Being a BetterWorldian Through Small Acts of Kindness

October 31, 2013
Hosted by Ray Hansell, MarySue Hansell, and Gregory Hansell

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Episode Description

To be a BetterWorldian, practice small acts of kindness. This week on BetterWorldians Radio we’ll focus on how listeners impact their own world with small acts of kindness and service, using Mother Teresa as an example. We speak with Donna-Marie O’Boyle, author of the book “Mother Teresa and Me.” O’Boyle discusses her ten year relationship with Mother Teresa and tells listeners the small things they can do to emulate this extraordinary person in their own lives. Tune in every week to hear new guests share how they are making the world a better place and to learn how you can become a BetterWorldian!

BetterWorldians Radio

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BetterWorldians Radio inspires you with the people and ideas that are making the world a better place. Learn how doing good leads to feeling good, and hear how small acts make a big difference, all around the world, everyday. BetterWorldians are the experts, authors, volunteers, business owners, spiritual leaders, and everyday people dedicated in their work or craft to making this A Better World. Join us! Topics include Altruism and Acts of Kindness, Positivity and Happiness, Self-Help and Well-being, Philanthropy and Generosity, Religion and Spirituality, among many others. We will be doing interviews with special guests, providing updates on the BetterWorldian movement, and taking emails and live calls from people who want to change the world. BetterWorldians Radio is a broadcast that helps Bring Out the BetterWorldian in Everyone.

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Ray Hansell, MarySue Hansell, and Gregory Hansell

BetterWorldians Radio is hosted by the family team that created the popular game, A Better World. This game rewards players for doing good deeds while helping to raise money and awareness for charities. Over 1.5 million people have performed over 8.5 million good deeds in A Better World. This game grows from the Hansells’ lifelong commitment to make the world a better place.

Ray Hansell is CEO of ToonUps, creator of A Better World. He is a serial entrepreneur, who successfully founded and took public a national marketing firm. Giving back has always been important to Ray, who supports cancer research, disabled children, and disadvantaged families. Ray wants the show to increase local and global altruism and philanthropy.

MarySue Hansell is COO of ToonUps. MarySue has been a successful entrepreneur and business executive for over 30 years. She is also an avid student of the healing arts, Positive Psychology, and spirituality. MarySue uses BetterWorldians Radio to share the transformative findings and practices that help people improve their lives and the lives of others.

Gregory Hansell is Vice President of Product Development at ToonUps. Greg conceived the original concept of A Better World. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy and World Religions, and has spent over 15 years at the intersection of technology, social causes, and big ideas. Greg sees BetterWorldians Radio as a way to build a global community around altruism, optimism, and understanding.

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  • 10/31/2013: Being a BetterWorldian Through Small Acts of Kindness Listen Now
  • 10/24/2013: Being a Better Worldian By Being Who You Are Listen Now
  • 10/17/2013: Developing the Whole Person in the Developing World Listen Now
  • 10/10/2013: Doing Good in the Real and Virtual Worlds Listen Now

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Rev. Andy Greenhow

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Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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Kim Harvey

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Ryan Hreljac

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Dan Karslake

Dan Karslake is an award-winning American film director and producer. His film, For The Bible Tells Me so, won nine “Best Documentary” audience awards at prestigious festivals across the country, it was on the short list for a 2008 Academy Award, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His work was singled out by many organizations, including the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Dan graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies. View Guest page

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Dr. Benjamin LaBrot

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Melissa Lake

As the Executive Director of the ONEHOPE Foundation and Director of Social Impact for ONEHOPE, Melissa Lake leads one of the world’s first social impact organizations. In her current role, she is responsible for the foundation’s brand, social responsibility, and external nonprofit partnerships. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California, Melissa visited Tanzania where she taught English to 40 kindergarten students. Inspired by this trip, Melissa knew that her true passion in life lies in helping people and contributing to the greater good. This passion led her to graduate with a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship from New York University. In addition, Melissa spent three years at Google, where she was the assistant to the President of the Americas Operations and the first associate at Google Ventures. View Guest page

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Rich Lalley

Rich Lalley is responsible for the overall direction of the organization, which includes: development, communications, organizational strategy and developing strategic partnerships and community programs. Prior to joining Operation Warm in 2009 as VP Development, Mr. Lalley served as President of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield, IL and he currently serves Rotary District 6440 as Assistant Governor. Mr. Lalley brings over twenty years of brand marketing and advertising experience to Operation Warm, most recently as Vice President of Advertising & Brand Management for Discover Financial Services. He is a past recipient of Brand Week's Marketer of the Year and Ad Age's Marketing 100 awards. Mr. Lalley is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he studied advertising. View Guest page

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Jenn Lim

Jenn Lim is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness, a company she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of co-founded to inspire science-based happiness, passion and purpose at work, home and everyday life. Jenn has been a consultant at Zappos from its start-up days in 2003 to the $2B business it is today. One of her creations, the Zappos Culture Book, has become a global symbol of how companies can use happiness as a business model to increase productivity and profitability. In 2010, Jenn led the launch and management of Tony’s first book (Delivering Happiness) which has sold over 550,000 copies worldwide and hit #1 on bestsellers lists like the New York Times and USA Today. Delivering Happiness has evolved from a book to a bus tour, and now a company and global happiness movement represented by people from over 110 countries. Today, Jenn’s dedicated to growing the Delivering Happiness movement so we can all pay happiness forward! View Guest page

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Jim Liske

Jim Liske joined Prison Fellowship as chief executive officer in July 2011 and assumed the additional title of president in 2013. Since taking the helm of the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, Liske has led the organization's efforts to foster the moral rehabilitation of prisoners through faith-based programming, advocate for restorative criminal justice policies at the state and national levels, and mobilize churches to be agents of positive change in the lives of those affected by the cycle of crime and incarceration and in their communities.

As the leader of Prison Fellowship, Liske has visited more than 100 prisons and jails throughout the United States to dialogue with inmates and prison leaders about how our nation can create more humane, transformative correctional facilities. He speaks frequently with legislators and prison officials about the importance of faith- and values-based moral rehabilitation for prisoners, and the need for a fundamental shift in America’s approach to criminal justice. A native of Alpena, Michigan, Liske earned a master’s of divinity from North American Baptist Seminary in 1986. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Denver Seminary. View Guest page

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Weldon Long

In 2003, Weldon Long walked out of prison, broke and homeless. By 2009, he had built an Inc. 5000 company with over $20,000,000 in sales. His incredible journey from poverty and homelessness to a life of wealth, happiness, and peace of mind is the result of creating an unstoppable Prosperity Mindset, which is embodied in his book The Power of Consistency. Mr. Long is an entrepreneur, dynamic speaker, and an award-winning author. View Guest page

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Trudy Ludwig

Trudy Ludwig is an award-winning author who specializes in writing children's books that explore the colorful and sometimes confusing world of children's social interactions. She has received rave reviews nationwide from educators, experts, organizations, and parents for her passion and compassion in addressing relational aggression – the use of relationships to manipulate and hurt others. Trudy wrote her first book, My Secret Bully, after her own daughter was bullied by some friends. Since then, she has become a sought-after speaker, presenting at schools and conferences around the country and educating students, parents, and teachers on the topic. Trudy is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association. View Guest page

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John MacPhee

John MacPhee brings 20 years of leadership and management experience from the business and not-for-profit settings to The Jed Foundation. Prior to The Jed Foundation, he served as president of Strativa Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw commercial operations, clinical development, medical affairs, alliance management and business development. Previously, he worked at Forest Laboratories, where he led the launches of treatments for depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease. Well versed in the challenges faced by college students, John serves as a board member for Bottom Line, a nonprofit organization that provides guidance counseling to disadvantaged urban youth to help them get into college and graduate. He earned a BA from Columbia College, an MBA from New York University and an MPH from Columbia University. View Guest page

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Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown is the author of the best-selling book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg writes, teaches, and lectures around the world on the importance of living and leading as an Essentialist. He has spoken at companies including Apple, Google, and Facebook and is among the most popular bloggers for the Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn’s Influencer Group. He co-created the course “Designing Life, Essentially” at Stanford University and serves as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. Greg holds an MBA from Stanford University. Learn more at View Guest page

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Josey Milner

Josey Milner is part small town teen, part road-worthy country starlet, and at only 18 years old, she turned heads and changed hearts with her debut US single, “Not Pretty Enough.” The song thrusted Josey into the country music spotlight, launching her anti-bullying campaign with Angels and Doves, earning her a 2013 Independent Country Music Award nomination for Promising Young Artist, a Top 10 Hottest New Artist designation, and a Number One single on the world’s first independent country music chart, Indie World. Josey’s latest single is the aptly titled, “Cowgirls.” View Guest page

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Steve Moeller

Steve Moeller is a successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, business consultant, and life coach. He has trained thousands of investment advisors to help their clients flourish in retirement. A student of many disciplines, including anthropology, positive psychology, peak performance, neuroscience, indigenous wisdom, behavioral finance, and quality of life, Steve founded Endorphin Zone New Media to share his holistic strategies for flourishing with people of all ages and walks of life. View Guest page

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Dr. Andrew Newberg

Dr. Andrew Newberg is Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Nuclear Medicine. Newberg is considered a pioneer in the neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field frequently referred to as – neurotheology. Dr. Newberg has published over 150 research articles, essays and book chapters, and is the co-author of five best selling books, including Why We Believe What We Believe and How God Changes Your Brain. View Guest page

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Carey Palmquist

Carey Palmquist is the Executive Director of Operation Warm. Warming the hearts, minds and bodies of children, Operation Warm and Coats for Kids Foundation inspires hope and empowers communities by providing NEW winter coats to children in need throughout the U.S. Since 1998, Operation Warm has provided the gift of warmth to more than 1.2 million children. View Guest page

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Carey Palmquist

Carey Palmquist is responsible for assisting First Book's leadership team execute on new ideas for growth strategy and innovation. Carey joined First Book after 4+ years as Executive Director of Operation Warm, a national non-profit providing brand new coats to low-income children.

Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Carey served as Vice President of Operations for a state-of-the-art, multi-billion dollar cancer treatment company where she was responsible for all operational aspects of the company's flagship treatment center in Oklahoma City. She has also served in the capacity of human resources executive in the healthcare, technology, and financial industries.

Carey serves on the board of The Institute for Global Youth Development Programs, holds a Master's of Management from Cambridge College and is a certified Six Sigma Green and Black Belt. View Guest page

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Jacqueline Patterson

Jacqueline Patterson is Chief Development Officer at Northern Children’s Services, a non-profit that supports the healthy development of children, while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities. View Guest page

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Dr. Matthew Della Porta

Dr. Della Porta is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of California. Using his expertise in health and wellness, Dr. Della Porta assists business professionals in cultivating optimal employee performance, engagement, and organizational health while helping the bottom line. He has given evidence-based recommendations to a variety of organizations wishing to emphasize employee wellness in their corporate cultures. Dr. Della Porta is also passionate about communicating complex research findings to general audiences. To this end, he has given presentations to several organizations wishing to learn more about the latest positive psychology research and how it can applied in the real world. In addition, Dr. Della Porta writes a column offering advice on the pursuit of happiness on; several of these articles have been featured in the Huffington Post. View Guest page

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Dr. Stephen G. Post

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. He speaks widely on themes of benevolent love and compassionate care at the interface of science, health, spirituality, and philanthropy. His work has been featured in periodicals such as Parade Magazine and O: The Oprah Magazine, and on such media venues as The Daily Show, John Stossel, 20/20 and Nightline. He has addressed the U.S. Congress on volunteerism and public health. In 2001 he founded the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love in 2001, named by Sir John Templeton, who personally selected Post as President. The Institute is a free-standing non-profit that researches and distributes knowledge on selfless love. View Guest page

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Stephen G. Post, Ph.D.

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People and The Hidden Gifts of Helping. He is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Stephen speaks widely on themes of benevolent love and compassionate care at the interface of science, health, spirituality, and philanthropy. His work has been featured in periodicals such as Parade Magazine and O: The Oprah Magazine, and on such media venues as The Daily Show, John Stossel, 20/20 and Nightline. He has addressed the U.S. Congress on volunteerism and public health. View Guest page

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Glenna Salsbury

As a professional speaker and consultant, Glenna Salsbury provides keynotes and seminars nationally and internationally. Bubbling with enthusiasm, high energy and humor, Glenna’s topics include leadership, change and quality performance. Her client list is comprised of many Fortune 500 companies and numerous associations. Glenna graduated from Northwestern University and holds a Masters Degree from UCLA and a Masters from Fuller Seminary. Glenna has appeared on Good Morning America, the ABC Mike and Maty Show and is a well-known author, appearing in the New York Times Bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is also the author of her own bestseller, The Art of the Fresh Start. View Guest page

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Peter Samuelson

Peter Samuelson is a “serial pro-social entrepreneur.” In 1983, inspired by a little boy battling an inoperable brain tumor, Peter conceived of the Starlight Children’s Foundation—an international charity dedicated to granting wishes for seriously ill children. In 2005, Starlight merged with Starbright World, an online social network for seriously ill children (also founded by Samuelson) to become the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Starlight has raised over $1 billion and served 60 million seriously ill children. In 1999, Peter founded First Star, a separate national charity that works to improve the public health, safety, and family life of America’s abused and neglected children. In 2008, Peter founded Everyone Deserves A Roof to distribute a mobile single-user homeless shelter on wheels. Peter is a graduate of Cambridge University and producer of dozens of Hollywood films including Revenge of the Nerds and Arlington Road. View Guest page

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Jay Scott

Jay Scott is the Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. When his daughter Alexandra “Alex” Scott decided to hold a lemonade stand to help doctors find new treatments and ultimately a cure for all childhood cancers, including her own, Jay and his wife Liz supported Alex’s mission every step of the way. After cancer took Alex’s life they continued Alex’s legacy of hope. What started as the vision of one little girl has been embraced by a team of 100,000 volunteers. Jay speaks frequently to groups including businesses, schools and community groups, in addition to participating on panels at national conferences. Jay’s speaking topics include the story of Alex as the impetus for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation; how to make a difference and meaningful impact; the power of one; caregiving for a child with cancer and other topics related to Alex and her inspiration. View Guest page

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James Siegal

James Siegal is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that seeks to give children the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Prior to KaBOOM!, James served as Chief of Staff for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that supports citizen engagement to address community challenges through AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs. James has broad experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, including serving as Vice President of Nonprofit Programs and Practice at the leading non-profit coalition, Independent Sector. He also served as Registration Section Chief and Assistant Attorney General at the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and associate at the global law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. James and his wife enjoy spending time on the playground with their three young girls. View Guest page

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Dr. Ronald Siegel

Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology, Part Time, at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. He is a long-time student of mindfulness meditation and serves on the board of directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Dr. Siegel teaches internationally about mindfulness and psychotherapy and mind–body treatment, has worked for many years in community mental health with inner-city children and families, and maintains a private practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He is the coauthor of Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain, coeditor of the acclaimed books for professionals, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, and coauthor of the new professional text, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy View Guest page

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Raj Sisodia

Raj Sisodia is the Franklin Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc. He has a Ph. D. in Marketing from Columbia University. Raj is co-author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Harvard Business Review Publishing, 2013). In 2003, he was cited as one of “50 Leading Marketing Thinkers” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He was named one of “Ten Outstanding Trailblazers of 2010” by Good Business International, and one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America for 2010 and 2011. Raj has published seven books and over 100 academic articles. His book Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose was named one of the best business books of 2007 by View Guest page

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Michal Smith

Michal Smith joined Cradles to Crayons as Executive Director in November 2010. Following a B.Sc. (Hons) in Applied Biology from London University, Michal became a management trainee and executive coach at Harrods. After moving to the United States, she co-founded Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints which became one of the nation's leading large format fine art digital print making studios. Recruited as Executive Director for The Print Center in Philadelphia, to broaden her fundraising experience she moved to Project Forward Leap, whose budget increased from $1.6 to $2.6 million during her tenure. Michal’s fundraising, managerial, marketing, and production experience is supporting Cradles to Crayons in its continued growth in services. View Guest page

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Chef Michael Solomonov

A 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic,” Chef Michael Solomonov is the executive chef at Zahav, Philadelphia’s renowned modern Israeli restaurant. Known for his extraordinary skill at transforming simple foods into artful culinary masterpieces, he is widely regarded as one of the city’s top young chefs and entrepreneurs. In addition to his duties at Zahav, of which is he co-owner, Chef Solomonov is a partner in Percy Street Barbecue, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher and Federal Donuts, a mostly take-out, donuts-and-fried-chicken shop serving exceptional coffee, cake donuts and fried chicken. He is a graduate of the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Born in Israel, he grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and now calls Philadelphia home. View Guest page

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Rachel Macy Stafford

Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years of experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog “Hands Free Mama.” Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Global News, USA Today,,, The Huffington Post, and Reader's Digest. Rachel’s first book, HANDS FREE MAMA, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her second book, HANDS FREE LIFE, hits bookstores on September 8th, 2015.

You can join Rachel on her journey to overcome distraction, live better, and love more at or The Hands Free Revolution on Facebook View Guest page

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Dr. Josephine Templeton

Born in Capri, Italy, Josephine (Pina) Templeton attended Fordham University and the University of Rome Medical School. She completed residencies at the Medical College of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1977, Pina began a private practice in pediatric anesthesia at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Pina retired from the active practice of medicine in 1999. She is involved in many philanthropic activities and presently serves as a trustee of the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton Press. Pina is a board member of the American Revolution Museum and is a member of several committees at the Union League of Philadelphia. Pina was honored by The Salvation Army in 2005, and was awarded, together with her husband John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D., the 2006 Heroes of Liberty Award by the National Liberty Museum and the 2012 Crystal Award from the Union League of Philadelphia. View Guest page

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Chef Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri is the executive chef and owner of the acclaimed Vetri Family Restaurants in Philadelphia: Vetri Ristorante, Osteria, Amis, and the forthcoming Alla Spina. Within two years of opening his eponymous Philadelphia restaurant, Marc was named one of Food & Wine’s Ten Best New Chefs and received the Philadelphia Inquirer’s highest restaurant rating. In 2005, Marc won the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.” Marc is the author of Rustic Italian Food, released in 2011 and il viaggio di vetri, a collection of more than 125 of his most-requested dishes. Marc is extremely passionate about giving back to the community. In 2008, Marc and business partner Jeff Benjamin created the Vetri Foundation For Children. Taking the lessons learned by years in the culinary world, Marc helps creates environments for children that promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices thus having an impact on their overall health and wellness. View Guest page

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Benjamin Wagner

Benjamin Wagner first met “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” creator and star, Fred Rogers, at his summer home on Nantucket, Massachusetts. His mother rented the cottage next door, so Mister Rogers really was his neighbor. After Rogers’ death in 2003, Wagner and his brother, Christofer, set out to meet some of Mister Rogers’ neighbors to find out more about the man himself. What resulted is the film Mister Rogers and Me. Benjamin graduated from Syracuse University with dual degrees in creative writing and journalism. He is currently Senior Vice President at MTV News. Benjamin is also a performing singer/songwriter with twelve independent albums. View Guest page

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Orly Wahba

Orly Wahba is an educator, entrepreneur, and community activist passionate about inspiring and motivating people to be the best that they can be. Orly began her career in Kindness as a Middle School educator at the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY, teaching the children to embrace unity, build their self-esteem, and use the power they have to influence the world for good. Yearning to make a larger impact with her philanthropic work Orly founded Life Vest Inside in 2011, a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage people to embrace the incredible power of giving and recognize that in times of hardship, kindness, like a life vest, keeps the world afloat. View Guest page

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Michelynn "Miki" Woodard

Miki Woodard is President and CEO of the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. Miki has over 15 years experience in corporate philanthropy across multiple industries, including entertainment, non-profit, television, digital media and music. Miki previously served as the vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney. Before joining JCPenney, Woodard founded the Amalgamation Group LLC, a strategic consulting firm that brought together celebrities, philanthropists, non-profits and brands. Miki’s background also includes serving as managing director of West Coast Operations for Be the Change and as president and chief operating officer for West Brands, where she ran Kanye West’s parent company. Woodard is a prominent member of the philanthropic community where she supports numerous charitable organizations, mentors many young women, and is an active public speaker. View Guest page

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Joel Worrall

Joel Worrall is the Chief Technology Officer for CURE International. He and his team spend their time building online products and experiences that support CURE's work to heal kids with treatable conditions throughout the world. Joel is a passionate advocate for the application of software business principles and tools to the nonprofit sector. Learn more about CURE and the kids they serve via or download View Guest page

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Tom Ziglar

For nearly 50 years Tom has steeped himself in the techniques of living a successful life and running a successful business. He is the CEO of Ziglar, Inc., and the proud son of Zig Ziglar. Prior to being named CEO, Tom began his career in retail and direct sales. He joined the Zig Ziglar Corporation in 1987, working his way up from the warehouse to leadership. Tom is the co-author of Born to Win, taking the Ziglar philosophy of personal success and applying those same principals to the business world. View Guest page

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Kyle Zimmer

In 1992, Kyle Zimmer, then a corporate attorney, was volunteering regularly at a soup kitchen in Washington DC. Realizing that the kids she was working with had no books to call their own, she set out with some friends to remedy the situation. Twenty-one years and more than 110 million brand-new books later, Kyle continues to lead First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise she co-founded to ensure that local schools and community programs across the country serving children from low-income families would have a steady supply of the brand-new, high-quality books they so desperately needed.

Under Kyle’s leadership, First Book distributes millions of new books and educational resources every year to a growing network of schools and programs across the United States and Canada – nearly 90,000 at last count. Kyle is a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship, educational equity, and the importance of literacy to further economic competitiveness and global understanding.

In 2013 Kyle was a presenter at the University of Oxford’s “Power Shift: Forum for Women in the World Economy” at the Saïd Business School at Oxford. Among numerous other honors, Kyle Zimmer received the 2014 Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation in November 2014. View Guest page

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