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Powerful Women: Let's Talk – 88: LaKisha Harris

LaKisha Harris

“Chef” LaKisha Harris joined host Jennifer Moss for this edition of Powerful Women: Let's Talk

“Chef” LaKisha Harris has been serving up what she calls “Soul-Filled” food options for numerous years. Her business “Soul Filled Eatery” is located in Muskegon. LaKisha notes her tagline is “Food that is good to and for your soul.” She also has a big heart for her community which she serves with love.

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Full Transcript:


INTRO: produced by women about women. Powerful women. Let's talk is a series of interviews with women who are trailblazers and have helped shape our world transforming who we are and how we live.

Jennifer Moss: Hello, everyone. Time for powerful women. Let's talk. Thanks so much for joining us today. I'm Jennifer Moss. It is a pleasure to bring you today's powerful woman LaKisha Harris or should I say chef LaKisha Harris, LaKisha is the owner and chef of the soul filled eatery and catering LaKisha who's from North Muskegon was chosen by her educators and her peers years ago to represent her country as a rotary exchange student spending a year in Brazil. A very big honor there. And now, as I mentioned, she is a chef and her love for cooking was developed under the tutelage of her mom who ran a very successful catering company in the Muskegon area for more than 30 years. Sadly, chef LaKisha had to deal with the untimely death of her mom. But in 2014 she decided to step out on her own with the start of her own business. Which is soul filled cakes and catering. She knows that her tagline is food. That is good to and for your soul. Welcome chef LaKisha Harris. Thanks so much for joining us.

LaKisha Harris: Thank you.

Jennifer Moss: I got a little bit more I got to add in here. So, LaKisha she has a love for the community as well. Loves to give and is always looking for that opportunity to bless others. Her goal, she says, is, quote, Lord helps me to be the catalyst for that change. I want to see in my world. So again, LaKisha We're very happy to welcome you and have you here on powerful women. Let's talk.

LaKisha Harris: Thank you for having me. Thank you so much.

Jennifer Moss: yes, it is exciting, so you've been busy very busy, of course, with Soul Filled, for about 8 years or so. Now how is it going. And because I know one of your goals again is to help community.

LaKisha Harris: well, its…

Jennifer Moss: let’s talk about it

LaKisha Harris: let's talk about let's talk about it. So, you know, covid I was in the Detroit area actually working in neurosurgery when my mother passed away. I remember thinking, what do we do now? Like her recipes weren't writing down. She had things on the books, you know, for catering and like what? Am I going to do, you know, and just in my transparency growing up being overweight child? I can remember an elementary school and middle school when we would get art projects. I would draw menus and I would draw recipes and I would draw pictures of restaurants and everything I did was, you know, around food. And I remember there being a negative stigma associated with you. Think about food all the time. So, when my mom passed away and I begin to kind of still honor some of her catering commitments and try to figure out how we're going to navigate. I'm like I need to be free from this stigma that I can't think about and love food because of personal perception. Is that like. Wait a minute, I can get paid for what I think about. So, I transitioned out of neurosurgery, and everybody thought I was crazy. You know, I'm a single mother. So, my daughter and I was spending every I work 7 days a week, 80 hours a week working and neurosurgery mainly maintaining the offices and then like this is not the goal for me. But if I want to be honest with you, the sacrifice that came with this start from 8 years ago until now, divorce sleeping on the floor, losing everything starting over again. I was in Troy, Michigan. Moved home to Muskegon, Michigan I said I'd never come back home. Move back home and started over again. And I can't remember you know; I am a woman of faith. So, I felt like in my heart and my spirit, the largest of Saint just wake up every morning just show up and I'm going to show up for you. I remember one day we where we started in the height of the pandemic inside of a bar in Muskegon Heights. There was no way to get food to people no one was going to the market. We would go shopping and we began in Muskegon Heights to start a delivery service in the midst of covid and one day I was in cooking and my mom was like, my daughter came and said, mom, they're people everywhere. They're all down the street. I'm like, oh, yeah. Take a picture, you know, and when I looked at my phone later there were people curved around what Broadway impact waiting to get in line for an opportunity to eat. We didn't even have enough food for them.

Jennifer Moss: So, this was a thing you're doing to help people during the pandemic, and they were lined up did you anticipate that.

LaKisha Harris: Not at all. We were doing at little to no cost. If we knew a family that was affected by covid. We were sending out free meals and this began the philanthropy. Philanthropy that goes with the cooking, right. So, once I was able to get over my past pain, the embarrassment I begin to think about how I could affect the community I will say this running the business with your heart. It’s not the most lucrative way to do things right. I give more than I take in, which is probably the worst business move

Jennifer Moss: Not as the best business model but you're helping the community and so many people

LaKisha Harris: Absolutely. And where we want abundant overflow. If God sustained means the sustains my business. That's the only thing I really, really can aspire to its like even having wealth of I was given a whole bunch of money. I would still give it away because there is a place that we need to get too, especially Muskegon County in Muskegon Heights. 39 1% of the population lives below the poverty level. It is the fastest growing most violent city in the state of Michigan. And then we have North Muskegon where everyone lives a certain way. We kind of me in the middle. So, the perception is that the people that live in poverty are bad. The people that live in the other area of the city are good And I’m like no we're all people, right. So, what can I do to bring these 2 worlds together? Everyone has to eat and I'm willing to feed everyone. So that's my long way of talking about the progression of how I got to where I am and where we're going. It starts with food but 50% of the experience you get when you have Soul Filled is my food The other 50%. We remember your name. We remember your birthday. We visit the sick. We take care of the widowed, right. Because sometimes people think ministry is confined to a church. We are more effective touching hearts and touching lives through food than ever was in any other capacity.

Jennifer Moss: And so, the name is appropriate soul filled because you touch the mind the will any motions of those who come through and really have leave an impact. So, I would imagine they all come back. As well.

LaKisha Harris: They do. And if you can believe it, some people don't support the good. They want to find the bad. I focus not on the feelings. I focus on the facts. There's deficit. There is a need, and it needs to be met. When I was growing up in Muskegon. I grew up in a non-African American community. I went to one of the best high schools in the area. But we didn't cross over. And to me I had to take a step back and see how my mind was program. And I said, wait a minute, this is not the way we're going to do this, unfortunately. And that we can be. We can be candid Right. So unfortunately, I been perceived as maybe a good African American person in the not African American community and I'm not African American enough for the African American community

Jennifer Moss: stuck in that middle zone.

LaKisha Harris: Yeah. So, it's like, well, since I don't fit in anywhere. I want to bring you all and to my reality where I see a soul. I don't see a color. I don't see a creed. I don't see a gender. Everyone has to eat. And so, though I have my faith system. It doesn't matter to me if you don't believe in God the way I do. Sometimes I'll be the only Bible someone will read. Sometimes my touch will be the only touch that they will feel of something supernatural happening in their lives. So, your martyr as well as someone that's blessing others at the same time. But God has helped me to find that balance, so to speak. And so that's what we do. We fill souls. It is not enough to just feed you, right. You can go anywhere McDonald's could feed you, burger king could feed you but when you taste our food, it should make you rear back like you're at your grandmother's House. And you know, we wear at Grandma my house. You ate and then you took a nap, right and everybody and you went back for seconds, right.

Jennifer moss: and your Left with something, though. Absolute feeling of not only being full but full in your spirit and your soul with having the camaraderie in the conversation with the family. That's there because you're not alone.

LaKisha Harris: Absolutely.

Jennifer Moss: that is the other thing you're keeping it so that people are not alone. It looks like

LaKisha Harris: absolutely, OK. So, we have the society now were. Okay. I had a grandmother who was in her 70's. My mother then in her late 40's in. So, but that's not our reality anymore. We're trying to raise people in the world to our parents prepared us for that does not exist anymore. So now you have someone that's 13. Her mother's only 28 her grandmothers early. 50, no one has taught them the route. The foundation sees my grandmother sent me on the counter when I was 4 years. This is how you make biscuits for this is how you make your own syrup. And then when you got down with that, we went out into the garden. This is how you garden This is how you skin a coon. Listen, I'm not cooking coon for anybody in 2022 Ha-ha. No, no, I'm not. I'm not cooking coon but That's my Foundation. Yeah. And it built family, right. So, my grandmother still lives now because I held on to those rules. We don't find that in our community anymore. The mom is ignoring child. YouTube is raising our children PlayStation the grandmother is doing this and that. And we miss that core, so to speak,

Jennifer Moss: food can still be at the heart and the soul, as you call it, of every family

LaKisha Harris: it should. There was a book that I read in college. It was called like water for chocolate and the mantra of that movie was whatever you put in is what you will get out. So, if she was having a bad day as she was angry. When people ate her food, they were angry if she was sad when people ate her food, they begin to cry So I bring that into modern day 2022, right. I'm going to touch lives and souls through food, and you should have a filling and what I put into my food is what you should experience when you're eating it. So, it's bathed in prayer. Love attention to detail. I laugh while I am cooking, you know, even when it gets hectic because I believed that whoever is going to consume that they're going to receive some of what I've put into it. So, I'll be the good that they need to receive, and they taste and think, oh, my gosh this quiche Amazing. Well, I just use regular seasonings but it's the feeling that you get, which goes back to grandma's House, which takes me back to work in the garden which may take someone else back. So, it's not just an African American thing, right. Maybe you had Nana in Germany and she showed you how to make perogies Maybe you have a Nonna in Italy and she showed you how to make pasta. There are different things that will transport us back to those places where we felt safe loved comforted invested in and this generation doesn't know that. So, I'm bringing to them something. That's for it.

Jennifer Moss: And a lot of it is food, but it's that healthy piece of the food is the part that gives you kind of life. vs what you said. You experience in your youth 20, they associated food you shouldn't think about food and all of that kind of thing.

LaKisha Harris: So, I'm glad you brought that up because that was important to me. So, I started a vegan Healthy soul line because people automatically assume that soul food has bathed them butter, salt fat and sugar. Yeah, we do. Absolutely. We do. We go hard in the paint, so to speak, with our food. But the healthy part of it. I try to do all of my sight in a vegan manner. I tried to incorporate healthy living so that we can enjoy and get ballots. Yeah. You can get soul food and fried chicken and I'm sorry, I'm frying my chicken in canola oil. It's going to have all of those things, right. But by the same measure can provide you accompany pieces that don't have to compromise as much as the fried chicken. So, this is all good because now we can tap into other places. Soul food is not considered something that's Unhealthy

Jennifer Moss: And a lot of it actually is healthy.

LaKisha Harris: Absolutely. It is. People don't know through the transatlantic slave trade when the Africans came to the United States. We were vegetarians. We weren't meat eaters. What happened is they began to exert themselves working on the plantations picking cotton working in the fields and they needed the extra protein. So, then the masters will give us pig intestines pick a foot. Turkey feet chicken brain

Jennifer Moss: the leftovers.

LaKisha Harris: Yeah, they give us the stuff and we will take what is discarded and we will make a meal to build our strength, so to speak, to be able to do the work now with the with the progression, with the great migration North. We get to a place of freedom. And so, our mindset is free now. Soul food did not really become anything interesting in the forefront to the 1970's. It was no soul food before 1970. So, we migrate. We begin the black power movement, and we begin to see our relevance and culture in life and in history. And so now I’m being where we are in doing what we're doing. We are doing so much more than I guess the term analogy. I was just feeling gaps, so to speak like being very intentional in our placement of soul Food

Jennifer Moss: it is its own entity

LaKisha Harris: It is. And soul food is not comfort food meatloaf mashed potatoes are comfortable, soul food touches the soul. It's cooked over time. It's not a microwave mentality. You can probably remember your grandma to her greens on. Saturday morning for Sunday afternoon after church, right. It does not take that long, but they took their time.

Jennifer Moss: And pride in doing that as well. It was intentional and again, part of the process, we a lot. People learned that your food also has touched so much that you just won a big award in a competition based on WGVU. So, tell me about that.

LaKisha Harris: So WGVU. So amazing. I went for 12 weeks in an entrepreneurship lab in Detroit sponsor by Grand Valley State University through their veteran’s initiative program I am not a veteran, my father served. And so, we went for 12 weeks. We were trained and then we get a pitch competition. So, of 60 entities I took 3rd place 4,000 dollars

Jennifer Moss: congratulations

LaKisha Harris: Thank, you. Know, I have my lip poked out like I don't know if it's not first place, but very good. It's still very good. But it's still very great. And I had to be thankful because the net just put me in a position to further do the work that I believe that my hands are anointed to do. And so, I was able to train under the leadership of Michael Hessen who does We need the rollback right here on WGVU. I work very closely with him. He mentored me. And so, I'm excited like all pinch pitch competition driven. All right. Jennifer Moss: quite an experience I would imagine

LaKisha Harris: It was our concept was called the turkey knuckle Charlie. Not. I'm known as the queen of Turkey knuckles; turkey knuckles can only be found in Muskegon. They originate in Muskegon, and they sound absolutely disgusting, but they're probably one of the best meats that you ever eat.

Jennifer Moss: I have to say I haven't tried have to try

LaKisha Harris: talking about what part of the feet? It does not come from the feet or the hand. It's the meat around the knee joint. We started this quest to become the home of Turkey knuckle people begin to come from Texas, Florida, Arizona. We have people from Maine, California coming to Muskegon to figure out what a turkey knuckle was. I've been doing live zoom video's and as well as cooking demonstrations in California because everyone's on this turkey knuckle craze so that the concept that we pitched for WGVU was the turkey knuckle Charlie thus giving us a reference to Muskegon. But the concept was taking veterans suffering from PTSD and taking the youth, the Muskegon Heights and pairing them together. Our mantra being a cause needs a hero and a hero needs a cause. A veteran does not feel like they're doing their work unless they're serving someone and unfortunately are at risk. You need a mentor and someone to look up to. So, we're going to pair those 2 together and we have acquired a garden in northern shores Michigan. And we're going to some dirt therapy. We're going to teach the young people to work back in the dirt and there is something about dirt therapy within the veteran community that fights against the increase suicides and depression. They love to be in the dirt So we're going to pair them together We’re going to take then harvest the food that we grow on the garden. Take that into the inner city and distributed at a very low cost. I'm talking like $0.50 slide but

Jennifer Moss: multiple purpose venture and it's helpful to everyone. Again, that's soul filled.

LaKisha Harris: And I don't know any other way. If you want me to take my life's experiences and feel sorry for myself. I do that privately publicly. I use those life experience to look and find myself and other people. I know what it feels to be back to be a single mother. I know what it feels like to go through a divorce. I know what it feels like to have 5,000 in your bank account and negative 5000 in your bank account. I know what it feels like for your heart to be shattered and those things now I used to determine and ingenuity and creativity to look at a mother and see her coming in may be exposed more than I would expose myself but not judge her show her love and kindness and show her different way. And that's what the turkey knuckle Charlie does, that's when we do this concept, and we bring the food from the garden. Not only are we going to give them food we are going to give them free demonstrations chacha, but I also know how to preserve my fruits. I know how to make a chacha What would you know? It's a pickle, lean type thing that we use on a collard green

Jennifer Moss: My mother used to love that

LaKisha Harris: And nobody does that anymore. So, I want to take this is what you do with your collard greens or is this how you save them. Cooks freeze them for 6, 6, months. So, in the summer,

you can cook all your collard greens. You need to sustain you through the winter. No one has taught us that that's the missing part. We go on TV. We go to the store We're looking at a can we say all these are glory. Greens are open up this can is not the same

Jennifer Moss: and there is a process to it. And again, as part of the journey. Speaking of the journey. Let me ask you this. Are you enjoying the journey as you reflect back on all that you said thus far and some of the history that goes into creating soul food? Are you enjoying the journey LaKisha?

LaKisha Harris: I need a clone. I'm enjoying the journey. I'm embracing the hardships every day is not sunshine Some days I wake up and I look, and I say how am I going to do what needs to be done today. You know, going back to my roots because I don't know anything else. You know, I think about in the Bible when that was giving them a manna and mana in Greek translates to what is it, he gave them their daily. What is it doesn't say that they had a lot of mana left over after the fact that doesn't say, mana, was falling from heaven and they put it all in these bags and they took it away, you know, exposed to it was just what you need it for today? And so that's where I've been strengthened because every day I wake up and I see God show up every day. If you knew my story, if you knew, you know, I'm starting at 06:00AM at Meijer okay. This price points to high. Let me go to Gordon. Let me go to Aldi and all this is before I cook. All this is before I served all this before I deliver. So, I'm enjoying the journey, but it's developing character in me is teaching me. If there's no financial benefit on the other end. Do you do what you're supposed to do. You were assigned to do today. Today.

Jennifer Moss: So, as we talk about powerful women, have there been any major barriers that you’ve encountered clearly. We've talked about the loss of your mom and your divorce and such other barriers, especially as a young entrepreneur starting a business from scratch after you watched your mom do her business for years. Any barriers that you can witness and tell others that, you know, this happened.

LaKisha Harris: Yes, unfortunately. And I just believe in transparency is very difficult as a minority owned business owner. I don't come from a long line of wealth. I didn't have a silver spoon. I started my business with $34.61. When I would make money, I will hide in ice cream box in my freezer because I couldn't have a bank account. And so, as a business, thankfully, last year we made 375 K in our first year that huge I never took home a paycheck. I struggled. I had to apply for EBT and Medicaid, right. Even as a business owner because I am giving away all of that. And so, there are struggles with financing. Most times, not so much so the credit part of its Tech. You know, you have to be established for certain amount of time so that they can see your longevity. You're so I'm going with all this documentation I’ve written. The spiel has answered all the questions, but I don't have 3 years of tax returns to give to them. I don't have collateral. And in the form of a building in trucks and things like that.

Jennifer Moss: To build your business stand and to have the necessary things on hand is what you're saying.

LaKisha Harris: So, I do everything with cash. No credit, no one is given us anything and that sometimes. Because we look at the Grander people are people eat with their eyes and are up there with their eyes before the ever partake. So sometimes we've been at these big festivals. And all we have is a foot table with a tablecloth on it. But we were the first to sell out the purity of the product, how we treated people often say where the poor kids on the block. And that's not to say poor financially, but we don't we don't have a lot of gimmicks that we can throw at you. All we can do is give you good food, good service. And a good time.

Jennifer Moss: Okay. So, you’re making the hunger when she talked about, give us an idea if you will, chef, what are some of your items you talk because you do both food as well as pastry. just give me a quick rundown. Before I ask another question.

LaKisha Harris: my number one seller shrimp and grits. We've won in numerable competitions with shrimp and grits I think that's our number one seller. There's something about the way I make grits that they don't taste like grits. And I think that's a draw to many people our chicken and waffles. So, when I studied in Brazil, and I've lived in Florida. I've lived in the Detroit area. I've traveled all around the world. Paraguay Uruguay, Mexico, the Caribbean. These places. I bring those influences back and I married them with my soul food experience. So that's why you see, you know, shrimp and grits from my travels to Louisiana chicken and waffles from the South and people don't realize soul food is influenced by Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi are Southern roots, but they are not the same soul food is not universal. If it comes from Georgia is going to have some Florida fruit component, Pecans in all the dishes. When you deal with Alabama, they put sugar in everything sugar in their spaghetti Their Mac and cheese sugar and the greens. When you deal with Georgia, you have a little spice and a little heat. So, these travel experiences have allowed me to bring them back. So, turkey knuckles. What we're known for. We fry those we bake those. We broiled. Then we put them in Chile. We put them in. Soup my turkey knuckles, shrimp and grits chicken and waffles. Now the pastry side of me. That's where the actual soul filled name comes from. When I started my business, it was a cupcake shop now what I would do is fill cupcakes with soul food elements. So, if you had a pumpkin cupcake, it may be filled with sweet potato pie. If you have a peach cupcake, it was filled with peach cobbler bread comes. So that was the soul filled. And I thought, oh, but then like as I begin to see the evolution of cupcakes and now cupcakes can look like actual human head and you know, they move around okay This is too much for me. But so, I do the pastry. I do the baking. I do that. The cooking as well with all of those influences from all over the world. I still bringing some of the Brazilian ways of doing things. Some things that I learned in Paraguay Uruguay how the Latino community learning the wood-fired oven and how to manage those types of things. So, I said that and bring all of those influences back. And so, you hear shrimp and grits. I've had that before that soul food shrimp and grit should chicken and waffles. honey

Jennifer Moss: sounds like I need to make a trip down, couple more questions for our listeners What is it taken for you Because you're very confident you, but you are very honest about the things that you face on the daily. What does it take it for you to become comfortable in your own skin to find that voice of yours that, you know, that inner voice so that you can speak out to your cause?

LaKisha Harris: I think initially I kept looking for praise from others. Your food is good. You know, validation from other people. And I had to learn within of myself if nobody tells you you've done well, it goes back to that daily mana. Did I feel my purpose for the day because ultimately, it's what in my faith what God says, that makes the difference? So that being said, it is not easy. This this confident person. She's that in public because she has to be that private struggle. Private tears authority abuse manipulation all things we face is women. I'm walking in leadership. I deal with those things privately. But I never show up as a reflection of what I feel on the inside.

Jennifer Moss: Never let them see you sweat that commercial.

LaKisha Harris: I cannot if I show any form of weakness then I have lost the power behind my testimony, so to speak. If I say I believe if I say, there's good out there. If I say I can be the change. I want to see in my world. Well, that's going to be challenged. There's good versus evil everywhere. You know, we will watch cartoons as a child. You have the devil on my shoulder and the angel on one shoulder and they're both speaking to you that never stops is making the right decision whether someone's looking so the confidence I exude or the reassurance that I exude is in our product is its and confidence that I know someone needs what I have to offer now privately I might go back and say I did this wrong to do this differently. You know what I mean. But I show up as a representation of what I say and then I figure the rest out and most times if I just go to sleep on it. But morning comes it will have resolved itself.

Jennifer Moss: Absolutely easy. Breezy question for you. What makes you laugh my favorite questions. I think laughter is good for the soul. What makes you laugh?

LaKisha Harris: Shaw. Everything. Ha-ha everything. I think my daughter, she's 11 so. I had a child little later on in life. And so, she needs to run jump. Go to the store, get ice cream, buy clothes. And I'm just like can I just take a nap really quick. You know, try to keep So my daughter gives me that balance is just she and I she's funny. She keeps me laughing She keeps me relevant she might be like ma That’s no cap That means that in mind, this song, you know, or ma please stop dancing in public, but she keeps me laugh and she keeps me young. And then I it in that same sense I learned to laugh and everything else. My best friend, you know, just surrounding myself with people who are invested in me when I'm not soul filled that our they care about Kisha that keeps me laughing,

Jennifer Moss: So much happening in the world we live in. We talked about some of that. Do you by chance have any favorite sayings or model that perhaps you that used to encourage yourself or others along the way.

LaKisha Harris: Absolutely. I always say it's a quote from tedious conch and Delaware. He wrote about 1796, I believe. And he says when you begin a great work, you cannot expect to finish it all at one time. The contrary winds may blow in my face. I can assure you I will do exactly what I said, which leads me back to Jeremiah 29, 11. I know the thought to have suffered torture say lord that of good in that evil to give you an expected to be in. But no worries. The 13th verse says when you search for me with all of your heart. I give my heart to God, and I figure out how to continue a great work. I don't have a mentor. No one can tell me how to do what I'm doing. No one has taken me under their wing in has to say, hey, here's how you can. But as I'm experiencing it, I'm learning it and I'm reaching out to other chefs in the community. I I've been able to become the president of the black chef network for the entire state of Michigan. And then a guest chef for the American culinary Foundation. So, I'm reaching out, you know, in those ways to influence others and to and in some effort fill souls, you know,

Jennifer Moss: to become soul filled

LaKisha Harris: to become soul filled and it's just what is some people say your soul food and no, I'm soul filled and there's a difference. Why? Because you get soul food at soul filled but there's so much more. So, you know, when you begin a great worker tedious come said it.

You can’t expect to finish it all at one time. I do this thing when I go shopping, I buy enough for each catering, even right. Some would say why don't you have inventory. Why don't you have this big stockpile. It's overwhelming. I can only handle the task. That's ahead of me. And when I complete this

Jennifer Moss: just a different process, right?

LaKisha Harris: listen goodness, ha-ha soul food you. You can't rush it, right. So, you know, if there's different ways of doing and it's probably easier. I want to do it the easy way. My work for me, my cray Works for me.

Jennifer Moss: Chef LaKisha thank you so much for joining us today. I've so enjoyed this conversation.

LaKisha Harris: thank you

Jennifer Moss: And I want to thank everybody out there for joining us for yet another edition of powerful women. Let's talk. I'm Jennifer Moss do enjoy the day.


Outro: produced women about in these powerful podcast focus on powerful women in how their strength transforms who we are and how we live. Want to hear more powerful women. Let's talk get additional interviews at WGVU dot org or wherever you get your podcast, please rate and subscribe powerful women. Let's talk is produced by WGVU at the Myer public broadcast Center at Grand Valley State University, the views and opinions expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of WGVU. Its underwriters or Grand Valley State University.


Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.