If She Can Do It, So Can You!
Women share wisdom, wit, and grit in this empowering and inspirational podcast that airs on the first of every month. Listen as women share their trials and triumphs in stories of challenges overcome, barriers broken, stereotypes silenced, and dreams achieved. Find your own strength, healing, and motivation in their success—because if she can do it, so can you.
Current and Upcoming Guests
Lisa Ellison is a writer, speaker, and coach with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a background in mindfulness. She regularly presents and teaches courses on the use of mindfulness in writing, writing about trauma, and all things memoir. A regular contributor to the Jane Friedman blog, her essays and short stories have appeared in HuffPost, Hippocampus Literary Magazine, the New Guard Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Brevity, among others. She’s currently working on a memoir about how traveling with her husband’s heavy metal band into post-Bosnian-War Yugoslavia soon after her brother’s suicide led to a promise that ultimately saved her.
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Ellen Kanzinger is a documentary photographer and journalist based out of Charlottesville, Va. She currently works as the travel editor for Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, covering outdoor recreation and environmental issues in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Whether it’s climbing into the open cockpit of a hand-built airplane or biking 184.5 miles along the C&O Canal, she does whatever it takes to get the story. Ellen also volunteers as a transcriber for the Prison Journalism Project, an organization dedicated to telling stories from inside the justice system. In her free time, you can usually find her hiking the trails of Shenandoah National Park, biking around town, or sitting on her balcony with a book in hand.
As the CEO of the Richmond SPCA, Tamsen oversees the development of the Richmond SPCA’s short- and long-term strategies to achieve maximum lifesaving. Before being named CEO in 2019, Tamsen was the COO for 12 years and in that capacity oversaw operational development, design analysis, evaluation and improvement; regulatory compliance; emergency preparedness; community relationship building; fundraising; communications; and program and service delivery. She is passionate about developing innovative programming to proactively reduce pet homelessness and engaging in crucial advocacy to save and protect the lives of animals.
Tamsen earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management course within the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School. Tamsen joined the staff of the Richmond SPCA in 2002.
When she’s not busy working alongside the Richmond SPCA’s talented and dedicated staff, Board and volunteers, Tamsen enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, as well as their two cats and two dogs—all of whom they adopted from the Richmond SPCA.
Valley Haggard has written in short and long-form all her life. She is a big fan of the postcard, the 6-word memoir, and drawers full of unfinished manuscripts. She has slept in tents, hostels, motels, couches, tool sheds, log cabins, bunk beds, and ship bowels for short periods of time, and the house she grew up in for much longer than that. She has lived in Virginia, New York, Italy, Colorado, Arkansas, and Alaska, holding jobs as a Waffle House waitress, Dude Ranch Cabin Girl, cruise ship stewardess, and hotel maid. She has written book reviews, author interviews, and first-person columns; judged fiction contests and fellowships, and sat on non-profit writing boards. She is the recipient of a Richmond Magazine 2014 Theresa Pollak Prize, a 2015 Style Weekly Women in the Arts Award, and the winner of the 2018 James River Writers’ Emyl Jenkins award. The founder of Richmond Young Writers in 2009, Valley now leads creative nonfiction marathons, workshops, and retreats for adults. She is the founder of Life in 10 Minutes, the author of The Halfway House for Writers and Surrender Your Weapons: Writing to Heal, and the co-editor of Nine Lives: a Life in 10 Minutes Anthology. She has a handsome husband, a brilliant son, an addictive personality, and a voracious appetite for all things word. Her memoir, There’s No Accounting for the Strangeness of Things will be published in December 2021. Listen to her episode here!
Courtney Paulk is the first female president of 85-lawyer Hirschler and a highly regarded construction lawyer.
Since her election to Hirschler’s top spot in September 2018, Courtney has been laser-focused on growing the Virginia-based middle market firm and providing support to its top-ranked practices and lawyers.
In addition to her roles as president and head of Hirschler’s litigation section, Courtney maintains an active law practice, advising owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors on a broad range of business matters and disputes. She is a member of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia, and is the immediate past-president of the Richmond District Executive Committee.
Outside the boardroom and the courtroom, Courtney is well-known for her ultra-distance open water swimming feats, many of which are accomplished in support of charitable organizations. Notably, she is one of only approximately 250 people to have completed the Triple Crown of Open-Water Swimming, having swum across the 21-mile English Channel, 20-mile Catalina Channel and the 28.5-mile circumference of Manhattan Island. But, Courtney didn’t stop at completing each of these swims just once. As of September 2020, Courtney had completed each of the Triple Crown swim 4 times. Never one to settled, in August 2021, Courtney became the first person in history to complete all of the Triple Crown swims as doubles. In 2017, Courtney completed two consecutive laps around Manhattan in 20 hours and 15 minutes and completed at 2-way Catalina Channel Swim in 33 hours at 13 minutes.
And, in August 2021, Courtney conquered the mother of all swims – a two-way English Channel swim in 27 hours and 36 minutes. Courtney chronicles her amazing feats on her blog Swim & Tonic. Listen to the episode here!
Anne Moss Rogers is an emotionally naked® speaker, TEDx storyteller, certified suicide prevention trainer, NAMI Virginia board member, and the award-winning author of Diary of a Broken Mind. After her 20-year-
old son, Charles died by suicide June 5, 2015, Anne Moss chronicled her family’s tragedy in a newspaper article that went viral, and her blog, Emotionally Naked, has reached millions. Her second book with co-writer Kim O’Brien Phd, LICSW, published through Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Publishing brand, is Emotionally
Naked: A Teacher’s Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. A UNC-Chapel Hill alumna, she lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband. Her surviving son, Richard, is a filmmaker in LA. Listen to the August 1, 2021, episode here!
About Your Host
Hi! I’m Amanda, and I’m so happy you’re here! Like all of you–I’m a lot of things: over six feet tall, a high school English teacher, a freelance writer, a wife, a dog mom, a blogger, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a nature lover, an aspiring novelist, a chocolate and tea lover–and the host of If She Can Do It, So Can You!, a podcast I’ve created because, well, let’s be honest: Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like we can do it–and we need someone to remind us we can. I hope you will find some inspiration and strength in each episode, where you can listen to women share their stories of trial and triumph.
Want to know more about me? Check out my other endeavor at Mind the Dog Writing Blog.
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