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Leading the Charge, with Donna Cryer

Leading the Charge, with Donna Cryer

We sit down with Donna Cryer, President and CEO of the Global Liver Institute, to discuss equity in healthcare, being a Black woman at the forefront of healthcare awareness, and raising awareness about liver disease in women.


0:00:15.4 Maricella Herrera: Hi everyone. Before I get to the episode I want to take a moment to address the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade on June 24th which stripped away the right to have a safe and legal abortion. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care including abortion threatens the health and independence of all people which we have already seen with abortion bans and restrictions in countries like Poland and Malta. This decision has dire consequences and could have harsh repercussions for other landmark decisions within the United States. I encourage our audience American and otherwise. To learn more about what you can do to help at I encourage you to speak up, take care and spread the word.

0:01:01.1 Intro: Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations with Women Changing the Face of Business. And now your host Maricella Herrera.


0:01:20.5 MH: Hi everyone. Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast. I'm Maricella Herrera the CEO of Ellevate Network and the host of this podcast. And today I cannot tell you what a treat this is [laughter] because I actually hadn't looked at the calendar invite until I got in here. And lo and behold one of my favorite people in the world is going to be my co-host. So I'm here with Rebecca Spitzer who is our VP of Product and Technology and basically the reason why I still function.


0:01:54.8 Rebecca Spitzer: Hi. I did not... That's how I open would open my bio usually.


0:02:02.5 RS: But I'm excited to be here. I haven't been on the podcast since. I don't know. It's been years and years and years.

0:02:09.4 MH: Yeah I remember since we did that it probably was like an end of year where we had everyone on. Which is a lot of fun.

0:02:16.1 RS: Yeah that is so fun.

0:02:18.1 MH: So why don't you tell people then since I... Since you wouldn't start your bio like that why don't you tell people a little bit about you.

0:02:26.6 RS: Sure. So like you said I manage our product and technology team. Really making sure that our programs and our platform are you know like a little corner of the internet where our members can belong where they can share really freely without fear where they can have a little fun you know getting the support they need and hopefully that support makes it a little bit easier for them to go back into their workday and both thrive in their role in whatever it is that they do and also lead the way in creating a better work environment for their team and for their colleagues when they get back to their desk.

0:03:04.9 MH: Love it.

0:03:05.8 RS: So I think that that to us is so important right? Like that big picture psychological safety belong all those things it's just so important for us to do that work to help women stay in the workforce help them challenge the status quo. I mean that so we try to you know bring that to our programming and bring that into the platform every day.

0:03:30.4 MH: Yeah. And and you said our corner of the internet but also our chapters in person.

0:03:34.6 RS: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

0:03:36.2 MH: So it's the whole all encompassing is where we are trying to create these spaces right? For...

0:03:41.8 RS: Yep. Yeah.

0:03:41.9 MH: Women and allies and non-binary individuals. Anyone who considers themself discriminated against or I don't know othered because of their gender identity. We are here for you and we're making these spaces so you can come talk be yourself get advice but mostly just be seen without fear and judgment you know? And I think if you can if we can do that we can really help that you can go back to your company feeling a little bit more recharged a little bit more energized and then extend that to other people as well. And like you said start challenging the status quo so that we can create a more human-centric world.

0:04:25.7 RS: Absolutely. I just I just took a screenshot in a round table that we were both in just I don't know half an hour ago with someone saying you know I feel a little bit called out by this conversation but also you know I feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only one thinking this. And it is uncomfortable at times. And it is hard I think to make time at times too for those kind of conversations but in the end it's always it's always worth it. Like I'm always glad I've taken the time.

0:04:53.6 MH: Yeah. I had so much fun at that round table.

0:04:56.5 RS: Yeah.

0:04:58.6 MH: And the people there were so honest and sharing and it was a it was a personal topic that can be a little hard. So we're talking about a lot of you know thought patterns and how they affect our work. And it was it was nice to see. And I and the last person you know when we came back from the breakout groups there was one person saying how you know thank you for putting together these places where we can talk which is what we want. Right. I hope everyone came out of that energized and ready to tackle more stuff more of these bigger challenges like you said not just leave the workforce or leave the sucky workplace but also change for the better.

0:05:44.0 RS: Yeah. It's I think hard but true that a lot of the change that we can actually implement and that can actually happen right now are changes that we make in the way that we lead and the way that we you know talk to our coworkers or the way that we manage our teams or the way we hire people all of those things. That's really I mean I wish like a CEO would stand up of some major multinational corporation and like wave a magic wand and you know things would magically improve but that's just not the reality. Right. The reality is the way that we lead every day makes a big difference.

0:06:19.7 MH: Absolutely. And if more people are leading in those ways imagine how much better everything will be.

0:06:26.2 RS: Yeah. Yeah. And that that's why we show up every day and keep doing this work.

0:06:31.9 RS: And I hope you join us.

0:06:34.5 MH: Talking about people who make a difference. This week I had the opportunity to chat with Donna Cryer who is the president and CEO of Global Liver Institute. She is... We had such a great conversation. We went a little bit deep into her personal story and why she created and launched or really focused on liver health. I did not know how much it actually affects women and it is something we don't think about as much. So she recently launched in conjunction with the Guardian Liver Health is Public Health to raise awareness to the liver's importance to a healthy life and increase better health outcomes as it relates to that organ. I didn't know how important the liver is to your body. It made me think about my liver in a very different way. [laughter] This conversation really did so hope can you enjoy the conversation with Donna. Trust me we do talk a lot about the liver but trust me it's not all about that. So you're gonna get some great insights on someone who's built a career helping others. So if you're interested in working to make a change in the world this one's for you.


0:08:06.6 MH: I am so excited today to be here with Donna Cryer. Hi Donna. How are you?

0:08:17.0 Donna Cryer: Hello. I am very happy to be here. Thank you.

0:08:20.4 S1: I'm so excited. I know you were referred to the podcast by one of our great Ellevate super users [laughter] cheerleaders advisors Jennifer Whitter who I adore she tends to have the coolest people come on the show. So I'm very excited for us to chat.

0:08:44.1 DC: I am honored to be amongst that number.

0:08:47.4 MH: Yeah I love Jennifer. She knows it. Well we always like to start.

0:08:54.2 DC: Sure.

0:08:54.7 MH: And I know in your case this is really a personal story but can you give the audience some background about yourself. And I know you are a lawyer but you are so much more and you're working in some extremely important areas of healthcare. So can you start by telling us a little bit about your story and how you got to where you are today?

0:09:25.3 S1: Absolutely. So currently I am the founder and CEO of the Global Liver Institute which is the only patient advocacy organization in liver health. We operate across the world with partners in 70 different countries. And this is very much built on my personal experience as a liver patient. I will in a few weeks God willing be 28 years post liver transplant from autoimmune liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. And so to be able to build an organization to answer the questions that my family and I had when I learned that I had a liver disease and to solve the problems that my family and I encountered and so many other people encounter when trying to access education or care or trying to figure out how do you find a transplant center and if you even get through that what does the rest of your life look like? How do you go on to live a long and healthy life? And so to be able to help people across resources across environments across countries now. Answer those questions and solve those problems. I just feel incredibly blessed to be able to do that.

0:11:02.5 MH: Congratulations on the anniversary. 28 years that's a really long time. So you were really young.

0:11:07.9 DC: Yes. We were trying to perpetrate that it was a pediatric transplant but it wasn't I was between first and second years of law school. Still young. Still in my '20s.

0:11:17.9 MH: Still young.

0:11:21.0 DC: But when you consider all of the children who were born with liver diseases children who now are acquiring liver diseases at very young ages either from genetics or from rising rates of obesity and fatty liver disease. It's unfortunately not so young anymore to be in the '20s and to be diagnosed. And I think that's one of the primary myths that we've been trying to dispute. But still young still early in a career that I knew was going to involve advocacy.

0:12:00.6 MH: Okay.

0:12:00.6 DC: But I had intended to become a child welfare attorney which I did briefly at the Justice Department in the Criminal Division and to become a Federal Judge and to work on these issues of protecting children in that way in the legal system. But to the people who ask me "Well aren't you disappointed that you don't get to use your law degree?" I'm like "Oh but I do." Every day founding a company every day doing legislation and policy every day helping other patients or people navigate insurance issues or hospital issues or a thousand different things. I'm very grateful that I did go back after my transplant and finished law school and being a lawyer is part of my essential makeup I feel.

0:13:00.7 MH: So so many questions have come into my brain. [laughter]


0:13:04.4 MH: And this usually happens so I apologize. But first off I read the article you wrote for the Hill. On child on really how there is this misconception that children don't get liver disease. And I was I didn't know all that. In my brain every time I've heard of someone having liver issues or situations it is always tied to the usual suspects that we hear right? Alcohol or just like genetics but for older people like I've never really had thought about it and it's fascinating and so sad that the number is increasing so much in children.

0:13:53.7 DC: Yes there are hundreds of different types of liver disease and almost as many causes. And that's why we've been moving forward towards liver health as public health to get recognition of all the types of liver disease and all the types of people who can have liver disease. I would like to say that if you have a liver which is everyone except for those of us who've been through transplant for a few minutes we might not have had one. You are at risk of some form of liver disease. And so everyone from mothers who are all tested whether they know it or not for hepatitis B unless they transmit it to their child to people who get hepatitis C from a blood transfusion back in the day before the blood was tested to autoimmune diseases to the 70% of people with diabetes who also have some form of liver disease and don't know it. And so from infants to seniors it should be top of mind for everyone. And so that I was able to teach you something through the article that you didn't know before particularly about children having different types of liver disease is really the ultimate success metrics. So you've given me a great gift today.

0:15:26.6 MH: Well you've given me the great gift of learning so thank you. And why do you think it's not as I mean we hear about heart health and breast cancer and other illnesses a lot more. Why don't we hear much about the liver and the importance of it? Really.

0:15:50.6 DC: It has been very exciting to be able to be a student of social movements a student of health communications and how we start to care about different issues. And so heart disease cancer breast cancer have all had really effective advocates for decades now. And I read the book Emperor of All Maladies and it talks about the story of Mary Lasker and the creation of the Jimmy Fund and the the policy work and advocacy that went into the creation of the National Cancer Institute which we just celebrated its 50th anniversary. So there never really was that type of advocacy in the liver space. And part of that is simply because there have been very few treatments until recently and so many of us die before we have an opportunity to become advocates or to become donors to really fund a lot of advocacy as you've seen in juvenile diabetes or cystic fibrosis or other things.

0:17:13.1 DC: And so part of our mission is to create an environment of investment in treatments and cures as we have now for hepatitis C for example so that people live long enough to become advocates. And I'm really blessed that although there's no treatment for my underlying autoimmune liver disease I did have access to transplant. And so I've been able granted 28 extra years that I would not have already had and to be able to use them to elevate if you will since this is the right podcast. I Love it like that to elevate liver advocacy it's a really well there's let's just say there's nothing but opportunity [laughter] which can be daunting some days but really keeps me fired up keeps the whole team really fired up about our mission and our purpose.

0:18:18.8 S1: It was really gratifying to hear that our team would tell sort of new team members when they sort of had a moment of panic about the scope of the our challenge that most of what we've done has never been done so it's okay. But then we figure out how to do it and you know and we'll support each other through that. And so that's the exciting that's what gets me up every morning knowing that there are things that would not happen but for me and my team and we're going to make them happen and make not only people's lives easier as they try to navigate accessing care but for some people we'll have made their lives possible.

0:19:10.0 MH: I can imagine how that galvanizes your team to give it their all. Like I see it just with Ellevate and what you're tackling is so big, so congratulations.

0:19:23.3 DC: Yes. There are only 1.5 billion people, who have...


0:19:26.3 DC: The liver disease. So, you know.

0:19:30.1 MH: One down.

0:19:30.8 DC: One or two down every day. And, we'll get there, but we see the momentum. We have been, part of a recent, White House announcement, on the creation of a national plan to eliminate hepatitis C and are very involved in that. And so, to have that recognition, that aha moment.

0:20:00.3 DC: From the White House and from Francis Collins who used to head NIH and is now the acting, scientific advisor to the president to wanna take this on and to just recognize the importance that we've always placed on this and to be ready to lend his personal capital and to round up the heads of HRSA and VC and FDA, to this challenge. That's really all I've asked for. So, that they take this as seriously, and as urgently as does the patients and families who face this. So that's really exciting that we see, that momentum and these issues of liver health taken seriously in the US. And the number of countries that we've able to work with, like India, creating a national plan to address non-alcoholics data, hepatitis or advanced form of fatty liver disease, to be able to help entire countries, deal with this issue it is as exciting to me as being able to help an individual patient navigate and solve their issue. But to do this at scale and to have this, the mantle taken on by larger and larger entities is really gratifying.

0:21:20.5 MH: Right. You can't do it alone. And like you said, this is also part of policy. It's part, and I read it in your article, it's tied to food policy, to vaccinations, to environmental aspects. So it touches everything because it's health.

0:21:40.4 DC: And my team teases me, and it's funny when they tell the answer to new people, because if asked, when do I want it? The answer is they're like, hold on, we'll just say the answer is now. Donna always wants it now. And how much of it does she want? She wants it all, I want it all. And so, if you ask me who do I want to be involved in liver health, the answer is everyone. I want everyone to be involved. The liver has 500 different functions, you really can't survive without it. And contrary to some surveys, we don't have two, those are your kidneys. You only have one. And so, it really is a matter of marshaling all of these forces in terms of what people eat.

0:22:35.8 DC: And in the environment in which we have, in which we sit, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our liver health issues, how much we exercise, whether kids have recess or people have access to safe places, to walk and to exercise. Are all liver health policy issues as much as can we have health systems coordinate care to, test people, to diagnose them and to get them the right treatments, whether that's a medication or a device, or a surgery or a procedure. And then care for them long term and connect them to all the different ologists that are needed to really optimize health, not just be satisfied that someone didn't die. We want people to live full and healthy lives, and you can't do that unless you have liver health. And that leading into the discussions of all the different types of health, your diabetes, your cardiovascular disease, all of those are.

0:23:45.5 MH: Right.

0:23:46.0 DC: Interconnected, and those can't work either without fixing your liver. And I think that that's something that is increasingly recognized as we've been convening. Not only our wonderful friends in hepatology, but our endocrinologists and our cardiologists and our oncologists in bringing them to the table and recognizing that they're a crucial part of liver health themselves.

0:24:13.6 MH: It's all connected, right? And like you said, we can't live without a liver, so everything needs to be working [chuckle] And one of the things as you were talking that made me think, and I know I read some stats about this, but what about the access to care and the equity or the aspects of diversity, equity, justice when it comes to both racial disparities or socio-economic disparities and liver disease, we know that just in general we have huge disparities and access to healthcare. How do you see it in the world that you work around?

0:25:10.2 DC: As an African American female leader, and CEO with a Hispanic board chair, Equity has always been top of mind for us. It's in everything that we do. There is a huge gap in access for every patient of every configuration with liver disease when you compare it to other diseases. So that essential inequity is job one. Then when you look in particular, pockets around access to African Americans or Hispanics to transplantation, to even get on the waiting list, let alone to actually get a transplant. We've been working, both with organ procurement organizations, with transplant centers, as well as with CMS and HRSA, with the government, on working on those issues to improve, transplantation rates and survivorship in liver cancer. We've been looking particularly at African American men who get liver cancer at lower rates, but later and die in greater numbers. And so pulling that back, what are the layers of inequity that caused that to happen? And so working to get...

0:26:42.7 DC: Non-invasive tests into communities and having community ambassadors who can talk about research and connecting to care is one of the ways that we'll solve that. And we've been knitting these various equity initiatives that we've been sort of micro targeting to various communities based on the different types of liver diseases and the different needs of different types of patients in a center for liver health equity that we'll be launching this fall that I'm really excited about will be the core activity of our October is for livers. But it is... The response to it from researchers and clinicians and health systems and insurers have been so overwhelming that the need for this and to have the global liver Institute serve as a home and a hub, to model best practices, to augment and help to coordinate additional funding for this type of research.

0:27:55.7 DC: And really just put together as we have done across liver cancer, and NASH and pediatric earlier with liver diseases, a strategic agenda and an accountability for achieving metrics along that agenda is really exciting to be able to do.

0:28:18.7 MH: That's exciting. So you said, it's going to launch in October?

0:28:23.0 DC: It is we have our first advisory board kickoff meeting next week here in September, that's my transplant anniversary, present to myself to have this convening. And I moderated a pair summit on my actual birthday. So I'm a little odd, but those are the things that make me tick. And so then we'll be able to launch that, with the advice and the buy in and the alignment with so many different organizations and institutions moving forward in October, collectively at this point, at GLI we bring together more than 200 different organizations across our councils and events. And I think that cultivating connectedness through all of our activities has really created a presence for liver health that wasn't there previously, and a prioritization and an urgency and a place for people to ask questions and to bring resources and to bring pilots and building up organizations and people have been doing wonderful work in many communities for many years, but not in a coordinated fashion, not in a strategic fashion, not in a way that reflects the overall value of the hard work that they've been doing.

0:30:00.2 MH: And certainly not the number of people that are affected and the number of people that need to be impacted by this work. And so by creating this cadence and this culture of connectedness and liver health, my hope is that the sum could be greater than the individual parts, and that something enduring can come out... Can continue to come out of this. And that's, there in lies a legacy.

0:30:34.3 MH: Well you're doing it, you're building your legacy and you're helping move things forward by bringing people together by bringing institutions together and solutions together. So I applaud you. I think that that that's really incredible. And you're following like you said you were, when you were in law school, you knew you were going to go into advocacy, you just didn't know what kind.

0:30:58.6 DC: Yes, yes. So I feel called to a purpose. And to see it fulfilled is a great blessing. How many people don't know what their purpose is, or seeking or trying to find something. And so, as difficult as many as any individual day may be, to be anchored in your purpose provides a great sense of clarity and fulfillment, and helping other people find theirs in this organization and in this mission, to Ellevate liver health. I'm honored.

0:31:38.3 MH: It's huge. It's huge to have that your purpose clear. I can't stress it enough. I talk a lot about that. And I don't think even people think they have to find this like bigger purpose and yours is a huge purpose of helping a lot of people. But just knowing that you can make a difference that there's something bigger than you out there. It's just, we need that as humans, we need that to be motivated to be happy.

0:32:10.7 DC: So yeah, so no quiet quitting over here. We are...


0:32:15.3 MH: No quitting.

0:32:15.6 DC: We were engaging with our purpose. And, I think that... And it's a privilege, to do so. So that's my feelings on the topic.

0:32:25.9 MH: How do you feel being a leader in this space? 'Cause it is advocacy, but it's a space in healthcare and you are one of the I would, venture to say few Black women who are in these positions. I know you were named one of the top Blacks in Healthcare by the Milken Institute and have received other accolades. Does it feel like some sort of extra responsibility because you're... You know that your community is also more impacted...

0:33:08.3 DC: Yes it does in several ways, it's important, as exciting as it is to be the first in many of these areas and committees, it's more important not to be the last. So initially it was merely just don't mess it up. So they never give [laughter], they'll never give another Black person a chance. They'll be like, "We tried that - Black people - it didn't work." So it was just not to mess it up. And so I've pretty confident that I haven't messed up too many things. I've been invited back to most places. And so it's now about helping to ensure that I'm not the last, that there are people coming behind me that I'm mentoring, that I'm lifting up, that I'm giving opportunities. I can't take you speaking opportunity to suggest another woman of color and so to be a mentor I've actually just, sort of called a meeting of what I'm calling my legacy circle.

0:34:23.8 DC: And in there there are men and women of different generations and colors and ethnicities and orientations who have worked for me in various capacities. And I was reading a book called Super Bosses during the Summer. And so being more intentional about giving times to those that I'm mentoring is something that I'm really excited about and then for being able to not only know that they are super prepared for any opportunity that I might put them forward to, but being able to counsel and support them in entering these rooms and being successful in these spaces, is really an exciting area of my life to be able to be walking into.

0:35:15.7 MH: So you called this your Legacy Circle. Are these the group of people that you're mentoring?

0:35:21.4 DC: It's very special to me. I wanted it to be special to them. And I don't have children that I've birthed, so they are my legacy just like the Global Liver Institute is, and my Center for Liver Health Equity and my employees at the Global Liver Institute, these special few who I mentor personally now are all part of my legacy.

0:35:51.5 MH: I love that so much. I might borrow it.


0:36:00.0 MH: We talk a lot about like your personal board of advisors and you're this and you're that, but it's all about kind of what you're getting from other people. And I don't think we talk about enough of what we can be giving other people. So I love this so much. The legacy circle. I'm so borrowing that.

0:36:18.1 DC: Well I have a whole team of patent attorneys now I...


0:36:22.4 DC: It's funny for the first seven years of GLI, I did all of our legal work and finally we have a wonderful just kick-ass female attorney board member in intellectual property. And so she's like, "How are you doing this all yourself?" She's like, "I have six attorneys working on all your things." And so I tease her, I'm like, "No, no more. I'm just we're patenting part trademark and copywriting, owning the IP on everything, [chuckle] which I think women should do. And so I'm happy to lend you my female powerhouse attorney, intellectual property attorney to create your own fabulous branded things." But I think that I did not have very many mentors coming up both because I didn't work for large corporations. In most cases I was sort of doing and creating original things.

0:37:24.8 DC: And so to find people who could give me sort of rarefied pieces of advice was... And it wasn't until very late in my career that I did assemble really that sort of kitchen cabinet or group of trusted advisors, and I really treasure them. And so it's been really important to me all along. But now that I have more time and more intention and frankly more to give, I've sort of figured a few things out. And so it seems to be that I have some things that I could impart to do that on a regular basis and help people. When I think of some of the talented individuals that I mentor to think of what they can do with their careers, if I started them on third base, you know instead of on first is exciting. What they could do in advocacy, in healthcare, in the different areas in which they work is just really amazing. So it's just exponentially, I think exponential impact, if you will by helping their careers go even faster than their own wonderful talent would be able to to take them. And so that's exciting to see.

0:38:55.5 MH: Donna, I have a couple... One more question and then we're gonna do our lightning round. But what do you think the young woman in your twenties, you back then when you were waiting for your liver transplant, what would you think she would say if she could see you now?

0:39:17.2 DC: Oh my gosh. I think she would laugh so hard. She would say, "Oh, so you took all those inside thoughts and now you say them outside?"


0:39:27.4 DC: Huh, that's fabulous. And so I think she would be proud of me, astounded, a little taken aback sometimes, but I think she would get it quite a kick out of the fact that I now get approached on Instagram to model for different brands at the age of 52. That I am advising young comedians on their career trajectory as well as young lawyers that I get to sit in boardrooms and say the thing that everybody wants to say, but doesn't have the courage to say it. Because my feeling is, "I've already almost died three times. Exactly what are you gonna do to me?" So I think that she would be incredibly encouraged, and it would... When I think of that young woman in intensive care, 85 pounds, who was hooked up to every possible device, who my mother had to persuade to let her friends in because she knew, and I didn't quite know that they didn't think I'd live there long enough to see those friends. So if it helped her hang on to know that this day would come, I'd love to tell her.

0:41:12.1 MH: Oh my God, I'm sure she would be so proud of you. I hope you are very proud of yourself.

0:41:24.6 DC: I have my moments.

0:41:27.1 MH: You're doing great things and you're doing it with your whole heart. And now I'm gonna cry.


0:41:31.8 DC: It's that episode where they cry all the time.


0:41:41.6 DC: It's that episode where she cried.

0:41:48.7 MH: No, but really, you are doing really great things and you took what was probably the scariest situation you could have been in and imagined and turn it around to help a lot of people.

0:42:06.4 DC: Don't we need to do that... Yeah. I respect the choice of people who take their healing and go back to their own lives and their families and the original path. I just, for the life of me, I couldn't not be changed. I was affected. I was impacted. I was never going to be the same, so I could never do the same thing.

0:42:34.4 MH: Yeah. And let's be honest, you kind of were wired already to go and do...

0:42:39.4 DC: Yes, help me go through it.

0:42:39.7 MH: For other people.


0:42:42.9 DC: There is a reason, I never doubted that along these years. I'm like, well, people ask why me? I'm like, I sort of knew why me. And so all that my parents invested in me, all of my education, all of the different talents and roles, they all seem to make sense in retrospect to me at this moment.

0:43:06.4 MH: Okay. Love it. Okay, we're gonna do just the real lightning round questions. Cause I've got... Wait way past.


0:43:18.2 MH: I'm having so much fun talking to you. So sorry. So a couple of lightning round questions.

0:43:27.8 DC: Okay.

0:43:28.3 MH: Who would be your dream dinner guest?

0:43:30.2 DC: Jose Andres. He would have to cook though.


0:43:33.9 MH: I was gonna say, I don't... Like would he be the guest or not?


0:43:43.2 MH: Top self-care practice.

0:43:45.9 DC: Oh, massage. It might be not self-care since it's not a self-massage, but I love getting massaged.

0:43:52.9 MH: It's taking time for your self-care. Would you rather be able to speak every language in the world or be able to talk to animals?

0:44:04.4 DC: Speak every language. I think my yorkies would attest that I can talk to animals. So I think I would get the other skill.


0:44:12.3 MH: You got one down.

0:44:13.1 DC: I had that down.

0:44:14.6 MH: Finally, one thought you'd like to leave our audience with.

0:44:22.3 DC: Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in something greater. Believe it will be better tomorrow. Believe that you can just get through this next moment and that would be enough. Believe.

0:44:39.6 MH: I love it. That's a great sentence. Thank you, Donna.

0:44:44.7 DC: Thank you.


0:44:53.2 MH: We're back. Donna is such a nice person.

0:44:58.1 RS: Yes.

0:44:58.7 MH: I had a lot of fun with her.

0:45:00.6 RS: Yeah. And I did not know. I have no medical training in that much information about the liver. And it's important and good to know.

0:45:10.9 MH: Yeah. It makes you think twice before...

0:45:13.4 RS: I know.

0:45:13.9 MH: Grabbing the next drink. [chuckle] Well, if you wanna meet more fantastic women like Donna and like the people we were talking about earlier in this episode, join us for one of our round tables. They're tons of fun. They're just an hour long. We host them weekly for different levels of your career so you can find the place that you fit in. You're gonna get a chance to listen from a guest expert and then really get to chat with people who might be facing the similar challenges, who might have been in your shoes. Like I said, you'll feel seen and heard and like it made a difference and trust me, you'll leave more energized for it. Our executives meet every Tuesdays at 1:00 PM and that's with me. So if you wanna come and chat with me, you can join us. The next one is going to be on REVUP Your Leadership and Your Teams. Do you wanna share a little bit about Rising Leaders, Rebecca?

0:46:16.8 RS: Absolutely. Rising Leaders, we meet at noon, Eastern on Thursdays. And next week we'll be talking about navigating organizational politics, which I know is something no matter what size company you work in, there is always someone and there is always a situation and always some thing is trying to figure out and talk about how to work around. It's one of those things that, you make so much progress when you talk to other people about it. So I'm really looking forward to that on Thursday.

0:46:47.7 MH: Yeah. No one is free from organizational politics.

0:46:53.0 RS: No, never.

0:46:53.7 MH: Our entrepreneurs meet Thursdays at 4:00 PM and I really wanna go to this one 'cause they're gonna be talking about Beyond the Black Box of TEDx. So if you're looking, if you have it on your wish list or your bucket list to do a TED Talk or a TEDx talk, come check this out 'cause they're gonna talk a little bit about that. Okay.

0:47:16.1 RS: And we have one more for women seeking confidence, they'll be talking about maintaining composure in stressful moments. Which again, it's something, no matter how much practice you have, there is always things to learn and areas to improve and ways to work on that kind of presence and speaking.

0:47:33.3 MH: Yeah you never, it never gets. I mean, I guess you get more comfortable, but it never gets easier really.

0:47:39.6 RS: You're never perfect.

0:47:40.5 MH: Right.

0:47:40.8 RS: There's always something to do better on that one.

0:47:43.1 MH: Yeah. Well, I'm very happy you're gonna be here for this. So I have a love-hate relationship with this section, you probably heard, it's our history maker section and I love celebrating people who are doing great things, blazing new trails, just doing really incredible stuff. However, sometimes you just have to go like, "What? It took this long?" So we choose to celebrate and we will celebrate and continue to celebrate every week those who are making history. And today we will start with Anna May Wong, who will become the first Asian-American ever to appear on US currency.

0:48:31.7 RS: That is wild. That is so wild. How that it has taken this long?

0:48:38.9 MH: I know.

0:48:40.7 RS: Wild.

0:48:41.9 MH: Yeah, that's kind of what I mean when I say it's like sometimes you just have to go like, oh wow.

0:48:48.9 RS: Yeah. It's a quarter too for anyone who is curious about the different options there are for appearing on currency. It's a special commemorative quarter, which is really cool. Next Ruchira Kamboj will become India's first woman envoy to the UN. Again, crazy!

0:49:05.0 MH: That so? How?

0:49:07.6 RS: How has it taken so long. How?

0:49:09.9 MH: Kelly Chezum became the first woman to serve as board president for the Adirondack North Country Association Board of Directors. I'm very proud of myself that I said Adirondack correctly because that was a word that I could not say for a really long time.

0:49:25.7 RS: Adirondack. I get no points because I grew up near the Adirondacks and you grew up far from the Adirondacks.


0:49:36.8 RS: Rachel Pisam also has become the first woman appointed Deputy Chief of Israel's Fire and Rescue Services. That is so cool, that's an important role.

0:49:47.7 MH: Payengxa Lor became the first Hmong woman to be named Miss Universe Laos.

0:49:55.4 RS: And last but not least, Alexia Putellas has become the first woman to win the Ballon d'Or Féminin. I took French, but you'd never know it from the way I said that award twice.

0:50:09.8 MH: Yay. Lots of things to celebrate. Lots of firsts. Some, but took a little long. But here's the thing. The most important part is that firsts are not lasts. Next week, I hope you can join us. My conversation with Joanna Frank, she is... This was an another fascinating conversation, and I know I say this a lot, but you have no idea how much I've learned just based on these podcast interviews. But Joanna is spearheading health-based real estate initiatives. She is an architect and is super business minded, and they are working on measures of health or buildings and making buildings more health-friendly, I guess, or making sure that developments are taking into account the impact they will have on people's physical health, mental health, emotional health. And it is really, really great.

0:51:14.8 RS: That's amazing. But that's something I think we do not think enough about in our day-to-day lives, it's so so important.

0:51:22.6 MH: Yeah. And there's a huge aspect of inequity and lack of access for marginalized communities. So it's actually quite an important topic. So hopefully you all tune in next week for this conversation with Joanna Frank.


0:51:43.5 Outro: Thanks so much for listening to Ellevate. If you like what you hear, help a girl out, subscribe to the Ellevate Podcast on iTunes. Give us five stars and share your review. Also, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @EllevateNtwk, that's Ellevate Network, and become a member, and you can learn all about membership and all the great things that Ellevate Network is doing at our website, That's E-L-L-E-V-A-T-E And special thanks to our producer Katharine Heller, she rocks. And to our voiceover artist, Rachel Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.