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Episode 9: Interview With Kristi Jacques Falk


After interviewing Holly Hirshberg of the Dinner Garden, she immediately gave me the names of some people who have influenced her. One of those people is Kristi Jacques Falk of South Carolina. Although Holly and Kristi have never met in person, they have virtually collaborated and traded information, learnings, and experiences.

Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of twelve, Jacques Falk decided to dedicate her life to creating a culture celebrating healthy choices in her community. She uses policy, education, business, and creativity in order to build sustainable solutions to promote that change. Once again, I am humbled and honored to share another inspiring story in this interview.

Kristi’s Bio:

Kristi Jacques Falk is the founder and executive director of The Wellness Council for South Carolina. Kristi is passionate about the positive effects “true wellness” has on the lives of children and adults in South Carolina.

Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of twelve, Kristi has searched for a healthy path for her life. In 2000, she owned and operated Abundant Life Whole Foods Market in Conway, SC where her knowledge of healthy lifestyles expanded and was put to good use. After a couple of years, she realized that she needed to reach a larger audience and organized the Alternative Healthcare Expo which later became The Wellness Expo of Myrtle Beach. In 2006, Kristi founded The Wellness Council for South Carolina with a goal of educating and improving the lives of citizens throughout the state.

She has appeared on local television and radio programs and featured in publications such as Coastal Business Life, South Carolina Woman Magazine, Natural Awakenings Magazine, The Sun News, and Weekly Surge. She is currently a member of South Carolina Association of Non-Profit Organizations, South Carolina Public Health Association, Smoke Free Horry and is Co-Chair of the Training and Education Committee of Eat Smart, Move More SC.

Episode 8: Interview With Chris Davila

When I met Chris Davila at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center the first thought that came to mind was, “Wow, she has some awesome hair.” However, it didn’t take long for me to discover there is much more to Davila than cool hair. She is currently living her dream of working in the arts in her hometown of San Antonio. She says she loves what she does because she has the opportunity to work in a career in which she feels fulfilled, working and giving back within her community. The story of how Chris realized this goal is interesting and inspiring. Faced with the opportunity to settle with mediocrity, she instead decided to take control of her life and follow her heart through several obstacles to find herself where she is today. Her journey continues to be one of self-discovery and growth.



Episode 7: Interview With Holly Hirshberg

Holly Hirshberg, founder and executive director of The Dinner Garden, is taking a non-traditional approach to fighting hunger. Rather than collecting canned goods or donating money, she instead empowers people by giving them seeds. Why seeds? Well, according to Hirshberg, the reason is because she can, “help one time and it can help them for the rest of their lives.” For Holly, it’s not about handouts, it’s about providing rewarding and sustainable solutions to hunger. She practices what she preaches by collaborating with the local food banks, building partnerships with the likes of, and fostering relationships with other non-profits and local businesses. What started out with a tomatillo and a dream is now enriching lives at a national level.

Hirshberg was generous enough to welcome me into her home, where she runs The Dinner Garden, gave me a tour of her operations, showed me the famous tomatillo, and sat down with me for this interview. If you are interested in helping in the fight against hunger, please reach out. They are currently looking for donors and volunteers.

I was first introduced to The Dinner Garden and Holly when she presented at the 2010 TEDxSanAntonio conference. Her sense of humor and down-to-earth presentation style made her an instant favorite among those in attendance. For more information, check out her presentation below and follow the links.




Episode 6: Interview With Todd O'Neill

I happened across Todd O’Neill about a year ago at a Gemini Ink discussion on immigration. His extremely calm, yet focused, demeanor struck me as interesting. The co-owner of C4 Workspace, O’Neill is all about strengthening community by bringing minds together. He is the license holder of TEDxSanAntonio, a conference that has created a great deal of conversation about what people are capable of doing when we think beyond ourselves.