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Seeking the Extraordinary
52 minutes | Jul 30, 2022
The Dream Is Alive: Martin Luther King III
Martin Luther KIng III is an historic icon, though his own story still has many more chapters to be written. He was born in 1957, the oldest son of two African-American civil rights activists. Sadly at the age of only 10, he and his three siblings lost their father, when he was murdered in cold blood. His father was only 39 years old when he was killed, and he had known at the time that others wanted him dead. Only the day before his death, our guest's father specifically addressed the growing threats against his life saying, "I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop and I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." MLK III was forced to endure the loss of his father. And was raised by his mother in Atlanta. He eventually attended Morehouse College where his father also went. And from there, he went on to make his own contributions to the legacy that his parents sought. He never feared standing up for justice, equity, fairness, and civil rights. He led countless movements, rallies and protests, including when he was arrested in the South African embassy in Washington, DC, is part of a civil disobedience protest against Apartheid and for the release of Nelson Mandela. But his passions are as broad as they are deep. He has led protests against bias in the field of technology. And it's spoken to the United Nations on behalf of individuals living with AIDS. He became the first of his family to attain political office, getting elected to the Fulton County commission. He became the fourth president of the Southern Christian leadership conference. And he founded the nonprofit, Realizing The Dream Inc, where he spearheaded nonviolence education workshops and programs in Bosnia, Herzegovina, India, Israel, and Palestine, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and the United States. He earned the honor of speaking for Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and also spoke at Michael Jackson's funeral in 2009. Our guest served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Martin Luther king Jr. Center in Atlanta. And he co-founded Bounce TV, the first ever independently owned and operated TV network featuring African Americans. He's also served on the board of advisors of Let America Vote, an organization that fights against voter suppression. He's received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the prestigious Ramakrishna Bajaj Memorial global award for the outstanding contributions he's made to the promotion of human rights and the humanitarian award by the Montreal Black Film Festival. He was even given the honor of presenting the ceremonial coin at Superbowl 40 and throwing out the first pitch at the major league baseball civil rights game. His father famously said, "I have a dream. That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today." Today we have the privilege and opportunity to hear from one of those children about his father's dream and much more.
63 minutes | Jul 20, 2022
Matt Ruff: Power of the Pen
Matt Ruff is a New York Times bestselling author whose work is so compelling that HBO turned it into a highly successful TV series, 'Lovecraft Country.' He wrote the best-selling book of the same name on which that show is based. In fact, he's the author of multiple books, including Fool on the Hill, Sewer Gas and Electric: The Public Works trilogy. Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls, Bad Monkeys The Mirage, Lovecraft Country and 88 Names. He's written other books as well though they are not published, at least not yet. He's been described as an author of thriller, science fiction and comic novels, but he has said that he doesn't actually write in the same genre more than once. More on Matt: http://www.bymattruff.com/
99 minutes | May 31, 2022
Mark Buoniconti: Still Undefeated
Marc Buoniconti, author of 'Undefeated: From Tragedy To Triumph' is the son of a Hall Of Fame NFL legend. Like his father and brother he was a feared linebacker whose presence on the field was felt not only by his opponents, but also by his own team. He went to college at the Citadel where he, again, excelled at football and even managed to exceed the success he had as a player in high school. Things were going well for our guest who was voted the Citadel's most valuable player, but on October 26th, 1985 in a play against East Tennessee State, he dislocated his neck.And at the young age of 19 was instantly paralyzed from the shoulders down. In fact, his life was now in grave danger. But that's the only the tragedy side of the story. The triumph started around seven months after his injury. When he got himself weaned off the ventilator that was keeping him alive. Despite the longest odds against him, he obviously survived. He is now president of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, co-founded by his famous father and the very doctor who saved his life.
75 minutes | May 10, 2022
Lisa Poff: Woman of Courage
Lisa Poff has collaborated extensively with many allies in her quest to develop new programs designed to empower women with financial knowledge and confidence.She also attended culinary school and cooked in professional kitchens in Los Angeles and Washington DC, authoring a cookbook of her most successful recipes. She is the chief marketing officer of The Colony Group.About a year ago Lisa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She joins the show to tell her story, one of heartbreak and fear on the one hand, but one of hope, courage, faith and an indomitable spirit on the other.
79 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
William Cohan: Wall Street Watchdog
Bill Cohan is the New York Times bestselling author of three non-fiction books about Wall Street money and power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street and The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co., which also won the financial times Goldman Sachs business book of the year.His book, The Price of Silence, about the Duke lacrosse scandal was yet another New York Times bestseller. And he's also the author of the books Why Wall Street Matters and Four Friends' Promising Lives Cut Short. One of America's most respected financial journalists, Bill is a special correspondent at and a founding partner of Puck, a new digital publication owned and operated by journalists.More on Bill at https://williamcohan.com/
72 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
Heal the World: Dr. Craig Sable
Today's guest, Dr. Craig Sable, is the first medical doctor on the show. He's also a researcher and global health advocate, Sable is the associate division chief of cardiology at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he also serves as director of echocardiography, a professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.Dr. Sable has made and lives a relentless commitment to global health. That includes extensive clinical outreach, practicing worldwide telemedicine and multiple research publications in the area of rheumatic heart disease. One of his greatest areas of interest, RHD remains the most common cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in children and young adults in the world today. Despite being preventable, it's also the fifth deadliest infectious disease in the world, but Sable is doing something about it.Actually, he's doing a lot about it.He's collaborated extensively with the medical team at a hospital in Uganda. In fact, he's personally led over 20 medical and surgical missions since 2003.More on Dr. Sable: https://childrensnational.org/visit/find-a-provider/craig-sable Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
74 minutes | Feb 9, 2022
The 'Fred and Ginger' Of Diversity
In this edition of Seeking the Extraordinary, we're interviewing the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of Diversity & Inclusion- Gloria Cotton and Greg Jenkins. Greg is a dedicated and passionate leader, facilitator, coach, and mentor dedicated to helping people and teams achieve higher levels of performance. Greg helps leaders understand the value of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to enhance team & organizational outcomes. Gloria is an expert HR and organizational development professional. Gloria has more than 25 years of experience working with corporate, non-profit, union, non-union, and government entities. She is committed to helping individuals, teams, and organizations create and sustain environments where all people can be and do their best. Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever for both employers and job seekers. Join us as they share their journey's thoughts and answer questions on Diversity and inclusion. More on Gloria Cotton at https://inquestconsulting.com/More on Greg Jenkins at https://www.gregjenkinsconsulting.com/ Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
58 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Gunnar Esiason Breathes It In
Gunnar Esiason is a cystic fibrosis and rare disease patient leader, who is passionate about early-stage drug development, patient empowerment and health policy. Professionally, he developed a patient engagement platform for a medical nutrition company, built a venture philanthropy practice at the Boomer Esiason Foundation and was the head coach of his high school alma mater’s varsity hockey team. He has consulted on clinical trial development, a real-world evidence population health study, and a cystic fibrosis-specific mental health and wellness screening tool. Gunnar has been the face of fundraising efforts for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which has yielded more than $160 million for the fight against cystic fibrosis since he was diagnosed with the condition in 1993. His blog has amassed nearly 1 million page views since 2015. Gunnar co-hosted the podcast, Breathe In: A Cystic Fibrosis Podcast, which climbed into the iTunes top 200 health podcasts at the end of 2018. He currently hosts the podcast, The State of Health with Gunnar Esiason, which is available on all streaming services. More on Gunnar at https://www.gunnaresiason.com/ The Breathe In Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breathe-in-a-cystic-fibrosis-podcast/id1299822342 The State of Health with Gunnar Esiason Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-state-of-health-with-gunnar-esiason/id1566190374 Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
45 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
The Drive of Joseph Bramlett
Joseph Bramlett was the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the US amateur at the age of 14. In 2002, he was recruited by all the major collegiate golf programs, but being from Northern California, decided to stay home and play for Stanford. He went on to be an All-American and a member of the 2007 NCAA championship team.
83 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
The Unsinkable Mary Margaret Revell
Mary Margaret Revell is someone whose life has been a story the likes of which you've never heard before. Disney wanted to make a movie about her, and with good reason. She swam across the nine-mile Strait of Gibraltar finishing in seven hours, 13 minutes, and becoming only the second woman to accomplish this feat. She made several attempts to swim across the English Channel before swimming across the 14 mile Sea of Galilee in Israel.She was the first woman to swim the 16 mile Straits of Mackinac in upper Michigan, and the first woman, and first American, to swim the double crossing of the Straits of Messina.She also worked for the Pentagon as special assistant for the environment and help direct the Navy's first environmental and conservation office. She wrote children's books and newspaper articles; raised sea otters; founded a company that made swimwear and sporting gear; became an acclaimed historian; and took the lead in establishing her great passion, the Maryland Museum of Women's History. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
73 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Promise and Deliver: Alex Sheen
Alex Sheen, inspired by a personal tragedy, founded Because I Said I Would, a movement and organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. He and his organization are changing lives through an innovative concept called promise cards, as bolstered by chapters of volunteers, character education programs in schools and global awareness campaigns. One of the world's foremost experts on accountability and commitment, Alex is a five-time TEDx Talk speaker, an author, a podcast host, and an internationally recognized humanitarian. His work has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, CNN, Fox News, and many other programs. He donates 100% of his speaker fees and by the way, he's made over 700 worldwide speeches and donated some $5 million already. More on Alex at https://becauseisaidiwould.org/alexsheen/Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
59 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
Kaley Klemp: Leader of Leaders
Kaley Klemp has changed the lives of countless people through her teachings around self-awareness. As a management consultant for Deloitte, she's now a highly sought after coach, facilitator, and speaker. She's a TEDx speaker. She has facilitated retreats for hundreds of forums throughout the world. Is renowned expert in small group dynamics and leadership development, and is a black belt master of using the Enneagram and conscious leadership models to help individuals understand themselves and others as well as to help teams foster a common vision, build trust, develop authentic relationships, and use creative collaboration to achieve better results. She recently co-authored the "80-80 Marriage: A new model for a happier, stronger relationship." Offering an entirely new paradigm based on radical generosity and shared success and one that calls for each partner to contribute 80% to build the strongest possible relationship. More on Kaley at https://kaleyklemp.com/ Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
52 minutes | Aug 13, 2021
Dennis Ross: A Global Phenomenon
Dennis Ross worked in key positions for presidents Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and Obama. His bipartisan experiences dealing with the Middle East, Russia, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and other areas are, in a word, vast. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
40 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Etan Thomas: The Activist Athlete
Etan Thomas attended Syracuse University where he played basketball and graduated with a degree in Business Management. In 2000, the year in which he was selected to the first team, All Big East, he was drafted number 12 in the NBA draft and went on to play as a center and power forward for the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks. But this man is far more than a member of the elite group of men that were good enough to play in the NBA. He's a study in resilience and inspiration. During the Wizard's training camp for the 2007 to 2008 season, a routine physical examination revealed that he had a leaking aortic valve requiring open-heart surgery.The surgery was a success. And a year later, he returned to play again for the Wizards. And in this first game back, he had 10 points and eight rebounds. Yet our guest has passions and genius well beyond athletics. He's a prolific writer, thinker, advocate, and activist. He wrote a book of poetry called More Than an Athlete, in which he addresses big issues, such as the death penalty, racism and abortion.He coauthored his autobiography Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, in which he discusses his own childhood without a father. In another book of poetry and essays, Voices of The Future, he collaborates with today's youth to tackle topics such as police brutality, wars, HIV, and even religion. And his most recent anthology, We Matter, relies in part on interviews of other athletes, activists, and scholars to educate, question, and inspire.He's also written for the Huffington Post, Washington Post, CNN and ESPN, and he still likes basketball too. As he is a writer and podcaster for basketballnews.com. He's the recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award as well as the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Foundation, Inc. Legacy Award. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
68 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Adam Hayden: Living While Dying
Adam Hayden is a philosopher, writer, advocate and community organizer. He's married and has three young children. He's witty, charming, brilliant, and full of life.And in 2016, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest and most common forms of brain cancer. Glioblastoma or GBM has a median survival time of approximately 10 to 16 months and a five-year survival rate of only about 5%, making our guest's survival for five years, quite rare. GBM is the form of brain cancer that took Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Beau Biden, Tug McGraw, Ethel Mermen, and Neil Peart from us. But Adam says he is living while dying. He is published on medical education, cancer survivorship, and the philosophy of illness in both the popular and academic press. He completed the requirements for his graduate degree in philosophy while in active cancer treatment and was recently awarded the distinguished alumni award by his university.He's an investigator with the patient centered Outcomes Research Institute, grant funded brain cancer, quality of life collaborative. He's an American Association for Cancer Research scientist survivor program participant. A Stanford university medicine, ex E patient scholar and speaker, and was a speaker at the 2019 End Well symposium and event focused on de- medicalizing the end of life. As a champion for early intervention of the palliative care service, he offers a unique perspective on the end of life as a young dad and husband. He served three years as a reviewer for the peer reviewed cancer research program, a grant funding organization that resides within the Department of Defense.And he now serves this program on the programmatic review committee. He also served as an advisor on two projects with the broad Institute at MIT and Harvard. He is a regular lecturer in hospital settings, and he's delivered, invited talks at the Fairbank Center for Medical Ethics, the Indiana University School of Medicine Center for Bioethics, the St. Louis University Center for Bioethics and the Indiana University School of Medicine, palliative care fellowship program.
51 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Master of Resilience: Joshua Nathanson
You've probably never heard of Joshua Nathanson, but his story may just change your life. In a special episode, Michael interviews his 23-year-old son about his amazing resilience in standing up to life-threatening challenges. Joshua was born in 1998 in Boston. He grew up in the suburbs of Boston and from the earliest age was naturally precocious, wise beyond his years and perhaps a bit more serious than his peers, and his ambitions were as large as his personality. He was born with a congenital heart and vascular disease. At the young age of 13, he had to have major open heart surgery to save his life. Unthinkably, that surgery didn't work. So he had to do it yet again, just as he was turning 14. This time he got better. But because of his health challenges, our guest wasn't able to play football, wrestle, or do some of the other physical activities that he desperately wanted to do as a young man. So what did he do? He just became a third degree black belt and senior instructor in Kung Fu. He became a competitive, natural bodybuilder competing for the first time only months after his second surgery. And he focused on his academics. His academic career was in some ways unparalleled and he eventually graduated with over a 4.0 GPA from Cornell University, a member of Phi beta Kappa. He got into his first choice for law school, the University of Chicago, where he studies right now, but that's not the whole story. Last December after experiencing several warning signs, our guest got the tough news that he had to have his third open-heart surgery at the age of 22, and that he needed it to happen as soon as possible. He did. And things seem to get better for him almost immediately after the surgery. In March of this year, however, he started experiencing sharp pains in his chest and back. Those sharp pains, it turns out were symptoms of a potentially deadly aortic aneurysm, which required emergency open-heart surgery yet again, for the fourth time. Our guest is now on the mend again, but he has a message for us. It's one of resilience, one of hope, one of strength and one of gratitude. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
53 minutes | May 19, 2021
A True Renaissance Person: Peter Knight
Driven by his personal mission to be the best version of himself and help solve the climate crisis, Peter Knight embodies the true meaning of a renaissance person. He started as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, later expanding his legal career into advising both the International and U.S. Olympic Committees, as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies. His knack for politics has propelled him to serve as Chief of Staff to Al Gore. He also served on four presidential campaigns, including as national campaign manager for President Bill Clinton in 1996. A visionary in the field of ESG investing, Peter partnered with Al Gore to found Generation Investment Management, which ultimately became a leader of global sustainable investing. Learn what fuels his passions in pursuing these incredible careers paths and don’t miss out on hearing some stories from his rides in Marine One. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Michael Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
57 minutes | May 5, 2021
Higher Learning with Joyce Payne
Through her life's work and advocacy, Joyce Payne has made an important life-changing difference, not for a few people, but for thousands. She is the founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which has raised over $300 million for support and scholarships for its 47 historically black college and university member schools, and numerous students attending those schools.She served as executive director of the National Alliance for Public Trust and as Vice President of the office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges and Council of Student Affairs of the Association of Public and Land Grant universities.She was the president of Global Systems Inc. and was a senior staff member under the Carter administration. And as an authority on women's issues in relation to higher education and labor force participation, she has published and presented a number of papers on the pursuit of equality for women and African-Americans in higher education.
58 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
Olympic Mettle: Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen
She competed for the United States in four Olympics, winning five gold medals in one bronze medal. He was chosen by his fellow Olympians to bear the U S flag at the closing ceremony of the 1994 winter Olympics. And will forever be an example of the power of human resilience. Mike chats with the real dynamic duo, Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen.
57 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
Blitz of Inspiration: Player-Turned-Agent John Thornton
John Thornton is a top agent for the Jay-Z powered Roc Nation. One of the world's best known agencies for entertainers, athletes, and other celebrities, from Alicia Keyes, Rihanna and Shakira to Kyrie Irving and Saquon Barkley, Roc Nation's client list reads like a veritable who's who list, garnering it over a half billion followers on Instagram. John himself represents a first-round pick from last year's NFL draft, as well as several other high profile clients. But today's guest didn't start as his career as an agent. He attended West Virginia University where he played football and was a two-time all Big East selection. He was defensive co-captain and earned first team All-American honors from the Sports Network. A defensive tackle, he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the 1999 NFL draft and went on to play in Super Bowl 34 for the Titans against the St. Louis Rams. In 2003, our guest signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he eventually finished an outstanding ten-year career of terrorizing NFL offenses that included 303 tackles, 27 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles, along with a single year in which he had an amazing 74 tackles. Along the way he served as a defensive captain for his Bengals teammates. Seeking the Extraordinary is sponsored by The Colony Group. For more information and to contact Mike Nathanson visit www.thecolonygroup.com
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