Lisa Akoury-Ross began her career in the book production business over 30 years ago, serving the largest publishers in the world in the medical, education, and trade industries. Starting with unedited manuscript, her family business provided full publishing services for publishers such as Pearson Education, Houghton Mifflin, Aspen Law & Business, and others. Lisa launched SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC to help authors independently publish their work professionally and cost-effectively. Her business offers a variety of publishing solutions. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, SDP provides publishing services for authors based on their needs and budget. Services include editorial and writing coaching services, custom book cover design and layout, marketing and publicity, and worldwide distribution services for both print and e-book platforms.
Marilynn Brass, The Brass Sisters
Marilynn and Sheila Brass are on a mission to bring old-fashioned home baking to everyone’s kitchen. In Baking with the Brass Sisters, they’ve gone to their collection of trusted manuscript cookbooks and handwritten recipes to discover home-baked favorites that were brought to America from around the world, as well as many created right here.
Anne Barry Jolles
Anne Jolles is a renowned life coach, TEDx speaker and international award-winning author. She thrives on working with courageous people wishing to transform the way they live and work and are willing to do what it takes to get there.
Blending life experiences and research, Jolles created a resiliency model called the Grace Trail® and has shared it with thousands as it evolved for over a decade. The trail has many forms, including an actual trail in Plymouth, MA, virtual trails, workshops, webinars and retreats. Her bestselling book “Grace Trail: Find Your Footing and Move Toward The Life You Were Meant To Live” was recommended by Jack Canfield, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” co-creator and is available at major booksellers.
Anne also created and ran Grace Trails for a combined 30,000 participants at the 2015 Massachusetts Conference for Women, 2016 FIGMENT Boston on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and at the World Cafe Live for TEDx Women Wilmington.
A great choice as a speaker for your upcoming event or workshop, Anne’s unique, interactive style will lead your group to new insights about life, work and relationships. Her speeches, workshops and webinars infuse audiences with enthusiasm and excitement for what is possible, brings them into the present, and helps them take “5 steps towards their best lives.®”
Judith Bowman is the president & founder of Protocol Consultants International whose mission is to help present and Next Generation leaders know How to Stand Apart to better compete, lead, advance. Judith speaks to critical interpersonal communication skills quickly becoming a lost art and shows professionals how to embrace everyday business situations and, through specific nuances, leverage these as opportunities to demonstrate and earn respect, stand apart and outclass the competition! Judith’s work is distinguished in the field of Professional Presence as she takes an engaging interactive and fun approach to helping leaders develop professional presence using positive reinforcement. Her firm also provides Professional Presence/Business Protocol Certification including “Train the Trainer.” She is Founder and Executive Director of the National Civility Foundation. Judith launched Protocol Consultants International in 1993 after a successful career in sales and marketing of intangibles. A graduate of Boston College, Ms. Bowman has pursued studies in Effective Business Communication at Harvard University. She is also a member of The Boston Women’s Leadership Council.
Bowman’s first book, “Don’t Take the Last Donut, New Rules of Business Etiquette” was first published in 2007 and is sold in 16 countries, translated into 14 languages and on the “Recommended Reading” list of many Fortunate 500 firms and Universities around the globe. Her second book, “How to Stand Apart @ Work … Transforming “Fine” to Fabulous!” is written to address today’s on-demand culture. Her firm’s extensive catalogue of clients in multiple disciplines turn to Bowman for guidance, counsel, training and knowledge in the field of Professional Presence, International Protocol Awareness, Presentation Skills, Dining Savvy and communicative leadership.
A three-time Edward R. Murrow and six-time Emmy Award-winning feature producer, Lisa Fenn reported on major league sports and interviewed every big name in the game during her 13-year tenure with ESPN. She was also behind a number of successful human-interest features for the sports network.
In 2009, Lisa met two inspiring young boys and decided to make a feature about their story. The relationship that followed changed her life, and theirs, forever.
Dartanyon Crockett and Leroy Sutton were two disabled, impoverished high school wrestlers when she met them in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Leroy, who lost his legs in a childhood train accident, was often found on the back of the legally blind and transient Dartanyon. Together, they helped each other through school—Dartanyon carrying Leroy up the stairs as there was no elevator to the weight room, and Leroy reading the print on Dartanyon’s assignments. Dartanyon’s and Leroy’s cheerful and unparalleled friendship added light to the dark and dreary halls of the poor, inner-city public school they attended.
A native Clevelander who was raised on the “other side” of the city, Lisa submerged herself in a world of struggle and poverty that she had been protected from her whole life. Over the course of five months, she became an integral part of the boys’ lives—tagging along to their classes, practices and team bus rides. Leroy and Dartanyon graciously accepted Lisa, and Lisa’s role in their lives grew from reporter to mother. The initial story, “Carry On: Why I Stayed,” aired on ESPN in 2009 and immediately received a tremendous response, as well as the support of thousands of viewers offering their help. Following a 2013 piece detailing how much their lives have changed in the ensuing years, USA Today and Sports Illustrated called “Carry On” “the best story ESPN had ever aired.”
Lisa released a memoir about their experiences together entitled “Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family,” in August 2016. “Carry On” received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Literature by a Debut Author.
Best selling author, Emmy-nominated investigative reporter and award-winning journalist Michele McPhee has spent two decades covering terrorism, murder, mobsters, and corruption for television, newspapers and radio.
McPhee’s investigative work has led to gunpoint threats delivered by angry Boston mobsters, a frightening encounter on KKK-protected dirt roads in Arkansas, threats from gang bangers, and IRS audits. She chased Gianni Versace’s killer around South Beach, Miami; snuck into John Gotti’s wake in Queens, New York; and posed as a mob moll with an undercover NYPD detective targeting fight fixing in Las Vegas.
She was also on the ground at the scene of two terror attacks on American soil. McPhee was among the first reporters at Ground Zero when two human-filled bombs hurtled into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. She was also a witness to the carnage unleashed by two homegrown terrorists who detonated two pressure cooker bombs secreted in backpacks placed in the crowd along the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 and is currently at work on a book about the FBI’s involvement with accused bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
McPhee is the author of five true crime books, including “A Mob Story,” the book notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger had on his bookshelf at his Santa Monica hideout. Her book, “A Date With Death,” became the basis for the Lifetime television network hit movie, “The Craigslist.killer.” Two other books, “Heartless” – the true story of Neil Entwistle and the brutal murder of his wife and baby and “When Evil Rules,” have been featured on multiple true crime television shows.
She has been a commentator on breaking news for national programs on ABC World News, CNN; MSNBC; and the Fox News Network.
She is the recipient of many journalism awards, including the Society of the Silurian’s Feature News Award for her New York Daily News 9-11 coverage. She was awarded First Place for Serious Column in the Boston Herald by the Associated Press. Her work for ABC Boston affiliate WCVB earned her a 2012 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.