Monthly Archives: May 2020

Greta Bajrami -118

I want people to remember Greta Bajrami: the girl who was an immigrant, a teenage parent, the woman who made it in an industry that not many women are welcomed into. That’s what fuels me every day. -Greta Bajrami, CEO & Founder, Golden Group Roofing

Welcome to the inspiring story of a girl from war torn Albania who came to the United States when she was only 9 years old. Greta and her parents settled in Worcester, Massachusetts where she enrolled in public school knowing only one word: pizza! Her mother had been a Chief ER surgeon in Albania and while Greta excelled in school, she set about re-training herself to meet rigorous U.S medical standards. The message in her home was clear: sacrifices have been made to get us here. Work hard and honor your family. At only 17, Greta and her steady boyfriend learned they were expecting a baby. They stayed in school, graduated and began their lives together. Disappointed in their daughter’s behavior, Greta’s proud parents let her know that she was on her own. In this episode, Greta doesn’t sugar coat the life of teenage parent. Determined to get their college degrees, Greta and her husband Freddie organized their classes at Worcester State College so that they could also care for their daughter. When there was no heat in the house, they covered their baby in blankets and wore extra clothes themselves. But deep down inside, Greta thought she was a loser who had let her parent’s down. At 21, she saw an ad on Craig’s List for a roofing foreman that paid $300.00 a day. She reasoned that her family desperately needed the money and that if she put her mind to it, she could learn to do the job. Greta was hired that day. After spending three years as a roofing foreman, Greta and her husband took a giant leap of faith and founded Golden Group Roofing where she has innovated the construction process, elevated the customer experience, and brought pride and dignity to her workers. Considered a trailblazer in her industry, Greta is a role model for any young woman who finds herself at a crossroads. Looking back on her life as a teen parent, Greta says “I don’t know how we did it. I think in life when we’re put in very tough circumstances, the best comes out of it. We become super-heroes. We have so much strength…we don’t even know where it came from!” #womeninconstruction #inspiringstories #storybehindhersuccess

Ann Ehrhart -117

Imagine being in commercial real estate during a pandemic. Retail stores, restaurants, bars and businesses are closed. Pretty scary, don’t you think? Meet Ann Ehrhart. Her colleagues call her the “master distiller” because she is able to listen, process information, articulate goals, take action, and solve problems. These days, Ann is using her skills 24/7 as she and her business partner help their clients navigate an unprecedented health crisis. A recognized leader in Boston’s commercial real estate industry, Ann launched Boston Urban Partners in 2010 with Jonathan Dutch. Together they have grown the firm into one of the region’s most successful real estate companies, facilitating close to 2 billion dollars in transactions. In 2019, Ann and JD took another leap of faith when they joined forces with architect Deniz Ferendeci to open Boston Urban Places. In this interview, Ann recalls her childhood in St. Louis, and her tight knit family where the message was always “to whom much is given, much is expected.” An accomplished equestrian, Ann says her competitive spirit has helped her win business and stay confident in a male dominated field. “I think one of the biggest keys to success is wanting something…being willing to get your butt kicked and to get back up and show up everyday.” A devoted wife to husband Andrew and mother of one year old Harrison, Ann is no stranger to the balancing act women in the workplace experience every single day. Her climb to the top and her perspective about what really matters in life will inspire you. Suggestion: download this episode and play it whenever you feel like you need a push in the right direction from someone who believes in taking chances! #womenincommercialrealestate #womenleaders #wereallinthistogether

Joyce Kulhawik pt2 -116

The lesson to me is always: GET UP. Don’t be afraid to get back up on your feet and keep going. -Joyce Kulhawik

Welcome back to part two of the story of a woman who has done so much with her life, we just couldn’t squeeze it all in one episode! Joyce Kulhawik is a force of nature. As a well-known arts & entertainment critic, she has interviewed just about every celebrity you can think of. But it is her intelligence, attention to detail, curiosity and spunk that make her the kind of interviewer Oprah, Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Steven Tyler and more love to sit down and talk to. In this interview, Joyce shares some of her favorite interviews, as well as the experience of covering the death of Princess Diana, live from outside Kensington Palace, and the horror of landing at JFK just 15 minutes before the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Her live coverage at Ground Zero would go on to receive numerous broadcast industry awards. No stranger to adversity in her personal life, Joyce shares her journey as a 3 time cancer survivor, her determination to be an advocate for anyone struggling with a cancer diagnosis, her very personal decision to have a child through surrogacy, and her powerful definition of “mother love”. The host of the Simmons Leadership Conference, Joyce is an in-demand “hostess with the mostest”. Her website: www.joyceschoices is a destination for legions of fans who value her reviews on arts and entertainment in Boston and beyond. More than anything else, this is an interview with a woman who is never complacent and understands the value of reinvention. Says Joyce: “I’m still trying to raise myself to be exactly who I am. I want to be the best self I can be.”  #inspiringstories  #reinvention  #theatre  #arts

Joyce Kulhawik pt1 -115

I come from a long line of working women. It wasn’t a matter of learning to have confidence, it was a matter of learning to work hard to get what one wanted and I knew that I would work hard to get whatever I wanted. -Joyce Kulhawik

Joyce Kulhawik is a trailblazer for women in the arts. As the first full-time arts reporter/critic in the United States, she broke down barriers for women in television and made it her mission to promote the importance of the arts in our lives. Raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut by loving, hard working parents, Joyce was the organist and soloist for her church, danced ballet, was the president of her senior class, and had no fear of public speaking. But Joyce says: “I just didn’t know what to do with all of that!” Always a “talker”, Joyce loved words, great writing, literature and critical points of view. When it came time to go to college, she double majored in Literature and Education and began a career as a high school english teacher that lasted about two years. She left her position with no other job to go to because she knew that teaching was not for her. The story of how Joyce ended up on television is two parts talent and one part old fashioned chutzpah. One of the original members of the Evening Magazine team in Boston, Joyce experienced “lightening in a bottle” on a show that would become the inspiration for copycat news magazine programs nationwide. As the longtime arts & entertainment reporter for WBZ, Joyce gave journalistic stature to arts reporting, winning numerous Emmys for the WBZ series “You Gotta Have Arts”, and her role in team coverage at Ground Zero. It wasn’t long before Joyce was tapped by Roger Ebert and Leonard Malton to co-host their nationally syndicated movie review shows. A three time cancer survivor, Joyce testified before Congress on the 20th anniversary of the National Cancer Act and has been a champion for the American Cancer Society, which honored her for her work with its National Bronze Medal. Her trailblazer legacy is reflected in her status as a member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, The New England Emmys Governor’s Award, an Honorary Doctorate in Communications from her alma mater, Simmons University and an endowed scholarship in her name at the Berklee College of Music. For a master class in what it takes to create the kind of career that has a pulse, and a purpose, download part one of the story of Joyce Kulhawik.  #theatre  #arts  #inspiringstories #womeninmedia