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October 2011

@kimkardashian and @KrisHumphries Do you have to drive home my point on the lack of commitment in today's society so quickly? #72DayDivorce @KeepinUpWKris Wake up to what you're doing to your girls!

In case you haven't heard, the 10 million dollar couple, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, are divorcing after only 72 days of marriage only further driving home my point that our society doesn't respect, or truly understand, the concept of commitment and what vows of "Till death do us part" really mean.  


As someone much wiser than I has said, reality shows have driven the nail in the coffin on the reality of real relationships and what marriage is truly meant to be. It's not a money-making venture. It's not a made-for-TV special. It's not a joke. It's not something you enter into thinking you'll figure out all the details later.

Definition Of Marriage (according to the Heritage Foundation)

What Is Marriage?

Marriage is uniquely beneficial to society because it is the foundation of the family and the basic building block of society.

  • It brings significant stability and meaning to human relationships.
  • It remains the ideal for the raising of children.
  • It plays an important role in transmitting culture and civilization to future generations.

Marriage is not merely a private contract, but a social institution of great public value and concern.

As social science research and government surveys increasingly show, the decline in marriage since the 1960s has been accompanied by a rise in a number of serious social problems. Click here for the complete article:

Just sad over this. I agree with the one columnist who said their brief union cheapens marriage. It does and gives young children a wrong view of marriage from many levels. I wonder what Kim's biological father would have said over this and if this isn't a wake-up call to Kris Jenner's empire building at the expense of decent humanity.

That family needs to be put in a time-out until they wake up to what real reality is. Deeply saddened and disheartened today.

And I used to like them all... Used to being the operative word...

Maybe I was a little harsh on Southern Men now that I've slept on my opinion

By Joy A. Kennelly

My friend reminded me there are wolves in sheep's clothing anywhere you live and men in California can be just as dishonest which made me realize perhaps I was being a little harsh on Southern men in general. I also was reminded, in this day and age it's very difficult for people to make commitments to anything!

I know I find it difficult to even commit to living in one place very long which my friends tease me about. However, I have a valid excuse. According to a research study down by San Diego University on people who've lived overseas and traveled a lot, it's quite common for people like me not to stay in one place for too long since we get bored easily.

Scouting around the internet I ran across this interesting article entitled, The 17 Habits of People Who Change the World, which I am excerpting here to lead you to read the entire article on this website since it ties into my change in thinking regarding divorce. 

I realized after sleeping on this last blog I really can't judge anyone for the decisions they have made, or are making. It's intensely personal for people and very painful. My heart goes out to everyone who has either gone through a divorce, or is going through one, or contemplating one. I know it's not easy and I apologize if you might have felt judged when reading my last post.

I was making more of a sociological observation of the differences between the South and the West Coast from a detached perspective since it's been so surprising to me to see this phenomenon occur among so many people, but I don't want anyone to feel hurt or misunderstood in the meantime.

So, without further ado, here's a brief highlight of a very interesting article I hope you will consider reading because it may open your mind to new possibilities as it did mine:

"The 17 Habits of People Who Change the World (aka The Live Your Legend Operating Manifesto)

1. Try new things. Constantly experiment with new people, jobs, projects and experiences. See what sticks. Without experiments we’ll never learn anything. Without learning, we’ll get nowhere. Consider your life a series of experiments- big and small. Always be testing. Live outside your comfort zone and don’t underestimate the importance of being a beginner.

2. Measure against your own standards, not others. All of us have different definitions of success and goals that likely have nothing to do with those around us. So stop comparing to others. It’s almost surely apples to oranges and you’ll either feel overly confident or overly disappointed. Either way it’s less than useful. You are your own comparison. Define your success and own it.

3. Know who you are. The better you know yourself the more likely you are to do work that matters. Simple as that. Study your strengths, know your weaknesses, identify your values, define your success, learn the things that excite and those that terrify you. Take all the tests and evaluations you can find. Begin to live a life congruent with your values, strengths and purpose and you’ll never look back. But do things for the wrong reasons and there’ll be nothing but disappointment. Kind of like how business school killed the entrepreneur. No sleepwalking allowed!"

To continue reading all 17, please go here:

I hope you enjoy this follow up and know I'm still framing my opinions with input from others I respect. More thoughts later...


My Daddy Warned Me It Would Be Like This In The South, or Father Knows Best...

By Joy A. Kennelly

I have been apondering this for awhile now (like that apondering? They don't really speak like this back here, but I think it's funny.)

In any case, remember how excited and happy I was about the fact men actually ask you out back here in Georgia, unlike California? Well, it's become a little more tempered the longer I live here. I got off a few of the online dating sites I was on because one of my first dates with a guy who had wanted to meet me even before I moved out here was a complete bust.

He rarely looked me in the eyes, preferring my chest instead, and was mad I hadn't read his entire four page (I exagerrate, but it was super long) profile before meeting him to avoid having to actually communicate. Yes, it's true. Computer head guys are clueless about communication and this only proves my point. Perhaps not all, but a lot I have met are very clueless.

This guy not only wanted me to read his entire profile, but memorize his likes and dislikes, his interests, etc. He had claimed to enjoy outdoor activities, but in person said due to the oppressive heat he was more of a home body and by the way, the reason I'm texting during our time together is because I have two twin 17 year old daughters. Don't remember reading that in all the other minutia of his life. Would have liked to know that fact ahead of time...

I mentioned how my Dad had warned me that men who say they are Christians out here live a more culturally Christian life than ones back in CA. My Dad said, at least in CA if a man goes to church it's because he has a real conviction and relationship with God, whereas many men out here in the South go to church because everyone else is going.

This guy acted all upset over my saying that which should have been a precursor of what was to come. We said good night and of course, he said he would call. Since he was EXTREMELY boring and arrogant, I didn't care and let it go. 

Being new to cyber dating, I thought I would be polite and tell him via an email I wasn't interested, but enjoyed meeting him and wished him well. He responded very nastily and it spiraled downward from there as he proceeded to text me incessantly calling me all sorts of names (even the "C" word) which I've never been called in my life and all this, while he claimed to attend Andy Stanley's Buckhead Church weekly.

That was a little jarring and I did report him, but of course, Plenty of Fish did nothing. I went off it for awhile, but when I went back on a little later, he was still there, ready to attack the next woman and I got off it completely.

Good thing too, because one of my good guy friends warned me he had heard many married men used Plenty of Fish to have affairs. This seems to be a common theme with singles dating sites out here which is rather shocking to be honest, although I don't doubt it goes on in Los Angeles, but it's so blatant here!

I joined OK Cupid thinking maybe their claim to have more intellectual men would mean a higher quality of guy, but again, you get what you pay for and since this site is free too... The other thing I find odd and a little creepy about this particular site is there are really personally invasive questions asked and then your answers are posted for the world to see.

It's obviously a more liberal leaning site and some of the questions like my stance on homosexuality, politics, and other personal topics not normally discussed in a first date situation, are asked in a variety of ways over and over again. 

Having worked in technology and marketing for as long as I have I wrote the owners to ask why they were pursuing this line of questioning because it seemed like one big intensive focus group for a political end. Never heard back. Didn't hear back either when I asked them why they also allowed married men to seek affairs on a singles dating site.

Apparently, some men hold no honor for their marriages back here despite it being the Bible Belt and all. I was approached by a very handsome, intellectual guy I would have easily dated, but once I realized he was married, asked him why he was on there to which he replied he was just interested in talking. 

Yeah right dude. I wrote him back and said he needed to spend more time talking to his wife and stop trying to have an emotional affair with women on this site. Use Facebook if you want to just "talk", but going on a singles dating site to talk? Liar.

Another guy posted he was married which I wrote him and said Congratulations for finding someone on here to which he replied, Oh, I'm married and my wife has a boyfriend so I'm on here to find someone too.

I was floored and asked him why he allowed his wife to disrespect him like that and what about the damage he was planning to cause anyone who would be stupid to get involved with him? He thought it was ok since he was being upfront about his intentions. Selfish jerk.

I wrote the owners to complain about this and tell them how disgusted I was that this type of action was allowed. Needless to say, got off that site too. When I told my friends on Facebook one of my girlfriends called it "Stupid Cupid" which I agree with. 

Seriously! I know I come from CA and it's very liberal there, but I don't ever remember married men actively and openly seeking affairs or it being so prevalent, or blatant back home. Maybe because Angelenos put off getting married for so long there aren't that many married men to begin with and when they actually marry, they are ready and willing to make the life commitment and honor their vows.

I haven't figured it out yet, but I do know I have met more divorced single parents of very young children here in the South which breaks my heart because it's only fracturing our society more. It makes me wonder what people are being taught about marriage in the South that they don't consider their vows a sacred commitment they made before God and family and friends. Why aren't they seeking pre-marital counseling before? Or marriage counseling during? Why are they rushing into marriages and out of them just as quickly?

I don't get it. However, I've never married so I wouldn't understand I'm sure. I did read a very good couple of articles on marriage and divorce from Second Ponce De Leon Church lately though which you can also read here:

I especially liked the description of a healthy relationship which you can read here courtesy of Associate Pastor Charles Qualls, an author and conference leader in marriage enrichment. He actively works with a variety of pre-marital, married, and divorced relationships. You can reach Pastor Charles by e-mailingcqualls (at) spdl (dot) org: 

"Hallmarks of a Healthy Relationship   Well, no doubt you want to hear some good news.  You’re clear of the scary stuff listed above?  Well, look for these among some factors that might indicate a healthy place for YOU to be YOU:  Does your partner help you feel free to be you?  Does your relationship empower you rather than hold you back?  Do you and your partner communicate regularly, deeply and constructively?   Does your relationship leave you both room to express your talents and personal callings in life?  As challenges arrive, do you feel safe in expressing them toyour partner?  Can you ask your partner for help?  Do you and your partner have healthy, balanced relationalexpectations that you have negotiated and shared?  Does your partner, by being who they are, challenge you in some way to be a better person?"

Pretty good questions, eh? Makes you think. In fact all his articles are really thought-provoking and I hope you take the time to click the link above to read too! Pastor Andy Stanley has a great series on Love, Sex and Dating which you can see here too:

I really am questioning morality a lot living back here to be honest. I thought moving from a state where 18% of the population are Christians to a state where 38% are Christians it would be safer and more honorable.

At least in CA I knew most people are heathens and not living according to God's standards, only their own, and I was prepared and had my guard up all the time. I never expected anyone to have faith in God and was rarely disappointed. When I met someone who was honorable, it was a pleasant surprise. I have so many good Christian male friends from growing up in the church I kinda thought that's what guys would be like in general on either coast.

However, living out here, I find I am constantly shocked at the immorality all around me. It's like there's this veneer of false Christianity you must constantly pierce through to get to the real person and what they really think about God and their faith.

Just the other day I was informed that our Fusion Singles Groups I have been so happy about participating in are often places where men go simply to seek women they can sleep with (and do!) One guy told my girlfriend he knows someone who will take a girl out, sleep with her Saturday night and then take her to church in the morning as if that's the way he's going to witness to her and bring her to a relationship with God.

I get sick to my stomach just writing this. This isn't what God had in mind for singles, or Christians at all! I have to wonder if the mega church Andy Stanley has created is so intent on not offending anyone and reaching the lost there is now a whole generation of new believers who have never moved to the next level of their faith because they're not challenged to do so.

However, I also remember he created this series on The New Rules of Love, Sex and Dating which gives me hope: Plus, it's up to the individual to make the right decisions, a pastor can't control behavior, only guide it.

Yes, it's wonderful if you realize you're a sinner and you need God to save you. Yes, it's great that you're going to church and learning how to become a better person, but if that's all you're doing, then that's not enough.

The Bible is supposed to be our guide, our standard by which we live our life, our inspiration. We are called to live differently and to love one another as Christ loved the church. Not use each other and do exactly what the world is doing in the singles/married scene. There are black and white consequences to how we live our lives as believers.

No wonder people don't want to become Christinas. They see the hypocrisy of the people they know and ask themselves why do I need that? However, I always encourage people to read the Bible and hear what God/Jesus has to say about life and love because He is the author and perfector of our faith.

Humans are always going to be human and fail. It's just what we do. But we can encourage and hold each other to a higher standard and point out things that are wrong in an effort to shed light on something people are trying to ignore.

I must go, but this has been on my heart for a very long time. I have met some really great guys out here too, don't get me wrong, but this immorality all around me with people who are married, or claiming to be Christian, weighs heavy and I felt like it needed to be discussed.

Love to hear your thoughts too.


What Every Musician Needs to Know According to the Driven Music Conference Part II

By Joy A. Kennelly

I attended the Driven Music Conference recently and was blown away by the level of expertise of the panelists, many who had flown in from out-of-state to participate. California too, can you believe it? Who knew they made music there?:)

Seriously though, I hear that about Georgia all the time and it's crazy because there is SOOOO much music here! And so many big names have huge homes and studios here too. Why are people so ignorant when so many huge bands and individual artists have come from Georgia? I don't get it....

But I digress. Back to the Driven Music Conference. Recognize any of these panelists? 

Michael Brandvold/Michael Brandvold Marketing; Bram/Indiehitmaker; Heather Badower & Steven Weber/BFM Digital; Tony "Bravo" Buttitta/; Bryan Calhoun/SoundExchange; David Codr/; Isaac Heyman/Leverage Records; Kevin Lyman/Vans Warped Tour; Omar McCallop/Full Circle Entertainment Group; Mike Mowery/Outerloop Management; Lou Plais/ReverbNation; Steve "Stevo" Robertson/Atlantic Records; Neil Sheehand/Standby Records and more...

Panel Panel2 Panel3 Panel4 Panel6

Well, they're all my new best friends. Just teasing again, but on a serious note, many have agreed to be part of my upcoming book on social media marketing which bodes well for my readers and what you will be able to learn when you pick it up once it's published.

What I liked about this conference is that although it was small, it was powerful. I was able to sit through all the panels and heard a variety of topics like music licensing, guerilla marketing, promotion and more. So many panels were so full, it was often difficult to hear each person's perspective there was so much information to disseminate. 

The ONLY recommendation I would have for future events is to train whoever does moderating to not interject their opinion so often as it made it difficult to hear all the speakers and it became like grandstanding after awhile. Moderators have that tendency for some reason...

Otherwise, the Driven Music Conference was fantastic.

Wish you were there. Seriously.:)

Learned there are a variety of ways for musicians to make money off their music which I had no idea about before and am sure many other musicians do not also which is why I want to give you a little insights based on this newly found knowledge.

Did you know you can "sync" aka license your music for film and TV which above and beyond the misc. background music played, or the soundtrack itself, also includes music libraries, buy-out libraries, main title, opening and closing credits, source cue (my favorite - did you know musicians get paid when their music is played in a car in a film? I didn't realize even this minute detail is paid and could be pitched. Silly me.), and live performance (another one I didn't realize could be similar to product placement and would be great to see more indie bands try to get into.)

One of the reasons I believe Greys Anatomy has done well as a show is their inclusion of various new music artists people have never heard before. I used to enjoy hearing all the new music and the show in general, but haven't watched it in years. Just a great example that came to mind while writing and was in my notes.

Now the other bit of information I picked up that I believe many indie musicians would benefit from is taking advantage of the free service the non-profit, SoundExchange, offers to musicians to collect their rates and royalty fees on behalf of copyright owners. 

"SoundExchange is the non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.  The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters."

All you need to do is register. Simple, eh? Check SoundExchange out and let me know if you do it. They will help track your music when it originally airs, reruns, where it plays, etc. Apparently they distributed 250 million dollars thus far and there is a lot of additional money waiting to be claimed, but since musicians haven't registered, it's just sitting there.

What are you waiting for? SIGN UP!

Now if you decide to work with BFM Digital, they will also do it for you. I had the pleasure of sitting with Heather Badower of BFM Digital to learn a little more in depth on what they offer clients. 

A boutique agency, they've been around for 7 years and provide digital distribution, PR & marketing for over 500 indie artists and labels to such places as Rhapsody, Pandora, Spotify, 250 digital stores and more. Heather explained their approach is very individualized and personal to each artist which I liked. The split seemed fair too: 80/20.

I asked her about all the musicians you hear just giving away their music and she said, "Don't give away your lead song during the first week of release. It's ok to give it away once the first wave dies down." Now, on the other hand, urban music is completely the opposite according to Neil Sheehand of Standby Records who said you need to develop streed cred first and music is given away for free more in this genre. 

She had many other great suggestions for artists like bundling items through BandCamp which helps you sell your music and merchandise too; post something an artist is doing in the studio across all the social media platforms, and one thing that was repeated often, get a team to help you develop a strategy.

There's more, but you'll need to contact them because I have so much other information to cover from the conference I must move right along. Just call them though. It will be worth your time to check BFM Digital out in more detail. They look for great music, an artist who is driven, has a willingness to learn, good fan engagement and appreciation, performs well live and has great audience interaction. If this is you, contact them to see what they can do to help you!

One thing anyone can do instantly to improve their success potential is make sure when you're submitting yourself anywhere, whether it be the media, a venue, a music library, or anywhere you want people to consider your music, is to make sure it's properly labeled. This was also repeated quite often. Include the name of the song and all contact info - name, address, phone and email on everything you submit to make it easy for the busy person receiving it to respond to you.

A new site which is becoming popular is called One Sheet. Since you're probably not much of a reader, here's a video to make it easy to learn what it's about and how easy it will simplify your life as a musician on so many levels:


Don't you agree? Simplify your life and use technology because that's what it's there for. 

Back to the Driven Music Conference....

Dave Codr of had a lot of great guerilla marketing tips for indie musicians to employ, but one of the first both of us recommend is listing yourself in his music directory/community. Based on some of his suggestions I would highly suggest tapping into his wealth of information in this regard. Unlike most musicians I've personally met, he's "Mr. Sales" and had all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle ways to build relationships with fans. 

Can you imagine calling fans to personally thank them? Neither can I, but apparently he's done it for clients and it works. Just one example.

Did you know 60% of all indie music is sold at a show and 75% is sold immediately after a set? That's why it's crazy when bands retire to the green room and don't take the opportunity to press the flesh with their adoring fans before the next set goes up. Scary, I know, but what do you have to lose by meeting people who actually like you and your music up close and personal, right?

And the cool thing is, did you know IndieHitMaker will track your live performance sales for SoundScan to raise your "Industry Accepted Metric" when labels want to know your viability as a musician and which the Billboard Charts are based on?

I didn't know that, but Bram and Tony "Bravo" Buttitta want to help you. Tony runs and they have over 400,000 listeners on his online radio station. He is constantly looking for new music and artists to showcase so what are you waiting for? Contact both of these guys! Tell 'em Joy sent you, but don't expect using my name is going to guarantee you play with Tony.

I do believe Bram will take of you though since there is a small fee, but what price fame right?:) MTV, VH1, CMT & all major media regularly use Nielsen SoundScan data and IndieHitMaker legitimizes your sales. Sounds good to me!

Stay tuned. I still have more to share, but don't want to overwhelm you. Plus, I want to go hit the Candler Festival to hear some live music before it closes, or hit an Oktoberfest Fundraiser for City of Refuge which I'm leaning towards so there you have it. Had a really fun day with new Fusion friends at Taste of Roswell. Southern men are so hilarious!

More, I promise and sooner too now that I know how I want to present this information. For those of you who don't write, sometimes it takes awhile to wrap your head around what, and how, you want to write about something. This conference was so full of information I couldn't decide where to begin, but now... I'm in the flow.

Have a great night! More soon! Promise!


Q & A with Driven Music Conference Organizer, Dominick J. Centi - Part 1 of Driven Music wrap-up


By Dominick J. Centi as sent to Joy A. Kennelly:)
Go here to read the reviews of those who attended too:
1. What made you start the Driven Music Conference?
For years, we were on the other side of music conferences.  We brought talent we represented, "worked" the conference and always walked away with something for the talent; a record deal, publishing deal or a session with a top producer scheduled, for example.  It was an effective tool for advancing an artist and those experiences inspired us to produce our own music conference.
2. How receptive has the music industry on the Southeast coast been?
Exceptional, but we've also seen interest from all corners of the states, from CA to NY.  We've reached outside the U.S. as well.  For example, at our last conference, a performer traveled from Australia to showcase for the industry.  We're working on plans now to more easily open up access to our conference to those outside of the U.S.
3. What would you say is the biggest draw? 
Each person's interest in our conference likely differs, however, if I had to pick, it would be both the access to our Featured Panelists; industry giants such as Van's Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman, major label A&R and others, as well as the chance to showcase for them.  Most can easily recognize we're fostering a networking opportunity and a place to go for a chance at advancement in music. 
4. Who normally attends?
Its split down the middle, with one half of the group being artists and the other half being compromised of others working within the music industry and those wanting to learn more about the business from the pros, such as college students, for example. 
5. Any success stories come out of speakers and attendees participating you've heard that you can share? 
See answer 11. 
6. How did you manage to get such an eclectic collection of speakers? Personal friends? Done business with them before? 
Hmmm...  Like some artists do, we try to keep some element of mystique swirling around the conference!  Let's just say there's no substitute for hard work.  That can usually work as an answer to almost any "how did you do that" kind of question! 
7. Looking back at both conferences what changes will you make to your next one, if any?
More showcases!  Who can argue with that change, right?  We'll reserve at least 20 additional showcase spots.
8. What was the highlight of the conference for you?
For me, I liked how the ballroom where the panel discussions were held was full, both to capacity of people and energy.  How accessible the Featured Panelists made themselves to the artists and the others attending was also an adrenaline rush.
9. What do you wish had turned out differently?
Not much, but if I have to pick one thing, it would be that I would have liked to more so experience it from the perspective of the attendees.  That's tough to do when you're organizing the event because of all the on-site work involved, however.  I'm not complaining.  Goes with the territory.  Its a workload our team puts upon itself for the sake of striving towards making the conference the best it can be for everyone involved.  
10. What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?
How many hours do I have?  This is an answer that is tough for me to keep short, but I will do my best to sum it up into 2 abbreviated points...  1) Always work towards increasing your odds.  Using one very specific example, attend a music conference.  If you're the artist at a conference and in the same room as top industry executives, then aren't you in a better position than the artists that are not?  Now, if you also introduce yourself to those executives, aren't you in a better position than the artists in that room with you that do not?  If you approach everything with that mentality, its really simple to see the big picture clearly.  Part of what your doing is a numbers game.  As a general ongoing rule, "work it" to the point to where the odds of advancement swing closer to your favor.  You can never go wrong, if you do.  2) Understand that if you're making the choice to advance in the music business (which is not for everyone), you can't ignore the business side of it.  If you do, you're looking at more of a hobby than a career.  Learn about the business side or put your faith in someone you feel has.  Music without business is a hobby and business without music is, arguably, "boring work"!  They both are important, they both need attention and they both need each other to advance as one cohesive entity.   
11. How did all the bands work out performing? Anyone picked up? Any feedback from anyone?
I absolutely love these conferences because of the element of surprise that always comes with them.  There is nothing routine about them, just as there is nothing routine about this business, in general.  At our last conference, Vans Warped Tour Founder, Kevin Lyman, offered The Silver Comet a spot on Warped (which is currently under negotiation and not confirmed per The Silver Comet) and Atlantic Records A&R, Jeff Levin, offered Super Water Sympathy a deal with Atlantic, both right on the spot.  The reaction of both showcasing artists after receiving the news was priceless.  I'll never forget their expressions.  What a rush! 
12. Anything else you want to add that I've neglected to cover?
I appreciate your interest and that of your readers!  Right now we're in South Florida and Atlanta annually, with plans for further expansion into additional markets.  The latest on the Driven Music Conference can be found 
More to come!


Remembering Steve Jobs through the eyes of Walt Wilson, former Apple Managing Director, and me, a birthmom

By Joy A. Kennelly

This morning I attended the 20th Annual High Tech Prayer Breakfast which they claim as the largest networking event in Atlanta, GA with 1600 people in attendance and also, the earliest, beginning at 6am till 9am (I've been up since 4:30am to get there on time.:)

I had no idea what to expect, but since my friend, Curt Cain of iHealth Technologies, Inc., had invited me, I wanted to attend. We grew up in the same church in Manhattan Beach, CA and recently re-acquainted when he and his wife invited other CA "ex-pats" to a dinner this past week.

I have always felt a sense of family with other Christians because no matter how much time passes, there's a spiritual bond which ties us together no matter where we are, or what has happened. I really don't know how some people get through life without a spiritual component to their lives when I find such encouragement, support, and Godly love in my Christian life experiences. I know I couldn't make it living out here in Georgia without my faith in God and Christian friends. 

This morning's prayer breakfast was very inspiring to me on many levels as a result.

Back home in Los Angeles I have attended numerous tech conferences, networking mixers, seminars, and parties, and not once have I ever seen a spiritual aspect included. What a refreshing difference to meet CEO's, CFO's, Venture Capitalists, CTO's and more who are also following God and willing to be visible in this public realm by inviting men and women who have never heard the gospel to attend.

In light of Steve Jobs' passing, who I consider one of America's most brilliant innovators, it was very moving to hear Keynote Speaker, Walt Wilson, speak. He had been an early employee of Apple serving as the Managing Director of U.S. operations "as the company grew from just a start-up to a globally-recognized corporation with $5 billion in revenues."

Talk about a powerful way to start the day!

The host committee had gathered together to pray for Steve, his family and the prayer breakfast the night before when they heard the news of Steve Jobs' death. Walt said he had prepared a speech a few months back, but threw it all out at 3am.  He had planned to share what it was like working in Silicon Valley, working at Apple and his career, but felt what he had originally prepared wasn't appropriate after last night. 

Walt called Steve "My Boss, my Mentor, and my Friend" who had a thirst for excellence and never measured his success by market share. 308945_10150318205808310_631373309_8060384_199202705_n
He said Steve always wanted to the be BMW of the tech world and then revealed BMW really only held a 3% market share which was surprising to hear. 

What set Apple apart is it was always about computing, not the computers. It was about advancing technology more than anything else. Walt said Steve didn't care what anyone on Wall Street thought, or anyone else for that matter, which drew a laugh from the crowd. Walt also shared Steve always protected his family from his own celebrity which I admire. 

Walt shared only one personal anecdote of his experience working with Steve because it was difficult to speak so recently of someone he obviously cared deeply about. I would quote it, but want to preserve some of privacy of the breakfast.

However, I will share with you briefly Walt's story because it was fascinating to learn he had only graduated high school and served in the United States Marine Corps for three years which must have been great preparation for working alongside Steve Jobs.:)

He is currently "the founder and chairman of  Internet ministry Global Media Outreach (GMO). He was previously co-founder, chairman and CEO of Exclaim Technologies, Inc., an applications service provider in the business-to-business Internet market. Before that, he served as senior vice president and corporate officer of the consulting group Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), a $16 billion, U.S. global corporation with 600 offices worldwide, employing over 100,000 people."

Pretty impressive, eh?

I've been attending numerous events this week; the Georgia Production Partnership monthly lunch meeting where I heard Comedy Writer, Dave Drabik of Fine Line Productions, speak; Inc and United Healthcare's holistic living panel seminar entitled Helping Businesses Grow Strong featuring Michael Tavani, co-founder of ScoutMob (mobile deals for the local curious), Sean Cook, CEO of Shop Visible, and CEO of Petrus Brands, Inc, Chris Morocco (Shane's Rib Shack and Planet Smoothie) which were great.

I've been meeting more CEO's and influential people here in Georgia faster than ever happened in CA. Hard to believe I've really only been here a little over two months after all.:) 

Have to admit though, although these other speakers were fantastic, informative and entertaining, this morning's breakfast spoke to me on a deeper level due to the spiritual component. When you consider Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address on living and know he died last night, it really puts life into perspective. 

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Here is his speech in its entirety because it's so powerful:


As Walt continued to speak, he challenged us to think about where we will spend eternity. If you died today do you know? He reminded us of the verses, Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." and John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

If you've wanted a fresh start, forgiveness of your sins, or simply to surrender your life to God because whatever you're doing isn't working, please consider asking Him into your life. He will answer you when you call upon Him. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7 and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

I hope you do, but if you don't now, know God is there whenever you need him. I can tell you He has brought me through so much. I was personally touched to learn Steve Jobs was adopted since I'm a birthmother who has a 12 year old son I placed in adoption at birth. It was one of the hardest experiences to live through in my entire life.

When I see TV shows like Parenthood which recently mocked the sacredness of this experience in an episode called, "Hey, if you're not using that baby;" or see Glee's portrayal of a birthmother plotting to get her adopted baby back; or hear Grey's Anatomy recently wove an abortion subplot into their storyline, it grieves my spirit.

So much so, I wrote Ira Schreck of Schreck Rose Dapello Adams & Hurwitz, LLP who represents Jason Katims, to express my dismay. Here's a highlight to help you understand why this image of birthmothers and adoption in general needs to change:

"As a birthmother of a twelve year-old son I placed in adoption at birth, I was shocked and devastated to see one of the main characters asking a teen-age mother if she could, “Buy your baby.”

I admire how sensitively Jason Katims has handled Asperger and am writing to request he and his staff present adoption in the same sensitive manner. Children in adoption are not bought and sold. They are not cavalierly “given” away. They are thoughtfully, painfully, delicately “placed” with a family a birthmother considers will offer a better life for their child they feel they cannot offer at the time of their pregnancy.

 Please consider the ramifications of treating a human life so callously. Parenthood has the opportunity to present a side of adoption rarely seen on TV if done correctly. I would strongly urge Jason and all those involved with the success of this show to consider researching adoption through such resources as: and before writing any further episodes."

I have yet to hear a response and have avoided other episodes because that one was too painful. But to those in entertainment who write stories about adoption and/or abortion, consider this thought if you will...

What would the world be like if Steve Jobs' birthmother chose to abort him rather than choose adoption? He has impacted all our lives and he's just one of many talented, creative people who was adopted.

Here's a list of more famous adoptees and birthparents I bet you didn't know about:

Adopted Persons

Andy Berlin - entrepreneur: chairman of Berlin Cameron & Partners
Anthony Williams - politician
Aristotle - philosopher
Art Linkletter - comedian
Bo Diddley - musician, performer
Buffy Sainte-Marie - musician, actress
Carl-Theodor Dreyer - Danish film director
Charlotte Anne Lopez - Miss Teen USA
Christina Crawford - author
Clarissa Pinkola Estes - author
Crazy Horse - Lakota war chief
Dan O'Brien - decathlete
Daunte Culpepper - football player
Dave Thomas - entrepreneur: founder of Wendy's
Debbie Harry - singer 
D.M.C. - hip hop artist
Edgar Allan Poe - poet, writer
Edward Albee - playwright
Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady
Eric Dickerson - athlete
Faith Daniels - news anchor
Faith Hill - country singer
Freddie Bartholomew - actor
George Washington Carver - inventor
Greg Louganis - athlete
James MacArthur - actor
James Michener - author
Jean Jacques Rousseau - philosopher
Jesse Jackson - minister
Jesus - adopted by Joseph the carpenter (Bible)
Jett Williams - country singer and author
Jim Palmer - athlete
John J. Audubon - naturalist
John Hancock - politician
John Lennon - musician
Langston Hughes - poet and writer
Larry Ellison - entrepreneur: chief executive of Oracle
Lee Majors - actor
Leo Tolstoy - writer
Les Brown - motivational speaker
Lynnette Cole - Miss USA 2000
Malcolm X - civil rights leader
Mark Acre - athlete
Matthew Laborteaux - actor
Melissa Gilbert - actress
Michael Reagan - author, talk show host
Moses - Biblical leader
Nancy Reagan - First Lady
Nat King Cole - singer
Nelson Mandela - politician
Patrick Labyorteaux - actor
Peter and Kitty Carruthers - figure skaters
President Gerald Ford - politician
President William Clinton - politician
Priscilla Presley - actress
Ray Liotta - actor
Reno - performance artist, comedian
Sarah McLachlan - singer
Scott Hamilton - figure skater
Sen. Paull H. Shin - politician
Sen. Robert Byrd - politician
Steve Jobs - entrepreneur: co-founder of Apple computer
Surya Bonaly - figure skater
Tim Green - football player/commentator
Tim McGraw - country singer
Tom Monaghan - entrepreneur
Tommy Davidson - comedian
Victoria Rowell - actress
Wilson Riles - educator

Birth Parents

Andy Kaufman - actor

Clark Gable - actor

David Crosby - singer

Faith Ireland - judge

Hank Williams, Sr. - country music legend

Kate Mulgrew - actress

Joni Mitchell - singer

Roseanne Barr - actress

Mercedes Ruehl - actress

Strom Thurmond - politician

Notice the list of birthparents is much shorter? There is so much stigma surrounding adoption perpuated by past and recent Television shows, and the media, which I hope will change soon. Use the resources I mentioned in my letter, and to write truthfully about us please.

It's also time we acknowledge there are three choices when faced with unplanned pregnancy, not just two - abort or be a single parent. 

If Steve Jobs adoptive parents hadn't first adopted him and then supported, loved and encouraged his individuality just think how all our lives would be different today. Embrace the third choice and allow Steve Jobs passing to signify more than just his technological advancements, but also the power of love.

Because when it all boils down to it, every human needs to feel loved. Even those who are unwanted, unplanned, or inconvenient.

Give life, give love a chance.... Adoption is a choice too. It's extremely painful, but you get through it and your child then has the opportunity to be a world changer, perhaps another Steve Jobs. You never know, right? 

And that's all she wrote. Have a great day. I was planning to cover the Driven Music Conference, but felt compelled to share this with you first after my experience this morning.

Today's the day though!:) Stay tuned.