Julia Hochstadt

Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Midland Park

What about your life’s work satisfies you the most?

Many people, though not all, come to therapy to process painful experiences they’ve had throughout their lives. When I’m working with survivors, we’re often talking about intensely painful experiences and memories that are deeply personal. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from seeing how resilient people can be. In particular, seeing someone heal from a traumatic experience is one of, if not the best, parts of what I do.

What is the biggest obstacle you have faced, and how have you overcome it?

In my work, a challenge is always addressing mental health—and specifically, victimization—in ways that offer people the freedom to speak, share their stories and feel heard. So much of how people struggle in terms of their mental health is associated with stigma and shame and often leads people to hold their feelings in. Violence thrives in silence, and I work very hard to offer people a safe space to feel heard, no matter what their struggle is regarding because it can be so tremendously impactful.

What is the best lesson you have learned in life so far?

In my line of work, I find it especially important to practice self-care, which is vital for each of us, no matter what we do or how much time we do or don’t have. Taking good care of myself helps me keep my battery charged. I’ve learned how important it is for me to stop and smell the roses, even when I don’t feel like it or don’t feel like I have the time. It helps me prioritize taking care of others in my life who rely on me.

“I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from seeing how resilient people can be.”

Gabriella Wilday

CEO of No Fuss Lunch and Founder of For the Love of Kids, The Lunch Fund, Ridgewood

How did you discover your passion?

I’m a mom of three who has always had a passion for food. When I saw an opportunity to improve the quality of what’s served to kids in school cafeterias, it seemed like a dream come true. That was seven years ago, and I’m still passionate about what we do.

What is the biggest obstacle you have faced, and how have you overcome it?

My biggest roadblock has always been fear: fear of failure, fear of other people’s perceptions and fear of the unknown. It’s the thing that wakes you up in the middle of the night and can make you nuts. When I started No Fuss Lunch, I knew nothing about the food business, had plenty of critics and still do! Now when I look around at what we’ve built, all of the jobs that have been created and the profound difference we’re making, fear seems small. At some point, I stopped making fear matter.

What is the best lesson you have learned in life so far?

Compassion. I try really hard to have compassion for everyone, every day. I have a quote by George Washington Carver hanging up in our headquarters. “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” It’s a good reminder for all of us.

“My biggest roadblock has always been fear … at some point, I stopped making fear matter.” 

 

Dana Anello White

Founder and Head Coach of Jersey Women Strong, Waldwick

How did you discover your passion?

As a lifelong athlete, it was a natural fit for me to find my comfort zone in the health and fitness industry. I’ve done a lot of different things over the years, from working in fitness centers to athletic departments to becoming a licensed physical therapist, but somehow, I’ve always circled back to coaching. It’s something that never felt like work to me.

What about your life’s work satisfies you the most?

Helping to reshape the lives of other women has changed my life. It’s incredible to watch how physical transformations spill over into every part of a person’s life and spread like wildfire to others. It’s just infectious.    

What is the best lesson you have learned in life so far?

One of my college swim coaches, Dorsi Raynolds, used to tell us, “Drive your own bus!” I can still picture her standing on the pool deck pretending she was turning a giant wheel and giving us a honk. It’s such a simple metaphor that took me a long time to really implement in my own life. You’ll have lots of people telling you what you can and can’t do and offer plenty of unsolicited advice along the way, whether it’s about your business or your personal life. Remembering you are the one who is ultimately in the driver’s seat is critical.

“Helping to reshape the lives of other women has changed my life.”