The Story Behind Her Success Podcast

HOSTED BY CANDY O’TERRY

If you want to get someone’s attention, just tell them a great story. That’s what The Story Behind Her Success with Candy O’Terry is all about. Once a week, we’ll make your day and change your life by introducing you to a woman whose story is so powerful, you will never forget it. Program host and award-winning broadcaster Candy O’Terry has interviewed over 600 women from every walk of life, so there’s no stumbling around in this podcast! Success is so much more than the outcome. It’s about the journey. It’s the story of how you got there. Buckle up and come along for the ride.

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94 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER ECKERT

Adoption is a lifelong journey. I don’t know if we are ever fully healed. There is always that missing puzzle piece. – Jennifer Eckert

November is National Adoption Month, so we went searching for a woman who could teach us all about it. Meet Jennifer Eckert, adopted child and founder of Boston Post Adoption Services, a non-profit she created to support individuals and families touched by adoption. Once fully immersed in the field of fashion as a graduate of F.I.T and a marketer for The Limited, Jennifer decided to go back to school in her 40’s and received a graduate degree in social work from Simmons University. An adopted child herself, Jennifer learned through her studies that she had lots of healing to do. She was inspired and determined to know more about how other families handle this life-changing decision, as well as how attitudes have changed around adoption in general over time. Most of all, she wanted to create a non-profit that would support everyone touched by adoption. Her groundbreaking book is called: Adoption Is A Lifelong Journey and is co-written and illustrated by colleagues Kelly DiBenedetto and Katie Gorczyca. In this very personal interview, Jennifer and host Candy O’Terry share their adoption stories and discover startling similarities between the two. The common thread? Secrecy and shame. In her work all these years later, Jennifer seeks to change that. “Kids are super smart. It’s important for adoptive parents to show their children that there is no shame, no secret. There is nothing we are hiding from you. This is our family. This is how we came to be. This is us.”

#adoption  #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

93 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: GRACE KELLY

My music is a mixture of everything I listen to. It sits in my brain, it stews, and then it spits out GRACIFIED! –Grace Kelly

Have you ever met a prodigy? I have…and you can, too. Her name is Grace Kelly. Inspired by the music of Stan Getz and Paul Desmond, Brookline, MA. native Grace Kelly picked up the alto sax at age 10 and never looked back. Her incredible musical gifts were nurtured by her parents who provided both stability and freedom for Grace to grow as a singer, songwriter and saxophonist. She wrote her first song at 7, recorded her first CD at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Grace was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women To Watch in 2011 and recently, Billboard Magazine declared “Grace Kelly is making jazz young again”. Now 26, Grace has played over 800 concerts as a bandleader in over 30 countries around the world and is the winner of countless awards including multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, the Rising Star Award from Downbeat Magazine and most recently, the John Lennon Songwriters Award for her very personal love song Feels Like Home. We brought our equipment into Grace’s family home and spent some precious time with an incredibly humble and gifted young woman.

@gracekellymusic   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

92 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DEBRA DORONI

My short term memory was gone. I couldn’t multitask. I’d stumble over my words. I was anxious, depressed and exhausted. Chemo brain changed my whole life in a way that breast cancer should have, but didn’t. I had to raise the white flag. -Debra Doroni

As October 2019 comes to a close, we’re wrapping up our series on breast cancer survivors with the story of Debra Doroni. When she was diagnosed with the disease, it was the last thing she expected because she had no family history and no risk factors. Says Deb: “I never thought of cancer as something that could take my life.” As it turns out, it wasn’t the diagnosis, the surgery, or the recovery that brought this successful career woman to her knees. Instead, it was the effects of chemotherapy on her brain, aka: chemo brain. Born and raised in the little seaside town of Hingham, MA. Debra was no stranger to adversity. Her father was murdered when she was twelve years old and her life was forever changed: “I’m 52 years old now, and I still think about it everyday. Losing a parent to violence changes the way you proceed in life.” But proceed she did. Debra was a devoted student, an accomplished ballet dancer, and eventually made her way to Holy Cross, a Jesuit college in Worcester, MA where she majored in biology and later received her MBA in finance from Boston College. Her career trajectory has been steady and impressive with high ranking positions at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital where she was the Project Manager for the operating room process and eventually was promoted to lead the Department of surgery. When chemo brain sidelined her, Debra created a new and exciting next chapter as an executive coach, earning her certification at the Gestalt International Study Center and now runs her own company: Debra Doroni Leadership Partners, LLC. Her focus is in guiding healthcare professionals including an exclusive coaching relationship with the Boston College Woods College of Advancing Studies Master of Healthcare Administration Program. Says Deb: “I would like to leave a legacy, some kind of impact on the world. Clinical burn out and chemo brain look a lot alike!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

91 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KATE MARTIN

Cancer will take your breath away, like any stressful life event will do. Trust and look inward to the deep well of strength we all have inside of us…and breathe. -Kate Martin

Our salute to breast cancer survivors continues with Kate’s story. She was only 40 when an out of the blue, visible mass appeared on her left breast and she imagined it might be her pectoral muscle. The single mother of two year old Ronan, Kate recalls a mammogram that didn’t reveal the tumor, an ultrasound and then a biopsy. Within days, she had a stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis and her #1 concern was for her young son. An interior designer on the sales side and a yoga instructor, Kate had searched long and hard for “Mr. Right” and when he didn’t show up, she opted for a sperm donor and spent months and lots of money trying to get pregnant. “I felt like a mom, but I didn’t have a baby in my house” said Kate in this poignant interview. It is clear that this deeply longed-for child is the center of her world. When Kate’s aggressive treatment plan left her exhausted and struggling to function, her son’s pre-school teacher suggested The Ellie Fund, a Massachusetts based non-profit that eases the burden for women and their families while they are going through breast cancer treatment and recovery by providing groceries, light housekeeping, transportation, childcare reimbursement, and more, all at no charge. Kate applied for childcare reimbursement and grocery gift cards, and within days, received what she had asked for. Says Kate: “The Ellie Fund was part of my village and when I received their help, I had to teach my son what happy tears meant.” With no family history of the disease, Kate began researching environmental toxins and their influence on the body. She is the force behind The Sangha Project, that curates safe, clean, toxin free product kits for women in recovery so they can focus on their well being. Now 42, Kate is feeling grateful and finds great joy as a yoga instructor. Ronan is 4 and has no memory of his mother’s breast cancer. “I have pictures I’ll show him someday, says Kate. I want him to know that he was what kept me going.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

90 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ALEXIS FLANAGAN

It’s gonna be a journey, but you still have a lot of life to live. – Alexis Flanagan

Alexis Flanagan was living large. At only 33 her personal life was filled with family and friends and her career in finance was thriving. On a business trip to Florida in 2017 with her mother tagging along for some warm sunshine by the hotel pool, Alexis noticed swelling in her left breast. Her mother insisted she get the lump checked as soon as they returned to Boston. When all of the tests were complete, Alexis remembers hearing the words: “you have stage 4 breast cancer” and then, she blacked out. “I thought my life was over. I thought that everything I had dreamed of was just crumbling away. The hardest part of a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis is that you just can’t see the path ahead of you because you are so scared. You don’t know if you are going to be around in a year.” Alexis applied for and received free assistance from a Massachusetts based charity called The Ellie Fund which provides essential support services to breast cancer patients, just to ease the stresses of their every day lives. Nearly three years have passed since her diagnosis and in this interview, Alexis candidly shares the details of her breast cancer journey. Thankful for the love of her family, she mourns the loss of a chunk of her life when she pressed “pause” and others moved on; getting married, having babies, and celebrating job promotions. A patient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute under the care of Dr. Ann H. Patridge and her Young & Strong Program, Alexis receives infusions every 21 days and is not only back to work, but in the gym lifting weights. “I want to show women that no matter what stage you are, you CAN be physically strong again after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

89 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: CARLA TARDIF

There is nothing more gratifying than saving a life, or lifting people up around you. The ripple affect cause miracles every day. – Carla Tardif

Do you know someone with cancer? Chances are, the answer is “yes”. A cancer diagnosis is terrifying for the patient and the family, but it can also be financially devastating. That’s where Family Reach comes in, providing a financial lifeline for families fighting cancer. In addition to offering immediate financial relief, the organization also provides education and empowerment by giving families the tools they need to survive the most difficult time of their lives. At the helm of Family Reach is Carla Tardif, CEO and “team captain” leading the way with vision and compassion. Last year, Family Reach allocated more than 4.8 million dollars towards their programs, supporting more than 40,000 individuals across 50 states. This is Carla’s latest chapter in a career that has been devoted to work that matters. Driven to do what she does by a sense of purpose, Carla says: “being other people’s voices allowed me to find mine.” In this interview, she talks about her early work for Jerry Lewis and his famous Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, a deathbed promise to a NFL football player Pat Kelly who died of brain cancer, an unlikely collaboration with a very talented guitarist who just happened to be a billionaire car dealer and an invitation to share the good work of Family Reach at The White House. All of these alliances have led Carla to where she is today: on the battlefield fighting cancer-related financial toxicity. A wife, mother and two time breast cancer survivor, Carla says: When you have any kind of cancer, you are constantly being forced to make a decision: do I get afraid or do I get brave? You have to change your mindset. You have to fearless when you face cancer.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

88 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NANCY FRATES

ALS is going to take my son away. I have grieved and my family has grieved every day for seven and a half years. We know what the outcome is, but you cannot speak about this journey without acknowledging the gifts we have also been given. – Nancy Frates

You’ve heard of The Ice Bucket Challenge, right? This is the story of how it came about.

On March 13, 2012 Nancy Frates accompanied her son Pete to a doctor’s appointment. Only 27 years old, he had been a superb, lifelong athlete. In fact, Pete had played professional baseball in Europe following his graduation from Boston College. Now living in Boston and making his way in the insurance industry, Pete had been hit in the wrist by a fastball in a summer league and thought he had a pinched nerve. When the doctor said tests confirmed he had ALS, Petes’ mother Nancy admits: “I didn’t know what ALS was. I just knew it was bad.” Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who died of the disease in 1941, ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. There is no treatment and no cure for ALS and the average patient lives 2-5 years after diagnosis. During that time, muscles are rendered useless and ALS is 100% fatal. No one would have blamed Nancy Frates if she shut herself in a dark room and cried for days, weeks, or even months, but that is not what Peter wanted. Instead, he gathered his family and his friends and formed team Frate Train. Using the power of social media, Pete showed the world what ALS was doing to him and was determined to raise awareness and money for research. Pete is the inspiration for The Ice Bucket Challenge, a worldwide fundraising phenomenon that raised 220 million dollars for the ALS Foundation and its global partners. Married and the father of a 5 year old daughter named Lucy, Pete Frates is still alive, experiencing daily moments of joy his daughter and loved ones bring him. His mother remains steadfast in her love for her son and her passion to find a cure she knows will not come in time for him. “My husband and I cry, but we also cry tears of joy because look at what this child of ours has done. Look at the people he has inspired. We are filled with immense pride.” Listen to Nancy’s story for a master class in the power of mother love.

#icebucketchallenge   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

87 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LINDA MARKS

My father told me, “music is a waste of a good mind” and I’ve spent my entire life proving him wrong.
– Linda Marks

When she was about 3 years old, Linda Marks toddled over to the piano and started to play. She didn’t talk very much…it was the piano that set her free. Ever since that day, this exceptional woman has been singing and writing songs from her heart. What’s really interesting about her life story is that she is also a pioneer in heart centered psychotherapy. A graduate of Yale and the Sloan School at MIT, Linda developed EKP: Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, she is the author of two landmark books: Living With Vision: Reclaiming the Power of the Heart and Healing the War Between the Genders: The Power of the Soul Centered Relationship. The heart is at the center of everything Linda Marks does, including her music. Now in a very exciting “next chapter” of her life, she is finally able to dive into her music with both feet. Linda’s latest album is titled In Grace and features songs of the heart, and social consciousness. In this interview, she reveals a tragic childhood where every talent, hope and dream was dashed, the demands of single parenthood, and the joy of reclaiming what brings her joy. If you have faced hardship and need a role model, this is the interview for you.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

86 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MARGARET CARR

We all have chapters in our lives and Margaret Carr is the perfect example of that. Armed with a B.S. in Communications from Boston University, an MBA from Boston College and a doctorate in Education Leadership from Drexel University, she is the National VP/Development for a non-profit known as Read To A Child. With chapters in Greater Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami and Metro Detroit, Read To A Child is made up of nearly 2000 volunteers from 130 companies who travel to elementary schools on their lunch break to read to students. The results are life changing. Children in the Read To A Child program experience not only better reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills, they experience a new sense of confidence. The road that led Margaret to this latest adventure has been filled with twists and turns. A single mom for many years, Margaret has worked in healthcare at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and South Shore Mental Health, in higher education at Stonehill College, and as a partner in her family’s real estate business. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University where she teaches Business, Marketing and Public Relations. With a heart full of wisdom and gratitude for the lessons she has learned along the way, Margaret shares her passion for her latest mission: spreading literacy from coast to coast with Read To A Child Day on October 8, 2019. 

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

85 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SUSAN COHEN

I had a dream that I was going to be the Perry Mason of my day.
– Susan Cohen, Immigration Attorney

The topic of immigration is on the lips of millions of Americans, so we searched for a woman who could teach us all about it, based on her real-life experience. Meet Susan Cohen, founder & chair of the immigration practice at Mintz, one of the most prestigious law firms in the United States. Susan took on her first immigration case as a second year associate, back in 1986 and she’s been at it ever since. Raised by a single mother who was a social worker, her passion to speak out against injustice, to do what she can for others, was taught early on and then nurtured during her college experience at Brandeis University where Susan began marching and demonstrating for causes she believed in. Nationally recognized as an expert on immigration law, Susan’s mission is to get people to understand the human side of of the refugee crisis. An accomplished songwriter, Susan is the founder of White Dove Projects and in collaboration with students at Berklee College of Music she has created two music videos that tell the stories of refugees: Beyond The Borders and Looking for the Angels. Susan also serves as a volunteer for the PAIR Project where she helps refugees seek political asylum. “In countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, young people are forced to enter gangs and if they resist, they are marked for death. Refugees are looking for someplace to be safe. Most people don’t want to flee their homeland. They have to flee for their lives.”

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

84 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MOJGAN ANVARI BRUMBY

Still to this day, when I wake up, I am grateful to be here in the United States. – Mojgan Anvari Brumby

This episode comes to us from a woman raised in Tehran, Iran. The daughter of a 4-time world champion Greco-Roman wrestler who represented Iran in the 1968 and the 1972 Olympics, Mojgan told me her childhood was idyllic. Rolling hills, gigantic trees and orchards filled with fruit trees were all around her, and Mojgan’s favorite thing was to climb trees: “every time I saw a tree, I wondered what the view was like from the top.” As a national hero, her father enjoyed the favor of the Shah of Iran, so when the Islamic Revolution took place, her family was targeted by the new government . Her father was arrested, and most of their ancestral land was confiscated. Determined to provide their daughter with an education, Mojgan’s parents sent her to college and law school in Tehran where she ended up serving in the Islamic Family Court. Arrested for protesting in the streets for the rights of women, Mojgan’s parents urged her to leave the country, not just for her safety, but for their own. Arriving in the United States in 2001 with a 6 month Visa, Mojgan requested and received political asylum. Alone and only 23, she learned to speak English by listening to the radio. Now a proud American citizen, her latest chapter brings her back to her Persian roots. Mojgan is the founder of an all-natural skin care line called Blue Monarch www.bluemonarch.com. Made in the USA and never tested on animals, Blue Monarch products are based on remedies passed down to Mojgan from generations of women in her family. For a master class in how to overcome adversity, take a listen to this powerful interview.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

83 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KRISTA ANDERSON

Success is not a dollar amount. It is being able to show my children what good feels like. Everything I’ve done over the last 6 years shows them that serving others is so much better than serving yourself. – Krista S. Anderson

Sacrifice. Loneliness. Fear and pride. These are four words that come to mind when I think of what it must be like to be a military spouse. Now, let’s increase the stress and imagine what it must be like to be the wife of a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier. This is a woman who doesn’t even know where her husband is, what kind of danger he is in, or if he will live to see another day. In 2013, Krista S. Anderson’s greatest fear became a reality when her husband, Staff Sergeant Michael Simpson was killed in Afghanistan. The mother of two small children, Krista co-founded The Unquiet Professional, a non-profit that provides healthy and empowering opportunities to surviving families. She is the Gold Star Liaison for the Green Beret Foundation and a member of numerous boards. Now the wife of active duty Green Beret Master Sergeant Gus Anderson, Krista is the Military Spouse Ambassador for Army Emergency Relief and the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year. Krista is the co-author of Her Ruck: Inside the Emotional Backpacks of Military Wives, due to be published in May 2020. In this interview, Krista shares what the last 6 years have been like for her, including the wisdom she has learned along the way. “I want military spouses to thrive, not just to survive. Every separation, every loss matters.“

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

82 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DIANA PISCIOTTA

I’m terrified of heights. I’m terrified of falling. I was at a moment in my life when I needed a goal to focus on, so I decided to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s tallest mountains. -Diane Pisciotta

This episode is all about the mountains we have to climb to get to where we want to go. Meet Diana Pisciotta, President of Denterlein, a Boston-based PR & communications company. While Diana’s expertise crosses many industries, she is best known for her crisis communications experience. Together with founder Geri Denterlein, Diana has taken great pride in tripling the agency’s size and client base over the last 15 years, but it was her experience as a mountain climber that redefined her personal and professional life. Climbing all of New Hampshire’s 48 mountains took four years and along the way, Diana learned many life lessons. Mountain climbing became an exercise in maximizing strengths, managing weaknesses, recognizing when to ask for help, and finally, strategizing the best path to the top. And when it comes to work ethic, Diana has her parents to thank. Their mom & pop hardware store in New Jersey is where Diana started stocking the shelves at only six. The importance of customer service, value, risk, relationships and trust are just a few of the lessons her parents taught her. The mother of a little boy getting ready for his first day in kindergarten, Diana Pisciotta is a working mom with an open heart and plenty of wisdom to share.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

81 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KATIE WOOD

You are the author of the story of your life. Who do you want to be? What’s the footprint you want to leave on this earth? – Katie Wood

If you are in need of a push in the right direction, Katie Wood is just the woman to show you the way! Meet a woman who has devoted her career to helping women reach their fullest potential, to believe in themselves, and to not only dream, but DO! Determined to find a way to make money from home in order to put her family first, Katie joined Rodan + Fields, the popular skin care line. Along the way, she discovered that company founders Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields personified the kind of life she wanted to lead herself. Katie’s sense of entrepreneurship and her tireless work ethic are family values, inherited from her parents who risked it all to restore an old home by the ocean in Niantic, Connecticut. Now called The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, the property is considered one of the nation’s most beautiful and successful bed and breakfast properties. Katie says: “my parents taught me that hard work will always pay off if you just keep going. Most people quit when they are just about to hit gold. I believe that if you can see it, you can do it.” Now expecting her fourth child, Katie and her husband experienced one of life’s most difficult challenges following the birth of their daughter Gabriella. Born with craniosynostosis, their daughter required 7 hours of emergency surgery and 150 stitches in her head at Boston Children’s Hospital. It was Gabriella’s brave journey that inspired a philosophy Katie lives by: “Gratitude is everything. Live your life like it is rigged in your favor.” Her website: www.katielwood.com is a treasure trove of inspiration including a 5 week online course called The Jourse and a monthly membership program called The Power of H.E.R

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

80 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: JOY LIM NAKRIN

When the red light goes on and I’m on the air, I don’t think about the thousands of people who are watching me. I just try to connect with one person. – Joy Lim Nakrin

Words of wisdom from NBC 10 & NECN Boston news anchor Joy Lim Nakrin. She has spent much of her professional life in front of the camera, not just here in the United States, but on ESPN and MTV Asia and as the host of a reality show in Malaysia. Joy moved through television markets, most recently from Fox 25 in Hartford, Connecticut to Boston, and along the way, has been grateful for every opportunity she has had to learn her craft. The child of immigrants, Joy grew up in rural North Carolina and is of Chinese, Filipino and Jewish decent. When her relatives had a hard time understanding English, it was Joy who stepped in as their interpreter. Education was held in high regard in Joy’s home and she recalls getting punished if she didn’t get straight A’s in school. She began her college experience as a pre-med major, only to shift to philosophy when she realized she just couldn’t stand the sight of blood! Faced with what her next step in life would be, Joy applied to Duke University Law School and became one of college’s youngest graduates. That law degree has served Joy well, giving her an extra dose of confidence and legal knowledge when it comes to pointed questions. A passionate advocate for the Boston area’s Chinese and Filipino population, Joy volunteers her time on behalf of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, is a spokesperson for the MSPCA’s Clear The Shelters Campaign and serves on the board of the Asian American Journalists Association of New England.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

79 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LAUREN PIMPARE

Ten days after our son was born, the doctors sat us down and said that he was going to be a vegetable. – Lauren Pimpare

Lauren Pimpare’s story is both heartbreaking and uplifting, all at the same time. A successful executive in the healthcare field, Lauren is a big believer in the power of the word “we”, so she founded two organizations called Tomorrow’s Women Today and the Boston Leadership Council. At that time in her life, the sky was the limit. It was June 15, 2011 and Lauren was in labor with her second child. The city of Boston was alive with excitement as the Bruins shut out Vancouver 4-0 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Always huge hockey fans, Lauren and her husband decided to name their son “Boston” in honor of the Bruin’s victory. And then, the unthinkable happened. Lauren’s baby experienced a traumatic brain injury during childbirth. On a day that started with bliss, Lauren’s world turned upside down. Eight years later, the lessons have been many. The same women Lauren rallied to form her supportive professional organizations have come running to her door to offer help with open hearts and hands. Her climb up the career ladder experienced a full stop, but her journey remains rich and meaningful. “When women come together, we’re unstoppable. You can’t quiet us. We’re loud and powerful and we have a lot to say”. If you have a child with special needs, this episode will fill you with hope and love.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

78 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SHANNON SILVESTRI

Nothing feels more incredible than saving someone’s life. – Shannon Silvestri

Meet Shannon Silvestri: wife, mother, marathoner, coach, fitness instructor and organ donor. A longtime resident of the little seaside town of Beverly, Massachusetts, Shannon was a champion field hockey player who received a scholarship to Boston College where she was later inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. When her daughters were born, Shannon made the decision to be a stay at home mom, diving head first into volunteer work for their school and town as a coach and at the Beverly YMCA as a fitness instructor. A billboard in town showed the picture of a woman named Deb Debski and the question: “Could you be the one?” You see, Deb was in desperate need of a liver transplant. Shannon called the number on the billboard to see if she could be tested as a match. “I felt like God called me to do this, and if I didn’t do it, I knew Deb would die.” Many tests later, Shannon was told she was a perfect match for Deb. The lengthy surgery was performed and Deb’s life was saved. “It’s overwhelming to think there’s a part of me inside her, keeping her alive” says Shannon. “I call her my other half”. We call this story inspiring. If you have ever thought about organ donation, this episode is for you.

#motherrunner #americanliverfoundation  #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

77 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER HANES

In a room full of men, I have to be decisive, clear and succinct. I have to own whatever it is I believe in.
-Jennifer Hanes

I’ve been looking for women in powerful, senior leadership roles and I’ve found one. Meet Jennifer Hanes, Division Executive, Securities Finance & Processing for Capital Markets, FIS. The world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payment technologies, FIS is the acronym for Fidelity Information Services, Inc. The company serves more than 20,000 institutions in over 130 countries and Jennifer is in the thick of it all overseeing teams in the United States and around the world. Climbing the career ladder is something Jennifer has been doing for decades and her success story is a reflection of her tireless work ethic, her focus on the job at hand, her fearlessness, and her dedication to delivering tangible results. In this interview, she shares her views on being a mother and a career woman, as well as her leadership philosophy, the importance of mentorship, and her hopes for the next generation of women at the top.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

76 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: CATHY POULIN

Joy. Inspiration. These are contagious emotions and I’m always on the lookout for women who embody them. In the spotlight, Cathy Poulin, an exceptional woman I first interviewed about 10 years ago. I remember thinking that meeting her had been just as exciting as watching her on TV. You see, Cathy was the sidekick to a guy named Bob, owner of Bob’s Discount Furniture. Together, they jumped on couches, reclined in chairs, and shared the kind of vibe that made viewers want to get in their cars and drive to Bob’s to buy their next piece of furniture. But what viewers didn’t know is what I have discovered in this interview: Cathy Poulin is a brilliant marketer and a clever businesswoman with a long history of doing great things for others. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a clown, a former TV show host and school teacher, a giver, a doer, a creator and a bright light wherever she goes. Now the owner of Pitch Perfect Consulting, Cathy is focused on representing businesses who believe in sharing their success with causes they believe in, as well as giving a voice to the many non-profits she works with. “I have always known that I had a gift for creating ideas and making them come to fruition” says Cathy, “I just go for the heart because there is always a story there.” Rising entrepreneurs will want to download this episode. Her advice about the power of relationships is powerful stuff.

#cathypoulin   #bobsdiscountfurniture  #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

75 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LIZ RYAN

The more you reach out . . . the more you tell your story . . . the more you share . . . the more will come back to you. -Liz Ryan

In this episode, we hear the story of a mom whose son has a rare, incurable and potentially deadly disease. Meet Liz Ryan, wife, mother of two, career woman and first generation American. What started as flu-like symptoms in January 2018 turned out to be Juvenile Myositis. For nearly 4 months, Liz and her husband watched their once laughing, curious, active 4 year old boy turn into a child who couldn’t walk, sit up, or even lift his head off the pillow. Liam’s diagnosis requires regular plasma transfusions, steroids and a low dose chemotherapy drug. Now 5, Liam is often tired, but always joyful. Born to Vietnam refugees who fled their country through Cambodia’s infamous “killing fields”, Liz shares her parent’s powerful work ethic as the impetus for her own determination to save her son’s life. She and her husband Luke have joined forces with a non-profit called The Cure JM Foundation whose mission is to spread awareness about the disease. Their website is www.CureJM4Liam.com. The chances of being hit by lightening are 1 in 500,000 and that is the same chance a child has of getting JM. By sharing their son Liam’s story, Liz and Luke are determined to support and offer encouragement to kids with JM and their families with love, hope and care.

@Boston25 #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

74 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SUSAN BRADY

Throughout the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune of working with incredible women who have overcome hurdles and are willing to talk about it. -Susan Brady

And talk about it, she does. Meet Susan Brady, newly named Managing Director of the Simmons University Institute for Leadership and author of Mastering Your Inner Critic and 7 Other High Hurdles To Advancement. A wife, mother and role model for so many women in Boston and beyond, Susan is one of those people who lights up the room and is willing to share her story with arms wide open. Raised on the little island of Martha’s Vineyard, Susan has spent her career surrounded by great women leaders. Her mission is to share what she knows and to remind us all that “you are enough, you matter, and most of all, you have unique value”. For a master class in leading with purpose and compassion, this episode is for you.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

73 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LIZ POWERS

One of her artists paints on canvas, using only the wheels of his wheelchair. Another just had one of his creations licensed to Starbucks. Meet Liz Powers, co-founder & Chief Happiness Spreader at ArtLifting, a socially conscious business that provides a marketplace for homeless and disabled artists to sell their artwork. Founded by Liz and her brother, Spencer in 2013, Art Lifting now has over 100 artists who provide incredible works of art. These artists are experiencing independence, receiving 55 % of the proceeds from the sale of their work. Seeing a person go from hopeless to hopeful is what Liz strives for each and everyday. A graduate of Harvard, Liz volunteered at local shelters throughout her college years and quickly realized that art therapy enabled this vulnerable population the chance to express their loss, their fears, their anger and their untapped talents. Says Liz: “I would just throw out art supplies on the table and if somebody was really stumped, I would just step back and say: paint hope.” And paint they did. What started out with a grant from Harvard is now a thriving business. The domino effect of empowering these artists is what brings this exceptional young woman her greatest joy. A picture on a wall purchased from www.artlifting.com is more than a nice thing to do. It is a validation of someone’s talent and a tangible way to create positive change.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

72 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ELIZABETH HOPKINS

You wake up, make your coffee, check your phone, and flip on the TV to catch the local news. You see gorgeous women and handsome men, telling you what’s happening in the world. But what is it REALLY like to be a news anchor? Meet Elizabeth Hopkins, news anchor for Boston 25 Morning News. The daughter of an educator and an NYPD police captain, Elizabeth thought she might like to follow in her father’s footsteps, imaging she might even become a police commissioner. But when she was presented with the opportunity to intern at a TV station, everything changed and she was bitten by the news bug. With stops in South Dakota, Rhode Island and Boston, Elizabeth has worked her way up the ladder from small to major market broadcaster. The life lessons she has learned along the way are what she values most, saying: “there is so much more of a powerful lesson to learn when things are NOT going your way.” Her parent’s wisdom and her husband’s devotion are what keep her going through a workday that begins with an alarm that goes off at midnight. For a dose of wisdom, faith, and good old- fashioned advice, download Elizabeth’s story today. We’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

71 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KATIE DONOVAN

True success in business is when you can do what you want, when you want, and know that you are being paid equally.
-Katie Donovan.

If you believe in equal pay for women and minorities, this episode is for you. Meet Katie Donovan, the founder of Equal Pay Negotiations. She’s a pay equity expert and a trailblazer in this field. In fact, it was Katie who started a movement to ban the use of salary history in hiring and compensation decisions and her efforts were central to the passage of the bill she drafted here in Massachusetts. Two years later, 11 other states and 10 local jurisdictions have banned or restricted the use of salary history through new laws or executive orders. Born and raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts AKA the poorest city in the state, Katie is the daughter of a former school teacher and a local politician who got his start as a bat boy for the Boston Red Sox. Her father continued working for the legendary franchise, rising up the ranks to Executive Vice President. His message to Katie was two-fold: Anything is possible and life isn’t fair. Grab your best friend for a listen to this episode and don’t forget to take notes!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

70 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SHEILAH DORSEY

Science and music: it is rare to have a career in both of these fields, but for Sheilah Dorsey, they are a perfect match. She’s been singing all of her life, but she also gets plenty of joy from working in biotech where the goal is to discover life-saving drugs and treatments. Her love of music goes way back to her childhood when her father rescued an old jukebox from a restaurant. On that day, Sheilah was introduced to just about every form of music and a lifelong love of singing, songwriting, and recording was born. But from 9-5, Monday through Friday, this talented singer cannot be found singing at all. For the past ten years, Sheilah has been earning a living in healthcare systems management and administration. Her life story is a rich tapestry of experience in two very different worlds. As it turns out, Sheilah is not the only biotech pro who loves music. She is fronting a band called Almost The Cure and will be singing for charity at the famous Battle of the Biotech Bands May 30, 2019, at Club Royale in Boston. In this interview, Sheilah shares her life philosophy: “Don’t ever let fear stop your goals and dreams. Once you have life and breath, the possibilities are endless.” Download this one today. You’ll be glad you did!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

#biotechbattle

69 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SHARON KAN

Are you ready for a masterclass in entrepreneurship? Meet Sharon Kan. She has spent the last 20 years incubating and launching successful businesses in high potential markets. And we’re not talking about the small stuff. Sharon has nurtured and developed ideas that have been acquired by giants like Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, SSA Global, and Oracle. Born and raised in Israel, Sharon’s early life experience was shaped by five wars and countless terror attacks that left her feeling constantly on edge, but always resilient and hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. Educated in the UK and France, Sharon is also the co-founder of the WIN Lab at Babson College. Her latest project is a unique company called Pepperlane where she serves as CEO. The mission is to create a movement focused on 24 million stay-at-home moms in the United States alone. Sharon wants to build a thriving “mother economy” and her philosophy about entrepreneurship might surprise you because it is not about the money, it is always about the power of ideas. Get out your pen and paper for this episode because there is a lot of wisdom here!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

68 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SHANNON O’MARA

Are you a mentor? Have you ever been mentored by someone? Passing on what we know for the betterment of someone else is a gift and this week’s guest is a big believer in the power of mentorship. Meet Shannon O’Mara, Vice President & Associate Director of credit research at Loomis Sayles and Founder of UWIN: the Undergraduate Women’s Investment Network. Raised in Upstate New York, Shannon earned a BA in economics as well as her management certificates in finance and accounting from the University of Rochester. The single mom of two teenagers, Shannon shares many life lessons including: “show up fully, whether you are at work or with your family” as well as her mentoring mantra: “If you can see it, you can be it.” For a quick shot of determination, drive and passion, this success story checks all the boxes.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

67 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: JACY DAWN VALERAS

This episode is for the dreamers and the doers. And most of all, it is a life lesson, because sometimes dreams come true in ways we never could have imagined. Meet Jacy Dawn Valeras, singer/songwriter and CEO & Founder of Platinum Circle Media in Nashville, Tennessee. Raised in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Jacy started making money by singing at funerals when she was 13 and by the time she hit high school, she was performing all over New England. In 2009, Jacy and her boyfriend packed up their car and moved to Nashville where she created a career in a niche she never expected or even dreamed of. “Make good out of obstacles, says Jacy, they just might take you someplace better.”

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@jacydawnvaleras  @bostonwomeninmediaandentertainment

66 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ROBERTA SYDNEY

Meet a woman who’s outstanding career has had three chapters: one in finance/banking, one in real estate development and one as an independent director, executive and business builder. In this candid interview, Roberta Sydney shares her belief that relationships in business and in our personal lives are everything. Now the CEO of Sydney Associates, Roberta’s rise to the top has often included being the only woman in the room and at the negotiating table. She is guided by a tireless work ethic and a true passion for bringing out the best in every person she works with. A graduate of Wellesley College, Harvard Business School and MIT, Roberta is in a league of her own, and could easily sit on her laurels, yet this exceptional woman has made it a priority to help and guide the next generation of women executives. “I believe in finding the genius in others and allowing that to shine,” says Roberta. And if you think her life has been easy, think again. This is a story rooted in love of family, responsibility, and determination. For an entre into excellence in business and in life, download Roberta’s powerful life story.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@robertasydney

65 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KIM WEILD

In this episode, we traveled to ArtsEmerson’s gorgeous Paramount Theatre in Boston to meet Kim Weild, director of American Moor written and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb. Described as an “urgent solo work that examines the experience of black men in America” American Moor is the kind of play that asks the kinds of questions that jar the soul and make us think. Raised in Westchester County, New York, Kim spent the first part of her life as a ballerina, dancing with the New York City Ballet and attending a private high school for the performing arts. Her decision to leave the world of dance to pursue a career in theatre arts was a brave left-hand turn she remains grateful for to this day. In this interview, Kim shares the key to being a great actor, an inspiring director, a hard worker, and an effective college professor. Her views on success and what matters most in life are worth your download. “I think kindness is a super-power” says Kim. We couldn’t agree more.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 @artsemerson   @kimweild   @keithhamiltoncobb

64 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LISA NICKERSON

Meet a woman who started showing the business community what she was made of in high school when she won her regional newspaper’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award! Lisa Nickerson has been steadily climbing the ladder toward success ever since and is now the CEO and Founder of Nickerson PR and Nickerson Real Estate Partners. Recently recognized as one of Boston’s most powerful women in real estate, Lisa is a big believer in philanthropy and serves on the boards of Boston Women in Media & Entertainment, Housing Families and the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative. Her incredible climb to the top has not been without obstacles and roadblocks. The mom of three teenagers, Lisa shares her devotion to not only mothering but mentoring her children. Her boundless energy and tireless work ethic have been both a blessing and a curse, and her wise advice to rising female entrepreneurs and executives is worth your download.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 @NickersonPR    @NickersonRE

 

63 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DANA SIEGAL

Meet a woman who has taken her skills and talents in the healthcare field and married them to her lifetime love of the arts and the fight against cancer. Dana Siegal is a wife, a mother, an RN, the Director of Patient Safety for CRICO Strategies and the Artistic Director for a non-profit called Voices of Hope. Founded in 2009, Voices of Hope is made up of 200 cast members who have all been impacted by cancer. Together, they sing, and dance, and entertain, all to benefit cancer research. But, as Dana will tell you, Voices of Hope is more than a theatre group, it is a cancer community and her role is to bring out the very best in every person who wants to share their talent. In this inspiring interview, Dana reveals a life story that has included a life-altering MS diagnosis in her 20’s and the decision to stay positive and resilient in the face of loss. A source of strength and hope to so many people, Dana Siegal believes that we can find reason and purpose in everything that happens to us.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@danaewensiegal   @voicesofhopeboston

62 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SENATOR CYNTHIA STONE CREEM

Senate Majority leader Cynthia Stone Creem has spent over 30 years in public service. The daughter of two attorneys, she grew up in Newton, Massachusetts deciding early on that she wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps. The road to the seat she now occupies has been long and in this very candid interview, Cindy Creem recalls knocking on doors to raise money for her first campaign and being asked the question: “are you tough enough?” Well, the answer is YES. The Story Behind Her Success producer Dan Thibeault and I interviewed the state senator in her office, just steps from the Senate chambers in the iconic gold-domed Massachusetts statehouse. And as we went through security and down the marble hallways, past murals of the American Revolution and sculptures of some of the state’s earliest leaders, I couldn’t help but wonder what this nation’s all-male founders would think of a female majority leader. She is strong, she is passionate, and she is on a mission to make a difference for the next generation of women.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@senatorcindycreem

61 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DENISE HAJJAR

Welcome to the success story of Denise Hajjar, one of Boston’s most loved and respected fashion designers. The grandchild of a designer from Syria and a pattern maker from Lebanon, Denise started making clothes for her Barbie Dolls when she was a little girl. By the time she was ready to go to fashion design school, she had an entire wardrobe created for herself and for her mother. Known for her generosity toward non-profits, Denise has made giving back a cornerstone of her business with a focus on raising lifesaving funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In this very candid interview, she shares her lifelong love of ballet and ballroom dancing, along with stories of the good times and the bad, like her decision early in her career to buy fabric instead of paying her electric bill! “I’m driven, I’m stubborn and I’m tenacious,” says Denise. “I will always do what it takes to make things happen.”

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 @denisehajjarboston 

60 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: HEATHER ANNE COOK

Raised in the backwoods of Montana, completely off the grid, Heather Anne Cook learned the necessary skills to keep herself alive. In this interview, she shares the details of her adventurous life, including the many times she took 3 matches into the woods to see how long she could survive. Now a wife and the mother of twins, Heather is a pastor, a survivalist, a long distance runner, a bee-keeper, a chicken lady, a horsewoman, a gardener, a children’s book author, an illustrator, an international traveler, and the force behind Three Match Creations. Her next adventure is to run the Pacific Northwest Trail which spans 1200 miles through the wilderness, high desert, and coastline

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

59 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NANCY GAUDET-AITTANIEM

Have you ever heard the expression: “love will find a way?” Meet Nancy Gaudet-Aittaniemi. A very successful senior vice president for a commercial real estate company, Nancy’s success story is not just about climbing the ladder to take on a leadership role in a male-dominated industry. It is about the power of a mother’s love for her child. You see, Nancy’s only child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at only 9, and his chronic condition led her down a path that has been both terrifying and inspiring. Faced with the decision to stay stuck in her grief and hover over him or to let her son experience life to the fullest, Nancy chose to show Ryan that he could do anything he put his mind to. Now a sophomore in college, Ryan is a seasoned bike enthusiast who has ridden in juvenile diabetes fundraising challenges in the United States and Europe. As the leader of a monthly support group for Type 1 Moms, Nancy has taken other parents by the hand and has been a passionate volunteer and supporter of the JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes. She is currently training to ride in her 4th bike race: the Amelia Island Ride To Cure Diabetes and her coach? You guessed it, Nancy’s son Ryan.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 #JDRFRide

58 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LAUREN BIRMINGHAM

Meet a woman with a fantastic second chapter. For decades Lauren Birmingham has been well known as a top-notch PR pro in the Boston area and beyond. But one day, on a whim, she had an idea. Lauren convinced a friend to fly to Italy with her, just for the weekend. What started as a one-time adventure turned into a love affair with the Amalfi Coast, a unique new business venture called Cooking Vacations Italy, a collaboration with American novelist Elizabeth Berg, a cookbook called It’s A Dream Place- Recipes & Stories of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast, and a chance meeting with an Italian race car driver named Rino. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out what happened next!

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@laurenBirminghamPiscitelli

57 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN IN FILM

Welcome to Palm Springs, California…home of movie stars, snow-capped mountains, palm trees, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. In this episode, we’re focused on women in film including Ruth Caudeli, a young director from Valencia, Spain whose movie Eva & Candela is breaking down barriers about gender, and who we choose to love. A surprise visit from co-star Silvia Varón sheds some light on Ruth’s innate ability to listen to her cast and to bring out the best in each actor’s performance. Cristina Gallego of the movie Birds of Passage shares how it has felt to step into the role of co-director for a film that features strong women and was selected as the Colombian entry for Best Foreign Language film at the upcoming Academy Awards. Cristina’s crime saga has received a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been compared to The Godfather and Scarface by movie critics. Finally, with recording equipment in hand, we settle into the offices of Liliana Rodriguez, Director of Programming at the Palm Springs International Film Festival to find out how she turned an early love of horror films into a career that sustains and inspires her every single day.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 #palmsprings    @PSFilmFest   

56 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MYRIAM CYR & PATRICIA JAMISON

When we tell our stories, we pass along life lessons and wisdom. The two women you are about to meet believe that the arts provide a unique opportunity to tell stories that matter. Meet Myriam Cyr and Patricia Jamison, two of the four founders of Punctuate4Productions, Inc. on Boston’s North Shore. With a mission to educate, entertain and promote the arts and culture in every form for all ages, not just in Massachusetts, but beyond, Myriam and Patricia are really enjoying this new chapter in their lives. An accomplished actress who has performed alongside A-listers like Al Pacino, Myriam is also a poet laureate and best selling author who has been developing 20 new plays over the last five years. Now a devoted mother whose family comes first, she has made the bold step from actress to director and is loving every single minute of it. Patricia has always loved live performance but is no stranger to acting for TV and film. She put her passion for acting on the back burner to raise her 5 children, and in 2011, returned to her craft with an even greater determination to explore being a producer. In this very personal interview, Myriam and Patricia share their career highlights, their devotion to their children, how they get around obstacles, and their definition of “star power”.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 @PatriciaPetersonJamison  @MyriamCyr  @Larcomtheatre   @punctuate4     @Punct4P 

55 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LINDA DRISCOLL

Meet a woman who has made it her life’s work to give. Linda Driscoll has spent her career in leadership roles for organizations like the American Red Cross, Women’s Sports Foundation, the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation, and the Special Olympics. She has also served as Past President of the Board of Directors for the New England Women’s Fund and on the NCAA Boston organizing committee for the Women’s Final Four. And if you see a pattern here, you are correct. Playing sports shaped Linda’s life and she wants to make sure that every girl gets the chance to play sports, too…even if her family can’t afford it. She is the Founder, President & CEO of Dream BIG! a non-profit that provides equipment, athletic footwear, uniforms, program fees, training expenses, and leadership training to girls and young women in low-income situations who want to play sports. Since 2010, DreamBIG! has directly impacted 35,000 girls. Linda’s idea for a non-profit, originally written on a napkin during a conversation in a restaurant is now an example to the world.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@LindaDriscoll  @Dreambigld 

54 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: JULIE FREEMAN

Meet a woman who believes that during the toughest times in our lives, there is learning, there is growth and there is always hope. I have known Julie Freeman for nearly 20 years and although I heard bits and pieces of her story, I never really knew the extent of it until we sat down for this interview in Palm Springs, California: 3000 miles away from where we first met in Wellesley, Massachusetts. A gifted singer at St. John’s Church, Julie sang like an angel, yet something told me that she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. And she did. Her book Sunflowers, Sapphires & Seraphim: A Story of Healing & Transformation chronicles a life that has been both devastating and triumphant. From an abusive first marriage to the tragic loss of her second husband to a brain injury to single motherhood, a cancer diagnosis and a nervous breakdown for one of her daughters, Julie Freeman is a survivor in the truest sense of the word. Her transformative work as a registered dietician with a focus on eating clean and organic, combined with an understanding of the mind/body connection has fueled another exciting new chapter in her life. Julie is blazing a new trail by blending her nutrition knowledge with the idea of reducing toxin exposure so that we can lower cancer rates and live healthier lives. For this exceptional woman, the road less traveled has led her to exactly where she knows she belongs

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

juliefreeman.net  @feelgreatlookgreatnutrition

 

53 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: AMANDA CARR

When I sing, I am in pure bliss and joy. These are the words of singer, songwriter, musician, and philanthropist Amanda Carr. Described by the Wall Street Journal as “a true jazz singer in a time of wannabes”, Amanda’s path from the little seaside town of Hingham, MA to stages around the world has not been easy. Her passion to create a life that has always been about and for the music is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. The daughter of a Big Band musician and singer, Amanda can’t remember a time when music wasn’t a part of her life. In this interview, she shares stories of her childhood, remembering a time when she carried her keyboard to the local restaurant and nailed her first gig at 14. As the founder of the American Big Band Preservation Society, Amanda’s mission has been to preserve this art form. Shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, Amanda captured the unbreakable spirit of the city when she wrote The Boston Anthem, tapping Boston rocker Charlie Farren to perform the song. Now the Executive Director of WICN radio, the NPR affiliate in Worcester, MA, Amanda is using her love of music and her unique brand of leadership to energize the legendary station. For this exceptional woman, it’s the lessons we take with us that make us who we are.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

amandacarr.com    @amandacarrlife    @AmandaCarrMusic     @AmandaCarrMusic FB

52 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ELISE BATES

Are you the mother of a child with a food allergy? If you are, this episode is for you. The statistics are astounding but true: 1 in 12 children in the United States has a severe food allergy. What was once rare is now commonplace, yet the constant worry food allergy parents endure can be overwhelming, because when their children are out of their site, they are vulnerable to foods that can kill them. So, what’s a mother to do? Meet Elise Bates, President & Co-Founder of Ending Allergies Together, aka EAT. Her non-profit has raised 1.7 million dollars to find out why food allergies are on the rise and what we can do to stop the epidemic. Hear Elise’s story and be informed AND inspired.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

 @endallergiestogether  @EndAllergies   @EndAllergiesTogether

51 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KERRY BRETT

Do you like having your picture taken? If the answer is no, you are not alone. Enter award-winning portrait photographer Kerry Brett. When she takes your picture, her goal is simple: to make you feel so comfortable, you forget that there is a camera in your face! The daughter of legendary Boston Globe photographer Bill Brett, Kerry grew up watching her father tell stories with his camera. A single mom with a work ethic that mirrors her father’s, Kerry has worked tirelessly to establish her own style and a client list that includes superstar athletes, A-listers and everyday people. Her keen eye, creative spark and open heart are what truly set her apart. A Master Photographer and staff photographer for The Improper Bostonian, Kerry’s distinctive portraits have graced countless magazine covers. It is fair to say that Kerry Brett aims for your face and captures your soul.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

@kerrybrettlifestyleportraits   @kerry_brett

50 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DAWN SCHOTTLANDT

If you want to kick off 2019 with a dose of inspiration, take a listen to this episode, featuring marathoner and MS survivor Dawn Schottlandt. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999 at only 23, the New Year marks this exceptional woman’s 20th anniversary as a survivor. Dawn fell in love with running because it empowered her to keep on going, even though she was confused, angry and scared. Doctors warned her about all the things she shouldn’t do, and Dawn made it her mission to do the things that brought her joy and running was at the top of her list. So far, she has run 15 marathons, including the World Majors, 12 half marathons and lots of local 5ks. When her MS progressed in 2015, Dawn experienced something called “drop foot” and had to teach herself how to run all over again through the use of a carbon fiber AFO. This year, she will return to Ireland to run the Dublin Marathon again and her secret wish is to see another rainbow at the end of the finish line, just like she did in 2005. We all experience roadblocks in our lives, but it is how you deal with them that matters. Dawn’s words of wisdom can be found on her popular blog: www.inmyrunningshoes.com where she says: Be active, fear nothing, and turn obstacles into opportunities.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

49 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ALYSSA NELSON-KAMALU

When we share our stories, we pass along something that is so precious its value cannot be measured. Do you know what that is? Wisdom. When Alyssa Nelson-Kamalu heard the words “you have breast cancer” she was far from being wise. After all, she had only been on this earth for 28 years. Married to her college sweetheart, the mother of a toddler, a victim advocate for the state of Massachusetts, and a brand new homeowner, Alyssa’s life came to a screeching halt. She was terrified. Alyssa wasn’t thinking about herself, she was thinking about her baby girl growing up without a mother. One year later, Alyssa shares what her journey was like as well as what advice she might give to a young woman faced with a similar diagnosis. This is a story about fear and courage, dread and hope, perseverance and success. Alyssa has made it through surgery, chemo, and radiation. This wise young woman’s views on life, love, parenting, and what really matters will inspire you.

#storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

48 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LESLIE MUSSER

When Leslie Musser gave birth to her son, Colton, she thought about his soft, newborn skin, and decided she would do everything she could to keep that skin away from fabrics that had been treated with pesticides. That’s when she discovered how hard affordable, organic children’s clothing was to find. Once a PR and events pro, Leslie had an idea: to create her own children’s clothing line, made from cotton grown in the United States, without the use of pesticides. Enter: KinderCapsule.com: a line of children’s organic clothing that grows with your child. At the heart of KinderCapsule is a passion to put an end to child sex trafficking by donating a portion of the proceeds from every sale to Operation Underground Railroad which rescues innocent children sold into slavery worldwide.

@kindercapsule   #kinderkids   @OURrescue   #storybehindhersuccess   #16LifeLessons   #mydoveproductions

47 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KATE GENOVESE

The opioid crisis in the United States is shattering the lives of addicts and breaking the hearts of families every day. In this episode of The Story Behind Her Success, we meet Kate Genovese, the mother of a son she called her “golden boy” Christopher “Geno” Genovese. A gifted all-star athlete, Geno experienced 6 serious injuries on the ice as a hockey player and on the football field. These high school and college sports injuries lead to Geno’s addiction to painkillers, fentanyl and finally, heroin. Geno died of an overdose at only 30 and Kate’s journey, as his mother and a lifelong registered nurse, brings light and honesty to an epidemic that knows no bounds. Her book, Hat Tricks From Heaven follows the Genovese family through moments of hope to final heartache. Kate’s loss is eased only by her need to educate other parents by telling her story and finally, to fund a half-way house with proceeds from the sale of this inspiring book.

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46 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MARIA SALOMÃO-SCHMIDT

We all have stories to tell and that’s what The Story Behind Her Success podcast series is all about. Life has not always been kind to this week’s guest. In fact, she has known the deep grief of losing her baby girl Sophia when she was only 13 months old. This experience “broke her wide open” and that’s where the story begins. Welcome to the reimagined life of Maria Salomão-Schmidt. She is a wife, mother of 5, a Reiki Master, an expert in NLP, EFT, Chakra Balancing and Full Spectrum Healing. A former guest on The Oprah Show, this exceptional woman is the author of the best selling book: Finally Full of Yourself: Unlocking Your Spiritual DNA. But here is my favorite part: for all the pain and loss she has experienced, Maria is a passionate tsunami of love.

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45 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ROSEANN SDOIA-MATERIA

This story is perfect to post for Thanksgiving because it is about courage, hope, patriotism and the healing power of love. Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia is the author of the new book Perfect Strangers which chronicles four people whose lives intersected the moment the second bomb went off in front of the Forum Restaurant at the 2013 Boston Marathon finish line. Roseann would lose most of her leg that day. She recalls her experience in stunning detail including what it was like to lose a limb and her refusal to use a wheelchair. Make no mistake about it: Roseann’s recovery was hard work. You’ll hear about the college student who ran to her side to apply a tourniquet to her leg, the female police officer who hailed the ambulance, and the big, tall firefighter who lifted her into the ambulance and held her hand all the way to Mass General. The bond these perfect strangers created on that terrible day can never be broken. Spoiler Alert: Roseann marries one of them. Get a box of kleenex for this interview. You’re gonna need it.

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44 / IN THE SPOTLIGHT: CHRISTINE SUAU

Meet a woman who has experienced what every parent dreads the most: the death of a child. Christine Suau’s son, Devin was only 6 years old when he was diagnosed with DIPG, a very rare form of brain cancer. Determined to do what she could to keep him alive, Christine conceived the hashtag: WhyNotDevin, hoping he would be the very first child to beat this fatal disease. It didn’t take long for the news of Devin’s cancer to travel around the world. He was visited by sports legends and famous actors and even blessed at a private audience with Pope Francis in Rome. But as prayers poured in for Devin, he left this world in his mother’s arms at only 6 years old. The youngest of Christine’s 4 boys, Devin continues to be an inspiration for this exceptional woman who has created the Why Not Devin Foundation.

 #whynotdevin    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons  #mydoveproductions

Listen to more great stories here!

The Story Behind Her Success Episodes 1 – 43