All posts by meetmontgomery

Laurel Teel



Our difference maker this week is Laurel Teel! Laurel’s love for children has been a driving force in her career since graduating from Auburn University in 2010. Her titles have included kindergarten teacher at a Primrose School, founder of Mustaches for Kids Montgomery, and now Child Protect’s Development Director at the Children’s Advocacy Center. Laurel is responsible for oversight of the Young Professionals Board, as well as fundraising, special event coordination, and all social media platforms. “My position allows me to see the good in the people of our community and that in turn inspires me to do everything I can for the children we serve,” she explains. In addition to Laurel’s Mustaches for Kids work, she also serves as Member-at-Large for the Central Alabama Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and volunteers with That’s My Child’s Young Professionals board. Laurel attributes her success to her father, who she believes he has been an ideal example of great work ethic and career dedication. Laurel attends Church of the Highlands and enjoys working out at NOW Total Fitness. In her free time, Laurel enjoys spending time with friends and family at Lake Martin.


Yogie Gidley, Talent Agent



As someone who believes in cultivating the dreams of people from all over, Yogie has spent her life trying to help others shine.

With the founding of Chance Music Promotions in 2006, Yogie was able to pave the way for new artists, models, performers, and more.

She believes in giving people a chance to bring their dreams to life and helps them by being a liason with local venues.

Yogie has worked with artists that have opened for Pretty Ricky, DJ Luke Nasty, have performed at fashion shows, the fair, Renaissance Idol, Prattville Idol, and more.

She is the Director of the TV Show “Is it YOUR Time to Shine?” which received shout outs from Nile Rogers, Jon B., and more.

She has helped artists book venues like Birmingham Play House, The Renaissance, and many other local treasures.


Beth Anne Dunagan



Our difference maker this week is Beth Anne Dunagan, Executive Director of EAT South. EAT South is an urban teaching farm that engages the community by gathering around, learning about and growing food. The agency empowers people to change the way food travels from the ground to our plates. E.A.T. South is a non-profit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama that encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production in the River Region. E.A.T. South envisions communities across the Southeast having access to fresh, healthy, affordable food and the knowledge about food preparation that supports a healthy lifestyle.

The E.A.T. South Farm is located in the heart of Montgomery! The urban teaching farms offer educational programs such as Good Food Day field trips and provides fresh, naturally-grown fruits and vegetables for the greater Montgomery area.

Beth Ann grew up in the hills of Northeast Georgia. She is a 2012 graduate of Berry College in Rome, Georgia. After finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Government, she served two years as a Teach for America Corps Member where she taught 11th grade US History and AP US History at Lee High School in Montgomery. During the summer of her time as a Corps Member, she interned for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund in Jacksonville, Florida. Beth Anne started working for EAT South in 2015 and has served as its Executive Director since 2016. She is excited about the work EAT South is doing in the River Region as she works to make a positive impact in Montgomery. Beth Anne lives in the beautiful Garden District with her husband DJ and her dog Chloe.


Corey Ellis



Hear Corey talk about making difference in Montgomery by teaching better health. He came back to Montgomery after living in New Orleans for 17 years! Corey Ellis is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. He knows first hand and will discuss the opportunities available in Montgomery. Corey Ellis attended Grambling State University, in Grambling, LA, from 2001-2005, where he received his Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems.

Ellis, proving that you just may have a passion for a completely different occupation opposite of what your educational concentration, and Degree dictates, by electing not to pursue a career in computers, but venturing into the field of health and wellness. Corey is a certified personal trainer, group fitness trainer, YOGA instructor, and youth sports performance trainer.

Corey Ellis is the owner, and operator of the RezFIT Fitness & Wellness Studio in Montgomery, AL & RezFIT 2 Fitness Training Facility in Prattville, AL. Corey Ellis began his company, Resolution Fitness LLC, in 2008, and has been striving to build (RezFIT) Resolution Fitness LLC, to becoming one of the strongest forces of fitness in the River Region.


Jacqueline Allen



The difference maker this week is Jacqueline Allen! She currently manages the communications department at AIDT, Alabama’s workforce training agency, and serves as the key agency spokesperson. Learn how she is making a difference in the workforce in Montgomery! There are so many opportunities available for employers and employees in our area! She is going to tell us how we can all be involved in making economic growth! Jacqueline is a former Troy native as well as alumni of Troy University, Go Trojans! She currently resides in Montgomery, Al and has 2 sons


Dillon Nettles



This is a topic that is on everyone’s agenda, Education! Listen to the podcast to learn about Dillon Nettles and what he is doing for our children in the Montgomery Public School System.

Dillon Nettles is Montgomery-based organizer, Community Programs Director at the Montgomery Education Foundation, and Cofounder of Foreword South. He is a native of Daphne, Alabama and a 2015 graduate of Auburn University.

While studying at Auburn, Dillon’s passion for social change was sparked. His range of experiences working with national organizations such as Teach for America, Students for Education Reform, and the Clinton Foundation cultivated both his knowledge and his interest in fighting for education equity and reform. In 2015, he joined the Montgomery Education Foundation to lead the local nonprofit’s community engagement initiatives, including the We C.A.N. Network.

Earlier this year he cofounded and launched his media company, Foreword South, as a digital and physical storytelling platform highlighting the work of Southern visionaries, activists, designers, artists, and change-makers. Dillon is passionate about using his creative organizing and communication skills to build bold campaigns and programs focused on effectively leading coalitions toward expanding educational and economic opportunities for marginalized communities and he is proud to now call Montgomery home.


Kristina Turner and Michelle Leland of AAF-Montgomery



Kristina Turner and Michelle Leland of The American Advertising Federation -Montgomery chapter talk about the lunch and learn next week and why this organization is important not just for advertising but for businesses in the community.

AAF Montgomery serves as an advocate to better the business community as a whole, creating an environment that is thriving and fair. We connect you to the entire advertising community and provide you with great opportunities for networking, education, public service, and both local and national discounts. Our goal is to educate our members on the latest trends in advertising, marketing, and public relations with a variety of annual programs.

AAF provides many services, some of these are: professional development Lunch & Learns, networking opportunities, educational workshops, a chance to give back with public service, and the opportunity to compete in the American Advertising Awards, and more.


Ashley Jernigan



Before becoming the Montgomery rockstar we know today, Ashley Jernigan was moving and shaking things up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Listen to the podcast to learn more about her adventure to the Montgomery area. Ashley graduated with a degree in Communications from Alabama State University (Go Hornets!) and started working on her career before graduating! Can you say, “Massive, Work Ethic!”. You go girl! Leading her to become one of the youngest Private Events Directors ever in the company. Whilst working full time, Ashley received a MBA from Georgia State University; which propelled her career to direct all the marketing efforts for one of the largest restaurants and property management companies in the River Region.

Ashley has a passion for helping young professionals advance in their career because her own professional journey was not easy. She explains that journey – gives tips, tricks and tools to navigate and excel in corporate world on her blog www.top5careertips.com.  Her motto: “Network for net worth, volunteer to advance your career and know when it’s time to go!”

After nearly a decade of service in the hospitality industry, Ashley decided to start her own Hospitality Consulting Business JDB Hospitality, LLC where she helps businesses utilize both PR tactics and marketing techniques to find the best possible solution to get in front of the eyes, ears and mouths of their target market.


Kalonji Gilchrist of 21 Dreams Arts & Culture Collective



Learn about Kalonji and how he started this amazing collective. The Flight of Arts is this weekend! The four-day event will feature several workshops and exhibitions for visual, performing, literary, culinary and cultural arts. All events and activities will be hosted at different venues in and around downtown Montgomery to raise public awareness and community engagement.

Kalonji is a pivotal mover and shaker in the Montgomery Community. Listen as Kalonji talked about the things he loves about Montgomery and how he is making a difference. Currently focusing on the founder role of the 21 Dreams Arts & Culture Collective (happening this weekend btw); and a long list of community organizations such as: Pure Artistry Literary Café (Advisory Board Member); Mayoral Young Professionals Council; Emerge Montgomery Young Professional Organization of Leadership Montgomery;Emerge Montgomery’s Torchbearers Program: Class 5 Representative, Programs & Outreach Chair (2014 – 2015); Just Keep Giving Community Outreach Group (Founding Member); Just Keep Giving: Tornado Relief Donation Drive; Just Keep Giving & Pure Artistry: Beyond Dreams School Supply Drive; Just Keep Giving & 97.9 Jamz: Toyz N Da Hood Toy Drive; SpeakOUT Against HIV & AIDS – Annual World AIDS Day Community Event- and the list goes on…

You can make a difference, right here and right now.

 


Katie Perkowski



Difference Maker Katie Perkowski is an arts marketing expert and theatre artist currently working with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival as their Director of Marketing and Communications. Previously Katie worked overseas as the Community Program Director for the USAF/RAF Mildenhall in England and as Business Manager of the Roadside Theatre in Germany. As an arts marketing consultant she has worked with The Atlanta Opera, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Community Foundation of Lorain County, Opera Cleveland, Lorain Palace Theater, Arcanum Productions, Arbor Opera Theater, and a number of professional artists and musicians. She served on faculty at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music as the Opera Program Assistant Director/Stage Manager and on Kent State University’s faculty as an opera director. In Ohio she worked as an assistant director at Opera Cleveland, Solon Center for the Arts and Actors’ Summit in Akron. Katie was a founding member and first president of Arbor Opera Theatre, a thriving opera company in Ann Arbor, MI.