John Rodella is the founder of RoData, a Pittsburgh-based pioneer and leading nationwide developer of digital classrooms, presentation and board rooms with all the technology you can imagine – including a newly introduced immersive telepresence suite of products. As technology continue to shape how we interact with one another, John’s team of experts have developed new products and crafted custom solutions for 25 years to solve their clients’ problems, often doing what experts say cannot be done. Press on!
Lt Commander Chris Palmenberg juggles three full lives at once. A US Naval Academy graduate who spent years in surface warfare deployments around the world, Chris continues to serve our country through the Naval Reserves based out of Tucson. He is also an Application Architect for one of Parametric Technologies’ software systems servicing a diverse set of domestic industrial clients, involved in the design-for-sustainability movement. Last but not least, Chris is a very active father of four active boys, a “job” that definitely benefits from working from a home office.
Ed Berenson is professor of history and director of the Institute of French Studies at New York University. He is the author or editor of six books on 19th and 20th century French, British, and U.S. history, and in the spirit of July 4th patriotism, his newly released book is on The Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most beloved of all American symbols. The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Journey is chalk full of little-known stories of the statue’s improbable beginnings, transatlantic connections, and the enduring, changing meanings it has held for each successive American generation.
Diane Dolinsky-Pickar is co-founder of MoJo40.com, a blog focused on helping job seekers particularly over age 40 reclaim their energy, motivation, confidence and focus. A serial entrepreneur with digital marketing and lead generation background, Diane launched the site in late 2010 from New York while facing her own transition challenges. Today MoJo40.com offers entertaining articles, tips and tricks, step-by-step guides, trends, and tools on networking in our rapidly changing digital world. Over 600 subscribers and 5,000 new visitors each month are now keeping tabs on Diane.
Christie Mellor is a humorous, vociferous cheerleader for the "other kind of parenthood," the anti-perfection, you-deserve-a-life kind. Her internationally acclaimed first book, The Three-Martini Playdate, helped parents withstand the unceasing and overbearing pressure to raise perfect, highly enriched offspring. Christie’s recently released fifth book equips parents to navigate the personal change that is tied to their children’s moving up and out, specifically going from high school to college: Fun without Dick and Jane: Your Guide to a Delightfully Empty Nest.
Kamin Bell Samuel started her professional career as the U.S. Navy's first female African-American helicopter pilot. Kamin transitioned to business and enjoyed expanding responsibilities for many years in the corporate world of web design and online merchandising, before shifting to entrepreneurship. Learning first hand from both success and failure, she currently assists small businesses and women entrepreneurs increase their success by utilizing web strategy to enhance an ability to grow wealth. Kamin’s book Journey to Abundance outlines keys to wealth and fulfillment.
Marge Pellegrino is a word wild, book bonkers, library lunatic. An award-winning author and teaching artist, Marge regularly invites students of all ages to be inspired in their writing through a variety of springboards and techniques including the magic of nature. Marge’s essays, articles and poetry have been published in regional and national publications. She has facilitated expressive arts workshops since 1991, and her Owl & Panther project of The Hopi Foundation has served refugee families for twelve years.
Dr. Enrico Moretti is a rising young economist from UC Berkeley respected for diverse research on changing labor markets, social learning, and health trends. His new book is The New Geography of Jobs, a contemporary examination of innovation and success and where to find both in America. Is where you live hindering your career? Should we not only consider what we do for a living, but from where we are doing it? Enrico’s multi-year study confirms that geography is a key determinant of professional growth amidst business innovation. He challenges us to consider regional, state and national policy actions to be considered to level the playing field for those less mobile.
Firuzeh Mehrabani is the founder of the highly regarded Acupuncture and Allergy Clinic in Tucson. It was her own mid-90’s journey to overcome disabilities related to Lyme disease that closed her first career door in family counseling, to lead to opening a new door. Today she helps people detox safely with minimal stress (or healing crises), applying Oriental medicine principles with an electro-dermal bio-feedback system to guide homeopathic and herbal remedies. She advises all clients to explore different practitioner and healing modalities to help yourself.
Charles Lolmaugh is a talented acoustic guitarist, songwriter, recorder and music producer whose band Syco Twins performed heavy rock to 80’s ballads with a touch of blues. They once opened for the legendary rock group Blue Oyster Cult. Charles stretched himself a few years ago to expand his techniques to include alternative country. Enjoy listening to three songs from his new CD, one inspired by how his life changed in meeting his wife, the second with his mother in mind and her battle against cancer, and a third about his faith in God. Charles believes faith and patience enable a path of change, particularly when one cannot see the end of the journey – if there ever is one.
Lisa Arie is a master at navigating the unknown, moving from the fast-paced, high-strung, anything-goes jungle of advertising in New York City where she established two high successful companies, to founding Vista Caballo Innovation Ranch in Colorado. Vista Caballo is an exclusive learning center which offers experiences with horses for people (individuals and small groups) who want to become their best selves and learn to make decisions without fear or assumptions. Lisa believes anything is possible, and that means the rules as you know them today are obsolete.
Mark Beres and Marc Moeller are co-founders of Flying Leap Vineyards, an establishment in its second of a 12-year plan as a 100 acre vineyard, winery and tasting room complex in southern Arizona. Fast friends since their college days at the United States Air Force Academy, Mark and Marc are aeronautical engineers and pilots who have roots deep in the wine industry. Mark grew up working in the vineyards of a region of Washington State, and Marc is a first generation American whose Swiss family has been in the European wine business for many generations. They have “taken a leap” together to launch a new phase of their careers.
Dr. Tina Seelig leads Stanford’s Technology Ventures Program and is the director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways. A popular, entertaining professor with a PhD in neuroscience, Tina is an expert dedicated to sparking new ideas amidst reshaping the intersection of technology, engineering and education. Her new book, inGenius, is a crash course in creativity, skills vital to navigating personal and organizational change that she proves we can mindfully learn and reawaken.
Dr. Gregg Johnson is the Campus Director of University of Phoenix's four Southern Arizona outposts. While working in religious education on a national and international level for over 30 years, Gregg joined upstart, for-profit University of Phoenix as a part time instructor in 1994. He is part of leading an evolving new model for higher education in the 21st century that offers multiple distance learning modalities, fully exercising the power of adaptable, flexible and cost-effective internet and mobile technologies, along with a blend of individual learning and real time collaboration.
Greta Ward of Droplet Studios is a multi-talented web designer, photographer, musician, and self-taught artist who took a leap of faith three years ago to move from Boston to Tucson, looking for refreshing life changes and a new supportive community. Her goal was to focus 100% on fine art painting as her livelihood, which has led her to into a dramatic, prolific and successful period in her work. Spurred by the love of the Sonoran Desert environment, Greta relishes the freedoms of her new career, discovering a new palette, more diverse techniques, and subject matter spanning portraits to animals.
Rick Darling’s career spans over 40 years in the automotive business, from tinkering with all things mechanical as a kid, to studying mechanical engineering with summer internships at Chevrolet Engineering, engine design and testing, and the ultimate “car guy dream job,” vehicle development at the GM Proving Grounds in Michigan & Arizona. Rick was chief engineer/team manager for a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle that set a 207 mph land speed record at the iconic Bonneville Salt Flats. One of his (and Zara’s) favorite quotations is from racing legend Mario Andretti: “If you think you are under control, you are likely not driving fast enough”.
Dr. Gordon Livingston is a graduate of West Point who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam. A psychiatrist and best-selling author, Gordon’s fifth and newest release is The Thing You Think You Cannot Do: 30 Truths about Fear and Courage. Gordon challenges readers to face fear and embracing courage, as he did losing his two sons within 13 months to suicide and leukemia. He believes like any virtue, bravery is manifest in our habitual actions – staying true to an ideal, standing up for the powerless, or refusing to crumble beneath the weight of time.
Tiana Ronstadt is a Tucson-based investment adviser representative and vibrant lecturer, workshop facilitator and educator. Under the banner of Power Women Investing founded in 2006, Tiana’s mission is to empower individuals to reach their most ambitious dreams by gaining financial independence. She focuses on educating investors to get and keep their “financial picture” in the open, and mindfully balance expenditures and savings through contemporary instruments for today and the typical unpredictable future.
Meryl Hershey Beck is a former high school and community college teacher and a licensed counselor specializing in 12-Step Recovery and food abuse issues. She is an expert in and teacher of integrative medicine energy exploration and management techniques to mental health practitioners. Meryl’s new book is a spot-on recipe for personal change, to also help us help others fraught with the addictions of binge and compulsive overeating: Stop Eating Your Heart Out: The 21-Day Program to Free Yourself from Emotional Eating.
Ellen Hopkins is a celebrated young adult author who is known for writing novels-in-verse exposing teen struggles such as addiction, mental illness and prostitution, with sequels and interconnected characters. She published her first poem at age nine, studied journalism in college, but dropped out to start a family and a business before circling back to a writing career years later. Ellen’s upcoming book is Collateral, an adult novel about building relationships through four deployments in the Middle East.
Deborah Knox is founder of Life Work Transitions and her new book is Put Your Spirit to Work: Making a Living Being Yourself. Deborah offers career and midlife consulting and coaching to help clients in need of a career change, or who are challenged by a life change that leads to the necessity of a career change. She is also involved in training programs on a variety of organizational issues, such as bullying in the workplace, an unspoken topic and potential silent epidemic exposed by recent employee surveys.
Janos Wilder is founder, chef and culinary expert extraordinaire of three unique visions of Tucson – Janos, J-bar Latin Grill, and Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails. Janos’ personal adventures into international culture and cuisine, and business ventures amidst the shifting landscape of the restaurant industry demonstrate his love for experimentation, innovation, and taking risks across a fun edge. His newest restaurant, Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails opened 18 months ago on a wave of change in Tucson – an urban setting that attracts clientele of every age, nationality and food passion. (Dark chocolate jalapeño ice cream happens to be Zara’s favorite!)
Dr. Dave Giles and Karen Youngrepresent Intermountain Centers for Human Development, a Tucson-based non-profit that offers programs and support services for all ages impacted by mental illness. With the movement over 40 years ago to de-institutionalize care back to the community, Intermountain’s services have expanded to housing and residential services, onsite and offsite/in-home therapeutic care for adults who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness or are developmentally delayed, and those transitioning to independent living. Dave and Karen started their careers in education, moving in time to specifically serve Native American youth.
Lee Gerdes wrote Limitless You: The Infinite Possibilities of a Balanced Brain and is founder of Brain State Technologies based in Scottsdale, Arizona. A systems analyst, pastoral counselor, management consultant, and past vice president for Net Perceptions, Lee’s life changed after being beaten in early 1990 by four youths with a baseball bat. His journey to overcome the symptoms of PTSD led him to discover ways to monitor and change his brain, technology that has enabled over 50,000 people to change theirs. Lee believes what we do to ourselves or what others do to us can be understood, forgiven, and open us to building and moving forward positively in the world.
Jamie Notter is a conflict resolution expert based in Maryland. He leads a consulting practice that solves tough problems, builds internal capacity, and amplifies leadership for clients. Along with Maddie Grant, Jamieco-authored the book Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World to help make sense of not the tools, but rather the proven strategies for using social media to create opportunities for growth and comprehensive organizational change from the inside out.
Buck McCain is a highly regarded sculptor and fine art painter from Tucson. Growing up as a fifth generation cattle rancher in Southern California, Buck enrolled in a pre-med program in college and discovered his love of art while taking an art history class. Self-taught in a broad portfolio of techniques, Buck works both in 2D paint and 3D bronze, challenged by tapping uniquely into environment, lighting and background. His subject matter spans Western plein air landscapes to portraiture.
Dr. Marsha Lucas is a neuropsychologist who has been studying the brain-behavior relationship for over 20 years. In her new book, Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness, Marsha advises, “you do not have to become a monk, or a vegetarian, or spend hours contemplating your navel; you simply need to notice your mind’s busyness and not get tangled up in it.” Using an unintimidating and humorous style, she explains how mindfulness meditation can stimulate the brain to develop new, more integrated circuits – the heart of well-being.
Kevin Sheridan is a respected talent management expert with HR Solutions in Chicago, a consulting firm specializing in employee engagement surveys. Kevin’s second book was recently released –The Virtual Manager: Cutting-Edge Solutions for Hiring, Managing, and Engaging Mobile Employees. He outlines precepts of how to effectively lead employees you cannot see, and for those employees remote from “the mother ship,” how to minimize potential performance handicaps and maximize the advantages for business results and advancing your career.
Mary Jo Barrett is founder of the Center for Contextual Change in Chicago and in the midst of writing three books, offshoots of her successful approach to therapy for transforming the lives of those impacted by abuse and/or traumatic events. Named the Collaborative Stage Model, Mary Jo’s trainings and published works have a national and international following, helping parents to social service professionals to government agencies enabling those in desperate need of help. She believes it is possible to positively harness the natural cycles of change.
Morrise Luckey is with The Haven, a Tucson non-profit that offers residential, gender-specific drug and alcohol dependence recovery services for women and men. A decorated combat war veteran who struggled though alcoholism and post traumatic stress syndrome, Morrise re-righted his life with the help of the Veterans’ Administration. Through education and field work he discovered his gifts for influencing teenagers and young adults, ultimately resulting in entering the war against drugs and alcohol abuse
James Kunen is the author of five books, the newest Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life. James has transformed himself multiple times, from 60’s radical to criminal defense attorney to corporate suit to current self – teacher of English as a second language to immigrants. Seeing now through the eyes of his students’ true courage, work ethic and patriotism, Jim has found a rich and rewarding new life which began with his abruptly losing his senior job at Time Warner.
Darrell Gurney is founder of CareerGuy.com and a 25-year career advisor. Armed with insights from a career coaching firm, at the age of 24 Darrell utilized a backdoor job search method to shift from accounting to a career in Hollywood entertainment. The seeds were planted for his work now as a coach, speaker, workshop leader, and author. A stealth networking expert, Darrell helps people locate their passions and fulfill them, whether through a new job or their own business. His recently released book is Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest.
Beth Fulfer and her husband, Bob, are the owners of The Casitas at Smokey Springs Ranch, a secluded yet Tucson-accessible getaway with five private casitas in the Arizona desert. Beth is a former pharmaceutical sales representative and Bob an anesthesiologist, and they “fell head over heals” into the hospitality industry unexpectedly when looking for a property for their extended family of horses, mules and three children. Tens years of restoring the main home and outlying casitas turned a labor of love into a new life chapter surrounded by visitors who come year after year, often staying longer each trip.
Patricia Arnel is the founder and Nina Daldrup the Executive Director of the one-year old Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, a convergence of art, history and memories located in Tucson. Pat was given a set of Strombeck miniature furniture by her father in the 1930’s, a gift rediscovered when she was a mother that triggered a lifelong passion for collecting new and historical miniatures. The museum has rotating collections and three permanent exhibits, the most popular being the Enchanted Realm. Visitors find themselves falling into the scenes and enjoying the power of make believe.