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Welcome to Second Act Stories, a podcast focused on life and career change. In each episode, we bring you the story of a courageous individual who has made a decisive career pivot and is pursuing a more rewarding life in a second act. The stories are in their own words and the words of friends and family that helped them find a new path. Each episode examines the “before” and “after” phases of a life or career relaunch and offers lessons learned.
 
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As we start the new year, we’re pleased to share the episode named the "Best Of 2021." The episode features the amazing Anne Moss Rogers and is titled "Pain Turns To Purpose: A Suicide, A Mother's Grief And A Second Act." It is among the most inspiring tales we've shared since starting Second Act Stories in 2018. Anne Moss Rogers was at the pinnacl…
 
Ken Coleman is the #1 bestselling author of “The Proximity Principle” and host of the nationally syndicated radio show “The Ken Coleman Show.” As America’s Career Coach, he helps callers discover what they do best so they can do work they love and produce the results that matter most to them. In Ken’s new bestselling book, “From Paycheck to Purpose…
 
Russell Brent learned how to knit from his mother at seven. But he put away his knitting needles at a young age after hearing the phrase "boys don't knit." In his mid thirties, Russell started knitting again -- making baby gifts for friends. And he found he really enjoyed it -- "it was easy...it was meditative." His hobby grew into a new vocation a…
 
Detroit native Scott Weiss grew up in a family that emphasized formal education, but by his own admission, he was not a particularly good student. Scott attended Michigan State University, which was more a means to make money than to gain an education. After graduating, Scott made his way to Atlanta, landed a job with Turner Broadcasting and by the…
 
Nita Novy grew up in the small town of Courtdale, Pennsylvania (population 400). But via a series of unusual events, she made her way to the Broadway stage at the age of eight acting alongside Ethel Merman in Gypsy. She was later cast in "The Sound of Music," appearing in the production's first national tour and also on Broadway. After getting a de…
 
For 31 years, Joe Gladstone worked as a math teacher in Syosset, New York. "I loved teaching, loved the kids, loved math, loved Syosset High School, loved my department. We had a bunch of people that we all grew up together. We were a family. It was marvelous." But in 2001, things changed when a new chairman of the Math Department arrived. "He micr…
 
We’re hitting a major milestone – the 100th episode of the Second Act Stories podcast. Over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve met and profiled some amazing people. Many are pursuing not-for-profit work. Some have started a new business. And others have turned a hobby into a full-time pursuit. But pretty much across the board, all of them are a h…
 
Today's episode comes from Woodinville, Washington and our interview with Jerry Riener and Jennifer Sullivan. Jerry is a sergeant for the Woodinville Police Department. Jennifer is a journalist having worked for both the Seattle Times and KOMO-TV, the ABC news affiliate in Seattle region. Like many couples, they found love, got married and started …
 
Robert Brace grew up in London -- the eldest son of a single mother who emigrated from Ghana. His family expected him to pursue a traditional career -- a lawyer, accountant or doctor. But at the age of 15, he fell in love with the world of dance earning scholarships to the London Contemporary Dance School, Alvin Alley American Dance Theatre and the…
 
Nasim Alikhani is the owner and executive chef of Sofreh, an amazing Persian restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. The restaurant opened in 2018 to rave reviews from The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur and The Food Network. The restaurant is consistently booked weeks in advance. Sofreh is Nasim’s first restaurant and she launched it at the age of 5…
 
Melody Lynch fell in love with the ballet. She started dancing at 3 and made it in the professional ranks by the age of 15. She continued ballet studies at Butler University and after graduation landed a position with the North Carolina Dance Theatre where she worked for several years. But her passion was for performance rather than teaching. And r…
 
We sit down for a face-to-face interview with Kimberly B. Cummings. Her first book, "Next Move, Best Move: Transitioning Into A Career You’ll Love," debuts on June 9th 2021. Kimberly is a career and leadership expert who heads up her own consulting practice called “Manifest Yourself.” We reviewed the book in advance of the interview and asked about…
 
Cindy St. Clair made an unusual transition from the legal profession – working as a paralegal and then a legal administrator -- to the world of academia. As you’ll hear, she went back to school to get a bachelors, masters and doctorate in music in her 40s. And at the age of 50 she returned to teach as an adjunct professor of piano at her alma mater…
 
Pete DeBusk is a true entrepreneur. He started from humble beginnings growing up in coal mining towns in the Appalachian Mountains. In his "Act 1," he founded DeRoyal Industries, a major manufacturer of medical products with 1,900 employees and facilities in a half-dozen countries around the world. Today, the company manufactures over 20,000 differ…
 
Anne Moss Rogers was at the pinnacle of a 20-year professional career. She opened her own digital marketing agency in 2010. The business grew quickly and by 2015 she and her partner had 9 employees and a growing roster of clients. While her professional life was going especially well, life at home had significant problems. Her son Charles – the you…
 
Dave Lazarus worked for 35 years in information technology. But at 60 years old he found himself unemployed. And the prospects of landing a new job in IT weren’t terribly encouraging. So on the advice of an old friend, he went back to an old passion: chess. And he started teaching chess to elementary students first in an after-school program and th…
 
Noa Shaw has led a hard life. Drugs and alcohol took hold of him at an early age. And he has struggled as both a drug addict and drug dealer for most of his adult life. But eight years ago his life took a turn for the better when he wandered into a SoulCycle studio that was just opening up in Los Angeles. SoulCycle is a fitness company that is the …
 
Mariane Sugrhue had a long career as an information technology manager with AT&T, Telecordia and NCS Technologies. She retired in 2018 at the age of 60 and has pursued an eclectic schedule of volunteer activities that includes judging ice skating competitions, helping to rescue dogs from "kill shelters" and working with a local food pantry. Her gre…
 
In 2015, Tara Zedayko and Jessica Chu were both employed at Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies with $82 billion in annual revenue. They bonded over their work launching new healthcare products for humans but also a mutual love of dogs. Four years later, Tara and Jess departed J&J and founded a start-up company ca…
 
Mike Huber had a 20-year career as a top consultant with Ernst & Young, Cushman Wakefield and KPMG. His focus was in the area of site selection consulting – helping major companies like Samsung, Time Warner and Bausch & Lomb find new business locations. He worked hard and made a very good living. But over time he became frustrated with the corporat…
 
Bergen Giordani was a single mother working a full-time job during the day and bartending at night in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. It was tough road. So back in 2013 and with the help of her then 16-year-old daughter Morgen, she opened a retail dessert shop called “One Hot Cookie.” She put all of her savings, $2,500, on the line. The mother-da…
 
As we start the new year, we’re pleased to share the episode named by Second Act Stories listeners as the “Best of 2020.” Fraidy Reiss’ story is among the most inspiring tales we’ve profiled on the Second Act Stories podcast. Part of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, Fraidy was married at the age of 19. It was an arranged marriag…
 
Right after high school, Destiny Burns enlisted in the armed forces as a cryptologic officer. She had an exciting, 20-year career traveling the globe with the Navy. And when she retired from active service, she settled down in Northern Virginia and worked for a range of defense contractors. But in her early 50s and after a divorce, she decided it w…
 
Sheldon Myeroff is a true entrepreneur. He launched Direct Recruiters, Inc. at the age of 31. And over the next 37 years, he successfully grew the business into major executive recruiting company. In 2011, he began an exit plan from Direct Recruiters – turning over the management of the company to a group of partners. And that’s when he installed a…
 
For more than 30 years, Amy worked as a writer, both on staff and on a freelance basis, for a wide range of top magazines. But when her father passed away in 2009, his funeral had a profound impact on her. And in relatively short order, Amy enrolled in mortuary school to become a licensed funeral director. Ten years later, Amy owns and manages Fitt…
 
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