Iowa native Kathleen Blake started cooking at an early age in her grandmother's kitchen where she helped prepare Sunday Suppers for her large extended family. After many years and many kitchens, she and her husband, William, opened The Rusty Spoon in downtown Orlando in 2014. A beloved chef among the locals, Blake is also a 2013 and 2015 James Beard Award Nominee.
Learn more at therustyspoon.com.
Barbara A. Lewis is a national award-winning author and educator who teaches kids how to think and solve real problems. When she taught at Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, her students initiated the cleanup of hazardous waste, improved sidewalks, planted thousands of trees, and fought crime. They instigated and pushed through several state laws and an amendment to a national law, garnering 10 national awards, including two President’s Environmental Youth Awards.
Learn more at barbaraalewis.com.
John P. Strelecky is an international best-selling author of several books, including The Why Café and Life Safari. His books have sold more than 3 million copies around the world and translated into 33 languages. John’s also the creator of the Big Five for Life concept, which was the foundation of our last interview in 2017.
Learn more at www.johnstrelecky.com.
Jaime Kurtz is the author of The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she regularly teaches courses on Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Positive Psychology, and Psychological Research Methods. Learn more at jaimekurtz.com.
Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional intelligence and present moment awareness. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. Learn more at www.cushnir.com.
John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut are the authors of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential. John is a co-founder of KNP Communications, a private firm that specializes in helping clients become outstanding live communicators. And he and Matthew, a managing partner of KNP, work with entrepreneurs, ambassadors, scientists, and best-selling authors to prepare them for the podium, whether that’s at a board meeting, live television appearance or maybe a TED talk.
Kelly Browne is the author of bestselling book 101 Ways to Say Thank You and 101 Ways to Say Thank You for Kids & Teens. She’s spoken around the country inspiring audiences to upgrade their thankfulness etiquette and in the process, helped thousands of people cultivate more gratitude in their lives.
Learn more at www.kellybrowne.net.
Sky Blue is the Executive Director of the Fellowship for Intentional Community. Over the last 20 years he has lived in, worked with, and consulted for numerous communal and cooperative groups and organizations, and has visited dozens of communities and cooperatives, in the US and in Europe. Living in community and furthering the larger cooperative movement has been a primary focus of his entire adult life. Learn more at www.ic.org.
Rob Schware is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, a non-profit organization that believes in making yoga available to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience its many benefits. He steers projects like the Prison Yoga Project, Yoga of 12-Step Recovery, and yoga4cancer, all with a goal to reducing suffering and elevating consciousness through yoga. Learn more at givebackyoga.org/.
Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, and best-selling author of ten books, including More Love, Less Conflict. He has reached over 100 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. He has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show, as well as many other national TV talk shows, and he's been featured in USA Today, Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times. Learn more at morelovelessconflict.com.
Kasley Killam is a program manager at Verily, where she sets the strategic direction and oversees the implementation of community engagement initiatives for Verily's national clinical research platform. Based in San Francisco, Kasley spends her evenings and weekends mobilizing efforts to combat loneliness and promote social health as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, member of the board of directors for the Community Living Campaign, and contributor to Scientific American. Learn more at kasleykillam.com.
Laura Archer is the author of Gone for Lunch: 52 Things to do on Your Lunch Brunch, a book she wrote on her mission to reclaim her midday break and to find more time for herself, her interests and her self care. Through her book, blog and workshops, Laura aims to help individuals and companies to appreciate the unbelievable benefits of taking a lunch break - even if only for 20 minutes once or twice a week. Learn more at goneforlunch.com.
Shea Tuttle is co-editor of Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community-Builders, and Agitators for Faith and Justice. She holds a master of divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and is a student in the master of fine arts in writing program at Spalding University, concentrating in creative nonfiction. She is working on a book about Mister Rogers.
Global Community Captain
Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Denmark. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents. Cycling Without Age has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and since 2015, to another 38 countries around the world.
Learn more at cyclingwithoutage.org.
Heather Turgeon, MFT and Julie Wright, MFT, are the authors of The Happy Sleeper, and, most recently, Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma. Heather is a psychotherapist who specializes in sleep and parenting. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. Julie is the creator of the Wright Mommy and Me, one of Los Angeles’s best-known mommy and me programs.
Learn more at thehappysleeper.com.
Author of Frientimacy and Friendships Don't Just Happen.
A leading voice for friendship, Shasta Nelson speaks for corporations, churches, and conferences all over the country; writes books, blogs, and articles; provides expertise to media, creates teaching videos and class; gathers people for retreats and events; and consults and coaches leaders and teams-- all for the purpose of creating healthier friendships in this world.
Learn more at shastanelson.com.
Courtney Carver launched her blog Be More with Less in 2010 and is one of the top bloggers in the world on the subject of minimalism. Recently she published the book Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More, which tells her story of living with less and gives practical advice for shedding the excess in our lives to make room for more live. Courtney has been featured in countless articles, podcasts, and interviews on simplicity and is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge Project 333, which was featured in O magazine and Real Simple.
Learn more at: bemorewithless.com
Rebecca P. Cohen has taught 6,000 children in North America, Europe, Africa, and China and is the go-to spokesperson and inspirational speaker for getting outside any time of the year. Rebecca's early reader children's book series, PJ's Backyard Adventures, is the latest project from the author of the book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks) and creator of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards. Rebecca’s work has been featured in USA Today, Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, and Backyard Solutions.
Learn more at: beoutsideandgrow.com.
Rick Bommelje is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he’s been teaching The Listening Course for over 20 years. He’s the co-author and author of two books: Listening Leaders in 2004 and Listening Pays: Achieve Significance through the Power of Listening (2013).
Learn more at listeningpays.com.
As a writer and communicator, Eddie Selover helps people express their business and personal stories in ways that are more relevant, credible, and impactful. As a marketing communications professional, Eddie has written speeches for senior executives, organized and executed large-scale conferences and events. As a certified life coach, Eddie helps people clarify their goals and priorities, and then better align their choices and actions to help meet those goals.
Learn more at eddieselover.com.
Dana Marie Roquemore is social entrepreneur who went from being a stylist for fashion shows, personal wardrobe consultant and event planner, to being the creator of an innovative community concept that took Orlando, FL by storm. In 2014, Dana created The Dinner Party Project, a food-focused social experiment that invites eight strangers to share incredible food, interesting conversation and fantastic company.
Learn more at thedinnerpartyproject.co/.
Dr. Shannon Taylor is an associate professor and Ph.D. program coordinator in the management department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His research examines rude, abusive and unethical behaviors of employees and leaders. His work has appeared in journals in business and applied psychology and has been featured by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and NPR. Dr. Taylor gives presentations on leadership and management to audiences in business, education, health, and government. He also serves as research director at Knowtro Inc.
Angie Byrd is a teacher, writer and partner to women in motion. She serves women through intense, experiential engagements that demand presence, honesty and the shared possibility of something more. With Angie’s help, women see, feel and experience themselves as powerful beings that matter, have deep connection with themselves and in their relationships, and can pursue lives of passion and purpose.
Learn more at angiebyrd.com.
Doug Bolger wants to change the way the world works. As Founder & CEO of Learn2, Doug believes that every team can achieve inspired results by unlearning, optimizing and creating best practices. At the heart of his award-winning approach to facilitation and design lies Doug’s commitment to participant-centered and experiential Live Sessions.
Learn more at learn2.com.
Human connection is the multivitamin we all need more of. On a cellular level, we are wired to connect and the extent to which we sync with others, even strangers, has a huge impact on our lives, inside and out. Imagine if our lives could be exponentially upgraded just by bringing more intention and presence to the way we connect with others. That’s living The Synced Life.
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