Raising the Bar
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel
Imagine if we all listened to the inner voice that tells us that we can do great things? What if you could take your negative life experience and turn it into a positive for others? Maybe these actions would impact the world, the community, or change the life of a single person. What if you were chosen to take a risk that seemed too big, ridiculously scary, or incredibly uncomfortable? What would you do with that prompting? Would you ignore it and believe it to be impossible or step up and attack the challenge? Listen to others as they teach us how to apply the proper skills to move forward in action, who accepted that tug on their heart, despite personal gain in some instances, and learn ways you can RAISE THE BAR for yourself and those around you, in order to create positive change and outcome. This show is about empowering ourselves to be our best while developing this belief in others for the common good of people.
Amy can best be described as intelligent, creative, passionate and diligent. She embodies many traits of humility, capability and humor. As a busy mother of four, she strives to always be engaged and boldly invested in her family, career and outreach projects.
Her heart of empathy and compassion for others is limitless. She demonstrates strong leadership skills within her network marketing business, philanthropic endeavors and amongst her coaching and personal training clients. Amy has also been an integral part of servant leadership teams, co-founding a non-profit organization for adoption and orphan care and a catalyst in organizing and brainstorming fundraisers to create awareness on the orphan crisis and support to adoptive families.
Whether it's mentoring others to realize and fulfill their potential, sharing fitness and nutritional support techniques or rallying the masses to serve fatherless children, Amy shows a level of commitment that is unsurpassed.
Dick came to ORPHANetwork from Willow Creek Community Church and Willow Creek Association. He joined Willow Creek Association International ministries to support the launch of The Global Leadership Summit and opening the Summit to countries in Latin America. His heart for serving the forgotten children of Nicaragua was born out of witnessing firsthand their extreme poverty. Dick casts an exciting vision for ONET: “Working with individuals and churches to make this happen will be life-changing for all of us.” Guest Dick Anderson
Jerrold Benford is currently establishing himself as a fixture on the eastern comedy circuit. Born and raised in Virginia, Jerrold began his career in New Jersey, where he quickly made a name for himself and performed at the New Jersey and New York’s finest clubs including: Rascals, Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, Gotham Comedy Club, and the renowned Caroline’s on Broadway. Jerrold continues to perfect his craft. Within two years of his stand-up debut, he was featuring and headlining clubs, colleges, and private functions all over the tri-state area. His distinctive perspective on dating and marriage topics combines with a high energy, friendly delivery to create wickedly clever content and a wildly funny act. His eye for absurdities in everyday life and his quirky, unique writing style leaves crowds in stitches. Guest Jerrold Benford
After flesh-eating bacteria entered Ashley Black’s bone system 15 years ago, a story began unfolding. Finding treatment options limited, Ashley began studying the human body, uncovering new systems virtually unexplored in modern healthcare, fitness, sports and beauty.
She established Ashley Black Fasciology™ – the mission of which is to educate the world on fascia, which holds the potential to change society’s understanding of anatomy and physiology. Improving fascia changes lives and helps people enjoy unprecedented levels of health, vitality and beauty. As the leading expert on fascia, Ashley has pioneered every aspect of the field. Her client roster includes A-list celebs; top-ten athletes, billionaires, supermodels and worldwide influencers. Ashley is launching knowledge and physical products to bring the benefits of Fascia science and Fasciology™ to the general public; including the FasciaBlaster™, a self-treating tool anyone can use to loosen fascia and improve overall health. Guest Ashley Black
My name is Madeline Black, I'm 17 years old and I'm about to graduate early and go to UTSA in January to study Global Affairs. Unashamedly, I really love Jesus, and I'm proud to share my faith with others! I love spending quality time with the people I love. I enjoy anything that involves creativity and out of the box thinking. I like to travel as much as possible and really make my time out of those trips to gain new insight about what life is and who I am. I love experiencing new things and meeting new people. I'm pretty active and am a huge fan of yoga and hiking. I enjoy all activities that get me moving! Guest Madeline Black
With over a decade of experience in talent management and the entertainment industry, Mr. Bornman is uniquely positioned to understand both sides of the studio. Formerly an actor and runway model he transitioned to the other side of the camera in talent acquisition and casting for movies, radio, and television. He very easily identifies marketable ideas and the importance of high-quality, consistent content that produces a significant shift in his clients’ bottom line. Most importantly he has a passion and a genuine heart for people and building long lasting relationships with them. “My goal here at VoiceAmerica is to build amazing relationships with my hosts and to work hand in hand with them to help achieve their goals and have their voices be heard". Guest Jeremy Bornman
Joseph is a pre-med student and suicide prevention advocate. He speaks boldly on his own experiences in order to connect with peer audiences, as well as mentoring troubled youth. Guest Joseph Braido
Valencia A. Breckenridge is the Major Gifts Officer at Feed My Starving Children, a faith based hunger relief organization committed to feeding the world’s starving children by generating compassion in those who are able to help. Valencia received her MBA from Northwestern University and has over 20 years of non-profit management, fund-raising and public speaking experience. She has served as Executive Director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center, Director of Communications at Opportunity International and Director of Development at Pioneer Clubs. Valencia lives in Wheaton, Illinois with her young adult son and rescued dog. Guest Valencia Breckenridge
Kapil Chaudhary is the founder and CEO of RecommendMe (www.myrecommendme.com), a new platform that allows friends to share recommendations for Restaurants, Fitness, Travel and more. He is also the cofounder and Managing Partner of I2A Ventures (www.i2aventures.com), a venture capital firm with $30M+ under management. Kapil currently represents I2A on the boards of DialogTech, Sittercity, YCharts, Signal, and Base CRM. He also co-founded Excelerate (now TechStars Chicago) an accelerator based in Chicago for innovative start-up companies globally. Prior to I2A, Kapil worked as a venture development director with the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, a consultant with a west coast venture incubator and in investment banking at Credit Suisse. Kapil is the founder and chairman of Launch U (www.launchu.org), a fast growing college and career prep mentoring program for high performing underserved high school students. Kapil graduated from the University of Chicago, and Kellogg with an MBA. Guest Kapil Chaudhary
Shenandoah Chefalo is a graduate of Michigan State University, holding a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science, a Core Essentials Graduate from Coach U, and a member of the Foster Leaders Movement and National Speakers Association. She is a sought after speaker on topics surrounding youth in foster care, and has been featured as a guest locally, nationally and internationally. She is also a survivor and alumni of the foster care system. Shenandoah Chefalo is the author of Garbage Bag Suitcaseabout her time before, during and after foster care as well as her current advocacy work. She also wrote an e-book entitled Setting Your Vision and Defining Your Goals, and is also working on her next manuscript, Hiking for Stillness. Guest Shenandoah Chefalo
Kristin and her husband Ben have a son, and 3 daughters (2 biological and one waiting for them in Zambia). They are starting a community transformation team that will be located in Chongwe, a village town in Zambia. They share a burden for ministry to girls in prostitution, vulnerable women, marriages and men's issues. God has used their own history and by His grace, has given them the opportunity to come alongside the people of Zambia to address extreme poverty, oppression and spiritual blindness. They have now fully come under International Teams as the new team leaders for Zambia and are looking forward to moving soon. Guest Kristin Choitz
Joe DeSena founded Spartan Race in 2010 and has since grown the brand to be the world’s leading obstacle racing company with over 170 events in 25+ countries, 1 million-plus global participants, key sponsors including Reebok, two popular TV programs, and numerous other lifestyle products. Joe has been a lifelong entrepreneur, from selling fireworks at age eight, to building a multimillion-dollar pool business in college, to founding a Wall Street trading firm. An accomplished athlete, Joe has competed in every extreme sports adventure he could find, racing more than 50 ultra-distance events in his athletic career. Guest Joe DeSena
After meeting the Kettners in 2005 through my boyfriend, I became a close friend (and even short-term roommate) to the Kettner family. Carter was only 2 and a half years old when I briefly joined their family and immediately he stole my heart (and my dog). After being diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma in February of 2009, I made it my goal to ensure that Carter never spent one minute more being sad than the physical aspects of his diagnosis created. Among the efforts to make Carter’s wishes come true was having it actually rain gumballs with the help of “Carter’s Crew”! While our work managed to provide the smiles I had hoped for, the larger effect of my relationship with Carter was actually to my benefit. Carter has taught me the meaning of HOPE, of the benefit of cracking jokes in the middle of the most difficult situations and how courage is an amazing gift you can give to others. Guest Michelle Domino
Shannon Elizabeth was born and raised in Texas. She grew up active in dance, cheerleading, student council, and almost chose a life career in tennis. After being featured in a music video her senior year of high school, that happened to be directed by Antoine Fuqua, Shannon felt encouraged to seek out modeling and acting. Shannon's journey took her to New York, many European cities, and L.A. About a year after moving to Los Angeles, she started taking acting classes. She got an agent eventually, and in 1999, she landed the iconic role of "Nadia" in the movie American Pie (1999).
Shannon is still acting in projects she loves and is enjoying wearing more hats these days. She's directing and producing music videos and working on various projects. Shannon's other love, and what she says is her purpose in life, is her non-profit, Animal Avengers. Started in 2001 as a Los Angeles animal rescue, the charity became international in 2015 and moved into doing conservation work in Africa. Guest Shannon Elizabeth
Abadir Seid Fantahun
Abadir is a native of Ethiopia. His enormous heart and intelligence are a blessing to all around him. Hear how his personal experiences, struggles, and triumphs, have led him to a humble, but fulfilling life serving caregivers and children in orphanages in Addis Ababa. With his amazing desire of wanting to be a light in the lives of those who only know darkness, he truly is a pleasure to speak to, to know, and to partner with! He has a degree in counseling and psychology, as well as a masters degree in social work. Guest Abadir Seid Fantahun
Randi Fine is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder abuse expert. She is a radio show host, author, and Life Issues Counselor living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Through her wealth of experience, insight, and wisdom, she offers hope, compassion, and healing to others. Randi is the author of her memoir Fine…ly: My Story of Hope, Love, and Destiny, Awaken from Life: Lessons for Discovering Your Personal Truths the inspiring book in which she shares her philosophies about life. As a Life Issues Counselor, Randi specializes in helping others work through issues relating to relationship codependency, narcissistic personality disorder abuse, emotional boundaries, letting go of the past, and letting go of unhealthy guilt. Love Your Life, is an online journal she writes to spread light, love, and healing to the world. Her blog is read in 180 countries. She hosts the blog talk-radio show, A Fine Time for Healing: A Sanctuary for Your Emotional Wellbeing. Guest Randi Fine
Carol Fruin is a Chicago area native and now resides with her family in rural Huntley, Illinois. She and her husband Ross have been married for 26 years. They live on their farm and have two other children, Hayden 20, and Emilie, 17. She enjoys waterskiing, spending time with friends and family, and is very active in her local church. Carol is an amazing example of faith and courage and it is truly a gift to know her. Guest Carol Fruin
Sir William (William Geheren) and The Duchess (Kate Curtin)
William has been a marketing leader for more than 20 years. He has served in that capacity in various industries including textbook publishing, technology, agency work and healthcare. In addition, William has served on the board of education on one of the most successful districts in Illinois for the past six years. William and his wife Mia have three adopted children and were selected as Illinois Foster Parents of the Year in 2008. Guest William Geheren
Janice Goldwater, LCSW-C is the Founder and Executive Director of Adoptions Together, a Maryland, DC and Virginia licensed child placement agency that creates safety and permanency for children. A master's level social worker by training, she founded the agency in 1990, in response to serious gaps in the child welfare system. The agency provides adoption/permanency opportunities and support to all children in need, regardless of age, race, health or handicapping condition and strengthens families through educational programs and mental health services. Since 1990 more than 6000 children have been settled in permanent, stable families and thousands more have benefited by the therapeutic and support services offered by the agency.
Janice is a national and local presenter on issues relating to adoption, attachment, trauma, FASD and family stability. She is a mother by birth and adoption to four grown children. Guest Janice Goldwater
Andrew is currently living in Illinois, and creates custom motorcycles for his own company, Barebones Choppers. He's a multifaceted talent in many trades, ranging from masonry, structural engineering, teaching and public speaking. His thirst for knowledge and learning is what makes him a delight to speak with and every conversation leads to thought provoking learning. Guest Andrew Gordon
Silouan is a speaker and writer. A severe jet crash broke his body and descended him into a hell of PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideations. It was on an epic two-year motorcycle journey that he began to learn to live free.
We can use the trials and transitions of life to live with purpose and help others do the same. Guest Silouan Green
Lori Harder is a leading expert in the field of fitness, transformational work, mindfulness, and self-love. As a self-made millionaire, successful entrepreneur, network marketing professional, author, cover model, and three-time fitness world champion, she offers a carefully curated set of practical tools to promote sustainable health, spiritual well-being, and financial freedom. Through her books, unique coaching methods, and programs, she has helped countless people connect with their soul, transform their bodies, empower their minds, gain financial independence, and fall in love with themselves and their lives. Throughout her career, Lori has regularly appeared on the covers of and published articles for Oxygen Magazine, STRONG Fitness Magazine, Health & Fitness Magazine and Prosper Magazine. She has also been featured on NBC, Fox, and TLC networks. Guest Lori Harder
The creative journey of Kate Curtin weaves through Boston, NY, CA, AZ, and Chicago. Her artistic diversity is matched by her sales background and management and consulting for many different companies. Kate earned a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston. Some of her career highlights include; serving as Choir Captain on Broadway with Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, transitioning to Education Director, Acting coach and National Corporate Trainer. Guest Kate Hein
Ashley Johns is a Fierce Life Coach, Writer, Entrepreneur and Founder of Fierce Forward. Her Armor will arm you with intention, her Journal Projects will empower you to move forward through journaling and creating your Fierce, and you can find her within her Community of women empowering them to live their fiercest Life, to be their fiercest self, and to do it NOW. Guest Ashley Johns
Nick Spent over 25 years in Corporate America. During those years he was able to participate in a number of entrepreneurial endeavors and philanthropic activities. These were the experiences that really lit his fire!
Four years ago, Nick discovered an opportunity that has allowed him to become a full time entrepreneur and also dramatically elevate his activities impacting others, building teams and ultimately giving back. Guest Nick Jongebloed
My story of incorporating a charitable foundation is short; however the reason I arrived here is not. Our eldest son Carter Kettner was diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor in February 2009. He was five years old. Doctors gave him less than 12 months to live. We were devastated. We picked up our family and moved to a research hospital to fight for our son. The journey we would take would change us for the rest of our lives. We were thrown into a new world of medicine, neurosurgeries, family struggles, and job loss. Worst of all, we had to watch our son’s health deteriorate month by month. My son kept his humor, his love, and his trust in us. We kept him happy, safe, and comfortable. The support we had around us was amazing . My wife and I have many friends and family, and we were overjoyed and humbled every day with the sincerity and generosity of our support network. However during our journey, we met other families who weren’t so lucky Guest Joe Kettner
Joyce is a licensed child welfare worker who has 30 years experience working with children and their families. Prior to coming to SFFC, she worked at a residential treatment center for adolescence, and she also worked at two different foster care agencies. In 2012, she joined the staff at Safe Families. Since 1995, she has also been a Master Trainer with the Department of Children and Family Services. In this capacity, she teaches classes on adoption, reunification, meeting the educational needs of children, foster care, and trauma classes. Joyce has degrees in Psychology and Sociology. Joyce and her husband are active members at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington where she serves on the leadership team for the Vulnerable Children’s ministry. Joyce and her husband are Safe Family Host parents and she counts it a privilege to have walked alongside countless adoptive, foster, and safe families in both her personal and professional capacity. Guest Joyce Moffit
Rick and Beth Olsen
In 1999, Beth and Rick Olsen experienced a tragedy that no parent should ever have to go through: the loss of their two children, Jessica and Joshua, in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The immediate aftermath of such a monumental loss proved to be a numbing haze filled with police, family, friends, and media. But it wasn't long before Beth and Rick began receiving messages from their deceased children, assuring them that they weren't actually gone—and ultimately proving the existence of life after death. Almost sixteen years later, Beth and Rick share what they learned during their painful journey in order to help those who have experienced similar tragedy. Once again living in a house filled with children's laughter, the Olsens prove that it is not only possible to survive such a devastating blow, but to eventually thrive. Guest Rick and Beth Olsen
Scot grew up in a big family with 4 brothers and one sister. When I say big, I mean it. At 6’11” only one of his brothers and his sister are shorter than him! He was born in Utah, but mostly raised in San Diego. Along with basketball, he played volleyball in High School, and actually had some scholarship offers to play both sports. Choosing to stick with basketball, his college career couldn’t have gone better as he played all four years at center for the University of Kansas under then coach, Roy Williams.
It's safe to say that Coach Williams prepared him for a long career as a professional basketball player! As a family man, retired 11 year NBA veteran, car and motorcycle enthusiast, writer, actor, philanthropist, and SURVIVOR conspirator, there's no telling what he's up to next! Guest Scot Pollard
Sandra Reich M.Ed. is the Clinical Director of The Montreal Center for Anxiety and Depression, The Co-Director of Empowered Women Workshops, Co-Director of Anxiety Videos, Founder of Sandra Reich’s Couple Retreats a licensed Psychotherapist and Host of Straight Talk with Sandra Reich on VoiceAmerica's Health and Wellness channel. Sandra is also a best-selling author of a number one self-help book on relationships, (Once upon a Time- How Cinderella Grew Up and Became a Happy Empowered Woman), a TV and radio personality and a well-known expert on anxiety, family issues, relationships and more. Sandra’s extraordinary ability in getting to the root of a problem and solving it efficiently has made her gift very sought out. She is known to be an expert in the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and “Life Strategy”. She has been fascinated with human nature since she was a small child. She developed an astonishing talent for understanding people and the dances that the play out in life. Guest Sandra Reich
Sally Roberts is an accomplished elite athlete, active duty soldier, sport psychology consultant and founder of the 501(c) 3 organization, Wrestle Like A Girl. Growing up from disadvantaged means, Sally found direction and passion in life through the sport of wrestling. It was through the sport of wrestling she found direction, positive reinforcement and a safe place to be after school. Because of this combination, she was the first in her family to graduate from high school, earn an undergraduate degree in psychology and an advanced degree in sport psychology- all while training for the Olympics full time. Sally was a resident at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for 8 years earning 2 bronze medals, 4 national championship titles and was a 2008 Olympic Alternate. While serving in the military, she also founded the nonprofit organization Wrestle Like A Girl in 2016 on the premise that girls can do anything, especially wrestle- they just need to know that option exists. Guest Sally Roberts
Fascinated by the leaders who make impact in the world, companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Simon Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate. He wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to explore his idea of the Golden Circle, what he calls "a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others." His newest work explores "circles of safety," exploring how to enhance feelings of trust and confidence in making bold decisions. It's the subject of his latest book, Leaders Eat Last. An ethnographer by training, Sinek is an adjunct of the RAND Corporation. He writes and comments regularly for major publications and teaches graduate-level strategic communications at Columbia University. Guest Simon Sinek
Aimee Suyko is a cancer coach and certified self-esteem and body-image coach. When it comes to living a more vigorous and vital life, there are certain steps you need to take. No one knows more about the importance of taking these essential steps than Aimee. As a two time cancer survivor, living through fertility challenges, a bilateral mastectomy and now early menopause, she knows what it takes to overcome any obstacle that is thrown at you. It is because of her own personal adversity that her life’s work has turned to supporting, guiding and shedding light in the lives of women who are facing, battling or recovering breast cancer. Aimee speaks to crowds all over to spread the message of RIGHT NOW. With a heavy dose of humor, Aimee delivers a realistic look at the rollercoaster of life. Guest Aimee Suyko
Pat Tomasulo is the sports anchor and reporter on the WGN Morning News.
He joined WGN-TV in June 2005.
Prior to WGN, Pat was sports reporter and anchor at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York. He previously spent three years as sports director, weekend sports anchor and reporter at WJFW-TV in Rhinelander, WI.
In August of 2009, Pat was voted one of the top five broadcasters chosen to sit alongside Kelly Ripa as co-host to “Live! with Regis & Kelly” as part of a nationwide promotion. He was also one of the hosts of “Shaq Vs,” a nationally televised reality show featuring basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal.
Pat received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey. Guest Pat Tomasulo
Ryan has been working in the Audio/Video Production and New Media Broadcasting Space for 15 years. He has done everything from live concerts, corporate events, terrestrial radio, Internet Radio, commercial/educational video shoots and Live web broadcasting. He enjoys the technology behind creating, producing, syndicating, and broadcasting content. He's very driven and is always looking for innovative team-centric people and technology to make delivery more Interactive. Guest Ryan Treasure
Dr. Alok Trivedi
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a professional speaker and consultant for sales teams. As President of Mental Toughness University, he helps increase sales and retention rates through psychological performance training. As a doctor, Alok has been captivated with mental and physical aspects of performance. He has studied the field of higher thinking and human performance since 1993.
Dr. Alok built one of the largest alternative health care clinics in the world through his non-linear methods of healing and business practices. Soon afterwards he partnered with Steve Siebold and began helping companies increase sales and performance. Some of their corporate clients include Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, and Toyota. Guest Dr. Alok Trivedi
Jodi Jackson Tucker
An author, avid speaker, and mother, Jodi shares her dreams and frustrations, passion, and drive for the orphan and adoption. She'll share what's worked well in her own personal journey, and what has not. Her transparency of faith, who she is as a person, and who she is growing to become will all be revealed! Guest Jodi Jackson Tucker