Bridge from Dreams to Action

Nan McKay Connects Brings You Podcast Stories with Inspirational Women and Men

Shannon Polson

True Grit Shannon Polson is a true Trailblazer, exemplifying true grit in courage, tenacity, and perseverance! She is a native of Alaska and at age nineteen she became the youngest woman ever to climb Denali, the highest mountain in North America. She then went on to summit Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro. She raced long-course triathlons and took journeys to Alaska’s Arctic After graduating from Duke University, she entered the military, becoming one of the first women to fly the Apache attack helicopter in the US Army. Her career as an Army officer and attack…

Read Bio / Listen to Podcast >

Black Lives Matter!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Adrienne Whitehead, Atlanta, GA

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since your wonderful daughter, Molly, introduced us by phone, and we began talking about your desire to provide a platform by which women of all walks of life, of all ages, and of various ethnic backgrounds can share their experiences. You may recall my first question (really to myself): Is there a difference between “who I am” and “who I am NOW?” … to which you responded: “Life never quite turns out as we thought it would, and that’s an important lesson...” What has amazed me about the TrailBlazers podcasts is that even though I’m an African American woman, now enjoying my own version of retirement, I find that I can relate to, and (even at this stage of my life) have learned from, each of the featured TrailBlazers, especially their different approaches to problem-solving and challenges. Thanks for giving us this invaluable platform.

Olivia Denton-Koopman, Chicago, IL

Just listened to your podcast with Janice – it was so interesting! I’m still playing catch up on some of the older ones but am about half way through. I love the stories and appreciate the perspective it gives.

Molly Williams, Portland, OR

These interviews are such a great resource and interesting listen– keep up the good work! It was easy to go to the App Store on my iPhone and search and download the “Apple Podcast” app - then quickly typed in and found trailblazerimpact and clicked on the interview– simple! I’m getting into the habit of just popping on the app to listen on my work commute and at lunch when it is just me and my phone. Many interesting life histories to light the path forward for all – thank you!

Desiree Doubrox, San Diego

Trailblazers Impact! A name true to the heart of it's hosts, Nan McKay and Dee Dee Strum. I'm a avid podcaster listener and find the intimate stories about these amazing women fascinating and empowering. It makes me feel blessed to be a woman and inspired to be the best woman I can be.

Andrea Hudnell, San Diego, CA

I wanted to say THANK YOU. I have been glued to your podcast. It has been so inspirational and informative. I have shared it with all of the important women in my life. I want to thank you for being just who you are!

Unabyrd Wadhams, Baltimore, MD

As a long time housing official with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a woman who matriculated through diverse and challenging landscapes, I am incredibly thankful for the Community Trailblazers podcast and highly recommend it to others.

Sarah Arlt Lutz, Dallas, TX

I truly enjoy listening to your TrailBlazers podcast.  The one with Molly McKay Williams brought me to tears – so inspiring!

Sandra Reault

I am so glad I found this podcast. The conversations are insightful, relevant and mindful of the issues housing has faced, faces today and will face tomorrow. Each interview I have listened to has provided me with a unique perspective from a knowledgeable professional. I value the contributions and look forward to more discussions for innovation, holistic problem solving and better alternatives in the production, delivery and management of affordable housing to come.

Eileen S. Lenson, MSW, ACSW, BCC, Irvine, CA

This website is clean and easy on the eye, heavily laden with excellent content yet easy to navigate.  While Trailblazers Impact would be a good resource at any point in our lives, it is especially valuable during these challenging times.  The pandemic has resulted in many of us slowing down, being more introspective, and pushing the reset button on our values and priorities.  Trailblazers Impact isn’t just a good and timely read.  Nan McKay’s interviews of women who have experienced challenging events provide a tool that helps empower us in achieving our own personal goals.

Roseland Salgado, Vallejo, CA

Phenomenal podcasts! The podcasts are inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting. Thank you so much for sharing these triumphs, journeys, and stories with the world.

Jason Lee, San Diego, CA

What a treat to listen to Mr. Ink! Thank you, Nan, for letting Mr. Ink tell his story. What other format would take the time to let him roll out his story at his pace?   This was a great glimpse of how government and politics were run. It’s also a reminder that integrity and a belief in doing the right thing is timeless. It shows that what we think are unique issues that only impact us today are just  different versions of fights others have fought. Mr. Ink is a great example of doing the right thing even if it’s not the easy or popular thing to do. My favorite line of his was, “It seemed to be that people get weak kneed when they don’t need to.” He was talking about big things like standing up to systemic wrongs and fighting injustice and corruption, but he seemed to do the right thing naturally -- almost like breathing. I am sure there are more examples of courageous people like him driving our government forward, but especially in these times, we could use a lot more Mr. Inks in the world.