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November 22, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 90: Montclair Pet Girl

In this week's episode, our 90th!, we're talking to a business that focuses on taking care of our pets for us when we're too busy to walk, feed or pamper them ourselves. We're talking to Janine Ruela of Montclair Pet Girl about her love of animals and how she made a quick pivot from being a teacher to pet walking and cat tending. She speaks about how her business, opened in 2011, expanded as her reputation grew and also leaves us with some advice from what she's learned over the years.

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November 8, 2020 @ 11:15 am

Episode 89: Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts

In this week's episode we speak with someone who has been, almost, an institution in Montclair for more than 25 years.  Sharron Miller is the Founder/Director of Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts (SMAPA) located on Park Street.  Sharron was always passionate about dance from a young age and attended The Juilliard School and soon after, found a position with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as a soloist. She is also the veteran of seven Broadway shows and has appeared on television, film, and hundreds of radio and television commercials.

As she settled into family life here in Montclair, she found commuting to be a burden and looked to practice her art closer to home. Sharron became committed to enriching the lives of young people, through teaching dance and performance arts right here in Montclair.  SMAPA’s holistic philosophy inspires students to believe they can achieve, nurturing the potential within each student by encouraging creativity, building skills, fostering self-discipline, and bolstering self-esteem

She previously served on the faculty of Renaissance Middle School for 13 years where SMAPA provided the dance and drama program for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students during the school day. Ms. Miller has also served on the faculty of Montclair Kimberley Academy, Far Brook School, and has been affiliated with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as an arts-in-education consultant/partner. At SMAPA, she not only continues to train hundreds of students yearly, but also continues to develop her arts enrichment programs and community outreach. Ms. Miller resides in Montclair, New Jersey with her daughter, Jaimie.

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October 25, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 88: Paper Plane Coffee Co.

In this week's episode we speak with Jonathan Escheverry of Paper Plane Coffee Co. Jonathan spent his summers as a boy in his grandfather's coffee fields in Colombia where he learned how coffee's grown and processed but he was raised in the US the rest of the year. He had an early interest in food and cuisine and went for culinary training, but found himself looking for another outlet for his passion for taste. He decided to learn more formally about producing and roasting excellent gourmet coffee and opened a coffee outlet in Brooklyn. After meeting and marrying a native Montclarion, he tired of the daily commute to his shop in Brooklyn and shifted his store to Montclair. We learn of his journey from Brooklyn, back to Colombia for training and eventually here to Montclair where he offers the very best in South American blended coffee.

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July 26, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 87: Janice Gobert & Inq-ITS

In today's show, I'm speaking with a local Montclair resident, Janice Gobert. She is an entrepreneur and Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education professor and she has earned a PhD in Cognitive Science. She's a leader in her field and has studied with some of the top experts in Cognitive Science.  Since 2012, she has also been CEO of a company she developed called Apprendis and their flagship product, Inq-ITS, a science platform that has been a growing resource for middle schoolers, high school students, and their teachers. The platform incorporates virtual science labs that assess and support students while they work using AI. I've known Janice for a few years here in our community and have been fascinated with her creation of this learning program.

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July 12, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 86: North Essex Chamber of Commerce

In this episode, we're talking with two of the leaders of the North Essex Chamber of Commerce. Amiee Idan is its executive director and Denny Klein is a long time member who has years of experience supporting and helping to lead local businesses in successful business networking and partnerships.

As the threat of COVID, hopefully, recedes, our stores and businesses are beginning the process of rebuilding and reaching out to their customers to welcome them back.

Our town and it's hard-working business owners need all the help they can get. Have a listen to our speakers as they talk about the wealth of knowledge and ideas that their organization has for those in need of community and guidance while reopening and repositioning their businesses to succeed as we all move forward to re-establish our vibrant downtown areas here in Essex County.

And they talk about their upcoming event on July 15th - Meet the Mayors, which they have sponsored every year to let the public hear from the leaders of their towns and get to hear directly from them. This year it's online and we're giving you links to join the event here:
https://business.northessexchamber.com/events/details/2020-meet-the-mayors-virtual-event-3161

And we also want to thank the corporate supporters of the Chamber of Commerce for supporting this important local organization:

BCB Bank
RWJ Barnabas
PSE&G
Astorino Financial Group
Jordan Baris
Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis
Rand, Fewer & Kline
Smolin Accounting
Windmill Products

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June 28, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 85: Montclair’s Community Response to School’s Out! Businesses for our Youth

In this episode, we're talking with Jessica Kline of Macaroni Kid. Jess is an experienced marketing professional and a seriously busy Mom. She has three kids of her own and through that experience, she developed an appreciation for the value of local connections and information for creating a holistic and social community for raising your kids in.

She found the Macaroni Kid website which brings you news and info that's great for moms and families featuring advice, entertainment, product reviews, holiday fun, and parenting tips and she decided to sign on as a local publisher for our area. She launched in December, before the quarantine, and has realized that her company has new-found relevance in our new locked-down world. 

If you're a Mom or Dad and have busy kids who need to GET OUT, you'll love her story.
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June 14, 2020 @ 2:04 am

Episode 84: Montclair’s Community Response Business Re-Openings & Black Lives Matter

In this episode, we speak with a wide range of people who own businesses here in town supporting their efforts to open successfully.  We talk with many business owners to see what their thoughts are as we move into this phase and how they plan to manage the re-openings, or in a few cases, delaying or not re-opening, just yet.
 
We begin with introducing you to some of our area's black owned businesses and encourage you  to frequent their shops and services as well. These businesses are just a small sampling of the inclusive culture Montclair has to offer and how we value everyone as great citizens. Please join us in helping them all thrive and grow in this difficult time.  Black Lives Matter --- Now, more than ever...
 
Light of Gold PR
Artisan Gallery
Cafe Moso
Velvet Lush Boutique
Johari Montclair
 
We also hear from some other Montclair businesses that are eager and ready to reopen and looking forward to your business once again. We'll speak to some who feel they need to reorganize online first to rebuild their brand before reopening in brick and mortar. We encourage you to give these and all Montclair businesses your support in whatever way you can.
 
DeNovo
Gelati by Mike
Powerhouse Tattoo
Fleet Feet
 
Here are the links to their websites:
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May 31, 2020 @ 1:01 am

Episode 83, Part 2: Montclair’s Community Response to Corona - Graduation Season & Youth Impact

Part 2: In this episode, we take a look at the effect that the shutdown has had on our teens, graduation celebrations and how it will alter the way seniors and their families are making college decisions for the fall. We'll get some guidance on the outlook for making preparations for college this year from College Admissions Consultant and Counselor Scott White. He has counseled and led teams at various schools in the New York and New Jersey area and was the former Montclair High School Director of Guidance. We'll also talk to Erika Insana and Shannon Gibson, who are leading the volunteer team for the yearly Project Graduation festivities for Montclair High School. Plus we'll have an added mini-segment on what seniors are thinking of distance learning and the disruption to their college plans.

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May 31, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 83, Part 1: Montclair’s Community Response to Corona - Graduation Season & Youth Impact

In this episode, we take a look at the effect that the shutdown has had on our teens, graduation celebrations and how it will alter the way seniors and their families are making college decisions for the fall. We'll get some guidance on the outlook for making preparations for college this year from College Admissions Consultant and Counselor Scott White. He has counseled and led teams at various schools in the New York and New Jersey area and was the former Montclair High School Director of Guidance. We'll also talk to Erika Insana and Shannon Gibson, who are leading the volunteer team for the yearly Project Graduation festivities for Montclair High School. Plus we'll have an added mini-segment on what seniors are thinking of distance learning and the disruption to their college plans.

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May 17, 2020 @ 1:00 am

Episode 82: Montclair’s Community Response to Corona - Marketing Strategies for Business in Recovery

In this episode, we'll be looking at the strategies and marketing ideas for reopening our local businesses as we continue to recover from COVID19. We'll talk with two of our local business people who are known for their marketing expertise and creativity.

Barbara Lemley is the principal at the Montclair-based branding studio, Identity In Design in Upper Montclair. She's also the founder of Montclair Design Perspectives and has been an active member of the Montclair community for over 15 years. Her experience has been proved in sales and marketing programs at places like Estee Lauder, Donna Karan Beauty and Bloomingdales. Barbara has used her strategic voice in both the retail and wholesale sectors and has developed customer engagement through shop design, digital content, and social platforms. She's been involved with many Montclair-area organizations such as the Montclair Center BID, the Upper Montclair Business Association, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She's currently a member of the Board of Management at The Van Vleck House & Gardens.

We'll also be speaking with Paul Giordano. He is the owner of White Rabbit, Black Heart. His first store, Paul Michael Designs, was in Whippany and had a greater focus on floral arrangements and event preparations. But he discovered Montclair and decided to open Sweet Home Montclair on Glenridge Avenue. It carried homemade sweets, cards and stationary as well as unique, thoughtful gifts. He rebranded as White Rabbit, Black Heart about a year ago and he now carries all sorts of beautiful, snarky, spunky, and lovely gifts for all occasions and he still sells those candies he's made famous. We talk with him about these challenging times along with how he has been using his store windows to communicate with his customers through posting sentiments there.

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