Pictures

Being an author, blogger and podcaster known as Maura4u is the perfect cover for meeting, interviewing and being inspired by others. I love to capture people, ideas and places as I travel.

Here are a few photos which include some of the eclectic personalities I’ve met, interesting places I’ve visited and some dear people in my personal life. 

Maura Sweeney and Dan Rather at Poynter Institute

Chatting with former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather

Starting with the photo above: Dan Rather, one of America’s foremost former news anchors, was a special treat. In my era, Dan Rather was one of the most trusted names in news as CBS’ evening anchor. Here I am with Dan following his talk at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida.

With ESPN's Dick Vitale at the Tampa Bay Sneaker Soiree.

With ESPN’s Dick Vitale at the Tampa Bay Sneaker Soiree.

Who doesn’t recognize this familiar face? I met up with Dick Vitale, one of America’s favorite NCAA sports announcers, at Tampa Bay’s first Sneaker Soiree. Dick was an inspiring and warm keynote speaker at this inaugural affair. Since he grew up in northern NJ like me, many of his family tales struck a familiar and friendly chord!

At the Smithsonian with Guy Djoken, Exec. Director of UNESCO's Center for Peace

At the Smithsonian with Guy Djoken, Exec. Director of UNESCO’s Center for Peace

Somehow, the questions I ask and the places I go cause me to connect me with wonderful people whose hearts resonate with mine. My meeting at the Smithsonian Museum of American History with Guy Djoken, Executive Director of UNESCO’s Center for Peace forged an inspiring time to exchange mutual ideas — as well as ideals!

Smiling on the set of Women Unscripted

Smiling on the set of Women Unscripted

On the set of Women Unscripted, a fun show for women of a certain age to celebrate life at every age! I’m at left with fellow Tampa Bay females Sharon Kistler, Helena Trangata and Barbara Marville-Kelly who some may remember as a former HSN host. 

 

Maura Sweeney interviews author Eva Schloss, stepsister of Anne Frank, on Happiness after the Holocaust at St. Petersburg, FL Paladium Theater.

Smiling with Ann Frank’s sister Eva Schloss – Differences in age, religion, culture or continent could fail to keep similarly inclined hearts from meeting in a new millennium.

Who hasn’t read The Diary of Ann Frank, a gripping WWII holocaust tale written through the eyes of a young girl who hid in an attic with her family? Imagine my surprise when her childhood friend (and, after she died, a sister by marriage) arrived in the United States to share her holocaust experience and serve as an anti-bullying advocate to young people! Check out my blog and video interview with Eva Schloss right here.  

Traveling by hollowed out tree trunk, we're headed to a remote island in Lake Victoria, Uganda.

Traveling by hollowed out tree trunk and headed to a remote island on Lake Victoria, Uganda.

In one of Kaley's many happy pursuits - she's performing in Princess and the Pea

Mom and daughter a few summers ago when Kaley performed in The Princess and the Pea

Making new faculty friends at the University of Split in Croatia Zoran Renata Relja, Associate Professor Jelena Novakovic - Associate in the Office of Science

Making new faculty friends at the University of Split in Croatia

One of my favorite things about travel is discovering new friends from around the world who I would otherwise never meet. This photo was taken after I delivered a lecture to students at Croatia’s University of Split and before we headed out to a fabulous waterfront seafood restaurant for lunch. Pictured left to right: Jelena Novokovic – Associate in the Office of Science, me, Ana Kezić – PhD and Head of International Relations Faculty of Kinesiology, Zoran Grgantov – PhD and Vice Dean for Science Faculty of Kinesiology and Renata Relja – PhD and Head of of Sociology. 

Author Maura Sweeney and Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank and As Seen on TVIf you’re a fan of Shark Tank or have an entrepreneurial interest in what goes on behind the As Seen on TV brand, then you’d find Kevin Harrington to be of interest. I got a chance to spend time with Kevin and his son at a Key Person of Influence gathering where they shared the highs and lows of life on the business edge. Kevin is featured in this blog. Click: Love What You Do? 5 Great Examples!

With ESPN's Mike Tirico (left) and my husband Jim (right) at the National Sportscasters Sportswriters Hall of Fame event in Salisbury, NC.

With ESPN’s Mike Tirico (left) and my husband Jim (right) at the National Sportscasters Sportswriters Hall of Fame event in Salisbury, NC.

Aloha! If I hadn’t married a college basketball player who turned his passion into a sports entertainment property named MIKE, I might never have met sports celebrities like ESPN’s Mike Tirico. (Given my non-sports background, I might not have recognized Mike Tirico!) I’m pictured between Mike and my husband Jim at the National Sportscasters Sportswriters Hall of Fame Weekend. If you want to get up close and personal with some of these sportscasting and sports writing celebrities, check out this awesome event held every Spring in Salisbury, NC.     

National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Hall of Fame Weekend in Salisbury, NC

Reconnected with Lesley Visser, – Hall of Fame Sportscaster and fellow Boston College alum.

My husband Jim, daughter Kaley and I enjoyed a fun evening with Lesley Visser and her new husband at the Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame Weekend. Lesley’s a  fellow Boston College alum. A pioneer among female sportswriters and sportscasters, Leslie used to report on Jim’s games when we were undergraduates and she was a fledgling sports writer.

Even as a preschooler, I was a woman on a mission!

Miami Beach at age 5. Despite stitches on my head,  I was a woman on a mission!

In studio as voice over for Mrs. Q, a character in our Inky Winky Spider audio books

Performing a voice over for a series of preschool audio books we published several years ago

2013 - A happy me in Bucharest, Romania - traveling, learning and reporting on what's good in all of us

2013 – A happy me in Bucharest, Romania – traveling, learning and reporting on what’s good in all of us

Prepping for a Maura4u video shoot in Las vegas, NV.

Prepping for a Maura4u video shoot in Las vegas, NV.

The above photo provided a creative backdrop for a Maura4u video entitled The Eyes Upon You. Recognize this storefront from the Las Vegas strip? It’s Prada. Click here for the video that talks about why we shouldn’t worry too much about all those eyes upon us!

Are you a fan – or a shopper – at HSN? In one of my very first Maura4u videos, I interviewed HSN show host Suzanne Runyan while attending a women’s entrepreneurship event. Susan intrigued and uplifted me with her fun and inspiring nature. She was enjoying her current career while happily preparing for her next!. 

In the quaint town of Micanopy, FL for a Maura4u video shoot.

In the quaint town of Micanopy, FL for a Maura4u video shoot.

Remember the 1991 movie Doc Hollywood starring Michael J. Fox who got waylaid on his way to Beverly Hills? It was filmed in the quaint and quiet town of Micanopy, Florida. A visit to the area inspired me to video my reflections on what good things can happen when our best laid plans don’t turn out as we expect. Click here for the video:     

Holiday gifting of Inky Winky Spider books and toys at Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, FL.

Holiday gifting of Inky Winky Spider books and toys at Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, FL.

When my husband and I first launched New Vision Entertainment, our Florida-based LLC with a mission to positively impact culture, we were able to bring a darling preschool property called Inky Winky Spider to a national stage. I’m pictured above at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, FL with donations of books and plush puppets to the children at Christmas. What an inspiring and amazing medical outreach Shriners is to crippled children and their families.

Exhibiting our children's book property at the annual MOPS Convention in Nashville, TN.

Exhibiting our children’s book property at the annual MOPS Convention in Nashville, TN.

As part of our development of the Inky Winky Spider series, we did lots of PR and community-based outreaches. Here I am at the annual MOPS convention in Nashville, TN with our friends from WonderworldTV.

Prepping for a Maura4u video shoot in a World Heritage site in Nessebar, Bulgaria

Prepping for a Maura4u video shoot in an ancient World Heritage site in Nessebar, Bulgaria

My husband and I love to travel, especially to some of the more exotic or out-of-the-way spots around the globe. I was amazed by the tangible history of Nessebar, Bulgaria. Here’s a Maura4u video speaking about my discovery that some things things never really change!  

@Sree with @Maura4u

At a TEDx Conference with Sree Sreenivasan, social media guru and Chief Digital Officer of Columbia University’s Journalism School

I met Sree Sreenivasan, one of the foremost influencers in the social media space, at a TEDx conference on new Journalism a few years ago when I was getting my start as Maura4u. I credit Sree in part for simplifying many of the complexities behind social media! Click here for a blog I wrote about the TEDx Journalism conference that featured Sree.

Remember 1960s pop star Gary Puckett of The Union Gap?

Remember 1960s pop star Gary Puckett of The Union Gap?

If you’re old enough to remember Gary Puckett and the Union Gap singing 1960s hits like Young Girl (Get Outta My Mind) and Woman, Woman (Have You Got Cheating on Your Mind), you’ll appreciate this tale. I randomly remarked to my husband one day, “How is it possible that I’ve never run into Gary Puckett who’s been living in our town for decades?” Two days later, I walked into Macaroni Grill for dinner with one of our book illustrators. Who did I find sitting behind me? Gary Puckett! He was happy to get his picture taken and to introduce me to members of his family.

maura Sweeney-with-natalie-moralesI met Natalie Morales outside the NBC studios a few years ago. Just recently, when news surfaced about Natalie possibly leaving her post at Today, I dusted off this photo to write recollections of our meeting. Click here for the blog.

Proving the ironies of life - I'm playing delegate to the USA Masters 50+ team in Thessaloniki, Greece

Proving the ironies of life – I’m playing delegate to the USA Masters 50+ team in Thessaloniki, Greece

One of life’s ironies – and very fun! As the only “non-athlete” in our group, I ended up playing delegate to the USA 50+ Men’s Masters Basketball Team. With my husband and his basketball buddies in Thessaloniki, Greece as part of the FIMBA 2013 World Championship Games. 

Jim Sweeney, Cayman Grant, Joe Lavine on Red Carpet at Boston Film Festival for ESPN 30 for 30 premiere of Playing for the Mob

After years of obscurity, Jim Sweeney joins directors and more on Boston Film Festival’s Red Carpet for the premiere of ESPN’s 30 for 30 Playing for the Mob

In  a moment that felt more surreal than not, I took this picture of my husband on the Red Carpet of the 2014 Boston Film Festival. In an odd twist of fate, his dramatic 1978 experience with Goodfella Henry Hill turned into an ESPN 30 for 30 film entitled Playing for the Mob  and “starring” Jim Sweeney. Returning to Boston for the film’s debut provided unexpected inspiration for me to write the following blog.

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