The First with Dr. Sandi Webster Podcast

Follow and Subscribe: iTunesSpotifyAudibleLibsynAmazonYoutube

6/9/22 | Episode #31

Sharise Johnson-Moore - The Hope Builder

Sharise N. Johnson-Moore, Your Hope Builder, loves lifting others out of their sorrows by guiding them to see the Christ within through scripture and practical applications. Ministry is her first love, and her ministry has opened many doors for her to become a business owner, author, gospel artist, motivational speaker, podcaster, and executive producer of shows. Sharise is the author of Coming To Loving Yourself

It is an inspirational/autobiography that details her life for her first 40 years. Coming To Loving Yourself-Study Guide To Building Your Self-Worth is a workbook created to help someone get back to the things they love and cherish in their lives. Sharise N. Johnson-Moore is the proud Owner/CEO of Sharise N. Johnson-Moore LLC & Channel LBM-TV. She is the Executive Producer of Morning Word & Worship, Let’s Talk Sunday, Think About It Sunday, Author’s Excerpt Sunday, and Sharise Johnson-Moore’s Podcast.

5/26/22 | Episode #30

Karina Kantas - The Book Coach

Beatrice Weber is truly a First!  She took a path that no woman in her ancestral Jewish lineage had ever taken – leaving her dowry behind.  Beatrice was an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish mother of 10 who chose to believe in herself over her husband.  By choosing herself, she decided to be on her own, manage her own finances, and fight for custody of her children.

As Beatrice said in her Medium post, “Choosing myself over the financial support of my parents was one of the most life-affirming choices I have made.  It allowed me to spread my wings, explore new experiences, and connect with my true inner strength.”

Now, the mother of 10 is an Interspiritual Minister, writer, speaker, and coach. She empowers people who have experienced religious, familial, or community trauma to connect with their own inner voice and create empowered and joyful lives.

I thank Beatrice for her brutal honesty of life then and now.

5/12/22 | Episode #29

James Owen Roberts - ParaOlympics Athlete Extraordinaire

Who is James Owen Roberts? He is an Amputee Empowerment Coach, host of The Mindset Athlete Podcast, TEDx speaker, and author with over 15 years of experience in exercise, diet, and mindset as a coach, 2x Paralympic athlete, and alum of both Swansea University and the University of Chester.

He was born without a femur – a femur is a thighbone, the longest and strongest bone in your body that allows you to walk. His mom was told he would never be able to walk. He has defied the odds and learned how to swim butterfly strokes at a young age to build his upper body strength.

James had academic and socialization issues during primary and secondary school, but came into his own in high school.  Because he was told he wouldn’t amount to anything, he was afraid to apply for college. More self-doubt crept in when the British swimming team dropped him.

Now, look at James.  Retired from sports at 26, his purpose is to motivate others and he’s made it his mission to help fellow amputees to get and maintain fitness.

4/28/22 | Episode #28

Kerry-Ann Facey – A Woman of God

Canadian businesswoman, Kerry-Ann Facey, knew she had an unequally yoked relationship with her now ex-husband. Like many women, she tolerated nearly 17 years of abuse because she didn’t want a broken home for her three children. Her unwavering faith in God, and constant prayers, eventually gave her the strength to leave her marriage.

The result is her book, Faithful, Anchored, Blessed, which is a testimony to having faith in God in good and bad times. She shows how God turned her pain into blessings, and shares how her faith, Bible passages, and favorite gospel songs brought her through that dark time. 

4/14/22 | Episode #27

Dr. Sonia L. Russell

Dr. Sonia L. Russell is known for her prolific poetry based on religion and spirituality. She is also an author, an Assistant Professor, has a doctorate in Education, and is a pastor. She was ordained into the Living Water Church ministry and is currently the Associate Pastor at New Birth Christian Ministries in Uniondale, NY.

Dr. Sonia is now an advocate for people who are depressed and have considered suicide. Why? She is the first family member to admit to suffering from depression and has credited an intervention and vision from God with saving her life and bringing her closer to God, who saved her several times. With the thoughts of suicide behind her, she wrote and published her first romance novel, The Cost of Love. Now, the sky’s the limit for Dr. Sonia, with God guiding her. 

3/31/22 | Episode #26

Ian Tolson – From Homeless to Owning a Home

How do you go from homeless to owning your own home? Ian Tolson told me that forming great habits is what helped him. With the help of numerous therapists during his life, Ian has learned how to move from destructive habits to lifelong and life-sustaining ones. 

In a small town in Montana, he was put on Ritalin by a psychiatrist who was also the school principal. The principal told his parents that he would have to leave school in the fourth grade if he did not get on the drug. The drug changed his life and did more harm than good by mentally depleting him. Ian eventually became a drug abuser, became homeless, and moved around quite a bit before returning to Montana. 

Ian developed his Habit formula based on his life experiences. Now drug-free for many years, he enjoys reading and doing simple things like playing the harmonica.

3/17/22 | Episode #25

Fatoumata Issifi - Creating Change Across Continents

In the male-dominated culture in Niger, West Africa, where education for women is not supported, a young girl, Fatoumata Issifi, is determined to change her life. Against all odds and with no family support, she came to the United States alone to follow her dream.

Fati is the first person in her village to come to the United States, the first female from her community to graduate from college and obtain a graduate degree in business, and the only female in her town to support her entire family.

3/3/22 | Episode #24

Tanesha Butler - From The Projects to College Grad (Part 2)

Meet Tanesha Butler. Even while living in a tough neighborhood in Monroe, Louisiana, she grew up very sheltered. This social worker gives hope and inspiration to others in their lives to become the best version of themselves. Tanesha is the first in her family to become a cheerleader, graduate from college – she got Bachelors and Masters degrees – never moved home after college, planned her pregnancies, and planned to get and remain married. By doing so, she shifted the culture in her entire family.

2/17/22 | Episode #23

Tanesha Butler - From The Projects to College Grad (Part 1)

Meet Tanesha Butler. Even while living in a tough neighborhood in Monroe, Louisiana, she grew up very sheltered. This social worker gives hope and inspiration to others in their lives to become the best version of themselves. Tanesha is the first in her family to become a cheerleader, graduate from college – she got Bachelors and Masters degrees – never moved home after college, planned her pregnancies, and planned to get and remain married. By doing so, she shifted the culture in her entire family.

2/3/22 | Episode #22

Elizabeth Beskin - Out of the Picture, Onto The Business Stage

Elizabeth Beskin comes from a family of college-educated homemakers; however, she was the first to take her education and create a business. Despite their expectations, and Home Ec classes, Elizabeth was the first to want a career outside the home.

Having private tutors and going to a private school inspired her to learn, and she realized she was excellent in math, became valedictorian, was sought after by Princeton and Rensselaer for engineering…but became a music theater major at Syracuse University, where she started a photography business with her college roommate.  After a stint at Merrill Lynch in the Futures Department, they built a successful decades-old photography business.

Today, Elizabeth owns her own photography agency where she created the photobooth that we know today. She is the proud solopreneur of Fifth Avenue Digital. This dynamic photography agency works alongside many of NY and NJ’s top event planners and venues to provide the perfect photographer for special occasions. 

1/20/22 | Episode #21

Vikram Rajan – Networking Genius

Vikram Rajan, the co-founder of, was the first to take the winning formats of different networking structures and integrate them into a subscription-based video application that produces a marketing video for the business owner.  The networking session that I attended fascinated me because he used the timing card from Toastmasters to keep participants within the allocated 2-3 minutes introduction. 

Vik knows that entrepreneurs put off creating videos because we think of it as tedious so it goes on the back burner. Vik records our online introductions during our networking sessions. Then, he edits in the bells and whistles like close captioning and your logo so, within a few hours, you can utilize this video for social media marketing or use as a part of your speaker reel.

1/6/22 | Episode #20

Arvin Cielo – Trailblazer

At 25, Arvin Cielo is an expert in technology. In 2021, he launched his Filipino company, Cloud Aide Solutions, to provide technical virtual assistants to help business owners around the world. This is in addition to his online pet store, Fur Paws.

He is the first family member to graduate from college, participate in a college pageant (Mr. University), the first in the family to create a company and to purchase a house and own property. Arvin is also in charge of the family farm.

Arvin is a trailblazer.  He works in silence in the background and lets his work be the noise. He is focused on accomplishing his goals and has an annual checklist and vision board to ensure he stays on track. He is admired by his friends who all want to join his entrepreneurial journey. His goal is to curate young entrepreneurial talent and ensure that they can own their businesses in the Philippines.

12/16/21 | Episode #19

Nadine Vogel

Nadine O. Vogel is the CEO of Springboard Global Enterprises which is home to Springboard Consulting, Disability Mama, The WIP Group and The Springboard Foundation which is an affiliated charity.  Springboard Consulting was the first for-profit group to work with corporations to mainstream people with disabilities as candidates, employees, or customers. 

Nadine was a corporate executive when she created a company division that helped special needs family plan for the future.  This new idea was important to her because her oldest child had significant disabilities.  Her boss asked her why she didn’t start her own company – so she did! Her boss became one of her first clients as well an advisory board. Her family and friends thought she was having a midlife crisis when she started her company because they knew that she always wanted to be in the corporate world. However, she felt the idea had merit and she trusted her instincts – now, she’s a huge success.

Because she was the first to enter the disabilities market with corporations, mentoring is important to her and she has mentored at the Harvard Kennedy School and serves as a guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School.

Best of all, her daughter who was the inspiration for Springboard Consulting has now started her own company for disabled artists!  Full Circle moment!

12/2/21 | Episode #18

Molly Creese - It’s All About Networking!

Molly Creese is a shy, talented woman who grew up singing in her parents’ church (both parents are pastors) in St. Vincent & The Grenadines.  Her parents wanted her to become a gospel singer – any other kind of singing was not accepted; now, she sings a different song of self-confidence.

Molly came to New York to attend school and went to Monroe College for her Bachelor’s degree and LIU for her Master’s degree.  Like most people, Molly was heads-down working hard towards graduation. When Molly started to look for work, she realized that she did not use college to form alliances – she was too busy with school work.  No one told her to foster those relations because she would need them later. She was introduced to networking through the National MBA Conference.

Now, her company, We Network Services LLC, provides coaching, workshops, and events to women business owners, using networking as a means to meet other business owners with whom they can potentially do business.

11/18/21 | Episode #17

Howie Zales – Lights! Camera! Action!

Emmy-award-winning cameraman, Howie Zales, makes money every time you watch a TV show!  He provides independent camera people to TV stations and networks to broadcast games or events like football, wrestling, golf, or NASCAR.

Howie is the first entrepreneur in his family, and today they own three different businesses within the TV community.  His great-uncle was a photographer for the New York Times, but he’s the first videographer.  He stays on top of the newest communication needs in the industry, pivoted during the pandemic to morphed his business into customized live streaming for everything from cooking shows, concerts, talk shows to corporate meetings and medical interviews!

Since he’s the first to provide this camera service, he’s learning as he goes along but has become an expert in resolving the problems that they are encountering for the first time in the industry.  Howie has become a mentor for some of the best cameramen in the business and gives back whenever he can.

11/4/21 | Episode #16

Ketriana Yvonne - "Everyone is a celebrity...we just don't know their names yet!"

Ketriana Yvonne is a woman with two first names! She is a force in her community and believes that “Everyone is a celebrity…we just don’t know their names yet!” She is a talk show host and producer at BRIC where The Ketriana Yvonne Show features the best of people you need to know about, mainly in the arts and local neighborhood. She’s the author and poet of Sequin Soul, which is a book of poetry from the heart.

She says, “I wrote these poems from my soul to help someone on the journey they may be walking. Life is like shiny sequins sometimes flashy most times you lose some pieces.”

Ketriana is a member of the Old Brooklynite Society and feels strongly about giving people their flowers while they are here and letting them know they are a positive force in your life. She honors the elders and her neighbors who support her.