The Fenom Podcast looks to spotlight phenomenal women that are living their best life. These discussions are led by Eliza Whiteman and include various topics such as women in business, athletics, health and wellness, education, in leadership positions and includes all conversations of what it means to be a woman in all aspects of life today.
Elizabeth Raymond is Charlottesville born and raised. After attending the University of Virginia for her Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Education, Elizabeth ventured into the world of entrepreneurship with her mom and sister, as one of the Co-Founders of NoBull Burger, "the true veggieburger". NoBull Burger produces and wholesales veggie burgers to over 400 grocery stores and restaurants throughout the country, all the while spreading the message of “when you eat good, you feel good and ultimately live a happier, healthier life”. This mantra is evidenced by only using real-food ingredients and chef-driven flavor. When not immersed in the many hats of running a business, she spends time working in her community with the Luke J. Raymond Foundation. She, along with her family, created this organization to advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Elizabeth’s passions encompass the many facets of health and wellness, altogether physically, mentally and socially. She very much enjoys enhancing her life through serving and connecting to others, spending time in nature, practicing yoga, anything involving food & travel, and learning more about this wild world we live in.
In this episode of the Fenom Podcast I am talking with my good friend, Gina Ward. Gina is the founder of SHIFT2LEAD, a Leadership Development School. She’s a fellow Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and Studio owner. Gina’s story has something that I think we can all identify with, her life has been on a constant stair stepper of jobs, titles, accomplishments and approvals from others. She overworked herself in the effort to prove her capabilities and worthiness and I can see so much of my story here, too. Even when an initial diagnosis of Leukemia was given to her, she continued to press on until the illness had to literally knock her out for Gina to make a real shift in her life. This shift has allowed her to lean into her power instead of forcing her way through life. She embraced the less is more mantra that the pandemic has ushered in and found space, clarity and a passion for life that has led her to her life’s purpose- giving tools and techniques to connect people with what is holding them back and put them back into their power. I invite you to listen and see the similarities in your own story and what would it take for you to finally shift your perspective…
Michelline Hall is a Lynchburg Virginia photographer, entrepreneur, and arts advocate. I came across Michelline when someone shared a post of her “American Woman?” Art exhibit at Lynchburg’s Midtown Outdoor Art Gallery a couple of months ago and I was blown away at her amazing images of stylized portraits of Black and brown women that explore identity and culture. Her 10 photos hang on the side of a commercial building in Lynchburg’s Midtown. Michellin explains,
“Art is essential. Representation is vital. Expanding art interactions beyond traditional venues and into wider communities has always been my passion.” This quote perfectly sums up her “why”.
In speaking more with Michelline, I learned she is the co-founder and Director of Marketing of Blackwater Branding Agency alongside her husband which opens up the conversation to the importance of pivoting and branding in a pandemic as well as working alongside your husband, raising a family and making time for YOU to live your purpose and passion.
Once again, this is why I do this podcast to spotlight an inspirational, phenomenal woman. I hope you enjoy our conversation and catch a piece of Michelline’s spark of life!
Best of Season 1 Part 1
Best of Season 1, Part 1 is a collection of the snips and clips of our interviews from the first half of the year by Sarah Trundle, Jennifer Givens, Kristin Watson, Lizzie Clark, Chelsea Wilson, and Chris Steiner. These ladies give so much insight on being a woman- an athlete, a mother, a leader, a partner, a cancer survivor, an entrepreneur, and living their biggest life. Whether you know these emotions or experiences or not, this podcast is to share our truth and knowledge to rise together in sisterhood and celebrate our story.
Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb and Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton
On this episode of the Fenom Podcast, I am talking with two of my most accomplished guests I believe I had on here. Drs. Leigh-Ann Webb and Ebony Jade Hilton are pretty phenomenal women, they are board certified physicians at the University of Virginia as well as professors, consultants, entrepreneurs and authors. These ladies came together out of the concern to address the disproportionate impact COVID19 has had on communities of color. They created the children’s ebook called We’re Going to Be OK, which is a child’s guide for staying healthy, there are writing prompts and actionable steps to help children cope with stress during this difficult time. We’re Going to Be OK was one of the top five entries in the Emory Global Health Institute’s COVID19 Children’s ebook competition and has been hailed as a great tool for parents and educators to discuss healthy habits as well as talking points to guide the emotions children are experiencing during the pandemic.
Leigh and Ebony are powerful, successful humans, they are powerful, successful women AND they just so happen to be powerful, successful black women. And right now, we cannot ignore the turmoil in our country, in this interview I couldn’t bypass the racial tension, the injustices, the police brutality that continue to play out in our society, as well as the overwhelming affect COVID19 is having specifically on African American and Hispanic communities…I was worried if I could do a good job in leading this discussion, I heard the heaviness and the toil this is taking on both of these women- it’s a lot to unpack, to open up and discuss about how the system has been built- not necessarily that it is broken but that it has been built this way…and we talk about all the things. Actually, they talk, I listen and that is what I encourage all my white folks to do right now… listen, unlearn, reflect and be a part of the solution together going forward. I hope you take away as much as I did from this conversation.
In this episode I am discussing a topic that has been weighing heavily on me as a mother, business owner and leader in my community.
I was listening to a talk a woman was giving recently, disussing her struggle with roles of women today versus what she grew up hearing. She said as she was growing up there was always this common way of thinking that women were to be the grease and not the gasoline to the big machine of life. That phrase- the grease and not the gasoline was a huge aha for me. This is what I have felt in my life and where I am struggling right now during this pandemic. I am the grease, can I also be the gasoline? Should I also be the gasoline? Or does this throw us all back to just greasing the wheels? More importantly, as I’m raising my children, 2 girls, 2 boys, what do tell my girls? How do I direct and guide my girls to be and do anything they put their minds to- or do I tell them like it is…if you have a family you’ll have to change or give up everything you think you are.
Inspiring and Positive
I appreciate Eliza Whiteman’s interesting and upbeat content and interview style. “Spotlight(ing) phenomenal women” is her goal of the podcast and she has certainly executed this goal! Not only are the interviews compelling (and fun!) to listen to, but the “bonus” podcasts with various content are well worth listening to. So glad to see podcasts such as these. Thank you for producing them and keep them coming!