Kristy Chong: Founder & CEO, MODIBODI

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My Admission Statement: I’m Kristy Chong. As the CEO and creator of Modibodi, I am a busy mum on a mission, a fash-tech entrepreneur and a social advocate for women’s health issues and rights. I designed, developed and scientifically proved my patented Modifier Technology™ leak-proof undies and transformed this into the Modibodi™ collection, a revolutionary women’s high-tech leak-proof apparel brand that empowers women of all ages, shapes and sizes to live a better life.

My vision was to build a brand that makes the world better by empowering every bodi to make real, positive change. As part of this vision, Modibodi™ actively supports causes and organisations close to our heart, such as Days for Girls.

How did you get into the industry?

I was a full-time mum of a two-year-old and five-month-old at the time, living in Seattle (USA) surrounded by tech start-ups.

I was out jogging, in fact, I was training for a marathon and had been experiencing occasional light bladder leaks. The available solutions were ugly, inconvenient, uncomfortable and a hazard to our environment - disposable hygiene. I just felt we deserved something better.

Once I realised how problematic the issue was, I also couldn't understand why with all the advancements in technology, underwear and disposable hygiene had not evolved. I knew instantly that I was going to have to create a whole new product category for women. I am really proud that I took that idea and turned it into a product and now products that can more conveniently, comfortably and reliably manage menstrual flow, incontinence, sweat and even breast milk leaks, and reduce the amount of single-use products ending up in landfill and damaging our environment.  

I spoke to chemical textile engineers, scientists, garment developers, and textile mills and then did the sourcing and scientific testing over 18 months to develop our patented Modifier Technology. The technology is found in the gusset area (and bra area of our breastfeeding singlets) and works by wicking moisture away from the body through to an absorbent and odour eliminating middle layer, then a waterproof breathable, hi-tech barrier prevents leakage. You can wear Modibodi all day long and you never have to use tampons, liners or pads again.

How does MODIBODI work?

We have four types of linings, the most popular product, the period and pee friendly undies are super-slim, only 3mm thick and can hold up to 20ml or two tampons worth of liquid per leak. They have three layers, which each play a role:

The top layer quickly wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells, so you stay dry and fresh

The middle layer safely absorbs fluid and locks it away (2.5-20mls)

The bottom layer is extra waterproof protection, so you’re super secure

For more info about the other linings, visit our website.

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What is your vision for the business?

Once we’d developed the product, I sought some opinions as to how I should market this range of life-changing undies. I was repeatedly told we’d need super glamorous models to make supposed unmentionable topics (menstruation and incontinence) tolerable to Australian women and the media.

I refused to believe this was the only way we could have a presence in the market and from day one we’ve sourced customers or everyday women from diverse backgrounds to help model and sell our products.

Six years later we have customers contacting us daily to take part in our photos shoots that celebrate women of every size, ethnicity and age. From mums to athletes, nans to our movers and shakers in the business world, you’ll see every type of woman, and all remain photoshop free.

We’re also passionate about educating the next generation of Australian women about loving themselves and encourage them to be adventurous and to get on with all the amazing things that need to be done today, period or no period. Which is the inspiration behind our teen range, RED.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The biggest challenge is breaking down the taboo around talking about periods, bladder leaks and sweat. Let’s get real. It’s common. Most women have or will get their period, it’s in our DNA and one in three mums experience bladder leaks, but traditionally, women don’t talk about it.

As a mum, how do you juggle all aspects of life from work to parenting and social?

I never dreamed that Modibodi would be so big. But I’m naturally driven by purpose, and when I started to see the positive, life-changing impact the product was having, and that it was truly fulfilling an unmet need, I felt driven to grow this company and take it globally. I absolutely love going to work and hearing stories about how we are changing women’s lives all around the world.

I have a great team around me and I put both 100 percent into my family and the business. What I do miss out on is ‘me time’. But I love what I do. I have the flexibility to be there for my family, but I have also been known to be up between the hours of 1am and 4am working.

What advice do you have for other working mothers?

That you are like a rubber band, you will definitely feel stretched, but you won’t break, you will bounce back. And to find a brand that or career that makes going to work worthwhile.

Don't settle working for a company because you think they pay well and have kindly supported your part-time work situation. Instead find a job that challenges you and utilises your skillset and a brand/business that means something to you. Don’t undersell yourself because you want flexible working.

What's next for the business in the near future?

We continue to develop innovative new products and we aim to be the number one protective, hi-tech, fashionable apparel brand that offers all bodies convenient, comfortable and sustainable solutions for their moisture concerns - be it menstruation, incontinence, perspiration, discharge or breast milk leaks.

We will also continue to increase our social impact through our own ‘Give a Pair’ program and working with a variety of organisations in Australia and across the globe to deliver women in need a sustainable, simple solution to manage menstruation and incontinence

A Day in My Life:

There is no typical day for me, but it mostly consists of juggling family with work. I have four kids, so mornings start early and are hectic. I usually get out the door 20 minutes later than I planned – which I’m sure many mums can relate to!

I usually leave the office by 5.30 as making time for spending time with my family is my non-negotiable! However, once kids are in bed I log back on on week nights to do a few more hours, and I have the odd night or two of working at 2am. I try to keep weekends as work free as possible.

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Andrea Brognano: Founder & CEO, Therapy Connection

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My Admission Statement: My name is Andrea Brognano. I am a licensed Mental Health Clinician in the states of New York and New Jersey. I am the Division Director of Development and Community Relations at PCCS (a non profit dedicated to social change). I also have the opportunity to partner and work for CEYou, a company that provides Continuing Education to Clinicians in Social Work nation wide. Most recently: I STARTED MY OWN ONLINE TELHEALTH PRACTICE!! I am proud to say I am the Founder and CEO of Therapy Connection.

As you can tell: I love to work. I find that in my various roles, I have the opportunity to connect with all different people from all different backgrounds. I love meeting others, learning from them, and growing. Positive mind truly brings a positive outcome and I encourage others to think and feel similarly!

How did you get into the industry?

While working as a dance teacher, I had connected well with one of my students who had a developmental disability. Her mother had asked me to babysit for her. Years later when I came home from college, her mother stated she needed a worker in the home for her. I applied and began working as her Direct Support Professional. I then had the opportunity to continue growing in the field. I knew I always enjoyed helping others and seeing them grow. As a therapist, I get to talk to people on a regular basis and watch as their lives transform. Everyone has the ability to live the life they want; they just need the support and tools to get there sometimes.

Career advice to those in your industry?

ALWAYS keep an open mind. There is ALWAYS a reason that you connect with someone. People do not just meet by chance: there is always a common ground in what you do. For me, connecting people that don’t see how their work can align with what I do has always been awesome: to see how worlds collide and we are all one.

Any emerging industry trends?

Online therapy is something that is continuing to come to the forefront of the health industry. I think this largely has to do with our busy world and keeping up with the way in which we receive information. We have the ability to have a convenience of lifestyle and I don’t think that should be limited to just shopping or research. Finding support and help online can really impact someone’s life.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate others by keeping positive and reminding people to unplug. Sometimes, I have to remind others that its okay to not be okay: we ARE all human after all.

What are my aspirations?

I want to lead a life that I am happy and proud of. I think far too often do we get caught up in all the rush and rumble of a work day and we do not spend enough time LIVING. For me, professionally I want to live a life that my family says I spent enough time with them.

My Biggest Success?

Opening my own practice. I think this was a huge accomplishment and something I have always set forth to want to do. Being able to be the captain of my own ship, guiding myself and others is really a huge milestone that I am most definitely proud of it.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Navigating a true work-life balance. For me, I always thought that I would be looked down upon if I did not “do it all.” And this totally was not the case. I had to learn what it really meant to balance my life. Whenever I unplugged from work, I always came back with really fresh ideas and to a team that was happier to have me.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My mother has always been a role model for me. She encouraged me to work hard and to do what I believe in as right. She believed in me and was someone I always looked up to. As a working mother, she always put her children first and made sure her career took her in a space to be able to support us (my brother and me). In looking at celebrities that influence, Sophia Bush has always been a truly remarkable soul. She recognizes and respects that all humans are humans and that equitable relationships are those we should build upon. As a humanitarian, my soul connects with all that she stands for: in treating others justly, in saving our planet by using resources and companies with the mission to decrease global warming, and to be a positive person in a sometimes negative world.

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This photo was taken in my cousins home. I had such true joy working with my cousin. She was taking pictures for my business. But it was the first time I got to see her in her line of work and to see her shine. THAT was a moment I will never forget.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: End the day with a positive mind. A day ended with unhappy thoughts leads to a bad next day, a bad week, and so on.

Action of the Day: Always do one small act of kindness.

Tip of the Day: Stay organized from the moment you awake!

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I like to think that I occupy space in two cities: Staten Island, NY and Old Bridge, NJ. Staten Island is my work home-but its also the space I grew up. I have made so many wonderful connections with people and always can find something to do or someone to be with. I love where I now live, in Old Bridge. My home is 10 minutes away in any direction from some of my closest friends and my family members. It also doesn’t hurt that we have many stores and restaurants to choose from close to my home. A food truck right behind our home?! (Thank you LaLa’s!)

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast would have to be my nutritional cleansing shake (strawberry with some greens!). If I am going out to eat, it would definitely be any diner: I mean! How can you resist a good ol spinach and feta cheese omelet with a side of breakfast potatoes?

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – The morning either starts with a workout session at the gym or catching up on laundry. Either way, I always make sure my mornings are productive!

10:00 AM – This is a time of day where most of my meetings occur. It’s a little after everyone has settled into the office and we are all ready to get the ball rolling. I love starting the day off with a productive meeting with a team of people ready to conquer any challenges that might come our way.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Tropical smoothie!! I love getting a nice healthy smoothly or a whole grain sandwich. Just the perfect fix for a mid day meal and helps to keep me continued to be energized throughout the day.

7:00 PM - Time to unwind! This is usually the time I hop on Netflix or read a good book.

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

TEA. Black tea or a chai tea is my go to! It helps me stay fueled and focused.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I love going on Instagram to either catch up with the news, friends, family, or to get a good laugh. I LOVE following Sophia Bush. I think she has a great perspective on life and she is someone I admire.

What should everyone try at least once?

Stepping out of your comfort zone. At least once. Stepping out of your comfort zone makes you uncomfortable but also catapults you to the next level of your life.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In a good book! No matter what type of book, you can escape from the day to day reality you are in to a new space. And that is just awesome!

Wendy Diamond: Internationally Renowned Social Entrepreneur, Impact Investor, Humanitarian & Best Selling Author

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My Admission Statement: My unwavering passion for technology grows from the innovation and positive social impact it will have on the world to support the underdog!  It has also developed me as a social entrepreneur with multi-faceted initiatives and has given me a wealth of global contacts ranging from CEOs and philanthropists to royal families and government officials. My role in this sphere is to inspire governments, business leaders, and civil society to embrace - Life/Health Sciences, Renewable Energy, Blockchain, Robotics, FinTech, Real Estate, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual/Augmented Reality!  I'm excited to collaborate and advantageously revolutionize this space with you to benefit everyone worldwide! 

Bio: Internationally Renowned Social Entrepreneur, Impact Investor, Humanitarian, Best Selling Author -  Wendy Diamond is CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO)/#ChooseWOMEN, a non-governmental philanthropic volunteer organization with chapters in 144 countries and 112 Universities/Colleges on a global mission to empower WOMEN in business to alleviate poverty.  

She is an Investor/Advisor in social impact disruptive technologies and women led businesses including  Producers Market, RISE Wealth  Technologies, LOOK Lateral Art, IPWE , IGP Methanol, Blocktower Investments, Infinigon Group, SAFE Health App,   Farma Trust, Breathometer, and SNAKT Video APP.  

CLICK HERE to learn more about her investments! 

Wendy has authored 10 widely-celebrated books, garnered Three Guinness World Records, and has appeared in media outlets including Oprah, NBC’s Today Show, The New York Times and Forbes. She has been also been a featured keynote speaker at the United Nations, Harvard University and Davos.

Wendy sits on the Advisory Boards of Ellis Island Honors Society, Global Women in Blockchain, Social Innovation Summit, Humane Society of New York and Grey Muzzle Foundation.  Prior to WEDO, Wendy founded Animal Fair Media, Inc., the premiere pet lifestyle media platform bridging celebrity, pop culture and animal rescue, to support animal welfare when she learned 12 million animals were euthanized a year.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Enjoy the Journey and understand what ever happens is a positive – whether you realize it in a day, year or a decade Also - Keep a small group of close friends who believe in you!

What do I do best?

DREAM – love believing you can make the impossible possible

What makes me the best version of myself?

I am lucky to retain Passion, Purpose, Persistence, Perseverance, Positivity and Pluck – truly with these traits you can do anything in this world you put your mind to!

My Biggest Success?

Hasn’t happened yet…. Important to always BE Humble

My Motto?

“You need HOPE to have a dream and Dream to have HOPE.” – Wendy Diamond (quote inspired after I adopted Baby Hope my RIP pup)

My Goal of the Day: Lucky mindset

My Thought of the Day: Grateful

My Action of the Day: Let’s do it!

My Deed of the Day: Connecting someone less fortunate with someone who can help them become inspired and thrive!

My Tip of the Day: “OVERDELIVER - People Remember! Underdeliver - People Quickly Forget” Wendy Diamond

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

EVERYTHING! I love New York! Peaceful, Inspiring, Teaching, and Stimulating! The People, Central Park (walking my pup Happy), United Nations, Pizza – I could go on forever!

My favorite dinner & restaurant?

INDOCHINE – the food and scene has never changed since the very first day I dined there, when I first moved to New York! The best TOFU I have ever had – yes I am a vegetarian!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Waking Up – Start the French Press … French Roast Coffee😊

10:00 AM – Working like a dog, and rallying the world to support the underdog!

7:00 PM - Enjoying the city – every week I goto two new restaurants, attend art gallery openings, charity events, disruptive technology meetups, and anything to educate myself more... I will never lose my inner child, and gratefully feed this part of my essence via embracing, enjoying and experiencing life daily!

8:00 PM – This is my wind-down time, when I exhale and prepare for my next busy day of business meetings and events!

11:00 PM – SLEEPING – Nothing good ever happens after midnight outside the bedroom😊!

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

Always daily WATER – maybe with a splash of cranberry, and of course lemon (the best antioxidant elixir is lemon especially in the evening before I goto bed)!

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

SLICE – the pizza APP! I LOVE pizza and probably eat this 3x per week!

What should everyone try at least once?

ADOPTING a pup! YOGA & Meditation! This body - mind - soul practice might seem intimidating to some people, but honestly my experience has been there isn’t anything better and healthier in life then finding the time for this!

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Central Park – every Saturday when the weather is good I practice Yoga in Central Park at 8 AM – nothing beats seeing happy my pup playing, hearing the birds and being among Nature in the greatest city in the world (to me😊)!

Women's Entrepreneurship Day Organization/#WomenWOW #ChooseWOMEN
http://www.womenseday.org  

Our mission is to Empower, Celebrate & Support Women in business worldwide to alleviate poverty!

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Emma Bell: Actress, Director & Writer, "Between The Pines"

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Admission Statement: I come to directing with 16 years as a working actress under my belt. Sets of all sizes have been the best classroom I could ask for, working alongside greats in productions such as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, TNT’s ‘Dallas’ and New Line’s ‘Final Destination 5’. The greatest skill I learned that I bring to my directing is the art of collaboration. Making movies is a team effort. https://www.emmabellfilm.com/

Why did I get into the business:

Adding writing and directing to my repertoire felt like something that wasn’t in my control honestly. There was a yearning to expand my creativity, an insatiable drive. At a certain point I realized I couldn’t wait for someone to give me permission anymore, so I gave it to myself. Being both behind and in front of the camera has given me such an insight into the process of making stories come alive that  I will never be able to give it up now! 

What is my costumers ideal experience using my product:

My hope is to inspire a sense of whimsy. I have always had a deep connection to the fantastical. I use it in a myriad of ways- to escape, to inspire, to explore. When someone leaves a movie I’ve made I want them to feel the impossible is possible I guess.  

Career advice:

This is corny but my first career advice is don’t give up on yourself. This town is full of rejections and heartbreak and seemingly impossible obstacles but the truth is if you are always open to growth and possibility and you can keep yourself in the game then you will have a career. I’m also a real believer in developing other hobbies for yourself to keep your creativity flowing and those serotonin levels up!

What do I do best:

As a director I think what I do best understand the process for my actors. Obviously this is because of my acting career. It’s rare to get an intuitive director who know what to say or how to interact with actors to get the best possible performance. I try to bring my knowledge of that part of the process to my sets.

As an actor I think what I do best is listen. Making distinct choices is essential but listening to the choices your scene partners have made is almost more so. When two actors are listening and acting off each other that’s when the real magic happens. At least that’s what we’re all striving for!

My aspirations:

I aspire to be a voice in this industry. I hope my work forces people to take a look at the world they live in and the world they want to live in.  I want to be able to continue making stories that speak to me and telling them in a way that speaks to others. I’d like to make my money doing that! Be it as an actress or a director I want a career that’s long and filled with people who inspire and nurture me, and be able to do the same for them. I aspire to be a loving and patient mother as well and raise my children in this vastly changing world to be honorable, creative and resourceful humans. We need the generations after us to be better than we were.

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My biggest challenge:

As a director my biggest challenge came recently actually. I had a project that did quite well in festivals and one that has received a lot of  rejections. The constant rejections on something you’ve spent your blood sweat and tears on is so challenging. Especially when you love that thing and can’t understand what’s not hitting about it. For some reason I find these rejections harder to bear than acting ones! Don’t know why, I definitely have FAR more rejections as an actor than as a filmmaker. The challenge comes in building yourself up, while still be open to changing what doesn’t work. 

My daily thoughts:

- what am I grateful for?

- when can I eat next?

A day in my life:

I wake up and make coffee. My life can not start without coffee. Then I journal and feed my dogs. Not at the same time. Workout. Breakfast. Work. Write. Lunch. Auditions sometimes. Dog walk. Dinner. Hang with my husband and/or friends. Some streaming service. Read. Bed.

What should everyone try at least once?

Everyone should try a dance class at least once in their life. Especially at the Sweat Spot in LA.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I enjoy getting lost in new cities. Meandering around is the best way to find the real charm of a town and its people.

What else to know?

I am launching a crowdfunding campaign for my first feature film as a director on Seed & Spark! It’s called ‘Nice Trick’. A disenchanted actress is on the verge of giving up but when she befriends a magician, his whimsical outlook on life might be the trick she needs to believe in herself again.

You can follow me on Instagram at @emmabell to learn more and get involved in the campaign. 

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Dr. Aleksandra Przegalinska: MIT Research Fellow/ Center for Collective Intelligence

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Admission Statement: I received my PhD in philosophy of artificial intelligence from the Department of Philosophy of Culture of the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw, currently I work as an assistant professor at the Department of Management in Digital and Networked Societies at  Kozminski University. Until recently, I conducted research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. I graduated from The New School for Social Research in New York. I will soon start research on work automation in the Labour and Worklife Program at Harvard. I am interested in the development of new technologies, natural language processing, the progress of humanoid artificial intelligence, social robots and wearable technologies.

How did you get into AI?

I studied philosophy, but really wanted to do something that would combine practical skills with more meta-level questions. When I accidentally attended a course on AI, I immediately understood that this is exactly the discipline that combines practice with philosophical questions about the nature of human mind, boundaries of being human and future of our civilization. I started learning how to program in LISP and Python and took some extra courses in cognitive science. Finished my PhD in AI and now doing my own research in the field. It’s a lot of fun!

Any emerging industry trends?

Artificial Intelligence is the trend. It’s everywhere. It penetrates all industries and almost all human activities.

How do you motivate others?

I think we are a very strong team of researchers that try to motivate each other. We have very complimentary skills and try to help each other as much as we can. We are all driven by passion. I am very lucky to work with such people.

Career advice to those in your industry?

My career advice in the field of artificial intelligence goes specially to the girls who think about it, but are afraid to try. Don’t be! This career path is for you! Also, AI desperately needs diversity!

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Professor Rosalind Picard from MIT, a very strong researcher in the field of affective computing.

My favorite people in personal life are most definitely my husband and my little daughter Alicia who rocks in programming!

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Generally Latin America is my direction. Also, Jamaica.

My Current Passions?

Dancing, wherever and whenever possible.

Anne Ahola Ward: Growth Scientist, O’Reilly Author, Futurist & Co-founder/CEO, CircleClick Media

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Admission Statement:  I’m a lady who is obsessed with emerging technology and helping my fellow women succeed in business. Following what interests me has led me to the greatest accomplishments in my career so that’s what I always try to do. Most people would describe me as geeky, funny and possibly fearless. My own Mother describes me as the kindest and the fiercest person she knows.

Bio: Anne Ahola Ward is a Growth Scientist, O’Reilly Author and Futurist. Anne is the co-founder and CEO of CircleClick Media, founded in 2009. Ward has written the latest SEO book for O’Reilly, entitled “The SEO Battlefield: Winning Strategies for Search Marketing Programs.” Before becoming a Growth Scientist, she was a web developer for over 10 years, and through her love of analytics, Anne transitioned into the field of SEO as the field was forming.

Anne was named as one of Entrepreneur’s “27 Top Masters of Marketing and PR” in 2014. In 2015 Anne was invited to become an Influencer for the elite IBM Futurist program, and was later named one of the “Top 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017” by Entrepreneur magazine.

How did you get into the industry?

I was always interested in technology, so becoming a developer made sense. Becoming an SEO expert came from my love of analytics, combining creativity and science.

Any emerging industry trends?

The only constant in SEO is change. The trends right now are focused on user privacy and how to attain that.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

My passion is finding startups on the cutting edge and then helping them soar to new heights.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

I have been approached about writing a second book, I’d like to at some point!

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

I like to stay out there in the tech community and that’s been one of the most critical elements of my success. Learning means growing.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

After ten years it would be hard to name just one moment. The most difficult part of the business is firing. I never enjoy the process of letting people go on my team and luckily that’s been a rarity. Firing one of our clients for sexual harassment was one of the worst moments for me. It’s hard to deal with that level of turmoil in your life and business.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I like my clients to feel supported, always. The ideal experience is for them to be so happy they recommend us to their colleagues.

How do you motivate others?

I like to help people to identify the blockers that are holding them back professionally and show them a path to their success. 

Career advice to those in your industry?

Don’t apologize for who you are or for having an opinion. Fear holds us back.

What do I do best?

Increase performance.

Assess the problems within any given organization and find the solutions.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Tenacity and fearlessness

What are my aspirations?

To make technology accessible to everyone

My Biggest Success?

Publishing my first book for O’Reilly, that was pretty huge.

My Most Challenging Moment? 

Walking away from a toxic startup that had brought me great success

My Motto?

Take no prisoners

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My husband is my favorite person. Role models would be R. Buckminster Fuller and David Bowie

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Austin, Texas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Chrome Developer Tools

My Current Passions?

I like to write and to help mentor my female colleagues

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: To do my best

Thought of the Day: All is well

Action of the Day: Walking, working, talking

Deed of the Day: Kindness

Tip of the Day: Stay awesome

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The people

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Eggs benedict

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping

10:00 AM - Meetings

12:00 PM - Tacos

7:00 PM - Cooking dinner

11:00 PM - Reading a book

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

LaCroix

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Twitter

What should everyone try at least once?

Brutal honesty

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I don’t.

My Pic of the Day:

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Beth Ruggiero York: Author, "Flying Alone: A Memoir"

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My Admission Statement: I live in Arizona and am an author, photographer, and Chinese translator, among other things. My life is very busy, but I like it that way. As an author, my newest book, Flying Alone: A Memoir, officially launches on October 14, 2019. As a photographer, I sell my work and teach photography workshops all over the world. In fact, I will be teaching a workshop in southern France in October, where we will be staying in a medieval castle! As a freelance Chinese translator (written work), I specialize in pharmaceutical documents and patents. These different careers have developed over the years since I graduated college in 1984. I’ve been taking tour groups and now photo groups to China and other parts of Asia since 1984, but in 1985, I decided to follow a completely different career path that had been a childhood goal—learning to fly and getting a job with the airlines. I did that and was eventually hired by Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1989, but one year later, my flying career ended when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That piece of my life is the subject of Flying Alone. I then got a master’s degree in Chinese Studies (same as my bachelor’s) and continued taking groups to China while at the same time translating. The photography entered the picture about 10 years ago. My life philosophy is to follow every dream and enjoy what you’re doing!

How did you get into the industry?

I think I was always headed on the path of authorship. I started writing when I was a child. My diary was my refuge. In 1976, when I was 13 years old, my father died. This was a sudden and devastating event that led to a deeper dive into writing. I wrote my newest book, Flying Alone, after my flying career ended but set it aside until last year.

Any emerging industry trends?

I think the greatest trend in the book industry is the move to self-publishing. In the early days, it was looked down upon as something you had printed by a ‘vanity press’, but over the past several years, it has taken the industry by storm for very valid reasons.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The opportunities are growing, especially with self-publishing, but you can’t just publish a book through Amazon and expect that it will take off. The marketing is just as important as the quality of the book and takes more time.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

My inspiration for writing my book 28 years ago were the remarkable experiences I had when I was learning to fly and building hours. Going forward, I plan to write more books.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

In the short term, I am fully immersed in launching and marketing Flying Alone. When that settles down a bit, I will be writing a book about China and how it has changed over the past 35 years.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

I seek to be positive in all ways, believe in my abilities and worth, and seize every opportunity.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

When I was flying in the 1980s, being a woman in a dominantly male career was especially difficult. As a writer now, making the decision to self-publish rather than publish traditionally was challenging. The success of the book is so important to me that I needed to research every aspect of the publishing industry to make the best decision for me. Now, several months into it, I know I made the right decision to self-publish.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

My readers are my customers. When they read Flying Alone, my hope is to empower anyone with gender or health obstacles in their path to a goal not to give up. You can succeed despite the difficulties. I also hope my book will be valuable to student pilots aspiring to a professional aviation career.

How do you motivate others?

Inspiring hope and excitement through my writing.

Career advice to those in your industry? 

Be sure to write consistently, even if you think there is no end goal to what you are writing. Keep a diary and always have a note pad with you to jot down ideas, phrases and events. Eventually, you will see that what you have written has led you to the basis for your first book.

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What do I do best?

Teaching the things I love—photography and China.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Determination and perseverance. Never giving up.

What are my aspirations?

To be a well-loved, bestselling author.

My Biggest Success?

Mastering the Chinese language.

My Most Challenging Moment?

When I received the multiple sclerosis diagnosis and, many years later, the chronic Lyme disease diagnosis. Both galvanized me to perform better and do more.

My Motto?

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Professionally, my favorite author role models are Cheryl Strayed, Simon Winchester and Nathaniel Philbrick. Personally, my favorite person is my husband.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Anywhere in China, anytime. Also, Italy and Alaska.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My cameras and lenses.

My Current Passions?

Night photography.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Productivity

Thought of the Day: Always maintain hope

Action of the Day: Being positive

Deed of the Day: Being kind to others

Tip of the Day: Make the most out of every day

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The natural beauty

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Veggie skillet at Georgie’s Diner in Fountain Hills, AZ

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Getting up

10:00 AM – Pecking at my “to do” list

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Street tacos at the hot dog and taco stand in Fountain Hills

7:00 PM - Cleaning up from dinner and taking time to relax

11:00 PM – Sleeping soundly!

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

Fruit-flavored seltzer water.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Facebook

What should everyone try at least once?

Seeing the Northern Lights

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Shanghai, China

My Pic of the Day: Aurora borealis in Alaska. Photographing these moments are the most exciting and inspiring moments in my life.

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What Else to Know?

Visit my website and blog at https://bethruggieroyork.com/

My upcoming book launch events—

Book signing launch event at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ on October 26th

Local Author Book Fair at Phoenix Central Library, Phoenix, AZ on November 2nd

Bill Smoot: Author, "Love: A Story"

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Admission Statement: I am a writer of short stories and a new novel, Love: A Story. I also teach, currently in the OLLI program at UC-Berkeley and the Prison University Project at San Quentin. I grew up in Maysville, Kentucky, and received degrees at Purdue and Northwestern. I live in Berkeley, CA. -https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1950437817/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

How did you get into writing?

I became a writer in 1963, the day after the Kennedy assassination. I was a junior in high school, and after the principal announced on the PA system that Kennedy had been shot, a boy in my class said, “I hope he dies.” I could not rest until I had written a piece about that incident for the school newspaper. I still cannot rest, whether in journalism or essays or fiction, until I have told the truths I am able to discover.

I teach for the same reason: to lead students in pursuit of the truth.

I feel that teaching and writing chose me more than I chose them. They are a calling. I merely answered the call.

Career advice to those in your industry?

The realities of publishing literary fiction books are increasingly challenging. It’s a very steep mountain to climb. The number of works of literary fiction published and the number of published works bought and read have been trending downward. But committed writers today will do what committed writers have always done. They will write as best they can and hope for the best in terms of publication.

What is the future of your industry?

The challenges of publishing literary fiction are well documented. A few multinational corporations control most of the industry and the profit motive has evolved from an important goal, which it always was, to the only goal. But there are offsetting trends like small, independent presses. And literary magazines still thrive.

What worries me more than the big, bad corporations is the specter of our cyber-lifestyles luring people away from great literature—or eroding their ability to read it. I say this not only because I love great literature, but also because I have witnessed for five decades the ways in which great literature helps people grow—whether they are college-bound prep school students or convicted felons unsure when they will ever get out of prison. Gradual losses like that are hard to measure, and that makes them especially dangerous.

Also, great works of literature come to life only when we are ingest them in the deepest way. The classics need us. Music not heard or a poem not read ceases to be music or poetry. We are obligated to keep them alive—just as we are obligated to preserve the earth.

Only one thing is worse than burning books, and that is burning minds.

My other profession is teaching, and there, too, the challenges are well known. Aside from under-funding, a big problem is a reform movement which reduces education to perceived job training and which takes power away from teachers and gives it to administrators. The power of billionaires behind these reforms is a story that has been told, but too few people know it.

What is my greatest regret?

That I never became a father. Sadness over that is part of what fueled my novel, Love: A Story. The main character’s desire to be a father reflects my own.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Though it may not be obvious, writing and teaching involve two kinds of skills: listening and telling. As a teacher, I have to impart knowledge, to ask probing questions, but I also have to listen—to hear what they say and to hear what they don’t say. I have to sense how they feel. I have to know what they’re thinking. It’s the same as a writer. Thought I am telling stories, I have stories to tell because I have listened—to myself, to others, and to the wind. The Greeks’ metaphor of merely writing down what they heard the Muses sing reflects this. My modest successes are the result of good telling and listening.

What are my faults?

Some years ago I asked a friend what he felt my worst quality was. I thought he would have to think a while. But he didn’t miss a beat. “You don’t suffer fools gladly.”

He was right. With younger people or students of any age, I am a pillar of patience. But with peers and people in power, their faults feel like a hot coal in my throat. Sometimes I hide my impatience, but I still feel the burn. As a teacher, I have worked under school administrators I would like to tar and feather.

My blessings:

I am thankful for material comfort and good health. Beyond that, my greatest blessing has been to have work (teaching and writing) that feeds my soul. I loved my decades of teaching the best and brightest of the prep school world, many of whom were wonderful young people in many senses of the word. But in the past decade I have learned that there is also a coterie of “best and brightest” among convicted felons, and I have been fortunate to teach a variety of college courses at San Quentin Prison. The humanities is new to them and it is inspiring to see them discovering a world they did not know existed. Out of admiration and respect, I dedicated my new novel to my San Quentin students.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

My own house, with my dog close by. I’m such a nerd.

A Day in My Life:

What is your average day?

Like a dog, I like a regular schedule, and now that I no longer teach full time, I have a lot of control over my days. I get up and cook five-grain cereal with fruit, squeeze fresh juice, and make coffee. I take my dog for a hike of 3-4 miles and then I write or prepare class. I like to write in the mornings. After lunch, I work some more and sometimes have a tennis game. If I’m teaching, my classes meet one or two afternoons a week. I check email and read things on the web, about half of which is time well spent. I don’t do Twitter or Instagram. In late afternoon or early evening I take my dog for a romp in the meadow. I read or write more if things are going well. Sometimes I have lunch or dinner with a friend. I love deep soulful conversations over a good meal.

What Else to Know?

Though I spend my writing time creating short stories (preferring the short run to a marathon.) I did write a novel, recently released: Love: A Story.

Recent articles:

https://medium.com/@bsmoot56/trump-as-drummond-light-615f63bf1fac

https://www.amazon.com/LOVE-story-Bill-Smoot/dp/1950437817

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Lisa Greenbaum: E-RYT 500 and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

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Admission Statement: The funniest thing people say when meeting me for the first time is, I expected you to be taller. I think it’s because I know what I want and I’m not afraid to be direct when I have to be which aren’t necessarily qualities you think of for a petite Yoga Teacher (I’m 5’2). While I’m still easy going and pride myself on the ability to go with the flow, I do have a mind for business. I am in the process of launching my third business (Sangha Wellness Retreats) and am truly an entrepreneur at heart. I know that being a strong female leader is part of my calling, and my aim is to continue the global shift towards conscious business practices. Mentoring other women in business and proving that we can be successful business leaders while also treating our employees with kindness and respect, making our own self-care a priority and working in harmony with others.

Bio: Lisa Greenbaum E-RYT 500 and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, has a strong passion for fitness, yoga and movement. She has worked with countless individuals, including her own personal practice, using Yoga based practices to release stored trauma from the body, finding ease from chronic pain and tension and a deeper connection to Self: mind, body and spirit. She is the Founder of Sangha Wellness Retreats, focused on empowering her students through yoga and community. Lisa is a Global Ambassador for the Women in Fitness Association (WIFA) and has also been included as part of Optimyz Magazines’ 100 Health and Fitness Influencers in Canada 2017, 2018 and 2019. The winner of the 2018 Delegates Choice, Canadian Presenter of the Year for canfitpro, Lisa has been active in the Yoga/Fitness industry since 2001.

How did you get into the industry?

I grew up a dancer, unconsciously learning at a young age how important movement was for my mind and state of well-being. The fitness manager at the gym where I was working out in my twenties convinced me to get certified to teach Les Mills® BodyFlow. When the trainer walked in, I looked at her and instantly knew that was what I wanted to do. Becoming certified in Yoga happened a few years later, which truly felt like coming home. Yoga not only offered the physical practice I loved, but also the mental stillness and connection to self that has brought me tremendous solace throughout the years. I’m addicted to learning and with Yoga there is no end, which is a perfect place for me.

Any emerging industry trends?

The world of Yoga continues to expand by leaps and bounds. There is always something new which I love, because it gives more people more opportunities to try Yoga and/or find what they love. One of things we are seeing behind the scenes within the Yoga industry is more attention being paid by the accreditation bodies with the emergence of the Yoga Therapy designation through IAYT, with Yoga being included as part of an overall healing plan in cancer treatments as well as PTSD, addiction recovery and mental health etc... Yoga Alliance is also currently in a review period of Yoga Schools and those who train Yoga Teachers updating their qualifications and requirements in a better attempt to create stronger standards across North America. Yoga Teachers are also under more scrutiny to ensure they are adding continuing education credits over their years of teaching, similar to other body-work based industries.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

As Yoga gains in popularity, more and more people are becoming certified to teach. In some ways this can be seen as a challenge as markets become saturated. However, I see this as an incredible opportunity for Yoga Teachers to become more creative in their offerings and also where they are teaching. We are seeing part-time Yoga Teachers teaching their office co-workers on their lunch break, Parents taking Yoga into the schools for both Teachers and students. The diversity of Yoga Teachers crossing into different cultures and religious groups. Teachers are thinking outside the box on how they can share their love of Yoga: online, one on one and through workshops and retreats.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

It was the name of my business that came to me before I knew exactly what I would be offering. Sangha is the Sanskrit word for Community. I knew that no matter what, I needed to create something that would bring people together. We have become more and more comfortable with living in isolation. At this point we could probably do everything we needed to function in society without ever leaving our house or, speaking with another human being. Isolation is also the perfect breeding ground to increase feelings of anxiety and depression, something we are almost all battling with on a constant basis.

Sangha Wellness Retreats was born in an effort to push back against this. To build community. To meet new people, re-connect with those we love and feel connected to friends from all over the world. Inspiring others to travel and see the world, to invest in life changing/life affirming experiences and for a positive health and well-being experience.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Further building out our retreat calendar! Adding more destinations and more retreat leaders.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

To build and maintain the trust of our current and future guests. First by delivering an incredible experience that they can’t wait to share with their friends. Second, to increase our organic reach across social media platforms, building our followers and inspiring them to travel with us.

Your most difficult moment at the Business?

As we are still in start-up mode, our most difficult challenge is for more people to know who we are and what we are doing. Formerly I was a shareholder and Director of an International Yoga School, running the operations here in Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand. I travelled extensively and met tons of people, except that in that company, the brand and founders profile came before anything. Now, after almost 18 years in the industry, I am in many ways just starting to build my personal brand. (I only opened my Instagram a year ago!). For people to want to invest their hard-earned vacation money with you, they need to trust and feel connected to you. After having a small marketing team for years, I am now learning new skills and the push/pull for better or worse of navigating the social network and media to make this happen.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

My goal for each guest is to come home feeling refreshed and as though they’ve really had a vacation. To hold memories from their retreat that last a lifetime. To make new friends and build connections with others that continue on after they have settled back home. To create a space for people to re-set, re-charge and feel empowered after their time away.

How do you motivate others?

Leading by example. By being vulnerable and sharing some of my personal stories via my blog. The world is full of people only showing what they want people to see: mastering the perfect Yoga-selfie is a perfect example. I’m just me. I’m comfortable in my skin and I want you to be too.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Get a mentor and keep on learning! One of the best things I’ve done was join WIFA – Women in Fitness Association, to which I’m now a Global Ambassador. It is a non-profit organization founded on empowering, connecting and raising up women in the Fitness Industry. It is an International Organization bringing all women together, bridging the gap on diversity and helping each other succeed, and they also have a strong mentorship program! Whether through an official organization like this, or seeking someone out in your current company etc.. having someone to bounce ideas off of, bring questions to and get that objective opinion is so helpful. I can’t recommend more!

What do I do best?

I teach. It’s when I feel most connected to myself and when I know I’m putting my best self forward.

What makes me the best version of myself?

My perseverance. I just keep going until I find a way or get it done.

What are my aspirations?

To build a community of diverse individuals from all over the world that feel they have a safe space to come, take a break from the regular hustle of life and remember how sweet life can be.

My Biggest Success?

Winning Canadian Presenter of the Year at canfitpro (the biggest fitness show and conference in Canada). A conference I have both attended and presented at my whole career.

My Motto?

Hustle – Focus – Breathe. In no particular order!

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I have a lot of amazing people in my life to whom I’m so grateful. But topping my list these days (outside of my husband) are my niece and nephew. They are fierce, determined, hilarious and sweet and I love watching the world through their eyes.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Too many to count. But if I could only travel to one place it would have to be Australia. My home away from home.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My Tune-Up Balls, I don’t travel without them. Amazing to work out the kinks from long days of travel and catch those stubborn spots that love to hold tension.

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The diversity, the complexity. Toronto is now the 4th largest city in North America, with that anything you want is basically here.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Poached egg and avo on toast and don’t forget the coffee!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Husbands alarm is going off, I’m fighting for leg room at the end of the bed with my cats, knowing I should just get up as well. After scrolling my phone for about 30 minutes (terrible habit!) I get up about 7 if I’m being super optimistic, but probably 8, pour a glass of hot water and lemon, set up the feeding station for my three cats and go out to my studio with my oldest cat for my Yoga practice and meditation. (great habit! – it’s all about balance)

10:00 AM – sitting down at my computer typing away, most likely still in my PJ’s.

12:00 PM – contemplating brushing my teeth, heading down to the kitchen for a snack. I eat lunch late as I teach every evening and I find that gives me the best sustenance.

7:00 PM - Teaching a class either at my studio or for the gym or studios I also teach for. Unless it’s Friday, in which case I’m enjoying a delicious craft beer at the local with my BFF.

11:00 PM – Reading a couple pages of the latest book on my nightstand and turning off my light to go to sleep.

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

I certainly have an espresso weakness, and rarely pass a local coffee shop I’m not in love with. Top of the list are flat whites or for an extra caffeine kick a double long black. Red wine at the end of the day and water in between.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I’m currently obsessed with “1bike1world” on Instagram. Riding his bike around the world with his cat – that is living the dream!

What should everyone try at least once?

YOGA

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Cities – I love how much they are the same and different all at the same time.

Website/Blog: https://lisgreenbaum.com

FB: @lisagreenbaumyoga

Insta: @lisagreenbaum

LinkedIn: @lisagreenbaum

Upcoming Events:

Nov 1-15th Yoga Retreat, Rishikesh India

Dec 14-15th SCW Boston Mania: Fitness Conference

April 3-5th The Yoga Conference and Show: Toronto Ontario Canada

April 14-20th Yoga Retreat, Palmar Sur Costa Rica

July 16-19th Yoga Retreat, Pender Island British Columbia Canada

Aug 12-16th canfitpro Toronto: Fitness Conference

Sept 18-20th Yoga Retreat, Midland Ontario Canada

Monique Sorgen: Film Director

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My Admission Statement: Raised in an international hippie house in San Francisco’s famed gay neighborhood, “The Castro,” Monique Sorgen is a French-American writer-director who has worked on films and TV shows that take place in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Brazil, India, France, and the US. The oldest of 4 siblings, from three different mothers of varying ethnic backgrounds, her travel experience and multiculturalism informs her brutally honest, quirky, and unexpected comedic voice as a filmmaker.

How did you get into the industry?

I always wanted to be a storyteller, so (in my rebellious teenage-dom) I vowed to my mother that I would only go to college if I got into a good theater school. I was accepted to UCLA, and my mother wiped the sweat off her brow. There, I learned that it wasn’t so much the actors who tell the story, as the writers and the directors, so I shifted my focus to those areas. By the time I graduated, I had impressed my professors so much with my work, that they recommended me to be the assistant director on a multi-media play that was being directed by a professional television director. When I graduated, she hired me as her assistant on television sets, and I spent the next 3 years learning to write and direct on the job, from the top people in the television business.

Any emerging industry trends?

In show business, we are in the most dramatic period of change and disruption since the invention of sync-sound. People are changing their viewing habits, so film and traditional TV are losing their audiences to online and streaming services, and having to catch up by creating streaming services of their own. On the positive side, it seems this would create more work, but on the negative side, it’s obliterating the financial backend for creatives, and making it really hard to explain to independent finance people where their return on investment will come from.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

One great new opportunity that has arisen for women is that people are finally considering us for jobs as directors. Most of my career, I wasn’t even in consideration for most jobs because people struggled to wrap their minds around the idea that I was capable of doing the job, even though I felt 100% confident that I could, and acted accordingly. Before the Time’s Up movement, there was this unwritten thing, where people (mostly subconsciously) didn’t trust that we could do it. Now people are thinking about their unconscious biases on a conscious level, and that gives them the opportunity to ask themselves the hard questions about their preconceived notions regarding women and people of color. It’s still a huge challenge, but at least now a lot of people are thinking about it, so I can question people who don’t automatically give me the benefit of the doubt and ask them to seriously consider why they don’t think I can do what I know I can do—and have been doing for years. Before if you called people out they’d just tell you that sexism doesn’t exist and you’re a troublemaker. I mean, some people still think you’re a troublemaker if you bring it up, but at least now those people are seen as not being very “woke” and sort of not getting this obvious thing. To drive home the point, is directing really that different from the ultimate female job: being a mother? It’s basically just organizing a family of people to get out the door so they’re not late for school or work, while you’re making sure that everyone is fully clothed with a lunch and a coat, in case they get cold or hungry later. You also want them to get out the door in the way you like, and that’s your “vision.” Are you the kind of mom who makes sure your kid has his shirt tucked in, and has healthy food in his lunchbox, or are you the kind of mom who lets your kid pick out their own mismatched clothes, and gives them some cash for the snack machine. It takes all kinds of visions and points of views to create new and original art, so letting new people direct can only be a door to mind-opening points of view on how the world could be better.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

I was inspired to become a filmmaker because I was raised to feel a responsibility for making the world a better place, and I felt that this was the medium through which I could reach and affect the greatest number of people. To me, making the world a better place means simply reminding people that we’re all humans who want and deserve to be loved and taken care of by the world we live in. Sometimes that’s a story I want to tell on a small human scale with every day problems we face—like “remember to be good to the people in your life, and treat them as well you’d want to be treated”, as I showed in my latest short film “Sorry, Not Sorry.” Sometimes I want to say that on a bigger scale, like one story I have based on a true story of some juvenile delinquents who were given a chance to compete in basketball against the non-incarcerated high school kids, and how the experience of winning renewed their hope in themselves and their lives, and basically proves that reform is both possible and likely if you just treat people like the valuable human beings they are.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

The next project I’m going to make is a feature film called, “Bad BFF” about a woman who is so desperate to get her life-long best friend to hang out with her, that she pretends she’s getting married, in order to make her best friend the maid of honor. In this story, I’m tackling the themes of female friendships and how important they are to keeping us balanced and whole, as well as the concept that just because you’re a woman, it doesn’t mean that you should have to get married or have kids. I want to create an acceptance through the project of the unmarried woman’s point of view—because often it’s a choice, not a circumstance—and I also want to show how women really act in friendships. A female friendship can be so deep and loving that it’s super intimate, like a romantic relationship without the sex. That’s something that I think women feel on a deep level that hasn’t always been explored from a non-jealous, non-catty, non-antagonistic point of view.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

I’m in a creative business, so you never know what’s going to work, and the only thing you can do is listen to people’s advice and say “yes” when you’re offered an opportunity. Some of the best things that have happened to me came from the most random people and places, so I try to know everyone and be nice to everyone, and whenever I can (within reason) I try to help people out, if I can do something for them and it doesn’t compromise me.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Rejection is the most difficult moment in my business, and it’s not a one-time thing. Even when I’ve been doing well at the top of my game and everyone around me is impressed with how “great I’m doing,” they have no idea how many rejections I’m getting on a daily basis, interspersed between the good things. When I started in this business, I was told that rejection would get easier the longer I did it. That’s not true. It gets harder every time, because with every rejection you get, you’ve worked harder, and put in more hours, and tried more and more to be the best at what you’re doing, and you feel more and more deserving of getting a yes, but you’re still getting a lot of “no’s.” So you start to question yourself and your choice of being in this business and your ability to get a “yes” more and more. But then, when you do get that long-awaited “yes” it rolls off you like it’s nothing, while the “no’s” stick with you for the rest of your life, just accumulating. Rejection never becomes something that’s easy or fun, no matter how much you practice receiving it.

Ideal experience for a client?

When someone hires me or invests in one of my projects, what they’re getting is a person who will stop at nothing to create the most entertaining possible story an audience could hope to enjoy. It will be something that is fun and moving and makes you think, all at the same time. And they’re getting someone who has put in the years and the hours to learn and know how to make the project they are investing in, so it will be of a high quality. They’re getting someone who asks the right questions, when questions must be asked, and who is prepare for the challenges that arise with any creative project. They are getting assurance and dedication.

How do you motivate others?

I motivate others by example. I am tireless, and I’m always going out there putting in my all. Because of that, I accomplish a certain number of things that people didn’t expect of me. I’ve often been told that I was an inspiration. I’ve been told that people decided to write a book or make a film because they saw that I had done it, and that motivated them to try. You’re kind of on your own as a filmmaker out in the world, so the most you can do is keep reminding the other people in your community that it can be done, if you just band together and support each other and stick to it with drive and determination.

Career advice to those in your industry?

If you can think of anything you could do that would satisfy you besides this career, you should do it, because this business never gets easier no matter how long you toil away at it. (And it’s also not the cash-cow it looks like on TV.) That said, if you can not think of anything else to do that will make you happy in life, then buckle up and enjoy the ride. It has amazing moments, better than any other career. If you don’t have a choice in your heart besides this, then just try to keep a positive attitude in the hard times, by remembering that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

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What do I do best?

I’m really good at sticking to commitments. If I say I’ll be somewhere, I’m there. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it. If I say I’m going to write something, or make something, I finish it. I’m incredibly disciplined, even when it comes to things like dieting and working out. If I’m not sure I can do something, or if I’m not sure I want to do something, I simply don’t commit to it.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I’m at my best when I’m centered, grounded, and happy. I think everybody is. When things are going well in my heart and mind, I have more time and energy to help others. My work is better. It’s almost as if more hours in the day become available to me. Because of that, I try to put a strong emphasis on putting my own well being first. I prioritize exercising, sleeping enough hours, eating right, and having fun social activities with friends and family, because that makes me feel balanced—and otherwise I would literally work 24 hours a day, and be completely haggard, and of no use to anyone.

What are my aspirations?

I hope to direct at least one feature film next year. I have a few in the cooker, that I’m really excited about and that seem to be moving in the right direction, so I’m looking forward to finally surmounting that long-awaited hurdle. On a personal level, I’m always working toward being at my peak positivity, which is when I’m most in touch with my intuition. I find my intuition always leads me on the right path, when I can access it.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success is staying in my career as a freelance writer-director for as long as I have. It’s been hard at times, not knowing for months at a time where my next paycheck would come from. Hustling every day without reprieve. I’ve been cheated and taken advantage of, and had moments when I wanted nothing more than to quit, but I’m still here, and I’m still doing it, and I still can’t think of another life I would’ve rather lived than mine… I’m proud that I’ve had the guts, the stamina, or the faith to stick with my dreams and not give up on myself.

My Most Challenging Moment?

I think the most challenging moments in life are when you have to pivot. Even when things are going bad at work or in a relationship, it feels easier in that moment to stay where you are and hope it gets better, than to turn around, run the other way, and jump off a metaphorical cliff into the unknown. I’ve pivoted several times in my career, and left housing situations, and romantic situations that were bad (even though they felt stable), and every time I’ve had the guts to take that risk, I’ve been happy that I did. I’m thinking of some of the low points in my life that would be too much to explain here. One simple example is a relationship I was in that was super unhealthy, and I didn’t understand how much of myself I’d lost to the relationship until I left it and almost instantly became reacquainted with all the things I loved about being me. Things I had somehow forgotten as I focused on trying to please the person I was with. I didn’t understood how low I had been until I left the situation and suddenly felt high. You can’t fake leaving a situation if you want this technique to work, though. You have to really commit to the fact that you’re done with the thing you’re leaving, and come to terms with the fact that you will never have it again. Then you will be open to seeing the new things that are opening up in front of you.

My Motto?

I’m not sure I have just one motto, but I’ve certainly lived by the adage that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

A business role model is Tina Fey, because she is so funny and so fearless. A personal role model is my 11 year old niece, Laila. She is kind and thoughtful and loving and generous. She is warm and fun and smart. Ever since she was born, she’s been a deep and grounded old soul. Even when she was 2, if any other baby cried, she had to go to their side to help them feel better. I’ve never met anyone as genuine and caring and interested in everything as she is.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I am a huge fan of Spain. I’ve been there 6 or 7 times, and the people are wonderful, as is the culture. This is a culture of people, who despite their struggles, know how to live life and make sure they have enough time and money left over to enjoy good food, drink, and conversation. I also love Paris, for its beauty and romance. Just walking the streets alone there, a million fantasies will pop into your head, so it’s a great city for visualizing. And Hong Kong is a city that almost personifies aspiration. It’s constantly trying to get bigger and better as fast as it can, and I really relate to its work hard/play hard attitude.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I’m not really into physical “stuff,” but I do love a lot of the tools available via the internet, that help me create and connect. I’m a fan of any app that helps me connect with my many friends throughout the world or helps me take my creativity to the next level, whether it be writing, filmmaking, or creating visual sales tools.

My Current Passions?

My passion is telling stories about the “female experience” that are fun, funny, and shed light on what it’s like to live in our world as part of the other 50% of the population. I hope to use my work to help push the needle toward equality for the sexes, or at the very least open up the conversation so that people start to see women as fully dimensional human beings that comen all varieties—good, bad, and everything in between.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Cross things off my list of goals to accomplish.

Thought of the Day: She believed she could, so she did.

Action of the Day: Set up a pitch meeting with producers I don’t know yet.

Deed of the Day: Pass along a friend’s script to an executive I know.

Tip of the Day: If you can help, you always should, but if someone can’t help you, you shouldn’t hold it against them. People don’t always have as much power as you perceive them to have.

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The weather. I love sunshine. I run on sunshine.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Coffee. (Most breakfast foods are bad for you. I start with lunch.)

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Final moments of REM sleep. I wake up at 7.

Then coffee and straight to my desk. I write in my pajamas.

10:00 AM - Hopefully I’m writing, but often I’m answering emails.

10am is the time at which I might start calling people if I’m in production mode.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Most days I eat at home because I don’t want to stop working or break up my mental flow.

Because I skip breakfast, lunch is usually my biggest meal. I need the energy to get me through the rest of the day. I have some great recipes I’ve concocted over the years, many of which I can make while multitasking on the phone or while listening to a podcast or a show I need watch.

After lunch, I address more emails, make any necessary phone calls, and then do more writing.

When my brain fries out in the late afternoon I go for a powerwalk or get some other form of exercise. I’m obsessed with multi-tasking, so if I have any errands to run, I try to fit them into my neighborhood power walk routine.

7:00 PM - I usually go to a networking event or dinner, a panel, or a movie screening after work. It’s part of the job to know people and stay in touch with them, and I like it.

If I don’t have something planned, I stay home and catch up on the TV shows I need to watch for work, or read a script.

11:00 PM – I get ready for bed and wind down. Unfortunately, I often multi-task by watching the late night show monologues, to get caught up on current affairs, while I get ready for bed—which is not a great way to wind down.

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

I drink so much water that my little niece makes fun of me. In the winter time I drink hot water, for which everyone else makes fun of me.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

The app I use the most is Calendar, because with so many projects and so many plans, I need to stay organized.

What should everyone try at least once?

Standup comedy. Just the idea of it scares you, and that’s why you should try it.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Paris. I like to walk around aimlessly for hours, because at some point you can always go into a metro station and find your way back to where you started

My Pic of the Day: This is the poster for “Sorry, Not Sorry” which contains 3 shots from the film:

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What Else to Know?

My award-winning short film “Sorry, Not Sorry” will be screening in October:

Oct. 5th 6:30pm EST Mystic Film Festival Niantic Cinemas, Niantic CT

Oct 5th 9pm PST San Pedro International Film Festival, Warner Grand Theater CA

Oct 4th-10th on demand for pass holders Oaxaca Film Festival MX

Oct 16th 4:35pm PST San Diego International Film Festival, Theater Box CA

Oct 18th 3pm PST San Diego International Film Festival, Pendry San Diego CA

Oct 24th 6pm EST Female Voice Rock Film Festival, Village East Cinemas NYC

Oct 26th 7pm EST Devour! Food Film Fest “Chefs & Shorts Gala” at Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery, Nova Scotia Canada

Oct 26th 9:15 PST San Jose International Short Festival, Cinearts Theater San Jose CA

Hema Reddy: Founder & CEO, Crafty Counter

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My Admission Statement: My name is Hema Reddy, and I am an engineer by training, marketer by profession, entrepreneur by choice, a foodie by heart and always hungry for learning. After achieving career success at IBM, I went on to invent word’s first healthiest and tastiest chicken nugget, and recently launched them in 200+ stores nationwide. - https://www.craftycounter.com/

How did you get into the industry?

I love to make new unique dishes and solving meal time challenges by convenient food prep and home made frozen foods. I had been cooking since I was eight years old, and my parents had cultivated a deep affinity for natural ingredients and food. When I saw the outcomes of serving simple well balanced frozen foods to my family, and realizing that they solve an everyday problem for women in general, I knew I had to share it with families across the country. With my son’s vote of confidence, I took a leap of faith and launched Crafty Counter and the first product line, Wundernuggets. Wundernuggets come in two varieties, 1) flexitarian chicken based nuggets are made with 50% chicken and plant protein such as chickpeas and quinoa, and added veggies. 2) plant based Wundernuggets are made with lentils, beans and veggies. They bring taste, texture, nutrition, convenience and global flavors all in one serving for today’s mindful millennial flexitarian consumer.

Any emerging industry trends?

Over the past decade, more than $2 billion has been invested in plant-based meat, and more than half of that occurred in 2017 and 2018. In a recent study, 62 percent of consumers said that they're willing to reduce meat consumption due to environmental concerns, and 43 percent said that they would replace meat-based protein with plant-based protein. These consumers identify themselves as “flexitarians” and the flexitarian diet is driving the growth of the market for meat alternatives, which Euromonitor expects will hit $22.9 billion globally by 2023.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

The retail space is seeing an unprecedented demand for new smaller brands that present an authentic story combined with a fanatic attention to clean label. Grocery stores are quickly adapting to this demand from consumers and aligning their frozen shelves to place products that satisfy the blended protein and plant protein based products. Most of the plant based innovation in the marketplace is based on using pea protein or pea protein isolate as a meatless source of protein. This has led to a surge in demand for the ingredient and a shortage of supply. There have been some concerns on the true nutritional value of the “fake meat” or meat alternatives.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

Our stake in the ground is to eat plants as plants, without over processing them. Our mission is to bring more vegetables into a consumers plate via delicious bold flavors and convenient form factor for that quick dinner rush or lunch need. Our innovation pipeline consists of using sustainable and simple sources of plant protein into various breakfast, lunch and dinner options for consumers, without any artificial ingredients or preservatives.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We are super excited to launch our latest innovation of coating our flexitarian chicken based varieties of Wundernuggets in plant based chickpea flakes. Talk about nutrition in and out! We are also working on launching the next sustainable protein based meatless nugget in fall of 2020.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

All the current buzz around Wundernuggets and the momentum has been purely organic via word of mouth. What was started as a meal option for kids, has quickly gained adoption in the health bloggers, nutritionists and millennials without kids, as Wundernuggets serve as a delicious salad protein. Keeping the retail packaging neutral has turned out to be a strategic advantage in opening up the market opportunity to a wider set of consumers.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

I would define this as a journey that puts a founder face to face with their strengths and weaknesses. There’s no bigger reality test for your grit and perseverance than being the leader of a startup. For me, it was a self awareness exercise that led me to quickly bringing in people that fill in for my weakest areas so I can hone in on my strengths to drive the business forward.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Most clients share with us, that Wundernuggets provide them the mental comfort that they have a guilt-free dinner solution ready in minutes, for the times when they are in a pinch. They feel happy that they have served their family a well balanced nutritious meal, completely hassle free!

How do you motivate others?

I encourage my team to listen to podcasts, and read about inspiring stories of founders, entrepreneurs and take cues from folks that have created great products and businesses.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Always trust your gut and instinct and have a stubborn level of belief in your products and business. However, always have the clarity and humility to understand your customer’s feedback and incorporate it to bring the best version of product or service to market.

What do I do best?

Stay calm under pressure and chaos. I generally just keep my head down and execute swiftly to solve the challenges I can address, rather than tax myself over things I cannot control.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Grit, perseverance, and hunger to learn from others around me.

What are my aspirations?

To be an effective CEO, admired by my team and industry peers.

My Biggest Success?

8 published patents, Starting a happening CPG startup, while raising two amazing kids!

My Most Challenging Moment?

Each day presents a new challenge, in reality. However, there was one particular one where our manufacturing plant had to be shut down due to a USDA regulation right before a major launch with Walmart. I realized then that one should always have a plan A, B and C, at all times for critical parts of the business. I then solidified our manufacturing to make sure we always have a way to fulfill our orders. This activity led to identifying better partners that allowed for a higher gross margin.

My Motto?

“Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” - Jim Harbaugh, U of Michigan Football Coach.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

John Foraker, Ex-CEO of Annie’s and Current CEO of Once upon a farm

Brene Brown, speaker and author

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Europe.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Apple earpods, resistance bands for a good stretch and workout, foam roller, cashews.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Get through 75% of todos

Thought of the Day: Stay positive

Action of the Day: Get some workout

Deed of the Day: Be kind

Tip of the Day: Always be grateful

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Food and people.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

MigasRestaurant - Taco Deli

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – getting ready for workout

10:00 AM - team meetings

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Fish taco

7:00 PM - Hanging out with kids

11:00 PM - working or watching a show,

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

2 cappuccinos

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Facebook

What should everyone try at least once?

Inviting a distant acquaintance to dine with you.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In NYC

What Else to Know?

Within the first two years of my foray into Consumer Packaged Goods, I was invited to speak at the largest food trade show, Natural Products Expo, CPG Week, Austin Startup Week, and Food & Beverage Conference.

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Eric B. Schultz: Entrepreneur & Author

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My Admission Statement: I have been involved in entrepreneurial activities throughout my career, including a decade as CEO of Sensitech, a venture-backed start-up acquired by United Technologies (UTC). Sensitech monitors the global cold chain, insuring that in-transit perishables such as fresh produce reach their destinations safely and with minimum loss. This focus on reducing food waste led to my co-authoring Food Foolish, a book that explores why human beings waste one-third of everything we produce and recommends solutions. Most recently, I have put my entrepreneurial experience (along with my degree in history) to work, authoring Innovation on Tap: Stories of Entrepreneurship From the Cotton Gin to Broadway’s Hamilton. This new book gathers 25 entrepreneurs, living and departed, around an imaginary bar where they tell their stories—providing fascinating, fun, and profitable reading for modern entrepreneurs.

What was your inspiration for the book?

It all started in a bar, or at least a makeshift bar in the lobby of a venture capital firm in Boston. I had been invited to an after-work presentation featuring a group of start-up CEOs. After their uniformly glowing presentations, we were standing together sipping drinks when the real truth emerged. One CEO was running out of money. Another was threatened by a competitor that had appeared from nowhere three months earlier. Around that time, I happened to be reading a biography of Eli Whitney (1765–1825), who had survived a shipwreck, malaria, a factory fire, and years of patent litigation as he brought his cotton gin to market. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, if Whitney could have joined us that evening—and maybe other interesting entrepreneurs from various eras of American history?

That get-together was my inspiration for the book. And as I researched and visited with dozens of entrepreneurs, I grew especially interested in learning if there might be a handful of characteristics that would prove to be uncommonly common among successful entrepreneurs, regardless of their backgrounds, personalities, industries, or eras.

And were there?

Yes, and they fell in line with one of my favorite management techniques, simple rules. When things get complicated, rely on simple rules. For example, when Michael Pollan looked around at a million diet books, he recommended that we 1. Eat (real) food, 2. Not too much, 3. Mostly plants. In Innovation on Tap, the stories of our 25 entrepreneurs across three-hundred years come down to three simple rules for success: 1. Build community, 2. Focus relentlessly on the business model, and 3. Think expansively. That last one is especially important for young people; no aspiring entrepreneur should be discouraged if he or doesn’t “look like” one of the day’s heroic successes. Innovation is pervasive and unbounded.

Are there any entrepreneurs you studied or met who were especially inspirational to you?

Eli Whitney was one of America’s first serial entrepreneurs, and his launch of the cotton gin and later musket factory holds all kinds of inspirational lessons for today’s entrepreneurs. Generally, all of the women and people of color featured in Innovation on Tap required courage and tenacity in a world that often threw obstacles in their paths. And, since the book is set in a barroom, I also chose a barroom-style debate: Who is the most successful entrepreneur in American history? Rockefeller? Gates? Jobs? Of course, there is no right answer, but I make the case in Innovation on Tap for General Motors’s Alfred Sloan, who nearly bankrupted Henry Ford on GM’s way to global automobile dominance.

Did you manage to talk about food waste in Innovation on Tap?

Not exactly, but one of the important sections in the book is about sustainability. I feature entrepreneurs doing clean water, renewable energy, and urban gardening. There’s also an important section on digitization, which captures the work of a number of modern entrepreneurs

Any career advice for entrepreneurs?

Don’t overlook history as a source of knowledge and inspiration. Henry Ford once called history “bunk” and then went on to build one of the largest museums in America. He became a believer. If you are STEM major, you might think of history as an enormous laboratory where we have been running decades of experiments on our favorite topic: us! When these experiments take the shape of compelling stories, they can provide genuine wisdom and, at a critical moment, the guidance needed to make the right decision. Steve Jobs said creativity is just connecting things; think of history as an endless source of “things” to connect.

What is your current passion?

Making the case, through books like Innovation on Tap, that liberal arts majors can and should have a seat around the entrepreneurial bar. We all love STEM majors, but it’s the history, English, and philosophy majors who sometimes need to be reminded that innovation doesn’t have a degree. And innovation may take the shape of a new app or software platform, but it also might be a Broadway show such as Hamilton.

Favorite quote?

Author William Gibson once wrote, “It’s harder to imagine a past that went away than it is to imagine the future.” Spending time reading and understanding what came before us is essential to understanding what might lie in our future. And when it’s set in a barroom, it can be a lot of fun, too.

Dina Giordano: Creative Consultant & Strategic Advisor

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My Admission Statement: My name is Dina Giordano, I am an architect who practices non-traditionally. “I like to say I build companies instead of buildings now. I run and operate a creative consulting and strategic advising business out of Aspen and Los Angeles. I am passionate about integrating creative thinking and systematic frameworks to mobilize the economy for small businesses and entrepreneurs so that they can make the most impact.

How did you get into the industry?

When I step back I can see the trajectory that has lead me to operating a consulting and strategy business.

I have grown up with an entrepreneurial family, watching and learning from parents running their own businesses. To own a small business or start a company was the norm to me. In addition I worked only for small businesses and sole proprietors from high school into college. I was lucky enough to be given responsibilities and leadership roles - which I learned a lot from. Working alongside and observing each person, the roles, what worked, and what didn’t. This was the best MBA I could have gotten.

After completing architecture school in the recession it seemed most jobs in the design world were non existent. So I started an experiential marketing company, that spawned a pop-up art gallery that lead into advising artists and an art consulting business. It soon grew into other companies and creative entrepreneurs requesting consulting and advise on their business practices and marketing strategies. The business continued to grow organically. In 2016 I reformulated the company and structured the services to express and emphasis my unique approach based on my experiences and architectural training. Which is my methodology of architectural thinking, it’s creative, systematic approach to developing business.

Any emerging industry trends?

I have seen a shift in the embrace of cross-disciplinary skillsets and right brain thinking. The new trend in business schools, corporate evaluations, and team leadership is in the value of creative, abstract thinking in business. The value of skills that can not be automated or out sourced. The ability to think comprehensively about the big picture, the user experience, and embrace collaboration or cross industry alliances. These movements look beyond their own industry for inspiration, ideas and ways to innovate. I think companies and corporations are seeing the combative advantage in having a strong creative view point that will create an impact.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Again, I see the opportunity for companies like mine or individuals like myself that have a skillset and knowledge base that can not be automated or outsourced for less money. Strategies that can show case creative thinking, innovations, and a methodology that allows for the agility in frameworks to create success and respond swiftly to changes/demands in the market.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

The vision for the consulting business was to mobilize entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, businesses to contribute to the market place and economy through a positive impactful message. I was driven by the business owners and entrepreneurs I knew growing up or saw around me that were struggling to realize their own professional visions. This is where I learned I could see the gaps in their processes, the possibilities /opportunities.

I have been driven to provide excellence by offering a point of view that is different, yet I believe offers the highest value exchange in way of looking at the future of a business, of the economy. We love looking at the bigger picture through the details. We thrive on challenging the norms.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Working on articles and a publication on “Architectural Thinking” - working title… Share the concepts and research I have been working on for the past three years or so. It will be a combination of strategic frameworks and creative analysis. We are also looking at expanding our European presence for international clients and assembling a team over there.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Key initiatives have been strategic alliances, partnering with conferences, organizations or individuals that help to facilitate in reaching ideal clients. Streamlining processes and procedures. Increasing productivity, having information assemble and reducing the fat that clogs the system. This has also been greatly beneficial as this create space for the “real work” that will lead to creativity, the space to be innovative and to generate profit. Prioritizing the tasks and action on the daily calendar

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn)

I think it's challenging to be service driven business that is a direct reflections of your skills, connections, and methods. If you are intrinsically connected to your business its hard to create a divide between your identity and the Business. This is most difficult while navigating the standard ups and downs of business. The normal difficulties of service or product based companies is trying clients, or customers and moments of hardship.

I am still learning to staying the course and not falter when things go a-rye or not as you have planned and hoped it would. In difficult times it’s important to keep your professional vision in sight and to hold your individual identity outside of the success of the business.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Our clients are successful business owners and operators who know to pivot or scale, or grow. They need not be complacent and they understand that it takes the whole business operating to together at its highest order to succeed.

My clients are in “it”. They are in the depths of growing a business and/or launching a project something that is all consuming and they are the leading voice.

For these clients it's reflected that they appreciate and rise in the relief of having a collaborator, someone who helps to pull them back from the minutiae of daily tasks and refocus. We look at the big picture the context the vision for the company and build back in the details. We go from micro to macro to understand the complexities of each business. I give them the space to be creative to redefine their “why”. Their compelling reason.

How do you motivate others?

One key to motivating others is to listen. I strongly believe that people should do what they are best at, what naturally motivates and impassions them. Putting the right people in the right position or role that best fits their own natural and trained skill set, and personality. I also strongly believe in giving people autonomy - the freedom to be entrepreneurial and take ownership in their roles and responsibilities. I don’t like to be micro-managed and I don’t like to micro-manage others. I and my team thrive when everyone can bring their best to the table and lead from there.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Expose yourself to as many areas industries that interest. Touch on each and every area of business. Understand marketing, financial planning and investment, know how production works. Touch many pieces of the business as you are learning and developing where your skills and strengths are. I would also say know you client/customer. Also create the structure in which you will on board and off board all clients, have a clear process.

My biggest advice is do something unique to your skills and talents. That focus, your way of seeing business, consulting, the unique way you see the world. This you can not be taught and this can not be automated. Remember your clients are coming to you for your specific skills, your way of doing things.

What do I do best?

In business I have the ability to easily empathize with my client’s vision. I can see how to solve problems, what creative steps they can take to get there. When I hear about the client’s brief my mind can go from detail to big picture quite quickly and easily. It’s a way of mixing systematic thinking and creative ideations.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Both professionally and personally, I think it is my ability to connect with people, first and foremost. I have an inherited ability to empathize with others and to naturally lead and create trust.

I also think that my nature is to be curios and to learn about a variety of subjects and topics and then see how and where they connect/relate.

What are my aspirations?

My aspirations are to have a positive impact on the local and global communities through the mobilization of entrepreneurship, (small - medium) businesses, creative culture, and the economy. I hope to contribute something larger than myself, to help others achieve their highest aspirations.

As of now my vision is to accomplish this through a multi-disciplinary consulting firm with offices in the US and Europe. As well as a professional and creative residency program. That focuses on education, the power of collaboration, cross-disciplinary outputs, and innovation in industry. My Biggest Success? (No rules here. This can be anything in your life that you view as your greatest accomplishment to date)

Success is a loaded word and means something different to everyone. For me at this point, I have yet to accomplish my biggest success. Moving forward, growing and staying on track and true to myself, and my vision is an accomplishment I strive for each year.

I think if one can feel proud and accomplished when they go to sleep each night and wake up that is success.

My Motto?

“everything we do has an aesthetic value”

“your gift is the way you see the world”

“No-one can take away the experiences and knowledge you have”

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My role models, run from individuals in politics, entertainment, business, and design. I admire people who don’t believe in retirement. Who believe wholeheartedly in their ability or drive to contribute, to create something of impact. My role models break the rules and are polymaths. People who can embrace what they know with humility but who strive to be curious and adventures in their learnings. People who are engaged with the world, looking around corners.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

My favorite places are the ones I have not been to yet…I am a travel junkie. I was recently in Norther Italy, small towns and lesser know cities. On this trip I also discovered Innsbruck Austria which was surprising and delightful even in the rain! I will spend my life exploring and going adventures around the world.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Beautiful objects, are pieces of engineering, history, industry embedded into them. The manipulation of form, light to create something beautiful to enhance our experience of life is a gift. I believe design objects have a way of strengthening our existence and our lives. ( From a chair to a painting to a bottle of olive oil. My favorite items are a narrative of my life)

My Current Passions?

Developing further the systematic methodology to business, economic mobility.

Working on my European citizenship.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Get through most of my list. Stay focused.

Thought of the Day: How can I do more to help people be success in business?

Action of the Day: write the First draft of the first of three articles.

Deed of the Day: Simply, be kind to others.

Tip of the Day: Stay centered and follow your highest intention

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

It depends on what city I am in. I travel a lot for work. Most of the time between Aspen Colorado and Los Angeles.

I love the diversity in Los Angeles, food people, neighborhoods. As well as the fresh creative entrepreneurial energy there.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

In Aspen, Local CoffeeIn LA, Minetti Coffee

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – sleeping

I don’t love mornings. All appoints are mad for after 10am when I am more focused.

10:00 AM - Meetings, working, respond to emails mostly

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

In LA, my favorite spot is Bondi Harvest in Santa Monica

In the Aspen area, newly opened, Beat in Carbondale, Delicious!

I usually take an afternoon break if I don’t have meetings and restart work around 2:30/3-about 7pm

7:00 PM - work up to Dinner

11:00 PM - In bed.

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

COFFEE, salty kettle chips, sparkling mineral water - is my survival kit.

I try to do a little mediation most days and get out for a hike or walk, run.

What should everyone try at least once?

Putting your phone away make eye contact and start chatting with a stranger. I have met some of the best people, and even made friends with people next to me on planes or out and about in public. I believe in human connection and learning from each other is very important.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In almost any foreign city or town. I love exploring new places and discovering restaurants, buildings, parks, shops, etc. No agenda just discovery.

What Else?

BIO: Dina Giordano’s, path as a Creative Consultant and Strategic Advisor was pre-destined. From helping in her family’s businesses in New Jersey to advising on global brands. After, pursuing a degree in Fashion Marketing, looking for a greater connection to people, place and a larger context. Dina turned her focus to Architecture and relocated to California. In the discipline of Architecture, she found a process of thinking and exploration that nurtured her curiosity about how things function and the complex interconnectedness of systems, creativity, and pragmatism. From here Dina put together a self-guided MBA of sorts; working in every creative industry, leading design projects with multi-disciplinary collaborative teams and working alongside first-time founders as their right-hand women. Which led to starting her own marketing company and art gallery. Her career organically expanded, to consulting and advising professional artists, designer-entrepreneurs, start-ups, and scale-up. As a business consultant, Dina has carefully studied and tested the knowledge and experience she gained. To develop an application for approaching business that utilizing her background in Architecture. This method is coined, “Architectural Thinking”TM. It allows Dina and her clients to draw out the most relevant, consistent, and progressive approaches to each project and company she works with.

Dina has used this approach while developing projects for; Coachella, PS1. MOMA, Macy’s, Frieze Art Fair, Fashion week, as well as developing businesses for entrepreneurs, across industries.
Her work is driven by a vision for creating a bigger impact through the methodology of “Architectural Thinking”TM. Dina has lectured and given talks on business development from Los Angeles to London. She is developing initiatives that tackle dynamic growth through innovation, discussion, leadership and economic impact.

Given Talks at:

Norn- London, The Collective, AIA, Unique Space, Outsite-Lisbon, Collobosphere imeet conference, Art base. Interviewed on DNX podcast, soon on the Liberty podcast.

WORKSHOP/COURSE FOR ARCHITECTS | "Constructing Your Metier” 2016 – Present With a passion for the training, education, and pedagogy of Architecture and expanding on my education to reexamine the role of an Architect in today's society. The course looks at how to deploy architects to mobilize effective change in outside industries. From creative problem solving to developing processes to developing compelling stories. Developed for SCI-ARC.

SPEAKER + WORKSHOPS ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | "Architectural Thinking” 2016 – Present Lead workshops and speaking engagements on Strategic Business Development. Created applicable methods and process for "Architectural Thinking". Creating high level feedback, organization and relationship of problem solving, through creative strategies. Understanding each professional project or individual business at its daily operational level to parts to vision, the ethos of the company. Through applying the principles of "Architectural Thinking". Global Speaking engagements.

Kristi Jacques Falk: Founder & Executive Director, The Diabetes Wellness Council

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My Admission Statement : I am a Type 1 Diabetes Warrior! Not only do I teach others how to live healthier with diabetes, but I actually practice what I preach. I am a Diabetes Educator and Lifestyle Coach. I am extremely passionate about what I do and what I can do, and most of all I am persistent. I have never been one to give up easily. If I want to do something, I will find a way to make it happen. Every time. https://diabeteswellnesscouncil.org/

Bio: Kristi Jacques Falk is the Founder and Executive Director of The Diabetes Wellness Council. Kristi is passionate about the positive effects “true wellness” has on the lives of children and adults in South Carolina. Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of 12, Kristi has searched for a healthy path for her life. In 2000, she owned and operated Abundant Life Whole Foods Market in Conway, SC where her knowledge of healthy lifestyles expanded and was put to good use. After a couple of years, she realized that she needed to reach a larger audience and organized the Alternative Healthcare Expo which later became The Wellness Expo of Myrtle Beach. In 2006, Kristi founded The Wellness Council for South Carolina, now The Diabetes Wellness Council, with a goal of educating and improving the lives of citizens throughout the state.

She has appeared on local television and radio programs and featured in publications such as Coastal Business Life, South Carolina Woman Magazine, Natural Awakenings Magazine, The Sun News, and Weekly Surge. She is a Diabetes Educator, a DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program) Lifestyle Coach, a Certified Ketogenic Lifestyle Coach and a Certified Intermittent Fasting Coach.

Kristi is also a public speaker and author. She was most recently the Keynote Speaker at the Upper Piedmont Association of Diabetes Educator conference in Greenville, SC, November of 2018. The organization has a Diabetes 5K event coming up on February 9th, 2020 in Myrtle Beach, SC.

How did you get into the industry?

My “introduction to the industry” actually came when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1982. After having ups and downs and making every mistake in the book, I finally decided to take control of my health. I am under very tight control and now helping others work to achieve the same.

Any emerging industry trends?

Things have changed so much since my initial diagnosis. Especially when it comes to testing. I wasn’t able to check my glucose at home back then. Now, Continuous Glucose Monitors are everywhere and people can know their numbers without a finger prick. They help people achieve far better outcomes and better overall health. Also, insulin pumps and the CGM’s can work together as an “artificial pancreas” to make management even easier. The technology is improving every year and I’m excited for what the future holds.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

To be perfectly honest, the number one challenge for myself and other diabetes educators, is getting people to not only accept their diagnosis, but be willing to learn more about it and work towards improving their health and their lives. So many of those, especially with Type 2, are content with simply taking the pill that was prescribed to them and not worrying about making any lifestyle changes. Even the ads for the pharmaceuticals state clearly that the medications help, “along with diet and exercise”. I am not sure what the reason is but it breaks my heart. I really want people to be a partner in their healthcare, not just stand on the sidelines. They need to become their own health advocate.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business? 

The organization started out under a different name with a much larger and broader goal, to teach anyone and everyone about better health and lifestyles. After many years, it became clear that we needed to focus on a specific cause and goal. As a diabetic under tight control, that became the best avenue. The ideal future for us would be to grow the organization, hire more educators and staff, have different chapters in the state and around the country. I want to see the diabetes and obesity trends to start reversing and see a healthier population. 

What's next for the Business in the near future?

For a long time, the standard measurement of blood sugar control was the A1C number, which measures the level of control with an average reading over a 3 month period. This is not very accurate however, since someone could have severe highs and lows throughout the day and still have a very good average reading. The standards are now changing to measure “time in range”. This is looking at the percentage of time someone’s glucose readings stay within certain parameters during the day. This is also where CGM’s come into the picture because they can give that reading much more accurately than regular testing methods.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

While attending a conference in 2018, I met a new company that had a mission that aligned with my own. They became a partner and corporate sponsor for the organization. They have since become like family. I value their ideas, their input and their product which I completely believe in. I also believe in their people. To find a business like that is rare so I appreciate them tremendously. (Good Idea Drinks)

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

As a small nonprofit organization, our biggest challenges revolve around funding. There are so many worthwhile organizations doing amazing work that need money. Unfortunately, people tend to not look at diabetes management necessary or “urgent” and therefore don’t give donations as readily. Funding from grants is also a great challenge.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

My clients enjoy the relaxed setting and the conversational aspect of our services. Since I myself am a diabetic, I am able to connect with them on a deeper level and have a better understanding of their challenges. They can also see what is possible for people living with diabetes. I believe that is of tremendous help. Plus, we have fun and laugh a lot.

How do you motivate others?

My personal experiences and struggles are the most effective. It enables me to really relate to clients, especially when I talk about things that I do wrong. They like my honesty about my challenges and knowing that I am not “perfect”.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Learn to question everything. New studies are always coming out with new information. Some of the old ways of thinking and doing things are now obsolete, so I would make sure to always be informed and always ask questions.

Jazzmine Raine: Founder/Director, Hara World & Co-founder, Sustainable Travel Network

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My Admission Statement: My learning journey started outside of the classroom. Everything that I’ve learned about sustainable and community development has been taught by young leaders, innovators, mentors, gurus, activists, believers, and my mom. I believe in the power of experiential education, and implement this powerful way of learning into everything I do, including my impact travel organization, Hara World. 

Bio: Jazz is one of the leading pioneers of the zero waste travel movement in India. She is the co-founder of India's first zero waste guesthouse Hara House, a social enterprise that invests 20% of profits into community development projects. What started as a grassroots project led to the creation of Hara World, an experiential education and impact travel organization that empowers, educates and connects diverse young people through environmental justice programs.  Jazz is currently the Director of Hara World and utilizes her background in nonprofit management, content marketing, and social innovation to lead her team of 20-somethings to become confident and resourceful leaders for sustainable development.

Jazz is deeply passionate about empowering youth, ethical fashion, and responsible travel. She is one of 4 co-founders of the Sustainable Travel Network, and hosts Impact India, a podcast that deep dives into the stories of social entrepreneurs and innovators in India. In her spare time, Jazz manages content at Causeartist, leads influencer campaigns for social and environmental impact brands, and develops content strategy and copy for social impact organizations around the world. Jazz was named 1 of 35 social entrepreneurs to watch for in 2019 by Causeartist, so keep in touch by following her journey at sunshineandraine.com and haraworld.com!

@jazzmineraine

@thehararevolution

How did you get into the industry?

My background in sustainable development and nonprofit management totally happened by accident. At 18 years old, I founded my own nonprofit focused on supporting water conservation and sanitation projects around the world, which led me to learn the ins and outs of grassroots development in Canada, Ghana, and India. Of course, travel was a big part of my learning journey (pun intended!) and doing so responsibly in a way that positively impacts people and the planet was always a value of mine.

Creating a social impact travel organization came to me organically when I was able to clarify my values and my passions, and combine them to create a platform that would empower youth across the world. I also grew up with a single mother who was a travel agent and was learning cultural competency and my role in the world from a very early age. All of this influence has led me to where I am today, and is the foundation of my long-term learning journey that I am currently on.

Any emerging industry trends?

Social impact travel and the zero waste movement, two core focuses of my business, are becoming much more trendy as young generations begin to realize their responsibility to take care of mother earth both at home and abroad. There is a lot more credibility for experiential education which is another pillar of how we curate our travel programs. it’s a very exciting time to be in the industry because there is so much opportunity. I’m currently working to explore more of these opportunities through my sustainable tourism community, Sustainable Travel Network.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

By 2021, I will be launching a summer program which will act as a summer camp for young eco-warriors to learn about environmental justice. The goal is to connect with local communities and diverse facilitators in India to apply their learnings to everything they do at home and abroad. The mission is to create the future of education where youth are aware of their role in development and how to support sustainable growth of rural and metropolis destinations.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Collaboration across the sector (and beyond!).

What do I do best?

Make people smile.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Expressing gratitude to myself for reaching my goals, and to others who have helped me accomplish them.

My Biggest Success?

Creating a vision in my head and making it a reality. Woah.

My Most Challenging Moment?

*CHEESE ALERT*

When I decided to move back to India permanently in 2018, it felt like I had taken my entire world and flipped it upside down, again. I left my incredible job as Executive Director of a youth empowerment organization, moved out of my favorite apartment in Toronto, sold my car, left my partner of 3 years, sold everything I owned, and had to find a loving, new owner for my amazing dog of 8 years, Danny. It took me almost a year to realize that I truly made the right decision because I knew my heart was happier here, and leading Hara World and my many initiatives in India was my legacy. I always knew sacrifices and hard decisions would need to be made to work towards my purpose but damn, no one ever really tells you how hard it’s gonna be.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I am very grateful to have travelled extensively throughout my life. I have slept in the middle of the jungle in the Osa Peninsula, and stayed in cozy homestays in the peaks of the Himalayas. However, when I close my eyes and think of where my favorite place in the world is, I always end up back in Rome, Italy. I’m still unsure why but history and architecture are huge thrills for me and Rome is rich in both.

My Current Passions?

I have four passions: youth empowerment, sustainable fashion, responsible travel, and zero waste living. 

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Get through my tasklist

Thought of the Day: How can I work more efficiently?

Action of the Day: Stretch every morning before I sit down to work

Deed of the Day: Engage with the youth in my community

Tip of the Day: You overestimate what you can do in one year, but underestimate what you can do in five.

What do you love most about Your City?

The young people changing the status quo.

Favorite breakfast meal?

I LOVE parantha, but oddly enough, oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon is the best.

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

Chai. 4 or more.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

My thoughts.

Ron Tite: Founder & CEO, Church+State & Author

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My Admission Statement: I believe that businesses and business leaders need to be driven by purpose and need to re-enforce that purpose with intent through their actions and behaviors.

Bio: Ron Tite has been an award-winning advertising writer and Creative Director for some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Fidelity, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, Volvo and many others. He is Founder of Church+State, a content marketing agency and publisher of This is That Travel Guide to Canada – a best-selling, award-winning satirical book. He was Executive Producer & Host of the award-winning comedy show Monkey Toast, has written for a number of television series, penned a children’s book, and wrote, performed, and produced the play The Canadian Baby Bonus. In demand as a speaker on leadership, disruption, innovation, branding and creativity, Ron speaks to leading organizations all over the world.

Ron’s first book, Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be), was published by HarperCollins in 2016. His latest book, Think Do Say. How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World will hit store shelves October 8, 2019.

How did you get into the industry?

I was working in a web design firm that was partnering with an agency. The Chair of the agency asked if I ever considered working in advertising as a tech-savvy account person. “No”, I replied. “What does that entail?”
“Well, this is essentially what an account person is all about: It’s making a list and checking things off. You’re smart enough to figure out what goes on the list. And I think you’re ambitious enough to work until you check things off.”

Any emerging industry trends?

Business leaders have forgotten how to play the long game with their careers and their businesses. Many are resorting to the short game: Small tactics that drive peaks of interest that aren’t sustainable. IMHO, it’s bullshit. And it’s wrecking people’s lives and businesses.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Get back to the basics, baby. Set yourself up for a career of success. Don’t be the equivalent of the business professional who lands on a “Where are they now?” episode. As the epic band Trooper (Google it) once said, “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” But it’s longer than we think. Act like it.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

It’s no longer “the separation of church and state”, it’s the unification of those two forces. Someone needs to help brands, media properties, and people succeed in that new reality. Right?

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Muffins. There are always muffins.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Smart people. Real conversations. Organic curiosity. No bullshit. And a fridge full of Diet Coke.

Your most difficult moment at the Business?

As a former Creative Director, I knew the world of business but I had never run one. The first year I started the agency, I had a horrible moment where I learned what cash flow was. If our first client hadn’t couriered us a cheque, we wouldn’t have made payroll. Gulp.

How do you motivate others?

By getting out of their way.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Try more things. Experiment more. Don’t just be curious but actively chase the thing you’re curious about.

What do I do best?

My ability to articulate my ideas in compelling ways. With 20 years on stage as a stand-up comedian, I can read a room, work a room, and get people to pay attention. The ability to make people laugh doesn’t hurt, either.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Caffeine.

What are my aspirations?

There should only be one goal: Complete and total happiness. There are a million different ways that I can achieve that, and I haven’t even scratched the surface on exploring what some of those are. Some are in business. Some are not. Luckily, my curiosity is stronger than my apathy.

My Biggest Success?

I threw an opening ceremony pitch at a blue jays game when I was 10 years old. It doesn’t get better than that.

My Motto?

Only rocket science is rocket science.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I’ve always loved Steve Martin’s career. Standup, acting, screenplays, novels, plays, art. He’s done it all. I have role models for different aspects of my life: Bill Sharpe, Tom Blackmore, Marc Giacomelli, Robin Whalen, Mitch Joel, Scott Stratten, Martin Perelmuter, Jason Thompson, Michele Romanow, JF Dery, Mary Secord, and my wife. She’s an incredible human being who does wonderful work for our community. She’s also an incredible mother.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Inbox zero.

Thought of the Day: I feel like I’m forgetting something….

Action of the Day: Reply. Delete. Delete. Reply.

Deed of the Day: Not outing someone for their blatant pitch slap delivered through email. And for the record, I’m never available the next day for a call at 11am.

Tip of the Day: It used to be “Management by walking around”. Now it’s “Management by reply-all.” Don’t write novels. You have more important work to do.

What do you love most about Your City?

The multicultural aspect of Toronto. It’s incredible.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Toasted bagel and yogurt at home.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Snoring.

10:00 AM – Informing my assistant, “We’re going to have to reschedule my 10:30…”

12:00 PM - Rigatoni Bolognese at Caffino

7:00 PM - Reading a story to my son.

11:00 PM – Netflix!

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

I have more Diet Cokes than you’d think possible.

Most used App

MLB At Bat.

What should everyone try at least once?

Absolute failure.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In my mind.

What Else to Know?

My new book: Think Do Say. How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World.

My new podcast: The Coup: Disruption and the Fall of the Establishment on Frequency Podcast Network

My new shirt!: Blue Gingham. Just like the other 40.

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Peter Wood: CEO/Co-founder, CoinBurp & Co-founder, BitBroker

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My Admission Statement: My name is Peter Wood, CEO and co-founder of CoinBurp. My daily and long term mission is to change the cryptocurrency space entirely by providing ease of access to trading through simplicity as well as providing education to newcomers. We are working tirelessly to make cryptocurrency safe and simple to use and to educate investors on the benefits of investing in cryptocurrencies.

I am also the co-founder of BitBroker, an idea that started in my bedroom at my parents' house. After a few years, BitBroker generated millions of pounds in profit and I look to replicate this success with CoinBurp.

I provide talks at events, schools and seminars where I hope to inspire individuals and communities to follow their passion just as I have done. Over this last year, we (CoinBurp) have sponsored multiple charity events across Ireland and England in hope to give communities equal opportunities for the future.

How do you motivate others?

I find direct pressure to be the least effective, whilst giving employees the flexibility to complete tasks as the winning factor. Team collaboration is key with an open form of communication between colleagues.

Out of the office, we frequently do team bonding events such as escape rooms and lunches where the team have time to get to know one another. We play hard but we work harder.

What tips would you give for other start-up’s:

Do something you will enjoy in the years to come. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning dreading the day ahead!

Be realistic. Everyone has great ideas but can you definitely deliver on this?

Consider start-up costs, your burn rate and whether you can bring investment in if needed.

Lead by example. No one wants to work for a dictator so do not be that guy/girl! Treat others as you would like to be treated.

What does the future hold for your business?

I would love to see CoinBurp grow internationally and become one of the market leaders in this industry, and with the great team around me, I genuinely feel this will be done. On a more selfish note, I want to continue volunteering, helping and inspiring young kids to achieve their dreams. As a successful individual from Luton, I regularly give talks to children at my old High School showing them that with a lot of hard work you can get to where you’d like to be!

What are the difficult moments in your business and industry?

It goes without saying that the common perception of cryptocurrency trading is not that of a positive one. Thus making onboarding of new customers slightly more difficult compared to if the general population knew more and how safe it was through the right provider such as ourselves.

Problems arise on a daily basis and it is up the person or team to decide how to deal with it regardless of the scale of the issue. Luckily, I love what I do and success is just an added bonus so when hurdles appear I see it as an opportunity for growth and development.

What do I do best?

I like to feel my expertise lies in business development and building relations. There will always be room for improvement and I continuously search for changes that will have a positive impact on the company as a whole.

My Motto?

Take advantage of times where you feel inspired and focus on the end goal.

What is your most used app?

Without a doubt, Reddit!

What are your passions/hobbies?

I spend the majority of my week and time working, so I take every opportunity I can to spend with my family. I make a concerted effort to put my phone down, close my emails and stay connected with them.

Outside of work and family, I enjoy everything football. To many readers dismay, I am an avid Liverpool supporter. Personal development is also high up on my list when I can I read, learn and watch to keep myself up to date with the latest and greatest within my industry specifically.

What should everyone try at least once?

Take yourself out of your comfort zone. In the moment or prior to there is a sudden feeling of regret. Once completed whatever it may be you experience a temporary state of euphoria and it becomes contagious.

What else to know?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLzTaNpn3Zs

https://coinrivet.com/calum-best-turns-out-for-crypto-charity-match/

https://blockchain.news/Post?id=Setting-up-a-Crypto-Exchange-can-attract-unwanted-police-attention

Dawn Raffel: Author, Editor & Teacher

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My Admission Statement: I write books. I edit books. I teach creative writing. If it involves words, I’m in! As a writer, I am a genre-hopper. My most recent book is The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies. It’s the true story of a man who changed infant care in America—by placing preemies on the boardwalks of places like Coney Island and Atlantic City. NPR called it “a mosaic mystery told in vignettes, cliffhangers, curious asides, and some surreal plot twists,” while the New Yorker review focused on the way Couney was trying to save these babies in the shadow of American eugenics. In addition to The Strange Case of Dr. Couney, I’ve published short stories, a novel, and a memoir.

How did you get into the industry?

My mother used to remark that as a child I slept with a book instead of a stuffed animal. Throughout my life, books have been my refuge and inspiration. After college, I took the first job I could get in New York, which was as a magazine editor, and I stayed in magazines while writing books for a long while, until the magazine industry underwent major disruption. At that point, the natural next step was to move to teaching creative writing and editing books on an independent basis, which is what I’ve been doing for the last five years.

Any emerging industry trends?

Many publishing houses do not have the resources to give authors the TLC they need, which is where independent editors like me come in.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Well, here’s the thing. We could talk about digital disruption until we’re blue in the face. But in the end, the biggest challenge is always the writing itself.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

As a teacher, I’ve felt some frustration with the limitations of the traditional workshop model, which is all from the neck up. I’ve begun incorporating yoga, breathwork, and yoga nidra into my teaching (and my own writing!) as ways to tap into deeper creativity. These are excellent practices for people who think too much, which describes most writers—present company included.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Develop practices that sustain you. The publishing industry can be brutal, and you want to be in it for the long haul. The reality is that, in any creative endeavor, rejection is part of the package. I encourage my clients and my students to make time for yoga, or swimming, or running, or meditation, or whatever nurtures them.

What do I do best?

As an editor and a teacher, I offer individual attention that’s hard to come by. I also have a great eye.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I work really hard and I don’t quit.

What are my aspirations?

To continue to learn. Right now, I am writing a novel. This will be my sixth book, fourth work of fiction, but the thing with writing is: You are a beginner every time.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My late father who believed in big dreams and hard work, but who also took the time to nurture personal connections and enjoy life.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Coney Island!

My Current Passions?

Yoga and yoga nidra as portals to creativity

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The beautiful promenade along the Hoboken waterfront. People love to praise New York’s highline, but the view is much better from the Jersey side!

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Dreaming

10:00 AM – Editing or writing

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? —yoga studio. Ideally, that’s my lunch break, and then I grab something to eat at my desk.

7:00 PM - Thinking about dinner

11:00 PM - Reading

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

Coffee. Not a lot, but it needs to be good. And strong.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In my own thoughts!

What Else to Know?

I love doing radio. Here’s a conversation on Innovation Hub: http://blogs.wgbh.org/innovation-hub/2018/9/7/fake-doctor-who-saved-thousands-babies/

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Cassandra Troy Walker: Founder, Little West

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My Admission Statement: I am a Montreal native who moved to Los Angeles in 2006. My passion has always been a balance of conscious eating, with an emphasis on health and wellness and in 2013 I founded Clover Juice, a 200-square foot shop providing great tasting and unparalleled quality cold-pressed juice, located in Hollywood. Over the years a community grew, inclusive of everyone, with an objective to promote health and wellness into all aspects of life. After five years of carefully cultivating a diverse and thoughtful company, a brand refresh materialized, and Clover became Little West – a name tantamount with fellowship, quality products, transparency, trust, advancement, and approachability. Since becoming Mama to our son West, I’ve realized the importance of teaching kids about real food. I focus a lot of my energy on inspiring kids to try new fruits and veggies, and adults to have more fun in the kitchen. My belief is that food that’s good for you should always be fun and taste great!

How did you get into the industry?

I fell into it. In all honesty, my passion for food and a healthy lifestyle is what set the wheels in motion, then surrounding myself with people who believe in me, and the magic of being in the right place at the right time and having the guts to just do it.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

We love to travel, so this is a tricky one!

Montreal, my home town

Home, in our kitchen & gardening

Anywhere in the wilderness (close or far, I’m the happiest version of myself when I’m in nature)

Farmers Markets, buying seasonal and supporting local is the best!

Getting my sweat on. I’m grateful for any workout I can get (does that count?!). Fitmix Pilates, Modo Yoga, Soul Cycle, and Urban Exhale Yoga are my favs in LA.

Your most difficult moment at the Business?

There are always obstacles, however In late 2016 we almost lost the business. We started so small, couldn’t keep up with all the changes in the industry, and juice companies were popping up everywhere. Right around that time I’d stopped believing in myself and our ability to run the company. Going into 2017, my husband Andrew and I had a conversation I’ll never forget, made some tough decisions, and asked for a sign that we should keep fighting for what we loved. On Jan 21st, 2017 we received a call (completely out of the blue) from a dream customer, and after a month of inspiring talks while having our business vetted, the customer placed their first PO. In that moment, I realized that if this customer believed in us and what we were doing, then we needed to as well. After that, there was no looking back.

How do you motivate others?

By practicing what I preach, and by being real. I believe in moderation, above all. In food, I eat what I crave, when I crave it, and keep healthy options stocked at all times… along with some not so healthy options. In business, I’m honest, love what I do, and work my ass off, so I know that great partnerships and opportunities always come of it. In life, I try to be a great friend, partner, and mama, and I’m grateful that I receive all the love in return.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Spending time with my family and being in nature. Also, cooking zen’s me the f out.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Be authentic, don’t compromise, and just do it!

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I don’t have an attachment to things, but in terms of products, I could make lists all day.

Kitchen tongs and silicone spatulas

My must haves:

CBD (While I’ve been taking it for years, we just launched a line of clean label CBD juice w/ nano emusified CBD. Even when pregnant, I have a bottle a day)

Four Sigmatic 10 mushroom blend (Adaptogens, always. We put 1/8 tsp in our coffee every am) - Collagen Peptides for joint and skin health

Tata Harper Skincare products. I’m obsessed with the nourishing oil cleanser, regenerating cleanser, resurfacing mask, and retinoid nutrient face oil.

My Daily Thoughts: The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

What do you love most about Your City?

The sunshine (obviously!), and how close it is to the beach, mountains, vineyards, etc. Also, that there’s a farmers market somewhere every day.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I’m known for my muffins, which I bake a few mornings a week... but my husband makes the best breakfasts.

Our fav restaurant is probably Sugarfish. West requests sushi at least once a week.

What are you doing at:

6AM pilates class 2-3x per week 6:30AM off days I’m snuggling in bed w/ the boys

7AM great coffee, smoothies/breakfast, and ‘music mornings’

9AM work mode, and usually a full day of meetings

1PM Lunch. I pack a lunch everyday

5PM Mama mode and devoted family time for gardening, cooking, dinner and bedtime routine

11PM Sleeping

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

1 green juice every damn day. Preferably our Super Greens or The Clover.

1 coffee (elevated w/ collagen peptides, adaptogens, and cbd)

1 glass of wine (actually 2… but I’m pregnant, so it’s mini sips these days)

What should everyone try at least once?

Everything Where do you enjoy getting lost? In a farmers market. They’re my inspiration and happy place.

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Melanie Cristol: Founder & CEO, Lorals

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My Native Admission Statement: Melanie Cristol is the founder & CEO of Lorals, a sexual wellness brand that helps people across the world have more frequent — and more pleasurable — intimate experiences. Melanie and Lorals have been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Fast Company, Autostraddle, Playboy, and other publications worldwide. She is a frequent podcast guest on shows such as Art of Manufacturing, Girl Boner, How Cum, and Women Who Tech. 

Prior to founding Lorals, Melanie worked as an attorney at the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she represented consumer-products, healthcare, and technology companies, as well as individuals. In a highlight of her legal career, Melanie was part of the legal team that secured gay marriage rights for the western United States. She has also fought for LGBTQ rights in California and Ohio as a field organizer with the National LGBTQ Task Force. 

How did you get into the industry? 

I came up with the idea for Lorals when I was on a vacation and needed a dental dam. I knew it would be impossible to buy one, since they’re not popular enough to be sold in most stores (particularly on the coast of Mexico!). But even if we’d been able to get one, the idea of using it felt like a bummer. I wanted to feel sexy and confident and have a wonderful and easy intimate experience, and dental dams just didn’t fit the bill. 

I started having conversations with friends about their oral sex experiences, and I heard over and over again that they said no to oral for a variety of reasons, even when they wanted to be saying yes. Some said no because they were concerned about STDs, others because they felt self-conscious, others because they’d been through sexual trauma and the experience felt too intimate, and others because their partners had beards or chapped lips and oral sex physically hurt. I realized that stylish and thin latex panties could help so many people say yes to oral sex more often, and I quit my job to create Lorals.

 What's next for the Business in the near future? 

We plan to expand to a wider range of products, including another size, a see-through version, an STI-protection version, a masculine style, different colors, and additional sexual wellness products. We’re excited about the future!

Ideal experience for a customer/client? 

People are always so surprised at how soft the material is, and how comfortable Lorals are on the body. It feels like you’re wearing nothing at all! People also love the sensations they feel during oral -- they can feel the warmth, the movements, the pressure, everything -- without any of the worries that sometimes come with oral. And also, everyone’s excited to try rimming!

My Favorite Products/Objects? 

  1. Lorals, of course!

  2. Dr. Tung’s stainless steel tongue cleaner - it makes my mouth so clean!

  3. Squatty Potty - once you squat, you’ll never go back

  4. Mack’s kid-size wax earplugs - they’re the perfect size for my ears, and they keep out allll the sound

  5. Everything from Ikea - so efficient and so much fun to assemble!

  6. My 10-year-old leather jacket - it’s soft, the perfect amount of warmth, and unique, and I wear it everywhere

What else to know?

I’ve had a fun few weeks doing a variety of speaking engagements, from “Manufacturing Physical Products” at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit, to a Women of Sex Tech panel produced by XBIZ, to a workshop on oral sex and rimming techniques at the Sex Expo! 

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