ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – According to Pew Research Center, one in five adults between 25-35 years old use dating sites, but only five percent of people who are married or in committed relationships met their significant other online. The very mention of dating sites effects horror stories of blind dates gone wrong, a subpar web experience, endless frustration, and wasted time. Business owners and corporate professionals have no time to waste on such sites, but have limited options in dating sites that understand their lifestyle and standards.
A Glaring Need
Tanya Baskerville is one such professional. The Florida A&M University graduate holds an MBA and works in pharmaceutical sales, and as a single woman, saw a need for single professionals like herself to have a hub of their own—a site that could uphold their high standards and would not utilize a “meat market” approach to matching people together.
After speaking with and surveying many of her professional colleagues and gleaning her own standards, Baskerville noted three key frustrations single professionals have with dating sites: The first is deceit—fraudulent profile photos and information. Candidates who post such profiles usually turn out to not be a quality match in person: some are only out for a score, and some are desperate and behave in ways that turn others off. The second frustration is immature presentation: casual selfies, bathroom selfies, and topless photos; and the third is a lack of privacy—many dating site profiles can be searched by the general public, and professionals are wary of their personal information being so easily accessible.
Enter Exclusive Standards
Baskerville sought to address the grievous triumvirate, and founded ExclusiveStandards.com, a premium dating site specifically for single professionals with high standards. The site is live and currently accepting new memberships–its launch just in time for Valentine’s Day–which includes a free sixty-day trial for the first 100 people who register and are selected for membership, and offers a user experience that closely channels the professionalism of LinkedIn. She noted that ExclusiveStandards.com is Millionaire Matchmaker, but online—it asks more specific questions, and has a matchmaker algorithm.
The site’s membership profiles include personal information; a profile photo, which Baskerville recommends should be professional; and more uniquely, “a video profile, not just a stagnant photo and some text,” Baskerville explained. “Their personality shines through.” Users can also enjoy video chats, and soon, private members-only events. “Video chats help our members connect in real time more safely,” she said. “Other sites use instant messaging.”
The site’s other unique benefit is privacy—only Exclusive Standards members can research member profiles, and in 2016 will implement pass-or-fail professional verification background checks. “Unlike other sites where anyone can join, ExclusiveStandards.com members have gone through an extensive screening process to ensure a higher caliber of members and standards,” said Baskerville. “We are very selective with our membership in an effort to provide quality options for your online dating experience.”
ExclusiveStandards.com offers quarterly memberships for $49.99, a subscription model that Baskerville believes incentivizes single professionals to frequently utilize the site and allows them adequate time to comfortably get to know someone new before meeting in person for a date. Furthermore, she believes the price point is more appealing for single professionals. “Many other matchmaking services are much more expensive. No need to spend thousands of dollars. We want you to save that for your wedding.”
Single Professional Men Welcome
Baskerville realized that finding single professional men to join ExclusiveStandards.com has been a challenge. “Every single professional woman knows a good professional guy,” she said. “[So] I’m encouraging those women to refer their male friends.” Exclusive Standards welcomes professional men between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-five.
Exclusive Standards members have a premium experience to look forward to. In the first quarter of 2016, the site will offer its first members event, and Baskerville, who is an avid traveler, plans to offer international trips for members in the future. “You don’t really know someone until you travel with them. This will also provide [members] opportunities to learn.”
Exclusive Standards…One Step Ahead
Baskerville gave her site a direct name so single professionals could know exactly what to expect. “When you get on my site, you get a feel for the caliber of people. Some more established sites still look underdeveloped,” she remarked. “It’s more important to me that it’s about a quality site with quality people.”
With video profiles and video chat putting the site ahead of the game, pass-or-fail professional verification background checks to come in 2016, required professional profile photos, and members-only profile search, professional singles finally have a secure hub for themselves and can breathe freely knowing that the people they share the site with meet their standards. “Never apologize for having high standards,” the website exhorts. “People who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.”
ExclusiveStandards.com’s social networks include Facebook and LinkedIn (Exclusive Standards), Twitter and Instagram (@ESDates), YouTube and Google+ (Exclusive Standards).
For more information or to join, visit ExclusiveStandards.com.
Jamaica-born author and freelance journalist Mellissa Thomas is a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with degrees in Entertainment Business and Film.
She also helps CEOs and executives, advisors, coaches, consultants, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book.
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness Coming March 2023
WINTER PARK, Fla. (Florida National News) – Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, inspired by the children’s TV host and icon, comes to Orlando in March 2023. This week-long series of events was announced today at the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park.
“Fred McFeely Rogers devoted his entire life to reminding us of some of the most important ideas of what it means to be human among humans: love, respect and kindness,” explained Buena Vista Events & Management President & CEO Rich Bradley. “Many of us find that nearly 20 years after Fred’s passing, it is important to focus on his teachings once again, perhaps now more than ever. This is a week to re-engage with his massive body of work with some folks, and to introduce his teachings to others.”
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness begins March 20, 2023, the date which would have been Fred’s 95th birthday, and concludes on Saturday, March 26 with the Red Sweater Soiree, a community dinner to recognize ten ordinary members of the community who inspire and exemplify the affinity that Fred Rogers had for showing kindness to our “Neighbors”.
Activities planned for the week will include early childhood education activities and faculty training, as well as events open to the public.
“The events will be offered free or at low cost,” continued Bradley. “This week-long celebration is not a series of fundraisers, but rather about once again remembering and sharing some of the great work that Fred Rogers created, not only in early childhood education, but in reminding us that we are all part of one big ‘neighborhood’. Fred taught us the importance of accepting our Neighbors just the way they are and engaging in kindness with our interactions. I can’t think of another period in my lifetime where we needed to reflect on those messages again more than today.”
“There are three ways to ultimate success,” Fred Rogers was once quoted as saying. “The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”
Many of the activities of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness will be attended by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 – 1975, and again from 1979 – 2001. David Newell, known as “Mr. McFeely,” the “Speedy Delivery” man, appeared at today’s media conference via video, and looks forward to visiting Central Florida next March.
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is supported by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Institute, and Fred Rogers Productions. Details regarding the specific activities and venues will be released over the next few weeks.
For more information on the events, visit https://www.BuenaVistaEvents.com or https://www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com.
A Quick Primer on the Team Solving Orange County’s Affordable Housing Crisis
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange County faces a growing affordable housing crisis, and Mayor Jerry Demings has taken notice–and action. Shortly after his inauguration, he formed Housing For All, an affordable housing task force to face the challenge head-on.
The Housing For All task force doesn’t meet monthly like the County Commission–in fact, their next meeting won’t be until October 4, 2019–but they do work when they’re not meeting. The task force is made up of three subcommittees, Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee and Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. These three subcommittees meet twice a month to come up with ideas and plans to fix the affordable housing problem.
Each subcommittee has a specific focus on ways to help solve the problem of affordable housing. The Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee is focused on the design of new affordable housing projects, the renovation of current affordable housing that might need fixing and land development for affordable housing units. The Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee is focused on making sure affordable housing is accessible to the major economic zones of the city, develop partnerships with groups and focus on outreach in the county. The Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee is focused on finding ways to increase the supply of affordable housing and how to preserve affordable housing.
At their next meeting in October these subcommittees will update the county on what they have accomplished and what they plan to do in the future. For information from previous Housing for All Task Force meetings or the meeting schedule, visit the Orange County Government website.
Leyton Blackwell is a photojournalist and Florida National News contributor. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Biopic ‘Te Ata’ Sets High Bar for 2016 Orlando Film Festival
ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) – Orlando Film Festival kicked off at Cobb Theaters in Downtown Orlando Wednesday night. The red carpet came alive with excited filmmakers and actors ready to showcase their projects to the Orlando community and, in some cases, to the world at large, including Nathan Frankowski, director of this year’s opening feature Te Ata.
About Te Ata
Frankowski’s biopic feature chronicles the true story of Chickasaw actress and storyteller Mary Frances Thompson, whose love of stories and the Chickasaw Nation fueled her to share the Chickasaw culture with new audiences in the early 1900s, a time when the United States was still growing as a nation and clashed with Native American peoples in the process.
Viewers are immediately swept into the saga from the film’s opening scene with a voice-over folk tale told by Mary Thompson’s father, T.B. Thompson (played by Gil Birmingham). Ironically, though his storytelling places the seed of inspiration in her, it slowly becomes a source of friction between them as she ages.
What makes the film engrossing is the sprawling backdrop upon which Thompson’s journey takes place. While young Te Ata (which means “The Morning”) flourishes with each solo performance and eventually sets her sights on Broadway, the Chickasaw Nation is fighting to secure the funding due them from the U.S. government in the face of ethnocentrism and religious bigotry–to the point that the government passed a law forbidding the sale of traditional Native American textiles and creations, which caused further financial struggle for the Chickasaw Nation. Viewers even experience the Thompsons’ fish-out-of-water feeling as the Chickasaw people’s territory, Tishomingo, shrinks significantly to become part of the newborn state of Oklahoma.
The political tensions are counterbalanced with Te Ata’s experience. Te Ata does her first performances among family, but chooses to leave home for the first time in her life to attend the Oklahoma College for Women (known today as University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma), despite her father’s wishes for her to find a job at home. Viewers immediately empathize with Te Ata’s awkward experience upon her arrival at the predominantly Caucasian-attended College, but cheer her on when that one connection is made, because all it ever takes is one.
Te Ata’s jumping off point occurs when she meets drama teacher Frances Dinsmore Davis, who encourages her to join her class and to share the Chickasaw stories for her senior presentation instead of the usual Shakespeare recitation. From there, Te Ata’s career blossoms from one serendipitous connection to another, taking her performances across the country. She eventually makes it to New York City, hustling to find her place on Broadway, and finds love in the process while performing privately for Eleanor Roosevelt, whose husband was then Governor of New York. The heroine’s journey continues with well-placed highs and lows, keeping the viewer visually and emotionally engaged.
Te Ata is touchingly channeled through lead actress Q’orianka Kilcher who, like Te Ata, has stage experience, and brought it to bear in the role. Kilcher’s magnetic singing, with the help of the film’s sweeping score and indigenous songs, imprints the true Te Ata’s passion for her people onto the viewer’s heart.
Frankowski, who worked closely with the Chickasaw Nation in creating the film, honors Te Ata’s memory and legacy in a cohesive, sweeping tale that will edify audiences everywhere.
Florida National News Editor Mellissa Thomas is an author and journalist, as well as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with degrees in Entertainment Business and Film. She also helps business owners, CEOs, executives, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book.