Ericka Nicole Malone is the CEO of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment LLC along with her business partner Phillip Robinson. ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television and animated projects nationwide. Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment recently hosted the Indie Director’s Spotlight at the Sundance Film Festival Park City Live “The Cabin” on Main Street, which was rated one of the top 5 events at this past Sundance 2020.  She recently hosted The Indie Director’s Spotlight. Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment marked their debut into the festival circuit and also represented as a head panelist among other members with this event. In addition to sharing her career journey as a Writer, Producer, and Director, Ericka Nicole Malone also highlighted the innate talent of many directors in the film industry, such as acclaimed Straight Out Of Brooklyn & Inkwell director Matty Rich. 

 Ericka Nicole Malone continues to blaze a trail for women of color in the male-dominated entertainment industry with her combination of skills as an actress, writer, director and producer.

Malone is well known for building complex, relatable characters, whether she is writing a play for the stage or a script for a television series.

“As a writer, you don’t just want to tell a story; you don’t just want to tell an African American story; you want to tell a human story,” Malone said during a recent interview.

Her upcoming productions are a testament to her kaleidoscope of talent for telling human stories and connecting with audiences on multiple levels:

– Della is a one-hour television drama featuring a Black vigilante in urban Kentucky who protects women from abusive partners — often resorting to violence when she rises to their defense.

– Dreams from the Edge is a short film about a young girl auditioning in Hollywood. Her mother is a former actress and only has negative things to say about the industry. Ultimately, the tables turn, and the daughter must help her mother find her path in life again.

– Malone wrote the script and serves as an executive producer with Phillip Robinson on Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which promises to honor Jackson’s legacy in Gospel Music, Civil Rights and as a shining example of a powerful Black woman.  The movie features R&B recording artist Ledisi in the lead role.

– Malone also serves as executive producer for the animated feature and future TV series JG and the BC Kids, written and created by acclaimed actress Janet Hubert. The story follows Janet Granite, aka JG, a super intelligent, athletic scientist and inventor who travels the world to find special kids.

About Ericka Nicole Malone

Ericka Nicole Malone is a “quadruple threat” as an actress, writer, director and producer. She has written, directed and produced 10 stage plays through her production company, Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC, along with her business partner Phillip Robinson, including the smash touring musical stage play, In Love with Tyrone.

Her provocative writing style and keen ability to connect with her audience has made her an unmistakable figure in entertainment.

For more information, please visit

A Tribute to Barbara Bush

The following article, written by Tom Rosshirt, was published in 1972 by Creators Syndication. I have permission to reprint this article which talks of Mrs. Bush’s remarkable compassion.

1925 – 2018

Thank You, Mrs. Bush

My brother Matt died of AIDS 26 years ago today, passing away in his bed in my parents’ home in Houston.
It was a benighted time for people with AIDS. There were no antiretrovirals then. There was nothing much you could do for an AIDS patient but hold his hand. And many people still thought you could get AIDS by touching. My parents knew of individuals who’d been fired from their jobs for volunteering for AIDS organizations. That’s how crazy the fear was.
As Matt was dying, we were befriended by a man named Lou Tesconi, a volunteer from the local AIDS organization. Lou came by to visit with Matt and to offer whatever service and kindness he could to my mom and dad.
Shortly after Matt died, Lou began studies to become a Catholic priest. Within the year, he was diagnosed with AIDS and kicked out of the seminary. Lou was a lawyer by training and temperament. He appealed the judgment to a Catholic bishop, who then asked Lou to found and head a ministry for people with AIDS. It was called Damien Ministries and was established in a poor part of Washington, D.C.
In early 1989, when the country was still very ignorant and fearful of AIDS, Lou got a call from the White House. First lady Barbara Bush was planning to visit Grandma’s House, a home for infants with AIDS. It was one of the very first outings in her tenure as first lady, and Lou was asked to join a team of people to brief her privately before the event.
During the briefing, Lou told me later, he said: “Mrs. Bush, it is a fantastic thing that you are holding these babies with AIDS. But the country sees them as innocent and the rest of us with AIDS as guilty. The whole suffering AIDS community needs a collective embrace from you today.”
Lou thought he was speaking metaphorically. Apparently, Mrs. Bush doesn’t do metaphor. She stood up, walked over to Lou and gave him a big hug.
After the briefing, Mrs. Bush took a tour of the facility as she talked to the press. She hugged, kissed and played with three little girls and then nailed the message: “You can hug and pick up babies and people who have … HIV. … There is a need for compassion.”
At the news conference afterward, Lou stood by his point on Mrs. Bush’s visit: “I’m afraid that it may send a message that babies are innocent and can be helped,” he said, “but that the rest of us aren’t.” He added: “I told her it would certainly help to get a collective hug from the first lady.”
Then, again, this time in front of the cameras, Mrs. Bush wrapped Lou up in a big embrace.
Mrs. Bush wrote of this visit in her memoirs. She noted that “even then, people still thought that touching a person with the virus was dangerous.” But she didn’t give herself any credit for dealing a blow against stigma by embracing a gay man with AIDS in 1989.
Lou had a buzz from that hug that never went away.
In the fall of 1991, near Thanksgiving, I got a call from a friend that Lou had gone into the hospital again. He didn’t have to tell me that it was for the last time. I called the White House and asked whether I could speak to the first lady’s office. I was a nobody press secretary on the Hill. I didn’t expect anyone in the White House to talk to me. Suddenly, I was speaking with the first lady’s press secretary, Anna Perez, who had accompanied Mrs. Bush to Grandma’s House that day. I began to recount the events of two years before, and she saved me the time: “I remember Mr. Tesconi,” she said. I explained Lou’s condition and said, “It would be so comforting for him to receive a letter from Mrs. Bush.”
A few days later, I went to see Lou in the hospital. As soon as he saw me, he reached beside his bed with a slow and shaky hand and pulled out a letter: “Look what I got,” he said.
The letter was unflinching and full of love. She didn’t duck the issue that Lou was dying. She used it as a pivot to say, “Well-done.” At the bottom, in her own hand, she wrote to Lou that his life mattered, that he had made an impact.
That was a long time ago. But some things you don’t forget — and shouldn’t. In a time of ignorance, her wise touch eased the sting of exclusion for my friend and many others.
Thank you, Mrs. Bush.

Tom Rosshirt was a national security speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and a foreign affairs spokesman for Vice President Al Gore. To find read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Woman in Charge: Meet Teresa A. Hamilton

911 Teri


by Teresa A. Hamilton, Communications Specialist

You probably don’t remember me but I am the FIRST PERSON you spoke with the day you had an emergency. I apologize that I don’t remember YOU either.

Please help me remember who you are:

Did I help you do CPR on your child not breathing, or were you the one who called because your husband just hit you? Wait, maybe you are the one whose house was on fire and I instructed you to get your loved ones out of the house.

I’m sorry I asked you “so many stupid questions” like what is the address of your emergency or the phone number you are calling from in case we get disconnected. Sadly technology has not advanced to the point where TV land has. There is no magical way for me to know the answers to these questions unless YOU tell me.

Please tell me something, did your child make it? Were your physical injuries very bad and how are you and your husband doing? How bad was your house fire? I did MY best to get you the necessary help you needed in a timely fashion. I ask you these questions because I will never know the answers.

I am the first person you speak with during one of the worst days of your life. I enter all of your important information into my computer and then I send you all the right Emergency Responders to help you with your emergency. Once I finish that I never know what happened to YOU and I move on to the next emergency.

I missed having dinner with my family during the last holiday, and I didn’t see my favorite cousin get married, I couldn’t go see my favorite band last week either so I could be there in case you needed me. Even though it is hard for them, my family and friends understand that I need to be there FOR YOU and they are PROUD of what I do.

So please forgive me if I sounded rude or mean or heatless when you called, I tried my hardest not to. Sometimes it is hard for me to hide my feelings knowing I will always do my best for you but never know if my best was good enough…



Hi, I am really pleased to introduce you to a very good friend of mine and a lady that I really respect for everything she does for her community, her family and her friends. ~ Meet Teresa Hamilton.

1)      How long have you been a dispatcher? Did you move into this spot from another position in the same company? What did it take to advance to this spot? Rockland County Sheriffs Communications Division 13 Years, Town of Haverstraw Police Department 10 years, Rockland Mobile Care 3 years

2)      Have there been any major changes in the position’s responsibilities/description since you have been in the spot? Since I began working there we have added dispatching the State Police-PIP and Haverstraw EMS, we have implemented EMD and structured call taking.

3)      What kind of education or training do you have? Was this current position a goal of yours? What were your original career goals? Education for the position has consisted of Graduating from HS and experience in public safety in addition to successfully passing the Civil Service Exam.  Training for the job has included CPR certification and APCO training, Computer Aided Dispatch(CAD).  Emergency Services has always been an interest of mine.  It started when I was little both of my parents were involved in EMS and my dad was a part time police officer with the Town of Haverstraw Police.  I have always worked in the field of Emergency Services.  My first job (on my 18th birthday) was with Hudson Valley Ambulance Service in Haverstraw NY.  I have always wanted to be a RADIO DJ and at this stage in life, I think this is going to be as close to it as I am going to get.

4)     I know you are involved in Emergency Services as a responder (and administrator?) – does this affect you as a dispatcher? Yes How? From the active responder aspect I believe I have an edge over those not currently involved.  I am acutely aware of the urgency needed, sometimes I feel I am better able to understand a request from the field under emergent tone, I know how it feels to be in the position of the first responder and understand that I am THEIR reliable source for everything they need. From the stand point of an administrator (Captain of Haverstraw EMS) I know what it is like to be responsible for the TEAM I am overseeing and working with.  Although when wearing the dispatcher headset I am not the one in command, I am the one in control.

5)   Considering the stress and things you see and hear about as a dispatcher, WHY do you do it? To have the knowledge and ability to HELP in a time of need is in my heart and soul.  As the dispatcher I am the true definition of the first first responder.  I am the first voice you hear on the worst day of your life (in some cases) and a sounding board for you when you just have to vent. The satisfaction of handling a call from start to finish and knowing in some cases that I made a difference.  However the biggest down side to this job is in many cases there is no closure.  We seldom know the outcome of the calls we take. So we don’t know if the child not breathing made it or if the person threatening to harm themselves was protected and got help.

6)   Considering the stress and things you see and hear about as a responder, WHY do you do it?   For many of the same reasons I chose the job I do, as a volunteer responder I have an opportunity first and foremost to give back to my community.  I am able to provide quality pre hospital care to the residence of North Rockland who under normal circumstances have a minimum of a 16-20 minute trip to either emergency room in Rockland County.  Should they require life saving measures (or just a band aid) I am able to help the healing process.  The difference in the 2 roles, as a responder I have the actual hands on and visual ability to render assistance and I have an opportunity to follow up for closure.  This allow me to know that I did (or in some cases did not) make a difference.

7)     What is your background in Emergency Response that brought you to these positions? Having grown up in a house that ALWAYS had a police scanner on, it always intrigued me listening to the “voice in the box”.  I was always fascinated hearing these people giving information about a stolen car or a missing person, sending multiple fire departments to a structure fire, hearing them stay so calm when a high speed police chase is occurring or people are trapped in a burning building.  Being a first responder, it was always reassuring to know there was someone able to watch my back who in reality could not see it.  I wanted to be THAT PERSON.

8)    Is there any one HIGHLIGHT of your dispatching career you would like to mention? Helping a father deliver his son over the phone.  I  Answered a 9-1-1 call and heard a frantic man on the phone (with a lot of yelling in the background) telling me his wife is having a baby.  As I tried to gather information neither he or I could understand one another due to the people in the background.  In the heat of the moment I advised him to “tell everyone in the room to shut-up or leave” and that is EXACTLY what he did.  We were able to walk thru the necessary steps to bring his FIRST BORN son into the world.  Hearing the baby cry and the excitement in his voice was AMAZING.  About 10 minutes after EMS was transporting to the hospital, the father called back asking for me.  He had forgotten to document what time his son was born and to THANK me for helping.  He apologized for not knowing what to do.  He said to me, “I’m a NYC Police officer and I am usually on the CALM side of this situation”

9)   What has been the most rewarding moment of your involvement in Dispatch and/or emergency response? There are a few moments that stand out from the rest.  3 in particular.  The first being a house explosion in the town that I live in and am Captain of the EMS agency.  What started as a report of a gas main struck in a residential neighborhood turned into a dispatch of 14 fire departments, 7 EMS agencies, 4 police agencies and a host of new stations and civilians. I dispatched the “signal 20 report of a gas main line struck by a contractor” and subsequently spent the next 5 hours either glued to a chair or pacing the floor in front of the dispatch console.  This incident involved members of service that I work hand in hand with and are not only my colleagues but my friends. NOT being there was difficult for me and to make matters worse 2 fire fighters that I know well were injured.  The “not knowing” was the hardest part.  I left work that day and responded to the scene where I spent the next 8 hours as EMS incident command.

The second was being on the radio dispatching a boating accident in the Hudson River where sadly 2 people lost their lives that night.  I was blessed having not answered the 9-1-1- call for this as my partner had the hardest part, he was on the phone with the caller who’s fiancé and best man were thrown from the boat and subsequently lost their lives.  My job that night was to provide direction and support to the 3 fire agencies, us coast guard, NYPD aviation unit and various other Emergency Service agencies trying to locate the incident.  Although not a positive ending for this call it was rewarding being able to get the help to the area for the surviving passengers in the middle of the Hudson River in the dark.

The third and last was a depressed woman who called the suicide hot line and was transferred to our 9-1-1 center.  She was not willing to tell me where she was however was able to tell me that she wanted to end her life.  She had hung up on me numerous times and persistence paid off.  I was able to “ping” her location using the awesome technology offered by the cellular phone carrier.  Followed that up by contacting the cellular phone carrier for a name and address listing for the phone owner.  On my last call to her I was able to address her by name, knew what hotel and room she was in and stayed on the phone with her until the police arrived.

10)   How does the outside world treat you as a female in this position? I have never really given much thought to how I am treated or perceived as a dispatcher or a 9-1-1 operator.  The normal question from people who only know what this job is by the way it is portrayed on TV is, “what is the worst call you have ever answered”.   Is this normally a male-dominated spot? I would have to say that this USE TO BE a male-dominated spot and even where I work it is a higher male employed job than female.  However once you “prove your ability” I think your gender does not play a role in your performance.

11)   What advice would you give to a young woman who might be looking at your type of position/career in the future? Be the Best YOU that you know how to be.  This job is not for the weak at heart or the person whose feelings get hurt easily.  You have to be able to know your limits.  I like to refer to my job as being 7 hours of boredom followed by 1 hour of sheer terror,  Although maybe a little dramatic in that description, If you are not able to multi task, or if you are very into “routine” you may not want to do this.  You need to be patient, be able to listen and sort out the important details, you have to be able to control a call while assuring to get the necessary help to the caller. Most of all I would have to tell anyone, especially a young woman looking at this position, it is the most rewarding thing I do.  Knowing at the end of the day I was there with the knowledge and ability to save a child’s life, help get the resources to a house fire in time, give information to a local police officer to put a criminal to justice or just knowing that EVERYONE WENT HOME at the end of their shift is the MOST REWARDING FEELING I have ever experienced.

guardians teri



Women in Charge

Who’s The Boss? More Women
Decide They Are
Business Woman Offers Advice To Others Ready
To Take The Entrepreneurial Plunge

The number of American women who own their own businesses is on the rise.

It’s estimated that more than 9.1 million women now lead their own enterprises. What’s more, from 1997 to 2014, when the number of businesses in the United States grew by 47 percent, those owned by women grew by 68 percent, according to a report published by American Express OPEN.

One woman who is part of that trend – and is helping other women become their own bosses, too – says those statistics may not be that surprising.

“I think many women are willing to branch out on their own because they decide that the benefits outweigh the risks,” says Dr. Diana Hoppe, founder of Amazing Over 40 Inc. (, a health coaching certification program for women.

“We live in a time when people often re-invent themselves because job opportunities are limited or they are looking for new challenges.”

Hoppe says that when you do that, it’s important to study the market to see where the opportunities are going to be and find a good fit for yourself.

“The women I work with who are going into health coaching, for instance, understand that having a health coach is a major trend in fitness,” she says. “So look at the trends. Where will the opportunities be?”

Dr. Diana Hoppe says there are plenty of advantages to starting a business. Among them:

• Be Your Own Boss. When you own your own business, you can discover what it’s like to be fully independent, dictating your own path without anyone looking over your shoulder. You’re the boss and the decisions are yours.

• Set Your Own Schedule. Maybe you want to work a full 40-hour week, or maybe you are seeking a part-time schedule. When you are setting up your own business, you have more flexibility about when, where and how you work.

• Find Work That Fulfills You. Those who start a business can create a career for themselves that provides fulfillment. Hoppe says she has seen that in action with women who decided to become health coaches. They can personally change the lives of the clients they work with, helping them take charge of their health and discover their best selves. “I think it’s always important – whether you are launching a business or building a career working for someone else – that you find something you consider rewarding,” she says.

But it’s also critical to have a strong business plan so that you understand the market, have specific goals and know how to achieve those goals.

“If you don’t focus on building a strong foundation for your business at the beginning, it is likely to fail or not grow as fast as it can,” Hoppe says.

Among the factors to consider is that some businesses require more overhead than others. For example, if you are working from home, you don’t need to worry about leasing commercial space. Regardless, it’s crucial to make sure you have the necessary capital for whatever business you launch.

That’s been challenging at times for women, according to the National Women’s Business Council. Research shows that businesses owned by women start with about half the amount of capital as men, the council reports.

But don’t think you need millions of dollars, Hoppe says. Many successful businesses have been started with a relatively small amount of money.

“One of the most frequent questions I get asked involves what the start-up costs are for becoming a health coach,” she says. “This is a good example of one of the less costly businesses to start. Mainly, you just need business cards, a cell phone, a computer and transportation. Of course, not every business is quite that simple.”

Once a business is in full swing, one goal is to continue to grow the business while keeping current clients or customers happy, Hoppe says.

“One thing you can do for your customers is develop a relationship with them by engaging them on social media or by keeping them interested with email content,” she says. “Customer service is a critical part of any business because once someone begins to use your product or service, you want them to keep coming back.”

About Dr. Diana Hoppe

Dr. Diana Hoppe, an obstetrician and gynecologist, is the founder of Amazing Over 40 Inc. (, a health coaching certification program for women.

She also is an author and speaker who has been featured on a number of TV shows, including “Dr. Oz.”

Can do attitude for youth

Summer Programs Instill A Can-Do Attitude
In Disadvantaged Youth

By Linda Mornell
Founder of Summer Search

How do we create grit in our kids? I read recently that character development is now considered as important if not more so than learning the hard skills like reading and math. But how can we as parents teach character development… especially grit?

Years ago, long before someone invented the term helicopter parenting, my husband and I sent our children to summer programs away from home. These were traditional camps where they lived with a group of new kids and learned to deal with problems on their own. Then after their freshman year of high school, each one participated in a three-week mountaineering and white-water rafting trip in Oregon with Outward Bound.

Our middle daughter was sensitive, with an artistic side. Sandwiched between two athletic and competitive siblings, she had learned early on to say, “I can’t,” and to give in to her many fears: heights, the dark and extending herself athletically. The idea of doing any kind of wilderness program was anathema to her. We told her she had a choice: she could go voluntarily or involuntarily.

 She chose to go involuntarily. I still remember that angry silent drive to the airport.

When she returned home she had a new name, “Sara Can!”

Those rigorous adventures had the intended effect, which in those days I called, “going for hard.” Today the word is grit. By making hard choices in places where no one knew them, my children had the chance to stretch themselves and experiment with different identities, and build self-efficacy — the belief in their ability to succeed in challenging situations. Children with self-efficacy move toward challenges rather than away from them. They lean in.

Because these programs were so instrumental in helping my children find their voices and embark on successful paths, I started Summer Search, a non-profit that provides similar opportunities to low-income high school students. We give ongoing mentoring and two full scholarships for our kids to participate in summer programs. The first, some kind of wilderness expedition after their sophomore year and the second, a family home stay abroad, community service, or academic experience on a college campus after their junior year.

Twenty-five years later, thousands of adolescents have been willing to take the risk of leaving home, and like Sara Can, expose themselves to the unknown and to be miserable. To be wet and cold all night, struggle with bruises, strange bug bites and to never quit. And they participate with kids from affluent families who, to their surprise, are not that much different. Everyone smells the same after the first week.

They return home more resilient and more self-assured as they too have learned that they can – that they are, indeed, strong enough to do anything.

About Linda Mornell

Linda Mornell is the founder of Summer Search (, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged young people with life-changing and challenging summer opportunities. She is also the author of the book “Forever Changed: How Summer Programs and Insight Mentoring Challenge Adolescents and Transform Lives.” Mornell was born on a farm in Muncie, Ind. After getting her RN and bachelor’s degrees from Methodist Hospital and DePauw University, she headed west on a Greyhound bus. She received psychiatric training from Langley Porter at the University of California in San Francisco and married a psychiatric resident, Pierre Mornell. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren. Mornell divides her time among family, writing and consulting. In 2014, she was blessed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for her efforts to empower disadvantaged youth.