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Edward Nkosi

In the Spotlight:  Our Vice President, Kareem Willis

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

My mother influences how I approach my work. She is resourceful, selfless, tenacious and takes pride in whatever her final product is. 

 

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

I'd dedicate my success to my curiosity and willingness to learn. I've created new opportunities for myself and took risks that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

 

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

At the risk of sounding vain, I'd love to become an expert at everything fashion. I love dressing up and seeing other people look fabulous however, I can't sew or design my own.

 

If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?

At this point in my life, the title would be "Groaning and Growing". It serves as a memoir/reflection on the lessons I've learned about life, love and myself over the years and especially during the last year of my life. 

 

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?

I'm learning that I cannot pour from an empty cup. I've heard the saying multiple times but it never became more relevant until during the pandemic when I found myself burnt out and running on fumes but still trying to be present for others in ways I couldn't be for myself.

 

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

My mother tells me constantly to "Just Trust God!" It's the best advice I've gotten. It has helped comfort me in the hardest of times and to remain encouraged in the best of times. 

 

What book are you reading now?

I'm reading "Until Today" by Iyanla Vanzant, "Change Your Question, Change Your Lives" by Marilee Adams and "Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better" by Rob Reich and finally, "Black Girl Call Home" by Jasmine Mans. 

 

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?

I'm a GREAT Jamaican cook! I came of age on the island and the flavors continue to influence my culinary pursuits. 

 

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Detail Oriented. Authentic. Supportive.

 

What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?

Every therapy session I've had throughout the year was my favorite. I've become big on mental health and wellness and so taking a break from the hectic daily schedules and making more space for that has been super helpful, rewarding and beneficial.  

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In the Spotlight:  Our Treasurer, Gloria A. Brown

  1. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
    My parents – their West Indian influences around education, always doing your best, and caring about those less fortunate has guided me throughout my life.
     

  2. What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why? 
    My willingness to help others.  It is my pleasure to serve others. 
     

  3. If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
    I have a passion for the health and wellness field.  I am forever a student even though I have certifications in herbalism, aromatherapy, and organic skincare formulation. 
     

  4. If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
    “Champion for Change.”    I believe I am a catalyst for change.  Both within myself and for others.  I help people to see themselves in different ways.  I can help others realize their skills by pushing them forward while remaining in the background.  I understand that I don’t have to be “out front” to be recognized for who I am.  
     

  5. What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
    I like to think that I inspire others to take their health seriously (even though I might waiver sometimes).  That is why I started my herbal business and why I am always studying how to make a better product.  I love it when my customers let me know how something I made has improved their lives.   
     

  6. What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
    My parents were people of few words.  It was not so much what they said but what they did.  They led by example.  Around the holidays, in particular Thanksgiving, they prepared baskets for the less fortunate to distribute at church.  Whenever we had tenants my mother made sure to send a plate of food and gift to each one or invite them to come to dinner.  My dad would send barrels of clothes and items home to Jamaica regularly.  My parents didn’t have a lot but weren’t afraid to share it. 
     

  7. What book are you reading now?
    Reading is my passion.  I used to own a bookstore so this is the wrong question for me.  At any time I could be reading 3 or 4 books.  Right now these are occupying my time:  “Libertie”  by Kaitlyn Greenidge, “Working the Roots:  over 400 years of traditional African-American Healing” by Michele E. Lee; Black Food:  “Stories, art and recipes from across the African Diaspora” by Bryant Terry; and “The Fifth Season:  The Broken Earth: Book One”  by N. K.  Jemisin.
     

  8. Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
    Yes, I have studied various energy techniques, i.e., Reiki, Healing Touch, and Access Bars, that enhance and facilitate the health of the mind, body, and spirit.
     

  9. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    Creative – Caring – Good Listener
     

  10. What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?
    I belong to a group, a Women’s Healing Circle.  When the pandemic hit and kept us from meeting face-to-face, we pivoted and held weekly zoom meetings around the topics of health and wellness which kept us both encouraged and engaged during this time. 

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