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Peninsula Beverly | Friday, May 6th, 2016 |

Single Moms Planet Annual 2016 Single Mom’s Awards and High Tea which was held at The Peninsula Beverly Hills on Friday, May 6th, 2016. The event started with honorees and guests walking the red carpet. Donations raised from the “Single Mom’s Awards” will fund Single Moms Planet’s nationwide programs, supporting low income single mothers and their children.Single Moms Planet is dedicated to helping single mothers and their children realize and achieve their dreams.

Shanna Moakler has hosted Single Moms Planet awards show since its inception, what a better way to continue the tradition. “I am very pleased to host this amazing event that will raise awareness and funds that will benefit struggling single mothers in Los Angeles and around the country,” said Moakler. “As a single mother myself, I am proud to be a part of this event which will support important programs and services for needy mothers and their children”.

Neferteri Plessy has dedicated herself to her career and to Single Moms Planet in its efforts to create a movement and provide needed assistance to struggling single mothers in the Los Angeles area and throughout the US. The organization offers parenting classes, job training, counseling, medical referrals and other services.

Single Mom’s Awards featured a number of celebrities, community, and business leaders and outstanding single mothers who have led excellent lives and provided an example for other single mothers to follow. Below are the honorees who have left an imprint on our community for the better, with their hard work and achievement, we thank them for their tireless efforts.

Troy Byer is an American film director, screenwriter and actress. Troy has earned her doctoral degree in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Troy is also the author the Amazon Best-Seller self-help book entitled "Ex-Free: The Freedom Action Plan.

Jillian Darlington CEO and original founder of the MomCo app. Jillian is also a public speaker, SheKnows Expert, TODAY Show Parenting Team member, regular parenting expert for FOX5 San Diego and San Diego Living CW 6 News and organic marketing expert.

Jillian is the creative and marketing force behind the MomCo app. MomCo is a geolocation based social networking app for moms that allows them to effortlessly locate and connect with potential mom friends that live close by with similarly aged kids and common interests. Moms can also locate playdates, events, deals, giveaways and local businesses that cater to them and their children. After appearing on the Today Show and becoming the #1 trending app in the app store; Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, Women's Health Magazine and Red Tricycle are calling MomCo "Tinder for Moms" and "A Must-Have App For Moms".

MomCo was inspired by her own life experiences both as a mom and business woman, but MomCo is not just an app. Jillian has created an entire community that is making moms feel taken care of. MomCo only allows brands and businesses to promote themselves to their moms in an organic way that actually enhances our users' experience on the app.

Jillian's regular parenting segments are on FOX and CW news. Jillian's speaking engagements include, ConnectHer, Club MomMe, The WOW Summit and many more. Jillian is also a writer for and considered a SheKnows Expert. In addition,Jillian is a contributor to the TODAY Show Parenting team, The Hot Mom's Club, 30 Second Mom and VoiceBoks. Jillian is passionate about connecting mothers with what they need most and empowering them through community.

Mia Gorman, who is founder of The Gorman Group a philanthropic advisory firm headquartered in Los Angeles, is known for her work advising Hollywood stars, corporate executives, and industry leaders on how to set up charities and develop non-profit foundations. She is currently advising on disaster relief grants for the Philippines typhoon Haiyen as well as how nonprofits can get the most out of the #GivingTuesday campaign that recently partnered with the United Nations. Gorman has spoken on a tour of educating parents about "How to Raise a Thankful Child." Gorman works with actors, politicians, foundations, Fortune 500 corporations and CPA firms. Though the high profile nature of those who seek her services render the client list largely confidential, one example of a successful campaign that worked directly with the Gorman Group is that of President Barack Obama's reelection bid.

Jackie Majors is the CEO of one of California’s largest nonprofit child development organizations serving low-income families, Jackie brings a wealth of experience, a commitment to forward-thinking approaches to business development, and performance driven leadership.

With over 25 years of professional and instructional experience in early care and education, Jackie has worked tirelessly to advance the work of early care and education. Understanding the critical need for higher quality child care standards and enhanced early childhood professional development, Jackie has served as an active member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has been a featured speaker at numerous early care and education conferences and workshops. It is her awareness of the profound impact that a positive early start has on the future of young children and their families that propels her commitment to the advancement of the industry.

Wendy Griffin Los Angeles based fine jewelry designer, Wendy Griffin spent her childhood years in the Canadian countryside. The ineffable beauty in nature is still a main source of inspiration for Wendy’s classic designs. Using the highest quality metals and gemstones, her highly coveted jewelry has been worn by film and television stars, both on- and off-camera. Creating her one-of-a-kind designs is much like unwrapping a dearly anticipated gift from someone close, she says. Paralleling the integrity inherent to her work is perhaps most evident by her recent endeavor to create a stunning custom piece of jewelry to benefit cancer research. Wendy Griffin lives in Los Angeles with her son, Hunter and rescue dog, Cricket.

Mayte Garcia stars in VH1’s new reality series “Hollywood Exes”. The show follows the lives of the ‘ex wives’ of some very well known stars of the Hollywood, sports and music worlds. The cast includes: Nicole Murphy (Eddie Murphy): Sherie Fletcher (Will Smith); Andrea Kelly (R Kelly) and Jessica Conseco (Jose Conseco). Mayte is also set to star opposite Latin heartthrob William Levy, (“DWTS”) in a feature film set to shoot later this fall. Mayte was Prince’s first ex wife. Since her divorce, Mayte has remained unmarried but is ready to settle down and add to her growing family, which includes her daughter, Puerto Rican mother, 7 dogs, 2 cats and 5 birds.

Autumn Calabrese the brains and beauty behind Beachbody’s newest fitness programs 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. Autumn is a celebrity fitness trainer and national-level bikini competitor. A rising star in the fitness community, she’s made a name for herself by helping people lose weight and get fit through simple portion control and consistent exercise. Autumn holds personal training certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). Her supportive, motivating style has made her a highly sought-after expert among celebrities and the fitness industry. Building on a foundation of good food choices and exercise habits, Autumn empowers her clients to reach their goals in a healthy, sustainable way. In addition to her celebrity clientele, Autumn is the fitness specialist for Her workouts have been featured in C magazine, LA Parent, The Palisadian-Post, and Daily Candy, and on TV shows like Home & Family. With a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit, Autumn is the perfect addition to the Beachbody family of trainers.

Melissa Kieling divorce in 2008 left the mother of three broke and desperate. What she did have was an idea for a better lunch bag. Now, PackIt, her Westlake Village, California-based company, is taking off. Melissa invented PackIt as a matter of necessity. Melissa was suddenly a single mom, and had no career experience to fall back on after a decade of staying home to raise her kids. Melissa watched the bank repossess her car. At times, Melissa had as little as $13 in her checking account.The idea for the product came from listening to her kids complain that their blueberries got warm and mushy at school, despite using insulated lunch boxes with frozen gel coolers tossed inside them. She thought, what if those gel packs were actually built inside the walls of the lunchboxes and the bags could be stored flat in the freezer? It's stupid silly--one of those things you wonder why no one had done before. Melissa is still awed by their growth. Melissa always knew the idea would work. It just made sense--a cooler that actually cooled. Plus, her idea had to work, because she had no fallback plan. It was a matter of survival.

You might think Lisa Langlois is from Montreal because she has a French name and speaks French however Lisa’s father lived in Montreal for many years and so she use to always visit him in the summertime. But Lisa is actually from southern Ontario. Lisa grew up in a small town 60 miles west of Toronto called Dundas and went to school in Hamilton. For the Americans, they call Hamilton “Buffalo North.” It’s a very industrial city, with that type of demographic as well. Initially famous for her roles in Happy Birthday to Me, Deadly Eyes, and other Canadian cult films of the 1980s, Langlois went on to appear in a number of American films, including The Slugger's Wife and The Man Who Wasn't There. Lisa feels deeply blessed to have been raised by her own single mother, Margaret Langlois who is also a 2016 Single Mom’s Planet Honoree.

Kristina Bant Jenkins Capitalizing on her unique experience on all sides of the camera, as a model, as a client and editor, and as the photographer, Kristina understands exactly what goes into a photo. When working with adults, Kristina puts subjects at ease. Years of modeling gave her the experience to know what works, but also what looks and feels natural and how to bring out the desired result. While photographing children, she plays together, pulling out their best expressions naturally. Additionally, behavioral training and simply living alongside autism has provided invaluable knowledge of special needs and endless patience. Kristina has a knack for entering the child‘s world, not asking a child to pose, but capturing that split-second of sparkle, wonder and awe, in a child’s face, truly sharing what makes each individual child shine!

Kristina is now celebrating the simple joys, the twinkles in eyes, and the huge triumphs over enormous challenges, with her current book project, THIS is Autism™: Life Through the Other Lens™, designed to help broaden the world’s view of what it means to have and live with autism, through photography. Inquire to be involved, or stay in touch to learn more.

To say these group of woman are a force is an understatement. The room was filled with woman of strength, honor and determination to create something bigger than themselves. Thank you to all the sponsors that helped bring this luncheon to fruition and most importantly thank you to Neferteri and her team for acknowledging these woman and in the process helping other single moms.

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