Kent in December 2016
|Born||Evelyn LaShawn Palmer|
July 29, 1975
Greenville, Mississippi, U.S.
|Alma mater||Mississippi State University|
The University of Alabama
|Notable work||The Hope Handbook|
You Are What You Tweet
Germany Kent (born Evelyn LaShawn Palmer on July 29, 1975) is an American print and television journalist, former beauty queen, author, actress, businesswoman, model, producer, activist and philanthropist.
Kent, also regarded as a social media etiquette expert, has been featured in multiple major news publications, including INC. Magazine, Fast Company, Bloomberg Business, The Examiner, and various others. She has made numerous media appearances, including segments on NPR, AOL.com, in addition to appearing on Scripps' syndicated magazine show The List, ABC, the CW, FOX, CBS and NBC.
Kent has authored ten nonfiction books (The Hope Handbook Series), best-selling written work (The Hope Handbook) and her most recent multiple award-winning book (You Are What You Tweet), about social media ethics, which maintains a 4.7 rating on Goodreads.
Born in Greenville, Mississippi, Kent is the daughter of Lula Palmer, a businesswoman and politician, and Charles Palmer, a retired school administrator and disc jockey. Kent began acting in school plays in the 5th grade and was later a teenage beauty queen. She was a team leader in upward bound and worked alongside community leaders to aid programming for job corp students. She graduated from North Panola High School in Sardis, Mississippi, where she served as a cheerleader, band majorette and editor of her school newspaper, and was voted to the Homecoming Court each of her four years. In her senior year, she was voted Miss North Panola, Prom Queen and "Most Likely To Succeed."
A speech champion while in high school, Kent consistently won in the Speaking division of the Distributed Education Clubs of America (DECA). She penned the class poem her senior year, and participated in many artistic activities. She credits impromptu competition and announcing to large crowds for her career in broadcasting. In 2017, she was inducted into the NPHS Hall of Fame, becoming the first person in the school's history to receive the honor.
After graduating from North Panola High School, Kent entered Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. While at Northwest, Kent was voted a Homecoming Maid and became the first African-American to be elected President of the freshman student Senate. She subsequently transferred to Mississippi State University where she earned a bachelor's degree. While at MSU, Kent become the first African-American woman to be voted to the Student Association, serving as the Attorney General.
Kent was inducted into the Lambda Eta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. In addition to her heavy student-services involvement, she worked in the community as a volunteer with non-profit organizations United Way of North Central Mississippi, Circle K International, Habitat for Humanity, and was a volunteer to special projects at the Palmer Home for Children, local shelters and retirement homes.
During her time as an undergraduate, she completed two marketing internships, both as VIP tour guides: once at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and again at the Grand Canyon in Flagstaff, Arizona. Kent was accepted into the public relations program at The University of Alabama's graduate school, where she received her Master of Arts degree on a full scholarship.
In 1992, Kent developed her interest in journalism and began work while still in high school; for two years, she was the announcer over the loud speaker, delivering the morning news for her school. During that time, she served as the editor-in-chief for her school newspaper, NPHS Beat, an award-winning student newspaper, which provided a launchpad for her literary career.
After NPHS, Kent was active on the student-run media team serving as a reporter in the journalism department at Northwest Mississippi Community College. After leaving NWCC, she was on the student print and broadcasting teams at Mississippi State University. She was a staff writer for The Reflector, the student-driven campus newspaper, and worked as a campus reporter for the campus-based news station. She was also a weekly correspondent reporting on government issues as an elected student government official.
While at the University of Alabama, Kent was tapped to lead the marketing team for campus residential life and spearheaded a newsletter campaign offering inspiration and hope to thousands of residents in a weekly bulletin. She also implemented an awards show for staff while at the university. While in Tuscaloosa, she continued her philanthropic works by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Youth for Christ, Meals on Wheels, and the Junior League of Tuscaloosa.
Throughout her life and career, Kent has been significantly involved in non-profit and civic organizations, and her charity work continues to be a platform of interest.
Kent wrote extensively on issues central to social media etiquette, and offering ways to successfully use social media for marketing. Her written works have appeared in national syndicated columns and on-line with an audience reach of 2.5 million monthly readers.
She has been a regular contributor to Business Know How and Business 2 Community, where she covered social media ethics, strategies and techniques, and has also written a series of articles on business etiquette and social etiquette which have been featured in Live Well by Elite Meetings International, Business Home Magazine, Monster.com, and Yahoo! News.
Arts and Entertainment
Kent served as a freelance reporter in Los Angeles since July 2011 and soon became a staple on the red carpet. As a reporter, she has covered countless award ceremonies and red carpet events. In her hosting capacity, she has interviewed a multitude of household names, business executives, and sports moguls, once saying that she had interviewed over 200 celebrities.
She has interviewed the likes of Jon Voight, Vanessa Williams, Kathy Hughes, Debbie Allen, Eddie George, Moira Walley-Beckett, KeKe Palmer, Steven Bauer, Kym Whitley, Mara Brock Akil, David Oyelowo, Loretta Devine, Joe Morton and Diane Warren.
A photo journalist as well, Kent has been tapped as the official red carpet host to film festivals, charity events and held exclusive interviews, and worked as a reporter for various assignments in and around Los Angeles.
Kent was known for her willingness to take risks in her role as host. Her popularity led to additional TV and hosting auditions.
Kent came to wide prominence in 2013 after serving as a guest media correspondent for Real TV Films when she worked the Celebrity World Challenge Golf Championship in Calabasas, California benefiting ProCon.org and The March of Dimes. For the role, Kent interviewed the likes of Norm Nixon, Anthony Anderson, Alan Thicke, among others, Bruce McNall, billionaire businessman, Jeremy Sumpter, Stephen Bishop, Patrick Warburton, Kendra Wilkinson, Hank Baskett and Royce Clayton.
In September 2013, Kent founded her own multi-platform media startup. She became one of the executive producers, for which she serves as a consultant, and guest on-air talent.
Aside from her journalistic duties, Kent was tapped to emcee or host a series of elite affairs between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, and hired as a special event host for grand openings.
It was announced in October 2015 that Kent was joining the news team at the 50 Plus Report as a producer providing news report segments. The 50 Plus Report was the brain-child of two-time Emmy-winning Producer Barbara Valentine, who welcomed Germany as part of the team.
In 2015, she produced multiple videos covering the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards sponsored by the LA Press Club. Of those interviewed that night for her media company were Bob Barker, Joe Mantegna, and Tavis Smiley.
She continues to conduct major interviews, most recently securing exclusive interviews with 3-time Marconi winner Big Boy of 92. 3, and red carpet interviews with California's former first lady Maria Shriver, Phylicia Rashad, Gloria Allred, Tony Goldwyn and Nigel Lythgoe.
Kent is known for the exclusive coverage she nabbed following LL Cool J receiving his star on the Hollywood walk of fame. She also covered the prestigious star ceremony awarding Jennifer Hudson.
Kent has made several acting appearances either as herself or playing an on-screen character. In 2012, she appeared in a guest starring role as a crack addict on the USA Network television series Graceland. In 2013, Kent starred in a Reality-TV series for the Food Network, alongside celebrity chef Robert Irvine.
Germany Kent's transition into the entertainment industry was inspired by a friend who advised her she should be in television commercials. Kent successfully landed the very first commercial role for which she auditioned—for AT&T—and would thereafter book more than a hundred additional entertainment jobs in 2012 and 2013, including a number of nationally broadcast television commercials, with spots for Coors Light, Verizon, and NIKE, in addition to a variety of regional advertisements. She has said that her stage name, Germany Kent, arrived to her in a dream.
In 2012, she appeared as a winning contestant on Let's Make a Deal Christmas Edition.
She has also starred in numerous advertisements for Disney, including those for Disney Destinations, Disney Aulani Resort, and the Disneyland Resort in California. She has also provided voice-over work for the Disney brand.
Kent had a guest appearance role in a 2014 Carrier commercial. In 2015 she later played the lead actress in a 2015 eHarmony Campaign, entitled Tagging Along, where she was featured alongside eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren.
She continues to work as a successful direct response host, and commercial talent appearing as a model and host in various industrial videos and in print and commercial advertisements.
Music video appearances
In 2012, Kent made an appearance alongside singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige in her video "Why." In 2011, Kent made an appearance alongside musical group Take 6 for their video "One," which also featured pop icon Stevie Wonder.
Kent represented Tennessee in the 1991 Hal Jackson Talented Teens International pageant, which was held in New York City. She was crowned Miss Personality from over 120 contestants worldwide. In an infamous pageant moment, she was kissed onstage by Shawn Stockman, of Boyz II Men fame, during her crowning. In 1992, her stage performance garnered her a place among the Top 10 at the Miss Teen Mississippi Pageant. She also won her state's Speech Award at the pageant that same year.
In 1993, she placed in the Top 5 at the Miss Teen Mississippi Pageant and won the Speech Award for the second consecutive year while also walking away with the Miss Congeniality trophy. While at Mississippi State University, she won the Miss Alpha Phi Alpha Pageant and was featured in their 12-month calendar as Miss July 1997.
In March 2015, Kent penned a best-selling book on hope and motivation, The Hope Handbook, which provided inspirational guidance for personal growth. The book was originally created as a book of tweets from inspirations that Kent had posted on social media site Twitter. The book emphasized the importance of maintaining the reverence of faith, determination, setting and reaching goals to ultimately becoming your best self. Kent claimed to have received hundreds of messages from followers recognizing her motivational Twitter messages and explaining how her messages of hope had inspired them. As a response to their messages, a collection of some of the tweets were assembled, and the book came to fruition.
Following the success of The Hope Handbook, Kent released a collection of Hope books, appropriately titled The Hope Handbook Series. On the weekend of their release, she spearheaded a hope weekend campaign, resulting in a hashtag she generated, hope weekend, becoming the number two hashtag for that weekend on social media, only trailing Target.
In May 2015 Kent released You Are What You Tweet to critical acclaim. While writing her award-winning book, Kent was mentored by Harvard professor, Lisa Tener — a Stevie Award winner, and long-time book writing expert Martha Bullen. Tener featured Kent in an interview for her blog on authors entitled, "How to write a book." Kent enlisted the help of Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Culver City's web-hosting power company Media Temple, who contributed the foreword for the book. This book also became a best-seller.
Blog Critics called Kent's book "clear" and "practical," adding that it was "filled with savvy secrets." Readers Favorite praised it as "a very good book," and an "exceptional product." Abe Schwartz, a Huffington Post blogger, described the book as "excellent," "informative" and a "great read." Hillary Powell, managing producer for PBS and Former Coordinator for The Oprah Winfrey Show, notes the book as "the manual for finding your voice on social media," calling it an "inspirational guidebook."
In August 2015, Kent was featured as a distinguished alumna on the Mississippi State University homepage, her Alma mater. The feature celebrated the success of the book, hailing it as "social media savvy." That fall, she was featured in the Mississippi State University Alumnus magazine.
In March 2017, You Are What You Tweet received national recognition as one of four books selected by actor Romany Malco to help President Donald Trump with social media etiquette. As part of Malco's campaign, the critically acclaimed book was sent to the White House.
- You Are What You Tweet: Harness The Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life ISBN 978-0996146890
- The Hope Handbook: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9780996146876
- The Hope Handbook for Couples: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206100
- The Hope Handbook for Moms: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9780996146852
- The Hope Handbook for Dads: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206001
- The Hope Handbook for Christians: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9780996146821
- The Hope Handbook for Singles: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206063
- The Hope Handbook for Survivors: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206070
- The Hope Handbook for Mentors and Coaches: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206049
- The Hope Handbook for Leaders: The Search for Personal Growth ISBN 9781943206025
A committed philanthropist, Kent has been involved with promoting volunteerism for several decades and contributes her support to several organizations. As a social advocate and humanitarian, she has extended her charitable gifts, expertise, time, experience, and energy to volunteer with Make-A-Wish, the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, The United Way and countless other service organizations.
Kent credits her grandmother for teaching her about charity work. Her grandmother Evelyn Palmer, whom she was named after, once received the perfect service award from her Alma mater, Alcorn State University, and would go on to be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Honor.
An advocate for mental health awareness, and youth mentoring programs, she has also been credited as an active advocate for issues of media activism in general, and social media ethics in particular.
Public image and publicity
Kent is known publicly as an inspirational figure, officially adopting the name, The Hope Guru™. Through her platform of motivating others, she has been at the forefront of producing original quotes, which have been widespread over the internet in her honor.
In 2015, she became a spokesperson for the I Share Hope campaign.
Honors and awards
- In May 2015, SEO.com named Kent in the Top 50 Most Socially Shared Twitter Marketing Articles for a piece she authored for Business 2 Community.
- In June 2015, Kent received the Readers' Favorite Gold International Book Award for You Are What You Tweet.
- In August 2015, Kent received a Distinguished Alumni Honor from Mississippi State University.
- In October 2015, Kent was listed at No. 9 as a Notable Alumni by Northwest Mississippi Community College.
- Kent is ranked #13 on Onalytica's 2015 list of Top 100 Social Media Influencers and Brands.
- In November 2016, Kent was named on a list by Evan Carmichael as one of the Top 100 Social Media Experts to Follow on Twitter.
- In May 2017, Kent's You Are What You Tweet was recognized as a "Book of the Year" Finalist for the International Book Awards.
- In May 2017, Kent was named as a "Woman of the Year" recipient for the 2017 Faith Awards.
- On May 17, 2017, Kent was honored with a Global Philanthropy Award from Empower Magazine.
- On May 24, 2017, Kent became the first person ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at North Panola High School.
- In June 2017, Kent was named as the "Humanitarian of the Year" recipient for the 2nd Annual Kidz Rock Awards.
- On June 14, 2017, Kent's You Are What You Tweet was named a 2017 Literary Classics International Book Award Finalist.
- In June 2017, Kent was presented with a Legacy Award from the Les Modernettes Social Club.
- In June 2017, Kent was recognized with a Lifetime Community Service Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eta Theta Omega Chapter.
- On June 20, 2017, Kent received a Proclamation of Honor from the City of Greenville, presented in Mississippi by Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons.
- June 20, 2017 was decreed by the City of Greenville, as "Germany Kent" Day.
- In July 2017, Kent's book You Are What You Tweet received the Inspirational/Visionary silver medal in the Literary Classics International Book Awards.
- On July 25, 2017, Kent was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Proclamation from the State of Mississippi by Mississippi Senator Robert Jackson and Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves.
- On August 25, 2017, Kent's You Are What You Tweet was named Best Motivational Book and was honored with a Pinnacle Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.
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