Our Team


Candace Schoner is the host and producer of the mental health podcast Speaking Candidly with Candace. She is on a mission to end the stigma of mental illness using her background in journalism combined with her own experience with ADHDPTSD, and visual dyslexia. Candace uses her podcast to inspire and provide a safe forum for others to share their mental health stories.Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Candace was the youngest of four siblings. Her alcoholic father was seldom home and when he was, Candace lived in fear of his excessive drinking and violent outburst.Throughout her childhood, she also struggled with severe nearsightedness, body image and social skills making her an easy target for bullies. This reinforced her desire to keep to herself and attempt to remain invisible.​Candace finally found her voice when she attended and graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, TV and Film; and a double minor in Journalism and Theater.During college, Candace worked for MetroMedia News in Washington, DC. where she began a 10 year career in broadcast journalism. She has worked as a news producer, writer and video editor for companies including VISNEWS, ITNA, NBC Today Show, and NBC Nightly News. Following her success in broadcast news, Candace began working in television production at St. John’s University and eventually went into advertising and marketing. She currently owns and operates Schoner Communications, a boutique marketing agency in Charlottesville, VA. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her adopted dog and cat, playing tennis, home remodeling and photography. Contact Candace.


Kim Lange is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and the founder of Growing Up Confident. Kim connects parents, educators, and therapists in openhearted conversations on navigating the emotional world of kids.

Kim received a BA in Special Education from Lynchburg College and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley College. She’s worked with children and families for over 20 years and currently has a private practice in Wilmington, NC specializing in child and adolescent anxiety.
Claire Kaplan, Ph.D., is a writer, teacher, artist, and victim advocate. Prior to her retiring in June 2020, Kaplan was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department. She served as Program Director of Gender Violence and Social Change (GVSC) at UVa’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center and acted as a confidential advocate for survivors.

In 2007, Kaplan founded the Men’s Leadership Project in Virginia to promote healthy, non-violent, gender-aware masculinities. As a writer, Kaplan has published numerous articles on gender violence, social justice, and victim rights. Claire lives in Central Virginia with her wife of 31 years and three opinionated cats.


Leah Connor, M.A., M.F.A., has 25+ years of experience in creative services and digital marketing for both small businesses and non-profit organizations. Her academic background is in liberal arts with an MA in Women’s Studies from The George Washington University and MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University. Leah lives in Charlottesville with her identical twin sister, two children, and husband (when he’s not teaching English literature at Wichita State University).