Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Richard Diggs and Tia Brewer-Footman Share How A Bleak Economy Did Not Stop their Determination to Succeed

The more the well paid television pundits feed us hype that the sky is falling, the more individuals are coming forward to inform us that the sky is really blue and does not have a ceiling! Join Genma Holmes on Living Your Best Life Radio Show as we continue to talk to entrepreneurs who are soaring in the big blue yonder and taking quite a number of individuals with them.

Meet savvy individuals whose walks of faith have lead them down the road to success and garnered national attention by being steady and determined when others said it could not or should not happen. They have taken their success and served their communities by teaching others with heart and soul. Listen to Richard Diggs, CEO of Alexandria Pest Services and Tia Brewer-Footman empower, inspired, and motivate you to live your best life. Saturday, from 10am-12pm on 880 AM, The Big Mouth, in the Nashville market with Genma Holmes and on Ustream.TV

Richard Diggs, CEO of Alexandria Pest Services
(On cover Genma Holmes, Richard Diggs, Lenny Carter, and Ka Tsu)

Richard Diggs is the owner of Alexandria Pest Services, Inc., a growing pest and termite control business located in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Diggs has been employed by the pest control industry for more than 25 years. Rising from an entry level field technician to owner of a business employing more than 30 individuals. He is an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer with extensive experience in commercial, construction, governmental and residential contracts for pest, turf, ornamental birds and wood destroying pest control services.

Mr. Diggs began his career at a major pest control company as a commercial and residential technician. He quickly rose up the ranks as a regional sales manager and technical adviser. His rapid accession to high sales closer did not go unnoticed, he won several awards as Sales Person of the Year. In December, 1993, he established Diggs Pest Control in Arlington, Virginia. From 1994 thru 1999, Diggs Pest Control grew from a single employee to a staff of more than 20. Without commercial advertising, Diggs Pest Control contracted with over 3100 residential and commercial clients. In December, 1999, Mr. Diggs sold Diggs Pest Control to a leading Fortune 500 Company. In 2000, Mr. Diggs, together with his son Richard Jr., formed Alexandria Pest Services, Inc. (APS). Today APS is a leader in the local industry with over 3800 residential, commercial, state & local, and Federal clients in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. APS employs more than a dozen certified and registered technicians, on-staff entomologist, outstanding accountant and clerical staff. APS has achieved market share as well as recognition in a highly competitive industry. In 2009, Alexandria Pest Services spun off Asian Pest Services, a pest control company that services the undeserved Asian community on the East Coast. both companies have seen exponential growth within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area as well as exploding into the national marketplace. Utilizing the latest technologies and research, the Mr. Diggs companies are well placed to make an impact not only in the local market, but nationally and international.

Mr. Diggs is a member of the National Pest Management Association Inc., co-founder of Minorities in Pest Management (MPM) Council, Chairman of MPM mentoring group in the U.S, a member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, a member of the National Register's Who's Who, member of St. John Baptist Church Board of Trustee, Executive Committee, and the recipient of various community and industry awards. His ethical values form the cornerstone of his business practices. Mr. Diggs sponsors numerous events to train individuals interested careers in the pest control industry and entrepreneurship.

Mr. Diggs companies have ab "Outstanding" rating with the GSA. Mr. Diggs has been recognized nationally for his work with Minorities in Pest Management and has received numerous awards for his work in Fairfax County and Washington, DC inner cities. Read more about Alexdrian Pest Services here and Asian Pest Services

Tia Brewer-Footman has worked as an award winning journalist and television news anchor. Her community appeal and passion for her work helped to create one of the highest rated CBS-affiliated morning shows in the country. Her media experience spans across nearly 10 years in the industry as a former radio personality, reporter and television anchor for such affiliates as CBS, ABC and FOX.

After transitioning from television news, Tia and her husband Gerald
Footman founded Footman-Brewer Enterprises, LLC (FBE).This multicultural marketing consulting, publishing and special events firm produces a southeastern African American beauty and healthy living publication entitled “Hair Etc. Magazine.” Marketing consulting and special event coordination support has been provided to current and past clients such as McDonald’s, Johnson Products, Soft-Sheen Carson and Mizani (L’Oreal’s ethnic brands), American Heart Association (AHA), American Cancer Society (ACS), Clear Essence Cosmetics, the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment (NABFEME), the BET Foundation, University of South Carolina’s Center for Cancer Research (USC-CCCR), etc.

In addition to helping other companies succeed, specially created FBE initiatives such as the Beauty Barber Network, formerly the Shop Talk Movement was founded. This evidenced based initiative trains African American hairstylists and barbers on the latest in health and industry information in an effort to educate and save the lives of beauty professionals and their clients. The latest FBE project is the McDonald’s Choir Showcase Tour, a multicultural faith-based consumer relations program conducted in key southeastern US markets.

Aside from the work Tia produces under her company umbrella, she is no stranger to the camera or the stage as she has made guest appearances on the CW’s (formerly WB) “One Tree Hill”, featured in Walt Disney commercial print ads and videos, Steve Harvey national campaign ad, Mercedes Benz campaign ad, numerous commercials, infomercials, PSA’s, radio and online campaigns for corporate clients throughout the US.

As a State Finalist to the 2000 Miss Georgia USA Pageant and former Miss Savannah State University(1998), Tia’s love for pageantry is what prompted her to also own and direct both the Mrs. South Carolina United States and the Miss Black Teen Charleston Scholarship Pageant along with creating ”T-Time Girls”, a non-profit etiquette, leadership development and public speaking program for young ladies.

Tia is passionate about the community and has received numerous honors for her involvement. Tia was recently recognized by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as a 2011 Top 40 Under 40, Post & Courier's Newspaper’s Top Influential Woman under the Age of 40; the Bethune Leonard Section of the National Council of Negro Women’s Young Innovators under 35 Award and featured in the June 2008 edition of High Profiles within the Post & Courier. Also under her belt is a day named in her honor. Mayor Joe Riley proclaimed October 8, as "Tia Brewer Day" in the City of Charleston, South Carolina.

Tia is the founder of the Live 5 News Golden Apple Award and recipient of the Georgia State Department of Education’s School Bell Media Award for Best News Series on School Violence.Her community work spans from serving as the National Ambassador to the inaugural Power to End Stroke Campaign (American Stroke Association), Susan G. Komen’s Circle of Promise Ambassador, Member of the Medical University of South Carolina’s Center for Community Health Partnerships Board, University of South Carolina’s Health Disparities Research Network, Charleston’s Minority Business Development Advisory Board (appointed by Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley), Board of Directors for the North Charleston Housing Authority, Advisory Board Member to the Women’s & Children Shelter S.O.L.D. (appointed by North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey), former member of the Harbour Clubs’ Young Executive Council, Jr. League of Charleston, Charleston County Safe and Orderly Schools Advisory Board, YWCA Board of Directors, United Methodist Relief Center Board of Directors and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

For more information about McDonald's Choir Show Case here
Read more about previous Hair and Health Expo here
Order Copy of Public Speaking Super Powers book featuring Tia Brewer-Footman here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Days to Losing Weight brought on by Emotional Eating

Trying to get to five miles a day. on Twitpic

I have never blogged about losing weight. I have read numerous posts over the years from other bloggers sharing their weight loss stories, but I never thought it was an issue I would write about for my readers. But surely as a blogger lives, a blogger grows; mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes, to my dismay, physically.

I have worked out and walked regularly to stay healthy and slim all of my adult life. I have many reminders from my family tree of what obesity looks like and countless ill family members. Having modeled off and on for many years, I know that staying fit is necessary to getting booked. After I turned 40, being healthy overshadowed vanity. Now, well into my 40s, I am learning that my fight with weight is often a fight with eating for emotional comfort. For the last ten years, several family crises led me to late-night snacking that contributed to spikes in my weight. Family issues like my older son’s surprising marriage, a teen daughter's determination to see the whole family all in hell, along with the devastating loss of my grandfather in 2007 contributed to weight gains that I fought and won over the years, but my weight gain pandemonium reached its highest level this past year.

In 2010, my youngest son, known affectionately as Baby Boy, abruptly decided to join the Marines and the family’s drama queen came on with all the fury of Hurricane Katrina. Again. Not to mention my beloved grandmother has been ill throughout the year. I internalized all my frustrations and anxiety without realizing it. Working late at night and reaching for "something" crunchy became a nightly habit.

My weight crept up slowly on me. I was walking but not being attentive to working out. I learned some time ago that in order to prevent genetic health issues and weight gain, I needed more than walking to keep my weight down. I added Zumba and weightlifting to my workout routines. When I became an empty nester, my beloved workout plan included exercising in the mornings and afternoons. That time was carefully carved out and rarely interrupted. All of that changed when my adult children came home this summer.

In May, my baby boy, returned from Camp Legumes. Elated to have him home, I was at his beck and call. Who says no to a Marine? In June, my drama queen moved back home for a few short months. Within a few days of everyone dropping their bags in the middle of my living room floor, I became a taxi driver, a caretaker, and "mommy" again to grown children. Add worrying about my grandmother to my tornadic family life and I was a perfect storm for gaining weight. “God help me”, became my daily plea. My little home became too small for my own shadow. Claustrophobia started settling in, quickly. The pressure from all the issues happening at once got to be unbearable. Did I share that I started a radio show somewhere in the middle of all of this mayhem?

Over the summer, I became a size thick a term I learned from my sons. Nothing’s wrong with being thick, they reassured me often, but I saw someone in the mirror who has gained enough weight to make two of me. When the children eventually left home for school and work, I challenged myself to lose my "baby boy" weight, 25 pounds. I got my doctor’s approval last week.

I thought I would share my routines and goals with Genma Speaks readers and to my radio show, Living Your Best Life, audience.

When I was at my desired weight, I walked five to seven miles a day, rain or shine. Often, I combined a Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds walk indoors with a two-mile walk outdoors, if the weather cooperated. I also worked out three times a week on my gazelle. Last year, I added Zumba on Monday evenings. Zumba was fun and gave me time to spend with others having sweaty fun. I was not a workout fanatic by any means, but my stress levels were kept at bay. Running two businesses comes with an anxiety clause. Anxiety has been a key issue in my gaining weight.

I have kept journals for years that soaked up the ups and downs of my life, but today is my first time blogging about my weight. I was motivated by other women who have blogged about their weight loss journey. I was never one to follow the crowd, but why not share? Public scrutiny can have its downside. But publicly engaging others on an issue that many struggle with can have many positive outcomes, if not for me, for those who are in the same situation.

I was encouraged by reading others’ weight loss journeys on the web and attending Cindy N. Landham’s class two summers ago, which I want to take a second time this fall.

Wish me luck as I find my figure (and sanity) and put a summer of stress behind me.

Day 1, Monday, September 19, 2011 my workout included a Leslie Sansone Walk At Home five mile fat burning walk and 20 minutes on my Gazelle. I worked up a serious sweat and felt the burn.

Here is a website that I spent days reading: Black Woman's Weight Loss Blog

P.S. No, I do not expect to lose 25 pounds in 30 days...I am hoping to update my blog for 30 days about losing weight.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scott Gordon, Ellen Cagnassola, and Chip Ivie on Living Your Best Life Radio Show

Join Genma Holmes on Living Your Best Life Radio Show. During the month of September, we will feature entrepreneurs and business leaders who will offer solutions and inspirations for those in the marketplace who are searching for jobs or needing motivation to follow their heart (and head) to start a business.

Downturns in the economy maybe just the motivation one needs to seek another career path and or a second income. On today’s show, hear from those who have turned off the “jobs, jobs, jobs” doomsayers on the punditry circuit and turned on the power of seeing an opportunity instead of fear.

We will look at the booming tech industry where jobs are plentiful but often overlooked with Scott Gordon, 2010 Nashville Blogger of the year and Partner at Vaco, Sweet Soap’s sensation and marketing maverick, Ellen Cagnassola and MLM Wine King and realtor, Chip Ivie. Living Your Best Life can be heard on Ustream.Tv and on 880AM in the Nashville Market from 10-12CST.

Scott Gordan

Scott has 10 +years of recruitment experience specifically with senior level software developers, CIO’s, CTO’s architects and DBA’s. He's managed and produced in a Top 5 office of an IT staffing and Consulting division of a global Fortune 500 strategic staffing company (100+ offices). While assisting and training recruiters around the United States, he was chosen as one of twelve recruiters nationwide to develop policies and procedures for recruitment and retention in an information technology market. Scott was also recognized as one of the Top Fifteen individual producers worldwide for the same global Fortune 500 staffing firm. He escaped the Fortune 500 company in 2004 to assist in opening an office for Vaco and has been a Partner since joining in 2004. Scott holds a B.A. from Henderson State University.

He brings his 14 years of experience in “buying and selling people” for some of the nation’s most successful sarcasm to deliver some real “ah-ha” moments. Scott's real-life examples and insights will demonstrate how existing relationships can go miles deeper through the use of social networks and social media.

Scott is a lover of things social media, a diligent student and an excellent communicator. Scott has shared secrets with internet superstars like Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, Alltop’s Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk, the star of Wine Library TV. Top exec’s at companies like Publix, Disney, Universal Studios, Sears, Gaylord Entertainment and Electronic Arts have learned from Scott. He’s not for the faint of heart, though. His in-your-face views of the misnomers and best practices of the world will leave you smiling and nodding.

You can find out more about one of country's most provocative thought leader here :

Ellen Cagnassola
Ellen Cagnassola, owner of, creates unique soap and candles for the craft and gift industry. Ellen designs product and packaging for mid sized and large companies in the US and Canada. Sweet Soaps product development is cutting edge due to Ellen’s unorthodox approach to artistic expression.

Cagnassola’s ability to generate media interest for herself have landed her media coverage. Television placements on MSNBC “Your Business”, The Verizon Channel “Push Pause”, Daytime TV,NBC,CBS, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. Print publications that have also featured Sweet Soaps are Woman’s Day, Real Simple, Entrepreneur, Promo, Pitney Bowes “Priority Magazine”, The Newark Star Ledger, Bride and Groom and the American Express Executive Travel Oct. 2011 issue. Ellen Cagnassol has also been featured on many websites including;,, (1 of 33 most creative candles),

Sweet Soaps has designed and manufactured for the following well known branded companies; Neiman Marcus Catalog, Horchow Catalog, Solutions Catalog, Touchstone Catalog, Nike, and Warner Brothers Studios. Ellen has also marketed her products into the hands of celebrities such as Howard Stern, Kevin Gillespie of Top Chef, cast and crew of Two and a Half Men (2005), and Ellen DeGeneres.

Ellen Cagnassola has leverage her branding of Sweet Soap’s by partnering with Horizon Group USA, the number one wholesaler of kids craft kits in the US. Sweet Soap’s and Horizon Group USA announce their partnership to bring consumers innovative soap programs for kids and adults this month to national retailers.

Cagnassola will share her insight on how to find partnerships that are mutually beneficial for a small business owner and how to overcome negativity in the marketplace.

Read more about Ellen Cagnassola

Having Fun Making Money in a Networking Marketing Business

Chip Ivie, an Atlanta Realtor, is also a successful networking marketing business owner. He will give listeners a new look at Multiple Level Marketing businesses. Chip is a successful wine consultant with WineShop At Home. He will share his secrets to being prosperous in a venture that is taking the country by storm.

WineShop At Home is the premier direct seller of handcrafted, artisan wines. The company is a bonded California winery headquartered in the famed Napa Valley and is the only direct seller to offer exclusive wine brands available nowhere else. Our Independent Wine Consultants throughout the country, present in-home Wine Tastings, where guests can taste our wines and learn about, experience and buy wines directly from the Winery. WineShop At Home epitomizes a whole new generation of direct selling -- offering an exceptional consumer experience, an unparalleled and exciting business opportunity for both women and men, and unequaled quality, service, and style.

To learn more about an opportunity to become a consultant or to plan a home tasting contact Genma by email at
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