Orlando Women Magazine - Liza Pavlakos

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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.

Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of women in politics is increasing rap idly. At some point in their career, one in four women has been subjected to harassment at work. Manage ment 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 main tain 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 Orlando Women Magazine and its website to advocate for respectful, fair and dignified treatment of women. Thank You Rich FounderBorell& Publisher

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.

The story behind Orlando 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.

We Support Diversity and Gender Equality – An Issue Greater Than Just “Equal Pay in the Workplace”

Meet Nurse Practitioner & Owner of Women’s Health 360, Kellie Williams Her Passion For Women’s Health Has Allowed Her to Develop Relationships & Dedicated to Provide All Clients With Professional, Prompt, Compassion and Convenient Care.

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career?

Q: You offer membership pricing; can you tell us what services are available?

Q: At the start of your career, what do you wish you had known?

KW: Women’s Health 360 provides gynecological care services, contraception education, ancillary services that include medical weight loss, hormone therapy, sexual health, and hair loss therapy.


The world is filled with wonder and excitement, and you can miss this by limiting yourself. Find your helpers and surround yourself with people you can trust and who will support you. Step out on faith in stead of fear.

KW: My mother is my biggest cheerleader. She is tough as nails. But a gentle soul that is generous, passionate and would do anything for her family. She instilled in me to always treat people with kindness, be authentic and speak my truth. She has this mother wit that I inspire to have as I continue to grow.

KW: The idea of a membership model was tailored to the busy woman. Services offered include direct relationship with me as your provider to discuss health concerns via text or email, unlimited office/virtual visits, after hours and weekends, same or next day visits for urgent medical concerns and general medical guidance.

Q: What kind of impact do you want Women’s Health 360 to have on the community?

Q: What advice would you give to young wom en who want to succeed in the workplace?

KW: My most memorable moment was a time I had to speak to a medical director for an insurance company for 45 minutes that denied a chemotherapy treatment for one of my patients. I remember building up the courage, I had to speak with knowledge and passion. Needless to say, I was able to get the chemotherapy treatment approved. Surprisingly, a month later I was presented with a “Working Above and Beyond” award from my department. I appreciated the recognition, but I was simply being an advocate for my patient.

Q: What services does Women’s Health 360 pro vide to its clients?

KW: Women represent the cornerstone of a family. My goal is to ensure quality of life, offer the best healthcare options and continue to support their healthcare needs.

KW: I would love to see Women’s Health 360 in mul tiple locations throughout Florida and California (my hometown). I want to see Women’s Health 360 con tinue to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing market demands.

KW: Realize when you are not growing and find your happy place. Be professional in everything you do but stay true to yourself. Do excellent work, lead by exam ple, and speak up for what is fair.

Sponsored Content

KW: My passion is in women’s health; I wanted to create a safe space for women where I can provide a desired level of quality in my services. I didn’t want to get to know my patients in 15-minute visits. I want to take the time to build a trusting relationship and understand their needs without rushing out the door to the next patient. I want my patients to feel seen and heard. A gynecology exam is uncomfortable, stressful, and embarrassing. I was obsessed with designing my clinic into a calm-like spa environment to ensure my patients have a comfortable experience.

Q: Where would you like to see Women’s Health 360 five years from now?



Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

Q: What advice would you give to young wom en who want to pursue their dream and start a KW:business?

Q: Can you share with our audience why you chose to become a Registered nurse? What field did you specialize in?

KW: I learned along the way that it is ok to fail, and that no great success was ever achieved without failure. To give myself grace and not be so hard on myself.

Q: Why did you decide to start your own women’s clinic?


KW: I told my mother I wanted to be a nurse at the age of 10. I observed care, kindness and compassion a nurse showed my six-year-old brother who suffered with ear infections. After several doctor visits for us both, I told my mother I wanted to be a nurse. Going forward with my education in high school as a senior I enrolled in a certified nursing assistant course, and I was able to obtain a certification as a nursing assistant. I continued on as a Registered Nurse and specialized in gynecology oncology.

Q: Why do you think your publishing of “Overcome Your Villains” was such a success?

Q: What are you currently working on?

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 in formation, 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.

Heather Monahan

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 con sulting 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.

Q: For those in our audience not familiar with Boss in Heels LLC, can you share some of the history on what it’s HM:about? 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 road map. 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

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: 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.

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.

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: You had some pretty big life things happen to you during 2017, can you tell us about them?

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 mo ment. 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 con stantly 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.

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: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?

Q: Looking back, what attracted you to pursue a career in Radio sales?

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face HM:today?

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.

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.

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 comfort able. 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.

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?

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: 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 becom ing my partner in an equity deal we did together netting our company over $25 Million dollars. That partnership ended up paying major dividends.

Q: 2020 was an awful year dealing with the Covid-19 shutdown. How do you and your business do?

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: Can you tell us how you manage your work life HM:balance?

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.

What is Femtech?

The FemTech industry will continue to grow as more and more women wake up that technol ogy 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 Fem Tech is coming, which will help move the industry into another level of connection with women.

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.

Brief History

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 acces sible and of good quality.

Founded by Ida Tin, her goal was to create tech nology that would serve the needs of their gender, and Femtech has since grown into an industry with billions of dollars in revenue.

Conclusion FemTech is a global industry that is changing how technology is used in women’s lives. It helps wom en to take control of their health and allows them to focus on their well-being.

Femtech is a large tech industry that helps wom en 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.

Meaning and Importance of Femtech

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 med icine. Femtech brings women into medicine because they can understand a product better. After all, it’s for them.

Education: This is also an essential part of Fem tech because it changes people’s minds about education. Women are less likely to pursue higher education and technology because of their gen der, so Femtech is helping change that mindset.

These ways include: Better Birth control: Femtech companies are developing better birth control. Glow is a peri od-tracker and fertility app that notifies women when they are fertile based on their cycle, so they know when to have sex.

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 Fitness: Femtech is also working to em power women by helping them reach their fitness goals. The female fitness tracker works with wom en who are concerned about their weight and fitness level because it helps them monitor every thing they eat and exercise.

Femtech is a health and software movement started by a group of women who wanted to make better digital products for women.

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.

Lighter Periods: The moon cup is a reusable men strual 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 uncom fortable.

Motivation: Femtech companies are also trying to change women’s mindsets to be more motivat ing in their lives. They are trying to help women be better at work by making them feel more motivat ed and less stressed out.

Women’s health is a global issue, not just a ‘fem inist’ 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.

www.fairbanksflorist.net | 321-695-5440

Q: Why is it important for a plastic surgeon to be a member of LJ:ASPS? 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 re search 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 mem bers 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.

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 technolo gy, 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 volun teer physician leaders. At the end of the day, this is a member orga nization, 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 venti lators 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 con sider 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. Ulti mately, I am so proud of the response of our physicians and our staff in coming together, being proactive, and respond ing effectively to the COVID pandemic.

Dr. Lynn Jeffers

Q: Tell us about your private prac tice you have as a plastic surgeon in Ventura County, Calif, and why you chose to become a plastic LJ:surgeon. 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-in vasive procedures such as inject ables (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.

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

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?

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 be cause I was accepted into medical school out of high school

Q: Can you tell us about your current positions as Chief Med ical 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 communi ty-based team-based approach to breast cancer care. The Center is nationally accredited and has been the recipient of a number of na tional 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 virtu al symposium, but we look forward to being hold one in person next year (hopefully!).

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career?

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 rec ognition 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’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

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 addi tion to my practice), being elected as one of 11 members of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Ser vice, and most recently, my term as president of the Amer ican 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.

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.

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 atten tion to self-care and to not neglect the other portions of your life as those are just as crucial to a whole, meaningful life.

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as a Doctor?

AMA meeting during her first campaign for a seat on the AMA Council on Medical Service

LJ: It is definitely a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, ad justment. 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-assess ment 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.

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.

Our Exclusive Interview with Influencer


KF: My jobs after college were random and all over the place. I first worked at Macy’s in the handbag department Ford

Q: After college, where did you feel your career path would take you?

Kim Ford Is A Keynote Speaker, TV Host & Media Consultant. She Has CNN An Entertainment Correspondent Where She Shares Her Take What’s Relevant in Film, Television, & Celebrity


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?

Appeared On


Q: Tell us about Jubilee Mag, how it started and where you see it going.

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 var ious reasons. A few are: Oprah, for obvious reasons. Myleik Teel for her entrepreneurial journey. J Lo be cause she’s been timeless for decades.

Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?

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.

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 want ed more of me as a personal brand instead of a magazine. As a result, I launched iamkimford.com covering entertainment, personal develop ment, and lifestyle.

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. Wycleff Jean interview at Andrew Young Leadership Awards. NBC press dinner for ‘This Is Us’.

Q: What are some of the chal lenges you feel women face KF:today?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”.

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.


KF: AAFCA isn’t an award. It’s the world’s largest organization of 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.

Q: In March 2019 you were accepted into AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association). Can you tell us what it meant to you?

Q: You must keep a hectic schedule between speaking engagements and TV commit ments. How do you maintain a healthy work life balance?

KF: I appear as a guest Entertain ment Contributor on CNN/HLN to give my take on what is relevant re garding film and television. Typical ly, when there is a special segment.


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.

Q: Can you share with our audience some details about your role as a CNN/Headline News entertainment contributor?

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

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.

Q: Do you regularly relive or re-experience the events?

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-de pendency 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 uninten tionally 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 Childhoodthem. 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 eventual ly the needy, fawning Liza metamorphosized into an em powered woman, one with boundaries.


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, plac es, and situations. Avoidance is often the result of limiting contact with triggers for anxiety, fear, or traumatic memo ries, 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 stay ing 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 under stands 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.

Q: Was there a period when you withdrew from genuine friends, family, or other loved ones?

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.

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 night mares, 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 therapeu tic 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 re ceive 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: 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 perpe trator 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 oth er therapists and coaches internationally to join our business model and help assist others with the healing process.

LP: I adore cooking, so maybe a chef like my mother. A doc tor, or perhaps a teacher, but then aren’t those all the things we do as mothers and fathers?

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. For giveness, 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.

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 ad versity. 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.

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 Onceself-awareness.Iwasavictim, 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 put ting 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: Do you imagine what path you might have taken had you not experienced the trauma?

LP: My recovery included so many services and resources in The power of her words touches the hearts of her audience to show them that they are capable of overcoming any challenge.

Q: Do you have a hard time remembering certain features of the events?

Q: What do you believe is the greater good of your story?

Q: What services/resources/people helped you in your recovery?

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.

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.

Q: Do you imagine taking a different path ahead to achieve a personal dream or goal?

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 suf fered 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.

LP: The privilege of presenting to corporate organizations and empowering their teams is nothing short of a blessing, howev er, it would be a dream to see Positive Breakthroughs expand Thisinternationally.isthelegacy

Q: What suggestions do you have to make it safer for victim-survivors to come forward?

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.

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 mo tivating individuals and teams to overcome challenges with a blueprint to become stronger, more resilient, and ultimately greater human beings.

Q: What were the barriers to you coming forward?

To be vulnerable and real is strength. To be real you have to be willing to make a stand against the judgment.

You 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”.Eachof 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 Askmake.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!

Age is Nothing But a Number

Marina Gavric Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com


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 Weap ons 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.

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

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

During the Civil War, over 400 women enlisted as se cret 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 dis charged in 1868 after a physician discovered her sta tus as a Throughoutfemale.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. 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. 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. DunwoodyDunwoody. was directly commissioned into the Wom en’s Army Corps in 1975 following graduation from college. In 1992, she became the first woman to com mand 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.

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 import ant components for energy efficient generators, motors and electrical transmission lines that transmit electricity or convert energy without energy loss in electrical resistance.

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 semi conductor, 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: Tell us about some of the patents you hold and how they are used.

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

Q: Can you share with our audience a little on your life story and how you became interested in Engi HW:neering?


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 Nation al 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: Can you tell us about the research your currently doing? What do you hope it will accomplish?

Q: When did you know you wanted your career to include teaching along with research?

HW: I have always wanted to do something impactful and use ful 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.

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?

HW: We women engineers and scientists have strength in multi-tasking, soft inter-personal skills, and very detailed think ing. 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 remem ber 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?

Q: During Covid-19 you developed a hybrid plasmon ic thin-film. Can you tell us what led to this design and how it’s being used?

HW: My research group is currently working on many research directions in the areas of new ceramic and ceramic-based com posite 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 engi neering. 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 ce ramics with those defects to mimic “metals” and making them “tough” and unbreakable.

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. Luck ily, I was standing right next to him and had a short discussion with him during the group photo session.

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 thir ty-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 anoth er 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 pro tect women in workplace.

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-assem bled 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 com mon 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?

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

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 ceremo nies 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!

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 engineer ing 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: 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 HW:award?

Lawyers are the experts that know the best way to avoid problems by following proper protocols and filing the right documents. A lawyer who specializes in your case can help you avoid costly mistakes. Be sure to feel comfortable shar ing all of the details relevant to your concern. Challenging evidence against you or calling witnesses and other experts is best left to a professional. Consider the knowledge, integ rity, experience and, yes even, the fees. Gain an understand ing of how you can help or hinder your objective.


Let’s tip our hats to the following remarkable women!

And so, we seek the advice of these experts because we can’t always rely on our own smarts for critical challenges in our lives. One aspect might be when we need assistance to en sure that we are in compliance with the law – to protect ourselves or others. We search for those who have applied themselves with rigor to pass the bar exam.

first ask why someone might want to become an attorney. One reason might be that it affords the opportunity to help others. Pro bono and public interest work can be very fulfilling for some. Many lawyers go on to serve in academia and government to influence local, national or worldwide thought and policy. The intellectual challenge of being an attorney appeals to many for the diverse practice areas and careers to which the learning can be applied.

There are many kinds of examples of situations when you might overlook the valuable guidance that might be offered by a qualified attorney. Would you think to hire an attorney if you won the lottery? What about a complicated real estate transaction or settling the estate of a loved one? Certainly, if you’re a business owner, you might sometimes need help in reviewing a contract or with a merger or acquisition.

Q: When did you know you wanted to open a law firm?

KLG: Relationships are everything. Without developing a rela tionship, everything is one off. For a client or colleague to come back (or refer again) you have to cultivate a relationship they want to invest in. From the beginning we have understood that law firms are in the business of relationship. It is truly the na ture of the legal relationship – when you act for client, you are literally standing in their shoes and acting on their behalf. You have to have a personal connection to earn the trust of clients and truly represent them effectively. With that said, it does take work to grow relationships – they do not happen just because Kendrick Law Group KLG is Devoted To The Clients They Are Privileged To Represent, As They Strive To Affect The Best Possible Outcome For Each & Every One.

KLG: The Kendrick Law Group offers expertise in various areas of law, including business law, estate planning, family law, guardianship, probate, and real estate law. Partners Kendrick and Geltz launched, stand-alone title and settlement compa nies Champion Title & Closing and Park Title, as extensions of the real estate law practice to provide seamless title and closing services for commercial and residential real estate transactions.

Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law your firm specializes in?

KLG: Founding partner Jessica Kendrick received her under graduate degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, to expand her professional career and broaden her op portunities to make an impact in her community. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree with honors from Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in 2013. Jess made the ambitious decision to open Kendrick Law Group after just a few years removed from law school. Although risky, she knew that hard work, determination, a pas sion for helping others, and surrounding herself with like-mind ed individuals would translate into success. Today Kendrick is joined by a well-matched team of attorneys who are the core of the enterprise. Each has deep knowledge of select and com plementary areas of law. Clients often hire the firm to handle one issue, then return as unrelated needs arise.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney?


Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life bal ance? KLG: Just as the Kendrick Law Group balances practice areas, client composition, and in-house and outside expertise, it also focuses on work-life balance. All of the partners have families and make time with their spouses and children a priority while encouraging staff members to do the same. Family is at the heart of the firm, and it can be seen in their family friendly office and flexibility in hours and modes of access.

KLG: Giving back to the community is just as important as meeting your clients’ expectations. We believe wholeheart edly in giving back to the central Florida community and being a positive influence and force for those in need. Sup porting the greater Orlando community is the cornerstone of the firm’s philosophy. The Kendrick Law Group’s lawyers support local charitable efforts, whether via the firm’s own Hope for More Foundation, or serving on boards, donating to initiatives, or offering hands-on services. The partners are encouraged to support causes they feel strongly connected to and where they can facilitate local impact.

Q: How are you embracing today’s technology driven world? KLG: As attorneys we need to adapt to the changing landscape. Information is everywhere and available 24/7. Clients are not willing to wait weeks for an appointment and may look elsewhere or avail themselves of any number of information channels that may or may not be beneficial. To meet the demand, we created the Kendrick Fast Access tool. The goal of our fast access tool is to streamline the process and allow access to a licensed attorney consultation, often the same day. Prospective clients can get a better idea of what to expect and have the peace of mind of knowing that they are connecting with a licensed attorney that is assessing their specific situation.

Q: What sets your firm apart from others? KLG: The concierge service model. This is a key driver in our culture for all of our clients. It’s an approach that allows us to form a relationship beyond the typical one-off business or trans actional legal arrangement. We strive to truly know our clients and often ultimately form bonds that transcend the initial en gagement. We become true advisors and hopefully an integral part of their “team”

When founded, the KLG mission statement included “serving our community” and they hold true to that ethos now more than ever. “Supporting those around us, and identifying charities in need of help, allows us to engage more fully with the com munity we live and work in.” To this end, aside from finan cial and time commitments to worthy causes, KLG founded its own charitable foundation. The Hope for More Founda tion provides a platform for them to directly influence and raise awareness and funding for important but oftentimes overlooked or marginalized local causes in need of signifi cant help.

www.kendricklawgroup.com | 407-641-5847

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you want them too. True relationships evolve as a result of your hard work and ability to exceed expectations.

Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful firm? KLG: Transparency: We respect that the legal consumer is sav vy. We live in an age of ready accessibility, where volumes of information are just a click away. The days of attorney’s block billing with cryptic descriptions of the work performed are long gone, and rightfully so. We strive to be adept enough to accurate ly project what a client’s needs demand. In many cases, we are able to gauge with a good deal of accuracy what the client can expect from a time and cost basis. Being able to clearly commu nicate that from the beginning and give the client options on how they want to proceed gives a measure of control to the client. We have many areas where we can offer a flat fee from the outset, so the expectations are clear. We work to communicate timelines and an overview of the work that will be performed and strive to keep the lines of communication open from inception to the close of a client matter.

Q: What’s one valuable aspect of your firm that you can share with our audience?

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Mrs. Gail Seeram is a past-president of the Amer ican Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Central Florida Chapter. Currently, she is the for mer Chair for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison Committee and worked with ICE supervisors and directors on policies and issues that affect immigrants and their attorneys in the Central Florida. She is the former liaison for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Orlando Field Office. These are elected positions where she was chosen by her peers to serve and rep resent the best interest of local immigration attorney and their clients. In addition, Mrs. Seeram chairs the Caribbean American Advisory Committee of the Orange County Sheriff Office and has organized over a doz en community forums to educate citizens on their rights. She is the former chair of the Orange County Children and Family Services Board, assisting in issues that affect foster and delinquent minors. Also, she continues to partner with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and local busi ness chambers to speak on immigration issues that impact the community. Lastly, she is the founder and executive director of the GAIL Foundation (www.GailFoundation.org) that helps children in need by building playground equipment for orphan ages in third world countries. Upon her graduation from law school, Mrs. Seeram was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in May 1999 and the New York State Bar in June 2000. In Au gust 1999, she worked as a Senior Attorney with PricewaterhouseCoopers located in New York, New York. In 2003, Mrs. Seeram decided to focus on establishing her own law firm. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, USA, the Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram, P.C. strives to provide effective, efficient, and quality immigration legal services to all clients.

Q: Can you share with our audience the type of pro-bono work you do?

GS: Place yourself in the shoe of EVERY client in order to understand their emotions and goals.

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?

Her Practice is Limited To Immigration Law With a Concentration on Cases Involving Family-Based Immigration, Citizenship Deportation, Defense & Waivers/Appeals.

GS: Our office took a pro-bono case of two minor girls who lost their mom to cancer, and they did not know their immigration status. We got them their green cards and they came to the office and insisted on recording a video to say, “thank you.”

GS: Our pro-bono work is focused on battered immigrant women who qualify to self-petition for legal status in the U.S. based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

GS: Michelle Obama

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

There will be days when you cannot see the finish line but close your eyes and dig deep for in spiration and work towards that goal of becoming a lawyer.

GS: Women are commonly called by their first name and are judged by their appearance whereas their male counterparts do not face these two challenges.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an GS:Attorney?

Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career?

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? GS: Every day presents a new challenge so be flexi ble in scheduling and creative in problem solving.

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 cov erage 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.

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:

The0.4%.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?

However, one important aspect of this issue is oftentimes overlooked. What causes these ath letes to not receive equal pay in the first place?

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 exam ple, 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

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.

With Dana Brownlee,

DB: I think that the first time I was quoted in The Wall Street Jour nal 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 con fidence that develops when you begin to be cited in major, well-re spected 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 arti cles 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.

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 anec dotes) 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 led to your decision to become an executive speaker?

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to purse their dream and start a business?

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 ac ademic 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: I think that starting a business can sound glamorous, but it’s of ten 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.

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 re sponses 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.

A Dynamic, Energetic, Results-Oriented Corporate Trainer & Speaker, Ms. Brownlee Provides Thought Leadership in The Areas of Antiracism, Leadership, And Individual & Organizational Effectiveness.

DB: After about a decade of traditional corporate experience, I grav itated 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 signifi cant 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: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?

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 partici pate 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.

A Special Conversation

Q: Tell us about what led to the writing of your book “Unwritten Rules About Managing Up”

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?

Q: What is it about your job that most excites you?

The Power Of Choice, Her Journey From Wounded Warrior To World Champion

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!

Q: As first lieutenant, you were the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War … can you share with our audience how that day started out for you?

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.

Melissa Stockwell

Q: Did you have any idea that you would be deployed to Iraq March 2004?

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 Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

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: Why did you decide to join the ROTC at the University of Colorado?


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, coach ing, 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: What would be the title of your autoMS:biography?

Q: Tell us how you manage your work life MS:balance?

Q: Can you tell us about the training you did to prepare yourself for the 2008 Paralympic MS:Games?

I find what I’m passionate about and put my hours into that. I have an incredible hus band 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!

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 swim ming. 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!

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.

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.

Q: Your Co-founder of the Chicago-based Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Can you tell us how it started and the services it proMS:vides?

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: When you were growing up, did you ever dream you would become a world class MS:athlete?

Marina Gavric Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com

It’s a matter of doing. For example, Jane is a busy executive and, although Jane is a fictitious character, she represents a good number of men and women. She is up at 5am, by 5:15am has her coffee in hand and for the next hour, before she rounds up the kids for school, she reviews her yesterday and prepares for today. In no time, she then packs up her home team, briefcase in hand and is out the door. Finally, she’s at the office and sits with another cup of coffee, with breakfast in hand … whatever pastries there may be. The sodas come later. Day in and day out, Jane reflects on making life changes to improve her well-being and feel good about herself, inside and out. Yet, day after day, Jane’s willpower gives in and she seems to repeat the same old routine, a cycle, she wishes she could break. When? She feels too busy. She feels not up to it”. She believes there is no other way. She speaks for many, many people. No matter the phase of the health cycle one is in, we all struggle with this … to get in that workout in or say no to an extra helping of our favorite foods. The first step is to find your balance … and to commit to change. It starts with that commitment … even if one step at a time to begin with and to win. Regularly reflect on all your priorities … then decide on the commitments you can realistically make and stick with them. Whether this week it’s a 30 minutes for 3 days-a-week commitment or next week a 40 minutes 6 days-a-week commitment. A key is to write your commitments down. As you would keep your word to your boss or loved ones, keep your word to yourself. Stay Hydrated, Stay Focused, Stay Fit

Commit to Balance, to Your Fitness Success and to Yourself

Staying committed to an exercise and health plan is not always the simplest task. Breaking bad habits is never easy. “I have tried and tried!” … Yes, I know, I hear this, everyone’s story, all the Regardlesstime!ofwhat age you may be or at what point you are in your life, men and women, boys and girls … a corporate executive, a student, an employee, a stay-at-home parent … we’re all busy all the time. Please recognize that health & wellness, as well as fitness & nutrition, are interrelated. It’s all a good thing and it’s a choice we make in our busy lives. Once you have resolved a priority to yourself of “health & fitness” in your life … make “finding balance” a key component. You can stay genuinely dedicated, enjoying your commitment, while not falling victim to excuses. What a positive difference in our lives and how we feel (the energy alone, perhaps meaning better sleep) we all seem to know it would make.


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-threaten ing 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. Specifical ly, 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.

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

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you?


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 ev erything in-between. But I was always drawn to criminal in vestigations, 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 re quired 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: Can you share with our audience about the op portunity you had to become an undercover police officer?

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: While working full-time undercover, you also completed law school … was this always your career goal?

Pamela Barnum

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 grad uate 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 en rolled in law school full-time (they didn’t allow part-time stud ies), 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 jok ingly 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.

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: 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 am currently writing a book about the negotiation and communication techniques I learned and developed over a twen ty-year career in the criminal justice system. Pre-COVID-19, I traveled throughout North America, delivering keynotes on negotiating, communicating, and building trust through inten tional 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: 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?

Q: Tell us about the responsibilities you had as a Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

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.

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

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 de veloped mental skills that allowed her to go on to achieve the seemingly impossible in her own, unique way.

Q: Describe how you encourage your audience to find their motivation to achieve their goals?

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.”

Q: How often have you encountered naysayers in your abilities to accomplish your goals and what has been your response?

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.

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: Have you ever had to modify a goal and how do you address this subject to your audiences?

Q: One aspect of your motivational speaking addresses diversity, can you tell us more about that?

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 pov erty 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.

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 per ceived limitations that often aren’t as difficult as we make them out to be.

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.

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 peo ple globally will experience a disability in their lifetime. That is a lot of people that need to be in more conversations.

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?

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?

Q: The obvious question, have you and your team done anything unique to adapt to the COVID videoconference environment?

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 commu nity 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 dis ability.

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 stretch ing my limits and therefore my flexibility has lessened.

Q: You’re a Third Degree Blackbelt – without it would you ever feel physically vulnerable?

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: 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


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 be cause 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 usu ally 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 ac tivity that you and your husband enjoy most togeth er?


JC: We both love to travel and unique experiences. I’ve vis ited 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 ba boon in Kenya, and even fed hyenas in Ethiopia.


What Does it Mean to be a WomanSuccessfulinBusiness?

Starting a business is often an uphill climb that many people never even attempt. The corporate world offers many perks and financial benefits, but you must always bow to the “vision” of the corporation. For some women, this effort can be too limiting. They may be able to see other aspects of the market that need addressing, and the chance to tackle the task in your own way offers personal gratification at the highest level. The Freedom to Manage Your Own Finances



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

Having your own business also means you get to determine your own level of financial success. Your ability to earn is only limited by your own efforts to max imize profits. This requires doing a sig nificant amount of research and under standing important features of your area of the economy. In addition, successful woman entrepreneurs know that you can never rest on past laurels. They always keep an eye out for new opportunities to expand their markets, increase their customer base and refine their operations.

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 Unfortunately, the downside for women continues to be frequent incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination that may oc cur at both personal and institutional levels. Learning ways to skillfully deflect unwanted attention can help you manage these uncomfortable situations. In addition, you may still feel acquiring loans, getting important contracts and maintaining your competitive edge still requires you to work harder in or der 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. Although the obstacles can be daunting and often reflect institutional prejudices, being a woman also offers a variety of natural ad vantages that can help you excel in business.

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 wom en’s golf was played, viewed and covered. 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 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 Col lection of high-end women’s golf apparel and ANNIKA Course Design. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foun dation, 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. The Foundation annually conducts six major tourna

ments in the United States, Sweden (2), China, Argenti na 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 AN NIKA 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, SportsBusi ness 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 de spite not competing since the 2008 season. She repre sented 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 suc cessful 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.

Q: You started playing Golf at a young age, what inspired you to pursue it professionally?

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 uti lize her talents to entertain important clients, reward top performing employees, and build camaraderie amongst their teams. Annika is a driven, leader with a vast net work 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, Calla way, 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.

Annika and her family having fun at a photo shoot.

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

AS: As a kid, I loved all sports. I played soccer, badmin ton, 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 contin ued 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.

The Foundation annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational present ed 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 Zea Withland. 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.

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 organi zations 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.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

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.

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 con stantly busy.

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

Q: You’ve accomplished so much as a Professional Golfer, Businesswoman, and mentor to many young women. Has it been a smooth AS:road? 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 hind sight 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: Can you tell us one of your most memorable moments in your career?

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 dif ferent 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.

AS: I have been fortunate to have a lot of very memo rable 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.

Laura Meyer is the owner of Jazzercise ter’s degree in Civil Engineering. wellness of women. She is a certified women, both in group and private losing over 50 pounds in her 20’s empowered in the same way. Now lives, making sure they find time strength in an hour - and is passionate ONE as each class is taught with celebrated their 50-year anniversary. www.jazzercise.com

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Jazzercise Mills 50 and Mills 50 Yoga. She graduated from the University of Florida with a masEngineering. After 17 years in that field, she changed career gears to her true passion - the health and certified fitness professional and has been teaching Jazzericse, personal training and yoga, to private settings in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and College Park, for over 13 years. After 20’s with exercise and sustainable healthy eating, she knew she wanted other women to feel Now with two adult daughters of her own, her goal is to inspire women as they live their busy time for themselves. She believes Jazzercise is the perfect formula for women - cardio plus passionate about every woman finding that one hour of “ME time”. Jazzercise is for EVERY with modification options, no mirrors, and no judgement. It is no accident that Jazzercise just anniversary. Quite simply, it is an addicting, uplifting and inspiring community - and it works. 407-227-3266

Q: How long did it take before you felt you could fly again?

Mercedes Ramirez Johnson 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,

In 1995, Mercedes Ramirez Johnson narrowly survived a commer cial airplane crash where about 160 people died, including her par ents. 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 His panic up-and-comers.

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: What type of injuries did you sustain and how long was your recovery?

Q: Do you still keep in contact with your fellow survivors?

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 get ting 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.

INROADS, Inc., an international organi zation 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 chil dren. 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 Founda tion Board.

MRJ: For months, I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was try ing to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what would have led to their numerous mistakes and oversights. I kept wondering why

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 in credibly 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: Every year, we’re incredibly lucky to have and cele brate 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: No, unfortunately, I lost track of most of the survivors. Oc casionally, I see family members of Mauricio Reyes, but I’d love to get reconnected with them all. I know that everyone has accom plished 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: What was your first thought when you learned the flight crew had failed to adequately plan and execute the approach to runway?

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: 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 mar riage of 21 years, and navigating motherhood of two teen age 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 inter acting 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!

MRJ: Without authenticity, gratitude, and drive, there won’t be anything such as long-term success or happiness. When

MRJ: The first time someone asked me if I felt guilty that I survived and not everyone else really threw me back. Hon estly, 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 kind ness, 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 MRJ:with.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 in credible opportunity that is! To wake up with a clean slate and a fresh start to right your wrongs and be the truest ver sion of yourself that day. When we value each day as a new chance, that’s when we can muster the courage and the en ergy 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.

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 mem ber 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 fin ish 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: Can you share with our audience when and to whom your first speech was given?

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a motiva tional 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 sav ings 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.

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: Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you and your family? Have you made use of video conferencing to continue speaking?

Q: If we interviewed all your clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with MRJ:you? 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

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 incor porate my love of traveling, my drive for business, and my knowledge of foreign languages for life.

Q: What advice would that you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

at the table. Take it. Spend your time with people that speak words of goodness and en couragement, 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?

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.

MRJ: Don’t make yourself small for ANYONE. Not in your per sonal 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 Don’tapologizing!askforaseat

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 are some of the challenges you feel women face MRJ:today?

MRJ: Learn as much as you can, find a mentor, hang out with suc cess-minded people, and bring your full self to work. Don’t create a work persona — be your true self.

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 Unit ed 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 of pride in helping people, and I always had so much fun watching how she had this magnetism that drew people to her, made people laugh, and knew how to make people feel loved and welcomed. And my sister, Sylvia. She’s nine years older than I am, and she took on the 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 me since. I’ll never be able to truly express how much she means to me. I wouldn’t be me without her.

MRJ: Make yourself proud every single day.

Q: Can you tell our audience one of the most memorable moments in your career?

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: How do you know if a client is right for your service?

MRJ: My biggest fear after the plane crash has been losing the peo ple 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.

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

MRJ: The first time I spoke in front of a huge audience was life-changing. While I was still a college student, I was asked to speak at the National Catholic Youth Conference. They were anticipating 15,000 attendees. I had to go to my college speech professor and asked him, “how do I craft a speech for 15,000 teenagers?” He pa tiently coached me through the process. The night before I gave the speech, I had a dream that I was in a lecture hall giving a presenta tion 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 got to the 3rd row, I saw my parents sitting there smiling and watch ing me proudly. In my dream, I said, “Oh my God! What are you guys doing here!” and I wanted to run up and hug them, but they put their fingers over their lips in a gesture to be quiet, and they both 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 didn’t feel a single once of nervousness because I could feel their love and encouragement with me on that stage.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

Being a woman isn’t meant for the weak. I don’t need to remind women of the insurmountable expectations we put on ourselves to the mama bears of our family, the school volunteers, and community/ social action leaders, the leaders in the workplace, and rock a swimsuit at the pool. I would still come back as a woman in my next life, just that this time, I would just come back as a woman who didn’t care what other people feel or think of me. How freeing that would be if we all just frolicked around being kind, doing what makes us happy, and making our world a better place with our heads held up high.

where you are today?

MRJ: Work-life balance is a beautiful myth because our brains can not 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 fo cus 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 sons wouldn’t call their dad and expect him to drop a client meeting to ask what’s for dinner so why would I let them do that me?

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success?

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?

MRJ: Sometimes your biggest failures or biggest sources of fear can turn into the most rewarding opportunities. You can’t be scared, intimidated, or overwhelmed. You can FEEL scared, intimated, or overwhelmed, but don’t BE those things. You feel it, then release it and get back to the business of being badass.

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 LG:work?

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

I was trained as a broadcast journal ist. Barbara Walters was one of my big in spirations. 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 look ing for the inspiration to recreate ourselves.


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 correspon dent 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 vir tually 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 of ten keep his mentoring in mind. Even though I have a Ph.D. in drama avoidance, I loved be ing 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 Caro lina 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

LG: Today, things are much more transparent than when I first began Viewers’ insatiable ap petites to “get inside” and “lift the veil” led to more raw reporting and a genuinely authentic exchange preference. There is still brokering for interviews and negotiating for access. Still, the expectation is for in 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 advi sors and mainstream media exposure. However, events like the interviews with Lester Holt and George Stepanopolis can still do damage.

Q What do you see that is different from interviewing styles from the period you were on the air to today?

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 chal lenge to re-boot and re-create their lives and re-write their narratives.

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 LG:you?On our journeys through life, I often need to remember that our strength comes from be ing vulnerable. Our power comes from how we are connected. My books honour those con nections; 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.

Q: Tell us about Leeza’s Care Connection.

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. My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, the “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: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

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


Q: Does writing energize or exhaust LG:you?Both! I think it’s true that we often write what we need to learn. Valuing self-care and finding em powerment 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 big gest 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 gifts and our burdens. Our everyday experi ence provided the solace of a support group and the benefits of clarity and stress manage ment that come from writing.


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 ap preciate and express language, which made my oration memorable. At that time, I also had

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 finan cially. When that started happening to our fam ily, 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 strug gle, 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.


LG: I loved The Secret Garden - it was magical and sad and uplifting all at once. Shel Silver stein’s “The Giving Tree” was a favorite too, but it’s The Velveteen Rabbit that resonates deeply still because of its message about what real love is.

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

LG: I gave up trying to balance! Whoever cre ated that concept was evil and cruel! If we seek the ever-elusive middle of the see-saw, we will be bitter and disappointed. Instead of balanc ing time, I think of investing time. As with any business venture, I look for dividends. For ex ample, if you’re a working woman (there’s a redundancy for you!), you may not always feel that you have the ideal balance. Still, you’re providing for your family, setting an example of the value of work, and growing into the next phase of life when you may feel you have more autonomy. You’re investing in your future, and those dividends will come due.

quite a thick southern accent which was either a distraction or an endearment!

Q: You’ve maintained a hectic, career, can you share with our audience how you manage your work-life balance?

Q: What is your favorite childhood book?

Q: Tell us about what inspired you to write the book “From Pain to Power”

ZM: Making power moves is a women’s empowerment movement that consist of books, apparel, empower ment 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.

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 creativ ity without restriction. And just like that Making Power Moves was born!

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 ac tivity 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 be gin. 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: Can you share with our audience more about your career and your brand Making Power Moves?

Q: Why did you decide to become an entrepre neur?

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!

A Special Conversation With Empowerment

Author & Speaker, Zeeda Michele

Q: Tell us more about the meaning behind “I am not what I’ve been through … I am who I was called to be?

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career?

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 fear less, and she does not care what people think of her, and she Gives you the good. News in a way that’s full of innova tion 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!!!

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?

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?

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 com plex 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!

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!

ZM: God, Time, and discipline. God has given us all an al lotted 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!

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

Q: What would you say was your lowest point in life and why then did you decide to make a change?

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, re sources, 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 en trepreneurs 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!

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 proud est moments!

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

Female Ground Breakers in Professional Sports

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, wom en 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:

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 bas ketball players in the world. Michele is the first woman to ever hold the position and is first wom an 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.

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.

Serena Williams: Professional Tennis

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.

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 mak ing 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.

Ranked as Number One in the world eight different times, Serena Williams has won more com bined 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.

Alex Morgan: Women’s Professional Soccer

Very few players can start out at the top and stay there, but Alex Mor gan 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 Wom en to the gold medal match vs Japan in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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?

As an Emotional Health Coach, I have an under standing what my tribe wants and needs and this is incredibly important. Most of my clients are on the go,

UE: I had first-hand experience of being a doormat wom an, 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 debilitat ing 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 UE:book?

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 audi ence. 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.

Ursula at a Networking Event- Panelist Speaker speaking about Heart Work Emotional Health and Self Love

UE: The Heart Work process begins with cleansing, discov ering 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 prior ity 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 grow ing 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: 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-negotia ble 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 remind ers 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

Q: How would you describe the Heart Work process?

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: Why would you say emotional health is import UE:ant?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 relation ships 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 Buildingwellness.youremotional 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.

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?

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.

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: What’s next after Heart Work?

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.” Person ally, 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 import ant to maintain these balances for the positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being.

laying your clothes, bag, and lunch out the night before to al leviate 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!

UE: I’m inspired by Marshawn Evans- Daniels. She is a re invention 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 advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

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 over night expert and that you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be.

Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?

UE: I hear the same thing over and over from my busy profes sional clients. These women are all busy with career, parent hood, marriage, and some caregivers. The resounding chal lenge 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 was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you?

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.

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 proj ect. 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: Which woman inspires you and why?

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

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 mento ring 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 self-care tips do you recommend during stressful times?

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memo rable moments in your career?

Q: What would you tell younger you (10 years ago? 5 years ago? Last year?)

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, intellec tually, 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. Pre cisely, ask: “Can someone else do this?”

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.

UE: Coaching with me is honest and loving. The battery of questions asked WILL challenge you and equip you for suc cess. 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 for ward focused. I recommend a minimum of three months for clients to establish a coaching relationship and begin to see significant results.

Last BlessYear:others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even simple little supportive acts can make others — and you — much happier.

Q: When people book a coaching session with you, what can they expect? What is the recommended number of sessions to see results?

Five Years Ago: I would advise my younger self to just say ‘yes’ to every oppor tunity 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.

Ursula with a Group Of Women Sharing their Final Self Love Vision Board

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.

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.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Con gress. 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 fed eral 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 glob al warming.

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 Econom ic 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.

Dr. Stefania Paredes Fuentes is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of War wick. Dr. Fuentes is a noted lecturer who coordi nated Economic modules at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is involved with research in Macroeconomics and Development Economics, Institutional Economics, and Economics and Eco nomic History of Latin America. In January 2020, Dr. Fuentes is organizing the first workshop of its kind on Economics for Women Students at the Uni Congresswomanversity.


Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politi cian who began serving as the President of the Eu ropean Central Bank in November 2019. She previ ously 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 an ti-trust lawyer, she was the first woman to be ap pointed Chair of Baker & McKenzie, a leading in ternational 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 Tech nology. She worked as an assistant professor at Princeton before accepting a position as a profes sor at the University of California, Berkeley. Romer 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 Admin istration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Professor Romer currently teaches at the University of California Berkeley Department of Economics.

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?

Hailed as the “Female Jerry Maguire,” Molly Fletcher Joins Us To Talk About Her Career as a Sports Agent & Motivational Professional

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 sur rounded 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 ex amples of the “one and done” who focused on the short-term gain or made bad decisions in the moment, they con nect 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 un derstand.

MF: I would say there are fewer hur dles, but they still exist. Visibility mat ters 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 power ful shift happening!

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?

Q: How many of your athlete clients are still your clients today?

MF: I no longer represent clients as a sports agent; however, I am grateful to stay connected with most personally as friends. Today I spend the majority of my time as a speaker, author, podcast host, and founder of the Game Changer Training company.

MF: When I started in the space, there was no social media. It obviously has tremendous advantag es 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 en ergy 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, working 24/7, and feeling at times like I wasn’t my best self with the people in my life who mattered most. If you don’t decide where your energy goes, the world decides for you.

MF: Yes, earlier in my career there was one or two but not many thankfully. Whenever you feel discon 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: 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?

Q: Has there been a client with whom you just couldn’t connect? How did you negotiate your separation and what might you have done differently?

Q: 60+ keynotes a year! Tell us about your time management, i.e., your Energy Clock–how you balance your personal and work lives?

Q: Who have been a few of your favorite guests on your podcast, Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, and why?

Q: Do you expect your online training to continue post pandemic?

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 Con necticut) were so enlightening from a leadership perspective—just their authenticity and willingness to share, you really see why they are so suc cessful. 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 cham pion Dansby Swanson. And given the amount of 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 curi ous. 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.

MF: Absolutely. Nothing is more important to me than meeting people where they are and the demand for learning is higher than ever. For in dividuals, we will continue to offer our virtual group coaching program, Game Changer Lead ership 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.”

MF: We work with organizations of all sizes! Be yond 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!

MF: I take the athlete mindset to preparation! I do a lot of reps and spend a lot of time prepar ing 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 manage ment training. Stay tuned for our first on demand course, coming out in 2022!

resilience needed in our world right now, I’d also recommend my conversations with Angela Duck worth 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?

Q: How do you keep your own delivery sharp and which of your programs trains others how to stay on top of their game?

DB: We love the energy that comes with working in an innovative hub of technology like Silicon Valley. The bay area is an epicenter of bio technology and Richard, who spent years as the head of Clinical Research for biotherapeutics at Genentech, has recruited a world-class team of scientists and protein engineers to develop our cutting-edge biologics for cats, dogs, and horses. Because of the talent in the area, we have put together an incredible team that is innovating in lockstep with human breakthroughs, such as those in immunotherapy. Importantly, the energy of the valley, along with the great weather and access to outdoor pursuits, is what allows us to attract top talent to our organization.

Q: People think of pets as part of their family, how does that fit in with what you do? DB: Our fury companions have truly become members of the familyproven by Americans spending $700 million each year on Valentine’s Day gifts for our beloved pets. The evolution of the pet as a family member has been relatively short. In my lifetime, I have seen dogs move from the yard, to the dog house, to a sequestered room behind a gate, and now, 40% of pets sleep in bed with their pet parents! In 2016, pet owners in the U.S. spent over $66 billion on their pets, and increase of over 10% from the year before. There is a critical need, and willingness to pay, for innovative medicines for our pets. We found that there are few companies dedicated to developing such therapies for companion animals, with a market in dire need, which is why we founded KindredBio.

Q: Why did you decide to headquarter the company in Silicon Valley?

Q: Why/how did you get into the animal health industry?

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced as a woman raising money on Wall Street?

Meet Denise Bevers Co-Founder & COO of KindredBio

DB: Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy. Our core strategy is to leverage the billions of dollars that have been invested in human drug develop ment by modifying, improving, and repurposing pre-existing drugs and pursuing biological targets that have already proven to be safe and effective in humans. We have developed a team of veterinarians, scientists, and opera tional experts who love animals and want to develop therapeutics that have been appropriately studied and, eventually, approved by FDA for use in pets. The passion that we have for pet wellness is infectious throughout the organization.

DB: For over 20 years I worked in the human drug development and medical communications indus tries, managing dozens of products and development programs from Phase I though Phase IV. While I enjoyed what I was doing, I wanted to do something that also paired with my love for animals and degree in zoology. I was fortunate to be able to leverage my years of experience in drug development and investor relations to co-found KindredBio, a company dedicat ed to developing cutting-edge therapeutics for cats, dogs, and horses. As the parent of frogs, hermit crabs, mice, rats, bunnies, hamsters, and a dog as a child (not all at the same time), my mother is not surprised by my success or that of KindredBio!

Q: Who has been a career inspi ration to you?

Q: What’s KindredBio’s mission?

DB: I met my co-founder and KindredBio CEO, Dr. Richard Chin, when we worked together at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Right away, I felt connected to him and his business philosophies. As a Harvard-trained physician and former Rhodes Scholar, with a track record of almost a dozen drug approvals, I knew I could learn from him and that my clinical operations expertise and management skills would benefit him as well. When we left Elan, we kept in touch and I always knew we would work together again. Then, in 2012, we began to talk about how we could pair our decades of experience and love of animals to start a veterinary biopharmaceutical company. That’s when we started KindredBio and never looked back. I feel very fortunate to be in partnership with Richard because our diverse skill set and management styles that really complement one another

DB: I grew up in biotech and pharma in California, and was fortunate that I did not feel limited by a glass ceiling in my career trajectory. It was quite apparent to me as we began our testing-the-waters meetings and eventual IPO roadshow that there were many fewer female decision-mak ers on Wall Street. There were entire days on the roadshow when I would not see a single woman at the table. I have always felt that, regardless of gender, it is critical to know your business and industry better than any

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? DB: While my Mom whereregardlessfollowsheledasverbalizedidn’tadvicemuchasshebyexample,taughtmetomypassion,ofsocietypushed me (or even where she thought I should be heading). She raised two girls as a single parent and worked two jobs at once, as a special education teacher and a waitress. She also got her Master’s degree before I graduated high school and found time to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts to fulfill her creative needs. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, she was a phenomenal role model, who taught me that a woman could be anything she set out to be. She supported my every whim as a child, as long as it was something I was passionate about. I saw the way she loved teaching and nurturing children with learning challenges, and the fulfillment she received in return, which showed me how to have a rewarding career, driven by passion.

Q: What is your advice for companies who are fundraising for their businesses?

Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy

DB: We are currently anticipating FDA approval and launch of Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection), a novel, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for the control of fever in horses, and Mirataz™ (mirtazapine 2% topical ointment) for the man agement of weight loss in cats. It says so much about our team that we have two drugs under review by FDA in less than 5 years of founding the company. In addition to those products, we have approximately 20 products in devel opment for a variety of diseases for cats, dogs, and horses. In the future, we will be helping animals with autoimmune diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders, to name a few.

one else in the room. Because we had a very strong business plan that I knew inside-and-out, I did not feel a need to alter my pitch because of my gender. The fact that my passion for animals and KindredBio shines through my pitch, per haps more because of my delivery as a woman, is only an asset. I am happy to say that, in the nearly four years as a publicly-held company, I do meet more and more female investors at the table who are decision-makers.

DB: My husband, Lon, and I enjoy trave ling, music, and theater in our spare time. We have had the opportunity to support theatrical productions on and off Broad way. In additional to adventure travel, we find the dozens of concerts we attend each year to be a great way to be in the moment and relax. We have recently become horse enthusiasts and owners of a grand prix show jumper, Wasco, as well as parent to a border collie, Betty, and two cats, Gladys and Glover

Q: What hobbies or interests do you enjoy when you aren’t working?

Q: Tell me about the drugs you have in devel opment and how they help animals?

DB: Tout your brain and your heart. Telling your story and conveying your vision is a huge part of connecting with a potential investor. Your heart will show how much you believe in what you are doing. Investors will see that. It’s equally important to show your knowledge of what you are selling. Investors want to see that you know what you are talking about – from the industry and competitors to the product and the customer. Do your onandandedgesionCombinehomework.yourpasandknowlwithdrivepersistence,youarewellyourway.

Small Businesses and Female Owners

Women of past decades and centuries were often kept down by societal standards. They in many cases felt as though they had no op tion 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 sit uation is totally different now, however, and without a doubt for the better. Women are rapidly discovering that they have more op tions than ever. It doesn’t matter if a woman wants to pursue a life as a small business own er. It doesn’t matter if she wants to go after a rewarding career as a staff member for a mas sive corporation, either. Women are gaining major traction in all sorts of career divisions.

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.

They’re setting fantastic examples for young girls that are part of newer generations, too.

What makes things so different for wom en who are keen on the concept of en trepreneurship as of late? Women are no 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 oper ated by a hard-working woman. Women are quickly learning about all of the ins and outs that are associated with keep ing 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 ca reers. There are also many women who are having serious epiphanies. They’re realizing that they can opt to be their own boss es 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.

longer taking others telling them that they cannot accomplish cer tain objectives. Women are not sitting back and settling for things. They’re standing up for them selves. 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 are becoming more supportive of their fellow female en trepreneurs, too. It’s not atypical to see women giving their full sup port 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 el ementary 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 indus tries. 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 wom en will go next. Small businesses that are run by women are going to become even more ubiquitous.

The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Founda tion. The district also received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and 2015 and the Sustained Excel lence Award in 2017 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business.

Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for 30 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012. Under Dr. Jenkins’ leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education.

In 2016, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. OCPS has repeatedly been recognized by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Place ment course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit.

Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she received a presidential appointment as a director of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, Chiefs for Change, The Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Florida Council of 100. She is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superinten dents. In 2017, she was named the Florida Superintendent of the Year and one of four finalists for the na tional title. The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents named her Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Educa tion named her CTE Superintendent of the Year. Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida on multiple occasions; Orlando Magazine ranked her number one in Education among its 2018 “50 Most Powerful.” The Orlando Busi ness Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council.

Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of United Arts of Central Florida, Or lando Economic Partnership, Florida Hospital, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and the Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.

Progress & Experience with A Passion for Education A Leader with Dedication & Loyalty Meet Orange County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Barbara Jenkins

Q: When your career in Education started, did you have any idea, you would be where you are today?


Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest chal lenges that teachers face today?

Dr. Jenkins: No, I really loved teaching but was drawn into leadership roles over the course of my career.

Q: Tell us how you transitioned from teaching in the classroom to an administrative role? Dr. Jenkins: My principal, Jim Kaiser saw poten tial in me and motivated me to take on greater responsibilities. He said things like “Don’t you want to make good things happen for more children beyond your classroom?” He moved me to team leader for my grade level and encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree to become a principal so I could influence an entire school. I completed graduate school and moved from resource teacher to school principal and then central office roles. Each transition included an expanded capability of positively impacting the lives of students.

Dr. Jenkins: Teachers have many challenges, including the lack of funding and respect for public education at a national and state level. Secondly, they have to deal with the growing needs of our families and community. OCPS serves 212,000 students, including those from very affluent families and 9,000 who come from a family that is homeless. Teachers must differentiate their support and instruction in the classroom to provide equity for every stu dent. They must tend to many needs beyond the curriculum and be mindful not to miss the giftedness of a student who also happens to be homeless. Thirdly, teachers are “Our partnership with Khan Academy wastotoingroundbreakingopeningaccesspreparationfortheSATinorderincreasecollegeopportunitiesforstudents”

Q: What’s the toughest part of your job?

Q: Can you share with our audience, some of the educational opportunities you have cham pioned as Superintendent?

Dr. Jenkins: I have been a proponent of provid ing access and encouragement for larger and more diverse numbers of students to partici pate in more rigorous course offerings. Taking Advanced Placement courses in high school shouldn’t be tied to socio-economic status or to a child having an advocate. Research clearly points to the use of data to purposely sched ule students in those classes and support their success. At the primary grades, we instituted universal screening for gifted status in order to identify more underrepresented students lack ing an advocate to request testing.

Q: In your role as Superintendent, what steps can you implement to see that every child gets the opportunity to succeed and be prepared for college, career and life?

Q: What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Dr. Jenkins: Our partnership with Khan Academy was groundbreaking in opening access to prepa ration for the SAT in order to increase college opportunities for students. We have also expo nentially increased offerings and the number of students graduating with industry certifications through our Career and Technical Education pro grams at Orange Technical College.

Dr. Jenkins: Without question, the toughest part of the job is dealing with student discipline issues that require total removal from school. When young people make critical mistakes, they must accept the consequences, but it is often heartbreaking to witness.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins speaks to reporters from the White House joined by 12 other leaders in their fields to be appointed to key Administration posts, by and with advice and consent of the Senate. Dr. Jenkins was tapped to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. challenged to provide for the mental health and well-being of our students. Gun violence and safety threats are very real in public schools today so teachers must accommodate active shooter drills and the emotional toll on our chil dren. Lastly, teachers face the challenge of high stakes accountability systems that place pres sure on students to perform and connect that performance to their individual pay.

Q: Tell us how you manage your work life

Dr.ence?Jenkins: Pray earnestly for divine direc tion, and when in doubt, always side with what you believe is best for children or those who are powerless.

Dr. Jenkins: Dealing with criticism when try ing to focus on what is best for children and the organization.

Dr. Jenkins: I believe women will continue to deal with gender equity issues in the work setting. Pay equity comparisons are disheart ening and will take major efforts to solve. In education, the greatest challenges will revolve around mitigating issues in society that greatly impact children, including poverty, mental health and discrimination.

Dr. Jenkins: Women are obviously faced with gender equity and the glass ceiling. But wom en also suffer from the lack of mentors and allies to help them navigate the promotion ladder. Women in leadership must commit to assisting and coaching both female and male subordinates.

Dr. Jenkins: Find your passion, something you love doing so much that it doesn’t seem like work. Study your trade so that you are always knowledgeable about the latest re search or trending data. When opportunity knocks, open the door…wide!

Dr. Jenkins: Winning the Broad Prize in 2014, which recognized our work to improve stu dent achievement and resulted in $500,000 is student scholarships.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

Q: Can you offer some advice for young women that may want to pursue a career as an educator?

gle mom and entrepreneur who successfully raised 5 children with the support of her par ents. She inspired and directed each of us to become successful adults.

Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?

Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?

Dr.balance.Jenkins: I have a wonderful husband (Har old) who has always supported me. He helps me commit to taking time away from the job, exercising and eating right. My adult children (Hillary and Harrison) also kept me grounded when they were younger and continue to do so daily.

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audi

Dr. Jenkins: My mother inspires me because she went from being a housewife to a sin Superintendent Jenkins addresses a large crowd during an annual State of the Schools event.

Dr. Jenkins: Teamwork is critical to success, so surround yourself with great talent and learn to delegate, monitor and develop your bench.

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?

• 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 ques tion to ask is “who do you know who….”

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 po sition. 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 sugges tion 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 coun selor 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 knowl edge 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:

DrFrumi@Scaling4growth.com www.Scaling4Growth.com

• And thirdly, guidance in how to im prove your skills. Within the context of a mentoring relationship the Men tor 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 val ues. Professional organizations in your field, whether they offer formal mento ring programs or not, can be excellent sources of Mentors. Test the waters by asking for advice first. Be open to shar ing your concerns and fears. Mentors are most likely to in vest themselves in those in whom they see a little of them Don’tselves.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 technol ogies 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!

Want to Advance your Career? Find a Mentor!

By Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? KJS: I can Tweet reasonably well. :)

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!

1. Build your own personal Board of Directors. Cultivate relationships with people you admire, seek out their advice and collaborate with them on projects you’re passionate about. For example, I’m a founding partner of #Angels, which I started with five of my friends from Twitter. We share access to deals, networks and opportunities. I also lean on entrepreneurs and execs including Tina Sharkey, Dan Rosensweig, Dick Costolo and Elad Gil for career and industry advice.

Q: Tell us about your hobbies outside of work?

Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

KJS:  Working in the Obama Administration was the honor of a lifetime. At the White House, I served as the Director of Citizen Participation, trying to make it easier for citizens to engage with the govern 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 partici pants could Tweet and text questions (even when these tools were blocked in China).

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

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 nities. I’m thrilled that the Gates Foundation has committed $170 million towards improving economic leverage for women worldwide. According to Melinda Gates, “when money flows into the hands of women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.”

Q: Can you share with us your experience working at the White House and State Department?

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.

KJS: I would love to look back in 2023 to see that Color helped eliminate all hereditary conditions, including breast and ovarian cancers, caused by genetic mutations.

1. Are the people smart and ethical?

KJS: My daughters, Ellie and Kiki. They’re passionate, fearless, strong, curious, and funny. Most impor tantly, they are focused on making a positive difference in the world!

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!

KJS: There are 4 core values that help me decide on new roles:

4. Have conviction in your beliefs and share them. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas forward.

Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area?

A Conversations with Katie Jacobs Stanton, CMO of Color & Former Vice President of Global Media at Twitter

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

KJS: I love Zumba with Ula Ghosheh. She’s the best instructor. I’m the worst in the class.

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

Q: Can you share with us some of the advancements and discoveries Color Genomics has KJS:made?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.

KJS: There is still plenty of gender bias in our society and structural barriers that make it difficult for women to rise to the top: lack of access to paid leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay. We’re mak ing progress, but not fast enough. We need to keep pushing and make it easier for women to stay in the workplace, advance quickly, and get paid fairly.

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their KJS:organizations?

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.

2. Is this a product I would use?

5. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is short.

Q: Can you offer advice to parents with daughters graduating from high school?

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.

KJS: Not yet! My older daughter graduates this year. Please send me advice on Twitter: @katies!

Q: You were an Angel Investor for Color Genomics … what made you decide to step in as Chief Marketing Officer?

3. Is this an opportunity I would be proud of? 4. Can I make an impact? 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.

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.

KJS: I’ve greatly appreciated all the countries I’ve been fortunate to spend time in, but I’ve always felt a strong personal connection with France. I like the way Thomas Jeffer son put it; “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”

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

LaShawnda was a recipient of the OCBA’s 2014 Lawrence G. Mathews, Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award (pictured with the Honorable Faye L. Allen and Rafael E. Martinez, Esq)

Leadership, Activism & Community Service She Models the Way for What Makes a Lawyer a Great Leader Meet LaShawnda K. Jackson, First Black President of the Orange County Bar Association

LJ: I primarily practice in the area of civil liti gation, usually where someone is suing another person, business, or organization for money damages. The lawsuit could involve a slip and fall, an automobile accident, or an injury from a product. Most of my work usually involves de fending the person, business or organization that has been sued. I also represent public entities such as housing authorities and various govern mental agencies and municipalities with civil rights claims and public records laws. I grew up in public housing, so to now represent those who provide public housing to low income people is such a great and unique experience.

LJ: I got my first job through a government youth summer program. I was placed in the Titusville City Hall, working in the water department through the program. It was mostly clerical work, but I enjoyed the people I worked with and the job’s service aspect. The job allowed me to build my skills, broaden my network and start building my resume.

Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you?

OCBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Picnic

Q: Why did you decide to attend law school?

LJ: While attending Astronaut High School in Titusville, my American Government teacher, Sherry Johnson, told me to join her mock trial competition team because I had a big mouth and I liked to argue. I had no clue what mock trial was or what it would entail, but Mrs. Johnson was quite right, and I so much liked competition. So, I said yes. I only knew of one lawyer who was the father of a classmate, and I had never been inside a courtroom. However, I saw it as a chal lenge and a way to utilize my skills. After many after-school and weekend practices, we started competing throughout Brevard County, and of course, we were winning. Judge Moxley called me “Bullets” during one of the competitions and said I should go to law school because I fired out cross-examination questions so well. I decided that day that I was going to go to law school, and I was not going to let anything stand in my way. Mrs. Johnson and others helped me in explor ing the idea of going to law school. The more I learned about the law, especially how I could gain a specialty in trying to help others solve their legal problems, the more I knew it was the right path for me.

Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law you specialize in?

Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women entering the work force who want to reach your level of sucLJ:cess?Your reputation is everything! You gain your reputation by being courageous, confident, and most importantly, being yourself. If you say you LaShawnda’s induction as president of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association at the Legacy Gala in June 2018

LJ: Mrs. Johnson was right. I actually like to argue. I always derive the greatest joy from getting up in front of a judge or jury to defend my client’s position, trying to persuade them to side with me. Another part of being a lawyer that interests me is the fact that the practice of law is very interesting. Every day and every case is dif ferent. Even after 18 years of practice, I still find myself learning something new every day.

LJ: I knew I had not become the President of the Orange County Bar Association because I was Black, but here I was, the first Black Pres ident. While I understood the historical signif icance, I certainly did not think my presidency would receive so much attention. But it came when there is an ongoing and much-needed dia logue about race relations in our country. Some question why it took so long (the year 2020) for the Orange County Bar Association to have its first Black President. Others also question why it is such a big deal to emphasize the fact that I am the first Black President. It was a big deal for me and others who look like me, as well as those who believe in diversity and inclusion. I always believe that everything is happening for a rea son, and I was meant to be in this position at this time. More important to me than being the first Black president, is making sure I am not the last. Therefore, my mission is to ensure that others have the same opportunity and equal access to the Orange County Bar Association that I had.

Q: What aspect of being a lawyer interest you the most?

Q: Can you share with our audience your thoughts when you knew you were to be the first Black President of the Orange County Bar Association?


LJ: One lesson I’ve learned in my career is that your reputation is everything. I remember my first hearing as a young lawyer where the judge knew everyone in the room by name except me. That day, I vowed that LaShawnda Jackson would soon be known to every single judge in Orange County. I joined various organizations, attended meetings and other events, and worked on various committees alongside judges and oth er lawyers. I was well prepared for every hearing and spoke confidently. Soon, every judge in Orange AND Osceola County knew who I was and knew of my work ethic. A few years later, I attended a hearing where an attorney made false claims against me and my firm. The judge stopped him and said, “I know Ms. Jackson and I know her firm. They don’t do that.” It was probably one of the proudest moments of my career. It wasn’t my legal skills that helped me that day, my reputation did.

Q: What would be the title of your autobi ography? LJ: “LaShawnda: Enough Said.” “LaShawnda” in the title signifies my hard work to develop a reputation where I don’t need a last name for people to know who I am or for what I stand. “Enough said” is two-fold. First, it signifies my philosophy that you don’t have to speak out or up on every issue. No one wants to hear from the person who always has something to say on every topic. Therefore, I am not usually that person. I deliberately pick my battles, and when I do speak, people often listen. I say just enough to make my voice heard, and I think that is a powerful message. Second, I am bold, coura geous, and true to myself. I often tell people, or they soon come to realize that I am who I am. I have been shaped by my past, my experiences, and my drive. I am simply Lashawnda. There is simply no more to be said.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why?

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Although I am not a mother, I think that is one of the biggest challenges women face. They often put their careers on hold to give birth and/ or stay home to look after their young children. This usually affects their career progress nega tively, as they were out of work while their male counterparts continue to work even after their own young children’s birth. This issue was re cently highlighted in Women’s Tennis. Serena Williams was ranked number 1 in the world before she left on maternity leave. Despite hav ing over 20 grand slam titles, she was unranked in her first major tournament after returning. There was no system in place to factor her ma ternity leave into the rankings. While the tennis world was fortunate that Serena’s dilemma sparked a “Special Ranking Rule,” most women are not so fortunate to have a rule in place that considers their absence from work due to preg nancy or even staying home to take care of their loved ones.

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your entire career that you can share with our audience?

LJ: Oprah Winfrey. With the exception of her bank account, I can relate to Oprah on so many levels. She was born into poverty, but she did not let that limit her dreams or who she would become. She did not allow her past or circumstances to limit what she could accomplish. She even launched her media career by winning an oratorical competition that helped pay for her communications college degree. I think it is so awesome that Oprah went from a little girl who often interviewed her dolls to a household name. She did all this in a predom inantly male field and where there were few, if any, Black role models for her. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards, owns her own production company and network, and gives back to less fortunate people. She definitely inspires me.


will do something, make sure you do it. If you cannot do it, be honest about it. You’ll surely succeed when you have that reputation.


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 look ing 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 Ele phant 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 at titude 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 morn ing. 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 of fers 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 expe rience 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 dis playing arrogance or entitlement as val or? Consider the power of gratitude as an antidote to this deep well of discontent. Gratitude isn’t just a soft filmy blur of appre ciation. 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 au thor 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

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 disap pointments, and just like me, this person wants to be con tent 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.

3 Good Things:. Begin a “gratitude” journal and several times a week, write down 3 good things that hap pened. 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 dis contentment.

Soak in this awesome 5 minute video with your family and friends: Just watch and notice your thoughts and feelings.Gratitude.www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAkSimple.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 appre ciate 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.

or form gratitude takes, it fills us with a warmth and a re minder that life is good; this moment is special. Gratitude provides lessons to make us stronger. It is more than ap preciation- 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 con nection. 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.

It is a platform that encourages victims of sexual harassment to share their experienc es 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.

This is Why the Me Too Movement is So Important


The best way to find a solution to a social problem is to create aware ness. Social media has helped in spreading the message across. An ex ample of a life-changing movement created on social media is the ‘Me Too’ campaign. What is the Me Too Movement?


The founder of this movement is Ta rana 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 ha rassment. 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?

Women feel safer in the workplace. The office is notorious for inappro priate 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. Or ganizations are taking sexual harass ment 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 attitudes of people towards wom en 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 re sult, there are more empowered wom en in Womensociety.feellike 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 Womentreatment.can hold perpetrators responsible for inappropriate behavior. They can say what they have experienced, and people won’t judge them. Every one has a right to be heard.


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