2020 Women of Excellence Local Sheroes

Meet our 2020 Women of Excellence Local Sheroes:

  • Trudy Haynes
  • Traci M. Smith
  • Tanya T. Morris
  • Chekesha Ellis

Trudy Haynes is a broadcasting icon - the nation's first African American TV weather reporter for WXYZ-TV in Detroit, MI in 1963. In 1965, she became the first African American TV news reporter for KYW-TV (now CBS-3), in Philadelphia, where she continued until her retirement in 1999. Haynes, who received an Emmy Award as well as two Lifetime Achievement Awards during her 33-year tenure at KYW-TV, currently hosts an online show called the Trudy Haynes Show. Trudy is also an active member of the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition, now known as Philly Cam, a lobbying group whose mission is to create public-access cable channels in the Philadelphia area where she mentors the next generation of media professionals.

Traci M. Smith is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Traci’s Bio. She is a 5-time Author of The Pink Sister Chronicles, a Certified Life Coach and a dynamic Empowerment Speaker who is motivating the masses. She is an entrepreneur at heart standing as the C. F. O of Creative Minds and Each One, Teach One Childcare centers. Traci also is the C. F. O of Creative Minds Christian Academy, a lover of people, God-Fearing, Mother and last, put but certainly not least she is impressively a Breast Cancer Survivor.

Traci’s mission is helping survivors build a better future. She believes that the greater the support, the more empowered women feel to take control of their mental, spiritual, and physical health. Out of this desire she has founded Traci’s Bio.

Bio (Beautiful Inside and Out) is a 501c3 organization dedicated to providing breast cancer survivors with services and resources to assist them with the life changing obstacles that come with the words, “You have breast cancer”. When Traci was impacted with these words she was determined to not only survive but to thrive and bring others along side of her.

Over the past 5 years Traci’s Bio has grown tremendously. Bio began serving over 900 plus women with photo shoots, hair/ make-up and make-overs, chemo and radiation support, transportation and a number of other support services, to alsobecoming a platform for survivors to tell their story through the Pink Sister Chronicles.

Since the launch of The Pink Sister’s Chronicles, Traci has co-authored and published 4 books, with this year being the 5th year anniversary she has bought awareness to African American communities that are highly impacted by breast cancer. She believes that improving public awareness of breast cancer and encouraging health behavior changes are important aspects of cancer control and healing.

Throughout this journey Traci has been awarded numerous awards. The strength of Traci’s achievement is rooted in the depth of her passion for others to win. As a result of this passion she was honored with the Madam C. J. Walker Entrepreneur award. Traci’s work within the survivor’s community has been recognized throughout countless newspaper articles, radio stations, and national television. Traci has yet to reach her limited and for her and her team this is only the beginning. Traci and the BIO team will continue to expand the mission and provide services to the cancer community.

Tanya T. Morris has been changing lives through coaching and mentoring for the bulk of her career in non-profit management. It was this passion to help professional women, entrepreneurs and organizational leaders that led Tanya T. to start MOM Your Business in 2017.

Tanya T. is using all of her skills, resources and network at MOM Your Business to support mompreneurs by connecting them to resources and opportunities that leads to success in business and in life.

Tanya T. is an accomplished author of three books, Divine Inspirations, Drop Your Baggage and The Power of One: How to Impact Lives by First Changing Your Own. She is a graduate of Temple University and she has an MBA in Executive Leadership from Strayer University.

Chekesha Ellis is the founder of Chase No More, an organization that provides direct support, and community outreach to individuals suffering with substance use disorder. Chekesha is a global activist for the opioid crisis representing the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania for Mobilize Recovery, a global organization that works directly with congressional leaders to combat the addiction and opioid crisis, change public and professional attitudes about addiction, recovery, and break the stigmas that surround addiction.

Chekesha is a person living in long-term recovery after a 10 year addiction to opioid painkillers, and was led into her passion to help others suffering with addiction. Chekesha has made it her life's work to help others. Dedicated to presenting hope, Chekesha has a clean time of 9 years.

Chekesha has landed coverage in print and broadcast outlets around the world, including Google Youtube Recovery Voices, Penn State Abington Share Your Opioid Story and KYW Newsradio Flashpoint. Her own articles have been featured in Recovery Today magazine, Jersey's Best magazine, The New Jersey Star Ledger, Bucks County Courier Times, Burlington County Times, and the Intelligencer. Chekesha Ellis is a coalition member of S.T.O.P "Surgical Taskforce Organized To Prevent Opioid Abuse" on Capital Hill.

Chekesha is a trained Family Recovery Specialist and her movement represents addiction, recovery, advocacy and activism!

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