Monthly Archives: December 2022

Lisa Murray: President, Citizens Bank of MA -218

I’m sort of like the Oprah Winfrey of banking. I like to ask a thousand questions and figure out where everyone is going and how I can help. -Lisa Murray

Lisa Murray knows banking. She’s been involved in the industry since she graduated from the University of Connecticut and has been climbing the ladder to the top ever since. As the President of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, she represents the bank in an official capacity with civic, business, and community leaders across the state. You would think that job alone would monopolize all of her time, but wait, there’s more. Lisa is also the Director of Not for Profit & Professionals Banking, leads an initiative called Citizens Helping Citizens, and is a member of the Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Education. Her personal commitment to charities large and small throughout the commonwealth is a reflection of her leadership style as a team player “I want to roll up my sleeves and dig in” says Lisa. “I want to be an advocate for others and always do the right thing.” This interview is full of wisdom from Lisa Murray, including this life lesson: “Don’t take yourself too seriously. I laugh at myself all the time and that helps to keep things in perspective. If you get too far in front of yourself, you miss the details. For a tutorial in the art of achieving AND giving back, just hit that download button. #citizensbank #banking #womeninfinance

Kala Farnham: Connecticut State Troubadour -217

Music is my first language.  It’s the way I learned to express and process my feelings.
-Kala Farnham

Kala Farnham is a gifted musician, singer, and songwriter who grew up in a house full of music. Her parents were a successful folk duo who encouraged musical exploration and weren’t at all surprised when Kala started playing the piano at three. As she grew up, Kala added guitar, banjo, dulcimer, harp, and more. In this interview, she reveals being very shy and says that her early songwriting was “a messy, outpouring of emotion.”   As the Connecticut State Troubadour, Kala’s vision is to inspire her audiences through the transformative power of musical storytelling. She has garnered many awards including the 2020 Falcon Ridge Festival Emerging Artist Award and is the 2019 Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Contest winner.  Her advice to songwriters?  “Write what you are afraid to write about and tune into your gifts to find a way to transform and serve the lives around you.” For an up-close and personal interview with an emerging folk artist with a voice and a heart of gold, just hit that download button.  #folkmusic #singer #songwriter #connecticut

Anita Silvey: The Fairy Godmother of Children’s Literature -216

As long as love infuses everything I do, I’m in the place I want to be. -Anita Silvey

Armed with a firm belief that children’s books change lives, Anita Silvey has spent her entire career in children’s literature as an editor, a literary critic, and as an author. Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Anita recalls being one of those kids whose idea of heaven involved a cozy chair and a pile of books from the local library. The daughter of a college-educated teacher and the former head of communications during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima, Anita graduated from the University of Indiana with a degree in education and soon made her way to Boston in an old VW bug with her boyfriend and her cat. It wasn’t long before she landed a job in the children’s department at Houghton Mifflin where she would launch her legendary career as the fairy godmother of children’s literature. In this interview, Anita shares many stories about famous authors she has worked with as well as the mindset a great children’s book author or editor must have: “We have a very high memory of our childhood. We remember the feelings of our childhood, and inside us are all the layers of our lives. “ The author of many books including Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators, 100 Best Books for Children, 500 Great Books for Teens and Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, Anita Silvey is a national treasure. For a tutorial on how to make it in the world of children’s literature, just hit that download button. #childrensbooks #publishing #hougtonmifflin #library

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