Archive for the ‘2009’ Category

An interview with Molly Mattessich

What’s your favorite part of a typical day?

Getting to the office is something that I look forward to every day, because it is when I feel most connected to people.  First thing in the morning, I spend about 15 minutes checking in with online communities, and get the jolt of energy that comes not just from my cup of coffee but from reading what everyone else is up to and inspired by.

Are there any words of wisdom that help guide your work or your life?

I’ve spent a lot of time, decades in fact, pondering my vocation.  Ultimately, I had to make that choice and find, “where the world’s greatest need meets my greatest bliss.”  In my current work, I have found that.  I also read Parker Palmer’s book, “Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.” His words inspired me and I continue to ask myself every day, “is the life that you are living the same as the life that lives in you?”  Having my actions be congruent with my thoughts and desires is not an easy thing to do, but to me this is the challenge for each of us: to do what we are meant to do and not always what is expected of us.

Tell me about your business, charity or cause. Share your passion.

Eight years ago, I lived in a rural village in Mali for two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer and it was the most transformative experience of my life.  Many of those months also were the loneliest of my life and when I felt completely disconnected to friends, family, and everything that was familiar.  Now, I’m making up for the disconnect by managing the online communities for the National Peace Corps Association, the leading nonprofit organization that supports and engages serving and returned Peace Corps Volunteers to help them continue being of service to their communities and the world.  In this role, I launched and still manage Africa Rural Connect (ARC), an online platform that gives a voice in the international development community to those who may not previously have been heard. On the ARC site, we’re trying to come up with solutions to the agricultural challenges faced by people living in sub-Saharan Africa.  So far, it’s been rewarding to see the creative, thoughtful, and practical plans proposed by people participating from over 130 countries and the partnerships being formed that are helping the ideas to take shape.

If you could change anything you have done in your business, charity, cause, what would it be?

Get rid of the cynics in the development space.  It’s easy to criticize an idea but don’t do it unless you can offer an alternative plan in the same breath.  I wish that people would continue to be positive and support ideas, partnerships, and initiatives. Negativity is the easy way out.  I’d rather engage with problem solvers.

What keeps you up at night? 

The concept that it’s hard to build something, and so easy to destroy it.  This equation has to change.  I also wonder who I should be talking to or connecting with that I don’t know about.

Who gives you the best advice about your business, charity, cause?

On a professional level, I get lots of feedback from my advisor, a man outside of my organization who served in the Peace Corps nearly 40 years ago and has a breadth of knowledge about business, service, and international issues.  Personally, I get advice from a close circle of intimate friends and my boyfriend, who doesn’t let me rest too long after any success, but encourages me to think creatively and move on toward the next goal.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I took this position never having managed the launch of a large-scale website.  I dove into the projects and was able to draw on my knowledge from other very different jobs and volunteer roles to make all of the pieces come together and succeed with the constraints of a nonprofit budget.  I’m proud of hiring a hard-working and committed team of people to help make it happen.

What would you like to see happen with your business, charity, cause? 

I’d like to see the National Peace Corps Association become as much of a recognized brand as Peace Corps, the government agency.  People generally serve no more than 2 years in the Peace Corps, but they are a returned volunteer for the rest of their lives.  Our mission is to help volunteers prolong that Peace Corps experience by offering opportunities to teach about it, share stories, continue serving others and perpetuate the rise of caring and connected global citizens.

If you were in charge of everything in the world for a day, what’s the first change you would make?

I would want to make it mandatory and possible for everyone in the world to travel to another country if they haven’t already.  We can all benefit from a little perspective on our lives, no matter where we are from.

Bio: Molly Mattessich launched and now manages the online platforms for the National Peace Corps Association: AfricaRuralConnect.org and Peace Corps Connect.org. She also leads many of NPCA’s public relations, marketing, and business development initiatives. Her work on Africa Rural Connect is profiled in the just published book Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler of Forrester Research.

From 2002-2004, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, where she initiated a market clean-up venture, educated villagers on how to prevent water and food-borne illnesses, and became fluent in Bambara and Malinké.

Molly earned a degree in psychology from Wellesley College. She is Co-Chair of the Wellesley Women in Nonprofits network in Washington, DC. You can follow her on Twitter at @MollyMali.  Find Africa Rural Connect on Twitter @IdeasforAfrica and the National Peace Corps Association @PCorpsConnect.

 

Pink ribbons 6  10 Questions for Cindy Papale

 

 

What’s your favorite part of a typical day? Cindy Papale

My favorite part of the day is around 5:30 PM when I am finished working and heading off to the gym for a fantastic work out.  As a breast cancer survivor it has been proven clinically that exercise can help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.

 What part of your day would you gladly give up?

Actually, after having had breast cancer I treasure getting up each day. I enjoy life to its fullest. I really do not have any part of the day I would give up as I cherish each moment of every day.

Tell me about your business, charity, or cause?

I became a Board Member to The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation after having the honor of meeting Kristy’s parents, Tom and Lynn Lasch, through her friend Laura. Kristy Lasch was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 22 and lost her battle at 26. I learned the Foundation was having a fund raising event while I was writing my book, “The Empty Cup Runneth Over,” and decided to have a portion of the proceeds benefit a foundation in need. Kristy’s story touched my heart and I contacted Laura, Kristy’s friend, who in turn introduced me to Kristy’s parents. They told me that Kristy had kept a  journal and if she had lived she would have written a book. I asked if they would give me the honor of putting her journal in my book. They were happy to let me do this and it was then that they asked if I would like to become a Board Member.  The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation helps women under the age of 30 with medical related expenses. As Kristy knew only too well, even with insurance, treatment and medications can be extremely expensive.

What keeps you up at night?

Wow, this is a wonderful question.  My day begins at 4:15 AM Monday through Friday and ends at 11:00 PM some nights because I am constantly on Facebook and Twitter networking. I have met fantastic people who helped me promote my book. I met people who have invited me on their radio and TV shows, and even met journalists who put my story in well known magazines. The exciting thing is I have met other cancer survivors who have great web sites. To date, I am linked to over 45 web sites, which I call The Link of Hope.

What also keeps me awake some nights is lying in bed trying to figure out my next project and who else I can help. I belong to many organizations and foundations, will be writing another book, and in the process of writing a movie screen play. Therefore, arranging my priorities in my head keeps me awake some nights.

 Who gives you the best advice about your business, charity, cause?

I have met thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook and many have offered advice in so many ways. For example, I had four women, all breast cancer survivors, link my website to theirs and in return I have their sites on mine. I have learned a lot from these other breast cancer survivors who I am now very close friends with today.  My IT person, Philip Augustyne from Nexteck Technology, has created a wonderful website for me. Philip and his staff are a huge support to helping make “The Empty Cup Runneth Over”  as educational as possible for other cancer survivors in their fight against breast cancer.  I am blessed to meet wonderful people from all over who have helped me on my journey including many who helped donate to The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Book cover Cindy Papale My best accomplishment is the writing of my book, “The Empty Cup Runneth Over,” which ultimately led to another book and a movie screen play.

I am also proud that I actually had the nerve to be part of a breast cancer fashion show where I literally got up on stage and modeled a bathing suit in front of over 1,000 people. Now I am a member of The Day of Caring that put on the event. I am also proud of all the help I have given back to other breast cancer survivors through my book, and through all the lectures I have given since the birth of my book.

 

 What would you like to see happen with your business, charity, cause?

My ultimate dream is for my movie screenplay to be picked up by a Director/Producer. Also, I would like to see more funding for The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation as Kristy’s parents, Tom and Lynn Lasch, receive many calls from women seeking financial help because their insurance company co-payments are not enough to cover chemotherapy treatments and medications.

Share a failure and a triumphant outcome to something you have faced in your life.

I will begin by saying that surviving breast cancer has taken me on a different path in my life. I now know that breast cancer has no boundaries. About four years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer, my 20-year marriage came to an end. I was totally devastated. Not knowing what to do or who to talk to made everything harder for me. I felt like “Humpty Dumpty” shattered and thought I could never be put back together again. It took about three years before I could even date, and that was not so great. I find dating a challenge because most men are visual. Me not having real breasts definitely affected my self esteem. However, to date I can happily write that I am doing very well. Staying active and surrounding myself with positive, fun-loving people is truly important. One must never give up hope. Exercise - Cindy Papale 2

I had one person ask if having had breast cancer is a gift because  I am doing so much by helping others. I feel it is and it is not a gift. The part that is not the gift is that I lost both my breasts to cancer and my 20 years of marriage ended. On the other hand, I consider having breast cancer a gift because I am helping so many others overcome the effects of breast cancer, and to be there for support when and if they need it.

If you were in charge of everything in the world for a day, what’s the first change you would make?

Okay, make gas prices cheaper, organic foods reasonably priced, and on a serious note, to help get the homeless off the streets.  Every time I see a homeless person, it truly breaks my heart.

However, the first thing I would to is to make health care affordable for cancer patients. The pre-existing clause needs to be changed. Many young and old cannot get insurance after being diagnosed with cancer and ultimately die because they cannot get treatment.

What advice would you give to anyone diagnosed with breast cancer?

I would let people know that being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence. One should never give up hope.

Losing a breast or even both breasts as I did, can be devastating. I feel it is important to look at the positive in everything.  While difficult after losing both breasts, we must always move forward, surround ourselves with positive, loving people. Get rid of all negativity, and remember that having faith and hope is important.

Cindy Papale with dogCindy Papale is a nine-year survivor of breast cancer and author of “The Empty Cup Runneth Over”.Cindy’s story is  a moving account of how one woman has taken many traumatic  experiences and from it found new meaning in her life.  Cindy has touched the hearts of many through her book, public speaking, and by finding funding for The Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation. Cindy has been featured in articles in Miami, Coral Gables, South Miami and Kendall newspapers. Cindy also made the cover of The Miami Medicine Magazine, has appeared on channel 6 South Florida Today Show, the 101.5 LITE FM Radio, and was selected for the 2007 Strike Out Cancer Hall of Fame newsletter.

2009…Now what?

Posted: January 5, 2009 by kibler in 2009, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well, here we are. 2009 has arrived and just how ready are we to tackle the difficult issues we will be facing this year?

Let’s review 2008 shall we?

1. Financial catastrophe, where trillions in personal wealth have been lost to poor company management and greed.

2. Overpaid CEO’s who cared more about their own personal gain rather than their employees’ welfare or their companies’ performance.

3. Lack of oversight from this Administration and Congress on company and CEO spending abuse.

4. The continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

5. No real answers to health care in this country.

6. Exceedingly high unemployment rates like we have not seen in decades.

So, what are we going to do about it? Where are we going to get the answers we need to address the issues we will be facing in 2009? We cannot wholly depend on the new administration to solve all of these problems. We need some great minds to come together and entrepreneurs to get their ideas formulated to create jobs for this country. And we need it soon!

What do you think — who do you think would be the best person to lead the charge to financial freedom for this country, or to solve any of the other problems listed above? What would you like to see happen?

Let’s hear from you today. Come on, just go ahead and vent!