Little Rock Women Magazine - Egypt Sherrod

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We Support Diversity and Gender Equality – An Issue Greater Than Just “Equal Pay in the Workplace” The story behind Little Rock Women Magazine and Website has always been to empower, inspire and support women in our local communities and the workplace. We believe in diversity and gender equality, equal pay for equal work and believe that no woman should have to be in fear of harassment or assault in her community or workplace. Women have made unquestionable advances — from American boardrooms and courts of law, to political and sports arenas — but inequality remains, especially in poor or rural areas. By simply being inclusive of an equitable number of women in an organization, it has availed itself of a larger talent pool, increased its attractiveness to potential talent, increased its ability to retain talent and has brought an insightful eye to market to potential users and clients of the organization’s products or services. While outcomes of equality in the workplace should be achievable equally among genders, these outcomes may not necessarily be the same for all. Still, it’s essential to advance the trend of acceptance and advancement in gender equality to ensure that access and enjoyment of the same rewards, resources and opportunities are available to all. This includes freedom from gender discrimination and its stereotypes, pregnancy and parenting, freedom from discrimination in fields of employment where women have traditionally been excluded or discouraged and the systemic undervaluing of work traditionally performed by women. Workplaces need to provide equal opportunities and pay for equal work; there is no justifiable reason based on gender not to do so. There should never be limits to the equal participation of women in the workforce. All should have access to all positions and industries; including leadership roles regardless of gender. Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of women in politics is increasing rapidly. At some point in their career, one in four women has been subjected to harassment at work. Management has a responsibility to ensure they act early to both identify and stop harassment, but unfortunately, in many companies, occurrences are often ignored. If there are signs of harassment taking place within the workplace– no matter how big or small – it should be rectified immediately, and preventative processes reevaluated to avert such occurrences from happening again. Organizations have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is free of sexual harassment. Today we are asking that our communities’ most prominent workplaces and community organizations take a step to join Little Rock Women Magazine and its website to advocate for respectful, fair and dignified treatment of women. Thank You Rich Borell Founder & Publisher


We Support Diversity and Gender Equality – An Issue Greater Than Just “Equal Pay in the Workplace” The story behind Atlanta Metro Women Magazine and Website has always been to empower, inspire and support women in our local communities and the workplace. We believe in diversity and gender equality, equal pay for equal work and believe that no woman should have to be in fear of harassment or assault in her community or workplace. Women have made unquestionable advances — from American boardrooms and courts of law, to political and sports arenas — but inequality remains, especially in poor or rural areas. By simply being inclusive of an equitable number of women in an organization, it has availed itself of a larger talent pool, increased its attractiveness to potential talent, increased its ability to retain talent and has brought an insightful eye to market to potential users and clients of the organization’s products or services. While outcomes of equality in the workplace should be achievable equally among genders, these outcomes may not necessarily be the same for all. Still, it’s essential to advance the trend of acceptance and advancement in gender equality to ensure that access and enjoyment of the same rewards, resources and opportunities are available to all. This includes freedom from gender discrimination and its stereotypes, pregnancy and parenting, freedom from discrimination in fields of employment where women have traditionally been excluded or discouraged and the systemic undervaluing of work traditionally performed by women. Workplaces need to provide equal opportunities and pay for equal work; there is no justifiable reason based on gender not to do so. There should never be limits to the equal participation of women in the workforce. All should have access to all positions and industries; including leadership roles regardless of gender. Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of women in politics is increasing rapidly. At some point in their career, one in four women has been subjected to harassment at work. Management has a responsibility to ensure they act early to both identify and stop harassment, but unfortunately, in many companies, occurrences are often ignored. If there are signs of harassment taking place within the workplace– no matter how big or small – it should be rectified immediately, and preventative processes reevaluated to avert such occurrences from happening again. Organizations have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is free of sexual harassment. Today we are asking that our communities’ most prominent workplaces and community organizations take a step to join Atlanta Metro Women Magazine and its website to advocate for respectful, fair and dignified treatment of women. Thank You Rich Borell Founder & Publisher


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Heather Monahan

An Exclusive Interview With 2X Best-Selling Author & Top 50 Keynote Speaker in the World. audience. Over the last 4 years, I have built a solid community and I pay attention to what resonates with them. Using the information, I gained over the years I was able to write Overcome Your Villains with real-life examples and the successful tactics I used to make it to the c-suite to help others do the same. Q: You had some pretty big life things happen to you during 2017, can you tell us about them? HM: Yes! At the end of the third quarter, I was named one of The Most Influential Women in Radio and just a month later I found myself unemployed. There were so many highs and lows that year it was like a roller coaster. While it was devastating at first, it has turned out to be the biggest blessing in my career. I had a non-compete which meant I could not go back to the industry I had expertise in for 18 months. I had to find a way to earn an income as a beginner somewhere new. That was a tough time. Then I posted I had been fired and that landed me on the Elvis Duran Show. Halfway through that interview, Elvis told me that I was writing a book. I left the show, googled how to write, and book and my career trajectory changed that day and I have not looked back. Q: What are you currently working on? HM: The pandemic turned my business upside down. When the pandemic hit the majority of my business was coming from my speaking engagements. Due to covid, I launched my consulting and coaching business which landed me my first Board Seat with Healthlynked Corporation. As the speaking business is now coming back, I am trying to find a balance between my consulting, writing, Board engagements, podcast, and speaking. It is challenging to project as things are changing so quickly but I am so happy to have live events back again. I am also excited about a new product that I am launching very soon!

Q: As a 2x Best Selling Author … can you share with us what inspired you to become an Author? HM: Oh my gosh! I never thought I would be an author; I was crystal clear on my path to becoming a CEO. I was a CRO at the time and I was unexpectedly fired when the CEO I worked for became ill and he elevated his daughter to replace him. She fired me immediately. Q: Why do you think your publishing of “Overcome Your Villains” was such a success? HM: After 20 plus years climbing the corporate ladder as a sales leader, I leveraged my termination as a career pivot. The first thing I did was write Confidence Creator which taught me so much about the book business and what resonated with my

Q: For those in our audience not familiar with Boss in Heels LLC, can you share some of the history on what it’s about? HM: Years ago, I remember thinking that I didn’t feel fulfilled with my c-suite position. My job was to make shareholders wealthier and while I was good at it I didn’t always feel good about it. So, I started spending a lot of time outside of work, doing charity work. While the charity work was great, I was never home with my son. I decided I needed to find a way to do good in the world that didn’t take away my time with my child. I launched Boss In Heels as a way to give back to those that wanted to know how to get ahead but didn’t have the roadmap. I launched Boss In Heels for the younger me. My website shared the tactics and strategies to get ahead in business and life. The company I worked for hated it and threatened me. I refused to take my website down and for the next year, I was put through so much scrutiny and eventually fired. I always would check in with myself and ask if I felt good about what I

was doing. I am so proud I stood up to the people that wanted me to stop sharing my hacks to get ahead. I didn’t know it at the time but Boss In Heels was about to be the end of one career and the beginning of living and working with my true purpose to elevate others. Q: Looking back, what attracted you to pursue a career in Radio sales? HM: Believe me I was not attracted to pursuing a career in radio sales. It actually makes me laugh to see that written. What I was attracted to was making money. I had graduated college and knew I could sell, and I had taken the first job that was offered to me. I started off in the wine business and ended up getting harassed at work by a superior. I quit. I had no idea what I was going to do next, so I put myself out there. I attended a networking event and met the owner of a radio station. He offered me a job and I started the next day. He ended up becoming my partner in an equity deal we did together netting our company over $25 Million dollars. That partnership ended up paying major dividends. Q: We all have low moments in our career or even life. How did you personally create confidence and lift yourself back up? HM: That is exactly why I wrote my book, Confidence Creator! I explain the steps to take to create confidence in any low moment. There are so many things’ people can do! Here are a few: Take a look at other low moments and remind yourself that you came back from those. When we realize that we have seen this movie before and overcome it, that gives us the perspective that we can overcome what we are facing now. Next, fire the villains in your life immediately! You will never be able to bounce back quickly with negative people around you. When you are constantly worrying about people and what they are going to say or do, all of your energy goes to them and not to you. Fire your villains! Put yourself first and start investing in yourself. Begin each day with gratitude to get yourself focused on what is going well and attract more of that to you. Listen to your voice and opinion over everyone else. Do things and be with people that you love. It is fine to say, “Unfortunately, I am not available that day. Thanks for understanding.” Stop apologizing! So many of us apologize for things that are not our fault. That puts us beneath others and put us in a position of blame. Unless you tripped someone intentionally, stop apologizing. Q: In 2015 the Florida Diversity Council presented you with the Glass Ceiling Award, can you tell our audience why you were chosen and what it meant to you? HM: That was such an honor! The Florida Diversity Council recognizes people who have achieved success in the community and have created opportunities to advance others along the way. To be recognized alongside such impressive and accomplished people who are all committed to creating a fair and diverse working environment was an incredible honor I will always be proud of. Q: 2020 was an awful year dealing with the Covid-19 shutdown. How do you and your business do?

HM: My son was in virtual school for the entire year, so like many mothers, it was a very tough time to be working at home while cleaning, cooking, and trying to keep him focused on zoom classrooms. My speaking business disappeared overnight, so I re-invented myself as a virtual speaker and started my consulting and coaching business. It was definitely a challenging year, to say the least. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? HM: There isn’t one fear that sticks out to me. It is more accurate to say that as I go for more and attempt to achieve bigger and bolder things those fears creep right back in. As you become skilled at something and familiar, you become comfortable. When you are comfortable, you are not growing. I have learned to push myself into fear on the daily. If we are always in uncertainty and unknown, we are constantly growing. I choose to see fear as a green light that means go and go faster. I was scared when I got fired, scared when I was about to publish my first book, scared to give my TEDx talk, scared to write my second book, scared to launch my podcast, scared to show up for my first board meeting, until I did those things they were the unknown. Today, those things are no longer scary to me. The action is the answer. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? HM: Years ago, I was working for a radio company, and I saw a huge need in the company that I knew I could fill. I spoke to a few people about my idea, and they all said I was crazy that the company would never go for it. I went for it anyway. I sat down with the President of the company and pitched myself for VP of Sales. He smiled. He thanked me for the great work I was doing and declined the opportunity. I left. I called a few companies and found a few jobs offers. I met with the President again but this time I let him know I would be leaving. He asked why. I let him know that I was meant for more and if I couldn’t accomplish that with him, I would accomplish it elsewhere. He excused himself from our lunch and came back 5 minutes later. He went to call his father to get permission to award me this newly created role of VP of Sales. I learned an important lesson that day: Never take a NO from someone who can’t give you a YES. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? HM: Raising children in virtual and uncertain environments while you need to work. This has been incredibly challenging and has forced so many women to leave their jobs to stay at home and take care of their families. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? HM: There are times work is going fantastic and I have so much more time to be with my son. There are times my son needs me, and work needs to take a back burner. The key is to take care of myself first, every day that way I can take care of everything else.


Heather Monahan

An Exclusive Interview With 2X Best-Selling Author & Top 50 Keynote Speaker in the World. audience. Over the last 4 years, I have built a solid community and I pay attention to what resonates with them. Using the information, I gained over the years I was able to write Overcome Your Villains with real-life examples and the successful tactics I used to make it to the c-suite to help others do the same. Q: You had some pretty big life things happen to you during 2017, can you tell us about them? HM: Yes! At the end of the third quarter, I was named one of The Most Influential Women in Radio and just a month later I found myself unemployed. There were so many highs and lows that year it was like a roller coaster. While it was devastating at first, it has turned out to be the biggest blessing in my career. I had a non-compete which meant I could not go back to the industry I had expertise in for 18 months. I had to find a way to earn an income as a beginner somewhere new. That was a tough time. Then I posted I had been fired and that landed me on the Elvis Duran Show. Halfway through that interview, Elvis told me that I was writing a book. I left the show, googled how to write, and book and my career trajectory changed that day and I have not looked back. Q: What are you currently working on? HM: The pandemic turned my business upside down. When the pandemic hit the majority of my business was coming from my speaking engagements. Due to covid, I launched my consulting and coaching business which landed me my first Board Seat with Healthlynked Corporation. As the speaking business is now coming back, I am trying to find a balance between my consulting, writing, Board engagements, podcast, and speaking. It is challenging to project as things are changing so quickly but I am so happy to have live events back again. I am also excited about a new product that I am launching very soon!

Q: As a 2x Best Selling Author … can you share with us what inspired you to become an Author? HM: Oh my gosh! I never thought I would be an author; I was crystal clear on my path to becoming a CEO. I was a CRO at the time and I was unexpectedly fired when the CEO I worked for became ill and he elevated his daughter to replace him. She fired me immediately. Q: Why do you think your publishing of “Overcome Your Villains” was such a success? HM: After 20 plus years climbing the corporate ladder as a sales leader, I leveraged my termination as a career pivot. The first thing I did was write Confidence Creator which taught me so much about the book business and what resonated with my

Q: For those in our audience not familiar with Boss in Heels LLC, can you share some of the history on what it’s about? HM: Years ago, I remember thinking that I didn’t feel fulfilled with my c-suite position. My job was to make shareholders wealthier and while I was good at it I didn’t always feel good about it. So, I started spending a lot of time outside of work, doing charity work. While the charity work was great, I was never home with my son. I decided I needed to find a way to do good in the world that didn’t take away my time with my child. I launched Boss In Heels as a way to give back to those that wanted to know how to get ahead but didn’t have the roadmap. I launched Boss In Heels for the younger me. My website shared the tactics and strategies to get ahead in business and life. The company I worked for hated it and threatened me. I refused to take my website down and for the next year, I was put through so much scrutiny and eventually fired. I always would check in with myself and ask if I felt good about what I

was doing. I am so proud I stood up to the people that wanted me to stop sharing my hacks to get ahead. I didn’t know it at the time but Boss In Heels was about to be the end of one career and the beginning of living and working with my true purpose to elevate others. Q: Looking back, what attracted you to pursue a career in Radio sales? HM: Believe me I was not attracted to pursuing a career in radio sales. It actually makes me laugh to see that written. What I was attracted to was making money. I had graduated college and knew I could sell, and I had taken the first job that was offered to me. I started off in the wine business and ended up getting harassed at work by a superior. I quit. I had no idea what I was going to do next, so I put myself out there. I attended a networking event and met the owner of a radio station. He offered me a job and I started the next day. He ended up becoming my partner in an equity deal we did together netting our company over $25 Million dollars. That partnership ended up paying major dividends. Q: We all have low moments in our career or even life. How did you personally create confidence and lift yourself back up? HM: That is exactly why I wrote my book, Confidence Creator! I explain the steps to take to create confidence in any low moment. There are so many things’ people can do! Here are a few: Take a look at other low moments and remind yourself that you came back from those. When we realize that we have seen this movie before and overcome it, that gives us the perspective that we can overcome what we are facing now. Next, fire the villains in your life immediately! You will never be able to bounce back quickly with negative people around you. When you are constantly worrying about people and what they are going to say or do, all of your energy goes to them and not to you. Fire your villains! Put yourself first and start investing in yourself. Begin each day with gratitude to get yourself focused on what is going well and attract more of that to you. Listen to your voice and opinion over everyone else. Do things and be with people that you love. It is fine to say, “Unfortunately, I am not available that day. Thanks for understanding.” Stop apologizing! So many of us apologize for things that are not our fault. That puts us beneath others and put us in a position of blame. Unless you tripped someone intentionally, stop apologizing. Q: In 2015 the Florida Diversity Council presented you with the Glass Ceiling Award, can you tell our audience why you were chosen and what it meant to you? HM: That was such an honor! The Florida Diversity Council recognizes people who have achieved success in the community and have created opportunities to advance others along the way. To be recognized alongside such impressive and accomplished people who are all committed to creating a fair and diverse working environment was an incredible honor I will always be proud of. Q: 2020 was an awful year dealing with the Covid-19 shutdown. How do you and your business do?

HM: My son was in virtual school for the entire year, so like many mothers, it was a very tough time to be working at home while cleaning, cooking, and trying to keep him focused on zoom classrooms. My speaking business disappeared overnight, so I re-invented myself as a virtual speaker and started my consulting and coaching business. It was definitely a challenging year, to say the least. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? HM: There isn’t one fear that sticks out to me. It is more accurate to say that as I go for more and attempt to achieve bigger and bolder things those fears creep right back in. As you become skilled at something and familiar, you become comfortable. When you are comfortable, you are not growing. I have learned to push myself into fear on the daily. If we are always in uncertainty and unknown, we are constantly growing. I choose to see fear as a green light that means go and go faster. I was scared when I got fired, scared when I was about to publish my first book, scared to give my TEDx talk, scared to write my second book, scared to launch my podcast, scared to show up for my first board meeting, until I did those things they were the unknown. Today, those things are no longer scary to me. The action is the answer. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? HM: Years ago, I was working for a radio company, and I saw a huge need in the company that I knew I could fill. I spoke to a few people about my idea, and they all said I was crazy that the company would never go for it. I went for it anyway. I sat down with the President of the company and pitched myself for VP of Sales. He smiled. He thanked me for the great work I was doing and declined the opportunity. I left. I called a few companies and found a few jobs offers. I met with the President again but this time I let him know I would be leaving. He asked why. I let him know that I was meant for more and if I couldn’t accomplish that with him, I would accomplish it elsewhere. He excused himself from our lunch and came back 5 minutes later. He went to call his father to get permission to award me this newly created role of VP of Sales. I learned an important lesson that day: Never take a NO from someone who can’t give you a YES. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? HM: Raising children in virtual and uncertain environments while you need to work. This has been incredibly challenging and has forced so many women to leave their jobs to stay at home and take care of their families. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? HM: There are times work is going fantastic and I have so much more time to be with my son. There are times my son needs me, and work needs to take a back burner. The key is to take care of myself first, every day that way I can take care of everything else.


Brief History

What is Femtech?

Femtech is a health and software movement started by a group of women who wanted to make better digital products for women. Founded by Ida Tin, her goal was to create technology that would serve the needs of their gender, and Femtech has since grown into an industry with billions of dollars in revenue.

Meaning and Importance of Femtech

Femtech is a large tech industry that helps women in different ways. The industry is helping to empower women’s health by working with doctors and others from the medical field to create more effective solutions that help women manage their health issues more efficiently.

These ways include:

Better Birth control: Femtech companies are developing better birth control. Glow is a period-tracker and fertility app that notifies women when they are fertile based on their cycle, so they know when to have sex. Lighter Periods: The moon cup is a reusable menstrual cup that gives a woman more freedom and privacy during her period. She doesn’t have to worry about leaking pads or tampons because she can wear them to swim, work out, and run around without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. Better Flexibility: Fundtech is flexible to women’s varying schedules and lifestyles. They create apps that are compatible with a woman’s schedule, and they offer an easier way to deal with health issues. Better Medicine: Femtech is also helping women and doctors work together to create better medicine. Femtech brings women into medicine because they can understand a product better. After all, it’s for them. Sex Tech: Femtech is also an option for people looking for a sex robot, and manufacturers are trying to find a way to make sex toys more accessible and of good quality. Motivation: Femtech companies are also trying to change women’s mindsets to be more motivating in their lives. They are trying to help women be better at work by making them feel more motivated and less stressed out. Education: This is also an essential part of Femtech because it changes people’s minds about education. Women are less likely to pursue higher

education and technology because of their gender, so Femtech is helping change that mindset. Better Fitness: Femtech is also working to empower women by helping them reach their fitness goals. The female fitness tracker works with women who are concerned about their weight and fitness level because it helps them monitor everything they eat and exercise. Better Home Technology: Femtech is making the home more comfortable, and it’s also allowing them to be more efficient in their daily lives Better Office Technology: Femtech is helping to change the office by making it more comfortable and less stressful. It helps women feel better in their job because they feel less stressed. Better Health Tracking: Femtech is also creating a better way for women to track their health by making more efficient products for them and for doctors who want to help them. Women’s health is a global issue, not just a ‘feminist’ issue. The lack of women in STEM fields and business is a global issue. It is important to note that Femtech has been used as a tool to solve problems that have dominated the healthcare industry for years now. Still, Femtech has also been used in many areas within society due to its role in marketing women’s products and services. It has helped solve issues for women that have been persistent for years within the healthcare industry. Femtech has been a way to lean into and fill in the gap that has always existed in the male-dominated tech industry.

Conclusion

FemTech is a global industry that is changing how technology is used in women’s lives. It helps women to take control of their health and allows them to focus on their well-being. The FemTech industry will continue to grow as more and more women wake up that technology can be a significant player in their personal growth and happiness, not just in the workplace. It has helped solve issues for women that have been persistent for years within the healthcare industry. Femtech has been a way to lean into and fill in the gap that has always existed in the male-dominated tech industry. However, this is still not the case with FemTech, as the industry still has a long way to go until it reaches its full potential. The second wave of FemTech is coming, which will help move the industry into another level of connection with women.


Brief History

What is Femtech?

Femtech is a health and software movement started by a group of women who wanted to make better digital products for women. Founded by Ida Tin, her goal was to create technology that would serve the needs of their gender, and Femtech has since grown into an industry with billions of dollars in revenue.

Meaning and Importance of Femtech

Femtech is a large tech industry that helps women in different ways. The industry is helping to empower women’s health by working with doctors and others from the medical field to create more effective solutions that help women manage their health issues more efficiently.

These ways include:

Better Birth control: Femtech companies are developing better birth control. Glow is a period-tracker and fertility app that notifies women when they are fertile based on their cycle, so they know when to have sex. Lighter Periods: The moon cup is a reusable menstrual cup that gives a woman more freedom and privacy during her period. She doesn’t have to worry about leaking pads or tampons because she can wear them to swim, work out, and run around without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. Better Flexibility: Fundtech is flexible to women’s varying schedules and lifestyles. They create apps that are compatible with a woman’s schedule, and they offer an easier way to deal with health issues. Better Medicine: Femtech is also helping women and doctors work together to create better medicine. Femtech brings women into medicine because they can understand a product better. After all, it’s for them. Sex Tech: Femtech is also an option for people looking for a sex robot, and manufacturers are trying to find a way to make sex toys more accessible and of good quality. Motivation: Femtech companies are also trying to change women’s mindsets to be more motivating in their lives. They are trying to help women be better at work by making them feel more motivated and less stressed out. Education: This is also an essential part of Femtech because it changes people’s minds about education. Women are less likely to pursue higher

education and technology because of their gender, so Femtech is helping change that mindset. Better Fitness: Femtech is also working to empower women by helping them reach their fitness goals. The female fitness tracker works with women who are concerned about their weight and fitness level because it helps them monitor everything they eat and exercise. Better Home Technology: Femtech is making the home more comfortable, and it’s also allowing them to be more efficient in their daily lives Better Office Technology: Femtech is helping to change the office by making it more comfortable and less stressful. It helps women feel better in their job because they feel less stressed. Better Health Tracking: Femtech is also creating a better way for women to track their health by making more efficient products for them and for doctors who want to help them. Women’s health is a global issue, not just a ‘feminist’ issue. The lack of women in STEM fields and business is a global issue. It is important to note that Femtech has been used as a tool to solve problems that have dominated the healthcare industry for years now. Still, Femtech has also been used in many areas within society due to its role in marketing women’s products and services. It has helped solve issues for women that have been persistent for years within the healthcare industry. Femtech has been a way to lean into and fill in the gap that has always existed in the male-dominated tech industry.

Conclusion

FemTech is a global industry that is changing how technology is used in women’s lives. It helps women to take control of their health and allows them to focus on their well-being. The FemTech industry will continue to grow as more and more women wake up that technology can be a significant player in their personal growth and happiness, not just in the workplace. It has helped solve issues for women that have been persistent for years within the healthcare industry. Femtech has been a way to lean into and fill in the gap that has always existed in the male-dominated tech industry. However, this is still not the case with FemTech, as the industry still has a long way to go until it reaches its full potential. The second wave of FemTech is coming, which will help move the industry into another level of connection with women.


Female Ground Breakers in Professional Sports

Michele Roberts: National Basketball Association

Michele Roberts was ranked Numero Uno by a panel of sports insiders for the top spot on a list of “The 25 Most Powerful Women in Sports,” and for good reason. As the current executive director of the NBA Players Association, Roberts represents the interests of over 300 of the best basketball players in the world. Michele is the first woman to ever hold the position and is first woman to head a major professional sports union in the United States. A graduate of UC Berkeley Law and former trial attorney, Roberts success is an inspiration to women everywhere.

Sarah Thomas: National Football League

NFL Down Judge Sarah Thomas has made making history a habit. In 2007 she was the first ever female official to work in a major college football game. Since then Sara was the first ever female official to work a college football bowl game, the first ever full-time female official to work in the National Football League and in January of 2019 Sarah became the first ever female official to participate in an NFL playoff game. Aside from making football history, Sarah lettered five times playing high-school softball and received a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile where she was an academic all-American.

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird: Women’s National Basketball Association/Team USA

Legends in the making and double trouble for opposing teams, point guards Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm account for a combined eight Olympic and seven FIBA World Cup gold medals and will again team up for the 2020 Olympics. Taurasi was the first WNBA player to score 8,000 points and is the league’s all-time leader in field goals. One of the highest paid female athletes in the world, at 38 years old Sue Bird is still a backcourt phenom with ball-handling skills that rival those of any basketball player, male or female, at any level. Unless one of them breaks a leg, the 2020 gold medal should be a lock for Team USA.

Alex Morgan: Women’s Professional Soccer

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Very few players can start out at the top and stay there, but Alex Morgan has made it look easy. Soccer fans will never forget Alex Morgan’s game-winning shot in overtime that beat Canada and sent the USA Women to the gold medal match vs Japan in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since her juggernaut debut, Alex has played professionally at home and abroad, including a stint with the French Olympique Lyonnais, where she helped the team win a French Cup and UEFA title. Most recently, in July of 2019, Morgan once again help the U.S. team win the FIFA Women’s World Cup and was awarded the Silver Boot.

Serena Williams: Professional Tennis

Ranked as Number One in the world eight different times, Serena Williams has won more combined Grand Slam tennis titles then any active player, with 39 major victories. Serena is the most recent female player to hold all four of the singles Grand Slam titles at once, is only the third player in professional tennis history to do it more than once and is also the most recent player to win a championship on hard court, grass and clay in one year. With over $28 million in earnings in 2016 and again in 2017, Williams was the only woman to make Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid athletes. At 37 years old in 2019, Williams is ranked 8th in the world and will arguably go down in history as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.


Female Ground Breakers in Professional Sports

Michele Roberts: National Basketball Association

Michele Roberts was ranked Numero Uno by a panel of sports insiders for the top spot on a list of “The 25 Most Powerful Women in Sports,” and for good reason. As the current executive director of the NBA Players Association, Roberts represents the interests of over 300 of the best basketball players in the world. Michele is the first woman to ever hold the position and is first woman to head a major professional sports union in the United States. A graduate of UC Berkeley Law and former trial attorney, Roberts success is an inspiration to women everywhere.

Sarah Thomas: National Football League

NFL Down Judge Sarah Thomas has made making history a habit. In 2007 she was the first ever female official to work in a major college football game. Since then Sara was the first ever female official to work a college football bowl game, the first ever full-time female official to work in the National Football League and in January of 2019 Sarah became the first ever female official to participate in an NFL playoff game. Aside from making football history, Sarah lettered five times playing high-school softball and received a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile where she was an academic all-American.

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird: Women’s National Basketball Association/Team USA

Legends in the making and double trouble for opposing teams, point guards Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm account for a combined eight Olympic and seven FIBA World Cup gold medals and will again team up for the 2020 Olympics. Taurasi was the first WNBA player to score 8,000 points and is the league’s all-time leader in field goals. One of the highest paid female athletes in the world, at 38 years old Sue Bird is still a backcourt phenom with ball-handling skills that rival those of any basketball player, male or female, at any level. Unless one of them breaks a leg, the 2020 gold medal should be a lock for Team USA.

Alex Morgan: Women’s Professional Soccer

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Very few players can start out at the top and stay there, but Alex Morgan has made it look easy. Soccer fans will never forget Alex Morgan’s game-winning shot in overtime that beat Canada and sent the USA Women to the gold medal match vs Japan in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since her juggernaut debut, Alex has played professionally at home and abroad, including a stint with the French Olympique Lyonnais, where she helped the team win a French Cup and UEFA title. Most recently, in July of 2019, Morgan once again help the U.S. team win the FIFA Women’s World Cup and was awarded the Silver Boot.

Serena Williams: Professional Tennis

Ranked as Number One in the world eight different times, Serena Williams has won more combined Grand Slam tennis titles then any active player, with 39 major victories. Serena is the most recent female player to hold all four of the singles Grand Slam titles at once, is only the third player in professional tennis history to do it more than once and is also the most recent player to win a championship on hard court, grass and clay in one year. With over $28 million in earnings in 2016 and again in 2017, Williams was the only woman to make Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid athletes. At 37 years old in 2019, Williams is ranked 8th in the world and will arguably go down in history as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.


PB: Practicing law was not always my career goal. I’ve always enjoyed being a student. When I finished my B.A., I began my studies at Police College. After graduation, I enrolled in graduate school and attended classes at night and on my days off. After completing my master’s degree, I enrolled in law school. That was a bit more challenging to manage because I was enrolled in law school full-time (they didn’t allow part-time studies), and I was working full-time as an undercover police officer. I couldn’t tell my professors or classmates what I did for a living, which made conversations interesting, especially in my criminal law classes. I married my undercover partner in what we jokingly call our government prearranged marriage. Fortunately, I graduated from law school just as we were starting a family. Being an undercover police officer is not a very mom-friendly job, and my law degree allowed me to leave policing and begin a career as a prosecutor. Q: Tell us about the responsibilities you had as a Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

Pamela Barnum

A Trust Strategist, Body Language Expert, Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? PB: After high school, I attended university to study politics and economics. I wanted to have a degree completed before entering law enforcement. My grandmother and mother did not have the opportunity to attend college or university. They were adamant that I go and at least get a bachelor’s degree before becoming a police officer. I was the first person in my family to attend university. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? PB: I had several part-time jobs and full-time summer jobs while I was a student. Everything from being an operator for the phone company to working at a bookstore and a beer store. However, my first “real” job was as a uniform police officer. I know from experience that policing is one of the most challenging and underappreciated jobs there is. But it is also the most rewarding. One moment you may be in a life-threatening situation, and the next, you’re responding to a call about a minor event. In policing, you learn a lot about people, and

at the same time, you learn a lot about yourself. Specifically, that you can accomplish more than you ever thought you could because you have to. You’re the police. You can’t wait for someone to come and save you – that’s why you’re there. Q: Can you share with our audience about the opportunity you had to become an undercover police officer? PB: I started my policing career as a uniform patrol officer. I worked with a great platoon and had the opportunity to respond to everything from murder to traffic stops and everything in-between. But I was always drawn to criminal investigations, especially narcotics work. After completing three years in uniform, I was transferred to the drug enforcement section, where I worked as an undercover officer. Working as an undercover police officer is not for everyone. You’re required to work odd hours and live away from home for months at a time, which is probably one of the reasons why I was one of two women in a unit of eighty-nine officers. Q: While working full-time undercover, you also completed law school … was this always your career goal?

PB: I primarily prosecuted drug offenses like trafficking and importing. It was an exciting career, and I enjoyed the new challenges that came with it. My experience as an undercover police officer gave me a perspective that most attorneys do not have. Q: You’re writing a book and are doing a lot of speaking engagements … what else do you have on the horizon? PB: I am currently writing a book about the negotiation and communication techniques I learned and developed over a twenty-year career in the criminal justice system. Pre-COVID-19, I traveled throughout North America, delivering keynotes on negotiating, communicating, and building trust through intentional communication and body language. Now, I am delivering virtual keynotes and workshops. Although I miss the live interaction of in-person events, I can manage more events now that I don’t have to leave my home studio. Q: What’s your advice for women in male-dominated fields? PB: Care more about being respected than being liked. Being heard and seen in male-dominated professions is more effective when you communicate confidence and empathy with what you say and with your body language. Q: What do you like doing in your spare time? PB: I love spending time with my husband Kevin and our son Kaleb. We enjoy hiking and skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains where we live. I also enjoy reading mystery novels and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.


PB: Practicing law was not always my career goal. I’ve always enjoyed being a student. When I finished my B.A., I began my studies at Police College. After graduation, I enrolled in graduate school and attended classes at night and on my days off. After completing my master’s degree, I enrolled in law school. That was a bit more challenging to manage because I was enrolled in law school full-time (they didn’t allow part-time studies), and I was working full-time as an undercover police officer. I couldn’t tell my professors or classmates what I did for a living, which made conversations interesting, especially in my criminal law classes. I married my undercover partner in what we jokingly call our government prearranged marriage. Fortunately, I graduated from law school just as we were starting a family. Being an undercover police officer is not a very mom-friendly job, and my law degree allowed me to leave policing and begin a career as a prosecutor. Q: Tell us about the responsibilities you had as a Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

Pamela Barnum

A Trust Strategist, Body Language Expert, Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? PB: After high school, I attended university to study politics and economics. I wanted to have a degree completed before entering law enforcement. My grandmother and mother did not have the opportunity to attend college or university. They were adamant that I go and at least get a bachelor’s degree before becoming a police officer. I was the first person in my family to attend university. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? PB: I had several part-time jobs and full-time summer jobs while I was a student. Everything from being an operator for the phone company to working at a bookstore and a beer store. However, my first “real” job was as a uniform police officer. I know from experience that policing is one of the most challenging and underappreciated jobs there is. But it is also the most rewarding. One moment you may be in a life-threatening situation, and the next, you’re responding to a call about a minor event. In policing, you learn a lot about people, and

at the same time, you learn a lot about yourself. Specifically, that you can accomplish more than you ever thought you could because you have to. You’re the police. You can’t wait for someone to come and save you – that’s why you’re there. Q: Can you share with our audience about the opportunity you had to become an undercover police officer? PB: I started my policing career as a uniform patrol officer. I worked with a great platoon and had the opportunity to respond to everything from murder to traffic stops and everything in-between. But I was always drawn to criminal investigations, especially narcotics work. After completing three years in uniform, I was transferred to the drug enforcement section, where I worked as an undercover officer. Working as an undercover police officer is not for everyone. You’re required to work odd hours and live away from home for months at a time, which is probably one of the reasons why I was one of two women in a unit of eighty-nine officers. Q: While working full-time undercover, you also completed law school … was this always your career goal?

PB: I primarily prosecuted drug offenses like trafficking and importing. It was an exciting career, and I enjoyed the new challenges that came with it. My experience as an undercover police officer gave me a perspective that most attorneys do not have. Q: You’re writing a book and are doing a lot of speaking engagements … what else do you have on the horizon? PB: I am currently writing a book about the negotiation and communication techniques I learned and developed over a twenty-year career in the criminal justice system. Pre-COVID-19, I traveled throughout North America, delivering keynotes on negotiating, communicating, and building trust through intentional communication and body language. Now, I am delivering virtual keynotes and workshops. Although I miss the live interaction of in-person events, I can manage more events now that I don’t have to leave my home studio. Q: What’s your advice for women in male-dominated fields? PB: Care more about being respected than being liked. Being heard and seen in male-dominated professions is more effective when you communicate confidence and empathy with what you say and with your body language. Q: What do you like doing in your spare time? PB: I love spending time with my husband Kevin and our son Kaleb. We enjoy hiking and skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains where we live. I also enjoy reading mystery novels and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.


W

Little Rock Nonprofits

Working Together For The Common Good, By Transforming Our Mutual Beliefs And hopes Into Action.

e salute the many non-profit organizations in our region. They may be robust operations that perform heavy lifting with big rograms. They may be feet-on-the-street teams that distribute small luxuries to nsure a sense of dignity among the needy. They may even be swabbing the kennel floors of our four-legged friends that eagerly await to find their final loving home. They are energized by selfless individuals who think of nothing but giving back and paying forward. They are unsung heroes who we wish to recognize and applaud. Let’s tip our hats to the following remarkable Little Rock Nonprofits!


W

Little Rock Nonprofits

Working Together For The Common Good, By Transforming Our Mutual Beliefs And hopes Into Action.

e salute the many non-profit organizations in our region. They may be robust operations that perform heavy lifting with big rograms. They may be feet-on-the-street teams that distribute small luxuries to nsure a sense of dignity among the needy. They may even be swabbing the kennel floors of our four-legged friends that eagerly await to find their final loving home. They are energized by selfless individuals who think of nothing but giving back and paying forward. They are unsung heroes who we wish to recognize and applaud. Let’s tip our hats to the following remarkable Little Rock Nonprofits!


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine Women & Children First: The Center Against Family Violence (WCF) was founded in 1976 as Advocates for Battered Women by a group of citizens concerned about the effects of domestic violence in the Little Rock community. In July 1999, the name was changed to Women & Children First: The Center Against Family Violence to better reflect the scope of services provided for clients.

WCF’s mission is to provide safety, strength, and hope to all victims of family violence. www.wcfarkansas.org

During the formative years in the late 1970s, WCF primarily provided support services, including counseling through Arkansas Women’s Rights and also accompanying victims while pressing charges against their batterers. The first safe shelter was opened in 1978, housing women only in a donated private home in Little Rock. In 1981, WCF joined with a handful of grassroots women’s groups to form the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV). This is a private nonprofit statewide network of coordinated services for victims of domestic violence. Together, with the assistance of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, these groups worked to pass legislation including the Arkansas Domestic Abuse Act and the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA). WCF began offering advocacy services for women and children, to include support groups for sheltered residents and non-resident domestic violence survivors. The transitional housing program was also established to further enable families to live independently. WCF also began providing classes to assist clients with educational and career goals. as well as classes in life skills, parenting, and the dynamics of domestic violence for shelter house guests. Between 1999 and 2001, the shelter was filled to capacity almost every night. More and more victims. because of space limitations. could not be accommodated. To meet the growing need, between 2002 and 2003, WCF doubled its size by moving to its current location and added more beds • a computer lab and children’s playroom and educational area. In 2004, WCF completed a strategic plan through a special grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. During the next decade, strong board and staff leadership. good financial stewardship, and sustainable community and statewide support have provided the foundation for future planning. During the past 15 years. WCF has maintained its 112-year-old building, improved security and enhanced safety at the shelter. But remaining in the current building is not an option.


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine Women & Children First: The Center Against Family Violence (WCF) was founded in 1976 as Advocates for Battered Women by a group of citizens concerned about the effects of domestic violence in the Little Rock community. In July 1999, the name was changed to Women & Children First: The Center Against Family Violence to better reflect the scope of services provided for clients.

WCF’s mission is to provide safety, strength, and hope to all victims of family violence. www.wcfarkansas.org

During the formative years in the late 1970s, WCF primarily provided support services, including counseling through Arkansas Women’s Rights and also accompanying victims while pressing charges against their batterers. The first safe shelter was opened in 1978, housing women only in a donated private home in Little Rock. In 1981, WCF joined with a handful of grassroots women’s groups to form the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV). This is a private nonprofit statewide network of coordinated services for victims of domestic violence. Together, with the assistance of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, these groups worked to pass legislation including the Arkansas Domestic Abuse Act and the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA). WCF began offering advocacy services for women and children, to include support groups for sheltered residents and non-resident domestic violence survivors. The transitional housing program was also established to further enable families to live independently. WCF also began providing classes to assist clients with educational and career goals. as well as classes in life skills, parenting, and the dynamics of domestic violence for shelter house guests. Between 1999 and 2001, the shelter was filled to capacity almost every night. More and more victims. because of space limitations. could not be accommodated. To meet the growing need, between 2002 and 2003, WCF doubled its size by moving to its current location and added more beds • a computer lab and children’s playroom and educational area. In 2004, WCF completed a strategic plan through a special grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. During the next decade, strong board and staff leadership. good financial stewardship, and sustainable community and statewide support have provided the foundation for future planning. During the past 15 years. WCF has maintained its 112-year-old building, improved security and enhanced safety at the shelter. But remaining in the current building is not an option.


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine For 21 years, volunteers from The Storybook Project of Arkansas have traveled to the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) facilities in Newport, Arkansas, with the primary intention of helping inmates stay connected with their families through reading stories. Four times a year, inmates from the McPherson unit for women, Grimes unit for men and Wrightsville Hawkins unit for men and women are allowed to reach out to the children and grandchildren they left behind in the very intimate way of reading aloud to them.

The Storybook Project of Arkansas is a simple idea with a big impact. By recording inmates reading a book to the children in their lives, we give incarcerated parents an opportunity to be a parent and a positive role model for their children. With a book and CD which they can play over and over, children are able to hear their loved one’s voice and to know that they are loved and missed. Chaplains in the Arkansas Department of Corrections support our program because reconnecting inmates with their lives outside the prison helps to restore relationships and increases the chance of success after release. www.storybookprojectofarkansas.org

Volunteers who have been vetted through the ADC bring crates of new books into the prisons - books that are suitable for toddlers through high school age readers. Approved inmates select a book, and Storybook volunteers record the inmate reading the story to the youngsters in their family. The books and recordings are then packed up and sent to the children. “​Our motto was - and is - ‘keeping families connected through reading,’ ” said project founder Pat Oplinger. She started Storybook in 1997 with a few other volunteers from a local church. The original purpose, she said, “was to raise the literacy level of both inmates and their children, thus raising education and self confidence levels and family unity.” “We [also] wanted to establish a connection between imprisoned parents and their children,” she said.


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine For 21 years, volunteers from The Storybook Project of Arkansas have traveled to the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) facilities in Newport, Arkansas, with the primary intention of helping inmates stay connected with their families through reading stories. Four times a year, inmates from the McPherson unit for women, Grimes unit for men and Wrightsville Hawkins unit for men and women are allowed to reach out to the children and grandchildren they left behind in the very intimate way of reading aloud to them.

The Storybook Project of Arkansas is a simple idea with a big impact. By recording inmates reading a book to the children in their lives, we give incarcerated parents an opportunity to be a parent and a positive role model for their children. With a book and CD which they can play over and over, children are able to hear their loved one’s voice and to know that they are loved and missed. Chaplains in the Arkansas Department of Corrections support our program because reconnecting inmates with their lives outside the prison helps to restore relationships and increases the chance of success after release. www.storybookprojectofarkansas.org

Volunteers who have been vetted through the ADC bring crates of new books into the prisons - books that are suitable for toddlers through high school age readers. Approved inmates select a book, and Storybook volunteers record the inmate reading the story to the youngsters in their family. The books and recordings are then packed up and sent to the children. “​Our motto was - and is - ‘keeping families connected through reading,’ ” said project founder Pat Oplinger. She started Storybook in 1997 with a few other volunteers from a local church. The original purpose, she said, “was to raise the literacy level of both inmates and their children, thus raising education and self confidence levels and family unity.” “We [also] wanted to establish a connection between imprisoned parents and their children,” she said.


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine MAKE A DIIFFERENCE

COMPASSIONATELY CONNECTED FOR VETERANS INC. is a nonprofit organization that holds dearly to four principals Compassion, Commitment, Caring and Comfort. While providing support, resources, and community building to veterans and their families. We support Veterans from walks of life. Including, disabled Veterans within rehabilitation facilities, and Incarnated past or present Veterans. www.cc4vinc.org

There are many ways to get involved in helping our program including: donating to St. Francis House, participate in our holiday gift drive, celebrate Veterans on Veterans Day, Cookies with a Cause, providing care packages for our homeless Veterans monthly, individual toiletries for Veterans and their dependents in need… including wipes, pampers and other needs for infants/ children. Volunteer opportunities are available to anyone in the community.

Community Partnerships We value our Veteran community and are open to partnering with local organizations to help meet the needs of our families. We are currently looking to partner with local food banks, as many of our families struggle with food insecurity. If your organization could help us with this or if you have an idea for a different type of partnership with us, please contact Karen Mothershed at info.compassionatevet.secretary@ gmail.com


Brought To You By

Little Rock Women Magazine MAKE A DIIFFERENCE

COMPASSIONATELY CONNECTED FOR VETERANS INC. is a nonprofit organization that holds dearly to four principals Compassion, Commitment, Caring and Comfort. While providing support, resources, and community building to veterans and their families. We support Veterans from walks of life. Including, disabled Veterans within rehabilitation facilities, and Incarnated past or present Veterans. www.cc4vinc.org

There are many ways to get involved in helping our program including: donating to St. Francis House, participate in our holiday gift drive, celebrate Veterans on Veterans Day, Cookies with a Cause, providing care packages for our homeless Veterans monthly, individual toiletries for Veterans and their dependents in need… including wipes, pampers and other needs for infants/ children. Volunteer opportunities are available to anyone in the community.

Community Partnerships We value our Veteran community and are open to partnering with local organizations to help meet the needs of our families. We are currently looking to partner with local food banks, as many of our families struggle with food insecurity. If your organization could help us with this or if you have an idea for a different type of partnership with us, please contact Karen Mothershed at info.compassionatevet.secretary@ gmail.com


A Special Conversation With Empowerment Author & Speaker,

Zeeda Michele

Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? ZM: I don’t believe it was something that I set out to do I just knew I had a creative force in me that was supposed to be doing something independently, and opposite of what everyone else was doing, and with that being said I needed to be able to control the narrative of my creativity without restriction. And just like that Making Power Moves was born! Q: Can you share with our audience more about your career and your brand Making Power Moves? ZM: Making power moves is a women’s empowerment movement that consist of books, apparel, empowerment events, interior design, event planning, and décor. There are so many intricate details to MPM that it can’t just be summed up in a title or a few sentences, it’s about empowering women and even men on levels that are not mediocre on levels that are super creative! And some in different areas as I mentioned above. Q: Tell us about what inspired you to write the book “From Pain to Power” ZM: Growing up I had an extremely rough life that consisted of me being molested as a child, being a high school dropout, teen pregnancy, mental, physical, and sexual abuse, also selling drugs in so much criminal activity which led to my incarceration, and also even being a negligent parent… a young negligent parent, and even being suicidal. There were so many layers of pain that I experienced but through God, my husband and writing, the book From Pain to Power was where my healing begin. Not to mention being a Christian hip-hop artist that shared her testimony before performing on stage, after each performance I was often told why you don’t write a book, so one day I picked up a pen and I begin to write! Q: Tell us more about the meaning behind “I am not what I’ve been through … I am who I was called to be? ZM: Often society labels us… you know Zeeda?! Ida’s daughter the one that always gets in trouble lol, Or the little girl that got pregnant at 16, the thief, drug dealer… the drop out, who was molested as a little girl. All those things I just named above yeah all that happened to me, and people like to label you! yes, I did that, I’ve been through that, but let me enlighten you I also came out of all that! So, honey I’m not what I’ve been through! I was called to be something greater, and the greater call is Everything that I’ve been through all the bad was working for my good, it enables me to share with someone else …that yeah… all that happened but look who I am now I’m not what I’ve been through! I was called to be who I was created to be. When things are being created, we never know what the outcome is, but when we begin to pay attention to the intricate details of what’s being molded and shaped.…the end process is stunning, that’s the kind of God we serve, and though we start out one way, mushy, lumpy, ugly, scarred… in the hands of the Potter, we are created to be something extraordinary!

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? ZM: Presentation is everything! How you present yourself how you present your product what you represent and what you stand for is important! I don’t care what you think they see you! even when you’re trying to pretend or cover up, they see you! Presentation is everything, be honest with yourself and who you are, but don’t ever allow the lines of communication to be blurred, never let anyone control the narrative of what it is that you are called to do. Listening to the voice of others put fear in me, and it also put doubt in me as well. There were things That I not only allow people to talk me out of it, but I talked myself out of opportunities, experiences, and potential deals. I’ve learned to be fearless and to take calculated risk! never start building without A blueprint! And make God the CEO…because he is!

Q: What would you say was your lowest point in life and why then did you decide to make a change? ZM: My lowest point in life was after a big fight with my sons’ father, who was very abusive, and who was abusing me physically and sexually for so long, behind closed doors… no one knew what I was going through, I was so tired of fighting and not just with him but with life, my life was in shams… and then one day the police knocked on my door and arrested me in front of my kids. I found myself locked up and pregnant… with no direction for my life, a single young black mom That just found out that I was pregnant again for a third time… pregnant and in jail!!!!. And right before my incarceration I had a failed suicide attempt… come on! Low couldn’t get no lower, I couldn’t even accomplish killing myself ! And as I sat on my prison bunk bed, I thought to myself there has to be more to life than this. I was not designed to live a mediocre life; my kids were not supposed to have a mediocre mom. So, when they see me! and they see me! In so many different lights … on so many different levels. Nevertheless, the beautiful, amazing thing about all of that is my lowest moment proved to my family that you don’t have to stay down anything is possible with God. What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business? ZM: Never share your dreams with people that don’t have vision, never allow anyone to put restrictions on the way you dream. Dream in HD on a movie screen! Your dream will definitely try to intimidate you whether that is with finances, resources, or manpower. But no matter what you keep pushing and you keep trying, and you step out on all the faith that you have even if that’s only the size of a mustard seed … believe God! you also have to invest in yourself, often time entrepreneurs start out working for others it’s called seed money. You need seed to grow anything! Also be mindful how you invest your seed. If you give me a dollar the average thinker would say “Oh I have a dollar” whereas I would say I have 4 quarters! I’m going to invest a quarter here a quarter their quarter here etc. scared money doesn’t make money! Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career? ZM: The most memorable moment was when God first gave me the vision and the guts to give my first power gala. I remember standing on stage in front of 300 people, Yup the Power gala is what he told me to call it! This Power gala included a three-course dinner, Crystal awards, a live New Orleans style brass band, Stilt walkers, and a live DJ… all that at the time on a Zumba instructors’ salary, making only $27 a class at the time!!!! True story! On that night I stood before the people that night September 2016 and I said wow y’all came lol that was one of my proudest moments!

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? ZM: I honestly would have to say there are so many, but at this stage in my life the very young but powerful Sarah Jakes Roberts is the one that truly inspires me! she is fearless, and she does not care what people think of her, and she Gives you the good. News in a way that’s full of innovation and swag!!! I Absolutely love it!! empowering women, preaching the gospel and with style and fashion that isn’t the norm! woman evolve woman evolve!!! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? ZM: Being heard … I mean being really heard and being taken seriously by our male counterparts! in my 2nd book PowHerful … there is a chapter called the Oprah Stedman syndrome! It talks about how with the right man standing alongside of the right woman, not being intimidated by who she is but embracing the qualities of all God created her to be, that’s power! as the head he has the ability to ignite greatness in one of the most intricate beautiful complex but very strong creatures that God has created! And although people talked about Stedman He knew, and he knows what he has in Oprah Winfrey… that’s power! Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? ZM: God, Time, and discipline. God has given us all an allotted time here on earth! There are a lot of things you can get back, you can get a refund, you can exchange a pair of shoes. but you see time, you can’t get that back, so I’m very detailed when it comes to time… my schedule is planned, from the time I get up in in the morning. I know I need at least 15 minutes of worship and just meditating. I know I have to take 30 minutes to walk and feed my dog, I have 45 minutes to work out, I have 30 minutes to shower and get ready. I have 15 minutes to get my coffee and pumpkin. Bread (guilty pleasure). And another 18 minutes to drive to work. If you are going to be successful at anything time is a resource that you are going to have to pay close attention to! And discipline is not something you’re born with it’s something you create!


A Special Conversation With Empowerment Author & Speaker,

Zeeda Michele

Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? ZM: I don’t believe it was something that I set out to do I just knew I had a creative force in me that was supposed to be doing something independently, and opposite of what everyone else was doing, and with that being said I needed to be able to control the narrative of my creativity without restriction. And just like that Making Power Moves was born! Q: Can you share with our audience more about your career and your brand Making Power Moves? ZM: Making power moves is a women’s empowerment movement that consist of books, apparel, empowerment events, interior design, event planning, and décor. There are so many intricate details to MPM that it can’t just be summed up in a title or a few sentences, it’s about empowering women and even men on levels that are not mediocre on levels that are super creative! And some in different areas as I mentioned above. Q: Tell us about what inspired you to write the book “From Pain to Power” ZM: Growing up I had an extremely rough life that consisted of me being molested as a child, being a high school dropout, teen pregnancy, mental, physical, and sexual abuse, also selling drugs in so much criminal activity which led to my incarceration, and also even being a negligent parent… a young negligent parent, and even being suicidal. There were so many layers of pain that I experienced but through God, my husband and writing, the book From Pain to Power was where my healing begin. Not to mention being a Christian hip-hop artist that shared her testimony before performing on stage, after each performance I was often told why you don’t write a book, so one day I picked up a pen and I begin to write! Q: Tell us more about the meaning behind “I am not what I’ve been through … I am who I was called to be? ZM: Often society labels us… you know Zeeda?! Ida’s daughter the one that always gets in trouble lol, Or the little girl that got pregnant at 16, the thief, drug dealer… the drop out, who was molested as a little girl. All those things I just named above yeah all that happened to me, and people like to label you! yes, I did that, I’ve been through that, but let me enlighten you I also came out of all that! So, honey I’m not what I’ve been through! I was called to be something greater, and the greater call is Everything that I’ve been through all the bad was working for my good, it enables me to share with someone else …that yeah… all that happened but look who I am now I’m not what I’ve been through! I was called to be who I was created to be. When things are being created, we never know what the outcome is, but when we begin to pay attention to the intricate details of what’s being molded and shaped.…the end process is stunning, that’s the kind of God we serve, and though we start out one way, mushy, lumpy, ugly, scarred… in the hands of the Potter, we are created to be something extraordinary!

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? ZM: Presentation is everything! How you present yourself how you present your product what you represent and what you stand for is important! I don’t care what you think they see you! even when you’re trying to pretend or cover up, they see you! Presentation is everything, be honest with yourself and who you are, but don’t ever allow the lines of communication to be blurred, never let anyone control the narrative of what it is that you are called to do. Listening to the voice of others put fear in me, and it also put doubt in me as well. There were things That I not only allow people to talk me out of it, but I talked myself out of opportunities, experiences, and potential deals. I’ve learned to be fearless and to take calculated risk! never start building without A blueprint! And make God the CEO…because he is!

Q: What would you say was your lowest point in life and why then did you decide to make a change? ZM: My lowest point in life was after a big fight with my sons’ father, who was very abusive, and who was abusing me physically and sexually for so long, behind closed doors… no one knew what I was going through, I was so tired of fighting and not just with him but with life, my life was in shams… and then one day the police knocked on my door and arrested me in front of my kids. I found myself locked up and pregnant… with no direction for my life, a single young black mom That just found out that I was pregnant again for a third time… pregnant and in jail!!!!. And right before my incarceration I had a failed suicide attempt… come on! Low couldn’t get no lower, I couldn’t even accomplish killing myself ! And as I sat on my prison bunk bed, I thought to myself there has to be more to life than this. I was not designed to live a mediocre life; my kids were not supposed to have a mediocre mom. So, when they see me! and they see me! In so many different lights … on so many different levels. Nevertheless, the beautiful, amazing thing about all of that is my lowest moment proved to my family that you don’t have to stay down anything is possible with God. What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business? ZM: Never share your dreams with people that don’t have vision, never allow anyone to put restrictions on the way you dream. Dream in HD on a movie screen! Your dream will definitely try to intimidate you whether that is with finances, resources, or manpower. But no matter what you keep pushing and you keep trying, and you step out on all the faith that you have even if that’s only the size of a mustard seed … believe God! you also have to invest in yourself, often time entrepreneurs start out working for others it’s called seed money. You need seed to grow anything! Also be mindful how you invest your seed. If you give me a dollar the average thinker would say “Oh I have a dollar” whereas I would say I have 4 quarters! I’m going to invest a quarter here a quarter their quarter here etc. scared money doesn’t make money! Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career? ZM: The most memorable moment was when God first gave me the vision and the guts to give my first power gala. I remember standing on stage in front of 300 people, Yup the Power gala is what he told me to call it! This Power gala included a three-course dinner, Crystal awards, a live New Orleans style brass band, Stilt walkers, and a live DJ… all that at the time on a Zumba instructors’ salary, making only $27 a class at the time!!!! True story! On that night I stood before the people that night September 2016 and I said wow y’all came lol that was one of my proudest moments!

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? ZM: I honestly would have to say there are so many, but at this stage in my life the very young but powerful Sarah Jakes Roberts is the one that truly inspires me! she is fearless, and she does not care what people think of her, and she Gives you the good. News in a way that’s full of innovation and swag!!! I Absolutely love it!! empowering women, preaching the gospel and with style and fashion that isn’t the norm! woman evolve woman evolve!!! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? ZM: Being heard … I mean being really heard and being taken seriously by our male counterparts! in my 2nd book PowHerful … there is a chapter called the Oprah Stedman syndrome! It talks about how with the right man standing alongside of the right woman, not being intimidated by who she is but embracing the qualities of all God created her to be, that’s power! as the head he has the ability to ignite greatness in one of the most intricate beautiful complex but very strong creatures that God has created! And although people talked about Stedman He knew, and he knows what he has in Oprah Winfrey… that’s power! Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? ZM: God, Time, and discipline. God has given us all an allotted time here on earth! There are a lot of things you can get back, you can get a refund, you can exchange a pair of shoes. but you see time, you can’t get that back, so I’m very detailed when it comes to time… my schedule is planned, from the time I get up in in the morning. I know I need at least 15 minutes of worship and just meditating. I know I have to take 30 minutes to walk and feed my dog, I have 45 minutes to work out, I have 30 minutes to shower and get ready. I have 15 minutes to get my coffee and pumpkin. Bread (guilty pleasure). And another 18 minutes to drive to work. If you are going to be successful at anything time is a resource that you are going to have to pay close attention to! And discipline is not something you’re born with it’s something you create!


Awarded The Presidential Early Career Award For Scientist & Engineers. It’s a Pleasure To Introduce, Professor Of Engineering At Purdue University, Haiyan Wang.

HW: My research group is currently working on many research directions in the areas of new ceramic and ceramic-based composite materials for more compactable microelectronic devices, new photonic structures, thin film Li-ion batteries, and efficient fuel cells. Another interesting and fundamental direction is to design and processing ductile ceramics through defect engineering. Usually, ceramics will break into pieces easily under high impacts, i.e., poor toughness, despite the fact that they are very hard, much harder than most of the metals. They behave very different from metallic materials, where metals generate various defects to accommodate the external high impacts, and then deform without breaking into pieces. We are designing ceramics with those defects to mimic “metals” and making them “tough” and unbreakable. Q: In 2008, you received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers. Can you tell us more about this along with the presentation of your award? HW: That was one of my most memorable moments in my career. I was among the top 60 early career scientists and engineers in the U.S. to receive this award. The awardees were selected and recommended from various federal agencies. I was invited to the White House and met with President Bush. Luckily, I was standing right next to him and had a short discussion with him during the group photo session.

Q: Can you share with our audience a little on your life story and how you became interested in Engineering? HW: I was born and raised in China and moved to the US for a Ph.D. study in the field of materials science and engineering in 2000. I was fascinated by the field of materials research and its ability to fuel new discoveries and technology innovations and thus decided to pursue my career in materials research. Taking an example, all the integrated circuits that enable versatile personal devices and computing power we have today, are based on silicon, an earth abundant material and a semiconductor, as well as our ability to grow it well in thin layers and dope it with other elements to change its conductivity in different parts of the devices. I am currently focusing on new materials design and processing for microelectronics and photonics, and energy applications. Q: When did you know you wanted your career to include teaching along with research? HW: I have always dreamed to be a teacher as many of my teachers throughout my study are my role models. The dream

become much closer to me when I joined Los Alamos National Lab as a postdoc research fellow. I got to mentor multiple graduates and undergraduates through research. I very much enjoyed the teaching/learning process with them and thus applied to faculty positions after my postdoc work. Q: Tell us about some of the patents you hold and how they are used. HW: I currently hold 12 US patents. One of the earlier ones developed in 2005 was on the designs of multilayer stack for the high quality growth of high temperature superconductors coated conductors for superconducting cables and generators. This patent has been licensed by multiple superconductor companies and generated great industry interests in the field. These superconductors coated conductors are very important components for energy efficient generators, motors and electrical transmission lines that transmit electricity or convert energy without energy loss in electrical resistance. Q: Can you tell us about the research your currently doing? What do you hope it will accomplish?

Q: During Covid-19 you developed a hybrid plasmonic thin-film. Can you tell us what led to this design and how it’s being used? HW: The COVID time was challenging for all the researchers as all the labs had restricted access with only one researcher allowed at any given time. We were able to design and process a range of hybrid plasmonic thin films. These are a group of hybrid materials with two or more materials combined as one material. At least one of the phases possesses plasmonic properties and the other phase(s) presents other functionalities. Typical processing methods involve processing one material first, then etch and integrate the second phase in. Our method is to directly grow two materials simultaneously and self-assembled into nanostructured hybrid materials. This poses great challenges to the growth process as the deposition parameters are vastly different for the different phases and finding a common processing window to effectively grow two or more phases requires deep understanding on the self-assembly process, i.e., materials science of self-assembly. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? HW: Materials science and engineering as a relatively new and cross-disciplinary area is filled with talented researchers from Chemistry, physics, biology, and nearly all the engineering fields. How to distinguish my research from others and identify critical research topics that are unique and impactful, have been a constant question I am asking throughout my career. Instead of fear, I consider this as the motivation to innovate continuously. Luckily, I am never alone by working with a group of talented graduate students and postdocs in my research group, and many collaborators at Purdue and other institutions, nationally and internationally!

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? HW: I recall many memorable moments in my career. But the most memorable ones are the Ph.D. graduation ceremonies where I grant the Ph.D. regalia on the shoulder of my Ph.D. students on stage. In the past 16 years, I have graduated 38 Ph.D. students and they are now working as professors in universities, researchers at national labs and senior processing engineers at semiconductor industries, such as Intel, Micron, IBM, Applied Materials. I am so proud of their achievements and witnessing their growth! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? HW: One of the major challenges is simply so few of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. For instance, there are eight women faculty out of thirty-five faculty members in my home school of Purdue MSE. In the undergraduate classes I am teaching, typically there are 5-8 female students among the total of 30-40 student. The ratio of 1:4.5 is of concern but it is comparably better than many other engineering fields. There are a lot of work we have to do to slowly make the changes. I am hiring 1-2 female Ph.D. candidates each year to ensure my group diversity and gender balance. Another challenge is that the stereotype on “the boys are better than girls in STEM” continues to influence our young generations. My 13-years-old daughter always doubts about her ability in math and science despite she has excellent scores in all her classes. More work is needed to help girls gain their confidence. Such efforts can initiate from every one of us. For all the women in workplace, career-family balance is another major challenge. Because of the extensive periods of childbirth, breast-feeding, and raising family, many of the working women have to quit or temporarily quit jobs at the very early stage of their careers, which influences their long-term career. There shall be effective work and employment policies to protect women in workplace. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? HW: We women engineers and scientists have strength in multi-tasking, soft inter-personal skills, and very detailed thinking. Utilizing the strengths, you will excel! Everyone is made differently. Use your own expertise and strengths to distinguish yourself, among others. Do not let any stereotype influence your career decisions and never limit your own potential! When you are deciding between family and career, do remember that these two are always coupled together and you can make them well balanced! A supportive family is also very key to such balance. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? HW: I have always wanted to do something impactful and useful to the society. After high school, I had a vague picture of my career working in an engineering field but was not very sure on what exactly I would work on. After my bachelor and graduate studies, the picture became clear, i.e., a scientist in the areas of materials discovery.


Awarded The Presidential Early Career Award For Scientist & Engineers. It’s a Pleasure To Introduce, Professor Of Engineering At Purdue University, Haiyan Wang.

HW: My research group is currently working on many research directions in the areas of new ceramic and ceramic-based composite materials for more compactable microelectronic devices, new photonic structures, thin film Li-ion batteries, and efficient fuel cells. Another interesting and fundamental direction is to design and processing ductile ceramics through defect engineering. Usually, ceramics will break into pieces easily under high impacts, i.e., poor toughness, despite the fact that they are very hard, much harder than most of the metals. They behave very different from metallic materials, where metals generate various defects to accommodate the external high impacts, and then deform without breaking into pieces. We are designing ceramics with those defects to mimic “metals” and making them “tough” and unbreakable. Q: In 2008, you received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers. Can you tell us more about this along with the presentation of your award? HW: That was one of my most memorable moments in my career. I was among the top 60 early career scientists and engineers in the U.S. to receive this award. The awardees were selected and recommended from various federal agencies. I was invited to the White House and met with President Bush. Luckily, I was standing right next to him and had a short discussion with him during the group photo session.

Q: Can you share with our audience a little on your life story and how you became interested in Engineering? HW: I was born and raised in China and moved to the US for a Ph.D. study in the field of materials science and engineering in 2000. I was fascinated by the field of materials research and its ability to fuel new discoveries and technology innovations and thus decided to pursue my career in materials research. Taking an example, all the integrated circuits that enable versatile personal devices and computing power we have today, are based on silicon, an earth abundant material and a semiconductor, as well as our ability to grow it well in thin layers and dope it with other elements to change its conductivity in different parts of the devices. I am currently focusing on new materials design and processing for microelectronics and photonics, and energy applications. Q: When did you know you wanted your career to include teaching along with research? HW: I have always dreamed to be a teacher as many of my teachers throughout my study are my role models. The dream

become much closer to me when I joined Los Alamos National Lab as a postdoc research fellow. I got to mentor multiple graduates and undergraduates through research. I very much enjoyed the teaching/learning process with them and thus applied to faculty positions after my postdoc work. Q: Tell us about some of the patents you hold and how they are used. HW: I currently hold 12 US patents. One of the earlier ones developed in 2005 was on the designs of multilayer stack for the high quality growth of high temperature superconductors coated conductors for superconducting cables and generators. This patent has been licensed by multiple superconductor companies and generated great industry interests in the field. These superconductors coated conductors are very important components for energy efficient generators, motors and electrical transmission lines that transmit electricity or convert energy without energy loss in electrical resistance. Q: Can you tell us about the research your currently doing? What do you hope it will accomplish?

Q: During Covid-19 you developed a hybrid plasmonic thin-film. Can you tell us what led to this design and how it’s being used? HW: The COVID time was challenging for all the researchers as all the labs had restricted access with only one researcher allowed at any given time. We were able to design and process a range of hybrid plasmonic thin films. These are a group of hybrid materials with two or more materials combined as one material. At least one of the phases possesses plasmonic properties and the other phase(s) presents other functionalities. Typical processing methods involve processing one material first, then etch and integrate the second phase in. Our method is to directly grow two materials simultaneously and self-assembled into nanostructured hybrid materials. This poses great challenges to the growth process as the deposition parameters are vastly different for the different phases and finding a common processing window to effectively grow two or more phases requires deep understanding on the self-assembly process, i.e., materials science of self-assembly. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? HW: Materials science and engineering as a relatively new and cross-disciplinary area is filled with talented researchers from Chemistry, physics, biology, and nearly all the engineering fields. How to distinguish my research from others and identify critical research topics that are unique and impactful, have been a constant question I am asking throughout my career. Instead of fear, I consider this as the motivation to innovate continuously. Luckily, I am never alone by working with a group of talented graduate students and postdocs in my research group, and many collaborators at Purdue and other institutions, nationally and internationally!

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? HW: I recall many memorable moments in my career. But the most memorable ones are the Ph.D. graduation ceremonies where I grant the Ph.D. regalia on the shoulder of my Ph.D. students on stage. In the past 16 years, I have graduated 38 Ph.D. students and they are now working as professors in universities, researchers at national labs and senior processing engineers at semiconductor industries, such as Intel, Micron, IBM, Applied Materials. I am so proud of their achievements and witnessing their growth! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? HW: One of the major challenges is simply so few of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. For instance, there are eight women faculty out of thirty-five faculty members in my home school of Purdue MSE. In the undergraduate classes I am teaching, typically there are 5-8 female students among the total of 30-40 student. The ratio of 1:4.5 is of concern but it is comparably better than many other engineering fields. There are a lot of work we have to do to slowly make the changes. I am hiring 1-2 female Ph.D. candidates each year to ensure my group diversity and gender balance. Another challenge is that the stereotype on “the boys are better than girls in STEM” continues to influence our young generations. My 13-years-old daughter always doubts about her ability in math and science despite she has excellent scores in all her classes. More work is needed to help girls gain their confidence. Such efforts can initiate from every one of us. For all the women in workplace, career-family balance is another major challenge. Because of the extensive periods of childbirth, breast-feeding, and raising family, many of the working women have to quit or temporarily quit jobs at the very early stage of their careers, which influences their long-term career. There shall be effective work and employment policies to protect women in workplace. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? HW: We women engineers and scientists have strength in multi-tasking, soft inter-personal skills, and very detailed thinking. Utilizing the strengths, you will excel! Everyone is made differently. Use your own expertise and strengths to distinguish yourself, among others. Do not let any stereotype influence your career decisions and never limit your own potential! When you are deciding between family and career, do remember that these two are always coupled together and you can make them well balanced! A supportive family is also very key to such balance. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? HW: I have always wanted to do something impactful and useful to the society. After high school, I had a vague picture of my career working in an engineering field but was not very sure on what exactly I would work on. After my bachelor and graduate studies, the picture became clear, i.e., a scientist in the areas of materials discovery.


Marina Gavric

Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com

Age is Nothing But a Number Y

ou don’t spend 20 years in the fitness industry without learning a few things about numbers. A valuable term I learned early on, and attest to, is the age old adage that “Age is nothing but a number”. Each of us has a calendar age and a biological age. We’ve all seen this … Often I will see a 30 or 40 year-old who may look and feel considerably older than his or her actual age … or a 60 or 70 year-old who may look and feel considerably younger. How and why is that? Good health and well-being, so much of it is in our mind. Also our diet and exercise. It includes an attitude, our habits, our way of life. Healthy and vibrant, the good news is we don’t have to be stuck, where we might not be happy. The choice is ours and there are things we can do to improve. We should control our health rather our health control us. Health, fitness and wellness, no matter what our age, is a great recipe that works … and is everyone’s best reward. When and how did those years get stuck within layers of unhealthy fat, lining our frames? Can you pinpoint the time you became older than you really are? Think back. Was it when you were 12 trying to get out of gym class? Maybe in college when all your time was spent studying and socializing over noodles

and cocktails? Perhaps your fitness years were lost when the children began ruling your world or work sucked you in to the career abyss? Is it possible you just haven’t found your way out. Resolving when you began losing those years is key to getting them back. No matter what your current age or fitness level, taking action in changing your fitness age, to grow younger as you age, to become a fitter and wiser you, begins with some simple, clean life choices we can all make. Ask yourself: How old am I? How old do I feel? What is my fitness age? If I have lost years of vibrant life, when did I lose them? How can I get them back? And when do I begin taking action in the fight to take them back? Don’t let your “real” age rule or get the better of you. You can do it ... let your fitness age take the spotlight! … Stay Hydrated, Stay Focused, Stay Fit!


Ourgoali st oi ns pi r e,empower& s uppor twomeni nci t i est hr oughoutt heU. S.


An Exclusive Interview With Former President of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons,

Dr. Lynn Jeffers Q: You recently served as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Can you tell us what this meant to you and did you accomplish what you set out to do? LJ: Being President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons was an honor and a privilege. Despite the COVID pandemic, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do. At the beginning of my presidency, I wanted to focus on technology/innovation/disruption and on valuing our physician members. I created a presidential task force on technology that will build an infrastructure within ASPS that will not only address technology used by the society in our work, but also support our members interested in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We are also looking at the big ideas such as artificial intelligence, biosensors, block chain, etc. and making sure that we keep our society well-positioned to address potential opportunities and threats. In addition, we had a deliberate focus on making sure to recognize and engage our volunteer physician leaders. At the end of the day, this is a member organization, and we are thankful for their dedication and time that they give to ASPS and our specialty. Of course, we could not have anticipated COVID-19 and I am very proud of ASPS’s response to this pandemic. We were able to set up a COVID resource page for our members with regular webinars. We set up a clearinghouse for members to offer PPE and ventilators to other facilities in need. This caught the attention of the White House COVID Task Force which ultimately led us to help source over 6 million masks to New York alone as well as working with FEMA and other governor’s offices. When it was time to consider reopening, we responded to our members’ needs for access to PPE by having ASPS buy PPE in bulk and thus allowing our members access to PPE. Ultimately, I am so proud of the response of our physicians and our staff in coming together, being proactive, and responding effectively to the COVID pandemic. Q: Why is it important for a plastic surgeon to be a member of ASPS? LJ: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world. We are here not only for our plastic surgeon members but also our patients. Our advocacy, research, education efforts (of the public as well as plastic surgeons) promote patient safety, ethics, and excellence in plastic surgery. We continue to promote collaboration and science not only in the US but globally with our global partners. We continue to support important

initiatives such as our clinical registries, task forces, and research endeavors that will lead to data that we need to better address topics such as implant safety, surgical safety, proper training, and best practices. ASPS is here also for our members to provide resources for their everyday practices both operationally as well as clinically and also helps to facilitate communication, networking and camaraderie among our members. Q: Can you tell us about your current positions as Chief Medical Officer at St John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, and Medical Director of the Integrated Breast Center at St. John’s? LJ: I currently serve as the Chief Medical Officer at Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital which is a part of CommonSpirit Health. During the COVID crisis, I covered an additional hospital while their CMO was out. The Integrated Breast Center offers a community-based team-based approach to breast cancer care. The Center is nationally accredited and has been the recipient of a number of national grants. For the last 11 years, we have held a Breast Symposium that has grown from 30 attendees to 300 attendees last year. This year, of course, we will host a virtual symposium, but we look forward to being hold one in person next year (hopefully!). Q: Tell us about your private practice you have as a plastic surgeon in Ventura County, Calif, and why you chose to become a plastic surgeon. LJ: I am in solo private practice and share the office with my husband who is an Orthopaedic surgeon . I specialize in breast surgery, as well as non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures such as injectables (Botox/fillers). I was drawn to plastic surgery because in plastic surgery, you create and rebuild. That really appealed to me. One of my first exposures to plastic surgery was watching one of my research mentors in the operating room build an ear for a patient who was born without one, using the cartilage from her rib. It was fascinating and I was hooked. Today, I am so grateful to be able to help people every day. Many of my breast cancer reconstruction patients, I have known for years and there really is no comparison to the satisfaction you get, knowing that you make a difference in people’s lives. Q: Most of your medical education was done in Michigan … how did you end up in Southern California? LJ: I grew up in southern California. I went to Michigan because I was accepted into medical school out of high school

AMA meeting during her first campaign for a seat on the AMA Council on Medical Service and thus did my undergraduate education, medical school education, and residency training in Michigan. I returned to California after finishing my training, and I now live in the same community in which I grew up. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? LJ: It is definitely a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, adjustment. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family including having my parents living nearby. My husband and I joke that our children did ok, DESPITE us. For better or worse, we were too busy to helicopter parent our kids and they had to learn independence and resourcefulness early in life. I have many stories that we laugh about now. Balance is a moving target, but I would say that it starts with self-assessment and being aware of what is really meaningful--what are your real priorities. I don’t sleep much, but even so, more recently, I find that I have had to set limits and recognize that you can’t do all things all of the time. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? LJ: Never underestimate the importance of relationships. It is the personal connections that not only make the work we do meaningful but also, I believe, personal connections are the key to success. I also believe in the importance of leaving things better than you found them both in terms of the organization itself but the people. I have certainly benefited from the mentorship of many people and I hope to be that for others. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? LJ: Some of the most meaningful milestones in my career

were starting my own practice, spearheading the Integrated Breast Center, assuming my Chief Medical Officer (in addition to my practice), being elected as one of 11 members of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service, and most recently, my term as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, at the end of my presidency, I was chosen for two awards: the ASPS Patients of Courage and the Young At Heart award that really meant so much to me as it really reminded me why I do what I do -advocating for my patients and mentoring those after me. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Sometimes, women may have a difficult time finding mentors and seeing role models in leadership, depending on the arena. Also, it can take some work to understand how to navigate a particular environment and finding ways to be heard that are effective. Studies have shown that women cannot employ the same tactics in the boardroom as men do, as they are not as effective for women. With more recognition of these differences, more work is being done as to effective strategies specifically for women, we can promote better functioning teams and organizations. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as a Doctor? LJ: Being a physician is such a rewarding profession. Every day you can look in the mirror and know that you can help people directly. However, know that the number of years of education, training, and sacrifices can be daunting, so find your mentors and find your “why”. Make sure to pay attention to self-care and to not neglect the other portions of your life as those are just as crucial to a whole, meaningful life.


An Exclusive Interview With Former President of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons,

Dr. Lynn Jeffers Q: You recently served as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Can you tell us what this meant to you and did you accomplish what you set out to do? LJ: Being President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons was an honor and a privilege. Despite the COVID pandemic, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do. At the beginning of my presidency, I wanted to focus on technology/innovation/disruption and on valuing our physician members. I created a presidential task force on technology that will build an infrastructure within ASPS that will not only address technology used by the society in our work, but also support our members interested in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We are also looking at the big ideas such as artificial intelligence, biosensors, block chain, etc. and making sure that we keep our society well-positioned to address potential opportunities and threats. In addition, we had a deliberate focus on making sure to recognize and engage our volunteer physician leaders. At the end of the day, this is a member organization, and we are thankful for their dedication and time that they give to ASPS and our specialty. Of course, we could not have anticipated COVID-19 and I am very proud of ASPS’s response to this pandemic. We were able to set up a COVID resource page for our members with regular webinars. We set up a clearinghouse for members to offer PPE and ventilators to other facilities in need. This caught the attention of the White House COVID Task Force which ultimately led us to help source over 6 million masks to New York alone as well as working with FEMA and other governor’s offices. When it was time to consider reopening, we responded to our members’ needs for access to PPE by having ASPS buy PPE in bulk and thus allowing our members access to PPE. Ultimately, I am so proud of the response of our physicians and our staff in coming together, being proactive, and responding effectively to the COVID pandemic. Q: Why is it important for a plastic surgeon to be a member of ASPS? LJ: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world. We are here not only for our plastic surgeon members but also our patients. Our advocacy, research, education efforts (of the public as well as plastic surgeons) promote patient safety, ethics, and excellence in plastic surgery. We continue to promote collaboration and science not only in the US but globally with our global partners. We continue to support important

initiatives such as our clinical registries, task forces, and research endeavors that will lead to data that we need to better address topics such as implant safety, surgical safety, proper training, and best practices. ASPS is here also for our members to provide resources for their everyday practices both operationally as well as clinically and also helps to facilitate communication, networking and camaraderie among our members. Q: Can you tell us about your current positions as Chief Medical Officer at St John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, and Medical Director of the Integrated Breast Center at St. John’s? LJ: I currently serve as the Chief Medical Officer at Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital which is a part of CommonSpirit Health. During the COVID crisis, I covered an additional hospital while their CMO was out. The Integrated Breast Center offers a community-based team-based approach to breast cancer care. The Center is nationally accredited and has been the recipient of a number of national grants. For the last 11 years, we have held a Breast Symposium that has grown from 30 attendees to 300 attendees last year. This year, of course, we will host a virtual symposium, but we look forward to being hold one in person next year (hopefully!). Q: Tell us about your private practice you have as a plastic surgeon in Ventura County, Calif, and why you chose to become a plastic surgeon. LJ: I am in solo private practice and share the office with my husband who is an Orthopaedic surgeon . I specialize in breast surgery, as well as non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures such as injectables (Botox/fillers). I was drawn to plastic surgery because in plastic surgery, you create and rebuild. That really appealed to me. One of my first exposures to plastic surgery was watching one of my research mentors in the operating room build an ear for a patient who was born without one, using the cartilage from her rib. It was fascinating and I was hooked. Today, I am so grateful to be able to help people every day. Many of my breast cancer reconstruction patients, I have known for years and there really is no comparison to the satisfaction you get, knowing that you make a difference in people’s lives. Q: Most of your medical education was done in Michigan … how did you end up in Southern California? LJ: I grew up in southern California. I went to Michigan because I was accepted into medical school out of high school

AMA meeting during her first campaign for a seat on the AMA Council on Medical Service and thus did my undergraduate education, medical school education, and residency training in Michigan. I returned to California after finishing my training, and I now live in the same community in which I grew up. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? LJ: It is definitely a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, adjustment. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family including having my parents living nearby. My husband and I joke that our children did ok, DESPITE us. For better or worse, we were too busy to helicopter parent our kids and they had to learn independence and resourcefulness early in life. I have many stories that we laugh about now. Balance is a moving target, but I would say that it starts with self-assessment and being aware of what is really meaningful--what are your real priorities. I don’t sleep much, but even so, more recently, I find that I have had to set limits and recognize that you can’t do all things all of the time. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? LJ: Never underestimate the importance of relationships. It is the personal connections that not only make the work we do meaningful but also, I believe, personal connections are the key to success. I also believe in the importance of leaving things better than you found them both in terms of the organization itself but the people. I have certainly benefited from the mentorship of many people and I hope to be that for others. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? LJ: Some of the most meaningful milestones in my career

were starting my own practice, spearheading the Integrated Breast Center, assuming my Chief Medical Officer (in addition to my practice), being elected as one of 11 members of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service, and most recently, my term as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, at the end of my presidency, I was chosen for two awards: the ASPS Patients of Courage and the Young At Heart award that really meant so much to me as it really reminded me why I do what I do -advocating for my patients and mentoring those after me. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Sometimes, women may have a difficult time finding mentors and seeing role models in leadership, depending on the arena. Also, it can take some work to understand how to navigate a particular environment and finding ways to be heard that are effective. Studies have shown that women cannot employ the same tactics in the boardroom as men do, as they are not as effective for women. With more recognition of these differences, more work is being done as to effective strategies specifically for women, we can promote better functioning teams and organizations. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as a Doctor? LJ: Being a physician is such a rewarding profession. Every day you can look in the mirror and know that you can help people directly. However, know that the number of years of education, training, and sacrifices can be daunting, so find your mentors and find your “why”. Make sure to pay attention to self-care and to not neglect the other portions of your life as those are just as crucial to a whole, meaningful life.


Egypt Sherrod

Starring as Co-Host Alongside Her Husband in The New HGTV Series Married to Real Estate Q: Was real estate a pathway to design for you or the other way around? ES: I was a real estate broker first and organically began to evolve into the design space. It started with architecture, then focusing on floor plan layout and functionality, now I love all things design. There is something so amazing about turning a plain-Jane room into a curated work of art. Q: Whose room was the first you were asked to decorate? ES: My first design projects were actually [for] my own flip homes, so I guess I asked myself! It truly came out of a necessity for increasing my profit margin and keeping costs low. I decided, “Hey, let me go ahead and give myself the job and really step up my game and be cost effective with design.” Those homes would sell very fast with a lot of compliments from the buyers on my finishes and staging. So, that’s when I recognized I had an eye for it. Q: How did your experience at New York University Tisch School of the Arts impact your path to success? ES: Actually, I only went to Tisch for a year. I was there with a scholarship and, unfortunately, they did not extend my scholarship past my freshman year. Much of my proving ground was at Temple University in Philadelphia, which is

my hometown. Temple was an excellent school. I majored in broadcasting, which took me down the road of working as a radio personality and then further blossoming into a TV career. It was the perfect foundation for me. I had the love of real estate and design, but then I also had a background in broadcasting, and it brought me to where I am today: doing design and educating people about real estate, all on television. Q: How did you make the leap from real estate and design to being an author and speaker? ES: I think it all kind of came at the same time, to be honest with you. I was hosting the show Property Virgins and then went on to executive produce Flipping Virgins. I had goals to further brand myself in that space and cement myself as an authority. At that time, I took notice that those who were being booked for conferences and making six figures just from speaking engagements, also had a book as [their] calling card. Viewers would often e-mail me or DM me with questions about real estate, so it made sense to put it in a book as a one-stop shop. That’s how everything evolved, and I’m often booked to speak on design panels, real estate conferences, and in the motivational space. I love it! I enjoy it and every day looks different.


Egypt Sherrod

Starring as Co-Host Alongside Her Husband in The New HGTV Series Married to Real Estate Q: Was real estate a pathway to design for you or the other way around? ES: I was a real estate broker first and organically began to evolve into the design space. It started with architecture, then focusing on floor plan layout and functionality, now I love all things design. There is something so amazing about turning a plain-Jane room into a curated work of art. Q: Whose room was the first you were asked to decorate? ES: My first design projects were actually [for] my own flip homes, so I guess I asked myself! It truly came out of a necessity for increasing my profit margin and keeping costs low. I decided, “Hey, let me go ahead and give myself the job and really step up my game and be cost effective with design.” Those homes would sell very fast with a lot of compliments from the buyers on my finishes and staging. So, that’s when I recognized I had an eye for it. Q: How did your experience at New York University Tisch School of the Arts impact your path to success? ES: Actually, I only went to Tisch for a year. I was there with a scholarship and, unfortunately, they did not extend my scholarship past my freshman year. Much of my proving ground was at Temple University in Philadelphia, which is

my hometown. Temple was an excellent school. I majored in broadcasting, which took me down the road of working as a radio personality and then further blossoming into a TV career. It was the perfect foundation for me. I had the love of real estate and design, but then I also had a background in broadcasting, and it brought me to where I am today: doing design and educating people about real estate, all on television. Q: How did you make the leap from real estate and design to being an author and speaker? ES: I think it all kind of came at the same time, to be honest with you. I was hosting the show Property Virgins and then went on to executive produce Flipping Virgins. I had goals to further brand myself in that space and cement myself as an authority. At that time, I took notice that those who were being booked for conferences and making six figures just from speaking engagements, also had a book as [their] calling card. Viewers would often e-mail me or DM me with questions about real estate, so it made sense to put it in a book as a one-stop shop. That’s how everything evolved, and I’m often booked to speak on design panels, real estate conferences, and in the motivational space. I love it! I enjoy it and every day looks different.


Q: You’ve done a variety of radio hosting. What was that like and would you like to do it again? ES: I had an almost 20-year radio career. I retired just before I hit 20 years and it was a wonderful, incredible season for my life, but that’s exactly what it was. Onward and upward. I’m grateful for it but I’ve redefined myself and my interests lie elsewhere at the moment.

Q: With family in the real estate business, do you ‘talk shop’ very often? ES: That was the very reason I ran away from real estate early on because I had a family of real estate brokers. My uncles at Thanksgiving dinner would overtake the entire conversation and, instead of pass the turkey, it was pass the house on Brown street, which was very annoying. I ran away from real estate early on only to circle back. I try not to dominate every conversation and I certainly try not to make every moment about real estate, because there is more to life. It’s great to know and have that foundation, but that’s not all that I am! Q: What role does your faith play in your day-to-day inspiration? ES: Without a spiritual foundation, I doubt that I could have fallen as many times as I have and gotten back up even stronger! I really am grateful that I grew up in church and had that foundation,

so I know when the times get tough, that it’s only a season. I know who I am and whose I am – and that’s important. I still have a sense of spirituality of God, of knowing that through all things it is Christ who strengthens me. It plays a huge part in my personal life and in my career because, just like anyone else, I come up against rough periods of time where I have to dig deep and find my base to recenter myself. Q: What would you like to tell us about the Egypt Cares Family Foundation? ES: The Egypt Cares Family Foundation really was a labor of love for me. I started it because I wanted to create something that was an extension of what I stand for, so we started creating financial boot camps, financial literacy camps, [and] raising goods and resources for people who needed them. We’ve been very successful!

Q: More recently, you’ve hosted a few episodes of ‘Black Love.’ How was that as a departure from real estate and design? ES: I did not host ‘Black Love,’ my husband and I were featured on ‘Black Love.’ Cody and Tommy Oliver are the producers and hosts. Q: Who would you like to interview? ES: Folks that were on my bucket list, I’ve interviewed. Oprah, Prince, James Brown, Beyoncé, and Tyler Perry. It’s just about everybody that I want to interview, I have. But of course, you know I couldn’t close out that list without saying the Obamas. Q: Who would you like to have interview you? ES: Trevor Noah, because he makes me laugh so much! I think we’d have a lot of fun. Q: What stone is still unturned for you as an author and speaker? ES: Well, I’m working on another book. So, I guess you can [say] that the stone left unturned will soon be flipped on its head.


Q: You’ve done a variety of radio hosting. What was that like and would you like to do it again? ES: I had an almost 20-year radio career. I retired just before I hit 20 years and it was a wonderful, incredible season for my life, but that’s exactly what it was. Onward and upward. I’m grateful for it but I’ve redefined myself and my interests lie elsewhere at the moment.

Q: With family in the real estate business, do you ‘talk shop’ very often? ES: That was the very reason I ran away from real estate early on because I had a family of real estate brokers. My uncles at Thanksgiving dinner would overtake the entire conversation and, instead of pass the turkey, it was pass the house on Brown street, which was very annoying. I ran away from real estate early on only to circle back. I try not to dominate every conversation and I certainly try not to make every moment about real estate, because there is more to life. It’s great to know and have that foundation, but that’s not all that I am! Q: What role does your faith play in your day-to-day inspiration? ES: Without a spiritual foundation, I doubt that I could have fallen as many times as I have and gotten back up even stronger! I really am grateful that I grew up in church and had that foundation,

so I know when the times get tough, that it’s only a season. I know who I am and whose I am – and that’s important. I still have a sense of spirituality of God, of knowing that through all things it is Christ who strengthens me. It plays a huge part in my personal life and in my career because, just like anyone else, I come up against rough periods of time where I have to dig deep and find my base to recenter myself. Q: What would you like to tell us about the Egypt Cares Family Foundation? ES: The Egypt Cares Family Foundation really was a labor of love for me. I started it because I wanted to create something that was an extension of what I stand for, so we started creating financial boot camps, financial literacy camps, [and] raising goods and resources for people who needed them. We’ve been very successful!

Q: More recently, you’ve hosted a few episodes of ‘Black Love.’ How was that as a departure from real estate and design? ES: I did not host ‘Black Love,’ my husband and I were featured on ‘Black Love.’ Cody and Tommy Oliver are the producers and hosts. Q: Who would you like to interview? ES: Folks that were on my bucket list, I’ve interviewed. Oprah, Prince, James Brown, Beyoncé, and Tyler Perry. It’s just about everybody that I want to interview, I have. But of course, you know I couldn’t close out that list without saying the Obamas. Q: Who would you like to have interview you? ES: Trevor Noah, because he makes me laugh so much! I think we’d have a lot of fun. Q: What stone is still unturned for you as an author and speaker? ES: Well, I’m working on another book. So, I guess you can [say] that the stone left unturned will soon be flipped on its head.


Q: Flying a plane, walking a tightrope – when do you first remember challenging yourself to do things the typical person never attempts? JC: I don’t see myself as someone who does things because other people don’t do it. My mom overcame extreme poverty to graduate from college, immigrate to the United States, she traveled the country as a nurse and she never sat still for very long. In my mind, my drive to try new things and go on adventures comes more from her spirit. Q: How often have you encountered naysayers in your abilities to accomplish your goals and what has been your response? JC: Every day. While it’s not always blatant, it’s obvious in how people react to me. It challenges me to try to prove them wrong. It fuels me. You only need to look as far as some of the comments on my YouTube videos to see the pushback people give for me flying or being a black belt. Q: Describe how you encourage your audience to find their motivation to achieve their goals? JC: I find that most people are well motivated, but they allow excuses, over-complication, and habits to get in the way. Normally, motivation isn’t the problem, it’s the perceived limitations that often aren’t as difficult as we make them out to be.

Jessica Cox

The World’s First Licensed Armless Pilot, and First Armless Black-Belt in The American Taekwondo Association Cover photo by Jessica Korff | Feature images Amy Haskell

Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal, invitations from six continents, and featured on TV programs like Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, CBS Evening News, and the BBC. Described as a speaker “no one will ever forget,” she shows audiences around the globe how to inspire enthusiasm and build authentic confidence. With the goal of showing people how to go home from work every day feeling excited for tomorrow, she teaches how to courageously tackle new challenges with creativity and unrelenting drive. Since she was born without arms, she became fascinated by the limitless ways the human body can adjust to a variety of circumstances. As she learned to conquer physical barriers, she developed mental skills that allowed her to go on to achieve the seemingly impossible in her own, unique way.

Q: Have you ever had to modify a goal and how do you address this subject to your audiences? JC: Every goal was modified at one point. As long as you get the job done, it doesn’t matter which way you attack it. In my speeches, I talk about “thinking outside the shoe.” It’s a metaphor for when I learned to first tie my shoelaces. I remember watching my Kindergarten teacher show us how to tie our shoes with her foot inside her shoe and using her hands to tie her laces. Since my feet have become my hands, I couldn’t simultaneously have my foot inside the shoe and tie the laces. I could have given up, but who said your foot has to be inside the shoe when you tie them? I eventually figured out how to tie my shoelaces with my toes and then slip my foot inside the shoe. The goal shifted from tying my foot inside the shoe to simply tie the laces loose enough for me to later slip my foot in. Q: One aspect of your motivational speaking addresses diversity, can you tell us more about that? JC: Diversity has become a regular part of social justice conversations and those conversations have become more common, which is great. The problem is that while we talk about race, gender, or orientation, disability is often forgot-


Q: Flying a plane, walking a tightrope – when do you first remember challenging yourself to do things the typical person never attempts? JC: I don’t see myself as someone who does things because other people don’t do it. My mom overcame extreme poverty to graduate from college, immigrate to the United States, she traveled the country as a nurse and she never sat still for very long. In my mind, my drive to try new things and go on adventures comes more from her spirit. Q: How often have you encountered naysayers in your abilities to accomplish your goals and what has been your response? JC: Every day. While it’s not always blatant, it’s obvious in how people react to me. It challenges me to try to prove them wrong. It fuels me. You only need to look as far as some of the comments on my YouTube videos to see the pushback people give for me flying or being a black belt. Q: Describe how you encourage your audience to find their motivation to achieve their goals? JC: I find that most people are well motivated, but they allow excuses, over-complication, and habits to get in the way. Normally, motivation isn’t the problem, it’s the perceived limitations that often aren’t as difficult as we make them out to be.

Jessica Cox

The World’s First Licensed Armless Pilot, and First Armless Black-Belt in The American Taekwondo Association Cover photo by Jessica Korff | Feature images Amy Haskell

Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal, invitations from six continents, and featured on TV programs like Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, CBS Evening News, and the BBC. Described as a speaker “no one will ever forget,” she shows audiences around the globe how to inspire enthusiasm and build authentic confidence. With the goal of showing people how to go home from work every day feeling excited for tomorrow, she teaches how to courageously tackle new challenges with creativity and unrelenting drive. Since she was born without arms, she became fascinated by the limitless ways the human body can adjust to a variety of circumstances. As she learned to conquer physical barriers, she developed mental skills that allowed her to go on to achieve the seemingly impossible in her own, unique way.

Q: Have you ever had to modify a goal and how do you address this subject to your audiences? JC: Every goal was modified at one point. As long as you get the job done, it doesn’t matter which way you attack it. In my speeches, I talk about “thinking outside the shoe.” It’s a metaphor for when I learned to first tie my shoelaces. I remember watching my Kindergarten teacher show us how to tie our shoes with her foot inside her shoe and using her hands to tie her laces. Since my feet have become my hands, I couldn’t simultaneously have my foot inside the shoe and tie the laces. I could have given up, but who said your foot has to be inside the shoe when you tie them? I eventually figured out how to tie my shoelaces with my toes and then slip my foot inside the shoe. The goal shifted from tying my foot inside the shoe to simply tie the laces loose enough for me to later slip my foot in. Q: One aspect of your motivational speaking addresses diversity, can you tell us more about that? JC: Diversity has become a regular part of social justice conversations and those conversations have become more common, which is great. The problem is that while we talk about race, gender, or orientation, disability is often forgot-


ten or diminished in the conversation. I often remind people that the disability community is the only minority that you could join, not everyone is born into it like me. We also make up 25% of the US population and more than 1 billion people globally will experience a disability in their lifetime. That is a lot of people that need to be in more conversations. Q: The obvious question, have you and your team done anything unique to adapt to the COVID videoconference environment? JC: Everything has switched to Zoom and other platforms, so I did too. I think I had a head start because I was already recording video content. We upgraded some equipment and our bandwidth to make sure my clients received the best possible stream. Not traveling meant that I had a little more time on my hands - or feet - so I’ve been expanding my coaching services. I’ve worked with amputees in the past to be a mentor for them but now I’ve opened up my one-onone time to the general public. Q: You write an occasional blog, including one on inspirational porn, probably not a subject that a lot of people have studied. What would you like to say about it and how has it evolved? JC: I’m more than happy to inspire someone because I fly an airplane, earned a black belt, surf, scuba dive, and slack-

line. Inspiration porn is when someone’s inspired because I can function as a human being. I once had a woman in the checkout line at the grocery store say, “It’s inspiring to see you, people, out and about.” People shouldn’t be inspired because someone with a disability eats food and needs to buy toilet paper. I think it comes from an assumption that people with disabilities are inherently unable to do regular things or the person without a disability assumes they couldn’t cope with the disability they see. In reality, the disability community is the only minority you can join and represents about twenty percent of the global population. Inspiration porn only exists because we as a society haven’t a normalized disability. Q: Do you ever give in to asking someone to do something that’s somewhat difficult for you – difficult, but something that you’re capable of doing? How does that feel? JC: Yes, I do. For example, with my husband, but I think it further perpetuates laziness and is a disservice to me because then my ability to do something can be impacted. I’ve been asking my husband to reach for things that were at the edge of my flexibility. Unfortunately, as a result, I’m not stretching my limits and therefore my flexibility has lessened. Q: You’re a Third Degree Blackbelt – without it would you ever feel physically vulnerable?

JC: It’s sometimes hard for even me to believe but I’m a fourth-degree black belt. I started training when I was 10 because I had some anger issues as a kid and sometimes kicked my siblings or my bedroom door. Channeling that energy certainly helped. I think without a black belt I would feel vulnerable because people would see my armlessness as a vulnerability. Despite being a black belt, though, I naturally maintain a higher awareness of my surroundings and try not to present myself as an easy target. Q: Of your many avocations, which are your most enjoyable and which are you most proud of, and why? JC: My most enjoyable activity is cycling because it’s a sport where I can just relax and enjoy the breeze on my face. I usually find myself always moving so it’s an activity that matches my personality, I think. I’m most proud of learning to fly. It not only challenged me physically but also emotionally. It represented one of my greatest fears and I had to overcome that to fly solo. I’ve been a certified pilot for 12 years now and no one can say I didn’t earn it, and no one can take that achievement away from me. Q: Aside from martial arts, is there a particular activity that you and your husband enjoy most together?

JC: We both love to travel and unique experiences. I’ve visited 26 countries so far and he’s been with me for most of them. We’ve had ginseng chicken in Korea, flown in small planes all over Alaska, had fish and chips outside the Tower of London, been invited by princes, had breakfast with a baboon in Kenya, and even fed hyenas in Ethiopia. Q: In the trailer for your documentary, Right Foot, you mention that you wouldn’t have chosen to have arms because of the many people you’ve met and whose lives you’ve touched. If you had been born with arms, how do you feel that your life would have been different? Do you think you would have been equally motivated and had the same interests? JC: Nick Spark deserves the credit for the documentary. It was his vision; I was just the one in front of the camera. I think there would have been some things that would have stayed the same, like the sense of adventure in me. But whether I would be equally motivated is something I question. Those naysayers fueled a certain level of motivation. My mom was the youngest of thirteen kids in an impoverished family in the Philippines. She beat the odds and immigrated to the United States as a nurse. Even after her cancer diagnosis, it was hard to slow her down. I’d like to think I got a lot of my drive from her.

www.jessicacox.com


ten or diminished in the conversation. I often remind people that the disability community is the only minority that you could join, not everyone is born into it like me. We also make up 25% of the US population and more than 1 billion people globally will experience a disability in their lifetime. That is a lot of people that need to be in more conversations. Q: The obvious question, have you and your team done anything unique to adapt to the COVID videoconference environment? JC: Everything has switched to Zoom and other platforms, so I did too. I think I had a head start because I was already recording video content. We upgraded some equipment and our bandwidth to make sure my clients received the best possible stream. Not traveling meant that I had a little more time on my hands - or feet - so I’ve been expanding my coaching services. I’ve worked with amputees in the past to be a mentor for them but now I’ve opened up my one-onone time to the general public. Q: You write an occasional blog, including one on inspirational porn, probably not a subject that a lot of people have studied. What would you like to say about it and how has it evolved? JC: I’m more than happy to inspire someone because I fly an airplane, earned a black belt, surf, scuba dive, and slack-

line. Inspiration porn is when someone’s inspired because I can function as a human being. I once had a woman in the checkout line at the grocery store say, “It’s inspiring to see you, people, out and about.” People shouldn’t be inspired because someone with a disability eats food and needs to buy toilet paper. I think it comes from an assumption that people with disabilities are inherently unable to do regular things or the person without a disability assumes they couldn’t cope with the disability they see. In reality, the disability community is the only minority you can join and represents about twenty percent of the global population. Inspiration porn only exists because we as a society haven’t a normalized disability. Q: Do you ever give in to asking someone to do something that’s somewhat difficult for you – difficult, but something that you’re capable of doing? How does that feel? JC: Yes, I do. For example, with my husband, but I think it further perpetuates laziness and is a disservice to me because then my ability to do something can be impacted. I’ve been asking my husband to reach for things that were at the edge of my flexibility. Unfortunately, as a result, I’m not stretching my limits and therefore my flexibility has lessened. Q: You’re a Third Degree Blackbelt – without it would you ever feel physically vulnerable?

JC: It’s sometimes hard for even me to believe but I’m a fourth-degree black belt. I started training when I was 10 because I had some anger issues as a kid and sometimes kicked my siblings or my bedroom door. Channeling that energy certainly helped. I think without a black belt I would feel vulnerable because people would see my armlessness as a vulnerability. Despite being a black belt, though, I naturally maintain a higher awareness of my surroundings and try not to present myself as an easy target. Q: Of your many avocations, which are your most enjoyable and which are you most proud of, and why? JC: My most enjoyable activity is cycling because it’s a sport where I can just relax and enjoy the breeze on my face. I usually find myself always moving so it’s an activity that matches my personality, I think. I’m most proud of learning to fly. It not only challenged me physically but also emotionally. It represented one of my greatest fears and I had to overcome that to fly solo. I’ve been a certified pilot for 12 years now and no one can say I didn’t earn it, and no one can take that achievement away from me. Q: Aside from martial arts, is there a particular activity that you and your husband enjoy most together?

JC: We both love to travel and unique experiences. I’ve visited 26 countries so far and he’s been with me for most of them. We’ve had ginseng chicken in Korea, flown in small planes all over Alaska, had fish and chips outside the Tower of London, been invited by princes, had breakfast with a baboon in Kenya, and even fed hyenas in Ethiopia. Q: In the trailer for your documentary, Right Foot, you mention that you wouldn’t have chosen to have arms because of the many people you’ve met and whose lives you’ve touched. If you had been born with arms, how do you feel that your life would have been different? Do you think you would have been equally motivated and had the same interests? JC: Nick Spark deserves the credit for the documentary. It was his vision; I was just the one in front of the camera. I think there would have been some things that would have stayed the same, like the sense of adventure in me. But whether I would be equally motivated is something I question. Those naysayers fueled a certain level of motivation. My mom was the youngest of thirteen kids in an impoverished family in the Philippines. She beat the odds and immigrated to the United States as a nurse. Even after her cancer diagnosis, it was hard to slow her down. I’d like to think I got a lot of my drive from her.

www.jessicacox.com


African American film critics. Being accepted as a member meant a lot because we get access to the team and talent behind films that mean the most to our culture.

Wycleff Jean interview at Andrew Young Leadership Awards.

Our Exclusive Interview with Influencer

Kim Ford

Kim Ford Is A Keynote Speaker, TV Host & Media Consultant. She Has Appeared On CNN As An Entertainment Correspondent Where She Shares Her Take on What’s Relevant in Film, Television, & Celebrity News. Q: After college, where did you feel your career path would take you? KF: Honestly, I wasn’t really sure. All I knew was I wanted to live in Atlanta. I knew I’d figure it out when I got there. It took a while, but I finally figured it out. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? KF: My jobs after college were random and all over the place. I first worked at Macy’s in the handbag department

until I locked in a “real” job after college. After Macy’s I entered the Management Trainee program at Enterprise Car Rental. Working there taught me a lot about owning a business, sales calls, and teamwork. The hours were long and sometimes I had to wash cars in my suit. I hated it back then. Now I understand the lesson was to get the job done no matter how uncomfortable I was. That’s a skill I use today. Q: Can you share with our audience some details about your role as a CNN/Headline News entertainment contributor? KF: I appear as a guest Entertainment Contributor on CNN/HLN to give my take on what is relevant regarding film and television. Typically, when there is a special segment. Q: In March 2019 you were accepted into AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association). Can you tell us what it meant to you? KF: AAFCA isn’t an award. It’s the world’s largest organization of

Q: Tell us about Jubilee Mag, how it started and where you see it going. KF: Jubilee Mag was an online mag I started in 2007 that covered faith, culture, and style. I created it because I saw a void in the industry for positive media. I built my own website and gained access to events like the BET Awards, Essence Fest and countless press junkets affiliated with NBC, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros, and many others. In March 2020, the growth of my audience led to me to leave Jubilee Mag behind and evolve from just an online magazine. My audience wanted more of me as a personal brand instead of a magazine. As a result, I launched iamkimford.com covering entertainment, personal development, and lifestyle. Q: You must keep a hectic schedule between speaking engagements and TV commitments. How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? KF: It’s all about prioritizing. The commitments my children have come first. I schedule everything else around that. My kids are older, so that makes it a lot easier. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? KF: Since I didn’t study media in college, I was concerned about what I didn’t know that should know. I’m in grad school now, but for many years it was a concern in the back of my mind. It’s definitely possible to do it without grad school, but it was a personal goal of mine.

NBC press dinner for ‘This Is Us’. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KF: It’s hard to narrow it down to one woman. There’s definitely a village of women I admire for various reasons. A few are: Oprah, for obvious reasons. Myleik Teel for her entrepreneurial journey. J Lo because she’s been timeless for decades. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KF: I’m actually writing a book about that right now. It’s called “It’s Never Too Late”, releasing late summer 2020. A lot of women think just because they’ve had major setbacks, it’s too late to pursue their dream life. If God called you to it, “It’s Never Too Late”. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success? KF: Do your research. Pay attention to the greats. Find your lane and dominate.


African American film critics. Being accepted as a member meant a lot because we get access to the team and talent behind films that mean the most to our culture.

Wycleff Jean interview at Andrew Young Leadership Awards.

Our Exclusive Interview with Influencer

Kim Ford

Kim Ford Is A Keynote Speaker, TV Host & Media Consultant. She Has Appeared On CNN As An Entertainment Correspondent Where She Shares Her Take on What’s Relevant in Film, Television, & Celebrity News. Q: After college, where did you feel your career path would take you? KF: Honestly, I wasn’t really sure. All I knew was I wanted to live in Atlanta. I knew I’d figure it out when I got there. It took a while, but I finally figured it out. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? KF: My jobs after college were random and all over the place. I first worked at Macy’s in the handbag department

until I locked in a “real” job after college. After Macy’s I entered the Management Trainee program at Enterprise Car Rental. Working there taught me a lot about owning a business, sales calls, and teamwork. The hours were long and sometimes I had to wash cars in my suit. I hated it back then. Now I understand the lesson was to get the job done no matter how uncomfortable I was. That’s a skill I use today. Q: Can you share with our audience some details about your role as a CNN/Headline News entertainment contributor? KF: I appear as a guest Entertainment Contributor on CNN/HLN to give my take on what is relevant regarding film and television. Typically, when there is a special segment. Q: In March 2019 you were accepted into AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association). Can you tell us what it meant to you? KF: AAFCA isn’t an award. It’s the world’s largest organization of

Q: Tell us about Jubilee Mag, how it started and where you see it going. KF: Jubilee Mag was an online mag I started in 2007 that covered faith, culture, and style. I created it because I saw a void in the industry for positive media. I built my own website and gained access to events like the BET Awards, Essence Fest and countless press junkets affiliated with NBC, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros, and many others. In March 2020, the growth of my audience led to me to leave Jubilee Mag behind and evolve from just an online magazine. My audience wanted more of me as a personal brand instead of a magazine. As a result, I launched iamkimford.com covering entertainment, personal development, and lifestyle. Q: You must keep a hectic schedule between speaking engagements and TV commitments. How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? KF: It’s all about prioritizing. The commitments my children have come first. I schedule everything else around that. My kids are older, so that makes it a lot easier. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? KF: Since I didn’t study media in college, I was concerned about what I didn’t know that should know. I’m in grad school now, but for many years it was a concern in the back of my mind. It’s definitely possible to do it without grad school, but it was a personal goal of mine.

NBC press dinner for ‘This Is Us’. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KF: It’s hard to narrow it down to one woman. There’s definitely a village of women I admire for various reasons. A few are: Oprah, for obvious reasons. Myleik Teel for her entrepreneurial journey. J Lo because she’s been timeless for decades. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KF: I’m actually writing a book about that right now. It’s called “It’s Never Too Late”, releasing late summer 2020. A lot of women think just because they’ve had major setbacks, it’s too late to pursue their dream life. If God called you to it, “It’s Never Too Late”. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success? KF: Do your research. Pay attention to the greats. Find your lane and dominate.


She Barely Survived a Deadly Mountain Plane Crash That Took The Lives of 160 Passengers. Making Her Second Chance of Life Count, An Exclusive Interview With Motivational Speaker,

Mercedes Ramirez Johnson

they weren’t more careful and mindful of their responsibilities. But after months of prayer and therapy, I grew to accept it wasn’t because of bad intentions. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life as a jaded negative person; because that’s NOT the type of person I’d like to be WITH, so why would I allow myself to BECOME that? The pilots were two good men who just had a really bad day at work that day. They had friends and family that were devastated by their loss just as much as I was devastated from losing my parents. Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a motivational speaker? MRJ: I would never have pictured myself being a “motivational speaker.” Just the title makes me cringe… it makes me think of smoke machines, thumping music, and crazed audiences willing to pay half of their life savings for some guru to tell them how to live their life. I’m a storyteller; I’m an eternal student — my favorite part of my work is researching my clients’ industries, victories, and problems, then crafting a program that catapults them to working and living with a clearer outlook better tools to succeed. In 1996, a schoolgirl scout troop invited me to share my story about my plane accident in the basement of a church, which happened just weeks after being released from the hospital. From there, my career as a storyteller blossomed. It’s inspiring to see how it’s turned into such a fulfilling career. It helps give me so much purpose.

In 1995, Mercedes Ramirez Johnson narrowly survived a commercial airplane crash where about 160 people died, including her parents. As one of only four survivors of this tragedy, she vowed that she would make her second chance at life count… and that she has – not just for herself, but also for the tens of thousands of people who have heard her story and her message. Mercedes has received national awards for her work, influence, commitment to helping others. People Magazine’s Spanish edition, People en Español, named her one of the country’s top young Hispanic up-and-comers. INROADS, Inc., an international organization dedicated to developing talented minority youth, voted her Alumni of the Year. She was also awarded Volunteer of the Year for Christ Haven for Children, a Texas-based home for neglected children. In memory of her parents, she established a scholarship for minority students at Northwest Missouri State University, where she actively served as an Executive Member of the university’s Foundation Board. Q: Every year, we’re incredibly lucky to have and celebrate our birthday. For you, it’s also an anniversary of an incredibly sad event that happened on your 21st birthday. Is there something special you do for your birthday that you can share with us? MRJ: Every year, my birthday is always bittersweet. The reason for this is that I feel a little guilty celebrating my birthday since it’s the anniversary of my parents’ death. But my birthday is also incredibly life-affirming since on that very day in 1995, I was given a second chance to live life with my heart and mind wide open. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty of life, family, friends and fulfilling my dreams, not just for myself but for my family. Q: What type of injuries did you sustain and how long was your recovery?

MRJ: I was hospitalized for nearly three months after the plane crash. Initially, the doctors in Colombia told my family I had a 2030% chance of survival due to the severity of my injuries. I broke my right femur bone, fractured my lower spine, broke quite a few ribs, and sustained massive internal injuries in my stomach, so I had to undergo many surgeries to repair the fractures, skin grafts, and do some rerouting of my intestinal tract. Q: Do you still keep in contact with your fellow survivors? MRJ: No, unfortunately, I lost track of most of the survivors. Occasionally, I see family members of Mauricio Reyes, but I’d love to get reconnected with them all. I know that everyone has accomplished success in their lives, and I consider myself privileged to be a part of such a remarkable group of people who have made the most of their life. Q: How long did it take before you felt you could fly again? MRJ: I used a baseball game in St Louis against my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, as an excuse to board a plane just about a month and being released from the hospital. It was terrifying, but it was under an hour-long, and I knew I needed to start the process of getting over my newfound fear of flying. Every little bump and dip felt frightening, but every flight from that point forward became a little less scary. I’m glad my sister convinced me to take that first flight because the world is too beautiful of a place to not enjoy it with the people I love. Q: What was your first thought when you learned the flight crew had failed to adequately plan and execute the approach to runway? MRJ: For months, I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what would have led to their numerous mistakes and oversights. I kept wondering why

Q: Can you share with our audience when and to whom your first speech was given? MRJ: The first time I openly talked about my plane crash to a group was the girl scout troop, but my first real speech was in Chicago at a collegiate Hispanic leadership conference. It hit close to home because I was a member of this same Hispanic leadership organization throughout my high school and collegiate years. I felt like I was in the audience watching myself. It was emotionally overwhelming, and I had to regain my composure to finish the speech through tears. After that, I realized I had to learn how to give a genuine, emotionally compelling talk while at the same time emotionally removing myself from the talk. It’s too painful not to. Q: You’ve given many speeches since that terrible accident over 25 years ago. Is there one question that you’ve been asked that is still difficult to answer?

MRJ: The first time someone asked me if I felt guilty that I survived and not everyone else really threw me back. Honestly, at first, I felt insulted because I thought that person was insinuating I could have done something to save others, which I couldn’t. I was knocked unconscious at impact and didn’t wake up in the wreckage until the following day. But instead of guilt, I feel responsible for living a life of kindness, generosity, and adventure. I feel that if I live a FULL life, that it’s a life worth being proud of. Not just for me to feel pride, but for all the people who would were denied that second chance to live out their days. Q: Tell us what the Second Chance Living concept means and how it has helped those you’ve shared it with. MRJ: God, the universe, and all the rescue/medical staff that played a role in saving my life are responsible for the second chance at life I was given. Sadly, it took losing my parents, nearly losing my own life, and living through the hell of a plane crash to make me realize that every day on this earth is a precious gift. Each day we wake up, we’ve been given a brand new second chance at life. What an incredible opportunity that is! To wake up with a clean slate and a fresh start to right your wrongs and be the truest version of yourself that day. When we value each day as a new chance, that’s when we can muster the courage and the energy needed to slay the dragons in our way and make our little slice of our worlds better by our actions, our words, and our interactions by being intentional. Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you and your family? Have you made use of video conferencing to continue speaking? MRJ: This is going to make me sound so weird, but I LOVED being home with my sons. These past few years, I went through many changes in losing two sons that were born with a genetic terminal condition, ending my marriage of 21 years, and navigating motherhood of two teenage twin boys. So, quarantine gave me a chance to finally breathe. I had been running nonstop for so many years that this gave me a chance to focus solely on people in my inner circle. It gave me time to grieve, time to heal and celebrate the loves in my life. From March until early summer, all my speaking engagements had been canceled or indefinitely postponed. Then little by little, my clients came back with revamped conference and meeting plans, and my master bathroom has now been permanently transformed into my live virtual keynote studio. I’ll be all dolled up in a suit, full makeup, great lighting, and using all kinds of professional jargon to make myself sound smart — but my client has no idea that it’s all smoke and mirrors in front of my bathtub just a few paces away from my toilet! Although I miss interacting with my clients in person at their amazing events, it’s still a blast to play a role in their endeavors. I’m looking forward to the day where I can meet and hug my audiences again. In the meantime, my bathroom studio has been a hit which I’m grateful for! Q: Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? MRJ: Without authenticity, gratitude, and drive, there won’t be anything such as long-term success or happiness. When


She Barely Survived a Deadly Mountain Plane Crash That Took The Lives of 160 Passengers. Making Her Second Chance of Life Count, An Exclusive Interview With Motivational Speaker,

Mercedes Ramirez Johnson

they weren’t more careful and mindful of their responsibilities. But after months of prayer and therapy, I grew to accept it wasn’t because of bad intentions. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life as a jaded negative person; because that’s NOT the type of person I’d like to be WITH, so why would I allow myself to BECOME that? The pilots were two good men who just had a really bad day at work that day. They had friends and family that were devastated by their loss just as much as I was devastated from losing my parents. Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a motivational speaker? MRJ: I would never have pictured myself being a “motivational speaker.” Just the title makes me cringe… it makes me think of smoke machines, thumping music, and crazed audiences willing to pay half of their life savings for some guru to tell them how to live their life. I’m a storyteller; I’m an eternal student — my favorite part of my work is researching my clients’ industries, victories, and problems, then crafting a program that catapults them to working and living with a clearer outlook better tools to succeed. In 1996, a schoolgirl scout troop invited me to share my story about my plane accident in the basement of a church, which happened just weeks after being released from the hospital. From there, my career as a storyteller blossomed. It’s inspiring to see how it’s turned into such a fulfilling career. It helps give me so much purpose.

In 1995, Mercedes Ramirez Johnson narrowly survived a commercial airplane crash where about 160 people died, including her parents. As one of only four survivors of this tragedy, she vowed that she would make her second chance at life count… and that she has – not just for herself, but also for the tens of thousands of people who have heard her story and her message. Mercedes has received national awards for her work, influence, commitment to helping others. People Magazine’s Spanish edition, People en Español, named her one of the country’s top young Hispanic up-and-comers. INROADS, Inc., an international organization dedicated to developing talented minority youth, voted her Alumni of the Year. She was also awarded Volunteer of the Year for Christ Haven for Children, a Texas-based home for neglected children. In memory of her parents, she established a scholarship for minority students at Northwest Missouri State University, where she actively served as an Executive Member of the university’s Foundation Board. Q: Every year, we’re incredibly lucky to have and celebrate our birthday. For you, it’s also an anniversary of an incredibly sad event that happened on your 21st birthday. Is there something special you do for your birthday that you can share with us? MRJ: Every year, my birthday is always bittersweet. The reason for this is that I feel a little guilty celebrating my birthday since it’s the anniversary of my parents’ death. But my birthday is also incredibly life-affirming since on that very day in 1995, I was given a second chance to live life with my heart and mind wide open. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty of life, family, friends and fulfilling my dreams, not just for myself but for my family. Q: What type of injuries did you sustain and how long was your recovery?

MRJ: I was hospitalized for nearly three months after the plane crash. Initially, the doctors in Colombia told my family I had a 2030% chance of survival due to the severity of my injuries. I broke my right femur bone, fractured my lower spine, broke quite a few ribs, and sustained massive internal injuries in my stomach, so I had to undergo many surgeries to repair the fractures, skin grafts, and do some rerouting of my intestinal tract. Q: Do you still keep in contact with your fellow survivors? MRJ: No, unfortunately, I lost track of most of the survivors. Occasionally, I see family members of Mauricio Reyes, but I’d love to get reconnected with them all. I know that everyone has accomplished success in their lives, and I consider myself privileged to be a part of such a remarkable group of people who have made the most of their life. Q: How long did it take before you felt you could fly again? MRJ: I used a baseball game in St Louis against my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, as an excuse to board a plane just about a month and being released from the hospital. It was terrifying, but it was under an hour-long, and I knew I needed to start the process of getting over my newfound fear of flying. Every little bump and dip felt frightening, but every flight from that point forward became a little less scary. I’m glad my sister convinced me to take that first flight because the world is too beautiful of a place to not enjoy it with the people I love. Q: What was your first thought when you learned the flight crew had failed to adequately plan and execute the approach to runway? MRJ: For months, I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what would have led to their numerous mistakes and oversights. I kept wondering why

Q: Can you share with our audience when and to whom your first speech was given? MRJ: The first time I openly talked about my plane crash to a group was the girl scout troop, but my first real speech was in Chicago at a collegiate Hispanic leadership conference. It hit close to home because I was a member of this same Hispanic leadership organization throughout my high school and collegiate years. I felt like I was in the audience watching myself. It was emotionally overwhelming, and I had to regain my composure to finish the speech through tears. After that, I realized I had to learn how to give a genuine, emotionally compelling talk while at the same time emotionally removing myself from the talk. It’s too painful not to. Q: You’ve given many speeches since that terrible accident over 25 years ago. Is there one question that you’ve been asked that is still difficult to answer?

MRJ: The first time someone asked me if I felt guilty that I survived and not everyone else really threw me back. Honestly, at first, I felt insulted because I thought that person was insinuating I could have done something to save others, which I couldn’t. I was knocked unconscious at impact and didn’t wake up in the wreckage until the following day. But instead of guilt, I feel responsible for living a life of kindness, generosity, and adventure. I feel that if I live a FULL life, that it’s a life worth being proud of. Not just for me to feel pride, but for all the people who would were denied that second chance to live out their days. Q: Tell us what the Second Chance Living concept means and how it has helped those you’ve shared it with. MRJ: God, the universe, and all the rescue/medical staff that played a role in saving my life are responsible for the second chance at life I was given. Sadly, it took losing my parents, nearly losing my own life, and living through the hell of a plane crash to make me realize that every day on this earth is a precious gift. Each day we wake up, we’ve been given a brand new second chance at life. What an incredible opportunity that is! To wake up with a clean slate and a fresh start to right your wrongs and be the truest version of yourself that day. When we value each day as a new chance, that’s when we can muster the courage and the energy needed to slay the dragons in our way and make our little slice of our worlds better by our actions, our words, and our interactions by being intentional. Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you and your family? Have you made use of video conferencing to continue speaking? MRJ: This is going to make me sound so weird, but I LOVED being home with my sons. These past few years, I went through many changes in losing two sons that were born with a genetic terminal condition, ending my marriage of 21 years, and navigating motherhood of two teenage twin boys. So, quarantine gave me a chance to finally breathe. I had been running nonstop for so many years that this gave me a chance to focus solely on people in my inner circle. It gave me time to grieve, time to heal and celebrate the loves in my life. From March until early summer, all my speaking engagements had been canceled or indefinitely postponed. Then little by little, my clients came back with revamped conference and meeting plans, and my master bathroom has now been permanently transformed into my live virtual keynote studio. I’ll be all dolled up in a suit, full makeup, great lighting, and using all kinds of professional jargon to make myself sound smart — but my client has no idea that it’s all smoke and mirrors in front of my bathtub just a few paces away from my toilet! Although I miss interacting with my clients in person at their amazing events, it’s still a blast to play a role in their endeavors. I’m looking forward to the day where I can meet and hug my audiences again. In the meantime, my bathroom studio has been a hit which I’m grateful for! Q: Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? MRJ: Without authenticity, gratitude, and drive, there won’t be anything such as long-term success or happiness. When


where you are today? MRJ: My biggest fear after the plane crash has been losing the people I love. Sadly, my youngest set of twin boys were born with a rare genetic terminal disorder (Mucolipidosis Type 2). According to the doctors, they were given a life expectancy of 3-7 years when they were born. Wynn lived to be six years old, and Dorian lived to be ten. Those sweet little angels transformed me into a better human being. They made my two older sons more empathetic and caring. They made their father more appreciative of the little things since little victories were all we had with them. I think God gave me those two earth angels because he knew I could handle it, that I wouldn’t drown myself in all that was “wrong,” and that I’d take the time to relish all that was right. I’m so thankful the Lord entrusted me with those boys for the short time that we had them.

you are REAL, then you’re trusted; you go within yourself to fight for your dreams and experience success by being true to yourself. When you have a grateful heart, you are able to savor the milestones (big and small) along the journey and feel so much more fulfillment in the process. You can forge your own path, set your own goals, and break your own barriers when you have drive; without it, there is no direction, and you feel like the never-ending hamster in the wheel. Q: What advice would that you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? MRJ: Don’t make yourself small for ANYONE. Not in your personal life, not in your professional life — nowhere. Don’t wait till you meet all the qualifications, have enough confidence in your own abilities to learn as you go. Speak up! Quit apologizing! Don’t ask for a seat at the table. Take it. Spend your time with people that speak words of goodness and encouragement, with people that bring out the best in you. You don’t have to use money to invest in yourself. Instead, to broaden your perspective and deepen your knowledge base, you should listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, and attend free online classes. Find a hobby of your OWN that brings you joy that doesn’t revolve around your partner or your children. Buy the shoes, the suit, or the lipstick that makes you walk with a bit more swagger when you’re about to walk into a room or situation that scares you. You’ll feel like you own the room by the time you leave, and you’ll wonder why you were ever intimidated in the first place. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? MRJ: I majored in International Business in college, so I hoped I

would be in a fast-paced career traveling the world. My father used to work for TWA, so as a family, we used to fly around for free, so that was a big reason why I went into International Business was to incorporate my love of traveling, my drive for business, and my knowledge of foreign languages for life. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? My very first job was in high school when I worked for a family-owned jewelry store. My friend in high school’s parents owned the store, so I worked there as a cleaner. I was surrounded by gorgeous jewels, so my eyes are always sparkling since I inherited a love of jewelry from my parents. It taught me about receiving instruction/constructive criticism in a way that I didn’t take it personal. The first time my boss told me I didn’t clean the display cases well enough, I remember I went down to the basement of the jewelry store and bawled my eyes out since my parents used to have me do chores around the house all the time, so I always consider myself a cleaning and polishing expert. This first job also taught me that I am terrible at time management. I couldn’t handle working there and getting all my homework and studies done to the level I was accustomed to. However, I quit the job after three months. Q: If we interviewed all your clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with you? MRJ: Real. I’ve had so many clients afterward tell me, “when you were on stage, I felt like you were talking directly to ME.” I’ve been told that they felt like I was a friend who was having a one-on-one conversation with them. There are all kinds of speakers/experts who go on stage and have a certain persona or branding that they stick to, and it feels like an incredibly awesome production, but sometimes people may think, “I wonder what they’re really like.’ Well, when people see me, they get the real me, scars, bumps, limp, and all. That’s just the truth. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? MRJ: Work-life balance is a beautiful myth because our brains cannot do more than one thing at a time. Instead of trying to juggle it all, have it all, and do it all; I’ve learned to say no. I’ve learned to focus on one thing at a time. If I’m watching a movie with my sons, I’m going to ignore the email alerts or the phone calls, and I’m going to enjoy that movie with my boys. Suppose I’m prepping for a client’s keynote. In that case, I’m going to lock myself into my room with a sign posted on the door that says “don’t come in here unless you’re bleeding or in need of immediate medical attention” because my of pride in helping people, and I always had so much fun watching sons wouldn’t call their dad and expect him to drop a client meeting how she had this magnetism that drew people to her, made people laugh, and knew how to make people feel loved and welcomed. And to ask what’s for dinner so why would I let them do that me? my sister, Sylvia. She’s nine years older than I am, and she took on the Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that role of caretaker and comforter for me after our parents died. Amid her own grief, she took care of me, and she’s never stopped caring for you can share with our audience? MRJ: Sometimes your biggest failures or biggest sources of fear can me since. I’ll never be able to truly express how much she means to turn into the most rewarding opportunities. You can’t be scared, me. I wouldn’t be me without her. intimidated, or overwhelmed. You can FEEL scared, intimated, or overwhelmed, but don’t BE those things. You feel it, then release it Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? and get back to the business of being badass. MRJ: Being a woman isn’t meant for the weak. I don’t need to remind Q: Can you tell our audience one of the most memorable women of the insurmountable expectations we put on ourselves to the moments in your career? mama bears of our family, the school volunteers, and community/ MRJ: The first time I spoke in front of a huge audience was social action leaders, the leaders in the workplace, and rock a swimsuit life-changing. While I was still a college student, I was asked to speak at the pool. I would still come back as a woman in my next life, just at the National Catholic Youth Conference. They were anticipating that this time, I would just come back as a woman who didn’t care 15,000 attendees. I had to go to my college speech professor and what other people feel or think of me. How freeing that would be if we asked him, “how do I craft a speech for 15,000 teenagers?” He pa- all just frolicked around being kind, doing what makes us happy, and tiently coached me through the process. The night before I gave the making our world a better place with our heads held up high. speech, I had a dream that I was in a lecture hall giving a presentation in class in school, and while I was giving the speech, I was going row by row, making eye contact with all of my classmates. When I Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to got to the 3rd row, I saw my parents sitting there smiling and watch- succeed in the workplace? ing me proudly. In my dream, I said, “Oh my God! What are you MRJ: Learn as much as you can, find a mentor, hang out with sucguys doing here!” and I wanted to run up and hug them, but they cess-minded people, and bring your full self to work. Don’t create a put their fingers over their lips in a gesture to be quiet, and they both work persona — be your true self. waved their hand to signify carry on. I could remember waking up that morning from that dream in tears, but when I hit that stage, I Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success? didn’t feel a single once of nervousness because I could feel their love MRJ: Make yourself proud every single day. and encouragement with me on that stage. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? MRJ: My paternal grandmother was an incredible woman — brave, loving, kind, tenacious in caring for her children, and humble. My mother — she was a joyous person, courageous to come to the United States without knowing a soul, and she took care of her family in Nicaragua financially until the day she died. My mother took a lot

Q: How do you know if a client is right for your service? MRJ: I work with clients that have open hearts and open minds. It’s like being in a relationship — if you meet someone that already knows it all, why would they need to hang out with you? Same with clients — all organizations have blemishes and problems they need to fix. If they are honest enough to address them, then we can roll up our sleeves and be brave enough to fix them.


where you are today? MRJ: My biggest fear after the plane crash has been losing the people I love. Sadly, my youngest set of twin boys were born with a rare genetic terminal disorder (Mucolipidosis Type 2). According to the doctors, they were given a life expectancy of 3-7 years when they were born. Wynn lived to be six years old, and Dorian lived to be ten. Those sweet little angels transformed me into a better human being. They made my two older sons more empathetic and caring. They made their father more appreciative of the little things since little victories were all we had with them. I think God gave me those two earth angels because he knew I could handle it, that I wouldn’t drown myself in all that was “wrong,” and that I’d take the time to relish all that was right. I’m so thankful the Lord entrusted me with those boys for the short time that we had them.

you are REAL, then you’re trusted; you go within yourself to fight for your dreams and experience success by being true to yourself. When you have a grateful heart, you are able to savor the milestones (big and small) along the journey and feel so much more fulfillment in the process. You can forge your own path, set your own goals, and break your own barriers when you have drive; without it, there is no direction, and you feel like the never-ending hamster in the wheel. Q: What advice would that you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? MRJ: Don’t make yourself small for ANYONE. Not in your personal life, not in your professional life — nowhere. Don’t wait till you meet all the qualifications, have enough confidence in your own abilities to learn as you go. Speak up! Quit apologizing! Don’t ask for a seat at the table. Take it. Spend your time with people that speak words of goodness and encouragement, with people that bring out the best in you. You don’t have to use money to invest in yourself. Instead, to broaden your perspective and deepen your knowledge base, you should listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, and attend free online classes. Find a hobby of your OWN that brings you joy that doesn’t revolve around your partner or your children. Buy the shoes, the suit, or the lipstick that makes you walk with a bit more swagger when you’re about to walk into a room or situation that scares you. You’ll feel like you own the room by the time you leave, and you’ll wonder why you were ever intimidated in the first place. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? MRJ: I majored in International Business in college, so I hoped I

would be in a fast-paced career traveling the world. My father used to work for TWA, so as a family, we used to fly around for free, so that was a big reason why I went into International Business was to incorporate my love of traveling, my drive for business, and my knowledge of foreign languages for life. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? My very first job was in high school when I worked for a family-owned jewelry store. My friend in high school’s parents owned the store, so I worked there as a cleaner. I was surrounded by gorgeous jewels, so my eyes are always sparkling since I inherited a love of jewelry from my parents. It taught me about receiving instruction/constructive criticism in a way that I didn’t take it personal. The first time my boss told me I didn’t clean the display cases well enough, I remember I went down to the basement of the jewelry store and bawled my eyes out since my parents used to have me do chores around the house all the time, so I always consider myself a cleaning and polishing expert. This first job also taught me that I am terrible at time management. I couldn’t handle working there and getting all my homework and studies done to the level I was accustomed to. However, I quit the job after three months. Q: If we interviewed all your clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with you? MRJ: Real. I’ve had so many clients afterward tell me, “when you were on stage, I felt like you were talking directly to ME.” I’ve been told that they felt like I was a friend who was having a one-on-one conversation with them. There are all kinds of speakers/experts who go on stage and have a certain persona or branding that they stick to, and it feels like an incredibly awesome production, but sometimes people may think, “I wonder what they’re really like.’ Well, when people see me, they get the real me, scars, bumps, limp, and all. That’s just the truth. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? MRJ: Work-life balance is a beautiful myth because our brains cannot do more than one thing at a time. Instead of trying to juggle it all, have it all, and do it all; I’ve learned to say no. I’ve learned to focus on one thing at a time. If I’m watching a movie with my sons, I’m going to ignore the email alerts or the phone calls, and I’m going to enjoy that movie with my boys. Suppose I’m prepping for a client’s keynote. In that case, I’m going to lock myself into my room with a sign posted on the door that says “don’t come in here unless you’re bleeding or in need of immediate medical attention” because my of pride in helping people, and I always had so much fun watching sons wouldn’t call their dad and expect him to drop a client meeting how she had this magnetism that drew people to her, made people laugh, and knew how to make people feel loved and welcomed. And to ask what’s for dinner so why would I let them do that me? my sister, Sylvia. She’s nine years older than I am, and she took on the Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that role of caretaker and comforter for me after our parents died. Amid her own grief, she took care of me, and she’s never stopped caring for you can share with our audience? MRJ: Sometimes your biggest failures or biggest sources of fear can me since. I’ll never be able to truly express how much she means to turn into the most rewarding opportunities. You can’t be scared, me. I wouldn’t be me without her. intimidated, or overwhelmed. You can FEEL scared, intimated, or overwhelmed, but don’t BE those things. You feel it, then release it Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? and get back to the business of being badass. MRJ: Being a woman isn’t meant for the weak. I don’t need to remind Q: Can you tell our audience one of the most memorable women of the insurmountable expectations we put on ourselves to the moments in your career? mama bears of our family, the school volunteers, and community/ MRJ: The first time I spoke in front of a huge audience was social action leaders, the leaders in the workplace, and rock a swimsuit life-changing. While I was still a college student, I was asked to speak at the pool. I would still come back as a woman in my next life, just at the National Catholic Youth Conference. They were anticipating that this time, I would just come back as a woman who didn’t care 15,000 attendees. I had to go to my college speech professor and what other people feel or think of me. How freeing that would be if we asked him, “how do I craft a speech for 15,000 teenagers?” He pa- all just frolicked around being kind, doing what makes us happy, and tiently coached me through the process. The night before I gave the making our world a better place with our heads held up high. speech, I had a dream that I was in a lecture hall giving a presentation in class in school, and while I was giving the speech, I was going row by row, making eye contact with all of my classmates. When I Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to got to the 3rd row, I saw my parents sitting there smiling and watch- succeed in the workplace? ing me proudly. In my dream, I said, “Oh my God! What are you MRJ: Learn as much as you can, find a mentor, hang out with sucguys doing here!” and I wanted to run up and hug them, but they cess-minded people, and bring your full self to work. Don’t create a put their fingers over their lips in a gesture to be quiet, and they both work persona — be your true self. waved their hand to signify carry on. I could remember waking up that morning from that dream in tears, but when I hit that stage, I Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success? didn’t feel a single once of nervousness because I could feel their love MRJ: Make yourself proud every single day. and encouragement with me on that stage. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? MRJ: My paternal grandmother was an incredible woman — brave, loving, kind, tenacious in caring for her children, and humble. My mother — she was a joyous person, courageous to come to the United States without knowing a soul, and she took care of her family in Nicaragua financially until the day she died. My mother took a lot

Q: How do you know if a client is right for your service? MRJ: I work with clients that have open hearts and open minds. It’s like being in a relationship — if you meet someone that already knows it all, why would they need to hang out with you? Same with clients — all organizations have blemishes and problems they need to fix. If they are honest enough to address them, then we can roll up our sleeves and be brave enough to fix them.


Q: Can you tell us about the training you did to prepare yourself for the 2008 Paralympic Games? MS: I moved out to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center to train full time in hopes of making it a reality. I swan thousands and thousands of laps and lived and breathed swimming. I am proud to say all the hard work paid off. The training for 2016 and 2020 was just as intense, your days revolve around it! Q: When you were growing up, did you ever dream you would become a world class athlete? MS: I always wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. I was at the elite level but never at the top. So, when I got injured and found out about the Paralympic Games it was almost like I had a second chance to compete on the worlds biggest athletic stage.

Melissa Stockwell

The Power Of Choice, Her Journey From Wounded Warrior To World Champion Q: Did you have any idea that you would be deployed to Iraq March 2004? MS: After Sep 11, 2001, I knew I would most likely be deployed at some point. So, when orders came down that my unit would be deploying in early 2004 it wasn’t a big surprise.

A first lieutenant, Melissa Stockwell was the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War. She lost her left leg when a roadside bomb exploded when she was leading a convoy in Baghdad. For her service in Iraq, she was awarded the Q: As first lieutenant, you were the first Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Q: Why did you decide to join the ROTC at the University of Colorado? MS: As soon as I knew what wearing the uniform stood for I wanted to wear one. To give back to a county I felt had given me so much. Freshman year I saw cadets around campus and decided to become one of them sophomore year. I never looked back!

female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War … can you share with our audience how that day started out for you? MS: It started out just like any other day over in Iraq. We are always up early. Getting ready for the day and then getting our daily briefing for the day and casualties from the previous day. Then we went over our mission for the day, got into our vehicles and we were off.

Q: Tell us what it was like to join former President George W Bush on Bush’s W100K ride for wounded military veterans. MS: An incredible experience. Myself alongside 20 other wounded Veterans and the President on a three-day mountain bike ride on his ranch down in Texas. President Bush holds himself accountable for the lives of the Veterans that served under him and does what he can to let us know that we are not forgotten. Whatever you believe in politics, he is an incredible man, and I was honored to have him as my commander in chief. Q: Your Co-founder of the Chicago-based Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Can you tell us how it started and the services it provides? MS: I co- founded Dare2tri with two friends back in 2011 with the mission of getting athletes with physical disabilities into the sport of triathlon. We knew the impact sports could have on anyone’s life but especially someone with a disability. We take away all the barriers someone has for getting into the sport: expensive adaptive equipment, coaching, training, sometimes just transportation to the

race and the self-confidence and self-worth our athletes get is incredible. Our athletes inspire many both on and off the racecourse. Q: Tell us how you manage your work life balance? MS: I find what I’m passionate about and put my hours into that. I have an incredible husband who wants me to go for my dreams. I have a team of family and friends that believe in me and support me in any way they can, and I just feel like the luckiest girl to get to do what I love! Q: What would be the title of your autobiography? MS: I have one! It’s called the Power of Choice and it was released last year. The Power of Choice is so applicable in all of our lives, and we can all choose to live the life we want regardless of the obstacles that come our way. My choice to accept the loss of my leg propelled me into a life I never could have imagined.


Q: Can you tell us about the training you did to prepare yourself for the 2008 Paralympic Games? MS: I moved out to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center to train full time in hopes of making it a reality. I swan thousands and thousands of laps and lived and breathed swimming. I am proud to say all the hard work paid off. The training for 2016 and 2020 was just as intense, your days revolve around it! Q: When you were growing up, did you ever dream you would become a world class athlete? MS: I always wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. I was at the elite level but never at the top. So, when I got injured and found out about the Paralympic Games it was almost like I had a second chance to compete on the worlds biggest athletic stage.

Melissa Stockwell

The Power Of Choice, Her Journey From Wounded Warrior To World Champion Q: Did you have any idea that you would be deployed to Iraq March 2004? MS: After Sep 11, 2001, I knew I would most likely be deployed at some point. So, when orders came down that my unit would be deploying in early 2004 it wasn’t a big surprise.

A first lieutenant, Melissa Stockwell was the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War. She lost her left leg when a roadside bomb exploded when she was leading a convoy in Baghdad. For her service in Iraq, she was awarded the Q: As first lieutenant, you were the first Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Q: Why did you decide to join the ROTC at the University of Colorado? MS: As soon as I knew what wearing the uniform stood for I wanted to wear one. To give back to a county I felt had given me so much. Freshman year I saw cadets around campus and decided to become one of them sophomore year. I never looked back!

female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War … can you share with our audience how that day started out for you? MS: It started out just like any other day over in Iraq. We are always up early. Getting ready for the day and then getting our daily briefing for the day and casualties from the previous day. Then we went over our mission for the day, got into our vehicles and we were off.

Q: Tell us what it was like to join former President George W Bush on Bush’s W100K ride for wounded military veterans. MS: An incredible experience. Myself alongside 20 other wounded Veterans and the President on a three-day mountain bike ride on his ranch down in Texas. President Bush holds himself accountable for the lives of the Veterans that served under him and does what he can to let us know that we are not forgotten. Whatever you believe in politics, he is an incredible man, and I was honored to have him as my commander in chief. Q: Your Co-founder of the Chicago-based Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Can you tell us how it started and the services it provides? MS: I co- founded Dare2tri with two friends back in 2011 with the mission of getting athletes with physical disabilities into the sport of triathlon. We knew the impact sports could have on anyone’s life but especially someone with a disability. We take away all the barriers someone has for getting into the sport: expensive adaptive equipment, coaching, training, sometimes just transportation to the

race and the self-confidence and self-worth our athletes get is incredible. Our athletes inspire many both on and off the racecourse. Q: Tell us how you manage your work life balance? MS: I find what I’m passionate about and put my hours into that. I have an incredible husband who wants me to go for my dreams. I have a team of family and friends that believe in me and support me in any way they can, and I just feel like the luckiest girl to get to do what I love! Q: What would be the title of your autobiography? MS: I have one! It’s called the Power of Choice and it was released last year. The Power of Choice is so applicable in all of our lives, and we can all choose to live the life we want regardless of the obstacles that come our way. My choice to accept the loss of my leg propelled me into a life I never could have imagined.


Ursula Evans Leading Women in the Adventure of Self-Discovery! Author & Certified Life Coach for Women Around The World “Life isn’t about wait ing for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Q: What made you want to write a book about self-love/care? UE: I had first-hand experience of being a doormat woman, a woman with no identity and a woman who didn’t fully love herself. Through my own personal growth, my spiritual foundation and using coaching techniques I knew I wanted to help other women who had similar debilitating issues overcome these challenges just as I had done. I want to see women free from limiting beliefs, debilitating thought patterns, self-sabotage and so much more! I wanted women to know that there is a way to combat low emotional-health and self-love is a practice which will allow women to implement each and every day. In Chapter 9 of Heart Work I share that “…real self-love/care has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long term wellness.” Q: How did your career impact the writing of your book? UE: As an Emotional Health Coach, I have an understanding what my tribe wants and needs and this is incredibly important. Most of my clients are on the go,

Ursula at a Networking Event- Panelist Speaker speaking about Heart Work Emotional Health and Self Love so they want to read content that gets straight to the point, solves real-world problems, and helps them learn new things quickly. In writing Heart Work, knowing this I keep my topics focused, and formatted my book to appeal to my target audience. As an Emotional Health Coach, I listen to my client’s aches/pain points and I wanted to use my book to address women at large who may suffer from some of the same challenges such as setting boundaries, learning more about self-validation, and learning or renewing their own self- love journey. Q: How would you describe the Heart Work process? UE: The Heart Work process begins with cleansing, discovering areas in your life that may be hindering you from loving yourself fully or simply identifying areas for growth and improvement. Time spent in the cleansing phase may bring up old wounds but this is a great phase to deal with these challenges head-on. The next phase is appreciating, where you will deal specifically with self-care, making you a priority and loving yourself from the inside out. It is necessary to appreciate yourself, reading these appreciating chapters will give the reader resources and tools to use to continue this practice long after reading Heart Work. Finally, by the end of the Heart Work process you will deal with surefire ways for you to continue your self-love journey and continuing growing even after reading Heart Work. Once, you complete the growing chapters you are armed with an arsenal of ways to keep growing and evolving. Q: Why would you say emotional health is important? UE: Emotional health is important because it is essential to living a full, and balanced life. If you do not attend to your

emotional needs, your quality of life suffers, your relationships suffer, your work suffers and your physical health also suffers. It is important to give credence to your emotional health just as you would your physical health. Emotional health is about your approach to life, and your ability to live a life of wellness. Building your emotional strength doesn’t mean that life will be easy, or perfect, or that you won’t have negative thoughts. Instead, it means being able to navigate life’s ups, and downs with confidence, and resilience, and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan. Being able to manage your emotions, thoughts, and feelings empowers you to make better decisions, and approach life with optimism. The journey to building your emotional health is one of personal growth. Q: How do you maintain your self-care/love routine and what tips do you have for others? UE: I add me to my calendar… and it’s a non-negotiable appointment with myself. One that I never cancel or “re-schedule”. It’s important to me to check in with myself and carve out space to do the things I love. The truth is if we don’t make time for self-care/love, we probably won’t find the time for it. Make self-care a non-reschedulable appointment with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar and set reminders if you need to. For example, block off 30 minutes in the morning to do yoga and 30 minutes at night to read. Tell your family or roommates what times you will be unavailable. Make it as official as possible. It can even be something as simple as planning ahead and


Ursula Evans Leading Women in the Adventure of Self-Discovery! Author & Certified Life Coach for Women Around The World “Life isn’t about wait ing for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Q: What made you want to write a book about self-love/care? UE: I had first-hand experience of being a doormat woman, a woman with no identity and a woman who didn’t fully love herself. Through my own personal growth, my spiritual foundation and using coaching techniques I knew I wanted to help other women who had similar debilitating issues overcome these challenges just as I had done. I want to see women free from limiting beliefs, debilitating thought patterns, self-sabotage and so much more! I wanted women to know that there is a way to combat low emotional-health and self-love is a practice which will allow women to implement each and every day. In Chapter 9 of Heart Work I share that “…real self-love/care has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long term wellness.” Q: How did your career impact the writing of your book? UE: As an Emotional Health Coach, I have an understanding what my tribe wants and needs and this is incredibly important. Most of my clients are on the go,

Ursula at a Networking Event- Panelist Speaker speaking about Heart Work Emotional Health and Self Love so they want to read content that gets straight to the point, solves real-world problems, and helps them learn new things quickly. In writing Heart Work, knowing this I keep my topics focused, and formatted my book to appeal to my target audience. As an Emotional Health Coach, I listen to my client’s aches/pain points and I wanted to use my book to address women at large who may suffer from some of the same challenges such as setting boundaries, learning more about self-validation, and learning or renewing their own self- love journey. Q: How would you describe the Heart Work process? UE: The Heart Work process begins with cleansing, discovering areas in your life that may be hindering you from loving yourself fully or simply identifying areas for growth and improvement. Time spent in the cleansing phase may bring up old wounds but this is a great phase to deal with these challenges head-on. The next phase is appreciating, where you will deal specifically with self-care, making you a priority and loving yourself from the inside out. It is necessary to appreciate yourself, reading these appreciating chapters will give the reader resources and tools to use to continue this practice long after reading Heart Work. Finally, by the end of the Heart Work process you will deal with surefire ways for you to continue your self-love journey and continuing growing even after reading Heart Work. Once, you complete the growing chapters you are armed with an arsenal of ways to keep growing and evolving. Q: Why would you say emotional health is important? UE: Emotional health is important because it is essential to living a full, and balanced life. If you do not attend to your

emotional needs, your quality of life suffers, your relationships suffer, your work suffers and your physical health also suffers. It is important to give credence to your emotional health just as you would your physical health. Emotional health is about your approach to life, and your ability to live a life of wellness. Building your emotional strength doesn’t mean that life will be easy, or perfect, or that you won’t have negative thoughts. Instead, it means being able to navigate life’s ups, and downs with confidence, and resilience, and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan. Being able to manage your emotions, thoughts, and feelings empowers you to make better decisions, and approach life with optimism. The journey to building your emotional health is one of personal growth. Q: How do you maintain your self-care/love routine and what tips do you have for others? UE: I add me to my calendar… and it’s a non-negotiable appointment with myself. One that I never cancel or “re-schedule”. It’s important to me to check in with myself and carve out space to do the things I love. The truth is if we don’t make time for self-care/love, we probably won’t find the time for it. Make self-care a non-reschedulable appointment with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar and set reminders if you need to. For example, block off 30 minutes in the morning to do yoga and 30 minutes at night to read. Tell your family or roommates what times you will be unavailable. Make it as official as possible. It can even be something as simple as planning ahead and


laying your clothes, bag, and lunch out the night before to alleviate some stress in the morning. When you plan ahead and schedule self-care/love in, it becomes easier to fit it in your days. In Chapter 9, Love on You, I encourage others to say No to the people and things that get in the way of self-care and start saying YES to yourself! Q: What’s next after Heart Work? UE: I most certainly have more than one book in me; so there will be more books of inspiration and empowerment in the future. My next immediate project is a community book project. There are many women who have dreams of becoming an Author and I want help bring their dream to reality through my anthology book project. This project will be announced August 2020 and our Signature Coaching Program will be announced in September 2020 Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? UE: I got my first job when I was 15 years old working as a Cashier at Hardees. Working at Hardees shaped me because I learned invaluable principles about leadership, collaboration, and service. I worked for a great boss who believed in mentoring and pouring into his employees. These values have stuck with me and I’m happy to say I learned these ideologies early in life. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? UE: The greatest fear I had to overcome was putting myself out there. My Heart Work success and growing from the inside out required me to be vulnerable, transparent and open with my tribe. Overcoming my fear of worrying what others thought of me, my platform, or what I had to say allowed me to share my heart with women who I wanted to see be set free and liberated; walking in freedom on their emotional health and self-love journey. Q: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? UE: Chapter 8 in Heart Work talks about Boundaries. I say, “There are times when you may have to push your limits and take on a lot for a period of time, but make sure you check in with yourself. Are you feeling run down? Do you need a break? Did you mismanage your time and overcommit when you should actually be refueling yourself? Always evaluate where you are. Give an honest gauge of your output.” Personally, Boundaries are my best friend. Boundarieees help me keep things easy + light. I do not over commit or over extend myself. I leave work when I say I’m going to leave. I exercise when I’m supposed to, and I tell friends and family No! With a smile of course. I respect my time and activities. It’s important to maintain these balances for the positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? UE: Focus on developing and using your strengths. Finding out what you enjoy doing and what you’re truly good at as well

as how to develop those areas is an important lesson I learned in my career. While it may take time, determining where you excel can be one of the most rewarding gifts of having a job and something you can’t learn outside the workforce. Find what you enjoy doing the most and work to develop your strength in that area. Keep in mind that no one is an overnight expert and that you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? UE: One of my most memorable moments in my career is a client success story. I was coaching a woman who had been suffering with self-identity and emotional health challenges. It was so rewarding and memorable to see the great strides and work she put in to make positive changes in her life. Her determination met with coaching support and accountability, she was able to see the root of her self-identity challenges and from that point on it was moving to watch her grow in areas where she was once challenged. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? UE: I’m inspired by Marshawn Evans- Daniels. She is a reinvention strategist and life coach mentoring women all over the world to live a BOLD life. She left a high powered law firm and turned her passion for people into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I absolutely admire her and her mission. She’s proven it can be done. She is my light. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? UE: I hear the same thing over and over from my busy professional clients. These women are all busy with career, parenthood, marriage, and some caregivers. The resounding challenge women face is carving out time for self-care/self-love and feeling guilty when they do commit to self-care/self-love. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? UE: At companies where women are underrepresented, it might seem tempting to fall into the trap of competing with other women. But that misses the point. One easy way to support other women is through a mentorship relationship. A good mentor can provide career advice, counsel during stressful times, and unwavering support. And you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite to provide guidance to another female employee, either. Women should seek out mentors who are only one step ahead in their career — their advice can be invaluable since they made it to the next step in the management hierarchy fairly recently. My best advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace is to seek out mentors with varied experience to get varied perspectives on your career. Always Stand in your Truth. What I have learned, in my humble years as a woman, is that being a strong woman means being unapologetically, fiercely and wholeheartedly YOU no matter what. Q: What self-care tips do you recommend during stressful times?

Ursula with a Group Of Women Sharing their Final Self Love Vision Board UE: When you’re stressed, self-care is often the first thing to go. Fortunately, there are several pathways to self-care, and none of them need to be difficult or take a lot of planning. I recommend starting with the following: Address unmet needs. When you can’t meet a certain need it can be exceptionally frustrating. Silently acknowledge that you’d like to satisfy this need in the future. Addressing your needs — even when they can’t be met — is a significant form of emotional self-care that can help hold you over until the storm passes. Check in with yourself. Self-care is all about listening. My biggest tip, is to sit still and pay attention. Literally, just sit for five minutes — somewhere quiet and cozy – and do a quick check-in physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, asking what do I notice?’ What do I need?’ in each area. Ask for help. When your plate is too full, remind yourself to reach out. Precisely, ask: “Can someone else do this?” Q: When people book a coaching session with you, what can they expect? What is the recommended number of sessions to see results? UE: Coaching with me is honest and loving. The battery of questions asked WILL challenge you and equip you for success. Coaching is a powerful conversation and support system that empowers you to experience your potential more quickly, easily and joyfully. It provides accountability, a sounding

board, and a way to overcome fears or challenges. Coaching is an ongoing tool that empowers you to move from where you are now to where you want to be. Coaching focuses on where you are presently and where you are headed, with a goal of helping you gain clarity, eliminate obstacles to your success, and accelerate the pace of growth. Coaching with me is forward focused. I recommend a minimum of three months for clients to establish a coaching relationship and begin to see significant results. Q: What would you tell younger you (10 years ago? 5 years ago? Last year?) UE: Ten Years Ago: Accept yourself as God made you. I spent too many years fighting this battle and it took a long time to surrender, and by that time it carried extremely painful ramifications. How I wish I could tell the young me that it is okay to be true to yourself. Because God does not make mistakes. Five Years Ago: I would advise my younger self to just say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes your way. No responsibility is beneath you. These are all stops on the path to your career, and don’t be that person that just waits for their turn to talk. Listen, care and then react. Last Year: Bless others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even simple little supportive acts can make others — and you — much happier.


laying your clothes, bag, and lunch out the night before to alleviate some stress in the morning. When you plan ahead and schedule self-care/love in, it becomes easier to fit it in your days. In Chapter 9, Love on You, I encourage others to say No to the people and things that get in the way of self-care and start saying YES to yourself! Q: What’s next after Heart Work? UE: I most certainly have more than one book in me; so there will be more books of inspiration and empowerment in the future. My next immediate project is a community book project. There are many women who have dreams of becoming an Author and I want help bring their dream to reality through my anthology book project. This project will be announced August 2020 and our Signature Coaching Program will be announced in September 2020 Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? UE: I got my first job when I was 15 years old working as a Cashier at Hardees. Working at Hardees shaped me because I learned invaluable principles about leadership, collaboration, and service. I worked for a great boss who believed in mentoring and pouring into his employees. These values have stuck with me and I’m happy to say I learned these ideologies early in life. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? UE: The greatest fear I had to overcome was putting myself out there. My Heart Work success and growing from the inside out required me to be vulnerable, transparent and open with my tribe. Overcoming my fear of worrying what others thought of me, my platform, or what I had to say allowed me to share my heart with women who I wanted to see be set free and liberated; walking in freedom on their emotional health and self-love journey. Q: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? UE: Chapter 8 in Heart Work talks about Boundaries. I say, “There are times when you may have to push your limits and take on a lot for a period of time, but make sure you check in with yourself. Are you feeling run down? Do you need a break? Did you mismanage your time and overcommit when you should actually be refueling yourself? Always evaluate where you are. Give an honest gauge of your output.” Personally, Boundaries are my best friend. Boundarieees help me keep things easy + light. I do not over commit or over extend myself. I leave work when I say I’m going to leave. I exercise when I’m supposed to, and I tell friends and family No! With a smile of course. I respect my time and activities. It’s important to maintain these balances for the positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? UE: Focus on developing and using your strengths. Finding out what you enjoy doing and what you’re truly good at as well

as how to develop those areas is an important lesson I learned in my career. While it may take time, determining where you excel can be one of the most rewarding gifts of having a job and something you can’t learn outside the workforce. Find what you enjoy doing the most and work to develop your strength in that area. Keep in mind that no one is an overnight expert and that you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? UE: One of my most memorable moments in my career is a client success story. I was coaching a woman who had been suffering with self-identity and emotional health challenges. It was so rewarding and memorable to see the great strides and work she put in to make positive changes in her life. Her determination met with coaching support and accountability, she was able to see the root of her self-identity challenges and from that point on it was moving to watch her grow in areas where she was once challenged. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? UE: I’m inspired by Marshawn Evans- Daniels. She is a reinvention strategist and life coach mentoring women all over the world to live a BOLD life. She left a high powered law firm and turned her passion for people into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I absolutely admire her and her mission. She’s proven it can be done. She is my light. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? UE: I hear the same thing over and over from my busy professional clients. These women are all busy with career, parenthood, marriage, and some caregivers. The resounding challenge women face is carving out time for self-care/self-love and feeling guilty when they do commit to self-care/self-love. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? UE: At companies where women are underrepresented, it might seem tempting to fall into the trap of competing with other women. But that misses the point. One easy way to support other women is through a mentorship relationship. A good mentor can provide career advice, counsel during stressful times, and unwavering support. And you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite to provide guidance to another female employee, either. Women should seek out mentors who are only one step ahead in their career — their advice can be invaluable since they made it to the next step in the management hierarchy fairly recently. My best advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace is to seek out mentors with varied experience to get varied perspectives on your career. Always Stand in your Truth. What I have learned, in my humble years as a woman, is that being a strong woman means being unapologetically, fiercely and wholeheartedly YOU no matter what. Q: What self-care tips do you recommend during stressful times?

Ursula with a Group Of Women Sharing their Final Self Love Vision Board UE: When you’re stressed, self-care is often the first thing to go. Fortunately, there are several pathways to self-care, and none of them need to be difficult or take a lot of planning. I recommend starting with the following: Address unmet needs. When you can’t meet a certain need it can be exceptionally frustrating. Silently acknowledge that you’d like to satisfy this need in the future. Addressing your needs — even when they can’t be met — is a significant form of emotional self-care that can help hold you over until the storm passes. Check in with yourself. Self-care is all about listening. My biggest tip, is to sit still and pay attention. Literally, just sit for five minutes — somewhere quiet and cozy – and do a quick check-in physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, asking what do I notice?’ What do I need?’ in each area. Ask for help. When your plate is too full, remind yourself to reach out. Precisely, ask: “Can someone else do this?” Q: When people book a coaching session with you, what can they expect? What is the recommended number of sessions to see results? UE: Coaching with me is honest and loving. The battery of questions asked WILL challenge you and equip you for success. Coaching is a powerful conversation and support system that empowers you to experience your potential more quickly, easily and joyfully. It provides accountability, a sounding

board, and a way to overcome fears or challenges. Coaching is an ongoing tool that empowers you to move from where you are now to where you want to be. Coaching focuses on where you are presently and where you are headed, with a goal of helping you gain clarity, eliminate obstacles to your success, and accelerate the pace of growth. Coaching with me is forward focused. I recommend a minimum of three months for clients to establish a coaching relationship and begin to see significant results. Q: What would you tell younger you (10 years ago? 5 years ago? Last year?) UE: Ten Years Ago: Accept yourself as God made you. I spent too many years fighting this battle and it took a long time to surrender, and by that time it carried extremely painful ramifications. How I wish I could tell the young me that it is okay to be true to yourself. Because God does not make mistakes. Five Years Ago: I would advise my younger self to just say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes your way. No responsibility is beneath you. These are all stops on the path to your career, and don’t be that person that just waits for their turn to talk. Listen, care and then react. Last Year: Bless others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even simple little supportive acts can make others — and you — much happier.


Emmy Award Winning Journalist & Best Selling Author, Leeza Gibbons, Shares Her Insights on Today’s Challenges For Caregivers & Maintaining a Positive Outlook. Photography by Caroline Greyshock & Jeff Annenberg

Q: It’s safe to say that you’re best known for your TV work on Entertainment Tonight, Leeza, and 2015’s Celebrity Apprentice. What thoughts come to mind about that body of work? LG: I’m a lucky girl. I have had a career that has been challenging, fulfilling, and fun! I studied broadcast journalism and have been on a path of wherever the stories took me ever since. After reporting in TV and radio news, I became an entertainment correspondent and anchor before the advent of social media, which allowed celebrities to break their own story. Until then, it was pretty much right what they used to say about ET, that we provided an “all-access pass” to all things Hollywood. One of my early professional dreams was to have some of Dick Clark’s abilities to host virtually anything and make audiences feel welcome. I was blessed to have met Dick, worked with him, and become his friend. Now, when I host something like The Rose Parade, I often keep his mentoring in mind. Even though I have a Ph.D. in drama avoidance, I loved being on Celebrity Apprentice! Competing on the show allowed me to use my business skills to win the grand prize and invest it in opening Leeza’s Care Connection in my South Carolina hometown. It was a dream come true to offer our free services for family caregivers in Columbia, where I grew up.

Q: Tell us how your education contributed to your success and how that path is the same or different for new journalists? LG: I was trained as a broadcast journalist. Barbara Walters was one of my big inspirations. When I began reporting at ET, I was accustomed to a reporting style that was objective; providing only a conduit through which the stories made their way to readers, listeners, and viewers. When I was hosting and producing a single topic talk show, The LEEZA show, the format required that I editorialize and offer an opinion and lead with it too often, it was liberating and allowed for the kind of passionate energy that I admired about Barbara Walters. Many storytellers take a variety of paths to get to where they want to go. I believe how you do one thing is how you do all things, so if excellence is your goal, buoyed by curiosity, then you’ll get there. Q: Did PBS’s My Generation, which addressed a more mature audience, represent a shift for you; if so, why? LG: It was a deliberate choice to address topics that were relevant to an audience that found itself at a turning point ...an audience like me. Boomers are reinventing and eager to explore all kinds of transformations. We believe that who you were yesterday is not who you have to be tomorrow, so we’re looking for the inspiration to recreate ourselves.


Emmy Award Winning Journalist & Best Selling Author, Leeza Gibbons, Shares Her Insights on Today’s Challenges For Caregivers & Maintaining a Positive Outlook. Photography by Caroline Greyshock & Jeff Annenberg

Q: It’s safe to say that you’re best known for your TV work on Entertainment Tonight, Leeza, and 2015’s Celebrity Apprentice. What thoughts come to mind about that body of work? LG: I’m a lucky girl. I have had a career that has been challenging, fulfilling, and fun! I studied broadcast journalism and have been on a path of wherever the stories took me ever since. After reporting in TV and radio news, I became an entertainment correspondent and anchor before the advent of social media, which allowed celebrities to break their own story. Until then, it was pretty much right what they used to say about ET, that we provided an “all-access pass” to all things Hollywood. One of my early professional dreams was to have some of Dick Clark’s abilities to host virtually anything and make audiences feel welcome. I was blessed to have met Dick, worked with him, and become his friend. Now, when I host something like The Rose Parade, I often keep his mentoring in mind. Even though I have a Ph.D. in drama avoidance, I loved being on Celebrity Apprentice! Competing on the show allowed me to use my business skills to win the grand prize and invest it in opening Leeza’s Care Connection in my South Carolina hometown. It was a dream come true to offer our free services for family caregivers in Columbia, where I grew up.

Q: Tell us how your education contributed to your success and how that path is the same or different for new journalists? LG: I was trained as a broadcast journalist. Barbara Walters was one of my big inspirations. When I began reporting at ET, I was accustomed to a reporting style that was objective; providing only a conduit through which the stories made their way to readers, listeners, and viewers. When I was hosting and producing a single topic talk show, The LEEZA show, the format required that I editorialize and offer an opinion and lead with it too often, it was liberating and allowed for the kind of passionate energy that I admired about Barbara Walters. Many storytellers take a variety of paths to get to where they want to go. I believe how you do one thing is how you do all things, so if excellence is your goal, buoyed by curiosity, then you’ll get there. Q: Did PBS’s My Generation, which addressed a more mature audience, represent a shift for you; if so, why? LG: It was a deliberate choice to address topics that were relevant to an audience that found itself at a turning point ...an audience like me. Boomers are reinventing and eager to explore all kinds of transformations. We believe that who you were yesterday is not who you have to be tomorrow, so we’re looking for the inspiration to recreate ourselves.


Leeza with her Dad looking at one of his poetry books. “Pops has written thousands of poems, so I began putting them together in books. We’re up to Volume 8, but he’s only 92, so he’s got a lot more writing to do!”

“My Generation” delivered the stories of celebrities and others who had accepted the challenge to re-boot and re-create their lives and re-write their narratives. Q What do you see that is different from interviewing styles from the period you were on the air to today? LG: Today, things are much more transparent than when I first began Viewers’ insatiable appetites to “get inside” and “lift the veil” led to more raw reporting and a genuinely authentic exchange preference.

terviewers to uncover more than “just the facts” and interview subjects to drop any facade and get real. Today, the best way to do that is to bypass a reporter and go straight to fans through social media.

From skilful politicians to creative celebrities of all kinds, intimate relationships are built on social platforms, but interviews with reputable outlets or with interviewers who have perceived gravitas can often maintain, boost, or augment them. Look at Donald Trump Twitter was more important to his victory than his political advisors and mainstream media exposure. However, There is still brokering for interviews and nego- events like the interviews with Lester Holt and tiating for access. Still, the expectation is for in- George Stepanopolis can still do damage.

“Breathe, Believe, Receive” is our mantra at Leeza’s Care Connection. This is a group of caregivers making that philosophy come to life at our Providence St Joseph Medical Center location in Burbank.

Q: You have published books about having a positive attitude and self-care, particularly for caregivers; would you remind our readers what those books are about and what they represent to you? LG: On our journeys through life, I often need to remember that our strength comes from being vulnerable. Our power comes from how we are connected. My books honour those connections; whether it’s a daughter caring for a sick parent, or a divorced woman who needs a Take 2, we can all find our strength by giving ourselves permission to change and grow.

LG: A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called FIERCE OPTIMISM and nowhere is that more relevant than when applied to our community at Leeza’s Care Connection. We help families cope with Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses by offering tips, resources, and coping strategies. We are a community of those who understand the journey, and we’re dedicated to making sure that no one walks alone. Caregivers have to be fierce, optimistic, and radically resilient to move forward. This past year, we all learned how to pivot and redirect, but caregivers are used to those things. They have to be.

Q: Tell us about Leeza’s Care Connection.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, the


Leeza with her Dad looking at one of his poetry books. “Pops has written thousands of poems, so I began putting them together in books. We’re up to Volume 8, but he’s only 92, so he’s got a lot more writing to do!”

“My Generation” delivered the stories of celebrities and others who had accepted the challenge to re-boot and re-create their lives and re-write their narratives. Q What do you see that is different from interviewing styles from the period you were on the air to today? LG: Today, things are much more transparent than when I first began Viewers’ insatiable appetites to “get inside” and “lift the veil” led to more raw reporting and a genuinely authentic exchange preference.

terviewers to uncover more than “just the facts” and interview subjects to drop any facade and get real. Today, the best way to do that is to bypass a reporter and go straight to fans through social media.

From skilful politicians to creative celebrities of all kinds, intimate relationships are built on social platforms, but interviews with reputable outlets or with interviewers who have perceived gravitas can often maintain, boost, or augment them. Look at Donald Trump Twitter was more important to his victory than his political advisors and mainstream media exposure. However, There is still brokering for interviews and nego- events like the interviews with Lester Holt and tiating for access. Still, the expectation is for in- George Stepanopolis can still do damage.

“Breathe, Believe, Receive” is our mantra at Leeza’s Care Connection. This is a group of caregivers making that philosophy come to life at our Providence St Joseph Medical Center location in Burbank.

Q: You have published books about having a positive attitude and self-care, particularly for caregivers; would you remind our readers what those books are about and what they represent to you? LG: On our journeys through life, I often need to remember that our strength comes from being vulnerable. Our power comes from how we are connected. My books honour those connections; whether it’s a daughter caring for a sick parent, or a divorced woman who needs a Take 2, we can all find our strength by giving ourselves permission to change and grow.

LG: A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called FIERCE OPTIMISM and nowhere is that more relevant than when applied to our community at Leeza’s Care Connection. We help families cope with Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses by offering tips, resources, and coping strategies. We are a community of those who understand the journey, and we’re dedicated to making sure that no one walks alone. Caregivers have to be fierce, optimistic, and radically resilient to move forward. This past year, we all learned how to pivot and redirect, but caregivers are used to those things. They have to be.

Q: Tell us about Leeza’s Care Connection.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, the


same as her mom, my dear Granny. Our family struggled with the same emotions as every other; we were stressed and depressed, isolated, and sad. When you become a caregiver, you take on an enormous assault on your emotions and your immune system. You often unravel and deplete spiritually, physically, and financially. When that started happening to our family, I created what we wish we had, and that became Leeza’s Care Connection. I promised my mother I would tell the story of our struggle, and I would use it to help others. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you? LG: Both! I think it’s true that we often write what we need to learn. Valuing self-care and finding empowerment is a lifelong pursuit. When I write about the power of kindness or the benefits of optimism I am fortifying my commitment to those values. I have kept journals, on and off, since the ‘70s! At the tune, I was travelling quite a lot for Entertainment Tonight and interviewing the biggest names in the business. I was also young in my career, and I took notes from others about how to find balance and grace to go along with my ambition. I have discovered that writing helps us find answers (and better questions) to guide our actions. It shows us patterns and ways that we sabotage or subvert. I recently facilitated a Leeza’s Care Connection virtual course on journaling for caregivers. It was an exercise of self-awareness, self-care and gratitude for our

Proudly holding an Emmy for Best Host for the PBS show, My Generation .

gifts and our burdens. Our everyday experience provided the solace of a support group and the benefits of clarity and stress management that come from writing. Q: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? LG: I was competing in an essay contest in high school. We were given a speech topic and an hour to prepare before delivering our speech in front of judges and attendees. The topic was “What’s Right About America”. I believe I won the competition because of my ability to appreciate and express language, which made my oration memorable. At that time, I also had

“Memories Matter. When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease sharing those memories in scrapbooks can be very soul-satisfying”

quite a thick southern accent which was either ated that concept was evil and cruel! If we seek a distraction or an endearment! the ever-elusive middle of the see-saw, we will be bitter and disappointed. Instead of balancQ: What is your favorite childhood book? ing time, I think of investing time. As with any LG: I loved The Secret Garden - it was magical business venture, I look for dividends. For exand sad and uplifting all at once. Shel Silver- ample, if you’re a working woman (there’s a stein’s “The Giving Tree” was a favorite too, redundancy for you!), you may not always feel but it’s The Velveteen Rabbit that resonates that you have the ideal balance. Still, you’re deeply still because of its message about what providing for your family, setting an example of the value of work, and growing into the next real love is. phase of life when you may feel you have more Q: You’ve maintained a hectic, career, autonomy. You’re investing in your future, and can you share with our audience how those dividends will come due. you manage your work-life balance? LG: I gave up trying to balance! Whoever cre-


same as her mom, my dear Granny. Our family struggled with the same emotions as every other; we were stressed and depressed, isolated, and sad. When you become a caregiver, you take on an enormous assault on your emotions and your immune system. You often unravel and deplete spiritually, physically, and financially. When that started happening to our family, I created what we wish we had, and that became Leeza’s Care Connection. I promised my mother I would tell the story of our struggle, and I would use it to help others. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you? LG: Both! I think it’s true that we often write what we need to learn. Valuing self-care and finding empowerment is a lifelong pursuit. When I write about the power of kindness or the benefits of optimism I am fortifying my commitment to those values. I have kept journals, on and off, since the ‘70s! At the tune, I was travelling quite a lot for Entertainment Tonight and interviewing the biggest names in the business. I was also young in my career, and I took notes from others about how to find balance and grace to go along with my ambition. I have discovered that writing helps us find answers (and better questions) to guide our actions. It shows us patterns and ways that we sabotage or subvert. I recently facilitated a Leeza’s Care Connection virtual course on journaling for caregivers. It was an exercise of self-awareness, self-care and gratitude for our

Proudly holding an Emmy for Best Host for the PBS show, My Generation .

gifts and our burdens. Our everyday experience provided the solace of a support group and the benefits of clarity and stress management that come from writing. Q: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? LG: I was competing in an essay contest in high school. We were given a speech topic and an hour to prepare before delivering our speech in front of judges and attendees. The topic was “What’s Right About America”. I believe I won the competition because of my ability to appreciate and express language, which made my oration memorable. At that time, I also had

“Memories Matter. When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease sharing those memories in scrapbooks can be very soul-satisfying”

quite a thick southern accent which was either ated that concept was evil and cruel! If we seek a distraction or an endearment! the ever-elusive middle of the see-saw, we will be bitter and disappointed. Instead of balancQ: What is your favorite childhood book? ing time, I think of investing time. As with any LG: I loved The Secret Garden - it was magical business venture, I look for dividends. For exand sad and uplifting all at once. Shel Silver- ample, if you’re a working woman (there’s a stein’s “The Giving Tree” was a favorite too, redundancy for you!), you may not always feel but it’s The Velveteen Rabbit that resonates that you have the ideal balance. Still, you’re deeply still because of its message about what providing for your family, setting an example of the value of work, and growing into the next real love is. phase of life when you may feel you have more Q: You’ve maintained a hectic, career, autonomy. You’re investing in your future, and can you share with our audience how those dividends will come due. you manage your work-life balance? LG: I gave up trying to balance! Whoever cre-


A Special Conversation With Dana Brownlee,

A Dynamic, Energetic, Results-Oriented Corporate Trainer & Speaker, Ms. Brownlee Provides Thought Leadership in The Areas of Antiracism, Leadership, And Individual & Organizational Effectiveness. Q: Can you share with our audience about your Fortune 500 corporate experience in project management and business strategy consulting? DB: I started my career in the telecom industry and transitioned into management consulting after obtaining my MBA. As a business strategy consultant, I managed and supported large IT projects primarily in the media and entertainment sector. These roles were a natural fit for my academic and professional training (math, industrial engineering, business, project management) and provided invaluable real-life experience (and tons of hilarious anecdotes) for my next chapter – speaking, writing, and training. Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? DB: After about a decade of traditional corporate experience, I gravitated to the role of trainer/facilitator. This new role would afford me the opportunity to leverage my subject matter expertise but now instead of doing the work, I’d be teaching and guiding others. At this point in my career, I’d developed enough expertise to now consciously choose the type of work that I wanted to do, and I truly loved facilitating and training (which I’d done frequently during my work as a business strategy consultant), so I dove in headfirst. I’d also grown accustomed to a significant level of autonomy working with a high performing consulting team, so I wasn’t eager to transition back into a traditional, highly structured corporate setting. I knew I was an amazing trainer, so I decided to hang my own shingle and give it a shot. 18 years later I’m so glad I did. Q: Tell us about what led to the writing of your book “Unwritten Rules About Managing Up” DB: Most people tell me that it’s so hard to find a publisher. In my case, my publisher (Berrett-Koehler) found me. I’d been speaking on the general topic of “managing difficult bosses/personalities” for nearly a decade when a publisher reached out to me to tell me they wanted to attend my talk at an upcoming conference. I wrote the book pulling on many years of experience as a project manager having to satisfy and navigate many different senior leader personalities. I conducted a survey as part of my book research and was shocked to receive over 1100 responses in a few short weeks. There was a ton of interest in the topic. I definitely feel that managing up/managing challenging stakeholders is a real problem that doesn’t get discussed enough in public settings. Q: What led to your decision to become an executive speaker? DB: After focusing most of my entrepreneurial career in training, about five years ago I decided to pivot to focus more so on speaking. It was a slight pivot with tremendous upside. I’d essentially be taking some of the most exciting parts of my training session (usually the stories and anecdotes) and just repurpose them into a 1-2 hour talk (instead of a 5-6 hour training event). It made the events more exciting and less labor intensive. With two small kids at home, that slight shift in my business model made it easier for me to conduct an event out of town in the morning and still make it back for afternoon carpool. Q: What is it about your job that most excites you? DB: In the past few years, I’ve become much more of a writer. While

I’ve been published in many outlets over the years, I’ve been a Forbes Careers Senior Contributor for more than two years now, and it’s been quite thrilling actually. It’s such an honor to be able to participate in the national discourse on current events, trends, etc. as well as interview many leading voices and thought leaders on such a wide range of topics. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business? DB: I think that starting a business can sound glamorous, but it’s often harder than you think so I’d advise one to definitely pursue your passions but also be strategic and practical. Save at least enough to support yourself while the business is getting off the ground for the first year. Optimize your business model to maximize profitability (e.g., targeting corporations vs. individuals or developing offerings for groups vs. individuals, etc.). Remember that just because you’re great at something doesn’t mean that you can run a successful business doing it. Monetizing a skill or hobby isn’t the easiest thing in the world. That said, there are often great ways to turn a unique skill or talent into a profitable business. You just have to be methodical and strategic in determining what that business model should look like. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? DB: I think that the first time I was quoted in The Wall Street Journal back in 2012 was pivotal for me. My business is focused around my subject matter expertise and credibility as a thought leader so my bio is everything. While I’d conducted training events and talks in several countries and I certainly knew my stuff, there’s a certain confidence that develops when you begin to be cited in major, well-respected publications. That specific article led to an appearance on CNN. Then over the years, I received citations in many publications like FastCompany, the Economist, Redbook, etc. and published articles in Working Mother, Entrepreneur, HuffPost and Forbes. In many ways it was my very first citation in The Wall Street Journal that boosted my confidence and allowed me to begin to truly view myself as a thought leader. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? DB: I think that one of the biggest mistakes people make is allowing everyone else to dictate their calendar (then trying to find time for our personal priorities with what is left over). Instead, I try to flip the script and focus on my key commitments, then work everything else around those. One of my best moves though was deciding to work for myself. While entrepreneurship can be all consuming (particularly in the early years), it does typically offer tremendous autonomy and flexibility. I think that if one parent has tons of flexibility, it makes running a household (with children in particular) much easier. While I was single with no kids when I started my business in 2003, years later with a family I was really grateful to have the flexibility that entrepreneurship provides.


A Special Conversation With Dana Brownlee,

A Dynamic, Energetic, Results-Oriented Corporate Trainer & Speaker, Ms. Brownlee Provides Thought Leadership in The Areas of Antiracism, Leadership, And Individual & Organizational Effectiveness. Q: Can you share with our audience about your Fortune 500 corporate experience in project management and business strategy consulting? DB: I started my career in the telecom industry and transitioned into management consulting after obtaining my MBA. As a business strategy consultant, I managed and supported large IT projects primarily in the media and entertainment sector. These roles were a natural fit for my academic and professional training (math, industrial engineering, business, project management) and provided invaluable real-life experience (and tons of hilarious anecdotes) for my next chapter – speaking, writing, and training. Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? DB: After about a decade of traditional corporate experience, I gravitated to the role of trainer/facilitator. This new role would afford me the opportunity to leverage my subject matter expertise but now instead of doing the work, I’d be teaching and guiding others. At this point in my career, I’d developed enough expertise to now consciously choose the type of work that I wanted to do, and I truly loved facilitating and training (which I’d done frequently during my work as a business strategy consultant), so I dove in headfirst. I’d also grown accustomed to a significant level of autonomy working with a high performing consulting team, so I wasn’t eager to transition back into a traditional, highly structured corporate setting. I knew I was an amazing trainer, so I decided to hang my own shingle and give it a shot. 18 years later I’m so glad I did. Q: Tell us about what led to the writing of your book “Unwritten Rules About Managing Up” DB: Most people tell me that it’s so hard to find a publisher. In my case, my publisher (Berrett-Koehler) found me. I’d been speaking on the general topic of “managing difficult bosses/personalities” for nearly a decade when a publisher reached out to me to tell me they wanted to attend my talk at an upcoming conference. I wrote the book pulling on many years of experience as a project manager having to satisfy and navigate many different senior leader personalities. I conducted a survey as part of my book research and was shocked to receive over 1100 responses in a few short weeks. There was a ton of interest in the topic. I definitely feel that managing up/managing challenging stakeholders is a real problem that doesn’t get discussed enough in public settings. Q: What led to your decision to become an executive speaker? DB: After focusing most of my entrepreneurial career in training, about five years ago I decided to pivot to focus more so on speaking. It was a slight pivot with tremendous upside. I’d essentially be taking some of the most exciting parts of my training session (usually the stories and anecdotes) and just repurpose them into a 1-2 hour talk (instead of a 5-6 hour training event). It made the events more exciting and less labor intensive. With two small kids at home, that slight shift in my business model made it easier for me to conduct an event out of town in the morning and still make it back for afternoon carpool. Q: What is it about your job that most excites you? DB: In the past few years, I’ve become much more of a writer. While

I’ve been published in many outlets over the years, I’ve been a Forbes Careers Senior Contributor for more than two years now, and it’s been quite thrilling actually. It’s such an honor to be able to participate in the national discourse on current events, trends, etc. as well as interview many leading voices and thought leaders on such a wide range of topics. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business? DB: I think that starting a business can sound glamorous, but it’s often harder than you think so I’d advise one to definitely pursue your passions but also be strategic and practical. Save at least enough to support yourself while the business is getting off the ground for the first year. Optimize your business model to maximize profitability (e.g., targeting corporations vs. individuals or developing offerings for groups vs. individuals, etc.). Remember that just because you’re great at something doesn’t mean that you can run a successful business doing it. Monetizing a skill or hobby isn’t the easiest thing in the world. That said, there are often great ways to turn a unique skill or talent into a profitable business. You just have to be methodical and strategic in determining what that business model should look like. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? DB: I think that the first time I was quoted in The Wall Street Journal back in 2012 was pivotal for me. My business is focused around my subject matter expertise and credibility as a thought leader so my bio is everything. While I’d conducted training events and talks in several countries and I certainly knew my stuff, there’s a certain confidence that develops when you begin to be cited in major, well-respected publications. That specific article led to an appearance on CNN. Then over the years, I received citations in many publications like FastCompany, the Economist, Redbook, etc. and published articles in Working Mother, Entrepreneur, HuffPost and Forbes. In many ways it was my very first citation in The Wall Street Journal that boosted my confidence and allowed me to begin to truly view myself as a thought leader. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? DB: I think that one of the biggest mistakes people make is allowing everyone else to dictate their calendar (then trying to find time for our personal priorities with what is left over). Instead, I try to flip the script and focus on my key commitments, then work everything else around those. One of my best moves though was deciding to work for myself. While entrepreneurship can be all consuming (particularly in the early years), it does typically offer tremendous autonomy and flexibility. I think that if one parent has tons of flexibility, it makes running a household (with children in particular) much easier. While I was single with no kids when I started my business in 2003, years later with a family I was really grateful to have the flexibility that entrepreneurship provides.


Annika and players at the gala dinner to kick off the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex hosted at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Having Been Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as One of the Greatest Winners in LPGA History, Our Exclusive Interview with Golf Legend, Annika Sorenstam Annika is often regarded as the greatest female golfer of all-time. During her 15-year, Hall-of-Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered.

when she became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA TOUR event at the 2003 Colonial Invitational. Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, which include the ANNIKA Collection of high-end women’s golf apparel and ANNIKA Course Design. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

She amassed over 90 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships. Annika holds a record number of Rolex Player of the Year awards (eight) and Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season (six). As the only female to break 60 in an official event, she has been nicknamed “Ms. 59.” Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention The Foundation annually conducts six major tourna-

ments in the United States, Sweden (2), China, Argentina and New Zealand for aspiring junior girls along with the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 top Division I schools. It has annually enjoyed the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. With the support of Stifel and the Haskins Commission, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel in 2014, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. Her global success in golf and knowledge of business has enabled her to become the first and only female golfer to create a successful brand of businesses, as featured in Duane Knapp’s book BrandStrategy, Inc. Annika’s brand has also been featured in Brandweek, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, SportsBusiness Journal, Success Magazine, USA Today, and Wine Spectator to name a few non-golf publications. Annika still tops the LPGA’s All Time Money List despite not competing since the 2008 season. She represented Europe as a player in eight Solheim Cups, as a vice-captain three times and captained the European team in 2017. Annika has received many accolades throughout her life. She was the recipient of the Patty Berg Award in 2003 for her contributions to women’s

golf. She was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997 and from 2000-2005. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association. She and Jack Nicklaus were named Global Ambassadors by the International Golf Federation to help with golf ’s successful bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika won the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award in 2011, which is presented annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. The following year the LPGA, in partnership with Rolex, created the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. It recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships. In 2015, Annika was named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden. In 2016 Annika received the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award from the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit advisory council, with the support of the PGA of America and the LPGA. In 2016 Annika received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the business of golf at the HSBC Golf Business Summit. She is also the


Annika and players at the gala dinner to kick off the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex hosted at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Having Been Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as One of the Greatest Winners in LPGA History, Our Exclusive Interview with Golf Legend, Annika Sorenstam Annika is often regarded as the greatest female golfer of all-time. During her 15-year, Hall-of-Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered.

when she became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA TOUR event at the 2003 Colonial Invitational. Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, which include the ANNIKA Collection of high-end women’s golf apparel and ANNIKA Course Design. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

She amassed over 90 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships. Annika holds a record number of Rolex Player of the Year awards (eight) and Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season (six). As the only female to break 60 in an official event, she has been nicknamed “Ms. 59.” Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention The Foundation annually conducts six major tourna-

ments in the United States, Sweden (2), China, Argentina and New Zealand for aspiring junior girls along with the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 top Division I schools. It has annually enjoyed the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. With the support of Stifel and the Haskins Commission, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel in 2014, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. Her global success in golf and knowledge of business has enabled her to become the first and only female golfer to create a successful brand of businesses, as featured in Duane Knapp’s book BrandStrategy, Inc. Annika’s brand has also been featured in Brandweek, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, SportsBusiness Journal, Success Magazine, USA Today, and Wine Spectator to name a few non-golf publications. Annika still tops the LPGA’s All Time Money List despite not competing since the 2008 season. She represented Europe as a player in eight Solheim Cups, as a vice-captain three times and captained the European team in 2017. Annika has received many accolades throughout her life. She was the recipient of the Patty Berg Award in 2003 for her contributions to women’s

golf. She was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997 and from 2000-2005. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association. She and Jack Nicklaus were named Global Ambassadors by the International Golf Federation to help with golf ’s successful bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika won the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award in 2011, which is presented annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. The following year the LPGA, in partnership with Rolex, created the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. It recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships. In 2015, Annika was named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden. In 2016 Annika received the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award from the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit advisory council, with the support of the PGA of America and the LPGA. In 2016 Annika received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the business of golf at the HSBC Golf Business Summit. She is also the


provide golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. It has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children. Some initiatives are SPARK, the Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.

Annika and her family having fun at a photo shoot.

first female golfer and only the third female in sport to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Annika is a very popular motivational speaker and many corporate executives, CEOs and meeting planners utilize her talents to entertain important clients, reward top performing employees, and build camaraderie amongst their teams. Annika is a driven, leader with a vast network of contacts throughout the world of business, sports, and entertainment. In addition to expanding her brand and growing the game, Annika and her husband, Mike McGee, have two children, Ava (9/1/09) and Will (3/21/11). Annika represents world-class companies like 3M, AHEAD, Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Cabot Saint Lucia, Golfing World, Lexus, Mastercard and Rolex. Her Twitter handle is @ Annika59 and Instagram handle is @annikas59. For more information: www.annikafoundation.org. Q: You started playing Golf at a young age, what

inspired you to pursue it professionally? AS: As a kid, I loved all sports. I played soccer, badminton, did downhill skiing and my first love was tennis. I didn’t start playing golf until the age of 12 and was introduced to it because my parents played a lot. My sister, Charlotta and I would ride my parents’ pull carts like a horse and get ice cream at the turn. I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 16. That’s when I focused on golf, rather than tennis. Fellow Swede, Liselotte Neumann won the US Women’s Open in 1988 and that really inspired me. If she could do it from our small country, why couldn’t I? I continued to work hard and went to the University of Arizona on a golf scholarship and after two years there I decided it was time to turn professional and give it a shot. Q: For those in our audience not familiar with the Annika Foundation, tell us what kind of opportunities it provides for young women. AS: We started the ANNIKA Foundation in 2007 to

The Foundation annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. In partnership with The R&A, the Women’s Amateur Latin America, and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia at the famed Royal Wellington Golf Club in Wellington, New Zealand. With the support of Stifel, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By Stifel in 2014. It is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools. This tournament takes place at Royal Golf Club and has had the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. Q: Have any of your alumnae gone on to pursue a professional career in Golf ? AS: Each year we have over 600 girls from over 50 different countries compete in our global events. We have had over 60 of our alumnae play on the LPGA Tour, and over 150 on the Symetra Tour. Q: You’ve accomplished so much as a Professional Golfer, Businesswoman, and mentor to many young women. Has it been a smooth road? AS: I think the lessons I have learned from golf certainly

apply to life. It teaches you integrity, how to overcome adversity, how to make goals and accomplish them. There are a lot of correlations. Each day brings you new challenges. Some days you get good breaks and some days bad ones. I stepped away in 2008, which in hindsight was a difficult time to start businesses. There have been ups and downs and we have learned a lot. I enjoy working with my husband, Mike on all of our businesses. We have a great team around us, and we have narrowed our focus to the foundation, the ANNIKA Collection of clothing with Cutter & Buck, and golf course design. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AS: My dad taught me when I was a young girl that there are no shortcuts to success. It was raining and I didn’t feel like practicing, so I called my Dad to pick me up. As we drove out of the course, we passed the driving range, and there were still kids hitting balls in the rain. My dad turned to me and said that to me. I will never forget that, and it still drives me to this day. Q: Can you tell us one of your most memorable moments in your career? AS: I have been fortunate to have a lot of very memorable events of which I’m proud. I would say shooting a 59 in 2001, playing against the men on the PGA TOUR in 2003 at Colonial, and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? AS: I would tell young ladies in the workforce to find their passion. Life is too short to do something you don’t love. Work hard and put in the time. Again, there are no shortcuts to success. Surround yourselves with good people and network as much as possible. Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? AS: I am a normal Mom and wife. I love to hang with our family and kids. I cook probably six nights a week and love it. I enjoy housework and chores and am constantly busy.


provide golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. It has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children. Some initiatives are SPARK, the Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.

Annika and her family having fun at a photo shoot.

first female golfer and only the third female in sport to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Annika is a very popular motivational speaker and many corporate executives, CEOs and meeting planners utilize her talents to entertain important clients, reward top performing employees, and build camaraderie amongst their teams. Annika is a driven, leader with a vast network of contacts throughout the world of business, sports, and entertainment. In addition to expanding her brand and growing the game, Annika and her husband, Mike McGee, have two children, Ava (9/1/09) and Will (3/21/11). Annika represents world-class companies like 3M, AHEAD, Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Cabot Saint Lucia, Golfing World, Lexus, Mastercard and Rolex. Her Twitter handle is @ Annika59 and Instagram handle is @annikas59. For more information: www.annikafoundation.org. Q: You started playing Golf at a young age, what

inspired you to pursue it professionally? AS: As a kid, I loved all sports. I played soccer, badminton, did downhill skiing and my first love was tennis. I didn’t start playing golf until the age of 12 and was introduced to it because my parents played a lot. My sister, Charlotta and I would ride my parents’ pull carts like a horse and get ice cream at the turn. I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 16. That’s when I focused on golf, rather than tennis. Fellow Swede, Liselotte Neumann won the US Women’s Open in 1988 and that really inspired me. If she could do it from our small country, why couldn’t I? I continued to work hard and went to the University of Arizona on a golf scholarship and after two years there I decided it was time to turn professional and give it a shot. Q: For those in our audience not familiar with the Annika Foundation, tell us what kind of opportunities it provides for young women. AS: We started the ANNIKA Foundation in 2007 to

The Foundation annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. In partnership with The R&A, the Women’s Amateur Latin America, and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia at the famed Royal Wellington Golf Club in Wellington, New Zealand. With the support of Stifel, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By Stifel in 2014. It is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools. This tournament takes place at Royal Golf Club and has had the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. Q: Have any of your alumnae gone on to pursue a professional career in Golf ? AS: Each year we have over 600 girls from over 50 different countries compete in our global events. We have had over 60 of our alumnae play on the LPGA Tour, and over 150 on the Symetra Tour. Q: You’ve accomplished so much as a Professional Golfer, Businesswoman, and mentor to many young women. Has it been a smooth road? AS: I think the lessons I have learned from golf certainly

apply to life. It teaches you integrity, how to overcome adversity, how to make goals and accomplish them. There are a lot of correlations. Each day brings you new challenges. Some days you get good breaks and some days bad ones. I stepped away in 2008, which in hindsight was a difficult time to start businesses. There have been ups and downs and we have learned a lot. I enjoy working with my husband, Mike on all of our businesses. We have a great team around us, and we have narrowed our focus to the foundation, the ANNIKA Collection of clothing with Cutter & Buck, and golf course design. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AS: My dad taught me when I was a young girl that there are no shortcuts to success. It was raining and I didn’t feel like practicing, so I called my Dad to pick me up. As we drove out of the course, we passed the driving range, and there were still kids hitting balls in the rain. My dad turned to me and said that to me. I will never forget that, and it still drives me to this day. Q: Can you tell us one of your most memorable moments in your career? AS: I have been fortunate to have a lot of very memorable events of which I’m proud. I would say shooting a 59 in 2001, playing against the men on the PGA TOUR in 2003 at Colonial, and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? AS: I would tell young ladies in the workforce to find their passion. Life is too short to do something you don’t love. Work hard and put in the time. Again, there are no shortcuts to success. Surround yourselves with good people and network as much as possible. Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? AS: I am a normal Mom and wife. I love to hang with our family and kids. I cook probably six nights a week and love it. I enjoy housework and chores and am constantly busy.


S

Damsel in Defense: A Brief History of Women in the Military

ince this country was founded, women have proudly served as active members in the U.S. military. From battlefield nurses to full members of the military, their active roles in the armed forces have inspired change for women across the board.

Despite the passage of the 19th Amendment, ladies were not recognized as full military members until 1948. President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law following the second World War. This act formally recognized women as members of the armed services.

Military contributions by females go all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Although they were not able to enlist as soldiers, women at the time still served their country as combat nurses and caregivers in camps.

Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was passed, many influential females have made a career for themselves in the military. Among those incredible women is retired U.S. Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.

It wasn’t until the Civil War that females began to enlist in the Army. However, women were forbidden from serving in the military. Many ladies of the day disguised themselves as men to pass through the recruiter’s station.

Dunwoody was directly commissioned into the Women’s Army Corps in 1975 following graduation from college. In 1992, she became the first woman to command a battalion during the First Gulf War. She also became the first woman to ever reach a four-star offer rank in the United States military.

During the Civil War, over 400 women enlisted as secret soldiers. One of the most famous secret soldiers of the Civil War was Pvt. Cathay Williams. Williams initially served in a support role against her will because of her status as a captured slave. It wasn’t until 1866 that she became the first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army under a male pseudonym, William Cathay. She was eventually honorably discharged in 1868 after a physician discovered her status as a female. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, females were viewed as merely caretakers for servicemen. The Great War changed the country’s perspective on women in the military entirely. Their service helped push for the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Another woman with an impressive military career is Jennie Marie Leavitt. Leavitt blazed a trail for women in the Air Force through a series of firsts. She was the first woman to graduate from the Air Force Weapons School and became the first woman to control the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. Today, she is a Command Pilot with over 3,000 in the F-15E under her belt, including over 300 combat hours. Women in the military have come a long way from where they started. Today, women account for about one-fifth of the officers in the military and represent about 17% of the total armed forces. Standing on the soldiers of giants, servicewomen today are encouraging and empowering the military women of tomorrow.


S

Damsel in Defense: A Brief History of Women in the Military

ince this country was founded, women have proudly served as active members in the U.S. military. From battlefield nurses to full members of the military, their active roles in the armed forces have inspired change for women across the board.

Despite the passage of the 19th Amendment, ladies were not recognized as full military members until 1948. President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law following the second World War. This act formally recognized women as members of the armed services.

Military contributions by females go all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Although they were not able to enlist as soldiers, women at the time still served their country as combat nurses and caregivers in camps.

Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was passed, many influential females have made a career for themselves in the military. Among those incredible women is retired U.S. Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.

It wasn’t until the Civil War that females began to enlist in the Army. However, women were forbidden from serving in the military. Many ladies of the day disguised themselves as men to pass through the recruiter’s station.

Dunwoody was directly commissioned into the Women’s Army Corps in 1975 following graduation from college. In 1992, she became the first woman to command a battalion during the First Gulf War. She also became the first woman to ever reach a four-star offer rank in the United States military.

During the Civil War, over 400 women enlisted as secret soldiers. One of the most famous secret soldiers of the Civil War was Pvt. Cathay Williams. Williams initially served in a support role against her will because of her status as a captured slave. It wasn’t until 1866 that she became the first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army under a male pseudonym, William Cathay. She was eventually honorably discharged in 1868 after a physician discovered her status as a female. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, females were viewed as merely caretakers for servicemen. The Great War changed the country’s perspective on women in the military entirely. Their service helped push for the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Another woman with an impressive military career is Jennie Marie Leavitt. Leavitt blazed a trail for women in the Air Force through a series of firsts. She was the first woman to graduate from the Air Force Weapons School and became the first woman to control the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. Today, she is a Command Pilot with over 3,000 in the F-15E under her belt, including over 300 combat hours. Women in the military have come a long way from where they started. Today, women account for about one-fifth of the officers in the military and represent about 17% of the total armed forces. Standing on the soldiers of giants, servicewomen today are encouraging and empowering the military women of tomorrow.


Q: You acknowledge that you’re a trailblazer. For women entering the sports agent field, do you feel that there are any fewer hurdles to overcome than when you started? If so, what are they? MF: I would say there are fewer hurdles, but they still exist. Visibility matters and I think seeing other women thrive in the space has opened the doors for others and broken down some of the barriers. Overall, I think people are starting to understand the business value of diversity. Sports has been slow to evolve, but now we are seeing women in the front office and on coaching staffs. That’s important, because for today’s athletes that’s now the norm not the exception. We still have a ways to go, but there is a powerful shift happening!

Hailed as the “Female Jerry Maguire,”

Molly Fletcher

Joins Us To Talk About Her Career as a Sports Agent & Motivational Professional

Q: Your website mentions working with big egos. What is the most powerful skill to possess when guiding a talent toward what’s most beneficial in the long run versus what might provide immediate gratification? MF: It all starts with the ability to connect with people, and I think you do that by showing up, adding value and shooting straight. In the world of pro sports, it’s easy for athletes to get surrounded by “yes” people. As an agent, you have to be able to tell your clients what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. Storytelling is a powerful vehicle because it helps show them why it’s important to play the long game. If you give them real examples of the “one and done” who focused on the short-term gain or made bad decisions in the moment, they connect with that. Most athletes made it to this level because of their discipline, so helping them understand they might have to make short term sacrifices for long term gain is something they understand.

Q: If you were still a sports agent today, what do you think you would miss most about the way business was done when you first entered the field? MF: When I started in the space, there was no social media. It obviously has tremendous advantages in terms of being able to tell your story, connect with your fans, and get deals—but I think most of us can relate to having days where we wish it didn’t exist! It’s definitely an added pressure for them to navigate.

MF: I don’t love the word “balance” because I think it creates a lot of unrealistic expectations and guilt for people. I am big on energy management more so than time management. Energy management starts with clarity around what matters most to you, and then having the discipline to say “yes” or no” based on the clarity you have created. In my book, The Energy Clock, I walk people through an energy audit to help you get clear on what gives you energy and what drains your energy and how to make the adjustments you need to make. The book was a result of my own experiences being overscheduled, Q: How many of your athlete clients are still working 24/7, and feeling at times like I wasn’t my your clients today? best self with the people in my life who mattered MF: I no longer represent clients as a sports agent; most. If you don’t decide where your energy goes, however, I am grateful to stay connected with most the world decides for you. personally as friends. Today I spend the majority of my time as a speaker, author, podcast host, and Q: Has there been a client with whom you founder of the Game Changer Training company. just couldn’t connect? How did you negotiate your separation and what might you Q: 60+ keynotes a year! Tell us about your have done differently? time management, i.e., your Energy Clock– MF: Yes, earlier in my career there was one or two how you balance your personal and work but not many thankfully. Whenever you feel disconlives? nected, I see that as a signal to shift from defensive-

Molly Fletcher speaking at Leadercast 2017. She will be speaking again this year at Leadercast 2022.”


Q: You acknowledge that you’re a trailblazer. For women entering the sports agent field, do you feel that there are any fewer hurdles to overcome than when you started? If so, what are they? MF: I would say there are fewer hurdles, but they still exist. Visibility matters and I think seeing other women thrive in the space has opened the doors for others and broken down some of the barriers. Overall, I think people are starting to understand the business value of diversity. Sports has been slow to evolve, but now we are seeing women in the front office and on coaching staffs. That’s important, because for today’s athletes that’s now the norm not the exception. We still have a ways to go, but there is a powerful shift happening!

Hailed as the “Female Jerry Maguire,”

Molly Fletcher

Joins Us To Talk About Her Career as a Sports Agent & Motivational Professional

Q: Your website mentions working with big egos. What is the most powerful skill to possess when guiding a talent toward what’s most beneficial in the long run versus what might provide immediate gratification? MF: It all starts with the ability to connect with people, and I think you do that by showing up, adding value and shooting straight. In the world of pro sports, it’s easy for athletes to get surrounded by “yes” people. As an agent, you have to be able to tell your clients what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. Storytelling is a powerful vehicle because it helps show them why it’s important to play the long game. If you give them real examples of the “one and done” who focused on the short-term gain or made bad decisions in the moment, they connect with that. Most athletes made it to this level because of their discipline, so helping them understand they might have to make short term sacrifices for long term gain is something they understand.

Q: If you were still a sports agent today, what do you think you would miss most about the way business was done when you first entered the field? MF: When I started in the space, there was no social media. It obviously has tremendous advantages in terms of being able to tell your story, connect with your fans, and get deals—but I think most of us can relate to having days where we wish it didn’t exist! It’s definitely an added pressure for them to navigate.

MF: I don’t love the word “balance” because I think it creates a lot of unrealistic expectations and guilt for people. I am big on energy management more so than time management. Energy management starts with clarity around what matters most to you, and then having the discipline to say “yes” or no” based on the clarity you have created. In my book, The Energy Clock, I walk people through an energy audit to help you get clear on what gives you energy and what drains your energy and how to make the adjustments you need to make. The book was a result of my own experiences being overscheduled, Q: How many of your athlete clients are still working 24/7, and feeling at times like I wasn’t my your clients today? best self with the people in my life who mattered MF: I no longer represent clients as a sports agent; most. If you don’t decide where your energy goes, however, I am grateful to stay connected with most the world decides for you. personally as friends. Today I spend the majority of my time as a speaker, author, podcast host, and Q: Has there been a client with whom you founder of the Game Changer Training company. just couldn’t connect? How did you negotiate your separation and what might you Q: 60+ keynotes a year! Tell us about your have done differently? time management, i.e., your Energy Clock– MF: Yes, earlier in my career there was one or two how you balance your personal and work but not many thankfully. Whenever you feel disconlives? nected, I see that as a signal to shift from defensive-

Molly Fletcher speaking at Leadercast 2017. She will be speaking again this year at Leadercast 2022.”


Molly Fletcher coaching clients on how to up their leadership game.

ness to curiosity. It’s easy to get defensive in those moments; it’s much more productive to get curious. Curiosity creates connection. You also have to be willing to embrace difficult conversations so that you can attempt to align on expectations and move forward. And know that sometimes, it’s OK to walk away. Q: Do you expect your online training to continue post pandemic? MF: Absolutely. Nothing is more important to me than meeting people where they are and the demand for learning is higher than ever. For individuals, we will continue to offer our virtual group coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, and we will be launching our first on demand course in 2022! For organizations, we’ll continue to offer both our Game Changer Negotiation Training and The Energized Leader Training virtually and in person.

“Molly Fletcher leading a Game Changer Negotiation Training™ workshop based off of her experience negotiating over $500 Million in contracts a sports agent.”

Q: Who have been a few of your favorite guests on your podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, and why? MF: Now this is a tough one! We’ve been blessed with so many amazing guests and there’s nothing better than getting the emails, texts, and comments from listeners about how a conversation impacted them personally. But to answer your question, Matthew McConaughey was special, because he was so engaged, so present and so real. The conversations I’ve had with coaches like Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut) were so enlightening from a leadership perspective—just their authenticity and willingness to share, you really see why they are so successful. I always love getting inside the mindset of world class athletes, like soccer star Carli Lloyd, WNBA champion Candace Parker, NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, and World Series champion Dansby Swanson. And given the amount of

resilience needed in our world right now, I’d also recommend my conversations with Angela Duckworth on grit and Inky Johnson on overcoming adversity. It’s almost like the last one is my favorite because the insight, inspiration, perspective from all our guests is just awesome and to share these conversations with the world is what it is all about! I guess you have to listen to them all! Q: You have addressed some very noteworthy big businesses. What’s the best way for an individual or small company to access your skills and knowledge? MF: We work with organizations of all sizes! Beyond keynote speaking and training, there are lots of ways to engage. My podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, is a great free resource for anyone who wants to up their game. I’ve written five books, most recently The Energy Clock, and we’ll be launching our first on-demand digital courses in 2022. My website mollyfletcher.com is

the best place to start and you can follow me on all the social media channels @MollyFletcher for more free content! Q: How do you keep your own delivery sharp and which of your programs trains others how to stay on top of their game? MF: I take the athlete mindset to preparation! I do a lot of reps and spend a lot of time preparing on the front end. Every keynote is customized to address the behavior change we are driving for with the audience—that’s important to me. All of our programs at the core are about helping people up their game—whether that’s a keynote, a digital course, or our negotiation and energy management training. Stay tuned for our first on demand course, coming out in 2022!


Molly Fletcher coaching clients on how to up their leadership game.

ness to curiosity. It’s easy to get defensive in those moments; it’s much more productive to get curious. Curiosity creates connection. You also have to be willing to embrace difficult conversations so that you can attempt to align on expectations and move forward. And know that sometimes, it’s OK to walk away. Q: Do you expect your online training to continue post pandemic? MF: Absolutely. Nothing is more important to me than meeting people where they are and the demand for learning is higher than ever. For individuals, we will continue to offer our virtual group coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, and we will be launching our first on demand course in 2022! For organizations, we’ll continue to offer both our Game Changer Negotiation Training and The Energized Leader Training virtually and in person.

“Molly Fletcher leading a Game Changer Negotiation Training™ workshop based off of her experience negotiating over $500 Million in contracts a sports agent.”

Q: Who have been a few of your favorite guests on your podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, and why? MF: Now this is a tough one! We’ve been blessed with so many amazing guests and there’s nothing better than getting the emails, texts, and comments from listeners about how a conversation impacted them personally. But to answer your question, Matthew McConaughey was special, because he was so engaged, so present and so real. The conversations I’ve had with coaches like Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Geno Auriemma (University of Connecticut) were so enlightening from a leadership perspective—just their authenticity and willingness to share, you really see why they are so successful. I always love getting inside the mindset of world class athletes, like soccer star Carli Lloyd, WNBA champion Candace Parker, NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, and World Series champion Dansby Swanson. And given the amount of

resilience needed in our world right now, I’d also recommend my conversations with Angela Duckworth on grit and Inky Johnson on overcoming adversity. It’s almost like the last one is my favorite because the insight, inspiration, perspective from all our guests is just awesome and to share these conversations with the world is what it is all about! I guess you have to listen to them all! Q: You have addressed some very noteworthy big businesses. What’s the best way for an individual or small company to access your skills and knowledge? MF: We work with organizations of all sizes! Beyond keynote speaking and training, there are lots of ways to engage. My podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, is a great free resource for anyone who wants to up their game. I’ve written five books, most recently The Energy Clock, and we’ll be launching our first on-demand digital courses in 2022. My website mollyfletcher.com is

the best place to start and you can follow me on all the social media channels @MollyFletcher for more free content! Q: How do you keep your own delivery sharp and which of your programs trains others how to stay on top of their game? MF: I take the athlete mindset to preparation! I do a lot of reps and spend a lot of time preparing on the front end. Every keynote is customized to address the behavior change we are driving for with the audience—that’s important to me. All of our programs at the core are about helping people up their game—whether that’s a keynote, a digital course, or our negotiation and energy management training. Stay tuned for our first on demand course, coming out in 2022!


What Does it Mean to be a Successful Woman in Business?

T

he U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs notes that women owned 20 percent of all employer firms in 2016. The number of women who are starting their own companies in the U.S. continues to grow. These women find that entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to use their talents, expand their influence and increase their wealth. Although starting and maintaining a successful business is not always smooth sailing, women often find the endeavor not only suits their personalities, but also their personal goals.

Creating an Enterprise That Reflects Your Own Values

you get to determine your own level of financial success. Your ability to earn is only limited by your own efforts to maxStarting a business is often an uphill imize profits. This requires doing a sigclimb that many people never even attempt. The corporate world offers many nificant amount of research and understanding important features of your area perks and financial benefits, but you of the economy. In addition, successful must always bow to the “vision” of the corporation. For some women, this effort woman entrepreneurs know that you can can be too limiting. They may be able to never rest on past laurels. They always see other aspects of the market that need keep an eye out for new opportunities to addressing, and the chance to tackle the expand their markets, increase their customer base and refine their operations. task in your own way offers personal gratification at the highest level.

The Freedom to Manage Your Own Finances Having your own business also means

Becoming an Expert in Time Management

Women have a natural aptitude for multi-tasking, and this quality can be of

significant benefit when they are running a business. Women prioritize activities to schedule work efficiently and keep the most important aspects at the forefront of their actions. Managing a workforce well is a critical part of success in business, and women often have the “people skills” needed to maintain high efficiency and productivity.

Dealing with Harassment & Discrimination

comfortable situations. In addition, you may still feel acquiring loans, getting important contracts and maintaining your competitive edge still requires you to work harder in order to be judged as equal to a male-owned company. However, as you develop a record and reputation for success, this need to “dance backwards and in high heels” tends to diminish.

Being a woman in business offers a chance to forge your own path in your own way. Unfortunately, the downside for women continues to be frequent incidents of sexual Although the obstacles can be daunting and harassment and discrimination that may oc- often reflect institutional prejudices, being a cur at both personal and institutional levels. woman also offers a variety of natural adLearning ways to skillfully deflect unwanted vantages that can help you excel in business. attention can help you manage these un-


What Does it Mean to be a Successful Woman in Business?

T

he U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs notes that women owned 20 percent of all employer firms in 2016. The number of women who are starting their own companies in the U.S. continues to grow. These women find that entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to use their talents, expand their influence and increase their wealth. Although starting and maintaining a successful business is not always smooth sailing, women often find the endeavor not only suits their personalities, but also their personal goals.

Creating an Enterprise That Reflects Your Own Values

you get to determine your own level of financial success. Your ability to earn is only limited by your own efforts to maxStarting a business is often an uphill imize profits. This requires doing a sigclimb that many people never even attempt. The corporate world offers many nificant amount of research and understanding important features of your area perks and financial benefits, but you of the economy. In addition, successful must always bow to the “vision” of the corporation. For some women, this effort woman entrepreneurs know that you can can be too limiting. They may be able to never rest on past laurels. They always see other aspects of the market that need keep an eye out for new opportunities to addressing, and the chance to tackle the expand their markets, increase their customer base and refine their operations. task in your own way offers personal gratification at the highest level.

The Freedom to Manage Your Own Finances Having your own business also means

Becoming an Expert in Time Management

Women have a natural aptitude for multi-tasking, and this quality can be of

significant benefit when they are running a business. Women prioritize activities to schedule work efficiently and keep the most important aspects at the forefront of their actions. Managing a workforce well is a critical part of success in business, and women often have the “people skills” needed to maintain high efficiency and productivity.

Dealing with Harassment & Discrimination

comfortable situations. In addition, you may still feel acquiring loans, getting important contracts and maintaining your competitive edge still requires you to work harder in order to be judged as equal to a male-owned company. However, as you develop a record and reputation for success, this need to “dance backwards and in high heels” tends to diminish.

Being a woman in business offers a chance to forge your own path in your own way. Unfortunately, the downside for women continues to be frequent incidents of sexual Although the obstacles can be daunting and harassment and discrimination that may oc- often reflect institutional prejudices, being a cur at both personal and institutional levels. woman also offers a variety of natural adLearning ways to skillfully deflect unwanted vantages that can help you excel in business. attention can help you manage these un-


Liza Pavlakos

She Has Overcome the Worst Adversities, Including Abuse, Homelessness, Abduction, Disfigurement, & Human Trafficking by Terrorism.

Q: Do you regularly relive or re-experience these traumatic events? LP: Yes, unfortunately, anyone who has suffered trauma relives these events, and I’m no different. My early life transition into young adulthood was so traumatic that I was diagnosed with complex PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It’s so sad to realize that this is all due to other people’s violence against me. Repressed memories surface, and their impact is so debilitating in your journey to healing. I often relive and re-experience events through dreams and nightmares. People with PTSD have a high rate of nightmares—it’s like flashbacks on constant replay. I often wake at three am with nightmares and in a state of extreme terror with my heart pounding. Even working with my personal trainer in the gym can evoke unpleasant memories. They can creep back into the present, even replace it. Since the brain registers trauma when my heartbeats hit a certain high rate, we play music as a therapeutic intervention. Music therapy can benefit those who suffer from PTSD significantly. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for both short- and long-term symptoms of PTSD, so I founded Positive Breakthroughs, a coaching and counselling service. I know how critical it is to receive support. Q: Was there a period when you withdrew from genuine friends, family, or other loved ones? LP: When there is a situation that the body deems unsafe, the part of your brain responsible for memory, emotions, and survival kicks into gear with instinctive and protective measures to safeguard you. If your brain/body determines that there is no danger, but you still find yourself hyper-vigilant, trauma becomes an invisible factor causing an overreliance on survival instincts. This is referred to as the fawn response, the need to appease and please. People pleasing and co-dependency became a way of life for me.

caused significant issues in my life, and it wasn’t until I stepped back and began therapy that I understood the ramifications of PTSD and the fawn response. Decades of work ensued; healing was gradual, but eventually, the needy, fawning Liza metamorphosized into an empowered woman with boundaries. The new Liza did not appeal to everyone. When I became a keynote speaker, most of my closest friends and family left my life. Was it because I was no longer a victim? Was it because I became successful? One thing is clear to me, though. Those who left were meant to leave, and those who truly loved and embraced me throughout my traumatic journey were meant to stay. Q: Do you avoid certain people, situations, or places? LP: A primary symptom of PTSD is avoidance, but it took me years to realize that I actively avoided people, places, and situations. Avoidance is often the result of limiting contact with triggers for anxiety, fear, or traumatic memories, as the result can be high emotions and extreme distress. When someone makes me uncomfortable, I avoid them at all costs. The same can be said for walking in places where I feel unsafe. As a keynote speaker, I travel internationally a lot, and I could never understand why I didn’t embrace sightseeing. Even stunning Mallorca in Spain didn’t interest me. My friends would laugh and say they couldn’t believe I didn’t take in the sights or didn’t understand why I barely left the hotel. It wasn’t until years later when I was diagnosed with complex PTSD that I understood. Today, I just go with what feels right for my mind, body, and spirit. I call this self-care. Mind you, I am still conscious of my surroundings and acutely aware of those around me, but I’m making progress. Let’s face it: Life is for living.

I was especially dependent on my best friends, overstepping the mark on more than one occasion. I threw lavish dinner parties without a second thought. I over-committed and over-compensated and was overly needy. I was ever so loving, ever so giving, but I was also the friend who unknowingly and unintentionally hurt those around me by simply getting involved in their lives. I knew no boundaries.

I have a lot to be thankful for. My husband is a patient and kind man who understands the impact of trauma. Although we’ve had many disagreements, with me being the first to call for a divorce due to the flight response from PTSD, we have found a new love—one to last a lifetime. My family and friends know not to take me to see a movie that involves violence, tension, or murder. The toll it takes on me is simply not worth it. Comedies, romance, and light-hearted films top my list for an enjoyable, uplifting experience.

Childhood and growing up for me had no boundaries. When an uncle abuses you, a cousin rapes you, a boyfriend hits you, a stranger kidnaps and abuses you, your boundaries are non-existent. My mother and father couldn’t defend me the way I needed, which only added to me seeking approval and acceptance from others. This

I’ve learned from experience to stay out of trouble and make the most of every situation. No matter the challenge or disability, I believe we have the power to better ourselves. The power of mindset can change our world.


Liza Pavlakos

She Has Overcome the Worst Adversities, Including Abuse, Homelessness, Abduction, Disfigurement, & Human Trafficking by Terrorism.

Q: Do you regularly relive or re-experience the events? LP: Sadly, trauma survivors relive traumatic events, and I am no different. Because my childhood transition into young adulthood was so traumatic, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), and it’s so sad to realize that this is all because of the violence I was subjected to by other people against me. The impact of repressed memories surfaces and that is so debilitating in your journey to trauma healing. I often relive and re-experience events through dreams and nightmares. People with PTSD are known to have a high rate of nightmares, it’s like flashbacks on constant replay. I often wake at 3 am in the morning in a state of extreme terror with my heart pounding. Even training with my personal trainer in the gym can evoke unpleasant memories. They can creep back into the present, even replacing it. Since the brain registers trauma when my heartbeats hit a certain high, we play music as a therapeutic intervention. It’s called Music Therapy and can benefit those who suffer from PTSD significantly. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the most effective treatment for both short and long term symptoms of PTSD, which is why I founded Positive Breakthroughs, a coaching and counselling service because I know how critical it is to receive support. No matter how bad the situation may seem, I believe we have the ability to overcome almost anything as long as we accept them and develop solutions to recover and heal. Q: Was there a period when you withdrew from genuine friends, family, or other loved ones? LP: When there is a situation that the body deems unsafe, the part of your brain accountable for memory, emotions, and survival kicks into gear with instinctive and protective measures to safeguard you. What happens when there is no danger deemed and you still find yourself hypervigilant, trauma becomes an invisible factor causing an over reliance on survival instincts. This is referred to as the fawn response, the need to appease and please. People pleasing and co-dependency became a way of life for me. I was so dependent on my friends, overstepping the mark on more than one occasion. I was the person who threw lavish dinner parties without a second thought. I was the friend who was overcommitted, overcompensated and was overly needy. I was also the friend who unknowingly and unintentionally hurt those around me by overstepping boundaries. We all make mistakes in life, but the key is to acknowledge them and have open conversations to get to the bottom of them. Childhood and growing up for me had no boundaries. When an uncle molests you, a cousin rapes you, a boyfriend hits you, a stranger kidnaps and abuses you, your boundaries are non-existent. This trauma caused major issues in my life,

and it wasn’t until I stepped back and began therapy that I came to understand the ramifications of PTSD and the fawn response. The “people please” response was because I craved love and affection, wanting to be protected and loved, until I realized that what I craved from others was already within me. Decades of work ensued, healing was gradual, but eventually the needy, fawning Liza metamorphosized into an empowered woman, one with boundaries. The new Liza did not appeal to everyone. When I became a keynote speaker, most of my closest friends and family left my life. Was it because I was no longer a victim? Was it because I became successful? One thing is clear to me though. Those who left were meant to leave, and the people who truly loved and embraced me throughout my traumatic journey were meant to stay. Q: Do you avoid certain people, situations, or places? LP: A central symptom of PTSD is avoidance, but it took me years to realize that I was actively avoiding people, places, and situations. Avoidance is often the result of limiting contact with triggers for anxiety, fear, or traumatic memories, as the result can be high emotions and extreme distress. I find that when someone makes me uncomfortable, I avoid them at all costs. The same can be said for walking in places where I feel unsafe. As a keynote speaker, I travel internationally a lot, and I could never understand why I didn’t embrace sightseeing. Even the stunning Mallorca in Spain didn’t interest me. My friends would laugh and say they couldn’t believe I didn’t take in the sights, or why I barely left the hotel I was staying in. It wasn’t until years later when I was diagnosed with complex PTSD that I understood. Today I just go with what feels right for my mind, body, and spirit. This is Self- Care. Mind you, I am still conscious of my surroundings and acutely aware of those behind, in front and beside me, but progress is being made and let’s face it, life is for living. Thanks to my kind and patient husband, who truly understands the impact of trauma on me, I have many things to be grateful for. My family and friends know not to take me to see a movie that involves violence, tension, or murder. The toll it takes on me is simply not worth it. Comedies, romance, and lighthearted films top my list for an enjoyable, uplifting experience. I’ve learned from experience to stay out of trouble and to make the most of every situation. No matter the challenge or disability I believe we have the power to better ourselves. The power of a positive mindset has the power to change our world.


cluding working with some of the psychologists and counsellors. In Australia, we have a 24-hour hotline called Lifeline, a team dedicated to supporting others with depression. I’d call them at 3.00 am after waking from a nightmare and being deep in depression. Family, friends, and my parents, who didn’t always get things right, but who reached out and tried to help. My husband and children, empower and teach me to be a better person every day. Spirituality was a major resource for me. It has helped me heal in so many ways. For example, meditation fosters calmness, and prayer rewires my brain. Positive psychology and affirmation mean we are able to dream a bigger dream and ask God to guide us to a better pathway. Prayer is a major factor in my life.

The power of her words touches the hearts of her audience to show them that they are capable of overcoming any challenge. Q: What do you believe is the greater good of your story? LP: My story is about love, rebirth, conviction and finding undeniable strength. My story is of hope and possibilities. We all suffer at one time or another on our life’s journey, but we all have the opportunity to grow. It’s all about the F word. Forgiveness, fortitude, and Forget about what others think about you. It’s about being the best YOU can be and taking control of your destiny. My story may be a trauma littered minefield, but it’s far from sad. It’s guts and glory peppered with business, success, and the triumph of the human spirit. Q: Do you have a hard time remembering certain features of the events? LP: Dissociation is yet another symptom of PTSD when people may lose their sense of time, place, and sense of self. Automatic functions include consciousness, identity, memory, and self-awareness. Once I was a victim, and during that time I was so numb I couldn’t even feel the pain, but I was able to disassociate in order to survive unspeakable crimes against me. My imminent book took me more than seven years to write. In order to be precise, I worked hard to trace back all events. Painful, mind-numbing, soul-destroying events. It was like putting together a complicated puzzle. Recalling events, speaking with friends and people, and pulling together medical and legal paperwork, the process expedited memories and now my mind is sharper than ever. I can’t go back and change the events, but what I can change is the way I view the world with positive thoughts, goodness, and kindness.

Q: Is there one single thing that is most important for people to know? LP: You don’t have to forgive the perpetrator of heinous crimes against you, but by holding on to it, you’re giving them power, and at that point you become powerless. Forgiveness may come with time, but justice must be served. Every perpetrator should face the consequences of their actions. Seek help to commence healing, and if none is available contact Positive Breakthroughs, my organization of dedicated therapists and coaches. Our subscription model will allow other therapists and coaches internationally to join our business model and help assist others with the healing process. Q: Do you imagine what path you might have taken had you not experienced the trauma? LP: I adore cooking, so maybe a chef like my mother. A doctor, or perhaps a teacher, but then aren’t those all the things we do as mothers and fathers? Every day I count my blessings that I am a keynote speaker encouraging people to grow. I truly love the life I’m living, and if I had to live my life all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. You see, compassion comes from pain, empathy from understanding, love from heartbreak and strength from adversity. Even with PTSD I have found purpose in life, trust in myself and my capabilities, success against all odds, and along the way, a better version of myself. We all have the power within us to do the same. Q: What services/resources/people helped you in your recovery? LP: My recovery included so many services and resources in-

Q: What were the barriers to you coming forward? LP: Presenting myself to the world and speaking about topics that are tough to digest. Some people accepted what I said, others judged me harshly. People would say I was hurting my children simply because I spoke the truth. They’d make snide remarks about the violence revolving around my first-born son’s father, but he is born from love, and I have loved him since I first laid eyes on him. Acknowledging the truth only brings us closer. What people tend to forget is that I am in the business of empowering and giving hope. Although judgment from others has been my biggest barrier, it’s self-judgement that matters the most, and I couldn’t give a toss about what others think of me. I don’t want to raise my children in a bubble, these topics are real and raw, and my children must know that horrors exist in this world, but they must have the skill to know how to avoid trouble, how to stay safe and vigilant and most importantly, how to harness love and empathy. Other barriers include the stigma of a person who has suffered abuse, but we can’t control how people think, victim or otherwise. One more hurdle to jump is being able to name the perpetrators that abused us. Unfortunately, in Australia there is a law that prevents the victim from naming and shaming the predator, so to many, it is our fault, or our story is total fiction. Q: Do you imagine taking a different path ahead to achieve a personal dream or goal? LP: The privilege of presenting to corporate organizations and empowering their teams is nothing short of a blessing, however, it would be a dream to see Positive Breakthroughs expand internationally. This is the legacy I can leave behind. As a keynote speaker, the time will eventually come when ageing or health will slow me down. Along with my book, I can continue to give hope and transform lives long after I’m gone. It has taken so long to build my keynote speaking business and Positive Breakthroughs and there is still a lot of work to be done, but then again, everything worth building takes time.

A world-renowned keynote speaker, Liza excels at motivating individuals and teams to overcome challenges with a blueprint to become stronger, more resilient, and ultimately greater human beings. Q: What suggestions do you have to make it safer for victim-survivors to come forward? LP: Take your time to process what has happened. Speak up about your trauma, as abuse is not just physical and sexual. Trauma can be psychological through childhood bullying, body, and mental health shaming. Know that you’re not alone and there is always someone who cares. Be brave enough to stand up for what is right for you. Don’t be afraid of what others will think. Put yourself first and prepare to do what you have to for healing, and in doing so, create a better life. To be vulnerable and real is strength. To be real you have to be willing to make a stand against the judgment. Q: What suggestions do you have to teach pre-emptive and preventive strategies to avoid trauma? LP: The best strategy is to seek help, talk about your situation and get clarity on what you are experiencing, and go with your gut feeling. Seek continuous contact and support from loved ones, and start identifying as a survivor, not a victim. Never be afraid to share your story. Speak with a doctor or psychologist and make sure you keep a paper trail that can be utilized to support your story. Preventive strategies would be to avoid dangerous situations. Know your surroundings, be vigilant with who you trust, and most importantly ensure to vocalize that is happening to you at all times. Educating children on abuse would also be a step in the right direction.


cluding working with some of the psychologists and counsellors. In Australia, we have a 24-hour hotline called Lifeline, a team dedicated to supporting others with depression. I’d call them at 3.00 am after waking from a nightmare and being deep in depression. Family, friends, and my parents, who didn’t always get things right, but who reached out and tried to help. My husband and children, empower and teach me to be a better person every day. Spirituality was a major resource for me. It has helped me heal in so many ways. For example, meditation fosters calmness, and prayer rewires my brain. Positive psychology and affirmation mean we are able to dream a bigger dream and ask God to guide us to a better pathway. Prayer is a major factor in my life.

The power of her words touches the hearts of her audience to show them that they are capable of overcoming any challenge. Q: What do you believe is the greater good of your story? LP: My story is about love, rebirth, conviction and finding undeniable strength. My story is of hope and possibilities. We all suffer at one time or another on our life’s journey, but we all have the opportunity to grow. It’s all about the F word. Forgiveness, fortitude, and Forget about what others think about you. It’s about being the best YOU can be and taking control of your destiny. My story may be a trauma littered minefield, but it’s far from sad. It’s guts and glory peppered with business, success, and the triumph of the human spirit. Q: Do you have a hard time remembering certain features of the events? LP: Dissociation is yet another symptom of PTSD when people may lose their sense of time, place, and sense of self. Automatic functions include consciousness, identity, memory, and self-awareness. Once I was a victim, and during that time I was so numb I couldn’t even feel the pain, but I was able to disassociate in order to survive unspeakable crimes against me. My imminent book took me more than seven years to write. In order to be precise, I worked hard to trace back all events. Painful, mind-numbing, soul-destroying events. It was like putting together a complicated puzzle. Recalling events, speaking with friends and people, and pulling together medical and legal paperwork, the process expedited memories and now my mind is sharper than ever. I can’t go back and change the events, but what I can change is the way I view the world with positive thoughts, goodness, and kindness.

Q: Is there one single thing that is most important for people to know? LP: You don’t have to forgive the perpetrator of heinous crimes against you, but by holding on to it, you’re giving them power, and at that point you become powerless. Forgiveness may come with time, but justice must be served. Every perpetrator should face the consequences of their actions. Seek help to commence healing, and if none is available contact Positive Breakthroughs, my organization of dedicated therapists and coaches. Our subscription model will allow other therapists and coaches internationally to join our business model and help assist others with the healing process. Q: Do you imagine what path you might have taken had you not experienced the trauma? LP: I adore cooking, so maybe a chef like my mother. A doctor, or perhaps a teacher, but then aren’t those all the things we do as mothers and fathers? Every day I count my blessings that I am a keynote speaker encouraging people to grow. I truly love the life I’m living, and if I had to live my life all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. You see, compassion comes from pain, empathy from understanding, love from heartbreak and strength from adversity. Even with PTSD I have found purpose in life, trust in myself and my capabilities, success against all odds, and along the way, a better version of myself. We all have the power within us to do the same. Q: What services/resources/people helped you in your recovery? LP: My recovery included so many services and resources in-

Q: What were the barriers to you coming forward? LP: Presenting myself to the world and speaking about topics that are tough to digest. Some people accepted what I said, others judged me harshly. People would say I was hurting my children simply because I spoke the truth. They’d make snide remarks about the violence revolving around my first-born son’s father, but he is born from love, and I have loved him since I first laid eyes on him. Acknowledging the truth only brings us closer. What people tend to forget is that I am in the business of empowering and giving hope. Although judgment from others has been my biggest barrier, it’s self-judgement that matters the most, and I couldn’t give a toss about what others think of me. I don’t want to raise my children in a bubble, these topics are real and raw, and my children must know that horrors exist in this world, but they must have the skill to know how to avoid trouble, how to stay safe and vigilant and most importantly, how to harness love and empathy. Other barriers include the stigma of a person who has suffered abuse, but we can’t control how people think, victim or otherwise. One more hurdle to jump is being able to name the perpetrators that abused us. Unfortunately, in Australia there is a law that prevents the victim from naming and shaming the predator, so to many, it is our fault, or our story is total fiction. Q: Do you imagine taking a different path ahead to achieve a personal dream or goal? LP: The privilege of presenting to corporate organizations and empowering their teams is nothing short of a blessing, however, it would be a dream to see Positive Breakthroughs expand internationally. This is the legacy I can leave behind. As a keynote speaker, the time will eventually come when ageing or health will slow me down. Along with my book, I can continue to give hope and transform lives long after I’m gone. It has taken so long to build my keynote speaking business and Positive Breakthroughs and there is still a lot of work to be done, but then again, everything worth building takes time.

A world-renowned keynote speaker, Liza excels at motivating individuals and teams to overcome challenges with a blueprint to become stronger, more resilient, and ultimately greater human beings. Q: What suggestions do you have to make it safer for victim-survivors to come forward? LP: Take your time to process what has happened. Speak up about your trauma, as abuse is not just physical and sexual. Trauma can be psychological through childhood bullying, body, and mental health shaming. Know that you’re not alone and there is always someone who cares. Be brave enough to stand up for what is right for you. Don’t be afraid of what others will think. Put yourself first and prepare to do what you have to for healing, and in doing so, create a better life. To be vulnerable and real is strength. To be real you have to be willing to make a stand against the judgment. Q: What suggestions do you have to teach pre-emptive and preventive strategies to avoid trauma? LP: The best strategy is to seek help, talk about your situation and get clarity on what you are experiencing, and go with your gut feeling. Seek continuous contact and support from loved ones, and start identifying as a survivor, not a victim. Never be afraid to share your story. Speak with a doctor or psychologist and make sure you keep a paper trail that can be utilized to support your story. Preventive strategies would be to avoid dangerous situations. Know your surroundings, be vigilant with who you trust, and most importantly ensure to vocalize that is happening to you at all times. Educating children on abuse would also be a step in the right direction.


Equal Pay for Women in Sports

A

s the United States women’s national soccer team was making its dominating run to the 2019 Women’s World Cup title, more and more coverage was focusing on the team’s push for equal pay relative to the men’s national team. This was coupled with chants of “Equal Pay!” at its post-championship celebration in New York.

However, one important aspect of this issue is oftentimes overlooked. What causes these athletes to not receive equal pay in the first place? Although reports later surfaced that the team may already be paid roughly equal to the men’s side, they don’t address the core issue with this squad and with other women’s teams. How are these athletes and the events that they participate in being marketed? Although most would expect the percentage of the marketing pie going to women’s athletes and sports to be low, many are shocked that it’s as low as it is: 0.4%. The common argument for those criticizing this argument for equal pay for female athletes is that they don’t garner the ticket sales and

other sources of income that male players do. However, if 99.6% of the marketing budget is being focused on the men, how will prospective fans be able to learn the storylines and other aspects of the female athletes that will cause them to regularly attend matches? It should be noted that pay gaps don’t exist in all sports, but there are significant ones in team sports. The extreme ends of the spectrum tend to the equally paid tennis players and the vastly unequally paid basketball players. Fortunately, progress is being made. For example, in 2017, Norway announced that it would pay its male and female national soccer players equally. However, the amounts of money that these sets of players earn for their club teams


Equal Pay for Women in Sports

A

s the United States women’s national soccer team was making its dominating run to the 2019 Women’s World Cup title, more and more coverage was focusing on the team’s push for equal pay relative to the men’s national team. This was coupled with chants of “Equal Pay!” at its post-championship celebration in New York.

However, one important aspect of this issue is oftentimes overlooked. What causes these athletes to not receive equal pay in the first place? Although reports later surfaced that the team may already be paid roughly equal to the men’s side, they don’t address the core issue with this squad and with other women’s teams. How are these athletes and the events that they participate in being marketed? Although most would expect the percentage of the marketing pie going to women’s athletes and sports to be low, many are shocked that it’s as low as it is: 0.4%. The common argument for those criticizing this argument for equal pay for female athletes is that they don’t garner the ticket sales and

other sources of income that male players do. However, if 99.6% of the marketing budget is being focused on the men, how will prospective fans be able to learn the storylines and other aspects of the female athletes that will cause them to regularly attend matches? It should be noted that pay gaps don’t exist in all sports, but there are significant ones in team sports. The extreme ends of the spectrum tend to the equally paid tennis players and the vastly unequally paid basketball players. Fortunately, progress is being made. For example, in 2017, Norway announced that it would pay its male and female national soccer players equally. However, the amounts of money that these sets of players earn for their club teams


They often say that the future is female, and they’re not wrong at all. Women are beginning to truly take the world by storm. They’re covering many different sectors, too. Women are starting to become bigger forces in everything from athletics to business. If you look around, you’ll probably notice that there are more small businesses owned by women than ever before. Things are changing in rapid and meaningful ways all over the United States and globe. It doesn’t look like things are going back ever again, either.

Small Businesses and

Female Owners

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Women of past decades and centuries were often kept down by societal standards. They in many cases felt as though they had no option but to lead certain types of lives. It wasn’t uncommon for women to believe that they had no option but to remain at home. The situation is totally different now, however, and without a doubt for the better. Women are rapidly discovering that they have more options than ever. It doesn’t matter if a woman wants to pursue a life as a small business owner. It doesn’t matter if she wants to go after a rewarding career as a staff member for a massive corporation, either. Women are gaining major traction in all sorts of career divisions. They’re setting fantastic examples for young girls that are part of newer generations, too.


They often say that the future is female, and they’re not wrong at all. Women are beginning to truly take the world by storm. They’re covering many different sectors, too. Women are starting to become bigger forces in everything from athletics to business. If you look around, you’ll probably notice that there are more small businesses owned by women than ever before. Things are changing in rapid and meaningful ways all over the United States and globe. It doesn’t look like things are going back ever again, either.

Small Businesses and

Female Owners

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Women of past decades and centuries were often kept down by societal standards. They in many cases felt as though they had no option but to lead certain types of lives. It wasn’t uncommon for women to believe that they had no option but to remain at home. The situation is totally different now, however, and without a doubt for the better. Women are rapidly discovering that they have more options than ever. It doesn’t matter if a woman wants to pursue a life as a small business owner. It doesn’t matter if she wants to go after a rewarding career as a staff member for a massive corporation, either. Women are gaining major traction in all sorts of career divisions. They’re setting fantastic examples for young girls that are part of newer generations, too.


has done extensive research on monetary and fiscal policy from the time of the Great Depression to the present day. In 2008, she joined the Obama Administration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Professor Romer currently teaches at the University of California Berkeley Department of Economics. Thea Lee was the first woman ever to be named as the President of the Economic Policy Institute. She began her career working as a trade economist at the Institute during the 1990s and later worked with the most prominent labor organization in the country, the AFL-CIO. She earned an appointment to the Congressional United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in December 2019. The commission was established in 2000 to oversee the details of the trade war. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, a non-profit organization, she assisted with finalizing the details of the Green New Deal, proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Women & the World Economy

Trade is one of the significant factors that stabilize the world economy. However, some countries have been economically excluded from advances in technology, the creation of jobs, and expanding supply chains across borders. Natural disasters, climate change, and geopolitical tension among nations is a risk to emerging countries. Despite the setbacks and turmoil in many regions, there is some good news for the worldwide economy. Women around the globe are engaged in economic activity, which could increase the GDP to $28 trillion as soon as 2025. Here are some of the prominent women who affect the world economy.

Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who began serving as the President of the European Central Bank in November 2019. She previously held the positions of Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Industry, Minister of Commerce, and Minister of Agriculture and Fishing. Lagarde was the first woman to be named the Finance Minister of a GB economy. As a prominent labor and anti-trust lawyer, she was the first woman to be appointed Chair of Baker & McKenzie, a leading international law firm. In 2019, Lagarde was named by Forbes as the Second Most Powerful Woman in the World. Christina Romer is the former vice-president of the American Economic Association; She earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as an assistant professor at Princeton before accepting a position as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Romer

Dr. Stefania Paredes Fuentes is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. Dr. Fuentes is a noted lecturer who coordinated Economic modules at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is involved with research in Macroeconomics and Development Economics, Institutional Economics, and Economics and Economic History of Latin America. In January 2020, Dr. Fuentes is organizing the first workshop of its kind on Economics for Women Students at the University. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez majored in economics and international relations at Boston University and graduated cum laude in 2011. Her platform includes free trade school and public college, a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for all, and abolishing the ICE agency. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts co-sponsored the Green New Deal legislation which addresses the issue of economic inequality among different countries and groups of people, and the long-term effects of global warming.


has done extensive research on monetary and fiscal policy from the time of the Great Depression to the present day. In 2008, she joined the Obama Administration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Professor Romer currently teaches at the University of California Berkeley Department of Economics. Thea Lee was the first woman ever to be named as the President of the Economic Policy Institute. She began her career working as a trade economist at the Institute during the 1990s and later worked with the most prominent labor organization in the country, the AFL-CIO. She earned an appointment to the Congressional United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in December 2019. The commission was established in 2000 to oversee the details of the trade war. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, a non-profit organization, she assisted with finalizing the details of the Green New Deal, proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Women & the World Economy

Trade is one of the significant factors that stabilize the world economy. However, some countries have been economically excluded from advances in technology, the creation of jobs, and expanding supply chains across borders. Natural disasters, climate change, and geopolitical tension among nations is a risk to emerging countries. Despite the setbacks and turmoil in many regions, there is some good news for the worldwide economy. Women around the globe are engaged in economic activity, which could increase the GDP to $28 trillion as soon as 2025. Here are some of the prominent women who affect the world economy.

Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who began serving as the President of the European Central Bank in November 2019. She previously held the positions of Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Industry, Minister of Commerce, and Minister of Agriculture and Fishing. Lagarde was the first woman to be named the Finance Minister of a GB economy. As a prominent labor and anti-trust lawyer, she was the first woman to be appointed Chair of Baker & McKenzie, a leading international law firm. In 2019, Lagarde was named by Forbes as the Second Most Powerful Woman in the World. Christina Romer is the former vice-president of the American Economic Association; She earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as an assistant professor at Princeton before accepting a position as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Romer

Dr. Stefania Paredes Fuentes is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. Dr. Fuentes is a noted lecturer who coordinated Economic modules at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is involved with research in Macroeconomics and Development Economics, Institutional Economics, and Economics and Economic History of Latin America. In January 2020, Dr. Fuentes is organizing the first workshop of its kind on Economics for Women Students at the University. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez majored in economics and international relations at Boston University and graduated cum laude in 2011. Her platform includes free trade school and public college, a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for all, and abolishing the ICE agency. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts co-sponsored the Green New Deal legislation which addresses the issue of economic inequality among different countries and groups of people, and the long-term effects of global warming.


longer taking others telling them that they cannot accomplish certain objectives. Women are not sitting back and settling for things. They’re standing up for themselves. They’re speaking up about the things on the planet that make them feel the most passionate. It’s happening in women across many different walks of life. It’s happening in women of many different age categorizations as well.

Women and Small Businesses of All Kinds Little girls are growing up with so many positive female role models around them. It isn’t hard to come across female small business owners in this day and age. If you visit a bakery or general dining establishment in your community, there’s a strong chance that it’s owned and operated by a hard-working woman. Women are quickly learning about all of the ins and outs that are associated with keeping businesses running smoothly. They’re figuring out the fundamentals of getting their hands-on business loans of all kinds. They’re figuring out the logistics that are part of recruiting staff members. They’re figuring out how to train their team mem-

bers. These things are only the beginning. There are many women nowadays who have bosses and who appreciate their careers. There are also many women who are having serious epiphanies. They’re realizing that they can opt to be their own bosses if they wish. They’re realizing that there are choices that go beyond being part of a company’s staff. They can make pertinent choices that relate to staffing. They can make meaningful choices that relate to getting their hands-on supplies and tools. What makes things so different for women who are keen on the concept of entrepreneurship as of late? Women are no

Women are becoming more supportive of their fellow female entrepreneurs, too. It’s not atypical to see women giving their full support to other businesses that are owned and managed by female aficionados. Sisterhood is more than alive in the United States. It’s more than alive all around the planet, too. Young girls in elementary schools are learning that sisterhood is a wonderful thing. They’re starting to make it a huge priority in their existences. Women have a lot of potential. The future may revolve around women and all their possibilities. They’re making enormous waves in all sorts of fields and industries. They’re thriving in science. They’re thriving in politics. They’re thriving in many sectors that go beyond those as well. It’s going to be fascinating to see where women will go next. Small businesses that are run by women are going to become even more ubiquitous.


longer taking others telling them that they cannot accomplish certain objectives. Women are not sitting back and settling for things. They’re standing up for themselves. They’re speaking up about the things on the planet that make them feel the most passionate. It’s happening in women across many different walks of life. It’s happening in women of many different age categorizations as well.

Women and Small Businesses of All Kinds Little girls are growing up with so many positive female role models around them. It isn’t hard to come across female small business owners in this day and age. If you visit a bakery or general dining establishment in your community, there’s a strong chance that it’s owned and operated by a hard-working woman. Women are quickly learning about all of the ins and outs that are associated with keeping businesses running smoothly. They’re figuring out the fundamentals of getting their hands-on business loans of all kinds. They’re figuring out the logistics that are part of recruiting staff members. They’re figuring out how to train their team mem-

bers. These things are only the beginning. There are many women nowadays who have bosses and who appreciate their careers. There are also many women who are having serious epiphanies. They’re realizing that they can opt to be their own bosses if they wish. They’re realizing that there are choices that go beyond being part of a company’s staff. They can make pertinent choices that relate to staffing. They can make meaningful choices that relate to getting their hands-on supplies and tools. What makes things so different for women who are keen on the concept of entrepreneurship as of late? Women are no

Women are becoming more supportive of their fellow female entrepreneurs, too. It’s not atypical to see women giving their full support to other businesses that are owned and managed by female aficionados. Sisterhood is more than alive in the United States. It’s more than alive all around the planet, too. Young girls in elementary schools are learning that sisterhood is a wonderful thing. They’re starting to make it a huge priority in their existences. Women have a lot of potential. The future may revolve around women and all their possibilities. They’re making enormous waves in all sorts of fields and industries. They’re thriving in science. They’re thriving in politics. They’re thriving in many sectors that go beyond those as well. It’s going to be fascinating to see where women will go next. Small businesses that are run by women are going to become even more ubiquitous.


The founder of this movement is Tarana Burke, who started spreading awareness in the early 2000s. According to Burke, the phrase has a deeper meaning. First, it is a bold statement by the victim of sexual harassment. He or she is not ashamed of what has happened. That’s why they dare to speak out. Second, it acts as a solidarity mechanism for all victims of sexual harassment. They are united and will support each other through tough times.

How the Me Too Movement is Helping Women?

This is Why the Me Too Movement is So Important The best way to find a solution to a social problem is to create awareness. Social media has helped in spreading the message across. An example of a life-changing movement created on social media is the ‘Me Too’ campaign. What is the Me Too Movement? It is a platform that encourages victims of sexual harassment to share their experiences with the rest of the world. The phrase gained popularity in 2017 after Alyssa Milano encouraged people to share their stories about sexual harassment and discrimination on Twitter using the words ‘Me Too’. However, Alyssa borrowed these words from some else.

The attitudes of people towards women are changing. Thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement, women are more respected. If a guy or another woman inappropriately talks to you, you have every right to speak up or report that person to the authorities or superiors. It is not normal for a person to talk about your body just because you are a woman. It has created a forum where women share experiences and empathize with one another. This support system has allowed most women to regain their confidence and self-esteem. As a result, there are more empowered women in society. Women feel like they belong thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. They no longer feel isolated and alone because of their negative experiences. These women know that they are not alone,

and they can get justice for negative treatment. Women can hold perpetrators responsible for inappropriate behavior. They can say what they have experienced, and people won’t judge them. Everyone has a right to be heard. Women feel safer in the workplace. The office is notorious for inappropriate behavior. Since the majority of workers in an organization are mostly men, women are afraid of pointing out inappropriate behavior. The good news is that things are changing. Organizations are taking sexual harassment cases more seriously. They are changing the way workers conduct themselves to protect women from inappropriate behavior. Women have the support of their families and friends thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. Since women are speaking out and making their family members aware of how they feel about certain situations, there is a sense of unity. For example, parents are feeling more responsible for their daughters. The ‘Me Too” movement has helped modern society progress as far as values are concerned. There is nothing too embarrassing not to talk about. As long as it affects you, it can affect the other person. Speaking out prevents the vice from spreading. It’s time to make our voices heard!


The founder of this movement is Tarana Burke, who started spreading awareness in the early 2000s. According to Burke, the phrase has a deeper meaning. First, it is a bold statement by the victim of sexual harassment. He or she is not ashamed of what has happened. That’s why they dare to speak out. Second, it acts as a solidarity mechanism for all victims of sexual harassment. They are united and will support each other through tough times.

How the Me Too Movement is Helping Women?

This is Why the Me Too Movement is So Important The best way to find a solution to a social problem is to create awareness. Social media has helped in spreading the message across. An example of a life-changing movement created on social media is the ‘Me Too’ campaign. What is the Me Too Movement? It is a platform that encourages victims of sexual harassment to share their experiences with the rest of the world. The phrase gained popularity in 2017 after Alyssa Milano encouraged people to share their stories about sexual harassment and discrimination on Twitter using the words ‘Me Too’. However, Alyssa borrowed these words from some else.

The attitudes of people towards women are changing. Thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement, women are more respected. If a guy or another woman inappropriately talks to you, you have every right to speak up or report that person to the authorities or superiors. It is not normal for a person to talk about your body just because you are a woman. It has created a forum where women share experiences and empathize with one another. This support system has allowed most women to regain their confidence and self-esteem. As a result, there are more empowered women in society. Women feel like they belong thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. They no longer feel isolated and alone because of their negative experiences. These women know that they are not alone,

and they can get justice for negative treatment. Women can hold perpetrators responsible for inappropriate behavior. They can say what they have experienced, and people won’t judge them. Everyone has a right to be heard. Women feel safer in the workplace. The office is notorious for inappropriate behavior. Since the majority of workers in an organization are mostly men, women are afraid of pointing out inappropriate behavior. The good news is that things are changing. Organizations are taking sexual harassment cases more seriously. They are changing the way workers conduct themselves to protect women from inappropriate behavior. Women have the support of their families and friends thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. Since women are speaking out and making their family members aware of how they feel about certain situations, there is a sense of unity. For example, parents are feeling more responsible for their daughters. The ‘Me Too” movement has helped modern society progress as far as values are concerned. There is nothing too embarrassing not to talk about. As long as it affects you, it can affect the other person. Speaking out prevents the vice from spreading. It’s time to make our voices heard!


GRATITUDE:

A POWERFUL ANTIDOTE TO ENTITLEMENT By Carole Pertofsky, M.Ed. Director, Wellness and Health Promotion Services at Stanford University I was meeting up with friends in the latest hot restaurant in Palo Alto. As I walked towards my group, a very cool looking guy wearing a classy expensive black T-shirt leaned back in his chair and almost crashed into me as I squeezed between tables. He glared at me. And there, nestled just below his sculpted pecks, was the message, in bold Elephant Font: “You don’t get my respect. You have to earn it.” There may be many interpretations. What might you think? Would you be attracted to his swagger? Turned off by the implied entitlement? Be curious about how this attitude plays out in his life? Wonder how this message impacts those around him? I don’t know what goes through this guy’s mind when he awakens at 3 in the morning. But I know too many people of all ages who brand themselves with some display of entitlement, even arrogance. The attitude is fueled by media that offers top billing to those who display their entitlement and arrogance as strengths of character, even virtues. What is the impact on you, me, our kids looking for successful role models?

The truth is that on the surface, these people appear to be dominant, accomplished, on top of things. But trust me, it’s an illusion. Because deep down, they often experience isolation, emptiness and frustration. “Superiority” masks vulnerability. Recent studies indicate that this loss of empathy and connection to self and others is a growing concern among all ages. Is there a way out of this trend towards displaying arrogance or entitlement as valor? Consider the power of gratitude as an antidote to this deep well of discontent. Gratitude isn’t just a soft filmy blur of appreciation. It takes gumption and courage to live with gratitude in a culture that rewards snarky digs and hostile irony. It takes grit to choose to live with thankfulness for what we have, rather than focusing on endless lists of what is missing. Gratefulness is a gold standard of deep happiness, positive emotion and good health. Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, leading researcher and author of “Thanks”, reminds us, “Gratitude can be as easy as a beautiful sunset, an exquisite bite of chocolate, a child, or the brilliance of autumn leaves. No matter what shape

or form gratitude takes, it fills us with a warmth and a reminder that life is good; this moment is special. Gratitude provides lessons to make us stronger. It is more than appreciation- it is a gift.” Research suggests why the experience of gratitude is transformative and offers tremendous health benefits. Thankfulness awakens our brain’s pleasure centers, and our bodies produce bio-chemicals that activate a strong and powerful sense of our potential, well-being and connection. Our bodies respond with vitality and a stronger immune system. We may be inspired to serve others, to contribute to the greater good. Power up your gratitude muscle with a few simple actions. Do these with your family. Do these with your friends. Do them alone. Mix it up. If you practice just three times a week, you’ll begin noticing a stronger sense of ease, fun, and lightness. Best of all, these practices will spark new connections among your friends and family in fun heart-warming ways. Gratitext: Everyone takes out their cell phone or notepad. Each person imagines a particular person to whom you are grateful, maybe someone who helped you get where you are today. Send them a “gratitext” or a note, expressing your thoughts and feelings of gratitude to them for adding some benefit- or sparkle- to your life. Notice the good feelings that arise when you send this note- and how you feel when they respond. Reach Out: Notice the many people who earn minimum wage performing a service that adds value to your day. Reach out, and thank them. Experience the gentle exchange of appreciation. 3 Good Things:. Begin a “gratitude” journal and several times a week, write down 3 good things that happened. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly grateful, no problem. Just take a deep breath, and give thanks for the simple things. Hot and cold running water. A daily meal. The people who contribute to your comfort, whether or not you personally know them. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to entitlement, indifference, the “blahs”, and discontentment. -

Just Like Me. Find a good place to “people watch”. Relax and just be aware of others, take a deep breath and bring to mind the following thought: “Just like me this person has faced struggles, suffering and disappointments, and just like me, this person wants to be content and happy.” Observe what gets stirred up in you or how this guided attention changes your emotional state. Do you feel more empathy or perhaps appreciation for our shared humanity? Share your experience with each other. Soak in this awesome 5 minute video with your family and friends: Just watch and notice your thoughts and feelings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk Gratitude. Simple. Powerful. Transformative. It is an act of courage to express your thankfulness. Do stuff that opens your heart. Tell your friends and family how they contribute to your life. When you savor and appreciate the goodness in your life, the little things and the million dollar moments, no one will ever need to earn your respect. Gratitude itself is an act of deepest respect, freely given, for life itself.


GRATITUDE:

A POWERFUL ANTIDOTE TO ENTITLEMENT By Carole Pertofsky, M.Ed. Director, Wellness and Health Promotion Services at Stanford University I was meeting up with friends in the latest hot restaurant in Palo Alto. As I walked towards my group, a very cool looking guy wearing a classy expensive black T-shirt leaned back in his chair and almost crashed into me as I squeezed between tables. He glared at me. And there, nestled just below his sculpted pecks, was the message, in bold Elephant Font: “You don’t get my respect. You have to earn it.” There may be many interpretations. What might you think? Would you be attracted to his swagger? Turned off by the implied entitlement? Be curious about how this attitude plays out in his life? Wonder how this message impacts those around him? I don’t know what goes through this guy’s mind when he awakens at 3 in the morning. But I know too many people of all ages who brand themselves with some display of entitlement, even arrogance. The attitude is fueled by media that offers top billing to those who display their entitlement and arrogance as strengths of character, even virtues. What is the impact on you, me, our kids looking for successful role models?

The truth is that on the surface, these people appear to be dominant, accomplished, on top of things. But trust me, it’s an illusion. Because deep down, they often experience isolation, emptiness and frustration. “Superiority” masks vulnerability. Recent studies indicate that this loss of empathy and connection to self and others is a growing concern among all ages. Is there a way out of this trend towards displaying arrogance or entitlement as valor? Consider the power of gratitude as an antidote to this deep well of discontent. Gratitude isn’t just a soft filmy blur of appreciation. It takes gumption and courage to live with gratitude in a culture that rewards snarky digs and hostile irony. It takes grit to choose to live with thankfulness for what we have, rather than focusing on endless lists of what is missing. Gratefulness is a gold standard of deep happiness, positive emotion and good health. Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, leading researcher and author of “Thanks”, reminds us, “Gratitude can be as easy as a beautiful sunset, an exquisite bite of chocolate, a child, or the brilliance of autumn leaves. No matter what shape

or form gratitude takes, it fills us with a warmth and a reminder that life is good; this moment is special. Gratitude provides lessons to make us stronger. It is more than appreciation- it is a gift.” Research suggests why the experience of gratitude is transformative and offers tremendous health benefits. Thankfulness awakens our brain’s pleasure centers, and our bodies produce bio-chemicals that activate a strong and powerful sense of our potential, well-being and connection. Our bodies respond with vitality and a stronger immune system. We may be inspired to serve others, to contribute to the greater good. Power up your gratitude muscle with a few simple actions. Do these with your family. Do these with your friends. Do them alone. Mix it up. If you practice just three times a week, you’ll begin noticing a stronger sense of ease, fun, and lightness. Best of all, these practices will spark new connections among your friends and family in fun heart-warming ways. Gratitext: Everyone takes out their cell phone or notepad. Each person imagines a particular person to whom you are grateful, maybe someone who helped you get where you are today. Send them a “gratitext” or a note, expressing your thoughts and feelings of gratitude to them for adding some benefit- or sparkle- to your life. Notice the good feelings that arise when you send this note- and how you feel when they respond. Reach Out: Notice the many people who earn minimum wage performing a service that adds value to your day. Reach out, and thank them. Experience the gentle exchange of appreciation. 3 Good Things:. Begin a “gratitude” journal and several times a week, write down 3 good things that happened. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly grateful, no problem. Just take a deep breath, and give thanks for the simple things. Hot and cold running water. A daily meal. The people who contribute to your comfort, whether or not you personally know them. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to entitlement, indifference, the “blahs”, and discontentment. -

Just Like Me. Find a good place to “people watch”. Relax and just be aware of others, take a deep breath and bring to mind the following thought: “Just like me this person has faced struggles, suffering and disappointments, and just like me, this person wants to be content and happy.” Observe what gets stirred up in you or how this guided attention changes your emotional state. Do you feel more empathy or perhaps appreciation for our shared humanity? Share your experience with each other. Soak in this awesome 5 minute video with your family and friends: Just watch and notice your thoughts and feelings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk Gratitude. Simple. Powerful. Transformative. It is an act of courage to express your thankfulness. Do stuff that opens your heart. Tell your friends and family how they contribute to your life. When you savor and appreciate the goodness in your life, the little things and the million dollar moments, no one will ever need to earn your respect. Gratitude itself is an act of deepest respect, freely given, for life itself.


A Conversations with

Katie Jacobs Stanton,

CMO of Color & Former Vice President of Global Media at Twitter Q: Can you share with us your experience working at the White House and State Department?

nities. I’m thrilled that the Gates Foundation has committed $170 million towards improving economic

KJS: Working in the Obama Administration was the honor of a lifetime. At the White House, I served

leverage for women worldwide. According to Melinda Gates, “when money flows into the hands of

as the Director of Citizen Participation, trying to make it easier for citizens to engage with the govern-

women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.”

ment using digital platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. At the State Department, I worked in the Office of Innovation, helping the government use 21st century tools to address 21st century challenges. For example, we organized Town Halls for the President in China where participants could Tweet and text questions (even when these tools were blocked in China).

Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? KJS: 1. Build your own personal Board of Directors. Cultivate relationships with people you admire, seek

Q: Of the 8 countries you’ve lived in, which was your favorite and why?

out their advice and collaborate with them on projects you’re passionate about. For example, I’m a

KJS: I’ve greatly appreciated all the countries I’ve been fortunate to spend time in, but

founding partner of #Angels, which I started with five of my friends from Twitter. We share access to

I’ve always felt a strong personal connection with France. I like the way Thomas Jeffer-

deals, networks and opportunities. I also lean on entrepreneurs and execs including Tina Sharkey, Dan

son put it; “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”

Rosensweig, Dick Costolo and Elad Gil for career and industry advice.

Q: What was your experience like working as Vice President of Global Media at Twitter? KJS: Twitter was one of the highlights of my career. When I joined, we didn’t have any employees, offices, revenues or partnerships outside of the U.S. My role was to help build our teams globally and then lead the Media team which was responsible for partnerships across government, news, sports, music, and TV. We brought the best content from each of our markets to the platform and tried to help build the most vibrant and safest digital town square. I worked with exceptional people at Twitter and I’m proud of how much we were able to achieve. Q: You were an Angel Investor for Color Genomics … what made you decide to step in as Chief Marketing Officer? KJS: There are 4 core values that help me decide on new roles:

2. Pay it forward - help women at all levels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to work for the women on my team at Color one day and am really excited about that! 3. Make sure women’s voices are heard and presences are felt. Work to ensure that they’re seated at the table and included in the conversation. 4. Have conviction in your beliefs and share them. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas forward. 5. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is short. 6. Choose wisely. Look for a manager and team that help you be your best self. 7. Don’t worry about the job title - do your best work and the title and prominence will follow. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career? KJS: My media team at Twitter had a great motto: Dream big, do big, act big. Follow these principles as a leader and you can’t go wrong.

1. Are the people smart and ethical? 2. Is this a product I would use?

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

3. Is this an opportunity I would be proud of?

KJS: There is still plenty of gender bias in our society and structural barriers that make it difficult for

4. Can I make an impact?

women to rise to the top: lack of access to paid leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay. We’re making progress, but not fast enough. We need to keep pushing and make it easier for women to stay in

Color checked all of these boxes. Othman Laraki, our CEO and co-founder, is one of the smartest and most ethical people I’ve ever known. Cancer has hit my family, as it has so many others, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a movement to help beat cancer and other hereditary conditions. Q: Can you share with us some of the advancements and discoveries Color Genomics has made? KJS: When you buy a car, a home or a phone, you get an owner’s manual. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with our bodies! Color is making it easier to unlock the DNA inside of us to make it easier to stay healthy. Specifically, Color has made access to medically actionable genetic testing easier and more affordable. We’re empowering people to learn their risk of hereditary conditions and use that early knowledge to take control of their healthcare and develop personalized plans to prevent illness or detect it early.

the workplace, advance quickly, and get paid fairly. Q: Can you offer advice to parents with daughters graduating from high school? KJS: Not yet! My older daughter graduates this year. Please send me advice on Twitter: @katies! Q: Tell us about your hobbies outside of work? KJS: I love Zumba with Ula Ghosheh. She’s the best instructor. I’m the worst in the class. Q: Is there an interesting fact that most people wouldn’t know about you? KJS: I wanted to be a pilot and was briefly in Air Force ROTC in college. Maybe one day I’ll finish getting my pilot’s license!

Q: What would you like to see Color Genomics accomplish in the next 5 years?

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

KJS: I would love to look back in 2023 to see that Color helped eliminate all hereditary conditions,

KJS: There’s no such thing as a balance - it’s more of a mashup. I try to prioritize the most important

including breast and ovarian cancers, caused by genetic mutations.

things and be present wherever I am.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KJS: My daughters, Ellie and Kiki. They’re passionate, fearless, strong, curious, and funny. Most importantly, they are focused on making a positive difference in the world! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KJS: One of the biggest challenges for women is economic power. It’s also one of our biggest opportu-

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? KJS: I can Tweet reasonably well. :) Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area? KJS: The Bay Area is a magical place filled with smart, optimistic people who want to make the world a better place and have the skillset to have massive positive impact at scale.


A Conversations with

Katie Jacobs Stanton,

CMO of Color & Former Vice President of Global Media at Twitter Q: Can you share with us your experience working at the White House and State Department?

nities. I’m thrilled that the Gates Foundation has committed $170 million towards improving economic

KJS: Working in the Obama Administration was the honor of a lifetime. At the White House, I served

leverage for women worldwide. According to Melinda Gates “when money flows into the hands of

as the Director of Citizen Participation, trying to make it easier for citizens to engage with the govern-

women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.”

ment using digital platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. At the State Department, I worked in the Office of Innovation, helping the government use 21st century tools to address 21st century challenges. For example, we organized Town Halls for the President in China where participants could Tweet and text questions (even when these tools were blocked in China).

Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? KJS: 1. Build your own personal Board of Directors. Cultivate relationships with people you admire, seek

Q: Of the 8 countries you’ve lived in, which was your favorite and why?

out their advice and collaborate with them on projects you’re passionate about. For example, I’m a

KJS: I’ve greatly appreciated all the countries I’ve been fortunate to spend time in, but

founding partner of #Angels, which I started with 5 of my friends from Twitter. We share access to

I’ve always felt a strong personal connection with France. I like the way Thomas Jeffer-

deals, networks and opportunities. I also lean on entrepreneurs and execs including Tina Sharkey, Dan

son put it; “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”

Rosensweig, Dick Costolo and Elad Gil for career and industry advice.

Q: What was your experience like working as Vice President of Global Media at Twitter? KJS: Twitter was one of the highlights of my career. When I joined, we didn’t have any employees, offices, revenues or partnerships outside of the U.S. My role was to help build our teams globally and then lead the Media team which was responsible for partnerships across government, news, sports, music, and TV. We brought the best content from each of our markets to the platform and tried to help build the most vibrant and safest digital town square. I worked with exceptional people at Twitter and I’m proud of how much we were able to achieve. Q: You were an Angel Investor for Color Genomics … what made you decide to step in as Chief Marketing Officer? KJS: There are 4 core values that help me decide on new roles:

3. Pay it forward - help women at all levels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to work for the women on my team at Color one day and am really excited about that! 4. Make sure women’s voices are heard and presences are felt. Work to ensure that they’re seated at the table and included in the conversation. 5. Have conviction in your beliefs and share them. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas forward. 6. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is short. 7. Choose wisely. Look for a manager and team that help you be your best self. 8. Don’t worry about the job title - do your best work and the title and prominence will follow. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career? KJS: My media team at Twitter had a great motto: Dream big, do big, act big. Follow these principles as a leader and you can’t go wrong.

1. Are the people smart and ethical? 2. Is this a product I would use?

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

3. Is this an opportunity I would be proud of?

KJS: There is still plenty of gender bias in our society and structural barriers that make it difficult for

4. Can I make an impact?

women to rise to the top: lack of access to paid leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay. We’re making progress, but not fast enough. We need to keep pushing and make it easier for women to stay in

Color checked all of these boxes. Othman Laraki, our CEO and co-founder, is one of the smartest and most ethical people I’ve ever known. Cancer has hit my family, as it has so many others, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a movement to help beat cancer and other hereditary conditions. Q: Can you share with us some of the advancements and discoveries Color Genomics has made? KJS: When you buy a car, a home or a phone, you get an owner’s manual. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with our bodies! Color is making it easier to unlock the DNA inside of us to make it easier to stay healthy. Specifically, Color has made access to medically actionable genetic testing easier and more affordable. We’re empowering people to learn their risk of hereditary conditions and use that early knowledge to take control of their healthcare and develop personalized plans to prevent illness or detect it early.

the workplace, advance quickly, and get paid fairly. Q: Can you offer advice to parents with daughters graduating from high school? KJS: Not yet! My older daughter graduates this year. Please send me advice on Twitter: @katies! Q: Tell us about your hobbies outside of work? KJS: I love Zumba with Ula Ghosheh. She’s the best instructor. I’m the worst in the class. Q: Is there an interesting fact that most people wouldn’t know about you? KJS: I wanted to be a pilot and was briefly in Air Force ROTC in college. Maybe one day I’ll finish getting my pilot’s license!

Q: What would you like to see Color Genomics accomplish in the next 5 years?

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

KJS: I would love to look back in 2023 to see that Color helped eliminate all hereditary conditions,

KJS: There’s no such thing as a balance - it’s more of a mashup. I try to prioritize the most important

including breast and ovarian cancers, caused by genetic mutations.

things and be present wherever I am.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KJS: My daughters, Ellie and Kiki. They’re passionate, fearless, strong, curious, and funny. Most importantly, they are focused on making a positive difference in the world! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KJS: One of the biggest challenges for women is economic power. It’s also one of our biggest opportu-

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? KJS: I can Tweet reasonably well. :) Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area? KJS: The Bay Area is a magical place filled with smart, optimistic people who want to make the world a better place and have the skillset to have massive positive impact at scale.


Want to Advance your Career?

Find a Mentor! By Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Lux was a top performer. In the 20 years before I met her she was always considered a high potential employee. In her two decades in the IT department of a large financial institution she progressed slowly but steadily through the ranks. If there were a complex problem to resolve –Lux would get it done. And then she got stuck. She couldn’t understand why she was overlooked time and again to achieve a top position. The reason was simple – she never asked. Sometime being good at what you do can be what prevents you from getting ahead. Why would anyone advance Lux further when she was doing such an excellent job just where she was? And for her part, she never let anyone know that she had her eye on a very senior position. The game changer for her was the suggestion to find a Mentor. She chose the CFO of the organization who was both flattered and interested in being her guide. Within a very short time, after expressing her interest in moving up the ladder, and following her mentor’s suggested roadmap to success, she achieved her objective of being a senior V.P. And now it’s your turn. A Mentor is a wise and trusted counselor and guide. In “traditional” corporations an executive or senior person is assigned a “high potential” to assist in his or her development. A Mentor has a body of knowledge that a Mentee would like to learn. For example, in an accounting firm, information regarding technical matters and professional development are often transferred from Mentor to Mentee. There are many reasons why having a Mentor can acceler-

ate your career. Here are three for you to consider: • Guidance regarding how to navigate corporate politics. For women, it sometimes helps to have a Mentor who is also female. Your role as a Mentee is to be open to the feedback, suggestions, and critiques that are offered to you. This will maximize the effect of the support you receive. • Assistance finding connections, the “whos” who can help you get where you’d like to be more quickly. The question to ask is “who do you know who….” • And thirdly, guidance in how to improve your skills. Within the context of a mentoring relationship the Mentor assists an individual fill a particular knowledge gap by learning how to do things more effectively. In your search for a Mentor, it’s a good idea to choose someone working in the same functional area as you are, as well as someone who shares your values. Professional organizations in your field, whether they offer formal mentoring programs or not, can be excellent sources of Mentors. Test the waters by asking for advice first. Be open to sharing your concerns and fears. Mentors are most likely to invest themselves in those in whom they see a little of themselves. Don’t think that you, as a Mentee, get all the benefits from the relationship. In my experience mentoring is a rich and rewarding experience and I’ve learned more about technologies from my Mentees than I would ever have learned on my own! Having a well chosen Mentor to guide you can be a game changer in accelerating your career. Do it now! DrFrumi@Scaling4growth.com www.Scaling4Growth.com



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