As an experienced writer and nutrition coach, I am also a breast cancer survivor and mom of two teen boys.
In addition to seeing clients in both person and remote, I have worked in the corporate world in publishing, editorial and marketing for over 30 years across health and wellness. I have been the editor & publisher of a successful parenting website and blog for over a decade, covering health and wellness topics for local parents, as well as writing about healthy dining options for other local news outlets and promoting healthy products and brands. Previously I managed marketing and social media for a men’s skincare company, doing campaigns related to men’s physical and mental health awareness. I am also the former communications manager for Oxford Health. With a son who has Celiac disease, I am also currently writing a book about living with gluten intolerance.
I would love to use my experience and knowledge to help other navigate their health journey at various stages of life, especially cancer survivors.
Connie Rose Shearer (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is an HIV and Mental health advocate who early in their advocacy became an online blogger for A Girl Like Me, a blog site hosted by The Well Project, as an outlet and source of support. Connie has 25 years of lived experience as a person living with HIV, and more than 3 decades successfully navigating their mental health pathway. They have more than a decade of service to the local and national community in a variety of roles that include but are not limited to State Lead for SERO Project and State Lead for PWN-USA.
Originally from rural Indiana, Connie moved to Nevada in 2013 for health reasons after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. Connie is passionate about addressing health and social inequalities that exist among sexual and gender minorities, particularly with disadvantaged women from all walks of life, and they became a certified advocate in 2018.
After back-to-back chronic illness diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease in her 20s, Jackie Zimmerman turned to the internet to find a way to cope and build a support system. Blogging became the outlet she found and she quickly realized that she wasn’t the only one benefiting from her stories. Jackie became a professional blogger and public speaker and in 2012 formed a nonprofit called Girls With Guts to uplift women living with Inflammatory Bowel disease.
Through the process of blogging and developing communities, Jackie honed her skills in digital communications by learning to design websites, create brand recognition and build online courses. She has now turned those into a full time career in her company Queen of GSD. Though she holds degrees in graphic design and information science, Jackie really built her digital marketing skills through the desire to tell her story and she is most passionate about helping others in the chronic illness community learn to share their own stories.
Leanna Lee is a content writer and journalist focused on the future of work and wellbeing. She works with tech and software companies to drive thoughtful conversations about remote work, business development, workplace wellness, and DEI. She also writes and speaks about her personal experiences as a disabled entrepreneur living with PTSD, situational depression, and generalized anxiety for 10+ years. Her podcast Bettermental, which she co-hosts and produces with Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist®Mike Veny, explores chronic mental health conditions and management for small business owners. Leanna is a professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and a founding member of Plumia, a digital nation for digital nomads.
My name is Mercy, I have had Mycosis Fungoides for over 10 years. After living with my condition for so long I decided to truly celebrate myself. My teenage years were difficult, I spent years hiding my skin and trying to run away from myself. After going through treatments, I began to accept that there was no cure. This acceptance was the first step to my confidence journey. My journey evolved and I began to truly love and appreciate my differences. Growing up, I hadn’t seen myself represented anywhere, never on the front page of a magazine or in my day-to-day life. So decided I was going to work towards changing that. Not only for myself but others living with a chronic illness or visible difference, so that others experiencing the same insecurities may instead see the beauty in their skin. Why blend in when you were born to stand out?
This interview holds a special place in my heart, and not only because Jacob is my brother, and my living donor. It’s a unique insight into the experience of an organ donor, one I, as a transplant recipient, cannot fully understand. I am one side of the story, the donor is another, and together we come together to create the transplant community.
Jacob is a university student, currently working towards an English degree and minoring in theology and communications. His hobbies include working out, playing sports, reading and watching movies (He lists Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and the Chronicles of Narnia among his favourites).
As a donor, he underwent surgery to remove 60% of his liver and, despite challenges along the way, he describes his recovery process as fairly easy and straightforward. This may not be what everyone would say, but he credits an amazing medical team for his recovery, and upon entering the transplant centre, I can confidently say he is still more popular than me. Young, physically fit and the most generous guy around, Jacob quickly became the topic of conversation all around the hospital, and he is still an inspiration to doctors and nurses today.
Going back to the basics and relearning how to walk post surgery was an enlightening and oddly enjoyable experience, says Jacob. As a busy college student, he was also forced to rest and recover, giving him an entirely new perspective on life.
His sense of humour kept him going through the bumps in the road, from asking his doctor when he could hit the gym again after waking up post surgery to shrugging and saying “You win some, you lose some” when it came to his near death experience overdosing on pain medication while on the recovery floor.
Throughout the whole process, with all it’s complex losses, Jacob says it is beyond worth it. He draws his inspiration from people who are doing what they love, living life to the fullest.
Jacob is passionate about living life and loving others. And I am beyond proud to be his big sister.
(Jacob would also like me to add he is currently single and now accepting applications for potential dates)
I’m Ashley! A newlywed, mom-to be, and creator of things. I love creating hospitality experiences geared towards entertaining in your own home and making my guests feel like family. I’m originally from Tulsa, OK and currently reside in Houston, TX. As a type 2 diabetic, it’s important that I find balance in the kitchen to support a healthy lifestyle that I love.
Mike Veny loves working with leaders who are tired of bringing the same old textbook presentations on mental health or Diversity & Inclusion to their events. If you are looking for a compelling speaker who will connect with, entertain, and engage your audience—all while educating and uniting them around improving wellness—you’ve come to the right place.
As a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist®, Mike’s presentations move past simply educating an audience to providing them with actionable steps they can take to change their lives and work environments. His reputation as a dynamic speaker provides confidence and peace of mind for meeting planners everywhere.
The mission of his company, Mike Veny, Inc., is to support you in receiving the gift of emotional wellness through unique learning experiences designed to empower your personal and professional growth. The International Association for Continuing Education and Training has awarded his company the prestigious Accredited Provider accreditation for its continuing education programs.
Mike’s Story Mike’s path to becoming a speaker became evident at an early age. He convinced the staff at psychiatric hospitals to discharge him three times during his childhood. In addition to being hospitalized as a child, he was expelled from three schools, attempted suicide, and was medicated in efforts to reduce his emotional instability and behavioral outbursts.
By the fifth grade, Mike was put in a special education class. Aside from getting more individualized attention from the teacher, he learned that pencil erasers make great sounds when tapped on a desk. He had no idea that drumming would become his career or his path to recovery. As an adult, Mike spent many years facilitating drum workshops for children with special needs, teaching them to channel their energy by banging a drum while also learning how to listen, focus, work together and succeed through teamwork. The project was such a hit that he continued to expand his drumming program, first to adults in recovery and eventually into the corporate setting.
A few things you may find of interest
* His bestselling book Transforming Stigma: How to Become a Mental Wellness Superhero and The Transforming Stigma Workbook have become valuable mental health resources for people of all ages.
* As a 2017 PM360 ELITE Award Winner, he is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the healthcare industry for his work as a patient advocate.
* He has presented for audiences in the corporate world, healthcare systems, K-12 education, professional development for teachers, colleges, and universities.
* He has delivered keynote presentations for Heineken, T-Mobile, Aetna, Salesforce, Sanofi and CVS Health.
* He is proud to be a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), National Diversity Council, Meeting Professionals International, the National Speakers Association and the Rotary Club of Wall Street New York.
* His presentations can be customized to fit the needs of your event and deliver the results you’re looking for.
Alexandra Muskat was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at 19 years old. As an attorney and social media manager, she spent the last few years learning more about Diabetes and endeavoring to educate the community at large by sharing her story on social media.
Work Activities: Medically retired due to Rheumatoid Arthritis 2008 Westfield Washington Schools 1997 to 2008 Director of Business and Finance* Marion Community Schools 1993 – 1997 Director of Finance City of Kokomo IN 1982 – 1993 City Controller Development Director Planner Responsibilities included: • Chief negotiator for complex labor negotiations, • Building construction oversight including over 600 million dollars of new construction • Public meeting presentations • Setting policy for the school system • Budget of 60 million dollars per year. Academic credentials BSPA Indiana University 1979 MSPA Indiana University 1989 Ed.D. Nova Southeastern University 2012 Diabetes activities • Contributor at TUDiabetes.org since 2013, including more than 200 blogs • T1 PWD since 1974. ( I was diagnosed at DisneyWorld 😊 ) • Author owner of www.RADiabetes.com • Member of FDA Patient Engagement Collaborative • Patient speaker at 2019 IDF summit in Korea about the history of diabetes technology Arthritis Activities • Local Arthritis Foundation board member • Member of Arthritis Foundation Patient Engagement Council One heck nice guy, most times