Person of the Year

Learn more about our finalists by clicking on their profile below.

Angelique Bartholomew
“To whom much is given, much is required” has long been a guiding principle in my life. I’m a wife, mother of five, lawyer, small business owner, social justice advocate, community leader and now candidate for State Representative District 27. Angela_Bartholomew

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama I come from a long line of preachers and civil rights advocates. I graduated from Fisk University and Miles Law School.

I’m a lawyer and Director of Compliance at a private medical firm. I have been a powerful advocate for education, healthcare and small business owners. It’s been an honor to work in my community to secure programs and services for our children in the public school system.

A singular focus on bettering the lives of others spurs my commitment to grassroots organizations like Angels of Education; working as a community mediator for the Houston Police Department; or simply being a leading voice for economic support and growth for entrepreneurs like myself.

I am committed to a better tomorrow, not only for my family, but for all the families in my community and I’m humbled and grateful that the call “to serve” resonates unerringly in my spirit. I will continue to answer the call.

Chef DeeDee
Chef DeeDee is an extra-ordinary entrepreneur and owner of Southern Cooking Girl Creations, Inc. which houses DEElicious Southern Cuisine Fine Catering & Meal Plans, DEElicious Red Velvet Waffles, and her fun and interactive “Cooking with a Twist” cooking classes. deedee

Chef DeeDee’s creative spin on southern-styled dishes has convinced many that traditional soul foods don’t compare to true southern cuisines, which she describes as “food made from the soul of a southern woman.”

Chef DeeDee’s culinary skills and DEElicious Red Velvet Waffles have been showcased in the Hope for Women magazine, KHOU-11’s Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan and ABC’s Channel-13 Crossroads with Melanie Lawson to name a few.

Her Red Velvet Waffles will soon be featured in HEB, other stores, restaurants and hotel chains. The award-winning batter also helped her sweep all five categories of the 2013 HEB & NZURI sponsored Top Chef Competition, followed by her title as HEB’s 2014 Primo Picks Quest-for-Texas-Best 25 finalist out of over 600 contestants.

Chef DeeDee draws her strength and inspiration from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Don Dotson
Don Dotson served his country for eight years from 1971 to 1978 in the U.S. Army SETAF at Vicenza, Italy. He received an Honorable Discharge, and was awarded a US Service medal and an Army Commendation medal for his Administration Skills. don

He then served his community as a Law Enforcement Officer from 1979 to 2007 with the City of Houston Police Department.

Through meditation and spiritual growth, God changed the direction of his life’s purpose to a ministry that would serve and help a broader spectrum of families that were in despair and unlocking those in bondage, subsequently from the growth NMGM Production was born and has evolved into him authoring his first book “No more Tipping God and Tithing Satan.”

He has released three gospel plays running from 2010 to present; “My Life On Earth Expired,” “When Children Pray” and presently showing “Forever His.” Dotson believes passionately that drama ministry is one of the most important tools the Church has, both to reach those outside the Church and to teach those inside as well. His mission is focused on transforming lives of families through Theater and Arts.

Carlos Harleaux
Carlos Harleaux is an author, poet, publisher and entrepreneur. He authored three books of original poetry; Blurred Vision, Hindsight 20/20 and Honesty Box. Carlos recently released his debut novel, Fortune Cookie.Carlos_Herleaux

He is the owner and CEO of 7th Sign Publishing Company. As founder of Create Your Own Path (CYOP), he organized two major charity vendor events to financially support cancer patients and the prevention of homelessness.

He is a very successful fundraiser having launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of marketing and advertising expenses for Fortune Cookie, whereby in just 30 days he exceeded his monetary goal by nearly doubling it.

Carlos is also a music critic for as well as his own site,, which features music critiques and blogs on many topics of interest. Carlos completed his Master’s degree in Emerging Media and Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas (where he also received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Psychology).

Mr. Harleaux is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and has been employed at Frito Lay’s corporate headquarters for the past eight years. He is a native Houstonian currently residing in Dallas, TX, with his wife, Alexandria.

Tiffany Taylor-Hicks
Tiffany Taylor-Hicks possesses over 15 years of Business Management, Marketing and Training Experience and recently received her Master’s in Management Degree from the University of Phoenix. Tiffany is a member of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce and National Association for Professional Women. Tiffany

Tiffany is owner of Velvet Rope Experience and VRE Business Solutions; two organizations that offer affordable business, management, marketing, publishing and training solutions to assist new business owners with growing their client base, improving efficiency and visibility through education, networking and marketing.

She is also dedicated and passionate about philanthropy; donating monetarily, providing free and discounted consulting, administrative services and volunteering time to multiple non-profit organizations in the Houston and surrounding areas.

Tiffany is founder of Sports Dreams Deferred an organization dedicated to assisting young men and women (ages 15-25) with transitioning from sports to workforce or entrepreneurship. She is a board member of Toiletries for Families a non-profit organization filling the gap between needs and provisions by providing items for hygiene care to impoverished families.

Tiffany is a business and training consultant for A.L.A.Y.A Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to community outreach and promoting empowerment to women, men and children through leadership and mentoring programs.

Sandra Massie Hines
Sandra Massie Hines is known in Houston, Texas as the “Mayor of Sunnyside” for a reason. She is “for the people,” and an advocate for stomping out crime. Sandra_Massie_Hines

Sandra feeds the hungry having done so most of her life. She fights for senior citizens’ medical coverage, and getting them the services they need to include safe housing.

Sandra recently took on an organization where several tenants had died from not having electricity; backed up sewage coming through their drinking pipes; no air in the summer; and, rats and roaches’ infestation.

Sandra got the Mayor of Houston involved along with several other groups to feed those individuals that had their water shut off when the landlord refused to pay the water bills. The people could not move out, so Sandra got several churches and individuals involved to move them to a new location that waived the first month rent.

The uninhabitable building they move from was then condemned. When you need someone you can call on day or night to stamp out injustice -Sandra is that person. So, it is important to acknowledge silent soldiers like Sandra who get overlooked while tirelessly helping others without asking for any compensation for themselves.

Marcus D. Holman, Sr.
Marcus D. Holman, Sr. is a person that exemplifies commitment to the call. Through Bethel’s Global Reach a 501(c)3, he has served on 21 missions trips over the last six years and led countless people to Christ by preaching evangelistic crusades and facilitating medical and dental clinics. He believes that the currency of the Kingdom is relationships.marcus-holman

He’s been instrumental in establishing international and domestic partners for humanitarian relief. His work has led to sending over 13 million dollars in aid to regions like Africa, Haiti, India, Czech Republic and inside the United States. He’s lead over 800 African American Missionaries abroad.

As a Father, he leads his family by Psalm 112, “the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Married to Jamie his wife of 15 years, they have four beautiful children. With his “Live for Legacy” motto, Holman’s work has impacted thousands globally.

When you think of “person of the year” no better person comes to mind; a man that lives by Acts 20:24 “but I count my life as nothing to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify of the gospel of God’s grace.”

Chris Jones
Chris Jones has been a youth advocate and coach for life skills development since 2006 when he founded the YDREAM Leadership and Personal Development Program for at-risk youth and adults.

Chris_JonesChris’ God given talent of speaking and his educational background of coaching youth and adults creates the winning combination to motivate both youth and adults to believe in themselves and to make life-altering changes for a better future.

Chris also travels internationally, speaking to youth groups assuring them that they can too follow their dreams. He uses this opportunity to share youth leadership strategies and tools with youth advocates currently on the frontline fighting to keep youth primarily in the Birmingham, England area focused on education and positive role models as peer pressure is becoming increasingly challenging in that part of the world.

In 2012, Chris relocated back to Washington, DC from Los Angeles and merged the YDREAM Program with his speaking abilities and formed “Chris Jones Speaks: Empowering Today’s Youth For Change” ( As a result of this merger, Chris authored, “10 Ways Teenagers Mess Up Their Options.” Chris has an upcoming talk show, “Empowering Today’s Youth for Change,” debuting on cable TV in the Washington, DC area early 2016.

Clerenda McGrady
CleRenda McGrady is a TV host, speaker and self-proclaimed L.I.F.E. ™ Luminary, who shares her voice and platform to shine light on what matters to her most: encouraging and challenging others to live beyond their inner limitations. CleRenda is a successful entrepreneur and certified life coach.Clerenda_McGrady

Driven by her own personal journey, CleRenda is inspiring women of all ages to view themselves as the beautiful, capable and resilient masterpieces that they were divinely designed to be!

Creator and brainchild behind The Project P.U.S.H.! ™ Symposiums, CleRenda is touching lives and igniting stages with her signature brand of coaching, education and empowerment. Her mission is simple – help women who are called to a bigger vision and version of themselves to push beyond the fear, insecurity and doubt that keeps them stuck so they can rise to their full potential and purpose.

An active community leader and mentor, CleRenda supports a number of charitable activities. She chairs several events and programs including the Barbara Jordan Endeavor Program for Students with Disabilities and Red Shoe Chef Event. She’s an integral member of Inspire Women, Houston’s largest faith based women’s ministry and organization.

CleRenda’s winning formula is founded on faith, family and forward-thinking.

Deonte Scott
Deonte Scott is a nationally known Spoken Word Artist and host here in the Houston Area. He enjoys taking time to volunteer in local elementary schools to perform for the youth and talk with them. deonte_scott

He had released a spoken word album titled “The Struggle” that is available on ITunes and Amazon. He will be releasing his 2nd spoken word EP in February of 2016.

Along with the release Deonte will be having a one man show to commemorate the release and 25% of all of the proceeds will be donated to The Ronald McDonald House of Houston. Deonte was a featured artist on TV One’s Lexus Verses and Flow.

Deonte was also named 2014 Host of the Year with the Raw artists’ organization. Deonte Scott pursues his passion of entertainment all while maintaining a serious career with Chevron in the oil and gas industry.