Acting Is Her Second Act: A Public Relations Star Finds A New Role


For 40+ years, Judi Schindler worked in the field of public relations. For most of that time, she ran her own firm called Schindler Communications. According to Judi, it was “a hugely rewarding job.” And she emerged as a pioneer among women entrepreneurs helping to establish a Chicago chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

But when she decided to retire, Judi went back to a pursuit she enjoyed in her youth…acting. And what started out as simply “taking a class” turned into a second career with headshots, an agent and auditions. Now in her mid-seventies, she is still full of energy and creativity and going strong on-and-off stage.

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Check out Judy’s book, “Husbands: An Owner’s Manual” or sign-up for her blog “The Toilet Seat Must Go Down.”

 

James and the Perfect Burger: Redemption With A Side of Fries


This “Second Act” Story takes us to Rockford, Illinois, a city of about 150,000 people in Northern Illinois. We’ll meet a successful entrepreneur and hometown hero named James Purifoy. He has built an incredible “burger joint” named “Fifteenth and Chris” that has the most creative and delicious hamburgers that you’ve ever tasted. Every day a line starts forming an hour before he opens his doors. People love James’ burgers.

But his story starts back in 1994 when James took a wrong turn and at the age of 19 was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting a rival gang member. And he spent the next ten years of his life in prison.

But he made the most of his time in prison gaining a degree in culinary arts. And when he returned to his hometown, the people of Rockford gave James a second chance.

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CNN MONEY ARTICLE “SUPERSTAR BURGER CHEF CREDITS PRISON FOR HIS SUCCESS” 

The Last Laugh: 81-Year Old Man Tries His Hand At Stand-Up Comedy


Trained as a chemist but working as an executive recruiter, Art Schill decided he wanted to try his hand at stand-up comedy — at the age of 81.

And it turns out, he’s really good at it. Less than a year after taking comedy classes near his home in Long Island, New York, Art has played a range of top comedy clubs including Carolines, Dangerfields, Mohegan Sun and the Broadway Comedy Club. In a way, he’s the newest and oldest thing on the East Coast’s comedy circuit.

We interview Art, his daughter Lisa and his comedy mentor Paul Anthony who shared, “Art is really, really talented. None of us can believe he just started doing this in his 80s.” Paul quipped, “Sometimes he comes to me to say, ‘Why can’t I go on last?’ I say, ‘Art, you’re 82. I got to get you on stage as fast as possible. I don’t know how much longer we have here.”

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WATCH ART’S ACT ON YOUTUBE

Special thanks to Daniel Bubbeo, Assistant News Editor at Newsday, for connecting us with Art.

Ready for Some Expert Advice? 23 Minutes with Marci Alboher


On this episode, we spend time with Marci Alboher, the author of The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life. She also is a Vice President at Encore.org, a nonprofit focused on helping people pursue second acts for the greater good.

Marci offers her thinking on the best practices in transitioning to a second act. And she outlines common traits shared among individuals that have been successful in making the change. And finally she talks about her own journey from lawyer to journalist to author to non-profit leader.

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ABOUT THE ENCORE CAREER HANDBOOK

 

 

Getting Benchwarmers in the Game: Retired Engineer Keeps a Promise


Joe Bock retired in 2008  after a long and successful career as an electrical engineer. But he always remembered his time back in grade school as a kid sitting on the sidelines and never getting into an athletic game. “I wanted to be athletic more than anything else.” And when he retired he was determined to help “kids like me.”

So at 74 years old, he now runs a program called “Benchwarmer Basketball” that has a growing and faithful following at the Cheviott Hills Recreation Center in Los Angles, California. He went back to school to study kinesiology (what Joe terms the “politically correct” word for physical education). And he hit many road blocks along the way. But he stuck with it and has helped dozens of kids off the bench and on to the basketball court.

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BENCHWARMER BASKETBALL VIDEO

Special thanks to Encore.org for assistance in arranging this interview.

 

From “Late Night with Conan” to Rikers Island


Deborah Shaw was an established costume designer in New York City. For 15 years she worked for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” creating hundreds of costumes for the program. But when the show moved to Los Angeles, she decided to stay in New York and do something completely different.

And her second act took her to Rikers Island, one of the most dangerous prisons in America. Starting in 2009, she began working in  “The Big Garden” — a two-acre plot amid the prison complex — helping both detainees and prisoners via horticultural therapy. Today she is building a new program for the Fortune Society using gardening to help individuals recently released from the prison system re-enter everyday life.

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Special thanks to Sarah McKinney of Encore.org for connecting us with Deborah Shaw.