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Women are experiencing higher levels of career success than ever before. How did they get there? These are their stories. What do they do? What was their journey like? What challenges did they face along the way? What advice do they offer? Cynthia Kirkpatrick, a Senior Financial Advisor at Moneta Group, conducts face to face interviews with women who are at the top of their fields. They reveal the secrets of their success and share their wisdom with you. The shows contain many unexpected twists and turns, and no rise to the top is without sacrifices. Learn what these women went through and are still going through as they pursue personal and professional greatness.


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Women are experiencing higher levels of career success than ever before. How did they get there? These are their stories. What do they do? What was their journey like? What challenges did they face along the way? What advice do they offer? Cynthia Kirkpatrick, a Senior Financial Advisor at Moneta Group, conducts face to face interviews with women who are at the top of their fields. They reveal the secrets of their success and share their wisdom with you. The shows contain many unexpected twists and turns, and no rise to the top is without sacrifices. Learn what these women went through and are still going through as they pursue personal and professional greatness.



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#33 Whitney Toates: Building a Business Club

In this episode of the She Lift Project podcast, host Cynthia Kirkpatrick sits down with Whitney Toates, a dynamic businesswoman who relocated to St. Louis and successfully established a chapter of the ACA Business Club. Whitney shares her inspiring journey of building a thriving business community amidst personal and professional challenges. From her extensive background in sales and marketing to the unique networking culture of St. Louis, Whitney offers invaluable insights on entrepreneurship, relationship-building, and overcoming adversity. Listeners will learn about the transformative power of the ACA Business Club, a private, invitation-only organization focused on fostering meaningful relationships, professional development, and marketing strategies. Whitney's story includes navigating a major career pivot, the birth of her daughter Bishop, and the unwavering support of her business community during difficult times. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, a seasoned business owner, or simply looking for motivation, this episode is packed with practical advice, heartfelt stories, and lessons on the importance of community and resilience in the business world. Tune in to discover how Whitney's faith, determination, and the power of connections helped her and her members achieve remarkable success.


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#32 - Kristin Thompson: Juggling Fertility & Finance

This episode of the She Lift Project podcast features Kristin Thompson, a Financial Advisor at Renaissance Financial. Host Cynthia Kirkpatrick talks with Kristin about the intersection of her professional life and personal challenges, including motherhood and fertility struggles, shedding light on how these experiences shape women's careers. Kristin candidly shares her experiences with fertility treatments providing listeners with insights into balancing personal adversity with professional growth. She also addresses the broader implications of gender stereotypes and the importance of authentic communication in building meaningful business relationships. Embracing diversity was discussed to gain unique perspectives, with a focus on female representation contributing to success in business settings. She shared experiences on mentorship, learning from failures, and promoting inclusivity in male-dominated industries. They talked about personal growth, authenticity, and the value of advocating for individuality while navigating work-life dynamics and overcoming professional challenges.


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#31 - Debbie Champion: The Jury Whisperer

In this episode of the She Lift Project Podcast, Cynthia Kirkpatrick talks with Debbie Champion, a successful litigator. They explore Debbie's journey, highlighting effective communication in litigation and trial dynamics. Debbie's unconventional path to law, rooted in psychology and diverse education, shapes her approach to connecting with jurors authentically. She navigates trials with humor and insight, leveraging counseling background to understand juror behavior, emphasizing reading people effectively. Discussions delve into Debbie's experiences of being underestimated and her strategy of gradually expressing personality through attire and jewelry in court. She emphasizes understanding jurors' intelligence and emotions, learning from losses, and detaching self-worth from case outcomes. Debbie discusses managing challenging facts with empathy, advocating for authentic interactions and personal growth through failures. Lessons from setbacks lead to improvements, emphasizing communication in legal disputes and respecting diverse perspectives while upholding core values. Through embracing resilience and authenticity, Debbie's insights extend beyond litigation, providing valuable lessons for personal and professional development across different life endeavors.


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#30 - Cathy L. Davis: Somebody Needs to Hear Your Story

"Somebody needs to hear your story," is an earnest call to action from Cathy L. Davis, an experienced book publisher and strategist. She and her authors have received countless reviews and thank you notes that express the life changing effects of the stories shared. We may not think our story matters, but Cathy says that's not true. No matter who you are, she insists that you have some sort of wisdom that needs to be shared. In this episode, Cathy L Davis, explains how she helps people share their stories and wisdom through books and anthologies. They discuss how everyone has a story to tell and the power of storytelling in creating connections and providing hope. Cathy shares her journey of starting Davis Creative and explains what an anthology is—a collection of stories written by multiple authors on the same subject. She also highlights the importance of community and how anthologies can fill the need for hope and connection, especially during challenging times like COVID-19. Cathy's team includes writing coaches who support authors throughout their writing process, whether they have little writing experience or need assistance with emotional topics. She emphasizes that sharing one's story can lift both oneself and others up while creating positive ripples in the world. Additionally, Cathy reveals her wish list for future book ideas, including more male contributors sharing their experiences as fathers or sons. Overall, she encourages people to overcome their fears about writing by recognizing that everyone has wisdom worth sharing. They discuss the logistics, economics, and benefits of writing a chapter in an anthology. The cost of writing a chapter for the anthology is one-tenth of the cost of writing a solo book. Authors retain ownership of their own words, but the sponsor retains ownership of the theme and title of the book. Authors can sell their books individually or as part of the anthology, but Amazon takes most of the money from sales made by solo authors. The program also teaches authors how to buy books at cost and distribute them through various channels, such as local printing companies or global distributors like Ingram. It emphasizes that self-publishing allows authors to keep 100% royalties and copyright control. Cathy explains the strategy of using books as marketing tools, additional income streams, and ways to promote oneself as an author through speaking engagements, social media, and networking events. Overall, it encourages individuals to take a chance on themselves and share their stories with others.


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#29 - Katherine Flett - Don't Be A Jerk

"Don't Be A Jerk." - This is sage advice that Katherine Flett received while taking a class in law school called "Lawyering". It's proven to be practical wisdom that has come in handy for Katherine, who is a Principal and Attorney at Danna McKitrick, P.C. ( In episode 29, Cynthia and Katherine discuss various topics including their introduction, Katherine's expertise in business law and litigation, her journey to becoming a litigator, the concept of being a full-service law firm, the importance of character and dealing with adversity in sports and professional life, the challenges of balancing work as an attorney with being a mother of two children, overcoming impostor syndrome, tips for effective networking such as finding the right group and not focusing on selling but building genuine relationships. Katherine, an attorney at Danna McKitrick, discusses the importance of networking and building relationships in her profession. She emphasizes the need for intentionality and continuous effort in networking, even during busy periods. Katherine also shares tips for effective networking, such as being genuine, avoiding immediately selling a service or product, and focusing on building relationships rather than solely discussing personal matters. She highlights the significance of social capital and how it can benefit one's career in the long run. Additionally, Katherine reflects on her experiences as a litigator and offers advice to fellow attorneys about not being a jerk and maintaining professionalism in court. Finally, she expresses her passion for helping people and small businesses navigate legal issues proactively to avoid potential problems down the line.


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#28 - Tamara Keefe:Trading Golden Handcuffs for Genuine Happiness

Tamara Keefe is the CEO, Founder, and Flavor Temptress of Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery, an ice cream shop with eight locations in the Greater St. Louis Area that serves unique small-batch ice cream flavors, including alcoholic and vegan options. Clementine’s is one of the few Micro Creamery’s in the world, a designation that requires strict ingredients and production methods that helps them produce the best ice cream in the world. Clementine’s is a two time winner of the North American Ice Cream Association’s Flavor of the Year (2019 and 2023), the most distinguished honor in the ice cream world. Tamara talks to Cynthia about her love and passion for ice cream, dating back to her early childhood, and how it helped her carve out her current lifestyle and path to genuine happiness. Tamara started out in corporate America, rising steadily through the ranks to become a highly successful executive. She exceeded her wildest dreams of achievement, but it wasn’t what she thought it would be. She was miserable and had to get out. This episode describes what she did next and how she was able to trade suits for scoops. She doles out the truth on the sacrifices she had to make personally and professionally to make her dream come true, including downsizing her home and adjusting her management style. This is a masterclass on entrepreneurship, leadership, and betting on yourself. When it’s over, if you need a little taste of happiness, then don’t forget that Clementine’s ships!


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#27 - Danni Eickenhorst: Leadership 101: Pour Into Your People

Danni Eickenhorst is a community builder actively working to make the St. Louis region a better place to live, and she is also the CEO of HuSTL Hospitality. Her restaurants include Steve's Hot Dogs, Steve's Meltdown and The Fountain on Locust. Danni talks to Cynthia about her carnival of careers in corporate America before deciding to go all in on the hospitality industry. The only problem? She had no experience whatsoever. Danni is a master at leveraging her own strengths and lifting up others. She succeeded and learned some valuable lessons along the way, which she shares in this episode. She learned how to be a great leader and has create a new kind of restaurant culture that pours into each person and helps them pursue audacious personal and professional goals. Dannie is also actively involved in making St. Louis a better place, sitting on numerous boards and participating in community building. She is unstoppable! This episode will make you want to work with Danni and try every restaurant in her portfolio.


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#26 - Dr. Nancy L. Weaver: Support Over Silence

Nancy L. Weaver, PhD, MPH, helps businesses, schools and communities develop and use public health programs and policies in ways that work for them. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in biostatistics and a PhD in behavioral science. As a tenured, full professor of Behavioral Science at Saint Louis University, her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Foundation for Health, among others, and has led to the widespread dissemination of effective programs. More recently, she launched Support Over Silence to provide bystander training to support parents and children struggling in public. Dr. Weaver is Co-director of the Community Engagement Core of the Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Weaver is also a performer and improvisational theater coach, and she uses tools from applied improv to strengthen collaboration and innovation in work settings. Using a systems lens, Dr. Weaver grounds her research, teaching, and practice in the rigor of the scientific approach, the art of storytelling and the importance of connection across people and sectors. Dr. Weaver talks to Cynthia about the various hats she wears - wife, mother, professor, entrepreneur, researcher, improv coach, and many more. She personifies her philosophy of mixing science and creativity into a form of play that helps her students internalize concepts and be battle tested for the real world. Dr. Weaver’s career path is non-traditional in every sense, and she embraces that for others. She encourages us to use all of our gifts to live the most fulfilling life possible. This is a fun episode with and abundance of practical advice for becoming a better version of yourself.


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#25 - Bernie Frazier: Your Success is in You

Author of the highly acclaimed book, “Your Success is in YOU!: Empowering and Equipping You to Create Your Best Career Ever!”, Bernie Frazier, SPHR is an author, speaker, career coach/strategist, and talent acquisition expert whose mission is to help people overcome barriers to create greater success. Bernie spent over 25 years leading corporate recruiting organizations, has served as keynote speaker for Fortune 500 corporations and organizations, and has coached clients globally from C-Suite executives to individual contributors. She also served as the “Career Coach” on KSDK’s Today in St. Louis – the St. Louis NBC affiliate, shared timeless job search tips on SiriusXM and KTRS 550 AM radio in St. Louis, has been featured in the New York Times, and profiled in the St. Louis Business Journal. She talks to Cynthia about her path to became a Career Strategist. She covers her early years in sales and how she learned how to be a great leader from her leader. As she plotted her career path, she noticed that certain past experiences and skills kept resurfacing in her mind, which guided her ultimate decisions. Now she helps others see those same patterns and find a career in alignment with who they are and what they love. Bernie has accumulated personal and professional wisdom over her 50+ years and she shares it all in this episode.


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#24 - Heather J. Crider: From Frantic to Focused

Heather J. Crider is a keynote speaker, certified neuroperformance coach and leading expert in high-performance growth and thought transformation. She empowers overwhelmed professionals to unleash brain-powered breakthroughs, unlock unstoppable performance, boundless energy, and deeper human connections. Having served as a CEO who collaborated with numerous Fortune 500 companies, Heather understands the daily demands and stresses of life. Her interactive and practical approach has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations worldwide develop emotional intelligence and focus, with an emphasis on AI enablement. Heather is also the host of the Go Reflect Yourself Podcast, and has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Brainz Magazine, and Thrive Global. She talks to Cynthia about how the brain works and why she got involved in neuroperformance. She tells her story of “having it all” only to see multiple pillars of her world crumble in a very short period of time. She came to understand how the brain drives behavior and how that can be guided to our advantage. This led her to coaching and speaking on this very topic, which she does in her own powerful keynote speeches. She also takes the stage with her legitimate rockstar partner, Mark Schulman, and they deliver an interactive keynote that gets rave reviews. You will learn how past traumas influence your current decisions, and how to change negative behavior patterns. It’s a fun episode full of valuable insights and takeaways.


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#23 - Mich Hancock: Showing Up as Yourself

Mich Hancock is the CEO of 100th Monkey, a digital marketing agency that specializes in human-to-human interactions. She is also the Co-Founder and License Holder of TEDxStLouis, an independently organized TED Event, as well as the host of her popular MichMash Podcast, which focuses on guests who are notably kind and accomplishing important work in our world. Mich talks to Cynthia about her company 100th Monkey, her philosophy on personal development and growth, meditation, the evolution of TEDx St. Louis, her battle with alopecia, and so much more. From the start of this episode, she shares so much wisdom that can help you personally and professionally. Her growth and success is a testament to how well her methods work. Another powerhouse episode with valuable perspectives from a very special woman.


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#22 - Carolyn Mancini: Taking Your Seat at the Table

Carolyn Mancini works in the Strategy Enablement group of one of the largest agricultural companies in the world. In her 24 years with the company, she uses her accumulated customer knowledge and insights to lead the business perspective in the development and transformation of their digital eCommerce tools. Her goal is to improve the experiences with customers, distributors and employee facing digital platforms. She talks to Cynthia about growing up on a farm surrounded by strong females, and her unexpected path into the business side of agriculture. As a driven young woman, she talks about moving to the south to take on a sales role. Her first sales call was a traumatic failure, but she found a way to recover and learn one of her most important career lessons. She also shares advice on recognizing you’re in a toxic work situation, and how to move on. She is an impact player in every role she takes on, including motherhood, and she offers several tips she’s learned along the way to achieve growth and success. Carolyn is a lifelong learner with a track record of setting and achieving big audacious goals. 1 - Intro 00:24 2 - What Carolyn does today 01:48 3 - Growing up on the farm 03:20 4 - From the farm to business 03:53 5 - Advantage of having farm experience 04:40 6 - How did you choose your initial career path 05:15 7 - Geographical nuances 06:17 8 - Getting into Agriculture 07:48 9 - Early career 08:10 10 - Networking tips 09:39 11 - More on networking 10:50 12 - Importance of being a good communicator 13:04 13 - Taking different roles across the country 14:24 14 - What was it like to move to Louisiana 17:14 15 - Would you handle that sales call differently now 21:53 16 - Did your experience impact how you approached this sales call 23:49 17 - Would you play down any part of your knowledge 26:04 18 - Having the courage to ask for help 27:13 19 - What did he say at the next meeting? 29:02 20 - Why leave Louisiana 29:40 21 - Moving to Nebraska 31:01 22- Collaborating in sales vs competing 32:09 23 - When people don't like me 32:39 24 - Did you know right away she didn't like you 35:56 25 - Stay true to you 37:05 26 - Managing relationships business and personal 38:10 27 - How did you leave that manager 39:23 28 - Female approach to a job 41:37 29 - Moving Back to Missouri 43:13 30 - How do you view changing roles and growing in your career 43:55 31 - The role of strong women role models 46:12 32 - Wife and motherhood 46:28 33 - Being a professional woman among stay at home moms 48:29 34 - Taking time for yourself 50:51 35 - Other personal care tips 53:44 36 - Obstacles overcome 55:12 37 - Power of being vulnerable and showing you don't know everything 58:12 38 - Recapping Carolyn's advice 59:58 39 - Value of showing up in person 1:00:55 40 - Engaging in meetings 1:01:53 --------------------------------- She Lift Project Podcast Taking Your Seat at the Table | Episode 22 Host: Cynthia Kirkpatrick, Moneta Group Guest: Carolyn Mancini, Supply Chain Program Manager ***NOTE*** This podcast and all She Lift Project content represents the opinions of Cynthia Kirkpatrick and her guests. The content here is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional advice - financial, legal, medical, or otherwise. Views and opinions expressed in the podcast and across all She Lift Project media channels are our own and do not represent that of our places of work. While we make every effort to ensure that the information we are sharing is accurate, we welcome any comments, suggestions, or correction of errors.


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#21 - Tessa Greenspan: From Outhouse to Penthouse

Tessa Greenspan is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, mentor, and leader. She is a motivating, energetic force with deep faith. She strongly believes in leading with a loving generous heart and knows that life is about being real, humble, and kind. She believes that you are Never too old to dream. She leaves a trail of kindness through hard work and determination as she uses the power of a giving heart to create. She talks to Cynthia about her tumultuous upbringing, and how her mother remained positive and steadfast in the face of significant challenges. She tells her story of blossoming into an entrepreneur at many stages, eventually taking over the Sappington Farmer’s Market when it was $1 million dollars in debt, and turning it into a store that generated $10 million in revenue. Her spirit cannot be broken, and her strength and positivity must be seen to be believed. This is a very inspiring can’t miss episode.


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#20 - Alexis Hershey: Asking for More and Getting It

Alexis Hershey serves as the Chief Digital Officer for Midwest BankCentre where she applies her digital strategy skills to transform the bank’s processes and online experiences by developing and deploying digital products and systems. She serves as executive sponsor of the bank’s Operations Enhancement Department, which leverages process improvement, efficiency initiatives, and technology to enhance customer service. She talks to Cynthia about the importance of strong leadership and superior customer service. She shares her tips on career planning and effective networking. Perhaps most importantly, she shares valuable and proven tactics on the ways to properly negotiate compensation at new companies. A must watch/listen episode for anyone transitioning to a new organization.


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#19 - Ida Martikainen: Learn How to Think Better

Ida Martikainen is a Senior Consultant with Collaborative Strategies Inc. (CSI). She is a leadership coach and a strategy advisor who helps organizations and executives develop resilient strategies and robust stakeholder relations. She empowers firms and not-for-profits to navigate the challenges of transparency, collaboration, and rapid change. Ida has developed, communicated, and executed plans that create intentional change, purposefully aligned with strategic goals, for both privately held and public entities across the globe. She talks to Cynthia about her approach to career goals, the skills needed for effective consulting, and how she was challenged to think better early in her career. As a transplant from Helsinki, Finland to St. Louis, MO she has undergone quite a life transformation, and she brings a fresh new perspective to the podcast.


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#18 - Sheila Burkett: Trading Wealth for Health

Sheila Burkett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spry Digital. Her company helps small to mid-size businesses design and build things for the web. She also loves to networking, teaching, mentoring, and public speaking. She talks to Cynthia about getting started in technology back in 1985, and how that led to her becoming a General Partner at Edward Jones at the age of 33. Ultimately, she decided to leave the corporate world and jump into another fast paced industry, auto racing. She helped her husband with Tuxedo Park Racing before ultimately deciding to start Spry Digital with some like minded colleagues. She shares her wisdom on running a good business, her views on networking effectively, and the importance of prioritizing your own health and wellbeing.


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#17 - Jennifer Siess: Saying Yes to Yourself

Jennifer Siess is a broadcaster for Audacy. She does sideline reporting and occasional color commentary for the STL City SC radio broadcast through Y98 in St. Louis, and hosts the St. Louis Soccer Report radio show on KMOX. She’s also the Founder of Mine to Define, a personal coaching program designed to teach youth athletes how to approach the mental side of sports. She works with players individually, as well as teams, and many other clients have seen a remarkable improvement in delivering peak performance in games. She talks to Cynthia about her long and winding road to her current role at KMOX. She also covers the importance of mental preparation for sports and life. In a surprising twist, Jennifer also revealed that she is Cynthia’s older sister, and they shared several moments about the climate around sports and school when they grew up, and how it led to decision making in their adult years. It’s an episode for people who felt like they never quite fit in, are addicted to achievement, or are just trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do with their talents.


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#16 - Kristie Jones: Selling Your Way In

Kristie Jones is the Founder and Principal of Sales Acceleration Group. She is a fractional sales executive, coach, consultant, and trainer. She specializes in helping VC backed startups in the tech industry. She tells Cynthia about her path to becoming a successful entrepreneur in the sales space, a most unlikely destination. This episode is chock full of wisdom and “Kristieisms”, many from Kristie's new book SELLING YOUR WAY IN. This episode is a must listen for anyone involved in sales.


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#15 - Jennifer Bardot: Hardships Lead to Hope

Jennifer Bardot is the Founder of the GRIT Community which helps women gain knowledge, learn, build relationships, advance career opportunities, make a difference while engaging in an inclusive community of women. G.R.I.T. (Growth, Resilience, Intention, Tenacity) brings leaders together by providing support, professional development and inspire its members to have growth, resilience, intention and tenacity. She talks Cynthia about her early struggles in school, her brush with death as a child, and the multiple successes she's had in different industries. She started a successful an entrepreneur in her teens, later became a therapist, transitioned to a senior executive in the banking industry, before ultimately focusing all of her efforts on the women of the GRIT Community. Her story is one built on G.R.I.T. and will inspire you into believing that you too can do anything.


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#14 - Whitney Kenter: Slow Down to Speed Up

Whitney Kenter is the Founder of Glowe Connective. She calls it an Un-Consultancy that helps leadership teams ask themselves the tough questions so they can properly focus their personal and professional efforts. She’s worked with companies all across the country, with incredible results. She talks to Cynthia about her path from the corporate world to her company Glowe Connective. Though typically risk averse she felt she had no choice but to launch this service. There is an easier, healthier, and more pleasurable path to success and she’s ready to help you find it.