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The Landing Pad Podcast
21 minutes | Dec 20, 2020
041- LaTasha Moore: Multi-lingualism, Education and Impact
Recently I sat down to chat with LaTasha Moore. LaTasha Moore was born in Illinois but considers herself an Arkansas native. She is from the rural community of Falcon, Arkansas, which is located in the southwest corner of the state. LaTasha is the owner and lead teacher of the Spanish education service Tasha Teaches Spanish. In addition to running this small business, she is currently pursuing her Master's in Spanish at the University of Central Arkansas. She is married to IT professional and graphic designer Corey Coleman, and they have a young son Khari Coleman. Don't miss Tasha' story on the Landing Pad.
20 minutes | Dec 6, 2020
040 - Rachel Golden: Creativity, Art and Enterprise
Recently, I had a fun conversation with Rachel Golden, the founder of Acanthus Fine Art Advisory. Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Rachel made her way to Arkansas via Houston, with a stint in Paris, which turned into book based on the blog she kept of her time there.She holds an M.A. in Art (Art History) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Acanthus Fine Art Advisory, offering traditional advisory services for collectors, as well ascuratorial services. She also maintains the care of a private collection based in Little Rock, andworks as an adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Maryland Global Campus. She is married to Harry and is mom to two daughters. She and her family live in Little Rock.
29 minutes | Nov 29, 2020
039 - Hilary Trudell: Storytelling as Activism for Social Change
Recently, I sat down with Hilary Trudell, the Producer of the Yarn and Director of Local Programming and Regional Outreach at the Clinton School of Public Service.Ms. Trudell is a facilitator, producer and educator with over 15 years experience in the field of public service and the arts. She specializes in community engagement, arts education and providing a platform for storytelling and advocacy around themes of social justice. Hilary currently works as the Director of Local Programming and Regional Outreach at the Clinton School of Public Service leading first-year students through their first field work experience. In 2017, Hilary founded a storytelling initiative called The Yarn, whose mission is to amplify voices, build understanding and create a space for human connection. Currently entering the Yarn's third season, Hilary and her team have produced over 15 shows to date. Since moving back to Arkansas in 2015, Hilary has personally coached over 180 people in efforts to help them share their stories succinctly, effectively and with impact. In 2018, she also founded the ACANSA Ten-Minute Play Showcase, which she will usher into its third year in March 2020. A board member of the ACANSA Arts Festival, Hilary is a strong believer of leveraging stories as catalysts for community building, education and social change.Learn more about the Yarn at www.theyarnstorytelling.com.
37 minutes | Nov 22, 2020
038 - Celia Banting, PhD: Vocation and Passion - Preventing Teen Suicide
Recently I had the good fortune to sit down with Dr. Celia Banting an expert in teen suicide prevention. Dr. Banting came to Arkansas from the Isle of Wight. She is a psychiatric nurse as well as published author. The "I Only Said" series of therapeutic novels based on her PhD research was written to help troubled teenagers and young adults avoid suicide. There are currently ten books available to address the risk factors identified in her PhD research into adolescent suicide attempts.You won't want to miss this Arkansas story.Learn more about Dr. Banting or purchase her books at https://www.wighitapress.com/
22 minutes | Nov 15, 2020
037 - Noah Hallett: From the Lab to Tech Startup
I recently got to sit down with Noah Hallett who describes himself as "California-grown, Southern-ripened, a proud husband, epic nerd, and life-long learner." We talked about what makes him a self-described "epic nerd," his path from the science lab to the tech startup world.He currently works for Apptegy, one of the fasted growing Ed Tech startups in the country, based right here in Central Arkansas.Check out his #myARstory
31 minutes | Nov 8, 2020
036 - Nancy Gray, PhD: Health Sciences, Innovation and Commercialization
I recently caught up with Dr. Nancy Gray of BioVentures.Dr. Gray currently serves as President, BioVentures, LLC, the technology licensing office and business incubator for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Nancy has more than thirty years of experience in biomedical industries, including medicinal chemistry research, management of pharmaceutical research and development, and business operations. Since coming to UAMS in 2015 she has co-developed several entrepreneurship training programs. She is the director of the seminar series titled “Health Science Entrepreneurs: Innovators of Health Care” which has evolved into a collaborative effort with five other universities in the U.S. She is a founder and director of the Health Sciences Entrepreneurship Boot Camp that is offered to Arkansas-based undergraduate and graduate students interested in non-academic careers in health sciences. In 2018, the Boot Camp earned a second place Innovations in Research and Research Education Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Additionally, Nancy serves as the Satellite Director on UAMS’s hub for the fastPACE Program designed by the University of Michigan Fast Forward Medical Innovation team and sponsored by UAMS’s Translational Research Institute.She joined UAMS from the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was vice president for corporate development. Don't miss her #myARstory
20 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
035 - Whitney Hickerson: Small Business Support as Economic Development
Recently, I sat down with Whitney Hickerson the Communications Director at the Arkansas Business Engine.An avid reader and writer from a young age, Whitney realized early on that the greatest stories the world has to offer are the ones we are living every day. She spent 10 years in journalism and public relations, telling the stories of the people who live around us, the cities where we live, and the communities that support us. Now, she wants to help others tell their stories. From editing novels to helping small business owners use words to build relationships with their customers, her goal is to help us tell our stories in a compelling way. Learn more about the AR Business Engine at https://www.arkansasbusinessengine.com/
32 minutes | Oct 18, 2020
034 - Patrycja Karkowiak-Valdivia, Ph.D.: Science, Research and Education - Making an Impact in Young Lives
I recently sat down with Dr. Patrycja Krakowiak on the show.Originally from Poland, she made her way to the US 35 years ago, earning her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry with an emphasis in molecular biology. She then earned her Ph.D. in human genetics. She is a research scientist and has published dozens of articles and lectured around the country. She currently serves as a life science specialist at the Arkansas School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts (ASMSA), where she trains the next generation of young scientists and researchers. She also co-directs the Arkansas Summer Research Institute (ASRI) and trains biology teachers from across the state as a co-director of the Advanced Biology Plus Program through ASMSA. Her story is powerful and inspiring. Don't miss this week's episode.
24 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
033 - Lydia Grate: From the Arkansas River Valley to Togo West Africa, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand and Back Again
Recently I sat down with Lydia Grate to talk about her journey. She landed in Arkansas by happenstance at the encouragement of a stranger at a grocery store as her family drove cross country to restart in California. They decided to make Arkansas home and never made it beyond the Arkansas River Valley.Lydia graduated from Arkansas Tech University with degrees in broadcast journalism, public relations, and speech communication. Immediately following her graduation, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa from 2011-2013. During her service, she facilitated trainings (in French) and collaborated with local NGO’s and the US Embassy to organize conferences for youth and women’s empowerment. Lydia has worked in six countries and on a variety of public service projects, including teaching hospitality skills to girls at risk of sex trafficking in Thailand, mentoring at-risk youth in Australia, and organizing community festivals in New Zealand.Don't miss her Arkansas story.
22 minutes | Sep 27, 2020
032 - Christina Muñoz, Part II - Beyond the News Anchor Desk
This is Part II of Christina's story. Catch the Part I in Episode 31.Recently I sat down with Christina Muñoz Madsen a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. Before launching her own PR and marketing firm in 2018, she was the Associate Vice President of Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing for the University of Central Arkansas. You may know her best, though, from her time as an anchor KATV, Channel 7. She co-anchored one of the state’s most-watched newscasts for nine years and was recognized as Arkansas’ most popular news anchor. Born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota, she started out as a radio broadcaster at 1450 KYNT in Yankton at the age of 15. This is Part 2 of her story on the winding path that led her from the plains of South Dakota, to the Great Lakes and finally, to the Natural State.
25 minutes | Sep 20, 2020
031 - Christina Muñoz, Part I - A Love of Dance, Performance and Storytelling Leads to the Natural State
Recently I sat down with Christina Muñoz Madsen a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. Before launching her own PR and marketing firm in 2018, she was the Associate Vice President of Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing for the University of Central Arkansas. You may know her best, though, from her time as an anchor KATV, Channel 7. She co-anchored one of the state’s most-watched newscasts for nine years and was recognized as Arkansas’ most popular news anchor. Born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota, she started out as a radio broadcaster at 1450 KYNT in Yankton at the age of 15. This is Part 1 of her story on the winding path that led her from the plains of South Dakota, to the Great Lakes and finally, to the Natural State.Don't miss Part II of her story next week where she reveals what made her angry at Arkansas, the pull to leave and what made her stay.
24 minutes | Sep 13, 2020
030 - Epiphany "Big Piph" Morrow: Hip Hop and Community Building
Epiphany "Big Piph" Morrow is a Stanford educated emcee and "community builder" from Pine Bluff, AR. He performs regularly with his 7-piece band, “Tomorrow Maybe,” and has worked with major acts including TI, Big Sean, Tye $, Snoop, Ne-Yo, and others. He is lead coordinator of Global Kids-Arkansas which sends stellar high school students in underserved communities abroad for social service projects. He also has been a TEDx speaker and perhaps most notably has served as a “Hip-Hop Ambassador” for the US Embassy traveling abroad to countries such as Morocco, Algeria, The Gambia, Seychelles, and Thailand. While there, he not only performs, but holds workshops and creates with the local artists. One of his current projects is jUSt Books & Bagels which provides free books, breakfast, and workshops for youth in underserved communities. His latest creative project is a one-man show entitled “The Glow”, described as if “TED Talks were a Hip-Hop concert wrapped in an OG Spike Lee narrative”. He is also currently working on soon to be announced project combining Hip-Hop, entrepreneurship, and underserved communities for youth.Find out more about his projects at http://www.bigpiph.com/
22 minutes | Sep 6, 2020
029 - Karen Zuccardi: Sustainable Economic Development
Recently, I sat down with Karen Zuccardi.Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Karen has been a Little Rock resident for five years. While in the USA, she has lived in various states.Karen is a graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service. As the current chair of Little Rock Sustainability Commission, she is a proud Little Rocker determined to help the city and people who live in it. Find out more about the Sustainability Commission: https://www.littlerock.gov/for-residents/sustainability/little-rock-sustainability-commission/
29 minutes | Aug 30, 2020
028 - Anna Beth Gorman: Addressing the Gender Equity Gap Through Service
Recently I got the chance to sit down with Anna Beth Gorman, the Executive Director of the Women's Foundation of Arkansas.Anna Beth has served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas since 2016. In her tenure with the Women’s Foundation, she is leading the effort for the Foundation to be the leading equity partner in building women’s economic security across the state through strategic efforts. Anna Beth earned her BA from Hollins University, her MPA and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UA Little Rock.She is a member of Leadership Little Rock, Class XXXII and Leadership Arkansas, Class XIII, sits on the boards of Arvest Bank Central Arkansas, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and currently serves as President of the Board, Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. In December 2019, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed her to the State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Taskforce. She regularly speaks to civic groups, public, and private organizations on the benefits of strategically including women in the economic development of our state. Originally from Texas, Anna Beth came to Arkansas with the Girls Scouts and has built her life and home here in Arkansas. Don't miss her story on the Landing Pad.Learn more about the Women's Foundation: https://womensfoundationarkansas.org/To join Steve's pledge challenge: https://womensfoundationarkansas.org/donate/
18 minutes | Aug 23, 2020
027 - Mark Millsap: Long-Term Perspective and Building Legacy
Recently I sat down with Mark Millsap, the President and Partner of Foundation Resource Management, an investment firm managing a portfolio of institutional and individual assets.Mark moved to Central Arkansas from Alabama with his wife and they raised their family here and have made it their home.Mark has been a value investment manager for institutions and families for his entire 39-year career and says that "This business is uniquely challenging because you never have it mastered or figured out. The markets are bigger than you are and have the ability to make you look brilliant or like an idiot when the truth is generally somewhere in between. If you are not humble in this business, you are about to be humbled."Learn why he'll never leave and check out this fascinating Arkansas story.
21 minutes | Aug 16, 2020
026 - Tiffany Henry: From "Hellion" to High Achiever - Impact and Rural Economic Development
Recently, I sat down with Tiffany Henry, the Rural Director at the Conductor, a public/private partnership, where she facilitates entrepreneurial and community development programming in 11 counties across Central Arkansas. She is a Certified Group Facilitator, co-State Organizer of GEN Global Entrepreneur Week, and a Kauffman Foundation ESHIP Champion. Tiffany currently serves on the boards of the Rural Community Alliance and the Arkansas Community Development Society.Tiffany tested out of high school at 15. She failed her way in and out of several community colleges; and met her husband, who was the lead singer of a band, before going back to school and completing her degree with a 4.0! Originally from the SF Bay Area of California, Tiffany and her husband, Clay came to Arkansas during the recession of '08 as young newlyweds and quickly settled and built a life in the Natural State. Check out her amazing AR story!
33 minutes | Aug 9, 2020
025 - Nate Thomas: Education, Equity and the Arts
I got a chance to catch up with Nate Thomas, the Educational Programs Manager at the Clinton Foundation, a global non-profit that builds partnerships between businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals to transform lives and communities. Nate develops and coordinates the K-12 educational programs of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, in partnership with the National Archives. In Little Rock, Arkansas, Nate serves on the steering committee of the City Year Red Jacket Ball, Arkansas Association of Black Professionals, and is the 2021 host chair for the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) coming to Little Rock, Arkansas. He is also an alumni of Leadership Arkansas, the Shafik Gabr Fellowship, and the American Alliance of Museums Fellowship. Most recently, Nate completed his appointment as the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce Chair for Think Big Little Rock with the mission to improve the overall community in the Little Rock metro for young professionals.Don't miss this bright young professional's #myARstory on the show!
19 minutes | Aug 2, 2020
024 - Mildred Franco - Philanthropy, Economic Development and Rural Arkansas
Recently I sat down with Mildred Franco, the Executive Director of the Generator, an economic development initiative of Go Forward Pine Bluff. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Mildred Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Management from McGill University in Montreal. After graduation, Mildred worked in the oil industry in the areas of production and international marketing. She married my college sweetheart, and they moved to New York City where she worked as an oil trader. Upon moving to Arkansas, the pair co-founded CHI Computers + Solutions, LLC, which later became K12Discount.com, an internet retail provider of computer products and services to educational institutions across the U.S. Mildred is active serving in the non-profit sector in organizations that support entrepreneurship, ecosystem building, innovation, women and the arts. She is a co-founder of the Pascale International Fellows Program and the Pascale Franco Yale-McGill Lecture Series on the Study of Canada. In Arkansas, she has served on many local and state boards and currently serves on the boards of the EAST Initiative, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Arkansas Arts Council. I can't wait for you to hear her #myARstory
27 minutes | Jul 26, 2020
023 - Sam Carrasquillo - Entrepreneurship, Persistence and Success
Recently I sat down with local entrepreneur and businessman, Sam Carrasquillo. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sam moved to Arkansas with his family as a teenager. With no friends, no money, and speaking little to no English; Sam went door-to-door mowing grass and reading the dictionary in the evenings to learn the language. At age 16, he opened his first company and purchased his first investment property. Over the years, he has opened several businesses to compliment his original company, where he still serves as President.Sam believes in giving back and giving often, which he does through sharing his story with other kids from similar backgrounds, volunteering, and as a member of several advocacy boards throughout central Arkansas.Sam has a Bachelor of Business Administration both in Finance and in Real Estate, and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.Sam's is a quintessential American success story that you won't want to miss this week on the Landing Pad!
21 minutes | Jul 19, 2020
022 - Yang Luo-Branch: Art, Data, and Opportunity
Recently I got a chance to catch up with Yang Luo-Branch. She is the founder of the Arkansas Association of Asian Business and has been recognized by Arkansas Business as a business influencer. She's recently been named an inaugural member of the Advisory Board on U.S./China Relations for the George HW Bush Foundation.Originally from China, Yang has spent the past six years building up her family and career in Arkansas. Yang's life experience is broad. Initially trained as an architect, her professional footprint spans the private and public sectors. She has worked in academia, state government, for a Fortune 500 company. She has even founded a non-profit organization and owns her own art consulting practice. She thinks her journey has just started in Arkansas and there are a lot of impactful things she can continue to do with the abundance of opportunity that our state presents. This is one #myARstory you can't miss!Commission or purchase Dr. Luo-Branch's Art here: http://www.yillustrations.com/View Dr. Luo-Branch's TEDx Talk here: https://youtu.be/Y3g3N5-T2CY
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