Hammock Way of Life Speakers

Traci Alexander  Journalist | Media Strategist | Communication Specialist

Traci Alexander
Journalist | Media Strategist | Communication Specialist

Born and raised in Westchester County, Traci E. Alexander continues to serve her community by telling the "good news" stories about her neighbors in The Journal News. Her trailblazing work has made history and garnered national attention for her hometown in Westchester County by serving as the Executive Producer for both the unveiling ceremonies of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Westchester King Lifetime Achievement Award honoring the acclaimed activist, writer and Academy Award nominee, Ruby Dee. Dedicated to supporting her community, most recently, Traci was named Educational Program Chair for the American Heart Association's "GO RED for WOMEN." Traci seives on the Executive Board of Westchester's Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Traci is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, NYC Small Business Services (DEFO) Minority and Women-owned Business

Noted as the first African-American woman to anchor the evening news in central Louisiana for KLAX-TV, some of Traci's other television credits include, The Queen Latifah Show, Mantel Williams Show, The Danny Show, The Leeza Gibbons Show, Extra! The Entertainment Magazine, BET Tonight with Ed Gordon, BET's Meet the Faith hosted by Dr. Ian Smith and BET Nightly News with Jacquie Reid. Her work at BITs Meet the Faith garnered the NABJ Excellence Award and BET Tonight with Ed Gordon received the Cable Positive Award for producing a special series on "HIV Testing Day." Additionally, Traci served as the Talent Executive for BET Tonight's special coverage on the untimely death of R&B singer Aaliyah, which the program received its very first NAACP Image Award for an outstanding special. At the 2004 Democratic Convention, Traci received international acclaim for landing the first one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama, for BET, on the eve the Senator delivered his historical speech in Boston.

One of Traci's most eminent accomplishments is being afforded the extraordinary opportunity to share her career experiences by teaching media studies & journalism, communication theory, speech & public speaking and the art of debate to the next generation of scholars.

Because of Traci's commitment to finding alternative ways to help working mothers blend career and motherhood; she founded Mz. Mom, LLC, a network for professional women. Traci "aka Mz. MOM" is MyWorkButterfly's Resident Workstyle/Lifestyle Strategy Coach, the social networking site which features her blog, The Adventures of Mz. Mom & Friends. She is the founder and facilitator of Children Learn Mandarin Chinese at Iona College Program, moderator for Working Mother Media and former Managing Editor of Today's Child Magazine, the leading African-American parenting magazine.

Gail M. Davis,  Director, Women's Brooklyn Enterprise Center (WBEC)

Gail M. Davis, Director, Women's Brooklyn Enterprise Center (WBEC)

For over twenty years, Gail achieved high levels of success in marketing and public relations which includes owning an award winning graphic design and marketing company, The Winning Image.  Some of her other accomplishments include effectively developing and implementing large marketing campaigns and public relations programs such as the inaugurations of the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary, the Berean Community and Family Life Center (the first of its kind faith-based medical facility in New York City); and the 30th Anniversary of the Local Development Corporation of East New York to name a few. Her designs can be seen in the street banners in the East New York Industrial Park and displayed in and on the exterior of The House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn.

Her passion for women’s issues has led her before women’s groups to facilitate workshops at women’s conferences, youth (girls) conferences and community forums. She understands the pressures or nuances of balancing family, running a business/work, trying to have a social life and participate in community or ministry events, and speaks to encourage and inspire self-care. As Director of the Women’s Business Enterprise Center in East New York, she inspires and assists women (in particular) to start, grow and manage their business.

Elaine Houston

Elaine Houston

Elaine Houston is an award-winning journalist. She joined WNYT in January 1990.  Today, she’s the anchor of NewsChannel 13 Live at 5 and 5:30 as well as a reporter. Her stories have taken her to Washington, DC to cover the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017. She also covered candidate Trump in New York City on election night in November of 2016.

In 2017, Elaine was also in Washington, DC to cover the hundreds of thousands of women who rallied in the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington in opposition to the proposals of President Donald Trump.  She won the Employee of the Month for her work in Washington D.C. In 2015 Elaine traveled to the White House where then President Barack Obama posthumously presented WW1 soldier Sgt. Henry Johnson the Medal of Honor. Elaine has traveled to Oklahoma to cover tornado damage and to Massachusetts in 2004 and Sen. John Kerry’s bid for the White House.  In 1999 Elaine traveled to Cuba and covered the protracted conflict over little Elian Gonzalez, as well as a day in the life of Havana’s Cuban citizens.

In 2017, Elaine was presented with the Community of Excellence Award by the College of St. Rose for work in the community. That same year, she was given an award by the New York State Broadcasters Association Award for a story in in her series, Today’s Women. In 2017, Elaine sponsored WOMEN; Turning the Corner, a women’s leadership and empowerment summit at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Albany. The sold-out event featured entrepreneurial workshops, guest speakers and a roundtable discussion providing tools for women to succeed.

Bernadette Willis

Bernadette Willis

Bernadette is a speaker, coach, aspiring author and Human Service professional. She has worked as a counselor for over 20 years in her professional life. She was strategically assigned the most challenged clients because of her ability to empower and Inspire positive results for them. Mothers with the goals of getting their children back, and out of foster care, got their children back! Formerly incarcerated individuals with a goal of getting a job, keeping it, and paying their court fees, got the job, kept the job, and paid their court fees! Youth determined to not hit their special education teacher anymore did not hit their teacher anymore while working with Bernadette. At work Bernadette was often called upon for the de-escalating the most challenging crisis, but believes that preventing them through strategic planning, active listening , partnerships,  and empathy is best.