Mod Speaker Spotlight: Chiara Sulprizio

Mod is pleased to introduce Communication and Empowerment coach Doctor Chiara Sulprizio, for a special presentation focused on Communication at the next Mod Social, April 27th, 6 to 8 p.m. at Refinery Nashville.

Here, we spend a little time getting to know her.

WHAT COMMUNICATION SKILLS DO YOU THINK MAKES A STRONG LEADER?

Obviously I’m biased here, but I think effective communication is a must for a strong leader. A strong leader has to be articulate and use language skillfully, but she also needs to cultivate empathy through her ability to listen, and she must maintain a sense of poise in challenging situations. It’s also crucial for a strong leader to display bravery and perseverance. And of course, she needs to have a vibrant sense of humor to get her through the tough times, and have the ability to relax and enjoy her successes whenever and wherever they occur in her life.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE CHALLENGING WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE?

In my view, it is the lack of structural support that working mothers and families receive in the United States. There is no paid maternity leave on the federal level (and in most states), no childcare subsidies, and no paid time off for those who are taking care of sick children or elderly family members. The US is the only country in the industrialized and the developing world (except in Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea) without these protections for workers. Not only does this create a lot of unnecessary stress for working women, it entraps us all, whether male or female, in a gendered system of labor straight out of the 1950s, which ultimately wastes a lot of our talents and doesn’t match up with the realities of our modern lives.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF PROFESSIONAL OR PERSONAL ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN BY SOMEONE ELSE?

This piece of advice was not given to me by someone I know personally but it has resonated with me for a long time. It’s from a book called It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, which was written by Paul Arden, the renowned creative director of the advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi. I read it when I was a graduate student in the early 2000s and to this day, whenever I am worried about people “stealing” my ideas, or when I am not sure whether my work is “original” enough to put out there in the world, I go back to this particular insight: “Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will come back to you…If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish. Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you. Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership.” To me, this sentiment incredibly liberating, and it gives me the inspiration to keep creating and keep sharing, no matter what.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT (EITHER PROFESSIONALLY OR PERSONALLY)?

I just signed a contract to begin teaching in the Classical Studies department at Vanderbilt in the fall, which will be a wonderful opportunity for me to get back in the classroom. On the personal front, my husband and I are currently completing our certification to become foster parents, so it’s likely we will be welcoming a new child (or maybe two!) into our home sometime this summer.

WHAT ARE THREE THINGS WE WOULDN’T GUESS TO BE TRUE ABOUT YOU?

I played bass guitar in a pop band called “Lots of Love” for about three years back in LA; I come from a family of accomplished horseback riders, ropers and rodeo competitors; despite my Mediterranean heritage, I hate olives (and pickles too).

CHIARA, CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT NASHVILLE?

Coming from LA, I have been pleasantly surprised by the easy pace of life here in Nashville. I’ve been able to meet so many great people and make new connections in the short time I’ve been here, which has been really inspiring. There is so much great energy flowing through the city right now too – I feel like there are new opportunities around every corner. I really enjoy trying out all the restaurants and bars that are opening around town and visiting different parks and outdoor attractions with my son. And I must give a shout out to the Parthenon – I am a docent there and it is one of my favorite places in town because of all the art, architecture and history it contains. Come see me sometime and I’ll give you a tour!

Chiara Sulprizio, PhD is a communication and empowerment coach who specializes in helping women improve their personal relationships and achieve their professional goals. She is also the owner of Ivy & June Custom Ceremonies, which provides wedding officiant services and premarital coaching to modern brides, grooms and same-sex couples. Before moving to Nashville with her husband and son, Chiara worked as a professor of Classical languages and literature at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She loves traveling and exploring new places (especially if hot springs or waterfalls are involved), reading great books and helping people learn new skills. Find Chiara online.


Tammy Hart is a strategic marketing consultant specializing in content development for small business growth.She enjoys exploring new ideas, sharing adventures and finding out what makes each person unique.  In her spare time she can be found at a football game or a fashion show.