Amy Cranch

May 282015

Lee CaraherThey’re lazy. Too demanding. Too self-involved. Too plugged in. These are just a few myths about Millennials, but as employees at Berkeley — immersed among the BEST Millennials on the planet (our students!) — we know better. BC2’s closing keynote speaker, Lee Caraher, president and CEO of Double Forte and author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, will give an insightful, entertaining talk on generational misconceptions and productive ways to bridge the gap. But first, a bit about her — and her penchant for fine linens!

Q: Why do your friends call you the “Millennial Whisperer?”

A: It started as a joke when I was helping a friend who’s a CEO figure out how to work with his younger staff. He said it at a party, and it just took off. Now I get emails and calls from people who say, “I heard you’re the ‘Millennial Whisperer.’ I need your help with my younger staff before I fire them.”

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by many things — especially working with people who are doing good stuff in the world. My kids inspire me — one is a really gifted musician, and the other has developmental delays. They both show me a different, wonderful world.

Q: What do you love about San Francisco?

A: I love that if you’re bored here, it’s your own damn fault! So much to do outdoors, so much to do that expands your mind, so much to do that’s just fun.

Q: What does your perfect day look like?

A: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen to the smell of hot chocolate and croissants being brought to me. … HA! My perfect day includes:

  • Getting a note from a staff member about something great someone else has done
  • Having my clients take my advice the first time I talk with them
  • Having someone else blow dry my hair
  • Reading Pride and Prejudice (or a good variation thereof)
  • Having a nonprofit project I’m involved with get the green light
  • A funny Facebook post or text from my older son, who’s at boarding school
  • A little Big Bang Theory
  • Dinner at Quince or Michael Mina with my husband and best friends
  • My younger son telling me about his “AWESOME” day

And if I’m not working: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen … on the beach, 78 degrees under the palm fronds, with a great book and never-ending supply of Mineragua … and bon bons.

May 112015

Terrence McNallyWhat better way to kick off BC2, “Tools to Tell Our Story,” than with a man who has spent decades on screen, behind the mic, and helping nonprofits tell more compelling stories? After 20 years in Hollywood, Terrence McNally became a strategic communications consultant, speaker, writer, and coach. He also hosts a radio interview program that envisions “a world that just might work.” Here’s a bit about him to pique your interest before we gather for BC2 on June 9. (P.S. Have you registered yet?)

Q: How did you make the leap from entertainment to strategic communications?

A: I spent 20 years in the entertainment industry — acting, teaching acting, screenwriting, directing — documentaries, plays, music videos, and producing — records as well as film. The week of my 20th Harvard reunion, I was a recurring character on “Knot’s Landing” and “Earth Girls Are Easy” (on which I was screenwriter, producer, actor, and music producer) was playing at the Harvard Square Theater. We’d been the class that took over the administration building and struck against the university over ROTC and the Vietnam War, and I made a speech asking how we were living up to our youthful ideals. I don’t know whether it moved anyone else, but when I got home, I started getting involved in Hollywood nonprofits.

I found I was very good at facilitating conversations and meetings, and gradually over the next 10 years, I transitioned from entertainment to consulting. About 10 years ago, I shifted from facilitating board retreats and strategic planning processes to strategic communications, especially story and narrative, because it takes greater advantage of all my entertainment experience.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: Nature. Lively, curious children. Great writing. Individuals who consistently do their best for others and the greater good. Folks like Bill McKibben of, Bill Drayton of Ashoka, Elizabeth Warren, and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

Q: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever interviewed for your radio show?

A: That’s an impossible question. 17 years of approximately 50 interviews a year = 850. Let me name a few — Wael Ghonim, the young Google exec who helped overthrow Mubarak through Facebook postings that mobilized demonstrations in Tahrir Square; Jane McGonigal, with her provocative ideas of how gamers can change the world; Michael Lewis, just as interesting to interview as to read; George McGovern and Howard Zinn, war heroes who became peace heroes; Malalai Joya, young, female member of Afghan parliament.

Q: If you could only keep a handful of books, what would they be?

A: I Ching; The Evolving Self by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; poetry by Rilke and Rumi; Mirrors by the recently deceased Eduardo Galeano; collected Shakespeare; and something by Mark Twain.