Rise above it …

My sister, Melissa, has accomplished great things in her stellar career as a Conceirge for a large, luxury hotel in Chicago. She is among the few African Americans to earn membership in Les Clefs ‘Or (pronounced “lay clay door”), a national association of hotel lobby concierges who have achieved excellence in service to all. There are approximately 10,000 concierges around the world and 4,000 achieved the Les Clefs ‘Or status. You can distinguish Les Clefs ‘Or from other concierges by the crossed gold keys on their lapels.

She has served celebrities, CEO, young and older, the ‘have nots’ and more in her professional and volunteer roles.

She easily speaks to so-called strangers and the most difficult folk are just crying out for her specialized customer service.

Yet, being on stage or speaking in front of an audience of any size, was something Melissa could not imagine doing.

That is, until Monday evening at Chicago’s Annonyance Theater stage.

She debuted with her improv class in a hilarious set. Her husband, Hiram, and I were smiling and laughing and clapping. In our hearts, we were and remain immensely proud.

What put an accent point on her performance was when a fan spotted Melissa in a restaurant right after the show. She, too, debuted on stage that evening in a different troupe. She told my sister that Melissa brought a calming, confident presence on stage. Bravo!

She did it!

Step out of your comfort zones and do something that gives you joy while conquering a “fear.”Your career and personal lives will be better for it.

Congrats, Melissa. You earned your wings. Now fly!

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

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About awkimbrough

I've led a vibrant team that won an Atlanta Emmy award for television excellence in the public service category. I've earned many awards and received lots of recognition as a multi-media financial journalist. My career boasts of writing a multi-million grant and designing diversity curriculum for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and serving as the highest ranking woman in local governments throughout the state of Georgia. I am also a high achiever who had the vision to bring a $34 - $100 million project to the campus of a university that would change the trajectory of students and generations of people of color, albeit the university shelved the five-year effort. Yet, the works lives on and for that, I am grateful. Yet, my proudest and greatest accomplishments are found in the "hidden" life of Ann Lineve Wead Kimbrough and that is in spaces with my family, one-on-one mentoring with college students, my higher spiritual alliance and volunteer assignments to contribute to a better world. I am fortunate to have been a Mom to three amazing children who are now adults. Having a son with special needs -- blind and partially deaf -- have aided our family in closeness and joyous bonding around matters the world would otherwise believe to be one of "Oh, I'm sorry your son is blind." I am a better communicator and citizen of this world because I am the parent of a double-(physically) disabled child. I am a better parent because my first born is an achiever off the charts and proudly served as a member of the Marching 100 of Florida A&M University. I am a great woman because my only daughter is a minister of the Gospel, an exceptional veteran and life-long supporter of her visually impaired twin brother. I am a grateful grandmother because my children thought enough of their lives to bear great fruit. For those who want to read a traditional "About Me" here it is: I am a visiting faculty member @my grad school, Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. Previously, I served as dean and professor of multimedia, innovative journalism in the Journalism & Graphic Design School at Florida A&M University. As an award-winning journalist and higher ed executive, my latest high profile project involves the multi-faceted development of a 'teaching hospital' formed via a public-private partnership and located on the FAMU campus. The public-private partnership's outcome is a multi-million-dollar, annual economic benefit to the north Florida region with direct benefits to communication students enrolled in programs at FAMU. FAMU's administration and board canceled the project. It has been a rewarding career where I have been transforming lives in education, government, and media for more 25 years. Also, as a ghost and co-writer of literary works that highlight the careers and lives of accomplished world shapers I am achieving a valued use of my talents and skills.
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