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Eye Interview

Bestselling Author Lisa See Explores the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters

Lisa See, author/Photo: P. Burke

Lisa See at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Arizona/Photo: P. Burke

By Patricia Caso/June 6, 2017
Photos provided by Lisa See (@Lisa_See)

TWE’s Stacey Gualandi’s wonderful interview with the New York Times bestselling author, Lisa See, posted in 2011. Since then Lisa has written several more compelling historical fiction books, the latest being The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

“I feel with every book, I put in everything I ever knew into it. Yet I am still growing and changing from that first book to now. Life changes…even in these last three years, I have learned new things.” Lisa See

This time Lisa, who continues to explore women’s relationships and the concept of mother-love, writes about China’s transnational adoption with a backdrop of the little known Akha people and the tea pickers of an ancient tea, Pu’er. I wanted to find out what more she has uncovered personally and professionally on her themes of women’s friendships and her interest in the dual cultures of China and America… [Read more…]

TWE Interview: Award-Winning Sculptor Kristen Visbal On Her “Fearless Girl”

Kristen Visbal with her sculpture Fearless Girl/Photo: provided by Federica Valabrega

Kristen Visbal with “Fearless Girl”/New York City

By Patricia Caso/May 14, 2017
Photos: Kristen Visbal
Black/White Photos: Federica Valabrega

“Be Bold For Change” was the theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. I wonder how many of us would see that boldness in any given little girl. Kristen Visbal, a noted sculptor, found that boldness and a way to inspire conversation on women’s roles, attitudes and future when she was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to create a sculpture, “Fearless Girl.”

“I think the work is an important statement not just for the empowerment of women, both inside and outside of the financial world, but it also serves as an example for all young women.”   Kristen Visbal

“Fearless Girl” stands facing Wall Street’s famed “Charging Bull.” Kristen’s work ignited a firestorm of opinion. I wanted to know more about how she came up with her unique sculpture and her own background. I grabbed some precious time from Kristen in between doing what she does best, creating remarkable bronze sculptures using something called the lost wax process. .. [Read more…]

INTERVIEW: Entrepreneur Nely Galán On Her Inspiring Self Made Mission and Movement

Nely Galán, Entrepreneur, on Her Inspiring Self Made Mission and Movement

Nely Galán

Nely Galán and her book, Self Made

By Catherine Anaya/February 21, 2017
Editor: Haley Christopher

Nely Galán, is a women’s empowerment advocate, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and the founder of the Adelante Movement whose goal is to unite and empower Latinas. Her new book Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way inspired me and I want to share it with you. Her message is her mission and it’s becoming a movement.

“When you take a risk, when you dip your toe in the water, when you just take a small action, the repercussions of that action in your life and your family’s life are immense.” Nely Galán

Nely arrived in America from Cuba when she was a young child and worked her way up from her first job as an unpaid intern to the first Latina President of a U. S. television network, Telemundo. I couldn’t wait to chat with her on The Women’s Eye Radio Show. Here is an excerpt…    [Read more…]

TWE Interview: One Fit Widow Founder Michelle Steinke-Baumgard Transforms Grief Through Fitness

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard, founder 1FitWidow, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon/Photo Courtesy Michelle Steinke-Baumgard

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

By Catherine Anaya/January 15, 2017

I met Michelle Steinke-Baumgard a couple of years ago in the Phoenix area when I did a story on her for the news here. Her husband Mitch passed away in 2009 and to cope with that overwhelming grief that she was feeling, she decided to lose weight.

“My overarching goal is to change the conversation on grief and to have people be more real and honest about it. It’s a healing mechanism for me as well.”  Michelle Steinke-Baumgard

She ended up losing 70 pounds plus she gained the strength to tackle the world again, creating One Fit Widow Virtual Training and Nutrition Company …and so much more! I wanted you to meet this intrepid changemaker so here’s an excerpt of our TWE Radio interview as she joined me from Bozeman, Montana…   [Read more…]

Interview: Lawyer Jessica Wright Runs to Empower Afghanistan’s Women and Girls

Jessica Wright/lawyer-Born to Run/Photo: from Jessica

Jessica Wright at Medal Monday, New York City Marathon, 2016

Jessica Wright

By Patricia Caso/January 2, 2017

It seems to me that every marathoner has a unique story to tell. This past year’s 2016 New York City Marathon was no exception. A dear friend told me about Jessica Wright (@jessywright), a 32-year-old American commercial-corporate lawyer who is working in Kabul, Afghanistan and trained to run the Marathon 6,730 miles away, in very challenging circumstances. To add to her intriguing story, as Jessica trained she found an outstanding cause to run for as well.

“I wanted to use my personal challenge to raise money for Free To Run, a group that uses the power of sports to help women and girls overcome the harmful effects of conflict and discrimination.”  Jessica Wright

Through email, Jessica agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to give TWE a look into her demanding life. I still cannot fully understand what it took to undertake the marathon training, much less how, as a practicing lawyer, to maneuver the time. Bottom line: Jessica loves her job and loves to run!   [Read more…]

TWE Interview–Designer Coleen Christian Burke On Decorating the White House for Christmas


Coleen christian Burke/author Christmas with the First Ladies/Photo: Coleen Christian Burke

Coleen Christian Burke at the Winter Wonderland themed tree,
East Room, White House, 2014

By Patricia Caso/December 11,2016
Photos Provided by Coleen Christian Burke (@ByColeen)

‘Tis the season for wishes to come true. One entrepreneur, blogger, designer and author, Coleen Christian Burke lobbied for four years to get the chance of a lifetime to help decorate the White House for Christmas.

“I could never have planned this life out. If I were a little girl saying I am going to be a designer and design the White House for Christmas and then I’m going to install it and then I’m going to talk about it, it just would have been so far fetched.” Coleen Christian Burke

She got that first opportunity in 2008, and other years have followed since. These experiences inspired her to write a fascinating book, Christmas with the First Ladies: The White House Decorating Tradition from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama (@SimonBooks).

Intrigued with her almost-magical story, I caught up with this former television producer just as another busy holiday season kicks in to find out just how Coleen’s hunches turned into  successes…   [Read more…]

Producer Stacey Reiss On THE EAGLE HUNTRESS: A Stunning Film About Family, Dreams and Girl Power

Stacey Reiss, producer The Eagle Huntress/Photo: Stacey Reiss

Stacey Reiss

By Patricia Caso/October 28, 2016
Photos: Courtesy Stacey Reiss

As an award-winning producer, writer and director, documentarian Stacey Reiss has probably seen and done enough to make a movie about herself. Her most recent effort as a producer is THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, which takes Stacey to “the ends of the earth” to follow a thirteen-year-old Mongolian girl, Aisholpan, through her challenges to realize her dream to be the best eagle hunter.

“Her story is universal. It’s a story of a father supporting and teaching his daughter, which I can certainly appreciate as the mother of two children.”  Stacey Reiss

I was intrigued to find out more about the producer behind this stunning film that harkens back to traditions and culture from the days of Genghis Khan…  [Read more…]

INTERVIEW: CNN Hero Umra Omar Delivers Healthcare and Hope to Coastal Kenya

Umra Omar, Safari Doctors/Photo: Safari Doctors

Umra Omar

By Pamela Burke/October 11, 2016
Photos provided by Safari Doctors

What do you do when you have a successful career but find out that people living in an archipelago thousands of miles away in your native Kenya have serious healthcare issues that need attention? Umra Omar (@UmraOmar) faced that situation head-on and made the decision to return to the land of her birth.

In 2014 she founded Safari Doctors, a program operating out of Lamu, Kenya, offering free basic medical services where there were almost none.

“We say every journey starts with a single step…The goal is to have monthly clinics targeting a minimum of 10 villages which is service to approximately 10,000 villagers treating an average of 1,000 patients a month.”  Umra Omar

CNN recently recognized her efforts by naming her a CNN Hero. We were so impressed with Umra and her team that we want to introduce her to our TWE readers. Her small group travels by air, road and boat to bring much needed healthcare to the coastal islands in the Lamu Archipelago.  The trips can be dangerous as the Somalia border and terrorists are not far away.

Meet Umra who is eight months pregnant with her second child and as committed as ever…  [Read more…]