Getting Motivated for Business Ventures with Shark Tank Stars!

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On March 27, 2018, contributor writer, Steve Bumbry, attends the Get Motivated! Business Seminar, which feature ABC’s Shark Tank television Stars as key note speakers held at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. 

What may appear to be an average weekday, Tuesday… At the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., there were 1200+ seats filled to capacity. People came from all over the District metro area to attend Get Motivated! Every person in the room was there for a different reason. Some came for the networking, others came for the add-on educational services; but for most, everyone was gathered to learn and gain knowledge of the behind-the-scenes motivational strategies from the greatest business and thought leaders in the world.

Get Motivated! Business Seminar Poster

Get Motivated! has touched more than 10 million people world-wide using their platform! These seminars are held in various cities across the country and have multitude of guests attending. Traveling from Baltimore, MD to Washington D.C., I was one of the attendees, with my business partner along side me.

The day was highlighted by Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec and The World’s #1 Motivational Speaker, Les Brown.

In a true rags-to-riches story, Herjavec and his family fled communist oppression in Croatia and arrived in Canada with just $20. When his mother, who could not speak very much English, lost all of the family’s money to a vacuum salesmen, Herjavec vowed to never let his family be taken advantage of by anyone again. In 1990, Herjavec founded technology company BRAK Systems and sold the business to AT&T, Inc. for $100 million in 2000. He then began a security software firm known as the Herjavec Group and helped negotiate the sale of RAMP Network to Nokia Corporation for $225 million.

Rober Herjavec on Stage

Robert Herjavec preached that being successful is not an easy road. However, he emphasized that showing up daily, taking massive goal oriented action and having the ability to track his results is what helped him reach success. In his view of the world, it meant success and hard task driven work go hand in hand.

Herjavec, explained in the process of maturation and growth, life doesn’t get any easier. Over the course of time, “you simply get stronger.” And “that over time the reasons you do things gives you more clarity.”

In my life as a professional athlete, I can definitely relate to a lot of what Robert had to share. In professional sports, there is no start and stop date of the season. As part of a team sport, my team had to train every day to stay on top of our game. Robert Herjavec pointed out that life and success are about taking little steps in moments to build momentum in your life, which then leads to a crescendo of performance or awareness. Once you reach the crescendo of your performance or career, there is a moment of “Aha!” that leads you down hill where all your hard work and dedication pay off.

The day was book ended by the World’s #1 Motivational Speaker, Les Brown.

Similar to Robert Herjevec’s upbringing, Les’ message was also inspired by humble beginnings. Brown was born with his twin brother, Wesley, in an abandoned building in Liberty City, a low-income section of Miami, Florida. He was subsequently given up for adoption at 6 weeks old and was adopted by Mamie Brown, a 38-year-old single woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic assistant. He was declared “educable mentally retarded” while in grade school. Despite the self-esteem and confidence loss issues this created, he learned how to reach his full potential with the encouragement of his mother and assistance from a helpful teacher in high school, a key point in many motivational speeches he gives. He preaches that, “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”.

Les Brown on Stage

Les Brown took the crowd on an emotional ride that included laughter, tears and outbursts of excitation and motivation. Brown believes that we are all born with greatness inside. He reminds everyone that we were designed and engineered for greatness, and programmed by society and our families to feel small in life.

Brown suggests taking the attitude “that I will ALWAYS fail my way to success.” This message landed closest to home for me in my business journey. There have been far more moments of failure than moments of success in my professional career. I struck out 484 times in 413 professional games before. I know what it is like to fail. The very same way that Les was teaching the crowd to handle failure is exactly how I have practiced failure in my life. His words were a grand reminder: Failure MUST propel forward, failure MUST teach something, failure MUST give something to run from so that one can continue to run towards his or her dreams.

Ultimately, Les Brown encourages and shares to all that, “No matter what you are overcome with, don’t stop running towards your dream.”

The Get Motivated! Business Seminar is an outstanding way to spend the day learning quick terms and re-establishing the connection to why I make and do the things in my life or grasping “my why”. I was reminded that if I know “my why” for living, I can endure “any how” for my future success in business.


Get Motivated! Business Seminars are held nationally. To attend a future seminar, visit their Facebook page for upcoming dates. 

5th Annual Black History Heroes Award Show feat. Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford


February 22, 2018  I had an exclusive invite to cover the fifth annual Black History Month Celebration Salutes Black History Heroes Award show held at Maryland Live Casino.

For this event I had to wear an ensemble that worked well for both the office place and for an event so I wore a mauve low neck Anne Taylor Sweater, a black animal print skirt from an Italian designer, and leather boots from Nordstroms. I also wore a new foundation from ULTA called Cover-fx that actually matched my skin tone.

Anyways, so the drive from Baltimore to Arundel Mills was fraught with challenges. The rain down poured that day, and I was stuck in mindless traffic on 695. All I could see was red for miles on my GPS.  Once I arrived to Maryland Live Casino, I drove up the steep ramp and found a decent parking spot. The perks of covering an event at Maryland Live Casino is free parking and also a free coat check.

Before the show commenced, I was able to snag an exclusive interview with WHUT General Manger, Jefferi K. Lee.

Before his current role as General Manager of a notable PBS member-station, he also previously served as President of BET. In his 17 year career with the station, he helped transition BET from a 3-hour, one-night a week cablecast to a 24-hour, seven-day a week network.

SD: It’s an honor to meet you! Congrats on being an honoree.I know that you’re not only the General Manager of WHUT, but you have helped with the formation of BET as the channel’s previous President.  Can you please tell us more about that?

JKL: My time in BET was enriching. I really enjoyed my time. I was able to help bring the company from a start-up to a publicly traded company that goes the distance. So I really enjoyed the BET experience. I am now doing public media. I am the general manager of WHUT and I am enjoying the mission driven environment that we have in public media.

SD: So what is it about WHUT that you love?

JKL: There are several thing about WHUT that I love. WHUT is the only HBCU that owns a public station in the country. We are proud of that. We are also proud of the overall service of public television that we provide to the community.  The station is also a great opportunity for college students to get media experience and to know what it’s like to be in media.

The award show was well adorned with candles, table decorations, and drapery. Seating was boundless, multi-leveled, and awarded a great view of the show.  Appetizers were made with distinguished hands– multi-colored olive platters, delicately folded charcuterie platters, sun dried tomatoes, an antipasto salads were centered at the venue.

All attendees were also given complimentary drink tickets and credits to use the casino that night.


First District Representative of Anne Arundel County,  Pete Smith, served as master of ceremonies for the night. He did a great job of seguing remarks, presentation of awards, and acknowledgments from notable speakers such as Zed Smith, COO of The Cordish Companies, Wayne R. Frazier Sr., President of the Md. Washington Minority Companies Association, and of the keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Boyd K. Rutherford.

Rutherford closed the ceremony with a rousing speech on past, present, and future African American trailblazers.

“We are not just embracing African American History but our current history, ” said Rutherford.

Trailblazers like Harriet Tubman led to freedom (he also added that attendees should check out the newly minted Harriet Tubman museum), Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, was the first African American to serve on the court, and Frederick Douglass was a powerful leader.  A week before the awards, Frederick Douglas would have celebrated his 200th year birthday.  In honor of this remarkable trailblazer, Gov. Larry Hogan declared 2018 as the year of Frederick Douglass. The Governor will erect statues of Douglass, Marshall, and Tubman around the state capital.

Rutherford urged Marylanders that although February is African American History month, there’s always much work to do and to use today to make a great change.

Moreover, The Lt. Governor is one of many award winners of the night that also includes:

  • Cynthia Brooks, Executive Director, Bea Gaddy Family Centers
  • The Jonathan Ogden Foundation
  • Jonas Edward Brooks, Investigator, Fire Marshal’s Office, Annapolis, Md.
  • Jefferi K. Lee, General Manager, WHUT
  • Pastor James E. Rollins
  • Ramsey L Harris, Vice President, PNC Bank in DMV area
  • Jeanne Hitchcock, Special Advisor, local government, community and corporate affairs, Johns Hopkins University.
  • Bishop Doctor Abraham Shanklin, Jr., Founder and President, The Center of Transformation.

Travis Lamb,  General Manager of Maryland Live Casino, announced that Maryland Jr. and U.S state senators such as Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Anne Arundel Co., and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford created honorary citations to honor award winners.

After the award ceremony, I was able to snag a quick interview question with the Lt. Governor of Maryland.

SD: Lt. Governor, you have had a very successful career not only in office but overall. What has inspired your career trajectory? Who has inspired you to reach the stars?

LT Gov: My family has been very supportive of me since day one. They have inspired me to go far with my career and my dreams . They are my heroes.

The ceremony was a joyful experience. Each award winning honoree had a touching story on how to succeed despite the odds. The most important lesson from the event is that people can start making history now, in their communities.

6th Annual Taste of Pikesville

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Taken by Mark Soriano 

The Pikesville Chamber of Commerce had its annual  Taste of Pikesville event at the Hyatt in Baltimore April 26, 2017.  Foodies, bloggers, and B-more media elite convened to dine on delectable treats, party with a moving mannequin (only in Baltimore), and try to out-scheme a legit magician (again, only in Baltimore).

A portion of the proceeds went to Baltimore Hunger Project,  a 501(c)3 non-profit charity that feeds hungry children on weekends during the school year.

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Taken by Mark Soriano 

Sherryn Daniel’s Blog (moi) was a very proud sponsor of this event. Baltimore’s children are the future, and without proper nutrition, that future could fall on the wayside.

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Taken by Mark Soriano 

Notable vendors such as: Wegmans, Akbar Restaurant, Bagby Pizza, Baltimore Whiskey Company, Bonefish Grill, Citron, Eggspectation, Great Shoals, Inka Grill, Linganore Wine, Mari Luna, Miski, Mezcal, Mr. Chan Asian Bistro, Raven Beer, Silk Road, Whole Foods, and Wyndridge Farm had an array of food, drink, and memories that I don’t even think the written word could do much justice to.

So when I first arrived, I was treated to complimentary valet service (a perk for all guests) and was quickly sent to the VIF room (VIP but with more Oomph).  Here, exclusive media guests and the exclusive B-more guests schmoozed, dined, and conversed in style. Here I was able to taste the greatest latka that ever graced my mouth and also swigged a delightful tropical juice to amplify that moment in my memory.

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Taken by Mark Soriano 

When general admission opened up, I was able to partake in the following sans regret:

  • Lamb burgers: These burgers were cooked medium rare and were paired with a tart sauce, arugula, and extra attention. I regret not eating three more.
  • Gazpacho: This silky, red, drink of the Gods made a beeline to my belly and had a blissful ride down.  I liked how the soup was smooth without too much of an acidic overbite.
  • Macaroons: VIF had an impressive Macaroons display paired with chocolate lava cakes. I have an insatiable sweet tooth so this display was up my ally.
  • Great Ales: Although I am not a Baltimore native nor much of a beer drinker (except Mexican and English beers), I will say that Baltimore craft beers are really good. Support local and buy Baltimore.
  • Uzbeki Food:  My memory is shaky on what I ate but I know what I ate was worth it.  I don’t know very many Uzbeki food places but if I do a quick Google search, I am sure I can find that one restaurant in Baltimore that has THE BEST!
Taste of Pikesville 2
Taken by Mark Soriano 

I’m a hardcore foodie so I was shocked, in a good way, with Baltimore’s up-and-coming food scene. Baltimore is an underrated food city but accurately rated sports city (Love the Ravens and O’s so I am very biased).  Taste of Pikesville was the best way for anyone curious to get a quick sample of some of the best the city has to offer.

About Pikesville Chamber of Commerce

The Pikesville Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting and improving the business community in Pikesville.  The Chamber works in partnership with the residential communities and local government to create an environment that is a great place to live, work and shop.

First Model Union World Wide: Exemplary Pursuers of Fashion

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Courtesy of Michael Hutson
The fashion industry is bursting at the seams with models, designers, stylists, photographers, and agencies that are looking for the next Gigi Hadid. However, the industry is scant on multi-faceted agencies that shape models into business moguls. This is where First Model Union World Wide (FMUWW) comes in.

FMUWW is a singular agency, founded by Michael Hutson a.k.a. Monichi, that underscores the importance of the French term Poursuit de la Mode: the pursuit of fashion in business. Michael Hutson is the CEO of FMUWW and a renowned photographer. He believes

“Everyone is trying to pursue some type of industry in the form of fashion.”

With this mantra in mind, he created FMUWW to be an agency that shapes and molds a vast clientele of models, designers, and bookers into business owners. Fashion and sole proprietorship go hand-in-hand with this business concept. It’s unique in that fashion agency clients get real-world business skills, experience, and even contacts to assist them as they go out into the industry to pave their own path.

The overall goal of FMUWW is to educate, elevate, and inspire its clients to be leading future stars that embody true leadership potential. Leaders teach others to succeed, period. In the age of millennial entrepreneurship, this axiom is often not as widely practiced in other fields–let alone the Fashion field.

Often in an office culture, an environment of backstabbing, ruthless competition, and distrust molds into a company’s mission, but FMUWW’s goals and beliefs are a diametrical opposite of society’s norm. In short, it’s a breath of fresh air given the times.

Along with shaping each of its models to be a leader, FMUWW also grooms each to be a brand.

The clientele tends to consist of international models hailing from Ethiopia, the UK, and France, who are given lessons on modeling, posing, and runway etiquette. They are also given courses on how to make their money work for them.

Additional services include on-set traveling, designer housing (Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania), local- and long-distance traveling opportunities, and test shooting.

Are you a model who wants to cultivate your leadership skills? Contact Michael Hutson aka “Monichi” for more information: 

The Great Escape Room in D.C: Intellectual Fun!

great escape room

Escape rooms are a national trend that I actually agree with.

This concept became a trend in 2014 when a group of entrepreneurs wanted to provide millenials a real-life video game experience where players solve puzzles in under 60 minutes as a way to escape the room they are trapped in.

Before I had my first escape room experience, I falsely assumed that players try to go through several rooms, in an ornate mansion, in order to shore up evidence to solve a big mystery at the end. When I brought six of my friends to The Great Escape Room in D.C (located on 1730 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C) we were floored with the Sherlock Holms-style mystery we had to solve, the ancient mars bars used as a clue, and the uv ray nightlight (plus other cool tools, tricks, and games) we used to solve each puzzle.

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Sixty-minutes may sound like a short amount of time to many of you but when you have multiple puzzles to solve, clues to unearth, and humorous amounts of stress layered in between each game, you feel like you’ve been playing this game for a long while.

What I really liked about The Great Escape Room was that all players had to work together, cohesively, in order to solve each puzzle consecutively. Without teamwork, trust, and communication I doubt we would’ve solved the puzzle just in time. In fact, this experience further bonded my rag-tag group of friends.

After our experience, we devoured copious amounts of gelato at Dolcezza by Dupont circle and kept rehashing items we all couldn’t find and word games that really twisted our minds. A funny moment that happened at the escape room was when one of my friends, Dan, came 15 minutes late and he walked through the door we were trying to escape out of. Our guide joked that she knew who the trouble maker in our group was. I just knew based on our guide’s sense of humor that the team behind The Great Escape Room really wants everyone to have a memorable time.

In fact, our guide for The Great Escape Room was very helpful whenever one of us was stuck. She guided us with hints and boosted our confidence over solving even the most cumbersome puzzle. When I think of the color green and puzzles, I will always remember the most difficult place to find a missing clue piece. Some memories, like that on and of my friend Dan coming out of the wrong door, are happy memories I will always cherish with me when I think of The Great Escape Room.

My friends universally agreed this experience is perfect for birthdays and many have said that they want to go back there again in the near future. I know that if I wanted a surefire way to teach leadership skills and teamwork to a group of eclectic personalities, I would recommend this experience.

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from playing a video game and to just experience the real thing.