Saturday, April 19, 2014

Paul Morse Heart Transplant Recipient on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes


Join us on Saturday, April 12, 2014 Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we hear from Paul Morse, his wife, Delilah, and Baylor Hospital. Mr. Morse is the recipient of Ty Osman, II's heart.

Ty was with friends on spring break road trip to Ft. Worth, Texas in March 2012. Coming upon another car accident ahead of them, Ty stopped his truck to check on the other victims. A passing car hit Ty’s truck, causing it to strike. Ty was admitted to the Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview Texas where he passed away from his severe injuries. Ty was only the second patient at that hospital to be a pre-registered organ donor. Ty's gift of life impacted the Morse Family and forever changed the Osman Family, Ty's friends, and communities around the globe.




Mr. Morse will share about his health before his heart transplant and his life after March 4, 2012. He will share how limited his options were at the time, what is like to be on a waiting list for organ transplant, and why he wanted to meet the Osman Family . Hear Mrs. Morse share about being her husband's caretaker and chief cheerleader and why her she believed praying without ceasing was her first and only option. She will share what meeting the Osmans were like for her and her children.

Paul and Delilah Morse in Nashville
This show promises to empower, to inspire, and to motivate you to live your BEST life. Living Your Best Life Radio is heard on 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, the Inspirational Network, military bases, Tune In, and live streamed at Ustream.TV from 9-10AM CST.

 More About National Donate Life Month


Each day, in quiet hospital rooms and busy offices, in familiar sanctuaries and family living rooms, people make the courageous decision to give the gift of life. After passing his first driving test, an elated teenager adds a lifesaving symbol to his license. While struggling to comprehend their own loss, grieving parents choose to help another child live. During National Donate Life Month, we celebrate those who provide vital organ, eye, and tissue donations, and we bring new hope to the growing list of men, women, and children who still need a donation.

More than 120,000 Americans are now on the transplant list, and each day, 18 of them die waiting. The individuals in need of these donations are our moms, dads, brothers, sisters, children, and friends -- someone important to us or someone else. I encourage all Americans to think about their loved ones and to consider becoming a donor. Discuss your decision with those close to you, and if you decide to donate, visit www.OrganDonor.gov and sign up in your State's donor registry.

More About the Ty 2 Foundation 

Ty2 2014 3on3 Basketball Tournament

The Ty2 Foundation has been created as a lasting memorial to the life of Ty Osman, II.  Ty had a heart for others and was a light to everyone around him. The foundation will allow his light to shine forever and will serve the charities that profoundly impacted his life.

Ty Osman was a friend to everyone, always smiling and making others laugh. Ty had a true heart for others. He loved people. While Ty’s life here was way too short, he gave us all a lesson in how to be a friend. He excelled at treating people right. Rich or poor, young or old, and no one was a stranger. He loved the outdoors – to hunt, to fish, to just be outside any time. Ty also enjoyed sports – all types of sports, from football to bowling, he enjoyed them all. And he liked to work; work hard, whether it was on a widows’ home for Both Hands or a mission trip at the Medina Children’s home, Ty never shied away from a difficult task. In fact he welcomed a challenge. He touched the lives of so many with his never-ending smile and constant compassion. Ty loved the Lord. His last Bible verse Tweet was Psalms 73:26- "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

 More About Baylor Hospital


Our founding principles of compassion, honesty, transparency, and above all else, patient-centered care, guide us as an institution. Being recognized by local, regional, and national organizations for these attributes brings a credibility and prestige to our hospital that you can count on. We have been honored for our clinical expertise, for example with the 2007 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence, as well as our ability to grow and continually improve, with the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award of Excellence. We also have a growing number of certifications and accreditations. Here, you can rest easy knowing you will receive award-winning care.

Our patient-centered focus and quality care is sustained through the compassion and dedication displayed by our tireless team of nurses and other staff members, and the physicians on our medical staff. We are proud to announce that we are the recipient of the Magnet Award for Excellence in Nursing Services from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC also provides a vehicle for disseminating and teaching successful nursing strategies and practices. This is the organization's highest honor, given to institutions that are committed to excellence in nursing. We are especially honored to receive this distinction, as only 5 percent of the hospitals in the United States receive this award.


Photo Credits: Genma Holmes and Baylor Hospital

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Red Cross Volunteer Named BWC's 2014 Woman of the Year


Jennifer Wolcott has been named the 2014 Brentwood Woman’s Club Woman of the Year.
Jennifer Wolcott was nominated by several members from the non-profit community for her altruistic and generous contributions of time and talents, specifically on behalf of the American Red Cross Natchez Trace Chapter and the Oasis Center.

For five years, the Brentwood Woman’s Club has selected a Brentwood resident, non-member of the club, to honor as their Woman of the Year. Prior honorees have been Linda Lynch, City of Brentwood Community Relations Director; Joyce Keistler, director of the Martin Center; Susan Leathers, editor and co-owner of BrentWord Communications; Linda Jackson, executive director of BRIDGES; and Nancy Osman, community volunteer and Director of Ty2 Foundation.

Joyce Espy Searcy, Director of Community Relations at Belmont University and former CEO of Bethlehem Centers of Nashville, was among those nominating Wolcott for this year’s honor.

"I have watched Jennifer Wolcott from afar give of herself and of her resources to many organizations in Nashville area. I have seen many people volunteer for recognition or to have their names linked with a large organization, but Jennifer volunteers because she is interested in meeting the needs of others and helping to change their quality of life," Searcy said.

Another nominator who spoke highly of Wolcott's volunteer spirit and sees her hands on work in the community up close was John Mitchell, Executive Director of the Red Cross Natchez Trace Chapter.

Natchez Trace Chapter of the Red Cross Board of Directors
Mitchell stated, "Jennifer provides leadership to our chapter through personal giving and also challenges others to give as well. Jennifer has served as our annual breakfast chair for two years. In 2012, our breakfast speaker was Trace Adkins. Due to the success of our breakfast, Trace was elevated to the American Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet. Trace later raised over 1 million dollars for the American Red Cross on a national level." During the last two years, the Natchez Trace Chapter Red Cross Breakfast attendance has increased to nearly 400 and the giving has increased to over $100,000.

Trace Adkins 2012 Keynote
Coach Franklin 2013 Keynote
Wocott is not limited to fundraising with the Red Cross. She has participated in disaster preparedness drills for the area counties that the Natchez Trace Chapter serves. She recruited her sons', Perry and Parker, Boys Scout Troop and others in the community to participate in the drills. The Middle Tennessee area is becoming more and more aware that the preparedness of a community for a natural or man-made disaster decreases lost of life and property damage.

In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Wolcott is a proud supporter of the Brentwood High School Band where her sons are members, she is very active with the Boy Scouts Troop 86 (Perry is an Eagle Scout), and is a small group host at her church, Harpeth Hills Church of Christ.

Jennifer Wolcott will be honored as part of the Brentwood Woman’s Club’s annual fundraising luncheon, Step Up, It’s a Charity Affair, on May 6, 2014 at Brentwood Country Club. The Brentwood Woman’s Club is celebrating its 40th Anniversary of service to the community this year. 

WSMV's Emmy Award winning meteorologist, Lisa Spencer, will provide musical entertainment.  The  silent auction will begin at 10:30 AM and lunch will be served at 11:30 AM. The club will  recognize it's 40th Anniversary of service by presenting a special gift to Williamson County. This event is open to the public. Seating is limited. Bring a friend and enjoy a “Ladies Day Out”.

Tickets are $50 and can be obtained by contacting Jean Hairston by email, jean.hairston@yahoo.com before deadline date of May 1, 2014.


Brentwood Woman’s Club is a member of the international General Federation of Women’s Clubs that is dedicated to strengthening local communities and enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. GFWC members work locally to create global change by supporting the arts, preserving natural resource, advancing education, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging civic involvement, and working toward world peace and understanding.


2014 BWC's Woman of the Year Committee: Genma Holmes (Chair), Liz Martin (Club President), Paula Uhlir, Marilyn Tolk, and Helen Holzen



Photo Credits: Red Cross, Genma Holmes, Jennifer Wolcott , Lisa Spencer

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Marcia Dyson and Crystal DeGregory on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Living Your Best Life Radio with Genma Holmes celebrates the strength, courage, and boldness of women who embrace life to the fullest and have not let others "no" determine their destiny in life. Join us to hear the from women who are seasoned with success and who believe in mentoring other women to become trailblazers as they empower, inspire, and motivate us to live our BEST life.


On Saturday, April 5, 2014, join us to hear from trailblazers who believe  "There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you." Dr. Marcia Dyson, CEO and Founder of  Women Global Initiative, and Dr. Crystal DeGregory, Founder and Executive Editor of HBCUstory, will share their stories and passion for uplifting women and our global community through education, justice, equality, and economic empowerment.

ColorComm's Chloe Louvouezo, Harriett Fulbright, Dr. Marcia Dyson, Lauren W. Wilson and Amber Allen
Dr. Dyson will discuss why it is imperative to promote, inspire, and support the future leaders of the world and why she believes every citizen is a leader.  Dr. Dyson will share lessons learned from her encounters with world leaders and the role of the business community plays in sustaining nations for the next generation. Dr. Dyson will also share about the C2 Conference that will be held in August 2014.
HBCUstory 2012 Honorees


Dr. DeGregory will share the need for HBCUstory, founded in 2012, as an advocacy initiative that is preserving, presenting, and promoting inspiring stories of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community’s past and present, for our future. She will share about her latest body of work  “The Relationships of Revolution: Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement and Political Change in the Bahamas”and the upcoming 2nd Annual HBCUstory Symposium that will be held in Washington, D.C.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST. 


More About WGI


Women's Global Initiative (WGI) works closely with a network of corporate, government, university, faith-based, and other partners. Through these partnerships, we create and support innovative new programs that help extend effective existing efforts of women. We are an exclusive membership club, to inspire, inform, and engaged members to promote intercultural, political, and religious dialogue though a unique combination of online and global events.

WGI serves and supports women from every walk of life. The hierarchy of economic empowerment, beginning at the lowest levels of household and community control, is still globally genderized in favor of men. This is a form of structural discrimination that ultimately undermines national interests
and economic possibilities.

Although women are at the center of the household, they are too often disempowered. Investment in women's individual agency balances decision making within the household, resulting in a positive systemic impact upon society.

We believe that efforts toward an equitable national economy must be mirrored in the household. Therefore, gender-based exclusionary elements must be corrected at that most basic level of social organization.

WGI is committed to solving the underlying problems that threaten, undermine, and impair women's ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives. We focus on ameliorating the economic and socio-cultural barriers that limit women's opportunities. We dedicate our resources toward lowering these barriers wherever we encounter them within the communities we serve.

More About ColorComm Conference (C2)

C2 is the ultimate business conference for women of color in communications. Innovative programs, presented by the industry’s top practitioners and thought leaders, will address key issues and predict future trends.

Unlike many professional conferences with thousands in attendance, C2 is an intimate group of approximately 300 multicultural, professional women. That means everyone can identify with common experiences and challenges and everyone is accessible. With access comes action, the kind of action you need to advance your career, build your business and enhance your personal development.

C2 is for you if you are a woman of color in the vast field of communications. This includes Public Relations, Media Relations, Corporate Communications, Advertising, Journalism, Broadcast, Consulting, Social Media as well as Entrepreneurs, Educators and more. C2 is for you if you want to connect with and learn from the best and the brightest.

More About HBCUstory 

Founded in 2012, HBCUstory, Inc. is an advocacy initiative, preserving, presenting and promoting inspiring stories of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community’s past and present, for our future.

Each and everyday, the HBCU community is writing the HBCUstory. We have fond memories of administrators, faculty, staff and fellow alumni–of people who believed in us and made us believe in ourselves.

We who believe in the mission and vision of HBCUs must leverage our HBCU stories as more than mere memories. Our memories must serve as compelling evidence for the future of these’s educational, cultural and social treasures.

More About HBCUstory 2nd Annual Symposium



Photo Credits: HBCUstory, ColorComm, Dr. Dyson and Dr. deGregory

Saturday, March 29, 2014

UT's Joan Cronan and OVC's Beth DeBauche Discuss 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week."  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week."  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month."  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
 Living Your Best Life Radio with Genma Holmes celebrates the strength, courage, and boldness of women who embrace life to the fullest and have not let others "no" determine their destiny in life. Join us to hear the from women who are seasoned with success and who believe in mentoring other women to become trailblazers as they empower, inspire, and motivate us to live our BEST life.

On Saturday, March 29, 2014, tune in to hear the Joan Cronan, the University of Tennessee AD Emeritus, and Beth DeBauche,the Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference, discuss the exciting road to the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four, the largest women event to be hosted in Nashville.

Listeners will hear from the legendary AD Emeritus, Joan Cronan, as she shares what drives her to give 1000%, how she pushes others to be the best they can be, how sports shaped her leadership skills in the game of life and what are the "B.E.L.L.S" she rings daily. Hear her share her passion for the University of Tennessee Women Athletics and her love of women supporting women. She will also share about hiring Coach Pat Summit and the mission of the  Pat Summit Foundation. 


Commissioner DeBauche will discuss her path trajectory from being a divorce attorney to her leading the Ohio Valley Conference. Hear her share her strong beliefs in mentoring relationships and the role mentors have played in life. Commissioner DeBauche will give listeners an insiders' view of working with twelve universities and with over 4,000 college athletes and how the OVC is helping students prepare for success beyond the OVC. She will also share the exciting events planned for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four, the economical impact to the Nashville area, and how important volunteers will be at the 2014 Women's Final Four.

You will not want to miss this show. Two amazing women, Cronan and DeBauche, sharing their passion for the highest women’s collegiate sporting event in the country.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST. 

More About UT's Joan Cronan


Joan Cronan has been a leader in collegiate athletics for almost four decades. She has served as the Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee since 1983 and has developed the Lady Volunteers into one of the most positive and recognizable brands in intercollegiate athletics.

Cronan severed on the 2010 NCAA Division I Leadership Council and previously was selected by her peers as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of athletics (NACDA) in 2008-09 and president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) in 2007-08. Additionally, Cronan has served on the NCAA’s Executive Committee, Management Council, as well as the NCAA’s Council, and is a member of the NCAA Championship Cabinet. She also has been a member of the Southeastern Conference Executive Committee.

Cronan makes her home in Knoxville and is the mother of Kristi (Mrs. Rhett Benner) and Stacey (Mrs. Kent Bristow), both 1994 graduates of UT. She is the proud grandmother to three grandsons, Chase and Reed Bristow, and Quinn Benner; and two granddaughters, Reese Lauren Benner and Larkin Ann Bristow. She lost her husband Tom, in August 2006, after his valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.

 More About Commissioner Beth DeBauche 

Elizabeth (Beth) DeBauche was named Commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference on July 29, 2009 and began her duties with the league in September 2009.

DeBauche is the seventh full-time Commissioner in the 63-year history of the OVC. DeBauche is one of just eight females to be the head of a Division I Conference in 2013-14.

DeBauche will serve as the Chair of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee (NLOC) for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four. The Ohio Valley Conference will serve as the host institution of the event which will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on April 6 and 8.

Under DeBauche, the league started an extensive strategic planning and branding initiative which led to the development of the league’s first tagline of “Inspiring Excellence Since 1948.” The project also produced the league’s first 30-second PSA commercial in over a decade as well as a longer feature video highlighting the Conference.

In her four years with the league, the OVC has seen postseason success men’s basketball as Murray State topped Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010, Morehead State beat Louisville in the second round in 2011 and Murray State bested Colorado State in the second round in 2012. Overall the league has won NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games in four of the past five years, including four-straight years (2009-12) for the first-time in league history.

In 2012-13 DeBauche helped spearhead a year-long celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX. As part of the celebration, each of the OVC's 12-member institutions identified a pioneer in women's athletics and gender equality from their school to be honored during the year and celebrated at a home athletic event on their campus.  The celebration was capped in May when those honorees were recognized at a special luncheon as part of the OVC Spring Meetings.

DeBauche currently serves on the NCAA Committee on Athletic Certification, the NCAA Division I Leadership Council and the NCAA Rules Working Group.

More About the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four


From April 6 – 8, 2014, in partnership with the Ohio Valley Conference, the Nashville Sports Council and the city of Nashville will be hosting the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four is the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, which runs for three weeks in March and April. The main attraction will be the three basketball games played over two days at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, including the two National Semifinals on Sunday, April 6 and the National Championship game on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

The Final Four® weekend experience is “More Than Just Three Games®.” Throughout the week of the Championship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Convention, community engagement and legacy programs give the event its exciting pulse. It is a time for everyone to celebrate and experience women’s college basketball at the highest level.

If you would like to receive information and updates from the NCAA, sign up to receive email newsletters.

Photo credits: Genma Holmes, OVC, UT Knoxville

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Traci Otey Blunt on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week."  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week."  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month."  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” 
 Living Your Best Life Radio with Genma Holmes celebrates the strength, courage, and boldness of women who embrace life to the fullest and have not let others "no" determine their destiny in life. Join us to hear the from women who are seasoned with success and who believe in mentoring other women to become trailblazers as they empower, inspire, and motivate us to live our BEST life.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice
Traci Otey Blunt
On Saturday, March 22, 2014, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, the newly appointed President of Morehouse School of Medicine – the nation’s first African-American woman to lead a free-standing medical school and Traci Otey Blunt, Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for RJL Companies will share about shattering the glass ceilings and how women leaders are changing the cultural of business as usual in higher education, medicine, entertainment, and the media.

Tune in to hear these dynamic women discuss current issues in their fields, how to build partnerships, and their advice to young women who are on their journey to becoming Women of Influence.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, on streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST.

More About Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice


As incoming president of Morehouse School of Medicine, effective July 1, 2014, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice will also maintain her role as the school’s dean. When she was announced, Dr. Montgomery Rice was the first African-American woman named to lead a freestanding medical school. She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher, as well as current dean and executive vice president of Morehouse School of Medicine where she has served since 2011. In this role, she oversees Morehouse School of Medicine’s widespread academic and clinical programs in health sciences and leads strategic planning initiatives for both patient care, research and community engagement. Her current research includes a partnership with the University of Zambia, which focuses on the development of a vaginal microbicide for the prevention of HIV.

She is the founder and former director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., where she had previously served as dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs. The Center for Women’s Health Research is one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Dr. Montgomery also held numerous administrative and faculty appointments at the University of Kansas School of Medicine prior to joining Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Montgomery Rice’s dedication to healthcare research, preventative care and mentoring are manifested in every aspect of her work and life. As such, she has been honored with membership in the Society for Women’s Health Research Board Member (2012- 2013), executive committee (2013), National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities and Office of Women’s Health/NIH Board Member (2013-), March of Dimes Board Member (2012-), Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans Administrative Board Member (2012-), FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs (2011-), Scientific Committee, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2007-2011), President’s Commission on White House Fellowships Regional Panelist Selection Committee (2010), Strategic Planning Committee, Office of Women’s Health Research, NIH (2010), Every Life Matters, Every Dollar Counts Campaign - chair, National AIDS Fund Board of Trustees (2009 – 2010), National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Special Emphasis Panel (2009),National Aids Fund Board of Trustees (2007-2011), Wal-Mart Healthcare Insights Panel - chair (2007-2010), Wal-Mart External Advisory Board (2006-2008) and American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, board examiner(2007-).

More About Traci Otey Blunt
The Network Business Journal March 2014
Traci Otey Blunt, a veteran media, political and public affairs specialist, is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. In this role, she is responsible for media strategy and communications, government relations and public affairs on behalf of The RLJ Companies. Prior to joining RLJ, Traci served as a Deputy Communications Director for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Traci has more than 18 years of experience leading public relations and public affairs efforts for corporate, local, state and federal governments, as well as non-profit organizations.

Traci has experience in the fast-paced world of politics and government, having served as a media specialist on Capitol Hill, with the District of Columbia government, and in mayoral, state legislative, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.

Prior to joining the Clinton campaign, Traci served as a Vice President and Deputy Director for the multicultural practice at Ogilvy Public Relations in Washington, DC. As Deputy Director for the agency’s multicultural communications, Traci provided the day-to-day management and oversight of several high-profile accounts and public affairs campaigns, including the African American Medicare Prescription Drug Campaign for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Readiness Initiative and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

As the Director of Communications for the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in 2002, Traci was responsible for planning economic development-related events, as well as leading all communications efforts related to development in the city. She also served as Press Secretary for the 2002 reelection campaign for Mayor Anthony Williams. In 2000, Traci served as the Communications Director for the Tennessee coordinated Gore/Lieberman campaign. She also served as a Communications Specialist at the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and worked on legislative issues in the United States Senate.

Traci is a 1990 graduate of Tennessee State University where she received her degree, cum laude, in Criminal Justice. She currently serves on the following boards: the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBCLEO) Foundation; the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs Board of Advisors at Tennessee State University; ColorComm, a professional organization for women of color in communications; Washington Women in PR (WWPR); and Malaria No More, a non-profit dedicated to ending malaria deaths and providing life-saving tools and education to families across Africa.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Original Harlem Globetrotters Kick off March Madness on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Whether you are a sports fan or not, the arrival of March means spring is near and basketball binging will begin. Watching March Madness events surrounding the single-elimination Division I college basketball tournaments performed each spring are a rite a of passage for many. The main tournaments involved are the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship and the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship. Nashville, Tennessee is the host city for 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four.

During the month of March, Living Your Best Life will go behind the scenes to hear from several who worked tirelessly to bring the NCAA 2014 Final Four tournament to Nashville, women who are trailblazers in sports, the origin of Title IX and those who have played collegiate and professional basketball.


On Saturday, March 8, 2013 tune in to hear from Mark Johnson, the son of  Andy Johnson, an original Harlem Globetrotter and NBA player. Hear him share how his father and the Original Globetrotters, were U.S. Ambassadors who traveled the world promoting American pride and patriotism. Hear him tell how their lives as Ambassadors contrasted drastically with their lives in the U.S. where segregation and discrimination were the laws of the land, off the courts, and in the locker rooms.

Joining Mark Johnson will members of the Original Harlem Globetrotters team, Carl Green and Bob Showboat, who will share their HIStory as they give us a glimpse into the world of sports from the past and the similarities found in the business of sports today.

This show will give you a piece of American History that is often left out of history.

 Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, on streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST.

More About the The Andy Johnson Harlem Globetrotter-NBA Story


 The Andy Johnson Story is filled with extraordinary tales from behind the scenes of the early Original Harlem Globetrotters.  It is loaded with a wealth of historical information never disclosed regarding the slow, quota-based inception of African American athletes in the NBA. This book clarifies the role of the Original Harlem Globetrotters which made the NBA the multi-billion dollar organization it is today.

It is also a fascinating and inspirational story that weaves the heart-wrenching account of a young boy who became a man through the lessons of basketball. He grew up watching his family working in the cotton fields of Louisiana to playing basketball in the streets of Hollywood in his bare feet. His education was under-valued in high school.  He was considered a basketball star only. By the time a major university recruited him, his hopes for a decent education were lost, as well as the opportunity to receive a college degree. Special interest individuals and corporations saw this as an opportunity to put him in the “professional basketball auction block” where he had no ability to negotiate his contract, pay, or where he would play. These unfortunate events occurred three times in his professional career. However, Andy Johnson turned every devastating event into an opportunity by staying positive in the game of life.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"Triple Nickels" Army's First Black Paratroopers on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Join Living Your Best Life  as we celebrate our military heroes' journeys before and after their service to our country throughout the year. Hear from men and women who are sons and daughters; husbands and wives; fathers and mothers; grandparents; siblings; and loyal friends. Hear members of the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy share personal stories and highlights from their military careers. All have roles that made them the "first" in many endeavors throughout their lives and in the military. We will hear about their rarely discussed acts of courage and sacrifice that embody servant leadership that will empower, inspire, and motivate listeners.


On Saturday, February 22, 2014 join us as we hear from surviving members of the 555th Infantry, Triple Nickels, America's first Black Paratroopers. Members of the 555th Infantry were activated 70 years ago this month. The Triple Nickels were also known as the Smoke Jumpers.

Tune in to hear the Triple Nickels share how they were trained in a segregated Army and how their skills were used to help fight World War 2 on the home front. Many of the Triple Nickels also fought in the Korean War. Hear them share their lives before and after being in the the Army. Listen as they share how these courageous men who broke color barriers in the military became the foundation of the 50s and 60s Civil Rights movement which is often not history books.
Genma Holmes with Triple Nickels at Fort Campbell
In the studio to share their HIStory, will be Lawrence Douglas, Fred Otey, Fred Dale, Sidney Brown, and Joe Garrett.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, on streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST.

 More About The Triple Nickels, 555th Infantry
(excerpt from Black America Web)


In Camp Mackall, North Carolina the first all-black parachute Infantry platoon was activated on November 25,1944. They would be called the 555th Battalion, a.k.a. “The Triple Nickles.” They were called the Triple Nickles because 17 of 20 soldiers selected from the Buffalo Soldiers 92nd Infantry in Arizona made it through the test platoon at Fort Benning. The unit's name came from the old English spelling and identified with three buffalo nickels joined in a triangle or pyramid.

The Triple Nickles served in more airborne units during both war and peacetime than any other parachute group in history. The Triple Nickles smoke jumped into burning forests of the American northwest, searching for Japanese balloon bombs. In 1945, Private First Class Malvin L. Brown was the first smoke jumper to perish on a fire jump.

In the Georgia winters of 1943 and 1944, soldiers could stare into the sky and see a blanket of white parachutes belonging to the 555th infantry battalion. Among the troopers were former university students and professional athletes. Their unit was entirely black, from commanding officer down to the private level. Their skills would be tested throughout World War II. The 555th were trained to use biological agents that could destroy the burning woods for wartime purposes. The brave men of this infantry found themselves smoke jumping into burning forests of the American northwest searching for Japanese balloon bombs.

After being transferred to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1945, the 555th became attached to the elite 82nd Airborne Division. In 1950, the Parachute Battalion was disbanded. Its former members would later fight in the Korean War. Specifically, one of the battalion's former officers, Harry Sutton, died while leading a rearguard action during the Hungnam Evacuation and was decorated posthumously with the Silver Star.

A new monument has been constructed to honor the Triple Nickles at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center's Memorial Walk of Honor. A ceremony was held on the unit’s 33rd reunion in a crowd of over 200 soldiers.

Photo Credit: US Army Archives and Lt. Otis Touissant
“So many black Soldiers wanted to be paratroopers; there was too many people to simply establish a company, so the 555th quickly became a battalion,” Fowles said. There were not enough officers to handle the rapid growth of the Triple Nickles, so Morris was sent to officer candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, the battalion received its first set of orders.
The 555th expected to be assigned somewhere in Europe, supporting their fellow Soldiers in the fight against Hitler, but the Army thought black paratroopers and white paratroopers would fight with one another if they were deployed in the same area. That turned out to be completely untrue, Murchison said, but the misconceptions of the time led the 555th to be loaned out to the United States Forest Service in April of 1945.
The Triple Nickles were assigned as a 300-man smokejumper, or airborne, firefighting component.
“Smoke jumping is a position that is used on the fire line,” Deidra McGee, Forest Service public affairs officer, explained. People jump out of planes and into rugged terrain to establish a fire line. The 555th was assigned to the Forest Service as part of Operation Firefly, which was a joint military-civilian effort to combat wildfire threats from Japanese incendiary bombs.
“Balloons were landing in Canada, all the way down to Mexico, and as far east as Boise, Idaho,” Murchison said, “and they were responsible for some fires on the West Coast and the Forest Service needed fire fighters. There were no road networks like we have now, and there was no way to get people into place in a hurry, so they asked the Army if they could lend them some paratroopers.”
The 555th participated in fire training conducted by the Forest Service at Camp Pendleton, Ore., learning the best ways to put out fires and how to land among the trees — something paratroopers are told to avoid. They were also given demolition training so they could disable any unexploded bombs.
“They started wearing football helmets and made face masks out of chicken wire in order to protect their faces,” Murchison said.  The men were also given 50-foot long ropes to repel down if they became stuck in trees. The government kept Firefly a secret at the time, Fowles explained, because it didn’t want the American people to know the country had been attacked in any way, and it also wanted to keep the enemy from thinking their line of attack had been successful.
The Japanese sent balloon bombs with incendiary or explosive capabilities across the ocean and into the Pacific Northwest from November 1944 through April of 1945. They were paper balloons, designed to drop four incendiaries, one at a time, as they blew eastward. After all the weapons had been dropped, an explosive charge would go off to destroy the balloon, leaving almost no evidence of its presence. More than 9,000 of these balloons were launched, but only 342 were reported in North America, according to the Forest Service.
All in all, the 555th had 36 fire missions, which included 1,200 individual jumps.
“By the time the Triple Nickles got involved with it, the (smokejumping) program was only about five or six years old, so they were some of the earlier smoke jumpers to be involved … and they were some of the first (black) smokejumpers — pioneers — to be involved in the profession,” McGee said.
The operation came to a close in August of 1945 and the battalion returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where they continued on as regular paratroopers.
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2014/02/jumping-into-history-the-armys-first-african-american-paratroopers/#sthash.oUEymkqZ.OdJuhEMB.dpuf
“So many black Soldiers wanted to be paratroopers; there was too many people to simply establish a company, so the 555th quickly became a battalion,” Fowles said. There were not enough officers to handle the rapid growth of the Triple Nickles, so Morris was sent to officer candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, the battalion received its first set of orders.
The 555th expected to be assigned somewhere in Europe, supporting their fellow Soldiers in the fight against Hitler, but the Army thought black paratroopers and white paratroopers would fight with one another if they were deployed in the same area. That turned out to be completely untrue, Murchison said, but the misconceptions of the time led the 555th to be loaned out to the United States Forest Service in April of 1945.
The Triple Nickles were assigned as a 300-man smokejumper, or airborne, firefighting component.
“Smoke jumping is a position that is used on the fire line,” Deidra McGee, Forest Service public affairs officer, explained. People jump out of planes and into rugged terrain to establish a fire line. The 555th was assigned to the Forest Service as part of Operation Firefly, which was a joint military-civilian effort to combat wildfire threats from Japanese incendiary bombs.
“Balloons were landing in Canada, all the way down to Mexico, and as far east as Boise, Idaho,” Murchison said, “and they were responsible for some fires on the West Coast and the Forest Service needed fire fighters. There were no road networks like we have now, and there was no way to get people into place in a hurry, so they asked the Army if they could lend them some paratroopers.”
The 555th participated in fire training conducted by the Forest Service at Camp Pendleton, Ore., learning the best ways to put out fires and how to land among the trees — something paratroopers are told to avoid. They were also given demolition training so they could disable any unexploded bombs.
“They started wearing football helmets and made face masks out of chicken wire in order to protect their faces,” Murchison said.  The men were also given 50-foot long ropes to repel down if they became stuck in trees. The government kept Firefly a secret at the time, Fowles explained, because it didn’t want the American people to know the country had been attacked in any way, and it also wanted to keep the enemy from thinking their line of attack had been successful.
The Japanese sent balloon bombs with incendiary or explosive capabilities across the ocean and into the Pacific Northwest from November 1944 through April of 1945. They were paper balloons, designed to drop four incendiaries, one at a time, as they blew eastward. After all the weapons had been dropped, an explosive charge would go off to destroy the balloon, leaving almost no evidence of its presence. More than 9,000 of these balloons were launched, but only 342 were reported in North America, according to the Forest Service.
All in all, the 555th had 36 fire missions, which included 1,200 individual jumps.
“By the time the Triple Nickles got involved with it, the (smokejumping) program was only about five or six years old, so they were some of the earlier smoke jumpers to be involved … and they were some of the first (black) smokejumpers — pioneers — to be involved in the profession,” McGee said.
The operation came to a close in August of 1945 and the battalion returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where they continued on as regular paratroopers.
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2014/02/jumping-into-history-the-armys-first-african-american-paratroopers/#sthash.oUEymkqZ.OdJuhEMB.dpuf
“So many black Soldiers wanted to be paratroopers; there was too many people to simply establish a company, so the 555th quickly became a battalion,” Fowles said. There were not enough officers to handle the rapid growth of the Triple Nickles, so Morris was sent to officer candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, the battalion received its first set of orders.
The 555th expected to be assigned somewhere in Europe, supporting their fellow Soldiers in the fight against Hitler, but the Army thought black paratroopers and white paratroopers would fight with one another if they were deployed in the same area. That turned out to be completely untrue, Murchison said, but the misconceptions of the time led the 555th to be loaned out to the United States Forest Service in April of 1945.
The Triple Nickles were assigned as a 300-man smokejumper, or airborne, firefighting component.
“Smoke jumping is a position that is used on the fire line,” Deidra McGee, Forest Service public affairs officer, explained. People jump out of planes and into rugged terrain to establish a fire line. The 555th was assigned to the Forest Service as part of Operation Firefly, which was a joint military-civilian effort to combat wildfire threats from Japanese incendiary bombs.
“Balloons were landing in Canada, all the way down to Mexico, and as far east as Boise, Idaho,” Murchison said, “and they were responsible for some fires on the West Coast and the Forest Service needed fire fighters. There were no road networks like we have now, and there was no way to get people into place in a hurry, so they asked the Army if they could lend them some paratroopers.”
The 555th participated in fire training conducted by the Forest Service at Camp Pendleton, Ore., learning the best ways to put out fires and how to land among the trees — something paratroopers are told to avoid. They were also given demolition training so they could disable any unexploded bombs.
“They started wearing football helmets and made face masks out of chicken wire in order to protect their faces,” Murchison said.  The men were also given 50-foot long ropes to repel down if they became stuck in trees. The government kept Firefly a secret at the time, Fowles explained, because it didn’t want the American people to know the country had been attacked in any way, and it also wanted to keep the enemy from thinking their line of attack had been successful.
The Japanese sent balloon bombs with incendiary or explosive capabilities across the ocean and into the Pacific Northwest from November 1944 through April of 1945. They were paper balloons, designed to drop four incendiaries, one at a time, as they blew eastward. After all the weapons had been dropped, an explosive charge would go off to destroy the balloon, leaving almost no evidence of its presence. More than 9,000 of these balloons were launched, but only 342 were reported in North America, according to the Forest Service.
All in all, the 555th had 36 fire missions, which included 1,200 individual jumps.
“By the time the Triple Nickles got involved with it, the (smokejumping) program was only about five or six years old, so they were some of the earlier smoke jumpers to be involved … and they were some of the first (black) smokejumpers — pioneers — to be involved in the profession,” McGee said.
The operation came to a close in August of 1945 and the battalion returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where they continued on as regular paratroopers.
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2014/02/jumping-into-history-the-armys-first-african-american-paratroopers/#sthash.oUEymkqZ.OdJuhEMB.dpuf
“So many black Soldiers wanted to be paratroopers; there was too many people to simply establish a company, so the 555th quickly became a battalion,” Fowles said. There were not enough officers to handle the rapid growth of the Triple Nickles, so Morris was sent to officer candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, the battalion received its first set of orders.
The 555th expected to be assigned somewhere in Europe, supporting their fellow Soldiers in the fight against Hitler, but the Army thought black paratroopers and white paratroopers would fight with one another if they were deployed in the same area. That turned out to be completely untrue, Murchison said, but the misconceptions of the time led the 555th to be loaned out to the United States Forest Service in April of 1945.
The Triple Nickles were assigned as a 300-man smokejumper, or airborne, firefighting component.
“Smoke jumping is a position that is used on the fire line,” Deidra McGee, Forest Service public affairs officer, explained. People jump out of planes and into rugged terrain to establish a fire line. The 555th was assigned to the Forest Service as part of Operation Firefly, which was a joint military-civilian effort to combat wildfire threats from Japanese incendiary bombs.
“Balloons were landing in Canada, all the way down to Mexico, and as far east as Boise, Idaho,” Murchison said, “and they were responsible for some fires on the West Coast and the Forest Service needed fire fighters. There were no road networks like we have now, and there was no way to get people into place in a hurry, so they asked the Army if they could lend them some paratroopers.”
The 555th participated in fire training conducted by the Forest Service at Camp Pendleton, Ore., learning the best ways to put out fires and how to land among the trees — something paratroopers are told to avoid. They were also given demolition training so they could disable any unexploded bombs.
“They started wearing football helmets and made face masks out of chicken wire in order to protect their faces,” Murchison said.  The men were also given 50-foot long ropes to repel down if they became stuck in trees. The government kept Firefly a secret at the time, Fowles explained, because it didn’t want the American people to know the country had been attacked in any way, and it also wanted to keep the enemy from thinking their line of attack had been successful.
The Japanese sent balloon bombs with incendiary or explosive capabilities across the ocean and into the Pacific Northwest from November 1944 through April of 1945. They were paper balloons, designed to drop four incendiaries, one at a time, as they blew eastward. After all the weapons had been dropped, an explosive charge would go off to destroy the balloon, leaving almost no evidence of its presence. More than 9,000 of these balloons were launched, but only 342 were reported in North America, according to the Forest Service.
All in all, the 555th had 36 fire missions, which included 1,200 individual jumps.
“By the time the Triple Nickles got involved with it, the (smokejumping) program was only about five or six years old, so they were some of the earlier smoke jumpers to be involved … and they were some of the first (black) smokejumpers — pioneers — to be involved in the profession,” McGee said.
The operation came to a close in August of 1945 and the battalion returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where they continued on as regular paratroopers.
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2014/02/jumping-into-history-the-armys-first-african-american-paratroopers/#sthash.oUEymkqZ.OdJuhEMB.dpuf
“So many black Soldiers wanted to be paratroopers; there was too many people to simply establish a company, so the 555th quickly became a battalion,” Fowles said. There were not enough officers to handle the rapid growth of the Triple Nickles, so Morris was sent to officer candidate school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, the battalion received its first set of orders.
The 555th expected to be assigned somewhere in Europe, supporting their fellow Soldiers in the fight against Hitler, but the Army thought black paratroopers and white paratroopers would fight with one another if they were deployed in the same area. That turned out to be completely untrue, Murchison said, but the misconceptions of the time led the 555th to be loaned out to the United States Forest Service in April of 1945.
The Triple Nickles were assigned as a 300-man smokejumper, or airborne, firefighting component.
“Smoke jumping is a position that is used on the fire line,” Deidra McGee, Forest Service public affairs officer, explained. People jump out of planes and into rugged terrain to establish a fire line. The 555th was assigned to the Forest Service as part of Operation Firefly, which was a joint military-civilian effort to combat wildfire threats from Japanese incendiary bombs.
“Balloons were landing in Canada, all the way down to Mexico, and as far east as Boise, Idaho,” Murchison said, “and they were responsible for some fires on the West Coast and the Forest Service needed fire fighters. There were no road networks like we have now, and there was no way to get people into place in a hurry, so they asked the Army if they could lend them some paratroopers.”
The 555th participated in fire training conducted by the Forest Service at Camp Pendleton, Ore., learning the best ways to put out fires and how to land among the trees — something paratroopers are told to avoid. They were also given demolition training so they could disable any unexploded bombs.
“They started wearing football helmets and made face masks out of chicken wire in order to protect their faces,” Murchison said.  The men were also given 50-foot long ropes to repel down if they became stuck in trees. The government kept Firefly a secret at the time, Fowles explained, because it didn’t want the American people to know the country had been attacked in any way, and it also wanted to keep the enemy from thinking their line of attack had been successful.
The Japanese sent balloon bombs with incendiary or explosive capabilities across the ocean and into the Pacific Northwest from November 1944 through April of 1945. They were paper balloons, designed to drop four incendiaries, one at a time, as they blew eastward. After all the weapons had been dropped, an explosive charge would go off to destroy the balloon, leaving almost no evidence of its presence. More than 9,000 of these balloons were launched, but only 342 were reported in North America, according to the Forest Service.
All in all, the 555th had 36 fire missions, which included 1,200 individual jumps.
“By the time the Triple Nickles got involved with it, the (smokejumping) program was only about five or six years old, so they were some of the earlier smoke jumpers to be involved … and they were some of the first (black) smokejumpers — pioneers — to be involved in the profession,” McGee said.
The operation came to a close in August of 1945 and the battalion returned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where they continued on as regular paratroopers.
- See more at: http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2014/02/jumping-into-history-the-armys-first-african-american-paratroopers/#sthash.oUEymkqZ.OdJuhEMB.dpuf