Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still Singing and Spreading Sunshine: Life After Touring with KC by LaShawn Sithole

Spotlight: Charlotte McKinnon, Singer/Performer 

Charlotte McKinnon is a dear friend from Miami, Florida. Any picture you have seen in the last 12 years of KC and the Sunshine Band with two singers beside him features my humble and talented friend. 

Charlotte began belting out tunes with a lead in her school play at age seven and first lead a song in church at age12. At fifteen she’d added beauty contestant winner to her resume and by age 18 had recorded three songs: “Distant Lover,” “Jam on Me,” and performed lead vocals on “Fascinated” with Company B.

Company B’s first single, “Fascinated” was released in 1986 on independent label The Summer. The song created so much buzz in clubs around Miami that it soon made its way to local radio stations. This in turn led it to be picked up and re-released by Atlantic Records.

With a much wider distribution (by Atlantic) “Fascinated” received significant radio and club airplay in all major US cities resulting in a number one spot on the US Hot Dance Club Play Chart and reached 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Source: Wikipedia)

Little did Charlotte know it but this was just the beginning. Hard work, time, perseverance and divine positioning afforded her the blessings of performing with in addition to Company B, Jon Secada, Cheyenne, El Puma, Azucar Moreno, Jennifer Lopez and the Legendary KC and The Sunshine Band.

Please enjoy this wonderful video where Ms. McKinnon can be heard and seen performing back up with Jennifer Lopez on "Love Don't Cost a Thing."

 





It was after the time Charlotte joined KC and I worked for a Dallas based jamming oldies radio station that we met. That was about eleven years ago at a radio sponsored event called "A Taste of Addison" where the band headlined and I first met Ralph, the drummer for her band. We became friends and kept in contact for many years.

What impressed me the most about Charlotte was how she kept in contact with me after our mutual friend, Ralph, passed away.

Our Mutual Friend, Ralph Hunter on drums

I would discover years later that it was Ralph who introduced Charlotte to the band.

Enjoy this little clip...of Charlotte singing with KC.




Whenever the group was headed to Texas, Charlotte would call me and understanding the vastness of my state, she’d say the same thing, “Hey Girl. Sorry for calling so late but we’re coming to Texas again. How far is (fill in the blank) from you?”

If it wasn’t too far or I didn’t have another commitment, I’d go and have a blast!

I don’t think I even know how many times I have seen the show, but I always enjoy it like it was the first time! For a while there, I could even do some of the high energy routine, well at least my version of it. Spending so much time with them has helped me love them like family. The impromptu jam sessions after a show were inexplicably wonderful to say the least.



CHARLOTTE in COMPANY B...


~~~~~~~


Here's one of my favorite clips of of KC introducing Charlotte to the audience. 



The last trip to Texas when were were able to hang out was for a really fun gig at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. I had forgotten how cool that place is! It was one of those rare occasions where there was delicious food at the venue and I was blessed to dine with all of the Band plus KC!

Who knew that they could put away those delicious fried green tomatoes, bbq brisket, cobbler and other southern delights and still manage to put on a fabulous show not too long after doing so? Well, they surely did just that!

This is a picture taken between that particular meal and the show.

CHARLOTTE'S EARLY ALBUM





Please enjoy the following song clip and mini interview I did with Charlotte to give you a glimpse of what’s to come.



LS:  What is your favorite type of music to perform?

CM:  My favorite music to perform is high energy dance music and R & B.



LS:  How did the opportunity to perform with KC and the Sunshine Band come about?

CM: Ralph Hunter, a drummer with whom I worked in a local band, referred me to substitute for background singer Beverly Champion who had become ill.  Those four shows turned into 12 years!

LS:  What does a typical one to two days look like for you when you are on tour?

CM:  Well…stay up all night with anxiety and pack. Leave home at the crack of (day) for the airport. Take connecting flight, sometimes up to a 1 1/2 hour drive...

Check into the hotel; go to the gym; get a bite to eat; iron my costumes.

Go to sound check; return to hotel and prepare for show.

Back to venue do the show and return to hotel.

Bubble bath, bed!


2nd day wake up and leave for next city.

But, if we’re playing in the same city,  I'll wake up and take a power walk to do a little sightseeing and get breakfast.

Return to the hotel get online and do some networking; then yoga, nap,

Sound check, show, bed.

Wake up and fly home :D




LS:  Of all the places you’ve traveled, which are your three favorites and why?


CM: Hawaii, Australia, and Italy...

I'd say Hawaii because I love the islands and it's the 1st island I visited that wasn't in the Caribbean. The similarities were astounding! Australia because it was the furthest place I have ever visited. I was just in awe. I also enjoyed Italy because of its history, architecture and culture.



LS: Well, congratulations on 12 years spreading sunshine! What’s next for you?


CM: I am working on a solo project at this time. It’s time for a Dance Revolution!


Getting those steps together..5- 6- 7- 8-



BOYZ R HOTT 2NITE is her NEW (soon to be released) single. Stay tuned! 
Charlotte's music and may be found on iTunes, YouTube, MySpace and www.Last.fm.

Fierce New Single



LS: Nice! Last question: So, if someone wanted to book your high energy, R&B, dance music loving self, how would they do that?

CM: (Laughter) 
Please contact
McKinnon Management
12550 Biscayne Blvd
Suite 800-40
Miami, Fl 33181
ph 305-416-0045



Thanks so much for Reading and Sharing the Love!
Photo Credits: Google Images/Personal Photos

Spring is Time to Get Organized by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Many Servant Leaders have learned that organization is an important skill to master.  For many leaders, organization of time and environment are essential in order to promote efficiency.  Many leaders find it easier to be more productive and relaxed in an organized setting that can create a stress free environment.  Effective leaders have found that when thoughts are organized and minds are clear, production increases.

According to Robert K. Greenleaf, one of the ten characteristics of an effective Servant Leader is Conceptualization.  In my book, Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader (2010) an entire chapter is devoted to the skill of Conceptualization. 

Conceptualization is the skill that allows one to nurture abilities to dream great dreams.  One of the activities to develop this skill is organization.  An effective Servant Leader has set both personal and professional goals and encourages goal setting in others.  In order for one to work effectively toward goals, organization is helpful and many times necessary.

The following are a few suggestions on how to organize the work environment.

Color Code Folders – assign a color for each of your tasks.  For example, you might use the color red for all information pertaining to taxes.  Receipts and other important tax documents could be placed in the red folder for future reference.

Calendars   use a wall calendar to help everyone in the family or in the office be up to date and notified of important activities and events.

Organizers and Planners– use an organizer or planner to track important dates and meetings.  Organizers can be found in a paper format or electronically.

Organize the Office- make sure there are no stacks of papers cluttering your office.  Un-cluttering your surroundings can help reduce frustration and increase efficiency.  When important information is received, it may be filed, acted upon but never put in a pile of other papers.

Computer and E-mail– very similar to color coding your paper files, make sure documents and emails are filed in electronic folders.  Always back up your hard drive to protect yourself from losing all your files.

Organizing Thoughts– organization is not all about paper and electronic files.  Organizing our thoughts is also important to workplace efficiency.  Never rely on immediate responses.  Allow time to process information and formulate an appropriate response.

Create the Atmosphere- the atmosphere in which we all work is important since we spend the majority of our day there.  If possible, choose a paint color for the office that promotes professionalism and relaxation.  Decorative items for a work environment should be things that make people smile such as photographs and inspirational posters.  Finally, play calming music that stimulates the thinking process.  Music such as soft piano or classical music are good options.
Greenleaf, R.K. (2006). The servant leader within: A transformative path. Paulist Press:
            New York.

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  

Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   

For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barbara@leadershipempowermentgroup.com or visit Amazon.com. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In the Spotlight: Introduction to Series and Charlotte McKinnon by LaShawn Sithole

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a classic blue, that is a) I need it (whatever) to be fun, b) need to ‘keep it moving’ and c) get the greatest thrill in promoting causes dear to my heart, that includes the talents and efforts of my closest friends. What a bunch they are!

I am especially grateful for all the relationships God allowed me to cultivate and am honoring a few of them with a new series: “Sister/Brother Spotlights.”

Some of my greatest inspirations come from Super Moms, professional performers, teenagers, my Kindergarten class at church and of course many wonderful elders. You’ll get to meet them pending consent and I am thrilled to show off what my friends do. They truly are a blessing to have and to call my friends.

The first will feature a sweet friend of over 11years, Charlotte McKinnon. You’ll want to pay attention to this young lady as she has a voice that has already taken her around the world performing with Company B, Jennifer Lopez and the legendary KC and the Sunshine Band.

Charlotte has a voice that captivates and is very distinctive. Although flexible to all genres, she really loves performing house dance music and R&B. Her story will include videos, pictures and so much more. Stay tuned!!! This was so much fun to do.

Get ready to welcome...Charlotte McKinnon, Blog Family...fresh off her last show with KC and the Sunshine Band!

I'm so proud of you, Girl!!! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Donnie McClurkin - That's What I Believe


Let this bless your spirit! Thanks for sharing the Love!!! God Bless You! Hugz!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What We Need is a Little More Convincing and a Little Less Coercing By Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Did you know that one of the most important ways to deal with others is through influence and persuasion?  In today’s organizations, workers show little regard for authority while electronic communication and globalization have further diminished the hierarchy that has existed in business and organizations for decades.

Today’s workers often don’t just ask “what should I do?” but “why should I do it?”  Because of these changing times, leaders must be able to answer the “why” question in order for productivity to take place.  

Persuasion is the skill that will help the leader succeed in the 21st century organization by convincing others instead of coercing.

As today’s leader, your organization’s success may depend on your ability to get things done.  In order to get things done, leaders must be able to persuade others.  In fact, effective leaders must be able to convince others to take action even when there is no formal authority.

Not only must the persuasive leader construct a rational argument, but must also be able to frame the idea with approaches and solutions that appeal to workers.  

In order to effectively persuade others, leaders must be constantly working on building relationships with those we work and live with.  Before trying to persuade others to do something, leaders must know something about the audience before preparing any arguments. 

One way this can be done is through dialogue and candid conversations.  Effective leaders invite people to discuss solutions, debate positions, and offer honest and candid feedback.

In Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader (2010), I discuss ways to develop Persuasion Skills.  The following are three important steps to leading through persuasion.

1. Create transparency and credibility. Persuasion is about being open, honest, and accountable.  Credibility is usually developed through expertise and relationships. Listen actively to other people's suggestions. Establish an environment in which candid discussions are encouraged.  Be truthful.

2. Create relationships.  Speak a little less, listen a little more.  Remain positive.  Communicate better.  Encourage others.  A relationship must demonstrate both intellectual and emotional commitment. 

3. Build consensus. Structure discussions with vivid language and compelling evidence that originates from strong data.  List issues on paper.  Listen to the opinions of others.  Get conflict out in the open.  Recognize and value differing opinions.

One key component to being persuasive is the strength of your relationships with those you work and live with.  Successful leaders have the ability to develop relationships that last.  In today’s economic environment, we all have to build successful work relationships and interact with people in a positive way in order to achieve our goals.

Photo Credits: Google Images

~~~~~~~

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barbara@leadershipempowermentgroup.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Celebrating You and Your Amazing Support: A Global Call for Reader Spotlights


Please know that I am eternally grateful for all of the reading support you’ve given to my first blog. To Celebrate You, Our Readers, I’d like to honor you by putting your pictures, experiences and stories in upcoming posts.

My goal is to have pictures from All of You. You may send them to Lori.Sithole@gmail.comPlease be sure to include your country name in the name of each picture file. For Example: “SouthAfrica_Naki_beach.jpg”


You may send poems, stories or just something simple like:
a) Your First Name
b) Country
c) City
d) Age (if you want to share that)
e) What you love about your country
f) Pictures from your area with captions
g) One thing you want everyone to know about it…things to do and see while there

Anything else that is wholesome and informative or funny will also be considered. Oh, this is going to be fun.

Who’s going to be first?
  
The One in a Billion Consulting Global Family of Blog Readers:
1.           Afghanistan
2.           Albania
3.           Algeria
4.           Argentina
5.           Aruba
6.           Australia
7.           Austria
8.           Azerbaijan
9.           Bahamas
10.       Bahrain,
11.       Bangladesh
12.       Belarus
13.       Belize
14.       Belgium
15.       Bosnia and Herzegovina
16.       Brazil
17.       Bulgaria
18.       Cambodia
19.       Canada
20.       Cayman Islands
21.       Chile
22.       Colombia
23.       Costa Rica
24.       Croatia
25.       Czech Republic
26.       Egypt
27.       Estonia
28.       Faroe Islands
29.       Finland
30.       France
31.       Georgia
32.       Germany
33.       Ghana
34.       Grenada
35.       Greece
36.       Guatemala
37.       Haiti
38.       Hong Kong
39.       Hungary
40.       India
41.       Indonesia
42.       Iraq
43.       Iran
44.       Ireland
45.       Isle of Man
46.       Israel
47.       Italy
48.       Jamaica
49.       Japan
50.       Jordan
51.       Kenya
52.       Kuwait
53.       Laos
54.       Latvia
55.       Lebanon
56.       Libya
57.       Macau
58.       Macedonia  (FYROM)
59.       Malaysia
60.       Malta
61.       Maldives
62.       Mauritius
63.       Morocco
64.       Nepal
65.       Netherlands
66.       New Caledonia
67.       Nigeria
68.       Norway
69.       Oman
70.       Pakistan
71.       Panama
72.       Peru
73.       Philippines
74.       Poland
75.       Portugal
76.       Puerto Rico
77.       Netherlands
78.       Netherlands Antilles
79.       Norway
80.       Qatar
81.       Romania
82.       Russia
83.       Saint Lucia
84.       Saudi Arabia
85.       Senegal
86.       Serbia
87.       Singapore
88.       Slovakia
89.       Slovenia
90.       South Africa
91.       South Korea
92.       Spain
93.       Sri Lanka
94.       Suriname
95.       Sweden
96.       Switzerland
97.       Taiwan
98.       Tanzania
99.       Thailand
100.    Trinidad and Tobago
101.    Tunisia
102.    Turkey
103.    Uganda
104.    Ukraine
105.    United Arab Emirates
106.    United Kingdom
107.    United States
108.    US Virgin Islands
109.    Venezuela
110.    Vietnam
111.    Yemen
112.    Zambia
113.    Zimbabwe




I can't wait to 'meet' you through your pictures and stories!!! 

On behalf of Sharon Watkins-Jones, Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Tiffany Alexander and Me...Thanks for Reading and Sharing the Love! God Bless You Most Abundantly!
     



Sharon Watkins-Jones

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Tiffany Michelle Alexander, Creator of Children's Band






LaShawn Sithole
(Pronounced Sit OH lay)
Look forward to hearing from you soon! Have an Amazing Day! It's your right to do so!