Life Enrichment
Best Selfs Over 40 & Fabulous! contest Winners

Best Selfs Over 40 & Fabulous! contest Winners

Whether improving themselves or the world around them, the winners of this year’s Over 40 & Fabulous! contest are each amazing in their own special way. They know who they are and are quick to acknowledge their biggest supporters. They take care of themselves and their families, while finding time to support the community as well.

This year Best Self Atlanta received more than double the number of nominations over last year. We want to thank everyone who particpated and congratulate our top winners.

Our top 10 winners and publisher’s pick pictured L-R: Alyson Hoag, Kim Scholes, Cledra McCullers, Stephanie Green-Bass, Andrea Griffin, Dr. Debra G. Carlton, Missi Wolf, Angela Ward, Cynthia Richards, John Stupka and Dr. Arlene Lester.

If there is one thing we’ve learned from these fabulous Atlantans – it’s that age really is just a number and there are no boundaries to achieving great things at every stage in life.

 


Dr-Debra

DR. DEBRA G. CARLTON – WINNER

Bio: Dr. Carlton is a physician of internal medicine and associate medical director of primary care and informatics with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. Her mission is to make health and fitness an integral part of her life and help others do the same. She is married to William Craven, an orthopedic surgeon and former NFL player. They have three daughters; Mariah, Morgan and Meredith.

How has life changed since turning 40?
My three daughters have grown up and are successfully on their own. Each time our daughters have reached a milestone, my husband and I have reflected on what it took to get there. We always came back to involved parents, extended family, friends and community. Our children benefited from their relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters and our friends. I can’t overstate the importance of making sure your children have concerned, supportive people in their lives.

Also, I have become a better communicator, more open and straightforward. My husband and I have been married 33 years and I attribute a great part of our success to open communication, which I had to learn. Open communication makes the truth available to you at all times.

I am more intentional about my health and well-being because I have had a lifelong struggle with my weight. My road to weight control began with a program at Kaiser Permanente called 10,000 Steps. Our goal was for every employee to walk 10,000 steps a day. The accountability of tracking and reporting my daily steps jumpstarted my path to consistent physical activity, and it continues to this day. Since then, I have run three Peachtree Road Races and finished one triathlon. Currently I work out about four days per week. My activities include step, Pilates, boot camp, dance and weight training. I also bike and run. I have become a huge proponent of including weights as part of my exercise routine. I have found that activity is a key to keeping those extra pounds away. 

I embrace the fact that others can benefit from my experience and knowledge and that I can benefit from theirs. At my age (well past 40), I have lots of experiences I can share and I still have a lot to learn. I have come to understand how important it is to let people know what I’m doing and when I need help. I also understand that others do not always ask for help, and offering it up when I see the need is important. Help can come in many different ways – a listening ear, an objective viewpoint, a show of love and support.

What is your favorite vacation getaway?

About four years ago, one of our daughters taught English as a second language in Jakarta, Indonesia.  My husband and I planned a trip to Indonesia and Thailand to visit and travel with her as her assignment was ending. We traveled to Jakarta, Bali and Jogjakarta in Indonesia as well as Bangkok and Chang Mai in Thailand. It was an incredible trip in many respects. The culture, art and architecture were amazing.  And the people were great! Whenever we have traveled outside the U.S., we have said, “We are all more alike than we are different.” People all over the world want the same basic things: love, hope, security, education, food and financial stability. My hope is that more of us, through exposure to other cultures, can appreciate the similarities as well as embrace the differences of others.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?
Thrive by being intentional about treating yourself well. 
• If you are overweight – lose weight. Your life depends on it.
• Eat nutritiously. If you need guidance, the USDA has a great website, www.choosemyplate.gov.
• Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week and put it on your calendar. Find something you enjoy and stick with it. 
• Get enough sleep – seven to nine hours. Sleep deprivation can make weight loss more difficult!
• Learn to deal with stress. We all have stress in our lives. We can avoid some stressors, but not all. How we react to stress is what is important.
• Enjoy your family and friends.
• Read a book.
• Learn something new.

How do you give back to your community? 

I am thrilled to be associated with a non-profit organization called Open Hand. I sit on its board as co-president. I have been associated with Open Hand for about two years, but it has been in existence for over 22 years. Both Kaiser Permanente and Open Hand are focused on the importance of preventive healthcare for individuals and for the health of the U.S. as a whole. I also work on various volunteer projects through Kaiser Permanente and provide medical consultations to the homeless population in Atlanta whenever I can.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What fictional character or celeb do 
you identify with?

Instead of favorite fictional character, my favorite historical figure is Harriett Tubman. She is a historical figure whose courage, leadership, caring and faith I greatly admire.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

From Dr. Carlton’s daughters: I would describe my mom as amazing. She is able to juggle many different aspects of life-work, personal health, family, friends and even wedding planning-with grace and calm.  She is practical yet passionate, and classy yet down to earth. She has always taught us to do our personal best and accepted our flaws with unconditional love. I love my mom!

My mom is tireless, savvy, fierce, dedicated and selfless. She is love. She somehow manages to be both the perfect storm and the calm that comes before it. She is the quiet rainbow that appears after.

From Dr. Carlton’s sister: My sister is someone you can trust to be there for you, to deliver on her commitments and her word and to be consistent in how she shows up.

Who are the people that help you 
be your best self?

There are so many people who have had a significant impact on my life that it’s impossible to name them all. That led me to ask myself, “Why so many?” The answer is my parents. My mother taught my sister and me respectfulness and humility. My father taught us courage and persistence. Both taught us about setting lofty goals and working hard to achieve them. Their influence made it possible for me to receive the “teaching gifts” that others had to offer.

Missy

 

MISSI WOLF – 2ND PLACE

Bio: At 46 years old, Missi is at an amazing place in her life. She has two daughters, ages 15 and 13, and two married step-children who bring her happiness, love and joy. She also has a 5-year-old granddaughter who is the light of her life! Almost four years ago, Missi started her own fitness business, BLAST900 The Ultimate Workout, and it brings her a kind of peace she never imagined. The people who walk into her studio inspire her daily because they are determined to change their lives and committed to making themselves healthy and have fun doing it! She is incredibly proud of what she and the BLAST team are building because she sincerely believes they are helping others to change their lives.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

Well, honestly it would depend on the day. I think they would describe me as confident and as a compassionate leader.  Generous and great at giving advice, although they will tell you I don’t always practice what I preach!

How has life changed over the age of 40?

There is a sense of calmness after 40 I’ve never felt before. I am confident in who I am and believe so much in what I do every day and have come to realize what’s truly important. I don’t look at mistakes or wrong turns as negative happenings anymore, but rather as lessons and opportunities.

What makes you feel fabulous? 

First and foremost, seeing and being a part of my clients’ life transformations makes me feel inspired and fabulous! On a more selfish note, I am addicted to DryBar—love that place! Jacquline at the St. Regis gives the most exquisite facial anywhere in the world. I have come to appreciate and enjoy balancing work, family and “me time,” and have never felt better.

What fictional character or celebrity do you identify with?

I would be lying if I didn’t say I aspire to change the world the way Oprah has done, one life at a time. I want to wake up every day and feel like I am making a positive change in someone’s life by helping them to do something they couldn’t do on their own.

What is your favorite vacation getaway?

My absolute nirvana is the Cayman Islands on Seven Mile Beach. It is a place I can totally restore myself, body and soul.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?

Anything and everything by Louise Hay. If you don’t know her, find her. The world would be a peaceful place if we all could live as she does.

How do you give back to your community? 

In as many ways as possible! BLAST900 is all about giving back to the community. We are involved in multiple charities and give our time and services as much as we can. Over the years, I have served on many boards and participated in several fundraising events. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who were always involved in the community, the importance of which has been instilled in me since a very young age.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?

Live in the moment, follow your heart and trust your intuition. Always be proud of yourself. Make a difference every day. Embrace happiness and be grateful. Don’t have regrets and be the best version of yourself.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?

My kids inspire me to be my absolute best. Their unconditional love is one of the greatest gifts on earth. My team at BLAST is my extended family. They are smart, hard working and most of all, they care.

John

 

JOHN STUPKA – 3RD PLACE

Bio: John is a dedicated and passionate entrepreneur, who launched BLUE MedSpa to share a vision of making a positive difference in the lives of spa guests, the health and wellness industry, and the community. Creating BLUE MedSpa has allowed John to reach a greater number of individuals, organizations, and charities. His commitment to health and wellness and his desire to educate, nurture and promote the overall well being of every client is his driving force and non-stop motivator.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you? 

Charismatic, dedicated, fun and always up for a laugh.

How has life changed over the age of 40?

I am more focused on keeping a good balance.

What makes you feel fabulous? 

Being healthy and positive and surrounded by good friends and family.

What is your favorite vacation getaway? 

Looking out over the Caldera in the town of Oia in Santorini, Greece.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?
“
You can’t get it wrong, and you’ll never get it done.”—Abraham Hicks

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with vision is making a positive difference.”
—Joel Barker

How do you give back to your community? 

Through BLUE MedSpa we have raised over $900,000 for different charities including the Dallas Austin Foundation, GCAPP, AID Atlanta, Childkind, Open Hand and the American Cancer Society.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?

Don’t take yourself so seriously and stop to enjoy the day.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?

My family who has supported me in all my endeavors. 

Alison

 

ALYSON HOAG – 4TH PLACE

Bio: Alyson Hoag is the founder and CEO of Authentic Beauty, a makeup salon and studio that focuses on empowering women. After a 20-year career as a makeup artist and a nationally recognized brow expert, she decided that she had enough of the destructive practices of the beauty industry. Authentic Beauty was born from the idea that all women are beautiful and that one’s image should be an expression of her authentic self.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

Energetic, passionate, driven, compassionate, inspiring and generous.

How has life changed over the age of 40?
I have become so much more comfortable with myself. I don’t apologize for who I am or try to tone it down anymore. I know that everything will work out and that it all has a process which I cannot control and as a result I am less anxious. I am more patient with my body, I have less patience for negativity and I am conscious of the clock ticking away now and I want every moment to count.

What makes you feel fabulous? 

Making others feel beautiful, riding my bike, watching my kids be happy, gardening (this is new for me), making a difference and inspiring others.

What is your favorite vacation getaway? 

Unfortunately I haven’t taken a vacation in nearly five years! However, I love to surf, so anywhere where there is consistent surf such as southern California or Hawaii I count as my favorite places to be.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” —Helen Keller

My favorite book is “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho and “Something More” by Sarah BanBreathnach. Sarah’s work is what inspired me to create Authentic Beauty.

How do you give back to your community? 

If I am asked and I can give, I will. Last year I participated in EDIN’s Celebrity Dance Challenge to help raise money for their organization, I was the keynote speaker for SEGO (southestern gynecological oncology) Survivor’s Day and every year Authentic Beauty provides makeup services at Cure’s Quiet Heroes Luncheon for the moms of children with cancer.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers? 

Get to work on listening to and unfolding your authentic self. It changes all the time. Do not ignore what’s important. Make time for yourself and commit to designing a life you love. That includes your image. Do not allow your visage to become a caricature of the past.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?

My staff! Crystal Rock does my makeup and brows, Tatiana Jones does my lashes (which have transformed my life), Pam DeWeese does my color and Lindsey Skyrocker does my hair styling whenever I want to look awesome. I see Dr. Larsen of Buckhead Plastic Surgery for a little lift every now and again, and The Gym of Buckhead where I work out five days a week.

Andrea

 

ANDREA GRIFFIN – 5TH PLACE

Bio: Andrea is such a busy lady that her car tag says “buzybee.” She is a wife to Carey, mother to children Kylie and Ben, and district manager for Verizon Wireless. Not only does her work keep her busy but her very active children keep her constantly on the move! She loves being a mother and takes pride in teaching her children all of the wonderful things her mom and dad taught her. The most important thing she hopes to pass on is the golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated.”

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?
They would probably say I am genuinely energetic, kind, fun-loving, caring, very organized and the most positive person they know. Going through this process of being nominated for the “Over 40 and Fabulous” contest, so many people said so many wonderful things about me, and it is truly humbling.  

What makes you feel fabulous?
I love birthdays and have always enjoyed getting older, but for my 40th birthday I wanted to do something extra special. I sat down about six months before my birthday and wrote out a list of things that made me happy. The first two things were “get a massage” and “get a pedicure.” After that, the list took on a whole new twist as I wrote things like “send a friend flowers,” “write a note to someone and tell them what they mean to you,” “call someone you have not spoken to in more than five years and take them to lunch,” and “sincerely compliment five people today.” The list goes on and on. I had over 75 things on the list that made me happy and they all were about making others feel good about themselves. So for the 40 days before my birthday, I did one thing off my list every day (sometimes two things), and it was the most fabulous 40 days I have ever had. And in the process, I realized that making others feel good about themselves genuinely makes me happy!

What famous person or celebrity do you identify with?

Mary Kay Ash was a woman who people never expected to start and run one of the most successful cosmetic companies in the world.  But she had a secret that motivated her and that same secret motivates me.  She chose the bumblebee as her personal mascot, and so did I. The bumblebee, based on the aerodynamics of its body, should not be able to fly. But the bumblebee flies anyway! You can’t change what people think about you. You can only make up your mind to be a success at whatever you choose.

What is your favorite vacation getaway?
Probably one of my most memorable vacations was to New York City. My family had a great time exploring the city. One of the things I am personally working to complete is a vacation to all 50 states where I can spend time traveling all over the state and really experience what the state is all about. This is the main thing on my bucket list, and I have 13 states to go. 

What is your favorite book and/or quote?
Growing up, my mom was a wealth of quotes. She had a quote that inspired her on just about everything, and told them to me daily. I think the one that inspires me the most is, “if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you are right!” Mom did not write this quote, but said it to me all the time. I realized at an early age that being successful starts with your belief that you can do it!

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?
When you are over 40, you are old enough to be content with who you have become but not too old to continue to change. Life is about growing and changing, and I am still doing that every day! 

 

Stephanie

 

STEPHANIE GREEN-BASS – 6TH PLACE

Bio: Eight years ago after losing her first daughter, Bella, and years later having her second daughter, Ava, Stephanie quickly found that being a mom was the hardest job on earth. After a lot of soul searching, she reinvented herself and created a life with all her passions pulled together. From there she created a makeup line, (Plā ), that not only gave her the opportunity to be with her daughter but also to donate back to a foundation she cares so deeply for, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

I think most would describe me as someone who finds the best in everything, believes in being the best I can be and loves to (Plā) in makeup!

How has your life changed over the age of 40?

Turning 40 has given me the confidence to reach my goals and define my purpose in life.

What makes you feel fabulous?

Once again, (Plā)ing in makeup. I love the way it makes me feel!

What is your favorite vacation getaway?

I love staying at the St. Regis in Dana Pointe, California, and then driving up the coast to the beautiful wine country with my hubby.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” —Thoreau

How do you give back to your community? 

Once again, (Plā)ing in makeup. A portion of all proceeds are donated to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and other local hospitals where (Plā) Beauty is sold.

What is your best piece of advice for our Over 40 readers?

When your hopes and dreams are shattered, dream again because the future is yours to create.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?

My best self shines when I have the people I love and admire surrounding me. My mom is my constant cheerleader, always picking me up and brushing me off. My husband gives me the strength and security to get me through the days, and my six-year-old, sweet Ava, inspires me to be the best I can be.

 

Dr-Lester

 

DR. ARLENE LESTER – 7TH PLACE

Bio: Dr. Lester serves as regional minority health consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this capacity, she facilitates policies and activities targeted at the elimination of health disparities in the southeastern United States. A graduate of the School of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, she completed a residency in dental public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With over 20 years of service in public health, she lives in Atlanta with her son, Jack Allan. 

How would your friends/family/peers describe you? 

My friends, family and peers would likely describe me as someone who loves to have a good time, is free spirited, caring, practical and style-savvy.

How has life changed over the age of 40?

I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff so much, to accept life’s ups and downs and to respect each day.

What makes you feel fabulous?

I feel fabulous seeing the maturity and social consciousness of my son, Jack Allan, and because he’s a part of me, believing that I just may have had a little something to do with the young man he’s become! Staying aware of my relationship with the universe, God and people.  

What fictional character or celebrity do you identify with?

Diana Ross. I love her big hair, music, style and longevity of grace. My very good friend, Sedric Lanard, gave me tickets to her concert at the Fox earlier this year. It was my first time seeing her perform live, and I was on my feet the entire time!

What is your favorite vacation getaway? 

Believe it or not, my favorite vacation getaway is my home! I travel quite often with my work as the regional minority health consultant for the southeastern United States and really enjoy coming back to my own bed and surroundings.

What is your favorite book and/or quote? 

“There is no limit to desire, but desire’s needs.” —John Gardner

How do you give back to your community?
I give back to my community through mentoring of emerging public health leaders (with hopes of enabling continuing efforts to address social and economic ills in Atlanta and the southeastern U.S.), through volunteer service to feed and provide healthcare and shelter to poor and vulnerable populations and through participation with community and faith-based and philanthropic entities concerned with the improvement of health and well-being.

What is your best piece of advice 
for our over 40 readers? 

Always remember that there is no place on earth without the Prescence!

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self? 

My son (a budding photojournalist), family, our emerging public health leaders, public health colleagues and some really close friends.  

 

Cledra

 

CLEDRA MCCULLERS – 8TH PLACE

Bio: As the founder and CEO of PlanBE Coaching, LLC, Cledra uses her chemical engineering background to re-engineer the body and emotions of type A women who find themselves stuck physically, emotionally and spiritually from extra weight. PlanBE was created after her plan for marriage and a family did not happen as she had hoped.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

Cledra’s friends said: If I could only pick one word to describe Cledra, it would be genuine. Her gift is that she can relate and empathize with people.  She is an open book and what you see is what you get. There’s no pretentiousness—she is the most determined person I know.

How has life changed over the age of 40?

The biggest change is that I realize life ends. When the doctors told me that both my baby and I could’ve died, it changed my life forever. For the first time I was faced with a situation that I couldn’t work hard and pray for a different outcome. God had delivered the final verdict. My baby was dead and my marriage was failing, and from that emotional tsunami I learned that 40 brought a second chance to surrender to God’s plan and stop dictating my will and my way.

What makes you feel fabulous?

Every new day I get, I work out, not only spiritually but physically, and I do gratitude runs where I spend my workout time giving thanks. I also use the morning to invite possibility into the lives of all of my Facebook friends by posting a charge and challenge to live on purpose every day.

What fictional character or celebrity do you identify with?

I love Wonder Woman. I identify with the power, strength and being the only superwoman hero standing sometimes. That character continues to be the one I relate to today when I feel like I have to step up and be the one to make the changes I want to make in my life and the lives of others.

What is your favorite vacation getaway?

I love Hawaii or any place with beautiful water and beaches.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?

My favorite quote is Romans 8:28. “For we know that all things work together for the good of those called according to His purpose.” That served as my anchor when things in my life just didn’t make sense.

How do you give back to your community?

I sign up for 5K and 10K races for different charities and I waive my PlanBE coaching class fee at least once a month to serve those who cannot afford a coach.

What is your best piece of advice for over 40 readers?

Be slow to label a situation as bad in your life. You don’t know enough to put that kind of final definition on it, so be open to the possibilities that can come from devastation, heartbreak and destruction.

Who are the people that help you be your best self?

My parents inspire me to be my best self. My mother is my spiritual anchor and my father is my example of being a warrior no matter what. I feel so grateful to be able to call them my parents. 

 

Kim

 

KIM SCHOLES – 9TH PLACE

Bio: Kim is an HR executive whose professional stints include posts at a leading media company, the defense department, the world’s largest advertising conglomerate and a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. She worked hard to obtain an MBA, a senior professional in HR certification and graduate from the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2009.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?

My friends describe me as a quiet, but impactful dynamo. I never meet a stranger, and am loyal to a fault. I especially gravitate toward genuine, high-integrity people. I am privileged to maintain relationships with several groups of close friends from diverse fields. They all keep me upbeat and add levity to a chaotic world.

How has life changed over the age of 40?

My life over 40 changed in my approach to it. My motto is be feisty and fearless. After all, what do you have to lose? You learn through mistakes anyway. While I try to learn something every day, I hope that I have self-actualized by this point in time. For that reason, I don’t take matters too seriously and have recognized that to love and be loved is the only thing that matters in life.

What makes you feel fabulous?
I feel fabulous when I hike and run along my favorite river paths, gather with my gal pals each month for brunch at a different restaurant in town, read on a porch beside a raging mountain creek, listen or dance to music or travel anywhere.

What fictional character or celebrity do you identify with?
Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice.” 

What is your favorite vacation getaway?
Besides a long weekend at the Inn at Smithgall Woods, a week or three on a cruise on the high seas also has the ability to make my heart sing.

What is your favorite book and/or quote?
“The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of the four S’s: Sincerity, Simplicity, Sympathy and Serenity.” —Emily Post

How do you give back to your community?
I’ve been a vigorous volunteer for many organizations such as the Junior League of Atlanta, the Atlanta History Center, the Atlanta Symphony Associates, University of Tennessee Atlanta Alumni Chapter, the Georgia Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Pink Ribbons Atlanta, and my sorority alumnae chapter, Delta Delta Delta. 

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?
Reinvent yourself every year. If tenured associations with people, places or things bring you down, lose them. The short-term pain of loss will be erased by the long-term gains in peace of mind. Every moment counts, so why not experience joie de vivre at all times. Most days you might spy me singing at the top of my lungs in my rag-top convertible on I-285! 

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?
The people who help me be my best self are my staff, friends and family. As for the latter, we are very close. We had to lean on each other a lot when I was growing up, relocating every other year or so as a military family. My entire immediate and extended family taught me a lot about character, leadership, public service and the importance of relationships, all combined with a dash of humor. If you can’t laugh, you perish.

 

Cynthia

 

CYNTHIA RICHARDS – 
10TH PLACE

Bio: Cynthia’s passion is the perfect bra fit. Her dream is to design and have her own bra line for all women up to a 50N. A true Georgia peach, Cynthia has been in the bra business since she was 18, working for Intimacy of Atlanta. Next she moved to London where she interned with Rigby & Peller and studied lingerie design at the American College for Applied Arts London. Today she is co-owner of LiviRae Lingerie, which has been in business since 2006, and a mother of two fabulous kids. Without the support of family and her best friend and business partner, Molly Hopkins, none of this would have been possible.

How would your friends/family/peers describe you?
Coo Coo for Coco Puffs!

How has life changed over 
the age of 40?

I feel my life is at an all time high! I do not feel 40. I visualize myself as 25. I take care of myself and always say, “I refuse to grow old gracefully. I am fighting it every step of the way!”

What makes you feel fabulous?

Helping people that society has overlooked and forgotten. I have a very tender heart for the elderly and children.

What fictional character or celebrity do you identify with?

I like to think of myself as Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. Yes, I have a sense of humor!

What is your favorite vacation getaway?

If I could get away, I would go to Bermuda! With my luck I would be lost forever in the Bermuda Triangle!

What is your favorite book and/or quote?
“You are only as old as you act and feel.” I am young at heart.

How do you give back to your community?
I give back to the community through donation and service through LiviRae. I also have my ReSikeKilled line, Good Willed and Skilled, which takes items I purchase from Goodwill and updates them into custom pieces that I sell.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?

Do not tan in tanning beds and always have your bras fitted properly. A properly fitted bra will prevent hard spots in the breast and make you look taller and thinner in your clothes.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?
My two kids, Chase and Rainey, who put up with all my crazy antics. My fabulous boyfriend, Drew, who supports and believes in me. And last but not least, Molly, a.k.a. “Molly Theresa,” my best friend and business partner who believes in my abilities more than I do myself. 

 

AngelaPublisher’s Pick - ANGELA WARD

Bio: Angela grew up in Texas and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin before taking off to Budapest, Hungary to spend a year teaching English abroad and working on independent films. After returning to the states, she moved to Atlanta and has been here for 18 years. In 2004 she founded the Atlanta Rollergirls and has been involved with the sport of flat track roller derby ever since. Two years ago she founded the Atlanta Derby Brats, a youth sport organization for girls ages 7 to 17 that aims to instill young women with confidence and self awareness.

How would your friends/family/peers 
describe you?
My friends would describe me as goofy and fun-loving, but a great listener and compassionate friend. My family would describe me as dependable and loyal. I believe my peers would label me a self-starter, passionate about whatever I do and a risk-taker.

How has life changed over the age of 40?
After turning 40, I have a much better idea of the path I want my life to take and I have more confidence in my decisions. I have plans, I look forward to completing goals and I feel great about the accomplishments I’ve made in my life thus far. By no means do I have all the answers, but I’ve got a lot more than I used to have!

What makes you feel fabulous?
When I am able to help someone else grow. I watch a lot of women come into Atlanta Rollergirls or Atlanta Derby Brats and I love seeing them blossom and become the best they can be. Helping women find their stride, gain confidence and accomplish their goals is the most fabulous thing I’ve ever done and I am so thankful to be able to do so.

What is your favorite vacation getaway?
My favorite vacations were always spent with the Rollergirls! I played on and coached our all-star team, the Dirty South Derby Girls, for six years and traveled all over the country with the team. I’ve had so many amazing experiences with those ladies. We experienced victory and defeat, but we went in and left as a team and there’s no better feeling than that. The trips where my husband traveled with us were doubly great!

How do you give back to your community?
I have helped to create and continue to work to promote the sport of roller derby throughout the Atlanta area. This sport provides not only fun and fitness, but also provides women with a group they are a part of regardless of shape, size, religion or ethnicity. When you join Atlanta Rollergirls, you join a family that will offer you support regardless of life’s ups and downs.

I am also so proud to have started the Atlanta Derby Brats. Through roller derby, we are building confidence and leadership skills in the future women of Atlanta. I have been so lucky to have met and worked with some amazing young women. They make me so proud with their drive to learn, their ability to work together and their acceptance of one another.

What is your best piece of advice for our over 40 readers?

Age ain’t nothin’ but a number! When you get older some doors may close but so many others open. Don’t look at getting older as the end of everything. It’s just a new beginning to a different set of exciting adventures.

Who are the people/professionals that help you be your best self?
My mother and my grandmother have always helped me be my best self. My mother provided me with so many opportunities without which I would not be the woman I am today. She made life choices that were very difficult for her but she did them to provide me with the best start to life and to guide me toward becoming my best self. I’m so grateful to her for that. From my grandmother I learned patience, kindness and empathy towards my fellow humans. 


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