Marilyn Abrams -103



Nobody in the dressing room at Shear Madness knew that I was the co-producer. I just wanted to be a part of the cast and the camaraderie! -Marilyn Abrams

This is the story of a woman who has not only used her creative talents as a singer and an actress, but has gone outside her skillset and comfort zone to produce and market a theatre production. Meet Marilyn Abrams, the co-creator and co-producer of Shear Madness, the hilarious and endearing whodunit launched in Boston at the Charles Theatre way back in 1980. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running play in the history of theatre in the United States, the play has launched 50 production companies, been translated into 27 languages and seen by 12.5 million people around the world. Not bad for a play that was originally 4 pages long! Raised in the Bronx, New York, Marilyn always loved to act and sing. A student at the Bronx School of Science, she held her own, but never excelled in math or chemistry. One day at an assembly, Marilyn’s teachers discovered her love of the stage and created moments for her to shine. They also wrote glowing recommendations for Marilyn to attend Cornell where she continued to thrive. Marilyn met fellow actor Bruce Jordan playing summer stock in Lake George, New York and the two actors would go on to co-create and co-produce Shear Madness. This effort took time and patience, and originally, Marilyn was committed only to an 8 week run playing the role of Barbara deMarco. She soon realized that someone had to figure out how to sell tickets and market the play in order for it to succeed. Marilyn figured out early on that word of mouth, and relationships within the Boston area would eventually grow the production, and she was right. “We were told to give up, that nothing plays in Boston in the summertime. A little light bulb went off and we said: great, we’ll be the only show in town.” At one point, Marilyn got on a bike and dropped off playbills herself to every hotel in the city. As Shear Madness celebrates 40 years on stages worldwide, we celebrate the accomplishments of Marilyn Abrams: wife, mother, singer, actress, producer and force of nature! #storybehindhersuccess  #shearmadness40  #whodunit  #womenintheatre

 

 


Nandini Bajpai -102



Walking into a book store is like being surrounded by friends.
-Nandini Bajpai

Meet a woman who wrote her first story in the second grade and has been writing them ever since! Born in New Delhi to a mother and father who encouraged both written expression AND the fine art of conversation around the dinner table, Nandini Bajpai has written 5 books for children and tweens. www.nandinibajpai.com. Her latest book: A Match Made in Mehendi is about a young girl who has inherited the ancient gift of being a matchmaker. Published by Little Brown & Company, the book marks the author’s U.S. debut. In this interview, Nandini shares her determination to include the people and rich culture of her native India in all of her books, saying “when I was growing up, there were no stories for kids like me. I wanted to change that for my own kids.” Once a systems analyst and a bookseller, Nandini has also traveled the world and is a big believer in the lessons we learn from every job and every chapter in our lives. The journey a writer takes from idea to publication is also explored in this interview. She credits her mother’s sage advice when faced with life’s inevitable obstacles, roadblocks and disappointments: “Keep going. It’s almost like Dori in Finding Nemo. Keep Swimming. Never give up.”  #tweenauthors   #matchmaking   @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Shannon Murphy & Sophie Deraspe -101



We packed up our remote equipment and flew from Boston to Palm Springs, California to cover the 31st annual Palm Springs Film Festival  to talk to female directors about their craft. There was a time when there were virtually no women in director’s roles, but thankfully, times are changing and I was fortunate to meet and interview two female directors who are trailblazers in their field. First up, Sophie Deraspe, the Canadian director, screenwriter and cinematographer whose adaptation of the Greek tragedy, Antigone is giving audiences a new take on a very old story. Written by Sophocles 2500 years ago, Sophie’s adaptation centers around a modern-day immigrant family living in Montreal and a brave teenage daughter who stands up to the law out of love and loyalty for her family. The film explores the burden of responsibility, even when our actions demand incredible inner-strength and sacrifice. Antigone, starring Nahema Ricci is winning awards at festivals worldwide and was honored to be selected as Canada’s entry at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. Sophie’s career journey toward finding her path as a director will inspire you. Says Sophie: “There is nothing that can stop me. I will never give up. I’ll find my way around any obstacle.” As luck would have it, I also had the opportunity to sit down with Australian director Shannon Murphy just a few hours after she was named to Variety’s Top 10 Director’s List. Her latest film is Babyteeth, the story of a cancer stricken 16 year old played by Eliza Scanlen who falls in love with a troubled drug addict. As a director, Shannon says she loves complicated love stories, and this is definitely one of them with the mother’s role brilliantly acted by Essie Davis. In this interview, Shannon shared what it was like early in her career when she was often the only female in the room. Heeding the advice of other women in film, she decided to be her authentic self. Says Shannon: “I knew when I was 17 that I wanted to be a director. It is all I have ever wanted. I’m incredibly ambitious. I’m obsessed. This is my passion!”  #PSIFF   @essiedavisdaily   @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Alexis & Kimberly Kissam -100



Our stores are named after our grandmother, Isabel Harvey. She gave us lessons in confidence, on how to be strong and to do what your heart is telling you. She taught us to dream big.
-Alexis & Kimberly Kissam

When Alexis and Kimberly were growing up, they were blessed to have two strong female role models: their grandmother and their mother. The sudden death of their father placed their mom in a situation where she had to learn how to do things she had never done before, and they watched her become the head of the household with strength and grace. Their grandmother played a major role in their upbringing, teaching the girls valuable lessons in life. After college, Alexis and Kim pursured careers in corporate America, until one fateful day, when Alexis announced: “ I think I want to quit my job and do something else.”  Kim jumped in with both feet to join her sister and as they came together around their mother’s kitchen table, an idea was born: to create a store named after their grandmother, filled with beautiful things that sparkle and shine. Established online as www.isabelharvey.com in 2005 with a tiny storefront space on the idyllic island of Nantucket, and a few years later in their hometown of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Isabel Harvey stores have a beachy feel: “we want people to feel like they are walking into a ray of sunshine.” Named to the Boston Globe’s 25 Most Stylish Bostonians list, Alexis and Kim follow their grandmother’s style intuition, ie: “if it feels good, it looks good.” Together they have filled their boutiques with carefully chosen necklaces, earrings, handbags, totes, bracelets and rings, plus cashmere, scarves, ponchos, hats and mittens. As experienced stylists and skilled jewelry consultants, their goal is to guide women to find pieces that make them sparkle and shine in their own, unique way. As entrepreneurs, the sisters have tapped into their own strengths and weaknesses to create a true partnership. In this inspiring interview, Alexis and Kimberly shared: “We’ve had some hard lessons, but we’ve never wanted to throw in the towel. There’s no turning back now.”   @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Christie Lindor -099



When I see something I really want to do, I get obsessed.
-Christie Lindor

If you could use a role model in the business world, Christie Lindor may just be the woman to watch. www.christielindor.com. She’s been climbing the ladder as a consultant to blue chip companies like Deloitte, EY and IBM for nearly 20 years and her tireless work ethic is a direct result of her upbringing. Raised in Boston, Christie is a first generation American whose parents came to the United States from Haiti. The oldest of eight children, she says rule #1 in her house was: work hard for what you want. “There was a lot of pressure to succeed, says Christie: You don’t have space to fail. “ A regular Forbes contributor, Christie is also a TEDx speaker and the author of the award-winning book, The MECE Muse: 100+ selected practices, unwritten rules and habits of great consultants. Her latest book Release: Use the Power of Forgiveness to get Unstuck & Thrive in your Career is a nod to the many lessons she has learned along the way. “There’s a lot of baggage women of color carry around with them. I have a choice to lift this cloud and operate as a skill business consultant who just happens to be a black woman.” The proud mother of a brand new baby boy, Christie is a reformed perfectionist, recovering workaholic and political junkie who is excited about the changes Millennials are making in the workplace. She is determined to move the dial on pay equity for women of color and considers career and motherhood “a wait and see work in progress!” @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Molly Hanna Glidden -098



Don’t let anyone tell you to get over your grief, to move on. Everyone grieves differently.
-Molly Hanna Glidden

The life lessons we learn from the sad times in our lives are just as important as the lessons we learn from joyful moments. Why? Because adversity is a great teacher. Meet Molly Hanna Glidden, author of the new book Reminiscing La Vie en Rose and A Family Broken: Surviving Traumatic Loss & Overcoming Tragedy. Molly’s journey has been marked by tragedy and yet, she finds a way to put on a pair of rose colored glasses and see the brighter side of life. Five deaths, including two suicides, one murder, and the loss of her only child have marked Molly’s path, and yet, she survives and even thrives. Writing has become her vehicle for self-expression and in the process, she has become a role model for others who are grieving too. Faith and family have always sustained this exceptional woman. In this interview, she tells a poignant story that was also featured in Grief Digest Magazine about a beautiful Red Winged Visitor, sent to remind her that love never dies. Molly Hanna Glidden believes that strength and hope come from getting out of bed every morning, putting one foot in front of the other, and surviving another day with a deeper sense of purpose and gratitude. @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Terri Trespicio -097



A lot of my life didn’t start until I was over 40. If you say “I”m too old” you are looking for an excuse NOT to do what you want. -Terri Trespicio

Meet a woman whose life and career trajectory are living proof that getting gutsy will help you get to where you want to go. Terri Trespicio is an award-winning writer, speaker coach, former Sirius radio host, stand-up comedian and a brand advisor. But wait, there’s more! She is also a Ted Talk superstar with over 5 million views for her unique take on passion, saying: “Passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling. You don’t follow your passion, your passion follows you.” Along the way Terri worked side by side with Martha Stewart as a senior editor for Whole Living Magazine and her TV show revealing: “she’s tough and I admired her for that.” In fact, she credits Martha with teaching her lessons about entrepreneurship that serve her to this day. To meet Terri and spend time with her is to be in the presence of true creative genius, but make no mistake about it: the road has been long, winding, and full of obstacles. A graduate of Boston College with an MFA from Emerson College, Terri spent a full year paralyzed by the fear that she had nothing to offer the world. A true believer in the power of words, Terri believes that “writing is a sacred tool for accessing our stories and our ideas. When you quiet everything else, you can actually hear what that voice has to say to you.” These days, you’ll find her traveling from coast to coast, helping businesses sound like humans and humans sound like people. www.territrespicio.com. Her mother’s words still ring true: “You create a life by living it.” @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions 


Melissa M. MacDonnell -096



This work matters to the core of my being.
-Melissa M. MacDonnell, Founder & President/ Liberty Mutual Foundation

You’ve probably seen the commercial on television a million times for Liberty Mutual (liberty liberty, liberty). But did you know that this Boston based insurance company founded in 1912 also has a philanthropic arm called the Liberty Mutual Foundation? Created by the company’s Vice President, Melissa M. MacDonnell in 2003, the Liberty Mutual Foundation has committed approximately 200 million dollars to 1,150 organizations through direct grants, with a focus on accessibility, homelessness and education. And let’s not forget the countless contributions made by an employee population of 50,000 people in 900 locations worldwide through a giving and service program called “Liberty Torchbearers”. With a focus on accessibility, youth homelessness and education, the Liberty Mutual Foundation recently funded Liberty House, a 10-bedroom home for homeless youth which opened its doors in Boston just one year ago. What does it take to do this work? That’s just one of the many questions we asked Melissa in this up-close and personal interview. She’s one of 11 children, who was taught at an early age to always be “genuine, fair-minded and to do the right thing”. A graduate of UMASS Amherst with a Master’s in Business Administration from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School, Melissa is hard-wired to do the work she does. A constant mentor to young women, she is a passionate believer in giving a voice to those who have been silenced. On the wall in her office, Melissa keeps a poem written by her late mother whom she describes as her role model. “The essence of who we are is achieved in the manner in which we live, the lives we make stronger and our love for neighbor as ourselves.”  #GivewithLiberty  @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions   @LibertyMutual


Dianne O’Connor -095



There are some people who come out of the womb kicking and screaming and they are not gonna let anything stand in their way. I’m one of those people. -Dianne O’Connor

Born a farmer’s daughter on a sheep ranch in Montana, Dianne lost both of her parents when she was young. She and her sister moved in with their grandmother and were raised on a poverty stricken Black Foot Indian reservation. Always a strong student, Dianne was encouraged to think about college and take the SAT exam. When she couldn’t come up with the $12.00 entry fee, her favorite teacher gave her the money and she landed a full scholarship. Now the owner of Weston Table, Dianne is a wife, mother of 5 and a fearless entrepreneur whose retail philosophy is based on the belief that “less is more.” What started as a website in 2014 www.westontable.com with curated pieces from artisans around the world, and an outstanding bridal registry, her flagship store in Weston, MA. is a place where beauty, function and life values align. Dianne believes that “giving thoughtfully matters” and her store is an inspiring collection of the past, present and future. Every item has a story and the hope is that you will be drawn to something special because your heart wants it! When asked what advice she would give to a young woman with a dream or a goal that seems insurmountable, Dianne says: “Take the risk. Listen to your heart.” #westontable @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions


Jennifer Eckert -094



Adoption is a lifelong journey. I don’t know if we are ever fully healed. There is always that missing puzzle piece. – Jennifer Eckert

November is National Adoption Month, so we went searching for a woman who could teach us all about it. Meet Jennifer Eckert, adopted child and founder of Boston Post Adoption Services, a non-profit she created to support individuals and families touched by adoption. Once fully immersed in the field of fashion as a graduate of F.I.T and a marketer for The Limited, Jennifer decided to go back to school in her 40’s and received a graduate degree in social work from Simmons University. An adopted child herself, Jennifer learned through her studies that she had lots of healing to do. She was inspired and determined to know more about how other families handle this life-changing decision, as well as how attitudes have changed around adoption in general over time. Most of all, she wanted to create a non-profit that would support everyone touched by adoption. Her groundbreaking book is called: Adoption Is A Lifelong Journey and is co-written and illustrated by colleagues Kelly DiBenedetto and Katie Gorczyca. In this very personal interview, Jennifer and host Candy O’Terry share their adoption stories and discover startling similarities between the two. The common thread? Secrecy and shame. In her work all these years later, Jennifer seeks to change that. “Kids are super smart. It’s important for adoptive parents to show their children that there is no shame, no secret. There is nothing we are hiding from you. This is our family. This is how we came to be. This is us.”

#adoption @BWME    #storybehindhersuccess    #16LifeLessons    #mydoveproductions