Eric S. Smith is the director and producer of “We Are Sarah Jones,” a documentary about the tragic death of a 27-year-old camera assistant. He has worked on narrative, documentary and reality shows for studios, networks and production companies. He was director and director of photography for Boston's Finest (TNT). A member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Producers Guild of America and the Society of Camera Operators. “You have to be adept at finding the right people to help you accomplish your goals. You may be the best director, but even they are nothing without the people around them.”
Since preschool Karen Repoli has loved reading, writing and storytelling. Since 2007 her company, HIT Virtual, helps entrepreneurs meet their goals via content marketing. She’s authored several books, eBooks and white papers and blogs on Examiner.com, which reaches 37 million unique visitors a month. “I got my B.S. in recreational therapy and for 3 years worked with emotionally disturbed children. The work was gratifying but utterly stressful. Out of the blue a friend asked me if I’d help manage the office of his small company. I had no direct experience but I had the skills for the work.”
Bill Lampton, Ph.D., President of Championship Communication, helps leaders speak confidently, clearly, and convincingly. His interview coaching enables applicants to excel in job searches. Bill’s client list includes Gillette, Procter and Gamble, Duracell, British Columbia Legal Management System, Missouri Bar, and the Ritz-Carlton Cancun. Prior to establishing his company, he taught at the University of Georgia, then served as vice president of three colleges and a medical center. He has hosted many radio talk shows.
Marjorie Alexander is an environmental sustainability activist, media producer and host of the podcast, A Sustainable Mind. She seeks to inspire a new generation of environmental change-makers, using skills learned in 10 years of film production. After college, with a dual major in anthropology and film studies, Marjorie honed her skills on 175 films, TV shows, commercials and music videos. But when family and friends asked, “Have you done anything I might have seen,” her answer was always, “No.” She decided it was time to think of her legacy.
Richard Scott at Mynd.Works Therapy, combines psychology, Neuro-Linquistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and hypnosis to deliver highly successful solutions. His coaching and therapy clients are from 30 countries and include celebrities, sports champions and royalty. “Helping everyone is uniquely satisfying and that's why I love my job. Achieving your goals is definitely possible as you take a SMART approach, set clear and measurable steps, and recognize the process takes time. Jumping from step one to step ten is a setup for disappointment. Get a clear vision of where you want to go, and be patient with yourself.”
Bolaji Oyejide, author of the bestselling Brave Little Heroes books, uses stories to help kids discover “their own super powers.” His Bravepreneur Parents Academy podcast helps parents create unforgettable moments with their kids. “I didn't go to top schools to learn to make comic books or write about super heroes. Both my parents are medical doctors who lifted our family out of poverty in Nigeria. I actually enjoyed my corporate career and was good at it, but I never really felt fulfilled until now.”
BAER, at 22, is a multi-cultural R&B, hip-hop, and pop singer/songwriter. Born as Sabrina Chang in Taiwan, BAER’s work reflects a wide variety of musical influences. After studying music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music, she moved to Los Angeles, CA, and worked with vocal producer David Quiñones, D.Q. Sabrina did well academically at her international high school. Both parents were successful doctors and assumed she would pursue a profession. “My parents were not happy doing what they were doing, and I had to insist that they let me pursue my passion and go to music school.”
Brian Tannebaum’s clients are lawyers trying to remain lawyers, law students trying to become lawyers or those facing state or federal criminal charges. His book, The Practice: Brutal Truths About Lawyers and Lawyering, is a best seller. He is a former columnist for Above the Law, and a certified sommelier. “At every turn in my professional life, where I decided what to do, somebody was there with 20 to 30 years of experience saying to me, 'Looking at you, this is what I think you should do and I'm going to help you get there.'" So, Brian’s career guidance is always to consult mentors.
Shanda Sumpter, founder of Heartcore Business, has created countless opportunities for business owners, enlightening them about ways of doing business that create more profits and free time. Hers is one of the fastest growing coaching companies, reaching seven figure revenue in only five years in business. I didn't have a direct calling, I got a nudge to follow my calling. I just made a decision to connect with someone who could partner with me to move forward. He agreed. A year later I left my job and put my efforts into growing Heartcore Business, which is now a thriving company.
Kevin Williams has held high-level corporate positions in major companies. His global experience includes dealing with the world's largest retailers. Through his firm, Executive Advantage, Inc., he helps others achieve their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. The workplace is changing dramatically, explains Kevin Williams. “Most jobs last under three years. Just looking for another job may not be the best answer.” Executive Advantage, Inc. works with franchisors and prospective franchisees to help secure creative financing for start-ups, as well as match prospects to the best franchisor.
Stephen Parker, a poet, singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer and performer since 1976, has written over 200 songs. He also coaches men’s and women’s tennis at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania. "As a creative artist, you have to keep on moving forward, though you're not always sure that's what's happening. You follow the next gig, your next goal. There will be bumps in the road. It's a journey. If you're following your muse, you're committed to following it where it's going to take you." Married for 28 years, he has a 24-year-old son living in California, studying to be an anthropologist.
Natalie Gold Pepper has been in roles throughout her life that involved teaching and helping people. She learned that her real love was working with people to help them discover their natural talents, and find jobs and career satisfaction–which she has been doing for the past 21 years at The Highlands Company. “I love helping people realistically understand their own strengths and how they can use their natural abilities. It gives people a real ‘Aha!’ to learn about who they are, why they like doing what they're doing, and then to be able to articulate their strengths and speak for themselves.”
Robert DeLaurentis, “Zen Pilot,” recently completed a solo flight around the world. A Navy Gulf War veteran, author, real estate entrepreneur, philanthropist and pilot, his book, Flying Thru Life, is an Amazon Top Seller. "Flying Through Life, the title of my book, means that purpose and passion are in alignment with spirit. I don't think my purpose was ever the Navy or accounting. I do believe what I'm doing now is very much in alignment with my purpose, bringing together business, spirituality and flying for philanthropic reasons.”
Esther Kiss is the producer and host of the podcast Born to Influence: The Marketing Show, interviewing highly successful entrepreneurs and NY Times bestselling authors about their marketing and PR strategies. She has interviewed guests such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Perry Marshall, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer and more. “There's a fine line between being persistent and realizing something is just not working, and you have to pivot. This is what I've found in my life with many people I've worked with. It's a little like a treasure hunt, going from clue to clue, getting feedback to see what's working.”
Susan Bernstein helps people transform their careers by taking control of their innate power, using it to claim the next rung on their personal success ladder. Her approaches blend left-brain logic honed in corporate America with right-brain creative movement from research in mind-body psychology. “We want to be wise, smart and savvy at work. That's great, nothing wrong with that. But when we're dealing with the stress, anxiety, change and chaos at work, and need to be our most resilient and flexible, we actually need to learn to use what's below the neck.”
Dr. Stephen Kalhorn is a husband, father of two, inventor, and an associate professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He deals with conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and vertebral column. He has a particular interest in minimally invasive, complex, and adult spinal deformity surgery. “The earliest memories I have about my formation and guidance are of my Dad tucking me into bed, saying prayers, and every single night telling me, ‘You can do anything you want in your life.’ I remember him for the ways I was gently pushed along the way.”
Michelle Dutro, a veteran of the military and the fire department, was determined to pursue her own dreams, which now focus on helping others to do the same. Her 15 years in preventative medicine, have spurred her to emphasize good health as she works to motivate others to pursue their passions in life. “My turning points always involved coming to the realization that my purpose in life is to make you have the faith, the belief and the understanding that whatever it is you want to do, you've got it. You really do! Whatever it is, that's the common theme.”
Will Ketchum, President and CEO of Burdette Ketchum, is a 26-year veteran of the marketing communications field. Joining the Jacksonville, Florida, firm in 1999, he rose to the top in 2011. The proud father of Kaiden, 17, and Ben, 15, Will has been married for 20 years to Missy Ketchum. “You can't find the perfect job unless you can find out what you're really meant to do. There are tools that can help you figure that out. When you have that clarity, it changes everything: the way you search for a career and find your own career sweet spot.”
Julie Fleming is an author, speaker, and caregiver for her father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011. Learning about caring for her father through trial and error and extensive research, she created Alzheimer’s Caregiver Minute to share her experiences to help other caregivers. “The biggest benefit is having a sense of purpose, whether practicing law, coaching, or trying to get the word out about Alzheimer's. It's not fun and games all day long, but I so thoroughly enjoy the parts that are fun! What's better than doing something that's fun AND has a purpose behind it?”
Judy Robinett, “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex,” was profiled as a “super connector” in Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She served as a director of Golden Seeds Angel Network, one of the largest in the U.S., and in several venture capital firms. “Many investors are frantically trying to find good deals to fund, while company founders are frantically searching for funders. They don't understand how the ecosystem works, or the difference between angel investors and venture capitalists. Often, entrepreneurs are just in the wrong room.”
Steve Koonin became CEO of the Atlanta Hawks in April 2014. In his first full season, the Hawks led the NBA in attendance increase, setting franchise records for retail sales, sellouts and season ticket memberships, plus a 500% jump in season tickets. Steve’s late-day cold call to Coca-Cola’s marketing director in 1986 opened doors to 13 different positions in 14 years, including running Coke’s worldwide sports and entertainment marketing, and responsibilities that he never imagined. A call to a friend at Turner Broadcasting led to the top position at TNT for 14 years.
Brandie Weikle, founder and editor of thenewfamily.com and host of The New Family Podcast, is a 15-year veteran of parenting journalism. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Family magazine and held senior positions at a number of other parenting publications on and offline. Her website's 1,000 Families Project explores the variety of modern families. “It's very easy for people, especially women, to stay where they are in a job if it's comfortable. But I have advised every young woman I've mentored to be willing to move around. You need to do that sometimes to advance yourself.”
Marv Henberg, for seven years the president of The College of Idaho, a liberal arts college in Caldwell, is beginning an active retirement with plans “to engage in my other great passion, conservation.” An international and a local conservation organization are considering him for their boards.” Marv’s impressive academic life took him to Washington and Lee University and Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. “Early on I developed an interest in environmental philosophy. My Ph.D. thesis was on theories of justice. It combined my personal passion for the environment and my academic passion together.”
Corena Bahr is the owner of YourWebinarGuru, a consulting company that trains experts how to create exceptional webinar training programs that ensure learning and profitability. With more than 15 years with companies such as Citrix and Comerica Bank, she has a unique blend of expertise in instructional design and virtual learning. “Follow what excites you. You have to remember that you are the captain of you ship, the one who gets to steer the ship and go where you want to go. Networking is also important, meeting people, telling them what you need, or looking for people who can learn from.”
Kathleen Brady, a certified career/life coach, author and speaker, has helped people identify goals and embrace their dreams for 25 years. Director of career development at Georgian Court University, she is head of Brady & Associates Career Planners, LLC. How well you distinguish between your own definition of success and society’s definition—aligning your inner desires with their outward expression—makes all the difference between deep satisfaction and drudgery. Gaining clarity and self-knowledge requires plenty of quiet time for reflection and stepping away from day-to-day pressures.