“Listening to this podcast of everyday people will inspire your own story.”

Welcome to The First.  You have a story! You have unknowingly paved the way for others without knowing it, or acknowledging it.   This is where you tell your story so that those who come after you, can walk in your footsteps to build their own firsts!

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The First with Dr. Sandi Webster – Episode 5

Lina Rugova

Lina Rugova is not the typical immigrant – she did not want to leave Kazakhstan to come to America because her mother immigrated here! On June 2, 2021 at 6pm, listen to how a fifteen-year-old Lina arrived in the USA speaking British English and going directly to the Bronx with a Spanish-speaking stepdad in a Puerto Rican-dominant neighborhood! Of course, hilarity…and life…ensued.

She got married young, had a child early, put college on hold – and it brought out the resiliency in a young Lina. She got energized by figuring out the priorities in her life. She got bored quickly, switched jobs frequently, and landed in medical billing. Her first business was as a medical billing contractor. Then she moved on to medical billing and management for clients from the previous company.

Owning a business afforded Lina to accomplish the American Dream of purchasing a home and sending her daughter to private school. However, she closed that successful business because she got burned out from doing it all.  She stayed in the medical field by opening a medical collection agency with her husband and learned how to hire people to help her. As Lina said, “that business destroyed my soul,” and she left.

Lina feels her immigrant hustle mentality helped her to move seamlessly from one business to the other without thinking about the

possibility of failure. With the support of her refugee in-law family, Lina chartered new territory by opening up a jewelry designing business. She moved from Bronx, New York to San Antonio, Texas, to explore a new market and culture during the pandemic. She is now funding and launching a nonprofit business incubator in San Antonio to support underdeveloped and underserved communities of minorities, immigrants, and ex-felons.

Her brother followed suit with the entrepreneurial gene in Russia and started his own business.

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The First with Dr. Sandi Webster – Episode 4

Tanya Ricketts

Tanya Ricketts is the host of The Tanya Experience, a Canadian podcast that she started during COVID.  One of her favorite topics is courage.

We all have a Tanya in our lives – people whom we’ve known forever but don’t know anything about them.  Tanya is that person for me – I had no idea who the adult Tanya is —a wife, mother, daughter, friend.  Tanya discusses how she displayed courage in breaking the generational cycle of women who do not raise their children themselves.

Tanya started to create the idea of what her family would look like at a very early age using Sears catalogs to cut out the perfect family.  At 26 years old, she was successful in the corporate world as a marketing executive, and left all that behind when her second daughter was born.  Because of the survival mentality of the women in her life, she realized she would be repeating the process of not being there for her children.  That realization forced Tanya to step out of the workforce so that her children would have a mother who they see everyday, active and in their lives. She was blessed to have a great husband who supported her without understanding her drive to be perpetually present for her children.

Listen, as she discusses the impact on the next generation of women who she is raising.

Tanya Ricketts

The First with Dr. Sandi Webster – Episode 3

Elman Woodson

Elman Woodson started his young life with firsts! He put some “super” into his “natural!” As an undergrad, he helped to start a college program to teach English in China. He then travelled to Granada, Spain for the first time to fulfill another dream and lived with a family there.

After college, he wound up in the banking industry and knew that was not his calling. He wanted to change industries and jobs, but, like many of us, got stuck with fulfilling the obligations that comes with a great salary.

But Elman was different…he believed in himself, and that belief pushed him into the law field. He lives by his mantra, “faith without works is dead,” and take the steps to put his belief into actions.

Now, he’s living his dream of being an attorney. That’s what he wanted regardless of what anyone said to him. He’s teaching others how to live their dream – how to get their birthright of creation to create the life they want with the power of choice.

His new book, Looking Up, hits Amazon in May. I’m sure it will be as amazing as Ellman since it was brewing inside of him for ten years!

Listen to our discussion of how society puts us into a box. Were you put into a box? Who put you in a box? Are you in a box now? Mmmm! Food for your thoughts.

Elman Woodson's Podcast

The First with Dr. Sandi Webster – Episode 2

Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino is an icon and a legend in her own right. She has a list of firsts that will impact generations.

She was at the forefront to change the outlook on AIDS during the AIDS epidemic by handing out condoms with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis as an Awareness campaign.

She utilized that campaign opportunity to springboard starting the first girls’ initiative, Take Our Daughters to Work Day, while she worked with Ms. Magazine – yes, the Gloria Steinem magazine that changed women’s outlook.

After reading some research that said girls’ self-esteem dropped dramatically after reaching adolescence, she decided to change the way

that girls see themselves by bringing them to a physical space where they could see themselves differently – the workplace! That movement is still around today and has expanded into Take Your Daughters and Sons To Work Day.

Every year in April (this year, it’s April 22), children trek into the workplace with their parents to understand what they do and learn about different career options in preparation for real life. This year, quite a few of them will be leaving their at-home classrooms to invade the work-from-home environment created by their parents. For a few hours, they will listen in on how to negotiate, make tough decisions, and have fun doing at work.

Her next adventure was Make Mine a Million $Business, where I met her. She was on fire to help women grow their businesses to the million dollar mark. Again, research showed her that only about 3% of women business owners ever passed the million dollar revenue goal. That program was sponsored by corporations like American Express and closed when sponsorship declined.

Now, during COVID, Nell was moved to restart that venture to help small business owners take advantage of loan opportunities and to discuss the issues they are having during the pandemic; now in her next chapter with Count Me In Revival, she’s again following her calling.

As I spoke wi Nell, I couldn’t help wonder what it’s like to be her – from kicking down doors for women business owners to hosting Queen Raina of Jordan – all the time, fearless in forging new paths for women! Listen in and see if you feel the same way.

Podcast Epsiode 2

The First with Dr. Sandi Webster – Episode 1

Dr. Larry McCord

When you listen to Dr. Larry McCord tell his story, you swear you saw the movie! He is someone whose life is simply beyond belief!

He has so many firsts that I couldn’t possibly list them all here. In this podcast, we focused on some key turning points in his life.

His athletic career made him the first in his family to win college scholarships, which enabled him to leave his hometown of Lutcher, LA. Since then, he was the first in his family to graduate from college and has received several degrees ending in a Juris Doctorate and a Ph.D. He was the first in his family to be President of a School Board and now teaches young people that they can get academic or athletic scholarships for college.

The Voice of A Woman

Dr. Sandi Webster immigrated to Brooklyn, New York City in the 70’s as a kid with her parents. Settled in the United States, she had to face a lot of discrimination starting from her childhood days. The Voice of Woman reached out to this strong lady to learn more about her story, how she became the entrepreneur that she is today, her lesson learnings and lots more. Watch this video to the end where Dr. Sandi Webster also shares how people of color were treated back in the 80’s in the US.


Dr. Sandi Webster

How do you keep a business going in a failing economy? Can you really have a multi-million dollar business and work from home? Dr. Sandi Webster and her partner Peggy McHale not only started their business as a result of 9/11 amidst a corporate layoff from American Express – they then survived the financial crisis in 2008 grew, scaled and sold a multi-million business and Sandi shares some of her key challenges and learnings. So, if you are navigating your business through the Covid-19 crisis, you’ll want to listen to this interview – you’ll get some great insights and feel inspired and empowered to keep moving forward.

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Sandi Webster, Helping Companies ScaleUP, Build Systems & Advisory Board Internationally

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sandi Webster Coachsulting, Sandi has developed workshops and programs that have transformed businesses – How to Do Business with Corporations, How to Become a Better Leader, How To Form an Advisory Board… and have helped business owners to move forward in developing a sustainable company.