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Authors

Marianne Bette, MD

Marianne Bette is a retired family physician from Southbury, Connecticut, the town where she was born and raised and still currently lives. After forty years in family medicine, she’s enjoying her retirement and getting to spend time with her second husband, Gene. The two of them have a truck camper in which they have traveled around the United States, including driving to Alaska and back. (One of their favorite travel destinations.) They share a trusty rescue dog named Buttons, who is their constant companion and she loves camping too. Marianne has three daughters she’s very proud of. Her oldest daughter Sarah lives in southern California with her family. While her other two daughters, Caitlin and Justine, both live in North Carolina. A consummate gardener and home chef, Marianne has also begun work on a third book. This one includes the inspiring stories of some of her former patients. Marianne loves to connect with her readers … Continue Reading

Greta Muller

Greta Miller’s extensive experience, first as a spokeswoman and actor, then as a coach and consultant, has uniquely positioned her to help others connect in any presentation.

From broadcast professionals to C-suite executives, mid-level executives, support staff, and sales and marketing team, Greta has touched the professional lives of literally thousands of individuals whose work embraces the art of communication.

Chris Vanderzyden

Chris Vanderzyden, CPA, CVGA, CEPA, is the author of “Master Your Exit Plan, as well as a founding partner of Legacy Partners, LLLP, an exit planning and M&A advisory firm dedicated to serving privately held, middle-market business owners by creating and executing successful exit strategies resulting in the harvesting and preservation of wealth.

Dr. Phyllis A. Blackstone

Dr. Phyllis A. Blackstone is a storyteller extraordinaire. During a teaching career of over forty years, she taught first through seventh grades, served as a literary specialist and curriculum coordinator, and taught undergraduate and graduate students. Early on, she discovered that storytelling was her preferred way to teach people new things, no matter what their age. In retirement, she enraptures her listeners, sharing wisdom and truth through folktales, personal stories, and creative narratives. Her audiences include children, families, adults and senior citizens in venues ranging from classroom settings to nursing homes. What started as a pandemic project, to write all the real and imagined stories she had created, resulted in this eclectic collection that will tickle the funny bone and bring a tear to the eye. Phyllis is a member of the National Storytelling Network, Northeast Storytelling, and the Healing Story Alliance. She is also a founding member of three storytelling guilds: the Bluff Country … Continue Reading

Dr. Mark Smutny

Dr. Mark Smutny is a professional facilitator, consultant, speaker, author and founder of Civic Reinventions, Inc. He is known for helping organizations uncover the wisdom hidden in their diversity, build cohesion, and achieve their goals. He draws upon decades of work planning and leading retreats, facilitating meetings, and working with nonprofits and businesses. He teaches and writes on the arts of inclusive facilitation and inclusive leadership skills. He has worked in the fields of homeless services, affordable housing, transportation services for special needs populations, business and resident associations, faith-based groups, and public/private partnerships dedicated to strengthening civic engagement. Mark received his Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School, one of the most religiously diverse theological institutions in the world. His doctorate focused on organizational revitalization in multicultural settings. He is a Program Associate with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an agency that equips leaders to communicate effectively across cultures, ethnicities and race. When not working, … Continue Reading

Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn can usually be found learning something new to teach teens. As a former middle school teacher, founder of Super Empowered One, and life coach, it is no surprise that her middle-grade fiction book, Greta Grace, weaves some teachable moments into her character’s very relatable experiences. Think, middle school… Ahhh! Through her company, Super Empowered One, Joanna teaches kids how to access their confidence, happiness and power, so they can live their best life. Joanna loves writing, the ocean, a good run, and living in Fairfield, Connecticut, with her husband and their two kids. Visit her at superempoweredone.com to learn more about her coaching services and Greta Grace. Contact Joanna Quinn Interested in having Joanna come speak to your group or interviewing her for your following? Complete the form below, and she’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Author of:

Tom Bloomer

Tom Bloomer has spent over thirty years as a proven sales leader. Having started as an entry-level sales rep, he worked his way up to becoming a Regional VP of Sales responsible for over $40M annually in local ad sales revenues. During his fifteen years as VP of Sales, he worked for three of the leading direct mail advertising companies in the country: Clipper Magazine, Gannett Co. and Valassis Communications. While working in that capacity, he was responsible for strategic growth, change management, company training, and new product sales. It is this background and wealth of experience that has given Tom the ability to hire, train, coach and lead hundreds of successful people over the years, who have all contributed to his earning the reputation as a tremendous coach and leader. As a speaker who motivates and inspires others, Tom enjoys nothing more than presenting his series of sales seminars entitled “Managing Yourself to Success.” … Continue Reading

Linda Kopec

Linda Kopec was a payroll ‌bookkeeper for over twenty years. After surviving both colon cancer and breast cancer, she decided it was time to retire and write her inspiring story of surviving cancer twice. While writing was not Linda’s natural strength, she was determined to learn how to do it well. It was important to her to share her stories of survival to encourage others, and it pleases her that Cancer Gifts: Lessons in Gratitude, Acceptance and Perseverance is ready to bring hope, love and support to all who read it. Linda now works at home with her husband Dennis. They have an accounting business called Sea Bluff Accounting, LLC. Linda and Dennis have been married for over fifty years and make their home in West Haven, Connecticut. They have two grown daughters, who live out of state. Contact Linda Kopec Interested in having Linda come speak to your group or interviewing her for your … Continue Reading

Beth Gibbs

Beth Gibbs has over twenty years of experience teaching and mentoring hundreds of yoga students, teachers and therapists from all over the world to implement the five-layer model of self-awareness in their professional work and personal practice. She holds a master’s degree in yoga therapy and mind/body health from Lesley University and is certified as a yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Beth is a member of the faculty at the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy and is guest faculty at The Graduate Institute. Beth established The Garnett Gibbs Family Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving in memory of her parents. The purpose of the fund is to support yoga and other healthy living programs in the greater Hartford, CT, region for at-risk populations and people of all ages, especially programs for children in public schools and community settings. Her published writing includes newsletters, magazine and blog articles on … Continue Reading

Marie Ruggles, RD, CN

Marie Ruggles, MS, RD, CN, CDE, is a nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, and is certified in essential oil safety. She has a master’s degree from Columbia University in Nutrition and Public Health where she started her career in research forty years ago. She then began working in public health, translating the wisdom of science into simple action steps for managing chronic disease and maximizing wellness. Over time, Marie became concerned about people’s lack of reliable information regarding options for being proactive in their own self-care. She decided to write a book that could serve as a home reference guide for her students who were eager to learn about natural options for preventive health and everyday wellness challenges. Marie is the recipient of national awards for her nutrition education publications and lectures internationally on the safe use of essential oils for everyday wellness challenges. She is on a mission to inspire others to take responsibility for … Continue Reading

Andrea O’Connor

Having received a library card before she began kindergarten (requiring her cursive signature), Andrea began her writing career at the age of five with a short story describing the seasons. Her next endeavor, at age nine, was a novella featuring Christine O’Leary. So began Andrea’s long love affair with the written word. Singularly focused on a nursing career, Andrea continued to write for pleasure throughout high school and college. After completing a master’s degree to teach nursing, she was offered a position as a nurse editor with the American Journal of Nursing, where she honed her writing skills through editing others’ works. Andrea was in the midst of writing a novel styled as a memoir when her husband John’s Parkinson’s disease progressed to the point where he was unable to engage in his usual active lifestyle. He longed to “do something,” so she suggested they write a book together. She had long considered writing a … Continue Reading

Bill Buckbee

Bill Buckbee is a country-living guy who enjoys golfing and fishing in the little free time that he has. He is married to his work and is dedicated to his community. As a full-time job he runs the nonprofit park and museum that he grew up going to as a child. He has spent years as a youth coach of basketball, baseball and football, and has even coached semi-pro women’s football. He has spent time as a volunteer firefighter and is an active Freemason. In addition, Bill was elected state representative in 2016 to the Connecticut General Assembly, which he highlights as the honor of a lifetime to represent the town he loves so dearly. Bill has spent more than 25 years playing softball and recreational league football, and his teammates are family to him. One of three kids, Bill takes family seriously, but always with giant hugs and bigger smiles. A proud uncle to … Continue Reading