John is the founder and CEO of C3 corporate culture consulting, a firm specializing in aligning an organization's culture with its strategic goals. John has worked in sales and marketing at Pfizer, Pepsi Company, Nestle and Chateau St. Michelle winery. During these experiences, he developed a heightened awareness of the indispensable role people's attitudes play in implementing effective processes and procedures. John is an author, speaker, facilitator, and thought leader in the area of corporate culture and its positive impact on people and companies. He was born in Mexico City, has lived in five countries and speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English. He is an author, keynote speaker, blogger, soccer fan, wine enthusiast, and proud dad. He currently makes his home in Atlanta.
“Culture is basically some values and some behaviors that you stand for. Most companies have made an effort to define their culture through selecting some values and then also some behaviors to go with those values…”
“The biggest barrier to implementing culture is self-awareness. And self-awareness is a topic that’s uh…90% of people think they're self-aware, only about 10% of people are.”
“How much more do you think that Chick-fil-A sells versus a Kentucky Fried Chicken?... 500% more. Yes. Because of the experience, because of the people.”
“I met a person who wrote a book called The Platinum Rule and he was from New York, he lives in San Diego, and what he found out is that the golden rule ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, wasn't working for him…”
“Don't be shy. Get out there. Say hello and start with hello. Care about the other person. Use the platinum rule. And you know, build a relationship to the point where they want to buy from you. Because at the end of the day, we don't sell anything, people buy.”
“Digital's a good way to get to see how people remember you that you've met before. I often find when I send out things digitally that people that I haven't talked to in a while, will reach back around and say, ‘Hey John, haven't heard from you. I got this email from you; I got this material from you…”
“I would've gone to Wharton and studied international business because I've could've gotten in there as an MBA. I would have found my calling, you know, which is training and development and the area of culture earlier in life so that I could have devoted more time to it.”
“Be good to people. Figure out what your calling is.”
You can get in contact with John at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Born in communist Russia, Dr. Anna Koeck emigrated to the US at the age of 10 with her single mom Rimma. With hard work and perseverance, Dr. Koeck received a triple business degree from UW Madison, managed multi-million-dollar software projects at Epic Systems and graduated Magna Cum Laude from ICO with her Doctor of Optometry Degree. To help the entire world see clearly at a transparent price, she opened Theia Vision Care and within the first year was voted the top doctor in Lake Country, WI.
“I come from a very different country. I'm an immigrant and I watched my mom work really hard to bring me to this country and to get me where I'm at. And my mom is definitely an inspiration. She's a role model.”
“6 to 18 months should be their first eye exam. And that tends to surprise people.”
“In a nutshell, the direct care is the idea of I'm directly seeing you and there's not an intermediary third party involved, be it insurance, vision plan, or other pieces. By eliminating steps, I'm eliminating time and money spent on that so I can now spend the time in my chair with you and ask you extra questions and get your kids in. And because I save money, I pass that on to you as well in the product and services.”
“Just a random event running off a couple of years ago to a vision expo in New York. And I was flying out of Milwaukee right here. And typically there's not a long line to get into the airport, but that particular morning, for whatever reason, I don't know if it was spring break or what was going on, this long, long line…”
“Continuing to put yourself out there and making the time. So, there's always a conversation about time management, and how do you do everything? You don't. You put things on your schedule and you make something a priority. And if you do that, it’ll happen.”
“Put yourself out there. So, it's always, you know, some of these cliches, but they're kind of cliche for a reason, right? You get growth out of being uncomfortable.”
“I'm still thinking about that question as well. I mean, a little bit of a balance.”
“That's really interesting to kind of go back in time. What if I could change anything? And the more I thought about it, the more I kind of embraced the overall, ‘you're exactly where you're supposed to be’. And I firmly believe that.”
“The professional answer would probably be Oprah and there are ways to, you know, reach out on her. There's an email account. You know, I went to graduate school in Chicago, her studios were down there. So, I think it's possible.”
“I just finished I am Malala. And she is a huge activist for education, children's education and particularly girl’s education, grew up in Pakistan and through a variety of things that have happened, I think she now lives in England.”
“There's a code that says, ‘there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way’ and replace happiness with anything else. So, you just do it, you find an event and you go to it or…you just kind of continue to do the things that you're looking to achieve and hopefully eventually you get there.”
You can get in contact with Dr. Anna Koeck at:
Office Phone: 262-361-0022
LinkedIn: Click Here
Lisa Danforth is a business strategist and firm believer that business doesn’t have to be so hard. She helps women navigate obstacles & struggles that are specific to women in business so they can create the impact & income they desire with less overwhelm & more joy.
“I think of boundaries as the bridge to whatever success that it is that you're looking for. And if we don't have boundaries in place…”
“The double-bind for women is a well-known phenomenon that women are either perceived as warm or competent but rarely both.”
“I actually don't believe in work-life balance. I'm going to be totally honest with you. I don't think that we want everything in our lives to be weighed out evenly.”
“I would have to say it is with a woman that I met online, sort of peripheral. There was a group of people that I spent time with, but there was a woman on the periphery, two layers out, right, and we kept sort of bumping into each other and talking, talking, talking, you know, just sort of bumping into the groups. And she finally reached, she reached out because she is in social media. We set up a conversation to chat and we have over the years become best friends…”
“There's a couple of things that really come to mind and the first one is being intentional. I think we need to be more intentional in anything that we do and who we are in order to be more effective…”
“Be very intentional about what you're looking for. What will support you? How can you support other people?”
“For me, it's hand down traditional. I don't know if it's just because of my age. I'm 54. I can jump into a conversation and not rudely like ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ Really just sort of ease into a conversation.”
“I would say two things. One, relax. Rubbing a square peg in a round hole is not going to work, right? I mean, I refer to it as the white-knuckled grip. It's just ‘push, push, push, push’. Which, may I say, was how I was trained in business. It's a very masculine, dominant push energy, ‘go, go, go’. The more I have relaxed and leaned into my feminine energy and how I do business, my businesses have flourished.”
“One of the women that I've been following, and I adore her because she is strong, confident, brilliant, puts herself out there and takes no bull from anyone. But is all of service in the work that she does. The name is Nilofer Merchant. She wrote a book called, um, what is it...The Power of Onlyness.”
“It’s called Psycho-Cybernetics. It is all about the mind and focusing on what is working for us and not re-living our past, moving into the future through our thoughts and behaviors of the past. Not allowing them to control what we do in the future.”
“Just be very intentional on the business that you want, the life that you want, the relationships that you're looking to build.”
You can get in contact with Lisa at:
Website: Click Here
LinkedIn: Click Here
Neille Hoffman is a creative innovator and entrepreneur dedicated to the craft of design. With over 20 years of branding expertise, she has created integrated communication solutions for long term clients across a spectrum of industries including; healthcare, education, entertainment, luxury goods, and real estate. As a coach, consultant, speaker, and recovering perfectionist, she has the unique ability to recognize the gifts others don’t see in themselves and empower them to follow their dreams.
“I believe branding is more important than ever because our world is so connected with our whole digital age. We can know people down the block, but we can also know people across the world. And we really need to have some differentiation.”
“There's a fine line, I think. I think that personal branding is really who your genuine self is. So I don't really think you can manufacture a personal brand. Some people think that they can change the way they dress or they can talk different or you know, they can kind of create who they want people to see them as…”
“I always like to dive deep with questions and research. I think a lot of, at least for personal branding and for business branding as well, we have to take a look at our mindset and our limited beliefs…”
“My favorite networking experience that I have had here in Milwaukee was meeting Sara Meaney, Sara Meaney and I both had our own businesses at the time. Hers was Comet Branding and mine was Aurum Design and we were both moving into a new building actually across the street from here in the Third Ward. And we just happened to be throwing our open house parties on the same night.”
“I make a very pointed effort to reach out to friends and check in on them, see what is going on with their lives, get updates from people, schedule coffees, and really have a genuine interest in the people that I have met.”
“The number one thing I would say is take action. I think for far too long I stayed on the sidelines.”
“Right now, I don't want to say I want to find more value in it, but I want to say I'm stepping into it. So again, outside of my comfort zone is the digital networking. So I have recently become part of an entrepreneurial networking group online and it's people from all over the world. And what I like about that is you're actually connecting with people who think like you do and are so supportive. It's crazy.”
“I would tell myself to trust my instincts more. I think I in the past have deferred to other people's opinions.”
“So, I think I have a little bit of a different answer for this one. I could think of, you know, a handful of people that I would like to say, but this is going to be a little out there. I would like to connect with my future self. And I would hope that there are at least six people I have yet to meet who are going to help me grow into that future self.
“So, every year, and I think you've probably got this answer before, I read the Alchemist. So, I'd finished that actually not too long ago…”
“I would just say to make genuine connections and always approach life with a smile.”
You can connect with Neille at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
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Facebook: Click Here
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Jennifer Garrett is a dynamic internationally recognized speaker, author of the book Move the Ball and high-performance expert who is widely known for pushing boundaries, inspiring others, and driving individuals, businesses, and organizations out of their comfort zones to play at higher levels. Today, Jennifer, together with her organization, Feel the Push provides lessons on how to play for success and how to step up the game in order to drive results and cross the goal line. Her organization also works with collegiate and professional athletes as they transition off the field to be all-star players in life beyond the game. Jennifer draws upon her experience from her 20-year career in fortune 50 companies where she had a proven track record of delivering results, boosting organizational efficiency, driving cultural transformation, closing large-scale negotiations and exceeding targets.
Her seven college degrees coupled with her extensive corporate executive leadership and military experience as an Army judge advocate officer gives Jennifer a diverse skill set that is well suited to connect with audiences around the world and help individuals and organizations to move the ball and achieve long term excellence.
“There's a lot that sports can teach us, such as the teamwork, the resiliency, but I found that there was a lot more that football had taught as well as those other concepts that I really just resonated with.”
“How it's helped me is I really think it's important to find out what unique differentiated value you can bring to any conversation or…”
“One of the things that I've been working on is I'm launching a program in September called inside the huddle. And what it is designed to be is a community where people will support you, champion you, hold you accountable…”
“I have been able to connect through these social channels with a number of professional athletes for example. And one of them, who I've become really great friends with, he played on the 1985 Chicago bears Superbowl championship team.”
“First and foremost, I think it's important to A. remain your authentic self and so own who you are and be true to that.”
“You have to be the quarterback. As I mentioned in my book, you are the quarterback and it's really up to you to take action to move that ball forward.”
“What I will say, it's being strategic with both of them. So there is something to be said about having in-person connections and oftentimes I will connect with people digitally and if there's an opportunity to follow up in person, either because we're in the same geographical area or because we are traveling to a geography that we're going to be.”
“What I would say to my 20-year-old self is don't ever think that you can't do something.”
“I would really like to connect with Elon Musk because…I'm a Tesla owner, so I love the product…I just like his way of thinking, his visionary mentality…”
“The book is called extreme teams…and basically it looks at why these seven companies, Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, and some other cutting-edge companies tend to succeed where other companies fail.”
“I think you should view every day as an opportunity to interact and meet new people and take advantage of those, but also a bigger reason why you network aside from the looking at how you can mutually support one another and building the relationships like we talked about, there's just the growing and the learning that you get from interacting with different people.”
You can get in contact with Jen at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Website: Click Here
Haris is a 2-time national award-winning entrepreneur, 2-time national best-selling author, keynote speaker, and a digital marketer. He previously co-founded a media company that helped authors, speakers, and coaches build their brands online. He took the company to a 6-figure business in 10 months. Haris was also previously a growth hacker at Vaynermedia, building Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal brand. He’s built SYNCSUMO, a SAAS Solution with customers in 30+ countries and now runs a consultancy that has generated millions of dollars for clients.
“You think clear, you have more energy. The people with the most energy throughout the day win.”
“Everybody's different, but you just have to test different things.”
“Travel is huge because it lets you unplug because if you're always working, working, working and you're always doing the same thing…”
“A lot of business owners, including myself, before I used to think, let's say you make 10 bucks…and then most business owners want to keep 10 bucks in their own pockets, want to use it for their own experiences or whatever, because they're scared because they don't know where the next $10 is going to come from…”
“To your point of networking in today's world, a lot and networking parties or after parties or whatever you want to call them, come with an open bar, which a little bit of liquid courage helps…”
“Typically, I just give a lot. Gary’s (Vaynerchuk) book, Jab, Jab, Right Hook should be retitled to Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Because typically, I just give as much as I can and then when I give something to someone, they typically stay in front of me asking, how can I help you?”
“You’ve got to get out there. There's no easy way about it. You’ve got to go to networking events. You’ve got to go to speaking seminars. You’ve got to get out there somehow, someway.”
“You're complete stranger online. In-person, people feel you. I don't know how to describe it. They feel your vibrations and they feel how good of a person you are and your energy levels. I mean, there's definitely a different sting to that because you can't get that online.”
“Definitely be more patient. Before I had always used to, you know, if something didn’t go my way, I would get sad or depressed or ‘oh my goodness, the world is against me.’ Uh, now I just rely on myself. Whatever happens, it's my fault.”
“I mean, I'm connected to everyone I really want to be. There's no one I really can't get to or haven't gotten to that I want to talk to.”
“The Fourth Agreement is one of my favorite books ever. It's changed the way I think, the way I approach life.”
“Never settle. And especially, momentum is huge in business. That's probably the biggest thing. Once you have momentum, you don't want to stop.”
You can get in contact with Haris at:
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LinkedIn: Click Here
Adam Connors is a sought-after speaker, social architect, podcast host and super-connector who has transformed lives and accelerated careers. He’s the Founder & CEO of NetWorkWise, a business platform that expedites outcomes for people through training in the art and science of personal and professional networking. An entrepreneur at heart, Adam has spent over 20 years starting & building companies across a variety of industries. His sole focus these days is teaching people how to NetWorkWise.
“the majority of people just don't understand what networking is and that's where they go wrong because a lot of people feel that it's dirty or they don't feel comfortable with it…”
“So, my podcast, it's called Conversations with Connors and there's three criteria to being on my show. Number one, it's kind of like the foundation of networking, that I know, like, and trust you with a little caveat and/or admire you, you know, maybe something that you've done or accomplished.”
“it turned out that this thing is really a really trendy thing to be doing and, you get enough listeners, it really benefits your business.”
“A significant amount of reading…I didn't realize what I was getting into.”
“I'm going to take this back over 20 years with my friend Ernie, who I met over 20 years ago…”
“I think it really all starts with active listening. When I get to know people, I try to skip over the superficial stuff, the conversation and kind of dig in to, you know, kind of who they are and what fires them up…”
“Know their why. You know, why are they doing this? You know, their intent needs to be genuine, otherwise, it'll look dirty and it won't generate the kind of results that they might desire.”
“Oh, it's a no brainer. I mean, traditional in-person relationship building is just standard. You know, they say gold standard, I say platinum.”
“I'd probably cut toxic people out of my life quicker. There was some kind of statistic, it's like 5% of the negative people in your life are responsible for 95% of the bad things that happened to you.”
“Start. They say the old Buddhist term is, you know, best time to have started something was 20 years ago. And the second-best time to start is today.”
You can get in contact with Adam at:
Tim Manion - Director of Business Development
With a team of Account Executives, Tim curates, develops and manages relationships with potential clients, influencers and stakeholders. In his tenure he has had the opportunity to strategize across a diverse scope of industry and business models, ranging from fortune 50 companies to crowdsourced startups. Prior to joining the Catalyst team, Tim worked in medical sales and operations management.
Kyle Baldwin - Director of Design
As the Director of Design at Catalyst, Kyle is responsible for creating meaningful engagements between people, brands, and places. He employs multi-disciplinary design methods to focus on the intersection of communication design and the built environment. Since joining in 2012, he has led some of the agency’s most unique, engaging, and interactive experiences for national brands such as RSA, FN America, GungHo Entertainment, Intel, CDW, and the Chicago Department of Aviation.
Tim: “We work with various clients in every industry too, um, in its simplest form, bring them to a trade show.”
Kyle: “So, it's obviously becoming a much younger generation. The millennials are kind of driving a lot of different, uh, ways of selling and engaging with brands. And they're much better, much more educated about their products they're interested in because of the Internet.”
Tim: “It's interesting to watch how people use LinkedIn in my day today. Um, I use it as an opportunity to figure out who I'm talking to. A lot of people use it for networking to get in touch with people, but when I step into a room to pitch any sort of deal, I'm looking at who's in the room…”
Kyle:” It’s an opportunity to have a more natural conversation with a company, with a person, with a brand…”
Tim: “We get the opportunity to work with a lot of cool clients and they pulled back the curtain. Um, so half of it is just enjoying what you do and the natural curiosity to just figure out…”
Tim: “I mean, the benefit of a trade show is the entire room is networking. Um, and I think the best experiences I've had is when a plan goes right, um, we put together pre-post-show marketing for any given client, um, and a client that's willing to listen…”
Tim: “It's one thing at its very core on our end, you have to get, uh, a lot of trust from people. We're selling a picture really. Um, so it's being honest, upfront and sincere. Um, and then the follow-through, I'm on the show floor, sleeves rolled up, making sure everything happens…”
Kyle: “I'd say we, we kind of keep up with just what's happening in the organization through obviously the, you know, Internet and social media and things like that. So, we're always…”
Tim: “You should value the people you bring into your fold. It shouldn't just be this person linked with me. You don't know what they do. You don't know who they like. If you're going to if I'm going to reach out to someone…”
Kyle: “I would say really like define what you want and what you would like to do. Right. And like find people doing that and kind of echo that career path in some way.”
Tim: “I'll say that the folks I hire right out of college are the best-suited people in the world at getting a hold of people. Everything is done digitally. Every platform they know, LinkedIn, Instagram, I mean these things are taught in college now. And when I was there…”
Tim: “Don't get bogged down in the details. Just possible. Yeah. Yeah. That's fun to watch. When you do hire people who do it, it's like managers notice that and they'll help you and they'll give you every nugget along the way. But if you're in there asking for handouts…”
Kyle: “I'd say there's probably a few more up there like Polish share and you know, Stefan Sagmeister and things like that I would love the chance to meet...”
Tim: “Just be honest.”
Kyle: “I'd say be fearless then in it as well because you have nothing to lose and it's your career and your path and just own it and you know, don't tread lightly on it. Go and attack every opportunity…”
You can get in contact with Tim at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
You can get in contact with Kyle at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Lisa Attonito was named the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee in November of 2016. Committed to activating philanthropy to advance equity for women in our community, the focus is on economic empowerment, leadership skills, and education. The Women’s Fund is working to change attitudes, behaviors, and culture so Greater Milwaukee is an inclusive world-class community where women and girls realize their full potential, and everyone thrives.
Attonito has extensive experience in organizational management, board governance, staff development, budget creation and oversight, along with brand development and engagement. Her career includes senior positions with several well-known, best in class nonprofit organizations. She has always had a growth mindset and believes strongly in building brand experiences that reflect the culture and mission of the entity while supporting the strategic goals. Her track record of sales includes consistent success and a dynamic network that is fueled by sound project management and good communication.
“I am hoping to, um, establish or re-introduce the women's fund as a thought leader and community creator. As executives, we're terming off the board. We were able to add new directors to the group that are enthusiastic, that are excited, that have new networks and new ideas.”
“We are in the midst of planning our annual educational event. We use a title of women's Fund presents and then each year there's a different theme. And so, this year the theme is the future and we're focusing on the year 2030.”
“I met a friend, Lela Owner, Carrie Airway for an annual sort of social gathering in December for years in a row and taking advantage of social media Carrie posted among her friends…”
“One of the things I'm really committed to is keeping my LinkedIn profile current and not only current about my work experiences, but even my contact information.”
“Be curious. Cause if you are curious, you don't have to work at being social. It just comes so naturally. And I think the more curious people are, the easier it is for them to talk to people that they don't know.”
“I really think the best answer is a blend…whether you meet someone in person or online, eventually you have to do the other, right?
“I think being vulnerable throughout life is really important, not only in interpersonal relationships and family relationships, but then I just think in general in building business relationships…”
“I really love to meet everybody. I can be walking down the street and someone's walking towards me and there's something about them. Either I like the shoes they're wearing…”
“Terry Gross does a fantastic job interviewing so many people that I often am listening to her interviews. Sometimes they're historic, you know, and archived and some are in the moment.”
“Be sure to keep relationships that are strong, that are dependable, that you feel comfortable with…”
You can get in contact with Lisa at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Details on “The Future, 2030” can be found here.
“Vistage is 23,000 CEOs in 20 countries worldwide and key business leaders taking a step back from their businesses one day a month to reflect, get other input from other their peers.”
“A good friend who is a Vistage Chair, and it was about a year and a half process where we had a conversation one day, we're sitting out for coffee and he says, Mervin, you really ought to consider this. You know, this is your passion. You love helping people, you love seeing people grow and you will be amazing.”
“The mission was to address what I saw, in my opinion, that was really going wrong out there. When I see people networking some of the a faux paux that they are making and wondering why networking is tough…”
“I was in a job transition now seven, eight years ago after I closed down my commercial loan brokerage and I was out networking and someone who, who I'd met said, Hey, I think you need to talk to John about something…”
“I have a built-in process with the business alliance. We are a membership organization. We host events and programs, right? So, we do 75 plus of these a year. So, I'm constantly in front of my network in that capacity.”
“Be a giver. Don't be in a rush to try to get. Just be a giver.”
“For me, I'm a people person. Nothing beats a face to face conversation, sit down looking into another person's eyes and checking out their body language and all of that.”
“I would just say break out of your shell. People aren't concerned about you, they're concerned about them.”
“I'm kind of a junkie when it comes to reading. Currently, I'm juggling only two…I just finished one, finished a third, Can't Hurt Me recently. And so, I'm reading The Power of Peers…”
“Get out there and get active. We see so many folks who get excited about being part of a new network and then they let their business or life get in the way.”
You can get in contact with Mervyn at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Mary Beth Klatt is a writer with a specialty in writing about real estate, design, and historic preservation. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor and other publications. She is also the host of the Mid-Century Modern Show, a podcast that focuses on all aspects of modernism as it relates to design, residential and commercial real estate and fashion. She's also using a typewriter for the second draft of her murder mystery novel.
“…I really hit the keys and that's what you want to do is to really connect with your keys. And I don’t know, I think it just makes the whole experience of writing just more three-dimensional.
“Tom Hanks is hugely passionate about typewriters. He collects them all over the world. He, um, yeah, he's very vocal and he shares about all these typewriters and that has had the, uh, the rollover effect of actually affecting the sales…”
“When you're having a writing freeze as something you're writing on your laptop, take a break, get on your typewriter and just write whatever you were trying to do on the laptop and just, you know, see if that kind of breaks through you're writing’s dry spell.”
“But then maybe a couple months later I got a handwritten note from my nephew's wife and I almost burst into tears. I mean, it was so thoughtful and she kind of quoted back the card and I just felt so touched. Like I made a difference in the world.”
“I think those thank you notes are important. And you know what, I talked about typing but it doesn't have to be typed. I just think it needs to be personal.”
“…focus on one thing and then do it.”
“…at the end of the day, we're still human beings with a need to connect with other human beings, face to face talking. And, um, I, I think you need both.”
“I think my younger self would really say focus on the result. You know, what do you want to say, you know, you've done at the end of your life…”
“I've been talking about Tom Hanks the whole show. Actually, I have had this idea that I want to, and he's very good about this apparently, you can send Tom Hanks a note…”
“You know, you've got to read your genre, the murder mystery genre. But I'm also because I, uh, my, my protagonist is a nun, I'm also reading a lot of books that have religious elements right now…”
“Just focus on one way to really connect with people and go for it. And the payoff may not occur right away. You know, it may be weeks, months, years, but just go for it. Make your mark and just um, you know, personalize it.”
You can get in contact with Mary Beth Klatt at:
Apple Podcasts: Click Here
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LinkedIn: Click Here
Nick Myers is the Founder and CEO of RedFox Creative in Madison, WI. RedFox Creative is a technology-driven marketing and consulting company that helps brands give themselves a voice through the power of AI and voice assistant technology. Nick is a TEDx speaker and has spoken across the U.S and soon internationally on topics ranging from the future of AI in the workplace, 360 video, AI and social media, and how brands can begin leveraging the power of Voice-First today to help tell their story.
“So, my story is a bit interesting in how I got involved. You know truth be told, my background is actually in marketing and communications…”
“I think ultimately marketers are going to be the key decision-makers to actually, you know, moving the hand of C-level folks within large organizations to actually invest in it. But I think the one thing that's going to change above all else is just…”
“…But I'm trying to educate people saying that that's, that's fine and dandy, but you need to have a, a reason that you're doing it. You need to be solving some type of pain with their customers or from within your organization that voice can help solve.”
“So, couple months ago, actually back in September, October of last year, um, I was following, her name is Marie Ryan on Linkedin and I'm, I'm very, very active on Linkedin by the way…”
“So, it's become harder definitely over the past couple of years because I've been able to meet so many people and it's really hard to message and just interact with everybody. And it's almost like I have, you know, it’s actually on my to-do list every week, I have a follow up with, like a bunch of people.”
“A first piece of advice as if you're not on LinkedIn. Get on LinkedIn because like I said, most of my success over the past couple of years since starting…”
“Actually, I'm going to go ahead and say a combination of both because I would say a lot of the really strong relationships, I've met actually have been in person more so than online…”
“Learn Code, Learn Code, get more involved in computer science. I mean, that is definitely the first thing I would tell myself, especially being in the space…’
“I would go and head right now and say somebody that I really would like to connect with. Truth be told, and this'll never happen is Jeff Bezos of Amazon just because I guess I've been working so much in the voice space…”
“So, one thing I'm telling people is if you really want to pull the trigger now is the time, while we are still kind of in the early stages here…”
You can get in contact with Nick at:
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Theresa is the brand stylist, graphic designer and creative problem solver of Wilmot Designs, LLC. She works with business owners to help them give a voice to their message and mission through creative and effective design. Her background includes working for a global consumer goods company in their art department, a theater playbill publication and a hat company where she had her first experience with textile design. Theresa is taking her business to the next level with fun, new clients!
“…Someone in business for themselves probably does a wider variety of things than a person who works for a larger agency. And those things can span the, both the print and digital world.”
“So, after working in the areas that I worked in professionally, um, I say professionally, but for someone else, I, decided to go out on my own because we were living in Bentonville, Arkansas at the time…”
“So, a well-developed brand like I was saying before, is more than just your logo. It is your presence when you are not there. So, what a well-developed brand should do is communicate…”
“I belong to a women network and my favorite story out of that group so far is having volunteered to help with a promotional booklet that they were going to put together for a women's entrepreneurship week here in Milwaukee.”
“I'm actually just getting to know the people themselves because to me, part of networking is not only what I could do for them, but what they could do maybe for someone that I know or even for myself.”
“I would say to not be afraid of it, be open to the idea of it as being something that could be very natural and not canned or fake…”
“I think about this a lot lately just because of the business I'm in. And I think right now I'd have to say the traditional sense just because it's newer to me and I'm typically, I'm pretty good at making connect genuine connections with people.”
“To trust that I am enough, that I am talented enough that I am skinny enough that I am funny enough that I, I feel like back in my twenties I doubted myself a lot.”
“Aaron Draplin, the graphic designer, um, who I've been following… I would love to connect with him because he is a designer without, um, he seems very approachable. I think that's a good way to put it.”
“I love yours because it's, you interview a wide range of guests in a wide variety of businesses, um, about networking but also about their business journeys.”
“I would just say to be patient with yourself. Um, don't go into networking thinking that you have to, you know, make so many contacts right away or I know some people do that, some people have goals, you know, they want to make so many contacts at this event or that event.”
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Lisa Dregne founded Yorkshire Insurance Advisors, LLC after being in the industry for seven years and she saw a need to provide individuals, couples and small businesses with comprehensive insurance planning either directly, or preferably in collaboration with their financial advisor, CPA or attorney. Although all areas of insurance are equally important to Lisa, her passion has been working with individuals/families on their long-term care planning.
“Definitely not. Um, and that's a common misconception is that insurance is a commodity, that it's the same no matter where you get it.”
“Absolutely. And the reason I say that as I've gotten a lot of feedback from, individuals that I've been working with, colleagues that they really like my business card, they actually remembered me.”
“It's actually been my number one resource for networking past those initial people that you already knew.”
“My favorite one, it was actually about a month ago is how it initiated with somebody. I had used to work with an advisor, and we got together for coffee at Starbucks, my favorite place to get together…”
“So, as I build my network, I am looking to try and at least keep in touch with the prospects, the best prospects once a month on with a personal touch, whether it's a phone call or an email, just with some tidbit of information I think would be helpful.”
“I guess leverage the relationships you have and don't be afraid to ask for those names and referrals primarily because if you are passionate about what you do and you believe in what you do, other people will help you.”
“Definitely the traditional networking in my particular space, insurance planning is a very personal thing. I'm also a certified financial planner, meaning that I've got that financial background.”
“That was an easy one. Now that I've found my passion, I really wish I had looked for my passion sooner. I ended up coming back to the state of Wisconsin…”
“I primarily read. There's a journal for long term care insurance specifically in it. It gives a lot of wonderful stories and helpful tips on how to present long term care to clients in a way that doesn't make it sound like you're selling something. Just pure education.”
“Never stop. Don't be afraid of it. I was in the beginning and now it's just so much fun. I have loved meeting so many different individuals and just networking. It's, it's funny, it ends up being a pretty small world the more you do it.”
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Kim Stezala is Senior Partner at Design Group International, a group of consultants that help leaders, businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate transformative change. Primarily working in higher education and philanthropy, Kim uses the power of process consulting to help organizations design effective programs and innovate, evaluate and improve what they do. Recently named CEO of the Society for Process Consulting, she is also building standards, courses, and credentials for the field.
“So, process consulting was really created quite a while ago by Edgar Schein who's a professor out of MIT. Okay. And it takes basically a very humble and iterative approach to consulting where even though we might have expertise in a certain area, we work with clients to really pull out their expertise.”
“So, it really came from many of us who were doing process consulting, looking for place, if you will, looking for community and wanting to work together to put these standards and ethics in place to provide…”
“Well I happen to work with a lot of scholarship providers and the attending their national conference not only as a regular participant but as a speaker is really successful in terms of networking because I have a really niche market with some of the clients that I work with.”
“I would like to say I used to be better at it. I'm, I'm kind of circling back, I had a huge growth spurt in my business and kind of trying to keep up. Um, but in terms of staying in front of people, I really prefer the personal touch.”
“I would say, um, get out of your own pond or your own pool. Okay. And so sometimes I will go to events where I don't know a single person there. And the reason is to just understand how other industries work and operate.”
“For my particular type of work, it's definitely the traditional. Okay. Because it's so relationship-based. Probably 90% of my business comes through referral and…”
“I really thought about this, you know, and for me, I think I would tell my younger self to listen more. I was a kid who on the report card in school would always say talks too much in class…”
“Okay, you're probably going to laugh. My husband told me that this is crazy. I have a celebrity crush on Jackie Chan…”
“Well, um, two books. One is about building communities of practice by Emily Weber. I think she's a British author and I, I go back to it. I've read it before. It's so simple. It's like 70 pages, but it helps me learn and understand that because our business is structured as a community of practice…”
“I think the biggest thing, just listening over the last half hour is really that thing about getting out of your comfort zone.”
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Cheryl Litvin is a master question asker and problem solver for Mangen-Kloth Insurance in Brookfield, WI.
After graduation from St Norbert College in 1996, she started her cross country living while learning the ropes of OSHA and federal contracting. After 22 years and 6 states, she and her family moved back to Wisconsin to become the 4th generation owner of MKI. She is a proud member of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, eWomen Network and the Brewer’s Association.
“Probably the biggest difference is I work for you. I have your back. If you were to have a claim, you deal directly with someone local here in your area. Me, you know, you have cell phone numbers. You don't have to always go back and go to the 800 and re-explain your story 15,000 times…”
“…and then having to go back and try to find the person to fix all of those problems and you could never talk to the same person, uh, was really, really, really trying…”
“A lot of people think that they, that you can just get insurance from anywhere, which I guess you can. It's not always in particular in my case. I wasn't insured correctly, which made me have to fight as a consumer to fight to get what we were entitled to have. So, it's not a one stop fits all. It's a very unique…”
“So I started getting into these networking groups and what I found with that, I was actually finding women who really wanted to move, do something better, um, and change this community that they were in.”
“I'm not a spotlight kind of person. If I can push that onto you, if I can help you in any way, I know that in my past experiences that it will somehow benefit me down the road. Whether you see it, or you don't see it. So that's serving others. Yeah. Serving others is a huge benefit I think to those that are successful…”
“I think that you have to find your unique niche and I know that's an overused term. Um, yeah, I was in a networking group and it just didn't feel right. Went to a few others and I knew right away that these were the same likeminded people that I was looking for.”
“…I just have to be me, and I have to be transparent. Um, and I found that it's easier on social media to kind of bust through some of the myths that, are either out there about my industry…”
“…I didn't think I needed personal or professional development. Um, and when I started doing that, probably just five to, yeah, probably five years ago, it changed a lot. Changed how I interacted with people, um, how I viewed myself.”
“I would love to meet JJ Watt. Okay. Not because I'm a football fan. Sorry… He grew up and went to the same high school that I did. And so, Pewaukee Wisconsin, super small. Like tiny… But more importantly, he's, he's him…”
“I am currently reading sales differentiation. Of course, the author is like escaping me, but again, it's about being different. Um, and I also am rereading actually relistening to, cause it's not a book, it's an audible, Mel Robbins take action or take control of your life.”
“Do what makes you feel uncomfortable. That's where the growth is, is outside the comfort zone.”
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Traci is a dynamic, thoughtful and innovative HR professional that is committed to putting humans first while achieving customer engagement and profitability goals through authentic and concise HR solutions. Her experience includes non-profits, union and non-union organizations in healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and construction. She has built an HR department from the ground up, created strategic talent pathways, implemented compensation and benefits programs along with consulting with small business in an outsourced HR model.
“It's gold. Let's just start there. Right? You know, most often we are more likely to look at and hire individuals that we know something about, and we know that our best referrals into our organization come from our employees. Therefore, networking with individuals and being really crystal clear about what you want in a position…”
“Absolutely. So as a business owner to further your business, you know, when you're networking, you're not only looking for that next top talent in your organization, you're also looking for the tools to improve your processes so that your employees have exactly what they need to be successful in their role.”
“Yeah. And there are several ways that marketing can be detrimental to your business. And one of them is, you know, not putting yourself out with that best foot forward.”
“Oh, my goodness. There's so many. And I would say my favorite networking has really come through. You want me to network? Um, and the reason why I love you women network and those networking experiences because of the mastermind that happens…”
“Yeah, this is a key piece of networking, right? I and I'm going to circle back around to that question, but so often I find individuals or networking, networking, networking, but they're not doing the follow-up. The gold is in the follow up of the networking…”
“what I would say is be very specific about who you're looking to grow your network with. Okay. You can go to a, you know, a hundred different networking events and it might not be the right event for what you're looking to grow your network for.”
“so, I am human resources, right? So, I love putting the people behind that. So, you know, I personally love the in-person networking events and at the same time I have gotten so much out of like zoom meetings as well as zoom networking events where I can still see the body language of individuals.”
“I would say trust and enjoy the journey. Um, they're so often where I've been so focused on getting to an outcome that I haven't enjoyed the process and haven't enjoyed that journey.”
“You know, I'm really struggling with that question because so often I think we look for, and I've struggled with this question since I first read it and I hadn't come up with a good answer. But the reason why I struggle with that is so often I think we're looking so far in the future that we've missed the things that are right in front of us.”
“so, from a podcast perspective, Brooke Castillo and the life coach school, um, is Oh, juicy golden nuggets all the way through. Um, so if you've not heard of her, listen to her podcast, she has, I think 270 some episodes now.
“Yeah. What I would say is when you're growing and supporting your network, truly be intentional and be intentional about that follow-up, um, and the positivity and that is so incredibly important. Not fake, but authentic. You know, being authentic with your network will absolutely help to grow it.”
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Mark is the owner of Supporting Strategies Milwaukee, his franchise provides bookkeeping and controller-level services to small and middle market businesses as well as nonprofits.
He is a former CFO for a division of GE and he held senior finance roles at JPMorgan. Mark has experience with mergers/divestitures, international financial management, pricing, comp planning, strategic planning, new product development, cash/treasury management, and dealing with large, matrixed organizations.
“every year, in every market that Supporting Strategies works in, we try to have an event where we try to give back to the local business community. Both to our clients as well as some of the strategic partners we have…”
“…your controller is kind of like your chief accountant. So, they’ll help you with making sure your recognizing revenue the right way. So, if you are in certain industries there are certain ways you should be accruing for revenue.”
“…people try to do everything. And you’re not going to necessarily get the best level of service if you are going to somebody that does taxes, they’re also doing all of your accounting and bookkeeping…”
“so, I’m a member of a BNI chapter. And I took a look at a couple of different networking groups. One of the big things in my franchise that they preach from the get-go is were big on what we call an angelist development or center of influence development…”
How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?
“so, one of the things is the event I just talked about in the start of the show which is the Business Fundamentals Bootcamp. Another thing I try and make sure of is I tend to make a cursory appearance to every single networking group that I’m in.”
“I would encourage you to take a look at Eventbrite and take a look at things like BNI or any of the chambers of commerce.”
“so, I do both. I think digital is more to keep me top of mind. As opposed to developing a huge section of potential clients or partners.”
“don’t worry so much about the hours, worry about your on the job education.”
“I think one thing that would help my business is getting to know franchisors and talking to them a little bit about what they’re doing for franchises when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping…”
“I’m reading the Trusted Advisor, by Richard Wagner…”
“It’s not about net-taking, that’s one of the things I always try to caution people about. If you are in a networking situation and the first thing you do is hand somebody your card, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
You can get in contact with Mark at:
Jason Treu (Troy) is a leadership and performance coach. His programs help individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their most ambitious goals by skyrocketing their skills, abilities, and teamwork. He spent 15+ years in leadership positions in Silicon Valley working with leaders such as Steve Jobs, Reed Hastings (CEO at Netflix) and Mark Cuban. Jason is the author of Social Wealth, a how-to-guide on building extraordinary relationships. His team building game is being used by 12000+ employees.
“well I think one of the challenges today is teamwork, is the most misunderstood and most important soft skill that is out there. Because 75% of work is done collaboratively.”
“well, I just don’t think they know where to start and how to go about doing it. I think that’s the challenge right. I think when people think about sharing information and getting to know people…”
“I think the key is to get them together and one of the research studies that I came across a few years ago that really changed my perspective on building relationships and what’s possible…”
“well, Google back in 2012, you can literally google the study, Project Aristotle, and what they were trying to understand globally, was what’s the makeup of our highest performing teams. Because they found that they were bringing in more revenue they were becoming in…”
“we went to the TEDx conference in Vancouver. And so, we created some opportunities to meet people and he hosted an event with someone else, he had never been there before… and so we set up a cocktail hour we invited enough people to come…”
How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?
“you got to get people together in groups, that’s probably the easiest thing to do ultimately because you can only stay in contact with so many people at once. I think you just got to think ahead…”
“well, I think you need to find those groups that you really enjoy going to. And I think a part of that is like dating, you got to go and find them. And start to just get out there.”
“…I mean digital is just keeping the pot warm until you can actually access it. So, if that’s all you are doing it's not really real, I mean that person is only going to do so much for you…”
“you know I think it would be to really understand how to build trust with people a lot faster and really. And id say probably to network more and build more relationships with people.”
“it would probably be either Oprah or Brene Brown…”
“…The Body Keeps Score, by Travis Van Kessle, it’s about PTSD and self-awareness. And a book called, The Fearless Organization, by Amy Edmondson. Brene Browns book, Dare to Lead.”
“I think you just got to do it. You have to start somewhere. And you have to make it a priority.”
You can get in contact with Jason at:
Trina Martin shares her personal experiences networking including an invitation to visit the De Beers diamond mine in Africa.
Jonathan Stark shares valuable insights into maximizing your income by transitioning out of the hourly billing model.
Kelley Budinoff shares her passion for owning a business that was inspired by her parents.
Susan Thomson of Action COACH of Madison shares valuable insights into how to make more money with your business while leveraging your networking time investment.
Ashby Fiser of the National Democratic Training Committee shares how being yourself can bring successes and opportunities.