Inspire1This year there have been many celebrities and people with influence who have entertained us, some who have challenged us and fewer who have lead by example. And those few are the ones who have actually inspired us. To inspire means to provide one with optimism and motivate others to do something (usually positive.)

Since this year has come to a close, Monarch would like to give a nod of appreciation to those who encouraged us to follow our hearts and stay true to our purpose. These individuals are all different and from various backgrounds, as well as various industries. But all share one thing in common – each person has inspired us to be greater than we were yesterday!

Monarch Presents: The People Who Inspired Us in 2012

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As a mentor, activist and philanthropist, Bond founded Black Girls Rock! The annual Black Girls Rock! Awards were created to celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional women of color who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and who stand out as inspirational and positive role models in their community. Past honorees of Black Girls Rock! include: Queen Latifah, Bethann Hardison, Erykah Badu, Iman, Susan L. Taylor, Common and many more.

The basketball player, businessman and author was born Earvin Johnson, Jr. Today, he is chairman
and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), which provides services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and under-served urban communities. His conglomerate is comprised of multiple business entities and partnerships that include Canyon Johnson, a $1 billion real estate fund; Yucaipa Johnson, a $500 million dollar private equity fund; ASPIRE, a new African American television network; SodexoMAGIC,
Magic Airport Holdings, Best Buy, T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurant, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Detroit Venture Partners and Vibe Holdings, LLC. Johnson is also the chairman of the multi-cultural media company that houses the VIBE, Uptown, and Soul Train brands. Oh, and let us not forget Starbucks. He will not stop until he owns the world!

As the forty-fourth first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family and encouraging national service. Ever conscious of diet and health, Michelle Obama has supported the organic food movement, instructing the White House kitchens to prepare organic food for guests and her family. Her Let’s Move initiative was followed by a book as part of her mission to promote healthy eating: American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.