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Bluetiful…Celebrating Kindness Leaders.

What does "bluetiful" mean?

Bluetiful is the ability to turn a sad or challenging situation that makes you or others feel blue into something that is truly beautiful.

What is a "Kindness Leader"?

A "kindness Leader" is the person that makes that blue situation into something beautiful, or as we say, "Bluetiful"!

The people we have chosen to be on this podcast are diverse. Some are leaders in business. Some are parents. Some have gone through a tremendous personal tragedy in their lives. Some have challenges. Some are just normal everyday people. The common bond is that they all have made something beautiful, or should I say, "bluetiful" out of a bad situation or tragedy...and all are willing to share their story. We hope you enjoy this podcast and meeting people who can identify with the bluetiful elements of their life…oh, and we hope listening makes you consider what is “bluetiful” in your own life.

Bluetiful Leaders Podcasts With Host, Allison Elkow Lazicky

To listen to any of these episodes, Click here -


Episode 1 - Being a Kindness Leader When Your Child Is a Diabetic

Guest - Tami Neumann

Listen, learn and enjoy as our show host, Allison Elkow-Lazicky talks with Kindness Leader, Tami Neumann about her son's diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes at the age of twelve and the six-year journey of learning to manage the highs and lows. Tami talks candidly about how the Rules of Improv helped guide her through the tougher times of managing the overwhelming world of Diabetes. Allison then talks to Tami about being the COO of Silver Dawn Training and the Dementia Raw Method.


Episode 2 - Getting To Bluetiful After Loss

Guest - Chris MacLellan

Join Allison as she chats with Chris MacLellan, creatively nicknamed, The Bow Tie Guy discussing how the grieving process is different for every person. Chris shares about his journey, his views on the topic of grief and the importance of being able to share your story. The show ends with a different twist as Allison poses a challenging but fun question to Chris and the viewers.


Episode 3 - Meaningful Life Enrichment in Care Communities Using the Arts

Guest - Kathryne Fassbender

Join host Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks with Kathryne "Kate" Fassbender about being a Certified Life Slips Facilitator and working with seniors living in care communities. Kate discusses how she spends her time looking at how, through the arts, we can inspire, promote and support those seeking healing, validation, and community. She and Allison discuss how art, music, and theatre are great ways to stimulate conversations when working with those with memory loss. If you work with or have family members with dementia, you will not want to miss this Bluetiful...Celebrating Kindness Leaders podcast.


Episode 4 - Could You Forgive the Man That Killed Your Child?

Guests - Mary and Bob McCaw

You will not want to miss this show. Join our host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she interviews Mary and Bob McCaw whose son, Billy was murdered in New Brunswick, NJ in 2014. As they share their emotional journey, they talk openly about how they came to a place that they were able to forgive the man convicted of murdering their son. They talk about their commitment to give, forgive and thanksgive every day in Billy's memory. This podcast speaks to the power of forgiveness, faith and the McCaw's message to Billy's friends that #lovealwayswins.


Episode 5 - It's Not Easy Being John Wayne In a Danny Tanner World

Guest - Marla Brown

Host Allison Elkow Lazicky talks with Marla Brown, a mother of nine who has homeschooled her children through elementary and junior high. Marla talks about her conservative views and her homeschooling thoughts. She explains her thoughts on being John Wayne in a Danny Tanner world.


Episode 6 - Communication, Empathy and Holding the Bucket

Guest - Cathy Braxton

Join host, Allison Elkow-Lazicky as she talks with Kindness Leader Cathy Braxton of Silver Dawn Training Institute and the Dementia Raw Program. Cathy talks about how she applies this communication approach, not only when working with those who have Dementia but also with her son who has Asperger's Disease. Cathy shares one of Allison's favorite stories regarding "holding the bucket'...listen and find out more!


Episode 7 - Find Your Laughter

Guest - Arlieta Hall

Join host, Allison Elkow-Lazicky as she chats with Kindness Leader, Arlieta Hall about how the Rules of Improv have made her a better caregiver for her Dad who has Dementia. Arlieta talks about how she taps in to his past and truly joins his journey to meet him where he is that day. Arlieta's positive attitude and creative approach will leave you totally in awe. This is an episode that you will not want to miss!


Episode 8 - What It Takes To Lead With Kindness In Mind

Guest - Julian Hagmann

Join host, Allison Elkow-Lazicky as she chats with Julian Hagmann, Director of Operations and Business Development at Caring Professionals Home Care in NYC. Julian tells us how he accomplishes being a Kindness Leader each and every day and what he does to help others grow to be Kindness Leaders. He also shares his best day...and his perfect pizza choice! If you want to grow as a leader, this podcast is for you.


Episode 9 - Grace Wins

Guest - Pastor Jon Coords

Join Bluetiful Host, Allison Elkow-Lazicky as she chats with Jon Coords, Campus Pastor of Liquid Church in Somerset County. Jon talks about the Church and many of the programs that make it unique. You will quickly discover that Jon serves his campus with kindness and truly strives for it to be a relaxed, comfortable church setting for all. You will be moved by the programs they provide locally and globally. Jon also shares what his "5-year-old self" would ask him if he came back to visit after all these years. This episode exudes positivity...enjoy it!


Episode 10 - "Share Your Sparkle Movement" to Help Raise Money for a Special Needs Athletic Complex

Guest - Mary Kaba Valis

Host Allison Elkow-Lazicky chats with Chief "Sparkling" Officer Mary Kaba-Valis about her "Share Your Sparkle Movement." She talks about their upcoming fundraiser, The Roaring Twenties and All That Jazz" to support Toms River's Field of Dreams, a project to help those with special needs have a place to enjoy baseball, wheelchair accessible miniature golf, adaptive playground equipment, and basketball. Mary Kaba Valis talks candidly about giving back to others, positivity and those who have gone above and beyond. You will be lifted up with Mary's sense of humor, incredible attitude about serving others and genuine love of people.


Episode 11 - Leading the Care of a Prominent Leader

Guest - Colleen Kavanaugh

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks with Podcaster and Life Casting Coach, Colleen Kavanaugh about leading the care team for her Dad, a prominent leader, and business owner in the community. Colleen touches on themes of dignity, respect, what to share and how to word it when dealing with dementia issues. She also shares some great tips on how she joined her Dad through his care journey and gives advice she wished she had gotten prior to being a caregiver for him. Colleen's combination of her wealth of knowledge, her extensive family caregiving experience and her love for her parents make this a truly "bluetiful" podcast.


Episode 12 - Love, Loss and Leadership-The Village Needed after Losing Your Spouse

Guest - Meredith Sullivan Benton

Join host Allison Elkow-Lazicky as she talks with Meredith Sullivan Benton about tragically losing her husband, Jim shortly after adopting their daughter, Addy. Meredith talks about the strength she drew from the support of co-workers and leaders at a job that she had just started. She discusses the specific leadership traits of Jim as a teacher, her co-workers after he passed, and those she has seen in her 5-year-old daughter, Addy. This show will take you through an array of emotions as you hear not only about the kindness of people Meredith knew and was surrounded by but also by people she did not know including baseball great, R.A. Dickey...


Episode 13 - If You Build It, Those With Special Needs Will Come - A Couple's "Bluetiful" Story Behind the Tom's River Field of Dreams

Guest - Christian Kane

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks with the inspiring Christian Kane about a tragic car accident that left his young son, Gavin with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Christian talks about the accident, Gavin's progress and how his incredible wife, Mary leads Gavin's care schedule each day. Christian also shares how Gavin's positivity has inspired he and Mary to spearhead a project, the "Toms River Field of Dreams" which will turn 3 acres of land at By Lea Park into a complex for people with special needs. The park will allow them access to rehabilitative stations, a temperature-controlled pavilion, complimentary snack shack, courts for basketball, bocce and shuffleboard, a state of the art all-inclusive playground, a quiet corner, baseball field and rehabilitative fitness station. Prepare to be inspired by this incredible couple's story.


Episode 14 - Kindness Leaders Caring For Holocaust Survivors

Guest - Adina Katz

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks to Adina Katz of Caring Professionals about their Holocaust Survivors Program. Adina talks about qualities needed to care for people who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust as well as triggers that can set them off and why. Adina also shares a story of going the extra mile. The kindness that Adina, her co-workers, and the caregivers show to these patients is inspiring. Enjoy this episode.


Episode 15 - Laugh, Learn, Love, & Lighten Up Through Play With Mindy Bolton

Guest - Mindy Bolton

Join our host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks with the imaginative and creative Mindy Bolton about her Playscriptions Program. Mindy is an Intergenerational Creative Engagagement Specialist that assists people to tap into their personal sense of peace and play. Mindy talks about giving people permission to play, and just what that looks like. She describes how play can feel across all the generations. `You won't want to miss this show as Mindy is truly an inspiring "Kindness Leader".


Episode 16 - Traits to Look For When Hiring Leaders in Assisted Living

Guest - Tami Neumann

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she and Tami Neumann discuss traits to look for when hiring managers in an Assisted Living. From charisma to the power of woo...from empathy to curious...from clarity to persuasion...they discuss what traits they like to see with what leaders. They share stories of their Assisted Living careers and have lots of laughs in this episode. The show ends with Tami answering the 10 "Inside the Actors Studio Questions".


Episode 17 - Why Kindness Leaders in Healthcare Should Utilize Strengths Finder Training With Their Teams

Guest - Cathy Braxton

Bluetiful Leader host, Allison Lazicky talks with Cathy Braxton about the Clifton Strengths Finders assessment and how it has helped she and her business partner, Tami Neuman understand each other and the strengths they each bring to their company, Silver Dawn Training. If you are looking for a way to engage your team, this will explain how the Strengths Finder assessment will do just that. This episode is filled with some good information...some great laughs and a most classic answer of how God will react when Cathy Braxton enters Heaven!


Episode 18 - Learn How Erica Hornthal Uses Dance/Movement Therapy to Stimulate Older Adults Diagnosed With Dementia

Guest - Erica Hornthal

Join host Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks to Erica Hornthal, the Founder and President of Chicago Dance Therapy about the effects of dance and movement on seniors with dementia and movement disorders. Erica shares real-life stories from working with this population and how the small breakthroughs during their sessions make a big difference to the patients and their families. Prepare to be amazed at Erica's passion for what she does in this heartwarming podcast.


Episode 19 - Susan Anderson Salutes the Kindness Leaders in the Life of Her Special Needs Daughter, Kara

Guest - Susan Anderson

Join us as host Allison Elkow Lazicky talks with Susan Anderson about her special needs daughter Kara. Susan talks openly about the challenges they have faced with Kara's care journey and the Kindness Leaders that have supported them both at Woods Services in Bucks County, PA where Kara resides and those in their hometown of Hillsborough, NJ. As you listen, you will be inspired by Susan who is truly an advocate, a warrior, a fighter and a hero when it comes to her special needs daughter. Allison and Susan discuss congregate care, advocacy and the positive changes with the new CEO at Woods Services, Tine Hansen-Turton. They also discuss the creation of Kara's Quilts, an initiative started by some of the friends and supporters in their neighborhood. Whether or not you live in the world of people with special needs, you will want to listen to this moving and motivational podcast.

Episode 21 - A Community Leader Talks About Advocacy and Leadership

Guest - Faigie Horowitz

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky, as she chats with Faigie Horowitz about her passions...advocacy, writing, motivational speaking, her faith community and her work at Caring Professionals. Faigie talks about Rachel's Place a shelter she helped create in Brooklyn, NY for homeless girls. Faigie discusses what traits make great leaders able to connect with the people they serve. She shares some great real-life "kindness leadership" examples of empathy and understanding at Caring Professionals Home Care where employees have displayed great leadership going above-and-beyond for the seniors they care for. This is an episode packed with insight on leadership and giving that you won't want to miss.


Episode 22 - Too Phased...a Story of Pain, Persistence, Strength, Kindness Leaders and Love...

Guest - Christine Rucci

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she interviews Christine Rucci, a woman who, following a car accident in the early 1980's has endured 30+ facial surgeries as a result. Christine talks about her life, the highs, and lows following the surgeries and the psychological impact of it all. Today she works as a nurse and talks openly about how her experience and the challenges that she has overcome have made her incredibly empathetic. This show is a range of emotions but whether you are hearing the lows or the highs, one thing is consistent, and that is the strength, intelligence, positivity and both inner and outer beauty of Christine. This is an episode you won't want to miss.


Episode 23 - McKayl Novak

Let's Talk Fan Engagement with a  Jets Employee...

Join Bluetiful host, Allison Elkow Lazicky, as she interviews McKayl Novak on her job working in Promotions and Fan Engagement with the NY Jets, her goal to make a positive impact on everyone she meets and the ultimate job she someday dreams of doing! You will be entertained by McKayl's quick wit and your heart will be warmed by her positivity. Listen as she chats about being the youngest of three and the only girl and how that made her love being the center of attention. This young lady is going to take the world by storm on her quest to impact the lives of everyone she meets. Prepare for a healthy dose of positivity as you listen...


Episode 24 - Designing Your Life After Loss

Guest - Paula Zackeru

Join host, Allison Elkow Lazicky as she talks with Paula Zackeru about resiliency and going on with life after losing her brother, her husband and her Dad all within 17 months. Paula talks about creating her travel company, Sapphire Tours and the happiness she gets when providing people with a true New York City experience. She also shares a fun tale about the day NYC closed due to snow and what she did to make her customers have a "bluetiful" experience despite the weather. This podcast will show you what resiliency after loss looks like, for sure. Prepare to be inspired.





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