Monthly Archives: March 2023

Cindy Stumpo: Founder, C. Stumpo Development -231

I’m a businesswoman with old-fashioned values:  loyalty, tenacity, and a burning desire to be successful. – Cindy Stumpo

Cindy Stumpo has been paving the way for women in construction for decades. At only 23 and just days away from giving birth to her daughter Samantha, Cindy was the only woman in the room when she sat for hours to take her general contractor’s exam and would sell her first million-dollar home at 24.  In an industry dominated by men, Cindy is a role model for women in the trades and has built a multi-million-dollar luxury home construction business based on her “grindit out” motto. Her opulent floor plans coupled with attention to detail caught the attention of executives at HGTV and Cindy quickly became the star of the popular series Tough As Nails.  In this interview, her unstoppable personality is on full display with tough love for anyone listening. Say’s Cindy: “You’re not a loser as long as you keep picking yourself up. You’re a loser the day you don’t pick yourself up. That’s the day you quit on you.”  Born and raised on the Northshore of Boston as a child and then as a teenager in upscale Newton in a loving Italian-Jewish family, Cindy looked to her father for guidance when she wasn’t sure what to do with her life.  His response guides her to this day:  “Everybody’s got their talents and you’ve got yours.  When you find something you love to do, there’s not going to be anybody who is better at it than you.”  An advocate for speaking openly about mental illness, Cindy has dealt with anxiety and panic attacks for 26 years, sharing her story in the hopes of inspiring others. The host of the radio show Tough as Nails with Sam, Cindy is proud of her son Chad and delighted to see her daughter follow in her footsteps as a second-generation general contractor and founder of Newbrook Realty Group. Cindy Stumpo is a trailblazer with her boots on the ground every day.   “Obstacles?  I’m an excavator, says Cindy.  I just keep on pushing that rock up the mountain. “ #construction #luxuryhomes #determination #perseverance 

Gemima St. Louis, Ph.D.: Clinical Psychologist, William James College -230

Mental Illness affects everyone across all domains.  It doesn’t matter what your cultural background is, or your socio-economic background. It’s really an equal-opportunity illness that affects everyone. -Gemima St. Louis, Ph.D.

A recent survey shows that 90% of Americans believe our country is experiencing a mental health crisis.  Fortunately, Gemima St. Louis is leading the way toward solving this problem by creating groundbreaking programs that will train a diverse generation of mental health professionals at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Port au Prince Haiti, Gemima and her family immigrated to the United States, landing in Boston on a cold day in January without winter clothing!  At only 14, Gemima did not speak the language and found herself in a high school classroom surrounded by teenagers from other countries who were also learning how to speak the language and understand American culture. Her parents raised 5 children with a sense of social responsibility, Gemima was told that she could become anything she set her mind to and that education would be the key to success.  All she had to do was remember where she came from and “reach back to bring those you left behind along with you.   Armed with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Gemima is now the mother of three children and the Vice President of Workforce Initiatives & Speciality Training, and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology.  Determined to be a change-maker when it comes to disparities in access to mental healthcare, Gemima says:  You really have to rely on your networks of support to move systemic barriers. One person can try and it is exhausting, but when you are surrounded by others with a shared passion, you can move mountains. “   #mentalhealth #stigma

Joanna Dutra: Founder, The Creative Confidant, -229

When we talk about people, it’s very easy to talk about the things we don’t do well. We easily go to our weaknesses. My job is to encourage people to think about their strengths and what makes them a leading product. -Joanna Dutra

Today’s story is all about using our gifts, talents, and collective experience to create a new chapter in our lives. Joanna Dutra plays the piano and the violin. She sings and she’s even a stand-up comedian. After spending 20 years developing brand identities for Fortune 500 companies, she decided it was time to use her skills to help people instead of products. As the founder of The Creative Confidant. Joanna is sharing what she knows with clients who come to her in search of a personal brand that reflects “who they are and where they stand.” In this interview, Joanna credits her grandfather with inspiring her work ethic. Born in Italy, he came to the United States at 9, unable to speak English. His compelling personality and zest for life propelled his personal and financial success story despite many obstacles. The way he lived his life became a roadmap for Joanna. A graduate of Georgetown University, it was Joanna’s love of sports that brought her to Boston where she has remained for decades, raising two daughters who inspire her every day. A big believer in taking chances, Joanna says: “We don’t grow when we are comfortable. We only grow when we are uncomfortable.” For 24 minutes of passion, purpose, and high-spirited wisdom just hit that download button. #passion #confidence #coaching

Carrie Allen: Managing Partner, Captains of Innovation, -228

It’s hard to Innovate because It’s not a linear process, it’s often circuitous. So if you fail, pick yourself up and learn from it. You might go in a new direction. -Carrie Allen

Having a great idea and acting on it, nurturing it into reality, and believing in its merit is a lot like finding buried treasure at the bottom of the ocean. If your idea works, the rewards are huge. Carrie Allen has spent her career focused on innovation: helping people steward new ideas, methods, and products. Her clients are trailblazers who have taken great ideas and turned them into dreams come true to form thriving businesses. As Managing Partner of CIC Captains of Innovation in Cambridge, MA. she and her team provide bespoke white glove innovation consulting from new idea generation to commercialization, and in the process, is creating a global network of doers and dreamers in a city that is home to both MIT and Harvard. Says Carrie: “the companies that succeed are those that can navigate ambiguity.” Raised in Kentucky by her father, after her parent’s divorce divided the family in two, Carrie admits to learning how to be resilient as a child and names her beloved grandmother as her role model. Her passion and determination are evident in everything she does, including taking on work-life balance in a blended family with love and grace, while scratching her own creative itch with handcrafted linens she markets through her website: For a brief encounter with a creative guru, hit that download button. #innovation #entrepreneur

Francesca Amari Part 2: Cabaret Singer -227

I don’t need to be a big star.  I don’t have to be defined by how much money I’m making.  If I’m performing, that is success to me. – Francesca Amari

Welcome to part 2 of my conversation with uber-talented cabaret singer Francesca Amari. Recorded in my rental car, in the parking lot of a hotel beside a highway in Thousand Palms, California, this interview is full of wisdom for anyone with a dream. Francesca has been singing for decades and through it all, she has maintained a career as an entertainer on her own terms:  “Your dream might need to include options and you might need to do other things that fuel your passion.”  A lifelong fan of the music of Linda Ronstadt and the genius of Gilda Radner, Francesca has created tributes to both women that are instant sellouts. Her award-winning weekly live stream performance called Cocktails & Cabaret was launched in 2020 as a way to stay connected to her fans and is thriving 150 weeks later!  In this interview, you’ll hear Francesca singing stunning harmonies with the Boogie Woogie Babie as well as clips from her favorite theatre performances, plus, she’ll explain her philosophy about sharing the stage with others and the key to her success which works no matter what you do for a living.  Says Francesca:  “Be authentic and real.  Don’t try to make your life seem like what it’s not.  Tell the truth.“   #cabaretsinger #lindaronstadt #gildaradner #palmsprings #carkaroke