The following is a post from Kim Sedmak, Executive Producer of AARP’s “Your Life Calling TODAY” with Jane Pauley.
Jane Pauley and I along with AARP’s “Your Life Calling TODAY” TV production crew arrived in San Francisco by being unexpectedly welcomed by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, the world renowned flying aerobatic team. They were in the “‘City by the Bay” for their annual October air show! The stunts performed are amazing spectacles to behold – the roar of these fighter jets can wreck havoc when trying to record a network television interview. The sound waves from their jets can blast through any concrete building and our interview set-up adjacent to the Ferry Building was right in their line of performance fire. Fortunately, we finished shooting with Lauren Walters just before the air show took to the skies.
It’s the kind of unexpected serendipity Walters, co-founder of “Two Degrees Food” is known for – and our interview with him gave way for much food for thought.
Walters along with his co-founder, Will Hauser, a 25-year-old former Wall Streeter joined together in 2010 to form a company with the purpose of doing business for good. By that, I mean developing “Two Degrees Food,” a nutrition bar company where a portion of the proceeds go to feeding hungry children both here and abroad. Two generations, both yearning for a new “life calling”! They had no real food manufacturing company experience, only believing they had enough connections and experience between the two of them to create a profitable start-up company that works for good.
Lauren Walters is a man who is patiently persistent. From the moment we were first connected through a former AARP colleague, he never failed to patiently remind me on many different occasions and in many ways why his story might make for an inspiring “Your Life Calling TODAY” segment. His persistence included even tracking me down to schedule a first time face-to-face meeting prior to my arrival at the Skoll World Forum last April at Oxford. When he discovered via an online message board I was attending, he suggested we have coffee. Now, that’s a man who is paying attention.
When Lauren and I finally connected, the first thing he did was open a box of Two Degrees bars. I soon discovered they’re quite tasty. No doubt that’s why the bars are carried in more than 1,000 grocery retail stores including 350 Whole Foods Markets. But times are tough for Two Degrees, and their financial future is very unsure at the moment.
However, from the start of our series, Jane Pauley has prided herself on saying her definition of success is when people try. Lauren Walters is trying very hard to keep Two Degrees going and if for some reason it doesn’t make it, he’ll be back at the drawing board again. That’s just who he is – resilient, inspiring and most of all, patiently persistent. It serves him well!
Watch AARP’s “Your Life Calling TODAY” with Jane Pauley on the NBC TODAY show Thursday Nov. 15, 8:30-9a.m. For more information, please visit our website.