For those who aren’t aware, this magazine has a … well, could we call it a sister media source? Main Street Moxie is the name of our podcast, which launched in January of 2022. We are about to wrap up our second season and what a year it has been! I wanted to take a moment and share some of my thoughts on the amazing roundup of guests that we’ve had the honor of talking to this year.
Before diving into our guests, a little background on the podcast for you. Mary O’Neill and I are the hosts of the Moxie podcast, and you can listen to it anywhere that you listen to podcasts, including on our website. As of this year, the podcast is monthly. We drop an episode on the third Monday of the month. Our guests come from all over the world and all walks of life. The thing that we discuss with our guests is moxie. We begin by asking them to define moxie, and from there we discuss how moxie (by their definition) has impacted their lives and the decisions that they’ve made. As you can imagine, each story is quite different and inspirational in different ways. We then end each episode by asking our guest to share some words of moxie wisdom, give some advice to our listeners on how to incorporate moxie into their lives, in ways large or small. And I must share that each guest’s stories have given me so much to think about as well as incredible advice.
Our first guest of 2022 was Leo Marzen, who shared his financial planning, entrepreneurial, and life philosophy, all of which can be traced back to working in his parents’ hardware store in Jim Thorpe, PA. Leo always knew he wanted to be in business for himself, which culminated in him being a co-founder and managing partner of Bridgewater Advisors. Barron’s magazine has recognized Leo as one of the country’s Top 100 Independent Investment Advisors.
Part of Nadim’s brand is moxie. He has founded, built, and led three major businesses: Sadek Wynberg Research, a qualitative research agency; Inish Turk Beg, an island off the coast of Ireland from which he built an award-winning whiskey, food, and music brand; and ProQuo AI, the first AI-driven brand management system.
When we spoke with Nadim, he was building a fourth organization as CEO of NeuroTech Group AI, which combines psychology with AI to better fulfill human needs. This new endeavor navigates the intersection of neuroscience and curating an individual’s brand ecosystem. It brings efficiency to business and effectiveness to marketing.
Jenny is president of Berkshire Natural Resources Council, a county-wide land conservation organization in Western Massachusetts.
Jenny’s moxie is like a snowball that keeps getting bigger! She adds a bit more moxie with every opportunity and experience she encounters. She has worked to improve the lives of others in ways that use her skills and talents while also getting out of her comfort zone and building her own capacities as well as those of the organizations and communities she serves.
Clem’s moxie startd with his mother’s efforts to keep him alive and safe from the Nazis in Poland during World War II. As a child, Clem witnessed his mother’s fierce bravery and moxie in the face of Nazi atrocities, alongside the kindness of Catholic nuns in the convent where he was hidden for two years. After the war, Clem and his mother immigrated to the United States where he became a psychologist and psychoanalyst and has maintained a private practice for over 35 years.
Kelley strategically uses her considerable skills to create something that adds value and beauty to the world. Then she goes for it, bringing others along to develop collaborations and community. When Kelley moved to the Berkshires over 20 years ago, she decided the area needed a film festival. She set to work, combing the local community and persuading people and organizations to step up and partner with her. Step up they did – contributing time and talent, resources, and venues, and the Berkshire International Film Festival was born in 2006.
Michael Kevin Baldwin
Michael oozes moxie and uses his passion for the stage to help others cultivate their own. He believes educating people of all ages in the theater arts is empowering, cathartic, and fosters empathy – and moxie. He loves drama – on the stage. And he loves the community that surrounds it. Michael is the associate artistic director and director of education of the Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, CT.
Chef Faye Hess
Chef Faye Hess has the winning recipe for moxie. She mixes love, joy, curiosity, fearlessness, resilience, and gratitude to produce a moxie souffle that won’t collapse. In her episode, Faye explored how she came to her love affair with food and how cooking for herself and others has been a foundation for her happiness and growth. She embraces failure as an opportunity to learn and forges into the unknown with incremental steps and lots of reflection.
Janine has been flexing her moxie muscle throughout her life. In every phase of her career, she has identified her strengths and pursued roles that would build on them. Her path has been a moxie mix of serendipity and strategy and an openness to embracing the opportunities presented to her. Janine also sees connections between people and the organizations she serves throughout her impressive public relations and marketing career. Through her creativity and vision of what’s possible, she creates synergy.
Simon’s curiosity is on steroids, and that curiosity, love of learning, and genuine interest in other people fuel his moxie. In his episode, we explored with Simon the role of philosophy in creating moxie. He shared his wisdom on how we have more in common than we think and how forming alliances and relationships based on those commonalities allows us to learn from others rather than judge them.
He explained that to philosophize is to take time and resist busyness. It’s about looking up and taking in the spaciousness around us with openness and without judgment. Cultivating a curious mindset is worthwhile work; putting down our tech and forming connections is imperative to our humanity. Simon is the Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he teaches philosophy. He is also a prolific writer and has published about a dozen books.
And that’s almost a wrap for us on the Main Street Moxie podcast for 2023, and what a year it has been. A huge thank you to our incredible guests who trusted us with their stories and allowed us to share them with the world. Thank you to our incredible podcast sponsors who make it all possible. And as for our readers, I hope that you’ll take a moment and check out our podcast, listen to one (or a few) of our guests, follow us on social media, sign up for our newsletter for updates, and give us feedback if you’re so inclined. •
To learn more about the Main Street Moxie podcast and our guests, visit us online at mainstreetmoxie.press, or follow us on social media at @mainstreetmoxiepodcast. You can listen right on our website, or we are also available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, and Overcast.