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A Framework for Writing BCM Testing Objectives

Posted by Alex Fullick on
A Framework for Writing BCM Testing Objectives

Join me Thursday, August 17/23 at 1pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel, as I’m joined by award-winning Business Continuity and Crisis Management expert, Charlie Maclean-Bristol, as we talk about building a framework for writing Business Continuity Management (BCM) test objectives, and testing practices overall.

Charlie touches on:

1. Testing vs exercising

2. How COVID has impacted testing

3. 4 key components to consider when writing test objectives

4, Testing purpose

5. Measuring success and SMART considerations

6. Pre-test planning

7. Building capabilities

8. Post-exercise assessments, observations, and recommendations

What started as a rather short discussion turned into a long chat about testing, and he shares some great insights into how we can improve our own testing capabilities. You don’t want to miss Charlie’s insights. Enjoy!



Posted by Cynthia Brian on

 Miracle Moment®

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. “. John Quincy Adams

A Message from Founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian

Throughout my life, my goal has been to encourage, inspire, motivate, amuse, educate, and inform others to become the stars they were born to be. We have to see beyond our physical beings and know that we have already arrived. To do that, we need to live in the moment and cherish every second making life fun.

We have a motto at Be the Star You Are!® charity: “Read, lead, succeed!” Our volunteers exemplify the qualities of leaders as they lead with empathy, respect, and most of all, joy. If you are looking for a good book, check out honest and reliable book reviews written by our young people at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.

This month we are participating in two fun and rewarding events, the Moraga Community Faire and a Shoe Drive to empower women and families living in poverty. Our teen leaders are leading these events and we are proud to support their inspirational actions.

Remember you are the star of your own performance. Make life fun. Care, share, be fair.

Just be you! You are enough.

Happy Spring!

With gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504



Volunteers Ruhani, published author and radio host of Express Yourself!™ and Taylin are the teen chairpersons for the Be the Star You Are!® booth sponsored by MB Jessee Painting (https://www.mbjessee.com/) at the 2023 Moraga Faire. Come visit Us at the Moraga Community Faire and Car Show this Saturday! At the Be the Star You Are!® booth you’ll be able to plant seeds, receive a free bag of spring potpourri, buy autographed books and fresh Meyer lemons, and enjoy free cookies, thanks to MB Jessee. The event showcases live music, over 70 classic cars, a robust (and FREE) KidZone and SportZone with games, battle bots, sporting contests, animal interactions, pony rides, bounce houses, balloons, face painting, a magician and so much more! Stroll the talented Artist’s Alley while noshing on food truck fare and Loard’s Ice Cream or while enjoying a local Wine, Cider, or Beer. Ride your bike to the bike valet and then thump a few “big wheels” on big vehicles!

There are so many interesting and interactive booths to see and enjoy this year. Besides visiting Us, you can stop in at booths about acupuncture, gardening, dog training, soaps, and creams, book a travel destination, or sign your trees up for fruit rescue.

Come see Us – rain or shine, at this wonderful, family-friendly event on Saturday, April 29th, 11a-4p at the Rheem Shopping Center (580 Moraga Rd) in beautiful Moraga, CA. MoragaChamber.org/CommunityFaire to check out the schedule of events!

And if you have shoes that you no longer want or need, bring them to our shoe drive.

See you at the FAIRE!!! Mark your calendars for April 29th as this is a very fun, family faire!

Moraga Faire: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-events



Many people are unaware that 85% of consumer textiles end up in landfills, a practice that is extremely harmful to the environment. For the past 24 years, Be the Star You Are!® 501 C3 charity has been increasing literacy and saving trees by collecting thousands of new and used books and donating them to disaster relief efforts around the country. With the Russian war against Ukraine and the unprecedented natural disasters around the world, millions of people are currently experiencing difficult living conditions, and, although books are always an enlightening resource, this year Be the Star You Are!® pivoted to share the love and assist with a basic need: shoes.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 70% of the global population needs shoes. In collaboration with Moraga’s 5 A Rent-a-Space and Mark Hoogs State Farm Insurance, Be the Star You Are!® volunteers are launching a shoe drive to collect and ship shoes to several countries including Haiti, Pakistan, Ghana, Ukraine, and more to help lift women and families out of extreme poverty by providing a means for them to create a micro-business. These micro-entrepreneurs will be able to sell footwear at an inexpensive price from their home, a street stall, or even a tent to enhance their income and support their families.

“We are excited to launch this new micro-enterprise project. Everyone has a few pairs of wearable shoes that no longer serve us. What a wonderful opportunity to give them to those who need them and will repurpose them to benefit themselves and their communities,” says Executive Director, Cynthia Brian.  All clean, new, or gently used shoes of all sizes, boots, and work boots are wanted. No ski or snowboard boots, rollerblades, or ice skates can be accepted. “If possible, please keep pairs together by tying laces or putting a rubber band around the shoes,” continues Ms. Brian.


Be the Star You Are!® teen chairperson, Ella Kalpakjian is spearheading the shoe collection at Campolindo High School. Shoes may be dropped in the designated Campo bin beginning on April 17. If you will be attending the Moraga Faire on April 29th, shoes may be delivered to the Be the Star You Are!® booth.


From May 1- June 30th, drop shoes at these two locations:

·      Mark Hoogs

State Farm Insurance

629 Moraga Road, Moraga




·      5 A Rent-A-Space

455 Moraga Rd. #F, Moraga




With your donation of shoes, you will be sharing your love. Thank you!

For more information, visit https://www.bethestaryouare.org/shoedrive



School Post-Pandemic

by Shanzay Haris

School during COVID-19 Lockdown was really different and the most significant reason was that it was online, so when I stood in front of Hidden Hills Elementary School in person for 5th grade, I was really excited to be back! School post-pandemic lockdown was definitely different than when I remembered it at the beginning of 3rd grade. In our class, we had to ensure we always wore our masks and kept our distance. It was very hard to get used to, but after a while, I got used to it and it became “normal” school. One thing my mom said I had to do was wash my hands and take a shower after school. Now, in the present day, I am in 6th grade. At school, I see some people wearing masks and some not, since it is optional. We don’t get reminded about social distancing anymore, and other than a few people wearing masks, it is back to normal. One thing I learned from the COVID lockdown, is to appreciate what I have right now, otherwise, when things like this happen you realize what things you should have done or thought about.

Shanzay Haris is a twelve-year-old volunteer with Be the Star You Are!® who loves to read books, write, and run.


Take Time to Notice

by Karen Kitchel

Has anyone ever told you that you are awesome?  If not, how would it make you feel?

Leaving little positive messages, either verbal or written, can turn someone’s day around or create a lasting memory. No need to wait for a major accomplishment.  All it takes is time to notice.

Stop. Look. Listen. Feel. You ARE awesome!

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com


What Literacy Means to Me

by Kennedy Hollins

The definition of literacy is the ability to read or write, but it is so much more. Without literature, we wouldn’t know as much as we do. Literature connects people from all over. Whether it’s as simple as a quick paragraph posted on Facebook, or an autobiography telling the world your story as Malala Yousafzai did. Literature can date back to 2600 BC when the first piece of literature was made. Today that piece of literature gives us insight into the past history that we might not have known about it without it. Literacy enriches the mind of our youth and later allows them to provide for themselves and their families. While literature provides knowledge, it can also teach things like empathy and critical thinking.  At the end of the day, literature spreads knowledge and brings people together which is a power in itself.

 Kennedy Hollins is a fifteen-year-old BTSYA volunteer in our Book Review program and is currently a sophomore in high school. When she is not reading, you can find her dancing or cooking.


Spring is time to stock up on gifts for holidays forthcoming. We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. Discounted books at Amazon:


Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

2. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

3. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

2020 IGIVE logo

4. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store:


5. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4e


When you want to be uplifted and informed, tune into our two radio broadcasts: StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® and Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio.

Live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT, Cynthia Brian hosts the lifestyle program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® showcasing success-perts and information that will make your life enjoyable and meaningful.

On Sundays from 3-4pm PT, listen to Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, where teens talk and the world listens. No topic is off limits and the program is uncensored and unedited. What young people are thinking, they are broadcasting.

Tune in to both programs on all platforms where you listen to podcasts and music including iTunes, Tunein, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and more!


BTSYA cuff Bracelets

Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504



BE THE STAR YOU ARE!® is proud to be honored as a TOP NON PROFIT for numerous consecutive years. We THANK YOU for making that happen!

Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Live with Joy!

Share StarStyle® Empowerment

The Power of Teamwork (w/ Best-selling author Dr. Brian Goldman)

Posted by Alex Fullick on
The Power of Teamwork (w/ Best-selling author Dr. Brian Goldman)

Join me Thursday, July 20/23 at 1pm EST! I talk with ER physician at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), award winning host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art and The Dose, and bestselling author Dr. Brian Goldman about his latest book “The Power of Teamwork”.

Success for individuals, corporations, and communities comes from the creation of great teams. Though teams build success, they can also be misunderstood and under utilized.

During our chat, Dr. Goldman talks about:

1. Defining a team vs a group,

2. Leadership,

3. How personalities can compliment a team,

4. The Dark Triad (Machiavellians, Sociopaths, Narcissists),

5. Introverts vs Extroverts,

6. Learning from mistakes (and why some refrain from pointing out mistakes),

7. Feeling unsafe in a team,

8. How to build teamwork (Visual Thanking Strategies, Improve?!?…),

9. The benefits of responding with “Yes, and…” vs “Yes, but…”

10. Tips to help kickstart your team building…and so much more.

Dr. Goldman does an incredible job of discussing teamwork and how it’s more than what many people perceive. He leverages his experience from his medical career to provide teamwork insights that apply to all organizations, industries, communities, and board rooms. You don’t want to miss what he has to share. Enjoy!


The UK Resilience Framework, Resilience Defined, and Building Resilient Futures (w/ Robert Hall)

Posted by Alex Fullick on
The UK Resilience Framework, Resilience Defined, and Building Resilient Futures (w/ Robert Hall)

Join me Thursday, July 13/23 at 1pm EST!  I talk with long-time respected Risk Management and international security expert, Robert Hall about Resilience. Resilience – it’s not just a buzzword.

We touch on such things as:

1. Defining resilience

2. The need for societal engagement

3. Leadership

4. Risk

5. Community resilience

6. The UK Governments Resilience Framework (what it is, its strength, it’s weaknesses, and it’s future)

7. National Resilience

8. Building resilient futures

9. How volunteers can help with preparedness and response…and much more.Preparing4Unexpected-AFullick.jpg

It’s a great conversation with some very interesting perspectives many people, organizations, and community leaders may not be thinking about. Enjoy!

Operational Resilience (w/ Fusion Risk Management CEO Mike Campbell)

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Operational Resilience (w/ Fusion Risk Management CEO Mike Campbell)

Join me Thursday, June 15/23 at 1pm EST! I talk with Fusion Risk Management CEO, Mike Campbell. Operational Resilience has become a major focal point for organizations.

Mike touches on:

1. Clarifies the confusion between organizational resilience and operations resilience,

2. The importance for organization’s to focus on resilience.

3. Various components that make up operational resilience,

4. How an organization can begin to tear down silos (while building up resilience),

5. The new paradigm organization’s face with employees working from home,

6. How the traditional ‘everyone-back-in-the-office’ approach may no longer work going forward,

7. How strong operational resilience can help organizations with decision-making, especially during disasters, crises, and incidents, when the demand for information goes up and the time to provide it goes down.

A very enjoyable chat about operational resilience, with lots of insights for leaders. Don’t miss it!


Employee Characteristics that Promote Resilience

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Employee Characteristics that Promote Resilience

Join me Thursday, June 8/23 at 1pm EST! I’m joined by researcher and author, Dr. Robert Sinclair, who talks about the personal characteristics that can be used to promote resilience. Despite what many have been saying, resilience isn’t something you can simply state yo are or that an organization can initiate.

During out chat, Dr Sinclair touches on:

1. Defining resilience (it’s more than you think),

2. Capacity for resilience and the Demonstration of resilience,

3. Stressors,

4. Characteristics of resilience,

5. Leadership and resilience,

6. Discuss the POWER model,

7. Organizational participation in creating resilience,

8. The dark side of resilience,

9. Tips for individuals about resilience…and more.

Dr Sinclair provides some insight into resilience not many are covering. It’s not something you buy off a shelf or simply implement – it’s much more personal than that. Enjoy!


Leader as Healer with Nicholas Janni

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Leader as Healer with Nicholas Janni

Join me Thursday, June 1/23 at 1pm EST! I’m joined by transformational leadership expert and author or ‘Leader to Healer’, Nicholas Janni.  “To face the scope and threats of the 21st century challenges, today’s leaders must possess potent powers for logic, reason, discernment and strategic forecasting. Yet, they must also be empathic and therefore embodied, grounded and intuitive.” (From book cover).

This is a very inspirational discussion on leadership, and not one many will have considered before.

Nicholas touches on:

1. Defining resilience,

2. Being vs Doing.

3. Leader as an Executor vs a Leader as a Healer,

4. Self-awareness,

5, Defining ones purpose (personal and as a group),

6, The importance of emotions,

7. Tips to begin making a transformative change…and more.

Nicholas is very inspirational and offers some very interesting insights into how leaders can find answers to some of their challenges – during crises, disasters, and other situations – by looking inwards to make transformative change happen.

You don’t want to miss this episode. Enjoy!


Fit for Duty: Business Continuity & Emergency Response

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Fit for Duty: Business Continuity & Emergency Response

Join me Thursday, May 11/23 at 1pm EST!   talk with recognized Business Continuity, Crisis Management, and Emergency Management expert, Vito Mangialardi, as we talk about Fit for Duty. Fit for Duty means that an individual is in a physical, mental, and emotional state that enables them to perform the essential tasks of their work assignment…even under adverse and stressful situations. Isn’t that something Business Continuity, Crisis Management, and Emergency Management personnel should be concerned with?

We talk about:

1. ‘Fit for Duty’ defined,

2. Duty impairments,

3. Managing fatigue…when people are already fatigued,

4. Policy,

5. Helping people with issues,

6. Safety issues,

7. Leadership and when a leader isn’t quite right for the role,

8. Managing issues when people with no training or awareness try to manage a situation,

9. Hierarchical issues,

10. Discussing Fit for Duty with 3rd Parties and Vendors,

11. Tips to help embed ‘Fit for Duty’ in your organization.

Vito brings to light some interesting perspectives and insights with regards to Fit of Duty, and the things we need to consider. Remember, for many individuals, what they do and how they do it can have an impact on the life and safety of people they work with or are trying to help. Enjoy!



Building Emotional Resilience for Crisis Situations

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Building Emotional Resilience for Crisis Situations

Join me Thursday, April 20/23 at 1pm EST! I speak with a founding member of the UK Psychological Trauma Society, internationally published author, Dr. Liz Royle. Many organizations face challenges when it comes to applying creating emotional resilience for crisis situations.

Dr. Royle talks to us about:

1. People before ‘the plan’,

2. People and trauma,

3. Fears,

4. The 3 R’s (Resistance, Resilience, Recovery),

5. Crisis Team membership,

6. ‘The Ripple Effect’,

7. Areas of Risk…and lots more.

Dr Royle provides allot of insight into how we can create emotional resilience by creating and utilizing some innovative human recovery processes during crisis situations. Some may believe having a disaster response plan is enough, but there’s a human aspect that doesn’t seem to get enough attention. Dr. Royle sheds light on what’s missing and how we can address it. Enjoy!


Handling Communications During a Crisis w/ Sheena Thomson

Posted by Alex Fullick on
Handling Communications During a Crisis w/ Sheena Thomson

Join me Thursday, April 13/23 ay 1pm EST! I’m joined by internationally recognized risk and crisis communications professional, Sheena Thomson. Handling communications during a crisis can be a challenge for most organizations.

During our talk we touch on:

1. Identifying and defining a stakeholder,

2. Stakeholder management,

3. Preparing communications,

4. Using legal in communication,

5. Winning (or loosing) the social media war,

6. The spokesperson,

7. Do’s and don’ts of communications,

8. Messaging (and staying on that message), and

9. Crisis communication tips.

Sheena provides some great insights on how to develop, implement, and manage a successful crisis communications strategy – prior to a crisis and during a crisis. Don’t miss what Sheena has to share. Enjoy!


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