Thursday, 26 July 2018 18:07

My Best Self: Sean Palani

Foodie philanthropist Sean Palani talks about his social club, the Atlanta Guy's Dinner Group, and why you'll want to show up with your boys.

By Annie Paschal

Laughter fills the air and enticing entrées are sprawled across the table. This is a typical Monday night for Sean Palani, founder of the Atlanta Guy's Dinner Group. After the restaurateur moved to Atlanta in 2011 to open the Inman Park Barcelona Wine Bar and the city's three bartaco locations, he began exploring the local culinary scene with his buddies. The popular outings turned into the Atlanta Guy's Dinner Group, which hosts monthly get-togethers that invite men to dine at restaurants like Gypsy Kitchen and Crispina while supporting local charities such as the Midtown Assistance Center and BeLoved Atlanta.

What is the Atlanta Guy's Dinner Group experience like? What can a newcomer expect?
You can expect to be surrounded by a group of wonderful guys, all of whom have hearts as big as their appetites. We have men from all walks of life—lawyers, carpenters, nonprofit business owners and more. We arrive, socialize, make introductions and then eat. Before we pick up our forks, I like to make a toast to thank the guys for their generous efforts, as well as officially welcome any new members to the table. We order and eat communal-style, which is my favorite way to eat. It is usually sheer gluttony! It's not uncommon to see the guys waving their napkins in surrender.

How do you select the charity the group will support?
We like to select charities that are local and help those in our city. We are very partial to organizations that support children, women, families, and the displaced. The guys bring donations (food, clothing, checks, etc.) with them to the dinner and I give them to the recipient the next day, unless a representative from the charity we are supporting is at the dinner (I always invite them as my guest). We also make online donations.

Is there an experience with the group that is a sentimental favorite?
My wonderful friend, Michelle Hodgson, founder of the nonprofit Children Helping Children, connected us with a young man who was organizing a food and shoe drive for the less fortunate. He came to the dinner group and shared the struggles his mother faced as a single parent. He felt compelled to give back because of the generosity he and his mother received when they were in need. I think we all had lumps in our throats. He is going to do great things.

How do you spread the word about the group and how can people find out how to join?
I tell and invite everyone and I have the guys do the same. I had cards made and I hand them to everyone. Standing in line behind me at the grocery store? You're getting a card! We also have a Facebook page and people can reach out to me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Who helps you be your "Best Self?"
First and foremost, my family. My wife, Dina, and boys, Keoki and Frankie, are my everything. Also, Glen Jackson, my wife's boss at Jackson Spalding. It's the way he carries himself, treats and respects his employees, and his generosity to numerous causes in our city. The guys in the group push me, as well. They are amazing men who take the time out of their busy schedules to come join me on a monthly basis to eat and give back. These guys are the epitome of what I hope my boys will grow up to be.

To find out more about the Atlanta Guy's Dinner Group, visit

Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:54

Fall/Winter Good-for-You Getaways

Great Destinations in the Southeast to Rejuvenate, Relax and Have Fun!

By Jennifer Colosimo

Once the temperatures dip, the allure of indoor fun intensifies, and a short drive from the city opens up countless opportunities to avoid cabin fever and keep the entire family loving life and each other while staying adequately entertained. Here's your guide for where to go in the Southeast and what to do when you get there.

Start by checking off the state's best museums with a stroll through the High Museum of Art, the Children's Museum of Atlanta, and Fernbank Museum of Natural History. You'll also want to tour the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville or experience the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum in St. Marys. You often don't have to go far to include these educational stops on your vacation itinerary.

01 PCelebrate on the Lake

In Georgia, the lake life doesn't stop when the weather turns cooler. In fact, if you've got the right itinerary and a dose of holiday spirit, the entertainment actually ramps up.

Lake Lanier (and its surrounding towns) includes numerous family-friendly farms with pumpkins, hayrides and u-pick crops along with petting zoos and craft tables and plenty of rentable cabins to cozy up in during seasonal festivals. Plus, the entire family can enjoy holiday highlights during Magical Nights of Lights at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands.

Find a bevy of fall fun around Lake Allatoona, with costume contests, parades, avid bird watching and more surrounding its 12,000 acres of lake. Nearby Barnsley Resort provides a season full of fun such as signature holiday dining, lights and wreath-making workshops in December, as well as horseback riding through the changing leaves, toasting s'mores over an open fire, enjoying football, lawn games and craft brews in the outdoor Beer Garden or joining in on a Saturday Artisan's Workshop, featuring a different local artisan every weekend.

Just outside of Athens, Georgia in historic Greene County, Lake Oconee offers cozy campgrounds, golfing, nature walks, a renowned food and wine festival, a fall Rhythm & Brews concert and more. Christmas at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee includes breakfast with Santa Claus, holiday lights on the lake and a life-sized gingerbread house.

In North Georgia, revel in picturesque fall-hued vistas, don coats and grab hot chocolate mugs when strolling through the holiday lights festival at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee or indulge in the holiday buffets and craft shows at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa.

Cooler on the Coast

Just because the swimsuits are packed away doesn't mean the beach is out. In fact, much of the drivable coastline for Georgians offers plenty of cool-weather calendar choices.

Alabama's beaches serve up small-town charm with ample entertainment. From Orange Beach and Gulf Shores to Perdido Key, soak up a vivid arts scene, maritime history, and adventure parks. End any day at the famous Flora-Bama Lounge for cocktails and five stages of live music and fun.
Along Florida's 30A, you'll find some of the most sought-after residences in spots like Destin and Sandestin, Panama City Beach and Grayton Beach, Seagrove and Seaside. Attend one of the food, wine or holiday festivals, or play a round of golf.

Often the holiday season inspires a sense of giving, and several resorts have answered the call for a growing voluntourism trend. Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla. offers Disney-faring families a way to give back during their trip, helping in a storybook resort created for sick children and their own families.

Escape to the Mountains

Snow or shine, valleys and peaks, day hikes or the Appalachian Trail, the mountains provide bucket-list-worthy stops to schedule any vacation around.

Small-town vibes draw travelers to cities like Blairsville, Helen, and Hiawassee in Georgia, North Carolina's Hayesville, Franklin and more. Apple picking runs into the early part of the fall in North Georgia, with stops like Mercier Orchards.

Ski, board and tube throughout North Carolina at Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort and Appalachian Ski Mtn.

Trade equipment for hiking boots to explore picturesque hikes, such as North Georgia's easy uphill Brasstown Bald trek.

Off the hiking path, Asheville invites you to fill your itinerary with eclectic eats, brewery tours and the Biltmore Estate. Nearby, Chattanooga is a classic destination with stops like Lookout Mountain and Rock City.

If do-it-yourself is the key to holiday happiness, start your Christmas tree trimming from scratch and visit Hunter's Christmas Tree Farm in Milton or take a trip to North Carolina to cut down your own.


Where to Go

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
(706) 896-4191
Located along the shores of Lake Chatuge, the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds offers beautiful fall foliage in view of the various events held on the grounds—from the nine-day Fall Festival with live music and a Pioneer Village to the Mountain Country Christmas In Lights Show with caroling and crafts.

Henderson Park Inn
Destin, Florida
(888) 836-1105
At Henderson Park Inn, an adults-only, gulf-front boutique hotel in Destin, Florida, privacy seekers will find the ultimate sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and romance. With serenity and style, the Inn boasts 36 intimate rooms, luxury amenities, and gulf-front terraces. Enjoy complimentary beach chairs/umbrellas, bicycles, chef's gourmet breakfast, picnic-style boxed lunches, happy hour drinks at the "Tiki" bar, as well as wine, chocolates, and roses upon arrival.

The Inn at Brevard

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
St. Simons Island | (912) 638-3631
Enjoy upscale poolside
rooms, spectacular villas with ocean-view balconies and more, providing the entire family with a comfortable home away from home, just steps away from plentiful beach recreation, rich history and natural beauty on the island.

Noontootla Creek Farms
Blue Ridge | (706) 838-0585
Noontootla Creek Farms offers first-rate quail hunting, more than 2 miles of water with high-quality trout, and 12 sporting clay shooting stations. During a guided fly-fishing experience, each member of your party will be outfitted with boots, rods, reels and flies. Besides the activities, outdoor enthusiasts will adore taking in the 1,000-plus acres of beautiful landscape here.

The Pearl Hotel
Rosemary Beach, Florida | (855) 969-3303
This award-winning boutique hotel boasts private balconies with views of the Gulf of Mexico, contemporary décor, upscale spa products, and amenities including complimentary beach setups, in addition to a menu comprised of locally sourced food.

Ducktown, Tennessee | (423) 799-2354
The best in safety and fun, this group of expert guides has grown up battling the rapids, and as a result, delivers unmatched adventures during an unforgettable white-water rafting trip down the Oconee River.

RBM of Alpharetta
(404) 925-3318
Elevate your next road trip with a sophisticated spin on the classic way to travel. The Airstream Touring Coach by Mercedes-Benz offers four luxurious models equipped with all the bells and whistles, or you can build your own.

Tennessee Valley Railroad
Chattanooga, Tennessee
(423) 894-8028
The only regularly scheduled, fully operating train ride in the state, this railroad museum offers a standout day of interactive history to entertain and educate people of all ages. All aboard!


Body Plastic Surgery Expert

Dr. Stanley Okoro

Founder and Lead Surgeon
Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

1a BKR 4465 ppAWhen Dr. Stanley Okoro was a medical student, he observed numerous reconstructive surgeries. He experienced pure awe during procedures where the patient had previously undergone breast tissue removal. Dr. Okoro was amazed at how talented surgeons could skillfully make something out of nothing. In fact, it sparked his interest in breast reconstruction as a field of study.

1d Quote"Little did I know that it would open the door to an interest in cosmetic procedures from head to toe," says Dr. Okoro, who is the founder and lead surgeon at Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Today, he performs everything from his famous Brazilian Butt Lift to a Mommy Makeover, breast enhancements to liposuction and more. But Dr. Okoro's treatment plans look different than perhaps other plastic surgery offices. They include a personal experience on a powerful journey from before to after, unique to his professional personality, resulting in many patients' shared sentiments of pride in their courage to seek out their best self.

1b Scarlet"Many people think plastic surgery is all about vanity and that each patient is vain, but honestly, the first thing everyone does when they wake up in the morning is do something to make themselves look better. Plastic surgery is a permanent or semipermanent way of elevating your current appearance. The most satisfying part about my job is that I can help enhance patients' looks so they can enjoy their lives," he says.

Dr. Okoro's passion for improving people's perspective of life extends beyond his U.S. surgical center. He has participated in several mission trips to Africa in the last 15 years, goes to Nigeria biannually for medical and surgical missions, and serves as the Georgia chair of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas.

"I live a purpose driven life," Dr. Okoro says. "I want to be the best version of myself, the best plastic surgeon, and provide the best care for my patients."


Make the Most of Your Surgical Experience
Dr. Stanley Okoro offers advice for maximizing your investment in yourself.

Choose Wisely
"Always pick a board-certified plastic surgeon. Plastic surgeons have more training and, most importantly, can treat any complications that arise from their procedures."

An Atlanta patient had this to say about Dr. Okoro and his or her search for the right physician. "I had already interviewed two other board-certified plastic surgeons before I met you [Dr. Okoro]. I even went to a follow-up appointment with both. Afterward, I didn't feel like I received all the information I needed. I continued to search for the right surgeon for me, one that I felt completely comfortable with. My search ended when I met you. You spent over an hour in the consultation and even asked if I had more questions at the end. You are caring and understanding Dr. Okoro."

Spend Carefully
"In the long run, if patients look for the cheapest cosmetic option, they often end up paying more because they need revisions."

Think Efficiently
Procedures such as a Mommy Makeover are efficient because they target multiple issues at once, including breasts, tummy, stretch marks and sagging skin.

1c Logo-Flower-copy-(1)The content for this article is brought to you by Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
(770) 464-5485 |

2285 Asquith Ave. SW., Marietta, GA 30008



2a BKR 5981-3 pp2REVFeminine Rejuvenation Expert

Dr. Monte Slater

Medical Director, Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging

Dr. Monte Slater was already a successful ob-gyn when he decided to focus his practice on the kind of medicine that would specifically benefit older patients. Now, 11 years later, aesthetic and antiaging medicine are the main focus of the practice. And Dr. Slater is helping more and more women gain control of their bladders and get back to normal, healthy and active social lives, truly thriving both internally and externally.

2b Quote"How enjoyable and rewarding it is to help people to not only feel good physically but to help them to feel good about how they see themselves," says Dr. Slater, whose influencers—a myriad of medical professionals, even outside his own field—have helped him develop a unique approach to the relationships he maintains with his patients.

"I feel that if you treat people with respect and provide a high level of competency and pride in what you do, then the business aspect will take care of itself," Dr. Slater says. "I also think it is important that we treat patients how we would like our daughter, sister and mother to be treated. We want the best for our family and that is what we strive for with our patients."

2c TeamWorking alongside his wife of 36 years, Dr. Slater does this in two ways. One, he has created a comfortable and happy environment in which patients can easily feel like family. Two, he's thrown the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach out the window, instead addressing each patient as an individual, from consultations and diagnosis to treatment plans and procedures. This way, he can address the extremely personal physical, mental and emotional issues that aging inevitably brings, truly optimizing a patient's entire well-being.

"It is amazing the impact you can have in that person's life and just how much you can turn back, or at least mitigate, the aging process [for them]," he says.
"We get to do things that change people's lives! That is a really great feeling to experience."


Feel Beautiful Again

At our clinic, we love to make our patients look and feel their best! In addition to providing feminine rejuvenation, we are also a full-service antiaging and aesthetic clinic. We offer all-natural, BioIdentical Hormone Replacement therapy and state-of-the-art procedures. And we offer The ABS Clinic Non-Invasive Body Contouring System with guaranteed results. It is painless and not only does it trim off inches, it tightens skin! We were first to feature The Vivace Experience™, the skin treatment that has people raving about it on the internet. Vivace combines microneedling with thermal heat to tighten and contour the face, neck, and hands. We really can turn back the hands of time and restore your youthful glow. Also, we were first in Georgia to offer the Motus AX Alexandrite, the first pain-free laser hair removal treatment for all skin types. Come see us and we will help you to love the skin you are in!

A patient had this to say about her feminine rejuvenation experience, "Thank you, Dr. Slater, for giving me my life back. After having back surgery in 2010, I was having problems with incontinence. ... I made an appointment with your office for the V-Lase® in September. I was very nervous, but your kind and considerate staff made me feel very comfortable and put my fears to rest. The results were immediate!"

2d square-logoThe content for this article is brought to you by Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging.

Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging

Sandy Springs
(770) 777-7707
4840 Roswell Rd. NE.
Bldg. D #100
Atlanta, GA 30342

Warner Robins
(478) 225-2379
400 Corporate Pte.
Warner Robins, GA 31088



3a KFoley-Photography-by-Daithan-KitchensFitness Expert

Karen Foley

General Manager, Windy Hill Athletic Club

Karen Foley is the kind of person who will tell you that age is just a number. And as the general manager of Windy Hill Athletic Club, she works every day to help people feel whatever number they want. She makes it look easy, but it wasn't always a no-brainer for her. As her own "number" started to increase, she realized she could keep doing the things she loved to do if she stayed active and implemented movement into those activities. Little did she know that her decision would lead to a career change.

3b Quote"I believe active, social people lead happier, healthier lives," Foley says. "As long as you are moving and having fun, you are a better version of yourself each day." With this mantra, and Jeff Jones as her fitness coach, she found herself unexpectedly inspired to teach that attitude to others. "I remember going to one of his small group trainings and seeing how much fun everyone was having—I knew that this had to be the way to a fun career," she says.

3c 1A1A3417eeeeAs general manager, Foley can motivate and inspire others (4,000 and counting), as Jones did for her. "Not only is the fitness industry always changing, but overall, the concept of fitness is changing," Foley says. The facility's standout staff, many of whom are over the age of 40 themselves, share Foley's goal to encourage members through movement, community and personal attention. Sales Manager Jeff Williams, Tennis Manager Trip Baisden, Facility Manager Mark Goffi, Mind Body Coordinator Susan Walker, and Children's Programming Manager Shannon Lindsay are just a few of these talented team members.

3d 1A1A3529eeeeeWindy Hill Athletic Club's activity list can keep you busy, but above all, they've created a safe place where your workout buddies are your family, offering members a huge support system throughout their fitness journey ... and—if we're still talking numbers—that's priceless. "Knowing that we are transforming people's lives, that's what keeps me motivated," Foley says.


In Their Own Words
Windy Hill Athletic Club members and staff share why they love being a part of its community.

Jennifer Phillips, member
"I joined Windy Hill Athletic Club 10 years ago after having my daughter because I needed to lose the rest of the baby weight. At first I would do my own quick 30-minute thing but soon learned the value of attending group classes. The group classes became my go-to and I haven't stopped taking them since. ... Windy Hill Athletic Club is my haven to build a strong body, be inspired and have fun with friends."

Susan Walker,
Mindy Body Coordinator
"For me, being fit over 40 means freedom. Freedom to continue with the activities I love because my body will allow it. I feel lucky that I am in an environment that supports my lifestyle. Windy Hill Athletic Club has been a steady, strong force that challenges me physically and mentally."

Daniel Grider, member
"I've put a deliberate focus on trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle since college. ... As I've gotten older, I've learned it's a better experience when you mix family and a little fun into a fitness journey. ... When I moved to Atlanta in 2011, I was lucky to find a fitness home at Windy Hill Athletic Club, which has a contagious attitude toward self-improvement. Someone once said, 'Age does not define you, but attitude does.'"

3e LOGOThe content for this article is brought to you by Windy Hill Athletic Club.

Windy Hill Athletic Club
(770) 953-1100 |

Windy Hill
135 Interstate N. Pkwy., Atlanta, GA 30339



4a BKR 4200 pp2Vein Expert

Dr. Louis Prevosti

Owner and Chief Physician

For 25 years, heart surgery was at the center of Dr. Louis Prevosti's medical career. As healthcare evolved, he shifted his clinical interest and expertise to venous disorders. Dr. Prevosti founded VEINatlanta in 2011, where he serves as medical director and dedicates 100% of his time to helping patients with venous problems.

"I have always been interested in the cardiovascular system, physiology and physics," Dr. Prevosti says. "Helping people motivates me to be my best. Vein medicine and surgery are ways I can use my medical knowledge and surgery skills to improve lives."

4b QuoteKnowing that venous disease affects 25 million people in the U.S. and is twice as common as heart disease, it's no surprise why Dr. Prevosti shifted his focus. "Venous disease is all too common, yet it is frequently overlooked or ignored," he says.

4c photo1"I want VEINatlanta to deliver the best possible vein care in the world," he says. "If you suffer from leg or foot pain, leg cramps or swelling on a daily basis, it can often impair your physical and emotional well-being," Dr. Prevosti says. "The symptoms of venous insufficiency can diminish your activity and energy levels, while extensive surface veins can make you feel self-conscious. But correcting these issues can improve your quality of life and get you back to feeling and looking your best," he adds.

"Nothing is more rewarding to me than a satisfied patient—a mom who can keep up with her young children, or a woman who can finally get a good night's sleep without suffering from night cramps. I love hearing patients tell me that their legs feel better, that they no longer suffer from pain and that they're more confident about the appearance of their legs," notes Dr. Prevosti.


4d BnAThe VEINatlanta difference

VEINatlanta goes beyond treating the unsightly signs of venous disease, such as spider veins or varicose veins, it also treats the underlying symptoms. These symptoms can include leg pain or legs that are tired, achy, heavy or swollen. Some people may even experience these symptoms without any visible signs.

VEINatlanta provides comprehensive vein care, including accurate diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment methods. Its team of full-time, board-certified surgeons exclusively treats venous problems.

Most treatments are considered medically necessary and are therefore covered by insurance. VEINatlanta accepts all major insurance providers, including Medicare.
If you experience leg discomfort or have unsightly veins, call (404) 662-3407 today for a free screening.

4e Logo Web New-(1)The content for this article is brought to you by VEINatlanta.

VEINatlanta | (404) 662-3407 |

Sandy Springs
1100 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE., Ste. 165, Atlanta, GA 30342

601-A Professional Dr., Ste. 170, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Camp Creek
3886 Princeton Lakes Way, Ste. 140, Atlanta, GA 30331



5a BKR 4391-2 pp2Hair Expert

Ming Matthews

Luxe Level 10 Hairstylist
Bob Steele Salon

Ming Matthews always knew she would be a hairstylist. Dating back to the days she spent watching her aunt make people look and feel beautiful, she's always felt a connection to seeing people experience a burst of confidence from getting a new look.

Today, she's driven by a yearning to make a positive impact on an individual's happiness and do more than just cut and color from behind the chair. In an industry that is constantly changing, Ming has capitalized on her ability to truly listen to a client's needs, overcoming a language barrier to understand those desires, both on the inside and out. It's no wonder she has hundreds of happy clients. "It always brings me joy to see people look in the mirror and be confident and happy with their look," Ming says.

5b QuoteShe goes even deeper—to the root, you might say—of why a fantastic hairstyle can truly make a difference in someone's life. When one of her favorite clients, who had recently been through a divorce, came to her depressed and with an outdated look that was lackluster, Ming seized the opportunity to suggest a fresh 'do. She saw it as a chance to introduce the client to something fun and positive to focus on during an otherwise difficult chapter of life. The result was a boost in self-assuredness and an enhanced perspective on what life could look like moving forward. And it all started with simply changing her look.

5c Photo1Her life has been full of excitement and adventure as she's lived all over the world, Ming is now at the top of her profession and loves it. She says, "It's so exciting to be on the cutting edge of fashion and change peoples lives."

She's been doing just that at Bob Steele Salon for almost two decades—almost as long as she's been in America—where she's motivated by a team who shares her passion for listening to a client's needs, is trained by professionals from all over the world and works together to ensure every single client leaves feeling happy, refreshed and confident.


5d Photo2Trusted Talent

The Bob Steele Salon team is made up of superstars just like Ming Matthews. Learn more about its top talent.

• Education is extremely important to Bob Steele Salon. By being committed to the ongoing education of their stylists, the salon ensures that guests will continue to receive high-quality service at every visit.

• Many of the stylists begin as cosmetology school graduates and must complete an extensive internship after they are hired and before they can begin working with clients.

• At the Verge level, stylists work through a demanding graduate course and refine their skills until they achieve the level of Elite stylist. Those with many years of experience and high demand move on to the salon's Luxe levels.


5f BSS-Pen-BARREL-(1)


The content for this article is brought to you by Bob Steele Salon.

Bob Steele Salon | (404) 262-9499 |

2500 Old Milton Pkwy.
Ste. 130
Alpharetta, GA 30009

5e Photo3Atlanta
4403 Northside Pkwy.
Ste. 160
Atlanta, GA 30327

East Cobb
2960 Shallowford Rd.
Ste. 202
Marietta, GA 30066

625 W. Crossville Rd.
Ste. 122
Roswell, GA 30075

1265 W. Spring St., Ste. C, Smyrna, GA 3008



6a Tom-Sullivan-IMG 0006 13--6x10-redoMedia Ambassador

Tom Sullivan

TV Host and Corporate Emcee

It's hard to live in Atlanta and not know who Tom Sullivan is. Locally, he's been a well-known voice on the radio, a familiar face on television and an emcee at many of the events you may have attended over the decades. He's known around the country for discovering Ryan Seacrest, being nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on "Atlanta & Company," being a five-time semifinalist on "Survivor," rubbing shoulders with Kelly Ripa and Oprah, and even appearing in a few Hollywood films and TV shows.

6b QuoteIt's all part of the daily grind for Sullivan to add exciting things like hosting the first annual CyberHub Summit and working with Robert Herjavec from ABC's "Shark Tank" to his résumé.

Sullivan truly does it all, but he doesn't do it for fame.

"I am blessed with a career that changes all the time, so every company or event is different and there are always new people to meet and connect with. I'm constantly discovering new opportunities and ways to grow and improve what I do," he says. Despite a busy calendar, Sullivan stays laser focused on strengthening his relationship with God and nurturing his health before anything else. In 2015, he met Beau Lotz, founder of Buckhead Elite Training Studio, and began a workout program. "Combined with Cryo Elite Therapy, I'm in the best shape of my life," Sullivan says.

Don't believe that it's easy, though. Sullivan will be the first to tell you that the only reason he's where he is today is because of the years of hard work he put into getting there. And it's hard—physically and mentally. "I had to keep believing in myself and boosting my self-confidence," he says. "When I first started in radio, I was the 'Quixie Quacker' mascot for WQXI radio. Years later, I decided to hang up the duck costume and grow as a disc jockey. I conquered my fear! Change is scary but necessary."

Part of that change includes Sullivan's dream to be a part of a television show that empowers people, not surprising from a guy who's passionate about local charity work with SafeHouse Outreach and Buckhead Thriftique, as well as traveling to do mission work with SERV International. "Watching people experience joy in all forms lifts me up," Sullivan says. "Using your talents and gifts to help others is something each of us can do."


Tom's Top 3 Moments

Throughout his multidecade career, there are three events that Tom Sullivan will always remember.

6c TomOprah111 "I was invited [to 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'] by Harpo Studios because I was an 'ultimate' viewer—having watched all 25 years. I was then invited onstage by Sally Lou Loveman (audience producer) to warm up the crowd. I was floating!"

6d ThePriceIsRight-72 "'The Price is Right' is one of my favorite shows. The unexpected joy that you feel from being selected is exhilarating. Time literally stood still. [In this photo,] I just found out that I was the correct bidder and headed onstage to play."

6e Tom Jaguar 19863 "I won a Jaguar XJ-S from a local radio station. Here I am [photographed] in front of the famous Swan Coach House. I sold the car and bought a condo. Radio stations later changed contest rules to exclude other local radio employees from winning their contests."



7a PHOTOHair Restoration and Skin Care Expert

Dr. Ken Anderson

Founder and Director, Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics


Hair Restoration

Dr. Ken Anderson is a motorcycle enthusiast. On a sunny day, he can often be found taking his cruiser along winding mountain roads in North Georgia, the sun on his face and appreciating helmet hair more than you might know. Yearning for the latter is the reason hundreds of patients come to see him at Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics.

7b QUOTESurprisingly, loving to run his fingers through his hair wasn't why he got into the field of hair restoration. No, in fact, Dr. Anderson grew up loving art, actually, and constantly exploring his creative side, pursuing a degree in facial plastic surgery instead. But once he was in that field, his hopes to blend his intrinsic loves with his medical degree weren't fully satisfied. The technical practice of facial plastic surgery wasn't creative enough. Hair restoration—what he calls, "a perfect combination of art and science"—became his new passion.

7c Photo"I had never seen happier patients before, which was something I didn't expect," Dr. Anderson says. "They were so excited and happy about their new hair; I knew I had found the perfect place to practice in the medical field."

The positive reinforcements of his change of career continued coming, too. Dr. Anderson found himself surprised at how genuinely life-changing hair restoration could be for his patients, transformational even.

7d BnA"I've had actors tell me they owe their career to me, but it's really just the increased confidence and self-esteem they experience," he says. "I expected they would be happy, like most plastic surgery patients, but it was so much more for so many of them."

"We all embrace a philosophy of being the best version of ourselves," Dr. Anderson continues. "When my patients feel good about how they look, it makes them more confident, more outgoing, and it changes how other people perceive them because it has changed how they perceive themselves."

With the new, exciting advancements in technology and procedures used for hair restoration, Dr. Anderson's team works together toward a common goal of helping people enjoy a more positive self-image. Every day, he gets to use the things he's most passionate about to restore vibrancy and confidence to a huge part of the population. It's no secret why this is his dream job.


The Best in Hair Restoration Technology

Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics offers several revolutionary hair restoration services performed by a staff of highly trained experts.

ARTAS® Robot-Assisted Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Method: This noninvasive method involves removing hairs from the back of the head and placing them into sites on top of the head.

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): This nonsurgical treatment option focuses on the stabilization of hair loss. Anderson offers patients the Capillus® and Lasercap® brand devices, which are convenient and cover the entire scalp at once. When used, the therapy can increase cell metabolism, halt the progression of hair loss and more.

Stem-Cell Therapy: Anderson will soon begin offering stem-cell therapy for the treatment of hair loss. Another nonsurgical option, this therapy delves into the molecular realm and can help stimulate hair growth.


7e CatMax-Photography-Best-Self-Dr-Anderson-0213Skin Care

Dr. Ken Anderson opened the first location of Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics in 2012. It was, in large part, due to his inspiration to help patients replace their self-confidence through hair restoration procedures. However, he also wanted to utilize his skills and knowledge as a facial plastic surgeon. As a result, offering patients an opportunity to restore the same vitality to their skin that he was delivering on top of their head was a natural addition to the services he already offered.

7f Quote"I love everything about what I do," Dr. Anderson says. "It really is my dream job. I am able to take the things I am passionate about and help others fight Father Time, help them feel young, vibrant, and confident again."

That confidence starts with the experience he offers patients from the moment they walk in the door. He's created a luxurious, uniquely equipped medical spa with the latest technology for procedures like laser skin treatments such as the Photofacial and TempSure™ Envi Skin Tightening.

7g BnA"We work to restore youth and self-esteem with the services we offer, helping every patient discover cosmetic outcomes that are not only natural, but also uniquely perfect for their age and skin type," Dr. Anderson says.

The most satisfying part about his job is that he gets to see the results of his work even after the patient has left the office. Because he's focused on making patients feel comfortable in his care, they'll often send pictures showing off their new look, or share how they've developed new personal relationships with others.


4 Treatments That Rejuvenate

Turn back time and refresh your skin at Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics with these top-notch treatments.

TempSure™ Envi Skin Tightening
Using radio-frequency waves, this FDA-approved device tricks the body into thinking it has been injured, thus spurring it to create new collagen. The result is skin that is firmer and has fewer wrinkles.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatments (PRP)
PRP treatments, such as the popular Vampire Facial, use platelets from your own blood to encourage cell turnover. This natural procedure features no downtime and can leave you with rejuvenated skin.

For improved skin tone and texture, turn to this procedure. Deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and fusion are combined to create a facial that simultaneously purifies the skin while infusing it with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and peptides.

ThreeForMe™ Laser Treatment
Say goodbye to dull skin with this two-step procedure. The first phase targets discoloration and facial veins. The second phase utilizes fractional laser technology to treat fine lines and wrinkles. Results can be seen after one treatment and continue to improve over time.

The content for this article is brought to you by Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics.

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Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics

(404) 256-4247

At the Perimeter
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta, GA 30342

At Avalon
2710 Old Milton Pkwy., Alpharetta, GA 30009




Monday, 11 June 2018 15:22

2018 Over 40 & Fabulous! Winners

Forty and beyond is looking better than ever thanks to our
2018 Over 40 & Fabulous! contest winners. From medicine to media, volunteerism to fitness, our winners reflect the energy and enthusiasm that makes this season of life extra special. Meet them all—and the contest's Advisory Board members—on the following pages.



Lynne McDonald

Lynne McDonald, 49, wears many hats as a writer, editor, artist, and business consultant. The Type 1 diabetic is determined to never let her illness prevent her from living life on her own terms.

What is your favorite way to work out? I love to dance. Give me a good song and I don't care how tired I am.

01 Lynne-McDonald--9x12What is your favorite healthy meal? My son and I love to make a delicious and healthy version of ice cream with frozen bananas, cherries and dark chocolate chips.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I am a Development Committee Member and Co-chair of the PR/Marketing Committee with Camp Kudzu, which is an organization dedicated to educating and supporting children with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It's a complex problem to have while you're also figuring out who you are. Becoming Type 1 diabetic as a teenager was a struggle for me and I ended up doing some damage until I started learning more about nutrition in my 20s. I hope to shorten that learning process for the campers, be a role model and show them that they can do anything they want.

I'm also on the board of Hands Across Atlanta, an organization working to improve the lives of homeless people in our community. Marcus Acosta, the nonprofit's president, has been organizing volunteers at Hurt Park every second Sunday of the month. It's a great way for everyone, including children, to get involved in charity.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Look at who you want to be in 10 or 20 years and be that person now.

What is your favorite getaway? I absolutely love going up to Asheville. My perfect day would be to go hiking, go to the River Arts District, and then come back and be pampered at The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn.

Name something on your bucket list. I want to learn how to fence.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self? Christa Burton, who is an artist, model and friend, is my fashion and beauty expert. She makes beautiful jewelry. Salon Brookwood is a fantastic hair salon in West Cobb. I always walk out feeling gorgeous. Maryan Aiken is a powerhouse promoter. Denise Jackson is an amazing art curator and consultant. Dr. Jonathan Ownby is my go-to endocrinologist at Atlanta Diabetes Associates. And Michel Fontaine, the CEO of TransacXion Technologies, is one of my biggest cheerleaders and gets me to step outside the box and get uncomfortable. He hired me to create a go-to-market strategy for his finance technology company.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I don't know. Maybe there will be a Sexy Over Sixty contest then!


Inspiration Award
Lisa Mohager

02 Lisa-Mohager-IMG 0004 8-favorite-6x10Once a single mother on public aid, Lisa Mohager, 41, turned her obstacles into opportunities. Today, she empowers thousands of women through her health and fitness business, The Drab to Fab Life.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Picking myself back up when my life seemed hopeless. As a bankrupt and overweight single mom, I made the decision that enough was enough.

In 2009, while working full-time as a secretary, I decided to start my own online marketing company in the health and fitness industry. At the time, I had no idea where the opportunity would lead me. I honestly only hoped to earn an extra $100 or so a month just to help keep food on the table for my daughter and I. There were so many times I would come home from work to find the power or water turned off or a foreclosure/repossession notice on my door. Through my business, I quickly discovered my purpose in life—helping other women find hope again. I lost 60 pounds. After moving my daughter and I to Atlanta, I met and married the love of my life, Paj.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? My grandparents always taught me that it's a greater blessing to give than to receive. I volunteer at Senior Services North Fulton and have worked with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, as well as Junior Achievement. Currently, I am an Image Consultant at Dress for Success Atlanta.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? Dress for Success is very near and dear to my heart. As a young, single mom I used to live in public housing and was on public aid. I know the feeling of wanting to get ahead but not knowing where to start. To help support and encourage women who may be in a similar situation that I was in, is an incredible opportunity.

What is your most embarrassing moment? While working full-time, I was also attending night classes for my bachelor's degree. I would often freshen up my makeup while driving to class. One day, I was running extra late and when I walked in, my girlfriend quickly pulled me aside. I had accidently grabbed my black eyeliner instead of my lip liner!

What is your favorite book? "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins. I read it for the first time about 10 years ago. I was struggling to find my place in the world. I always knew I was meant for more and this book really helped me to take control of my life.


Give-Back Award
Danielle S. Beverly

03 Danielle-Beverly-IMG 0010 8-favorite-6x10As a co-founder of The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation, Danielle S. Beverly, 44, is committed to making sure breast cancer patients have access to the care they need.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Beating breast cancer three times by the age of 33. I was 29 the first time I was diagnosed, 31 the second time, and I was 36 weeks pregnant when I received a third breast cancer diagnosis. The biggest blessing—a beautiful, smart and amazing daughter who is now 10 years old—came out of the third diagnosis.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I am very passionate about the underserved breast cancer community. Throughout my battles with the disease, my husband, Eric, and I were very fortunate to be able to focus on my treatment while not having to concern ourselves with how we would pay for it and keep a roof over our heads. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many individuals.

In 2006, we founded The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation. We work to help people diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families, keep the lights on, keep food on the table, and get them to treatment. Nobody should have to choose between going to work or receiving care.

Name something on your bucket list. My husband is a former Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions player, and I played college basketball. So it's probably no surprise that most of my bucket list items are sports related—like completing the Grand Slam in tennis as a spectator. I am a sports junkie!


Brenda Hall, DDS, MD

04 Brenda-Hall--IMG 0001 19--6x10Being a strong role model for her 14-year-old daughter is priority No. 1 for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Brenda Hall, DDS, MD, 45. The travel enthusiast also has a heart for animals.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I'm a simple girl. One of my go-tos is Dave's Killer Bread toasted with avocado.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I donate my time to care for the oral needs of the majestic animals at Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium. ... I also fundraise for and donate my time and money to animal rescue groups, particularly for pit bulls. The main one I support is Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, Inc. They are the largest and most committed group to this breed that I have ever heard of. Studies estimate that up to 1 million pits are euthanized per year, or 2,800 per day.

Name something on your bucket list. Traveling through Europe, Asia, and South America and living with families there and getting to experience their cultures for months at a time. I spent time in Russia with my family, as well as local families, and that was an amazing experience. I learned so much more about the culture and the day-to-day lifestyle and philosophies than if I had stayed in a hotel in a large city.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self? Nutrition guru Michael Bronte, hair balayage wizard Ron Massey, Karen Filos Hair and Makeup Design, chiropractor Dr. Edward Cordovado, dentist Dr. Dina Giesler, coach Chris Romano, holistic health coach Dr. Lauren Polivka, medical esthetician Lauren Bays, lash expert Rin Sangmalee, Juan Dowling at LaVida Massage in East Cobb, and Skin Matters.


Craig Michael Logan, MD

Wisdom isn't the only thing that has come with age for Craig Michael Logan, MD, 47. The Chief of Radiology for The Southeast Permanente Medical Group of Kaiser Permanente has learned to love himself just as much as he loves others.

05 Craig-Logan-IMG 0003 17-favorite--6x10What is the best thing you've learned since turning 40? Perseverance pays off. I'm the first person in my family to finish college. During my medical training, I worked up to 120 hours a week.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I have packaged medical supplies for MedShare with my Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. brothers for eight years. We have assisted in packing tens of thousands of pounds of surplus medical equipment destined for multiple underdeveloped countries. I have also served on committees for March of Dimes, the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, and more. In the past, I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Atlanta, and SafeHouse Outreach.

Name something on your bucket list. I want to see the great apes in Africa. A few years ago, I went on a mind-blowing safari in South Africa, and got within 20 yards of a wild male lion. I'm hooked on wildlife.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? In 20 years, I will be spending my retirement traveling the world. I am committed to expanding my mind with new life experiences and ideas. Part of working toward that goal is meeting people in new places and learning from different perspectives.


Dawn Skok

06 Dawn-Skok-IMG 5786--6x10Master stylist and colorist, Dawn Skok, 40, is a fighter. After winning the battle against cancer 13 years ago, she now throws punches at poverty and sex trafficking through her volunteer efforts.

What is your favorite way to work out? I love weight training, which I have done since the age of 13. Pushing myself, staying healthy, and feeling strong mentally and physically are all very important to me.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Surviving cancer! In August 2005, I was diagnosed with an 'incurable' viral form of cancer and given six to nine months to live. My daughter was 3 months old at the time. I made the firm decision to make my health a priority and fight the cancer so I could be alive and healthy to raise my daughter.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Hands-on volunteering and donating salon services to various charities, women's conferences, Lou Gehrig's disease events and the Charity Guild of Johns Creek are my favorite ways to give back. I have participated with Fashion for Freedom, for victims of sex trafficking in Atlanta. I have volunteered at Meals By Grace and local churches for food distribution. I have also spent time at City of Refuge.

What is your favorite quote? "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." —Mother Teresa

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? When we forgive, love and cherish ourselves, it is then that we can conquer anything in life.


Tracye Hutchins

07 Tracey-Hutchins-MG 5568--6x10CBS46 News anchor Tracye Hutchins is more than just a pretty face. When she's not in front of the camera, she's putting in work by serving others. The avid gardener, 49, can be found mentoring today's youth and supporting local nonprofits.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My daughter is by far the best thing I've created and molded. Now that she's 20 and out on her own, I'm confident that she has the tools to find her way and create her own success.

What is your favorite book? "Traveling Light" by Max Lucado. It's an inspirational book about how to let go of the baggage we carry around from day to day—like worry, fear and doubt. It's a quick read that gives me hope when life gets a little rough.

What is your favorite way to work out? Working in my yard. I can get a full-body workout by clearing leaves, pruning trees and planting shrubs. And I see immediate results ... at least in my yard!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I've worked with Doggies on the Catwalk for the last seven years. The event helps support Canine Assistants. I've had an opportunity to see the great work they do to provide services for people with disabilities. I'm also proud of the work I do with community organizations like the Boy Scouts of America [Atlanta Area Council] and the countless area schools I work with to read to students and act as a mentor.


Marquetta J. Bryan, Esq.

08 Marquetta-Bryan-IMG 0006 11--6x10Marquetta J. Bryan, Esq., 42, uses her legal skills and writing talents to help others find their voice.

What is your favorite healthy meal? These pizza-stuffed mushroom bites prepared by raw vegan chef, Crystal Shae. They are amazing and by far, my favorite!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I understood very early in life that I was blessed to be a blessing, and that I had a responsibility to give back and make life better for others. Accordingly, I founded the nonprofit Girls Speak, Inc., which is committed to helping girls develop the power of their written and oral voice.

I am also a board member of and involved with many initiatives including the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, the Georgia Legal Services Program, Leadership DeKalb, American Cancer Society Georgia, American Diabetes Association® [Georgia], Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. I have been a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. for over nine years and have held leadership roles the majority of that time. I also volunteer regularly with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.

Where do you go for "me" time? To my journal. One thing I have learned in my 40s is to not be apologetic about my emotions or who I am. Without fail, writing improves my mood and leaves me feeling calm, centered and capable. It also allows me to examine my feelings and be honest with myself.


Maryam Aytac

09 Maryam-Aytac--IMG 0007 20--6x10Owner of four Café Istanbul locations, Maryam Aytac, 43, is proud to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, especially those coming to America in search of a better life.

How would your friends and family describe you? Fun and busy. My schedule is always jam-packed with family, friends, and work responsibilities. But at the end of the day, I manage it all pretty well.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Community and giving back are huge parts of my life. I am Persian and moved to the U.S. when I was 6. My parents had to build our beautiful life from nothing. That is why I now dedicate my extra time and resources to any refugee family that needs help starting their new life in America. I work closely with the International Rescue Committee and the Refugee Women's Network to help collect clothing, kitchen items, furniture, money and more for families that are arriving.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? I have become so much more confident in the woman that I am, and the choices I make every day for myself, my family and my community.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My family and my children. I live for them.

What is your favorite book? "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.

What is your favorite way to work out? I love to go walking and to do yoga.

What is your favorite getaway? I love going to Europe and Istanbul, in particular.


Lisa Gabrielson

10 Lisa-Gabrielson--IMG 0008 8--7x10Lisa Gabrielson, 49, hit her career stride later in life and couldn't be happier about it. As the owner of Lisa Gabrielson Design, she gets to put her passion to work day after day.

What is the best thing you've learned since turning 40? It's never too late to figure out what you want to do when you grow up. Although I always had a love for interior design, it took me a few decades to finally make it my career. There is a time for everything—studying, raising children, making mistakes, trying new things—and if you follow your passion, work hard, stay positive and never give up, success and happiness is possible at any age.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I donate to charity events chaired by friends, such as ShamRockin' For A Cure, which raises money for those with cystic fibrosis. And recently, I started mentoring young interior designers. I am a self-taught designer, so much of what I know has been learned through the school of hard knocks. It is gratifying to assist them on their journeys, and hopefully make things a little easier for those with talent and drive.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of work? My children, actually. They are embarking on a new chapter in life and are looking for internships and mentors. It is up to our generation to help pave the way for younger folks.

What is your favorite way to work out? Yoga, hands down.

Name something on your bucket list. An African safari for my 50th birthday and riding camels in Morocco for my 51st. Traveling is my favorite thing to do!







Tammy McGarity von Nordheim

11 Tammy-von-Nordheim-IMG 0009 8--favorite--6x10As a mental health therapist and the owner of Tammy McGarity Photography, 48-year-old Tammy McGarity von Nordheim helps people realize their inner and outer beauty every day.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Pushing through the pain of a broken tibia and relearning how to walk while completing my graduate schoolwork and finishing with all A's would be one major accomplishment.

Professionally, starting a women's empowerment group called Girl in the Glass and a nonprofit called iEmpower Me, Too have allowed me to pour into others a sense of "self" that they had been unable to see for themselves. ... Also, being a self-taught photographer and having clients cry tears of happiness as I show them the essence of who they are through my lens gives me great joy.

Marriage and parenting are two of the most complex relationships you can have. Being married for 18 years and raising two amazing girls while furthering your education and running three businesses is not for the weak. There have been many days of exhaustion, but I am passionate about what I do and I love my family.


Kenisha Q. Coleman

12 Kenisha-Coleman-IMG 0008 3---favorite--6x10Orangetheory Fitness head coach Kenisha Q. Coleman, 41, maintains her youthful energy by staying active and encouraging others to chase their dreams.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Splitting my pants back in college while I was dancing my heart out.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I recently found a new church home at Victory World Church and have begun participating in the youth and fitness departments, which are two areas that mean the most to me.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? I really wanted to work with teens because I have one. I also know how vital it is for them to have positive examples around in an effort to keep them from becoming a negative statistic. I want to show them that their dreams may not be "traditional" but that does not mean that they are unattainable, especially if they are willing to put in the work.

It was also important to me to volunteer with the fitness ministry so that I could assist people through their journey.


Leila Taylor Jankowski

13 Leila-Jankowski--IMG 0009 15--6x10Leila Taylor Jankowski, 43, founded the online resource Grit & Soul to enhance the mind and body. As a yoga instructor and public servant, she has found purpose through action.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I recently served as a small group leader for high school ministry for four years. During that time, I also led several groups of high school students on mission trips around the world serving at-risk women and children. 410 Bridge, based in Alpharetta, is my favorite charity to support and serve with. They do so much incredible work in Africa and Haiti.

What inspired you to do this kind of charity work? I overcame a childhood that was littered with trauma. By the grace of God, I was able to thrive and I believe that there was a reason I overcame it—to serve others. I never feel more alive, whole, or connected than I do when I'm serving. It's been life-changing and very healing.


Kamran L. Kurani

14 KamranKurani LolaLandPhotography 2018 headshots DSC 0928The son of immigrants who came to America with less than $200 to their name, Pizza Hut franchise owner and investor Kamran L. Kurani, 42, cherishes every opportunity he is given and always makes giving back a priority.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My two sisters have grown up to become wonderful adults and one has made me the proud uncle of two beautiful kids. At a young age, my father passed away and I had to step into a parental role.

What is your favorite way to work out? I've tried many workouts but none fit me better than Jiu-Jitsu. It is an intense full-body workout and the technique requires as much mental activity as it does physical. It has played a powerful role in my life.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Giving back is a huge part of my life. I am blessed to be where I am today and sharing with others is a joy of mine. There are five organizations/missions that I truly believe in. These include the program iMentor, wellness nonprofit Park & Roll, international community assistance organization Aga Khan Development Network and the Aga Khan Foundation National Walk/Run, and Thanksgiving Love Feast where my family and team give out free meals during the holiday.


Mia Van Wagenen

15 Mia-Van-Wagenen-IMG 0014--2--6x10As a busy wife, mother and the founder and CEO of MVO Marketing, Mia Van Wagenen, 47, loves her fantastically full life but also believes in the importance of balance.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? In your 20s, things are often overwhelming. In your 30s, you figure out who the best people to learn from are so by the time you're in your 40s, you know how to get it done. I feel both professionally and personally, I use my experience to look for solutions every day and learn from both successes and failures. I never say, "I can't," anymore.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family and work responsibilities, and giving back? Prioritizing the most important things that need to be done, which means sometimes letting other things go. Oh, and wine.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self? I love Blo Blow Dry Bar at Shops Around Lenox for my hair, Nyssa Green for my makeup when I need to look extra pretty, Orangetheory Fitness for a quick workout, and my amazing team for producing all the great work we do at MVO Marketing.


16 PublishersPick

Laura Janelle Downey

16 Laura-Downey-IMG 0003 5-6x10Laura Janelle Downey is every woman. The 40-year-old magazine editor is just as meticulous about every word that you'll find on the pages of Atlanta Best Media's eight publications as she is about her other leadership roles. Giving each task 110 percent, she puts her heart into everything she does.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My career, hands down. I've worked at People, Southern Accents,,, been a magazine journalism professor and more. It's a dream come true.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? I love to love people. And should they not love me back, I have learned that I am strong, I am soft, I am shy, I am funny, I am happy, and sometimes I am sad but one thing is for sure—I will always love again—I am unapologetically me.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I do a lot of volunteer work through Mount Paran Church, like feeding the homeless at SafeHouse Outreach. And for the past two years, I have led short-term mission trips to India and Indonesia, which upon returing to the U.S., helps me be a better servant for my community.

What is your favorite way to work out? I love running through my Midtown neighborhood. People-watching, perusing street art and breathing the fresh air invigorates me.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Live every day in the moment and help others along the way. There is no greater joy than to bless someone and not expect anything in return.



Divorce is not a word society usually associates with the idea of triumph. In fact, it's more closely associated with experiencing a death in the family. While the emotions aren't easily eluded, we can offer a little guidance from several industry professionals to make it better. With their expert advice, divorce can be a fresh start, a chance to move your family in a new direction and redefine who you are individually, as they help us navigate the mental, spiritual, financial and legal battles that ensue. The encouragement is that everything really can turn out all right ... perhaps sooner than you might think.

We've decided to divorce ...Where do we start?

Kelley Linn of Transitions Resource, LLC DBA-Transitions Resource Divorce Mediation Center says, "First, a couple should learn about the multiple methods of divorce in order for them to make an informed decision about which will be the right one for their family."

P1Linn explains that there are two main components to a typical divorce decree—financial and custodial—the financial aspect of dividing marital assets and debts and the [plan for] being co-parents to children after divorce. "At our center, we prepare the couple for mediation by first bringing in a financial expert to show the family what a fair and equitable division of their assets is. It's important to equip them in advance to be able to negotiate," Linn says. "Then they have the mediation session to fine-tune that and create a comprehensive parenting plan that works for the entire family. The attorneys then convert their mediated agreement into legal settlement documents and file them with the courts."

Having both spouses under one roof, learning everything about the process and about what's fair and what life can look like after a divorce can do two things—one, keep the family out of the court process, and two, save the family both time and money.

Melissa Davis Strickland, founding lawyer at Buckhead Family Law explains, "A divorce is one of the most important financial transactions of your entire life. You need to know exactly what the state of your financial affairs is, and if you don't have that information, you and your attorney can get it during the divorce process. Once both parties have equal access to financial information, it's a lot easier to figure out how to equitably divide assets and debts and determine the appropriate amount of child support and alimony, if applicable. You need to have a very clear picture of your financial situation both now and moving forward, because in most cases what families can afford to do separately looks very different from what you were able to afford to do jointly."

On the nonfinancial side, Strickland advises couples to really take their children into consideration. Custody and parenting plans may look different for every family, but stepping back and evaluating what works best for your children is what ensures its success in the future. While your marriage has ended, you will always be parents of your children together.

What do I look for in a lawyer?

According to Strickland, "You need to find somebody who clearly understands what your goals and expectations are, and who is going to communicate with you and provide realistic advice as to the likelihood of achieving those goals. It is important to find an attorney that you feel comfortable speaking openly with. Divorce is very emotional. You're talking about very personal issues. You need to find somebody who's able to walk you through this process and explain every step to you, advocating and working for you. Someone who makes sure you understand your rights, that you know what you're entitled to, explains what the likely outcome of each scenario is, and also what that's going to cost you along the way, so that you can avoid surprises in what is already a very uncertain time."

P2What if I'm the only one who wants to get a divorce?

Unfortunately for many couples, this is actually more common than an amicable split. And more unfortunately, for the spouse who doesn't want a divorce, they don't have a choice. Legally, if a spouse wants a divorce, they will get it.

"The spouse not wanting the divorce needs to understand that they do not have the choice to remain married," Linn says. "They only have two choices: one, to work with their spouse to get a fair and equitable settlement, or two, spend time, a lot of negative energy and use a lot of hard-earned family funds to fight it, even though the divorce will be granted anyway."

Linn explains that in order to achieve the best possible outcome for both spouses, it is in the second spouse's best interest to do what they can to cooperate. A lack of cooperation may have an impact on the family funds that will be divided after divorce, because it can get expensive to fight over terms. The good news here is that often, in a mediated divorce, the spouse who wants a divorce is usually considerate in what they are willing to do for the spouse who doesn't.

"A mediator can help the spouses understand their choices, envision their possible outcomes and help them mediate a fair settlement that both parties will uphold down the road because they made the decisions about the settlement terms, not someone else," Linn says.

Psychotherapist Annie M. Garry, MSW, LCSW and former president of the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work adds that, "While friends and family can be a huge source of comfort, they cannot be objective. A therapist can provide an objective and rational perspective that is needed to stay out of the power struggles of a high conflict divorce, diffuse the intense emotions it generates, and arm the person with the skills needed to work through the difficulties of the divorce."

How are we going to get through it?

"Although one's specific circumstances are unique, there is a typical sequence of emotional and practical issues that divorced people usually go through," Garry says, adding that individual therapy can help one to work through the vast array of feelings and turmoil that can accompany those stages.

In terms of the benefit therapy can have on the family as a whole, Garry says, "When a divorce involves children, therapy can be extremely important for couples to make sure they understand how this change is impacting their kids." She notes, "We want to create an atmosphere where they're not traumatizing their children or putting them in the middle of what's happening between two adults."

Therapy as a couple bears the goal of figuring out how to be co-parents, and gaining the tools needed to help them deal with their intense feelings and the adjustments to come. Working together with a therapist can also teach you how to resolve conflict in diplomatic ways. There are also many group therapy options available locally that allow members to exchange ideas, offer support and share encouragement with others who are going through divorce.

How can I get back to normal?

When the divorce is finalized, it can be challenging to figure out what to do next and how to adjust to a new routine. "You're left with your family to piece together in the best way you can. This is why we work so hard on financial agreements and spend so much time on developing parenting plans in my office because it's really important that you have a plan that works for your family, and that you get it right," Strickland says.

She offers her clients advice and support based on her own experience, saying, "Having been through the process personally, I think it's hard to start living outside the habit of being married. I'm certainly not a therapist, but I tell my clients to just try and move forward one day at a time, to focus on yourself and think about it as a time to rediscover yourself, your interests, your goals, your friendships, and your career." Strickland adds, "Remember that you're not defined by your divorce. It doesn't mean that your relationship was a failure, or that you've failed in life, it just means that this chapter is closing and you're going to move your life and your family forward in a different direction."



Annie M. Garry, MSW, LCSW, Atlanta Center for Wellness,,

Kelley Linn, Transitions Resource, LLC DBA-Transitions Resource Divorce Mediation Center,

Melissa Davis Strickland, Buckhead Family Law,


Thursday, 31 May 2018 20:32

June / July 2019 Digital Issue

June / July 2019 Digital Issue




2018 Over 40 & Fabulous! Contest.

over40 2018 FACEBOOK 2

I was a mom twice over and I was not feeling like I was "supposed" to feel. Our family schedule had fallen into place, both of my boys were healthy, and my work was back on track. Yet, I couldn't get over the sense that I wasn't doing things correctly. I felt out of sorts. Everything should have been a certain way, and it wasn't. And then my very wise therapist said something that has stuck with me to this day: "You have to stop 'shoulding' all over yourself."


By Amy Meadows


It was an aha moment. The kind Oprah Winfrey has talked about for years. So much of the pressure I felt was self-imposed—yet based on the way I thought I "should" be parenting because of what I saw all around me. And it was difficult to find my way in a sea of messages about what I "should" be doing. So I couldn't find a way to really celebrate the mom I had become. Maybe you can relate? Whether you have small children, teenagers or young adults who are getting ready to leave the nest, it can be challenging to embrace your own parenting style. Fortunately, it can be done.

We've asked moms in the metro area to share their insights about the most challenging parts of this roller-coaster ride called motherhood. Their stories and revelations about some of the most talked-about topics in mother circles today just might help you find your way to championing the mom you are.


Personalize Your Parenting Style

Oftentimes, your parenting style comes from a combination of sources. And in many cases, you find yourself doing the opposite of what you've known or what you expected you would do. The key is to find what works best for you and your family.

SB"I knew what I didn't want to do. And I think that's really valuable. Knowing what you don't want is often more powerful than what you do want because parenting is always going to be this unknown. We're parenting our children for a future that is faster than we can even imagine. We don't really know how to prepare them. We might as well be launching them into space. We have no clue what's coming up [for them], so we have to give them a firm but flexible foundation. If you're too rigid, the second there's a crack, they will tumble." –Katherine Michalak, mom of three boys, ages 17 and 14 (identical twins)

"My pediatrician gave me the best advice: don't read parenting books. A lot of it is in you—use your instincts.

Don't do what everyone else does. Instead, parent by instinct and the reaction of your children. We're more traditional, so for us, rules are standard. But we see the importance of parenting children differently. There are different ways to handle situations for a social child versus a nonsocial child. Whatever you do needs to fit the child, and you adapt that over time." –Melanie Frady, mom of an 8-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son

P1"It's important to remember that all moms have their own individual struggles and are trying to do their best. Be confident in yourself, have faith in your decisions, and trust your gut. You don't have to be perfect to be an amazing mom, you just have to love your family." –Teri Xerogeanes, mom of a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.


Avoid the Comparison Trap

It's very easy to fall into the trap of comparing everything you do as a parent to someone else, thanks in large part to the presence of social media in our lives. Yet, those comparisons can be inaccurate and also detrimental to your psyche.

P2"Everything online is curated. And there are useful and not-so-useful components to comparing ourselves. If the way someone is doing something lines up with your values [and you want to do it too], then that can be viewed as 'useful peer pressure.' But the other side of it just feeds into the sense that we're not doing something right." –Dana Goldman, LPC, NCC, of Stone Cottage Counseling, mom of a 3-year-old daughter

"I would go on playdates, and I just didn't connect. I would come home defeated every time. I would look at people who were doing things like making homemade bread every day, and it felt like such a competition. I cut out mom groups and playdates. As a mom, I had to stop comparing myself to everybody else. It's still hard to this day. But I read a lot of self-help books to help me find my inner strength. I have to look at what makes me and my family strong." –Melanie Frady

Tackle Mom Shaming

The idea of "mom shaming" has come to the forefront in recent years, with the term becoming a very common one as women discuss their parenting choices with others. It's important to know how to deal when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

P3"At first, I did attach myself to a [child-rearing] philosophy, which is very natural and child-led parenting ... But [I found that] any group attached to a certain way of doing things will have a group mentality that says, 'We all do it this way.' You'll contend with judgment. If you're not 'doing it correctly,' someone may reject you or shame you or correct you. I was at a playdate, and [my son] was upset. I wanted to leave, and a mom came to me and said, 'You should stay and allow him to cope.' The way she delivered her message was so undermining to me and my instincts. I knew this [playdate] wasn't crucial. And I immediately knew that I couldn't be part of anything that makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. So I separated myself from that." –India Powell, mom of a 4-year-old son

"I think it's OK to engage someone if it's personal. If someone is speaking in generalities, you can roll your eyes and walk away. But if they look at you directly and say something about you as a parent or about your child, you have—and maybe I'm feisty—an obligation to you and your child to validate your point of view. If it's online, people feel emboldened to say something using a keyboard that they would never say in person. I've found that it lessens the older [your children] get. Moms are more active and vocal in the toddler, elementary, and early middle school years. But
puberty becomes the great equalizer. Nobody makes it through puberty unscathed. We're all in the trenches. People learn slowly but surely to keep their own counsel. If you're online, you'd better be ready. Karma will keep you in check." –Katherine Michalak

Take Care of Yourself

P4Taking care of yourself as a mother can mean so many things, from taking time out for yourself to chasing your own dreams. Whatever it means to you, it's actually a key element of motherhood.

"For many parents, being told to make time for yourself can increase anxiety. You're already feeling behind and there may be real barriers and challenges to making time for yourself. It's easier said than done. But I always think about when you go on a plane with a child, and they say to put your own oxygen mask on first. We have to provide ourselves enough oxygen to be present for our kids. For those parents who feel guilty about making time, remember that tending to our own needs can actually benefit our children." –Dana Goldman, LPC, NCC

"You need to spend 30 minutes a day finding a way to understand yourself. That's one of the most important parts of parenting. And it's whatever that means to you—exercising, journaling, meditation, prayer. Just 30 minutes. You won't solve world problems, but you'll be checking in with yourself. You have to have something for yourself before you can share it with someone else." –Katherine Michalak

"Studies show that the more time working mothers spend taking care of themselves, the better their children are both emotionally and physically. Moms are the motor that keep the family machine running smoothly and that's why it's so important to make time to take care of yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel good—do it! As the saying goes, "When mama's happy, everyone's happy!" –Teri Xerogeanes

Melissa Keane, LACP, NCC,
Stone Cottage Counseling,

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bahar Nia is one to watch. As the owner of the state-of-the-art Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, patients come first with her personalized philosophy of care.


By Katherine Michalak


From an early age, Dr. Bahar Nia took a keen interest in her father's dental practice, hovering around him, watching his skilled approach and hoping to follow in his footsteps. Once she turned 18, she decided to pursue her college education and work toward her dental degree. Having family and an affinity for Atlanta, she started taking courses at Georgia State University (GSU) and Georgia Institute of Technology. She and her husband, Frank, met while both students at GSU, but she completed her undergraduate work in Houston, near her sister. The couple were back together again for dental school at the University of Pennsylvania and she followed up studies there with a residency at MD Anderson Cancer Center back in Houston.

SBYet, something about Atlanta kept pulling her back. By 2008, she and Frank settled here and together established a dental practice that would grow into multiple offices throughout the metro area. As the couple started their family, Bahar began to shift her perspective about her career trajectory and committed to opening her own cosmetic dentistry practice. The sole focus of the newly renovated Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is to provide exquisite, concierge level patient care. "I want to create a lasting impression for patients. No one will ever be treated like just a number or name in the appointment book. This practice has the latest technology and a beautiful spa-like aesthetic in a convenient location, but what's most important is connecting with my patients so that I can anticipate their needs."

P1While nurturing her relationships with other seasoned dentists, Bahar is poised to lead the way in creating beautiful smiles through modern cosmetic dentistry. This approach is sure to attract not only families but also the likes of sports superstars and local celebrities.

For Bahar, creating long-term personal relationships with her patients helps her bring them the best possible care. "I have a holistic approach. Treating the whole patient gives insight into a variety of problems with symptoms that show up in the mouth and teeth—grinding, sleep apnea, and nutrition," Bahar says. She feels honored by the trust her patients have in her and respects the challenges that might lead them to her office door. "For me, cosmetic dentistry really isn't just 'cosmetic' at all. These are life-changing improvements, which bring new confidence to people. That's extremely important."
It was key for Bahar's office to be close to her house, the schools her two daughters attend, as well as to be central to the community. "We love this area. We spend a lot of time with the girls at Chastain Park, at the tennis center or amphitheater for concerts and festivals. We are huge fans of Bartaco, Superica, and Rumi's Kitchen."

With one daughter at Da Vinci International School and one at Atlanta International School (AIS), Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry's location also gives her the flexibility to continue actively volunteering at the schools. "The annual gala at AIS is something we really enjoy; every year focuses on a theme from a different country and this year, it's Morocco."


Over-the-Counter or Professional Treatment?

When to choose expert care...

So what does a top cosmetic dentist recommend for everyday care? Turns out, many of the drugstore items work quite well. "I am pro over-the-counter products such as Sensodyne® ProNamel® and I love Philips Sonicare," Dr. Bahar Nia reveals. However, she warns over-the-counter whitening products won't measure up to professional because the formulations are too different and cannot give "the wow factor as most patients wish." She feels the same about night and sports guards, noting "the over-the-counter products are of a one-size-fits-all mentality ... not comparable to one that is custom made by taking a mold of the teeth." For serious problems, such a malocclusion, crowded teeth, heavy staining, or dental trauma, Bahar advises concentrated professional attention by a cosmetic dentist with an artistic eye to give phenomenal results., 316 Pharr Rd. NE., 404-400-0400.
The content for this article is brought to you by Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. 


When it comes to breast cancer awareness, some worry the intended message about the cause becomes obscured in the "pinkification" of everything from jewelry to shoes. This is one of the reasons Susan G. Komen has unveiled a new name for the annual
Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Race for the Cure, which will now be called the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta More Than Pink Walk. The change reinforces the notion that the movement is not about a color, but a proactive call to do more in the fight against breast cancer.



Go Beyond the Pink
Susan G. Komen's four pillars represent the organization's work
toward its mission to end breast cancer.

At the More Than Pink Walk on May 5, participants will be immersed in the nonprofit's four pillars of emphasis. Funds raised will provide services to those who cannot afford them and support cutting-edge research to advance Komen's goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.

The title is also intended to bring attention to the resources Komen offers and the hands-on work it does. Below, meet five Atlanta women and men who have been directly impacted by Komen's key pillars.



An assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology,
Dr. Susan Thomas develops cancer immunotherapies and explores their potential to combat breast cancer. Immunotherapy is emerging as a powerful new way to treat cancers that are impacted by the immune system, like breast cancer. Susan G. Komen provided a $450,000 grant to
Dr. Thomas and her team to provide the support needed to advance this exciting research and achieve new breakthroughs in breast cancer. The grant was also awarded to develop nanotechnology, which works by aiming the powerful drugs directly to where they are needed so they will work better with fewer side effects. Thanks to Komen and Dr. Thomas, this local research will have a global impact.



In 2014, Delphyne Lomax remembered that it was time for her mammogram. Recently divorced and without insurance, she was lost as to where she could go for this essential check. Fortunately, she went to the Center for Black Women's Wellness and received a free screening through a mobile mammogram clinic funded by Komen Atlanta. A few days later, Delphyne received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Luckily, it was caught early. This experience drove her to encourage her friends and family to get screened. Her sister listened, got a mammogram and was also diagnosed with breast cancer. They underwent chemotherapy and radiation together and both defeated the disease. Today, Delphyne is a Komen Atlanta advocate among the metro Atlanta African-American community.



Susan and Jim Hannan exemplify the metro Atlanta community spirit as Komen Atlanta supporters, volunteers and advocates. Susan lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 21. In her honor, and to build a better future for their three daughters, Susan and Jim are committed to working toward a world without breast cancer. As an influential business leader in Atlanta, Jim is heavily involved in grassroots and corporate fundraising. Susan is the immediate past president of the Komen Atlanta Board of Directors. Together, Susan and Jim hope to encourage the community to take action and fundraise for a cure.



President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta from 1992 until 2017,
Janice McKenzie-Krayton has always had a passionate, philanthropic drive. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, she underwent lumpectomy surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Eight years later, Janice was diagnosed again, and in 2013, she received her third breast cancer diagnosis. At this point, Janice decided it was time to become a megaphone to tell her story that cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. She got involved with the Komen Atlanta Board of Directors and immediately found her calling in educating the African-American community. Recently retired, Janice has committed her time to Sisters of Promise, a group of Komen Atlanta volunteers dedicated to lowering breast cancer mortality for African-Americans in metro Atlanta. Janice and the Sisters are taking action every day to educate the community and provide affordable access to breast cancer services.


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