The Coaching Career of Miami’s Erik Spoelstra

Erik Spoelstra  pic
Erik Spoelstra

A former associate director of admissions with Keiser University, Shelly Grant is a financial representative who is pursuing a law degree. When she isn’t busy working or studying, Shelly Grant enjoys following her favorite National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Miami Heat.

The Heat have been coached by Erik Spoelstra since the 2008-09 season, and the University of Portland alumnus has led the team to a pair of championships in that time. He spent the previous 11 seasons as the team’s assistant coach. In his first year as head coach, Miami finished the season with a 43-39 win-loss record. The team reached the NBA Finals two seasons later after finishing the year with a record of 58-24, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. It rebounded by winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.

Now in his 10th season as the team’s head coach, Spoelstra has compiled a record of 446-289 and is widely regarded as one of the league’s best coaches. In the 2017 league-wide annual survey of general managers, Spoelstra was one of four bench bosses to receive votes as the NBA’s best coach. He also placed third in the category of best motivator and second in coaches with the most impressive defensive schemes.


United Nations to Assist Haiti on Path to Sustainable Development

Haiti  pic

The recipient of a master of business administration from St. Thomas University, Shelly Grant is a financial representative with Principal Financial Group who is also pursuing a law degree. Outside of her career-related endeavors, Shelly Grant enjoys helping people in need through international discipleship in countries such as Panama and Haiti.

As a member of the United Nations (UN), Haiti is working in compliance with the international organization’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which its goals include reduced inequalities and access to quality education, among others. The UN agenda includes 17 central goals, one of which is to ensure the availability of clean water for all citizens. In early November, UN Special Envoy for Haiti Josette Sheeran and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed visited the country for three days with a focus on lowering the frequency at which Haiti’s citizens contract cholera, an infectious disease caused primarily by drinking contaminated water.

During the visit, the two UN officials pledged to put an end to cholera and visited families affected by the disease that lacked access to clean water and sanitation services. In a High-Level Cholera Committee meeting, Mohammed expressed the immediate need for increased funding toward emergency response teams capable of treating individuals with cholera, and also stated the importance of providing comprehensive support to the country to address the root causes of the disease. At the onset of the health epidemic in 2010, there was an average of 18,000 new cases per week, and while that number has since fallen to 250 per week, significant work and resources will still be required to eliminate the disease.

Miami Heat Host 12th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Miami Heat pic
Miami Heat

For more than four years, Shelly Grant has served Principal Financial Group as a financial representative. In addition to volunteering to help those in need, Shelly Grant spends her free time traveling, playing tennis, and cheering on the Miami Heat.

In an effort to give back to fans and the local community, the Miami Heat organization oversees various outreach programs and activities off the court. Each year, the team also hosts a number of community events, including its Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

In October 2017, the Miami Heat celebrated the event’s 12th year with activities at Doral Legacy Park, a new 18-acre space that hosts sports, arts, and nature offerings for children and families in Doral, Florida. During the 12th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, elementary students from Doral and neighboring communities had the opportunity to join Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and other Heat players for a basketball clinic, arts and crafts activities, and games.

The event also featured dance studio lessons from Miami Heat dancers and appearances by the Heat Xtreme Team and the Heat mascot, Burnie. Others in attendance included the Heat’s Spanish radio broadcaster and the City of Doral’s mayor.

The Miami Heat Sign Forward Kelly Olynyk as a Free Agent

Kelly Olynyk pic
Kelly Olynyk

Leveraging over a decade of experience in the financial sector, Shelly Grant serves as a financial representative of the Principal Financial Group. Based in Florida, Shelly Grant is a passionate fan of the Miami Heat professional basketball team.

The Heat missed the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs for just the third time in 14 seasons last year, but the team has taken steps to improve its chances of reaching the postseason in 2017-2018. One of the team’s biggest moves in the offseason was signing forward Kelly Olynyk as an unrestricted free agent. He became available after the Boston Celtics acquired Gordon Hayward. It was announced that Olynyk had signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Heat.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Olynyk was the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and has averaged 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game during his four seasons with the Celtics. An adept three-point shooter, he made 41 percent of his attempts from beyond the three-point line in 2015-2016, a career high. Over the course of his career, he has a three-point completion rate of 37 percent. He had a career-best performance in Game 7 of last year’s first-round playoff series as he led the Celtics with 26 points, 14 of which he scored in the fourth quarter.

Cooking Tender and Flavorful Lamb Chops

 Lamb Chops pic
Lamb Chops

Shelly Grant serves as a representative with the Principal Financial Group. An avid cook in her free time, Shelly Grant particularly enjoys preparing lamb chops.

The ideal lamb chop is crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and enriched with a little bit of soft fat. One can achieve this delicate balance using oven, stovetop, or grill techniques, so long as the cut of meat is of high quality. Experts recommend a thick cut of 1.25 inches to 1.4 inches per chop, preferably taken from the loin or rib area.

Many cooks like to begin by cutting off hard fat around the edge of the chops, though it is important not to remove the internal fat deposits. These keep the cut from becoming too chewy after cooking. Texture and flavor also improve if the cook salts the pork chops approximately 20 minutes before cooking, as this helps to break down the meat proteins so that they re-absorb released moisture.

Some believe that roasting before searing helps to ensure an even rare-to-medium cook. On the grill, this means splitting the grill into low and high heat zones and starting the chops on a cooler temperature before moving them to the hotter area.

Other cooks prefer to sear the chops on the stove top first. They can then finish the cuts on the stove for a rarer finish or move them to the oven for a more medium-rare result. The chops are then ready to serve, often with a mint sauce or mint jelly to finish.

Miami Heat Powers Local Community Benefits

Miami Heat pic
Miami Heat

Actively involved in bettering her community, Shelly Grant provides wealth-building expertise at the Principal Financial Group. In her spare time, Shelly Grant is an avid fan of the NBA’s Miami Heat, which also prides itself on civic action.

Now in its 21st year, the Miami Heat Charitable Fund sponsors several social-action entities, such as the Holtz Children’s Hospital, the Guardian Angels, the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community, and the Jackson Memorial Fund. The Heat fund also backs college scholarships and afterschool academic-assistance efforts, and helps veterans readjust to home after service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Several special events raise money for these and other causes. For instance, the Miami Heat Family Festival brings together parents and team members for a carnival. Leading restaurants set up a food court and local celebrities join for a concert.

The Heat Scramble Golf Classic takes place on top-flight courses; this year’s event promises to be the biggest ever, with appearances by current Heat players.

Another big event is the Annual Toy and Food Drive. It benefits a Liberty City food pantry that serves more than 1,000 people each day. Toys are given to at-risk youth throughout the area.

Working alongside the Charitable Fund is the Miami Heat Family Charity Group, which includes wives of active team personnel and the mothers and families of players. The latter group assists agencies such as SafeSpace, for persons who have experienced domestic violence.v

Hunger in Haiti



Shelly Grant, a law student and financial representative with the Principal Financial Group, pursues her passion for serving others by doing missionary work in Haiti and Panama. Shelly Grant is deeply involved in antihunger causes through her church, where she holds a leadership role.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Its poverty arises from a combination of political instability, natural disasters, and environmental problems. For example, in 2010, a massive earthquake hit Haiti, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries. Currently, more than half of Haitians live in poverty.

In 2016, food insecurity in Haiti is worse than it has been since the early 2000s. According to the United Nations, the problem stems largely from environmental factors linked to El Niño-associated warming that has killed many Haitian crops. In the years before the severe El Niño of 2016, Haitian agricultural productivity was already on the decline.

The productivity slump has caused malnutrition to spike substantially. Food scarcity encourages increases in food prices, which already account for over half of Haitian families’ spending.