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, Melissa (Lissa) Lo, Gabriella (Gabby) Mendonca, Cheryl Minnette, Sylvia Stinson-Perez, and Natalie Trevonne.
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 lives in San Francisco. She is passionate about healthy cooking, with a focus on simplifying meal planning and making healthy eating easier. Alicia built a successful career as a chef, working at one of the top restaurants in San Francisco. But as her vision declined due a hereditary condition, she decided to focus on a career with longevity, and returned to school to become a dietitian.
In her current role as registered dietitian nutritionist and chef, she is always passionately working towards peoples’ health. In February 2019, she founded Quick & Delish, a video cooking series on YouTube, where she presents easy recipes with minimal steps, for flavorful, balanced meals. She’s writing an e-cookbook, and gives virtual meal planning workshops year-round. And she works with clients one-on-one to build good habits, simplify meal planning, and create an actionable plan to meet their health goals. You can read more about her passion for health in Today’s Dietitian.
Connecting With Alicia:
- YouTube: Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor
- Instagram: @Quick_Delish
- Facebook: Quick & Delish by Alicia Connor
- Join Alicia Connor’s email list: bit.ly/aliciaconnorsignup
- Sign up for Alicia Connor’s Virtual Meal Planning Series in January 2021: www.quickanddelish.net/workshop
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.
Lumine Your Way CEO/Founder
My name is Teresa Gregg. I am a mom of two adult children and grandma of four grandchildren.
I was born with congenital glaucoma and uveitis. In 1993 I had my left eye removed due to the glaucoma and in 2013 my right eye also. After that surgery I fell into depression then eventually became tired of living in victim mode.
I am a Certified Transformational Life Coach with the certifications to assess/debrief with the Energy Leadership Index and Emotional Intelligence 2.0. In 2017 I won the Hadley School for the Blind Forsythe Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship Program Grant to start my own coaching practice.
It is my vision to offer endless positive possibilities for a heart-centered energetic passion-driven lifestyle. Working with families who have children with disabilities and being a liaison between the family and their IEP team is rewarding. Partnering with schools for the blind in workshops regarding social interactions, recreation and leisure, self-advocacy, self-determination, Human Growth Development, and Sexual Education is a passion for me. Helping others understand their sexuality and social and emotional skill sets is the best gift I can offer those with a visual impairment.
Connecting With Teresa:
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
Melissa ‘Lissa’ Lo
Lissa Lo is dedicated to strengthening communities and empowering youth. She has spent six years developing and managing programs, mentoring, and providing college and career advice for blind youth. For over 10 years, she has focused on advocating for disabled persons nationally and internationally. She wishes to share the message that disabled people can and do make large contributions to society and should not be overlooked.
As co-founder of the Fashionably Tardy Podcast, she uses her advocacy and storytelling skills to create a space where disabled and non-disabled professionals can connect over shared experiences. Lissa also continues her dedication to empowering the disability community as a co-founder of WOC World: A Virtual Space for Blind Women of Color. She likewise uses her platform as a career advisor to promote body positivity, style exploration, self-confidence, and self-love through a series of workshops she designed for high school and college students interested in fashion and appearance.
Connecting With Melissa:
- Website: fashionablytardy.com
- Podcast: Fashionably Tardy
- Facebook: @FTOnTheScene
- Instagram: @FTOnTheScene
Gabriella (Gabby) Mendonca
Gabby is a college student. She is studying 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
Mississippi State University
Sylvia Stinson-Perez is a leader in the blindness field helping individuals and organizations succeed through innovative strategic planning and implementation. She 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, a conviction she promotes through:
- her position at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
- projects she leads such as Speak With Confidence public speaking training, and mentoring
- service on advisory committees and boards of directors.
Connecting With Sylvia:
- Facebook: @Sylvia Stinson-Perez
- Twitter: @SylviaSPerez101
- National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (NRTC): www.blind.msstate.edu/about
Natalie Trevonne is an actress, model, dancer, diversity and inclusion consultant, and fashion influencer for Patty and Ricky! She’s currently bicoastal traveling between Los Angeles and New York City and uses her relationship to the entertainment industry as a platform to speak out for more representation of people from historically marginalized groups. She currently serves as the creative director and a cohost for the Fashionably Tardy podcast. Fashionably tardy bridges the gap between the disability community and the fashion industry by telling the amazing stories of some dope fashion creatives killing it in the industry today!
Connecting With Natalie:
- Website: fashionablytardy.com
- Podcast: Fashionably Tardy
- Facebook: @FTOnTheScene
- Instagram: @FTOnTheScene
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.
- Teresa Gregg: A headshot of Teresa who is smiling while her long brunette hair cascading over the shoulders of her hunter green top.
- Catherine Harrison has short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes. She is wearing a stunning sleeveless red keyhole top.
- Lissa Lo in a waist shot. She is wearing a white shirt with thin pinstripes under a mustard yellow blazer. Paired with her outfit are a gold and black triangle necklace and matching earrings. Her hair is straight, and she is smiling.
- 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.
- 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.
- Natalie Trevonne: A smiling headshot of Natalie wearing a green top. In this photo, her long dark hair flowing over the front of her shoulders is styled straight.