Former Chandler councilwoman launches a podcasting career - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Former Chandler councilwoman launches a podcasting career

June 15th, 2020 development
Former Chandler councilwoman launches a podcasting career

By Janelle Molony

Former Chandler Vice-Mayor Nora Ellen has officially declared her retirement from politics to pursue a new career path in podcasting.

Her show, titled Women Starting Over, features women who have overcome major financial setbacks and achieved success.

“It’s intended to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Ellen, the mother of state Sen. J.D. Mesnard, a Republican and longtime lawmaker who represents south Chandler and a portion of western Gilbert.

“I want all women to know they can be empowered when it comes to income, money and finances, no matter what their current situation is,” Ellen said. “Just turn it around.”

Even before her withdrawal from the 2020 re-election – in which she initially had intended a second run at one of two House seats in Legislative District 17 – Ellen began recording success story interviews with women from around the country in a local studio.

She admits, there are several types of “starting over” that her guests touch on, including marriage and divorce, career changes, relocations, and even re-defining one’s social sphere due to a serious life change.

There are women in a corporate job who want to launch their own business. For others, starting over was not by their own choice.”

Some of the women interviewed found themselves asking: “How did I get here?” “What do I do to begin?” and “Why didn’t I do something sooner?”

Ellen can relate to her guests because she’s been through a gamut of life changes where she’s had to learn to regroup instead of rebound.

“When you’re starting over doing something else, you have to become someone else. It’s uncomfortable!” she explained. “If not, you’ll end up in the same place you were before.”

Her first episode launched on Apple Podcasts in March with a warm welcome to her inaugural audience.

The stories shared are positive and uplifting, but have nothing to do with her political past.

This venture is yet another example of how the award-winning Realtor-turned-councilwoman has “started over” herself.

Wishing she had a show like Women Starting Over when she went through a divorce, she said she would have appreciated a guide to affirm her strengths and encourage her to develop them into a financial asset.

Ellen said her biggest learning curve as a new podcaster in her sixties has been to navigate the technology required to record, edit and process the audio files.

“It’s easy for me to connect with women and give them hope, encouragement, and inspiration. I want them to hear ‘If she can do it, so can I.’”

But to reach a broad audience, she’ll need to become more savvier to Twitter and Instagram.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the closure of studios, Ellen had to outfit a quiet space in her home to continue recording.

As for her competition in this field, Ellen said, “I haven’t found anybody who is empowering women who have had to start over, like I am.”

Other shows are “usually about relationships,” she added, but hers will hinge on the financial factors involved in the individual’s stories.

Women are driven both into and out of relationships due to matters of financial security and a couple’s spending or investing habits.

Ellen’s desire is to shine a light on finding financial freedom whether the woman is in a relationship or not.

New episodes of Women Starting Over are being released each Wednesday.

Ellen is also writing a book by the same title which will expand on the conversations heard on the podcast. Each podcast guest she interviews has a different backstory or direction they have taken, but “the book is more step-by-step, instead of a sound byte, and it’ll be more geared towards the individual reading the material.”

Ellen remains open on whether she will ever run again for a position in local or state government.

But she added that she is quite satisfied with her current endeavor and the time it allows for her to enjoy being a grandmother.

Nevertheless, she’ll still be vying for listener “votes” and ratings on her new platform. Those who are interested in participating in a guest interview can reach Nora at

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