Cathy & the Crankshafts: Social Worker Learns To Fix Cars For Working Poor


While working as the Director of Social Justice at St. Stephen’s Church in Minneapolis, Cathy Heying observed a continuing problem among the working poor in the church’s neighborhood:

  • A poor person’s car would break down and they would not have the money to repair it;
  • Lacking dependable transportation, he/she would be unable to get to work and lose their job;
  • Unable to pay the rent, they would become homeless.

She initially thought: “Somebody really should do something about this.” And then she thought: “Maybe that somebody is me.”

Cathy took the unusual step of enrolling in a two-year technical college to learn auto mechanics. It was a difficult experience for a 38-year-old social worker who knew very little about automotive repair. But she got through it with the help of an instructor named Dave Duval (who is also interviewed in this episode).

Following graduation, she founded an extraordinary non-profit called The Lift Garage. According to the organization’s mission The Lift Garage is a 501c3 nonprofit aimed to move people out of poverty and homelessness by providing low-cost car repair, free pre-purchase car inspections, and honest advice that supports our community on the road to more secure lives.

In 2015, Cathy Heying was named a CNN Hero which raised the profile of the organization nationally. But Cathy was already a hero to the men and women of the Twin Cities who rely on her and The Lift Garage to help them make a living and live a better life.

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Click here to learn more about The Lift Garage and how you can help support their mission.

Anita Hellman, Beat Cancer Boot Camp

She Started “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” (This Pity Party Is Over)


Anita Kellman is a little like Superman. During the day, she is a quiet, mild-mannered patient navigator at the office of a breast cancer oncologist. But on Tuesday afternoons at 5:30 pm and Saturday mornings at 8:00 am, she is transformed into “Sarge” – a tough Navy Seal drill instructor who barks orders and leads cancer patients and cancer survivors through an hour-long “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” in Morris K. Udall Park in Tucson, Arizona.

She first began “Beat Cancer Boot Camp” back in 2001. Every class begins with Sarge shouting “It’s a beautiful day for boot camp.” After a 5-7 minute warm-up, the class moves into 40-45 minutes of active exercises. “One of my trademark is that you end up doing 100 push-ups. I want people to know that they could do something that they thought they couldn’t do. I want to make you physically stronger so you’re mentally tougher.”

Over the past 17 years, Anita “Sarge” Kellman has helped hundreds of cancer patients and cancer survivors in her home of Tucson, Arizona. And she has helped thousands more via Kellman Beat Cancer Boot Camps in Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Utah and her appearances at different national events and races.

Buddy’s Unusual Path: Radio Disc Jockey to Economic Developer


From the age of eight, Buddy Rizer wanted to be in radio. He landed his first job at the age of fifteen and rose up through the ranks to actually owning his own radio station in his early 40s. But like many other industries, radio changed. “Deregulation” not “video” killed the radio star (to amend the 1979 hit song by the Buggles). And it sent Buddy on a completely different path into the world of economic development – a profession that he has excelled over the past 11 years.

Today Buddy Rizer is the Executive Director of the Loudon County Economic Development Authority. His job is to create jobs and opportunities for the 400,000 residents of Loudon County, Virginia – a county about 50 miles west of Washington, DC.

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“Mama, I’m Gay” Fuels A Second Act


Eva Levias Andino is a big personality with a compelling back story. She grew up in Cuba and proudly counts herself as a 9th generation Cuban. But at the age of 17 years old she left Cuba with her mother. She married and raised four children living in Puerto Rico and California before settling in Miami, Florida.

Her life changed dramatically when her 20-year-old son Paolo invited her to lunch and told her “Mama, I’m gay.” Over the next eight years she struggled with this news. But it eventually led her to work with the Yes Institute, an organization focused on suicide prevention and ensuring the healthy development of all youth through communication and education on gender and orientation. What started as a volunteer role turned into a full time position as Director of Development and eventually Chief Financial Officer. At the age of 75, she is now retired but still actively involved with the organization.

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Click here to learn more about the work of the Yes Institute.

What Is “Post Traumatic Growth?” Interview with “Jolt” Author Mark Miller


In this episode, we spend time with Mark Miller, a veteran journalist who has covered the retirement beat for a dozen years.  Today, we’re talking with him about his new book “Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation.” The book tells the stories of people have experienced traumatic events — the loss of a child, a natural disaster, a life-threatening accident or illness, financial ruin or a terrorist attack — and bounced back to thrive and grow.

I sat down with Mark at his home in Evanston, IL and had a conversation about “Jolt” and what it can tell us about Second Acts.

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“Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation” is available on Amazon.com.

Fired at 64…An Entrepreneur at 66


In December 2009, Paul Tasner walked into a conference room and was let go from his position as the Senior Director of Operations of a San Francisco-based manufacturing firm. He was 64 years old. He met his wife Barbara and another couple for  dinner that evening and proceeded to get “silly drunk.”

He wasn’t ready for retirement. So two years later, he started Pulpworks, a company that designs and manufactures biodegradable packaging replacing the toxic, disposable plastic packaging to which we’ve all become accustomed to. With his 2017 TED Talk, “How I Became an Entrepreneur at the Age of 66,” he’s became a poster child (or perhaps “poster senior”) of older entrepreneurs.

The episode also includes interviews with Dr. Benjamin Jones, Professor of Strategy at Northwestern University who directs the Kellogg School’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and Barbara Walter, Paul’s wife.

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