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Al Lewis: "I [was] a team player until I got blacklisted by the wellness industry for actually doing math."

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. I’m Michael Prager, an author, professional speaker, and lifestyle and wellbeing coach. I began this interview series in 2002 while working at the Boston Globe, so today’s guest joins a long and distinguished list. He’s an outspoken leader on corporate wellness programs who holds undergrad and law degrees from Harvard, and in 2013, Forbes Magazine named him one of “13 To Watch” in health care.


Margaret Moore: Having fun at the intersection of technology, coaching science, and brain science

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today’s participant has a remarkable path of success that began on a dairy farm north of Toronto and hasn’t reached its end yet. She’s the founder and CEO of Wellcoaches, which teaches coaching, a co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a treatment center affiliated with Harvard.


Marc Sussman: "What we do in our lives impacts everybody else"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today’s participant is a health coach, financial adviser, and social activist — not to mention a passionate accordionist. Before we get started, a note to those playing at home: “10 words” is an target, not a limit, so please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.”

Marc SussmanName Marc Sussman
Born when, where  "Jan. 4, 1952, in Brooklyn, N.Y."
Resides now  "Framingham, Mass., happily. I’m a new transplant."
What are you doing these days?  “I am studying nutrition. I am studying financial planning, returning to that vocation sometime this summer. And just staying abreast of all the important issues going on in our country, and in the world."
What did you used to do?  "I was a financial adviser full time for over 30 years. A certified financial planner and investment adviser."
When did you stop?  “Two and a half years ago."
Why?  “Health and emotional considerations. I was burned out. I needed to take a step back and reconsider what I really wanted to offer to people and the positions I wanted to represent."


Susan Roberts: "We need to show people how to retrain their brains so that what they enjoy eating is good for their weight."

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today’s participant is a professor at Tufts University in the subjects of nutrition and psychiatry, and director of the university’s Energy Metabolism Laboratory.


Kristi Marsh: "I know my greatest impact is still ahead."

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. I met today’s guest when I attended her session at a green expo years ago, and she's come into my view often enough that I knew we should talk, so here we are. She’s an author, an advocate for personal eco-consciousness and action, and recognized speaker. Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.

[This is an edited version of this interview, conducted on video March 10.]

Kristi Marsh, speaker, author and household ecoconsciousness advocateName Kristi Marsh
Born when, where  Portland, Oregon, in 1970. Soon after, I moved to California, where I was raised in Sacramento. Spent some time back up in the state of Washington, and then I've spent the last 20 years here south of Boston.
Family circumstance  "I am raising a family. From 2 to midnight, I’m a stay-at-home mom, raising three teenagers. My husband is in retail."
Occupation  "I’m an educator of mainstream women who are curious and want to learn more about this whole movement about how the products we bring into our homes can have an impact on our health."
What did you want to be when you grew up?  "A Rockette. That didn’t work out. An animal trainer at an amusement park. That didn’t work out. By the time I was a teen, I realized I had a connection toward training. In college I studied human resources, and went into the world of retail as a trainer at Target and a beauty-industry store in malls. That’s where I found this connection to be working with women and bringing them along in a process.
An early influence outside your immediate family  The outdoors. From camping, to being raised as a preteen having a horse as my sense of independence."
A hero today, also outside your immediate family  "I spent most of my life knowing the name Rachel Carson, but it wasn’t until my late 30s that I learned more about who Rachel Carson was, as an author, as a scientist, as an advocate for women. I read ‘Silent Spring' and I know that it is an impactful book on my generation, but being raised in my generation, I had no idea what it was about. Once I read it and learned more about Rachel Carson’s legacy, i think it influences me greatly. I have deep admiration and respect for the change she created, not only in the 1960s, but the ripples it created throughout the 1970s."
What’s your book called, and how can people get it?  “'Little Changes, Tales of a Reluctant Home Ecomomics Pioneer.' It is a paperback on any normal online paperback site. It’s also an e-book. And it can also be purchased directly through choosewiser.com."


Brian Campkin: "I want to be part of curing heart disease"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. Today’s guest has is not easily classified: He’s an author, a professional speaker focused on wellness, and an official spokesman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, all while he keeps his day job working for Canada’s largest telecom. His book is “From Survivor to Thriver, The Story of a Modern-Day Tin Man." Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.

This is an edited version of the interview. If you prefer, watch the full video interview.

Brian Campkin, professional speaker and official spokesman of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaName  Brian Campkin
Born when, where  Dec. 3, 1960, Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Resides now  Whitby, Ontario
Job  "I work for Rogers Communications. My role is an inside sales manager, selling their portfolio of products to small business."
Family circumstance  "Married, three daughters, eldest is also married, and I have a grandson."
Something you learned before age 10 that still matters  "Your word is your bond."
An early influence outside your family  “Bullying. When I was in grade school, I wasn’t the biggest kid in the class, but I had a sense of humor and could run fast, and both of those got me out of a ton of trouble. Even being the smallest, I still came to their rescue. It’s just something I won’t stand for."
A historical figure you particularly admire  "John Lennon. I like where he came from, I like where he got to, I don’t like how he ended, but that wasn’t his doing. That was a bully."


Joel Makower: "The people part is undervalued, at least in the sustainability movement."

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. Today’s guest has been a well-respected voice on business, sustainability, and innovation for more than 25 years, whom the Associated Press has called ‘The guru of green business practices.” He’s done a lot to get there, but a notable achievement is he is the founder of Greenbiz.com. Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it.

Joel Makower, cofounder of GreenBiz.com

Name Joel Makower
Born when, where  Oakland, Calif., Feb. 19, 1952
Resides now  Oakland
Family circumstance "Married to Randy Rosenberg for 26-plus years, and we have two lovely dogs."
Formative event 
“Growing up in the Vietnam War."
A strong influence outside your family 
"I was coming of age professionally in journalism school during the time of Watergate, so Woodward, Bernstein, all of the others were of influence to me in terms of journalism as a way to speak truth to power. I was also, at the same time, influenced by Ralph Nader. The consumer advocate, not the election-spoiler, who was about taking on corporations on behalf of consumers."
A historical figure you hold dear 
"I admired Martin Luther King well before he was assassinated and became the hero-martyr that he became. At 13, I made him the subject of my bar mitzvah speech, in 1965, so I guess that says something."
What came first for you, green or biz? 
"Probably biz. I started off my career as a consumer reporter, and I quickly realized that in order to understand consumer issues you had to understand business."


Dr. Pamela Peeke: "You have to be a mentor and a model. There can be no hypocrisy."

   Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people, and ask for brief answers in return. Usually, I can describe the guests in a phrase or two, but with Pamela Peeke, today’s guest, I barely know where to begin:
   She’s a doctor, and I start there only because she did. But she’s also an assistant clinical professor in medicine at the University of Maryland, was a Pew Foundation scholar in nutrition and metabolism during a post-doc fellowship, and the first physician to be a senior research fellow at the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine.
   That oughta be enough, but she’s also WebMD’s lifestyle expert, and chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health TV, and a New York Times best-selling author whose latest book is "The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.”
   Dr. Peeke is also senior science advisor to Elements Behavioral Health, the nation's largest residential addiction treatment network, where she has developed their first residential program to treat food and addiction. Her work was recently seen on the "Today Show" profiling her work with the Promises Malibu Vista center.
   I should also mention, although It’s barely a hill among all these mountains, that Dr. Peeke has blogged about me and my book, “Fat Boy Thin Man," a couple of times, and we had dinner together with other friends after the recent food-addiction conference sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of "The Hunger Fix"After that long list of credentials, I have to ask: Don’t you ever get tired? " They say that if you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s me.”
Born when and where "The when will never be disclosed, but I’m a Senior Olympian triathlete, so I have to be over 50. And I was born in San Francisco, California."
Resides now Bethesda, Maryland
Family circumstance "Married, Mark is my handsome hubby. He comes from the land of law enforcement. He was SWAT, executive protection, and crimes systems analyst like the guys on CSI. We’re known as cop and doc.
What did you want to be when you grew up? "It already happened. Is that 10 words or less?"
A news event from childhood that left an impression "JFK’s assassination. I remember exactly where I was, singing in the choir at St. Brendan’s. As young as I was, I cried too, because JFK was a very important icon in our family.
"Your first paying job "That would be with my parents. They owned their own companies, and I actually got a little something for working for them. I helped keep the books. ‘Zero Equals Zero’ was my middle name."
Wisdom you retain from that job "The value of work. I was never given anything. I never felt entitled. I felt it was important to be able to show effort and be rewarded for that effort.
Someone outside your family who was a strong influence "Dr. Henrik Blum at the University of California at Berkeley. He was one of the great names in the school of public health. I met him early on, and became kind of his quasi daughter. He helped guide me as an undergraduate. When I became a graduate student with him, where I got my master’s in public health, he was an incredibly important mentor and I suppose a father figure as well."


Aman Singh: "Hardcore lessons of sustainability like nothing before"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. Today’s guest is vice president for business and social purpose at the PR behemoth Edelman, but has written for GreenBiz, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal on CSR and sustainability issues for years. Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it on the fly.

Aman Singh, vice president at Edelman PR agencyName Aman Singh
Born when, where New Delhi, India, Sept. 15.
The year? "Earlier in the decade of the gas leak in Bhopal."
Anything notable about the circumstances? "At that time, parents did not find out the sex of their child. My parents wanted a boy, had a boy’s name picked out, but they had a girl and stuck with the name."
How's that working for you? "I think it empowered me. My name in Punjabi, which is my native language, means peace. I’m quite the contrarian, but they had the right thought in mind."
Where do you live? "New Jersey."
Family circumstance "I’m happily married to a car geek, also from my hometown Delhi, and we have a 14-month-old son."
When did you move to the US? "2003."
An early influence outside your immediate family "A TV journalist in india, Barkha Dutt. She was one of the first women journalists to really emerge on the broadcast scene and report on hard issues like war."
First paying job "A small website in New Delhi focused on investigative journalism. I was just out of high school, waiting to hear back from my college choices, and I knew I wanted to do journalism but wasn’t really sure what that would involve. I was their first beat reporter, covering one the many political parties in New Delhi."


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