By Jeanie Summersville
What’s up, babies?
Check this out: Last Saturday at Link’s Wonderland was the fifth Annual Zeta Phi Beta Sorortiy Inc. Women’s History Month Brunch and it was absolutely fantastic. This event featured the beautiful and elegant Sheekri Style Platinum Dancers and it was wonderful sight watching them perform. The guest speaker was Mrs. Renetta Williams, the executive director of HealthVisions Midwest Inc., and she did a wonderful job sharing her wisdom on Women in History, their accomplishments and why we should be proud to be a woman. The information she shared was very enlightening and she had a fantastic sense of humor that all in attendance enjoyed.
Their 2017 honorees were Linda Brooks, Michelle D. Chambers, Alyssa and Kala Chapman and Martha Piper. All recipients were very excited to receive their awards and to be included along with the other outstanding women of accomplishments who have been honored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Also, Zeta Doves were also honored. At this time, we share with you the information that was provided in the booklet for this event, so you can have an idea, why they were chosen and maybe next year you’ll be able to attend the event in person or who knows, maybe next year some of you will be honored. So at this time, all we’d like for you to do is just enjoy.
“Honoree Linda Brooks is the daughter of James Brooks Sr. and Mary Ella Brooks. A native of Fort Wayne, Linda Brooks graduated from Elmhurst High School and received an occupational certificate in data entry processing from Ivy Tech. She is a U.S. Army veteran and served in the military from 1983 to 2000. She completed the Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and served 17 years in the area of logistics/supply/medical supply and pharmacy. She also worked at GTE/Verizon and had a career with the company that spanned 20 years.
“She has received numerous awards including the Fort Wayne Urban League’s Grass Roots Award, The NAACP Branch #3049 President’s Award, Dr. Stuart Health Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jackson State University Humanitarian Award. Linda’s current community involvement includes holding the officer position of judge advocate at American Legion Post 148 and serving on the executive committee and chair of the Health Committee of the NAACP Branch #3049. Linda is an entrepreneur and started “Step Up To Fitness” in 1994 and is the CEO. According to Linda, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 and the Surgeon Generals report, physical inactivity causes unnecessary illness and premature death and are the principle foundations upon which Step Up To Fitness Inc., was built upon.
“Honoree Michelle D. Chambers is a native of Fort Wayne and her public service career spans two decades, working with various municipalities to address issues with at-risk youth and families, community, economic and redevelopment programming geared towards helping those most in need. She was the first in her family to attend college, obtaining a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Child Development and a Masters in Public Administration. One to never stray away from an academic challenge, she holds the distinction of being a National Urban Fellow in the “American’s Leaders of Change” graduate class of 2011 and was selected for the honor through a highly competitive national process. Although Michelle worked in public service for many years, she comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Since returning to Fort Wayne from Los Angeles in 2012, she has opened two businesses downtown: “Signing Closers” a professional notary company and the former Your Virgin Hair Boutique (YVH) human hair extension retailer.
“Michelle’s unwavering commitment to the greater Fort Wayne committee led her to run for a City Council at Large seat in 2015. Although she did not win a seat at the counsel table, she was the top vote getter in the primary and general election among her Democrat peers. Because of her vast public service career and fiercely ran campaign in 2015, she created history by being voted in by caucus as Fort Wayne’s first African American city clerk. In 2016, Michelle successfully ran to become a Democratic National Convention Delegate and she was elected by the Indiana Democratic Party in June of 2016 to represent, Indiana’s Third Congressional District-Democratic National Committee Convention Delegate.
“Michelle strives to be a game changer for the greater good for those who don’t have a voice at the table and she takes great pride in being very active in community and civil affairs. She also created history by being selected as the first president of the most recently chartered Summit City South Rotary Club. She is the Mayor’s anointed commissioner on the Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, member of the Fort Wayne Chapter Links Inc., an advisory board member for the Renaissance Pointe YMCA, Black Chamber of Commerce and Whittington Home Services. Michelle’s motto in life is, “One must have a plan with a purpose and a purpose with a plan.”
“Honorees Alyssa and Kala Chapman, are the current business owners of Link’s Wonderland a local restaurant that will celebrate 40 years of service to the Fort Wayne Community this year. The restaurant offers a variety of cuisine and dining experiences and is available for special events. They began operating the business after the passing of Mr. Lincoln (Link) Chapman in 2007, father, grandfather, respectively. Mr. Chapman pursued many business ventures and after successfully operating Link’s Gay Arena, he broke ground for a larger operation known as Link’s Wonderland, which officially opened in July 1977. After nearly 40 years, the business still remains a strong hold within the community.
“Alyssa attended Indiana University and has worked in the business for more than 20 years. Kala attended Indiana Wesleyan University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. She has worked in the family business full-time for more than 16 years. Kala also volunteers with Girls Rock and have received an award from the group. Past recognition for Link’s includes awards from Reflections N Glass Corvette Club, GM Retiree Club, American Legion Post 148 and Glynn Hines 6th District City Councilman.
“Honoree Martha Piper started working at an early age and her first job, in the food service field, was in the early ’60s as a waitress at Azar’s Restaurant. At first, Martha wasn’t sure that she would enjoy being a waitress but found that she has a gift for hospitality. So, she decided to continue working in the food service field tackling three jobs at once in the late ’60s. She moved on to Sambo’s restaurant in the early ’70s working third shift but only for a short while because she didn’t like the late hours. One night, while working third shift, she was offered a day-time position at Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut became an all new experience in the food service field for her and she not only found a job she enjoyed but a family within the company.
“With more than 50 years of hands on experience in customer service and food service, Martha has trained many employees new and old through the Employee Training Programs at Pizza Hut and KFC. Martha has strong people and communication skills. She developed the ability to work under pressure in a fast-paced and constantly changing environment. Martha has developed many skills in her field to better her job performance with a genuinely positive attitude and love for her job and customers. She has earned multiple Most Positive Comments Awards, Years of Service Awards and Employee Recognition Awards. Martha’s community involvement includes, participating in Project PACE (Push Ahead for Creative Employment) created by the First Presbyterian Church. Presently, she donates to and participates in many different outreach ministry programs and fundraisers. She had only one child Bobby W. Bishop-Piper who went to be with the Lord Jan. 1, 2017.”
Zeta Doves are Zeta Sorority members with more than 50 years of service. This year, Edna Metoyer was honored for 67 years along with Loretta Walker and Mary Simpson, Eta Upsilon Zeta Chapter was organized with Edna as one of eight charter members. She is also a charter member of Lambda Rho Zeta Chapter in Pontiac, Michigan a past Indiana state director and current Great Lakes Regional Dove coordinator. Mary
Simpson was the first president of the local chapter and helped to spearhead the establishment of the chapter and was the first Zeta of the year honoree in 1980. She continues to be very active in the chapter and she is the Indiana State Dove coordinator. Mary is also very active in the community and volunteer her services at HealthVisions of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Urban League Guild and is a member of Cosmopolites Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Now in closing I say, fantastic job to the honorees, for being who you are and inspiring so many other women to strive for greatness. Also, thank you Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., for bringing more needed joy, beauty, knowledge, excitement and happiness to Fort Wayne on a yearly basis, you’re greatly appreciated. So until next, week you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye bye, babies.
P.S. If you’d like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone you know, in the name of love, send me an email to email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.