2024 Featured Professionals

HolidayS (5)

February is Black History Month, and it is a time to honor the struggles, triumphs and excellence of African Americans and their allies in our community. Join the Village of Flossmoor in celebrating Black History Month in February 2024 by recognizing local African American business owners, finance professionals, entrepreneurs and influencers. They will join together for a special workshop — Roots to Success: Bridging Generations in Black Entrepreneurship — to inspire H-F High School students on Monday, Feb. 19, at the school. The workshop is a collaboration between the Village of Flossmoor and H-F School District 233.

MICHELE AIKENS
Entrepreneur / Author
Flossmoor Resident

CEO & Lead Coach of ClearSight Coaching & Consulting Inc.

She is a certified professional coach and credentialed member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). Her areas of specialty including team coaching, leadership and transitional life coaching. She is also the author of five books, including her latest, Consider the Possibilities: Pursuing What Matters Most.

Did you know? She has coached teams and leaders from The Obama Foundation, ThredUp and U.S. Cellular.








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Photo of Gregory Austin

GREGORY AUSTIN
Entrepreneur / Business Owner
Flossmoor Resident

Owner of GCA Unlimited Inc. (Shops on Sterling, 1034 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor) 

His retail store — GCA Unlimited — was created to share an empowering message of inspiration and hope through the art of design and fashion. He hopes his inspired slogans add purpose to his customers' lives and create conversation.

Learn more:
www.GCAUnlimited.com

MARLANA BAYLIS
Entrepreneur
Flossmoor Resident

HXM Consultant & Career Transformation Coach

She is dedicated to empowering Black women to break through barriers, to thrive in their authentic careers and to lead with confidence. 

Did you know? She collaborates with companies as well to drive transformational growth by implementing HR technology and by  developing diverse and inclusive work environments.

Learn more:
baylismarlana@gmail.com

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Photo of Dr. Brie Coleman

DR. BRIE COLEMAN
Entrepreneur / Business Owner
Flossmoor Resident

Owner of The Pelvic Gem (19730 Governors Hwy., Flossmoor)

She is a Physical Therapist who specializes in Pelvic Health and corrective exercises for pre- and post-natal moms. She found she had an exuberant passion for helping moms after her own pregnancy experience and seeing the current lack of black representation in our healthcare system, which highlighted the need for better education, support and care for new and seasoned moms. Her practice focuses on preventative wellness and complete recovery for postpartum care to impact the lives of women in all seasons of life.

Did you know? She is an alumna of Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School and Governors State University.

Learn more:
www.PelvicGem.com

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CHOGIE & TONY FIELDS
Business Owners / Entrepreneurs / Influencers
Flossmoor Residents

Owners of Conservatory Vintage & Vinyl (1042 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor)

Tony is a 30+-year award-winning, rare record collector, record label owner and international DJ. Chogie is a 25+-year award-winning advertising executive, currently leading media sales at Dotdash Meredith. She is also a brand coach, home design coach and personal stylist. Together they own a destination retail store in Flossmoor, where you will find rare, pre-owned and new vinyl records, plus premium Midcentury Modern furniture and home decor. 

Did you know? Tony is a Class of 1988 alumnus from Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School. They both hold degrees from Columbia College - Chicago.

Learn more:
www.ConservatoryVintageandVinyl.com

QUIANTE & KEITHAN HEDRICK
Business Owners
Flossmoor Residents

Founders of Candi

This husband-and-wife duo are the founders of Candi, a social network that allows fans to video chat with their favorite celebrities and influencers. Quiante is the current CEO of Candi and is a full-time mom to their two boys, Scott and Chase. Keithan is also a lawyer who practices mergers and acquisitions/private equity and anti-trust clearance law.

Did you know? The Hedricks are high school sweethearts who were once featured on the hit ABC TV show, Shark Tank.

Learn more:
www.MeetCandi.com

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APRIL ODOM, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Business Owner / Entrepreneur
Flossmoor Resident

Owners of Physicals Plus (19740 Governors Hwy., #116, Flossmoor)

She has more than 21 years of healthcare experience, beginning her journey as a pharmacy technician to currently providing care as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with full practice authority in Illinois. 

Did you know? She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in September 2023 and was the recipient of the DNP leadership award from Frontier Nursing University.

Learn more:
www.PhysicalsPlus.net

STACEY PITTS CALDWELL
Entrepreneur / Business Owner
Flossmoor Resident

Owner of SMP Creative Business + Design

She has nearly 20 years of professional experience within the areas of management, business and non-profit leadership & fundraising. She sets forth a rich background in business equity and inclusion, non-profit development, strategy, fundraising and business/life coaching, along with a wealth of insight and expertise as a small business owner herself. Through her boutique graphic design firm, she continues to be a resource that helps other small businesses with their branding needs. 

Did you know? She was a Chicago Urban League IMPACT Fellow and recipient of the Walker's Legacy Award.

Learn more:
www.SMP-Creative.com

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Photo of Luckeyia Polk-Murry

LUCKEYIA POLK-MURRY
Entrepreneur / Business Owner
Flossmoor Resident

Owner of Luckeyia's Balloons (18677 Dixie Hwy., Homewood)

She is a certified balloon artist, who has been making balloon creations for nine years. Her business specializes in custom balloon decor packages, designed to personally suit the needs of your event. She is also a wholesale balloon distributor.

Did you know? She holds a double degree in Accounting and Business Management.

Learn more:
www.LuckeyiaBalloonDecor.com

MARIAH SMITH
Entrepreneur / Business Owner / Influencer

She is a 4.0 master's degree candidate, studying Community Development with aspirations of being a mayor. Currently, she is a booming pageant professional, partnering with major pageant systems across the U.S. to bring opportunities to girls and women. She is the founder and executive director of her own production company and mentoring program, POSH (Pushing Our Sisters Higher) Pageant Productions, which she started in 2017.

Did you know? She is a Class of 2014 alumna from Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School. 

Learn more:
poshpageantco@gmail.com

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PHoto of Rita Barnes

RITA NATASHA
Business Owner

Owner of Thairapy Beauty & Wellness (1046 Sterling Ave.)

Rita (pictured third from left) attended Kentucky State U. to study education, but decided to follow her love for hair styling at John Amico School of Hair Design. She still has a passion for education and is dedicated to teaching her team and clients to know how much a healthy lifestyle promotes strong healthy hair, skin and nails.

Did you know? She opened Thairapy in 2018 to elevate, educate and inspire people to live their absolute healthiest life while looking good doing it.

Learn more:
www.thairapy4u.com

KAREN FORD
Finance Professional
Flossmoor Resident 

Dealer Principal at Sutton Ford (21315 Central Ave., Matteson)

She is a finance professional who began her career graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Finance from Hampton University. Her first position took her to NYC where she worked as a financial analyst at IBM, but she could not shake her love for the automotive industry. She then went on to work for Toyota Motor Sales in Torrance, Calif., eventually as a District Service Manager responsible for 10 auto dealerships. She pursued graduate studies at the Emory University Goizueta School of Business and earned her MBA, then returned to Illinois to join the Sutton Ford dealership as Fleet Manager. Today, Karen serves as the Dealer Principal, overseeing all departments at the Matteson dealership. She and her sister, Karmala Sutton, have also recently purchased Cocoa Ford in Cocoa, Fla. 

Did you know? Karen was a Rich Township Black History Month Honoree and was featured in Automotive News 40 Under 40!

Learn more:
www.SuttonFord.com

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Photo of Sekia Garrett

SEKIA GARRETT
Business Owner / Finance Professional / Entrepreneur / Influencer
Flossmoor Resident

CEO & Founder of Glamour 1 Productions LLC (600 Holiday Plaza Dr., Ste. #501, Matteson)

Driven by passion and desire to create beauty through creativity and carpe diem, she brought life to her personal motto: "Make Me Beautiful." Her beautification service and art of capturing the moment led her to fulfill her vision in 2010 to organize a new business: Glamour 1 Productions LLC. Her business provides an eclectic service of beautification, total-body wellness and capturing the moment of euphoria through customized beauty enhancement, masseuse and audiovisual services.

Did you know? Her company also offers photography and videography services for clients for various occasions.

Learn more:
www.Glamour1Productions.com

DR. CARLETHA HUGHES
Business Owner 
Flossmoor Resident

Private Practice at Suburban Pediatrics Medical Center (165 W. 10th St., Chicago Heights)

Her medical center offers comprehensive pediatric and adolescent care to children throughout Illinois.  

Learn more:
www.SuburbPediatrics.com

Photo of Dr. Carletha Hughes