, slam poetry events, and “reading days” sponsored by the Fredericksburg City Public School system. Some of her earlier works have been featured in literary magazines for local schools.
She writes, “I am a God fearing young woman whose goal in this world is “reach one teach one” I am striving to be a better daughter, cousin, niece, friend, granddaughter, student, and Christian with every passing day. I am grateful for the life that God has given me and I am trying my hardest to leave a legacy behind that someone will appreciate. Because of my strong faith in God and in family I choose to write works that epitomize the influences of those beliefs as they relate to my cultural views. I also enjoy writing reflective pieces inspired by my experiences in my daily life.”