Lynne Becker Part II: Lynne Becker, Founder & CEO -274

A concussion is a broken brain. And it doesn’t have to be just a hit to the head. It is an impact on your body that moves up to your brain. -Lynne Becker

Welcome to part 2 of a concussion story every mom, dad, coach, caregiver, and healthcare professional needs to hear. The single mother of two, Lynne Becker’s daughters were both athletes, but when her daughter Natalie was hit at point-blank range with a soccer ball, she got the phone call no parent wants to receive. Natalie was knocked unconscious. The athletic trainer reported that she couldn’t speak or remember her name. This jarring hit to the 17-year-old’s head would unfold in a journey that lasted over 4 years and included 26 brain bleeds, changes to her personality, and the need for homeschooling. In this interview, Lynne shares that her expertise as a biostatistician and an epidemiologist was a secret weapon that would lead to unlocking the many mysteries of how traumatic brain injuries or TBIs are reported and observed. While caring for Natalie full-time, Lynne lost her job but was soon recruited by the Department of Defense and tasked with building a real-world, brain injury database for Special Operations teams. As she began compiling data on Seals and Green Berets, she asked herself: “What is the common denominator? What makes the injury of a 30-year-old Green Beret in a bomb blast similar to a 17-year-old girl injured by a hit to the side of the head with a soccer ball?” Thanks to Lynne’s work with the DOD, she learned about the use of bio-neuro-feedback for the treatment of TBI, and in just 5 sessions, Natalie stopped napping every day and was even able to complete her college degree. Born and raised in a little “whistle-stop” town in upstate New York, Lynne is the founder of, where she is devoted to helping those with brain injuries actively engage in their health and well-being. #concussion #TBI #thestorybehindhersuccess

Lynne Becker Part I: Concussion Story, -273

Listen to me. My daughter walks into walls. She sleeps 20 hours a day. -Lynne Becker

Back in the day, if 2 athletes smashed into one another, coaches would keep them in the game. Not anymore. Traumatic brain injuries, known as TBI, are serious business, and if you doubt this fact, just listen to this interview with Lynne Becker. A biostatistician and epidemiologist with an MS in public health, Lynne has spent her entire career analyzing charts and graphs, looking for clues that lead to better medical outcomes for patients. The single mother of two girls, she got a phone call from her younger daughter’s boarding school hours after Natalie was hit in the head intentionally with a soccer ball by a male student at point-blank range. The force of the blow knocked the 17-year-old unconscious. The athletic trainer told Lynne: “Your daughter can’t talk. She doesn’t know her name or what day it is.” It was at this moment that Lynne’s momma bear instincts, combined with a lifetime of amassing medical information, came into play. Lynne takes us through her constant frustration with her daughter’s school administrators, the school nurse, multiple hospitals, interns, doctors, and neurologists who missed 28 brain bleeds. “Concussion is a broken brain says Lynne, and the patient is never the same.” In fact, it took nearly 4+ years for her daughter to reclaim any normalcy in her young life. Fueled by the power of mother love, Lynne began gathering vital research so that patients and doctors could understand more about concussions. As the creator of, this unstoppable mother is a champion for patients, caregivers, and providers with the first patient-led brain injury data warehouse. For a dose of powerful storytelling and vital information on #concussion, just hit that download button.

Megan McShane: Co-Founder, Your Best Life Now -272

Be true to yourself. Know who you are as a person because people will try to break you. If you have a strong sense of self-esteem, you will be successful. -Megan McShane

In the spotlight: Megan McShane. She spent 13 years working for global coaching sensation Tony Robbins and years later, developed the concept for Your Best Life Now with two business partners. Designed to bring together four key parts of a person’s life, Your Best Life Now is a results-driven, membership-based mastermind community focused on what Megan calls “the wheel of life”: faith, family, fitness, and finance for entrepreneurs. While most coaching models are based on the individual, Your Best Life Now is focused on inclusivity. Says Megan: “You want to grow with the people around you, and if you are not growing together, it causes strain in a relationship. With our coaching, it’s all about the whole.” Members of Your Best Life Now receive a year’s worth of business coaching and personal coaching, plus 3 empowering live events per year. Born and raised near the Canadian border in the small town of Ogdensburg, New York, Megan is the daughter of a legendary NCAA hockey coach and a labor & delivery nurse. When her Dad’s coaching gig took the family from St. Lawrence University to Providence College, the family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, with Megan playing sports year-round, including girl’s ice hockey. Also a certified yoga instructor, Megan is a true believer in the power of positive thinking. “It’s really easy to see the negative, but it is just as easy to see the good. Mindset is everything. We live in a world that’s go, go, go, but it is in the quiet moments that creativity comes to life.” For a 20 minute glimpse into living your best life now, just hit that download button. #mindset #empowerment #coaching #thestorybehindhersuccess

Digit Murphy: Champion, Women’s Sports -271

As a child, I tried to sign up for Little League, and they said, “No” you’re a girl.  And I remember thinking:  That’s not right. It hurt me in my heart.   -Digit Murphy

Margaret Pearl “Digit” Degidio Murphy admits that as a child, she cried when she couldn’t play baseball or ice hockey just because she was a girl.   As she skated alone around local ponds in her hometown of Cranston, Rhode Island, Digit knew she could be a champion.  A scrappy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, she decided to never give up trying and, in the wake of crucial changes thanks to #title9,  continued to break down barriers for women and girls in sports. A student athlete at Cornell, Digit was named Ivy League Player of the Year, finishing her college career with 123 goals and 90 assists.  Digit loved the sport so much, she coached at Brown University for 23 seasons and holds the record as the winningest ice hockey coach in NCAA Division 1 history.  But as she climbed the ladder in sports, Digit experienced pay inequality herself and fought for Olympic ice hockey athletes to be paid for the very first time.  She would go on to coach on the pro level in the US, Canada, and China, with a philosophy focused on leading, guiding, and directing athletes.  Says Digit:  “You are like a conductor creating energy. You give your athletes a roadmap and the keys to the car, and then you let them drive.”  In this interview, Digit takes us for a wild ride through a career in ice hockey that stands alone when it comes to creating opportunities for females:  “Half a loaf is not enough. We cannot lose what we fought so hard to have. You have to have gritty, intestinal fortitude in order to continue to push boundaries, and I’d like to see all women doing that in all areas of sport.”  For 25 minutes of true grit, just hit that download button. @digitmurphy @usahockey

Eavan O’Neill: Marathoner & Advocate for the Blind -270

The doctor said, “You are going blind, and there is no cure.” My mom burst into tears, and I remember thinking, “This can’t be happening to me.” -Eavan O’Neill

When she was only 13 years old, Eavan O’Neill started having trouble seeing the blackboard at school. A gifted athlete, she began missing the ball while playing lacrosse and soccer. One of her coaches suggested that she have her eyes checked. Unfortunately, glasses didn’t do much to solve the problem. Throughout her teens, Eavan’s eyesight continued to deteriorate, and in this interview, she admits that wishful thinking set in until one day, she mistook the moon for a street light and it was obvious something was very wrong. Diagnosed at 20 by Rachel Huckfeldt, MD, PhD, an opthalmologist in the Inherited Retinal Disorders Service at Mass Eye And Ear, with a rare and incurable condition called Stargardt disease, Eavan is now legally blind. In this interview, she recalls returning to St. Lawrence University after her diagnosis in January 2020, only to go home two months later to her family in Yarmouth, Maine, due to the pandemic. Distraught and uncertain about her future, she accepted an invitation from her neighbor to go for a run and discovered that running flipped a switch inside of her. Says Eavan: “Running has made me feel strong, happy, and capable again.” An experienced marathoner who can only see 4 feet in front of her, Eavan runs to raise awareness and funds for a cure for Stargardt disease. Now a Development Officer at Mass General Brigham, Eavan is determined to be a voice for anyone struggling with this rare disease: “I felt so isolated when I was first diagnosed. It was like diving off of a cliff into no-man’s land. It’s hard to find hope. That’s what I want to be for people. Hope.” Although she still has “bad blind girl days,” Eavan looks on the bright side with her Instagram handle @bright.side_group. For 22 minutes of inspiration, just hit that download button. #blindness #stargardtdisease

Maria Stephanos, News Anchor -269

I love what I do, and it’s a privilege and an honor to do it. I feel such a duty to report on things that happen in my community, in my backyard, in your backyard. -Maria Stephanos

Maria Stephanos is a household name in Boston and beyond. This interview was taped in between newscasts at WCVB, Channel 5, where she anchors the 4:30, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 PM newscasts. And for good measure, Maria also anchors the 10:00 PM news on sister station MeTVBoston. A devoted mother, this high-energy, high-empathy woman has been honing her craft for 30 years and says that going to bed at midnight is simply routine. Born and raised in the little town of Groveland, MA, Maria recalls an idyllic childhood where she would climb trees and skate in the woods in a town with no traffic light. Her heritage is Greek (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and laughter, passion, loyalty, and hard work were hard-wired into the family dynamic. A graduate of Emerson College with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mass Communications, Maria got her start on the radio as a statehouse reporter and credits that experience with teaching her how to tell compelling stories. In this interview, she reveals that a scratch ticket and a conversation with a colleague propelled her toward television, and she’s been there ever since. On the air for massive news events like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, Maria takes us behind the scenes, painting a picture of what it is really like to be a responsible, compassionate journalist in the middle of a tragedy. When asked about role models, she quickly names her mother, offering one of her parent’s golden rules: “Don’t judge people. You never know what they are going through.” In this interview, we come to know WCVB’s Maria Stephanos not only as a beloved news anchor but also as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, mentor, and running enthusiast. She’s the real deal. Go ahead and hit that download button. #journalist #television #news #mothersday

Stacey Ryan: School of Rock -268

School of Rock is the place for everyone who feels like they don’t have a place. All we care about is making great music together. -Stacey Ryan

Meet Stacey Ryan, Chief Operating Officer of the School of Rock With 65,000 students learning in 364 locations in 19 countries worldwide, she’s got her hands full of music lovers, and she likes it that way. Says Stacey: “Our teachers are all gigging musicians. We bring kids together in a room where they get to play instruments and sing loudly.” The success story of the School of Rock could have been destroyed by the pandemic, but instead, it was lifted to a whole new level under her guidance with a pivot to virtual learning through a robust online platform that managed to create a sense of community for kids when they needed it the most. In this interview, Stacey shares her firm belief that music heals. The School of Rock is a place where differences are celebrated, and confidence grows. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Stacey is the middle child in a music-loving family. She credits her father with introducing her to boxes of his rock albums. Alone on a desert island, she’d listen to the entire Beatles collection and never be lonely. A graduate of Rutgers University, she was inspired by her mother’s lifelong love of education and, at first, wanted to be a kindergarten teacher until the smell of the school cafeteria did her in. “I listened to my gut,” says Stacey, and I switched paths.“ As a leader, Stacey leans on transparency and is advancing women leaders through an organization she calls “Front Women”. Having a place at the table has not come easy for Stacey, and she knows it: “ When I became COO I was aware of the battle it took to get here, and the responsibility to pay it forward. I want to make the path smoother for those coming up behind me. “ For 24 minutes you can really tap your toe to, just hit that download button. #music #education #musicians #singers

Shannon Mulaire: Director of PR & Media Relations -267

I’m missing the freak-out gene. It’s hard to rattle me. -Shannon Mulaire

This week’s episode features the fascinating story of award-winning TV journalist Shannon Mulaire. She parlayed decades of experience in front of and behind cameras into the role of Director of PR and Media Relations at female-owned Nickerson,, a full-service branding, marketing, PR, and communications agency with offices in Boston and Miami. Born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, Shannon started playing soccer at only 5, and was a self-described “scrappy tomboy who was toughened up by her two older brothers.” A determined student and athlete, Shannon attended the prestigious Philips Exeter Academy at only 13, followed by Wellesley College and Emerson College where she earned her Masters in Journalism. Her career path began with an off-camera job in Fort Myers, Florida, where Shannon managed to sneak herself into a weekend show without permission. This bold move was followed by an on-camera stint at a heritage news station in Tampa. She finally landed in Boston thanks to being given an opportunity to shine by fellow Emerson graduate and mentor Maria Stephanos. Says Shannon: “Every step of the way, I have been lifted up by other women. “ In this interview, Shannon brings the listener into the not-so-glamourous world of television news where 2 AM wake-up calls are a way of life. After spending a few years doing morning news at Fox 25, Shannon found herself at a crossroads and decided to make the kind of change that enabled her to be a more present mother to her three young children while still using her vast communications skillset. When asked about her work ethic, Shannon says: “Soccer raised me because it taught me life skills. I work hard, and I believe that if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. You can’t control what other people are going to do, but you can control how you are going to react to it.” For 24 minutes of wisdom you can use, just hit that download button. #media #news #PR #television #thestorybehindhersuccess

Julie Beckham: aka Ms. Money -266

Lessons learned early last a lifetime. -Julie Beckham aka “Ms. Money”

Not everyone thinks personal finance is a topic to sing about, but Julie Beckham has made a career out of it. Since April is Financial Literacy Month, we thought we’d invite her on to the show. Now the AVP/Financial Education Development & Strategy Officer at Rockland Trust Bank, Julie was tasked by the previous owner, Blue Hills Bank, with expanding its commitment to the community by finding a way to educate children about money. Always up for a challenge, Julie tapped into her wealth of experience as an actress and singer to create her persona “Ms. Money” and her musical, “Ms. Money & the Coins.” For the last 13 years, she’s been sharing this entertaining curriculum with children in the United States and around the world What started out as an idea to teach children about money turned into a multilingual video-based program, complete with interactive learning modules. Says Julie: “If I can make something fun for children and easy for teachers, that’s a win-win.” Born and raised in Canton, Massachusetts, Julie’s love for the theatre was born when she landed the role of Dorothy in her elementary school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Julie was a working actor for years before returning home to be a hands-on aunt to her newborn niece, Lucy, who was born with Downs Syndrome. Says Julie: “The world stopped, and we needed each other. You discover what the epicenter of YOU is and for me, that’s family.” The mother of two children, Julie shares her belief that “it is crucial for parents to share their mistakes. How we handle mistakes is important for our children to see, including mistakes about money.” And just in case you’re feeling left out, Julie has a podcast series for adults, too, called “No Shame in this Money Game.” For 23 minutes of financial fun, just hit that download button. #financialliteracy #education #money #banking

Christina Pavlina: Co-founder & Executive Director of Jane Does Well -265

Jane Does Well organically became a group of women talking about divorce and supporting each other. -Christina Pavlina

This week’s guest was nominated by listeners twice, thanks to the support and community she has created for women going through divorce. Meet Christina Pavlina, co-founder & Executive Director of Jane Does Well, Whether it is your choice or not, divorce is a heartache. If you’ve got children, the impact is even greater. Christina has walked this walk, and now she talks the talk. Through hands-on, practical programming, this unique non-profit helps women get through the trauma of divorce. Says Christina: “I didn’t know how to navigate my own sense of loss, and at the same time, I didn’t know how to help my children.” After I got through my own divorce, I realized I could help others.” The lessons she learned have been passed on to hundreds of women who have benefitted greatly from the services Jane Does Well provides. The organization has grown organically year after year and today, includes an ordained minister who experienced divorce herself, came to Jane Does Well for help, and is now the Director of Wellness and Trauma Programs. Jane Anderson oversees 10-week support groups for everyone from young moms to senior citizens. Christina explains: “The best way to overcome the loneliness of divorce is to talk to women who get it. Your family loves you. Your friends love you, but they will not understand what you are dealing with during and after divorce. Jane Does Well fills that gap.” #divorce #community #empowerment