December 4, 2019
Johnny Sirpilla is a fast, new friend. His story from the days in the accountancy program at Miami and becoming a Miami Merger, to working for, running and ultimately selling and IPO’ing a business are fascinating, touching and meaningful. As he says in the conversation, life will be hard but it will be OK is not only a lesson for students but for himself and everyone listening (including me!). He shares the challenges and tragedies in detail but also how to recover and keep a positive outlook on family, community, life. His current business endeavor Encourage is centered around making a difference in the areas of healthy living, leadership and adoption. Words cannot describe the depth of the chat, so simply press play.
November 20, 2019
Maria Casey is the CEO and Founder of BUHO, the first sustainable e-commerce hub offering ethical, sustainable and vintage products for women, men, kids and home. She is a fascinating woman and a great storyteller. We swiftly move in the pod from starting a business at Miami to entering the peace corps in Bangladesh. We then jump to her time as a bartender in New York and how that job changed her life and business career. It's a can't miss episode (Maria is also the only person who has ever told me how working at Bagel n Deli helped shape how she thinks about business and puts it into practice).
November 6, 2019
Melissa Pawlowicz is a multi-talented commercial lead at the Kellogg Company. She has been with the business for nearly 17 years, gone through many roles and continually evolves, learns and thrives. We examine the differences between working for a brand and agency life, where she first began her career. Like many, the relationships from young-to-old have helped her succeed in life. We also explore the good 'ole days in Oxford and what the University means to Melissa.
October 23, 2019
Matt Kamienski, the Executive Director of The Presidents Cup, is now in countdown mode. The world’s greatest golfers will descend onto Melbourne, Australia at Royal Melbourne Country Club for the bi-annual event in December. Kamienski’s golf business career is twenty-years strong but little known fact, he started as a pre-med major at Miami. Relationships, mentors and learning guided him down the alt-path and he has been thriving ever since. The conversation details what it’s like to move his family around the world every few years, how he learns and the special time at Miami. He pays great tribute to Bill Davidge. Bill is a great man and a mentor of mine in Oxford too.
October 9, 2019
Marc Rubin is Dean of the Farmer Business School at Miami, and after 29 years educating students, retirement awaits next spring. We started our conversation by going back to the Fall of 1971 when he showed up on campus without any technology, not even an adding calculator (that happened two years later!). He shares a wonderful story about his mentor and former accountancy Dean Harry Lyle and how years after listening, learning and admiring him, he was the Dean and sitting at Harry’s old desk. Dean Rubin talks a lot of modeling, learning and the need to constantly learn (he does so via historical books). Thanks for helping all students at Miami prosper. Well done.
September 25, 2019
My conversation with Brandon Smith, NOOMA co-Founder, took place as he was driving with his brother and two work colleagues in a car from Cleveland to Baltimore for a Natural Products Expo show. Exactly what entrepreneurs are doing every single day of the year. Really appreciated Miami University’s Director of External Relations and alum Nick Petraglia for connecting the dots and making the conversation happen. Brandon articulately explains the origin of NOOMA – an organic electrolyte drink and what it is going to take to win in the beverage game. He has incredible fortitude, dedication and a clear sense of direction….but as in all new businesses, not without some bumps. He explains the bumps and how he has overcome them. His story about staying up to 3am on this product while his hockey team had a game 7 the next day is…well….just perfect.
September 11, 2019
I love any podcast where the guest wants to take the Skippers’ Cheese Fries product and create an advertising campaign around it. And you know what? David DeMuth could do just that. He is the CEO of Doner Advertising, a world-class shop with 600+ employees. We talk about his first job in a grocery store and trying to guess what people would buy and why they would pick a brand over the other. That curiosity has stayed with him through his years at Miami and even today at Doner. He stresses the opportunity for those that embrace technology, and now more than ever, it gives the youth a competitive edge in the work force. And also how you have to adapt to change as everything in life is a work in progress.
August 28, 2019
Special guest on the pod today – Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol (Chipotle now has more than 2,500 restaurants!). A rapid fire discussion on innovation, learning daily, mentorship and dealing with conflicts/problems. He takes us on a journey of finding an internship that led to his first job (P&G for 10 years) and the power of problem solving. We also talk about the balance of daily execution while thinking about long-term opportunities and change. Stay for the close where he talks about his second stop each time on campus (his first being Chipotle, of course).
August 14, 2019
Cam Cummins is co-Founder of Pivotal Growth Partners, Owner of inHOUSE Marketing and is quite simply, a great person. We have spent quite a bit of time together on Miami University’s Entrepreneurship Board and I learn something from Cam every time I see him. Today’s conversation stretches from the art-and-science of franchising to the power of Miamians in Chicago. We also touch on taking unpaved paths, and figuring out pain points in work and using them to your advantage. He credits the late Miami professor Doc O (Bruce Olson) as an inspiration to his success. Doc O forced Cam to be better and overachieve (and he did so for many of his students in Oxford!). Finally, Skipper’s gets some great shout outs in the pod as it was the physical location in which Cam made his decision to head out to Los Angeles for work immediately after graduation.
July 31, 2019
It is incredibly impressive to see what Austin Mace has managed to accomplish despite being just four years removed from his graduation at Miami. He is the Co-Founder and COO of Subvrsive, a company developing exciting new ways to capture content across a variety of mediums. Like many guests on the pod, he identified something he was passionate about while at Miami and figured out a way to make it his career. For Austin, it was developing a new camera to shoot in VR-compatible 360°, which is the foundation of what Subvrsive does to this day. He serves as an Advisory Board Member at Miami’s College of Creative Arts, and was recently awarded the prestigious 18 of the Last 9 Award.