Jennifer Leichty

Jennifer Leichty

Summer is in full swing, which means lots of time outdoors. Jennifer Liechty, a family nurse practitioner and injector with SkinReMEDI by Natural Body, shares advice for selecting and using sunscreen to safely enjoy sunny days.

● Be environmentally conscious. Chemical-based sunscreen absorbs UV radiation, then converts the energy into heat and releases that heat from the skin. While this type of sunscreen absorbs well and is typically invisible on all skin colors, it contains chemicals that are toxic to coral plant life and it should be avoided if going into the ocean.

● Go natural. By contrast, sunscreens that contain active mineral ingredients (also referred to as physical sunscreens) such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide reflect and scatter UV radiation away from the skin. These are good for sensitive, postprocedure and acneic skin types and for heat-reactive skin conditions such as rosacea and melasma. Physical sunscreens can leave a white cast on darker skin tones. However, newer micronized and tinted versions, such as SkinReMEDI’s Zinc Oxide Mineral Tinted sunscreen, are much less likely to do so.

● Apply and reapply. Liberally apply a sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50 at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Be sure to reapply every hour or so or directly after sweating or swimming, as moisture on the skin will render the SPF less effective.

Details: skinremedi.com

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Heal Thyself Foot DetoxDo you know what toxins are affecting your body the most? Find out with the help of a foot detox at Heal Thyself, a holistic health center. Just dip your feet into the relaxing, warm foot soak and watch as the water begins to change color. Ions (positive and negative) sent into the water through a submerged device draw oppositely charged toxin ions from the body. The color of your soak will reveal whether it’s time to cut back on sweets, booze, and more.

Details: 1040 Grant St. SE., Ste. 200, Atlanta; healthyselfatlanta.com

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Atlanta Best Media editors Alex McCray and Laura J. Downey share their experience at the 50th anniversary of the Peachtree Road Race and a stellar staycation at W – Atlanta Buckhead.

By Alex McCray

Ask anyone in Atlanta and they will gladly tell you that the Peachtree Road Race is more than just the world’s largest 10K. The run is a city tradition that is as synonymous with Independence Day as fireworks and barbecues are with celebrating the Fourth of July.

(L to R): Alex and Mom

(L to R): Alex and Mom

There are many reasons why I love taking part in this epic event—from seeing the road I drive home on each weekday from a new perspective to browsing the massive event expo. However, the most important reason of all is that participating in the Peachtree has become a personal tradition.

For the past five years, my mother and I have completed the 10K together. She is an avid runner and is the person who introduced me to the race. It’s been a staple in our Fourth of July routine ever since. We even design our own shirts for the event! What I love about the race is that it’s not about setting a personal record, even though I applaud the many who do, it’s simply about enjoying the day and the sense of community. Which is why, a few years ago, my mother and I started walking the majority of the race. We love waving to the spectators, chatting with each other, complimenting people on their festive outfits, and cheering on friends we see running. And there’s nothing like crossing the finish line and seeing what the winning shirt design is.

Fabulous Guest Room with two queen beds

Fabulous Guest Room with two queen beds

For the 50th anniversary of the run, I knew I wanted to do something extra special and the idea of a celebratory staycation sounded like just the ticket. When Atlanta Best Media managing editor Laura J. Downey told me this year would be her first time participating in the Peachtree, the timing could not have been more perfect.

We knew we wanted to stay somewhere in the heart of the action and with a chic vibe to match that of Atlanta. With its rooftop pool, fresh and punchy décor, and classic amenities, the W – Atlanta Buckhead is the ideal staycation spot. After checking in at 4 p.m., donning my 2019 Peachtree Road Race shirt, I headed to the ninth floor to explore our Fabulous Guest Room with two queen beds. On my way up, I was asked how the race went by fellow guests and even met a couple who had also completed the run that day. Clearly, this spot was a popular choice among locals and out-of-towners alike.

Kale salad, flatbread, slidersWhen I opened the door to 932, I was greeted by a nearly floor-to-ceiling window overlooking Buckhead, bright pink walls, and whimsical takes on hotel elements, like the directory aptly titled “Everything You Want to Know.” Thoughtful touches to aid in relaxation like a new pair of headphones with “Tune Out” on the outside of the package were much appreciated.

After a trip to the pool, dinner was in order. Laura and I headed to the hotel’s popular restaurant and lounge, Whiskey Blue, for a feast overlooking the city. We said cheers to the occasion with the bar’s special Fourth of July themed drinks. I opted for the Star-Spangled Martini with Hendrick’s Gin, which was complete with a classic firecracker popsicle. Laura and I then savored the Kale Salad, Grilled Market Vegetable Flatbread and Angus Beef Sliders. Each dish more divine than the next. Talk about the perfect post-race refuel! After a warm welcome from the manager, Joshua Meier, a few skyline photos, and plenty of laughs, we retired to our room for a night of well-deserved rest.

The next morning, as the valet attendants assisted me with my bags, I longed for another night’s stay. All I can say is, another staycation is definitely in order soon!

 

Peachtree crowdThe Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta staple. So after talking to my colleague Alex McCray about her Peachtree Road Race tradition, I thought to myself, ‘Laura, it’s time to get in on the action!’ I immediately joined the Atlanta Track Club, which guarantees placement in the race, and then I started running on my treadmill at least three days a week. 

When the big day came, I was a little nervous but not because I hadn’t done a 10K before but because this is the biggest 10K in the world and this would be my first time participating in it … at 41! So as tons of people surrounded me, I made my way to the “M” wave and when it was go time, I took off running. 

As a first-timer, this experience was special for me. Here are the top five things I loved about the Peachtree Road Race and why I plan on doing it again. 

Firemen5. Looking to my left and right to see all of the sideline supporters cheering and clapping for us just made me smile.

4. Watching people of all ages, shapes and sizes running and walking their hearts out. 

3. Pushing myself to keep running even after I reached the 4-mile mark, which for me, is usually a stopping point in any race.

2. Watching one younger runner link her arms with an older woman to help her reach the finish line. And even seeing firemen in their heavy uniforms (mind you, it

Laura with her 2019 Peachtree Road Race shirt.

Laura with her 2019 Peachtree Road Race shirt.

was 95 F outside) carrying the American flag from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park reminded me of why I love the United States and why I love the human spirit.

1. Finally, getting to Piedmont Park and putting my hands on that coveted Peachtree tee. #Priceless — Laura J. Downey 

3377 Peachtree Rd. NE., Atlanta, GA 30326, marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/atlbw-w-atlanta-buckhead

 

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Publisher Sherri Adair

Publisher Sherri Adair

Thank you to the Best Self community for making what many thought was impossible, not only possible, but amazing!

Ten years ago when we started Best Self, the economy was in shambles and print magazines were considered “dead.” The odds were stacked against us.

So, why has it worked? Best Self Atlanta has been a success because there is a strong community of like-minded Atlantans who believe in authenticity, positivity and kindness. These readers, followers, and business owners support each other and dedicate each day to inspiring and helping others live their best life. And our community continues to grow. What started with a little magazine has grown to reach hundreds of thousands through our website, e-newsletter, social media, contests, events, and our ever-expanding ambassador program.

We look forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary in August with a Party on the Patio at Big Sky Buckhead. We will be having fun and raising money for Development in Gardening (DIG). After a recent trip to South Africa, I was introduced to this charity through my good friends Mitchell Anderson and Richie Arpino. Come join Best Self for the opportunity to “dig deep” and give back to those in need. To receive your invitation, sign up for our newsletter at BestSelfAtlanta.com.

My Best List – A Gift from South Africa

While in South Africa, I visited A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines (AABadenhorst.com), the most amazing family-owned-and-operated winery. In fact, it was my favorite destination of our trip. Semma Badenhorst was kind enough to allow me to share a couple of amazing treats from that visit.

Seed Crackers

Seed Crackers

Homemade Healthy Seed Crackers – Seriously Awesome!

Ingredients

• 200 grams sunflower seeds

• 60 grams flax seeds

• 100 grams sesame seeds Directions

• 2 tablespoons psyllium husks

• 500 milliliters water

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

• Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Secateurs Chenin Blanc by A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines

Secateurs Chenin Blanc by A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines

• In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and leave mixture to stand for approximately 10 minutes until it is thick and pliable (like a crunchy dough).

• Spread the mixture as thinly as possible on a silicone mat on a baking tray. The mix should have no holes in it.

• Bake for approximately one hour. Rotate every 15 to 20 minutes until crispy.

• Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, cut them into any size you like. They will keep well in an airtight container.

•Pair with the Secateurs Chenin Blanc by A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines, your favorite goat cheese, and enjoy!

Here are some of the local retailers that carry this refreshing vino brand. Savi Provisions Buckhead, Jax Fine Wines And Spirits, Citi Wine & Spirits, Green’s Discount Beverages.

Best,

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Forty and beyond is looking better than ever
thanks to our 2019 Over 40 & Fabulous! contest winners. 
From volunteerism to advocacy, business to broadcast media, 
our winners reflect the energy and enthusiasm that makes this season of life extra special. Meet them all in these special uncut Q&A’s!

Top 10

Winner
01_Tonya-Renee-Guillory--9x12Tonya Renee Guillory
While enduring struggles with infertility, Tonya Renee Guillory never lost hope. The 47-year-old vice president of sales for Georgia for BenchMark and Drayer Physical Therapy brings that inner strength to everything she does. Not one to let any mountain stand in her way, the adventurous mom can also be found shredding the slopes.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
That I am a powerful, strong, and confident woman who can accomplish anything and everything that I set my mind to.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
I have always looked at the 40s as the new 20s. I have my beautiful mother, who never seemed to age and taught me how to love the skin I am in to thank for that.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I love this stage because I can look back and enjoy all that I have accomplished personally. Having led and mentored others and being able to watch their success is a joy to me.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment is my little girl, Lily. My husband, David, and I spent eight long years trying to conceive. We had eight rounds of in vitro fertilization, hundreds of shots, and endured four painful miscarriages along the way. They finally diagnosed me with the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s and with the proper medication, I was finally able to give birth to our perfect baby at 42 years of age. Lily truly is our miracle child. Many women who are struggling with infertility have reached out to me, and I try to be a beacon of hope for them. I never lost faith and refused to give up on the dream of becoming a mother. I am a fighter.

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is the Bible. We read it together as a family every night.

What is your favorite way to work out?
My favorite workout is strength training. We have a complete home gym and I work out four to five times a week. My workouts are a stress relief for me.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I love to cook different kinds of fish and salmon is my favorite.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
Giving back and paying it forward is one of the most important parts of my life. It helps me to feel complete and it allows us to show our daughter at such a young age how important it is to help others. I am involved in several organizations. When I was trying to get pregnant for those eight years, our dogs literally saved me. Now, we work on saving them. I work closely with Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc. and over the years have sponsored events to raise funds to save homeless animals from euthanasia. I am on the advisory board of the Atlanta Women’s Empowerment group (AWE). One of my best friends, Lisa Driggers Milam, had the idea to create a group that empowers professional women and mentors younger women to assist them in personal growth and help them deal with real-life issues.

I work closely with Dr. Eric Steenlage and hold annual events at Union Hill Polo Club to help charities involving veterans and animals. We have raised thousands of dollars for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc., the American Heart Association, and the Military Benevolent Fund. I also got my company involved with the Adopt-a-Senior program through Neighbor Love, a cause near and dear to my heart. For the last two years, our BenchMark team of therapists has gotten their patients involved in donating items to fill stockings to give to the elderly at local nursing homes so that they will have gifts at Christmas. We also had a blanket drive for homeless animals. BenchMark and Drayer Rehab Partners are committed to giving back to the community, and we have our own organization called Pillars with Purpose that raises money for a multitude of causes. In 2018, we raised $301,000 for the American Heart Association.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
My inspiration for this type of charity work comes from my love for animals who helped save me during some of my most painful years. My work with veterans comes from my father and his service as a lieutenant on the front lines of Vietnam and watching him live his life with post-traumatic stress disorder. And my inspiration for the elderly comes from taking care of my grandparents, who both suffered from Alzheimer’s and numerous health issues, for the last four years of their lives. My mother was taking care of them, but after her tragic death in 2007, I took over the responsibility of their daily care. Being one of the hardest things that I have ever gone through, it was one of the most rewarding as well. My grandparents’ wish was to never go to a nursing home, and I did everything possible to keep that from happening. They were able to live out the remainder of their lives with us. I have an incredible soft spot for the elderly.

What makes you laugh?
I believe that laughing keeps you young. I love watching the old Chevy Chase “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movies.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moment was when I was at a busy gas station and drove off with the nozzle still in my car and tore the hose off the pump. Ha!

What is your favorite quote?
‘Great love and great achievements involve great risk.’

What is your favorite getaway?
My favorite getaway is Beaver Creek, Colorado. My husband is a lifelong expert all-mountain skier who introduced me to skiing when we first got together. I wanted to take up his passion for skiing, but it never clicked with me. So, at age 40, I started snowboarding and loved it immediately. In just a few years I have made it to Level 6, with Level 7 being the highest you can go. I love shredding down the mountain with my husband. We are in the process of teaching Lily to snowboard and we are loving that. The mountain is truly a place where we can unplug.

Name something on your bucket list.
My bucket list contains learning to play a real guitar one day. Currently, I am only a professional air guitar player.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I take a long, hot bath with my favorite Pandora station, Bedroom Lullaby. This is my favorite nighttime ritual.

How would your friends and family describe you?
My friends and family describe me as a great mother, loving, giving, dedicated, hardworking, and passionate.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
The amazing therapists at BenchMark help me with the aches and pains that come with my disease and maintaining core strength. Max at White Salon and Spa in Buckhead gives me the most amazing updos ever. Trenton Witherspoon at Day Makers Salon in Roswell does the best blowouts. Dr. Suzanne Ferree Turner of Vine Medical keeps me healthy with a holistic approach. And I will always be grateful to Dr. Andrew A. Toledo at Reproductive Biology Associates, who never gave up on us and helped us bring our miracle child, Lily, into the world. Walt Porter, now the executive vice resident of BenchMark and Drayer Rehab Partners, has been my mentor. He always believes in me and pushes me to achieve great accomplishments. I never want to let him down.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
Learning to achieve and maintain balance in my life is a work in progress. I work hard because I love what I do and want to set the example for our daughter that hard work, dedication, and giving back will be rewarded.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
Keep your head down and stay the course. Do not compare yourself to others and find an awesome mentor. Anything is possible through dedication to yourself and hard work. Your best years are ahead of you.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I see myself as “Over 60 and Fabulous.”

 

03-Bridgitte-Ferraro-Hatfield-6x10-1Give-Back Award

Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield

Service truly is at the core of who Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield, 44, is. When the wife, mother, and business co-founder felt called to take her giving back up a notch, she launched RefuseToDoNothing.org and has touched thousands of lives ever since.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
The best thing I have learned about myself since turning 40 is to embrace each moment regardless if it is a positive or negative experience. Learning from each moment and being receptive to learning lessons from the obstacles, the hardships, the ease, and the rewards continues to shape me into the person I am.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
My perception has not changed. I have always admired people that are in their 40s. Their style, demeanor, and attitude is a reflection of the life they have lived thus far. I have compassion and greater understanding of people that wear a heavier exterior and I celebrate those who have conquered obstacles, triumphed through the hardships, and humbly push forward. My grandparents were great examples of people living their best life. They were loving, vibrant, stylish, successful, and family oriented. My image of the American Dream stems from them and all that they are. My grandmother turned 85 this past year and she is still fulfilling that image in my mind and in my heart.

What do you love most about this stage of life?

I love that I have many accomplishments and have wonderful people surrounding myself and our family. I am continuously learning, and have absolutely no expectation for the future. I feel completely satisfied.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishment is continuing my relationship with God and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Through Him, all is possible and I actually see that play out each day in my life and those around me.

What is your favorite book?

The Bible. It never goes out of style. You never get tired of reading it. There is inspiration in every chapter and there is always a story that relates to your life.

What is your favorite way to work out?

Walking or running.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

Salad (with literally any and every veggie possible).

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
My favorite way to give back to my community is working locally, nationally and globally.

WORKING AT A LOCAL LEVEL;

Volunteering weekly at public schools: I work in the Media Center at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School and Milton High School (stocking books, interacting with students, checking in/out their books), class representative at CCES (work with the teacher, correspond with parents, organize all shirts/gifts/and extra day event details), Teacher and Staff Appreciation CCES (organize and implement a monthly themed appreciation event to celebrate the 85 staff members of CCES). Work with Junior Beta Club in Roswell completing their community hours through volunteerism, learning to make pillowcase dresses, and shoe patterns.
Volunteer monthly at Chris180 group home in Atlanta. I make a homemade dinner—from appetizer to dessert, complete with flowers, table setting, and a host gift and I drive two hours each way to Ellenwood. I spend the afternoon and evening with the girls and staff talking, taking pictures, laughing, and encouraging.
Volunteer yearly at CHOA
Facilitate/make 200 baby blankets and collect 200 books for CHOA NICU for those suffering from Congenital Heart Disease in honor of #OwensBirthdayProject
Drake House: Team Leader/Organize donations/ Supporter/Volunteer
Foster Care. Our family is a licensed foster family and we serve local children in need between the ages of newborn to 12 years old. We currently have a sibling group of two baby boys under the age of 2.

WORKING AT A NATIONAL LEVEL:
Raising Money, Awareness, and Supporting those affected by the following each year:
ALS: Team Captain
Autism Speaks
Best Buddies International: speak at schools on 3/21 to educate
END Alzheimer’s: Team Captain
CURE Childhood Cancer Cupid Race: Team Captain
FARE: – Food Allergy Research & Education Board Member, Supporter
Feeding America: Supporter
Humane Society- No Kill Shelter Supporter
Parkinson’s Foundation: Wilkins Parkinson’s Supporter
Project Linus: leading, making, distributing 36 x 36 quilts to critically ill/orphaned babies
MS Walk: Participant
Refuse To Do Nothing- advocate, humanitarian and philanthropist for the five basic human rights; shelter, water, food, clothes, and shoes

WORKING ON A GLOBAL LEVEL:
Blankets for Missions: Making 36 x 36 quilts and blankets for orphaned/critically ill babies, people who are homeless, youth in crisis, weighted blankets for people to manage symptoms, and as a NICU comfort and keepsake.
Clean Water Project: Committed to building water wells. My husband and I built 8 sustainable clean water wells in Uganda Africa in 2018. I have worked with 8 schools to provide the clean water, latrines, meals, and clothing their students need.
MudLove: Providing 624 weeks per year of clean water in Central Africa through the purchase and distribution of Mud Love products that are made in Indiana, USA since 2016.
Propel Foundation: Serving with and through Propel Foundation toward quality education, faith, food, and clean water.
Pillowcase Dresses For Missions: I have made and organized close to 3,000 pillowcase dresses since 2015. I added britches for boys this past year with the help of Rachel O’Neill from Little Dresses For Africa. These items have gone to 8 countries and have been hand delivered by myself or someone I know personally. The mission began helping one girl to cover her body to aid in achieving confidence and dignity and has exploded into giving to clinics and shelters for the patients to go home in a clean new dress at discharge.
Sole Hope: Make shoe patterns, raise money, provide education to avoid the jiggers parasite, and serving in Jinja, Uganda as a short term missionary and Board of Director.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?

To fulfill a need of others and also fulfill a need in myself. I am constantly inspired by others and want to do my little tiny part by “Refusing to Do Nothing” to honor my Biblical stewardship and be the role model my children deserve. I want to live out loud and be the best version of myself. I wanted my children to notice that random acts of kindness can be in our own zip code or 6,000 miles away. We do not have to be directly affected to do something. Each act of service that we make locally, nationally, or globally, makes a profound ripple effect toward the greater good.

What makes you laugh?

When other people laugh! Love laughing with others is contagious.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

When I was delivering my second child and the doctor allowed about six young male residents in the delivery room. Thankfully, I only had two big pushes but I apologized profusely for the unexplainable noise that came out of my mouth on that second and final push! I was mortified.

What is your favorite quote?

‘For with God, all things are possible.’

What is your favorite getaway?
Spending time with our family and furry babies at our little mountain house in Blue Ridge. I love the good comfort food, music, board games, sunsets, and time together.

Name something on your bucket list.

Tandem cliff jumping at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park.

Where do you go for “me” time?

I enjoy cooking and creating something my family will enjoy.

How would your friends and family describe you?

As ‘humble/kind, ‘everyday hero,’ or ‘super mom.’

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?

The secret is to always work toward balance. I have to compartmentalize my schedule and not allow tasks to overlap. I always spend time each night washing my face and decompressing. I go to bed early and I wake up early, so I attempt to stay fresh and focused. I spend time on my devotional, create a to-do list, and plan what dinner menus my family would enjoy. I have good communication with my family and co-workers and tell everyone frequently how much they mean to me.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?

Give yourself time to be you. Embrace all the messiness and celebrate the achievements. Make dinners count, set the table, use the china, hug your kids good night, go on date night, get dressed up, enjoy the little things, look forward to Mondays, don’t wish the moments away, say ‘I love you,’ be thankful, be positive, and breathe … breathe in blessings and exhale gratitude.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I am not sure, but I pray I will be happy, healthy, and maybe a little sassy in my 60s.

Inspiration Award

02_Terri-Ellis-Ewing-6x10Terri Ellis-Ewing
After overcoming hearing loss caused by a traumatic head injury,
Terri Ellis-Ewing, 54, has made it her mission to get hearing aids and implants into the hands of those who need them. The charming co-founder of Wade Ford car dealerships in Smyrna is an advocate for the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
The best thing that I have learned about myself since being in my 40s and beyond is that your health is the most important thing in your life, in addition to the love of family, friends and God. I have also learned that exercise by way of strength training, flexibility and stretching are key components to feeling great. It’s also important to clear your mind through yoga, Pilates and meditation. These are all the key components that give me a full mind, body, and soul connection and makes me feel like my best self at 54!

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
My perception of over 40 seemed so ancient when I was younger! My parents looked so amazing at 40 and over, so did all of their friends (they were all married very young at 20 years old) but they always stayed active and had lots of fun. However, even though I felt as though my parents were older, it was inspiring to see them have successful jobs, play on their company sports teams like softball and bowling leagues, as well as socializing with their friends on a regular basis whether it be a house party or a card party. It was always a lot of fun in my house growing up.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
What I love most about this stage of my life is that I finally feel totally EMPOWERED to be true to myself in every way with no distractions! I truly love everything about myself at this stage of my life because I have accomplished so much, both personally and professionally and it feels good to be in a position to just be all about myself, my family, and giving back to the community. I spent the majority of my adult life raising my most precious children to both be confident, smart, and outgoing and to make good healthy choices. They are both out of the house now and I am an empty nester and it feels so good. I finally have the extra time for myself.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment is my family! I have been married to an amazing man for 24 years, and have two great successful and healthy children. My husband and I have managed to open our fourth successful car dealership and we’ve owned and operated Wade Ford in Smyrna for 17 years with over 125 employees.

In addition, I am enjoying watching my children soar while I pursue all of my dreams. My daughter just graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and African-American Studies and is working in Washington, D.C. as an executive assistant for a senator and plans to go to law school. My son is a sophomore at the University of Miami and is majoring in business finance with a minor in film production. They are the absolute loves of my life and I am such a proud mother!

What is your favorite book?
“Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert is my favorite book because I remember being at a point in my life where I needed to be inspired at work, in motherhood, and to better myself. I read the book in three days and was super charged! It made me realize that despite anything that you may be going through, good or bad in your life, that you still have to stay focused on yourself and live your best life! I also love to read a daily meditation every morning from a book called “Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color” by Ivanya Vanzant. It gives me positive strength and motivation every day.

What is your favorite way to work out?
My favorite way to workout is power walking with my dogs (2 to 3 miles) three to five times a week at the Chattahoochee River or at great park while listening to an amazing music playlist! It not only works out my body, but it works on my mind, body, and soul. It’s where I create all of my positive thoughts and aspirations for the week. I also love going to Club Pilates on a regular basis and using the reformer machine because it keeps my body aligned, flexible and strong.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
My favorite healthy meal is the Ancient Grains with protein bowl at True Food Kitchen at Lenox Square mall with miso sesame glazed sweet potatoes, turmeric, charred onion, snow peas, grilled portobello mushrooms, avocado, hemp seed and delicious glazed shrimp. It is extremely yummy. They also have wonderful refreshers and teas to compliment the dish! My favorite beverage is the Honey Lemonade. I also love avocado toast with a runny egg on top for breakfast!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
My absolute favorite way to give back to the community is working as a board member for the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. because I have been hearing impaired since I was a young child. I want to help all children and adults to learn to hear and speak again through hearing aids or implants without the use of sign language. This is a heart felt mission of mine because when I was 11 years old, I was hit by a car, which damaged my hearing by way of a traumatic head injury. My hearing has been degenerative each year since the accident. Wearing high-tech hearing aids has changed my life tremendously!

I want to make a change for all of these children, as well as adults with hearing loss problems because I know how hard it has been for me to live as a hearing impaired person for most of my life. I remember being in school and not being able to hear lectures or even personal conversations from friends and family sometimes and I was too embarrassed to let people know that I couldn’t hear them because I was hard of hearing! Once I received my hearing aids, it seemed like the world opened up to a better place for me. I was able to hear lectures, take exercise classes, talk to and hear people in large crowds, conduct a meeting, hear feedback and even hear better at the movies! These are the things that most people take for granted because they have no idea about how difficult it is to be hearing impaired or deaf. For me, it’s a reality every day! There are over 36 million people who suffer from some type of hearing loss and cannot afford hearing aids or implants and I want to make it my mission one person/ear at a time to help make their life complete with a gift of hearing and speaking again through our program.

It makes it even more worthwhile because most of the children we work with are on Medicaid, have no health insurance or are simply from lower income households and cannot afford hearing aids or implants. So our mission at AVC is to raise as much money as we can to put these children and young adults through these programs so that they are able to have a better quality of life and fortunately we have been succeeding! I love it so much! Because of my personal breakthrough with the ability to afford hearing aids I am definitely more effective with living my best life in many ways as well as helping other hard of hearing people live their best life with my success story.

The other charity work that I do is in conjunction with my employees at Wade Ford. We work very closely with the Atlanta Mission. We work with the single moms and children that live at the Atlanta Mission to try and help them get jobs, housing and take care of their families. We also donate our time by working at the center and doing a company-wide annual giving campaign. Myself, and all of our employees donate time, money, clothing, toiletries, shoes, undergarments, stationary, pens, papers and notebooks, and food to all of the homeless women and children who live at the center.
Working with the Atlanta Mission is also near and dear to my heart because I know how hard it can be for single moms to make enough money to house and feed their children. Let alone take care of themselves. So giving my time back to them and their children makes such a difference in my life, as well as the lives of my employees.

And lastly, I am a member of the Buckhead/Cascade City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and we pride ourselves in doing service all year long. It is our mission and it is mandatory with our organization that every member do at least 48 hours or more of service a year! We work with many nonprofit organizations such as Jerusalem House, which is a permanent housing provider in Atlanta for low-income and homeless individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS, Books for Africa, where we volunteer to donate/send books to Africa for schools that do not have books, Solomon’s Temple, another Atlanta homeless shelter for women and children, to name a few.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
My entire life of being hearing impaired inspired me to find a nonprofit such as Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. to help people like myself and change their lives forever by giving them the proper tools needed to live a normal happy, active and healthy lifestyle again. In addition, I have always been inspired to help single, homeless mothers and children find shelter, food, and jobs to live normal lives. I enjoy and love to empower, inspire, and motivate them.

What makes you laugh?
There are so many things that make me laugh, such as “Saturday Night Live,” comedian Dave Chappelle, my children, and a romantic comedy. But the thing that has made me laugh for years is the movie “Liar Liar” starring Jim Carrey! If I even think about some of the scenes in that movie, it makes me laugh hysterically.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moments would be most of my entire life of being hard of hearing. I would be most embarrassed by teachers calling me out because I didn’t hear the lecture or question, or a constant reminder from friends and family that someone was talking to me and I simply didn’t hear them, and not being able to answer.
It is very embarrassing and humiliating! That is why I believe that I am my absolute Best Self because I overcame my disability and never let it keep me down.

What is your favorite quote?
‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’ —Alice Walker. I pride myself on ‘never losing my power’ by staying healthy, being a great mother, wife, mentor, loyal friend, and always staying true to myself. I believe I should never stop learning, giving back, and bettering myself in every way that I can.

What is your favorite getaway?
My favorite getaway is Martha’s Vineyard. I grew up there all my life and would go during the summertime with my family and friends. It is a beautiful place where you can really relax, unwind, take fabulous walks along the beach, ride bicycles, sit on the beach at sunset, read a great book, eat fresh seafood, have quality time with your loved ones, and drink great wine. The minute you get off the ferry from Boston into Oak Bluffs you get this amazing feeling of total bliss and you almost feel as though there are no worries in the world and everybody on the island seems to feel the same way!

Name something on your bucket list.
I have traveled all over the world to Singapore, Spain, Portugal, London, Italy and many more places. I lived in Japan as an exchange student. But the only place I would love to travel to with my family is South Africa for two weeks and bring lots of duffel bags full of clothes, shoes, toiletries, etcetera to the many African families who are in dire need. I’d like to also visit the beautiful safaris to see all the wild lions, elephants, and giraffes. It’s my dream trip! Number one on my bucket list!

Where do you go for “me” time?
I travel two times a year to have my “me time” to a place called Miraval in Tucson, Arizona. It is a place where you can go by yourself, or with your friends and everyone has their own individual experience and time to themselves. It is a place where you go to reset and recharge your life through exercise, spa treatments, classes, healthy eating, yoga, meditation, hiking, cooking classes, and much more. I love the program there because at the end of your stay they give you stationary and an envelope to address to write a letter to yourself. They then mail the letter back to you 3 to 4 months later to remind you of your goals and aspirations of the things you learned during your stay. It is an absolutely fantastic retreat! It can be pretty life-changing and what you learned there will last you for months until it’s time to go back and restart your life again it has had such a positive impact on my life.

How would your friends and family describe you?
That I am the BEST loving, caring, attentive mother and wife first and foremost, because everyone knows how much I LOVE my family and I always put them first. They would also say that I am extremely outgoing, fun loving and love to laugh. In addition, I love helping other people, staying healthy, smart, educated and running a very profitable business.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
Club Pilates in Sandy Springs; Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs; Massage Envy; Massage Heights; Salon NP Hair Design by Nathalie DeLoach; Dr. Chynna Steele Johnson of Steele Dermatology; Makeup By Kimaris; Lush Nails & Spa;
Dr. Michael A. Cone of ChiroZone Wellness, Inc.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
I maintain balance by being extremely organized! I pride myself on having a tight schedule and making sure that I also pencil in enough time for me on a daily basis. There are certain things that I do for my family and myself on a regular basis. Work responsibilities are easy because I have a huge team of great employees at Wade Ford that help us to manage all of our customers, as well as our business.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
The advice that I would give to someone who isn’t over 40 and fabulous yet would be to be good to yourself, listen to your body, and learn how to pray! If you listen to your body, trust your gut feelings and your decisions, you will learn early on what’s important for your well-being, as well as for the rest of your life. In addition, don’t put off important things in your life and constantly invest in yourself because you only get one YOU. Lastly, make sure that you always tell your family and friends that you care about the most how much you love them and also spend lots of quality time with them. As you become older, you start to lose people in your life and you want to make sure they all know how much you loved and cared about them.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
In 20 years I see myself as a beautiful, healthy, and fit 74-year-old teaching reformer Pilates classes and doing morning walks on the beach every day with my dogs while enjoying my husband, children, grandchildren, close friends and family. I would also still continue all of my community service and giving back to others during my spare time because I believe that my life story will be even more powerful to share with the world to make it a better place.

Michelle Falconer

05_Michelle-Falconer-6x10When it comes to living life after 40 to the fullest, Michelle Falconer serves fabulosity in a major way. The tennis player, 43, who founded Bailey & Hunter Realty, focuses on being an energetic and thoughtful role model for youth and more.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
I’ve learned that I am the person who has the strongest influence on how I live my life. I am currently benefiting from the decisions I made in my 20s, and what I do in my 40s will dictate the rewards I am able to reap in my 60s. I have learned that it is up to me to build a strong foundation—mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially—so that my family and I can be successful in all our endeavors.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
I don’t think my perception has changed. My mother has always been a young soul and believes getting ‘old’ is a mind-set. When I was younger, she gave no indication that her 40s were a time to slow down, or look and act differently. I see myself following in her footsteps, as I am living life to the fullest and truly enjoying being over 40 and fabulous!

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I’m a ‘people’ person. Now that I’m in my 40s, I love that I can capitalize on the amazing relationships that I have been cultivating for the last 20-plus years. Every person I meet teaches me something new and I am grateful that my network allows me to continue to grow as an individual, a wife, a mother, a friend, and an entrepreneur.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Raising four beautiful, caring, sweet, and amazing children is by far my best accomplishment. It has been a wild ride, but they all make me proud.

What is your favorite book?
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. This book really helped me think about how I got to where I am today. I had to think critically about my own personality traits, the opportunities I was afforded, and, surprisingly, the fact that I was born in December.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I was part of a traveling dance company when I was a teenager and I am not the type of woman to spend time on the treadmill. I like working out to be fun, which currently consists of tennis. I get to hang out with friends and be active at the same time. I’ve even convinced my husband to come play doubles. #TeamFalconer

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I haven’t made it in a while, but I like to make my own grilled chicken salad. I start with some basic greens, add in a few veggies and warm grilled chicken, and toss it all with a homemade lemon and olive oil dressing.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
If there is ever something I can do with kids, I’m in. The thing I’m most proud of is sponsoring a triage room at Hughes Spalding hospital with my extended family. When my youngest daughter happened to be treated in that room and she asked why it had our name on it, I had a very special moment explaining it to her. She was able to see first hand how a triage room makes a difference for families of sick children, and was happy that lots of people would benefit from it every day. The second thing that stands out as a special giving moment was taking my oldest daughter to Swaziland (Eswatini) with an organization called Beyond The Game. This organization, which is led by another woman who is over 40 and fabulous, provides food to over 1,000 orphans in Swaziland EVERY DAY! My oldest daughter and I visited twice. Seeing the genuine compassion she felt for the children there was priceless. She was so moved that she personally ‘adopted’ two orphans and gave up her allowance to help feed them. In addition to these special opportunities to give back, I’m also regularly involved with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (where I work with the teens) and the National Black Arts Festival (where I help raise money to increase awareness of African-American art and artists). Finally, I jump at all opportunities to participate in roundtable or panel discussions on entrepreneurship with students in Atlanta public schools.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I was extremely fortunate to have a mother who recognized her limitations and sought out opportunities for me, even when we could not afford them. I benefited from the generous time, money, and mentorship given to me by others, and feel it is my duty to repay that gift by paying it forward.

What makes you laugh?
My youngest daughter has a VERY quick wit. I’m never ready for the things that come out of her mouth.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
A waxing moment at the nail salon!

What is your favorite quote?
‘Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.’ –Michelle Obama

What is your favorite getaway?
Anguilla, but I love to travel to new places. I’ll go wherever my kids are interested in going.

Name something on your bucket list.
Going to Egypt.

Where do you go for “me” time?
Either I go to the spa, or to the movie room in my basement. Sometimes a good Netflix binge is all I need.

How would your friends and family describe you?
The answer totally depends on who you ask! But, I hope they say that I’m a good friend and that I’m genuine. I aim to be the friend they know they can call when they’re down and for them to know that they can depend on me to help get them out!

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
Tracie Edmonds is my go-to hair and makeup artist. My dear friend Maja Sly always dresses me out of her closet for my photo shoots.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
I try to combine all of them together. I grew up working and I try to instill that at home. Everyone has chores and responsibilities and we all encourage each other to get through our to-do lists. All of my kids are involved in Jack and Jill of America, Inc., so we do a lot of community service as a family as well. Finally, we relax together. Whenever I’m getting my nails done, I typically take my kids (including my boys). Everyone also loves to hang out at the pool during summertime.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
Go for whatever you want and don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Perfect never comes, but you can move the needle little by little to reach your goals. I learned this lesson when I was renovating a historic building last year. On the brink of losing everything, I just had to keep working on the ‘little’ things that I could control and know that they would eventually add up to big things. A year behind schedule, it was finally finished and I opened the building this January.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Living a very carefree life on a beach, babysitting my grandkids, and vacationing on a very big yacht!

08_Stella-J.-Ringer-6x10Stella J. Ringer
This 50-something fierce fashionista encourages women to embrace aging with grace, confidence, and positivity! The Coca-Cola Company entertainment marketing manager also takes pride in being a role model for girls of color.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
The best thing I’ve learned about myself since turning 40 (and 50) is my resilience. Regardless of what happens in life, I’ve learned that persistence is key and attitude is king. With persistence and a positive attitude, I’ve been able to handle all things with confidence and grace.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you did?
As you get closer to a certain age, your perception changes for the better. When I was 25, I thought 40 was ‘old,’ but I also knew I would be wiser as well. My mom is one of my role models. The way I look, act, and view the world today is because of her. She never looked her age (still doesn’t at 84), she dressed with impeccable style, and always helped others. I wanted to look, feel, and emulate her as I progressed in age.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
What I love most about this stage of life is being grateful for experiences, accomplishments, blessings and setbacks. I’ve been on this earth for a while and I wouldn’t change a thing. This life chapter has awarded me the opportunity to help others via the experiences I’ve been through.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment is being a wife and mother that relentlessly loves and supports her family. Through that love and support, my husband and I have raised a smart, kind, thoughtful and compassionate young man, our son, Peyton.

What is your favorite book?
I’m a huge fan of self-help and empowering reads. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck is one of my favorites. It encourages you to think about how your mindset, words, and approach determines your overall success.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I like to do various things for physical exercise, but my favorite and go to is a cardio and free weights combination. The cardio gets my blood and heart pumping, while the free weights gives me nice structure and tone.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I’m a portion control and moderation kinda girl, but my favorite meal is smoked salmon (with a nice sauce) with rice and asparagus or grilled Brussels sprouts (I love Brussels sprouts!)

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
I have a passion for uplifting and encouraging our youth (especially girls’ empowerment) and helping those within underserved communities. African Americans encompass a large percentage of those that are underserved (whether youth or adults). Being an African-American female who’s been given educational and career opportunities, it’s my duty and obligation to joyously help others! One of my core “give back” goals is to ensure little African-American girls see smart, beautiful, powerful and compassionate women who look like them. I strive daily to be a woman they can look up to!

Community Leadership
Board of Directors – Agape Youth & Family Center – 2014 – present – Agape serves a community of more than 2,000 school-age children (mainly Hispanic and African American) by providing a variety of programs (after-school homework program/provide nutritious meals, et cetera) to empower these children from under-served families.
Board of Directors – The PIVOT Foundation – 2017 – present – Our mission is to assist women by providing access and opportunity to employment and business resources with the goal of helping them assimilate back into the workforce or pivot into a new career. Simply put, we help women win! Through our Pivot for a Purpose Scholarship Program (which I lead) we provide scholarships to young multicultural girls who have demonstrated a commitment to community service throughout their high school career. Our goal is to help our PIVOT Scholars develop into pivotal women.
Board of Directors – Rock Teen Youth Mentoring Program – 2017 – present – Rock Teen was founded by 97.5 Atlanta DJ and Sports Editor Rock-T. Rock-T is from the Dallas area and started the mentoring program to encourage and build confidence with Dallas area teens that are from underserved, urban school districts.
WINGS for Mercy Care – Host Fundraising Committee – 2016 – present – WINGS for Mercy Care is the volunteer fundraising arm of the Mercy Care Foundation. The core mission is to provide healthcare to underserved communities, as well as collect winter coats, clothing, blankets, and toiletry items to support Mercy Care’s homeless outreach mission.
Goode Foundation (Sponsorship Chair – Gala Fundraiser) – 2017 – present – The mission for the Goode Foundation is to raise funds for families that are experiencing Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). This organization is personal, as a close and dear college friend (Kerry Goode) was diagnosed with the disease in 2015. His strong faith and awesome attitude inspired many of my University of Alabama friends and me to plan and execute the gala to raise funds to help fight the disease.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – 2009 – present – Delta Sigma Theta is a Greek-lettered sorority of college-educated women dedicated to public community service with an emphasis on programs that target the African-American community.
Centennial Academy (CA) – Apprenticeship Mentor – 2018 – present – Mentor, counsel and inspire (two) female 8th grade students from CA regarding educational, career and overarching life experiences.
Jack and Jill of America, Inc. – 2016-2019 – Jack and Jill is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 to 19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving, and civic duty.
Ben Hill United Methodist – Church Host Committee – Haiti Mission Trip – 2015, 2017 – Missions Ministry – I was on the Planning Committee to travel to Haiti to provide community activities to the people of Haiti, books, arts/crafts for orphanages, healthcare, toiletries, etc.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
My mother encouraged my siblings and me to help those that are less fortunate, especially those in our community. My faith and religious upbringing also focused on showing true LOVE by giving back.

What makes you laugh?
My husband and son! They both can be characters at times. We love just being together and laughing until we cry over the simplest things—something funny that happened at school or work or something a family member said or did.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
One of my most embarrassing (+ funny) moments was when I was the graduation commencement speaker at the now defunct Bauder College (2009). My topic was “dream big” and I quoted several well-known philanthropic celebrities who believe in the power of dreaming big, succeeding and giving back, i.e., Oprah, Michelle Obama, et cetera. Well, I threw a curveball and mentioned Dolly Parton. I first experienced silence and then the biggest laugh (although she has an awesome “rags to riches” story of believing in her music dreams and giving back through her Dollywood Foundation). I should have known when you mention Dolly, you probably think of other “big things” before you think of dreaming big!

What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is by Paul J. Meyer, “What you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

What is your favorite getaway?
Bermuda. The island is so beautiful, clean, and serene! My goal is to have a summer home there in the future. I reference my favorite quote to ensure it happens.

Name something on your bucket list.
Skydiving! I consider myself adventurous, but I need to build my adventurous muscle for this bucket list item. For my birthday this past January, my friends, and family joined me at iFLY®. I considered it my training class.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I’ve always believed in order to care for others you first must care for yourself. A nice spa day helps me relax and rejuvenate; shopping provides fun and enjoyment and quiet time in the morning with prayer and journaling allows me to start my day on a positive note.

How would your friends and family describe you?
They would say I am compassionate, loving, funny, do all things with excellence and elegance, love to empower and encourage others, embodies style, loves all things upscale, and is the planner of family gatherings!

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
I’ll answer this from an internal and external perspective, as both support and balance each other. Internally, those who help me become my best self are family and friends. As long as I have their love and encouragement it builds my confidence, my self-worth and allows me to be a genuinely good person. When you have positive vibes inside it shows outwardly via your smile and overall disposition. I admit, I have many in my corner that help me shine on the outside:
Randall K. Smith of RKS Couture keeps me in grand style for all my gala work.
Keon Brunson keeps my hair fabulous.
The Perfect Brows ensures my brows are flawless.
Sugarcoat keeps my nails on point.
Dr. Sylvia W. Wright of Peachtree Dermatology ensures my skin stays beautiful.
When I need a little extra facial love, Lux Christian Alexander and Kristen White are the best makeup artists in Atlanta.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
For me, it’s lifestyle balance, which includes self-care, family, work, and giving back. It’s part of what I do every day and what I enjoy. To ensure I manage it well, it’s a partnership/support system with my husband (he’s there for me/I’m there for him). I try to eat well, work out to sustain my energy and body weight, and get the required amount of sleep. Lastly, I don’t make my lifestyle stressful. All the things that are on my plate are good things and are the foundation of who I am. I’m grateful for what God has given me. I’m not saying all things are perfect, but when I step back and count my blessings—I’m thankful.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
I would tell them to never conform or change who you are to emulate someone else. It’s fine to have others inspire you, but we all have a unique thumbprint that makes us special. When we see successful people, we only see the “success,” we don’t know the back story or challenges and obstacles they encountered. I would encourage them to own who they are and learn along the way! Tell their own story and be authentic. You never know how that story will encourage and uplift others.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
In 20 years, I will still be living my best life! I would have written and successfully accomplished my corporate career chapter (retired), moved to my next milestone of a thriving entrepreneur (influencing style via my own media platform, encouraging women to discover and embrace their own personal style) continuing my quest to make a difference by giving back, enjoying my summer home in Bermuda and loving my family, friends and grandchildren!

Eileen Rosencrants04_Eileen-Rosencrants-6x10
Eileen Rosencrants has never been scared to take the road less traveled. The vivacious Keller Williams Atlanta Perimeter realtor, 67, finds joy in lifting up those around her.
What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40? There is always an opportunity to learn. One career path does not mean another won’t come your way. Always keep an open mind for other interests and continue to develop.

Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?

Not at all. They were very traditional and did not have the opportunities that I’ve been able to have. Their focus was entirely on home life and the immediate and extended family. My siblings, cousins, and I are all very close today. My parents were very cautious, as they were married at a very young age and had five children to take care of! There was a 17-year age span from the oldest child to the youngest. We were a very traditional Irish-Italian Catholic family. Every Sunday, we went to church together, had Sunday dinner at 1 p.m. together, and then went to visit our grandparents (usually both sets) or visited cousins. That tradition created such a great family bond that still exists today. At the time though, I yearned to spread my wings and wanted to do more than the same thing every week. I did that by being the first in my family to move away from Massachusetts and go to Atlanta after I graduated from college in 1975.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger?

Much has changed as I’ve aged. My generation has resisted accepting age as a limiting factor. There is better education about diet and exercise available now. Also, there have been so many advances in science and in the beauty industry to keep us looking as young as we feel. Even if one is not physically active, we have new esthetic procedures to help us look our best.

What do you love most about this stage of life?

With each decade comes more wisdom, acceptance and perspective. I understand that most people are doing the best they can each day. I don’t take things as personally as I used to and realize it’s not about me, but somebody might just be having a bad day. We are not walking in someone else’s shoes. I love meeting new people all the time. I’m very social and talk to everyone.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My children, Anthony and Alissa Marzetti.

What is your favorite book?

“365 Mary: A Daily Guide to Mary’s Wisdom and Comfort” by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker. It’s an inspirational book offering daily words of wisdom from Mary and is a powerful invitation to prayer, forgiveness, hope and love, and meditations on her miracles. It’s amazing how I can pick up this book, any day or night, read one short page and have a lightbulb moment!

What is your favorite way to work out?

There are two important fitness routines. I start each day at Hard Exercise Works – Roswell—a high-intensity boot camp with amazing people. I also take private ballroom dance lessons (Think “Dancing with the Stars” ) with the fabulous Melbin De La Cruz.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

Simple grilled fish or meat, with steamed vegetables, a salad, and a lovely glass of wine!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?

I’ve been volunteering in the community since 1981, starting with teaching English to foreign visitors to Atlanta. I’ve been involved with numerous organizations over the past 30 years, volunteering in various capacities from committee member to chairing major events: The Arthritis Foundation; Beauty Becomes You Foundation Hat Luncheon; Beauty Becomes You Foundation Polo Event; Atlanta Ballet; Atlanta Opera; Atlanta Symphony- Decorator’s Showhouse; The Ron Clark Academy; Wildlife Conservation Cup Polo Event Atlanta Zoo, School fundraising events at Marist School and Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic School.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?

My friends have invited me to participate in numerous charities over the years. There are so many wonderful and worthy arts organizations in Atlanta, (symphony, ballet, opera, museum, zoo, etc.) in addition to benefits to fight illnesses that affect my family and/or friends that touch my heart (arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and more). Once I become involved in a particular group, I bond with the other volunteers and enjoy the comradery of working together for the benefit of others. I’ve been blessed by many incredibly generous and wonderful lifelong friends through the years who have inspired me to be involved with all of these organizations.

What makes you laugh?

The simplest silly things can happen in a day. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh. It is often at myself for some goofy thing I’ve done or about something/someone who has made me smile. Laughter gives me energy.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Well I’ve had many, but the first that comes to mind was at the Shepherd Center’s Legendary Party at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. My husband and I were enjoying the cocktail reception before dinner and the zipper on my evening gown broke wide open! I immediately stole my husband’s tuxedo jacket for cover, raced to the front desk to ask for safety pins, and promptly went to the ladies’ room to figure it out how to pin myself back together! I placed my slim fur wrap across my body like a beauty pageant banner. I think I still have a picture of that somewhere!

What are your favorite quotes?

“We’re burning daylight here.” -Dr Phil; “Beauty is pain.” -unknown; “It takes a village.” -unknown.

What is your favorite getaway?

Ravello, Italy.

Name something on your bucket list?

Visiting Spain.

Where do you go for “me” time?

My workouts and dance lessons.

How would your friends and family describe you?

‘A bundle of energy,’ ‘very creative,’ ‘giving,’ ‘social butterfly,’ and ‘very funny!’

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?

Let’s go back to my quote, ‘It takes a village.’ Here is my village: Su So-Longman, Dr. Alissa Marzetti; Cathy Cooper Champion; An Mai – Lovely Nail; Geoffrey Frost – Frost Salon; Melbin De La Cruz – Dance Professional; Lanny Branum and Laurie Branum of Hard Exercise Works – Roswell; Terrie Cummings – Keller Williams Atlanta Perimeter; Neurosport Physical Therapy @ Ellard, Inc.; Dr. Lee B. Padove – cardiology; Alison O’Neil – founder of the Beauty Becomes You Foundation; Sharilyn Berg – Nirvana Med Spa; Dr. Peter J. Abramson – Abramson Facial Plastic Surgery; Lina Valiukaite – Abramson Facial Plastic Surgery; Dr. Alexander Gross – Georgia Dermatology Center; Dr. Elizabeth T. Sergile – Perimeter North Medical Associates; Dr. Laura Cummings – Premier Care for Women.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?

I rely heavily on lots of lists, notes, and calendars to keep me on track with my busy schedule. I’m fortunate to be able to do business with, and be involved in charitable works with, people I truly enjoy!

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous? Keep an open mind, always look for opportunities to pursue your dreams, and always do the very best you can to improve your life and the lives of others. Share a simple smile or compliment with a stranger, you never know how it could impact their day.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Hopefully, continuing to do the things I enjoy now! Spending time with my great family and fabulous friends, getting in a good daily workout, ballroom dancing, and continuing to be active in our wonderful Atlanta community!

09_Julie-Rogers-Turner_6x10Julie Rogers Turner
You could say that Julie Rogers Turner is paws-itively passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. The 55-year-old animal lover and Ivy Lane Boutique owner helps rescue pets and people from hopelessness.
What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
Having been married for 30 years to a husband with his own business, raise three children, have eight rescue pets, and owning my own business, I truly believe life is all about setting priorities. Putting my faith first, my family second, and others third has been the best way for me to manage my time effectively. To be there for those I love starts with me taking care of myself. Therefore, maintaining my health is a top priority. After learning more about my autoimmune illnesses, I now know exercise is truly the best medicine. I exercise three to four times per week, have weekly chiropractic visits, and maintain a healthy diet. By setting my priorities and being an example to my children, I have learned that everything else will fall into place!

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act the way you do?
My perception of age in general has changed tremendously. When I was younger, I thought my 30s were going to be the prime years of my life. I have since learned that turning 40 was the beginning of the best years of my life! I had my last child at age 39. Having my third child, and only son, Jack, has definitely made life after 40 a time of new beginnings, not only for me but for our entire family. My dad had a very successful career in finance as an office manager with Citicorp. His heart went first to his family and second to his north Georgia community. He was a passionate Shriner and United Way volunteer and an active member of our family church. My mom was always very energetic. She encouraged me to take time for myself. My mother continues to be my role model on how to present my best self. My parents encouraged me and made me the woman I am today and I could not be more thankful to them.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
Feeling my best makes every day a day I can enthusiastically embrace! Chiropractic care, vitamins, supplements, weekly exercise, and a balanced diet are what I require to maintain my optimum health. Seeing my three children learn and become independent, as well as contributing young adults, is by far the most rewarding aspect of my life as a mother. I enjoy and appreciate every minute we are together. Opening my boutique, Ivy Lane, and watching it grow and flourish has been incredibly satisfying. Being able to use my engineering degree from Georgia Tech to pursue a different career path has been an unexpected life surprise. Ivy Lane has allowed me the opportunity to combine and share my three passions—fashion and giving to others. Ivy Lane has been an incredible vehicle to serve my local community by giving back in a multitude of ways.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
This year I am celebrating 30 years of marriage! Doug and I have been blessed with three amazing healthy kids. My greatest accomplishment is my wonderful family.

What is your favorite book?
“It’s Not About Me: Rescue from the Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy”
by Max Lucado. This book gave me a great perspective on my life’s purpose. It’s about being humble and having an attitude of servitude in order to glorify God. The way I have put that into action is to show God’s love to others by trying my best to live out the commandments to ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ and ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

What is your favorite way to work out?
I love going to the gym and lifting weights. I could do it for hours. However, we all need cardio! My favorite cardio workout is walking my dogs! This gives me time to enjoy them and the great outdoors. Having had a broken foot this past year has made me appreciate these walks even more! I have a new respect for the disabled after going through that challenging time.

What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite time of the year because both sides of the family come to my house in celebration. I am so thankful for my family and Thanksgiving meals are truly the best memories I have of family. We can gather and count our blessings all while enjoying a yummy meal! It is the one time of year we just get together and enjoy each other’s company and focus on being grateful for all of our blessings.

What is your favorite way to give back?
For the past three years, Ivy lane has been hosting charity fashion shows. We have chosen to benefit Sources of Strength (SOS). This is an organization found in Cobb County high schools. SOS specifically trains teachers, as well as volunteer students, on how to identify students at risk for suicide. Teachers and students are also trained in counseling and to provide the appropriate intervention for those students who may be at risk for suicide. Ivy Lane’s fashion shows have raised $23,000 for SOS and $13,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The money donated to SOS has been used at the four geographically closest high schools to Ivy Lane—Lassiter, Pope, Sprayberry and Kell. It is so exciting to see the great things happening at these schools through this organization.
Doug and I remain active supporters of education at Georgia Tech. We both participated in the Georgia Tech Undergraduate Co-op Program to finance our education. Every year, we sponsor a scholarship for an engineering student in the program. The student must be an engineering major and is selected based on need.
At Ivy Lane, we also donate to local sports teams because unfortunately, not all student athletes are able to afford the cost of participating in sporting activities. I believe it is important for students to stay active and experience a sense of belonging on a team, as well be given greater athletic opportunities.
I have also been a Sunday school teacher at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church (JFBC) for 15 years. I also serve on the children’s committee. My husband, Doug, and I have also been involved in the Global Ministries at JFBC and have lead several Alaska mission trips, along with sponsoring missionaries.
What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I moved to my neighborhood 20 years ago and selected my home based on the high school zoning. I was so excited to be a part of the amazing Cobb County school system. A few years later, a young girl selling fundraising cards for band, came to my door. During our conversation, she started crying about all of the friends she had lost that year due to suicide. That was the first time I was made aware of teen suicide in our area. Since owning Ivy Lane, I have heard of so many situations where our youth took their lives. Two years ago, I learned about Sources of Strength. When I began helping SOS, North Atlanta had the highest teen suicide rate. The money we have donated to SOS has all been used locally to train SOS volunteers. I personally have lost two cousins to suicides. I know the pain and devastation first hand. I don’t want anyone to have to experience that kind of loss of a loved one in their life. I stay inspired by the difference I see in my community. I love my community and I want to make it the best for our teens. They already have a whole different living and learning environment due to social media. Suicides by teens have increased 33% from 2009-2017. I will keep advocating for this cause to help our teens get through their difficult adolescent years and let them see how much their community loves and cares about them.
When I entered Georgia Tech, I had several scholarships. However, I knew that financial support would soon be gone after my freshman year. So, I began seeking ways to finance my education. I learned about a great work-based learning program called the Georgia Tech Undergraduate Co-op Program. This program allowed you to work every other quarter and go to school every other quarter. I was able to successfully help finance my education. I learned so much through my co-op jobs at IBM. My husband, Doug, was a co-op student as well. We believe strongly in getting your college education. I want to help continue to support this program and students that are seeking financial support to complete their education.
My kids have always been involved in sports since they were in preschool. I believe that sports are a way for them to learn to work together with others to support a common goal. We all need to learn to win and also to lose. My son, Jack, currently plays high school sports at Blessed Trinity. I have seen the positive difference sports has made in his high school experience. He has developed habits of regular exercise and has learned time-management skills. I never want to see a young person not be able to play a sport due to financial means and that is why I am so passionate about Ivy Lane sponsoring sports programs.
I am inspired to teach Sunday school because of my Sunday school teachers from my childhood church. I had the same teachers for 3 years. I can remember how committed my teachers were to helping us learn. My children have all taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school with me. I hope to inspire them, so that someday they will be teachers in their churches.

What makes you laugh?
Definitely my animals! I have eight rescue animals and they all make me laugh. I have rescued about 35 cats and 20 dogs/puppies in the past. I am a huge animal lover, so I find humor in the things they do and the ways they interact with me and each other. Whether they are relaxing or posing for the camera, or annoying each other, they are a great comic relief for me every day!

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I nearly drowned a pastor! I was baptized at 6 years old at South Dalton Baptist Church in Dalton, Georgia. I was still taking swimming lessons and did not love the water. There were no practice sessions offered for the baptism! So, when the pastor went to immerse me, he got a BIG surprise. I wasn’t going down easy. I took him with me! He was fortunate in that he was pretty tall, so his head was still above water. To this day I still hear that story and am reminded of that embarrassing moment!

What is your favorite quote?
‘You are uniquely created, skillfully crafted, beautifully designed, and you can never be replaced.’ –Julie Turner. This is a quote I believe and live by.

What is your favorite getaway?
My favorite getaway is our family vacations at WaterColor Inn in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. I love being there at the beach together as a family. It is such a great time spent making wonderful family memories. Whether we are enjoying a day on the beach, dinner in Seaside, or just relaxing after a day of sun, it’s just great to have family time.

Name something on your bucket list.
When I was 5 years old, I met the most wonderful missionary couple at my church. My brother and I became very close to them and we adopted them as our grandparents. They served as missionaries for 35 years in Nigeria with Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). My grandfather was a medic and my grandmother was the pharmacy manager. They provided medical care to the people in the villages where they worked. Their work was so amazing to me and their stories touched my heart. Because of their inspiration, I would love to go to Nigeria and serve the people there as they did, following in their legacy.

Where do you go for “me” time?
The gym. I love to spend time there! It is truly the only time I can fully destress. Everyone needs a little ‘me time’ in their day, and the gym is definitely mine. But most importantly, it’s critical for my overall health and healing of my body, which I try to maintain on a daily basis.

How would your friends and family describe you?
My friends would say that I always put them first, but I am proud to say that I am learning to put myself first! From one generation to the next, my mother described me as ‘determined, passionate, caring, strong willed, loving, finishes what she starts’ and my daughter, Becca, described me as ‘genuine, loving, caring and sees the best in people.’

Who are the experts/ professionals who help you be your best self?
I have several professionals that help me be my best self. First, my longtime friend and general practitioner that I went to school with for first through 12th grade, Dr. R. Blaine Minor. He practices in Dalton, Georgia, my hometown. He uses an integrative medicine approach. Dr. Minor has been essential in helping me successfully manage my autoimmune issues for the past 10 years. Twenty-eight years ago, I realized I needed regular chiropractic care to feel my best. Dr. Karla Renee Kale De Pena has been treating me for 10 years. She is always there for me and is critical at helping me feel my best. Because chiropractic care is so essential to my well-being, I have seen Dr. Gerald Kraus for the past 12 years for acute chiropractic care. My personal trainers encourage me and help me stay fit, all while providing emotional and mental support, as well.

I regularly work out with Tracey Prinzbach at Elite Health & Fitness Tang Soo Do, and Mary Beth O’Reilly at Attitude Fitness. Leslie Brothers, at Health and Beauty Boutique in Buckhead, helps me keep my skin looking its best. I am a firm believer in taking care of your skin. My mother taught me this at an early age!

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
The only way I can balance is to prioritize and maintain those priorities. With three children and two businesses, it is a daily balancing act. I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband who has always been involved in the lives of our three kids, whether it’s coaching their sports, sharing carpools, or planning their academics. We depend on each other to bring balance to our family. Doug and I are committed community volunteers and we have been since we were in college. We constantly work as a team to support one another, ensuring we each have time for our careers and family. My employees at Ivy Lane are dedicated and capable of managing the daily operations of my boutique. I am grateful to have a supportive family and staff.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t over 40 and fabulous?
I would say the years after 40 have been by far the most memorable times of my life. I have watched my three children grow and mature. I have enjoyed having time to try new things. It is important to know your priorities and stand firm with them. Life falls in order for me when I put my faith, family, and service to others at the forefront.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I choose to live my life in the moment and make the most of each day. I do have hopes and dreams for the future, for my family, and for my business, along with plans to continue building a legacy of philanthropy. I trust that God has a plan for the rest of my life. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why we call it the present. I choose to live in the present, one day at a time!

Kristin Andree 06_Kristin-Andree--6x10
This multifaceted mother, 48, helps business owners and executives take their companies to the next level as a strategist. Not only is Kristin a powerful speaker, author, and podcaster, she also knows how to throw a mean punch.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?

I have learned the people and occurrences I spent time worrying about in my 20s and 30s didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Now, I let trivial things go, and focus on who’s real and on what matters. It is our relationships and experiences that are the real currency in life.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act over 40 the way you do?

As I am closing in on 50, I now think of 40 as being quite young! My parents were always young at heart and they still are! I truly feel age is only a number! Bring it on 50! I’m ready for you!

What do you love most about this stage of life?

I love how much I continue to learn. I am learning to appreciate people more—their talents, their differences, and their resolve. I am learning we have way more commonalities with others than we do differences. I am learning to be more grateful than when I was younger. I love the relationships I have built. It is a crazy busy time for me: juggling three kids, a thriving business, and my outside obligations—and I love that I don’t have to go it alone!

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I am raising three independent, strong, and beautiful girls. They are as different from one another as can be, yet love each other fiercely. As a single mom, raising them is and always will be my best accomplishment.

What is your favorite book?

That is a tough question. I am an avid reader of nonfiction business and personal development books. It is hard to narrow it down to just one, so I will say anything by Jon Gordon, Patrick Lencioni or Keith Ferrazzi. My most recent author obsession is Rachel Hollis (“Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing”). She gets right to the heart of what holds a lot of women back and I absolutely love it. Rachel is definitely my spirit animal.

What is your favorite way to work out?

I love anything martial arts related. I get quite an adrenaline rush from kicking and punching a bag or a person! I hold a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and won the bronze medal in sparring at the ATA World Championships in 2017. Injuries sidelined me a bit, but I am getting back into the swing of things. I do the “MMA Blast” workouts at Tsunami Mixed Martial Arts. The workouts are intense, yet fun, and the owner and coaches have been incredible.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I am on the go a lot, so cooking and sitting down to eat can be a challenge at times. I am obsessed with the cauliflower rice bowl from Zoës Kitchen. If I am cooking at home, a quinoa bowl full with black beans, veggies, and topped with avocado is my fave.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?

My favorite way to give back is doing work that helps others push past limits, and become their best self. I focus my charitable endeavors on organizations that educate and empower women and girls. I am co-president of the Atlanta chapter of Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network. I am also actively involved in organizations in the financial sector such as Females and Finance, and Women in Insurance & Financial Services. I also sit on the board of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Other local organizations I have given my time and resources to include Northpoint Community Church, The Drake House, InCommunity, Girls Inc., and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Golf for the Kids).

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?

In my role as an advisor and managing director in the financial services industry, I grew tired of seeing so many people ‘going through the motions,’ without any real direction, and with little to no enthusiasm for the work they were doing. I saw this everywhere—from other professionals in the industry, to the clients we served. I decided my life would be better spent helping others push past their own limitations, and discover how to use their strengths and their gifts to lead their best life. In 2009, I stepped down from my position, launched my own firm, and have been helping individuals and corporations ever since. My charity work is a natural extension of the personal and professional development work I do for a living.

Who makes you laugh?

My girlfriends. We have definitely had our share of spit-out-your-drink moments, which draws quite a crowd when we’re out in a restaurant! My groups of friends are the best.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I don’t really have one … yet! (See my “bucket list” answer for a little foreshadowing).

What is your favorite quote?

‘You are your only limit.’

What is your favorite getaway?

Anywhere with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and the sun shining down on me.

Name something on your bucket list.

Karaoke. It is the most petrifying thing on my list. As a professional speaker, I can speak to crowds of thousands, yet the thought of subjecting others to my singing (which my ex-husband says is, ‘Like nothing you’ve ever heard!’) has caused that item to remain on my bucket list for quite some time.

Where do you go for “me” time?

When I need to de-stress, I opt for a quiet night in with a great glass of wine. Throw on a sappy movie and I am in heaven. The hopeless romantic in me can’t seem to get enough of Nicholas Sparks and those cliché Hallmark [Channel] movies.

How would your friends and family describe you?

I asked my daughters and a handful of my friends what words they would use to describe me, and here’s what they said: I am dependable and care deeply about those close to me. I am driven, hardworking, tenacious, strong, fashionable (I do love a great pair of shoes!), and funny.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?

First and foremost, I credit God (the ultimate expert) for the strengths and abilities he has entrusted to me. My friends and family help me by continually pushing me to be the best I can, and they aren’t afraid to tell me the truth when I need to hear it—even when it hurts.

Professionally, I participate in two mastermind groups that keep me moving forward in building my business. My podcast producers (Liger Partners) are the absolute best and continually support me in terms of marketing and my online presence. In terms of feeling and looking my best, Amy Nelson (Style Design, LLC) is a gift! I’ve always had a love of fashion, and since meeting Amy, I have learned how to best enhance my look. It’s amazing the effect your wardrobe has on your confidence, your business (and your bottom line!). I also rely on my chiropractor Dr. Michael C. Zoeller of Synergy Release Sports, and the team at Anderson Aesthetics in Alpharetta.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?

I am extremely organized, which helps me tackle each week’s responsibilities. Finding balance is less about time and more about what gives you energy. I schedule time to recharge and reflect. I spend time with my family and friends—great wine and great conversation does wonders for the soul. Professionally, I always ensure I have at least one “energizer” on my calendar each week: a client, center of influence, mentor, or mentee who excites and motivates me. Things are rarely ‘balanced,’ but they sure do blend together nicely.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?

Whatever it is you want to change or improve … do it—whether it be weight, mind-set, career, or relationships—there is nothing in your life, no limit whatsoever, you can’t push through. Each of us has the ability to live our best life. We simply have to remember that being our best self is a choice and it is an ongoing journey. Further, we all need to make sure we have the right people along for the ride. I, myself, am not yet where I plan to be. My story is not finished. But, man oh man, I am learning a lot on the journey!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I see myself continuing my work of coaching, challenging, and empowering women and girls. By then, my speaking, writing, and retreats will be held around the globe—strategically picking some great beach locales! I will have freedom and flexibility to travel whenever and wherever I wish, to visit my grandkids, and to continue spending time with those who make me laugh and energize me.

07_Engle-R-Coulter-6x10Engle R. Coulter
For over two decades, Engle R. Coulter has proudly served in the United States Air Force. The 45-year-old has learned how to turn obstacles into opportunities for growth.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
I have learned that taking ownership when I fail is a good thing. It helps me grow as a wife, mother, employee, and leader. I was always concerned about being perfect when I was younger. It is OK to fail, to learn from it, and to be successful next time.

Has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act over 40 the way you do?
Yes, it has. I see that 40 is not old and that life is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. I remember when my mother turned 30—I cried and cried because I thought she was old. I hated turning 30 and entered that age with dread. However, as I approached and turned 40, I walked into this decade full of joy and excitement. The more I conduct my affairs and speak to things—whether at work or at home—I hear my mother’s or father’s voice coming out sometimes. It is amazing.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I enjoy reflecting back and seeing how far I have come. I find myself being more appreciative of all of the challenges I have been through and reaping the benefits.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Personally, being a wife and mother! Professionally, obtaining the grade/rank of E-8 (Senior Master Sergeant) in the Air Force. I surpassed my father who was an E-7 (Master Sergeant) when he retired. I remember the proud look on his face when he first saw me in my promoted rank.

What is your favorite book?
“Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I work out via an app called Beachbody® On Demand

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I love salmon, brown rice, and broccoli.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
I currently serve in activated reserve status at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. There, I have served as the president of the Dobbins Top 3, which is an organization that mentors rising leaders in the Air Force through an acronym we created called T.E.S.T. (Train, Empower, Support, Trust). We also provide financial assistance when an Airman is in an extremely challenging situation.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I am a military brat and I grew up all over the world. I watched my dad enjoy his work every day. I realize now that he enjoyed not just serving his country, but serving others. He thrived on being better and making others better around him. I wanted to be a part of that kind of team atmosphere.

What makes you laugh?
A good movie or video always gets me.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I went down a waterslide and somehow became topless. Everyone saw me!

What is your favorite quote?
‘Life is about choices.’

What is your favorite getaway?
I love going to the Appalachian Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and to Orange Beach, Alabama.

Name something on your bucket list.
I want to visit Japan.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I go to the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure!

How would your friends and family describe you?
They always say I’m funny.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
My husband, Roy, and kids, Jordyn and Cameron, my mother, Earnestine, my father, Bill, and my sister, Sarah. Plus, my mentors, retired Chief Master Sergeant Suzy Clemons, and Lil Palmer, one of my former rock-solid bosses.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
In this day and age, it is difficult to find a proper balance. What has gotten me through this is the support and understanding of my husband, who is also retired Air Force, and my family. Without them being my teammates, coupled with a good organization plan and communication, I would have traveled a harder road.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
1. Don’t wait for life to happen, go after it.
2. Have a plan and then have a backup plan.
3. People can’t read your thoughts—communicate.
4. It is OK to take the path less traveled, if it is the right thing to do.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Enjoying my retirement, doing whatever I want, and continuing to impart wisdom to my kids and spoiling my grandkids.

 

Portia Bruner10_Portia-Bruner_6x10
After a psychogenic disorder diagnosis flipped her world upside down,
Portia Bruner, 45, transformed her life with mindfulness and meditation. Today, the Fox 5 Atlanta anchor/reporter’s mission is to remain in service to God by helping others.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
Peace of mind is priceless! It took a sudden health scare for me to learn that lesson the hard way. Meditation and maintaining a sense of mindfulness help me manage the highs and lows life throws at you. When you’re mindful, you’re not as likely to get all worked up when life doesn’t go your way. You also find yourself far more grateful to God for the things you already have—instead of mindlessly chasing after what you perceive to be the so-called key to happiness.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger?
I was consumed with my career in my 20s and consumed with juggling my marriage and my kids with my career in my 30s, so I never even thought about what my 40s would be like.

Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
Yes and no. At 40, my mother seemed relatively healthy and content, but as a divorced single mother, she always seemed worried about money. As a matter of pride and principle, she refused to seek government assistance—opting instead to work two or three jobs as a registered nurse to keep me in the best Denver, Colorado schools and provide what I needed while I was a thousand miles away at Howard University. I grew up watching her balance her checkbook weekly, bargain hunt at grocery stores and shop at thrift stores. She was masterful at stretching a dollar. I had everything I needed and even more than I deserved, but she sacrificed a lot as a result. She didn’t get to travel and have fun as much as she did when she was exploring the world in her 20s. She gardened for pleasure, but never went out with girlfriends or made time to indulge herself in something that would make her genuinely happy. I learned from her that you have to work hard, be self-reliant and ensure your family’s financial stability. However, you have to play hard, too. Balancing work time and playtime is a must for every decade of your life—with and without your children by your side. Today, she’ll remind me of that lesson when I’ve gone too long without a break or a day off for leisure or a fun adventure with the boys.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I’ve finally learned to stop harboring the pain, heartache and anger tied to past experiences. I spent most of my 20s and 30s struggling with anxiety, depression, self-doubt and desperately trying to heal from the scars of being sexually assaulted as a young girl and again as a teenager. I always questioned whether I was ‘good enough,’ ‘smart enough,’ or ‘talented enough’ to be in the positions I had earned.

Everything finally came to a head in October 2017. I was on my second day of covering a story about a father charged with his infant’s heinous murder. A few minutes before my noon live shot, my mouth started pulling to the side of my face and I was stuttering profusely. I could hardly get the words out of my mouth as I called my boss, Cal, and told him I couldn’t go on air—which made me feel like a failure. I thought I was having a stroke as my photographer, Lloyd, calmly rushed us to the closest emergency room in a news truck. Fortunately, all of the brain scans were clear. Neurologists found no signs of a stroke or any other brain damage. After several weeks off the air and under the constant care of great doctors and therapists at Emory, I was diagnosed with psychogenic stuttering—a stutter triggered by sudden trauma or stress. It took a lot of therapy, prayer, and guided meditation lessons, but I finally learned to let go of the painful life experiences that had warped my self-image and tanked my self-esteem. As soon as I started to genuinely love and embrace my authentic self, my spirit felt light and free in a way I had never experienced. Releasing the pain of the past makes it a lot easier to maintain your peace of mind because you’re not constantly recycling through experiences that make you sad, angry or bitter. I’ve also come to understand the difference between trying to forge through life on my own will instead of living in sync with God’s will. Instead of always praying for what I want, I now try to pray that my desires are in sync with God’s desires from me, my children and my career. I still stutter suddenly from time to time, but prayer and meditation—like a hot steam iron—smooth the wrinkles out of my speech.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
For years, I would’ve said my one-on-one, elevator ride interview with Nelson Mandela in Washington, D.C. was at the top of that list, along with the many stories I’ve done that compelled viewers to help total strangers bounce back from a tragedy. But since 2006, I’ve accomplished nothing more significant than the birth of my sons. At 10 and 12, they’re smart, witty, talented and compassionate boys who—despite divorce—picked up and carried on with the best character traits of their parents. They’ve taught me a lot about the value of real quality time and agape love.

What is your favorite book?
For adults, “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. For children, “Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti” by Gerald McDermott.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I love exercising outdoors—especially with my boys. Climbing to the top of Stone Mountain to meditate and pray and long walks and jogs outdoors are my favorite workout routines. I can walk around the school track one hundred times, as long as the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Of course, a light breeze would help too.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I’m really into power/protein bowls. My favorite one has broiled salmon diced on a bed of mixed green leaves, grilled portabella mushrooms, black beans, corn, tomato, avocado, brown rice andor quinoa. Add a side of poppy seed dressing and some chopped almonds or walnuts and I’ll be happier than a fat rat in a cheese factory.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I privately work with two DeKalb County churches to seasonally coordinate “pop-up closets” stocked with free clothing items. All year long, I collect gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, coats and shoes from my colleagues and friends. I work with church volunteers to make sure the clothes are cleaned, sorted and given directly to families in need in the Gresham Park and South DeKalb communities during various organized outreach events. I was inspired to do this because I know how good it feels when a girlfriend gives me a new or gently used dress or a pretty pair of earrings because she no longer wants the items.

I also privately visit elderly patients at DeKalb County nursing homes and rehab hospitals. My mother worked in nursing homes for years when I was a girl and I remember how sad it was to see patients who never had visitors. I often take my sons along so that they can learn to appreciate how important it is to nurture our elders.

I also take my sons with me to feed homeless men and women in Atlanta and DeKalb, either with my church or with other families. We help prepare the meals, then distribute the meals at various spots around downtown Atlanta. While that kind of activity is discouraged in parts of the metro area, I try to find ways to do it lawfully and discreetly so that my sons understand the concept of caring for the least of these.

We also privately take trash bags and clean up parking lots and sidewalks in South DeKalb where litter tends to pile up for days and weeks at a time. I started doing that as a way to have productive days off from school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day—hoping it will remind my boys that Dr. King went to Memphis to advocate on behalf of garbage workers.

In a more public capacity, I also enjoy mentoring high school and college students, making school career day appearances and lecturing every girl I meet while I’m reporting in the field about the importance of eating well, getting exercise and building a positive self-image. I’m also an active student mentor in the Howard University Atlanta Alumni Club. I was inspired to do this kind of work because several television news women mentored me in highschool, college and in my career.

What makes you laugh?
My sons do hilarious impersonations of me. They think I’m really prim, proper and way too frugal, so their impressions of me correcting their grammar or explaining why I only buy off-brand cereal leaves me in tears. I also love a good comedy show—on stage or on TV. Trevor Noah, Issa Rae and Melissa McCarthy are some of the funniest humans on the planet, but Fox 5 medical team reporter Beth Galvin makes me laugh so hard, I routinely have to re-attach an eyelash because of the tears we’ve shed during her hilarious off-camera tales.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Several years ago, an innocent question posed by my sons’ coach put me in the awkward position of having to admit my husband and I were separated. The coach looked me square in the eye and said, ‘No way! You two are getting a divorce? That’s impossible! You’re like the perfect couple. Must be your fault, huh? It’s probably because of that fancy TV career of yours.’ I was mortified. I already felt like a failure for not being able to keep my marriage intact and I felt even worse as a mother—like I hadn’t tried hard enough to fight harder for a reconciliation for their sake. I carried the shame and guilt of being separated for years and it wasn’t until years after I was legally divorced that I would even admit it—as if my bare ring finger didn’t speak for itself. Fortunately, I eventually realized being divorced wasn’t a mark of shame or failure, it just meant that your marriage didn’t work out, but that good people with good intentions could still peacefully co-parent and do what’s best for their own peace of mind and for that of their children.

What is your favorite quote?
“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” —Edward Teller. I cited that quote almost every day after I graduated from Howard University in 1995, but I didn’t truly get it until I was in my 40s.

What is your favorite getaway?
The lake at Lehigh Park in DeKalb County is a wonderful place to retreat, reflect, meditate, pray, feed geese and watch the sun set. I do all of the above there fairly often.

Name something on your bucket list.
Visit Gorée Island, Senegal with my sons. Get lei’d in Hawaii. Zipline in South America. Visit Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji Islands, Cuba, Dubai and Australia/New Zealand.

Where do you go for “me” time?

Stone Mountain’s peak for prayer and meditation, or my sunny arts-and-crafts room where I paint, and thrift stores for retail therapy.

How would your friends and family describe you?

This is THE HARDEST question to answer, so I hope it’s okay to share what my dear friend Chanda Gordon shared on Facebook in support of my “Over 40 & Fabulous!” nomination. ‘Portia will probably kill me for posting this BUT, I can’t think of a more deserving, selfless friend to receive this award. Portia has been a prayer partner, counselor, financial advisor and one of my biggest supporters. In some of my darkest moments, she was right there to guide me through this journey called life that’s sometimes not so fair. When my bonus dad had a heart attack last year, I made one call and Portia was there, at the hospital, Bible in hand, praying with me and my mom. She has been a sister and a friend.’

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
Speech pathologist Paula Klingman-Palk is a gem and a blessing. At Emory Rehab Hospital, she taught me how to use a combination of corrective speech strategies and meditation so that I could get back on the air after my psychogenic disorder diagnosis.

I’m grateful for Norma Harris for teaching me the practice of meditation. She agreed to sit with me within minutes of my arrival at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Atlanta in Decatur after an Emory neurologist told me I needed to learn how to meditate. I had never meditated before then and the mindfulness skills she taught me in the following months, changed the course of my life.

Nathalie Ellis of ESTEEM Counseling and Consulting Services helped me learn to process stressful events, ordeals and encounters. She taught me how to mentally break down those scenarios before things escalated and broke me down. My father, my pastor, his wife, their parents and a close circle of friends who knew how to pray when I could not, made all the difference in becoming my best self.

From an aesthetic standpoint, going from relaxed hair to natural hair on the air is more than a notion—especially in a television news market like Atlanta, where the benchmark for beauty is extraordinarily high. I have to thank Lisa Pilar Thibou for shrewdly cutting off the last of my relaxed hair after cleverly turning me away from the mirror in October 2015. Through a combination of twists, braids and extensions, Larilyn L. Robinson at Personal Preference Total Hair Salon in Atlanta helped me grow a fresh new crown of healthy natural hair in the years that followed. Since January 2018, Queen Tiger Bell has gotten me across the finish line with a variety of styles that maximize my own hair or a mix of my hair with natural hair extensions.

My Fox 5 colleagues (past and present) have truly helped me step up my on-air wardrobe and style over the years—from countless dress and jewelry donations, makeup tips to shapewear advice. Since I firmly believe in being fiscally responsible and debt free, most of my outfits come from a variety of metro Atlanta thrift stores and consignment shops, along with good deals I find on Amazon.com and at Marshalls, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, Roses, dd’s Discounts, and D&K Suit City. I’m always amused when viewers are surprised to see me shopping at discount retailers. But, I really do take pride in being a role model for single mothers or hard working-middle class women who happen to be a size 14/16 and still want to look their best without going broke or going in debt.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?

That can be difficult with the demands of a career in television news, but on the nights or weekends when my sons are with their father, I can fully engage in community service or indulge in self-care. For a long time, I just curled up in a ball and felt sorry for myself when I was apart from my sons—waiting for my sense of motherhood to resume. Finally, I realized God would be far more pleased if I stopped hosting my own pity party every other weekend and spent my time in service to others—or even with good friends who care about my well-being.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?

Let go of self-doubt, drop the pity parties and stop comparing yourself to others. All three lead to the sabotage of your own success. If you’re going through a rough patch in life, don’t be afraid to ask for help—either in the form of professional mentoring, pastoral care, mental health counseling or even candid advice from friends and family members who just assume ‘You’re living your best life and have it all together.’ One of the biggest mistakes I made was being so private, so prideful, and so concerned about what others would think of my perceived failures and shortcomings that I didn’t reach out and get all of the help I truly needed until after I was literally stuttering from stress and suffering from uncontrollable nervous twitches. When you do overcome an obstacle, share the secrets of your breakthrough. Iron sharpens iron and being fabulous is about shining a light for others along your own path to success.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I can’t imagine what God has in store for the next 20 years. But hopefully the boys and I will have a lot more stamps on our passports and I will be able to retire comfortably. Perhaps, I’ll be a teacher, author or even a grandmother by then. But, as long as I’m in a position to inspire girls and women and be in service, I’m sure I’ll be content and have peace of mind. Oh, and I’m sure I’ll still be indulging in the joys of retail therapy in a thrift store.

Fab 5

12_Leta-Brooks_6x10Leta Brooks
Whether carving out her own path while trail running or discovering new opportunities for giving back, blogger and business owner, Leta Brooks, 41, isn’t afraid to go the extra mile.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
The best thing I have learned since turning 40 is that it all doesn’t matter so much. I spent my 20s more concerned with what people thought of me and where I was in life. I would compare my circumstances to others, such as who bought a house and who got married. As a result, I sized up my life accordingly. With age, I have realized that none of it matters! I now live my life the way I want and with more confidence and authenticity than when I was younger.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do?
Ha! If you had asked me when I was younger about the age of 40, I am sure I would have told you it was OLD. Of course, I thought my parents were ancient at 40. Now that I am in my forties, I do not feel a day over 20! Age is only a number. I love the confidence I have now, I love my career, and of course, I love my kids. Raising them is such a blessing and I hope they do not think I am ancient!

What do you love most about this stage of life?
Thankfully, I love my career and look forward to a new work project every day. However, the thing I love MOST is watching my kids grow during their current stages in life. They are not babies anymore, but they are not teenagers either. They soak up everything I teach them and still want to snuggle and be close. I love their developing personalities and just watching them grow.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment would be my kidney donation to my dad. The gift of life is the greatest gift I could give. I feel honored to have been a match and grateful I could help him.

What is your favorite book?
The Bible.

What is your favorite way to work out?
My favorite workout is running trails. I could run all day (and I have before). Put me on a trail and everything goes away. The daily stresses and worries disappear from my mind. There is no pace to keep. The only thing I have to worry about is tripping on roots or sliding in the mud, but that is also part of the fun.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I love black bean and veggie quesadillas.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
This is my favorite part of Status! I use the platform of my store and design firm, Status Home, LLC and Status Design Studio, Inc., to help the community any way I can. Each time there is a national disaster, Status becomes a donation center. We have collected backpacks for the homeless in Atlanta and filled them with supplies. Last September, we hosted a car show for Eli’s Cruise For A Cure, which raised money for Tay-Sachs disease. I have a dedicated employee at Status whose title is “Good Will Ambassador.” Her job is to always be on the lookout for any way we can help our community. She works with churches and other nonprofits to make sure they know Status is here to help. I recently participated in a St. Baldrick’s event and Status was a part of the Elachee Nature Center’s “Flights of Fancy Benefit and Auction.”

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I do not have a single organization that I work with on a regular basis. My mission is to help as many people as I can, any way that I can. Whether that is raising money for a good cause, helping at a benefit auction, hosting a charitable event, or even helping a customer of my store, giving back is my life’s purpose and passion.

What makes you laugh?
Sarcasm. I love sarcastic humor. Thankfully, my daughter is the most sarcastic person I know, so I laugh a lot.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Oh, this is terrible. When I was in college, my cat got out. I had to hop over a chain-link fence to get him. I was recovering from a sprained ankle, so I had to use my arms to lower myself down the fence. As I did, my shorts got caught on the fence and ripped in half, exposing my behind. This would not have been terrible, except I heard immediate applause. A roofing crew from the building next door got quite a show.

What is your favorite quote?
‘She believed she could, so she did.’

What is your favorite getaway? I am a mountains vacation girl. Put me in a cabin in the fall and I am in heaven.

Name something on your bucket list.
Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Where do you go for “me” time?
My backyard is my favorite place for “me” time. It is really beautiful and private. I have rocking chairs out back and I will sit out there with my coffee when I need a break.

How would your friends and family describe you?
I asked my best friend on this one, so here is her answer. From Michele McMillin, ‘Leta, you are a very confident, loving, sweet, empathetic, and strong-willed person. You always want to help other people and make them feel loved. I know I can call you for anything and you will be there in a moment’s notice. You are a terrific mother and more like a sister than best friend to me. You are someone people strive to be like and look up too. I’m proud to call you my friend.’

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
My favorite professional I work with is Madison Koegel. She is my right hand at Status, but she is also helping me raise my children. Madison was my full-time nanny before my kidney surgery. When I went out of work for the operation, I trained Madison on the store and she took over for me. Now, we are able to tag team running Status and handling the kids. She is also one of the most talented makeup artists I know. She does my makeup for every event and photo shoot. My entire team at Status definitely helps me be my best self. Donna Dalton, store manager, and Jane Karaulic, design manager, are both my right and left hands. On a more physical note, the kids and I joined Bodyplex Hamilton Mill in January. This has been life changing for our family. My kiddos are in a kids training program, so I get dedicated exercise hours and it does not interfere with work or family time.

Lastly, I would like to mention Alexa Clarke of Sheer Faithfulness Salon. Alexa is like a little sister to me and has been doing my hair for almost 10 years! We have been through many life changes together and she puts faith and family first. She is one of my tribe members and I am proud of all her success.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?

This is really, really though. I saw Bethenny Frankel last year and she said, ‘You can’t have it all. You can’t be skinny and have a clean house. You can’t have a huge career and a great marriage. Something has to give.’ Well, I would not say it quite like that, but I know what she means. It is hard to own your own business (3 in my case) and cook healthy meals every night. It is hard to find time to exercise when you are a single mom and you work full time. My best advice is to go one day at a time and don’t ever beat yourself up when the balance falls out of whack. Maybe you work late one night and miss dinner, but you pull away from work early another day to be at a school function. Self-care really is the best thing you can do for your family and your career. I try hard to work out at least 3 to 4 times a week. As a result, my stress is less, my clothes fit better, and my kids are getting healthier, too. It is part of family time, so that is the balance.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous? Don’t be afraid of your 40s! I’m having the time of my life! They say everything gets better with age and there is a reason. Welcome your 40s, because they are fabulous!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I truly see myself happy. My kids will be grown, so maybe I will be a grandma. I will have written at least one book or who knows, maybe 20. I hope my brand is still going strong and we have helped thousands, if not millions, around the world.

Tannaz Modaresi, DC13_Tannaz-Modaresi-DC-_6x10
When she’s not calling the shots at her chiropractic office, you can find Tannaz Modaresi, DC, on the basketball court. The volunteer coach, 41, is always up for a good laugh and a new adventure.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
I have developed more and more confidence in myself as a person and as a successful doctor. I have learned that it’s never too late to pursue my dream.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 41 the way you do?
Each generation has nutritional breakthroughs and benefits that make living easier so that we are able to look and act younger.

My parents have always enjoyed their lives and lived life to the fullest. I have learned from them that I need to enjoy life and spend as much time with my family and friends as I can.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
Independence of thinking and financial freedom.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Becoming a mother to my beautiful twins, Arta and Atousa. And, of course, my successful chiropractic practice. The satisfaction of being able to help so many people involved in auto accidents, sports or work-related injuries and freeing them from acute or chronic pain is one of the most amazing feelings. Seeing my patients leave the office with smiling faces, free from aches and pains makes every day worth it.

What is your favorite book?
“The Natural Laws of Management: The Admin Scale” by Arte Maren.

What is your favorite way to work out?
Cycling, barre classes, and dancing.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
Grilled sea bass and a beet salad.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
I enjoy helping others in any way possible. This year, I have volunteered my services to the Fulton Science Academy Private School by providing them with chiropractic care for their athletic team—helping to keep their young growing spines healthy. I have also sponsored and donated necessary sports equipment to the team. This season, I had the privilege of coaching an i9 Sports® basketball team, which I really enjoyed. For years, I have been actively involved in many health fairs. Some of the many organizations I have volunteered my services or donated to include Walk MS, Iran Flash Flood Emergency Fund, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, American Heart Association, as well as Homeward Bound Pet Rescue.

What inspired you to do this kind of charity work?
Helping others is a trait that we all possess and we must exercise it as human beings.

Who makes you laugh?
Iranian-American stand-up comedians like Max Amini and Maz Jobrani.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I was at a networking lunch meeting for the first time with a well-known personal injury lawyer, and a decorative button on my dress got stuck to the chair I was sitting on. I had to get his help to get my dress untangled from the chair.

What is your favorite quote?
‘The power that made the body can heal the body.’ —Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) Palmer

What is your favorite getaway?
Miami

Name something on your bucket list.
Learning to fly an airplane.

Where do you go for “me” time?
Shopping and to the spa.

How would your friends and family describe you?
Caring, loving, giving, sympathetic, fierce, dedicated and cheerful.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
There are so many medical professionals who have had an impact on my life. I’d like to start off by mentioning Dr. Mohsen Khoshneviszadeh, my dear husband who is considered one of the best doctors in The Southeast Permanente Medical Group of Kaiser Permanente and who inspired me to become a great doctor. Dr. Richard Rosenkoetter, who served as my mentor and whom I had the pleasure to do my internship with. Dr. Matthew DeGaetano, who was my personal injury coach that helped me get a deeper understanding of working with auto accident injuries and whose institute I was awarded certification from. Aside from the medical professionals that have impacted my life, I’d like to include the many experts that have an impact on my life day to day. Drybar, especially Ivan, for always leaving my hair beautiful. FlyBarre, for helping me with my toning. Flywheel Sports, especially Fred Smith and Claudine, for making me sweat. And of course, I cannot leave out my beautiful mother, Farideh. She is my beauty expert who has always taught me self-love and has never stopped encouraging me to be the best version of myself.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
I prioritize my time and have the discipline to stick to it.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
Persist. Persist. Persist. And know that it will all turn out OK. Don’t be so serious AND have some FUN!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
As a successful entrepreneur helping other women business owners and contributing to society with my time and energy.

16_Kwavi-Agbeyegbe-_6x10Kwavi Agbeyegbe
As a midlife coach, Kwavi Agbeyegbe is passionate about spreading the message that the second half of a woman’s life can be the best half. Human rights issues and competing in marathons are no match for this 51-year-old.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
That I’ve probably lived more than half of my life and to focus on what matters. My goal is to make the next years count so that I can leave a lasting legacy that impacts others long after I’ve left this earth.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you did?
As a child, I thought 40 was really old—more like ancient—but now that I’m 51, I definitely don’t think so. However, I truly believe that our thoughts impact our experiences. I don’t think 40 or over 40 is old and my actions reflect that. My parents definitely looked young, especially my mum (people always thought she was my sister), and to some extent, both my parents acted youthfully.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
It’s a stage overflowing with an abundance of possibilities. I realize that my clock is ticking … not my biological clock but my lifetime clock so there is no time to worry about what people think or spend time seeking their approval, which I might have done in my younger years. I’m determined to take action and make a difference in the world—a difference that impacts other women. Empowering and encouraging other women in midlife, wherever they may live, is a passion of mine. I do it because society, some cultures, and the media sometimes paint an unpleasant picture of midlife for women and I’m determined to change that narrative for the better. My goal is for women to live the best midlife season they can and on their own terms unapologetically.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
As a young girl, I dreamt of having two sons when I got married. After getting married, I very quickly learned that getting pregnant wasn’t easy for me. After numerous miscarriages, I was blessed with a son in 2002 and after some more miscarriages, I had another son in 2005. Without a doubt, being given the amazing opportunity to be a mother that has been blessed to raise two boys that are now teenagers is my best accomplishment to date and nothing else comes close. Raising my boys with my hubby (AKA My King) is hard work that I would not trade for any other job in the world. The returns are priceless.

What is your favorite book?
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a story that encourages you to pursue your dreams against all odds. There will be dream makers and dream killers but through it all, you have to remain true to your dream and keep going regardless of the obstacles you face. When we overcome challenges we learn so much about ourselves. This book encourages you to embrace fear, ignore the naysayers, and keep on going. I reread this book every so often for a boost of motivation and love to share it with friends and clients.

What is your favorite way to work out?
Racewalking. I ran for a number of years and participated in marathons. Last year, I developed pain in my right knee after running. I decided to take up race walking and haven’t looked back. I participated in the 2019 Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K this past March and racewalked all the way.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I love a spicy kale wrap wrapped in seaweed fromTassili’s Raw Reality Café.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
My favorite way is through a race I created called the Kwavithon 5K. It is a 5K walk/run to support various charities locally and worldwide. Over the past two years, the Kwavithon 5K has supported the Mirabel Centre. The Mirabel Centre is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based in Lagos, Nigeria, my country of origin. The Kwavithon 5K event provided the platform to bring awareness of the prevalence of rape in the community and open up the conversation on what can be done to reduce the incidence of rape. Currently, over 70% of the rape survivors that come to Mirabel Centre are under the age of 18.

The 3rd Annual Kwavithon 5K will take place in Lagos later this year and I hope to partner with local organizations in Atlanta, as well as organizations within Nigeria to raise funds for the Mirabel Centre. My goal is to use the Kwavithon 5K to get people moving while raising funds for different charities locally and around the world. I plan to have the Kwavithon 5K in different countries.

I’m also a member of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA). Members of ANPA have helped to raise funds for Hosea Feed the Hungry, which is a local charity in Atlanta, and the group has also provided me with the opportunity to volunteer and serve food to the homeless community in Atlanta.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
I watched a YouTube video about the Mirabel Centre. After watching the video, I found myself thinking about the movie and experiencing a few sleepless nights because of it. I knew I had to do something. I contacted the owner by email and told her what I was planning and once she gave me the go-ahead, I spent the next few months planning the logistics. Planning a race in Nigeria while based in a different country was overwhelmingly challenging but I did it and it was well worth it for all involved.

What makes you laugh?
I laugh very easily. My husband and my boys make me laugh all the time. I love watching sitcoms and “Black-ish” is my favorite.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I really don’t remember as I don’t take myself that seriously, though my boys would say otherwise. As a mother of two teenage boys, they have told me on numerous occasions to stop dancing, singing or some other activity that I’m doing because it’s embarrassing to them, which I find totally hilarious, especially since it doesn’t stop me, much to their chagrin for sure.

What is your favorite quote?
You can’t give from an empty cup.

What is your favorite getaway?
Any vacation that has a beach is a favorite of mine. I love looking out into the ocean and listening to the sounds of the waves while relaxing in a beach cabana or lying down in a hammock.

Name something on your bucket list.
To be able to compete in seven races in seven days on seven continents. There are two organizations that do these races and I hope to participate in them soon.

Where do you go for “me” time?
My ‘me time’ doesn’t require me to go anywhere. For me, it occurs in my home. It starts in the wee hours of the morning, while the rest of my family is asleep and I focus on myself. That time is absolute bliss.

How would your friends and family describe you?
Action-oriented, fashion-forward, always smiling, playful, a go-getter, and organized.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
Makeup – Nyssa Green; Hair – Hi Texture Hair Salon (Shaunta Frazier); Nails, brows, and lashes – Sugarcoat (Tina, Tea and the amazing owner, Peiru Kim); Workout – West Coast Workout (Tammy Stokes) and racewalking; Overall health – Dr. Madhu Vishwanath of Family Healthcare of Smyrna; Mind management – Brooke Castillo’s podcast “The Life Coach School.”

My best self starts from within and I do a lot of self coaching to help with that. In addition, my hubby, Dr. Kingsley Agbeyegbe, and my two sons, Weyimi and Timeyin, provide my life with so much gratitude and joy that I can’t help but be my best self.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
By giving to me and being thankful. I have to give to me first. That means waking up before everyone else in my household and praying, meditating, and just spending time alone in the quiet of the morning. This private time gives me the boost I need to tackle my day. Also, taking the time to show gratitude is an amazing way to put things in perspective and create the balance I need no matter how busy or challenging life gets.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
What are you waiting for? You can start to live your best life now. It all begins with your thoughts. Don’t play the waiting and wishing game. No one wins. Start now to live your best life.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Definitely living a life where I’m thriving and shining unapologetically on my own terms and taking bold steps toward a regret-proof life.

Caren Cohen14_Caren-Cohen-_6x10
Caren Cohen is an avid reader and outdoorswoman. At 47, this youthful yogi and mother of two helps people push past their limitations. Plus, she has a soft spot for aiding families in need.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
Happiness. I have learned that happiness is really about how you look at things. I take pleasure in the small things now and I stopped waiting for something big to happen.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you did?
I always thought 40 was young. My parents had me later in life, so they were in their 40s when I was a child. My dad is now 82 and he looks and acts like he’s in his 60s.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I love feeling both settled and on the cusp of change. My children are older. My husband and I have been married over 20 years. We have good friends and stable careers, and are in a good place in our lives. Yet, in a few years, we will be empty nesters and so we are also looking forward to what that will mean to us—the changes and the new experiences it will bring.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Being smart enough to say, ‘Yes!’ when my husband proposed and I was only 24!

What is your favorite book?
I love to read. It’s hard to narrow it down but a favorite is “Until the End of the World” by Sarah Lyons Fleming.

What is your favorite way to work out?
Anything that makes me sweat and clears my head. I love yoga, but I also run and work out at F45 Training regularly.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
Don’t laugh—but it’s mixed vegetables cooked with tuna and Parmesan cheese. Everyone else thinks it’s gross but I could eat that every day!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
I like to help families. For the past several years, I have volunteered with Second Helpings Atlanta and Family Promise, which are both organizations that support families in crisis. I also volunteer a lot at my children’s schools. Our schools literally can’t function without parent volunteers. This is one of the most important ways I can give back to my community at this point in my life.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
Our family is blessed and I am very aware that one slight change in circumstance would change everything. I want to help people help themselves.

What makes you laugh?
A good joke!

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Hmm, I don’t embarrass that easily. I’m pretty klutzy so I fall a lot. Forty-seven years of embarrassing moments means I pretty much just expect to be ridiculous!

What is your favorite quote?
‘It’s easier if you don’t make it harder.’

What is your favorite getaway?
The beach. St. Simons Island is one of my favorite places to be. But anywhere with sun, sand and the ocean is good for me.

Name something on your bucket list?
I would like to visit every national park.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I either go outside for a run or a walk, or I climb back in bed and read.

How would your friends and family describe you?
Outgoing! I love meeting people and making friends. My husband says I collect people. I am happiest with a big group surrounding me and I always try to make everyone feel welcomed.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
F45 Training Sandy Springs—my community there has been wonderful. I love Maggie Schreck at John Connors, MD™, and Jenni Rapp who does my hair. But my amazing friends who love and support me make me my best self!

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
I’m not afraid to be selfish. I make sure I work out every day and get plenty of sleep. If that means a chore doesn’t get done, then that is OK. If I am depleted, then I can’t help anyone else. I see too many women who put themselves absolutely last and I don’t believe that benefits anyone.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
Being over 40 is great. You just need to embrace who you are and where you are. You can always wait to be thinner, richer, or taller, but at some point, you just need to be you and enjoy life.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hopefully living on the beach, teaching yoga, and playing with grandkids.

15_Kristen-Marotte-_6x10Kristen Marotte

Whether inspiring her fitness class attendees at Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs or her nearly 20,000 Instagram followers (@kris10_funfit) to live a healthier lifestyle, Kristen Marotte, 52, is always seeking opportunities to help others flourish.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
Age is a number on a birth certificate, not something that defines us. The best thing I have learned is how powerful the mind is and how it can either drive us toward success or stunt our opportunity to shine and grow. If you don’t believe you can do something, you’re probably right! The body follows the brain. People do amazing things that have never been done on a daily basis. How is that possible? Our minds are usually our biggest obstacles.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you did?
I’m not sure I act ‘40,’ even 12 years later! My father passed away at 45, and I feel like I’m just getting started.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
I’m much less worried about what others think about me at this point in my life. I try to let the internal light guide me instead of society. That’s liberating!

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I have traveled to nearly 60 countries, and by far my experiences overseas have done more for the development of my personal definition than all the education I have received from books or schools. I’ve had so many meaningful personal accomplishments, but my greatest came when I put less focus on ‘personal’ and more on family. It took brutal sacrifice at times. There were days when I would get discouraged, feeling like I wasn’t achieving enough, and my husband would always joke with me, ‘Honey, are you just upset because you aren’t on the cover of a magazine yet?’ (#true). But now that my kids are in high school, I can see the fruits of my labor. We are a very close family! I’m super proud of that and of the choices my kids make on a daily basis. That’s worth its weight in gold, and no accomplishment will ever outweigh connection!

What is your favorite book?
“The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I love teaching, motivating, and driving energy to others. Give me movement with music and I’m all in! Whether it is strength training, cardio, circuit training, barre or yoga, it’s an opportunity for me to connect with others. As a participant, my favorite is small group boot camp but I do anything from hiking, yoga and spin to Pilates, strength training, etcetera.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
Grilled salmon, sautéed veggies and a fresh caprese salad.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?
MAKING MARRIAGES STRONGER: For the past 15 years, my husband and I have spent two to three hours every week helping engaged couples build strong foundations for their marriages. We are a blended family, and that comes with challenges. Our goal is to give couples starting out proper expectations and obtain the necessary tools needed to navigate through their own challenges in marriage. We work with first-time marriages, blended families, multicultural couples, mixed racial couples, unequally yoked couples—you name it! We have tackled a range of complex issues including various addictions, infidelity, homosexuality, and much more. It’s so rewarding to know that our strengths, as well as our failures, can be used to help others succeed, and it’s amazing to witness the growth of the couples during our time together. (We are also team leaders for many other mentor couples.)

MAKING SCHOOLS STRONGER: I give a tremendous amount of time, talent and energy to the local schools. Every year, I plug in deeply to the elementary, middle and high schools in our cluster. One year I single-handedly made 115 costumes for a school play, and I don’t even sew! (#hotgluequeen) For almost over 8 years now, I have spent countless hours designing, building and painting stage sets and props for school musicals. I love to watch the kids come alive on stage as they interact with my vision of the scenes! The days of our own kids being in plays are long over, but I continue to volunteer my time in making the plays in our cluster amazing and inclusive for all kids. In Title 1 schools, sometimes I find just being there, looking into the kids’ eyes and telling them they matter is the best use of my time. In fact, it’s priceless!

In 2016, I chaperoned 350 kids on a weeklong trip to New Orleans—another chance to bond with kids from all backgrounds! I sit on parent-teacher association boards and advisory boards for local schools, as well as Buckhead Church. From 2005 to 2017, I acted as lead photographer and publicity manager for community schools, covering dances, talent shows, musicals, sporting events and everything in-between. I’ve painted murals on school walls and designed incentive programs (ranging from reading to nutritional and health) for kids to push them toward being their best. I have designed and laid out 12 yearbooks over the years (cover to cover, every square inch)—no small act for one person. Generally, I stay involved in the community wherever I can offer my innate talents. People tend to underestimate volunteer work sometimes, but I believe one can make the biggest impact in a community by just getting out there, connecting, and offering one’s personal gifts. The light that guides the way usually comes from within.

MAKING PEOPLE STRONGER: These days, most of my volunteer time is spent motivating others to be fit and active. I orchestrated a field day event at a local elementary school in the fall for over 200 mothers and sons. What a fun day that was! I teach restorative yoga classes for the high school sports teams, as well as conducting free classes and workshops at local athletic stores to inspire people of all ages to stay active and keep balance in their lives. A couple of years ago, I started a social media platform to raise awareness on how to live an active and healthy lifestyle. My goal is to inspire women and men from ages 14-114 with a ‘can do’ attitude. I credit doing my first full split at the age of 47 as the moment I knew I was being called to motivate others in fitness.

I tend to rise to a leadership position wherever I plug in. I also believe in giving back monetarily and do that with local schools, churches, and universities that have touched my life. My dedication is to my family first, but I do find that I am happiest when I am pouring into others in my free time.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?
It’s all about connection! I love the old saying, ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Isn’t it true? If we spend our time genuinely connecting with other people, we find we have organic influence. Working closely with engaged couples, I am able to empower them with wisdom that comes from both my life successes, as well as my personal failures. It thrills me to know that all the times I fell on my face now hold genuine purpose in my life, as well as the lives of the people I mentor. Without failure, I would simply be a bird chirping empty words. In regard to fitness and all the creative work that I do, I am simply driven by my innate gifts and my desire to help others.

What makes you laugh?
My son makes me laugh a lot. He has an amazing sense of humor and impeccable timing. It’s usually situational humor rather than jokes.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I embarrass myself regularly when I text. Auto-correct might be my biggest enemy. I have earned the eternal ‘Typo Queen’ crown: from asking my son if he wanted a virgin, to telling a client I saw him naked, to announcing in a group text that I tooted in yoga—I mean, it goes on and on, and yes, I am still embarrassed. But, I do laugh a lot due to my poor texting skills. Change one word and OH BOY, you sure can change the meaning!

What is your favorite quote?
‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’ -Charles R. Swindoll

What is your favorite getaway?
‘Camp Honeymoon!’ That’s anywhere I go with my hubby when the kids are off at summer camp. We usually go to Europe.

Name something on your bucket list.
I want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I escape in the mountains for clean air and endless views.

How would your friends and family describe you?
The one word that almost everyone uses when they describe me is ‘energy.’ I like to laugh and I love a good feast but I can’t sit still or be ‘chill’ for very long. I bring the silly, the movement, the crazy ideas, and spontaneity to the group!

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self?
My team members and the club members at Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs are truly the ones who help me be my best! They give me back the energy and motivation I pour out, and we hold one another accountable. We strive to be healthy, not just look good. Life Time does an excellent job of helping members discover a healthy way of life far beyond exercise, and I love being a part of that mission. Aside from that, I get my blonde from Van Michael Salon, my nails from Luxiconic Nails, and my brand new eyebrows from Ona Beauty!

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work responsibilities, and giving back?
I try to work a little fun into all the things I do. It’s easy to stay on track when you’re enjoying the process instead of dreading it. I plan vacations and work hard while the dates get closer. When things get too stressful, I’ve been known to do some pretty silly and spontaneous things to lighten the load!

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?
Don’t ever let someone tell you you aren’t fabulous because of your age, your gender, your race, your background, or your past failures. Your journey is your journey. You are the author of your story! How do you want to write it? What do you want others to read about you? Don’t give the pen away to anyone else. Write vigorously, paint with bright colors and be what you were created to be—FABULOUS!

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Oh, I definitely plan on being fabulous in 20 years! I will find a way! Perhaps I’ll still be traveling around the world doing headstands and splits … In fact, I’m pretty sure I will be!

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By Laura Janelle Downey

Four Seasons Atlanta SpaIt had been two months since my last massage. But thankfully, my spa appointment at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta was right around the corner. I couldn’t wait to check in at the front desk and slip into a quiet state of relaxation. After sitting in traffic for 45 minutes, I was greeted by Cardie McClure whose calming voice settled my frazzled state of mind. She offered me a choice of bubbly or strawberry cucumber mint-infused water. I opted for the water and then headed back to the locker room. On my way there, I saw my favorite yogurt-covered pretzels in a jar. My personal Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta ritual is to get a handful before making it to the locker room. Once I did that and then walked into the locker room, I felt myself unwinding and it reminded me of why I love coming here. I always feel spoiled from the minute I arrive at the property.

After I changed into the hotel robe, I went back to the waiting room and just took in the silence. A little while after, my therapist, Mary Moriaty, arrived. She took me back to the room where I would receive the 80-minute Citrus Renewal Massage & Scrub. Before the treatment began, Mary asked me what I wanted to listen to during our time together. I chose Adele and quickly got lost in her soothing voice.

The service started with a full-body grapefruit and tangerine scrub. What I found fascinating is that the scrub, which is locally made by Mama, was created exclusively for The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Mary spent 25 minutes scrubbing every part of my body from head to toe. I felt myself saying goodbye to all of those dead skin cells as I laid on the massage table. When she was finished, she had me step into the room’s shower (where she turned on the water and had a plush towel waiting for me afterward) to wash off the scrub.

Once I got the scrub completely off, I put my hand over my arm and it felt super smooth. I then got back on the massage bed face down and waited for Mary to apply Mama’s grapefruit and tangerine hydrating oil moisturizer. For the next 50 minutes, I was in total heaven. I found myself dozing off and not wanting this feeling to ever end. Mary has the magic touch!

The Citrus Renewal Massage & Scrub is a perfect way to refresh yourself in this summertime heat. If you’re in need of a little R&R, book an appointment at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta soon. This seasonal treatment is only available through September 2019.

Details: 404.253.3848, 75 14th St. NE. Atlanta, GA 30309

Complimentary valet parking available for spa guests

$260 (Sunday through Thursday) and $270 (Friday and Saturday) https://www.fourseasons.com/atlanta/spa/

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Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco

Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco

Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco is raising the bar for natural-looking results. Her plastic surgery expertise and advanced training help women correct long-standing issues and tackle insecurities.

Armed with specialty aesthetic and oculoplastic surgery training beyond that of traditional plastic surgeon training, Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco, also known as Dr. D by her patients, has a gift for helping women tackle imperfections. In fact, at DiFrancesco Plastic Surgery, her dedicated patient care model and well-respected résumé help her deliver unbelievable results that are more than skin deep—a game changer for women.

he most common treatment options for women over the age of 40 are the ones that help them transform their bodies. Whether they’re recovering from major surgery, want their prepregnancy physique back, are wrapping up their weight loss journey or correcting something they’ve disliked for a long time, procedures like breast augmentation, abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck), or what’s known as the mommy makeover (a combination of breast surgery, tummy tuck and liposuction) offer a chance for that new look.

No matter the procedure, Dr. DiFrancesco approaches each consultation with compassionate care and extensive knowledge, offering detailed, personalized treatment options for realistic, natural-looking outcomes.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 12.35.07 PMFor patients interested in breast augmentation and/or a breast lift, Dr. DiFrancesco utilizes a range of breast implant shapes, sizes, and surgical techniques based on each patient’s unique needs and desired outcome. One of the newer techniques in breast rejuvenation includes fat transfer to the breasts, which can be used to add volume to your breasts with or without breast implants. The approach involves using liposuction to remove fat from one area of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs or hips and then injecting it into the breasts.

“My patients keep me motivated. I love being able to help people, especially women, improve their self-esteem,” says Dr. DiFrancesco.

Former patient Ashley M. had this to say about her recent procedure. “My breast reduction surgery was a success. For years, I had been walking around with huge breasts that affected my back and self-esteem. Dr. D and her team have been amazing with helping me through the healing process. Thanks, Dr. D for giving me that extra boost of confidence.”

For more information on any of these procedures, contact Dr. DiFrancesco at 404-377-3474.

www.drdifrancesco.com | www.facebook.com/DiFrancescoMD | www.instagram.com/DiFrancescoPlasticSurgery

Individual results may vary.

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(L to R): Dr. Nazanin Jafarian, Dr. Naureen Adam

(L to R): Dr. Nazanin Jafarian, Dr. Naureen Adam

With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, there’s no need to slog through fatigue, mental fog, anxiety or other aging side effects. This modern method makes patients feel like themselves again and can even boost health.

What’s better than a double board-certified physician taking a natural approach to health and wellness? Two physicians with that unique set of perfected skills and passion for their patients. At MDn2 Aesthetics and Wellness, Dr. Naureen Adam and Dr. Nazanin Jafarian are a powerhouse team that help men and women reverse the negative side effects of aging.

“When you first come in for a consultation, you’ll probably talk to both of us,” says Dr. Adam. “People can reach us whenever they need to and we’re both going to know each person off the top of our head. We work synergistically and make their experience truly amazing.”

Most amazing is the way they’re modernizing hormone replacement therapy. Using bioidentical molecules through pellet therapy, they help both men and women feel like themselves again. The treatment requires a small incision, then a dosage pellet is inserted that lasts three to five months, depending on that individual’s needs, activity level, and gender. It provides a steady stream of hormones over time, unlike messy creams or injections, and allows the physicians to tweak dosages as the patient’s needs evolve. “A patient’s treatment plan is not one-size- ts-all. It has to be unique to them,” Dr. Nazanin Jafarian says.

“Our delivery method and the fact that we use bioidentical molecules is what makes [this type of] hormone replacement superior,” Dr. Adam says. “Hormones that have been used in the past are from another species and they do not resemble the actual human molecule, which can lead to issues like stroke, heart attack, etcetera. Because bioidentical molecules are made from plants, they exactly replicate the human molecule. They’re more preventative when it comes to cancer and that kind of thing than we’ve known hormones to be, traditionally.”

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 12.27.43 PMSeeing the transformation patients experience after the treatment is what brings both doctors the most joy. “We had one woman who was working on her Ph.D. and now had the energy to do everything she needed to do and was more motivated than ever. She lost 20 pounds and looked like a completely different person,” says Dr. Adam. And knowing that they are a part of helping clients live their best life at any age is what keeps this dynamic duo motivated every day.

www.mdn2.com | www.facebook.com/mDn2aesthetics | www.instagram.com/mdn2_aesthetics

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Dr. Anjenette Sorapuru, DNP

Dr. Anjenette Sorapuru, DNP

Dr. Anjenette Sorapuru, DNP, helps her patients find the ideal weight loss method for them and provides them with the tools to successfully maintain their new look.

Dr. Anjenette Sorapuru, DNP, and her team at Santé MD Wellness Center believe a weight loss program doesn’t do much without a new, healthy lifestyle change to sustain it. And though they’ve perfected their process for losing weight, their ultimate focus is making sure each client can keep that weight off after the program is complete.

It begins with a unique, personal experience for every patient from the very first assessment. Based on where a patient is currently and using six different evaluations and treatments, Dr. Sorapuru can monitor progress and make adjustments that allow patients to achieve their goals. She uses scientifically based medicines combined with alternative practices, taking a fundamental and comprehensive approach to ensure success.

This includes qualifying patients for prescription medicines, conducting lab tests to study body composition, overseeing food sensitivity tests to rule out potential interferences, and administering FIT3D scans to customize a program specifically to each patient’s body type. Dr. Sorapuru also uses vitamin IV therapy to replenish and support a healthy new lifestyle, and oxygen treatments to improve memory, increase productivity, alleviate stress, decrease muscle pain, and boost energy levels.

Patients learn about industry misconceptions (the ugly truth about fad diets, why diet medications are misunderstood, etc.), are continuously monitored, and receive medical counseling from Dr. Sorapuru and her team even after they’ve completed the program.

The Santé MD Wellness Center team.

The Santé MD Wellness Center team.

“What I love most is seeing the direct impact that I have on the lives of my patients and their families,” says Dr. Sorapuru. “One of my patients had a goal to lose weight prior to renewing her vows. She struggled with weight, even more so with her thyroid issues, and all attempts to lose weight had failed her, even with her extreme dedication. After working with her [through our customized programs], the weight came off and she looked amazing for her ceremony. With the lifestyle changes that she is now accustomed to, the weight has remained off, and she frequently tells me how much I’ve changed her life.”

https://santemd.com | www.facebook.com/santemd | www.instagram.com/SanteMD https://twitter.com/SanteMd | 404-255-9000

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Dr. Monte D. Slater

Dr. Monte D. Slater

Dr. Monte D. Slater creates an environment where patients feel comfortable discussing sexual health problems. At his facility, state-of-the-art treatments performed by a caring team provide life-changing results.

As a board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Monte D. Slater uses his 30 years of experience with couples to shape a unique environment at Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging. Here, women and men can comfortably resolve the intimate issues that have such a tremendous effect on self-esteem, self-confidence, and quality of life. He’s curated a menu of head-to-toe services and recruited a caring staff to ultimately create a culture where every patient feels like family … and that keeps them coming back.

It all begins with a family-run practice. Dr. Slater’s wife, Gail, manages their team of healthcare professionals in a nurturing, maternal way that purposefully trickles down into the patient-care model—one based on the way Dr. Slater would want his own family to be treated. The results speak for themselves.

“Dr. Slater, Mrs. Slater, Cassie [Smith] and all staff are absolutely incredible! Not only do they make you feel like family, they are professional and truly care about their clients,” says former patient Jamie.

“I have [had] two V-Lase® treatments already and I am very happy that I did. It’s worth the money. It’s very comfortable, painless, and an amazing treatment for women like me who have had children,” says R.P.

Sharing the life-changing treatment options that are available to men and women facing intimacy issues is Dr. Slater’s core mission. He notes the growing number of people who are significantly affected by sexual function issues. “Most want to experience improvement, but don’t think there is anything they can do,” he says.

Among these modern methods are laser treatments (V-Lase®) that can restore tissue and improve function, including the nonsurgical treatment of urinary incontinence, and advanced regenerative treatments such as platelet-rich plasma, amnion, and GAINSWave® (shock wave therapy for men) to treat and restore function in the genital tissue, notes Dr. Slater.

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 11.37.28 AM“My goal is to make every person that I come in contact with feel special and good about themselves,” he says, nodding to his own mentors for the values that have shaped his current practice.

“I want to have some kind of positive impact, whether by providing a treatment for them or just having a conversation about what is bothering them. Patients often tell us we are not like any other practice they have ever been to, and we take great pride in that.”

https://slatermd.com | www.facebook.com/aestheticbodysculpture | www.instagram.com/DrSlater

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