Krysta Youngs is an artist with a true voice, whose career spans songwriter rounds in Nashville, Tennessee, and the gritty, inspiring streets of Los Angeles. Her creative collaborations include The Writing Camp’s David Quinones (“DQ”), Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo, Rihanna and others. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. “Stay focused on what your goal is. I always say I don't like to have a back-up plan because I don't want to back up… I would say 90 percent of my opportunities and successes came from the honest, true and real relationships that I've built. They’re what life is all about.”
Melissa Cohen, LCSW, wrote the bestselling ParentKnowledgy, A (Simple) Guide to Surviving Your Teen. She is dedicated to helping individuals find their own identity while managing their need for independence. Whether it is anxiety, conflict resolution, communication, self-esteem or managing expectations, Melissa tailors her approach to each unique situation. "I think it takes a long time to build up (the) courage to move forward with what we want. I had found what I loved to do earlier in life. I just hadn't found a way to make it my own. It took all these years to do that.”
Kevin Crane began his career as a U.S. Special Agent in 1985 with the Defense Investigative Service, conducting thousands of investigations for U.S. government security clearances. Through his bestselling book, Access Granted, he helps job seekers and others gain clearance for government jobs. Increasingly, jobs in government and business require security clearances. While helping young people and others navigate the process, he realized how much he loves being of service. In active retirement, he continues to share his expertise and has branched out into many new areas of service with children, youth and community.
Diane Whitney’s passion is focused on improving the lives of dogs and their owners through humane, force-free behavior modification dog training methods. In her nearly 20 years as a canine behavior specialist and a pet dog training instructor, she has taught nearly 2,000 group classes and hundreds of private clients, using basic classical and operant conditioning. “When there's something inside of you that says, ‘I would really like to do that, but…,’ that’s where we start, with the ‘but.’ You have to stoke your own fire. Yes, we do need support from our friends and family, but we also need to be our own spark.”
Dahlan Foah, president of Visioneering® International, Inc. is a pioneer in the audiovisual/multimedia industry. As a principal audiovisual consultant to the U.N., he brought his diverse skills to exhibitions, Visitors’ Centers. World’s Fair pavilions, installations for corporate clients. Born into a highly artistic family, which included Enrico Leide, founder of the first Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he was steeped in music and art appreciation from childhood. Being a photographer in a documentary at the United Nations for an independent producer opened doors for his future collaborations with U.N. agencies worldwide.
Mercedes Guzman recalls her childhood self in war-torn El Salvador as, “a dreamer with a passion that could never be defeated.” Rising above the civil war, she moved to the United States. Today she helps people heal their childhood wounds from the inside-out. Know “that your thoughts become your reality. What you say consciously, daily, creates your reality. I learned to observe what I am thinking, feeling and saying, because that will create my reality. It's not the government, not the economy. It is what you are consistently thinking and saying that creates your reality.”
Prue Batten writes award winning historical fantasy and fiction from her farm in Tasmania in her native Australia. After working as a journalist/researcher for Australian Broadcasting Corporation and raising a family, she writes novels and farms with her husband in a cropping and grazing operation. Dissatisfied with a librarian job, she walked up the street. At the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, she thought “I'll go in there and ask for a job.” Hired on the spot for a human resources slot, she was a researcher three months later. “It was the best job of all time. I loved it.”
Hugh Massie, president and founder of DNA Behavior International, is a behavioral management strategist and entrepreneur with 28 years of diverse international experience. His goal: to make behavioral intelligence practically usable on a scalable basis to “Know, Engage and Grow” every employee and client online. As an accountant, Hugh created a financial services business. It was lucrative, but he felt miserable. He started seeing how people’s decisions and behavior were often “hard-wired.” The light bulb came on. “I could re-invent financial services to be human-centered and educational, not just a transaction and commission.”
Marjorie Hope Rothstein, founder of Living the 5 Star Life...without limits, is a spa trends specialist and new aging/boomer expert focused on becoming ageless. As a “Boomer Babe” with her finger on the pulse of the latest leading edge breakthroughs in beauty and preventative health and wellness, she is passionate about finding and sharing her discoveries of the fountain of youth with you. "I've always been passionate about beauty as an art form, and in all forms: nature, sculptures, stone carving, and of being a feminine woman in a world of very conflicting messages."
Marshall Chiles is a comedian with the heart of an entrepreneur. His current venture, Humor Wins, offers corporate comedy roasts, executive humor coaching and applying self-deprecation. Why? Because, as Inc. Magazine said, “Leaders who laugh at themselves appear more likable, trusting, and caring to their people.” “My mindset is that you're not in business to make money. Money is just something that comes along from doing the right stuff. It’s always been whatever's best for comedy,” Marshall declares. Because of that approach, he has a good reputation with comedians, including many famous comics.
Deedra Determan helped make KOKI-TV a top Fox affiliate in the U.S. As “the wife of one and mother of two,” she used her 20+ years of marketing savvy, and her parenting knowledge, to create several websites attracting 100,000 moms each month. To continue using her entrepreneurial skills and simultaneously be close to her family, Deedra shifted her focus to D2 Branding, her innovative marketing communications firm, igniting brands to be the market leader in their industry. Recently she became an online mentor and youtube instructor at Thrive15.com, which offers affordable business education.
Dr. Paul White specializes in the language of authentic appreciation, and how to express it meaningfully to others. Co-author of three books and the Motivating by Appreciation Inventory, used by corporations, colleges and universities, medical facilities, schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Feelings of being unappreciated are cited by 79% of people that leave an organization voluntarily. Companies have responded by creating employee recognition programs. “The problem is, they're largely viewed as inauthentic and disingenuous, just sort of going through the motions,” Dr. White explains. The key: learning the language of appreciation.
Anthony Gucciardi is a natural health and self-development author, speaker, and activist whose writings have appeared in USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling books and top 100 websites. After creating the website NaturalSociety.com in 2010, Anthony's writings on health and wellness have reached tens of millions of readers worldwide. Diagnosed with Lyme disease seven or eight years ago, Anthony followed his doctor’s orders until the megadoses of steroids “made me feel 100 times worse than before.” He passionately plunged into a search for natural remedies. Soon he felt “radically better,” and he launched his deep dive into natural health.
As Jane Dever, Ph.D., approaches retirement, she’s back at the cotton project she started 32 years ago after college, still excited about helping west Texas farmers boost the quality of the fiber in their cotton crops, to be more competitive in the global market. She knows cotton from genes to jeans. After her years in the corporate sector, being a public breeder enabled Jane to focus on underserved stakeholders. This led to a project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through Catholic Relief Services in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where growers face the same issues as U.S. growers.
Eric Dailey, founder of Dailey Training, was a professional basketball player, a stand-out on major teams in Europe, Asia and South America. Without an agent he successfully negotiated contracts, managed travel arrangements and conducted try-outs. While playing for Real Madrid in Spain—a top tier team in Europe—Eric learned he could negotiate better for his own best interests than an agent in the U.S. Building relationships with general managers globally, he learned the intricacies of corporate business. Currently he is under contract with ESPN Wide World of Sports and The Walt Disney Company.
Tatiana Franklin is a certified professional life coach and energy leadership index master practitioner. At age 17 she left her native Peru, learned English, and pursued her studies in the U.S. Her mission is to help people realize that living successfully is not a dream but a purpose to be lived every day. After working several years in market research in Peru and the U.S., and at a U.S. digital advertising agency, Tatiana realized the job was not “fulfilling her soul.” Her search led her to earn the credentials to fulfill her dream as a certified professional life coach.
Dawn Cook polishes leaders until they shine. With 25 years of demonstrated excellence in leadership development, she now has four certifications in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and 10 years as a certified coach. She has worked with executives and teams at companies such as Cox Communications and Southern Company in both personal and professional skills development. “EQ is the ability and the choice to be smart with your emotions, and it really is a choice. Research, which has been replicated many times, has proven that EQ is two to three times as important to your success in business as both IQ and technical skills combined.
Zacchary Falconer-Barfield is the “first gentleman” of The Perfect Gentleman, a venture to make the world more respectful, stylish and gentlemanly. An entrepreneur since age 19, he is an online publisher, author and consultant and has worked in industries as diverse as security, bars, films, tech and more. Having spent 70% of his childhood quite ill, Zacchary was despondent. At age 12, he contemplated suicide. Perched several floors above ground in the latest house his mother had bought to flip and resell, he convinced himself, "No, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to change my life." And he did.
Dr. Taghreed M. Al-Saraj, bestselling author of The Anxious Language Learner, is a global researcher in applied linguistics. Her personal experiences and struggles led to her become a leadership coach, helping hundreds overcome anxieties of learning a foreign language. Even now, as a post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and founder of EducateRight.com, her childhood empathy about language anxiety motivated her to learn yet another language, Turkish, while researching her latest book. Writing to a non-academic audience, she wanted to experience afresh the fears she was exploring for her readers.
Dr. Randy Ross, founder and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer) of Remarkable!, is a “craftsman of culture and a catalytic coach.” A master of cultural transformation, his unique understanding of employee engagement offers practical solutions for increasing the morale and performance of teams. His two-fold approach teaches: first, we are all designed to create value in life. When we create value, life is full and satisfying. The second is that all the good things we want in life are the result of value creation. As we create value for others, we experience that same happiness we bring to them.
Christy Haussler left a 6-figure corporate job to follow her dream: moving to Key West, Florida. In 10 months she replaced her income, earning more than she ever did working for someone else. Outside her comfort zone, she’s where she wants to be, doing her heart’s desire. On her daily 85-mile commutes, she listened to all the audiobooks in her local library, then discovered podcasting. Becoming a “super consumer” of podcasts, she created Brick and Mortar Reporter podcast, spotlighting local businesses suffering from online competition and the economic downturn. Podcasting offered a way out.