Listee Features — November 16, 2021


Brenda R. Velazquez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States in 1987 at the age of 7. It was this background, combined with her desire to support her family and the encouragement of her husband of 20 years, Luis Erik Velazquez Sr., to which she attributes much of her current success. She was further inspired by her father, an engineer, and developed a great love for marketing, business and construction. This led to her establishing Future Sign Co. in 2001, alongside her husband and mother-in-law, while working toward her citizenship, which she achieved in 2004. Today, Ms. Velazquez acts as the chief executive officer of Future Sign Co. and is responsible for conducting meetings to go

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Excelling in the sciences since she was in high school, Lois McCoy Floyd was a high school merit scholar and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Science Student in 1962. Furthermore, she won multiple awards from the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair during her high school years, placing second her first year and fourth the subsequent three. During her final year, she was further recognized for a project on DNA. Following her excellence in high school, she received a full scholarship to attend Colorado State University, where graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1967. After her undergraduate studies, Ms. Floyd received a National Science Foundation scholarship grant and spent a year in graduate school, pursuing further studies.

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Quynh-Tram Vu


Quynh-Tram Vu, the founder and president of Lash Pilot in Santa Monica, California, is an established entrepreneur and cosmetologist who established her most recent business in 2014. A talented eyelash and make-up artist, her salon focuses on providing clients with eyelash extensions, as well as enhancements, microblading and various other cosmetic styling procedures. Additionally, Lash Pilot serves as a school where aspiring individuals can take courses to become expert licensed eyelash extension stylists. A seasoned professional in the cosmetic industry, Ms. Vu initially graduated from college and spent the first year of her career as an accountant for Lindquist LLP. Looking for more growth opportunity, she left the corporate realm and enrolled in courses at Paul Mitchell The School Costa

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Barbara Palmer


Driven to help children and their families, as well as to help people find employment, Barbara A. Palmer has cultivated significant expertise in nonprofit management, leadership development, organization structure and grant writing. She embarked on her career as the head teller for the U.S. Department of Defense at the Pentagon from 1983 to 1986 before earning her Bachelor of Arts in bank finance from the American Institute of Banking in 1989. Subsequently, she served as the international accounts supervisor for Aircargo Communities, Inc. from 1989 to 1998. During this time, she obtained certification in small business management in 1996. In 1998, Ms. Palmer joined the YWCA of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County as the director of programs, a position she

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Lily Smernou


After 30 years in the corporate world, Lily E. Smernou, PhD, turned her career path toward the arts to pursue her passion for photography, painting and drawing. Her art, which can be found on her website, combines her life-long love for aesthetics and imaginative narratives with the expertise in quantitative psychology that she cultivated throughout her earlier career to create deeply profound pieces that speak to the depths of human behaviors. It was her desire to understand what makes people behave in certain ways that drew her to the field of psychology in the first place, and she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from North College Thessaloniki in Greece. Going on to matriculate at the University of Georgia, Dr.

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Julie Longtin


Inspired by her father and stepfather, both successful real estate professionals, Julie Longtin has excelled as a realtor for over 30 years. Embarking on her collegiate education, she earned a degree in finance and holds additional certification as a real estate negotiating expert, broker and appraisal professional. She is deeply grateful to all the mentors she has had over the years who provided her with advice and guidance as she grew in skill and knowledge. Today, she is known for her expertise in investment redevelopment, construction design development, best use analysis and reuse properties. Early on, Ms. Longtin worked as a real estate appraiser from 1994 to 1999, before transitioning to work as a broker with RE/MAX, LLC. In honor

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Diane Dudzinski


Inspired and encouraged by her high school science teachers and college professors, Diane Marie Dudzinski, PhD, excelled in her advanced placement classes during her high school years and began her postsecondary studies at Villa Maria College, now part of Gannon University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1968. Going on to join Fordham University in New York City, she worked as a lab assistant from 1969 to 1972 and a teaching fellow from 1972 to 1974 while she worked toward a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy, which she obtained in 1970 and 1974, respectively. During this time, she also worked as an instructor at Ladycliff College from 1970 to 1971 and at Pace University from 1972

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Encouraged to enter the medical field by her father, Ibtihaj Awadelkariem, MLS, first earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1989. She subsequently began her career, working with numerous hospital and research laboratories before founding Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories in Virginia, where she has excelled as the chief executive officer for the past 20 years. During this time, she furthered her studies at California State University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in biological science in 2003 and has been additionally certified by the American Association of Bioanalysts. Her decades of experience in the field have resulted in considerable expertise in hematology, microbiology and chemistry. Attributing much of her success to her hard work and determination, Ms.

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