World Immunization Week 2016

April 24, 2016 is the start of World Immunization Week 2016, a week when WHO and other global health advocates highlight recent gains in immunization coverage, and focus on further steps countries can take to “Close the Immunization Gap” and meet global vaccination targets by 2020.

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, I will be hosting a FUNdraiser at Nuberri on Blairstone Road here in Tallahassee. Nuberri is donating 25% of the pre-tax amount of the checks for any customers who mention Shot at Life!

Having participated in three Shot at Life Champion summits, a Social Good summit, and other immunization-related trainings, I am well aware that the process of getting a vaccine to a child in a developing country is not as simple as, say, pulling down on a pump and getting a delicious cup of frozen yogurt. Still, there are similarities:

Worldwide Immunization Advocacy

Immunizations: The need is clear. One child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.

Yogurt: Well, OKAY – this is a want not a need but … FROZEN YOGURT PEOPLE!


Worldwide Immunization Advocacy

Immunizations: Planning is paramount in order to have the right vaccinations, in the right amount, at the right time.

Yogurt: A business has to plan in advance for what people are going to choose and when they are going to choose it.

Worldwide Immunization Advocacy

Immunizations: The process of manufacturing vaccines for developing countries involves a dizzying array of details.

Yogurt: That deliciousness doesn’t happen magically. Someone has to mix up the components of the tasty treaWorldwide Immunization Advocacyts!

Immunizations: Many vaccines must be stored at cool temperatures in order to remain viable. This is not simple.

Yogurt: It’s called FROZEN yogurt for a reason! You have to chill it to keep it refreshing!

Worldwide Immunization AdvocacyImmunizations: Finally! With immunizations, children are more likely to make it to their 5th birthdays!

Yogurt: Nom nom. All that work pays off as we share sweet desserts and sweet time with friends!

More About April 30

I think we would all agree it’s easier to get a cup full of delicious frozen yogurt than it is to get a rotavirus vaccine to a child in Pakistan, but with the April 30 Share Day you can do both, thanks to the generosity of Nuberri Blairstone Road. They are donating 25% of the proceeds from that day for anyone who mentions Shot at Life to help children around the world have access to immunizations! How cool is that?!


Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Location: Nuberri, 101 North Blairstone Road (in the Governor’s Crossing shopping center)

To Help Shot at Life: Mention Shot at Life at checkout. You will be asked to sign your receipt.

If you want to participate but can’t make it: You’ll be missed! Please feel free to donate by clicking here.


I’m giving a $10 giftcard to Nuberri to one of my readers. Use it at the Share Day or use it whenever!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: For winners who do not have access to Nuberri, I will donate $10 to Shot at Life in your name instead.

I have the good fortune to live in a place where it is as simple for me to ensure my children have necessary immunizations as it is to indulge in a delicious frozen yogurt treat. Millions of mothers worldwide are not so fortunate.

That’s why, this World Immunization Week (and year-round), I am using my voice to make Need * Plan * Make * Chill * Serve apply to more than yogurt. It’s also about giving children around the world a Shot at Life!

Worldwide Immunization Advoacy

Worldwide Immunization Advocacy


It’s year two of my taking the Grateful Challenge! (For last year’s post, click here.) Inspired by Spin Sucks, the goal is to set a timer for 10 minutes and try to list 99 things you’re grateful for.


This year’s installment:

  1. My parents
  2. A spouse who understands why it is so important to me that my spouse be my friend as well as my lover (Wayne)
  3. My daughter (Tenley)
  4. My son (Wayne Kevin)
  5. Our cat Alice Cooper
  6. Our cat Bella
  7. My father-in-law (also a Wayne!)
  8. The memory of my mother-in-law (Barb)
  9. A roof over my head
  10. A house with a great running route right outside
  11. Running
  12. Running friends
  13. Fitness
  14. My fitness friends
  15. My Fitfluential relationships
  16. Blogging
  17. My #ChevyPlayMiami experience
  18. Having my son with me in Miami Beach while I was doing #ChevyPlayMiami
  19. My NASA Social experience
  20. My Social Good Summit experience
  21. Being a Shot at Life Champion Leader
  22. Toastmasters
  23. That one special friend
  24. Lunch at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with that one special friend while the crowds streamed in to see Pope Francis in Central Park
  25. My friend Mary Jane
  26. My friend Audrey
  27. My friends’ children
  28. Tenley’s oportunity to do the Disney College Program starting in January 2016
  29. Dairy Queen Blizzards
  30. Reading
  31. Audiobooks
  32. The perpetual influence of The Diary a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  33. Tallahassee
  34. New York City memories
  35. New York City memories to be made
  36. The play Wicked
  37. My son’s new (to him) car
  38. My son teaching me how to drive his new car
  39. A bus option in Florida that gets me from point A to point B affordably, with wi fi
  40. The Spin Sucks community
  41. My work with Weaving Influence
  42. The leaders I work with through the Lead Change Group, a division of Weaving Influence
  43. Chocolate
  44. A nice glass of wine at the end of each day
  45. My Coach, Kristie Cranford
  46. My KR Endurance team
  47. The child I run for via I Run for Michael, Gareth, and his family
  48. Friends who help with my father-in-law
  49. My sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law
  50. My nieces and nephews
  51. My goddaughters
  52. Being free to worship how I want to
  53. The Twitter community (except the jerks!)
  54. People who teach me about WordPress and help me climb other technical learning curves
  55. Patient people
  56. Smiles
  57. The beauty all around us
  58. Sunrises & Sunsets
  59. Learning about weather from people who are more than “forecasters”
  60. A great set of crepuscular rays in the sky
  61. My coworkers at Weaving Influence
  62. Being paid to do social media
  63. Scott Ginsberg (The Nametag Guy) who encouraged me to “make a date with the page”
  64. The potential of the Global Goals
  65. My role as a Florida Prepaid Blogger Believer
  66. Every opportunity I have had to get paid for blogging
  67. Other blogging opportunities which I did not get paid for or paid my own way for which which have paid off in other ways, most notably in the incredible people I’ve met
  68. The two people I have mentored in Toastmasters
  69. Being able to practice my Spanish
  70. The drivers/staff in Miami and Orlando who just start speaking Spanish to me and expect me to follow along
  71. My half brothers
  72. The trails in Tallahassee
  73. My electrophysiologist
  74. Being able to run still (so I guess thanks for beta blockers and that “running through mud feeling”!)
  75. That one friend who said “talks with you are my sanity”
  76. A sense of humor
  77. That my FIL’s cancer appears to have been obliterated
  78. Doing the zoo run in Tampa in August with my friend Diane
  79. Margaritas!
  80. The ability to read
  81. The ability to write
  82. The ability to speak
  83. The HAMP program
  84. Tenley’s employer, Chicken Salad Chick of Valdosta
  85. Everyone in Valdosta who has helped Tenley the last 1.5 years
  86. The teachers who give Wayne Kevin a chance
  87. The teachers who give Wayne Kevin more than worksheets
  88. The freedom of speech fo expres myself during the “Curious Incident” kerfuffle
  89. The ability to see Curious Incident on Broadway the month after the kerfuffle (which reinforced the fact that the kerfuffle was worth making a fuss about)
  90. Journalists here in Tally who have intelligent dialogues with readers
  91. TV journalists here in Tally who support me in giving voice to important issues like World Immunization Week
  92. My involvement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  93. My NYC Half Marathon in March 2015
  94. The Light the Night Walk last month
  95. Silvia, the first child we sponsored in Guatemala via Unbound
  96. Estela, the second child we sponsored in Guatemala via Unbound
  97. Stanley, the child we sponsor in  El Salvador via Unbound
  98. Coming home tonight to find the bah humbug spouse had put the lights on the Christmas tree
  99. My Faith

Want to Join?

It’s never too late to spend ten minutes focusing on gratitude! Let me know if you do the challenge!

Photo Credit: Gratisography

Every Mother Counts: A Virtual Run

Follow my blog with Bloglovin*

virtual run

My daughter and I went to the Quincy Music Theatre production of Mary Poppins last night.

I was deeply moved by the scene where Michael Banks and Bert are flying kites. Michael is clearly elated, and at a point where he wants to keep flying the kite,  Bert says something to the effect of, “but I want to fly a kite too!”

Kids and adults want to experience the sheer joy of playing sometimes, don’t they?

Global Goal Five: Gender Equality

When I was at the Social Good Summit in September, one theme that suffused many of the presentations was that of women, girls, and inequity. Girls are forced into human trafficking situations; women can’t provide their children the nutrition, education, health care, or protection from harm they need.

virtual run


Goal number 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals is Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. A few of this goal’s targets (edited slightly for brevity) which stand out to me include:


  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources

Please click here for an unabridged list of the Goal Five targets.

For many women and girls in our world, the mere act of survival is threatened. The spiritual buoyancy of an activity like kite-flying is far out of their reach.

One Way To Help Women Soar – A Virtual Run

Thinking of these women and girls, I have signed up for the Make Yes Happen Every Mother Counts Virtual Race. The below info is from the Make Yes Happen site:

Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Worldwide, 1 woman dies every 2 minutes from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth – yet up to 98% of these deaths are preventable. With funds raised through an engaged community of individuals and runners, Every Mother Counts is able to support programs that improve access to comprehensive maternity care in Haiti, Uganda, India, Tanzania, Nepal and the United States.

How does running connect to maternal health?

Distance is one of the biggest barriers women face during pregnancy. In some parts of the world, it’s not uncommon for a woman to travel at least 26 miles to reach emergency care, even while in labor. That’s why we run – so that women don’t have to when trying to access the lifesaving care they need during pregnancy and childbirth.

Join us

Register here (a portion of your $25 entry fee benefits Every Mother Counts), then virtually run or walk 3.1 miles around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY by Nov 16th.

Use your Garmin, Fitbit, Runkeeper or manual entry to log your miles and earn Google Street Views of your location.

All participants will receive an Every Mother Counts T-shirt (unisex sizes).

Share your race using #EveryMileEveryMother on social media.

Back to Paula: Please also download Charity Miles and use it during your virtual run, designating Every Mother Counts as your cause. For every mile you run or walk, $0.25 will be donated to Every Mother Counts!!

virtual run

Working together, we can help every girl and woman soar!

virtual run

(ps – guys, please sign up too! To quote Freida Pinto from the “Are We All Feminists?” Session at the Social Good Summit, “gender equality is not just my fight; it is all the men in the room … this is your fight as well.”)

(pps – that code at the top of this blog is so I can register on Bloglovin. It’s a one-time thing. Follow me on Bloglovin via this link.)

How to Identify Your Disruptive Skills: A Whitney Johnson Guest Post

When I had the opportunity to attend the Social Good Summit in New York City recently, I was not surprised to hear the trendy word “disrupt” uttered in more than one session.

Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell, used the word “disrupt” in both of her panels, Enabling Entrepreneurship Everywhere and Tech Disruptions for a Sustainable Future.

It’s one thing to disrupt business models worldwide in order to make it possible for the economically disadvantaged to do business and for technology to improve quality of life across the board, but it’s another thing to turn the idea of disruption around and direct it inward.

In Disrupt Yourself, which is being released on Tuesday, October 6, Whitney Johnson explores disruption for individuals. She is someone I have respected and followed for years; it is my privilege to host a guest post by her here at Perspicacity.


How to Identify Your Disruptive Skills

As a professional, you should constantly be engaged in the process of re-evaluating your portfolio of skills and leading with those that are unique — your disruptive skills. These may be capacities that are so innate you may not even consciously recognize them, or skills you have honed over years of practice. These are the skills that can help you carve out a disruptive niche — consequently upping your value in the marketplace. But how do you identify these skills? Or as one reader queried on Hacker News, “How do you identify the skills that disrupt others’ previously-established judgment of your worth to them?” This is a subject I’ve researched and thought deeply about; readers of my last post also left some great advice. Here are three questions to get started.

What do you do reflexively well? You can arrive at an answer by asking questions such as: “What do I think about when I don’t have to think about anything?” Or, “what one or two things do I spend time doing that I would continue to do even if I weren’t compensated?” Alternatively, as Alana Cates recommended in a comment on the prior post, ask yourself: “When are you exasperated? The frustration of genius is in believing that if it is easy for you, it must be easy for everyone else.”

Marcus Buckingham, the author of Now — Discover Your Strengths, frames it well: “Our strengths…clamor for attention in the most basic way: Using them makes you feel strong. Take note of the times when you feel invigorated, inquisitive, successful…These moments are clues to what your strengths are.”

What do others identify as being your best skills? Neil Reay, who also weighed in on the previous post, wrote that when he asked for recommendations on his LinkedIn profile, “several things that others said about my strengths were not the things I was using as “Core Skills” in my own profile, but were valuable to those around me.” Sometimes what we learn about our core skills isn’t what we want to hear, like the fourteen year-old who is told he’s built to be a long distance runner rather than a football player, as he aspires to be. Sometimes, however, the assessments of our colleagues and friends will actually surprise and delight us. A well-respected author who is a family friend told me he couldn’t wait to see what I was going to accomplish over the next decade. To him, it was probably just an offhand remark, but for me it was a real confidence booster that he saw me as someone with potential, a do-er.

We can gain perspective on our strengths more systematically via 360-degree feedback analysis, which we often receive in the workplace. Just such an analysis at a previous job — which indicated that my skill of networking outside the firm was exceptional, but I was perceived as not being as good at networking within the firm — helped me to identify a pattern in my life I later recognized in Professor Boris Groysberg’s article, “How Star Women Build Portable Skills.” (Groysberg found that women are generally more successful than men in moving from one job to another because we have, out of necessity, built external networks.)

If you’d like to try a little self-analysis, I recommend an HBR article titled “How to Play to Your Strengths” which provides step-by-step instruction to determine those strengths — and involves asking trusted colleagues and friends. One of the leads is asking trusted colleagues to fill in the blank, “One of the greatest ways you add value is ______.”

Do you have a confluence of skills? As you begin to inventory and mine for your unique abilities, you may discover that your disruptive skill may not be one skill, but an unusual intersection of ordinary proficiencies. As Ed Weissman opined on Hacker News: “It’s tough to claim to be one of the world’s best php programmers, unix gurus, or apparel e-commerce experts. But there may not be many excellent php programmers who are also unix gurus and apparel e-commerce domain experts. For the right customer, that combination is your disruptive skill.”

One final tip from my personal experience: keep an eye out for those compliments you habitually dismiss. It’s possible that you’re discounting a strength that others value. For example, when people compliment me on my interpersonal skills, I tend to deflect the compliment — perhaps because previous employers have discounted my soft skills vis-à-vis hard skills. Or consider a former college athlete who finds himself brushing aside the achievement of playing on a national championship team out of concern that others may view his brawn as eclipsing his brain. The tendency to deflect is often understandable, perhaps even justifiable, but over the course of our career, it will leave us trading at a discount to what we are worth. 19th-century essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”

Identifying and deploying your best skills can be a game-changer for your career. Not necessarily because employers will suddenly decide to pay you more, but because accurately valuing ourselves is foundational to disrupting others’ perception of our worth. When you recognize your greatest assets — your disruptive skills — you are on your way to taking stock in you.

This post was originally published at The Harvard Business Review on 10/04/2010.

If you are intrigued by Whitney’s approach to disruption (and I’ll bet you are!), please join her for a webinar on Wednesday, October 7, at noon ET to learn more. Click here to register! 


Whitney Johnson is the author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, and Dare, Dream, Do. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review.  Learn more about her at or connect with her on Twitter.


Day One – Social Good Summit #2030Now

This afternoon, I was in a room with more famous people than I have shared a room with in a long time. Here is the group who introduced the Sustainable Development Goals:

global goals

Included in this group are Victoria Beckham (introduced Goal 3 – Health and Well Being), Queen Rania Al Abdullah (introduced Goal 4 – Quality Education), Alek Wek (introduced Goal 5 – Gender Equality), Ahmed Mohamed (introduced Goal 9 – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure), Connie Britton (introduced Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production), and Adrian Grenier (introduced Goal 14 – Life Below Water).

Later in the day, Ian Somerhalder facilitated a conversation. In addition, Ashley Judd participated in a conversation called Planning Her Own Path and reinforced all the great things I came to believe about her when I reviewed her book, All That is Bitter and Sweet, about her life and her work with Population Services International.

By the end of a day which began with a detail-heavy discussion of world immunization issues with the Director of GAVI, Seth Berkley and ended many speeches later with Michelle Nunn’s admonition to play a part in “building a truly just world and eradicating poverty,” my head was swimming with a mix of information and information.

It would be impossible to pin down one favorite quote from the day. I am left juggling in my head a bit of awe and mystification at the social media reach some people have, at how I fumbled for my phone the minute Victoria Beckham took the stage but not when other people who are as accomplished (or more) but less high profile in the entertainment world did so.

I loved Ashley Judd’s line: hurting to healing to helping (captured in this tweet).

I am grateful that because I have written about the cause of access to immunization for children worldwide and been an advocate, I have this opportunity to be a Social Good Fellow.

And I can only hope that I can be a small (or big!) part in helping someone somewhere go from hurting to healing to helping …

Goal 3