Laura DeSisto: She Swims with Sharks! -215

At the moment that it happened, when I could see into the eyes of that shark, and then it veered away, my first emotion was not fear. It was fascination and wonder. -Laura DeSisto

I’m always on the lookout for stories that will inspire and motivate you, and the story of Laura DeSisto checks all the boxes! Raised around the water every summer on Martha’s Vineyard, Laura begged her parents to let her see the movie Jaws and that experience instilled a lifelong fear of sharks in her. Flash forward to mid-life, when Laura fell into a depression. It was her girlfriends who encouraged her to go outside of her comfort zone and take scuba diving lessons. On her very first dive in the Bahamas, Laura came within two feet of an 8-foot-long shark, and that encounter created a seismic shift in her mindset, inspiring her to write the memoir Resurfacing: sisterhood, sharks & storms. A lifelong professional writer who got her start writing ad copy and then feature articles for magazines, Laura openly shares how becoming an empty-nester left her without a sense of purpose. She credits her mighty sisterhood of friends for picking her up and pushing her toward a brave and daring new chapter. Says Laura: “I think our best years are our later years and I want to keep doing things that scare me. Find what you love and it will make you come alive.” For 22 minutes of shark encounters and plenty of inspiration, just hit that download button! #sharks #scuba

PK Norton: Murder Mystery Writer -214

My books are like Nancy Drew for grownups. -PK Norton

Meet PK (Paula) Norton, murder mystery author extraordinaire. She spent most of her career in the insurance business, first as an agent and then as an insurance investigator, sniffing out fraud and looking for clues. Paula and her late husband loved to travel and over dinner, would concoct unique ways to kill people. Jack died of Parkinsons’ disease but before he passed, he urged Paula to finally press START on a writing career that flourishes to this day. The Amy Lynch Investigation series includes (6) books with the latest Avenging Madonna just published and available worldwide on Amazon. If you’ve got a secret talent, or a wish to do something you just haven’t had the time or the courage to explore, PK Norton’s story might just inspire you to throw caution to the wind, and give it a try. #murdermystery #author

Yolanda Cellucci: Fashion Icon & Philanthropist -213

Pursue your dreams, even if someone says “you’re crazy”. Do it anyway! -Yolanda Cellucci

We’re on location for this episode in the penthouse of Yolanda Cellucci: a fashion icon with a passion for Swarovski crystals, feathers, fur, sequins, and every shade of white. Known as the Goddess of Glitz, she is the author of the book Beyond the Glitz & Glamour which chronicles the story of a girl who grew up at the end of an alleyway, across the street from a junkyard, in a humble home full of love where she was told she could accomplish anything. Married to Dan Cellucci for 65 years, Yolanda talks about how her late husband helped her make her dreams of bringing bridal, couture, a beauty salon, fitness, and events all under one roof by building her legendary destination: Yolanda’s of Waltham “where beautiful lifestyles begin” with his own hands, from the ground up. The mother of two and grandmother and great-grandmother of many, Miss Yolanda is an 88-year-old powerhouse with a heart of gold, who got her start in the 1970’s and 80’s, long before the glass ceiling had been broken. In this interview, she shares details of her personal life, including her pride in the successes of her daughters Sondra and Linda, and the tragic loss of Linda to esophageal cancer in 2018. If you are an entrepreneur, you’ll want to write down Yolanda’s pearls of wisdom about the importance of relationships: “be open-minded, be happy for other people and don’t be selfish” and that true success is measured “not by how long you have lived, but how you live.” Inspiring? You better believe it. #yolandacellucci #fashionista

Betsy Ferg Wood: -212

I’ve gone from creating something that millions of people around the world will want, to creating something that is individual to the woman who wears it. -Betsy Ferg Wood

In the spotlight, Betsy Ferg Wood. She spent much of her career focused on brand identity and product design where job #1 was to communicate the essence of major brands to consumers worldwide. She was living large…from New York, City to L.A, from London to Paris, working for Liz Claiborne, and was even a part of the legendary Barbie Team at Mattel. But at some point, Betsy felt like she needed to make a change and flex her artistic muscles a bit more independently. The daughter and grandchild of artists, she had that gene in spades and started creating story necklaces out of mementos, trinkets, treasures, buttons, and charms. It wasn’t long before Jewelry Bee Social was born by taking recycled pieces and making them new again. To Betsy’s surprise, the connections her story necklaces have made bring a whole new shine to each unique creation. #jewelryBee #mementostrinketsandtreasures #storyjewelry #madeintn #storynecklaces #charmbraceletsonsteroids #tellyourstoryinjewelry

Morgan Dzicek: Singer/Songwriter & Childhood Cancer Survivor -211

Turning my pain into my passion. That’s what is most important to me. – Morgan Dzicek

Morgan Dzicek is a beautiful young woman who is loaded with talent. A singer, songwriter, violinist and former New England Patriots Cheerleader, Morgan has had the experience of singing the National Anthem and cheering for the Patriots as they won their 5th Super Bowl. But life has not been all sunshine and super bowls for this week’s guest. Raised on a farm in Northbridge, Massachusetts where her mother raised Morgan horses, she was diagnosed at 13 with a rare form of cancer in her eye. Hospitalized for long periods of time with multiple surgeries and 40 rounds of chemotherapy, she was granted a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation and was flown to Nashville to co-write and record an original song with Lari White called Every Step of the Way. Now cancer free, Morgan shares her story about leaning on God for strength, dancing her way through pain, and her passion for bringing the gift of music whenever and wherever she can.

Tona Hines: Mother of Two, She Cancer Warrior -210

I thank God that He has allowed me to be strong enough to endure this and to show my family and friends that I am a “she cancer warrior”. -Tona Hines

October is breast cancer awareness month and sadly, the statistics have not improved. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and this is a disease that affects the woman and her whole family. In this episode, we’re shining a spotlight on two-time breast cancer survivor Tona Hines. Diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at 40, this devoted mother of two
didn’t require any treatment beyond surgery the first time around. Ten years later, everything changed. Tona was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Her story would not be complete without the support she has received from The Ellie Fund,, a non-profit devoted to supporting patients, funding care and providing hope. Meredith Mendelson, Executive Director of the non-profit shares the story of Ellie Popkin for whom the charity is named, and it’s mission to serve 1200 patients per year by 2023. #mbc #breastcancer #elliefund

Bridget Snell: Co-Founder & Chief Editor, Living Crue Magazine -209

I have MS. MS does not have me. I prefer to be Bridget the mother, the wife, the career driven woman. -Bridget Snell

In this episode, we meet Bridget Snell, co-founder of Waiting Room Media and Chief Editor of the company’s flagship print magazine, Living Crue. Diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in 2015, Bridget made a choice not to allow the disease to rule her life. When traditional medications failed to work, she dove into every medical journal and discovered HSCT, a stem cell transplant that is currently used to fight cancer in the United States, but is not approved for use on MS patients. Determined to receive the treatment, the mother of two daughters then 2 and 4 traveled to Mexico where she stayed for 30 days, emerging with a new lease on life. Four years later, Bridget is using 20+ years of print publishing experience to breathe life into a magazine that is a platform for women’s stories, raw and authentic. Co-Founded with Marci Bracken whom she met in the waiting room of a karate dojo, Living Crue is a reminder of the power of friendship and living proof that even in the toughest of times, you just can’t keep a good woman down. #livingcrue #publishing #empowerment

Nikki Shults: Executive Director of -208

What means the most to me is building community, finding safe spaces for the lonely and the elderly. -Nikki Shults

Nikki Shults grew up on a family compound in rural Connecticut. At the center of this compound, in the humble, makeshift home lived her grandmother whom she called “Meme”. This wise, matriarch of the family lived to be 95, surrounded by generations of the people she loved. It was on this compound where Nikki learned some of her first lessons about the elderly, community
and companionship. She would go on to pursue a BA in Gerontology and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Quinnipiac University. With only a wish to learn more about the world, she entered the Peace Corps, working in Ethiopia. It was there that she observed “you don’t need a lot to make you happy” and that what she had learned on her family compound about caring for the elderly was true in Ethiopia as well. Nikki could see that Ethiopians kept their elderly close, protecting them inside multigenerational family homes until the day they died. These days, you’ll find Nikki doing what she loves as the Executive Director of a charity called LBFE or Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly She is devoted to intergenerational programming and the organization’s mission to build communities and friendships between the old and the young. In this interview, Nikki shares some startling statistics about loneliness, the long-term effects of the pandemic on our oldest populations, and the priceless gifts of wisdom she has learned along the way from the elderly. Says Nikki: they’ve taught me that the sooner you learn to be your most authentic self, the sooner you stop caring what everyone else thinks, that is when your life begins.” #elderly #companionship #lbfeboston #peacecorps

Kathleen Ralls, PhD -Educator, Athlete, Coach & Author -207

If I can push my body to the limit physically, what can I do mentally in other parts of my life? -Kathleen Ralls, PhD

We’re back with another season of stories about women doing great things with their lives.
If you need a dose of get up and go, this episode is for you. Kathleen Ralls is a lifelong athlete who is also an award-winning educator, a high school sports coach and a Fullbright Scholar whose doctoral research on gender equity sports and voice empowerment brought her to 20 countries and 4 continents to gather crucial data from female athletes. In this interview, Kathleen shares her experiences working with and learning from girls in Ethiopia through the Girls Gotta Run Foundation. I asked here: what are the attributes at the heart of a champion female athlete? Why are athletes such great leaders? Where do they find their strength to bounce back after a loss? And what role does consistency play when it comes to performance both on the athletic field and in the workplace? Kathleen’s research into what makes female athletes tick is captured in her book: Take Her Word For It: Sports Cultivates World-Class Leaders. These days, you’ll find this exceptional woman sharing what she has learned in her own coaching practice centered on female empowerment and leadership training. If you are an athlete, or the parent of a girl who is just starting her athletic journey, hit that download button. You’ll be glad you did. #title9 #leadership #empowerment

Jenn Abelson: Award-winning Investigative Reporter -206

I’ve innately had this willingness, a fearlessness to challenge the people in charge and to not be afraid of power. -Jenn Abelson

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be an investigative reporter? In the spotlight, Jenn Abelson, reporter for The Washington Post and co-host of the new series, Broken Doors. www.washingtonpost/brokendoors. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Jenn went to Cornell University and spent time abroad, working in Israel during violent times when her family worried about her safety. In this interview, we get a bird’s eye view into the psyche of an investigative reporter who is not afraid to look into the darkest corners to find the truth. A former member of the Boston Globe’s elite Spotlight team, Jenn is also the co-author of a memoir by Chessy Prout called I Have A Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice and Hope. These days, you’ll find Jenn headfirst into the art of storytelling with her podcast series Broken Doors which examines no-knock warrants. Her decision to be a part of the show is no surprise: “I like to do things that make me feel a little bit uncomfortable and not always take the path everyone else is taking.” For a look inside the world of a gifted writer and major market investigative reporter, take the risk and hit that download button. #washingtonpost #investigativereporter #noknockwarrant