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Inspirational Influencers To Follow

An influencer is not only someone that has tons of social media followers. Anyone can get that these days with a credit card, PayPal, or Venmo account. A true influencer is someone who is personable, and relatable. An inspiration, or an expert. Also, an influencer is innovative, creative, makes a change, and has an impact.

Though Women’s History Month has passed us by, Heart of Hollywood Magazine will continue to highlight some influential women that make up our world and day-to-day lives. We see the mark they have made on our generation in various ways. Let’s continue to celebrate these women.

Dr. CaSay Vaughn

Dr. Vaughn has been in the media business for almost 30 years. The daughter of a prominent pastor Dr. A. C. D. Vaughn and Godchild of Civil Rights leader Dr. Ralph Abernathy Sr. is known as both a master strategist and television and radio producer. With almost a quarter of a century in the entertainment industry, Casay Vaughn continues to push the envelope and dominates her role in the media industry, dubbed the Media Maven. She has worked with numerous TV stations and record labels.

Casay Vaughn is an American Media and Business Strategist and “2021 Must Watch Publicist “,Sheen Magazine. Co-Owner of The Franchise Entertainment Group with her fiancé Celebrity DJ The Franchise Jay Claxton, the company is a multimedia firm . CaSay has worked with companies such as NBC, TV One, Radio One, BET, and SiriusXM where she has left a major blueprint in the industry. CaSay has worked with numerous Celebrities and Athletes and multiple Record Labels.

Dr. CaSay’s resume is overloaded with industry gems. From Co-Owner of WFRS-DB Franchise Radio to still recently launching a Television network, Dr. CaSay maintains the belief that “God guides our path and journey through life. Buckle up and follow His path.”

Through hard work, dedication, and experience Dr. CaSay to the place she is at now. Creating a multimedia empire The Franchise Entertainment Group with her partner The Franchise Jay Claxton. The couplepreneurs are the owners of Franchise Magazine, Franchise Radio, Franchisee TV, and the Love Business On Lock Podcast to name a few. When they are not promoting their new book, filming reality tv shows, or being interviewed by mainstream media, they are mentoring those who wish to follow in their footsteps in media and entertainment. Dr. CaSay is also a highly respected publicist.

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Teresa Morcho

Photo Credit: Antoinne Jones

Teresa Morcho is the founder of The Stud Model Project, which is both an internet sensation (YouTube series) and a modeling business, and she currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Teresa is also a technology enthusiast with over ten years of experience in technology sales. She applied her professional knowledge to her firm, MOPAO.CO, which is committed to helping small businesses automate their eCommerce and service-driven companies for efficiency and productivity.

The Stud Model Project is a creative firm that specializes in stock images of manly lesbians of color (studs) and other queer cis-gender women on the masculine spectrum for commercial and economic purposes, primarily with LGBTQ-friendly groups. Teresa founded the Stud Model Project, which began with publishing a coffee table book including over 100 pages of stunning ladies. Teresa was motivated by these collections of books to pursue her interest and create a website dedicated to these fantastic qualities.

Her passion for activism drove her to make changes within her community by tapping into her creative side. Teresa found that in the photography industry, there has been a clear lack of representation for masculine lesbian women of color. She took this notice and decided to use her skills as a serial entrepreneur and expanded her business to service the LGBTQIA with her creative agency.

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DJ K Yung

Born in the capital of Seoul, South Korea, abandon after birth and left on a doorstep of a police station, Rachel Hagen as her parents would name her (DJ K Yung) was not expected to become anything but a number in their system. After months in an orphanage, she was adopted and brought to Minneapolis Minnesota. Growing up in the Midwest, DJ K Yung was surrounded by her new family’s musical influence at a very young age. During her high school years, a friend introduced her to DJing. After nothing came of it, it was during the summer of 2007 that she was asked to pick up DJing for a friend and her sister's graduation party. It was then she knew that was what she was meant to do.

After initially taking her love of music to the business side as an artist manager she decided to leave it behind and focus on DJing. Taking roughly 4 years to hone her skills, vinyl collection, equipment, name, and brand, she began her DJing career at a fast pace. While under mentor DJ Scratch Master Dee (Scratching and Turntablism) and under DJ Dolla (Mixing) she landed her own radio show on air at KALA 88.5 FM with the help of DJ Powder a then female radio personality. She started out in the mixtape scene while she was working on her mixing and scratching and started her brand there until she was confident enough to start djing live. She was fortunate enough in that time to land a mix show with Plum Radio Syndication (Previously under FocusOnTheDJ) and started DJing and hosting live shows, concerts, and events eventually landing a short tour gig with the D-Block/Bad Boy South Talent Search Tour as the official DJ.

DJ K Yung has exploded onto the DJ scene. As a trained hip hop/rap DJ, DJ K Yung has opened her music catalog as the next open format DJ playing and dabbling in genres from Latin, EDM, and sub-genres to Caribbean and more. She was nominated for the Salute the DJs award in 2013 for The Hottest Female DJ, as well as Female DJ of the Year with the Fleet DJs, and was DJ Clue’s — DJ of the Week in January of 2013. When she’s not on tour you can find her as the co-resident DJ at various clubs in her hometown of The Quad Cities.

She guest spots as an on-air mixer at various radio stations such as SiriusXM Shade 45 VIP Saturday’s, SiriusXM FLY, and Dash Radio Hip Hop X Violator Radio UnKut. She currently has a monthly mix show showcasing Midwest artists on SiriusXM The Drive Shade 45 presented by Chicago legend Andrew Barber and Fakeshore Drive. She most recently guest mixed in August 2020 on Hip Hop Nation.

Other success her career has created includes becoming a member of the Violator All-Star DJs and then of Da Union DJs. If that wasn’t enough to round things out, in December of 2016 she was officially sponsored by Luc Belaire Champagne as an official Black Bottle Girl. She gained notoriety in film in 2016 and 2017 as part of the last Ringling Bro’s “Out of this World” as the pre-show host filming and recording voiceovers of the production. She made her national TV debut with NBCSports May 11th as the (fill in) pit reporter for Monster Jam. And in October of 2019 was featured as a guest DJ on “Sway in the Morning”. Rounding things out in 2020 she was featured on a segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bradshaw Bunch on the E Network, and did a brand interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin with Kawasaki.

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Annunziata is a dual USA/Italian citizen actress, writer and unapologetic computer nerd based in Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles who divides her time working in film, theatre, and television.

Originally from New York, she is an award-winning, a classically trained actress with leading film roles screened theatrically and at over 50 film festivals worldwide. Most recently, she played Adrienne, the French banker in the Amazon reboot of Dean Devlin’s hit show Leverage: Redemption (Amazon), recurred as Dr. Maya Turner on The Resident (FOX), Carmen Davis on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN), Charlotte Burton on the Jenji Kohan hit Teenage Bounty Hunters (Netflix). She’s also played a tough addict on Blue Bloods (CBS), a meth-addicted South Central denizen in TNT’s Southland, and the iconic evil witch, Bloody Mary Billingsworth, in Nickelodeon’s Deadtime Stories which re-airs every year around Halloween. Next up on the air for Annunziata — Dr. Rice in Tales for BET, a councilwoman mom in Covenant: The Vow (AMC+ channel), and just wrapped a recurring role as the Savannah-fabulous Bunny Wheeler on the highly-anticipated First Kill vampire series for Netflix.

Previous favorite theatre leading roles include Duet for One (Winner: Top 5 Leading Actresses), Brecht’s Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Sheila Callaghan’s Scab, Tony Tanner’s The Trojan Women, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona with West Hollywood Shakespeare in the Parks.

She has worked on both sides of the camera for Sony Pictures, Netflix, Amazon, CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC, TNT, Disney, and Universal.

Annunziata was a speaker and presenter at NATPE, VidCon (industry luminary and actor panels), and New Media Expo (“Advice from Award-Winning Actors” panel). She served on the Board of Directors of the Classical Theatre Lab, co-founded the International Academy of Web Television Writers Group East, and is a proud member of Women in Film, NYWIFT, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors Equity.

Annunziata is also a freelance journalist and activist, writing and fighting for industry diversity, equality, and (currently) voter inclusion. She writes for the West View News in Greenwich Village, NYC. She co-wrote the award-winning documentary American Tap which world-premiered as the opening night film at Lincoln Center and immediately received international distribution. The film tells the controversial story of the origins of tap dance which highlights the vibrant and powerful nature of our cultural melting pot while simultanously dealing unflinchingly with some of the hard truths of our American past (racism, plantation slavery, cultural appropriation) by meticulously documenting an uncelebrated history of primarily African-American dancers.

Annunziata co-wrote and starred in the HBO Women in Comedy competition film, Peep Show. She has written a NY-based crime series (Battery Park) and is currently working on a gritty science pilot (Biohackers) and dramedy series (The Olios) about 2 competing olive oil families because what Italian doesn’t think they make “the best” anything? “Nunzi” also hand-makes her own limoncello and…it’s well…unequivocally the best you will ever taste.

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