Dime in the Community Profile: Nyesha Davis-Williams
September 28, 2018 |
Dime employees represent a diverse group of individuals who each bring unique skill sets, business experience and cultural backgrounds to help create a productive workplace environment and customer service atmosphere of excellence. In fact, Dime’s staff is one of the strengths of Dime Community Bank and is a competitive advantage.
While Dime employees observe the daily skills and talents of their coworkers in their area of responsibility, there are many individuals at Dime who also possess talents that are displayed outside the workplace.
For Nyesha Davis-Williams, e-Communications Specialist, DimeDirect, her talents extend to writing, modeling and acting. Today, Nyesha has published her first written work, a children’s book entitled “Umi & Uma: The Story of Two Mommies and a Baby”, which is available on Amazon. On September 13th, Nyesha will be making an appearance in Washington, D.C., to participate in the Author’s Showcase event at the Annual Legislative Conference, where she will be appearing on behalf of the Black Caucus Foundation. This opportunity will place her before top media outlets and publishers.
While writing a book is an accomplishment on to itself, the decision to write it and the journey that led to that decision are also remarkable.
Always a writer at heart
For Nyesha, writing has always been a passion. “I’ve always enjoyed writing,” noted Nyesha. “When I was younger, I would listen to music, stop the tape, and write down the lyrics. In High School, Nyesha participated in the poetry club.”
“Interestingly so, my genre was more adult-oriented themes,” recalled Nyesha. “I started writing along these lines in High School and then continued through college.” During her college years, Nyesha graduated Cum Laude from The City University of New York (CUNY), Harlem campus, with a major in English and Creative Writing.
Nyesha was born in Queens and then grew up in the Bronx. She now lives in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn with her wife Samantha and daughter Abigail.
In November 2017, Nyesha attended a Tony Robbins [internationally known motivational speaker] event in Palm Beach, Florida, entitled “Unleash the Power Within”, which transformed her life. It was a three-day event, which focused on taking one’s potential and activating it.
On Day 2, the conference culminated in a high point, where those in attendance who had built up their belief in their inner potential, made a voluntary faith walk across hot coals. “We focused on a positive mantra of walking across cold coals,” noted Nyesha. “Then, we speed walked across the coals.” She remarked, “Remarkably, I only had a minor mark, which now serves as a reminder of that milestone of stepping out of my comfort zone.”
On Day 3, during a breakout session, all attendees were asked to close their eyes and envision what life would look like if they didn’t act on the one thing they’ve always wanted to do. For Nyesha, that one thing was writing a book.
“I really thought deeply about this and envisioned a very negative scenario,” she explained. “In the vision, I was experiencing major financial difficulties, morbid weight gain, two children and a downwardly spiraling life.” She exclaimed, “I felt like I had to do something now. Then, the thought came to me to write a children’s book. I called my wife, Samantha, and told her ‘We’re going to write a children’s book’. And she thought that was a great idea.”
Writing the book
Initially, Nyesha started writing segments of the book on her iPhone. At one point, she started looking for black publishers by running a #blackpublishers search on social media. “This led me to find Crystal Swan Bates, a publisher, who had already written several books and would serve as our editor,” she recalled. “Her illustrations were real to me and strategic to the mind.”
Crystal proved to be instrumental in helping Nyesha and Samantha coordinate with the right illustrator for their book. After an initial consultation on December 15, 2017 it was determined that the first draft had too much detail. “Crystal’s advice was simple. She literally told us to think ‘Once upon a time’,” noted Nyesha.
After making an initial investment of $2,500 to set their book on a course of action with their editor, Nyesha and Samantha got back to writing new draft of the book. “One night, my pregnant wife took a shot at the book and started writing, which was strange since she had never written a book,” recalled Nyesha. “It was amazingly good.” Soon after, Nyesha and Samantha completed the book.
More than just a book
According to Nyesha, the idea for the book was more than a pathway to prosperity. “It’s about telling our story,” noted Nyesha. “We wanted to show that we could have a daughter and a successful family.” In addition to her passion for writing, Nyesha is passionate about supporting the LGBT community and black community.
Talents beyond writing
While recent focus has centered on writing, Nyesha’s talents also extend to modeling and acting. Immediately following her college years, she pursued opportunities in modeling. In the field of acting, she owns the distinction of appearing in roles on “Orange Is The New Black”, seasons 2, 3 and 4. She has also appeared on shows such as “Flea Market Flip”. “Samantha and I participated on HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” and we won,” she exclaimed. “It was an awesome experience.” The show featured a three-day event where contestants had to buy flea market items, create something and then sell it. The person who raised the most money won. “We turned a steel drum into a bar and a chicken coop door into a coffee table,” noted Nyesha. “In my heart, I knew we were going to win the $5,000 prize. And we did.”
The importance of activating your potential
With respect to the vision she had at the Tony Robbins event, Nyesha reflected stating, “I can’t see myself living the life in that vision. I can’t see myself being a failure.” For Nyesha, the catalyst was stepping out and taking action. “If you don’t make the first step of doing it, it’s not going to happen,” stated Nyesha. “The best thing to do is to get started”. “Right now, I’m in the flow,” proclaimed Nyesha. “I have future goals and I’ll keep moving on to the top.”
*Photo Credit: Kanishka Sonthalia