We all want to be successful in life, no matter what we do for a living.But how do we get to where we want to go, especially when life gets hard, or there is an obstacle in our path?

It’s tempting to just give up, but don’t do that!

Enter Candy O’Terry, radio legend and master interviewer.She’s back on the air in Boston at WRKO with The Story Behind Her Success, a 30 minute weekly show that just might help YOU find success.

Every Sunday at noon she’ll introduce you to a woman who has accomplished great things.These interviews are filled with memorable stories, and powerful life lessons. What can you learn about success from these women?Tune in and find out!

If you know a woman Candy O should interview on the show, just shoot her an email: candy@candyoterry.com.

What’s your story?



Eavan O’Neill: Marathoner & Advocate for the Blind -270

Maria Stephanos, News Anchor -269

I love what I do, and it’s a privilege and an honor to do it. I feel such a duty to report on things that happen in my community, in my backyard, in your backyard. -Maria Stephanos Maria Stephanos is a household name in Boston and beyond. This interview was taped in between newscasts at WCVB, Channel 5, www.wcvb.com where she anchors the 4:30, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 PM newscasts. And for good measure, Maria also anchors the 10:00 PM news on sister station MeTVBoston. A devoted mother, this high-energy, high-empathy woman has been honing her craft for 30 years and says that going to bed at midnight is simply routine. Born and raised in the little town of Groveland, MA, Maria recalls an idyllic childhood where she would climb trees and skate in the woods in a town with no traffic light. Her heritage is Greek (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and laughter, passion, loyalty, and hard work were hard-wired into the family dynamic. A graduate of Emerson College with bachelor's and master's degrees in Mass Communications, Maria got her start on the radio as a statehouse reporter and credits that experience with teaching her how to tell compelling stories. In this interview, she reveals that a scratch ticket and a conversation with a colleague propelled her toward television, and she’s been there ever since. On the air for massive news events like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, Maria takes us behind the scenes, painting a picture of what it is really like to be a responsible, compassionate journalist in the middle of a tragedy. When asked about role models, she quickly names her mother, offering one of her parent’s golden rules: “Don’t judge people. You never know what they are going through.” In this interview, we come to know WCVB’s Maria Stephanos not only as a beloved news anchor but also as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, mentor, and running enthusiast. She’s the real deal. Go ahead and hit that download button. #journalist #television #news #mothersday

Stacey Ryan: School of Rock -268

School of Rock is the place for everyone who feels like they don’t have a place. All we care about is making great music together. -Stacey Ryan Meet Stacey Ryan, Chief Operating Officer of the School of Rock www.schoolofrock.com. With 65,000 students learning in 364 locations in 19 countries worldwide, she’s got her hands full of music lovers, and she likes it that way. Says Stacey: “Our teachers are all gigging musicians. We bring kids together in a room where they get to play instruments and sing loudly.” The success story of the School of Rock could have been destroyed by the pandemic, but instead, it was lifted to a whole new level under her guidance with a pivot to virtual learning through a robust online platform that managed to create a sense of community for kids when they needed it the most. In this interview, Stacey shares her firm belief that music heals. The School of Rock is a place where differences are celebrated, and confidence grows. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Stacey is the middle child in a music-loving family. She credits her father with introducing her to boxes of his rock albums. Alone on a desert island, she’d listen to the entire Beatles collection and never be lonely. A graduate of Rutgers University, she was inspired by her mother’s lifelong love of education and, at first, wanted to be a kindergarten teacher until the smell of the school cafeteria did her in. “I listened to my gut,” says Stacey, and I switched paths.“ As a leader, Stacey leans on transparency and is advancing women leaders through an organization she calls “Front Women”. Having a place at the table has not come easy for Stacey, and she knows it: “ When I became COO I was aware of the battle it took to get here, and the responsibility to pay it forward. I want to make the path smoother for those coming up behind me. “ For 24 minutes you can really tap your toe to, just hit that download button. #music #education #musicians #singers

Shannon Mulaire: Director of PR & Media Relations nickersoncos.com -267

I’m missing the freak-out gene. It’s hard to rattle me. -Shannon Mulaire This week’s episode features the fascinating story of award-winning TV journalist Shannon Mulaire. She parlayed decades of experience in front of and behind cameras into the role of Director of PR and Media Relations at female-owned Nickerson, www.nickersoncos.com, a full-service branding, marketing, PR, and communications agency with offices in Boston and Miami. Born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, Shannon started playing soccer at only 5, and was a self-described “scrappy tomboy who was toughened up by her two older brothers.” A determined student and athlete, Shannon attended the prestigious Philips Exeter Academy at only 13, followed by Wellesley College and Emerson College where she earned her Masters in Journalism. Her career path began with an off-camera job in Fort Myers, Florida, where Shannon managed to sneak herself into a weekend show without permission. This bold move was followed by an on-camera stint at a heritage news station in Tampa. She finally landed in Boston thanks to being given an opportunity to shine by fellow Emerson graduate and mentor Maria Stephanos. Says Shannon: “Every step of the way, I have been lifted up by other women. “ In this interview, Shannon brings the listener into the not-so-glamourous world of television news where 2 AM wake-up calls are a way of life. After spending a few years doing morning news at Fox 25, Shannon found herself at a crossroads and decided to make the kind of change that enabled her to be a more present mother to her three young children while still using her vast communications skillset. When asked about her work ethic, Shannon says: “Soccer raised me because it taught me life skills. I work hard, and I believe that if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. You can’t control what other people are going to do, but you can control how you are going to react to it.” For 24 minutes of wisdom you can use, just hit that download button. #media #news #PR #television #thestorybehindhersuccess

Julie Beckham: aka Ms. Money -266

Lessons learned early last a lifetime. -Julie Beckham aka “Ms. Money” Not everyone thinks personal finance is a topic to sing about, but Julie Beckham has made a career out of it. Since April is Financial Literacy Month, we thought we’d invite her on to the show. Now the AVP/Financial Education Development & Strategy Officer at Rockland Trust Bank, Julie was tasked by the previous owner, Blue Hills Bank, with expanding its commitment to the community by finding a way to educate children about money. Always up for a challenge, Julie tapped into her wealth of experience as an actress and singer to create her persona “Ms. Money” and her musical, “Ms. Money & the Coins.” For the last 13 years, she’s been sharing this entertaining curriculum with children in the United States and around the world www.rocklandtrust.com. What started out as an idea to teach children about money turned into a multilingual video-based program, complete with interactive learning modules. Says Julie: “If I can make something fun for children and easy for teachers, that’s a win-win.” Born and raised in Canton, Massachusetts, Julie’s love for the theatre was born when she landed the role of Dorothy in her elementary school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Julie was a working actor for years before returning home to be a hands-on aunt to her newborn niece, Lucy, who was born with Downs Syndrome. Says Julie: “The world stopped, and we needed each other. You discover what the epicenter of YOU is and for me, that’s family.” The mother of two children, Julie shares her belief that “it is crucial for parents to share their mistakes. How we handle mistakes is important for our children to see, including mistakes about money.” And just in case you’re feeling left out, Julie has a podcast series for adults, too, called “No Shame in this Money Game.” For 23 minutes of financial fun, just hit that download button. #financialliteracy #education #money #banking

Christina Pavlina: Co-founder & Executive Director of Jane Does Well janedoeswell.org -265

Jane Does Well organically became a group of women talking about divorce and supporting each other. -Christina Pavlina This week’s guest was nominated by listeners twice, thanks to the support and community she has created for women going through divorce. Meet Christina Pavlina, co-founder & Executive Director of Jane Does Well, www.janedoeswell.org. Whether it is your choice or not, divorce is a heartache. If you’ve got children, the impact is even greater. Christina has walked this walk, and now she talks the talk. Through hands-on, practical programming, this unique non-profit helps women get through the trauma of divorce. Says Christina: “I didn’t know how to navigate my own sense of loss, and at the same time, I didn’t know how to help my children.” After I got through my own divorce, I realized I could help others.” The lessons she learned have been passed on to hundreds of women who have benefitted greatly from the services Jane Does Well provides. The organization has grown organically year after year and today, includes an ordained minister who experienced divorce herself, came to Jane Does Well for help, and is now the Director of Wellness and Trauma Programs. Jane Anderson oversees 10-week support groups for everyone from young moms to senior citizens. Christina explains: “The best way to overcome the loneliness of divorce is to talk to women who get it. Your family loves you. Your friends love you, but they will not understand what you are dealing with during and after divorce. Jane Does Well fills that gap.” #divorce #community #empowerment

Monica Roberts: SVP & Executive Director, City Year Greater Boston -264

Don’t worry about filling someone else’s shoes. Bring your own. -Monica Roberts Meet Monica Roberts, Senior Vice President & Executive Director of City Year Greater Boston www.cityyear.org. A lifelong resident of Boston, Monica was raised in a home full of faith, rules, and love. She credits her mother for advocating for her and her siblings, reminding them about the value of a strong education. In this interview, Monica shares the story of her father, the son of a sharecropper from Mississippi who quit school at 12 to work in the fields and later completed his education. Monica’s father was a man of service who worked as a truck driver through the night, often distributing food to the needy and plowing his neighbor’s driveways during snow storms. As a preacher in their local church, her dad did not allow his daughters to wear makeup or go to the movie theater. A first-generation college graduate with degrees from Brandeis and Boston College, Monica comes to her position at City Year with extensive experience in public education, having served seven superintendents over a fifteen-year period. Before taking the reins at City Year Greater Boston, she worked at Peace First, a national non-profit, where she honed her leadership skills. For Monica, City Year is a life-changing opportunity for young men and women between the ages 18-25 who support the education of children enrolled in their partner schools. Originally founded in 1988 as a community-based service organization, the mission has expanded and City Year members are changing the lives of kids from kindergarten through high school every day. Grounded in the belief that young people can shape our world, City Year members are role models. Says Monica: “They connect with kids and cheer them on. The City Year red jacket symbolizes the deep investment we have made in the communities we serve.” @cityyear @cityyearboston #community

Lisa Carlin: Founder of Poppies with Purpose -263

Poppies with Purpose is more than a shoe line. It is something that is going to bring courage, joy, and connection whether you have cancer or not. -Lisa Carlin When bad things happen, you have two choices: you can give up or give it all you’ve got. Lisa Carlin decided to use her breast cancer diagnosis as a catalyst for comfort through the creation of her shoe line, Poppies with Purpose www.poppieswithpurpose.com. At only 38, with two daughters, ages 3 and 5, at home, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Lisa’s road to survivorship included a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments. During this dark time in her life, she discovered a worn pair of pink ballet flats in the back of her closet. Slipping them on one morning before her treatment, Lisa discovered that these simple pink shoes gave her a dose of bravery. Today, Poppies with Purpose is thriving with three shoe colors: pink for breast cancer, blue for colorectal cancer, and tangerine for kidney cancer and leukemia, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting researcHERS, a group that supports grants to female cancer scientists. Lisa also handpicks local charities to support including Runway for Recovery. Every detail of Lisa’s brand is inspired by love. The duster bag that holds each pair of shoes was inspired by her beloved grandmother’s poppy-patterned house coat, and inside every pair of shoes is a reminder to “live each day with a pop of color.” When I asked Lisa how she got through her diagnosis, she said, “It was baby steps. Just a little bit every day is gonna get you to where you want to go. The key is to surround yourself with people who lift you up.” The next time you need a gift for a newly diagnosed friend, think of Lisa and Poppies with Purpose. For 24 minutes of inspiration, hit that download button. #breastcancer #colorectalcancer #kidneycancer #leukemia #survivorship #entrepreneurship

Noel Foy -262

A lot of children believe that perfection is a goal. I help them understand that mistakes are part of the learning process. -Noel Foy In the spotlight, Noel Foy. Known as Neuro Noel, she got her start as a teacher and learning specialist before blazing a trail as a neuroeducator and anxiety coach. www.neuronoel.com. A graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Education/Special Education and a Masters in American Studies, Noel began noticing that her own sons didn’t like school, but they loved learning. She started attending conferences focused on how the brain works and discovered that she could transform key neuroscience findings into practical ways to reduce the impact of stress on children. The result was transformative. Noel started creating her neuroeducator tool kit by recognizing that if a child’s brain is in a state of anxiety, anger, frustration, or boredom, they disengage from learning. This choice hijacks the brain causing stress, which in turn, hijacks executive function. In her practice, Noel teaches kids that the human brain grows and changes. This neuroplasticity enables the brain to be re-wired. Children are relieved when she explains: “Do you know that your brain gets smarter and stronger when you correct mistakes?” In this interview, Neuro Noel provides clues for parents who believe their children might need help with anxiety. Avoidance, rigidity, catastrophic thinking, and a sense of hopeless permanence are four red flags to look for. The author of two award-winning books called ABC Worry Free and Are You A Bird Like Me? Noel admits she was an anxious child herself and that she finds healing by helping kids who are just like she was. On a mission to spread awareness about anxiety, executive function, and how to use neuroscience in school and beyond, Noel is due to release a third book this year entitled 15 Minute Focus, geared toward teachers, parents, and counselors. For a tutorial on how you can begin to understand and help your anxious child, just hit that download button. #neuroscience #neuroeducator #teacher #parenting #socialandemotionallearning #executivefunction #anxietyawareness

Lindsey Leichthammer -261

It’s fun to be a part of the best day of someone’s life. -Lindsey Leichthammer Meet event producer extraordinaire, Lindsey Leichthammer. www.lindseyleichthammer.com. She’s done everything from fluffing the bride’s dress to keeping the bridal party calm as Nana is being placed in an ambulance minutes before the wedding ceremony begins. She also knows what it’s like to be responsible for feeding hundreds of people in the middle of a field in Vermont, with no cell service. By the time you finish listening, you will know for sure that an event producer needs nerves of steel AND a sense of humor. Fortunately, Lindsey has both in spades. Born and raised in the seaside town of Marshfield, Massachusetts, Lindsey enjoyed the love and support of her parents, and the devotion of her older brother, Taylor. Ten years her senior, he instilled confidence in his little sister early on. At 16, Lindsey became a banquet server, offering up bacon-wrapped scallops and dirty martinis at a high-end steakhouse on the beach. In this interview, she recalls loving the excitement of a wedding reception and knew that her career would somehow involve the wedding industry. A graduate of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, Lindsey majored in Business and minored in Event Management and Marketing. From curating 12-person dinner parties for fussy VIPs to lavish farm-to-table weddings in fields to 3000+ festivals, this young woman has done it all! Now at the helm of her own company called Lindsey Leichthammer Events, she is passionate about delivering unique experiences for her clients. A true believer in tackling any of life’s obstacle head-on, Lindsey says: “The only way out is through. There’s nowhere else to go but on the other side.” For a quick-witted, yet fact-filled look into the wedding industry, just hit that download button. @lindslovesevents @candyoterry #weddings #Vermont #events