VEU Spotlight: Author and Film Producer Sheena Herod

Interview by Abner Jackson III


Sheena Herod, a Jill of many trades, reigns from the city of Memphis, TN. She is the author of two compelling novels and the creator of A thrilling theatrically released film. In a short time, she has had the privilege of working with entertainment leaders such as Tyler Perry (Media Mogul) and Grammy award winning artist, Neyo. With a determined heart and driven spirit, Sheena has launched the 501C3 non-profit organization; Broken Silence. Sheena Herod, an advocate for our youth, is embarking on a systematic journey to increase awareness about the devastating effects of child abuse and molestation.


Tell readers about your Broken Silence Organization and how did you come up with idea to start it?

Broken Silence is a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to sexual child abuse. I started the organization after I filmed my first documentary called What We Hate to Remember. The filmed was based off the awareness that boys are victim as well as girls.

Tell us about two books you written and where they can purchase them at?

The two books I have written are both tied into my nonprofit. The first book was based off my documentary A Boys Silent Cry. It’s a story about a football player that’s getting ready to get married but hasn’t told his finance about his uncle moving in the house after his dad died and was sexual abusing him for years. He went through the changes having people he trusted misuse him, always being sexual abuse as a kid he has fought with his sexuality.

Good Touch Bad Touch is a parenting guide on how to protect your children from sexual abuse as well as educating the child and yourself on what is sexual abuse, who can be sexual abusers and the signs to look for if your child has been sexually abused. The self- help book will also include stories from survivors of sexual child abuse. Different articles of sexual abuse caught in the media of known celebrities and teachers that has been accused.

Do you plan on writing anymore books in the future?

I am merging the awareness of sexual abuse into my films. I am using my films to get the message out there more with my new documentary and a new film from my first book A Boys Silent Cry

Tell readers about your Tapoo Productions Company and are they currently working on any projects now?

Tapoo Productions is my film company. We produced several shows, documentaries, movies. I have a new movie releasing next year called The Killing Secret. It’s a great drama and suspense film. It will have you on the edge of your seats wondering what’s going to happen next. Also my new dance reality show called Tha Dance Basement with Actor/author /choreographer Darrin Henson. It’s like the real World mixed with so you think you can dance urban style.

If you weren’t  writing, or producing what would you be doing ?

If I wasn’t filming or writing I would be a fitness instructor or owning a gym. Fitness and health is very important me. I would also like to start a program to feed the homeless. I always wanted to do more to help people that are not as fortunately as the rest of us.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

Where I see myself in five years is making a huge impact in the community. I want to be a household name for producing some of the biggest movies in Hollywood. I see myself doing things bigger than just making films like; building homes for the homeless and film schools to teach young kids the fundamental of the film industry . Let them showcase their talents through acting and film.

How can readers keep in contact with you through social networks?
Facebook: Sheena Herod

IG; @iamsheshe , @tapooproductions


Getting to Know: The Fight Win Survive Movement

Interview by Abner Jackson III



Steven VanDyke had a vision one night while sleeping. Three words caught his attention, those words were Fight, Win, Survive.  Steven was able to turn those words into an encouragement merchandiser and ministry outreach providing visual, emotional, and spiritual support.  Through his ministry outreach, his goal is to touch the lives of those who need encouragement and peace of mind.


Tell Readers about your Fight…Win…Survive outreach and how long ago did you start it?


Fight…Win…Survive was started in August 2012 through a vision that came to me in my sleep. I was facing personal anxiety issues and those three words brought about a calm that soothed my racing mind.  I channeled my experience into reaching out to individuals who were dealing with their own life circumstances and situations. People think that we are a nonprofit and I actually considered going nonprofit before pulling back. I didn’t feel comfortable with it for some reason even though I have personally given away thousands of dollars in merchandise. My outreach became more about touching, impacting and saving lives than personally making money.

Through our strongest vehicle (social media) our goal is to positively touch at least on life every day with something uplifting, encouraging or thought provoking.



What has surprised you the most about your company?


I am surprised the most about the power of the three small individual words that makes one powerful statement. To give someone a $.50 wristband and see their reaction as if it was a $100 gift means a lot.


What challenges in the world, do you think affects people the most?


LIFE. People have so much going on in their life that for many just getting out of bed is a challenge. Illnesses, job, finances, relationships, kids, safety and a piece of mind are all challenges that we all face. Life comes at us fast and from all directions. That’s where the Fight…Win…Survive message looms large because it is about mindset.  No matter what ones challenges may be, it’s their mindset that gets them over and through whatever their “it” is.


How important is it to have a good support system, when dealing with life obstacles.


It is very important to have a good support system when dealing with life’s obstacles, circumstances and situations.  There is nothing like someone being there with you. Many and including myself have not understood the challenges of individuals that I have stood in the gap for.  There is something powerful about just being there or just making a phone call to check on them. That’s the support that many desire and our God-given love for one another should provide.


What is your goal for Fight…Win…Survive

It’s simple as I stated earlier, to positively touch at least one person’s life each day. That positive touch can come in the form of personal direct contact/communication, a phone call/text or through our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our free app that brings them all together in one place.



Tell readers about the three things you need in your life that I saw on your Instagram page. You put Victory, Guidance and Prosperity. In what ways can your life change with those three attributes?


The three attributes of Victory, Guidance and Prosperity when put under a microscope is what we all want, need and desire. You want to overcome life’s circumstances, situations or challenges. You need guidance in everything that you do because no man is an island, and at the end of the day we would like all of our hard work to bear the fruit of our labor. When you have experienced Victory, Guidance and Prosperity you have Fought, Won and Survived.


What are your thoughts on the current racial/social issues and the Black Lives Matter movement?


There is a major problem in the country right now. When something so basic as a traffic stop or what should be a basic interaction/interrogation turns violent and/or deadly, but I can understand the fear of some of the officers. Black Lives Matter but I too fear that wayward person in our race who has no respect or regard for life or property. I profile blacks that look suspicious to me and I watch them closely. Do I want to be that way? No I do not, but when my car was broken into who was the perpetrator? I didn’t see who, but I have a very good idea of who.

Now, in saying all of that it is still each of our responsibility to try and reach those who are lost and confused and I have extended myself in that regard. I have spoken to boys mentoring programs, supported programs and Fight…Win…Survive after Ferguson released a song titled “United We Stand” about the violence and unrest that was going on at that time. Unfortunately, that song keeps replaying itself as these issues with law enforcement continue to arise.

As far as the Black Lives Matter movement, there needs to be a defined plan and leader. We have too many cells and there is no central message. It’s like you’re hungry and there’s no food to eat so whatever someone gives you take and are satisfied with it while another person with the same hunger is settling for another meal and you both end up taking whatever you personally feel that you want.

I have analyzed what is needed for us to see change for our people and it starts with like a band, a drum major. One person who directs all of the moving parts. At this point I believe that individual to be President Obama when he leaves office because he can “manage” what I call the “Five Areas of Influence.” Everyone in the United States is influenced by individuals in one or more of these categories 1. Sports (LeBron James, etc.), 2. Entertainment (Beyoncé, etc.), 3. Business (Oprah, etc.), 4. Religion (T.D. Jakes or ones pastor, etc.) or 5). Education (ones favorite teacher, etc.). If you think about it, you are personally influenced by one or more of those categories and you will listen to someone in that category.

I believe if we create that “one band, one sound” with those individuals/categories we can rightfully move forward because the drum major keeps the “band” moving in perfect synchronization and that would allow us to present a single front and a single message.



What’s a typical day like for Steven VanDyke?

A Steven VanDyke typical day begins with prayer, meditation and reading my Bible. From that many days it leads me to do a morning inspirational post. From there my day is about checking email and social media for communication from individuals who reach out to me for one on one interactions or through my post responses. People are hurting, feeling helpless and are hungry for someone to let them know that things are going to be alright. That someone cares and someone who will respond.  My day concludes with closing out any communication and a blanket prayer for those whose life I had the opportunity to touch. After that I pray for the individuals who will come in the next day that I might be a positive light that will shine on their negative circumstances or situations.


What is an interesting story about someone you helped with your Fight…Win…Survive?


I had a lady reach out to me several years ago by email and she put in the subject line “wristband.” I read the email and the lady told me that she was unemployed, lost her car and she was in an abusive marriage but she asked me for one of our wristbands and for prayer. I was floored because I personally saw each of those items as something big and as I was reading that email I already had in my mind that she was going to ask for money thinking we did that.

I got her address and sent her a wristband. A few days later she emailed back and said she received the wristband and thanked me. At that moment I knew that I was on the right path with my company and God was truly with me and it.

Where would you like for your company to be at in the next five years?


In the next five years I would like to see Fight…Win…Survive become a household name. I would love to walk down the street and see many people wearing our t-shirts, wearing our wristbands and on posts with people who are experiencing a life situation or circumstance to see #FightWinSurvive to encourage that person. I’ve learned a few years back that the success of this company and ministry is not in money but in impact and I will take impact over money any day.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Leonardo Cavalli

imageLeonardo Cavalli aka King, is a twenty-eight-year old well respected author, from New York, New York. He has been a traveling motivational speaker since the age of thirteen. Cavalli is also a singer, model, actor, and director who has dedicated his life to helping people find true love that last a lifetime.

King Cavalli started his career as an author of a chart topping memoir, 24 and divorced, under the name King Cavalli. Throughout the book he speaks on red flags he should have avoided, and lessons he learned that he uses to counsel other courting and married couples during marriage seminars. He has decided to create music and videos to help tell the true story of the book. Along with joining an elite group of musicians with literary ambition, he has decided to release a companion album with theatrical style videos to tell the story through music. The album, Forever’s Not Forever, was produced by well known producer PARKER. Cavalli’s music has been described as being a beautiful blend  between Adele’s heart breaking ballots, and Drake’s transparent hiphop lyrics. He has dedicated his life to helping others find love and stay in love through music, motivational seminars, and counseling. Cavalli is currently in the studio completing his album “Wounded” due to release April 2016.

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For inquiries and interview request contact:

All About Dhylles Davis-Author, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker

Dhylles Davis

1) Tell us about your background and upbringing:

My name is Dhylles Davis, Motivational Lifestyle Guru, Speaker, Author and Online TV Personality. Coaching and speaking found me when I was 16 years old living in Belize Central America where I attended high school. I was always sought out as a leader in my class to teach dances, inspire and motivate my peers and was encouraged to recite Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” in a poetry contest which I won first place. The feeling I received was so euphoric and infectious. I never felt anything like that before and I did not realize at that time that I was creating my destiny in become a guru, and speaker and that I was chosen to empower, mentor and teach.

2) How did you get started in the life coaching and motivational speaking, and event planning field? My career started when I decided to stop holding myself back and no longer allowed fear of walking and living in my purpose as a coach and speaker. It truly started for me after a near death experience that woke me up to live fearless and I made the decision to attend Coach Training Alliance where I received my life coaching certification and took a leap of faith in reaching out to various organizations who were gracious enough to allow me the opportunity to speak at their events.

3) What is your favorite part about being a life coach? My favorite part about being a life coach is helping my clients create their life maps that enables them to create opportunities and possibilities for themselves by practicing tips and suggestions I offer especially when it comes to sharing my life experiences with them allowing them to realize they are not alone which gives them a better outlook and approach on their lives moving forward.

4)Tell us about your book and what can people expect when reading it? My book is titled “Your Life Your Purpose No Explanations!” I wrote it back in 2013 when I was going through bouts of depression and it was my form of therapy that I felt in my spirit I needed to share with the world. The book talks about knowing your worth and how important you are and not being afraid to find and use your voice. Knowing that each and everyone of us in this world is born an accomplishment and destined for greatness and each day that we are able to wake up each morning is an amazing gift. My book is featured and can be purchased on

5) What is your Sip and Chat movement all about? The Sip & Chat Movement is a concept I came up with when I decided to incorporate my passions of event planning, hosting, speaking, coaching and empowering into one explosive and amazing and unforgettable empowerment event series that is taking place all over the NYC Tristate area, and other states to follow. TSCM are events and forums where my guests sip responsibly and chat respectively in a judgement-free and safe environment where they are able to speak and express themselves freely on topics or issues they may be experiencing as I coach, inspire, motivate and empower them to live and not exist.

6) What upcoming projects and events do you have? I am actually working on my second book at the moment as well as working on expanding The Sip and Chat movement to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Boston and other states to follow. I am also the online TV personality host of a YouTube show called The Sip and Chat Movement Hour Online Show ( which is a piggy back off of TSCM. I am also working with various motivational empowerment clients and always available to coach, mentor and inspire more clients to help them self-discovery and purpose.


From Homeless Man To Business Owner


When you are down to the worst point in your life, what do you do? Do you stay down and complain about your situation, or figure out what it takes to get out of your situation and make it better? That’s exactly what 28 year old restaurant owner Darnell Ferguson did. About 3 years ago Darnell Ferguson, who earned the title “Superchef” while in culinary school at Sullivan University, was at once just a young man with no direction in his life. Although he was making a name for himself in the culinary world, that still wasn’t enough to keep him from sleeping in his car, and feeling alone. His one-of-a-kind breakfast creations include red velvet pancakes filled with whipped cream, roasted red pepper grits, beignets, granola encrusted French toast, homemade candied sausage, peanut butter and jelly oatmeal and more. By 2008, he was able to add the the title of “Olympic Chef” to his resume, when he was chosen to cook for the Olympic team in China. Darnell was blessed to be featured in Louisville’s most prestigious kitchens, including Proof on Main and Napa River Grill, which is how SuperChef became his identity. Even with all these things going on, he was still having brushes with the law, and knew he was headed in the wrong direction.

After he  graduated from college, earning his associates degree,  he continued selling drugs ( which he started while in school to cover expenses,) instead of pursing a career as a chef , until his luck had finally run out. Ferguson was arrested eight times in a three-month period, which caused him to lose everything including being evicted by his landlord, leaving him homeless. While Ferguson was living out of his car, his mom suggested he go back to church, which is something he had done as a kid. He decided to attend Southeast Christian Church, because of the large size. “I knew I wouldn’t stand out there. I didn’t want to go to some small church where visitors stand up and everybody looks at you. I wanted to hide somewhere.” he said . In 2011, the church hosted a fall retreat that he decided to sign up for an attend. It was at this very retreat that his life took a turn for the better. Not only was he hungry for the cooking, but for the Lord, and a new beginning on his life.


While sitting in a McDonalds, he was approached by an acquaintance who owned the Chicago Gyros across the street, about renting the kitchen for breakfast. Ferguson knew it was a great opportunity to rebuild.
In the spring of 2012, he opened SuperChef’s Breakfast Restaurant with partner Ryan Bryson, a friend from junior high school. More recently he opened up a more permanent storefront on July 9th of this year located in Louisville, Kentucky. His favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

His story of triumph just goes to show that anyone has the power to change their situation. It all starts with a thought and the will to move forward.