I knew Stephen Sondheim, even though we never met. I encountered him as a teenager when, on a Sunday afternoon, Dad put a brand-new Time-Life Records Broadway collection on the stereo and “Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch”, in the trust of Elaine Stritch, hit me right between the eyes. Hearing those words and that melody delivered by Stritch made me want to know the world she and Sondheim and the musicians were painting. Beyond honoring the essence of every art form – provoking curiosity and wonder – Sondheim taught me that embracing new thoughts, questions and challenges, out in the open, is the first step to making good change and including others in the process. As we tangle with what makes for influence and impact, it seems that fearlessness and focus are the hallmarks of the giants who, just by being who they are, help us to move forward out of comfort zones and swamps alike.