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Erin McFarley, the CEO of The Rising Phoenix Firm, has over 25 years of public speaking and acting experience under her belt. As well as being trained by John Casablanca’s Modeling Centers and Toastmaster’s Intertional. That training helped her get a hosting role for television station WEDU Tampa Bay’s local PBS, a chance to appear on Let’s Ask America hosted by Bill Beallamy as well as instructional DVDs and local commercials.


Erin, has a background in model/entertainment development and training. She was a Director of Education at Barbizon Modeling & Acting Centers and an Instructor at John Casablanca’s Centers. She also spent time working at John Robert Powers Modeling Agency. Erin has trained over 200 children to BELIEVE in themselves in whether it in acting, modeling, or singing.

As a child she struggled with low self-esteem and shyness due to constant bullying throughout school. After being bullied repeatedly, Erin’s grandmother had to find a way to build her self-confidence. Therefore, she placed her in acting programs and speaking contest to help. Even though shyness plagued her when she hit the stage all of that went away. Speaking/acting coaches and mentors changed her life forever. Having the pleasure of gracing numerous stages across the Tampa Bay area as a child really helped sharpen her speaking skills.

In a world that finds every way to NOT verbally communicate with texts, emails or instant message, Erin knew that she had to do something. As she saw the need to make an organization that aimed at helping individuals reaching their goals to break-through the barriers of public speaking, stage presence and overall self-confidence. Helping others RISE to their greatest versions of themselves allows her to fulfill one of her life’s purposes.


Cherice R. McDonald, is a native of Saint Petersburg, FL. She has always had a passion to work with children and families stemming back from her childhood. She would run a babysitting service in her neighborhood to help families who needed it. This is something that helped her decide to make a career out of doing what she loves the best…. Helping families.  

At the age of 20 she became a mother for the first time not knowing much about life herself another child soon followed. Her life instantly changed for the better because of them. Being young and watching her children grow up while working for various organizations she saw that there is not much out here to help build children and families before they are broken, just a lot of people at the end trying to fix the broken puzzle.

She has her AA Degree in Education, Florida Department & Children & Families certifications as well as a Florida Director’s credential. She has studied behaviors and how to find other ways to help children see the beauty within through different exercises. Many years experience working with low-income families, behavior as well as mental health children, Teen parents, abused and foster children. She has worked with the Pinellas County School board as well as volunteer hours with many mentor groups.

“I believe that we cannot reach everyone in the world, but we just need that one special person that believes in us and can take the one thing you teach them and go teach it to someone else. That is how we change the world, one person at a time.”


Kristopher Dalvin McClendon, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, is the owner and lead artist of Exclusively Done by Kristopher Dalvin. Exclusively Done is an epicenter for beauty, as it relates to hair, makeup, fashion, beauty education and event planning.


Kristopher is an alum of Tennessee State University, where he obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication and Journalism. His public speaking experiences range from regional oratorical competitions to news reporting. The art of public speaking is his natural gifting.


As a confident man of God and believer in Christ, Kristopher is very active in church. God has done wonders and miracles in his life and he is not ashamed to talk about it. Kristopher’s testimony is astounding and has the power to change lives. All in all, a man whose gifting smashed into his destiny.