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The Intentional Greatness Podcast
49 minutes | 2 days ago
Achieving Success as a Female in Software Engineering, with Monica Hernandez
Born and raised in Colombia, moved to the USA at the age of 21, after earning a software engineering degree in Colombia thanks to a full academic scholarship that transformed her life. Monica started her IT career in Texas, gaining experience with custom application development and digital modernization initiatives, and later became a Consultant for Oracle, where she traveled across the US and Europe leading enterprise-scale global projects. Her immigrant background and journey to the US was a strong motivation to start MAS Global, a mid-sized Agile software development and IT services company based in Florida with nearshore development hubs in Medellin, Colombia, with close to 200 employees in 4 countries, and strategic partner to Fortune500 corporations. Monica and MAS Global have earned several industry recognitions, including Deloitte Fast500 as one of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in North America. Monica is an advocate and mentor for women and Latinos in technology, believes in giving back, has supported scholarships for women in technology just as the one she received, and is a frequent speaker at industry events in the US and Colombia. Most recently, she started a foundation called MAS Futuro as part of MAS Global’s commitment to community impact and to continue to deliver on the promise that MAS is More. What you’ll learn about in this episode: How winning an academic scholarship at twenty-one changed Monica’s life What Monica did to overcome the challenges of adapting to a new culture after spending her entire life in Colombia How Monica found the strength to ask for help when she needed it most What female entrepreneurs can do to accelerate their path to success How Monica has been able to thrive as a Latina and a female in the software engineering field What Monica is doing to give back to the community with her new foundation, MAS Futuro Resources: Website: https://www.masglobalconsulting.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monicamhernandez/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/mas-global-consulting Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MASGlobalCo/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/masglobalco Accelerate Your Path to Success Monica Hernandez is a software engineer turned CEO with more than twenty years of experience in the technology space. Her immigrant background and journey to the US was a strong motivation to start MAS Global, a mid-sized Agile software development and IT services company based in Florida. On top of the HQ, Monica’s operation also has nearshore development hubs in Medellin, Colombia, with close to 200 employees in 4 countries. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Monica joins us to share her story and talk about what it took to make it as a female and a Latina in the software engineering field. Replanting the Roots When Monica was just twenty-one years old, she moved to the United States after winning an academic scholarship for software engineering that landed her in Texas. This opportunity would lead to careers in custom application development and digital modernization initiatives, and eventually, technology consulting. But before Monica found her stride in such a heavily male-dominated field, she had to overcome her fears of being an outsider. She had to navigate the challenges of adapting to a new culture after spending her entire life in Colombia. She had to rebuild the community around her and stay in tune with the inherent abilities that brought her there in the first place. Luckily, Monica learned to listen to her intuition early on, and as we all know, that is a superpower in and of itself. It’s Okay to Ask for Help Monica’s strong sense of intuition helped her immensely throughout her career, but she did not make Deloitte’s Fast500 list as one of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in North America solely by herself. She found the strength to ask for help, and this often comes at a time where asking for help is the thing we want least but need most. It takes humility, and especially as a female entrepreneur, being able to ask for help is the key to achieving sustainable growth and scale. Asking for help is one of the most critical decisions you can make because it will only accelerate your path. There is nothing shameful about that.
49 minutes | 9 days ago
Artificial Intelligence in Modern Society, with Jennifer Bonine
Jennifer Bonine is the CEO of AI Appstore, Inc., and was the first female Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) platform tech CEO. AI Appstore specializes in custom subscription technology bundles, leveraging an intelligent platform using a personalized ‘virtual research assistant’ to enhance corporate growth. The company exceeds expectations of integration, testing, delivery, and management with a groundbreaking business model that is fully engaged in the sustainable development goals (“SDGs”) cultivated by the United Nations. Respected as a gifted speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Jennifer Bonine addresses the AI industry nationally and internationally, most recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos and for CNNMoney Switzerland. She has held executive-level positions leading teams for Oracle and Target and is a founding board member of the United States bid for a Minnesota World Expo 2027. Jennifer is a 2020 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business honoree, a founding sponsor and member of IVOW AI’s Women in History Data Ideation Challenge, and an executive board member of Chad Greenway’s Lead the Way Foundation. She is a member of Million Dollar Women and a member and mentor for TeamWomen, and a council member of DreamTank, an organization designed to champion young entrepreneurs. Recently named one of the Top 30 Leaders to Watch in 2020 by Silicon Review, Jennifer Bonine was featured at the UN’s AI for Good summit. Jennifer is also developing a series of books to educate children about the power of AI and machine learning. What you’ll learn about in this episode: What is artificial intelligence How Jen’s company uses A.I. to enhance corporate growth The importance of maintaining a higher degree of awareness when it comes to consuming information in modern society How Jen’s company is empowering women and youth What inspired Jen and her daughter’s new children’s book series How Jen has been able to stay resilient in 2020 How Jen overcame her doubts and limiting beliefs throughout her career Resources: Website: www.jennbonine.com www.aiappstore.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenn-bonine-76552b2/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/ai-appstore/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennBonineAI Twitter: @jennifer_bonine A.I. in the Workplace Jen Bonine is the first-ever female tech CEO in the Artificial Intelligence space. Her team at AI Appstore, Inc. specializes in custom subscription technology bundles, leveraging an intelligent platform using a personalized ‘virtual research assistant’ to enhance corporate growth. Recently, she was named one of the Top 30 leaders to Watch by Silicon Review, and she is giving back to the business community in a number of other capacities as well. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Jen joins us to share her journey into the tech industry, and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence in modern society. What is Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence is still a widely unfamiliar concept, but it is quietly impacting society in an unbelievably powerful way. If we break it down and think about it objectively, A.I. is any intelligence exhibited by something that is not a human being. We feed it information, it recognizes patterns, then it makes decisions based on those patterns. Artificial intelligence picks up patterns that human beings are generally unable to detect. This technology can take us very far, but it has to be balanced with our natural human intelligence as well. Conscious Consumerism If we don’t rely on our own intuition and natural human intelligence, we become extremely vulnerable to misinformation and deception driven by bias. That is one of the main reasons big tech is seeing so much push back in 2020. Information is being reported in the form of op-eds but not labeled as such. Then, through social platforms and the media, the information is spread like wildfire and the people reading it are not aware that it is strictly opinion-based. This type of scenario raises a lot of ethical questions about the relationship between technology, data, and consumers. But if you maintain a higher level of consciousness and think critically, human beings and learning machines can have a synergistic relationship.
49 minutes | 16 days ago
Goal Setting and Visioning in Entrepreneurship, with Lee Wallace
Lee Wallace is the owner and Queen Bean of Peace Coffee, a company on a mission to craft a delicious coffee experience with communities around the globe. A rare CEO whose area of expertise resides in, in her words, that intersection between mission and money, she is a sought-after writer and speaker as well as a recognized leader and expert in multiple fields: social enterprise businesses, fair trade enterprises, and specialty coffee importers. Lee sits on the Research Advisory Council for the Specialty Coffee Association, and holds active leadership roles in the Climate Collaborative, and the B Corps movement. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to new places, puttering around in her garden, and hanging out with her dogs Ruby and Felix. Based in the heart of Minneapolis, Peace Coffee has been proudly roasting, pedaling, and brewing outstanding coffee since 1996. Under Lees leadership the company has garnered local, national, and international recognition from being named one of the 10 Most Sustainable Coffee Businesses in the U.S. by Civil Eats, to earning the Best Coffee Roaster title by Minnesota Monthly and Growler magazines, to being recognized as one of the top places to work by Minnesota Business Magazine. The company has also been honored with list placements on Best for the World, Community, B Corp, 2018, and 2019; Ten Most Sustainable U.S. Coffee Businesses; and Most Ethical Coffee Companies, Fair World Project. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Lee’s journey as a female leader in the coffee industry How Lee made the transition from consultant to entrepreneur The lesson’s Lee learned as she navigated the uncharted territory of entrepreneurship How Lee funded her business and got it on its feet How to center yourself in your goals, stick to your vision, and execute What it takes to operate at the intersection of mission and money What the future holds for Peace Coffee in 2021 Where Lee finds inspiration Resources: Website: https://www.peacecoffee.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-wallace-78319a7/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/peace-coffee/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeaceCoffeeMN/ Twitter: @peace_coffee Instagram: @peace_coffee The Queen Bean Lee Wallace is the owner and Queen Bean of Peace Coffee, a company on a mission to craft a delicious coffee experience with communities around the globe. She operates at the intersection of mission and money, bringing thought leadership and expertise to audiences in social enterprise businesses, fair trade enterprises, and specialty coffee importers. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Lee joins us to share her journey as a female leader, and the story behind Peace Coffee. She explains how she navigated the uncharted territory of entrepreneurship and pursued her passion. Follow Your Passion Lee has always been interested in the concept of using entrepreneurial tools to solve problems in society and to fuel work that has a distinctive mission behind it. Initially, this manifested itself as a career in consulting. However, during her time as a consultant, she had the opportunity to work with a client that she immediately fell in love with. Lee found her passion and purpose in the coffee industry, joined her client’s team, and eventually, she purchased the company from them in 2016. Believe it or not, she had never anticipated becoming an entrepreneur, but we can learn from her experience. Don’t let your fears and limiting beliefs deter you from following the path that your passions lead to. There is so much to gain from listening to your intuition. Stick With Your Vision When Lee made the transition from consultant to entrepreneur, she had to be quick on her feet. If entrepreneurship is a path you’re considering, the lessons Lee shares are of great value. It is easy to get stuck in your bubble while trying to get the business on its feet, but if you deviate from the mission and core values that drove you to pursue your dream in the first place, it will not be sustainable. As a business owner and leader, it is critical to center yourself in what your goal is and create a concrete plan to get there. Stick with your vision and execute it.
48 minutes | 23 days ago
Listen to Your Intuition, with Adair Cates
Adair Cates is a highly sought-after XCHANGE Certified Guide and Self-Mastery Coach. She guides learning communities, organizations, and individuals to change their conversations to amplify their strengths to create their desired futures. Adair applies the same facilitation methodology used by Facebook, BMW, and Keller Williams to simultaneously accelerate learning, connection, and belonging at speed and scale. By asking powerful questions and choreographing connective conversations, she unlocks collective wisdom to create exponential outcomes. She’s led thousands of in-person and digital conversations that not only leave a lasting impact but accelerate individual and collective results. From a 60 minute interview with Chris Voss, former CIA hostage negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference, to multi-day women’s retreats, no matter the length or audience, if Adair is facilitating it will be interactive, engaging, and memorable. Adair is a change-making coach and author of two self-improvement books, Live with Intention and Fully Engaged. She lives in Atlanta and has her favorite conversations with her twin five-year-old daughters, Joy and Coral. What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Adair is overcoming the monumental challenges of her divorce both personally and professionally Why it is critical to listen to our intuition and put on our oxygen masks first How to embrace the power of using your voice to confront conflict and speak the truths that make you who you are The proactive and reactive practices that have helped Adair overcome adversity in her personal life How Adair has been able to continue making forward progress amidst her state of deep pause What Adair has done to stay resilient in 2020 Resources: Website: https://adaircates.com/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adaircates/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/first-lead-you/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adaircates Twitter: @adaircates The Power of Intuition Adair Cates is a supernova of a woman, and when I first met her, I was taken back by her ability to generate results through group conversations. Adair is a highly sought-after XCHANGE Certified Guide and Self-Mastery Coach who guides learning communities, organizations, and individuals to change their conversations to amplify their strengths and create their desired futures. She is a change-making coach and author of two self-improvement books, “Live with Intention” and “Fully Engaged.” And in this episode of Intentional Greatness, Adair joins us to explain how business leaders can create exponential outcomes with her facilitation methodology. Put on Your Oxygen Mask First Many of us are go-getters. We energize the people around us, and we’re often doing so much at any given time that those around us wonder how we function. But sometimes we forget to practice what we preach, and the energy we expend on others is depleted. Adair is in a deep pause right now, and it goes against every part of her core being and programming. However, moving at her normal pace is not sustainable as thing as difficult challenges in her personal life take precedence. Remember, when we forget to listen to our intuition, burnout becomes inevitable. You have to put on your oxygen mask first before you help others, and if you negate that, you cannot operate at 100% of your potential. Use Your Voice In addition to listening to your intuition, it is critical that you use your voice to bring up the conversations you need to have. If you avoid conflict, it creates a war within you, and your voice is the only thing that can mitigate it. After it was too late, Adair realized that she could have used her voice to engage in conflict instead of turning her back on it and focusing on something else. She could have used her voice to overcome the crippling fear of rejection and speak the truths that were burning within her. You can learn from the lessons Adair gathered from her own experiences. And you can implement them in your own life before it’s time to lick your wounds. Think about the time and energy you spent honing your craft as a working professional. Then think about if you spent the same amount of time and energy learning how to manage the connections in your life.
50 minutes | a month ago
How to Prepare for a Successful 2021, with Maureen Bausch
en was the Interim CMO of Mayo Clinic where she led marketing, provided oversight for a large team, managed professional sports partnerships, market-specific corporate outreach, and site growth. She began her career in advertising for her family’s business, Cub Foods. During her 13-year tenure, the company grew from four stores to 85 in 14 states. In 1990, two years before opening, Maureen joined Mall of America and rose to Executive Vice President where she was responsible for a 100 million dollar budget, all aspects of the P&L, managed a team of 1500, worked with 800+ retailers, restaurants, and attractions. After 25 years and much success, Maureen left Mall of America in 2015 to become the CEO of MN Super Bowl LII. During this 4-year assignment, she launched two companies, a 501C3 and a 501C6 and raised $60M in private funding. She created the Bold North brand, hired a staff of 32, secured 10,000 volunteers, and engaged 400 committee members from the public and private sector. She had oversight responsibility for 200+ events and 5,800 visiting media. The Minnesota Super Bowl LII has been deemed by the NFL as the most successful in history with an economic impact of $450M for Minnesota. Maureen graduated from the University of Minnesota with an MA in Journalism/Marketing and has taken further continuing board education courses at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. She has always been active in the community. She has been a board member for several non-profit organizations including St. Catherine University, Minnesota Retailers Assoc. US Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism. Today she is a board member of the MN Orchestra, Taste of the NFL as well as others. What you’ll learn about in this episode: The framework of Maureen’s upcoming book, “Big Brands, Little Budgets” How we can use creativity to solve seemingly impossible business problems What we can do to stay ahead in the rapidly changing marketing landscape Why it is so important to have a solid plan and team in place at the start of each year. How Maureen oversaw the successful production of Superbowl LII How to be resourceful no matter what sized budget you’re working with What Maureen did to overcome burnout and fatigue throughout her career Why personal development is the key to hit the ground running in 2021 How to develop and nurture relationships that will lead you to greater levels of success Resources: Website: boldnorthassociates.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maureenhooleybausch/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/bold-north-associates/ A Little Creativity Goes a Long Way You may be familiar with Maureen Bausch already, and if not, bringing Superbowl LII to Minnesota is just one of her long list of accomplishments in destination marketing. Maureen is currently a partner with Bold North Associates (BNA), where she specializes in business development, marketing, and destination development. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Maureen joins us to share her journey, talk about her upcoming book, “Big Brands, Little Budgets,” and help us prepare for a successful 2021. Working with What You’re Given Since many of you are entrepreneurs, you understand the pain and frustration of having a grandiose vision that is limited by menial client budgets. Maureen authored “Big Brands, Little Budgets” for that exact reason. From the Superbowl to the launch of Mall of America, it seemed that any time Maureen would show up to a new project, the budget would get cut. Working with financial restrictions forced her to look at her clients’ challenges and goals with an entirely new perspective, and she learned how to get extremely creative with strategy and project management. With a little creativity, you can build a big brand, and the framework of this book applies to many different industries and niches. It Starts With a Plan It doesn’t matter how much money you have. If you don’t have a vision and you don’t have a plan, it is very difficult to accomplish your objectives. Regardless of the budget, you should put everything down on paper first and look three to five years ahead. With the perfect plan in place, you can focus on building strategic partnerships and a stellar team that will help you execute it. Circumstances beyond your control will demand thinking on your feet and using creativity to persevere—as 2020 has shown us, there is no telling how great the impact may be. But with a concrete plan and team to lean into, you will still be able to deliver no matter what.
15 minutes | a month ago
Accelerate Your Growth With EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, with Craig Cody
Craig Cody is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Tax Coach™, business owner, and the host of The Progressive Dentist Podcast. Prior to his current work, Craig spent seventeen years with the NYPD, where he retired as a Lieutenant in September 2000. Craig is an expert in helping his clients legally reduce their tax liabilities and keep more of their money. Through his podcast, Craig helps dentists grow their practices through smart financial decisions and through financial education of the kind that isn’t offered in dental school. What you’ll learn about in this episode: How to accelerate your growth with EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System The key pillars of EOS and what each part means to your organization How to implement EOS within your organization The difference between visionaries and integrators How the EOS system can help create balance in your leadership team and eliminate stress Resources: Website: www.theprogressivedentist.com Twitter: @CraigC2742 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craigcodycpa Course: https://craig-s-school-e90e.thinkific.com/courses/5-tax-strategies The Power of EOS In this week’s episode of Intentional Greatness, I feature my guest interview on the Progressive Dentist podcast with Craig Cody. 2020 has been full of twists and turns for small business owners in all industries and walks of life, so having a system to lean into when difficult challenges arise is critical. During our conversation, Craig and I talk about how business owners can use the EOS system to thrive under any circumstances and plan for a successful 2021. EOS is the opportunity to help you focus forward, clarify your vision, and get traction so you can have your best year yet. Vision, Traction, and Healthy Visionaries are my favorite people in the world, and I am dedicated to helping them get the most out of their businesses. EOS or the Entrepreneurial Operating System is a powerful tool that enables us to get there and maintain our success. EOS is built on three principles, vision, traction, and healthy. Vision is about getting all leaders on the same page about where their business is going and how they’re going to get there. Traction is focused on discipline and holding that leadership team more accountable so they can execute the company’s vision. And healthy is about making your leadership a functional, cohesive unit that works in unison toward the organization’s goals. Implementing EOS in Your Company If you are working with a certified EOS implementer, the process takes about 10-12 sessions spread out over the course of two years. We systematically work through a set of twenty tools/disciplines, about half of which are outlined in Gino Wickman’s book “Traction.” But the true power of this system can only be leveraged with all of the pieces in place. It is essentially a leadership development system disguised as an operating system. EOS helps leaders run their businesses more effectively so they are freed up for decisions and tasks that only the business owner can do.
53 minutes | a month ago
Lessons in Leadership, with Tamara Nall
Tamara Nall lives by the mantra, to whom much is given, much is required, and uses this to guide both her personal and business lives. Tamara is the President and Chief Analytics Officer of THE LEADING NICHE, an award-winning and internationally recognized company known for using data and cutting-edge consulting to deliver ‘actionable intelligence.’ THE LEADING NICHE supports commercial and government customers in domestic and international markets, including the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. The Firm provides big data, Health IT, public health support services, regulatory/compliance, and investigative/examination consulting. She is also a Forbes contributing author and curates intellectual capital for the company’s research arm, NALL-EDGE. THE LEADING NICHE has received numerous recognitions including Women Presidents Organization (WPO) Fastest 50 Growing U.S. Companies, Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Privately-Owned Companies in America, SmartCEO Corporate Culture Award, Black Enterprise 40 Under Forty Award and the National Minority Business Councils Global Outstanding Business Award. Tamara currently serves on the Board of the Amobi Okoye Foundation and the Marketing Advisory Committee for The University of California, Irvine as well as two other nonprofits dedicated to underprivileged youth. In addition, she mentors seven small businesses to help them develop strategies to establish and grow their companies. Many of them have moved from home-based businesses to having their own offices and have seen revenue and profit growth increase, on average, twenty-percent (20%). In an effort to mold young entrepreneurs who may otherwise not have these opportunities afforded to them, Tamara began an internship program at THE LEADING NICHE that employs students in underserved communities and provides on-the-job training, which includes analytics and market research. Tamara holds an MBA from The Harvard Business School in Boston, MA. She earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a BBA from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She and her husband reside in Arlington, VA. They love to travel and have challenged themselves to visit every state and territory in the U.S.! What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Tamara lives out her mantra, “to whom much is given, much is required” Why it is so important to practice self-care during these times, despite being stuck at home How Tamara learned to overcome doubt and shatter her limiting beliefs How Tamara’s work can be applied in smaller businesses Why every problem is actually an opportunity in disguise How Tamara got out of the day-to-day in her businesses so she could focus on using her time more efficiently How to show up as an effective leader no matter how you’re feeling on a given day Resources: Website: http://www.theleadingniche.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamaranall/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-leading-niche/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamara.nall Twitter: @TamaraNall Be the Leader You Want to Be Tamara Nall Nall is the President and Chief Analytics Officer of THE LEADING NICHE, an award-winning and internationally recognized company known for using data and cutting-edge consulting to deliver ‘actionable intelligence’. She lives her life by the mantra, “to whom much is given, much is required,” and she has delivered on that notion time and time again. From features in Inc. 5000 and numerous other publications to her most recent acceptance into the YPO, Tamara is a truly unf<3ckwithable leader with an amazing journey. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, she joins us to share her story. Embrace Your Accomplishments Tamara has worked unbelievably hard for every accolade and accomplishment she has, but it took her a long time to embrace them. Have you ever cringed when someone read your personal bio out loud? It is a difficult thing for many leaders, and especially female leaders, to sit through. But throughout her career, Tamara went through a transition where she began to take pride in self-promotion. She focuses on who her accomplishments are impacting rather than how they affect her self-image, and that is something we all need to learn how to do. Change How You Show Up in the World Embracing your accomplishments is just one way to boost your self-confidence and change how you show up in the world. And while there is so much beauty in naturality, putting on your game face will completely change how you feel and present yourself as a female leader. If you watch the podcast video stream, you can see that Tamara is dressed to the nines. But this is not just for our interview—she does this any time she has a video call. During these times especially, mental health is so important, and the way you present yourself is one of the few factors you can control. How you look and how you feel are important, so don’t shy away from a little self-care.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Telling Your Story, with Leslie Grisanti
“Every person’s story is a gift. I’m honored every time I sit down with them, they are sharing a part of themselves with me.” Leslie is a creative leader with two decades of storytelling, live event production and strategic planning, working directly with many high-profile clients. Leslie has established an excellent reputation leading production teams in the field and on the stage, telling stories throughout the world for CNN, PBS, and Harpo Studios. During her 13 year career at The Oprah Winfrey Show, she produced hundreds of segments and shows. Leslie joined Long Story Short Media, a women-owned production company with offices in Washington DC and Minneapolis in 2016 to establish and lead the Minneapolis office, where she works with a diverse group of clients from Fortune 100 corporations such as UnitedHealth Group and for several well-known nonprofits organizations and family foundations. Leslie’s work is focused on story strategy, developing creative initiatives, custom content, branded live events and corporate campaigns that engage the audience and provide an authentic and memorable experience. Leslie is a master in developing content for multi-use on any channel. Leslie lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Jeff and her dog Sandy. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Leslie’s journey to becoming one of the top creative leaders in the country. Why Leslie’s experience working for the Oprah WInfrey Show prepared her to become an exceptional creative leader. Leslie’s expertise about branding and creating an engaging customer experience through storytelling and the biggest mistakes businesses make in not creating memorable or authentic brand experiences. The lessons that have kept Leslie resilient throughout her career. What keeps Leslie Unf Resources: Website: https://lssmedia.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslie-grisanti-b36a6043/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/long-story-short-media/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LongStoryShortMedia/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lssmedia/ https://twitter.com/LeslieInMN Growth is Not a Straight Line Leslie Grisanti is the Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director at Long Story Short Media, a creative content agency made up of network and syndicated television producers, award-winning journalists, writers, graphic designers, videographers, and editors. Her work is focused on branded live events, story strategy, developing creative initiatives, custom content, and corporate campaigns that engage the audience and provide an authentic and memorable experience. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Leslie joins us to share her journey to becoming one of the top creative leaders in the nation. The Entrepreneurial Mentality Leslie has worn almost every creative hat you can think of, and as you would imagine, there is not an obvious line of progression when bouncing around from one gig to the next. Whether different networks, different shows, or different roles in new cities, Leslie’s career has always been an ongoing path. Leslie’s entrepreneurial mentality and spirit meant she was intuitive enough to trust her gut instincts and find opportunity where others could not. As long as she brought energy, tenacity, and grit to every bend in the road, she knew she would be just fine. Working on the Oprah Winfrey Show Leslie worked for Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago for more than 11 years. It was one of the hardest positions she ever held, but she learned how to procure customer experiences and develop a brand at the highest possible level. As you find your stride in your own careers, remember Leslie’s story and don’t let any experience go to waste. Whether it is one year or 15 years, there are relationships and lessons available to you that will set you up for the next step. Be magnetic to opportunity, and tackle every one with entrepreneurial tenacity.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Addressing the Systemic Flaws of Healthcare, with Jill Wiedemann West
Jill is the chief executive officer of People Incorporated Mental Health Services, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit providing a spectrum of services through 65 programs in the greater metro area. Jill’s background and experience is in healthcare operations, management, and service development, serving as the chief operating officer at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for 11 years prior to joining People Incorporated. Jill holds a Master of Arts in Psychology and Human Behavior from National University in San Diego, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Jill’s journey to CEO of People Incorporated What it was like for Jill to transition into the public space and a more general focus on mental health Why People Incorporated’s population struggles so deeply with getting basic healthcare, and what they are doing to change that Why integrated thinking is the key to taking healthcare to the next level What makes integrated thinking the way of the future, and what we can do to accelerate it How COVID has impacted the work Jill and her team is doing What we can do to increase our resilience and set ourselves up to win in the post-pandemic future Jill’s experience as the first female CEO of People Incorporated How Jill has shattered illusions and limiting beliefs throughout her career Resources: Website: www.peopleincorporated.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-wiedemann-west-078547a/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/people-incorporated/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeopleIncorporated Twitter: @peopleincorp Transforming Healthcare in Minnesota Jill Wiedemann West is the CEO of People Incorporated Mental Health Services, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit providing a spectrum of services through 65 programs in the greater metro area. Working with the community’s most vulnerable and marginalized in the public space is such a unique experience compared to working in the private sector with a narrow focus. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Jill talks about that transition and she shares her journey to becoming CEO of People Incorporated. Jill also discusses the difficulties marginalized people face in accessing basic healthcare services, and the new integrated model her team is rolling out to mitigate that. Eliminating Barriers to Healthcare The community space (commonly referred to as the “safety net”) often includes healthcare entities that largely serve individuals on some level of entitlement insurances or pre-paid medical assistance. These are folks with a lot of barriers from poverty and criminal justice to mental and chemical health. It is so difficult for them to find healthcare simply because they have to move through all of the social determinants in their world to get to square one. They are not just dealing with one simple health issue; they are victims of circumstance dealing with a handful of other challenges on top of that. Jill and her team are doing everything they possibly can to eliminate those barriers to make treatment attainable. That has been her top priority since day one with People Incorporated. Integrated Thinking in Healthcare The integrated model that Jill and her team created is making that goal significantly more tangible. But there are still broken systems upon systems making it difficult to implement on a larger scale. COVID has shown us the absolute need to move into integrated thinking, but it has also been a significant barrier as we push to get there. There is a lot of support for the integrated model, but it is also seen as a huge risk. Different thinking and different payment structures are needed to make this model work and there is a lot of push back. But with leaders like Jill at the helm, the possibility for change is much much higher.
51 minutes | 2 months ago
Dealing With COVID as the Leader in Retail, with Jill Renslow
As Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with Mall of America®, Jill Renslow oversees Mall communications, marketing, strategic alliances and partnerships, advertising, digital media, group sales, and attraction marketing. She is responsible for working with new and existing tenants to create unique experiences and drive sales and traffic. Working with various innovative partners, the goal is to develop and integrate emerging technologies into both Mall of America retail and entertainment environments. Renslow has been working at Mall of America for more than 20 years and during her tenure as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Mall of America, she oversaw a $25 million rebranding effort of the nation’s largest indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe®, as well as annual enhancements including new rides, attractions, and partnerships. Renslow holds a B.A. in Marketing Communications from St. Cloud State University and an M.B.C. from the University of St. Thomas. What you’ll learn about in this episode: How the global pandemic has affected Mall of America The biggest leadership lessons Jill has learned in her 23 years with Mall of America® The biggest challenges that Mall of America® has faced during Jill’s tenure How Jill handles significant media attention Mall of America® draws for a number of different scenarios How COVID has impacted Mall of America® during the typically busy summer season How co-leadership has helped Jill deal with the ebbs and flows of 2020 The different ways sports have shaped Jill as a leader What the holiday season and the future of retail looks like from Jill’s seat Resources: Website: www.mallofamerica.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-renslow-88b5288/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/mall-of-america/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MallofAmerica/ Twitter: @jrenslow Mall of America® in 2020 Jill Renslow is the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with Mall of America® where she oversees Mall communications, marketing, strategic alliances and partnerships, advertising, digital media, group sales, and attraction marketing. With COVID-19, 2020 has been a challenging year for the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Jill joins us to talk about dealing with COVID and other crises as the premier retail destination. Looking Beyond the Pandemic Mall of America® is at the intersection of all industries that have taken the greatest blow from the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, retail and restaurants. Having been with Mall of America® for 23 years, she is no stranger to crisis management. But the biggest lesson she has learned throughout her career is to look beyond the crises and visualize what is possible so you can find a source of hope and inspiration. Every Challenge Prepares You for the Next Mall of America® typically attracts 100,000 visitors a day, however since the global pandemic hit and being forced to be closed for several months resulted in a significant decrease in traffic and sales. JIll has had to make a lot of difficult leadership decisions as well as leading her team in learning how to pivot to stay on top of changing guidelines. Whether it is industry changes, financial stressors in the private/public sectors, or even protests, Mall of America® has seen a full spectrum of difficult scenarios. All of them provided the leadership team with valuable experience to deal with the unprecedented challenges of this year.
51 minutes | 3 months ago
Finding Minnesota’s Soul, with Houston White
As a kid growing up in North Minneapolis, Houston White began selling t-shirts from his backpack and cutting hair for cash. He was a young entrepreneur, hustling hard to create a future all his own. Today, Houston is a creative powerhouse that brings people, cultures, and communities together to elevate one another. He believes style is an act of self-celebration, a means of asserting your point of view and bridging the distance between yourself and others. Houston motivates everyone around him to seek more, be more, and do more for the people and ideas that matter to them. He is invested in creating a better world, particularly for the Black community, and regularly collaborates with local government officials and business leaders to increase racial equity. What you’ll learn about in this episode: The story behind Houston’s creation of HWMR How Houston designed a franchise model for a barbershop rooted in community and culture How the passing of Houston’s wife affected his path as an entrepreneur The challenges and difficult decisions that people of color have to make living in Minnesota What Houston is doing to build up the black community in Minneapolis and create a central gathering space for exceptional black people What Houston is doing to push for black excellence in Minneapolis How Houston stays resilient as he gets multiple endeavors on their feet Resources: Website: https://houstonwhite.co/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HWMRUSA/ Rebuilding the Black Community in Minneapolis Houston White is a designer, entrepreneur, and community leader based in North Minneapolis. He is a creative powerhouse that brings people, cultures, and communities together to elevate one another. Houston is constantly finding new ways to use style as a means to bridge the distance between people from all walks of life. And he frequently works with local government officials and business leaders to increase racial equity. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Houston joins us to talk about the creation of his business, HWMR. He also talks about the challenges of living in Minnesota as a person of color and what his community is doing to make a difference. The Black Man’s Country Club HWMR—better known as “the Black Man’s Country Club”—started as a barbershop/remodeling endeavor when Houston was eighteen. After ten years in the business, he had helped design and build a number of other local barbershops, which gave him a new perspective and enabled him to find many ways to improve his own business. During the great recession, he created a franchise prototype that became HWMR. It was rooted in both community and culture, but it was also built on highly efficient systems and processes that could sustain scale and maintain consistent quality across all locations. Bridging the Gap During one of our prior conversations, Houston said something that really struck deep; he told me that “Minnesota has lost its soul.” It is so different in so many ways, and Minnesota is set up to benefit white people. Black people have to make a difficult decision between associating with the community they want and a higher standard of living. But Houston’s journey with HWMR has created a place that exceptional black people gravitate to. It is bridging the gap and enabling black people to build up their sense of community. In reality, this journey has only just begun.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
Goal-Focused Accounting, with Wendy Barlin
As an author, professional speaker and business owner, Wendy Barlin is so much more than an accountant. Her expertise is advising people to better manage their money with easy to understand and implement financial strategies. Wendy is committed to her clients’ success. Whether analyzing cash flow or projecting income taxes, she ensures that all financial decisions lead to achieving her client’s life goals. A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Wendy fell in love with the sparkle of the City of Angels while backpacking around the world in her 20s, in search of her dreams. Wendy is a frequent speaker at conferences and association meetings, is a member of the California Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and can also often be seen as an expert on ABC7 News, CBSNLos Angeles and in many written publications across the United States. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Wendy’s Book, Never Budget Again How Wendy has seen her clients thrive by pivoting during the global pandemic Wendy’s M.O. and what makes her different from other CPAs How Wendy built a network of support in these difficult times, despite being a source of support for many others Why your budgeting strategy needs to be personalized in a way that fits your lifestyle and needs Why Wendy chose to pursue a career in finance Wendy’s experience as a woman and a leader in the heart of some of the most heated areas of racial unrest in our country Why Wendy refuses to play the victim or let anything stand in her way, no matter what part of the world she is in What helps Wendy stay resilient and goal-focused no matter what is thrown at her Resources: Book: Never Budget Again Website: http://wendybarlin.com/ https://aboutprofit.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aboutprofitconsultant/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AboutProfit/ Navigating the Financial Minefield of COVID-19 Wendy Barlin might be a CPA, but don’t let that fool you—she is so much more than an accountant. Wendy is an author, professional speaker, and business owner who advises people to better manage their money with financial strategies that are easy to implement and understand. Whether analyzing cash flow or projecting income taxes, she ensures that all financial decisions lead to achieving her client’s life goals. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Wendy joins us to share her story, explain how she is helping her clients navigate the financial minefield of this global pandemic, and talk about her new book, Never Budget Again. Your Financial and Personal Interests at Heart Wendy and I came together through the Women Presidents Organization, where I witnessed first-hand her ability to help women business leaders navigate the unwieldy world of finance. When you’re a business owner, your business finances and personal finances are so closely connected that you need an all-encompassing strategy to thrive. Throughout the COVID crisis and racial unrest in our country, Wendy has been a lifeline for so many business owners. Having someone that truly has your financial and personal interests at heart as they help you navigate these difficult times is irreplaceable. Embracing the Change The good news is that Wendy is an optimist by nature. While she has seen some businesses close, some have sparked and experienced unprecedented growth. Wendy has seen her clients embracing the change and making all of the moves they need to make to pivot, and they are doing extremely well as a result. From the PPP to the EIDL, you have to work with your CPA to stay on top of what government aid is out there, how it can be used, and what changes are being made to the legislation as time moves forward. As long as you are working with someone who understands your business, your life goals, and the steps you need to take to get there, CPAs don’t have to be scary at all.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Advancing Women in the Workplace, with Sarah Alter
Sarah Alter is president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women, a nonprofit learning, leadership, and advocacy organization that represents more than 13,000 members, with over 1,000 corporate partners and 22 regions in the United States and Canada. NEW advances gender equality and diversity in the retail, consumer goods, financial services, and technology industries. Alter joined NEW in 2017 and has wide-ranging experience in the markets NEW represents. She served as vice president for Discover Financial Services, vice president for digital sales and marketing for online retailer Quill.com, and was chief marketing officer for General Growth Properties, where she developed marketing strategies for 200 shopping mall properties and their top retailers. Alter has served on a number of non-profit boards and is an accomplished fundraiser, which includes her work with Chicago’s annual JDRF Gala, raising millions of dollars for Type 1 diabetes. Alter is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a Harvard MBA. What you’ll learn about in this episode: The most pressing and exciting challenges Sarah is facing as president and CEO of NEW How COVID has impacted Sarah’s industry, and how her team is responding to the adversity How NEW made the transition from live engagements to digital while bringing the same level of impact to their members and corporate partners Why it is so important to keep the NEW community accessible during the global pandemic How Sarah and the other members of NEW have tapped into a network of support as they navigate these difficult transitions The main priorities and goals of NEW for women and men alike Resources: Website: https://www.newonline.org/about-us LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-alter-7492465/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/network-of-executive-women/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NEWnational/ Twitter: @newnational Powering Through as Women Do Sarah Alter is president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), a nonprofit learning, leadership, and advocacy organization that represents more than 13,000 members, with over 1,000 corporate partners and 22 regions in the United States and Canada. She is a master fundraiser and one of the foremost leaders in advancing gender equality and diversity in the retail, consumer goods, financial services, and technology industries. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Sarah joins us to share her journey, talk about the work she is doing with NEW, and how the members of her organization are advancing their mission, vision, and goals amidst the global pandemic. A Shift to the Virtual World As organizations across the globe navigate the multitude of new challenges presented by the global pandemic, many have adapted by going virtual. Under the leadership of Sarah Alter, The Network of Executive Women has figured out a way to bring their mission, impact, and value to all of their members and corporate partners in the digital space. Prior to COVID, about 90% of their engagements were face-to-face. This transformation was a massive undertaking, but as any woman does, she powered through to continue the advancement of women in the workplace. The Importance of Community Now More Than Ever Although The Network of Executive Women decided to pivot rapidly so they could avoid falling behind in the long run, Sarah Alter also recognized that their members needed the NEW community now more than ever. Every single one of us is adapting to the new normal. Our personal lives are colliding with our professional lives, and as every unf<3ckwithable woman knows, work-life balance is bullshit!. NEW’s members were so hungry to connect with each other and seek out sources of knowledge to adapt to these changes. And the members of this organization showed their strength, versatility, and ability to adapt by making this work.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
Addressing Mental Health in a Pandemic, with Roxane Battle
Roxane Battle is Vice President of Advocacy and Community at Sanvello Health, Inc, a mental health services company and subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. Sanvello has the #1 app for anxiety, stress, and depression and provides mental health management services for 37 million people worldwide. Prior to coming to Sanvello, Roxane spent 20+ years as a television journalist, including work as an award-winning news anchor and reporter at NBC Minneapolis, CBS, and FOX. Her self-help memoir, Pockets of Joy: Deciding to Be Happy, Choosing to Be Free (Whitaker House 2017), became an Amazon bestseller in multiple categories. As a sought-after speaker, Roxane presents on change, resilience, and finding joy during times of transition. A Minnesota native, Roxane earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. @roxanebattle.com What you’ll learn about in this episode: Roxane’s journey through reporting, authorship, and public speaking How Roxane wrote and published her self-help memoir, “Pockets of Joy” How Roxane was discovered by Sanvello Health Inc. Why it is so important to own your struggles and be honest with yourself Roxane’s process for achieving a state of self-acceptance How to build a powerful support network in a time where social distancing seems to prevent it The work Roxane is doing in the mental health space and how we can use it to navigate the mental and emotional challenges posed by the lockdown Resources: Website: https://www.sanvello.com/ Website: https://roxanebattle.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roxane-battle-56755136/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/sanvellohealth/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roxanebattle/ https://www.facebook.com/sanvellohealth Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roxanebattle/ Twitter: @roxanebattle @sanvellohealth Battling the Mental and Emotional Impacts of COVID Roxane Battle is Vice President of Advocacy and Community at Sanvello Health, Inc, a mental health services company and subsidiary of United Health Group. She is also a former news anchor, reporter, and sought-after speaker on change, resiliency, and finding joy during times of transition. I can’t think of anyone who has more relevant expertise in this part of 2020 than Roxane. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Roxane joins us to share her journey, talk about her self-help memoir, “Pockets of Joy,” and walk us through her process of achieving self-acceptance. In a time when loneliness is running rampant, there are resources out there to help us realize that we are truly not in this alone. Roxane’s story is one of them. Pockets of Joy Roxane’s self-help memoir, “Pockets of Joy,” was initially self-published in 2015. It went straight onto the bestseller list, and within a year, a publisher caught wind of her work and bought the rights. Roxane wrote nonstop to meet the 6-week deadline and adapt the book to the self-help space. In doing so, she deeply explored her own experiences with fear, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Her candid style attracted a huge following and led to many public speaking opportunities, where she would eventually be discovered by Sanvello Health Inc. In an unconventional fashion, Sanvello brought Roxane onto the team in the height of the pandemic, and it couldn’t have been a more critical time to tap into her expertise. Own Your Struggles It is important to acknowledge Roxane’s journey because that is what led to her success today. Her life struggles shaped her world view and self-image, and it gave her the experience to share with others and help them navigate their own challenges. Roxane went through a divorce as a public figure, and for a while, she refused to let her shell crack under the spotlight. But eventually, she learned how to acknowledge her feelings and be honest with herself. She gained the courage to go out and seek help. She learned the power of community and positive connection. She learned the value of authenticity. And finally, she learned how to practice self-care which leads to self-acceptance. This is a process we can all benefit from learning, and Roxane’s journey can help us better understand its raw power.
63 minutes | 3 months ago
Recognizing the Greatness Within, with Fred Stokes
Former NFL player, Fred Stokes did not start playing football until his senior year in high school. In high school in Vidalia, Georgia, he excelled in basketball and track, but little did he know football would be his future. Fred received a full scholarship to play football for Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. under the legendary coach, Erk Russell. Fred played a vital role on two National Championship teams (1985 and 1986) and was only one of two players on his team voted First Team All-America after his senior season as an Offensive Tackle. Fred was drafted into the National Football League where he spent ten years playing Defensive End for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Washington Football Team, and the New Orleans Saints. Known by his teammates as “Big Play Stokes,” Fred went on to play and win the Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Football Team against the Buffalo Bills. Fred is a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker, delivering his motivational/inspirational messages and author of his autobiography, “The Bridge That Brought Me Over.” What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Fred’s environment shaped his character and worldview Fred’s experience growing up as a black man in Georgia with a single mother Fred’s first encounter with racism as a child, and how it impacted him moving forward The pain and hardship that shaped Fred into the amazing human being he is today How to achieve the level of impact that we want Fred’s leadership journey in the NFL How Fred continues to achieve success while overcoming personal hardships like the loss of his cousin who was like a son to him What we can do to bring more people together and affect conversations of change in these difficult times Resources: Website: lintbrother.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fredstokes/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lint-Brother-350130975810150/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bigplaystokes/ https://www.instagram.com/lintbrother Twitter: @fredstokes Never Fall Prey to Circumstance As a former NFL player for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Washington Football Team, and the New Orleans Saints, it is safe to say that our guest, Fred Stokes, is not an ordinary guy. Fred won Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Football Team, and he went on to continue his journey of intentional greatness in other areas after his football career was over. Fred is an accomplished motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Fred talks about his mission to positively enhance the life of every person who comes across his path. He explains how his environment shaped his character and worldview, discusses his experiences with racism, and explains how he achieved immense success without becoming a victim of circumstance. Product of Environment Fred’s mom gave birth to him at just fifteen years old. He grew up as a black man in Georgia with a single mother and the odds stacked against him. But in spite of the difficult hand he had been dealt, Fred managed to magnetize the good and put himself in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that came his way. His teachers, coaches, and extended family gave him the support he needed to succeed. And Fred was receptive to help and guidance because he was determined to do anything in his power to get his mom out of that difficult situation. Our environment shapes our character and worldview, but we don’t have to accept everything it throws at us. Never Let Anyone Tell You You’re Not Special Fred has an unbelievable amount of great stories, experiences, and advice, but with that also comes a lot of pain and hardship; even up until recently. Fred had to have conversations about racism with his mother throughout his entire life, and it helped him realize the value of his natural gifts and talents. If you have something special, you are not motivated by money and status. Fred never let anybody take that away from him, and his gifts drove him to greatness.
53 minutes | 4 months ago
Leading Through Change in 2020, with Jillian Gibbs
Jillian Gibbs was born and raised in Brooklyn. She struggled financially to get through college, majored in music, minored in advertising, all with the hope of singing jingles one day. And that she did! Jillian turned her knowledge of advertising into a global marketing services company, APR, specializing in content creation optimization. From her first client Coors Brewing Co. to growing her company to now more than 60 companies, in 35 countries, representing over $1.5 Billion in marketing production spend, Jillian is celebrating 20 years of APR. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Jillian’s entrepreneurial journey in the advertising industry How Jillian’s singing background prepared her for a career in advertising Jillian’s personal transition from humble, shy singer to powerful business leader How Jillian built her company with no strict business plan in place Changes that Jillian has experienced both as an advertising professional and a leader in 2020 How to use communication strategies to affect the changes you want to make in society How all of the change in 2020 has shaped Jillian as a leader What motivates Jillian’s workforce Resources: Website: www.aprco.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jilliangibbs/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/advertising-production-resources-aka-apr-consulting/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdvertisingProductionResources/ Twitter: @jgsmiles @TheAPRCo How to Make an Impact as a Female Leader Jillian Gibbs is the founder and president of Advertising Production Resources (APR), a global marketing services company, specializing in content creation optimization. With over 60 companies in 35 countries, APR represents over $1.5B in marketing production spend and houses more than 200 employees. In this episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast, Jillian shares her story and walks us through her entrepreneurial journey in the advertising industry. She talks about the drastic changes she has experienced both as an advertising professional and a leader in 2020. And she teaches us how to adapt so we can thrive and serve the greater good simultaneously. The Shining Light Within Us In college, Jillian did not have the powerful, outgoing business leader persona that she has today—it was something she worked extremely hard to develop. Jillian came from humble beginnings. She was a shy, classically trained opera singer with a minor in advertising, and now she runs a massive agency with over 200 employees. That transition was not easy, but it is important to recognize that we all have a shining light within us. The more interactions you have with people, the more of that light you will start to see. Jillian always wanted to have an impact on people, and she wanted to do so by spreading emotion through storytelling. She brought in other people with tons of experience to help her realize that vision as an entrepreneur, and it eventually snowballed into APR as we know it. Make an Impact Having an impact on employees, clients, and now the industry at large really matters to Jillian. She works hard to position herself as a thought leader, and client by client, APR continues to evolve. Jillian never had a concrete business plan, but life is not static, and sometimes being able to work outside of the constraints is the best move. That is especially true as Jillian navigates the events of 2020, which have dramatically affected the work she does and the way she shows up as a leader. There is a silver lining to everything that is happening, and the global impact is beautiful in and of itself. Everyone is so interconnected right now, and it is becoming ever more apparent that we DO have the power to make an impact in each other’s lives and our clients’ work. As business leaders, we have to make monumental changes to adapt. But all of this is worth it in the end.
62 minutes | 4 months ago
Women on the Force, with Janeé Harteau
Chief Janeé Harteau (retired) was Minneapolis' 52nd Police Chief and the first female chief in the city’s history and in April 2017, Fortune Magazine named her one of the world’s top 50 leaders. She initiated MPD 2.0 immediately after she became chief, systematically changing accountability and transparency within the Department while maximizing officer performance and opportunities for advancement within the organization. Chief Harteau is currently the CEO and President of Vitals Aware Services. The Vitals™ App enables safer community interactions by allowing individuals with visible and invisible conditions and disabilities to create and share a personalized digital profile with authorized first responders, health care professionals, and educators via a secure, mobile app – improving real-time communication, reducing the risk of misunderstandings, and promoting greater independence. What you’ll learn about in this episode: How Janeé rose to the top of the ranks in a male-dominated field that is not very receptive to female police officers. How technology has inherently changed policing for the better Why women struggle to thrive in policing How police reform has improved the work environment for women and minorities Janeé’s opinion on police brutality and society’s perception of the police Janeé’s theory on “the one bad apple” when it comes to police brutality What businesses can do to set up an intervention system to deal with the ongoing chaos and civil unrest Defunding our police departments vs. reforming our police departments What the average person can do to be an agent of change with these issues The biggest challenges Janeé has faced in launching her company Resources: Website: https://thevitalsapp.com/ Website: https://www.janeeharteau.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane%C3%A9-harteau-7b645713/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/vitals-aware-services/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thevitalsapp Twitter: @ChiefHarteau @thevitalsapp The Realities of Policing Chief Janeé Harteau is no stranger to controversy or crisis. Now retired, she was Minneapolis’ 52nd Police Chief and the first female chief in the city’s history. Janeé led her department through transformational change during politically charged and turbulent times. She continues to be an agent of change in her new role as CEO of Vitals Aware Services. The Vitals™ App enables safer community interactions by allowing individuals with visible and invisible conditions and disabilities to create and share a personalized digital profile with authorized first responders, health care professionals, and educators via a secure mobile app. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Janeé shares her story and her perspective on what is happening in Minneapolis and communities around the country. Heroes and Villains Janeé says that what makes policing tough is because people question your role. In modern society, everyone has access to a camera at all times. We are starting to see multiple sides to policing, with more context and more backstory. It keeps cops honest and it provides so much information/evidence that used to be inaccessible. But with everything being recorded, we see the bad side as well. Life and death situations bring out either the best or the worst in people. And with that tension ever-present in Janeé’s work environment, it was a difficult task to rise to the top of the ranks in a male-dominated field. A Different Dynamic to Policing Janeé always thought that if she was really good at her job, she would be accepted. That was not the case as she struggled with male colleagues who were dismissive, slow to respond to calls for back up, and even flat-out prevented her from doing the job in high stakes situations. Janeé rose to the top because she refused to walk away. She was fighting bad guys in the streets and bad guys in her precinct, yet she refused to fold no matter how bad things got. When she got to a position of power, she did everything possible to make a change. Janeé always pushed for diversity in the department, not just in ethnicity and gender, but in life experiences as well. Women bring an entirely new dynamic to policing, and everyone in uniform is better off because of it.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
Leadership, Resiliency, and the Power of Choice, with Amy Langer
Amy Langer, co-founder and owner of Salo, LLC is a successful entrepreneur and industry thought leader. With offices in both Minneapolis and Chicago, Amy drives company growth and brand affinity through a keen analysis of market gaps, architecting and leading innovative strategy, and establishing sustainable and scalable infrastructure. Her unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional corporate culture and service environment has led Salo to be widely recognized for setting industry standards relative to innovative culture, superior client service, and workforce flexibility. Amy specializes in human resources, finance, accounting, and entrepreneurship and works with executive leadership ranging from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurial ventures. Prior to co-founding Salo, she was National Business Development Director at Robert Half International, a $1.5B publicly traded professional services company where she led transformative change in the North American territory, comprising and drove a national product line that generated $10M in recurring annual revenue. Amy’s high energy, keen intuition, and astute analytical skills inspire comprehensive thinking that generates innovative paradigms. She is adept at connecting smart and engaged leaders, who are motivated to solve problems, improve the business climate, and achieve future state outcomes. Giving back to the community is important to Amy as she serves on the board of directors for several non-profits including Health Partners and Washburn Center for Children Emeritus. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Amy’s entrepreneurial journey and how she got to where she is today The story of Salo, LLC How Amy’s different professional experiences shaped her as a leader The forms of self-care that enable Amy to put on her oxygen mask first so she can be a resilient leader How to reframe your to-do’s through a lens of choice New initiatives Amy ‘s coalition is taking to keep Minneapolis and St. Paul growing How the George Floyd murder has impacted racial equity in Minnesota’s businesses Best practices that Amy has implemented as a result of all the work she is doing Resources: Website: https://salollc.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amylanger/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/salo-llc/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaloLetsGetSolving/ Twitter: @SaloLLC @amylanger
55 minutes | 4 months ago
How to Be an Agent of Change, with Chris Montana
In 2013, Chris Montana had a crazy idea to start a distillery in the middle of the city he loved. The goal was to start a family business that would bring together Shanelle Montana’s rural upbringing on a Cold Spring, MN farm, and Chris’s experience growing up in Minneapolis. The result is Du Nord Craft Spirits, a scrappy distillery born of rural practicality and city vibe. Since 2013, the Du Nord family has grown from those small beginnings; what we do today is a result of the collective efforts of a group of people who bring their unique talents to the Du Nord team. Du Nord is committed to diversifying the craft alcohol community and actively recruits the underrepresented communities of women and racial minorities to join the Du Nord family. Shanelle Montana’s path wound from a small farm in central Minnesota to college in St. Paul, and a Masters degree in Washington, D.C. While living on the east coast, she maintained her Minnesota cred: showing the state of Maryland how to fish and finding time to return to the woods for the deer hunting opener. Even though on a daily basis Shanelle focuses on making sure the lights stay on by developing renewable energy projects, she also manages regulatory and reporting requirements and leads Du Nord marketing. Chris Montana grew up in several different neighborhoods in Minneapolis but spent most of his time in South Minneapolis and Prospect Park. Chris attended public schools in Minneapolis and later earned an English degree from the University of the District of Columbia, and a law degree from Hamline University. Chris is still a licensed attorney, but prefers to make booze. Chris’s first passion was electoral politics which led to travels all over the country and eventually to work as a congressional aide in D.C. (working for Minneapolis of course). Chris used his organizing skills to convince a smart and sassy intern named Shanelle to give him the time of day; it only took him 7 years. When not making booze or sifting through paperwork, Chris is usually eating a dessert of some kind while playing with his sons. Chris wears many hats but primarily acts as CEO and head distiller. What you’ll learn about in this episode: Chris Montana’s journey into entrepreneurship How Chris became the first black distillery owner in the U.S. The birth of Du Nord Craft Spirits How Chris responded to the lack of diversity in the spirits industry Chris’s experience owning a business that was located in the middle of the George Floyd riots Why Chris founded the Du Nord Foundation How Chris knows he has been successful in the long term Resources: Webiste: http://www.dunordcraftspirits.com/ Du Nord Foundation: https://www.dunordfoundation.org/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-montana-27a98334/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/du-nord-craft-spirits-llc/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DuNordCraftSpirits/ Twitter: @DuNordCS Entrepreneurship and Activism Full-disclosure—before I had Chris Montana on the show, we were already huge fans of his Du Nord Craft Spirits. That was a great surprise, but Chris’s work goes far beyond the bounds of his business. Chris is doing tremendous things in the city of Minneapolis to level the playing field and include disadvantaged communities. He has set out to make an impact through his business and his other endeavors, and in this episode of Intentional Greatness, he joins us to share his story. Chris talks about his journey into entrepreneurship and what it was like becoming the first black distillery owner in the U.S. He explains the different ways he has used his business as a vehicle to make an impact in the community, and what is being done to make the spirits industry more diverse as a whole. The Birth of Du Nord Chris is the founder and owner of the first black-owned distillery in the U.S. After spending a good amount of time in activism and politics, Chris eventually returned to Minnesota with his would-be wife to study law. During that time, he discovered the untapped world of micro-distilleries and saw an opportunity to spark a new trend in the Twin Cities by making great booze. But it quickly turned into something much greater than that, and Chris decided to be a disrupter in an industry where transparency is nonexistent. Diversity is Who We Are When Chris found out how homogeneous the spirits industry was, he was inspired to do something about it. Diversity is not a pin that we wear to a rally, wave our flag, and go home. Diversity is baked into our core. It is who we are and what we do. That notion was put to the test when the George Floyd riots broke out in Minneapolis right near his business. Du Nord was a beacon in the community by that point, and while it suffered some damages, the bulk of the business was unscathed. That is completely unheard of in that part of the city. But since Chris believed so strongly in the cause, he decided to give his business to the community, and the community gave it back to him.
51 minutes | 5 months ago
Inciting Change in American Society, with Lorenzo Jones
Lorenzo Jones is a professional Executive business coach, speaker, facilitator, trainer, and executive with more than 20 years of experience that is solidly grounded in creating a positive learning environment by building a high degree of connection and trust with his clients. He is a compassionate, intuitive, and open-minded professional who will support you in identifying your strengths and areas of growth motivating you to increase focus, productivity and find balance and clarity, with a sense of purpose. His knowledge and abilities to understand all aspects of business organizations have grown over the years as a coach, consultant, and management executive. The companies that have benefitted from Lorenzo’s support includes; Marin Clean Energy, Whistlestop, City of San Rafael, Corporate AAA, Marin County Government, Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority, Brayton Purcell, The Boy’s and Girls Club, Marin School, Nike, Levi’s Strauss, Wells Fargo, BRE Properties Management, Hilton Hotels, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and more! What you’ll learn about in this episode: Why people are finally taking a personal stand to say enough is enough when it comes to social injustice The transformative steps businesses are taking to do their part and facilitate change Why many of us can benefit from being put into an uncomfortable position Lorenzo’s experience growing up as a black person in America How to understand the worldviews of those around you How we can help each other learn so that we are comfortable having open dialogues and conversations about inequality Lorenzo’s advice for people who want to incite change Resources: Website: https://lorenzojones.net/services/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenzojones/ Twitter: @zojones Tackling Inequality in America Today At the time of recording this podcast, we just passed Juneteenth, and the civil unrest resulting from the wrongful death of George Floyd is still running rampant. Social injustice and race are sensitive topics that many people want to tiptoe around. But Lorenzo Jones is not afraid to talk about them. Lorenzo is an African American male, a kick-ass executive coach, speaker, facilitator, and trainer with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked for massive brands to help their teams identify their strengths and areas of growth to increase focus, productivity, and discover their sense of purpose. Right now, brands are reacting strongly to the racial tension in the U.S. There are a lot of things that need to be fixed in corporate America, and Lorenzo joins us to talk about the work he is doing at the forefront. Get Uncomfortable Lorenzo wants to invite people into the heart of transformation by creating a connection with their passion, their purpose, and their unlimited potential. I can’t think of a time in history where that would be more important than right now because our lives are on the line. People are taking a personal stand to finally say enough is enough, and you are seeing this resonate into the corporate world as well. Business leaders are rethinking the effects they have, not only on the people they employ but the communities they operate in as well. That is the arena in which Lorenzo thrives, and lately, he has been pushing the envelope with amazing results. Many of us can benefit from being uncomfortable, but when we breach that barrier, we can finally achieve that sense of empowerment. Every Worldview is Different We often overlook the wide variety of worldviews that surround us when we are a part of the majority. In companies made up of predominantly white employees, people forget that it is an entirely different experience for employees of other ethnicities. Taking the time to proactively understand another person’s worldview can help us develop our effectiveness as we interact across difference. And while it might make us uncomfortable to acknowledge that, think about how uncomfortable it is for others every day. No one should feel that they are not welcome in the group, regardless of if it is coming from their inner voice or not. That is going to require deep change, and professionals like Lorenzo are making that much more feasible.
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