Hi everybody! I am so excited to share my conversation with the renowned Sister Mary Scullion, an incredible hero in Philadelphia who has been fighting to end chronic street homelessness since 1976. Although she is one of the most humble humans I have ever come across, her work has not gone unnoticed. She was named by Time Magazine one of the Most Influential People in the World in 2009 (alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey), received the Laetare Medal from The University of Notre Dame in 2011 (which is the highest award given to an American Catholic), was the Georgetown Commencement Speaker in 2017, and the list goes on!

Sister Mary is most well-known for co-founding Project HOME in 1989 with Joan Dawson McConnon. It is a nationally recognized organization that strives to end the chronic cycle of homelessness. The H stands for Housing, the O for Opportunities for Employment, the M for Medical Care, and the E for Education. The vision is that the homeless need a combination of Housing, Employment, Medical Care and Education to overcome poverty. Throughout our conversation, Mary takes us on the journey of how Project Home came into existence. She was kind enough to share the early setbacks she encountered and how she used grit and perseverance to stay committed.

30 years later, her grit certainly paid off. Project HOME has an established headquarters in Philadelphia, where I interviewed Sister Mary. I loved my time at the building, as it was amazing to see so many people working together to end homelessness. It really inspired me to get more involved! They have over 800 units of affordable and supportive housing: the Stephen Kline Wellness Center (which addresses the medical care for the homeless), the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (a state of the art four-story building that addresses the education needs), and they just recently partnered with Septa and the city of Philadelphia to open the Hub of Hope in Suburban Station in Philadelphia. It’s a safe place where the homeless can enjoy a warm cup of coffee, take a shower and wash laundry, and begin the process of finding a permanent home.

I also was very curious as to why so many of the homeless are often resistant to come off the streets. Sister Mary explains that, as with anything in life, you can’t force someone to do something—they have to be ready to do it. But if you keep gently shedding light on their significance, it could make the difference. So next time you pass a homeless person on the street, try to offer a smile! It might give them that confidence they need to take the first step in getting off the streets! Hope you guys enjoy!

Hi everybody! I always love when I have the opportunity to interview guests from my high school, Notre Dame Academy in Villanova. So far I have had Martie Gillin who is 82 years old and started the non-profit Speak-Up and I have had September Rinnier Votta who was a year above me and co-founded the online retailer Tuckernuck. And now I’m super excited to share my conversation with Maureen Doron, another Notre Dame Academy alum! Maureen lives right outside Philadelphia with her husband and three young sons. She has made quite the footprint along Philadelphia’s mainline – she founded Skirt Boutique (located in Bryn Mawr, PA) back in 2001 at the young age of 24. They sell amazing women apparel and accessories. She then went on to open two additional locations, one in Stone Harbor, NJ (a very popular shore town) and the third in Rittenhouse Square in the heart of Philadelphia. Maureen has had a tremendous amount of success at all three locations.

I had so much fun hearing all about how Maureen founded Skirt and what her entrepreneurial journey has been like over the past 17 years. She was kind enough to not only share the success stories but also how she handled the setbacks. What I love the most about Maureen is her really optimistic outlook on life, which all three of her store locations reflect. I always love visiting Skirt because all of the stylists who help me are full of positive and vivacious energy, and always make my search for the perfect outfit easy and fun. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Maureen as much as I did!

 

Books

The Gold Finch

Hug Your Customers

Go Take a Bath

Important Links

Skirt

 

Hi everybody! Very excited to share my conversation with my friend Laura Vanderkam – and special thanks to my older sister Mandy Hayden McConnell for connecting us! Laura currently lives right outside Philadelphia with her husband and four young children (10, 8, 6 and 3 ) – she is a super mom! Laura is the author of several time management and productivity books, including I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make The Most of Their Time, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think  (all of Laura’s book are included in the show notes).

Her work has appeared in countless publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, USA Today, Reader’s Digest and so many more. Laura has appeared on numerous television programs, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, hundreds of radio segments and has spoken about time, money, and productivity to audiences of all sizes. She even did a TED talk that has 5.5 million views!! Laura also launched a podcast a few months ago, around the same time as me. It’s called “The Best of Both Worlds” where she and her co-host Sarah Hart-Unger (who is a physician) discuss work/life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity and making time for fun. She even had Gretchen Rubin as a guest who has written several NY Times Bestsellers! Definitely check it out – their episodes are awesome.

I absolutely loved Laura’s humbleness, her perseverance during setbacks and her passion for what she does – please enjoy.

Books:

I Know How She Does It: How the Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

168 Hours: You Have More Time Thank You Think

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

Important Links:

Laura’s Podcast: “The Best of Both Worlds with Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger”

Laura’s Blog

I am excited to share my conversation with Mr. Stephen Siegel who, at age 73, is now the Chairman of CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company. The media has often described him as one of the most legendary real estate game changers and titans in NYC. Most importantly, the Wall Street Journal quoted him as the most generous man in the commercial real estate industry. Steve talks a lot about the importance of giving back and how he learned this way of life through his parents who didn’t have money to give back, but always gave back their time to help the less fortunate.

Steve came from a very humbling upbringing in the Bronx. He never graduated college, but his parents instilled values that inspired him to work tremendously hard. Steve landed in commercial real estate at the age of 17 and never stopped. Not only does he take us on a journey throughout his business career (and tells us fun stories about working with Donald Trump and other famous people along the way), but he was also kind enough to share honest stories such as: when his wife battled leukemia, when he decided to stop drinking, and how he got creative during some of the darkest economic downfalls. 

Also, please note that I kept some unedited parts in the conversation – the very beginning when Steve tells the story of how he and Bill Clinton prepare for speeches was not supposed to be recorded! But it’s a cool story so I left it in!!

I’m very excited to share my conversation with my friend September Rinnier Votta! She’s the co-founder of Tuckernuck, a retail destination curated for a classic, modern lifestyle and inspired by good old-fashioned fun. They sell women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, accessories, home décor, really awesome gift ideas, and so much more. September and I went to high school (Notre Dame Academy in Villanova) and then to the University of Pennsylvania together. She was a year older and was always super nice as one of the upperclassmen! In our interview, September tells us the story of how she co-founded Tuckernuck back in 2012 with Maddy Grayson and Jocelyn Gailliot.  Maddy and September are best friends from Penn and Jocelyn is Maddy’s older sister. The trio launched the company over Maddy and Joceyln’s parent’s garage in Georgetown in 2012.  Fast forward to 2018, they now have 22 employees,  have their own office and have opened a Tuckernuck flagship boutique store on M street in Georgetown. They also just finished their best quarter in sales as of date! September takes us through her journey of co-founding Tuckernuck while at the same time providing us with honest stories of her setbacks and failures and how she powers through them with the utmost positive attitude and energy. I really was so inspired by September’s hustle, her passionate enthusiasm for the Tuckernuck brand,  and her humbleness. Hope you enjoy my conversation with September as much as I did!

 

Books:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

 

This episode is brought to you by Maguire Hayden Real Estate Company (where I actually work). It is a commercial real estate fund based right outside of Philadelphia. We own and manage over 5 million square feet of office, industrial and lab space within a 300-mile radius of Philadelphia. If you or a friend or family member is looking for space to lease (whether it be a standard office or a warehouse space for storage or you might be in the pharmaceutical world and need lab space), we most likely will have an opportunity for you! As of right now, we own buildings in the Philadelphia suburbs, Virginia, Delaware, Pittsburgh and are always actively looking to purchase new properties within the 300-mile radius of Philly. Even if you are looking for space in NJ, NY or CT, please let me know because there is a really good chance we may be buying a building in that area that would have perfect space for you! You can contact me directly at shayden@haydenrei.com or visit www.maguirehayden.com for more info!

Hi everyone! Super excited to share my conversation with Dr. Kathleen Burke PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN. Her daughter, Katie, is one of my good friends from Penn, so I have only known Dr. Burke as Mrs. Burke (and that is what I will call her out of respect)!

Anyhow, Mrs. Burke has had an outstanding career in the nursing profession over the past 40 years – she has climbed the corporate ladder and now holds several executive positions at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Corporate Director of the Nursing Professional Development and Innovation, Co-Director of the Continuing Interprofessional Education, Advanced Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing at Penn, and a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics). She has a tremendous amount of wisdom and advice on how to navigate not only the business world but life in general. Mrs. Burke also tells us the humbling story of when she lost her husband in 2005 to cancer and through this adversity, she is able to offer a profound amount of inspiration, insight, and advice on how to handle losing a loved one. I really loved Mrs. Burke’s story and I hope you do too!

Books Mentioned:

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Hi everyone! Welcome to High Five Success Stories. I’m very grateful to all of you who have decided to tune in!

My podcast began by focusing on the success and inspirational stories of women, but over the last few weeks, I decided it was time to evolve the podcast by having guest male appearances from time to time!

My very first male guest appearance is my friend Eddie DiDonato! Eddie is from Blue Bell, PA. He went to LaSalle High School and then Villanova for college, where he was a standout lacrosse player and captain both junior and senior year! After college, he settled in Philadelphia and landed a job in the insurance industry, living a very normal post-college grad life.

On January 17, 2010, he had a couple college friends in town—it was actually the weekend of the Villanova vs. Georgetown basketball game. Eddie and his friends went out for a normal night in Philadelphia. They had a lot of fun catching up and hanging out. That normal night suddenly took a drastic turn and Eddie found himself getting shot six times: one shot in the hand, one in the shoulder and four in the abdomen. Throughout our conversation, Eddie tells us about life prior to being shot, the story of being shot, the recovery stage, and what life is like today. Although this is a heavy story, Eddie does a great job keeping the conversation light-hearted.  He is incredibly positive, hard-working, and humble. He has an amazing perspective on life that will do nothing short but inspire you to become the best version of yourself and to always, always, always be grateful for each and every day. Eddie is currently living his best life in Philadelphia. He is a teacher at Prep Charter School where he not only teaches history but also lends a listening ear to his students to help them through life’s struggles. Hope you enjoy Eddie’s story as much as I did!

Resources

Books:

The Magic: 28 Days of Gratitude by Rhonda Byrne
Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Rise like the Phoenix by Thomas Connelly

 

Important Links:

Head Strong Lacrosse
Behati Life
Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Hi everyone! I am excited to post my interview with my friend, Ann Schwarz! Ann lives in Gladwyne, PA, is married, has two grown sons in their late 30s, and has a handful of super cute grandchildren. Ann is one of the most humble and wonderful human beings. She is retired now, but was a teacher for 50 years–40 of which were spent at the Gladwyne Montessori school, making her quite the legend in Gladwyne!

Throughout our conversation, Ann talks about her 50 rewarding and gratifying years of teaching. She has a tremendous amount of wisdom, allowing her to offer valuable pieces of advice on how to live a fulfilling life. Ann stresses the importance of faith, volunteering, and paying things forward.  My favorite quotes from her are “less is more” and “this life is not a dress rehearsal” and “the best gift you can give a child is time.” She also talks about life’s hurdles, such as when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer 25 years ago, but by the grace of God, Ann was cured and got a 2nd chance at life! Lastly, Ann frequently refers to two of my past interviews: “Dealing with Adversity with Martie Gillin” and “Overcoming Addiction with Caroline Fenkel.” If you have a chance, definitely tune into Martie’s and Caroline’s interviews!

Hi everybody! I am super excited to share my conversation with Jill Cohen. Jill is married and has two daughters – Maggie (30) and Lizzie (26).  She has had a tremendously impressive and successful career in the book publishing industry, where she focuses on illustrated books for lifestyle design, architecture, fashion and pop culture. Any bet you have some of Jill’s beautiful masterpieces in your home or you have seen some of them in homes you have visited!

Jill has worked at several of the most prestigious publishing houses, holding some of the highest executive titles such as: President at Random House Direct Marketing, President at Conde Naste Books, VP of Business Development at QVC and President at Time Warner Book Group. In 2006, Jill took a leap of faith and started her very own publishing company called Jill Cohen Associates. Throughout our conversation, Jill not only takes us on her 30-year journey in the publishing industry, but also provides us with countless and valuable tactics and skills on how to be successful in the business world. I even told her a couple times that she should write a book on the secrets to success! I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jill as much as I did!

For more information on Jill, check out her website!

Hi everybody! I’m very excited to share my interview with my friend Pam McGonigle. Pam is in her late 40s and living in Ardmore with her husband and son. She is a development manager at The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Pam is a very genuine, honest person, and she has more grit than anyone I have ever met. Pam was born with albinism and, as a result, she has suffered from vision defects throughout her life. She is legally blind. However, that never stopped Pam from achieving anything extraordinary.

In our conversation, Pam talks about how she went to the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games for track. She tells us the story of the unfortunate setback she encountered in the 1500M race (just shy of 1 mile) in the 1992 Barcelona games, as well as how she courageously found grit and persevered in order to strike gold in the 3000M (2 mile) and bronze in the 800M (half mile). She tells us all about the concept of guide runners and dog guide runners as well – it is so cool!

Pam also tells us about how she sometimes sees her disability as a gift – when she encounters setbacks or failures, she is able to bounce back quickly because she is already wired to navigate challenging situations due to her disability. We also talk about her son JT, who she and her husband adopted from China when he was four years old. JT also has albinism, but just like mom, he doesn’t let that stop him – he is also a runner!  I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!