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The Face of Community & Business
18 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Anya Rivtis is a Real Estate Broker with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty with a story that many American immigrants can identify with. Now also a TFOCB Podcast Host, she joins us to share her journey and she gained the confidence to create new experiences for herself. Born in Ukraine, she and her family migrated to America in the late 1980’s when she was 6 years old - migrating through Austria, then Italy, and finally Chicago. Leaving Ukraine so young, she only has little memories that have stayed with her - like being at her grandmother’s unique house and playing with her brother and friends at the park across from her childhood home. She attended a Russian/Jewish school, only speaking Hebrew for the first three years in the U.S. Not learning English means not making many friends. Though Anya eventually learned English while attending American schools, communication was still hard - jokes, mannerisms, and how you express yourself have cultural differences. But awkward moments helped shape her, and she overcame these cultural differences when moving back to the city in her late 20’s. That’s when her confidence came out and Anya learned how to stand on her own two feet and walk into new places by herself. Her advice on making friends: “just have fun.” Not everyone is going to appreciate you or be your best friend, so follow your heart and be genuine. Show them who you really are and the rest will follow. People who need to be in your life and respect you will be in your life. It took her a while to get out of her shell, but being in the city and building her confidence helped her meet new people no matter where she goes. That opens the door to networking and connecting people from all walks of life. She’s building a network of people, growing her business along the way Anya also shares her thoughts on the war in Ukraine, and what she’s done to aid her home country. With the help of the United Nations Women’s League of America, she has been able to raise funds and ensure they go directly to the women and children in Ukraine. Connect directly with Anya to donate through the United Nations Women’s League of America.
32 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
The Vice President of Tax & Beyond [a full service accounting firm providing a wide range of services to individuals, closely held corporations and nonprofit entities], Paola Meinzer is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Yet, in meeting Paola you’d never know that through her positive attitude on life. “I was raised pretty much by my dad, but then he passed away when I was 12. So, that's where all of the challenges through life started shaping who I am today. I always saw you have two options: the glass is either half empty or the glass is half full. So I was being a very positive person and this placed me in a position to start traveling the world.” When asked about where she drew her inspiration from, to create a positive outlook for herself, Paola is the first to express her gratitude for her faith. “I really started to get to know God and believe in Him and, and the promises that He had made to my life. I'm very thankful for that because that has shown me and kept me on the right path in life, and also to be very helpful and very positive. If we put our mind to whatever we want, have the right attitude and have the right beliefs and believe in a bigger thing than us. And for me, like I said, it's God.” Those beliefs led Paola to experience different cultures in her travels to other countries. It’s also what taught her to connect with others in a meaningful way. Leading her to create beautiful friendships wherever she goes. She took those experiences and found an opportunity for herself to use those skills when working for a Fortune 500 company. It was during that time that Paola began to grow her professional network and develop relationships within the community. She goes on to share how, despite loving the experience, she felt something was missing for her. “I was out there doing a lot of community outreach, being involved with different organizations and growing my network, which is very important. Every time I attended these events I was wondering like, okay, so I love this. I'm meeting all these people, but I think that we're missing something. We need a space that is catered for us ladies, Latinas who are like-minded. We need a space where we can come together to really feel welcome; feel like we belong. We love to feel we belong.” It was from that point that Paola set the wheels in motion to create L.E.E.N. or Latinas Executives and Entrepreneurs Network. With the help of other Latina Executives and Entrepreneurs, LEEN creates opportunities for Latinas to come together through social events and gatherings. Tune in to hear more about Paola, her journey, and the powerful network she’s created for Latina Executives and Entrepreneurs.
24 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
Carlos Gaytan, world-renowned chef, sits down with us on a special episode of The Face of Chicago Business to share his story. Carlos came from humble beginnings growing up in a small town in Mexico called Huitzuco, the inspiration for his current restaurant masterpiece in Chicago’s Gold Coast, Tzuco. Growing up in such a small town, it was difficult to dream big. There weren’t many examples of success. For Carlos, he didn’t always know he wanted to cook but he started washing dishes in a hotel to break into the hospitality industry. “Then from thereI tried to get to another restaurant early so I could learn to prep meals and things like that. So I was the first one there and the last one to leave.” An incredibly hard worker, Carlos learned so much from growing up his hometown and from his mother, his biggest inspiration. It’s these flavors that he strives to bring to Chicago and his cuisine. Like many chefs, Carlos was French trained and spent many of his early years cooking French cuisine to the point where he was running a French bistro, Bistrot Margot, that had become the best French restaurant in the icty for three years in a row. This laid the foundation for his two-time Michelin Star winning restaurant, Mexique. Fusing French and Mexican cuisines, Mexique was incredibly popular in its heyday, making Carlos the first Mexican-born chef to be awarded a Michelin Star. “Now we have six different chefs,” Carlos tells us. For Carlos, being an entrepreneur has always been about family. “I just want to have a business so that I can help my family. That I can make sure my kids can go to college and I can help my wife and everything.” After a decade of success with Mexique and a successful restaurant in Mexico that is still thriving, he’s moved on to start a new venture here in Chicago, Tuzco. And this is all merely a brief synopsis of an impressive resume. What’s even more impressive is the man himself and his story of success and blessings. Tune in to this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast to hear more about Carlos Gaytan and the beautiful soul behind the award winning cuisine.
25 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
The Face of Chicago Business had the pleasure of sitting down with Alexandra Sossa. Alexandra is the Executive Director of FLAP, the Farm Worker and Landscaper Advocacy Project. FLAP is an organization committed to improving working conditions and opportunities for low-income workers and their households in the cannery, farming, greenhouse, landscaping, meat, nursery, packinghouse, poultry, restaurant, and snow plowing industries. Originally from Medellin Colombia, she’s been in Chicago since 2000. Growing up on a coffee farm, both of Alexandra’s parents had careers in law. Her father was an attorney who was always fighting for workers’ rights and representing farm workers. Meanwhile, her mother was a prosecutor working to defend low-income workers. This inspired Alexandra to pursue a similar career and she graduated from the Medellin University School of Law. After law school, she worked at the Attorney General’s office during the time of Pablo Escobar’s reign in Medellin. With her whole family in the business of protecting the law, it was an incredibly dangerous time. Alexandra shares how she had witnessed Escobar’s men separate the men from the women at a bar, killing all the men on the spot. Having a passion to fight for workers’ rights and knowing that would get her killed in Colombia, Alexandra moved to Spain where she had the opportunity to work with the Mexican Embassy. From there, love brought her to Chicago following her new husband who was studying in the city at the time. “Many people moved to the United States looking for the American dream. And my American dream was to be able to do something that I enjoy. To be able to fight for human rights. I grew up under the philosophy and the statement that you can be successful in life and you can try to carry on those who are not as successful.” She notes that Illinois is much more welcoming to the immigrant community than most other States. Tune into this episode to hear more about Alexandra’s incredible story, how she came to find FLAP and more about the work they’re doing on The Face of Chicago Business Podcast.
31 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
Chef Noah Zamler, currently the chef at The Press Room in West Loop, joins us on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast. Noah grew up in Southeastern Michigan in a small town called Beverly Hills. The youngest of three children in a Jewish and Italian family, Noah’s exposure to cooking and food came at an early age. “That passion really just came from my family. On one side it's a big Jewish family and on the other side, it's a big Italian family. So everything centered around cooking and eating. My earliest memories are being in my grandma's kitchen and helping her make cannelloni or holding out pasta to dry on my arms.” When Noah was only 11 years-old, his father passed away. Two years leading up to his passing, his father went blind and Noah and his siblings needed to grow up quickly. As he puts it, it was his “first stint” at making food for other people. Seeing what his family was going through, he wanted to find something he could do to ease the burden on everyone else. “I thought to myself, what's one thing that I can do that would take something off of everyone's plate? So I started making school lunches for my brother and sister.” By the time he was 14, he needed a job so he showed up at a restaurant to demand one. “You're going to give me a job. And they said, well, you're 14. You're not going to work here. And I said, well, I'll come into work tomorrow and if I don't do a good job, then you can tell me and I'll be out of my way. And I guess I did a good enough job that they let me keep coming back.” Since then, Noah has followed his passion for food. Growing up in the Detroit metro area, he shares how he was exposed to the farm to table movement early on. “What Detroit has that Chicago doesn't, is that there's so much open land in the city limits. So what started to happen is these urban farmers would come and buy up city lots and start farms. So the farm to table concept in the city became this, ‘you're not even going outside of the city, you were going down the street.’” It resonated with him how they were building communities of different chefs and different restaurants along with the farmers. It’s become a passion of his especially as he sees so many supply chain issues in the restaurant industry, Listen to this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast to hear more about Noah’s story and his journey in the restaurant industry.
34 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
Angela Cox joins us on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast to tell us more about her story. Angela grew up in Peoria, IL, home of Catepillar, Inc. during a time when there was a lot of tension between Union Workers and management. Angela’s father was a UAW (United Auto Workers) working for Caterpillar and she recounts how at one point, her parents were raising four children on a $60/week strike salary. “It was a real indelible mark on my understanding of work, work ethic and loyalties and all kinds of things like that, growing up in that environment.” Angela discusses her journey of understanding her own internal wiring and how she’s now helping others with her company, Three Kindnesses, better understand their own wiring. “Wouldn't it be great if we all knew we all had our own sort of operating manual to go: ‘actually, that's not going to work for me because of these reasons.’ We don't have that. So, I think that part of the vision that has come to me and that's driving Three Kindnesses now is, can we just help people better understand their own wiring?” Along that journey, Angela has earned three English degrees (Bachelors, Masters, and P.h.D.) and has taught countless people in the classroom. Her goal was to become a college professor and a writer. You’ll have to tune in to find out where she ended up but as she eloquently quotes Douglass Adams: “I may not have gotten where I wanted to go but I ended up where I needed to be.” Listen to this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast to hear more about Angela’s story, get into the discussion of empathy and how our brains are wired, and how she’s taken lessons over the years to apply those teachings to all aspects of her life. https://www.tfocb.com/tfocb-podcast/angela-cox
28 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
Odell Mitchell III
On this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast, Odell Mitchell sits down with us and tells his story of growing up in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to an Entertainment Attorney in Chicago. Odell grew up in a family that was creatively focused. His father was a photographer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, his sister went to Columbia College in Chicago to study music, while his mom has always been into dancing, painting, singing, etc. For Odell, it didn’t hit him until he was a teenager. At that point, he went on to study music business in college and became an artist himself. This laid the groundwork for his success as an Entertainment Attorney protecting his clients. “I'm the one who has the passion to make sure these things are done right and in the service of people's values so that it's still enjoyable, but also something that people see, etc. It is very much a place of advocacy and protection, both of the arts and the people who are proponents of them.” Odell shares his experience of being an entrepreneur and gives insight into what has helped him on his journey: “One of the things that I often talk to people about in my work and just in general, is being able to move in a way that is connected to your values. That's one of the things that really helps drive an entrepreneurial experience. If you know why you're moving in a certain direction or why you're drawn to things or why you're repelled by things, then it's not reactive.” Tune into this episode to hear more of Odell’s wisdom and about his experiences on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast.
27 minutes | Nov 18, 2021
Stephanie Welter is a Chicago girl through and through. Growing up in Jefferson Park with her siblings and neighborhood friends, everything about her upbringing, according to Stephanie, was pleasant. Her mom had a saying that always seemed to bring everything into perspective: “I know a bad day and this ain’t one.” “She completely formed my mindset, which I call the deathbed theory. It's everyday I picture if I was on my death, I would look back on today and, I’d just want one more normal day. One more day of my toddler crying and getting syrup on my good couch, you know?” Stephanie has taken this positive approach she’s learned from her mom and applies it to all aspects of her life. Everyone has challenges, but for Stephanie it’s about maintaining empathy but not letting emotion control her and always coming up with a plan. She also shares the beautiful story of how her and her husband came together. From growing up together as kids in the Northwestern side of Chicago never thinking they’d ever end up dating, to getting married, having kids and creating a beautiful life together. As a person who has dealt with anxiety and panic attacks, Stephanie shares her own personal journey of how she’s been able to constantly remind herself in those moments to take a step back and shift her mindset in that moment. She calls her process identifying her three gorillas: black, blue, and pink or as she translates it: worry, guilt, and dopamine. “If you give it a name, it takes away its power, but I gave it more than a name. I made them into gorillas.” Tune in on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business podcast to hear more about Stephanie’s story from family, to her career journey, to her advice on how to manage the tough things in life.
26 minutes | Nov 12, 2021
episode 0061 | Edgar Montiel
True unsung heroes are few and far between and Edgar Montiel is toward the top of the list. Growing up in Cicero as the oldest of five boys in a low income family, Edgar and his brothers found their after-school safe haven in the Boy’s Club of South Cicero. Currently the last standing Boy’s (only) Club under the Boys & Girls Club umbrella, it still only charges families $10 a year for their kids to be members. As someone who benefited greatly from the club as a youth, Edgar now is the CEO helping to give countless kids the same safe haven experience he coveted when he was their age. A neighborhood that’s often plagued with drugs and gang violence, the Boys Club of South Cicero gives them an opportunity to get their homework done, play sports with their friends, and participate in a variety of activities under the supervision of safe adults. The eldest son of a Mexican family, Edgar often had a lot of responsibility and restrictions put on him growing up. But, ever the explorer, as soon as he got the chance to try something radically different, he decided to attend SIU six hours away from home. The experiences he’s had both as a student and travelling the world by himself since has uniquely equipped him to support the kids he works with and their families. “How can we get help in every aspect? You know, it's not just here at the Club. We're going to help you with your application, this and that. We're going to keep in touch when you're in school. We send care packages to students at different campuses. It's for them to understand that we're still there for them. It doesn't end when you turn 19 years old.” On this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast, hear more about Edgar’s stories from solo adventures to helping the youth of Chicago and learn how you can get involved and help the Boys Club of South Cicero. https://www.tfocb.com/tfocb-podcast/edgar-montiel
25 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
episode 0060 | Andis Combi
From a small town in Albania to Chicago, Andis Combi shares his story as an Eastern European immigrant turned businessman. Moving to Chicago from (at the time) communist Albania when he was 13 was no easy transition for Andis. Culturally, he talks about how the openness of Albanians made him very receptive to learning and understanding the culture of the U.S. However, there was still so much for him to learn and at the time, business was the furthest thing from his mind. He went from wanting to live a life in the Criminal Justice world based on what he would see on TV to finding a true passion for technology. Andis was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started taking risks and achieving success by following his passions. One of the most important things to him, though, is giving back: “When you come from a place where you don't have anything and when you've been poor and you learn what it takes to achieve certain levels of success, it's a different satisfaction that you get when you give to people.” For Andis is not about handouts but about giving people the opportunity to achieve whatever their dreams are. “We just want to provide a resource or a path for someone that doesn't necessarily have that Ivy league school experience or that fatherly figure at home.” Learn more about Andis’ story, how he marries his love of technology and real estate, and how he’s helping mentor the future generation of entrepreneurs on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business Podcast.
27 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
episode 0059 | Cory Warfield
Cory Warfield’s incredible story begins with witnessing the St. Helens volcano eruption from Oregon at the age of two. Knowing from an early age he wanted to "be a boss," he immediately told his family he didn't want to live there anymore. That brought the Warfield family to Chicago in 1980. Traumatic life events in his teens led Cory to the streets of the West Coast where he was homeless for a few years starting at the age of 18. Over the next few years, his life was riddled with living off of scraps and run-ins with the law that eventually led to his ‘wake up’ call. After getting the crap kicked out of him, enough was enough. Working his way up from dishwasher to Sommelier over the course of a few years, Cory then went onto manage a celebrity hot-spot steakhouse in downtown Chicago. Only five years ago he waited on his last table to start his first tech company. Since then, he has helped raise over 15 million dollars and continues to not only build up his own companies but also help others build theirs. Corey’s story is one of fierce determination and humble inspiration.
22 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
episode 0058 | Calvin Boyd
Calvin Boyd may be a Michigan native but he knew from a very young age that he was destined to move to Chicago one day. After graduating from Michigan State University with his Doctorate of Law in 2015, Calvin realized that dream and established himself as an attorney in the Chicago Legal Network. He has worked across various firms over the years eventually starting his own, Boyd Law LLC in 2017 specializing in Employment, Real Estate, and Entertainment law. Over the past year or so, one of the most important aspects of his life has been his spiritual journey. For Calvin, that journey reflects itself in every aspect from work to family. In order to provide ethical counsel, he feels you need to be in that realm of connecting with your spirituality. In his personal life, it has brought him closer than ever to his 4-year-old son,Caleb, allowing him to be truly present and it has given him a deeper understanding of his son. When he works with people, he leads with his multi-faceted personality. In his words, he’s not “just an attorney.” The sentiment he echoes to everyone he meets is: “Be true to yourself and the things that are meant for you will be there for you.” Throughout his years so far as an attorney, one thing that has changed the most for him is his definition of wealth. While it was once defined by how much money he could make, he now creates his wealth by the impact he makes and the legacy he’s leaving behind.
30 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
episode 0057 | Rene De Coning
After growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, living in the UK and across the US, Rene de Coning and her family settled in Chicago. As the first one in her family to obtain a college degree, Rene is not only financially supportive but she’s the emotional, cultural, and spiritual glue that holds them all together. From humble roots, she has dedicated her life to supporting others on their journey to live their very best life. She’s currently the President and Owner of MustardSeed Insights, Inc. putting all her years of acquired knowledge from Corporate positions to work by coaching others in life and leadership. She’s a Certified Professional Coach and works on in-depth leadership programs through a collaboration with LMI-Chicago. Rene offers pro bono coaching for those who can’t afford it and is constantly blown away by the successes her graduates share with her after they finish her program. After her own kids graduated from school and left home, she and her husband, excited to start the next chapter as empty-nesters, moved into a beautiful 4-story townhouse while she was busy building two businesses and taking classes to get her coaching certification. Right after moving into their home, her husband suffered a devastating fall, fracturing his C2 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the waist down. The emotional and physical challenges have been overwhelming but through their combined passion, drive, and optimism, her husband continues to improve his dexterity. And throughout it all, Rene continues to provide her utmost support to others on their journey of discovery and growth and build her business. Rene will be the first to tell you she is blessed beyond measure.
29 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
episode 0056 | Francine Poole
Growing up in Evergreen Park, IL in the 70’s, Francine Poole’s daily life consisted of racial discrimition. She often found herself fighting boys at her school who tried to make it difficult for her to receive an education. Flash forward to today and Francine now owns and is the CEO of a business in the same town that discriminated against her during her youth. She has her company, Empire Property Management Solutions, and is a Licensed Real Estate Broker working on opening up her own brokerage this year. When she’s not working on either of those things, she is the Private Receiver for the City of Chicago Department of Buildings, Vitality coach for Women Entrepreneurs on Social Media, and is the Chairperson and Founder of the Non Profit, The Giving Hands Organization Inc. The latter helps women with workforce readiness, resume preparation, and clothes for job interviews . That doesn’t include the laundry list of certifications she holds and her recent appointment as a West Pullman neighborhood representative of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®’ Diversity committee, “the 77.” After going through a lifetime of her own struggles and obstacles, through everything she does, Francine wants to help others with their plans in entrepreneurship.
23 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
episode 0055 | Joy Decker
Being raised by parents who gave back to their congregation and community, Joy Decker was destined for a life of service. In high school, she volunteered for a service project helping children with significant disabilities that Joy credits as having a significant impact into where she is in her career, working with people with disabilities. Early in her career, Joy worked on bringing awareness to the mission that individuals with disabilities are people, first and foremost. Finding early that most were unfamiliar with or maybe even scared of others with disabilities, Joy says it’s still one of her greatest obstacles to overcome today. Her goal is to change the hearts of those in our community towards opportunities working with the kids, or volunteering on service days, that truly change the lives of those they’re helping. After working with other agencies throughout her career Joy was looking for a new challenge. What drew her to Esperanza was the sense of family she got from everyone there. Esperanza has since added additional services and now serves adults in their adult day program. They continue their learning, independent living skills, and offer vocational training. In addition, they work with artists with disabilities to curate their art at different exhibitions. Whatever art is sold goes directly to the artists themselves. It’s also been a great way for Esperanza to connect with the community and introduce them to the services they provide. "Esperanza Community Services began as a school in 1969, created in response to the lack of services available to students whose learning needs were not being met in traditional classrooms. Our founder, Guadalupe Reyes, was driven to help her son Bobby, whose developmental disabilities were caused by spinal meningitis. Guadalupe Reyes made Esperanza School a place where students with developmental disabilities found a solid foundation of education, support, and encouragement upon which they could grow." Esperanza’s annual gala, scheduled for May 10, 2021 will once again be virtual, but extending to a week-long celebration that includes raffling off a new Peloton. Registration is now open.
38 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
episode 0054 | Shannon Sutton
Shannon Sutton, a real estate broker at Baird & Warner, not only was a finalist for Chicago Agent Magazine’s Rookie of the Year 2019, she’s a current member of her company’s Chairman's Club. Impressive as her numbers are in only two short years, Shannon is the first to tell you that it took a lot of tough self-work to get here. Several years ago, she found herself stuck in a job that made her unhappy while simultaneously struggling through a difficult break up. After finally turning to a therapist and spending a few years working on herself, Shannon got to a place where she felt brave and whole enough to leave her job, travel for two months, and dive into the next chapter: real estate. Going through a rebirth into a new life, Shannon found a way to marry her passion for design with her newfound hunger for growing her real estate business. She consults with her clients as they search for and customize a home, designs her own marketing materials, and curates her social media presence. Shannon brings her love for helping others find the comfort and security of their own homes to her work with Habitat for Humanity. She volunteers at their West Pullman site. With this new life she’s building, the message she wants to encourage others to do is to challenge their own self-perceptions and let go of the things that aren’t feeding them anymore.
41 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
episode 0053 | Jennifer Hernandez
Orland Park native, Jennifer Hernandez is a self-made woman. Growing up in Chicago’s Southwest suburbs, Jennifer started hanging out with a rough crowd as a teenager and was kicked out of school. By the time she was 20, she was a mom to a baby girl, Destiny, and knew that she wanted to create a better life for her and her daughter. With grit, determination, and a lot of hustle, Jennifer set off to make her way despite being faced with adversity. Jennifer found herself trying to establish her career in various male-dominated industries from the car business to mortgage. At one point she worked in a community that was made up of people from a different ethnic background. She face discrimination from the neighborhood and the company she worked for at the time. No matter what life threw at her, though, she never gave up. Currently, Jennifer is a branch manager at her own Loan Depot location, committed to keeping her clients informed throughout the loan process, answering questions, and eliminating as much hassle as possible. In her free time, she sits on the board of The Love, Unity, & Values Institute and mentors the youth of the Chicago community.
23 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
episode 0052 | Carmen Urban
A proud military brat, Carmen Urban lived in several places growing up before her family settled in Chicago. The baby of the family by at least 15 years, Carmen and her siblings came from humble beginnings and learned the value of hard work and determination. She finished her first year of college at Hampton University but could no longer afford to go. Even with student loans, it wasn’t enough to cover tuition. After doing her research, Temple University in Philadelphia seemed like the perfect fit. They had a much better financial assistance program and gave students the opportunity to study abroad. However, she still faced the issue of money; Carmen couldn’t even afford the cost of moving. This did not come easy without financial struggles for Carmen. She had to take a semester off and work hard in order to afford the remainder of her college years. Not letting this stop her or bring her down, she quickly created a strategy. The thought of not graduating on time with the rest of her classmates barely crossed her mind, because for Carmen, there was no alternative. Putting her nose to the grind, she graduated on time and with honors. After college, she found her groove for the first 10 years of her career in the financial industry as a licensed investment consultant, compliance officer, and investigator at the Chicago Board of Trade. Once she and her husband started their family, Carmen stepped down from that role and started her own pageant company: Midwest Natural Pageants. She traveled around the Midwest providing a stage for children to gain confidence, naturally showcasing their talents in front of large groups. It wasn’t until she went through the process of buying her own home that she fell in love with Real Estate and knew that’s where she had to be. Carmen services the Chicagoland area and beyond. She’s a member of the Saint Charles Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board as Secretary for Women’s Council of Realtors. More than anything, she wants her clients to know that she’s a woman of her word. She delivers on her promises and takes pride in the quality of service she provides. Once you’re her client, you are her family for life.
26 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
episode 0051 | Nsenzi Salasini
Northwest Suburban native Nsenzi Salasini is passionate about helping small businesses succeed. It wasn’t always easy. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he ventured off on his own to start his own business. The first two failed but he didn’t give him. He knew there was a way. Through his hunger and research, he discovered online advertising and began to hone his craft as a digital marketing strategist. That drive and focus led to High Demand Marketing, his digital marketing company that he founded in his mom’s basement. Since its inception, he has taught over 20,000 entrepreneurs how to leverage online advertising to accelerate their growth. As a millennial and marketer, Nsenzi recognizes the power of social media when it comes to customer acquisition. He wants to empower his clients to garner that power to help them achieve their aspirations. Digital marketing aside, his primary goal is first and foremost to inspire the general public to aim higher and keep chasing the dream they desire.
25 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
episode 0050 | Heather Bennett
Many people go through life not truly realizing what makes them happy and how they can turn that into a profession. Heather Bennett knows how that feels and decided to write a book about it based on decades of her own experiences. “Fun and Fulfilling Careers One Question at a Time” (on Amazon) was born from a passion of Heather’s to help people find the work they love so they can in turn give back and make the world a better place. A marketing strategist and personal branding coach, Heather is dedicated to helping businesses and professionals use social media marketing to build strong brands for their personal brand and their company’s brands. Her foray into social media came from a long and arduous recovery from ACL knee reconstruction. She used that time to earn her Social Media Specialization from Northwestern University. Always a person to take adversity and turn it into opportunity, she decided to leverage her capstone at Northwestern to work on a project that directly helped the nonprofit FHSR (the Foundation for Speech Rehabilitation). It’s an organization near and dear to her heart. They were there for her and her family when her youngest child was identified as DEAF and continue to support them today. A positive energy wherever she goes, Heather spends her time helping others whether it be with marketing their personal brands or serving on the Board of various nonprofit organizations to help uplift an often overlooked community.
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