For the past few years, as a special thank you to our service members and their families, I’ve held a contest just for the spouses of our military members. It turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience. I had the privilege of meeting several incredible beautiful families over the past few years, and some have even become good friends.
It’s so easy to forget that there are real people who are deeply affected by the conflicts overseas. Hearing the personal stories of these families helped me remember that our troops are husbands, wives, mothers and fathers who are immensely loved and sorely missed.
This contest will run from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend but start sending those entries in now!
Who is eligible?Wives of any U.S. military service member may enter. Retired or active-duty.
How do you enter? Send an email to email@example.com with a picture of you and your family member in uniform. Tell us a bit about what branch he serves in, where you’ve been stationed, challenges and so forth. We want to hear your story!
Please put “5th Annual Military Spouse Contest” in the subject line.
Once a week, beginning Memorial Day weekend, I will pick one entrant to be highlighted on my blog. These weekly entrants are semi-finalists and then Labor Day weekend I will announce the three winners.
Hey Gang! So usually when I have guest bloggers on my site, it’s another romance writer but today I’ve got someone a bit different for you to meet. My dear friend, Frank Simmons.
First a little background on my guest today. Frank is a dear friend of mine and we’ve known each other for about ten years or so. I met Frank when I started as a speaker and trainer with Making It Count. He’s funny, smart, kind, loving, a devoted husband and father and one hell of a good speaker! One weekend after a very long and exhausting training, Frank got up in front of a room full of speakers and performed as “Pastor Frank”. It was absolutely hilarious! It was part spoof, part inspiration but above all, highly entertaining. (His full bio is below!)
Fast forward several years and we find Frank with his own motivational speaking company and now…pitching a television show to BET in Los Angeles. When I heard what Frank was doing, I wanted to give him as much support as I could. So here he is, in all is glory….silly fake-teeth and all….Pastor Frank!
“If a loser can do it, you can too!” -Pastor Frank
1. Tell us a bit about your character Pastor Frank. Who is he? Pastor Frank is an Inspirational, motivational, teacher, educator, and mentor. He is honest at all cost. He does not cut corners or shy away from telling it like it is. At the core, he just wants people to be successful and succeed at whatever they choose to pursue in their life. The character came about as a stress reliever for motivational speakers after an intense weekend of speaker training and certification for a national speaking company.
2. What is the Pastor Frank Show about and where did you get the idea?
The original Pastor Frank show evolved out of the stress reliever speeches that were a huge hit with the speakers. We wanted to do more with the character and stepping it up to a talk show platform seemed to be a natural progression. The current design of the show is a television sitcom that revolves around Pastor Frank taking on the challenge of running for public office. We will find Pastor Frank running an unusual campaign that frustrates his campaign manager and other political insiders but is refreshing to the people because he is so unorthodox in his methods. He is on the side of the people not the politics.
3. I love the concept of “If a loser can do it, you can too!” but at first glance people probably scratch their heads a bit. Tell us what being a “loser” really means.
“If A Loser Can Do It, You Can Too” kind of happened during an impromptu speech at one of those speaker trainings. I thought about successful people and all of the thngs that they go through to finally achieve that success. It occurred to me that all successful people had to lose first. I don’t like the words fail or failure so I chose loser which may seem a little worse. Examples of losers would be Lincoln, Einstein, Oprah, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, etc. In reality, any of us could be defined as losers if we have ever tried to do something and it did not workout but, we kept on trying until…success. I would say that the biggest loser of all was Jesus. We finally locked in on a definition of L.O.S.E.R as someone who Lost, Overcame, Survived, Excelled, and Regained.
4. You recently pitched your television show to BET in Los Angeles and got to walk the red carpet! Tell us about that experience.
It was an amazing experience to walk the Red Carpet at the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards. We walked, took photos, did interviews, and mingled with some of the Hollywood elite. I found them to be gracious and kind throughout the evening. Surprisingly, no one balked at the chance to take a picture with Pastor Frank…teeth and all. It gave us an opportunity to see and experience what it would be like once our show is a hit! The pitch was interesting. We arrived in LA early for the Red Carpet events (there were 2; one was at Universal studios at the All Ages Valentines Bash for Disney and Nickleodeon stars) and our pitch meeting was 4 days away. We prepped everything for the big moment and arrived at the BET Studios. We were in and…The Director of Development that was scheduled to meet us…was not. He had the flu. Our flights were scheduled to leave at 6am the next morning and all we could do was laugh. He had been given clearance by his doctor to return to work the next day. we had to change our flights (we were not about to miss this chance) and he met us for breakfast the next morning. Can I say that we threw a fast ball? A Strike? The meeting went great and the next steps look very promising. We (Cortez Brokenbrough, DeeDee Cooper, and I) are expecting the best.
5. If you could get anyone to be cast in your show, who would it be and what characters would they play? Of course, I would play the role of Pastor Frank. I know several people that are up and coming actors. I would love for them to have the first opportunity to be cast in any roles. The names that I mention may not be familiar to the readers but they are good actors that need an open door for more opportunities. I would love to see Shon Fuller Cast as the campaign manager and Byron Newsome as Pastor Frank’s side kick, Deacon. The rest…I’m still working on. But, just in case they are busy…nah. I would also like to mix it up and make the cast a diverse cast so that we can explore any and all options for comedy and message.
Here is the teaser for the Pastor Frank Show that they pitched to BET!
Frank Simmons, Jr. is a nationally known speaker, trainer, coach, mentor, author, and motivator. He is a native of Savannah, Georgia and has been married to his wife, Angela for 28 years. They have 4 children and 2 Grandchildren. Frank has traveled extensively throughout the United States speaking to audiences of all ages and backgrounds and leaving a trail of people motivated and inspired to achieve their goals in school, business, and life.
Frank is a United States Navy Veteran with 8 years of military training and experience. He also attended Morehouse College and Savannah State University. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to work with and in various ministries across the country in many different capacities. Frank served as the Executive Director of The Old Savannah city Mission providing assistance and counseling to men recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
Frank worked for Monster Worldwide as a Speaker, Trainer, and Area Manager for Monster’s Making it Count Programs providing national speaker training and coaching and speaking to high school and college students, parents and staff as well as speaking for organizations such as Bank of America and the Equal Employment Opportunity Council and others. During that time of 9 years, Frank spoke to nearly 1/2 million participants in 48 states.
Frank is the Chief Inspirational Officer for Frankly Speaking Seminars where he works with his wife to provide workshops, seminars, coaching, training, and keynotes for individuals and organizations. He and his wife are also singers and songwriters with 2 CD’s. They have hosted their own television show and radio show and performed for several organizations. Frank is the author and co-author of 4 books – The Man of Destiny, Unleash the Greatness Within You, Pursue IT with All You’ve Got, and My Vision, My Plan, My Now. He is also a National Trainer for Moovin 4ward Presentations, Rachel’s Challenge, and Time To Teach.