Welcome guests and speakers
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN Author, Wellbeing Coach, Mom of Two 9
Title: Change: Find Your Inner Caregiver to Create a Meaningful Life
Synopsis: I help people change their lives. My focus is on improving well-being and emotional health. Most of us have lost our inner caregiver, a voice that gently guides us to better choices and helps us bounce back from inevitable mistakes. Our inner caregiver voice helps us accomplish goals, not just in health, but in our lives by helping us focus on what truly matters to us. When we find our caregiver, we have more motivation to change and more self-compassion to keep us going, despite the roadblocks standing in our way. When it comes to changing habits, it can be difficult to find our inner caregiver because of all the messages our society gives us that says we are not good enough unless we achieve some standard ideal body – women must be thin and men must be muscular.
You see, we have mastered the message of body hatred. We use the word fat when we want to throw an insult. Our own President called Alicia Machado, a then teenage Miss Universe “Miss Piggy” because she liked to eat. It’s no wonder girls as young as age 3 have body concerns, adolescents are more afraid of gaining weight than nuclear war, and 78% of teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies. Think about how we treat something we don’t like. How do we expect our girls to talk to themselves in this toxic culture?
We need to do better. We need to change from body oppression to body empowerment. We need to let the world know that all bodies are good bodies. We need to show them that people can be different shapes and sizes and pursue health for the sake of a better life, not a better butt. For every woman, man, girl and boy who respects their own body, they can better help others respect theirs. Whether we are fat, thin, stalky, curvy, rotund, or skinny, we can finally lose the labels -- and lose the weight of feeling that our worthiness is tied up in our appearance. Only then can we truly be free to change, and working with our inner caregiver, become the healthiest and happiest person we want to be.
Rebecca Scritchfield is a well-being coach, registered dietitian nutritionist, certified health and fitness specialist and author of the book, Body Kindness, lauded by the New York Times Book Review as “simple and true” and Publisher’s Weekly calls “a rousing guide to better health.” Through her weight-neutral mindfulness-based counseling practice, she helps people create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests. She is the co-founder of Dietitians for Body Confidence, www.RD4BC.com, a website and free bi-monthly e-mail dedicated to shared learning among dietitians and future RDNs to improve body image in people they serve. Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, Body Kindness podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the Today show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Health, Shape, and many others. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she was recently recognized as one of ten “Supermom” entrepreneurs in the Nation’s Capital.
Ilya Welfeld Publicist, Seymour PR
Title: Communicating Through Change
Synopsis: Change happens, right? That is the expression. Yet that sounds so passive. In our personal and professional lives, many of us are uncomfortable letting change happen “to us” - we would prefer to drive change in our own lives. But we all know that sometimes change happens unexpectedly or unfortunately. Surprisingly, regaining control is not always about having the power over change itself. Instead, owning change can rest in the act of communicating through it.
Change of any kind, from vending machine choice to romantic breakup, can impact the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Discovering the way navigate through change using impactful communication tools can be a terrifically transformative way of putting the power of steering the ship back into your hands.
The methods of communications, and the very tips and tools that allow business leaders to communicate effectively through change with consumers, stakeholders and employees can form the basis of powerful interpersonal and professional communications. The good news is, unlike CEOs who sometimes must put these tactics to work for the first time during crisis or change, you can get start practicing right now, right here. Things are about to change!
Change agent, entrepreneur, business owner and award winning communicator, Ilya Welfeld helps brands connect with consumers. Known for her positive and passionate approach and respected for strategic thought-leadership, Welfeld empowers others to enthusiastically drive towards personal and professional success.
Welfeld runs Seymour Public Relations, a boutique agency with expertise in food and lifestyle brand communications. Seymour PR is based in Hackensack, NJ.
Melanie Notkin Founder/Author Savvy Auntie
Title: WELCOME TO THE OTHERHOOD
Synopsis: You may think you recognize me as one of those women sipping cosmopolitans with her girlfriends talking about men, sex and $500 shoes. Or, perhaps it’s my “career woman” look that you recognize; the kind of woman who is so focused on her job, working such late hours to get ahead, that she has no idea what time it is on her biological clock. Or, maybe it’s what you don’t see that helps you identify me; no spit up on my sweater - and no preschoolers tugging at it from below to get my attention. You may think that I’m typical of one of those “childfree, carefree women.”
But maybe, despite my social life, my career success, my spotless attire, you’re wrong about me. And wrong about most of the other women who fit this stereotype.
Today, there are more women who are having children later than ever before, if at all. In fact, nearly half of all women of fertile age are childless. But in our Mom-opic society, where moms are the “heroes” with the “hardest job in the world” and every celebrity baby-bump makes headline news, we are made to feel invisible, or at the very least, Other to Mother. The assumption that most of us, if not all of us, have chosen to remain single and childless, that we don’t like children, that we are simply too naïve to understand our fertility, or that we are more consumed by superficial things than love, marriage and motherhood, is simply wrong. And more significantly, is leaving nearly 50 percent of American women, among the most well-educated and highest income earning – not to mention most generous and child-loving - on the sidelines.
In 2008, I set out to change the way society understands, acknowledges and appreciates childless women. We aren’t the women many expect us to be. Maybe that’s fair. Our life is not what we expected it to be, either.
This is my story. It’s the story of millions of American women like me – and millions of women like us around the globe. It will change the way society sees us – and the way we see ourselves. Welcome to the Otherhood.
Melanie Notkin is a leading expert on the emerging demographic of childless, often single, women. She is founder and personality behind Savvy Auntie®, the beloved lifestyle brand celebrating modern aunthood, and national bestselling author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids. In 2009, she established Auntie's Day® the first annual day to celebrate and honor aunts. Her 2014 reported memoir, Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness, received a Booklist *Starred Review*.
Notkin has shared her national research on the rising demographics of what she dubbed PANKs® - or, Professional Aunts No Kids, and Otherhood® - or, non-mothers, along with her popular voice on behalf of her cohorts as a keynote speaker to several consumer and corporate groups, and as a contributor to The New York Times, The New York Post, Washington Post, The Huffington Post, among many others. Notkin and her work have been featured on TODAY, CNN, FOX, ABC, Rachael Ray, New York Times Sunday Style and Sunday Business, Chicago Tribune, NPR, BBC, and much more.
Melody Wilding Licensed Social Worker
Title: Trying to Change? How Self-Doubt Can Actually Help
Synopsis: When it comes to change, we’re often our own worst enemy. Anyone who has tried to embark on a professional or personal challenge is familiar with the voice of the inner critic that says things like “you’re not good enough”, “this is a stupid idea”, “nothing will ever work out”. Most self-development advice espouses the need to overcome self-doubt and banish negative thoughts. But as a therapist and Human Behavior professor, I know that this prevailing notion that calls for eradicating so-called “negative emotions” is not just plain
wrong – it can actually backfire. While it’s true that self-doubt can be toxic, what’s more problematic is the fact that we never learn to deal with this normal, expected emotion in healthy ways. Any change brings up fear and worries–and learning to cope with uncertainty is a skill. Luckily, it’s one that you can learn and get better. It all starts with developing the ability to lean into and mine your discomfort and doubts for insight and understanding– instead of villainizing our insecurities and shaming ourselves.
Drawing from cognitive science, psychotherapy, and my years coaching entrepreneurs
and executives, I’ll reveal how the audience can use self-doubt as a catalyst for
personal and professional change, instead of it being the biggest roadblock to their
growth. This talk will inspire the audience to rethink their relationship with doubt, so they can leverage it for growth and change instead of letting it stop them. And arm them with
research-backed tools to get there.
The three main takeaways I want the audience to walk away with are:
• Why the advice we’ve been told about self-doubt is all wrong
• Why feeling like a fraud can be a good thing
• 3 specific, research-backed techniques to make self-doubt work for you, instead
of against you, that the audience can use immediately
Melody Wilding teaches human behavior at The City University of New York and is a
nationally recognized Master Coach who distills psychological insights into actionable
career advice. A licensed social worker trained at Columbia University, she’s helped
thousands of professional women and female entrepreneurs master their mindset and
emotions for greater success. Melody has worked with CEOs and executives running
top startups along with published authors and media personalities.
Melody is syndicated columnist and regular contributor to Inc., Forbes, PsychCentral,
and TheMuse.com. Her advice has been featured by dozens of major media outlets like
New York Magazine, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and more.
She holds a Masters from Columbia University and graduated summa cum laude with a
degree in Psychology from Rutgers University.
Dana Spett Pony Power NJ
TITLE: Through the Lens of the Horse-Understanding Human Life Skills and Behaviors
Synopsis: A deep look into the interaction between horses and humans: understanding the basic needs of horses, horse care and the interaction between the two provides a rich multi-sensory, experiential setting. Horses communicate non-verbally offering opportunities to feel and experience “in the moment”. Whether it is riding on the back of a horse, which offers the same input as human gait or being next to the horse and responding to body language and receiving immediate feedback, the opportunities to feel and experience, without language, are endless. The talk will conclude by highlighting the similarities between basic human needs, basic needs of horses and some examples of applications.
Dana Spett, MSW founded Pony Power in 2000 with four riders and one horse. Dana graduated from New York University and went on to get her Master’s in Social Work and practiced in schools. She has been an accomplished equestrian from a young age, and when one of Dana’s three daughters was diagnosed with sensory integration issues, she found a way to treat her daughter by combining her passions and becoming a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International-certified instructor. In 2003, Pony Power purchased Three Sisters Farm in Mahwah, NJ and dedicated the property to be an inclusive horse assisted activity center currently working with children and adults with a variety of special needs. In 2015, Dana was appointed to the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism.
Title: THE NURTURED PARENT REVOLUTION: Trauma Transformed Through Love, Healing, and Social Justice Activism
Family courts across the nation routinely fail the most vulnerable in our society; mothers and their children in crisis seeking a life free from abuse. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released a study (Saunders Report) that found the standard and required domestic violence training received by judges, lawyers, and custody evaluators, does not adequately prepare them to handle abuse cases. Inadequately trained professionals tend to believe the myth that mothers frequently make false allegations. However, most contested custody cases are domestic violence or child sexual abuse cases in which abusers have been allowed to use the courts to regain control over the victim, and bankrupt the safe, primary caregiving protective mother. Per the United Nations Attorney General, the most common form of violence experienced by women is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner. On average, at least 1 in 3 women is beaten, raped, or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Yet national statistics show us that less than 2% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. And in a study conducted by the Leadership Council, at least 75% of family court cases that involve domestic violence, rape, or child sexual abuse, children will be court ordered into unsupervised contact or sole custody with the alleged abuser. How can we be failing our women and children like this in the United States? And what can we do about it?
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest medical investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. The ACE study findings suggest that certain childhood experiences produce toxic stress. Toxic stress is a major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, as well as poor quality of life, in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise because of adverse childhood experiences. The good news? All of them are preventable. ACE’s can include a child’s exposure to:
· Domestic Violence (verbal, emotional, economic, coercive control, or the physical abuse of a parent or child)
· Sexual abuse (grooming; violating a child’s safety and trust; inappropriate touching; rape)
· Being separated from a primary-attachment parent (typically the parent that was the primary caregiver in the child’s first seven years of life)
· A drug and/or alcohol addicted parent
Understanding these connections and acting to prevent them, when families are in the process of divorce and custody litigation, will improve the health, safety, and overall wellbeing for the lifespan of that child. I will discuss the crucial work we do at The Nurtured Parent to support abused women who have been re-victimized and re-traumatized by the system (who we are; what we do; why we do it; why it’s vitally important to victims’ rights), and why it’s not enough. To fully achieve protections for abused women and children in our country, a child abuse prevention social justice revolution is in order!
Patrice is a domestic violence survivor, victims’ rights advocate, activist, public speaker and playwright. Of paramount importance to her work is advocating for victims' rights, and to unravel why our courts routinely fail the most vulnerable in our society, women and children in crisis seeking a life free from abuse. Her passion and leadership have led to new child protection legislation in New Jersey, and it is built upon the premise that the rights, safety, health and wellbeing of our nation’s women and children must become our top priority in law and society.
The following is a brief narrative of her work.
- Founder & Executive Director: The Nurtured Parent Support Group for Survivors of Domestic Abuse. Entering their 8th year, the Nurtured Parent is a free weekly peer-to-peer support group empowering survivors of domestic abuse.
- Playwright: Co-written with author and domestic violence expert Lundy Bancroft, FORBIDDEN TO PROTECT is a theatrical production that tells the true stories of family court victims, and raises questions about the improper court response to domestic violence and child abuse. FORBIDDEN TO PROTECT is expected to open widely to audiences in 2017.
- Activism: Patrice co-founded the Children's Justice Campaign with actress Kelly Rutherford. The CJC is a national organization that seeks to protect children's constitutional rights and promote their health and wellbeing in law and society.
- Community Educator/Center for Hope and Safety: Patrice is passionate about her work, and speaks publically to a wide range of audiences on the dynamics of domestic violence and human trafficking, and their palpable threat to our nation's women and children. To pull it all together, Patrice includes for her audience’s information about the CDC’s ACE study (Adverse Childhood Experiences), which is the largest medical research of its kind ever conducted to examine the health and social effects of adverse childhood experiences over the lifespan. Science helps audiences understand the palpable threat of toxic stress on children, and how they can help by acting to prevent ACE.
- New Jersey Grassroots Activism and Legislation: To further address these issues in her home state, Patrice has teamed up with crime victims' rights attorney Rich Pompelio, Executive Director/NJ Crime Victims Law Center, to form a statewide grassroots project that calls for family court and child protective services reform. WE THE CHILDREN is a revolutionary movement in child victims' rights and made up of members from every county in the state of New Jersey. In September of 2016, they successful championed a bill that was unanimously passed through the Senate Budget Committee. Bill S1210 requires that certain employees and candidates for public school employment or service and youth camp employees to undergo a child abuse record information check.
- Producer: Patrice produced a domestic violence webinar series for internationally renowned domestic violence and child maltreatment author and expert Lundy Bancroft. Their first webinar based off his best-selling book is entitled, “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men,” will begin March 2017. Webinar link: https://app.webinarjam.net/register/35006/fdd4575b09
David Jacome Adjunct Professor, BCC
Title: Outreach and Physics Education in 2020
Synopsis: The way we communicate with each other is changing each day. We have gone from face to face interactions using the World Wide Web on Desktop computers, to using smart phones for Skype or Facetime, and recently having watches send replies to each other in a matter of seconds. If we traveled back in time to the 1950s and spoke directly to people about the future, they would probably respond by saying, “I would never expect a person to see another person live on a television screen.” Even growing up watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, nobody would have imagined during the scene when TV boy is transported to a small screen disappearing in front of everyone. Today, I will tell you a story of how outreach and physics education will be done in 2020. Just imagine sitting in a classroom by yourself, with no classmates or even a professor. Think of a hologram appearing in front of your eyes, asking you questions in Physics, and moving around in the classroom teaching you the Theory of Relativity. The hologram would be programmed to look exactly how you want, with your own specifications, and speak to you in a way that makes you learn the materials. Many of you would say exactly what someone back in 1950s would, “This is futuristic, and not possible to have someone teach me without being physically present in a room.” However, this idea is currently being tested, and we are not far away from universities moving towards buying technology to replace professors. In my talk, the focus will be on discussing the physics of holograms, and how in 2020 you will be taught by a Holographic Professor.
Ashley Carmenatty Mental health advocate
Title: "How I am changing my life by being vulnerably honest."
I live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder since I was in the single digits of my age. It has been an arduous journey from the fearful little girl I was to who I am now, a vocal and powerful 25-year-old. Growing up was not easy, especially since I am Hispanic and mental health is a topic that is never brought up. My family was unaware on my illness and the doctors belittled me stating I was a hypochondriac. With no help in sight, I had to fight to stay alive and be heard. Finally, at the age of 18 I was clinically diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If not for changing the way I viewed my illness and kept quiet about it because no one believed me, I know I would not be here today. Because I was so vocal, so adamant on being honest with myself about what I was going through, I researched and researched to prove to myself and my family/friends that what was going on in my head was not my fault. I want to talk about this subject because it is extremely taboo and a critical topic to be heard. Far too many young people are living with the fear of being judge and misunderstood and even dying by suicide. I want to help them open up and be more vocal about their struggles because vulnerability does not equate to weakness; if me being brutally honest about my journey of living and loving myself with anxiety can help, then I will be that voice.
Ashley Carmenatty is a 25-year-old creative. Capturing images to create stories of her personal struggles suffering with Generalized Anxiety Disorder; she uses Instagram as an outlet for connection with a world she could never truly relate too. She hopes that her words, jumbled as they may be, could help someone who feels alone because they have a mental illness. She loves raising awareness for mental health and capturing raw deep emotions, all the while she tries to figure out what she wants to eat for dinner.
Howard Godnick Attorney and Activist
TITLE: Wash Your Hair
Synopsis: As I turned 35 years old, my life tracked the American dream – captain of my high school football team; graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stony Brook; forged a successful career as a standup comic, street mime and actor, including three years as an extra on Saturday Night Live; accepted into Ringling Brothers as a clown, but decided to go to law school, instead; graduated 1st in my class in law school; accepted an associate position at a prestigious law firm, and was on my way to partnership; ran four NYC marathons, finishing each under 4 hours; and a happy marriage with a beautiful son, who was about to turn 2.
A quadruple bypass at 35 (just months after my last marathon);
a heart attack at 45 on a spinning bike, for which I was medevac'd by helicopter;
visually impaired at 49;
two stents at 52;
nearly bankrupted at 42;
divorced at 57;
disability at 58.
Despite my various design and life defects, I still and will always consider myself extraordinary fortunate, and my life continues to track the American dream … or, as my mom would say, "at least you have your health."
Several years ago, I took my son on a buddy trip to India. It was 120 degrees every day, and on one day I saw a man – a very poor man – using the change he could beg for and find on the street to buy a handful of water, to escape the searing heat. I took a picture of that man…that scene…and that picture sits on my desk to remind me just how fortunate a life I have. Not because I am more fortunate than that man; but because of the tens of millions of people across our planet who wish they had the spare change to buy that handful of water…who wish they were as fortunate as that man.
Every person you pass on the street, meet at a cocktail party, see on the news … every one of them has a backstory of trials and tribulations; tragedies and triumphs; failures and successes. No on escapes it. But each is given one life to live – a life of making choices: will it defeat me, or will I defeat it. Because, if you throw yourself a pity party, your friends will show up, hang around for a while, and then continue their way…and you're left feeling sorry for yourself. And if you go through life with your head up your ass, what you get out of it is…smelly hair. You need to make choices. You need to wash your hair.
That "glass is half full” philosophy has guided me through my life, and is the message I've taught and advocated to so many.
Howard O. Godnick is a partner in the New York office of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, where he focuses his practice in the areas of complex securities and commercial litigation, including class actions and corporate control disputes and creditor rights litigation. A magna cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he graduated first in his class, Howard was honored to receive the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for his pro bono work on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As lead counsel in McWaters v. FEMA, a class action to secure the temporary housing assistance to which Katrina evacuees were entitled by law, he successfully obtained injunctive relief against FEMA, preventing the agency from evicting tens of thousands of hurricane victims from their federally funded hotel rooms pending determinations on their applications for benefits. This precedent-setting case garnered other recognitions for Howard, including pro bono counsel awards from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Louisiana Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In addition, he was a finalist for the 2007 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Public Justice Foundation.
After graduating college, Howard spent three years as an actor, street mime and standup comic, and he appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1981 to 1983 as a regular extra and bit-part player. After Ringling Brothers offered him a position in their prestigious clown college, Howard chose law school instead.
By November 1992, Howard was on a partnership track at Schulte Roth & Zabel, and the running track outside of the office, having just finished his fourth NYC Marathon — all in under four hours. In July 1993, however, a routine checkup revealed severe blockages in his coronary arteries, and Howard underwent quadruple bypass surgery on his heart. Taking this as a sign that he should give up distance running, Howard became a regular denizen on the New York spinning scene until August 2003, when he suffered a heart attack during a spin class in East Hampton, from which he was taken by helicopter to the University of Stony Brook Medical Center. Howard gave up spinning and turned to a safer pastime — skydiving. In 2009, Howard was stricken with anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in his left eye, a rare condition that left him with impaired vision in one eye. In 2010, the same neurological condition struck his right eye, leaving Howard visually impaired and extraordinarily sensitive to light, but still able to read through one eye. This condition, however, required Howard to give up driving, skiing (which he had been doing since he was 3), biking and other pastimes. He can still skydive, though.
Sitting behind Howard’s desk is a picture he took in India during a “buddy trip” he and his son went on in 2010. The picture is of a man buying a handful of water on a day when the temperature exceeded 120 degrees. As sad as this scene is — a poor man using whatever change he could beg for to buy a handful of water to help escape the searing heat — Howard keeps the picture prominently placed in his office as a reminder of the tens of millions of people in the world to whom this man is lucky, because he, at least, can buy that handful of water. The picture defines “perspective,” and despite the many challenges Howard has been faced with, he considers himself among the lucky ones; the challenges have only made him stronger.
Howard has two sons: one is a comedy writer in New York City, and one is a sophomore at Syracuse University.
Daniel Ally Entrepreneur
Title: The 4 Secrets to Success
Synopsis: There are only four major resources given to each of us: time, information, money, and energy. If we use these resources correctly, we will gain any form of success we desire. These resources can either make us or break us. They can lead us into riches or poverty.
This inspiring talk will uncover the truth about these four resources in a way the world has never seen before. The concept of this talk will help individuals from all walks of life understand the importance of taking control of their lives and following their dreams, instead of reacting toward their environment. Most importantly, it will teach people to think differently about their lives.
12:15-1:30 Break and Lunch
Cindy Nolte Entrepreneur and Life Coach
Title: Peace is an Inside Job
Synopsis: There is unrest in our country. People are angry, confused, and some hopeless. We are experiencing political unrest-and individuals are experiencing personal unrest. Some individuals are tired, overworked, underemployed or unhealthy-or all of the aforementioned. Many people are distracted about who they truly are, what they desire in life, and how to effectively make the changes they think they want. These distractions cause people to focus on what they feel they need to accomplish, the experiences they have yet to have, or what they wish was not their current reality. Despite the turmoil that people experience, everyone seems to communicate their desire for peace, but the concept seems to be little more than a fairytale to some.
The theme remains the same throughout each experience: peace exists when we are willing to let go of the garbage and be grateful for the present regardless of what we are facing. This ability to let go comes from truly knowing who we are, what we want, and having faith in something beyond ourselves.
My talk, Peace is an Inside Job, will take the audience through a 15-minute journey of being reacquainted with who they truly are and offer a unique perspective of how one individual can impact the world. The journey will uncover obstacles that kept them from experiencing peace in the past. It will provide them with tools for dealing with everyday obstacles as well as offer them a new perspective for impacting the world in a positive way and navigating the causes that speak to them in a peaceful yet profound manner.
Change is made when people are willing to let go of what doesn’t serve them, focus on the results that they want to accomplish and are real about what they have the ability to impact. It is about looking beyond the distractions that have kept many stuck in political or personal unrest. If everyone began taking the initiative to positively impact what is in their control, the world would be a more peaceful place-one good deed at a time.
After being asked for years by her clients and friends how she always seemed to remain at peace regardless of what was happening around her, Cindy Nolte was motivated to write her best-selling book, Finding Peace in an Out of Control World: A How-to Book on Being at Peace Regardless of What Life Throws Your Way. Only months after her book was published, she was tested to apply her principles when her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Stressing balance as a key factor in wellness, Cindy insists it is also paramount in productivity in the work place. She combines her 20 years of experience in training and development with her extensive studies in mindfulness to offer a unique approach to solving today’s organizational obstacles and to deliver uplifting keynote speeches. In October 2016, she was recognized as a finalist in NJ’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs by NJ Monthly Magazine.
Cindy is passionate about helping others. She is the founder of Support Your Own, a charity created to inspire others to rebuild a sense of community-one community at a time. Nolte is also an active member of SARA, a charity dedicated to making Reiki available to shelter animals.
Viewers can see her weekly on her cable television show, Fresh Look on Life TV~taking alternative mainstream. In her downtime, she is an avid long-distance runner and triathlete.
Nolte currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two rescue pups.
For more information on Cindy Nolte, her practice, workshops, or her weekly television show, check out www.freshlookonlife.com.
Danielle Hark Photographer
How Photography Saved My Life and Launched a Worldwide Movement
This is the inspiring story of one woman’s journey of transformation and growth in the face of bipolar depression, and her quest to eliminate stigma and change the way the world views mental health, one photo at a time.
In a desperate moment, Danielle Hark found herself on her bathroom floor, in the midst of a crippling panic attack. When she reached for her phone to call 911, she saw that it was on photo mode. Taking photos in that moment not only saved her life but led to a personal revolution, and ultimately to the birth of the worldwide community Broken Light Collective. This online gallery and non-profit organization has used photography to empower the lives and journeys of over fifty thousand people from 181 countries. In this poignant talk, Hark, now a writer, advocate, and certified life coach, explores how photography can be a tool for profound personal change.
Danielle Hark is a wellness writer, freelance photographer and photo editor, and certified life coach whose work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty, The Mighty, and Upworthy, as well as various other publications and books. Danielle is also a mental health advocate who lives with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. In the midst of her struggles, Danielle founded Broken Light Collective, a non-profit organization that empowers people living with or affected by mental illness using photography. She has been interviewed and featured by the New York Times, BBC News, NBC, Word Press, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, as well as the American Association of Suicidology. For more information, visit www.DanielleHark.com, www.BrokenLightCollective.com, and follow Danielle on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @daniellehark.
*Click here for a quick video about the work of Danielle Hark and Broken Light Collective that was recently created by OC87 Recovery Diaries… http://oc87recoverydiaries.com/broken-light-collective/#more-467
Gayle Kirschenbaum Filmmaker
Title: NO MORE DRAMA WITH MAMA
Synopsis: Did you ever feel like you were born into the wrong family? I did. According to my mother, I couldn’t do anything right and my brothers couldn’t do anything wrong. My nose was too big; my hair was too frizzy and my butt too fat. All I ever wanted was out, out of her way, out of my house, away from the constant barrage of criticism, orders and demands. After I left home, went to university and built an Emmy-award winning career, underneath my successful façade I was seething with anger towards my mother. My struggles with trust and abandonment sabotaged many aspects of my life including my personal and romantic relationships. Most people don’t believe that I even talk to my mother today much less she is my closest friend. My story is about forgiveness. How I came to understand, forgive and cherish my mother. By discovering the secret to forgiveness I was able to find my power and freedom – freedom from emotional bondage. And in doing so, realized that the biggest obstacle in my life, my challenging childhood ended up being the biggest gift I received. Learning how to forgive empowered me and released my fears of being judged. As a result, I was able to open up my life to the world with a deeply personal film that has connected profoundly with audiences. Now, I teach others how to walk through the door of forgiveness and set themselves free. Anyone can do this.
Gayle Kirschenbaum is an Emmy-winning filmmaker/TV producer/writer. Called “the Nora Ephron of documentaries”, Gayle has turned the camera on herself in her recent feature documentary. LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is about the transformation of a highly charged mother/daughter relationship from Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom. This is the “larger version” of her humorous short film, MY NOSE, in which we follow her mother’s relentless campaign to get her to have a nose job. Prior to this film, Kirschenbaum made a poignant and wacky film with her dog about the human/canine bond called A DOG'S LIFE: A DOGAMENTARY, which premiered on HBO. She created several reality shows that premiered on TLC and Discovery Health, and co-created JUDGMENT DAY that also aired on HBO. Kirschenbaum is a member of the Producers Guild of America, Film Fatales, National Speakers Association and is a judge for the Emmys. She has been featured widely in the media including New York Times, NBCs Today Show, Miami Herald, Washington Post, and Ladies Home Journal.
Porter Smith Artist/Mythologist
Synopsis: Human creativity - what sparks it, what cultivates it, and what threatens it within the world culture of modern civilization. I will speak from the position of a healthy, symptom-free bipolar artist, although my focus will be on the plight and promise of the arts within everyone's consciousness, not merely the artists or the bipolar artists. This is a familiar subject for me, one that surfaces compositionally and in my lectures. The fifteen-minute focus, I believe, should be a universal one, so I intend to cast a more conspicuous net over humanity's sensibility potential, not just to cup my hands over a faction of human sufferers or champions.
Lori Frederics Activist/Singer
Title: I’ll Have Your Back
“I’ll have your back” is a “safety pin” song, written to inspire people to stand up for vulnerable members of society and to comfort victims of bullying, discrimination and hate crimes by letting them know that there are people willing to defend them.
My aim is to use the communicative power music and to draw upon my experience growing up as the daughter of a holocaust survivor to inspire people to stand against things that they consider to be wrong.
In my talk, I will relate experiences told to me by my father about the conditions in Nazi Germany and his family’s escape to Belgium in order to help them see the importance of taking action to resist against what you recognize to be wrong. We will discuss the roles of the perpetrators, the enablers and the resisters in times of human crisis and how normalizing an abnormal situation can be very dangerous. In the words ofauthor, orator, political theorist, and philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
SOPRANO LORI JOACHIM FREDRICS, a native of New York City, has been teaching singing since 1984, maintaining a private studio as well as teaching at William Paterson University, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Kingston University of London, and Brown University. Ms. Fredrics holds a BM from William Paterson University of New Jersey and a MM in Voice Performance from The University of Texas at Austin. A member of AGMA and A.E.A, Ms. Fredrics has performed many roles in opera, musical theatre and plays as well as appearing as a soloist in major international music festivals in the US, Canada, Scandinavia, Latin America and Asia in such diverse venues as the Seoul Opera House, The Banff Center for the Arts, Lincoln Center, The Barbican Centre in London and the Museo Naçional De Bellas Artes, Havana. She made her London opera directing debut in The Whitechapel Whirlwind at the Bloomsbury Theatre in 2005 and recently directed Semillas de Talento and the Teatro del Barrio in Manhattan.
Lucine Kinoian Educator
The Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) is seen as one of the first genocides in modern history. A “Turkey for the Turks” campaign to rile Turkish nationalism paved the way for the deliberate removal of ethnic Armenians from the Ottoman Empire and led to the systematic annihilation of all Christian minorities, including the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. Over 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hands of the Ottoman government and those who survived endured immeasurable suffering. It is those survivors who birthed the Armenian Diaspora, which makes up more than half of the Armenian population, worldwide, outside of modern-day Armenia.
Lucine Kinoian’s talk will be on the circumstance and luck that allowed her paternal great-grandparents to survive the Armenian Genocide in spite of the demoralizing suffering they endured, and the looming, inevitable fate that took the lives of their relatives and loved ones. Kinoian’s talk will focus specifically on her great-grandmother, whose story is that of abduction and abuse. Kinoian believes that who we are as individuals is a product of all those who came before us, and that we have an obligation to ourselves, to our society, and to the world at large to know, acknowledge, and learn from the stories of our past. Over a century has passed since the events that mark the start of the Armenian Genocide, and in telling her great-grandmother’s story, Kinoian hopes to be the voice of a generation that is long gone and in danger of being forgotten.
Lucine Kinoian is a third-generation Armenian-American who is active in the respective New York and New Jersey Armenian communities. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in English Education from Columbia University. Kinoian currently works as an English teacher in the Tenafly, NJ school district.
Nick Maccarone Actor
Title: The 6 Principles
Synopsis: This talk will outline the 6 principles the speaker used to focus less on the competitive and challenging facets of the entertainment industry and more on how to live a life of contribution and curiosity.
A proud native of Oakland California, Nick Maccarone developed a love for performing at a very young age. As a child, he used theater and film as instruments of his imagination, emulating his favorite actors in countless home-video performances.
With a nod to his father's Brooklyn origin, he enrolled in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Theater and studied under such venerable mentors as Kristin Linklater, Andre Serban, and Anne Bogart. Nick was a committed student, immersing himself in the Greeks, Sarah Kane, Shakespeare, Pinter, Ibsen, Brecht, Chekhov, Ionesco, Strindberg, and Tennessee Williams. One of his personal highlights was appearing in James Baldwin’s Another Country, directed by Diane Paulus.
Nick recently wrote, produced, and performed in three short films, including "Communication," which was recently accepted to the Williamsburg International Film Festival. He's also appeared on Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, Elementary, and Scandal. His stage productions include the world premiere Adam Rapp-written and -directed Classic Kitchen Timer. Showcased at The Flea Theater in Tribeca, Timer debuted to numerous enthusiastic reviews. Continuing his tradition of diverse performance outlets, Nick has also performed at the Alley Theatre in Kenneth Lin's (House of Cards) full-length play, Warrior Class.
3:45 to 4:00