Danecka Randolph has been busy since gracing the pages of our inaugural issue. As a healthcare worker, Mrs. Randolph is not merely surviving during COVID; indeed, she is thriving and helping others to thrive, as well! Let's read the rest of Jay L. Harris's interview with our Front Line Chic to see what keeps her motivated:


JLH: Share some of your recent success stories.


DR: In 2020, I led my team in successfully navigating system accreditation surveys during a pandemic to achieve a record low number of nonconformities based on a set of standards aimed at improving the quality of care for the patients we serve. This year was quite different for our team because it significantly destabilized our usual departmental support platforms. We had to learn to coordinate surveys using a virtual platform and with less staffing due to staff redeployments to frontline care. We had an amazing survey year, and I could not be more proud of my team!


JLH: We see you have multiple degrees. How has your education helped you over the years? Has there ever been a time when you felt your education was a hindrance?


DR: My education has never been a hindrance for me. In fact, it has afforded me the opportunity to advance in nursing leadership and to lead the accreditation program for each of the hospitals in our health system.


JLH: Who is your spirit animal?


DR: My spirit animal is probably my best friend. We are alike in so many ways but are also very different. She loves to be in the moment and also relies heavily on her faith. She loves to make others laugh and is one of the most easy-going people I know. I look up to her because she is always able to find something positive about most things in life.


JLH: What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)?


DR: Chocolate, wine, and delicious foods are all my guilty pleasures!


JLH: If you could ask any iconic woman of your choice 1 question, who would that be, and what would you ask?


DR: I would ask Michelle Obama how she has been able to maintain her professionalism and sanity despite being constantly attacked as she raised the bar as the country’s first African American first lady.


To learn more about Danecka Randolph, read our Who's That Chic issue of Pretty Smart Chics








Pretty Smart Chics, Brown skinned Black Woman
Jay L Harris, MBA

Jacqueline Harris is the writer, author, blogger known as Jay L Harris. She's earned a degree in History from Valdosta State University & an MBA from Strayer University. Her tagline, "Church Girl With a Dirty Mind", sums up her sense of humor & her spiritual beliefs from her Southern upbringing. Her mission is to help Xennial women from around the world to tap back into their imagination in order to create a life full of joy & freedom.



Connect with Jay L


Instagram-@_jaylharris


Facebook Group: PrettySmartChic

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Black female entrepreneur
Valaurie B Lee-CEO VB Consulting

Since gracing the pages of our inaugural issue of Pretty Smart Chics, our staff has referred to Valaurie Lee as the Chic who bought the block! Yes, folks, Valaurie owns a boutique property in College Park, Georgia. People often overlook Valaurie's dedication to her spiritual and physical wellbeing which is the key to her professional success. Let's learn more about Valaurie!


OD: What advice do you have for other black women entrepreneurs?


VBL: I have so much advice; but what I encourage all young entrepreneurs to do, especially women of color, is to make sure you have your business in order. What I mean by that is to stay on top of your finances and your credit. There are so many funding sources available to entrepreneurs and small business owners out there, but your finances need to be healthy to access it. I am blessed to have successfully scaled my business because of the strength of my finances. I have accessed capital at competitive rates because I've always ensured that my accounts are on point! As small business owners, we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of every opportunity out there.

OD: What has been the most difficult challenge you've overcame as a black female entrepreneur in IT?

VBL: The most difficult challenge I've faced--aside from actually starting my business--is fighting for its survival during the pandemic. We've experienced so much adversity and challenge under COVID, and it has been taxing personally and professionally. Our revenue drop, my staff lost family and friends, and I personally struggled with health issues while managing several businesses.

OD: How has your spiritual journey affected your professional growth?


VBL: I would say that my spiritual journey is responsible for my professional growth. I would not be where I am were it not for my relationship with God. All that I am and all that I do is because of Him. Without His guidance, favor, and love, I simply would not have what I have or be able to do what I do.

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OD: Amen to that! What is your vision for the Wellness Spot?

VBL: My vision for TWS is so simple, and the name says it all--it is a place for people to be well. I want it to be a place for people to rest, relax, and restore themselves by practicing self-care. We offer an impressive array of fitness classes and spa services to clientele who want a place to call their own.

OD: Why was it important to create “The Basement” for budding entrepreneurs?


VBL: Offering entrepreneurs the space they need to create is essential. So many businesses end prematurely due to a lack of resources and opportunities. The Basement, PopShopolis, is my way of supporting entrepreneurs by providing a low-cost venue for them to host popup shops that offer the exposure they need to grow their business.


OD: What makes you a Pretty Smart Chic?

VBL: I'm a Pretty Smart Chic because I am constantly seeking new opportunities to learn. Before I returned to school to get my Ph.D., I invested in taking classes to keep me sharp. When not taking classes, I was attending conferences to build my network and skills. In between attending conferences, I read anything that gave me a competitive edge. My advice to others is to never stop learning. When you do, you stop growing.


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OD: I agree with that last statement wholeheartedly. How do you balance your spiritual, professional, and personal life?


VBL: I'll be honest with you; it's a challenge. I am so driven and ambitious that balance is often elusive. What I can say, I make time for prayer often, and it keeps me grounded. I pray with my daughters, close friends, and church members to maintain a close connection with God. More than anything, prayer keeps me focused on things that are important to me. It is the driving force behind me.


Learn more about Valaurie B. Lee in our latest issue at www.simplebooklet.com/whosthatchic


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Updated: May 27


When my team & I came up with the idea to honor ten women who exemplify the Pretty Smart Chic brand, Truvine Walker's name was first on my list. I have known Ms. Walker since college, and she has always carried herself with style and grace. Let's learn more about Ms. Tru.


JLH: What motivates you to go to work every day?


TW: I was blessed to select a career I truly love; however, there are days when I question why am I subjecting myself to the politics of working in a school system when I could be in private practice or in a medical setting, because I have done both. In these moments, I remind myself that I am in the trenches advocating for the needs of all students, but especially for my students who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color. The profession of Speech-Language Pathology is 92% White; however, the caseloads are often at least 50% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color combined. Some of my White colleagues are learning about what it means to be anti-racist and culturally responsive; however, there are many who don't see the need or have the desire to improve their ability to understand children of other cultures. It is my strong opinion that you cannot truly serve or help someone you are unwilling to or are incapable of understanding. Keeping this in mind, I go to work to advocate on behalf of my students, to teach the parents of my students and the students themselves to know their strengths and challenges and to advocate for their needs. In addition, I often take on the added responsibility of supervising new graduates in the profession because I think that by being willing to educate them about the importance of being culturally responsive and demonstrating the efficacy in the formative years of a new professional, I can influence one person who may go on to influence several more. The short answer is I do it for the outcomes, not the income.


JLH: What inspires you to work in this industry?


TW: My reason for choosing speech-language pathology is that I get to help people from the beginning of life to the end, depending on which area of practice I choose to work. I work diligently to maintain knowledge about current data and practices in both the educational and medical scopes of practice in the field. At the end of every day, I know I have tried my best not only to help others but also to teach them to advocate for themselves. Seeing people learn and grow inspires me; and in this profession, the possibilities to witness growth and progress are endless.


JLH: Describe a time when you failed and how that failure affected you personally? Professionally?


TW: As someone who lives life unapologetically, it's hard for me to say that I failed personally or professionally. When most people see failures, I see disappointments; and disappointments, for me, are learning opportunities. I talk myself through my disappointments by saying, "This is not what you wanted, but what did you learn?" In every outcome, positive or negative, there is something that can be learned. I'm an introverted, private person living an ambivert lifestyle, so I won't share a personal disappointment. Professionally, I was disappointed the one time I applied for a job at a university as a Clinical Supervisor, was told I was the best candidate, but didn't get the job. I do feel as if my race was an issue; however, I believe if God wanted me to have that job it would have been mine. When I talked myself through the aftermath, I was reminded that I have much more patience with school-aged children than adults in college with a school-age mentality. I applied for the job because someone sent it to me and said, "You would be great for this position; please consider applying." In hindsight, I know I would have been great for the position, but it wouldn't have been great for me.



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JLH: What advice would you give your 19-year-old self?


TW: The advice I would give my 19-year-old-self would be to keep taking Spanish, and learn as much as you can. While there is other advice that would have been beneficial, if I had continued beyond what was required in Spanish, I would probably be able to better support my Spanish-speaking students and their families without having to rely on interpreters.



Learn more about Truvine Walker in our latest issue at www.simplebooklet.com/whosthatchic




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