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
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
When I see something I really want to do, I get obsessed.
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
My music is a mixture of everything I listen to. It sits in my brain, it stews, and then it spits out GRACIFIED! –Grace Kelly
Have you ever met a prodigy? I have…and you can, too. Her name is Grace Kelly. Inspired by the music of Stan Getz and Paul Desmond, Brookline, MA. native Grace Kelly picked up the alto sax at age 10 and never looked back. Her incredible musical gifts were nurtured by her parents who provided both stability and freedom for Grace to grow as a singer, songwriter and saxophonist. She wrote her first song at 7, recorded her first CD at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Grace was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women To Watch in 2011 and recently, Billboard Magazine declared “Grace Kelly is making jazz young again”. Now 26, Grace has played over 800 concerts as a bandleader in over 30 countries around the world and is the winner of countless awards including multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, the Rising Star Award from Downbeat Magazine and most recently, the John Lennon Songwriters Award for her very personal love song Feels Like Home. We brought our equipment into Grace’s family home and spent some precious time with an incredibly humble and gifted young woman. @gracekellymusic @BWME #storybehindhersuccess #16LifeLessons #mydoveproductions
My short term memory was gone. I couldn’t multitask. I’d stumble over my words. I was anxious, depressed and exhausted. Chemo brain changed my whole life in a way that breast cancer should have, but didn’t. I had to raise the white flag. -Debra Doroni
As October 2019 comes to a close, we’re wrapping up our series on breast cancer survivors with the story of Debra Doroni. When she was diagnosed with the disease, it was the last thing she expected because she had no family history and no risk factors. Says Deb: “I never thought of cancer as something that could take my life.” As it turns out, it wasn’t the diagnosis, the surgery, or the recovery that brought this successful career woman to her knees. Instead, it was the effects of chemotherapy on her brain, aka: chemo brain. Born and raised in the little seaside town of Hingham, MA. Debra was no stranger to adversity. Her father was murdered when she was twelve years old and her life was forever changed: “I’m 52 years old now, and I still think about it everyday. Losing a parent to violence changes the way you proceed in life.” But proceed she did. Debra was a devoted student, an accomplished ballet dancer, and eventually made her way to Holy Cross, a Jesuit college in Worcester, MA where she majored in biology and later received her MBA in finance from Boston College. Her career trajectory has been steady and impressive with high ranking positions at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital where she was the Project Manager for the operating room process and eventually was promoted to lead the Department of surgery. When chemo brain sidelined her, Debra created a new and exciting next chapter as an executive coach, earning her certification at the Gestalt International Study Center and now runs her own company: Debra Doroni Leadership Partners, LLC. Her focus is in guiding healthcare professionals including an exclusive coaching relationship with the Boston College Woods College of Advancing Studies Master of Healthcare Administration Program. Says Deb: “I would like to leave a legacy, some kind of impact on the world. Clinical burn out and chemo brain look a lot alike! @BWME #storybehindhersuccess #16LifeLessons #mydoveproductions