No Barriers

No Barriers USA

No Barriers empowers people to break through barriers, find their inner purpose and contribute their best to the world. The No Barriers Podcast is an exploration of the gritty reality of the struggles we all face, with the detailed stories of those that have persevered to find amazing outcomes on the other side.

The No Barriers Podcast is a production of No Barriers USA, a not-for profit corporation as designated under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax-deductible.

All Episodes

Imagine life if you were unable to see. Could you find the toilet, or leave in an emergency? Now imagine you lived in a place where there are no paved roads, no clean water. In our world, 14 million people, more than the entire population of Canada, are blind, unable to perform the daily tasks of living. Ninety percent of the world's visually impaired live in low-income settings. Eighty-five percent of the blindness on our planet could be cured, or could have been prevented. 20 million people are needlessly blind from treatable cataracts.Now imagine: There exists a surgery that can restore perfect sight to these people in five minutes, for the cost of $25 per surgery. Imagine: We can overcome all the needless blindness in the world. People say it's impossible.Some of Dr. Tabin’s Highlights:Dr. Tabin was also the fourth person to climb the Seven SummitsIn 1994, Dr. Tabin established the Himalayan Cataract Project with his colleague Dr. Sanduk RuiOn an 8-day expedition to Ethiopia covered by National Geographic in 2009, Dr. Tabin and his team completed over 900 surgeries in just eight daysIn 2009, Dr. Tabin was presented with Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award by Dalai LamaHe pioneered the first ascent of the final unclimbed face of Mount Everest, the challenging East Face, and also became the first ophthalmologist to summit Mount Everest.LINKSRecent Project  in EthiopiaCure Blindness  & Himalayan Cataract Project WebsiteVideo - Ted Talk - Eradicating World Blindness - 16 minutes Blind Corners Book

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Dec 1

1 hr 5 min

This much is true... no one gets outta here alive.If you had the option of knowing the day you would die and how it would happen, would you want to know?This is Jim.Jim was very much alive when this episode was recorded.Jim was dead 2 months later..Jim has a Stage 4, terminal cancer diagnosis and has ceased all treatment. Two weeks before this episode was recorded he was told he had roughly a month to live.Since his diagnosis, Jim has endured countless rounds of chemo, multiple surgeries and a brief ‘remission’.  He has accepted his fate and has made it his mission to squeeze as much life out of the short time he has left. And along with that, has committed himself to encouraging people to wake the hell up with regards to valuing this one precious life that we each have. To not forget how fleeting and finite it all is. To love those around you and live the best version of your life.We’re grateful to him for that critical reminder that our walk on this planet is brief and that every minute counts. It’s easy to get caught up in the circus that surrounds us. Instead, let’s step outside, breathe, hug, share, appreciate, love. --- Jeff Evans, No Barriers Podcast Host

Nov 24

1 hr

Joe Strechay is a Producer and Consultant for film, television, theatre, and literary works. He consults on accessibility, disability, and blindness to assure respectful and accessible work environments and portrayals. He has worked on AppleTV+’s SEE, Netflix’s The OA, and Marvel’s Daredevil. Joe has supervised services for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; managed a web program; instructed in services for individuals who are blind or have low vision; advised states and countries on services, and mentored numerous people with disabilities. He has consulted for the American Printing House for the Blind specific to CareerConnect and their National Transition Conversation. Joe did his graduate work at Florida State University and his undergraduate at East Carolina University. He speaks around the United States about employment, transition, accessibility, and inclusion in entertainment, and his experiences. He and his wife, Jen, live in Pennsylvania.  LINKSJoe on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL3qga2wIqrtstBLMXQAwag/videosInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/joestrechay/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-strechay-67724243/

Nov 17

50 min 44 sec

In this episode get up close and personal as this Olympian shares her triumphs, challenges (physical & mental), blunders here and there, and where her life is headed now. Growing up in Vermont, Sarah Will was a natural on the slopes. She competed on the nationally-ranked ski team at Green Mountain College. Her skiing career took an unexpected turn in 1988, when a skiing accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. She did not give up. 4 years later she went to the 1992 Paralympic Winter Games winning gold medals in the downhill and super-G. 10 years after, and back to back appearances at every winter olympics she had racked up 12 golds and 1 silver. Will is one of the most decorated athletes in U.S. ski team history.

Nov 10

1 hr 12 min

16-year-old Alex Knoll is a tech founder and international speaker with a passion for helping others. He has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, BBC, Irish Times, NBC Nightly News, Sky News & many more.Alex developed Ability App, a global crowd-sourced web app that helps people with cognitive, hearing, vision, and/or mobility disabilities and caregivers search for specific accessible and inclusive features at locations around the world. Ability App launched globally on May 1, 2020. Please visit the Ability App website for more information at TheAbilityApp.com.Most recently, Alex was awarded The Diana Award, given out by the charity of the same name with the support of The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, and was created to honor Princess Diana’s work while inspiring others to action.Special thanks to Wells Fargo for their sponsorship of today’s podcast in a series featuring folks who are breaking barriers in the business and the workplace.Resources:Visit the Ability App Website: https://theabilityapp.com/Watch Alex on EllenHow Ability App Works

Oct 6

37 min 52 sec

Faith Malton is a natural-born engineer.  She was born missing her right arm and thus, grew up problem-solving and adapting to her environment through innovation.  More importantly, she engineered her mental aptitude and psyche to be rooted in a growth mindset.  A student ambassador, she found herself inquisitive on how other cultures worked and how culture determines the perception of disability. Her curiosity led her to places like Antarctica, India, and Tanzania. Every trip was an awakening and revealed to her how the built environment shapes the way in which humans experience the world.  She now works at Walter P. Moore, an international civil engineering firm, doing site design. She believes design teams have a responsibility for their designs to be universally accessible, inspire the human spirit, and nurture a connection to the natural world.Malton also works to help others break through mental barriers and navigate the world with limb differences through her YouTube channel, One Arm Wonder.Resources:YouTube: One Arm WonderInstagram: @theonearmwonderrrTEDx Talk:  From Victim to Creator 

Sep 29

37 min 15 sec

Amy Rusiecki is the owner of Beast Coast Trail Running and the Race Director for the Vermont 100 mile race, Seven Sisters Trail Race, Chesterfield Gorge Ultra Event, and Mount Tobey 50k, as well as a winning endurance athlete herself. Amy is a true barrier-breaker in the ultra community. She successfully petitioned for the Vermont 100 to be the first ultra race in the country to recognize AWDs (athletes with disabilities) in their own division and has taken the Vermont 100 partnership with Vermont Adaptive to new heights. Since becoming the race director seven years ago she has helped raise close to $1M for the adaptive sports organization. She has made bold moves to push past gender barriers, creating non-binary divisions in all of her events and she has led conversations nationwide about how to better manage gender equality within the race industry. Amy has been coaching for 18 years, working with High School and College running and XC ski teams, named ‘Coach of the Year’ three times. Amy herself fell in love with trail running and ultras. She has three times represented the USA at World Trail Championships, her best finish was at the 2013 World Trail Champs, where she was the top American and 15th female. Amy has raced up and down the East Coast and ultimately enjoys running regardless of distance, terrain, or location.Special thanks to the Winnebago Industries Foundation for their support of this podcast and their advocacy for accessibility in outdoor spaces.Resources:Vermont 100: https://vermont100.com/ Facebook, Instagram, TwitterBeast Coast Trail Running: https://www.facebook.com/beastcoasttrails/Vermont Adaptive: https://www.vermontadaptive.org/ 

Sep 22

49 min 54 sec

Mark served in the United States Air Force for ten years, starting out as an aircraft mechanic. He loved his job but was looking for more challenges, so he switched to air traffic control for the remainder of his time in service. During a deployment in Kuwait, he sustained injuries resulting in his right leg needing to be amputated above the knee. He went into a deep depression and lost all hope and was very inactive. Eventually, he found outdoor therapy programs like No Barriers and regained purpose and meaning in his life. Now he is the Founder and Executive Director of Outdoor Salute to Veterans. There are 22 veterans that commit suicide every day and OSTV strives to reduce these numbers by taking disabled veterans on outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, rafting, rock climbing, and camping.   Mark has also been married to his wife for 34 years and has three wonderful and successful children and five beautiful grandchildren.Special thanks to CoBank for sponsoring today's episode in a series highlighting Veterans. Resources:Outdoor Salute to Veterans: https://outdoorsalutetoveterans.com/  

Sep 8

38 min 17 sec

Comedian, Josh Blue, sat down with Erik and Jeff at our studio in Golden, CO to discuss his career as a comic who happens to have cerebral palsy. Following his groundbreaking win on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006, Josh Blue has risen through the ranks to become a well-established headliner at venues throughout the world. His story has been featured on Fox, CBS, ABC, MSNBC,  and CNN.  He was the first comedian to perform stand-up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest on Live with Regis and Kelly, and made standout appearances on Comics Unleashed. Recently, Josh crushed his set on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and was honored with a performance at the William H. Macy Gala at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada. He also just recorded his fifth-hour special at his home club, Comedy Works in Denver, CO. Josh does over 200 shows a year, continuing to spread laughter and break down stereotypes of people with disabilities. His stand-up routine is in a constant state of evolution and his off-the-cuff improvisational skills guarantee that no two shows are alike. Critics have said Josh is not a cerebral palsy comic; he’s a comic who happens to have cerebral palsy. However, his closest friends describe him as “a d-bag.Resources:Cast your vote for Josh on America’s Got Talent “AGT” app on your phone or head to NBC.com/AGTVote.Check out more on Josh's website: https://www.joshblue.com/ Follow Josh on FB and Instagram 

Sep 1

1 hr 6 min

Colleen Rose is a military caregiver for her husband, John, an active duty Marine. While on his 2nd tour in Afghanistan, John was wounded by an IED blast sustaining vision loss and extensive injuries. Colleen acted as his caregiver, and then, in 2016, the roles were reversed when Colleen was diagnosed with breast cancer. Several years later, Colleen has helped her husband retain his active duty status, and Colleen is cancer-free and in remission, and they are proud parents to their baby, Declan. Colleen now serves as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, placing her in a great position to advocate and provide encouragement for all caregivers, sharing her experiences as a caregiver and care recipient.Thank you to our sponsor, Prudential, for sponsoring this episode and more featuring alchemists like Colleen.Resources:For Military and Veteran Caregiver resources as part of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation: https://hiddenheroes.org/Elizabeth Dole Foundation FB group: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethDoleFoundation/Watch more about Colleen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D546jZFsCVE

Aug 25

42 min 36 sec

Sean Passmore served 22 1/2 years in the Army before retiring in 2014. Today, he leads the Military Talent Strategic Outsourcing (MTSS) team and oversees enterprise military and veteran initiatives at Wells Fargo, supporting the military community with housing affordability, financial wellness, small business support, and career transition assistance programs. The MTSS team is 100% dedicated to attracting, recruiting, coaching, and advocating for veterans seeking career opportunities at Wells Fargo.Wells Fargo is a longtime supporter and partner of No Barriers. We are grateful for their ongoing support and their sponsorship of this episode - the first in a series highlighting folks who are working to increase inclusion and representation in career mobility. Resources:Sign up for the No Barriers Summit 8/28-8/29 (both in-person and virtual options): https://www.nobarriers.live/  Make sure to check out Wells Fargo’s career panel on 8/29 at 1 PM Mountain.Wells Fargo Military Resource Page: https://www.wellsfargo.com/militaryWells Fargo Military Jobs: https://www.wellsfargojobs.com/militaryReach out directly to Wells Fargo Careers: militaryrecruiting@wellsfargo.comCheck out America’s Mentoring Network for the Military: https://www.veterati.com/Read:  What Color is Your Parachute?

Aug 18

38 min 48 sec

Antoinette, an 11-year United States Army Veteran,  is an American Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK) and Third Culture Adult (TCA) with family ancestry in Nigeria, Ireland, China, and Jamaica. Antoinette is a former IT executive, a blogger at the New Normal Big Life blog, Producer of New Normal Big LifeTV for Culturs Global Multicultural TV, Contributing Writer at Paddling Magazine and Culturs, global, multicultural magazine. Antoinette is also a transformational public speaker and an advocate for people living with traumatic brain injury, health challenges, and those diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. She is also the Producer of WhitewaterTV, a Kokatat National Brand Ambassador, and co-founder— Diversify  Whitewater to name a few of her many accomplishments.Thank you to our sponsor, Prudential, for sponsoring this episode and more featuring alchemists like Antoinette.Resources:https://antoinettetoscano.com/about-me/https://www.instagram.com/antoinetteleetoscano/www.linkedin.com/in/antoinettetoscanohttps://xotv.me/channels/359-whitewatertvhttps://www.instagram.com/whitewatertv_xotvhttps://cultursmag.com/author/atoscano/https://twitter.com/AntoinettesPen

Aug 12

45 min 58 sec

Sean Entin was a successful entrepreneur who suddenly had a stroke at 39 years old. After many surgeries, doctors told him he would never walk, talk, drive or be independent again. It has been 10 years since he had his stroke and he has not only regained his independence — in his recovery process —Sean became the StrokeHacker; learning how the brain works and what it takes to make it better. His mantra “I can, I shall, I will” helped him through the mostdifficult times in his life. That knowledge allowed him to teach thousands of people how to do the same. He is currently a survivor coach, podcast host, and founder of the StrokeHacker Community.Resources:Learn more: https://strokehacker.com/Watch Sean on ABC: https://abc7.com/curt-sandoval-mma-training-sean-entin/1101903/

Aug 4

41 min 6 sec

Keely Cat-Wells is an Entrepreneur and Disability Activist dedicated to making social, systematic, and economical change. Keely is the Founder/CEO of C Talent, Zetta Studios, and Zetta Finance. She founded her first company at a very early age while in the hospital, which eventually evolved into C Talent. C Talent represents Deaf and Disabled artists, athletes, and influencers globally to normalize disabled people being experts in subjects beyond disability. After noticing the lack of access in the entertainment industry, Keely formed Zetta Studios, which is the world’s first-ever studio to be fully accessible, designed with disabled people in mind.Keely is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Entertainment 2021 honoree, an Aerie Change-Maker, Advisory Board Member at Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, a Disability Subject Matter Expert at Google and The Lego Group name a few of her awards and recognitions.Special thanks to Wells Fargo for their sponsorship of today's podcast in a series featuring leaders who are facilitating a cultural transformation in the workplace.Resources:Follow C Talent on IGFollow Keely on IGCheck out the C Talent website: https://ctalent.orgCheck out Keely's website: https://keelycatwells.com#DisabilityInMedia #DisabledAndProud #DisabilityAdvocate #DisabilityInclusion #InclusionMatters #DisabilityAwareness #Disability #InvisibleDisability #RepresentationMatters  

Jul 28

42 min 16 sec

Chris Prange-Morgan has worked extensively in the field of mental health and is familiar with the topics of trauma and resilience, grief and loss, adoption, and adapting and overcoming obstacles. Today, Chris and her husband, Scott, host a podcast and website, Full Catastrophe Parenting, which is dedicated to helping parents and professionals in the trenches of working with challenging family/life circumstances. Over the past several years she has provided clinical pastoral care to hospitalized patients, created an adaptive rock climbing program, taken second in the para-climbing nationals (2015 female leg amputee division), and summited her first Colorado 14’er with her family. Chris’ book, Full Catastrophe Parenting: Adoption, Disability, Trauma and Other Joys of Motherhood, is forthcoming.Resources: WEBSITE:  https://www.fullcatastropheparenting.com/INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/full_catastrophe_parenting/FACEBOOK: https://m.facebook.com/cprangemorganPSYCHOLOGY TODAY: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/contributors/chris-prange-morgan-ma-msw

Jul 21

42 min 38 sec

Judaline Cassidy hails from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Having experienced, first-hand, the challenges and injustices women working in male-dominated fields face, Judaline has devoted her life and work to being a force of change. By day, she’s a history-making plumber in NYC, where she’s mastered her trade over the last two decades while fighting for equality in the construction industry. She dedicates every other waking second to her trademarked "Jobs Don’t Have Genders" activism, and to Tools & Tiaras Inc., the pioneering nonprofit she founded in 2017.Through hands-on, mentoring workshops and summer camps led by tradeswomen leaders, her organization introduces girls and young women to skilled trades jobs like electrician, carpenter, plumber, and auto mechanic. Girls gain awareness of these rewarding and lucrative career options, along with invaluable life skills. Ultimately, Judaline is empowering girls with the grit, moxie, and self-confidence needed to succeed in whatever professional path they choose. A powerhouse role model, captivating speaker, founder of Lean In: Women In Trades, and recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Judaline’s ability to inspire crosses generations and genders, and the impact she makes extends to her industry and beyond. Judaline was recently featured as one of CNN's 2020 'Champions For Change'.Thank you to our sponsor, Prudential, for sponsoring this episode and more featuring alchemists like Judaline.Resources:Watch Judaline on CNN’s 2020 ‘Champions For Change.’Watch Tools & Tiaras 2018 Girls Camp videoJudaline’s website: https://www.judaline.com/Follow Judaline on IG, FB, and Twitter

Jul 14

47 min 39 sec

Mark Wellman is a nationally acclaimed author, filmmaker, and motivational speaker. Despite being paralyzed in a mountain climbing accident, Mark has inspired millions to meet their problems head-on and reach for their full potential. A two-time Paralympian and former Yosemite Park Ranger, Mark's NO LIMITS philosophy encourages individuals to adventure into new horizons; to go beyond the seemingly unreachable.An accomplished wheelchair athlete, Mark is best known for the first historic paraplegic ascents of the sheer granite faces of El Capitan and Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park.His notoriety has been acclaimed on national television, by congressional commendation and meetings with two United States Presidents. The first paraplegic to sit-ski unassisted across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Mark has also carried the flaming torch up the 120-foot rope, shocked by thousands of spectators, and lit the cauldron for the opening of the Paralympic Games in Atlanta.Mark shares his story in the autobiography Climbing Back.Resources:Learn more about Mark: https://www.nolimitstahoe.com/Order a copy of Mark's autobiography: Climbing Back.Check out our No Barriers Summit page!Sign up for our No Barriers newsletter to get news about our upcoming No Barriers Summit and other events.

Jul 7

52 min 4 sec

We are honored that Prudential is sponsoring today's podcast highlighting people who are alchemists.Bradford and Bryan Manning are two blind brothers on a mission to cure blindness. At a young age, they were diagnosed with an eye disease that causes blindness over time. To fight back, they left their former careers to start Two Blind Brothers, a small charitable clothing company that donates 100% of its profits to drive life-changing research for a cure for blindness. Their condition inspired special attention to detail, a passion that carries over into the construction of their clothing line. Two Blind Brothers focuses on quality, comfort, and "sense of touch." Thank you again to Prudential for supporting our podcast today and for allowing us to elevate these diverse and unique voices.Resources: Shop: https://twoblindbrothers.com/Shop Blind: https://twoblindbrothers.com/pages/shop-blind-monthly-challengeWatch Bryan and Bradford on Ellen

Jun 30

43 min 46 sec

At 14, Reggie had a tragic electrical accident that left him a double amputee. But, his “never-say-die” attitude has propelled him to also become an accomplished pilot, inspirational speaker, certified snowboard instructor, and marathoner. In 2017, he was part of ROMP, the Range Of Motion Project’s elite team of amputee & able-bodied climbers that climbed Cayambe, an 18000’ stratovolcano in Ecuador as part of a fundraising effort that benefitted amputees in third world countries. Reggie continues to inspire folks around the world with his speaking career, athletic accomplishments, and mentorship programs. Special thanks to the Winnebago Industries Foundation for their support of this podcast and their advocacy for accessibility in outdoor spaces.Resources:Check out Reggie’s website: https://lifewithreggie.com/Follow Reggie on Facebook and InstagramIntroducing Reggie Showers on National Geographic’s Mygrations

Jun 23

45 min 46 sec

Kyle Coon lost his sight at the age of six after a battle with Retinoblastoma—cancer of the eye. However, not having sight has not stopped him from pursuing his vision. Since then he has become a competitive rock climber, downhill skier, runner, and triathlete.After summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 15, Kyle knew he needed to live a life filled with adventure. After getting his college degree and trying the working world for a bit, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming an endurance athlete, competing in numerous marathons and triathlons.In 2018, he was a member of the first team of tandem cyclists with all blind or visually impaired stokers to complete Race Across America—the world’s toughest bicycle race—racing from Oceanside, Calif to Annapolis, Md in seven days 15 hours. Later in 2018, at Ironman Arizona, Kyle became the first totally blind person to complete an Ironman branded Triathlon (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run) in under 11 hours. He continues to push himself physically and mentally as he now pursues his goal of representing the USA at the 2020 Paralympics in the sport of Triathlon.#eyeronvisionResources:Purchase Kyle’s book, Discovering A Life Without Limits: How Cancer Took My Sight, Blindness Gave Me Vision and the Mountains Let Me LiveCode: NOBARRIERS  to donate $1.00 to No Barriers with each purchaseLearn more about Kyle: https://kylecoon.com/Watch Erik and Kyle on OprahFollow Kyle on Facebook  and Instagram

Jun 16

34 min 47 sec

Mountaineers and others scoffed at the notion that Erik Weihenmayer, blind since 14, could climb Mt. Everest. They thought he would be a danger to himself and his team. But, on that day in 2001 Erik and his team, through preparation, personal sacrifice, and the belief that they would succeed, stood together on the top of the world. To celebrate this milestone Erik and members of their record-holding team reunited virtually and shared fond memories and recounted their struggles. Most importantly, they reflected on the advice their team leader, PV Scaturro, gave them on their descent: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.”Resources:Watch Michael Brown’s documentary film, Farther Than the Eye Can See on AmazonOutside MagazineLuis BenitezPV ScaturroBrad Bull (and his father, Sherman Bull)Kami Tenzing SherpaKevin Cherilla & K2 Adventure TravelJeff Evans

Jun 9

46 min 37 sec

Parker (she/her) aka KWEEN WERK is an outspoken social media diva who focuses on environmental justice and social justice matters. Parker tackles these complex, interconnected issues by addressing them through head-on activism and education. She is the founder of a DEI Consulting Firm called Ecoinclusive, the creator of KWEEN WERK, and the co-founder of Inclusive Journeys. As a leader at the intersection of culture and justice, Parker believes in using social media as a tool for social change. As a woman, as a Black person, as a curvy hiker, as a mother, as a Black business owner, she stands at the intersection of multiple identities. Her work shines a light on racism, ageism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism; and aims to also give people tools for change.KWEEN Werk is dedicated to disrupting the narrative that only white able-bodied people care about the environment and participate in outdoor recreation activities. KWEEN stands for Keep Widening Environmental Engagement Narratives. Special thanks to the Winnebago Industries Foundation for their support of this podcast and their advocacy for accessibility in outdoor spaces.Resources:Inclusive Journeys - Sign up today!KWEEN WerkEcoinclusive Follow Parker on Tik Tok and Instagram

Jun 2

53 min 38 sec

As an 18-year-old freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Chris Norton suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Told by doctors that he had only a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below the neck, Chris has continually defied medical odds and, in 2015, successfully accomplished his goal of walking across his college graduation stage with the help of his then-fiancee, Emily. Video from the event went viral, inspiring millions worldwide. Most recently, he walked Emily 7 yards down the aisle of their wedding - documented in his film “7 Yards” now available on Netflix.Chris believes that our lives aren’t shaped by circumstance. They’re shaped by us. Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing: it’s about attitude, and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.Resources:Read more about Chris and book him for your next speaking gigWatch 7 Yards on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or AppleTVFollow Chris on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

May 26

52 min 6 sec

Lisa Lewis began her career with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She earned a master’s degree in Clown/Circus History from NYU. During the same period, she co-founded the Super Scientific Circus, a STEAM-based series of 6 shows which tour the country using Circus Skills to make science fun and accessible for all learning styles. Lisa received her certification from Marquis Studios as a teaching artist for District 75 specializing in Autism and at-risk youth in NYC where she taught for four years. Lisa performed with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit and inspired by the efforts to serve new audiences, she became project coordinator for Circus of the Senses, a performance adapted for blind, visually impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing, and those who are neuro-diverse. Lisa doubled the reach of the program and seeing a need in the community, she created the Embracing Autism performances. Lisa expanded both offerings and audiences, created an inclusive training program for staff, and supported organization-wide inclusive hiring practices.Now, Lisa is the founder and mastermind behind A Bold New Circus: Omnium. A special thanks to Arrow Electronics for sponsoring this episode as part of their series highlighting people pioneering inclusive technology.Resources:Learn more about Omnium Circus: https://omniumcircus.org/Follow Omnium on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

May 19

40 min 9 sec

Dr. Doug Jackson serves as the President and CEO of Project CURE. Since 1987, Project C.U.R.E. has delivered equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in over 135 countries and was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 charities in America. In addition to delivering approximately five semi-truck-sized containers of medical relief each week, teams of medical professionals travel abroad to provide hundreds of hours of hands-on medical care and training through the C.U.R.E. Clinics program. Doug is a frequent motivational speaker to civic, corporate, and community organizations.Resources:https://projectcure.org/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectCURETwitter: https://twitter.com/projectcure

May 12

40 min 34 sec

Kristan Seaford was a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom with five young children when a catastrophic illness struck. What began as the flu and strep throat turned into pneumonia and a life-threatening condition called septic shock. After 100 days, a medically-induced coma, six hospitals, and a miracle, she survived. She lives as a triple amputee, with her remaining foot missing the toes and heel. Today, Kristan is as busy as ever working as a motivational and faith-building speaker, a personal counselor, blogger, and writer.Resources:http://www.kristanseaford.com/Watch Kristan’s journey here: No Barriers Summit Story

May 5

42 min 34 sec

Anthony Ferraro was born blind. Today Anthony is 25 years old and refers to himself as a professional athlete, musician, and motivational speaker. Flashing back to his High School career, Anthony was the only blind wrestler on his team. With the goal of winning a New Jersey state championship his senior year, his older brother Oliver followed him around and collected hundreds of hours of live footage. His film, “A Shot in the Dark” is now available on Amazon Prime. When the United States Paralympic committee came across a viral trailer of the film they asked him if he would train in Judo to represent his country at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. COVID derailed Anthony’s training temporarily and he pivoted to music as his main outlet. Taking his musical talents on the road, Anthony branded a live stream music tour he called, "Anthony Ferraro's Blind Busking Live Stream Music Tour 2020.” Along with his fiance, they traveled through 23 states and over 9,800 miles of American highways and backroads. Anthony continues to train for the upcoming Paralympic Games in Judo. His head is down and his focus is on continuing to get his message of peace and positivity to the world. Resources:Watch the film "A Shot In The Dark" on Amazon Prime Follow Anthony on his TikTok page Instagram -- https://www.instagram.com/asfvision/Website -- https://asfvision.com

Apr 28

46 min 3 sec

As President of The Prouty Project, Peter Bailey develops creative experience-based leadership development programs for companies and people to expand their life skills, belief systems, and communication processes. In his free time he roasts his own coffee beans, writes, sails, surfs, rock climbs, and enjoys time with his wife, kids, and two cats. Resources:Peter’s TEDx talk: “Developing The Heroic Journey Mindset”To learn more visit: www.proutyproject.com

Apr 21

47 min 43 sec

Gerry Leary is the founder of the coffee shop, Unseen Bean in Boulder, CO. Gerry has been blind since he was born but his lack of vision does not stop him from roasting coffee. You don’t need sight to roast coffee, you need a heart, and Gerry has a huge one. Before coffee, Gerry was an auto mechanic for 40+ years. He loved working with his dad in their garage growing up and was told he couldn’t work on cars as a blind person - which only made him determined to do so. Gerry Leary's passion for coffee began in 1994 when visiting a San Francisco cafe. He heard what sounded like a rock tumbler and discovered it was a coffee roaster. He realized then that coffee didn’t have to be flat and bitter, as coffee roasting was a true art form. Gerry's visual impairment kept him from finding an apprenticeship in the coffee business. So he attended the San Francisco Coffee Training Institute and began a journey into the land of gourmet coffee roasting.Resources:Visit Gerry’s website to purchase coffee: https://www.theunseenbean.com/Check out his short film - a Vimeo Staff Pick - Roasting Coffee in the DarkListen to Gerry’s Filter Stories Episode here.

Apr 14

33 min 44 sec

In 2017, Hadeel Ayoub founded BrightSign, a wearable technology start-up. BrightSign develops technology pieces that employ AI to facilitate communication for individuals who need it, such as people with hearing or speech disabilities or children with non-verbal autism.  Hadeel’s BrightSign Glove innovation has gained international recognition and has won global awards in Innovation and Artificial Intelligence. A special thanks to Arrow Electronics for sponsoring this episode as part of their series highlighting people pioneering inclusive technology. Resources:Twitter: @hadeelayoubSite: brightsignglove.comFrom Sign to Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qDUK1xOY8o

Apr 7

42 min 29 sec

Nicole Kelly proudly identifies as a person living with a disability and spends much of her time advocating for it! Nicole stepped into the role of a public figure in 2013 when she won the title of Miss Iowa, making her one of very few to compete at Miss America with a physical disability.  Nicole is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast, Disarming Disability, which aims to break down the stigma surrounding disability by engaging disability experts in conversation. Nicole has proudly spoken at schools, universities, and corporations across the country about disability equity and inclusion.This episode is sponsored by Wells Fargo, CoBank, Prudential, Arrow Electronics, and Winnebago Industries Foundation.Resources:www.missnicolegkelly.comFollow Nicole on Facebook, Instagram  & TwitterSubscribe & watch Nicole's videos on Youtube 

Mar 31

36 min 6 sec

Subhasis has spent about 20 years developing cutting-edge technology, 5 years of practicing therapy, and 10 years in clinical research with varying degrees of success and failure. His diverse background led him to invent and commercialize the world’s first fully wearable, connected brain plasticity training tool that trains brain and body in one system. SynPhNe is the outcome of his Ph.D. (Biomechatronics) study which he completed after recovering from a brain injury himself. He is passionate about neuroplasticity, movement analysis, learning mechanisms, and aging. He has been a yoga and martial arts practitioner for the past 40 years and is currently living in Singapore. He makes friends easily with those who love food, traveling, and adventure.This episode was made possible by the support of Arrow Electronics. Resources:Visit SynPhNe’s Website:  www.synphne.comAdditional reading: The Brain that Changes Itself  by Norman Doidge 

Mar 24

32 min 56 sec

Ann Curry is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist. She is a former NBC News Network anchor and international correspondent and has reported on conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Darfur, Congo, the Central African Republic, Serbia, Lebanon, and Israel; on nuclear tensions from North Korea and Iran and on numerous humanitarian disasters, including the tsunamis in Southeast Asia and Japan, and the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Her awards for journalism include 7 Emmys. She has also been given numerous humanitarian awards, including from Refugees International, Americares, and Save the Children.  One award she especially prizes is a Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for her dedication to reporting about genocide.She has also reported and executive produced a documentary series about people caught in transformative world events entitled “We’ll Meet Again,” anchored and executive produced a live series about medical care in America entitled “Chasing the Cure,” and is a contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine and will be a Fellow at American University spring semester 2021, where she will be teaching seminars on Journalism, including about credibility, ethics, frontline reporting and interviewing. Resources:Ann’s TedTalk on Restoring JournalismMan's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Mar 17

57 min 29 sec

Michael Brown has excelled as both an adventure athlete and as a filmmaker. He has been to the summit of Mount Everest five times, each time with cameras rolling. His work as a director and cinematographer spans all seven continents and has won many film festivals and industry awards, including three national Emmy Awards. Michael is also a recipient of the International Alliance For Mountain Film's 'Grand Prix' awards at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the Explorers Festival’s Camera Extreme,' and the Giant Screen Cinema Association (IMAX) 'Outstanding Cinematography' Award. Michael's lens has captured ice caves for NOVA, tornadoes for Discovery, science at the South Pole for National Geographic, avalanches for the BBC, and mountain climbing for four giant screen IMAX movies. Michael has made a habit of going to the world's harshest, most dangerous environments and always comes back with incredible footage and compelling stories. Outside Magazine describes the cerebral filmmaker as a "swashbuckling librarian," and Men's Journal calls him "a master of gut-dropping action."Resources:Follow Michael and his work on FacebookCheck out Serac Films and Michael’s impressive filmographyAdventure Film School

Mar 10

31 min 44 sec

Sam Morris is the founder of Zen Warrior Training®, an enlightened leadership and embodied wisdom coaching program. In 1999, Sam endured a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the waist down. This incident catalyzed a deep dive into somatic healing arts, depth psychology, wisdom traditions, and the innate intelligence of the body. Sam trains his clients in how to master the inner workings of the mind, body, and spirit and live from an enlightened state of presence in their businesses and in their personal lives.Thank you to our No Barriers Podcast sponsors: Wells Fargo, Prudential, CoBank, Winnebago Industries Foundation, and Arrow Electronics.Resources:Zen Warrior Training WebsiteWatch Sam Morris speak at the 2020 No Barriers SummitSam’s email: Sam@zenwarriortraining.comFollow Sam on Instagram at @zenwarriortrainingBooks:The Untethered Soul by Michael SingerThe Power of Now by Eckhart TolleBreath by James NestorHow to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Mar 3

45 min 43 sec

Michael May was blinded by a chemical explosion at the age of three, but regained partial vision, at the age of 46, after cornea transplants and a pioneering stem cell procedure. He has raised millions of dollars to develop four companies and has changed the landscape of how blind people get around independently. Mike’s start-up ventures have included developing the world’s first and only Laser Turntable, inventing a portable heating cushion for sports and medical applications, and starting 2 companies in adaptive technology including Sendero Group in 1999, which released the first-ever accessible GPS for the blind. Currently, he is Chief Evangelist for Good Maps, Inc., a pedestrian navigation company with an emphasis on accessible navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired. Mike also holds the record for downhill skiing by a person who is completely blind -racing at 65 mph-and is the subject of the best-selling book Crashing Through by, Robert Kurson.Huge thanks to Arrow Electronics for sponsoring this episode - the first in a series highlighting folks who are pioneering and innovating in the field of inclusive technology.Resources:For more information about Mike May, go to http://www.GoodMaps.com or http://www.CrashingThrough.com

Feb 24

39 min 58 sec

Having Minnesota roots, Quinn’s parents were committed to taking their children to national parks all over the country, gradually traveling further and further west. With her first look at El Capitan, Quinn knew that she’d climb it one day; ten years later, she did. Since that first climb, Quinn has amassed an impressive list of big wall ascents, speed records, and difficult free climbs, first in places like Yosemite and Zion and then in the larger mountains of Patagonia, Greenland, and India. But everything changed in 2017 when Quinn took a one-hundred-foot fall while climbing the Nose of El Cap, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Today, Quinn lives in her beloved Estes Park, Colorado where she works for the National Park Service, using her background as an environmental advocate to speak up for increased accessibility on public lands. Special thanks to the Winnebago Industries Foundation for their support of this podcast and their advocacy for accessibility in outdoor spaces. Resources:Book recommendation: Sitting Pretty by Rebekah TaussigFollow Quinn on IG: @quinndalinaVisit Quinn’s website: https://www.quinnbrett.com/

Feb 17

36 min 42 sec

Victor Mifsud is a citizen scientist, biohacker, natural vision educator, psychedelic advocate, and filmmaker. He has recently completed a very personal feature-length documentary called “My Neuroplastic Adventure”. His journeys take him from the cutting edge of neuroscience to the most ancient forms of tribal healing. He has interviewed doctors and scientists who are using technology and wisdom in equal measure. He has worked with renowned National best-selling author & physician Dr. Gabor Maté; Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Motor Learning Director, Dr. Lara Boyd, and NY Times best-selling author Dr. Norman Doidge to name a few. He also happens to be blind.Resources:IG @blindbiohackerVictor’s Documentary:  www.myneuroplasticadventure.com Documentary trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aKKP477-MA&t=6sRead Breath by James NestorRead The Brain that Changes Itself by Dr. Norman DoidgeRead It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn Explore Dr. Gabor Maté’s workWatch the 2011 Film, The Jungle PrescriptionWatch Dr. Lara Boyd discuss neuroplasticity Read Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your MindLearn about Dave AspreyAn overview: What is Biohacking? 

Feb 10

41 min 9 sec

Dr. Kurt Papenfus works in family practice and emergency medicine in the rural communities of Colorado. Kurt attended school at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine where he graduated in 1986 and began to complete his internship and residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO. Kurt has been involved in the Center for Disease Control, National Occupational Research Agenda, Oil and Gas Sector Council, and was an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Advisory Council member. Kurt was also the doctor for the USA Climbing Team on Mt. Everest with the USA-Soviet-Chinese in 1990 and 1992 and can be remembered as the doctor on staff for the movie “Cliffhanger” in which Sylvester Stallone played an important role. Resources:Dr. Papenfus featured on CPRRead Breath by James Nestor

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Feb 3

35 min 57 sec

To many, Heather Thomson is an adored reality star from the hit Bravo reality television series, The Real Housewives of New York City, but what many don’t know is that she also is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and recently launched beyond fresh organic nutrition brand and Heather Thomson superfood shows, developed to educate and support people making positive and sustainable changes impactful to their health and well-being. The real Heather wears many hats as a married mother of two, successful entrepreneur, celebrated designer and inventor, philanthropist, speaker, avid adventurer, and her latest undertaking as host of her new podcast, in MY heart - with new episodes, every Tuesday.Resources:For more information go to Heatherthomson.comFollow along on Instagram and Twitter @iamheathert and find Heather A. Thomson on Facebook.Heather Thomson: No Barriers AmbassadorCheck out Beyond Fresh & https://www.shophq.com/Listen to in MY heart Podcast

Jan 27

44 min 12 sec

When Joanna Sprtel Walters graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1994, she was among the first group of women out of the Academy to have selected warfare specialties.She served aboard the USS PAUL F FOSTER (DD964) and the USS LA MOURE COUNTY (LST 1194) and finished her career in the Navy at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes while getting her MBA from DePaul University. Since graduating with her MBA in 2001, she has enjoyed a very diverse career ranging from Procter & Gamble, Real Estate Investing, REI Course writing, Casino owner/COO and eventually CEO, Principal of a Private Equity Firm, author of Girl At Sea, Motivational Speaker and e-commerce entrepreneur/owner of  Wish Rock Relaxation.  Joanna spends her downtime enjoying the mountains with her family and can often be found climbing the cliffs of North Table Mountain, running or riding the trails, hiking to the top of 14ers, and playing in the snow.  What she treasures most are the adventures she shares with her family as a single mom of two teenaged girls!  She is a master at reinventing herself, overcoming challenges with grace, and tapping into the warrior within.   Resources:Purchase Joanna’s book, Girl At Sea hereAuthor websiteWish Rock Relaxation: Joanna’s e-commerce company. Wish Rock focuses on high-end relaxation equipment such as massage chairs, zero gravity recliners, NIR saunas, lift chairs, ergonomic office chairs, and water features. Joanna is extending a 10% off for all of our listeners with the code:  WISH10.  https://www.wishrockrelaxation.com/discount/WISH10

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Jan 20

31 min 52 sec

Courthney Russell is a creator, activist, and social entrepreneur. At one time on a collision course with incarceration or death, Courthney turned his life around after high school when he applied and was accepted to a pre-med program. Though he found his calling in med school, he continued to struggle with homelessness until graduating in 2011. Courthney’s resolve to overcome his difficult life experiences propelled him to be the authentic, determined, and humble leader he is today. Courthney is the co-founder of A2H2, a non-profit focused on meeting the health needs of those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta; he co-runs WeUp, a company built on the idea of uplifting community through hope and empowerment; and he co-hosts the podcast, Humanize, which broaches uncomfortable topics with the goal of disrupting social order and creating a more just and equitable society. Resources:Visit A2H2  and follow on Instagram: Changing Healthcare & Facebook: Changing Healthcare - A2H2WeUp.org & on InstagramHumanize Podcast on Instagram & Facebook

Jan 13

39 min 58 sec

Maureen Beck was born without her left hand, but that didn’t stop her from picking up the sport of climbing at the age of 12. Now based in Colorado’s Front Range, Mo spends her nights training at the gym and her days climbing all over the American southwest. She works closely with the adaptive climbing community as an instructor with Paradox Sports and is the Chair of the USAC Paraclimbing Committee.As a competitive climber, she has won 6 national titles, a gold medal at the 2014 Paraclimbing World Championships in Spain, and defended that title with a gold medal at the 2016 World Championships in Paris. In 2018, she went on her first alpine expedition to the Northwest Territories in Canada’s Nahanni National Park where she and fellow adaptive climber Jim Ewing attempted the legendary Lotus Flower Tower.  Maureen starred in the 2017 Film Stumped which has won numerous awards and toured hundreds of cities all over the world, and in the 2019 film Adaptive. Mo is an athlete for The North Face, Petzl, Sterling Rope, TRUBLUE Climbing, Gnarly Nutrition, and Scarpa.In addition to climbing, Mo loves gardening, her chickens and dogs, sleeping in cars, and fine Scotch whiskey. Resources:Watch Stumped on Amazon PrimeLearn more about the film Adaptive Watch Adaptive on VimeoMo in the MountainsA Guide to Rock Climbing terminology 

Jan 6

43 min 20 sec

Listen to the full episodes referenced in this episode:Episode 57 - Cultivating Compassion with Physician, Dr. Rana AwdishEpisode 78 - Serendipity with Jill WheatleyEpisode 54 - Thinking Through Uncertainty: Neuroscientist, Beau LottoEpisode 53 - Examining Collective Grief with Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber Episode 64 - Exploring Vision with Lieutenant Governor Cyrus HabibEpisode 41 - Harnessing Adversity with Dr. Paul StoltzEpisode 58 - Harnessing Positivity with Jim Kwok

Dec 2020

29 min 22 sec

Eduardo Garcia is a professional Chef who owns retail food brand Montana Mex, a Mexican inspired line of Organic, NON-GMO condiment sauces, seasonings, and Avocado oil. He is known as the "bionic chef" because he cooks with a prosthetic left arm, the result of an accident while hunting in 2011. His story is the subject of the feature-length documentary Charged. Eduardo is an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, hunter, triathlete, and motivational speaker.After becoming the first blind climber to summit Mt. Everest, Erik Weihenmayer turned his focus to an entirely different kind of challenge: He learned to kayak and decided to attempt to paddle the length of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It was the next chapter in Weihenmayer’s quest for presence, independence, and self-agency — things hard to achieve without sight. As The Weight of Water chronicles, the trip was much more than an adventure athlete notching another accomplishment in his belt. Weihenmayer joins a team of guides and new friends — including fellow blind kayaker Lonnie Bedwell, an absolute inspiration in his own right — on an emotionally weighted journey down one of America’s most iconic canyons. As they paddle, they confront loss, fear, and anxiety. They exemplify what people can achieve — and overcome — through selflessness, teamwork, and courage. And they let the river unlock its priceless lessons. The result is a triumph.Together, Erik and Eduardo discuss their adversities and what they have learned along the way.Resources:Read more about Eduardo and pick up some Montana Mex goodsWatch Charged on Amazon, iTunes, or VimeoWatch Weight of Water on Amazon Prime or iTunes Read Jeff Evan’s book: Climbing Through Storms

Dec 2020

34 min 49 sec

Mike SavickiIn November 1990., while training to become a U.S. Navy F-14 fighter pilot, Mike Savicki sustained a severe spinal cord injury after diving into the ocean. In an instant, he went from being a fit, active, promising Naval officer – commissioned as the top-flight candidate in the nation’s number one ROTC college graduating class – to a quadriplegic who was challenged with learning to live life again using a wheelchair.  As he regained his independence, Mike earned an MBA, delivered the commencement address, and became involved in wheelchair sports. He is a 22-time finisher (and five-time division winner) of the prestigious BAA Boston Marathon (making him the only person to have completed the marathon on foot and subsequently in a wheelchair) and has earned more than 100 gold medals in the National Wheelchair Veterans Games. In 2009, he became the first quadriplegic to finish the 70.3-mile Beach to Battleship Half Ironman Triathlon.From there he became deputy director of World T.E.A.M. Sports, a non-profit for people with and without disabilities, served on numerous non-profit boards, and started his own communications company. He is also a high school teacher, a husband, a father, an advocate for disabled veterans, and a proponent of getting those with disabilities back on the road in adapted vehicles.Savicki married in 2010, and he and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a baby girl, Caroline, into their lives shortly thereafter. Overcoming adversity, marathons, triathlons, degrees, companies, teams, books, magazines, speeches, advocacy efforts in DC, and fighter jets? That's nothing, he says. The real challenge? Keeping up with a kiddo whose life is unfolding each and every day.Resources:Check out Mike’s websiteFollow Mike on FacebookFollow Mike on Instagram 

Dec 2020

34 min 4 sec

Kate Merrill is a Registered Nurse who worked in a Trauma Intensive Care Unit for 22 years before taking the plunge to open her own bakery in Chicago. Edge of Sweetness was off to a strong start in 2020, hitting its sales targets and becoming a neighborhood favorite. Then, COVID-19 hit, and after months of adjusting and taking the necessary precautions, Kate and her staff made the choice to temporarily close. Kate then answered the call from the Governor for nurse support and return to work at the hospital she had worked in previously, to treat patients with COVID. Since she has been laying the groundwork for her bakery to make a triumphant return. Resources:Visit Kate's bakery:  https://www.edgeofsweetness.com/Check out “What’s Within You” to read more of Kate’s story

Dec 2020

32 min 54 sec

Dr. Perea-Henze is a global health physician, government official, and corporate executive who served most recently as Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services for the City of New York since 2019. He was responsible for the citywide response for COVID19 from the start of the pandemic, preparedness for recurrences, and recovery efforts. He was the Chair of the NYC Health and Social Services Sector Advisory Councils and Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Racial Inclusiveness and Equity Task Force. He also provided oversight for 14 agencies, including the departments of health & mental hygiene, social and homeless services, children, aging, the public hospital system, domestic violence, LGBTQ, data informatics, and food policy.Nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate, Raul served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning at the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2010-2013.Currently, he serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the Comptroller General of The United States. His former affiliations include being a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a board member for President George HW Bush Points of Light Foundation, and an advisor on global poverty and Veteran affairs for President Jimmy Carter Center and President George W. Bush Institute respectively. He’s been committed to philanthropic causes volunteering in over 30 non-profit boards in health, mental health, AIDS, and Latino affairs over the past three decades.Dr. Perea-Henze graduated magna cum laude as a Medical Doctor in Mexico at age 21 and obtained a Master's degree in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Policy and Management, from Yale University, School of Medicine. He has also completed Executive Leadership Programs at Harvard Business School and JFK School of Government and INSEAD, France. He has worked or traveled to 145 countries and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Nov 2020

46 min

Prior to her combat injury and subsequent retirement from service, Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans served 27 years in the US Army and was responsible for more than 30,000 ground troops in Afghanistan. She is one of the most decorated female veterans in U.S. history.During her service, Gretchen survived a rocket blast which left her with hearing loss and a traumatic brain injury. While struggling with depression after her injury, she relied on a new rope team to bring her back into the world and show her she still had the ability to find purpose by serving and leading again. Despite her injuries, Gretchen serves others as a passionate volunteer. She also achieved her No Barriers goal by finishing her book, “Leading from the Front.”  Last year, Gretchen assembled Team Unbroken  -  the first-ever team whose members all had disabilities  -  to compete in the World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji, hosted by Bear Grylls. Watch now on Amazon Prime!Now, Gretchen is scheduled to be inducted into the U.S. Veterans Hall of Fame for her outstanding and meritorious service within the United States Army and in her community.Resources:Read the No Barriers Warriors blog on Gretchen Read more about Team Unbroken in Runner’s WorldWatch Team Unbroken on Amazon PrimeFollow Gretchen on Facebook:  @AdventurousAura

Nov 2020

37 min 26 sec

Richard Casper is a United States Marine Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, Artist, and Entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of CreatiVets, a non-profit that provides art, music, and writing programs for wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. Richard was named one of TIME magazine’s ​Next Generation Leaders,​ is the feature of TIME’s documentary​ ​Evidence of Things Unseen,​ ​and recognized by President George W. Bush and The Bush Institute for his passion and work helping combat veterans. He was one of the thirty-three scholars chosen to be in President Bush’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program.Richard served in the USMC from 2003-2007. During the first portion of his enlistment, Casper served as Presidential guard at Camp David. Later in 2006-2007 during his tour in Iraq, Richard survived four IED blasts which left him with a left-traumatic brain injury and witnessed the death of his friend which caused his post-traumatic stress. After nearly giving up, he discovered art and song-writing as therapeutic forms of expression and went on to attend and graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From his experiences, he later created art and songwriting programs for CreatiVets to help other combat wounded veterans heal. Richard has taught art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Southern California. He is a keynote speaker, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He resides in Nashville TN with his wife Ashley and son Barrett.Resources:Visit CreatiVets Website Read about CreatiVets in ForbesLearn more about CreatiVets partnership with AmazonFollow CreatiVets on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

Nov 2020

36 min 18 sec