female founder

Episode 81-Finding Tailored Funding strategies for Female Founders and Business Owners with Jenny Kassan

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Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies.

Terri talks to Jenny Kassan about alternative funding mechanisms for female founders and small business owners and how she works with them to provide tailored fundraising strategies. 

Who is Jenny Kassan?  

Jenny Kassan has over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises and is a certified coach.  She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors.  She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017). 

She served on the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies and submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act

Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents. 

Jenny is a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund, is the President of Community Ventures, and co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center.  She was a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers and is a member of the Content Advisory Panel of Conscious Company Magazine and serves on the advisory boards of Lioness Magazine and Investibule

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.     

Show Highlights 

  • Jenny talks about her journey into working with startups and businesses on tailored fundraising strategies and the importance of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Jenny talks about how her frustration with fundraising options and meeting Michelle Thimesch led to the recent launch of CrowdFund Main Street to take advantage of Title III of the JOBS Act.   

  • Terri and Jenny talk about how crowdfunding can fit into a startup’s fundraising strategy and how the definition of success for a startup is not based on funding rounds. 

  • Jenny is now focusing on the investor side and educating a lot of Americans on investing opportunities through her new organization called Angels of Main Street.   

  • Terri talks about how important it is for some us to see the direct impact of their investments and/or time.     

  • Jenny talks about how she works with her clients to structure their financing strategies in alignment with their goals, values, and short/long term strategies.  She also talks about the various options available to founders.  

  • Jenny felt most like the pilot in her own life when she went out on her own with her own firm.  She now has the business of dreams.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Taking the first step is important to opening up new opportunity paths.   


References in the Podcast 


Jenny can be reached through her website http://www.jennykassan.com/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 80-Supporting an Ecosystem for Women of Color to be Startup Founders and Investors by leveraging Angel Investing

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Terri talks to Tawana Murphy Burnett about how joining and getting active with Pipeline Angels has led to her becoming an active leader in the startup ecosystem for women of color.   

Who is Tawana Murphy Burnett?  

Tawana Murphy Burnett, former consultant turned startup employee and entrepreneur, is now a global marketing leader at Facebook helping the top 30 Global Advertisers like Estée Lauder and Johnson & Johnson become the best mobile marketers. Prior to Facebook, Tawana led brand and product teams at Intuit, LeapFrog, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, leading P&L, Brand Growth, integrated marketing strategies and new product innovation for brands like Listerine, Advil, and ChapStick.  

Since 2017 Tawana has become an active investor in women and women of color owned businesses primarily through Portfolia and as a Member and Due Diligence Lead with Pipeline Angels. She has served on numerous Diversity and Inclusion councils, most recently joining Digital Undivided as an Advisory Board Member for StartUp Newark. 


Show Highlights 

  • Tawana talks about being inspired to get involved in angel investing because of what Terri shared with her about her desire to get more capital into the hands of female founders when they met in the Lufthansa lounge in Frankfurt. 

  • Tawana joined Pipeline Angels and shares her experience learning about angel investing, leading a deal, and getting more involved to invest in more women of color.   

  • Tawana has made 9 investments since she started less than two years ago.  She talks about being excited about the community building piece, hosting more events, and getting involved with Digital Undivided in Atlanta and Startup Newark.   

  • Terri talks about leveraging AngelList as a ‘poor woman’s VC’ to be able to bring deals together and give women who are leading these deals some sort of compensation for the work associated with this.  She also talks about the importance of building the ecosystem but also finding ways for women to get compensated for all the work we are doing for free.   

  • If Tawana could wave a magic wand, she would improve the public education system in the US and make sure it is financially supported.   

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Be open to conversations with people; be open to new ideas; be open to education.   

References in the Podcast 


Tawana can be reached through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tawanaburnett/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. . 

Episode 79-Transparency in the venture funding process with Jane VC founder Maren Bannon

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Terri talks to Maren Bannon about what drove her to launch Jane VC, a fund focused on investing in female founders in the US and Europe along with a fellow Stanford grad, Jennifer Neundorfer. 

Who is Maren Bannon?  

Maren is Co-Founder and Partner at Jane VC, a venture fund to invest in female-led technology startups.  Maren is an entrepreneur at heart who has been building tech businesses for the past 15 years. Previously, she was CEO and Cofounder of LittleLane. Her operating experience also includes leadership roles at health tech startups as well as leading consumer marketing for a $1B product at Genentech. She is the mother to three young daughters and feels energized each day by her vision of creating a different world for them. She has an MBA from Stanford and an Engineering degree from Dartmouth.  

Show Highlights 

  • Maren talks about joining forces with one of her fellow Stanford grads, Jennifer Neundorfer, to create a new fund, Jane VC, to not only get more capital into the hands of female founders, but to activate more female investors. 

  • Maren shares the journey from reconnecting with her partner Jenn in January 2018 and leveraging AngelList to quickly create and raise the fund by bringing on supportive people in their network.   

  • Terri asked Maren about Jane VCs plan to get access to deal flow, being open to anyone, and their plan to provide transparency to the VC process to work towards leveling the playing field.  

  • Maren shares their plans for Jane VC in providing transparency, investing in women, and actively looking for investing opportunities outside of the Silicon Valley.  

  • With Jane VC, they are focused on investing in pre-seed and seed stage rounds, but they will also invest in Series A. With Maren based in London, they will have the opportunity to focus on startups not only in the US, but also in Europe including London, Berlin, Paris, and the Nordics.   

  • If Maren could wave a magic wand, she would shift the power dynamic to make it more equitable for women.   

 Terri’s Key Takeaway 

To shift the power dynamic and improve the world, we need to activate more female investors and invest in more female founders.  

References in the Podcast 


Maren can be reached by email at hello@janevc.com.   

Founders interested in pitching to Jane VC can do so here:  https://www.janevc.com/contact-us 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 78-Moving from startup to growth stage -a conversation with founder Mary Ray of MyHealthTeams, the social network for people with chronic illness

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Terri talks to Mary Ray of MyHealthTeams about the shift from startup to growth-stage and the importance of listening to your customers. Mary Ray started her entrepreneurial journey in second grade selling Pac Man trading cards which eventually led to founding MyHealthTeams with her co-founder Eric Peacock to provide social networks for people with chronic illnesses.

Who is Mary Ray?  

Mary Ray, cofounder and COO of MyHealthTeams, has a deep understanding of consumer behavior and social networking, which drives unmatched engagement among MyHealthTeams’ more than 1.6 million members across 29 communities serving people living with chronic conditions. Her innovative vision for people-first digital health solutions and laser focus on user experience, authentic connections and scalable platforms has helped the company quickly address 90% of the chronic condition population since its launch in 2012.  

Drawing from her personal experience with friends and family members living with chronic conditions, she is passionate about building communities that empower individuals, families and caregivers to share experiences, resources and lifehacks that help them actively manage health and wellness while living with a chronic condition. Previously, Mary has held executive positions with established leaders such as IAC and Sony as well as with innovative startups across the mobile, digital media and consumer technology landscape.  

Mary is a graduate of the College of William & Mary School of Business and George Mason University. A serial entrepreneur, Mary is an advocate for women in technology and has served as a SXSW mentor for up-and-coming female leaders. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.  

Show Highlights 

  • Mary takes us through her background and her entrepreneurial journey into being the co-founder/COO of MyHealthTeams.  This journey started in 2nd grade selling Pac Man trading cards.   

  • Mary talks about meeting her co-founder Eric Peacock and how they decided to start MyHealthTeams as a spin-out from Insider Pages. 

  • MyHealthTeams is no longer a startup and is now in the growth stage.  Mary talks about where they are today and the plans to go deeper in their segments and provide greater benefits to their members.   

  • Terri asks about their strategy for creating new social networks and why they don’t roll out for lots of conditions at the same time.  Mary answers and shares some of their biggest surprises in the MyHealthTeams social network rollout and usage.  

  • Mary’s favorite founder resources include connecting with others through LinkedIn groups, female founder groups, and Harvard Business Review. 

  • If Mary could wave a magic want, she would change it so that people sincerely understand each other and act accordingly.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Listen to your customers to learn about ways to improve your product in unexpected ways.   

References in the Podcast 


Mary can be reached by via email  mary@myhealthteams.com, Twitter @marycray and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryray/ 


You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 77-Bringing groups of women together to introduce them to angel investing and funding female-led startups with lynn-ann gries

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Bringing groups of women together to introduce them to angel investing and funding female-led startups with Lynn-Ann Gries

Who is Lynn-Ann Gries?  


Lynn-Ann Gries has spent her career in the financial arena. From investment banking to venture capital she has experience working with a wide range of companies, from start-ups to those in the Fortune 1000. 


She began her career in the mid-80s working for two investment banking firms in New York, Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. When marriage brought her to the Midwest she began working for the regional firm McDonald and Company, now part of KeyBank. At McDonald she was primarily responsible for helping companies access capital through the public equity markets, but also assisted 

companies in the processes of raising growth capital or transitioning ownership through sales or mergers. 

In 2001 she began working in venture capital, managing a small venture development fund with a mission to invest in tech-based start-ups. Over the course of 12 years she and her team invested $30M in 80 companies, all located in Northeast Ohio, including CoverMyMeds (sold to McKesson for $1.1 billion), CardioInsight (sold to Medtronic for $90 million), Wireless Environment (recently sold to Ring for an undisclosed amount) and OnShift, one of the Northeast Ohio region’s premier software companies.  

As of July 2018, she is the newly hired Managing Partner of the First Check Fund, the newest in a family of 15+ funds managed by Alumni Ventures Group. She also runs her own consulting firm providing a variety of business services including management of a women’s angel network, financial analysis, market research, and advisory services to entrepreneurs seeking capital. She currently serves on the boards of the Smith College Club of Cleveland, Summer on the Cuyahoga and In Counsel with Women.  

Lynn-Ann received her MBA from New York University (Stern School of Business) and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College where she majored in Economics. She is mom to two grown children and resides in Shaker Heights with her husband, a sixth generation Clevelander, high school lacrosse coach and devoted Cleveland sports fan who has successfully managed to turn a Jersey into a Cleveland Indians superfan.  

Show Highlights 

  • Lynn-Ann shared her background starting in New Jersey and ultimately in Cleveland, OH including her time investment banking and early stage investing in the Midwest.  Lynn-Ann goes into detail on economic redevelopment in Ohio and her work with Jumpstart and the Ohio Third Frontier Program.      

  • Lynn-Ann talks about how she used to think that women didn’t need any preferential treatment to get funding until she saw the data.  This prompted her to share a female founder deal with her successful female friends that led to syndicating her first deal.   Her goal was to get the women she knew in her community with big jobs, at big corporations, where there is no intersection with an entrepreneur, to bring them together with the female led startups looking for capital.   

  • Terri and Lynn-Ann talk about the importance of getting more women to invest and the difference in risk tolerance between men and women and how this affects investing by women.  

  • Terri and Lynn-Ann discuss doing the work for free to support the female founder and female investor ecosystem and investigating options to monetize the time spent building it.   

  • Lynn-Ann talks about the women starting very small funds to build track record to be able to raise bigger funds at a later date.   

  • If Lynn-Ann could wave a magic wand, she would make universal healthcare coverage a reality.    

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

We need to continue to build the connections between investors interested in female-led startups to make it easier for them to get access to capital.   

References in the Podcast 




Lynn-Ann can be reached through LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynn-ann-gries-44440/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 70- Imène Maharzi's vision to educate and train 2000 female business angels and get female founders greater access to capital for their startups.

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Terri talks to Imène Maharzi about why she started OwnYourCash this year to educate and train 2000 new female business angels and get female founders greater access to capital for their startups.   

Who is Imène Maharzi?  

Imène Maharzi is a French based professional, who started working in the French Private Equity space 18 years ago. She started out her career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen, and then became an investment professional with Butler Capital Partners where she had the opportunity to explore several sectors, geographies, investment sizes and targets.  

In 2013, she created Butterfly Partners, a company which invests time and money in start-ups and subject matter experts which demonstrate a social or environmental positive impact. In 2014-2015, she took over a majority stake in a school transportation company dedicated to exceptional children with autism, Down syndrome, etc.. As the CEO, she transformed a 15-year family business into a social business, with a resolution to trigger a positive social impact on both employees and beneficiaries, through a strong user-centric, quality-driven approach.  

As she moved through her professional career, she noticed that there was a problem in getting access to capital for female founders that she saw resulted in a massive waste of both economic and social value. This led her to create OwnYourCash this year. OwnYourCash is an educational platform, both online and IRL, to train women (and men) to become Business Angels. By opening a conversation on biases, gender-lens investing and impact investing, OwnYourCash will contribute to smoother access to capital for projects co-founded by women. 

With OwnYourCash, she is committed to training 2000 new female business angels by the year 2020.  The mission of OwnYourCash is to foster economic independence for women leading to true male/female equality 


Show Highlights 

  • Imène shared her professional journey into private equity and ultimately starting her new company OwnYourCash to educate and train 2000 new female business angels by 2020.   

  • Imène talks about social entrepreneurship in France…creating a social return and a financial return.   

  • Imène shares the details on OwnYourCash and how the time is right to educate new business angels and create a new business angle network and how the change in the tax laws in France this year will be a positive thing for new business angels. 

  • If Imène had a magic wand, she would make the ‘plain vanilla’ investing be impact investing with everyone going after economic return along with a social or environmental return.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Investing is an information business.  


References in the Podcast 



Imène can be reached via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/im%C3%A8ne-maharzi-439294/. 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 69 -How Accidental Entrepreneur, Fran Dunaway of TomboyX, happened to launch an apparel company

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Terri talks to Fran Dunaway of TomboyX about how she and her partner and wife Naomi Gonzalez started TomboyX in 2014 to create a better shirt and ended up launching an underwear company.  Fran and Naomi recently raised a Series A and Fran shares their journey to this point and where she sees TomboyX going in the next few years.  

Who is Fran Dunaway?  

Fran likes to call herself the accidental entrepreneur. In 2013, she had a great life as partner in a media strategies firm with big budgets, lots of vacation time, regular exercise, and excellent sleep habits. She and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez, started a little side business because they wanted some cool button-down shirts like a Robert Graham for women. They picked the name TomboyX because they thought it was cute.  
When the name started resonating with women and girls around the world, they knew they had an instant brand. It turns out that the word 'tomboy' opens the door to a conversation about being whoever it is you want to be. Women were SO elated to have a brand that saw them for who they are at their core. So, when customers started begging for TomboyX to design the first boxer briefs for women, Fran and Naomi obliged.  
In September 2014, they pre-sold two styles of boxer briefs designed for women and sold out in two weeks. They have never looked back. TomboyX has since refocused solely into the underwear/loungewear market and is thriving on the fact that people of all shapes and sizes want to be part of a brand that stands for values they share. Their customers continually prove that there is a toughness required to express your individuality – the defining characteristics of a tomboy. 

Show Highlights 

  • Fran shares the story behind TomboyX and the evolution of the TomboyX brand 

  • Fran continues to talk about how difficult it has been to raise funds to fund the business and what it’s like to run out of inventory as an apparel brand.  

  • Terri and Fran about the shifting landscape for female founders and the economic opportunity in investing in these founders.  

  • Fran explains how she went from a job in corporate to being a founder and focusing on TomboyX 100% 

  • Fran talks about how she and Naomi have evolved as founders and leaders and the evolution of their team as the company as grown and matured 

  • Terri asks Fran about how she sees the company evolve over the next few years 

  • If Fran could wave a magic wand, she would change the lens with which we see each other; to be less judgmental of each other and to have greater clarity as to who we are as individuals.   

  • Fran’s favorite founder resources are Loose Threads (podcast), Leap Frog (the book) and founders stories in general. 


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Money is power and to shift the power dynamic, we need to shift the economic dynamic.  


References in the Podcast 




Fran can be reached through the TomboyX website https://tomboyx.com/,  on Twitter @fdunaway and via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/frandunaway/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 

Episode 68 - how investing in startups with female founders, and closing the wage gap, has a positive economic impact with shannon grant

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Terri talks to Shannon Grant about the positive economic impact associated with investing in female founders and the importance of getting more women, and exemplar men, to join them.  Shannon eloquently refers to this time as the ‘awakening’ in contrast to Terri’s term of ‘revolution’.  

Who is Shannon Grant?  

Shannon Grant is an investor, community builder and startup advisor. She leads knowledge programs for the best and brightest minds in tech to facilitate high-level knowledge transfer and create powerful experiences for time-strapped leaders.  
In 2014 she developed the Salon Series events at MKThink focusing on the future of education, and she helped build a membership organization of over 80 mission-driven CEOs with The Tugboat Group. She has coached founders to create original talks for CEO summits, hosted Jeffersonian dinners for awesome engineers and connected tech founders with the people or information they need to grow.  
To support this vision, she started Deus Capital to invest in companies with billion-dollar market opportunities that have at least one female founder.  
Her social impact work includes converting a liquor store into a children's writing center in the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood with 826 Valencia and building a new model for charity with Mama Hope. 


Show Highlights 

  • Shannon shares her journey through venture capital into angel investing.  

  • We talk about our shared interest in getting more women to invest and invest in female founders including the statistics around this.  

  • We discuss the importance of getting girls to see what is possible by exposing them to investing, startups, entrepreneurship, and technology.   

  • We talk about this being an economic opportunity and the importance of encouraging men to join us in investing in women and encouraging more exemplar men in this awakening.  

  • If Shannon could wave a magic wand and change something in this world, she would encourage people to speak; your voice is needed.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Investing in women will create trillions of dollars in economic opportunity.  It is not a zero sum game.  


References in the Podcast 




Shannon can be reached via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannon-grant-6164139/.   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 67 - Terri talks to Jennifer Ehlen of Brazen Global about her focus on supporting female entrepreneurship.

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Terri talks to Jennifer Ehlen of Brazen Global about her focus on supporting the advancement of women-led companies including why she created Brazen Global, a for-profit company, to better serve female founders. 

Who is Jennifer Ehlen?  


Jennifer Ehlen is the founder of Brazen and Prosper Women Entrepreneurs (PWE), two organizations aimed at advancing women-led companies. She is the CEO of Brazen Global and a Managing Partner of the PWE Startup Accelerator.  Before making the entrepreneurial leap to focus on Brazen Prosper full-time, Jennifer was a Director at Thompson Street Capital Partners, where Jennifer worked with senior management to help source and evaluate investment opportunities for the St. Louis based $1.5B+ private equity firm.  Prior to joining Thompson Street, Jennifer was the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University.   

Jennifer is an angel investor and invests in early stage ventures. She is also a member of Golden Seeds (NYC chapter).  Jennifer serves as a coach, mentor and advisory board member for companies ranging in size from pre-revenue to $200M+.   

Jennifer’s favorite and most important venture is raising her four children with her partner Craig.   


Show Highlights 

  • Jennifer shares her path from a small town in mid-Missouri in a socio-economically challenged family that provides a unique perspective where she has worked in and with the top 2% in private equity.  
  • Jennifer has been fascinated by intersectional feminism in entrepreneurship.  She worked at the St. Louis University, has been an investor, raised a fund, worked in private equity and saw the differences between men and women in entrepreneurialism.  
  • Jennifer saw some research in 2012 about the state of women-owned businesses and saw that St. Louis came in dead last, tied with San Francisco.  She and her colleagues had worked very hard at getting women a seat at the table and they were very frustrated by the reality and the study results. 
  • Jennifer, through Prosper, raised a $3M fund to invest in women and they built an accelerator. 
  • Realizing that the power is in the peer advisory groups, they decided to create Brazen to build the tools to create better peer groups and allow for global scaling.   
  • Brazen operates in 7 cities including St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, and Philly.  Their goal is to expand into more cities this year.   
  • Brazen’s flagship program is the peer advisory groups (growth groups).  7-9 women are in each group and meet every month.  They use Brazen’s proprietary software that provides a rigorous structure that allows the participants to feel like they are fully understood before their peers start to provide guidance and support.   
  • Brazen is a for-profit organization and they license to franchisees.  They have 50 cities that could foreseeably be a new Brazen market, but it comes down to the director and who is delivering the program.   
  • At Brazen, they feel strongly about making sure that the directors understand startups/entrepreneurship/growth process at a deep level.  They need to be able to speak about gender parity in an articulate, evidence-based way.  The directors need to have a good network in the market already.   
  • Brazen has found that the software for the peer groups is applicable across sectors…not just for entrepreneurs.  
  • Jennifer shares what has been most surprising about her journey over the last year.   
  • Jennifer talks about how quite a few of their investors are men as they see the financial opportunity in this space.   
  • Terri asks Jennifer about what she is doing to temper the founder roller coaster.  Her response is a lot of self-care and she is no longer following her competitors in order to be focused on what she is trying to accomplish.  Her team follows them for her.     
  • Terri talks about how when she was going through a tough spot her executive coach reminded her that regardless of what ‘failures’ occurred or ‘down times’ existed in the past, I was able to recover, and this is so important to remember when we encounter tough times.  
  • Terri shared what she discussed with her executive coach about the comparison game and how easy it is to lose sight of your own goals. It is important to focus on your own journey and not someone else’s.   
  • If Jennifer could wave a magic wand to change something in this world, she would create true, total equity in the early stage capital space and have more women investing.  
  • Jennifer’s favorite founder resource is Brazen Global (of course) and recommends becoming a Brazen member. 


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Some of the best entrepreneurial ideas come from anger or angst.   


References in the Podcast 



Jennifer can be reached via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferehlen/ or through the Brazen Global website https://brazenglobal.com/

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 66 -Lesley Jane Seymour about leveraging the power of women over the age of 40 to change the world.

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Terri talks to Lesley Jane Seymour about why she created CoveyClub for women over the age of 40 and how important it is to leverage these women in making the world a better place.

Who is Lesley Jane Seymour?  

Lesley Jane Seymour.  Lesley is a media entrepreneur and founder of CoveyClub, a new club for lifelong learners that she launched in February of this year.  The CoveyClub is for women over the age of 40 and has virtual salons, a monthly magazine, a daily blog, and a weekly podcast for women to bond over issues of interest and concern.  

Lesley was named Editor-in-Chief of More Magazine in 2008 and was Editor-in Chief and Social Media Director of More.com.  Before More, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire and Redbook magazines, and teen book YM.  She was Beauty Director of Glamour and Senior Editor at Vogue.  She is author of two books, On the Edge, 100 Years of Vogue, and I Wish My Parents Understood.  In 2013 she was named Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for Duke Magazine and a Global Ambassador for Vital Voices.  She is a trustee at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts.   

Show Highlights 

  • Lesley shares what CoveyClub is and why she created it.  She expands on how women over the age of 40 are disenfranchised and being left out of the conversations.   

  • Terri comments that technology has increased the sense of loneliness and how ironic it is that Lesley is using technology to reduce the loneliness and bring women together.  

  • Terri talks about the importance of getting together in person to fill her soul.   

  • Lesley observes that there are no longer places for people to come together like offices, town squares, religious institutions, and community centers.   

  • Lesley named the company CoveyClub after a small group of birds.  She wants the groups to be small and provide ways for women to get to know who is in the room.  

  • Lesley talks about having a significant career and an amazing life and wants to be able to help women connect and help their dreams come true.   

  • Lesley knows that if you want better content, you’ll have to pay for it and she believes that others are looking for this.   

  • Lesley comments that right now our politicians in Washington DC don’t stay in town to eat together, to get to know each other, to see the humanity in each other, to be able to reach across the aisle to work together.   

  • Terri comments that we need to be intentional about coming together in person to connect as humans.  Terri loves how her city, Redwood City, makes a lot of effort to bring people together at various events around town.   

  • Terri talks about how quickly women over the age of 40 are overlooked and easily dismissed.  Lesley talks about how when we were in our 20s, we were seen as T&A and now she would like us to be seen for our $19T in assets that have control over.   

  • If Lesley had a magic wand, she would make Donald Trump go ‘poof’ and disappear.  Terri talks about the fear from the patriarchy who are trying to keep things as they were, and she hopes that we take this as an opportunity to slingshot forward. We need to drag everyone we know to the polls to make a difference in November.  

  • Lesley’s favorite founder resources are Hello Alice and the group that she is created to provide her with support (the red cup club). 


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Technology rather than bringing people together is leading to a sense of loneliness and isolation and it is time to reconnect in person.   


References in the Podcast 



Lesley can be reached via email at lesley@coveyclub.com or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesleyjaneseymour/


You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 65 -May Samali of Urban Innovation Fund talks about her path into her dream job in venture capital which started out in law.

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Terri talks to May Samali of Urban Innovation Fund about how she fell in love with idea of using social entrepreneurship to solve the world’s problems and her path from law to venture capital.

Who is May Samali?  


May Samali is an investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. May has had extensive experiences advising both early-stage startups and large companies across the U.S. and Australia. Prior to her current role, she was a Director at Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator in San Francisco. She also served as a Strategy Consultant at a boutique venture firm and as an attorney at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney.  

May earned her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and her economics and law degrees from the University of Sydney. She is also an Australian John Monash Scholar, a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, and an Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue delegate.  


Show Highlights 

  • Terri shares how she met May on the Connected Homes pitch panel at Launch Festival in 2017 which was an all-women panel.   

  • May shares her journey from Australia to the Silicon Valley. 

  • May started in law but fell in love with the idea of using social entrepreneurship to solve the world’s problems.  

  • May answers Terri’s question about how the tall poppy syndrome has influenced May in her life.   

  • May is working on bringing the best parts of the Silicon Valley to Australia.  

  • My comments on how helpful people have been to her in getting into investing.  May has taken the opportunity to reach out to people in a very intentional way and follow up after meeting at events.  

  • Terri discusses the importance of saying ‘why not me?’ instead of ‘why me?’ especially for women.  

  • Terri observes that May’s natural authenticity is very attractive and charming and hard to resist.   

  • May talks about how being of the Baha’ Faith influenced her view of the world from day one and later started to live them as a result of her personal choosing when she was in her twenties. 

  • Terri talks about the importance of taking the leap without having it all figured out.  

  • May shares what she started to do when she was overanalyzing a situation.  She said that she would sit across from herself at the table and provide herself with her own advice.   

  • If May had a magic wand, she would make all of us more human and compassionate and living life in the moment.   

  • May’s favorite investor resources are Venture Deals and Information.  


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

If you believe you can do it, you can do it.   


References in the Podcast 



You can follow May on Twitter @maysamali or reach her via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/msamali/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife


episode 64 -Terri talks to Darryl Grant about why he started Inspiring Connectivity to bring women together.

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Terri talks to Darryl Grant about how he was inspired by his mother to create an event to bring women together in the Inspiring Connectivity event and how he sees community as the key to solving some of our biggest, societal issues.  

Who is Darryl Grant?  

Darryl Grant is a New York native, born in Harlem. He has 20 siblings and is uncle to over 50 nieces and nephews. He has been a Bay Area resident for the last 4.5 years and enjoys family time with his wife and 2.5 year old son, supporting his clients’ needs, sports (former Div-I Greco-Roman wrestler), reading, traveling, cooking, and supporting diversity and inclusion. 

Darryl is Managing Director of Merrill Corporation and Founder of Inspiring Connectivity.  He  has over 19 years of financial communication experience with the top three financial printers. Darryl began as a Customer Service Project Coordinator in Manhattan and later assumed various managerial roles and engineered XBRL operations for two Manhattan offices. Before assuming his role as Managing Director of Sales where he co-leads Merrill’s Bay Area Capital Markets team, Darryl spent 6 years as a Capital Markets Account Manager leading teams and working directly with C-level execs, law firms, corporate finance and legal departments to manage IPOs, mergers, spin-offs along with all routine SEC filing requirements. He has also managed three of the largest mergers in stock market history and over 20 prominent IPO’s in industries ranging from Tech, e-commerce, transportation, motion pictures, Biotech, retail and broker exchange services.  

Show Highlights 

  • Darryl starts off by talking about the event he puts on with his team called Inspiring Connectivity and why he, as a man, is putting on an event for women. 

  • Darryl talks about growing up in New York and about his mom who noticed a trend where children were being left behind.  This led her to adopting 18 children and raising a total of 21 of which Darryl was one of those adopted by her.   

  • Darryl shares how he worked with a coach who taught him that because he was having trouble with who he was, he was having trouble coming across authentically.  

  • Darryl was inspired to create an event for women because of the 2016 elections, the issues women were facing that were coming to light, and a conversation with a friend who fully supported him creating the event.  He was inspired by what his mother created around community.   

  • Terri comments on how important it is for Darryl to set the example for other men to create these kinds of events to support the change for women in society.  This is a human issue; not a women’s issue.  

  • Darryl observes that solving problems begins with community.   

  • Terri talks about her experience at Inspired Connectivity with Barbara Tien and how Barbara introduced her to the other women at the event.  This made Terri realize that she is having an impact even though she doesn’t always see it.   

  • Terri commented that a lot of founders don’t take the time to get to know her and how important it is to be seen as a person and not just as a checkbook.  

  • Terri asked Darryl about tribalism in a global community and he responds with the importance of connecting and community.   

  • Darryl talks about the importance of getting out of your own head when designing an event and thinking about what the guests are going to want.  

  • Terri asks Darryl if people give him a hard time for not focusing on women of color or people of color and he says that for the most part, no.  

  • Darryl talks about breaking down the platform, the panel, the awards and focus on the people at events.   

  • If Darryl could wave a magic wand, he would use it to genuinely connect people without bias.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Creating and building connections and community will be the key to solving our societal issues.   


References in the Podcast 

  • Vanessa Grant: Instagram:  @beautysecretary 


Darryl can be reached through LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/darryl-grant/.  

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 62 Bonus! - Terri and Jacqueline talk with Anne Cocquyt of The Guild about Serendipity, her annual un-conference held in San Francisco in October.

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Terri and Jacqueline talk with Anne Cocquyt of The Guild about Serendipity, her annual un-conference for women held in San Francisco over two days on October 26th and 27th.  Anne shares why she started Serendipity and the plans for this year’s event..  


Show Highlights 

  • Terri, Jacqueline and Anne talk about Serendipity.  Serendipity is anything but the typical conference.  There will be more than 80 speakers sharing their skills and expertise. Attendees are limited to 500 women.   

  • Terri talked about the salon she is hosting at Serendipity at Bolt VC for female accredited investors to learn more about investing in startups. This will be limited to 40 female accredited investors.   

  • The houses include: 

  • Starting Something 

  • Leadership 

  • Equality in the Workplace 

  • Voice Sessions 

  • Coaching 

  • Story Powerhouse 

  • Thought Leadership 

  • Social Responsibility 

  • Founders Meet Funders 

  • Emerging Tech  

  • Unplugging, Health and Wellness 

  • Women’s Health 

  • Investing 

  • There are 40 different sessions and each attendee can choose 4 different sessions over the two days.  Everyone will have a different, tailored experience but will be able to have a shared experience and connect with other women.  

  • There will be an opportunity to fill out your Guild profile, connect with women before the event, and then have a 15-minute call to help determine which sessions to attend.   

  • There will be happy hour on night one and the second night, there will be dinners hosted by various community members including discussions. You must buy a dinner ticket and a session will be recommended based on your interests.   

  • Anne is looking for volunteers to help with the conference who want to contribute to the event and participate on a very, special level.    


References in the Podcast 



Anne can be reached through The Guild website www.letsguild.com or via email at anne@letsguild.com. Or through the Serendipity website:  www.guildserendipity.com.     


Jacqueline can be reached through her website at https://www.jacquelinesteenhuis.com/ or via Twitter at @andYoureaGirl.  

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 61 - Terri talks to Anne Cocquyt about her journey from Germany to Australia to Europe to South America and ultimately San Francisco and her desire to build community wherever she goes.

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Terri talks to Anne Cocquyt about the importance of building community and growing through travel.  Anne also talks about being an adrenaline junky which has fueled her big leaps from Germany to Australia to Europe to South America and ultimately San Francisco to start her company, The Guild.  


Who is Anne Cocquyt? 

Anne Cocquyt is originally from Germany where she studied computer sciences and got her undergrad and master’s degree.  She left Germany for Australia and ultimately landed in Switzerland where she started her career in the IT industry for Detecon Switzerland leading multi-million-dollar IT outsourcing projects across Europe and Asia with clients like Philips, Shell and Deutsche Telekom. She launched her first NGO in Switzerland, organizing high-end events to fundraise for charitable projects in Zambia, South America and Switzerland. She then ventured into the business of art, which she discovered was not her forte, before launching her own IT strategy consultancy company in the UK and Switzerland.  After some time on Route 66, she got married, moved to San Francisco, and joined Genentech managing the execution of 12,000 educational programs and then leading commercial partnerships all the while advocating and implementing digital health innovation across the company. Simultaneously, she founded and sold a small consumer product company, Bezl LLC. In 2016, Anne decided to take the leap and transform her knowledge in data science, her commitment to women leaders and her close connections to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Silicon Valley to support her new venture: The GUILD.  


Show Highlights 

  • Anne shares her journey from Stuttgart, Germany which was fairly conservative, and she knew she wanted to get out into the world. After she finished her MBA, she booked a trip to Australia which was on the other side of the world from where she was living.   

  • While in Australia, she worked a number of odd jobs until she realized that she needed to get back into the real world.  She moved into IT transformation consulting out of Switzerland.   

  • The work ultimately didn’t align with her values so she started a non-profit organization with a friend and put on large, high-end events for fundraising for organizations or projects they cared about.  

  • Anne shared her grandparents’ story that influenced how she operates in the world in terms of the importance of building community.  Her grandmother was pushed out and she had to create a new home.  Anne decided to find her own home. 

  • Anne shared her journey through South America and how traveling taught her that whenever she thought she was at the end, or that she was stuck, that there are ways out.  She learned to trust in herself and in serendipity.  

  • Terri talked about the importance of traveling and putting herself in uncomfortable positions to build resilience, adaptability, and self-reliance.   

  • Anne says new is scary, but this doesn’t seem to hold her back.  

  • Anne believes that networks are so important. 

  • When she was in South America, she got a call to do a consulting project in Europe.  She started a company in England and Switzerland to support the project.   

  • Anne came to America and rented a red convertible to drive Route 66 to drive west which turned out to be her route to freedom.  She felt like there was something waiting for her at the end of it.   

  • She ended up in LA with a friend and two months later she was married and living in San Francisco.   

  • She loves the SF ecosystem which is crazy, and you can ideate, and people are always saying yes, and… 

  • Anne talked about being new to the area and knowing absolutely no one.  She attended lots of events to meet people but knew that there were a lot of people in the groups that had something in common.  She started connecting them and realized that she had a passion for something that feels really good.   

  • She started a consumer product company as a side hustle with her husband and started working for Genentech.  She saw there was no support system in place for women, so she started Bubbles and Biz. 

  • Her experience at Genentech focused on neural networking led to an idea to create an algorithm to find the ways that people connect leveraging AI.  She took her hypothesis tested it out.     

  • Anne quit her job at Genentech and took the leap to create the Guild.  She recently added video chat options to the in-person meeting options.  They now have members from almost all states on the platform.  

  • Terri asked about who the ideal Guild member is, and Anne responded that it is any women from 18-90.  The algorithm considers many aspects of a woman’s life and interests and so it is not limited to professional women.  It can help other groups help their community members connect with each other and help companies connect their employees to each.   

  • Terri talks about the importance of the women’s groups and organizations coming together to build a stronger, collective force.  

  • If Anne could wave a magic wand, she would have people take a moment, before they do or say anything, to think about the effect of their actions on other people.   


Anne’s Recommended Funder Resource  

Hello Alice is a great resource, especially for female founders.   

She also recommends taking a look at founder groups including the former YC group on Facebook and Founder Network.  


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

New is scary but it shouldn’t hold you back.   


References in the Podcast 


Anne can be reached by email at anne@letsguild.com or through The Guild website at http://www.letsguild.com.   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 59 - Terri talks to Christine Tao about founding SoundingBoard and how she was taught to dream big and ask for what she wants

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Terri talks to Christine Tao of Sounding Board about how working with her dad in the family business taught her to be scrappy, to be a hustler and find ways to do more with less.  He also taught her to dream big and ask for what she wanted.  She shares how this ultimately led her to start her company, Sounding Board.     


Who is Christine Tao?  


Christine Tao is the CEO/Co-founder of Sounding Board, a VC-backed startup bringing personalized, continuous leadership development to the $40B+ leadership & training industry. Prior to co-founding Sounding Board Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising platform. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s network business from $0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years.  She has also advised several venture-backed startups including Flyby Media (acquired by Apple), Immersv & Comprendi. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley. 


Show Highlights 

  • Christine shares her experience growing up in a family business and how that has influenced her professionally and how she operates as the CEO/Founder of Sounding Board.   

  • Christine shares the importance of thinking big when starting a business and making sure there is a strong sense of purpose for the employees to believe in and subscribe to.  She gives her dad credit for this thinking.   

  • Christine talks about the importance of providing employees with purpose and opportunities for growth. This is important right now because there is a war for talent and you want to attract the best talent.   

  • Christine explains her personal journey that led her to start Sounding Board.  

  • Terri talks about her experience working with an executive coach and how valuable the experience has been for her.   

  • Sounding Board is all about democratizing coaching for employees throughout the organization so that they can grow and scale at a rate they aren’t able to do on their own.   

  • Christine turns the tables on Terri and asks her for one of the major takeaways from working with a coach.  She responded in how she recommends approaching working with coaches.   

  • Terri shares how her experience working with a coach helped her not only professionally but personally as well.  The work she did applied across her life.   

  • Christine talks about how coaching has shifted and how Sounding Board uses tech to scale coaching.   

  • If Christine could wave a magic wand, she would change people’s assumptions and have them come into conversations thinking the best of the other person or people in the conversation.   

  • Bonus questions (new):  Christine’s recommended founder resource is the podcast The Startup Chat.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Dream big and ask for what you want.   


References in the Podcast 




Christine can be reached via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/christineptao/.   


You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife. 


Episode 45 - Holly Ruxin explains her journey to creating a wealth management company that invests in alignment with values

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Terri talks to Holly Ruxin about her journey into discovering her heart and getting out of her head to lead a more authentic life. She started a new kind of wealth management company, Montcalm TCR where she helps her clients invest in alignment with their personal values.

Who is Holly Ruxin?

Holly founded Montcalm TCR, a female-led wealth management firm in San Francisco combining over twenty years’ experience in risk management on Wall Street with a transparent process that empowers clients. Holly has an extensive background in finances having begun her investment career at Goldman Sachs in the fixed income derivatives division, where she learned indelible lessons about risk management and cultivated an expert understanding of money. She later managed assets and led private client teams at Morgan Stanley, Montgomery Securities, and Bank of America.


Show Highlights

  • If Holly had a magic wand she would change the existing power infrastructure where everyone leads from their heads and have everyone lead from their hearts.  
  • Holly talks about following your heart and your gut to be more grounded in your decisions.  
  • Terri talks about having spent the last two years stripping out the adaptations and the accommodations to succeed in a man’s world 
  • Holly shared her experience being on Wall Street where she was taught to be very good at leading from the head but later realized there was another way.  She spent several years working with coaches to unravel ‘her head.’
  • She talked about the difference in the ‘masculine’ versus the ‘feminine’ values and how hard it is to undo the values one is trained to follow. 
  • Terri talks about the current situation in the world presenting us with the perfect opportunity to shift in the way we operate in the world and embracing values that are no longer serving us in the world. 
  • Terri talks about working with a coach over the summer to learn to embrace her intuition as the decisions she made intuitively have been some of her best decisions.  
  • Holly talks about how women differ from men in having not only just fear/flight but having fear/flight and building of community. 
  • Holly has spent the last few years learning to build new ‘super highways’ in her brain to operate in the world differently. 
  • The contrasts in the world are providing people with the opportunities to speak up and say they want to come from a more authentic place.  
  • She had her third child in 2008 when the financial markets were crashing and she had two other children at the time.  Her oldest child started losing his motor skills and language and she couldn’t get a diagnosis even after having gone to a number of prominent medical facilities in the SF Bay Area.  She resorted to looking to non-western medicine to get answers.  This led her to start thinking about being more authentic in the world.
  • She saw that it was possible to bring this new way of thinking and this new value system into the financial world. 
  • She thinks that love is about truth and authenticity.  It is important to be grateful and not have judgment.  
  • The nature of the C corporation is that legally it has fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders; they must make profits higher.  
  • The B corporation must support people, environment and profits.  With the change to B corps, there will be different motivations.  
  • Terri talks about the need to redefine the definition of success.  
  • Holly started her wealth management company Montcalm TCR to give…not just extract which is what was expected of her at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. 
  • Holly provides her clients with the opportunity to ask questions to engage and understand and feel empowered with her money and their investments. 
  • Terri asked Holly about Stash Wealth for millennials to get better service as they are building their wealth and want to invest in things that aligned with their values. 
  • Holly talks about how we have lost our community banking where there was connection in the community and one was able to borrow because they were known in the community. 
  • Holly talks about how some of her very wealthy clients being very nervous about losing all of their money.  People who are scared come from a scarcity perspective and she works with them to reduce that fear to create greater abundance.  
  • Holly says that people are afraid because they really aren’t invested in their investments
  • Holly talks about the Last Mile and how it helps inmates in the criminal justice learn to code.  She talks about NPX Investors and how it is providing a different and new way to have money flow and build sustainability for people.  
  • Terri puts Holly on the spot in asking her about CNote.  CNote is tied into community developed financial institutions.  They give the investor a chance to be involved in the cash flows. 
  • Holly continues to ask about how you can continue to focus on transformational behavior.  
  • Jacqueline asks Terri to ask Holly about how to become a more heart-centered investor…Holly responds by encouraging you to ask questions.  The questions are:  What do I own?  What do I owe?  What do I earn?  What do I need?  These bring it out of your head and into your heart.  
  • Terri talks about her semi-annual financial review to get her concerns out of her head and focus on the reality.  It reduces a lot of stress for her. 


Terri’s Key Takeaway

It is possible to collaborate and have all stakeholders win.  Life is not a zero-sum game.  


References in the Podcast




Holly can be reached through her website http://montcalmtcr.com/ or through LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollyziegelruxin/ or on Twitter @hollyruxin.  

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead. 

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com.

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.

Episode 42 - Initiative, Tenacity and a Love for Hockey bring Fei Wu from China to Fryeburg Maine


Terri talks to Fei Wu about how she researched coming to the US from China to study when she was a teenager and picked a school in Fryeburg, Maine so she could play ice hockey. Fei talks about launching her podcast in 2014 in order to have something of her own that didn’t require multiple rounds of client approval. She looks forward to using her platform to bring people together to make the world a better place. 

Who is Fei Wu?

Fei Wu is from Beijing, China and came to the US in her teens to study in Fryeburg, Maine. Fei left her job in marketing and advertising to build a company of her own called Feisworld, LLC, with a mission to help small businesses and people tell better stories, find more customers and create new revenue streams. Fei is the creator and host of Feisworld Podcast which has listeners from over 40 countries.


Show Highlights

  • Fei tells the story about how she came from China to study in the US and how she looked for a school that had ice hockey and ended up in Fryeburg, Maine.
  • Terri shares her story about how first experienced ice hockey at a Give Hockey a Try Day last year.
  • Terri talks about exchanging houses with families in France and how valuable the experience was in terms of being forced to adapt to a different culture and language in developing empathy.
  • Fei teaches art at a local high school and encourages the kids to travel and get exposed to other languages and cultures.
  • Fei talks about how she was excited to come to school in the US and didn’t think she was brave or courageous at the time.
  • Fei launched her podcast in October 2014 because she wanted to create something on her own without requiring approval from anyone else. She was influenced by Krista Tippett and her podcast On Being.
  • Fei loves being able to learn about other people through her interviews with people on her podcast.
  • Terri likes that she can be ‘nosy’ when she interviews people for her podcast.
  • Fei learned how to actively listen as a podcaster which was somewhat in contrast to the way she was raised in China. Being an active listener is so important when interviewing for podcasts because it brings the listeners along with the process.
  • Fei talks about how she learned to use her podcast as a platform to gain new consulting clients. Dorie Clark encouraged her to write an eBook about this (which is available on Fei’s website). She is seen as someone who delivers and is trustworthy.
  • For Fei, 2018 will define who she is and who she will be in terms of her consulting work. She now chooses who she works with and doesn’t feel the need to say yes to everyone.
  • If Fei could wave a magic wand, she would love to use her platform to bring people together.


Terri’s Key Takeaway

Empathy is the key to reducing the divisiveness in the world.


References in the Podcast



Fei can be reached through her website https://www.feisworld.com/ or on Twitter @feisworld or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/feisworld/ or on Instagram @feisworld.

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com.

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.

Kristina Jones describes how being a creative problem solver led to founding Court Buddy with co-founder and husband, James.

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 Terri talks to Kristina Jones about how being a creative problem solver and listening to her husband James talk about his experience in the court system led to the birth of Court Buddy, a software solution that provides people and businesses with access to an attorney when needed, regardless of their financial status.  This is part one of a two part interview.  

Who is Kristina Jones? 

Court Buddy President and Co-founder Kristina Jones is a Los Angeles native and a Florida International graduate for both her Undergraduate and Master’s degree from The School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Kristina’s Master’s Degree from FIU was in tandem with Miami Ad School’s Art Direction Portfolio Program.  

As an Art Director, Kristina went on to work for Advertising Agencies in both California and Florida and had the honor of creating campaigns for San Diego Tourism, Disney, Greater Fort Lauderdale Tourism, SeaWorld, Walmart, Silver Airways, and Kaplan University to name a few. Kristina’s experience with these brands has allowed her to see how media and advertising effect the sales and growth of major corporations.  

Kristina was able to take the experience creating content for other brands to help her create her own brand Court Buddy with her husband James Jones Jr. Esq. Court Buddy’s website, courtbuddy.com, matches people with attorneys based on their budget. Court Buddy is helping to bring the legal system to people who previously did not have access to it. Kristina handles the company’s advertising, marketing and social media.  


Show Highlights 

  • Kristina grew up in Los Angeles and was a creative kid who left for Miami as soon as she graduated from high school 

  • She started in marine biology in Miami but ended up in advertising after she did some soul searching in college and seeing what her aunt was doing in the advertising space; she wanted to provide creative solutions to problems and wasn’t doing well in her sciences classes 

  • Once she realized that she could take inspiration from what has been done before to apply it to advertising and problem solving, and she credits her aunt for the advice that gave her freedom 

  • Kristina was a Miami Heat dancer when she met her husband, James, at a party 

  • James started his own law firm right after they got married and she had just started a new job 

  • Kristina talks about how the idea for Court Buddy came from James noticing the number of people asking him for help before they went into court because they didn’t have representation; they didn’t think they could afford attorneys 

  • They saw solo-practitioner attorneys looking for clients, too, which led them to research how attorneys could operate to provide services to people who needed representation and Court Buddy was born 

  • They applied for 500 Startups in San Francisco and it took two tries to get in 

  • Getting to their 500 Startups interview was a series of misadventures including a rainstorm, a mis-scheduled flight, a car that wouldn’t start, being stuck in an elevator, and a locked door 

Terri’s Key Takeaway 

Having an outside perspective combined with a deep understanding of a problem can lead to creative and disruptive solutions.  



Kristina can be reached at Kjones@courtbuddy.com.  Check out Court Buddy at https://www.courtbuddy.com/.   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.