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Level Up Podcast
50 minutes | 7 days ago
Effective Change Management with Nikki DiCaro, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Data Officer of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Philadelphia
Nikki DiCaro is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Data Officer for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, an organization that mobilizes financial and volunteer resources to address the Jewish community’s most critical priorities. In this role, Nikki is responsible for the organization’s accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, annual audits, and more. Before joining the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Nikki served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for the Please Touch Museum. She has a passion for serving her community and building strong and sustainable accounting, finance, and operating teams. Additionally, Nikki is a published author with eighteen books under her belt and counting. In this episode… How do you effectively lead your team through change? Whether it’s a transition to virtual work or a shift in roles, a change in the workplace can be difficult to manage—especially in 2021. So, what are the best strategies for managing change while maintaining a productive and happy team? Nikki DiCaro has experienced her fair share of moves and pivots throughout her long and successful career. Now, she uses this knowledge to help other business leaders effectively approach change management. As she says, the key to navigating change in the workplace is prioritizing communication every step of the way. From seeking feedback while innovating your systems to starting conversations with your team about their career goals, consistent communication is the secret to success. On this episode of Level Up, Nick Araco interviews Nikki DiCaro, the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Data Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, about her strategies for navigating change and innovation in the workplace. Nikki discusses how she has pivoted throughout her decades-long career, her advice for communicating effectively with your team, and the key ingredients of successful innovation in 2021. Stay tuned for more!
40 minutes | 14 days ago
How to Become a Joychiever with Tracy LaLonde, Author of The Joychiever Journey
Tracy LaLonde is a professional speaker, business development coach, and author of The Joychiever Journey. She has 28 years of experience in professional public speaking and 20 years of experience in the legal industry. After transforming her life and career through her own joy journey, Tracy founded Joychiever to help other overachievers discover their unique path, define their joy, and apply their ambition to achieve a balanced, happy life. Tracy is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Xaphes, an agency that helps lawyers harness their authentic confidence to be effective business developers and public speakers. Outside of work, Tracy is a budding golfer, habitual fiction reader, part-time foodie, and amateur mixologist. In this episode… Are you an overachiever? If so, you’re not alone. But, have you ever stopped to think about what you want out of your life—besides professional accomplishments? Have you ever asked yourself: what truly brings me joy? Tracy LaLonde, the author of The Joychiever Journey, was also a chronic overachiever. She used to spend 40 weeks out of the year traveling from one destination to another, often visiting multiple cities in one week. But, exhausted from this overachieving lifestyle, Tracy decided to take a break, reclaim her happiness, and start her joy journey. Now, Tracy helps other overachievers boost their personal and professional lives by pursuing happiness and becoming Joychievers. Join us in this week's episode of Level Up as Tracy LaLonde, author, professional speaker, and business development coach, joins Nick Araco to discuss how to achieve greater joy in your personal and professional life. Tracy explains what it means to be a Joychiever, how to align your work with what makes you happiest, and the importance of taking time to refill your reservoir. She also shares her key takeaways for professionals looking to start their joy journey in 2021. Stay tuned.
42 minutes | 21 days ago
Balancing the Demands of Work and Home in 2021 with Colleen Mook, Former Founder and CEO of Baby Be Hip
Colleen Mook is an experienced entrepreneur, investor, speaker, podcaster, and small business consultant. Since selling her successful business, Baby Be Hip, in 2019, Colleen has focused her time on helping other entrepreneurs develop their businesses and balance the demands of work and home. In addition to her consultant work, she is also the host of the motivational podcast, Be Bold, Be Brave, Be YOU! Colleen has been featured in various television, print, and online media, including The TODAY Show, for her accomplishments in building a successful brand while raising a family. She was also recognized by the Female Entrepreneur Association and named a “Daring Doer” by Tory Johnson, among other awards. In this episode… If you were a business leader or entrepreneur during 2020, then you have probably experienced the challenge of balancing life and work firsthand. From transitioning to working from home to learning how to homeschool, it has probably been difficult—if not impossible—to make that separation. As you continue to grow your business in 2021, how can you find the right chord between work/life balance? As the former Founder and CEO of Baby Be Hip and a mother of four, Colleen Mook has been perfecting her work/life balance long before 2020. Although she has faced her fair share of challenges, Colleen has always found ways to stay resilient and overcome any obstacles that come her way. As she says, it’s all about creating boundaries, making time for self-care, and prioritizing communication. Colleen Mook, a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and podcaster, joins Nick Araco in this episode of Level Up to share her strategies for finding a work/life balance in 2021. Colleen discusses how she grew her business while raising four children, how she pivoted the different aspects of her life and business in 2020, and the importance of creating boundaries as a business leader. This is an insightful episode on how to successfully navigate the demands of work and home so make sure to tune in!
62 minutes | a month ago
Building Inclusive and Healthy Teams with Dr. Shelton Goode, CEO and President of Icarus Consulting
Dr. Shelton Goode is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Icarus Consulting, a veteran-owned consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations create an inclusive culture. Dr. Goode has over 20 years of experience with diversity and inclusion, HR, talent management, and organizational and leadership development. In 2019, he was named one of the "Top 10 D&I Trailblazers" by Forbes. Prior to joining Icarus Consulting, Dr. Goode held executive positions for companies ranging from $300 million to more than $11 billion in yearly revenue and has worked with enterprises, both large and small, across industries. He is also a highly decorated Air Force veteran who has not only served the country in a time of war, but has consistently served his community in times of need. In this episode… Are you an effective leader? Better yet, are you an effective listener? Being a successful business leader requires more than simply steering your ship—it also means creating an environment that facilitates constructive feedback and dialogue within your team. Dr. Shelton Goode, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Icarus Consulting, helps business leaders build and retain inclusive and healthy teams. According to him, building a successful team requires three things: vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity. By being open with your employees, you can cultivate a culture of feedback, trust, and success. In this week's episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with Dr. Shelton Goode, the CEO and President of Icarus Consulting, to discuss how to build and maintain an inclusive culture at your company. Dr. Goode shares the importance of constructive feedback from team members, how to lower your company's turnover rate, and his strategies for embracing change as a business leader. Stay tuned.
42 minutes | a month ago
Cultivating Transparency and Authenticity in a Virtual Workplace with Jim Dawson, President of Heidolph North America.
Jim Dawson is the President of Heidolph North America. Heidolph is a leader in the production of premium laboratory equipment for the scientific research industry in more than 100 countries worldwide. At Heidolph North America, Jim and his team provide dedicated customer service, shipping logistics, technical support, and sales management to the US and Canadian laboratory market. Prior to joining Heidolph North America, Jim was the Executive Director for Brinkmann Instruments. He received his MBA in Finance from Indiana Wesleyan University and his BS in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. In this episode… How has your team navigated the switch to virtual work over the past year? Do your customers trust you—and do you trust them? Can they rely on you to show up with authenticity and cultivate a healthy culture in 2021 and beyond? If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the ability to pivot in an uncertain situation is an essential skill for leaders and employees alike. After navigating the many challenges of the past year, Jim Dawson, the President of Heidolph North America, has discovered the secret to maintaining culture while growing a business in 2021: transparency. By staying transparent with his clients and employees, Jim has built a stronger team and company going into the new year. In this week's episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with Jim Dawson, the President of Heidolph North America, to discuss how to cultivate a healthy work/life balance, open communication, and transparency in a virtual workplace. Jim reveals how he marries innovation and engineering in his business processes and shares his strategies for promoting wellness in his company. Stay tuned.
44 minutes | a month ago
The Power of Curiosity and Understanding in the Middle Market with Michele Juliana, Principal in the Technology Consulting Practice at RSM US
Michele Juliana is the Principal in the Technology Consulting Practice at RSM US, where she leads the business applications team. RSM is a leading audit tax and consulting firm focused on the middle market. At RSM US, Michele works with various public and private sector organizations to optimize technology use. Prior to joining RSM US, Michele was an Account Manager at Keystone Information Systems and a Federal Grant Program Manager for the State of New Jersey. She has a broad range of experience in the public sector, life sciences, and software and professional services. In this episode… In 2020, the middle market was forced to change its priorities in order to reach more clients and build better connections across sectors and teams. So, how can enterprise leaders continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of remote work as we enter 2021? Michele Juliana, the Principal in the Technology Consulting Practice at RSM US, believes in the power of curiosity and understanding when implementing new technology into your business operations. As she says, our ability to adapt, overcome, and move forward will shape the future business model of the middle market. In this week's episode of Level Up, Nick Araco sits down with Michele Juliana, the Principal in the Technology Consulting Practice at RSM US, to discuss how the middle market evolved in 2020 and what to expect from the future of remote work. Michele shares her thoughts on how to improve connectivity across multiple sectors, the next wave of business technology, and what to look for in a new recruit. Michele also talks about her unconventional career path and the leadership lessons she learned from her mentors. Stay tuned.
53 minutes | 2 months ago
How to be a Responsive Leader with Del Keffer, Vice President of Sales at Kirby-Smith Machinery
Del Keffer is the Vice President of Sales at Kirby-Smith Machinery, a leading distributor of heavy equipment and cranes in the central United States. In his role at Kirby-Smith Machinery, Del believes in the value of teamwork and trust-based business relationships that drive superior results. In the last 40 years, Del has carved out a powerful career path, transitioning from garden sales to the executive suite. Before joining Kirby-Smith Machinery, Del was the President of North American Trailer and a Vice President at Volvo Construction Equipment. His drive and leadership continue to inspire his colleagues and team members to grow and succeed. In this episode… How dedicated are you to cultivating teamwork and leadership within your organization? Del Keffer, the Vice President of Sales at Kirby-Smith Machinery, has worked in countless roles as a salesperson, and he passionately believes in investing in the growth of his team. As Del says, the ability to invest in ourselves, our company, and those under our care is essential for leadership. That’s why his New Year’s resolution is to be a more responsive leader for his team. So, what is his advice on how to better engage with your team and focus on achieving your—and their—goals in 2021? In this week's episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with the Vice President of Sales at Kirby-Smith Machinery, Del Keffer. Together, they discuss the essential ego of a salesperson, Del’s start in the sales industry, and how to cultivate your team’s authentic talent. Del also shares the valuable lesson he learned from his biggest sales mistake and the importance of being a responsive leader for your team. Stay tuned.
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Insights into Leadership and Financial Literacy with Cheryl Nash, CEO of Tegra118
Cheryl Nash is the CEO of Tegra118, a trusted leader in wealth and asset management technology. Prior to joining the Tegra118 team, Cheryl was the President of Fiserv Investment Services, where she was responsible for business development, product strategy, and more. She is committed to pushing the boundaries of what is expected in wealth management with future-forward technology innovation. Cheryl's proudest professional moments include receiving the Money Management Institute's Pioneer Award, co-chairing the MMI’s Technology & Operations Committee, and sitting on MMI’s Board of Trustees’ Gateway to Leadership program dedicated to workplace diversity. In this episode… What do you know about your industry to be true? As your role and responsibilities evolve throughout the years, it’s important to adapt to the new standards of your changing industry—while still staying true to your core values. Cheryl Nash has worked her way through various positions in technology and wealth management, now leading her company as CEO. As an expert at navigating career lattices in an industry built on career ladders, Cheryl is committed to innovation, inclusion, and business development strategies. So, what is her advice to leaders looking to excel in the new year? In this episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco interviews Cheryl Nash, the CEO of Tegra118. They discuss what it means to be an agent of change in your industry, how to maintain company culture while working from home, and the importance of financial literacy. Cheryl also shares her thoughts on inclusion and diversity in the wealth management field and the lessons she's taking from 2020 into the new year. Stay tuned.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Align and Inspire with Al Cini, Managing Partner at BCAT Partners
Al Cini is a Managing Partner at BCAT Partners and the influential host of “CEO Chat,” where he interviews CEOs, founders, and owners about their personal success stories. Al has spent the last 40 years of his career building stronger teams and inspiring innovative leaders across various organizations. In addition to his work at BCAT Partners, Al is also a Senior Advisor for Lodestar Advisory Partners, a Facilitator for Onward Education, a Speaker for Vistage International, and the President and Executive Consultant for his company, Al Cini and Partners, Inc. In this episode… What does it mean to be a role model? According to Al Cini, at the heart of every successful team and organization, there exists an ideal role model that embodies the company's vision, core values, and best self. So, how can you align this role model with the day-to-day work and purpose of your team? Al has helped countless companies reorganize their approach to leadership by taking their ideas from paper to purpose. He believes that in order to build a company where innovative ideas flow, you must first create a culture that facilitates forward and collective thinkers. And, as he says, this starts with becoming a better role model for your organization. In this week's episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with Al Cini, the Managing Partner of BCAT Partners and host of “CEO Chats.” Together, they discuss what it means to be a role model for your organization, how to bridge the gap between multi-generational workers, and why 2021 has to be a year of dynamic problem-solving. Al also reveals his tried-and-true approach to realigning your vision with your team. Stay tuned.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Progress Over Perfection with Jennifer DeMello-Johnson, Vice President of Agency Services at Amerisure Insurance.
Jennifer DeMello-Johnson is the Vice President of Agency Services at Amerisure Insurance. She is responsible for developing and providing industry-leading solutions that accelerate the growth and profitability of Amerisure's select partner agencies. Jennifer has over 25 years of experience in leadership, HR, and resource management. Prior to joining Amerisure, Jennifer was the Global Resource Delivery Director for Dell EMC, where she developed resource management processes and innovative shared solutions in a consultative services environment. Currently, she serves as an Executive Board Member and Chairman of the Resources Development Committee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. In this episode… As the saying goes, "The beginning of wisdom lies in one's willingness to understand." This statement is also true for building effective relationships and cultivating the next generation of thought leaders. That’s why Jennifer DeMello-Johnson prioritizes effective communication between her team and clients at Amerisure Insurance. For Jennifer, the key to future success is cultivating strong relationships both inside and outside of her company. Her emphasis on progress over perfection has allowed her team to create high-level producers and leaders in the insurance industry and beyond. So, what makes Jennifer's model so effective—and how can you implement it at your company? Tune in to this week's episode of Level Up as host Nick Araco sits down with the Vice President of Agency Services at Amerisure Insurance, Jennifer DeMello-Johnson. Together, they discuss progress over perfection, the importance of maintaining and building new relationships, and the exciting future of the insurance industry. Jennifer also shares one of the lessons she learned early on in her career and how it still guides her today. Stay tuned!
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Cultivating Resilience and Empathy in the Legal Industry with Kara Dodson, Consultant and Coach at Volta Talent Strategies
Kara Dodson is a strategic consultant and coach at Volta Talent Strategies and an adjunct professor at Temple University's James E. Beasley School of Law. At Volta, Kara coaches lawyers of all levels in a variety of areas, including business development, time management, effective communication, stress management, leadership, and delegation. Kara started her legal career over 20 years ago at Duane Morris LLP. Since then, she has covered employment and labor cases dealing with professional malpractice, litigation matters, human rights, and more. Today, Kara is committed to helping law firms and attorneys maximize client relationships and develop business strategies for growth and success. In this episode… What does a lawyer need to succeed? Information; tools; colleagues with a common goal? According to Kara Dodson, one of the most valuable resources that a lawyer can have for business development is a coach who can help them cultivate a mindset of resilience and empathy. After decades of experience practicing employment law, Kara switched her focus to business development and coaching. Her mission is to create an atmosphere where lawyers can build stronger relationships with clients and continue to develop their talents in a changing industry. So, what is Kara’s advice for navigating the current opportunities and challenges in the legal profession? In this week's episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with coach, consultant, and attorney, Kara Dodson. Kara discusses her tips for stress management in 2020 and beyond, her transition from BigLaw to business development, and the importance of empathy in the workplace. She also shares her hopes for the future of the legal profession and her secrets for staying at the top of your game in the middle of a pandemic. Stay tuned!
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Why Authenticity Matters in Today's Market with Sandra Usleman, Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at USI
Sandra Usleman is the Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at USI, a national insurance brokerage and consulting firm. She collaborates with more than 120 practice leaders, regional CEOs, and over 2000 professional sales consultants to drive prospect identification, research and assignment, pipeline growth, and more. With over 20 years of experience at USI, Sandra has developed and launched a number of successful programs for the company, including the annual USI PEAK Incentive program. Sandra continues to operate at the intersection of the client experience and the employee experience, a phenomenon that has become increasingly important to business leaders in 2020 and beyond. In this episode… In times of innovation and crisis, the best idea always wins. Whether it is a creative approach to training new sales agents, or a fresh messaging process to maintain client engagement, the best idea stands the test of time. However, as Sandra Usleman, the Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at USI, understands, the best ideas typically come with a certain degree of risk. Luckily, USI was well equipped to handle risk management in 2020. Under the leadership of CEO Mike Sicard, Sandra’s team maintained their focus on finding the best idea—and they succeeded. Now, USI continues to pave the way with an interactive workplace and leading customer relationships. In this episode of Level Up, host Nick Araco sits down with Sandra Usleman, the Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at USI. They discuss company culture, risk management, and how USI has successfully pivoted in 2020. Sandra delves into how USI fosters innovation and risk management while building better relationships between teams and clients. She also shares her daily work-from-home routine for productivity and her thoughts on USI’s plans for the Roaring ‘20s. Stay tuned!
43 minutes | 3 months ago
The Pathway to Financial Leadership with Peter Nesbitt, Vice President of Finance at Teampay
Peter Nesbitt is the Vice President of Finance at Teampay, a software-based platform that allows companies to track their spending in real-time. Peter’s areas of expertise include financial leadership, risk management, revenue growth, and more. As a former military intelligence officer, Peter has diverse experience in both analytical and leadership roles. Before joining Teampay, Peter was the Director of Finance at Bitly and the Co-founder of TheFam. He has a consistent track record of significant achievements in finance, operations management, and process improvement. Peter is also a regular contributor to Forbes. In this episode… Do you track your spending? What about on an organizational level? Most companies have pre-determined budgets, but what happens when you need to make a quick purchase? That's where financial leaders come in: to rescue our budgets and help companies make better financial decisions with each purchase. Over the past nine years, Peter Nesbitt has worked his way up to a leadership role in financial services and management. As the current Vice President of Finance at Teampay, Peter is an expert at helping companies track and evaluate their spending so they can achieve exponential growth and success. In this week's episode, host Nick Araco sits down with Peter Nesbitt, a Finance and Operations Executive at Teampay. Together they discuss Peter's transition from the US Army to the world of finance, the future of financial leaders, and how to build an effective team for any project. Peter also shares his morning routine, his path toward financial leadership, and where he sees himself in five years. Stay tuned!
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Understanding the Middle Market and More Insights with Tom Stewart and Doug Farren of the National Center for the Middle Market
Tom Stewart and Doug Farren are Directors at the National Center for the Middle Market, the leading source for knowledge, leadership, and research on mid-sized companies. Together, they have interviewed thousands of successful entrepreneurs, investors, and executives from middle market enterprises across North America. Tom Stewart is the Executive Director of the Center, as well as an influential thought leader for global management issues, an internationally recognized editor and publisher, and a best-selling author. Doug Farren brings his years of expertise in supply chain management to his position as the Managing Director of the Center, where he specializes in corporate outreach and strategic planning. In this episode… With 2021 fast approaching, how are you prioritizing during this fourth quarter? And, perhaps more importantly, have you prepared your middle market enterprise for the opportunities and challenges of the new year? Thanks to the efforts of the National Center for the Middle Market, mid-market leaders don’t have to face 2021 alone or uninformed. Along with their colleagues at The Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, Doug Farren and Tom Stewart have dedicated their careers to researching, analyzing, and sharing insights into the middle market. So, what are their outlooks for the year ahead? Tune in as Nick Araco interviews Tom Stewart and Doug Farren from the National Center for the Middle Market, who have dedicated their time and effort to supporting mid-market leaders and enterprises. In this week's episode, they discuss what business leaders need to prioritize in the fourth quarter, the importance of taking advantage of new growth opportunities, and how CFOs can successfully pivot in the new year. Keep listening!
19 minutes | 4 months ago
Redefining HR Management and Financial Development Strategies with Nick Araco, CEO of AchieveNEXT
Nick Araco is the Founder and CEO of AchieveNEXT, a peer-led advisory network organization that empowers financial and HR leaders to meet ambitious growth goals. Over the last 20 years, Nick has helped facilitate a community of forward-thinking, entrepreneurial-minded, and financially educated C-Suite executives across industries. He serves as the voice of the CFO community, representing over 10,000 leaders and members of The CFO Alliance and The CHRO Alliance. Prior to founding AchieveNEXT, Nick served in growth strategy and business development leadership roles for companies including Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and RSM US. He is currently a renowned public speaker, a recognized global business leader, and the host of the Level Up podcast. In this episode… Financial and HR leaders are "the secret sauce" to any company's success. Their innovative approach to tracking growth and developing leaders in the workforce has changed how we do business. Now, companies can track the impact of relationships, inclusion, and technology more than ever before. So, how can we use these insights to improve the workplaces of tomorrow? Nick Araco is at the center of this growing movement of assessing the development of a company's internal system. He is the CEO of AchieveNEXT, a network led by peer-to-peer discussions and focus groups on financial and HR leadership topics. The members of his peer advisory groups are at the forefront of their industries, and together they are paving the way for future leaders. In this episode of the Level Up podcast, Nick Araco sits down with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, the Co-founder of Rise25, to discuss three companies that are making a difference in the C-Suite financial and HR communities. Nick addresses the greatest source of ROI backed by financially educated experts and shares the personal and professional benefits of joining the AchieveNEXT networks. Stay tuned!
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