The VIPP Report: The Muhammad Ali Center announces Laura Douglas as their first Black woman interim president

Laura Douglas

By Sherlene Shanklin, Special Report with WHAS11, ABC Louisville

After nearly a decade in Louisville, Donald Lassere will leave the Muhammad Ali Center and move back to his hometown of Chicago. In his seat as president and CEO, Laura Douglas.
In ‘Your Story’ I sit down with the respected corporate leader.  

To many in the community she is called the stabilizer.  Because she helps corporations and non-profits maintain their business practices while stabilizing their leadership. 

First, Laura Douglas did it at TARC; now she’s moving to the Muhammad Ali Center; serving as its first Black woman president.  Making history in her hometown. 

Douglas discusses her family and her close connection to the city. “Well, I grew up here in the Russell neighborhood.  I had eight brothers and sisters.  We started out at James Bond Elementary School which is now Byck. I went to Western Junior High School and to Shawnee High School. 

After graduation, Douglas continued her education to become an attorney.  She explained her career path. “I started out my career as a lawyer, I’m a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and I’ve been a general counsel at several organizations and my most recent position was at LGE and I retired from there.  Throughout my career I have always been a volunteer and I’ve always served on a number of boards in the community.  And one of the places I invested a great deal of my board serve was here at the Muhammad Ali Center.”

As the immediate past board chair, she is now ready to get the doors of the Ali center reopened.  Douglas says “Here at the Muhammad Ali Center the good news is, it’s an outstanding organization with a very impeccable national a reputation.  My role is here is to keep the ship steady in the water as the board looks for a permanent CEO. I’m happy to do that”.

Douglas came out of retirement to take on this role, but i wanted to know if she planned to go back into retirement, as she shaped the next generation’s CEO’s at home. Douglas with a smile says “Yes, yes I will.  I was a granny and my grandchildren kinda run my life for me.”

Douglas is excited about keeping the Ali Center moving until the national search is completed which could take up to six months.  Douglas’ family is happy about her and understand the importance of the position but see what her family thinks her most important title is to them.  She says “My family is proud but one thing they remind me every day, I’m just granny as far as they are concerned and I’m mom.”

June will mark the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing.  The Ali Festival will honor him with his six core principles:  Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality. I asked Douglas did she expect the opportunities she’s seeing today?
She says “As a small child I know my mother and father encouraged all of us to expand our horizon and to dream big. I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity and to be able to continue to work in a community that I really love

Laura Douglas and Sherlene Shanklin

The Muhammad Ali Center will reopen to the public on Thursday, April 1st. 

This year’s Ali Festival will be June 4th to the 13th.

The Truth Be Told Temporary Exhibit has been extended to 2022. 

The Muhammad Ali Center is located at 144 N. 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202. 

Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

To see the story click the link: https://www.whas11.com/video/news/community/louisville-native-laura-douglas-named-muhammad-ali-centers-interim-president/417-738e504a-52d4-47fb-8bdd-f03f6ffcf312

The VIPP Report: VIPP Communications’ President & CEO receives a prestigious honor at the Acts of Kindness Gala

img_67001
If I’m dreaming please don’t wake me.  I had an unbelievable honor given to me by the Stamina Foundation’s Acts of Kindness Gala.  Former NBA star and a member of the 1996 men’s NCAA championship team for the Kentucky Wildcats Derek Anderson founded the Acts of Kindness movement. It gives people a chance to express their compassion through acts of kindness from simply giving a smile, opening a door to buying lunch for someone.  Many of the things you do today is considered A.O.K.  You don’t brag about it nor desire attention for doing right. People do acts of kindness because it’s the right thing to do.
On Friday, October 14th at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville nearly 300 people attended the inaugural gala.  If you know me, I don’t know how to sit in one place, I just always need to be doing something.  Anderson had me at table one and I thought that was so thoughtful  but when I’m apart of the event, I like to be in the back in case I need to get up and I don’t like disrupting the room and those around me.  Just before the event began, he gave me a thumbs up to get started. I had no idea what that meant at the time but he was trying to keep an eye on me because I’m the queen of sneaking out of a program.
I had a chance to actually sit down and enjoy the dinner and watch Derek and Ashley Miller honor Darrell Griffith for the Ali & Anderson Commitment To The Community Award and Heather French Henry receive the Muhammad Ali Peace & Kindness Award.
As I just needed to have one maybe two bites of the cheesecake before me, I could hear Derek say “She’s probably going to kill me but I want to recognize one more person.”  I think he said a few more very kind words but I have to be honest that the next 15 minutes were a complete blur.  I remember he said my name and asked me to come to the front but in don’t know how I got to the stage nor what I said.  I just know that he gave me the Derek Anderson Acts of Kindness Award.   I now know what it feels like to win an award like the Emmys and the Academy Awards and the person is speechless.
So, I want to have a do-over and do my speech now.  “I am beyond humbled by the honor and grateful that others acknowledged me for my efforts.  When you’re working, you have your head down and hardly ever notice what you are doing.  I was taught at a young age that kindness is a action and should be given freely without asking for anything in return.  I do things just because they are right.  This award goes to everyone who helped me realize that especially my parents, the late James Shanklin and mom Shirley Shanklin.  My mother says this all the time. “Sherlene you can’t live in this world alone.  You need to learn how to love and give back.  You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot and you are on the receiving end.”
The past few years, I thought I was broken but instead I’m stronger and wiser.  I found strength when I didn’t think I had any.  I’ve pulled off productions, events and projects that no one will ever believe.  I’m so blessed and want to thank Derek Anderson, Ashley Miller and the whole Stamina Foundation organization for giving me this honor.  Thank you!
You can follow me on my journey as I continue to spread Acts of Kindness on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you too can move mountains” 
20161014_235737

The VIPP Report: Former NBA star and Kentucky Wildcat Derek Anderson will recognize individuals who give selflessly through Acts of Kindness

AOK2016

(Louisville, KY) The Stamina Foundation cordially invites you to their inaugural Acts of Kindness (A.O.K.) Gala on Friday, October 14th at the Muhammad Ali Center located at 144 N. 6th Street in the heart of downtown Louisville, KY.  The black tie optional event will begin with a “Meet and Greet” reception at 7:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 8:00 p.m. During the reception guests will have an opportunity to take a tour of the center and its new exhibits named in memory of legendary boxer, humanitarian and Louisville native Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3rd of this year at the age of 74.  Former UK players and other NBA players and coaches will be in attendance for the “Meet and Greet”.

Fellow Louisville native Derek L. Anderson and founder of the Stamina Foundation and A.O.K. understands the importance of giving back to the community.  The NBA and NCAA champion was a great individual basketball player but also knows that working as a team both on and off the court creates positive results. His goal and aspiration is to empower youth and give confidence to pursue their dreams.  The A.O.K. was created to show our youth that being kind is the ONLY way we can be great!

During the gala, Anderson and his Stamina team will recognize a community leader with the Muhammad Ali Award and the Derek L. Anderson Acts of Kindness Award.  Anderson says “Random acts of kindness are not enough, we must begin to create a new culture, where being kind to others is a way of life and expected.  Since launching this initiative it’s taken on a life of its own.  I’m getting calls from all over the world asking how they can help. Very soon we will be able to announce a few programs that will benefit not only the City of Louisville but the state and the region. I want to create a model to be developed all over the world.”

There’s a limited amount of individual tickets still available as well as corporate sponsorships. Go to www.StaminaFD.com to secure your table.  Proceeds benefit the Stamina Foundation which will go to programs and events to benefit youth and the development of Stamina Academy.

Please post and/or announce our event on your community calendars.  If you would like to setup an interview with Derek L. Anderson, please contact VIPP Communications at r by email at sshanklin at vippcommunications dot com.

If you have a story idea send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.

VIPP Communications is your one-stop public relations, marketing, branding, event management, consulting and video production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY.  For inquiries info at vippcommunications dot com.   

a.o.k.

The VIPP Report: Remembering Louisville’s own Muhammad Ali

ALI(johnlairpic)300-dpi

Courtesy: Muhammad Ali Center

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

On Friday, June3,  the “Greatest Of All Time” has passed away.  Muhammad Ali died surrounded by family and loved ones in Arizona.  The Louisville, Ky. native born Cassius Marcellus Clay to Cassius Sr. and Odessa Clay on January 17, 1942.  Ali was the father of nine children, seven daughters and two sons.

To date Ali remains the only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion.  He won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978.

Growing up as a young girl in the same city, I would see Ali on various occasions but when I close my eyes I can vividly see him running down Broadway with his brother by his side.  Muhammad and Rahman would run and shadowbox. He would be showing off and many times slowing and/or stopping traffic.  As a young girl, I used to say “What in the world is he doing?”  Not knowing he was preparing himself to be one of the most influential people in the world.  I was familiar with boxing because it was extremely popular then. I even had Greg Page and one of his trainers Leroy Edmerson as members of my church.

In hindsight, we take those moments for granted.

Another special moment is when I ran into Ali on Fourth Street in 1986. He was sitting in the back of a box truck signing autographs in front of the Galleria which is known today as Fourth Street Live.  He gave me and my mom an “Introduction to Islam” book.  I remembered he laughed about our names because they were so similar (Shirley and Sherlene).  He turned to me and said ‘how you spell that’ in his larger than life voice.

I’ve been following the household name pretty much all of my adult life.  It was only an added bonus when I had the ability to cover events and stories involving the man who had no problem telling you “I’m so pretty,” “I’m the greatest,” and “The champ is here.”  He gave hope to those that saw no hope and a voice to many who couldn’t speak for themselves.

To Louisville who has a street named in his honor, he was hometown, but to the world he was the man who floated like a butterfly and could sting like a bee. He was “The Greatest”.

Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74 leaving his wife Lonnie Ali of almost 30 years and nine children and grandchildren.

If you have a story and/or photo you would like to share send it to me atsshanklin@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro for additional information and stories I gather in the coming days.

The VIPP Report is a blog created by Shanklin.  If you have a story idea send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm @Sherlenemediapr.  

SherleneShanklnMuhammadAli

Muhammad Ali and Sherlene Shanklin at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY.

Here’s the official link to the story.

http://www.whas11.com/mb/news/local/remembering-the-greatest-muhammad-ali/230363644

 

The VIPP Report: The 3rd Annual International Day of the Girl will be held at the Muhammad Ali Center

5

The panel discussion will be a talker with Rachel Anne (Dolezal) speaking at the Louisville event

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

I’m heading to Nashville later this week to attend the International Black Film Festival but I will return to Louisville just in time for the United Nations’ 3rd Annual International Day of the Girl.  I just RSVP’d for the Sunday, October 11th event at the Muhammad Ali Center.  There will be several film and documentary screenings.  You can see films like Somewhere Between, Skin, The Sapphires and Little White Lie.

There will be a panel discussion over lunch as well.  The discussion will focus on the films and the impact of identity within a culture or for an individual; either assigned or proclaimed.  The topic, How is identity determined? Who decides? How do you fill in your, “I AM? “

The discussion will take place at 11 am.  Ambassador Shabazz will be the moderator.  Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Associate Dean of A&S Pan African Studies; Lacey Schwartz, Documentary Filmmaker; Paula Madison, Philanthropist, Author & Filmmaker and Rachel Anne, Social & Cultural Activist.

You may not recognize the name but you definitely know Rachel Anne.  She made headlines in Spokane, Washington as Rachel Dolezal.  She resigned as president of the Spokane NAACP chapter following questions concerning her race.

Dolezal is now going by Rachel Anne and she is scheduled to be in Louisville.  This is one of the first public appearances since her parents, Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal said their daughter has always identified with the African-American culture but she is Caucasian.

That firestorm caused a lot of people to question Rachel Anne and now she will speak out in Louisville on the topic.

The discussion on Sunday, October 11th will give her an opportunity to explain her stance.  If you would like to hear the panel discussion, you need to RSVP by October 2nd at http://unidotg3.eventbrite.com.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at sshanklin@whas11.com or TheVIPP Report@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow me @Sherlenemediapr @VIPPComm.

The VIPP Report: New exhibit opens at the Muhammad Ali Center

xoxo

The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville opens a new exhibit. XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness.  It provides children an opportunity to explore their feelings through facial expressions, words, movement, art making and other hands-on activities.

For more information go to www.alicenter.org.

If you have a story idea, send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @vippcomm.