Our Experts List

We had the pleasure of working with many experts to help inspire you. In this section, we have invited our experts to post their biographies and make it easy to find them, should you choose to connect or learn more. Please search for them by name or keyword using the search below.

Bob and Melinda Blanchard

Bob and Melinda Blanchard

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage

As successful entrepreneurs, authors, and lifestyle experts, Bob and Melinda Blanchard passionately live what they love. Throughout their 36 years of marriage, they have discovered that much of the joy is in the journey, relishing the opportunity to take risks in order to live their dreams.

The dramatic success of the Blanchards is due in part to the diverse backgrounds of these married business partners. Raised in New York City, Melinda grew up cooking, often creating sumptuous and original culinary delights to serve at her mother’s social gatherings. Hundreds of miles away in Peacham, Vermont, her future husband was growing up surrounded by the richness of country themes and values. While Melinda was learning how to turn out the perfect soufflé, Bob was mastering fine carpentry and developing talents in art and merchandising learned from his father who tended Peacham’s General Store. 

They met in college where they both studied Psychology. They married and began careers in social service. With their toddler son, Jesse, they settled in Norwich, Vermont and launched their first business venture – a retail store offering gourmet housewares and kitchen supplies. The business immediately flourished and made a profit. But after three years, the Blanchards yearned for the excitement of starting again. It became clear that they loved the challenge of creating new businesses more than the everyday operation once things were established.

Together, the Blanchards have created and run nine independent businesses from the ground up. While raising their son in Vermont, they launched several successful companies in areas of personal interest, including toys, ski equipment, kitchen products and a multimillion dollar line of gourmet sauces and dressings called Blanchard & Blanchard & Son.

After decades of successful entrepreneurship and quiet New England living, Bob and Melinda decided to turn life upside down and inside out. They sold nearly everything and moved to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla for the next step on their journey together. As lifestyle entrepreneurs, they embarked on another business venture in the form of a beautiful beachfront restaurant – the widely celebrated Blanchards on Meads Bay in Anguilla, British West Indies.

The Blanchards’ first book, A TRIP TO THE BEACH, documented the struggles and rewards they encountered while moving to the Caribbean. The bestselling, inspirational travel essay motivated thousands to send letters and e-mails asking the Blanchards for advice on following their own dreams. Bob and Melinda responded by writing LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE and CHANGING YOUR COURSE, igniting people’s spirits once again to follow their dreams. They are also authors of two cookbooks, AT BLANCHARD’S TABLE and COOK WHAT YOU LOVE.
Company Website: www.blanchardsrestaurant.com
Favorite Charity: Blanchards Anguilla Children’s Fund   

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage

Barbara Taylor Bradford, OBE is one of the world's best loved storytellers. Her 1979 debut novel, A Woman of Substance, ranks as one of the top-ten bestselling books of all-time, with more than 31 million copies in print. All 26 of her novels to date have been major worldwide bestsellers. Her 27th book, LETTER FROM A STRANGER, will be published in the US on March 27, 2012 by St. Martin's Press.

Bradford was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (UK) as the only child of Freda and Winston Taylor. She grew up in the Leeds suburb of Upper Armley and after Town Street Church of England School worked in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post before going into journalism. By the age of twenty she was the fashion editor of Woman’s Own Magazine and an editor and columnist on Fleet Street for the London Evening News.

Bradford's books have sold more than eighty-six (86) million copies worldwide in more than ninety (90) countries and forty (40) languages. Ten (10) of her books have been made into miniseries and television movies.

In April of 2003, Mrs. Bradford was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America alongside Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Langston Hughes and Dr. Seuss. She was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list for her contributions to literature. Her original manuscripts are archived at the Brotherton Library at Leeds University, alongside the works of the Bronte sisters. She lives in New York City with her husband, of 43 years, television producer Robert Bradford.
Mrs. Bradford serves on the board of directors for the Police Athletic League of New York (PAL) and for Literacy Partners of New York.
Her official website is: www.BarbaraTaylorBradford.com

Favorite Charities: Police Athletic League of New York (PAL) and Literacy Partners of New York

Holly Dustin

Holly Dustin

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage
Holly joined Ledyard Financial Advisors in September of 2008.  She practiced law in Connecticut for 15 years, where she was a partner at Ryan, Ryan, Johnson and Deluca.  Prior to joining Ledyard, she has worked with high net-worth individuals in Vermont and New Hampshire, in the areas of estate planning and structuring philanthropic gifts.
Ms. Dustin is a past- President of the Upper Valley Planned Giving Council, and served as Vice- Chair of the Major Gifts Committee at Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, Vermont.  She is a member of the Gifts and Bequests Committee at Kendal.  She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature, and from Vermont Law School in 1984 with a Juris Doctor Degree.   She enjoys hiking, skiing, reading, swimming, kayaking, ballet and classical music.
Professional website: www.ledyardbank.com

Amber Kelleher

Amber Kelleher

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage

Amber Kelleher is an internationally renowned relationship expert, matchmaker and sought after guest for highly rated TV news shows such as 20/20, The Today Show and Good morning America. As a host for CBS radio, her radio talk show "The Rules of Engagement", touches on matters of the heart, where Amber’s unique expertise, provides insight into today’s challenges of dating in the modern world.
Amber recently graced the cover of European CEO magazine and is currently working with NBC on an exciting new reality show set to air this fall (2012).

Amber Kelleher is a regular contributor for Arianna Huffington’s top news web-site “The Huffington Post” as well as a number of books by top International Authors. She is half of the mother-daughter matchmaking team, who's boutique firm Kelleher International works Similarly to an executive search firm and is the Nation's pre-eminent personal search firm.

Credited in the press for working with such names as Paula Abdul, The Boston Red Sock's Tom Werner, NFL star Terrell Owens, Denise Richards, Jennifer Aniston and the Today Show’s Hoda Kotb. Amber's company, Kelleher International specializes in highly selective, educated Professionals, Athletes, Celebrities and Fortune 500 CEO’s.
Amber Kelleher currently serves as the companies CEO and has been featured as the face of Kelleher by hundreds of media outlets across America and overseas.

The brand Kelleher is synonymous with exclusivity and the Kelleher's themselves serve as quintessential leaders in their field. Awarded back to back top global matchmaking awards for 2010 and 2011, Amber's firm continues to set the standard today for upscale, personalized matchmaking.

Amber is an alumni of San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theater (ACT) and started her career in the entertainment industry as an actress. She has been married to her husband Nico Andrews - a PAN American Gold Medalist in Jiu Jitsu-for thirteen years and together they raise their three children, Connor, Roan and Tallulah in beautiful Marin County California.

Kelleher International has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Dallas, Boston, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Miami, New York, Stockholm  and London.
Professional Websites: www.amberkelleher.com or www.Kelleher-International.com

Favorite Charities: Planet Heritage and World Concern

Renee Siegel

Renee Siegel

Featured in Chapter 2: Romance and Marriage

Renee is Executive Director and owner of ABC Wellness and Healing. "ABC" refers to Awareness, Balance and Connection, the formula Renee believes is the framework for a strong recovery program. Comprehensive treatment utilizing the wellness philosophy is available for individuals and families struggling with addictions and other compulsive behaviors.

Renee Siegel received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in psychology and has always had a strong interest in integrating body, mind and spiritual principles in working with clients in counseling. After receiving a master's degree in marriage and family psychology from Wayne State University, she began her career treating individuals and families affected by drug and alcohol problems. Renee has worked in several inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient, and private practice settings. She also worked with a variety of patient populations including women, men, adolescent and dually diagnosed.

Renee is a nationally certified gambling counselor. She has specialized in treating gamblers since 1994 and has a special interest in helping family members. Because of her compulsive gambling expertise, Renee has presented locally and nationally, appeared in the media, trained other treatment professionals, and published articles on the subject.

ABC Wellness and Healing is Renee's vision. In order to expand that vision and to positively touch as many lives as possible, Renee has put together some truly unique programs and services. Renee has been working with Helen Palmer to incorporate the Enneagram system into ABC Wellness and Healing. Renee and Helen have put together an exciting DVD, Nine Points of View, about the Enneagram, which can be purchased at the Scottsdale location and will be available on our website soon. Along with Judith Sugg, PhD, Renee has published a 15-session interactive DVD and family workbook. Also on Renee's radar is how financial issues relate to problem gambling and she will be releasing a book on the topic in the Fall.

Professional Website: www.abcwellnessandhealing.com
Favorite Charity: The Women's Red Tent


Vikki Ziegler

Vikki S. Ziegler

Featured in Chapter Two: Romance and Marriage and Chapter 5: Crisis and Loss
Vikki S. Ziegler, Esq. is a multi-layered talent: a practicing attorney of matrimonial law and civil litigation; a television personality known for her commentaries on high-profile cases; an active volunteer for women’s and children’s charities; and the innovator of a unique and realistic approach to “divorce management.” Bringing together her insights as a divorce attorney, her childhood experience of her own parents’ divorce, and years of careful listening to clients and friends, Ziegler’s approach seeks to de-stigmatize divorce by allowing its empowering aspects to triumph. Her concrete pre-marital tips help couples avoid the pitfalls that can lead to divorce, and her step-by-step impact-management guide will prevent emotional and financial devastation for those facing the inevitable. Capable, qualified and compassionate, Ziegler holds a folio of accomplishments that speak for themselves.

Ziegler is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she studied Political Science, Sociology and Spanish, and Quinnipiac College School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut. While a student, she served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jerome Hornblaas in the Criminal Part of the State Supreme Court of New York and, in Rhode Island, worked for the Public Defender’s office in the Domestic Violence Unit and volunteered at a Battered Women’s Shelter.

Following law school graduation in 1998, Ziegler returned to her home state of New Jersey, where she served as a clerk to the Honorable Michael K. Diamond, presiding Judge in the Family Division of the Superior Court in Passaic County. While under Diamond’s tutelage, she trained as a mediator in small claims and landlord tenant matters, knowledge she has applied to her work as a divorce lawyer. Viewing mediation and settlement as the most beneficial outcome for all, she has successfully settled 99% of her cases to date.

In 1999, Ziegler entered private practice, specializing in the areas of matrimonial and civil litigation. She is a member of the Passaic County, Essex County and New Jersey State Bar Associations, as well as a member of the Northern New Jersey and Family Law Inns of Court. Over the course of her career, honors and distinctions have made steady arrival. She was nominated and appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to the District XI Ethics Committee for Passaic County, a four year term of which she has completed as the Chairperson. In 2006, she was chosen as one of the “Top 40 Lawyers under 40” by the New Jersey Law Journal followed by the same recognition in 2008 by New Jersey Business News for her professional excellence and her commitment to her community. In 2011 and 2010, she was recognized as a rising star in the Super Lawyers Magazine and was named Top 50 Women in Business by the New Jersey Business News in March 2010. For the past eight years she has served as an Executive Panel Chair in Passaic, Morris and Essex Counties, assisting with recommendations for divorce settlement solutions. She also has volunteered her time and expertise to sit as a Moot Court Judge for Rutgers law students. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School. She was featured in Image Magazine as the "local spotlight" for her achievements in New Jersey.

As an authoritative and motivational speaker, Ziegler shines. She has spoken on how to cope with the pressures of working for a judge and the law clerks role for their tenure at the law clerk “Boot Camp” for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (New Jersey Chapter), on the First Amendment at the Institute of American and Talmudic Law for Continuing Legal Education for Attorneys, and on divorce and money for numerous accounting firms, including Merrill Lynch. In fact, Ziegler has been chosen to speak at a CPA convention where top accountants are gathering to discuss litigation tactics when facing forensic accountants in the context of trial. She also has taught the two day Family Law Practice seminar for the Institute For Continuing Legal Education with the Honorable Michael k. Diamond for over 150 lawyers. She spoke at the State Bar Convention on Social Media in 2011, for the American Bar Association on Social Media and Divorce, as well as a key note Speaker at the Annual Women's Empowerment Summit this summer. She is a teacher for the Marino Legal Group education new attorneys on Family Law Basics offering CLE credit for participants. She also speaks throughout the country all legal topics.

She is often called on to give her expert advice on television, radio and print for the past several years. She is on HLN/CNN, Fox News and Fox Business Channel weekly. She has been on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox 5, TAlk Soup on E!, ESPN and many other networks. She is also contributing to top publication such as People Magazine, Ok!, Life and Styles as well as www.popeater.com , www.thehuffingtonpost.com and www.hollywoodlife.com. She has been quoted in the NY Times, Washington Times, momlogic.com, E!news.com, yahoo.com, NY Post, Daily News and many others. Her vast media experience has made her a premiere legal expert.

Ziegler currently is awaiting publication of her next book entitled " The Pre-Marital Planner, "A Complete Legal Guide". Her movie entitled “Love, Lies and Litigation” a chick-lit legal thriller will be out in theaters in 2012. Her current published book “Premarital Survival Guide” for those approaching marriage to stay in it for the long haul which is available on her website and on Amazon.com. She also has co-authored legal articles for NY Divorce Magazine and the New Jersey Law Journal, titled “How Can I Keep My Legal Fees Down During My Divorce?” and “Know Your Limits,” respectively.
Professional Website: www.vikkiziegler.com
Favorite Charity: Make a Wish Foundation