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Each week, Vanessa hosts It’s Your Community; a show that focuses on the names, faces and happenings affecting the Detroit metropolitan community. She interviews businesses, community leaders, professionals and insiders to ask the questions that are on the minds of listeners.

The show airs every Sunday morning in the Detroit market on News/Talk AM760 WJR, 96.3 FM WDVD and 93.1 NASH-FM.

WJR   Untitled   WDRQ_(Nash_FM_93.1)_logoIt’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 21, 2019

Vanessa took to Pontiac in Oakland County to interview Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner. The two caught up at a Land Acquisition auction in Oakland County. The auction is facilitated by the county in which properties were forfeited after residents could not or did not pay their taxes.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 28, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Robert Jamerson, Interim CEO for DetroitPAL about the organization’s work throughout the city of Detroit. Detroit PAL enjoys a long history of providing quality sports to Detroit-area youth. The organization offers programs in 11 different sports and numerous areas of youth enrichment to over 14,000 youth participants annually.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 4, 2019

In this week’s It’s Your Community, Vanessa interviewed Katherine Fuller, manager of health and basic needs at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Katherine discussed with Vanessa United Way’s Meet Up and Eat Up program. Meet Up and Eat Up is a tri-county free summer meals programs for kids ages 18 and younger.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 11, 2019

Vanessa interviewed Teresa Tomeo, Media Expert, Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author, and Syndicated Talk Show Host of Catholic Connection and The Catholic View for Women. Teresa discussed her new evangelization venture as she travels through Italy. She is tailoring her itinerary in hopes that she can lead travelers to God.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 18, 2019

Vanessa sat down to interview Stacy Averill, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. Stace Averill discussed Gleaner’s efforts to mitigate child hunger in the summer months when children cannot get their meals at school.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 25, 2019

Vanessa sat down at the home of John and Ann Mansour to interview them about their annual walk at the Detroit Zoo, Stride for Seminarians. Tickets to the September event are on sale and can be purchased online. The annual event is in support of seminarians.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 1, 2019

Vanessa interviewed Michelle Gilbert the Comcast Vice President of Public Relations and Michael Smith a Community Account Representative in East Detroit. The pair discussed with Vanessa Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 30, 2019

Vanessa sat down with the founder of Kids Empowered, Kimber Bishop-Yanke, to talk about the organization’s work to bully-proof kids. During this interview, Kimber told Vanessa about Kids Empowered Slime Time, a program developed to help kids in sticky situations.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 23, 2019

Vanessa had the chance to interview Michallene Thacker-Mann, the managing director of development at City Year. City Year Detroit is an education nonprofit committed to the improvement of educational experiences and outcomes for Detroit students through daily tutoring, mentorship and social-emotional support. They also discussed the organization’s impact on the city of Detroit.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 16, 2019

Sitting down with author and editor of dBsuiness Magazine R.J. King, Vanessa interviewed R.J. about his latest book, “Detroit: Engine of America.” R.J.’s book takes a look at how Detroit was created by manufacturing over the many centuries to eventually become what it is today, the brains of the world auto industry.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 9, 2019

Vanessa sat down with Don Tanner of Tanner Friedman for an interview. As a public relations and communications professional, Vanessa discussed the intricacies of the industry with Don as he is also familiar with the industry through his work with Tanner Friedman.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 2, 2019

Vanessa had the chance to interview author, speaker, and mental health advocate Liza Long. Liza wrote an essay after the Newtown shooting about how the perpetrator could have been her own son that went viral across the country. Liza discussed her own son’s mental health journey and the significant difficulty she had in getting him help while staying out of the penal system. In addition, Liza discussed the Jewish Family Services’ spotlight event that she will be a part of.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 26, 2019

While most Michigan residents have their fingers crossed in hopes of warmer weather, AAA is talking summer driving safety. Interviewing AAA Public Relations Program Consultant Adrienne Woodland, Vanessa discussed various summer driving tips. Adrienne also discussed with Vanessa AAA’s Walk.Bike.Drive Safe campaign. Listen for more information!

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 19, 2019

With the release of his newest book, In God We Trust, George Schwartz joined Vanessa on It’s Your Community to discuss his book, which is being hailed as “groundbreaking.” In his book, George outlines the blueprint for the Ave Maria Mutual Funds. These mutual funds have attracted more than 100,000 shareholders from all over the country, who have invested more than $2.2 billion in five separate award-winning funds.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 12, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to sit down with Lisa Kaplan, executive director of the Great West Bloomfield Community Coalition. This time, Lisa discussed with Vanessa Kids in Charge. Kids in Charge, says Lisa, is an elementary school substance abuse education program in the West Bloomfield School district. In its 29th year, Lisa discussed how the program got its start, how it has evolved over the course of its existence, and the impact it has had on the community.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 5, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Detroit Zoological Society Chief Life Sciences Officer, Scott Carter about a number of things happening at the Detroit Zoo in the coming months. Most notably, the Detroit Zoo will be unveiling the newly renovated Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest. Vanessa also discussed with Scott Endangered Species Day, Tula, Deveraux Tiger Forest, and more!

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 28, 2019

As the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce’s 16 Awards Gala quickly approaches, Vanessa sat down with Steve Kaplan, the West Bloomfield supervisor who will be receiving a special tribute at the Awards Gala. Vanessa also discussed with Steve the many contributions he has made to West Bloomfield in his capacity as the city’s supervisor.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 14, 2019

Nancy Maxwell joined Vanessa on It’s Your Community. Nancy is the Executive Director at Sweet Dreamzzz Inc., a Michigan based nonprofit. Nancy discussed with Vanessa the importance of sleep for young students and the overall mission of the organization which strives to improve children’s health, well-being, and academic performance by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials to economically disadvantaged students and their families.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 7, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Officers Marcus Norwood and Chenetta Pasley. Officers Marcus and Chenetta discussed with Vanessa the work they do to help run youth development programs at DetroitPAL and with the organization’s Team Up program with the Detroit Police Department.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 31, 2019

Vanessa interviewed Kellen Winslow Sr. the Assistant to the president for community relations at Madonna University. Kellen touched on a number of topics impacting the university; from the accreditation process and new residence halls to the school’s football team and commencement ceremony.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 24, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview the Michigan Science Center Chief Learning Officer Cassie Byrd. Cassie discussed with Vanessa the Michigan Science Center’s STEMinista Project. The STEMinista project is an initiative created to defy statistics and raise interest in STEM in 4th-8th grade girls.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 17, 2019

Vanessa sat down to interview Mike Hickey, a teacher at UofD High School and the executive director at Our Lady of the Fields Camp and Retreat Center in Brighton, Michigan. Vanessa and Mike discussed the newly upgraded camp and all its offerings, including week long camps for boys and girls and weekend getaways for mother-daughter and father-son duos.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 10, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to once again interview Fr. Alex Kratz at St. Joseph and the Marian Shrine in Pontiac. This time, Vanessa and Fr. Alex discussed Easter. Thinking back to her days as a reporter at WJR, Vanessa talked about her coverage of Easter and her assertion that Easter is the Holiest day of the year for Christians everywhere, to which Fr. Alex agreed.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 3, 2019

Discussing the work Comcast does within communities across Michigan, Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Rob Ponto Senior Manager of Public Relations for Comcast in Michigan. Ponto discussed the various community outreach initiatives by Comcast including the company’s recent internet essentials expansion to more than 30,000 low income veterans throughout Michigan communities.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 24, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview International Speaker, Best-Selling Author, College Professor, and Actor Eddie Connor about his latest book Wife: Becoming the Right One for the Right One. In addition to discussing his latest book, Eddie also discussed with Vanessa his career as a speaker and actor.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 17, 2019

As the opioid crisis continues to impact communities throughout Michigan, Vanessa took the opportunity to interview Melissa Tolstyka, Director of programs at Hegira Health and Scott Schadel, administrator of substance-use disorder services. Scott gave insight as to how the opioid crisis became what it is today and how it can be addressed. In addition, the pair discussed the link between opioid abuse and suicide.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 10, 2019

There has been an uptick in the popularity in bariatric surgery and Vanessa had the opportunity to interview one of the leading bariatric surgeons. Dr. Fariba Dayhim is a board-certified doctor in General Surgery, Obesity Medicine, and Nutrition. Dr. Dayhim discussed with Vanessa the different types of bariatric surgeries that patients can choose including the gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 3, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview DTE Energy president and COO Mark Stiers and DTE Energy’s Vice President of public affairs Nancy Moody. According to Mark, most DTE Energy customers can expect to see lower heating bills as the winter season remains unusually mild. In addition, Vanessa discussed with Nancy DTE as force for good as the company focuses not just on being the best in the world, but the best for the world.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 27, 2019

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Michigan, Vanessa interviewed Lisa Berkey. Lisa serves as the executive director for the Greater West Bloomfield Community Coalition. Lisa discussed with Vanessa the vague nature of the law that recently passed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Additionally, they discussed the impact this legalization would have on communities and what members of the community should be wary of.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 20, 2019

In this interview, Vanessa sat down to interview Marianne Simancek from the Boy Scouts of America. Marianne is president of the board for the organization’s Great Lakes Field Service Council which serves Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Marianne discussed a number of topics with Vanessa, including scouting for food, urban scouting, and more opportunities for getting involved. Vanessa and Marianne also discussed the opportunity for girls to join the boy scouts.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 13, 2019

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Kimber Bishop-Yanke, the founder of Kids Empowered and Conference Chair of Surviving the Social Jungle. Kids Empowered offers programs and training to empower children, parents and professionals to deal with unfriendly classmates and friends, bullying, relational aggression and to build confidence, emotional intelligence, character, leadership, self-esteem, fitness and social skills. Much of the conversation is about dully proofing kids and schools.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 6, 2019

In this interview, Vanessa discusses the Epiphany – an important day in the Catholic/Christian faith. Vanessa sat down with Fr. Alex Kratz to discuss the Epiphany, its meaning, and its importance. Fr. Alex is a priest at the St. Joseph Chapel in one of six Marian Shrines in Pontiac. In addition to discussing the Epiphany, Vanessa also touched on Fr. Alex’s background and his experience in bringing the Marian Shrine to the St. Joseph Chapel in Pontiac.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 23, 2018

In this interview, Vanessa and her guest touch on the topic of miracles. Interviewing mother and pro-life speaker Ellen Salter, Vanessa discussed Meghan’s Miracles. Meghan’s Miracles was founded by Ellen and named after her own daughter. Ellen’s daughter, Meghan, has an undiagnosed medical condition which renders her unable to eat, speak, move or breathe on her own. Meghan, who wasn’t expected to live past 6 months is now 15 years old. Ellen boldly defends life, speaking out for the handicapped, weak and vulnerable in our society, as well as opposing euthanasia. Through scripture and prayer, she unities her families sufferings-drawing them closer to the heart of Christ.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 16, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Rob Turner the Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator at Mary’s Meals USA. According to their website, Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works by providing a daily meal in a place of education, chronically poor children are attracted to the classroom where they can gain a basic education that provides an escape route from poverty. Vanessa discussed with Rob the various ways in which the organization feeds hungry kids. For more information, visit www.marysmealsusa.org

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 9, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Daniel Cherrin, the Founder & Chief Strategic Communications Officer North Coast Strategies. North Coast Strategies is an independent public relations/affairs consultancy, that combines the very best of a big agency, with hands-on executive-level experience and support. They are focused on developing strategic and meaningful relationships to help protect and enhance their clients’ reputation and bottom-line, while creating a forum to resolve difficult issues, and a process by which to bring the stakeholders together.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 2, 2018

As the opioid crisis continues to plague communities throughout Michigan, Vanessa sat down to interview Monique Stanton, the president and CEO of CARE of Southeastern Michigan about the crisis and the work that CARE of Southeastern Michigan does to address these issues. CARE of Southeastern Michigan is a 41-year-old organization dedicated to treating substance abuse. Today, it faces a major challenge in helping those addicted to heroin and opioids like codeine, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine and oxycodone. The organization has numerous programs to address the issue of opioid usage, including school programs, parenting classes, student resources, workplace solutions and professional development. It also focuses on treatment and recovery options as well as family help and support.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – November 18, 2018

Vanessa sat down with the president and CEO of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce Dan West. Vanessa and Dan discussed various events and activities put on by the Livonia Chamber. Not long after the holiday season ends, the Livonia Chamber will be hosting an event that is aimed at bringing awareness to an issue prevalent across communities throughout Michigan: opiate addiction and abuse.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – November 11, 2018

In this interview, Vanessa had the opportunity to interview her longtime friend and fellow communications professional, Teresa Tomeo. Teresa is a syndicated Catholic talk show host, author of numerous books, and an international speaker. She has more than 30 years of experience in TV, radio and newspaper, 20 of which were as a secular reporter/anchor in the Detroit market. As a communication professional in the Catholic world, Teresa offered insight on the church and the media.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 14, 2018

In this interview, Vanessa once again focused on the topic of health and wellness as she interviewed Nate Furlong of Well Fit Life. Over the past 15 years, Nate has been studying health and fitness and the role it plays on the human body. He has a degree in Health Fitness in Preventative and Rehabilitative Programs from Central Michigan University; and certifications in massage therapy, personal training, clinical exercise, cycle instruction and ViPR systems. owns a private fitness facility called Well Fit Life and a Crossfit North industry in Livonia.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 7, 2018

Vanessa spoke with certified and insured personal trainer (American Council on Exercise 2001) Daniel Fell. Daniel received his Bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Applied Anatomy from Eastern Michigan University. The former gym owner focused on health and wellness, discussing the slew of diet and exercise trends we see today. More specifically, Daniel discussed the ketogenic diet with Vanessa.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 30, 2018

Vanessa once again had the opportunity to interview AAA Michigan Public Affairs Director, Susan Hiltz. With the school year starting, Susan discussed with Vanessa AAA’s School’s Open Drive Carefully program. This program addresses some of the risk factors seen when children walk to and from school, challenges parents are facing now that school is back in session, and how these challenges can prove to be dangerous distractions behind the wheel. Also discussed were AAA Cruise Contest and bike service.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 23, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview author Diane Reeder. Diane is the author of What the Word BE: Why Black English is the King’s (James) English! and most recently, Ending Black Shame. Diane discussed with Vanessa how her book came to be, what the response has been like, and what the future holds for this author. In addition to writing, Diane is a business owner, editor, and playwright. Her company, Written Images, provides editing, book packaging and proposal writing services to clients. Books she has ghost-written or edited have sold collectively upwards of 150,000.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 16, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Phil Elam, writer, producer, and actor. Most recently, Phil wrote the 12 award winning short film, ‘Swing Low’. The film appeared in the 6th annual 2018 Capital City Black Film Festival.  The CCBFF is an essential International Film Festival that celebrates the voices of up and coming African American filmmakers. Such dignitaries who recognize The Capital City Black Film Festival include Academy Award Winner, Viola Davis.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 9, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Nicholas Kristock, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the organization Fleece and Thank You. Fleece and Thank You is most known for their blanket making events in which people gather to make blankets for children in the hospital. Beyond their blanket making events, Fleece and Thank You offers a number of programs meant to help children in the hospital and the disabled population.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 2, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Teri John, the Director of Educational Programs at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Vanessa and Teri discussed the variety of programs offered at the DIA. From programs designed to get families playing together in the galleries to field trips, the DIA offers a number of programs and activities.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 25, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Jim Haudan, the Co-Founder and Chairman of Root Inc., and Rich Berens, the CEO and Chief Client Fanatic of Root Inc. Jim and Rich co-authored the book Blind Spots. The authors provide a proven framework for developing a new approach to increase organizational innovation, productivity, and creativity, as people find real purpose in their work.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 19, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. Vanessa discussed with Ron the arrival of a baby female chimpanzee on July 14 – the first ever World Chimpanzee Day. The newest resident of the Detroit Zoo is named Jane – after Jane Goodall in honor of the anniversary of her first visit to what is now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to study the social interactions of wild chimpanzees.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 12, 2018

In this interview, Variety, the children’s charity was discussed.  September will be a big month for them as they will be announcing an expansion of their Variety Feeds Kids program, with a fundraising luncheon in West Bloomfield on September 27th. Variety Feeds Kids provides 1,200 qualifying children in the Pontiac Public School District who are at-risk of weekend hunger with balanced, nutritious food.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – August 5, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Scott Lorenz a pilot and the Owner of Westwind Balloon Company based in Plymouth, Michigan. A commercial balloon pilot since 1982, he has logged 1,850 + hours in-flight. He has flown over Niagara Falls, The Great Wall of China, Disney World, the Olympics, Austria, Japan, Spain, Red Rock Canyon NM. He co-piloted a Guinness World Record flight to 19,000’ and a 20 hour-Gas Balloon flight from Michigan to Kentucky.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 29, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Jean Stenzel, the President and Co-Founder of Forever Families, Inc. Jean discussed with Vanessa the shortage of homes in which foster children can be placed after being removed from birth parents and the need for adoptive parents. According to Jean, “The State of Michigan, due to the shortage, is being forced to put children of all ages into a shelter instead of a home because of it.”

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 22, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Donna Satterfield, the Vice President of Community Impact at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. United Way’s mission statement states the purpose of the organization is “To mobilize the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways.” Donna discussed with Vanessa various grants the organization has received and how they utilize them throughout Detroit. For more information, visit www.unitedwaysem.com

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 15, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Dr. Tim Hogan, Director of the Grace Counseling Center and co-author of How to Find the Help You Need, a guide to psychotherapy and spiritual direction. Dr. Tim Hogan discussed the intricacies of marriage and how the new science of marriage can truly transform a marriage. Additionally, he explains why everyone marries the wrong person. For more information about Dr. Tim Hogan and his book, visit www.DrTimHogan.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 8, 2018

Vanessa interviewed therapist, Christian life coach and speaker, Iklas Bashi. The two discussed divorce and how one can move on and heal from suffering through a broken marriage. Iklas discusses with Vanessa a recently formed Divorce Ministry at the Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center (ECRC) and how it was created to serve as a support group for those who have suffered through a divorce. The ministry is set up to allow one to cope with their divorce.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – July 1, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Angela Avigne of New Body Therapeutics in Northville. Angela discussed Jin Shin Jyutsu, “an ancient oriental Art of harmonizing life energy within the body. Said to predate Buddha and Moses, it was rediscovered in the early 1900’s…” and the benefits of this ancient oriental form of massage. Additionally, Angela’s own history as a massage therapist was discussed.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 24, 2018

Vanessa sat down with Michael Kinaschuck, Vice President of training at Templar Life Safety. Kinaschuk is the former Police Chief in Brighton and former manager of homeland security and emergency management in Livingston County who now specializes in school and work Safety. With active shooter situations within schools on the rise, much of the discussion with Michael was in regards to what action can be taken to better protect students. Michael provided insight for teachers, parents and students.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 17, 2018

In this episode of It’s Your Community, Vanessa had the opportunity to talk with Marcie Hillary, senior vice president of community relations for Hospice of Michigan. Marcie’s role is not only to raise money to fund programs but also to raise awareness for Hospice of Michigan’s nonprofit mission to serve all who need help regardless of their age, diagnosis or ability to pay. Marcie discussed with Vanessa the benefits of hospice care and their recent event Barley, BBQ and Beats in support of the Hospice of Michigan.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 10, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Michelle Gilbert, vice president of Comcast in Michigan. As vice president of public relations, Michelle Gilbert is responsible for developing and managing all proactive and reactive external and internal communications initiatives for Comcast Cable’s Heartland Region, which includes Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. Michelle and Vanessa discussed Comcast Cares Day as the company reached a major milestone recently. They reached their 1 millionth Comcast Cares Day volunteer and this volunteer just so happens to be from Michigan.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 20, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Dr. Kliger, President and Founder of Psychological Assets about her new book titled “Power Your Heart…You Power Your Mind.” Dr. Kliger pulls from her experiences in resolving conflict and disharmony when writing this book. Resolving conflict and disharmony first within one’s self to bridge the gap to others serves as the cornerstone of Michigan Psychologist, Psychoanalyst and Consultant Dr. Paula Christian Kliger’s new book, “Power Your Heart…You Power Your Mind.”

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 13, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Dr. Raymond Hobbs M.D. about “making the most of your 50s.” Dr. Hobbs is an internal medicine specialist for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Dr. Hobbs explained that as people age, changes begin to take place with a number of things, including our health, work and even relationships. Dr. Hobbs also discussed some of the most common health issues that begin to affect people in their 50s. Dr. Hobbs discussed with Vanessa the best ways an individual in their 50s can begin to prepare for the many changes that come with aging, while making the most of their time.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 6, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interviewed Sherry Swift. Sherry is a best-selling author, President of Swift Transitions Coaching and Training Organization and a speaker. Sherry has a personal story of tragedy recovery and communicates with the perfect balance of care and candor that gets things moving in our lives. She shares her story and her approach with Vanessa. Sherry also has her own podcast called “Swift Talk with Sherry Swift”. This podcast is dedicated to anything and everything that could be important to her listeners.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 22, 2018

Today’s It’s Your Community comes straight from the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Dinner. The Awards Dinner was hosted at Shenandoah Country Club of West Bloomfield on April 13. This year, the Chaldean Chamber awarded their Humanitarian of the Year award to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and gave Congressman Sander Levin a special recognition. Both the ACLU and Congressman Levin were recognized for their work to help the Chaldean community throughout the deportation crisis.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 15, 2018

This episode of It’s Your Community centered on the 8 Mile Boulevard Association and their 19th Annual Leadership Luncheon. This year’s luncheon was about how business and education can work together to develop the skilled workforce needed to make Southeast Michigan grow and prosper. The 8 Mile Boulevard Association is an organization geared towards inspiring Eight Miles community of diverse municipalities, businesses, and residents to come together. For more information about 8 Mile  Boulevard Association, visit http://www.eightmile.org/about

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 8, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Benedetta Morely, the Executive Director of the Divine Mercy Center in Clinton Township. Benedetta and Vanessa discussed the center as whole, including its inception as the Divine Mercy Center was founded by Benedetta’s mother, Catherine Lanni in March of 2006 and their upcoming fundraiser. The Servants of Jesus of The Divine Mercy is a private association of the Christian Faithful and the ministry was established by Cardinal Adam Maida on Easter Sunday, 2003. For more information about the Divine Mercy Center and their upcoming fundraiser, visit http://www.sjdivinemercy.org/

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 1, 2018

Vanessa interviewed JDRF chapter board member Elizabeth Caswell. Elizabeth joined the JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast MI Chapter Board in 2014 and joined the Executive Committee in 2016.  She is chair of the 2018 JDRF Journey for T1D event in Ann Arbor. Elizabeth and Vanessa discussed JDRF’s “Research Road Tour” and what it would entail. On the road tour, advances in the prevention, treatment and cure for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder unrelated to diet and exercise, were discussed. To learn more about JDRF, their mission, and the “Research Road Tour”, visit http://www.jdrf.org/

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 25, 2018

Vanessa interviewed Public Affairs Director for AAA-The Auto Club in Michigan, Susan Hiltz about the recent survey AAA conducted. The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online in October of 2017. There was a total of 400 residents that participated in the survey. Responses were weighted by age and gender to ensure accurate and reliable information. Susan discussed with Vanessa the patterns that survey revealed about Michigan spring break travelers. Additionally, Susan and Vanessa discussed the dos and don’ts of traveling for spring break, including AAA tips for travel planning and the importance of travel insurance.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 11, 2018

Vanessa covered a Teen Panel Discussion at Walled Lake Central High School at Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Students were from diverse backgrounds and talked about diversity as well as school safety.  The panel also include religious leaders from the Jewish, Chaldean and Black communities.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 18, 2018

Following the Associated Food and petroleum Dealers’ partnership with Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT), a program of In Our Backyard (IOB), Vanessa interviewed In Our Backyard program director Juliana Williams. AFPD partnered with CSAT and IOB to take a stand against the second largest and fastest growing crime in the world, human trafficking. This partnership will allow AFPD to reach out and provide teaching materials to their convenience store members in an effort to not only recognize human trafficking, but also how to respond and deal with it. For more information about these programs, visit http://inourbackyard.org/

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 11, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview Detroit Zoo Communications Director Patricia Mills Janeway. “Most people think of the Detroit Zoo as a place to see exotic animals in a naturalistic setting, ride the miniature railroad and enjoy a picnic. What we ultimately want them to discover is that the Zoo is and does so much more,” said Janeway. I addition to bringing these exotic animals to Detroit, the Detroit Zoo also contributes to wildlife conservation efforts in six continents. Listen for more about the Detroit Zoo and their efforts to preserve wildlife.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 4, 2018

As tiny homes make their way into the city of Detroit, Vanessa had the opportunity to interview author Faith Fowler about her newest book, Tiny Homes in a Big City. From Cass Community Social Services, Faith also discussed with Vanessa the Tiny Homes Detroit Project. To read more about Fowler’s book and Cass Tiny Homes, visit http://ccpublishinghouse.tictail.com/product/tiny-homes-in-a-big-city.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 28, 2018

In celebration of the Michigan Science Center’s 5-year birthday celebration, Vanessa interviewed CEO Dr. Tonya Matthews. The Michigan Science Center has been focused on becoming the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) hub of Michigan. Playing an active role in the resurgence of Detroit, the Michigan Science Center has reached 1 million people and the number continues to grow each day. The center has brought an array of programs and world-renowned exhibitions to Detroit. For more information about the Michigan Science Center, visit http://www.mi-sci.org/

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 21, 2018

Vanessa had the opportunity to interview April Jones Byle, founder and executive director of the Build Institute – a 2016 recipient of the Neighborhood Builders grant from Bank of America – and Tiffany Douglas who serves as the market manager for Bank of America. Through her work at Bank of America, Douglas has been given the ability to further push charitable giving, sponsorships, and volunteerism throughout metro Detroit and Michigan. This work translates into grants and other awards that have helped organizations like the Build Institute.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 14, 2018

Vanessa interviewed physician consultant, Dr. Kristyn Gregory, D.O. of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Vanessa and Dr. Gregory discussed seasonal affect disorder (SAD), which is more commonly known as seasonal depression. During the interview, Dr. Gregory broke down what seasonal depression is, what causes it, symptoms or signs to look out for, and how to prevent or treat it. To find more information about seasonal depression and what you can do to combat it, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 31, 2017

Vanessa interviewed CIG Capital Advisors Managing Principal and Founder, Osman R. Minkara, about his role at CIG and what one can expect from the financial advisors. As Managing Principal, he has been the steward for providing business and investment advice since 1997. Osman’s strategic vision for CIG focuses on – wealth management, asset management, alternative investments and business advisory services. CIG Capital Advisors offers vast experience in dealing with successful aspiring professionals, well-established families and business and their respective owners in the pursuit to realize their dreams.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 24, 2017

Vanessa interviewed local Detroit orthodontist, Dr. Jamie Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds currently has two offices, with the third office in the works. Dr. Reynolds that a smile could be life-changing. Smiling can have an impact on numerous aspects of a person’s life, including one’s mood. Some of the benefits of smiling include lowering stress, making one more attractive to others, making you seem more approachable and strengthening your immune system.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – December 17, 2017

Vanessa interviewed the president of the board of directors of Mary’s Meals, Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow about Mary’s Meals and his role in the organization. Named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary’s Meals is a global movement dedicated to providing meals to children across the world. Through donations, Mary’s Meals has been able to millions of school-aged children. They are now feeding more than one million children every school day. For more information head to www.marysmealsusa.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 29, 2017

In this week’s It’s Your Community, Vanessa covered a press conference about an Economic Impact Study conducted by Global Detroit. This was held at Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield. There were various speakers who discussed different aspects of the study.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 22, 2017

In this week’s It’s Your Community, Vanessa interviewed Stephanie Aldridge about living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Stephanie is a home care consultant for Home Instead Senior Care. As the aging population increases, so does the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. To encourage the community to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, Home Instead developed free trainings and information at Alzheimer’s Learning Day, available at www.AlzLearn.com. During the interview, Vanessa asked Stephanie about the steadily aging population and what Home Instead Senior Care is doing to educate the community about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 15, 2017

In this week’s It’s Your Community, Vanessa interviewed Al Zdenek, President, CEO and founder of Traust Sollus Wealth Management about fears surrounding the topic of money and the future. From the fear of not having enough money to retire to the fear of choosing the right financial advisor after being burned in the past. In addition, Al and Vanessa discuss Al’s newest book, Master Your Cash Flow, and the message Al is trying to convey in it. Vanessa also asks whether the principals discussed in Al’s book apply only to the wealthy or if they can also be applied to low income or middle-income person or family, as well. Al and Vanessa also discuss how to address and deal with money fears and the stress that comes with it. For more information about Al Adenek and his book, visit www.AlZdenek.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 8, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Brad Coulter, president and CEO of Matrix Human Services about Matrix’s mission and the work that they do to educate children, support families and rebuild neighborhoods in Detroit. Vanessa and Brad discuss the importance of focusing in on Detroit’s neighborhoods for the city’s revitalization. In addition, Vanessa asks Brad about the various events and projects that Matrix takes part in, addressing both ArtWorks and the upcoming Harvest Festival. Brad tells Vanessa about both events and what eventgoers can expect at each and even how to get involved with the Harvest Festival. For more information about Matrix, their events and the work that they do, visit http://www.matrixhumanservices.org/.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – October 1, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Michael Lutz MD, president of the Men’s Health Foundation. Vanessa and Michael discuss this year’s Men’s Health Event at Ford Field on October 14. The Men’s Health Event allows for men ages 18 and older to assess their current health status free of charge. Services rendered at the event are valued to be worth more than $1,800. Health screenings at the event include everything from blood screenings for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), testosterone, glucose and cholesterol levels to vision, dental, skin cancer, depression and hearing screenings. Vanessa also discussed with Michael what the screenings could mean for the men and what they can do about their results.

More information about  the event can be found at TheMensHealthEvent.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 24, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Sam Horn, intrigue expert and TEDx speaker, about earning someone’s attention. Sam helps in everything from creating one-of-a-kind brands to presentations and pitches that “scale their influence for good”. Sam’s roster of clients includes NASA, National Geographic, Intel, Boeing and many other prominent names in the industry. Her work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, New York Times and Business Week. Sam discusses how one, in a world of “INFObesity”, can earn the attention of audiences and keep their attention. Sam is also asked about whether or not stories should be used in business communications and how these stories can be used in an effective manner. Additionally, Sam discusses why and how she took her business on the road for Year by the Water, touching on the lessons she learned from her time on the road. For a sample of Sam Horn’s work, take a look at her article in Fast Company on how to “rock a TED talk” http://www.fastcompany.com/3022070/the-7-steps-to-delivering-a-mind-blowing-ted-talk .

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 17, 2017

In this week’s It’s Your Community, Vanessa interviewed author and leadership and team consultant Maureen Monte about her new book, Destination Unstoppable. Much the like the work she does, Maureen’s book is about helping both teams and individuals reach their full potential. Maureen’s book ties in with her program, which is also referred to as Destination Unstoppable. Both the program and book highlight the necessity of teams and companies leveraging every ounce of talent in their favor. Maureen discusses how the world runs on teams and how they tend to never reach their full potential. Maureen is asked about how her book came about and in what ways it ties into her program Destination Unstoppable. For more information about Maureen Monte and her new book, visit www.maureenmonte.com .

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 10, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Dr. Lynem, who is a physician consultant at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, about a couple of topics including college health care insurance and managing stress in college. Students are flooding campuses around the country and as the pace picks up, it can be a frustrating time. Balancing health and wellness with school can be a difficult task, especially if in a new environment. Dr. Lynem first discusses why it is imperative that college students understand their health coverage and utilize it appropriately. Dr. Lynem is also asked about if and when a student should choose to go to the ER and what parts of health coverage should students attempt to familiarize themselves with. Additionally, Dr. Lynem discusses stress in college students, an inevitable facet of college life. Dr. Lynem offers tips and tricks to managing high levels of stress and new responsibilities. Listen for more on college health care and tips to managing stress.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – September 03, 2017

Vanessa interviewed author Gabrielle Balkan about her new children’s book, 50 Cities of the U.S., which is set to feature Detroit. 50 Cities of the U.S. includes a plethora of fun facts about Detroit, from the inspiration and invention of the U.S.’s first four-way traffic signal by Detroit police officer William Potts to the Heidelberg Project, which is described as a “block of art projects made from junk, like portraits painted on car hoods.” Gabrielle discusses how her book is a great way to explore 50 different American cities through fact-filled maps, providing a list of activities to do in the Detroit area, which Gabrielle appropriately dubs as “A Day in Detroit”. Additionally, Gabrielle discusses how 50 Cities of the U.S. came about and what her readers can expect to see throughout the book. Gabrielle is also asked about the other cities that she covered in her book and whether 50 Cities of the U.S. can be used in other capacities, such as school curriculums. For more information about 50 Cities of the U.S. and Gabrielle Balkan, visit www.gabriellebalkan.com .

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 11th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Mary Romaya, Executive Director of the Chaldean Cultural Center, and Francis Boji and Chair of the Chaldean Cultural Center (CCC) about the opening of the new center which is located in West Bloomfield, MI.  The Chaldean Cultural Center celebrates and explores the extraordinary history, arts, traditions, and contributions of the Chaldean people from ancient times to the present, serving as a repository for our collected history and stories.  They talked about the five galleries of the Museum, the companies that helped build the museum, including the architects, media producer, and fabricator, and also the distinctive features of each of the galleries.  The Center paints a portrait of a people, exploring the history that shaped us, the faith that sustains us, and the lives we lead today. At its heart is an exhibition that takes visitors from the court of Nebuchadnezzar to an immigrant grocery store in Detroit and beyond. Multimedia presentations, sophisticated hands-on activities, artifacts both ancient and modern, and evocative environments will tell a distinctive, engaging, and powerful story.  They also talked about the unique architectural features of the CCC Museum, the main audiences that the museum hopes to attract, the days and times the Museum is open, and how to schedule a special tour groups.  For more information, log on to www.chaldeanculturalcenter.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – June 4th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed various guests from the Detroit Skating Club about the 18th Annual Detroit Skating Club Ice Show: Skating In Color.  The event is June 8th through June 11th at the Detroit Skating Club (DSC) located in Bloomfield Hills.  The first guest interviewed was Jerod Swallow, managing director of the DSC about the Skate Detroit, which is the club’s big completion of the year.  Jerod is a five-time U.S. national champion, two-time Skate America champion, and competed twice in the Winter Olympics.  The thirty-sixth annual Skate Detroit competition will be held at the Detroit Skating Club beginning on Tuesday, July 18 for the lower level skaters and ending Saturday, July 22, 2017.  Skate Detroit is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating and Skate Canada, and will feature skaters who could be Olympic contenders.  The next guest interviewed was Rachel Lee who is the Learn to Skate Director, Ice Show Director and National Coach for Detroit Skating Club.  Rachel talked about the 2017 Ice Show called Skating In Color and the Learn to Skate Program.  She was also asked if it is every too old to start to learn about skating, and why skate when very few people end up going to the Olympics. For more information about the Detroit Skating Club and the Skating In Color show, log on to www.dscclub.com/.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 28th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Shannon Carney Oleksyk, the Healthy Living Advisor and Manager of the Building Healthy Communities Program at Blue Cross Blue Shield.  They talked about the Building Healthy Communities program, and why is it important for kids to learn about healthy choices and being active.

The Building Healthy Communities is a school-based program that has reached over 230,000 students in more than 500 schools since its inception in 2009 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  They also discussed what this partnership means to Blue Cross and how many schools participate in Building Healthy Communities.  Shannon Carney Oleksyk has more than 16 years’ experience working with children and as a registered dietitian, and is committed to helping schools implement healthy environments for students and staff.  They also talked about what schools receive if they’re chosen to participate in the program and also how a school can get involved in the Building Healthy Communities program.  For more information on the Building Healthy Communities Program, log on to bcbsm.com/buildhealth.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 21st, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Steven Hernandez, Foundation Development Coordinator at Community Choice Foundation about the Community Choice Credit Union’s Foundation Scholarships.  They talked about how the scholarship program get started, why it’s needed and how it’s funded.  Each year, Michigan’s Community Choice Credit Union (CCCU) offers high school seniors the chance to win one of twenty $5,000 scholarships. Since 2009, the program has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to 160 Michigan students. The key is that the high school seniors need to have a passion for giving back and a desire to stay in Michigan for college and beyond.  They also discussed how the program benefits the community, the region, the state, and also how and why the recipients are chosen.  Steven explained what previous winners have gone on to accomplish, what’s next for the program, and also how community members can get involved.  One example of the program in action is when Community Choice scholars and team members volunteered on April 29 at The Senior Alliance Social Service Campus in Wayne, MI. They removed shrubbery and bushes from around the windmill and prepared soil and planted flowers.  For more information on CCCU’s Community Choice Foundation, log on to CommunityChoiceFoundation.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 14th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Shane Henderson, President of Flags for Fortitude, a division of Metal Art of Wisconsin, about a Metal Art of Wisconsin’s Flags for Fortitude program.  The program aims to celebrate the unsung heroes among us by awarding them one of their fantastic American Flag art pieces.  They talked about how Shane got started in metal art, how he makes the metal flags, and the difference between those flags and the flags he makes from wood.  Metal Art of Wisconsin’s work has hung on the walls of numerous Studios, Banks, Museums, Churches, Hospitals, Cemeteries and Memorials all around the world.  The company is donating their patriotic flags to Veterans, current and past Military and Service Members, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMT’s, Doctors, Nurses, families of the fallen or injured and any other hero who has displayed fortitude when protecting or helping others.  They also discussed the impact social media has played in their business, why they decided to do this special program and how someone can nominate a “hero.”  For anyone who is interested in learning more about the project, or would like to nominate someone, log on to www.flagsforfortitude.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – May 7th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Karen Dumas, President of Images & Ideas, Inc., about a general look at the state of affairs, both locally and nationally.  They talked about the race for the next Mayor of Detroit and who might be the candidates to lead the city into the future.  They also discussed the new Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) superintendent.  The DPSCD just announced that Nikolai Vitti as the district’s first permanent superintendent, who was chosen over Derrick R. Coleman the superintendent of the River Rouge School District.  They also talked about national topics including concerns of security and immigration and what President Trump has done since he’s taken office.  Karen Dumas is a communications professional, media contributor, and public speaker who is committed to excellence, entrepreneurship and equality.  He formerly served Chief of Communications & External Affairs for Mayor Dave Bing and the City of Detroit, and has earned a reputation as a communications specialist known for performance and perfection.  They also talked about other hot topics including the airline crisis, the situation that Bill O’Reilly got himself into, and the up-coming Mackinac Policy Conference.  For more information on Karen and her company, log on to www.KarenDumas.com or visit www.imagesandideasinc.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 30th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Sister Beth Ann Finster, SSJ, Assistant Director of University Ministry, about the University of Detroit Mercy.  They talked about the role of Ministry with the student athletes, the Annual Celebrate Spirit Mass, as well as the history of the school.  The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest and most comprehensive Catholic university, sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).  Detroit Mercy offers more than 100 academic degrees and programs through seven schools and colleges, and current enrollment is approximately 5,000 students.  They discussed the mission statement of the University, Jesuit and Mercy religious sponsors, which include Catherine McAuley and St. Ignatius Loyola, as well as Service and Immersion trips and service in the city.  Born and raised in Buffalo, Sr. Beth has been a Sister of Saint Joseph for 51 years.  She came to the University 32 years ago, after having taught junior high and high school, and has lived in the Residence Hall for those 32 years, the last 25 with the First Year (Freshman) students.  Finally, they talked about leadership development at the school and why it’s important for the students to learn those skills.  For more information on the University of Detroit Mercy and specifically the school’s ministry, log on to udmercy.edu/ministry.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 23rd, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Jocelyn Giangrande, coach, mentor, and speaker and founder of SASHE, LLC which stands for Sisters Achieving Success Harmony and Empowerment.  They talked about how Jocelyn has more than 15 years of experience mentoring and coaching others and what made her first get into this field.  She explained what she has learned over the years, how she helps young professionals realize their potential and achieve their goals, and what someone can learn from her workshops and motivational speaking engagements.  Realizing that many professionals find themselves stuck in careers without a road map to move forward, Jocelyn founded SASHE, LLC.  The company is focused on building confidence and advancing careers of professional, working women.  They also discussed her experience covering higher education, hospitality and health care and what are some of the biggest challenges in these industries, her annual events, such as her Confident Woman Power Lunch, and her book called, “What’s In Your Sandwich?” a career strategy book.   Jocelyn also provides professional coaching, where she works 1-on-1 with women to plan career strategies, communication skills and building confidence, and also has Coffee Break Show videos, which are quick career tips in the time it takes to drink your morning coffee.  For more information about Jocelyn, log on to JocelynGiangrande.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 16th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Fr. Patrick Gonyeau, Associate Pastor of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Central Region Evangelization Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Detroit, about Easter and the Lenten season.  They talked about why Lent is such an important time of preparation for Easter, and what we should remember most, or always keep “top of mind”, during the Lenten season.  Fr. Patrick Gonyeau is a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit who serves as the Central Region Evangelization Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Prior to entering the seminary, Fr. Patrick pursued a folk music career in Nashville, Tennessee.  Raised Catholic, he became an agnostic in his 20’s and then experienced a profound conversion in his mid 20’s that led him to enter the seminary and become a Catholic priest.  They also discussed Easter and how we can make sure we don’t lose sight of the real meaning of Easter, and how we can best continue the spirit of Easter throughout our lives, so not to have it be just an annual one-day celebration.  Fr. Patrick also touched on the celebration of Easter, because while we know what it’s like to celebrate birthdays and holidays like Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, we don’t always understand what’s different about celebrating Easter.  For more information about the Archdiocese of Detroit, log on to www.aod.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 9th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Kelly Dillaha, Conference Planning Committee Member, about the Surviving the Social Jungle Conference.  Surviving the Social Jungle (501c3) is a conference that takes a fresh approach to managing unfriendly peer behavior and preventing bullying, with specialized tracks for kids, adults and professional educators.  At the conference, kids learn practical skills and strategies for dealing with mean behavior before it turns into a bullying situation, and the “do’s and don’ts” of being a friendly classmate and standing up for themselves.  They talked about the conference, in detail, including the format and the Kids Empowered Curriculum that is showcased at the event.  Kids Empowered stresses some vital elements to a kids development that includes knowing who you are and what you value, making choices that honor the person you want to be, recognizing when your body is showing signs of stress, and learning ways to calm yourself.  They also discussed understanding the difference between unfriendly behavior versus bullying, how to teach kids to learn and practice key phrases, body language, and voice, ahead of time, that tell others you are confident, and also knowing when it is appropriate to go to adults for help.  For more information on the conference, log on to www.survivingthesocialjungle.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – April 2nd, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Robin Bennett, Chairperson of the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) board, about the work the organization does in the community.  The purpose of Michigan Independent Living Council (SILC) is to promote a philosophy of independent living, defined as the right of all people to make informed choices, to have personal control over their own lives, and to participate to the fullest extent possible in the everyday activities of work, school, home, family, and community.  They talked about what is Independent Living and the announcement of public forums across the state that focus on public input and the common disability agenda.  Robin also provided ways for listeners to keep track of their events and forums.  They discussed what consumer control means, what is person centered planning and how it relates to Independent Living, as well as the barriers people with disabilities face in Michigan, in trying to live the life they desire to live.  Finally, they talked about how do regional transportation issues affect persons with disabilities and what Robin’s plan is for providing much needed transportation to those in need.  For more information on the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council, log on to www.misilc.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 26th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Jennifer Callan, Director of Early Childhood Development for the United Way and Anisa Sahoubah, Youth and Education Director for ACCESS about the United Way’s recent selection of subgrantess to share in Federal dollars to invigorate early Childhood Education.  They talked about the history of the United Way and Jennifer’s role with the organization, as well as the partnership with ACCESS and how it came to be.  Jennifer explained what United Way hopes to achieve by partnering with ACCESS and other agencies in support of its child development work.  United Way is celebrating its centennial anniversary, so Jennifer talked about how the organization will celebrate the milestone and ultimately what the public should know about the organization.  Anisa discussed her role and the work that ACCESS does in the community.  They also talked about how, specifically, families in and around the Dearborn community will benefit from the grant, and well as some of the success stories that have come of this work with United Way.  ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services) has been serving the community for more than 40 years and was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1971.  For more information about the United Way or ACCESS, visit www.liveunitedsem.org or www.accesscommunity.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 19th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Dr. Frank Smith Medical Director of Intensive Cardiac Rehab at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, about how heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women and how Michigan’s death rate from the disease is even higher than the country average, ranking ninth out of the fifty states.  They talked about the ICR program at St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, and why comprehensive cardiac rehab is an option for patients who are at high risk for a cardiovascular event.  Dr. Smith discussed the benefits of Pritikin ICR, how to properly monitor blood pressure, and what a heart healthy diet consists of.  Pritikin ICR is a comprehensive lifestyle education program that teaches important skills like regular exercise, healthy eating and cooking, and stress management, to patients.  The program improves cardiovascular health by focusing on three pillars: safe and effective exercise, an eating plan based on healthy, minimally processed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and sensible amounts of lean meat, and finally a healthy mind-set that fosters healthy behaviors.

Dr. Frank Smith is currently serving as the lead physician overseeing the Intensive Cardiac Rehab program at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor that launched in August 2016.  Since it began, more than 60 patients have graduated from the ICR program with increasing enrollment every day.  For more information, visit: www.pritikinicr.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 19th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Dr. Frank Smith Medical Director of Intensive Cardiac Rehab at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, about how heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women and how Michigan’s death rate from the disease is even higher than the country average, ranking ninth out of the fifty states.  They talked about the ICR program at St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, and why comprehensive cardiac rehab is an option for patients who are at high risk for a cardiovascular event.  Dr. Smith discussed the benefits of Pritikin ICR, how to properly monitor blood pressure, and what a heart healthy diet consists of.  Pritikin ICR is a comprehensive lifestyle education program that teaches important skills like regular exercise, healthy eating and cooking, and stress management, to patients.  The program improves cardiovascular health by focusing on three pillars: safe and effective exercise, an eating plan based on healthy, minimally processed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and sensible amounts of lean meat, and finally a healthy mind-set that fosters healthy behaviors.

Dr. Frank Smith is currently serving as the lead physician overseeing the Intensive Cardiac Rehab program at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor that launched in August 2016.  Since it began, more than 60 patients have graduated from the ICR program with increasing enrollment every day.  For more information, visit: www.pritikinicr.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 12th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Grace Derocha, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Health Coach, about March being National Nutrition Month.  They talked about the benefits of eating at home, cooking home cuisine, pre/probiotics, as well as children’s nutrition.  Specifically, they discussed the benefits of eating at home in terms of age, budget, health and time, and what are the best ways to plan meals.  They then talked about how gut health affects the body and what are probiotics and prebiotics, what are natural food sources of probiotics and prebiotics, and also, whether or not someone should take a probiotic supplement.  Grace Derocha works at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and is a featured blogger at A Healthier Michigan.  She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, and then went on to earn her Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University.  They also discussed why proper nutrition is important for children, how to best instill good eating habits in children and what you should do with a picky eater.  For more information, log on to www.ahealthiermichigan.org

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – March 5th, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Laura Goddeeris, AICP, about the MSU and AFPD research results on the Food Industry in the State of Michigan.  Laura is a specialist at Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems who helped create the AFPD study.  They talked about the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University and how the university first got in touch with AFPD.  Laura explained the focus of the study and for those not familiar with the term, she explained what a “contribution analysis” and the way it is different from an “economic impact analysis”.  They discussed how this industry data can help both state agencies and local municipalities better understand the food retail industry.  AFPD is the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers who represent thousands of retailers throughout the Mid-west, with a large number of them in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.  Laura also talked about what goes into putting a study like this together and whether or not this was the first study of this kind for the MSU Center and how it impacted their approach.  Finally, Laura discusses how long it took to complete the report, and what were some of the challenges they  faced along the way.  For more information on AFPD and the study, visit www.afpdonline.org or for more information MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems, visit www.foodsystems.msu.edu.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 26, 2017

Vanessa interviewed author John Quinlan about his new book, “Tau Bada, The Quest and Memori of a Vulnerable Man”.  Tau Bada means “big white man,” which is what Quinlan is when he visited the tribes of Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province, north of Australia.  John described how his life changed when, after his company failed, he decided to travel across the country.  After meeting the love of his life, they decided to travel through the South Pacific determined to create a sustainable livelihood business.  They talked about how Quinlan used his expertise as a businessman to pull together over 2400 people from numerous different tribes to form a business focused on coffee collection, processing, logistics and export.  John E. Quinlan is the founder and CEO of Growth Strategies Global LLC, an organization development consulting firm that specializes in family-founded and closely held businesses.  They discussed the challenges of starting a new company is a foreign land and the cultural differences he faced.  John also explained greed and vengeance are apparently equivalent across the globe, whether in a boardroom in Detroit, Michigan or a tribal hut in the PNG mountains.  For more information, log on to www.TauBada.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 19, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Roxanne Brinkerhoff, Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM)and Amanda Thomas, Director of Product Program & Retail Operations for GSSEM.  Roxanne discussed the history of the Girl Scouts and its founding objectives, what are Girl Scouts age levels and how Girl Scouts stay relevant to meet the wants and needs of both the parents as well as the girls.  Roxanne Brinkerhoff is a resident of New Boston and came to Girl Scouts in 2016 from the Guidance Center downriver, where she oversaw operations there for more than 15 years.  Next, Vanessa talked to Amanda about the Girl Scouts cookie drive and how long the Girl Scouts will be selling cookies,  They discussed where the cookies are being sold, how people can find a booth or a Girl Scout near them and how the Girl Scouts have been selling the cookies for 100 years.  Amanda is a resident of Wyandotte and has worked at GSSEM since 2014.  Prior to coming to GSSEM, she worked for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.  They also talked about this year’s new cookie and what is America’s favorite cookie.  For more information on the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, log on to www.gssem.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 12, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Author Ken Coleman about Black History Month and the new books he has written.  They discussed “Forever Young: The Coleman Reader” which is one of Ken’s new book that looks at the life of former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young.  Ken believes that since decades have passed since the former mayor was in office, that not a lot of younger people understand the history of the city’s longest-serving and first black mayor.  They talked about how Ken wrote the book and about the impact that the former mayor left on the city.  They also talked about his other new book, “Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies.”  This book looks back at the Detroit riots and how it forever changed the city.  There is also a question as to whether the riots were actually a riot or rather of a rebellion.  This year make the 50th anniversary of the riots and Ken talked about how what happened is still felt today.  Ken Coleman is a Detroit-based author and historian, and the former senior editor at the Michigan Chronicle as well as the press secretary for U.S. Reps. Gary Peters and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.  Ken also discussed a children’s book he is writing with his 8-year-old son.  For more information on Ken and his books, or to learn more about the City of Detroit, log on to www.onthisdaydetroit.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – February 5, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Teresa Tomeo, author and speaker, about her new book “Beyond Me, My Selfie, and I:  Finding Real Happiness in A Self-Absorbed World.”  The book focuses on how she feels society is losing its touch with humanity.  She provides practical ways in which we can turn away from a self-absorbed way of life and connect with others in a more personal way, including a more intimate connection with God.  They talked about how the book came about, what inspired her to write it, and the audience that she wrote it for.  Teresa explained why she thinks the world is so self-absorbed and provided examples, including the Presidential election where some people could not handle the results.  Teresa Tomeo is a syndicated Catholic talk show host, author of numerous books, and an international speaker. She has more than 30 years of experience in TV, radio and newspaper, 20 of which were as a secular reporter/anchor in the Detroit market.   Teresa has been featured on many programs to discuss the issues of faith, media awareness, and Catholic Church teaching, especially as it relates to the culture.  They also talked about how we can have “selfie control” and how it’s proven to be better to put others first, before ourselves.  For more information on Teresa and the book, log on to www.TeresaTomeo.com

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 29, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Melanie Duquesnel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Eastern Michigan & the Upper Peninsula about the history of the BBB and how it’s celebrating its Centennial.  They talked about whether or not the BBB is a government agency and what BBB accreditation means.  The BBB is a private, non-profit organization that works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, providing them with valuable information on potential scams and frauds.  Melanie explained why businesses become accredited by the BBB and how it shows prospects and customers that they are committed to treating them in a fair and ethical manner.  The BBB is in the Top 350 for most visited websites in the US with 100 million unique visitors each year giving Accredited Businesses additional visibility.  They also discussed what the ratings mean, if someone has to pay to see them and if a business can simply pay for a better rating.  Finally they talked about what the BBB does for consumers, which includes unbiased reviews, an accredited business directory, dispute resolutions, educational services, customer reviews and scam tracking information.  For more information on the Better Business Bureau, log on to www.bbb.org/detroit.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 22, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Susan Hiltz, Public Affairs Director for AAA Michigan.  They talked about what is fueling the recent increase people are seeing in gas prices at the pump.  They also discussed the new speed limit law that just was passed in the state.  The new law will increase the speed limit from 70 mph to 75 mph.  Susan also explained the challenges of driving on the roads in the winter season, the difficulties for teen driving, as well as for senior driving.  As the public affairs director for AAA in Michigan, Susan is responsible for implementing AAA’s PR, traffic safety, contributions and community outreach initiatives throughout the state.  As a life-long resident of southeast Michigan, Susan has over 30 years of public affairs experience in this community.  Prior to joining AAA, she served as the regional managing director of the Ad Council where she worked with media and leadership coalitions in Michigan and seven other states to effectively advocate for traffic safety and other important public service campaigns.  They also discussed the benefits of having a AAA membership that offers added security and discounts for members.  Finally, Susan explained the new AAA app, how it works and how it creates a new platform to reach members in a mobile world.  For more information on the organization, log on to www.michigan.aaa.com.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 15, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Tim Richey, Chief Executive Officer of Detroit PAL, about the history of the organization and how it first started.  They talked about what’s going on with kids in Detroit today and the statistics of kids in poverty, single-parent homes, and the lack of resources.  Detroit PAL has more than 1,700 community volunteers that are trained and certified.  They discussed the importance of these volunteers and where most of the volunteers come from.  Detroit PAL was started in 1969 by Police Officer Judith Bayer.  Tim explained Team Up program, which pairs police officers with youth, and why it’s important.  Detroit PAL is in every neighborhood of Detroit, so Tim discussed PAL’s community partnerships and outreach into the neighborhoods, which includes 105 schools and dozens of parks and recreation centers.  They also talked about the Kids at the Corner campaign.  Detroit PAL is raising funds to build a headquarters and stadium at the site of historic Tiger Stadium.  The stadium will be about more than just baseball.  Kids will be able to play soccer, football, cheer, and more at the new stadium.  It will have a leadership and banquet center for training volunteers, as well as a Hall of Heroes.  Tim talked about how this campaign will help Detroit PAL towards their goal of serving 20,000 kids by 2020.  For more information about Detroit PAL, log on to www.detroitpal.org.

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 8, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Shannon Dulin, Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Comcast, about how Comcast and the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are collaborating to close the digital divide for up to 2 million HUD-assisted households.  Shannon explained what is the digital divide and how it affects those who are without access to internet.  She then explained what is Internet Essentials and how it’s the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.  From August 2011 through December 2015, Internet Essentials has connected more than 600,000 low-income families, benefiting more than 2.4 million Americans, to the Internet at home.  They talked about the elements of the program and who is eligible.  The program provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month.  Qualified families include those with at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), including parochial, private, charter, cyberschool and homeschooled students.  They also discussed the feedback Comcast has received from the recipients of the program and how that feedback has helped work out some of the initial kinks in the program.  Shannon also explained the impact the program has, as a result of the power of the internet’s reach in providing real-time news, education information and job searches.  She also explained why it was important for Comcast to team with HUD to help communities in new and innovative ways.  For more information on the program, log on https://internetessentials.com/ or http://corporate.comcast.com/

It’s Your Community: Show Air Date – January 1, 2017

Vanessa interviewed Frank Brady, great-nephew of founder James J. Brady, about Detroit Goodfellows.  Founded in 1914, Goodfellows is one of Detroit’s oldest non-profit organizations.  They talked about the history of the organization, how and why it was founded.  Frank explained the No Kid Without A Christmas mission, which includes 34,000 gift boxes distributed to needy kids in Detroit, Highland Park, Harper Woods, River Rouge and Hamtramck and 10,000 dolls that are dressed by volunteers.  Other programs of the Detroit Goodfellows includes dental assistance, shoes, summer camps, and scholarships.  They discussed how recipients are chosen and how to apply to receive aid.  Recipient families must apply for the program and applications are provided to previous year recipients as well as to public, charter and parochial schools in their service cities.  The 2016 fundraising goal is $1.1 million and contributions for this year are being accepted through January, 31st.  Funds are raised annually through Tribute Breakfast and Sales Day.  Funds are also raised through an old-fashioned letter writing campaign where our members send solicitation requests to their families, friends, colleagues inviting them to support the Goodfellows.  They also talked about how Frank has been a general member since 1975 and has served at a past President two times, in 1983 and 2013.  For more information on Goodfellows and how you can get involved, log on to www.detroitgoodfellows.org.