I am super excited to share my podcast interview with my friend Gwenn Daniels Nolan. I am especially excited about this podcast because Gwenn is a fellow Notre Dame Academy alum, she is one of my sister’s best friends, and she is making a huge, positive impact on our environment every single day!

Gwenn founded Mother Compost in 2018 with the goal of making composting simple and easy for her fellow Philadelphia Mainline residents. For those of you not familiar with what composting is, it is the next evolution of recycling. When you compost, you sort out organic materials (food waste, yard waste, household waste) at home that can be turned into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. So Gwenn, being a mother to three kids herself, was frequently frustrated by the amount of food waste her household created and recognized that her pile in the backyard couldn’t handle it all. In addition, she knew many people would love to compost but were short on the time, space, or energy needed to turn their food scraps into fertilizer. She started the company by asking 10 friends to convert to composting and let her test the idea of a collection service. After a month and overwhelmingly positive feedback, Mother Compost officially opened its doors and began building its composting community. 

Now in its 3rd full year of operation, MC has over 500 subscribers and has rescued roughly 450,000 pounds of organic materials from the landfill. They partner with the team at Kitchen Harvest Inc, which processes all materials at Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA, and helps us keep these vital nutrients in our neighborhood. So an example of how it works – My sister Tara and her husband Jeff and their three little ones (Kate, Quinn, and Rhys) are subscribed to Mother Compost. Every two weeks, they leave their composting bucket by end of their driveway where Gwenn and her team pick it up and take it to Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA. Then in April and May, Gwenn and her team return nutrient-rich fertilizer to Tara which she is able to use in her backyard! Tara and Jeff have been composting for over two years now and they absolutely love it. Gwenn will go into more detail on the composting process during our interview. Hope you all enjoy!

I am so excited to share my podcast interview with my friend Caroline Wright Turnipseed who just launched her very own company – CWT Consulting Group! Prior to launching her company, Caroline spent 10 years leading teams in all areas of marketing at a variety of different companies such as Lilly Pulitzer ($250M), Victoria’s Secret ($7B), and Gal Meets Glam ($35M).

After creating a vast network of connections at all three companies and becoming an expert in all things marketing, this past February Caroline decided to launch CWT Consulting Group which is a full-service marketing partner fueling incredible growth for new-to-market and established brand clients. Fun fact: some of her clients include past podcast guests such as Marghi Walters Adzick of Addison Bay, Janie Winchester Paradis of Jane Win Jewelry, and Tuckernuck!  Caroline has incredible grit and a can-do, figure-it-out attitude. I am so excited to continue to watch Caroline grow her company!   

Check out CWT Consulting Group: https://www.cwtconsultinggroup.com/about

Hi everyone! I am super excited to share my second podcast interview with the amazing sister-duo Lauren Dudley Stephens and Kaki Dudley McGrath, the two co-founders of Dudley Stephens. They launched the company with their iconic flagship Cobble Hill Turtleneck Fleece in 2015 which immediately had success because they are comfortable, timelessly stylish, eco-friendly, durable, and last upon wear.  They have had so much success with their flagship fleeces that they now have expanded the business tremendously by including dresses, pants, outerwear products for men and children and so much more.

Throughout our interview, they take us on their incredible journey over the past 5+ years. They touch on the high points, such as partnering up with Gwyneth Paltrow’s company Goop, being featured in Oprah Magazine, their partnership with Tuckernuck and so many other major milestones.

As always, they also are incredibly humble and down-to-earth and not afraid to share their setbacks, such as how they navigated the impacts of COVID-19. I hope you all enjoy my conversation with these amazing sisters as much as I did!

Dudley Stephens website: https://www.dudley-stephens.com/
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino | @juliadags | https://juliadags.com/

The second episode of how my past podcast guests have navigated COVID-19 is now live! This episode includes Maureen Doron of Skirt Boutique (1:12), Liz Finegan McKee of LSF Pilates (27:40), Christine and Nick Kondra of Cornerstone Bistro (46:27), Alexa Buckley of Margaux Shoes, and (1:13:47) Joanne Cloack of Jofit (1:35:46).

I had so much fun reconnecting with these past guests and I continue to be blown away by their resiliency and creative responses to COVID-19. Just as a reminder of how these interview series work, each interview is around 20-25 minutes long. I then combine these shorter style interviews into a total of three episodes. The first episode went live on January 5th, 2021, and included Marghi Walters Adzick of Addison Bay, Laura Vandkeram – Time Management Expert, Lisi Lerch of Lisi Lerch Jewelry, Neely and Chloe Burch of Neely & Chloe, and Dr. Foote of Foote Orthodontics. If you haven’t tuned into that episode, definitely do so – they were all amazing!

I also have additional interviews with past podcast guests that I am combining into a third episode which will be released over the next couple of months and I can’t wait to share that episode! Hope you all enjoy!

I am so excited to feature my former track coach, Ken Abney, on the podcast—someone who has made a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of so many others. For over 20 years, Coach Ken led the United Stars Track Club of Philadelphia consisting of 95% inner-city young Black women and 5% young white women.

Over the course of his coaching career, he helped over 70 young athletes receive track scholarships to colleges and universities all over the country. Without Coach Ken, there is no way I would have had the opportunity to get into Penn to run track. 

Due to the consistent systemic racism in the U.S., many of these young Black women might not have had the opportunity to go to college, but Coach Ken made it happen. I am honored to feature someone who has sacrificed so much of his personal time and energy for the good of all.

Hi everyone! I did several interviews in the fall/winter of 2020 with past podcast guests on how they have navigated the business effects of COVID-19. I have had so much fun reconnecting with these past podcast guests and I am blown away by their resiliency and creative responses to COVID-19.  Each interview is around 20-25 minutes long and I will be combining these shorter style interviews into a total of 3 episodes.

The 1st episode is now live and I am so excited to share it with everyone. It includes 5 of my past guests: Marghi Walters Adzick of Addison Bay, Laura Vanderkam – Time Management Expert, Lisi Lerch of Lisi Lerch Jewelry, Neely and Chloe Burch of Neely & Chloe, and Dr. Catherine Foote of Foote Orthodontics. 

I also have 10 additional interviews with past podcast guests that I am combining into a 2nd and 3rd episode which will be released over the next couple of months and I can’t wait to share those! Hope you all enjoy!

Time Stamps:

Marghi Walters Adzick of Addison Bay: 58-second mark

Laura Vanderkam – Time management Expert: 19:50 mark

Lisi Lerch of Lisi Lerch Jewelry: 40:57 mark

Neely and Chloe Burch of Neely & Chloe : 58:49 mark

Dr. Catherine Foote of Foote Orthodontics: 1:29:26 mark

I am super excited to share my podcast with Buck Buckley, an incredible and powerful Philadelphia entrepreneur! Buck grew up in Bethlehem, PA and went to Episcopal Academy for high school and UNC for college. He now resides right outside Philadelphia with his wife, Susan, and two children.

Buck began his career as a loan officer and then joined Safeguard Scientifics at age 27 where he started from the bottom and quickly climbed the ladder to Vice President of Acquisitions. For anyone not familiar with Safeguard Scientifics, it was founded by legendary Pete Musser. It was a venture capital firm and they were the first to invest in companies such as Comcast and QVC. Pete is often credited with creating the venture capital community in Philadelphia and so many of its successful entrepreneurs.

In the 1990s, Buck spent a significant amount of his time at Safeguard on the west coast and became familiar with “the internet.” At that time, no one quite knew what the internet had the capacity to do to our world but Buck had an inkling it was going to be huge. As a result, in 1996 he decided to launch his own venture capital firm: Internet Capital Group with Ken Fox. In August 1999, the company went public and was trading at $12 per share. By December 1999, the company was trading at over $200 a share which is equivalent to $50 billion and Buck was considered one of the most influential leaders in the early internet age.  Then in 2001, the dot-com crash happened and the stock plummeted to $12 a share. Everyone told Buck to file for bankruptcy but he didn’t give up.

Instead, he pivoted his business model and had an incredible comeback. He transitioned the company to Actua Corporation and instead of investing in multiple companies, they only invested in a few core companies. In 2017, the company sold its 3 majority-owned businesses and doubled its investors’ shares.  Today, he is now building his new company called Seminal Capital. Please enjoy! 

Books

  1. “His Excellency: George Washington” by Joseph Ellis
  2. “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO” by Bob Iger

Hi everyone! I thought it would be super helpful and informative to interview a handful of my past podcast guests to see what sort of impacts COVID-19 has had on their business and how they have responded. I am doing the interviews throughout October and November and each will be 15-20 minutes long. I will then combine all of the interviews into 1 large episode that I will launch in December. As a preview of what these interviews will be like, I wanted to share my podcast with past guest Janie Winchester Paradis, the owner and founder of Jane Win Jewelry. I interviewed Janie exactly 3 years ago in October 2017 when she had just left Lilly Pulitzer and was weeks away from launching her company. Fast forward three years, Janie and I did a phone interview last Friday, October 16th and she told us all about how she has navigated the effects that COVID-19 has had on her business. Not only do I love Jane Win jewelry but Janie is one of my most favorite people—her positive energy is infectious and her persistence and grit are inspiring! Please enjoy!

Check out Jane Win jewelry here: https://janewin.com/

So excited to share my conversation with my friend Mike Vaughan, Former Chief Operating Officer of Venmo. Mike was born and raised right outside of Philly where he went to the Hill School and then graduated from Penn in 1997. He currently lives right outside Philly with his wife and two sons.

Mike takes us on the journey of how Venmo was founded by two Penn graduates! He joined the team in the early days of 2011 when their headquarters were still in a small apartment in Philly and there were only a few people on the team. Since day one, Mike was the Chief Operating Officer of Venmo, where he played a major role in helping build the company from the ground up.

Today Venmo is consistently in the list of the Top 20 Apps in the world, but what’s important to remember is that just like every start-up, Venmo experienced a great amount of adversity in those beginning days. In fact, they almost shut down in 2012 when they were days away from not being able to meet payroll. Thankfully, a company called Braintree came along, saw the potential in Venmo, and bought them for $26.2M in 2012. Then PayPal acquired them for $800M in 2013. Mike left Venmo in 2019 and is now an Executive in Residence for Oak HC/FT, a venture growth equity fund investing in financial technology and healthcare information and services. Hope you guys enjoy Mike’s story as much as I did!

In light of COVID-19, I did a last-minute special podcast interview this past Monday, March 23 with Father Rob Hagan of Villanova. He is most well known for being an incredible asset to the Villanova University Community, where he is both the basketball and football Chaplain and Senior Athletic Director. He is also well known for providing valuable life lessons—my hope is that our podcast conversation will help people navigate and process the effects of the coronavirus. My favorite piece of advice is when he urges listeners to “protect” themselves and their loved ones: P: pray, R: read, O: offer it up, T: give thanks E: exercise C: check-in with someone T: take 3 deep breaths, all will be well.”

A couple of cool facts on Father Rob: Coach Jay Wright gave him the honor of being the last person to cut down the net after the 2018 Championship game. Coach Wright remarked the following about Father Rob: 

“I think every player and every member of our staff will tell you Father Rob is one of the greatest men any of us have in our lives. He has been an integral part of the program and my life, I count on him as a dear friend. Our whole team and staff attend a prayer service before every game. It starts with Father Rob doing a reading from the Bible and then a homily. He’s never talking about the game, he’s talking about life—and what kind of men we are and what kind of Christians we are. I always joke with Father: don’t make us cry before the game!!”

Coach Jay Wright

Also, if you enjoy this interview, please check out the original podcast interview I did with Father Rob in November 2018 where he provides not only life lessons but also his unique journey to becoming an Augustinian priest. Please enjoy!

Apps to check out:

Jesus Calling: https://www.jesuscalling.com/app/

Laudate App: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/laudate-1-catholic-app/id499428207