Priya Shah of The Simple Good

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Our next podcast shares an inspiring, uplifting, and heartfelt message from our guest, Priya Shah. As the founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization “The Simple Good”, Priya explains her innate desire and quest for helping underprivileged communities, and empowering the youth. Her organization aims to connect the youth through art and discussion to help individuals share their experiences, spread positive messages, and portray the similarities that show the ways humans are inherently connected. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Priya utilized her skills in business to build and manage her own organization, while also incorporating creative approaches as an artist. Volunteering at several orphanages and charities, she also traveled to many countries around the world and embraced a variety of different cultures and lifestyles. Tune in to listen to the ways Priya finds the “Simple Good” moments in every situation!

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Kathy Kwak of Proper Title

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Are you a first time home buyer or someone looking into selling property? If so, it’d be beneficial to give a listen to our next podcast episode featuring Kathy Kwak, the Director of Title Operations and Counsel at Proper Title. After receiving her B.S. from Indiana University in Bloomington and her J.D from Valparaiso University School of Law, Kathy exposed herself to a variety of different career paths such as being the Senior Real Estate Advisor for the Chicago Board of Education, and working as an associate that handled residential real estate transactions. Introduced to the title industry, Kathy used the experience she obtained from her diverse professional background to manage the underwriting and closing of residential and commercial real estate transactions. Be sure to tune in if you’re interested in seeking key advice that’ll come in handy when purchasing or selling your property.

Mike Frain of Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

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If you’ve ever purchased or sold property, you probably understand how stressful the process can be. Our next podcast guest, Mike Frain, has dedicated his work to making this transaction easier for his clients. After studying at Northwestern and DePaul, Mike progressed to becoming the Vice President of Commercial Marketing for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. Having decades worth of experience in the industry, Mike explains the significance of owning title insurance and the ways his services help individuals protect their property rights and secure efficient real estate transactions. He also elaborates on the transformation of this industry and how technological advancements have impacted its efficiency. Listen to this podcast to further understand the various ways you can uphold your property rights.

Kristen Onesti of KO Design Group

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To shed some light on professions that consistently utilize art and creativity, our next podcast guest is Kristen Onesti, Owner and Senior Graphic Designer at KO Design Group. With over 20 years of experience, Kristen illustrates her journey to finding a career that allowed her to integrate artistic and technical concepts. While working for high-profile law firms and retail industries, she learned how to create print communications, web designs, and marketing campaigns for a diverse client base. Being a part of a competitive and fast-paced field, she expands on the importance of releasing fresh and unique content, and the overall tactics she uses in order to stand out and appeal to potential clients. Give this podcast a listen if you’re interested in learning more about the ways Kristen tackles creative challenges to deliver distinctive and interesting work for her clients.

Dr. Alex Lickerman of ImagineMD

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This week’s podcast hosts our guest Dr. Alex Lickerman, the Founder and CEO of ImagineMD, a direct primary care practice in Chicago. Having attended the University of Chicago for both undergrad and medical school, Dr. Lickerman has over 20 years of experience in academic medicine, teaching generations of medical professionals, and writing books on the topics of resilience and happiness. Dr. Lickerman uses psychological and personalized approaches to help his patients solve their medical issues, educate them on preventative health measures, and provide them with higher quality care and accessibility to health care services. Be sure to tune into this podcast to learn more about the innovative and unconventional ways Dr. Lickerman provides optimal services for his patients.

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Sol Anderson and Sarah Spunt of LIFT - Chicago

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In honor of National Volunteer Week, this week’s podcast hosts the Directors of LIFT-Chicago, Sol Anderson and Sarah Spunt. LIFT is a national nonprofit based in Washington D.C. with offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. LIFT’s mission is to help parents break the cycle of poverty by providing services that not only stabilize their families economically but increase their personal well-being and social connections.

Sol, the Executive Director of LIFT-Chicago, is responsible for creating regional strategy, building and maintaining relationships with donors and board members, and expanding LIFT-Chicago’s operations. Sol’s partner in crime is Program Director Sarah Spunt, a licensed clinical social worker, responsible for implementing the organization’s program goals, analyzing data, training staff, and building partnerships.

LIFT’s secret sauce is focusing on building economic stability in parents in order to put their children on a path to economic mobility. LIFT pairs parents with professionally trained volunteers who work alongside the parents to create goal-oriented plans that build a strong financial, educational, and social foundations in order to break the cycle of poverty. Be sure to listen to Sol and Sarah share the impactful and inspiring mission behind LIFT and more about how nonprofit organizations are providing a helping hand for families in need.

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Amy Dardinger of SSPR

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Covering topics including gender gaps in the workplace and the lack of representation and recognition of work completed by women, we have PR and marketing expert Amy Dardinger. Amy is a PR Manager working for public relations agency SSPR, and she specializes in providing media training and strategic advice to executive professionals in B2B companies. She focuses specifically on building plans and training clients in industries like human resources, healthcare and technology. Transitioning from an all-women’s environment at Saint Mary’s College to a co-ed law school at the College of William & Mary showed Amy how important it was for women to express their opinions and show their capabilities. She combined the skills and knowledge obtained from law school and her passion to learn new and challenging material to pursue an alternative career path, one not necessarily associated with law. Amy discovered that marketing and PR allowed her to brainstorm fresh and creative ideas, while also helping people thrive within their businesses. Amy encourages women to practice building their voices, take on strong leadership roles and dive into fields that are conventionally pursed by men.

Listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher.

Jenny Gresla of selafit

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Committing yourself to regularly working out and maintaining a healthier lifestyle may seem daunting at times. Whether you are freshly starting out on a fitness journey, or you’re struggling to continue it, being comfortable and confident in your workout clothes can definitely make the process easier. Our podcast guest, Jenny Gresla took these feelings into account and created selafit, an activewear clothing brand which focuses on producing an inclusive size range that caters towards all body types and sizes. Her inspiration behind launching this company arose from her own observations and frustrations in realizing that many activewear clothing brands did not carry plus sizes, and usually accommodated to specific body types. Along with being the founder of selafit, she also partners with Girls in the Game, an organization that offers health/wellness and leadership based programs which allow young girls to learn about body positivity and ways to obtain healthier lifestyles. With “Sela” translating to “rock” in Hebrew, Jenny aims have her brand serve as a foundation for women and encourage them to “See their potential, Embrace the journey, Live with intention, and Act with perseverance”.

Listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher.

Harmony France of Firebrand Theatre

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A major contributor to the evolving landscape of musical theatre in Chicago, this week's podcast introduces Harmony France, the artistic director and founder of the first feminist musical theatre company, Firebrand Theatre. This Chicago-based company primarily focuses on creating more opportunities and roles for women in various areas of artistic production. Harmony is also a casting director at Bailiwick Chicago, a teacher at Actor’s Training Center, and an actress that has traveled the world with the Broadway National/International Tour of Sister Act. As she progressed in her career and examined the male dominated industry of musical theatre, Harmony began to question why, despite women far outnumbering men in the industry, musicals were produced, directed, and cast by men and heavily focused around male stories. Being aware of the lack of diversity and inclusion in the industry, Harmony launched Firebrand Theatre to promote the empowerment of women and showcase talented female artists and their stories.

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Dr. Maria Nanos of The Center for Law and Social Work

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Disclaimer: Please be advised that this podcast covers sensitive topics, including discussion of child sexual abuse, violence, and sexual assault.

As the next guest to join our “Women Championing Change” podcast series, we have Dr. Maria Nanos, the Executive Director of The Center for Law and Social Work. Passionate about her career, Dr. Nanos believes that her daring personality, desire to help others, and dynamic life experiences all led her to pursue social work.

With these interests in mind, Dr. Nanos worked towards receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago, and also obtained her masters in social work from Jane Addams, University of Illinois. She was hired as the youngest member to work with children who had been sexually abused in the Special Services Unit at Juvenile Court in Chicago’s Cook County. Starting her clinical career in 1987, Dr. Nanos’ primary focus was to work with children and families dealing with sexual abuse and neglect. With her involvement, she was able to gain a strong understanding in how to provide investigation, therapy, counseling, and other aiding services for the protection and safety of children, and the stabilization of families.

As the Executive Director for Center for Law and Social work, Dr. Nanos also works with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and specializes in adoption and guardianship for numerous families in Chicago. As a program of CLSW, Dr. Nanos also manages Porchlight Counseling Services, which offers free therapy sessions for students who have been sexually assaulted. In addition to this work, Dr. Nanos is also a professor at Loyola University, in the Masters of Social Work program. Dr. Nanos and CLSW consistently work towards their goal of “Promoting Families | Providing Hope | Protecting Lives”

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Jocelyn Brumbaugh of The Brumbaugh Group

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In this fast paced and technologically driven society, it is important for businesses to know how to deliver and portray information to their audiences using concise and effective strategies. In this podcast we dive further into the topic of strategic marketing with Jocelyn Brumbaugh, the founder of “The Brumbaugh Group.” Having more than 20 years of experience in legal marketing and communication, Jocelyn successfully developed strategic and process driven plans that help law firms and other professionals market and promote their services. In addition, Jocelyn is also the founder of the nonprofit trade group, “Legal & Professional Services Council”, where she conducts programming for over 500 members, covering topics in business development, marketing, and communications for law firms and other professional service firms. Her main goal is to help individuals focus on developing their professional skills in marketing, while also creating a networking environment in which to build connections and expand growth for new opportunities. To learn more about how to get involved with this organization, visit

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud.