Celebrating the Woman Next Door: Monica May

This month, in partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and/or building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women near and far.

 

Meet Monica May

A Gracie® award winning radio and television veteran has enchanted airwaves across the country in markets such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Montgomery, Al., and her beloved, Orlando, with her distinct voice. A champion for developing a hyperlocal connection, Monica is a beacon in the community during times of crisis and triumph. Her journalistic approach has garnered notable interviews with leaders, including President Barack Obama, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and nearly every City and County Commissioner or Orlando and orange County since 2006; and that’s the short list. Throughout her career, Monica has earned numerous accolades and industry recognition from national and local entities, including Billboard’s Top Programmer Nominee & Urban Radio Programmer of the Year, Central Florida Association of Black Journalists Lifetime Achievement Award, and she was recently inducted into the National Black Radio Hall of Fame. As principal consultant with Monica May Communications, she has evolved into a highly sought-after speaker and coach. Her non-profit program, “Let’s Spill the Tea,” came to life after a heart-to- heart with her daughter Monique, while navigating tough conversations as a teen. Monica lives in Orlando with her husband George, and together they own CB Bistro, a live music venue, restaurant, and catering company. In this next phase of her career, Monica has turned on the mic once again to host Point of View, a community focused talk show and Soul School Sunday, a reminiscent music set, which both air on STAR 94.5 (WCFB-FM). She also hosts an “edutainment” podcast, One Take Live, which is available on YouTube and Spotify.

What is your WHY?

My answer is simple; I am a servant. I’ve known this for a long, long time. Every impulsive or negative thing that has ever happened to me in life, I’ve turned into a teachable moment for myself and others, so I teach from my mistakes.

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you?

My first inspiration came from my mom. She was a single mom raising two daughters on the Upper West Side in New York City. Her work ethic was impeccable. She put one foot in front of the other every day to raise my sister and me. Her goal was keeping the lights on and food on the table, so sometimes I felt she was a little disconnected from us. But as I got older, I certainly understood. Currently, I work with younger interns in my business, and I’m always trying to be the projector, like Beyoncé would say in her new country album. I want to be your projector, your protector. I try to project good work ethics and instill this quality. My mom showed me how to do that.

What are you most proud of?

My ability to leave a situation that no longer provides a challenge or has become a hindrance. If it doesn’t work for me, I don’t continue doing it. I just walk away. I’m not a diva, but I chose this field because it should be fun, and it should invigorate. When that stops, I have no problem walking away. I’m also proud of my nonprofit called Let’s Spill the Tea. It’s an organization dedicated to helping families break through communicate barriers during the teen and young adult years.

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Written by Daniel Korentur

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