Candice Vernon: Writer/Director/Producer


Candice Vernon is a former New York advertising agency Executive Producer, turned Writer/Director/Producer, hailing from the small parish of St Ann, Jamaica.  Having grown up in three different countries, Jamaica, USA, and Germany, gave her a uniquely diverse experience and outlook on humans as subjects, which sparked her interest in storytelling. She got her very first TV job casting for Law & Order: Criminal Intent where she later transitioned to talent production assistant on the original Law & Order to be closer to set. She hasn’t looked back since.

Vernon’s award winning short film, Make America Great?, which she wrote, directed, and produced screened in festivals world-wide, winning the Audience Award for Best Short at the Zero Film Festival and The National Black Film Festival, with write-ups appearing in The Hollywood, and other publications.  Decider writes, “There are moments so emotionally charged and genuine in this film that it can be hard to watch, but it’s absolutely necessary. Powerfully acted, beautifully shot, and eerily pertinent to the world we are living in, this is exactly the kind of short film needed right now”.

In the content space she has directed and produced for clients such as Instagram, The Dollar Shave Club, Chico’s, Jockey, The Bob Marley Foundation and more. Most notably she wrote and directed, The Dream Still Lives, a tribute video by Stevie Wonder & CAA, for Martin Luther King Jr.s 50th anniversary of his passing, starring various celebrities such as Stevie Wonder, The Obama’s, Common, Meryl Streep, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and many more. The video has garnered over 1 billion impressions to date. Vernon is developing a TV pilot, Three Months & A Baby, with her writing partner and Mad House Entertainment, based on her series of the same name, which was a semi-finalist at the Sundance New Voices Lab, as well as two feature films, prepping a web series, and other short form content. Creating stirring and engaging narrative content is a love of hers and is evident in all of her work and partnerships to date. She received her BA in Film & TV from Temple University and currently resides in Los Angeles. 

My Goal of the Day: To push the needle forward on my projects in development, whether that’s a script revision, reading other screenplays, watching films, networking, or simply honing my craft by shooting and/or learning new techniques. I also strive daily to keep God at the center of everything I do and be grateful that I get to play make believe for a living.

My Thought of the Day: “What a fi yuh, cyan be un fi yuh”. It’s a Jamaican proverb that I think of daily as I navigate through life’s peaks and valleys. The translation is “what is for you, can’t be not for you’. The meaning is: If it is meant to be, it will be. What is yours will always be yours.

My Action of the Day: Everyday upon waking my daily action is to read a scripture from the bible and start my day with a prayer.

My Deed of the Day:

Eliminating plastic straw usage and trying to get my friends and family to do the same.

My Tip of the Day

Smile and say hello to a stranger who crosses your path. A little kindness can go a long way. You never how how you may positively affect one’s day by simply acknowledging them.

My Pic of the Day:

One of my favorite works of art in my apartment that a former colleague made, flanked by two pieces of street art I bought in South Africa. It’s a daily reminder that I am free and not owned by anyone.


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

My current city for the past two years has been Los Angeles, CA. What I love most is the weather. Year round my days always start off nice and sunny, without immense humidity. The sun gives off positive energy and vitamin D so it’s a blessing to live in a city where one can simply step outside to feel energized.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast meal of all time, Ackee & Saltfish, hails from my home land of Jamaica. I could eat it anytime of day, everyday. Since moving to Los Angeles I can’t say that I’ve found a restaurant that I would call my fave but there is a small cafe/wine store in my neighborhood that I’m multiple repeat customer of. In a pinch especially if I haven’t cooked I could always run up the street to The Oaks Gourmet in Franklin Village, Hollywood.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – I’m usually in bed either still sleeping or willing myself back to sleep. I am not a morning person.

10:00 AM - If it’s not a gym day I’m writing and answering emails and charting out my agenda for the day.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I rarely eat lunch at 12 noon on the dot. I’m a 1-2p lunch eater, sometimes 3p. If I’m working from home I’ll make whatever I have in the fridge, or order from The Oaks Gourmet or Locali. If I’m not working from home, I’m usually holding a table hostage at the soho house for 6-8 hours and eating my meals there.

7:00 PM - I’m still finishing up my day at this time. If I’m in production I’m definitely still working otherwise I’m on the way to a screening or panel of some sorts while trying to grab a bite to eat if there’s time. Otherwise I’m eating after 9p which explains my LA weight gain lol.

11:00 PM - Generally I like to be at home on the couch catching up on the shows I’ve missed.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I need water, preferably with lemon, to get me through the day. As I’m not an avid coffee drinker I start my day with a green or ginger tea and sometimes end it with a glass of wine.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I have to admit I’m an instagram-aholic. I don’t go a day without using it. My favorite account is @shaunking. He’s an activist and journalist highlighting and educating acts of injustice in the country, specifically police brutality.

What should everyone try at least once?

Everyone should travel outside of their country of origin at least once and experience other cultures.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I enjoy getting lost in a good book or movie.  I also enjoy walking on the beach or alongside water. As long as the water is by my side I can walk forever.



ig: @see_es_vernon

Caren Osten: Positive Psychology Life Coach + Writer


My NativeAdVert:

Caren Osten is a life coach and writer. She works with individuals and groups who seek to cultivate greater positivity, clarity and calm as they navigate life's daily stresses, challenges and shifts. Caren's workshops and presentations are rooted in the scientific study of optimal wellbeing, with a focus on building skills, harnessing strengths and centering awareness. A contributor to The New York Times, and other magazines and websites, Caren writes about health and wellbeing, parenting, education and travel. 

In addition to her training with Tal Ben-Shahar and the Wholebeing Institute, Caren has studied Mindfulness & Character Strengths in Coaching and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). As an adjunct professor, she taught magazine writing at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Each year, Caren volunteers at Camp BroaderWay, teaching meditation and mindfulness to young, urban girls from New York City.  You can learn more about her work at

My Goal of the Day: Be peaceful. Be kind. Savor the good things.

My Thought of the Day: You are loved. 

My Action of the Day: A balance between work and play.

My Tip of the Day: Begin it with meditation and movement. It sets the stage for feeling good about yourself and what awaits you.

 My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)

This is me with my husband and our three children preparing for a family photo. Spending time with people you love and who love you is the number one predictor of happiness. For me, this photo expresses the texture and variety of emotions that exist among those we love. Here, we are fussing and caring, distracted and present, doing our own thing while coming together as a unit. Life is complicated and so is this photo.


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The beautiful Manor Park that hugs the shoreline of the water and is a two-minute walk from our house. It is a magnificent spot in all types of weather, and I walk there almost daily with my dog, alone, family or friends. 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Fried eggs on toast with goat cheese, avocado and hot sauce. Made at home.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping

10:00 AM - Some form of exercise—yoga, walking, tennis or Pilates usually.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

My sunny kitchen; a homemade salad of shredded carrots, arugula, crumbled feta, and toasted almonds, dressed with the vinaigrette I learned to make from my mother. 

7:00 PM -  Dinner with my husband. We recently became “free birds” —aka parents with no kids living full-time at home. (Can you tell I don’t like the term “empty nester?”)

11:00 PM - snuggling in bed with a good book or watching TV with my guy. Most recently we’re watching “Money Heist."

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee in the morning, Water throughout the day, Green tea in the eve. 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Insight Timer, a meditation app. 

What should everyone try at least once?

dark chocolate

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

 In Paris.

Kendis Paris: Executive Director & Co-Founder, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)


My NativeAdVert:

Kendis Paris is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a nonprofit organization that educates, equips, empowers, and mobilizes members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking. Paris has grown TAT to train over half a million truckers, bus drivers, and truck stop employees to be the eyes and ears of our nations roadways.  By partnering with industry and law enforcement, TAT is increasing trafficking reports, arrests, prosecutions, and victim rescues.  TAT’s network includes 50 state trucking associations, trade groups, the vast majority of large trucking companies and truck stops, the bus industry, and a range of state agencies, including DOTs, DMVs, DORs, DOLs, AGs, and law enforcement.  TAT uses a Motor Vehicle Enforcement Model developed in Iowa and now adopted in whole or in part by 40 states.  The model has increased arrests and rescues during interdiction stops.  In addition, Paris has worked with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the International Registration Plan, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and other applicable agencies to train staff and key members, equip their locations with relevant materials for transportation stakeholders, and devise best practices in conjunction with their particular sphere of influence.  Co-winner of the Norma Hotaling Award for demand reduction, Kendis is also an Ashoka (a-show-ka) fellow, a global organization that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs. She received her M.A. in Christian Studies from Denver Seminary, and her B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii.

My Goal of the Day: To honor God and embrace each day as the gift that it is.

My Thought of the Day: I must share one of the best Andy Crouch quotes I’ve ever read in answer to this question ... “What is most needed in our time are Christians who are deeply serious about cultivating and creating but who wear that seriousness lightly—who are not desperately trying to change the world but who also wake up every morning eager to create.” 

My Action of the Day: Rally another member of the trucking industry to join our mobile army of transportation professionals fighting human trafficking.

My Deed of the Day: Remove an obstacle or streamline a process on behalf of the amazing women on the TAT Team.

My Tip of the Day: Go to Jazzercise ... it’s the most fun workout around!

My Pic of the Day:


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love the view of the mountains Denver provides. I travel a lot for work, so coming home to those peaks, and our fresh mountain air is a true blessing.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Devil’s Food in Washington Park makes the best two-egg scramble with caramelized onions and white cheddar I’ve ever had. Pair that with their roasted potatoes and homemade bread/jam and you are good to go.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Just waking up.

10:00 AM – Pounding out emails, or taking a meeting.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

One hash brown and veggie burger please, served up in my own kitchen ... perks of working from home.

7:00 PM -  Family time.

11:00 PM – Sleeping ... yay!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I’m a water girl ... we need that constant hydration in the Mile High City.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Marco Polo ... super fun way to communicate with friends and family.

What should everyone try at least once?

Go to a truck show ... you’ll never forget it.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

French or Italian countryside.


Susan McPherson: Founder & CEO, McPherson Strategies


My NativeAdVert:

Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social impact, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company and Forbes and has 25+ years experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Inspirefest/Dublin, Center for Corporate Citizenship's Annual Summit, DLD, TOA Berlin, and Techonomy. Susan founded and hosts the bi-weekly #CSRChat on Twitter and is a regular guest on a variety of podcasts.

Currently, Susan invests in, and advises women-led technology start-ups, including News DeeplyHint WaterApoliticalArlo SkyeGoldBean and The Muse.  She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCRGirl RisingThe PVBLIC Foundation, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and previously served on the board of Bpeace. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, Ocean Collective, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and was named as one of Fortune's 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Elle Magazine's Top 25 Women on Twitter and Fast Company's 25 Smartest Women of Twitter.  @susanmcp1

My Goal of the Day:  To be a better human being than I was the day before and to always be grateful for everything I have. 

My Thought of the Day:  Even though we are living in challenging times, it’s important to keep pushing forward with positive spirit and forward-looking attitude. This is NOT the time to throw in the towel.

My Action of the Day:  Pick up the phone and call a long-lost friend or relative to say hello or handwrite a note to thank someone for a kind gesture.

My Deed of the Day:  Insure I have done one thing to showcase the wonderful work of another. Shine that light brilliantly for the world to see.

My Tip of the Day: It’s really going to be all right. Believe that in your heart.

My Pic of the Day (any additional pic that expresses something special):

Photo Credit: Barry Sutton

Photo Credit: Barry Sutton

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? 

New York City is like a foreign country plopped into the United States. In just one day, you can literally interact with individuals who have hailed from far and distant lands. I love that it all works. And yes, of course, there is racism and bigotry like in much of this complicated country, but in my experience, New Yorkers are far more tolerant, progressive, accepting and open. And given our close proximity to each other, you can actually talk to people and they’ll speak back to you!

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? 

Nutritionists with scold me, but I typically do not eat breakfast. I will drink a strong coffee with lots of warmed skim milk (essentially a café au lait) to power me through the morning.  If I were to dine out for breakfast, there is nothing better than a leisurely nosh at Soho’s classic Balthazar. You just feel like you’ve been plopped in the middle of Paris. And a second, more casual choice would be Sullivan Street Bakery. The egg-sandwiches are the perfect comfort food. 

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Honestly, cuddling with my darling rescue pup, Phoebe while listening to NPR.

10:00 AM – Could be any one of the following: answering the constant barrage of emails, tweeting, meeting with a client or working with a member of my team on any number of projects.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal

The avocado toast at Gotan is hand’s down the BEST in all of New York City.

7:00 PM – One of three things:  Either, I am on the step mill at the YMCA (across from my apartment) which is the only machine that provides a similar workout to running 6-8 miles. I was a marathoner for years but due to foot injuries, those days are long gone.  Or, I am at an event, whether a book launch, a charity fundraiser, a client gathering or dining with friends. And last but not least, an occasional date with someone I have met on one of the plethora of dating apps!
11:00 PM – Responding to emails, planning out the next day, getting ready for bed and hopefully snuggling with Phoebe.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? So much water. Years ago when I lived with a Danish family in Copenhagen during college, my Danish “father” told me my insides were going to rust given the sheer amount of H2O I consumed.  And yes, I admit it, I am a Diet Coke fan but limit myself to a maximum of one per day. In the evening, I adore a glass of Spanish or Italian white wine.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? 

Email is naturally the most used. But I do have a fondness for Twitter, mainly to engage rather than push content out. Slack is becoming more and more important and, as I am single, I find myself perusing Bumble when on the Subway.  Favorite Instagram accounts would be one of the following:  @NewYorkerCartoons (often so hysterical), my sister, @Nespector for cutting edge art and @SarahSophieF, for her up to the minute political activism and lastly @NatGeo for nature at its best

What should everyone try at least once? 

Speak to someone who doesn’t share your views. 

Something that literally scares you silly. 

Fall in love.

Kiss a puppy on her tummy.

Where do you enjoy getting lost? I still love to get lost in the vastness of NYC. I’ve lived here for over 15 years, yet there is always some place new to discover. And also every time I am in a far away land.  

Cloé Bailly: Director & Screenwriter


My NativeAdVert:

I’m a comedy director and screenwriter based in Paris, represented by Check my work on

My Goal of the Day: Fit as many things as possible in 24 hours (realistically, in 12 hours)

My Thought of the Day: I can get ran over by a bus tomorrow, so I might as well 100% enjoy this day and not get overwhelmed by s**t :)

My Action of the Day: Write my feature film script

My Deed of the Day: Try to make people laugh 

My Tip of the Day: Don’t take anything too seriously. Especially not yourself <3 

My Pic of the Day: The poster of my latest short film, « La Paix Intérieure », which is currently doing the Festivals round. 


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? BREAD.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? The ultimate basic bitch breakfast : avocado on toasted whole grain bread. With unsalted butter. Topped with sesame seeds and paprika. 

Favorite restaurant : Le Grand Bain (rue Denoyez, Paris 20th)

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping like a big baby.

10:00 AM - Pretending to check my emails while staring at my dog while drinking a liter of coffee

12:00 PM - Abri Soba rue Saulnier in the 10th arrondissement. Le Servan in the 11th for an other kind of lunch and day (more wine, less work)

7:00 PM -  Heading out for a good glass of wine after a whole day locked on my computer screen. If I’m on set, 7PM would very likely be the hour when I’m starting to freak out about getting all my shots

11:00 PM - Depends on the type of night. Could be watching a movie as well as having endless conversations with friends around a dinner table. 

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Have I mentioned coffee and wine? 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? Instagram (as sad as I am to admit it, I’m quite addicted to it).

Favorite account: @duganoneal, @mytherapistsays @thefatjewish, @amours_solitaires

What should everyone try at least once? Therapy. I swear it’d make the world a better smoother chiller place. 

Where do you enjoy getting lost? Pretty much any new city I go to. Best way to visit a place. Definitely not a forest, nor a mountain. Getting lost is only fun when it’s under control. 

Kali Bailey: Commercial Director & Writer


My NativeAdVert:

Kali Bailey is a freelance commercial director and writer who specializes in family-friendly narrative storytelling. She bought her first camera at age 13 with money she earned picking up pecans in South Georgia and worked on her first feature film soon after at age 15. Since then she has worked on over 15 feature films and many other branded content campaigns. Currently, she is based in Nashville, TN producing and directing short form commercial content.

My Goal of the Day: Typically, my to-do list includes a rewrite on a project I’m working on and today is no exception. I have a commercial spot I’ll be shooting next weekend and I have to get the revisions out to actors today for rehearsals this weekend. 

My Thought of the Day: There is a Tanzanian proverb that says, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” In film, I think this is especially applicable. You don’t think that this little revision or that little edit will do much in the grand scheme of your huge career goals, but it all adds up.   

My Action of the Day: Go to the climbing gym. I try to work in some sort of physical activity every day to get away from a screen and one of my favorite things to do is grab my climbing shoes and go to the indoor gym 3 minutes from my house and finish a few good, hard routes.  

My Deed of the Day: Therapy. This is a non-traditional “deed” but I think the extent to which we help ourselves become healthy broadens our capability to extend help to others. 

My Tip of the Day: Get a real alarm clock so that when you wake up in the morning, you don’t check your phone within five seconds of waking up. Put it in the living room overnight. This will force you to get out of bed faster (because obviously, you’ve got to go check that phone).  

My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)

Sunsets are my favorite part of my day. I get FOMO if there is a good sunset outside and I’m stuck indoors or can’t see it from a good spot. Fortunately, the top of the hill where I live has a fantastic view of sunset. I try to end my day with a long walk around the neighborhood at sunset, reminding myself to look up and be present in the world. 


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Nashville is growing so much and so quickly it’s hard to keep up. But even in a growing city, there are so many pockets and local treasures that make Nashville feel small and homey. The people here are very genuine, kind and creative. And obviously, the music scene here is second to none. iF you’re ever in Nashville, I’d highly recommend seeing a show at The Basement for upcoming local artists or The Five Spot for Sunday Night Soul.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite local restaurant for breakfast is Frothey Monkey. They have an amazing egg and cheese biscuit and phenomenal coffee.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping. I’m not a morning person. I tend to get a lot more done when the sun goes down.

10:00 AM – Sitting at a coffee shop trying to work but also trying avoid working. As Stephen Pressfield outlines in “The War of Art,” we creatives are pretty insecure about our work so we are constantly trying to overcome the resistance we feel to doing the work. For example, right now I have a script revision to get to an actor before lunch but I decided to do these questions first and put off overcoming resistance for just a little bit longer. 

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? 

Bar Taco has a great vibe and incredible tacos not to mention the best margaritas in town.

7:00 PM -  Making salmon and baked asparagus (my specialty) and watching West Wing.

11:00 PM -  Writing my to-do list for the next day. This is something I do every day without fail. It helps me prioritize my following day and sets me up for productivity first thing the next morning. 

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I make a really strong cup of coffee with my percolator first thing in the morning. It jolts me awake and then I do my best to stick to water for the rest of the day. 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I use Spotify and/or instagram the most. I have a “John Williams” playlist that I have on constantly for inspiration and motivation. My favorite instagram account is @imsteph, an LGBT wedding/engagement photographer. Her posts are real, raw, beautiful and important. 

What should everyone try at least once?

Skydiving. It was without a doubt one of the most amazing things I have ever done (and much less scary than you’d think). And if you’re able, do it in New Zealand in Queenstown, the adventure capitol of the world. It’s like skydiving into Middle Earth.  

Where do you enjoy getting lost? 

In a good fiction book. 

Eszter Harsányi: Co-Founder, MagikMe


My NativeAdVert:

Eszter Harsányi was an HR consultant, has been working for a multinational company for 12 years. Six month later her second son was born, she was told that her son suffers from epilepsy. Because of his condition she spent lot’s of time in hospital with him. This was not tolerated by her employer so she had to leave the organization. Due to her son’s condition (impossible to have a classic job) she needed to change her career path. She desired something which can help to improve the quality life of her son and also others could benefit from it. So she co-founded MagikMe and became a CEO of it.

My Goal of the Day: Creating inclusive educational system, giving the opportunity to more and more disabled kids to spend their educational years with their non-disabled peers, joining to same fun as their non-disabled peers. 

My Thought of the Day: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn

My Action of the Day: Talking to 7 years old kids about the differences between Chanuka and Christmas (

My Deed of the Day:  Talk honestly about my story

My Tip of the Day: Be passionate

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Budapest has several types of architectural buildings. I love to walk on streets where every building is more than hundred years old, and love to enter to a Bauhaus building. 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

The most important is a good coffee 

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Waking up my kids, helping them to be ready for school.

10:00 AM – Working-creating the board game for our training module.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? 

Asian food, tehre is one very good where I leave

7:00 PM -  I’m with my kids, reading stories, playing, spending quality time together

11:00 PM - sleeping

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee 4 times a day

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?


What should everyone try at least once?

To stand up for human rights

Where do you enjoy getting lost? 

Lat time it happened to me was in Copenhagen in Christiania. I loved it.

Kathy Fusco: Writer & Director


My NativeAdVert:

Writer-Director Kathy Fusco started her career as a talent intern at Saturday Night Live, where she learned valuable skills like how to order 200 dollars worth of Taco Bell for Garth Brooks. After getting a taste of the fast-paced, creative environment at SNL, Kathy knew she wanted to dedicate her life to comedy. So, her next stop was the obvious choice: Court TV.  At Court TV, she honed her comedy chops writing on such subjects as homicide, cannibalism and double homicide. She produced promos for Nancy Grace, Catherine Crier and Johnnie Cochran, and also once made eye contact with O.J. Simpson, which somehow did not make it into The People v. O.J. Simpson. 

After 5 years at Court TV, Kathy decided to continue her comedy journey at a less obvious place: Comedy Central, where she wrote and directed such award winning campaigns as The Roast of James Franco, The Roast of Justin Bieber, South Park, Kroll Show and The Roast of Rob Lowe, which earned her a pair of Clios. Kathy was with Comedy Central for 14 years, most recently as the Vice President/Creative Director, Brand Creative. Kathy is based in New York and is represented as a commercial director by Hungry Man. 

My Goal of the Day: To accomplish something that gets me closer to my long term goal— getting my daughter to school on time. And creating my own comedy series.

My Thought of the Day: Let me think about that and get back to you.

My Action of the Day: Write or create something that makes me laugh.

My Deed of the Day: Making my writing partners laugh.

My Tip of the Day: Do what you love, don’t just do what you do.

My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special) 

This is a pic my three year old took of me with a polaroid camera. It’s special to me because she was so proud of her work, and also because polaroid pictures are very forgiving.


What do you love most about Your City? 

The first time I stepped out of the Graham Avenue station in Williamsburg, I immediately felt at home. Maybe because I overheard two older ladies talking about cannoli. I later learned that this very area of Brooklyn is where my dad’s family had settled after coming over from Italy. So for me there is a historical significance to living in their old neighborhood. I love chit-chatting with the older folk from the area about how it’s changed, and they usually end up knowing members of my family and then proceed to tell me hilarious stories about them. I also know it’s a thrill for my dad to be back in the old neighborhood when he visits.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? 

On weekends, my husband, daughter and I head to Esme in Greenpoint for pancakes. Aside from being the best pancakes in the world, it is one of the only things that we know with certaintly our daughter will eat. We also really love going to Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop because we also know she will 100% eat a pink glazed donut. Sitting at their old-timey counter and people watching while eating an egg & cheese on a bialy is always fun. Though waiting for said seat at the counter to open up is pure torture, particularly with a toddler. It’s always very, very crowded.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – I usually start my day with pilates at 5:45. Just kidding. I’m definitely sleeping. Unless I have an early call time for a shoot I’m directing, then I’m up and answering 3000 questions per minute.

10:00 AM - This is when my work day really starts. Some days I’m meeting with my writing partners (Sid Karger & Josh Borock), usually at Dumbo House where we do about an hour and a half of bits that only we think are funny before getting to work on whatever series we are developing at the time. Other days I’m writing commercial treatments, directing shoots or answering strange questionnaires about what I’m doing at 6am.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? 

I adore the veggie miso ramen at Chuko.

7:00 PM -  This is my favorite part of the day, when I can hang out with my daughter and husband before starting her bath & bedtime routine. I like to ask her about her day, and she likes to tell me that she has no recollection of anything that happened. I’ll sometimes pour myself a glass of red wine that I’ll forget to drink because my hands are busy picking up the same toy from the floor 45 times in 30 minutes.

11:00 PM - This is just around the time when I say “I should really get to bed” and then begin watching something dumb like Below Deck. 

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? 

I’m averaging about two skim lattes a day, but I want seven.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? 

For sure, Instagram. I’ve become one of those people that posts endless videos of my child, but I try to keep them entertaining. I really enjoy @almostmakesperfect on Instagram. She’s another new-ish mom whose posts are very funny but visually relaxing. A winning combo for me.

What should everyone try at least once? 

Broccoli Pie. It’s a family recipe that has zero nutritional value and sounds absolutely horrible on paper (it consists of only 4 ingredients: Velveeta cheese, Ritz crackers, frozen broccoli and butter) but IT IS DELIGHTFUL AND I DARE YOU NOT TO ASK FOR SECONDS.

Where do you enjoy getting lost? 

Inside this question.

Charmaine Smith: CEO, Innovative Technology Education Fund


My NativeAdVert:

Charmaine Smith moved to Saint Louis in 1987 from Wichita, Kansas to open a satellite office for the International Association of Machinists Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services (IAM CARES), a National social service agency.  In 2003, she left IAM CARES to start Discovering Options, a local non-profit dedicated to delivering high quality after school programs to at-risk children.  Charmaine believes, “We have an obligation to all children to provide them the access to the tools they will need to use in order to bring innovation to the way we work, play, learn and are transported in the future.”

Charmaine has served on the board of the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund since 2010. She joined Innovative Technology Education Fund on July 7, 2014 and is looking forward to advancing innovation in technology by funding school-based projects in the Greater Saint Louis Metropolitan area.

My Goal of the Day: To accomplish as much as possible and to thank those who help along the way. 

My Thought of the Day: Take the time to really see the people I encounter.

My Action of the Day: Created an agenda and talking points for a meeting, resolved an IT problem, participated in a conference call, and devised a procedure for a new policy. 

My Deed of the Day: Rolled down my window and said hello to the homeless gentleman who stands on the corner by my office. Chris is out there most days. If I have a few extra bucks or handwarmers or something to share with him, I will. 

My Tip of the Day: Stop and hold the door open for someone today. 

My Pic of the Day:

A Day in My Life:


What do you love most about Your City? Saint Louis has personality. Lafayette Square, the graffiti wall on the riverfront, parks and green spaces and plenty of good food. 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? Black Coffee with a shot of espresso—Kaldi’s Demun

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Feeding cats

10:00 AM – Returning Emails, tying up loose ends from day before, meeting with board, or committee members, communicating with innovators. 

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? Nicoise Salad at Café Bistro- Nordstrom

7:00 PM – Catching up on social media, cleaning up after dinner, and finding a good book to wrap up the evening. 

11:00 PM – I am sleeping

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee or Big Heart Tea: 3 - 4

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? Facebook Audubon Society

What should everyone try at least once? Guarding a caterpillar through its Chrysalis stage to butterfly.  

Where do you enjoy getting lost? St. Louis Art Museum

David Rubin: Founder & President, Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund


My NativeAdVert:

David Rubin is former mayor of Shiloh, Israel. He is founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, established to heal the trauma of terror victim children, after he and his three-year-old son were seriously wounded in a terror shooting attack. Rubin is the author of six books, including The Islamic Tsunami and his latest, More Sparks from Zion, and Trump and the Jews. His websites: and

My Goal of the Day: Save a life

My Thought of the Day: Do it with a smile

My Action of the Day: Spread a message of truth

My Deed of the Day: Support a project to heal trauma

My Tip of the Day: Be patient and persevere and

My Pic of the Day:


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? History and Multi-faceted rhythm 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? Pasta-Basta in Jerusalem

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Prayer/Worship

10:00 AM – Working at Computer Writing/Visiting Children’s Projects of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund (SICF)

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? Vegan meal with one of my children

7:00 PM - Working at Computer Writing/ Speaking with Donors to SICF

11:00 PM – Time with the Mrs.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Fresh-squeezed Vegetable/Fruit Juices

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? WhatsApp

What should everyone try at least once? Visit Israel

Where do you enjoy getting lost? The Old City of Jerusalem

Luke Sniewski: Documentary filmmaker, Wellbeing Coach & Somatic Therapist


My NativeAdVert: 

Made in Poland, born and raised in Southern California, father to a Kiwi boy, and currently meditating down in Auckland, New Zealand. Luke is a former professional football player turned Certified Public Accountant, turned personal trainer, turned international documentary filmmaker, turned Wellbeing Coach and Somatic Therapist. 

Luke’s client-centred approach empowers people to make productive changes in their life via movement, lifestyle and mindfulness strategies. He’s worked with successful executives as they transition their life with a greater focus on health and wellbeing, facilitated yoga and meditation classes for refugees as they settle into their new life in New Zealand, worked with obese clients ready to reclaim their health and wellbeing as they build healthy lifestyles from the ground up, and led mindfulness and meditation classes for professional Muay Thai fighters, as well as recovering drug addicts and alcoholics.

He has over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry working with a variety of clients and travelled around the world making a documentary series on healthy living in different cultures, Million Ways to Live, which was inspired by his book of the same title. Luke currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand where he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Drug and Alcohol Studies. He keeps himself busy balancing being a father and a PhD student at the Auckland University of Technology, where he is examining the experiences and effectiveness of meditation as an intervention for men with self-perceived problematic pornography use. Above all, he’s committed to staying present with the relationships and moment-to-moment experiences of my everyday life.

My Goal of the Day: Finding meaning, substance, and love in ordinary everyday life moments.  

My Thought of the Day: Everything that you ever need to learn about yourself is happening right now. 

My Action of the Day: As long as I move, I’m happy. 

My Deed of the Day: Give my time, attention, focus, and empathic listening to the person in front of me. 

My Tip of the Day: It’s not about you. 

My Pic of the Day: My practice.  


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

My son lives here. 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I usually skip breakfast, but when I do indulge, it’s scrambled eggs, bacon, guacamole, and haloumi. Gotta have haloumi. Home-cooked, obviously.  

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Waking up and transitioning to a morning breathing or meditation practice.  

10:00 AM – Usually finishing up my exercise for the day and transitioning into my work day, which is usually a daily adventure of PhD research, clients, and being a dad. 

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? 

Pork belly. It took me years to learn to cook it to perfection. I figure I have to cook it a few times per month to make sure I don’t forget how to do it. 

7:00 PM - Finishing up work, exhaling, and – sometimes – hoping into an ice bath. 

11:00 PM – Sound asleep

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Water. Boring, right?

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? JP Sears.

What should everyone try at least once?

A 10-day silent meditation retreat, like Vipassana. Consider it couple’s therapy for you and your mind. 

Where do you enjoy getting lost? 

In the moment.

Kate Grant: CEO, Fistula Foundation


My NativeAdVert:

Kate Grant joined the Fistula Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one hospital in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting treatment partners in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Under her leadership, the Foundation has more than quintupled its revenue, enabling the Foundation to support more than 10 times the number of fistula treatment surgeries, while helping build new women’s hospitals in Kenya, Bangladesh, Congo and Tanzania. She’s formed partnerships with key leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Astellas Pharma EMEA, The Life You Can Save founded by Professor Peter Singer, Direct Relief, Engender Health, and WAHA International. She’s led the Foundation to excellence – 13 consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, placing the Foundation in the top 1% of nonprofit organizations evaluated, earning a consistent “A” from Charity Watch, being named one of the top 50 charities in the U.S. by Consumer Reports, and enabling Fistula Foundation to earn more than 600 perfect 5 star ratings on GreatNonprofits. In recognition of these achievements, in 2014, Ms. Grant was named “Nonprofit Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association and American Marketing Association Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Grant was engaged in advocating for a strong United States role in international cooperation. She served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Staff and as the Special Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff at USAID and as a consultant to USAID’s Mission in Tanzania, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and the Women’s Funding Network. Ms. Grant holds an MPA with a focus on International Development from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, where she was elected chair of the school’s Graduate student body. Prior to attending Princeton, she was an advertising executive at two large agencies: Leo Burnett in Chicago and FCB in San Francisco, managing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, McDonald’s, and Clorox. She graduated with honors from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. She also completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Nonprofit Management. Ms. Grant has served on several boards, including the Governing Board of Graduate Alumni of Princeton University. She regularly gives presentations about the Foundation’s work, having lectured twice at Princeton University and at Oxford University, for the 2015 Effective Altruism Global conference.

My Goal of the Day: To help someone on my team contribute more to our mission: ending the suffering caused by the childbirth injury obstetric fistula. 

My Thought of the Day: “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.” – John Doer

My Action of the Day: It’s more of a mindset, really, and our whole team strives for it—to be efficient in everything that we do, and make sure that our supporters’ hard-earned donations help as many women as possible.

My Deed of the Day: Make sure I heartily thank at least on person who helps us help more women with obstetric fistula.

My Tip of the Day: “Done is better than perfect.” I put a lot of emphasis on getting stuff done—we’re in this work for the long haul, and the only way to accomplish anything is to keep moving.

My Pic of the Day

Last week, I received an email from our team in Mansa, Zambia. They just had a surprise visit from Rosemary, a fishmonger and mother of six. She had been carrying dried fish to the market, and noticed a new building in town with our logo on the front. She just had to go inside!

Six months ago, Rosemary received life-changing fistula repair surgery. Now healed, she stopped into our office to give a big “thank you” to the people who made her new life possible. This one made my day!


A Day in My Life

What do you love most about your city?

Our office is located in San Jose, California, and I love this city for its diversity—there are people here from all over the world. It is stimulating, interesting, and dynamic.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I always enjoy the tofu scramble at my neighborhood Crepes Bistro—with a giant cup of strong coffee.

What are you doing at…

6:00am - Sleeping—it’s important to get a good night’s rest, so that every day I can be at the top of my game.

10:00am - Finishing my morning email correspondence, and heading into a meeting with my Deputy Director to set priorities for the day.

12:00pm - Usually eating lunch at my desk. If I have time, I enjoy taking short walks in the neighborhood with my rescue dog, Carly, who comes with me to the office every day.

7:00pm - Making dinner, and listening to a rebroadcasting of “Fresh Air” on NPR with Terry Gross. She offers perspectives that I wouldn’t otherwise hear—from jazz musicians to historians to athletes. Her insight is an ideal way to unplug from work and start winding down for the day.

11:00pm - Reading in bed. My favorite book this year was Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness,” which addresses common misconceptions about the ‘developing’ world. I think it should be required reading! I also loved Steven Pinker’s Enlightement Now: The case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.  In these challenging times I appreciate rigorous fact based analysis like both Pinker’s and Rosling’s that demonstrate the state of the world is actually improving.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many?)

I sip on sparkling water to keep me refreshed and alert.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I like to keep an eye on what’s trending on Reddit, but I spend much more time reading the New York Times. I also make a point to read the perspectives from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. In these divided times, I want to make sure that I’m gathering points of view that I might not otherwise hear in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What should everyone try at least once?

Everyone should travel to a low-income country, and make a point to step away from resorts and tourist areas. It puts into perspective the everyday things we take for granted.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In a city where I don’t live… unless I’m running to catch a flight!

Anjanette Sinesio: Owner, Gem-Water


My NativeAdVert:

Twenty-two year luxury jewelry veteran Anjanette Sinesio is the founder and owner of e-commerce retailer Gem-Water, which sells the original and most coveted crystal infusing water bottles on the market by VitaJuwel. The line crosses over such a broad range of categories that it is sold around the world at top luxury retailers, jewelers, spas, yoga studios, accessory boutiques, and gift stores. Fashion giants Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s are amongst her roster of over 300 stores. Sinesio is an award winning jewelry designer, lover of gems, and a forward thinking entrepreneur. She co-founded the Diamond in the Rough brand, which launched in 2006 at Bergdorf Goodman when many hadn’t even seen rough diamonds used in jewelry before. Six years later she launched SKY and LIVI, a lab-grown diamond company that transformed the hair women lost during chemotherapy treatments into their own personal diamond. Sinesio spent the beginning of her career in executive roles at Mayor’s Jewelers, LEVIEV, Todd Reed, Stefan Hafner for Bernard Grosz, and Chimento. Anjanette is continuing to expand and will be launching a new jewelry line and other accessories in 2019!

My Goal of the Day: To learn, grow and love.  

My Thought of the Day: Always remember that the universe is inside of me. 

My Action of the Day: Remind someone that they are loved.

My Tip of the Day: Let the people in your life know you love them.

 My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)

Miss Unicorn Gem-Water Bottle 

“The Unicorn is symbolic of everything magical and when creating our new blend I wanted to make a crystal elixir that was magical too. Too often we get caught up in the negative and forget that this world is full of beautiful, mystical encounters that are hard to explain. I'm sure you’ve felt that pull some days to forget. Well, I want to focus on remembering, so I created this blend knowing that every time I take a sip of water I’m bringing that desire into my consciousness, and manifesting the magical.  This blend has stones that are said to help with overall wellness, balance, connecting to the feminine divine, love and so much more!“

Miss Unicorn $150 -  

24K Gold Flakes


Rose Quartz



Rainbow Moonstone

Clear Quartz


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? 

The weather here, I live by the beach and love being surrounded by water, the vibe, amazing restaurants and entertainment.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? 

Bru’s Wiffle in Santa Monica for Chicken & Waffles, I love their Chicken on Fire with Blazing Sauce, no onion, and I add eggs over easy on top. It’s my special cheat day breakfast I just love!!!!!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM –  sleeping, I’m not an early riser

10:00 AM – organizing everything on my board that has to be done for work for the day, we use this app program “Monday” that I adore, it makes this Virgo girl VERY happy! 

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? 

Sushi at Sugarfish in Marina del Rey

7:00 PM -  Still working usually, finalizing things, getting ready to wrap up for the night…hopefully!

11:00 PM – On the tail end of binge watching something. There is so much incredible TV my hubby and I enjoy – it’s like reading a good book, I just have to go to the next chapter when I’m hooked and can’t put it down!  

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Water, it’s pretty much all I drink.  I use filtered water from my sink, and put it in either my gem-water bottle, or our ERA decanter & Vial. We always have our Diamond Vial in our ERA decanter filled to drink, as it keeps me fortified throughout the day. I try and always get in my 8 glasses a day.  As far as the end of the day, I’m not one who needs “a drink” at the end of the day, BUT if we’ve had an extra stressful day and go to dinner all bets are off…lol!  I’ll have a glass of wine, or if we’re eating sushi a Nigori Sake is my favorite. Oh, and I love a great green tea. 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? 

 I’m on Instagram more than anything, and gosh, a favorite, that’s hard. Comedian Celeste Barber when I need a laugh, Photographer Desiree Matson really inspires me and I love Dita von Teese. 

What should everyone try at least once? 

Sushi, I was so afraid to try it when I was 16, my brother made me, and I don’t think there’s been a week that I don’t eat sushi!

Where do you enjoy getting lost? 

I love getting lost in music, dancing and just letting it take over. And I love getting lost at the Tucson Gem Show .  


IG: @gem_water_lover

FB: @gemwaterlover

TW: @gemwaterlover


Anthony Meindl: Award winning Writer, Director, Acting teacher, & Founder Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop (AMAW)


My NativeAdVert:

Anthony Meindl is an award winning writer, director, acting teacher, and founder of the international Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop (AMAW), with studios in Los Angeles, New York, Santa Fe Atlanta, London, Vancouver, Toronto, and Sydney. He's known for teaching the next generation of young Hollywood stars such as Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies), Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2) and many more. Anthony has guest lectured at the prestigious Moscow Art Theater, the Actors Centre London, and David Lynch's Masters of Filmmaking Program. He is the author of three books: the best-selling At Left Brain Turn RightBook The Fucking Job, and Alphabet Soup for Grown-ups

His work in film has won numerous awards including Grand Prize for “Feature Screenplay” in the Slamdance Film Festival Screenplay Competition, best TV pilot pitch at Banff World Television Festival, Audience Awards at the Honolulu Rainbow Film Fest, the LA Downtown Independent Film Fest and the Golden Door Film Festival, and shown worldwide. Meindl wrote and directed two feature films releasing early next year touching on timely social issues, Sum of Us and Where We Go From Here

My Goal of the Day: To be as fully present in each moment as I can.

My Thought of the Day: Everything always works out.

My Action of the Day: To imbue all action with love and gratitude.

My Deed of the Day: If I’m taking action from love, the bigger question is how can I be of service in this moment?

My Tip of the Day: Try to laugh more and not take any of it too seriously. Always contextualize: The planet has been around for 4.5 billion years (!) – our time on this earth is really inconsequential in the big scheme of things.

My Pic of the Day: 


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

It’s people.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Blue Jam Café.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM –  Meditating

10:00 AM – Working

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Le Pain Quotidien Larchmont

7:00 PM -  Teaching at AMAW Studios

11:00 PM – Meditating

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

LOL margaritas are always nice

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I try not to stay on Instagram any longer than posting and then getting off the App.

What should everyone try at least once?

An acting class!! It’s life changing. And teaches you empathy.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Anywhere in Europe. Or anywhere in the world, really




Anthony Meindl App

Dr. Madelyn Blair: Speaker, Author, Executive advisor & Founder, Pelerei


My NativeAdVert:

For the past 30 years, Madelyn Blair works with her executive clients to help them achieve their dreams for their business, their staff, or themselves. Meeting today’s complex challenges with ease calls upon resilience. Her approach of using narrative, resilience practices, and deepening knowledge builds a strong, sustainable foundation. Dr. Blair speaks throughout the world on unlocking resilience.  She has done leading work in the use of story for the last 20 years. Among her positions, Dr. Blair is faculty at Columbia University and blogs on Psychology Today on the topic of Resilient leadership.

My Goal of the Day:

My daily goal is to stay ‘in practice.’ Practice for me is sitting in silence for 5 minutes, reflecting on who I am, posing a question for the day, and last, but not least, deciding on the most important thing I should do for the day. That simple set of practices keeps me resilient no matter what is happening around me – and resilience is essential.

My Thought of the Day:

Bring your whole self to the world every day. It is the finest gift you have to offer. It is your best.

My Action of the Day:

It is my job to choose how I will respond to the challenges each day presents. Staying in the practice for resilience prepares me to choose well.

My Tip of the Day: Be generous in all that you do.

My Pic of the Day:


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I actually live in the country. My view is of grass and trees with mountains in the distance. That said, I actually enjoy cities very much. New York, for example, is filled with energy. You can feel it when you walk down the street. I seem to be able to do more when I’m in NYC. Washington, which is closer to me, is a city best described as beautiful and heavy with history. I get more done when in New York.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I always prefer to eat what makes my body happy. I have found that staying within this boundary has led me to more energy, clearer thinking, and boundless curiosity. If my body craves green vegetables, I eat them. If it feels like it should have meat, I eat meat. If I remain in tune with my body, everything works better – and I always fit my wardrobe!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM: I’m a person who expends enormous amounts of energy in the day and so I need a lot of sleep. At 6 am, I’m sleeping until 7. Morning exercise? Absolutely. Just before I hit the office.  

10:00 AM: Deep in my first project – usually the one that is the most important for me to do that day.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Lunch is always best in my kitchen – smoked salmon on a slice of gluten free toast. When I travel, it is the meal I miss the most.

7:00 PM - Wrapping up for the day which means cooking dinner. As I love cooking, I usually find this energizing and fun—a great way to end the work day.

11:00 PM – In bed, listening to a podcast until I fall asleep.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

One time when I had a bladder infection, I was told to drink water all day long. It became a habit. The more I drink, the better I feel. The water is room temperature, but when I did some work in China, I learned the secret of drinking hot water right after a meal. Perfection.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

The app I use the most is Clock. As I begin the day, I check my calendar and set alarms at 2 minutes before the time I must move to each event. Being freed from checking the time, I can focus deeply between meetings. It’s amazing what you can get done even in short, intense blocks of time.

What should everyone try at least once?

To listen to someone else for as long as they want to talk. And when I say listen, I mean that in its deepest sense. You are not thinking of your response. You are not judging what they are saying as right or wrong. You are not even thinking about how it fits into what you think. You are just taking in what they are saying. At some point, the other person will acquire a look on their face of genuine appreciation. At that point, you will know that you have listened deeply, and you may have made a new friend.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

My favorite place for ‘getting lost’ is when the words in my mind quiet down and I work in the world of patterns. This can happen when I am reviewing data but especially as I put together a jigsaw puzzle. It is the one activity I can do for hours without ever getting bored. To do it demands that you remove all language and work strictly with shape, color, and image. I think every artist knows this place, too.

Mark Van Lue, Executive Director, San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity


My NativeAdVert:

Mark Van Lue, Executive Director for San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity, has 20 years of experience in the Habitat organization.  Mark started his Habitat career in 1999 as Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity in South Bend, Indiana.  In 2006, he moved to Americus, Georgia to accept the position of Director of Construction and Environmental Resources at Habitat for Humanity International, where he provided global support and oversight to Habitat’s construction operations.  He also provided project management for Habitat’s disaster response team in the US Gulf Coast, and for high profile special event builds in the US and abroad.  In 2007, he joined Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles as Vice President of Construction and Real Estate, and later moved to Chief Operating Officer.  He has been in construction management and leadership roles for over 35 years. Raised in Indiana, Mark now lives with his wife, Laura, in Monrovia, California.  His two grown daughters are married, and he has five grandchildren. Mark has been honored with the Clarence Jordan award for developing the Cornerstone Training Program, a hands-on construction skills training course, and the Lester M. Wolfson award for non-fiction writing.  Mark has led Habitat build projects around the world, including India, Nepal, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and others.

My Goal of the Day: First, do no harm.  Second, be an encouragement to others.

My Thought of the Day: Decent and affordable housing is a foundation on which to thrive.

My Action of the Day:  Complete at least two things from my to do list.

My Deed of the Day: Accommodating others’ schedules over my own preferences.

My Tip of the Day: Worry is interest paid on a debt you don’t yet owe.

My Pic of the Day:


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?  Diversity . . . in culture, geography, ethnicity.  Los Angeles is an amazing place full of promise and possibility.  Where else can you snow ski in the morning, and walk barefoot on the beach in the afternoon!

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? 

Corned beef hash and eggs.  I love a good sushi place!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Rolling out of bed for another day.  At work by 7am.

10:00 AM – I’m either in a meeting, visiting one of our build sites or retail locations, or hunkered down in my office doing project work. 

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Too often at my desk.  I enjoy running out to a local restaurant, usually Mexican, Thai, or a deli.  I tend to have many business meetings over lunch, which I dislike because I barely remember what I ate.

7:00 PM - Hopefully at home relaxing and giving treats to our cats.  2-3 days a week I am at evening meetings of some sort.

11:00 PM – Calling it a day. 

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? 

2 cups of black coffee in the morning, sometimes a beer or glass of wine with dinner.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? 

Messenger and Safari.  I’m not on Instagram.

What should everyone try at least once? 

A Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip.  It is simply life-changing.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In really good music (I have a very eclectic collection), and at a local market in (insert any foreign country here).


Aqsa Altaf: Filmmaker


My NativeAdVert:

Los Angeles based filmmaker Aqsa Altaf loves to capture moments that feel like they are stolen from everyday life. Being raised in Kuwait by Pakistani and Sri Lankan parents, Aqsa is fascinated with telling stories that are diverse in nature. She loves to dig for stories, characters, and circumstances that show the audience the part of the world that usually doesn’t get much attention. Aqsa was recently selected as one of the filmmakers to participate in the 2018 Werner Herzog Filmmaking Workshop in the Peruvian jungle organized by The Black Factory Cinema.

Her short film ONE SMALL STEP has won many awards and will be playing at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. She's interned for production companies like PLAN B, THE KENNEDY/MARSHALL COMPANY,  ANNAPURNA PICTURES and worked as an assistant for Jason Michael Berman at MANDALAY ENTERTAINMENT. She has wrote, directed, and produced many short films. She is currently developing her first feature film. 

My Goal of the Day: To make progress on the feature I am writing and work on the mood board for my short film. 

My Thought of the Day: Be a little better than yesterday.

My Action of the Day: Make good Matcha Latte at home.

My Deed of the Day: Be positive.

My Tip of the Day: Morning Pages!

 My Pic of the Day:


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love the weather in Los Angeles. Everyday is a beautiful day filled with positive energy. It allows me to be productive and helps with taking nice walks in between long creative sessions.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Homemade egg and toast with green olives.

Not a big breakfast person in general so going out for breakfast doesn’t excite me as much.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Waking up for work

10:00 AM – If not working for someone else, I am working for myself.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?


7:00 PM -  Like to watch a film.

11:00 PM – Reading to wind down before going to bed.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Try to avoid spending money on drinks everyday but love my matcha latte when I get it.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Letterboxd! And favorite Instagram account is Somewheremagazine!

 What should everyone try at least once?

Traveling alone.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?


Courtney Sprtizer: Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Socialfly & The Entreprenista Podcast


My NativeAdVert:

Courtney Sprtizer is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Socialfly. A graduate of New York University, Ms. Spritzer moved to Boston, MA to pursue a career in underwriting where she analyzed and worked with various different companies across telecom, banking, construction, and retail industries. She then moved to New York City to join a top financial services company as a financial analyst providing analytical support for marketing and product development initiatives. Captivated by the social media movement taking place within the company and across most fortune 500 companies, Ms. Spritzer realized that social media was becoming a fast growing marketing platform and became fascinated by the quickly evolving industry. Given her analytical mind and interest in the social space, Ms. Spritzer joined forces with Ms. Abrams to combine their individual skill sets and form Socialfly. The Entreprenista Podcast: The Entreprenista Podcast is a weekly show featuring the stories of successful female founders and what it's really like to run a business. Hosted by Stephanie Cartin & Courtney Spritzer, co-founders of Socialfly, a leading social media marketing agency, each episode goes beyond what you see on Instagram and into the nitty-gritty of growing and scaling a company effectively from women who’ve done it. Consider this the most fun business meeting you’ll ever have. 

My Goal of the Day: Keep planning for 2019!

My Thought of the Day: Don’t worry about what other people think.

My Action of the Day: Taking a client to dinner.

My Deed of the Day: Donated to my favorite charity through the Givz app.  

My Tip of the Day: Stay calm, there is always a solution.

 My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)

We just took pictures of the office dogs for the holidays and we are all a little obsessed.


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

There is always a new restaurant or place to see.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Kava coffee.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – My dog Nori is waking me up.

10:00 AM - A team meeting to go over our goals for the day.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Soho House. 

7:00 PM - Working out at Body Space Fitness with my trainer.

11:00 PM - Dreaming of another productive day.  

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?


Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?


What should everyone try at least once?


Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Central Park.


Stephanie Cartin: Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Socialfly & The Entreprenista Podcast


My NativeAdvert:

Stephanie Cartin is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Socialfly. A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Mrs. Cartin began her career in sales at Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide. Realizing the connection between social media and business growth, Mrs. Cartin decided to leave her career in sales in 2009 to utilize her digital media expertise in the business world. Combining her sales and marketing experience with her underlying passion for helping others succeed, Mrs. Cartin developed her first companies, Astar Interactive and Gabbaroo. In 2011, she co-founded Socialfly, a full service digital marketing and public relations company specializing in Hospitality, lifestyle, and entertainment companies. The Entreprenista Podcast: The Entreprenista Podcast is a weekly show featuring the stories of successful female founders and what it's really like to run a business. Hosted by Stephanie Cartin & Courtney Spritzer, co-founders of Socialfly, a leading social media marketing agency, each episode goes beyond what you see on Instagram and into the nitty-gritty of growing and scaling a company effectively from women who’ve done it. Consider this the most fun business meeting you’ll ever have. 

My Goal of the Day: Divide and conquer new business proposals with my team.

My Thought of the Day: Stay positive! No challenge is too big to overcome.

My Action of the Day: Drinking lots of water.

My Deed of the Day: I used the Givz app to donate to the Tisch MS Research Center and the Baby Quest Foundation.

My Tip of the Day: Focus on the positive and visualize the outcome you want!

 My Pic of the Day: (any additional pic that expresses something special)

We just took pictures of the office dogs for the holidays and we are all a little obsessed.


A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Being able to go see a Broadway show at the last minute! 

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Gluten free & dairy free muffins from By the Way Bakery on the Upper East Side.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Just waking up and checking on emails.

10:00 AM - Meeting with members of the team to discuss priorities for the day.  

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I recently discovered Pure Kitchen and loved it. Everything on their menu looked amazing.

7:00 PM - Just getting home to relax with my husband and puppy!

11:00 PM - One last scroll through Instagram before going to bed.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Water and decaf tea!

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? Instagram is my favorite app and my favorite account right now is Kindbody.

What should everyone try at least once? By the Way Bakery! You won’t be able to tell that these desserts are gluten and dairy free.

Where do you enjoy getting lost? Reruns of Fixer Upper


Steven Ujifusa: American narrative historian & Author


My NativeAdvert:

Steven Ujifusa is an American narrative historian. His second book, Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship (Simon and Schuster, 2018) tells the saga of the great 19th century American clipper ships and the Yankee merchant dynasties they created.  China trader Warren Delano II, maternal grandfather of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, takes center stage in the narrative. Barons of the Sea has received positive reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Kirkus Reviews.  Nathaniel Philbrick has described it as “Full of remarkable characters and incredible stories… a fascinating, fast-paced history of America’s clipper ship era. Highly recommended.” In 2012, The Wall Street Journal named his first book A Man and His Ship: America’s Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Building the SS United States (Simon & Schuster, 2012) as one of the 10 best nonfiction books of the year.  

He has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and numerous other media outlets. He is a frequent contributor to the urban history website He lectures on American business, urban, and maritime history at venues around the country.  He received his undergraduate degree in history from Harvard and his masters in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. He resides with his wife and son in Philadelphia’s Cedar Park neighborhood

My Goal of the Day: Taking David McCullough’s advice of writing 1,000 words a day.

My Thought of the Day:  I spent a lot of time reading and researching, but creative insights usually don’t happen while I’m on my laptop. They usually happen when I do something physical, such as walking around the city, biking, or rowing on the Schuylkill River. However, rowing in the early morning has been much harder to do since my wife and I had our son a year ago.

My Action of the Day:  Talking small steps every day toward a much larger goal. Both of my books took five years to write, and I realize now they were massive agglomerations of tiny, daily actions.

My Deed of the Day:  Teaching my son to appreciate books and music.  

My Tip of the Day:  My father’s motto: Where there is gratitude, there is civilization.

My Pic of the Day:


Outside of La Venencia (Ernest Hemingway’s favorite sherry bar) in Madrid with my wife Alexandra and son Isaac this past spring.

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Philadelphia is an urban history layer cake. Every architectural style is there: colonial, Federal Victorian, Art Deco. And it’s chock full of fascinating stories, institutions, and personalities.  I’m originally from the New York City area, but I’ve spent most of my post-college adult life here, and it’s here that I feel that I’ve really come into my own as a professional.  And when it comes to living and breathing American history, this city is hard to beat.  As the great architect and Philadelphia native Louis Kahn said: “A city is the place of availabilities. It is the place where a small boy, as he walks through it, may see something that will tell him what he wants to do his whole life.”

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Everything bagel with hummus, pesto, and hot sauce at the Green Line Café.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – half-asleep, waiting for a noise to come from the baby monitor.

10:00 AM – in my home office writing. I’ve always been a morning person, and I feel I have the most creative clarity when the day is fresh.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Char grilled pork banh mi at Fu-Wah Mini Market or the yedoro chicken at Abysinnia Ethiopian Restaurant.

7:00 PM - cooking dinner with my wife, trying out a new recipe from the New York Times or (my new favorite cookbook) Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna. On Monday nights, I rehearse with the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, my singing group.

11:00 PM – asleep, or trying to make it through a movie.  Our last movie was Crazy Rich Asians, and I managed to stay awake till the end.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Two cups of La Colombe coffee. And an afternoon cup of “Gunpowder Green” or Hu-Kwa tea.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Spotify. I listen almost exclusively to classical music and jazz, with some American folk music thrown in.  Bach is my go-to writing music.

What should everyone try at least once?

Try some form of gardening. It will teach you the importance of planning, patience, and how to deal with unexpected events (i.e., voracious West Philly squirrels digging up your prized lily bulbs).

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Hiking in the Wissahickon Valley Park, driving around Chester County on an autumn day, or being on the water.