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Community Member Spotlights

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find interviews from our community members and content partners – the folks who’ve been heavily involved with us, collaborating with us on content, sponsoring our mission and spreading the word about the work we do.

Kristo Blanc | Record Producer, Recording Artist, Creative Director, Creative Production, Artist Manager, Executive Producer

My name is Kristo Blanc. I am a recording artist, producer, designer, creative director, artist developer and much more. I was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I’ve been making music and creating since I could formulate my own creative visions. My connection with music began in a small studio space at a very young age and I’ve loved music ever since I could remember. Read more>>

Juan Benavides | Rapper

Have you ever rapped to your dogs in the rain? I have and thats where my journey began. When I was little I would spend hours in my yard just rapping whatever came to mind. I still do rap about whatever comes to mind or whatever else life throws at me!! I make music in hopes that you’ll relate to the subject matter or content. If you do than we in this together homie!! If not, than you’re just listening to the wrong song by me. Put it on another one and enjoy the lyrics of JS Read more>>

Corinthian | Author, Entrepreneur, Artist, Spiritual Teacher, and Life Coach

My name is Corinthian and I am the owner of The Book of Corinthian LLC and Corinthian’s Lighthouse LLC. I am a mom of 3, 2x author, spiritual teacher, certified life coach, and multifaceted artist. I am the creator of The Book of Corinthian App, The Book of Corinthian Blog, the Backpacks and Hairwraps podcast, The Book of Corinthian book series, and The Book of Corinthian Vlog. Read more>>

Jason Bahamundi | Entrepreneur and Endurance Sports Enthusiast

I am an endurance sports enthusiast. This means that I love swimming, cycling and running for a long time. I prefer to race 100 mile foot races and 140.6 mile triathlons. It was that passion to train and race for endurance sports that sparked the idea of starting a business surrounding those same sports. Read more>>

Joylynn Ross | Literary Consultant & Publishing Coach

Writers and authors hire me to provide them with the tools, information, resources, systems, strategies, and techniques needed to write and publish their books, turn their books into a profitable business, and create multiple streams of cohesive literary income to sustain and grow their book business. Read more>>

Shannel Gray | Owner and Photographer

Hello! My name is Shannel Gray. I am a sassy and outgoing mother of 2 kids, wife of 17 years to a wonderful man and my best friend. I am a Arkansas native and currently residing in the East Texas area. I am a 2014 graduate of University of Phoenix and a 2020 graduate of Devry University. I have always loved the medical field at heart and continue to work in administration as well as dipping into the patient side. My absolute love and passion is photography. Read more>>

Bobby Coston | Actor & Filmmaker

My name is Bobby Coston and I am a working actor based out of Dallas, Texas. I also create short films in my off-seasons. Read more>>

Justin Borja | Photographer

It all started when my father bought my first DSLR camera when I was seventeen-years-old. I had no intention of getting into photography, but my father always pushed me to try new hobbies and expand my comfort zone. Turning eighteen and becoming a freshman in college, I had to figure out what to do with my life. My parents wanted me to pursue nursing; however, that was not what I saw myself doing.  Read more>>

Bartosz Beda | Figurative Abstract Painter

Bartosz Beda moved to Dallas at the end of 2018 with his wife and daughter. His wife works for Southern Methodist University. Beda is an emerging artist with a strong national and international exhibition record. He was born in 1984 in Poland, where he grew up surrounded by like-minded art-focused people. Read more>>

Jay Maggio | Artist

I am a full time artist that specializes in paintings of trees. Many of my paintings are like a portrait of a tree. I paint realistically from photos of trees that I use as a study. I then create an fantastical like imaginary landscape around the tree. I have two styles that are both impressionist-like.  Read more>>

Dana Browne | Founder of Bow & Sprig

My name is Dana Browne and I am the owner and founder of Bow & Sprig. The idea for this company started in the beginning of 2018 when I could not find a beautiful yet functional means to store my jewelry. Everything in the market was either pretty but inefficient or efficient but bulky. It was always this or that. So, I came up with a jewelry stand design that offered everything I was looking for – attractive, functional and an affordable price point. I loved it so much, I decided I would try to build a company around it. Since then, I have expanded the principal of beautifully functional to two other home products that were in need of an upgrade- tissue box covers and catchall trays. Read more>>

Waylon Senn | Entrepreneur & Outdoorsman

Hello, my name is Waylon Senn my wife and I own and operate Dog Gone Pet Waste Removal, a small pooper scooper business in West Fort Worth. My love for my family and my love for Texas is my life. I grew up in a small family farm and I spend most of my free time taking my children into the outdoors and our agricultural heritage. Read more>>

Cara Lockwood | Artist, Teacher, and Creative Life Coach

I am a self taught artist. Several years ago, I felt a calling to create. I had a successful career as an education consultant in the Early Childhood field. For many years, I truly loved what I had been doing and what I had accomplished. But my love of children and working with teachers, had increasingly become a behind the computer job. I believe that spending so much time behind a screen is what prompted me to have a desire to create. I started by painting and flipping furniture. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had love for color and creativity. I loved trying new things and experimenting with new looks and new mediums. I was hooked! Read more>>

Rosenblatt | Filmmaker

Well, my name is Matt Rosenblatt. I guess to put it simply, I am a filmmaker. I work as a writer and director, more recently I have been working in the horror genre specifically. Read more>>

Eclipse Darkness | Artist, Actor, Songwriter & Sprite Artist Ambassador

Eclipse Darkness music career blossomed from its humble beginnings in the Dallas local Hip-Hop scene. Using the tools, he learned through years spent in theatrical arts programs, Eclipse Darkness fine-tuned his artistic ability for creating a unique and passionate rhythmic speed. This work ethic has earned him placements with FirstCom Music/Universal, Sport Clips, NBA, MTV, Sounds of Red Bull and countless other mediums. Eclipse Darkness is now an official Sprite artist and ambassador. Read more>>

Matthew Osborne | Owner and Head of Production at 19 Production House

My name is Matthew Osborne. I own 19 Production House. I grew up in Ohio, and in 1999, at the age of 19, I started working in media production there. I discovered my love of photography and film that year while working on self-publishing a book. During that process, I began taking photographs for my book cover. It was then I knew I could convey a message through visual media. Since that time, I have filmed numerous artists and businesses in both Ohio and Texas. Read more>>

Melody Muzljakovich | Voice Artist, Narrator, Streamer & Singer

Hello everyone! My name is Melody Muzljakovich but my stage name for my career is Melody Muze. I am a voice actor; an artist who specializes in providing voice over for things like commercials, eLearning modules, video games, animation, and audiobook narration. On top of this, I also offer up my singing abilities in character voices and different genres depending on what the client needs! When I’m not doing voice over, I am streaming on Twitch and playing video games to interact with my small and wonderful community, reading lots of books as well as tarot and oracle readings, and digital drawing or doing some traditional watercolor! Yes, I’m a *little* bit on the artsy side to say the least haha. Read more>>

Edward Ruiz | Magician

I am a magician who uses his art talents to create illusions and magic effects. When I perform in person my show is a mix of visual magic, interactive magic and storytelling. Read more>>

Rami Bayaa | Small Business Owner

My name is Rami Bayaa, and my story begins back in Montreal, Canada, where I grew up with a penchant for art and animals. This love transcended wild cats and Kodiak bears. I developed a strong passion for biology and how the human body works. Since the 6th grade, I wanted to become a physician to save lives. I followed my dream and completed medical school. Unfortunately, life threw a curveball at me, and I never got accepted to a residency program to realize that dream. I vowed to use my knowledge to reach people and help them live meaningful lives – through jewelry. I combined my love for art and medicine to create FashionAtomy, a medically-inspired jewelry company that aims to empower people living with chronic conditions to take back control of their bodies, and help them realize that a diagnosis does not define them. Each disease and disorder has its own unique, abstract design, to raise intrigue by observers and hopefully spark dialogue and raise awareness for that particular disease. Read more>>

Tosha Bontrager | Sr. Director, Brand & Products at WorkSuites

My name is Tosha Bontrager and I am the Sr. Director, Brand & Products. I have worked for WorkSuites for 16 years this June and have worn many different hats during those 16 years. I am currently responsible for running the marketing department while maintaining the integrity of our brand as a whole. Read more>>

Jeff Buster | Managing Partner with Buster’s Industrial Products

My name is Jeff Buster, Managing Partner with Buster’s Industrial Products. I am a Father, Husband, and Business owner, and in a past life touring drummer & Villain Cowboy (seriously I died 5 times a day) in a comedy wild west show… So much fun! For the past 16 years, I have been in the industrial MRO (Maintenance Repair Operation) supply industry. While it may not be as fun (every day) as playing music or dying slowly for applause I find joy in meeting our customer’s needs and consulting with them to find new solutions. Having people count on us and know that we will come through by combining Large company capabilities with a small company personal touch is something I am very proud of. Read more>>

Anthony Santiago | Artist Abstract Painter

My name is Anthony Santiago, I’m an abstract painter. Been painting/ drawing/ sketching for as long as I can remember. I feel painting for me is a way to pull feelings and thoughts out onto canvas. I like to feel with my eyes within my art. Each piece is a part of me. To see is to feel within the realm of time. Read more>>

Mary E. Morgan | Artist, Retired Teacher

My name is Mary Morgan and I am a retired teacher/professor. I taught for a combined 30 years. In Dallas I taught at Trinity Christian Academy and Prestonwood Christian Academy. After I received my Master Degree from TWU I became an adjunct professor in the visual art department at Dallas Baptist University where I finished my teaching career. I am currently a working artist. I am working out of my home since Covid-19. Read more>>

Sara Drehobl | Realtor

Hello, my name is Sara and I’m a local Real Estate Agent here in Fort Worth. Born in a small West Texas town my family got to the metroplex as fast as they could! I attend Mansfield High School and moved to the big city of Fort Worth after graduation. From there I started to build roots, make new friends and eventually go on to work my way up through the service industry. Little did I know that my time in the restaurant industry was all the training I would need for what eventually would become my career in real estate. When my world came crashing down and I had reached a wall back in late 2014 I decided that it was time to stop drinking and start focusing on growing the good parts of me and my business. Going on 7 years now since that lowest point and looking back it feels like a whole other lifetime. I spend my days now working incredibly hard for my Clients and watching my sweet 14 year old son chase his dreams on and off the baseball field! Read more>>

Westonn | Singer-Songwriter

Making that video was very spontaneous. I hadn’t put out any video content in a while and it was time. I reached out to my photographer and literally said “Hey, you wanna shoot a music video?” Without hesitation, she was down. So, we drove to New Mexico and shot it in one weekend and drove back home after. It was a lot of fun, she’s an amazing photographer/videographer and we had so much fun. We both really understand each other’s vision and we are just two peas in a pod. The video really turned out amazing and people really love it so I couldn’t be happier. Read more>>

Laci Villarreal | Product Photographer

I’m Laci, a product photographer with 10+ years experience. I’ve worked as a product photographer for many years in a corporate environment with e-commerce/wholesale businesses and finally decided to branch out on my own. I now help small business owners grow their business and make more money by providing professional + lifestyle photos for their products! Read more>>

Fharren Mason | Fashion Stylist & Personal Shopper

My name is Fharren Mason and I am the Owner of Infinite Styles by Fharren. I get asked and complimented a lot about fashion and every time, I’m honored because it’s my gift! I want to help people find their inner confidence by discovering more about themselves, love themselves, and even earn more income by demanding your worth through fashion. Because we know that when we look good, we feel good!! I look forward to connecting with you! XoXo -ISxFharren Also, Infinite Styles By Fharren specializes in styling in many forms. My business offers: Personal shopping, Personal & Fashion Styling, Closet Organization, as well as Wardrobe Revamps! Read more>>

Tasha Jay | Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Teacher, Recording Artist

Hey guys! Tasha Jefferson here also going by my stage name Tasha Jay. Born in Houston, Tx, raised in Austin,Tx! I am a singer/songwriter and recording artist residing in Dallas, Texas! I also teach voice lessons virtually and in person around the DFW. Read more>>

Elisabeth Davis | Gospel Artist

I am originally from Mobile, Alabama, the birth place of Mardi Gras. I am the youngest of 18 children. have lived in Texas for 21 years.. I am the Minister of Music for the Truevine Missionary Baptist Church of Fort Worth, where I’ve served for 16 years. I am a Gospel Recording Artist, Elisabeth Davis-Jones and the CAMP. Read more>>

James Denito, DC | Founder, Researcher and Healer

I was born to be in the healing arts profession! I chose a drug-less approach as it offered a more sensible, safer and cost-effective way to lead humanity into our full potential. It was apparent over a half century ago that our health care system was on a non-sustainable path. Today, we are seeing this is the complete loss of our personal freedoms and hope for the future by what the pharmaceutical industry and most of their doctors have offered us in this viral outbreak. My journey has connected me with the most powerful and influential people in our country who share the same ideology and need to find a way to bring common sense to the table. I am now accepting that challenge! Read more>>

JD Williams | Social Media Guru

It’s ya favorite social media guru/positive influencer JD of The Sunday Takeout! I’m the guy who’s known for promoting all things ART in the DFW and beyond. From the hottest venues to the dopest eateries I got you covered. I also provide media coverage and hosting as well! Read more>>

J Tillman | CEO & Founder

Hi! My name is J. Tillman and I am the Founder and CEO of Red Sea Project, the author of two children books, “Just Like Me” and “Words” geared toward enhancing black and brown children’s self esteem and teaching all children the power of words and how it affects others . I am also the author of “Morning Mantra”, a devotional to empower others to walk in purpose. Read more>>

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