Publishing + Co-Founder of the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potluck, Karen Finlay


Today I’m talking with Karen Finlay who works in publishing at travel media company Lonely Planet, who also runs the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potlucks with her pal Jennye Garibaldi.

Their 9th annual Holiday Extravaganza Potluck is coming up this weekend in my hometown of Alameda, CA. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Karen about how she and Jennye became inspired to host the first potluck and the joy she gets in bringing this event to life year over year.


Find the Mid-Century Supper Club on Facebook

Get tickets for the Holiday Extravaganza Potluck (if they’re not already sold out!)

  • Works at travel media company Lonely Planet; Karen loves publishing.
  • Karen talks about her early love for all things mid-century, including the Betty Crocker. cookbooks she loved in the 70’s and the discovery of a mid-century supper club Flickr group that scanned photos from old cookbooks and then re-created the recipes.
  • Her friend Jennye Garibaldi first suggested that the two of them host their own Mid-Century Supper Club potluck; started with 10 people at Karen’s house.
  • Has since evolved and taken on something of a life of it’s own. Their 9th and biggest event yet coming up on December 10. It no longer fits in anyone’s house, there’s a DJ and band, and it’s at the Eagles Club in Alameda Mid-Century Holiday Potluck Extravaganza.
  • To make this all happen — Jennye and Karen split up all the duties, from organizing, to decorating to producing the entire event. This year, they took on volunteers.
  • Karen loves to see all the people come together over the food, and how it has created a sense of community… she recalls, “I love this night never ends. It just felt like magic. And it happens every time!”
  • Karen talks about the recipes and all the efforts people go to in planning the recipes they’ll bring to the event — some bring beloved family recipes, other try and produce the goofiest/craziest old recipes.
My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

  • We talk about my own favorite family recipe, the Swedish Tea Log!
  • Karen and Jennye encourage everyone to host their own potluck and would love to write a book about how to throw one and get people together.
  • From the very beginning, they’ve also required that every guest bring a food item for donation to the local Alameda Food Bank.



Business Owner + Candidate for School Board in Albany, CA, Jon Raj Destin


Today, in honor of election day 2016, I have Jon Raj Destin who is single, gay dad, runs a marketing consulting firm, and on the side, he's running for School Board in his town of Albany, California outside San Francisco.

Jon and I talked about how his passion for education and advocacy and his business and marketing experience led him to consider running for office, how much he’s learned about his community from this experience, how he and his son Sammy campaign together and much more.


Find out more about Jon's campaign  

Find out more about the town of Albany, CA

  • Jon runs a marketing consultancy, but really considers fatherhood his full-time job.

  • How he has always lived his life “based on passion”, what he finds interesting and most wants to do.

  • Jon was born in communist Hungary, escaped as a little boy with his family and grew up as an immigrant to the United States.

  • His early years led him to be passionate about education, starting with teaching as part of Teach for America after college.

  • Over the years, led to doing marketing, but never really gave up on education and being an advocate.

  • Now as a dad, he is focused on quality education for his son -- which led to his current side project of running for school board in Albany, CA.
  • With a laugh Jon says he “tends to jump into things that I find interesting and feel I could have an impact... maybe even before I really understand everything…”.

  • He jumped into running for school board because he felt like his skill set (business background) really applied, and he thought he could really make an impact as the school district heads into a phase of using bond measure funds to build and re-build a number of local schools.

  • How Jon is really enjoying the campaigning aspect, how he’s learning about the community and it’s needs.

  • As a single, gay dad, he has also really enjoyed getting to know others LGBQ families in the community.

  • Jon is experiencing broad support in the community — new residents like him, as well as 70 year residents.

  • How Jon is integrating the campaign into his family life with his bow tie loving son Sammy

  • Jon says, “frankly it’s never a good time, especially if you’re a parent, but you just have to make the time to do the things you love… because if you can show your child or your kids that you’re doing what you love, I think that’s a really important, great lesson”.

  • Advice for others who might be thinking about running for a community office is that if it’s important to you, just do it.


Brand Marketer + Campaign Volunteer & Fundraiser for Hillary for America, Sheila Normile Thompson

Brand Marketer + Campaign Volunteer & Fundraiser for Hillary for America, Sheila Normile Thompson

In today’s episode I’m talking with Sheila Normile Thompson. Sheila is a marketer by trade, but this campaign season she’s dedicated herself to getting Hillary Clinton elected president.

I talked with Sheila a few months ago, before Secretary Clinton became the democratic nominee —  and I wanted to bring Sheila on the show because while so many of talk in exasperation about the importance of this presidential election, most of that ends up being just talk because we have so much else going on in our lives, and also because we might not even know how to help.