D. Shenell Reed
A marketing communications specialist at the Moffitt Cancer Center, D. Shenell Reed of Riverview is a committee chair for the Black Jewels Ladies’ Golf Association where she revamped the diversity program, encouraging more minorities to join. Her model was so successful it was implemented in other chapters and eventually received an international award. Shenell has also helped raise money for The First Tee of Tampa Bay and Rogers Park Golf Course – two great causes and two more reasons she’s one of blu’s Leading Ladies.
What is one of your favorite memories when working with your charity?
I love to see the kids’ faces when they can recite all nine guiding principles of The First Tee Program. It’s a personal triumph for them.
What is one of your favorite charity events in Tampa and why?
The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Queen of Hearts Ball raises funds to support young ladies’ academic goals.
Outside of charity work, what inspires you?
Knowing that what I do contributes to cancer patients living healthier, fuller lives inspires me immensely. Now that we’re entering the holiday season, what is one of your favorite memories with your family? When my brother and I were in our 20s, I hopped on his back as he galloped down to the living room one Christmas morning. It is a tradition we rekindled from when we were teeny-tiny.
What are a couple of your cherished holiday traditions?
One year, our entire family had Thanksgiving dinner in my Big Mama’s backyard under her Georgia pecan trees.
What part of the holidays do you most look forward to?
I look forward to being with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews in Brunswick, Ga. Then, we visit my grandmother and other family members in Waycross, a town about 60 miles away.
Which Bay area spots do you take your out-of-town guests to really show off our city?
I show them The Riverwalk. It’s a great way to see our cityscape, the peaceful waterfront and families enjoying each other.
What are your favorite kinds of gifts to give and receive?
To give, personal mementos. I made a photo book for my sister to commemorate our European vacation. To receive, gifts from the heart. My brother surprised me with me mittens from the 2010 Winter Olympics after I failed at trying to get them for myself.
What advice would you pass on to younger generations?
I would pass on Sankofa, an Akan (Ghana) word that translates in English: go back and take. That means, to me, understanding your history, learning from it and applying the lessons to your future.
What is your favorite hero of fiction?
Cleopatra Jones. Any woman who can pull a weapon out of her Afro, take down four men, and still look pretty without breaking a sweat is all right with me.
If you had one wish this holiday season, what would it be?
I wish that all of us in the world would learn to separate our egos from the truth. We would be so much happier.
What is your motto or words you live by?
May we all have the peace of God’s love. The wisdom to follow His word. And the freedom to live His purpose for our lives.
OVER THE RAINBOW MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb elbow macaroni
8 tbsp (1 stick) plus 1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup (2oz) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup (2oz) shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2oz) shredded Monterey Jack
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup (8oz) Velveeta, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole.
2. Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.
3. In a small saucepan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter.
4. Bake until it’s bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.