My college friend, Joy Schwartz, and I launched our podcast in March 2016. Through this podcast, we discuss issues that impact working professionals – both at work and in life. Topics will range from career advice to networking to issues that face women in the workplace. 

This podcast is Joy and my way to connect with one another, but also to share our collective wisdom with our audience. As of December 2015, neither of us had any experience with recording or editing. Since then, we’ve taken Garageband by storm, figured out the right equipment we need, and are utilizing a number of collaboration sites in order to coordinate editing and posting remotely – as Joy is in Texas and I’m in Ohio. 

Joy and Natalie

Joy and I at our first recording session. 

Learn more about Joy at

Check out and subscribe to The Collective Voice on iTunes


Episode 18: You CAN do this with endurance athlete Sabina Piras – Natalie interviews Sabina Piras, a structural engineer by day and elite endurance athlete by early morning, evening, night and weekend. Most recently, Sabina qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials for the marathon; was the 1st place American at the Paris marathon, and has qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

Learn from Sabina’s infectious positive attitude as she recovered from injuries and personal setbacks. You’ll unquestionably leave this episode contemplating how you can incorporate more discipline and resolve into your own life.

For those of us in our 30s, feeling overwhelmed by career conundrums, home ownership, marriage, and/or parenting, let Sabina’s story transport you back to the confidence and invincibility you felt in your 20s.  We encourage some of you to channel some of that into the present! Connect with Sabina on Instagram @sabina_piras and her soon-to-be-updated website

Episode 17: Pausing to Celebrate our Milestones. Joy and Natalie push pause on podcast interviews to talk about three things:

  • Their wishes – specifically for women – in 2017: Joy highlights the importance of setting boundaries, knowing what you value, recognizing that these needs evolve and focusing on self-care. Natalie discusses the importance of speaking up, stepping out and taking action.
  • Podcast milestones – We recently have been syndicated through Live Lead Play and are well over 1000 downloads. We’ve featured 12 entrepreneurs – mostly women from Dallas who are inspiring us and our audience to take risks, say yes, and embrace our differences.
  • Personal milestones – We talk about the continued growth of our side hustles. For Joy, this includes teaching executive education courses at SMU, consulting in the community, and collaborating on events such as My Forward Life Clarity Retreat. For Natalie, this includes celebrating the first birthday and 5000 visits to Small Town Leadership, joining the church choir, and wrapping up her Certified Professional Coach certification through iPEC.

References: Slowing Down: Unexpected Ways to Thrive as a Female Leader by Sherry Welsh

Episode 16: Saying YES, AND with Improv Consultants Kayce Kuntz and Alex Null – Joy interviews Kayce Kuntz and Alex Null, talented owners and founders of “Improv to Improve,” a women-owned Improv and Teambuilding company.  Kuntz and Null offer teambuilding workshops for individuals and groups of all sizes to build leadership, communication, and listening skills, allowing participants to gain confidence while enhancing their ability to be more effective communicators and public speakers.

Episode 15: Finding Clarity with Jasmin Brand and Bonus Guest Jenny Bair: Joy interviews Jasmin Brand, a marketing and branding expert, with Darby James AND Jenny Bair, co-founder of Living Well Dallas. We asked Jasmin and Jenny to be part of today’s show to discuss their roles in and promote My Forward Life’s Clarity event, a movement and an innovative networking event to connect fun and fearless Texas women. There is no shortage of laughter, fun, and lighthearted girl power in this episode  Enjoy!


Episode 14 Transformative Communication with Alison Freeman: Alison is a highly experienced global, communications strategist, coach, and keynote presenter.  She is the president of AlliComm, a global communications consultancy and coaching firm, where she helps successful business leaders become more powerful communicators by being strategic, succinct, engaged, empathetic and business driven. She states that “Good leaders MUST BE great communicators because it is part of the job.”

Following are some highlights of Joy’s engaging and entertaining interview with Alison:

  • Being a gracious recipient of fearless feedback and the power in the self-awareness 
  • How much visual, vocal and verbal components matter 
  • Being resilient in the face of life’s challenges and letting go of the “not knowing”

Learn more about Alison Freeman and her work, visit, her YouTube Channel and 5 minute videos, Access Alison, or follow her on Twitter at the handle AccessAli, or via LinkedIn.


Episode 13: Communicating Image with Impact with Cathrine Hatcher – Joy interviews Cathrine Hatcher,  a Professional Speaker, an Image Communications Expert and President of Persōnas Image Dynamics.  Cathrine has worked with everyone from TV stars to Fortune 500 executives to improve their outward appearance, inner presence, and the ability to communicate effectively by aligning the non-verbal messages they project with their verbal messages. The episode covers topics from color psychology, common image-related challenges and wardrobe planning.  To learn more about Cathrine, visit: or email

Episode 12 – Reflection on Coach Training and 2016 –  In this brief and final episode of The Collective Voice in 2016, Natalie and Joy reflect on insights from a recent professional coaching training they attended together and a successful first year of podcasting.  

They discuss: Identifying your values and assessing whether you are living according to those values; Revisiting old rules and establishing new rules to guide our thoughts and behaviors; Engaging in a mindset shift focused on “the long game” and the “infinite game”; Everything in life is a continuous process and journey; Finding like-minded friends as sources of extrinsic motivation.

Episode 11 – Serious About Health with Betty Murray –  In this episode, Joy interviews Betty Murray, cofounder of the integrative and functional wellness Center, LivingWell Dallas. They discuss: The connection between mental, spiritual,and digestive health; The unfortunate realities of the modern US food system and conventional medicine, and what you can do about it; Betty’s amazing journey of transitioning from a high-powered corporate job to a whole new career; As a bonus, Joy discusses her own experience  on the path toward sustainable health and her connection to Living Well Dallas.

We also comment on Murray’s book, Cleanse: Detox your Body, Mind, and Spirit.

To learn more about Betty and Living Well Dallas, visit the practice website or Betty  To find functional medicine/wellness practitioners in your area the Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner Directory

Episode 10 – Exploring Life and Career Transitions with Alise Cortez – Joy interviews Alise Cortez in this episode, during which they explore Alise’s multiple identities: instructor, facilitator, lifelong learner, radio show host, consultant, entrepreneur, and world traveler. The theme threaded throughout the episode is how Alise continues to uncover unique and impactful opportunities to broaden and deepen her experience the more she courageously put herself out there. 

Be sure to catch Alise’s weekly radio show called “Working on Purpose,” which airs on Voice America’s Empowerment channel. To learn more about Alise and her work, visit her at


Episode 09 – Women Who Dare with René Delane – Natalie interviews René Delane in this podcast. René is the founder & CEO of Women Who Dare, where she offers speaking, coaching and consulting to corporations, organizations & individuals. René takes us on her journey from a town of 3,000 people and 850 square foot home to a career in numerous medical fields and eventually to founding her own company. René is an amazing storyteller and story curator, and this episode features several inspirational and noteworthy stories about the people she has encountered through both her work and day-to-day life. She recalls meeting Gloria Steinem at an airport security gate, Frank Hughes, retired NASA Chief of Space Flight Training and STEM advocate, and Deborah S. Delisle, former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education within the Obama Administration. 

Books and articles referenced in this episode include The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future  and René’s blog post “Born White”

Follow René on twitter @WomenwhoDare and contact her through her website


Episode 08 – Connecting Profession and Purpose with Dr. K. Shelette Stewart – Joy talks with Shelette – an author, speaker and consultant with an impressive career trajectory.   We address Dr. Stewart’s educational and career journey and what ultimately led her to transition from a lucrative and high profile career to starting her own business, becoming an author, and serving a university and community of corporate leaders through her role in the SMU-Cox Department of Executive Education. Dr. K. Shelette Stewart can be found at: and her book, Revelations in Business, is available on Amazon

Episode 07: Mentoring – Listen to insights on mentoring from a keynote Natalie delivered recently. Natalie and Joy discuss the benefits and shortcomings of both formal mentoring programs as well as mentoring relationships that are cultivated more organically. They share their own experiences as mentors and mentees. Natalie and Joy introduce and explain a 7-step framework created by Natalie and posted on her website for establishing and maintaining a strong mentoring relationship.

Joy covers one of the foundational steps for establishing a mentoring relationship, which include categorizing and assessing the strength of our network. She references an HBR article, The Three Networks You Need.  

Episode 06 – No Girls Allowed with Nihar Chhaya – This episode is an extension of Girl on Self crime we referred to in Episode 4, Own Worst Enemy, and the potential repercussions of what we do and say when communicating with others, especially men.  To get an insider view on the topic, Joy invited friend, former colleague, and executive coach with Partner Exec, Nihar Chhaya, to return to help our listeners better understand the pitfalls and challenges women face when communicating with men and pragmatic strategies for addressing those challenges. Cited authors in this episode include: Alexandra PetriAmy Cuddy, Marshall GoldsmithClaire Damken Brown and Audrey Nelson, and Sylvia Hewlett

Episode 05 – Coaching with Nihar Chhaya – In this episode, Joy interviews friend, former colleague, and executive coach, Nihar Chhaya, founder of Partner Exec., to get an insider view on executive coaching and how we can develop ourselves. Nihar begins by sharing his background and demystifying executive coaching for our listeners. His career over the past 20 years spans what he calls the three B’s – Business, Behavior and Best Practices in leadership development. He works with successful leaders that are stumbling due to some barrier, whether it’s internal or external. He also works privately with individuals who need a sounding board and accountability partner but prefer to work with a coach outside of their company. Nihar and Joy explore: Trust, vulnerability, benefits of coaching and how to find out what “old tapes” are being played about you and how to address them.

Episode 04 – We are our own worst enemy – This episode features a discussion about girl-on-girl and girl-on-self crime and tools and tips on how to catch ourselves in the act and overcome our tendency to judge and tear others down, when instead we should be supporting and lifting one another up. We bring in references from Amy Poehler, Scary Mommy, Huffington Post, and the book: What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know.  

Episode 03 – 5 Lessons for Career Success with Kathy Cleveland Bull – Joy and Natalie interview longtime friend and mentor, Kathy Cleveland Bull. Kathy is a highly regarded professional speaker, trainer and consultant. Her company, N-Compass Consulting, has helped clients on three continents “Navigate the Art and Science of Change”.  Listen for Kathy’s top lessons for career success – ranging from allowing for mystery in our life to the importance of collaboration. Learn more about Kathy’s business- N-Compass Consulting

Episode 02 – Networking Basics – Joy and Natalie explore why networking is important, the elevator pitch – how to craft one and when to use it, and how to “get personal” with your network.

Episode 01: Intro – In this session of The Collective Voice, Joy and Natalie will introduce themselves, the podcast, and what topics they will discuss.  Take 10 minutes to learn about the show creators!

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