Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog 179: The Herron Speaks Blog Proudly Salutes Tyler Clark

Tyler Clark, Senior at North Mecklenburg High School, was recently crowned “Miss RPO Inc.” at the 2014 Debutante Cotillion Ball. RPO Inc. is the philanthropic arm of Rho Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Sorority. Tyler is the daughter of
Melanie Pratt and Danny Clark, is granddaughter of Robert and Beatrice Cox and Calvin and Carolyn Clark. Through the Debutante program, high school juniors and seniors participated in activities/workshops that focused on leadership skills, public speaking, financial and fiscal health, social and professional etiquette, the importance of community service, and fund-raising skills.

Tyler, an A/B Honor roll student, has a 4.333 GPA and has taken all honors classes since 9th grade. Tyler is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. She has been an active participant in many extra-curricular activities. She has been Drum Major in the North Mecklenburg’s Marching Band for the past two years. Other school recognitions/activities include President of Junior Class Council (2011-2013); webmaster for the student council (2011-2012); Co-Captain of the step team (2011-2013); Vice-President of the Family Career Community Leaders of America-FCCLA (2011-2013); Project Uplift participant at UNC Chapel Hill (2014); Participant in Scholar Day at UNC Chapel Hill (2O14); Peer Mediation and the NAACP.
Tyler has been connected with the YMCA youth programs for many years, first attending their annual summer camps. Through the YMCA, Tyler gained certification in baby-sitting, CPR, First AID, and as a Life Guard. Her first job was with the ‘Y’ last summer and she continued working during the school year on Saturdays. She has worked in several capacities including:
                   Summer Camp Counselor for 4- to 11-year-old boys and girls (2013)
Camp Cheerleader Counselor for 4- to 7-year-old girls (2013)
Girl’s Empowerment Mentor for 7- to 10-year-old girls (2013)
Cheer leaders Coach (football team 0 for 4- to 7-year-old girls (2014).
Recently, Tyler was asked back to work for the YMCA in their upcoming 2014 summer program.
Tyler is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where her dad and the Cox grandparents are members. She attends youth church, summer Bible school, and sleep-ins. Through her church, Tyler applied for and participated in the Black Pilots summer program where she gained the experience of flying a plane. Tyler also attends activities at her mother’s church-Life Center of Charlotte.
Community Service has been an important aspect of Tyler’s life. She is founder of Tyler’s Closet, an organization which collects new and gently used coats and socks, which are distributed to areas homeless shelters. Since 2006, hundreds of coats have been donated. She has done other volunteer and community service hours at Crisis Assistance Ministry, and the Salvation Army. During President Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, Tyler assisted with voter registration and phone banking.
In 2011, Tyler participated in Microsoft’s technology summer youth program.
Tyler was recently chosen to represent North Mecklenburg High School in the Charlotte Post Foundation’s 2014 Top Seniors program, which recognizes graduating area seniors. These seniors will appear in a special separate 40th commemorative  publication in late May.
Tyler plans to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham and plans to major in Criminal Justice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blog 178: A Powerful Breakfast

Written by Joseph Burton and Dave Washington
Edited by Vernon M. Herron
Photography by Leila Herron Waters

     For some, breakfast is an optional meal. For others, a good breakfast is a way to start the day. Still for others, it is a natural way to spend quality time with their sons. But for Joseph Burton and Dave Washington, two successful African American entrepreneurs, having breakfast with Dr. Vernon Herron is always powerful and is always the preferred option!
     Dr. Herron captured the moment as follows: “I believe that it is rare for men to sit and have breakfast together. I have heard of women inviting each other over for breakfast, yet the uniqueness of this event is that we are men enjoying breakfast together.”
     Initially, we (Dave and Joe) may have had thoughts to challenge this statement. As entrepreneurs, we had our own respective invitations to break bread with others as we pursue our business ends. Additionally, we have had breakfast with other brothers in business for themselves as well as on more personal levels. And besides, this trio (Joseph, Dave, and Dr. Herron) has had a powerful breakfast together, at least three times during the last three or four years.
     However, as we continued to ponder Dr. Herron’s statement, I (Joseph) slowly realized the novelty of which he spoke. This intimate breakfast table was in the dining room of Dr. Herron’s stately home versus a local coffee house or national chain restaurant. Our delicious breakfast was prepared at the hands of Dr. Herron’s beloved daughter, Leila (thank you, Chef Leila). Lastly, the scheduling for our meal was administratively coordinated by Dr. Herron. To that end, our gathering was unique, indeed. Personally, the last time I intentionally had a group of brothers at my home for breakfast was nearly a decade ago.
     Having an early meal with this historian and family griot allowed us the opportunity to openly discuss a wide range of provoking thoughts and opinions including social, political, business issues, fashion, (Dave and Joseph happened to both be in black shirts and black pants), lawn care, family, travel, and relationships.
     We spent about two hours together and all of us remarked that the fellowship and food from this Monday morning breakfast was the fuel to make it through the week.
     The breakfast was powerful because each of the brothers brought a measure of success to the table. For over 19 years, Dave Washington has been President of the DW Designs Custom Clothier and Tuxedo Rentals. He has a degree in Business Management from Johnson C. Smith University and has a DW LEADERSHIP PROGRAM which mentors African American males through the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system with a 6 step curriculum. It focuses on critical thinking while developing/enhancing leadership skills.
     Dave is successful largely due to his marketing skills, presentation, his precise measurements, business experience, goals, proficiency and efficiency. Married for 18 years, Dave is the father of a 15 year old daughter who is part of the National Honor Society.
     Joseph "Joe" Burton is an independent Information Technology contractor. He was responsible for introducing Dr. Herron to the concept of “blogging” and has helped to support Herron Speaks from its inception. He was also introduced in Blog 39. Joe’s company Door2Door Computer Services provide service for business customers in the Charlotte Metro area. Joe is the proud father of 5 children with ages ranging from teenagers through young adults.