Meet Our Contributors
Our amazing contributors are the heart of Bold Blind Beauty. Photos are in alpha order from left to right Becky Andrews, Alicia Connor, Melody Goodspeed, Teresa Gregg, Catherine Harrison, Dana Hinnant, Gabriella (Gabby) Mendonca, Cheryl Minnette, and Sylvia Stinson-Perez.
Becky Andrews, LCMHC / Founder of Resilient Solutions, Inc is passionate about companioning people in their journeys of healing and empowerment. As a therapist Becky is a trained EMDR Therapy Provider, Compassion Fatigue Consultant, and Positive Psychology Life Coach.
Becky is author of her own memoir, Look up, move forward – my journey of losing my eyesight and finding my vision and recently published a workbook: Cultivating Resilience.
Public speaking and advocating are important aspects of who Becky is and she loves the opportunity to educate and share her story and help others in their resilient journeys.
Becky established a nonprofit: Oasis Center for Hope and has held ten retreats for women who are blind / low vision: Daring to Own Your Story.
Becky loves to run (she has completed 9 marathons including Boston twice and NYC), tandem bike with her husband – Steve of 36 years, hike and enjoy lunch and pedicures with friends. She loves traveling with her guide dog, Georgie and spending time with her family.
Connecting With Becky:
- Facebook @BeckyAndrews, Resilient Vision
- Instagram @becky__andrews
Alicia Connor is a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef who is passionate about encouraging lifestyle shifts with a focus on meal planning and simplifying healthy eating. Alicia built a career as a chef, including working at a top San Francisco restaurant. As a young adult facing hereditary vision loss, she took control and pivoted to another career as a dietitian to grow roots deeper than ‘just cooking.’ She has seen the impact of meal planning and nutrition in her clients over the years, often through their increased energy, empowered weight loss journeys, and freedom to pursue more of their passions due to increased confidence.
Moving away from the mindset of dieting, Alicia helps clients build a toolkit of strategies to reduce stress and increase peace of mind. She supports her clients through one-on-one sessions and a virtual meal planning program to build helpful habits and create actionable plans to meet their goals.
‘Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor’ is a video cooking series on YouTube where Alicia presents easy recipes with minimal steps for flavorful, balanced meals.
Let’s be in touch! email@example.com / (415)483-9454
Major Gift Specialist, American Foundation for the Blind & The Voice of Abby
Melody Goodspeed (a.k.a. the voice of Abby), Major Gifts Specialist at AFB, is responsible for securing financial resources through strategic and effective donor relations, building and managing major gift-level portfolios, and securing planned gifts. She actively engages with audiences from all walks of life, from the disability community to beyond, sharing the stories of AFB to potential donors about AFB’s progress and how the organization relies upon public engagement and gifts in order to create and effect positive systemic and societal change.
Catherine is both fearless in the face of a challenge and skilled at defying the stereotypes assigned to women over 50 and to the handicapped. As a former professional ballerina, who studied at Julliard’s School of American Ballet, Catherine brings that same discipline, grace and poise to being a model who happens to be blind.
Catherine started her modeling career in the 1980’s working her way through nursing school. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and was an operating room nurse for many years before losing the majority of her eyesight. Although only partially sighted, due to a progressive retinal disease, she is very independent and uses her white cane for mobility.
Today, Catherine combines her skills as a ballerina, 10+ years of weight training and her knowledge as a nurse to become a popular certified fitness instructor, teaching stretching/flexibility class. Her lean, athletic physique and positive approach to fitness/nutrition/beauty at every age makes her both a role model and expert in what an active, healthy lifestyle can be.
Her encouraging message of perseverance and strength regardless of circumstances led Catherine to be a sought-after public speaker and writer for more than 10 years.
Connecting With Catherine:
- Instagram: @CatherineHarrison_Model
- Facebook: @ModelCatherineHarrison
- Website: linktr.ee/catherineharrison_model
Dana Hinnant, a Washingtonian native, who’s journey into the beauty industry began 20 years ago after receiving her B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2000. She received her aesthetics training at Von Lee International School of Asthetics in Baltimore, MD. She started as a local makeup artist and events coordinator with Alluring Looks, Inc. in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Her articles were featured in local publications such as Pose Magazine and Yndigo newsletter. In the mid-2000’s, she was a volunteer instructor with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program, which landed her an esthetician position at an area day spa.
Over the past several years, Dana has worked with various non-profit organizations and small businesses. During her tenure as the President of the Health and Wellness division of the National Federation of the Blind DC affiliate, she utilized the platform to provide salon safety tips and skin care advice throughout the community. She was a consultant with the Ecumenical Health Council in Port Towns, MD doing beauty and wellness presentations at area churches and events.
In 2019, Dana received the Maryland Association of Community Service Award for Volunteer of the Year due to her community engagement work for The Arc of Prince George’s County. In addition, she also received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2020 from The Arc of Maryland. She is a member and an ambassador with the Professional Beauty Association. Dana is one of the co-owners of Capitol Collective Consulting LLC which launched in April 2021.
Connecting With Dana:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriella (Gabby) Mendonca
Gabby is a recent college graduate. She studied communications in digital media. When she isn’t busy with school, Gabby enjoys filming videos for her YouTube. She is very passionate about the performing arts, music, and acting. Gabby is also very passionate about advocacy and inclusion.
Connecting With Gabby:
- Behind The Scenes YouTube Footage: Patreon
- Youtube: @GabriellaMendonca
- Instagram: @itss_g_
- Facebook: @gabbymendonca
- Twitter: @itss_g_
Bio will be forthcoming
Connecting With Cheryl:
- Facebook: @RealOneIsHere
- Instagram: @RealOneIsHere
- LinkedIn: @CherylMinnette
- Subscription to: Vision Navigation News
American Foundation for the Blind
Melanie Peskoe is a vivaciously, middle-age, late blooming professional woman, and Bold Blind Beauty Contributor and Advisory Board member. She currently works as the Public Policy and Research Coordinator with the American Foundation for the Blind. Prior to AFB, Melanie worked with the American Printing House for the Blind as a Digital Content Specialist for the ConnectCenter and the VisionAware website. She has a strong interest in aging and vision loss so she stayed on at VisionAware to serve as a VisionAware Peer Advisor and many of her blog posts can be found there. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Melanie has two older kids, and loves to crochet and read (preferably at the same time!)
American Foundation for the Blind
Sylvia Stinson-Perez has spent her career in the blindness field, and is the Chief Programs Officer for the American Foundation for the Blind. Sylvia believes the authentic shared experience of living with vision loss can lead to the development of bold confidence in living with blindness. She loves helping others find their beauty and courage on this journey.
Sylvia has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Sylvia is a wife, a mother, a friend, an advocate, and a professional dedicated to making a positive difference. She enjoys reading, cooking, travel, crocheting, writing and public speaking, and time with loved ones.
Connecting With Sylvia:
- Facebook: @Sylvia Stinson-Perez
- Twitter: @SylviaSPerez101
- American Foundation for the Blind (AFB): www.afb.org
Our Contributors’ Image Descriptions:
- Becky Andrews is sitting at her desk with Georgie (her faithful guide dog) sitting on the floor by her side.
- Alicia Connor has wavy shoulder-length brunette hair and is wearing a navy jacket with a red and white print scarf tied around her neck.
- Melody Goodspeed is posing in a CABI Jacket. The Citizen Jacket looks like it is the Pantone color Saffron (a gold color). The jacket has big pockets at the waist and what looks like big brass buttons.
- Dana Hinnant: A headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowing caramel colored skin and short dark hair.
- Catherine Harrison has short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes. She is wearing a stunning sleeveless red keyhole top.
- Gabby Mendonca: an evening outdoor glamour shot of Gabby standing with her hand on her hip in a black gown. Her long dark loosely curled tresses are flowing over her right shoulder and down her back.
- Cheryl Minnette: A headshot of Cheryl smiling and she has on a mint green top accented with a gold chunky necklace and earrings.
- Melanie Peskoe: A headshot of Melanie her light brown hair is styled in a fashionable bob and she’s wearing red lip color with a black v-neck top.
- Sylvia Stinson-Perez: A headshot of Sylvia’s glam photo from a formal event. She is wearing a pink evening gown with spaghetti straps and has a pink flower in her brunette hair styled in a fancy updo.