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Celebrity Chef Cook-Off: You Be The Judge

by: ellis j. still (@ellis_still)

What do you get when you have the opportunity to judge two well known chef’s and culinary students who are rivaling against each other?

An amazing fund raiser that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton, NJ, a national community organization that provides  young people with  safe havens, academic enrichment, and recreational activities through after-school, weekend, and summer programs.

Join us as Chef Barbie Marshall and Chef Justin Antiorio, finalists in Fox television show Hell’s Kitchen, along with four of Mercer County Community College’s most talented student Sous Chefs prepare delicious hors d’oeuvres, and you will be the judge!

My wife, Tina (@Tina_Still), and I are huge proponents of giving back to communities whenever we can. Since Hell’s Kitchen is one of the shows that we watch/Tivo on a regular basis, having the opportunity to see these great Chefs battle it out for a worthy cause is a great way to spend a Wednesday evening.

On November 7th, 2012, every person should be the difference by attending this culinary event. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. You get to meet two of Hell’s Kitchen’s finest cooks, Chef Barbie Marshall (@BarbieMarshall), and Chef Justin Antiorio (@ChefJustinHk).
  2. This makes for a great date night for you and your spouse (or significant other)
  3. You get to sample a variety of appetizers.
  4. You get to take the night off from cooking or ordering fast food.
  5. You get to network and meet new people at a new venue (at least new to me – I have never been to The Stone Terrace before).
  6. The weather is still relatively warm… a great opportunity to find someone to create/complete your #Golf foursome before cold weather finally sets in.
  7. If you ask, maybe you can find out more about Chef Barbie’s new initiative, “5 Star Chefs
  8. Like me, you were sitting in the dark for days as a result of not having power due to Hurricane Sandy, and you desperately need a change of pace.
  9. You need some new culinary ideas. For example, I subscribe to the notion that bacon makes anything taste better. To my wife’s (and my personal trainer’s) disdain, I add bacon (bits) to everything in an effort to make it better.
  10. Proceeds of the event benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County, NJ

For more information on the event and its venue, click here. To buy tickets ($25.00), click here.

Question: What is your favorite appetizer?

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification
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Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference: We are all family here!!!

by: ellis j. still

As I sit in my Chicago Hilton Hotel room, a new awakening is upon me. A new desire. A new drive to succeed. Not that these things ever went away, but more so a refreshing of hope.

Black Enterprise Magazine is not just a business magazine… a semblance of graphics, articles, and advertising as a way to make money.

Black Enterprise Magazine is an institution, from which businesses that happen to be owned by African Americans can grow, support, inspire, and be inspired in business, in life, and in Spirit.

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Conference (BEEC) is a reflection of the magazine… a vehicle from which to leverage and to celebrate business success.

It’s about wildly successful people showing love & support to others as they would to themselves. It’s about creating genuine relationships. It’s about positioning success within arm’s reach on new entrepreneurs.

It is important to differentiate between “Black Owned” businesses, which have connotations of being and doing sub-par business, from businesses that happen to be owned by African Americans that secure a footprint in the marketplace, rivaling their non-minority counterparts.

The conference was filled with many growth opportunities, featuring a wide variety of speakers that covered an even wider variety of topics. There were many moments from which to take advantage of creating relationships with peers, mentors, and those who can catapult your business. I, myself, cannot name names, but have had extremely meaningful conversations with several people that I look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with.

Yet also, it was refreshing to hear successful and creative CEO level executives talk at length about their business success as it relates to their personal relationship in Christ, which, I believe, is taboo in most business settings.

The highlight of the conference was not a dynamic speaker, nor a media superstar. The highlight of the conference was a moment of despair… where one would gladly jump off the nearest cliff of if he could.

In a room filled with 1,500 people and an undetermined number of people watching via streaming online, finalists were pitching their business as part of a larger national competition to vie for a prize of $10,000.  A young man approached the microphone, and began to talk about his business.

He started strong, but began to stumble over his words. He started over at the beginning and again, he was unable to find his words.  Visibly shaken, he slowed down his speech, seemingly to try to get his mind to sync with his mouth.

It was kind of like running hurdles in Track & Field, where if you hit a hurdle, you don’t hit just one. It throws you off for the rest of the entire race, and you hit every hurdle afterwards, falling to the ground before reaching the finish line.

This is essentially what happened to this young man. He eventually stopped trying, held his head down, separated himself from the microphone, and walked off the stage dejected.

This is when the cool part happens. This is where you see the true culture and character of Black Enterprise unfold. You see, they did not let him end on that note. They bought him back out on the stage.

Kim Coles who was a judge for the competition, defined that moment in her always loving, smiling, and in this case deliberate yet stern voice, when she said to the young man…

”WE ARE ALL FAMILY IN THIS ROOM”

She went on to say to the young man that one day his business will be wildly successful, and he will look back on that moment and ponder & smile at how far he had come… and laugh.

The entire room of 1,500 people promptly stood up, and graced him with thunderous applause.

This is what Black Enterprise is all about. Kindness. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking; it keeps no record of wrongs. It rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Black enterprise is an institution that demonstrates a love for others through business.

In the coming days, I will post some of my notes from the conference. I cannot go into too much detail, and I did not attend every session, as several sessions met at the same time. I would encourage you to get the latest copy of Black Enterprise: Special 40th Anniversary Edition, which features BE’s Top 100 Businesses, as well as many of the speakers from the conference.

This was my first time attending a Black Enterprise signature event. Having attended, I have a new-found reverence for what Black Enterprise is and its desire to support African American business owners. While social media keeps you informed, in order to truly get results, the cost of attending in person definitely matches the value of what you get in return.

Question: How bad do you want to succeed? Meet us at the Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge in Florida on Labor Day Weekend and open yourself up to partnering with friendly faces who want to see you succeed.

For pictures, see our Facebook Page

You can also enroll in Black Enterprise’s (free) 2012 Small Business University Hosted by Dell

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Men On Fire VII: The Perfect Man!!!

by: ellis j. still

“You, therefore, must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity), as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

                Matthew 5:48 (Amp.)

i.e. – get your swagger back!!!

This is perhaps one of the largest and most significant conferences that is geared towards encouraging, strengthening and building up men in the country, outside of T. D. Jakes.

Every year men travel from across the country to gather on Wednesday evening at Agape Family Worship Center in Rahway, NJ and on Thursday evening at Abundant Life Family Worship Church (ALFWC) in New Brunswick, NJ, with Friday and Saturday sessions held all day at an offsite hotel (this year at the Somerset Doubletree Hotel).

This conference is unique in that it appeals to the issues and challenges that men face, with strategic takeaways that can be applied to everyday life. In addition to building up the spiritual man, Men On Fire also features sessions on entrepreneurship, leadership, finances, and provides many opportunities for fellowship and networking… building up the perfect man, and, building up the entire man.

There is also the awesome praise & worship, and ridiculous band :- )

This year’s installment of Men on Fire will include Bishop George C. Searight, Pastor Lawrence Powell, Bishop Dale Bronner, Bishop Donald Hillard, Bishop Courtney McBath, Dr. Ron Elmore, and Dr. Buster Soaries.

Question: Many great visions, leaders, entrepreneurs, and dreams fulfilled have been birthed out of Men On Fire. Why not take a few days to get away from home, get some great impartation the will benefit you, your family, and everyone around you and get your swagger back?

For more information, see links below:

ALFWC Facebook Page 

Men on Fire Facebook Event Page

Abundant Life Family Worship Church (ALFWC) website

Agape Family Worship Center website

Twitter Hash-Tag: #MenOnFireVII

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

__________________________________________

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Faith and Fiction:  Episode 5 (2011)

By: ellis j. still

Well, 2011 is well underway, and that means a new and exciting installment of the Faith and Fiction Retreat, this year being held in Ponte Vedra, Beach, Florida. Last year I attended the annual Faith and Fiction retreat for the first time  in Atlanta GA at the CNN Center / Omni Hotel. I had such a great time, before I came back home from Atlanta I resolved to do it again this year.

The Faith and Fiction Retreat is an annual literary event that is the brainchild of best-selling author Tiffany Warren. Early on, she sought to share with people in person the ministry behind author’s writing. It began in 2005 as a tour, and evolved into the retreat that we have today (to read the entire story, Click Here).  Every year readers (individuals and book clubs), well-established and up-and-coming writers, and other literary enthusiasts come together for a few days to share their craft as authors, to gain support as new authors, and to meet and discuss various topics with their favorite author.

One of the many things that become clear to me in my first year of attendance was that there was a genuine camaraderie among and by authors that set the tone in the atmosphere for the entire event. I have seen many instances in the book industry where authors operate in a pretense  of arrogance and superiority syndrome, and are therefore not willing to work with other authors (unless through contractual obligation), and barely tolerate interacting directly with their readers. At Faith and Fiction, the authors are not only friendly, but are about building genuine and lasting relationships with others, which is an impressive representation of Christ and of what being a Christian author is all about. The idea is that it’s a big world out there…. there is more than enough room to support each other as authors, which allows for everyone to flourish while upholding Christian values and integrity.

This year the retreat will be at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort and Spa. The organizers are cost-conscious when planning the retreats and are aware of the fact that people travel from across the country to attend the retreat. When choosing venues, the goal is to not only create a nice atmosphere for the retreat, but at a reasonable price. Since this venue is associated with golf courses, year my wife and I (this will be Tina’s first year of attendance) will be getting in town early such that I can get some golf in before the retreat begins.

Every year is a different experience, and 2011 is no exception. Every morning, the day will begin with beachfront prayer. For the first time, this year will include two separate tracks to participate in… one for up-and-coming authors (author bootcamp), and one for readers and enthusiasts. The reader track will include panel discussions on a variety of topics, and the author’s track will feature panel discussions relating to advancing your craft and your marketshare as an author. Likewise, there will also be male author panelists, with panel discussions geared towards men. The retreat will culminate with an all-white beach party (the full itinerary will be provided shortly).

This year’s featured authors include are ReShonda Tata Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, and Stacy Hawkins Adams

This year’s author panelists include Tiffany L. Warren (F&F Retreat Host), Angels Benson, Victor McGlothin, Vanessa Miller, Tia McCollors, Michelle Stimpson, Norma Jarrett, Rhonda McKnight, Kimberly Cash Tate, Patricia Haley-Glass, Booker Mattison, MaRita Teague, Sherryle Kiser-Jackson, Pat Simmons, Ellis Still (hey… that’s Me!!!  :- ), Miranda Parker, Leslie Sherrod, Patricia Bridewell, Shawneda Marks, Shana Johnson-Burton

So this year, wives, bring your husbands. Husbands bring your wives. If you are single, bring friends, or you can attend alone if you wish – like I did last year. This event is for anyone even remotely interested in reading, or interested in learning more about the world of fictional writing. For more information, Click Here to visit the official website.

Question:  Are you really willing to miss out on a great experience? If not, don’t procrastinate… register today!!!

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved. Photographs are courtesy of Tia McCollors and Tiffany Warren’s Facebook pages, respectively. Faith and Fiction graphic courtesy of http://www.faithandfictionretreat.com/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I am the CEO of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore (TBB), the company that retails books written by these authors. Regardless, I only recommend books that I have personally read or reviewed and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
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