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Taking A Stand Against Fascism With George Drost

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The rise of extremists, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and other hate groups is becoming extremely alarming. As fascism continues to loom over modern society, humanity’s hope for a peaceful future is at serious risk. George Drost takes a non-traditional approach in taking a stand against fascist ideologies by utilizing the art of fictionalized storytelling. He sits down with Corinna Bellizzi to discuss how he uses fiction to convey resonating real-life lessons. George also shares valuable lessons he discovered by looking back on his own family history and the undeniable importance of rules.

 

About George Drost

Care More Be Better | George Drost | FascismGeorge Drost is a man on a mission to preserve the art, culture, and stories of Moravia, a region in the Czech Republic that is rich in history and tradition. As the youngest son of John Anton Drost, who was born in Moravia in 1909, George grew up hearing stories of his father’s childhood and his experiences during World War II. These stories left a deep impression on George, who has since become an advocate for preserving the memory of his father and the people of Moravia.

 

Guest LinkedIn: https://www.thequietherobook.com

 

Show Notes: 

03:11 – Father’s Influence

04:45 – Semi-fictionalized Memoir

10:13 – Quiet Form Of Heroism

12:38 – Family History

17:59 – Real-Life Stories

26:38 – Rules

30:22 – Favorite Story

31:40 – Lessons From Father

37:11 – Closing Words

 

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Taking A Stand Against Fascism With George Drost

With the rise of extremist groups, neo-Nazis, White nationalists, and other hate groups, it’s high time that we look through the lens of history and think about what people in the future will say about the era that we’re living in. Frankly, it may take a lot of work for us to stand up with courage and fight for what’s right against the rising tide of fascism here and abroad.

As we delve into this topic, I’m joined by the father of my business bestie, Julie Drost Lokun. Now, George Drost is a man on a mission to preserve the art, culture, and stories of Moravia, a region in the Czech Republic that is rich in history and deeply steeped in tradition. As the youngest son of John Anton Drost, who was born in Moravia in 1909, George grew up hearing the incredible stories of his father’s childhood and his experience during World War II.

George has since become an advocate for preserving the memory of his father and the people of Moravia. He co-authored a new book called The Quiet Hero: Bridge to Freedom. This is a gripping emotional tale that’s based on the memoirs of his father, John A. Drost. It’s lovingly fictionalized by the talented storyteller Nicki Pascarella. This story-driven format does two things. It keeps us turning the pages, rooting for the hero of the story, and it also keeps us on the edge of our seats. It’s available now on Amazon.com and with that, I’m so thrilled to bring you George Drost. Welcome to the show.

Thank you. That is a very nice introduction. I appreciate being on your program.

Father’s Influence

I was in a Clubhouse room with you. They were reading excerpts from the book and I said, “For one, I have to read this. Two, I want to interview him.” I’m glad that you could make this time on short order so we can bring this to our audience in a timely capacity. I wanted to start by first learning more about you and hearing how your father’s influence and his experience in World War II affected you growing up.

It’s a long story. My father died when he was 92 years old. You think you’d get a lot of time with the history but everybody is so busy. You don’t try to document all of those things and how they might impact you in your future life. Now it’s working with this next generation to see if some of these stories will be meaningful. My mom and other family members were instrumental in trying to connect things up and make some sense out of this long history of my dad and my mom.

Hearing the stories of your father working to preserve the culture and the antiquities that might be family heirlooms from rugs to pieces of art, that impacted you too growing up, I would imagine.

It’s made me a collector or maybe a hoarder. Certainly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, at least in the context of what those interests were. It’s being able to have a tactile sense of sharing a history with something real to me and became even more real when we redid my dad’s memoir.

Semi-Fictionalized Memoir

What inspired you to bring it out now and to do so in a semi-fictionalized perspective?

In the 1990s, I encouraged my dad to try to write memoirs to represent what his life and our family’s life was like beginning from his birth and even before that with some of the antecedents in our family. He cut out to write the book and we hired an author, a writer, and a co-writer. The book was written before he died in 2002. It then sat dormant.

It wasn’t until my daughter Julie, with associations like Corinna and others, tried to tell stories. She felt it was a great story. With writers, stories are best told of things you know. Julie and I knew our family members, but we didn’t know the whole story. We learned a lot as we went through it. Nicki’s excellent professional writing helped to tell this tale which is pretty close to consistent and accurate with a memoir. It is fictionalized in the sense that it makes it a little bit less dry and a little more exciting with some of the mortar that you put between the bricks to make it pop.

As a fiction piece, you get to a broader audience who can learn with you as they’re reading through its pages and make it digestible. I found it to be a page-turner, as I shared in the beginning. It kept you on the edge of your seat, wondering what would happen next. Even though you know that ultimately, he survived. You’re on the edge of your seat with a bit of fear and you don’t know what’s going to happen to all of the characters that are expressed throughout. It’s a fun read from that perspective if you could call a book about World War II fun.

It goes to the build-up of what Nicki did in the way that she developed the book. It started at the early ages and those events that impacted my dad and our family, whether it was hanging out with kids in the old schoolyard, then the taunting and the mockery, but the good times too that the young people had, and the disappointed interruptions, an angry forest preserve ranger who shoots a dog. You then have these images that transfer into how the government and the Nazis, in particular, were treating people like dogs without the rule of law and without any sense of compassion based on misunderstood ideas of the Rosenberg race laws and how those were convoluted to pit people against individuals.

The bits that you get from the book are forms of resistance. There wasn’t any huge James Bond event in the book where Dad comes out with his ordinance and fights off 2,000 Nazis and wins the war. These were these smaller cunning acts of courage to upset the rulers and some of the false policies that they were trying to promote. It is good in that context.

There’s the piece about the nationalists after World War II. Because you have a German last name, you become associated with a Nazi fellow traveler or a collaborator, and how that was upsetting. The ultimate act in Europe when the communists took over and turned society on its head again for my folks, which forced them to flee and leave me behind.

Stories like that were more common in that period. In my own family, my grandmother also got separated from her family for a while. You don’t hear about those sorts of things happening as much now unless you’re talking again about truly war-torn regions. For example, we see people of Syria who have left that area, or if you’re now looking at conflicts in other spaces around the globe, from Ukraine to the Gaza Strip to South America somewhere, the stories are coming up again of families being separated and the damage that does.

Quiet Form Of Heroism

Sometimes they’re not even able to locate one another again. They’re essentially orphaned or a person alone. That is hard for people living in America today to truly understand because enough of these stories, they seem removed from their real lives. They’re removed from their lives of today. A couple of generations ago, they were the reality of people living throughout Europe. We forget too soon how devastating that can be. It’s like you have this wave that comes up again. The extremism starts to take root again. I wonder if there’s a particular story from the book that resonates with you and perhaps we could learn from and integrate into our own quiet form of heroism.

Those points you bring up are important. This is history repeating itself. It may be in new wine in old bottles or old wine in new bottles. There’s always some similarity and a consistency of history does repeat itself but it rhymes a lot. The dislocations to a certain more immediate effect have been through the immigration-migration policies. People are trying to move more on an economic basis rather than a political basis to find a home in the United States.

That’s the story where the United States continues to be the bastion of freedom despite all of its flaws that we hear repeatedly day after day and night after night on the news runs that you hear. In this story, there are smaller pieces of it. One story that I liked that was developed during the time that Nicki and Julie were working on the book was how you get out of Czechoslovakia at that time to escape to freedom and the different plots that were concocted not only to get my dad, my mom, my brother, and myself out.

One of them was to hijack an airplane. My dad was offered a seat on an airplane that was going to be hijacked. It was successfully hijacked by my godfather’s son-in-law, Vladimir Nedved. It was documented as probably the second air hijack in history. My dad chickened out. He didn’t want to go. Part of it was he was uncertain that he didn’t want to leave his wife and two kids behind. He had to make a better plan that didn’t have this huge risk factor. One of the things for sure is he wanted freedom. He wanted to live and bring his family up. Those are stories. The complications of getting me across the border during the communist times and what it intrigues you have to go through to accomplish the mission of reuniting families.

Family History

As you have shared with me, some amazing pictures from the history of your family. For those who are watching on YouTube, I’m going to bring that screen up. The rest of our audience can go to our blog page later and take a look at these pictures. They can offer a jumping-off point for us to talk a little bit more deeply about some of these stories that you have to share. You’ve included some pictures here from your history including Louina Drost and your grandfather, Theodore Drost who were alive and who survived World War I, then your family next has to deal with World War II. What do these pictures mean to you?

They give you a real connection. Some people bore your name or genes that existed well before you entered the scene. You try to draw from what knowledge we have of these family members and how that impacts the current generation, my generation, and the ones that are now succeeding me. You see Theodore and his second wife, Laura. He was married four times. He was a man about town.

 

Some people bear your name and genes before you even existed. Draw from their knowledge and how that imparts to the current and future generations.

 

That’s my dad. He’s been married five times.

Theodore was also pretty clever and a wonk. He invented a process of crystallization of beats to be a sugar substitute. He was an inventor and maybe the inventive mind did affect some of his lifestyle habits. There’s Anna. This is an excellent photo of her giving her top-to-bottom full-length and my grandfather, Otto Drost. Anna was Jewish. She was a Jew coming from the Deutsch family.

I was in Moravia in March and I found out so many things. I was interviewed by an organization called Post Bellum, which is an oral history depository memory of nations. They were trying to put more facts together so that they could make sense of what happened pre-World War II and post-World War II. The journalist did provide me with information about the Deutsch family. That was Anna Deutsch-Drost. She was a Jew and was converted to Christianity and Lutheranism before she married Otto.

I had documents that confirmed at least three of our family members were Holocaust victims and that maybe seventeen more were murdered by the Nazis. That has now led me to memorialize and remember those antecedents in our family that perished. There’s a Staebler Stein program where you get the stumbling stones. You can put the plaques on the sidewalk once you identify the individual and the location of where they last lived.

I’m at this point of trying to connect with the Jewish community in Brno to have a little ceremony. These are the things that were brought out through the book. They impacted me and I went to the Jewish cemetery where I saw the family grave site. It was pretty interesting. One of the ironies and one of the unique things is one of the neighbors was Joseph Pulitzer of the Pulitzer Publishing family. The person who created the newspaper chains. Out of these little communities in Moravia, you had these people who fled earlier and accomplished quite a bit in the land of the brave and free.

In the story that you tell with the Quiet Hero, you share that Jan is having to confront German officers who are saying things like, “I know about your family history,” and questioning whether he was German enough to still be of service. I wondered if that was a close mirror to what he had written or if some of that was expounded upon and the fictionalization of the work.

Care More Be Better | George Drost | Fascism
The Quiet Hero: Bridge to Freedom

 

According to the testimony of my father, it was correct and probably not as detailed as I would have wanted. The Gestapo was very ruthless in what they did. Sometimes they would conjecture facts and would make up facts to try to intimidate the people that they were interviewing. They had a process that wasn’t totally arbitrary. They stacked the cards against you as they were trying to win the approval of the higher-ups that they were deporting and disposing of these raggedy-taggedy elements in society, this Jewish curse that might be persistent, and get those Jews out of this Aryan culture that we’re trying to create.

Real-Life Stories

As I share this particular slide with John, Doris, and Bobi, these are individuals that are within the pages of the book. All of the characters or most of them, at least, are based on real-life individuals and real-life stories. I wondered if there was a particular story from the book that you wanted to retell for our audience now.

Another point or a poignant point of it is when my dad went to law school, he didn’t follow in the family business because that was going to be his older brother who was going to take over the typewriter shop, which was what I’d call the iPhone store in Brno where you had portable typewriters. Imagine this was the way of social media, typing, and to be able to take them out of your home or out of your office and start typing and communicating in multiple fashions with carbon copies.

I’m old enough to remember them. I had an antique typewriter much like the one depicted on QuietHeroBook.com. On one of your pages, you show a typewriter and perhaps that’s also in this slide deck. It looked a lot like the one I had, the hunting pack growing up. You have to hit those keys pretty darn hard to get the thing to actuate all the way to make an imprint. At the time, they could practically trace a single typewriter to a single document. Often, that was a tactic that would be used to persecute more people. You closely talk about that in one scene where you’re essentially telling the story if they discovered the typewriter and saw how the ink of the O would appear on a document that he’d be done.

The alignment of the keys or the way the keys were formed when they were produced for the typewriter takes on an individual characteristic. This was at the analytics of that time where you have cookies here and you’ve got typewriter samples that are held in the police registries. They could track you down if they found a document that came off of your typewriter and trace it to you.

That’s not repeated or often well-known as a way to corral those resistors. The point I was going to make, my dad going to law school and not choosing to be a typewriter shop guy was he went to Masaryk University and graduated in 1932. One of the things you felt so honored about was when the first President of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Masaryk, was there to be presented and introduced to the student body of the university named after him. He was in the honor guard and met Masaryk.

Fast forward a few more years ahead in ’39. That university, from being this bastion of freedom and intellectual thought and being a place that was revered by the Moravians, became Gestapo headquarters. That was a 180 turn of the idea of what that law school was supposed to be on its head. These things impacted my dad as to why such a good thing can become so a bad thing, at least for him.

These are the stories. This picture in the right corner, that’s got one of the Deutsch ones. That’s my maternal grandmother, Jana, then an uncle, and two of the Deutsch people. One of whom has perished in the Holocaust. These are those pre-World War II. The world’s not going to change. They try to give you a sense of calm and normalcy. They don’t. They get ripped apart.

The quiet before the storm. Even looking at this little dog in the motorcycle. It’s adorable and they were so in love too. You tell the story of Yon meeting your mom and falling in love instantly. They’re time together in the honeymoon phase within the pages of the book too.

Grandma Matala, Yana, and this is one of the things I found out in March. She spent three years in jail because she was complicit in my departure being smuggled out of the Czech lands.

This is Doris’s mother you’re speaking of.

Yes. There’s Uncle Stana, who was the guy that ratted on my dad. He was the one who pointed out to the post-World War II government that maybe my brother-in-law was a collaborator. You see the dichotomy here or, the difference. One was trying to get me free and the other was trying to maybe coddle favor.

It was a difficult time for people and individuals responded differently. Your father was working to preserve heritage and culture and try to protect the assets of people who were stripped of all of their belongings. Doris’s mother, his wife’s mother, was of that same elk, then her brother, Stana, maybe looking out for himself a little bit, which was also common. This is part of what tore families apart.

That is very true. There’s one of the characteristics that sometimes is applied to Czechs. There’s some jealousy. Stana may not be the favorite brother-in-law of my dad. There could have been some jealousy, but we will do some further research. This is the Harry Lyme movie of the third-man setting. There are a couple of marching and walking across the Charles Bridge in Prague. It almost looks like they’re trying to run away from something. We like that photo.

Walking briskly for certain.

Six months after they were married. These are examples of how I was quickly Americanized by wearing a cowboy’s suit that we had to have in early Christmas. It was our second Christmas in the United States. We’re starting to assimilate, my dad, my mom, my brother, and little George under the armpit of my dad. It gives you a little flavor for people and that they’re real people. They have aspirations that are not uncommon. To your point, people aren’t that different. They want to protect their interest, their families, and those institutions that act as an umbrella over those basic needs and instincts that people have. Don’t kill me.

Care More Be Better | George Drost | Fascism
Fascism: People are not that different. They want to protect their interests, families, and institutions overact as an umbrella under those basic needs and instincts people have.

 

We got a taste of this during COVID. People become more insular when there is a threat from the outside. Suddenly, people are hoarding toilet paper and going and buying all the flour and sugar from the shelves at the grocery store because we don’t tend to think as far beyond our own households when there is tragedy coming at us and uncertainty from all ends. That’s when fear starts to drive behavior more.

If we can look at these things with eyes wide open and think about the impact and the greater impact, fiction and true stories even told through fiction help us to do that. It helps us to remain honest with ourselves, think about what could be next, and try to retain that sense of community a little longer and stronger and build togetherness as opposed to separation.

My father has often said that his reason for not being religious is that he believes that organized religion is very good at creating systems of control. That can be true at a certain point when you’re talking about the people who you would define as being very Catholic as opposed to the people who go, “We go to church here and there.”

Rules

I wonder in a way if it’s something that has become too entrenched in culture to think first in the United States of the individual and not of the whole because we have driven towards this individualistic success and individualistic perspective. That’s part of the American dream in a way, but that also separates us from one another a bit. I wonder what your thoughts are about that.

To your dad, we need rules. There’s a rule of law, which is important. You don’t have to love religion or like it but religion can be very positive with rules, understanding, and theology. In government, you want to be an individual, but you need to have certain constructs that people can’t form their own armies to protect themselves. They can’t mint their own coins. They can’t go build their own interstates. They need to have some cooperative efforts that work for the common good and the preservation of that freedom that they have.

In life, nothing is absolute and not 100% freedom. You’re provided with liberty but it’s not libertine where you do what you want to do with no rule. There was a presidential candidate. If I walked down 5th Avenue in New York, I could take my gun out and shoot anybody. No one would do anything. That is not a good way to run a society.

We probably know who that was, but yes.

We do or in some form, that presidential candidate said that. You do need to have constructs. You need to have some guardrails. You need to have some boundaries. Otherwise, it doesn’t work. Whether you take religion or not, or if you’re an agnostic or an atheist, you have to have some rules to survive. Where do you get your orange juice from or a cat litter? There has to be some organized system to be able to distribute and produce goods and services and not just decide, “I don’t want to work. I don’t want to distribute the milk. I don’t want to go in and operate on Corinna’s foot.” You need to have expectations and rules to be able to create a society that hopefully, will be a fair and just society.

 

You do need to have constructs. Without guardrails and boundaries, your plans would never work.

 

Some people don’t want to pay taxes and yet they forget that the bridge that they just drove over has a cost to it. Ensuring that the roads on your block aren’t full of potholes has a cost to it and education for the young children has a cost to it. These things are community-based and they tend to be funded with some of our taxes. Part of that is organization and government. If we strip it back to the bare minimum, then we start to leave a lot of people behind. You get other societal issues that erupt from that as well like increases in crime and things along those lines.

Those unintended consequences look like a good deal, and a good deal for me may backfire and have that boomerang effect where maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. You want to think but not necessarily overthink stuff. To your earlier point, where history repeats itself. There are certain lessons that we learn from history.

There are things that you should be doing and shouldn’t be doing. We’re going through that with where free speech ends to where it becomes hate speech or where it becomes incendiary, where it develops antagonisms that go to reach violence. There’s that balance that society needs. There has to be some room. We’re imperfect but the idea is you try to do the best job you can with a sense of kindness and a sense of morality if you don’t or religious or ethical. There are some constructs that do support a society that can benefit a great majority of people.

Favorite Story

I wondered if there was a favorite story that you tell within the book that you wanted to share.

My favorite story is about Flock, the dog, and how the dog was a resistor. Peed on grapes, had a lot of fun with the kids and stole the food from the butcher. These were allegories of how people survived, but then the outcome was when the forest ranger made up his own rules to shoot the dog. It was favored in the sense that it heightened my sensitivity about how people could be cruel to one another. Again, using the dog as an example of not doing anything bad but just having the irrational hatred of this individual who either didn’t like the dog or didn’t like the owners of the dog and did something mean. It’s a story that I connected with.

We all love the stories of the dog. Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller will remain two of my favorite books forever.

Lassie was a hero and she didn’t have a driver’s license either.

Lessons From Father

I see some pretty fun depictions on postcards and things like that of dogs driving but there’s always a human behind that pedal. As we prepare to wrap, I’d like to take a little bit of a how-to lens. What lessons do you think that your father left you with that you think are most applicable today?

You go with the word perseverance. I don’t like to think of myself as some righteous person, but a fair person and a humane person. Don’t give up on society. Don’t give up on yourself. In the wake of oppression and the storm of war and hardship, you can still level yourself, not lose your dignity, and still try to keep the hope alive. You’ve heard that term a lot, “Keep the faith alive.” Keep something that is part of the human spirit that doesn’t extinguish. To borrow the famous phrase from Annie, “You bet your bottom dollar on tomorrow.” Just don’t give up.

It’s that stick-to-itiveness. When you have a big challenge, then you have to keep at it. In this world, we’re confronted with some big challenges. You hear things about the climate getting too warm and what that’s going to mean for the global South. You have a big migration of people coming North. How do we tackle that challenge? How do we tackle the challenge of sharing technology and ensuring that people have equal access to be able to thrive and grow?

How do we tackle food insecurities around the globe? These are all big issues. We see that there’s been a disruption in the bread basket of Europe with the war in Ukraine. Food has become more expensive. How do we tackle that? These are things that become interconnected. As we become a more global society, they’re global concerns are not local concerns any longer. We do have to get to a space where we can think globally and still act locally, still engage in community, and still ensure that our interests are served on a local level.

As a part of a whole as opposed to sitting at home and staring at our belly buttons all day. At least, that’s my perspective and the perspective of many people who are looking at the climate challenges that we face, and growing uncertainty in certain spots around the globe as well from a political strife issue or war for resources. This problem has existed as long as humanity has existed. It’s not likely to go away anytime soon. We need to be able to stick to a problem and work to solve it.

Education, listening, and believing in issues that are provable by a non-biased approach where reality has to dictate. The ice caps are melting and your environment is burning up. There may maybe some causal connection to that that scientists have answers to. You have to take the remediation and the prevention and to correct those imbalances.

We also have to trust the specialists to know a thing or two about the things that they spend a lifetime researching. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve essentially been gaslit in media where I show some proof or make a comment about what’s happening with the weather patterns. People are saying, “Show me the research and prove it.” The next thing is like, “The scientific community agrees these are happening. The proof is all over the place. If you’re not satisfied with that, I’m not going to change it for you.”

Unfortunately, we’ve gotten to a position in our society, especially in America, where people get to this diametrically opposed viewpoint and they aren’t listening to each other anymore. I think we need to spend more time actively listening and engaging with one another and understanding or coming from a place where we already understand before we commence conversing or arguing about these ideas or our ideas that we have more in common than we don’t.

If we can start there and find commonality, then we can get to the root of the problem and perhaps, the concerns and the fears that underlie those problems, then work to solve them together. To me, the key solution that we need to work toward is this collaborative framework or collaboration and even our learnings. Fiction can help us get there too because if you can entertain someone for a little bit and teach them something at the same time, then you’re getting somewhere.

Your points are so well taken with finding the things that unite us rather than divide us. It’s not a perfect world, but the great majority of people don’t want to do harm. They want to make the world a better place and it’s coming to some compromises and working things out without becoming an authoritarian dictatorship where history undermines the principles that are so attractive to individuals in their quest for individualism and freedom.

Closing Words

Thank you so much for joining me, George. I wonder if you have any closing thoughts that you’d like to share before I wrap up? Share where people can find out more about this book and your work.

Buy the book because it’s going to help support Julie’s kids getting through college. Seriously, we’d like you to read the book but we’re okay that way. It’s a treat to be able to share these thoughts and these ideas with you, Corinna. Keep the faith. Whatever faith there is. I don’t want to work on your dad too badly but there are ways to persevere and be a critical thinker and try to be a partner in society to make it a better place.

That’s a beautiful closing thought. Thank you, George. To find out more about George Drost, visit the links that we provide. You’ll find a direct link to purchase the Quiet Hero on Amazon and a link to our expanded blog page on CareMoreBeBetter.com. For those of you who’ve been reading only, you can go to that page and look at all of the beautiful pictures that George has provided of his family during and before World War II.

As a reminder, we’re prepping to launch our new cause before commerce site, CircleB.co. This site will host the same content that you find on CareMoreBeBetter.com, while also providing a helpful resource and tools to help you live a greener and more socially and locally engaged life. You’ll find how-to guides and DIY tools that can help you renew what you have, replace things that you buy, and even reduce your waste.

When it fully launches, CircleB.co will offer products from plastic-free housewares and clothing to health-promoting supplements and personal care items. All of these are circular in design that minimize waste and seek to limit or eliminate plastic use. You can explore our landing page now to learn more about this upcoming launch at CircleB.co. Thank you now and always for being a part of this show and this community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more, be better, ditch fascism, preserve community, and build the culture-rich future that we have. Thank you.

 

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Author

  • Corinna Bellizzi

    Corinna is a natural products industry executive who has earned a reputation for leading the development and growth of responsible brands (e.g. Nordic Naturals, iwi, NutriGold). In her professional life, she champions social benefit programs to enhance company impact while preserving and protecting our home planet. She’s presently working tirelessly on the development of a new pre-market that seeks to achieve a carbon-negative impact. In January 2021 she launched her show, Care More, Be Better: A Social Impact + Sustainability Podcast to amplify the efforts of inspired individuals and conscious companies. Through Care More Be Better, she shares their stories in an effort to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big impact. As part of her lifelong education journey, she earned her MBA from Santa Clara University, graduating at the top of her class with a triple focus in Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Marketing in June 2021.

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