Nan McKay Connects

Bringing you podcast stories from inspirational women and men

The Bridge from Dreams to Action

Latest Trailblazers Impact episodes

Neelam Chahlia

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 22, 2020

Mrs. Washington America: A First! Ep. 106 – Visualize yourself standing on the stage, wondering who will be crowned, and then . . . they call your name. Neelam Chahlia tells us what it is like to win Mrs. Washington America and then to go on to the nationals. She created history by being the…

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Janice Greene

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 21, 2020

I Lived in Two Different Worlds: Black and White Ep. 31 – How do you integrate yourself into a Black and White world where discrimination is the only language they speak? You learn to become a fighter for your own battles, pick the right people that help motivate you when the outside world doesn’t. That…

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Carolyn May

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 21, 2020

Pass the Torch to a New Generation Ep. 13 – Carolyn May actually witnessed President John Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech on the steps of the Capitol. She heard JFK beseech Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what You can do for your country,” and “This is the time the torch…

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Ruth White

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 15, 2020

What Do We Do with the Kids? Ep. 105 – What’s happening to children reaching an age to leave a foster home? What do we do with kids when there is not a good place to go?  Ruth White is the Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. Children need better…

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Shaune Arnold

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 14, 2020

I Divorced My Parents at Age 14 Ep. 4 – Shaune Arnold describes her emotional escape from an abusive household into the foster care system when she divorced her parents at age 14. From parental abandonment to foster care with sheer determination and grit, Attorney Shaune Arnold shares her journey from the darkest valley to…

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Latest Community Trailblazers episodes

David Smith

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 18, 2020

Part 2: The Affordable Housing Guru Reveals the Future Ep. 52 – Walk through an enclosed vestibule into a commercial building and mitigate safety COVID infection worries! Retrofit your house for safety! Change multifamily standards to ensure safety! Install an app that will let you know when someone with COVID is within your range. David…

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Carla A. Hills

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 18, 2020

Former U.S. Trade Ambassador and HUD Secretary Ep. 49 – What would it be like to be responsible for negotiating a trade agreement with China or Japan or any other world country? Imagine yourself about to take a high-level job with the Federal government when the news came on about the Saturday Night Massacre. Carla…

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Gerald Benoit

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 11, 2020

The Guru of Housing Vouchers Ep. 51 – Meet Gerald Benoit, referred to as Jerry, one of the icons from the 1970s and a member of the Academy of Housing and Communities. He started out by directing a Section 23 Leased Housing program for the department of HUD where he kept moving up to become…

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DeLois Strum

By TrailBlazersImpact | October 4, 2020

Making Her Mark as a Black Woman in Community Development Ep. 50 – Meet DeLois Strum, referred to as DeeDee, CEO of M.D. Strum LLC and a 40+ year entrepreneur, a public speaker, an affordable housing advocate, who is currently involved in offshore wind as a renewable source of energy. DeeDee has worked in the…

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Bruno Fulda

By TrailBlazersImpact | September 20, 2020

The French Global Change Agent Ep. 48 – Bruno Fulda is a Frenchman who is determined to bring real change on a global scale. He believes in regulated capitalism’s interface with climate change and why fighting poverty and inequality are some of the most important issues today. He discusses how sustainable development will address some…

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Best story always wins

  • Authentic and compelling
  • Empowering and inspiring
  • Engaging and encouraging

Inclusive by nature

  • Diverse Backgrounds
  • Motivational and life advice
  • Great personal development

Personal connection

  • Well-known experts
  • Variety of perspectives
  • Lifelong experiences

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.

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.

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.

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.

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