America's New Leaders: 13 To Watch In '13

Shantell Jamison, 28
Chicago, IL

Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Shantell is a down to earth, ambitious, driven millennial woman. When she's not hosting her show on Vocalo 89.5FM or dishing out relationship advice for The Gate Community Newspaper, you can find her curled up with a good book and her 5-year-old terrier Gigi.

You can find out more about Shantell's 2013 plans at her website, ShantellJamison.com

Wendy Kelley, 41
Signal Hill, CA

In 5 words or less, Ms. Kelley "restructures small businesses." 

As managing principal of MYB Consultants LLC, she transforms small businesses into a more streamlined, strategically-focused and profitable organizations. 

Kelley's vast understanding of small business development--combined with her keen-eye for efficiency-- has helped her form a reputation as a consultant who delivers result.

The company officially relaunches in March 2013.  

Kevin Otterness
Film Producer- Posthouse Productions
Chicago, IL

He produces and directs independent films, music videos and behind-the-scenes documentaries, and his clients have benefited from his artistic camera work and editing talents since 1993.

Throughout his career, Otterness has built an impressive resume which earned him recognition for his work as a Director of Photography, his fast paced editing style, and his ability to make small-budget projects look like million-dollar productions. He also plans on involving other Chicago area filmmakers in some other projects he has coming up in 2013.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinOtterness

Kyle Chais, 21
Brooklyn, NY

A fresh face in a genre which lacks diversity, Kyle Chais is a science-fiction author with a "real" outlook on the world. Formerly homeless, the future psychologist uses his imagination to turn his inner pain into purpose for inspiration.

Kyle thinks of himself as the "Stephenie Myer of The 'Hood."  

Camiella D. Williams, 25
Activist/ Educator
Flossmoor, IL

Known as "Ms. Williams" to her students, this outspoken activist knows the streets of Chicago--even though she has lived in the city's suburbs for the past several years. 

She organizes anti-violence marches, rallies, builds relationships with members of the local and national media, counsels grieving families and still makes time for her family.

In 2013, Williams plans on continuing her work with the Blair Holt Memorial Foundation (named for the teen who died after being shot on a bus in 2007) to gain support for "common sense gun legislation."  

Todd Jones II, 24
YouTube Comedian/Personality
Bakersfield, CA

Before he turns 25 on February 15, Todd Jones is trying to get all of the silliness out of his system--so that he can replace it with more silliness. 

Whether he is collaborating with his long-time friend, Kevin Edwards, Jr., or just making hilarious solo observations about the world--Todd Jones II makes YouTube videos that almost ALWAYS go viral.

Karin Hauenstein, 40,
Animal welfare and human health activist.  
Los Angeles, CA

She is an advocate for the overlooked and under-served. Hauenstein, a self-proclaimed "horse activist," is also a foster parent and student majoring in Psychology to provide counseling and mentoring for abused and neglected children. 

In 2013, she plans to continue working for the end of commercial horse slaughter.
For more information, visit HorsebackAmerica.com. 

Ben Thompson, 25
Nonprofit Co-Founder
Libertyville, IL

For the youthful, athletic Thompson, there are five official branches of the military which need the support of civilians or a "6th Branch"--the name of his organization. 

Since January 2011, Thompson and his co-founder have created special events and initiatives to strengthen relationships between the public and those serving in the military. They organize "Extreme Survival Trips," obstacle courses and raise funds to support the troops. 

For more information about 6th Branch, visit their official website or Facebook page

Dionn ReneƩ, 30
Visual Artist
Harrisburg, PA

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Ms. Dionn creates images which extend beyond that. The gifted photographer and visual artist has made a name for herself as the founder of The Dionn Renee Studios

In 2013, the sky is the limit for this talented young lady. 

Sen J. Harris, 30
Media/Pop Culture Expert
New York, NY

The Chicago native is making a big name for herself in "The Big Apple." 

With several years of advertising and media experience, Ms. Harris knows how to bring successful campaigns to life. And after the work day is over, she expands her brand in person and online as a lifestyle guru. 

Check out her work at TheLifeOfSen

Darin Atwater, 38
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Atwater thinks outside of the "music box," arranging compositions infused with multiple genres and styles such as jazz, hip hop, gospel, and classical. As the founder of Soulful Symphony, he has used music to bridge the cultural gap between audiences of different backgrounds.

Featured on a Grammy-winning recording and television specials, the seasoned musician is looking to expand his influence in 2013 by mentoring young people.

For more information, check out his page on GuessWorks Artist Management. 

Dr. Nicklya Harris-Ray, 35
Podiatrist/ Instructor
Gulf Coast Region 

Previously featured in a ZTL article about math concepts applied "in the real world," Dr. Harris-Ray is one of the most respected medical professionals in the Southern U.S. 

When she is not practicing podiatry, she is helping to groom the next generation of folks in her field. 

Tawanda Johnson-Gray, 40
Health Advocate
Phoenix, AZ

Mrs. Johnson-Gray doesn't use Facebook for just fun and games--she seeks to educate people about lowering their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  

As a FOUR-TIME stroke survivor herself, she works tirelessly to make sure that others can avoid some of the challenges that she faced and eventually overcame. She heads Sonoran Urban Heart & Stroke, as well as Political Diva Consulting. 

Let's see who will make the cut for the "14 To Watch In '14!"

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