Billy Staples

A Conversation with Author Billy Staples


Billy Staples was born and raised in Phillipsburg, New Jersey and graduated from Phillipsburg Catholic High School.  After graduating Kappa Delta Phi from East Stroudsburg University in 1993, Billy developed a unique style of teaching English that helped win him several awards, including 1998-2000 nominations for Disney’s National Teacher of the Year. 

Through the support of Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield, Staples and Rich Herschlag signed a book deal for Before the Glory.  Billy spent the next 12 years on the road promoting education and reading.

Building on the success of Before the Glory, Billy, Linny Fowler, and Judy Tierney founded the scholarship group B.E.S.T.  The program has provided financial support and mentoring to over 70 college students and encouraged them to return to their communities to give back. In his recent success, Billy’s newest book Success Stories From the Heart (from the publishers of Chicken Soup for the Soul) hit Barnes & Noble stores in February.

Sweetie Berry

A Conversation With Business Strategist Sweetie Berry


Life is a plot change isn’t it?  We are ever growing, changing, and being changed as time marches on.  Perspective is important as is emotional maturity. Our story is ever changing and in the best situations, we are ever growing.  Our stories internally are the foundation of who we believe ourselves to be. When we use tools like journals, jot notes, and captures on audio, we have the ability to re examine what we thought, what our perspectives were, and to align to the present with current perspectives.  The stress and/or excitement or emotion of an experience may color our experience memory, and in reviewing it later, we may realize new perspectives and/or more accurately recognize what was happening when the stressors were not present.

Sweetie Berry Corporate Environmental Headshots

Your story matters. My story matters. We learn from who we’ve been, who we are, and what we experience with others.  Learn to listen to what you are saying, and sometimes to what you’re not saying. What labels, perspectives and descriptors are you using? What excuses do you make? What conversations continue to repeat in your life?  These are all valuable insights to engage as you master your story.

Sweetie Berry is a hybrid strategist. She is an educator strategist who works with well able authors, speakers, and product producers. A Southerner, she can not only bring home the bacon but she can fry it up in a pan. A high creative and analytic her passion is to cultivate projects that empower people.

Molly Herman

A Conversation with The Stockpot's Molly Herman


“I live for the simple things in life…devotionals, dogs, dinners with loved ones, and desserts.  I can’t remember a time in my life when one if not all of these things were present in my everyday living.  I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Va. I began working in the food and beverage industry when I was 16 at a small locally owned coffee shop down at the oceanfront.  It was here I learned the art of being a gracious host and forming lasting relationships with the guest beyond the transaction.  I learned what it meant to truly serve someone.  I discovered that investing in the lives of my guests inspired me and that each new face was an opportunity for a new friendship.   My “regulars” became my extended family and that tradition has followed me into every restaurant I have worked in over the last 15+ yrs.
I met and married my wonderful husband in 2005 who was serving in the military and quickly embraced the role of military wife.  We found ourselves living in sunny South Carolina and away from family.  It was important to me to establish lasting friendships at our duty stations regardless of how much or how little time we were slated to stay at each command.  I loved throwing dinner parties and themed events for my friends.  Everywhere the Navy sent us I was able to feel at home through “the fellowship of the covered dish.”  Inviting folks into our home who were also far away from their home towns was an incredible way to bond and helped me understand what people crave most in life…genuine relationships.  I took this discovery and ran with it in regards to my professional life.  I worked over the years in various local restaurants mostly family owned and operated and even dabbled in traveling chocolate sales for a bit.
Living in South Carolina solidified my passion for people and for working in the food and beverage industry.  I was introduced to southern hospitality at its finest and worked for an incredible husband and wife team in a quaint old house built in the late 1800’s.  I learned so much from watching them on a day to day basis but my biggest take away from my time there was a successful restaurant beings and ends with the folks you work with.  Those relationships are just as important as the ones we make with the guest.  I loved coming to work everyday and spending time with my restaurant family.  I knew when it was time for us to move back home and for my husband to retire from the Navy I wanted to be somewhere I could mentor and invest in the lives of not just the folks I serve on a daily basis but also those who work with me.  That’s when I met Anne and was introduced to The Stockpot.  I knew from my initial meeting with her that we both lived to love on those around us whether it be through our food or our conversation we were going to make magic and really create a place where folks loved to work and loved to eat.  She offered me the position as the General Manager of their new location in Downtown Norfolk, Va. and I jumped on the opportunity to live out what I had grown to love. ” – Molly Herman