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Spectacular Magazine 2018 Emerging Leaders of the Year Semi-Finalists Announced


On May 20th, Spectacular Magazine will recognize the brightest innovators and game-changers between the ages of 18-35 who are transforming the world in their own way with the Spectacular Magazine 2018 Emerging Leader of the Year awards.

Nominations accepted in nine categories have been narrowed down to 3 semi-finalists in 7 categories, and due to overwhelming responses in the Activism and Community Service categories, the committee narrowed the semi-finalists down to 6 and two recipients will be named in those categories.

Semi-Finalists for the Spectacular Magazine 2018 Emerging Leader of the Year Awards are:


  • Brandi Calhoun – Director of Childbirth, Greensboro YMCA (Greensboro)
  • Ashley Canady – President, McDougald Terrace Resident Council (Durham)
  • James Clark – Mentor/Community Organizer/NC A&T Student (Warrenton)
  • Danielle Purifoy – Environmental Social Scientist/Lawyer (Durham)
  • Taylor Webber-Field – Community Organizer, Village of Wisdom (Durham)
  • Ryan Wright – President, NAACP Shaw Univ. Chapter (Raleigh)


  • Marcus Joyner – Actor/Motivational Speaker (Macon)
  • Monet Marshall – Artistic Director, Mojoaa Performing Arts (Raleigh)
  • Shanita Ollison – Founder/Executive Director, Music Is Life Non-Profit (Raleigh)

Beauty Industry Professional:

  • Brittany McDuffie – Owner/Master Stylist, Hair Laid By Britt (Durham)
  • Dionna Owens – Owner/Master Stylist, Sew Natural Hair Boutique (Durham)
  • Milton Sunni Rogers – Professional Make-up Artist, Beat By The Sun Experience (Roxboro)

Community Service:

  • Tierra Bethel – Marketing Manager, Spectrum News (Raleigh)
  • Brenton Ford – Graduating Senior, Franklin Co. Early College HS (Louisburg)
  • Jennifer Jones – Youth Program Facilitator, Speak Up Speak Out – NC (Durham)
  • Edmund Lewis – Coordinator, Durham County My Brother’s Keeper (Durham)
  • Briana May – Miss Shaw University 2017-18, Miss CIAA 2018 (Raleigh)
  • Timothy Walker – Dean of Students, Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools (Rocky Mount)


  • Deborah Brown – Teacher, Eastway Elementary School, Durham County Schools (Durham)
  • Patrick McDonald – Professor of Education, Saint Augustine’s University (Raleigh)
  • Quinton Parker – Assistant Band Director/Music EducationCoordinator, NCCU (Durham)


  • Acquilla Faye – CEO & President, Our Efforts United and Acquilla Faye, LLC (Raleigh)
  • Tivi Jones – Founder & COO, (Raleigh)
  • Donovan Watson – Owner/Operator, Perkins Orchard (Durham)


  • Mystique Hargrove –  Creator, Boho Wellness (Henderson)
  • Alex Louden – General Manager,  Fit $ Life of Zebulon (Zebulon)
  • Julie McNabb – Assistant Athletic Trainer, NCCU Dept. of Athletics (Durham)

Social Media Influencer:

  • Jalen Baker – Coordinator of Student Engagement, Dept. of Student Engagement & Leadership, NCCU (Durham)
  • Chelsey Bentley-Holts – Marketing Director,  Nakoma Marketing + PR/Art of Cool Festival (Durham)
  • Jalen Jarmon – Dee Jay (Durham)


  • Jerry Beale –  CEO, Game Wybe (Raleigh)
  • Chrisdarius Clark – Co-Founder, Rikarga (Norlina)
  • Damien Greatheart – Professor of Computer Information, Livingstone College (Salisbury)

Winners will be determined via an on-line voting process from April 29 – May 12. Voting form, Gala ticket info and souvenir program book ad info will be available at

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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