Henry & Dianne Ford
"Seeing the world not as it is, but as it can be"
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." - Proverbs 29:18
Your Success Newsletter - Mar-Apr, 2007 - Published Bi-Monthly

Community Empowerment Program
Celebrating MLK, Black History & Building for the Future

When we respond to a “higher calling” it is usually brought about by “circumstances”
we have not created, at least not knowingly.  In the last paragraph of the January-
February 2007 cover article of VISIONS, and I quote, I wrote “So as Dr. King’s
birthday and Black History month approach, plan some positive action to participate
in, or support, or attend; or encourage something that is designed to build
knowledge and character.  The dream can live only if we continue to dream.  The
dream will come true only if we continue to act.”

The ink had not long dried on that issue, when I began to look for community
programs of the type I had encouraged others to become involved in.  I looked for
something in our community of Twinsburg.  I just KNEW I would find some program
to attend at the Twinsburg Public Library, as I had in previous years.  OOPS,
sometimes “knowing” interferes with the facts.  At the time I looked (mid-January), I
didn’t see a single program focused upon Dr. King or Black History.  I thought, “How
tragic that no one is doing anything.”  “Someone ought to be doing something” I
thought.  OOPS again, this time “foot in mouth,” or maybe it should be “foot in brain.”

By now you’ve probably predicted my next move.  Yes, it was off to plan a program
of my own.  I decided to entitle the program as I did the cover article, The King or
Queen is in YOU, Celebrating and building upon your greatness.  I wanted the
program to encompass some history, but more importantly some action points to
address Dr. King’s last full length book and his question “Where do we go from
here?”  Because of my firm belief in inspiring and promoting others, I decided the
program needed to not only inform and inspire, but also to involve others and
connect to the entire audience.

I was able to reserve room at the Twinsburg Library for the February 18th program.  
Despite being unable to get any sponsorship or publicity for the event, despite
several weeks of energy-draining bad weather, and in spite of a last-minute
weekend snowstorm, we were blessed with several dozen guests.  Everyone in
attendance seemed pleased at the format, content, and results produced by the
program.  Not surprisingly, it was the guests and other participants that created the
success.  I was once again reminded in a big way of The Power of Association, and
the importance of inclusiveness.  The program could have failed miserably without
the very important concept of Interdependence.

From the very beginning, diversity, volunteerism and innovation overcame
weaknesses and oversights.  From the beginning, I was determined this would not
be a program “featuring Henry Ford.”  I can’t “feature” myself and do justice to my
calling.  I invited three businesspeople to participate on the program.  Since I had
nothing, I could promise them nothing, but each one liked the idea, and did what
winners often do.  Because of their character, passion and convictions (and their
availability) they accepted the offer, then showed up, and then showed out.

After receiving my message, the audience heard from Gospel Recording Artist
Versie Williams-Owens, aka “Peaches.”  Beginning with her beautiful smile and
engaging personality, Peaches did what she always does.  In her powerful and
inspiring voice, she “knocked the socks” off a grateful audience that must have felt
they were in Church or at Carnegie Hall.  Then she did another thing she always
does, and gave God all the credit.  Fortunately she brought copies of her latest CD,
so audience members would be less likely to try to kidnap her just to hear more.  I
am so proud of the brilliant decision I made not to speak behind her!  

The honors to follow Peaches went to Victor “Vic” Reed, founder & CEO of Vic Reed’
s Sausage & Food Company.  Vic had the attention of the audience from the very
beginning, because during the program, the aroma of several varieties of his
personal recipe sausage permeated the room.  Thanks to Vic’s wife, and Brenda
Taylor, sausage was cooking while speakers were speaking.  Vic shared how his
company began, where you could find his products, the health benefits of the
products, and upcoming plans for the release of new products.  He also encouraged
people to ask for, demand, and insist upon getting the products into stores near
them.  While many people are willing to travel the “extra mile” to current product
outlets, easy availability is necessary for the product to reach its full potential.  
Presently, Vic Reed’s products are available at Zagara’s Food Markets at 5100
Wilson Mills Road (formerly Tops) and 1940 Lee Road (between Cedar & Superior
Roads).  To make satisfying your appetite easier, go to your local grocer and
request the products.

Fitness Expert Burma Stewart was the final speaker on the program, and had the
challenging job of calming the audience so they would not stampede the food tables
after the program.  Burma, who recently appeared in the January 2007 issue of
Essence Magazine, spoke briefly about her commitment to exercise and meditation,
and shared the mental and physical health benefits associated with those routines.  
Burma’s agility, stamina and appearance were living proof to her testimony that “age
is just a number.”  One young man, with eyeballs “popping” nearly went into shock
when Burma revealed her age.  The age revelation did not stop the young man from
looking, and it may be a good thing that there were no Mind Readers on the

Near the beginning of the article I noted how “From the very beginning, diversity,
volunteerism and innovation overcame weaknesses and oversights.”  There always
seem to be those “Murphy Moments” when something can go wrong.  Our sincere
thanks go to several individuals who stepped up to perform various duties that help
make the program a success.  Thanks to Vic’s quick-thinking wife June, who coolly,
calmly and firmly implemented “Plan B” when “Plan A” failed.  Thanks to Reggie
Brandes for her last minute run home to get her Electric Fry Pan.  Thanks also to
Reggie and to Sheila Chancellor for their contributions of food.  Thanks to Brenda
Taylor for assisting June with the sausage preparation.  Thanks to Carol Crudup,
Reggie and Brenda for helping with the set up and clean up of the room.  Thanks to
Tyler Chancellor and Dale Owens (Peaches Husband) for helping to stack dozens of
chairs after the program.  Thanks to my wife Dianne for coordinating the entire
event.  Thanks to the staff at the Twinsburg Public Library for the use of their fine

And a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who attended in spite of the terrible weather.  
Your participation was not taken for granted.  We look forward to future events, and
hope those who attended will follow up on the action plans shared in the
presentations and handouts.  Highlights of my presentation are summarized below:

    In spite of circumstances, weather included, Winners Start on Time!

    Welcome and confirmation that The King or Queen is in YOU, Celebrating and Building
    Upon Your Greatness.

    Assurance that my message will not be long, and in the words of Dr. King, “How Long,
    Not Long!”

    My introduction and thanks to my wife Dianne.

    Reminding the audience of their God-given greatness.

    Reminding the audience that they are survivors and descendants of survivors that
    have lived through nearly 400 years of trials and tribulations, but yet they are still here,
    and that their survival is no coincidence!

    Sharing with the audience the “conversation” between circumstance and commitment.

    Sharing with the audience the diversity of their excellence and the source of their

    Reminding the audience why they cannot “turn back.”

    Restating the pertinent question “Where do we go from here?”

    Examining how we practice self-discrimination.

    Offering the challenge of supporting our own dreams, ideals, and businesses.

    Reminding the audience that NOW IS THE TIME, THIS IS THE PLACE and THEY ARE THE
    ONES; to become proactive and to walk the walk.

    Demonstrating the possibilities of “Miracles.”

    Sharing today’s Dream.

    Reminding the audience of Willie Lynch, and the still-present impact of his theory of
    insuring a continued “slave mentality.”

    Why NO ONE can claim superiority.

    Why NO ONE should accept inferiority.

    Why we must ignore the “putdowns” of other, regardless of their perceived

    Why we should listen to the “small” voices of others and the “small” voice within us
    that leads us toward serving others and ourselves.

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as
Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to
say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Martin Luther King
Gospel Recording Artist Versie
Williams-Owens "Peaches"
fires up the audience
CEO Vic Reed talks about
his passion, Vic Reed
Sausage & Foods Company
Fitness Expert Burma
Stewart speaks to
the audience about
Left: Henry Ford, just trying to make sense, and make a difference  
For additional information on speakers
click on their name!



1 - Happy 90th Birthday
to Ma Gardner


2 - Youth Corner
Calvin Cooley, Jr.


3 - Sherbia Jones


4 - Eleanor Smith


5 - Community
Empowerment Program
MLK, Black History and
Building for the Future


6 - WOE is Who?
Think YOU are
facing Challenges?
If the world were a Village


7 - Happiness is . . .
An Inspirational Writing


8 - You Know
You’re Getting Even
Older When . . .
Light Humor


9 - Bless Your Enemies
Bless Yourself