Interview: Janet Chahrour – The Yoga of Relationship

Janet Chahrour Janet Chahrour (Sha-roor) is a life-change artist with a passion for matters of relationship. Her most popular presentations are The 7 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Romantic Relationship and The Yoga of Relationship. Her website offers a menu of her best articles and favorite books as well as a free report called The Essentials of Great Relationships…Especially for Nice People.

Janet believes that quality of life depends on two relationships: the one with yourself, and, if you have a mate, the one with your mate. They are home. When home is a refuge, life is good, and creative energy flows. When home is stressed, in pain, or suffering from judgment, everything else becomes difficult and tremendous amounts of energy are wasted. Janet says:

I see relationship as a living being. When one looks at it that way it’s much easier to step back, see what its needs are, and deliver. There’s no need to judge who’s to blame. When each person in a relationship takes 100% responsibility for its health, the resulting vibrancy and resilience is amazing.

Janet’s speaking career began as a science teacher and MsWiz personality doing science presentations at conferences of the National Science Teachers Association. In that life she wrote two popular science books including Flash! Bang! Pop! Fizz! Exciting Science for Curious Minds. She left her teaching job for an assignment in Singapore and, upon return, noticed that she was drawn more to people interactions than to science content. The appeal and power of experiential learning, however, runs to her core.

Janet holds coaching certifications from the Coaches Training Institute, the Center for Right Relationship, and the Hendricks Institute. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. Involvement of the body in coaching is one of her hallmarks. “Sitting and talking closes off creativity while moving and full breathing opens it up.” Janet’s workshops are filled with discovery exercises, no matter if the participants are couples in her Relationship Fitness for Couples workshop or individuals looking at all their relationships in Great Relationships for Life.

For information on Janet’s speaking, coaching, and workshops visit

Pro-Track Profile

Janet is a member of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association Pro-Track class of 2011. To hear what she told me about her relationship coaching, public speaking and her impressions about Pro-Track click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Carrie Vawter-Yousfi – Mommy Coach

Carrie Vawter-YousfiCarrie Vawter-Yousfi, founder of Mommy’s Coach has unlocked the secret to successfully running a busy household, while ensuring plenty of quality time.

She created her own business 5 years ago out of her struggle with motherhood and a Silicon Valley career. As a working mom, she developed a system to help new mothers better manage their time within the dynamics of family life. Then, sharing her system with family and friends on how to get organized and stay motivated after the birth of their first child.

Carrie draws on her formal education in Business Administration/Communications and over 12 years of Account Management experience in corporate America. She now adds her work experience, and proudest achievement as mother of two daughters, ages 6 and 8 and marriage of 11 years to her growing parent workshops and 1:1 coaching services in the Bay Area.

She has been a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), BABI and an inspiring NSA (National Speaker’s Association) member and current Pro-Track member. Also, Carries is a member of the eWomen Network and Blossom Birth.

Carrie has shared her time and talents with Babies R Us, Harmony, Blossom Birth, DayOne, Good Samaritan Hospital, Las Madres and several preschools in Santa Clara County. She frequently appears as a guest on the local TV station KMTV15. Currently, she is instructor at The Loft Family Enrichment Center in Morgan Hill.

Her motto: A Happy Home = Happy Mom!

Pro-Track Profile

I met up with Carrie and we discussed her work helping women how are transitioning into the new life of motherhood. We also reviewed her reasons for enrolling in Pro-Track and the value she gets from the classes. To hear what she told me, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Clare Mullin – from Trauma to Triumph

Clare Mullin At twelve, Clare was diagnosed with Epilepsy. Years later after an accident at a gym, the diagnosis became traumatic brain injury which affected her ability to speak. She had to learn to speak again as well as learn the many new ways to live a successful life. She taught herself how to speak through a structured program she calls ColorWheeling™ – a program she now shares with others as a way to plan for success.

Clare learned how to turn her disabilities into abilities and a new career as a motivational speaker, TV Producer and host. Her show is called Colorful Journey of Success. Guests include authors, actors, designers, coaches, and key people in a variety of industries including science, medicine, and psychology. Her motivational speeches and writings share her own intriguing stories about her Colorful Journey of Success including her six step system of success using color codes.

Even with hidden disabilities, Clare has achieved successes. She raised a daughter alone, graduated from San Francisco School of Fashion, has an M.A. in psychology, earned the status of Distinguished Toastmaster, and manages her own home and rentals.

Clare states:

We never know what is around the next corner in life. Re-inventing my life was learning to speak and even think again. It was a huge challenge but I discovered we can re-train our brain and take control of our lives.

Pro-Track Profile

Clare enrolled in the 2011 NSA/NC Pro-Track speaker training program. To hear about her speaking work, her comments on the value of Toastmasters for professional speakers, and what attracted her to Pro-Track, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Terry Barton – Savvy Leader

Terry BartonUsing the “single most powerful question anyone could ever ask”, Terry Barton helps individuals and businesses connect to what is preventing them from moving in the direction they want to go. Whether it is an operational issue, a performance issue or a problem with a team, Terry helps people and organizations get to the root of the problem, identify their role in it and connect to solutions that get them moving again.

An accomplished leader, facilitator and executive coach with more than 20 years of management and leadership development experience in the retail, container shipping and biotech industries; Terry founded The Barton Group to provide leadership development and performance coaching services to individuals and businesses. After seeing firsthand how organizations and individuals get in their own way, Terry now enjoys helping her clients come to the “Ah-ha” moment that inevitably gets them moving in the direction they want to go.

Terry is a contributing author of Savvy Leadership Strategies for Women and a sought after speaker. Her topics include; Get Unstuck and Get Moving, Get On with It – Managing through Change and Transition and So, that’s why you bug me – Understanding personality differences and preferences.

Terry holds a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of Maine. She is an adjunct faculty member at Chabot College and serves on the ASTD Golden Gate Board of Directors.

Pro-Track Profile

Terry enrolled in the NSA/NC Pro-Track program for 2011 after reading about NSA membership requirements on the national website and realizing it would be the perfect vehicle to help launch her career as a professional speaker. To hear what she told me click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Wendy Hanson – Sassy Lady

Wendy HansonWendy Hanson helps startups and legacy companies act more aggressively, create more accountability and be more innovative. By shifting the culture, she helps teams communicate more clearly and work with focus.

As an entrepreneur, Wendy loves helping other women entrepreneurs. She co-authored The Sassy Ladies’ Toolkit for Start-up Businesses, which received the Writer’s Digest Award for Non-Fiction Self-Published Books. She also hosts a Blog Talk Radio show interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their wisdom.

Wendy has over 12 years experience in corporate coaching and consulting. During Google’s formative years of 2002 to 2009, Wendy coached their teams and executives. Other client companies include AOL, MapQuest and Verizon.

She is a partner in Point Forward Ventures helping startups develop strategy, successful execution and leadership. She works as a partner with her clients for their success.

As a member of the National Speakers Association, Wendy is a sought after speaker for corporate and business events. She speaks and coaches on the entrepreneurial mindset. Her speaking engagements include topics such as “Intergenerational Differences in the Workforce,” “Five Keys to Successful Start-Ups,” and “Entrepreneurial Skills for Women.”

Wendy has a Masters in Organization and Management from Antioch New England Graduate School and is a certified Personal and Business Coach from the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, California.

Pro-Track Profile

Wendy recently moved from Rhode Island to Northern California and took the opportunity to enroll in the NSA/NC Pro-Track program. To hear what she told me about her coaching and professional speaking career, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Linda Benn – No worries mate!

Linda Benn Born and raised in Australia, Linda Benn brings a breath of fresh air to the USA. She shares her cultural experiences and unique approach to overcoming the issues related to stress in the workplace and improving worker productivity.

The native Australian relocated to the US where she observed people experiencing fear, overwhelm and uncertainty about the economy and their future. She noticed people focusing more on problems rather than solutions.

She shares her cultural experiences and unique approach to overcoming the issues related to stress in the workplace by sharing a mindset of possibility, collaboration and productivity. Australians have a unique perspective of their “No Worries Mate” philosophy which can be applied and learned by American workers.

Linda’s training includes: postural evaluation; alignment correction; yoga training; meditation; nutritional counseling; breathing exercises; communication and reflective listening exercises; coaching; mentoring and offering training seminars. She skillfully customizes programs to the needs both of the workers and the company. Linda works with key individuals within an organization collaborating to generate positive, long-lasting results.

She trains and coaches people how to change their perspective on any stressful situation and reprogram to create a positive outcome.

Using a holistic approach that rewires the mental and physical system of organizations, she retrains individuals using her 5R method that teaches people how to release, realign, restore, rebalance and reenergize. Linda motivates people to the benefits of a healthy mind and an energized body to be more productive in their work. Her expertise as a coach and consultant advises companies how to build a Stress Firewall that results in attracting and retaining employees while increasing productivity & profits.

Pro-Track Profile

I caught up with Linda in January at the start of the Pro-Track year and asked her to share more details about her background. In addition to her new corporate website, which helps employees thrive, she also mentioned her original Heart Light Energy site. To hear what she had to tell me, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Mark Stiving – The Price is Right

Mark Stiving Mark Stiving, MBA, Ph.D. helps companies implement value based pricing strategies to increase profit.

As a pricing strategist, he ‘spreads the gospel’ of value based pricing. His message inspires manufacturers, marketers and others concerned with pricing to capture greater value through pricing improvements and to focus on creating real, quantifiable value for the benefit of their customers and their bottom line.

Mark has addressed pricing professionals and executives at major conferences for the Professional Pricing Society, International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC), American Marketing Association, Consumer Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), Marketing Science and in additional professional settings.

As a coach, Mark helps companies create and implement new pricing strategies to capture more of the value they create. He has consulted with Cisco, Procter and Gamble, Grimes Aerospace, Rogers Corporation, and many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. He currently works full time developing and implementing new pricing strategies at National Semiconductor.

Mark has published pricing articles in the Journal of Consumer Research, Management Science, and the Journal of Commerce. He freely shares his knowledge and latest thoughts on pricing on his Pragmatic Pricing website and has a forthcoming book titled “Big Picture Pricing.”

As an award winning speaker, Mark’s favorite hobby is public speaking, generously giving back to the Toastmasters community that helped him excel as a professional communicator.

Mark earned a BSEE at The Ohio State University, an MBA at Santa Clara University, and a Ph.D. in Marketing at U.C. Berkeley.

Pro-Track Profile

Mark is an active Toastmaster who wants to take his game to the next level. He was introduced to the NSA Northern California Chapter’s Pro-Track program by a fellow Toastmaster.

To hear him describe his expertise and what he hopes to get out of Pro-Track 2011, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Kurt Shaver – Sales Trainer

Kurt ShaverKurt Shaver delivers high-impact sales training and consulting to companies seeking increased production from their sales force. Kurt’s live training classes are followed by reinforcement sessions and exercises that insure the lessons become lasting habits. Consulting includes areas such as sales systems (CRM) implementation and effective compensation plans.

Kurt brings 25 years of real selling experience to each client. His “street credibility” is critical to being accepted by a room full of seasoned salespeople. As a sales rep, Kurt learned how to build rapport, uncover needs, and differentiate his solution to win the business. Kurt won numerous Top Salesperson awards in his role as an individual contributor. Major accomplishments include closing a $5M deal for AT&T’s first private satellite earth station for a corporate customer and selling some of the first electronic catalogs to companies like IBM, Sprint, and Texas Instruments.

As his management responsibilities grew, Kurt built sales teams at a number of fast growth companies. One of them made it to No. 11 on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Fastest Growing Companies” list for 2004. In the process, he developed the systems and skills to motivate and train salespeople to be successful.

After 25 years of corporate sales success, Kurt started The Sales Foundry in 2008 to share his knowledge with businesses seeking to accelerate their revenue growth. The name “Sales Foundry” was chosen to represent the blue-collar, roll-up-your-sleeves nature of Kurt’s work. It is not board room strategy. Kurt focuses on teaching salespeople the tactical skills they need to succeed. Kurt has completed just about every well-known sales training methodology there is and he feels that it is less important to pick the right one than it is to pick one and embrace it completely throughout the organization. Kurt was named a “Top 25 Channel Sales Executive To Know” by VAR Business magazine and received the “Partner Excellence Award” from He holds a Master in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology but he has never let his knowledge of complex integrated circuitry get in the way of closing a big deal.

Pro-Track Profile

I interviewed Kurt at the January 22, 2011 NSA Northern California 30th Anniversary meeting, the week before the 2011 Pro-Track class kicks off.

Kurt shared with me the reasons he is investing in Pro-Track. To hear what he told me, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Dr. Joel Wade – Master of Happiness

Dr. Joel WadeJoel F. Wade, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Life and Executive Coach, writer, and speaker. He is the author of Mastering Happiness: Ten Principles for Living a More Fulfilling Life; a book that makes the burgeoning research from the field of Positive Psychology accessible and useful for anybody with a desire to live a happier, more resilient life.

Mastering HappinessHe has played competitive water polo for many years, playing at UC Santa Barbara on their 1979 NCAA championship team, captaining their league champion team of 1981, and as a member of the US National team. Now in his fifties, he continues competing at the Master’s level.

From these experiences and through his work, he knows what it means to be passionate and devoted to a course of action, what it takes to see it through to success, and what resilience and gratification – and great fun – can be borne of such dedication.

Having personally traveled to over 60 countries covering six continents, he has seen and experienced the tremendous variety of lifestyles and cultures; but also the great common ground of human existence. The specifics are as varied as the barrenness of the Kalahari Desert to the richness of the Amazon jungle; but a good life centers on common themes that are intrinsic to human nature: love, friendship, resilience, faith, absorption in one’s activities, mastering one’s impulses, and finding and building a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

In his work with businesses, what Joel offers is not some idealistic system for creating a perfect business culture; but practical, real life coaching, teaching, and problem solving for bringing out the best that you and your people have to offer your hard earned creation: your business.

In his presentations, he teaches a vast array of effective and tested tools and skills that you can use right now to improve your happiness and effectiveness in your life. If you want to learn how you can live a happier, more satisfying life, not as some sort of idealistic or theoretical fantasy, but taking your actual life, as it is, with all of the hardships and problems as well as the strengths and blessings, then you’ll want to have Dr. Wade come and speak to your group.

Pro-Track Profile

This month, Dr. Wade completed the 2010 Pro-Track class offered by the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association. I asked him about his practice and his plans to put the lessons he has learned in Pro-Track into practice. To hear what he told me, click on the podcast icon below.

Interview: Harold Lustig – Estate Planner

Harold Lustig

Harold Lustig is the Founder and CEO of the California Estate and Elder Planning Center and Managing Member of Lustig Financial Services LLC.

After the distressing experience of hearing his father saying he had outlived his assets, Lustig began a life-long journey to assist seniors increase income and protect their assets, enjoy a higher quality of life and reduce their tax obligations, thus leaving more wealth for their spouses, children and grandchildren. With over 30 years of financial planning experience, his focus and passion is to help seniors and their families with retirement and estate planning as well as long term care planning.

Lustig obtained a business degree in accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Currently, he holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), the California Life and Health Insurance license as well as the Series 65 Investment Advisor’s License.

4-Steps-to-Financial-Security-for-Lesbian-and-Gay-CouplesLustig is the author of the first financial and estate planning book for lesbian and gay couples. The book, 4 Steps to Financial Security for Lesbian and Gay Couples was published by Random House. In the Spring of 2011, Lustig will launch his second book Naked in the Nursing Home: The Women’s Guide to Paying for Long Term HealthCare Without Going Broke.

The mission of the California Estate and Elder Planning Center is to help seniors and their families protect their lifestyle through estate planning, long-term care planning and wealth transfer. Harold works closely with an Elder Law Attorney and his wife who is an Elder Care Advocate and RN.

Pro-Track Profile

Harold is another long-time member of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association who has signed up for the Pro-Track training. To hear an update on his business and what he thinks of Pro-Track, click on the podcast icon below.