Wins & Celebrations: Carrie West, John Westhaver & Zaneta Johns

Wins & Celebrations: Carrie West, John Westhaver & Zaneta Johns

Good news stories are inspiring and sometimes ignite others to bring their dreams and purpose to life. We love hearing how people in our Raise a Dream community are making a difference, putting their goals and impact projects into play, and—of course—raising dreams.

Throughout the year, we put a call out to our Raise a Dream community to let us know about:

  • A success or something they are celebrating
  • Their most helpful tip or action strategy from one of our Raise a Dream trainings (and how this  impacted their results or made a difference)
To kick off 2024, we bring you another fantastic client spotlight. Please enjoy what Carrie, John, and Zan have to share… I know this sure inspired me!


Carrie West

Carrie West

About Carrie:

Carrie KC West is a sought-after speaker with over ten years’ experience in the entertainment industry. Her time in Hollywood informed her view about the importance of Story in our lives and how it’s central to how we function. A well developed, balanced Story brings fulfillment and success in business, in relationships, and in life. Carrie shares her own story so that people and organizations are inspired to change the underlying Stories that keep them from realizing their full potential. Carrie is the author of Memoir of An Ordinary Person and the stories that changed her life, due for release in early 2024.

Carrie’s Win / Celebration / Favourite Tip:

Carrie KC West began her journey to publish her book, Memoir of An Ordinary Person , after meeting with publishers to discuss options and costs. After having financial challenges during the Covid pandemic, Carrie thought crowdfunding might work for her. She then took the course, Crowdfunding for Authors by Charmaine Hammond (Raise a Dream) and Victoria Bennett (The Crowdfunding Hub). As a result of her work with them, she raised over $20,000 and is still going.

Her book is in the final edit and the preliminary launch date is early 2024. Carrie is also on her way to creating an audio version of the book due to the success of her crowdfunding campaign. She will also be launching her program, “Change Your Story Change Your Life” in 2024.

~ Carrie West
Founder of the Storyteller’s Academy and the Change Your Story Change Your Life Program

Connect with Carrie:

Memoir of An Ordinary Person and her journey to an extraordinary life

John Westhaver

John Westhaver

About John:

For health and safety and HR professionals looking to instill a culture of responsibility and resilience, John Westhaver's life story serves as a compelling case study. Raised in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, John was a conscientious student and valued his close circle of friends. However, just prior to his high school graduation in 1994, he experienced a tragic event that altered his life's course forever—a devastating car crash caused by reckless driving. Though the driver was sober, the car lost control and hit a telephone pole, leading to the heartbreaking loss of three of John's friends and life-threatening burns on 75% of his body.

Awakening from a month-long coma, John faced the dual challenges of emotional and physical recovery. His journey back to health wasn't merely a fight for survival; it was a formative experience that shaped his perspectives on resilience, safety, and personal responsibility. The hardships he encountered—coupled with his commitment to persevere—catalyzed his resolve to inspire others to make safer and more responsible choices.

John's compelling narrative of recovery and transformation is a powerful tool for organizations aiming to fortify their approach to employee well-being and safety. His insights into resilience and responsible decision-making offer a deeply impactful and human-centered approach to these essential workplace qualities.

John’s Win / Celebration / Favourite Tip:

As an experienced keynote speaker with a history of extensive speaking tours, I deeply understand the significance of cultivating strong relationships. This principle is crucial not only in my interactions with clients but also with sponsors. Participating in the “Raise A Dream” workshop reinforced this perspective, providing me with new strategies to connect with potential sponsors more effectively. The workshop was a revelation, highlighting the limitations of my previous, more generalized approaches. It emphasized the necessity of building a rapport with sponsors, engaging them meaningfully before proposing any commitments, and allowing them to familiarize themselves with my work and ethos.

A notable achievement recently was securing a contract that integrates my personal narrative and life lessons into the personal health and wellness curriculum across New Brunswick for grades 6-9. This opportunity to influence and inspire students province-wide is a testament to the effectiveness of the techniques and insights gained from the Raise A Dream workshop. By captivating the client's interest in the potential of my story and diligently fostering this relationship, we've achieved a mutually beneficial outcome. This success is a clear example of the power of strategic engagement and the positive impact of professional development.

~ John Westhaver
Social Leader | International Speaker

Connect with John:

Zaneta Johns

Zaneta Johns

About Zaneta:

Zaneta Varnado Johns is an internationally recognized author of three poetry collections: #1 bestseller Poetic Forecast (2020), After the Rainbow: Golden Poems (2022) and Encore: A Collection of Poetry (2023). Johns is a contributing author in the Women Speakers Association’s #1 international bestsellers Voices of the 21st Century (2021, 2022, 2023). Her poems are featured as the Dedication page in these collaborative books. Click here to purchase.

Johns created the What Matters Journal in 2023 to promote wellness, self-care, gratitude, and mindfulness. She learned in Your Book as a Business (YBAAB) training that spinoff products are ideal sources of revenue that benefit from your primary product(s) or brand. This unique weekly guide is a spinoff from her Pushcart nominated poem, “What Matters,” featured in three of her publications. Click here to purchase.

Zaneta’s Win / Celebration / Favourite Tip:

Win: In Spring 2023, I was contacted by the President of the Colorado Association of Administrators of Student Loans & Accounts Receivable to deliver the keynote address at their regional conference. I researched the organization and previewed the conference agenda. Given a one-hour time slot with financial administrators, I would set the tone for discussions that would ultimately enhance their service to students and their families. I was appropriately compensated, including travel expenses and the purchase of After the Rainbow for all attendees. I was also provided with a table and set-up for book signing, a chance to make further connections.

Tip: My advice is to research the organization beforehand and feel confident that you will enhance their business. Be creative when negotiating compensation, especially with nonprofit organizations, by offering a range of pay options. I treasure everything I learned in Raise a Dream’s YBAAB training. Charmaine Hammond's voice is welcomed and appreciated.

~ Zaneta Varnado Johns
International Bestselling Poet and Author

Connect with Zaneta:

Starting the Year with a Good News Round-Up

Time and time again, we see that people sharing the dreams they have raised and the projects they brought to life inspires others to raise their dreams. There are so many people in our Raise a Dream community working on projects that are doing good for the world, and we love sharing them and being good news ambassadors. 

Who do you know that is bringing a project to life or has made a difference? What if you became their good news ambassador and celebrated their good news?!

share good news about raising dreams and collaborations

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