I’m very excited to share my interview with my friend, Caroline Fenkel.

Caroline is 29 years old, married and a rock star in the alcohol and substance abuse recovery industry in the greater Philadelphia area. Caroline has been ten years sober since August 9th, 2007 – Go Caroline!

In this interview, Caroline tells her story of how she became sober and clean. I appreciate Caroline’s honesty as she provides us with several “rock bottom moments” that finally led her to go to rehab in August 2007. Caroline then tells us her amazing ten-year journey of not only being clean and sober but also becoming extremely successful in the recovery industry while simultaneously attending Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Caroline is working at Newport Academy, where she is the Director of the Center for Families in Malvern, PA.

We also discuss the complexity of the opioid epidemic in America, as well as how parents and grownups can help children entering middle school and high school from going off the grid and abusing substances by modeling healthy choices in their own lives. Quick statistics – in 1999, 4,000 people died from drug overdoses compared to 62,000 deaths in 2016. I learned SO much from Caroline in our interview, and I hope you do too!


Show Notes:

O2:06 Welcome Caroline

02:28 Hitting rock bottom

06:09 Ten years sober

06:23 What did the first year of recovery look like?

08:45 “Rat Park” Study

12:20 What happened when she returned from therapy?

15:32 How her career developed

17:47 Newport Academy

21:00 Starting the Center for Families

25:51 Family Background

26:35 Looking at and treating addiction as a disease

31:32 The Opioid Epidemic

40:50 How can you help kids from going off the grid and model healthy choices?

47:34 What would you tell your 25-year-old self?

48:52 When you think of success, who do you think of?

50:06 Learn more about the Center for Families

I am very excited to post my conversation with Jane Winchester Paradis!

I loved listening to Janie’s story – she is 44, married, living in Wayne, PA with her two children and three step children (all in their teens!).

Janie has a long history in the fashion industry.

She started in NYC after college and worked at Adrienne Vittadini, Calvin Klein and Barneys. In 1998, she started her own handbag line called Buzz by Jane Fox – it was a huge hit and was sold in lots of boutiques and major department stores, such as Neimans and Bergdorf Goodman.

Then in 2006, Lilly Pulitzer called and asked her to head up the accessories line so she moved to Philadelphia and had tons of success at Lilly for 11 years.

Just this past May, Janie decided to take a leap of faith and she left Lilly to start her own jewelry line called Jane Winchester – it launches next month!!

Take a look at her Instagram account to learn more (@jane_winchester_paradis).

So not only do we talk about Janie’s career journey from NYC to Philadelphia but we also cover a lot of topics including taking risks and seizing opportunities, climbing the corporate ladder, how to manage and deal with people in the workforce, finding a job you are passionate about, and so much more! I hope you guys enjoy!!



Show notes:

0:35 Family Background

10:50 9 years at Buzz with Jane Fox

18:48 What drove her?

22:18 How did she manage work with kids?

27:27 Thoughts on managing people

31:53 How she came up with the name

35:29 Launching on Black Friday

38:14 How to remain happy

40:45 Being grateful and appreciative

43:32 How to overcome failure

46:37 Implementing “grit” in life

50:39 Advice to your 30 year old self

Hi everybody!

This week I’m interviewing Martie Gillin!

Martie Gillin and her late husband, Bob Gillin, had 10 children, 27 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  Happy early birthday to Martie – she turns 81 on October 19th! Martie is one of my favorite people – she has humbly touched so many people’s lives in profound ways. In this interview, Martie covers a range of topics, including her top priorities – the 4Fs – Faith, family, friends and forgiveness. I especially love her advice on raising children and how listening is the most important quality to practice. We also touch on when Martie lost her late son, Bobby Gillin, to Aids in 1992 – he was just 30 years old but in those 30 years she talks about how he made such a difference in every single life he came across. Bobby asked Martie to help break the silence of a whispered disease, so she began doing HIV/AIDS awareness talks in schools. These talks then inspired Martie to start a nonprofit organization called SpeakUp which is a powerful movement that promotes open, honest communication about the challenges facing today’s youth. She partnered with schools all over the mainline and greater Philadelphia area to bring their youth, educators and parents together for courageous conversations where the young people could be themselves and be honest about the reality of their lives and find guidance and support.

Awards include but are not limited to: University of Notre Dame “Women of Distinction” Award, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Humanitarian, St. Francis Country House Award, Maynooth College-Ireland Award, The Catherine McAuley Award, Philadelphia Eagles “Fly for Leukemia Award,” The Holy Child Cornelia Connelly Award, The Visiting Nurses Caring Huntington’s Disease Society of America Award, Catholic Youth Organization Award.


Show notes

0:44 Early life

6:08 How she applied ‘grit’ to life

10:17 How to step out of your comfort zone?

14:09 Dealing with the naysayers

15:58 How to deal with competition with siblings?

20:10 Dealing with someone new joining the family

22:36 Taking interest in others

24:50 Advice for new parents

28:35 Dealing with Loss of a child

34:00 Comforting after a loss

42:30 A higher power gives you hope

45:08 How to get over a bad day?

46:51 Gratitude practice for every night

49:11 Speak Up! – turning personal tragedy into a business

55:46 Border story

58:42 What is success?

Welcome to another episode of High Five Success Stories!

This week I’m interviewing my friend Katie Foote (Dr. Catherine Foote), the owner of Foote Orthodontics. She has locations in Bryn Mawr, PA and Wayne, PA. Katie has built a strong clientele from all over the mainline and greater Philadelphia area. She has been recognized by her peers for her proficiency in orthodontics. She has been recognized in Philadelphia Magazine’s “Top Dentist” issue every year since 2010. She has also been voted Top Dentist by Main Line Today annually from 2010-2017!  

Katie is 39 and married with three adorable children (she just had her 3rd baby this past June!). She is also the oldest of 7 children. What I absolutely love about Katie is that she’s full of positive energy and practices gratefulness every single day, even when times are tough! Listen closely and you’ll hear she uses “grateful” several times throughout the interview.

In this interview, she tells us about the challenges she faced after graduating from Penn, and how she eventually figured things out and opened her first location at the age of thirty. She also goes into the story of how she lost her father the year she opened her practice, and how she didn’t get married to her husband until the age of thirty-five. My biggest takeaway after talking to Katie is to always play the long game in life.  You have to muscle through the challenges in life before you see the rewards. And if you really want something, opportunities WILL appear. You just have to be open to them!

Show notes

3:05 How was grad school for doctors?

6:48 Wanted to open her own practice by 27

12:17 When did you meet your husband?

16:56 How she handled the business with a second child

18:16 Worked half-days

19:39 Nobody can do it alone

21:04 What was the best advice she received?

26:17 Never settle

30:12 Everyone has their own path

31:42 Being ok with failing

32:57 How old were you when your father passed away?

40:32 Applying grit to life

41:13 Her favorite failure?

47:42 Don’t compete with others

48:06 Who do you think of when you think of success

52:45 What advice would you give your 30 year old self?