21 episodes

Through her work as the founder and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council in Connecticut, Fran Pastore has had the privilege of knowing and working with remarkable and accomplished women.
In every episode, Fran will be speaking with influential women whose stories have had an impact on her and they will do the same for you. Their stories will excite and inspire you to conquer your fears, take a stand for yourself and break down the barriers that stand in your way.
We may cover timely topics like racial and gender inequality and the importance of advocacy and voting, but mostly we’ll be sharing the personal journeys of extraordinary women.

Courageous Conversations with Fran Pastore Fran Pastore

    • Business

Through her work as the founder and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council in Connecticut, Fran Pastore has had the privilege of knowing and working with remarkable and accomplished women.
In every episode, Fran will be speaking with influential women whose stories have had an impact on her and they will do the same for you. Their stories will excite and inspire you to conquer your fears, take a stand for yourself and break down the barriers that stand in your way.
We may cover timely topics like racial and gender inequality and the importance of advocacy and voting, but mostly we’ll be sharing the personal journeys of extraordinary women.

    Shopping Local on Small Business Saturday . . . And Everyday

    Shopping Local on Small Business Saturday . . . And Everyday

    Small Business Saturday, November 27, is right around the corner. Started to encourage people to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses, Small Business Saturday has become a critical component to the holiday shopping season for many of our local retailers.
    In this episode of Courageous Conversations Fran talks with four local business owners about their own entrepreneurial journeys and discusses the importance of shopping local, not just on Small Business Saturday, but everyday! Joining Fran are WBDC clients Lorenza Arnal (Alma Mexican Foods), Tori Brown (Breakfast Belle), Jodi Burns (Blazing Fresh Donuts), Lyndsay Dean (Glaze Handmade), Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts. Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    To learn more about the Women’s Business Development Council and the support we provide to help women thrive in business, visit us at www.ctwbdc.org. Thanks for listening!
    This episode of Courageous Conversations is brought to you Webster Bank Thanks for listening to Courageous Conversations, a podcast dedicated to inspiring women entrepreneurs through the stories of incredible leaders! .

    • 23 min
    Shifting Norms with Jennifer Palmer, CEO of Gerber Finance

    Shifting Norms with Jennifer Palmer, CEO of Gerber Finance

    Until 1988 a woman could not access capital in her own name for
    commercial purposes. That year, legislation was enacted that finally allowed
    a woman to apply for a business loan without a male co-signor. A lot has changed in 33 years, but access to capital remains one of the most
    difficult challenges facing women entrepreneurs.
    In this episode, Fran talks with Jennifer Palmer, CEO of Gerber Finance, who has spent much of her career finding ways that financiers can better support female business owners.
    Fran and Jennifer explore Jennifer’s unique journey to the C-Suite of a major financial institution, the importance of surrounding yourself with
    the right support system, and methods for breaking down the barriers
    that stand between women entrepreneurs and access to capital.
    Listen to hear why Jennifer thinks it’s critically important to
    know what you don’t know.
    To learn more about Jennifer and her work at Gerber Finance,
    visit gerberfinance.com.
    Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations  on your favorite podcast listening app so you won't miss an episode!
    Thanks for listening to Courageous Conversations, a podcast dedicated to inspiring women entrepreneurs through the stories of incredible leaders!
    This episode has been brought to you by Webster bank.

    • 18 min
    Talking (and Walking) to End Alzheimer’s

    Talking (and Walking) to End Alzheimer’s

    In the United States, approximately 11 MILLION WOMEN are either living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it.
    Almost TWO-THIRDS of Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women.
    More than THREE IN FIVE unpaid Alzheimer's caregivers are women.
    To learn more about this devastating disease that so disproportionately impacts women, Fran talks with Kristen Cusato, Director of Communications at the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Molly Devanney, Co-Owner and Vice President of Public Relations for Highland Park Market, who balances her professional responsibilities with serving as the primary caregiver for her aunt who has Alzheimer’s.
     
    During this honest and open conversation, you’ll gain an understanding of the disease and learn about resources available for caregivers. You’ll also learn how you can help, including how to participate in one of the Walks to End Alzheimer’s taking place in Connecticut through the end of October.
     
    To learn more about the resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association, or to get involved with one of the walks happening in Connecticut in October, visit www.alz.org/ct.
    To access the Alzheimer's 24/7 Helpline, call: 1(800) 272-3900
    To find out where you can visit a Highland Park Market, visit www.highlandparkmarket.com.
    This episode of Courageous Conversations is brought to you Webster Bank Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts. Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    To learn more about the Women’s Business Development Council and the support we provide to help women thrive in business, visit us at www.ctwbdc.org. Thanks for listening!

    • 28 min
    Celebrating Small Business Week With Three of CT's Best

    Celebrating Small Business Week With Three of CT's Best

    Molly Hirsch abandoned her budding marketing career to move to Vermont and help run a relative’s home goods boutique, unknowingly heading down the path to a successful future in interior design.
     
    Shivonne Mathison cared for her aging grandmother. That experience, combined with her background in social work, paved the way for her to start a company to provide compassionate home care to the elderly.
     
    Jane Moen watched as her autistic daughter struggled to find her way as a young adult, motivating her to create a safe place to help other disabled individuals transition to the working world.
     
    These “accidental entrepreneurs” join Fran for this episode of Courageous Conversations as we celebrate Small Business Week. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner, you’ll be inspired by the stories of these remarkable women. They’ve got some great advice and insight to share!
     
    To learn more about today’s guests, visit Molly Hirsch Interiors, Cura Home Care Services, and The Nest Coffee House.
    Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts.
    Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    To learn more about the Women’s Business Development Council and the support we provide to help women thrive in business, visit us at www.ctwbdc.org. Thanks for listening!
     

    • 18 min
    Talking Food with Stephanie Webster of CT Bites

    Talking Food with Stephanie Webster of CT Bites

    The pandemic hasn’t been easy on any of us, but you could argue that it’s been tougher on restaurants than almost any other industry.
    In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Fran sits down with Stephanie Webster, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of CTBites, an online community focused on the food scene in Connecticut.
    Listen to learn about how, during the state-wide pandemic shutdown, CTBites found a new way to support local restaurants while also helping to feed our exhausted healthcare workers. Stephanie also shares her thoughts on which trends born out of necessity – think outdoor dining and takeout cocktails – will continue post-pandemic. You’ll also find out which Connecticut restaurants are currently Stephanie’s favorites and learn one small thing we can all do to help Connecticut’s restaurants recover.
     
    Visit ctbites.com to get the latest on what’s new with food in Connecticut. You can also follow CTBites on your favorite social media platform. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
    Subscribe to the newsletter on their website HERE
    Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts.
    Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    To learn more about the Women’s Business Development Council and the support we provide to help women thrive in business, visit us at www.ctwbdc.org. Thanks for listening!

    • 27 min
    Getting the 411 on 211CT

    Getting the 411 on 211CT

    Mental Illness, homelessness, food insecurity, domestic abuse, lack of childcare  . . . . These are just some of the issues for which Connecticut residents can turn to 211CT for help. Offered by the State of Connecticut through the United Way of CT,  211CT is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects people to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, seven days a week online and over the phone.
     
    In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Fran talks with United Way of CT President and CEO Lisa Tepper Bates and Nadia, a Housing Supervisor with 211CT who speaks directly with residents seeking support. Nadia asked that we refer to her by first name only in order to protect her privacy. This enlightening conversation covers the types of resources available through 211CT, the trends that have emerged since the beginning of the pandemic and the issues that Lisa and Nadia believe front and center as Connecticut moves forward.
     
    If you or someone you know is in need of support for health and human services, you can dial 2-1-1 or visit 211ct.org, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information on United Way of CT and the work they’re doing to support residents and childcare businesses in the state, visit ctunitedway.org.
    Be sure to follow Courageous Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts.
    Check us out on Instagram and Facebook
    Become a member of WBDC Connect
    To learn more about the Women’s Business Development Council and the support we provide to help women thrive in business, visit us at www.ctwbdc.org. Thanks for listening!

    • 34 min

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