Donn Davis: Founding Partner, Revolution Growth

December 5, 2018

The conversation with Donn Davis gave great insight into how he thinks. He is a Founding Partner of Revolution Growth as well as Co-Founder and Chairman of the Professional Fighters League. The commonality of those two businesses: disruption. And that is what we focus much of the conversation on. We also dig into the differences in being an attacker v. defender and a builder v. manager. His perspective and tips for college students and those in their 20’s is worth paying attention to. He is also the first person on the pod to create an actual business class at Miami, called Real Business after 20-years in the business world. I hope you enjoy the conversation. I did.

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Rob Snow: Founder, Stand Up 4 Downs

November 28, 2018

This podcast with Rob Snow defines Miami and the type of people that graduate from the university. I am super proud of what Rob is and will do to create change. Life presents situations that make each of us alter what we do. It’s when those situations happen that bring out the best in people. Rob’s son Henry was born with down syndrome in 2009 and immediately Rob knew he had a chance to do more. He has combined his comedic chops and personality along with his family life to create Stand up 4 Downs and the IMPROVANEERS – the world’s first ever improv team featuring a full roster of young men/women with down syndrome. They practice weekly and will perform LIVE together later this year. The IMPROVANEERS are learning eye contact, ability to think on their feet, voice projection, self-confidence and many other tools to help them socially and in the work force. It’s a must listen pod. And PS – you will love his story about Doc Shriver.

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Greg Van Kirk: Co-Founder, Community Enterprise Solutions

November 21, 2018

Greg Van Kirk is co-founder of Community Enterprise Solutions and Social Entrepreneur Corps. He has been recognized as the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He is very thoughtful and measured in his approach to teamwork, collaboration and combining public/private partnerships. Greg provided one of my favorite lines in all of the pods to date: “I want to solve wicked problems that are intellectually challenging.” Like many, he credits Miami’s Luxembourg program in his journey. It’s there that he learned empathy, the need for a better life for individuals and how to adjust to different cultures. I am proud to work alongside Greg on Miami’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.

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Derek Block: President & CEO, Touchstone Merchandise Group

November 14, 2018

Derek Block could give a TedTalk on the value of coaching. The discussion about this subject is something of importance to all ages. He talks about beginning to understand that when he was a Miami University varsity hockey player twenty years ago, and he has carried that lesson into present day. And not just for account coordinators but for the C-suite. This line is lasting for me – if leadership is so important, how can you not afford to give them a coach. Simple yet profound. I also enjoyed his thinking on the subject of learning and how maintaining culture and relevance keep him up at night.

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P.J. O’Rourke: Author

November 7, 2018

P.J. O’Rourke has written nineteen books (including some New York Times bestsellers) and his most recent one, None Of My Business, is a must read. He explains money, banking, assets, liabilities and why he’s not rich and neither are you (there is always humor in everything he writes and says!). You can hear the passion of Miami in his voice throughout our conversation as he continues to give the school props. Plus, his stories about late professor David Frazier (giving him a D on a mid-term paper, turning his life around and creating a long-term bond) and Dr. Shriver are fantastic. He never knew that Dr. Shriver knew who he was, but he sure did. We even chuckle together about what technology meant to him as a blossoming writer – long hand, not even a typewriter and no spell check. We begin the conversation discussing what gives him inspiration in writing on subjects.

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Mitch Barns: CEO, Nielsen

October 31, 2018

Mitch Barns was destined for success. Any college student willing to bike 45 miles from campus as a student to get to a job interview is clearly dedicated. A Business Administration major at Miami, Mitch has spent the past 22 years in 11 roles at Nielsen. Currently, he is the CEO and will retire from his position at the close of the year. Two subjects we brainstormed in the conversation of interest include tips for students coming out of school (always saying yes, focusing on the fundamentals and learning from mistakes) and the value of a mentee – mentor relationship. And I love that he worked at Montgomery Inn (best ribs in the world)!

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Mike Fitzgerald: Partner, High Alpha

October 24, 2018

Mike Fitzgerald’s High Alpha business is fascinating. Not just the venture studio and Fund they have built, but the Sprint Week competitition where all employees compete against each other to determine what business the company should incubate. I love that. That is how you build internal culture. We spent quite a bit of time on the pod discussing how to formulate ideas and how to learn (I can never get enough of that subject). We also did some digging into the investment culture and the ratio of reviewing start-ups to actual investments. Anyone exploring this space will enjoy Mike’s perspective. His calculus story at Miami is a good one and sent him down a path of communications (which he says is a blessing and helped him into a sales-oriented path). We start with a conversation about the city of Indianapolis and Miami’s influence there.

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Dr. Jim Bertz: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

October 17, 2018

What a memorable conversation I had with our next guest. It’s been more than sixty years since Dr. Jim Bertz graduated from Miami. That’s right, 60 years! His lifelong career has been in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, helping people around the world with conditions they would not have had the resources to address otherwise. But that is just the beginning for Jim. Our conversation winds us through his incredible career, and he shares some of his philosophies on what it takes to be a good doctor and a good person. Wait until you hear about his first job interview at Miami with the CIA! My favorite life lesson he shared on the call was doing things for people who cannot pay you back. Let that soak in for a minute and you will get a sense of what type of person Jim is.

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Josh Dahn: Head of School, Ad Astra School

October 10, 2018

Josh Dahn and his co-founder, Elon Musk, are out to disrupt the way we teach our children, and as a result, how they learn. In today’s pod, Josh walks through the reasons why change is needed and what they are doing differently. The art dealer sample lesson for elementary school kids that he explains is simply fascinating. The practical aspect of learning is very clear in this venture. The school they have created, Ad Astra (in Latin it means To The Stars) is located on the Space X campus in Los Angeles. Even if the entire model doesn’t work for all, some teaching through real life scenarios could benefit many. 

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Bill Hemmer: Anchor, Fox News

October 3, 2018

Fox News Channel journalist and host of America’s Newsroom (and former CNN host) Bill Hemmer joins the pod today and shares insight on the importance of being curious to keep his mind fresh and to constantly learn. We spend time discussing the word trust in today’s challenged times – for all of us, and all corporations, not just the media. You can hear the passion in his voice when we talk about his time in Luxembourg with Miami. An absolute life-changer for him, and he is heading back in a few weeks to join up with Lux alumni and current Miami students. The discussion also digs into who has given him the most inspiration and some solid tips for students coming into the work force. We begin the discussion talking about the time he was embedded with the U.S. Marines for several months in the Middle East.

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