Denise Hajjar -061

Welcome to the success story of Denise Hajjar, one of Boston’s most loved and respected fashion designers.   The grandchild of a designer from Syria and a pattern maker from Lebanon, Denise started making clothes for her Barbie Dolls when she was a little girl. By the time she was ready to go to fashion design school, she had an entire wardrobe created for herself and for her mother. Known for her generosity toward non-profits, Denise has made giving back a cornerstone of her business with a focus on raising lifesaving funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In this very candid interview, she shares her lifelong love of ballet and ballroom dancing, along with stories of the good times and the bad, like her decision early in her career to buy fabric instead of paying her electric bill! “I’m driven, I’m stubborn and I’m tenacious,” says Denise.  “I will always do what it takes to make things happen.”   @denisehajjarboston    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Heather Anne Cook -060

Raised in the backwoods of Montana, completely off the grid, Heather Anne Cook learned the necessary skills to keep herself alive. In this interview, she shares the details of her adventurous life, including the many times she took 3 matches into the woods to see how long she could survive.  Now a wife and the mother of twins, Heather is a pastor, a survivalist, a long distance runner, a bee-keeper, a chicken lady, a horsewoman, a gardener, a children’s book author, an illustrator, an international traveler, and the force behind Three Match Creations. Her next adventure is to run the Pacific Northwest Trail which spans 1200 miles through the wilderness, high desert, and coastline.   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

Nancy Gaudet-Aittaniemi -059

Have you ever heard the expression:  “love will find a way?” Meet Nancy Gaudet-Aittaniemi.  A very successful senior vice president for a commercial real estate company, Nancy’s success story is not just about climbing the ladder to take on a leadership role in a male-dominated industry.  It is about the power of a mother’s love for her child. You see, Nancy’s only child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at only 9, and his chronic condition led her down a path that has been both terrifying and inspiring. Faced with the decision to stay stuck in her grief and hover over him or to let her son experience life to the fullest, Nancy chose to show Ryan that he could do anything he put his mind to.  Now a sophomore in college, Ryan is a seasoned bike enthusiast who has ridden in juvenile diabetes fundraising challenges in the United States and Europe.  As the leader of a monthly support group for Type 1 Moms, Nancy has taken other parents by the hand and has been a passionate volunteer and supporter of the JDRF,  the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes.  She is currently training to ride in her 4th bike race:  the Amelia Island Ride To Cure Diabetes and her coach?  You guessed it, Nancy’s son Ryan.   #JDRFRide    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

Lauren Birmingham -058

Meet a woman with a fantastic second chapter.  For decades Lauren Birmingham has been well known as a top-notch PR pro in the Boston area and beyond. But one day, on a whim, she had an idea.  Lauren convinced a friend to fly to Italy with her, just for the weekend.  What started as a one-time adventure turned into a love affair with the Amalfi Coast, a unique new business venture called Cooking Vacations Italy, a collaboration with American novelist Elizabeth Berg, a cookbook called It’s A Dream Place- Recipes & Stories of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast, and a chance meeting with an Italian race car driver named Rino.  You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out what happened next!    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions    @laurenBirminghamPiscitelli

Women in Film -057

Welcome to Palm Springs, California…home of movie stars, snow-capped mountains, palm trees, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  In this episode, we’re focused on women in film including Ruth Caudeli, a young director from Valencia, Spain whose movie Eva & Candela is breaking down barriers about gender, and who we choose to love.  A surprise visit from co-star Silvia Varón sheds some light on Ruth’s innate ability to listen to her cast and to bring out the best in each actor’s performance. Cristina Gallego of the movie Birds of Passage shares how it has felt to step into the role of co-director for a film that features strong women and was selected as the Colombian entry for Best Foreign Language film at the upcoming Academy Awards.  Cristina’s crime saga has received a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been compared to The Godfather and Scarface by movie critics. Finally, with recording equipment in hand, we settle into the offices of Liliana Rodriguez, Director of Programming at the Palm Springs International Film Festival to find out how she turned an early love of horror films into a career that sustains and inspires her every single day.   #palmsprings   @PSFilmFest     #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

Myriam Cyr & Patricia Jamison -056

When we tell our stories, we pass along life lessons and wisdom.  The two women you are about to meet believe that the arts provide a unique opportunity to tell stories that matter. Meet Myriam Cyr and Patricia Jamison, two of the four founders of Punctuate4Productions, Inc. on Boston’s North Shore.  With a mission to educate, entertain and promote the arts and culture in every form for all ages, not just in Massachusetts, but beyond, Myriam and Patricia are really enjoying this new chapter in their lives.  An accomplished actress who has performed alongside A-listers like Al Pacino, Myriam is also a poet laureate and best selling author who has been developing 20 new plays over the last five years.  Now a devoted mother whose family comes first, she has made the bold step from actress to director and is loving every single minute of it.  Patricia has always loved live performance but is no stranger to acting for TV and film.  She put her passion for acting on the back burner to raise her 5 children, and in 2011, returned to her craft with an even greater determination to explore being a producer.  In this very personal interview, Myriam and Patricia share their career highlights, their devotion to their children, how they get around obstacles, and their definition of “star power”.    @PatriciaPetersonJamison   @MyriamCyr   @Larcomtheatre    @punctuate4     @Punct4P    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions

Linda Driscoll -055

Meet a woman who has made it her life’s work to give. Linda Driscoll has spent her career in leadership roles for organizations like the American Red Cross, Women’s Sports Foundation, the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation, and the Special Olympics.  She has also served as Past President of the Board of Directors for the New England Women’s Fund and on the NCAA Boston organizing committee for the Women’s Final Four.  And if you see a pattern here, you are correct.  Playing sports shaped Linda’s life and she wants to make sure that every girl gets the chance to play sports, too…even if her family can’t afford it.  She is the Founder, President & CEO of Dream BIG! a non-profit that provides equipment, athletic footwear, uniforms, program fees, training expenses, and leadership training to girls and young women in low-income situations who want to play sports.  Since 2010, Dream BIG! has directly impacted 35,000 girls.  Linda’s idea for a non-profit, originally written on a napkin during a conversation in a restaurant is now an example to the world. @LindaDriscoll  @Dreambigld   #storybehindhersuccess   #16LifeLessons     #mydoveproductions

Julie Freeman -054

Meet a woman who believes that during the toughest times in our lives, there is learning, there is growth and there is always hope. I have known Julie Freeman for nearly 20 years and although I heard bits and pieces of her story, I never really knew the extent of it until we sat down for this interview in Palm Springs, California: 3000 miles away from where we first met in Wellesley, Massachusetts. A gifted singer at St. John’s Church, Julie sang like an angel, yet something told me that she had the weight of the world on her shoulders.  And she did. Her book Sunflowers, Sapphires & SeraphimA Story of Healing & Transformation chronicles a life that has been both devastating and triumphant.  From an abusive first marriage to the tragic loss of her second husband to a brain injury to single motherhood, a cancer diagnosis and a nervous breakdown for one of her daughters, Julie Freeman is a survivor in the truest sense of the word.  Her transformative work as a registered dietician with a focus on eating clean and organic, combined with an understanding of the mind/body connection has fueled another exciting new chapter in her life. Julie is blazing a new trail by blending her nutrition knowledge with the idea of reducing toxin exposure so that we can lower cancer rates and live healthier lives.   For this exceptional woman, the road less traveled has led her to exactly where she knows she belongs.      @feelgreatlookgreatnutrition     #storybehindhersuccess     #16LifeLessons     #mydoveproductions

Amanda Carr -053

When I sing, I am in pure bliss and joy.

These are the words of singer, songwriter, musician, and philanthropist Amanda Carr.   Described by the Wall Street Journal as “a true jazz singer in a time of wannabes”, Amanda’s path from the little seaside town of Hingham, MA to stages around the world has not been easy. Her passion to create a life that has always been about and for the music is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. The daughter of a Big Band musician and singer, Amanda can’t remember a time when music wasn’t a part of her life.  In this interview, she shares stories of her childhood, remembering a time when she carried her keyboard to the local restaurant and nailed her first gig at 14. As the founder of the American Big Band Preservation Society, Amanda’s mission has been to preserve this art form. Shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, Amanda captured the unbreakable spirit of the city when she wrote The Boston Anthem, tapping Boston rocker Charlie Farren to perform the song. Now the Executive Director of WICN radio, the NPR affiliate in Worcester, MA, Amanda is using her love music and her unique brand of leadership to energize the legendary station. For this exceptional woman, it’s the lessons we take with us that make us who we are.    @amandacarrlife   @AmandaCarrMusic     @AmandaCarrMusic FB     #storybehindhersuccess     #16LifeLessons     #mydoveproductions


Elise Bates -052

Are you the mother of a child with a food allergy?  If you are, this episode is for you.  The statistics are astounding but true:  1 in 12 children in the United States has a severe food allergy.  What was once rare is now commonplace, yet the constant worry food allergy parents endure can be overwhelming, because when their children are out of their sight, they are vulnerable to foods that can kill them. So, what’s a mother to do?  Meet Elise Bates, President & Co-Founder of Ending Allergies Together, aka EAT.   Her non-profit has raised 1.7 million dollars to find out why food allergies are on the rise and what we can do to stop the epidemic.  Hear Elise’s story and be informed AND inspired.   #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons   #mydoveproductions    @endallergiestogether   @EndAllergies   @EndAllergiesTogether