62 minutes | May 17th 2019

Sonya Pfeiffer | A Life in Full - Ep. 97

Sonya Pfeiffer is owner and creative director of the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art, a fine arts gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina. She leads the gallery’s strategic planning and programming.  Sonya is also a criminal defense attorney and partner in the Rudolf Widenhouse Law Firm, specializing in wrongful conviction litigation. She spent many years as a general assignment and investigative reporter at television stations in Boston, Raleigh, Omaha and New York. Sonya earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Journalism from Ohio University and J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested directing an art gallery, criminal defense, television reporting, the practice of Ahimsa, and the once chance we have in life.


  • Sonya describes the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art, how she goes about creatively directing, the topics that interest her, and what she hopes the Gallery becomes.

  • She considers whether a fine arts gallery that sells at a price point that only a few people can afford is in fact inclusive.

  • She discusses her law firm’s statement of values, why standing up to the power of the state is personal to her, and seeing the humanity and perspective of another person.

  • Sonya talks about politics, Catholicism, Olympic development soccer, and a playground incident that taught her lesson about empathy and privilege.

  • She explains why she and her sibling became storytellers, her desire to become a foreign correspondent, and what taking unconventional paths says about her personality.

  • Sonya talks about the Michael Peterson case, how other reporters would have described her, her significant scoops, and the Owl theory.

  • She shares how her relationship with David Rudolf came about, what drew them together, and answers whether she thinks of her and David as a power couple.

  • Sonya reflects on her spiritual journey, her concept of God, her practice of Ahimsa and Yoga, and the one chance she has in this life.

plus Mark’s Personal Word Essay: Partial to the Defense

To learn more, visit On Life and Meaning