A Message From The Creator

Live Your Best Life

It only takes a moment
To stop and take a breath
To take in all the sights, and sounds
To enjoy all life has to give

Don’t take time for granted
Because it quickly slips away
Years cannot be promised
So enjoy every single day

Time and life are precious
And we only get one chance
To live life to its fullest
To live in happiness

Live your best life
Starting with today
Make sure it’s a happy one
Every step of the way

Inspiration Of A Living Legend

Ruby Dee

Actress Ruby Dee grew up in Harlem and joined the American Negro Theatre in 1941. She is well known for collaborations with her husband, actor Ossie Davis. Dee’s films span a generation and include 1950’s The Jackie Robinson Story, 1961’s A Raisin in the Sun and 1988’s Do the Right Thing. In 2008, Dee received her first Oscar nomination for playing Mama Lucas in the hit filmAmerican Gangster.

Actor. Born Ruby Ann Wallace on October 27, 1923 in Cleveland, Ohio. The daughter of a train porter and a schoolteacher, Ruby Dee grew up in Harlem and attended Hunter College before joining the American Negro Theatre in 1941. The veteran stage, film and television luminary made her Broadway debut in the 1943 drama South Pacific,and took her first leading role in 1946’s Anna Lucasta.

The diminutive African American actress rarely played typical black roles in film, and her repertoire varied from Shakespeare’s Cleopatrato the nave Lutiebelle in Purlie Victorious. She is also well known for her numerous collaborations with her husband, actor Ossie Davis, whom she married in 1948. Dee’s films span a generation and include 1950’s The Jackie Robinson Story,1961’s A Raisin in the Sun and 1988’s Do the Right Thing.

n 2008, Dee received her first Oscar nomination for her role as Mama Lucas, the mother of drug lord Frank Lucas, in the hit filmAmerican Gangster starring Denzel Washington.

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis were renowned for their work on behalf of equal opportunities for African Americans in the performing arts. In 2004, the couple received the Kennedy Center Honors for their contributions. They published their joint autobiography, With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together, in 2000. Dee penned her well received memoir, My One Good Nerve, in 1998.

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Lubna Hussein at the cafe in Khartoum where she was arrested for wearing trousers.

Emine Saner

The Guardian, March 7, 2011

Article History

Lubna Hussein

Sudanese writer and women’s rights campaigner, who asked to go to trial after being arrested for wearing trousers

“Whip me if you dare,” was Lubna Hussein’s defiant message to judges in Sudan, where the former journalist was arrested for the crime of wearing trousers. Hussein soon attracted international attention as a symbol of women’s oppression in countries with strict interpretations of Islamic law.

She was arrested at a restaurant in Khartoum in 2009 under restrictive decency laws, beaten in a police van and held with 12 other trouser-wearing women who had also been arrested. Ten of the women pleaded guilty and were given 10 lashes and fined, but Hussein asked to go to trial. As a press officer for the UN, she was offered immunity from prosecution but she resigned so that she could face the charge, inviting women’s rights campaigners, protesters and journalists to her trial – and where her sentence could be 40 lashes. “I am not afraid,” she said in an interview. “It is my chance to defend the women of Sudan.” Hussein wasnot sentenced to flogging, but was fined and briefly imprisoned when she refused to pay; other womenwho haven’t been given international attention have since been flogged under public decency laws. Despite death threats, Hussein continues to speak out about women’s rights in Sudan.

Inspiration Of Motherhood


A Mother’s Gift

by Janette Fisher

 

From the very first time, you hold your child
Their first gift is your heart forever,
The love you give and they return
Is the bond that will hold you together

Throughout their life, your love will be
A light that guides their way
The beacon aglow in the darkness
Should they ever go astray

Your love will give them courage
When the way ahead is unclear
And will give them strength, when needed
To help overcome their fears

Your love will accept them for who they are
Whatever they say or do,
Your love will forgive unreservedly
Because they are a part of you

It’s a love that will know no barriers
Have no bounds, no expectations
Your love will be unconditional,
Pure, with no complications

A love that remains as constant
As the stars in the heaven above
A gift no money on earth can buy,
The gift of a mother’s love.

 

Women In The News

Maria Seidman

Yapp Founder and CEO Maria Seidman On Raising a Seed Round and Launching While Pregnant

Earlier this week, Yapp, the New York City-based startup that helps regular folks create customizable mobile apps, announced a round of funding from Kleiner Perkins, North Bridge Venture Partners, Cue Ball, and other individual investors.

Yapp, which was “proudly made in a basement in NYC,” starts with web-based WYSIWYG editor offering themes and features like maps and photo sharing. Consumer use those tools to build an app that can be downloaded by their friends. Yapp’s first product is based around events, helping consumers create individual apps for fund-raisers, parties, weddings, etc. But the company plans on rolling out other templates as well.

Although Yapp declined to discuss the amount, the company, which had been bootstrapped until this seed round, previously filed two Form Ds. One  for a $800,000 debt round last July, and one for a $1.25 million debt round last November.

Betabeat chatted with CEO and founder Maria Seidman over Skype to talk about raising funds, wherein we made a surprising discovery.

How did Yapp end up hooking up with a Sand Hill Road firm like Kleiner Perkins? “Long story…. probably need drinks :) ,” Ms. Seidman. When we enthusiastically accepted, Ms. Seidman warned us that it would have to be “virgin drinks” until July.  “I’m preggers!”

This was the first time Betabeat had ever heard of a pregnant founder seeking funds, so naturally we were on the edge of our Skype seat. “Interesting to say the least,” said Ms. Seidman, correcting us, “Pregnancy was not a known factor when we started.” The round closed over a period of time, so Ms. Seidman wasn’t actually pregnant on Sand Hill Road, but she has been during the current launch into private beta. “The fact is,” she noted, “When you are a woman, having babies is part of it for a lot/most people so when people invest in women that has to be part of the equation.”

Did it deter potential investors? “I picked our investors carefully,” she replied. “We generally chose to work with people who we thought shared our values, vision, and passion for the mission. By definition, those investors understand that it’s not about someone’s gender.”

As previous reports about Yapp have noted,  the customized apps don’t actually show up in the Apple App Store, but rather through the free YappBox iPhone application or on Android or iOS via the mobile web. But Ms. Seidman maintains that’s not a deterrent. In the case of private events or meetings, users would want it to be private and “not an icon in the App Store,” she said. Besides, she added, with more than 600,000 apps in the store, that’s “not a viable marketing platform anyways.”

Ms. Seidman and her cofounder, Luke Melia, who she met via “founder dating,” aspire for something a little different with Yapp’s user-generated creations–being able to access native features like a phone’s camera or push notifications, but letting the content be updated on the fly.

Both Ms. Seidman and Mr. Melia hail from entertainment company backgrounds. Ms. Seidman was the former vice president of digital distribution at Warner Bros.; Mr. Melia was a former director of software development at Oxygen Media before taking on a CTO gig at WePlay, a social site for sports. Their four-person team also includes “an amazing head of UX/creative director and a senior developer,” she said.

“I wish :) I’m totally non-technical,” Ms. Seidman said when we asked if she worked on the coding side. “Luke runs the development and I run the business side of things and we meet in between on product and overall strategy.”

During her tenure at Warner Bros, Ms. Seidman said, “The mobile industry was in transition from the Java/Brew-era to the era of apps.  So I learned a lot from that.  Also, at the core, I am about the consumer. That’s something she has in common with Mr. Melia. “During his time at Oxygen, Luke built technology to help women be more productive, informed, and entertained.  He built tech for the average user, not the early adopter.”

We’ll keep the white wine chilled until July, and report back with any juicy details about Sand Hill Road then.

 

Local Inspiration

Photo of Theresa Mendoza for Women's History Month

Twenty-five. That’s how many hours a day it seems like Theresa Mendoza works. Throughout her life, Theresa has never stopped pursuing her passions or caring for others. Through hard work and dedication, she has built a successful career, raised two happy and healthy daughters, and helped dozens of small business owners fulfill their dreams.

The second oldest of eight siblings, Theresa Trinidad Mendoza was born in the Philippines. She received a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the College of the Holy Spirit in Manila. In the early 1970s, Theresa immigrated to the U.S. She first lived in New York City and worked with the National Westminster Bank on Wall Street.  Theresa started as an accounting clerk, but because of her hard work, she moved up the career ladder to be an operations officer of the International LoanDivision. At the same time, she met her husband, Mario Mendoza, an accountant from Havana, Cuba who came to the U.S. in the early 1960s. While working full-time, Theresa continued her education and received a MBA in Finance & Investments from Bernard Baruch College of the City University of NY.   

 
In 1980, the Mendoza family moved with their daughter, Jennifer, to Colorado to be closer to Theresa’s family. After a few years, their second daughter, Jessica, was born.  Theresa stayed home for the next 20 years to take care of their daughters. When Jessica was in high school, Theresa returned to the workforce.  She was hired as a small business loanassistant for the City of Denver’s Office of Economic Development. Over the next ten years, she was promoted three times. Theresa currently supervises the day-to-day operations of the Strategic Investments group whose major responsibility is to provide federally-funded loans to start-up or expansion businesses. The group’s ultimate objective is to create jobs that benefit low-to-moderate income individuals or revitalize slum and blighted neighborhoods in Denver.     
 
To learn more about Theresa, the Beehive asked her to answer these ten questions about herself:

  1. The proudest moment in my life so far was: When we got married and my immediate family (parents and 7 brothers/sisters) were together after being separated for almost ten years. My mom and youngest brother arrived the night before the wedding day and were the last ones to immigrate to the States.
  2. One woman I look up to is: My mom who had an exceptional big/kind heart and was a great role model.  She used to own and manage a pharmacy and provided medicines to those poor families who couldn’t afford them. She also fed them when they were confined at my uncle’s hospital next door.
  3. I am inspired by: My mother-in-law. She was supposed to follow her son, Mario, to the U.S. shortly but was held and imprisoned for nine years by the Cuban government for being outspoken and standing for her beliefs. She was a very principled and determined woman.  
  4. One of the greatest things about being a woman is: To love and nurture your children and be a good role model for your family and future generations.
  5. One thing I do to make my life easier is: Know how to organize and prioritize tasks and responsibilities.
  6. My favorite thing to do in my free time is: Read and watch sporting events.
  7. I hope that someday: Both my daughters will be very successful in their careers and personal lives. 
  8. One piece of advice I would give other women is: Do the best in what you do and try your hardest to balance between family and career. 
  9. Something that makes me smile is: Success stories of projects that I have funded that some people doubted would even survive.
  10. I would like to accomplish: Having two wonderful daughters who are pursuing their professional/educational careers to fulfill their dreams is already a great accomplishment.  
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