Each Tuesday afternoon, Janet Kopenhaver airs a new “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast. Each show features an Arts organization representative, visual artist, arts expert, dancer, musician, actor and everyone in between to talk about their profession, productions, events, economic and health benefits of the arts, and many other topics. We also have, and will continue to feature several dignitaries on the show, including northern Virginia’s “First Lady” Megan Beyer, former NEA Chair Jane Chu, and Arlington County Board Members Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Matt de Ferranti.
To follow the Podcast so that you don’t miss any episodes, follow the link to your preferred platform: Apple Podcast, Spotify, GooglePodcast, and now Amazon Music AND check out our education series – see details below.
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“What is Love Actually?” Podcast
December 22, 2020
The Managing Director of Monumental Theatre Company Beth Amann and the Producer of The Original Cast podcast Patrick Flynn have joined forces to produce a new podcast series entitled “What Is Love Actually.” Find out all the details, their excellent guest line-up, how guests were “assigned” to each story line, how the podcast came about, other topics covered in the series (like movie making techniques and British culture), and of course details about the film in our interview. Also find out how Beth really feels about screenwriter and director Richard Curtis. Very fun and entertaining show!
Frank Britton, Actor
December 15, 2020
The Helen Hayes award-winning actor Frank Britton joined Embracing Arlington Arts Talks for a wide-ranging interview about the theater community in the DMV and his unique journey in joining that industry. Find out what his original career was supposed to be, which organization he cites as most responsible for his success, how he prepares for each role, and his “bucket list” of roles. Also get more details about the first play he is writing as part of 1st Stage’s Commission of Solo Works – a very personal story and why it has been so challenging. Mostly he wants to express his thanks to the DC theater community.
Mary Anne Schnider and Bobby Mahoney, Fred Schnider Gallery of Art
December 8, 2020
Mary Anne Schnider and Bobby Mahoney who together manage the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art gave us the details about their upcoming exhibition featuring the work of Sherry Trachtman and Jenny Wu as the first duo presentation. Find out about their work, the theme of the show, safety measures put into place and interesting online offerings the Gallery has been working on. Also get the details about how to visit the gallery and what else is in store for the exciting 2021 season.
Ken Avis, Musician and Co-Producer, “Anacostia Delta”
December 1, 2020
Musician and Co-producer of the documentary film “Anacostia Delta” Ken Avis joined us on Embracing Arlington Arts Talks to update listeners on how his band VERONNEAU has been busy and performing during the shutdown, including upcoming holiday shows at the Canadian Embassy and the Botanical Gardens. Also hear about the extremely interesting documentary he co-produced entitled “Anacostia Delta” about guitarists Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan, as well as their unique style of playing and how DC was a music destination city. Such an interesting chat with the knowledgeable Ken.
Lloyd Wolf, Photographer
November 24, 2020
Photographer Lloyd Wolf joined Embracing Arlington Arts to talk about his career, projects, how the pandemic has impacted his work and more. Also we learned about his many social justice documentaries and his “Quarantine Diary” that covers the most emotional issues and events happening in our nation. His photos are so important to us better understanding these issues.
Beth Hudgins, Visual Artist
November 17, 2020
Visual Artist Beth Hudgins updated us on a new collaborative she founded with 4 other artists – Studio 10 Artists. With new exhibitions every two months at Sterling Picture Framing in Arlington, the group’s work centers around a theme each time and care is made for all the pieces to fit nicely together. The collaborative is looking forward to hosting opening receptions and other events in the spring. Beth also talks about how she got into painting, her preferred mediums and when she knows a painting is finally done.
Dr. Monica Almond, EDI Expert, The Almond Group
November 10, 2020
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Expert and President of The Almond Group Dr. Monica Almond offers so much critical advice and insight to non-profit organizations about embarking on a Diversity Strategic Planning process. Warning that most groups do not know what they want when starting a plan, Dr. Almond gives details about what groups should expect, what they should be attaining, what their goals should be and so much more in this extremely timely podcast. She also cautions organization leaders about first steps when contracting with an EDI expert. Every non-profit organization should listen to her wise words.
David Carlson, Visual Artist
November 3, 2020
Visual Artist David Carlson talked about his pieces in a new exhibit entitled “Flattening Time” currently at the Fred Schnider Gallery of Art. Also learn about how the pandemic has impacted his work, exciting collaborative project coming up with the exhibit featuring dance and live music, details about the recent Arlington Visual Artists Studio Tour (AVAST) event that was held virtually for the first time and more. Also get details about how to visit the gallery and show.
Lisa Richards Toney, Association of Performing Arts Professionals
October 27, 2020
The new President of the Association of Performing Arts Professional (APAP) Lisa Richards Toney tells of her enthralling and twisting career journey that led to her arts management expertise. From the Kennedy Center to the American Place Theatre to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to being called by Debbie Allen to help with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, she has had such an interesting path and offers lots of advice to young people starting or interested in a career in the arts. Also find out about APAP, its mission, services it provides members, dedication to diversity goals and its annual conference held each year for those in the industry. Plus hear Lisa’s views on required changes to ensure that the arts is a safe space for all.
Adam Immerwahr and Jojo Ruf, Theater J
October 20, 2020
Theater J’s Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr and Managing Director Jojo Ruf gave us details about their unique online classes for audience members to help them better enjoy their theater experiences. “How to Watch a Play” and “Inside the Rehearsal Room” are two examples of these one of a kind classes. Also learn about the history and mission of Theater J, their Yiddish Theater Lab, the DC theater scene, silver linings from this pandemic, what parameters they will use for reopening for live performances again and much more in this interesting chat.
Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO, Washington Performing Arts
October 13, 2020
The President and CEO of Washington Performing Arts (WPA) Jenny Bilfield updated us on the organization’s exciting new digital season, with performances scheduled by Jazz musician Sean Jones and Brinae Ali, famed opera singer J’Nai Bridges, violinist Joshua Bell, and the Sphinx Virtuosi to name just a few. Also find out the history behind the founding of WPA, their phenomenal work with DC public school students, their emphasis on highlighting local talent, how they quickly responded to the pandemic shutdown and the details on their varied subscription packages and free events being offered in 2020-2021.
Maggie Boland, Signature Theatre
September 29, 2020
The Managing Director of Signature Theatre Maggie Boland gives us some teasers in this interview about the organization’s tentative plans for next season. With strict adherence to safety protocols and practices, the theater is planning a full season of digital programming using high quality multi-camera filming of live productions. Also learn what they are hearing from their audiences about returning to live theater, their vast array of online productions being offered now, their revised ticketing and subscription structure that allows more flexibility, and some silver linings of the pandemic including more collaboration between theaters.
Alex Levy, 1st Stage
September 22, 2020
Alex Levy, the Artistic Director for 1st Stage caught us up on his theater in this podcast interview. Find out about their planned 2021 season, his priorities for offering live performances again, the organization’s commitment to take action on the cultural equity front, their unique Logan Festival for Solo Performances and a lot more. Also find out why the theater was named 1st Stage. We applaud Alex and his staff for all their work on the theatrical and diversity fronts.
Natalie Graves Tucker, NGT Consulting/BlackstageDC
September 15, 2020
The Founder of Blackstage DC, Executive Director of Artomatic and Social Media “Phenom” Natalie Graves Tucker gives a wide ranging interview on so many interesting issues. Learn about why she founded Blackstage DC which highlights the successes and career of artists of color, the multicultural marketing services provided by her company NGT Consulting, the largest pop-up art festival in DC ARTOMATIC and her interesting career journey. Also find out which famous person show would like to portray.
Performing Arts, Art Dignitaries
Laura Connors Hull, Creative Cauldron
September 8, 2020
The Producing Director of Creative Cauldron Laura Connors Hull updated us on all the exciting programming her theater is offering during the pandemic. From outdoor cabarets to online Learning Theater Program (with an interesting twist) to recordings of live music, there is a lot going on. Also find out the wonderful news about the original musical “On Air” and her unique views on a positive change in the DC theater industry due to the shutdown.
Pryalal Karmakar, Prio Bangla
September 1, 2020
The Executive Director of the Bangladesh heritage group Prio Bangla Pryalal Karmakar imparts some historical information about the Bangladesh community in northern Virginia, as well as background on the organization he founded. What was his goal and mission for Prio Bangla? Why did so many Bangladeshis land in northern Virginia? What event from the annual multicultural festival might still be conducted this fall? Find out the answers and much more in this interesting interview.
Lyndsey McFail, Senior Manager, Social Media
August 25, 2020
Social Media Senior Manager Lyndsey McFail imparts tons of advice on running a successful social media campaign in this podcast. From film, TV, music and print media, Lyndsey has a multitude of experience. Hear about her successes on the Maury Povich show to ESSENCE Magazine to BET and so much more. Also hear about her phenomenal nomination for a Webby award for her “Emoji That Track” Youtube series. Plus learn about her DJing career and company. So many accomplishments already in her career!
Raymond Caldwell, Theater Alliance
August 18, 2020
The Artistic Director of Theater Alliance Raymond Caldwell joined our podcast for a wide-ranging interview. Hear how the theater inspires conversation about important social issues, how he picks shows for a season, his specific decision to use the theater to heal and respond to his community’s needs during this pandemic, and how the Black Lives Matter movement might change the industry for good. Also get some scoop on the Theater’s upcoming season, as well as a very entertaining story about Raymond directing himself in a one-man show. Definitely Raymond is an asset to the DC theater world!
Sarah Hardesty, Visual Artist
August 11, 2020
Visual Artist Sarah Hardesty appeared on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast to talk about her work, how she became an artist, how the pandemic and shutdown might impact her future pieces and more. Also learn how what most impacts the type of art she exhibits at different openings, her ideal exhibition, and how she knows when a piece of art is “done.” Very interesting look inside the head of a creative visual artist.
Jeanne Kelly, Encore Creativity for Older Adults
August 4, 2020
The Founder of the organization “Encore Creativity for Older Adults” Jeanne Kelly enlightens us in this podcast about her entity, the benefits of music (both listening to and singing) for older adults, upcoming fall programs being offered and her views on when live chorale performances will happen. Also find out the results of a NEA-commissioned study on the effects on older adults when given the opportunity to perform choral activity under a professional conductor. So many benefits identified!
Danielle Cho, Sound Impact
July 28, 2020
The Co-Founder of the organization Sound Impact Danielle Cho talked to Embracing Arlington Arts about the wonderful work her organization is doing to use music as a platform for social change and how they are bringing music to marginalized communities here in the US and in several Latin American countries. Find out how they are helping lower income students as well as incarcerated youth by exposing them to music and classes, as well as the instruments themselves. Also hear about their 10-part education series “Time Travel Through Music” being offered for free this fall to all students.
Jason Tamborini, Prologue Theatre
July 21, 2020
The Artistic Director of Prologue Theatre Jason Tamborini talked about a unique project his organization will be presenting – a reading of the play “Bike America” but with added programs. Originally intended as a live performance, the theater had to transition to an online production after reviewing the possibilities of being one of the first theaters to put on a live performance. Find out the questions they asked themselves when making their decision, the “virtual mile challenge” being organized in conjunction with the reading, and his ideas for possible enhanced online productions in the fall. Definitely a group that is looking outside the box.
Deb Sivigny, Scenic and Costume Designer
July 14, 2020
Scenic and costume designer Deb Sivigny appeared on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast to talk about her industry. She walks us through the process for designing both a set and costume, as well as offers hints about devising each to perfection. Hear her views on projections as part of a set and how hierarchies of characters impact her designs. Deb also discusses the very personal play she wrote “Hello My Name Is…” which she specifically structured as design-centric or having the setting do the heavy lifting vs. the verbal. Truly an immersive theater experience!
Molly Smith, Arena Stage
July 9, 2020
Despite the pandemic and shutdown, Arena Stage has not stopped entertaining us. From weekly “Molly’s Salon” Facebook interviews with arts leaders and thinkers to movies to an artists’ marketplace to camps, Artistic Director Molly Smith gives us all the details in this podcast. Also learn how she thinks theater will be different after the pandemic, her initial thoughts on reopening the Arena theaters, her message to patrons and artists, and what she sees as a silver lining to the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests we are seeing. Very insightful discussion with one of DC’s leading Artistic Directors.
Beth Amann, Monumental Theatre Company
July 7, 2020
The Managing Director of Monumental Theatre Company Beth Amann updated us on the many ways the theater is keeping their patrons entertained during this shutdown. From “sing thru musical messages” to select videos online to the exciting reading of a new musical entitled “Desiderium” written by Ricky Drummond and featuring music by the Oh Hellos, there is a lot going on with Monumental. Get all the news, plus some insight into what might be happening with 2020 Helen Hayes awards in this interesting interview.
Amelia Nickles, Acting with Amelia
June 30, 2020
Amelia Nickles – Actor and Founder of the pre-professional theater training program “Acting with Amelia” – joined Embracing Arlington Arts for an interesting chat about her classes, how the company adapted to the shutdown, how she prepares for a role, and much more. Also get some insight into what she advises students preparing for college auditions, as well as her “bucket list” role.
Stan Kang, Educational Theatre Company
June 23, 2020
The Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Company Stan Kang appeared on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast for a wide-ranging interview on the theater industry in today’s times. Hear his views on permanent changes we will see in the industry after the nation reopens, will the protests lead to major diversity changes in performing arts, and his hope that theater continues to be an in-person communal experience. Also find out how ETC virtual summer camps will be run.
Sara Duke, Encore Stage & Studio
June 16, 2020
The Executive Director of Encore Stage & Studio Sara Duke talked with Embracing Arlington Arts about how this shutdown has directly impacted young students who normally would be active in theater productions. She described their sense of loss about not being with their peers in person and having the outlet of performing to deal with this crisis. Sara also expresses her beliefs about how theater will be permanently altered after the pandemic has subsided, as well as offers advice to venue managers. Also find out about their virtual summer camp programming.
Elena Velasco, Co-Founder, Convergence Theater
June 9, 2020
Elena Velasco, the Co-Founder of Convergence Theater and passionate advocate for cultural equity and diversity in the performing arts arena explained how today’s dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, coupled with national protests in support of Black Lives Matter are impacting theaters, and why she considers this a moment of reckoning. Also learn more about how Convergence is dealing with the shutdown, as well as the developments at the American Alliance of Theatre and Education (AATE) on whose board she sits. Definitely lots of important issues to think about and discuss in this interview.
Holly Koons, Arlington Arts Center
June 2, 2020
The Executive Director of the Arlington Arts Center Holly Koons discussed how a gallery can remain relevant and visible to its patrons during a pandemic. Also what are the Center’s tentative plans for reopening, what exhibits are they planning for the fall, why virtual tours are here to stay and what programs are available online. Also find out what could be in store for the Maury Park name?
Zachery Perkins, Photographer
May 26, 2020
Photographer Zachery Perkins appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts” Talks podcast to talk about his profession. What does his job entail as a “Combat Documentation Production Specialist? Why does he sometimes still use film? What does he look for when shooting the perfect picture? Where does he see the photography industry in 15-20 years. Find out the answers and more in this interesting interview.
Tom Prewitt, Avant Bard Theatre
May 19, 2020
Tom Prewitt, the Artistic Director of Avant Bard Theatre appeared on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast right in the middle of the nationwide shutdown. Find out how he thinks theater will adapt once the crisis is over, what they are doing now to remain relevant and in the public eye, and what the last day on the set was like for the cast and staff of the organization’s postponed shows. Tom also talks about the “Avant Promise” campaign and how they are helping their theater family.
Robert Goler, Curator, U.S. Mint
May 12, 2020
The Curator for our nation’s U.S. Mint Robert Goler enlightened us about what types of art we can find in the various U.S. Mint facilities across the nation? What exactly does the Mint Curator do? How are artists chosen to design those many coin collections? What is the state of coin collecting today? Where can folks see the collections? These are just some of the questions he answers in this podcast. Also find out why he thinks music is so important during this pandemic we are currently living through.
Daniel Manzoni, Festival Argentino
May 5, 2020
The Director of the Festival Argentino Daniel Manzoni updated us on his Plan B for the 2020 Festival. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 33rd Festival is now postponed until October (date TBD). But he does give us some details about the many professional dancers expected to perform. Also find out about the May 16th launch of a video featuring the best of 30 years at the Festival, as well as how his native country is responding to the virus.
Marsha Semmel, National Museum Leader
April 28, 2020
National Museum Leader Marsha Semmel offered much insight into the museum world in this “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast. How are museums adapting to the changing world, both in terms of the current shutdown as well as changing technology? What is VUCA and how are museums reacting to it? Why are partnerships so important in these changing times? Plus find out more about her book “Partnership Power: Essential Museum Strategies for Today’s Networked World.” Lots to learn in this interview.
Carlos Velazquez, HMA Associates
April 21, 2020
Carlos Velazquez, Avid Theater Patron and President of the digital marketing firm HMA Associates joined us during the COVID-19 virus on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast. How has he been getting his “theater fix” during the shutdown? Why and how did he become such an avid patron? Why are arts and culture so important? Also get some unique digital marketing advice during this social media age, as well as suggestions for smaller organizations with fewer resources.
Matthew Randall, Dominion Stage and Mary Beth Smith-Toomey, Port City Playhouse
April 14, 2020
Dominion Stage and Port City Playhouse have merged their two organizations. Find out more details in this podcast with Dominion President Matthew Randall and Port City President Mary Beth Smith-Toomey. Also find out what shows they will be presenting in their 2020-2021 season, the latest on the WATCH awards, as well as how they both and their colleagues are coping with the shutdown.
Matthew Powell, BalletNova
April 7, 2020
The Artistic Director of BalletNova Matthew Powell appeared on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks. While initially he was going to talk about upcoming productions, instead the conversation centered on coping with the national shutdown. How is his organization still presenting and teaching ballet? How are his teachers and students handling things? What is his advice to other non-profit arts organizations? Find out in this insightful interview, as well as first glimpse into their 40th Anniversary next year.
Francesca Chilcote and Ashley Hammond, Educational Theatre Company
March 31, 2020
The “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” host Janet Kopenhaver welcomed to the podcast the Director of the “Devising Hope” program at the Educational Theatre Company Francesca Chilcote to talk about this extremely uplifting and effective program. She explained how teenagers work with Street Sense vendors (many of whom are homeless) to learn about each other and break down myths about both groups. Also learn about one experience that particularly resonated with her. Ashley Hammond the organization’s Managing Director also talks about upcoming camps.
Michael Allison, Arlington Artists Alliance
March 24, 2020
The President of the Arlington Artists Alliance Michael Allison appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to update us on all the Alliance activities, including ArtFest and “It’s a Steal.” Also he gave us details about his very unique process of acrylic painting style using adhesives. Also find out which portraits are more popular – people or pets? Very interesting interview for artists and art lovers both!
Adelina Mitchell and Garnet Williams, Actors, Monumental Theatre Company
March 12, 2020
Actors Adelina Mitchell and Garnet Williams appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to give us all the details about the upcoming production at Monumental Theatre Company – “Head Over Heels.” What makes this show unique? Why did Monumental decide to present this play? Which iconic 1980’s band’s music is featured in the production? All these questions, as well as their dream roles, are answered in this interesting interview.
Lynda Andrews-Barry, Artist and Blair Murphy, Arlington Arts Center
March 10, 2020
The Arlington Arts Center is planning to launch a really interesting public art exhibit on their front lawn very soon. The exhibit, which relates to the history of the Maury Building, where the Center is located and Arlington slavery history, showcases the work of Artist Lynda Andrews-Barry. In this interview, Lynda tells about the unique project, her research about the topic, why this project was so important to her, and more. Curator Blair Murphy fills in details about how the project came to be.
Patrick McGee, Encore Stage & Studio
March 4, 2020
The Education Programs Manager for Encore Stage & Studio Patrick McGee was the guest on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to talk about the multi-faceted educational programs the organization offers. From 0 to 18 years of age, there is something for everyone. Find out what students can learn and what skills they can develop by participating in these programs. Also hear about his theater experiences in the Midwest and how theater there differs from DC theater. Very interesting insight.
Chil Kong, Adventure Theatre
February 25, 2020
Chil Kong, the Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre, speaks from the heart about the importance of children’s theater in the DMV and in forming adult theater patrons in this “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” interview. Appearing as a featured guest as part of our five-part “Artistic Directors STEAM Ahead” series starring the five most successful theaters in the DC region, Chil talks about his multi-faceted film and theater career, diversity challenges in the performing arts industry, how children benefit from exposure to theater and much more. Also hear his unique description of those working in the industry. Very entertaining and insightful interview.
Lucy Bowen McCauley and Helen Chamberlin, Bowen McCauley Dance Company
February 18, 2020
Bowen McCauley Dance Company’s Founding Artistic Director Lucy Bowen McCauley and Executive Director Helen Chamberlin were guests on the Embracing Arlington Arts Talks podcast to update us on the many exciting events they have coming up. From the “Move Me” festival to the Kennedy Center to collaboration with the National Chamber Ensemble and the Arlington Philharmonic, there is a lot on the schedule. Find out about all these events, and get a sneak peek at their plans for the company’s 25th Anniversary during this interview.
Ryan Rilette, Round House Theatre
February 11, 2020
Ryan Rilette, the Artistic Director of Round House Theatre appeared on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast as part of our five-part “Artistic Directors STEAM Ahead” series starring the five most successful theaters in the DC region. Why are the arts important? How is he making the theater more representative of the community where they are located? What is critical to succeeding in an arts management career? Answers to those questions and much more are included in this wide-ranging interview with Ryan.
Molly Smith, Arena Stage
February 4, 2020
The Artistic Director of Arena Stage Molly Smith was a featured guest on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast as part of our five-part “Artistic Directors STEAM Ahead” series starring the five most successful theaters in the DC region. Hear her very insightful advice for listeners interested in an arts management career; learn about her own journey and successes in the theater profession; what changes she has witnessed in theater productions, and much more. What an honor to interview Molly who has broken so many glass ceilings for women in the theater management world in the DC region.
Ashley Amidon, Director and Mel Gumina, Actor, The Arlington Players
January 28, 2020
The Arlington Players‘ director Ashley Amidon and Actor Mel Gumina talked about the upcoming production of Agatha Christie’s “A Daughter’s a Daughter” in this podcast This US premiere explores not only a complicated mother-daughter relationship, but also many others throughout the production. Find out how the cast was prepped to play these roles, the interesting rumor about why this show was not really performed until 2009 and what precipitates the tortured relationships. Also which roles are on each guest’s bucket list?
Jane Franklin, Jane Franklin Dance
January 21, 2020
Jane Franklin, the Founder and Artistic Director of Jane Franklin Dance joined Embracing Arlington Arts President Janet Kopenhaver on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast to talk about her company’s newest projects and productions. Learn about the “Border” project which incorporates personal heartwarming stories into dance numbers. Also find out about her latest project entitled “Going Polar” which will be exploring how people deal with conflict and how listeners can get involved.
Bob Wood, UrbanArias
January 14, 2020
The Founder and Artistic Director of UrbanArias Bob Wood was on the show to talk about the organization’s upcoming production of “Glory Denied” – based on the true story of the longest-held POW during Vietnam Col. Floyd James Thompson. Why was the opera named “Glory Denied?” What happened in his family while he was held captive? What did his children think of the opera? Learn the answers to these questions and more, including improv stories about horrendous first dates, in this interview.
Eric Schaeffer, Signature Theatre
January 7, 2020
Signature Theatre’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer was a featured guest on the “Embracing Arlington Arts Talks” podcast as part of our five-part “Artistic Directors STEAM Ahead” series starring the five most successful theaters in the DC region. What advice does Eric give young adults who want to open and manage a theater? What are some of the joys of running a theater? What is one priority he has when casting shows? And find out about two upcoming world premieres being presented by Signature. Honored to have had this opportunity to interview such a successful professional!