Stephanie and Tom Quehl are the proud parents of four boys. In September of 2021, they faced the worst tragedy when they lost their son, Jack, to a lethal dose of fentanyl-laced cocaine at the young age of 24. Jack was not an addict or a habitual drug user and had never intended to take fentanyl, but it unfortunately robbed him of his future. Jack’s background was filled with academic success, athletic achievement, family love, friends, and impact wherever he went (he was an avid traveler), not the profile anyone might expect in a story like this. But fentanyl doesn’t pick out its victims and deals loss and grief wherever it goes. Stephanie and Tom have courageously transformed their pain into a mission, founding the ‘Do It For Jack’ Foundation. Their work covers a wide range of initiatives including educating others on fentanyl, preventing overdoses, dealing with loss, and communication. This heartfelt and educational episode is a wake-up call to all parents on the dangers of substance abuse and delves into the Quehl’s journey, the power of community support, and insights on how they maintain open communication with their children. Their story is a testament to how love, resilience, and prayer can create the possibility of hope in the face of such heartbreak. You listen here or watch here.
Jennifer’s story is heartbreaking yet also powerful as it provides a unique lens into domestic violence, homelessness, and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit. 10 years into her marriage, she reached a breaking point after barely surviving an episode where she was beaten and almost set on fire. But it was the love of her son and eventually God’s spirit that put her on a long path of recovery towards finding a better life. Jennifer’s serendipitous encounter with Matt at the Logan International airport is not surprising once you get to know Jennifer and feel the grace and love that pours out openly from her heart. Her faith drives her and she is not one to miss an opportunity to help someone whose heart is also open or is in need of help. In the lively dialogue with Matt, Jennifer provides listeners with a deeply personal and enlightening perspective about her experience enduring domestic abuse, which led her and her son into a life of homelessness. As they faced the challenges of living in shelters and depending on soup kitchens, she sheds light on how she pulled herself up and found God healing her wounds and energizing her days. Now Jennifer is the one who takes time to advocate for local shelters and help others who are victims of domestic violence. Enjoy her story and how Jennifer dismantles societal misconceptions about homelessness and highlights the humanity, struggle and path of a person who might live these circumstances. Make sure to catch the end of the episode as she prays over all the listeners in the same way she prayed over Matt in the Boston airport. Whether you listen or view the interview , be prepared to be inspired and feel the energy from Jennifer and her extraordinary story of courage and faith.
In this insightful episode, we dive deep into the life of Howard Behar, the former president of Starbucks Coffee. As one of the founding leaders, he participated in expanding Starbucks from just 28 stores after joining in 1989 to over 15,000 stores in 5 continents after his 21 years of service ended. Since retiring, he has written 2 books It’s Not About The Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks and The Magic Cup: A Business Parable About a Leader, a Team, and the Power of Putting People and Values First. Howard is an experienced business leader, author and speaker who actively shares his wisdom with developing future leaders through his many speaking opportunities but also as a board member with many profit and non-profit companies. In this podcast, we explore Howard’s journey to leadership, challenges faced and personal philosophies that have shaped his career and life. Howard shares some powerful stories from early in his career, including a life-altering conversation with a leader of a company which led him to a path of self-discovery and the defining of his core values. As part of Howard’s journey, he also openly shares the challenges of battling depression and anxiety which were very present as he transitioned into retirement and searched for more purpose. This episode offers a profound look at how personal values and authenticity can drive a successful leader and Howard’s unique approach to leadership, his deep-rooted belief in prioritizing people over profits, and his commitment to authenticity. Don’t miss this inspiring conversation which is filled with unique insights and life lessons for us all. You can learn more about Howard, his books and his speaking engagement on his website, http://www.howardbehar.com/. You can listen this podcast here or watch it on YouTube.
Author Jen Pollock Michel has found that one of the keys to being a good writer is just paying attention and being curious about the world and your own questions. Many of her books are a reflection of her own human experience of faith and her journey to find purpose and where to lean among all the everyday challenges that we all face from our bills, loss we encounter, health obstacles and relationships. In her work as a talented writer, speaker, coach, and podcast host, she talks about relying on a creator and the guide the bible can be in navigating our challenges. She has now authored five books, including: A Habit Called Faith, Surprised by Paradox (winner of Christianity Today’s 2020 Award of Merit for Beautiful Orthodoxy), Keeping Place, and Teach Us to Want (winner of Christianity Today’s 2015 Book of the Year) and her latest book released in 2022, In Good Time, about developing a more grounded, healthy life giving relationship with the clock. Jen holds a B.A. in French from Wheaton College, an M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University, and is working to complete an M.F.A from Seattle Pacific University. After eleven years of living in Toronto, Jen now lives in Cincinnati with her husband and her two youngest children. You can follow Jen on Twitter and Instagram @jenpmichel, subscribe to her Monday letters at http://www.jenpollockmichel.com, and listen to episodes of the Englewood Review of Books podcast hosted by Jen. Grab a pen and paper, as this conversation with Matt is full of many insights you will want to jot down. You can listen the podcast here or you can view on YouTube.
In 1984, Jon’s life took an unexpected turn when the first symptoms of ulcerative colitis started to appear. In addition to the health hurdles, the disease brought with it various other social, athletic and just practical life challenges. Treatment options at that time were limited to steroids which brought such side effects as weight gain and trouble sleeping. Diet choices and awareness of the nearest restroom became part of the day. Jon initially kept his diagnosis private and he just tried his best to live normally. With newer medications, he learned how to manage his condition and obtained his degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1991. But shortly after college, it was recommended that his colon be removed, again the best option at that time for what he was facing. The surgery brought some relief and Jon continued to make the lifestyle adjustments with grace. Over the last few decades, he has built a successful career, has 3 kids, and makes time to help others who are facing similar medical obstacles. Through his strong faith, family support, and resilience, he has truly created an amazing life and found more joy than ever. He is engaged to Leesa who he will wed later in 2023 and is excited about the path ahead. Jon is currently a Sales Executive for Oswald Companies in Cincinnati and is a trusted resource for his clients in developing risk mitigation strategies. To learn more about Jon’s story, listen here or watch here.