Shades of Success: Calendar honors 12 outstanding women of color with La. ties

Shades of Success: Calendar honors 12 outstanding women of color with La. ties
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Doctors, lawyers, business owners, other professionals, their dozen faces and stories all grace the pages of the brand-new “Shades of Success” Calendar.

The project of a group of the area’s Black journalists associated with V Squared Visuals LLC, the calendar honors the accomplishments of Louisiana-connected women of color from various professions. The 12 women also will be honored at a banquet later this month in Gonzales.

“This all started with a conversation I had with longtime TV photojournalist Virnado Woods about a year and a half ago,” said Valentina Wilson, former WAFB, Channel 9 and WVLA, Channel 33 news anchor. “We wanted to do something to honor distinguished women of color from Louisiana with not only an award but also a unique publication. It’s our way of giving back,” Wilson said. 

The “giving back” extends to the proceeds of the $20 calendar, a portion of which will be given to The Butterfly Society. The mission of the anti-domestic violence nonprofit founded in Baton Rouge in 2014 is “to educate, advocate for legislation, provide direct services, and partner with other agencies to end domestic violence,” according to its website.

Valentina Wilson

To select this year’s honorees and produce the calendar, Woods and Wilson assembled their team — Chante Warren Pryer, Donald Lee, Kenneth Brumfield, Cecily Holland and Lena Foster.

“Most of the women applied online. Our team also identified a small group of nominees and discussed them over Zoom calls. In the end, we decided on 11 women,” Wilson, now a news anchor at WCTI, Channel 12 in New Bern, North Carolina, explained. “I was pleasantly surprised that our team nominated me as well.”

The women were selected based on their professional backgrounds, volunteerism and community contributions, and accomplishments as well as their personal stories and the steps they took to overcome obstacles, Wilson said. 

The other honorees this year are:


Terri Porche Ricks

  • Terri Porche Ricks, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
  • Dr. Krystal Shelmire, of Alternative Natural Health Solutions, LLC, a naturopathic medical practice
  • Sevetri Wilson, serial entrepreneur and tech founder
  • Joy Russell, boutique owner and Realtor, who’s appeared on HGTV’s “House Hunters” three times 
  • Dr. Kia Callender-Price, owner of the nonprofit The Forgotten War, which aims to house the homeless
  • Dr. Tanisha Toaston, a rehabilitation physician specializing in spinal cord injury
  • Dr. Paulette Grey-Riveria, family practice physician and Harvard graduate
  • Attorney Krystal Brumfield, who works for President Joe Biden’s administration as the associate administrator for governmentwide policy at the General Services Administration
  • Labeaud Colbert, owner of Labeaud, LLC, a remote digital marketing and technology staffing consultancy
  • Avis Brown, licensed clinical social worker and owner and co-founder of Victory Unlimited, LLC, a clinical services practice
  • Kayla Gill, speech language pathologist and owner of Lucid Speech Therapy

The honorees will receive their awards at the Saturday, Feb. 25, banquet at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center, 1500 La. 30 West, Gonzales. East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council member Carolyn Coleman will be the keynote speaker. The public is invited to the 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. event. Tickets ($55, single; $100, couple) and sponsorship information are available at The calendar also can be purchased on the site or at

“Calendars are keepsakes, and in many African American homes they are displayed with pride all year,” Wilson said. “We wanted to share these women’s compelling stories through their biographies and include photos of them in different settings. Our hope is that these women role models can inspire younger generations to dream big.

“We believe our calendar can also serve as a great tool during both Black History Month and Women’s History Month by spotlighting the accomplishments of these change makers,” she said.

Shades of Success Banquet

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Clarion Inn and Conference Center, 1500 La. 30 West, Gonzales

$55, single; $100, couple; sponsorships available 


About Mary Weyand 36042 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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