By Rev. Glenda P. Murray-Kelly (aka) g paris
On Sunday, November 1, 2015, 107 women of excellence and grace took their scroll across the stage at the George M. & Linda H. Kaufman Theatre in the Chrysler Museum of Arts. All of these women were exclusively nominated by their family or peers for their exceptional standards in their profession. To experience as well as to witness these beautiful dressed and educated women was as if you were at the Ebony Fashion Fair or even the Oscar Awards. However, out of the 107 nominees only 31 would be honored in their perspective category.
The affair was hosted by Joy Julian with special dance performance by The Mambo Room; musical performances were by Titus Jackson, Nate Whitfield, Briana Askew and Stephanie Empson. As the nominees strolled across the stage, they repeated the ACHI Magazine affirmation in unity, “I am an ACHI Nominee. No one can do what I do, like me. Although we are many, we celebrate each one. As we all give our best, till the workday is done. I am ACHI! ACHI is me. We have strength in Sisterhood.” The publication launched in 2013 it is an official Bi Annual Magazine.
The categories of consideration were: Literary Excellence; Humanitarian and Service; Excellence in the Performing Arts; Health Advocate; Excellence in Journalism; Military Honors; Excellence in The Fashion Industry; and Career Excellence.
The Women of Excellence were: authors; orators, volunteers; nonprofit executives; mentors; community leaders; philanthropist; educators; artists; choreographers; playwright; nutritionists; fitness trainers; radio and television personalities; columnist; active duty; veteran duty; military spouses; fashion designers; model agencies; hair stylists; makeup artists; models; fashion icon; entrepreneurs.
Other awards presented were the Achi WSWA Scholarship which provided a scholarship to a woman who was returning back to school.
The presenters of the awards were 2014 ACHI winners along with two special presentations presented by ACHI 2014 nominee Latrese B. Carter and ACHI 2015 winner Rev Glenda P. Murray-Kelly to Dr. Fletcher and Natasha Fletcher as an appreciation from the 2015 Nominees.
It’s imperative to look back at when you are introduced to an organization. As a reflection, the day that I personally met ACHI was in December 2014. It was at the Urban League of Hampton Roads annual fundraising breakfast held at the Chesapeake Convention Center. There were over 500 attendees at this event. Some would wonder how could 500 people attend a breakfast during normal working hours? The answer is that most pf the individuals in attendance at the breakfast were independent business owners who make their own work schedules and the same principle applied to those who were ACHI Magazine nominees.
In attendance at the breakfast were at least five African-American magazine publishers. Yet, one, in particular, who stood out was the publisher of ACHI Magazine. Dr. Juanita Fletcher and her sister Taneisha (NeizhaB) Fletcher became acquainted with many people on that day. Why? Because in the hands of 28-year-old Taneisha Fletcher was the 2014 edition of the ACHI Magazine with Mrs. April Harrison Woodard on the cover. It was a dream come true. Taneisha Fletcher is the west coast director of ACHI magazine.
What stood out about this organization and magazine is that it highlights the accomplishments of Women of the Greater Hampton Roads area. The magazine is a lifestyle magazine. “The highlight of the evening were the 44 young ladies who got to witness women of all races and professions come together and genuinely support each other as sisters,” said Dr. Juanita Fletcher.
The vision of the magazine is not only to be an awards show but to be an educational tool in motivating and supporting the young and the older. There were so many comments and words of expression from this event, however, ACHI Magazine 2015 Award winner Sherri Scott Norvoa said is for all of us.
“ACHI Magazine is a wonderful platform to recognize women who are doing extraordinary things in their community, nationally and internationally. I am so appreciative and honored to be a part of such an awesome event. Thank you Dr. Fletcher for this amazing opportunity.”
For more information on ACHI Magazine and the bios of the 2015 Nominees you can visit www.achimagazine.com.