Library program to highlight local women in business

Women’s History Month
Donald Matthews passed away on Feb. 11.

The commemorative observance of Women’s History Month initiates a go-to, must-see event about the roles that women play in shaping the community and our nation.

A place where women’s voices will amplify as motivational speakers is the Ormond Beach Regional Library, 30 South Beach St., Ormond Beach.

That’s March 10 to see the speakers for Women’s History Month, another program by Linda Epps and Lawrence Green. This time it’s titled “Women in Business.”

Gerri Wright-Gibson will introduce Dr. Primrose Cameron at 1 p.m., which will be followed by Imani Kinshasa with poetry at 2 p.m.; Monnik McLeod, an Angels of Praise dancer, 2:30 p.m., and Donna Gray-Banks introduced by Wright-Gibson at 3 p.m.

Dr. Cameron, Ed.D., a motivational speaker and empowerment coach facilitator, will speak on “Building Community Connections.”

She resides and also has worked, advocating for families in Volusia County for two decades.

Life coach, teacher

She has a wealth of experience as a motivational speaker, life coach, master of ceremonies, classroom teacher, professional development specialist, radio show host, and counselor helping young adults and their families.

As a motivational speaker, like no other, she genuinely is caring about establishing a healthy balance in one’s life.

She captivates the attention of everyone in her presence, whether it’s an auditorium-filled engagement, or one-on-one coaching,

Regardless of where you are now, you will find yourself propelled to the next level.

The best part is the sense of accountability communicated to the audience that denies excuses and sparks action and results through her motivational speaking.

Dr. Cameron creates opportunities and possibilities through Cameron Enterprises’ organized events – fashion shows, image clinics, vision-board parties, community seminars, grandparents-raising-grandchildren group sessions, teen-building seminars, the Sisters Build Network, and the Calling a Few Good Men: A Call to Action Conference.

She was the mistress of ceremonies for the Legacy Brunch, PRM guest speaker, “The Ultimate Journey to an Empowered and Engaged Employee;” commencement speaker for Southern Technical College in St. Mary, mistress of ceremonies for the Reverberation poetry event, among other speaking engagements.

Advice on writing books

Donna M. Gray-Banks will show her influence on “I Want to Write A Book, Now What.”

She is president of Ila’s Diamonds, LLC, and founder/director of the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival, held each January in Daytona Beach.

She spent many years working for the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Upon relocating to Florida, she has spent years working for the Central Florida Community Development Corporation, where she developed and managed a community resource center in Spring Hill in DeLand.

Banks was given an opportunity to work for the City of New Smyrna Beach as a community resource coordinator. She is currently employed with the city.

Ila’s Diamonds creator

Ila’s Diamonds, LLC, was developed to manage and direct the marketing and development of the “Ila’s Diamonds’ book series.

From Ila’s Diamonds came the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival, which was developed to assist young, inspiring authors with marketing, and introduce them to veterans of the book business at the festival.

Most first-time book writers are eager to learn more about the business, and the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival gives them the opportunity to receive information from other authors, publishers, script writers and editors.

F.R.E.S.H, a boutique festival, has the capability for authors to interact on a personal level with their fans, facilitate workshops on their books, and introduce their books to the community.

F.R..E.S.H – the acronym for Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Spiritual, Health, and more – has the mission of making literacy a legacy for the future of our children and our children’s children.

Focus on literacy

Gray-Banks ascribes that making literacy an important component of everyday life gives children every opportunity to read, even if it is the labels at the grocery store. It also means no longer having to hide in the shadows because one has a literacy problem, but bringing it to the fore front so that assistance can be rendered.

It is a long-range goal to put the festival on the road, but, in the meantime, GrayBanks will put as much effort in making a difference in our own community, where she has expanded the festival to include music, poetry and art.

And, in doing so, she has touched more people, and sees the fruits of her labor with the expansion of other events – like Conversations by Milton McCulloch, which are held in Orlando.

Gray-Banks also has collaboration with other organizations to present books and baskets for Easter, and of course, the Children’s Book Festival every June at the Midtown Cultural and Educational Center in Daytona Beach. In it’s third year, it features Vincent Taylor and his character Cornbread.

Church hosting Black museum trip

A bus trip to Fernandina Beach has inspired interest in visiting the LaVilla Museum of African-American History and American Beach, founded by Black millionaire A. Lewis, so African-Americans could vacation during the Jim Crow era.

Sponsored by the Women’s Day Committee of First Church – the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, pastor – the bus will leave at 9 a.m. March 14 from 91 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast.

Lunch will be included in the $40 ticket price.

For further information, call 516-4135899 or 386-237-7024.

Mathews memorial service is March 9

Donald Mathews’ memorial service will be held on March 9, 11 a.m., at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 75 Pine Lakes Parkway, Palm Coast – the Rev. Edwin Coffie, pastor.

Mr. Mathews passed away Feb. 11.

He was the Flagler County NAACP treasurer, former Freedom Fund Chairman, and a retired New York City Housing Authority director.

Mr. Matthews was the husband of Linda Sharpe Mathews, Flagler County NAACP president.

Any questions regarding the service may be directed to 386-446-7822.

As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.


Birthday wishes to Diedre Robinson, March 7; Errol Hooke, March 10; and Loretta Pete, March 13.

Happy anniversary to John and Sybil Lucas, March 10; and Kwando and Imani Kinshasa, March 11.



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