Michael Palma has had five careers, each one building toward the next. “I'm a headhunter, rainmaker and matchmaker for creative people, agencies and brands. I work with top talent, the best agencies and brands.” Previously he was a Parade Magazine All American basketball player and a Division 1 college basketball coach. Mike approaches his work as a calling. He maintains the mindset of a student, constantly learning. “Once I start thinking I'm an expert, or give into the temptation of not valuing everybody's importance, that could hold me back. The only real obstacle to my continued success is me.”
Cynthia Bathurst, Ph.D., believes you can't have a safe neighborhood if it's not humane for its humans and animal residents. As head of Safe Humane Chicago and co-founder of D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group), she started in her Lincoln Park neighborhood, with a global vision for humane communities worldwide. “I grew up with animals, friends and a loving family, knowing that animals, compassion and helping others was crucial to everyone's life. On a Chicago community policing ride-along, Cynthia witnessed a former neighbor die. The transformative experience drove her to organize to address the violence, abuse and neglect of humans and animals.
Les Gold is an old school pawnbroker at heart, with a passion for collecting and a nose for deals and people. Known worldwide through his TruTV show, Hardcore Pawn, he authored the bestselling For What It’s Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker. Les built American Jewelry and Loan from the ground up. From early childhood, Les had a sharp eye for spotting opportunities and finding ways of doing things better. Whether he was leveraging his pizza, selling it by the slice, brokering a better deal or adding new services, his lifelong drive has been a passion for improvement and productivity.
Sarah Daniels joined RealArcade in 2005 sourcing and producing video games. Ten years later, with dozens of titles as producer, designer and creative director, she’s making games for the whole family. In January 2015, she left Seattle in a renovated “Skoolie” bus. Her mission: to unplug, reconnect, and challenge her status quo. In a life filled with rich, diverse experiences, Sarah has honed a guiding pragmatism: “For earning a living, I made the mercenary's choice—I want to do what I love, and I have to pay my bills. The key is to get clear on what it means to be creative.”
Victoria Pynchon took a mediation course that changed her business and her life, after having labored 25 years in contentious high stakes business litigation. Earning a degree in conflict resolution from the Strauss Institute, her business, SheNegotiates, prospers as it helps individual women close their own personal gender wage gap. “You can't be a bully or an asshole alone in your room. Both exist only in a relationship. We all have the opportunity to stop, talk, de-escalate. This can heal relationships. We fear having the conversations necessary to heal relationships because we are afraid of being shamed, or of making ourselves just a little bit vulnerable.”
Oraynab Jwayyed, consultant and founder of Business Interludes, LLC, helps women learn to manage their money and organize their financial lives. The latest of her two e-books, released on amazon.com October 2015, is "Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Women After a Money Crisis.” It is already a best seller. After marrying young and raising a family, I went back to school to study business. I was surprised by the many women—often well educated—who were amazed that I understood finance and accounting. They were frightened, facing divorce or money crises, and desperately needed practical financial guidance.
Rohit Gandrakota is a supply chain professional and part time podcaster. He moved to the US from India in 2008 to earn his Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. An avid podcast listener, he channeled his passion into his own podcast, Breaking the Borders, which features immigrant entrepreneurs. Learning from podcasts, Rohit “was blown away by how much you can learn from others’ experiences.” A light bulb went on when a comment on one of his favorite shows said, “When you interview a guest from my part of the world, I feel more connected.” His Breaking the Borders podcast was born.
Kristina MacBury is a high school principal, mother of 11, and bestselling author of The Principal Pro, a collection of real life case studies based on her decades of educational experience. She is co-founder of Educate 4 Hope, an organization with a strong passion for coaching future leaders and supporting students. “I was so lucky to have had great teachers and role models. People go into education for two reasons: they had poor teachers and poor counselors, or they had excellent, amazing teachers. Not a lot of people go into education who had mediocre teachers.”
Lisa Manyon created a 3-step marketing and copywriting model for messages with integrity: challenge, solution, invitation. Recipient of the People's Choice Award at the 29th California Women's Conference and creator of training for small business development centers. “Not everyone shares all the pieces of the online marketing puzzle. Sometimes people are only selling pieces of the dream, selling hope. I bust through all that and let people know what the truth of the matter is. I understand that for true success I have to stand by my brand promise.”
Ida Abbott has been helping employers develop, manage and retain legal talent since 1995, following a long career as a trial lawyer. A mentor and coach to high achieving individuals, she is a co-founder of the Professional Development Consortium and the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women. Much of her current work focuses on advancing women. It's crucial to have a champion for your career and professional advancement, someone who becomes actively engaged on your behalf. Not every mentor will do this. A champion will not only advise you but will actually make things happen for you. This is the highest form of mentoring.
Paul Kirch’s BOSS Academy and Radio is helping entrepreneurs and small business owners build successful, sustainable businesses. Paul’s firm, Actus Sales Intelligence, helps clients sell smarter and creates a synergy for BOSS clients. “Throughout my career, whenever I've given the most, I've received the most. When I've volunteered and given back, supported people, mentored college students, it's amazing how this really pays off. On the other hand, when I'm focused on just trying to make money, I’m losing sight of the big picture.”
Nina Pak’s photographic career spans more than 30 years. “Out of necessity,” she developed her skills as a wardrobe stylist, set designer and hair stylist. Published in international magazines, book and magazine covers and editorial spreads, Nina’s artwork appears in anthologies including Spectrum Best Contemporary Fantasy Art, and books about the digital process. “There's no way to skip the basics. My advice is to first learn the tools. If you're doing digital photography, master Photoshop. If you're painting, learn how to mix colors. After hours of practice, finally, you will be good at it.”
Clay Clark, founder of Thrive15.com and SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, is described by Yahoo as the "Jim Carey of Entrepreneurship." Through his tireless tenacity and honey badger work ethic, he has founded and co-founded a string of successful companies including DJ Connection and Elephant in the Room Men's Grooming Lounge. Recognizing that his failures and subsequent successes could benefit others who are poor “like I used to be,” he created Thrive15.com, an online business school experience he describes as “nine to ten times better than the average business school, but at 1% of the cost: $50 per month—with a 30-day free trial.”
Lori Patrice Robinson is the founder of Corporate Moxie, the premier destination for women who don’t apologize for having big dreams. Born out of a desire to see women encourage other career women, Corporate Moxie provides the tools for climbing the career ladder of success while embracing the “moxie” within. For any change in life, you have to: 1) believe in yourself, and 2) understand that it's going to take work. Be honest with yourself. If you're in a career you are no longer happy with, and if you see something that you would love to do, you need to make that step.
Rob Scott is known for rewiring limiting beliefs and bringing complete transformation. A master level coach, he creates digital products and training programs for world changers that help people break through their deepest limits. Rob’s “Identity Shifting Mastermind” reprograms people’s mindsets, and connects them to their deepest purpose. “I'm here to tell people that you can actually go in and rewire that self-sabotaging stuff so you have confidence, feel aligned with that next step and so you can completely move toward the change you desire.”
Judy DeRango Wicks brought her PR skills to technology, launching early fax machines, online banking and bill pay. Her career included “safe sex” campaigns in the 1980s, and campaigns on fighting fraud. An expert in consumer behavior change, she based award-winning campaigns on solid research, media and influencer relations. As a pioneer of the movement for women in the workplace, Judy learned the value of courage and speaking up, and enjoyed “a really wonderful career path” as a result. “Sometimes you have to summon courage and say this is the ethical way to go. If you don’t, nobody else will.”
Janet McKim knew from the age of five that she wanted to “make the animals well.” Despite gender bias in the field, she obtained her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After 35 years, she still wakes up happy and excited to go to work. Janet can't remember ever not wanting to be a vet. In elementary school, when someone found baby bird on the playground, a teacher came to her classroom to find her because everyone knew her as "the person who takes care of baby birds." “That was my first experience of getting a referral," she recalls fondly.
Steve Nygren sums up his 50-year career as a renowned restaurateur and now the developer of a sustainable wellness community as being “all about place-making”—a place at a table at one of his 34 critically acclaimed Peasant restaurants, or a place in his Serenbe community minutes away from downtown Atlanta. “Really dig down into your heart and your gut, not just your head. Listen with your heart or your gut to what you intuitively feel, and then have the courage to follow that intuition. When we go strictly by logic we will end up in situations we're not passionate about.”
Tami A. Goldstein is a certified massage therapist, with 10+ years of experience facilitating Upledger Craniosacral therapy to individuals with autism. A national advocate and educator for autism, she is the award winning author of “Coming Through the Fog.” When her infant daughter began displaying disturbing symptoms after vaccinations, Tami began educating herself. As her daughter’s conditions worsened, culminating in an autism diagnosis at age 13, she quit her job to pursue appropriate therapy full time, encountering a shocking range of reactions from unresponsive to overtly hostile.
Dr. Enaka Yembe, a physician and founder of American Stat-Care centers, opened her clinic from her sick bed and grew it to 7-figures in 8 months. A bestselling author, speaker, coach and mentor, she has appeared on local and network TV. She believes each person has the God-given ability to be successful. Did you know you can double your productivity just by doing a few simple disciplines throughout your day? In her brief interview, Dr. Yembe tells specifically how you can reach your highest level of success using effective, proven strategies.
Rick Karlsruher chased a dream—getting his life story told in a film—across three continents, becoming bait for an IRS/FBI sting. He saw the horrors of apartheid in South Africa and the glitz of Monte Carlo. A Story Almost Told puts the reader in the action. Trying to produce a film about his life adventures showed Rick a need to create a platform for new and undiscovered writers. Noveltunity® has attracted over 4.4 million page views and members from over two dozen countries. Rick sees it as the world’s first e-book book club that exclusively features new or undiscovered writers.”
Lori Cheek is an architect turned entrepreneur. Her mobile dating app, Cheekd, reimagines online dating using Bluetooth, making missed connections obsolete. Now her blueprints create relationships instead of buildings. A veteran of TV’s “Shark Tank,” she was recently listed as "One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch" and “The Digital Dating Disruptor.” Even before architecture school, Lori knew she had an entrepreneurial itch and a lifelong creative streak. “Through my corporate experience as an architect, I always felt something was missing. My heart and soul were not into it.”
Joshua Schukman is founder of Social Change Nation. His mission and passion is to provide startup social entrepreneurs the best tools for growing their ventures. On his podcast he interviews leading change agents, creating online content to help make a dollar and a difference. "Make people feel like they can become part of something greater than themselves, and they’ll love you for it," Josh said while chatting with social entrepreneurs around the world. “One thing that makes successful social entrepreneurs stand out is their ability to bring people into causes bigger than any one person.”
Dr. Véronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V.”) “retired” after 30 years of bioenergetics chiropractic practice to share her personal, non-toxic healing journey as a breast cancer conqueror. Her book “Heal Breast Cancer Naturally” is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Her step-by-step coaching program, “The 7 Essentials ™,” is based on decades of her own research. My passion is to inspire, support, and connect women all around the globe to live their best life through healing of body, mind, and soul. The 7 Essentials ™ empowers women to reclaim their health. Cancer does NOT run your life – you do!
Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences. He has shared the platform with today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former United States President. Shifting your focus from getting to giving (“giving” meaning constantly and consistently providing value to others) is not only personally fulfilling; it’s also the most financially profitable way of doing business. This “Go-Giver” methodology has accounted for dramatic changes for the better in the lives of thousands of businesses and individuals.